Sunday, October 31, 2010



Scared ya!

She's my little pumpkin!

Pumpkins have tasty fists.

Some bunny loves you!


Trog Dor, the Pumpkinator!

And Kathy HATES spiders. With a passion.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Well Behaved and a Fan of Dad

If you happen to be a reader of my writing blog then you are well aware that this past Tuesday I read from my novel-in-progress at an open mic night. Many friends came to support me, but the biggest support of all came in the form of my family.

That's right, even though it was at a brewpub and I read after 8 PM, my wife and twelve week old baby came. Note: I am the only one in the family who partook of the beer.

Juliette was so well behaved! She slept through almost every reader until I stood up. Then, she was wide awake and paying rapt attention. Afterwards, she was a little fussy but not too loud, then fell back asleep after a brief walk out of the room.

I wish I had some pictures to share with you on this one, but oh well.

It was awesome to have her there. I hope she comes to many more.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cats in Cradles, Silver Spoons, Sunrises and Sunsets...

Our little girl is growing up rather fast.

Don't believe me? Check this out:
She's. Holding. The. Rattle.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Full Lap

Just thought I'd share this picture from October 10th of Kathy and the rest of the family.
So Much Love.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Patch

After celebrating Lydia and Mo's birthdays on Saturday, we went out to Eckert's Orchard to pick some apples and get a pumpkin. So we woke up early, got Jules dressed up for the occasion, and headed first to Granny and Poppy's.

Juliette dons farm attire.

We met up with Mo, Lydia and Maddy, piled into two separate cars, and headed across the river.

First thing we did when we got there was point out the new Country Store, which my uncle Dennis designed.

(Editor's note: Juliette wanted me at this moment to tell you all "Luowuaoul. Buweh. Hnk! Ungi." That is all).

First, we stood in line for a while.

A really long while.

Even Lydia got kinda tired.

I assure you, that is a yawn.

Finally, we got on the tractor. Jules was so excited, she almost woke up.

So close to waking up

Kathy got some good cuddles in, though.

At the first stop, we hopped off and grabbed some Granny Smith apples.

She held it long enough for Kathy to get a bite.

All this talk about Granny Smith made Juliette want to see her real Granny.

Granny doesn't look like an apple...

We loaded ourselves back onto the wagon and went to the pumpkin patch.

Mo and Lydia at the Pumpkin Patch

Jules picked out our pumpkin for us.

Lydia found something she thought would be good for carrying the pumpkin home in, but it had to stay at the farm.

"Our pumpkin would TOTALLY fit inside this milk crate!"

And then, a short ride later, Juliette found the perfect pumpkin for her.

Somewhere in this bin is the perfect one...
There we go.

Afterwards, we had lunch and then made the long trek back home.

It was a tiring day, no doubt. But it was a great new fall tradition!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Trio of Birthdays

Well, after Juliette's trip to the doctor on Friday the fifteenth, we were supposed to see Auntie Jess* briefly to give her birthday presents, but Juliette just wasn't feeling up to having visitors.

Jules hanging out with Auntie Jess in September

We called Jess and let her know, and told her we'd get her presents to her at a later date. Juliette said "Happy Birthday" over the phone by crying. So, we settled in for a good sleep, I read a chapter of The Wind in the Willows and we all fell asleep for the night. Which was good, because the next day was a big day...

We woke up early to run some errands. First, we ran to Cotton Babies to pick up some diaper-related supplies. Then we went to The Book House to pick up some presents for some special birthday girls. We ended up finding a whole lot of presents...for Juliette. We then looked a second time and found more presents...for ourselves. Finally, on our third pass, we found presents for the people we were actually searching for. Just so you know, this is absolutely horrid behavior when shopping for birthday presents for somebody, unless you are in a place like The Book House. It is an amazing place (seriously, if you haven't been, you should go, and if you can't make it because of geographical location, try anyway or at least check out the website). This is a place that is literally floor-to-ceiling books on every wall. Used, new, rare, various price the sign on the window reads, it's a browser's paradise. AND, the money goes to Second Chapter Life Center, a charity which provides community support for young adults with special needs. It's an amazing store all around.

I'm a go on a bit of a rant here: I hate spending time in stores of any kind, with the exception of book stores, record stores, bike shops and music instrument stores. Only, not chain stores; I'm talking good independent stores, with real knowledgeable staff members. Bike shops are the oddity in this bunch, because I prefer new bicycles to used, but with books and records and guitars, I'll take either. I love the smell of old books and old records and I love the feel of a guitar with a few years behind it. End rant.

Anyway, so when we got those together, we came home and wrapped the presents and headed over to my sister's house. It was her 31st birthday! But...that's not what we were celebrating. We had a different reason to celebrate this time:

Cousin Lydia gettin' her cake on for her first birthday

Lydia had a great time on her birthday, showing off her newfound walking skills and smiling and cramming cake into her mouth. Of course, cousin Madeline had a good time, too, playing with all of Lydia's new toys and likewise cramming cake into her mouth.

Juliette, on the other hand, spent most of the party looking like this:

Picking out books wore her out.

But no matter, she was held by several people who had never met her and she doesn't remember it. I think she was only awake when I changed her diaper, and I've gotta tell ya, if she gets her diaper changed over there a few more times, she's going to start complaining about how she's got it at home. It's not a super posh changing table, and they don't have an expert in the field on staff at all times; cousin Lydia's diaper wipes are stored in a container that keeps them nice and warm. As opposed to our wipes, which are nothing more than pieces of flannel sprayed with room-temperature water from a plastic bottle. You can kind of tell Jules loves the warm wipes. But that's okay, that just means she'll have strangely fond memories of her cousins' house which she won't be able to fully explain when she's older.

So, wishing Mo and Lydia a happy birthday, we went back home to rest up, because we had ANOTHER big day the next day...but that story will have to wait for another post.

*Auntie Jess, while not technically Juliette's aunt, has earned this title through a combination of friendship, love, and baking skills.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Baptism, Part Two: More Pics Please

I am aware that the amount of pictures of the baptism were less-than-satisfying for you, my reader. So I scrambled and called my mother and asked her if she could send me some of the pictures from her camera, and she obliged, and here we are. More pictures!

First up, a better look at the gown.

She was rather calm at this point
Next up, here's Jess holding Juliette before the baptism.

"Auntie Jess, can you get me out of this gown?"
Jess and Maureen seemed to really enjoy the s'mores.

"How can I have some more if I haven't had any?" "You're killin' me, Smalls."
And Jules got to cuddle with Granny.

And after these pictures came through the e-mail, we discovered something.

Kathy, 1981

Juliette, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Post Blitz #3 - Two Month Check-Up

Well, Juliette went in for her two month check-up on October 15th. And the doctor had nothing but nice things to say about her.

The nurses, unfortunately, had nothing but inoculations for her. Four shots and an oral vaccine. Ouch.

You would let them do that? Why??

While Juliette did cry for a good hour-and I mean, she really really cried a lot-that evening, she seems to have suffered no long-term effects other than Kathy's insistence that she "hasn't been near as smiley" though I think that can probably be attributed to the time of day Kathy sees her (see below for more on that).

Vital statistics:

Height: 23.5 inches (90th percentile)
Weight: 11 pounds, 4 ounces (70th percentile)

Social development:

Juliette is starting to babble more and more frequently. Just yesterday, I came home and Kathy informed me that they had just finished an hour long conversation. She also recognizes our voices and turns if she hears one of us speak.

It only looks like a cry at first glance, but it's a smile

She is smiling every day and starting to giggle. Her favorite thing to do is to wake us up in the early morning for a diaper change, and then once on her changing table she will smile and giggle like she just heard the best joke ever (which, for the record, is about two pieces of bacon).

Gross Motor skills:

Juliette has always been pretty active in the grabbing-your-fingers department, but the other day she grabbed hold of a rattle and just this evening she grabbed a burp cloth that was on her chest and brought it up to her mouth. I know it was all just baby-reflex movement, but it seriously did look as if she were trying to dab the corner of her mouth.

These last two and a half months have flown by, and it's been incredible to watch this tiny little girl develop a personality right before our eyes. When she smiles you can see that she is a happy baby and there's no doubt about it. And, of course, because part of having a child is payback for all the rotten things you did to your parents, there is a note of mischief in her eyes.

Clearly up to no good.

Being a parent has truly changed my perspective on life. Every little thing about our daughter makes an impact on me, from the way she cries to the way she laughs, the way she burps and even the way she sometimes sighs in her sleep. She is already an amazing little person and I can't wait to see the amazing girl I know she's turning into.

Post Blitz #2 - My First...

...night without Mom and Dad.

That's right, Kathy and I did the unthinkable with our daughter; we went somewhere without our little girl.

You did what, Mommy and Daddy?

You see, every year Kathy and I get invited to be models at the Mid-American Emmy Award ceremony downtown. This stems from Kathy's stint as the multimedia designer for the local public television station; the HQ for the Mid-American Emmy's is in the same building, and she was asked to volunteer once and I got involved the next year. It's actually a lot of fun; we get dressed up super fancy, get valet parking, a good meal, and we get to rub elbows with television personalities. Not that you would know any of them, since they're not national personalities, but if you live in the Missouri-Southern Illinois-Arkansas-Kansas area, you might know some of them. Also, the hostess this year was Ellie Kemper, a St. Louis native (friend of a friend, even) and known as Erin, the receptionist on The Office. Also, we get to hold more Emmy's on the stage than any of the winners, with the possible exception of Mike Bush who wins practically every third award.

That's not what you wanted to read about though. You wanted to read about Juliette.

So, before we set out on this evening of baby-free socializing, we decided that while we were going to be dressed up, we might as well dress Jules up and hand the camera to my mother before leaving Juliette in her care.

So Elegant...

I know that I look super snazzy in my brand new three piece suit, so you don't have to compliment me. And can you believe that Kathy just had a baby two months ago? She looks absolutely stunning and was getting compliments all night. But, again, we might as well be wearing sweat suits and bags over our heads. So here's another picture of Juliette without Kathy and I to distract you.

Distraction-free cuteness

Anyway, so while mom and dad were out, Granny and Poppy took good care of our little Jules. She even took a bottle, something which I have been having a lot of trouble getting her to do.

Poppy has the touch, though this picture was taken on a different day.

And when Kathy and I arrived back at my parents' house, exhausted and ready to take our little girl back home and get her into her own bed, she was asleep and, we were promised, had been no trouble at all. Which gave us a great idea.

Next week, Kathy and I will be taking an entire month off, leaving Juliette with my parents. Hope Granny and Poppy are ready!

For those who want proof that we met a celebrity, here are some pictures:

Not Pictured: Ellie's mother, who fixed my collar later

This was after it was discovered that Ellie's dress was somewhat...see-through with a camera flash

Post Blitz #1 - A Party in Juliette's Honor

Readers of my writing blog and personal acquaintances may already know that I am not, shall we say, a religious person. I am a person of faith, but mostly that is defined as faith in my friends, family and humanity in general (no jokes or quips about how often those groups test my faith). So it may seem odd that my wife and I decided to have our child baptized, but, we did.


We had a DIY baptism.

I just want to say that it was mostly an excuse to get Juliette into the baptismal gown that Kathy and her three sisters were baptized in, gather some friends and family together and have s'mores out on the patio.

The general idea of a baptism, as I understand it, is to affirm that there is somebody watching over the person being baptized. This is meant to be God, and is symbolized in the selection of Godparents. So, with friends and family gathered, it seemed perfectly natural to be celebrating and affirming the fact that there are many people who are watching over our little girl.

Plus, the s'mores were fantastic.

Jules with Granny and Poppy, pre-baptism. Story about the bib to follow.

Jules was none too happy to be in the baptismal gown. She likes to be able to move her legs around a little

Sad face.

One of her favorite places to be is on the changing table.

Happy to be out of the gown.

You can see she was a much happier camper after that.

Mom and Jules

Or at least, not as unhappy.

It's hard to take pictures when you're eating s'mores, so we didn't get too many. Though I got this great shot of my mother cuddling two of her grand daughters in the slightly chilly wind that was blowing that day.

That's not a melon Maddy is kissing, that's Juliette's head.

So thanks to Granny, Poppy, Maureen, Maddy, and Jess for coming over and helping us celebrate. And a big thanks especially to Jess, who acted as a stand-in Godmother for Juliette, because cousin Kari couldn't make it down.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Coming Soon to a Computer Near You...

...a deluge of posts regarding Juliette and the rest of the family.

Stay tuned. And for now, this picture:

Seriously, Dad? My public wants more of me!