Sunday, June 24, 2012

Happy One Month!

Today our little Samuel is one month old. He's now been home with us a few days longer than he was in the hospital after being in the NICU for exactly 14 days. He's really starting to give us little glimpses of his budding personality. And our strong little guy is already rolling over! I know he did it about a week ago, but I didn't actually see it. Today I did, though. Tummy to back and back to tummy. Next we'll be starting him on P90X....or maybe not, but we're pretty proud of him!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Black Cat Coffee

Pete & Ella
Little Sam hung out at his first coffeehouse this afternoon in Ashland, Wisconsin. The Black Cat Coffeehouse is a quaint shop just a few blocks off Lake Superior. The building has tons of character with brick walls, an old wood bar, local art, and books to swap. We sat out front to soak in the gorgeous weather while sipping smoothies and iced chai. I love that Black Cat was Sam's first coffeehouse.

Ang & Sam

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Rains Came Down

When I woke in the wee hours on Wednesday morning to feed my little man, flashes of lightning and the sounds of torrents of rain drew me to the window. In the small amount of light from a street lamp I saw what can only be described as a raging river of water racing down the street in front of our house. Pete and I ran down to the front steps and were amazed to see that the water was running across our entire yard. It was 3:30 in the morning, so we didn't get any pictures because of the darkness. Once it got light out, I grabbed my camera to capture images of the water, though it was far less intense than it had been during the night.

our front sidewalk
our other front sidewalk & the neighbor's yard

The mayor declared Duluth in a state of emergency and advised that no one drive unless absolutely necessary. What a treat, then, that Pete was paged to go in and close the clinic. They obviously knew that Pete would be thrilled to jump in his new Jeep and take on the flood waters.

the street out front from our second floor - all water, rocks & sand
I've lived in Duluth for more than ten years and have never seen rain like this. Usually when we get slammed by a storm, it's a snow storm. Nearly the entire city is on the side of a hill with Lake Superior at the bottom and many creeks and rivers running down to the lake. Those waterways couldn't handle 9-plus inches of rain in 12 hours and immediately ran over their banks.

This street is right above ours. I can only think that they ended up far worse than we did because the street runs across the hill and our runs down the hill. Maybe the water had an easier time flowing down our street.

This is the entrance to a trail along the creek just 1 1/2 blocks from our house. 

photo taken from facebook
 And this is what the trail looks like after the water receded. Sadly, it will be a while before we take another walk along the creek.

photo taken from facebook
We've got lots of adventurers in Duluth, and many of them headed out into the water after the rain stopped. This intersection is just a few blocks up the hill from us. It's also right next to the University. A few cars in the area were completely covered in water. A few others disappeared into sink holes in the streets.

kayak! photo taken from facebook
Pete & I took pictures in the pavilion below on the day we got engaged. We drove over to take a look at it yesterday afternoon and it was actually still standing.

photo taken from facebook
Lester River
My sister lives right behind the restaurant below. The entire area was covered in water yesterday, but when I drove to her place today, there were only a few small puddle remaining. I don't think the restaurant made it. It was getting cleared out when I saw it.

photo taken from facebook
After exploring our end of the city late in the day yesterday, Ella wanted to play int he new dirt and mud in our front yard. We were incredibly fortunate. We had only minimal water in our basement and the yard is manageable, though we will have to put in a decent amount of time raking out all the rocks and sand.

sand & rocks where the water flowed
a few plants & items that ended up in our yard from somewhere up the street
The most yard damage happened with the retaining wall between our house and our neighbor's. Many of the blocks ended up against their house. A few of the flower bushes were flattened, too.


These lovlies blossomed yesterday following all the rain. Lots of destruction, but still plenty of beauty. I love this city.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Stroll Through Leif Erickson

Last week I ventured down to Leif Erickson Park with the kids (it still feels odd to say kids. plural. more than one. I'll eventually get used to it) for our first outing without Pete. We met Krista & Caleb near the Rose Gardens and took a long stroll down the Lakewalk. I wasn't sure how Ella would do, but she was great at keeping up with us and needed very little prodding to continue down the trail. I've put off getting a double stroller to see how she does on her own. So far, so good...but we're only a few weeks in.

Sam & Caleb all set for a walk
Miss Ella insisted on wearing one of my hats and a sweater since I was also wearing a sweater and a hat for our walk. It made me happy to know that she wanted to be like me. I'm so in love with my little girl that any time she wants to do something just because I'm doing it melts my heart.

After a long stroll down the Lakewalk, we spent time playing on the stone stage at the bottom of Leif Erickson Park. Ella was enchanted. (Wait, that's a movie, isn't it?) She sang just to hear her voice echo in the enclosed areas and, of course, had to add a few dance moves, too.

I've been experimenting more with a new camera app on my iPhone. It's fun to play with the lighting features and frames. I think it's called Camera Plus. I'm always amazed at what my little iPhone can do. Someday, I'd really love to have a nice camera. Maybe before we go to Kenya this winter. Maybe. For now, my trusted iPhone definitely does the trick.

I've also just started using Instagram. If you're on it, you can follow me at cupoftea. And then maybe I can follow you, too!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

I have a few of the most amazing, caring dads in my life.

My dad and I have always been very close and have tons in common.

Papa Scott with Ella
 I've been blessed with a fantastic father-in-law. I know not everyone can say that, but it's very true.
Grandpa & Grandma Olsen with Ella
Hands down, my favorite dad is the one I get to watch every single day. Pete is compassionate, sincere, patient, and adventurous. He is teaching our little ones incredible things and is the perfect example of what a strong man and father looks like.
Pete with Sam
Happy father's day to all the Daddies! You are loved and appreciated!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The First Outing

Firsts are a pretty big deal in our house. We love to make them really special and document them. We discovered that when Ella was born, that meant a whole lot of pictures and writing in the baby calendar. (That's sort of like a baby book. There is a space to write each day and add cute little stickers. We have matching calendars for Ella's first year and now for Sam's first year. They are from Hallmark.) Now we get to start all over with Sam's firsts. Most of the time it's great fun, but sometimes it puts us in a bind. For example, if I needed to go to the store - any store - with Sam, I would need to wait until Pete was free to go with us so that we could all experience it together. Does that seem silly? Perhaps, but that's how we roll. We love firsts and we love surprises.

So get ready for some "first" posts.

For Sam's first outing, we ventured to Canal Park, one of our very favorite places. For those of you not in Duluth, it's the very bottom tip of Lake Superior where all the ships end up after making their way through the Great Lakes. We get enormous ships here from all over the world. They make their way (carefully) through the canal and under the lift bridge before emptying their load or filling up and heading out. Our wedding reception was only a few hundred yards from the canal. We love it there. (And it's only five minutes from our house.)

on a hill in front of the lift bridge

someone gave her bread, making her a fave for the seagulls

Sam basking in the sunshine
the ship horns are loud!
pretending to lick the ice cream cone
mmm, her very own ice cream cone

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sammy's Homecoming

We've had a few amazing days since the homecoming of our sweet Sammy. I've had mulitple "is this for real?" moments, like Friday morning when I was gently rocking in the nursery glider with both of my little ones. Or this morning when all four of us cuddled in bed. It just feels so right to have all of us under one roof. We're complete. And that is good for my heart.

Sam's homecoming was a celebration. A quiet celebration, but a celebration all the same. We asked our dear friends Eli and Krista to join us for the evening. I dressed Ella in the Big Sis shirt I made a few weeks back, and Pete brought home a bouquet of blue balloons.


And then we were off to the hospital. Ella stayed at the house with Eli & Krista and their baby Caleb. Sam had to sit in his car seat for an hour and a half before we could take him home. That was to make sure he could breath well while sitting in it. He passed! We changed him into his going home outfit, the one we bought in case Ella had been a boy, delivered cupcakes to the incredible NICU staff, and headed out the door.

Sam's little corner in the back of the NICU
Before leaving the hospital, we made sure to swing over to the nursery to push the special green button. The button is pushed by the family after a baby is born. It plays a quiet lullaby throughout the entire building. I heard it play many times while I sat holding my boy in the NICU and smiled every time.

The painting surrounding the button is from a book "On The Day You Were Born," which is given to every family when a baby is born. The doctors and nurses sign the back few pages. I was giddy when we got our copy and excitedly showed it to Pete. He very sweetly smiled and told me he knew since he had signed many copies for other families. Silly me. Sometimes I forget that. It was just as special, all the same.

Sammy's first breath of fresh air
ready to go!
Ella didn't have an opportunity to meet her little brother before this special night, so it was a very big deal. We tried having her visit the NICU the day after he was born, but it was far too overwhelming and she hadn't been sleeping well, so we put the first meeting on hold. We wanted it to be memorable in a good way. I'm so glad we waited.

note the shoes & necklace she picked out herself

 we celebrated with a pint-size cake, sparkling cider, and pizza

These are a few treasured photos taken by Eli & Krista. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...