Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Pictures of me in my trusty ring sling downloaded from Sam's phone:

At the park:

At the baseball field:

At the zoo:

Apparently also I have  a lot of blue shirts. Many thanks to my friend Amanda who got the sling for us over 7 years ago! We've certainly gotten a lot of use out of it. I've actually been wearing the structured buckle carrier that Aunt Holly got me more recently now that Leah's a little bigger, just not pictures of it yet.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Solar Eclipse

Columbia, MO was in the path of full totality for the solar eclipse on August 21st. James's preschool sent home a note that said they wouldn't be going outside for safety reasons, so Sam kept James home (actually took him to work with him for the morning), and then they joined his work in a potluck / eclipse viewing. 

Here's James in his NASA shirt filching candy from someone's office: 

And hanging out in Dad's comfortable chair:

Eclipse viewing:

Sam made an eclipse rice crispy treat.

Sam's office viewing the eclipse: 

My work also had a potluck. I took open-faced eclipse sandwiches. We kept going outside every 15 minutes or so to check on the progress. It was very overcast, but you could see the sun with the special eclipse glasses. 
My coworker brought chairs and we camped out in front of the office from 1:00pm til maybe 1:20 (a little after the total coverage). The folks at the tattoo parlor next door were also camped out on their deck right in front of us. 

This is me geeking out over totality! It got so dark we could see 1 star (probably a planet) and the temperature dropped noticeably and the cicadas went nuts.

They made a big deal out of it at Amelie's school, too. We sent her with a beach towel, water bottle, and sunscreen on. She said all the kids were yelling and running around during the minute they could take their glasses off and see the corona. We banged on pots and pans like traditionalists, but some folks across the street were shooting off fireworks. It was an interesting experience for sure. I'm already planning a trip to the bootheel for the next one!

The city was expecting something like 200,000 visitors! I know that every single hotel room was booked, but I dropped the baby off at 8:15am and picked her up at 3:00pm like normal and didn't see any extra traffic. I think most of them were at lakes/parks/special viewing areas.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

First Day of School

Amelie's first day of 2nd grade was Tuesday, so she's got the first week of school in the books. She's moved up to Unit B (the 2nd/3rd grade classroom) and her teacher is Ms. Malloy (with Mr. Gramke for math). They've got a whole economy going with "B Bucks" and lots of other exciting stuff. All good news so far. She takes the bus both to and from school, and two of her friends are on it as well.

James is in the pre-K room at Ready, Set Learn with Ms. Jen and is enjoying it.

And Leah has started daycare. She's the littlest in the baby room. Right now, it's under-twos, but they're going to do a one-year-old class starting at the end of the month and the (slightly) bigger kids will move out and some 7-month-old twins will move in, but I guess that still means she'll be the youngest. She's doing really well, though I guess that at 5 months she's really too little for stranger anxiety yet. They're using our cloth diapers (which is a big money-saving plus) and she's taking between 6-9 ounces of breastmilk over 2-3 small bottles each day without a fuss, which is also a big plus. The big minus is that she was sleeping through the night, and she's been taking 2 long naps at daycare and waking up at night. Here are some pictures of her at 5 months old wearing her purple polka-dot dress:

She's got a snotty cold of course - they start daycare and then immediately get sick for the first time!

Sunday, August 20, 2017


Leah likes exercising in her exersaucer.

Look at those chubby cheeks!!


I suppose our definition of "exercise" is pretty loose.

This is Amelie at 5 months in the same thing - except we had to put books underneath so that she could touch the bottom:

And James (also at 5 months):

I'd say I've gotten my $15 worth out of it (since I bought it used on Craig's List). I think the only disadvantage of this type over the new kind they have is that ours is enormous!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Amelie Says / James Says

We were discussing how long ago The Karate Kid came out.
Amelie to Sam: You're 35? I thought you were 24!
James: I thought you were 100!

James found some game cube controllers in the DVD drawer and he wanted to play a game he found. I said we didn't have the game cube to plug them into and he hold them up high overhead and says, "You just plug them into the TV. Look, they have pluggers!" Long story short, now he and Amelie are playing the Wii.

Amelie informed me that Leah is at "the first stage of crawlation," meaning she can get up on hands and knees.

Amelie also used the word "antidote" unprompted while we were watching one of the Harry Potter movies.

Leah pinched me while nursing and I exclaimed, "Ouch!" Amelie very patiently explained to me that Leah was just learning to grab things, and sometimes her grab turns into a pinch, and she's just practicing her skills.

I was combing James's hair yesterday and he said, "You're messing up my curly hair! You're making it all flat!!"

This morning, he informed me that Yadier Molina and Baby Leah have the same sound in their names, except  he said Yadier Mo-WEE-na and Baby WEE-ah, emphasizing the "WEE" very clearly :P

Updated to add: Just now, Amelie had a scratch that was bleeding on her arm. I accidentally tore the band-aid as I was putting it on, and I apologized. Amelie says: "I've had worse."

Sunday, August 6, 2017

St Louis Mini Trip

We spent the night in St. Louis on the way back from the Bootheel and did some fun activities like go to the arch, swim in the hotel pool, eat a huge breakfast at the hotel, and go to the zoo.

They're doing some construction in and around the arch for a new museum.

Another nice tourist asked if we'd all like our photo together when he saw me taking a shot of just the kids.

Too bad my eyes are closed!

James took this one for us:

We got tickets to go up in the arch, but the line was so long by the time we were at the top it was dark. It was neat for the first minute and then I got kind of claustrophobic, so we went right back down on the egg-like elevator. The last time I went, I was in college and it was during the day - there was a lot more room to walk around and look out the windows. The kids enjoyed it, though :) Leah slept mostly in the ring sling (we didn't have to pay for a ticket for her). 

Back at the hotel room. The hotel seemed completely full (maybe due to the Cardinal's game) so I was glad that they had a pack-and-play for Leah since she would definitely roll off the bed. The first time we stayed at a hotel with Amelie, we reserved the crib online and then when we got to the hotel there were no cribs (she didn't roll off the bed, though).

Almost all of my pictures are from the zoo. It was so nice the zoo parking lot was full, so we parked a little farther away (for free) and walked through a park with big concrete turtle and snake statues that the kids could climb on.

Leah lost her hat about halfway into the trip after using it as a chew toy. Thanks to Shauna for the loan of the umbrella stroller with a shade! It was Leah's first time riding in it and she slept most of the time.

The reptile house has been one of Amelie's favorite parts of the zoo since the first time we went.

I forget what they're looking at.

The tiger came out to entertain us while we were waiting on the train. He rolled around scratching his back on the grass and made some interesting noises.

We took the train to the children's zoo:

I wonder what Amelie did that was so offensive - see that look James is giving her?

Wikipedia tells me the children's zoo opened in 1969 - I wonder if this hippo statue has been up since then? I know there's a picture of me as a kid in its mouth.

James is somewhat taller than a river otter and somewhat shorter than a pygmy goat. (I am a tad shorter than a llama, according to this chart - I should have had Sam take my picture!)

Amelie spent a lot of time watching the otters play, and both kids brushed the pygmy goats.

Not so interested in taking photos.

Brushing the goats:

Riding the carousel:
The new polar bear came out while we were on the carousel so we got to see him briefly. The line was too long to see the penguins, though.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Bootheel Trip

We finally made it to the Bootheel to meet baby Levi and introduce Leah to my grandma and the rest of our family down there.

Here's Leah (4 months old) meeting Grandma Doris.

This picture is my favorite:

They are exactly one month apart, but approximately the same size. They are second cousins :) (That's what I thought, but I googled and Better Homes and Gardens confirmed it.) Leah doesn't look too happy in this picture:

And Levi is slightly suspicious (and blurry) in this one:

We went to Lambert's and James raised his hand for a roll every time they came by. He wound up with a pile of 3 plus one on the floor.

Leah and my uncle Jeff:

She liked grabbing his beard.

My favorite part was the porch swing. The weather was beautiful the whole time we were down.

My camera is broken (and I've pretty much only been using the cell phone anyway), but I should get it fixed for our next visit (probably Thanksgiving).

Leah is not nearly the good car-rider that her big siblings were. She slept a good amount, but if she wasn't sleeping, she was crying. We stayed the night in St. Louis on the way back home to break up the trip and did some activities there. I'll post those separately tomorrow.

Special thanks to Aunt Lana for half of these photos! I know I didn't take enough - and it looks like we left Amelie at home. Ha!