Sunday, August 31, 2008

Our little bird

We call Mazie our little red bird because she was so red her first few months of life. Her lack of body fat made the color of her blood more visible through her skin.

Here are two photos of Mazie still looking like our little bird. Her skinny legs and her downy hair and the way she opens her mouth when we feed her yogurt continue to play into her avian appearance. Then she carries on the facade by carrying around this conical block in her mouth.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Latest Doings

We are a busy bunch these days. We are walking everywhere. Not much crawling is going on anymore. It is very rare to see Mazie crawling. Lucia and Elliott still crawl a little, but mostly walk. Everyone babbles, putting the ah sound with just about any consonant. We have not observed them "talking" to one another yet. They mostly just talk to themselves or their toys.

Elliott has taken to moving the food he does not want to eat into his cup holder at the side of this tray. Here he is moving rutabagas off to the side. "I'm just not having them," his expression seems to be saying.

Mazie got a black eye and bruise on her cheek last week. I was sitting on the floor with my legs outstretched, and she was crawling over them and sort of tumbled off. I think she may have hit the edge of a book, but I am not sure. I was very surprised her little low tumble left such a mark. She looked so sorry for about a week with her bruises and skinny legs and crazy hair. It made me sad to see my little baby with a black eye. Now Lucia is the only one who has not had a black eye.

The babies really love books. I keep a bunch underneath our desk so they can get them out and play with them. One of the first things Elliott does each morning is take all the books off the shelf. All the babies love books and love to read, but Elliott especially spends a lot of time looking at books. Mazie has started holding up books for me to read to her, though she doesn't always stay for the whole story. Lucia this week has started crawling into my lap for stories. And this morning, while I read the babies our three favorite Dr. Suess books, Elliott sat beside me and placed his hand on my knee the whole time. Our babies are so sweet, and it is little occurrances like these that really make my heart swell.
We also play in my baking drawer. They love taking all the measuring cups and spoons out and carrying them around the house. I love to cook and hope each of them grow to love it as well. So, we are trying to establish positive associations. We'll see how that works.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

From WWI to the WWW

My grandma was born at the very end of World War One. We just celebrated her 90th birthday in March. I have no doubt that when I get to the end of my life she will be one of the people I will be so grateful for having had in my life. She is and will always remain on my list of people I adore.

My grandma has so many wonderful qualities. She is very good at taking baskets of peaches or other treats to "shut-ins" or "older" people from her Sunday school class. She always puts others before herself. She never wants to cause anyone even a minute's worth of trouble. She sends me newspaper clippings and poetry and little notes of encouragement.

Grandma is also a wonderful collector. She has many beautiful and interesting collections. When she falls in love with something, she commits herself to acquiring a lovely display: paintings, blown glass, Georgia pottery. While she has exquisite taste, not everything she collects is delicate and beautiful. On the one remaining empty wall in her house, she has amassed a hefty collection of Jeff Gordon model racing cars. And, she loves them with the same tender fondness she does her D. X. Gordy pots and Charles Lotton bowls.

This lady has recently done something amazing and unpredictable. She has gotten herself a computer and attached it to the internet (with a little help, of course). She has four icons on her desktop: the web site of the First Baptist church she attends, Jeff Gordon's fan site, my blog, and my sister's blog. I think this is a very remarkable hobby for a lady with her maturity to pick up, and I hope it brings her lots of enjoyment and minimal frustration.

So, Grandma, welcome to the World Wide Web. May your computer never freeze and your icons never disappear.
The three photos H took of Grandma with Elizabeth Lucia the weekend of Grandma's big birthday celebration. They are playing "This Little Piggy." It is now one of Elizabeth Lu's favorite games

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Papa Glenn

We are so lucky to have so many wonderful people who love our babies. Papa Glenn, H's step dad, is one of them. He comes down several times a week to spend time with the babies. Papa Glenn is a sweet and quiet man who the babies adore. They go to him the minute he walks through the door.

Papa Glenn was a conservation officer for the state of Alabama before he retired, so he knows everything about trees and animals and bugs. He is a wealth of knowledge, and we look forward to him sharing that with the babies as they develop and discover.

The first photo shows where you can find Papa Glenn every evening: watching the wildlife in and around the pond. Bull frogs and deer are some of his favorite. He loves to report what he sees. One of his best sightings this year has been a bald eagle. He has rigged up quite a little outfit there with a fan to keep the bugs off and a large cup for his beverage (note the binoculars to his left). Nana Penny takes the seat to his right.
We love our Papa Glenn.

Friday, August 22, 2008


One thing I realized by being around Avery is that our babies understand much more of what we say than we think they do. The babies and I were so lucky to be with Karen and Avery for almost a full week. We got to see Avery start signing words to her mom for the first time: more and all done. And we got to witness Avery start using mama to address Karen. These were wonderful things to watch. One of the things I love the most about watching our babies and Avery reach new milestones is how proud they are of themselves. They just beam when they take those first steps or put their fingers together to tell you they want more food. They really understand that they have acquired and accomplished something new.
Sometimes I think to myself that our babies don't understand what I am saying. It doesn't really matter if I talk about how the ball is red or point to the word Go in the Marvin K Mooney book or make the sign for milk. Usually they just stare at me blankly. But I could tell from being around my niece that it does matter. Being with her was wonderful in its own right, but it also gave me a little snapshot of where we will be in just a short time.

The photos are some smiles from our time together (alem).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sister Time, Cousin Time

We had a wonderful week with our Tia Karen and Cousin Avery. It was so nice of them to come for a visit. We loved every minute of our time with them. They came to our house for a few days and then we went to the Gulf for the rest of the week. The only thing that would have made the trip better is if we'd have been able to see Uncle Jon. Hopefully we will all be together again soon.

We did lots of fun things together. Here we are taking a walk on the farm. Avery got to see the goats.
She also got to see the horses. She liked being close to One Gun but she didn't want to pet his nose. Who can blame her? He is a big fellow.
Grancy came for part of the week. Here she is playing with Mazie.
Grancy and her four grandchildren (elma).
It is getting tougher and tougher to get a good shot of the kids.

We took lots of walks while we were together. Here we are taking corn shucks to the horses. Here we are walking at the beach. This is the closest we got to going to the beach.
We did get asked several times if they were quads. I think it might have been the matching strollers.

The babies taught one another new skills. For example, Mazie taught Avery to say "Uh Oh" and Avery taught Elliott to give kisses.

Here are Avery and Elliott exchanging affections.

We had lots of fun time together.

Here are the babies playing in the hall.
We had story time.
Mazie and her Tia Karen wore their red floral dresses on the same day.
Avery had a carpet picnic.

Tia Karen and Avery brought the babies some bubbles. Our babies had never seen bubbles so they were very enthralled with them. I think they thought they were magic.
Avery is accustomed to pointing at bubbles and even popping bubbles. She is a bubble pro.

Karen and I also like to do a bit of cooking and baking when we are together. This trip we tried a new chocolate sheet cake. I had also never made a pie (sad, I know) so Karen shared her recipe and skills with me. And I walked Karen through the mozzarella cheese I had made for the first time in June.

The chocolate sheet cake we made was from The Pioneer Woman. It was very good, and we liked it, though we felt the frosting was a little too sweet. Next time I would take a full cup away from the pound of powdered sugar (that will make sense if you read the recipe). Also, we doubled the pecans and were glad we did.

We also made this gorgeous apple pie. It was truly delicious, and so pretty. Rarely does anything I bake turn out pretty. Usually it is edible, but never pretty. I can't share this recipe with you as I don't have it, but it was a pretty standard apple pie recipe.

It is not super easy to make a pie, but it is easier than I thought. I'll definitely try again.

Here is our attempt to make mozzerella cheese. We used the 30-minute mozzarella recipe from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. You can find it at their website. It does call for two ingredeints you have to order from a cheese maker, but the recipe is worth trying because it is really easy.

Here we are curdling the milk. The curds are just beginning to form at 88 degrees.

Here Karen is stirring the curds and whey. See how easy it is.
Now she is pressing the whey out of the curds. Avery has her pretty hands.
Here is the final product. Don't they look rustic and gorgeous? They were very tasty.

Bye Avery. We love you and are so glad you came to visit us.

Monday, August 11, 2008

More Walking

Mazie is really going places. She takes a good number of steps before plopping down.

Lucia took her first step yesterday. It was just one step and she has yet to repeat the feat. She would rather you hold her hands and let her dance around.

Elliott took his first step today and then took two steps a few minutes later. He was so excited; he kept bouncing up and down and laughing after he took his two steps. His Nana and Grancy got to see him take those first steps.

There is lots of movement and activity in our household.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Eleven Months: Mazie

Happy Birthday to our Mazie Bell. We love you.

Eleven Months: Elliott

Happy Birthday to our Little E. We love you.