Friday, November 27, 2009

Good Things Come in Small Packages

For the first (and he claims last) time in his life, Adam braved the Black Friday crowds, leaving at 4:30am to join the crazies in Sioux Falls. To my delight, his mom volunteered to accompany him so I got stay home snug in my bed until a much more decent hour. Adam scored his intended purchase and got a few more things crossed off our Christmas shopping list. When he returned home around 10am, he brought me this beautiful package:

In it was a little slice of heaven. If you have never experienced the delight of a Cinnamon Crunch bagel with Hazelnut cream cheese from Panera Bread, then you are missing out on one of life's greatest pleasures. Truly, good things come in small packages.

Apparently, they also come in large packages.

It probably goes without saying, but this picture shows Adam taking down the old TV, not putting up the new one.  Here's a little more perspective on the kind of switch we are talking about here:

I am happy to say we can now successfully read both the TV Guide channel and the sports scores (impossible from 15' away on our old 27" TV). We are enjoying the new HD channels and larger format, although I can almost say I enjoyed the bagel just as much. After all, the TV doesn't provide half your daily allotment of calories in one small circle of cinnamon and carbs.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving Dinner with Adam's extended family on Thursday. My contributions were a French Silk pie and my first pumpkin pie ever. There was lots of pie leftover, but attribute that less to the quality of my pies and more to the fact that there were 6 pies for 21 people (plus other desserts) Ryan cooperated by sleeping all through dinner and for most of the afternoon--sometimes on willing shoulders and sometimes in Grandpa and Grandma's cradle. He even slept through the big traditional "Nerts" card game. He perked up a little when we ventured over to my parents for more food (after all, who doesn't follow up a huge turkey dinner with turkey sandwiches at night--except for Adam's family who had Casey's pizza which I heard was equally as delightful). Ryan really loves it when people talk to him and he'll reward you most of the time with a smile and a half-laugh which is really just him making a sound and sucking the air back in. This also gives him the hiccups, but what's new? We haven't accomplished a full-on giggle yet, but it's coming.  We had a great time celebrating Thanksgiving with many family members and are especially thankful this year for our healthy baby boy who has changed our lives for the better!

Sleepy TIme

At the risk of jinxing myself, I will finally post about some sleep success we've been having. Last week, after Ryan kept staying up later and later, the 1:00am bedtime finally pushed me over the edge and made me do some serious research about how we could establish a bedtime routine and get him used to putting himself to sleep. The first two nights we followed the bedtime routine-bath, pajamas, feeding, then quiet reading/singing in his dimly lit room. He cried for about an hour after we put him down, with us going in to reassure him every 5-10 minutes. The next night we took off for Waverly where he slept for 7 hours straight the first night, only got up once the second night, and put himself back to sleep after feeding. We had some more general success this week with an earlier bedtime, less crying, and putting himself back to sleep quickly after eating once or twice each night. Tuesday night was a little out of the ordinary as I didn't get back from my board meeting until 11 and Ryan had been awake off and on since bedtime (but not getting up). I fed him at 11 and he slept until 5:30 the next morning, then went back to bed again until 11am.  Last night we had church, so his bedtime routine got pushed back an hour and a half, but he fell asleep by10pm and guess who slept straight through until 6:30 this morning! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I am entirely aware that this success will probably not last, but I refuse to be discouraged by other people  being intent on making SURE I am aware of the fact this will not last. I am happy as long as it lasts and will take what I can get, which in this case was 8.5 hours of sleep. SO THERE!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Doggone Cute!

Ryan freshly scrubbed and curly-haired! He had a well-baby check today and at 7.5 weeks, he weighs in at a healthy 13 lbs. and measures 23" long. He is right on track, falling in the 50th-75th percentile in all measurements. He is a healthy, growing boy and we are loving his new cooing sounds and smiles! (Thanks for the doggone cute sleeper, Jennifer!)


Emily-3 years, Lincoln-6 months, Ryan-7 weeks

What a crew!

Triple Trouble

Football buddies

Can't even imagine the shennanigans these two will get into someday!

Emily being her silly self.

I just don't what to think about those two!

Weekend in Waverly

Ryan did amazingly well on his first roadtrip last weekend. He slept (or was quiet) the whole 4 hours there and back. He slept spectacularly both nights--even blessing us with a 7-hour stretch the first night--but reinforced that the best arrangement is for him to sleep in his own room because his grunting and squirming woke me up at least once every hour.  It was fun to see my sister and BIL's new house with more square footage of storage space than I have livable space in my house!

My niece Emily is as much of a spitfire as ever and Lincoln is a smiling, giggling 6-month-old. I gave Emily a late b-day gift of a Dora storage net where she can put all her stuffed animals. She filled it, drug it around, then managed to disassemble part of it. Oh well, hopefully she can get some use out of it and will help her keep her stuffed animals out of the kitchen. I reminded her of the rule that her toys cannot be in the kitchen and she obediently gathered them all up and dumped them in the hallway right outside the kitchen door.

She is into the "repeat" stage and I may or may not have caused her to start calling her brother "Mr. Drooly Monster".  The other funny repeat was when she spilled her glass of milk on the floor and my sister asked if she wanted something else to drink, she repeated "Yeah, since that milk thing didn't work out." My sister and I also couldn't help but laugh in listening to Emily negotiate for a bite of my sister's Trick-or-Treat Twix bar. We may have a future lawyer on our hands.

Emily kept reminding us "That's baby cousin Ry-an!" and asked "What is cousin Ry-an do-ing?" Mostly, though, she just wanted to put her puzzles together, get horsy rides from Auntie Abbie, and Cozy Coupe rides from Uncle Wade. I also helped my sister put up some fun new decorations in Emily's room. Well, mostly my sister put them up and I just eyeballed the centering and tried to keep the hammer out of the three-year-old's hands. One fun part of Saturday was watching the BHRV state championship game on TV. The camera panned the crowd and there were Adam and my two BIL's. Emily saw them and announced "There is Daddy on TV! He is at the football game!" Emily did not like to see us leave on Sunday when we took off bright and early in order to make it to my Grandma's for Thanksgiving dinner but we look forward to seeing her again at Christmas!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


"All because two people fell in Love". 

"When you fell into my arms, little angel, you slipped into my heart."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Stacy London, host of TLC's What Not To Wear, has been popping up on TV and print ads everywhere as she becomes the most multi-tasking spokesperson since Tiger Woods. Apparently she is a believable expert in all things "fashion". Borrowing from the famous "Bo Knows..." campaign, here are the things Stacy Knows:

Stacy knows...that the high heels she suggests you wear every day, even to the grocery store, are killing your feet. Therefore, she is promoting Dr. Scholl's "For Her High Heel Inserts".  Because when you spend $400 on a pair of shoes, what's another $9.99 to make the wearable for more than 30 minutes.

Stacy knows...that her studio-styled hair is impossibly shiny and unachievable by mere mortals, but her pitching of Pantene hair care products make you feel like you have a flying chance to prevent fly-aways and achieve silky, smooth, strong hair. The gray stripe is extra, though.

Stacy knows...that if your clothes don't look as fabulous as you remember in the dressing room fun-house mirror, all you need is a little more product added to your rinse cycle to make them brand new (and better fitting?) again!  This is why she wants you to use Woolite in every load. Maybe you will all laugh at me, but I've never found much use for laundry products other than a stain stick, detergent, and dryer sheets. But, I also don't believe in dry cleaning, so I think I am a little less than "expert" level when it comes to laundering.

And finally, Stacy knows...that most "fashion-forward" people would never be caught dead in Riders, or any Lee Jeans for that matter, but with the promise "they instantly slim you" and her spicy signature, even the most brand-conscious fashionista might make an exception to the no-Riders rule.

I actually do like Stacy London and at least the products she pitches somewhat make sense according to her expertise. Of course celebrities should be able to pitch more than one product at a time (Michael Jordan can wear Hanes while he is drinking Gatorade), but I have a hard time when a familiar commercial actor is all of a sudden in another commercial in a completely different role. It would be like seeing the Progressive girl in a Nair commercial. You would be like, "No, no, no, she does NOT wear short shorts, she wears white pants, an apron, and a headband! For eternity!"

That is why I have a hard time with the new "Intuit" website building service commercial. I couldn't find a picture or video link to it, but you may be familiar with the "Sweet Shop" husband and wife owners who end up building a killer website using Intuit. Somehow I just can't buy it since the husband also play "the sun" in the Jimmy Dean commercials. You just can't come back from that.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Night

Sunday night we had a small group social to say good-bye to our good friends who are moving to central Iowa. Dr. K delivered Ryan and him and his wife started the first small group with us. We decided to call Uncle Andy and Aunt Kim to watch Ryan so we could enjoy being with the other adults without having to sneak off to feed Ryan or attend to his needs. It was a nice evening with good food and even better humor. We will miss re-hashing the best lines from The Office with J and comparing notes on show choir with H. We wish them the best of luck as they move their family but we will miss them a lot!

Saturday Night Bath Time

Ryan has been enjoying his tub baths more-he doesn't cry and is pretty compliant as we get him all washed up. He likes being wrapped up in his cozy towel afterward and we finally got smart and bring him all the way back to his changing table to redress him instead of trying to do it on the bathroom floor. I know...we are slow. I wish his hair would stay curly like this, but if we don't comb it out straight while it's wet, it just gets kinky and frazzled. I think he got that from me. We've been giving him baths and putting him in his crib earlier, but so far this has resulted in him getting "up" at 10, 12, 3:30, and 6:30. So, it's just a toss-up if I want "get up" or "stay up". And the mornings are also a toss-up if it is time to be up, or time to go back to bed. This morning, it was time to go back to bed since Adam was willing to play with him this morning, tiring him out just in time for church. I also think he is going through a growth spurt as he is hungrier more often. We just started putting him in 3 month clothes and I am discovering that they are none too big. Unfortunately, I think he'll be out of the 3 month size before we know it. What a big boy we have!
Posted by Picasa

Ryan's Imitation of the Iowa Defense

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday Fareway...again

Adam had a fun night with the Middle Schoolers-- a carnival and dance, and I SOOOOO wanted to go and help chaperone 200 5th-8th graders, but alas, Fareway called and said they hadn't seen me in 6 days, and well, the half gallon of milk in the fridge prompted me to heed their call. Plus, buckets of Blue Bunny ice cream were on sale for $4.88 and that is worth a 25-minute drive alone. The one-day sale on Braeburn Apples for $0.49 was just a bonus. My only complaint is that there was nary a can of Rotel to be found which is a crucial ingredient in my staple Chicken Taco Stew. If you want a short explanation on the virtues of Rotel, see this post from Rocks in my Dryer.  It was not with the diced tomatoes in the canned vegetable section, it was not with the taco sauce/shells/green chiles in the American-Mexican section and it was not with the jars of jalapenos and bottles of Jarritos in the Authentic-Mexican section. How do you tell the difference between the American- and Authentic-Mexican sections? There is no Old El Paso or Chi-Chi's brand in the Authentic area. I know exactly where it is in Sheldon, but the larger format in Wo-town has apparently relocated the Rotel, along with the peanut butter (no longer right after the mayonnaise) and cereal (yes, I am back to buying cereal after being down to 5 boxes, none of which Adam or I will eat plain).

Aunt Abbie and Uncle Wade were easily persuaded to come for the evening. I think they were coming just for my 5-star supper of taverns and french fries, but maybe Ryan had something to do with it too. It was fun visiting with them and he was awake the whole time I was gone to Wo-town, so they got some quality time playing with him while I spent some quality time evaluating the Christmas candy at Walgreens and checking out with a new cashier at Fareway. At least I hope she was new since the bag boy had to prompt her on what some of the produce I was buying was called. I'll give her the fact that "Size B Potatoes" is not inherently obvious, but I thought he shouldn't have had to explain that one mysterious bag of vegetables was called "green beans".

Ryan fell asleep on my shoulder as soon as I picked him up when I got home. But of course, this was the "fake" going to bed at 10:00 thing. A few minutes after they left, he was up and at 'em again until midnight. I seriously think his "nighttime" sleeping is from 11 or 12 until 11 or 12 the next day (He's been sleeping all morning this morning except for a few wakeups to eat). I so wish we could shift that to 8 to 8.  Wait, both The Office and Glee start at 8, so make that 7-7 or 9-9. I've been terrible at trying to establish a routine for him since we seem to have exceptional nights about every other night. And by exceptional I mean nights where Biggest Loser, So You Think You Can Dance, Glee, and The Office were on at times that interfered with when we should have given him a bath. Or, he got dirty enough during the day to need a bath earlier than scheduled. Or, he was already sleeping at 8 and slept until 10, then woke up and was awake for another hour and a half. Hard kid to figure out, but I am just trying to enjoy the time I have with him, so matter what time of day it is!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

6 Weeks Old

Hey You! I am 6 weeks old today!

This is my favorite chair, although I usually don't sit in it by myself. I usually rock in Mommy's arms during The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien because I fake going to bed at 10 and then am actually up until 11:30. But then I usually only get up once during the night and then am up again at 6:30. Sometimes Mom decides that is morning and sometimes it is still night, depending on how tired she is. I think the horizontal stripes really help emphasize the roundness of my belly.

This is the 3rd outfit I had on in 5 hours today! I am one messy boy and this is what I think about it:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This or That--Around Town

As Ryan and I have enjoyed the weather by walking the familiar streets of our town, I find myself comparing the wide range of yard decor. I guess each homeowner is entitled to his or own taste, so I will not reveal my feelings on these "trends", but will simply give you, the reader, (all 2 of you) a choice between THIS...or THAT.

Which has a better chance of attracting the actual thing to your yard?


or THAT....

Which couple is more in love?


or THAT...

Which dog do you think should be behind a tall fence?


or THAT...

Which gazing ball is the LEAST hideous, compared to its surrounding decor?


or THIS...

or THAT...

Who is more believable as a lemonade salesman?


or THAT...

Which is a more interesting mix of holidays?


or THAT...

And finally...

Which home is the very reason the show "Curb Appeal" exists?


or THAT...