Sunday, December 18, 2011

Thanksgiving in Pictures

We spent Thanksgiving in Atlanta at my parents' house.  Initially, I had said that they could come to my house and bring food since I had a newborn.  But we decided to go there, where the food would be already and my mom could do all the cooking in her own kitchen.  I am finally getting around to posting photos... such is life with a little baby!

The girls all wore their Thanksgiving clothes... Lucy has a "baby's first Thanksgiving" bib that the older two also wore.

And Lucy needs a bib, because she drools like crazy!

Cecilia wore her turkey shirt that Gramma bought for Caroline three years ago, and this year Gran happened to find a cute fall pumpkin shirt for Caroline.  They wore fall colored corduroys... I made Cecilia's myself several years ago for Caroline.  They love when they can dress up for special days!

Here are the appetizers... we had an egg casserole and cinnamon rolls for breakfast, heavy snacks midday, and then our Thanksgiving meal around 4:30.

Lucy's clothes were very fall-looking as well...

Babies all love my dad, for some unknown reason...

On her second bib of the day...

I may be biased, but I think my babies are beautiful.  I love their little perfectly round heads, chubby cheeks, and lack of necks!

smiling at Grampa again

This was Lucy's first time to meet Uncle Stephen (above) and Uncle Tim

The table all set for the big meal...

The lovely centerpiece before Stephen dismantled part of it so we'd have room on the table for all the food... and all the people.  I love how we all pile in around the table for big meals.  There's always room for one more!

Dinner included turkey, stuffing (both in the bird and in a separate casserole dish) with apples and cranberries, gravy, mashed potatoes, corn bread dressing (one of my favorites!), rolls, olives (but of course!), creamed spinach, and roasted sweet potatoes with pecans and a bourbon glaze... unfortunately, Dutch, Stephen's dog, found this last dish, which had been placed out of the way on a lower level of a side table.  We suddenly heard him lapping something: the bourbon glaze from the bowl!  Dutch, being an expensive sort of dog what with his allergies and surgeries, would of course eat the most expensive dish we had... my dad ate some more of it, but nobody else wanted to risk the dog drool.  Too bad, because it was a yummy dish!

Uncle Stephen multi-tasking.  Chris actually posted a photo of the food on the table to Facebook, and Stephen was in the background  Somebody noticed his pajama pants and commented that it looks like we got dressed up for the occasion, ha ha.  Stephen was the only one going super-casual for the day... the rest of us wore regular clothes!

Caroline was initially upset that Dutch would be there.  She's a bit afraid of him.  He loves people, and if you run from him, of course he thinks you're playing.  

But she had a great time playing with him in the yard!  We were so proud of how she opened up and started to like Dutch!

This one's my favorite

Stephen looks on to make sure they are nice to his dog ;)
No, I have no idea what that hanging blue orb is... all I know is that when you look out of the sunroom window at night, it's there, glowing...

Any time Dutch's leash was underneath him, Caroline would ask Cecilia to crawl under and get it... no longer afraid of Dutch, but still afraid of getting licked!

Chris was right out there helping to rile the dog up, growling at him to make him bark... he needs a dog of his own!  If Stephen goes back overseas for a year, maybe we should take him.  We're the only ones he hasn't lived with yet... we'd have to teach him not to chase chickens!

Maybe Stephen got that "babies like me" gene from his father?  Look again, this one's not mine... yes, there are two baby girls in the family now!  This is Chloe, my niece... my brother Mike's second child.  They came to visit the day after Thanksgiving and get family pictures made of all of us together.

Aunt Crystal reading about Lyle the Crocodile to Cecilia... this book is still at my parents' house and was one we all liked as kids.  I love the name of the little girl in the book: Clover Sue Hipple.  

Snacks again before having another big meal with Mike and Crystal... instead of turkey, we had lamb chops this time.

Mike and Tim make an appearance...

And this was the best picture I could get of Julianne, Mike's other daughter... she is a busy little 19 month old!

Cecilia got Uncle Mike to read Lovable Lyle to her, too!

Gramma gets to hold both of her grandbabies, the fourth and fifth of the bunch!

Can you tell which one is mine?

random shot from the day before... the girls drawing

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Lucy 2 months

some assorted pictures of Lucy from mid-November on...
above, sitting in bouncy seat in kitchen

propped up on boppy pillow

so strong! and she doesn't do "tummy time" either, other than occasional times like this on the boppy pillow

Cecilia loving on her baby sister

and wiping off her drool. this is the droolingest baby I've ever had.

beautiful eyes... hands in motion...

first semi-attempts of batting at an object

Caroline handed Lucy a hairbrush, which she held for a couple minutes, so I replaced it with this softer baby toy who we call "Purple Keptin." She held it for awhile, bit she didn't seem to really notice that she had possession of it. She is not quite ready for baby toys, but she smiles like a loon at this stuffed turkey (or is it a peacock? I can't find an image of it online) for a few minutes at a time here and there.

Hoping to put up Thanksgiving photos at some point...

By the third baby...

...everything starts to wear out. This is my sling. My padded ring sling, used from Caroline's infancy, tore a few weeks ago when I was tugging on the fabric to put Lucy in it. And I had just mended some very small tears around the padded part. Thankfully I had the Maya Wrap as backup when this huge tear appeared. But the Maya has lots more fabric and no padding, which I find more difficult to use for little babies... but thankfully, my friend Beth has a Nojo sling, also padded, which she's letting me borrow temporarily so I can decide if I need to ask for another padded sling for Christmas!

And this is a tear in our sheet (next to a ridiculously adorable baby). Again, I tugged on the fabric (to make it nice and smooth), and it tore. Good thing we have four more sets of sheets!

And speaking of the bed and wearing out its ten year old linens, remember how I kinda ruined our comforter by giving birth on it? My mom insisted on buying us a new one to replace the old one she'd thrown in the garbage:

How does it look?

And a view in natural light...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

More Scare Tactics Regarding Co-Sleeping

So about a year ago, it was these terrible PSA billboards to scare mothers out of sleeping with their babies in Milwaukee:

There's a new ad out on billboards in the same area now, and it's done with just about as poor taste as the previous one:

Really, really morbid, and really inappropriate. The first one in particular is just sick... but they've only toned it down slightly with the current ads. The reason babies in certain areas of Milwaukee die while sleeping with parents is not because of the co-sleeping... it is because their parents are under the influence of drugs and alcohol, they smoke, they were sleeping on a couch, or they were co-sleeping while formula-feeding, meaning they'd lost the hormonal level of awareness of their babies' presence while sleeping which breastfeeding gives.

It maddens me that people may see these ads and, not knowing any better, be worried about my baby... "Oh, that Erin who sleeps with her baby, she's taking horrible risks!" I, and all other co-sleeping moms I know, do not have any of these risk factors, and we bedshare intentionally, in an effort to actually improve our babies' chances of survival, as well as for bonding and biological well-being (oh, and because we're lazy... snicker).

This article is well worth the read. It refutes the ad nicely. And, based on the numbers of SIDS deaths in cribs that is quoted in the article, should there be ads depicting cribs in separate bedrooms as gas chambers or something? Certainly there'd be outrage over that!

For info on sleeping with your baby - a biological norm - I recommend these books:

And for a humorous, sarcastic take on the butcher knife ad, see this.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Feast of St. Martin of Tours

We did a little something for the feast of St. Martin last Friday... in addition to reading about him and singing the St. Martin song, we made these delicious horseshoe cookies just like last year. No lantern-making this year, although we did pull out last year's lanterns and light them on the dinner table, along with a St. Martin candle. Here's Caroline running the food processor to grind up the almonds...

...and measuring out one cup. Have I mentioned how much I love this food processor? Whole almonds to ground almonds in under 30 seconds!

Caroline shaped them into horseshoes... St. Martin was a soldier, and in the most famous story about him, he was riding his horse when he met a poor beggar suffering from the cold.

After the cookies had baked, we rolled them in powdered sugar. So buttery, so yummy... delicious with a cup of tea or coffee!