Getting ready for Halloween 2008!

Monday October 20 2008

Trying on alternative costumes and making them yourselves is a blast!

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Everett's 3rd Birthday Party

Tuesday May 20 2008

A family gathering on a nice warm day in the shade was just what the doctor ordered for a perfect 3rd birthday. The kids played in the sprinkler and pools while Everett ran around in rain galoshes and pushed a wheelbarrow. Too fun!

Happy 3rd Birthday Everett!!

Tuesday May 13 2008

Everett Enjoys a nice quiet birthday at home. He has really grown and shows it. Cupcakes and arty hats were the order of the day. Not shown are his new Thomas trains, which he loves. We will have a camera soon so we can capture these moments for the gallery. Happy birthday Everett! We love you.

McKenna's Big Day

Monday February 11 2008

January 2008 - McKenna's 7th Birthday. This long video has footage from the cake to the final bike ride. A great day of celebration.
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Happy 7th Birthday

Monday February 11 2008

It just goes to show that I don't really know anything at all. We did not prepare for McKenna's birthday in a very big way. We had decided on just gathering family instead of friends due to the hassle and cost. I was starting to think it would be a real downer for her. She has had several birthdays that were superkid loaded at Chuck E Cheese, bowling alleys, etc, and I did not want it to seem like a "norm" and her expectation be to top it each year.

So here we are with the fam, a simple gathering which, low and behold, became a great party after all. It was still just family, but you just can not underestimate the power of that word. Everyone was great and McKenna was in great spirits to boot. Erin made a crazy cool cake (see video entry) and the kids had a great time playing. McKenna got a bike upgrade for her birthday, moving to a 20" geared beast of a machine that completely shocked her (see the video post "McKenna's Big Day" for shockitude).

So you never know what will happen, and how great a day can be, even when you take away expense and kid candy hyperness. It was a great day and will go down as one of McKenna's best yet.

Halloween 2007

Monday January 7 2008

Halloween fun at home with the kids!
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Happy Holidays!

Monday January 7 2008

From all of us here at the Carpenter-Klanicas, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

We had a great time this year. I was able to take almost two weeks off, something I have not done at holiday time before. It was great. A lot of projects got wrapped up and/or started, and I enjoyed the time with the kids and Erin immensely. We had family photos done again this year and I will post them soon. I am still sad that we do not have a real camera at this point, but we are making do. I have some great videos to post from Christmas, the Children's Museum, and other events. Hopefully I can get them up soon.

I hope your holidays were full of fun, family, love and peace.

Family Thanksgiving 2007

Saturday January 5 2008

Thanksgiving 2007 - A down home family holiday with Everett doing the carving.
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Hot Dog Excited

Thursday December 20 2007

I have never really seen anything like it. A little early for his age, we bought Everett a new bed. I have not heard of too many two year olds in a full size bed, but this was a deal we could not pass up. The moment he saw this he started jumping up and down like a rabbit...literally. He was so excited to get a "big boy" bed. It was fun to watch. Once the mattress was in I realized just how BIG it was compared to his tiny body. He was starting to look concerned and seemed a tad scared the first night. I laid with him for a while and he went right to sleep. One more step in kids growing too fast, I am a bit sad to put away a major part of his childhood, the toddler bed/crib. Both our children used the same one, and now it may be taken down forever. Like I said, one more step...

Guest Comments Back Online

Thursday November 15 2007

You can now leave comments again for the kids. This was disabled in the past due to a script error and SPAM. The security code is case sensitive. Thanks!

Twos a Crowd

Tuesday November 13 2007

Our camera is still out, and we probably won't have a new one until Christmas time. The good news is the video camera we have now is great and we have several to post. The bad news is they are large and I am still working out a system to make them "webable."

McKenna has two missing front teeth now. She is adorable. As cute as it is, it is a bit sobering. She is growing up, and there is nothing I can do about it. There is something so grown up about "adult teeth." Just saying it kind of makes me sad. She is so smart and on the ball nowadays. Her first report card was excellent, and she has really taken to the neighborhood now. We still have "terrible 6s" issues every now and then but that is growing up for you.

It is scary to think that kids rely on us parents to have all the answers. Some questions are near impossible to answer, yet you feel compelled to give them something. I do the best I can, and wonder what other parents do in those moments of quandary.

Everett is now over his pneumonia. He was pretty sick a few weeks ago and the period after that was his most vulnerable. We managed to swap out work and school to stay home with him and get him up to speed. He went through a period of almost four days without eating. For a kid this skinny, that is scary! His pants really were falling off him then. He is tall, and his waist is tiny. He still wears some pants that are 18 month as shorts! Others have to be bound at the waist to keep them up.

All in all everyone is healthy just in time for the holidays. This is the best time of year, and if it could just cool off down here, it could be pretty close to perfect this year.

Poop Oop E Doop

Monday September 17 2007

I went looking for Everett yesterday and found him in my bathroom. Poop was on the lid of the toilet as he sat on it, and his diaper was on the floor. He has been working on potty training for weeks now. We are a low pressure sort of household, especially since he has shown great interest in going on his own. I am not a fan of these "potty train in 24 hours or die" concepts. Unless there is a real problem, I would rather let them get interested and go on their own. Everett has been ideal with this.

He sat there grinning at me saying "poo poo in the potty." I smiled back and asked him to clarify. There was no poop in the potty, but clearly there had been. "Flushed poo poo down the potty." He had used the potty, flushed it, and was now basking in the glory of a job well done. Oh the things we get excited about! We were thrilled and cheered him on. It was a big day, and he knew it.

He sat on the potty for another ten minutes, we cleaned up, and slipped on some slick Elmo basketball underoos. Ah the glory of success!

In gratitude for this moment, we would like to give thanks to Elmo and Sesame Street, without whom this would not be possible. 837 viewings of "Elmo Potty Time" really do pay off.

Family Trip!

Sunday September 9 2007

We visited Utopia TX and stayed in a bed and breakfast just to get away for a few days. The kids enjoyed their swimming pool, river tubing and more. The town had two restaurants and a general store, all of which closed by about 7 PM. It was a nice get away to relieve the stress from a tough summer and get everyone recharged for school.

A field with horses was right next door. They were very friendly and repeatedly came right to the fence, much to McKenna's joy. We took pictures with a disposable camera (see the gallery), which took better shots than our Cybershot DSC-T1 is any more! We all had a good time!

Camera on the Fritz!

Sunday September 9 2007

Our camera is on the fritz so our picture updates are few and far between. You can even see the poor color quality in some recent posts. I am not sure what 'on the fritz' even means, but I do know that it isn't working!

Becoming His Own Person

Thursday August 9 2007

Everett is really at a fun and exciting stage. Although later than his sister, he has exploded recently with new vocabulary, expressions, and personality. He tries to repeat everything he hears to listen to himself say it and learn new things, whether it is "email" or "library." Whole sentences are forming, making him excited to see clarity of communication with others. We make it a staunch practice in our home to never talk baby talk to our kids at any stage, and it has paid off. McKenna has uncanny clarity of message when she communicates, and Everett is showing signs of the same. Why go through another stage of explaining why "shmoopsy beddy weddy" is actually your "bed?"

Not only has his communication improved, but his overall personality is starting to show. He likes to dance...a lot. It does not matter what kind of music it is as long as there is a beat. He will parade around and jump like a back up dancer to Fergie. He also has new facial expressions and grins with full teeth showing along with squinted eyes. Being a complete daredevil, he acts with no regard for safety, jumping off of things (now that he went through a self induced two week course in learning how exactly that works, which was also entertaining). His love of the water (i.e. swimming) may be even greater than McKenna's was. He loves it, whether above or below the surface. Jumping, paddling, dunking, he loves it all. It is hard to keep him out sometimes.

In all of these changes he has kept his initial attitude of a sweet spirit. He still hugs and kisses everyone in sight and shows genuine warmth to people, which is nice to see.

From Destruction to Construction

Tuesday June 12 2007

The other day I realized that we were on the verge of a major step for Everett. One of his favorite activities is to knock down stacks of blocks or toys that you are making, enjoying the look on your face when he destroys your piece of work. Not a big deal of course, considering that I stack them just for his enjoyment anyway. This has been going on for months, if not a year. So the other day I started stacking while he was not looking (the only way to get a decent stack going before he toasts it), when he turns, smiles, and heads for the area I am in. This time though he stops short, bends over and examines it. He picks up a block with two fingers, and oh so gently places it on top of the stack. When he stands up I just looked at him for a moment, realizing that this tiny gesture was a huge deal. He smiles at me, and I smile back. What a great moment this is!

He quickly knocks the stack down now, and claps in glee. I don't care at that point, because the transformation has happened! Going from total destruction to a constructive mindset is a huge thing for a two year old. A moment of zen, if you will. Thrilling and sad all wrapped in one. He is learning, applying new skills, and new ideas. He is growing up. That is not all. Of late, he has been sounding out every word he can get his "hands" on. From repeating my words to saying things he already knows over and over. "Please" and "thank you" are starting to emerge and communication breakthroughs are here. I am thrilled. McKenna was the same way, just at an earlier age, which I hear is a boy-girl thing. I have a funny feeling the next 6-12 months will be a blur, and after a whileI will miss my baby boy in the rear view mirror. Luckily, I get to be here to watch the whole thing unfold.

Big Girl Alert!!

Thursday April 5 2007

McKenna took a big step Wednesday when she lost her first tooth! Her two lower front teeth have been loose for a few weeks now. While biting her lunch box Wednesday (don't ask), one popped right out of her mouth. She was thrilled and got a treasure chest from the nurse's office to keep it in. The tooth fairy dropped by that night and left her $3. It was the happiest $3 McKenna has ever earned! Her new teeth are already showing a bit, so the second tooth should follow soon. It looks like the tooth fairy will be broke soon!

Everett - Gotta Love Pop Up Toasters!

Thursday February 22 2007

January 2007 - Everett gets a real kick out of toasters!
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What a Pretty Potty!

Monday February 5 2007

It is amazing how callous we become as we get older! Things have been very stressful of late for many different reasons. Work, school, sickness, schedules, travel, and anything else you can think of keep coming up. In the midst of it all Everett laughs and smiles all throughout. Ignorance is bliss as they say.

His fascination with everyday tasks keeps mounting. He brushes his teeth everyday on his own, or at least that is what you might think by watching him. It is more of a playful event to him than an act of hygiene. He got his first potty the other day and you would have thought he won the lottery. It has been hard to keep a diaper on him as he strips and sits on the seat all the time. When he is not sitting on it, he is putting food inside and eating out of it like a bowl. He has been heard in the distance shaking the potty full of Cheerios coming down the hall.

They say boys are hard to potty train, but I have a feeling that this will help him get used to it and even like it when he is ready, that is if he can stop using it as a food bowl anyway.

Moving on Up!!

Tuesday January 23 2007

McKenna took another crack at riding her bike this weekend. We have been trying since last summer off and on. She seemingly lost interest of late when she did not pick up the balance factor quickly. It is not all her fault really. I never realized how frustrating the process of learning to ride is and subsequently have a renewed appreciation for what my own dad must have gone through. I do not remember a lot about the process other than falling a few times and almost breaking my arm. I was pretty determined to learn how and did not have too much trouble getting back on. That said, running alongside and trying to help a rider balance is tough. Mainly it seems to be the bending over to hold the bike's rear end that does you in. I got smart quick and bought a little gadget called Balance Buddy. I usually am a cheapskate so I was skeptical that this would be worth the investment. This little gem was worth every penny though, as I now don't have to break my back in the process of training. I can hold onto it nearly three feet away! Unfortunately for my own dad, no such luxury existed. I now wonder if my siblings and I are not the reason he can hardly walk! Just kidding.

Anyway, back to the point. McKenna had a breakthrough this week after revived interest in learning to ride. Why the renewed interest? Outside forces of course. The health club is having a bike "rodeo" soon and she thought that was fabulous. She will not be ready to jump in and participate, but she wants to be ready for the next one. Yet another reason for kids to be involved and socially active. These forces are sometimes much stronger than mom and dad! I am not saddened by that at all. It is important for other areas of life to heavily influence her. The more exposure she gets the more experience she has to filter them.

What was I saying? Oh yes, the breakthrough. We had that "ah ha" moment this Saturday when dad let go completely without her knowing. She did great and I can not express how that made me feel in that moment before I had to grab on again. Success!! Glory!! Victory!! OK maybe not that extreme, but it was something I tell you! The second moment was when I had let go and then sped up to run beside her, so she could see that she was doing it on her own. Her eyes wide and grin even wider, she was torn between ecstasy and pure fear for a time. I encouraged her and made sure she did not fall (only one pure tumble so far). She was thrilled and so proud to know her success. Another great lesson in life rears its head: "You can do it on your own, believe in yourself, but know that I am here if and when you need me."

Honestly, I have not been thrilled to teach the biking skill. I can not lie. It is a hard process and takes time. I am not proud of that feeling. That said though, seeing the results is not only encouraging, but humbling. It certainly makes me want to improve my parenting and proud to witness a piece of her childhood that is so priceless. So....Everett, are you ready to go next?

McKenna - Christmas Play Part 2

Friday December 22 2006

December 2006 - McKenna is a great "STAR" in this one!
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Saint Nicholas

Thursday December 21 2006

Teaching the kids about sharing and giving is always important, especially at a time of year when the greed of modern Christmas is pervasive. As they get older it seems to be more of a struggle to make sure they understand these concepts and about those less fortunate than them. The story of Saint Nicholas helps with this by teaching them how much fun sharing can be. For example, children leave carrots and hay in their shoes for the saint's horse when he "visits" in early advent, hoping St. Nicholas will exchange them for small gifts they can have and they can share with others. Seeing mom and dad give to charities at church and to causes like "Christmas to the Streets" are important too. We decided to start giving a gift to the kids each year from Santa with a note that will promote them to play with one another and share to encourage this also. Santa is still a big part of Christmas here so it definitely will work!

What a year 2006 has been. Our family has had a lot of things happen this year and are glad to have made it through. I think we are stronger because of them and will continue to grow. We look forward to a new year and new opportunities for everyone here. McKenna will be six next month and is becoming a star reader at school! Everett is over 33 inches tall at 18 months and is starting to talk on a regular basis now. His asthma is under control and is growing quickly. Erin and I are doing great and look forward to a great year ahead! From our family to yours, we hope that you have a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!

McKenna - Christmas Play Part 1

Thursday December 21 2006

December 2006 - McKenna has a bell ringer part in the school play!
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Down But Not Out

Monday November 27 2006

It seems like this site is turning into the injury blog for these kids, but hopefully these two can grow out of the struggles they have had of late. McKenna was diagnosed with Meningitis two weeks ago. The trip to the ER was not fun, and the stay in the hospital almost as bad, but she was a trooper as the doctors worked to determine the problem. The good thing is that it turned out to be viral, which is nothing compared to the very serious bacterial counterpart. The infection ran its course and she was back to her old self in about a week. She had few lingering side effects other than headaches and fatigue, so we were very lucky. She started back to school this week and has practically forgotten the whole thing!! You can see how she felt just the weekend after the incident below at the annual neighborhood Christmas parade. Ahh to be young again! Thank you to everyone who called and wished her well.

Everett is not one to be outdone and promptly busted his lip and bashed his eye in a fight with the neighbor kid this week...OK he fell and hit the stove. The shiner on his right eye is black and blue and makes him look like he is on "The Contender." As always, he has taken it in stride and remains a smiling, happy boy. We are not sure he will grow out of his apparent clumsiness!!

Everett - Cookie Thief

Saturday November 25 2006

Everett - Cookie Thief
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Asthma Say Wha?

Tuesday October 24 2006

Everett has been struggling with health issues lately. They finally diagnosed with him with asthma. They warned us about this a good while ago but did not want to label him too soon. Add to that a short-term stomach bug and you have someone who does not feel so hot. He did not sleep much last night and his attitude has shown that most of the day. He struggled at trying to get to sleep tonight and I held him for a long time in the dark. It's in moments like that where the only thing you think about is your child. I could not see him and he could not see me but I could feel his movements as he sat up and stared at and felt my face with his hand to see if I was there. Even though I could not see his face I knew he was smiling. It's amazing how even in those types of moments they can still smile. I thought of other things while I sat there in the dark. In particular about how I could appreciate that all we were struggling with was this situation when so many other issues could be present. It seems cliched but I was thinking of parents dealing with normal everyday health issues like this where they also are fighting for their lives or living in fear in their own neighborhood or in their country is torn apart. At any rate I will take the struggles that we have and be happy that they are not greater.

It may be my memory but I'm pretty sure that Everett is much physically stronger than McKenna was at this age. I'm not sure if it is the boy/girl comparison but sometimes he amazes me how strong he is, I especially considering his weight and height compared to normal children of this age. He is very tall being in the 99th percentile but is underweight being in the 25th percentile. It does not seem to matter since he can lift gallons of water and many other heavy things that you would not expect. He's definitely different than McKenna in ways that I can not really point out but certainly may be just as determined as she was and may end up just as stubborn!

Simple Learning Pleasures

Tuesday October 17 2006

I hope I will not take things for granted with my children. It is fun to watch Everett as he learns things and discovers new ways to do things. I want to make sure that I take note of very little things related to his development. If I don't write them down or post them on his web site then I will surely forget years from now. Some of these things I don't remember from when McKenna was small. A good example happened the other day. Everett is able to communicate through some words and his actions. Nowadays he can easily tell when you're leaving and wave to you. But for some reason the other day he decided to wave from side to side instead of opening and closing his hand. This seems very minor on the surface. That said, it makes you think about such simple changes in children's thought process. What made him decide to wave in that way? Obviously he learned it by watching people around him and associated the process of leaving with that action. Just as interesting was our reaction. Something so simple should not matter that much but instead it makes us excited to know that he has learned something new. Nothing is too small for parents to feel good about that.

Imagination Station

Tuesday October 17 2006

McKenna is doing some interesting things with her imagination lately. The other day I saw that she was taking care of a pumpkin in her room. We bought a pumpkin about a week ago. The pumpkin disappeared several times during the week and I did not think much about it. Come to find out she had it in her room whole time. Last night when I was looking for a book to read with her I found the pumpkin. I'm not sure what the pumpkin’s name is, but it was nicely tucked in as if it were going to bed. I could not help but laugh. It was a cute sight and to be honest I will be sad when the pumpkin goes bad.

She has been doing things like this for awhile now. Today she was playing outside making houses and other things for her Barbies out of bricks, cardboard boxes, twigs, leaves and other things she found in the yard. It is great to see things like that because it is so important to use your imagination not only as a child but also as an adult.

McKenna's Early Fall Update

Sunday September 24 2006

McKenna is full force into school now. She loves to go and we are seeing great things so far. She wears down by the end of the week. She is used to it, but is really tired by Thursday and Friday.

We have been very impressed with the program so far. They seem to always be busy and learning something new. There is a lot going on with language arts especially, but also math, computers, and social training. They have a dedicated teacher that works with them twice a month on social interaction skills such as politeness, respect, and other key topics.

Initially the teacher was not sure of McKenna. She knew she was sharp, but stubborn (go figure). Some kids in her class are reading smoothly, so she was in the middle of the pack. After getting used to the program, she has risen to work with those ahead of her and is doing very well. She is reading better and is taking great steps forward already!

There are a lot of extra activities at school like "Breakfast Date with Dad" and other opportunities for moms and dads to volunteer and be involved, which is good. She is already getting to see other moms and dads involved and the talents that they have as well (like guitar playing).

Everett's Early Fall Update

Sunday September 24 2006

With McKenna at school, Everett has had a lot of time to himself at home. He likes the quiet time. He has started attending a Mom's Day Out program once a week and it has been good for him. He gets time away from home and with other kids his age. He still does not say a lot (up to about six words) but the interaction has been excellent for him. He does not cry or pout and that is a good sign that he is not overly reliant on mom and dad.

Everett has turned into quite the snuggly one as his personality develops. McKenna was always very independent and stand offish, but Everett is always game for a very tight bear hug and a kiss. He hugs and kisses everyone, mom, dad, sister, the nursery workers at church, and even the cat. He is very genuine.

He acts very much like a boy oftentimes, being hyper and overactive. He is not a fan of any of his toys though. He seens to like anything in his sister's room better. Barbies, kitchen items, and stuffed animals. He does like balls and cars though, which they both have.

His thought processes are also clearly developing. You can see him thinking through things and pointing out things he knows. He can identify his hair, tongue, and ears. He knows what hot is, on and off, and 'out,' as in 'get me out of my bed!'

He still sucks his thumb every once in a while, but it is almost exclusively when he is exhausted though. He is still very skinny but is very tall (over 33 inches at last measurement)! The doctor thinks he will be over six feet tall. Very few people are that tall in either family, but he does have some tall great uncles, so who knows.

McKenna gears up for Kindergarten!

Tuesday August 15 2006

McKenna is ready to go to her first day of school! Although she is already a veteran (attended preschool and Montessori school since she was 2), McKenna is thrilled to meet new kids and learn at her new school. With all kindergarteners on site, she has the opportunity to have 399 new friends! That is a very enticing to this supersocial little brainiac!

Summer is over but that is OK. The pool will be the most missed event of the week. Learning and playing is the order of the day now. We wish you luck and many new friendships for life at your new school!

Everett Struts his Climbing Skills

Sunday August 13 2006

August 2006 - Everett learns how to climb....uh oh
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got molar?

Tuesday June 20 2006

Everett is sporting his new addition, a MOLAR! He has puffy gums in several places, but only one has broken through. He has been surprisingly calm throughout the process, and is eating some SERIOUS food now. His vegan ways are set aside, chomping on everything in site. He is at the stage now where he can handle table food that is ground up, and seems to enjoy it a lot more than his paltry jar food. His favorites? Grilled chicken, carrots, green beans, and oh yes, the ultimate...YO BABY yogurt!

Everett discovers the cat, and introduces himself

Wednesday May 31 2006

May 2006 - Everett introduces himself to Pita.<
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Happy Birthday Everett!

Friday May 12 2006

Everett celebrates his FIRST birthday today! He has done a lot in his first year and is happy to move on to year number two! Some of his accomplishments include: four teeth have come in, eating solid foods easily and feeding himself in many cases, has completely come off of formula (thankfully) and is drinking soy milk with ease, eating small amounts of meats, crawling and standing with ease (trying to walk all the time now), many laughs and giggles, joy and happiness, and has even started learning to bug his sister (a true brother in the making). Congratulations Everett! You made it and we love you. Check out the front of Everett's birthday invitations:

McKenna - It is two stepping time

Sunday April 23 2006

April 2006 - McKenna gets down and funky in the living room
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McKenna is reading on her own

Wednesday April 12 2006

McKenna has skyrocketed in ability over the past few weeks. It is just as predicted by Montessori experts. Once the ability sets in using basic techniques, their confidence increases, allowing them to take off and read almost anything. The Montessori reading curriculum has three essential conponents: A strong foundation in phonics, comprehension based on visualization, and whole language, or learning to read for meaning and using context clues.

McKenna is great at sounding out syllables and gets very excited when she realizes she has pronounced a word right. More and more over the past weeks she has been reading to mom and dad for bedtime instead of vice versa. This is a great step before finishing her school year and moving on to a new environment. The drive to New Braunfels each day has taken its toll on her and she is ready to move on. Her mom and dad are too with gas so high! Two trips a day costs almost $10. Ouch!

McKenna - Running on the beach

Tuesday April 11 2006

March 2006 - McKenna runs on the beach and splashes dad!
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Everett the vegan!

Tuesday April 11 2006

Now that his health is on the rise again, Everett has been eating incessantly. Due to his apparent allergies, Everett is a loud and proud vegan! Don't know what a vegan is? Vegans consume no animal products. Think of it as a strict vegetarian diet, as no dairy products are consumed either.

The tough part about Everett's situation is that he can not handle soy either! He eats a lot of greens and fruit. We are working in home blended foods now too. He is gaining strength and has been in excellent moods of late! We are working on walking attempts now, and as you can see from the latest multimedia post, his coordination is coming along quite well!

Everett - Playing Catch

Tuesday April 11 2006

April 11, 2006 - Everett plays catch with dad and shows great coordination!
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McKenna's new school

Thursday February 23 2006

We made a final visit to McKenna's new school, where she will start in the fall. We are very excited about it and how close it is to home! It will take some adjustment, as a few things are different, and McKenna will have new friends to make, but it is exciting and she really likes it there so far from the visits.
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Thursday February 23 2006

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Medical issues

Thursday February 23 2006

Everett has been having some medical issues and we have been to the doctor several times, as well as a pediatric gastroentrologist (say that three times fast). He had a colonoscopy and endoscopy on 02/06/2006. It turns out that he has a condition similar to a viral infection which could not be identified through the blood tests that were done earlier. We will have to let things run their course and he should be fine. Good news compared to the many other things it could have been!

First Tooth!

Thursday February 23 2006

Everett's first tooth broke through on 1/3! It is his lower right one in the front. A second one is peaking at us too so soon there will be two! Way to go EMC!

Aspirations and Habits

Thursday February 23 2006

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Wednesday February 22 2006

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Everett - Tubber Time

Wednesday February 22 2006

Everett enjoys his bath quite a bit. Here he tries to dig to the bottom of the bubbles, but doesn't seem to mind not getting there!
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Everett - Standing up in bed

Wednesday February 22 2006

Although not the first time for him to stand up, Everett is getting daring in his crib! (Time to lower that mattress)
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Everett - Poppy gets Hoppy!

Wednesday February 22 2006

Everett figures out how to jump like a mad man on his exersaucer. Now he will not stop!
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Everett - Coordinating and Crawling

Wednesday February 22 2006

Everett gets his coordination down on Christmas Eve and crawls a few feet.
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McKenna - First Soccer Game

Wednesday February 22 2006

A few clips from her first game. She really got in there and fought for the ball, even though she was the only girl!
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McKenna - Biker Style

Wednesday February 22 2006

A quick shot of McKenna strutting her biker style January 2005
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McKenna - It's my bowling birthday party

Wednesday February 22 2006

McKenna comes super close to making a spare at her fourth birthday party. She bowled better than most that day, for sure. 2005
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McKenna - It's my Wedding Day!

Wednesday February 22 2006

McKenna tells Dad about getting married. The groom is a big surprise!
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McKenna - Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer

Wednesday February 22 2006

McKenna gives her best go at Rudolph (Her personal favorite). She knows only a few lines, but repetition can do wonders! Happy Holidays 2004!
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McKenna - We Wish you a Merry Christmas

Wednesday February 22 2006

McKenna gives her rendition of "We wish you a Merry Christmas." A wish from our family to yours. Happy Holidays!
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What's in a name...Everett #2

Thursday February 23 2006

Learn about Everett's name and where it came from Part 2!
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What's in a name...Everett

Thursday February 23 2006

Learn about Everett's name and where it came from
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What's in a Name...McKenna

Friday February 24 2006

People have often asked us where McKenna's name came from. It is unique. We have only met two other people with the name...ever
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Tuesday January 17 2006

McKenna's school has really put a lot more to her and she is rising to the challenge. Just in the past few months she has started writing in cursive, and addition of numbers in the thousands. She advanced to the thousands just recently has been very excited about it. Spelling small words is beung worked on, and understanding letters for cursive has been easiest for her. This is all before she turns five late this month!

Everett's One Month Checkup

Thursday February 23 2006

Everett had his one month check up and came it at a ringing 98% on weight and height. After only 25 days, he weighed 11 lbs 9 ounces and is 23 inches long.

Crack that crab!

Friday August 5 2005

We went to Rockport last week and took McKenna to "The Boiling Pot".
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Getting ready for school!

Friday August 5 2005

McKenna is working in workbooks for prereading now, preparing for her second year in Montessori school.
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I can do math

Tuesday May 31 2005

McKenna can now do basic math, adding and subtracting numbers up to ten! She is doing a great job associating numbers and doing problems "on the fly."

Everett Has Arrived!

Thursday February 23 2006

Everett arrived a few days early (thanks to modern medicine) on May 12, 2005. He was a great kid and did not give his mom much trouble. Everyone is happy and healthy and doing great! Thank you to everyone for your support

Sunday April 10 2005

The domain is ready and dad will be launching Everett's site shortly. There are no pictures or anything yet but it won't be long!

Baby Shower Time!

Sunday April 10 2005

We had a shower for Everett on Saturday at our good friends' Letty and Anthony's house. What a great party! There were lots of games and everyone was very generous in getting Everett started on his way with much needed things. We are almost ready for his arrival in a few weeks!


Friday March 25 2005

During spring break this week, McKenna took her first trip to Seaworld.
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McKenna's School Update

Tuesday February 1 2005

McKenna has really taken to her new school. We are seeing an obvious change in her learning patterns and daily routines. She has learned a lot about personal responsibility and individualism. She is ...
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Baby Boy Name Announced

Tuesday January 18 2005

The baby has a name now. We have announced that McKenna's brother is Everett Miles (after Miles Davis).

Baby News

Tuesday January 4 2005

We have good baby news! The sonogram went well and the baby is right on schedule. There will be some new blurry pics to add to the gallery soon.

We tried to see the sex of the baby and after a lot ...
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Baby Update

Monday December 27 2004

We find out on 1/4 what the new munchkin will be. Well, we find out assuming that they cooperate! Unlike McKenna, we have not had an intuition into what the new little one will be. Here's hoping ...
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December 7, 2004 Pet Drama

Tuesday December 7 2004

There is still no update on Stanzie. I guess at this point she is basically gone. We are debating on getting a new pet for McKenna. She is at a very "caregiving" stage. Why a new pet? Because Pita ...
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December 7, 2004 Multimedia

Tuesday December 7 2004

I finally have the video files in a manageable size and form and will soon be adding them to the site. They are still large compared to other types of files, so be warned for those on a dial up ...
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November 20, 2004 New Experiences

Monday November 22 2004

McKenna had her first cultural experience today!
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November 18, 2004 Dealing with Loss

Thursday November 18 2004

Well, McKenna is only three, but she has already had to deal with her fair share of loss.
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November 5, 2004 A new school

Sunday November 7 2004

McKenna will be moving to a new school in the spring. We have been researching and considering this move for a long time.
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October 5, 2004

Friday October 8 2004

McKenna got to see the baby today. It is a little black blob but the little heart was flickering. The due date was changed to May 16. A picture will be posted shortly under a new album, Baby X!

McKenna also got to go to her first train show on Saturday. Pictures of the event are in the albums. She was a bit confused at first. She thought that a train show would be a train MOVIE!

McKenna is getting very good with letters and coloring inside lines. She is tracing letters, and drawing them freeform. There is a sample that will shortly be posted in the art gallery.

September 5, 2004

Sunday September 5 2004

Big news!
I found out on Friday September 3rd that I am going to be a big sister! This is really exciting. I have been wanting a sister for months. If I am just patient, now I will see if I get to have one! The baby is due in May.

August 5, 2004

Thursday August 5 2004

A lot has happened recently, and I did not write any of it down! I just finished two more swimming lessons. I am in a class called "Crawfish." I even got a certificate saying that I finished the classes. I learned to hold my breath for a long time. I like to go to the bottom of the pool to pick up things (4 feet). I even go down and sit "indian" style!

I have decided to be a doctor, lifeguard, and waitress when I grow up. That way I can help people and serve food! I practice all the time so I will be good at it. I am about to start gymnastics again, and school. I miss school and my friends. I had my tonsils and adenoids removed this summer and have not gone to school since. There are pictures of me in the hospital on the site. It took a long time to heal.

I just got a new playset! Mom and dad have been working hard to set it up and now it is done! I love to play on it. I gotta go now, see you soon!

February 10, 2004

Thursday August 5 2004

I had a great birthday this year. I got to dress up as Woody from Toy Story! Everyone was very nice and gave me great gifts. I got to have a second party at school that was a Nemo party! I am looking forward to Valentine's Day now.

I pretend to read all the time. I point to words and make up stories. Mom and Dad read to me all the time, so I have the hang of it. It is a lot of fun to make up stories with them. May new favorite thing to do is to put together puzzles. Mom and Dad say I am great at them. Once I do it once or twice, I can do it faster and faster. It is fun.

July 23, 2003

Thursday August 5 2004

I had a great time trick or treating this year. I was Strawberry Shortcake! I got lots of candy and goodies. I grew a whole inch in October and am getting to be a really big girl. I got my first knee high boots and I like to wear them with everything. Mommy says that they do not match some things but I don't care! There are some pictures of them in my recent pics section. I love going to school and hanging out with my friends. It is a lot of fun and has helped me learn to ride my tricycle a lot better too.

June 24, 2003

Thursday August 5 2004

I am going to gymnastics classes and it is so much fun! I love to go. Daddy added some new recordings so that you can hear what I sound like. They are funny. I love to talk along with them. Swimming was a lot of fun. I can hold my breath, blow bubbles, and even push off the side. My favorite part is jumping into the pool. That is great! I get to go swimming once a week!

June 3, 2003

Thursday August 5 2004

My first swim lesson is today! I am very excited!!!

May 24, 2003

Thursday August 5 2004

I am 28 months old today!!! I have found a new favorite thing now. I LOVE Stuart Little! I watch him everyday. I also got to be on TV! I was on the news for the Memorial Day parade at Papa and Gramma's house. Poppa says he is going to but the cideo clip here on my site. That will be a lot of fun. School is over, but I get to take swimming lessons in a few weeks. I also get to go to a tumbling class at the gym. I am so excited!

April 4, 2003

Thursday August 5 2004

I am over two years old now and like to do everything on my own. I can go potty on my own, eat on my own, and even separate my own clothes! I have a new pet. It is a Beta fish named Dorothea. I named him myself. For my birthday I got my very own slide but I really want my own playground. I love to play outside. Poppa takes me to the playground and I run for hours and hours. Mommy takes me shopping. I love to go to the store all the time. Easter is coming and I am going to get pictures with some real live bunny rabbits! I love animals. There is a store on the circle that has snakes, lizards, and even spiders. I want to hold them all!!

December 30, 2002

Thursday August 5 2004

I made it through my second Christmas, and I knew a lot more about what was going on. I loved opening presents. I loved it even more than the presents! I got lots of books, a choo choo train, and even my own table to sit at! It was lots of fun. I got to see my cousins, who are getting very big now! (7 months) I am also learning to potty train. This is really tough! I make it sometimes, but sometimes I don't. Mom and Dad are helping a lot though. I will get it soon. I start back at school in a week or so, and I am excited to meet new kids. They will be a little bigger than me, but I can handle it. I can spell my name now, up to the first "N". I also have my own coin purse and am learning what money is. I will see you again soon!

November 15, 2002

Thursday August 5 2004

I absolutely love to color! I color on everything I can. I can spell my name, and know the alphabet through M. I know 8 colors too!

November 2, 2002

Thursday August 5 2004

I went to my 2nd Wurstfest and had a blast! I enjoyed all the music and the people dancing. People are so funny!

September 25, 2002

Thursday August 5 2004

With clenched fist and determination I tried to keep from peeing on the potty, but I just could not hold it anymore! For the first time today I peed in my potty instead of my diaper! Momma and Poppa were very excited. I think I might just have to do that again!

September 3, 2002

Thursday August 5 2004

This week has been very busy for me! I finally got my big girl bed! It is great, I love it so much. I can climb in the front whenever I want to, and climb out whenever I want too. Sometimes I don't like being in their by myself though, so I climb out and go to Momma and Poppa's room. In the morning I do not have to wait for them. I just get up and go stand by their bed and give them a kiss! They do not seem to mind. I also had my last day with my pacifier last week! It was a little weird at first, but I do not even ask for it anymore! I also had my first day of daycare. It was a little weird being away from Momma and Poppa, but I will make it OK. I like the other kids, but their toys there are really lame. I am getting even more teeth now, so it really hurts sometimes. Well, that is all for now! To see the dates for these things, look over at my Milestones page! Bye bye!

August 12, 2002

Thursday August 5 2004

A lot is going on now! I got my very own Kitty Cat last week. His name is PITA and is 6 weeks old! I have a lot of fun with him. I can say a lot more words now. I can almost repeat anything people say to me, and I like choo choo trains, swimming poolscoloring with crayons, and Sesame Street. Poppa is adding new pictures to the site this week, and is redesigning it too!

May 27, 2002

Thursday August 5 2004

My cousins were born at 7:55 and 7:56 AM this morning. They weighed 6 lbs 14 oz and 6 lbs 10 oz. Daddy says he is going to put pictures of them up very soon. They were really neat, but I wasn't sure I wanted to kiss them just yet. I was a little bit scared. I am sure they will be great to play with!!

May 22, 2002

Thursday August 5 2004

I did my first finger painting today! Soon it will be on the website for the whole world to see. Watch for it here!

May 2002

Thursday August 5 2004

McKenna has become very affectionate of late, offering anyone who is interested a kiss and a VERY tight hug. She is climbing on furniture with ease (when there is not a dress getting in the way), and loves giving out "high fives".

May 2, 2002

Thursday August 5 2004

I am getting more teeth now, and it really hurts. Mommy says that the one I am getting now is called a molar, but all I know is that it is painful. Hopefully they will all be in soon and I will feel better!

April 25, 2002

Thursday August 5 2004

We just found out that my cousins will be born soon! Yeah, I am very excited! They are named Sam Jr. and Jakob.

February 8, 2002

Thursday August 5 2004

I got my first tooth today!! They say that I am behind other kids on teeth, but I am bigger and run and play better than them, hee hee! Now they have to brush my teeth!! I can say "oh wow", "uh oh", "dog", "what's that" and even "oooooooooooooo" now.

January 24, 2002

Thursday August 5 2004

I had a great birthday this year!! I got lots of pretty clothes, and a few toys too! I picked a wedding bell out of all these neat things they offered me, and they said that it means I will have love and prosperity forever! Isn't that great!

December 20, 2001

Thursday August 5 2004

I walk very well now!! I try to run when daddy plays with me, but I am not that good yet. I am also starting to drink milk, and I don't eat all that baby food anymore. I like the real thing!

December 2, 2001

Thursday August 5 2004

I had my first picture with Santa today!

November 2, 2001

Thursday August 5 2004

I went to my very first Wurstfest today! Well, it was the first one I went to while out in the open anyway. I had lots of fun and got my very own hat. My favorite band was Alpenfest

October 31, 2001

Thursday August 5 2004

I have bad mosquito bites this week. I think one found me and never left!! I am not feeling bad though. Poppa is trying to keep me from scratching them. I also found out today that I am getting two new cousins!! Uncle Sam and Aunt Tressa are having twins!!

October 30, 2001

Thursday August 5 2004

Said "Da Da for the first time!!

October 27, 2001

Thursday August 5 2004

I tried my second word today, when someone pointed at my picture, I said "Baby"!! That is me!!

October 26, 2001

Thursday August 5 2004

Daring as I am, I took my first steps today!! I think I will try this more and more!!

October 17, 2001

Thursday August 5 2004

October 17, 2001 ~ I recognized and called for Momma for the first time!!