Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A lil' bit o' Celia

Just a day in the life of the Robertson's. Enjoy!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Videos of Toddlerhood

It has been a very long time since we have signed on. Sorry for the hiatus - it's summertime, and when it's beautiful outside it is hard for me to sit in front of a computer when I get home from work (especially since I have been sitting in front of one all day!) However, I realize that there are grandmothers and aunties and cousins out there that don't get to see us much and I apologize to them for the drought of videos. So - this blog has a toofer!

Celia has officially entered toddlerhood. She is walking - quite quickly, I might add - but that has not been the harbinger of Toddlerness. No, no, what has been the sure sign that we are entering a "new stage", shall we say, is the throwing herself on the floor and kicking. Often times it is not actually on a floor - she tends to prefer to throw herself in the sand at the playground, thus leading to mid-day baths for daddy. Even then, I have come home, given the girl a hug and had to ask Mike, "why does she have sand in her ears?"

Nevertheless, C is very fun. As you can see in this video, she has a cute sense of humor, and is beginning to be able to communicate more and more with us. Well, that is to say, if our conversations are about apples, bubbles or balls.

She is getting ready to move into the toddler room at preschool. She has visited a few times, and she really seems ready - she is much more interested in the toys in that room, especially the cause and effect ones. "If I put this ball here, dos it roll away?" "If I bang these things together, what sound does it make?" "If I stand up in my chair, will Momma tell me THIS TIME to sit down?" (Her answer - "surely not!" Mine - "sit DOWN, Celia.")

Anyway, we are working on the fun things that toddlers have to learn - drinking from a sippy cup and using a spoon, as this video shows.

We are heading out to the zoo tomorrow with Uncle Dave and Grandpa Gary for his birthday. I will try to put up some pictures next week.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Daddy's turn!

Hi all--It's Mike this time (Lael is out of town in Washington, D.C.). I thought I'd dust off my English Major skills and give you an update on Celia and our life. Summer showed up late this year, as you'll see in the videos of Celia's birthday party....We're all huddled around the fire on May 28th!

Celia is growing and changing so fast you can almost see it happening minute by minute. She's very curious about the world, absorbing new information all the time. We've been trying to teach her "Baby Sign", which is a set of simple hand gestures to help her communicate while she figures out how to speak. It apparently reduces children's frustration as they move from infant into toddler, allowing them to express their needs without just yelling/crying/throwing a tantrum.

This evening we were in the back yard and she was watching the different birds flying around (and hopping around). We have robins, mourning doves, grackles, and the occasional cardinal and goldfinch. The sign for "bird" is simply flapping your arms like a bird, so I've been doing that every time we see a bird in the yard or in a book. She looks at me when I do the sign, so I know she's making the connection, but so far the only signs she's done herself are "bye-bye" (waving,) "so-big" (arms over head), and occasionally "more" (touching index fingers together or clapping while in her high-chair). So we'll see if the signing helps her--for some kids it takes a while before they start using the signs. It's fun for me to do anyway!

I mentioned that Lael is in D.C. She is there for a conference on Human Rights law, and she was able to go thanks to a fellowship she was awarded. Her work for Legal Aid continues to be rewarding and challenging, and balancing the demands of the job with the demands of parenting is no easy task.

My own work has been busy bordering on frantic the past few weeks, and I too am struggling to find a balance between being a contractor and being a dad. I'm still staying home with Celia on Mondays and Fridays, and I really enjoy those days we have together. Even if she winds up going to Home Depot or a job site with me, we still find time to stop at a park, visit with friends, or just play in the house or out in the back yard.

I was in an all-dad's Early Childhood Family Education class this year with about 20 other mostly full-time stay-at-home dads. It was a great experience and I've learned a lot from the other guys (many of whom have kids a little older than Celia). Our group will continue to get together this summer for "play dates" at a local park, and I plan on being part of the class again when the school year starts next fall.

Anyway, here is some footage of Celia's first birthday--

Opening Presents

Cake! Cake! Cake!

As you can tell from the video above, Celia loves eating. It doesn't really seem to matter what the food is--it's all about getting it from her hand to her mouth. In this next video, Lael has given her a spoon to see what happens.....

Monday, March 31, 2008


I'm going to be honest. This post is primarily for the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives. Why? Because this post is all about the baby eating breakfast. That's right. Below is a six minute video of Celia having breakfast. Why, you may ask, am I even posting this? Because it is dang cute. She eats peas. She holds on to cheerios. She works her two little front teeth and talks and smiles. It is delightful. But it is a baby eating, so many of you won't be all that thrilled. Granted, I have some stunningly witty narrative throughout, but even that may not hold your interest. However, if you are Grandpa or Grandma, I am sure you will thoroughly enjoy this. So, without further ado . . . .

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

It's Easter today - typically the harbinger of spring around these parts. But with three inches of snow dumped yesterday, it feels more appropriate to wish you a Merry Christmas.

But no - I will banish those thoughts, because two days ago, as I went outside to take my girl to daycare, I saw in the tree a robin redbreast. For sure spring is around the corner! I have even, dare I say it?, taken out my past copies of Garden Gate in anticipation of the upcoming season and the upcoming GARDEN PROJECTS.

Ooooh, I get all giddy just thinking about it. First, you wait for the little plants to poke their heads out of the cold earth which is slowly being warmed by the sun. This is not only very exciting because it is a sign of the warm and long days to come with your hands in the dirt. It is also exciting because, if you are like me, you have forgotten some things that you planted last year, so it is a little like opening presents. Oh! Look, it's a Shasta Daisy! What's that over there? Riiiiiight, I forgot that I bought a phlox and put it over there!

Last year's front garden - much work will be done here this year . . .

The Friends Garden Sale, sponsored by the Quaker's Friends School, is always the first garden event of the season. They send out the catalog a month in advance so you can PLAN. And plan you must.It's HUGE - tons and tons of plants for sale. So big, in fact, it takes place at the Fairgrounds. My friend Beth has a spreadsheet prepared every year, color coded and in order of importance. Last year I made a list and then drew an elevation of what the garden would look like. Well, what do you expect? I am a planner. It runs Friday through Sunday, and you have to prepare yourself for the fact that not all the plants that you want will be there. I normally go on Friday evening, because Friday mornings are allegedly crazy crazy crazy. But - the supply is picked over by Friday evening, so then Saturday they have a second delivery, but then the crowds are crazy on Saturday, so what is a girl to do?

Last year's side garden
Well - I'll tell you. If you volunteer for a shift of the sale you are allowed to go in on THURSDAY EVENING. Oh, yes, that's right. So this year, I am taking Friday off from work to volunteeer so that I can get in early. I am so excited. I have volunteered to work as an "expert" in the perennial section. I am not an expert, that's for sure, but I have many opinions, and the requirements were only that I study their catalog and be familiar with the plants. Uh, OKAY, if you insist. :)
So, only one thing stands between the plant sale and myself: The SECOND SWEATER.

My sister in law is pregnant with twins (yay!) that are due on April 11th. I decided that I would knit the Apples (as they are lovingly called) a couple of cardigan sweaters. I got the first one done just in time for her baby shower. I say just in time because it is garter stitched, and I was not prepared for the time commitment. If any of you are knitters, you will understand that garter stitching takes approximately 50% more yarn than a stockingette stitch, and therefore takes 50% more time. I honestly didn't think about this when I started on the project. Did I mention that there are TWO babies?

So, I have finished one. It's a very sweet little sweater, with nice lace edging. And I am on my way to finishing the second one. I think it will be done for the Apples' birth, but not much before that. Because I will be cutting it so close, there will be NO garden planning, NO catalog perusing and probably little blogging between now and then.

I am posting some pics of some sweaters I knit for Celia, too. They were very fun. I like that baby sweaters go quickly (most of the time!) so they are very gratifying. They are also things that you can keep forever. As you will see from a past post, I still have a handmade sweater from when I was a baby. They hold up well and really are heirlooms.

Little Brown Hoodie

This one is called a matinee sweater. (Celia was about 3 mos here, so wasn't very mobile.)

I am off. Hope you are all well. Sunshine is in the forcast, and hopefully a melting of this snow. I will be feverishing knitting, and thinking of all of the planting in my (hopefully near) future.

Friday, February 29, 2008

I'm Baaaaaaaaack!

Oy. It has been a heckuva few weeks. Sorry for the lull in blogs, Ladybug fans. Let's just say someone (not naming names, but she's about two feet tall) was very very sick for two weeks, including a double ear infection, bronchiolitis, fever and vomitting. There was little time to sleep, much less blog. But - said person is feeling MUCH better now. See?

Since my last post, our house has become newly divided. Do Mike and I have a fundamental difference of opinion? Does it have to do with the upcoming elections? No, sillies. Our house has been LITERALLY divided. In the form of - yes, say it with me - baby gates.

Celia is taking it pretty well, though. Considering that she is extremely mobile right now and we are basically cutting her off from unexplored territory, she doesn't seem to mind.

In fact, she kind of likes it, because the baby gate is just one more thing she can chew on.

Last weekend we went to St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park to celebrate our friend Kaarin's birthdeay. Kaarin turned 40 on February 1st, and we decided we had to do SOMETHING to celebrate. So, we rented the conference cottage at the park and had a blast hiking, eating, and sitting by the fireplace.

Jen, Mike and Celia

The Tiara'd Birthday Girl

Um, I don't know about you, but Kaarin looks like she should be turning 30, not 40. Sheesh. Kaarin loves spending time outside so this was a perfect day for her. We had a blast, too.

Our friends Jen and Andy have a baby, Lauren, who is just over a year (so, about three months older than Celia.) The borrowed a pulk for the day - it's like the sled form of a Burley. It was big enough that we could get both girls in there. They liked the idea . . . .

but then weren't quite so sure . . . .

Let's just say it worked for a while. And then it just didn't. As John Wayne would say, the pulk wasn't big enough for the both of them.

These last couple of weeks I also have been feverishly at work on a present for a baby shower that is being held tomorrow, March 2nd. I had to get the present done and shipped off in time for the shower, so there was a bit of scrambling. As soon as I know the shower has been held and the present opened, I will post pics of the gift, because I am quite proud of my handiwork!

Monday, February 4, 2008

So Much to Update . . . .

Okay, so first things first - I am sorry, Nicole, that I haven't posted recently! My sister, Nicole, can be a bit, ahem, pushy if I don't blog regularly, so I wanted to start out with a sorry. You should meet her - you would be a little scared of her, too! :)

So, there are so many new things! First, Mike and I went to the land of Oz last weekend . . .

This is done in ice, people. We went to see the winter carnival ice sculptures. Man, they are impressive. I can't imagine that ice is the best medium to work with. And cold. Damn cold.

One more - this was a circus theme. Do you see the elephant with a peanut on his trunk? It is right in front of the green tree . . . .

After the ice sculptures, we went to the St. Paul Grille to celebrate Mike's birthday, and it was really fun. I don't think we talked about the baby once. Well, maybe once, but really, only once! It was very nice. We have decided it is HEALTHY and NORMAL to be without our child, and are going to try and do it more often.

But speaking of our child - we have TEETH!

No, you can't really see them in this pic - maybe if you look REALLY close and SQUINT a little bit . . . .and add a bit of imagination . . . .

Okay, so just take my word for it - we have two bottom teeth coming in. She is doing pretty well with it, besides having a minor ear infection that the doctor thinks is tied to the teeth. They are very cute and VERY sharp. No more muppet baby!

And speaking of changes in The Girl, now that she has begun to crawl she is doing all sorts of big girl things, including pulling herself up on furniture, or laundry baskets, or humidifiers - really anything she can find.

Her favorite game, as Mike pointed out to me today, is pulling up on the basket, then sitting back down, crawling over you you and gumming your leg, then going back to the laundry basket, repeat ad nauseum.


Lastly, I have a little video. This video starts out with Celia doing one of my favorite things. We have a toy that has a squeaker in the nose. She likes to chew on the nose, so it squeaks every time she bites down. In this video, she is also talking while chewing, so it creates a lovely song.

I think next weekend I will try to give a little update on Mike and me. We are doing well, though quite exhausted (I'm sure you can't imagine why). He's been busy, I've been busy. With what, you might ask? Stay tuned . . . .