Saturday, August 30, 2008

22 months old

Emily is now 22 months old. Sometimes she surprises you and plops right down in the chair for an adorable picture on the first try. Sometimes it takes multiple attempts with much cajoling and even a little bribery in a circus that would make any observer laugh. Once you start sweating you realize that you'll probably just have to settle for the slightly imperfect (in your mind) picture that at least gets a decent shot with her eyes open, dress down and hair clip still in (barely). goes the life of a toddler. ;o)

Emily continues to be a little chatterbox, and she definitely has DeJong blood flowing through her veins. (For those of you who don't know, my paternal grandma's family is known for being loud talkers.) My ears/head actually hurt the other night after a marathon potty/bath session. I can't blame her, though, because I've got DeJong blood, too! A lady at the library commented on Emily's verbal skills this past week (I know--the place you're supposed to be quiet, but kids her age get a pass there--especially in the children's play area). Emily also set a record this week for the longest complete sentence to date: "There's mommy in the kitchen!" My favorite words of hers are "cho-co-let" (chocolate), "sip-uhl-ly" (slippery) and "hip-pah-mus" (hippopotamus).

Besides the hangers periodically arranged on our dresser drawer knobs, Emily has a new fascination with laundry (or "laun-juh-ly" as she says it). If she finds any stray clothing laying around she stuffs it in our laundry basket. I usually have to dig some of my clean clothes back out after setting them out before taking a shower. When I get her clothes out in the morning she wants to put them in the laundry basket instead of getting dressed. She will scrounge through closets, too. ;o)

Emily has also been on a booster-chair strike. I have compromised with her this week and allowed her to sit (i.e. kneel) on a "big chair" as long as she wears her bib for the messy stuff. It was an either/or proposition, and I'm satisfied with the results. She does pretty well, although she is definitely more squirmy. She only fell off a chair once before she learned she can't stand on the bottom braces off to the side. :o)

We have been enjoying the gorgeous summer weather--exceptionally pleasant for August. I like taking walks, but it's always a toss-up how it will go. I have learned the hard way not to specifically plan anything within a timetable. Emily is currently boycotting her big stroller but is fascinated by her cheap umbrella stroller. Unfortunately, it's not the most ergonomically designed thing and takes a bit of a toll on the pusher. It doesn't exactly allow for any luggage/carrying space either (e.g. walking to Kwik Star for a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread). Half the time she is fine riding, but sometimes she insists on walking by herself and/or pushing the stroller. You never know what the pace might be. We set a new record this month where it took 30 min. to walk the 6 blocks to the library and 40 min. to walk home! Luckily, she usually stays put in her wagon, although that's not the easiest thing to pull around the hilly streets of Denver, either. I should just be thankful that we can actually get out and enjoy some fresh air. I would have done anything to be able to do that on a regular basis last February!

Our August videos are a little sparse, but the pictures are up on Winkflash. Happy end of summer!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Jumpin the bed"

Emily has scaled a new mountain--our bed. It's a very tall bed because of an extra-thick mattress and risers that allow for under bed storage. After several days of experimenting, she finally figured out a strategy for nimbly reaching the top so she can "Jumpin the bed" as she calls it. Luckily, she is also pretty good at getting down by herself. I think if I removed the chair she'd be stuck at ground zero again, but we use that chair quite a bit, so I'll probably leave it alone and just make sure there's nothing left on the headboard shelf she can get into trouble with. Yesterday she found a pen I use for journaling and wrote all over her legs. Luckily, there were only a few lines on the pillow cases and none on the comforter. A little bit of hairspray should take care of that. :o)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Emily was here!

Emily has a fun new game...

Denver "Breakaway Days"

Saturday was our 10th and final parade for the summer (not counting the 2 we missed because of concurrent schedules). It was nice to end in our hometown, and we had the biggest crew yet! Above is a partial picture. My camera battery died right as I was gathering everyone together, so I had to take a blind cell phone picture with someone else's phone. Plus there were two more sets of parents/kids in strollers. Emily did great since one of the kids rode with her in her wagon. We were at the very beginning, so we hung out at the end to watch the rest of the parade. Talk about a lot of candy! (Note: if you sit at the end of the parade route people will literally dump all of their excess candy in your laps.)

A huge thank you to everyone who helped in any way at any time this summer!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I feel like I've been a real blog slacker lately. I'm blaming the Olympics b/c I stay up way too late every night watching them. Not only do I not get much done during that time, it also often requires a nap during Emily's nap time the next day, so I lose more valuable computer time. It's been tough just keeping up with bookwork and other necessary tasks. I know, woe is me for watching too much TV. ;o) However, I have finally uploaded some videos from August. Check out our visit to the Blank Park Zoo and Emily's new fascination with puzzles. Thank goodness the Denver library has a nice collection!

Two peas in a pod

Our friends Julie & Mieke Ulven came over for a play date this morning. Mieke & Emily are a week apart in age and they are definitely two peas in a (silly) pod--right down to their cute curls.

Two cute girls

Making a mess

Hugs for a fun friend!

"Stop it crying!"

Emily's funny phrases are always evolving. A couple weeks ago she started to sometimes announce when she was going to cry, or instead of actually crying would say "Cried". Last week she picked up on a phrase I use often with Cheney and said "Stop it!" all the time--usually when I was changing her diaper or when she didn't necessarily agree with whatever I was doing. This was a little embarrassing when I was chasing her down in the middle of Target last week and she was yelling, "Stop it!" at the top of her lungs as I hauled her back to the cart. :op Well, this week she decided to combine the two and now says "Stop it crying". Basically she's ordering herself around now, although sometimes she directs the command towards her bear and his imaginary tears. I almost laugh every time. :o)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Small Group BBQ

On Saturday night we had a family BBQ with our small group. It was great food and Emily had a blast playing with all the other kids (& dog) in a new backyard filled with all sorts of fun toys!

Pumpkin Pollination

As you know, I am a novice at growing pumpkins. I have 2 experimental pumpkin hills in the rocks of our wild back landscaping hill. I recently pulled out a bunch of ground-cover weeds and discovered a single pumpkin starting to grow. I was excited about this, but also quite baffled how we could have flowers blooming like crazy for the last 4 weeks and only have one actual pumpkin. So I turned to one of my favorite inventions: Google. After only 15 minutes browsing some pumpkin web sites I learned some very interesting things. Did you know that pumpkin vines have both "male" and "female" flowers? The pollen from the male has to be transferred to the female in order for a pumpkin to form. The males usually start blooming first and far outnumber the females. That explains all the beautiful flowers that have just dried up after blooming. Another factor is the rapidly decreasing honey bee population. I got some tips on hand pollination to increase the chances of pumpkins forming. Now I'm on the look-out for blooming female buds to help the process along. Who knew? I'll still be happy with at least one decent-sized pumpkin to set out front and maybe carve, but I'd love to share some with the neighbor kids, too. :o)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Car built for two?

I'm not sure Emily is convinced her Cozy Coupe can fit two squirmy toddlers, but she & Wendell Hunt had fun being squished together for a surprisingly long period of time. (We're talking 5-10 minutes here!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Diaper Duty

So Emily has recently developed an irritating new habit. For the last 4 nights she has decided it would be fun to make a huge dirty diaper approximately 30 minutes after taking her bath and going to bed. This has happened irregardless of the actual timing of her bedtime. At this point I don't think it's an intentional stall tactic, but I'm starting to wonder... ;o)

Along the same line--after completely ignoring the straps on the changing table for over 21 months, Emily now insists on "buckling" herself in almost every time I change her diaper. Of course, she buckles everything in sight these days. Sometimes I think it actually helps hold her down, or at least occupies her for a little bit, so I'm not complaining!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mommy's Kitchen Helper

Emily not only wants to "watch" Mommy in the kitchen, she now wants to "help" Mommy in the kitchen. :o)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Austin!

Today was Austin's 29th birthday. Emily helped me make an angel food cake. She poured the water into the bowl and "helped" it spin. We also joined Austin as he door-knocked our neighborhood in Denver. Emily lasted a couple blocks. Once she climbed up to each doorstep she didn't want to leave, and then she just wanted me to carry her. No way. Austin is much more efficient without us!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Lorenzens in Des Moines

Emily & I just got back from a fun visit with Austin's family in Des Moines. We took off right after the Tripoli parade. Austin's cousin, Shannon, got married in Des Moines on Saturday afternoon. We didn't make it in time for the wedding, but we went to the reception. That was quite an event. I think I sweat more chasing Emily around the West Des Moines Sheraton than I did during the parade that morning! All she wanted to do was look at the 7-story waterfall between the twin glass elevators. (She enjoyed riding the elevators, too.) Both she & Asher had fun when the dance started, but the DJ's computer crashed after a couple songs and the music stopped, so we called it a night by 8:15pm.

On Sunday Emily didn't even make it through the first worship set, but had fun in the nursery at Valley Church. Then we all took Dave & Cheryl out for brunch to celebrate their 30th anniversary. I quickly remembered why we rarely go out to eat in restaurants! Emily didn't want to sit, eat or even color.

It was scorching hot on Sunday & Monday, but Emily & Asher had a blast playing in the little blow-up pool on Grandpa & Grandma's deck. They had quite a few opportunities to learn how to share. ;o)

On Tuesday morning Grandma Lorenzen, Brandi & Asher and Emily & I went to the Clive Public Library. They have a really fun children's play area. Then we got a McDonald's lunch and had a picnic in Union Park. There was a nice carousel to ride for $.50. The fearless Emily all of the sudden decided that she was too scared to actually sit on any of the animals--even the giraffe that didn't go up and down. So we went twice with me holding her standing next to the animals. :op The park also had a wading pool. We didn't know this, so the kids didn't have swimsuits on, but they walked around and had fun anyway. The last highlight of the day was when Grandpa Lorenzen got out Brandi's old snare drum and bell set. Copper (the dog) sure didn't appreciate that one!

On Wednesday it was finally cool enough to go to the Blank Park Zoo. This was Emily's first zoo experience. It's pretty small, and many of the animals were just laying around, but it was perfect for her age/attention span level. We got to watch the trainers feed the sea lion. When we stopped to have a picnic lunch we were entertained by the gibbons swinging and "singing". Emily's favorite part was probably feeding the goats, watching the koi and riding the little train.

It was a lot of fun to spend some extra time with Grandpa & Grandma Lorenzen, aunts & uncles and Cousin Asher! However, despite her constant pestering, Cheney missed Emily. Austin said Cheney kept vigil next to Emily's crib the whole time we were gone. Then when we did return I had to haul a baby gate out of the basement to prevent Cheney from barging into Emily's room and setting up camp while she was supposed to be going to sleep. Crazy dog!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Tripoli parade

Saturday was a beautiful day for a parade in Tripoli. The theme was Mardi Gras, so Emily fit right in with her shiny red bead necklace. We walked with the Bremer County GOP elephant float. Unfortunately, the parade route was pretty long and it started to get hot. I just missed getting a picture of Emily with 2 suckers in her mouth at once. I think she knows I'm to the point of bribing her to be good during every parade with candy. We made it, but her brand new white skirt was covered with sticky purple drool spots from the large Blow-Pop sucker she was working on, not to mention her face, hands, hair, etc. :op One more parade to go!

Friday, August 1, 2008


Emily got her first taste of corn-on-the-cob. She hasn't quite figured out how to take bites of things, so she mostly just licked the butter/salt until I cut off the kernals. I tried to give her a second piece (b/c she wolfed down the corn off the first one), but she saw me break it in half to make it more manageable and threw a fit because I couldn't put it back "'gether". We had corn on the floor, the walls and everywhere. That was the end of that.