Monday, March 31, 2008

17 months old

Emily is now 17 months old and growing up faster than ever. She is in the repetition stage of language development, so we often hear ourselves talking back to us. For instance, Emily hears me say, "Cheney, no!" or "Cheney, stop!" when I'm trying to get the leash on to go outside. So I hear "Cheeny, no" when he gets too close to her food on the table and "Stop!" when I'm trying to wash her face after eating. She also walks around saying "Shoot" if she hears me say it at all. My favorite new word is "snuggle" and when she asks for a "hug". :o)

As you may have already noticed, I have added a couple new features to our blog site:

  • On the left is a slide show of some of my favorite pictures in reverse chronological order. I will try to keep adding to them. Click on the picture to manually control the slide show.
  • At the bottom is another slide show of all of Emily's portrait and monthly "growing" pictures. Click on the arrow to play the slide show and watch her grow!
  • Displayed on the left is the current book Austin & I are each reading as well as Emily's current favorite book.
Our pictures are updated on Winkflash through the end of the month and the March video player is posted below. Check out Emily helping me "dust". ;o)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Back to the park

Because it was a decent day yesterday Emily & I ventured to the park for the first time this year. Emily LOVED it and giggled the whole time she was in the swing. She also discovered a cool new thing--slides. I'm pretty sure she went down 20 times. She was proud because she could pretty well step up the steps holding on to the railing instead of crawling up on hands and knees. Her slide of choice was the small tube slide. I only went down once with her (not my favorite and definitely not built for adults). The rest of the time I reached out holding her half way down and let her go herself the last couple feet. The whole time she was yelling, "Sigh!" (slide) and "Whee!" She also enjoyed just running "fast" (or more like clunking in her boots) around the tennis courts. I have a feeling we will be spending many more hours at the park this summer. Luckily, there are 3 different parks in town with equipment plus 2 school playgrounds, all of which are within a 1/2 mile walk. :o)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More signs of spring...

  1. I got my annual spring chop-off haircut (slightly above shoulder-length).
  2. After chipping away at some stubborn ice/snow along the stepping stones, I noticed that most of my tulips and daffodils are popping up in the front landscaping. Some are several inches tall already. Hopefully they won't all freeze off again and/or be stunted like last year!
  3. Our neighbors finally got the last of their Christmas lawn ornaments put away. They are totally not the red-necked type that would leave their Christmas decorations up all year, but they have been iced to the ground since the first weekend of December. I joked with them that this was a bad year to add 5 blow-ups to their display!

It's too bad they're predicting rain/snow for the next day or two. I have high hopes that when the calendar turns to April next week it will definitely decide to be spring!

Fun in the Big Girl Chair

Emily has been using the "big girl chair" for eating lately. In general it has been going well. The floor definitely gets messier! Yesterday I experimented with leaving the gate off and allowing Emily & Cheney to interact most of the day. They did fine and didn't get into too much trouble until suppertime when Emily figured out it was fun to feed Cheney directly off her plate. That got Cheney gated off downstairs pretty quickly! ;o) Last night Emily also figured out it's fun to dip french fries in ketchup!

Today I thought it would be fun to try playing with the play dough I got from the Easter clearance bins at Target. It amused Emily for 30 minutes, but she was mostly just interested in the containers and the lids rather than the actual play dough. I'm sure that day will come soon!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Weekend

We spent the Easter weekend in NW Iowa with Megan's family. Emily received new books and a bottle of bubbles. Check out the video in the March 2008 player. She also learned the word "fast" and ran fast all weekend! (Also on video player)

Emily wore a blue dress that I (Megan) wore for Easter when I was little. This is a picture of Emily and my 2 year portrait picture.

It was a very chilly Easter that actually included a bit of snow, but thankfully not while we were traveling and no accumulation. We made the first big trip with our new portable DVD player. That thing is great! Emily loved the "bug" DVD we got from the library. I don't even know what it was exactly, but it kept her happy for a couple stretches, and at this point, that's all that I care about!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

First haircut

This morning Emily had her first haircut! We went downtown to the beauty salon where our next-door neighbor cuts my hair. Emily sat on my lap and, after being bribed with fruit snacks, was very cooperative. Trudie didn't actually cut a lot off. It was just mostly evening up the chunky layers in the back. We decided to leave the front long and try to keep using clips. Emily had more fun spinning around on the salon chairs afterwards!


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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

They have finally arrived...and so has she.

After months of anticipation and false alarms, Emily's bottom molars have finally poked through. Along with them has come a really runny nose and a strong dose of crankiness, perhaps magnified by the fact she only took a 45 minute nap this afternoon.

In addition to the joys of teething, Emily has experienced her "me" awakening. I have just finished John Rosemond's newest book Parenting by The Book (a highly recommended read for any parent, but especially newer ones). Our small group from church is starting a study on it. In the book Rosemond talks about sinful human nature and the fact that somewhere between the age of 12-24 months a child suddenly realizes, "I am ME" and his/her true sinful nature emerges to reveal the core beliefs of entitlement, pragmatism and narcissism displayed through tantrums, defiance and even violence. Emily's "awakening" occurred two Sundays ago. Since then we have witnessed some pretty spectacular tantrums--the best of which we literally left her writhing around on her bedroom floor for a good 5-10 minutes before she collected herself and emerged ready to read some books before bedtime. See picture at right for another one. ;o) Fortunately, tantrums don't work on Austin & me. I think Emily is quickly figuring that out as the number and duration have already dramatically decreased.

Another example of boundary-testing: She pulled her first "dessert" trick tonight. She was already tired and cranky by supper time. After only 2 small bites of chicken & broccoli stir-fry, she promptly pushed her plate away (as I saved it from going over the edge of the high-chair tray) and demanded a "cookie". She has been enjoying frosted cut-out cookies for the last week a half a cookie at a time. Normally she is a very good eater, so we usually share dessert. Tonight, however, she thought she could have a cookie first (and only). Unfortunately for her, that didn't fly and she ended up eating only one or two more bites of broccoli before her meal was done--sans cookie. She then proceeded to throw a long, drawn-out tantrum in protest before her bath, but to no avail. Are we heartless or what?!? ;o)

I share all this so those of you without kids have something to look forward to and those of you who do can smile, nod and silently be thankful that you're not the only one! :o)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Ucky pants and crayons...

Sometimes motherhood just makes you laugh! This afternoon Emily woke up fussing after only one hour of napping. When I opened the door she was standing in her crib wearing only a diaper and a short-sleeved t-shirt and saying, "Ucky!" Sure enough, she had a massive dirty diaper--the 5th one of the day. (I'm not kidding on that. She actually had 6 total today. Six!) In her protest she had managed to remove her socks, pants, and sweater that had 3 out of the 4 buttons still buttoned. Silly goose!

One rainy day activity today was an attempt to "color" some Easter pictures to mail to family. We sat down with an 8-pack of jumbo crayons, but our only real accomplishment was losing the blue one, breaking two others and Emily taking a big chomp out of the purple one resulting in me having to dig around in her tooth-filled mouth. I was very surprised at her taste-testing experiment because she rarely, if ever, has put anything other than food in her mouth in months. Oh well. I guess we'll wait awhile before we try that activity again!

Friday, March 14, 2008

It's Official!

Austin is officially on the ballot for Iowa House District 18. He made a trip to Des Moines on Tuesday to file his papers. If you'd like to find out more about his campaign and/or sign up for email updates, please visit his website at There is also always a link on the left side of our blog (Lorenzen for Iowa's Future). If you have any comments/questions you can email him at He will be posting new pictures and an update on his web site soon, so please check back!

I spy...robins and grass!

I was thrilled to spot several robins hopping around in the snow today. That means spring is really on the way! I also spotted the tops of some blades of grass in the backyard today. It won't be long until we actually have a lawn again. It's really strange, but as I have watched the snow retreat from the deck/yard this week, I have almost become nostalgic--like watching a friend move away. Don't get me wrong, I haven't befriended and fallen in love with the snow, I just think it has been such a constant companion for the last several months that it's different to think about life without it. Sigh... ;o)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Video changes...

Just as an FYI: I've moved the 2007 Videos player to a post on 12/31/07. You can access it by clicking on "2007" in the post hierarchy on the left. I've replaced it at the bottom with a player containing our all-time favorite videos. They will be in chronological order, so you'll have to scroll through to get the latest. I've also added the March 2008 player at the bottom. Happy viewing!

Maiden voyage

Today was the day I'd been waiting for! Emily & I took the wagon out for its maiden voyage. This morning we stopped at the library, post office and grocery store. Emily was excited to spot a real cat running through a yard and "meowed" all the way down the block. After Emily's nap we took the wagon out for another spin. This time Emily was decked out in sunglasses (thanks G&G Lorenzen!) and loaded up with her "nack". Surprisingly enough, she kept the glasses on for 15 min. Probably because it was her idea to wear them and not mine. ;o) I have decided that I'll probably discover a whole new set of muscle groups as I continue hauling Emily around--especially going uphill. Today's 2+ miles are just the beginning of many more to come!

When we went inside Emily insisted that she put her boots on and she found her sled. I guess she wants to have it both ways. Can't you just hear her saying, "Peas?!?" :o)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Is it spring yet?

The weather has not lived up to my expectations yet this week, although nothing short of instant snow melt and no-coat temperatures probably would. I'm so desperate for spring! I'm really hoping we might actually be able to see a blade of grass in our lawn yet this week. The snow bank along the curb is down to just about mailbox height now. ;o)

Emily & I have taken advantage of the nicer weather. On Monday we trekked across the street to play in the snow with some neighbor kids (ages 4 1/2 & 22 months). They have a decent slope in their backyard and the kids spent an hour going down on sleds (with a little push) and climbing on the swing set. I had to carry Emily home kicking and screaming. :o)

Yesterday Emily & I again headed outside in the afternoon. It was getting pretty sloppy and wet. Emily found a puddle on the driveway where water is dripping off the gutters. She started off just stomping and splashing in her boots. Before I knew it, though, she plopped right down in the middle of it and started splashing with her fleece mittens. :op Thankfully she was at least wearing snow pants. Needless to say, we went inside soon after that and most of her winter gear went straight to the washing machine!

With the warmer weather the neighborhood squirrel population has begun to re-emerge. Emily loves watching them run around the trees, along the fence and across the power lines. The funny thing is whenever she spots one she points and says, "Goose!" We have a little clarification work to do there. ;o) "Squirrel" is just so much harder to say!

Emily also experienced her first automatic car wash yesterday. She wasn't scared, but more in awe. "Ooh!" was all she said. :o)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Weekend with Grandma Lorenzen

This weekend Emily & I got to spend some time with Grandma Lorenzen in Des Moines. Grandpa Lorenzen was on a business trip to Phoenix and got home in time to see Emily for a couple hours. Emily had fun playing with the Valentine's bear and "Bac-ca" (Copper--the dog). It was hilarious to watch the two of them together because it was like two toddlers fighting for toys and attention. :o)

Thursday, March 6, 2008


It snowed almost the whole day on Wednesday. We received another 2-3 inches of the fluffy variety. After Emily woke up from her nap we bundled up for a snow walk. We ended up walking the entire western edge of the Denver golf course at the end of our street. We also took 4 trips down the big sledding hill on the SW corner. You can go about 200 feet before stopping. It was fun, but a lot of work since I was the one hauling us back up to the top! Plus we still had to trudge the approximately 4 blocks home. Then Emily "helped" me shovel half the driveway. ;o) Emily calls snow & snowmen "nose"--right sounds, just in the wrong order. :o) I don't have any pictures or videos, but it was a fun afternoon. However, we still long for spring.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Weekend with Grandma B

After a 2-week delay due to illness and weather we were very excited to have Grandma B come visit for the weekend. She & Emily had a lot of fun playing outside and reading a LOT of books. Emily is obsessed with "books" and we were all glad to see Grandma B arrive with a large bag of fresh pickings! Emily especially liked the little 4-page Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star book that Grandma read for 15 minutes straight before bed (try that some time!). She also especially likes an extended version of Itsy, Bitsy Spider, a song book that includes Ring around the Rosie and a set of Curious George books. She asks for them all by name. Below are some cute snapshots of Emily and her "books".