My Family

My Family

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Donder and Blitzen

Nolan met Santa and got to pet his reindeer!
Nolan also found his name in Santas naughty nice book, it was written in elf script that only Santa could read but we think it may have said "needs to be nicer to sister."  After several meet and greets however I think it's safe to say Nolan has an in with the big man and he should be getting that helicopter he asked for.

Introducing Cindy Lou Who

The cutest little Who on the east side of Whoville, meet our little miss Christmas.  Can she get any cuter?!  Walking all over now she is the meaning of spreading Christmas cheer.

Ande Candy Winklebottom Salzmann

Guess what?!?  Santa sent us our very own elf to watch over Nolan and Macey and report back to Santa!  Ande Candy Winklebottom has gotten into some mischief.  He has unrolled the toilet paper roll, rode in Nolan's cars, flying in toy airplanes, pulled out all the diapers and even was caught sitting on Nolan's big boy potty while trying to make some Hershey kisses.  Nolan just loves his new elf!

So far only good reports to Santa.  Nolan wants lots of presents this year "toys and clothes".  

First pig tails

First pig tails lasting for a record 10 minutes before someone pulled them off we head!!

Friday, September 26, 2014


This past month has been emotionally challenging, losing one of our closest family members and beloved pet, Rudy. 

As the pain begins to cease, I'd like this post to be a celebration of Rudy's life.  A life that was well lived, full of travel and adventure, humiliation, and love.  We believe in our hearts that Rudy lived more life in his six years then most dogs do in their entire life. 

Perhaps I will start at the beginning, when I wasn't even planning to get a dog.  Out shopping for a matress and stumbled into Pete's Petland.  It sounded like a good idea at the time.  And there was Rudy, pre wirey hair, looking all sad, at 6 months of age in a small crate with red marker indicating 50% off.  What a deal!  When I took Rudy out and let him play in the shredded newspaper pen I was enamored with his spirit.  He was fun, way past that irresitible 8 week puppy stage, and he needed a home.  And so the $200 purchase ensued.

Rudy was my best pal when I really had nobody.  My boyfriend and I had broken up, family lived in MN and I had not met Jeff yet.  I was living in a dumpy apartment in Forest Park IL and Rudy was my world.  He wore clothes and diapers, this is where humiliation comes into play.  He was "special".  And he was a model, I couldn't have been prouder.  Rudy and I went on walks and frequented the dog park.  He was my travel buddy back to MN to visit my family.  He was the topic at all of my work staff meetings.  He was "spirited" and I loved it.

Then I met Jeff.  Jeff loved dogs.  He loved Rudy from the start because he loved me, and I loved Rudy.  We hit things off right on our first visit to Jeff's house.  Rudy and I were lost, it took us almost two hours to get there from Oak Park to Elgin.  Rudy must have had to go poop bad.  Or maybe it was his first encounter as alpha male.  He left a very large turd in Jeff's house.  And Jeff said I was too pretty to clean it up.  (I must have turned ugly shortly thereafter).  The first Christmas we spent together we were like a little family.  We took Rudy's picture under the tree.  Summer followed and Rudy got basket rides on the back of our bikes and then the traveling began.

Rudy swam in 4 of the 5 great lakes.  He was very well traveled going to Cobleskil, NY, UP Michigan, Denver Colorado, Detroit, MI, Akron, OH, Cincy, OH, St Joe's MI, Door County, WI, McGregor IA, Galena, IL, and our last trip with him to the North Shore-Duluth, MN.  Rudy might be the only dog that has been snuck into a Marriott 5 star hotel experience.  Colorado is where Rudy really belonged. He was a mountain dog, so agile and quick on our hike climbing up the steepest and unstable rocks with such ease and with such pride. Jeff and I just got the biggest charge out of his ambitious spirit.  My favorite memory of Rudy was on our trip to the UP at Whitefish Point. It was his first real encounter with water and he was trying to catch the waves with his mouth.  Running up and down the beach, so free spirited grinning from ear to ear.  Throw a rock or a stick to Rudy and he would fetch, not so great at retrieving but true to form, Rudy was all about the adventure.  Loved the adventure of sticking his face under water to try to find the rock or leaping into the water to snatch up a floating stick.  Afterall, all of these years he's been telling us that he is a small game hunter.  I believe it. 

Rudy was there when Jeff and I exchanged our vows.  He wore a tux that day, took pictures with me before I even saw Jeff.  I will never forget how adorable and ridiculous he looked.  And nobody would have expected anything different from me, wearing my wedding dress holding a bouquet in one hand and Rudy's lease in the other.  :-)

Rudy's world changed when Nolan was born and so did ours but all for the better.  Rudy learned to be selfless.  He learned that pulling hair and tails was affection and that he would never hurt the single most important thing to Jeff and I.  He was tolerant, patient, and concerned; creeping on Nolan when he was upset and stealing food from him as he got older.  Rudy never missed an under the high chair dining experience.

And then Macey.  This was just old hat for Rudy.  Just one more reason why dinnertime had been pushed from 6p.m. sharp to maybe 7 or sometimes 8.  When I came home from the hospital Roo was so happy to see me.  I have a picture of that day, I was weak and tired, and there was Roo paws up on my legs tongue just going a million miles per hour hoping my hand or arm would land on it somehow.

On our last special time with him was on our 4th of July trip to Duluth where we think his life made a fatal turn.  But I will never forget, because this was the Rudy we will always remember.  Acting like a nut when we left him out of any adventure.  He sat out on the patio with us for breakfast because he just couldn't bear to stuck inside without his people.  He sat on the beach with us and caught the waves splashing up to shore.  He played with Nolan and caught sticks and dug in the sand.  He ran up and down the beach without a leash.  He also enjoyed a few minutes of quiet with Jeff and I on the rocks while the kids napped in the car, watching the Lake Superior waves crash against the rocks.  We took our last walk as a family in the rose garden park.  It was a typical Roo kind of time.

I will never forget Rudy.  He will forever be in our hearts and the memories and joy he has brought to everyone in our family will live on and far surpass the sorrow we have had from our loss.  Here's to Rudy who we owe life's simple pleasures: how to play, show affection, seek adventure, and be loyal.

Forever rest in peace Roo and in our hearts.  We love you buddy.

My little big man

Our big boy is talking so much now.  I decided to write down all of his funny one liners.  Nolan let out some toots for Miss Yanda and with the most serious face turned around and said to her "oh great! The poo poos comin!"  

He is also fond of reporting the weather, looking out the sky and telling us "oh no thunderstorm coming!"

His latest phrasing includes "look there it is" before everything!  Like "look there it is the steps!" Or when he saw a squirrel running down the street, "look there it is, it's so cute!"

He likes to compliment himself also.  "Cool shoes mommy."  Or sometimes a combo of "Look mommy really cool hat!"

He also can be very polite.  Saying please and thank you when appropriate and without prompt.  And an occasional "ya you" before bed.

Another bedtime ritual has become reading every book on the book shelf inventory.  And asking mommy to "scrotch bock".  

And of course mommy gives in.  Cheers to my little man!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Summer wrap up

As usual summer has flown are some highlights.

Daddy's team the Pirates won the state championship!

Mimi and Papa and Trevor made their first trip to Mn!  We went to the Mall of America and had dinner at the rainforest cafe for dad's birthday.  

Macey splashed in her water table for the first time, crawled and said Mama for the first time.

Nolan spent his entire summer talking about and asking for tractor rides.  Macey followed suite.
We made several trips to go see daddy's job site and the excavator.  
Nolan picked mommy flowers.  :). He sure knows just the right things to make his mama swoon!
Lots of going to watch baseball games and a couple nights of sleeping with the championship trophy. This summer marks the time our Nolan Jeffrey first fell in love with baseball.
Grandma got to see her back yard for the first time in 2 years after her knee replacement surgery.  Jeff and dad worked hard to trim it and spruce it up for her viewing on Labor Day.

Miss Yanda got married and Nolan did not appreciate it!

Bring on the falling leaves, fall bon fire nights, comfy sweaters, pumpkin spice coffee and hopefully a purchase of our very first home.