Growing Up Fast in 2016, Part 3

Here's the final set of photos featuring Astrid's growth, from July and August.

Part 1
Part 2

Here's another from Olbrich, in the flowers.

Spaceman Spiff (with a dress)!

Nana with the kids at the bears at Olbrich.

Again with the skirt and one of her favorite things: a book.

We went to the Renaissance Fair in Bristol. I should write about that, too.

Astrid was a fairy, of course, and Luca was a goblin or orc. Kyra was beautiful, and I was weird. As usual.

Here's Astrid reading. Poor baby doll, getting left on the window sill like that.

And here she is outside enjoying the warm, late summer weather.

I haven't had a chance to review photos from September to now. I feel like she's come to a milestone, and is really growing taller for the most part. Her face hasn't changed quite as much since the last photo her, other than her hair getting a lot longer.

I know 2016 was tough for a lot of people, but these last few posts show that there were good things going on, you just have to look in the right place. I'll (try to) remember 2016 as a good year of growth for our kids, Astrid especially.

Growing Up Fast in 2016, Part 2

Continuing on from the last post, here are some photos from May and June in 2016.

Growing up in Olbrich, with those beautiful white flowers in the trees.

with Luca and Mama.

Some good reading time with "Cuca"... with a classic Astrid "smile".

Dirt baby.

We were moving dirt, and just couldn't keep her out of it.

And here are Luca and Astrid taking care of the baby (doll).

A pic from Father-Daughter Day. We're in the back of the car, of all places. I think I was getting something, and she wanted to get in.

And another with Luca while at Nana's.

She's definitely getting taller, and her face is changing.

Stay tuned for one more set of photos!

Growing Up Fast in 2016, Part 1

Astrid grew up quite a bit in 2016. Over the next couple of days, I'm going to write a few posts about her growth.

Eating some yogurt.

Crafting with ribbon paper.

Playing in the old tires.

Walking outside with the blue elephant.

In pajamas on the couch.

With Grandma Teresa on Astrid's birthday!

First birthday cake!

Having fun at the party!

These photos are from March to April, and she grew so much just in 1 month! Getting to 1 year old really was a big difference.

More to come!

We Haz Cat

A couple of months ago, we got a new cat.

We named her Renee.

Initially, we had some problems. She was having digestive problems, and we really didn't want to deal with another sick cat. But they went away once she got use to the new place. Additionally, I thought I had developed an allergy. I was sneezing and my eyes were red. That resolved, too, after we changed the litter and set up an air purifier.

Now, she's a part of the family. Astrid can't pronounce Renee, so she calls her Nee-Nee (nay-nay). Renee is a bit skittish, preferring to be around people who aren't overly excited. She flees whenever she feels the energy is too much. She's a big whiner when it comes to meal time. She's very snuggly, especially in the evening.

Welcome to the family!

My Own Prairie Home

Tonight I listened with no small amount of sadness to Garrison Keillor's last live radio broadcast with A Prairie Home Companion. The show and its iconic host, with his characters of Guy Noir and The Cowboys, the Powdermilk Biscuit theme and the news from Lake Wobegon has been a part of my weekend routine for years, and have come to represent a portion of my childhood, one that now, with Keillor's departure, seems well and truly over.

This all sounds a bit strange considering that I'm a relatively new listener. I really only started tuning in after Luca was born, needing something to listen to while I nursed him and tried desperately to get him to sleep. I do remember my mother listening on occasion growing up, or making vague references to it, but I really started listening as an adult.

The thing is, all the things I grew up with are what I hear when I listen to Garrison and his strange meandering monologues. My Lake Wobegon was Roseville, Minnesota, where my mother was born and raised, and was filled with stories of Ms. Clackston, who dressed in purple right down to her tights and pearls, and her son Rodger, who my mom smacked in the mouth with a metal lunch box that got stuck in his braces. (She always ends that story with "And he went on to become a minister". I think she feels a little guilt to this day.) There was the story of my Grandmother, who hit a stranger's child over the head with a hymnal for talking in church, and how my mother saved my uncles from only time my Grandfather threated them with corporal punishment for shoving her off her bike.

My childhood was peppered by that strange wonderful Minnesotan dialect, courtesy of my Grandmother. "Hot dish" was served regularly. "Garage" had one syllable, "Battery" had two. Sentences started with "so" and ended with either "then" or "yeah, right, exactly..." The character of Duane's mom puts me in mind of a composite of both my mother and grandmother. And when my mom played a tape of my Grandfather talking to me as a toddler, it was in a nearly identical cadence to what I have heard coming from my radio every Saturday night.

I think that is what touches me most about this last Prairie Home. Listening to Prairie Home each week kept me in touch with the childhood I was rapidly losing. Both my Grandparents are gone now. My mother, gray hair and all, is a grandmother herself. But there was still a part of me that wasn't quite ready to accept the reality of being an adult, despite two kids, a husband and a mortgage. And Prairie Home spoke directly to that part of me. For the space of two short hours, my childhood was real again. I guess that's what his last show means to me. My childhood has faded to memories, and at last, at 31, I feel like an adult.

Goodbye Garrison, I will miss your voice on my radio each week. Thank you for helping usher me into adulthood.