Sunday, November 22, 2009

40th Birthday Open House

Sunflower invited many of our friends over for a really casual open house for my 40th birthday. Maybe around 30 - 50 adults showed up, along with a gaggle of kids. One thing I did to commemorate the occasion was to have my picture taken with each of the adult guests before they left -- which, besides being a fun coda to the evening, made for a nice photographic memento of the event. Here is a small sampling:

Moon wakes up

Baby Moon turned six weeks old this past Wednesday, and right on schedule, he has started "waking up."

For his first six weeks, baby Moon did two things: sleep and cry. On the rare occasions that he was awake, he looked pretty shocked to be here -- wide-eyed and worried most of the time.

Now, though, he is doing a lot more looking around when he's awake -- sometimes very calmly. He has also begun to smile a lot more (see photographic evidence above). He still cries quite a bit when he's awake, but not as much as before; and he is sleeping more soundly, and for longer, than before. He will turn his head toward someone who is speaking to him, and seems to be seeing farther -- he looks around as if he's noticing his environment for the first time. He likes bright lights and shiny objects in particular; he also gets an eyeful whenever he passes by our colorful quilt wall hanging. When he is placed on his stomach, he can lift himself up on his elbows and look around for up to thirty seconds at a time (although it's obviously quite an effort -- his head starts bobbing and then he has to rest it by laying down again).

Moon is an easy baby -- by far our easiest. Sleeps almost through the night, and calms down quickly when he gets fussy. And thank goodness for that! We're into a sort of routine with him now, which makes life somewhat easier.

Here is a picture of him getting a bath this morning:

One other thing worth mentioning is the kids' care for their baby brother. They often stop to talk to him, kiss him, pat him on the head, or just comfort him. "I just love baby Moon, don't you?" I overheard Bean asking Meadow the other day as they both watched him sleeping.

New pseudonyms

So I had a few complaints about naming the baby "Z." Trouble is, we've got two people in our family whose names begin with J, and two whose names begin with M (including the baby). So, after great deliberation, I've come up with a new set of pseudonyms:

B (our oldest boy) = Bean
M (our oldest girl) = Meadow
J (our youngest girl) = Jujube
M (our youngest boy) = Moon

S = Sunflower
J = Jupiter

Yes, it DOES make us sound like a hippie commune, but it's the best I can do under the circumstances. I looked at lists of minerals, flowers, spices, birds, planets, planetary moons, etc., etc., to try keeping these names part of some set, but it just didn't work. So if you have a better suggestion, let me know in the comments box.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Baptism of Baby Z

Well, Baby Z was supposed to be baptized at church last Sunday, but he ended up getting baptized on our back deck on the previous Friday instead, thanks to the arrival of the H1 N1 flu in our household, as illustrated by this lovely image of M lounging on the couch (yes, she's wearing a face mask):

Because she wouldn't be better by Sunday (and one of us parents would have to stay home with her), and because we expected that someone else would get the flu, too, we decided to cancel the church baptism. Our pastor suggested an emergency baptism, which made sense given the danger to the baby if he caught the flu. As it turned out, S and J came down with the flu that Sunday, so it was good that we cancelled. Baby Z hasn't caught it yet.

So we got a call from our pastor at 8:30 Friday morning suggesting that we do the baptism at 10 that morning -- he didn't want to wait until the afternoon, because he was sick, too, and expected to crash later. (He actually stopped by our house on his way to urgent care.) We quickly called a couple friends and left a message for the godfather, who teaches down the road from us, and then we went out and cleaned off the deck as best we could.

It was a beautiful day for a baptism:

We used a bowl made for us by a friend for our wedding. Here is the godfather making the sign of the cross on Baby Z's forehead:

And here is the actual baptism:

Sunday, November 08, 2009

H1N1 at our house

Yep, we've got H1N1 at our house, and we've got it good -- first M came down with it (on Thursday), then S (this morning), then J (this evening). So far, it's been relatively mild -- although M still has a fever. We're all hoping the baby doesn't get it.

More later.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween pictures

Some pictures from Halloween. First up, we have the girls, who carved their own pumpkins (with one of those safety pumpkin carvers). B didn't feel up to it this year.

B went as Luke Skywalker; earlier in the day, J went as a Sugar Plum Fairy, and M went as a dalmatian.

There is baby M, making a scary face for the camera.

The children at a neighbor's house. It was relatively warm out, and we walked most of the neighborhood for about an hour before J got tired.

And finally, their stash. They get to eat their fill afterward. (Usually it's two pieces no more than once a day for a snack.) I find that they self-regulate nicely. And look at those smiles! Then it was back to the CW for the annual showing of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" -- inside, this year -- and then off to bed much too late.

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