Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New York, New York...

Nick is going to be in New York for work the first week in February. He and his co-worker thought it would be cool if they tried to get David Letterman tickets while they are there. In order to have a chance to go to the Letterman Show you need to first have them call you back and secondly answer a trivia question about the show correctly. Since they did that, they will be on the Letterman Show on Wednesday, February 6th. Watch to see if you can see Nick in the crowd!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mr. Empathizer

Geno is still not walking, but will pull himself up to a stand when HE wants to. He is becoming more and more harder to feed. He is a very picky eater and some days I may go through four or five entrees before he will eat anything.

He is definitely a sensitive little boy. For instance, the other day Coretta was crying and the next thing I know, Geno is getting the pouty face and starts to cry inconsolably. I thought maybe this was just a fluke, so the other day I pretended to cry, and sure enough so did Geno. Afterwards I felt bad for putting him through that experiment. He sure can melt your heart! Here's some video of him in the big bathtub.

Catholic Schools Week

This week is Catholic Schools Week at Coretta's school. There are several activities going on such as a school dance, prayer service, bingo night, treats in class, open house tour, food shelf drive, as well as out of uniform days. Coretta's second grade class had the privilege of leading the prayer service on Monday and read information about Saint Thomas More in front of the whole school! Afterwards, parents were able to join the second graders in the classroom and eat doughnuts with the kids. Here is a short video of Coretta and her classmates participating in the prayer service. Great job
second graders!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Coretta's new sweater...

Coretta received a package in the mail today from Grandma Marilyn. When she opened it, it was a sweater and slippers that she knitted especially for her. Here is a picture of Coretta modeling her new digs. Thanks Grandma!!

Coretta and Geno

Coretta and Geno are getting closer and closer every day. The very first thing that Coretta does when she gets home from school is to spend time playing with her brother. She enjoys feeding him, bathing him, playing with him, and carrying him. I can tell that she really enjoys the big sister role and it is clear that so does he.

Scoot, scoot....

Geno is getting closer and closer to walking. He scoots around on his knees and tries to pull himself up to a stand. It isn't so much that he can't do it, but more when will he do it. He is definitely a child that does things when he is ready and not when Mom or Dad is ready.

His vocabulary is still a series of babbles, but it seems to be very meaningful speech for him. The other day, we were playing with toys in his room, when he crawled over to me, and pulled himself up to his knees and laid his head on my shoulder speaking to me in his newly created language. This to me was a very precious moment.

We have been going to the YMCA as a family and have designated Sundays as family work out and swim. Geno really loves the water.

He is just over 13 months now and is very happy and content.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Coretta and Charlie

Coretta and Charlie have been spending some quality time together lately. While Coretta was playing with her brother, Charlie jumped up on her lap as if to say, "What about me?"

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Get me out of here!

Geno is getting closer and closer to walking. The other day, I dangled a cookie over the railing of his crib, and determined to get it, he stood up. I am sure that Pavlov would have some kind of psycho-analysis retort of this theory, but whatever works I say!

He has also pulled himself up on the stairs and pulled himself up to get into his toy box. He spends a lot of time in the kneeling phase which could mean one of two things...he is working on his balance or praying. Here is a picture of him clearly wanting out of this jail! The pouty face he is demonstrating in this photo is the same pouty face he gives us when anyone is cuddling or hugging and he is not included.

Here is a video of Geno having a tantrum while I am trying to feed him. I guess he doesn't like fishsticks!

Coretta and Dad

Now that Coretta can make movie-style popcorn any time, it isn't just her that is craving it! Nick stated that when Grandma Earnest bought this present for Coretta she truly knew what Coretta liked and more importantly what HE liked. Here is a picture of them making the popcorn together as Charlie eats the kernels that fall!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Coretta's Happenings...

Coretta has been having a great time preparing for her big competition for Destination Imagination March 1st. She has also been busy playing basketball and is getting quite good. We are thinking about enrolling her in basketball camp this summer to help improve her skills even more.

In school Coretta has been very busy. In Science, they are studying frogs, particularly their own frogs that they have been observing ever since they were little tadpoles!

In Math they have been busy studying geometry, addition, subtraction, telling time, and measurement. Coretta has had many perfect scores on her timed math tests. We are very proud of her progress!

In religion, they are learning about the Sacraments in preparation for their first Holy Communion. Coretta and I begin taking classes together at the end of January. Her first Holy Communion is on April 6th. They are also learning about Martin Luther King.

In Social Studies and English they are working on what is called the Roxaboxen Project where they are studying deserts and learning how communities are formed and maintained. They are also learning the difference between non-fiction and fictional texts as well autobiographies and biographies. They are also continuing to expand heir knowledge in reference to certain literary terms such as setting, characters, setting, conflict, and plot. They have also started their Flat Stanley Project where they will be receiving letters from all over the world asking friends and relatives to spend a day with Flat Stanley, take pictures, and report their adventure back to the school.

Although her schedule is quite busy, I believe that she wouldn't have it any other way. She does however reluctantly need to schedule in a nap. Here is a picture of Coretta and Charlie taking a break from their busy schedules!

Grandpa Tom and Geno...

While I was coaching Coretta's Destination Imagination team, Grandpa Tom was here to babysit. When I came home Geno and Grandpa Tom were having the time of their life talking to each other in baby talk and playing with the dogs.

To my surprise, Geno has become so attached to Grandpa Tom on these Monday visits, that he would not come to me. Every time I tried to take him, he would cry and reach out for Grandpa. It sure was a delight to see. I don't think Tom has ever looked more surprised in his life. He then turned to me and said, "I am shocked! What should I do? I am so tired." I reassured Grandpa that he would be okay with me, and then he reluctantly left. They are definitely forging a great relationship!! I think diapers are next. What do you think?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Geno's 12 month check-up...

Geno went to visit Dr. Hamilton today for his 12 month check up. He is in the 97th percentile in height and weight. He was measured at 33 1/2 inches long and weighed in at 29 pounds 8 ounces. The doctor stated that he was the size of an average 2 year old. The doctor also said he is a very happy and healthy boy. As for walking, the doctor was not surprised. Toddlers Geno's size have trouble with balance and will probably not achieve this milestone until they are between 14 to 16 months. For now, he is getting close to pulling himself up on the stairs.

Some of Geno's favorite foods are bananas, pears, peaches, peas, carrots, eggs, turkey, steak, potatoes, cheese, chicken, quesadillas, toast, waffles, sandwiches, and crackers. He'll eat just about anything but hot dogs, which in my opinion is a good thing!

He enjoys exploring his environment on all fours and you will find him underneath the coffee table, china hutch, and any other nook or cranny he can squeeze himself through. He enjoys music very much. His favorite music is the jazz station and will rock to the music. He enjoys playing the drums, shaking the maracas, and playing the xylophone.

He also enjoys playing with his big sister Coretta and being read to. His favorite books are the board books that teach you the colors and simple words.

Although his speech right now consists of a lot of babble, he is starting to experiment more and more with his voice and putting syllables together.

Here is a video of Geno finally being able to feed himself!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

On our hike...

Here are just a few more photos that I took on our hike along the trails outside the lodge. Even in winter, it is beautiful! Nick and I believe that this might be where we need to be in our search to find the right place for a cabin. Our dream is to purchase some land and have our own log cabins built including one for Coretta and one for Geno so that their families can have space to be with us in the future!

Arriving at Ely Grand Lodge...

When we arrived at Ely Grand Lodge, we were ready for our romantic adventure to begin. The first thing we noticed was the natural beauty of the lodge and the landscape around us. Here are a few photos of the lodge and view from our room.

Shopping in Ely...

Another thing that Nick and I did was shop the several shops on the Main street in Ely. Here we found many unique shops that catered to outdoor wear and gifts. One thing that we noticed is that there were pictures of locals everywhere promoting positive thinking in Ely. Here are a few of the photos we noticed.

Happy New Year!

Nick and I celebrated New Year's in Ely, Minnesota. We talked to the locals who stated that the Ely Steak House was the place to eat, so we made reservations. When we arrived, we expected it to be real fancy, fine dining type of establishment, but to our amazement it was more like a diner. The food and service were excellent.

We then went to Dee's Bar, which we were also told was the place to be to hear live music. We listened to the band and had a couple of drinks there, and then headed back to the lodge. Here is a picture of Nick and I together at Dee's Bar.

Our retreat...

Nick and I spent three days in Ely, Minnesota at the Grand Ely Lodge to celebrate our ten year wedding anniversary. We had a fabulous time that included hiking along the numerous trails around the lodge. We sadly did not see any wolves, bears, or moose. Maybe when we return in the summer we will be lucky enough.

We also spent time relaxing in the pool, sauna, and hot tub. Nick even beat me twice in ping pong which has never happened before!