She's here!!!

Check out Jeff & Marie's blog for the news!

A little tidbit: named after Grandma B, born on Grandpa B's birthday. A wonderful surprise.


Merry Christmas!!!

Yeah, I'm post-dating this post back to the 25th, but I wanted to share our card with those of you in the cyber world who didn't get a card from us!



Well, the temp outside right now is 38 degrees. The thing is, the snow's not so much melting as just getting heavy and packing down.

The upside is it's great snowman-making packing snow (and would be some wicked-deadly snowball-making snow).

The downside is a driveway that's basically a sheet of ice.

After Victoria, Olly and I played outside for a while this morning, I took the lead from Brynna and we had hot cocoa!



V finally fits into these hand-me-down jeans, which are so cute! They're still a little long, but the best thing is that they're stretchy, so they actually fit in the waist. She was so eager to put her shoes on, this was the best photo I could get!

Nothing really fits well right now... anything that's right in the length is huge in the waist, and anything that fits in the waist is too short! That was one nice thing about summer - capri pants and shorts were much easier to work with.


Baby, it's cold outside!

And now there's snow! So far we've gotten probably 6-8 inches, and it's still falling. Victoria and I had to get bundled up just to get the paper this morning!

And here are just a few others from the past few days.

The sun was so bright in the house, Victoria insisted on having her sunglasses on!

And a few really cute outfits - one just fits perfectly...
V still needs to do a little growing to fit this one...


Kitchen in a kitchen

Her new play kitchen fits in perfectly!

And for those planning a 2 year birthday, here's the breakdown of what was a hit and what wasn't:

Things V loves:
The big Barbie doll
Any LeapFrog fridge magnets
The kitchen
The Sesame Street guitar

Things she's not too sure about:
A doll that sings (it scares her!)
A puppy whose tail wags.
She's still really unsure of anything that vibrates or moves on its own, including the TMX doll we bought her last year!

The Birthday

How the day went:

How the day could have gone... (cue the music "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to.") I let Victoria open one of the gifts from Aunt Judy a few days early - she was mad because I took the box of packing peanuts away from her!


Birthday Photos

Here are some quick photos from Victoria's 2nd Birthday party. We had a great time. Just can't believe my little girl is 2 already!


Ready for the party!

For the first time, we have real pig-tails! Though it seems like Victoria's hair has been growing like crazy, there's still barely enough to get into a few holders. We did manage (with the help of Little Einsteins) to get two pig-tails in, but we'll see how long they last. I had to take a few photos just in case they don't last long! BTW - the clothes are 2T, which you can see are still a bit too big - but most 18 month stuff just barely fits.

Rod taught V last night how to say how old she is when she's asked, tho it comes out more like "Tee-ooo!"

The cupcakes are baked (but not yet frosted) and spaghetti's on the menu for dinner. Let the festivities begin!

Now, only 4 more hours till family arrives...


Early birthday gift

See any new (brown) addition in this photo???

Just kidding! We're doggy sitting this weekend! Fun for all!


What a difference a year makes!




I thought only adults talked to themselves, but I overheard the following coming from the couch: (where Victoria was sitting reading a book by herself)

"What color is the flower? Blue!"

We say as adults, "I know I talk to myself, but I only worry if I answer!" so what does it mean for a toddler?!?

And just a fun pic from the weekend. We were getting home foot-spas together!


A little clarification

If it seems like this site brags about Victoria, I hope it's only partly true. In addition to having a good tool to share photos and videos about how our daughter is growing with family and friends who don't see us as often as we'd like, I have also used this blog as a digital 'baby book' of sorts.

Many of the milestones I record in here are more for my future reference than trying to brag about where Victoria is in development and what she's doing - or not doing. My memory's not all that great, and this serves a good reference when Jeff or Mandy ask me "How old was Victoria when...."

Of course, we're very proud of Victoria. We think she's very smart. And the blog does act as a way for us to brag without shoving it down people's throats with a million emails :D



Victoria impresses me almost daily with how much she learns, and how quickly she remembers things. Last night we were playing with her dolls, and she picked up a bowl. First, she said, "Got it!", then she looked at the bowl, looked at me, and said, "I got the bowl!" just as plain as day. To see her thinking about what she's saying, formulating sentences, and speaking more and more clearly makes me proud.

She's also getting better with shapes and colors. She loves puzzles and shape-sorting toys.


The Stockings are Hung

I wanted to get a majority of the indoor decorating done before my knee surgery, but that didn't really happen. Fortunately, I'm able to hobble around enough to get it done anyway (with Rod's assistance, of course).


A belated Happy Thanksgiving

Last week was very busy. I had knee surgery Wednesday - a scope, where the doc cleaned a lot of the junk out from below my right kneecap. As I'm able to move more, it seems noticeably less 'crunchy' (a great family trait!)

Thursday (Thanksgiving day) we drove up to Rod's mom's house for dinner and to watch a little football, drove the hour and a half back home, only to pack up and drive an hour and a half to my parents' house to visit for a few days.

Victoria got to see most of her cousins Thursday and Friday, though I only managed photos with her and the twins. And still they're headed in opposite directions!

The days were filled with toys...


Dress-up with Busha's glasses...

And socks!
Then we had another quick visit with Uncle Jeff, Aunt Marie, Kasia and Moira back at our house, as we're about halfway between Traverse City (where they spent the weekend) and Ann Arbor. They stopped for a rest, to stretch and have some dinner, then it was back on the road for them! As you can see, the twins are quickly catching up to Victoria when it comes to height!


Keeping the paparazzi at bay

No pictures, please!
Okay, maybe just one!


What did you learn today?

Here's what daddy taught V today. I think if she had a tail it would be wagging in anticipation!


Little Reader

The joy of self-feeding

I'm not entirely sure that teaching a child to feed themselves equals less work for mom & dad... this is what was left after a snack of yogurt and blueberries.

We don't skip too many bath nights around here.


A Constant Progression

I notice so many little things these days that just make me smile, knowing my daughter's mind and vocabulary are progressing at an amazing rate. The other day, when we were up north, she was drawing on a dry-erase board, and when I asked what she drew, she pointed and said very matter-of-factly, "elephant!" She drew more, then pointed and said, "cat!" then "bunny" followed the next scribbles.

She's slowly getting the "you" and "me" words straight - more often she'll say "excuse me" after she burps, where before she'd burp and say, "excuse you". I'm finding that one to be tough to teach, and correct. The you/me, yours/mine concept is difficult to explain at times.

I noticed the other night at dinner when I told her, "eat your peas" she followed with "q r s t u v..." which I found quite hysterical and impressive at the same time.

Her eye teeth are finally making an appearance - the bottom left and top right have both poked through, and (knock on wood) in true Victoria teething fashion, she's sleeping a ton. As in a 4 hour nap yesterday, then 12 hours last night!


Keeping Busy

The beginning of this week found the three of us up in Grayling for a few days. Rod was teaching at the academy, and the benefit of my not having a job meant Victoria and I could join him. We got a hotel with a great indoor pool, hot tub, and kiddie wading pool, as well as an indoor play structure with slides, etc. This was the view out our hotel room door:

Normally, the trip would have been nothing short of fun. However, those pesky eye teeth are giving Victoria a heck of a time, and between that and having to sleep in a pack n play for three nights made everyone a little cranky. Needless to say when we got back home last night, none of us felt much like going out trick -0r- treating. I never got around to carving any of the pumpkins we have, but by the looks of things this morning, that got taken care of with out me!
Yup... the stupid squirrels are infesting our yard, our trees, our lives! At any given moment, there are at least a half-dozen visible in the yard. Olly has been running his little behind off trying to chase them off, but there are just too many for him! The Old Farmer's Almanac mentioned that every few years Oak trees have an abundant-acorn year. That definitely is the case around here. The amount of acorns is insane - but apparently still not enough for some greedy squirrels.

Today we spent a good portion of the afternoon attempting to clean up the yard. Three large tarp-fulls of leaves left the yard, in addition to a few piles that were burned. It was a perfect day for working in the yard... just the right temp to be comfortable in jeans and sweatshirts. Victoria started out all bundled up but gradually shed layers as the afternoon progressed. She had a blast playing in the leaves!


Busy Saturday

Yesterday 'the men' worked in the rain and wind in our yard to take down a few trees that were dead or on their last limb. So while Rod, Stephen, Jim, and Bruce were outside, the ladies (Penny, Pam and I) had fun inside with the kiddos. Cousins Faith and Chloe are getting so big!
Then, later in the afternoon, Grandpa Russ stopped by with some treats straight out of Mexico for the girls!


Fun at the pumpkin farm

We met up with a few friends yesterday and headed to a fall fest/pumpkin farm. Talk about a fun-filled, busy afternoon! The kids dressed up. Victoria was a pumpkin fairy, Evan was an elephant, and Caiden (thanks to his daddy not bringing his costume) was a girl!

Got to play in the corn-box...

Raced tractors, cars, trucks (okay, didn't really race, more like sat on)...

Played on the slide...

And other things we didn't get photos doing included a petting zoo, a horse-drawn trailer ride through the corn fields, and a sandbox. Would have been a good fall day if it hadn't been 80 degrees! Whew!


The downside to our yard

We love our yard. The land, all the big old trees, everything about it. There are a few downsides that become especially apparent this time of year, though. The leaves don't look too bad yet, but the trees are still mostly green. And Rod just mowed 2 days ago. But with that big storm, we had one tree casualty.