Every day is a collection of moments. Each week, each month and each year they become our memories.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 12 (12-12-12)


I watch. I stare. I witness. She knows. 12-12

She is constantly looking up to see if I noticed.   I cheer.  She smiles.  

Today  I had big plans for what to get done; like publish a blog for our business, do a goal review, schedule some meetings, start planning marketing campaigns for 2013, etc, etc.     Tessie’s list was easier.   Play.  Smile.   Practice crawling.   Figure out how to go from all fours to a sitting position without falling over.   

Clearly only of us accomplished everything.   

December 11 - Just a Tuesday

ribbon 12-11 

Oh, the normal-ness of a Tuesday.    After working all morning we divided and conquered.   Steve and Tessie hung out all afternoon while I took off to do some more Christmas shopping and pick up more groceries.  As you can see, I also bought more supplies for wrapping gifts.  

You can also see her sitting position of choice.  One leg back and one forward – giving the impression she could take off in a sprint at any moment. 



After she went to bed we watched the movie “Hope Springs”.   I thought it would be more of a chick flick (imagine how excited Steve was) but it was really just sad.   It made me want to just snuggle up to my husband.  Maybe that was the point.   So I wouldn’t necessarily recommend or not recommend the movie.  Just be warned. 


December 10 – The day she didn’t sleep


Why does that happen?   Maybe she was just finally feeling the thrill of the snow but she did not sleep all day.  Oh I threw her in bed a few times and she goofed off up there for awhile, but she didn’t sleep more than 30 minutes in the morning, and MAYBE 45 in the afternoon.  

I had work to do.   So I did what any awesome Mom would do.  I threw her in the big chair and turned on Barney.   She was immediately enthralled, and then a few minutes later she made herself more comfortable.   I had 10 minutes to get my thoughts together about how to successfully complete a work day with this baby watching my every move.  Thank goodness she wasn’t crabby. 

not sleeping

That night after dinner she started laughing.  Not the courtesy chuckle or the start of a real laugh like we’ve been getting for months.   She was really really laughing and it was hilarious.   Yes, I do have it on video (so I could show Steve).   No I am not sharing it because I am a total fool on the video.    Use your imagination, I’m sure it will be close to what really happened!  we love her


Here she is just on the couch staring at me.   She was sitting in the corner just moments before.   This is as close as she gets to cuddling.   I’ll take it.


December 9 – Let it SNOW!!



I get excited no matter what when the snow flies.   To wake up to a world covered in white is thrilling, but then to see it keep coming down all day….  forget about it!   Fast and furious the snow just flies and the entire world is blanked with cold sticky snow.  Obviously I could not wait to get Tessie outside so she could experience it for the first time.  

snow 12-9-12

This is her initial thought.    Clearly, she does not yet share my enthusiasm.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

December 8


Crawling is on the horizon.  She spends more time on all fours.  She has started rocking and seems to rock for longer each time.  She even has started picking up one of her hands and moving it around without losing her balance.   I could watch her for hours as she gains strength and the instinct to move takes over.  Babies. Are. Amazing.

crawl 12-8

December 7 – Worky Worky


Since I plaoffice 12-7yed hooky on my birthday I had lots of work to do . I know I said birthdays are work holidays… but since no one can step in for me when I’m gone and my energizer bunny husband boss NEVER stops…  there is always a pile waiting for me when I play.

This is my baby playing away behind me.  She is happy for the extra toys I have brought down to the office and is more than willing to show off her skills at sitting.  Try not to be alarmed that she only has one sock on.




After dinner Steve and Tessie gave me my belated birthday cake.  Again, one sock.  Note that it is a different one.

cake 12-7


December 6 – My Birthday!!


Best. Day. Ever. 
I am someone who likes a lot of attention on her birthday.   I like the cards and the phone calls and the texts and the Facebook Messages.   I like presents.  I like cake.  I like people to tell me how awesome I am.   I welcome every opportunity for my bucket to be filled with positivity and love and my birthday just kicks that feeling into overdrive.

I used to have a party for myself on my birthday – inviting friends and family over to my house while I served only my favorite things.   That was always a kick.

On my 40th birthday my family pulled off a surprise party!  (Obviously it was a surprise… I didn’t even shower that day!!!) and then Steve and I flew to Virginia to see the ocean before deciding to rent a car and drive to DC.  We LOVE DC!   So that birthday we spent in the Smithsonian;   then last year we were in San Diego and we spent my birthday at the Zoo!  

This year  we were home.  We all slept in.  We made Gingerbread pancakes.  When I first checked my phone it was flooded with greetings.   Since we have a company rule (that only I follow) that no one works on their birthday I had the whole day off.  It was awesome. 

I decided to keep with the “national destinations” theme and spent the day at the Mall of America.  I LOVE it there at Christmas!  The lights, the music, the peppermint mochas….   the stores filled with people choosing gifts…  Love it.   I had lunch with two sisters (complete with perfect gifts), coffee with another sister (with another perfect gift) , and I shopped for hours.   I especially loved that I had a gift card to my favorite store so I could do some guilt free shopping as well – maximizing clearance and 40% off pricing as well.

Jolene was with Tessie all day and she volunteered to stay late so Steve and I could go to dinner.   Like a date.  After dinner we came home, grabbed Tessie and headed out to see Santa.  She wasn’t super sure about him but she gave him a good look.



After we got home I had one more gift (the most perfect gift) from Tessie and Steve before we put her to bed.  Like I said, BEST BIRTHDAY EVER.

daddy 12-6


 mommy 12-6

Thank you to everyone!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December 5 – Lots of visiting


Little miss scoots a lot is no longer content with playing with the toys placed in front of her.   She prefers to tip over her basket and dig dig dig for what she wants.

digging for toys

Before her morning nap we raced over to the rental to show it.   Here we are just patiently waiting.  We were a little late heading over, so she has a hat and boots on and I just wrapped her in a blanket and ran!

waiting 12-5 

We had another ladies luncheon today.  This time we met Grandma Kathie and Chief Auntie Pat at the Good Day Cafe.   We were glad Pat got us a great corner booth so we could spread out a bit and Tessie wouldn’t bother anyone.   As it was, she sat there and was just sweet as pie the whole time.    Here she is with Auntie Pat. And Sophie the Giraffe. We go nowhere without her!

lunch 12-5

At bedtime – and I swear I couldn’t make this up – T was lying in her crib and was holding her hand up over her face shielding it from the light.  Point made.  I turned the light off and wished her sweet dreams.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December 4 – Spitting


Most mornings start with Tessie jumping in the kitchen while we make breakfast.  Today we jazzed it up with a bear hat that Angie gave us.  

12-4 jump

After sorting through the dresser (again) we realized that this sweet shirt is flirting with being too small.  So I did what anyone would do.   I threw on the denim mini and her yellow polka dot leggings and we went to work.   The. Cutest.

12-4 cutie

Later, she re-discovered her love of spitting.   Endless amusement, this baby.

December 3 – Cooking with Daddy

dinner with dad 12-2



Steve was gone most of the day on appointments, so when he came home Tessie helped him prepare a late dinner.

soup with dad 12-3





Yes, that is the baby sitting by the knives, on the edge of the granite counter and reaching for the prohibited peanut butter.   We live on the wild side here.

December 2 – Seven Months Baby!!!


She is 7 months old and she turned a corner.7

She has been sitting on her own for a few weeks but now today I am seeing some more confident activities.   She is great at leaning for things that seem out of reach, but keeping her balance and getting back to a seated position.   Today she started pulling the blanket towards her so she could get at a toy that was too far away.   She also tried for a long time to move from sitting to her tummy and her attempts were much more controlled than they have been.   She was on all fours at one point, but then sat back up again and started over so she could kick her leg out of the way.   When she landed on her tummy it wasn’t the flop we’ve seen in the past.   When I praised her she giggled.  She knew.

She is scooting.  Part army crawl, part arms only, part legs pushing, all fours once in a while…   I could watch her for hours.   I see that she moves and I honestly am still not even sure exactly how she does it!!

She is communicating better with us too.  I mean, she totally grunts and hollers like a caveman to get our attention, but when we ask her what she needs she giggles when we are right.   And when I think she wants to eat I can sign only, and I get the same response. 


December 1

As my Dad would say..  I got a bee in my bonnet and spent the whole day cleaning and reorganizing our office space.   Tessie was a trooper hanging out with me all day.  She even decided to empty the recycling for me.


paper 12-1

  She is teething something fierce, so Sophie got some serious chomp action.


chomp sophie 12-1

Later we did our own rendition of “I fought the squash and the squash won”.  This new chick on the block LOVES her squash!

squash 12-1


Great Saturday!



I used to work at a huge company where I would literally talk to 100 or more people every single day.   Sometimes I would talk to that many people before I even made it to my desk in the morning  (if I was waiting in line for a coffee in the lobby).    Now…  different.   Now I work with just a few people and there are days and days that go by where the only people I see are Steve and Tessie.  

I am obsessed with Facebook.  It is sometimes my tether to the outside world.  Instead of eavesdropping on a co-workers conversation, I stalk them on Facebook.   Instead of “prairie-dogging” in our cubes I just check my newsfeed.   This doesn’t mean I’m not busy, or swamped, or spinning my wheels.  It doesn’t even mean I am totally escaping from work.  It just means that I need a bit more contact than my world is currently giving me.

I still cannot actually get my head around the fact that I have a baby.  I watch her everyday and she blows my mind.   Some days it is literally all I can do to not post a picture of her on Facebook every hour.  My family gets pictures of her texted to them constantly.   They bear the brunt of my joy and I’m sure they love it. 

Although I spend a good chunk of my days just staring at Tessie, I don’t see her getting bigger.   I do, however, see her getting smarter.  I watch her figuring things out.  I watch her getting stronger.   I am amazed and thrilled each time I watch her do something for the first time.   I cheer for her all day.   Confidence will not be something she lacks.

I think it would be fun to take a picture of her every day and post about it.   I take at least a picture of her everyday anyway so it shouldn’t be that hard.  It is true that many many pics of her would be exactly the same.   Who cares.   I’m doing it. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Freedom to Breathe


Just like that November is almost gone.   This always happens – one day it is Halloween and you feel like it is too early to think about Christmas and then in a blink of an eye it is Thanksgiving and you’re enjoying a ridiculously long weekend. Somehow in the middle of that we enjoyed our first wedding anniversary!

We had a rough November.  The cycle of caring for baby, running our business, planning for the new year, finishing up the biggest job we’ve ever had, working on renovating our rental so we can get it rented, and then just taking time to remember to be a regular family has been tough.   Some days our busy life seems like just that.  Our busy crazy life.   Then other days our busy life seems insane; it gets busy-ER, crazy-ER and almost too much to bear.   I know when I get overwhelmed.  I recognize that when I start spending every spare second making the same list over and over…  I have too much to handle.  And when I am feeling that way I can’t calm down until Steve calms down, but when we are feeling that way he doesn’t stop and I can go days or weeks without feeling calm.  It is the cycle of our life. I know this.  But I actually look forward to the months when we know business will be down some because it gives us the freedom to catch our breath.  And to catch up.  And clean off our desk.  And follow up on everything.   And plan.   And breathe again. 

Maybe I am overzealous in my list making.  Maybe I need “care for our awesome baby” to be #1 every day.   And then maybe I need to add only 2 other things to that list that are work things.   Maybe every day I need to add the wildcard of “deal with the unexpected” to that list so when it happens (and it WILL happen) it won’t toss me over the edge.  I am so lucky to be able to work from home and care for my baby every day but I never said it was easy to do it all.

So this last week I made the time to watch my sister’s kids for the afternoon on Monday.   I had lunch with friends on Tuesday.  We hosted Thanksgiving on Thursday and I spent Friday helping my cousin and her family move.  I also just made time to finish personal projects I have started over the last few months.   That feels good.  And you know how I love Christmas… the cards are ready to be mailed and today we put up the tree.   Steve and I are watching Mobster Bios and he just made Hot Chocolate Brownies.   Life is good.  We just need to remember to breathe.  To plan.  To do the right things.  And then when we get caught in the crazy cycle I need to step out of it and help others for awhile.   I know everyone’s life is crazy.  Everyone has things that are hard for them and that they struggle with.   We all just do our best.  Right?

Tomorrow the Tesser and I are going to decorate the tree and put up our stockings.   We have dinner at Scotts and then we will be ready to get back to work on Monday.  Wish me luck.

Happy Halloween Baby!


A picture is worth a thousand words, right?   Check out our highlights from this fall!

We played in leavesleaves 10-27.    We picked out pumpkins at the pumpkin patch.pumpkin 10-27







wigWe finished the wig for her costume  

leaves 10-30


We raked the yard.






We carved the pumpkin




We got in the pumpkinin the pumpkin collage

We went to visit Great Grandma Lorraine on Halloweengrandma halloween




We went Trick or Treating. trick or treat


The end.

Home Show Weekend

originally written 10-22

We had a big home show this weekend.   It is the largest fall show we do, and we had a large island booth- so we definitely needed both of us to work it. 

Saturday we brought Tessie to my Mom and Dad’s to watch all day. After a lodad 10-21ng day at the show it was so nice to see my parents and have a hot meal waiting for us.  This is the day Mom said “this is the easiest day we’ve ever had with a baby… including our own”.   I don’t care if it’s true – it is the nicest thing that has ever been said about our Tessie.   It is also the day Dad said “She is as calm as a…a… a stone!!”  Love.  It makes it so much easier to leave your baby with people when you know she will be easy for them and they will love it.

squash 10-20

squast 10-21


When we got home we gave her her first taste of squash.  It was a messy adventure, but she loved it!   




Sunday Tessie had a day with the Sternbergs.  Dane held her constantly.   Audrey was always close by her side – watching her sleep, monitoring where her Nuk was, getting her toys, etc.   She was the best helper ever – even giving her a bottle!  Tessie was just thrilled with the attention.

 audrey 10-21


Hello Fall – Goodbye Market!

originally written 10-14-12

It’s fall.  

I know this because there is a Mum in my living room.   It is sunny and the leaves are peaking…. and it is 28 degrees outside.    Time to put away all the cute summer clothes. I also know this because Steve spent the weekend mornings wearing as many clothes as possible and was still frozen solid while standing at the Farmers Market.  Fulfilling our obligation to be present the entire season, while incredible uncomfortable and watching every freezing homeowner RACE past him.   Impossible conditions to write business.  I cannot wait until we are done with it!

market 10-14d We cruised down to the Farmers Market to do our last visit of the season, and to help Steve pack up for the last time.   It was a bit nostalgic because the Market is such a big part of our lives.   While we were down there I couldn’t resist taking a bunch of pictures.  

market 10-14b market 10-14a market 10-14c 

Tessie chomped on her elephant while we loaded up the display, then we all went out for pancakes.  Pumpkin pancakes, if you must know.

market elephant 10-14


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Magic Baby


When Katie and Bryan watched Tessie a few weeks ago they started calling her the magic baby when they put her down for her nap.  It seems they couldn’t believe that when it is time for her nap that you really just lay her down and walk away from her.   She will not fuss, she will sleep.  She is magic.   One of the many things I love about her!

But today she brought to a whole new level.   She apparently decided that now she is 6 months she can skip her early evening nap and go to bed at 8pm like a big girl.   She went far beyond her “awake for only 90 minutes at a time” and stayed up for 5 hours.   Five.  I mean, for crying out loud!  I put her down a few times but she was up there just blowing raspberries and visiting with her bunny and having a grand old time so I got her up again.  Finally when I did put her down she immediately looked away from me and closed her eyes. I changed my clothes and went back to peek on her and she barely turned her head to look at me but did make a point of staring at the light.  It was if to say “could you turn that off?”  And I did.   Magic.  Baby.

If she really is changing her schedule I am thrilled.  I would love the extended awake time in the evening so I can run errands, and play with her after the work day.  Of course, I would also love it if she went down at 8 every night to give me some time to wind down at night.  

On another note, both Steve and I have the same guilty pleasure…  and it is bringing her into bed with us.  I feel like we shouldn’t be and I feel like it could be creating such a bad habit..  but then I think maybe I don’t care.  We have a baby.   A sweet perfect little baby and she will not be interested in sharing our bed forever.  Why can’t we just indulge?

So usually we don’t bring her in until 6am when she gets up and eats.  We all just snooze for another hour or so and when we wake up we get the biggest smiles.  It is the BEST.  But the other night he she squawked – like one time – and he bolted into her room, scooped her up and brought her to our bed.  It was barely after midnight.   He loved that she rotated over sideways and kicked him all night.   That will probably be less cute in about 6 months, but who cares?

Not us.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

We like something on our neck.


Today it is cold and grey and sort of wet. So I was obviously wearing my awesome polar fleece scarf.    Tessie was squawking in her crib before her afternoon nap so I went up to investigate and give her a quick snuggle.   She was so obsessed with the scarf that I put it in the crib with her when I put her back down.    I thought she just liked the fringe.  But 2 hours later when she woke up that scarf was tucked in around her neck on one side.. and her bunny was tucked in on the other side.  Clearly she needed fleece around her whole neck too.   That’s my girl!

Friday, November 2, 2012

6 Months!!

6 months

Six months ago today I woke up Steve and told him it was finally TIME to get to the hospital so we could meet our baby girl. 

Today I woke up at 7:30 and peeked in at her in her crib.  She was calmly playing with her little bunny and when she saw me come into her room she rewarded me with the biggest smile ever.   It is amazing the transformation a little person can bring to your life. 

6 months - 4

She is starting to give me that grin a lot that makes me think she is on to me.   She is also definitely paying more attention to my mouth when I talk and is making more different kinds of sounds lately than I’ve ever heard.   She is also moving… though I hate to admit it.  I actually watched her hold herself up high with her arms while on her belly and then start walking her arms to the side so she could rotate.  Of course she is rotating right on over to my notebook or my pen or the remote; but whatever.  =)   Happy Six Months Baby!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fab Fall Fun Weekend


In honor of sweet Jake we started the weekend Friday night with a family costume birthday party.   I was really happy with how her wig turned out, and in general the whole family costume came together just the way I hoped it would.   

 family halloween

 me and t halloween


Saturday Team Brager had 2 different events to work.  So little T and I headed to the Pinewood Elementary Phantom Fun Run.  Since we were a sponsor of the event we had a table in the gym where we could talk to people as they were registering for the run, or just plain warming up.   Tessie was a dream.  She looked around at everything, she played on the floor quietly and when it was time to sleep she zonked right out in the stroller.  All in all we had a successful morning while Steve worked a show in Blaine.



After we got home we attempted a picture of Tessie in the leaves.  I got a whole lot of snarl, some interest in eating the leaves and that’s about it.

T 10-27b

Later we tried to go to the Amma Maternity Fall Halloween party to show off her costume and get some pics taken.    It was fun to see all the little kids in their adorable cute-ness… but after waiting in line for a bit it was clear Tessie just wanted to sleep.  So we stepped out of line and left – but not without getting our picture taken by a staff member in the lobby. 

We skipped the wig this time and went with the backup headband with a bow that takes over her head.  Perhaps you noticed.



Sunday morning started with cinnamon french toast (YUM)  and raking the front yard.   After lunch T and I  headed to Kev’s Korner to visit the pumpkin patch and pick out our pumpkins while Steve ran to an appointment. 

 tessie pumpkin smirk 10-27


When he got home we all headed outside to finish the raking.   Tessie wasn’t much help, but she sure is cute!

 leaves 10-30  piles of leaves

We celebrated the end of a perfect fall weekend by giving Tessie her first taste of Pumpkin.   I didn’t make it this time; instead I bought the organic pumpkin from Trader Joe’s.   Tessie gobbled it right up.   I love that (so far) she eats whatever we give her and I look forward to “clearing” all the new foods so we can start mixing.   I have to believe that while pumpkin straight up is good… it would be even better with a little banana mixed in.


That’s all for now!  Cheers!