Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My College Girls

Laura V described our 10 hour reunion well when she wrote that it was "surreal."  The first planning email was sent on November 20 when Laura T announced her engagement and summoned us all back to Madison - yes, convenient for me - for a June 23 wedding.  She also proposed a Christmas-time gathering for those who could make it.  I volunteered our home as a gathering place after most everyone else vetoed my idea for gathering at an indoor water park.  Of course, now I see how ridiculous that would have been.  Maybe when our kids are pre-teens?

Take 1 (I thought taking one of just the girls would be easy...)

Take 2

Take 3

Okay, forget it.  Give us back our kids. We see you up there, Edan!
I think our reunion felt surreal because some of us have only seen each other once a year since finishing college in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and now all of the sudden there are little blond children everywhere.  Crazy.  It was a blast though and now we have some photos to recreate each time we're all lucky enough to be in the same room.  Megan and Bethany - we missed you dearly!  Adding Anderson and Carter to the mix would make nine very young children in one house, so next time it probably would be best if we had a doctor around :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Discovering Her Voice

Warning: turn your volume down before playing this video - this girl can screech!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


We call it the army crawl and it's a surprisingly fast way to get around. I used to put Lou on the kitchen floor while I cooked, but she has already been caught with dog food in her mouth twice and in a puddle of water spilled from the dog dish once. She will just be sitting there one moment and then into Ries' food and water the next. I took this video tonight around 8:30, when I was wishing she was tired. Why? Because I was (am) tired. She ended up falling fast asleep about 15 minutes later. What a sweet child :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Tree Shopping

So many choices
Louisa like 'em all
Especially the way they taste

A lovely tree
The Advent season begins

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tasty Little Cheerios

It's funny being a mom and a dietitian. Every time Lou eats, it seems like an opportunity to put everything I've learned about infant feeding into practice. But the funny thing is that other than picking out what she eats and staying calm and positive while she eats it, I'm actually not practicing anything...she's doing it all. The first day I gave her Cheerios, Nate found his newest hobby: giving Loubear cheerios. That's sort of a joke, but sort of not. He does seem to get lots of joy out of watching her focus so hard on those little dissolvable, multigrain o's. And it's not that I don't experience that same joy, it's just the dietitian on my shoulder is saying, "aren't those just processed carbohydrates? couldn't you do better?" But then the mom part of me chimes in and quiets that orthorexic voice saying, "she likes 'em, Nate loves giving them to her, she still gets 99% of her nutrition from breast milk anyways..."

(sorry about sideways filming half-way through the video...I need to remember to start it horizontally in the first place!)

Lou's newest menu items include apple-squash-oat combo meal and turkey-potato-thanksgiving puree. As long as she's hungry, she pretty much likes anything we give her. If she is tired when eating, she will grab the spoon, getting food all over her little fists, and then rub her eyes. That's always fun. I should know better than to try feeding her when she's tired. Loubear, you're my favorite :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weekend in Denver

We just got back from a weekend in Denver. Here are a bunch of family pictures from our excursions to Golden Gate Canyon State Park and Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thin vs. Skinny

I have always hated being called "skinny," so I'm making sure to correct people when they, with good intentions, use this word to describe Louisa.  She's had an interesting journey - heading southeast on the growth chart during the past 6 months.  When I was in school studying nutrition, I'm pretty sure I was taught that there is no need to be concerned unless a baby drops from one percentile line to the one below (from the 90th percentile to the 75th percentile, for example).  BUT, now I have this sweet, healthy little baby who has gone from the 75th to the 50th to the 21st at 2, 4, and 6 months...and I am not concerned at all. She loves to eat and has recently started eating solid foods (apples, pears, sweet potato, oats, acorn squash and plain yogurt).  In the past 2-3 weeks her spit-up has decreased too!  Lou's doctor was not concerned either.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised by Lou's body type even at this early age...I guess she takes after her THIN mom and dad :)

Here's a video from the latest doctor's appointment.  I decided against video taping her immunizations since they would make you sad.  I was amazed to see some videos on YouTube of babies getting shots!  Seems cruel.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Good 'Ole Fashion Garage Raising

Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Nate and I are so very thankful for everyone that helped build our garage this weekend.  I am amazed by the generosity you all showed - giving up HUGE chunks of time to pound nails, hold Lou, climb ladders, haul shingles and "Novawrap" our new garage.  You know who you are, but you deserve some recognition (on this blog that gets MILLIONS of views each day)...

Mike, Trav, Ariyl, Paul, Abbie, Max, Georgia, Jeanne, Tony, Claude, Ryan, Grant, Jason, Rebekah, Adam, Kristy, Paul, Mike S, Aaron, and Jim

Nate started promptly at 8 am on Saturday morning and his work crew quickly grew.  Nate had an awesome idea to set up the camera to automatically take pictures every minute throughout the process.  Unfortunately, the camera battery died around 10 am on Saturday and we didn't realize it until around 4 pm.  Alas, here are some pictures from today.  I will hopefully update this post with the pictures from yesterday (before the battery died).  The last shingle was nailed in around 9 pm tonight. AMAZING work everyone.  Thank you.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A visit to Washington DC

Last weekend Louisa and I went to Washington DC while Nate was in Florida playing in 2011 Club Ultimate Nationals. They did better than the past two years, finishing seventh out of sixteen teams. I did my best to follow the games online while hanging out with Sarah, Dan and my parents. My trip was great - Lou was a champ on the flights and also during the Marine Corps Marathon that my dad participated in. Louisa had breakfast on a street curb not far from the Washington Monument before I took off to run the final 9.5 miles of the race with my dad. He did so well - finishing in about 4 hours and 20 minutes.

Here are some videos we took to send to Nate since he was really missing his Loubear...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

More Pictures

As if you couldn't get enough pictures of our daughter, I have uploaded a bunch of pictures to our Flickr account. Take a look by clicking on the pictures below.

Autumn Louisa

DSC_1590 by Nate Bosscher

Porcupine Mountains

DSC_1647 by Nate Bosscher

Monday, October 10, 2011

Baby giggles are the best

Watch the video...hopefully you'll agree!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Gorgeous Fall

The beautiful weather this week gave us a chance to spend lots of time outside.  The sun brightens the already beautiful red, yellow and orange trees lining the streets in Madison.  Gorgeous!  Like most things placed before a 5 month old baby, these multi-colored leaves went right in Louisa's mouth.  Let's just say I'm testing out the "hygiene hypothesis" - that the uptick in food allergies is due to babies being raised in ultra-sanitary environments.

Photo shoot in the front yard

A beautiful quilt made by our friend Deb

Sorry if this grosses you out.  I have to embrace Lou's skills, otherwise I spend too much time researching how to make the spitting up stop.

Louisa brings so much joy to our lives.  She's happy most days and saves quite a few smiles for Nate and Georgia each evening.  I'm still thankful for my part-time job - it really makes me appreciate my time with Lou on my days off.  On my most recent day off, we went pumpkin picking!  Louisa enjoyed the pumpkins, but found the small gourds a bit easier to handle.  She spent at least an hour "chewing" on this gourd yesterday.

"This is the one, Mom"

"Or this one.  I like the dirt on it"

You carry the one you pick

Finally, one with a nice handle

Monday, October 3, 2011

Living the Life

I broke the 1 hour mark today - running for that long, that is, since having Loubear. It almost feels as though I should count it as a 70 minute run though since I was pushing 28 pounds + (dog+baby+stroller+water bottle+ i pod). I guess I will let my body make that decision come the race in November!  Summer has returned to Madison for the week, so I made sure to take advantage of it by getting out for a run. Ries loves riding in the front of the stroller. I promise, this is on the 2nd half of the run. She ran alongside for the first 30 minutes.  The video below is especially for Auntie Anne...

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Five Months Already?

Tomorrow Louisa will be five months old!  Time has been passing quickly, but not so fast that it feels like a blur.  Since returning to work, I've felt so at peace with life.  I look forward to working, but by the end of a working day, I am so excited to stay home with Louisa the next day.  I compare it to coming home from school on a Friday or finding out early that your next school day has been declared a snow day.

This past weekend was the annual Porcupine Mountain camping trip.  Lou was a natural hiker - taking in the fall colors until the steady bounce of my step lulled her to sleep.  We're not a "family bed" family, but did have to become one for the two nights in the porkies.  Louisa slept next to me on my bunk.  The benefit of the arrangement was that when she woke up in the middle of the night, my magic milk silenced her fuss instantly.  The downside was that I didn't sleep much at all.  That's fine though, because I probably have gotten 100% more sleep over the past 5 months than the average new mom.  Louisa continues to be a champion sleeper most nights.

M&M Loubear?
Gotta get those naps in sometime
Ries still gets a fair amount of love
Bundled up for the hike.  It took a lot to not buy the pink snow suit

Lookin' snug as a bug in a rug
Our family

Another event worth mentioning is the completion of my first triathlon!  I intended to sign up for the Devil's Lake Triathlon last September, but my fear of swimming in a straight line as fast as I could and the discovery of a tiny baby growing inside gave me all the excuses necessary.  So this year, Louisa had made her exit and I convinced myself that I surely would not drown swimming 1/4 mile, so I signed up!  Nate was in Minneapolis for an ultimate frisbee tournament, so my wonderful friend Laura woke up extra early to come to Baraboo with me and Lou.  I'm glad I did the race for many reasons, but mostly because it made running events feel so pure and simple....there is just too much gear required!  I will probably do another triathlon next summer, but I didn't fall head over heals with the challenge.  Next challenge: 1/2 marathon in early November.

Nate asked if I was going to blog about my birthday that is tomorrow.  I said no, because I truly did not intend to, but now I feel like I should just because he was so silly to suggest it.  So it's my GOLDEN BIRTHDAY!  I've been waiting 29 years for this!  I hope Nate didn't buy me too much gold.  I've heard it's expensive right now and I'm really more of a silver or white gold kind of gal.  Anyway, it will be fun to share my 29th birthday with Louisa's fifth month birthday :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My favorite picture

Who knew Louisa could already have such a love for books?  Or is it one of the pigs that she loves?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yummy Summer

It has been a great summer for veggies so far.  Last week our CSA share covered our kitchen countertops.  We've hardly had to compost any of our share because I've had lots of time to wash, chop, grill and cook the bounty!  Tonight we're having stuffed zucchini.  Last night was a garden pizza with salad.  I'm thankful that our kitchen remodel is's fun to spend time in a room that you love!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Geneva Turns One!

Our good friends, Adrienne and Paul, happened to be visiting Wisconsin on their daughter's first birthday.  They hosted a lovely birthday party in our backyard.  It really was not difficult to capture Geneva's cake eating skills on film...she cooperated very well!  It's hard to believe that Louisa will be celebrating "smashed cake style" in a little over 8 months.  Just like EVERYONE tells me, it goes by so fast - so appreciate it!  I know every child is unique, but if it really just goes by way too fast, we can always have another one, right? :)

Geneva greets Louisa: "Someday you'll turn one too"

Focusing on the sweet, sweet things in life
Vegetable garden cake to celebrate a Cizek family hobby
Sugar coma sets in

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bombsnaps Give Up the Title

Summer ultimate frisbee league came to a close last night.  Our team, Bombsnaps, lost 13-7 in the competitive division championship game.  Despite the loss, Louisa was our biggest fan, sporting her Bombsnaps jersey.  Max wore one too.  We knew it would be a tough game against a team that had only lost once the whole season, and we let them get off to a quick start, making it 7-1 at half-time.  Too bad.  Now it's time for me to focus on my half-marathon in November and Nate to focus on Madison Club - his highly competitive, men's ultimate frisbee team.  I'm hoping for another successful year so that we can all go to Florida in October for Nationals!

Our team name comes from a cruel joke Nate played on Anne when he was 12 - putting a bombsnap in her rice
The template (for a better view of Lou's jersey)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Loving the Simple Things

Louisa is starting to get the hang of grabbing things with those things we call "hands."  Who knew that watching a baby develop such simple skills could bring so much joy?  We shot the video below and then she had a nice nap from 9-10 am while I went running and Nate made up for missed sleep the night before.  Now Nate's at frisbee practice, the diapers are getting de-stained in the sun, and Lou is taking her second nap of the morning.  Life continues to be pretty darn easy even with "life changing Lou."  Oh, and this first picture is post-sink bath on Wednesday with a little glimpse of our new kitchen backsplash.  More kitchen pictures to come!

Cloth diapers drying in the sun.  Apparently this is supposed to help remove the stains?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Is raw cookie dough good for you?

Since returning to work as a dietitian, I've been reminded of how often people want to put food in distinct categories of "GOOD" or "BAD."  Generally, in response to the question of, for instance, "How about chips? Are they good or bad?" I scrunch up my face - probably in some attempt to alert the person that there is no easy answer to their question - before explaining that I think it can be harmful to put labels on food like this.  Then I'll ask the person if they really like this food they so badly want to label as bad and if the answer is yes, I encourage them to enjoy it in moderation in the context of a meal.  For instance, if you really like chips, don't sit down to watch television with the whole bag of chips.  Instead, make your sandwich on 100% whole wheat bread :), throw some carrots and hummus on your plate, then add a handful of chips.

By the way, in case you're curious, one reason that I think it can be harmful to label food is summed up by a dietitian named Ronda Bokram who says, "We label food as good or bad, and then when we eat the food, we put that label on ourselves."  In the example above, the chip-lover will likely have a hard time labeling herself as "bad" after she's finished.  Another reason I think it's harmful is that it pulls us away from developing a generally healthy lifestyle where we're open to eating a variety of foods and not obsessed with dieting.

So, what does cookie dough have to do with it?  Well, when trying to keep food safe, I do think it's okay to label food.  Cookie dough made with raw eggs is not safe, so I guess if you really want to slap a big 'ole label on it, you have my permission.  A friend of mine came up to me the other day and said (with a big smile), "Yesterday, due to my pre pre-lim stress, I ate a pound of raw cookie dough. What do you think about that?"  Unfortunately, it was too late to print this Cookie Rookie certificate out for Jason.  But it's not too late for you. Take the pledge today! 

Another thing that comes to mind when I think about food safety is the danger zone - that is, between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It's a dangerous place because that's where bacteria like to live and reproduce. When Nate and I first met, I taught him about the danger zone. He immediately made fun of me and to this day, still does.  BUT, I will stand firm on the importance of keeping food at proper temperatures in order to reduce the risk of food borne illness.

Why am I all of the sudden talking about food safety on a blog that is supposed to keep you updated on our lives?  Well, for helping spread the word about the importance of home food safety, I was entered into a drawing for a $15 Starbucks gift card and an iPad through Summertime Food Smarts, a contest run by the American Dietetic Association and ConAgra Foods' Home Food Safety program. Home Food Safety is dedicated to raising consumer awareness about the seriousness of foodborne illness and providing solutions for easily and safely handling foods. Learn more at

WOOHOO!  I can write about something other than Louisa :) 

Be safe,

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Little Lou and Mr. Max

This is my second week back at work after a wonderful 12 week break. I work Monday mornings, Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Tuesdays, Louisa goes to Max's house and on Wednesdays Max comes to our house. They're gonna be good little friends! I took this video 20 minutes ago or so, but right now Lou is trying to take a nap in her crib and Max is asleep in the ergo carrier on my chest. Wait, actually, she's fussing now. Probably needs help getting that pacifier back in her mouth!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Had Enough?

Little bundle of love by Nate Bosscher
Little bundle of love, a photo by Nate Bosscher on Flickr.

If you've had enough of our little baby girl, don't look at this photo set - 40 our of 43 are of Louisa, just sittin' around looking cute for her parents. Most are from when she was 1 or 2 months old. Today Louisa is 3 months! As much as I get sick of people saying, "enjoy it, it goes by so fast," I guess it's true. Click on the photo above if you have not had enough :) Enjoy!

See Where Our Pictures Were Taken