Thursday, December 25, 2008

Santa came, but what about the cookies?

Quinn laid his head to rest on Christmas Eve at ease, knowing Santa would come and deliver presents. Of course he would. Quinn's been a good boy this year.

He did, however, go to bed worried about the cookies.

Quinn is still learning Christmas tradition. We explained to him that Santa has a lot of flying to do. The world's a big place. A fat guy with a fleet of flying mammals is bound to get hungry, so we leave him cookies and milk. (Quinn also doesn't understand general nutrition, which makes this story plausible.)

Cookies, however, are like rare currency in this house, and giving them away to some stranger in a red suit -- presents or not -- wasn't going over well.

But once he woke up and and saw how Santa filled his stocking and left a pile of presents under the tree, all was forgiven.

Quinn came away with a bounty: a new tricycle, a talking Elmo toy, lots of good DVDs and Hot Wheels cars, and a race car track. That's just the short list, and the list of thank-yous is even longer. Even Dexie came away happy, though her new chew toy has been largely obliterated.

Since we spent Christmas without our extended families this year, we shot a few videos of Quinn's Christmas excitement. Thanks, and enjoy.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The days before Christmas

Thanksgiving here in Oregon was mostly uneventful. But the days after have been busy.

We've picked out our Christmas tree, watched as Portland lit its own big tree Downtown, and started getting ready for the holidays.

Here's a few pictures to show what we've been up to.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It didn't seem that long ago ...

Around this time of the year, expect to hear us say this a lot:

It didn't seem that long ago ...

As in, it didn't seem that long ago that Daddy stayed up all night with a curious newborn boy, fighting sleep because he was too afraid to doze off and roll over on him.

As in, it didn't seem that long ago that the little fella first filled our house with big cries and big smiles, big smells and big thrills.

As in, it didn't seem that long ago that this wonderful little boy started to grow up, to learn words, to throw balls, to walk, to ....

You get the picture.

Quinn turned two on Friday, and he's now a bonafide little boy, full of little boy mischief and little boy charm. He celebrated his second big day in customary style, a two-day celebration featuring big spoonfuls of ice cream, pizza, Elmo cupcakes, a roomful of balloons, a gigantic jungle gym, a whole bunch of friends and a brand new wooden choo-choo train.

"Chugga chugga!," he likes to growl.

Some day soon, we'll look back to now and reminisce. We'll talk about how Quinn repeats everything we say, including the words he shouldn't. We'll look at the picture of him in his new Minnesota Twins cap, and recall how he preferred to wear it over his eyes, as if seeing wasn't that big of a deal. And we'll watch the videos of him entertaining himself just by climbing up one side of the bed and climbing down the other.

And we'll say, it didn't seem that long ago ...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A New Trick and the Diva

Quinn has found much happiness in the form of mom and dad's bed. He scales the side like a professional rock-climber using the comforter as a grip until he lands on the top. Proclaiming a squeal of delight at his fortune, he then proceeds to slide off the other side or the foot of the bed, whichever strikes his fancy at the moment. With a ready-set-go and a cautionary "careful" he slinks to the floor and starts all over again. He really could do this all day I think. Here's the proof...

And the diva well, here's the proof in that as well.

In mommy's defense she DID NOT do that to her little boy. He did it himself..well maybe I helped a little.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Quinn invites you over for dinner


The almost birthday boy got an early birthday present from Grandma Smith in the form of his very own table and chairs. I think Thanksgiving turkey dinner will be great spent around the colorful table this year. He's been spending alot of time sitting at it coloring, and putting his new dinosaur (a-saur) puzzle together. He now eats dinner sitting at his new table and eats much better! Of course he has to be watching Elmo, Cars (courtesy of cousin Abby, Aunt Tara & Uncle Hal) or one of the many other videos we have now accumulated. Who doesn't like to eat and watch TV?

Mommy also got a new camera which she has been trying out and trying to learn. Might help if she actually read the manual for it. She hopes this camera is quick enough to catch the Tasmanian devil in all of his various acts throughout the day, so maybe we can keep up with this blog.

We leave you with pictures taken with the new camera. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Great Pumpkin

Today marked our annual pilgrimage to the Pumpkin Patch.

It's a day in which Mommy tries in vain to get Quinn to pose in front of a collection of pumpkins, only to see Quinn look every other direction and show more interest in the hay.

It was a fun, muddy day. And here are the pictures (and video) to prove it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dennis the Handsome Menace

The terrible twos have arrived, even if Quinn's second birthday hasn't.

Our little hero has gotten the grabbies. Apple on the counter? Grab it. Headache pills? Grab it. Mom's headache cream? Grab it. And usually try to eat it.

We've had a few near-miss disasters (and, subsequently, a few near-miss panic attacks), but we've survived them all. There have been calls to poison control, one serious mouth washing, and a cut lip. But we've survived them.

Not only has Quinn survived, but he's more handsome than ever, thanks to the stylin' haircut Mommy got him.

Here's a look at the new 'do, as well as some videos.

Have fun. We sure are.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A lot of ground to cover

It's been way too long since our last post, so here's a rundown of our very busy month:

Mommy, Daddy and Cap'n Quinn visited Seattle at the beginning of September. We had fun walking through Pike Place Market, the place famous for vendors throwing fish at each other.

We then walked along the Puget Sound waterfront and looked at all boats. Quinn loves boats. Mommy does, too. Especially the big cruise ship. She kept telling Daddy that he needs to take her on another ride on a cruise ship.

After that we visited the Seattle Aquarium, where Quinn saw his two favorite fish: Dorie and Nemo from "Finding Nemo," his favorite movie. He also enjoyed watching the sea lions.

Finally, we visited Uncle Sean and Aunt Kelly on the day their baby, Breanna, was baptized.

A few weeks after that trip, both Quinn and Dexie the Wonderdog got sick.

Quinn got a bad fever, reaching as high as 105 degrees, putting a scare into both Mommy and Daddy. It turned out to be nothing more than a virus that needed to run it's course. It was made to seem worse since Mommy and Daddy weren't used to giving the good cap'n large doses of medicine. They were used to giving infant doses of Tylenol, but Quinn's a pretty big boy. Once the doctor gave us the OK, we gave him the right doses.

Quinn enjoys his medicine -- a little too much. He even asks for it when he isn't sick.

Dexie, meanwhile, got the best present on Daddy's birthday: a visit to the vet. She's been fighting either fleas or allergies. Lucky for us, it was allergies. But that means Dexie, just like Daddy, gets a daily dose of allergy medication. She also had some stomach problems, which seem to have passed -- again, lucky for us.

The biggest news, though, is that Mommy is back at work. She's spending her weekends at Tuality Hospital in Hillsboro, Ore., leaving her two men to fend for themselves while she's earning some bucks.

But Daddy and Quinn do alright. So far, anyway.

Here are a few slideshows to enjoy. The first is of our trip to Seattle, the second is of our visit to the park today in Beaverton, and the last is some photos of Quinn helping Daddy with some hammering and of his experiment to determine what happens when you shove Cheerios in your nostrils.

The answer: A funny picture.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wish you were here

Dear Daddy,

I hope you and Dexie are doing OK. We're having a great time at Grandma and Grandpa Smith's house in Pennsylvania! Can we have a horse and buggy?

Mommy took me to the zoo the other day. I got to pet a deer. We should get a deer. They're like a horsey, but closer to my size. I could ride it and you wouldn't have to put me in the stroller any more. Mommy said that it might give me ticks, but I don't know what those are and they sound like they could be fun. So let's get a deer.

I also got to meet lots of new friends. I saw my aunties Shari, Penny and Juniper. I got to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa Crissman and Mommy's aunties and uncles. And I got to see my good buddies Elliott and his little brother Parker. Can we get a little brother? I'll let him ride the deer, OK? I promise.

Grandma took me for a ride in the wagon. I don't know where she was taking me. I just hung on tight. Grandma's doggie Holly was close behind in case I fell out. But I didn't. We really need a wagon. We should get one. Wagon's are nice. The deer could pull me and my new little brother at the same time. Fuel efficiency, Daddy!

OK, Daddy, I'd better get going. I need some rest. We're going up to Grandma and Grandpa's camper tomorrow. I have a feeling we might need one of those, too.

Love you and miss you,


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Live from Amish Country

Quinn and Mommy are on vacation to see Grandma Smith in Pennsylvania, leaving Dexie and I to fend for ourselves.

We sure miss them, but luckily Daddy found this great All-Quinn-All-The-Time TV channel. We've got a live feed to the Smith headquarters in Smicksburg, Pa., so we thought we'd share it with everybody else.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The little man and the sea

Upon his first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean, Quinn stared out at the expansive, white-capped landscape, and said: "wah wah."

So it's not the most profound statement. Still, Quinn's first trip to the beach -- despite the dismal weather -- was yet another landmark reached at the ripe old age of 21 months.

The water was cold, the wind was blowing, and Quinn had sand in his eyes, but he still couldn't get enough of the salty sea water. Holding Daddy's hand, his bare feet sloshed along the Pacific Shore at Cannon Beach, the ocean waves -- nearly surfable white caps moments earlier -- dissipated to a benign slap at his ankles.

He made friends with the sea gulls, collected a bucketful of rocks, helped Mommy and Daddy make a sandcastle, got wet and sandy enough for it to be a messy problem. Then we ended the day with some seafood and a nap on the hour-and-a-half ride home.

Next time -- and there will be plenty of next times for our little man of the sea -- we hope the weather will be friendlier
But for this time, it was a day that ended with a wave to the Pacific, and another profound statement:

"Bye bye wah wah."

Saturday, August 02, 2008

High and tight

Mark your calendars historians. Today was the day when Cap'n Quinn Garrison Siemers went from cute to handsome.

With an assist from Elmo, Quinn took a seat in the cockpit of a mini fighter jet, oblivious to the aesthetic reformation happening above his years. At that moment, a pair of scissors were relegating his golden curls to souvenir status, a few satiny threads tucked in an envelope before Mommy gives them a final resting place in a scrapbook.

Quinn's first haircut came off without a hitch. While his eyes were fixated on an Elmo DVD, the talented and patient stylist went to work, stealthily trimming away his hipster do into what she called "the little boy cut."

A first haircut is hardly a seminal moment for the person getting shorn. Quinn cared more about the roomful of toys and the plastic riding horse. But it's a landmark for parents, a historic notch in the passage of time of the lovable little creature they created. We stand there, cameras at the ready, to document those moments for posterity, because we know our little ones won't remember it otherwise.

Another set of parents were two stalls over, watching over their little brown-haired boy in a miniature Jeep, also sitting motionless, also captivated by Elmo. Like us, they had a camera, they oohed, they ahhed.

Like us, they were watching just another notch in the belt of history. More are to come, maybe even tomorrow. Probably tomorrow. And we'll be there, ready to preserve and record it as official historians, an artifact in the life history of Quinn Garrison Siemers.

Just like those locks. They'll be in a scrapbook, perhaps filed under "c" for cute.

Riding in the airplane.

Watch where you put that comb!

"Daddy, how about we give that beard a trim?"

Riding the horsey.

And, for a bit of comedy:

"Oh no, what did we just do?"

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ralph Cramden Meets a Horse

Quinn took mommy and daddy to the Washington County Fair yesterday. We made visits to all the animals in the barn. Quinn was very fond of all the goats, bunnies and chickens. He didn't care much for the miniature horse, especially when it snorted at him.

"Bye, bye," he said, waving his hand, gesturing for us to move along.

He did, however, enjoy the big horsey that the policemen were riding. He even got to pet them, and we learned the one with big blue eyes was called "Dakota." It had a white, furry mane that captured Quinn's attention.

Daddy made a point of saying that this was one of the rare times he likes police officers. Some other nice officers deputized Quinn, slapping a gold sticker of a lawman's badge on his chest, making him boss for the day. Then they gave him a blue balloon, which was all he wanted in the first place.

Its surprising they didn't ask him any questions. He looked like a bit of a drunkard in his funny hat.

But he wasn't causing any problems. Just creating a few laughs, like the Ralph Cramden look-a-like that he is.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

He's got the moves

Here's something Quinn gets from his Mommy: The kid can dance.

There's rhythm in those little legs. Shimmy in those little hips. No matter the song, he'll start wiggling, shifting his arms left and right, bouncing up and down -- all in rhythm, all in sync.

Each morning, Mommy has the TV tuned to the local PBS channel. The moment the theme song to one show comes on -- a tune that goes something like, "It' s a big world .. it's a big, big world." -- our little Astaire drops everything and starts to boogie.

To him, it's not really a dance unless his elbows start swinging up to his ears. Otherwise, it's just a bounce.

His brain is already attuned to music. Often, Mommy and Daddy will sit near the computer, listening to snippets of the new music out that week on iTunes. Quinn joins us, bopping his head in rhythm while reading a book before bedtime.

This leads me to wonder something: In that picture above, is he calling an agent?

Munching on a corndog at Portland's Riverfront Blues Festival.

Enjoying his first fireworks show at Portland's Riverfront Park.

Petting a goat with Mommy at the Oregon Zoo.

Quinn is enjoying the polar bear. Daddy's giving a creepy smile.

Quinn and Daddy drive the vintage Range Rover at the Oregon Zoo.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Keeping it cool

It's been hot here in Oregon, and it's taking a while to get used to being immersed in humidity again. But the good Cap'n Quinn found himself a nice spot to cool down the other day.

The funny thing about Quinn and fountains is that as much as he enjoys it, he really hates having water poured on his head. He spent as much time running away from the fountains as he did running in them. Still, we had a good time.

It turns out that living in an apartment has its constraints. There's less room for Quinn and his doggie, Dexie, to roam. There's no backyard and a lot of obstacles to trip over. But Quinn has found his own jungle gym, and it comes home every day around 6 p.m.

It's called the Daddy, and it's great for climbing.

First Quinn runs into the Daddy. Then he climbs on the Daddy. Then he sits his butt on the Daddy's face. Then he bounces on the Daddy. Then he launches himself off the Daddy. Then he gets tickled by the Daddy.

Then the Daddy gets tired.

Stay tuned for some more updates coming soon featuring Quinn's first taste of fireworks. Dexie gives them a thumbs (paws?) down.