Wednesday, July 29, 2009

SYTYCD: It's time to be honest

Before I begin, I need to offer my apologies to Tanya, who so politely asked for a new post yesterday and to who I promised said post, but then I got tired and fell asleep on the couch. I know she's reading this now and thinking. SYTYCD?? What is this crap? This is not what I meant by a new post, Kono!! I know, I know, I'm sorry.

Okay, so, back to week is the finale and I think it is time to be honest with myself. I've been trying so hard to deny this, trying so hard to convince myself that it wasn't so. But I just gotta say it. This season, it just hasn't done as much for me as last season. And I hate it that that is the case. I like the dancers, I do, but the performances, I don't know, they just aren't moving me the way they did last season. Not to say none of them have, because Kayla & Brandon's contemporary routine tonight did and I can think of at least 3 or 4 others over the course of the past few weeks that were really awesome. But last season I remember feeling moved pretty much every night. Sometimes more than once a night. So I'm a little disappointed about that. And I'm disappointed that I have to admit it. But, it's time to be honest.

With that out of the way, here are just a few things I thought about tonight:

* I really really like all three of the girls. In fact, I can't even tell you who is my favorite. Based on tonight's show I'd say Kayla & Jeanine. But, like Mary said at the beginning of the show, it's not just about tonight, it's about all season, and if I think about all season than Melissa is right up there with the other two because she was in two of my favorite routines this season.

* I'm sorry, but seriously, it's time for Evan to go. I think Melissa was a little doomed tonight simply because she was paired with him. I don't get it because he is so strong in his solos but man, in the couple's routines he just lacks. Big time.

* With each passing week Brandon is really growing on me. He really is a very strong and talented dancer. I'm starting to wonder if the reason I didn't care for him at the beginning of the season had more to do with Jeanette (who, I'm sorry, I just didn't like).

* I was busy changing a diaper during the opening guys routine but I could tell the show was starting so I called out to Collin - hey, can you tell me what's going on? And he yells back: The guys are dancing....kinda stupidly.... which made me laugh. What did you guys think of the guys routine that I missed?

* I didn't vote tonight because I didn't know how to choose between the girls or Ade & Brandon. So basically, the only person I wouldn't have been voting for would have been Evan.

What are you guys thinking?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Little Moments

Daddy left early this morning for his annual guys weekend in the Dells, which means this weekend it was just us kid. When you woke up at six a.m. I pulled you into bed with me and while I nursed you I drifted in and out of sleep. This is a bad habit I started lately, nursing you in bed, but it is a bad habit that I love and that I don’t want to give up. I’m pretty sure you like it too because as soon as you are done eating you snuggle into me and go back to sleep. This morning we slept until almost 8 a.m.

After breakfast we spent some time playing in your nursery and reading the story of The Ugly Duckling. You always get a little antsy when we’re reading books but usually you’ll indulge me long enough to make it through at least one. Then it’s back to the floor so you can roll around and play with your toys.

By 9:30 you were getting tired again and I knew it was time for a nap. I had a million things I should have done while you were napping, fold laundry, clean the kitchen counters, sweep the floors, but instead I laid you in our bed and crawled in with you. I curled my body around yours and held onto you so you couldn’t roll away. We slept like that, snuggled together, for two hours. You actually woke up before me and instead of making noise you entertained yourself quietly, still in my arms. Waking up to your smiley face is the very best thing in the world. When I look at you I can’t help but wonder how my heart grew this big, how I could love one little person so much.

Life gets so busy, deadlines at work stress me out, and sometimes I get so wrapped up in these things that I forget to live in the moment. Today all I wanted were little moments.

I don’t want to forget the way your body curled into mine during our morning nap. I don’t want to forget the way you rested against my chest this afternoon as I held you wrapped in a blanket out on the deck. As the wind blew I’d put my face next to yours; the dogs were playing hard in the yard and you were so content just sitting there with me, watching the action. As I type this you are sleeping on my chest. I should have put you down and hour ago but I don’t want to let go. Tomorrow there will be a to-do list and on Monday the hectic week begins again. For now I just want to hear your tiny breaths go in and out, in and out, and I want to feel your tiny body curled up on mine. For this is one of those moments and I don’t want it to end.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

SYTYCD: Me and Nigel are like this

At 7:25 tonight I realized OMG! SYTYCD is on RIGHT. NOW. What am I doing sitting here listening to the President talk about health care reform?? Sorry Mr. President, there are important things and then there are i.m.p.o.r.t.a.n.t. things, if you know what I mean? And I think you do...

So I missed a good chunk of the beginning of the show and then my mom had dinner ready and on the table for us and then Stink decided he was hungry. Scratch that. He was Starving! And so as hard as I tried to watch, I wasn't very focused through the first half of the show. And to be honest with you, with what I did see, I didn't really feel like I was missing much. Again with the 'eh'.

And then Nigel nailed it on the head. The first half of the show was flat, but the last three routines made the show worth half-watching for me. And Kayla & Jason's hip hop? Thank you. Finally a decent hip hop routine this year!

So, I don't have a whole lot more to add, but here are just a few thoughts:

* Jeanine! Girl! Where have you been all season?? In the past two weeks she moved on my list from, oh, she's pretty good, to my #1 Girl. I am just loving her these days.

* I was surprised to find that I really, really enjoyed Brandon tonight. Maybe it was because he was paired with Jeanine? I don't know, but tonight, he was my #1 guy.

* I still don't really care for Jeanette.

* That contemporary by Ade & Melissa - that is one that will stay with me for a long time. Only a few dances have moved me to tears. This was one of them. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

* I felt the need to vote for 4 tonight and so I voted for: Girls - Jeanine & Melissa; Guys - Brandon & Ade

* My mom's declared her favorite as Brandon

* When asked his favorite Collin says he doesn't give a crap

Can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Zippy Zucchini

This past Saturday Kira and I had a date to try our hand at making baby food. We've been planning this for awhile and while we had a few hiccups - like not making it to the farmer's market early enough to find all of the fresh, local, organic veggies we were looking for, and burning one batch of zucchini because, hey, did you know you need to refill the water in the pan when it evaporates? And you know that horrible smell that is filling the house? The one that smells like plastic burning? Yeah - that's not food on the burner, that's the protective laying burning off your pot. And when the smell gets worse and you move the pan off of the burner for two seconds to see, nope, no food, maybe you shouldn't put the pan back on the burner and talk about how bad it smells, maybe you should, you know, REMOVE THE PAN AND TURN OFF THE BURNER!

So, to recap, casualties of this little adventure: 1 2-quart pot. Rest in peace little bugger, you'll be missed.

Other than that, things went well. We made zucchini and yellow green beans. Fun fact, did you know that yellow grean beans are the same in taste and texture to green green beans? We couldn't find organic green green beans at the market so we settled for yellow beans with the intention of googling the difference when we got home and hoping like hell we'd be able to use them. And good news! We could!

Because we were making "beginner" foods the process was really very simple:

1) Steam Veggies

2) Place in blender

3) Puree. Puree. And puree once more for good measure.

4) Repeat with beans.

5) Pour in ice cube trays6) Admire your work.

Once the veggies were frozen I popped them out of the ice cube trays and put them in freezer bags labeled with the name and date.

While we were busy making food, Collin was busy wrangling two little boys.

As fun as the day was, the real test of success was that evening. As I strapped Keaton in his highchair and put his bib on he was kicking his legs and getting excited. He knows now that this means food. He looked up at me with his big bright eyes and I know he if he could talk he would have been saying, hurry, hurry, hurry, I can't wait to eat. Eat. Eat. Eat. Yay! Time to eat!

And then I gave him the first bite.

GAH!! What in the hell is this?

Uncle Justin, HELP! You're standing there all law enforcement-like. Do something. This! This has to be illegal!

After a few more bites he started to warm up to the zucchini. And then I made a fatal mistake. I started mixing the zucchini with his rice cereal. This was all fine and good until I tried to go back to just zucchini. The gagging. My word you would have thought I was trying to poison the kid.

So I learned an important lesson. Vegtables first. Rice cereal second. He has been eating the zucchini for the past four days and now that he has gotten used to the taste, he loves it. I can't shovel it in fast enough. All the while he kicks his little legs and pratically hyperventalates with excitement.

Jack says: I can't wait 'till I get to have zucchini!

Next up: Green Beans.

Other Random Tidbits:

* What I wanted to name this post, and what I call it at home is "Zucchini my Ween...." well, you get the point. I thought better of it though after considering the weird ass google searches that might land people here.

* The poop this kid has been producing since starting the zucchini is freakin' impressive. Good Lord Kid, where were you storing all of that??

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

SYTYCD: What a difference a week makes

Wow. Just wow. Last week I was all, oh man, bummer, this season is going downhill. But this week I'm all BEST. SHOW. ON. TV.

What did you guys think? Did you like it as much as I did? I was so impressed tonight that when I made my initial "vote" list it had 7 people on it. SEVEN! There are only 10 dancers left! It would have been easier for me to place a vote for the two I'd rather see go than it was to narrow my votes down to 3.

Here are some of my random thoughts:

* I freakin' love African dance. One time when I was living in Milwaukee April (it was you, right April??) needed to go to this dance concert for one of her classes and I was all, sure, I'll go with you. And it was an African dance concert and it was SO. AWESOME.

* I'm also becoming a big fan of Bollywood.

* After the girls group dance when the judges were saying how this is the strongest group of girls yet I was a little skeptical. I mean, they're good, but, the best yet?? But, by the end of tonight's show, I couldn't agree more.

* I've never been a big fan of Brandon and Janette as a couple, but for some reason tonight I really liked both of them. That caught me by surprise.

* However, I didn't really care for Janette's solo. Was that a salsa or a strip tease? Just sayin'.

* My favorite couple dance tonight was Jeanine & Jason

* My second favorite was Melissa & Brandon

* My favorite solos were: Girl - Jeanine; Guy - Kupono

* After my super scientific scoring system I narrowed down my 3 votes to the following: Jeanine, Kayla, & Jason

Can't wait to hear what you're thinking!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

First swim in the pool

By the time we got out of the parking lot, back to the hotel and fed Keaton one more time before putting him to bed, it was 11 pm and he had yet to fall asleep. The awesome thing about the Baby staying up with you until 11 pm is that after a quick feeding at 6 am he looks like this until almost 9. Nine A.M. people, I slept in a big comfy bed until almost 9 am. Heaven!

We had planned on hitting the pool in the morning before we had to check-out and I'm not sure who was more excited Collin or Keaton. I'll let you decide:

Exhibit A
Collin: Should we head down to the pool now?
Me: Ummm, yeah. We can go..... as soon as he WAKES UP!!

Exhibit B
Me: Keaters, are you ready to go to the pool?
Keaton: The pool? What's the pool?

Me: Well, it's kinda like a big bath tub. You get to swim and float and splash in the water.

Keaton: Like a bath tub? I get to splash??? Hells Yeah! Let's go to the pool!!

Keaton: POOL PARRRRTY!! Whoop there it is!

He really liked the pool.....

Opps! Wrong picture....

Errr....let's try this again....after the initial shock of splashing himself in the face....he really liked the pool.

After about an hour he started yawning and I knew it was time to call it quits. We headed back to our room to pack up and then hit The Cheesecake Factory for lunch before heading home. A perfect, yummy, ending to a great weekend.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Stink's 1st Ballgame

On Saturday we headed down to Milwaukee for Keaton's 1st baseball game, hotel stay, and swim in the pool. But first, we stopped by my cousins to visit and see the kiddos.

Miss E. loves babies and is so good with Keaton. She always rubs his head and he automatically breaks into a big smile. It was a perfect summer day to be outside on the patio, licking fudgekissles (fudgesicle), coloring, and catching up. Mr. C. showed us his mad batting skills and Lil' M woke up just before we left so we could see him for a couple seconds.

After Andrea & Clint's we met up with Collin's cousin, Jenny, her husband Matt, and our nephews, I & A, to do a little tailgating before the game.

We stuffed ourselves on burgers, brats, chips, cookies, and cantaloupe. Oh, does Mr. A like his cantaloupe.

Our walk into the stadium gave Keaton just enough time to take a catnap in the Ergo. Even though it was already pushing his bedtime, shortly after we got to our seats he woke up and stayed awake for the entire game. He got a little fussy about half way through, but for the most part he did an awesome job.

It was a really fun game. The Brewers beat the Dodgers 6-5, there were back-to-back home runs which meant we got to see Bernie Brewer do his thing, and the Italian won the sausage race, but the best part for me was seeing Trevor Hoffman pitch. It is pretty freaking amazing - as he comes out to warm-up they pretty much shut the stadium down. The scoreboard is turned off, the lights around the upper deck are shut off and for just a second it seems time stands still. And then you hear that first dong of the bell and the crowd erupts as Hells Bells is blasted through the loud speakers. Brewer fan or not, I can't imagine anyone in the stadium wasn't rockin' out at that moment. So. Awesome.

More pictures from the weekend to come, but for now I need to hit the sack.....

Friday, July 10, 2009

SYTYCD: not a hot tamale week for me

You may have noticed that I missed my weekly “Thoughts on SYTYCD” post this week. Unfortunately, I pretty much missed the first half of the show because Collin and I didn’t get home from our run until after 7pm. A run in which I actually PEED my pants. No lie, I got to the end of the trail, our “finish line” if you will, and as soon as I stopped the constant forward motion I instantly felt the trickle. I tried with all my might to pinch it off, but dude, I was huffing and puffing and you just try squeezing your parts when you’re gasping like a dying seal. To make matters worse, when I realized the pinching was not working and that the trickling was continuing, I started to laugh. I pushed the stroller to Collin, crossed my legs at my knees and exclaimed, Oh My God, I’m Peeing!! So now I’m crunched over in an awkward pretzel shape while laughing, huffing, puffing, and peeing. As quickly as possible I scooted over to the car, didn’t bother opening the car door for cover, and just dropped my drawers to finish what was soon going to be running down my leg. And THAT, my friends, is one of the best things about living in the country!

But, back to the show…I bummed about this, but I’m afraid making it home by 7pm on Wednesdays is going to be tough for the rest of the season (more on this later). Still, I’m going to try with all my might to watch as much as possible.

As for Wednesday’s show I’m not sure if it was the fact that I was incredibly overheated after our run or if it was the hunger pains I was experiencing as I fed Keaton, showered, played with Keaton, etc. etc. before actually eating myself, but the show this week didn’t do a lot for me. Overall, I was not impressed. I thought the dancing was just okay, but not great, and in the end I didn’t even place a vote. Still, I was planning on writing a post with a few thoughts from the evening, but then my computer decided to go ahead and piss me right off by deleting almost all of our vacation pictures and a good chunk of Keaton’s 6-month pictures. So instead, I slammed the computer shut and went to bed. Mad. In fact, I’m still mad about it. So let’s move on before I get myself in a royal mood all over again.

Here are just a couple of thoughts I had from this week’s show:

* I’m kinda bummed about the couple’s changing next week. However, I thought Randi did really well this week, and definitely better than her partner, Evan, so I am looking forward to seeing her with someone stronger.

* Brandon and Janette still aren’t my favorite couple, or individuals, but I really liked their Ruby Blue dance. I could be completely biased though because of my infatuation with that song – Kira and I danced to it a couple of years ago when we joined a class in Wausau.

* My top 2 girls are: Melissa & Kayla

* My top 2 guys are: Ade & Kupono

What did you guys think about this weeks show? Was the lack of oxygen getting to me or was it really kind of a downer compared to other weeks?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dear Keaton: 6 Months

Dear Keaton,

Last week you turned 6 months old. That is ½ a year or, as your Daddy likes to say, 0.5. It blows my mind that we are half way to your 1st birthday. Today we had your 6-month check-up with Dr. T and you weighed in at 15 pounds 6 ounces and were 25 ¾ inches tall. You remain in the 25th percentile, but Dr. T feels you are growing and developing at a great rate – you continue to hold your own, kiddo.

For the past month or so whenever someone asked me how old you were their eyes would always light up when they realized you were nearing the 6 month mark. I’ve heard from so many people that this is their favorite age and now I see why. You are just so much fun to be around these days. If I had to describe you in one word it would be: busy. You are rolling and grabbing and kicking and banging and chewing and bouncing and squealing constantly. And I’m not exaggerating. If you are awake, you are in motion. Last month you were rolling, this month you are rolling with speed. I learned this the hard way when I set you down one evening, turned my back for a second and suddenly heard you bellow – you had rolled right into the hearth. I am so sorry about that Buddy; Mama didn’t realize how fast you could move.

You are so curious these days, wanting to know how everything feels, sounds, and yes, tastes. You love to sit on our laps at the table and bang on it like it is your own personal drum. We have to be careful though, because if there is a plate or glass or silverware within your line of vision, you are grabbing for it. We were at a wedding earlier this month and I set you on my lap and before I could even situate the things around me you had stuck your hand on my prime rib and had au jus and spices covering your face.

Besides being busy, you are also a very happy baby these days, especially if you are getting attention. You have won over many a ladies in the stores with your open mouth grin and more than once people have asked me if you are always this happy. And truthfully, yes, you are. Except when you’re not. And then you are really not. One thing you lack is moderation, and unfortunately Stosch, you can blame your Mama for that little personality trait. In addition to the usuals, like being tired or hungry, one thing that upsets you is when you aren’t getting enough attention. The other night we were sitting at dinner and your Daddy and I were talking as you played in your highchair and it suddenly dawned on you that we were looking at or talking to you, so you started fussing. The minute we turned to you, you were all smiles. Yes, you like to be the center of attention. Looking at your Dad and me, I suppose we shouldn’t have expected any different.

This month you started some new things, including making a new sound. Ba, Ba, Ba, started a few weeks ago. I’m not sure why this one was so much fun for us but your Daddy and I just find it so cute. I can also carry you around perched on my hip now. I’ve been looking forward to this day; toting my baby around on my hip really makes me feel like a Mama. You are also laying your head on our shoulder, something your Daddy couldn’t wait for you start. Your favorite book these days is your color book and your favorite toys include Ellie the elephant, your stacking balls, and your new Taggies rattle.

As I finish typing this you just woke up from your nap and are sitting on my lap banging on the keyboard. Yes, this is so you, my busy, curious, active little Stink.

I love you so much,

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Our little firecracker

We celebrated Keaton's 1st 4th of July with a parade and fireworks with Kira, Justin & Jack in Mosinee. Keats loves people watching and was enjoying the parade up until the very end when a semi cab equipped with a train whistle sounded its horn as it passed by. Woo boy, he did NOT like that, and he let us know about it!
After the parade we walked downtown to get a bite to eat before the fireworks. We decided on a little Chinese restaurant on the main strip. Yes, we celebrated America's birthday with a Chinese dinner. I know! If it makes you feel any better, it was really good Chinese.
We walked back to the park around dusk for the fireworks. After the train incident at the parade I was a little worried how Keaton would handle the fireworks so we decided to sit towards the back in case we needed to make a quick exit.
There was no need to worry though, I think the sound shell shocked him a bit, but he never once cried, just stared with the biggest eyes ever and watched the bright lights.
It was a perfect 4th of July. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Cabin addition: Progression in Pictures

There were many things I was planning on doing over vacation, including writing a journal entry each night about our trip. I wrote Day 1 - that counts for something, right? Right? Kira wrote a much better recap post here. One of the other things I wanted to do was take daily pictures of the cabin progress. This task, I'm happy to say, I did accomplish.

Sunday, June 21st
If you remember, the last time I saw the cabin it looked like this. Collin and his Dad stayed a couple of days longer to work on backfill and finishing the outer wall. The guys were supposed to start working on the basement walls and floor on Saturday, but due to one of many delays from Menards, the delivery did not show up on time. So our first day up there ended up truly being a vacation, with no work! On Sunday, though, they started strong.

Here's the inside basement walls around noon on Sunday. The top right corner on Picture 1 is the downstairs bedroom. After the addition was done and we were walking around in it we decided each room is going to have a theme (anyone that has been to my parents house knows where this idea originated!). The downstairs bedroom will be the fish room. Picture 2 is the kids play room. This room will be turtles & frogs. I should tell you, all the themes are animals native to the Northwoods.

The next pictures were taken around 7:30 pm on Sunday after the floor was on and the guys started pulling the old siding off of the cabin.

Monday, June 22nd
On Monday the guys put on the 2nd floor. The top right corner on Picture 3 is the upstairs bedroom - the deer room. The lower right corner is the "wolf" bathroom and the left side is the "loon" master bedroom.

Thursday, June 25th
I don't have any pictures from Tuesday or Wednesday. On Tuesday they dug the drainage pipe and completed other miscellaneous projects and on Wednesday, because the next material shipment still hadn't arrived, the guys spent the majority of the day shopping for shingles and such.
On Thursday they put up the trusses and the roof phase began.

Friday, June 26th
The roof is on! Justin specifically asked me to take Picture 1 - which depicts him standing over to the left, taking a break, while the other two work. You know, because he works for the state :) I don't even want to know what it was like shingling in this weather. I'm pretty sure they got a glimpse of Hell - hot, blistery sun, sweat stinging your eyes, standing bent over on an incline all day long. Yeah, I think they were saying a couple extra Hail Mary's on Friday night. In Picture 2 you can also see that the windows are now in. Picture 3 is of the inside wall before the big demolition on Saturday. Please excuse the mess, it was tight quarters with 6 adults, 2 kids, and 3 (large) dogs.

Saturday, June 27th
Now that everything was enclosed, Saturday's major project was cutting down the inside wall. The boys did really well with all the pounding all week long, but with the screechy saw going on Saturday we decided it was best to get them out of the cabin while the wall came down. This meant Kira and I packed them up and went into town to do a little shopping. Oh, shucks, what a rough day for us.
Picture 1: Annnnnnd, we're in!
Picture 2: Standing at the landing looking up into the 2nd floor of the addition.
Picture 3: View from the master bedroom. I can't wait to see this in the winter!

Sunday, June 28th
This was the last picture we took before we left last Sunday.

My parents stayed up for an additional week and have been busy staining the siding and the electrician has been in working for a couple of days. We're planning on going back up in August for a long weekend with the plan to start siding.
It's safe to say we're all just a little bit excited about this project!