Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Magic

Christmas magic fell upon the Swanson household.  Cullen made some reindeer food at school (1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 tsp. green glitter and 1 tsp. red glitter).  He told us that we had to sprinkle it both in the front and back of the house on Christmas Eve to make sure that the reindeer found their way.  Then, we set out carrots and water for Santa's reindeer and some cookies and milk for the jolly old man.  Cullen actually went to bed fairly easy that night - maybe it was the long Christmas mass that tired him out.  When we awoke in the morning, the first thing we did was check if the treats had been touched.  Sure enough - the carrots and cookies were no where in sight!  Now.... Onto the gifts!  Cullen and Simone received a toy kitchen from Santa - as well as a pile of other presents.  It's funny to note that Cullen spent the most time playing with the flashlight from his stocking - rather than the big ticket items (isn't that the way it goes?!).   Then, we journeyed up to MPLS to see Grandma Liz, Grandpa Mark, Brigette, Mason, Annie and Drew.  We can't wait for the magic to return next year.

Holiday Cheer

We took in La Crosse's Rotary Lights at Riverside Park.  Both Simone and Cullen were in awe.  It is such a joy seeing things through your childrens' eyes.  It's a whole new perspective! 

Our friends Nick and Brooke paid a visit home from Hawaii and introduced us to their son Whistler.  He's an adorable little guy and Simone was smitten!

Swanson Family Christmas

We celebrated an early Christmas with the Swanson clan on Sunday, 12.19.  Cullen and Jameson received superhero capes with their initials - a big hit!  Simone sat back and watched the chaos.  But really, the best present was just being together.

The Seventh Month Mark

Simone is now loving baby food, has yet to cut any teeth and is sleeping well through the night (6:30 pm - 6:30 am).  Everyone adores her - especially her brother!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blizzard Babies.

La Crosse spent the weekend digging out of a foot of snow.  Thank God Bob showed up on Sunday morning with the end-loader to dig through the snow.  He saved Dirk a few hours of work!  We also paid a visit to Grandma Ione.  In fact, Cullen had so much fun at her house, he threw a fit when we had to leave.    All in all, it wasn't so bad!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chicken Dancing.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

We had a weekend full of Christmas festivities. On Saturday morning we attended breakfast with Santa. The jolly old man and his wife, Mrs. Claus, filled the room with fun and laughter. Cullen wasn't scared of Santa this year and told him that he wanted a toy kitchen. Afterward, Cullen and Mason rode the Southdale Xmas Xpress with Annie. We also received our first major snowfall. Cullen did what he could to help Dirk clear the patio, but really he just played in the white stuff! The weekend ended with Cullen and Simone's school Christmas program. Simone's class performed (aka looked cute) for a rendition of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". Cullen's class danced the "Chicken Dance" and sang "Jingle Bells". Dirk and I are so proud of our Christmas stars!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

MPLS fun.

We are thankful.

We had a great thanksgiving celebration at Wowee's house with the Moore clan. Cullen and Simone got to hang out with lots of cousins - young and old.

We are thankful for such a happy, healthy family; for a loyal dog; for a winning Badger football team and for no snow to shovel in November!

Half a year has come and gone.

Wow. Simone is now 6 months old. She got a clean bill of health from Dr. Gerhard and didn't cry too hard when the nurses gave her those terrible shots!

Simone's 6-month stats:
length: 24 inches (3rd percentile)
weight: 15 lbs (25th percentile)
head: 46 cm (> 98th percentile)

Just to compare, here are Cullen's 6-month stats:
length: 24 inches
weight: 16 lbs.
head: 45 cm

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


"The days are long, but the weeks are short" some wise person once said. Simone turns 6 months this week. She has yet to materialize any teeth, but everything goes into her mouth and she is drooling like a leaky faucet. Simone is a perfectly happy baby. The only time she cries is if she is hungry. Just like Cullen at 6 months, Simone hits a wall by 6:00/6:30 pm and we need to put her down to rest. She has been sleeping through the night for about 2 months, but has her morning time a bit mixed up with daylight savings. She has been cooing for her morning bottle at 4:30 am (ughh!). Cullen is 2 1/2 and so hilarious. He woke up this morning and told me it was "40 o-clock and time to wake up"! He is also quite the stinker at bedtime. Cullen has figured out that if he asks to go potty right after we turn out the light, we have no choice but to let him. Thus, prolonging his wake time. He also has the habit of yelling "I need a band-aid" from his bed. We know he is not injured and this is just another ploy. He will also call when he loses something in his bed "I can't find my blanket anywhere." Cullen LOVES his baby sister and always tries to make her laugh and hold her hand. It has been quite the journey thus far and I know we have many fun times ahead.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trick or Treat!

Halloween weekend was a blast. We kicked off the festivities carving pumpkins and watching the "Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" special on Friday night. However, the highlight of the weekend was a visit from Mason, Brigette and Annie. Cullen was so excited, he asked me if he could wait on the front steps about an hour before the trio was due to arrive. The house felt a bit chaotic with two, wild 2-year-olds running around, but it was so much fun. Simone just sat back and watched the wild boys. We spent some time at the park with Jameson - topped off with ghost-shaped sugar cookies from Aunt Tracy. A good sugar high before nap time never hurt anyone! We decided 4:00 pm Sunday afternoon would be the kick-off to our Trick or Treating (you have to start early and end early with little ones). We met up with Jameson and Tracy + Elly, Anna, Matt and Megan Binsfield. The little ones went up to the first door with a slight push from their moms and dads, but they all said the magic phrase. Followed by the ever-important "Thank you". We made it to almost a dozen houses before the kids were done. Cullen's fun continued as he passed out candy to the other kids that came ringing at our door. We didn't even know most of the them, but Cullen would come running back to report that his "friends" had just stopped by for candy. Dirk and I have almost finished Cullen's stash, the pumpkins have been nibbled by the squirrels and the kids can't wait until next year!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Angel Baby.

We celebrated Simone's baptism today and were honored to have Jake and Jessie Erickson serve as her God-Parents. She was an angel during the ceremony. In fact, she spent most of the time babbling loudly. Father Mark, who has quite a booming voice, even struggled to talk over her! Simone wore Wowee's beautiful baptismal gown. The garment is over 90 years old and was also worn by Grandma Liz. After the baptism, we headed home for a celebration brunch. Cullen had a blast playing with Julian and Molly and Simone was content to be held by everyone. We feel so blessed to have this beautiful baby in our lives.

Lovin' Life.

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away.

We spent a warm Saturday afternoon at Ferguson's apple orchard. Our toddlers ran from one fun activity to the next: tractor rides, the corn maze, the petting zoo, the giant hill of hay and the tee pee. And I was happy with my bag of perfectly ripe Honeycrisp apples!

Future Friends.

Cullen and Simone will soon be welcoming some new friends into the world: baby boy Van Rooyen and baby girl Hundt. We can't wait to meet them.

Congrats Kelly and Missy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Look Who's Talking.

Simone is sure becoming a talkative little thing. Be sure to listen up - she always has something important to say.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


On Wisconsin!

We took Cullen down for his first Badger game on Saturday. Simone stayed home with a her friend Nikki (aka the babysitter). We felt she is still a bit too young to witness the debauchery the surrounds a Badger home game, especially one against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. It was a gorgeous day and Mom was outnumbered as Dad and Cullen were both clad in Red. We started the day off at a tailgate where Cullen made many new friends. From there we headed into the game. Recently Cullen has become quite infatuated with Bucky Badger...(Thank God!). So the majority of the time we spent searching for him. Cullen's eyes lit up every time he spotted Bucky on the sidelines. The action on the field also didn't disappoint. Cullen screamed out "Touchdown" as Wisconsin put their first of many points on the board. As the game moved on, the temperature moved higher. By halftime, the little man was done. We watched the marching band during half which seemed to lift him a bit, but the excitement had wore him out. We carried him out to the car and he fell asleep head on Dad's shoulder. Mom and Dad then listened to the Badgers secure the Axe for the seventh straight year. As we sat at dinner later that night. Lisa and I were asking Cullen questions about his day. Lisa asked him what the Gopher's mascot's name was. Cullen's response..."Goldilocks".....Excellent.

Simone is doing great. Everyday she gets more and more animated. Cullen just adores her and is always giving her hugs and saying "Hi Simone." Mom and Dad just adore her too. Nothing makes my day more than coming home and see her look up at me as a huge smile comes across her face.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Another Oktoberfest is upon us. After Mom and Dad took part in some adult activities on Saturday, we took Cullen and Simone down to the fest grounds for some games and rides. Unfortunately, Cullen is only 34 inches tall right now, and every ride but the merry-go-round require that he be 36 inches. After an unsuccessful negotiation attempt with Rabbit the Carnie at the bouncy room, we headed over to the merry-go-round. Now we attempted the merry-go-round last year and Cullen was not a big fan. But we figured, hey he's 2.5 now and 34 inches tall, he'll love this. As you can see by the pictures he's not quite into it yet. After the merry go round meltdown we headed to play some games. Cullen decided that he wanted a goldfish. So off we went to visit Cowboy the Carnie. Now it has been quite a while since I played the goldfish game. Essentially, what you do is throw a ping pong ball in a little glass jar. After missing every shot on the first round, I was getting a bit nervous. As my 2.5 yr old, 34 inch, merry-go-round crying son looked up at me I knew I had to focus, failure was not an option. Then on the second shot of my next round of balls, Sharkie (Cullen named him) the goldfish was ours. We headed home, a great first weekend of the fest.
But the story doesn't end there. The next morning I'm taking the kids into daycare. Cullen was singing his new favorite song, "On Wisconsin" as we drove past the fest grounds. All of a sudden he stops singing and informs me that he was a big boy. Curious of what was going through this little guys head, I ask "Oh yeah, why do you say that?" Cullen then informs me that he is a big boy because he went on the rides and points towards the merry-go-round. Chuckling I ask, "Did you like the merry-go-round?" "Yes", he replied and then went back into "On Wisconsin" Classic.

Practically Perfect in Every Way.

Here are Simone's 4-month stats:
23.78 inches (25th percentile)
13 lbs. 6 oz. (25th percentile)
43.7 cm head circumference (98th percentile)

Simone has taken after her brother and almost every other person with the LaVigne genes: she has a very large brain! Just as Mary Poppins would say, "she's practically perfect in every way."

Big-Head Bowlers

After my grandmother's funeral, the LaVigne cousins spent some quality time together bowling. We did, after all, go to grandma's favorite spot: Elsie's.

Monday, September 20, 2010

all good things must come to an end.

We now say goodbye to both summer and my maternity leave. I have had a wonderful 4 months with sweet baby Simone and crazy Cullen. It's very bittersweet. While I do enjoy work, it's a dose of back to reality I'm not sure that I'm ready for. As this chapter ends, another begins.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Zoo Animals.

Fun with Mason and Brigette at the Como Zoo.

Everything Fried and "On-a-Stick".

Annie, Kelly, Cullen and I embarked on a event-filled journey to the great Minnesota get-together.

Circle of Life

It is with sad hearts that we say goodbye to my grandmother, Marian LaVigne. At 88, she died peacefully in her sleep. Her legacy is one to be proud of: 8 children, 16 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. She instilled in us the importance of family and always saying "I love you." I admire my strong German grandmother. She raised 8 very successful, honest, kind-hearted children. She was so proud of her children and grandchildren. Whether it was a football game, piano recital or the birth of a new baby, Grandma Marian was always our #1 fan.

Two days before Grandma passed away, baby James LaVigne was born to proud parents Dan and Aren. It truly reminds me that when God takes one life, he blesses us with another.

As Dirk and I begin our own family, we want to introduce them to the important family members who have shaped our lives. From parents to grandparents, aunts to uncles, first-cousins to second-cousins - you are already meaningful people to Cullen and Simone. Quality time spent with family is what life is all about.

Funny Kids.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sesame Street Live

I took Cullen to Sesame Street Live on Saturday morning. While not the type of show that I've grown accustomed to during my concert going youth, it was just as good. The smile that erupted on the little guy's face when Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie and friends made their way out from behind the curtain was priceless. Cullen yelled "Hi" to each character as they appeared. He sang, danced and jumped up and down throughout the 90 minute show. On his non concert going days, Cullen spends the majority of his time playing either baseball, basketball, kicking his soccer ball or swinging his golf clubs. Which I am loving. He has picked up on each one quickly. Little Cullen is also growing quite fond of going potty. He is informing us often now of his need to relieve himself. Although, his bladder seems to be the weakest right after we put him to bed. So he has figured out that the potty call will also put off bed time a little longer. Brains and Brawn. What a kid.

Simone is doing fabulous. Its been an amazing three months so far. She is beginning to smile quite a bit more and every time those tiny lips turn upward my heart just melts. She is just precious. She rolled over for the first time two days ago. It is a reminder of just how fast time is flying by. Three months old already. Where does the time go?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My little Irish lad.

As you can see, I really love dressing up my little girl. There's just something more fun with girl clothes than boy clothes. And in case you are wondering, I am doing my best to expose my little girl to good music - i.e. Madonna, Lady GaGa, etc.

Cullen, Dirk and I spent Saturday morning at La Crosse's Irishfest. While it is nowhere near the magnitude of Milwaukee's or Minneapolis' fine Irish festivals, it's still a good time. We started the morning with a 5k run at 10 am. The runners are sent off with an Irish blessing, kilts are common running attire, the winner is booed and there is a keg of Killian's Red at the finish line. What more can you ask for?! We then listened to some live Irish music and played some kiddie games. A fine morning for my little lad.

Playtime with the Vogels.

Kari and I got together with the kids last week - one of many playdates to come. Cullen and Jack had fun finger-painting while the girls just hung out. Cullen and Jack are 2 months apart while Simone and Stella are just 4 weeks apart.

Our new lawn boy.

Cullen thinks mowing the lawn is pretty cool - just because Dirk does it. Hopefully, we can still convince him that it's cool when he's 16!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer Haze, Summer Daze.

We can't believe how fast this summer is flying by. Dirk and I have managed to have a bit of adult fun - Liz and Scott's wedding, a night in Mad-town and a Jack Johnson concert. Thank God for grandparents who love to spend time with (a.k.a babysit) our kiddos. Cullen continues to amaze us with his conversation skills. The other night, he yelled from his bed "Dodo, my butt hurts. I need some Bee's" (translation: Burt's Bees diaper rash cream). He is also a very sporty little boy - always showing us that he can "jump really high" and "shoot the ball with my big muscles". Simone is just a sweet baby. We are biased, but we think she's the prettiest little girl we have ever seen and truly the best baby. She is starting to smile a lot, but we have had a hard time capturing the said smiles on camera. Simone becomes to intrigued with the camera and stops smiling every time she sees it!

Enjoy the pics. We have had a lot of fun with family and friends lately. Simone and Cullen recently enjoyed a visit with Maggie and Luke Hanson. And I should note that Simone and Luke share a birthday! We also spent time with Magnus and Talla Hansen. And finally, we were introduced to Emma Reuter. Who would have thought that Andrew Reuter would bless this world with an adorable little girl?! I have a bad feeling that Emma and Simone will be getting into trouble together in the years to come....

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Lovin'

Cullen continues to adore his baby sister. He is always asking to hold "baby phone" and if we glance away we often find him right at her swing - almost tipping her over - trying to give her a kiss or a hug. Our little girl has hit the 2 month mark. Simone is starting to give us smiles. Not on command and I have yet to catch one on film, but we all receive a few a day. She weighed in at 10 lbs. 3 oz. and 20.75 inches long at her 2 month check-up (and she also survived her first round of shots). Simone is 2 lbs. more than her brother at this age, but she was fortunate enough not to have the major setback known as Pyloric Stenosis. She has also slept through the night (9 pm - 5 am) for the past 2 nights! We are very proud and impressed with her accomplishments thus far!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Simone Meet Whitney, Whitney Meet Simone.

Simone and I spent a wonderful afternoon with my college roommate Chrissy and baby Whitney at Lake Harriet. Whitney is 6 weeks older than Simone and they are sure to be best buds growing up. Chrissy and I had to laugh at the two little ones flailing their arms and kicking each other while cooing in delight.

River Rats

Life on the river has changed a bit for Dirk and Lisa. A typical summer weekend used to consist of boating, wakeboarding, drinking and tanning. Now we just gaze happily at the river as we sit on shore. Cullen loves being outside. In fact, he refers to our beach as his "sandbox". He continues to demonstrate his passion for sports - anything with a ball: golf, basketball, soccer, baseball - he loves it all! I truly believe Cullen has Grandpa Mark to thank for his stellar athletic genes. He already has great shooting form with the basketball and shouts "homerun" after a big hit off the t-ball tee. Cullen keeps telling us to watch his "big muscles" as he shoots the ball. And Simone seems to sleep quite peacefully with the breeze coming off the river.

This Saturday we painted our fence with Bob and MaryAnne. A big thank you to them for the labor! We all took turns watching the little ones. Life on the river goes on...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Rainy 4th...

We spent the 4th of July holiday with the Parke and Vogel families. 5 kids ages 2 and under. George and Joanie invited us all to their cabin in Trempeleau, WI - and it was the perfect getaway (just 1/2 hour outisde of La Crosse). The day was busy and it was a blast! No fireworks though. Cullen and Jack made their opinions and fears abundantly clear. Dennis was a little bummed that he had to go home with a bag still full 4th of July goodies.

Summer half gone

Well the Fourth has came and gone. Hard to believe that this summer is half over, it has flown by. Simone and Cullen are both doing great. Simone is still pretty easy. Spending her time sleeping, eating and squawking. Cullen wants to spend all of his time outside. Either playing golf, soccer, basketball, or swimming in his little inflatable pool. The only thing that will bring him inside are fireworks....he does not like those. It's nice to know we don't have a pyro on our hands.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Father's Day Weekend

We had a great weekend celebrating Father's day with family. Simone and Cullen slept until 6 am (late for the little Swanson early birds). We had a great day of fun in the sun and family time.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

baby phone?!

Whenever we ask Cullen what his sister's name is, he replies "baby phone". I guess phone does rhyme with Simone! Cullen adores his baby sister and often asks to hold her. He gets tired of holding her about 5.2 seconds after she is placed in his lap, but at least he likes her.

We took our first trip to MPLS this weekend to meet some of the LaVigne/Moore relatives. On the way up, Simone made it about 30 miles outside of Minneapolis before she let us know that she was hungry. Her tummy is still so little and she can't make it too long without stopping to eat. However, she did make it the whole ride home without eating, but Dirk and I won't be winning any "Parent of the Year" awards. We smelled something amiss right outside of MPLS, but both kids were sound asleep so we just kept the car moving. Then, about 25 minutes from home, Simone let out a cry. I crawled into the back seat to see if she was alright and learned that she had a major explosion in her diaper. Because we were so close to home, we just kept going. Our sweet little girl stewed in her poo for almost the whole trip. Dirk and I felt so horrible. At least she won't remember this tragic experience. I hope...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Babies and Boats

Summer is here. Cullen embarked on the first boat ride of the year, while Simone opted to stay home for some alone time with Dad. Baby Simone is growing - she weighed in 6 lbs. 7 oz. at her 2 week appointment. Our weekend consisted of babies and boats - what more could you ask for?!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

At home with baby Simone.

We are coming into our new "normal" as a family of four. Simone is a great baby and really just eats and sleeps - oh and she poops a lot too! Cullen is a busy 2-year-old and requires a lot of energy. He tries to help hold the baby, but mainly he just does his own thing. We're learning to manage two kids at different stages. In this last whirlwind week, Dirk and I also celebrated our 4 year anniversary. Wow how time flies when you are having fun!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Brother and Sister.

Here's a post from the hospital when Cullen first met his baby sister.

Settling In....

We are settling into life as a family of four. Chasing a two-year-old and caring for an infant is busy, but so much fun. We are learning how to balance our time, learning that two is better than one and learning that the parents hardly have a minute to eat! We are so much more confident in our parenting skills. We find it amusing when Simone is up at 3 am because we know this tiny infant cuddle stage won't last long. We have learned that baby girls also pee when their diaper is taken off and potty training is a long process. We have learned that Cullen loves to play with anything related to Simone - the infant car seat, the swing and her pacifiers. We are blessed to have the help and support of our family and friends (thanks for all of the babysitting help with Cullen and the delicious food!). We are trying to do a good job of taking pics of our beautiful #2, but I think we are already behind. Enjoy the new ones.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hello Simone!

Team Swanson has achieved balance. Simone Elizabeth blessed us with her presence at 6:17 a.m. yesterday. It is hard to explain, but there is no other feeling like picking up your baby daughter for the first time.

May 17th started out as your typical day, but as I arrived home from work, change was on the horizon. Lisa was complaining that she had been having contractions all afternoon. We went for a walk and the frequency seemed to subside. Lisa suggested that we get prepared, pack some bags for the hospital, etc. So like any responsible husband, I sat down and got caught up on "Treme." I went to bed at 10:30 and drifted off to sleep. One hour later, I was awoken to "Dirk, DIRK, my water broke", to which I replied "oh shit." As my uber prepared pregnant wife waited by the door, I scrambled around the bedroom throwing whatever I could find in a backpack. As Mimi rushed in the door, we headed out and were off to the hospital for round two.

Our first trip to the Labor and Delivery unit was filled with questions. How was this going to go? What was going to happen? This time, we strolled into the emergency entrance like the crafty veterans we were. I spent the next six hours hanging out, watching some tv, and napping. Lisa spent the next six hours hooked up to various machines, being poked with various needles and being visited by various doctors and nurses. At 6am the cart was set up and the push began. At 6:17, that's right, 17 minutes, my wife is a rockstar, baby was born. The umbilical cord had conveniently placed it's self right over the ......after some adjustment, Dr Benden announced "it's a GIRL". A 6lb 3oz, 20 inch girl.

I suppose you are wondering how Cullen took this. Well to start things off, he thought Mom was having a duck. That is what he was telling all his friends at daycare. I picked him up from daycare and we headed to the hospital. The whole trip I talked to him about the baby and he just kind of stared back at me with a look that said, "what the hell is he talking about, baby?" He ran into the hospital room and just stopped and stared. Then a huge smile came over his face. He ran up to the bed and yelled "baby". I lifted him up and slowly brought him down to Simone's side. He immediately got in Simone's face and yelled "Hi Baby, Hi." He then went in and gave her a kiss and told her to "Wake up baby". She didn't comply to his order. The rest of the afternoon was filled with him poking and prodding Simone and getting into things he shouldn't be. He was real excited to hear that Grandma Yiz was coming down to stay with him for a couple of days while we are in the hospital.

Mom and Simone are doing great. Simone has spent the last 24hrs sleeping, with the occasional diaper change and feeding. Lisa and I are relaxing before the jump into a two child household.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Each day I wake up with the curiosity of what is going to come out of Cullen's mouth today. It is an absolute joy listening to his vocabulary grow. It has just exploded in the last few weeks. For example, Saturday morning, he was in bed with Lisa and I. He proceeded to point at our bathroom and instructed me to "get in the shower Do-Do." Yes, if you weren't aware, my son calls me Do-Do. Further testament to how intelligent he is. It usually takes people years to figure that out, Cullen had it down in a fraction of that. In addition to his new found vocabulary he has also developed a few new habits. An aversion to baths for one. It is quite the fun production to get him in the water. After we have him stripped down, he usually bolts out of the bedroom and a game of chase ensues. I imagine the neighbors must get quite the kick out of the little flash of pale skin that speeds past the front door each night at 6:30pm. Eventually, after much giggling he is tracked down and a quick dunking in the tub ensues. He also now demands that he walk along side us on our nightly walks. What used to be long walks with Cullen in the stroller are now two block walks, with Cullen stopping to yell "Big dogs" at the labs next door and telling us "I do, I do, I walk Camp"

Such a great age. An independent streak growing along side a burgeoning vocabulary.

Thirty days until the estimated arrival of the new addition to our family (or sooner). I'd be lying if I said I wasn't getting a bit nervous. I have a feeling that my days of being able to pass the restless child over to Lisa are coming to and end.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tick Toc, Tick Toc

The days are beginning to fly by as we await the arrival of number two...well at least for me, they are moving like molasses for Lisa. As we prepare for our little bundle of joy (we didn't find out at our ultra sound, but my money is on a girl), changes have had to be made in our daily repertoire. Cullen has made the transition to his "big boy" bed and he now awakes each morning by yelling "Hi Baby" at Lisa's belly. He is also convinced that it is a girl and wants to name her...drumroll...Cullen.

Cullen has done pretty well in the new bed. Instead of getting out on his own, he calls "Mom" when we wakes up. Our biggest fear is a two-year-old mischief-maker running through the house at all hours, but so far that hasn't happened. Little does Cullen know that the "big boy" bed is only the beginning of many changes to come....

Monday, April 5, 2010

Little Peeps on the Hunt.

Happy Easter!

Fire Truck, Guys and Ice Cream

Uncle Drew (a.k.a. Firefighter Feste) took us to his fire station for a tour. Cullen was really excited to go see the fire truck. However, when we arrived, the fire truck was out on a call. Within 5 minutes, the garage door opened and the giant truck with flashing lights came roaring into the station. It came to a halt and 6 guys jumped off the truck and took off their jackets and boots. I think the whole scene was a bit intimating to a little 27 lb. boy. Caption Jimmy told Drew to sit up in the driver seat with Cullen, but when it came time for Cullen to climb in, he started crying. Cullen appreciated the big rig, but only wanted to look from a distance. Then Dirk tried to climb into the cab and Cullen yelled "No Dodo, No Dodo" - as if the fire truck was going to eat his dad. Finally, he warmed up to the whole situation after Captain Jimmy offered an ice cream bar. When we got back to Grandma and Grandpa's, they asked Cullen what he saw at the fire station and he said "fire truck". Then we asked what else and he replied "guys and ice cream."

Jack 'n Cullen

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Fever.

We reached another milestone this weekend. Cullen is now a big boy and goes to bed without his pacifier. All of his "pacies" broke (i.e. Mom and Dad cut off the ends) and Cullen now goes to bed with only the comfort of his two favorite blankies. We do notice that he seems to take a little bit longer to unwind in his crib before falling asleep. Dirk and I will put him to bed, turn on the monitor and listen to the show. He usually sings favorite songs like "A,B,C", "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "We Will Rock You" (yes, he is a Queen fan).

Fingers crossed that spring is finally here. It is not unheard of to see snow flurries at the end of March, but the past week has seen temps in the 60's. All of our snow is gone and we are loving our time outdoors.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Eagles have landed.

Always a great time of year, as the Bald Eagles make their way into our area. Fortunately, for us, they tend to congregate on the ice right behind our house.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Terrific Twos

And so we begin the terrific twos. Yesterday, we celebrated Cullen's second birthday with an absolute blowout of a party. Grandparents, aunts, cousins, uncle, and parents all helped the little man close out his second year of life. We had Elmo balloons, elmo hats, cookie monster tattoos, and Blue's clues balloons. Everything a two year old boy would want to celebrate his birthday. Mom and Dad cannot believe how fast these past two years have flown by and with number two knocking on the door it will only move faster.

Cullen has been developing quite the vocabulary lately. It's been fun listening him trying to repeat what we have said. Mom and Dad have really started to watch what words come out of our mouth. Especially, Dad! Shocking, I know, but I've been known to drop a "F" bomb every now and then.

Our little toddler.

Cullen is growing up so fast. He has started to show interested in the potty training process. I stress that fact that he still pees and poops in his diaper 99% of the time, but he does like to sit on the potty. He has completed both #1 and #2 in the potty and we are very proud of him. Cullen is talking up a storm and has started to put phrases together - "woof woof go?" = "where's Camp". He also loves to help with tasks around the house: carrying his plate to the sink after dinner, opening the garage door and putting food in Camp's dish are just a few examples. "I do it" has become one of Cullen's favorite phrases. We frequently remind him that some jobs require teamwork and others are for Moms and Dads. We are hoping that the dreaded terrible twos won't be so bad (fingers crossed!).

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What happens when Mom's in Vegas.....

Cullen and I have been enjoying a boys weeks, while Mom introduces our unborn child to "Sin City". So, if we are blessed with a daughter, and the first thing she does is reach for a pole, we know where to look. As for Cullen and I, we've been enjoying some quality male bonding time. Spending our time engaging in your typical testosterone laced activities, such as, singing the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and skipping around the house yelling "Neigh." Alright, we have also mixed in some basketball and milk chugging. The week flew by, but we are excited for Mom's return tomorrow night.

The following pictures were from our nephew Jameson's 1st Birthday. As you can see, our little guy is quite the ladies man. A chip off the old block.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Stages.

Cullen has now moved from the high chair to a booster chair at the dinner table. He feels like quite the big boy! After he began trying to climb out of his high chair during meal time, we decided it was time for him to join us.

Cullen got his stitches out last week. It was quick and painless - literally. He didn't even flinch when the nurse took out the two stitches.

I think we may be entering our "terrible twos". Cullen is not fond of hearing the word "No", yet it seems to be his favorite word to say. Hopefully, this is a short-lived phase. Even though we are frustrated at times, we still think he's adorable.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Stitches 2010.

I have titled this entry stitches 2010 after coming to the realization that we are raising a little boy and will probably endure a few trips to the ER for stitches in the future. Hopefully, none too serious! Cullen fell and hit his head on the coffee table and split his forehead open. Thankfully Grandma Liz and Grandpa Mark were here to help the frazzled parents. Within 5 minutes, the bleeding and crying had stopped, Cullen said goodbye and kissed Grandma "Wiz", "Bapa", and "Mase", and we were out the door. He was such a little trooper. The worst part came when mom and dad had to help hold him still while the good doctor put in 2 stitches. He was numb from the Novocain, but the stitching up process was still pretty traumatic for the little guy. Afterward, Cullen took a 2 hour nap and woke up ready to play. Needless to say, we all survived our first trip to the ER.

Playtime with Mason.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!

The Christmas Spirit.

Now that Cullen has entered our lives, the true spirit of Christmas is present. And speaking of presents, Cullen raked them in. Here's a photo collage of Christmas celebrated over 3 days. You'll notice that Cullen loves spending time with family, but is not so happy about Santa. Maybe next year.

It was a great holiday. Plans had to be rearranged due to the weather, but we managed to get in all of the major family celebrations. And our best present was returning to our newly remodeled home. While Christmas decorations were lacking, it didn't matter. Because really, there's no place like home!