Friday, March 30, 2007

IAMS: not just for your cat

You always know that when the child is not clinging to your pant leg or squealing in the livingroom that something is up. It's the silence, usually, that tips me off, but in this case I didn't even get that. The little tyke was happily playing in the nursery while I was downstairs, doing I remember not what, when suddenly I hear: plinkplinkplinkplink!

Maniacal giggling
, and more sound effects. Plinkplinkplinkplinkplinkplink! Of course we've scolded her for playing in the cat food before, but that makes it more fun. The instant I peeked into the bathroom, she saw me and started throwing faster and harder. "Gotta empty this thing out before I get picked up! Quickly, now! And grab and throw and grab and throw and..."

At least this time she didn't taste the stuff. I can't imagine why you would want to try cat food more than once, but I guess infants have a penchant for the stuff. Or at least this infant. If you've tried hairballs, then cat food is that much better. IAMS: it's not just for your cat anymore.
And yes, I did wipe her hands after this picture.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Daddy's not much of a blogger...

Hi everyone!

I'm back down in the twin cities for the next three weeks working in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) while Daddy, Annie, and The Amazing Nanny take care of Julia up north. Julia is sick with a cold, and Daddy just hasn't had any time to blog much. I guess Julia is being a handful. I will be home on Friday for the weekend, so be sure to check back then for more fun pictures! I think I will take Julia down by The Lake if she's feeling better. (I wouldn't want to take her out if she's got a cold.)

Auntie Jenny's house is a nice place for me to stay when I'm down here, but I miss my family! Tonight, Jenny and I drove to five different places looking for a fuse for the car adapter to my pump. We checked Target, two auto parts stores, Circuit City, and BAtteries fuses to fit. We finally found one guessed it....Wal Mart. That store DOES have everything. It was also the only store where we had to go and find it ourselves because there weren't any employees around to help us out. You really get what you pay for. I think Batteries Plus had more employees working than the Wal Mart.

Yesterday in the NICU I was able to get in on a delivery of triplets!!! They were all girls born at 30 weeks, one set of identical twins,within a set of fraternal twins. Munch on that one for a minute.... Anyways, their names are Grace, Zoey, and Madeline. Grace is my patient...and she is now officially off the ventillator! Yay.!!! All three babies are looking great today. There's another mommy in the antepartum unit pregnant with triplets and two mommies with twins inside. This should be a good weekend! I am on call tomorrow (Thursday), so we'll see what babies decide to make a showing and abandon that uterus! (Can you tell that I love this? When I am bored I just hold tiny babies all day long. Who couldn't love this job???)

Take care, I'll get some more pictures up here this weekend. At least I know that Mike is doing a great job taking care of Julia and not messing around with putting pictures on the internet... :)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Happy baby II

"Mommy, can Psymuhn come in?
Happy as a clam...
Playing with daddy's delicious shoes!
"why are you looking at me?"

Mommy, look at that cute baby in the mirror!

Hi friends and family,

We've had a fun last couple of days. Since I don't have to move for residency and most of our friends do, we get to be the "hotel" for folks coming up here to look at houses and apartments. That gives us an excuse to party a little! We bought some beers and made margaritas and played games on Friday night. Turned out to be a fun time! Julia went to bed at 8:30, so the drinks came out at about 8:35. It is so nice to have friends moving back up to Duluth. We are really excited for the next three years.
Julia is talking more and more. She is at the stage where we can understand her and everyone else asks us for a translation. Lately, she is saying consanants without vowel sounds. For example, she has learned to say "fish" and "cheese," but they just come out "fshhhh" and "chzzz" (I wish you could hear me impersonate her...)
Today in church the little girl was acting like she was on speed. She would NOT sit to save her life. She visited many people and tried to crawl up the center aisle. AFter communion, however, she decided to pay attention. She wouldn't sit on my lap, but she would sit on the floor in the middle of the aisle and watch Pastor very intently. Watching her pay attention to Pastor Franck was hilarious. She was watching him very seriously. I had to keep a close eye on her, though. I have this recurring nightmare that Julia crawls away from us and climbs aboard the organ pedals while it is on during a church service.....
Today's pictures are a compilation from the last three days. Sorry I haven't blogged. I slapped myself on the wrist and we'll try our darndest to keep up on that new year's resolution of blogging on a daily basis.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Another busy day...

Today was such a busy day that we barely had time to sit down! I started the day with my surgeon in the brain surgery room at St. Mary's. We did an exposure for the neurosurgeon. He was telling us about a case he did yesterday...a lady was shot in the head by her estranged husband in the parking lot of St. Mary's Hospital in Superior! She will live, but will also probably be paralyzed on one side.

Anyways, after that it was off to the Brewhouse for lunch with Dr. Lenz and his wife. Mike and Julia came, too. What fun! Julia was a handful. She will not sit in her high chair when she's fresh up from a nap. The child is bounding with energy. When I was pregnant with her, Mike and I would joke that God was going to give us a "jock" (or jockette) because the two of us are terrifically uncoordinated nerds. Julia just might be a fulfilment of that prophecy. Anyways, since we were at the Brewhouse, I was strongly debating whether or not to get a beer (ooooh their homemade honey wheat microbrew is delicious.....), but I held back because it was noon and I had to resist falling asleep the rest of the day. (Getting up at 5:45am is not my idea of fun.)

We came home and Mike was off to Daughtery's Hardware to find fuses and maple stain, Julia went down for another nap and Psymuch got a walk. Then it was off to church at 4:00.

Our brand new hand chime choir at church had their debut tonight! We thought we'd start with a Wednesday night lenten service where the crowd didn't give the little old ladies any stage fright. We played "Now Thank We All our God" and "When I Survey the Wonderous Cross." Our congregation is very elderly and there isn't a whole lot of musical involvement besides the faithful organ and the hymns. It was a welcome sound to hear something fresh and new ringing in the rafters.

After church was over, it was time for choir practice. Daddy went to sing and I watched Julia, who had her hyper pants on again. I tried to introduce her to a big stuffed Barney dinosaur. She took him in both arms and then promptly chucked him down the stairs. Then, she found the old piano in the nursery and wanted to play it. I tried to play her Minuet in G, she would pick up my hands off the keys and throw them aside. "I want to play it" was the look she gave me. She pounded out her version of Bach, which sounded more like Picasso on a piano.....

Oh child is just as independent as her mother. I fear the year she turns thirteen....

PS: good guessing on the toy arrangement from yesterday. If you noticed the color piles, then pat yourself on the back.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Our amazing nanny

We have an amazing Nanny from Canada named Annemieke. She comes and takes care of Julia on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays while mommy and daddy are in class or at the hospital. She takes Julia on outings and makes her special homemade baby hotdishes and eggs. On Monday, we came home to this: little piles of toys around the living room. Before I cleaned them up, Mike pointed something out to me. Take a look at the piles. Can you tell what Annemieke was trying to teach Julia?

Answer to be posted tomorrow...but I hope you can figure it out. :)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pictures from the fun weekend

GREAT grandpa!

With Great Grandpa Roger
Uncle JOhn (sorry, I forgot to rotate these pictures of John and Jenny before I uploaded them...)
Sorry, Jenny...forgot to rotate your pic.
Grandma Beth and Auntie Annie. Julia is wearing her bank robber sleeper (all she needs now is a mask...)
All of this action makes for one exhausted little one!

We spent the weekend after Match Day in St. Cloud. It was a great time to see family. We went to a St. patrick's day parade in Maple Lake on Saturday where we saw Great Grandpa and Grandma Rog and Mitzi...we went to Bouja and church on Sunday with the Family Sprengeler, we saw great grandparents Schwartz on Friday night, we got to see family Riesgraf/Wyman on Friday during the day. Gosh, that makes for a full weekend!
With both families living in the same town, we can see them all in one weekend if we try hard enough. That's both a blessing and a curse....if we're at one house, we are getting called by the other one, "come over here! I miss the baby!" (Mike and I just go along for the ride. They just want to see Julia.) If only we could beam ourselves home, life would be a whole lot easier!

Fun weekend!

What a grand weekend we had! Pictures to follow. We drove back from St. Cloud last night and got home around 8:00 after hitting an ice storm the last 30 miles of the trip. There were lots of people in the ditch! Julia voiced her displeasure at us becasue she was SICK of being in the carseat...daddy was singing to her and impersonating the macaw puppet that was in the diaper bag. Mommy thought it was funny....Julia was not humored by the situation. She felt better when we finally got home and let her crawl around her own living room.

I'll upload some pictures tonight. Stay tuned.

Friday, March 16, 2007


Hi everybody! Sorry we haven't posted much this week. We've been really busy.

We drove down to the twin cities at the crack of dawn on Wednesday to go to the "match day" retreat and then stayed over with aunt Jenny to go to the match day ceremony on Thursday. Match day is the ritual that all med students go through where they find out what residency program accepted them. I had many classmates who weren't sure which specialty they would match into or where on earth they would end up. Some were sent to the Maine, Washington, and everywhere inbetween. I was really excited to open my envelope. It read: "Congratulations, you have matched!

"Duluth Graduate Medical Education Council"


Duluth is where I wanted to go, and the program is just great. Besides having a house up in Duluth already, I think the family medicine program is as good as they come. They will even teach me how to do c-sections! The best news is, however, that there are five of my favorite classmates who will be joining me up there! I was pretty shocked to see that my co-residents will be primarily from Duluth's med school. What a great day.

Thursday night, Julia went to stay with grandma Ruth, and Mike and I went to this fancy party at the Calhoun Beach Club. It was the first (and probably only) time we used valet parking. Psymuhn was in the backseat and scared the willies out of the valet man.

We had a great time at the party. My wine glass lit up with a little blue light that was implanted in the bottom! Mike was excited for the endless appetizers and desserts. (We almost made the mistake of eating an interesting black and white dip thing. I thought it was oreo cookies...and it turned out to be caviar...) I talked nonstop to my classmates for three hours. It was so great to hear where everyone will be going and what they'll be doing. When we got home at 1am, we were so exhausted that we didn't even brush our teeth. :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Watching TV

Julia gets excited when the rotating planets come on. She is shaking her arms in delight.
This movie is soo good I had to pull my own socks off!!!

Julia tries to look at me and the TV at the same time.
Watching the planets go by while listening to Mozart...

When we were in the hospital in January, the nurses introduced us to Baby Einstein movies. Mike and I never bought them before this because we thought it was some dumb yuppie thing. However, when Julia watched her first movie (Baby Mozart), she was *riveted*! They are basically pictures of simple things like animals and toys with music playing in the background. No voices or animated things...very simple. Annie could make them.

So, the next week, I found myself on Ebay looking for some used VHS videos to go in our tiny TV. It was promptly moved from our bedroom where it was never used to the living room floor. Julia is limited to one half hour ever day or she doesn't become a Televison Bandit.

Block time!

Happiness!!! (notice Julia's right hand. She was shaking it with delight.)

I bought a big bag of wooden blocks when I was in college. Why in the world would a college student do that??? Because they were on sale, of course! (I got a screamin' good deal...)

We were cleaning out the closet the other day and we found them! They aren't mommy's anymore....they belong to the one in charge around here. Julia just loves to knock down the towers Mike and I so carefully construct. She also likes to throw the blocks across the room in excitement and clank them together. What fun!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Fun with Auntie Annie

Annie puts her cool shades on Julia. Annie, like grandma Beth, seems to like to blink when the camera shoots...
Julia is getting Bung ready for his photo shoot
Bung is such a pretty boy. He is sporting a dish towel made by pearl.
This picture of psymuhn reminds me of that indian woman on the National Geographic magazine a few years back...

Annie came over the other day and helped me fold some laundry and take care of Julia. We played dress-up with the animals, who were very good-natured, as usual.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sunday Best

Julia got all dressed up for church this morning. She was in a good mood even though we got her up an hour before she wanted to get up (daylight savings time hit mommy like a ton of bricks....)

Friday, March 9, 2007

Granola Baby

Yesterday, Julia and I went out shopping because Daddy has two big tests today. Before we left, we couldn't help but snap a picture. Julia had on a vest and a little hat and scarf that made her look very, well, "granola." We have a lot of those people up here with their organic foods and their Prius hybrids. She was smiling for one of the pics, but then the flashing red light went on and she squinted....I have to figure out how to turn off the red eye reduction.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Playing in the cupboard

Julia has discovered mommy's toys in the kitchen cupboard. Her favorite part is how she can undo all of the nice neat piles inside. The blue box is (was) full of lids, which are really fun to take out and chuck all over the kitchen floor. Lucky for us, Julia hasn't figured out how to get the cupboards open on her own yet (we have to open them up for her.) If she did know how to open them, we'd be in trouble, since there are no knobs to tie them shut with!

orange peels

mmmm! Orange peels! Julia loves to try and EAT them. We laughed tonight as she took a bite and chewed it down. I guess we need to be grateful that she isn't fussy about eating stuff. (Mike feeds her sauerkraut, plain, and she loves that too!)

We took the orange peel away after we snapped the picture. Where's the fun in that?

Monday, March 5, 2007

Daddy's Pliers

This one is my personal favorite.

Julia found one of daddy's favorite toys today: the needle nose! She was "too quiet" and I knew something was up. I found her in the front entryway with a big silly grin on her face.

Before I swiped it away from her, I had to snap a few pictures. She LOVED that thing!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

When baby toys aren't fun enough...

Helping daddy play in the dishwasher (daddy loads, julia unloads...)
Hey! That's MY bone, Julia!!!

Climbing up doggie mountain...

Julia is only interested in her toys if we play with them, too. If we aren't actively playing with her, she follows us around the house and "plays with" our toys. In this case, she decided that she would play with Psymuhn's toys....and rawhide bones are meant to be chewed, aren't they?

It's a good thing our dog is so laid-back. He doubles as a jungle gym at times.

Saturday, March 3, 2007


Mommy, can I go outside and shovel, too?
"Psymuhn, come!"
(a whole minute later, he is still trying to jump his way through the drifts...)

(I need a break after all of that. I think I"ll just lay here for a minute...)
Mike had to dig a path to get into the shed. Good thing the shovel isn't stored in there!

Anybody out there got a snowblower that they don't want anymore?

Today was spent digging. Mike shoveled for three hours straight today. That was enough to get the sidewalk around our house and the front walk. I took over for another hour after that and worked on our neighbor's walk (her husband has guard duty this weekend and she has twins at home that are Julia's age.)

I didn't make it to the hospital. There was no driving (you couldn't see the hood on the honda because it was buried) The snow plow still hasn't been to our street. My attending surgeon took his snowmobile into work, some of the other docs went in on skis. Only in Duluth.....

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Lesson learned: don't complain.....

This is our yard, five short days ago when I was complaining that it was "dry" here. (See the blog from Feb 24th.) Good God. I will never, ever complain again.
This picture was taken today, five short days and four feet of snow later.... It is the same shot as the picture above it. You can sort of make out the gas meter on the side of our house. The snow drift in front of you is about five feet tall.

This is our front yard, the railing in the middle marks where our front walk is. It was nicely and neatly shoveled when I got home at 5:00. This picture was taken at 10pm, five hours later...

Digging out those cars in the morning is sure going to be a blast....

Today, it snowed. And snowed.
We got 22 inches of snow in the last four hours, and it hasn't stopped snowing yet. The weatherman says we're in for another foot before it's all said and done.
If that's not enough...there was also thunder and lightening and 65 mile-an-hour winds! Our dog took two steps outside and that was enough. Back inside he ran. We trudged through the snow to go to a friend's house for grilled cheese tonight. It took us 25 minutes to walk a BLOCK! Julia went in her sled, which has a neat cover that goes over the top of it. No wind in her face, so life was good for all. I have never seen a winter storm like this one. The snow is so thick that you can't see to the end of the street. The road has places where the pavement is bare, and other spots where the drifts are higher than your head! It's coming down and up and sideways...I could barely get any pictures of it because the snow got all over the lens.
The Duluth snow plows were pulled from the road and driving has been officially banned. The surgeon I'm working with offered to pick me up on his snowmobile to get to the hospital in the morning. Stores are closed tomorrow, no school for anybody, and I hope people went to the grocery store already this week...cause there will be none of that, either.

We had to pound the door open around a huge wall of snow to get into the house. When I tried to take a picture of it, all I got was millions of snowflakes in the air.
Al Gore, I hate to say this, but your global warming bit is losing a bit of "heat."