Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Big 2!

Stephen celebrated his 2nd birthday today. We filled it with all sorts of fun: going to the farmer's market and getting a yummy bread, riding on the carousel at the mall, buying some new sandals, (don't forget naptime), a new airplane, and sloppy joes for dinner. For a special treat to top it off, we had ice cream from Coldstone. He's exhausted, and so are we. And so is Bethany who we drug around with us all morning.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Abby is 2 months old (a family update post)

Yesterday my little girl turned 2 months, and on Saturday my big boy will turn 2! And he'll even tell you that when you ask him. Unless he's in a bad mood, in which case he will say "no no."

First of all, I went ahead and measured and weighed her this morning, not because I was worried but because I was curious. She is 15 lb and 25.5 inches long, taking after her brother and not fitting in the confines of the CDC growth charts. Gone are the days of 0-3 month clothing. That's alright though; we've managed to fill her drawer full of pink, red, and lavender clothes ranging in sizes from 3 - 9 months. She is sleeping great at night -- nursing once or twice, and going back to sleep just wonderfully. I credit the full schedule we keep trying to busy her brother during the day. She has to sleep when she has the chance! She is smiling and giggling and "talking" to us. She also has an awesome poker face when she poops. We hear the sound but her facial expression changes not one bit! She seems like a much easier baby than Stephen was. I think it's a combination of her being easier going and me not being quite as nervous!

Stephen is continuing to amaze us with his understanding and awareness of the world around him. I'm sure every parent of a toddler thinks that, but it's so real when it's my own kid! He hears an airplane and finds it in the sky. He remembers that we saw a train at the bus station and looks for it the next time we go. He has finally figured out that Z is actually a letter, and not just an N that we turned on its side! He also seems to love having his sister around and is actually disappointed when I get him up in the morning and I'm not holding her. I have to make sure I don't create too many routines in his day or he begins to expect the same thing to happen every time. Today when we were at the grocery store I purposefully avoided walking by the bakery because the workers always want to give him a cookie and I don't want him to start thinking grocery store = cookie.

He is learning to "obey" and is sometimes better at it than other times. He picked up the word himself while listening to his Bible verse CD and loves saying it much more than he loves doing it. The main instructions we expect him to follow are to come in the house when we ask and to sit on the floor for a diaper change. He seems to get suggestions confused with commands. For instance, I said "let's go play with your alphabet ball." To which he replied, "obey obey obey" as he happily walked over to it.

Ryan has been working long hours with the music camp and getting ready for his recital. We will both breathe a sigh of relief when it is over ... and then have to figure out where we're going to live and pack to move out of here by July 31! We're 99% certain we're staying in the Champaign-Urbana area, but won't be staying in the same duplex.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Celebrity Family Feud

Tonight on NBC at 7. I like Family Feud AND The Office ... cast members from The Office are supposedly going to be competing against those from American Gladiators. Fun fun. Too bad this just happens to be a night we already have plans. I set the vcr.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

America's Funniest Olympic Diving Trials

I love watching AFV with Stephen. Everytime someone falls down, gets pushed into a swimming pool, or endures some other misfortune, he screams "OH, NO!" and then giggles.

Before his nap today, we turned on the TV (which he calls the tay-yay-yay) and the olympic diving trials were on. Every time a diver hit the water, "OH, NO!"

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sibling Revelry

I've been pleasantly surprised at how welcoming Stephen has been to his sister, Abby! Our "problems" these days usually stem from him not getting food that he wants, the weather, and gravity. Only one of those things can I control, and I think it's in his best interest not to eat pizza, cookies, and chips all day every day.

Our day began with some thunderstorms that prevented us from having a morning walk or park time before the Tupperware party started at 11. This did not make Stephen happy. He stood by the door and said "go" continually until Ryan finally took him for a walk around 6.

We enjoyed having some friends here for a casual Tupperware get-together. I am not good at selling it, but I gave it a shot! For instance, one friend was going to buy the rectangular cake taker and the pie taker, and I said that she didn't need to get both, that the rectangular one is big enough for pies. So there went a sale, but that's ok with me. She didn't need the extra item. I'll be closing the sale later this week, probably on the 27th, so let me know if you do want something. They do sell more than plastic these days - it's all online!

Ryan finished his 1st week of ISYM and is now driving a family from Bloomington to their home in a limo. Tomorrow he starts his 2nd week bright and early.

His jazz recital is just a week and a half away and he's been very busy completing transcriptions for it and practicing. Info regarding it is to the right.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Moby Wrap

I use this daily - if not thrice daily - and Abby loves it! Here she is with my mom ...

I'm really thankful to have my Stephen back. He spent 2 days up in the Chicago area with my parents, and had a great time playing with tractors and trucks. I enjoyed having some alone time with Abby but I missed my big boy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Everything is big in Texas, including Abby and Stephen and this post.

We spent a week in Salado, Texas, with my sister Emily and her husband, Spencer. They've been married less than a year and live on a farm, where Spencer had been living for awhile. Little did we know when we planned to go down there that the day-to-day adventures of the Vogts would be such a hit with our almost-2-year-old. Here are some examples ... the chicken and peacock coop that sits right next to the house ... the lineup of tractors ... the classic Fords parked in the sheds ... Bill the dog ... the cows that walk right past the house as they graze ... the riding mower ... the multitude of tractors along the interstate where there seems to be endless construction ... the fish tank ... the life size Brett Favre cutout that sits in the room where Stephen slept ...

On Thursday, Ryan, Emily, and I headed into Austin with the kids and toured the state capitol and visitors' center. Abby slept in the wrap most of the time, as Stephen had done when we were at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

My parents recently decided to purchase a home near Emily and Spencer where they can spend time in the winters. They can rent it out during the summer. That is where the photo of Abby on the shelf was taken. The realtor let us in to look around.

Another highlight for Stephen was being able to sit in the front seat of the car. The design of the Taurus we had rented allowed for the passenger side air bag to be turned off so he sat up with daddy. Although it's not the safest place for him, it made for room in the back for me and Emily to sit with Abby. When I put him in the back seat of Emily's car, he was not happy at all. I think he's gotten used to the back seat again, though.

On Wednesday night, we had dinner at Johnny's BBQ in Salado. This is the restaurant that catered a lunch for the Bush wedding a month ago. The food was good, but I think next time I'd recommend to the Bushes that they go with Big Daddy's in Des Moines.

We also attended (and Ryan was in) Nathan Harnden's wedding in Waco on Saturday. For us it was somewhat sentimental since we spent a weekend in Waco shortly after we started dating. We drove past the area of Baylor where we were walking when I told Ryan that I didn't expect him to do anything for Valentine's Day ... I think I still got some cookies, though.

The trip home was an adventure, as seen in the previous post. We're thankful that we were able to get to a store to get some coolant, and since then we have replaced the radiator cap, which seemed to be the problem.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

It's So Nice to Be Home!

In the past 24 hours we have ...
  • attended a beautiful wedding in Texas (Congratulations Nathaniel and Brittani!), but where the AC had just broken
  • enjoyed a tasty dinner in an equally as hot reception facility
  • said goodbye to Aunt Emmy (Emily) - quite traumatic for Stephen
  • sat on a real horse (Stephen did this)
  • driven 2.5 hours from the reception to Dallas, getting in to a hotel at 1 a.m.
  • shuttled ourselves, our luggage and our 2 kids to the airport for a booked solid 7:45 a.m. flight (both kids were "lap" children)
  • arrived in St. Louis where Aimee picked us up from the airport
  • stopped more times than I want to count to 1. feed Abby 2. change Abby's diaper
  • been to McDonalds twice
  • scoured Neoga, IL, for an open auto parts store for the special type of coolant needed for our car when our car started to overheat
  • driven 15 miles to Mattoon at 40 mph with the heat on full blast so the car doesn't overheat; we found some DexCool there
  • sang about Old McDonald having a farm with a CHICKEN a dozen times
More about our trip sometime later. Right now I need to feed Abby.