Sunday, December 1, 2013

Our One Pot Thanksgiving

This year's Thanksgiving was spent in a 1 bedroom apartment and the meal was cooked with 1 pot. 

My brother, Erik, a medical resident, lives in Springfield, about 3.5 hours away from us.  Normally he comes up to visit us for all the holidays.  But this time he was on call, which meant he couldn't be more than about 10 miles away from the clinic he works at.  So we went to stay with him for the weekend.  He was gracious enough to let Evan and I sleep in his queen bed. Davin slept in the port-a-crib in the room with us.  Spencer slept on Erik's new couch (in fact, I don't think he left the spot on the couch that he's in in the picture below), and Mea and Erik on air mattresses on the floor.  
 Thanksgiving dinner turned out great,  but it required some ingenuity on our part.  Erik has a sweet deal with his residency--he gets free meals in the resident lounge every day, in addition to $50 a month to spend in the hospital cafeteria.  So he really doesn't need too much food at home.  So he really only keeps peanut butter and jelly, bread, and cereal on hand, and only has 1 pot, 1 pan, and a few other random gadgets.  I brought a few items down (potato masher, whisk).  He bought a disposable foil pan to cook the turkey in.  I made the pies the day before at home.  But we had to cook mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and peas, all using just 1 pot.  Thankfully he had a crock pot.  So what I had to do was cook an item, then put it in the crock pot to keep it warm, clean the pot, and repeat.  It sounds stressful, but it wasn't--maybe because it meant I couldn't multi-task (which I've found I'm horrible at doing).

All in all, everything turned out great.

Erik carving the turkey he cooked
The 1 pot that did it all
Getting ready to eat!
 Other activities for the weekend included:  playing lots of Sega Genesis on Erik's 20-year old console (the kids picked up on the blowing-into-the-game-cartridge trick pretty quick), a walk in Washington park, feeding the ducks, playing on the playground, checking out Amazon lightning deals, and finally, to get into the Christmas spirit, making our own felt tree and ornaments:

We ended up making 2--one for us, and one to leave with Erik.  With us leaving for Utah in 2.5 weeks, we really didn't want to buy a tree this year.  The felt tree is a great alternative.

All in all, it was a great Thanksgiving weekend.  I'm so grateful to live close to Erik so that we have family to spend holidays with.

A few other things I'm grateful for this year:
-antibiotics, mother's instinct, and doctors who will take you in last minute.  Wednesday night, 20 minutes before the pediatrician office was to close, I called and explained that I thought Davin may have an ear infection.  There wasn't too much that made me think it--he had had congestion for 5 days, and tugged on his ear occasionally.  He was fussy and not sleeping well, too.  No fever.  But I kept thinking all day Wednesday that he was going to get an ear infection over Thanksgiving weekend and that he'd be miserable.  So finally I called and they had me come in.  Sure enough, 1 ear infected, the other with fluid.  The antibiotics did the trick.  He slept better at Erik's that he had for the entire week previous.  And his congestion and fussiness went away.  
-my husband.  Thanksgiving weekend is an anniversary for us--we met at a party the Saturday after Thanksgiving 10 years ago.  Neither of us are party-goers, but we both ended up at the same party (we even arrived at the same time), and I'm so grateful that we did.
-Davin:  he has been a great addition to our family.  Last year on November 30 I was put on bed rest for 2 months.  It was among the hardest two months of my life, but looking back on it now, it was totally worth it because now I have him.  And he's healthy and happy and brings us great joy.

And now, on to Christmas...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

6 Months!

I have another tall, skinny baby.  Does that surprise anyone?

This month he weighed in at 15 lbs, 11 oz--only 19%.  But he's a long 28.5"--97%.  

When he's lying in his crib we can't believe how big he looks already.  And when we put him in his exersaucer for the first time, we had to raise the height on it.  

Speaking of his exersaucer, he has a blast in it.  
 Other things that happened this month:
-he took his 2nd trip to Utah and did well on the plane
-can't seem to get enough food--you're right, Pappa, he's always hungry
-he's eating solids--rice cereal, sweet potatoes, carrots, and green beans
-he likes to make noises while he eats
-he can easily roll tummy-to-back, and is on the brink of figuring out the opposite
-sits on my lap with minimal support
-sleeps 10-12 hours at night with no feedings
-he can't get enough of Spencer and Mea--he laughs with joy the minute he sees them in the morning and when they come home from school
-he is at his giggliest when getting his diaper changed--just touching his neck or saying words like "poop" and "zipper" are almost guaranteed to get a giggle out of him

He are some more pictures from this month:
Wearing his "sweater suit"--a handmade gift from my parent's friend in Finland

Sporting his knit wool socks to keep his feet warm and socks on--the same wool socks that my siblings and I used as kids

Play time with Spencer

Fall colors in Utah--sporting another item from my childhood

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Waimea's Pony Party

We finally celebrated Waimea's birthday today, half a month late.  Her real birthday was while I was in Utah for Jokke's wedding, and I promised her before I left that we'd celebrate when I got home.  But with the craziness that awaited me when I got back, today was the first available day to do it.  Better late than never, right?

She wanted a "My Little Pony" party--she's really into them right now.  But she also wanted to go to Kiddie Kingdom, a local Chuck-e-cheese type establishment.  So we did a combination of the two--the friends came over for cake and some play time first, then we headed to Kiddie Kingdom for the entertainment.  We found a Groupon that gave us 100 tokens and a pizza for $16.  We paid for an additional 40 tokens ($10), and the kids were all entertained for almost 2 hours.  Price-wise, $26 isn't too bad for a party, all things included except the cake.  And I didn't have to do anything to entertain them.  

Speaking of cake, here's what I did: 
 And then Waimea insisted on sprinkles:

 And I was going to make 6 layers, all rainbow colors, but decided there was no need to be so over-achieving.  Waimea would be happy with anything.  So I made it with 3 colors--the ones that represented Princess Cadence, which is her favorite pony right now.
Blowing out her candles:

For party favors, I made pony tails, pony ears, and unicorn horns in Princess Cadence colors:
 Ears and horn made of felt, tail "hair" made of strips of fleece.  All on sale this past week at Joann's.  Super-cheap party favors.  Gotta love it when that happens.

And then off to Kiddie Kingdom we went, with all of them still wearing their pony attire:

It was a great party, and we're glad Waimea had a blast!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Homemade Halloween 2013

It's been a crazy month!  I'm so glad it's over.  I've spent the month in my basement sewing costumes and in Utah helping out with my brother's wedding (more on those in another post!).  It's been kind of nice the last few days to not have any deadlines to worry about.  

This year Waimea left behind the princesses (halelujah) and went for a bird. She saw the movie Rio back in May and declared then that she wanted to be Jewel.  And she stuck with that plan.  But because of my crazy costume-making schedule for my etsy shop, though, I wasn't able to even start making her costume until the day before our church's trunk or treat.  I was worried she'd be disappointed with the simplicity of what I came up with, but as soon as it was finished, she was wearing it and not wanting to take it off.  She wore it all day last Saturday, came home from church and wore it all day Sunday, and came home and wore it every day after school since.  And at today's Halloween parade at school, the principal picked her to walk hand-in-hand with.  It's been fun watching her "fly" around fluttering her wings.

 Luckily I made almost all of Davin's costume back in September, before the crazy etsy rush.  For him I wanted a costume that he could sit in so that we could stroll him around while trick-or-treating.  This seemed like a good solution:
 Unfortunately, though, because we had a crazy-rainy day today, Davin stayed home with daddy passing out candy in his "my first Halloween" shirt (gifted--I would never buy a shirt like that).  But at least we used his costume at the trunk-or-treat last Saturday.

 This year Spencer took us up on our offer of getting paid ($5) to use an old Halloween costume.  He used last year's Green Ninja Ninjago costume.  Sooo glad he did--I had no time to make him a new one.  I finished up the hood this year, though:
 We decided to go trick-or-treating with friends this year.  I put my kids in our ponchos to attempt to keep them a little dry.  And they lasted a lot longer than usual, thanks to being with friends:

Saturday, October 19, 2013

5 Months +

Now that he's almost 6 months old, I'm finally posting Davin's 5 month pictures.  

This month he:  
-smiles and giggles even more
-absolutely loves his siblings 
-is eating rice cereal, but only likes it when it's flavored with milk
-can finally drive 20-30 minutes in the car without screaming
-reaches out to grab and play with toys
-regularly rolls tummy to back
-wants to sit and stand
-when he's in his car seat, he has to find his sweet spot to hold on to (see his left hand in picture below)
-can sleep 10 hour stretches at night without a feeding, but usually only goes 7-8
-is finally starting to get on a schedule

Wedding Day

After almost 10 years of marriage, I finally have another sibling married: my youngest brother got married today.  He served a mission in Japan, and when he came home he seemed set on marrying an Asian girl.  So he completely took us by surprise by falling in love with and marrying a Finnish girl.   

Sonja from Oulu.  They met at a young adult conference in Finland 3 years ago.  She speaks perfect English, which is good, because Jokke doesn't speak much Finnish.  They are such a cute couple and we're so glad she's part of our family.  And we're glad that her parents and a few siblings were able to make it out here to witness the ceremony and celebrate with us.  Here are some pictures from today:

It was definitely a happy day.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

4 Months!

This little guy is 4 months old!  To celebrate he decided to roll over.  He rolled from his tummy to his back three times in a row, and then hasn't done it again since.  

He decided he was ready to grow and catch up these past 2 months.  At his 2-month check-up, his height was in the 22nd percentile, and his weight was 23%.  Since then, he decided to bump it up into the 73 percentile for height and 48 percentile for weight.  So in 2 months time, he grew 3 1/2 inches, and gained 4 1/2 pounds.  Not too shabby for a preemie!
 He smiles and giggles.
 He likes to suck on his fist and stare and computer/tablet screens.
 And when he's on his back he kicks and kicks and kicks.

Happy 4 months, big guy!