Thursday, August 30, 2007

What We're Talking About Around Here

I know it's been a long time since I posted. I was working on a math book, and that took any time I had to sit at the computer - and I am typically pretty tired by the end of the day! But now my book is back in the hands of Perfection Learning, and once again I can update you all on what we are doing.

Stephen has been chatty. Very chatty. And sometime he actually seems to be telling you a story. Other times he just repeats the same syllables over and over. He can say "quack quack" (tho it sounds more like kak kak) so we've been asking him what a duck says.

He also started saying "wee wee wee wee wee" yesterday. I wondered if it was the end of "This Little Piggy" but I doubted it because I've only done that with him about 10 times ever.

Then this morning I was singing "Old McDonald" and I sang "with a quack quack here ..." He looked at me and said "kak kak eer wee wee wee wee wee!"

We're heading to Kansas City tomorrow and will see some college friends. It will be fun to get away now that we're back into the school schedule again!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

2 years down; Many to go!

We celebrated our 2nd anniversary today. It started out with a limo job from 5 - 10 a.m. Then we celebrated with Heidi that she completed her thesis and now holds the title of PhD! Congrats, Heidi.

We enjoyed a nice dinner while Stephen played over at our friends' house. He did great and hardly missed us! They have a cat that he likes to chase around.

Friday, August 10, 2007

My Favorite Limo Driver and His Favorite Passenger

No, we didn't actually let Stephen ride with him but the car was here during a break and we went out to take a look.

Major victory today! Stephen drank from his own sippie cup! I know he has been able to do it since he was about 8 months but he just wouldn't do it. He thought that holding it was my job. I would try to show him how to do it by moving his hands but he would get very upset and push the cup away. The past couple days I've been drinking from it, hoping that he would finally learn by imitation. It worked! Now I just have to show him how far he has to tip his head back to get what's at the bottom of the cup.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

An anniversary of sorts

We've now lived in Champaign for a year! Last August 7 was cooler than today was, and that was a very good thing for our moving crew.

Also, please vote on the right-hand side of the page for the best mapping site. We've been trying to figure out what works more accurately. They all seem to have flaws.

Some people like this sort of thing ...

... other people groan. If you are the nongroaning sort, then enjoy. If you like to groan, just make sure my mom doesn't find out about it.

This photo was taken when we were in Des Moines last weekend. The doll is Ryan's Raggedy Andy doll. Now that I look at it, I realize that Stephen and Andy match!

The photo below is from my childhood, taken with my Raggedy Ann doll, whose name was Barbara.

Barbara was very well loved. I even remember having to package Barbara up and send her to the doll hospital because she was so tattered! She came back much better looking but now once again her arms and legs hang by a thread and there are some interesting marker drawings on her.

I looked through the photos of Ryan that we have and I didn't find any of him with Raggedy Andy. (That might explain why Andy is still so intact after all these years!)

Monday, August 06, 2007


Our phone # is working again.

One car is just fine with a schedule like this!

Most of you know that we are living with just one car here in Champaign. The bus system is great, and we just make sure we communicate about our schedules so that we don't both need the car at the same time. Now that Ryan has started the limo job he does need to use the car quite often since the limo company's office isn't anywhere near a bus route. This can leave me carless for 8 hours sometimes.

Last night he left the house at 1 a.m. and got back at 8 a.m., just as Stephen was waking up. I had no interest in going anywhere (except maybe to the bathroom) the whole time he was gone!

I'm glad he made it back alright. He slept before he went from about 8 till midnight. Then he went to bed after he got home and we'll go get him up around noon.

Stephen and I went to the babies' storytime this morning at the library. We hadn't been there since he started crawling, so I saw a big difference in his reaction to it. He liked the singing, but he mostly wanted to move around and look at all the different people. When we first got there, he took off on the colorful mat that lies in the middle of the chairs. Then I picked him up and put him on my lap. Not willing to just sit there and pay attention, he tried to captivate anyone he could by shaking his head wildly. He's a ham. He also really liked one of the library workers who said hello to him when we got there. She left about halfway through and he kept looking over to where she'd been standing to see if she had come back.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Odds and Ends

So as I take care of things around the house and go around town I keep thinking, "I should blog about that!" and then the topic just never makes it to the computer ... it's rare to have the equipment to write or to not have my hands full of my little Stephen! So while I have the evening to myself while Ryan is off working (more on that later) I'll try to fill everyone in on the little details of life!

We've had a busy week, even without Thomas here! One of the things I realized that I'm thankful for is the flexibility that Stephen and I have to go to stores, to the park, to see friends, etc. With another little one here (and no carseat for him) we were homebound most of the time. We were glad to have Thomas with us for three weeks, but I wouldn't have wanted it to be a permanent situation.

Our friends Susan and Ercan moved from being about 3 minutes away from us to being about 2 minutes away ... tho it's about a 10 minute walk. We have been over there several times already and today Ryan was Mr. Assembly Man as he and Ercan puzzled over a very complicated weight machine. I tried to go to garage sales but they just weren't happening like it seemed they were when I looked at the paper this morning. I might try again tomorrow - I'll see how the night and morning go.

Ryan started his limo job a few weeks ago and he's been pretty busy transporting families to airports in St. Louis and Chicago. The company he works with, Z's Entertainment, has an agreement with the Make-a-Wish Foundation in which they get a break on normal fees and the drivers agree to drive without receiving tips (but they still get their hourly pay). Once he gets his CDL, he'll be able to drive the larger, SUV-type limos and be the chauffeur for weddings and such.

Speaking of transportation, Stephen and I have really enjoyed the bus this summer. He likes riding in the stroller, and I like not having to fill the car with gas as much. The system is set up pretty well to get us anywhere in the central areas of Urbana and Champaign, as long as we have the patience to take the time to get there! Once the summer is over, we won't take it as much. The passes for a semester aren't as good of a bargain and once the weather is colder I won't want Stephen to be sitting out in the cold waiting for a bus to come.

He is doing so well getting up on his feet now! He isn't walking without our help yet (or at least without the furniture - that is his favorite crutch), but I think he's starting to realize that it would be a good way to get around. If he takes his cue from his other little friends, he'll be running in no time :). Thanks Will and Nathaniel.

Teething continues to be a challenge. He did fairly well with his 8 front teeth, just needing teething gel a handful of times to comfortably sleep. But these molars are really getting to him! He is cutting his 4th molar and I'm hoping that is all that will be coming for a little while. We've given him Motrin a few times today and at the time I'm writing this he's been asleep for 2 hours with just a few moans.

Food has become so much less of a challenge with Stephen, and I'm really thankful for that! He still refuses it sometimes, but overall he'll eat just about everything! Beans are among his favorite, which is great as far as I'm concerned since we need to get his iron intake up. I've been enjoying cooking (when I have the time) and we also have dined with guests a few times. On Wednesday, we served Indian Spiced Rice, though I didn't follow the directions to a T. I made the lentils, potatoes, and rice all separately and mixed together at the end. It's been really fun to use the bread machine, too. Though I'm sold on making the dough in the machine and then baking it in my own oven ... this allows for shaping it the way I want ... hamburger buns are awesome this way! I have gotten some good ideas from The Hillbilly Housewife, though I have found her recipes to be a bit bland. Tomorrow I'm planning to make some gazpacho ... I'll be sure to post if it turns out pretty good!

I read a book in the past couple weeks called Natural Causes. I had no idea of some of the things that have gone on in the herbal/natural supplement world! Though I don't agree with the way this author presents everything, or his conclusions (I think he had an agenda), it was good to read. And the premise makes sense ... just because something is herbal doesn't mean it's safe! It just reinforced some of my ideas that we need to be eating healthy - popping a vitamin isn't a good insurance policy for bad food habits.

I'm still in the process of reading Who Is Your Covering? As I told Ryan, if it's not a library book I just don't have the same sense of urgency to read it ... and since I have library books checked out they always take precendence!

Today is my twin sisters' birthday, as well as my parent's anniversary and my aunt's birthday. I did get to talk to Heidi and mom, even though our phone number still isn't working. We'll have to straighten that out next week.