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Monday, March 21, 2005


Birgen's 2nd bday party (on the 19th), the petting zoo came to her. We're still waiting to hear what the homeowners' assoc thinks of the chickens, rabbits, pony (or 2) and goat.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

By 7:30am my 21month old toddler was STILL sleeping so I had to wake her up! Mom wanted to open presents! Well, really the fun of it now is watching her open them. Tom and I marched downstairs with Birgen dragging slowly behind. We realized quickly how much she just doesn't groove with the whole present thing. After the first two, she gave up and basically responded as if she couldn't be bothered by opening any more. Ah well, almost two year olds!

Monday, November 01, 2004


Getting ready for Birgen's first Trick or Treating experience. Warming up to the costume by looking in the mirror while Daddy takes pics!

Okay let's go!

I'm Getting the Hang of This!!

I think I'll Just Walk In - See You Guys Later! (This was a complete stranger's house!)

Here Mommy, Let's Pose By This Sign...

More Candy!

Hey, I'm Watching You Guys Around My Bucket!


Birgen and her fiance Eli all dressed up for their wedding (Mom's Club Halloween Party; Sat 10/30/04)

Birgen and Eli - not too sure about getting the pre ceremony photos...

Just Kickin' It

Birgen says, "Eli I gotch your back!"

Pregnant Nun - hee hee

Ooh look at that belly !

Saturday, August 07, 2004

So, tonight we got to home to a babysitter's report that included one of the most exciting little tidbits ever, so far, with Birgen. [caution: parent's gushing about something small to follow]

In the course of playing with Ericka, Birgen grabbed her finger and led her through the dining room and into the bathroom. There, she pointed at Ham's dog dish full of water and looked up expectantly. "Do you want some water?" "Heh," which means yes in Birgen. So, Birgen followed her into the kitchen while Ericka filled a sippy cup full of water and promptly guzzled a sippy cup full of water (after saying "Thank you" with a sign, no doubt).

I realize that these sorts of elemental but significant achievements are probably significant mostly only to the parents and immediate family. But, damn is she cool or what?!

Saturday, June 12, 2004

The Bean had a surprise visitor Saturday night, Aunt Maggie (in town for some work, passed by on her way to her sis' place in Orange County)!

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Birgen is very busy. She's walking, playing and starting to get into things that are supposed to be off limits. Although she's not talking yet, she's become very proficient with sign language.* She currently has a vocabulary of about 15 or words, with MORE, PLEASE, MILK, FOOD, ALL DONE, HELP and TELEPHONE being the most frequently used. Others include THANK YOU, BRUSH MY TEETH, DIAPER CHANGE, DOG, AGAIN and UP.

In this picture, I have just dipped her feet into the cold water...she's giving the "MORE" sign.

*When Birgen was about 6 months old, we began introducing ASL (american sign language) to her, using the Joseph Garcia book as our main guide. Meredith gets most of the credit because of the sheer number of hours, days and weeks that she put into this before Birgen got the hang of it (around 10 months).

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

After the big romp a few weeks ago, Birgen seemed content to have a quiet and normal day for her actual birthday. Shopping with Mom, a couple of naps, to the park with Mom and a few friends and then dinner with grandparents Earle & Joanne. She still doesn't like the cake, or the messing frosting on her fingers. But, she thinks it is really funny, really funny, when balloons pop.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Birgen had her first birthday party this weekend. What? But, isn't the bday on 3/23? Yes, but her cousins Ryley & Gunnar were in town with their mother Kathy. So...PARTY!!! Birgen was a major champ...had only a 30 min nap in the morning and then ran from 10am until 4pm with lots of smiles and hardly a complaint. That said, she didn't really know what to make of birthday cake...played with it for a few minutes, with coaxing, and then seemed to reject the taste of it. But, she had a lot of pizza.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Yea, a couple of weeks. A bit more than a couple of hours is what it turned out to be for her. Just a bit after what should have been her bedtime, Birgen surprised us by standing up unaided and then stumbling fwd in something that was close a first step. Additional prodding didn't help so we ran to the car & grabbed her favorite CD, Guster's "Keep It Together" and threw it into the stereo. By the time "Careful" (2nd track) kicked in, she smiled and took her first 5 or 6 steps, and the plunked down on her butt and laughed. Yea.

About a week after the last posting, Birgen figured out how to stand & balance, no help. A week later, she stopped. With one assistant hand, she walks and stands...pull that hand away though, and she sits down. With that help though, her walking is getting better and better, and faster. She'll probably be doing it on her in the next couple of weeks. Ham's going to be trouble, as will we.

Her hair is finally growing in too, although there still isn't enough to put a bow or create, she still gets the "Oh what a cute little boy" (wearing a pink dress!).

Saturday, January 03, 2004

We have been a little bit slack on posting things on Birgen's little site (more current updates on her and the rest of her immediate family are at Meredith & Tom's section of the grueskin site.

New pictures will be posted shortly. For now, those on the right [------>] are up through sometime in November.

That said, she's had her first Christmas and New Years and has progressed immensely since the last update here, crawling, sitting, and standing. She also walks as long as she has the assitance of either a toy or her parents' hands. It is also a time for practicing of new sounds like, "AYAYAYAYAYA" and "YNAYNAYNAYNA" and "DADADADADA" (not to be confused with actually trying to say "Dad") and sometimes just "ACK ACK" (just like Bill the Cat).

Saturday, August 16, 2003

The last 2 months have been busy & hot. Birgen firsts include...
- Her first flight, to Denver. On the flight, she ate, burped, slept, woke up, puked on her mom, went back to sleep and never once cried. On the return, she spared us the vomit but peed all over one of the plane's bathrooms.
- Rolled over for the first time. Until today, her rolling has been confined to back-to-stomach via her left side only. Today, she figured out how to go the other direction.
- Bonding with Ham. He digs her. Yesterday, while she was laying on the ground chewing a teething toy, Ham grabbed one of his bones, came back over by her & joined her for a chewfest.

All good.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Today, for our first Father's Day, Birgen said she wanted to see another movie, "The Italian Job" -- how great is that?! So, we went. She loved it, and slept through the whole thing except for one little bit at the beginning of the big car chase.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Report at 11 weeks:
- Birgen attended her first movie ("Finding Nemo") on Saturday. She seemed to enjoy it, sleeping through the entire thing (meaning: her parents enjoyed it too).
- Doctor's appt last week included 4 shots (ugh!) but was great since she is totally healthy. 12-lbs, 3-oz, and 23" tall/long.
- Ham isn't scared of her so much anymore...this probably has something to do with his extended play time with cousin Bella a couple of weeks ago. That said, he ran out of the room yesterday when Birgen sneezed.
- And, as of about two weeks ago, she's been sleeping through the night most nights!
- New photos on the right.

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Tomorrow, she turns 6 weeks! This past Wed, she rec'd her first vaccination shot [ :>( ] but weighed in at 9-lbs, 14-oz [ :>) ] on the scale. She's also about an inch taller (longer?). Throughout this, we're starting to get her first laughs (what is funny to her?) and lots of smiles. And, she's still a pretty good sleeper.

Ham seems scared of her though. He'll sneak a lick on her hand but otherwise turns away, and sometimes runs away when she makes a sudden noise (e.g., a sneeze, or other).

Friday, March 28, 2003

Now, everyone is asking about her name. Birgen Bean. (Bur-gen).While we can't offer a very creative explanation, we can say that we just wanted a part of her name to be fun, cute and a bit silly too. This kind of reminds us of the days when Tom and I were dating. We were very silly and had a lot of fun! "Little Bean" is starting to stick as my nickname for her...just as long as people don't refer to her as "Birgey" - uuugggh.

So, almost a week old now and we're all well. Tired. Stuggling w/ breast-feeding but trying to keep positive. Birgen is looking forward to Sunday where she will meet Aunt Maggie and Uncle Jim for the first time!

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

OK everyone! Check out the pics ( <--- click on the "Birgen Photos" link to the left).

Meredith here...

My little Bean sprout, Daddy and I are doing really well! Birgen is a great feeder, going strong now every three hours. We're still getting to know one another. It's been such a wonderful ride since Saturday. Tom and I can't believe she is ours and here to stay! We're feeling really blessed. More photos to come soon...for now, we're off for some more sleep!

Sunday, March 23, 2003

8:44am - she finally arrives! Birgen Bean Grueskin, 7-lbs, 8-oz and 20 1/4 inches long. A long, long night butjust as the clouds were burning off outside, she made up her mind to take a peek.

Mom's doing fine, and so is little Birgen, sleeping in daddy's arms as I write this

[10-12 months pics]

[7-9 months pics]

[4-6 months pics]

[6-12 weeks pics]

[3-5 weeks]

Pals [early photos]

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