Friday, December 14, 2007

Sick Kids

Well, it happened last week with Josie. She threw up twice and had well...let's just say problems at the other end too. Wouldn't you know a week later and now Jayden has it. :( Sucky! At least he can use the pot. He hasn't had any regurgitation out of his mouth so hopefully he can bypass that part. So, that means another weekend at home not able to go out. As it was last weekend, Kim and I took turns getting out of the house so we didn't go crazy. At least the weather won't be a part of the frustration this weekend. When Jayden is healthy, he's been up to playing more with his teddy bear and using his imagination quite a bit. Everything has been about sharing with his Teddy and Teddy wanting to do something. He's also coming up with some memorable phrases. Last week Kim gave him a snack down in the living room. He tends to make a mess as most kids do when they're his age while eating it so Kim told him to be careful and not make a mess. His response, "It's okay Mom (he doesn't say Mommy any more), you can clean it up."

Getting into the cerealOn a brighter note, Josie's all better now and constantly grazes the cereal boxes whenever she can. She's also trying to talk more. You can kind of understand somethings that she says. She'll make the sound a cow, sheep, monkey and horse make. And she's also said tractor. She does play with Jayden's toys quite a bit.

Only 9 days till Christmas!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Zune - Not Made for Anyone

Okay, I thought I'd give it a try. I bought a 30 Gig Zune and took it for a drive. I owned a 20 Gig iPod before the Zune purchase, but it didn't have video. In deed the Zune has video but in Microsoft's infinite wisdom all video is converted to the wmv format instead of just supporting the major players (mpeg4, divx). There used to be hacks, and maybe they still work but I didn't try it, to force the Zune to "use" the other formats. But again, the Zune software will convert it to wmv instead of keeping it in the original format.

Okay, now for the real pain with Zunes. Microsoft did update the Zune software and underlying firmware which is great. I do like the fact that they can upgrade the Zune to be a newer version, but in my eyes, it was a PR stunt and they wanted to get something, anything no matter what it consisted of, out there for the Christmas shopping rush. They may have upgraded the whole thing, but they left out the critical pieces (Forum Entry). Unlike the iPod, the rating system is limited to a heart, a broken heart, or not rated. There isn't a smart/auto play list, only the playlist that you create by dragging the song to the playlist. For some people, this may be enough.

For a power user like me, having the smart play list found in the iPod is a must. I have 6 smart play lists which excludes songs from other smart playlists and includes into a playlist based on the rating of a song. For example, I have one name 1-No Kids. It's the primary one that I use and as you can probably guess from the name, it excludes Kids music. It also excludes slow music (that's in another playlist - 6-Good 4 Soul). The reason I use a number is that it sorts the playlists so that I can easily go to a play list while on the road with the iPod. I also have playlists based on ratings. 2-Best Stuff, 3-Great Stuff, 4-Good Stuff; each having songs included based on the 5 star rating scale.

One thing that I got used with my iPod using it as a hard drive. I didn't store a lot on it, but it came in handy when I wanted to copy something from my work computer to take home and work on. The Zune doesn't give you an option to even try and access it as a hard drive. Yes, there were hacks out there, but why fight it. The iPod just worked right out of the box. Who cares how you market a device, you shouldn't restrict a user in the use of the device.

Lastly, the odd thing about the Zune website is that you have to go to instead of You'd think Microsoft could at least buy and forward it to

Welp, off to listen to my video iPod that I traded the Zune for on Craig's List.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Mastering the smallest things

Well, the time is finally here. Jayden has mastered potty training and only wears his pull-up at night and when taking a nap, otherwise, he wants his "scibbies" and won't let us put on a pull-up. It's something how we grown-ups can think of it as a small thing to use the bathroom. In Jayden's case, it's like a horse and water. Jayden did it on his own time. You can't just force a kid to use it no matter how hard you want them to. At any rate, we're extremely happy that he is using it.

Picking out the perfect pumpkinYesterday we took our annual trip to Howell's Tree Farm to get the kids their pumpkins and to have some fun playing with all the stuff they have setup. While there we also saw Amy and Zach Larson so that was cool. It had rained the night before and it was pretty muddy, but we had a good time anyway and washed our shoes when we got home.

More pictures can be seen at the Halloween 2007 Picture Set.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Such a Fruit Cake

Jayden and his cake"Josie, you're such a fruit cake." Those are the words coming out of Jayden's mouth as we were eating supper one night. A lot has happened since my last blog entry. Sorry, life got busy so I didn't have time to get this updated. As you can see from the picture to the left, Jayden turned three in August.

Mom and Karrie Karrie, my sister, made a surprise visit to my Parent's home and it happened to fall on the same weekend that we had Jayden's B-Day party so she was able to make it too.

Josie being a modelJayden wasn't the only one to have fun during his birthday weekend. Josie likes wearing his hat and does a pretty good job modeling it. :)

Having fun with shaving cream at bath timeThey also both had fun with shaving cream in the bath tub. If you're ever looking for something fun for the kids during bath time, shaving cream is another option.

Jayden opening his presentsAnd of course after a long day's work, you just gotta take a rest from it all. Jayden feel asleep on his pillow in the living room during the middle of the day. :) Tired

We made the trek north to my Parent's home the first week of September and had a great time. My Aunt and Uncle, Iris and Gary Baxter had their 40th Wedding Anniversary party so we went and helped them celebrate. Gary and Iris' 40th Wedding Anniversary Party

It was a great weekend to go up as the weather was perfect. Jayden and Josie got to go outside and checkout the farm. Jayden helped Grandpa feed the calves and Josie got to play on the trampoline and other toys. Gotta check out the calves

We also got to play with Great Grandpa's four wheeler. Riding the 4 wheeler at Great Grandpa's farm

And Jayden got to ride on Uncle Kelly's forklift with Brianna and Madison. Uncle Kelly giving fork lift rides

More recently, Jayden has started riding his bike. It's getting different going on walks now as he'd rather ride his bike over riding in the wagon with Josie. The next thing we need to work on with him is using his brakes. Instead of pushing back on the peddles, he puts his feet down only and his toes touch the ground. He's also trying to use the potty more. We're gaining ground which is good. Josie has been trying to say more words, "Belbo" for Elmo, baby, and "Daday" for Jayden, "Belba" for belly button and bubbles. She's cruising like none other and would climb up on anything if she were allowed. She got another tooth on her left side so she now has 6. We're hoping she'll get some more on her right side. :) We've also concluded that she's a Daddy's Girl. The minute I get home from work she's at my feet if she isn't eating.

More pictures of can be found under Jayden's Birthday and at our trip up north links.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Lots of Little Things

Okay, so the title may be a little misleading. There have been a lot of "little" things happening the past month or so.

Jayden playing with Grandpa Wagner's TractorJayden now asks for a Dewski whenever Kim goes into Quicktrip or Kum & Go to get her fountain Dew. I'd say that's a pretty good accomplishment. :) He's almost there with using the peddles on his trike and bike. If only he were there with potty training. We're hoping that a switch will flip and he'll want to finally use his "big-boy scibbies". He talks about everyone else using the potty, but still no go. He still has the occasional melt down, but, knock on wood, they don't seem as frequent as before. He's also looking forward to his birthday and now asks for things for it.

Josie Walking AroundJosie has started to walk on her own. She does mostly walking now instead of crawling. It's fun to watch her make her tiny steps. She's kind of wobbly at times, but is doing a pretty good job so far. She's also good at getting into trouble. It won't be uncommon to turn your back for a second and find her standing on top of the kid's picnic table. She is learning a lot fast. She's also good at being a Daddy's girl.

House painting is done for the most part. I painted the back last week so the "normal" areas to paint are done. I'll probably try and get the garage door and the concrete part of the foundation done sometime before it snows. I also have to make a cover for the sandbox. I'm tired of looking at the blue tarp that covers it now.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Busy as Can Be

Man, talk about a busy time. Where to start. I've been busy painting the house the past three weeks or so. Kim and I are both glad that it's almost done. It's been a challenge for Kim to take care of the kids while I'm out trying to get the painting done. We're almost done as we only have the back deck area to paint.

A lot has been going on with Josie too. Josie got baptized on May 27th with her Grandpa and Grandma's and Aunt Chris and Kacie watching along. She had surgery on a blocked tear duct on June 6th. It went very well and by the next day we could tell a difference already. It was nerve racking none-the-less, but everything turned out okay. Josie now has 3 teeth and is working on her fourth. They haven't been too difficult which is nice.

Yesterday Josie turned one. I took the day off of work so that I could be with her and Jayden and Kim. We went to the Jordan Creek area to get Josie's 1 year photos and then went and hung out at the Jordan Creek Mall for a bit. The kids played in the play area and Josie got to make a teddy bear. After coming home we went to Big Creek State Park to play in the water and beach.

We've had fun building a sandbox for the kids. I think Josie was more interested in it at first, but now, they both seem to like it. It helps when Jayden's friends come over and play in it too.

 Oh, and we reverted back to a minivan. We were so cramped in our Pontiac Vibe so we traded for a Chrysler Town & Country.

So, all in all we've had a very busy month. Hopefully the summer will get a little quieter, which I'm sure it will once the house is done being painted.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Informatica World 2007

Wow, almost a month since the last update! Last week I was in Florida for almost a week to attend the Informatica World 2007 conference. I learned a lot and had a good time hanging out with Broox and Kevi. Broox was down there for and RFID conference so the timing was perfect. The weather was perfect too. It would have been fun if Kim would have gone with too, but that will have to wait till the next trip.

Back at the home ranch...the kids are doing pretty well. Josie is working on getting some teeth now so Sunday night was a tiring night as she didn't want to sleep much. It amazes me how growing teeth can be so painful. Josie's also crawling all over the place including going up any and all stairs she can find. Of course she can't come back down yet, so we have to run up and get her.

Jayden has been keeping his end of the deal up being an almost 3 year old; the almost daily melt down and his big brother attitude. He is as curious as ever and loves to "do things on his own". In his words, "I will do it!".

Kim was very busy taking care of the kids last week, as well as, organizing a garage sale (Jayden's pile and Josie's Pile). It went over pretty well and we got rid of quite a bit of stuff. It amazes me how much stuff one accumulates having kids.

It's good to be back in the groove now, but the Florida trip was fun. See more pictures in the Informatica Set

Monday, April 09, 2007

Crawling, American Idol, and Easter

Josie wearing her easter bunny ears.What a busy month. This month has started out with Josie learning to crawl. She loves try and get into the entertainment center now and gets mad when we tell her she can't. She's also started to pull herself to stand next to furniture and even climbed her first step today. She loves watching Jayden and I'm sure is learning a great deal from him. It's been exciting to see her advancing.

Jayden's been learning his ABCs and numbers, as well as, preparing for the next American Idol. One day last week he was standing on the stairs and singing away. Then he said I sing like American Idol. haha. Speaking of which, American Idol and Ford have done an excellent job marketing. Everytime Jayden sees a Ford symbol he now associates it with American Idol. Sad isnt' it. :)

Jayden and the easter bunny ears.Yesterday we had fun watching the kids with their Easter stuff. The night before we told Jayden that the Easter bunny was coming and we needed to make sure things were picked up. In no time, he was running around cleaning up his toys and putting away shoes to make sure the place was clean for the Easter bunny. Talk about motivation!

Kim's been doing the best she can to not get too bored during this last spell of cold weather. I think she has everything ready for the garage sale that will be the first Friday of May (and maybe Saturday). So be sure to mark your calendars and come out and buy some good stuff. haha.

Work for me has been very busy. But, that keeps the time flying by. I keep thinking someday I'll get caught up, but I don't know about it now.

Check out Jayen and Josie's Easter Videos: , Video 1, Video 2, Video 3

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Blizzard 1 and 2

Blizzards 1 and 2...

Well, we survived the blizzards 1 and 2. We didn't even lose power over the whole deal (first blizzard), but some of our friends and family did. Our trees that were really low to the ground after the ice storm even came out of it without a trace of damage. My parents were without power for about 40 hours because of the ice buildup and breaking of the electrical poles. Luckily both my Grandparents and my Parents have generators.

The second blizzard was something to see too. We got out of work early on Thursday and then on Friday Pioneer was closed. I'm sure glad I didn't have to go anywhere as the roads were full of snow and visibility was very poor. We did manage to make it up to Ames Saturday evening for some Hickory Park with Dave and Laura Ekhart and Tasha and Tony Vorm and all the kids (6 of them). Traffic wasn't too bad, but you could definitely see the aftermath of the storm.

A look back...

In some ways I'm glad that we got as much snow as we did as it, to me, makes things seem like normal. Growing up I can remember huge drifts being as tall as the honey suckle trees in our grove on the farm. In fact the drifts would be so hard, the cattle could even walk on them. The gravel road next to our place would also have been packed with snow. I can remember sitting at the top of the snow and roll huge chunks of snow down the bank after the road grader opened the road. My brother and I would always watch in anticipation, as someone came down the road, to see if they'd run over the snow chunks. Doing chores was the worst part about getting huge storms as you'd have to trudge through a ton of snow carrying straw bales to bed the pigs and calves. You'd also have to scoop out all the troughs so you could feed the animals. It was hard work, but we survived and have the memories, good and bad. I think chores also took longer just because we'd play around more just to enjoy the vast landscape the wind and snow created. You can't have all the snow without making a fort.

In other news...

Jayden and Josie have been growing quite a bit. Jayden's I think has been trying to grow emotionally as he's truly showing his 2 year old attitudes. He's having at least one melt-down a day and is a "joy" to take shopping. He's still a relatively good boy, but has his moments. We had to upgrade his play shoes to size 7 1/2 now so he's growing despite his weird interests in food (he'd choose a salad over a hot dog any day).

Josie on the other hand, even though she hasn't had a single tooth come in yet, will eat anything you put in front of her. She's beginning to question baby food and would rather have "real food" (small cut-up pieces of green beans, carrots or fruit). She's really getting a personality now and always has a big smile on her face, well, at least when she's not mad or crying. She hasn't crawled yet, but is really close. She does tend to migrate in reverse instead of going forward when trying to crawl.

Last weekend we walked for Amber in the JDRF in the Des Moines Sky walk system. I should say, Josie slept and Kim, Jayden and I walked. Jayden had fun in the inflatable games and I'm glad JDRF chose to get the games instead of forking over big bucks for a breakfast.

My Grandpa Minnis had knee surgery this last Tuesday. Everything went really well. But, I guess today/last night he'd been whacked out on meds or something as he pulled all his IVs out last night and then had my Grandma stop the machine that bends his knee every so often. Hopefully he straightens up so he doesn't get into more trouble. :)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sick Kids

Let's see...where to start. We've been pretty busy despite the coldness outside. Kim's with Josie at the Doctor's office as I write this. Jayden fell asleep on the couch while watching Sesame Street. It all started last Wednesday. Jayden came down with a fever and then it turned into coughing. We called the doctor's office and they said to bring him in on Friday if his fever didn't go down. It did go away on Friday, but then it came back yesterday. His coughing has been getting somewhat better, but he still looks like he's going to cough a lung up when he coughs. So, I think Josie got the same thing as Jayden. I'll find out when Kim gets back. She coughs like a dog and has a high fever (103.3). Nothing like having Josie rip your heart out when she can hardly breath. :( Luckily she could get an appointment this morning. Jayden goes in for his appointment at 1:00 today as he's still running a fever. That's one of the annoying things of having sick kids on the weekend. You can't visit the doctor's office.

Aside from the kids being sick, we painted our living room a couple of weeks ago. We were sick of the poorly painted yellow that the old owners had. Funny it took us about 4 years to get it painted. :)

Update: Well, it appears that Josie has croup and Jayden has ear infection. At least Jayden already had it once so now we know what to do with Josie. Josie seems to be doing better after they gave her a steroid shot. Jayden's at least eating some cereal now.