Saturday, December 31, 2005

Christmas with the fam

Mom, Jase and Mel returned safely to chilly Pennsylvania. While sad to see them leave, we are happy for the good times and memories. Owen met Uncle Jason and Melinda Auntie for the first time and initiated them by spitting up on them several times. (sorry about that guys!) They, of course, spoiled him with gifts, including a Penn State hoodie. Now Owen is officially a fan as well...go Nittany Lions!
On Christmas day, we made mulled cider while waiting for the airline to drop off their lost baggage containing gifts. After unwrapping our plunder, we plunged into cooking our first turkey (well, Jason and Roby grilled a turkey at Marilyn and Paul's in California a few years ago for Steinar's birthday, but Roby and I have never cooked one in the oven). It was a "sage turkey with sage gravy" recipe taken from our newest Cooking Light magazine. I must say it made for some tasty eating, probably the most delish gravy I have ever eaten! yay! small victories! I felt the need to include a picture of our accomplishment! Can you tell I am proud?Over the course of the past few days we cooked several new recipes. In CA we enjoyed cooking for our friends and haven't cooked for anyone since we've moved to the south a year ago, so this afforded the perfect opportunity! Let's see, we made chicken stir-fry with Bok Choy and coconut rice, an asian beef recipe, turkey tetrazinni with the leftover turkey & spicy shrimp and rice soup...oh! can't forget the chocolate fondue! Mom made several apple pies, and a plethora of food to freeze so I don't have to worry about cooking during the days and while Roby is working in the Great White North. What a huge help! Thanks Mom!
During their stay we played Texas Hold 'Em (I figured I should finally learn how to play since we are hosting a poker party in a few weeks!), took Owen for a walk--which he slept through...he has a habit of sleeping through holidays--ate yummy pizza downtown at the Mellow Mushroom, watched King Kong (our first extended time out without Owen!), took many family pics, & got competitive with our Family Feud dvd game (Jason and Roby cheated :) We basically just majorly chilled and reveled in each other's company!
Thank you Mom, Jason and Mel for visiting! We were thrilled that you were able to spend quality time with your grandson/nephew, and look forward to future get-togethers! Hopefully we can make it to Philly for Jason's graduation in May. Love you all.

Our first Christmas

Nana and Owen

At the Mellow Mushroom...

the antithesis of mellow


Owen loves his stuffed puppy from Nana and enjoyed her
rendition of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
The boy LOVES being read to!

Owen wearing daddy's cap

Heather and her little lumberjack

A little light reading

Saturday, December 24, 2005


Monday, December 19, 2005

A Tennessee Christmas

This year we will be celebrating Christmas for the first time in the South--quite a different experience from Christmases past in the OC (flip-flops and shorts anyone?) and Philadelphia (snow tires and mittens anyone?) Thankfully we won't be spending it alone. My mother, brother Jason and his girlfriend Melinda are visiting for a week!

Usually we spend the holidays at various friends' or relatives' homes, so this is our first year at home and with a tree. We decided to forgo the whole real tree thing, opting for a fake one that looks real, supposedly resembling a Rock Ledge Fir. (The next time I see a Rock Ledge Fir, I'll be sure to compare ;) We spent an evening listening to Christmas songs warbled by Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin and the like while trimming the tree with ornaments procured from last year's major day-after-Christmas sale at Crate and Barrel (Dannielle and I had braved the madding crowd, standing in line for hours to buy the half-off goodies). Owen, who is quite enamored with all that is bright and shiny, loves to stare at the points of light dotting our tree.

I recall Pennsylvania Christmases with my family in the country: We'd listen to records while stringing garlands of cranberries and popcorn for the real tree (sometimes cut from our own backyard), set up an electric train set beneath the tree, bake and decorate oodles of cookies, and attend a candle-lit Christmas Eve church service. Of course there was often several feet of snow for us to play in, flying down the hill on saucers hoping we could stop before reaching the road. I wonder what traditions will emerge with our little guy throughout the years.

We wish you all many blessings and times of reflection during this holiday season and may your heart be warmed and touched by the true meaning of Christmas, our Savior's birth!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Am I Cute or What!?!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Following my Mom's 2-week stay, Roby's Dad came down for a week and his mom left recently after a three-week visit. We are so thankful that all of the grandparents were able to meet Owen early on in his life. They certainly are smitten with him!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Parenting rocks!

I can't believe Owie is already 7 weeks old and weighs nearly 11 pounds. It seems like he changes a little each day. The cliche "They grow up so quickly" must really be true! I actually have a precious free few minutes to update our blog. It is unreal how little time there is to do anything these days, such as cleaning...which I really don't miss. he he he. This past week was the first week Owen and I were alone together during the days while Roby worked. It has taken some getting used to, but patterns are slowly emerging. He still has his nights and days mixed up, and doesn't sleep for very long unless he is held (which has been interesting and has led to sleep deprivation/delirium). I never thought I would be so elated to realize Owen actually slept in his bassinet from 1:30 in the morning until 4:00 the other day. Yes! We are getting there, just slowly :)

Owen is starting to "talk" to us with cute sounds (I swear he can say hi), mimics me when I say "Oooooo" and when I stick out my tongue, can roll over from his belly to his back and smiles at us often. Finally he is smiling because he can and wants to, not just accidentally. He has thee cutest little grin that just melts my heart. I live for that smile. Though we face unique challenges every day, we are enjoying unraveling the mystery that is raising a child. Roby and I both agree that it truly is the most rewarding experience we have had, and we can only see it getting better!

Sleeping Through Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving we drove down to cousin Bindu and Mason's in Atlanta and met up with Roby's aunt, uncles & cousin Binoy. I was so nervous about taking Owen on his first big outing. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. He proceeded to SLEEP through turkey day. From 9:00 in the morning until midnight when we drove home he slept, waking only when hungry and for about a half hour when I snapped the following picture. It was crazy and totally unlike him, marathon sleeper boy, apparently he was just SO over thanksgiving! :)

Call me

Owen's first girlfriend :)

Since moving to Chat-town we have met 2 sets of friends, a couple Mark and Michelle from church and Emily and Todd. Emily took pre-natal water aerobics with me and Roby and Todd attended a Daddy boot camp class together. Emily and I started hanging out regularly, which was refreshing since we both were preggo and home alone all day. All four of us bonded quickly and soon after Amy Grace was born with Owen following a week and several hours later. We were able to visit them in the hospital and they returned the favor--a comforting thing with our families far away. Sadly, shortly after, they told us they were moving to Iowa (their original home state) for Todd's work. I am so so so so sad that they are gone...I was especially looking forward to figuring this motherhood thing out with Emily and watching our two little ones become buddies. We're happy for them though as they are living near family and their old stomping grounds now. A week before leaving we held a photo shoot for Owen and Amy and quickly realized the complexities of trying to get two infants to look at you, not cry, stay still during hiccups, not slump over, spit up etc. They certainly made us laugh, and oh how cute they look together! We miss you guys already!