Saturday, July 31, 2010

Goodbye July

Tomorrow is August 1st. Reidun is leaving our home. She took a nanny job in Finland. We will miss her since she has been here since the second week in January, you were only 9 months. But this isn't goodbye, only see you later. Reidun will always be in your life Nora. She is family.

We went to the area 4-H Fair today with the Wagmans (our neighbors) and watched the pig races! Yeehaw! You hitched a ride from Mr. Kevin halfway through our venture. It feels great to have such a strong relationship with our neighbors; something I have missed since Mrs. Juska passed away.

So where did July go? Somehow in the jumble of this month I forgot to wish you a happy 16 month birthday on July 25th. Aunt Katie and Uncle Kevin did not and they called you. However, you were napping at the time and did not get to perform over the phone for them.

One month turns into one year and one year turns into many years. For some reason, I keep getting the same question this month: Will you keep such a detail blog / record for your second child? I see where the well-meaning question comes from, after all I am the second child and understand that the second never quite has the same attention the first-born received. But there are so many unknowns who could ever answer a question like that! What if we don't have any more children? What if we have another child with special needs? What if Daddy looses his job? What if we have an emergency? Blogging might not be priority under certain circumstances. I find it a privilege that I have the time and resources right now to keep a record of your life. I will do it as long as I have the ability and time for just you or any future siblings who decide to join our family. Sometimes I think about the future and I have no idea what it holds for us. That unknown is both exciting and scary.

16 months... wow. We speculate about what type of person you will become. Daddy and I both predict you might have difficulty with talking too much in class when you get to school. We went out to dinner tonight you had to talk to everyone, the couple behind us, the family next to us, the endless stream of waiters and waitresses. You babble incessantly with scattered 'real' words mixed in. Lately, you have been getting your body parts stuck in places: arm in the easy bake oven, leg in the slats of the crib, fingers in a variety of places... you get frustrated and then exclaim: "it's stuck!" At first, we thought we just misheard but then you did it again and again. And you use the term correctly! You can't uncap the pen: "it's stuck!" You can't open the cabinet: "it's stuck!" Funny. We have no idea where you learned it. You also say, "push it" we you want us to play Barney DVD in the car. When we push the play button, you giggle and wiggle with excitement as Barney's theme song starts. Daddy and I can sing all the songs, especially after listening to the DVD almost 20 times on the road trip to Wisconsin.

You also love love love the song: "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" and can do all the movements, except you have to sit down when the song comes on. You have not figured out how to stay standing and just bend over to touch your knees and toes. You like to show off your "button" by lifting up your shirt too! "Where's your button? There it is!!!"

It seems like all of a sudden your brain just makes instant connections. You understand so much of what goes on around you. And we are pretty sure you say, "what's this?" and then proceed to listen to the answer! You look at us with this intense, inquisitive, need to know face. Daddy says he's no longer amazed by you (he doesn't get surprised anymore when you learn things so quickly)... but I am in awe of you almost everyday. Somehow you transformed from this tiny baby into this busy toddler. A busy toddler who absorbs the world like a thirsty sponge. Slurp slurp slurp.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What?! Another Carnival?!?!

I told you carnival season is big around here. We had to attend the Reese Fire Company Carnival since it was the first one we went to last summer after we moved up here. You were such a tiny bean then; Daddy took you on the train ride and carousel. He sat with you in the sleigh not wanting to put you on an actual horse that went up and down. This year you and Ashley went on the cars by yourself! Without an adult! I have to admit I was nervous but you were a champ like always. Ashley taught you to love the steering wheels on the ride.

We went on the ferris wheel and ate funnel cake and you even won some prizes on the games. An enormous blow-up Dora!!! Daddy made sure your new sister was all buckled in for the ride home.

On a side note this week is dragging on and on in anticipation for our trip to Sesame Place next week! Come on August!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Visiting Thisbe and Family

Would it be cheating just to link to Aunt Kaethe's post about our Northfield visit? We have the same pictures just from a slightly different angle.

Ok, ok. We drove up on a hot Friday morning. Spent the afternoon with a sick Uncle Peder and healthy Aunt Kaethe and cousin Thisbe. We ate and visited and let the two of you play. All of the adults were kinda of tired from summer travel. It was nice to sit and just hang out. No agenda, no stress.

You and your cousin had a lovely time swapping toys, books, blocks, juice cups. It was funny, the two of you would babble incoherently at eat other as if you both knew exactly what the other was saying. I wonder if there is some universal baby language...

What did the adults do after the wee ones were put to bed? Play cards, of course! Girls totally blew the boys out the water in a rousing game of hand and foot.

We spent the night and for some odd reason you got up at 5:30am! (Alright, it could have been that we put you directly under a east facing window without a blind and the sun lite up your crib). Anyway, Daddy got up with you and then promptly watch you trip over your Linus blanket and bang your head into Aunt Kaethe and Uncle Peder's rosemaled wedding trunk. You've bumped your head before, so we didn't think anything of it... until you developed the enormous bump / bruise / nasty looking cut on under your left eye. You lived... no thanks to your father's babysitting skills.

The visit was all too short and soon we were returning across the Mississippi to Wisconsin. One thing is certain, you and Thisbe are quite the pair together and this is only the beginning to a life long friendship.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Your Norwegian Family

Part of the purpose of this trip to Wisconsin was to go the Peterson Family reunion. It only happens every other year, so this is the first time you could attend. The last one was in 2008. The first night we gathered at North Coon Prairie Church for dinner. It happens to be where the Peterson Family first settled and where great-Grandpa Jothen is buried. He died in March 2001, 8 years before you were born. During our 2009 trip to Wisconsin we did not visit the Jothen family church to introduce you to great-Grandpa so we took a few moments after dinner to go for a visit:

The next day, church services and lunch were held at the American-Norwegian Wisconsin mecca of Norskedalen. It was quite fun to get to know and interact with distant family members. We heard the story of how great-Grandpa's grandmother's parents came over from Norway and settled in Wisconsin. We listened to the hardships they endured and families they built. You come from a long line of hardy Norwegians. Plus you received the prize for being the youngest reunion member! All 15 months of you! You even made friends with some of the other girls. How you had fun exploring the village and learning about your heritage!

I am glad that you and Daddy were able to participate in the reunion as 7th and 8th generations of the Peterson clan (it use to be Pederson). What other place can you celebrate your Norwegian heritage as well as in Wisconsin?!?! (Norway doesn't count!)

I sure do love my two Wisconsin Norwegians :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Wisconsin Treats

Oh Wisconsin food how we love thee. What delicious treats did we indulge in this trip? Let's recap:

Sweet Sweet Culver's Custard in a Waffle Bowl with Great-Grandma.

Lefse and Sweedish Meatballs at Borgen's Cafe in Westby.

Lunch at Driftless Cafe with Great-Grandma in Viroqua.

Hamburgers in the Park with Great-Grandma, Big Nora, the Butterfields (well 2 out 5) and Anne too!

On the drive home we came accross the World's Largest Culvers! Knowing your father, we had to stop and say we ate there. Afterall we have already been to the World's Largest McDonalds in Rome! You LOVED the fried cheesecurds and it's all you would eat! See picture below where you left your green beans untouched:

(your bib says: "I am as cute as my Butter Burger is delicious." Culver lovers will understand it....)

Although the food is wonderful, the company was what made it worth the 17 hour drive there and back :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Grandpa's Stroller Car

Great-grandma Jothen kept your Grandpa Jothen's stroller push car thingy from when he was little! He was born the 1940s!!! Between you and Thisbe, it has gotten a lot of use in the 21st century. Case in point:

2009: (we surrounded you with pillows to support your tiny self)

2010: (No pillows needed!)

(yes, Daddy is wearing the same shirt in both years)

My my how you've grown.