2001 Christmas KAZETTE
links may not be available)
year was one of many changes for our family, mostly for the good. As
we got to travel a bit, although most of it was ‘near’ home. And our
change is coming soon... Yes, ANOTHER change of address. The Navy is
us to HAWAII!! But now I’m getting ahead of myself.
obliged with lots of snow throughout early 2001. We had one wonderful
in January that then seemed to last for months.
as the driveway was clear, it’d dump more. And to say the driveway was
clear? Well, an exaggeration. I’d do Doug’s side and kind of power my
out of the garage in my Jeep. Gotta love 4 wheel drive. We took
of our many area memberships and visited the Zoo,
the Omaha Children’s Museum, the Strategic
Air Command Museum and the Durham
Heritage Museum, both to escape the cold weather and throughout the
year as all have changing exhibits.
also tried taking Erika to her first Orchestra
concert with very limited success. Any and all shows we have brought
to have been ‘failures’. She spends the entire time with her face
in one of our shoulders. This is true of movies, concerts, Santa, et.
book/TV/movie characters, laser shows, etc. We don’t know why she
these things, but suspect the amplified sound has something to do with
it, since she starts hiding just BEFORE each show, not after they
Doug and I, on the other hand, have had a great time with our season
for the local
also had to stop going to restaurants around April of 2001; our streak
of having a child who could always eat out with us was coming to an
I’m not complaining, though, because with 2 notable exceptions she was
AWESOME up until that time. Plus, dining in for 6+ months really saved
us a bundle! Okay, okay, we went to McDonalds a lot! However, 1 visit
OutBack pays for a bunch of Happy Meals! And about the same time
she actually started sleeping through the night (in her new way cool
bed!) which was a WONDERFUL change. Hhhmm, restaurants vs. sleeping. Is
that really a choice?
on a very nice Spring
trip to Orange City, Iowa
for their annual Tulip Festival. The town was pretty, the parade was
and there were even carnival rides where Erika took her first Ferris
ride! We weren’t sure she’d like it, but she took to the whole
like a duck to water. We ended up on a lot of rides this year, partly
to this trip.
joined the local library's bookclub and have enjoyed it immensely! So
my favorite book has been "A
Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson, but I also enjoyed "No
Ordinary Time" by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Among others we've
read "Like Water for Chocolate", "Memoirs of a Geisha" "Bee Season" and
"The Pearl Earring". We have one guy in our group, the rest are all
We meet once a month and I will miss the group when we leave.
brought one of the year’s biggest milestones: Erika and I stopped
It wasn’t an easy process, Erika was still enthusiastic about our 1-2
a day and I’m sure would have done more if I let her... but it was
Now, 6 months later, she doesn’t seem to have ANY memory of it. When I
explained that my friend’s new baby would be fed that way, she said,
Mommy. Babies drink COW’S milk!” Go figure.
of our other trips this year was camping
in Indiana with Doug’s parents. This trip went
well (I worried about a 3 year old in the woods, with fire, etc) and we
had a very good time. Our site was BEAUTIFUL and SHADY, so it didn’t
that it was hot; I was just happy it didn’t RAIN on us!
peppered the year with business trips (TDY’s) throughout the year,
places like DC, CO, HI, WA, and FL among others. He did this while also
going to school and in August we CELEBRATED his terrific accomplishment
of graduating from U of NE, Lincoln
school on top of work and trips away wasn’t easy for him, he deserves a
round of applause!! Hurraayyyyyy, Doug! He also completed 14 years of
duty service with the Navy, so we are getting tantalizingly close to
20 year retirement mark.
also went to several State Parks, fairs and carnivals all summer long.
The Nebraska summer was quite HOT so most of these trips were at night
or not very long. We went on another camping
trip, near Des
IA, when our niece, Kayleigh, came out to visit. *WE* had a good
I think Kayleigh did too, although it was, as I mentioned, HOT!! I
enjoyed the meteor shower while staying up late talking to Kayleigh.
with us for the camping trip were Teresa & her daughter, Erika’s
Brittany. Teresa, who’s my age, had her first REAL S’more! I feel
to have shared that moment with her.
brought Preschool for Erika. I really had no plans to enroll her, long
story short; we did, and she goes mornings, 2ce a week; I think I love
it more than she does, other than having to get out of bed to get her
I am amazed at the stuff she does there, the teacher is awesome and I
the projects she brings home. She is with about 6 other 2 and 3 year
and they go on field trips and everything. I can’t imagine finding as
a place in HI.
was a blast, as usual. Erika was a banana and we had a pumpkin carving
party the night before and really went nuts in the yard with 10
and plenty of other decorations (plus scary music!).
took 2 Fall trips, one to Mall
of America and the other to the East Coast to see family and
The Mall of America trip was SUPPOSED to be divided between shopping
Snoopy (indoor amusement park in the center of the mall), but we
rides rides rides rides rides... and a little shopping.
ok, it was a BLAST! As for the East Coast trip, the flying went well,
things considered, and we FINALLY got to see my sister’s ‘new’ house.
been in it a year, it’s about TIME we got out there. It is so cool, and
perfect for her family of 5. Erika enjoyed seeing ALL of her cousins
our 10 day trip, and had fun visiting my hometown as well. She REALLY
the train station/trains there!
home and finally, actually got our orders to Hawaii. It still doesn’t
quite real. We are supposed to be there for 3 years and expect to have
lots of visitors. See you there? In the meantime we have many
to make, as we hope to make the move in mid to late February.
for more 'news'!!
the mischievious mythical (?) beings that populate this season, our
decided to play a few tricks on us this year. I wound up having my 3
wisdom teeth out in July. The extraction process was MUCH better than
I got my first wisdom tooth removed, but the recovery process was very
hard on me. Thank goodness Doug was around, I basically laid in bed for
2 days, and then was very weak and in a lot of discomfort for a long
after that. Long story short, 6 WEEKS LATER we 'found' a packing
still in one of the extraction sites. Can you say, "Eeeewww?"
As for Doug,
his newsworthy medical accomplishment, or lack of it if you will, has
to try to pass a kidney stone. We discovered he HAD the kidney stone as
a byproduct of some other routine tests that were being run for a
and at this writing, 2+ weeks later, he has still not passed the stone.
There is a Dr.'s appointment on Thurs, Dec 20th that will hopefully
Doug's kidney stone *has* moved, but is not out yet. We're still hoping
it will come out on it's own. If not, Doug can choose surgery anytime
now and late January.
the update: The stone came out on 07 Feb! Analysis to follow.
more pleasant things.........------->
Yes, here are all the extra kiddy
that got left out of the 'official' newsletter, to spare those who
want to read about such things.
Let's see...... Erika turned 3
this year in May, and was about 32 inches and 30 lbs, I guess. (I am
Now she's more like 38 inches and 36 lbs! Growing fast, indeed. Many
remark that she looks older than she is, and that she seems tall for
We've had a lot of fun watching
and have been in awe of Erika's development. Her vocabulary is quite
though the number of words she understands far exceeds her spoken
She and I enjoy the produce department at the grocery store, where I
her what each fruit and vegetable are. She invariably ends up holding
item like a cantaloupe or bunch of bananas throughout the store and
has a FIT when we have to take it away long enough to check out! Watch
Out if the bagger gets ahold of it and puts it in a bag. Poor me, I
a child who's grousing for fruit to eat in the car on the way home from
the grocery store.
Erika loves to greet all other
children.... in stores, at the playground, wherever! Around June she
finally answer anyone who asked "What is your name?" and now usually
while pointing at us, "My name is Erika. And this is Mommy and this is
my Daddy. What is your name?" Unfortunately, she doesn't see this
as a means to an end, and will repeat to anyone who will listen, "My
is Erika, what's yours?" The 8 year old kid behind us at Newark Airport
in the hour long x-ray line got tired of that FAST!
Erika enjoys 'reading'/being read
to, playing on the computer, watching TV, and any Arts & Crafts
that I or her preschool teacher will let her do! She seems to tire of
or just plain coloring, fairly quickly, but likes to paint very much.
has done several projects, including a Father's Day gift, that involve
handprints; she LOVES doing those!
We have a terrific public library
with an extensive children's videotape section. Some of Erika's
tapes are the "Spot" & "Madeline" series, though she enjoys Richard
Scarry, Big Comfy Couch, Bear in the Big Blue House among others.
As for TV, we're still PBS fans,
and have added the morning Disney shows to Erika's 'allowed to watch'
I appreciate the lack of commercials.
Erika's computer skills have
very much. She started out picking out letters and numbers on the
and now can handle a mouse quite well. We have a nice selection of
software for her, including Sesame Street Search & Learn and
both of which we like very much. We have a few other titles that she
through. Recently she learned how to do jigsaw puzzles on the computer
and that's her current favorite computer activity.
Going to the playground to use
the swings and the slide, and playing with her t-ball in the backyard
among her favorite outdoor activities. She got one of the grow-with-me
basketball hoops for her birthday and she likes that too! She had a
this fall when I raked up the leaves into a huge pile and let her jump
in them with the kids next door. Unfortunately for my arms, she
I remake the pile after each and every jump!
We have been very proud of Erika
on our camping trips. She has a tent that connects to ours and for the
most part she sleeps in it, in her own sleeping bag, with no problems.
She did a great job hiking with us on our Indiana trip, and was good
careful around the telescope when we camped in a friend's farmyard in
one clear summer evening. Erika likes looking at the moon and stars but
doesn't really do well with the telescope, yet. She does just fine with
'just' her eyes, though. She had a great time camping near Des Moines
her 14 year old cousin, Kayleigh, and her 3 year old friend, Brittany.
Erika seems to have a healthy respect for the campfire, and also seems
to enjoy sitting around it at night. I look forward to more family
I love watching the learning
I wonder how she comes up with words like "beltseat" when she is
about her seatbelt. She talks about spelling, and knows that the
S-T-O-P are on a stop sign, but I know she doesn't really understand
spelling and reading are. I LOVE to watch Erika and other kids at the
make up their own games, though it's sometimes hard to stop myself from
interfering and showing them the 'right' way to do something.
As mentioned above, our
days were numbered this year. Erika would sit and color for about 5 or
10 minutes, if the food came quickly she'd eat a little something, and
then she was ready to go. We put her in highchairs for as long as we
but even that didn't help as she didn't just physically try to get out
of her seat, she added talking, then yelling and crying. This left Doug
and I about 5 minutes to eat our dinners and there was nothing relaxing
about that. So, it was McDonald's Playland and other 'kiddie' places
a while, as well as more meals home. Recently, though, we've had more
She is not only more willing to sit through our dinner, but is also
interested in her own food. Though she, like most 2-3 (and 4, 5, 6?)
olds, seems to subsist somedays on a teaspoon of this, a sprinkling of
that, and air, other times she will gobble a meal, a full adult sized
and be asking for a snack of carrots 20 minutes later! When she does
Erika generally favors 'good' foods; fruits, veggies, cheeses, etc. To
most candy she says, "Too sticky!" and takes it out of her mouth and
it to me. Her biggest vice is apple juice, which is her liquid
I guess she gets all her sugar from there.
There's no good place to end my
talking about Erika; I could go on and on and on. I enjoy being her Mom
and Doug and I are both quite the proud parents.