Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Birthday to the best guy ever!

Yesterday was Michael's 29th birthday and we had a great day all together.  We kicked things off with homemade orange rolls and bacon and sausage and things got pretty much un-healthier (and more delicious) from there.  Except for the redeeming butternut squash we had with lunch.  The kids were well behaved and we had a lot of fun spending time with Michael.  We even got to go out on a hot date during which we went to eat at the Olive Garden and drove around for a while--but it was the fun sort of driving around...(ok, sorry I didn't plan a more exciting birthday date, dear!)  Then when we got home, Ryan and Calvin were ready to be tucked into bed and when we informed them that it was bedtime, Ryan started yelling, "WAIT! WAIT!  I WANT TO DO SOMETHING SPECIAL WITH DADDY CUZ IT'S HIS BIRTHDAY!"  We rolled our eyes (Ryan is known for his varied excuses for delaying bedtime) but we asked him what special things he wanted to do.  He surprised us by saying "Maybe we could brush our teeth together and put on my M&M chapstick together!"  It was actually really cute.  Anyways, Michael is the best.  I know I say that a lot, but he is!  He is an incredible father and husband and works harder than anyone I know.  Even as busy as he is, he still finds time for stuff like this:

Can you feel the happiness exploding from his little body??  I was so against this that it took a lot of convincing for me to let Michael even take them down our street.  But they were so so happy.  But I don't think I'm going to let them do it again...

They had so much fun riding with their Daddy!

 In this one they are swinging on the pumpkin vine that Michael tied onto the tree for them so they could be just like Diego.  Once again, Michael was dead on!  They had SO much fun.

Michael even lets them help out with the gardening and yardwork!

On this day in particular Sophie was being a bear and I was trying to get something done, so Michael just strapped her into the backpack and away they went to do some yard work.  She had a fabulous time, by the way.  Happy as a clam.

And my personal favorite:
You really are the best, Michael!  Happy Birthday!  As Ryan once said, "I love you all the way up to the moon, then all all around outerspace, and then to South Dakota and then back." 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Does Anyone Have a Place I Could Turkey Hunt?

This is a long shot, but I (Michael, not Caroline!) am looking for a place to go turkey hunting in Minnesota, on October 30th. If any of my friendly blog readers happen to have a place we could go, I would be very grateful.

Who Would Be Hunting?

It would just be me and my brother in law. We are both Eagle Scouts and we are both respectful of nature and your land. We don’t drink or litter. Both of us have been hunting before (but not for turkeys) and feel strongly about gun safety.

If you are offering a place for us to hunt we would be happy to have you along too, of course!

Where Do We Want To Hunt?

We would be happy to hunt anywhere that a turkey permit is still available, To see which areas still have available licenses, you can check this chart: To see what area you live in, you can check this map (warning, large PDF): We do both live in area 601 (greater metro area),but would be happy to travel a bit in order to get to hunt!

Thank You!

You can leave a comment here, email me at or call me by clicking this button:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

6 months!

My sweet little Sophie bug turned 6 months old today.  I took her to her appointment, all excited to see how much weight she's gained since she's been pretty much eating solid foods non-stop (as in all-day, every day) for over 2 months.  Turns out she grew almost an inch and a half, yet lost 3 ounces.  Huh?  How is that even possible?!?  Seriously, if you know her, you know how much she eats!  Anyways, the doctor just said they're not really worried about weight loss or gain as long as it's not too unusual, and as long as she's growing vertically, she's doing fine.  So, I guess it's nothing to worry about.  But I really am dumbfounded as to how it happened.  Anyways, she's right on track with everything else and was super duper happy and smiley for everyone in the office until the needles came out.  Then she was the saddest baby ever.  Poor, poor Sophie.  But at least she probably won't get the flu!

Sophie is full of personality, and I love having her as my little buddy.  Some of Sophie's trademarks at 6 months are:

-She still LOVES to eat.  And when I say "loves", I don't mean she's all smiles and just really enjoys doing it.  I mean she eats and eats and eats and eats and screams when you take too long spooning the food into her mouth.  A couple of times when I'm been really tired of all the screaming, I've resorted to putting the food in a ziploc baggie, cutting off the corner and squeezing it into her mouth.  Then she's pretty satisfied with life.  Today in one sitting at lunch she ate a FULL kids ikea bowl of applesauce (about 6 ounces), one and a half containers of baby carrots, half a kids ikea bowl of cereal (about 3 ounces), and nursed before and after.  And screamed. A lot.

Here's Sophie losing a little of her food...all over poor AnnaMarie.  What a good sport.  I really, really really love this picture.  Ha!

-Sophie is a screamer  This is a fairly recent development.  She has this high pitched scream that she uses for everything.  Playing on the floor with toys happily, alerting me to a dirty or even barely wet diaper, hungry, angry, tired.  She uses her one scream to communicate all of these things.  Sophie is usually either quiet or screaming.  Sometimes when she is very happy and entertained, she will babble and chat with someone.  But usually it's screaming.  Tonight, for instance, Sophie had the worst screaming fit I've ever heard her have.  I went through my mental list of what it could be, besides being sore from her shots today.  I frantically changed diapers, spooned her food, nursed her, rocked her, but to no avail.  Eventually I figured out that all she really wanted was for me to lie down next to her so she could play with my face for about a half an hour.  Tears and screaming stopped immediately, and she was the sweetest little baby anyone could imagine.  I wonder how she'll use this screaming talent once she can talk...

I love this one.  This is Sophie's "What's going on?" face:

-Sophie is developing some awesome new smiles.  Definitely taking after Calvin in this department.  One of her new smiles looks exactly like the classic scrunchie-faced Calvin smile. Her other new smile is pretty much exactly like her Grandpa Moore's smile. I love seeing her experiment with her new expressions.  She obviously thinks she is very clever and funny.  And she is!  She even stopped eating in her high chair today at one point to give me one of these new smiles (she has never ever done this even once before).  She's such a funny little girl!

Sophie with her "Calvin smile":

-Sophie is very resourceful.  She gets around (when very motivated) by putting her face on the ground, lifting herself up with her forehead, and digging her feet into the ground so she can kind of scoot forward.  It's very funny to watch.  She also uses her forehead to kind of get up on all fours, which lasts usually for like half a second.

Sophie checking out a leaf:

No, she's not really standing at all yet.  She did have her knees locked in this position long enough for me to snap a picture of her great outift, though. 

-Sophie is a Daddy's girl.  She loves Michael so much.  She pretty much would usually rather go to him, unless she wants to nurse, of course.  And what's not to love?  He lets her be his little buddy sitting next to him while he works, he sneaks her all sorts of delicious foods, he has glasses, which Sophie LOVES to play with, and much much more.

Sophie also has her Daddy's blue, blue eyes:

-Sophie loves her brothers and cousins and (as long as she's fed and not too tired) smiles the biggest, longest and fastest for those guys than for anyone else.  She is enthralled.  Ryan is especially good with her and tries so so hard to please her.  It's really sweet.

I really love this one Sophie and Ryan this evening:

-Sophie still loves a good diaper change.  The boys never alerted me to their need for a diaper change.  I always had to either smell something, feel something wet, or realize that it had been a while in order to realize they needed a change.  Sophie, on the other hand, is very particular about the state of her diaper, and lets me know immediately when she is dissatisfied with things in that department.  And she is usually all smiles and crazy leg kicks during and after.

We love Sophie so, so much.  She is such a sweetheart.  I am so very glad to have her as my daughter.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ironwood: Part 2

So I never got around to talking about the rest of our trip up to Ironwood a couple of weeks ago.  When I left off, my children were ridiculously cute sitting on some hay bales on Sunday afternoon.  That evening when we got home, Michael and Vittoria (Dad's exchange student/host daughter from Brazil) made us an INCREDIBLE Brazilian dinner.  It was so good. Mmmmmmm.  We spent the evening hanging out and eating with some friends at Dad's house and had a wonderful time.  We decided to take it slow on Monday and not head home until Monday night, which was great.  We had a lovely day visiting Michael's aunts and playing around.  And we got some really great pictures.  I mean really great.  See for yourself!

Calvin inspecting a hippo:

 Sophie taking a nap on that great big lovesac:


Our little family out at Janny's cottage:

Playing on Janny's swings:

A visit to Auntie Janny's may mean many things, but Ryan's favorites (besides seeing Janny and Jerry) are the giant double garage doors and shooting bb guns.  But mostly the garage doors.  Check this out.  I have it animated and un-animated, for your viewing pleasure:


I'm pretty sure my favorite part of this sequence is how he is holding up a "number 1" with his fingers there on the last picture.  He was declaring the champion in the garage door race.  Classic Ryan.  And here Ryan and Calvin are, running off to congratulate the winner:


And getting up-close and personal withthe inside-the-garage buttons with Jerry's help:

And here are the kids (yes, all of them...) enjoying the bb guns, some more than others:

Sophie loves her Auntie Janny.  Just look at that happy girl!

And some more animation (I know, when it rains, it pours, right??), this time of Michael helping the kids do cartwheels off Janny's porch, of course!

Oh, Janny.  These kids just adore you!

And here are some pictures of our visit to Aunt Sherry's.  We were doing our best to tire the boys out before hopping in the car for our trip home, so they were running back and forth across Sherry's (gigantic) yard.  I LOVE the way Calvin runs.  He always cracks me up.  So here are some pictures and, you guessed it, another animation (last one, I promise) of Calvin's awesome run, although I will say that you do have to see it in person to truly appreciate it.


I love this one of Calvin and Sherry.  

And the boys REALLY loved Sherry's doorbell.  What is it with my kids and buttons??  They pushed that thing until we made them go run across the yard a few dozen more times.

Speaking of, here's Ryan on one of his runs.  Lovely trees!

And Sophie hanging out with Auntie Sherry:


 We loved our trip up north.  Thanks everbody for letting us come!  You guys all spoil us rotten. We love you all bunches (and not just because you spoil us rotten...)!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Circus!

On Friday, Michael took us for a surprise outing and guess what we did??  We went to the Shrine Circus!  I didn't even know it was in town!  It was a GREAT surprise.  I don't recall ever having been to a real circus, so it was really fun to go and see.  The kids loved it.  I mean absolutely loved it.  Well, Sophie slept through most of it like a good girl, but the boys loved it.  They had tigers jumping through fiery hoops, motorcycles driving on wires, dogs going through a doggie tube slide, clowns, a little dog dressed up like a baby elephant (I think this was Calvin's favorite, although he still doesn't believe it was really a dog), elephants doing all kinds of tricks and much more.  The kids picked cotton candy and popcorn for their treats and we even forked out the money for them to ride on an elephant, which they loved!  It was so much fun.  I think my favorite part was the elephants doing tricks.  No, I take it back.  My favorite part was the boys riding on the elephant.  They were just so excited.  Afterwards I asked Calvin if he liked it, and he said "YEAH!  AND MOM, THE ELEPHANT WAS RUNNING!" Which, of course, it wasn't. 

Thanks, Michael for such a great surprise!  I didn't take too many pictures (with a sleeping Sophie and two crazy kids, we didn't usually have a free hand), but here are some of the ones I did get:

Calvin, watching very intently for the circus to start:

The boys on an elephant!

Very happy after their elephant ride:
Hanging out with some clowns: