Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sweet Charlotte

Catherine made Aunt Brooke and I cry today when she decided to sing, in her endearingly Catherine way, "Sleep Sweet Charlotte"...

"Sleep sleep Charlotte, sleep deeply Charlotte
Dream of shells and twinkle bells, you'll find your dreams in your heart"

and indeed Charlotte snuggled into her arms and slept in a very contented manner.

Where did this child come from? What a gift.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Ungrateful Daughter

This is an "IN YOUR FACE" to my mom who only gave me this plant because she couldn't grow it and I am sure she didn't want to be responsible for its ultimate death. What would be a better idea than to give it to someone who is notorious for killing house plants? Little did we know that the perfect conditions for this particular plant would be found in my living room! What are the odds? Anyway not only does this plant now thrive, it is growing flowers!!! Ha ha ha mom.


A Weekend Away

Don has had several weekends of on call work in the last month so we thought it would be nice to take a break. The kids have constantly been asking to go to the fondly-remembered Kalahari water park. While going to the Dells in the summer sounds rather like a recipe for disaster, we thought "why not?". We did however keep putting off making reservations for one reason or another until there were no good deals left. We decided to head somewhere local instead, so we thought we would try out Tundra Lodge in Green Bay.

Headed to GB on Saturday and lucked out with early check-in. Got to our room and Catherine was thrilled to discover her new all time favorite thing: bunk beds. She immediately claimed top but allowed Liam to hang out up there as well.



After changing as-fast-as-humanly-possible into suits, we made the trek down the long hallway to the elevator and down to "the most amazing place you have ever taken us" (quote from Catherine).


Don and I liked the fact that it wasn't so huge that we wouldn't ever be able to find Liam again if he decided to bolt. (Which you know he did on several occasions.) His favorite activity was going from bear paw to bear paw using the rope assist. I think he must have done it about 100 times. At first he kept falling off because he thought it would be smarter to just cross by running from pad to pad. After nearly drowning all those times he smartened up and started using the rope. By the end of the weekend he was a pro. (Of course)



Catherine was thrilled that she was tall enough to go down the tube slides by herself on her very own inflatable. Liam was not pleased that he had to be chaperoned but in the end the fun of it outweighed his displeasure. I attempted several times to catch them coming out of the tunnels but they were so quick this is the best I was able to get... you can almost make out that it is Liam and Don, and that they are smiling.


Catherine also found out what having a Connor is like. She met Taylor and of course they were "best friends forever"! The two of them spent most of their time together running around like crazies which is how I had a hard time getting photos of them. It was indeed a sad parting on Sunday when Taylor's mom said "Get over here right now young man! It is time to GO! Don't make me come in there and get you!" and he was physically dragged away. Ah, young love...


There was also a lazy river that James would have been proud of. There was a section that had geysers bubbling up and the kids thought it was great. Don and Liam got stuck in it.


Overall, four tired family members had a great weekend.


Best picture ever. (Love the hair on my boys)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Trip to the Lighthouse

Don was on call so I thought it would be nice to do something I thought would be entertaining with the kids. It had been really hot so I decided that the best thing would be to venture out early in the morning so that we could enjoy ourselves without sweating. What could be better than a trip to the lighthouse? Apparently a lot of things.

lighthouse 001

The kids were not keen on being there and plodded along reluctantly asking "do we have to go all the way out to the lighthouse?" Being the stubborn individual that I am I said "absolutely". After using all of my tricks: count the boats, look at the seagulls, etc. they were most entertained with the idea of playing dead on the X that we found that marked the spot. Liam is a natural. Catherine's pose is confusing, perhaps she was told to put her hands in the air before she was "ended". We'll never know.

lighthouse 003

We did reach our destination to find many colorful thoughts written all over the lighthouse. Fortunately for me Liam cannot read. Unfortunately Catherine can. After a discussion of what things should not be written or repeated in public we made our way back.

lighthouse 006

After promises of strawberry shakes to whomever would stop complaining about the never-ending walk, we reached the car. Tell me again why I bother trying to come up with adventure ideas?

lighthouse 004

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Visiting the other Jane and Don

On Saturday we rose early and decided to head out to visit some old friends who we refer to as Aunt Jane and Uncle Don even though they are no relation. Unfortunately we did not all fit in one vehicle so we had to travel in groups of boys vs. girls. Don and Matt seemed to have an interesting conversation but Liam was not impressed. I think he missed his partner in naughtiness. Meg and I got to chat because Catherine was obsessed with her music.

When we arrived we were bowled over by the heat! I decided that I am a mid-west gal to be sure. I fizzle quickly in the sun. After being welcomed by Jane and Don we took a little walk around the yard and Liam found Uncle Don's tractor. Of course he climbed right in and looked for the keys. Poor guy, no luck.


The kids found the tree fort.


Liam got the opportunity to walk Aunt Jane's goat. She is holding the leash because she is worried the goat will take off with Liam attached. She didn't realize that Liam is one strong and obstinate little boy. We think he gave that goat a run for it's money.




Don also took a turn holding onto the goat. See how excited he is?


One of the few times we did get to see Catherine (the rest of the time she was playing with her new best friends) she informed us that it was "hot". Ha ha.


We did get to have a short visit with the other Jane and Don and also got to see Jess, her children, Audrey's daughter Loren, as well as Eve's stepson "Bug". We had a lot of Liam watching to do because there was not a lot of 3 yr old stuff to do around the house (that we wanted him to do). Still managed to have some great margaritas and a nice lunch.

Headed back home and spent the rest of the day lying on the couch exhausted from the heat. The kids got to take a "night swim" and then we planned our return flight. It looked like flights were going to be tricky on Monday and Tuesday so we decided to go for the sure thing and leave on the mostly open flight on Sunday.

Arrived home tuckered out Sunday night but with lots of memories to last us till next time. Thanks Meg and Matt for your generous hospitality!

Makutu's Island

How much fun could it be the second time? Apparently as good as the first. The kids enjoyed going down all of the slides and meandering through the tunnels. Liam especially liked the zip line and frequently butted in line. Those AZ kids are tough though, and wouldn't let him take advantage. (Of course that didn't stop him from trying)

Catherine got to go to a special class to learn how to hula. Ask her to show you.





When we got home Matt graciously offered to smoke us a chicken. The kids and I watched the process and were suitably impressed. Lots of fire!! Who wouldn't like that? It was exciting and delicious. Probably wont be able to get our own or Liam might burn down the neighborhood.



Liam is holding the scorpion I found in Megan's washing machine. Glad it wasn't real. But I took a second look before pulling it out. I thought she was pulling a grandma Lauerman on me but she claims she has no idea where it came from. Sure, sure...



Appreciating the chicken. Mmmmm...

Splash Park Part II

Another hot day in Phoenix. No, really. Took the kids to a splash park and they got to play for a long time. It was refreshing for the adults as well. Had a lovely picnic lunch and got to enjoy watching all the different things the kids there were doing. My kids aren't the only crazy ones. Don laughed a lot at one little chubby guy in particular but I don't think we caught him on film.







Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I Want an Octopus!

Liam and Catherine started the day shortly after 5am. Guess they are still on Wisconsin time. Ugh. Liam crawled in bed with Meg and Matt and then the laughter began. I guess Liam is full of funny material.

Spent the morning at a really nice park where Liam antagonized a little girl for the majority of the time we were there until she left. It was very bizarre. For whatever reason he did not like her one bit. Then we went to a splash park because Catherine said it was "too hot" to play at the regular park.

seiler_phx 027

seiler_phx 029

seiler_phx 035

seiler_phx 039

Catherine and Liam made friends with two boys at the park and they played together for quite some time. It was a nice relief from the hot sun. Then of course the rest of the day was spent in the pool, swimming and splashing. 90 degree days sure beat the 60's back home. Don could only take so much...

seiler_phx 041


Time for the annual pilgrimage to visit the Milanas in Phoenix. Just ask Catherine and she could have told you "We go to Arizona in the pink month!" (On our calendar the month happens to be on a pink background.) And ever since we made the plans to come both kids have been asking "When are we going to Meg Meg's house?" The day finally arrived.

After doing the last minute packing I am famous for, we were prepared for an early morning on the road. Got up at 3:30am and were on the road at 4:30. Made the trip through Milwaukee and Chicago uneventfully, thank goodness. After stopping for what we thought was a quick breakfast we got back on the road and realized that we were running late. We wanted to make the airport by 8am and it was already 8:10. Then by the time we got to the check-in desk it was 9 and the lady tagged our luggage as "late arrival" and told us not to expect it if we did get to Phoenix on the 9:25 flight. We went through the security check and made it to the gate but unfortunately all of the standby seats were taken. After a call to Meg we tried to get on another flight that was leaving at 9:40 but had a stopover. Also booked solid. The next flight was at 10:40 but the woman at the gate told us there was no way we were getting on that flight either. Apparently there were an unusually large amount of people that were trying to get to Phoenix. Another call to Meg, and a frantic fit from Catherine later (why are all of the planes leaving us here?), and we found another flight but it was going to Tucson instead of Phoenix. Meg said "Get ON." We were to board the flight at 10:20. The plane was late. Then after we were on the plane they found a leak in the bathroom so someone had to come on board and fix it before we could take off. By the time we finally made it to the runway the kids and parents were crabby. The takeoff was a big hit for Liam and he seemed to enjoy flying until we got above the clouds and he couldn't see anything anymore. Then he started going stir crazy. When I was just about ready to jump off of the plane he fell asleep. Catherine had put on her headphones and immediately nodded off. 3 1/2 hours later we touched down in Tucson delighted to have put that part of the journey behind us.

Meg picked us up and we got to drive for 2 hours through the desert to Phoenix. Note to all: there is nothing exciting between Tucson and Phoenix except for an ostrich farm. Then we got to go to the airport to find our luggage which did indeed make it. Our luggage could get to Phoenix but we could not? Grr. Day 1 down. Liam and Catherine did get to go in the pool. Hooray.

seiler_phx 008

seiler_phx 012

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Of course, why wouldn't he get it?

Liam has developed a chalazion.

A chalazion is a lump in the eyelid that is caused by inflammation of a gland within the skin. Typically, a chalazion goes away within a couple of weeks. If so, no long-term consequences occur. If the chalazion lasts for weeks or comes back, then your ophthalmologist evaluates whether the lump should be removed surgically. The lump is rarely associated with an infection or a form of skin cancer. (thanks to

Glad we could help everyone learn about another medical wonder. Thanks Liam.


Sidenote to Meg: Check out those eyebrows huh?!?

Violent Tendencies

Liam is in true form once again demonstrating that there is nothing he will not do; and the less sense it makes, the better. Yesterday he threw a flashlight and hit Catherine in the mouth (resulting in an hour long sob fest of "Liam, you're grounded!" from her). She is currently reevaluating her stance on sending Liam to military school. (Her original thoughts were that it was mean of Don and I to suggest it.)

And the affected area:


Note to future visitors: give yourself a nice cushion when in Liam's presence as you never know what may get launched (or shot) your way.

Guess Who's Older


Watching Liam and Quinn together is always interesting. They each like to do their own thing and Quinn is a big help in watching Liam because she is sure to let me know what he is doing in a blow by blow commentary. Ex: "Janie, Liam is playing in the hose now, he just turned on the water, now he is running around the yard, oh, he is climbing on the roof of the house, can I climb on the house...etc"

Both kids decided that it would be more fun to be on the playhouse instead of in the playhouse so Liam climbed up first and then Quinn was too small to hoist herself up so Liam was sweet and reached down a hand to pull her up too. They stayed on the roof for quite a while. Liam by choice, and Quinn because she couldn't get back down. Ha ha. (And just in case you're wondering, no, I couldn't help her down.)

Soccer Year II

Soccer was a bit of a letdown this year because several of the games were rained out; there wasn't really as much progression of skill through the course of the season. However, I am not sure that it would have mattered much, as Catherine took her usual laid back approach again this year and was contented to hang around the net as goalie. If she was placed on the field, she took to skipping around after the pack of ball hungry youngsters, enjoying the game from an onlookers perspective. What a funny girl we have?!

The following are some of the highlight shots of her practicing.