Archive for September, 2011

In the Middle

Nell is seven weeks today, and she’s doing all the things my weekly emails say she should be doing: holding toys — even if she doesn’t know why, smiling, making coo sounds, and showing recognition of Mom and Dad.  It is hard to believe so much growth can occur in such a little bit of time and that someone so young can already have learned so much.  Spending time with Lizzie and Mikhail last weekend only demonstrated just how much she is going to learn in the next couple of months.

Seven weeks means also I’m smack in the middle of my fourteen-week maternity leave, and I have very mixed emotions about it all today.  I know the right thing to say is how fast it’s all going, and how quickly time is slipping by, but I can’t honestly say that’s true.  We’ve done SO much in seven weeks.  Natural disasters and hotel stays aside, we’ve seen family and friends, gone to Starbucks at least 5 or 6 or 30 times, been to Annapolis and to art festivals, and spent (1 or 2) lazy days at home.   We’ve gotten a routine down that includes activity mat time in the morning, errands during midday, a long 3pm nap that lets me start dinner, and an 11pm bedtime that I can’t budge for the freakin’ life of me.  And we’ve even found that, by now, Nell is predictable enough that we can avoid her tears all day and all night long, with the exception of that brief period of her transformation to the dark side that occurs just before bedtime.  Even Raffi can’t do anything about that, though I have found that wine can make it more tolerable.

And so when I think about the past seven weeks and everything we’ve accomplished, I’m actually thrilled we’ve got seven more.  Though it’s sad to be on the back half of my leave, we have a lot of things to look forward to: her first trip to the Poconos, hayrides at the pumpkin patch, Halloween, getting ready for the winter holidays, visits with more family, and finally fitting into jeans that button.  Oh wait, that last one is mine.  And I know that at the 14 week mark I will look back at today and feel the same way I feel right now when I think back to Nell’s birth day: it seems so long ago, and look how far we’ve come.


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Changing Seasons

First, in continuation of Monday’s post:

“Hey Dad, don’t be alarmed, but there is a serial killer behind you.”

Serial killers aside, it’s beginning to look a lot like fall inside our house. Even if it is 78 degrees outside right now. 

Fall is my favorite time to dust off chili recipes — like pork and pumpkin, or black bean with butternut squash and swiss chard — and try new recipes.  Last Christmas our neighbors got me a new cookbook, which I never got into thanks to my “cheese and eggs only” phase that lasted through the winter. So this year, I am pulling out all sorts of new deliciousness.  This week we’re trying sweet potato and chorizo soup, chicken and leek stroganoff, and a pasta/potato/pesto/broccoli dish — the name escapes me, but I had every ingredient, so why not?

I love the tastes of fall.  I will love fall even more when the temperature lines up with the limited clothing options I have that fit me right now.

Happy cooking!

Oh wait… you came to see pictures of the baby?

Luckily I have a few from her tummy time this morning.  Her actual time spent on the tummy was limited.  She pumped her legs hard for a few minutes, got frustrated she wasn’t going anywhere, and started howling.  So today’s tummy time was on her back with some toys.  She is starting to grip toys now, which is just one more of the things that make her smile.

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Funny faces

I know everyone is just dying to know whether Nellie and G were able to stay awake for football yesterday — especially since she looked so cute for the Ravens amazing W.

Sadly, Nell couldn’t keep her eyes open for the games.

And neither could G.

There’s always next week, right?

G, Liz, and M are in Annapolis today tearing up downtown.  Nell and I had our typical day of Starbucks, the grocery store, email catch up, and nap.  Well, technically she is the only one napping, but I am grateful for the down time.  Of course, as I peer into her bassinet, I realize that ‘napping’ is actually eyes wide open and making fish faces, so I guess my computer time will be short-lived.

I feel like it’s time to play ‘name that expression’ because it’s my favorite game with Nell.  She’s starting to smile regularly, so she’s got some new (and some not-so-new) faces that rotate regularly.  I find all of them hilarious, but that could be the mom in me.

“I don’t know what you’re doing, but I don’t trust you one bit.”

“OMG, did you know this thing plays music?!”

“Look, I smile now.  Real smiles!”

“Does my tongue look funny to you?”

“Oooh, that’s interesting.

“Oh, I am good now, but you’ve got less than thirty seconds until I FLIP OUT.”

She makes a couple other faces that I didn’t manage to catch this time, one of which is her “don’t freak out, but there is a serial killer behind you” face that she gets when I carry her around at night.  You know the one — her eyes focus on a point just over my shoulder, her mouth opens wide, and she seems frozen with fear.  I always turn around just in case…

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Football Sunday

Football, pork and pumpkin chili, and babies.  I know, this blog has become very theme-oriented.  But it’s hard not to blog about pumpkin beer and the dishes you can make with pumpkin beer.  Oh, the babies?  They’re even more adorable on Sundays if possible.

Nell and I had our Ravens catwalk round one this morning.  I like to call this her ‘daytime Ravens outfit’, and you better believe she’s sporting Ravens jammies tonight.

The Ravens look good on a play mat, also.

Even Mikhail got in on the football action (though in a slightly more subtle fashion).

But being the very serious boy that he is, he prefers his books to football.

This Sunday is even better than most.  G is home tomorrow, and we’ve got one more day with our guests.  And I think the puppies are almost, possibly, completely exhausted.  It only took three days.

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Arts, crafts, and babies

I love fair and festival season, and even though we didn’t get to the state or county fairs this season, we are knocking it out of the park with arts and crafts festivals.  I think we may have seen some of the same vendors we saw last weekend, but it turned out to be a lovely day for an outing to Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis for their annual music and arts festival, which we actually had never been to before.  Our only purchases were delicious BBQ sandwiches, but it was still a great day in the park. 

Now we’re back home letting the babies dictate our schedule.  Here are a couple of pictures from our time out and about.

Teaser for tomorrow’s post: someone finally located Ravens jammies for babies.  In stock.  In her size.


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Babies Everywhere

Lizzie and Mikhail arrived this afternoon, and life with two babies is pretty fun.  Double the baths, double the books, and double the bedtimes.  No, just kidding.  Only one baby has a bedtime and is upstairs sleeping, and it sure isn’t my baby.  Here are just a few pics from our (rainy) meet and greet, and a couple from this evening. 


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She’s really not a chunker, and in fact, she’s got fewer rolls than any babies I know, but somehow our little girl is already 9lb 3 oz*.

*Measured very scientifically by my standing on the scale, then holding a naked Nellie, and then doing simple math.  See: scientific.

Method aside, I knew there was a reason my arms were starting to hurt get buff.

Anyway, this is a non-post because G is on his way home with this weekend’s special guests, but I leave you with two pics:

Napping in her bouncer yesterday

Swinging in her swing today

Did you notice that sometimes she pretends she’s in a kickline when she’s swinging?  I should note that she’s wearing her Halloween Peanuts outfit which is way too big on her but makes me smile.  And it looks super cute with her neon green diapers (that match nothing else).  It’s not weird to match her diapers to all of her outfits right?  Right, that’s what I thought.

Happy rainy weekend!

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