Friday, July 04, 2008

Oh, say, can you Snurf?

The Snurfler's first Independence Day was pretty low-key. Sweet D and I spent the first part of the day making an American Flag cake using a recipe I found on the Food Network website. Sweet D is a big help in the kitchen, especially when it comes to things he likes to eat. Please note that that cake is made from scratch, people! And that is REAL whipped cream, not Cool Whip. It's America's birthday, and I personally think she's totally worth a little extra effort. We spent most of the rest of the day in the 'dena with Granny and Papa, eating barbecue and watching The Next Food Network star.

It's been a pretty busy summer so far for the House of Rut! We drove to Destin, FL on May 15th to spend a few days in the blue waters and white sand and catch up with some friends from Tennessee. I was a little nervous about driving 10 hours straight with an 8-month-old who was just realizing how fun crawling can be, but the Snurf was a total champ in the car. Can't say he was a huge fan of the sunscreen and the sand, though. Not to mention the fact that he was still taking two naps a day, so it was quite an ordeal to get him lotioned and dressed for 1 1/2 hours of beach time before it was time for him to sleep again, which required a bath to remove all the sand and sunscreen. Still, we had a great time relaxing, reading, and falling asleep to the sounds of waves crashing outside our window.

Snurfler is a lot of fun these days! He's almost 10 months old and he crawls and pulls himself up on anything that will stay still long enough to let him. He loves to climb stairs and torment Otis T. Dog. At his last Doctor's appointment on June 13th, he weighed 27 pounds, 10 1/2 ounces and measured 31 inches. He's wearing 18-24 month clothing. We discovered his first two teeth just a few days before he turned 9 months old. He has a pretty high tolerance for pain because he has fallen down a number of times without so much as a whimper. When he does cry, it's usually for about 30 seconds or until someone picks him up. He's a great sleeper and we have yet to find a food the kid refuses to eat. He's especially interested in whatever's on his mommy's plate, though. He'll pull himself up using my knees as leverage and smack me on the leg while verbally chastising me until I give him a bite. Yep, he's definitely related to me. I took him to the Children's Museum a few weeks ago and he had a total blast putting everything in his mouth and zooming from one end of the Tot Spot to the other. He also loves going to the grocery store, splashing in pools, and playing "Bluenose Bottle Fly" with his Daggles.

Other than that, we've been keeping ourselves busy with trips to the zoo, playdates, birthday parties, baseball games, movie nights, and book club meetings. Sweet D and I continue our love affair with Netflix, we watch 2-3 movies per week. There are very few movies made these days that are worth paying $10 a pop just for the "privilege" of sitting in a theater.
We'll close with some pictures, as usual. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend!

Sweet D and Snurf in the surf on May 19th!

These two were taken at a playdate on May 28th. The little girl in the top picture is Miss Savannah, daughter of my friend, Ashley, and The Snurfler's 'Main Squeeze.' After they had a little time to "chew the fingers", we went outside to splash in Mr. B's pool. I forgot his swimsuit, but Snurf was perfectly content to go for his first skinny dip.

Taking a break from the rockin' ramp at the Children's Museum on June 17th.

The Bluenose Bottlefly rides again! June 23rd

Splashing in the Graves' pool with Sam & Ben on Independence Eve.

Enjoying some star-spangled cake with Granny.

Hey, if Miley Cyrus can call it "art", why can't we?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring Sprang Sprung!

Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of a baby when he's surrounded by things he thinks he's supposed to eat? This was taken on Wednesday afternoon at a little bluebonnet patch in Friendswood, where he kept picking up handfuls of grass and trying to stuff them in his mouth! I had to have one hand on the camera and the other at the ready to brush the grass out of his fingers!

First things first, a Snurfler update:

-As of yesterday (the 12th), Snurfler is 7 months old. During his last visit to the doctor on March 12, he weighed in at 24 pounds, 5 ounces and measured 29 1/2 inches, ranking him once again above the 95th percentile for his age. Most of his clothes are sized 12-18 months, but thankfully he still fits into most of his 9-month footed sleepers.

-He no longer needs couch cushions or Bumbo chairs to sit upright! Since the end of February, he has been sitting on his own and with some insanely straight posture. We moved him out of his baby bathtub just a few days after he turned 6 months old. That thing was WAY too small for our big guy!

-He is on the move! While he can get into crawling position, he hasn't quite figured out that the arms and knees work together. But he can scoot backwards and does an excellent 360 turn. I make sure he gets lots of tummy time every day. Lots of people said he would probably crawl late or not at all because he's such a big baby, but I think all the enforced tummy time (in spite of a good bit of whining on his part) has helped him stay on track. He has outgrown his Jumparoo but still enjoys his exersaucer.

-He's down to three "meals" a day! He gets a bottle for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as rice cereal mixed with fruit (with breakfast and dinner) and a vegetable around 5 PM. The veggies he's tried thus far are peas, butternut squash and corn (a favorite), carrots, sweet potatoes, and green beans (not a big fan of these, although he seems to enjoy them more when cold.) He's still an excellent eater.

-No teeth so far, but he has become quite the drool machine. And of course he's in the "everything goes into the mouth" stage. Which is why we're not buying any more new toys until he's interested in doing something more than eating them!

-He loves to be outside and go on walks in his Jeep stroller. He won't utter so much as a peep the whole time while we're out, even when the sun's in his eyes. He also loves it when I push him in a swing, he just giggles and squeals and has a grand ol' time!

-He's still happy, happy, happy, and healthy as a horse! He had the "sniffles" for about a week last month, but it didn't seem to bother him a bit (unless you count the times when we came after him with the nasal aspirator, that's definitely not a favorite) He gets the biggest kick out of us when we have the hiccups and loves to play "Peekaboo." And the kid can REACH!! He's very focused and determined when he sees something he wants, especially if that "something" is any kind of remote control. He's also fascinated by the Propel bottles I always have with me.

As for me and Sweet D, we've been pretty busy, too! We've been tearing up our Netflix queue, trying to catch up on all those Oscar winners (since we don't go to theaters, anymore) This week, for example, we watched Gone Baby Gone and No Country for Old Men. Eek! Both were excellent but rather disturbing. On Friday night the Snurfler spent the night with his Granny in the 'dena while D went to the Astros game and I played in my first game of Bunco. I had a blast and won $15 for having the most buncos! Saturday saw D busy with yardwork and me busy with laundry before we picked up Snurf around 1 and had a yummy lunch with Granny and Aunt Lori. Today was church followed by more yardwork. The weather has been beautiful for the past two weekends, we're not exactly looking forward to the oppressive heat that will soon be arriving.

Other than that we've been keeping busy with reading, card games and dinners with friends, book clubs, birthday parties, etc. etc. I hosted a playdate for my mom's group on March 19th and enjoyed a great turnout-- more than 20 moms and kiddos crowded into our upstairs playroom! We spent the weekend after Easter in Eagle Lake with Mimi, she got the biggest kick out of the Snurfler and all his crazy facial expressions. He even took a sweet little nap in her lap.

Last but not least, The Snurfler was Christened on Easter weekend! Aunt 'Nee and Uncle Kerry (one of his "sets" of Godparents) came down from Ft. Worth for the big day. We had quite a turnout at the little pink Episcopalian Church in Eagle Lake! In true form, Snurfler didn't make a peep during either the service or his Christening, he even tried to play with the water after he was anointed by Father Steve. After church we all went out to the Duncan house for the annual Easter festivities. Snurfler took a huge nap while we were all eating lunch and then watched everyone chase after one another with confetti eggs. It was a fun and beautiful day!
1) Bathing like a big boy on March 17th.

2) Eating one of his first jars of strained vegetables (sweet peas) on March 19th.

3) He just can't get enough! "Anoint me again, Father Steve!" Easter Sunday (March 23rd)

4) Napping in Mimi's lap on March 29th.

5) Goofy Daddy has taken to giving the Snurfler a "Flock of Seagulls" 'do after his bath.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

My Snurfly Valentine

This was actually taken on February 13th at a playdate. I could barely get the top/onesie part of the outfit over his head and it's a 9 month size! Doesn't he look so good in red, especially with those chubby little belly folds? He is so smiley and giggly these days and we are all really enjoying him!

The rest of Valentine's week was great. After the playdate, Snurfler and I went out to the Land of Sugar to spend the rest of the day. First we visited Marcie and the gang at Chef for You, where I got to change Snurf's diaper on top of a deep-freeze as they all marveled at his cuteness and sweet, laid-back demeanor. After that we picked up Moozie and ran a few errands-- I'm getting much faster with getting the Snurf in & out of the car and his stroller! We visited "Uncle" J. Scott at Merrill Lynch and then popped in to Micheal's, Tuesday Morning, and Maureen's Bakery for some Valentine petit fours (mmmm!) That night I also had a Book Club meeting at the Chocolate Bar.

On Valentine's Day, Granny & I took the Snurfler to the cool newish HEB Plus out here in the Land of Pears. That place is great, it's like having Central Market 5 minutes away from our house! I picked up the filets for that evening's dinner and Granny bought Papa some yummy chocolate-covered almonds for his Valentine treat. We ate sandwiches in the deli and later shared a yummy almond pretzel after touring the store. Snurfler and I took a little (2 hour) "Happy Hearts" nap and then I started on dinner. Here was the Valentine's Night menu:
  • Appetizers: Bacon-wrapped jalapeno's stuffed with cream cheese, Stilton cheese with apricots on mini-water crackers

  • Salad: Crisp lettuce with balsamic vinagrette

  • Entree': Pan-seared Filet Mignon with lemon & herb risotto

  • Dessert: Heart Petit Fours

Sweet D and I were especially pleased with the risotto, which was a lot easier than I thought it would be to make. We exchanged sweet cards and D got me some BEAUTIFUL roses in all different shades of pink.

On Saturday night we dropped the Snurfler out in the Land of Sugar to spend the night with his Moozy and Daggles, then enjoyed a great dinner at Carrabba's in Clear Lake to celebrate Uncle Brian's birthday with Aunt Lori, Granny, Papa, and (of course) Uncle Brian, himself. The feasting continued Sunday morning with my "make-up" Birthday Brunch at Brennan's with with Bs!! Bellinis, crepes, and Bananas Foster-- oh, my! Needless to say, D and I were stuffed to the gills for the rest of the day, I ended up making some popcorn at about 9 pm and we called it a night!

This past week was less eventful. We did get to enjoy a cute little family walk on Monday afternoon, the weather was gorgeous and Sweet D made it home shortly after 4 pm. Wednesday we met Sweet D for lunch at HEB. The Snurfler and I went to a playdate on Thursday followed a lazy rainy day visit from Moozy. That night I had a Mom's night out with some other ladies in my Mom's Group at a local Mexican Restuarant. I enjoyed a margarita and we had some good girl-talk time. Granny and Papa brought me lunch on Friday afternoon and then we took the Snurfler on another "field trip" to the super-cool HEB. Papa was extremely impressed and kept telling me I didn't need to bother with cooking anymore, since the store offers so many premade delights and cooking demo giveaways. That night I made a Rachael Ray meal, Spanikopita burgers with Chipotle Oven Fries. Saturday we hit both sides of town again, visiting the 'dena early that afternoon and dropping off the Snurfler with Moozy in the Land of Sugar before we met up with Kar & Lar at PF Chang's. Yummy! We also hit the Dessert Gallery and managed to do a little poking around the Town Center and Mall Shops before D and I started feeling "Pumpkiny." We left those crazy kids at Barnes & Noble, picked up the kiddo, drove home, and were both asleep before 11 PM. We're old and lame and we don't care! Sleep is a precious commodity in this house!

This morning Sweet D gave the Snurfler his 7:00 bottle and indulged in the morning "Snuggle Fest" until 8:30, when we had to get up and start getting ready. Today was his parents' church homecoming potluck, so we headed back out to the 'dena to attend the 10:00 service. My favorite thing is singing the hymns in four-part harmony, one song in particular makes me tear up every time, it's so pretty. The potluck was held in a separate facility, we were smart brought the Snurfler's stroller in with us. He got pretty worn out after hearing what a big, beautiful boy he was from practically every church member in attendance and crashed for about 30 minutes in his stroller. We got home had our Sunday naps, then spent the rest of the day reading the paper and watching Oscar-related television.


1. Weekend Wuss Pile with Sweet Daddy D and Otis on Saturday, Feb. 16th
2. This is what he usually looks like after he "finishes" his rice cereal. I think it's pretty obvious why we decided to feed him sans clothing.
3. Visiting Marcie and the Chef for You (Check out her awesome food available for purchase & pick-up at gang on Wednesday, February 13th! We got an 'all-access pass' to the kitchen and I enjoyed some of Marcie's awesome Chicken Couscous salad for my lunch. Yummm!

Coming soon, Snurfler on Video!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

But enough about me...

Silly me, thinking any of you readers give a monkey's ear about my crummy birthday. You're here for Snurfler updates! I'll try not to bore you with the tedious minutiae of my existence like that for at least another month or two.

This picture was taken on January 28th. Moozy came over and was just appalled by the state of our laundry room, so she decided to wash a few loads. She's good like that. I was busy hanging pictures and re-arranging furniture in other areas of the house, so she needed somewhere to put the Snurfler where he would be in sight but out of the way--after all, he's getting too heavy to hold while attempting to accomplish as task. Lo and behold, there was a laundry basket, half-full with not-too-dirty clothes. I don't think he minded too much, do you? Notice his baby mohawk, also courtesy of his Moozie.

As of today, the Snurfler is officially 5 months old!! Here are a few fast facts about him as he reaches this important milestone:

-He is rolling over from his back to his tummy like a champ. He had done it a few times in late December/early January, but he really started going to town starting on January 30th. If you put him down onto his back on the floor, he will usually be on his stomach within one minute, depending on how much interest he has in the ceiling or the toys dangling from the arches on his playmat. Once he gets onto his stomach, however, he's only content for about 3 to 5 minutes before he starts to let the world know that he really doesn't care for that particular position. He has yet to master the "rolling from stomach to back" technique.

-He is reaching and grabbing and hanging on for dear life. With toys & burp cloths, this skill mastery really doesn't pose a problem. It's when the thing clutched within his chubby little fist happens to be the hair of whomever happens to holding him at the time that this becomes a bit, well..... painful.

-His hair is growing in beautifully! It's soft and silky and a beautiful auburn color. It was fun to give him mohawks for a while, but now it's getting too long for that.

-Hallelujah, he is sleeping through the night! Moozie and I first suffered through the "cry it out" experience when I stayed at my parents' house during the Birthday Plague. I'm not going to lie, it wasn't easy, but a healthy dose of Nyquil helped me make it through the hardest part. Now we say good night at around 7:30 PM and don't see him again until at least 6:45 the next morning. Okay, that's a lie. I always go in and check on him before I go to bed. I can't resist the sight of a peaceful sleeping baby. Oh, and he recently started sleeping on him stomach after a few nights of screaming and subsequently accepting the fact that a parental being was not going to go upstairs and turn him over each time he rolled during the night.

-Also as of that weekend, he has been enjoying rice cereal for dessert after his evening bottles. He particular enjoys his rice cereal mixed with apple juice. And he is always a huge mess afterwards, since he likes to do one or more of the following tricks between spoonful

  • Chew on his thumb/fist/fingers
  • Play "peek-a-boo" with his bib

  • Grab for the spoon as it comes toward him so that spoon's contents fall onto his person

  • Sneeze. This is especially fun with a mouthful of cereal. Afterwards, aforementioned cereal is not just all over his person but mommy and daddy, as well.

-He is currently wearing/outgrowing size 9-months clothing. This, I must admit, is kind of breaking my heart because all the 9-12 months clothing I've been seeing for boys start to look more like "boy" clothes instead of "baby" clothes. The colors get darker and the fabrics and patterns aren't nearly as innocent. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to have such a healthy and happy baby, but there is a tiny part of me that wishes he could have been little for just a little longer.

-We enjoyed/survived our first 3+ day trip without him last week. Sweet D flew up to Vegas on Tuesday the 5th to attend his industry's annual convention and trade show. I joined him on Thursday and we spent the rest of the weekend indulging in yummy food, decadent naps, and interesting shows. Our suite in the Mandalay Bay hotel even had a TV in the bathroom!! We got in lots of walking and people-watching, saw The Blue Man Group at the Venetian and and Cirque de Soleil's "Love" at the Mirage, and poked around in the Bellagio, Caesar's, and Paris shops. A good time, but we were ready to get back to our little boy and give him lots of squeezes. He stayed with his Granny and Papa while we were gone and I'm not afraid to say that I didn't worry about him for one second, but I missed him almost the entire time. Granny and Papa had a hard time saying goodbye to him on Sunday because he'd been such a good boy during his stay!

-Seeing his smile is, without a doubt, the best part of every day, whereas his laugh is the music of angels. He is a very happy little boy. I love walking into the room where he's playing in his exersaucer or jumparoo and seeing his face split open in a huge, toothless grin as soon as he sees me. Ugh, I absolutely melt into a big, syrupy puddle of love for that little guy!

1& 2. He looked so cute in his plaid onesie and black corduroy pants that I had to take a few pictures of him when we got home from church on January 27th. I was feeling skinny that day after being close to death for over a week, so I let Sweet D capture a few Kodak moments with me in them, as well.
3. Snurfler, just a few seconds after rolling onto his tummy. Very proud of himself and happy that Mommy is recording new skill that he has mastered.
4. Snurfler, about 3 minutes later, very grumpy at this point because mommy hasn't helped him out of the hated "baby on his belly" pose. Guess he's not ready for yoga class just yet.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Worst birthday ever

Yes, folks, you heard it here first- my 32nd birthday was a total bust. As if turning another year older wasn't bad enough, I had to come down with the 48-hour plague to serve as the proverbial cherry on top. Allow me to share the events leading up to the worst birthday ever:

The week of January 6-12 was one during which this mommy got VERY little sleep. Baby Rut (who will from now on be referred to as "Snurfler" for reasons which have been explained in an earlier post) and I were really struggling with the whole "sleep through the night" concept. He'd done it several times at that point but was very inconsistant and I wasn't comfortable enough with the idea of letting him just cry it out. Even though he no longer needed a late-night bottle, we had fallen back into the habit of letting him spend the rest of the night in bed with us once he woke up at 2 or 3, but Snurfler was disturbing (Sweet)D's sleep and that is really not something I could allow to continue, since D spends so much of his work day behind the wheel. So, I started going upstairs to the guest bedroom upon hearing his wake up calls. A good idea, in theory, but I often couldn't go back to sleep once I was up there. To make matters worse, I was having a hard time falling asleep in the first place once I got in bed at 9 or 10, regardless of how little sleep I'd gotten the night before. By that Wednesday I was running on about 12 hours total for the whole week, but I still managed to make it to the Wednesday playdate for one of my mom's groups. As tired as I was, it turned out to be a great thing that I made it to that playdate, because I got to know some really nice chicas. Several of them listened to my tale of sleepless woe and gave me a "it'll get easier and better very soon, we promise" pep talk.

By the time Thursday rolled around, "very soon" still wasn't soon enough and I had reached the end of my tether, so exhausted was I. Sweet D and Granny Rut to the rescue! He came home from work, picked up Snurfler, and delivered him soundly to Granny's waiting arms. With the Snurfler out of the house, I had nothing to do but rest my weary bones with a big fat nap. I woke up 4 hours later feeling MUCH better and leisurely readied myself to meet up with my Book Club at Spaghetti Western. Once there, I enjoyed a soul-replinishing Bellini with my fellow literature lovers and all felt right with the world again. The rest of the week finished in a blur. We took the Snurfler to church on Sunday and he got all kinds of admiration when the service was over because he'd behaved so beautifully and flirted shamelessly with everyone he could see over Daddy D's shoulder.

On Monday the 14th, Moozie and I took Robert to the Dr. for his 4 month check up. He weighed in at 21 pounds, 6 ounces and measured 28 inches, ranking him well above the 95th%ile for his age group. In fact, he's the size and weight of an average 11-month-old! Still, his Dr. said he looked and sounded great and gave me the go-ahead to let him start crying it out "when we felt ready." Oy. Snurfler got 5 shots in his legs but, thanks to some well-timed doses of Tylenol, he weathered those sticks and the rest of the day like an absolute champ.

On Tuesday the 15th, when I met my new friend Ashley and her daughter Savannah at the Children's Museum. We had a nice time hanging out in the Tot Spot, chatting and letting the kiddos explore. As we were walking through the parking garage to leave, a paper clip that was lying on the ground punctured my right Croc and stuck in my foot. Lovely. Thankfully, it didn't hurt too much but I knew I needed to get to the Dr. ASAP to update my tetanus.

Wednesday was pretty uneventful, I made some beef and barley soup and cornbread that Sweet D inhaled when he got home from work.

Thursday morning I woke up with a really icky cough. It was deep and dry and hacky. Although I didn't have any other symptoms and felt fine in every other way, I called Granny and asked if she would mind coming over to help me with the Snurfler. The last time I'd woken up feeling a little off, she'd come over and whatever it was had passed by the end of the day. I was hoping that would happen again.

This time, whatever it was wasn't even close to being finished with me by the end of the day. It grabbed hold of me, wrapped a rope around itself, and held on for dear life. By 4:30 that afternoon, I knew I was in for a long ride and so I made two phone calls, the first one to make a doctor's appt. for the next day and the next one to Moozie, who drove right over and collected the Snurfler to go home with her. I started feeling chilled (and those of you who know me well know that rarely ever feel cold! I'd be content to turn the heat off on the coldest nights if D would let me.) I ate a can of chicken & rice soup, took some Nyquil, and went to bed.

On Friday morning I woke up feeling ickier and running a low-grade fever. I slept until noon and somehow managed to pry myself out of bed and get dressed. Papa Rut arrived at 1 PM to take me to the doctor. Once there, Doc informed me I had virus and predicted it would most likely have run its course by my birthday on Sunday. He prescribed some cough syrup and the nurse gave me the flu shot they'd been saving for me (it was the last one they had!) and then updated my tetanus booster. I was feeling slightly more chipper after hearing news that we probably wouldn't have to cancel our plans to celebrate my birthday over brunch at Brennan's on Sunday. Granny Dora met up with us at the house with some delicious chicken soup she'd made for me and my birthday dessert, since we had to cancel the dinner reservations we'd made for that night. Still, I was feeling confident that the worst was over and I would be fine the next day.

Boy, was I wrong! Even after getting into bed before 7 PM and taking another large dose of Nyquil, Friday night was horrible. I woke up at 3 and couldn't go back to sleep until 6 because I was coughing so much. I finally got out of bed on Saturday morning at 10:45, but I went straight to the couch. Drank some orange juice, ate a bowl of chicken soup, and proceeded to get progressively worse as the day wore on. I cancelled my birthday brunch and started swilling cough drops to soothe my throat, which was killing me after 2 days of hacking. At 3:00 I dragged myself to the shower in hopes of washing some of the sick away. Got dressed, didn't even have the energy to put on socks, and we drove to the Land of Sugar. I wanted my mommy and I'm pretty sure D was tired of being bossed around by such a grumpy sicko.

Made it to Moozie and Daggles and succumbed right away to my favorite of the two most comfortable couches on the planet. Moozie rubbed some Vicks on my feet and I hardly moved from that spot for the next 18 hours. It was good to see the Snurfler, though. Moozie, Daggles, and D took turns holding him so that I could see him from a safe distance, not like I had the energy to hold him, anyway. I was asleep by 9. The only thing I had eaten the entire day was one bowl of chicken soup.

My birthday dawned, bright and sunny. I woke up around 7 feeling 65% better after having slept pretty much the entire night with only a couple of mild coughing fits. We all enjoyed a yummy breakfast of TJ Cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs, bacon, and orange juice. I even got "breakfast in bed." As the day wore on I regained more energy and strength, but we all still decided it would be best to spend a couple more days in Sugar Land. We ordered my birthday dinner from Carrabba's, one of my favorite restaurants in the whole world. We also each enjoyed a slice of my birthday cake. No, I didn't bother with candles!

By Tuesday afternoon I was at about 80% and felt at least well enough to resume my mommy duties, so Daggles drove me, the Snurfler, and Otis T. Dog back to the Land of Pears.

It's now almost 2 weeks later and I have finally stopped coughing. Hallelujah. Oh, and I have already enjoyed one of my "makeup" birthday dinners. Granny and Papa took us to Killen's Steakhouse on Tuesday night and we all grubbed down! Tomorrow night, Daggles is bringing us Shrimp Etouffee and Italian Cream Cake from Treebeard's. And I'm still waiting to reschedule my birthday Brunch at Brennan's with the Bs!

Birthdays are over-rated, anyway!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Catchin' up!

This is probably my favorite picture of Baby Rut so far, taken a few weeks ago when Sweet D and I were in a cleaning and house-organizing frenzy. The Christmas decorations are all down and packed away in big storage boxes. I didn't even get high behind on actually putting the decorations up until the middle of December-- it's kinda hard to get into the Christmas Spirit when you're wearing shorts and a t-shirt to go shopping for gifts because the temperatures are well into the 70s! We have vowed to put everything up on the day after Thanksgiving next time!

First a bit of first-time Mama drama: Friday, December 21, Baby Rut and I were getting ready to attend Sweet D's office Christmas Party when I saw that baby's nails desperately needed a trim. I got out my smallest pair of nail clippers and started clipping the nails on his right hand. Suddenly my sweet little man let out a cry and I saw that I'd cut some of the skin off the tip of his right index finger!!! My brave little soldier only cried for about a minute and I managed not to completely lose it myself, but that tiny little nick bled like crazy!! I finally got two band-aids wrapped around the wound and we actually made it to the party on time to see our Sweet Daddy D be named as Salesman of the Year. Yay, Sweet D, we are so proud of all your hard work! I was kind of proud of myself that day, too. Even though I felt horrible about hurting my little boy, I kept my cool by realizing that every parent eventually draws "first blood" and reminding myself that it could have been much worse! Oh, and it also made for good conversation with the other parents at the party, as everyone took turns disclosing their first injury reports.

The holidays were great, though, and deliciously low-key. Christmas Eve was spent at the Rut Household, where we enjoyed Granny's delicious Sicilian-style spaghetti sauce over penne rigate. I made an amaretto cheesecake for dessert, which cracked worse than the ground of the Sahara desert but still tasted pretty good, especially with some toasted almonds and chocolate ganache drizzled over the top. After dinner, the women-folk sat down and watched Little Women, which I remember seeing in the theater with my mom, aunts, and grandmother over Christmas Break in my freshman year of college. Scary to think that was 13 years ago, eeek!

Christmas morning was deliciously lazy in the house of Rut. Sweet D woke up around 7 to feed Baby Rut and opened up his stocking full of festive Christmas boxer shorts. I woke up a little later and hit the ground runnin' to get all the cookin' I had to do finished by 3:00. I made an apricot nectar cake, hash brown potato casserole, and roasted asparagus. Doesn't sound like much, but I still somehow managed to dirty almost everything in the kitchen! I completely ignored my own stocking hanging from the mantel. Not that I didn't already know everything that was in it because I'd purchased every single item myself. It must be said that Sweet D is not a shopper, which is perfectly fine with me. He did try very hard to come up with a gift for me and he threw out some excellent suggestions, but I really didn't need or want anything. Baby Rut, as far as I'm concerned, was the greatest gift I could have ever received this year! Sweet D and I never have been big on gift exchanging with one another, even back when we were dating. It's kind of nice, actually, takes a LOT of pressure off both of us. We did get a cool new 46" TV and DirectTV, though, I guess that should count even though they were purchased in early November.

Christmas evening at the G household was lovely. We certainly weren't lacking for food! For appetizers we had yummy brie with cherries and toasted almonds, some puff pastry and sausage bites , a fruit tray, and crab bites. Then there were all the usual suspects for dinner: a green salad followed by turkey and ham, stuffing, cranberry salad, asparagus, sweet potatos and the hash brown potato casserole, plus Granny Rut's delicious rolls. We opened gifts after the meal and found some lovely checks for padding our accounts and paying taxes. Baby Rut received the Radio Flyer wagon from Granny and Pappa Rut, some cool and colorful toys and his next car seat from Moozie and Daggles, as well as some savings bonds and checks from several family members.

The "boys" (Sweet D, Daggles, and Otis) left for hunting camp early the next morning, but Baby Rut and I stayed on in the Land of Sugar for the next few days. We ate leftovers, napped, cuddled, played, watched movies, and bonded with Mimi. Utter decadence. Hunter returned on Saturday and we reluctantly made our way back to the Land of Pears.

Fast forward to New Year's Eve. Sweet D and I feasted on yummy cheese fondue and toasted with one 'adult beverage' each, then called it a night before 11 PM. We're not big on New Year's, either! New Year's morning was spent watching Gone with the Wind, which Sweet D had never seen, followed by a New Year's feast at G&G Rut's. Black-eyed peas, rice, cabbage, and corn chowder made for a lucky start to 2008. It's important for me to note that we discovered and subsequently announced that Baby Rut was arriving last New Year's Eve/Day, so it was pretty neat to reflect on all the beautiful blessings of 2007.

Stay tuned for the oh-so-exciting events that unfolded the week of my 32nd birthday.

I close, again, with a few pictures:

1. Somewhat enjoying a few minutes of tummy time, wearing his Baby Gapy onesie that mommy purchased on ebay right after he was born.

2. Barely containing his excitement for having received his new wagon from Granny and Papa and cute blankets from Aunt Lori.

3. Sweet D dives into the New Year's Eve fondue, which we enjoyed with pumpernickel bread and green apple chunks. Mmm mmm, good!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Santa Baby

Wow, it's been a pretty busy week for those of us in the House of Rut! Last weekend was spent in Eagle Lake with Mimi, Baby Rut's great-grandmother (on my side.) We ate fried catfish from the Sportsman's, yummy Austin's barbecue, and then enjoyed a delicious Sunday brunch at the Ferris Hotel after church. Eagle Lake may be a tiny town, but it's certainly not lacking for good places to eat! I took a couple of movies that Mimi had been wanting to see, The Queen and Miss Potter. After Baby Rut went down for the night at about 7:30, we relaxed in Mimi's sitting room and were transported "across the pond" via DVD. Sweet D and I had already seen both of those movies, but they were definitely ones we didn't mind watching for a second time.

On Monday afternoon, Baby Rut had his first picture taken with Santa Claus. He, Moozie, and I met Aunt Jen and "the girls" (Catherine and Elizabeth) out at Katy Mills mall. Baby Rut did great, he didn't cry or get upset at all. In fact, he seemed very happy to sit on Santa's lap. That's the best picture we got of the two of them, since it's pretty hard to get a 3-month-old to both face the camera AND smile on cue. I think it turned out pretty well, though! After the photo shoot, we did a little shopping in some of Katy Mills' groovy outlet stores. I got Baby Rut some nice new onesies, sleepers, and three hats to wear when the weather outside is frightful!

On Wednesday I made two batches of Potato Cookies to take to a cookie swap. Moozie came over to help-- she's always happy to clean up after me as long as she gets a share of the goods! I ended up with about 16 dozen, half of which I bagged up and took with me to the swap that evening. That turned out to be a lot of fun! I met several members of the mom's group that I joined over a month ago and we enjoyed a raucous game of Catch Phrase before dividing up the spoils of our kitchen laborings. My team lost, but it was still a good time. Thursday morning I went for a walk with one of the moms I met at the swap, then Baby Rut and I lazed around the rest of the day and I cancelled out the benefits of my walk by devouring most of the Ranger Cookies I had come home with the night before. MMMmmm, glad I got the recipe for those! That night I also attended a meeting of my book club at Cavatore's Italian Restaurant. The food was delish, the conversation was stimulating, and there was a lively piano player loudly belting out Christmas tunes and whatever else we wanted to hear. Good times. I left Sweet D at home with Baby Rut two nights in a row so I could cavort and stuff my face with cookies and Italian food, and it was absolutely marvelous!

Sweet D and I have also been enjoying our Netflix membership. This week we watched Shrek the 3rd and Waitress and he watched Ocean's 13 while I was out cavorting. I thought Shrek the 3rd was so-so, Waitress was weird but had a good ending, and Sweet D really enjoyed Ocean's 13.

Which brings me to this weekend. Friday was pretty uneventful, Baby Rut and I lazed around again and I ate a few more cookies until it was time to head out to the Land of Sugar for another slumber party with Moozie, while Sweet D and Daggles spent the night in Eagle Lake so they could shoot ducks this morning. We all met up today in Katy for Catherine and Elizabeth's 2nd birthday celebration! They really hauled in the presents this year-- rocking horse, doll house, tea set, clothes, books, DVDs. Plus they each got their own individual birthday cakes, made with love by their sweet Dadoo. Dadoo also made a totally delish Italian Cream Cake for the adults to enjoy as the girls were busy digging holes and planting their faces into their respective cakes. Baby Rut was a little angel, as usual. He didn't get fussy until it was time for everyone to go, and even then he calmed down after his diaper was changed and he was bundled into his car seat. When we got back to the Land of the Pears, it was Sweet D's turn for some cavorting, so he left me with Little B to go watch a boxing match.

Okay, Baby Rut update and a couple more pictures:
  • You are a head-holder-upper champion! Notice in the Santa picture how great he's doing? Unforunately, your neck isn't quite strong enough for you to sit in your Bumbo chair. I'm actually worried you'll outgrow it before you're able to hold up that watermelon of yours, in fact.

  • Heavenly joy, rapture, and bliss! You have slept from 11 PM until 6:40 AM four nights in a row and counting! Wheeee!! As a result, you are now down to just 5 6-ounce bottles per day! Yipeeee!

  • You are starting to enjoy your fist and fingers more than your binky. We have this battle daily, but you are so funny with your big goofy grins every time I come over to extract your fist from your mouth and replace it with the pacifier, like you know exactly what you're doing to get mommy to keep coming back. I can't even begin to get mad.

  • I think you're starting to laugh, it's kind of a deep "Huhhhhh, huhhhh, huhhhh" noise and it's usually after you've been fed. So cute!


1. Mommy tried to capture some cute half-naked baby pictures of you in hopes that one of them would be cute enough to use on our Christmas card. No such luck, but this was the best of the bunch.

2. A very grumpy caterpillar models the Very Hungry Caterpillar outfit that Moozie bought for him when he was just a few days old. It's a 3-6 months size and we were thinking he wouldn't be wearing it until at least January. Nope, I actually had to hurry up and get him into it before it joined the ranks of the too small. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of my all-time favorite books. In fact, whenever I'm hungry I like to say, "I'm a VERY hungry caterpillar right now!"