Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Joy

Merry Christmas to all!

We had a very nice Christmas - here's hoping you did as well. Wendy was scheduled to work Christmas eve at 7pm until Christmas morning at 7am, which made for some less-than-ideal Christmas plans. Fiona and I went to my family's Christmas Eve celebration while Wendy was still sleeping before her shift, and then she met us there about an hour before she had to work. That is, until she got a call from the hospital - they were overstaffed, and she wasn't needed until 11pm. That was great, because she got to stay for all of the festivities, including dinner, dessert, and the chaotic grandchildren gift opening. Unfortunately, we only have one 'good' pic of Fiona's Christmas dress - despite my attempts, she simply wouldn't let go of her purple plate.

Wendy also was fortunate to be let off from her shift early at 3am, which meant she didn't have to come home and sleep until the afternoon. So we also got to have a nice Christmas Day together.

As for Miss Fiona, she enjoyed all of her gifts. Her many, many gifts. Today Wendy and I spent most of the day assembling her various toys. She likes them all so far, but I think her favorites are her pretend kitchen, her life size Dora doll, and her two new Teletubbies. She already had the other two, so this now gives her the full set. As you can see from this video, she took to them right away.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


That is right, folks, our daughter can count! For a couple of months now she has been counting to three in Spanish (thanks Dora!) and English. Well, now she can count to ten in English. We have yet to get the whole thing on video, but I promise we are trying. So, add counting to shapes and colors for the new things Fiona learned this month. If you ask this mother, the sweetest thing ever is hearing Fiona say "Momma, purple triangle". Of course, it sounds more like "Momma, burble trraungle", but it can't be beat!

To keep you going until we do get that hysterical counting on tape, here are some pics from this week.

LaLa needs a new diaper:

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Lost in Translation

I was trying to record Fiona making these funny faces at the dinner table. What I ended up with is a common occurrence in our house these days - Wendy and I trying to translate what Fiona is saying. In this case, we were able to decipher her words just fine - but sometimes, if we take too long to figure her out, we get blessed with a lovely temper tantrum.

And yes, we do feed her pierogies. It's one of her favorite foods.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Great Imitator

Fiona has begun imitating us this month. Actually, she imitates me most of the time, just because we spend so much time together. She pretends to clean, cook, read books, talk on the phone, change diapers, do laundry, and put on big girl clothes. I suppose thats all that I do in a day. Maybe I should show her how I save the world, deliver babies, and solve complicated math problems, too!

Here are some pictures that I took of her putting on my winter hat and gloves.

Hello mushmouth:

"Like my hat?":

Notice our dog, Casey, in the background.

Friday, December 7, 2007

See ya glasses!!!!

Please excuse this post all about Wendy, but life-changing events call for a blog post. This past Wednesday I got Lasik surgery. I have been thinking about it for many years and finally got the courage to do it this week.

First, let me tell you (if you don't already know) that I pride myself on being a tough person when it comes to medical stuff. Give me blood and guts every day and I am in a great mood. Someone has to attend all the c-sections, right?! Anyway, I have a thing about eyes. I dread that yearly puff of air test when you need your eyes checked, I freak if I get something in my eye, I can never watch any TV show with eye injuries, and when I was 16 and needed contacts it took me a total of 6 hours to get one in. Yep, I hate eyes.

I was incredibly nervous before the procedure. Scratch that, anything involving multiple lasers is surgery, not a procedure. They gave me one little Valium beforehand and I tried my R.N. card to get another one; no sale. I cannot bring myself to type about the actual surgery just yet due to my traumatized brain, but we will just say it is over. Oh, and I would much rather give birth again. With one little Valium.

Alas, here I am typing at the computer with no corrective lenses. A first for me in the whole 29.5 years I have been on the planet. I got glasses when I was 8 years old (a cute little pastel pink pair I still have somewhere) and was just about legally blind. I suppose its worth dry eyes and a oh so sexy red spot on my eye for a month. Right?

Either way, its done and I have been told that I will soon be singing the praises of Mr Lasik. For now, I thank him and just ask that he stay away from me for awhile.

So, here is my goodbye to glasses. You did your job very well, but you were a pain in the bum to keep clean (hello toddler!) and hid my green eyes from my sweet husband. Addios!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Thanksgiving December

I have no excuse, other than being a bit of a procrastinator. I think that may end up on my tombstone some day: "Loving Father, Husband, and procrastinator." So here are a couple of pics from Thanksgiving. It was a low-key holiday this year, as Wendy - unfortunately - had to work that night at 7pm. Fiona and I spent the afternoon/evening at my sisters', though Wendy did stop by for a tasty dinner before the start of her shift. For the record, Fiona ate mashed potatoes, a bit of turkey, and pumpkin pie. Oh, and this yogurt drink.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

All about climbing

Since Fiona is no longer sick, she has been using all of her energy to run and climb. She is a brave girl who likes to stand on ottomans, rock back in chairs, and climb onto and into anything she can.

Here is where I found Fiona the other day:

She emptied out the toy box in her room and climbed in. Silly girl!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Healthy and Happy!

Just a quick update to my last post to say that Fiona has been healthy for a week now! Her illnesses went away just as quickly as they came and I cannot complain about that. We did find out that she is allergic to dogs and mold and will be taking a daily antihistamine now. The doctor said we can keep Casey our dog, but he can't sleep with her. No problems there!

Thanks everyone for thinking of us! I promise to post some pictures soon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tough Stuff

I'm sorry that I haven't posted in awhile. Fiona has been sick and there is so little time in the day for anything other than comforting and caring for her. Now, when I say that Fiona has been sick, let me tell you what I mean. Over the past 8 weeks she has had 3 ear infections, 3 upper respiratory infections, 1 nasty croup situation, 2 rounds of thrush, and 1 pink eye infection. There hasn't been a well day for her during all of that.

That fact as prompted our Pediatrician to order some consults for our wee one. Today we were at Childrens Hospital in Minneapolis for a sweat test to rule out Cystic Fibrosis. It was a "non-invasive" test that used electrodes to make her sweat. It still involved holding Fiona's arms down and her feeling a buzzing sensation up her arms. Not fun. Then she had to wear a sweat collector on both arms and play for 30 long minutes. Our brave girl did just fine and was very happy to get out of that place. I am 99.9% confident that she does not have CF, but it is something routine that they have to rule out with chronic illness.

Tomorrow we are off to a allergies/asthma/immunology MD to see if any of those issues could be blamed for her illnesses. I have decent allergies and asthma, so I am sure she will have something positive there. Sadly, tomorrow's tests will involve blood work and scratch tests over the course of 2 hours. Also not fun. This isn't helping Fiona's intense fear of medical staff, but hopefully will provide some answers for two worried parents.

Ironically, today was the best day Fiona has had symptom-wise in months. She had a lot more energy and only a slight cough with runny nose. In fact, I was overwhelmed at how "normal" she was at lunch just now. She managed to play with her plastic straw from her juice box and use it as a fork to stab her apples. She looked up at me with those sweet Fiona eyes and I felt like I had seen an old friend.

Wish us luck!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A birthing ball??

This picture is for all my fellow Labor and Delivery nurses and those recently pregnant gals who might have needed a little help during labor.

Fiona spontaneously sitting on a ball while watching TV:

I was laughing so hard after taking a million pictures. It was just so cute and she did so well balancing on the ball for almost 15 minutes! This picture is going on my locker at work, for sure.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Our Pink Poodle

Fiona enjoyed her second Halloween yesterday. We all walked over to a few houses near us and she experienced her first trick-or-treating. She was pretty funny--she walked up to the house, waited for someone to answer, and then pushed past them and right inside their house. Later, she enjoyed sorting her candy (just like her Dad did as a kid) and then running to our door with each ring of the bell.
Here are the pictures.

Just hanging out at during the day:
The Pink Poodle named FiFi:

What chocolate, Mom?:

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Who doesn't love a sleeping toddler?!

Isn't that precious? All parents can appreciate the beautiful site of their sleeping child. Parents of independent and active toddlers can appreciate it even more.

I snapped this picture during one of Fiona's midday naps last week. I went into her room because after 2.5 hours I heard her making some noises and figured the nap was over....this is the vision I came across. Heaven! I quick snapped the picture and she went on to sleep for almost another hour. It makes up for all the days where she wakes up just as I sit down to eat lunch!

The Fiona-nap is a glorious thing. I am certainly addicted to it. As a great sleeper myself, I can only imagine sleeping for 1-3 hours right after lunch every day! However, if the napping/sleeping thing is genetic, we might have some issues. Jim gave up his nap permanently around Fiona's age. GASP! I dread the thought of losing my quiet time to eat/shower/read the paper/make blog posts/stare aimlessly at the beige wall.

May my first child be the only child in the world who needs/wants a nap every day throughout her childhood! :)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Post #50 - Breakfast

To commemorate our FIFTIETH posting, please enjoy a video from breakfast this morning. Apologies for the dark picture.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tricky Mommy

First, let me confess something to you all: I am a misspeller. See? That is spelled wrong, isn't it? My sweet English major husband would be so disappointed. I PROMISE that I know how to give antibiotics to patients, even if I can't spell them correctly in blog posts. (See the last post, if you haven't already noticed my horrible spelling)

Moving on! I am a tricky Mommy. I got Fiona to take her antibiotic today by drawing it up into a syringe and then drawing up some Motrin in the same syringe. She got the "yummy" flavor first and before she knew it, she was medicated! I would like it noted that I tried this same trick yesterday with Hershey's chocolate syrup and it was gagged upon. Are we sure she is MY child?? Do you know how deliriously happy I would be if someone walked up to me with a syringe of chocolate and said "You must take this"?

My child has a rough life, clearly.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Antiobiotic Detective

Anyone need an antiobiotic detective? Well, I have one for you if you do!

Fiona loves medicine. I am sure I have mentioned that here somewhere, but its true--the girl likes Tylenol and Motrin. Given that information, one would assume that giving her antiobiotics for a double ear infection would be a piece of cake, right? Wrong. She decided that she hates it and can sniff it out in any substance: yogurt, pudding, applesauce, chocolate syrup, and the blessed milk.

Today I got a new cherry flavored antibiotic and put it in her lunchtime milk. She took one sip of the milk, pointed to it, and said "Medicine". I ignored her and encouraged her to keep drinking. She then dropped her cup on the floor near Casey our dog. I guess we can't fool that girl.

This should be an interesting 10 days of treatment.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Croup is crap

So, it was Monday evening, and Fiona was feeling a little under the weather. I had just come home with her, and Wendy had just woken up - she was scheduled to work an overnight shift from 11pm - 7am. We had dinner and played a bit, noticing that Fiona had a little runny nose and was more tired than usual. Thinking she was coming down with another cold, we put her to bed.

At around 9pm, Wendy got a call from work that she was cancelled - they had enough nurses for that night's patient load. Normally this would be nice, but not when you slept that afternoon preparing to be up all night.

Little did we know that this rest would prove to be useful.

It was 9:30 or so, Fiona woke up fussing and coughing, and after a moment fell back asleep. It happened again a bit later, but this time she sounded worse and was crying more. We went upstairs to calm her, and that's when we heard the seal bark cough. Unlike anything we had ever heard. Then we could hear the stridor, which in my opinion sounded scary. Fiona's throat was swollen and she was having a hard time breathing.

Fortunately for Fiona (and me), Wendy is a SuperMom. Her nurse skills instantly took over and she ordered me to turn on a hot shower to steam up the bathroom. As I held Fiona in there, Wendy called her co-workers in the nursery at Methodist to get their opinions. After about 15 minutes in the steam, Fiona was still not breathing great, so we decided to take a trip to the ER. Better safe than sorry, right? Within 3 minutes we were all bundled and packed and out the door. On the way there we opened the windows to get in some cold air - which also helps treat croup - but it wasn't terribly cold.

Eventually we got to the hospital and went in to see a doctor. Unfortunately, Fiona has developed a terrible fear of medical personnel. Anyone she has seen in scrubs - other than her Mom - has ended up either poking and prodding her, giving her a throat culture, or giving her a shot. As a result, she basically freaks out in their presence. So as the ER techs and nurses and doctors would come and go, she would get very upset, cry and cling to whichever parent was holding her.

The doctor gave Fiona some medication and had us wait to make sure it took effect. She was playing with some of the toys we brought to pass the time. Fiona also had some crayons but nothing to color on, so I let her color on my t-shirt that I was wearing.

Whatever it took to keep her occupied and otherwise calm at 12 am. Eventually we were given the ok to leave - her breathing had improved dramatically and her cough was much better. We got home at about 1:30 and put her to bed, she slept for the next 7 hours straight.

It's been 2 days now, and while Fiona is still fighting a cold and cough, she's doing much better. Here she is coloring - on paper this time - one of her new favorite hobbies. It was a nerve-wracking night for Wendy and I, but fortunately things turned out fine.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Great Pumpkin!

Who remembers the Charlie Brown Halloween Show, "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"? It's a classic, but it seems like I always miss it when it's on TV before Halloween. This year I'm going to be proactive and check out this TV Guide web page to know exactly when it's on. Hopefully Fiona likes watching it with me.

Yesterday we went on a hunt for our own great pumpkin at a local pumpkin patch. The weather was great, but as you can see Fiona liked playing with the bales of straw more than she liked the pumpkins. Needless to say, I'll be carving the pumpkin Han Solo this year.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Halloween Costume #1

We had a neighborhood Halloween party this weekend - lots of fun, except it was hot and muggy. Fiona's actual costume this year is a poodle, and it's not exactly a breathable costume. So before this party we picked up a simple Halloween Pumpkin Witch outfit at Target. Here's Fiona posing.

As you can see, our neighbors who hosted the party went all-out, complete with the inflatable jump-around thing. I don't know what these are called, but I wouldn't mind hopping around in it myself.

Fiona gave this a try, but at 18 months old I don't think she's quite ready. She liked to run around in it at first, but as more and more kids jumped around, it was harder for her to stay standing, and she was having a hard time walking back to the door to get out. In the end, Wendy and I were trying to coax her to crawl like a baby, but she kept trying to walk and would inevitably fall when some kid jumped near her. She eventually made it out, I think we'll wait until she's 2 before she gives one of these another try.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Missing Dad

Time flies - I haven't posted in almost a month. Such is life when you're an Old Man. Actually, between some house projects, a couple of business trips, and the aforementioned 30th birthday, my time recently has flown by. So this past weekend was a treat to spend with Fiona, as her momma worked delivering other babies.
It rained most of the weekend, so we were stuck indoors. Here's a few shoe-related memories. First, the Zapruder-like clip captures Fiona trying to put her own shoes on. It's no small feat - pun intended - and as you can see she doesn't exactly hide her frustration.

Her parents' shoes are much easier to put on, and here is a series of pics showing Fiona shuffling around in Wendy's Crocs.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A growing girl

I just returned from Fiona's 18 month well-child visit at our clinic. It was a grueling appointment filled with a lot of crying and "Noonoonooo! Momma!!". Fiona such a smart cookie--she knew the minute our pediatrician walked in what was going to happen next. Thank GOD there were no shots today.

Here are her stats:

Weight: 23lbs 3oz (finally made it to the 40th percentile)
Height: 32 3/4 inches (80th percentile)
Head: 19 inches (90th percentile)

She still has her cold and one of her ears was slightly infected, so I got a prescription for an antibiotic to fill if she gets worse. The poor baby also has thrush AND mouth ulcers! My poor sweet, cranky baby.

It has been a long, long week already. I'll post some pictures when I get a moment.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Where did that come from?

Fiona has another cold. A random, late summer cold that came out of nowhere.

It started with sneezing last evening and quickly progressed to stuffiness, coughing, and a sleepless night for all involved.

The worst part is that Jim left this morning for a business trip and left beyond tired. My Mom is staying with us to help out--what a blessing that turned out to be!

My poor little angel still has her good spirits despite feeling miserable. She managed to laugh at Casey once this morning and crack a big smile when her TV crush Diego came on.

I just put her down for a nap with the old school Vicks steam pouring out of our humidifier. It made me think of how horrible it feels to have a cold, I cannot imagine what it feels like when you are a toddler.

Send healing thoughts our way, readers! And a few sleeping vibes for tonight couldn't hurt for this tired Momma.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Happy 30th Birthday, Jim!

Since this is the Boldischar Family Blog, I want to dedicate this post to my sweet husband, Jim.

Happy 30th Birthday, JIM!!!

Here is a gorgeous picture Jim's Mom Kathy sent him today. It was taken when Jim was just three days old. What a beautiful Momma and adorable baby!

Happy Birthday to the best guy I know!
I love you, babe.

Friday, September 21, 2007

What a kid!

Allow me one moment to sing the praises of our sweet daughter. Just one moment:

Fiona was cranky this morning. She woke up and NEEDED everything. She needed to be held, needed her milk, needed to not have her diaper changed, needed to watch Dora the Explorer, needed to play with dangerous forks/knifes/bottles of medicine. She also needed to crank at me for not helping her with these things.

The girl need to get out of the house. Clearly.

Off we went after breakfast to the Mall. Go figure. We got there early and headed straight for Caribou Coffee (um, hello? Doesn't Momma NEED something, too?). Next stop: the blessed indoor soft play area.

Let's talk about that place for a quick second, ok? You have already read Jim's impression of it and even seen a few pictures. I have yet to speak on the topic. While I enjoy the fact that there is somewhere fun for Fiona to play during bad weather, I am starting to hate the whole Mommy center. The play area is encircled with one huge bench where Mommies go to chat on the cell phone, read a book, drink coffee (hey, lay off me man), do their makeup (seriously?), and chat loudly with another Mommy. This is all done while ignorning their hyper children who run around creating havoc and screaming like animals.

I digress. My sweet daughter was so well behaved for the whole hour she played. She had fun, met a few friends, and never acted naughty. She even helped a younger kid up a few stairs! I was getting a little nervous about having to tell her it was time to go home, when she came up to me and said "Hi Momma. Park...." and did the sign for all done. I was taken aback and said "are you all done with the park?" and she nodded. Wow. That deserved a huge kiss, a cold drink, and a snack cup full of cheerios.

What a kid!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Picture hiatus

Believe it or not, we had more than a week in Fiona's life that was not documented! Shocking, I know, but it is the truth. I quickly took a few pictures of the Missus this morning to prove that we have a silly toddler and that our camera still works.

Here they are:
Its early, but a girl still needs to apply lipstick and wear some jewerly:

Trying on Mommy's Crocs:
And showing off her major crush on Diego:
Jim promises to get a post up here soon. I've heard that creativity takes a little longer when you are reaching an old age. 30 in 3 days!
(Love you, Babe!)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Every day there is something new!

That is the deal with toddlers. Every day they show you what a wonderful sponge they have for a brain. Fiona has increased her vocabulary so much over these past few weeks, for example. She will hear a word or phrase once and repeat it back to you. Amazing! Here are some favorites:

-good girl
- oh wow!
- sssshhhhh
- car
- pen
- water

She is also starting to put two words together. For example, tonight Jim was out for a work dinner and I was scrambling to get my nightly tasks done (clean the kitchen, put away the laundry, other stimulating things) AND get Fiona ready for bed. Well, I was apparantly taking too long so she ran over to me and said "Baby. Water" meaning bath. I said "In a minute, sweetie". Then she ran back over to me and pointed to her crib and said "Ssssh, Baby". I got the message loud and clear and started the bedtime routine.

What a kid!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The sincerest form of flattery

Well, consider yourself privileged. You, dear blog reader, are witnessing our first ever video posting. Very high tech, I know. I'm surprised that I haven't seen a video clip on any of our friends' blogs yet. Especially that one blog that is very COOL, if you know what I mean. Never mind, we don't shy away from being trailblazers. I'm sure after everyone sees this posting they'll be putting video clips on all of theirs.

Speaking of clips, this is what I saw Fiona doing today. Neither Wendy nor I had seen her climb these chairs, so that by itself was interesting. But then she imitated what, unfortunately, she sees Mom and Dad do at the dinner table. Not always, mind you, but often enough that she imitated us.

Needless to say, we will no longer allow 'reading' at the dinner table...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hot House!

No, thats not what I am running as a side job.

That is what we have today: a hot house. We had a scheduled two hour power outage in our town today that turned into more than four hours. Fiona and I fled to the mall, the chiropractor, and eventually to my Mom's cool house. When we returned the power was back on, but a 90 degree day without AC left our house at 86 degrees. Ick!

Here are a couple of pictures of our lovely daughter attempting to stay cool. She is stripped down to a diaper and drinking cold water--but found time to watch her favorite friends The Wiggles.

Not too hot to dance:

Ok, lets just take a breather:

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Yard Helper

Sorry we have been behind on posting lately. I have been working a lot of night shifts and Jim has been busy getting the yard ready for fall. Luckily, this year he has a helper. Fiona loves to be outside and loves even more to run around the yard helping Jim.

Here they are with the hose:

(Notice my child's low riding shorts. No, thats not on purpose. The girl is just skinny!)

Fiona pruning the bushes:

Fiona mowing the lawn, something her mother refuses to do:

I just like this picture:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Terrible 1.5's?

One of the secret pleasures that Wendy and I share is to witness parents who are newer than us, and laugh at their comments about parenthood. We chuckle when someone mentions that their baby had a dirty diaper - and it leaked! We snicker when a couple says that they can't wait until their baby starts to crawl or walk. And the REASON we get such pleasure, is because we were once them - aghast at the thought of a blow-out, or wishing for Fiona to become mobile.

That being said, I'm risking the same sort of ridicule from parents who have already raised toddlers - but I think Fiona is starting those Terrible Twos a bit early. She hit the 17 month mark last week, and has recently developed some traits that, quite simply, drive us crazy. These include completely changing her food preferences - one day she could eat a whole avocado or pineapple. The next day - no, the next MEAL - she wants nothing to do with either. She also has this nasty habit of hitting or slapping. Wendy or I will be holding her and we'll try to give her a hug, but then she pushes back and takes a swing.

But of all her new tricks, the absolute worst, the one that we would LOVE to end, is her whining. And when I say whining, I mean an annoying, aggravating, makes-you-want-to-wear-Bose-Noise-Cancelling-headphones whine. Unfortunately, she uses this whine anytime she wants something. Food, milk, a toy, a book, to be picked up - you name it, out comes the whine. And God help us if it's something she can't have - like a box of Kleenex or the TV remote. She gets going with that whine and fussiness, and she nearly whines us into submission. Fortunately, we have held our ground thus far.

Despite this onset of the "Terrible 1.5's," she still has us wrapped around her little finger. Tonight, after being bombarded with whines and fussiness during and after dinner, I was ready to put her to bed. I sat on the floor to take off her shoes, and she walked over to me, gave me a BIG hug and said "ohhhhhh!"

After moments like that, what's the big deal with a little whining?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Swing low...

To all you loyal Boldischar Blog readers - remember my posting from July 26th? I mentioned that we had bought a bunch of outdoor toys, including a swing. Well, I FINALLY got around to installing the swing on Sunday. This may come as a surprise to some, but I'm not exactly a handyman around the house. As a result, I made 3 separate trips to home depot to buy different supplies and gear to hang this swing from the underside of our deck. Then, it only took me about 4 hours over the course of the weekend to get this thing installed.

To be honest, Wendy and I had half-joked that by the time this swing was usable, Fiona would've outgrown it. Thankfully that is not the case. She loved being in it for the first time on Sunday, as these pictures show. After pushing her for about 10 minutes I stopped, and as the swing began to slow she whined and made the sign for 'more.' Yes ma'am! This morning Wendy was out pushing her for over 45 minutes, and had to stop because Fiona started to doze off! Needless to say, it was a well-spent $19.99.

These big smiles aren't just due to the swing - Wendy was making Fiona laugh and giggle. She loves her mama!!!

The Burns Clan

Saturday night we visited my sister Natalie and her family. The weather outside was perfect, so we spent a lot of time in the backyard. Fiona saw her cousins' outdoor play area, pointed to it and said "park!" Compliments to my brother-in-law Mike: the brat and cheeseburger were great.

Here's a nice picture of the kids posing. Fiona with her cousins, and two of their cousins on the other side - got that?

L to R:
Grace, Bella, Ruby, Ryan, Emma, Fiona

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Rainy Weekend Entertainment

The weather has been miserable this weekend - pretty much non stop rain since Saturday morning. This has also been Wendy's weekend to work, so I've been struggling to find Daddy-Daughter things to do while stuck indoors. There are only so many books you can read, and the Wiggles DVD can only be watched so many times. OK, I personally think the Wiggles don't get old, but it doesn't do much for Fiona if we dance to "Hot Potato" a dozen times a day.

Enter the Eden Prairie Center Mall. Fiona and I went there yesterday to shop a little, but mainly to visit their Children's Soft Play Area. This is basically a big play yard for kids to romp around while their parents sit and watch. It's supposed to be for kids 42" and under, but I swear there are always fifth and sixth graders there, hopping around like a pack of spider monkeys. Also, with all of those kids - most of them barefoot - you have to imagine that there's about a zillion germs floating around. At least outdoor playgrounds get a little rain every once in a while to rinse off the kid germs. No such luck for your indoor mall playground - those germs stick around. Personally, I can't think about that too much, otherwise I'll get OCD and bust out the hand sanitizer every time we're in public. I say, if it doesn't kill your kid, it only makes 'em stronger - right?

After romping around the play area, I plopped Fiona in one of those kid's rides - like the merry-go-round or horse that they used to have outside of Kmart? In this case it was some sort of Clown Cab. And it wasn't a quarter like when I was a kid - more like THREE quarters. That's a 200% increase over the past 25 years - brutal.

Fiona and an over-dressed playmate

Where's Fiona? What a zoo. Note the arrow
pointing out one of the 6th graders that should
be kicked out.

$.75 for 60 seconds of "fun." I want my money back.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Stick 'em up!

Last night we went to the "Touch a Truck" event in nearby Chaska. Basically, there were about a dozen different trucks and vehicles parked at the community center - fire trucks, snowplows, construction vehicles, etc. - and kids could get in them, honk horns, all that fun stuff. Plus there was face painting, ice cream, blah blah blah.

Wendy and I thought this would be a fun thing to attend, push Fiona around in the stroller for a while, see some other kids. We were not the only parents who thought so, because when we pulled up there were around a thousand cars - or so it seemed. People were parking on side streets, in neighborhoods blocks away, it looked awful - like the State Fair. The worst part was, as we were driving around the parking lot, and the overflow parking lot, all of these mommies and daddies were driving like complete bastards! I was cut off like twice, no one would even give a courtesy wave after cutting me off. All in the name of getting a parking spot and taking little Timmy or Susie to some stupid Truck thing. Well, after a few turns around the parking lots, Wendy and I decided to just leave. Until, that is, a car pulled out of its spot - right next to the entrance! I mean, this should have been a handicapped spot it was so close. Like a sly fox, I pulled our car into the spot, and I felt like giving the finger to all the other parents who were still desperately looking for spots. I decided against it, though, since at least 3 dozen kids - including my own - would've witnessed it.

We strolled around the Touch A Truck event for about 20 minutes. Got some photos, but otherwise were not impressed. Probably a great thing for a 6 year old boy to go to, but not so much for our 16 month old daughter. Hopefully this is as close as Fiona will get to the back of a squad car.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Monkey Girl

Fiona has begun her exploration phase and it has her parents little nervous. While it is exciting to see her try to do new things, we find ourselves holding our breath a lot more these days. For example, she loves to climb up on the couch and STAND and WALK on it (thats a tumble waiting to happen).
Here is a picture of when she climbed onto a carton of diapers and tried to walk across to the toliet paper.

She also loves her clothes hamper:

We just got back from the park where she learned to climb up the stairs on her feet (not her knees) and went down the big slide alone. So far, she has proven to be a strong girl who doesn't cry for bruises, bumps, or scrapes. We are so proud!

Monday, August 13, 2007

First Popsicle

Here's Fiona's first popsicle - a monumental event. She was getting over a cold, so we thought this would be a nice treat - and it was! Unfortunately, she didn't finish it. About 20 seconds after I took these photos, the popsicle began melting and started to drip down her hand. When I saw the red drips in our carpet, I grabbed a paper towel and put it around the popsicle stick - so that it would catch the drips. Well, Miss Particular here didn't like that, and whined and fussed unless she could hold on to the wooden stick handle. Well, I said 'all done' and tossed it in the garbage. She wasn't too crazy about that move, and let me know it. I told her "Fiona, as Benjamin Disraeli said, 'There is no education like adversity.'" She immediately stopped crying, gave me a thoughtful look, and nodded. "That's a good point, Dad. Thanks for putting things in perspective." She then proceeded to read a Dora the Explorer book.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I Hate Safety Locks

A few months ago, when Fiona was mobile enough to make it into the kitchen, I installed about 2 dozen cabinet and drawer locks. If you haven't had the pleasure yet, here's what this installation entails:

First, you line up the plastic lock so that it catches the underside of the cabinet or drawer frame. Once you have that marked, you take 2 screws that are about the size of a grain of rice. Then you drill in the locks using your rice-sized screws and - voila - your child is locked out. It's a little tedious, but with cabinet doors it is manageable. Drawers, however, are a little trickier. Basically, you have to contort your arms so that you screw the lock onto the inside of the drawer. This may be easy for people who are double jointed, but I don't have that luxury.

So picture me a few months ago, furiously screwing in locks all around the kitchen to make sure my daughter doesn't get a hold of a frying pan, or the electric knife, or a bottle of Mr. Clean. I get to the LAST drawer - the one that holds all of our tupperware - and apparently I cut a corner and didn't line up my lock very well. Turns out that this drawer can be opened by a gentle pull. Yes, even the gentle pull of a 16-month old. Since then, Fiona has found great joy in yanking open the drawer, tossing out the tupperware containers and tops one at a time, and running out of the kitchen. It's all fun and games until someone slips on one of those tops and breaks an arm! Wendy has given me plenty of subtle and not-so-subtle hints to fix the lock, and I really should. But I just can't find it in myself to deprive little Fiona of that pure, unadulterated joy! Plus I have a habit of procrastinating. ONE of these days I'll get that lock fixed...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


Let me describe what our basement looks like. First of all, it is unfinished, so imagine concrete and insulated walls around you. There's a washer and dryer in a corner, a weight bench gathering dust in another corner. We have a bunch of boxes along one wall. It's pretty typical. Except we have a 'growth' down in the basement. It began to appear about a year ago, and has been growing ever since. You see, this 'growth' is our collection of baby stuff - aka JUNK.

Junk may not be the best word, since that conjures up images of used or useless stuff. Really it is our baby items that we no longer use or never did use. Some of these 'retired' items were great in their day: the baby swing, bounce-a-roo, baby bath, etc. Oh, how we long for the days when we could put Fiona in her bounce-a-roo and make dinner. But there's also some things in the basement that, in retrospect, were wastes of money. For example, the baby wipes warmer. We registered for this (if the purchaser of this gift is reading, we do appreciate it), but never got around to using it. And guess what - Fiona has survived with room-temperature baby wipes!

We also have a fair number of piece of crap items in the basement, things that we should've never bought or at least returned. Like this Eddie Bauer rear-view mirror attachment - you supposedly attach it to your rear-view mirror and you can see the car seat in the back. Well, that thing is absolute garbage - it doesn't fit on our car mirrors. In fact, all of that Eddie Bauer branded stuff at Target seems to be terrible. Eddie Bauer, if he exists, is making millions by licensing his name, but the quality of those products is terrible. The worst part is, we never return any of these things. I mean NEVER. Partly because I am lazy, but also because we always forget to bring the stupid things the next time we go to Target. Either that or Fiona has found the receipt and shredded it into a few dozen pieces.

Our girl is all grown up!

Why, you ask? Well, take a look at these pictures I snapped of her while she was playing.

(Her Dad would say "Well, at least she has good imported taste")

AND shoes:

(And her Mom says "Oh Darling, let me show you the many joys of having a shoe collection")