Sunday, September 11, 2011

Easy Like Sunday Morning

H and J left this morning at about 6. The rest of us got up at about 7:15. After a little breakfast, we drove up to Dry Lake for a hike in the Buffalo Pass area. Beautifully sunny day. We brought Kodi and Sadie and all of us were enjoying the walk in and out of aspen and evergreen groves. Open spaces with lots of sarvis berry bushes that were ripe. In and out of the warm sun on a cool September fall morning.


Family portrait. Notice the berry juice on E's face. She was a fool for them 2 days in a row.



After hiking for about 20 minutes, both dogs took off into the woods down the trail from us. I heard some crashing and what sounded like trees being knocked over. I didn't want to say anything, but thought that maybe the dogs had seen a moose, elk, or bear. I looked up and saw a bear cub up in an aspen tree a few yards off of the trail. We called the dogs back (don't think Sadie even knew why Kodi had charged or ever saw the bear up above), K, who had E on her back, turned the way we came and grabbed Sadie. I tried to get a photo, but, due to some confusion ended up only getting a tiny piece of poor video. The cub started down the tree and Kodi went back for seconds. I wasn't sure where momma was, but yelled for Kodi to get away before that cub got to the ground. I turned and left too because it seemed weird that the cub was coming down while Kodi was still there. Eventually, he ran back to me and we all headed back to the car- E popping sarvis berries along the way.

While E was eating her dinner and I was making ours tonight, I turned on the tv. There was a special on Discovery about the sinking of the Essex whale ship, but what caught my attention and E's was that it just looked like a nature program with sea turtles. E couldn't wait to get out of her high chair to get closer to the television. So, I brought her lazy boy over and hooked her up with some milk. Best part about it, K's response- "Great, my worst nightmare. You and E hanging out together watching nature shows." I can't wait!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

She's Lucky It's Not Closer to Christmas!

So, I heard K cackling and howling upstairs while she was putting E to bed tonight. After a while, silence, and then she came out of E's room with a big grin on her face and laughter right behind.

Turns out, while reading Oh, the Places You'll Go!, E turned the page back several times to shout "Dada, Dada" and point to one character on a page filled with characters. This is the page she was turning to in order to call out my name and point to me.


And this is the character that she thought was a drawing of me...

No, not the handsome passenger on the bus with a mustache, the dopey Bald guy sitting next to his dopey dog. So, I immediately ran up to her room, woke her up, and washed her mouth out with soap. Tomorrow, bed without supper!

Here's a fairly recent one of her when she wasn't feeling well right before her first molar began to show up. I can't look at it without smiling. So cute, so miserable. E has a definite look of not feeling well.


Every morning, when we get downstairs, one of the first things she does is slap her head and say helmet. Her way of saying that she wants to go for a bike ride. Pretty darn cool that she enjoys being on the bike with the wind in her face. A little scary when she grabs hold of the handlebars and tries to shimmy them back and forth. But the occasional instance where she has the dexterity to ring the bell, makes up for the sheer terror of an occasional sudden jerk of the wheel. On every ride I am sure to mention that "biking is just like skiing, but on a bike". I really hope that she enjoys this year on the slopes even more than last year.



One more to help me get back into the swing of things. So content, so sure.


Ted, if you haven't given up on me yet, I plan to make more regular updates.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dad's Weekend

K was at a Bachelorette party this weekend, so I was babysitting (ie. parenting all by myself) from Friday to Sunday afternoon. Took a couple of videos and fotos that I thought warranted a post after hearing K laugh while she was looking at them.

Her top front teeth are trying to make an appearance, so lately, E's been making this face. I think she's trying to suck on her own upper gum, but it's pretty damned funny.


Here's what happens when I am doing something in the kitchen. I was able to grab the camera in order to catch the end of an unplanned handstand. She loves climbing, but doesn't always come down (land) gracefully.


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On Saturday, I made some pretzel rolls. Was joining some peeps for a cookout and made these rolls for burgers and a couple of brats too. Got the idea from the Countryhouse, back in Chicagoan Suburbia. Boy were they good. Never tried a burger on them, but the brat roll was perfect. Slightly crunchy, soft and chewy. The rolls worked perfectly with the sausage and the mustard- which is a must. Easy recipe, and I liked that it only took about 1 hour for the finished product. "If you like burgers, give it a try sometime."- Pulp Fiction



On Friday night, I took a Yampa Valley Beef ribeye out of its package and set it on a cooling rack in the fridge over a sheet pan. After 2 days of drying out, it looked a little pathetic, but I was excited to cook it. I've read that drying a steak out helps it form a crust because moisture comes out of the meat which allows it to sear well instead of the moisture "boiling/ or steaming". It paid off. The crust was great, the s and p stuck well to the meat, and the inside was a consistent pink. Delicious.

In case you were wondering. My meal plan looks a little different when K is out of town. I go to the store specifically to find things I typically don't eat when she's around. I just haven't yet been able to get her to see the pleasure in the snap of the bratwurst or the feel of a good rare-ish steak.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ant Hill's Request

Got a text from Ant Hill. She asked if E was crawling yet. When I responded that "yes she crawls, but a little armyish", and thought that she'd be walking within the next few weeks, she asked me to send some video. I guess it's been a while, but here she is. Quality is no good, light is no good, but it gives an idea about where E is at, physically.

Standing On Her Own (with a little help from the sofa)
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First time using her wooden, block holding, lawnmower type, walker.

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Poor dancing performance, but pretty fun. She's a bit of a camera ho. Before I started taping, she was hanging out by herself in the same position, bobbing up and down like she was dipping. I was in the kitchen drinking some coffee. She instantly stopped dancing when she heard the camera turn on.

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Restless. A trained eye might detect that E has a slight issue with distractability. Might be another wonderful trait inherited from Dad.


[Could't get this vid to load. Will try again later]


A few weeks ago, I put her in the grass for the first time and she freaked out- not in a good way. Since then, I've noticed that when she moves from one surface to another, she has to take the new one in before crossing it. I think I'll bring E to the park today and do a little grass training with her. I guess if her fear of grass stays with her, I won't have to deal with the lawn this year and we can just keep the yard a nice, somewhat rocky, dirt area!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Someone's Growing Up, a Bit.

Thought I'd throw a couple of recent videos up to show how she's grown.

A new trick- Shaking her Head. I have a vague recollection of reading about infants shaking their heads to mess with their equilibrium in order to experience altered states of consciousness. Have no idea if I'm just making it up or read about it during my days studying behaviorism. But E really seems to enjoy it lately. Or, she is just getting early practice saying no.

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Just hanging out, holding on to her cube toy and working her leg muscles. This girl is all about standing up! I've noticed that we keep talking about how much fun she is being lately. Definitely becoming more human every day.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Last of the Trip

This post is primarily to share a few fotos and videos. It is the second half of our trip to AZ... along with some comments. I only have one more week of Paternity Leave, so Grandma M and Grandpa B, get ready!

In the town of Cave Creek at El Encanto Restaurant. We visited Cave Creek and Carefree one day to eat and walk around a bit. Carefree is the town where stars like Bob Hope and Orson Wells used to go to escape from it all.

E, checking out the turtles in the restaurant.

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E and K waiting for our lunch. The table was right against this window over looking the pond and animals.

E, in her Cow Girl outfit, checking out the ducks.


B, E, and K on a hike the next day- after slacking on our day to Care Free.


Just chatting away while hiking with Mom and Dad.

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E and K taking a dip after hike and nap.




E and B swimming about in the huge pool at the resort. Water temp, 85 degrees, air temp, 65 degree. It was nice to have the large pool to ourselves, very different that the pools in Steamboat which always seem to be busy.

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One of E's favorites before bed. I guess that the walls were thin because K could hear me in the other room using the spectacular voices I've created to really bring this book alive. Thanks Grandpa J and Grandma H for getting it for her at Christmas time.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Early Trip

The weather was really nice. Not as warm as we'd have liked, but sunny most of the time. The fact that there was no snow anywhere in sight, we could hike in shorts, and there were cacti and reptiles all over made for a real gettaway trip. It was also good to bring E to the pool several times. Temperature was consistently 65 degrees and slightly breezy. Made getting out of the pool (85 degrees) slightly unpleasant, but we made the best of it (seemed to bother us much more than E).

We went for 4 hikes while on the trip. They were all a short trip from where we were staying. It was so great to just get outside and move around a bit in an environment that is so different from ours. I have a love/hate relationship with the desert. I love the harshness and ruggedness of it and reading or remembering stories I have heard of experienced of the desert landscape, but I also hate the savageness of it (kind of also love it). I think part of the reason why I hate it is because it is an environment that I am intimidated by. In modern times, I could find days of comfort there, but could never live/survive there like so many others have done. It is a scary thought.

My first real experience in the desert was a San Juan River trip I took 11 years ago. This trip, the people on it, and the 3 books (Everett Ruess- A Vagabond For Beauty, Monkey Wrench Gang, and Desert Solitare) given to me by a couple of good friends who are passionate about the desert, brought back so many good memories. Since then, I also chaperoned a trip to Crow Canyon and Mesa Verde a few years back. Two other places that are just unimaginable to me. The Cliff dwellings of the Ancient Pueblans are truly remarkable, let alone the fact that these peoples were able to live and thrive in this environment is mind boggling. I really hope that E decides to and is accepted to go on the school trip to Crow Canyon- I also would love my Parents and Sister to go too (actually, anyone who reads this would be better off having gone and done and seen these things).

Back to 2011 now and another reason I hate the desert- the fact that so many people make homes in it and have no business being there- it is against all logic that so many people live in an area (greater Phoenix) that can't provide for them. I know, I am a part of this picture going there for a vacation, but it makes me mad that the savageness has been removed- temporarily. On every hike, I was thinking about all of the subdivisions and how I bet when E is our age, all of them will be abandoned, broken down, modern day ghost towns because they don't belong there.

I like to imagine these areas as they were back when the handful of rough, tough caballeros and ancient peoples moved freely because they understood and could withstand their surroundings... I know, I am not man enough to survive it, but I am aware that some were.

Now back to our trip. Here are some fotos of things we enjoyed while we were there.

E, ready to go out and hit the trail.



Two serious women, taking to the trail.


Classic pose while trying not to sleep.


After waking from her nap, someone no longer liked the confinement, so she got to ride in her Dad's arms.


Next days hike, E in Sherpani.


Trip across the street to the resort's horse stables.


Don't feed the horses any hay, so, we gave them a lolly-pop.


After being on this trip, we've realized how happy we are that we live where we do. After having to drive everywhere to do or get anything, it is nice to go home to a place where we can walk to hiking, skiing, biking (I know that one doesn't actually walk to biking, but we can bike to biking without getting in a car), food, river, bar, library, schools, etc.

Car Ride to AZ

Just got finished with the week of Blues Break. We decided to take advantage of the timeshare that my parents got a LONG time ago and haven't yet used. Traveled to Peoria, AZ for 5 nights away from the 4.5 feet of snow in our backyard. We booked this trip for just K, E, and I, but also booked a trip in April with my P's to where they actually bought the timeshare in MO. We are hoping that when my Parents see how easy it is to book places, they decide to keep the t.s. because it has a lot of perks, and I think K can be their booking agent if they are scared.

We were a bit nervous about the drive (5.5 hours to Moab, UT) and then another 9ish to Peoria because E has never been in a car for that long- but she was a champ. She kept herself busy most of the time, cried for about 10 minutes before falling asleep for each nap, and then woke up and was ready to play again. K, also, did a great job managing her and deserves half the credit. I realized while driving that there are a lot of things I'd like to see and do with E in the nearish future- Explore Moab area, go to Arches and Canyon Lands, and maybe SkyDive.

Happy girl hanging in the car next to Mom.


K and E doing their best impression of Steve. I am amazed that I was able to snap this foto and capture both my girls. Good thing the roads in Utah are empty and have many straight stretches.


Roadside diaper change for E and pee break for Mom and Dad.


E playing with K while speeding down the road.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Back to Business

Well, the bluebird days are over for a while. Woke up to 4 inches of snow and it looks like it's going to be snowing off and on for the next few days. SO excited that it is just snow and not all day, every day sub zero. The last few days of sunshine has made Steamboat feel a little bit less claustrophobic- when walking down the street, you are no longer in the labyrinth, you can see both left and right! Wish I could say that the sun melted the piles on either side of the driveway because it can be quite scary pulling out without being able to see traffic coming. Looks like a little manual labor is on its way.

We took advantage of the sun again yesterday...

E waiting patiently on the hood of the truck for Dad to finish getting his boots on and gear together. "Come on Dad, let's roll!"


I didn't take any videos or fotos while skiing yesterday, but did get this vid just after loading Gondi.


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While skiing down Vagabond yesterday, Ski Patroller came along side me and said, "Nice tool Dad, never seen the use of the hand held (mirror) before." Can honestly say that no woman has ever used that word combination together while speaking to me before.

Made some Pepper Parmesan bread yesterday and the Ciabatta loaves are proofing as I write (made the biga yesterday and it was really fragrant today)- hope they are tasty. I smell Colorado Cuban Pork Sandies in the near future if this bread works out well.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sunshine

Hadn't uploaded the birthday Goat Cheese Brownie fotos until after my last post, so they are a little late.
Not much of a dessert guy, but I made these when K's uncles were in town and they were delicious. Made with cocoa powder and so they taste like a good, strong hot chocolate, with a savory creamy hit.
Yesterday, I had all intention of taking E on a hike after her morning nap and then to the ski area after her afternoon nap. I am not upset, by any means, but E had other plans. She decided she would take a 2 hour 30 minute nap in the am, and a 2 hour and 15 minute nap in the afternoon. By the time she got up from the late nap, I only had 40 minutes before going to tutor. So we got the hike in (long loop), but weren't able to ski.


E and Kodi hanging out and waiting for Dad to shed some clothes. It was so sunny and nice yesterday that I had shed my hat and gloves within the first 10 minutes and my sweater by 25 minutes. This foto is a 25 minute walk from our home on a single track trail. Someone had been putting up course markers for what I can only imagine is going to be a snow mountain bike race. Haven't heard anything about it yet, but that's what it looked like to me. S, maybe you should bring the Pugsley out- bring Klein too?

Kodi got really spoiled yesterday. Soon after putting E down for her afternoon nap, T, D and her Brother M went for a hike with kids and dogs. They brought Kodi with them and so he got 2 hikes in one day. Last night I practically had to carry him to bed.

Here we are almost to the top of the trail. Love feeling that sun in my face, on my arms, and my bald head!


During E's morning nap today, I made dinner for tonight. We are having Pot Stickers. Pretty funny, but I bought the ground pork and ginger over the weekend with intentions of making the pot stickers, but hadn't gotten around to it before randomly catching an episode late last night of Good Eats. Yes, the episode was about making different types of dumplings. I therefore didn't just completely wing a recipe, but got some help from Alton Brown. I did add some fresh ginger, soy sauce, and a serrano chili, but it was nice to be able to mostly follow his lead. I made 38 gyosa, freezing 18 for a later time. The tablespoon of left over filling, I fried up and ate for breakfast. Oh, goood God, I can't wait for dinner!


After her morning nap, and cleaning up the food making supplies. We went to the ski area. It is another beautiful day here in Steamboat. I think E is really starting to enjoy getting suited up and loaded into the Tundra for outdoor adventures. I even think that when she sees the backpack, she gets excited. We were able to park in the Knoll lot and walk to the ski area from there. Rode the Gondi with an older woman from MN who really liked seeing and playing with E. She was also filling me in on how the poles are changing positions. Not sure where that came from, but she obviously enjoyed speaking about it. Mentioned that Greenland saw the Sun two days earlier than they ever have before during written, human history. Said the Minne climate would become temperate and Steamboat would definitely warm up- still be able to ski, but noticeably warmer. 2012?

Gondi ride up. Condoland in the background.


We took one pitch of Why Not, then one pitch of Vagabond, then finished out on Why Not?. Though Why? is not as fun for me as Vag, it takes longer to get down and since we were in the sun and it was warm, we went for it. Got numerous raspberries and several shrieks on the way down, but mostly, she was quiet.

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Things were starting to cloud up to the west on our way home, but if that sunshine stays out, I plan on having K meet us for a skate out in Silver Spur. I guess it's also dependent on E deciding not to sleep for more than 3 hours this afternoon (she's all ready been out for an hour).

After the ski, its back home for POT STICKERS! Yum.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mom's B-Day!

Slopeside!

Had a really great morning today. Got up at about 7, K had finished feeding E and I made some coffee. We brought E into the basement, K got on treadmill, I drank some sweet, black nectar, and E played with some toys and watched us. Made a delicious Mushroom, Bacon, Spinach, and Cheddar Cheese omelet and a side of sweet potato and onion hash. Sorry, no photo.

After breakfast, we put E down for a nap and then K went to Ski Haus to look for something to spend her birthday discount on (note hat with purple flower on it in later fotos). E slept for about 2 hours and then we got our ski clothes on and brought her to Grandma's house so K and I could ski. I love watching K ski. She has such a clean and classic way of tele-ing. So beautiful.


We met B on the mountain and K, her Dad, and I got to ski together for a while.

Today was what Steamboat is all about. It was a gorgeous sunny day and the snow was wonderful. After so many cold, dark, and snowy days, it was magical to be on the mountain today- adding to the magic was that I got to be with my wife on such a day. What made it even better is that after we finished skiing (we started at 12 and finished at 2:45 and K was worked after not being on the hill in 1.5 years), E got to join us for apres ski at Slopeside- lawn chairs in the snow with some beer. And if that wasn't enough... Edna, B, M, and about a dozen friends came to sit, converse, imbibe, and enjoy the day on K's day.


Just checking out Dad's cool goggles after he skied. My first apres ski and I was looking like a superstar (kind of like Elton John).


So psyched that Edna came out. "I never in my life would have imagined such a thing."- sitting in the snow at 91 drinking beer with Grand Daughter and Great Grand Daughter.


Mom just saw me wearing my sweet shades for the first time. I think she likes them.


H clan and a mini W.


Just hanging out after a morning bath- I've been pissing through my diaper lately during the night because I'm sleeping on my stomach and thrashing about like my Dad does.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 2

Took E out for her second day on the ski mountain. Started out great- Gondy ride with 3 retirees from San Diego. They were goo-gooing and ga-gaaing with E the whole way up. They even asked if they could take a foto of her with their camera. I said, "Sure.", that's okay right?

This is a foto they took with my camera. She has a helmet and bala clava in her backpack, just didn't put it on until we were almost to the top.


I remembered the bike mirror today so that I could see how E was doing on the way down while she's on my back. Last time, she was making some moaning and grunting sounds on the way down, but I couldn't tell if they were pleasure or pain. This time she was making raspberry sounds and grunting sounds and a few other noises that sounded questionable, but every time I looked, she was smiling and happy. Face definitely gets red, but she better get used to that, it's where she lives.


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Was hoping to catch up with K's p's and K's uncles R and K (visiting from the East coast). Didn't hear back from them until I was half-way down the mountain. They were just ahead of me, so we met at the bottom of Thunderhead lift and skied to Slopeside together. Ordered some Cokes and a pie and hung out. After a bit, I went and grabbed the car at the lot and parked beneath the lot so that I could get the tired baby home quickly.

She had a blast on the mountain and also was happy at the bar/restaurant. It is so nice that the weather has warmed up a little bit and also that the sun has started to shine a bit more. I think this is the season with the least sunshine that I've experienced here in Steamboat.


E just hanging out in her pink Adidas- gift from J and C.


This morning she woke up with a sharp projectile coming through her bottom gums. Tooth number one has made an appearance. Steak Time!

Tomorrow is Mommy's Birthday. Just finished wrapping some presents. Sometimes it works out nicely that she goes to bed at 9.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

300

This last storm brought with it almost 4 feet of snow. We have now broken the 300 inch mark for the season so far. It has been so cold that nothing has melted or settled and this white stuff is DEEP. Kodi may as well just walk over the fence in the back yard, but he can't really get up the bank just outside the sliding glass door- he's getting old.

Was all jazzed 2 days ago to get on Emerald mountain. When E woke up from her nap, I bundled her up, gently placed her in the Sherpani backpack, put a leash on the dog and walked out the door. Got to the street and realized I needed to change plans. Even though it looked nice outside, it wasn't. Turned out that the wind was blowing and the 12 degrees felt much colder than it was. I don't know if it was from the cold, the wind, or the backpack was just too snug, but E was making gasping type noises. Not loud, but something I hadn't heard before. I use a bike handlebar mirror to look at her while she is in the pack and she would smile at me, but I wasn't sure that going for an hour long hike was the best idea. So, we just went around the block.

You can tell by the bright red cheeks on her face when we got home that it was pretty chilly out because she was only outside for about 12 minutes.


Check out the snow on the roof and the mound right behind us. Six feet easily in the front yard.



Had to include this last one because she looks so funny. Again, the tears attest as to how cold it was.


Supposed to get up to 10 degrees today, but it looks pretty sunny. Hopefully we can go for a little walk in town. Might try to meet K at Ice Rink or Howellsen because she has an outdoor education day today.

E has been teething lately. She's got some nice, pronounced bumps on lower gums. Constantly playing with her lower jaw. She started Screeching two days ago. Not Screeching in pain, just making new, loud noises. I was with her at the grocery store yesterday and she was just wheeling around Screeching at the top of her lungs. Some people took quick glances thinking that she was being beat, but mostly just people smiling at us. First time riding in the cart. I think she had fun. She seems to thrive on the excitement in the grocery store.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rise and Snow

Once again, it is snowing. It's like I live in Chicago! Every day, more and more snow. Unfortunately, our only shovel broke the other day when I was doing some maintenance on the roof. It gets tiring buying new shovels every few years. I remember having the same shovel my whole life until I was 23 and moved to Steamboat. I bet I've had 7 since I moved here 12 years ago. Speaking of which, it has now been 1/3 of my life living in Steamboat (12 years and I am 36). If I can get the 2 feet of snow off my truck this afternoon, maybe E and I will go get a new shovel... again.

Good thing Kodi likes to dig, because he will soon have to if he wants to get into his dog house.




E, K, and Kodi hanging out in the living room after school. I guess that the kid and the dog are both better trained at getting their fotos taken than their Mom. Eyes on the camera K!



Made two 1/2 wheat baguettes yesterday. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. Went well with the Portabello/Gorgonzola and Red Pepper Raviolis from Seafood company. Simple spinach and olive oil saute with some parmesano reggiano grated on top. A few spears of asparagus for some more roughage.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Update.


Superbowl was yesterday, so, the basement was gonna be displayed one way or another. Stayed up 'til 12:30 priming and painting on Saturday evening. Cleaned and painted floor on Sunday morning. Took an hour and a half ski break. Got home and then K and I moved furniture that was spread throughout the house and garage to the basement (K was so jazzed, she had all ready moved rugs and some other things downstairs by the time I got home!).

Hooked up TV and speakers. TV is a long story [B gave it to us about a year ago and it was broken. After being stored in the old basement for that time, I brought it up and set it on top of the washer and dryer for a few days and opened her up. After lots of fidgeting with no results, I turned the the WWW. Turns out several people have had the same issue with the TV. Shortly after replacing the lamp, the TV slowly started dying. One fix said to check that all fans were working (they were) and then replace the board that connects to the lamp. Seeing as I didn't have a replacement board, I simply checked connections and tightened it a bit. Low and behold, it worked- at least for the Superbowl and hopefully until we win some equivalent sized LCD TV and movable wall mount. Yeah!], but let's just say we now have a 50 inch DLP television in the basement. Got everything hooked up just before the kickoff and, was still fidgeting with receiver and speakers when first guests arrived.


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On Thursday, E had her first taste of Formula- our freezer full of breastmilk is now gone. Didn't seem to phase her. She just drank it up. This formula was given to us, this is not an advertisement for Similac, it was just free. She has begun eating a lot more volume lately too. Twice now has finished a whole banana and it seems as though every time we feed her something, we need to make more of something else to satisfy her belly (once more, it appears that she is taking after Dad).



Here is E, sucking down a bottle during the Superbowl. Her buddy Cruz is in the background.