Family Photo Session

Remember I told you we were getting family pictures this week? We went to a local lake and had professional photos done. I was nervous about it, because we’ve never done anything like it. I wasn’t sure if I had everything I needed, was dressing us in the right things, could get the kids (and, let’s be honest, Andy) to participate, etc. As usual with these things, my fears were all unfounded. The kids did great (though it was difficult to get them both to smile at the same time), and I LOVE the preview pictures I received yesterday.

All pictures taken by Kari from She Snapped Photography (who happens to be Andy’s cousin.)

photo (1) copy 2 photo (1) copy photo 1 photo (1) photo 2


Yes, I am biased, but in this case I am confident I am not wrong – those are CUTE kids!

What I’m Into {January 2014 Edition}

What I'm Into ~ Plumfield DreamsThis is my first time participating in Leigh Kramer’s monthly “What I’m Into” linkup. I’m excited! I love this sort of thing. Hopefully some of you gentle readers do, as well. (Speaking of what I’m into…when I typed “gentle readers” my mind went to a specific Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode. Can you go there, too? Oh, I hope so, because that means you lead a happy life.)

What I’m Reading

I’ve been sick so much, and subsequently so busy when I’m well, that I haven’t gotten much reading done. I even missed book club. A Million Little Ways has been my primary read this month, and it is fantastic. It’s been a while since I’ve done much underlining in a book, but this one is getting heavily marked up. It has inspired a lot of thoughts, all milling around waiting for me to have the time to focus properly on each. It’s a book to savor, for sure.

The books most heavily in rotation with the kids this month are Katie Loves the Kittens, a couple I Spy books Aria got for her birthday, Madeline’s Rescue, one of Andy’s Garfield comic strip books Aria found on the bookshelf, and Charlie the Ranch Dog.

What I’m Watching

Downton Abbey AND Sherlock came back this month, so I’m basically in television heaven. I’ve also been rewatching NCIS. I’m up to season nine, which is the last one I own (no, I did not watch nine seasons this month). There are many things to appreciate about this show, but one of my favorite aspects is the subtlety. They don’t spell things out, and they don’t show a lot of the relational situations. Instead, they drop hints – verbal, contextual, and physical – and trust the viewer to follow. It’s refreshing.

Geeking Out

I just learned about this awesome curated box of bookish things you can receive quarterly. I AM SO EXCITED. I only wish I had learned about it before the first box went out, because I want everything in it. Oh, and I also wish I could afford to do this one, too. And that I could gift one to everyone I know.

Around the Web

Emily Freeman is one of my favorite bloggers (she also wrote A Million Little Ways). This post about Choosing the One You Least Expect is moving and inspiring.

I can very much relate to the whole waffling thing Anna discusses in Moms Need More Swagger (also to the idea my mom knew everything with confidence, and to the waiting for that to kick in).

The Kids Are Learning 

Aria (two) has started saying “I love you” and “I like you”. The latter is a song from her favorite TV show, “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”. She has also started singing – more than just mimicking me – beginning with the “I like you” song. She has become extremely polite. It’s cute. She says “thanks” for pretty much everything, is getting quite good at remembering her “pleases”, and (my favorite) says “excuse me” if she needs to pass you. I hear “‘Scuse me, Mommy” a couple dozen times a day. She has also learned to apologize to her brother if she does something mean, or something thoughtless that results in him getting hurt. She’s pretty good about it, but sometimes I feel badly because I’ve heard her saying “Sowwy, Noey” when he cries about something totally unrelated to her. It’s cute, and a little sad, but I think she just doesn’t quite understand it yet. She seems to be basically trying to get him to be quiet. 🙂

Noah (6 months) is starting to play independently on the floor for short periods of time. Yesterday I left him in the Bumbo seat on the living room floor, and when I came back ten minutes later he was hanging out on his belly on the floor. We may be about done with the Bumbo seat. He isn’t crawling yet, but he does push himself up almost onto his knees regularly, and he pulls himself around the room. He got three more teeth in a period of about four days, so he now has a total of five. We started him on solids a couple weeks ago. Thus far he’s eaten avocado, banana, sweet potato fries, roasted carrots, green beans, and homemade chicken fingers. He seems to have enjoyed all of it.

What I’m Pinning

Super Bowl food! We started our clean eating endeavor this month, and I’ve been pinning food like crazy.

Here’s what we think we’re going to try for the Super Bowl:

Buffalo Wings with Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Spinach Brownies

Texas-Style Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus


What I'm Into

7 Quick Takes: The One with Noah’s First Meal

Each week I post seven “quick takes” of things on my mind. Topics are typically related to our family happenings or things I’m into right now.

  1. I apologize for the complete lack of posts around here. It’s on account of I was sick. You know how last week at this time I was all “thank goodness for next week, because I am so over being sick”? Ha! Joke’s on me!
  2. Saturday I went to see “Saving Mr Banks” with my mommy, sister, and some friends. It was wonderful. Wonderful. You should see it. By the time we left the theatre, I was freezing. Like, the whole way home my teeth were chattering uncontrollably. Within an hour or so I had a temp over 103. I felt just great otherwise. And so it went. Long story short, I became unbelievably miserable, Sunday night I went to the ER, they gave me fluids and potassium, which it turns out I sorely needed, and that helped, but I was still miserably sick until Tuesday afternoon when – poof! – it went away. It was not Influenza A or B, and it was not mono. The ER doc said it was an unnamed virus that was showing up a lot this season. So, I lost 72 hours and some moolah and am still extremely tired. BUT. No one else got it, praise God, AND I never vomited a single time. And to that I say woot.
  3. The lingering sucky thing is that the whole basically-no-food-for-3-days thing had a very negative effect on my milk supply. I have been forced to supplement with formula. It’s not making Noah sick to his stomach, thankfully, but his skin is drying out, and I don’t want him on it. I’ve just started taking an herbal supplement, fenugreek, which is supposed to help. Fingers crossed…
  4. I am sooo behind at work. We were closed right after we opened for the year because of weather. Then the week we all went back I had a couple days of being off for sickness, and then the following week I added a few more. Ugh! I have deadlines!
  5. Since being officially well (Wednesday morning) I have done five large loads of laundry, unburied my inboxes, caught up on grading, cleaned out the fridge, gotten a filling replaced, done assorted work chores, and generally taken care of the kids. It’s exhausting to be a mom. Seriously.
  6. The kids were fantastic while I was sick. It became increasingly frustrating for me as the days wore on and I felt so far away from them. They did impressively well with it. Now that I’m well they’ve both been clingy, but I’m not complaining. Today I realized all traces of baby Aria are gone. She is a little girl, and she learns more every day. She speaks in long sentences regularly (many of which are total gibberish). She remembers things you tell her. The other day we were discussing who in the family has an upcoming birthday, because she has a vested interest in birthday cake, and I was musing, mostly to myself, that Uncle Dave doesn’t eat birthday cake because he can’t have the gluten, so I’m not sure what he does for his birthday. I thought she had moved on to something else, because she appeared to be paying me no mind. Then, today, she suddenly informs me, “Dave…mmm…no birthday ceck!” with a decisive head shake. (“Mmm”, by the way, is what she inserts in a sentence when she knows there should be at least one additional word, but she’s not sure what it is. It is the most endearing thing.) She gives me lots of little hugs and kisses, and does the same with her brother throughout the day. Several times yesterday she gave me a hug and then tilted her head and smiled at me very tenderly, and her eyes got this soft look that I recognized as a reflection of the way I look at her. Oh my, make me melt.

    Aria's First Masterpiece ~ Plumfield Dreams

    Aria has started taking pictures with my phone. Here is her first photographic masterpiece.

  7. Andy switched sides of the bed with me while I was sick to take responsibility for Noah. The first night I was so relieved to be able to sleep without worrying about him, and the second night I was over it and wanted my baby back. The third night I took Noah-duty back, and he woke up at midnight and decided to be smiley and happy and awake as could be until 2:30am. And I wanted to give him back to his dad. I cannot be made happy. Wednesday evening we decided to have him eat with us. Now that he’s six months he can start eating solid foods. We had tacos for dinner, but the meat was too spicy for him and most of the toppings were cut too small for him to eat. So, we gave him just avocado. He smashed approximately half the avocado with delighted interest before deciding to try to eat some of it. He got some of it in his mouth, so it was quite a success. Eventually he became frustrated there was no more avocado to eat, so we gave him some banana, and he immediately took to that, eating bites. A lot of what he got in his mouth he just let fall out, but he was taking purposeful bites and doing some chewing. That’s an excellent start for the first time he ever tried food. He’s going to love exploring the new world of tastes and textures.

    Noah's First Meal ~ Plumfield Dreams

    Aria felt it was important we include a close-up of her sippy.

7 Quick Takes: The One Where Noah Turns Six Months

Aria & Noah January 2014 ~ Plumfield Dreams

  1. So, we had this snowstorm on Sunday. And then there were the sub-zero temperatures that followed. I won’t post pictures, because I assume the fact you’re reading this blog means you don’t live under a rock, and that means you’ve already seen pictures. Anyhoo, we had this nasty weather, which was incredibly pretty from the warmth and comfort of our house, and the kids and I just left the house for the first time today. Since Sunday. When all we did was go outside and shovel for a short while in the morning. We’ve been on the edge of nuts. Aria has been whiny and a bit wild, and I’ve been slowly becoming more cranky. As of today we have plans to leave the house for something four days in a row. Woot!
  2. I decided on a reading goal of 75 books this year. That’s right around what I read in 2013. Though, I read more last year than I did in the couple of years previous, so I don’t know how realistic it is. I’ve also joined Goodreads, in addition to Shelfari. I still like Shelfari’s interface better for the most part, but Goodreads has won the market, so I decided I would also go where the people are. It’s not difficult to update my reads on two sites rather than one.
  3. Noah was six months yesterday. Once you have children, you never again catch up to time.

    Noah Six Months ~ Plumfield Dreams

    It’s getting a bit harder to take a picture with the pig. He attacked it instantly. (He’s cute, right? That’s not just me?)

  4. We had Noah’s six month check-up today. He is healthy, as usual. His height and weight caught up with his head circumference at the top of the charts. He weighs 20 pounds and is 28 inches long. (Here’s the report from his four month check-up.)

    OAD document, social media

    Aria loves her owl wheeled backpack. Recently she’s begun experimenting with new uses.

  5. The ladies at our doctor’s office are wonderful. The nurse, Joy, was happy to weigh and measure Aria at my request. Aria took her baby doll to the doctor’s office, and Joy measured her when she did Noah, and then we put “baby” on the scale before Aria was comfortable getting on. Aria was excited to go today. She kept talking about it, and when Joy called for Noah, Aria hopped right up and followed her back with no concern for my presence. That’s very rare. Aria is 30 pounds and 36 inches tall. Y’all. I’m only 64 inches tall.
  6. We decided not to trade rooms with Aria right now. When I measured for furniture we weren’t thrilled with the fit. For that and a few other reasons we decided to try putting Noah’s crib in with Aria’s first. It’s been there about a week now, but Noah hasn’t slept in it much. Aria really wants him in the room with her. She talks about it and asks for him, and the one time thus far we did her bedtime story while he slept in his crib she whispered the entire time. It was sweet. We haven’t put him in there much yet because he wakes up as soon as we lay him down. He’s not used to that much space, so he rolls right onto his stomach and can’t get back, and then he gets fussed up and nap time is over. We’re easing into it, but it may take a few more weeks, until he has a bit more consistent control of his own body.
  7. Did I mention my favorite group won The Sing-Off? The finale aired two days before Christmas, so it might have gotten lost in the shuffle. I was in such suspense waiting for the announcement. I get way too involved. My heart was pounding. I backed it up and rewatched their reactions twice. And now I’m excited for them to release an album and go on tour.