Baby Boy Oliver

Warning, the following pictures contain images that may affect younger viewers. Viewer Discretion is advised. O.k. so not really just a few more pictures of our lovely baby boy. We are so excited to be having a little boy join our family!

The Gauntlet

So my sister in law Christy is due to have a baby boy a couple of weeks before I am and the challenge was set forth to post a belly picture, in a I'll do it if you do it type manner. So here is it Christy, I'm expecting one of you to appear soon on your blog!

Easter Weekend

We had lots of fun over Easter. Mitch got Thursday through Monday off because Marquette is a Catholic/Jesuit school so we had him the whole weekend which was wonderful. Thursday and Friday were great weather so we got out as much as we could into the sunshine, we rode our bikes down to Jacobus Park and played there for a long time which Addie loved of course. When we got back we worked on some garden stuff and hid some eggs around our house while Addie was still outside. We were really talking up eggs before she came in the house so that she would maybe get the idea of hunting for eggs. Addie actually has a fascination with eggs, because I use them to cook, and Mitch and I eat them, but she can't eat them or touch them when I'm cooking so, I think she has an "I want what I can't have" dilemma going on.
Well it didn't take her long at all after we let her loose to realize she was on a mission to find eggs, and not ordinary plain white eggs like momma uses but colored eggs that had candy inside. Once she found the last egg she cracked it open and proceeded to try to open the chocolate eggs inside. Mitch and I just let her work at it for a bit, and eventually she got the wrapper off, in tiny pieces.
On Saturday it was rainy which put a damper on putting Buggie in her cute, white Easter dress for pictures outside and at the bigger Easter Egg Hunt, but I've reconciled myself to taking pictures when more flowers come up. Addie like looking for the eggs again and putting them in her basket, but she did not want to get near the Easter Bunny at all. She has the same issue with Santa at Christmas, hopefully she gets over her holiday character phobia soon.
Sunday morning Addie woke up at 5:30 which made it a little hard for me to occupy her while Mitch slept in. The Easter Bunny had come the night before so she couldn't go into the front room, so she was confined to her room and the kitchen until 7:00 when Mitch woke up. Besides the Easter Bunny gifts she got some books and new church shoes from Mitch and I, a cute pink tutu and crown from Grandma and Grandpa Christiansen, and some new plates and a bowl from Aunt Heather, Uncle B.J. and Cousin Tristan.
We've really enjoyed reading her all the books, and she has loved the recorder, the tutu, the "Elmo" plate which is the one she requests every time we eat and the watering can which she uses to help momma water our little plants.
Our Easter weekend was put over the edge by listening to conference and by sharing some time with friends over an Easter meal. Our family was definitely fed both in body and spirit.

Just Plain Cute

We got a package in the mail a few days ago that had a tiny item in it that I had ordered and 3/4 or more of that box was filled with Styrofoam packing peanuts. Addie of course was curious and after scrunching a few she decided she would like to climb into the box. She sat there and ripped apart the peanuts, then started putting them on her head, where they stuck because of the static. Our little peanut.

The other night we had put Addie to bed and a few hours later I checked on her before I went to bed. This is what I saw when I opened the door.

The pictures are a little dark, but in the second one you can see how far she traveled. She rolled off of her toddler bed, onto the second mattress, onto the floor and across to the crib, and the part I love, she took her Ducky on the whole trip!

Spring Break 2010

Mitch got a whole week off for spring break this year so we decided to go down to Chicago and see a few sights. We had heard of a museum where you could go into a coal mine which we thought sounded pretty cool so our first stop was the Museum of Science and Industry that's right along Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago. We planned on only staying a few hours but it was sooo big and had so many exhibits that we ended up staying most of the day there. We saw an exhibit on genetics and how it affects different variations in each individual, and we walked through gallery filled with transportation history, including engine number 999 which set a record as the fastest steam locomotive, and the Spirit of St. Louis which set a land record at the salt flats in Utah. We walked through an exhibit that talked about agriculture and why it is so important to our nation. It was sponsored by John Deere so they had a big tractor and a combine. Mitch and I had a little learning moment as we had always thought it was "columbine" and not combine. There was an exhibit on energy, on technology, and the future of the oil industry. We also saw the most accurate and to scale fairy castle every made, it included in it's collection some of the smallest artifacts ever found in Greece and Rome and was full of fanciful things like a cradle rocking in one of the trees outside. Addie mostly just liked to run around and look at everything as fast as she could.
The highlight was of course going into coal mine. The electric lift was actually used in a 1930's coal mine in south Illinois although some modifications have been made to the elevator, like it now has steel sides so that you don't get a chink of elbow taken off as you go down the shaft. We didn't get to wear helmets with lamps, but it was fun none the less. They turned on some of the machines that they use and it was deafening just for the few seconds that they had it on, no wonder people lost there hearing. We got to see a long arm mine as well which is a machine that cuts horizontally and vertically along a wall while simultaneously holding up the roof of the mine. The one drawback I saw of this was that all the equipment they use to hold up the roof, which is a lot of mechanical arms is jut left in the shaft after they dig it, so all that waste is just left in the ground! Mitch had been in a coal mine before but, he has been reading a lot about energy especially coal and oil and the usage of it so he had a lot to say on the subject of misappropriation of resources as we walked through.
Our next stop was the Garfield Conservatory which is over a hundred years old. It has several plant houses including a tropical room, flower room, arid room and a show room. It was filled with some awesome greenery while we were there. One of the palm trees was started from a seed when the conservatory first opened and is one of the biggest of it's kind still living in a conservatory. Get this though, the seed of the double palm weighs over 50 pounds! No wonder they have a hard time getting it to grow! Addie loved splashing in the puddles that were all over on the floor and Mitch and I liked reading about all the plants.
We also had a guest on this trip. Flat Stanley came to visit from Colorado in an envelope, can you imagine squeezing yourself and all of your luggage into a letter sized envelope? Well he did and we introduced him to Wisconsin and he got to come to Illinois with us. Our nephew Jacob sent Flat Stanley to us so that Stan could learn a little bit about Wisconsin and then return to Jacob's class to tell the tale. Flat Stanley did everything with us and became part of the family as we showed him around.
We came home the next day after getting to go to the Chicago Temple. We also took Addie to the Betty Brinn Children's Museum which she loved. I think she just loved that there were so many things to do. A sandbox, a lawnmower, slides, a house with pots to bang on, faux plants to garden and that's only the toddler section!
It was really great to have Mitch home and to not have him studying for boards the whole time. I actually felt like a family again and Addie loved having Papa around.It was a great spring break for all of us.

Bean Box and Bags

Over spring break ( pictures to come) we took Addie to the Betty Brinn Kid's Museum and she loved playing in the sandbox so as we were driving home Mitch told me about his brother Matt and how he had made a bean box for his boys to play in and it sounded like a great idea to me. It's a fun activity for Addie to do indoors and it's not as messy as sand, which is great. We decided to institute the "bean box" right away but the only container that we had to use that was deep enough for her to sit in and not as easy to get the beans outside of the box, was our cooler.

Well the cooler remained the bean box until I got a bigger plastic tub to put them in. This one gave Addie a little more leg room and a lot more playing area to dump, scoop and bury to her hearts content.The rule we made for the "bean box" is that there are no beans that go outside the box, if beans go outside of the box Addie gets a warning, and if she does it again then the bean box goes away for awhile. Addie does really well with this rule and usually before I even get it out or mention it she says "no bean" and waves her little index finger back and forth, indicating that she knows the rule of no beans outside the box. I actually read this great article about using "instead" phrases to replace the usage of "no" and Mitch and I have been trying to apply it and I can already see the affects. Although there are still times when we say "no" like when she wants to cross the street or something that might hurt her, but we try to give her an instead sentence that tells her what she can do which is more positive. For example if she is coloring and starts to color on the table I would say something like, "Addie, instead of coloring on the table let's color on this page." I think it's an amazing technique and I don't feel so awful saying "no" all the time. Anyways that was a little tangent. On we go.

Lucy Loveday a friend of mine out here in Wisconsin had me over a few weeks ago to show me how to make these cute reversible bags. I was so excited for her to teach me because I had been wanting to make bags to use as grocery sacks because I hate collecting the plastic ones in droves! Anyways,so she taught me using a simple pattern and voila, seven grocery bags. I just completed them this week so I haven't had a chance to use all of them in one go yet, but I took two shopping on Monday and they held tons more stuff and heavy things too, like two pineapples in one! and at our grocers there is a discount for bringing your own bags, BONUS!During the week I've used them as library bags and as a little tote when Addie and I go to the park, I can tie it right to my bike. Anyways, thanks to Lucy for such a versatile bag.