Monday, December 29, 2008


We are still anticipating "baby sister," as she is commonly referred to around our house. I had mild contractions all night Thursday and was sure we'd be going to the hospital Friday night, but no such luck.

We were talking to Jack about how all this "sibling stuff" works and that pretty soon he would have a little brother and a little sister. We continued, explaining that Wesley was going to have a big brother and a little sister. Then I asked him what baby sister was going to have. "A dress," he replied.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Jack!

I know, I'm a little late in getting this up. "Better late than never" has become my motto in the last month as I try to juggle all the things that go along with this stage of life...

Jack turned 3 last Saturday. In the same breath I can honestly say "I can't believe he's already 3" and "I can't believe he's only 3." In my hormonal state (I think it's true what they say about carrying girls), I can't write all the nice things I'd like to about my eldest without risk of spending the rest of the night sobbing so you'll just have to make up your own nice things and maybe someday I'll get around to sharing my own.

Jack spent the morning sledding with Daddy down our hill in the backyard.

First he went with Daddy...

Then he tried it alone...

Walking up was not much fun...

Four times down the hill was enough. Jack got his shovel and started helping clear the driveway. This should be read, "shoveled small scoops of snow back onto the driveway that Sean had just cleared." Good thing the shovel wasn't any bigger...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Now That's a Time Out

Whenever our parents stay for dinner we eat in the dining room so there is enough room for all of us. Until recently, we've had Jack in the high chair and Wesley in the booster seat with a tray. Well Jack finally outgrew the high chair so now he sits at the big table. The only problem is that his booster seat doesn't fit under the table that well so he ends up sitting at the end of the table - Sean's typical spot. Last night, since he was sitting in Daddy's spot, he thought he would be Daddy and Daddy could be Jack. After establishing this fact, the following conversation took place:

Mommy: If you're Daddy, are you going to help me discipline Jack?
Jack: Yes
Daddy: What will you do if I have a tantrum?
Jack: You have to sit in the time out chair for two minutes
Daddy: What if I'm still crying after two minutes?
Jack: Then you have to sit in Mommy's chair for two weeks!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

What's in a nickname?

We've taken to running possible baby names by Jack - he never fails to disappoint us with his response. Here is tonight's conversation:

Mommy: Jack, do you like the name Reagan for baby sister?
Jack: Yes
Mommy: Which do you like better, Claire or Reagan?
Jack: Reagan
Mommy: If her name was Reagan, what would we call her for short? Your name is Jackson and we call you Jack, Wesley's name is Wesley and we call him Wes. What would we call Reagan for short?
Jack: Snake

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Little Corn

Here is a little extra corn to go with your Thanksgiving feast:

This year I am thankful for:
  • The way God has worked in my life and drawn me closer to Him
  • The wonderful, faithful, supportive, patient, caring husband I have been blessed with
  • The amazing father my children have been blessed with
  • My children and all the things they've taught me about love and God's relationship with His children (and a little bit about construction machines too)
  • My family and the amazing support they've been - everyday life would be much harder without them
  • My friends and the things I've learned about the world and myself through them

Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you thankful for this year?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Keeping Up With the Boys

Last week Wesley was sick and couldn't go into the nursery at church so he stayed with us during ABF and the service. He made it up to the sermon and then crashed. He was sleeping with his head on my belly and apparently his little sister didn't like him "cramping her style" because she started kicking/punching (who knows what part it was - maybe she was even head butting) him. You could see his head bobbing up and down with each little kick. She's already holding her own.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

And The Winner Is...

I love this stage of Jack's life, but it clearly makes it evident that selflessness is something that needs to be taught. Last night I had a glimmer of hope that Jack will eventually grasp this concept.

This was our after-singing-before-I-leave-the-room conversation:
Mommy: I had fun with you today, Jack. Did you have fun?

Jack: Yes

Mommy: Do you like when Mommy stays home with you?

Jack: MmHmm

Mommy: When baby sister comes Mommy will be able to stay home with you every day for awhile. Will you like that?

Jack: Yeah. When baby sister comes she'll crawl right into my room.

Mommy: Baby sister will be too little to crawl into your room right away. But in a year, she'll be just like Wesley is now and she'll probably crawl into your room.

Jack: Then we can all have a race and baby sister will win!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Wesley!

It's hard to believe that one year has passed since our sweet Wesley arrived. A year and a day ago I couldn't imagine how our lives would change with the addition of another baby and now I can't imagine life without our very full, very crazy days juggling children, work and home life.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Recently Jack has been very concerned about what Sean and I are going to do after he goes to bed. "What are you going to do, mommy?" he asks me every night right before I leave his room. The most common answer these days is "work." "Why?" he asks. "To make money," I respond. "Why?" he asks again. This could go on all night so I just say, "Goodnight, Jack. I love you. Don't get out of bed."

Saturday night we had a slightly different exchange... We had dinner at the Phillips' and put the boys to bed there. As I was leaving the room Jack asked, "What are you going to do, mommy?" "Play a game" I responded. "What game?" he asked. "I don't know" I said because we hadn't decided yet. "Hockey?" he asked. I assured him we would not be playing hockey (not sure two pregnant women could navigate very well on skates holding a big stick) and left the room.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Quick Update

I know it's been forever since I've updated, but I've been really busy. Things are changing quickly in the Starkey household and "baby sister" (as she is commonly referred to) will be here before we know it.

Speaking of baby sister...everything is good on that front. I had my glucose screen a couple weeks ago and they didn't call me so it's safe to say I'll make it through another pregnancy with no diabetic complications. She's moving around like crazy, kicking me all the time. My only complaint is the toll this pregnancy is taking on my body. I'm just a lot more sore than I was with the other two. The other two could have something to do with that...

Let's go youngest to oldest...Wesley is zooming into toddler-hood. He is starting to really be able to communicate with us and is even starting to put together syllables that, to eager parents, sound like words. He is pretty good at "hi" - we know it's "hi" b/c it's frequently accompanied by his Miss America wave. We think he knows "all done" or "ah da" because the few times he's used it have been at an appropriate time. The problem is that he is never really all done eating so he doesn't get much practice on this one. Wesley really likes his big brother and his big brother's toys. He likes talking on his cell phone and started holding it up to his ear a few weeks ago. No steps yet. He has ventured a few behind the walker, but he's still a little out of balance to stand or take any steps on his own. I'm anxiously awaiting that day because he's getting pretty big to carry around all the time.

Jack is busy. All the time. And we've entered into the "why" phase. I proudly admit that I have used the phrase "because I said so" more than a couple times. All parents have earned the right to have that kind of authority. I have started turning the question around to him and asking "why do you think?" I keep convincing myself that this approach is good for him and will help him learn to reason on his own...not just an easy way out for me. He's really been into reading lately. I attribute this to two things (1) he got a library card last week so he's been reading the new library books he got to take home, and (2) he has earned several new books as part of an incentive program (bringing my work home?) for memorizing Bible verses. Each time he recites a verse in a normal voice while sitting still (pretty low criteria, I know) he earns a sticker on a chart for that particular verse. Once he earns enough stickers for a verse he gets a "prize" (read new book). I've come to the conclusion that it's a behavior chart as much as it is a Scripture memorization chart. The Scripture he's got down - he often recites his verses throughout the day in different play situations. It's the behavior that is a little more challenging. Why do children always get a burst of energy right before bed regardless of what you do to burn it off in the evening? I'm glad God has a sense of humor - I'm banking on it when it comes to Jack's behavior during Bible verse and prayer time. Each prayer starts with (keep in mind that prayer time is right before we turn the lights out for bed) "Heavenly Father, thank you for this food and thank you for this meal and thank you that Grandpa could come and stay with me today" (whether Grandpa came or not).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Giant

On Friday we say goodbye to the Durango and hello to MY GIANT. The Durango was in need of some major repairs, not to mention the air conditioning that would need to be repaired (at least once based on history) next summer so we cut our losses and traded it in for a Nissan Armada. With our growing family, we had two options: minivan or full size SUV. We opted for the SUV. It's huge and I'm sure I'm going to have to park in the back of parking lots for at least a year before I feel comfortable getting into a spot between two cars, but it will easily hold three car seats and all the stuff that comes along with three kids. I posted some of the dealership pictures below for a sneak peak.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tag - You're It

I have been tagged by Sarah.
1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. List 6 random facts about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post
5. Let each person know they've been tagged by commenting on their blog
6. Let the tagger know the entry is posted on your blog

Six Facts
1. For a long time I have wanted to learn how to pilot a helicopter.

2. My dream job is to be a meteorologist on TV with the name Autumn Deigh (pronounced "day").

3. When I was little I had a recurring dream that gremlins broke into our house and were chasing my dad and me. There was an adult gremlin and a child gremlin. The rule was that only I could defeat the adult gremlin and only my dad could defeat the child gremlin. I would always run into my room, hide on the side of my dresser and then jump out to attack the gremlin when he came near.

4. I once had one of those bloated-belly goldfish and I named it Oprah.

5. I really want a pink cell phone.

6. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Karaoke!!

I am tagging:
Lorie at Life in North Minneapolis, Lisa at Life with the Websters and Sarah at The GreeneHouse. (Sorry - I don't have three more).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Birthday Bash

It seems like the only milestones I ever post about are for the kids, but last Saturday evening we celebrated an important milestone for Sean...his 30th birthday! In honor of his long lasting love of video games, we had a Guitar Hero tournament complete with stage and costumed participants. Thanks again to everyone who attended and to all the good sports who come in full Rock Star garb. Below are a few pictures.

Lisa & John played the first round.
Sarah & Shannon...rock queens.
Brian & Scott...obviously concentrating very hard.
Heidi &
Heidi & Sean...the final round.


We spent Labor Day weekend at the lake - probably our last visit until Memorial Day weekend. One of these years I'd like to spend some fall weekends up there. I remember that being one of my favorite times of year at the cabin when I was growing up (except for the hours and hours and hours of raking leaves). We had a full house...15 of us! We spent a lot of time just hanging out with the kids. We had a bonfire Saturday night that Jack got to stay up for. Wesley pretty much stayed on his normal schedule so he had to miss the fire.

One afternoon, my mom found a tree frog on one of the deck chairs and pointed it out to Jack.
He got to take a really close look at it.

Then he touched it. "It's sticky," he said.

Then it jumped on him.

He was telling my dad about it later and said that the frog jumped right on his coat...his boat coat.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What's in a name?

In an effort to find the perfect name for our little girl - and by perfect I mean unique, traditional, but slightly trendy and common, but not too common - I have experimented with drawing inspiration from the "Baby Name Inventor" on Below are a few of my favorites:

Nindenda: if Sean was a bigger Super Mario fan, I think he'd be pushing for this one; all it takes is two letter changes to get Nintendo (maybe that's the male version).

Tyanannan: reminds me of an enormous flying dinosaur; not exactly the image I want associated with my daughter.

Rexatan: sounds like the prescription I'll be picking up for the next case of "bug bites" my kids come down with.

Dec: let's hope she's not more than two days late.

Garage: really?

Lynelamar: I think this may be a monkey-like animal only found in the Outback...g'day mate.

Zeseerch: maybe if I was Freud...or Sherlock Holmes...

Manar: these two appeared together and all I saw was "manure"...again, no.

Resicola: I have visions of German men in Lederhosen blowing into long horns on a commercial for Pepsi.

So far nothing has met the aforementioned criteria so I guess we'll keep looking.

Monday, August 18, 2008

My Favorite Session Yet

We spent a stressful Saturday morning at Flash Portraits in Burnsville Center taking pictures and then choosing the actual prints to order, but I think it was worth the effort. These pictures are my favorite of all of them that we've done there. Below are a few of both boys. If you would like to see them all online, email me and I'll tell you how.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Names

It seems we'll be searching for two new names; one for our blog and one for the daughter we'll welcome at the end of December (okay, how many of you thought I was going to announce twins?). At our ultrasound today everything with the baby seemed to be right on track (measurements indicate she weighs 10 ounces) and she appears to be healthy. We are praising God for His wonderful gifts and divine providence.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our baby poll and congratulations to all those who guessed girl. You don't win anything. Just be happy you were right.

Oh - and we're open to suggestions on names for the blog or the baby.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

How did that go?

We have a set of books at home that were mine when I was little. Over the last year or so Jack has really enjoyed them going from being able to identify the objects in the books to being able to understand some of the concepts they teach. Each book addresses a different subject: sounds, shapes, words, etc. A few nights ago we happened to be looking through the "nature book" before bed and got to the page below.

Sean explained that a butterfly starts as an egg, turns into a caterpillar, then a chrysallis and finally emerges as a butterfly.

Then we got to this page and Jack explained that the egg in the upper left corner would turn into a baby bird, then a robin, then a cardinal and finally a cat. I'll just reiterate that he can understand some of the concepts. I guess this is one we need to work on.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Rock of My Salvation

The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted
be the God of the rock of my salvation.
2 Samuel 22:47

No graver danger threatens the believer than that of forgetting that he was redeemed - forgetting even in the joy of realized life what our salvation cost, and what is the rock foundation of our faith. To meet this need our Savior pictures Himself not merely as the Rock of Ages, and our Strong Rock of Refuge, but the Rock of our Salvation. Here, in Him and upon His merit and atoning grace, we were saved from among the lost. Let us glory in this precious name and never forget that He was "wounded for our transgressions" and "that he bore our sins in his own body on the tree."

A couple years ago our Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) studied Ray Comfort's Revival's Golden Key. Comfort's point was that the modern church is missing the mark on evangelizing by promising peace, joy and a happy life. He contended that the key in evangelizing is to focus on the fact that people need salvation and stop promising things that may or may not happen after accepting Christ. I look at the apostle Paul and would argue that it wasn't a happy life that kept him "fighting the good fight." However, Comfort's approach is a little on the "fire and brimstone" extreme (ironic that a man with the name Comfort could be labeled as someone who scares people into Christianity...I digress) and I do think there is room for the "softer" side of evangelism in some cases. Sean actually just read a book called They Like Jesus But Not the Church (I don't know the author) that contradicted Comfort's approach and argued that people in our generation are turned off from the church because of the judgment they think exists - kind of hard to make people believe they need to be saved if we don't tell them why they deserve hell, which gets interpreted as passing judgment. Disclaimer: I have not actually read this book and am writing based on discussions I had with Sean. Maybe he will post a comment with a better summary. I think it's an interesting dichotomy of views and I'm not quite sure where I stand on either one. I would be interested in hearing what other people think and/or personal experience with one approach over the other. My second disclaimer is that the comments about the books above are meant to point out the extreme nature that both of these approaches can take and don't necessarily represent the complete thoughts of the authors (that's why they wrote books instead of white expand on their positions).

Chester Cheetah

No, we didn't invest in Cheetos. We've got the pox. More specifically, Wesley has the pox all over. Here's the full story: We noticed some funny bumps on Jack about two weeks ago and brought him to the doctor where we were told that they were bug bites and they should go away. This past Sunday (two weeks after we noticed the bumps on Jack...funny, two weeks is the incubation period for chicken pox) Wesley woke up with a few bumps that looked just like the ones Jack had. We were at the cabin so we thought they were also just bug bites. But after he developed more and more "bug bites" and there was no bug to be seen, we knew they definitely weren't bug bites. Since they looked just like Jack's and we were told Jack didn't have chicken pox, I brought Wesley to the doctor thinking they were going to diagnose him with some rare, potentially fatal skin condition. Nope, "definitely chicken pox" said the same doctor that told us that Jack didn't have chicken pox two weeks ago. Grrr...

Wesley is actually managing pretty well. He has had a low grade fever, but not many other symptoms besides the blisters. He doesn't seem to be too itchy either, except on his head and face. Below are a couple pictures of our spotty baby.

By the way, I would like to apologize to anyone we may have infected (or their parents). WebMD has some good tips on how to manage the symptoms of chicken pox. In our defense, we were told they were "bug bites." Also, if anyone has some good suggestions for managing symptoms that aren't available on WebMD, please post them here. And I would also like to know what you've heard about the symptoms of chicken pox because what is listed on WebMD is exactly opposite from what the doctor told me. Hmm...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Just Like a Real Fireman

Saturday we visited the Medicine Lake Fire Department. Wesley stayed with some friends (thank you very much, Laura, Justin & Myles) while Jack, Sean and I headed out for the adventure. When we arrived, the garage doors were open revealing two fire engines with flashing lights and open doors just waiting for a little boy to climb in. We checked out all the doors and compartments.

We saw where the firefighters ride on their way to an emergency and where all the gear is stored.

The whole time Jack kept saying "I want to dwive." After he'd had enough looking, Jack and I climbed up in the cab (Sean had to sit in the back seat) and we got to go for a ride around a couple blocks. Jack pushed some buttons that made the siren go. When we returned to the fire station, Jack finally got to sit behind the wheel of the big red engine and "drive."

After that we went to the back of the building and got to spray water through a real fire hose. Jack was a little timid at first, but he warmed up. Sean had a really good time, though.

Jack was more interested in getting back up into the cab and driving again.

We think Jack was overwhelmed by the whole experience because he didn't smile that much, but we're pretty sure he had a good time. What is there for a little boy not to like? fire engines...flashing lights...sirens...ladders...hoses...water...

Our adventure ended after a few more photos (okay, a lot of photos, but hey, how often do you get a fire station and three engines to yourself? it needed to be well documented) and some very grateful goodbyes to Captain Halvorsen (our coworker who generously provided this experience).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Look at me again!

I think we're going to have a lot of posts titled like this in the next few weeks. This morning when I heard Wesley babbling in his room I walked in and found him like this:

I didn't sit him up and I know he didn't sleep sitting up so he must have sat up on his own.

Monday night he pulled himself from sitting to standing (in the bathroom, of course, the safest of all places for someone with bad balance and wobbly legs). And last night he took a few steps while holding on to the ottomans in the family room. He's going to be running around the house before we know it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Did we need to go to the zoo for this?

We spent the morning at the zoo with Shannon, Adelyn and Alyse. We checked out the new exhibit: Russia's Grizzly Coast. We saw the grizzly bears swimming right up by the glass. The first time we went through the otters were nowhere to be found, but we caught a glimpse of them on our way back through. The biggest hit for Jack was, of course, the sand box. There were woolly mammoth "bones" buried in it that he had fun digging up. Below are some pictures of some of the fun things the kids did while we were there. Really, we were at the zoo.

What else, but digging in the sand?
Do you see a trend?

Adelyn chased Jack through the new fountain outside of Russia's Grizzly Coast.

Jack stood under the tall sprinklers commenting on how it was like a shower.

I think they had the most fun in this fountain...the one outside of the main entrance to the zoo...the one that you don't have to pay

By the way, Wesley was there too. It's just that pictures of a baby sitting in a stroller really aren't that interesting. He's at the age now where he is aware of the animals and finds them a little bit interesting, but he has to sit in the stroller because he's too big to hold and too little to walk. So I'm one of the obnoxious moms who is trying to push a double stroller up to the exhibits so her baby can see, blocking the view of other children who will appreciate the animals much more and ramming ankles along the way.

Tylenol is my Best Friend

Mr. Crabby Pants

Ooh...what's this?

Ahh...much better

A tooth has appeared in Wesley's little mouth - poor baby. He's been pretty fussy lately and has adopted quite the attitude. Now I know why and I am much more sympathetic. It's almost all the way through so we shouldn't have too many more days of Mr. Crabby Pants. By the way, he isn't really drinking the Tylenol in the photo above.

Daddy's Home!!

Sean returned home from a week in Germany yesterday afternoon and we were all very happy to see him. He brought toys for the boys: a helicopter for Wesley and a garbage truck for Jack. Both toys are a hit. Thanks, Daddy!!