Friday, September 30, 2005

It's cookie time!!

Megan is selling Girl Scout cookies as part of Brownie Troop 470, part of the Riverland council... and you can purchase this classic favorite for yourself or for our soldiers (part of Cookies for Iraq, see more info below).

Luckily Megan loves selling cookies and has set some lofty goals as part of their "Be Brilliant" campaign this year. In addition to raising funds for her Brownie troop, a portion of each box sold also goes directly into a fund for Megan going to camp. Last year this meant she was able to go to Day Camp here in LaCrosse, and next summer it just might mean "real camp."

Details are below. Contact us with any questions ...

Cost: $3.50 per box

Taking orders Sept. 30th - Oct. 17
Delivering Cookies Nov. 11-27
Pay for cookies at time of delivery or by Nov. 27th

Flavors available:

Samoas -- Tender vanilla cookies, covered with caramel, rolled in toasted coconut, and striped with a rich, chocolaty coating. Approximate count: 15

Thin Mints -- A thin wafer covered with a smooth chocolaty coating. Made with natural peppermint. Approximate count: 38

Do-si-dos -- Crisp and crunchy oatmeal cookies with creamy peanut butter filling. No artificial color or flavor. Approximate Count: 22.

All Abouts -- These beautifully -designed shortbread cookies have a series of Girl Scout messages on top and a rich fudge coating on the bottom. Approximate Count: 16.

Trefoils -- Short, tender, delicate-tasting shortbread that melts in your mouth. Approximate Count: 44.

Tagalongs -- Tasty cookies topped with creamy peanut butter and covered with a luscious chocolatey coating. Approximate Count: 15

Lemon Coolers -- (reduced fat) Bite-sized bursts of cool lemon flavor in crisp, vanilla cookies. Zesty lemon chips and a covering of powdered sugar make these "lemon wedge" cookies too cool to resist! Approximate Count: 33.

Cafe Cookies -- (New!) Carmalized with brown sugar, this charmingly crisp cookie will delight even cookie connoisseurs. With a hint of cinnamon spice, it's perfect with your favorite warm beverage. Approximate count: 47.

Thank you so much and let us know if you have questions or are interested in ordering.

*** Girl Scout "Cookies Iraq" ***

Everyone is touched in some way by our soldiers stationed throughout Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. The Girl Scouts of Riverland Council will be sending cookies you purchase to the soldiers stationed in any of these three places!

All soldiers would love to receive this uniquely American Girl Scout treat, so don't hesitate to buy an extra box (or two) today. Each box will contain a special message thanking them from you for their service and bravery!

If you have a specific soldier in mind, please provide the Girl Scouts with their APO address and we'll ship them for you.

Shipping is being donated [by local business leaders].

Don't forget, your purchase of "Cookies Iraq" is 100% tax deductible donation!

The Girl Scouts of Riverland Council serve the following counties in western Wisconsin: Buffalo, Trempealeau, JACKSON, La Crosse, Monroe, Vernon, Crawford, parts of Grant and Allamakee continues in Iowa, and Houston county in Minnesota.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A Day With My Daughter

Shawn here. It was two days, really. I spent most of last Saturday and Sunday hanging out with Nessa while Tami was on the computer doing some work with a deadline. It was more uninterrupted time by myself with Nessa than I'd ever had; Tami took breaks to nurse and cuddle Nessa, and Megan was here, but she kept mostly to herself, so it seemed like it was just Nessa and me. It filled me with all sorts of awe and wonder.

I've seen Nessa's many moods, but rarely have I had a chance to see them flow from one to another to another in a lengthy progression. Her personality is showing, and it's fascinating to watch--what she likes, what she doesn't like, what makes her giggle, what gets little reaction, what makes her upset all of a sudden. I was able to watch her gradually grow tired several times, and learned to recognize the signs much better than I had before. I also successfully put her down for a nap enough times to prove that it wasn't a fluke--I can get her to fall asleep, and I have enough patience to persevere until she does. I discovered that successfully lulling your child to sleep while holding her is the most amazing feeling in the world. It made me feel more ... necessary ... than anything I've ever known. I really, really like being a dad.

Instilling Proper Values In Your Child

Shawn here. The picture says it all, really. I should add that I have officially embarked on my quest to get the first thing Nessa says after "Mama" and "Dada" to be "Go Vikes!" We have also begun father-daughter bonding over football games: I sit Nessa on my knee and explain the action to her. She's only interested in a few minutes at a time at this point (the way the Vikings played the first two weeks, that was about all I could stomach as well), but the important thing is to get started when they're young.

Food, Glorious Food!

Shawn here. On Sunday the 18th we were at Nessa's cousin Jacob's baptism and brunch, and when Nessa got a little fussy, Tami gave her an apple with some bites taken out of it. Nessa glommed onto that apple like a koala onto a eucalyptus tree, and we didn't hear a peep out of her for quite a while as she sucked and sucked and gummed and sucked some more. The "solid" food era had officially begun.

Tami's sister Ellen loaned us the chair in the above picture, which clamps right onto our table. Works in theory, but it makes our small pedestal table lean some, and when Nessa kicks (which is most of the time) the table rocks back and forth. Eating in those circumstances is a bit like trying to eat on a ship in heavy swells, so after one attempt I went and got the high chair we had been eyeing, some plastic spoons with loopy handles, and a bib--everything the gourmand-in-training needs to be successful.

As you can see, Nessa likes her high chair. She likes being with everybody during meals, instead of being exiled to the living room to watch a Baby Einstein DVD. We like the fact that we don't have to hold her on a lap while eating to keep her happy.

We got some great plastic bowls with suction cups on the bottom as part of our shower gifts from my co-workers, and of course we have a variety of sippy cups. We're putting everything to use. Feeding (I use the term loosely) Nessa usually involves two loopy spoons, one for her to play with and one to use to actually attempt to get some food into her mouth. Nessa has already demonstrated the wisdom of having a vinyl cover on her chair cushion, as she regularly drops the spoon she is playing with to grab something else. So far she has feasted on partially peeled apples, applesauce, rice, rice pasta, rice cereal, a bit of baked potato, diluted apple juice, and maybe a few other things that Tami has given her when I'm at work. It's fun to watch her discover new textures and temperatures and try to decide if she likes them or not. So far nothing's been rejected outright, but we've seen some strange looks on her face. It will be interesting to see if she takes after her father (a notoriously picky eater as a child), or if she'll eat most anything she's served. :-)

Follow The Bouncing Baby

Shawn here. We had to get some pictures of Nessa in this outfit while it still fits. This is one of two outfits I picked out while Tami was pregnant. I chose it because I figured my dad, a retired high school basketball coach, would like it (and he did). When we bought this, we were thinking it would be a good fall sleeper, but Nessa has grown too fast. Oh well, at least I got to see her in this one a couple of times--the other outfit I picked out while Tami was pregnant was too small a couple of months ago. I think maybe I saw Nessa in it once. Another Obscure Parenting Rule: don't get too attached to infant clothes.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

She did it!

Nessa Rolled over from her back to tummy!!!

We've been waiting for this for a long time and she's come oh so close SO many times. Finally, last night, Wednesday, September 21st, she rolled over from her back to her tummy. And I think she's figuring out that it's a way to move and reach things! Or, would that be an Uh-Oh on my part ... I better get the house baby proofed soon. :-)

Last night was the Law and Order premiere (I'm kind of a junkie although I don't set me schedule around it) and although the show wasn't as good as I hoped it would be the fact that I ended up getting Nessa's PJ's on in the living room on the floor rather than in her room on the changing table led to the excitement of her rolling over. So, it's all good. :-)

I was letting her have some naked time before getting her snuggly jammies on when I stopped talking and playing with her for a minute to turn my attention elsewhere. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed her rolling to her side as she so often does. As always I continued to watch in hope of a total roll over. And then ... She was on her tummy! I clapped and clapped which of course got a HUGE smile and even some giggly shrieks.

So, then I yelled for Shawn to come upstairs. Yes, in a strange effort to not disturb the "I can roll over" session I yelled rather than going to get him. He thought there was some sort of emergency as he rushed upstairs so his reaction wasn't quite what I was hoping for when I told him that Nessa rolled over. And he wasn't exactly thrilled when she wouldn't do it again for him.

Shawn grew tired of waiting for a repeat performance and returned to his Wednesday night chores. Nessa then rolled over about four more times for me. Finally, about a half hour later she showed Daddy that Mommy was indeed telling the truth and not making a fool of herself with applause and shrieks for nothing.

This morning I wondered if she would only do it while naked (Megan rolled over only naked for a long time before doing it when dressed). When I set Nessa down next to the desk to do a quick email reply she showed me that she could indeed roll over while dressed. She also showed me she could reach the stack of papers to be filed, the cords from the computer, and anything else remotely nearby!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

What were we thinking ... Groth cousins photo shoot Sunday Sept. 18th

Of course I'm sure we'll try again, but I'm thinking full tummies and the promise of Christmas presents to open might help next time ... then again ...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Help me decide what to have Nessa wear for photos Sunday

Which of these denim outfits (orders are to wear denim :-) do you think Nessa should wear Sunday Sept. 18th for photos with her Groth-side cousins?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Why is it

that when I have the most to write about I have the least amount of time?

That's the way it's been this week. In addition to the time I've been spending listing and packaging things on ebay, we've all been busy as a family as well. I'll mention just a few of the things here.

Megan has been enjoying school and still hasn't had any homework. (What's up with that?)

Nessa has been growing as fast as ever and I continue to take clothes out of her drawers nearly every day because they're too small. Luckily we had a very successful weekend finding things at rummage sales so she's not in danger of going naked this winter. :-)

Nessa is able to sit up better and longer each time we try it. And now she also does what I call "baby crunches" as she lifts her head up as if trying to sit up while also lifting her feet up in the air. She really likes to sit up and will try to get there and also gets mad if she isn't assisted quickly. However, she still doesn't seem to be at all interested in actually rolling over from her back to her tummy.

Nessa IS very interested in the cats. She is totally fascinated by them and will stop whatever she is doing (even eating) to watch them and try to touch them. William is the best at letting her pull his hair out as he just sits there quietly. The others move on much more quickly, but they've all been gentle with her. This wonderful interest in the cats is the reason I choose to post photos of her with the cats this time.

This Sunday was the first week of Sunday school for us. Us is Megan and I. I'm teaching in the computer room at the 8:30 service this year. Sunday school is during the service so after the Children's service Shawn and Nessa get to hang out together in church. This Sunday it went well and Shawn was greeted by the usual comments of what a good baby she is as he left. Nessa was sleeping until right after Megan and I left as there was special music as part of the children's sermon and Nessa loves music even more than she loves the cats!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Myrick Park

(My 1st attempt at one handed blogging w/ Nessa resting on my knee...)

Last Sat. Megan. Nessa, and Grandma Jan and I went to Myrick park for a bit to see the animals and just get outside. It was Nessa's first real visit there. She spent lots of time in the pouch. :-)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


As a relaxing end to our weekend we took Megan and Nessa swimming at a nearby hotel for a couple of hours Monday evening. We all had fun even though the big water slide was closed. It's the first time Nessa has really been swimming in a pool. She wasn't full of giggles but she didn't cry at all either. Here Megan is holding Nessa on one of the little "rides" in the kiddie pool. Nessa also got to go down a small slide on my lap and splash in the fountains you can see in the background above.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Nessa is 5 months already! --photos of the last few days

No week in review post this week because I need to share with you Nessa's 5 month update. (It was a good week, trust me, and I'll try to share photos from over the long weekend soon.)

Wow what a month. Our little girl just keeps growing and learning new things.

In the growing department we found out on Friday September 2nd (the official 5 month mark of course) that she now weighs 17 pounds according to the scale at Gundersen Family Practice. I was shocked. I was actually starting to worry that she wasn't eating enough and had slowed her weight gain too much. Silly mommy. Of course now I think she was making up for not eating as much during the day by eating more at night, but that's another post.

Nessa has learned SO much this month and it's so fun to watch her and play with her now. She can now pick up many of her toys and not only make them rattle or whatever they're supposed to do, but also get them exactly where she wants -- in her mouth.

Nessa is also getting more and more stable when she's sitting and will sit for a few minutes by herself although she still wobbles a lot too. She also wants to stand a lot while we hold her and often insists on standing rather than sitting when we're trying to change her clothes. She also loves to spend time in her exersaucer these days while the rest of us are cooking, eating, etc.

Right now she's curled up inside the pouch snuggly sleeping next to my heart (way too cute), but she has also settled into a nice daytime routine of morning, afternoon and evening naps in her amby baby bed or in the stroller or a carrier when we're on the go.

Nessa continues to amaze and delight us daily.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Nose Noises

Shawn here. I found out tonight I can make my daughter cry when she is otherwise happy. Oh joy.

We have played a game with Nessa since she was a few weeks old that I'll call "Nose Noises". We ask her, usually during her morning diaper change, what sound her nose makes today, then we press her nose and make a funny sound: an oink, a donkey noise, or whatever...any (theoretically) amusing noise we can make with our mouth. Usually we do it the first time, express surprise that her nose makes such a funny noise, and then do it two or three more times. The usual result is smiles, maybe even giggles.

I realized at supper tonight that I hadn't played it in quite some time. I was holding Nessa while everyone else finished eating, and I thought I would demonstrate for my parents, who are visiting. So I pushed her nose and did a "Vroom, vroom" noise, like a motorcycle revving. I didn't get much reaction, so I did it again, louder. For some reason I looked away briefly, and then all of a sudden Nessa was crying. I'm told she had a very cute "WTF was that?" face before deciding she didn't like it, which accounted for the pause, but then she was screaming, everyone else was laughing, and I was wondering what went wrong. So I held her close, and told her I was sorry, and promised that I wouldn't make her nose make that noise any more. She calmed down and everything was fine again.

I of course felt like a complete heel for making a little girl cry...and not just any little girl, but my own darling daughter! Nice going, lunkhead--she'll never be Daddy's Little Girl at this rate. Anyway, add yet another Obscure Parenting Lesson to my growing collection: 5 months is too young for your daughter's nose to make "vroom vroom" noises. Sigh.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Work, work, work...

Shawn here. Big news at work today...Firstlogic is being acquired by Pitney Bowes. It has to pass regulatory scrutiny and all that, but by the beginning of next month or so I should be an employee of "Firstlogic, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pitney Bowes". From what I can tell, it shouldn't mean too much change for me day-to-day. I'm not worried about losing my job (the real asset of a software company is not the source code, it's the people who developed and know the source code), or being forced to relocate (PB is a global company with offices all over the place; the last 8+ companies they've acquired in however long are all still doing business in their original locations)--in fact, I'm strangely calm about it all, despite the fact that I hadn't heard anything until two days ago, even though rumors have supposedly been swirling for months. A few folks will probably lose their jobs eventually, but I don't think there will be many/any programmers, testers, etc. among them. For now, it's still "I owe, I owe, it's off to work I go" for me.

Our honeybear ... c'mon this deserves some comments

Nessa wasn't in the best mood last night when I took these photos but I insisted because she was SO cute and I'm not sure how long I'll keep this diaper cover as it doesn't fit as well as I expected it to. :-( And since it's supposed to be a fully functional diaper cover (not just for looks) that was disappointing. The same company's all-in-one diapers seem to fit her a bit better though and I've found some other things I think I'm going to be happy with so look for more cute photos of Nessa in her diapers and hopefully some rave reviews of the actual diapers from me! :-)

Megan's first day of school photo!!!

Megan stopped this morning on her way to school and asked me to take the traditional photo in front of the house AND to walk her to school. I was in no way prepared for this but absolutely thrilled that she stopped! :-) I popped Nessa in the pouch carrier and off we went. It was a beautiful morning and Megan looked bright and shiny and ready for school. I'm looking forward to hearing how things went when she comes how after school on Friday.