Monday, June 30, 2008

20 months old

Emily turned 20 months old today. She is full blown toddler (see last post) and growing up more every day. Here are some amusing highlights:

  • Ever since Grandpa Lorenzen let her play in the bubbles in the bathroom sink, she has been obsessed with "wash hands" and general putzing with the sink. She'll haul her little potty chair that doubles as a step-stool over to the vanity and pretend to wash and play.

  • Emily is also even more obsessed with "Key-us Geoge" than ever before. She hauls around her "hea-bee" treasury book and will sit for 20 minutes solid listening to the same stories over and over.

  • Emily may have found another new favorite book. I ordered a couple "potty" books from an Usborne book party and had to read one of them 12 times yesterday alone (that is no exaggeration). I hope that it's giving her some ideas...good ones. ;o) She likes to sit on her potty after getting out of the bathtub and sometimes in the middle of the day with all her clothes on, but that's it. We're in no hurry, but it would be nice!

  • Apparently Emily doesn't like red stoplights. Whenever you stop the van to wait she yells, "Fast!" from the back. Then you calmly explain that, "No, we have to wait until the light turns green before we can go again." This can be somewhat amusing until you've hit every red light going through Waterloo! :op

  • Another thing Emily doesn't like is walking on the tile in the bathroom with bare feet. I think she has slipped a few too many times after getting out of the bathtub and trying to take off. It's funny watching her carefully pick her way to the door after her bath. It's a good thing we have such a small bathroom with multiple rugs!

  • Other funny sayings: Emily says "ankle" for Uncle, so she's been talking a lot about "Ankle Ty-luh" lately. Whenever she gets her fingers stuck somewhere she says, "Smash! Fing-guh!" Any kind of blinds/curtains are called "Mo-ning" because I say "Good morning" when I open the vertical blinds in the front room every morning.

Our June pictures are uploaded to Winkflash and the June video player is posted below.

Not my best mommy moment...

So this morning was not one of my best mommy moments. After a full morning of running errands in Waterloo I let Emily out of the cart during checkout at Fareway. She was having fun poking through the box of Tootsie Pop suckers. Unfortunately, the cashier noticed Emily take a little tiny lick of the paper on the outside of one of the suckers while I was signing my credit card receipt. She came flying out from behind the counter to pick out the one she apparently thought was now permanently contaminated and basically demanded that I pay for it. In retrospect, that was probably the right thing to do, but when you have to dig $.14 out of your purse while a screaming toddler is wrapped around your ankles under the indignant glare of a grocery clerk, the first thoughts that come to your mind are not exactly logical or warm and fuzzy. I had to carry a screaming Emily out like a sack of potatoes and fumed half of the way home, thinking of all the snippy comments I could have made. Thankfully, I had kept my mouth shut, and by the time I got home my blood pressure was back to normal.

Out of curiosity, what is your opinion? Should I be obligated to purchase items of which my child licked the wrapper?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Be You...Be A Tree

Orchard Hill Church has a great teaching team, and I have especially enjoyed Alice Shirey's 3-part series called "Be You." I encourage anyone who hasn't had a chance to hear the messages to listen to any or all of them when you get a chance. You can listen on your computer by clicking on the links below or download the mp3 files here.
June 15 Be You...Not what you do!
June 22 Be You..Not what you have!
June 20 Be You...Not what others think!

Clermont "Brick City Days"

This Saturday was the "Brick City Days" parade in Clermont. At 56 miles it is the farthest away parade of the season. It was a good parade with lots of help. A local family along with Austin's parents were there. Brief showers occurred between the peeks of sunshine and included a 1 minute downpour just as we were walking past the announcers stand in front of the library. It was quite the acrobatic feat to hold a sign board, pull the wagon and hold an umbrella over Emily & me at the same time! Luckily it was short.

Emily really enjoyed having Grandpa & Grandma Lorenzen visit for a couple days! Grandma read a LOT of Curious George stories and Grandpa let her play with the "bubbles" in the sink. (See video in player)

Poor Mr. Bear again...

This particular bear has had quite the adventures lately. Emily's new exciting game is to have Cheney give her bear a ride. He actually obliges for awhile. (Also see video in player)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Poor Mr. Bear...

So yesterday one of Emily's favorite stuffed bears (yellow one pre-named "Sherbet") mysteriously got his head soaking wet. Although not desirable, I'm hoping he took a "drink" out of Cheney's water dish. The only other option I can think of is that Emily attempted to give him a swirly in the lower-level bathroom. I'm suspicious that this may be the case because already this week I've caught her scooping water out of the toilet with an empty snack bowl and plotting to use the toilet brush as a "duster" (an innocent, but tragic mistake). All of this is made slightly more disgusting because I just sent "Sherbet" through the washing machine last Thursday even though he is "surface clean only". Sigh...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The perfect birthday...

It was my birthday yesterday (24th) and I think it ranked right up there with the best ever. In the morning Emily & I made a trip to Waterloo to stop at my Greenleaf clients. My former co-workers sang "Happy Birthday" and even got me a group card. (Maybe just b/c I brought them a homemade carrot cake. ;o) Just before noon Austin's mom and sister came all the way up from Des Moines. They took Emily & I out for lunch at The Rite Spot in Denver. Then they stayed to babysit while I had some much-needed "me" time. My first stop was at the Jiva SalonSpa in downtown Cedar Falls to spend some of my birthday gift money on the most wonderful pedicure ever. While my toenails were drying I relaxed in front of the fireplace in the spa area and read a book. Then I did some personal shopping that included a fun new pair of flip-flops. At 5:30pm I met Austin at HuHot in CF for dinner. I love that place! I haven't been that full in a long time. My only question is why would you even bother filling up with soup/salad with all the other good food?! Cheryl & Traci had to head home shortly after we got back, but Austin's brother, Tyler, came over later so Austin & I could go see The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian playing in the Sumner $.99 theater. We had to go to the late show and didn't get home until 12:30am, which is WAY past both our bedtimes, but it was worth it. The movie was awesome and it was nice to spend an evening with Austin. Thank you, thank you to everyone who made this day extra special!! :o)

Emily goes shopping...

Emily has had a few fun shopping excursions lately. Last week she got to ride in the "car" cart twice at the Waterloo Fareway. We had a few issues with her trying to decide whether she wanted to be in or out during checkout, and I had to get used to steering a longer cart, but otherwise she had a lot of fun. Unfortunately, there is not a fun cart at the Waverly Fareway. I wouldn't even want to attempt to navigate the narrow aisles with one anyway. :op

Emily's second shopping event was getting to walk (as opposed to riding in the cart) the entire time through both Wal-mart and Fareway this week. I only had six items at each place, but we covered the whole store. She did surprisingly well. I only had to put a few things back on the shelves, and that was mostly balls as we passed the toy aisles. :o)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Readlyn Grump Days

This morning was the Readlyn Grump Days parade. Readlyn is a small town 7 miles east of Denver with the motto "857 friendly people and 1 old grump". It is a high honor to be selected as the "Grump". For such a small town they sure have a LONG parade! It was almost a mile to walk from our parking spot to the line-up spot. We were #46 of approx. 100 entries.
We got to walk with the Bremer County GOP float and the famous duct tape elephant. :o) Once we got moving it took an hour to walk the parade route and that was hardly stopping at all. It was probably close to 2 miles long. We had no idea how long it would be, so we ran out of notepads to hand out half way through. Luckily, that also means the people were more spread out, so Austin was able to shake almost everyone's hand. It was a bit too long for Emily, though. After dragging and dropping various decorations from her wagon, Austin ended up carrying her while shaking hands for the last 8 or so blocks (see video in player). Then it was another mile hike back to where our van was parked. Whew! It was a good time, though. We had lots of help and it was a beautiful day. We enjoyed having a semi-pro drum line as the entry behind us. It provided a lot of entertainment for Emily and made you want to walk in step. ;o) The same marching geese we saw last week in LeMars were three entries ahead of us. They only made it for half the parade route, though. We passed them taking a "drink break".

Cheney and the ball...

So here's a funny story for the week that doesn't even necessarily involve Emily. The other night Austin was still out door-knocking and I was just taking Emily out of the bathtub when there was a loud knock on the door. I peeked to see our next-door neighbor and her 2 1/2 year old son standing on our front deck. He had hit the large white plastic ball from his tee-ball set over the fence and into our backyard. Cheney was out and the gate can only be opened from the inside. At this point Emily was running around "Cwazy" upstairs stark naked, so I told them I'd be out to retrieve it as soon as I got Emily into bed. It wasn't 10 minutes later that I walked into the backyard just in time to see Cheney happily crunch and gulp down the last remains of the ball. Yes, our dog will eat ANYTHING! My neighbor didn't really care b/c she told her son not to aim that direction. I feel bad, though, so I will be on the lookout for more plastic balls the next time I'm at Wal-mart. Cheney also got ahold of a plastic yellow golf ball from the same neighbor kid a couple weeks ago. He didn't consume that one, but it was a mangled pancake by the time we got it back. It will be interesting to see how Cheney's digestive system handles this one. In the past he has successfully passed a whole work glove, foam ceramic tile dividers, jumbo crayons and innumerable sticks and Kleenexes (including a half a box at one time) among other things.


I attempted to put pigtails in Emily's hair for the first time this week. Since her natural part is off-center, one of them didn't stay in the greatest. Plus it's twice as much work to wrestle them in. We'll probably stick to one side ponytail for now. :o)

Summer fun

We have enjoyed the most beautiful week of summer weather! Most of it has just been me & Emily hanging out together since she has had an icky summer cold that I didn't want to pass on to anyone else. She is over the hump now, so yesterday morning we enjoyed a fun play date. There was a core group of "regulars" at the weekly breast-feeding group I attended at Allen Hospital until Emily was mobile and too hard to contain (9 months old). Almost everyone (7 of us) met at a playground in Waterloo with our kids to catch up and play. It was so fun to see everyone after almost a year had passed. All the kids are so grown up now! It was also fun to swap stories and advice again. :o)

Yesterday also marked the first time we hauled out the little blow-up pool. I huffed and puffed while Emily was napping. It was worth it b/c she spent 2 hours putzing and playing in it when she got up. She started off just splashing and scooping the water with a spoon. After awhile I showed her she could stand in the water, which she enjoyed stomping and splashing. Eventually she figured out she could sit and even "swim" on her tummy. Cheney thought it was great to have a giant water dish readily available, too! Below are some pictures documenting our afternoon as well as a video montage in the player.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Emily sayings

It has been absolutely gorgeous weather the last couple days. Emily, Cheney & I have enjoyed being able to run around outside for hours, although sometimes Emily & Cheney fight over the sticks in the back yard. ;o) I just have to share a couple funny sayings from our little chatterbox:

Emily loves playing peek-a-boo, but she says "peek-oo". Sometimes I say, "There she is," when playing it with her. So for lunch today Emily had a pasta dish with noodles, chicken and broccoli all mixed together. Of course, she only picked out the broccoli, and she kept saying what I swear was, "Peek-oo, there she is!" refering to the pieces of broccoli.

Also, while we were in Hull, Grandma B taught Emily how to say "whoopsie-daisy" only it comes out more like "oops-daisy". :o)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

We had a pretty low-key Father's Day. Emily was still on a "vacation" time schedule, which meant a later sleeping schedule. She literally ran around in figure-eights saying "Cwazy" more than once during the day. Emily & Austin had some quality father/daughter time while I snuck away to go judge the Miss Readlyn contest. A friend from my breast-feeding support group was in charge and asked me to be one of the judges. It was fun and really easy--just a short interview with four candidates--and the choices were pretty obvious.

Since Emily was on a later schedule I tried to eat my customary giant bowl of Sunday night popcorn while she was awake. Between her feeding me and stirring the whole bowl with her hands and Cheney trying to get at any stray pieces, it was a bit of a circus. It will be awhile before she can join us for a civilized meal of popcorn!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Vacationing in NW Iowa...

Emily & I picked a good week to go on vacation! We left Austin and all the flooding behind and headed to Hull, IA on Monday to visit Grandpa & Grandma Boote for the week. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Emily loved chasing the kitties around the farm. She never was able to catch one, but it sure provided a lot of entertainment! We also visited all the animals on the home farm. Emily was not so sure about the calves/cows and pigs. She would have loved to get closer to the "horsies", but it was pretty muddy.

  • Emily also got to play with Nika and Milo a lot (Courtney & Abbie's dogs). Emily repeatedly asked about "My-o" but only called Nika, "Cheney".

  • Emily ate a whole ice cream cone for the the first time. See the funny video in the June player.

  • Emily did awesome sleeping away from home--the best she's ever done. She did, however, figure out how to climb out of the Pack 'N Play on a couple of occasions. Luckily, it was usually after a solid afternoon nap. One time we found her bouncing up and down inside her laundry basket full of clothes on top of the big bed.

  • We attended the Rock the Block benefit event at American Reformed Church on Wednesday night. Emily loved listening to the band music. She also discovered it "tickled" when she lifted up her shirt and rolled her wooden bug car across her tummy and told everyone about it. This would have been much more amusing if it hadn't been in the middle of Betheny Bousema's emotional talk on faith & ministry!

  • One night we went out for pizza at the Pizza Ranch to pre-celebrate my birthday. Then we went to the Kids' Kingdom park to play with "Gram-pin" and "Gramma". Emily now has two distinct names for grandparents.

  • I took a trip down memory lane when my mom & I washed up and dusted off some classic toys from my childhood including a Fisher Price record player and all the Fisher Price "people" sets.

  • On our last night we went up to Rock Rapids to Island Park. They have a fun "mini zoo" that I remember as a kid. Emily called the goats "puppies" and all the birds "chickens" even though most of them were species of pheasants. She loved the bunny but didn't care for the peacocks. The river was really high and we couldn't get across, but we found a place to drop in a fishing line. Emily had enough sit in her to take one quick picture, but she mostly just enjoyed digging in the sand with sticks. I haven't held a fishing pole in years and was proud to catch a little baby bullhead. :o)

  • We left Hull early Saturday morning and headed to LeMars to visit Austin's family. It was the only Saturday in June where we didn't have 2 parades scheduled, so Emily & I watched the LeMars Ice Cream Days parade with Great-Grandma Freking and Great-Aunt Patty. Aunt Brandi & Cousin Asher were walking in the parade with the MOPS group. I decided it's easier to be in the parade with a wagon than to contain Emily watching a parade. She got a lot of candy and a smiley-faced blow-up beach ball. We all loved the gaggle of marching geese. :o) Later we ate lunch with Great-Grandpa and Great-Grandma Lorenzen.

Emily was a stinker and hardly slept on the drive home, but we made it. We had to go around on Hwy 20 to get over the river, so it took a little longer. Thankfully, Denver and our house were spared any major water problems. We had a little bit of pooling water in the basement from seepage in the foundation similar to what occurred a few weeks ago, but that was only one day. Our new sump pump has kept up and everything else is dry. Our hearts break for so many others, including friends, who have not been as lucky.

Below is a slide show of pictures from our vacation. There are a couple videos in the June player. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Time to cook...

In addition to the fun parades, Aunt Courtney ("Cor-ty") and Uncle Adam stayed with us this weekend. Aunt Courtney made a very cute apron just for Emily so Emily doesn't always want to borrow Mommy's at inopportune moments!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Time for parades!

Today marked the official start for parade season for us, and it was a doozy! Our first stop was Dairy Days in West Union under a blazing sun with the heat index in the 90's and a strong south wind (thank goodness!). We were one of the last entries in the 2:00pm parade--just before the fire trucks--so our trek to "line up" was 3x longer than the parade itself! Emily did fabulous despite the heat and performed her sole duty flawlessly--to look cute. ;o) Her little t-shirt is adorable. We even shared a very melty chocolate shake that didn't come with a napkin without one drip on our clothes. Amazing! Emily also acquired some shiny red beads, which she thought were great!

David Hartsuch, who is running for Iowa's 1st Congressional Seat, walked--or should I say rode--along with us. He owns a few Segway scooters and is trying to convince Austin to borrow one for parades and door-knocking. I tried it out, and it sure is fun!

While Austin stayed in West Union to talk politics Emily & I headed home. We were having fun watching little girls perform their dance routines, but it was just too hot and windy. We enjoyed a normal supper at home in the cool, quiet house before turning around and heading back to Westgate for the Westgate Day Parade at 6:30pm. It was still terribly windy with the added fragrance of hog manure. :op You know you're in a (really) small-town parade when:

  1. The parade route is 4 blocks long
  2. Tractors outnumber the other entries 2 to 1
  3. The "town queen" is riding barefoot on the back of a motorcycle

Emily did great again despite spending so much time in the van and only dozing for 45 min. along the way. Including the flying solo shopping trip I took to Cedar Falls this morning, I put 192 miles on the van today. Austin drove separate b/c he door-knocked all morning, too. Whew! Emily also discovered the joy of Tootsie Rolls and Frooties. I think she ate at least 5 of them after the Westgate parade until I cut her off. It's only the beginning! :o)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Watch out for spitting llamas!

We attended a fun cookout at Tim & Kris Boettger's farm place tonight. Emily was so excited about everything there was to see that I think she might have consumed all of two grapes and a sip of lemonade for supper. She LOVED looking at and talking to the brand new baby kitties in the dog house, even though she couldn't touch them. She also thought the llama was pretty interesting until I set her down after this photo. She went up close to the fence and the llama leaned over and spit right in her face! She had pieces of grass stuck all over and needed a wet wipe to get it off. She was hysterical and Austin & I had to try hard not to laugh. Needless to say, she didn't go near that part of the farm again! She'll probably be traumatized for quite some time. She did recover enough to enjoy a ride on the hay rack behind the tractor. :o)

Cookie drama

So I just have to share about the drama/trauma that sometimes occurs when Emily eats cookies. First of all, she loves cookies and sometimes asks for one half way through breakfast (the daughter of her mother!). She also knows exactly where the complimentary cookie tray is at the Denver Savings Bank. We walk there a couple times a week to make campaign deposits and she always gets one. I learned the hard way to always make sure to pick one without any chocolate. :o)

One of the reasons why is because Emily's current cookie-eating technique is to hold it up to her mouth and basically suck on it to create a U-shaped "bite". Of course, the cookie eventually starts to break up, in which case she proceeds to shove the entire thing into her mouth--usually producing hilarious chipmunk cheeks. Then she realizes how messy her hands are and needs them to be wiped off--fast!

Yesterday I made giant monster cookies while Emily was napping. She must have smelled them, because she was asking for one before I even got her out of her crib. Since the cookie was large and fresh from the oven it didn't take long before it started to fall apart. This greatly distressed Emily, and she threw a fit when her cookie crumbled on the table and she discovered her hands were covered with melted chocolate. "Wipe!" She eventually consumed most of the cookie after I broke it up into small bite-size pieces and convinced her that it was okay to eat it that way even though it didn't look like a cookie anymore.

The other problem with monster cookies is that she often wants to eat the M&M's first, so her other approach is to try and "bite" them out, regardless of location. It usually doesn't work very well, she gets mad and throws it down, and I get annoyed that she wasted a perfectly good monster cookie on Cheney! I think from now on we'll try and stick with the small ginger cookies straight from the freezer... ;o)

Monday, June 2, 2008

New baby doll

I had the pleasure of taking a solo shopping trip to Wal-mart yesterday. After seeing Emily play with dolls at a friend's house on Friday, I decided it was time to get a baby doll set of her own. I picked out a basic set that included a disappearing milk bottle, sippy cup, magnetic pacifier and small teddy bear--nothing with noises or batteries. I also got a little doll-sized umbrella stroller. As you can see in the pictures and video, Emily was thrilled. Actually, she was mostly thrilled with the stroller and bottle/cup. It didn't take long before the baby was chucked on the floor and she was only pushing around the bottles and little teddy bear. She continued that pattern this morning as she hauled the stroller up and down the stairs. It's funny to watch because sometimes she almost looks like a little old lady with a walker. :o)