Tuesday, December 27

Levi: 17 Weeks

Our little guy is 17 weeks and becoming quite the character. He still talks all the time, but sometimes will really get to going, yelling and hollering just to see how loud he can talk. He loves to interact with anybody who will talk to him, and he also loves to laugh when he thinks he's being pretty funny.

He's getting better and better at sitting up, and he likes to stand on his own - all the support he needs is a little balance. He likes to stand on the bathroom counter and talk to his 'friend' in the mirror.

While he's very outgoing, he likes to pretend like he's shy. If women talk to him in the check-out line at the store, he'll smile big at them before burying his face in his hands and my shoulder. As you can see in the above picture, he also likes to pretend to be very sophisticated.

He's doing well with sleeping through the night - usually from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., which works great for our schedule. If I put him to bed at 8 he wakes up at 4, which is not so ideal for my morning schedule. :-) On Thursday we go in for his four-month doctor appointment, and I'm very excited to see how much he weighs and how much he's grown.

He's also really good at grabbing and grasping things, and can pick up toys and bring them to his mouth, and he'll bring his hands together to hold onto larger objects that won't fit in his fist. He rolls around a lot these days, and likes to sleep on his left side. So far we haven't had a complete roll-over, and he still hates time on his tummy. I make him do it every once in a while, but it makes him very cranky.

We have thoroughly enjoyed our 17 weeks with him, and are looking forward to continuing to watch him grow and develop and learn new things. We're really looking forward to next Christmas, when he'll not sleep through opening all the gifts. :-)

Arranged for a Christmas party

Yes, I realize it's been weeks since I've put up a post. Now that Christmas and deadlines are done, I'm able to take a deep breath and maybe actually get back to my blog more consistently and update you on some goings-on.

First of all, on Dec. 16 we had a Christmas party here at the house, with 21 people in attendance. I rearranged the furniture in the front room to make as much open floor space as possible, and set out as many chairs as I could to accomodate everybody. It helped that we didn't have the wood stove going, so up to eight people could sit in that area.

Sorry for the poor photo quality, but all I had time for was two quick photos when everyone was here. I made pineapple chili, while Bob brought his chili and Jamie brought soup. I also made a cracker dip and a veggie/chip dip, and everyone else filled in with more snacks and desserts.

I only had five hours after leaving work early to get ready for the party, which started around 6:30, so I didn't have the chance to take photos before, but these are 'morning after' photos of how I arranged everything.

We had moved the loveseat against the wall for Thanksgiving - something I'd resisted doing since it makes the corner with the bookcase funny, but Scott has always wanted it that way, and I do have to admit that the space is more inviting. I still don't like the corner, but I can live with it.

And look at the cute kid who's hanging out. :-)

The other side of the front room, where Melissa and I moved the bench under the window - also a change that works a lot better than what I had before.

Originally the Christmas tree was pulled out, and the corner was empty. For the party, Scott and I moved it, and that's where it's stayed. It really has made more space in the front room, and I think I'll leave the table pushed up under the window, as Scott likes the extra floor space in the front room, and we can just pull it out when we have company and need the extra seating.

Both of these tables were full of food for the party. And our Christmas tree actually looks good in these photos. :-) It really has a lot of flaws, but it has character.

We put drinks on the desk, and people sat around the pedestal table.

So there you have it. Although I probably didn't actually have time to host a Christmas party here, it was fun and I think a good time was had by all. I think now we'll wait a while for company after having Thanksgiving and then this party here. :-)

Wednesday, December 7

Because I can't take just one:

Yesterday morning I started taking some pictures of Levi before I got started on my work, and before I knew it I had 105. Thank goodness for digital cameras and memory cards. :-) I'd be in a pickle if I had a film camera.

The fingers are a big thing these days. Sometimes he sticks them in his mouth so far he chokes himself, and sometimes the fingers end up in the nose instead of the mouth.

He likes the feel of the terry cloth burp clothes on his tongue. They're his new favorite thing to play with and chew on.

Yum, cotton!

Didn't quite make the mouth on that one. :-)

It's tough figuring out something so complex as to how to get a rag in your mouth. :-) I love the above photo, you can just barely see that his mouth is wide open, trying to get the rag inside.


With all these antics, do you blame me for not wanting to stop taking pictures?

Just look at those big brown eyes...

And the grin that's become pretty frequent these days.

The morning routine

Anymore, our morning routine goes something like this:

4 a.m. - Levi wakes up, I change and feed him.

4:30 a.m. - I head upstairs to start the fire and make coffee.

4:35 a.m. - I go back downstairs to get Levi, who never falls back asleep in his crib like I would if I was him.

4:40 a.m. - Scott comes upstairs, we eat breakfast, usually fried eggs and either bacon, sausage or ham. Sometimes it's French toast or pancakes.

5 a.m. - Levi is awake and happy and talking.

5:15 a.m. - We all watch the news, and Scott starts getting ready to leave for work.

5:45 a.m. - Scott leaves, and I start working on the paper, accompanied by a cup of coffee.

6 a.m. - Levi is back sound asleep, leaving his parents with an extra-early jump on their day. Thanks, Levi! You help us be so productive.

Monday, December 5

Thanksgiving Setup

Because I have been promising my mom for quite some time now, this morning I take a break from my work on the paper to post some photos of Thanksgiving at our house. Yes, I know it was a week and a half ago, but that's how things are going around here these days. :-)

Setting up for our 16 guests started with rearranging the front room, bringing out my sewing table to extend the dining room table and setting up a card table to seat the extra four people. Scott's desk was cleared off, and an extra table was also set up under the window by the door.

Once we had a functional floor plan I started to set the tables and decorate a little.

But first, a break to point out my antelope, which we finally got back from being mounted. Isn't he pretty?

The tablecloth for the long table was a length of fabric from my stash. I've had it for quite some time, and recently used part of it to make curtains for the spare room, but I think I'll make the rest of it into a tablecloth for this table when I have it set for 12.

My drop-leaf pedestal table served as overflow for the food when we all sat down to eat.

The centerpieces were simple - just glass pieces from my collection with artificial foliage from Hobby Lobby's fall sale last year.

Another fabric remnant graced the desk - this remnant is intended to recover the green stools in the tv area. But it sure made a good tablecloth, since that project is still on the list. The vinca vine is one of two I rescued from planters outside. I figured why let them just freeze and die, only to buy new ones next year?

Guess what? Another fabric remnant on the table by the door. This table served all the drinks, which included mostly whiskey and wine, as well as coffee mugs. The geranium in the window you can't see very well, but this is its second winter inside.

My Bourbon Pecan Pie had molasses in it instead of corn syrup, and people really liked it.

This cowboy fellow made of horseshoes was a gift for our wedding.

The milk bottle carrier was a find at Odds and Ends. ** moment of silence ** :-) I still miss that store.

As I was setting the tables I realized that I have exactly enough dishes and silverware to serve 16 people - that worked out well!

I kept the centerpieces on the long table scarce, as I knew we'd have plenty of dishes of food for which to make room.

This is how the card table ended up. I prefer not to iron, that way everything is evenly wrinkled, and it looks more casual. That's the style nowadays, didn't you know? Besides, that's just one less thing I have to get done when preparing for company.

I did have to scrounge a little for enough dessert plates. And, this table actually ended up being for appetizers instead of desserts.

The drinks table, with the glassware I selected for each beverage, and the yellow coffee pot my mom found me. I like putting whiskey in decanters - now I just need a few more of them. And then the problem will be remembering what kind is in what decanter....

So here's the front room on Thanksgiving morning, just about ready for guests to arrive.

It actually all fit together pretty well. With our small house, it will always be cozy with that many people, but it works. The key is to keep things minimal and as open as possible for people to move around and spread out.

And here it is, full of people! I just took the time to snap a few shots in the midst of dinner. By this point I was so tired from cleaning and cooking that I could have gone to bed as soon as the meal was done. :-)

On my menu was a turkey, sweet potato spoon bread, a green bean casserole, corn casserole, dinner rolls, cranberry bread pudding, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, cream cheese dip for crackers, dill dip for vegetables and Velveeta/sausage dip for corn chips. Scott smoked a brisket, and his brother Rick brought pork loin. Others who attended brought salad along with them - then that was one aspect of the meal I didn't have to worry about - as well as desserts to fill in after the meal.

And now we're planning a Christmas party for Dec. 16, so there will be more photos of the front room transformed for that holiday. The furniture set up is quite a bit different now, and I rather like it. This morning Levi and I took a nap on the leather loveseat next to the wood stove before coming to work, and it was wonderful on a six-below morning.

Our Christmas tree this year is rather homely, but now that I've got the lights and decorations on it, it's growing on me. The point of hunting in the mountains for a Christmas tree is not to find a perfect one, but for the experience. If we wanted a perfect one it would be a lot easier to visit the nearest supermarket parking lot. :-) And, I figure this way we won't set the bar too high for Levi's first Christmas, and he won't expect too much next year...