Merry Christmas

Enjoy this years rendition of Rudolph...

Feeling Lucky???

Are you getting this beautiful gift for Xmas??
There was a drawing of a gnome in a hot air balloon, but he got colored over :-(

This is her "Merry Christmas" face.

This is her "seriously I need to wrap another present" face

Christmas is almost here!  We wish all our friends and family a safe and wonderful holiday.

Winter Storm Caeser

We were hit with the first major storm of the season... As it turns out, we are now naming our major winter storms now as well... So Caeser it is!

Phase 1 of the cleanup was Sunday morning around 9AM.  There was a solid 4-6" by then, but Sylvia was up for playing in the snow, so I attacked the driveway with a shovel.  Sylvia was also proud of her shoveling - and to be honest, it was much improved over last year.

Brief intermission for snow angels!

After lunch, a haircut for Sylvia, and a run to the grocery store, it was back outside for more fun in the snow.  This time little sister joined in the fun.

Sledding does not work very well in 12" of powder... 

Still snowing... 

One more time cleaning the driveway - this time with the snow blower - was finished around 7PM.  This morning we woke up to a drift at the end of the driveway from the snowplow and another 1-2 inches on the driveway. 

Besides the five+ hours spent in the car today back and forth to Hutchinson, we really enjoyed this first storm of the season...  especially when I get home to Sylvia waiting in her room, not being able to fall asleep until we have "story time".

Tonight's story was about her stuffed deer "Snowflake".  She had informed be that Snowflake lives with Santa and Rudolph doesn't live with Santa anymore.  When I asked her why Rudolph doesn't live with Santa anymore, the response was quick and direct... "Rudolph had to move because he was afraid of the adorable snowman!"  Translation of adorable is abominable...  I like her version better!  Hopefully she isn't having nightmares about that crazy looking thing!

Before the Snow

A couple weekends ago, we had some unseasonably warm weather, so we took advantage of one last day out in the yard.
It also marked the transition of "summer" toys to "winter" toys, so Sylvia took full advantage of double the toys...
Teeter-Totter with Sylvia, Violet, and Monkey

Arrrrrr!!!!! I am a crazy girl!

Arrrrr!  I am crazy like my big sister!!


I'm a cutie!

Case #1 of winter and summer blending together...  Stuffed animals in snow sled

I said no more pictures!

Case #2 of winter and summer blending together... Stuffed animals in snow sled behind wagon with purple chairs with stuffed animals on top

Above contraption running over little sister... I think we are done playing

Time for a picnic on the front steps!
 After all this fun, the temperature dropped about 50 degrees over the next few days and our first measurable snowfall hit Woodbury.  Looking forward to playing outside in the white stuff!





Swinging in the rain

We just realized that we missed a post last Summer. 
Here are the girls enjoying some swimming / singing / playing in the rain!

Just think, we will be playing in the snow shortly!

Happy Halloween

Per normal, when the camera comes out, Sylvia turns into a completely different person.  Yesterday was Halloween and two minutes prior she was running around excited to get outside for trick or treating...
Picture time - not so much fun!

Violet on the other hand was just enjoying life.  Super Violet enjoyed climbing on the pumpkin - without falling down!

For whatever reason, Sylvia then decided to smile and we did get at least one good picture!

Super Violet in full costume... Her first treat was a pack of Play-doh.  (The measuring spoons were from home)

Trick or Treat at Mark and Terri's house... mmm more candy!

A couple more houses and we were done.  Each year we get more and more excited about Halloween, but when it comes to going up to doors, we are still slightly scared.  Maybe next year, Violet will take the charge!

Jamie's Birthday Cake

For Jamie's Birthday last weekend, Sylvia made a cake with Grandma and suprised Jamie on her birthday morning.  Her is Sylvia's story...

Fall Celbration

Even though the weather didn't cooperate this year, we were still able to prepare for the fall festivities and end of the day, things worked out OK.

Sylvia wanted to test out the pinata prior to our friends coming over and Violet watched on.

The pumpkin carving crew

Sylvia showing many of her "happy" faces throughout the night.

It's time for the pinata!!!

Everyone trying to get the shot of the pinata breaking.

Chili Time!

Kids upstairs, downstairs, and in the garage...

The older kids enjoyed a movie out in the garage while the parents talked smart and enjoyed a couple beverages in the basement.

We would of enjoyed spending time outside and sitting around the campfire, but the party still seemed to a success.  Until next year... Happy Halloween.


This video is a month or so old, but we finally got it uploaded. 

Basically Violet is watching Jamie film her... she thinks the faces Mommy is making are funny, and then starts to mimic Jamie sticking out her tongue.


Big Truck Day

Last weekend Grandpa and Grandma came down to Woodbury to spend some time with the girls.  While we didn't have any concrete plans for the day, we figured checking out the Big Truck Day at Central Park would be an interesting experience.
Sylvia of course had to take advantage of Grandpa's shoulders!

Violet was all smiles when sitting in the big tractor tire

Sylvia and Simba also enjoyed the seat.

While we hope there is some time prior to the snowfall, Violet was minuscule next to this snow plow.

The rest of the day was spent enjoying the beautiful fall day.  Thanks Grandpa and Grandma!

Safety First

It is never too soon to start wearing safety equipment.  Here Violet is helping Dad do some vacuuming in the back of the car.  Sometimes the vacuum scares her a bit, but not with these sweet ear muffs!

The New Playset

Thank you very much Walker family... The girls love it!!!

Apple Orchard Time

It is that time of year when we need to start the visits to the apple orchards.  This visit was a little more special, as our private photographer came along with.

Here are a couple of the "keepers"

Once again we thank Missy very much for her talent in capturing these moments.  If you need any great pictures at a great price, be sure to drop her a line.

Violet's One Year (corrected) Check-up

Last week Violet had her NICU follow-up appointment at Childrens.

It is a long 2.5hour appointment, but several development tests are completed, along with the standard measurements and overall assessment.

Bayley Scales of Infant Development
Cognitive Score - 115 (Age equivalence = 15 months)
Motor Score - 100 (Age equivalence = 13 months)
Language Score - 94 (Age equivalence = 12 months)

The doctors noted that there is absolutely nothing to worry about with were Violet is at in these tests.  I found it interesting to note that she did the best on the first set of tests (cognitive) and as the day went on, here scores got worse - I have to think the length of the test had something to do with this...

Height - 28 7/8" (45th percentile preemie / 10th percentile standard)
Weight - 20# 8oz (75th percentile preemie / 15th percentile standard)
Head - 18 1/2" (85th percentile preemie / 75th percentile standard)

Her next follow-up visit to Childrens is when she is two years old.  There will be no "age correction" when she attends that appointment.

And last, but certainly not least... the "improved" walking video!

Sylvia's 4 Year Check-up

Due to scheduling issues, Sylvia's 4 year check-up was more like a 4 year 1 month check-up, but all in all she is doing great.

Height - 38.5" (25th percentile)
Weight  33# (25th percentile)
BMI  15.6  (60th percentile)

BMI - Really?!?!?  Is this really needed for a four year old?  Maybe I am just sensitive about this measurement as I am considered "obese".  While I am not the most fit guy in the world, I don't feel that I am obese.  But enough about me!

Back to Sylvia.  She started Pre-K at Peace of Mind this week.  Not a huge change for us, but two new teachers and a new morning routine.  We go to the gym every morning instead of directly to the classroom.  Sylvia is still getting used to this new schedule, but she does get to see more of her friends, Ingrid and Ingrid.

This past weekend we moved a large play structure / swing set from a friends house to our home.  It took about 15 hours and three trips to Home Depot to complete the trip, but watching the girls play on it was definitely worth the work.

And now for some more great pics from Missy.

First Steps

So Violet has started to take her first steps!  This video was shot last week and we needed to get it posted now, because she is catching on so quickly.

We will try to take a video tonight as well to show the improvement.

Since I had the video camera out, here is another of the funny things that Violet does during dinner.

She likes raspberries so much that she just has to giggle!

Cherry Berry

A new yogurt shop opened up in Woodbury a couple months ago.  We finally had a chance to check it out.  Cherry Berry lets you pick the flavor of yogurt and all the yummy toppings that you could ever imagine. 

As you could imagine Sylvia loves this place!

It has become our new post hair-cut place to go - but only if Sylvia is nice for the hair stylist!

The best part of Cherry Berry is that Auntie Leah works at the one on the west side, so she hooked us up with some sweet coupons as well!  Thanks Auntie!

Happy Birthday Violet!

When you have a preemie, there are a couple things the doctors always refer to your child as.  First, their birth age.  In Violet's case, she is called a "thirty-weeker".  The second is their corrected age.  Well, today marks Violet 1st (corrected) Birthday.

In honor of Violet's 1st corrected birthday, we had some fun at the park with Auntie Missy.  To be honest, it really had nothing to do with Violet's B-day,  but more as an excuse for Auntie to play with the girls, and of course, take some fantastic pictures.  Enjoy!

She sure doesn't seem like a preemie anymore...  I guess we will see if she is still "on track" with her upcoming checkup at Children's.