Shameless Self-Indulgence

For all your Michael family news and photo needs.


Fall is here...wait! Did we have summer?

Just got through with a great weekend. My family was in town for the weekend so we got to hang with Grandma, Aunt Chris and Uncle Dale. We took in the Farmers Market on Saturday and got snowed out. It was freezing, but I discovered I like the Farmers Market a lot more when it's cold...there's considerably less people. Working your way around the Farmers Market is a lot like working your way down a freeway. It would be a lot easier to get around if it wasn't for all those other people. And, when you're the one pushing a stroller, people are compelled go cut in front of you. Everybody hates the guy with the stroller.

But I digress...

On Sunday, Kaye, Charlotte, and I took the obligatory trip to the pumpkin patch.

We also shot a little video. If we come away with anything, it's confirmation that I have a very odd sense of humor. If you manage to hang around until the end, you'll see what I mean.


This kid's got skills...

Can you tell her mother was a Pom Pon girl in high school? Is it too early to get her into a dance class or would it mess up her natural talent?


Finally, I can [officially] let this cat out of the bag!!

Several months ago we discovered we were expecting another child in January [11th to be exact]. For several reasons, we've kept it to ourselves. But, after 3 ultra sounds and everything progressing nicely...we finally feel comfortable putting the news out there. On Thursday, we found out "it's a girl".

From Baby Girl Michael
It's been a crazy year or with moving twice [in several painful stages] and starting new jobs. We're very excited and feel very blessed. Just to get the typical questions out of the way; Kaye is feeling fine and no we don't have a name picked out yet. We plan to keep that to ourselves, as we did with Charlotte.

Oh, and just to give Charlotte equal time, here's a little video of our conversation on the way home from school the other day.

She's quite talented.


Just playing catch-up...

I thought I'd put a few things up just to get them out of the no particular order.

We're getting a chance to take in Madison this spring. It's been a good time.

Today, we hit Brat Fest.

You'll notice that Kaye took one ride with Charlotte. Normally, [and unfortunately] that falls under my jurisdiction as mommy doesn't like heights. However, along with minimum height restrictions, they have maximum weight restrictions. Let's just say I don't fall within those guidelines.

We've also done the Farmers Market a couple times:
Farmers Market 09

At Fitchburg Days the giant slide didn't have a weight restriction. My butt begs to differ.

Lastly. My mom was nice enough to come up and watch Charlotte so Kaye and I could go and see Elton John and Billy Joel. Please excuse the poor sound/video quality, but I felt I needed to prove that we were there.

I'll try to keep up more, but it's been a little busy. I'll also try to remember to bring my regular video camera whenever possible. Obviously my phone just isn't cutting it.


I'm a horrible influence [as if we needed another example]

Several Oktoberfests ago, every picture anyone took of me I looked like this. For some reason I thought it was funny. It's bad enough that I've apparently dragged Kaye down to my level. But, it's very sad that I couldn't shield my daughter from such behavior. Next thing you know, she'll be wearing a German alpine hat and yelling "This hat is makin' me hot!!". [That one's for you, "M-Lo"]


Have you ever seen paralyzing fear?

It's still better than our experience with the Easter Bunny.

I'd feel bad watching it if it weren't so darn funny. She's a good sport.


I have video again...

The replacement cord for my video camera finally came in so I was able to upload some video. There's more coming.

First, we have some video from the Oktoberfest Parade. Every year I march with the UWL Alumni band. A few things to note about the video. I really wish they'd stop selling those horns to people along the parade route. This video is shot by Kaye who typically standing at the end of the parade route. The band isn't terribly disciplined anyway, but by the end of the parade route it's a bit loose [to say the least]. Beer isn't exactly in short supply along the route and these people aren't getting any younger. Lastly, you'll notice Matthew at the end of the clip. I encourage him and his friend Rob to start marching with us. I may live to regret that.

Next, I have some video from Charlotte's B'day

I'll be getting more video up later.


Two years old

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Last weekend we had Charlotte's 2nd birthday party. Although she didn't say it, Charlotte really appreciated so many family members traveling to celebrate with her. We also celebrated her cousin Matthew's b'day the night before, so I'm fairly certain that she now believes that the song "Happy Birthday" was specifically written for her and Matthew.

On Monday we also went to have her picture taken with Santa. The line to see him was about an hour long and circled around the children's play area in the mall. So, needless to say, it was bedlam in playland. There even came a point when Kaye had to lay down the law with a couple boys who were roughhousing and knocked Charlotte down. That moment made the hour plus wait worth every minute.

Regardless, this picture went a little better than our experience with the Easter Bunny. I will say, however, that this picture doesn't really do justice to Charlotte's obvious aprehension when she was placed on Santa's knee. But, she managed to hold it together, smile, and take a fairly good picture.
From Christmas08
I do have video of her B'day and the picture with Santa. Unfortunately, my USB cable for my camera seems to have been lost in our move to Madison. I've ordered a new one and hope to have some video up ASAP.


School day care?

Yea...and tomorrow we have our first parent/teacher conferences. Here's how I see this going.

Teacher: Ok, Mr. and Mrs. Michael. Charlotte is doing well developmentally. Her language is ahead of schedule. She's learning her alphabet, numbers [Spanish and English], colors, and several songs. Um, we were just wondering. Who taught her the "Butt Dance"?
From School Pics
Charlotte also had her 2 year check-up. Other than reaffirming that, for some reason, health care personnel don't find me funny, it was fairly uneventful. Depending on where they measure from, she should be about the same height as her mother. However, like her father, if her height was determined by the size of her head, she's on pace for 8'2".


I'm not very good at this...

It has been a very long time since my last post.

Well, we're settling into Madison fairly nicely. Charlotte seems to really enjoy her new day care. She's counting to 10, saying her ABC's, singing songs [some of which I actually know] and learning Spanish. The Spanish thing is a little scary because sometimes I have a hard time understanding her and now I have to figure out which language she's speaking...and I only know one of them. Long story short, she's becoming a little person. It's been great.

We've been trying to take in as much of Madison as possible, when we have time. In fact, last weekend to celebrate our anniversary, we went to a Badger football game, out to dinner, and went to an off off broadway show featuring a cross-dressing Tupperware sales person, "Dixie's Tupperware Party". Very funny...and you could actually buy Tupperware.

My job continues to be fairly interesting. It's never the same thing from day to day and it's been a huge learning experience. Kaye seems to be enjoying her job. Our house in La Crosse [aka our "Summer Home"] hasn't sold if you're looking for a house in La Crosse, WI, don't be afraid to drop us a note.

This past weekend, we took Charlotte Trick or Treating for the first time. I think she understood the premise, for the most part. I don't think she ever said "Trick or Treat, but she did enjoy the part where people gave her candy. Matthew and Brianna joined us and Matthew actually dressed for the occasion. Last night, Kaye Charlotte and I went to the Badger men's basketball game. Charlotte had a great time, but got a little tired. I don't think she had a lot of interest in the game, but enjoyed watching all the people, especially Bucky. She entertained some of the people around her too.


Again, my apologies for the lack of posts. It's been a very interesting couple months, but we've also been very busy. And when we aren't busy, I'm much happier playing with Charlotte. When I'm not playing with Charlotte, the couch is a wonderful place.


My how things change in one month...

First, the obligatory apology for not posting in over a month. Now that we've gotten that out of the way...

As you may have heard, we've moved to Madison. I've taken a job with the State and Kaye with a credit union. Charlotte has made the transition fairly well...probably better than her father. Her new day care is a brand new facility with all the bells and whistles, including little tiny flush toilets [very funny stuff]. We're very happy with it. It seems to be a very young staff, so there are little things that we had gotten used to [read: taken for granted] over the past year or so at her day care in La Crosse, which we miss. These are things that a parent understands but a 19 year old might not. But, she's surviving nicely.

Kaye's job seems to be going well. She started several weeks before I did, so she had some time to get herself acquainted with the area before I got here. My job is a HUGE change for me and the learning curve is fairly steep. The people working for me and around me seem to understand and are helping me figure things out.

Lastly let me say we had a lot of help from friends in our move and I can't thank them enough. My mother was in La Crosse several times while Kaye was gone and not only helped me with Charlotte but also packed a whole lot of boxed for us. Several people showed up the day of the move including several who followed us to Madison to help unpack. Again, I can't thank everyone enough for all your help. You made what was already a very stressful time a whole lot less painful [both physically and psychologically]. Thanks.


More slacking...

...except this time I had the pics, I just never posted them.

We took some pictures over the 4th of July. Most of them are at Kaye's parents playing with bubbles and her cousins, who were patiently trying to teach her to blow bubbles. She wanted to kiss/eat them. With Charlotte, it's a very fine line between kisses and eating. They both involve an open mouth and lots of drool.

There are also a few pics of Kaye's birthday dinner at Outback. Shut up! It was her choice. I didn't even have to brainwash her. The last few pics are of Charlotte on one of the weekend mornings while eating breakfast. She's very ladylike.

Oh, and I also included this year's obligatory pics of the Charlotte in the bikini my sister bought her. Happy now Chris?


I'm a huge slacker...

Actually, we've been very very busy these last couple weeks...I'll be able to explain more in the coming weeks. Charlotte is doing well. Her most recent checkups indicate that everything is going well. Her head is 15 percentage points ahead of the rest of her body on the growth chart...once again proving that she is daddy's girl.

She's doing better and better at sleeping through the night [knock on wood]. At this point we're down to only about 1 or 2 nights a week of having to get up with her. Typically, when we get up with her, she'll go right back to sleep after we pick her up. We still have to rock her for a little while to get her back to sleep...but she doesn't spend a lot of time actually "awake". During a recent late night session, she decided she wanted to stay up with mommy and daddy. She was wide awake from about 2 AM to approximately 4:30. I had to get something out of the kitchen at about 3 and spotted the camera on the counter. I'm not sure why, but I thought it would be funny to get a few snap shots of the experience.

Notice, I didn't get any shots of me during this evening. Let's just say the apple didn't fall far from the tree at that time. Oh, and for all you more experienced parents who have that uncontrollable urge to tell us that we should let her cry...we've done that. Thanks.

Lastly, I'll leave you with some obligatory bath video. On this particular evening, she was very content with taking a bath. This is not always the case. Her love for bath time ebbs and flows. Currently, she's in the screaming in terror phase.


Yet another gift from day care [petri dish]...

Last week Wednesday, I got a call from our day care letting me know that they suspected that Charlotte had "hand, foot, and mouth disease". I had heard of this, but didn't know much about it. Come to find out, neither did our day care. When they called, they told me that they had her quarantined in an office. So, of course, I'm imagining guys in white hazmat suits carrying my daughter into a sealed room [ala ET].

When I went to pick her up, one of the workers walked down the hall with her in her arms. She informed me that they were looking into how long she'd need to be out, but they'd definitely need a doctors note to get back in. So, I took her to the doctor.

Now, I've been through this before with pink-eye. They called me, told me she had pink eye, I took her to the doctor, and the doctor told me she didn't have it. So, I went back to day care...all cocky, of course...and told them she didn't have it. Of course, the next day her eyes were all gunked up and pink.

So, this time, I brought her back and gave them the doctors note saying she didn't have it. Interestingly, in the time it took me to take her to the doctor, they discovered that it didn't matter if she had it or not, she could say as long as she didn't have a fever. However, I planned to keep her out that day just to be safe [in case she did or didn't have it and could catch it]. Apparently there's nothing saying kids with this stuff need to be removed.

Thursday we took her back to daycare and all was fine. Early Friday afternoon, I got a call letting me know she was running a fever. As Friday and Saturday rolled along she started to get more and more blisters on her face.

From More gifts fr...
From More gifts fr...
These pics were taken on Sunday after her fever had broken. The blisters continued to show up through out the week. Overall, Charlotte was a pretty good sport with it. She's coming around and the blisters are going away.

As it turns out, almost every kid in the center ended up with it. In fact, I've spoken to parents who have their kids in other daycares, and they're getting it too. The upside...apparently she shouldn't get this again.


Catching up...

I admit, I'm a slacker. It's been way too long since my last post. Or...maybe not that much is happening. Well, let me catch you up.

This wasn't Charlotte's first Easter, but it was the first one where she's been able to take part in some of the activities. It was my mom's spring break, so she was able to spend a long weekend with us. We had an Easter egg hunt at our church. I was a little afraid of how this might go because, in the weeks leading up to Easter, Charlotte had been pointing at Easter Eggs and saying [or sometimes yelling], "Balls!!". Luckily, that was kept to a minimum at church.

After the Easter egg hunt, we went to the mall for the obligatory picture with the Easter Bunny, or as he's known to Charlotte, "that large furry thing that I like to look at from far away, but not so much close up" There are several parts in the video where, if you watch real closely, you can see small moments of panic. The real terror is not capture on video because I bailed on the video taping duties as soon as I saw her start to lose it. Let's face it, I'm not good at watching my daughter freak out. As you can see above, we did manage to snap one pic.

Like last year, we visited my cousin Sue for Easter Sunday. And, again, she fed us way better than we deserve. Other than a brief choking episode by Charlotte on the way down and a crying/screaming fit for the last 20 minutes of the ride back, it was well worth the trip. I can't thank Sue, and everyone who helps her, enough.

Charlotte is developing her own little personality. She has a fondness for the word "no". She likes to say it to the dog, her parents, a grilled really doesn't matter. It's been a long winter, so she's been cooped up in the house for a long time. Let's face it, when there's 3 feet of snow in the yard and you're only 2 feet tall, playing in the yard isn't an option. So, when the weather warmed up, I decided we'd start taking more walks around the block, playing in the yard, going to parks.

The first time I had her in the yard, I set her down in the grass and she just stood there. She seemed afraid to move. I slowly came to realize that she was afraid of the grass. Granted, last summer when she was just learning to sit up/crawl, she wasn't a fan of the feeling of the grass, but I've heard that's fairly normal. However, this seemed to be more of an outright fear...not screaming in fear [ala the Easter Bunny], just kind of afraid to move fear. Nonetheless, we have been able to get her out more. A couple weeks ago we took her to "Kids Coulee", a giant playground/castle/jungle gym in one of our local parks. This was her first time on a big swing set. Yes, I shot video of it. Don't judge me.

Last weekend we payed a visit to my grandma Erickson [my mom's side]. While it's always nice to see her, Charlotte was more interested in her walker. The better photos are courtesy of my Uncle Gary.

Ok, maybe stuff has been happening. Apparently, I am a slacker.