Sunday, August 31, 2008

A day in town

By K.J. Cardinal

Yesterday Angie, Anna and I had a good day in Hudson.

We started off the day by cleaning the house and rearranging our livingroom. Those of you who have been to our home know that it is rather cozy, so we don't have a lot of options when moving things around.

But, we did come up with a cool new arrangement that we all really like. What was so funny though was after we were done moving things around, Anna was crawling all around and checking things out as if she was rediscovering the entire room. She was looking around, over and under things and just being the curious little girl that she is.

Anyway, after that we took advantage of some of the cool public parks here in Hudson. We first went to the park at the elementary school down the street. Anna went on the swings again and she also had her first trip down the slide.

Anna wouldn't pick her feet up though as she went down the slide, so she didn't really glide smoothly down the slide, but rather controlled her own snails-pace down the slide. Angie also helped Anna up on the top of the monkey bars (pictured at the top of this post)...which she loved as you can see.

After the elementary school, we then went to the water park downtown. It wasn't the hottest day of the summer, so the water was a little chilly for Anna, but she still had a blast.

They have one of those mushrooms that sprays water all around and then also a few other sprinklers on the ground that are controlled by these buttons on a play traffic light.

Anna's probably a little too young for both of these parks, but she still had a fun day in town.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


By K.J. Cardinal

Anna's back to her ways of trickery yet again.

This time Anna displays her perfected art of bubble blowing through a straw.

As you will see, Anna thinks she's pretty cool with her new trick and she also gets a kick out of the feeling of ice cold water in her mouth. She's just too cute.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A visit from a bug and a "frog"

By K.J. Cardinal

For Anna, Saturday was a day with nature...sort of.

Angie, Anna and I started the afternoon today by grilling out on the back deck. Anna was sitting in her high-chair while we were eating when she got a surprise visitor.

A small house fly flew over to Anna and landed on the tray of her high-chair. As you could probably imagine, Anna was fascinated.

She would so delicately try to pick the fly up, but obviously he would just fly away. Every time he'd fly away, Anna would look at Angie and be like "where'd he go?"

She continued this routine for about 10-15 minutes until we got surprise visitors of our own.

My Uncle Bill called about five minutes prior to see if he and my Aunt Carol could swing by for a visit. Uncle Bill calls my Auntie "Frog"...thus the somewhat misleading (or perhaps clever???) headline.

So, Uncle Bill and Aunt Carol stopped in on their way to visit Uncle Bill's Uncle Bill (boy that looks weird in writing). They could only stay for a little while, but it was so good to see the greatest Aunt and Uncle in the world!

Only some of you that read this blog have had the pleasure of meeting my Aunt Carol (my dad's sister) and Uncle Bill, but I assure you that they are lots of fun and I admire their family values as much as anybody I know. They have always been there for me and it's so great now to see them going out of their way to visit Anna too...she's a lucky girl.

As you can see in the photo above, and not surprising to anyone, Auntie Carol made a quick friend when she started to read Anna a book. Just like Andrew, Anna really loves it now when she's read to.

So, it wasn't really a day with "nature", but a housefly and a French lady (and her husband) really made our day.

A day at the beach

By K.J. Cardinal

Just another day at the beach for Anna.

With Angie's work schedule now giving her Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays off (and every other Wednesday), Angie, Anna and I decided to take advantage of the great weather yesterday and hit the beach.

We went to this place called Douglas Water Park, located about 40 minutes west of Hudson. They have a few small water slides that go into a big pool and it's located right on a lake. We didn't take advantage of the water slides, but Anna did love the nice sandy beach and the warm water.

Just steps off the beach they have a huge shaded, grassy area with picnic tables. This was handy for me as I had to get some work done.

On a side note, this winter I got a Sprint wireless card and it's one of the best investments I've made. Without it, I wouldn't have been able to go to the beach yesterday with Angie and Anna. With it, I was able to do some work, reply to emails and really fool the real working world like I was truly working...pretty cool for a day at the beach.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Summer Fun

By Tiffany George

We have had a wonderful time this summer with Andrew & Natalie. Natalie is so good-natured, smiley, and easy to get along with. She puts up with her brother constantly needing to kiss her or touch her, and thankfully she enjoys spending time outside. Natalie has already gotten more bug bites this summer than Andrew has had in his whole life, but she doesn't seem too bothered by them.

Natalie just had her 4 month well baby visit this morning and she weighs a whopping 17 lbs, just about 10 ounces more than Andrew weighed at this age. She is in the 95-97th percentile for weight (down from being off the charts two months ago) and her length of 25 1/2" puts her in the 75-90th percentile. Maybe she'll be as tall as Daddy. He also said that her eyes will likely be some shade of blue, maybe like Mommy's. He said they are close to their permanent color now. Dr. Hoerman said that she looks perfect (not that we didn't already know that) and she was very happy smiling at the nurses at her appointment until they snuck up on her to deliver her with 4 shots. She certainly didn't enjoy the shots, nor did Andrew. He just sat there and sadly watched as Natalie screamed. Luckily for him, she gets the shots and he gets the stickers! The funny thing is that Andrew never takes these square dr. office stickers off from the paper. He just keeps them in with his sticker collection, but never takes them off. I guess they are some sort of prize.

Natalie has started to make more sounds now, squeaking out the occasional "ga" from time to time. When she gets excited she inhales noisily and it is just too precious. She is at the point where she wants to put everything, including her hands, into her mouth. When her hand isn't in her mouth she likes to spend her time admiring her hand. She yells at it, coos at it, and just has a nice conversation, primarily with her right hand.

Natalie is also a very strong girl. She has been rolling both ways for nearly a month now, and she is very strong when on her belly. She lifts her head right up and has even showed some initiative to try to move toward an object of interest. God knows that in order for her to fall asleep she MUST shimmy herself up into the upper right-hand corner of her crib. Her chubby little (very soft) legs are also very strong. She loves to stand up and look around the room from high on her two-foot perch.

Andrew still absolutely loves his sister, though he is learning to test his limits more now. He would kiss her and touch her all day long if he could. He loves to get really close to Natalie and just stand there so that she can touch him. Check out the pictures below to see Andrew letting Natalie put her feet all over him. He is adorable! He is so patient with her, even if she happens to pull his hair.

Most noticeable about Andrew lately is his language development. He regularly speaks in 4-5 word sentences and it is just so cute. He refers to himself as"An-you" and it is adorable. His favorite saying lately seems to be "okay, please yeah" which he says whenever he wants us to answer favorably to his request. He also likes to say "one more", "two more" or "yot more" depending on how many he wants. He has learned to raise the correct number of fingers associated with his request, and he loves to look at his fingers to be sure that he is doing it correctly.

He has also become much more adventurous. From climbing up on rocks with Grammy to (finally) going into the Lake, he is spreading his wings. Today we went to the Riverside Rest Home Summer Carnival with Pete's Nana and Andrew went up to this bush/shrub and said that he wanted to climb the tree. When we told him that he couldn't climb that tree, he pulled down one branch and said "An-you climb stick please". Every day is full of fun stories just like this.

Most nights Pete and I finish our day off by walking to the Commons to take the kids to the park. Andrew could be pushed "more high" on the swing all day, and Natalie loves to watch him. He also loves to climb the ladder to go down the slides. He used to be too timid to jump down from the bottom of the taller slides, but he now does it with confidence, all the while saying "no big step An-you". You're right big boy, that's not a big step for you anymore.

It's amazing getting to spend each day with these two cuties. I honestly cherish each moment because I know that soon each stage will pass. And while I know that the next stage will be just as cute as the last, it is still hard to let go of these cute little things.

Here are a few recent photos of my sweeties:

Thursday, August 14, 2008


By K.J. Cardinal

It was only a matter of time. Everyone that knows me knew that it was only a matter of time until Anna became a tech-savvy nerd.

Well, I think that day is upon us.

I recently got an iPod Touch, so the natural progression was for Anna to get my old video iPod. She hasn't quite grasped how to make her own "On the go" playlist, but I got her a copy of "iPods for Dummies" so she'll conquer that in chapter four.

Anyway, my video iPod naturally had a few episodes of Anna's favorite cartoon "Super Why" on it. So, the other day I pushed play on the video and handed her the iPod.

She gave the screen a big smile and immediately tried to pick up Super Why and the rest of the gang. It was pretty funny.

Anna doesn't seem to mind that it doesn't have volume and if I give it to her she'll sit there for 20 minutes and not make a peep (other than the occasional laugh or scream) enjoying the show.

So, you can blame me if you want for turning her into a nerd at 10 months old, but I blame those bastards at PBS.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


By K.J. Cardinal

What a face.

Angie came home from shopping one day with Anna's new favorite toy. I'm not sure exactly what it's called, but she's pictured above playing with's a cube with these metal tracks on top that you can slide blocks through. I'm sure it has a catchy name, but I don't have a clue.

Anyway, as you can see Anna now has six teeth...four on the top and two on the bottom. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The tricks keep coming

By K.J. Cardinal

I'm not going to start this post with my obligatory "I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while" routine. I'm busy.

Anna is also busy...busy learning new tricks.

One of her latest Houdini like efforts is pictured at right. No need to explain one of the oldest tricks in the book, but she's so stinkin' cute, isn't she?

Angie was playing with Anna on the couch one day, trying to get the spoon to balance on Anna's nose and it appeared as if Anna actually understood what she was doing and what she was supposed to do. She would be patient while Angie tried to get it to balance on her nose and once it did, she would look at us with that "I'm a little shit" look on her face. It was priceless.

The funniest part though was how she'd hold her head up high in order to get the spoon to balance just right on her nose. It was seriously as if she knew what she was doing.

She's not advanced yet enough to put the spoon on her own nose...she nearly pokes her eyes out when she tries...but she's in training.

With the Olympic spirit running rampant through our house, I have started Anna on a rigorous training session so one day she can do us proud and take home the gold in spoon balancing.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Dreams Come True

Katie Cardinal

Hi all! Sorry it's been forever since I've put a post up here...I guess I've been a little busy lately with work and enjoying the summer. But here, I'm going to tell you the BEST story of my entire life..and will certainly make up for lost time :)

As many of you already know, I pretty much spent my life savings getting sandbar tickets to the Kenny Chesney concert at Gillette Stadium on July 26th. Knowing me, I clearly wasn't going for the main event - Kenny Chesney - but rather the BEST opener in the entire world...KEITH URBAN (also known as the man of my dreams). My friend, Lacey, and I decided to put up the $325 each to get these great tickets to the concert..and could not wait to let lose!!!

In preparation for the concert, you KNOW I had to prove that I was the biggest Keith Urban fan in the entire world by making a queer little outfit and COMPLETELY decking out my car :) I made a sweet Keith Urban tanktop that said "Keith You're My Better Half" on the front and had some lyrics on the back...and also made a long-sleeved shirt (just incase it got cold) that said "Keithaholic" on the front and also had some other lyrics on the back.

Mom helped me make some sick cut-off jean shorts that looked pretty nasty with the cowboy boots Lorraine let me borrow, and also sported a "Kenny-Chesney style" cowgirl hat with an AWESOME Keith Urban purse I had bought off of ebay. As for my was pretty fantastic looking!!! On my back window I wrote "MRS. URBAN WANNA-BE" and on the two side windows wrote, "#1 KEITH LOVER" and "KENNY YOU SAVE ME."

For those of you who actually follow country music, I'm sure you know that Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman had their first baby together a few weeks ago. They named her Sunday Rose Kidman Urban..and judging by her father, she's got to be one of the cutest kids in the entire world (only behind Andrew, Anna, and Natalie). Being the crafty and VERY nerdy person that I am, I also decided to make a baby quilt for Sunday Rose...hoping that with my sweet tickets, I'd be able to give it to Keith during the concert.

The actual concert didn't start until 4pm on Saturday night, but Lacey and I knew that we had to get there super early to get in line for our sandbar tickets to pay off. For this reason, we left Rochester around 6:15 in the morning. Little did we know that Gillette Stadium parking doesn't open until we had to spend a little time driving around and visiting the gigantic Bass Pro Shop around Gilllette Stadium until we were actually able to park. Oh, and by the way, the tail-gating was AMAZING. Tail-gating is like a HUGE thing at Kenny Chesney concerts, and this concert was no exception! People had pools, and tiki bars, and drinking was amazing. The only BAD thing was that Lacey and I didn't think to bring any drinks, and were probably the only two sober people in the stadium!

Ok, so it's about 11:45 at this point and Lacey and I decide to head to the stadium to get in line. On our way over to the concert these three guys were like, "HEY, WHERE ARE YOU LADIES GOING." Needless to say, the guys actually worked for XM radio, and talked us into going to the XM radio pre-concert first...promising that Leann Rimes and Kenny Chesney would show up.

When we went over to the mini stage, we were two of like ten people there, meaning there was only ONE person in front of us, then the stage -- AMAZING SEATS!!!! After waiting about an hour or so, Leann Rimes came out to be interviewed. She was sooooooooo pretty and ridiculously nice! She even took the time to sign just about ANYTHING anyone wanted her to sign..including my sweet cowgirl hat!!! About one and a half or two hours later Kenny Chesney came out. He was interviewed and then played about four or five song approximately two inches from my face. Contrary to popular belief, he's actually quite cute in person..and DEFINITELY rocked out during his song. Unfortunatley, Kenny wasn't up for signing any autographs or giving hi-fives, but at least we had remarkable position to see him.

Once Kenny was done everyone started to leave. It was about 2:45 at this point, and Lacey had I had clearly jeopardized our seats inside to see these people perform for XM radio. So we're walking away when the XM announcer guy goes "BUT WAIT..WE HAVE ONE MORE GUEST." I hesitated a bit, knowing that there was a one and three chance that it would be Keith Urban, but kept walking as Lacey was a few feet in front of me. The announcer then said, "OK, I'LL TELL YOU WHO IT IS...IT'S KEITH URBAN!!!" Honest to God, I have NEVER ran so fast in my entire life. I sprinted over to the stage and got FRONT ROW SEATS for when the man of my dreams was about to take the stage --> OMG!!! My elbows were ON the stage..and his mic stand was about an inch away from me. As you can imagine, I was FREAKING OUT!!!

Unfortunately, Keith was stuck in traffic trying to get to the stadium, and we had about an hour to wait until he got there. Everyone around me thought I was either going to have a panic attack or just pass out because I was so excited and could not stop shaking. The lady who worked for XM radio realized what a Keith Urban nut I was, and actually INTERVIEWED ME on XM radio - OMG EMBARRASSING! She asked me all about how many concerts I had been to, how long I've been a fan, where I got my purse, and even asked about the quilt I had made Sunday Rose.

After being interviewed I was even MORE excited than ever. Then finally...the man of my dreams came out...and BOY WAS HE GORGEOUS!!!!! He came out just wearing a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, a pair of dark shades, and a black hat. He got interviewed for a few minutes (his accent was ADORABLE), then sang "YOU LOOK GOOD IN MY SHIRT" about an inch from my face. I WAS GOING CRAZY!!! After singing the song he had to get into the stadium because the concert had actually already started...but as he was on his way out, the XM lady who had interviewed me said, "KEITH, WAIT...YOU HAVE TO MEET SOMEONE!" NO JOKE SHE BROUGHT HIM RIGHT OVER TO ME!!!! He bent down in front of me so I could give him the quilt I made him, and he held my hand and said "THANK YOU SO MUCH SWEETIE!" After doing a few hi-fives, he turned back around and of course I had my Sharpie poised and ready. I asked him to sign my purse - and HE DID! The ONLY autograph he gave the entire life...I could literally die a happy woman now!!!

I was SO pumped when he left. I was a mess...jumping up and down and crying. I know that a lot of you probably think I'm just really queer, but this has LITERALLY been my dream for years now..and my dream finally came true :) Needless to say, this was the BEST night of my entire life, only followed by the other two Keith concerts I had been to. He's so amazing, such a great singer, and SOOOOOOO gorgeous! I encourage you to go to a concert of his if given the opportunity, and DEFINITELY to bring me with you - there's no way you'd find a better date!