News and Updates

Callie's Pictures

Peter's Site

Taryl's Site

Lilah's Site

So yesterday afternoon Callie was playing with her toys in the living room, as usual,and got her hands on her favorite baby doll. She proceeded to strangle/kiss it to death and practiced her standing and squatting in the middle of the floor while holding her toy. She's gotten extremely proficient at bending down, standing up with no help, all that good stuff but hadn't yet walked, and we've been anticipating it for weeks.

I don't think she realized she was doing it, but in the midst of vigorously assaulting her babydoll and gobbing all over its face she took three waddle steps forward, presumably to get better leverage. Then she bent over, set the baby down, and sat back down to play with it more on the floor. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, there was no shakiness, no fall at the end, she just *step* *step* *stepped* and very purposefully sat back down, like she's been doing it for months.

But would she do it again that day? Of COURSE not! Would she do it for her daddy? Nope. This confirms my suspicions that she can indeed walk perfectly well and just hasn't gotten brave enough to do it. Just like she can climb onto the fireplace mantle and the first day got herself back down several times, but then she clunked her head and hasn't gotten back down since. She'll climb back up there and sit for an HOUR playing with my spinning wheel, whining, but not sliding back down. She's perfectly capable but just not brave enough to try again yet. I am sure she'll get over it fairly soon, but it amuses me that she CHOOSES what she's going to do and not necessarily based on her abilities.

Silly girl.

taryl | General | 8 May, 6:56pm | 3 comments

Of course this would happen when Peter went out of town, but I had been suspicious she might have been ready for this.

Callie loves faucets, and flicking everything that comes out of them. Recently she began sticking her hand under the sink and sucking the water off her fingers.

So with some trepidation I tried something I had put off for a few months. I gave Callie her cup with a straw. And wouldn't you know it, she figured it out within a few minutes. Of course she tends to suck too hard, and because this one doesn't have a valve on it she ends up sputtering a little, but she's got it and likes it!

Yay for the big girl!

New pictures from Grandma Naeners and some adventure pictures posted. Callie likes her sunglasses too, that is, when she's not throwing them across the room.

taryl | General | 21 April, 4:30am | Comment on this

Callie's not much of a drinker. She won't drink juice, couldn't drink milk for quite awhile without a reaction, and would only take water in her sippy cup and wanted regular bottles (not that the lack of juice or excess water is a bad thing!)

She's taken a sip of whole milk in her sippy here and there, and drinks it off my spoon when I give her cereal, but today I filled her cup all the way full with milk and gave her some animal crackers, and wouldn't you know my big girl drank ALMOST the whole cup! IT had to have been at least8 oz. She had a bottle last night around 1:00,and nothing since then, so I know she was thirsty but that was GREAT! It was cold from the fridge and everything, and she just puttered around the living room sipping at it like a toddler.

It's SUCH a great step because milk is far less expensive than formula, and around 1 year old most pediatricians like to see the babies weaned off formula. We switched back to milk-based formula from soy a few weeks ago and she hasn't had any diaper rashes or extra spitting up, but her moving to real cow's milk is more than I could hope for this soon.

She's had a TON of developmental strides lately, several since Grandma and Grandpa Davidson came up from California on Saturday night. The most notable change has been her mastery of not only tearing UP the stacking rings, but now she has figured out how to put them back on and enjoys doing so. We're not talking the big, fat plastic ones. This is a 1 inch rubber dowel with snug wood discs, they are MUCH harder to pull off and take precision to put back on,especially since she bent the dowel somewhat in the middle and the rings catch a bit. Callie sat for around 20 MINUTES last night taking them off and on repeatedly and rearranging the patterns. This morning she proved it was a fluke and did so again for about 10 minutes, and with a lot of success and dexterity.

She's gotten much better with object permanence as well. Not just peekaboo, but realizing things in bags can be taken out, even days later locking something away means it's still there, and remembering where she puts toys a good ten minutes later. She has a flip up book from Great Grandma Giessel and Aunt Cathy that she recently figured out how to operate, and was quite excited every time the object she *knew* was behind the flaps popped up. She definitely was making the logical connection, and it was very cute to watch.

She's SO close to walking and just hasn't made that step away, though she can free-stand for a good five or ten seconds and bend down to get a toy.

Unfortunately all she wants to do is go, go, go all day long, which is making diaper changes and donning clothing increasingly difficult. She's also having a hard time settling down to sleep because her little brain doesn't want to turn off, but overall she is doing VERY well and is extremely healthy.

She was 21 pounds almost on the dot and 30 inches at her 1 year appointment, which puts her right around the 50% percentile for both measurements at her age. The doctor was pleased with her development and she is ahead in several areas, though not much of a talker yet (she babbles all day, especially when she's playing alone, and she understands pointing, commands with hand movements, and a lot of everyday words... she just won't repeat them!). She's mastered clapping and waving in the past few weeks, as well as climbing on everything she can get her short legs up.

She had a LOT of shots done at that appointment and was quite the sick, unhappy baby for a few days afterward. I really will look into getting a delayed schedule for the next baby, I think it was a lot at once for her. 4 shots with a good 9 vaccines in them, she had raised welts on both legs and we woke up last sunday to spaghetti vomit up and down the entire crib. She was looking pretty pale and had a fever the night before, though the puke, itself, didn't seem to bother her.... but she was definitely not her normal self. Fortunately after Sunday she was looking and acting much happier and she's been fine since. Somehow she picked up a croupy, gunky cough in the past few days and woke up this morning with green snot plastered to her nose and hand, but such is the life of a baby.

New pictures will be forthcoming, I think that's all the updates we have today!

taryl | General | 18 April, 6:31pm | 2 comments

Callie turned one year old last Saturday. It snowed. We threw a party complete with Birthday cupcakes. Grandpa Giessel was able to come and have fun with Callie. Pictures of her "opening" her presents and eating her cupcake are posted. We've also posted some pictures of Callie eating spaghetti. Good times.

peter | General | 9 April, 5:47am | 1 comments

Callie discovered the little silver button on the front of the TV...

This does NOT bode well.

taryl | General | 28 March, 9:06pm | Comment on this

... Favorite foods, that is.

So, Callie wakes up and I change her (ten pound) diaper, I take her downstairs to play and head back up to grab some laundry. Stick on a load and come back to sit down, *sniff sniff*....

*sniff sniff sniiiiiif*

I walk over to the piggies to ascertain if the foul smell is coming from them. Nope. I'm tempted to check the garage because it smells like week-old meat trash, but there's nothing that's been thrown away that would cause that smell.

Callie stomp-crawls over to me and makes the 'up' gesture, and sure enough... probably the foulest waft I have smelled on her in weeks. Not two minutes after I changed her.

I *may* let her newfound love of eggs go unsatisfied. The whole downstairs smells now!

taryl | General | 27 March, 10:40pm | Comment on this

Well, Callie was good for both babysitters last week. Callie had babysitters both Friday and Saturday while mommie and daddy were at Alaska Republican Party State Convention. Both of them said that she was a really easy baby and that she was a good little girl, so that is good.

A few new pictures have been posted.

peter | General | 22 March, 11:34pm | Comment on this

Callie is 11 months old as of a few days ago, so she has a new gallery up and some images of her foray into the toybox (and new - back out to freedom!). She's popped her two top teeth as well bringing the count up to four. She CAN crawl, but does not, for some reason, unless she find it convenient. She will walk using furniture, pant legs, you name it. She'll even swivel away and only stabilize on something with one hand. She can move to sitting from on her back and a crawl, as WELL as lowering herself into it. The changes in stability she's made in the past week are quite amazing.

The only words she uses consistent are "mama....MAAAA!" when she's mad or wants food, and "baaa!" for bottle, or when she is talking to her baby dolls. Less developments there, but she is definitely understanding more. Oh, and now she is in the tantrum-y stage a bit. Put something out of her reach or say "no" and she lets out a WAIL and turns on the crocodile tears. But fortunately sticking another toy in front of her makes her forget her original plight. I am not looking forward to the implementing of actual discipline and cause/effect in the next year but it is definitely upon us!

She's growing in leaps and bounds - down to three bottles a day, tops, mooching off EVERYONE's plates, nearly walking and 'talking' to everyone. She has even learned how to wave AND shake her head 'no'. Where's the time going?!

taryl | General | 8 March, 9:28am | 1 comments
taryl | | 8 March, 9:01am | Comment on this

My cousins visited in September of last year. Which, if I'm doing the math correctly was Callie's Sixth month of life. They finally sent the pictures, which I've posted I'm pretty sure that it makes them Callie's First Cousin Once Removed

peter | General | 7 March, 4:07am | Comment on this

So, the pictures of the great spaghetti slaughter are posted. What was not capture on film, but should be documented is an incident that cracked me up. Callie was scooting across the floor as quickly as she could (as usual), panting the whole way, and sort of forgot to stop as she approached the wall. She smacked right into the wall head first. I wasn't worried about her because she didn't start crying until she had already stood up (which granted took about a second, but still) she was clearly just startled and annoyed that the wall jumped out and bit her more than actually hurt. Besides, how much damage can you really do to yourself by belly crawling into a wall? She was quite offended that the wall moved.

peter | General | 25 February, 7:36am | Comment on this

Well, we had a good doctor's appointment Friday with a new pediatrician, MUCH preferred to the old one. Callie got some shots, which she was NOT happy about, but she grew, which we ARE happy about. She is now 28 inches long and 19 lbs, almost on the dot, which puts her smack dab in the middle of the growth curve for her age, as opposed to being on the small side.

She's pulling up on everything, and getting some bumps along the way, but she is getting VERY mobile which means lots of running around for mommy and daddy. Teething like crazy but no new teeth to report yet, and sadly she still has a little cough from California.

Pictures have been updated, we'll report in with more updates as they come!

taryl | General | 10 February, 6:43am | 3 comments

New pictures have been added. Highlights include time in California, and riding in the pulk. Sorry about the slow updates, but its been busy getting back into the swing of things, and Mommy and Daddy are trying not to cough up our lung at the moment...

peter | General | 21 January, 12:00am | 1 comments

Pictures of Callie sledding have been added to the picture gallery. Also if you want to compare baby Callie to baby Peter, Grandma sent pictures of baby Peter, which are posted here:

peter | General | 7 January, 4:18am | 2 comments

Or so we tell ourselves.

Callie went from no teeth to three in the space of a week. Which might explain her severe bout of unexplained diaper rash and general fussiness.

Except that she's still fussy.

It seems a lot of babies I know around her age are going through unusual sleep problems, but it's getting old VERY fast. She's exhausted, and we're laying her down to bed like we always do (plus some Tylenol if her teeth are REALLY bothering her) but now she is fussing in various levels for upwards of two hours. Tonight alone she is near three and shows no signs of abating.

She will *almost* doze off and then BAM! Wide awake and mad again. I don't know what else to attribute it to.

Granted, her mobility has improved quite a lot in recent weeks and so being fussy AND being able to crawl around her crib isn't helping things much either. One way or the other though we NEED her to sleep. It is getting ridiculous.

And of course going down to California in a week isn't going to help the sleeping matter much. *sigh* We'll just do what we can. Having a plane ride that STARTS at 1:00 a.m. is not going to be an auspicious beginning to the 'vacation', but Lord willing it won't be too traumatizing for us poor parents.

All fussiness aside, she is as cute as ever and very healthy. New pictures are posted (reluctantly) showing her teeth, and all in all things are going quite well for us. It just stinks that she slept well for SO LONG and now is having problems again. Hopefully it truly is just a stage and we will get our cute (relatively non-monster) baby back soon. Ha.

taryl | General | 31 December, 7:55am | 3 comments

...Our Christmas letter really did say we were expecting baby #2! We're VERY excited, and Callie is probably mortified at having to share her toys, but sometime in late July we will be welcoming the newest pooper to the Giessel clan.

And before ANYONE asks, names and sex are a SURPRISE! But bets are welcome, provided we get some of the pot :)

I haven't decided if we will do a separate site for the next kid or turn Callie's site into a family site. Any suggestions or opinions on that would be welcome. Either way, it will be as easy to find/navigate as this one currently is.

Also, any requests for specific Callie pictures are also welcome. If someone has a burning desire to watch her eat spaghetti or see one of her many out-pooped diapers we will try to oblige. And due to mommy's super pregnancy nose, daddy will be on cleanup. Sounds like a good deal to me!

taryl | General | 21 December, 8:22am | 1 comments

Observe: new Callie pictures, ritz cracker, shredded wrapping paper and some old Gerber peaches not included.

taryl | General | 19 December, 8:43am | 3 comments

So Callie has officially not breastfed in a week. We are weaned, and pretty well too! She's eating a ton, looking good, the soy formula agrees with her MUCH more than the cow's milk formula, reinforcing our thoughts right after birth that she was mild to moderately lactose intolerant.

She's guzzling about 8 ounces per sitting, 4 times per day (averaged out, that is!)

Now, for the problem. Breastfed diapers have a smell, but it isn't offensive. Cow's milk diapers have a mildly offensive smell, but it's doable.

Soy formula diapers? I haven't dry-heaved so much in WEEKS! Seriously, these are the nastiest, smelliest, most offensive and cruel punishment I have endured since prodromal labor. Oh my GOD it is awful! I literally have to breathe through my mouth or pass out and I have NEVER been like that before with bad smells.

This is... the smell to end all sense of smell. I could sell these to China for a very literal 'dirty bomb'.

Even CALLIE is afraid to sit in them too long, because the scent wafts up her onesie. And her entire life she's never really noticed if she is sitting in poop unless she has diaper rash (like from Cow's milk formula).

I am honestly afraid I might just die trying to change one of her diapers. Or at least pass out in a pool of vomit. Appetizing, I know. I am sure you will all enjoy them *just* as much as we do when we travel down to California. Assuming the radiant fragrance doesn't do us in first!

taryl | General | 4 December, 9:27pm | 2 comments

So, Callie is now Typhoid Mary... Taryl and I got sick on Wednesday and were sick most of Thursday. Callie showed no signs of sickness, so we thought it was food poisoning or something. Callie went over to the Grandparents, and now they are sick, so we have to conclude that we have a Typhoid Callie on our hands spreading a very nasty stomach bug... So, who wants to visit the grandchild? :)

peter | General | 24 November, 8:01pm | 2 comments

The pictures will soon be updated, but Callie has discovered something fun - the mirror! Oh sure, she'd look at herself when she was on the changing table and laugh, but her little walker has a mirror on it and today she kept getting *really* close to it, with her nose against it, chuckling like mad. Something was obviously very funny about the other baby's face staring back at her.

She has also, for the first time, started bouncing. Like, really bouncing. I'll hold her arms and she'll bob, or she will make little hops in her chair. It's very cute :)

As I said, baby images will be updated shortly (with my terrible camera skills).

taryl | General | 15 November, 9:38pm | Comment on this