Thursday, October 29, 2009

The connected family

It started with a phone line. Then it became the cordless phone, the cellphone. Then came the dial-up connection to the Internet, a DSL line (or Cable), Satellite or Fiber. Personal Computers, then desktops, notebooks and netbooks. Now everything is converging. We schedule our TV recordings using the smartphone from our favorite Java cafe, we connect with our friends 1000s of miles away via Facebook for Blackberry while checking prices in the dairy isle at the local grocery store. We sent a quick email to work before going to bed... The Internet is everywhere now and the use of it has evolved in strides previously unthinkable.

How are we ever going to explain to our children (those born after 2005) that there was a time that mail involved paper, pens, envelopes, stamps and - in case of US to Europe relations - at least a week of transit time? They will simply look at us with unbelieving eyes while blind-video-texting their friends on whatever device will be the rave in 2015.

Since the connectivity-train has gone from the commuter slow-poke to the Hi-Speed, 200mph+ comfort wagon I'm not even going to guess what the next 10 years have in store... I just hope we can somehow keep up and a little ahead of our children so us parents can at least pretend to know what our kids are doing and have access to.

P.S.: Both Jen and me now have Blackberry's. Can't believe how attached we already are to them. Hasn't even been 2 weeks... yaiks!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Picture of the Week: Week 46

This was taken at the annual Hauefgloeckner Harvest Party.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Big Day!

Today is a BIG day in the de Jong home. Daniel took his first step today (and his second, third, fourth and fifth!). I didn't get a picture or video of the exact moment, but from the way he's getting more sturdy, I think we'll have plenty more opportunities.

Here's a cute picture I took earlier today. One of my mommy friends gave Daniel a big bag full of PJs (size 12-24 month!). This pair is my favorite. The top has a moose on it!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bumble Boy

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Every since Daniel was two months old, I've been pumping 7 times a day to provide milk for him. I've struggled with my supply for most of that time, but with meds, I got to the point where I was able to pump more than Daniel needed. My goal all along was to be able to provide Daniel with milk for the first year of his life. A few weeks ago, I realized that we had enough milk in our chest freezer to do just that and that I could wean.

Last Sunday, I started the process by eliminating pumping sessions. I track how much milk I make on a chart (of course). After so many months of striving for 40-45 oz/day, it's hard to change gears. This week, I stopped the meds I was taking to aid production and my supply drastically went down. I'm down to two pumps a day, and only getting between 10-12 oz/day. Monday I'll go to one pump a day and I'm pretty sure that by next weekend I'll be done.

I'm surprised by the emotions I'm feeling. On one hand, I'm pretty proud of myself. I had just about every complication possible when it comes to providing milk for my son, but I stuck it out and made my goal. He had maybe 4 oz of formula total, from his first week in the hospital when I was out of commission. (Not that formula is poison or anything, but my goal was to give him breast milk). It's been very satisfying to know that I was providing his nourishment--exclusively for the first six months. It was something only I could do for him, and I did it. I'm also proud that my little failure-to-thrive baby is now a very healthy, very hefty boy! My milk did that!

On the other hand, it's a little bittersweet knowing that this baby stage is coming to an end. Niels and I waited a long time to become parents, and it took three tries to have a little one to hold in our arms. We love Daniel so much! One advantage of having children in your 30s is that you can throw yourself into parenthood with your whole being. I thoroughly enjoyed my 20s. I had a great career, a beautiful home, I traveled, I wrote a book...basically, I accomplished all my life goals except the ones that included a family. I love that I get to stay home with Daniel. Even if my brain let me work, there is nothing I'd rather do than devote this period of my life to my son. What is a couple years in the span of a lifetime? It's an utterly joyful time for Niels and I and we love spending all our time with our son. Each day is a new discovery for him and we love that we are the ones that get to see Daniel reach each milestone.

We don't know if we'll have another child, so as I dump the pump, I wonder if I'm ending my last opportunity to fully nourish and provide for a child. I'm having a hard time putting my words together exactly, but I know that as much as I'll enjoy moving into the next season of having a mobile toddler, I will miss this sweet, sleep-deprived, attention-demanding, fully-dependent-on-mommy baby stage. Weaning feels like the final chapter in babyhood and I'm going to miss having a baby.

Big Foot

We've been having a hard time finding shoes to fit Daniel. We've been told that most kids his age wear a size 3 or 4. We picked up a few pair at the various kid sales we've gone to in the last year, but none have really fit right. Like a lot of kids, he curls his toes when you try to put his shoes on, so the only pair we have been able to use lately is a pair of sandals. Not really the best option for fall.

Today we went to Stride Right (a kids shoe store) and had his feet measured. Daniel wears a size 5-1/2 extra wide!!! No wonder we were having trouble! He has feet the size of two-year-old! They only had 3 pairs of shoes in his size, and the only ones we liked were $60! No thanks! They also had Robeez, which are soft-soled shoes, for $30, but they only had one boys style in his size (18-24 month!) and we weren't really fans of the alien shoes. We'd like to get a pair like this. We'll keep looking. In the meantime, we found a hard soled pair that will cover his feet at Payless for $20. The Robeez are better for new walkers, which he will soon be, so we will need to get a pair of those soon. But the Payless ones will at least keep his toes warm as the temperature drops outside!

Friday, October 16, 2009

ready for winter

A local second hand children's store is going out of business. Jen went searching for shoes (tale for another post) and found this cute Minnesota-esque hat. Pretty cute, eh?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Grampa Elmer's Visit

Grampa Elmer came to visit last weekend (Carole too!). We put him to work on our yard and we are very grateful for the long day he put in! Here he is showing up his grandson, and his Christmas present--a tie with a picture of him and Daniel. (Daniel gave it to him early)

he's a keeper

random cuteness at week 44

Monday, October 12, 2009

+/- 25 Things About Being 10 Months Old

by Daniel, with help from Mommy
  1. I'm still a chunker. I'm now just under 24 pounds!
  2. I am about 31" long. (I was 30 inches at my doctor appointment last month. That's the 90th percentile! I think I'm going to get Opa's height!)
  3. I'm wearing 12 month and even some 18 month onesies and shirts! I have a long torso.
  4. I'm wearing 9 month pants. I have an average legs.
  5. I've been having fun watching Viking games with Mommy and Daddy in my new Viking clothes. Thank you Aunties Carisa and Steph!
  6. I'm using up the last of my size 3 diapers and moving to size 4's this week!
  7. No new teeth this month, but I'm cutting all four of my top middle teeth. I sure hope they break though soon. My nose has been running all month and Mommy says she can't seem to catch it!
  8. I'm now an expert cruiser. My favorite thing to do is to walk around my living room. Bailey doesn't like it so much. She thinks I'm out to get her!
  9. I have a new fun toy: a walker! One side has lots of fun things to play with. The other side is straight with a handle. I love to walk it across the room!
  10. I also love to play with Daddy's belt and badge. I like to stick the belt in my mouth. I forget that it's not good to stick it in too far. Daddy's badge is lots of fun because it has a little cord I can pull.
  11. I LOVE cords. But Mommy and Daddy NEVER let me play with them. I sure try, though!
  12. My favorite foods continue to be cheese and yogurt.
  13. I have a new nickname: Dairy King. I love dairy.
  14. Another new nickname is vogeltje or "little bird." When I see Mommy or Daddy eating something and they aren't sharing (yet!), I open my mouth real wide and make a cute little noise to get their attention. I like to try new things!
  15. My other new nickname is Raspel Flatts. I've been a little raspy as I teeth.
  16. I've tried lots of new foods this month: frozen peas (thawed out ones are yummy), pasta, egg yolk, blueberries, bagel, mango, olives, rutabaga, corn, tortellini. I like it all!
  17. A typical day's food diary is this: oatmeal for breakfast, mixed with pear juice and applesauce. For lunch I have a variety of veggies (peas, corn, rutabaga, olives, carrots) and string cheese. I eat it all by myself! I usually get a snack of a graham cracker or rusk after my afternoon nap. For dinner, I get some veggies again while Mommy makes dinner and then I get some of their yummy food.
  18. Mommy went to a mommies group a few days ago and shared her food with me. I ate almost her whole lunch!
  19. We didn't do any travel this month!
  20. We retired the exersaucer. I don't like to be constrained!
  21. The jumperoo is next to go. Mommy puts me in it when she pumps. She just started weaning last week so it will go soon.
  22. My parents have left me a few times this month. On the 13th, they went to the Viking/Browns game. I had a fun day with the Lipfords. I even shared my toys with their boys, James and Winston.
  23. They also left me to go see the Indians play. They had box seats. I got to play with Mr. & Mrs. Plank's cute girl, Hadley.
  24. I'm sleeping much better at night. I've even slept the whole night a few times without hanging out with Daddy.
  25. No more middle-of-the-night bottle for me. Dr. Hood says I'm growing up just right and don't need the extra milk anymore.
  26. I'm really good at taking my naps in my crib now. The secret is putting all 7 of my pacifiers in there with me. I sleep better knowing they are all there for me. Since I only get my paci when I go to bed, it's a special occasion.
  27. The big news of the month is that I have said 4 words! One in Dutch, hebben (want), and three in English: Mama, Dada and hi.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

From Bush to Garden

We finally undertook a project almost two years on our wish-list: transforming the weed bush in front of and on the sides of our house. It took a truck, 4 guys, 2 gals and a baby. Combine that with a yard of top-soil, 2 bales of peat-moss, 2 yards of mulch, Preen, garden liner, a tiller and a weed eater and we have something that can stand-up to the 'garden' label.

Here are few highlights, the rest of the pictures will be on a facebook album (viewable to everyone) once that site cooperates and lets us actually upload some pictures.
Before shot...

After-shot... a bit better, eh? ;-)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bragging on Daniel

This morning, Niels and I were at the bank to check into refinancing our home. The loan officer has 3 boys and was asking about Daniel's milestones. We told him that he was just starting to say some words. I had Daniel in my lap, so I looked down at him and asked, "Can you say Dada?" He looked up at clearly said, "Da Da." He's said words before (including Dada), but never completely by itself like that. All three of us were shocked. That's my big boy!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Daniel walks (sort of...)

Breaking news: The condo is sold !

After 38 months our condo finally sold. Don't get us started on the process, but the saga is finally coming to an end. More info to follow...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Picture of the Week: Week 43

Most days, Daniel and I hang out at home. Rather than getting him all dressed up, I'll put him in a fun onesie with some jeans or pants. Well, our growing boy is growing out of all his onesies. Depending on the brand, he wears either a 12 month or 18 month! Sadly, they don't make a lot of cute onesies in that size.

Last week, I was out doing some Christmas shopping (halfway done!) and discovered a new store. They had a ton of cute onesies in the larger sizes so Daniel has some new additions to his wardrobe. This week's picture is an example: I wasn't born yesterday!

And he sure wasn't. Every day is something new. A new milestone. A new word - dada! A new food to try. Our little boy is growing up fast. He'll be 10 months on Friday. Sometimes I miss yesterday.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Daniel hopes his reaction to tonight's game is...

Tonight is the biggest game in Viking/Packer history. Packer legend Brett Favre now plays for the Minnesota Vikings. All eyes are on the Metrodome tonight for Monday Night Football, featuring Brett's first game against the Packers. Daniel showed his support by wearing this onesie from Auntie Carisa. Sadly, it will be the only wearing as our child is moving into 18 month onesies and this one is a 12 month--big boy!) We're hoping he'll be sound asleep by kickoff!
Update: Daniel was indeed asleep before kick-off so Mommy and Daddy could cheer as loud as they wanted and were given ample reason for it by the Vikes: 23-30 Vikes win, 8 sacks on Rodgers, 4.5 of them by Jared Allen. What a game!