Sunday, May 31, 2009

More tales from the road.

Dani says, "Books are yummy!" Look at that face--it's like "baby caught in headlights".

Some random things that happened during our trip:

I couldn't find the Harley Barn in Effingham, IL which you can see from Interstate 57, but is hidden when you get off the exit, so we stopped at a gas station and I asked a biker for directions. He offered to escort us there. It was like the beginning of a Rob Zombie movie, where I was kind of wondering if he was going to make us dig our own graves before he killed us, but he actually just escorted us there. As you can see, it really looks like a barn:We learned that Dani does not (so far) have a nut allergy. At Cafe Allegro, Big Man let her have a finger of frosting from his torte. Marie then asked whether Dani was allergic to nuts as the frosting was made with almond extract.......oops. But, no reaction. Fortunately it was not baby's first trip to the ER.

Dani almost figured out waving bye bye, and is making progress crawling--her legs get it, but her arms give out, she ends up face planting! She can, however, make it across a room on her back, by making neck bridges and pushing herself forward with her legs.

A short video from today's tummy time:

Saturday, May 30, 2009

One of my pet peeves.

Some thoughts about our vacation.

Our road trip was pretty good, great to see everyone, but the means of transportation and the frequency of venue changes certainly could have been improved upon. For example, I kept telling Big Man not to let Dani actually touch the hotel comforter. I've seen plenty of 20/20 episodes and have learned that those spreads are covered with spermy badness. Yet, we let our drooly 5 month old have some tummy time:

Dani may be the only child who does not sleep in the car. Some parents put their kids in the car to make them sleep--not our kid! Big Man kept telling her that all babies sleep in cars and she should do the same, but to no avail. The only time she slept was from 9pm on, on the ride home in the car. Other than that, it was just catnaps for about 30 minutes, every few hours. But, the one weird thing is that she won't sleep in anywhere but a crib or bed setting (since about 4 months). That means no falling asleep while being held, etc...............both a blessing and a curse.

We will never take another road trip without a minivan. There, I said it. All my earlier hopes that I would be a cool mommy driving a station wagon or crossover are dashed. We are, at some point when the pimpin' caddy dies or needs a new repair job, going to get a minivan. And, I will test how well I can sleep in the back to decide which one I want. It was pretty uncomfy trying to sleep in the back of the LeSabre--despite the huge pillow and numerous blankets I had with me. I will definitely find a mommy-friendly setup next time.

More vacation pics.

Lazy post today (just for you Dad so you can see some new pics)

More Superman!
Cousin Justin:
Harley shirt:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

More family fun.

Grandma and Grandpa:

Today's our last day. Dani had so much fun with our family!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

B and Chang's Excellent Adventure.

I went to Lincoln Park yesterday with Big Man and Dani to see Chang. After a brief visit, Big Man and Dani left me at Chang's for the day.
It was so great to see him--he's one of my closest friends, and it had been way too long--almost 2 years! One of those friends that when you see them, it is like no time has elapsed since you saw them last. Chang rules.

We went out to lunch, and to the Lincoln Park zoo, which is right across the street from his place, then out for super yummy Thai food for dinner. Let's just say it was an interesting day at the zoo. The lions were a little frisky:

Yep. Bounp-chicka-boump-boum.

Actual conversation that occurred after the aforementioned lion romp. Little boy was about 5 years old.

Kid: Mommy, why did the lion do that?

Mother: Because he's a naughty boy.

Fun times at the zoo.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Listen up, restaurants.

Dani is happy to see Uncle Ronnie! (Now, I will rant.)

Hey, McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's and various other restaurants, rest stops, etc., throughout the nation, how hard would it be to have a baby changing station in your bathrooms? And if you do have one, would it be hard to keep it somewhat clean? Well, I'd settle for a dirty one. We just took a road trip, and it's not done. We left from Amsterdam, NY, to Buffalo, NY, through Canada, to Grand Rapids, MI, to Chicago, to Metropolis, IL and back to Chicago.

Not so fun to try to change your baby in many, many places.

Hey Wendy's in Mt. Vernon IL? I changed my baby on a bench in the middle of your very busy restaurant. She had just eaten, and so had we, and we had no choice. Hope you didn't mind that my baby's ass was where your patrons were going to be sitting. Maybe that would have compelled you to install a changing table. You too, McDonalds-Love's along Route 57 in southern IL. An entire truckstop designed for travelers and no changing table? You even had showers! Hope you didn't mind my baby's ass on your bench either. Oh yeah, Love's, would it kill you to offer magazines? You had NONE; and you had two book displays, "war stories" and "Louis L'Amour". Thanks for nothing. No magazines or books at the big BP gas station store in Metropolis, IL either. Maybe people in southern Illinois can't read. I think that is the only reasonable conclusion since I couldn't find anything to buy to read. But I digress. At the Wendy's in Mt. Vernon, IL, there were 3 little babies there when Dani was--surely my kid can't have been the first who needed a diaper change?? (I must confess that it was the most efficient Wendy's I've ever been to, service wise. My local one could take a lesson from them.)

A big shout out to Meijer's--changing tables in men's and women's restrooms at every location we saw!!! Also, Burger King seems to be pretty family friendly as well, if only for the free crowns (they were pretty good with the changing tables).

But, those nice folks in Canada--Tim Horton's takes the cake--changing tables with the liners! Only place I was able to use the throw away liners! Awesome! (Fully anticipating that American rest stops would never bother to refill--I pilfered about 3 from good ol' Tim's, and it made the trip bearable. Thanks Tim Hortons!

So, Metropolis, where they actually have a huge Superman statue. Even the police officers have Superman on their uniform. They have a casino too--which I did not visit. I did, however, inform Big Man that during our next visit we would be staying there..

So, we were Metropolis, IL, the home of Superman. Dani had fun checking out the huge statue. I got to meet a ton of folks in Wes' family. It's just been so much driving. I'm so tired of driving.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Road Trip!

Someone looking over the carseat:

We got on the road Wednesday morning. Headed to Buffalo--stopped at Cafe Allegro, owned by my pals Marie and Bryan--awesome place if you're ever in Buffalo 1374 Hertel Avenue. Then, after a great visit, we headed to Matt and Michelle's for the night.

At the cafe:

We made it back into the US:

Up early and headed through Canada to Grand Rapids to see Mason, Shannon and family. What fun. Beautiful weather, great chow, and great friends.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Guest post III, by Dani

I made a new friend today. One of the cats isn't so afraid of me anymore. She let me touch her for just a second, and she kept coming on the couch right near me so mommy could pet her. I love kitties.

Gearing up for Dani's first road trip.

I spent most of the day getting things together for our big road trip. It's daunting to pack for a baby--don't know what the weather will be like, or whether we will be doing laundry, so have to prepare for every possibility. Good news is they make lots of baby disposables--throw away bibs, burp cloths, etc. All the hard work made Dani tired:

She's really beginning to enjoy her interactive toys. This morning we played with the singing dog.

Oh yeah, we got an offer on our house today. Delusional purchaser put "replace slate roof" in the contract. Obviously, I deleted that requirement and sent it back to the buyer as a counter. It's full price, so hopefully he will realize that the house is a good deal, and I'm not desperate to sell. Hopefully it comes back to us signed...keeping my fingers crossed that this buyer is the one!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tigger = Dani's best friend.

A shout out to Marissa's Dad, from (a site dedicated to infantile spasms awareness)... They were giving away toys, so I got a couple for the kid (and one Capt. Kirk doll for Big Man), and so to support the cause, I bought a Fairfax bunny too. Dani flipped out over the Tigger. It is seriously the coolest thing to watch a baby get excited--it's whole body flailing excitement.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Things that p*ss me off.

Martha Stewart Living Magazine. I don't know why I subscribe. Well, actually, I do. It was cheap. My theory on magazines, which I read with every free non-internet non-baby moment I have, is that if a year's subscription is under $20, I'll buy it, because that's like $1.75 per month, and even if I get ten minutes out of the magazine, it was worth it. I get about 20 magazines. Hmmm. Let's see if I can name them:
1. Newsweek
2. Real Simple
3. Esquire
4. Martha Stewart Living
5. Parenting
6. Parents
7. Parenting the early years
8. American Baby
9. Working Mother (worst. magazine. ever.)
10. Redbook (once I hit 35 I made the transition from Glamour)
11. Better Homes and Gardens
12. Good Housekeeping
13. Family Circle
14. Star (my guilty pleasure)
15. Various law journals
16. State Legislatures
17. Real Food (I think that's what it is called but it should be called recipes a 9 year old could think up and cook.)
18. & 19. The University of Chicago, Albany Law School, and AOII (shakedown) Magazines, free for life in hopes that you will donate.

There may be some others, but that's all I can think of as I sit here, and I don't really feel like getting up.

But, anyway, Martha Stewart Living. If there were ever a magazine that could make a woman feel wholly inadequate (like a girly magazine but in the opposite, or domestic way) it is this magazine. I don't know a single woman who has the time to do 99% of the things in the magazine. Sure, I appreciate a good recipe as much as the next mom, but using rubber fish forms and paint and rice paper to make art? Alone? Because you have that much time? Who are you? I want to marry you and eat the tasty Martha Stewart recipes and live in the nicely decorated as suggested by Martha home. Please?
Well, reader (Dad) you've been patient and let me yammer, and so now, the reason you are actually here:

Hey Texas--

(sorry Tammy.)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I got pricked.

Don't hurt my mommy!

Today, I went to the allergist to try to figure out why I am always sniffling and sneezing. Wow, it sucked.

30 pricks on my forearms, and then 10 injections in my upper arms. I'm extremely allergic to cats (good thing I have two), dust mites and tree pollens, mildly allergic to dogs and some other stuff. None of this news was a surprise. Got some allergy meds, let's hope they help. The red and swollen = allergic.

I can't believe we are leaving for Chicago next week. I have so much work to do before I go. I'm a little worried about a road trip with a baby and Big Man, but we will see.......let's just say Big Man and I have different traveling styles. I'm the stop at every interesting thing I see type, and Big Man stops for gas. period. Ugh. At least I'm reasonably confident the baby will need frequent stops.
status = not pregnant
better luck in June...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

More Mother's Day pics.

I spent a lot of time taking Dani pics while Big Man slept.

Overall, Mother's big deal.

I'm pretty lucky every day.

Big Man is a loving husband and daddy.

He cooks dinner every night.
Loves me a bunch. Couldn't ask for more. Man, I took one awesome picture of Big Man holding Dani while she stares at his big arms, but, since you can see his face........can't post.....until I reload the "officer friendly" coverup..............until then, more video:

A Mother's Day thought

When I was pregnant, I used to joke that I wasn't worried if I'd be able to handle being a mom because crackheads and teenagers do it all the time and the kids turn out okay. Really, I wasn't worried because I had such a great example in my mom. (love you mom!)

Today, I learned that Dani is a fiend for prunes. Flailing her arms eating them as fast as I will give her spoonfuls. For her sake (and mine) I only gave her 1/2 jar in hopes of avoiding the great diaper blowout of 2009.

Two videos, here. Dani enjoying the heck out of her bouncy bounce:

And, Dani, getting ready for a nap today.

That's all. Off to eat some chocolate or something.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Another first.

Last night, Dani had a bottle around 4:45pm. She went down around 6:30pm, and I didn't wake her to change/feed her around 9:30 like I usually do. I figured if I has to wake up early, so be it, but I wanted to see how long she'd sleep. She went to sleep like this:

(It may be hard to actually spot the baby in the field of dots!)

Around 5:30am I heard movement and went into her room and found this:
(I know, lots of dots!) But yes, baby on tummy! Too sleepy to figure out how to get back over!

Sleepy baby says, help me flip over!
Then, we got up, had a bottle, and had some fun in mommy's bed with Mr. Frog.

Also hit baby's first garage sale today were we got a ton of clothes and toys for $5! Woo hoo!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More video!

Took a couple of videos of Dani tonight. She's already sleeping because Big Man had to clear out so someone could look at our house so she had no afternoon nap; they stayed for about 5 minutes before informing our realtor that our house was "too much work for the money". Honestly? Are they $%*^(& kidding me? We've got it listed for $20k below our appraisal, and we've done a ton to the GD house. Oh well. Someone will buy it. Or not. Until the sellers cancel our purchase contract, we've got to keep it on the market. At this point, I'm wildly indifferent.

I'm posting one vid of Dani. I'm working up the courage to post the second, but I'm singing to her and am feeling a little shy about it...

Golden oldie.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Facebook is retarded.

I spend a bunch of time on facebook, and realize it is a complete waste. THIS really put it in perspective for me:

Nothing to see here, II.

Not so much new here. Big Man is at the tail end of a few days off. Work's been crazy, crazy, crazy and I can barely keep up. Kid, cute as ever.
Smiley, happy people we are.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

All for a good cause.

Fighting Alzheimer's with cuteness:

Today was the Alzheimer's walk! Team Hanson, was in the hizzouse, with mascot Dani leading the way. The weather was beautiful and the event was great. Thanks to all who helped make it a success.

Dani was dressed in purple, the official color of the day.

She was awesome with the crowds, loud music, dogs barking--totally taking after her mommy and liking being in the mix of things!
Dani sticks her tongue out at Alzheimers! Bah!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

An overnight addition.

Big Man came home this morning and asked me if I put a bird's nest on the deck (no). On our
back deck there's a shelf about 5' high, which holds my little radio/cd player we use when we are grilling. Looks like some birds were busy in the past 24 hours! I said we should leave it to see if baby birds arrive. Big Man predicts that if we leave it, we will be dealing with head-level angry mommy birds trying to attack our faces as we walk in the back door. Not too sure what we are going to do with it, but it's here for now. It's amazing when you see them up close how much work must go into them.

Dani and I went to the mall today; I needed to go to the Sprint store. I'm feeling much better today, so the huge list of things I had to do today seemed way less daunting. Any trip out means no sleepers on the kiddo--woo hoo!

It's nice and sunny, and just feels good to take the kid outside. I unpacked all her summer clothes today, in anticipation of the upcoming warm!

Another Dani first today--her first meat (stage 1 turkey in turkey broth). She could not contain her disgust. I snuck in a few bites between the sweet 'taters which she seems to enjoy.
Sweet potato face makes Dani look like the Joker:
Big Man got to sleep during the day, so he's actually up and around for the next few hours! :)