Monday, June 29, 2009

A Whole New Alice

WOWZA! I'm super excited.
Tim Burton, the incredibly talented director is bringing one of my FAVORITE stories of all time to the big screen for the first time in many years...ALICE IN WONDERLAND.

Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass is one of my favorite books of all time. It's one that I re-read every so many years because I love it so much. I have seen virtually every adaptation that's been on video and love most of them...though I'm partial to Disney's and the made-for-TV version that came out in 1985 (starring Ann Jillian, one of the Bridges brothers, Sammy Davis Jr, and Scott Baio to name a few). I bought that on DVD for myself a few years ago because it's so great.

You may remember an early post of mine - when D was still supposed to be a girl - on wanting to decorate the nursery with an Alice motif. Someday my friends...someday.

I found out a while back about Burton's version - which should be incredible. His work is always very dark and artistic. Here are some comparison shots released today! (From book to Disney to BURTON).


Queen of Hearts

Tweedle Dee/Tweedle Dum

Mad Hatter (yes that's Johnny Depp!)

The White Queen (left out of Disney's version)

WONDERLAND (Burton's only)

Maybe this will be my first movie in the theater since D was born...hello March 2010!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bring in Da Noise

I've got a loudy on my hands! Yep, D is not only in CONSTANT motion, he's making CONSTANT noise...and it's hilarious.
Little man babbles, sighs, yells, laughs, screams and moans most of his waking hours. When he's not making the noise - he prefers playing with something that makes noise for him. He shakes rattles (rather violently actually), slaps tables, and kicks walls.
Turns out sometimes rattles aren't loud enough...why settle when you can make them LOUDER? :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Another First

We have a little friend moving in...and he's making D a little grumpy...

My little guy is doing everything at once! He's starting to crawl too!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hey Mama

My baby said Ma Ma!!

Yep - last weekend we were in the car on the way home from something or another on Friday night when little man seemed to say "Ma Ma" while I was sitting next to him. Then the next day he did it again! We were in Algonquin driving past some houses for sale when the little man was a bit whiny trying to fall asleep. There was a distinct "Ma Ma" in there. I melted! Dain even said I could count it!!

Of course I was a bit set back when I told the babysitter on the phone Monday morning and she said "oh yeah you can count that, I've heard him say it".

I will not let this bring me down though. I'm too excited that my D is talking to me. So what if I haven't heard it since...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


In 1997, my sister and her husband got married. As an early wedding gift, a friend of theirs got them a puppy, an adorable male Australian Shepard that was brown and white. The big argument was his name - and my sister being the HUGE Disney fan she is wanted a Disney character name. My brother-in-law, Alan, being the sane person he is thought that was a little girly. He agreed to Walter, as in Walter Disney. We thought at the time it was an odd, old man name for a dog - but it ended up fitting this dog perfectly.

Walter quickly worked his way in to the hearts of my family. Growing up we only had cats. My parents each had dogs when they were young - but it had been awhile so we were all strangers to the concept of a big dog (besides my brother-in-law who grew up with a farm dog at all times).

My sister treated this dog like her baby. She and my brother-in-law took him everywhere. He would sit in the car and wait for them anywhere they went, and preferred to tag along to being left at home. A bred cattle-herder, his favorite trip was to Alan's parent's farm where he got to go to work doing what he did best.

Walter moved with Theresa and Alan from their tiny house in Champaign, to their custom home in LeRoy - where he was quickly knocked down a peg by the arrival of my niece Amelia, and then even further by my nephew Adam. About a year ago, Walter's ultimate dream came true and he got to move to their current home on the farm in Gridley - and he got to be the herding dog he loved to be only a daily basis.

Today we lost Walter. I can't believe it. He had been in poor health, as he was diagnosed a while ago with an enlarged heart that had slowed him down. He couldn't herd the cows in his old way, he didn't get around as quickly, and no longer tried to go upstairs to bed with the family as it was too hard on his old joints. He was involved in an accident on the farm and the emergency trip to the vet revealed that he wouldn't make it through the multiple surgeries that it would require to repair the damage - and his heart was not strong enough to make it through. He was 12 years old, and he had a great long life for a big dog.

Here's an old photo, not his best photo (especially for a dog that would sit for the camera) - but it's all I've got in my computer. I wish I had time to scan in some of his old "glamour" shots:

Walter was a great dog. My favorite memories will always be the following:
- The first day he met my parents when he ran right in our house and ran right down to the basement and pooped at the bottom of the stairs.
- Him eating my sister's brand new down comforter through his crate while they were at work all day. They came home to a bedroom that looked like a winter wonderland.
- Seeing how much he loved wrapping paper. Theresa & Alan's wedding gift opening, and every Christmas and birthday were like, well, Christmas to him.
- Going to Christmas Eve church with my family and Walter. He waited in the car for us while we were inside every year until Amelia came.
- He would HERD my sister into the nursery anytime sleeping baby Amelia would awake and start to cry.
- Watching him trail Amelia when she learned to walk and carry a snack in her hands. He would never take it from her - but boy look out if she dropped it!
- Seeing him dive into the lake fearlessly from my parents' boat even though we had no idea how he'd get back in.
- Taking Titrilac (like Tums) with my dad every time my dad went to get some.
- Watching him hustle down my parents' basement stairs to get a ball and run back up to do it again. It's really funny to watch a dog without a tail that had such a wide back end like he did.

There will be many more memories of Walter that I'm sure may appear here. I look forward to seeing them. I can't imagine not seeing him the next time I'm at my sister's house. He was a great dog...he will be sorely missed and never forgotten.

Friday, June 12, 2009

To Market, To Market

So, we put our house on the market today. Yep - we're live on and every other realty website that you may use.

This has been in our sights for awhile. We are in no hurry, but we do know that we need to move up and out, and get into something bigger. We're completely out of space and just cramped in with D getting bigger and more stuff, and Penny still being the idiot ball of energy that she is. They need more room to breathe!

We've spent the past month or two getting ready to list, which was quite the task. Our realtor had us replacing light fixtures, painting every inch (except D's room) a blah shade of tan, and removing unnecessary pieces of furniture - which now reside in my in-laws' basement.

We don't know where we'll be going yet...We need to go further North or East or both. Time will tell on that one. We don't know how long we'll be listed or what we can expect to get on our house...the amount of foreclosures or people trying to avoid foreclosure in this economy are dropping the comps in the market making a few houses sell for a ridiculously low cost. On the other hand, a house two doors away sold for a great price in only 7 days on the market a month ago. So - it's a crap shoot. The good news is - we don't have to take a crap offer to get out. We don't need out - we just are seeing if we can get out.

Anywho - here's the description of our house that's online:
SUN SHADE! Covered patio will be a cool, shady retreat on hot summer afternoons...lots of perennials & landscaping, fenced yard with an attractive shed for additional storage space PLUS THE MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS ARE ALREADY DONE, NEW CARPET, NEW SIDING, NEW ROOF~neutral decor throughout~living room with fireplace and recessed lighting~great location near parks & playgrounds~large 2 car detached garage.

The funniest part of the photos online is that Penny snuck her mug in one. Here's a few of the photos that are online of my joint. See if you can find our sneaky little Waldo.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

One Talented Dad

In this month's Parent's magazine - they had a snippet about this California dad who decorates his kids' next day lunchbags on his break at work.
This man is unbelievably talented - see his work here: lunchbagart
Here's a few examples:

Can you imagine being one of his 3 kids getting to walk into school or daycare with one of those awesome things everyday??

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Keeping Me Sane

There are so many worrisome things when you're a mommy. Worrying about everything from what is the best sunscreen to whether it's warm enough for shorts and everything in between. One of my biggest worries has always been about feeding the little man. Breastfeeding has been one of the single most difficult activities of my entire life, but one of the most rewarding.
I've always worried about D's food intake with breastfeeding, mostly because for most of the day it's SO immeasurable. I say that because he's with my babysitter for 10 hours a day most days :( and I can see exactly how much he's getting. It's been a difficult ride for me from day 1, but since has had peaks and valleys that keep it interesting at least.
Since D has started solids he's done great keeping the breastfeeding up but it tapered off recently, since he's been on the other side of this ear infection. He's eating a lot of fruits and vegetables - more than "normal" but he's been happy/thriving/loving his diet up to now. Our pediatrician even suggested that we slowly let him increase his solid intake because he does well with it and he's a big boy.
Lately his milk intake has decreased noticeably - up to the point where we realized that perhaps his head-shaking that he was doing wasn't him being cute - it was that he still has some remnants of fluid or something in his ear from that ear infection causing him to want to slow down on the milk because sucking is uncomfortable. Even the doctor's office agreed and put him on a 2nd run of prescription so anything that's still hanging on could possibly be cleared up.
Okay yes - everyone says he's huge you have nothing to worry about, he looks healthy, etc. (yes, of course he's a biggie and looks healthy - but I don't want him to not look like that anymore). Some say that it's most likely because he takes SO much of his solid food (which does make sense - but he's taken the same amount of solids and WAY more milk before).
I say that there's no such thing as normal. Each baby and person is going to have an individual diet and mannerisms and schedule, etc. This is a realization that I think you make when you have a kid and see that the rulebooks go out the window. So, I was trying to relax and just go with the flow and not worry. However, now D's having trouble pooping. He can't do it and it's sad. I know this is a result of his lower milk intake.
Today I went to my favorite source of advice when it comes to D's issues. Not my doctor, or any other health's my breastfeeding group. YEP - a group of mommies that I still meet with who are going through the same things at the same time and know that what is "written" is not always what should be done. These other women and I all share experiences and make each other feel so much better. I trust them...I hear what they do, what advice they're getting (not necessarily taking either) and what their thoughts are. I always feel better when I talk with them and today was no exception. So with a new attitude, a few suggestions on solid food intake and a stop at the grocery store for organic baby food PRUNES - I'm feeling much better thank you. These women keep me sane in the new mommy world full of being unhappy with pediatricians, unwelcome advice, society's opinions, people who aren't parents pretending they are, and so many books/theories/practices that your head could spin with information.

I remembered to bring a camera today to take pictures of the babies that were there. There were only four out of the six of us there today - but the babies had a ball at the park in the swings - and then we all went for a walk on the trail and all the babies fell asleep in tandem!

D and LJ loving the swings:

And the girls, Hannah and Gwendolyn loving it as well:

And some close ups of D:

Hannah and D after they woke up from the walk/nap (although not quite fully awake):

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Whoops - forgot to share

D had 6 month pictures taken over a month ago - and I never shared. Partly because I forgot, and partly because framed versions for my mom and mother-in-law were their Mother's Day presents - and until this past Saturday, my mom didn't have hers.
SO - here are a few..

SUPER cute. However, he already looks different! He's changing so much everyday!