Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Holidays!


We hope that everyone had a safe and merry Christmas and wish everyone safe travels for the remainder of the holiday season.

We are in central MN visiting family. It is surprising how much later it gets light in the morning and how much earlier it gets dark at night here rather than in Madison. We are trying to enjoy the daylight as much as possible, but I think everyone is warmer and happier inside together.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Who else does this??

Is anyone else willing to admit to this no no? Something your mom told you never to do .... playing with your food?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bath Time

Christine and I are looking over today's pictures of the two girls in the bath, and trying to think of what they would be saying if they could. Michaela gave Danielle a big hug and tried to unintentionally dunk her for the first time, but we were there.

Here are a couple of better pictures, with at least one of the girls looking at the camera.




Monday, December 8, 2008

We have our 'Tree Hugger' back

This is a picture of our little tree hugger at the Como Zoo in Minneapolis. After seeing the animals, Michaela was goofy in the parking lot before getting back in the car. As a result she thought it was fun to hug the trees, knock on doors, and shake peapods. Of course we were there to take at least one picture also.

We are enjoying having Michaela back in Madison and getting back to our comfortable routine. After a couple of rough nights, Michaela went to sleep tonight like she used to. No fuss, crying, or playing late into the night. We hope that she sleeps through the night and is happier tomorrow than today.

I am happy the week started again and to be back at school. Not very often do I prefer being away from home, but right now it is nice being at school, getting phone calls setting up interviews at the upcoming ASSA meetings in San Francisco, and not having the idle time worrying about the future.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Short memory

Danielle rolled over again the following day and Christine was there in daylight to get a better video. It was also the first time Christine was able to see Danielle roll over.

Unfortunately, Danielle is like many of us and has a short memory already forgetting how to roll over. She now arches her head back and looks straight up at things while laying on the floor. Who knows how long it will be before she puts 2 and 2 together and rolls over when she so desires.

video

Michaela came home last night also with Grandpa and Grandma Kallevig. She also has a short memory; as she forgot how to fall asleep and also sleep on her own. I had a rough night when she yelled for me every time she woke up. It is nice having her back though.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Late Night Triumph!

Why we are still up I have I am not sure, but I am glad we were.

video

We will see if Danielle is a quick learner. It only took 3 months to go from back to belly, hopefully it will take her less to go from belly to back.

Note to self, next time turn on all the lights in the room ..... our apartment is way too dark.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Google Reader

Props to Nate Tefft, who has made my life easier more than once by sharing parts of his wisdom!!

While home for Thanksgiving we talked about the blog. This is the first year we had one, and it was nice to know that people read it and feel like they know us better through it. I feel the same about our friends and family, even though we do not talk or get together all that often it is nice to know what is going on in everyone's lives.

Discussing the blog it was obvious that everyone has a different way of checking it and others, so I thought I would pass along Nate's wisdom to everyone......Google Reader. Visit the following website and set it up, it is well worth the time. http://reader.google.com/

Use your google account (or set one up if you don't have one already) and "Add Subscription" for each websites that you are interested in checking on a regular basis. After setting it up log into Google reader and let it consolidate new postings so that you do not have to check all of them individually. On my google reader account I have birding blogs feeds, friends and family websites, and economic feeds.

If the only two websites that you check regularly are mine, you can still use google reader for
http://picasaweb.google.com/malcolmgold/ and http://mcmdgold.blogspot.com/. But more than likely you have a few others that you check also, the more you check the more this saves on time.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was awesome, busy, and everywhich direction. We were able to see all four sides of the extended family, introducing Danielle to them all.

We left Wednesday morning at 5 am with Wilmar, MN our final destination to spend the night with my aunt and uncle and their family. Along the way we stopped at Como Zoo for a Michaela break and stretch. After the Twin Cities but before Wilmar we stopped in Paynesville to visit Dan and Renee and see their new house.

We then drove to Brookings, SD on Thursday, having Thanksgiving/Christmas with the Gackstetter family. I always look forward to this get together, as it often the only time we see this side of the family all year.


On Friday we headed back to Motley, MN for Thanksgiving/Christmas with the Gold family. Saturday the Swecker family came over in the morning for rolls and a few games of cards. Later that afternoon we headed to Wadena, MN where we stayed until Sunday for a Kallevig family get together to celebrate Great Grandma Eleanor's 90th birthday.

While we were getting ready to leave, John/Linda suggested leaving Michaela with the Grandparents for the week. Christine and I were extremely surprised, as this was the first offer which we thought to be legit and realistic. Most times we got the "leave her here for a month" comment. Anyways, long story short Michaela is in Minnesota for the week. We miss her greatly, but know that the Grandparents and Michaela enjoy the time together as well.

1300 miles later we are back home in Madison and were asleep before 11 Sunday night.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Toys

Christmas came early for Christine and I, as we continued to feed our digital photography addiction by making a couple of purchases recently. We indulged ourselves with a new-old lens for birding, a Nikon 300mm f4. The lens is new to us, but actually appears to be quite used and is also fairly old.



We also have be contemplating upgrading cameras. We found a used Nikon D300 for what we considered a reasonable price and just got it in the mail this weekend. While the camera itself is not much bigger than our old one, the extra battery grip makes it appear massive in comparison.



A quicker lens came with it, and so far we have had mixed results. The sharpness of the pictures look good. It is hard to tell though if it is the lens or the camera without further use. In addition we need to figure out the best camera settings to minimize post processing time on the computer.



We would much rather spend time on the computer talking to family than editing pictures. Today we were able to talk to Grandpa and Grandma as well as Uncle Steve and Aunt Aubrey. It is nice to be able to see them while talking, even though Michaela gets camera shy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cool Weather

It has been awhile since I have posted...Malcolm has done great, but I have just not gotten on here so I thought I would post a few thoughts.

As the weather is getting colder, I have been finding it harder to feel motivated to go and do things with the girls, so we stay inside and play, getting out a few times a week to go to playgroups or some shopping. Though partly it seems as though the day goes so quickly as Michaela has been FIGHTING her naps and bedtime ever since the time change. Taking upwards of 3 hours but most of the time just over an hour to go to sleep. Yesterday she took two hours to go down for her nap and stayed up til 10pm in her bedroom before Malcolm finally convinced her to fall asleep. I think she has just learned that she can control things like turning on the lights or deciding to stay awake and hasn't realized the reprecussions of being tired the next day. Anyhow (whew, had to get that ranting off my chest!), like I said when you spend a good portion of the day convincing your daughter to go to sleep and it gets dark at 5pm, it just seems like there is no day left. Does anyone else get depressed with the shortened daylight?

Luckily, the past few days Danielle has been smiling and as of last night laughing, which helps brighten the day :) Danielle is getting sooo big, she is already in 3-6 mo clothes and her sleepers fit perfectly, not too big like they usually are for the first month. Danielle's favorite things are eating and sleeping, but she does enjoy the occasional smile time and baby talk. Michaela's favorite things currently are helping to cook, Pooh bear and Tigger, and dumping liquids from one container to another...though she is not very good at it and most of it spills :) She'll get it soon though :)

I tell you, though, it is so hard for me to get pictures of both the girls, but here is one from a week ago:


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tranquility

For those of you that don't know, I am on the Job Market this year. This means that I am working harder than I would prefer and get to worry about job application materials, interviews, and future prospects more than normal. I am not going to blog about this as it is still early and I really don't know much yet, but I did want to describe my current state of mind so that you fully can appreciate what follows.

Danielle is at the age where a little bit of my attention is returned more than ten fold. My smiles, eye contact, and talking to Danielle is almost always returned with her cooing, smiling, and a look of complete appreciation. In those brief moments I completely forget about my worries, commitments, and other everyday tasks. It is so awesome feeling this natural boost and euphoria as a parent, giving me a general appreciation of life, and reminding me of three beautiful women in my life.

A day of Firsts

Today was the first time ever seeing a whitetail buck from our apartment. We have been in the same apartment complex since moving to Madison and overlook the Wisconsin DNR Fish Hatchery land. There is a small group of does that winter and live there year round, but no bucks until today. I only got a quick glimpse of the buck, as he was in hot pursuit of a doe running away from him. No doubt he was at least an eight pointer, as I saw three tines on his right side. His rack was fairly tall and beyond the ears, an impressive buck to see. (No this is not a picture of today, but the buck was similar in size.)

Another first today was Chuck E. Cheese's! We took the girls there this afternoon for pizza and a few games. No pizza for Danielle yet! Michaela liked sitting in the small cars and trucks until they started moving. She did try a handful of rides, although she was a bit worried while they were moving. Christine and I played more games than Michaela, although Michaela did help press buttons regardless of what game it was.
, but once they started

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Uncle Steve & Aunt Steve

This past weekend we were able to spend time in Wisconsin Dells with Uncle Steve and Aunt Aubrey. However, Michaela has troubles saying Aubrey's name and soon Michaela was saying Steve for both of them. Michaela has continued this back in Madison, looking at pictures of Aubrey or Steve she calls out Steve. (Sorry Aubrey, guess I passed that along to her.)

It was the first chance for both of them to meet Danielle as well, and I think everyone is more laid back with the second kid than with the first. Need evidence, look at the blackmail material on Aunt Aubrey below.

We got back to Madison with Uncle Steve's goggles. Michaela kindly modeled them and counted for me. Realistically it was the only way I got her to do something with her hands other than pull the goggles off. By the way, do you want your goggles back?

I am working on getting more job applications out. I am trusting that I will be able to complete everything in the coming months, first obtaining a job and secondly completing and defending my dissertation. Some days I am more worried about it than others, but at this point what does worrying actually get me?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fall Fun


Since I haven't posted in quite awhile I thought I would do a little update, just over a week ago Danielle had her 2 month check up and was a whopping 12 lbs 3 oz in the 90th percentile! Good Job Danielle :)

This past weekend we drove up to Wisconsin Dells to spend time with Aubrey and Steven who flew in from Oregon and Grandpa & Grandma who drove down as well. We stayed in a very nice condo at a large hotel that had a really nice indoor waterpark. Michaela had a blast spending time with everyone and swimming as well. (I don't think I have climbed that many stairs in a very long time!) The colors were beautiful and I got a chance to go for a walk with Malcolm and take some scenic pictures without the kids, what a treat it was.



Michaela has been missing everyone a ton and has proceeded to have meltdowns throughout the day over little things like putting on pants...and my only guess is that since she has no way of communicating that she is sad that everyone left she just acts out by throwing tantrums. Oh well, part of growing up I guess.


Overall, it has been a wonderful fall and I am enjoying the last of the *warm* weather as I hope everyone else is as well.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

2 Months Old!


Wow, does time fly...Danielle is already two months old today. I didn't get really great pictures today, but I thought I would upload and post to commemorate the day :) Danielle is (as Malcolm said) smiling a tons and I really get bummed that I don't get to hang around all day with her and talk to her and smile with her. Instead she gets hauled around to this place and that and we are always on the go. It is so different from when we had Michaela, it will be interesting to see how that affects her as she grows older.

I did have to make a quick note of yesterday...I tried my hand at 'phishing' when I went with the girls to Lake Farm park and I was so excited when I had a Golden-Crowned Kinglet, some sort of warbler (Malcolm wasn't there to ID it for me) and some chickadees all within 5 feet of me, checking me out. It was awesome. I am sure people thought I was strange making that sound but who cares when I get birds that close to me...even Michaela was excited to see the warbler that close.


This past weekend Grandma Cindy came to visit and it was so nice to have someone to watch the girls while I did a few errands, got my hair cut and just enjoyed not having to continually keep them busy. We got a chance to talk and I had some conversations with someone other than a two-year old. You don't know how much you miss that until you don't have it :) Michaela LOVED having Grandma there and painted a pumpkin and got to go the park with her and was so very sad when Grandma started packing her bag to go home. So, anyhow THANKYOU Grandma Cindy for all your help!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nice to be back home

I was able to go duck hunting with Chandler, Dad, Matt, and Nick in North Dakota this past weekend. I appreciated being able to ride the train from Madison to Fargo rather than drive the 500 miles, even if I did not sleep very well on it. The ducks were not very abundant, but everyone got shooting and I know that I had fun. Nick was the only one that filled his waders this trip, but he had dry clothes to put on at least. We split wood, shot at ducks, played some cards, and hopefully made good memories.

As much as I enjoyed the hunting trip itself, the best part about it for me was that four days away from home reminded of how great I have it. Being away from Christine for just a few days is a great way for me to realize how lucky I am to have her as my wife. The girls are at the age where three four days can seem like an eternity, I think that they changed in the time I was gone.

Michaela decided to turn the night-light on last night after reading our bedtime story. I am a bit worried that she will not sleep as well with it on, but that is only based on last night of her talking and reading in her room at 1:30am. Rather than snuggling and going back to bed she wanted a clean diaper and to stay up...oh well.

Danielle is smiling so often it is awesome. As many of you noted on Danielle's first smiling post, it may have been gas at first but now she is cooing and smiling back at us regularly. Unfortunately Danielle also has the explosive diapers right now, but it is still great being home.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Mind of a Two-Year Old

Well, I am on my own tonight with Michaela sick and myself coming down with a cold as well. Malcolm is on his way via train to his annual duck-hunting trip and I hope the weather is great for everyone (whatever the ideal duck hunting weather is :) ) Anyhow, since I have the night to myself and I have a minute I thought I would share the thoughts of Michaela. I get such a kick out of her sometimes, I think God gives us these moments to help us handle the less than perfect other times!

Yesterday Malcolm and I went on a walk to the University Gardens and I looked over to see Michaela extremely interested in a flower, she smelled it touched and eventually pulled a petal off. As it fell to the ground she realized that she had 'broken' it and thought she should try to fix it (before anyone noticed, no doubt!) Anyhow, she proceeded to pick it up and tried to put it back on the flower, she tried a few times and then promptly left the flower and fled the scene of the crime not knowing Mommy had already seen it all :) I love the way her mind works.

Today she also put her pretending to a new level. I told Michaela that Danielle was going potty and she quickly left the room and came back with a wipe (for diaper changing) and first wiped her teddy bear, then her duck slippers, then her rhinoceros doll and lastly Danielle. Then she went and got another wipe and a diaper and proceeded to try and put a diaper on the rhinoceros, she did fairly well considering she couldn't get the tabs undone. Then brought the diaper to me to change Danielle...too bad she brought me her size diapers instead of Danielles, oh well it is the thought that counts. I am amazed at how much she remembers and is able to do things that she watches us do every day. She is a little sponge!

Gramma Gold is coming tomorrow and I know that we will have a blast, Michaela is always excited to talk to her and Gramma Kallevig and I know she misses them. It will help ease the pain of no daddy for the weekend. I am quite worried about tonight as Michaela always wants her dad when she wakes up at night (she has been doing really good, but when she is sick she wakes up at least a few times a night). I hope Danielle happens to be sleeping when Michaela wakes up or I will have my hands full.

Here are a couple pics of Michaela and her picking the flower and trying to put the petal back on.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Art of Phishing



Yesterday Malcolm and I went for our usual walk birding with the girls and Malcolm decided to try his hand at the 'art of phishing'. For those of you who do not know what that is; it is basically making imitating sounds of birds to 'lure' them closer. There are certain calls that are universal to the bird kingdom that alert birds to either come and help or at least come and look at what is going on. So, Malcolm spotted a group of Kinglets and Chickadees and worked his magic...he soon had 20 or more little birds in the tree right above him...looking him right in the eye! It was very exciting. I hope he will write a blog soon about it as it was very cool and he definately unterstands it better than I do. (Thank you Grandma Kallevig for the book :) )

Michaela is growing so fast and yesterday she tackled climbing all by herself on one of they toys on the playground, but I have yet to get a picture as I am too nervous yet that she will fall :} Danielle has enjoyed the last few outings being fully awake and watching everything, which is great as she usually has slept in the past, which is easier for us, but I like knowing she is starting to experience the world.

This morning we went to the zoo together and Michaela was Daddy's girl all day showing him stuff and Malcolm telling her all about the animals. I know she really enjoys getting him all to herself. Anyhow, thought I would post a couple pics of us from yesterday and today.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ooops! ...

So what does an almost two-year old do when they mess up (i.e. spill some juice, break something or some other 'oops') they first try to hide it...I have found things in the trash that Michaela has ripped by accident and come in to find her 'wiping' up a spill with a piece of clothing which then goes in the trash many a times, but tonight was new...

I was in the kitchen when I hear Michaela coming in 'crying' (it was really her fake crying but she was distressed nonetheless). I asked her what happened and she lifted her shirt to show me a newly permanent-markered bellybutton. For those of you who don't know, Michaela LOVES her bellybutton and almost everything has been poked or shoved in there at some point :) She must have realized after playing with the marker that it had actually colored her belly button and she had not planned on that and came to me for help. Unfortunately, being the mean mommy that I am, I immediately ran around the house trying to find the marker and what else she had markered with permanent marker, luckily it looked as though she started with her belly button and not the furniture. At this point I return to Michaela and decide I should take a picture of her to keep the memory except this only fueled her distress. Once she realized she had done something warranting a picture, she was embarassed and refused to let me see it anymore, let alone touch it. The rest of the night she went into bouts of screaming due to her newly decorated bellybutton and when I had to remove her shirt because she spilled juice on it...she screamed for like 5 minutes straight. When daddy got home she was in the bath with TWO washclothes clutched tightly in her hands covering her bellybutton and cried when we showed him. So, both of us spent the night telling her it was okay and that we loved her, but I don't think it mattered yet.

So, what does an almost two-year old do when they can't cover up there mistakes? ... Scream and cry. Poor thing, I felt so bad for her though I couldn't help laughing a little. It is a good thing she doesn't know that I am posting her new OOOPS to the world.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Smiles


Danielle is smiling a bit, although I am not sure if it is actually for us or if it is just a new movement regardless of the circumstances. Last night she smiled at me four times and then again tonight once. We don't have a picture of it yet, but here is a smirk at least.

Bundles of Joy and Headache


Christine and I had our hands full this weekend. It seemed like we were overwhelmed by both kids whenever in the car. Danielle does not ride extremely well in the car, and often is fussing before falling asleep. Her fussing causes Michaela to scream and talk louder than she normally does......and both of these lead to us getting huge headaches. The good part is that they usually stop being so loud when we get out of the car!!!

The weather was great on Saturday and we spent time outside, going birding a couple of times. The highlight was a close encounter with a immature red-tailed hawk. Even Michaela enjoyed watching him as he landed between Christine and myself. We also went to an estate auction, which may seem like not much but when you take two kids it can be quite the ordeal. How did everyone do it...how does Christine do it???

Danielle is getting stronger and is staying up longer. After sleeping most of the first months away, she is having periods awake where she will just stare at us and squirm. Michaela has done so well with the toddler bed. Even though she woke up twice last night, she went right back to bed and snuggled with her blankets and pillows. It is so nice to be able to go in to her bedroom, calm her and leave before she is completely asleep. One downfall of me leaving that quickly, is that she does wake up occasionally on the floor.

Friday, October 3, 2008

6 Weeks Old




Danielle is 6 weeks old today and we now have confirmation to our feeling that Danielle is bigger than Michaela was at her age. The 'unofficial' weight was 11 lbs but that was with her clothes on so I figure she is about 10 lbs 8 oz or so. Michaela was 10 lbs 3 oz at 2 months of age.

Things are still going well and we try to get out a few times each day while the weather is still nice...winter is coming! Yesterday, we went out to the park with friends Ben & Rachel and their two daughters Haven & Rory to grill. Michaela had a blast with Haven running around and chasing her and playing in the leaves. It will probably be the last time we grill out and as it was already quite cold out last night.

I thought I would also post a couple pictures of Danielle from today so you all could see how she is growing!

Monday, September 29, 2008

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there ....

I was able to take a break yesterday from working on Job Market stuff, so Christine and I did what we usually do....we went for a walk and looked for birds. We went to one of our normal jaunts, Nine Springs E-way and found that there was a Madison Audubon Society event going on. It was nice to see other birders out and about. Most of them commented on us going birding with two little ones...little do they know. Talking with them is a reminder that you do not have to see rare birds for it to be a success, but seeing something does make it better. We did get many photo opportunities, but I did get a very up close look at a Marsh Wren and a American Woodcock. It was the first Marsh Wren that I could positively identify in the field, so in that sense it was a great walk.

Now to the title....while we were walking we happened to be in the right spot at the right time to witness a squirrel falling 20 feet out of a tree. A squirrel was chasing another, but must have missed a branch on the leap between trees. Christine and I were both completely shocked and questioned what we just saw. The little guy was a bit slower getting back into the tree to look at us afterwards. Hmm, I guess everyone makes mistakes even if it is at something you are good at.

Anyways, on to the kids’ updates since I know that is what everyone is really hoping for. Danielle's head control is improving quickly. While it is still a bit shaky, she will pick up her head to look at you while on her belly. We may are enabling another kid to have sleeping problems, Danielle will grunt and groan until Christine brings her from the bassinet into bed with us. Christine's smell is enough to put Danielle back to sleep.

Michaela is still struggling with words, but is trying to repeat things back to us. Out for a walk she took to Catbird, and repeatedly tried to tell us it was one whenever she heard any bird in the bush. While Michaela still enjoys watching birds fly (luckily there were large flocks of redwing blackbirds, geese, and sandhill cranes), she is more intrigued by airplanes flying overhead.

Monday, September 22, 2008

One Month!

Danielle is 1 month old today...it is amazing how fast the time has went and how much she is changing and well, our lives as well. I was thinking today when we were out as to how blessed we are to have TWO beautiful healthy daughters; I am such a lucky mom.

Danielle is getting bigger, she won't have her next appointment until next month but I know she is doing well. She is getting so much more head control and I am shocked at how often she smiles, though not as a reaction to us, she just seems to smile alot....maybe it just means she is happy :) Danielle is still as talkative as always, a few days ago Malcolm carried both Danielle and Michaela in slings while I got to take pictures and Danielle 'grunted' and 'squeaked' the whole walk which was over an hour.

The thing I do miss though with having two kids though is the time to just hang out on the floor and cuddle and take pictures. We still do it during Michaela's naptime or after she goes to bed, but it is not the same as with Michaela. I sometimes feel like she is getting 'jipped' and is just carried along everywhere and is sometimes left to cry longer or whatever. It is just so different with two kids...I know you mothers out there are saying I've got it easy with only a newborn and one toddler, but it is still new to me and feel bad about it sometimes.

Anyhow, we are blessed and so happy to have our daughters I thought I would get a new post marking Danielle's one month old day and post a picture from today.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Michaela Day!

From Blogger Pictures
I have been enjoying Michaela very much the past few days and I thought I would share a couple of her smiles. Yesterday we all went to a local apple orchard where we also picked some raspberries and Michaela had a blast picking raspberries and eating them and she also stole a couple from the basket when dad wasn't looking :)
From Blogger Pictures
Today was also great because she woke up happy and we just hung out the 3 of us girls, went to the park and enjoyed being together. I am so lucky to be a mom and it is days like today when you choose to look at the good rather than the bad and you are so much happier because of it. If only I could do it everyday.
From Blogger Pictures
Hope you enjoy these few pictures that really made me smile and to let you see Michaela the way I think of her. (I am sure I will soon have a Danielle day as well!)
From Blogger Pictures

Friday, September 12, 2008

3 weeks old!!



Wow, I found myself telling someone that Danielle was 2 weeks old (that is what I had been saying for the last few days) and I realized, hey she is 3 weeks old now! The time has flown by, as it usually does when you are counting weeks instead of months :)

Danielle is sleeping okay but Michaela is testing her limits with her new found freedom of the toddler bed; but she is still on my good side as after she came home from Grandma's and Grandpa's she began for the first time calling me anything other than 'Dada' which Dad is as well. I now have my very own name 'Vava' ... I guess she can't make the 'm' sound yet, but it sounds awesome to me anyhow!!

I am uploading a couple pictures of Danielle that I took tonight to mark her 3 week age. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Aargh!!!

So .........we only thought Michaela was doing well transitioning to her toddler bed. Yesterday she spent over an hour crying and getting out of her bed, instead talking and playing at her nap time. Then last night, she took longer than normal to fall asleep (which is not that big of a deal at just over half an hour), but then she woke up around midnight. It was the first time that she asked for Me when she woke up rather than crying, which should have been a clue.

After trying everything I could think of to get Michaela back to sleep, I gave in and grabbed a pillow to sleep on the floor with her. That worked for about half an hour, then she decided to play and crawl over me. I tried what usually works again and sang way too many verses of American Pie with my hand next to her in bed. My body was shot and was shutting down, I gave up and Christine took over around 4:45. Christine was victorious in getting Michaela to sleep, but only after going in 4 times and putting her back in bed. This was Michaela's worse night since the night before Danielle was born.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Change

During Danielle's first two weeks we were either without Michaela or had family visiting to help with Michaela. The past two days Christine has taken care of both kids alone. She has done extremely well with them, amidst all her worries and concerns. She has already found out there will times that both of them are crying, and has tried to keep Michaela's curiousity satisfied by being busy and doing stuff during the day.

The other major change this past week has been Michaela's transition to a toddler bed, which has gone better than expected. Just like she did with the crib Michaela has started to cry while going to sleep. Having no side has been different for her also, but she has only fallen out a couple of times. She has slept through the night more often then not this past week. This of course is very nice for me, as I get Michaela duty during the night with Christine taking care of Danielle. We think that Michaela has taken to the bed more than the crib, as now she has a choice to get out if she wants to. (Realistically we don't know why though.)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Getting Bigger

Danielle had her 2 week well-baby check yesterday and it went very well. She put on almost 1 lb in 9 days...YEAH, Danielle! She is now 7 lbs 7 1/2 oz.

Last night was the worst yet for Danielle, she spent the whole night uncomfortable and making her grunting noises as usual so not much sleep for mom or dad. Thankfully we got to sleep in as this was the last night without Michaela...she is coming home today!! I am so excited and have been missing her terribly.

We took down Michaela's crib last night and put in a toddler bed for her to try when she comes home. I think we are in for quite a few sleepless nights ahead of us and I am quite worried about it but am hopeful this will help her sleep better in the future. Our little baby is becoming a toddler :}

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Nightime Noises

video

Christine and I enjoyed a movie last night with the sound turned up for the first time since Michaela was born. Usually we are doing something during the day and only watch movies at night, which leads us to have the sound down and subtitles on. Last night though we put the audio through the receiver and speakers and watched "21". Danielle slept through most of it, but heck she sleeps through most everything.

Danielle also loves to talk already. She is constantly cooing and grunting. The first week we had almost none of this and it made for nice quiet nights. With Danielle in a bassinet in our bedroom, her sounds are making it harder to sleep soundly through the night.

Today on the way to school I got into my first accident while riding bike into campus. Another biker was listening to music with headphones and staring down rather than looking ahead and did not hear my warning call to him. He was riding down the wrong side of the sidewalk, and never looked until he could see my wheels while staring straight down. His face was in total shock to say the least, and swerved at the last minute avoiding a head on collision. If I would have thought this could have happened I would have slowed down, but instead I was still riding about as fast as my slow legs take me. I avoided the head on with him, but took the grass, hit a rock and took a spill. Not really much worse for the wear after getting the chain unlocked, a few grass stains and scratches and a couple extra minutes on the commute in this morning. To make things worse (well not really, just different) today is the first day of class at UW Madison. This semester I will actually be taking a class (Medical Ethics) as it is a requirement for the traineeship I am now on. Campus is busier, there are more bikers around, and the huge masses of students walking around between class are back.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Missing Michaela

Dan and Linda brought Michaela back to Minnesota for the week on Wednesday. The quieter and peaceful house of only having a newborn at home is nice, but we are missing Michaela. She's only been gone a couple of days but the emotions have already ranged from sadness, guilt, and regret to calmness, joy, and thankfulness.

Malcolm edited the last pictures we took before Danielle was born last night, and we were both reminded of Michaela. She finally decided that it was alright to go down slides by herself again. Malcolm pushed her down the slide by herself much to her dismay and fear.


(For the last four months she had always wanted to go down the slide with Malcolm or myself, even though she had figured out how to scoot herself down a slide alone.) However, after the short and gradual slide in which she remained in complete control, she was happy and proud of what she had done. A few more times down that smaller slide that day and she was primed for what was to come.

Two days later Danielle was born and everyone in Madison got visitors. While visiting, Grandpa Dan took Michaela to the park across the street to the bigger and larger slides. After an initial fear of not wanting to go down the slides again, Michaela decided to conquer them all on her own.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Bath


Last night Christine gave Danielle a sponge bath. It was the loudest that she has cried since coming back from the hospital and the newborn screen's foot prick. Some of the newborn baby smell got washed away, but it was time. I thought about helping, but instead just took pictures.

We noticed that Danielle's belly button was loose last night before the bath. We were pleasantly surprised this morning to find that it fell during the night, which is a great even as neither Christine nor I care for that smell.

Michaela went to Minnesota with Dan and Linda, splitting the next week between the Kallevig Grandparents and the Gold Grandparents. She will come back to Madison with Grandma Cindy on Wednesday. Christine and I miss her greatly, but already have appreciated the quietness of having only a newborn at home.