Saturday, September 30, 2006

"More please"

This is how a toddler gets pretty much whatever she wants from a proud mom: "please." And it doesn't really matter if she already has enough of whatever on her plate if she says "more please" mom gives her more. :-)

Now the complete "more please" request is actually done in signs but we have actually heard her say or attempt to say each of those words individually as well. In fact our Miss Brooks is once again making her parents smile in proud amusement because NOW that she is SAYING new words every day she is also SIGNING new words every day ... and often the SAME words! :-) Nessa especially loves to look at her picture books and point to things and have us say the word and then sometimes she'll say and/or sign the word as well. Now knowing the word or sign when looking at books doesn't always translate into being able to calmly use the word as a request rather than getting frustrated because she wants something, but I think we're getting there.

The other request she learned and used frequently today was "Help Please." And that one was also very, uh, helpful. :-)

Nessa also frequently signs ball and hat and seems to be attempting a few others.

Nessa's new favorite words to say seems to be "apple" and "baby" and she says these VERY clearly. She also says: cup, shoes, side, bye, night night, Megan, Mama, dada (of course), book, ball, block, cow, no, mine, and then there are several others that are more like sounds that consistently come up when doing certain thing or looking at certain things. Oh, we think she was also saying "slide" as she was asking "more please" to go down the slide more tonight at the park. :-)

And the best thing Megan said to me today was : "I can go to bed early tonight so I can read more." In case you're wondering I told her that was OK with me while inside I was shouting for joy that my daughter finally WANTS to read more!!!! I think all the struggles and work at vision therapy is now paying off!!!! WooHOO!!!! :-)

And now it is time for me to go read ... or knit ... not sure which yet but something relaxing before an early bedtime.

Who's there?

Yikes I can't believe these are from way back in August!!!

Nessa still loves to close doors though ... enjoy some photos of Nessa peeking through the bathroom door.

Time to read

Well, I think our Miss Brooks things pretty much any time is a good time to read. These photos were taken today, Saturday September 30th, after story time with mom and story time with dad, when Nessa thought it was then time for her to read to her baby doll and then to read by herself in the video rocker.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Discovery Toys Fall Open House

The Discovery Toys Fall Open House will be October 27 and 28th -- Friday the 27th from 1 to 8 p.m. and Saturday the 28th from 10 to 3 (or by apt. at another time). It will be a great time to do your holiday shopping! I'll post a reminder as well as send invitations to to my customers, friends and nieghbors ... but I want those of you interested to mark it on your calendar. Even those of you that can't attend but place an order that weekend will be eligible for prizes and discounts. :-)

If you want to see the new fall toys and old favorites before that you can come and play with us this weekend, Sunday October 1st, from noon to 5 as I spend time learning more about the great new fall toys with the help of my "little assistants."

You may remember from a previous post that I was planning an open house this weekend, but illnesses earlier in the week/month (most of us have taken a turn) along with deadlines for other projects have left me feeling unprepared so I am instead using that time to PLAY, ah, I mean work, learn, and research. :-) Feel free to join us for an informal time to play with the toys ... anyone that does decide to come and play with us Saturday afternoon (from noon to 5) will receive a thank you discount if they decide to order anything at that time.

As an extra bit info -- Nessa's favorite Discovery Toys these days are the Shiny, Touchy, Smelly books, the book that accompanies the Look I'm Talking! set, and the Busy Bugs Learning Set (have some great photos of this), and she also enjoys the Giant Peg Board and several other things. The Book for Look I'm Talking! though is something she'll want to "read" every day as she goes through the pages pointing at each picture and waiting for me to say what that picture is off and then she'll start over and we can go on for, well a LONG time doing that. :-) Megan's favorites are the various school age games, the It's My Business set, and she also loves the Monkey Mouth!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Overheard -- now that's potentiality!

Now that's poteniality!

So, we've been singing the song "I'm a Promise" in Sunday School. It's a very cute Veggie Tales song ( and part of it goes: "I'm a great big bundle of potentiality."

As Megan was learning to sing it correctly (rather than "I'm a great big bumble of ...) we discussed exactly what "potentiality" meant. Well, at least I thought I helped her figure out exactly what it meant, but then I heard her explain it to Nessa.

Megan to Nessa: "It's like how you're pretty good at messing up the living room right now ... but you'll get better!"

Looking around at my living room I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Finally some pictures !!! -- from Aug. / Sept.

These are Megan's first day of school pictures. They are not good because of several reasons -- it was actually after school (she left from her dad's in the morning) and the lighting was really bad in front of the house, I don't have time right now to try to fix the lighting digitally, and finally she was NOT in the mood to have a picture taken at all because apparently she's too old for that so I'm surprised that more of her attitude isn't showing through!

One thing that Megan is great at and rarely complains about is playing with Nessa. In fact Megan will go out of her way to make time to play with Nessa. This is not only a great help for me so I can do things like post to the blog (!) but also great for the girls' relationship with each other. I love watching my girls play together!!! :-) And as you can see Nessa loves her new tea set and all of the cooking stuff (we moved the big kitchen set up to the living room as well) ... she seems to love to stir more than anything else at this point!

From these pictures you would think that we let her run around in her diaper and cover all the time, but really we don't do that much but I was wanting "diaper pics" to share with my cloth diapering list friends and managed to get a few other great pictures at the same time since of course all photos were taken while she was "on the go."

This was a pretty normal way to see Nessa running around the living room for awhile (with clothes on her head) because every time I would be folding laundry she would grab clothes and try to put them on her head!

Here you can see Nessa's "look what I can do now" look. She loves playing with her baby (also *hates* being treated like one so there are a few struggles these days with things like, oh, sitting in the high chair). Nessa can also say "baby" very clearly ... but as with most words she only says it when she wants to.

What I've been doing when you see me online

Those of you with gmail or yahoo IM may have noticed that I was actually online a lot the last few weeks but that I often had my status marked to busy or even unavailable. And the rest of you may simply have noticed that I haven't been posting much here on the blog (or elsewhere ... or emailing). The reason I was online but not doing my "usual thing" is because much of my computer time was spent creating this site:

It took me awhile but eventually at least the basics came back to me (I haven't worked with web pages directly for awhile and haven't actually been a "web editor" for 5 years!).

Check it out both to evaluate my work and to get a glimpse into what makes me so passionate about ICAN and supporting moms and babies!

Friday, September 08, 2006


OK, so recently somebody mentioned that I don't say much about myself on the blog AND I know I'm way behind in newsy updated in general in addition to being WAY behind on personal emails and phone calls -- SO I decided to start a file this morning of little tidbits of newsy info and added to it throughout the morning as I thought of things I would like to share here. And here it is:

It’s opening night tonight! Epic Proportions opens tonight at the La Crosse Community theatre. It will run the next two weekends as well ( If you come you can see Shawn in a number of interesting costumes and have a fun night with lots of laughter.

After Sunday Shawn will have THREE nights home in a row!!! (We’re a tad excited)

Shawn has been wonderful about coming home at lunch or doing what he can to spend extra time with Nessa in the morning (Nessa also was accommodating this morning by waking up early to have extra play time). Nessa loves seeing more of Daddy at these times, but does miss hearing him sing her lullaby each night.

Nessa is talking – well, okay that might be an exaggeration – but she’s coming up with new words nearly every day. One of the most fun new words that she says now is “Megan.” You can imagine that makes her big sister very happy! Nessa also still manages to make “no” sound cute as it comes out in kind of a sweet little girl “nah.” We love hearing her talk, but unfortunately she seems to think that words are for fun rather than for requesting things.

Nessa is amazing at putting together her puzzles (no we are not biased). And as Nessa loves to play with her puzzles I have become a little obsessed with getting more puzzles for her to work on (and so mom doesn’t get bored, lol) and I’m even hoping to make some out of foam this weekend and may have to put some of my scrap booking supplies to work to do so (those nifty shape cutters).

Tami has been miserable with “allergy eyes” every since the weather cooled off a bit (no A/C running) but apparently is in survival mode until her regularly scheduled Dr. appointment in a few weeks rather than finding a way to see clearly consistently before then. Nessa now knows that mom wears glasses sometimes too. Megan also had itchy allergy eyes for awhile but doesn’t seem to anymore.

Nessa now has her own kitchen! Well, okay, it was Megan’s kitchen play set but when Nessa started showing an interest in playing with kitchens at the church nursery I decided it was time to dig ours out of the storage area as well – Nessa was delighted!

Nessa also LOVES to go and play outside. She will get her shoes and stand by the front door. Many tears have been shed when she was not able to go out and play, OR we went out and went in the car or stroller instead of playing.

Megan’s 3rd grade year is off to a good start and Megan seems to be excited by reading a chapter book each week for school which makes mom excited! :-)

Megan is at her first trapping convention with her dad this weekend so when you see her you can ask her how it was. She was hoping she would meet another girl her age there to hang out with.

Nessa has been working on all of her molars. That seems to make mom and dad very tired some days/weeks.

Tami has been trying to s-l-o-w-l-y get back her once healthy eating habits (for those that don’t know, I used to eat very low-fat vegan … I felt great and looked a little, um, better). I have pretty much eliminated meat (except some fish) from my diet and now really need to eliminate dairy as well, but I’m struggling with that this time (I don’t miss the meat at all). And then while I’ve cut back I have a LONG ways to go in the sweets and fats areas! But it’s a start.

Next week Tami starts working 5 days a week but only until 11:30 each day. We’ll see how that goes … the next transition will hopefully be to doing more at home. This schedule should give me a longer/better time to work out most days AND work a bit better with Nessa’s schedule (I hope!).

As implied earlier our schedule has been a bit crazy with Shawn being gone so much, but for the most part – or at least before this week – we have been good about not eating out or resorting to fast or packaged convenience foods. We’ve been able to do this in part because of a visit to Simply EntrĂ©e in Holmen a few weeks ago ( We made up six wonderful meals while we were there in addition to purchasing a few side dishes and so far the ones we’ve had have been YUMMY and much more nutritious than the meals we likely would have had on those busy nights otherwise. Shawn keeps asking when we should reserve our next time slot there so I’m thinking this will be a near monthly event for us – at least until our girls start cooking. (Any of you great cooks out there up to volunteering to give them a few lessons?)

Megan is doing AWESOME with her “Healthy Steps” program and often has way over 10,000 steps on her pedometer!!!! She is also learning even more about eating her vegetables! :-)

I think everyone in the house in enjoying my new venture with Discovery Toys ( Megan and Nessa love testing all of the new toys and I’m having a blast both playing with the girls and talking to others about the great toys when I get a chance. The when I get a chance part has been a little tricky lately but I am about to gear up to introduce our great new fall toys as well as get ready for the holiday shopping season. I’m having an open house on Friday September 29th from 3 to 7, Sunday October 1st from noon to 5, or any time that weekend by appointment. For those of you out of town but in the region that is Oktoberfest so you can come for the open house and stay for the fest (or the other way around if you insist). I’m hoping to have all of the toys (that I currently have) thoroughly tested by then so if anyone in the area would like to help with that, let me know. :-)

Nessa is having fun learning to feed herself, but she’s much happier doing it with the same silverware that the rest of us use so I guess we’re a little overstocked on baby/toddler plastic forks and spoons. Nessa also thinks it’s VERY cool to get water directly out of the fridge (she can’t reach it but goes and stands by it and reaches up). Nessa also thinks it’s very, very cool to get the Dixie cups out of the bathroom as she CAN reach them. I’m waiting for the day she stops crushing the Dixie cups and instead takes one over to the fridge for a drink of water.

Tami is also busy as a co-leader of the ICAN of La Crosse and Winona chapter and attempting to create a website for the next National ICAN conference coming this next April in Syracuse, NY. It feels good to be giving something back to the community that has helped me so much on my own journey!

We got up early and went to a bunch of rummage sales last Saturday. I think we all enjoyed it. Megan found lots of new chapter books to read and mom found some clothes and toys for Nessa. Our biggest find was a nice wagon. Nessa also got a new doll that she enjoys playing with now. She likes watching the doll’s eyes open and close. She also likes to put diapers on her doll and I she’s now starting to put those diapers on her baby doll’s bottom rather than on her head!

Speaking of putting things on her head – Nessa loves to pick up clothes and put them either on her head or around her shoulders. Of course she does this with blankets and things, but clean clothes being folded and her diaper basket (gotta love cloth!) are also fair game. Nessa looks very cute with diaper covers on her head and her pink shorts look pretty cute too, but I laughed the hardest when she grabbed Shawn’s shorts out of the basket and put them “on” her head and they went right over her head and around her middle and we had quite the giggles.

Nessa is learning to SMACK when she kisses! :-)

I have lots of photos to post as soon as I can so stay tuned for that if you don’t see them here yet – silly photos of Nessa, first day of school photos of Megan, and pictures from our nice relaxing Labor Day weekend! :-)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Discovery Toys announcement !

Announcement Special: Order before Oct. 1st and qualify to win $20 in Discovery Toys! The first order $50 or over receives a certificate for 50% the next order. Labor Day Special: Order by 10 p.m. Sept. 5th and get 20% off any item on your next order.

Happy play time --
Tami Groth