Thursday, January 31, 2013

James is 4 months!

So before the calendar rolls into February - wanted  to post James' 4 month stats.  We went to the doctor on Monday and he weighed in at 15 lbs 7 ounces and measured 26 inches long.  Now for anyone that is paying attention --- this is LESS than what we posted at 3 months.  Not to worry though, our kid is still growing like a weed! However, the 3 mo. weigh-in happened over Christmas on a family scale with my uncle holding James.  I am thinking between the holiday festivities and possibly some wine - we messed up the math?!? Oh well --- :)

The puzzled look you see above now often comes when the camera or cell phone is out...

He does love that Rhino though!

And just a few silly pictures... this hat is finally fitting him.
It was HUGE those first couple of weeks!

See what I mean about the not smiling for the camera?!?

James is battling through his first cold/cough - but other than that, life is good!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ted & Carol celebrate 40 years!

This past weekend we celebrated Ted and Carol's 40th wedding anniversary at Quivey's Grove.
 It was a wonderful evening of delicious food, family time and stories!
Here is the group - first time we have all been together with no kids in a LONG time!
(Thanks to the Stelse family for watching James!)

The four Ellestad brothers

For those of you that haven't been to Quivey's, it is two buildings connected by an underground tunnel.
 Ted and Carol stopped for a smooch on the walk between the bar and the restaurant.

Did I mention that that tunnel also serves as a wine cellar?
 Too bad we didn't have the key :)

We had a nice long and relaxing meal and heard about how Ted and Carol fell in love, got engaged, sweet memories (and funny ones) from their wedding (It was one of the coldest days on record and many guests stayed long into the night to dance since their cars wouldn't start!) and lots more.
 It was a lovely evening - thanks so much for the great night!  

Here's to 40 more happy years :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Just Drummin'

Patrick and James often keep me entertained with silly shows in the evening.  Last week we got a few on video so you can see them too.  You can see how proud he is to be drummin' with Daddy and the smile about mid way through cracks me up. 
Obviously he doesn't know what is coming next, but it is clear he is having fun :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


The Ulrichs came to visit this weekend and the boys got to spend some time together. 
We didn't take any pictures, so I snapped a few as they were getting ready to leave on Sunday. 
They are getting so big!

First picture - they appear to be interested in the four of us making faces at them...

Deer in the headlights...

Whispering about how ridiculous their parents are!
(get used to it boys!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Happy Girl!

 When Mom passed down her Red Saturn to me in 2002 - I also inherited her sesquicentennial license plates. For those of you that I have complained to, you know that I am not a fan of these.

 I know the design doesn't matter but they don't look like Wisconsin plates!
People get confused by the letter and number combo and they are all rusty...

So, my fabulous husband decided to get me new plates for Christmas!
Everyone I have told about this assumes that I got personalized plates... NOPE!
 Just regular old WISCONSIN plates and I love them!

My car looks so great - I can't even believe it :)
Thanks Patrick! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

James - Live!

Now that James is starting to do stuff - I decided I better figure out how to post videos!
This one isn't very exciting, but you can hear some of his noises.
I love his silly eyebrows, his expressions crack me up!

Hope it works!

Monday, January 14, 2013

January Work Weekend

Now  that the holidays are over it was time to re-set the house and organize. We were thrilled to have our wonderful basement complete just before James was born, but never really did anything with all the stuff we moved to make the rec room a reality. 
In addition to the basement project, Patrick had wonderful help from dads, brothers and friends to drywall and hang cabinets in our garage this fall. (Pictures of all of this to come!)

This weekend we managed to put a good dent in our long to-do list and still spend some quality weekend time with James! (You'll notice I did remember to take pictures of him!)

James "helped" a lot this weekend and enjoyed some time in some new toys/ seats that we set up. He is getting so big, I can't even believe it!
Here he is in his new Johnny Jumper wearing Patrick's work goggles!
While he still doesn't quite get the concept of jumping on his own, he loves when you bounce him a little bit and is so happy to "stand". 

On Sunday he also helped me make lunch. This was the first time facing out in the baby bjorn --- I think he liked it, though it has to be a weird feeling floating in and out of the fridge :)

James also watched me make banana bread!

And we set up his high chair.  Not quite ready for food, though since he is such a fan of being upright, we thought he could join us at the table for meals.

Finally, enjoying a little time with Daddy on the i-pad.

Feeling very accomplished - but the weekends always go too fast,
especially when you have this sweet face waiting for you!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

NYE - baby style!

So given that life is a little different than it was last January (2012 NYE = Karaoke, drinking games and odd bottles of liquor from foreign countries! ) we planned to spend this NYE with Andy, Beth and Johnny. Given that Johnny is just a few weeks older than James and we love spending time with our little families together - we were thrilled to drive down to Chicago to ring in the new year.

We met at Bubba Gumps (Navy Pier) for lunch.  I have been talking about their peel and eat shrimp ever since we saw the restaurant in the Cancun airport last February. I considered getting a pound of shrimp to take on the plane that day, but I didn't figure anyone would believe that I was "craving" it  since I was only about 9 week along and not exactly showing. So we decided to plan a trip to a Bubba Gumps in the states after we got back.

But, between Ironman training, pregnancy stuff and busy schedules we haven't been back down to Chicago to go. So - NYE it was!
Thankfully the shrimp lived up to the hype :)

We spent the rest of the day hanging out at Andy and Beth's new apartment and the food just got better and better as the day went on!

Andy and Beth really know how to cook - and isn't their kitchen great?!?

We had a delicious meal from the most recent Barefoot Contessa cookbook - Meatloaf with garlic sauce, Truffle Mashed Potatoes and carrots and parsips with an orange glaze. 
It was fabulous!

One group shot as we toasted the new year --- we even made it past midnight!

And of course a few baby shots --- the boys had their Badger jerseys on again, though sadly it did not help the Rose Bowl efforts!

Patrick hanging out with Johnny

Patrick and Andy enjoy having the boys "baby fight"
This mostly just consists of putting their faces close together until one of them gets fussy --- I believe James "lost" this round!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mifflin Girls brunch

While in Milwaukee we were able to get together for brunch with some of my Mifflin roommates. The group continues to grow and we had lots to celebrate - new babies, weddings, out of town friends, etc.

 Julie found a great spot called Cafe Centraal that easily accomodated roommates, husbands and babies alike. 
Here are the girls and kids that were able to come. Julie (Ben - 1 yr) Susan, Alison, Tricia (Parker - 6 yrs) Heather and Jenn (James - 3 months)

James got passed around a bit and was happy - but apparently was not in a picture taking mood.

Notice the wardrobe change and Parker in the background who is less than pleased that Tricia is holding James!

Ben was much more cooporative and smiley!

 ... no matter who was holding him :)

We had a great time and the food was amazing! Really delicious bloody mary's with bacon - plus Patrick got a stack of pancakes layered with a cheesy beer sauce, bacon, and eggs and topped with whipped cream. Sounds odd - but it was fabulous!
Here is the link to their webpage - other than the fact that they did not have a baby changing table (which would have come in handy with that whole wardrobe change... I highly recommend it.

Monday, January 7, 2013

James is 3 months!

Our little man hit 3 months just before Christmas and WOW - is he getting big!

With the help of Uncle Mark (one of the few people willing to get on a scale after Christmas dinner) we determined that James is now 15 lbs 12 oz and approx 25 inches long.
James loves to "stand" on your legs, though he still isn't a big fan of tummy time or being propped up on his arms. At this rate, we joke he will walk before he can crawl!

Here are a few other funny photos!

You  can really see his orange hair in this picture!

This one cracks me up --- what a pose (or more accurate, what luck that the camera caught this quick movement and smile as James wiggled to get off his tummy!)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Swenson Christmas

We celebrated Christmas at the Swenson's the weekend before New Years. It was a nice relaxing weekend and helped spread out the holiday festivities! 
James was super excited about his stocking!
Santa must have had a longer list this year - he didn't make it to Mequon until Saturday afternoon during nap time. His bells actually woke Thomas up - you should have seen the look on his face, I have never seen that kid wake up so fast and so happy in his entire life!

Josiah wasn' too sure about the big guy --- so Lisa got to be in the picture too!
You'll notice James is in his hot box attire again - no pants!

Everyone seemed to get what they wanted to Christmas --- young and old!
Family photo

James got to spend lots of time with everyone - here he is doing "James-ups" with Aunt Lisa.

All smiles for Daddy --- I love how he holds his little hands together :)

This is from Christmas dinner at Mark and Karen's but still needed to include it. Every year we get  poppers and we eat our Christmas dinner with our paper crowns. James got one too!
It has been a Swenson family tradition to go to Maggiano's over the Christmas holiday - where we belly up to the table and eat our way through a 5-course family style meal. It is DELICIOUS! This year, we thought it might be better for everyone's sanity (including the Maggiano's staff) if we stayed home.  We did a pretty great job recreating our favorite dishes - especially Lisa's mozzarella sticks!

After dinner the boys had a tea party --- Mom has a beautiful tea set that is NOT a toy, that of course the boys love. So Lisa thought it might be a good idea to have a plastic set under the tree this year.  It was hilarious to listen to Patrick and Buppa play tea party - British accents and female voices included!

Finally, here are two sweet photos of the boys!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New year!