Friday, August 29, 2008

She's Here!

Welcome to the world, little Melia Frances Stolldorf! She arrived yesterday afternoon at 5:50pm, weighing in at 7lbs, 15 oz, 21 inches long, with a head in the 95% percentile. Everyone's doing well....

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Baby Stolldorf.... on her way! Julie got induced last night, got an epidural this morning, and we're all on pins and needles to meet this little sweetheart! I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Great Minnesota Get-Together

On Monday we made our pilgrimage to the MN State didn't take long, since it's just a quarter mile from our house. It was a fun year to go, because we hadn't been since Isaac was 7 months old. This time was a completely different experience. I think Vance and I both had the most fun just watching Isaac take in the sights and sounds.
Isaac was in heaven from the first minute we stepped in the fairgrounds. It was State Trooper day, so there were police cars, motorcycles, and a helicopter (or, in Isaac's terms, a helltalker :). Sheer joy! About a half a block after that, we came upon this little merry-go-round. I had forgotten what those dinky little rides were for until Isaac started salivating over those horses. Oh, yeah! Those rides are for 2 year olds! And we have one! He was nervous about getting on until Caleb said he was going to go. Then he followed, and Vance said his whole body shuddered with excitement once the merry-go-round started up. He's still talking about it.

Shortly thereafter, we saw the John Deere exhibit. Isaac thought he had died and gone to heaven. He ran from tractor to tractor, hopping up and jiggling the steering wheel. We had to drag him away at the end.

Can you see the adrenaline coursing through his veins?

He even knew where to put his sippy cup :)

We also went to the Miracle of Birth barn, where we saw some lambs that had been born just minutes beforehand. The mama was licking off the newest baby, and Isaac said, "The mama's eating the baby lamb!" I think he was more excited than concerned.
In the 4-H building, we saw the handmade quilts and bake-offs. I contemplated entering something next year, but Claire was excited just at the sight of anything resembling food.

This one's for Mom...the only thing she ever wanted to eat at the Fair was the roasted corn. I used to think she was crazy, when she was surrounded by funnel cakes and cinnamon buns. But now that's what I'm hungry for, too. And Vance got his all-you-can-drink milk for $1. I think we were probably one of the only couples that had a negative caloric intake from our hours of walking around the Fair. I feel guilty about that, really. I should have gone for the chocolate-dipped-bacon-on-a-stick, I guess. Oh well--next year!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Gone Fishin'

Vance has been really excited about taking Isaac out for his first ever fishing experience. Although at first he thought Isaac should wait until he was 3 for this Whitaker rite of passage, Vance changed his mind. I got Isaac a little pole at Wallyworld, and he barely let go of it for the rest of the day. I couldn't even tell him where we were going until after dinner. He was SO excited. He kept on saying, "Go fishing, just like Daddy!"

First, we had to stop at a respectable local establishment to get some big red worms. I couldn't believe the literary perfection of having a bait shop named Gimp's.

Which of these two is more excited? It's hard to tell :)

oh, the anticipation.

Claire was slightly more skeptical of this whole enterprise.

He could hardly contain himself, hopping around on the pier, talking endlessly about his fishing rod. It was very cute.

He was taking every moment in, but he was a little scared of the worms. A boy, afraid of worms? I'm a little concerned...

This is where Vance began to betray some signs of his agenda for the evening. He wanted Isaac to keep the bobber stationary for awhile. Isaac, of course, being 2.5, wanted to reel it in fast and then cast it out again. But they were making it work...

They caught---a weed.

"AAAA!" Isaac was scared of the weed, and jumped back to Mama's side.

Trying out a new spot on the dock. The sunnies were biting, but the hook was too big. No matter, Vance was very industrious and figured out how to tease a smaller hook out of one of his lures. Eureka, that would do it!

Even Claire is looking excited now.

While Vance was busy threading on a new hook, Isaac took the can of worms and....dumped them in the lake. Game over.

Poor Daddy.
Isaac kept asking, "where'd the worms go?" and saying, "I sorry, Daddy." He was still excited...he got to use his pole, "catch worms" and "catch grass". As an added plus, he ingratiated himself with the fish at Lake McCarron by offering them a free dinner. Vance was slightly less enthused, having his dream of an early success with his future fishing buddy drowned along with the worms Isaac so carelessly cast overboard.
Me? I thought it was hilarious.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Superior National Forest

We're back from our big trip to the boundary waters! I hadn't been backpacking up north since I was pregnant with Isaac, so it had been too long, and I was itching to go. Vance is always itching to go where there might be big fish, so no one had to twist his arm :) It was a little nerve-wracking to think of leaving the kids for four days when one of them is still nursing and we would be out of communication the whole time. But thanks to wonderful friends who watched our kids, Medela, and a God who I can trust my kids with, we all did great.
Getting in...what a great feeling! We took a more relaxed trip this time, portaging only 65 rods and going through a second lake to the campsite we stayed at. Instead of looping, we stayed at one site and took daytrips. Muuch more relaxing than breaking camp every morning...

Our trip started the same way the last one did 3 years ago...with car trouble. This time it was a flat tire, which was better than last time. It still involved Vance and Ryan changing a tire right next to some very busy highway traffic. Scary.

Ryan took a bunch of the best of these pictures...

Ryan, the unanimously-voted Walleye King. He could fry fish better than anyone else.

Our daytrip to South Wigwam Lake. In this case, "wigwam" was code for "thick, marshy, switchbacking creek that takes 45 minutes of pushing, poling, and otherwise hauling your large canoe through a swamp." I was amazed how everyone kept up a good attitude through it all.

the site of our trials

Vance helping Ryan & Michelle through

Anna relaxes while Jason scouts a better way back through the slough

We all brought blue bandannas!

Vance in his element

proof that Vance is rubbing off on me. That's a 20-inch walleye, for those of you who dont know, and yes, I caught it all by myself.

We saw the northern lights again, and it was even better this time around. Awe-inspiring.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Look Who's Crawling!

Today I think I can officially announce that we have a crawler! She's been trying hard for weeks now, but just couldn't figure out the hand part. She's got it now...just two days behind when Isaac crawled. However, he was army crawling at this stage, and she's doing a true crawl, so maybe she's ahead, who knows? It's the beginning of a new phase...
And by the way, she's creating the crumbs, not eating them off the floor :)

Look at her! She's a true woman--already multitasking! Eating on the run, just like a pro.