Sunday, December 30, 2012

Snow, Milestones, Packers,Christmas and a Baby, Oh My!

What a month! I've got an overload of pictures since it's been a while (I suppose if I updated more often it wouldn't take me so long huh?!?)
For starters, We thought Danika would love to play in the 14" of snow we received earlier in the Daren and her put on layer after layer and got all geared up to sled and play. 3 minutes later, they returned to the house:) Danika is not a fan of the snow quite yet- The saucer we had just wasn't working too good, but we did just get a sled, so hopefully she'll have a change of heart!

Her imagination is running wild these days...putting her babies to sleep:) 
And this is how you can find her sleeping these days:) She usually moved her blankets and pillow to the opposite end of the bed, and lays out all her stuffed animals in a row
Danika is also really beginning to develop her fine motor skills and loves to color and draw and 'write'. I was really impressed when she made this smiley face:) 
I helped tell her the shapes or lines/dots to make, but she did all the drawing:)
Hadster celebrated being 9 months old! 

She continues to be about 'average' in the 50th percentile for her weight and a little above that for height. She is completely on table food and loving every bite:) She is doing LOTS of creeping along furniture and transferring her hands from one thing to another. She'll also walk if you hold her hands, so I think give her another month, and she'll be on the move with this little legs on her own:)
Last Sunday Daren and I went to the Packer game at Lambeau with his sister Lisa & Ben. We had a blast tailgating and really couldn't have had much better weather considering it was late December! The Packers nearly had a blowout of a game and scored 50+ points:)
A tailgating tradition for Daren...the 'brat-a-ger' (A full hamburger and bratwurst sandwich)

Last Sunday also was a special day because we welcomed the newest 'Dummer' cousin... Miles Michael was born! He is so precious and Haddie is already excited to eat him up:)  (And of course be the best of friends as they get a little bigger) It's crazy that she seems SO much older than him at this point, but they are exactly the same age apart that Danika and Madeline are, and they don't seem much different at almost 3 and 4.
 (Auntie Lori treated us to Cherry Berry on Saturday and she went into labor that night, so Danika is quite sure it was the ice cream that did it:)
Really checking him out:)

Danika got a Dr.kit for Christmas and had to bring it with to visit the Brenner's at the hospital and give Auntie Lori a shot to help her get better:)

Let the Christmas festivities begin! We had Christmas Eve with my family at our house. Danika enjoyed having cousins to play kitchen with:)
She's not excited at ALL to open presents:) 
And Haddie just wanted to eat the paper... 
Danika showing off her new cupcake baking set for her kitchen 
And when the night was over we had to prepare for Santa. We started by  making reindeer food... 
Then writing a letter to Santa... 

 And on Christmas Morning...
Santa was very good to the Dummer family:)
Danika must have been a pretty good girl because she got the 2 things she really wanted, and a few extras!
#1 on her list was a Dora shirt- He delivered AND it was even Pink, her favorite color:) Her face doesn't do justice to the excitement she had when she opened it
Haddie enjoyed her gift too and immediately started chewing on it:)

The last gift for both girls was a big one, so they both started tearing into the wrapping paper... 
#2 on Danika's list was a trampoline.
We talked a lot about how we can wish for things, but that doesn't always mean we will get them... Santa might not be able to fit it in his sack, and how Santa is always watching to make sure boys and girls are being good. Anyway, after she unwrapped the paper she saw the picture of the trampoline on the box...she was excited, but not over the top because it was after all, just a picture of one:) So we opened the giant box and what do you think was inside?!?!
That's right, not a thing. Danika stood in front of it, silent and perplexed for a moment and then said "I must have been on the naughty list"
It was a moment I will forever be kicking myself about not having on video. I was so cute and sad all at the same time. We instantly reassured her she wasn't because he brought her things in her stocking, so we decided to hunt around the house for it....
finally, we found it all set up in the basement. THAT was a moment of pure excitement!!!

Christmas evening we had our usual gathering at Daren's parents. It was a little strange not to have Lori & Mike there, but we did go visit them & baby Miles in the hospital.
The kids (and grown-ups) were again spoiled WAY too much and had tons of fun. The highlight of the night was Connor and Chloe reading the Christmas Story from the bible while Madeline and Danika set up the nativity:)  
All in all, it was a very hectic, but wonderful Christmas and we again, feel very blessed for all that we have, but especially for the incredibly loving family we are so fortunate to surround ourselves with.
We hope that you, our dear friends and family also had a great Christmas and a have a terrific 2013...
Thanks for catching up with us:)
Daren, Jamie, Danika & Haddie

Sunday, December 9, 2012

We have been enjoying getting into the holiday spirit around the Dummer house... We had a cookie day with Granny and Aunt Heidi last weekend. Danika enjoyed helping, but only in about 5 minute time periods. She's help & taste, then play, then help & taste, then play again and so on...
Danika is a non-stop imagination machine and is always having picnics, playing restraunt, babies, movies, etc... Usually, she's pretty nice and lets Haddie join her too:)
Haddie continues to be adventurous and has discovered some new favorites lately...
Under the TV, where she can reach the cable 
And she's been drawn to the pantry, but the newest discovery within the pantry is the dog treats! No matter where I put them or 'hide' them behind other things, she can still find them! I finally had to put them in a more secure location...(A little bad parenting here...of course I had to run and get my camera for a picture of her chewing on it before I took it out of her mouth:)
This week I attempted to take picutres of the girls in hopes of getting a nice presentable picture that I could use for our Christmas card... I wasn't too successful. Danika is in a phase of REALLY big cheesy, "cheese" smiles and Haddie just wants to run away...
Apparently Danika thought if she choked her she'd stay still:) 
...and again "CHEESE"
So, we just played with lights instead:) 

This weekend we took Danika to the 8th Floor Macy's display in downtown Minneapolis and to meet Santa. (We actually didn't tell her about Santa until after we got there) She wasn't too exicted about it all, but I think mostly because she didn't understand what exactly she was going to see. Once we got there she loved it- The theme was "Santaland" with lots of elves and Santa's workshop. They used to change it yearly, but Santaland has been there for the past few years and sounds like it will continue to be. She liked the elves, but anything animal related was her favorite. After all was said and done we asked her what her favorite thing was and she said "The mouse running across the kitchen"
Yes, there was a fake mouse in the elf kitchen that they were trying to catch:)
We met some friends of ours and Danika had a blast with their daughter...
Buddies Danika and Rylan:) 
As for Santa, we only cohorsed her to go in the Santa room becasue Rylan did, and even though Rylan sat on his lap, Danika was NOT about to do that! She warmed up a bit and managed to whisper to him what she wanted, as we were about to walk out the door.
Before I sign off...I wanted to share with you a wonderfully written announcement...
NO, not that kind of announcement! (I know what you may have been thinking:) No more babies in this household for now...
Daren recently took a new position at work. He still works for Pioneer, but with another 'department' if you will, and will be doing much of the same things, but have a bit more responsiblilty and working more closely with the farmers and seed salesman. I would say it's a 'promotion', although he doesn't use those terms:)
Here is the write up that his new boss wrote to all Pioneer employees (nationally) welcoming him to the position...
Announcement - Daren Dummer
We are pleased to announce that Daren Dummer has recently accepted the position of Senior Research Associate (IMPACT Area Lead) for the Northern Business Unit IMPACT team hosted by the Eau Claire Research Center, Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  Daren joined Pioneer in 2006 as a Research Assistant at the Eau Claire Research Center and was promoted to Research Associate in 2008.  He has contributed to several programs at the research center including management over the 95 and 100 CRM R3/R4 DP 100 testing program, management over aspects of the transgenic trials program, and contributions to the field testing programs including planting, note taking, harvest and cooperator relationships.  
Daren has a strong background in agriculture starting with experience on the family farms and as a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – River Falls in agri-business and agronomy.
In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife Jamie, daughters Danika and Haddie, and working on the family dairy farm.
Please join us in congratulating Daren as the newest member of the NBU IMPACT Team.
Isn't that nice he enjoys his family in his spare time;) Had to tease him about that one... He is a hard worker and earned it and we couldn't be happier for him, or more proud:)
We hope you are having a happy December and enjoying (safely) the beautiufl first snowfall of the season...
Love, The Dummers

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thankful for....the holiday season:)

This week we spent a lot of time feeling thankful for SO much... Daren and I both had some extra days off work with the Thanksgiving Holiday Wednesday-Sunday so we enjoyed quite a bit of family time, and even had a day in our jammies for most of the day:) We are so thankful for each other and our girls and feel truly blessed with what and who we have in our lives! Here is a glimpse of our week.
Danika is very much into being a helper and she helped me make bread...
Kneading the dough...
I don't have any pictures to prove it, but Daren and I started our Thanksgiving morning by running the 5 mile Turkey Trot in Eau Claire (yes, I said BOTH Daren and myself) it was a perfect morning for a run and although he was exhausted at the end, Daren did great and wasn't even too sore on Friday! Although, when I asked him if he'd be getting into more races with me he happily declined:) Maybe we can at least make the Turkey Trot our 1 annual race together?!?!
After the race, we celebrated the day wtih family at the Dummer Farm.
Danika took advantage of the last of the gorgeous days by playing outside with Chloe...

Since I'm a week late (or really just on time these days!) we had a special milestone last week... Haddie Grace turned 8 months old:) Seriously, where does the time go? I don't know if it's because we are older, have done this before, or because H is cruisin' faster than Danika did, but every day she is doing something new and the time is like a blur from when we were in the hospital with her until now!
She kind of most definitely will NOT lay still for her monthly pictures anymore, so this is what we get instead...I guess it's reflective of who she is!
"Yay for me, I'm 8 months old" 
"I want that camera" 
"I just want to stand...and of course only hold on with 1 hand" 

 Love, love, love:)
What is Haddie up to? Well, here's a snapshot:
Likes: Any and all food, putting things in her mouth, making music, watching her sister, jumping in her jumperoo, bedtime
Dislikes: being left alone in a room, when Danika takes something away, having her face wiped, sleeping through the night (notice how bedtime is a like, but not so much sleeping the whole night! Hopefully sooner than later for this mama's sake)
Development: Crawls at lightning fast speeds, pulls herself up and holds on with 1 hand, walks along furniture for a few steps, claps, waves 'bye-bye', has 3 teeth (2 on the bottom and 1 on top just sprouted yesterday) blows bubbles, screeches, screams, and yells:) giggles, says 'mama', 'dada', 'baba' and other misc... consonant sounds, signs 'more' and 'eat' at mealtime
Her next check-up is in December at 9 months, so we'll see how she's growing on the charts at that point.
As much as we love Thanksgiving and having time with our families, there is nothing quite like the Christmas season:) We had to get things rolling and kick off the season by getting our Christmas tree... we all bundled up and braved the cold weather to go cut down our perfect tree.... sounds dreamer than it truly was with 2 small children, but we survived and did manage to find a great tree that is up and festive!
Danika ready to be a helper 
We had to do a little up hill hiking, but we found it!  
TIMBER!! Dad and Danika next to our chopped down tree 

Haddie was  a trooper too! She stayed bundled up in my carrier and barely moved an inch the whole time:)

Getting ready for the unveiling in our living room... 
And the bare tree... 
(notice Haddie in the bottom corner of this picture ready to make her move toward the tree already!)
And TADA! The tree is complete, thanks to Daren and another little helper:) 

Danika somehow never was curious about the tree at all when she was Haddie's age, but Haddie is a bit more mobile and much more interested and curious in everything around her, so we'll see how this goes! We kept the ornaments a little high, but not much we can do about the actual tree itself!
We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving day/week/weekend shared with special people and good food... and are ready to embrace the holidays as much as we are!
(On a funny note that reminds me....Danika is still unsure about this Santa character- when we have asked her what she wants Santa to bring her she keeps replying "Nothing, I already have toys" It's adorable, and a little sad all at the same time...not so sure we'll make a visit to the big guy this year unless by some miracle she has a change of heart:)
With Love,
The Dummers