Friday, April 28, 2006

Playing Together

Well, the boys officially played together yesterday. Okay, well maybe not "together," but they were on the carpet at the same time, playing with Ash's toys, so I think that counts! We dug up 4 rubbermaids filled with Gabriel's old toys yesterday and today. Gabe had fun taking a trip down memory lane, and Asher had fun chewing on all his "brand new" toys.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Odds'n Ends

So I've recently discovered the sheer joy of managing to get both boys down for a nap at the same time -- it's rather like getting flowers from your husband -- (pure heaven, and it doesn't happen very often) Sorry hubby of mine!! I know you're reading this and thinking "HEY!" (I love you!)
Anyway, I have both Asher and Gabriel down for a nap right now. After taking both boys to the park by the beach this afternoon and getting them good and tired with plenty of fresh air, they are both FINALLY pooped out. Granted, I only have a few minutes before I have to get ready for work, but a few minutes to call my own is still VERY hard to come by these days. I've noticed that that is one of the silent sacrifices of mothers -- heck, I barely noticed until I sat down and thought to myself -- when was the last time I had a chance to sit by myself and do whatever I wanted for an hour or two? It's been awhile!!
The other truth I've come to realize is that the best diet plans in the world ain't got nothing on motherhood!! For the past two days, I've been lucky if I can grab a piece of peanut butter toast (a favorite of mine) and a cup of coffee in the morning. Then, I keep the pot warm all afternoon, and down cups of caffein whenever I can -- 75 percent of the time, missing lunch completely in my rush to get the boys fed (Asher now eats a hearty lunch of rice cereal and formula, as well as bananas and sweet potatoes ... his FAVORITE). I'm at my pre-Ash weight, and wouldn't be surprised if I lost more at this rate. Hooray! That's one benefit of motherhood I guess I don't mind. My boys keep me hopping, that's for sure.
The photos were taken recently. The one of Ash in his saucer on the back porch was taken this weekend. He was hanging out while I planted some hydrangeas (sp?) in the garden. The one of Gabriel was taken today. He put half the container of bubbles into the bath while I was out of the room gathering laundry. So it was quite the bubbly bath.
Oh, and this humble reporter is not above admitting my shortcomings. As was reported late last night, the iconic legend Brett Favre is returning to Green Bay for yet another season. So I stand corrected. But hey, I'm a girl. There's my flimsy excuse right there. :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Park again

Well, we went to the park again today -- with Gabriel pushing Asher's stroller all the way! He was very proud of himself, and his "big muscles." It worked out well, because I was able to walk next to them with Roxy, who can still be a bit of a challenge as she is still somewhat a puppy and learning to walk nicely. These shots were taken at the park today as we played around in the grass and had some fun!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Nate's 30th Bash

Tonight we celebrated Nate's 30th birthday with a family dinner at Margaux in downtown Sheboygan. It was great because it was a complete surprise, and Nate had NO idea that I had planned it all! Yay! So we enjoyed a wonderful dinner and a couple bottles of really great Auslese! YUM. That's some seriously good German wine! The other photo was taken of the boys shortly before we left for dinner.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Paying in STINKS

So I've discovered that my new, least-favorite thing in the world is tax-time. We always used to get money back from good old Uncle Sam. Now, I've been dissed by him, and no longer feel like calling him "uncle." He's more like the brother's, wife's, x-boyfriend's illegitimate dog. Okay, it's really late at night, so I don't think that made any sense. Anyway! As I write this, Nathan is at home finishing our taxes. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we did indeed wait till the last minute to do our taxes this year. And pour quoi? (Amy, my French is rusty, did I spell that right?) Because, this is the first year we've EVER had to send a check to Uncle Sam, due to various freelancing projects in our household this year. Oh well, I know I should just suck it up and deal with it. And besides, we're deducting just about everything in our quest to bring that "amount owed" number further and further down. Question: if your baby poops on you while you're conducting a business transaction ... can you deduct the price of a new pair of pants? Or the price of diapers? Heh heh ... I wish! It's great fun discovering what you can deduct!! If any of you have any unusual deductions that you've heard of .... feel free to send them my way. We've got until Monday night baby, and we're using every minute of it!!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Easter Greetings

Mom and Dad Staude, thanks so much for the Easter cards this year! They were lovely! Asher sure enjoyed eating his!! :)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Rollin' Over

Well, for those of you who care to note Asher's record of firsts ... "Sooty" (as he is affectionately called at times, courtesy of Auntie Gretchen) rolled over onto his back for the first time last Saturday. I had just placed him on the carpet in the living room for some "tummy time" and "FLOOP!" over he went, onto his back ... five times in a row! I also like to think that he's learning my name. He mimics me when I say "mamamamamamam" now, and uses the sound whenever he's distressed or just wants my attention. (Like if I'm playing with Gabriel and he's getting antsy for my attention) Does he have any clue? Ah....probably not. :) But it's fun to think that he might!
As I sat here writing this, Ash rolled over from his back to his tummy, twice!! That's the first time he's done that! (From back to tummy)
On a separate note, I'll take guesses as to how much sleep I got last night ... this is a personal record! Okay, never mind, I'll just tell you. ONE HOUR. One hour of sleep ladies and gentlemen!! And that was somewhere around 6-7 a.m. YIKES. Gabriel came down with yet another double inner ear infection yesterday and it struck, just as I was getting home from work and crawling into bed around 1 a.m. Then for five hours straight, he was up about every 15 minutes, sobbing and crying. The tough part was, he woudln't tell us what was wrong, so we couldn't tell if he was just being ornery, or if something was really wrong. (He had a REALLY long nap yesterday, so we weren't sure if he had gotten his days and nights mixed up, and he wouldn't tell us if anything hurt.) What an ordeal! But we went to the doctor this morning and got him some meds, so we're all feeling a lot better. Or at least, we WILL feel better, once we get some sleep tonight!!!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

First Spring Bonfire

One of our favorite features of our "new" home is the fire pit in the backyard. Today we made use of it, burning off our twigs and other accumulated winter brush in our first bonfire of the season. Even Asher made an appearance, stuffed into his fleecy winter "sack." Gabe topped off the event by cooking his dinner, a hotdog, over the open flame and then ate it while outside in the breezy cold evening. (He told me today that he wants to be a cowboy when he grows up. So I guess this is good practice for that!) We sure are enjoying our extra hour of daylight here on the northern side of the good old US of A. It may only be in the 40s outside, but hey ... it's 6:30 p.m. and the sun is still shining! Life is good! Here are some shots of us outside, taken about an hour ago. The one of Ash in his chair, munching on his giraffe toy, was taken about five minutes ago.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Brett Almighty

Okay, so tonight I feel the need to sound off on a touchy subject for Wisconsinites everywhere. Will Brett Favre retire? Now, in my mind, the question really is, why the heck do we all care so much, and also ... why is he keeping everyone in such suspense? Now, I know I'm a girl, and therefore, hardly an expert, but bear with me here. Across Wisconsin, as we "speak," newspapers everywhere are building special sections to be inserted into their papers, or published separately, as soon as the almighty Farve makes his momentous decision. I know because my newspaper is one of them. There is such a fuss and ballyhoo over this, it far surpasses the fuss we made over the Pope's death over a year ago. And I find that amazing.
Now I have learned to have quite a lot of repsect for Mr. Favre since moving to this wonderful state of cheese and brats, and he deserves all of the fanfair he gets, I'm sure. But I have to agree with our sports department when you size up the situation here: There's a new coach, it's going to be a rebuilding year and the Packers aren't doing anything to add any strength to their team. So why the heck WOULD Favre come back??
Now, as I said, I'm certainly not a football expert (FAR from it!!) but I will say, I've lost respect for Favre, for dragging his grand announcement out this long. It's gotten quite ridiculous here in dairy-land. One editor joked today that Green Bay's headline, should Favre retire, might read "God is dead." The sad thing is, its probably been considered!
In the meantime, we, the dignified press of Wisconsin, continue to track Favre's every burp and hiccup, shoving microphones in his face everytime he does so, in case ... just in case, he should follow it with a "Pardon me.... oh by the way, I'm going to retire."
Oh, the shame of it.

Just another snowy spring day in Wisconsin...

So it's spring. Yeah, right. Check out the snow we had this morning ... the photo doesn't do it justice. The flakes were HUGE -- about the size of silver dollars at one point. Of course, they were no match for the spring-ish type weather we've been having for the past week or so, and melted upon impact. But for awhile, it was a wild and snowy world today!
The other picture is of Nathan holding our two boys. I love the startled look on Asher's face. He seems to be thinking "I don't think there's enough room up here for me AND a 45-pound 4-year-old!!"

Monday, April 03, 2006

Self Portraits

Asher and I had a nice, quiet morning today while Gabriel was at school and Nate was at work. Ash let me sleep till 10 a.m. (HOORAY!!) Then he woke up and we cuddled in bed. We're almost done weaning him off of the breastmilk, so we enjoyed what was probably one of our last feedings, and then took the opportunity to take some pictures of ourselves.
Asher took this one. :)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Reading Buddies!

Gabriel has been in a reading mood lately. Every night, either Nathan or I read to him from the "Magic Treehouse" series of children's books by Mary Pope Osborne. They are chapter books about two kids who travel through time by opening books in a magic treehouse. Very cute. I wasn't sure if Gabe would be interested in them, since there are a lot more words than pictures, but he LOVES them. We've just started the third book! We started with one about dinosaurs, and then we just finished one about castles and knights. Next, it's mummies, and then pirates! I'm so happy to see him getting excited about reading!