Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Our years keep getting busier and busier (and we haven't even entered the world of sports or school with our kiddos). 

From Halloween through the end of the year there are so many activities and it all seems to go by at lightening speed. I am desperately trying to savor the moments as they flash by.

This year we hosted Thanksgiving at our house. This meant a total of 15 people under one roof over the course of four days. As expected, it was fun, loud and a little crazy. 

I hope we made memories that will be cherished for years to come and that our kids, especially, will have fond memories of these times together.

My sister and her family arrived on Wednesday afternoon, followed by my parents in time for dinner. My brother arrived after the kids were in bed.

After eating the rest of the leftovers in my fridge (I needed to make room for the big turkey dinner to come), we entertained the kids by making spaceships, UFOs and aliens out of cardboard. This was a big hit with the kids and they continued to create puppet shows for us throughout our visit.

At bedtime I may have won Aunt (and Mommy) of the year by setting up Jack's tent in the playroom for cousin camp out. 

The first time the kids were way too excited and woke up at 3am and had to be separated. The second night, Jack came downstairs because he was thirsty and the final night they made it all night together in the tent. Mission accomplished.

Wednesday night was rough on me because Isaac was sleeping in our room in the pack-n-play instead of the nursery and he was teething to boot. I was up every hour with him – not exactly how I wanted to kick off cooking a big Thanksgiving meal.

After I drank a large cup of coffee, my mom and I started knocking out my Thanksgiving meal plan. I will share more specifically about our menu in a later post. But it was all delicious and the timing of everything went incredibly smoothly. To the point that I felt like I must be missing something! 

It did help that we made some of the pies the night before. Also, no burned pies this year! My aunt and uncle and their kids joined us (from Nashville) in time for Thanksgiving dinner.

During our meal I had printed out questions for a little bit of fun – things like "What is your most embarrassing moment?" and "What is your earliest memory?" 

It was fun to reminisce and share stories (our family is good at sharing stories!).

After dinner we continued to visit while Daniel and my BIL, Robert, started a bonfire. It was a perfect night to enjoy smores – it wasn't too cold and the stars were shining brightly. 

We sang silly songs (Lock family, have you guys ever looked up the lyrics to the song, Donerybeck's Machine – they are disturbing!!!), songs of thanksgiving, and reminisced about our Grandpa Lock who passed away 3 years ago.  It was a good way to end our day. 

Well technically we ended the day with more pie and Pinocle!

Friday we are slept in and then gathered for brunch followed by coffee and games...

more Pinocle and Candy Land for the kiddos. 

After more visiting we all headed for Signal Point to take some family photos. It was such a beautiful day, we were not the only ones out for pictures!

Following pictures my aunt and uncle headed home and the rest of us headed back to the house for pizza before going downtown to see the Annual Lighted Boat Parade at the Chattanooga riverfront. 

I took a carafe of hot water, along with hot chocolate packets and cups and we enjoyed hot chocolate while we watched the boats drive by.

We were seated on a steep hill and the kids had a blast trying to sled down the hill on discarded pieces of cardboard. 

They wore themselves out on the hill while the adults enjoyed the boats. I think everyone's favorite boat was the one decorated after the movie, Frozen.

Saturday morning my brother enlisted our mom and Izzy to help him make delicious Eggs Benedict with hollondaise sauce. 

My little brother has really come into his own with cooking – the eggs were delicious.

Following breakfast, my parents handed out presents to the kids since we will not be together for Christmas. The kids loved all of their gifts, but I think the favorite was the treasure chest they each got. 

My dad had started a rock collection for each of them (from his own rock collection) and they were all enamored with their treasures. I have a feeling the boxes will be filled with rocks found before too long.

After presents, my sister and her crew headed home to Florida. The rest of us enjoyed the quiet and some more visiting. My brother left after supper and my parents left Sunday morning.

We feel so blessed to have spent the holiday with loved ones. Now we gear up for the rest of the holiday season and all that it has to offer! 

I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving and were able to spend part of the time with loved ones!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Isaac is Seven Months Old

When Jack was a baby, every new milestone was thrilling and we were in a hurry to encourage him through each new stage. With Isaac I have a strong desire to go slow. It's partially a form of laziness (I know what is coming and the work involved), but mostly I want to savor these baby moments. I have been pretty lax in tummy time for our littlest boy and while we have begun to explore food, I just haven't been in a big rush to head down that road (after all it creates more work for me!).

Isaac is still not sleeping consistently through the night. We did have 3 nights in a row with 7-hour stretches, but teething and back-to-back colds have created setbacks. I know he will figure it out one of these days, but in the meantime, this mama is getting weary of waking up every 2-4 hours during the night.

While I haven't gotten on a consistent solid food schedule, we have introduced Isaac to quite a few foods this month. He still has a bit of a tongue thrust, so that can make food a challenge. We have tried avocado, oatmeal, mashed carrots, banana, pureed butternut squash with onions, mashed green beans, greek yogurt, pancakes, and pineapple juice (a tablespoon in a bottle really helped him get over some congestion). He loves to grab the spoon and is willing to taste everything. He made the funniest face over the butternut squash – he was not a fan, but allowed me to continue feed it to him.

Isaac is rolling over a bit these days, but really doesn't care about the tummy time process (my fault, see above). The thing he excels at is sitting. He is so big he has a good solid base to sit on. The first time I discovered he could do this, I had him reclined on a cushion on the couch and I walked away. I came back and he was sitting up completely unsupported, happy as could be!

This little guy has discovered a fascination with remote controls, cords and our cell phones. We have to keep them out of reach at all times! He also continues to love bouncing in his bouncer and anything that involves interacting with his big brother.

This month marked Isaac's first Halloween experience. We dressed him as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (so many rolls!) and as a fireman. As with most things, he was pretty chill about the costumes.

He is also starting to make little friends at the Y and at church. It is so sweet to see him lay on a blanket and jibber jabber with another baby. We recently had a group photo of the babies at our church and he was hugging on one of the little girl babies. It was so sweet.

He is definitely a little flirt. He grins and smiles big for pretty much everyone. That little tongue of his is always out. Jack did that too. Isaac loves to buzz his little tongue between his lips and will mimic us when we do it to him.

We have discovered that Isaac is ticklish and loves to laugh. He especially loves to laugh at his big brother and pretty much thinks anything Jack does is hysterical. If you laugh (or do any kind of partial laugh), Isaac immediately bursts into hilarious giggles. I think he is going to have a wonderful sense of humor.

When Isaac gets excited, he buries his head in my chest, but quickly looks around to find whatever it was that amused him. I love seeing his littler personality emerge.

He hasn't got any more teeth in, but he has discovered that he likes to bite my shoulder. Thankfully that is the only place he bites me. I just hope he doesn't turn into a biter. We didn't have to deal with that with Jack and I might need tips on how to deal with it if it becomes a problem! Right now Isaac is fighting off a cold and a mild ear infection. Hopefully that will be the extent of his sickness for the year!

*As with Jack, I will be posting monthly updates of Isaac on a quilt (inherited from my Grandma), next to a yellow Tonka truck (a toy from Daniel's childhood). 
Isaac at One Month  |  Isaac at Two Months  |  Isaac at Three Months  |  Isaac at Four Months  |  Isaac at Five Months  | Isaac at Six Months 

A Look Back:
Jack at One Month  |  Jack at Two Months  |  Jack at Three Months  |  Jack at Four Months  |  Jack at Five Months  |  Jack at Six Months  |  Jack at Seven Months
(We used a quilt from Daniel's family for the Jack photos, along wit the Tonka truck from Daniel's childhood).

Family Hike at Fiery Gizzard

On Saturday we had originally planned to go on a group hike on the Fiery Gizzard Trail , but it was cancelled at the last minutes. So...