Monday, August 31, 2009

First weekend in Marshfield by ourselves

Two weeks after moving and of course we are not settled in yet. Christine has done a wonderful job unpacking, but we have to much stuff to be completely unpacked.

I finally finished the deck yesterday, after way too many trips to Menards to get a drill bit extension. (It is surprising how many of the extensions are actually bigger than the 3/8" diameter whole I was drilling.) We tried out a church that happened to be in the middle of ministry week, no sermon at all...hmmm...we will have to go back again to get a sense of what a service is like in general. We also found a place to walk and bird, the McMillan Marsh Wildlife Refuge is just north of town. Not much for birds this time of year, but it was nice to get out for a couple hour walk and pick a handful of blackberries.

The girls were fairly well behaved but we have a few issues to address with Michaela. When we are outside she likes to go around the garage; which entails entering the back garage door, running through the garage and around the outside back to the deck. For the time being it is too scary letting her out of our sight while she is running, the road is very close.

Michaela does not mind time-outs anymore, so we have moved to the draconian measure of losing a bedtime story when she misbehaves. Two days and only one story so far, which is not good considering she starts with two a day. I think she has missed the idea of gaining extra books by being good.

The girls are still enjoying their play room, finding toys and other entertaining items (mostly bathroom stuff) spread out in the room.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Settling In

I just felt like writing a quick post to let you know that we are back from a quick trip to Minnesota last weekend for my parents 40th Anniversary...congratulations mom and dad! And though we were hoping to see a new baby too, Dan & Renee's little girl decided to wait a couple of days after we left, but CONGRATULATIONS Dan & Renee on having a healthy, beautiful girl, we can't wait to meet her!

After a still long, but much shorter trip home, we are back and getting into the swing of things here in Marshfield. I have slowed down on unpacking, though we have gotten the majority of stuff unpacked we still have things that need to be organized...too small of clothes, books, movies and bathroom stuff. For whatever reason I can't get my head wrapped around how to organize our bathrooms, with no medicine cabinet in either bathroom and only a narrow, deep closet upstairs (no storage downstairs, where all our rooms are)how do I fit everything in where it is still usable. Oh, the hardships of new home ownership...I know you are all laughing and rolling your eyes, Malcolm included :)

Lastly, I have become spoiled, I am already missing having family here. Anyone want to come for a quick weekend?? Aubrey, how about you, you still have a couple of weeks, right? Just kidding! Anyways, missing everyone and hope you all have wonderful weekends.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Move to Marshfield

Two weekends ago we were blessed with an plethora of family and friends who helped us move from Madison to Marshfield AND build a deck on our Marshfield house. Mom, Matt, Chandler, and Nick were at our apartment door Friday morning at 9 am to help load the U-Haul truck. Three hours later we had much of the apartment empty; leaving only a few odds and ends to pack with a bit of cleaning after lunch at the golf course to say goodbye.

Matt stopped at the Madison Menards to pick up a few deck supplies the Marshfield Menards called to inform us that they did not have, calling us only after realizing upon delivery that morning they were short on the order placed two weeks earlier. Nick and Chandler drove my Jeep to Marshfield and were happy to get out of it upon arrival, as the Jeep has no AC, no cruise, no radio and only one CD, and the electric windows only work sometimes. I drove the biggest U-Haul truck we could rent, which was close to 34.5 feet in total length, felt like an apartment on wheels, and scared the crap out of me on the freeway. All the girls rode together and the four different vehicles arrived within an hour of each other in Marshfield. Paul welcomed us and with Pizza and Wings for supper and helped unload. A few hours later the truck was empty and out of the driveway. Dad, Gary and Chris arrived around 10 pm Friday night; the crew had assembled for the deck the next morning!

Saturday morning Paul and Matt picked up a Bobcat with a dirt auger attachment. Dad inside the Bobcat made short work of the the four foot holes for each of the eight 4x4 deck posts. Gary brought all the necessary tools for the deck and with all the helpful hands we made good progress throughout the day. We started the railings before dark but had the stairs remaining to finish the next day. Grandpa and Grandma Swecker and Caroline arrived around noon on Saturday. We ate well, played a bit of cards, and my immediate family thoroughly enjoyed the extended families company. Michaela and Danielle especially loved the attention and extra stroller rides from their great aunts. Matt headed back to North Dakota on Saturday, having been an awesome help with moving and the start of the deck. The Trout boys and Matt carried many heavy loads with all of our stuff.

Sunday morning we had a bit of rain. Cards in the morning before getting to the deck as I needed to go get a tarp and rope to help everyone stay dry. The sky lightened and cleared up late morning. Three hours of work and the deck was completed as far as possible. We are short two pieces to finish the one section of railing. The extra help was great inside as well. Boxed items for the kitchen, playroom and office were put into place. Mid-afternoon everyone packed up and headed back to Minnesota. We love the deck and the help was greatly appreciated, I'm not sure how long it would have taken us to do it alone or if it would have even been possible.

Pictures from that same weekend, but not related to moving or deck activities, as well as a few others can be found in the link below. Once at the main list of albums click on "8/24/09". After a few weeks I will move these pictures to other archival folders.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Danielle!

Today is Danielle's first birthday! Oh, how the time has flown. We have spent the weekend at my parents cabin north of Park Rapids after surprising them by showing up to celebrate their anniversary and today Auntie Lisa came through providing presents and I made a cake for Danielle.

Elizabeth and Michaela have had loads of fun together and spending time with Grandma and Grandpa. They went for golf cart rides, (which turned into a 1/2 mile walk after the golf cart died!) and swam in the lake and went for a pontoon ride and just danced and sang with their dancing dresses on all day :)Family is so special and much appreciated.

Danielle had ideas of her own for her birthday cake...she was very tired and first Grandpa tried to convince her to try her birthday cake which resulted in tears and then when I tried to convince her to try it, she finally stuck her finger only to shove it in my face. The next few minutes were filled with Danielle progressively grabbing more and more cake/frosting and putting in my mouth and face and it turned into a bad flashback of our wedding, only I was the only one get covered! Even Michaela joined in by feeding me too. So, though I hate to have pictures of myself up, I had to share Danielle's idea of eating birthday cake. I was glad that she finally did eat some of the cake and seemed to enjoy it...lemon/blueberry was a hit :)

Hope you all enjoy the pictures, I just wanted to have a blog to commemorate Danielle's special day and share with all of our loved ones.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Personality Part 2

Eventually I will get to the deck and the move...I promise. We do have a home phone now, it is (715) 384-9573.

Michaela has started to pick up and mimic the way we talk to each other. While at Menards a couple of days ago Christine and the girls were waiting in line to checkout while I wandered off to look at tools again (a guy can dream can't he). Christine was unsure to what I was doing and innocently asked "Malcolm, am I checking out?" Not at all funny or noteworthy by itself, but Michaela's immediate reaction caught me off-guard. Michaela let go of Christine's hand and ran down the isle after me yelling "Malcolm, Malcolm, Malcolm....." and did not stop until I turned around and picked her up. I got quite the looks from other families, as Michaela kept informing me that I was not her daddy but rather Malcolm.

Fast forward a couple of days and we found ourselves at Menards again, this time looking at grills. Neither of the girls have been feeling well and Michaela decided at 6:30 to catch a catnap in the big green car-cart. (Those extra long carts with the plastic car on front.) Christine first noticed it and pointed out Michaela's state to me. I bent down low and asked Michaela if she would like to get out of the cart and walk. "DON'T LOOK AT ME!," was Michaela's response. Even after returning home Michaela continued to tell me the same thing, even adding that I should look at Mommy instead. Luckily that ended at story time.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Address

We successfully moved on Friday, with our new mailing address as follows.

Malcolm & Christine Gold
707 N. Weber Ave.
Marshfield, WI 54449

We have not decided whether we will set up a home phone and Christine's cell will be activated next week. We do not have internet at the house yet, and for the time being we can only be reached on my cell (608) 807-6086.


While a post about moving, workers comp, a deck, new address and the generous help we received would very likely be more timely, I briefly digress a week earlier to share pictures and accounts of our daughters.

Michaela and Danielle 'appear' to enjoy each other's company most of the time. When they are both in a good mood they often end up in a giggle/shouting fest. They take turns shouting and squealing at each other, only stopping to giggle at their own actions before repeating. This is all fun and games until we get in the car, then it turns into a headache.

Michaela has been a ham in front of the camera for quite a while, smiling for the camera and giving us many different faces. Danielle's personality has begun to show as well, with similar facial contortions as Michaela. Both of the girls like to snuggle and get carried, which I am happy to oblige most times. When Danielle wants you to pick her up she will throw her belly forward, head back, squint her eyes, and reach her arms right at you.

Last week on Tuesday before the move we spent the evening with Jason, Denise, and Austin. It is wonderful to spend time with them but frustrating that we a better effort to get together more frequently. We brought the camera equipment with and took some pictures of Austin.

Michaela found my old film camera and really enjoys playing with it. While outside I asked her to take pictures of the rocks while I took her picture. She did it! Next I asked her to say cheese and let me take her picture, to which she responded with "Say Cheese" and she took my picture.

Danielle of course is interested in anything that we have. Last night it was the pen I was using to write notes, but at Jason and Denise's place it was the flashes. I was setting the two flashes for off camera use on Austin but Danielle had other plans, accidental pictures of kids that turn out are great.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Where does the time go

Another week and I realize even the changes and memorable moments in our life I have not shared them on the blog. I'll try not to make a habit of lists, but I really should be formatting the rest of my dissertation instead of this right and need to keep it short.

1. Michaela to bed by herself!! She woke up at 6 Saturday morning asking for daddy, but I was already at school (results were not as robust as I had hoped). Michaela crawled into bed with Christine and Danielle, a rare event in itself. Danielle was too noisy, grunting in her restlessness which bothered Michaela. Christine offered up a suggestion, "Since you are tired, grab your blanket and go lay down in your bed." To Christine's amazement Michaela did just that and slept until 8:30.

2. Danielle is a climbing fool without any fear. Give her the chance and she will climb anything. I found her on the top of the chest in Michaela's room this weekend, arriving there after climbing the small rocking chair first. She was begging for someone to come get her, because of course it is easier going up than it is coming back down.

3. We move on Friday. I'm sure Christine can tell you, with two kids around while you are trying to pack it feels like you have a ton of stuff. Hopefully it will all fit in one big truck, if not we can always get another load on Saturday. I am not sure if I can say thank-you enough to all the people who will be helping. We sold our D80, it served us well since Michaela's birth and we were happy to have the extra camera for Derek and Kali's wedding....but three cameras is at least one too many for our normal usage.

4. People of Nine Springs Golf course (Sam and Marie in particular) have brightened our life for the past six years while in Madison. On Saturday many of the regulars gathered for ice cream and cake in our honor and Christine and I were able to play a round together while Sherry watched the girls.

5. Writing an acknowledgement can improve your mood dramatically. I seemed to have forgotten many of my graduate study struggles while writing one for the dissertation.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009 defense is complete

I successfully defended this afternoon!!!!!

Reaction from the realist "Way to go dad!"

Caption from the pessimist "So how many revisions do you have to do?"

The list of revisions resulting from the defense is actually fairly short. I need to complete these revisions in order to get my advisor's signature so that I can deposit the dissertation, the last requirement to receive my degree. Depending on the third chapter's robustness of estimates the revisions may be as short as two footnotes and another table, of course it may include a rewrite if the estimated effects are different for the suggestions.

By the way, Michaela and Danielle are not actual pessimists and realists...those are my two personalities. I hope they both turn out to be optimists.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Week in review

I hope a list suffices for last week.

1. On Wednesday I finally finished drafts of my papers.

2. Later that day we went for a walk and Michaela posed a couple of times for Christine.

3. We used our Olbrich Gardens membership for the last time on Thursday, it expired at the end of the month. Not as many pictures of butterflies this time, but Michaela loves her ladybug boots!

4. We closed on the house Friday. Not any complications just an early drive. We cleaned the carpets and took some measurements. Even though the move is not for a couple of weeks I am already thankful for wonderful family! I hope all goes well with a deck and the move.

Michaela loved the new house, especially her big girl bed and the stairs. We picked up green sheets for her twin bed frame, and she already met two neighbor dogs.

5. On the way back to Madison on Saturday we stopped at Baxter's Hollow. I have not been out birding too often, once last weekend with Rich when he was in town but almost a month before that. The girls were going to sleep, but after Danielle woke up Christine had them both on. I had to take a picture of that. We did not see much but it was nice being outside.

6. Michaela's excitement from the new house might have turned into a fever. She was sick Saturday, culminating with an ugly night of medication and not much sleep. She felt much better Sunday and was much more normal.

On to this week....only a couple more and I might find my head which feels like it has been chopped off for a while.