Sunday, November 16, 2008


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


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.