Ferguson Northern Lights 2010

This year’s Northern Lights was a lot of fun. We got there early enough for the girls to check out the petting zoo and to decorate a few cookies before the parade. We got a nice spot to watch the parade (while eating hot dogs), then we ate some free cookies and drank hot chocolate, visited with friends and neighbors, made peanut-butter-sandwich reindeers, rode on the train, saw a REAL train rumble past, and watched the tree lighting. There was a bit of whining and complaining along the way, but overall the children (I keep wanting to write “the girls”) did well.

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“…We’ll cry Hilde! Hildegarde!”

We’ve been wanting a piano for a while and decided this Christmas was the right time to get one.

We found one pretty quickly that seemed good to us: it was old and had a key out of tune, but it was in Ferguson, just a few blocks away.

We’ve been counting down the days until we could have it delivered. Today was the day! Check out this video of the girls in action:

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Two adults and four kids walk onto a plane…

We now has passports in hand for Josie and Joseph. I was surprised how fast they processed the applications. In fact, they did it so quickly, we may have enough time to apply for Bolivia visas for them.

So now my attention turns to other things, like how the heck we are going to survive travel in a plane with four children, two of whom will be on our laps.

Yeah, we are taking them as lap kids. I mean, there’s really no way around it. The tickets are going to run about $1,100-1,200 apiece, and I am willing to endure 8 hours of insanity on a plane to save a couple grand.

Plus, there is a decent chance they will put us at the back of the plane with some empty seats, at least on the flight to Bolivia. If that happens, BONUS.

I came across a cool blog entry today about a clip toy a mom made for her toddler. This looks like something that’s right up Josie’s alley:

I think I’ll try to make one myself.

Passport photo collage: Josie

Later this year we are planning to visit Bolivia. It has been two years — and two babies! — since our last trip there.

In the past we have always shot our own photos for passports. Heck, I did my own passport this way even before I met Yoli, sending in a (pretty bad) snapshot taken against a wall that I happened to have two of.

Taking photos of babies and toddlers can be pretty tricky. And each round of photos we took had some problem that made me decide to redo them. So we ended up with almost 100 photos of Joseph and Josie before all was said and done.

For the heck of it, I decided to grab six photos of each child and make a little collage. Josie’s is maybe a little more interesting since she was making all sorts of faces.

You wanted him, you got him

Just to re-assure everyone that Joseph is alive and well. The dearth of photos here is purely a result of our being very busy and sleep-deprived.

Joseph is a very pleasant baby overall, though he is beginning to enter his more fussy stage. Also this week he seems to have had some sort of virus which ultimately led to two trips to the doctor’s office. (One of those visits lasted all morning as I took him around DePaul getting blood tests, x-rays, etc)

He is just fine, no cause for alarm. But whenever babies have fevers (even slight ones), doctors get very concerned and want to make sure it’s not something serious.

Anyway, here are some photos from different things that have been going on our life in April and May.

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Birth stories and more photos

Here’s a little more background on the birth of our first boy, Joseph Martin Renaud.

Monday night I was working a sports design shift at the Post-Dispatch. The Cardinals home opener and breaking news about Stan Kroenke’s intention to buy the Rams kept me busy all night.

I got home around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. I found Yoli in the kitchen making crepes to eat at breakfast. She had intended them to be for the whole family. But at 12:38, she had her first real contraction followed by a couple more over the next hour. “The baby is going to be born sometime today,” she told me.

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Mister Rogers’ Day sweaters

Jadzia, Ludi, Josie and Josh model their sweaters (and poncho) for “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Day.

We also watched two episodes of the older girls’ choosing: “Windstorm in Bubbleland” (opera) and a recent episode featuring author Eric Carle and a fortune cookie man in Make-Believe.

If you haven’t already tried it, you should take my Mister Rogers quiz!

Also, here are some links to articles from several news outlets:

Milestones at Renaud Manor

Some recent development milestones:

  • Jadzia can read and write! Last week she made up some valentines that we mailed out to family and handed to our neighbors. I spelled the names, and she wrote them out.
  • Ludi is singing really well, and she has quite a few songs memorized.
  • Josie is walking, and doing some talking and signing. Best of all, she is sleeping through the night — and she has moved into the girls’ room.