Monday, December 27, 2010

What have you read in 2010?

I started my 2010 book list here.

Sadly, I don't have a lot to add since then. Here is the rest of my list with several books still "in progress".

The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steigg Larsson

These are the second and third books in Larsson's trilogy about Lisbeth Salander. I think the second book is probably my favorite of the three, although I am only about halfway through the third book. It has not been the page turner for me as much as the first two were, which is why I haven't finished it yet. Don't get me wrong, it is still very good and I am excited to see how the story ends, but it is not something I am willing to stay up late and read (and lose sleep over).

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

I think that anybody who has children should read this book. It is a very interesting look at the successful elite and how they became successful (hint ... its a combo of very hard work and discipline mixed with some opportunity and pure luck).

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stout

Nobody that read this in my book club liked this book. I have read about half of it and plan on finishing it. It is almost like a collection of short stories about people who are all connected to the main character, Olive. We liked the short stories themselves, but didn't really love Olive.

The Russian Concubine by Kate Furnivall

I've read about one-third of this book. I like it. I just didn't have time to finish it for my October book club and started reading our November book (which I did manage to finish).

Radical by Steve Platt

I've only read about 4 chapters of this book, but so far, it is AMAZING! I don't know anybody who has read this book and not been compelled to change their lives.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Luke: 3 months old

This has been a busy month for little Luke. Over the past month ...

-on stomach, lift head 90 degrees

-roll over from stomach to back (consistently) ... working hard to roll over below.

-bring both hands together

-follow an object from one side of face to the other

-hold head steady when upright (on my shoulder below)

-grasp a rattle

-bear weight on legs when held upright

-say "ah-goo"

-blow bubbles with lips

-laugh out loud (I think a little giggle escaped in the picture below)

-reach for an object

-keep head level with body when pulled to sitting

-turn in direction of voices or loud noise

-smile spontaneously (happy about celebrating his first Thanksgiving)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Seeing Santa

We took the kids to see Santa tonight. Somehow, the stars aligned and everybody sat and smiled nicely for a picture. Apparently, my children can be bribed with a coloring book and promises of dinner at Moe's. Nobody cried, hid behind a parent's leg or gripped tightly to a neck. Claire and David even told Santa what they wanted for Christmas.

(Moe's is Claire's current favorite ... and in case you were wondering, she wants a cheese quesadilla, chips and lemonade. She tells me this every single time we go there like I have never ordered her a meal there before and she doesn't get the same thing every time.)

Santa should definitely be making a special visit to our house on Christmas Eve after the performance these kids gave!

Happy Birthday Will!!

Will turned the big 3-4 last weekend. We celebrated with the kids at home on Saturday night. By celebrate, I mean we picked up take-out from Chili's and picked up a cookie cake from Kroger. The kids loved getting to light the candles and sing Happy Birthday to their Daddy.
Laughing because the "3" candle kept falling over.
Lighting the candles.
"Stay back David."
Singing Happy Birthday. I like how Will is singing to himself.
Blowing out the candles.
On Monday, his actual birthday, Will's parents came up and took us to dinner at Fleming's. (We got a sitter for the kids.) It was really nice to have an adult-only dinner with Will's parents.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas greetings

Christmas cards have been mailed ... so now I will post this here.

I tried to kill two birds with one stone with the Christmas card/birth announcement combo.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Luke: 2 months old

I cannot believe this little man is two months old. My how time flies. I went to back to work on November 15 so our lives have been a little more hectic lately (if that was possible).

2 months stats: 12 pounds, 6 oz. (70th percentile), 23-1/4 inches long (50th percentile). He is by far our biggest child at this age.

Luke started sleeping through the night (from 10pm to 5-6am ... that counts in my book) the week before I went back to work. Great timing Luke! He still wakes up during the night (around 3-4am), but instead of feeding him, we put him in the swing and he goes right back to sleep until morning. Hooray! [Can you tell ... I'm very excited about all the sleep. I've even started going back to my 6am spin class before work.]

He is comfortably wearing 0-3 month clothing and size 1 diapers. He is eating 4-5 ounces of formula every 3-4 hours. He is still very gassy when he eats, but it is improving. I can handle all the screaming in my ear while he eats (and tries to burp) if I am running on a full night's sleep!

Some other accomplishments during month 2:
-starting to smile some
-responds to loud noises
-starting to coo
-can hold head steady when upright
-he has rolled over from tummy to back once (we aren't real faithful with the tummy time routine)
-bats and kicks at toys on playmat
-follows an object with his eyes

We are loving this sweet baby boy more a more everyday!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Some updates ... from September

In addition to having a new baby, there were some other things from September that I want to record for memory's sake.

(1) Bedtime.

David loves sleeping with all his toys at night. He is pretty adamant about having everything "just right" before he falls asleep. Looks pretty crowded in there to me.

Claire, on the other hand, sleeps with her duckie and lamb and that is about it. She will ask to sleep with Minnie sometimes too. (Minnie takes turns going from David's bed to Claire bed.)

(2) Fall Soccer.

Claire started back to soccer again this month. She is much improved from last year. And she is definitely the fastest runner on her team. See her as #10 below.

David is a big fan of watching the soccer ... or at least a big fan of the water bottle and the snacks that go along with soccer watching.

Claire had her own little fan club at the first game with Meme, Poppy, Aunt Ashley, Evie and Ian there to watch. It was hot, hot, hot that day!
Week 2 ... another hot day!
David & Daddy watching the game.
Claire & Mommy after the game.
Claire got tired of the other team scoring so she decided to play goalie. (Even though they don't have goalies in this league.) It was pretty hilarious. She blocked several attempted goals by the green team.
Week 3 ... picture day.
Team photo.
Warming up before the game.

(3) Carter's 5th birthday.

We have known Carter since he was born and I can't believe he is 5 years old! Carter's parents were part of our group of 5 couple friends who all had our first babies within 6 months of each other. Carter was the first and Claire was the last (and the only girl).

Carter had a pajama party complete with pillowcase crafts, pizza, movie watching in sleeping bags and popcorn (that all ended around 8:30 pm). Claire had a blast and has been asking for her own pajama party since.

(4) Getting ready for Baby Luke.

I spent some quality time with my kiddos the night before I went to the hospital to have Luke. Will usually puts them to bed, but I spent some extra time loving on them and praying with them before we left.

(5) Football. Typically, our September is filled with a couple of trips to Alabama football games. My how times have changed!! Will did go to the Bama/Penn State game with brother-in-law Jon the weekend before I was to be induced. I just prayed that I didn't go into labor while he was gone. We watched the next two games from the comfort of our own couch!

(6) Speech. After two IEP meetings in two different counties, we finally got Claire started in speech therapy through the school system. She is loving her new therapist. I am not loving have to take her over there two times per week, but she seems to be making good progress so it is worth it I guess. Did I mention that it is FREE?!?

(7) Newborn pictures.

The always amazing Jadie Thomas took pics of baby Luke at 10 days old. She still got some great pics despite the fact the he was not very cooperative at all.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pumpkin Love

I just pulled a pumpkin pie out of the oven ... let the Thanksgiving baking begin.

Honestly, I don't have a lot of cooking to do this year since I am not hosting TG dinner. We will go to my in-laws house on Thursday and my family's house on Saturday.

I do love a good pumpkin recipe though. My hubby does not share my love of all things pumpkin, but he has really started warming up to it a bit in the last few years. He still won't eat pumpkin pie, but he will eat my pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and my pumpkin pancakes.

Some other pumpkin treats we are trying this year:

Another pumpkin chocolate chip muffin recipe (the easy version) with yummy glaze on top

What are your favorite Thanksgiving recipes?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Some updates ... from August

Here are a few things from August that I don't want to forget.

(1) A Baby shower for Luke given by my sweet friend Heather with the girls in my now defunct bible study group.

Look at this yummy dessert spread. Cupcakes from Gigi's are always a big hit with me!

And so are pajamas from Hanna Andersson.

Ashley, me, Krystie & Heather ... a fun group of girls and a fun shower!

(2) Claire started ballet at a new studio closer to our house. (Last year I drove her 40 minutes to ballet so she could dance with her cousin, Evie.) Each ballet studio always has their own rules about what to wear, how to fix your hair, etc. At "old ballet" we wore pink leotards. At "new ballet" we wear black leotards and pink tights. When Claire and I were shopping for some new ballet shoes and her black leotard Claire cried that she didn't want to go to "black ballet". Clearly it is all about the color leotard.

Despite the fact that she has to wear a black leotard and despite the fact that Evie is no longer in her class, she has really enjoyed her new class. There are only 4 other girls in her class so I am definitely getting my money's worth. And, it is only 5 minutes from our house! She is also getting to do some tumbling along with ballet and tap, which she really seems to love. She is really close to be able to do a cartwheel.

(3) A princess breakfast ... Claire attended this breakfast with her Aunt Brandi and cousin Breanna. Fortunately, we had plenty of wardrobe choices for a last minute invite to the ball. We opted for Princess Aurora (from Sleeping Beauty) because this is the only princess gown that we have the shoes, crown and wand to match.

Something every princess should know how to do!

What princess breakfast is complete without a prince. Claire kept asking to have her picture made with the prince. Breanna (age 8) told her that boys were "yucky". Claire told her that she thought he was "handsome". Clearly, I have my work cut out for me!

There were plenty of grown-up princesses there as well.

(4) Will played in a golf tournament that is hosted by two brothers in our Sunday School class every year (for the last 10+ years). Will was partnered with their third brother that we don't know and all he heard about leading up to the tourney was how horrible this guy was at golf. But, they actually ended up almost winning the whole tourney. They lost by one stroke in a playoff hole. Oh well, maybe next year. My favorite part of this tourney each year is always after-party that night where we have been known to partake of a few adult beverages and possibly even have a few lawnmower races. Fun times!! Plus, the money raised in this tourney went to support a family in North Dakota who just lost their husband/father following liver transplant surgery. Read his amazing story here. The Arnold family were dear friends of a couple in our Sunday School class.

(5) Another baby shower for Luke ... with my sweet friends in Alabama.

Complete with a yummy chocolate cake from Edgar's Bakery in Birmingham.

A family photo.

My sweet friends who hosted our shower ... Laura, Candice, Kaisha & Heather.

Okay ... I think I have August covered. I hope I can get to Sept/Oct/Nov updated before the end of the year!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Luke: 1 month old

Luke was one month old on October 13. I must admit, the day came and went without much fanfare. I actually didn't realize his one month birthday had passed until the following week.

Anyway, I did manage to get a picture in his chair in his room. I hope to do this every month so we can watch him grow.

At 2-1/2 weeks, Luke weighed 8 lbs, 9 oz. and was 20-1/2 inches long. He has almost outgrown his newborn clothes and fits nicely into his 0-3 months clothes. We don't go back for another weight check until he is 8 weeks old. I don't know how much he weighs now, but he is definitely filling out!

Right now, he is eating 4-5 ounces of formula every 3-4 hours. He is sleeping 4-5 hours at night and twice, he has slept for 6 hours. We are hoping the sleep improves soon!! He is napping well during the day in his swing. Right around the one-month mark, our swing died. We changed the batteries and it still didn't work. I guess we got our money's worth since we've had it since 2006 and used it for both Claire and David. We went right out and bought another one!

Luke LOVES to be held. He is pretty fussy in between feedings if he can't get to sleep, but he will quite down as soon as you pick him up. He will lay and play on his playmat for a few minutes, but if you leave him there for very long, he starts to get fussy. He has rolled over once (from his tummy to back), but I haven't been able to get him to do it again. Claire and David witnessed it too so I wasn't just delirious from sleep deprivation. He is very good at holding his head up for short periods of time too (while on his tummy and on my shoulder).

As our third child, Luke spends a lot of time in his car seat while I am carting his older siblings to preschool and other activities. Fortunately, he seems to like it there and sleeps well as long as the car is moving. He does seem to spit up quit a bit while he is in the car seat so the motion may get to him some.