Thursday, November 29, 2007

Overheard -- the sweetest of words to parents of toddlers

Today for the FIRST time --

Nessa: "I have to go pee!"

The parents out there know how exciting this is ... she has been going on the potty for a long time, but today is the first time she has told us (or daycare) that she has to go before she starts going ... and she told us more than once!!!! Woo Hoo we're on our way!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Woo Hoo, Veggie night a hit!

Well, OK, Nessa pretty much only ate applesauce, but that could happen no matter what else we serve. Shawn, on the other hand even took seconds -- and those that know him know that he was naturally more than a little nervous about "veggie night." :-)

A couple of weeks ago we decided Tuesday nights would become veggie night since it's generally a good night for me to cook. The idea of veggie night was also appealing because we're trying to cut back on our out of control grocery expenses and I thought one of the easiest ways would be to eat less meat (especially since we like the good stuff when we eat meat). When Shawn agreed to try a night w/out meat once a week I figured he was just trying to make sure I would cook supper at least once a week. :-)

Last night was the first night (we were sick last Tuesday). And today I'm enjoying yummy leftovers of:

Why did I choose those recipes? Well, first and most importantly -- I had the ingredients or enough that it would be close enough (recipes are just suggestions, right?) -- I was determined not to have to run to the store (hence no salad w/ it as we were out of fresh greens and we always have that on other nights anyway), and I also wanted things that I thought had a chance of being enjoyed while being somewhat new and different. Shawn said he didn't want to know ingredients until after he said if he liked it or not. :-)

You may notice there really weren't that many vegetables in our veggie meal. Oh well, it's a start. And if you have any gluten free (or easily adaptable as the apple burgers were) vegan* recipes to share, please do! :-)

Happy End of November!

*I simply use vegan because it's the easiest way to find recipes that have no egg or dairy which I'm allergic to.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Time to decorate!

Megan decorated much of the tree while Nessa was sleeping. Or rather, Megan put all of her favorite ornaments on the Christmas tree while Nessa was sleeping. Then when Nessa woke up from her nap she was very excited to see the tree and put almost all of the rest of ornaments on the tree all by herself!

IF you look closely you'll either love that this tree was decorated by a two year old ... or not. :-)

The only problem so far -- one day in to having the tree up (in the Great room) -- is that Nessa wants to KEEP decorating. She keeps asking for more and more ornaments to put on the tree.

We also put up Christmas window clings and listened to Christmas carols. :-)
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Nessa, upon wandering into the Great Room after waking up from her nap:

"It's the Christmas tree! And the socks!"

Monday, November 12, 2007

Halloween 2007 pictures

Finally -- here are the Halloween pictures:

If you haven't hear yet, can you tell who Megan and Nessa are dressed up as?

Megan really, really wanted to be Laura Ingalls ... so we found a place to get a dress, apron and bonnet made and then decided to get one for Nessa too. I hope they'll use them a lot to dress up in as well as for Halloween. :-)

Both girls went with us to Shawn's office for some indoor trick or treating (cube to cube is SO much more effecient than house to house!). After that I took Megan back to La Crescent so she could go out with her friends later, and Shawn took Nessa home and then out to trick-or-treat around our neighborhood. (I went to yoga!)

Nessa also dressed up at daycare and they went over to the church and paraded for everyone at chuch, including the quilting groupl. I was told that Nessa costume was very recognizable to the ladies at church. :-)

You can see a few more picts in my Picasa album:

Halloween 2007
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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

We're home ... and just checking in

Just a quick note since I'm not positive when I'll have time for the kind of post this past weekend deserves. I hope to at least upload photos tonight, but beyond that it may be this weekend and since Saturday is November 10th (Emily's birth day) I may have my mind on other things.

In short it was a WONDERFUL weekend and the extra couple of days Shawn, Nessa and I took in the Dells (and Madison on Tuesday) was also wonderful and well worth the effort.

We stayed at Christmas Mountain thanks to mom and dads timeshare (very nice). Over the weekend we spent much of our time at Chula Vista (where much of the rest of the Groth gang was staying) celebrating my parents 40th Wedding Anniversery (this really does truly deserve a post all of its own). On Monday we explored the WI Dells area (and tried to stay dry with the rain/snow (yes I said snow) happening). And, on Tuesday we headed to Madison for a bit of shopping and a stop at the zoo ... much fun. Of course the great food every day deserves more details too .... Mmmm ...

Below is a quick photo from Judy that shows Nessa at the top of one of the water slides in the "kiddie pool" area of the Chula Vista indoor water park ... this is the closest Nessa came to actually sliding down a water slide. :-)

Nessa is on the left and Charlotte is on the right. I ended up going to get Nessa eventually although I hesitated thinking if given time she might go down (hey, I hadn't been able to get her even that far on my own ... she went up with Charlotte). (Note: low res image)

OK, back to attempting to catch up with the back log that happens with not only a couple of days off of work but 5 days offline! :-)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

This IS only a test

Formatting was only so-so from my gmail account (and sorry for the Fwd: on there ... long story). So, I'm seeing if it works from my work account ... because you know I have nothing to do when I eat lunch at my desk (and if you believe that) ...

Tami Groth
Technical Writer
La Crosse Management Systems, Inc.

Fwd: This is not only a test ... and other randomness

If this works, this will be the first blog post I make via email (hence the test reference). I'm sure this has been an option for awhile, but I only discovered it while looking through my blogger options to change a few other things. If it posts successfully it may help me make more frequent quick posts.
Nessa also gave Shawn a test of sorts this morning. It could have been called, "how you will react when I'm a teenager." Yes, we now have proof that Nessa is as much "Tami's daughter" as she is "Shawn's daughter" (this is the look Shawn gets when Nessa refuses her veggies each night). This morning Shawn was trying to gently wake Nessa up as she has been sleeping later since she was home almost all last week sick and got used to sleeping later (plus it is still dark outside so she thinks it is night yet when we leave at 7ish) ... eventually Nessa turned to Shawn and said: "Don't talk to me now." Maybe this weekend Shawn can commiserate with Shawn, Lance and Scott about trying to get girls up in the morning.
Long overdue Random updates:
  • Halloween seems to have been a success at our house. Both girls were dressed as Laura Ingalls (pictures soon!). Megan really, really wanted to be Laura so I found someone to make the dress, bonnet, etc. (thank you eBay!) and then decided I should just have her make a matching one for Nessa as it would be cute together and Nessa could use it to dress up in a lot at other times as well because she loves to play dress up. Megan decided that Nessa could be Carrie or maybe even Grace (Megan likes to go by the age of the girls in the book she is currently reading ... the girls keep getting older see as Megan is getting to the last book in the series.) Yesterday though Nessa caught on that Megan was excited to be "Laura" so Nessa had to be Laura too. :-)
  • This has been an especially busy week because we were still recovering from all of the illness of the previous week when we couldn't get anything done (passed around a GI big), had/have something scheduled nearly every night, and are getting ready for our WI Dells trip this weekend.
  • Between illness and business I have found a bit of time to enjoy the occasional gorgeous fall days we have had recently. I even took out the Ergo backpack carrier again the other night (we didn't really use it all summer!) and asked Nessa if she would go for a walk with me "on my back" and she agreed. (For months now all walks have been either Nessa actually walking, Nessa using her bike, or us using the stroller or bike carrier.) We had a blast going out for a walk and being able to carrying on actual conversations (because her head is so close to mine this is so much easier!) as we talked about all of the Halloween decorations and various piles of leaves and other fall things. I'm looking forward to doing this as long as the weather permits. It's especially nice to get bonding time and exercise at the same time. :-)
  • We leave Friday for a long weekend in WI Dells. My entire family will be there for the weekend for my parents 40th Anniversary! :-) And then Shawn, Nessa and I will stay a couple of additional days to take advantage of the time share and relax a bit. We're looking forward to lots of fun and family time ... and good photo opps so stay tuned for those posts soon after we return.
  • We had a great fall photo shoot w/ Tiffany ( ), but we're taking our own sweet time ordering, etc. so we won't finalize what we want digital copyrights to for a few weeks yet so general blog readers will have to until then to see the great pics that were captured and what we mean by how old (that is a good thing when you're 10 I guess) and gorgeous Megan looks in the ones we did of just her.
  • Speaking of Megan, she has been doing awesome at school by all accounts. I'm thankful she has such a wonderful teacher (best yet at communicating with mom and dad too) in addition to making some wonderful new friends. As you may have gathered she is very much into the Laura Ingalls Wilder series of books and I'm being told that after she finishes the "regular series" there are a number of other books written by Rose and others that she will want to read. She also likes to read horse books and was thrilled to get to ride a horse with one of her new friends recently. I'm quite thrilled that she still barely recognizes the name "Hannah Montana"! Last Saturday Megan and I did manage to have a girls night out and went to see a local production of High School Musical that we enjoyed.
  • Nessa still plays the little sister role very nicely and loves it when Megan is home to play with. Nessa has learned that it is fun to go downstairs in the rec room and play with Megan so that has become a regular special request after church on Sunday.
  • Other general Nessa updates include: After regression during illness last week she is back to wearing underwear most of the time (other than nap and night) and yesterday was a quite successful day so I'm beginning to be hopeful again; Nessa can really count now (versus just saying the numbers in order) and will practice counting many things and if she's serious (versus being silly) she almost always counts right on for anything under 10 items; Nessa still loves art projects and has discovered that there are art supplies in the rec room (we need to replenish much of the toddler appropriate art items in the house though -- Christmas ideas!); Nessa's creativity is just exploding as she does more and more pretend play and will take almost anything (including her food sadly) and turn it into something to give voice to and create a little story; Nessa sings A LOT although often is takes us a bit to realize what song she is attempting to sing -- very cute though.
  • In the keeping busy and enjoying some new activities update: Megan and I have been taking yoga in La Crescent this fall and plan to continue there at least through the holidays and then we may try yoga elsewhere or do another activity together; I have been taking a Spring Forest QiGong class ( at the Onalaska Center for Health and Healing ( for the last several weeks, and Shawn and I will start the Tai Chi Chih class at lunch time on Fridays beginning Nov. 9th.
  • We also continue to be busy with church activities: Shawn is in the choir this year in addition to serving on the church council; Tami has helped start a women's group that meets twice a month during lunch time and continues to attempt to join in the crafting group as well as other activities; Megan enjoys Sunday School and continues to join us in some of the family activities such as the recent movie night to view the new Veggie Tales movie; Nessa is able to stay with us during the beginning of the church service without being too disruptive now and then she goes up with Megan to listen to the Children's service and then Megan escorts her to the nursery where she gets to play with a friend; I think Nessa was impressed with seeing Veggie Tales on such a big screen when we went to the family movie night last Friday too!
OK, that is it for this update even though I'm sure I'm forgetting more than a few things (feel free to drop us a line and ask questions!). I can't believe October whizzed right by and it's November already!