Category Archives: thanksgiving

Catching Up

So apparently I am The Suck lately at keeping this blog updated. Which is dumb because I think about it all the time, and then at the end of the day I’m still sitting there like “damn it! I didn’t update my blog!”

C’est la vie I suppose.

So here’s what we’ve been up to lately.

Birthday!

Bean had her first birthday two weeks ago! We had a party. There was cake. There was a preponderance of presents. There was singing, but Bean mostly looked at us like we were crazy.

Professional Photos

We took Bean to JC Penney to get some professional photos done for her first birthday. It ended up being more expensive than I thought it was worth and we weren’t really crazy about the products they gave us, so I doubt we’ll go back at any point, but whatever. These were some of our favorites.

12 Month Checkup

Bean had her 12 month checkup yesterday and weighed in at 18.10 pounds and 29 inches tall. She is right on track for weight gain and a little bit short for her size, but otherwise is developmentally perfect. She can say “Dada” and sometimes “Mama.” She talks nonstop and has several phrases that I hear her repeat often, so they must mean something to her. Who knows. She will walk all day long behind her push cart and cruise around the furniture (and over it, and us) but has yet to take any independent steps without holding onto something. I catch her standing independently every so often, but it only lasts as long as she doesn’t realize what she’s doing. She’ll be on it in no time, she just has to get up the nerve to do it on her own.  She has no problem getting places, crawls like a speed demon, climbs the stairs like a pro, and can scurry backwards up a slide like it is her job. I definitely see the makings of a daredevil. Her new favorite is standing on top of her new chair (Harold the Chairold) and trying to climb onto the tv table. Nothing that could go wrong there, right? Cameron is concerned that she’ll be able to climb out of her crib, but since she has yet to figure out how to vertically scale things, I think we’re safe for a little while. Basically I’ve accepted the fact that as soon as she gets her feet, I’m doomed.

What else….

I Drank the Kool-Aid

Uh, yeah. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you’ve probably heard me bitch about my frustrations with constantly getting hit up by friends and family who do the “It Works” thing. I think the whole thing is a sham, but that’s neither here nor there, and if you think it works that’s fine, and if you sell it, that’s fine too. I’ve always been resistant of sales companies like that, and then I came across this thing called Jamberry which is basically THE SHIT. I like it because it’s 1) an actual product that doesn’t claim to make you lose weight through magic wraps, 2) it’s non-toxic and made in the USA, and 3) It’s fun, cute, and inexpensive. I can do my nails at home in about 15 minutes for waaaaay less than it costs to get a manicure in a shop. The designs are gorgeous, you can mix and match, they stay on for 2 weeks (no lie, even on Mommy hands), and they’re super easy to do yourself. They somehow manage to make even my teeny tiny fragile nails look bomb. I was pretty much hooked after one order. Anyway, all of this is a long way of saying that I drank the kool-aid and signed up to be a consultant for Jamberry. And, because I hate a hypocrite, this is officially the last time you’ll hear me talk about this here. If you’re interested in learning a little more or ordering, please leave me a comment…but I’m not going to go talking about it all the time. I will however leave these pictures of some applications I’ve done because shit, they’re just so cute.

Anyway.

It’s almost time for Thanksgiving and then Christmas! You have no idea how badly tempted I am to put up the Christmas stuff now, but I’m making myself wait. We have yet to figure out what to do about our tree situation. Our tree bit the dust last year and I haven’t decided if we should shell out on a new one or go for a real tree this year. My gut is telling me buy a new artificial one, since I’m sure Bean will be more than happy to ingest pine needles if she could. We also have to figure out where we’re going to put a tree. Our place is slightly awkward for setting up a tree, especially since I am freakishly right-angle about everything and feel like a tree has to be in a corner or dead center in the middle of a window. Anybody else like that?

That’s Harold the Chairold, in case you were wondering.
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4 Weeks

 

Holy one month, Batman!

Hard for me to even wrap my brain around that one. Every day with Caroline feels like a lifetime. And then it feels like it is flying by at the same time. I suppose that’s how parenthood works.

Caroline is doing pretty good. We think she weighs right around 7 pounds or so now (we don’t have another checkup till 2 months) and she is finally fitting better into some of her clothing! Newborn clothing still fits, but she tends to swim in the 0-3 month clothes. It’s working out nicely though because most times babies get one or two wears out of the small clothes and then they are outgrown, but she is still rocking the majority of her small wardrobe. She usually eats well, though we had a few days of supply/letdown issues and she wouldn’t eat much more than a few sips at a time, then she would get upset and scream and give herself gas and then get more upset because she was hungry and had an upset tummy. So we had to bottle feed her for a day or two just so that she would eat enough to sleep. Luckily she takes the bottle like a champ, which is something I was worried about after reading so many horror stories of babies who refuse bottles. Those issues seem to be mostly resolved now, though sometimes the letdown is still so strong I have to lie back so that she has a little more control.

We still haven’t managed to work out much of a nightly sleeping schedule, and she still won’t go much more than 2 or 3 hours at the most in between feedings. I was hoping it would be a little more than that by now, but then I have to remember that she is still only the size of an average newborn and just doesn’t have the weight to support longer sleeping hours. After about a week of complete insanity at night trying to get her to sleep in the cradle next to our bed that usually led to her sleeping on my chest all night we decided to just put her back in her big crib and suck it up and sleep in her room with her. That seems to be working in the sense that she does seem to like the big crib, and she is even napping in it now instead of in her chair. Another thing I’m glad for and happy we resolved early because I had so wanted to avoid crib transition issues, which seems to be a very common problem. So, most nights we swaddle her up in her baby straight jacket and take it in shifts, since that seems to be the best way for us both to get at least a small chunk of sleep instead of both of us waking up every 2 hours and being miserable all day. Last night we moved our tv into her room so that I could sit up and watch tv during my shift if she was fussy, which makes the time sooo much easier for me if I’m unable to sleep. I have been developing some anxiety about the nighttime hours and I got to a point where I hated to be alone which led to a pretty bad breakdown, but having the television and a distraction (as opposed to just sitting in the dark with the baby while she cries) seems to make a big difference. I’m learning now that everything comes down to finding what works and rolling with it even if it wasn’t part of “the plan.”

Unfortunately Caroline does seem to have some colic issues and becomes extremely uncomfortable and gassy at times. This is not terribly unexpected because I also had extreme colic when I was an infant, to the point that I had to be driven around at all hours of the night and set on top of the washing machine on the spin cycle just to give me (and my parents) some relief. Caroline’s fussiness is not unbearable, and we’re learning techniques to deal with it, but some days the poor girl will become extremely bloated and her belly will get really distended and she will fight and struggle and scream while she tries to pass gas or poop, which makes me feel awful because there’s not much I can do to help her. I don’t think she is having intolerance issues with something I’m eating, because her poop is still a normal color and I have no reason to think she has an allergy or anything like that, nor is there ever any sort of pattern, it’s just that sometimes she seems to get off schedule and she will go an entire day without pooping, then have 4 or 5 huge poops within a few hours like something finally just let loose. We’re pretty sure soon we’re going to take out stock options with gripe water, which is pure freaking magic and does help give her relief nine times out of ten, if for a few hours at least. (And it makes me feel better that it’s all natural and I’m not just medicating her to the gills.) Now that she can hold her head up on her own and turn it both ways we can let her do tummy time or even nap on her belly and that really seems to help the discomfort. All about finding what works.

This weekend Caroline had her first sleepover with her MeMe and Papi without us. We went to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving, and on Friday my parents got us a hotel room down the street so that we could go and have a date night and actually get some sleep. It was great, we went to see The Hunger Games, got takeout and sat in the hotel hot tub and then slept a whole 10 hours in a giant comfy bed. Pretty sure we’re going to attempt this at least once a month because it really helped refresh us and let us get some time together, something that I’d been missing a lot. Somehow, even though we’re basically attached at the hip and spend our entire days together, I have never felt so far away from my husband. And that’s hard, so it was definitely nice to get some baby-free time.

As for me, there are still some challenging days when I struggle to stay positive and not let myself become overwhelmed, but they are starting to become fewer and fewer. I still hate the nights and I worry every time the sun goes down that I won’t be able to handle the crying or the lack of sleep. I also still have some pretty bad anxiety about taking Caroline out of the house and out to the store or a restaurant. Luckily, she LOVES her car seat and loves being in the car, which is a huge blessing because anytime we need to go anywhere, it’s a minimum 45 minute drive. So the car rides are fine, it’s just the being in the store or wherever we are that I tend to get really anxious. Last week we had lunch at Panera and then spent some time in Target grabbing a few Christmas decorations and the only thing I could think about the whole time was what if the baby wakes up and starts crying. I guess I just know that if I’m at home, I know how to take care of her and what to do and where everything is, but being outside of that little bubble still makes me nervous. I know it’ll get better, just like everything else. Soon the nights will be easier and she will sleep longer and we’ll be able to have more of a schedule, which is still something we are lacking.

Despite the challenging days, I’m still amazed every single day at how incredible this little bean is. No matter how much she cries or how frustrated I get, at some point the clouds lift and she gets calm and looks up at me with complete adoration and it’s impossible for me not to just be a million percent in love with her. Sometimes in the mornings I’ll bring her into the bed with me to cuddle for an hour or so and it’s just the most perfect feeling in the world. I love our little family and I love this amazing little person who is becoming more alert each and every day and now will finally get into the time when she recognizes us and maybe will even smile at us soon. I’m so excited for her to start knowing us and interacting with us. I’m so excited to see what kind of little person she becomes!

2012 Highlights

Well, we’ve come to the end of the world the year. The solstice is here and now the world begins to turn back toward the sunlight and the coming of spring. (Which is why I much prefer the notion of today being midwinter instead of the first day of winter!) Guess it’s about time to give a little recap of the year maybe!

2012 came in snowy, cold, and windy here in Estes Park. We spent a lot of time up in the Park snowshoeing and exploring. Here’s the highlights of the year!

In late January, we brought Sherlock home from the shelter.

In early February we went on a short vacation to Ouray (near Telluride) in the San Juans and it was AWESOME! We spent time at the hot springs and we got to go sledding and snow mobiling in the mountains (well, for a little, till Cameron dumped the snow mobile in 16 feet of powder). We also got to go on a zip line! It was so much fun.

Standing on the side of the Million Dollar Highway outside Ouray
Snow Catting in the San Juans before we took the most epic sled ride of our lives

Snowshoeing at Cub Lake

In March, Cameron shaved his head for St. Baldrick’s. Scary!

In July we bought a house! We were able to move from our 600-sq ft cabin into our very first, very own 1600-sq ft house.

Over the summer I got to see Florence and the Machine (birthday gift from Cameron) and Mumford & Sons at Red Rocks Amphitheater. AMAZING.

September brought a trip to Santa Fe to visit the renaissance festival there. One of my favorites!

In October, of course, we ate candy. Just kidding–we got married!

Right after the wedding, I got an offer from a literary agency to represent me and my book.

This year was my first Thanksgiving! It was nummy.

Mom approved.

Some other photo highlights, in no particular order:

Saints versus Broncos

Colorado Renaissance Festival

Hiking Lily Mountain

Christmas cookie party

Home renovations

Playing Lady Macbeth for an acting class (wish I’d gotten to do the whole show)

Samhain festivities

Sugar Skull Dancer and Queen of the Ravens

Singing with the Oratorio Society of Estes Park

My 24th birthday

Cameron’s 29th birthday

Hard to believe that 2013 is already upon us. We are leaving almost immediately as the new year comes in and heading to Hawaii for 3. Whole. Weeks. Good lordy I can’t wait to be a beach bum for a while. We are also hoping that 2013 might include a mini Carruthers joining the family–keep your fingers crossed for us!

Adventures in Domesticity; i.e. My First Thanksgiving

There’s a lot of firsts happening this Thanksgiving. Believe it or not it’s the first time I’ve mounted an entire Thanksgiving dinner by myself. Or at all, really. My first Thanksgiving as a married lady too! I cooked a turkey for Christmas dinner last year, but this will be the first time I’ve paired it up with the whole meal including the 100-year-old family recipe for meat stuffing (well sort of, I made that for Christmas last year too). The last two years Cameron and I have been together, we’ve had Thanksgiving at my parents’ house because we didn’t have the space to have people over. So what are we doing this year? Going all out of course. My parents, my brother and his girlfriend, and a friend I used to work with at the restaurant. Yeesh! Of course it isn’t without a ton of calls to my parents. “When should I take the turkey out of the freezer?” “How many pounds of potatoes should I do for 7 people?” “How long should this take to cook?” Just all those things you don’t learn till you do them I guess.

I’m excited though. I love to cook and I love to cook for my family and friends. I’m attempting to salt the turkey (dry-brine) because I’ve heard it’s just beyond fabulous. This takes 48 hours to do, according to Cook’s Illustrated, so I’m preparing to salt the bird tomorrow before I go to work. (Did I mention we have a 22-pound turkey? We’re going to be buried in leftovers.) I’ve had it out of the freezer thawing since Saturday.

Thawing the Bird (and protecting it from cats)

This was the only way I could get it to thaw that wouldn’t sacrifice our tub for a day and a half and also keep the cats from having a party with it. It’s back in the fridge now for it’s last few hours of thawing and I reeeeally hope it is thawed by tomorrow morning. Because it’s so big I’m looking at having to get it into the oven by like, 7 in the morning on Thursday. It’s going to be a long day with lots of cooking!

I don’t have much of a “Thanksgiving holiday.” On Friday the bank is open till 3 and I work till noon on Saturday, and I volunteered to work Friday and Saturday evenings at the restaurant which is a-okay with me because it’s extra cash. Guess I will have to take advantage of those online Black Friday sales! (I am looking into buying a new laptop this weekend, for which I won’t feel too bad if I make it all back at the restaurant.) On Sunday evening we are attending a friend’s wedding, so I guess Sunday during the day will be my time to get the Christmas decorations up. (I refuse to put them up before Thanksgiving.) I’m hoping my dad will let us borrow his ladder so we can get the lights up. It’s going to be interesting figuring out how to hang the lights on a curved barrel roof with no gutters….staple gun here I come?