Saturday, January 31, 2009

Swim Lessons

A month ago I decided to sign Abby up for swim lessons at the same pool where I swam when I was expecting her. Today was the 1st day. I can't say she loved it, but she definitely did get used to the water and even seemed to improve over the course of the half hour that we were there.

With our upcoming move to Texas, we think it's pretty essential that the kids get used to water soon. There'll be no better way to cool off in the hot summer!

Ryan has been taking Stephen to the campus pool on the weekends during their family hours. Stephen isn't loving it either, but he gets better each time. We'll just need to keep it up for both kids. And we should have more opportunities this summer.

Eric and Bethany ... I mean Dr. and Mrs. ... Landquist left today to go back to Germany. It was great to have them here for a couple days but it did feel like a whirlwind for them. Eric's defense went well and he deposited the very next day.

Abby had her 9-month checkup this week and checked out just fine. She's slowing down in her growth - which is a FINE thing - just different from her brother who continues to be really tall for his age. She's hitting gross motor milestones much faster than he is. She's very motivated and has begun standing without support as well as cruising in the past week.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Be on the Lookout for Paint-With-Water

I cannot find Paint with Water books! I think Stephen would enjoy it. Anyone know where you can get these anymore? It seems they were all over when I was little, wherever coloring books can be found. I guess I can get them online, but I was thinking a little closer to home ...

But since we could not find them, we got some Play-doh.

And Abby needed a little snuggle time after I got out the very scary vacuum cleaner.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Ryan and I both wear contacts.

Though not the same prescription strength.

But we both have identical prescriptions for our own eyes, making it unnecessary to store them in the designated "L" and "R" sides of the contact case.

Today I realized: Left, Right, Lisa, Ryan. WOW!

A simple switch of the lids, and we now have personalized contact cases. Beautiful.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lincoln Museum

One of the things we've wanted to do while living in this area was visit the Lincoln Museum in Springfield. It would have been easier without the kids, but the day we thought would be good to do it did not jive with grandmas or grandpas being in town. So on Sunday we took off.

The museum itself isn't huge, but the exhibits are very well done. There are 2 movies, and we watched one of them. Even Stephen sat through it--it was only 10 minutes long.

Most of it was "no photography allowed," so I will show you some from the kid's area as well as the atrium.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Simple Things

It's the simple things in life that sometimes go unmentioned, but down the road I wonder why I never said them before.

So here, in this blog world, let me just say that I really appreciate it when I can pull up to a sidewalk at a store and walk in without having to cross the parking lot. Maybe a civil engineer will read this and design a lot with mothers like me in mind. For their sake and mine, thank you! I have discovered, especially with all the snow recently, that it makes getting in and out of a store so much easier! Even at our Schnucks down the street, I will park farther away down the strip mall just so we don't have to cross the parking lot. And here's a 2nd best option for the store's cart-pushers: when you take the carts inside, leave 1 or 2 in the corral for mothers to park next to. I'm impressed by certain workers' eagerness, but I have seen them snatch away the last cart in the lot just as I'm pulling in and it's quite devastating (at the time, anyway).

I have recently started making my own yogurt. I've known it was possible, but after 1 failed attempt I didn't know if I wanted to try again. Then I ran across a way to make it in the crockpot and WOW! It's so easy and makes it so affordable to have smoothies ("moobies") on a daily basis. At the moment I am cooking pancakes that have yogurt in them instead of milk and I think the fam is going to like them.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Big News: A Move to San Antonio, Texas

Here is the news that we've been waiting to share, simply because we wanted to decide for sure if we were going to do it! Ryan will accept a saxophone position with the Air Force Band of the West and we'll be moving to San Antonio this summer. Now some of you are blog scanners and that's all you needed to know. For those of you with more questions, I'll try to address the FAQs.

Does he have to go through basic training?
Yes. It's 8 1/2 weeks, and it will be after this semester of school. No, we don't get to see him for that time, but we will be able to talk on the phone a few times.

What is the commitment?
We give them a 4-year commitment. Chances are that we'll be in San Antonio that whole time.

Will he have to travel/go overseas?
Yes, he will have to travel. The region he tours is Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The projections are that there will be 6 tours a year, each lasting 7 - 10 days. There is a small chance he would be deployed, but it would be to play the saxophone with his ensemble. We're prepared to cross that bridge if necessary.

Will we live on base?
Probably not. About 90% of the band members live off base, and we're leaning towards doing the same.

Isn't that close to Emily?
Yes. She lives in Salado, which is about 2 hours away. My parents recently bought a home in Georgetown, which is even closer -- just north of Austin.

What are Lisa and the kids going to do while Ryan is in training?
Good question. Of course I don't want to alone with the kids that whole time. But I also want to keep life somewhat normal for Stephen and Abby's sakes. I'll probably do some combination of traveling to see family and friends as well as staying in Urbana.

What will Ryan's rank be?
He'll enter as an E-3 Airmen 1st Class. (I'm not totally sure what that means, but I'm sure we'll find out.)

What is the high in San Antonio for tomorrow?

What is the high in Urbana for tomorrow?

And now I will leave you with a photo of Abby clapping and Stephen playing his own version of Twister.

Friday, January 09, 2009

What We Did to Kick Off 2009

We traveled to Des Moines on January 1, right after Ryan played a new year's eve gig in Bloomington. (Side note: I knew when I married Ryan that December 31 would be a work day for at least one of us. I'd performed in a concert almost every December 31 since joining the symphony and he--a jazz musician--would be even more in demand. So far here is the rundown: Year 1 - in Montana, and Ryan was battling a stomach bug. Yuck. Year 2 - sitting in a hotel room with Stephen while Ryan performs in Oskaloosa, IA. Year 3 - sitting at home while Ryan drives a limo. Year 4 - trying to keep happy Abby quiet in the same room as sleeping Stephen in Bloomington.)

We got together with the Adair, IA, family on the 2nd. Here are Grandma and Grandpa Fay with all the grandkids and great-grandkids.

Aunt Care had a great time with both kids. Here she is with Abby, whose hair continues to make me laugh. It'll lie down on her head one of these days.

Here is the gingerbread house that Ryan and I assembled and then Stephen and Susan finished decorating. The cookies tasted NASTY but Stephen liked them anyway.

These photos are from my trip to Marshalltown to visit the Snodgrasses. Nick and Xander and Abby had a good time, though all 3 kids are still more interested in making sure they know where mommy is than they are in playing with each other.

Ryan went to San Antonio to audition for a job. More TKTK.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I Hope Someone Tells Me This Is a Hoax

I'm pretty skeptical of most email forwards I get or shocking declarations of drastic changes in laws or policies. I usually check on to see if there's any validity to the claims, and am usually alerted to where the scam or story began.

But this one seems to be true.

It sounds like a good idea. Test children's products (including books, clothing, and toys) for lead and keep the tainted items off the market. I don't want my baby having lead poisoning and I am careful about what she puts in her mouth because of that. I know someone personally who deals with lead poisoning from paint chips she ate and it has profoundly impacted her life.

But this new law that was supposedly signed into effect in August of 2008 will cause all retailers to pull toys, clothing, and books off the shelf if they haven't been tested for lead by an independent 3rd party. And it's not as simple as sending a lead-detecting police dog through the store. Some places claim it can cost $500 per item to be tested for lead. It would include consignment stores and thrift stores.

Here are some links that I've run across.,0,2083247.story

And a website to try to do something about it:

Something tells me that this just isn't going to happen.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

San Antonio

Me: Where did daddy go?

Stephen: airplane

Me: Where is he going?

Stephen: Texas

Me: What is he doing there?

Stephen: [saxo]phone

Yep, he hit it right on the nose. Ryan made it swiftly and safely to San Antonio and he'll be back to Des Moines next Tuesday. Stephen will have an overnight (alone) with grandma and grandpa while Abby and I head to Marshalltown to visit some friends.