Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Fresh Little Orthodox Christian

Baby Luke was baptized and chrismated (aka "confirmed") into the Orthodox Church last Sunday, the 28th, and he also received his first communion. Our little guy is officially an Orthodox christian and may participate directly in all the appropriate sacraments.

He did pretty well for the first couple of minutes, but then it was that throaty cry for the rest of the time. As you can see from the pictures, his mama had to come over and hold him for a little bit. Fortunately he settled down just before he was given the Eucharist.

For those who aren't familiar with the Orthodox church, the parents are given the responsibility to decide for the children that they be Christian so we don't wait to chrismate. Technically, we choose the godparents--in this case the very worthy Dn. Stephen and Mary Patty Holley--and the godparents speak for the child in the service. Of course when the child becomes older the parents can no longer force Orthodoxy on him, but for now it's our prerogative.

If you notice in the pictures, Luke is wearing a blanket with lace around the edges. The Holley's gave that to him--it was worn in baptism by Dn. Stephen, his mother, and his grandfather.

Baby Luke's Baptism

Monday, December 29, 2008

Jumping Bean

videoLuke has been passionate about standing up lately. If he gets fussy while I am holding him, I only need to put him on his feet and he is all smiles. Because of this new love and since his head control is very strong now, we decided to put him in this little jumping toy. He has a jumperoo at home that can stand on its own and I can move into the kitchen when I am cooking (Thanks Jen). The one in the video above hangs in a doorway. Thanks for passing it on Bethany Jean.

Christmas at the Jones' House

Luke with Grammy: Baby's first Christmas! It was very hot in the house due to a raging fire in the fireplace. :)
The three amigos: Clara, Luke and Paul. What a difference it is to have three wee ones around. The cousins loved playing with each other and running around the house screaming (Luke screamed, but wasn't running around. :) ).
Clara and Luke on the couch with the enormous cardamom bread. Grammy Jones has been making cardamom bread for Christmas Day breakfast since Nathan was born.

Tired out- When we got home last night, Luke fell asleep on the couch without any help. Sweet little baby.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Quick Update

We have been out of town- thus the lack of posts. Luke and I flew north to see my family for an early Christmas and take a 5 generation photo (which will be posted later). Yes, he has a set of great-great grandparents!

Now we are at the Jones's visiting family and eating great food. :) I will post a bunch of photos when we get home.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gingerbread Biscotti


This year, I have been busy in the kitchen making treats to give away. I made homemade apple butter, chocolate dipped pretzels (dark and white), and gingerbread biscotti. The biscotti turned out the best. I used the recipe below and dipped the finished product in vanilla icing for a more festive look. You can sub raisins for currants if you don't have those on hand.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients; In another bowl, combine the egg and egg whites, brown sugar, molasses and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Stir the egg mixture into dry ingredients just until moistened; fold in pecans and currants; cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Divide dough in half; shape each half into a ball; on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray, roll each ball into a 14-inch x 1 1/2-inch rectangle;Bake at 325 for 24 to 28 minutes or until frim to touch; remove from the oven and reduce heat to 300 degrees.
  4. Cool for 5 minutes, transfer to cutting board; cut diagonally with a serrated knife into 1/2-inch slices; place cut side down on baking sheets coated with nonstick cooking spray; bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned turning once, remove to wire racks to cool, store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Fish out of Water

Luke is really beginning to move. He rolls over regularly and is attempting (though not very successfully)to crawl. Here is a video of his efforts from last night:


video

Also, our little guy MUST be teething. He wet through two outfits and a bib yesterday afternoon, and was uncharacteristically cranky! He is also in a total spit-up phase. Here is a picture of one of his latest burp-ups:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Advent Thoughts

For Advent, I have been trying to find more time to pray and "make room" in my heart to greet the Saviour at His birth. Each year around the major feast days of the Church year, I pray to see something new, to understand God better this year than the year before. Unfortunately, the Advent season has passed very quickly and I have not spent much time preparing. I have prepared for Christmas by buying gifts, making and sending a Christmas card, decorating and the like. But I have neglected the more important task of preparing to receive Christ.

Usually I try to follow the Church's prescribed fasting rule, add some spiritual reading in, and try to find a place or people to give to. Part of the problem this year is that my circumstances are so different. Obviously, with Luke, my whole life has changed. We have not been to any mid-week liturgies because they are all at night. I cannot lessen my food intake because I need to be well nourished to nourish Luke.

However, even with these limitations, there were several things that I could do to focus more on my spiritual life that I have not done. There is no limitation on giving to those less fortunate, I can always sacrifice eating sweets or luxury foods, I can pray at all hours- even at 2am or 4am since I am up then anyways.

Thinking on my life, as I usually do during the middle of the night when I am up with Luke, I realized the blessing that Advent is not yet over and I can still begin to focus on the upcoming feast. Also, I was humbled by the fact that even with my weak efforts, God has shown me Himself in many things this year. Just being a mother, and welcoming my own child into the world has taught me so many great things (as I am sure God has designed motherhood to do).

A couple of thoughts:

The self-sacrifice in giving up my body through pregnancy, labor, and now nursing to give life to Luke makes Christ's life, death and resurrection more real to me in a way that only experience can show.

Thinking about Luke in the womb and watching him adjust to life in the world helped me to think on our life after death. He spent 9 months in the womb, upside down, hearing strange noises from the outside, occasionally being poked by something. Then he was born into the world that he only had glimpses of and had to re-orient himself to his new way of life. We too will be changed after we die and pass through the womb of this life and into the next. I don't know what it will be like, but I do believe that we will have some similar adjustments to make.


Well, that is all for now. 9 days until Christmas!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Bumbo

videoI have been agonizing of whether or not to buy Luke a Bumbo or hope to run across one at a yard sale. Today I broke down and bought one (with a tray). Luke had been wanting me to prop him up on the couch so that he can see what is going on. He is growing up!

Just Some Cute Photos



Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Singing to Sleep

Here is the video as promised. He is such a little sweetie. :) video

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

He is on a Roll!

This afternoon, during tummy time, Luke rolled over for the first time! He took a while because once he had made it onto his side, his head was soooo big that he got stuck. :) Hooray!

We have had a big day. I printed out our photo Christmas cards and have been slowly addressing them. I bought Nathan two shirts for free from JCPenney's (there was a coupon for $10 off $10 or more and the shirts were on sale). I made my power granola bars, dinner for some friends, and 3 loads of laundry.

Luke and I also took a trip to the DMV to get a new drivers license. My license had expired and the new license was sent to our old address (shame on me for not updating them with our new address). DMV should really hire mommies and babies to come and entertain the crowd of people while they wait in line. Luke was a little charmer, smiling at all the ladies and cooing and laughing while I bounced him. Several folks were just tickled to see him smile back at them, and the otherwise irritated, impatient mood in the room brightened. I also got MUCH better service! I even got to get in the line for camera 2 (the shorter line for disabled people who needed to get in and out) to take my new license picture. Such a treat!

I am actually curious how my picture turned out since Luke was sitting in the Baby Bjorn in front of me. I will post my picture when I get it if his little head made it on camera. :)

Here is our Christmas photo and later I will post a video of Luke singing himself to sleep. He has been doing this regularly now. Boy does he like to hear himself talk!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A New Look

videoFinally, I started Luke on cloth diapers. Isn't a cute new look? We are using pre-folds and bummi's diaper covers mainly, and a few BumGenius 3.0 all-in-ones for travel. (The BumGenius are amazing diapers. They are even on sale at CottonBabies.com, where I buy my diapers, for about $12) I am loving it! It has been much easier than I had anticipated and it is nice not to worry about having to go and buy more and more diapers. I have already done one load of dirties and the stains came out beautifully with a little OxiClean. Also, he has not had a blow-out since he has been wearing them.

Nathan thinks that they look funny since they make his butt bigger than it already is. It is true that I have had to put him in at least 6 months pants now. Baby clothes are made for the sleek Huggies wearing babies. :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Playtime

videoLuke spending time playing in his aquarium gym.

Luke has become bored with watching me do things (even when I dance around and try to act really exciting :) ). He can now reach for toys and play around on his own, so I have been trying him with different toys. It is challenging to figure out which toys are right at his stage in life. I tried to have him play with this gym a month ago, and he just liked kicking the ball, but would cry after a minute or so. I am enjoying watching him grow up.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Late Autumn Stew

This is a super-healthy, super-tasty soup that I made for dinner today. Great vegetarian dish and great for the cold weather. I served it with homemade 50% wheat bread. Makes six-eight servings.

Directions

  1. Mix lentils and 5 cups water in a 3-quart or larger (slow-cooker) crock pot.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together remaining ingredients EXCEPT olive oil; Place mixed ingredients on top of lentils in crock pot.
  3. Cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours until vegetables and lentils are tender; Stir in olive oil, Serve in soup plates or bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese

Failed Experiment

Well, Luke woke up 4 times last night. Maybe he is not quite ready for the crib. I will try him again on Friday night so that Nathan can watch him Saturday if I need more rest.

Monday, December 1, 2008

My Baby Has a BIG Head!


We went in for 2 vaccinations today (poor baby!- he has been miserable ever since). Luke has a 17 inch head, is 16.5lbs and 24.5 inches long. He is a BIG boy! He is in the 75% for height, 100% for weight and 95% for head size.

Developmentally, he is also growing. He says several different sounds (at different volumes), laughs, and can roughly mimic sounds that we make. He also reaches for toys very well now and rolls onto his side.

We are going to take a big leap tonight and try Luke again in his crib. When we have tried before, he has not slept well. He does not sleeping on his back and I have not put him on his stomach during the night. He has been sleeping in his little baby chair so that he can curl up, but eventually he will outgrow that. Tonight will be a good night to try since his leg will be sore and he will need more room.

Since the Dr's visit, he has been in the carrier that you see above quite a bit. It is his instant-calm apparatus.