Saturday, December 29, 2007

She's Here!

Jamie Susan Hill arrived this morning at 10:36 a.m. Weighing in at 6 lbs. 12 oz. and 20" long. Full of dark hair! It was quite the experience for me to be in there watching and waiting with Sam. I've seen lots of deliveries as a surgical tech but it's a very different experience when it's someone you love having that baby!

If anyone wants details, read further...Sam had her routine appointment yesterday afternoon and after that exam she went home and was feeling some contractions as well as bleeding. Mom took her to the hospital around 6:30 and Marcus (baby daddy) met them there. She hadn't dilated much but was very uncomfortable. The hospital literally had no rooms to put her in so she stayed in an exam room for the evening after they gave her a shot to help with the pain and let her go to sleep to get some rest. If she didn't progress past a 3 they would send her home in the morning. So I stayed with her til 2:30 am and when Marcus returned I went home (assuming she'd be going home in the morning too). (Mom had already gone home to get a few hours sleep before she had to work today.) I got a phone call from Marcus at 5 am that Sam was 6 cm dilated and they were going to be giving her an epidural. Well, baby is coming today!

So I called mom, who was at work (she couldn't sleep so she went in the office at 2:45 am!), and we all met back at the hospital, where Sam had her epidural and was feeling no pain. By 7:30 she was at a 9, however the doctor was in surgery this morning and they didn't want to break her water until he was out. She quickly dilated to a 10 and was completely effaced, and still no doctor. She wanted to push but had to breathe through it instead. Finally after 9 the nurse is able to break her water and the doctor got there and they started prepping the room for the big event. I decided I would videotape and take pictures as those are special memories!

And so after a half hour of pushing and a lovely episiotomy (mom and I think the doctor was a little too quick to snip instead of letting her stretch more on her own...hey you read further, this is the details!) the little peanut was born at 10:36 am. While mom was being stitched up I took lots of video of her getting her apgars and weighed and measured and getting her erythromyacin and her Vit. K shot so Sam could watch it later.

When I left, everything had been cleaned up, Sam was ordering room service as she had been NPO for a good 24 hours, and she was feeding Jamie her first bottle and she's a good burper too!

Since I had taken pictures with Sam's camera I don't have them to upload here. Troy, Lucy and I will be bringing her some lunch tomorrow and we'll bring our camera to take some pictures and I'll be sure to upload some then.

It is very surreal to be an aunt. I assumed it would happen a little bit later in my life. When I heard that Sam was pregnant back in September it was very hard news to take. I still think of her as my baby sister who needs to be taken care of, but now she has her own person that needs her to take care of them! I will pray for continued health for the baby, that Sam's butt heals nicely and that she enjoys motherhood to the fullest!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I thought I would post some pictures of the holiday celebrating we've done over the past few days. It feels like a weekend to me, hard to believe tomorrow is Wednesday! The festivities started on Friday night - I made soup for dinner and the in law's came over with video rentals in hand. We watched two of the stupidest movies ever made. So stupid that we laughed through most of it. The first was "Midnight Clear" and the other was "Mr. Bean's Holiday".

Saturday was Christmas over at Troy's parent's in the evening. The gifts were abundant and the food was excellent. Here is a picture of our dinner - Alaskan Halibut (caught by my parents this summer) which is in of itself to die for, along with asparagus wrapped in bacon. Lucy took a nice nap during dinner so she would be well rested for all the activity that was to come. I would have to say she was a pretty good kid. She played nicely while everyone opened gifts, which took a couple hours I think, and didn't fuss at all. She made out like a bandit! Here is a picture of her in the new toboggan she got from Uncle Eric. As well as a picture of Eric in his new cooking pants! I think everyone can use cooking pants! Once they invent the total bodysuit made of apron material, I think I'll get one of those.

After gift opening we had chocolate lava cake, my contribution, which turned out pretty tasty! Here is Lucy in the aftermath:

Sunday was church and then we all had lunch together and napped in our respective chairs. I made foods for Christmas Eve while Troy and Paul watched the Vikings game.

Christmas Eve...we headed over to my grandparents (my step-dad's parents) in Roseville for the afternoon, did the usual, ate, opened gifts, played cards. Then headed to Lake Elmo to my cousin's home for my dad's side of the family's Christmas. Things were going pretty good, Lucy was adorable in her red Christmas dress. Then as I held her I felt a rumble. I thought maybe it's just gas (Lucy, not me!) but the smell hit me. So, of course, I passed her over to Troy for a diaper change. Well, I did not hear him yelling for me until my aunt came to get me. Here is Troy holding a semi-naked Lucy up in the air. She had MAJOR blow out (teething has done this to her quite a bit lately). We're talking covered in poo and we need to figure out how to get the poo clothes off the child in such a way not to get it anywhere else so I can give her a "sponge bath" with all the wipes that we had along. So she gets naked, daddy has to hold her while I wipe off the poo, and at this point she's loving it and she gets to go in her pj's!

But besides the poo incident it was a good time - lots of good food, and Lucy made off with quite a haul there too! Our house is in Christmas Chaos right now. We've done our best to get a couple things put away, but I sat down with Lucy this morning and went through what she has gotten. Lots of educational toys, some of which will go over to Nana's Daycare, lots of cute outfits too.

We headed over to my parents' later this morning for more present opening and a nice lunch. Len and Gerane, Keith and Kathy and their son, Jeff, came over too. We sat around laughing and telling stories and played a round of the game Scene It. We headed home in the snow around 6:30 and got Lucy down to bed. And then the post-holiday organizational syndrome hit...

Knowing that tomorrow we're going shopping for organizational items (bins, boxes, whatever) and that one of my big projects is clearing out that storage room, Troy and I emptied out the storage room tonight, and my word, that little 8x10 room unpacked equals a 14x20 room full of "stuff"! My plan is to paint that room (it's the only room in the house we haven't) and purge of a lot of stuff that we haven't looked at since we've been married. We're going to do a garage sale in the spring, so that gives me incentive to get things cleaned out. And our next organizational project is the "craft room". It's huge and needs to become a craft room, play room for Lucy and eventually my office (if we have more kids, my existing office will become Lucy's bedroom). And so on... Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE to be organized. I hate chaos and clutter and junk. Quite honestly, if someone would pay me, I would organize people for a living. I watch those TLC/HGTV shows on home makeovers and people who have too much stuff taking over their lives and try to heed the outlook they have - only keep the things you use or that you love, and the things that you love, show them off, don't keep them stored away in boxes for "someday", because that someday may never come. Other than keeping things in storage that are seasonal items (clothing, holiday decor) I never understood why people keep so much "stuff" for just in case.

I do have A box of memories that I showed Troy tonight. It was actually kind of fun and funny. Some were old boyfriend letters (actually only one letter, I think I've tossed all the others since I married my last boyfriend), report cards with teacher comments that Troy got a kick out of, old corsages and programs from weddings I've been in, yearbooks, my uniform shirt from Freshman year when I caught on fire, my grade school uniform skirt where, egads, I probably had a 20" waist, and newspapers/magazines from major life events like 9/11, Columbine, the start of the War in Iraq, etc., and of course some New Kids on the Block posters. And speaking of memory lane, we watched old Christmas videos from when my sister was a baby. And I'm in all of them so it's fun to see my changing hair styles. But gosh, I look back at me and back then I had (and probably still do) this distorted body image. I have always felt I was fatter than everyone else, back then I thought I was the fattest cousin, or not as skinny as the popular girls. But when I look at those videos, and see my old uniform skirts, my gosh, I'm jealous of that girl now! I hope Lucy never goes through that and I can raise her to be proud of the body she's been given and not obsess over the number in a pair of pants!

Ok, slight sidetrack there. ANYWAY, it's been a wonderful Christmas season. It seems like it went too fast, like we just got the tree up and now it's time to clean up. But we got to see most of our families and there was lots of laughing. Sam still hasn't had that baby. My bet is on Dec. 28th. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, December 21, 2007

All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth

and that's exactly what Lucy got! Maybe by Christmas they will be in good view for some picture taking and I will post one to the website.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Boston and Home At Last

After being snowed in (anyone from MN that was there was laughing at the "major snowstorm" that couldn't get us out of Boston) last Thursday, we (my coworker Jefe and I) checked into our hotel and headed down to the hotel restaurant/bar for some drinks and food and a round of bar trivia (we took 2nd place and won some lovely can coozies!). On Friday did some morning shopping for clothing and essentials and then we headed out on the Old Town Trolley Tour, a historical tour of Boston. That was pretty interesting and fun and I learned all about Paul Revere and Sam Adams. We saw some pretty amazing (historically) sites, such as the house Paul Revere lived in, crunched in the midst of downtown Boston, and the actual U.S.S. Constitution. If you've never been to Boston, it's a definite must. It's rich in history and I loved the old buildings and architecture. I would have loved to seen Harvard and walk the grounds, but that would be a warmer weather excursion. And not to mention going whale watching, too. The people of Boston are very friendly and I did not feel scared walking through downtown at night or taking the Subway.

I was able to score us some Celtics tickets off, where season ticket holders sell their seats. This was my first basketball game ever and it was a ton of fun! Almost up there with going to a hockey game as far as fan excitement. We had great seats off the floor, and not only was it fun to see them because, well Celtics/Irish/I'm Irish, but K.G. plays for them now too! Troy was jealous I got to go, but I did bring him back a K.G. shirt.

Up bright and early on Saturday to catch our 8 a.m. flight. I won't comment on a public forum about the other cultural passengers on this flight and their rudeness... Got into MSP at 10:15 and wanted to just rush home to see my daughter. But. We called work, because they contract out to a taxi company to drive people to/from Thomson. Then we waited and waited. After a half hour we called and they had called for a taxi but would let us know what the hold up was. Turns out the taxi company couldn't get any drivers out to pick us up. So after an hour of waiting while other taxis came and went, we got a "regular" taxi and headed back to work, where my car was, dropped Jefe off at his house, went to call Troy and my phone was dead. Now, all of that sounds minor, but after wanting to be home since Thursday, I had a mini meltdown.

But I digress...I got home, my daughter was sleeping, when she awoke from her nap I went in to get her and she just stared at me for the longest time trying to figure me out. But after being home a couple of days, we're back to our routine. There's nothing like home!

For the past few days we have taken many attempts at a Christmas photo so we can send out cards. It's just not working. Troy's head is either chopped off or we took 50 photos of Lucy last night only to not have her smile in any of them. It's getting a bit late in the game, so I'm betting we send out Happy New Year cards instead!

And then my mom called me this morning from Woodwinds Hospital. Immediately I think it's my sister, but I know she's delivering at St. John's. Well it's my step-dad. Long story short, he just got out of gall bladder surgery and should be coming home tomorrow.

Here are a couple of my favorite Lucy expressions during all this Christmas picture-taking time:

Friday, December 14, 2007

I'm stuck!

If anyone has watched the news, they saw that a great winter storm went over the east coast - Boston. It started snowing 10 minutes (TEN MINUTES) before we loaded the plane. Well they couldn't get the show on the road and us on the runway, so we deiced, and sat, and deiced, and sat, and they closed the airport, and we deiced, and sat, then we moved onto the runway, and sat, deiced again, went back to the gate, deiced and sat and then, four hours later, they cancelled the flight.

So we disembark and the attendant tells us this flight will leave tomorrow (Friday) morning and our tickets can still be used on it, but to call NWA to verify. So we get our bags, I immediately get on the phone to find two rooms at a hotel, all of which are booked, but our agent gets us into the lovely Marriott Copley hotel. Yay! So we head out and there is a line a mile deep to get a taxi. No problem! We know how to use the subway system! So we get to the hotel, baggage in tow, thru the subway system, check in to the hotel, call NWA. Um, the earliest flight I can get you on to MSP is Saturday morning. WHAT?! (now most people would love a day to play hooky, paid for by the company, but I am missing Lucy terribly and now I have to be away from her for 2 extra days???) Fine, we'll take it. So then I get on the phone again with Marriott to see if we can get another night's stay added on. We can. Whew, time for drinks at the hotel sports bar.

And so here we are. What is very lovely about this hotel's attached to a MALL! So now I don't have to worry about walking around in the same old clothing the next two days. And if the roads are cleared off we're going to do the historical trolley tour about town. And hopefully tomorrow will come without incident.

Here is a picture of Lucy from the other night to get me through until I get home. Will she even remember who I am????

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Greetings from Boston

Well, I'm here and this is what I'm missing out on:

That is Lucy's 8-month picture from yesterday and I miss her terribly, but will be home tomorrow. This morning she had her pictures taken with Suzanne, so I'll be anxious to see those. And today she's over at Jessica's playing with Ethan and Abigail!

I am in Boston on business and I commented to someone that I wish we worked nights so that we could sightsee during the day. I'd love to see Harvard and take the historical trolley tour around town, but it's dark when we leave the office. Tomorrow it's supposed to rain and sleet here so I'm hoping that doesn't effect our travel plans!

December is flying by fast. Christmas shopping has been completed, I just have some scrapbooking left to do. Our countertops got installed last week so all that we have left is the tile backsplash and it's all done! (well, not the paying for it all part)

This time of year always weighs heavily on me. I long for the days of when I was a kid when the holidays were full of anticipation and Santa Claus and Christmas Eve church. I think it's just part of being an adult. As a kid I didn't realize all that my parents and adult relatives did to make things special. Part of all of this is in the shopping and gift-giving aspect. It shouldn't be difficult to buy for people, but I've really come to realize that we should be celebrating Jesus' birthday right now as well as time with family, that is gift enough. Of course I want future years of Christmases with Lucy to be the excitement of Santa Claus too. I've already talked to my family about it and we are no longer exchanging gifts at Christmas. I think that part of the holiday really belongs to children. Let birthdays be the time we have a special day for each other, give gifts (although not necessary!)

I am reminded of the story of Mary and Martha (Luke chapter something...egads, I know it's New Testament!) where the sisters lived together and Jesus came to visit and Martha spent all her time making the house presentable and making food and preparations, etc and Mary just sat with him and listened. Martha got upset and wanted Jesus to do something about her lazy sister, to which he responded that Mary just sitting him was the best gift. It's a challenge to myself to be more of a Mary than a Martha. What is important is not giving or receiving gifts, it's spending time with those you love and making memories that will last a lifetime. And also, if you really enjoy shopping at the holidays, try adopting a family in need - the gifts you give to them will make both their Christmas and yours a memorable one!

Until next time...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

It's Wintertime!

The snow has finally fallen and looks like it's here to stay. I need it to get in the holiday spirit. But then it can go away after January (like that'll happen!).

Another weekend gone by too fast. On Thursday night we had our Silpada jewelry open house and it was a huge success! Lots of friends from town and church stopped by as well as Aunt Rox all the way from Eden Prairie and Lori from Apple Valley. Friday night was our high school girlfriends Christmas get-together. Since it was going to be chinese food I attempted to make Shrimp Toast (reminiscent of Leeann Chin's at the Depot days) to bring along (they turned out good!). It was at Emma's house in St. Paul and Emma announced her engagement to Barry. They are getting married someplace warm (I think St. Thomas or some island?) in February and then having a reception back here in May.

Saturday I spent the entire day up at church scrapbooking. I got more pages to "Troy and Lisa's (and now Lucy's) travels" scrapbook and finally made a dent in Lucy's baby book. I did some more scrapping today until I finally ran out of paper, so there's a trip to Archiver's in my future. I still have to start on this year's pages for my grandparent's album (I do about 5 pages each year) but am awaiting some more pictures and stories from the family. Another Lisa from church is a Creative Memories consultant and hosted the scrapbooking event. I saw a new product now on my wish list - the Celebrations pack. I'm a bit overwhelmed with scrapbooking for my daughter. I figure her baby book can be the first year of life in a nutshell. I purchased a Holiday pack (scrapbook, papers, etc) and will be scrapping all of Lucy's Christmases which I thought was a good idea and not too daunting. But when I saw the Celebrations pack I know that now I can scrap all of her birthdays too! Although I love spending time being creative, I also know it's a gift the whole family can enjoy for years to come and can preserve these memories on paper instead of in boxes.

Today our family ushered at the early service. I did the readings and of course didn't proofread beforehand. During the second reading I came across some crazy long word that I apparently eked out without everyone laughing. Oh here it is - licentiousness. What on earth is that? Then we took the family Christmas photo for Paul and Vicky's Christmas cards - here is a preview:

And now it's time for Sunday night shows. I just spoke to Grandma Jeanette and her and Arnie are now in Mission, TX thru March. It's 91 degrees there. As much as I love snow and Christmas, that warm sunny weather sounds kinda nice!

Seasons Greetings!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It's not worth it

If you're a commuter like I am, you've probably sped a little bit to get to/from work (why am I in such a hurry to get to work?). Or perhaps you've got a screaming child in the carseat in the back getting on your nerves causing you to speed up a bit more to get home. Or you've witnessed someone tailgating you or weaving in and out of traffic at crazy speeds. The next time you're in your car, think of this:

I've been writing about all the home renovations we've been doing, much to the assistance of our interior designer, Lori. She stopped over tonight to drop off some pillows and said she was just driving back from putting a cross in a ditch. That is her son in the article. It was a total shock to us to hear about it as we've gotten to know her the past few months. She is happy she had 15 years with him but upset and angry that this could have been prevented. Thank God she has faith, she's really going to need it.

Will this make me slow down on my commute now? I hope so. But there will still be morons on the road who have to get places that are much more important than ours who will still ride our tails or cut us off and put on thier brakes. I have to remember that I have a family to take care of and be conscientious of other drivers who have families as well.

Buckle up and drive carefully!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend

Uff da! It's Sunday night and we haven't stopped moving since Thanksgiving. It all started with attending Thanksgiving Eve service at church Wednesday night. Thursday morning we awoke and as you can see, Lucy enjoyed her crib time. We headed out to Troy's aunt and uncle's, Jody and Lisa, in Champlin, MN for Thanksgiving Day festivities. We ate a lot and visited and took a walk and did dishes, and all the usual TG Day activities. Troy and I headed back home while everyone stayed overnight in the Cities.
Friday morning I picked up mom at 5:30 to start our shopping. First stop was Joann's where we were greeted by some very rude morning shoppers. Thankfully that was not how the day was going to be - crabby crafty women!!! Then we headed over to Maplewood Mall and got a ton of shopping done, then over to the Midway area to Super Target and Herbergers. Finally back to Woodbury for a late lunch and to drop mom off at home. I got back to Baldwin, unloaded all the packages and then we immediately packed up Lucy and headed to Eden Prairie for the Day After Thanksgiving festivities over at Troy's aunt Rox's. There we visited some more, ate some more and celebrated aunt Charlie's 60th (that must be incorrect) birthday. Then back to Baldwin.
On Friday while I was shopping, Troy brought out all of the Christmas decorations so they could be put up this weekend. So on Saturday we got everything unpacked and Vicky came over to help put up Christmas at our house. This year we wanted a new tree so we purchased one at Menard's. Well once it got put up it was way too fat for the room, so back in the box it went and Troy returned it and went to Fleet Farm to pick up this slimmer tree I had originally saw. Came home, we put it up, uh-uh, tree way too small and skinny. HA! So after dinner, Vicky went with Troy back to Hudson to return that tree and then it was back to Menard's and they picked up a tree we had actually considered buying in the first place. So, three trees later, we have the perfect one and it's all decorated!
Today Vicky came back along with Eric and they decorated our basement up for Christmas while I wrapped presents. Beautiful! I honestly do not have the knack for decorating like this. I know nothing about greenery and placement of objects and all that, so once you see our house, keep in mind this decorating gene runs in Troy's family!
And so another week begins...I need to get into the chiropractor (first time ever) tomorrow as I slept funny or something went out of whack in the shopping spree on Friday. Lots of activities this week - besides working, Vicky and I are having a Silpada jewelry party on Thursday. Friday night is the high school girlfriends holiday get-together. Saturday I will be scrapbooking all day up at church. Troy and I are on altar guild and along with Lucy we're ushering at church for the 8:30 service on Sunday, so lots to do! And when the calendar flips over to December, what a busy month that is!
I'm hoping for snow that stays on the ground before Christmas and I'm hoping for countertops to be installed very soon.
New Lucy things for this week - when on her tummy she'll get up on her hands and put her butt in the air and then push backwards. I think this could be the precursor to crawling. She's also been kind of a crank bear, so perhaps we're finally teething? Or maybe she's a crank bear cuz it's a girl's prerogative to do so.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sam's Shower

I thought I would quick post some pictures from my sister's shower today. We've got Lucy in her finest, some of the relatives that came, Sam with her lemon-filled cake, and Lucy and Matt Jones reading a story with Kellie. The food was good, Sam got pretty much everything on her registry and then some, and it was nice to visit with everyone.

Now, Lucy had maybe an hour total of napping in because she didn't want to miss any of the action, so I thought for sure she'd be beat by the time everyone left and would crash for hours. Nope, a half hour nap is all she wanted. So, perhaps Lucy and I will both sleep through our regular 2 am waking tonight? I hope so!

The tile guy came and grouted this morning and the fireplace looks fabulous. Now we just need those countertops! No deer for this household this weekend, but we do have fresh venison in the freezer that will get us by for a while.

I am excited that this is a short work week. I love Thanksgiving - nothing to do but eat and enjoy each other's company. Wednesday night we'll do church, Thursday is Thanksgiving at Troy's uncle Jody's house, and Friday could be some shopping and then more eating over at Troy's aunt Rox's house. At some point I'd like to see if there are any Christmas tree sales going on because we could really use a new artificial tree, so if anyone knows of any, let me know!

Have a great week!

Awake Again

Lucy with her new singing bear from Great Auntie Shannon: And showing off her no teeth:

I'm sensing a pattern here, getting up at 2 am. I do it, and Lucy does it, although surprisingly not tonight. I had a crazy dream, which prompted me to wake up and listen for any noise in the house, then go check on Lucy and lock the garage door. So now I'm updating the blog with a couple pictures. I'm sure I will update again later, with pictures from my sister's baby shower.

Went to see The Lion King at the Orpheum yesterday and it was phenomenal, the music, the costumes, how they portrayed the animals, awesome! Then we had a fabulous dinner at the Olive Garden. The Lite FM has been playing Christmas music since last week, so I made the girls listen to that on the ride home. When I got home I found out that the tile guy (who was supposed to finish on Friday) is coming to grout the fireplace at 9 today, so that will be all done before the shower, hopefully the mess is minimal. And, no deer for the Lovestrand men yet. Hopefully today, but Troy did get a deer at the MN opener, so we will have venison.
And now the big debate - do I try to go back to bed, or do I make those 2 pans of baked mostaccioli for the shower?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What time is it?

Here are a couple pictures my friend Jane sent me, after spending the day with us on Friday. Love that smile!

It is almost 3 in the morning and I can't back to sleep. Lucy got up around 2 after she had flipped over on her stomach and started "talking" and I tossed and turned and decided to get up for a bit. Just too much on my mind to sleep. I can't go into detail because I have family who read this blog on a regular basis. I wish it were happy things that were keeping me up late at night but it's some family dysfunction, end of story.

Later on this morning I'll be going in to the office (normally on Tuesdays but this week I switched) and my mom (aka Grandma Val) is going to watch Lucy today. And if any of her coworkers watch this blog, Val is SICK today, very sick, so she couldn't come in to work! She'll probably feel better by tomorrow...

One quick thing I have to vent about - never joke around to me that you are going to kidnap or steal my daughter. I don't care if you're family or not and think she is the sweetest thing in the world and want to take her home. My mother bear instinct immediately comes into action and I will never leave her alone with you, end of that story.

On to happier things...on Wednesdays at play group we talk about our latest joys and concerns with our children, so I'll talk about some joys and what I'm looking forward to. Joys - Lucy's fascination with everything and her expressions, mornings - she is the most happiest at this time and she reacts like she hasn't seen you in days when you go to pick her up. What I'm looking forward to - my sister's baby shower this weekend and having family over, Thanksgiving with Troy's family - many of whom we only see a couple times a year, Lucy's reaction on Thanksgiving seeing all these new faces again and playing with the girls, seeing The Lion King with "the girls" this weekend - we're trying to become more "cultural", for home renovation to be over (soon...very soon), deer hunting season to come to an end so my scrapbooking season can begin, getting Lucy's picture taken with Santa Claus - will she giggle or scream?

And before I go, a special thank you to the Rumpels who brought over more toys and clothing for Lucy to borrow (she is a tall kid and already growing out of the 6-9 month clothing). Some very adorable dresses and lots of "comfies" to be worn!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Another month gone by

It's November 11th. Some may think of today as the day the Packers creamed the Vikings, but instead, it's Lucy's 7-month birthday! And that means pictures with the sheep!

We spent the afternoon celebrating Uncle Keith's 50th birthday and watching a sad sad football game!

Progress on the house continues to creep along, will it ever be done? Troy and I agree, we will never build a house together, it's just too stressful all those options and all that construction, ish!

This weekend flew by too quickly, as they always do. Yesterday after Bible Study, and after Lucy took a long morning nap, we went and picked up Grandma Val and hit some holiday boutiques. Troy got our outdoor CHRISTMAS lights put up (enough of that "Holiday" business, I know what we celebrate at our home!) and Vicky arranged spruce tips in our pots to liven up the front door. Now all we need is snow!

Next weekend the Baldwin girls are going to see The Lion King in Minneapolis on Saturday, and then on Sunday I am hosting my sister's baby shower. Lots to do this week!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Better Late Than Never

Here are some pictures from Halloween of our Happy Pumpkin!

And here she is with the "Great Pumpkin"!
We drove around to a few friends' homes in town to Trick-or-Treat and took pictures at each stop.

Why has it been so long to blog? Well, for starters I couldn't figure out how to get our pictures to upload to the computer, but all Troy had to do was plug in something, duh. And then there's the continuation of "construction" at our home, but major progress has occurred! Our flooring is complete, the smell is nearly gone, Troy finished putting up quarter-round trim along the baseboards and I am in progress of painting the beadboard fronts we have put on our island and cabinet sides. The countertops should be here next week and it's all coming together! What's left? Slate tile surround on the fireplace, tile trim around the countertops, and fixing the "dings" in the walls with putty and paint. This morning Lucy and I are meeting Lori, our interior designer helper, to finish buying window treatments and get quotes on some rugs (she works for the flooring company that did our hardwood floors and they also sell carpet that they can custom-make rugs). So that's what's going on at the home front.
What else has been going on? Last weekend Troy went deer hunting in MN and got a 9-point buck that he's going to mount, pictures coming soon. My mom came out on Saturday and we toured Western WI looking for craft shows, made our first trip to the Cady Cheese store, and went to a spaghetti dinner benefit in town.
Hope everyone is enjoying the cold weather we're having - this is my favorite time of year!

Monday, October 29, 2007

No pictures :(

Happy Monday, Everyone! That's right, I have no new pictures to post here. I do know that people did take pictures of Lucy last week, so if Auntie Darla or Grandpa Paul want to send any this way, I will post them! Last week we were living over at Paul and Vicky's while our hardwood flooring was being installed so things were a bit unorganized for us for a while. We have one more overnight stay and then the flooring will be finished, yay!

Let's see, a recap since the last post. Lucy went to a new daycare last Wednesday, a friend in Eagan right by where I work, Dawn, who also watches 16-month-old twins and has 4 children of her own! Lucy was just in awe of all the other small people around her and had a blast. I honestly have never seen a smile so big on her face as when these little people would come up to her and touch her! Afterwards we went to Grandma Duffy's for a visit with grandma, aunti Shannon, and aunti Darla and uncle Wes.

Thursday early morning, Troy, Vicky and Paul left for Lake Benton and Lucy and I stayed behind. On Saturday we went up to Albertville Outlets shopping with my mom in the morning, then continued north to Sauk Centre for my great Aunt Sarah's 60th birthday party. A lot of relatives that Lucy hadn't met yet were there. Of course I forgot the camera! Lucy hung out with Uncle Richard (my mom's brother) almost the entire time. We got back to Baldwin at night and daddy was home to greet us!

Yesterday was major kitchen cleaning from all the dust that had gathered in/on/around our cabinets and anything that was in/on/around the cabinets from the floor installation. Eric and Paul helped Troy bring our appliances back in to the kitchen and now we can cook again. I will admit, it was kind of nice to be eating at Chef Paul's last week!

Today Lucy and Nana went for a playdate over to Hope Heutmaker's grandparents' home. There's something about child interaction that we as adults just cannot provide! I have been showing Lucy baby ASL signs all along hoping one day I'll see it returned ("mama" in particular), but maybe she'll also pick some signs up from Hope?

We are looking forward to Lucy's 1st Halloween this week. I will upload some pictures of that for sure. And then it will be November and our calendar is filled with hunting, showers, The Lion King, and holidays! Normally an early bird shopper, I haven't started Christmas shopping yet!

Until next time....

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sicky Poo and other things

I thought I would post before we move out of the house for the week. It is Sunday night and the floors will start being installed tomorrow at 7 am. We will be staying at Troy's parents' house for the week while they're sanding and polying the floors, can't wait for this part to be done and get to cleaning all the dust out of the house!

This weekend was my third annual Women of Faith conference at the Xcel Center in St. Paul. The theme this year was "Amazing Freedom" and it was fabulous! I'm so glad I continue to go to these, the speakers are hilarious, there's lots of laughing and crying and singing and it's a chance to connect with other women. During our breaks we talk about our own faith journeys and feel comfortable agreeing and disagreeing with each other. I am thankful for these women who share my beliefs and aren't afraid or embarrassed to talk about the One who got us all here.

My favorite topic of the weekend was by the last speaker, Luci Swindoll, and the point was "Show up, Shut up, and Let go". Referring to how we often whine about this or that - not wanting to go to a family function because someone annoying will be there, or not wanting to go into work because every day you deal with stupid customers, or wasting so much energy trying to make sure everything is perfect and thinking that noone appreciates it - just show up, shut up and let go! Everything we do, good and bad, is in preparation for what's to come.

Anyway, it's an amazing experience this conference. I wouldn't go year after year if it wasn't, and if you're reading this and want to go next year, do it!

Saturday evening my parents and sister came over to watch Lucy while Troy and I went over to our friends, the Nadeau's, for game night. This morning we went to early service and coffee, Troy mowed in the break from the rain, had lunch at Nana and Papa's, packed for our week away, Lucy napped in our bed and I napped in Lucy's room (huh?), we played for a bit and now Lucy has been bathed and in bed.

oh! I can't forget Lucy's First Sickness! As you read, Thursday she went in for her shots, one of them being the flu shot. That evening she got fussy and hot and had a fever of 102.2 and then barfed all over herself and mommy :( So we were up every few hours to take temps and give more Tylenol thru Thursday and all of Friday, with her temp fluctuating between 100 and 102. It was just the saddest thing I've ever seen because she was "sleeping" in her crib and whimpering at the same time. But it left as quickly as it came and she felt better at midnight Friday so much that she didn't want to go back to sleep til 3 am! We are glad that she is all better, but it allowed for some cuddly quiet time with mommy on Friday.

Everyone have a great week! Uncle Mark is coming home ( and friend Tiff is bringing home baby Livia after a long wait (

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Who's a big girl?

Lucy had her 6-month check-up today, accompanied with 4 shots :( This time two nurses came in to do them so they could each do one thigh at the same time while her mother lovingly looked her daughter in the eye and she looked back screaming "whyeeeee????" But we survived. I hate to tell her we have to go back in a month for another flu shot!

Her stats are:
Weight: 16lbs. 2.5 oz. (50th percentile)
Height: 28" long (95th percentile)
Head circumference: 44 cm (80th percentile)
She's gained 2.5 lbs and 2 inches since her 4-month appointment. What do percentiles mean? For weight she is right around the middle in that 50% of kids weigh less than her at 6 months of age and 50% of kids weigh more than her at 6 months of age. For height, she's tall, 5% of kids are taller than her at this age and 95% are shorter. Who cares, right? Doctor said she's doing great, reaching all those milestones and very strong!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Lucy is 6 months old today. We did the monthly tradition of taking her photo next to "big sheep". Since it is October, she is decked out in her Halloween gear.

It's been hectic here at the house. We are in full demolition mode. Troy has been ripping out tile and carpet upstairs for the past week. The tile was quite a doozy and has left a lovely film of dust on everything and everyone. Although I hate living in chaos, it will be worth it in a few weeks when the new hardwood floors are in and the granite countertops have been put in. Since we can't find anything around here, we were treated to a wonderful steak and potato dinner a la Paul and Vicky tonight.
Lucy has been sleeping through the night for a good week now. What does that mean? She goes down around 8 and wakes up anywhere from 5:30-7am. Oh, and last night from 1-2am. But it's exciting. Now, that doesn't mean WE sleep through the night. No, my internal clock still gets me up just to make sure she's still sleeping. She'll have her 6-month appointment next week and we'll find out how big she's gotten.
October is a busy month with home renovations, hunting for Troy, and the annual Women of Faith conference for me next weekend! This will be my third year attending and it's always a good time.
Hope everyone is enjoying the season and staying healthy!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

It's our 2nd wedding anniversary today. To celebrate, on Saturday Troy and I headed up to Bayfield, WI. Originally we were going to go on a trip along the St. Croix south to see the fall colors, but they weren't really in bloom yet. Then we decided to go up to Duluth, but at the last moment looked at a map and decided to head up to Bayfield, WI to see the Apostle Islands. Uncle Eric watched Lucy for the day and they had all sorts of fun decorating the church and going to the coffee shop!

We departed early Saturday morning and headed north along Hwy 63 and 53. Stopped for a quick breakfast in Spooner, then to an art fair in Cable, however it started to rain so we got in the truck and headed north. We got to Bayfield around 11:30 and walked through the shops in town, where I found a woodcarved Santa (I collect them and try to get one every year). We had lunch at the "Pier Plaza" before heading out to the orchards.

Our first orchard was Erickson Orchard & Country Store, where we sampled and purchased some fresh apple donuts...mmmm! Then we headed over to Hauser's Superior View Farm & Bayfield Winery. We took some pictures of the Superior view from the top of the barn, and then went down to sample thier various wines. We picked up a few bottles of their Cranberry apple wine to enjoy at home.

We decided to drive a bit along the peninsula to see if we could get a view of the Apostle Islands (the only island you can really see from Bayfield is the very large Madelaine Island). However, the majority of the peninsula is indian reservation. As you can see from the photos below, quite a different way of living from what we're used to!

Because we're old farts, Lisa got a headache and Troy's back was hurtin', so we headed home to Baldwin, where Paul made some wonderful homemade pizzas for dinner!

And yesterday was the big Vikings-Packers game. Troy and Lucy were dressed the part but we lost anyway, oh well!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Look what I can do!

Lucy loves to put everything in her mouth these days, as any baby does. Her latest is her feet - in the tub or even in the middle of eating green beans!

Tuesday evening we all went on a walk after dinner. It was chilly out, so instead of trying to keep blankets on her, we put her in her teddy bear suit. Simply adorable!

This weekend Troy and I are heading up to Duluth for the day. It is our 2nd anniversary on Monday. Two years sounds so small, but 730 days doesn't! Look at all that has happened in the past 730 days - I switched careers, we had a baby, she's almost 6 months old - crazy! Will post some pictures of our Duluth Adventure when we return!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Happy Fall!

Another weekend has come and gone and it's now autumn, my favorite time of year! On Friday evening our interior decorator (yes, we need help) stopped over with our new floor sample that we'll be getting installed at the end of October - can't wait to have hardwood floors again!

On Saturday, Lisa and Lucy went with friend Kellie and her son, Matt Jones, out to Minnetonka on a cross-stitch hunt. I decided to try out the baby sling ( that I had gotten when Lucy was in her colicky stage. She didn't enjoy it back then, but when we went shopping, she loved being on mom's hip and seeing everything up close! Here is a shot of Lucy in the sling:

After a nice lunch (oh, who am I kidding? we scarfed down our food as one child took a nap and the other threw a fit -- soon to be reversed on the drive home as the opposite child napped while the other threw a fit :) ) and a stop at The Minnetonka General Store, we headed home.

In the evening, uncle Eric and Cousin Heather came over and we all headed to Troy's friend Johnny's surprise 30th birthday party, just outside of town. There was lots of food and drink there and even a couple bands played. We got to chat with another couple who brought along their daughter who was Lucy's age, so it was fun to compare stories (although I admit I was a bit jealous that their's has slept 12 hours a night for the past 3 months...). Lucy and I headed home when she announced it was bath time. Uncle and Cousin spent the night.

On Sunday we all went to 10:30 service and our fellow parishioner and youth minister, Melody, gave us this wonderful baby gift that is pictured below - a huge hooded towel for bath time! After lunch, Heather and Eric left, Troy retired to watch the Vikings game and Lucy and I took a nice Sunday nap!

And now it's Monday, and this morning brought very tragic news - Lisa's aunt Donna's brother, Mike, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Hudson last night -
Very sad for their family, and reaffirms to all of us that life is short and precious and to hold each other close while we can and not "sweat the small stuff".

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Uff da!

We all went to Mama Maria's restaurant in Hudson last night to say goodbye to Grandma Jeanette and Arnie before they close up the camper and head south for the season. As you can see, Lucy had too much lasagna. I thought the picture was too cute not to post it.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

An Orchard, A Drive-In and an Art Fair

This was a busy, fresh-air-filled weekend for all of us! On Saturday we headed over to Stillwater to Aamodt's Apple Orchard and St. Croix Vineyards for apples and wine. We picked up some yummy Honey Crisp apples and some McIntosh ones for baking. Then over to the Winery to sample and pick up a few bottles of wine.

We continued our journey up 95 north of Stillwater, up to Taylors Falls where we ate at the Drive-In (the name escapes me). Lots of "firsts" for Lucy that day - first orchard, first winery and first drive-in! After lunch we went over the St. Croix River into Wisconsin to make our journey back home. Just north of Amery we stopped at a quaint boutique called Bittersweet Farms. Then home we went for a nice nap!

I ended up baking a couple pans of apple crisp, which was more like apple not-so-crisp (never mess with a recipe!), but it still tastes good! We took a nice walk in town and visited with friend, Kathleen. Put Lucy down for bed and watched the movie "You, Me and Dupree" which was very funny!

Today (Sunday) Lucy and mom headed over to friend Kellie's to pick up her and Matt Jones (1-year-old) and went up to Marine on St. Croix for the annual Marine Art Fair. We didn't find anything we couldn't live without, except for a bag of Kettle Corn. We visited at Kellie's parents house, who live in Marine on the St. Croix River. Frank (Kellie's dad) is towards the end of the process of remodeling their home and it is absolutely gorgeous! They really should be on one of those HGTV shows to show it off.

And so we're home now, making a pot roast, watching the Vikings play, getting ready for another busy week!

(also, Lucy's 4-month pictures are online now at - under Portraits)

Monday, September 10, 2007


Troy is off at his first night of bowling league for the season. He is swapping every other Monday with another teammate so he won't be bowling for the whole 40 weeks (it's some insane amount like that!) Lucy is fast asleep so I thought I would upload photos we took in her new outfit from Great-Grandma Blanche!


We also had some pictures of Lucy's after-bath massage time. I learned some infant masssage techniques at Baby and Me class last week. However, this being the internet, I decided not to post any cute nudie pictures of my baby. My baby who will be 5 months old tomorrow! Is that nuts? She just gets funner and funner every step of the way. She thinks that dad and I are the silliest people in her whole world - you honestly cannot have a bad day if you get at least five minutes of Lucy time in it.

That little white spot on her gums is getting bigger so I'm thinking it is a tooth, plus she loves to just rub her tongue on it. And drool. And chew on everything.

I also thought I would post some links here that keep me up-to-date on some important times going on in my relatives lives: - this is my great Uncle Mark (yes, he's great!) who is being treated for multiple myeloma and currently "living" down in Rochester at the Gift of Life house. Not only do I love to get updates on what's going on, but I love reading the comments people post in his guestbook - he's got some hilarious friends! and her brother - these are my cousin Shannon's two out of three children - what a tough year it has been for them, but the sun is shining brightly on them now!

Now that fall (weather) is here, it puts me in the mood to craft and shop at boutiques and art fairs. This week a girlfriend of mine is coming to visit and we'll hit the "Market" in Baldwin and then on the weekend it's out to Marine on St. Croix for the Marine Art Fair! What I love about going to art fairs is buying a wood-carved Santa. I try to get a different one every year.

Anyhoo, time for some quiet time and Sudoku before bed!