Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer Fun!

Well, I suppose it's been long enough since my last post that I must acknowledge the elephant in the room...that's right, Katie's pregnant!  (Let me clarify that there is no correlation between the chosen animal and my pregnant wife, it's a common phrase and nothing more).  She's about 14 weeks along.  We're pretty sure it's a girl, just based on how brutal she was during the first trimester (whereas Daniel was not).  She has actually been doing quite well of late.  She experienced some pretty intense sickiness and tiredness in the first trimester, but we are moving past that at this point.

Baby #2 is about, again, about 14 weeks along.  According to our weekly updates, it is kicking around a bunch already, although it's hard to feel at this point, BUT, Katie said she already felt it move once.  What a good baby.  This'll be quite the journey.  Lots of people say that going from none to 1 is tough, but 1 to 2 is much harder.  I say..."challenge accepted".  Mainly because we don't have a choice now.  Daniel has really grown up quite a bit (literally...he can actually reach light switches now without a step stool) in that he is a super helpful little dude.  He helps do the dishes, clean up, put things away, and when he plays with other kids (some of the time) he's getting better at being a sweet lil' guy.  Kate's due date is about mid-December, so he'll be quite a bit older by then.  We're hoping he'll have his license so he can help with driving duty, but stupid Nebraska state laws will probably hold him back...
Strong opinions for a toddler.

Other happenings in the last month?  I finished my 10K.  If I died, then I'm living the exact same afterlife as my previous life, I'm going to assume I survived.  It was tough, but I wasn't passed in the last mile and had my personal best.  That was a big deal for me.  I also completed the Warrior Dash with my bro-in-law, Queño.  That was ridiculous as the rain left the course barely runable, but it's one of those things we'll look on as old men as a fond memory of mud-caking and falling.  School has finished and Katie is preparing for her new year in a new school district.  Again, she'll be working in Papillion now and teaching at Trumble Park.  She's very excited to have her own building and to teach more levels.  I'm in marching band mode and writing drill to make my band look like eagles, flowers, and such (actually, they look more like fallen necklaces and occasional parallelograms).
Last leg of the Papio 10k.  It was raining.
This was following the Warrior Dash.  I found mud in my ears two days later.  AFTER showering twice.
We've also welcomed two new folks into the Elsasser family.  Kate's brother, Brian and his wife, Danielle, had their awesome little boy, Brycen and her other brother, Rick and HIS wife Jackie had Eden about a month later.  The plan is to have enough kids to make yard-work unnecessary in our own generation.  I know Daniel has to work on operating the weed-whacker though, but we'll get there (Disclaimer:  I do NOT let Daniel use any yard tools except maybe an empty bucket).
Babysitting Baby Brycen.  Daniel was being quite helpful.  
This is at the hospital where Eden was don't have any pics of Eden yet.
We've done some zoo fun, I traveled to Chicago with my band, saw some baseball games, played outside, went camping, had some family get togethers and many, many other happenings, but most of you have probably stopped reading by now, so here's some pictures!
Museum of Science and Industry with my WWII look alike.
Enjoying a Stormchasers game.

Eating some dinner with his buddy, Amelia.
Playing with his very, very favorite toy.
Best buds with our two curly-haired spawns.
Letters with attitude.
Even superheros gotta snack.
"Look!  A reticulated giraffe!"
Camping fun.  Check out the action shot on his cousin, Elaina, falling.
Drinking in the nude.  
Side-saddling?  I've heard of space-cowboys, but this is ridiculous!!
Big boy swing!
So much much much summer.  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mothers' Day!

Way to go buddy, lay on the awesomeness.

Oh boy.  What a fun-filled day.  This'll be the 3rd year celebrating Mothers' Day for my beautiful wife, Katie.  Only the second with Daniel in the outer-world.  I've been married only once and that continues to be with Katie.  She's the greatest thing that's ever happened to me (along with bringing me Daniel) and I continue to be amazed by her day-to-day.  She's strong, witty, smart, beautiful, and a joy to be around.  She's a fantastic mother, and I know that even with all my faults, Daniel will turn out exceptionally in large part because of her.  I love you, Kate.
Never fear...

We've been fielding some busy schedules the past couple weeks.  I'm proud to report that my groups ended with great performances to finish the year.  Katie finished her classes with fantastic grades.  We're really looking forward to spending much, much time bonding this summer.  I still have some end-year obligations this next week, but we're really sailing now.  The weather is finally shaping up too, so that really makes it feel like...ya know...summer.  We got big plans ahead of us too.  I've been training for some races including a 10K on May 19th and the Warrior Dash on June 9th with my bro-in-law.
He loves this bear.

Today, we began by visiting my own mother.  She's been feeling under the weather because of some tooth issues, but we still brought her a cinnamon roll and will be treating her to dinner later this week when she's feeling more up to it.  Afterwards, I played with Daniel in the yard while Katie rested.  I actually was raking up dead grass from a mowing that was TOO short.  Following that, it was an Elsasser celebration for Kate's side of the family.  We had had Elaina's birthday the previous day, so Jen and Queño volunteered to host.  We were missing Brian and Dani (Kate's brother and sis-in-law), but it was because they were birthing their own baby!  Congrats on bringing Brycen into the world!  What a wonderful Mothers' Day treat!!
Mother's Day Fun

Mother and daughter looking to injure themselves simultaneously.
Jamie's skateboarding...or something.
Four-person swinging

After some great food, playground fun, and some relaxing conversation, we end the night with  Happy Mothers' Day to all the mothers out there and thanks for creating us.  On behalf of Katie, special shout-outs to our own mothers, grandmothers (both here and gone) and I again want to thank Katie for just being the very best.  Love you all.  Here's a picture of me from when I was six!!!
I see where Daniel gets his suaveness.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Birthdays Galore!

It's been a couple weeks, but we're rolling again!  Summer's just around the corner and wouldn't ya know it, it's starting to actually stay warm outside.  I'll have you know, however, that just around the corner, we're looking at close-to-freezing temperatures again this Wednesday/Thursday.  Oh joy!  We've had a lot happen in the past couple weeks and a lot coming up.  I've personally had big contest performances, a Pancake Feed fundraiser, musical performances, and lots of quality time with Daniel.  Katie's been finishing up her UNO classes and keeping busy with school work.

Fun with backpacks.

This past weekend, in between musical performances for me, we had our families over to celebrate some birthdays, mine on May 4th, my brother, Eric's on May 2nd, and my father's on April 29th.  It was nice getting everyone together.  We got some great cousins pictures and enjoyed some of the smallest charred-hamburgers this side of the Missouri.  Brats were pretty good.  Maybe I'll stick to brats.  I'm not kidding, I literally shrunk these burgers to half a bun's width.  You might not have thought that possible.  Gordon Ramsay would kill me...
Birthday fun.
This upcoming weekend, my sister and her fiancé are getting married.  I always love weekends like this because it means lots of family time, unhealthy food, and dancing (although my dancing is less than appetizing).  I'm excited to see my Nana (my mother's mother) from Alabama.  Very happy for Jason and Tina.  They're excellent together.
He's talking to the dog on the package.
Daniel just continues to impress.  He's such a routine-orientated guy.  I don't feel like we're that rigid with him, but he just likes things to be in a place or happen a certain way.  As stated in previous posts, this is for better or worse.  A somewhat unrelated note to self from last night, eating soup is no bueno for Daniel.  If I drain the broth, he seems to do okay.  I also need to cut the noodles up.  I was able to get some veggies in there too.  That was muy bueno.  We worked on his bubble-making skills yesterday.  He usually just takes the bubble-dipping mechanism and shakes it violently, not allowing any bubble slime to stay on.  He likes getting "wet", but it makes for a messy venture.  We'll keep working.

Off to school...

...oh yeah...forgot my pants.

Fun to see the similarities between me and Daniel.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Growing Up So Fast seems like Daniel is just making such great strides these last couple of weeks.  His attention to detail when it comes to routines is pretty great....most of the time.  He certainly gets very upset when things are out of order or against his wishes.  We've really been working hard on teaching him ways to communicate with us, because we find that's one of the times he gets really frustrated is when he wants something or is ready for something and we...don't know what that something IS!  Again, routines and certain words seem to help.  One of the best ideas (from Katie) was to teach Daniel to say "Help, please" when he would get frustrated with something.  Situations like getting stuck somewhere, not being able to get a lid back on can, not being able to find a certain page in a book.  He used to just get pretty darn upset, but he's much more calm and communicates so much better from just say "Helpee"...which is how it comes out.

Good speller.

A couple notes of some fun displays by our little guy, Daniel.  He's a very helpful guy.  He helps with the laundry and dishes.  I can give him his socks or PJs or shoes or pants or even shirts and he'll know where they go in his room...they don't stay folded, but it's a good start!  I'll take all the knives and sharp objects out when unloading our dishwasher and he'll proceed to hand me dishes or even put away items where he can access the cabinets/drawers (pots/pans).  He always helps clean up at night, he's usually very good with directions, and he's eating at the table very well for the most part.
I put him in the swing backwards...whoops.
This last week was pretty blazay (spelling?).  I had an honor band last weekend which is always bittersweet because I have a good time, but it often means an entire day without any time with Daniel.  Makes me look forward to getting more time in the summer.  We did get some big news for Katie.  As of this week, she will be working in the Papillion-LaVista School District this upcoming year at Trumble Park Elementary.  I know she would say that she truly loved Millard and will miss it terribly, but this will be a great opportunity for her and she's very excited to have her very own classroom and building.  I am truly ecstatic for her and know that Trumble Park is going to be extremely blessed to have's about 5 minutes from our house =)  Katie's also been very, very busy with some graduate courses she's taking towards her Masters.  She just finished off some big benchmarks this week, so I know she has some relief, even if it's little.


Lots of writing this week!  Looking forward to a nice rest of the week and hoping that you all have a nice time as well!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Remember This??

I imagine this blog returns to us like Nebraska's spring.  I apologize for the winter of waiting, but here we are.  Why not Easter to seek redemption.

Enjoying the Spring Weather

Much as happened in the past 3-4 months.  I've been keeping busy at work, Katie's been doing the same as well as taking two evening classes at UNO, and Daniel just keeps growing and growing.  I won't be able to pack everything in, so I'll talk a bit about our Easter celebrations and some of Daniel's fun developments.


Last Sunday, we celebrated Easter with Kate's side of the family and it was a great time.  Ham, Cheesy Potatoes, and Ooey-Gooey Cheesecake littered the menu and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all.  Since my last posts, Daniel's been doing just one nap a day from about 1pm - 4pm and because of the eating time, we  were able to eat without juggling an 18-month old.  After he awoke, we did an Easter-egg hunt where Daniel discovered some great plastic shells and candy!  He also got an awesome bop-it balloon.  Super cool.

Playing with cousin Taylor.

We then celebrated MY side of the family's Easter today (Easter day) with a minimalistic approach to our menu...KFC was the main course!  We also had some stuffing, corn, taters, pie, and green bean casserole so NO one was complaining.  We had some nice chats and Daniel had a nice nap as well.  As with the Elsasser side, it's always so great to see Daniel interact with his cousins.  I'm always so excited to see how they will age together.  He also got a great Easter bunny that's already found it's way into our jungle of animals at our own household.

Easter Picture with Daddy

Right now, Daniel says words including:  Nana, Dada, Mama, Shoes, Downstairs, Socks, Cheese, Puppy, Elaina, Zella, Amelia, Uncle, Grandpa, Grandma, Again, Cookie/Doggy (sound the same), Outside, Eyes, Hello, Baby and some other stuff as well.  He's been working on "Taylor" and "Jack" and did really well today!  He can also find his hair, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, belly button, and toes pretty well.  He's also noticing those features on others including us and pictures from books.  He can make noises for an elephant, bear, monkey, cow, and we're working on sheep.

At his last checkup, he's just over 30 lbs, can't remember his height, but he's in the 90th percentile for height/weight and the 95th for head circumference...big noggin.

Reading with Mama.

Lastly, he also seemed to say his first sentence a couple weeks ago when he looked at a picture of Katie and said, "Is that mama?"  He also did the same with a picture of me, but said "Dada".  It was amazing.  Thank you all!  Enjoy some belated pictures!  

More zoo fun!

Not THAT kinda PBJ!

Playing with his friend, Amelia (or Mameeya as he pronounces it)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Howdy folks.  We've had some interesting times the past couple of weeks.  Hopefully I can bring you up to speed, because if not...well...I guess our lives will go on regardless.

I'm kinda blurry, but this is what we do everytime we get out of the car...I just pull him up front since I have a 2-door.
Got everything he needs.

The farthest back I can remember is a couple weekends ago.  Kate was out of town for a convention.  It was in St. Louis and she had a lot of fun (from what she's told me...I can only take her for her word.  She doesn't really have a reason to lie I guess...anyways)  Katie out of town for 3 1/2 days =  lots of Daddy/Daniel time.  It was really a great time though.  School evenings were pretty regular.  I stopped by and visited my folks a couple times, but otherwise, just lots of playing at home and outside (if the weather allowed).  That Saturday, we went to my buddy, Brad's place and watched the Nebraska-Minnesota game.  It was such a riot because he has a little girl just a few months older than Daniel, named Amelia.  They get along great.  Played like crazy, followed each other around, and even fed each other (okay...there's no way Daniel would ever share his food...but Amelia did).

Playing with Amelia.
Upon Kate's return, Daniel came down with a fever Sunday night.  We didn't want to send him out feeling all rotten (I wasn't feeling that great myself), so I stayed home with him the Monday before Thanksgiving.  Lots of hanging out.  He slept for VERY long times (a 4 hour morning nap).  He was getting gradually better and seemed happy enough, but was still running a fever and would get very upset at times.  Tuesday, Katie and I split the day at home with him.  By Wednesday, he was feeling a lot better.  We're not sure exactly what it was, but oh well.
Someone's not that great at posing yet.
Thanksgiving was a grand ol' time.  We spent the morning/afternoon with my folks.  The whole immediate fam was there as well as my Uncle Randy, Aunt Tammy, and their kids (Emily, Noah, and Sam) from Minnesota.  Daniel was unfortunately pretty fussy, so we had to leave earlier to get him down for a nap.  It was still a great time with lots of playing outside and great food.  We then spent the late afternoon/evening at Kate's folks hanging out.  Fun playing pool, watching football, and playing with nieces/nephews.  Great day overall.  The rest of the weekend was spent pretty relaxy like.  We did lots of cleaning on Sunday to get ready for the full week.  Hope everyone's weeks were grrrrreat!

Eating with cousin Jack at Thanksgiving.

Jaime holding Jack holding Elaina supported by Grandma crowded by Taylor.

Watching football with Daddy.