Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Delaney's First Pigtails

Like how the pigtails display the bald spot? I thought my little girl looked so grown up in her very first pigtails. I squealed in delight, which made her squeal in delight too. She could tell there was something special about her - she kept looking up at me with a big smile! I took about 25 pictures on three different cameras and then text messaged one to Dan, my mom, and Dan's mom. Can you tell I was proud?

A top view

Sept 27 - Great Grandma Dorothy, Great Grandpa Don,
and Grandpa Grape came for a visit.

Playing with Great Grandma

Clapping with Great Grandpa

Alan gets in on the fun, too!

Greeting the Grandpas

Just a few days ago, we went for a walk at the County Park again. I was driving home from work admiring the beautiful leaves, and just spur-of-the-moment decided we should go over there and collect some. (Okay, yes, I know this is probably illegal . . . "take only pictures and leave only footprints" . . . but I do not follow either one of those rules. You will have to ask Dan about what I LEAVE at the park. Email him at and ask. Really.)

But back to the topic - these are pictures from our walk in the park.

Alan gathering pretty leaves

Showing off what he collected in his bag

This is my attempt at taking a picture of Delaney in her front carrier (there was no one else at home to take the picture . . . and I have tried having Alan take a picture for me. I will not try that again for a while.) Delaney enjoyed the walk immensely, being carried facing outward in the front carrier. I think she thought she was flying. Her little arms flapped almost the whole time!

September 20th - Alan and Delaney visited Auntie Laura
and Uncle Daniel and spent the night!
These pictures are of all the kids in the van on the way to church the next day - 5 kids! (Laura and Daniel have 3 beautiful girls. Lillian is 4, Abigail is 2, and Rebecca is 1.)
I was completely shocked and amazed to see them pull up to church EARLY with all the kids looking happy, well fed, and nicely dressed. This is better than I do any given Sunday morning with only two kids. Go Laura and Daniel.

This night at Laura and Daniel's was Delaney's first overnight away from us. She did great, but I couldn't stop thinking about her the whole time!!

Other firsts for Delaney:
  • First two teeth came in!
  • She has started pushing herself around (backwards) on the hard wood floors of our home. This sometimes occurs sitting up and sometimes on her tummy. WOW does she look proud of herself when she does this.
  • She has begun to imitate the way I point when I read to her. So, after I read a couple pages, she will point to the same pictures and say "ba, da, da!" and look at me, expecting to be told how smart she is. And I do. Every time!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fun Fall Memories

We live across the road from a County Park with mowed trails, so we put the kids in the wagon one evening and went over there for a "nic nic" (translation . . . picnic). As you can tell, Delaney loves riding in the wagon!

Alan, Laney, and Mommy on our "nic nic" blanket. We spread it out by the river.

Daddy and Alan enjoying their food.

Delaney gets super excited when she sees her Daddy and loves spending time with him. Usually when he gets home, she will hear him come in and start arching her neck and head to try to find him. Then, when he comes in the room, she starts smiling and clapping. She just glows when he holds her and talks to her, and she loves to tell him all about her day!

In late August, Delaney and Alan began going to Fran's house in the afternoons for day care. I miss my Laney and Al, but man are they having fun at Fran's. I think Delaney's favorite part might be their puppy, Halley. Fran says that Laney can't get enough of Halley and strains to touch her soft fur if Halley is running by. (Unfortunately, Halley is probably Alan's LEAST favorite part of day care. We are hoping he will come around!) Alan prefers all the boys - there are TONS of brothers for him at Fran's. Logan (7th grade), Tanner (4th grade), and Riley (5 yrs) are Al's older bros. They are Fran's sons. Younger than Alan are Isaac (2) and Nolan (9 months, only 4 days older than Delaney . . . born on Delaney's due date!!!). So Alan has a lot of playmates. And Delaney will be a tough girl, because at day care she is the only girl!!

I have the privilege of job sharing with Nolan's mommy, Diana Smith, this year. We are splitting a third grade classroom morning and afternoon. It is truly a dream job for me right now. It is the perfect amount of working in the adult world (as much as 3rd grade can be considered the adult world!) and spending time with my kids. And I am amazed, but with every boy in my class, as I look at them each day, I see Alan's face. Maybe that's why God gave me quite a number of "difficult" boys this year . . . because somehow compassion for them is just oozing out of me. I love those boys, and having a boy of my own gives me a small glimpse into how those boys in my classroom are viewed by their moms. And somehow, that helps.

Laney has been able to put puffs into her mouth quite successfully for a few days now. She is also more dexterous when playing with toys. Today she was able to take the rings off of her ring post. She was quite proud of herself. She doesn't have teeth yet, so not eating anything that requires chewing! But I love that toothless grin, and I will enjoy it as long as it lasts. Fran probably will too . . . because if I remember correctly, my last child's teething experiences drove her to need a glass of wine after a full day with him. :) Hope Laney's a little calmer!

Well, it's getting late. Over and out.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Goodbye, Dave

On August 5th, we lost Delaney's future step-grandpa, Dave. He passed away at his home from a heart attack. He meant so much to Grandma Gloria and to all of us, and we are all grappling with this loss. I have posted a couple of pictures from our recent trip to the Water Park in Alexandria. As you can see, Dave loved Alan and Delaney as though they were his grandchildren. That day at the Water Park, he held Delaney the entire time while Alan and Grandma Gloria and I went swimming. He didn't mind . . . in fact, he even claimed she was a "chick magnet" since all the ladies would smile at him and make conversation with him while he held her.

Dave and Delaney

I am sad to think that my kids will not have the chance to know Dave. He loved Grandma Gloria so very much, and Alan and Delaney too. I look forward to telling them about him when they are older. He made a difference in many kids' lives as a teacher and a coach at Proctor High School. His daughter, Ashley, meant everything to him. What he meant to us was a kind step-grandpa who always had time to play with cars, help Alan build with his "gears", help Grandma Gloria babysit for the weekend, or hold our little baby girl. Dave, you are and always will be dearly missed.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Kids are Stampin' Up!

This was taken by my camera-phone, so it's not the best picture, but it was really her very first ponytail!
Striking a pose out on the porch as we were playing outside one afternoon.

Laney's first boat ride up at Grandma Gloria's cabin.

Alan and Laney chillin at the cabin.

If you are on Facebook, you may have seen my recent status: "No matter how awesome anyone says it's going to be, don't take your kids to one of those Stampin Up parties." And how true it is. As you may have guessed, I tried it. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I mean, the party was at my friend Carol's house, and she has kids. Brady is 9 and Peyton is 6, and they have been at Fran's Day Care with Alan, so they all know each other. Carol assured me that her kids would play with Alan, everyone would think Delaney was cute, and that our friend Michelle would also be bringing her 2-year-old and infant along. "And there's free food!" she said, and that sealed the deal. I decided it would be fun.

The day arrived, and as happens many times with small children, we were running late. We arrived at Carol's house about 15 minutes late . . . but the woman running the party was already in full swing with her presentation. To my dismay, we entered Carol's living room to find two tables of calm, silent women who were beginning a small project while they politely listened to the salesperson speak. Not. One. Child. The Stampin Up rep smiled and invited me to have a seat . . . of course the only one left was across the room and in the middle of all the women . . . but what choice did I have? So I hoisted Delaney's baby seat above all the heads and convinced Alan to (loudly) follow me over there. I figured once we sat down, he could "help" me with my project and hopefully it would keep him happy. Where were all the kids??

Well, we were sitting there for a whopping two minutes (just long enough for Carol to offer us something to drink) when Alan spilled his water all over my project and Carol's too. This was when I began to realize that this might not have been a good idea. So poor Carol is frantically cleaning it up while I am whisking Alan away to another area of the room hoping to find something else for him to do. Carol said maybe he would have fun in the basement with her kids (so THAT's where they were!), so we tried that, but of course he had no interest in being anywhere except right by me.

Meanwhile the poor lady is trying to present every cute project and "retiring set of paper and stamps" that she can amidst my "Oh am so sorry about your project" and Alan's broken record of "Mommy come play please!" and pretty soon even a little whining from Laney, who had been forgotten under the table in her car seat. And I began to realize that Michelle and her kids were not there. She had had the sense to stay home with her 2-year-old and baby. Good for her.

I did get the kids to both join me on the couch across the room - I even grabbed a catalog and tried to listen along as the lady was presenting - and we managed to keep an even keel for about 20 minutes. (This involved a truck, a fuzzy doll, and many repeated conversations in fervent whispers with Alan explaining that I was not going to come play right now.) Then Laney started shrieking . . . so I paced with her until the lady finished speaking. I am sure she was hoping I would buy hundreds of dollars of stuff to make up for the disturbance, but I will need to win the lottery before that's gonna happen. We just grabbed the project my sweet friend Carol made for me and headed home. Chalk it up to experience. But no more Stampin Up parties for my kiddos. Not ever.

Some of Laney's other adventures include:
  • First trip to Grandma Gloria's cabin in Akeley, MN
  • A couple of Wednesday afternoons with Grandma Lucy while mommy went to work
  • Clapping for the first time
  • Saying "mama" for the first time
  • Trying to pull herself forward with her hands while she is sitting up
  • Cousin Aiden Frommelt's 1st birthday party
  • First ponytail
  • Started eating puffs (well she mostly just spits them out)
  • Visited Fran and played all morning
  • Received a visit from Cami, Micah, Cassidy, and baby Gail
Check back again soon!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July, a little late, from Delaney!! Here she is in her 4th of July dress - although I did not get any of the cute red and blue stars in the picture. We spent the 4th at the Maple Lake Elementary School playground with the Haglins. They have a great little shaded picnic area, and Grandma Lucy decorated it with every red white and blue piece of joy you can imagine. All the cousins got to play together, we had great food, and Alan ran around the bases twice.

During the past couple weeks, Delaney also clapped for the first time, said "mama", and fed herself with a spoon. Well, okay, she TRIED to feed herself. It was quite messy! But it was fun that she wanted the spoon to go in her mouth and she was trying to do it herself.

We have had visits from Linda Weber, Great Grandpa Elmer Whyte, Grandma Lucy, Grandpa Greg, and Grandma Gloria. We had the privilege of visiting cousin Kacie at St. Cloud Hospital on Sunday, and we were able to see her wheeling herself around the room and responding as people greeted her.

Since I have received so many comments on how difficult Alan must be, I feel that I need to call attention to all of the free services he provides Delaney in addition to the trauma.

Alan willingly:
  • picks up Delaney's toys when they fall
  • "helps" feed her baby food
  • tells her "it's okay" while she is getting shots
  • insists on hugging and kissing her every morning when she wakes up
  • makes her smile and laugh while I am cooking and too busy to play with her
  • runs upstairs to fetch diapers if I realize too late that I need one downstairs
  • runs to fetch a burp cloth after announcing that "Laney puked!"
  • teaches her how to do all the new things like saying words, drinking from a cup, and laying on her tummy
  • says "I love you Nay-Nee!" several times a day
Well, I guess my point is that he is my 2-year-old angel sometimes. He is my smart, funny little dude. But the impossible moments are so much more fun to write about! More of those next time.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sitting up!

Just wanted to let everyone know that Delaney sat up by herself yesterday! She did it for quite a long time, playing with toys, and this is a first for her! Yay Laney!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Things Delaney Does

Yup, she's a thumbsucker! It has been a blessing in disguise. She often has to wait because of Alan's pressing needs, and so she has taught herself to cry for a few seconds and then pop in the thumb and pass the time. Most of the time she is such a patient and easygoing little girl. I am not sure if that's the experience Auntie Susann had the other day though . . .

Auntie Susann was kind enough to watch my children when I went into school to pack up the remainder of my belongings (I am moving into a brand new classroom next year!). Delaney was ready to eat lunch, and for some reason became upset and started screaming. Screaming is Delaney's mode of expressing her frustration - she rarely outright cries. And once she is upset, it is sort of difficult to help her snap out of it . . . so I guess she just continued screaming and refusing to eat for half an hour! Meanwhile, Alan was trying to snap cousin Lydia's exersaucer toys back in her face when one hit HIM square in the lip and he started bleeding everywhere. I felt sorry for Susann, but I type this with delight because I learned that day that Crisis Mode is not something that only happens when my kids are with me! It can happen to other people too, so I must be doing all right. It seems like we have Crisis Mode at least once a day around here. You know, when everyone has needs all at once and you can't meet them all . . . and everyone's crying . . . I even made up a song one day for those moments. It's pretty simple. "Everybody cry, everybody cry WAAAH WAAAH!" I found out that the song was helpful because it makes Alan laugh (and therefore forget to cry). And when that doesn't work, I've even started crying too!

Laney tried peaches today, but didn't seem very excited about them. Is she a picky eater? Yeah, I think she is right now . . . but I am a LOT less worried about stuff like that than I was the first time around. She will eat when she is hungry and food she likes is put in front of her, and I will keep presenting everything to her over and over, and she will be fine. I know now that how she eats this week might be completely different from how she might eat next week or next month or next year. As long as I keep giving her all the foods that are good for her . . . she will be okay.

My favorite thing about feeding her is watching her little hands. She sticks her arms out to the sides, and as her excitement builds for each bite, her little hands swivel and turn on her wrists like she can barely stand the waiting. It's so cute.

Since my last post, Laney has spent an evening and also almost a full day with just Daddy and Alan, as Mommy got to get away a couple times. All reports were good - what a great Daddy my kids have! She also attended Alex Milkert's graduation party, was visited by Uncle Andy and his girlfriend Coral, spent a day playing with Auntie Susann and cousin Lydia (who is just 1 and 1/2 months older than Delaney), came with to Fantastic Sam's where Alan got his hair cut, and visited Daddy at work for a lunch date.

I will leave you with a link to my new favorite song. It is In My Arms by Plumb. Check it out!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Delaney's first visit to Grindstone Lake Bible Camp

Out to lunch with Grandpa Grape on Father's Day

Delaney Alice cuddling with Great Grandma Dorothy Alice

Alan helps Laney become more fashionable

This week we went to Mommy's favorite place in the world. Grindstone Lake Bible Camp. Delaney was ooohhed and aahhhhed over by the counselors and staff. We attended their "First Supper" which is the kickoff of their camping season. My favorite moment was when the dinner was about to start, and I was in the middle of feeding baby food to Laney, and everyone got quiet right before the prayer. That was when Alan yelled out "I wanna go potty!!!!" in the loudest two-year-old whiny voice you can imagine. I gave Delaney to my mother in law and bolted as fast as humanly possible. Of course he didn't even go.

Thanks, Kimmy, for celebrating your birthday that day by awarding Dan and I with staff T-shirts. I hope you don't lose your job now.

We spent most of Father's Day in North Branch and had brunch at the Village Inn with Grandpa Grape and Great Grandpa Karsky. It was a great time, and we even got to pop over to Grandpa Grape's house afterwards and see his fabulous newly remodeled kitchen! Looks awesome.

It seems like God has shown me a few things through the example of my kids this week. Here are a couple of His lessons:
  • In reality, I am just as dependent on Him for what I need as my kids are on me. Instead of putting off reading His Word because of all the things I think I need to get done, I should open my mouth wide and joyfully like Delaney does for her food, and take in what I need, that He is so generously offering me. Otherwise, I will end up like Alan when he puts off going potty for too long because he wants to play with his toys. There will be a mess and I will be unhappy.
  • I need to look at Him and mimic Him like Alan mimics Dan and I day in and day out. We had such a sweet moment yesterday, when I was standing by Laney's crib singing to her and swaying with her to get her ready to lay down for a nap. Alan picked up his "Chucky" doll (no, not like in the horror movies. Think Chuck E Cheese) and started swaying and singing too. He just has this intense drive to copy me. What more could I ask for - it's a perfect picture of how I should copy the Lord. And how will I know what the Lord does? Back to lesson 1 - read His Word
And you can add these to last week's list of things Alan thought would be awesome to do to Delaney:
  • Pour a Barrel O Monkeys on her head while she is eating
  • Pound her exersaucer (and therefore HER) with a bat while we were planting flowers outside
  • Straddle her tummy while she is laying on her back and mom leaves the room for 2.5 seconds
But she is surviving, and the first two even made her laugh. She tried 2 new foods this week. Sweet potatoes are a hit! But peas made her gag and then she spit them back out. Oh well.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Check out her curls after a bath!

Laney has been practicing sitting up with a pillow behind her.

I want to tell you, in the words of my good friend Jacque, what it is like caring for a two year old. "It's like continuous customer service with a completely unreasonable person." She is so right on! Let me tell you how Delaney's world has been affected by some of the things Alan thought would be perfectly reasonable to do to her:

Monday: Alan removes Delaney's toys from her hands using a dustpan, to not-so-gently "sweep" them away.

Tuesday: Alan pushes Delaney's bouncy chair down as close to the floor as it will go, counts to three (which actually sounds more like this: "1, 6, 7!") and releases her like a catapult.

Wednesday: Alan spins Delaney in her exersaucer as she tries to hold onto the attached toys the way you or I might hold onto a tree branch if we were being swept down a river.

Thursday: Alan comes RUNNING from the living room, takes a flying leap, and DIVES onto Delaney as she lays in her bouncy chair. There were actually tears on this one.

Friday: Mommy gets in her car, starts driving, and doesn't come back for a few days.

Just kidding. But sometimes that's what I want to do.

So, as you can tell, the kiddos are keeping me on my toes.
Laney's adventures this week include:
  • having mommy called to get her out of the church nursery for the third time this month (are girls really more emotional than boys?)
  • going back to see Dr. Sidwell and finding out that she has grown enough and doesn't need to come back
  • rejoicing to hear that cousin Kacie gave a thumbs up and even pinched a nurse!
  • playing with Matthias, Logan, and Alan at our Bible Study Barbecue
  • spending a day with Grandma Lucy so Mommy could go pack up her classroom
Thanks for checking in! Mom, Dad, and Andy, I miss you! Sometimes I feel so far away from you. But I know we will see each other sometime soon. Love you!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mommy, Delaney, Diana, and Nolan Smith at Maple Lake Elementary Baby Shower

Delaney's sour face when she tried pears

The girls scrap booking together

I think Laney is texting her friends on her cell phone in this picture

"No! I don't want to!" Of course, I hear this all the time from Alan. He is 2 and it comes with the territory. I never thought I would hear it from Delaney so early, but she has found her own ways to say it. Last week, she was an inspiration to all babies as far as eating her cereal goes. She would gladly open her mouth wide and gobble it down. Then . . . I gave her pears. She made the worst face you've ever seen, and wouldn't allow ANY spoon in her mouth for almost 5 days. No cereal, no nothing. I think she is finally getting over it now, but I've found out that my nice, easygoing little girl can really assert her will when she wants to!

We have been many places the last couple of weeks. We attended the Maple Lake Elementary Baby Shower, which was for all babies born or to be born this school year. Among the cute little cherubs were Nolan Smith (pictured above), Avery Kolehmainen, Delaney, and Ella Rassier. Teachers Bethany Linder, Adam Ronnenberg, and Joy Torgersen still await their bundles of joy. Delaney was held by many MLE educators, and Alan had a blast eating cupcakes and then burning off the sugar with his best friend (little Ella's big sister) Lauren. Let's just put it this way: people who have had a 2 year old boy thought he was being pretty good, since nothing was broken or ruined. People who have never had one were staring in let's-try-to-be-polite amazement. This is what happens almost everywhere we go.

A couple days later, we went to visit Lauren, Ella, and Michelle Rassier in Clearwater. Michelle escaped for a little bit of grocery shopping, and Delaney got to see what a big girl's room looks like, complete with all the Dora accessories you can imagine.

On Friday, we made a visit we wish we never had to make. We visited Dan's cousin Kacie in the hospital. To read more about Kacie, her car accident, and how you can pray for her, go to and type in kaciecarlsted. It was good to be able to go see her, but I know all of us are struggling with what has happened and we continue to pray for her recovery each day. Alan says "We pray for Kacie to feel better. We love Kacie." And that pretty much sums it up.

Delaney had a fun weekend scrapbooking with Mommy and Jacque Boldt. You will notice in the picture that she was really getting involved and I am sure will soon need some of her own supplies.

We have also attended the HowardLake-Waverly-Winsted graduation ceremony where we saw Erick (Kacie's twin brother) graduate, and also accept Kacie's diploma on her behalf. Both Kacie and Erick have so much to be proud of - I hope our kids grow up to be like them someday!

On Monday, Delaney had her 6 month doctor appointment, complete with shots. Dr. Sidwell says that her "growing curve" is not going up sharply enough, so we are trying to fatten her up. But once again, she asserts her will and refuses to take a bottle of formula. So, I have started getting up early to give her extra feedings. All part of being a mom. But man I am getting tired!

Stay dry - looks like rain tonight!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sloppy white gooey rice cereal! Yum! Laney has joined us at the dinner table. Her first bite of food happened last night and she seemed to like it. She gobbled it down . . . and then, as Daddy was taking her out of her high chair, she puked it back up again. Oh well! Maybe it had something to do with Alan's look of panic when she started eating at the table just like him . . . and his following antics of distraction, including asking to eat the rice cereal himself, piling toys and tinfoil (don't ask) on her tray, and taking the spoon out of Daddy's hands. But they both survived it and so did we.

The first picture is of our visit to see Doug, Sue, and Luke Sikkink last Friday. We had some amazing steaks on the grill, Alan got to play with 2-year-old Luke, and Laney was held by everyone - lucky gal!

The second pic is our visit to Fran's on Wednesday. Fran invited all the mommies and kids from her day care to come for snacks and fun. Laney and Alan will be going to Fran's in the afternoons starting in September when I go Back to work part time.

Well, I would like to tell you more, but the phone is ringing, I can hear that Alan has woken up from his nap, and Laney is only happy in my lap, so I am typing this one-handed. Thanks for checking in on Delaney's Days!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Arrowwood Resort Pictures

Here are some pictures of Laney's first vacation - To Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria, MN. We attended the statewide Mayor's Convention with Grandma Gloria, Mayor of North Branch.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Delaney Alice. My long-awaited little girl. I think I could write about her for hours . . . however, she is also Baby #2, which means her website wasn’t even put up until she was 5 and ½ months old. When did I used to have time to ponder and write? Somehow with 2-year-old Alan running around, I don’t seem to have as much time to think. Or write. But finally, here I am!

She has done so much already! Her newest accomplishment is to focus in on a toy, purse her little lips, and then reach out and grab it. It then gets passed from hand to hand until she drops it . . . or more likely Alan runs by and whisks it out of her hand, throwing it behind himself without a care in the world as to where it lands. Last week this delighted her. This week she must have realized that the toy doesn’t come back, because now she cries.

On Sunday, May 11, (Mother’s Day) we dedicated Delaney to the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you so much to everyone who was there! We are so imperfect – can we really keep those promises and show Delaney an example of God’s love in our home? I treasure her so much, and I do pray that she will see and feel the love of Christ in us.

Some other highlights recently have been Delaney’s first vacation (to Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria), her first time in a swimming pool, a visit to FDR where Daddy works, and a visit to Maple Lake Elementary. She also received a visit today from Mr. Nolan Smith, a cute baby boy only 4 days older than her. They had a great time laying on their tummies and staring at each other. I will try to post some pictures of these things at a later date!

For now, signing off – Delaney’s Mommy

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Welcome to our exciting blog site where you can learn what Delaney is doing! Come back again soon for more of our beautiful baby girl!