Stories of


October 1, 2022

Home Sweet Home

By Casey and Mike

It continues to be a busy year for the Matters. We moved in to our new home in July and have been settling in. We loved our place in Richfield but wanted more space (we’ve been looking since you started really walking!). We have been slowly making the place our own with little projects. We love our backyard (and so does Dani) and you love your new bedroom. So much more space for us to grow into.

Exploring your new home!

Water time in the yard.

On top of loving the new house, you and Grandma are having a blast finding all the fun parks. There are at least four amazing parks (and a beach!) within walking distance and you both routinely visit them all in a single day!

Sand is the best!

Loving the playsets.

We are also pretty close to the Minnesota Zoo. You’ve gone a few times with us, grandma, and Taylor. We’ve had so much fun watching and learning about all kinds of animals, as well as getting some time outside. You’re always so tired afterward but you have a wonderful time.

Oliver and cousin Taylor at the Zoo!

Another recent adventure is that you started swim lessons! You are such a fish and love the water. You especially love drinking it and you especially hate when we encourage you to float on your back. But we can only show up at swim lessons one minute before they start, because as soon as you see the water we cannot keep you from jumping right in!

Fun fact: your lessons are in the same pool where mama took lessons!

Oh, and speaking of wanting a bigger home… well, part of that reason is you are going to be a big brother! We are excited to have another baby Matter in May but Mom and Dad are a little bit overwhelmed by the craziness ahead (maybe a lot a bit). But we are so lucky to have an amazing support group and are excited to see you become a big brother!

July 20, 2022

Summer Time Fun!

By Casey and Mike

It’s been a busy summer for the Matters! Oliver, you are just over 18-months-old. You have grown so much and have definitely changed into a toddler/little kid right before our eyes! It’s been so fun to watch you grow and get to know your sweet personality.

6mo, 12mo, 18mo

You have a fascination with learning how things work. Those little gears in your head start spinning like crazy and you get in some kind of trance that stops you in your tracks. Like when you pour your sippy cup over to watch the water/milk stream out, how you tinker with out Apple Watches when we’re changing your diaper, when you sift sand through a slotted spoon, or open/close a clasp or buckle over and over and over again. Your mind is full of magic!

This characteristic that you’ve developed reminds mom so much of your namesake, great grandpa Oliver Younger who loved to tinker and build things.

We’ve been spending a lot of time outside letting you explore parks, the MN Zoo, playing in the pool/sandbox, and more. But the biggest adventure right now is that you’re done with the crib! You started to lean over the rail just too far and, while away from home, have climbed out of the pack n play. So we took the crib down and put your mattress on the floor with all your pillows and blankets!

While it felt a little too early at times, you just love it so much! You run to your bed as soon as you come home and the blankets/pillows get moved on and off and on and off and on and….

Our new bedtime routine is to put PJs on and “brush toofers” where you rush into the bathroom to grab your step stool and dad helps you up. You love rinsing the toothbrush under the water. You more so chew on the toothbrush instead of brushing but you get the idea and you love to pack your step stool back up when you’re done! Then we cuddle on the couch for two episodes of Bluey before it’s time to run into your big boy bed and read a couple of books.

The first two nights with your floor bed, you would rush to the door when we were leaving and start crying for us on the other side. That was pretty hard for us. But now when we finish the books, we say goodnight, have a few smoochie kisses, and you snuggle in while we sneak out. It’s so darling and you’re so grown up!

May 10, 2022

North Shore

By Casey and Mike

The Matters continue to be busy as summer quickly approaches. We took our first family vacation together a few weeks ago up to Duluth and the North Shore. The weather wasn’t the greatest but we made a great time out of the trip regardless.

We started through Duluth hitting up Mom and Dad’s favorite breweries in town. First we did lunch at Canal Park brewing, then went over to Hoops Brewing. You loved running around their open space and there were lots of things to get in too. We made one last stop at Ursa Minor brewing before making our way up to Two Harbors.

Playing games at the breweries.

We stayed in a charming, updated, Victorian style home in the heart of Two Harbors. It was the perfect place for us to relax and recharge. We didn’t have your usual chair so Dad made you a makeshift one with a bunch of pillows and you loved it! We settled in for the night and watched a movie bed.

Relaxing like you own the place.

The next day after getting some (amazing!) coffee we head up to Gooseberry falls. The water was rushing in full force and even though the path was snowy we made the best of it. On the way back from Gooseberry we stopped at a beach and you loved playing in the sand. We made one last stop at Castle Danger brewery before grabbing pizza and heading back to our place.


Gooseberry falls.

It wasn’t the longest vacation in the world but it was such an amazing time. We can’t wait to take you more places. Mom is especially excited to take you to Germany some day but that may wait till you get a little older.

February 13, 2022

Now a toddler

By Casey and Mike

Look out world we are walking!

It’s been a while since our last update and boy have you been moving and growing! You are now walking everywhere and it’s becoming your primary mode of transportation. You’ve always been interested in your pets but now you love to chase Link. You giggle with glee when you are running after him. Luckily, Link is a good big brother and (mostly) puts up with it.

We wouldn’t be surprised if you become a rock climber someday given how much you love climbing over things. Whether it couches or stairs you love to climb it all. We are still working on going down the stairs, cousin Taylor and you did a lot of practice when we last visited them in Byron.

Hypnotized by Bluey

You have become obsessed with Sesame Street. The music stops you in your tracks and you become hypnotized by the beat. Grandma Sue was the first person to introduce you to Bluey and mom and dad have to admit we also like it too! We also love to have Saturday/Sunday morning cuddles watching cartoons. You love it too but maybe not as much as mom and dad.

Brushing our teeth

You’ve got 4-5 new teeth coming in, including your first molars! That adorable smile is getting so stinkin’ cute. We’ve started to teach you to brush your teeth and hair and you love having as part of your bedtime routine. Dad especially loves styling your hair. Those molars are also helping you to try new foods, including eating a lot of whatever we are eating for the meal.

December 16th, 2021

One Year Old

By Casey and Mike

It’s hard to believe you are already turning one, Oliver. Feels just like yesterday, and at the same time, a lifetime ago that we brought you home from the hospital. Over your first year, you have grown so much and your personality is shining through these days.

You have been walking assisted for a while now but just this week (on 12/12 which was your due date) you took your first steps on your own! Mom and Dad have been playing a game with you at night of “pass the toy” where you walk between us giving us the toy you have. After a few nights of doing this, you surprised Dad one afternoon while he was watching you alone. You found the toy on the end table that we had been passing the night before. As soon as you grabbed the toy you giggled with delight and walked over to Dad on the other couch to give him the toy! Luckily the house cameras have caught the moment so Dad could play it for Mom when she got home. We are so excited (and nervous) to see you start walking more. We’ve already started another round of baby-proofing. We are SO proud of you!

Taking our first steps!

Mom and Dad disagree on whether or not you’ve said your first word(s) yet. One thing you do say (quite a lot) is “uh oh.” Whether it’s dropping a toy, or (purposefully) dropping your water bottle, you are the first person to say “uh oh.” Now, Dad’s not sure if “uh oh” counts as a word but you also try to say your puppy’s name. It sounds like you might be saying “daddy” but you are looking at Dani when you say it. Other words you know (but can’t say yourself just yet) include: Oliver, kitty, shake, and up.

Your love of music grows with each day. Whenever a song comes on you put your hand in the air and shake it about. You are starting to notice cartoons/movies more, especially when the music is playing. You’re becoming an excellent page flipper when we are reading books even though you try to flip a little too quickly. We love seeing your interests grow and change and can’t wait to see what you are into next.

Happy Holidays!

We’re having fun celebrating your birthday with friends and family, and then it’s Christmas!

October 4, 2021

Toofers are here & feelin' fall

By Casey and Mike

As soon as you started crawling (at 8 months old), it felt like it just took a day or two for you to completely own the skill. You move so fast, especially when you think you can make it to the pet food dishes before we notice. You let out a little giggle when you think you’re getting away with something you shouldn’t.

You are discovering so many things through crawling! You especially love stuffing leaves and cheerios down the floor vent. You also pretty quickly learned how to pull yourself up on the furniture. You’re rarely just sitting on the floor anymore… you’re standing and playing by the coffee table, chairs, walking along the couches, and more. You’re getting into a lot of things and keeping mom and dad very alert.

Toofers are here! Your first tooth came in Labor Day weekend (8.5 months). And your second closely followed. You’ve actually done pretty well with teething. Definitely more drool and chewing on anything you can fit in to your mouth. You also run a low fever and are a little extra clingy—which we don’t mind! But it’s making nap time difficult. Luckily you still sleep pretty well at night which we are great full for. Now, at 9.5 months, you’re getting both of your upper teeth! They’re giving you a little more pain and making you more cranky than the others, but you’re still smiling through it and boy is that smile getting cute!!

You’ve also become more interested in books! We feel like you’re actually studying the pictures instead of just trying to figure out how you can crinkle the pages or throw the book. Tickle Monster is one of your favorites (from uncle Eric and aunt Sara) We can’t wait for you to learn through more stories!!

With all of these physical and mental developments, we think you’ll be walking AND TALKING by the end of the month. In fact, you may have already said your first word. For a couple of days, you were saying DA-DI, DA-DI pretty consistently. But not for Daddy… it was for Dani! You say it when you want to pet her fur or tug at her ears. We’re trying to encourage it more. And same goes for all of your talking… we can’t wait to hear what you have to say (though we may regret these words later).

Finally, we’ve been really enjoying fall activities as the weather is starting to change. You are really obsessed with leaves and trees so the beautiful colors and the falling leaves are quite a spectacle for you. You’ve picked out your first pumpkin at the Richfield Fall Fest and later went to Minnetonka Orchards with your friend Riley!

We love taking you exploring and you do so well out n’ about. We’re going to plan more activities for you soon!

August 25, 2021

Crawling! (And so much more)

By Casey and Mike

Oliver, you’ve been keeping us SO busy (which has why it’s been several weeks since our last update)! We’ve got some fun things to share.

You’ve been eating like a champ! We do probably 50/50 purees vs real solid chunks of whatever mom and dad are having—eggs, avocado, banana, noodles, cottage cheese, muffins, and more. We’re practicing a bit with a spoon. It’s quite messy, but you know how to put a pre-loaded spoon in your mouth. And you can also drink water out of a cup with a straw! This past week, you’ve also decided nursing is no longer for you and self-weaned. Mom was hoping to go a little longer, but you’re quite headstrong about it!

Sleeping has also gotten a lot better. Grandma Sue magically got you on a great nap schedule where you nap at about 9:30am and about 1:30pm each day on your own in the crib for 60-90mins each. Sometimes you need a short third nap to make it until bedtime, too, or if you’re out n’ about with us (we still love taking you to breweries!). And through the night, you’re doing SO much better, too (mom thanks you)! As long as that pesky nook stays in your mouth, you pretty much sleep 7:45pm - 7am each night.

You’ve become a water child! You’ve pretty much always been fond of bath time, but it’s been a hot summer so mom’s set up a backyard pool for you. At first, you were not a fan! We think it’s because it was too cold. So now we set it up in the morning, and by the afternoon, the water is warmed up by the sun and you love it! You also played in a lake for the first time while visiting cousins Katie and Tad at a like in Zimmerman, MN. We had to keep your nook in your mouth to keep you from eating sand.

Your interest in Dani, Link, and Dexter has grown a lot, too! Grandma got you a walker (which you learned how to operate immediately) and off you went! You like to follow them around the house, especially Link who isn’t a fan of the whole situation. But that’s okay… he enjoys watching you eat and trying to grab food off your highchair tray. You love your puppy soooo much and she enjoys playing with you (until you pull her ears and then she’s out).

Last week, just a couple of days after you turned 8-months-old, you started crawling! We spent all of last weekend baby proofing the house, and there’s still a lot to do. It seems like you took a day or two to really figure it out, and now you’re off! You can follow us pretty much everywhere. It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time. Watch out, pets!

We have your 9-month appointment coming up and we’re excited to check in with Dr. Havemann and see how much you’ve grown. We think you’ve just about outgrown your carseat and a few other things. We’re so excited to see what you learn next!

July 15, 2021

South Dakota

By Casey and Mike

Just a day after turning six months old we took you on your first vacation. To celebrate Father’s Day, and your uncle Scott, we packed up and headed to South Dakota with the whole Matter family. Thanks to some sound advice from friends, we packed up and took off late Thursday night around your bedtime. We made it to Sioux Falls in about 3 hours before you woke up, and then met grandma and grandpa plus aunt Chrissy and cousin Ava and stayed the night. We were worried about how you’d do in a hotel, but we were thoroughly impressed—you only woke up once!

We should take a moment to mention that just before we went out on our trip, you had your 6-month checkup at the doctor. Mom shared a little about your sleeping habits (you were still waking up every few hours throughout the night) and the doctor recommended we get you started on REAL solids (not just baby cereal) right away. She thought you just weren’t getting enough calories during the day and that was keeping you up at night. (You should’ve seen mom’s jaw hit the floor at the mention of you not getting enough calories.. we are ALWAYS nursing!) Anyway, she was right because you took to pureed veggies, beans, oats, and fruit like a champ, and you also slept amazingly throughout the entire vacation.

You weren't the biggest fan of green beans.

After the first night, uncle Eric and aunt Sara and their family met us at the hotel in the morning. Cousin Taylor jumped in our car (to entertain you for the rest of the drive) and we were off to the Badlands of South Dakota.

It was a hot day but you had so much fun seeing the sights. We stopped at a few scenic areas, took in the views of the topography and wildlife, and commemorated your uncle Scott. Mom and Dad had never been to the Badlands before so it was a first for all of us. After the Badlands we made a quick stop at Wall Drug before making our way to our home—an awesome cabin—for the weekend.

Grandma Sue found the home for us and it was perfect for all our families. You loved hanging out at the kitchen table eating food and seeing all your cousins buzzing around you. It was the perfect place for us to come back to every day and relax after a fun day of sight seeing.

You loved being part of the action. Whether it was hiking around Devils Tower in Wyoming (the third state you can check off your list!), seeing Mount Rushmore, or walking around Silvian Lake, you loved being out and about. You were never fussy or mad, you had the biggest smiles on your face. Your cousins loved hiking and climbing over rocks and you watched them with envy. But don’t worry in a few years you will be tagging along with them on our next family vacation.

We hope you love to travel and learn just as much as we do!

May 29, 2021

Getting Bigger Each Day

By Casey and Mike

It seems like you have grown up so much since our last post. Now you are 5 1/2 months old and there’s been so much change!

May 1st, when you were 4 1/2 months old, we transitioned you to sleep in your own room instead of the bassinet next to our bed. You actually transitioned pretty well to the crib (which was also your dad’s crib, built by Grandpa Tom)! We’ve been able to push bedtime a bit later, too, which is a better flow for mom and dad. We start the routine between 7:30-8pm: bath, jammies, and nursing in the rocker until you fall asleep and then we put you down in the crib with the sound machine on.

At your 4-month check up, the doctor said you seemed like you were ready to start solid foods! But honestly, mom was not ready for that change and to lose a nursing session, so we put it off. After a couple of weeks, you started making it VERY clear that you were ready and mom was holding you back! Anytime we had any kind of food or drink in our hands, you’d stare, reach, downright pull our wrists to your mouth. You are surprisingly strong!

So happy to be eating solid food

So a couple of weeks ago we started solids! We’re starting with infant oatmeal cereal. We were warned that at the start, you may only take a couple of spoonfuls max. But we never got the chance to feel that bad since you’ve never NOT finished a helping, even after we doubled the consistency. Next week, we’ll start feeding you solids 2 times/day instead of one, and after that we’re going to start veggies! Mom and dad are both pretty excited to start you on real food and to try making our own baby food (mom’s even trying to grow a few things in the garden for you)!

A boy and his dog

You are really starting to interact with your fur-siblings. You used to rub your feet in Dani’s fur from time to time, but now you can barely take your eyes off of her, and you watch Dexter and Link in the window, too! You started reaching to pet Dani when she walks by. We’re trying to teach you to pet with open fingers, but you’ve grabbed a clump of fur or two. Your sweet sissy just walks away—she loves you!

Uncle Nick and Grandpa George

You are seeing your family so much! We celebrated Mother’s Day and a few other weekends at Mimi & Grandpa George's, and you spend at least one day a week at Grandma and Grandpa Matter’s (while Grandma Sue still comes to watch you at our house on other days). You had your first overnight with your cousin’s in Byron, and Taylor babysat you for the first time—she did an awesome job!

Mom is going back to work full time next week. She will miss you SO MUCH during the day, but feels more ready this time. It really helps that you’re staying up a bit later so there’s still some time to nap, play, and snuggle together in the evening.

Meeting your new friend Milo

There’s been a lot of change in the world, too. Anyone 12+ is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and most of our friends and family have been fully vaccinated for a few weeks now, so we’re having fun seeing you meet more people and making friends. It definitely feels like our “bubble” of solitude has popped and we’re no longer in our own little world as new parents. Summer is in full swing and we are excited for all our adventures!

April 4, 2021

Growing and Giggles

By Casey and Mike

Oliver, you are just about 16 weeks old. Each passing day, your personality grows more and more. It’s amazing to see how far you have come in such a short time!

When you wake up in the morning you don’t wake up angry or crying. Instead, we hear you talking up a storm telling us to come get you. You love to babble at us. We are still trying to figure out what you are saying, but we sure do love the conversations. When you see our faces now, you smile. It makes coming home from being gone such a treat when your face lights up. You are giving us more and more laughs each day. And not just little ones but big old belly laughs! We are finding where you are ticklish and, if it’s anything like dad, it’s everywhere. You are a champ at tummy time, holding your head up so high! At 12 weeks, you rolled over for your first time! Dad was watching you in the morning while Mom worked. We got down on the floor and dad started taking some pictures. He put his phone down for just a moment and then you flipped right on over from your stomach to your back. Mom and Dad were so excited! Maybe a little too much, because you started crying right after. Since then, we got a couple more rolls and now mom and dad manage to keep it under control.

Moments before you rolled over for the first time!

Grandma Sue has been over a lot lately to watch you. Mom’s been working more hours, but wasn’t ready to go back full time just yet (she misses you too much!). And Dad’s work has been extra busy and, as much as he would love to stay home with you all day, he has had to go in. So while Mom works, grandma Sue entertains you and teaches you new tricks, like sticking your feet in your mouth (which you find hilarious). We are so lucky to have Grandma to be able to watch you while we work. You even did your first car ride without us down to grandma Sue and grandpa Tom's house. It was a little nerve-racking watching you drive away without us but we know grandma is a professional at this. She has had many years of practice at watching little ones.

Grandma says it looks like you are leaning over to talk to a friend at the bar.

Another big first was your visit to Rushford, Minnesota. It was your longest car ride yet but it was worth it to see family. First we stopped at great grandma Joanne’s apartment. We had a lovely visit and great grandma got a chance to hold you for the first time.

We then made our way down to aunt Chrissy and cousin Ava’s house. They were so excited to finally meet you in-person. The rest of the Matter family showed up and it was the first time we had all gathered together in a long time. It was a fun Sunday afternoon with lots of laughs.

The other big update is that, last week, Governor Walz announced that all Minnesotan’s ages 16+ are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine! Mom got in two days after being eligible and we’re so excited to start passing antibodies through breastmilk (you are still a champ at nursing—or eating in general—you eat as much as a 6-month-old!). Dad gets his first vaccine today and most of your grandparents got in early and are getting their second doses. We’re so excited to have more comfort bringing you places and spending more time with family.

Mar 8, 2021

Uncle Scott

By Mike

Eric, Scott, and Mike

Oliver you were born into a great big loving family. We are excited for the memories you are going to make with them and we also want to share our memories with you of someone very special, uncle Scott. One year ago uncle Scott, one of your dad’s two older brothers, passed away after a long battle with brain cancer. Uncle Scott was a loving, caring, funny, curious and strong human being. Your uncle Scott was such a creative person. He taught himself how to play the guitar. When your dad was in middle school he even lent me one of his guitars so I could learn. Sadly, I didn’t have much patience for learning instruments. He picked up rock carving and could make some beautiful and complex things like a working clock!

It was on a trip to South Dakota about 15 years ago where I think Scott’s rock carving passion really took off. While hiking one day, I found a rock that I gave to uncle Scott. He carved one of his first pieces with that rock and gave it back to me at Christmas. To this day it still impresses me so much how he could look at a piece of stone and envision something more inside it. That South Dakota trip had some great memories and while uncle Scott and I didn’t do a ton of vacations together, there is one vacation that I will never forget.

Back in 2019 uncle Scott, uncle Eric and I went on a trip together to Denver, Colorado. We had never been on a big vacation together like this one. Sure, we did vacations together as kids but because of our age difference I was either too little to really remember them or by the time I got old enough to really enjoy them they both were out of the house and had their own busy lives. Grandma Sue thought it would be a good idea and made it happen. I won’t lie, I was skeptical at first on how the trip would go. Like I said, we had never done anything like that before, heck we had never been on a plane together. Honestly though, it was one of the best vacations I have ever been on. We went out to breweries, drove up Mount Evan’s—one of the tallest points in Colorado, went to a baseball game, and even golfed! Uncle Scott didn’t care much for golf but he had a blast driving a golf cart being our personal DJ. We went out with very little planned but I think that was perfect for us. It was a true relaxing vacation. We weren’t running from one attraction to another. Instead we took our time, enjoyed the scenery, and most importantly, just enjoyed being together. We made the memories of a lifetime on that 5-day trip.

Another sort of vacation uncle Scott and dad did together was a week-long visit to his house one summer. In his early 20s, Scott moved out to Austin, MN where your grandpa Tom was born. He worked at a TV station doing film production. During my stay he took me to the station, showed me around introducing me to his coworkers and friends. While he wasn’t at work, we watched movies, played video games and just paled around. Later in my school years I took up video production. I don’t think I realized, until many years later, how much that choice was influenced by uncle Scott and this stay at his house. For a while, I thought I was going to make a career out of video production before life took me elsewhere. Looking back at this little vacation now, I am shocked that a 21-year-old let his little 13-year-old brother come stay with him (for that matter I’m amazed your grandma Sue and grandpa Tom agreed to it). I think it really speaks to Scott’s character and personality that he wanted to do that for his little brother.

We all miss uncle Scott so very much. He was a great big brother, an amazing father, and I know would have been an incredible uncle to you. While you may not get to meet him in person, you will hear so many stories about him. When you get a little older I’ll tell you about the time uncle Scott and his friends tied your dad to a chair and hoisted it up in the air so they could sneak out without me following. I’ll leave that to be a story for another day.

Feb. 12, 2021

The Adventures Begin!

By Casey and Mike

Oliver, you are 8 weeks old! You’ve found your hands and your tongue. You’ve started to fixate on objects and our voices. And you’re doing great at lifting your head and shoulders up! You pick up so much from your surroundings so we’ve been trying to find new places for you to see.

There is always some sort of germaphobe feelings when it comes to letting someone hold your newborn, especially during cold/flu season, but during the COVID pandemic it’s a bit more extreme. Mom and dad have been very cautious about who you meet and taking you places. We’ve been doing video chats with friends and family since we were in the hospital. Now, you’ve gotten so big and we’ve been doing great breastfeeding/building immunity for other viruses, and the COVID vaccine is starting to roll out, so we’re slowly starting to do more things and go more places. You’ll also get your two-month vaccines next week. We hope you’ll be a world traveler some day but first we will start small (and safe).

First, Mimi came to stay with you for a couple of hours while we went to a diaper party for our good friends and your future playmate, Calvin, who is due next month! It was our first time away from you which was equally freeing and nerve-racking. It was great to see a few good friends while we were there, but we just couldn’t stop thinking of you! We knew you were in great hands and Mimi had so much fun playing with you.

Then we took you down to meet Uncle Eric and Aunt Sara, and your cousins Nathan, Taylor, and Tyler. They all were so excited to meet you but I think your cousin Taylor may have been the most excited. She held you for practically the whole visit which was a nice break for mom and dad. It was so wonderful for you to meet them and we cannot wait to do more trips down to Byron! Plus your cousin Taylor is going to make a great babysitter for when mom and dad go out to the breweries with Uncle Eric and Aunt Sara.

Next, we did a visit to Grandma Sue and Grandpa Tom’s house in Farmington. We had a great Sunday morning brunch and you gave Grandpa so many smiles. You are going to get to see them a lot because Grandma is helping watch you when mom goes back to work full-time. You got to see dad’s old room and all of the toys Grandma has been getting for you (you loved the swing)! Next week, mom starts work again (at-home, part-time) and soon Grandma will start coming up to watch you.

We then took you and Dani to Mimi and Grandpa George’s house for dinner. You slept through most of it but you were still so excited. Dani showed you off like a proud big sister. While we ate, we sat you in a bouncer chair that had a mobile above it and you reached for the toys! You also got to wear mom’s old Carleton College sweatshirt from when she was a baby.

Now, you’re probably wondering “what was my first brewery visit?” On a cold Minnesota Saturday we took you to your first-of-many: Modist Brewing. We picked that one because of their seriousness with safety precautions, reservation-only spacious seating, and the good beer. We went right when it opened so there were just a few people. We felt a little anxious being out in a public place and don’t plan on doing much until that vaccine rolls out more, but mom and dad got a chance to drink a beer and support local… while you mostly slept!

Jan 19, 2021

One Month Old

By Casey and Mike

Earlier this week, you turned one month old! We feel like you have grown so much already and we’ve grown as new parents, too. Your beautiful brown hair continues to fill in and is quite long in some places. You love looking around and watching our faces and we love your new expressions and sounds. Your head has gotten longer and your cheeks have continued to grow!

You are also still hungry all the time! We breastfeed as much as we can, but mostly throughout the night when you sleep 2-3 hours at a time which gives mom the opportunity to resupply and it goes smoother for the both of us. During the day, you’re hungry every 60-90 minutes so you get a mix: mostly bottles of pumped breast milk, 1-2 bottles of formula, and we try to breastfeed before lunch. When you take a bottle, mom pumps to try to get her supply up. She wants to give you breastmilk as much as possible during these first couple of months at least (before you get your vaccines), to build your immunity.

Your typical day starts pretty early... after a feed around 6am, mom takes you downstairs for some quiet time. Around 7, dad gets ready for work and comes down, too. We’re very thankful he can work mostly remotely from his home office in the room next door to us. He works on mobile device management, mostly iPads (I wonder if iPads will still be a thing when you’re old enough to read this). Being back at work has been an interesting challenge for dad. He loves that you and mom are so close all day but feels bad when work is busy and can’t get away to hang out and play.

Mom subjects you to a lot of reality television throughout the day during our rotation of napping and feeding. Dad checks on us every hour and he loves taking you from me when he has a break between meetings. We fit in some tummy time mid-morning which you are a rockstar at! You neck muscles are getting so strong and you kick your feet like you want to crawl. Dani also enjoys watching tummy time. (Earlier today you were laying across mom’s lap feeding while your puppy was asleep on the couch next to us and you were rubbing your feet in her fur. You two love each other so much!) We try to get you to nap in your crib around lunch time. Sometimes, you prefer to sleep on mom’s chest while she rocks you. After work, dad makes us dinner while you feed again and then he takes you for awhile while mom eats hands-free and we hang out in bed before we start the nighttime feed cycle. You are sleeping better each day but mom and dad would love a few more hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Jan 6, 2021

The Sixth of January, 2021

By Mike

January 6th 2021, you are 3 weeks old today Oliver. You are sitting in your mothers arms quiet and content after a mid-afternoon feeding. Meanwhile the news is on and your mother and I are watching a sad day unfold in this countries history. A mob of people stormed the capital and broke in to the building while the Senate was in the process of certifying our last presidential election. They stormed the building to specifically try and stop the election from being certified. If we were watching these events unfold in any other country we would call this an attempted coup. I won’t lie, you were born in to this world during a very tumultuous time. And honestly I don’t know what I want to accomplish with this entry in your story. I never thought when I started this website that I would be talking about these types things but I felt I couldn’t let this moment pass by without documenting it for you and sharing our thoughts.

What happened today was horrid. It was the result of four years harmful and dangerous rhetoric by the president of the United States. He has pedaled misinformation and lies that have divided this country more than any foreign advisory could have ever dreamed of. Words matter and especially the words of the president. He has continually used his words to incite violence and prop up racist ideals. What happened today in our Capitol was a disgrace and a stain on our history but it should not come as a surprise to anyone. This man is not fit for office and I am so happy his tenure is almost at an end.

I don’t know what more I can say. I’m exhausted by all this but here is what I can tell you. Your mother and I are going to do everything we can to make this world a better place for you to grow up in. We are going to do that by electing officials that value decency and will work for all individuals and not their own self interests. We will stand up and support equal rights for all individuals. We will speak out against the inequality and injustice in this country that is perpetrated against those of color. We will support and listen to our scientific communities. This is what we are going to do, and these are the values we will pass down to you.

Jan 3, 2021

Oliver Meets His Fur Siblings

By Mike and Casey

One of the more interesting speculative talks Casey and I had prior to Oliver was how bringing home a little human being would go over with our different pets. We have two cats, Link and Dexter, and one dog, Dani. They all have such very different personalities and this led us to a few conclusions.

Link and Oliver

Link, our courageous little boy. His personality has always been more canine then feline. When we come home he is often first to the door to greet us. He begs for food when we are eating, regardless of what it is. When you call his name he comes running. He’s loved cuddling Casey’s belly while pregnant. Because of all these things we figured Link would be the most curious and open to the families newest addition.

Dexter and Oliver

Dexter, our scaredy-cat. There are not many things in this world that don’t startle Dexter. You look at him funny and he will go running. Yet with all that Dexter is our most vocal and needy pet. I’m sure for even our regularly occurring house visitors that is surprising to hear but when it’s just us, and we are sitting still, he comes out of his shell. We thought with out a doubt though, the cries of a newborn baby would send him running.

Dani and Oliver

Dani, of house Matter, our dutiful and loyal girl. She is extremely affectionate and loves to cuddle. And even though she is 65 lbs, she still thinks the 6 inches of space between mom and dad are more than enough for her to squeeze in. She has always shown affection towards children. Bounding up to them as fast as she can but knowing to be gentle and giving playful licks. Given her track record we had a feeling she wouldn’t be phased by Oliver but in fact would love having a new playmate.

We walked in the door with Oliver to our three furry children. As we expected, Dani came up to us and Oliver immediately with some friendly sniffs. We had Oliver give her a toy right away and she carries that around the house with such pride. Surprisingly, Link heard Oliver’s first cry and ran for cover. Dexter, our scaredy-cat, actually was more interested in the car seat but didn’t even mind the crying. As the days went on Casey and I were amazed at how brave Dexter was with Oliver. Didn’t shy away from him and gave him plenty of friendly sniffs. Dani’s maternal instinct seemed to kick in almost immediately. When Oliver cries she checks on him with us and even supervises us on diaper-changing. Link has warmed up to Oliver but for the most part remains aloof. In the end, we have been pretty lucky with how our pets have done and they are all adjusting to this new normal quite quickly. Before we know it, Oliver will be the best of friends with all three of them.

Jan 1, 2021

Welcome to the World, Oliver Matter

By Mike and Casey

We went in on Tuesday, December 15th for what we thought would be an out-patient procedure to start the induction process overnight but over the course the appointment it was decided Casey was already far enough along that the procedure would have no effect. We came unprepared with none of our go bags with us but we were admitted to the hospital anyway. Our doctor was pretty optimistic that baby would be here by 3 or 4 in the morning. Oliver though, had different plans. The beginning of the night was rough. It was about midnight when Casey had the epidural put in. This allowed us both to get some rest as 3 am rolled by, then 4 am rolled by, before we knew it 7 am was here. With the new hour we received a new doctor but the plan remained the same. Continue to wait, hour by hour, hoping for things to naturally (with the help of some drugs) progress to active labor.

It was about 2 pm when the doctor came back in to check on the progress of labor. Things had stalled out at 9cm dilated and it seemed Oliver was just too stubborn to come out the “natural” way. The doctor recommend we move to a c-section since he hadn’t “dropped” and we agreed, it was time to get this baby out. They prepped Casey for surgery and gave me a hilarious yellow jump suit to wear for the operating room. Casey’s favorite part of this story is how the shoe coverings were too small for my size 13 feet and I instead had to wear hair nets on my feet. They wheeled Casey away to the operating room and left me sitting in the room in my yellow jump suit. I stuffed down two protein bars as fast as I could... needed to make sure I had something in my stomach so I didn’t pass out while in the operating room. Shortly after eating my protein bars the anesthesiologist came to get me. Greeting me as “Walter White,” which gave me a good laugh, we then proceeded to the operating room.

I personally have never had a major surgery, and neither had Casey, so walking in to that O.R. was quite the experience. There were probably 10 different doctors/medical staff moving about all keeping busy with their assigned tasks. Casey laid on the operating table and admittedly was looking pretty nervous. I am sure I looked like a deer in headlights with all that was happening. Occasionally someone would ask us a question and it would take a beat for us to register they were actually talking to us. They pulled up a chair for me and I did my best to distract Casey from the process that was happening.

The surgery began and what felt like only mere moments later our baby boy was born in to this world at 3:27 pm on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020. What a crazy rush of emotions that was for us both. They displayed him to us as if he were Simba from The Lion King. Oliver was brought to a table to be cleaned off and they summoned me to come closer. I felt torn between Casey, who was still laying on the O.R. table as they finished patching her up, and this brand new baby boy. Casey urged me to his side and so I went. They cleaned him up and swaddled him tight. An almost full head of hair already on his head, he was adorable. I brought him close to Casey so she could look at her son. It was hard to believe the moment was finally here, we were parents.

Oliver, 9 lbs 8 oz, 22 in long

They wheeled us off to the recovery room where we got to begin learning how to be parents. Casey was still coming down from the surgery—she was extremely cold, nervous, shivering, and nauseous throughout the procedure—but we made the best of the moment.

Our first family photo

It was a crazy wild ride to get him here but we couldn’t be happier. It might have not gone as we thought but we have a healthy baby boy and that’s all that matters. We are going to use this website to document our journey as parents. Feel free to come back and check in to see how things are going.

Oliver, 2 hours old