Sunday, December 19, 2010

Niles communicates & Fireman Santa

While Niles has been communicating with the tones of his grunts and cries since April 29th he has moved to the next level. He has been waving, giving verbal cues to his desires, and use some simple sign language. We have been working on milk, done, more, etc and he has these in his lexicon right now. There is a short cut of Jonas and a marathon song that lasted for about 15 minutes on the way to see Santa #1. When we arrived at Santa #1 the boys got out of the van just in time to see the fire-engines zoom away on a call. Jonas and Niles saw their neighbor fireman Jay zoom off in the #4. Santa was wonderful and Jonas got to ring his bells, but the initial pictures didn't go so well for the kids. See the picture below for the details. There is a great article about the Santa, check it out. I know that Santa is a public employee and in this day and age in our state is vilified by our soon to be new Governor for being so "affluent" and actually having a retirement program. I'm sure Gov Walker will be sure to take away a lot of the desire for good people to do public sector work. (By the way the top 1% of income earners grab more than 23% of the total income and also pay a tax-rate that is equal to those in poverty. The highest one percent used to be taxed at 70-94% after WWI until the 1970s, but now they average around they can have more money I guess like our new Senator Johnson with his 9.5 million dollars in earnings but lucky for him didn't pay any income taxes (that's zero income taxes) for those 11 years, he probably would not have been able to feed his family if he had to pay taxes like everyone else that is not a millionaire. Bottom line, we better continue to reduce the wages and compensation of the middle class so that the millionaires don't have to pay any taxes and can hire more workers like Johnson did by hiring prisoners from a WI prison because they were inexpensive workers...ahh greed in the name of capitalism and politics) I digress.....happy holidays everyone.

Monday, December 6, 2010

First Snowfall

From beards to Thanksgiving, to Niles first face plant in the snow to no-napping Jonas pass-outs, to first x-mas tree and beyond this slideshow has it all. Enjoy the holiday season.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Poppin Tooth & Jammin Niles

Popalicious. Tooth discovered on Oct 31st, 2010. It must have popped out sometime around 11:30am central/standard time during the Big Ten Cross Country Championships. It is located on the lower left and is the almost the same as Jonas's first tooth location, just on the other side of the mouth. So welcome to the lower left central incisor and may you enjoy many chomps for the next few years. You can take a look at the tooth in the first picture up top and if you don't have access to sticking your finger in Niles's mouth. It was obvious a reason to dance and celebrate, though that seems to happen quite regularly for no reason at all.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

HALLOWEEN Niles's 1st and Jonas's 1st with Niles

It was a great celebration of spookiness. Jonas started off wanting to be a car.....and it quickly morphed into wanting to be a school bus. 24 hours later he was trick-or-treating. He seemed to be able to maneveur quite well and got into and out of lots of nooks and crannies. Niles actually dressed up as a bear and dragon. At 6 months old he is obviously not very good at choosing items so he decided to go as each of the available costumes. Standard Tangen pumpkin carvings: Moon and Stars, Tow-Truck, Pthalate, and Potato Head Jack-o-lantern.
The family trick-or-treat on State St. was a fun time for the kids, great weather and Grandma Sue. The local trick-or-treat was quite fun as well....including such treats as motorized swimming plastic beavers, dancing chipmunks, books, custom cupcakes, etc... fun time great community event. We even tested the bus lights late at night after Niles went to sleep to do some after hours/post-bedtime trick-or-treating and moon watching.

Friday, October 29, 2010

194 P

Jonas has been busy working his waste management system. We had done a lot of work way back in June....but his parents dropped the ball and had to restart the training. Its been about 3 weeks and things are going well. Jonas is outrageously bribed to produce urine.
  1. He receives a penny for every time he pees in the toilet, but has any wetness in his underwear.
  2. He receives a nickel or dime for every time he pees in the toilet and has a dry pair of undies.
  3. The pee-money than gets immediately put into a jellybean coin-slot operated bank contraption.
  4. The carousel jellybean bank is operated and 2-4 jellybeans pop out for every pee.
  5. After a day of complete dryness he earns a letter that is placed on the calendar.
  6. After three days of complete dryness Jonas can pick from one of 3 prizes. He went shopping at the toy store and pre-purchased his toys which are placed up high out of his reach.
  7. The money collected in the bank can be used for any purpose.
These are the basics. Its going well. He had already mastered the solid materials for almost 6 months so we just had to work on the liquid portion of the waste management. The first couple of weeks brought 194 pee events. The proportion of nickels and dimes to pennies has skyrocketed as the penny reward is a very rare event.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pumpkin Patches

Niles and Jonas teamed up to pick the perfect pumpkins from the patch. At this point we have 10 perfect pumpkins and a bunch of gourds and mini-pumpkins. We spent some time at the Vermont Valley Farm and at the Voss farm. Jonas got a chance to play with some kids including Max, pick some more pumpkins, go on a hay-ride, and take an ATV out in the country with his dad. Niles also had some funny hair styles after his pumpkin hat was removed and Jonas can be seen picking his nose in time-out while Niles was working on standing up with his mom.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Niles's first eats

Niles's first eats was a success. It helped that Jonas was an excellent rice cereal delivery-boy. You can see Jonas's mirror neurons working as every spoonful that he delivered for Niles to eat resulted in an air-bite for Jonas. Niles seemed pretty excited about all the solid food moving down his gullet.
Jonas also got a chance to meet Grandma Sue's kitten Ariel. Jonas and Ariel have hit it off well by all reports. The usual autumn preparation events have filled the house: more snuggling, trying winter hats, running through leaves, talking about the pumpkin patch, and finding places for all the glow-in-the dark Halloween decorations.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


It's only been a couple of weeks since Jonas's birthday, and we have managed to pile on hundreds of pictures and videos which are amazing.....but have created a digital pile-up and so we are just pulling a few pics. Jonas had a great few birthday parties, he really loved all the people and thoughtful gifts. Niles has been on sleep-training boot camp. He has been having varied success with that, but he is been quite silly during his happy awake hours. He seems to have taken a liking to Greta.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Jonas...about 5 minutes old.

Birthday time. Happy Birthday Jonas. A few pictures in a slide show of some of the crazy growing up that kids tend to do way to fast. Happy Birthday.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Super Jammer

That's entertainment. Jonas continues to be the best toy that Niles could ever want. Jonas really enjoys making Niles smile and giggle. Jonas was playing and singing his version of "Get that Train Through" to Niles. This song has many variations and seems to be able to be sung along with almost any tune.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bay Beach Almost 3

It seems crazy to think how fast time flies....Jonas will be 3 in a couple of weeks and Niles is growing like a weed being feed by vermicompost and extra carbon dioxide. We got a chance to cut the ribbon for the opening of the new children's museum...the museum is the most ridiculous place I've seen that is setup for kids in my life, see some big ships with Grandpa in Green Bay, and do up Bay Beach for the second time this summer. Niles has been having a bit of issues sleeping lately and Jonas faceplanted his head into the pavement and messed up his jaw, face, and teeth and bit through his tongue today.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Snap Dance

About a month ago Jonas and Dominic put together an interesting dance routine. They had 4th of July props, 4 boxes of 'snaps'. It was a pretty good impromptu dance.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nap Deprivation

Jonas has been going in and out of taking afternoon naps. It has been a roller coaster ride from 4:30 to bedtime without a nap. You can maybe tell by the picture of Jonas that his eyes are a good indicator of a 'low sleep' warning. Niles is much the same way. He has had a bit of difficulty going to sleep because he doesn't want to miss any happenings out there in the brand new world.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Happy summer!

Jonas and Niles have been busy with summer fun these past few weeks. Lots of visits from friends and relatives as well as tons of outdoor fun. Niles continues to grow longer and has just started to look chubbier. He is quite the "talker" as well, and loves to laugh at his big brother's antics. Jonas has been a sweet big brother and often helps out by dancing around so Niles can bring his spirits up.

Jonas and Max are SO BIG in the pool

Happy birthday ice cream, Daddy!

Mr. Big Hands in the bath

Dane County Fair

B B Clark Beach

Snuggle time!

Jonas and Dominic ham it up

Sunday, July 4, 2010

1st Camping Trip with Jonas at Gov Dodge

We had the lake to ourselves for about an hour early one morning. It was absolutely beautiful. The birds, butterflies, clouds, and fish swimming between your legs. Jonas was impressed with his new tether that was attached to his wooden boat.

Up on top of a bluff at the end of a hike Jonas gave Dad a sloppy slurp. It was lucky that we didn't fall off the bluff as the sloppy slurp can make you squirm and giggle. The jiffy popcorn turned out great over the campfire. This was the first successful campfire popcorn I have ever done, usually it is pure 'Jiffy Black'.

Where is Jonas? He was found of going in and out of the tent and almost always tripping over the tent on the way out. It took him about 20 tries before he figured that he could not run full speed out of the tent without wiping out.

After all the food the nearest bathroom was found right next to the warm campfire. Everything was disposed of properly.

Roasting marshmallows with Mom. It turns out the Jonas is not a big fan of roasted marshmallows.

A bunch of videos of the trip. There is a lot of stuff here for dedicated individuals, but catch the last clip, it is pretty solid.

Jonas zonked out before we left Gov Dodge. Once we got home he slept for another 2 hours in the driveway in the van while Dad cleaned out the van and mowed the grass.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Jonas Workout...Cookies

Dad thought the perfect time to start working out again would be while handling sleep deprivation. So far Mom has only skipped one early morning workout and Dad has done them all. Jonas joins us on occasion if he wakes up early. Last week he came downstairs for the abs portion of the workout. He has inherited his mom's workout attitude from her days on the UW-Madison track team. You can see he's already explaining how his "right leg can't do that". He somehow also knows that we used to make regular trips to James J. Chocolate Shoppe for treats on our cool down runs from the track, as in this video he decides he needs a cookie break. The apple doesn't fall far...

Monday, June 28, 2010

June Adventures

Jonas and Niles have had a lot of adventures already this summer. Although at times it seems like we're "not up to much", it is also true that we are going on an outing just about everyday. Jonas's favorite adventure so far has to be the splash park. True to form, he screeched and squealed and buzzed around while Dad tried to keep up. He ended up shivering and ready for lunch, which was the perfect end to the morning. Niles, on the other hand, napped and watched the kids run around and have fun. Niles is becoming increasingly interested in the world around him and doles out sneaky little smiles from the crook of his mouth.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Jonas's First Race

We almost did not make it to the race. We had a great schedule worked out at the end of a busy day and just as we were about to leave......Jonas had to go to the bathroom. It went pretty well and fast, in his words "It looks like a poop forest". So after that delay Sara and Niles dropped us off at the track so we could warm-up and check-in for the race. The race did not go as turned out that Jonas had engine trouble and had to stop several times. Seeing as this was his first race we can work out the kinks.

You might also note that Niles turned 7 weeks today and really seems to enjoy out-facing in the bjorn. His melon control has been pretty good so Sara tried the front face position and his head remained on at the end of the day. Another blast of a day with the family.