Tuesday, July 25, 2006


ASHER IS CRAWLING!!! Yep, it's official folks! At age 8 months and four days, Asher is now a mobile human being! He took a few hesitant knee-bends forward on Saturday afternoon, but quickly fell onto his tummy. Today, however, was different. I put him on one side of our living room carpet, and I went about seven feet away, to the other side, and proceded to call him -- shaking various toys as bait. The little guy propped up his arms and legs, and proceded to frog hop a few inches forward, but quickly tired of that and began slowly moving one hand forward, and then a leg ... concentrating so hard, until he'd achieved a full-fledged crawl!! All the way across the carpet!! I'm so proud of my little man! Of course (in true manly fashion) his favorite incentive for crawling, seems to be going after the TV remote, if it happens to be on the floor! He's getting so big! Now, when I wake him up in his crib, he's usually sitting up, instead of laying down, and he is beginning to try to hoist himself up on the bars. Uh oh. Time to think about lowering the crib matress!
Way to go Asher!! We're so proud of you!!!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Nate's Song

I was scanning thru our iTunes library the other day and came across a tune that Nathan made in Garage Band on our Mac one night while I was at work and he was bored. I stole it, without his permission of course, and decided to post it here on my blog!
He did all the vocal and instrumental stuff on our computer and then threw it all together to make a song. What fun!
Listen to Nate's song here
He said it's a work in progress, but I still think it's super cool! Let me know what you think!

Goin' to the chapel

Well folks, it's official! I've been an old married lady for FIVE years! Today, Nathan and I celebrate our fifth anniversary -- five years of being crazy about each other, of putting up with each other, and of sharing all our joys and challenges! What a great five years it's been!! Today, I keep finding myself thinking back to my wedding day, and all the emotions and joy that were involved. It was far and away one of the very best days of my life! The first photo was taken at the end of the ceremony. The second is my bridal portrait, back when I was a young 22-year-old!! :) (Photos by Brent Kuhlmann)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sucking Oranges

Well, we found a new treat that Asher likes best ... sucking on California oranges. I was at the grocery store a few days ago and suddenly remembered how much Gabriel loved lemons when he was a baby. So I quickly picked out a few lemons and limes, and also a bag of oranges. We slice them up and just let Asher go crazy, gumming them to pieces. He LOVES it! So now, in the mornings, Gabriel and Asher share an orange. It tends to get Ash pretty messy, with the juice and the pulp running everywhere, but that's okay! It's worth it to see the look on his face! It's really funny, because as soon as he finishes up a slice, he starts yelling at it quite loudly, (not at ME, but at the orange! Crazy!) until I replace the chewed up version with a brand new slice. Then all is right with the world. What a funny little man!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

True Love

For those of you without kids, this is a photo of Lightning McQueen.(photo courtesy of Disney/Pixar) I've been seeing a lot of him lately -- more than I'd care to actually!
The other day, I surprised Gabriel by bringing home the Disney/Pixar video game CARS for our Mac. He was THRILLED. His eyes got huge and he immediately ran to play the game on our computer.
The catch?
We soon found out that although Gabriel REALLY REALLY wanted to race, the "races" had to be unlocked by defeating all 10 activity games on the darn thing. (Each activity having 5 levels each, for a total of 50)
Also, the game had four movie clips, each of which had to be "unlocked" by defeating the games, and then winning all of the races, and then going back and beating all your best scores at the various games and races, etc.
Needless to say, this would have taken Gabriel a year.
So I'm guessing that most of you can deduce how I spent Asher & Gabriel's naptime yesterday? Instead of flopping on the couch with my newest summer romance novel, I sat in front of our Mac and spent two hours slowly defeating each and every game so that my 4-year-old could wake up from his nap and race cars and watch the movie clips. Ugh. Double UGH. I can't admit to the fact that it was COMPLETELY without fun, but come on ... after two hours I was ready to bash my head against a wall, and I had cursed at my Mac in record amounts. But in the end, a happy 4-year-old more than made up for the effort.
So what was Nathan doing when I left for work today? Trying to beat all my scores. Because the rest of the movies don't unlock unless you beat them AGAIN. And of course the first thing out of Gabriel's mouth this morning was "Why are some of the movies still locked???"
When I left, Nate only had one more game to beat. Pray for his sanity, folks. Yes indeed ... pray!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Farm boy

I took Gabriel and Asher to the Farm Tech Days festival here in Sheboygan. It's this big deal that always happens somewhere in Wisconsin every summer, and this year, it was in our town. Basically, there are a gazillion tractors, combines, etc. that you can look at or, if you're age 4, climb up and sit on, as long as you're super careful and "don't touch ANYTHING!!!" (That was my line all day today). Gabe had such a blast! (Asher slept through most of it while in a carrier on my back). Gabe said his favorite part of the day was riding the toy tractors (as you can see in the photos) and fishing in the kid's tent. (also in the photo) He also liked the ice cream, but was leary of the petting zoo. (Check out the photo of the goat who REALLY wanted to say hello!) And after three hours, I could barely pull him away from the monster tractors. He kept saying, "Just one more mama!" I heard that about five times! How sweet! (I especially like the photo of him standing under the ginormous tractor! These things were HUGE! Some of them had cabs that were roomier than my first apartment!) Anyway, we had a fun afternoon! And it was very affordable! What was my grand total for an afternoon of fun with my boys? Inclduing admission, parking AND ice cream ... $7. A steal, no matter how you look at it!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Future musician

So yesterday I was cleaning my room, and came across my flute (which, incidentally, I had been searching for, for quite some time). I quickly picked it up and rattled off a few scales, and Asher just sat there frozen on the bed, in mid chew, (holding a teething ring). His eyes got HUGE as he stared at my mouth, wondering where in the world these sounds were coming from. It was adorable! Afterwards, I let him have a look at the "magical" instrument. He had great fun holding it. Surprisingly, he didn't try to chew on it at all! (My new nickname for the munchkin is "Mr. Chew." If you've seen the Pengiun's Xmas Caper movie on the DVD of Madagasgar, you know that the rabid dog owned by the old lady in that cartoon is "Mr. Chew." Well, since Asher drools and chews on everything within arms reach, I figured the name was appropriate.)
In other news, he's getting quite close to crawling. There have been a couple times in the past few days where I thought he would go for it. He gets up on his knees and arms and rocks back and forth, gazing longingly at a toy that is just out of his reach. One of these days soon, he'll figure out that he can move, and that will be the end of my quiet, peacefull life as I know it!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Arrrg Matey! What be yer name?

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm SUPER excited about the new Pirates movie coming out in theaters TODAY! Due to babysitting snags, I'm sure I won't get to see it for a few weeks yet, but I'm still really pumped about it!
This post is totally inspired by my old college roomate, Francie Krantz, and her blog. She has one of these cool gizboos on her blog, and I found a similar one online. For the life of me, I can't figure out how to do links on blogs (can anyone help me?) so once again, you have to click on the headline "Arrg Matey!" and it will take you to a fun page that will give you your very own pirate name!
When you comment, make sure you share what your name is! Mine is "Black Cloud," which to me, sounds more Indian than pirate, but oh well! ARRRRRRG Matey!!!!!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

This just in ... the world is warped.

It often happens that I read a disturbing story at work that is difficult to digest. It's part of my job. Especially since I spend a great deal of time scanning the AP wire for stories to put on various pages of the newspaper. In fact, one of the hardest aspects of my job is letting go of these stories when I come home. Too often, if I'm especially antsy or just plain NOT tired when I get home at 12:15 a.m., I find myself laying awake at night, bothered by something I read on the wire. Having heard similar comments from coworkers, I've come to realize that it's part of the baggage we have to carry as journalists. I may not LIKE to read about a man who kills 10 people etc., but it's part of the job.
So tonight, as I was sitting here putting together the Nation/World page for tomorrow's newspaper, a story broke around 9 p.m. "Subway rider attacked with power saws" And I can't help but think ... WHAT THE HECK!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD?
To enlighten you, a 30-year-old man went ballistic in a NY City subway system, and attacked random strangers with chain saws!!! Folks, I couldn't even make this stuff up if I had to! Check out this link, courtesy of CNN. (You have to click on the title of this blog entry to get there) It will make you never want to take your family on a public transit system again. Ever. YOWZA.

Growing up!

My garden has grown by leaps and bounds during the month since I've planted it! You can't tell here, but the corn is waist-high (not knee high!!) and the tomatoes and zucchini are HUGE and full of blossoms. My blue hydrangeas bloomed in the front yard. The white ones have yet to pop out. Anyway, this is just a little post in tribute of my garden! In the photo with Roxy, you can see a bit of it -- tomatoes, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, red cabbage and lettuce in the back. What fun!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Swimming in a sunset

Without a doubt, this was one of my favorite moments from our past weekend in St. Joseph, Michigan. It rained for a good portion of our trip, but on Sunday night, it suddenly cleared off at about 8 p.m. and the sun came out. We hurried down to the beach with the boys, (We got there just before the crowd hit, because of course, we weren't the only ones to notice the gorgeous weather ... and it stays light there until almost 10 p.m.) Now the first thing you have to understand is that the Michigan side of the lake is MUCH MUCH warmer than the Wisconsin side. The water was about 68-70 degrees. Like a bathtub compared to our frigid Sheboygan water! (Trust me, we tried to swim in Wisconsin this afternoon and it was bone-chillingly FREEZING!!) So in Michigan, the boys and I had fun playing in the water. Asher yelled at first, but soon got used to the gentle waves, as long as he could cling to his mama for dear life in the process. But anytime brother Gabriel tried to splash us, even the tiniest bit, he let out an angry yowl of disapproval, accompanied by a severe look in his brother's direction. Ah yes dear readers, everyday these two act more and more like true siblings!