April 25, 2008



It's been fun these past five years or so but the Gessner Girls blog is officially merging with my personal website now since I don't really have enough content to justify two separate blogs anymore. You can keep up to date on the girls' happenings here:

Tracey's Space

See ya there...

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 12:15 PM

February 16, 2008

Ava and Tracey at the Obama Rally in Milwaukee


Aw, her first political rally!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:23 PM

January 22, 2008

Death of a Blog (?)

Well, lets face it. I'm not much of a blogger as of late. In fact, as my girls get older and my life gets busier I find it's almost another chore to carve out time to post updates. Furthermore, the bulk of my posts are basically photos which could just be posted on Flickr and left at that. So....I'm not fully committing to saying I'm done per se, but the truth is I'm most likely going to phase my online presence to being strictly on my Flickr account (which can be seen here!) I'm toying with the idea of combining this blog with the Tracey's Space blog so I at least don't have two websites that are woefully neglected, but for the time being both sites will be on hiatus until further notice when I can figure out exactly what I want to do with them. Fear not, I'm hoping to increase my activity on Flickr because I don't intend to stop posting photographs anytime soon.

Until next time...

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 12:37 PM

January 1, 2008

See Ya...

We're heading down to Florida this afternoon! We'll be back on the 7th so look for fun old-fashioned family vacation photos to appear sometime next week...

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 12:52 PM

December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
Originally uploaded by Tracey Gessner

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:56 PM

December 17, 2007

Ava Year 4

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 5:00 PM | Comments (2)

Happy Birthday Ava!



My baby is four years old today! I'm hoping to get her birthday video posted later tonight. Right now it's on to Build-a-Bear Workshop!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 1:49 PM

December 5, 2007

Second Grader


I see braces in our future.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 4:25 PM | Comments (1)

November 26, 2007

More Dancing!

Originally uploaded by Tracey Gessner
Juliana and Maddie took a tap/ballet class together this fall. Click for another small gallery of photos...

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 7:16 PM

November 21, 2007

That's My Girl

That's My Girl
Originally uploaded by Tracey Gessner
Long time no blog! Anyway, there is a small gallery of photos up from Ava's last creative dance class this week. She really took to the class and enjoyed it a lot. We're taking a break for the winter but will be dancing again in the spring!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:04 PM

October 28, 2007

Happy Halloween

Hermione Granger, student at the Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Ariel a.k.a. "The Little Mermaid"

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:34 PM

October 22, 2007

Can You Take It?




Posted by Tracey Gessner at 1:06 PM | Comments (2)

October 1, 2007

That's My Girl

This is Ava's favorite song right now:

Of course she also loves Amy Winehouse's "Rehab," but that's another story.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 12:59 PM | Comments (1)

September 21, 2007

Ava Has Discovered the Camera

Wacky Ava
Originally uploaded by Tracey Gessner
Click on the photo to see the whole set!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 1:38 PM

September 4, 2007

Growing Up

First day of 2nd grade:




Posted by Tracey Gessner at 12:59 PM

August 21, 2007

Juliana Year 7

This is the video I made for Juli's 7th birthday. We actually didn't shoot much video of her this past year, which is a shame because I have to say this is probably the weakest video I've made to date because of the lack of material. It's still pretty cute though. Look for me to upload all the previous year's videos as well as the ones I've made for Ava in the weeks to come.

I know her actual birthday isn't until Sunday but we're off to New York for our tenth anniversary and won't be back until then! (Also I don't know why the picture quality isn't so hot but I'll try to fix it when we get back and on all future videos...)

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:37 AM

August 6, 2007


Posted by Tracey Gessner at 11:21 AM

July 12, 2007

We're Still Here


It's just summer, you know.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:12 AM

June 20, 2007




Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:21 AM

June 12, 2007

This Is What Happens When You Leave a Three Year Old Alone With a Pair of Scissors



Ava cut off the source of her power- that being her long, glorious, blonde locks of hair. I hear this is a thing that kids often do but had you seen her old hair??? I can't even think about it now.

Yes, she's still cutie, I know. And luckily hair does grow back.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 10:22 PM | Comments (1)

June 4, 2007

What Goes Around Comes Around

My favorite song, Spring 1987: You Give Love A Bad Name by Bon Jovi

Julian's favorite song, Spring 2007: You Give Love A Bad Name by Blake Lewis

Oh, the irony. (I personally prefer the old school hair band version to the hipster boy beat boxing one.) Also, Juli now has a tiny green iPod shuffle (courtesy of Jason's work) so she like to bop around the house with her earphones on while singing this song. Lucky kid!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 12:14 PM

May 22, 2007

What We've Been Up To


I can just taste summer, can't you?

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:46 AM | Comments (1)

May 2, 2007

Dear American Idol,

Thank you so much for inspiring both of my small children to sing with incredibly affected vibratos. It really does add to their renditions of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. (Even though they are kind of pitchy, dawg.)

Tracey Gessner

P.S. Despite my sarcasm, we're still totaally watching tonight. We can't resist the Bon Jovi.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 6:33 PM

April 22, 2007

Bunny Ears Are Always Funny


Posted by Tracey Gessner at 4:20 PM

Cutie Patootie


Spring portrait time!

I've cut her hair a bit shorter since this photo was taken but really, this picture just kills me. She's getting so darn old. The spring soccer season started this past weekend and Juliana had her best game yet. No score for her yet, but she was all over the field and very agressive. She's an awesome goalie too- so much that people were calling her "The Wall." Jason has been teaching her to use software on the computer for video editing and animation too. She wants to make a Super Cat cartoon. Yesterday she was working with an animation program and figured out a ton of it all by herself.

My child is officially smarter than me now.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:51 AM

April 14, 2007

A Taste of What's To Come...

Over the next few weeks I'll be logging some overdue time with my scanner- which will allow be to bring you gems such as:


Super Cat!

Juliana already has a couple of comics drawn so stay tuned. (I wish I was as cool as her.)

Also, though Ava seems to be turning out to be the singer in the family, she's also been cranking out the artwork lately:


Can you feel the excitement?

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 7:57 PM

April 9, 2007

Two Awesome Things Juliana Said To Me This Afternoon

1.Do you want to watch a design show with me? (We love shows like House Hunters, Design to Sell, and Top Design right now. I raise them the right way.)


2. Aww! Why does this have to be "live tv?" (As in no fast-forwarding the commercials.)

She can hardly wrap her mind around the fact that I grew up without a computer or a TIVO. The horror!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 6:32 PM | Comments (1)

March 26, 2007


Not that I'm a very prolific blogger in the first place, but now that spring has sprung here in the Midwest I think this may call for an official hiatus.

Catch you in another week or so...

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 2:19 PM

March 16, 2007

Juli and Ava both love the band They Might Be Giants (as do I) and Ava's current favorite dvd to watch is their Here Come the ABC's. It's filled with music videos about the alphabet and she knows most of the words to many of the songs. But while I think it's great and totally educational with lyrics like "Vowels are important letters, there's a vowel in every word," it takes on a whole new meaning when your three-year-old says her letter "V" like a "B".

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:22 AM

March 4, 2007

Project Time

So, I have this idea where I want to take Juliana's drawings and design note cards, stationary and other little paper goods. I think it would be fun to do, a good creative outlet and maybe I could make a little bit of money selling them at one of the local shops here in Bay View. It's just in the idea form now but I know that I want it to be very simply designed and of course, Super Cute.

I'll post more about it when everything gels a little more.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:47 PM

February 18, 2007

Like You Would Know What To Say

Arcoss the street from the Lowe's that I shop at quite frequently there is a, shall we say, adult store called Cupid's Toys. (I know! The horror! Color me outraged at my community's loose, loose morals.) Their sign features a smiling blonde-haired cupid and a smattering of little red hearts. You can probably guess that every time I go to Lowe's with juliana she shouts out gleefully, "Look Mom! It's Cupid's Toys! Yay!" as we pull into the parking lot. Every. Time.

I have yet to figure out how to break the news to her that it is not really a toy store. So I choose to ignore it for now.

And no, I will not post a link to the store here. But you could find it if you really wanted to. ;-)

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:11 PM

February 3, 2007

Bear Down Chicago Bears


Friday was Sports Day at TIppecanoe Elementary school and Juliana insisted on wearing a Bears shirt. Luckily Jason still works in Chicago because Bears t-shirts are in short supply here in Wisconsin. The smallest shirt we could get was still basically a dress on Juliana. (I told her that the 80's look of oversized shirts and leggings is totally back and I was met with a blank stare.) After school I was informed that EVERYBODY was wearing Green Bay Packers shirts and she was the ONLY KID with a Bears one. She was very proud to be so original.

That's my girl.

(We're headed to possibly the only Super Bowl Party in Milwaukee tomorrow. Do we dare to dream? I'm not sure what to expect but am still all a-twitter.)

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 3:06 PM

January 29, 2007


Me: Juliana, I wish I could go through one day in my life without having to repeat myself!

Juli: .........What?

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 6:54 PM

January 19, 2007

Yes, It's Already Messy


Ava's room is just about finished! (We only need to put up new trim. Something about brown plastic stuff that matched the former wood paneling didn't appeal to our decorating senses.) She has wasted no time returning it to it's former state- that being a complete disaster. I'll try to get a better photo of it soon since the one is dark. It's a very pretty lavender color and she loves it.

Also, in case you missed it, the vacation photos are up:


Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:24 AM

January 16, 2007

The Long Ride Home

The Long Ride Home
Originally uploaded by Tracey Gessner.
This blog is sleepy. Sorry about that.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 6:49 PM

January 1, 2007

Happy New Year!




This is what happens when you let a three-year-old and two six-year-olds stay up until midnight on New Year's Eve.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 10:08 AM | Comments (1)

December 25, 2006

Christmas = Good



Hope yours was too.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:29 PM | Comments (1)

December 17, 2006

Three Years Old

Three Years Old
Originally uploaded by Tracey Gessner.
Happy Birthday Ava!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 5:13 PM

December 15, 2006

All She Wants For Christmas Is Her Two Front Teeth...



...So she can wish you a Merry Chrithmath.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:03 AM

December 3, 2006

Snow Day


Posted by Tracey Gessner at 12:18 PM

November 22, 2006

So Cute You Can Hardly Stand It





Posted by Tracey Gessner at 5:54 PM

November 19, 2006

Troll Bridge


Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:49 AM

November 13, 2006

Dear Diary


Don' t think for a second I'm not cherishing the fact that (for the moment) she allows me to read her journal.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 4:22 PM | Comments (2)

November 7, 2006

Better Late Than Never!

I just posted a set of Halloween photos on Flickr.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 10:56 AM | Comments (1)

October 30, 2006

Happy Halloween!


Posted by Tracey Gessner at 7:20 PM | Comments (1)

October 24, 2006

Hip Hip Hooray for Picture Day

Juliana's first grade portrait:


Since then she has already lost another tooth on top and has a HUGE gap. You can kinda/sorta (okay barely) see it here:
The Sunfish were undefeated this season!

I don't know why I haven't posted these of Ava yet. They were taken back in August:


That's all I've got for now. Hopefully that can tide you over for a bit. I'll possibly upload some more Fickr photos this week but you know how it goes. I'm all talk a lot of the time.

(Oh yeah, and I have lots of copies of these so if you want one give me a call!)

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 10:22 AM | Comments (4)

October 12, 2006

Ava's First Masterpiece

After a few months of drawing jellyfish, spiders and suns (which were all basically the same drawing with different names) Ava has evolved into drawing people for the very first time. I now present to you what Miss Ava like to refer to as her "mans":


(Just so you know, the little blobs floating over their heads are the mans' food.)

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:03 AM

October 5, 2006

This Never Gets Old

This is what we do during every one of Juliana's soccer practices:





Rinse and Repeat

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:14 AM

September 30, 2006

No More Babies In This House

Ava is now completely potty-trained! She has been doing great with almost no accidents for a few weeks now but last night was the first time she went overnight without wearing a pull-up. She woke up clean and dry (although at quarter-to-seven this morning) and she is as proud as can be. The only obstacle we have left has to do with public restrooms. But really, can you blame her?

I need to post some recent pictures soon. Maybe later today.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:03 AM | Comments (1)

September 25, 2006

Busy Days

So why am I so slow at updating this page with details of our eventful lives? Maybe because I'm spending all my free time driving around to said events? Maybe so. Despite everything being so hectic, I'm very happy that Juliana is wanting to get involved in so many things. (And by so many things, I do mean EVERYTHING.) I figure now is the time to test all the waters and then maybe next year she can whittle her schedule down to her favorites and go from there. Right now I just got back from picking up her (very tiny and oh-so-cute) violin. She is registered for Girl Scouts now and I ordered her Brownie uniform. We've got soccer practice two days a week and games on Saturdays as well as ballet class on Tuesday afternoon. There is another dance class offered after school on Mondays that she really wants to take with Maddie as well. I've still got to get her into swimming lessons (since she has yet to learn how to swim) but I'll probably wait until winter when soccer is through. God help us when Ava starts all this. In fact, after December she will be able to take classes at Danceworks as well- which is great because she is a tad jealous of all Juliana's activities. Maybe we'll sign up for some toddler gymnastics? Don't tell Juli because I'm sure she'll want to take that too...

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 11:38 AM

September 14, 2006

Two Things

1. I am no good when it comes to teaching shoe-tying. Loop, swoop and pull, right? That last step is tricky and Juliana is not happy about it.

2. Juli's teacher chose her to be on the student council! She will also be starting violin lessons through the school. This kid is unstoppable. (Except when it comes to tying shoelaces.)

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:06 AM | Comments (1)

September 11, 2006

Long Overdue Update!

Juliana started first grade last Tuesday! I probably should have updated sooner but frankly I've been enjoying the free time in the mornings. After school is a bit hectic however. We now have soccer practices two days a week (with Saturday games) and ballet once a week. On the afternoons we're at home there is much running up and down the street between the neighbor kids' house. Juliana loves to play with her friend Bella, but I think she has a little crush on Bella's older brother Eli. (I know. I don't want to think about it.) I start my own dance class again tonight so the schedule is filling up even more.


Ava is doing marvelous on the potty still! She wears a pull-up to bed at night but all day she wears her Tinkerbell or Curious George underwear with only a few accidents this past week. She is so proud. Of course, she loves the reaction she gets from us when she goes on the potty so that means she wants to go all the time. Let's just say I've been logging a lot of time in the bathroom with her. I'll take that over diapers though!

Juliana had her first soccer game this past Saturday. I have to say that I really love to watch the kids play. I'm so glad we found a team for her again this year.



Her team- the Sunfish- won 7 to 5! We have a soccer prodigy on our team that scored six of the team's seven goals. It was pretty fun to watch.

Lastly, I have to share with you the girls latest favorite toys in the house. Juliana got some toys from The Littlest Pet Shop collection for her birthday and we must bring them everywhere now. So far, Juli has named two of them.

I present to you, John:

And Lindsay Lohan:

Yes, my daughter has named a little toy dog after the actress and notorious Hollywood party girl, Lindsay Lohan. God help us. She claims that she heard the name on the Disney Channel and liked it. Now, I love the movie "Mean Girls" as much as the next person, but for some reason when I hear my two year old squealing "I love you Linsey Ho-han!" it sends a weird shiver up my spine.

And there you have it. That's what's up in our neck of the woods. I'm out.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:07 AM | Comments (1)

August 31, 2006

Party Pictures!

Getting all dolled up...

Lipstick check in the mirror

Pretty princesses

Birthday girl

Six big ones

Swirling princesses

Kudos to Barb at Wee Imagine for the awesome party. And the best part was there was no cleaning up for mom! Now that's worth every penny.

I'm going to spend some quality time with my Flickr account tonight so hopefully I will upload lots more images.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 10:06 AM

August 26, 2006

New Year, New Hairdo

Happy Birthday Juliana!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:35 AM | Comments (1)

August 24, 2006

Can I Have a Hallelujah?

Ava started going on the potty yesterday. Yes. Let's just let that sink in a bit.



Posted by Tracey Gessner at 12:44 PM | Comments (1)

August 20, 2006

Mommy Is A Boring Grocery Shopper

Juliana this morning:

"Mom, when I'm sixteen and I get my drivers license I'm going to go to Pick and Save and buy some of that cool jelly in the squeezy tube."

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 10:20 AM | Comments (2)

August 4, 2006

Juliana (Hearts) Pop Music

"You know that song that goes 'You had a bad day, you're taking one down...' I love that song so much! I hear it ALL THE TIME. Everywhere I go I hear it!"

I hear that song everywhere I go too but I don't quite have the same reaction as her. Mine involves more of the eardrums bleeding but what can you do. I used to love Huey Lewis and the News when I was in first grade so I probably shouldn't talk.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:31 PM | Comments (3)

July 27, 2006

Favorite New Ava-ism

"Mommy, my tummy is so grumbly-grumbly!"

We're off to the kiddie pool at the park with Steph and Maddie today. Yay!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 10:37 AM

July 21, 2006

Cutest. Swimsuit. EVAH!



Oh, and if anyone out there can get Juliana to stand still long enough to take a picture of her or get her to look at the camera without a grimace, please send me a copy. I'm posting pictures of just Ava because Juliana is too cool to have her picture taken by her lame old mom.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:40 AM | Comments (1)

July 17, 2006

Popsicle Girl


Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:55 AM

July 10, 2006

Belated Fourth Photos

I took a little hiatus from my personal blog, which inadvertently extended to this page as well. Here's a little of what went on during that time...

Sparklers at Uncle Russ and Julie's house

She didn't really light this. That was for Daddy.

Ava waiting for the parade in our neighborhood

Juliana waits patiently. (Ok, maybe not so patiently.)

Fireworks! Woo!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 11:51 AM

June 26, 2006

Summer '06 In Full Swing

We have made it through the first two weeks of summer vacation! How many more to go?

We had our first slumber party! Popcorn and beauty supplies were abundant.

Jason brought back Princess Peach t-shirts from the Nintendo Store in New York City. Also, socks are no longer being matched.

Ava took her first photographs. (Those are Juli's paint spattered legs under the table.)

Speaking of Nintendo, Juliana and I have been logging a lot of time playing Animal Crossing together. It's quite addictive but hey, it's summer. I'm trying to chill out a bit.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 11:23 AM

June 14, 2006

Last Day of School!


Juliana received "outstanding achievement" awards in math, reading, writing, science and social studies. She also got an art award, a citizenship award, and was the only student in K5 with the perfect attendance award! (Of course she started in the middle of the year but I still think it was impressive to not miss a single day.) Ava and I came with to the end of the year picnic where all the kids stuffed thier faces with hot dogs, cookies, and jell-o. Today we are kicking off summer vacation with a bang. We're going to see "Over the Hedge" this afternoon and Juli will have a sleepover at Maddie's house for the first time. Woo for summer!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:49 AM

June 8, 2006

School's Out for the Summer

Well, technically next Tuesday is the last day, but last night was the end of the year party at Chuck E. Cheese's (otherwise known as Vegas for the underaged set.) Good times.


Posted by Tracey Gessner at 10:07 AM

June 5, 2006

Juliana's Observation

"This butterfly ring says Made in China! Oh man, everything says that! China is always doing that..."

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 3:31 PM

May 30, 2006

Sassy and Saucy



Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:37 AM | Comments (1)

May 24, 2006

Two-Year-Olds Are the Bestest

Ava just walked up to where I'm sitting on the couch, put her face about two inches away from mine and said, "I like your eyeballs."

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 11:28 AM

May 23, 2006

We Heart Our Back Yard



Posted by Tracey Gessner at 11:44 AM | Comments (1)

May 17, 2006

Mother's Day Card Photo: 2006

This is the one I went with:

With this one coming in a close second:

Seriously, the only recent photos of the two of them together where they are both looking at the camera and being cute are in the bathtub. They'll love me for this one in ten years.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 5:31 PM

May 11, 2006

Scarlett Brielle Reece

Beautiful girl
Originally uploaded by Meeshell12.
(Thanks to Michelle for the photos!)

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 3:38 PM | Comments (3)

Technically Not a Gessner But...

The proud big sister!
Originally uploaded by Meeshell12.
It's my new neice Scarlett with her big sister Bailee! Cuteness!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 3:35 PM

May 1, 2006

No, I Haven't Been Letting Her Watch "Big Love"

While watching American Idol this week, Juliana turned to Jason and said:

"Daddy, I like Paula Abdul. You should marry her and then we would have five people in our family!"

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:40 AM | Comments (2)

April 26, 2006

We Have to Start Limiting Her TV Time

Scene: Mom scrubbing away with bleach at the siding on the front of the house. Juliana approaches.

Juliana: "Mom, what are you doing?"

Mom: "Trying to clean the dirt off of the house."

Juliana: "Well, you know, you really should get some KABOOOM."

Mom: "Uhhh...ok. What exactly is KABOOM?"

Juliana: "It gets out all the toughest stains!"

Now whenever she sees me cleaning she reminds me that I haven't gotten any KABOOM yet.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:57 AM

April 21, 2006

Best Buds

Juli and Maddie on the way to the park Wednesday afternoon.

In other news, Mommy has almost made it through the entire week of spring break!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 1:02 PM

April 13, 2006

Kids: They Remember The Important Stuff

"Juliana! Tell me all about your field trip today! What did you guys do?"

"Well, we saw a SEA LION. And he was LICKING HIS BUTT!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 5:56 PM | Comments (1)

April 12, 2006

Our Mornings Need More Drama

Juliana is on a field trip today to Chicago. They are going to the Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium among other things. God help anyone who decides to take 27 kindergarteners on a field trip like that. She was so excited that she got up before me this morning to get ready (usually I have to poke and prod her every step out the door.) The teachers specified that they would not wait for any late children and that the bus was leaving at 8am sharp. So we pulled up in front of the school at 7:40 and Juli jumps out of the car with a huge smile on her face and promptly slips on the grass, landing on her behind in a mud puddle. Her pants were soaked from her belt to her ankles. Of all days that this possibly could have happened, she picks the one with the dire consequences for lateness. So what is a good mother to do? I throw her back in the car, speed all the way back home (Tippecanoe is not our neighborhood school either, if you remember), drag her up to the house and grab a clean pair of pants. I dress her like an insane robot in the entryway while calling out to Ava in the car that MOMMY WILL BE RIGHT BACK, throw a freshly panted Juliana back into the car and dash to the school by 7:52. Needless to say she was very relieved to be there on time but I'm pretty sure I freaked her out a little bit.

Anyway, crisis averted and a gold star for me.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 1:06 PM | Comments (2)

April 6, 2006

Out To Lunch


We believe that her hair is the source of her powers.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 3:15 PM | Comments (1)

March 31, 2006

Can't Stop the Cute


"I love you Ava!"

"You love me??"

"Yes, I love you sweetie."

"Oh! Dat's great Mommy! I love you too."

I posted a few pictures on Flickr this morning. Now we're off to enjoy the sunshine!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:54 AM | Comments (3)

March 22, 2006

Just So You Know...

I've finally decided that I need to abandon the Gessner Girls Picture Central page in favor of Flickr. For a while I have been keeping up both sites but it's just gotten to be too much- you know with my real, non-internet life getting in the way. I will be leaving up the photo archives on the Picture Central page but from now on all pictures of the girls will be posted on my Flickr page. I will try to keep them in neat little galleries too. We'll see how this works out. (There's a fairly good chance I could change my mind and go back to the old site but for now this is what I'm going to do!)

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:32 AM

March 14, 2006

Say Cheese!


Ava's hair is really a glorious thing to behold. I'm jealous. She is wearing her new favorite shirt in this picture. It says "Queen" and has a picture of a bee. She is also eating a Dorito because I am Mom of the Unhealthy Snacks.


I was sick of Juliana making funny faces for the camera so told her to "smile like Bailee always does in her pictures." I think those of you who know Bailee will agree that she did a good job. Now if only I could always get her to do this! (Don't you just love her big puffy snow boots with her skirt?) Continuing with the unhealthy snack theme, Juliana is eating bag of Cheetos. I kind of wish I didn't have documentation of them eating junk food.

Oh, and about the teeth-brushing post from last week. I looked at Juliana's toothpaste again and she actually does have Colgate's Dora the Explorer toothpaste so the marketing reference didn't come out of nowhere. I apparently pay no attention to brands that I buy. Good thing she is on the ball for me.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 4:07 PM

March 7, 2006

Well, Advertising Does Pay Our Bills...

I love that Juliana started reading so early. It seems crazy that she's been a reader for about a year now already. Something that is funny though is that because of the fact she can read, she is hyper-aware of brand names and slogans now and she will correct you if you get them wrong. I've never been a brand-conscious person. I've never owned a shirt with GAP on the front or really any article of clothing that advertised a particular designer or brand. I've probably made more attempts to not purchase items based on marketing than because of marketing. So it takes me off guard sometimes when Juli says something like "My teeth are really white. It's because of my Colgage TOTAL toothpaste!

What's even better is that she doesn't even use this type of toothpaste. I buy her some kind of bubble gum pink princess toothpaste but she obviously reads the label on mine when she's brushing away.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:12 AM

March 2, 2006

Going Out

Tonight is "Gallery Night" at school and Little Miss Juliana Gessner will be presenting the painting she created of Milwaukee's Miller Park. Tonight is a continuation of the "Celebrate Milwaukee!" theme that's been going on all semester. It's a very formal occasion so we are all getting dressed up for it. Also, we will be picking up Jason at the airport after the festivities. Woo!

I'm just happy she didn't paint a picture of the brewery.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 2:57 PM

February 25, 2006


This is the color Juliana picked out for her room:


Awesome! I'm almost done with it and it looks SO GOOD. I only have this picture right now but I will post the rest when I finish it up tomorrow. Juli told me that it is really looking like "a princess room". Like a true decorator though, she also said that the ugly drop-ceiling has totally got to go. (Which sounds a little bit picky but in all honestly it really is quite hideous.) I was a little nervous at first when I started painting the color on the wall but the more it went on the more perfect I knew it was for her. And really, what other color would you expect for someone with this much personality?



Posted by Tracey Gessner at 3:06 PM | Comments (3)

February 17, 2006

Miss Independent


Ava has been blowing me away lately with how conversational she is with us. Although she has been speaking in complete sentences for quite a while, every now and then it will strike me just how much she is turning into a "big kid." Today she was finishing up her snack at the dining room table and she called out to me in the kitchen, "I all done Mommy! I go upstairs in da attic now , ok? Bye!" And away she went pitter-patting up the stairs.

Now if only she wasn't so darn scared of the stupid potty.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 7:56 PM | Comments (2)

February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day!



I really need to start taking photographs again. Ever since Christmas and the move I've only taken a handful of pictures of the girls so I really had to dig to find recent ones to put up today! Juliana has her standard picture-taking face on as you can see. Last night we stayed up after bedtime finishing all of her valentine cards for her classmates at school. She had intended to make them all herself and was working very hard on it until I realized she only had about six done out of thirty so we made a quick run out to Target last night for some store bought ones. Thankfully they were all finished in time and she headed out the door with a big decorated bag full of them this morning and all was good in her little kindergarten world.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 11:58 AM | Comments (1)

February 10, 2006



Grandma Joanie sent Juliana and Ava a "Peeps" marshmallow decorating kit for Valentine's Day. Juliana said, "I love these things because they have lots of sugar in them!" Imagine that.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:11 AM | Comments (4)

February 8, 2006

Bear Visits the Beauty Salon

Ava Playing
Originally uploaded by Tracey Gessner.
Ava likes to do her teddy bear's hair and make sure he is wearing the appropriate shade of lipstick for his outfit.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 5:44 PM

February 6, 2006

Ciao l'Italia!



Ava and Juliana salute their new European friends! Apparently they have been living a secret double-life over there-- which they actually think sounds kind of glamorous. The furthest they've ever traveled from the Midwest is to Florida, so people from all the way across the ocean are cool with them. Plus, they both love to eat pizza and Juliana likes that the country is shaped like a boot.


Posted by Tracey Gessner at 6:37 PM | Comments (9)

Here We Go Again

Well, it seems someone has taken photos of the girls again and posted them on an Italian message board for mothers. For the past two years they have been known as Guilia and Margherita! (Let's all remember the time when somebody took pictures of my girls and made a website for "Sthella and Evie." Good times!) I'm seriously reconsidering how much of myself I want to put out there on the internet. Which makes me sad.

(This post is for the women on the message board so they believe me that the photos were stolen! Thankfully they all seem to be very nice people. Except for the one pretending to be me. Her? Not so nice.)

Oh Internet, what a complicated relationship we have.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 5:01 PM | Comments (1)

February 5, 2006

Jungle Boogie


Remember when I was talking about how my baby loves dance club music? Well, she has a new favorite song. Ever since I bought the girls the dvd of the movie "Madagascar", Ava has been flipping out over the song King Julien the lemur sings called "I Like to Move It, Move It". I bought them the soundtrack as well so they can move-it-move-it whenever their little hearts desire. Ava likes to make her Barbie dolls move-it move-it and even Polly Pocket likes to move-it move-it every once and a while.

What really makes me laugh about it though is the man who does the voice of King Julien- Sascha Baron Cohen- used to have a rather, let's say colorful television show on HBO called Da Ali G Show. A show that got him banned in Kazakhstan. (Although let's face it, it's probably not that hard to get yourself banned in Kazakhstan.) Anyway, now my two-year-old loves him and that's pretty funny.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:36 AM

January 28, 2006


Juliana lost her first tooth! She had been saying for a while that it felt loose but I thought she may have been exaggerating a bit since five is kind of young for teeth to be falling out. However yesterday she came up to me and it was hanging by a thread (yuck!) and by the end of the day it it was out! She was so excited. This was the first tooth that grew in when she was only five-and-a-half months old so it was kind of bittersweet as well. *Sniffle*



Ava wanted to get in on all the picture taking. (Earlier she had fallen and bonked her head so that is why she is sporting a Dora the Explorer band-aid on her noggin.)


Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:24 AM | Comments (2)

January 19, 2006

Like Mother Like Daughter

Juliana is adjusting well to her new school. This week she wanted to experiment with the hot lunch line and she told me she ate a cheeseburger and potatoes one day and rice with peas another day. She woudn't eat a taco though. If only I had such a good success rate with meals I prepare her. At home she seems to only prefer foods that are in "nugget" form.

Juliana really enjoys getting to see Maddie every day now but I'm also happy to hear that she is making friends in her class as well. A couple of days ago Juli came home and told me that she made a new friend named Eva. She went on to tell me that Eva used to sit next to her in the classroom but now she doesn't anymore. I thought about this for a few seconds and suddenly realizing something I asked her, "Did the the teacher tell Eva to change seats because you two were talking too much in class?" Juliana looked a little surprised at first and then looked down and slowly said, "Yeessss."

Now of course I did the correct thing and told her that school was for learning and not for socializing and that she neeeded to pay attention to the teacher while in class instead of talking BUT I have to admit that I was not too upset with her because it wasn't too long ago that there were two other young girls I know of that caused many-a teacher to separate them over the course of many years. Funny, those girls looked a little like the two mom's picking up Juli and Maddie that very same day. Hmmmmm.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:52 PM | Comments (1)

January 9, 2006


This is what has been happening over in our neck of the woods.

As for news in which I am not whining like a baby, a spot opened up for Juliana at Tippecanoe School and she started class today! She is so thrilled to be going to the same school as Maddie and is equally thrilled to be going to an arts-oriented school. And can I just say that all-day kindergarten RULES? It's the best thing ever (for both of us) and I love love love whoever invented it.

I packed a lunch box for my baby girl today. Yes, I took a picture of it.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 4:27 PM

December 27, 2005

See Ya Later


We're moving tomorrow!

We'll be offline unitl we get all set up in the new house, which could take a couple of weeks.

Happy New Year to everyone and we'll see you in 2006!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:39 AM | Comments (1)

December 24, 2005

Anxiously Awaiting Santa's Arrival


Posted by Tracey Gessner at 12:07 PM

December 21, 2005

Hip-Hip-Hooray for Christmas Vacation!


We watched cartoons in bed this morning.

***Looking at this photo makes me can't wait to have a bedroom with some COLOR in it!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:59 AM

December 17, 2005

My Baby Girl is Two Today

Happy Birthday Ava! As you would say, " I Wuv Yoo!"

It's seems so strange to no longer have a baby in the house. (And no, that's not my way of saying we are trying for another one!)






Posted by Tracey Gessner at 10:56 AM | Comments (9)

December 15, 2005

Photo Backlog

Well, I spent a good chunk of my morning updating the Gessner Girls photo galleries. It seems I hadn't done a new one since August so there are galleries now for September, October and November. (The pictures in October of Juli at her soccer party are especially cute!) I think that after December the picture galleries will officially move to Flickr.com since keeping two photo sites seems kind of redundant. (Kind of like having two blogs, huh?)

In other news, we all watched the Christmas movie "Home Alone" last night and as I expected, Juliana loved it. I know what you're thinking: Juliana likes slapstick humor? No way! The kicker was at the end of the movie when little Kevin was reunited with his family and she blurted out, "Why do I keep having tears in my eyes?!"

My litte girl. Crying at movies already.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 1:52 PM

December 9, 2005

Snow Bunny

Ready For the Outdoors
Originally uploaded by Tracey Gessner.
A real, genuine, non-silly smile!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:18 PM

December 4, 2005

As If I Needed More Reasons Why My Kids Rule

Yesterday when Jason was walking out the door Ava started yelling after him, "BYE DADDY! I LOVE YOU! I LOOOOOOVE YOOOOOUU!"

Melted. My. Heart.

Later on that evening I listened in on Juliana as she sang the Beatles "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds."

All is right in the world.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 4:23 PM

November 28, 2005


Ava really took to wearing pigtails over the weekend. I love it! On Thanksgiving, a family member commented that he thought Ava looked a little like an Olsen twin. I can only hope that he meant this version:


And not an Olsen of this variety:


Either way, my girl is WAY cuter that Mary-Kate and Ashley. Hands down.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:40 AM | Comments (4)

November 23, 2005

Some Cuteness to Tide You Over

I found these photos of the girls from a few months ago on Jason's computer. There were a lot of gems hidden on there so hopefully I will make a gallery of them soon. This weekend however, will be filled with pumpkin pie and packing since we will be moving in just over one month! I also have Ava's birthday coming up, Christmas stuff to deal with and did I mention we would be eating lots of pie? Mmmmm.....



Posted by Tracey Gessner at 4:26 PM

November 19, 2005

A little drawing for a sick nana...

juliana wanted to make a drawing for Nana, since she wasn't feeling well today. We made a time lapse video of the drawing to go along with it. Enjoy!

Download the Feel Better Nana video - 4 MB quicktime file

Posted by jason gessner at 6:16 PM | Comments (2)

November 14, 2005

"A Magical Adventure for Yooouuuu!"


Ava's favorite movie right now is called "My Neighbor Totoro." As is with all of her favorites, she would prefer for Totoro to be on rotation on the television twenty-four hours a day. Upon realizing that I was not going to do this for her, Ava has now learned to turn on the television in the bedroom, take the dvd out of the case, open the dvd player, put the dvd in the drive, close it, and press play. Sometimes I'll be in the kitchen and suddenly hear the movie's theme song wafting downstairs from the bedroom. I'll go upstairs and find her with a big grin on her face, bouncing up and down saying, "Look, Mommy! To-to-ro!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 1:06 PM | Comments (2)

November 9, 2005

It's That Time Again, Can You Believe It?

Ok, I'm doing that thing where I post about how I haven't had time to post anything here lately. Mainly it's because I'm so wrapped up with the house we may be buying. I'm now realizing though just how close we are getting to Ava's birthday and I'm starting to freak out a little. (Two years old! Eek!) Since we're probably going to be knee-deep in the moving process as well as the holidays, I'm proposing to have a small, family party for her the weekend after Thanksgiving. I'm just throwing it out there to give those of you who would be coming a heads up. I haven't gotten around to making invitations yet and don't even get me started on her birthday video. I WILL do it though. I will not skimp on the birthday video just because I'm busy and she's the younger child!

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 1:19 PM

November 4, 2005

Juliana drawing with Uncle Billy

This is a few weeks old, but still pretty cool. Juliana picked red paper, which freaked out the iSight, but what can you do?

(2.7MB Quicktime file)

Posted by jason gessner at 11:12 PM | Comments (1)

Halloween 2005

Originally uploaded by Tracey Gessner.
As promised, here are a few more Halloween pictures. (Click the photo to go to the Flickr gallery.)

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 4:48 PM | Comments (1)

October 31, 2005

Gone Trick-or-Treatin'


Ava's actually much more excited about it than she looks in the photo. I took this picture on Friday when she tried on the costume for the first time. I think she was a little confused about it at first!

More photos to come tomorrow...

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 3:50 PM | Comments (1)

October 29, 2005

Juliana and Her Creations

Juliana and Her Creations
Originally uploaded by Tracey Gessner.
Grandma Joanie sent us some Halloween popcorn balls. Juliana was very proud of the spiders she made.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 6:18 PM | Comments (3)

October 26, 2005

Sweet Sounds of the Morning

"But I don't like cleaning my room! It's SO BORING!"

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:50 AM | Comments (1)

October 25, 2005

A-Ring Ding Ding Ding Ding

In our house, we love our XM Satellite radio. The girls especially love the XM Kids station and despite the mind-numbing repetition of a few songs, I like it as well. The music they play is cute and catchy and for the most part there are no Lindsay Lohans, Hilary Duffs or any other studio-manufactured bobble-headed singers to be found. There is this one really freaky song though that they play all the time called "Crazy Frog" which is basically an odd techno remix of the Beverly Hills Cop theme with a creepy computerized voice that pops in and out speaking gibberish. (I'm assuming this is the "crazy frog".) Anyway, Ava literally freaks out when this song comes on. She starts yelling "Freeky Frog!" and dancing around in a frenzy in the living room. It is so unbelievably funny. She can detect the song from only the first couple of notes and she goes nuts. I've tried to take some photos of her while this is happening but most of the time she comes out as a blur. I'm determined to get the "Freaky Frog" dance on video and to share it with the world.


Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:00 PM | Comments (1)

October 22, 2005

School Picture Time!


Posted by Tracey Gessner at 9:49 AM | Comments (4)

October 21, 2005

Heart Card For Bailee

Bike Riding Card Inside
Originally uploaded by plural.
Juliana made this adorable card for bailee. I think that bailee still uses training wheels on her bike, though, too.

Posted by jason gessner at 10:12 AM

October 18, 2005

Juliana's Dance Party


The best thing about this picture by far is the disco ball at the top.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:10 PM

October 16, 2005

Some Choppy Stop Motion Fun

I turned Juliana loose on my iSight since we saw Wallace and Gromit again last night (Bailee hadn't seen it yet). While she hasn't quite mastered the patience required to make animation, she did put this together and had fun doing it.

stuffed_soccer_game.png (600K Quicktime File)

Posted by jason gessner at 6:44 PM

October 14, 2005

That's My Girl

Where's Ava's belly?


Posted by Tracey Gessner at 3:13 PM | Comments (2)

Watch Out Kelly Clarkson

Juliana has a little cd player in her room and she loves to go up there and put on some of her own music while she plays or "cleans." For her birthday we let her pick out some new cds and she chose a Strawberry Shortcake cd and the soundtrack for the Powerpuff Girls. The very first song on the Powerpuff Girls cd is a song called "That's What Girls Do." It's a sugary sweet girl-band song that she loves to put on repeat and listen to over and over and OVER again. She also like to belt out the lyrics at the top of her lungs and dance around. We may have a little pop star on our hands.

That's what girls do
They keep you guessing the whole day through
Play your emotions push all your buttons, it's true
That's what girls do

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 10:15 AM

October 10, 2005

"Cheese, Gromit!"

Today Juliana had the day off from school (Woo-Hoo! Yay Columbus!) so I decided to take the girls to see "Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit" I was a little worried at first because Ava has never sat through a full movie at the theatre before. (Last year I took her with to see "The Incredibles" and we had to leave during the previews because the LOUDNESS caused her to start SQUEALING from some kind of sensory overload.)
Fortunately though, today was different. She sat on my lap almost the whole time, happily eating popcorn until the last ten mintues when she started to get just a little bit restless. She also yelled out "BA MOOOOOON!" when a full moon appeared on the screen, but other than that she was fairly quiet. Juliana was riveted as usual and was also very thrilled that I let her drink a cherry Icee.

Oh yeah, and we bought hats:


Posted by Tracey Gessner at 5:35 PM | Comments (2)

October 7, 2005


Jason took these photos of us on the beach during our vacation last month. I especially love the one where I am holding Ava. She was very sleepy and actually a bit scared of the ocean at first. She warmed up to it after a while and enjoyed looking for shells, though she still didn't like it when I put her feet in the water. I guess the waves could be a little scary to someone her size.

Juliana Holding a pile of sand.jpg

Tracey With Sleepy Ava.jpg

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 8:00 PM | Comments (3)

October 6, 2005

More Baby Talk

Ava and Aubrey having a tea party. (I don't know why Ava is wearing her sunglasses in the house. She wouldn't take them off!)

Ava's favorite DVD's to watch:

Wiggeez= the Wiggles
Ee-Eye-Ee-Eye-Oh= Baby McDonald
Akko= Alice in Wonderland (No matter how many times I say "AL-ICE", she still says "AH-KO")
And of course, anything with Elmo in it.

Plus- I knew this one was coming eventually- the thing she likes to say the most lately is: "Heeeeey Sissy, dats MY (insert object here)." As in, MY dolly, MY book, MY room. This sentence is always accompanied with a jutting lower lip and a furrowed little frown. It's so funny that Juli doesn't even get mad most of the time when Ava does it. She usually just laughs.

Posted by Tracey Gessner at 1:14 PM | Comments (2)