Saturday, December 29, 2007
We had gotten a couple of recommendations for sushi restaurants here in Grand Rapids and were excited to give Mikado a try. We ventured out into the cold (about 30 degrees that night, so not too bad) and drove down to the strip mall where the restaurant is located. We walked inside the brightly lit space and were immediately seated. The first thing I noticed inside was how quiet it was -- only two tables were filled in the whole restaurant. Our server brought over warm towels and green tea, both of which helped combat the cold we had just escaped. We looked over the menu, which featured one half page of sushi and about three pages of other Japanese food. But we had come for sushi, and so we had sushi.
After we ordered our server delivered salads and tofu soup. The salad had a delicious peanut-garlic dressing, and we gobbled it up before the sushi arrived. Everything was very good, although the selection was definitely limited compared to San Diego restaurants.
We stopped for frozen yogurt on the way home -- TCBY is another place that is pretty empty in December in Michigan -- and then rescued my mom and fed the baby. She slept well that night (Lyla, not my mom), so we went through the next day with only pleasant impressions of the night before. I didn't even think very much about the meal until the following evening when I was feeding the little girl. She turned her face toward me and produced a distinctly garlic-y burp right in my face. Oh yeah -- everything I eat she gets too.... Right.
She hasn't had any bad reactions to anything so far, so I'm just eating as I normally would. It is wonderful to be able to have sushi again! And lunch meat! And sunny-side-up eggs. Life is good.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
We awoke the next morning and headed off to a 10 am service at our church. This is the first church that Katherine or I have belonged to that had a Christmas day service. It was really good, we sang Christmas hymns and Pastor Tim spoke about how Christ's birth is God's gift of joy for us. That Christ is the eternal source of joy and that our sinful natures long after other things that are only temporary sources of joy that ultimately leave you worse off than you were before. He taught that the gift of joy given on the first Christmas day is attainable through faith and that joy and faith are designed to be paired. It was a great message and wonderful for me to hear because I had been feeling sad about the things that I didn't have this Christmas and I wasn't focusing on my true source of joy.
After church we headed up to Uncle Tom and Aunt Lynda's house (Tom is Kevin's mom's younger brother and, thus, Kevin's uncle and Lyla's great uncle). They live about 25 minutes north of where we live in this old farm house that they've been in for the past 10 years. We spent the rest of the day there, had a wonderful Christmas dinner, played board games, passed Lyla around, talked, had a wonderful post-Christmas dinner dinner (which included no leftovers), talked more and had a wonderful time surrounded by family.
In addition to Kevin, Katherine, Lyla, Tom and Lynda were: David, Jenn, Laura and Mike (Tom and Lynda's children), Matt and Andy (Jenn and Laura's husbands respectively), Loren (Lynda's brother), and Josh, Jeremie, and Jacob (Loren's three sons). Katherine and I had such a great time spending Christmas with everyone and were so touched by how much everyone's love for Lyla showed (primarily indicated by a strong desire to hold her).
Here are some pictures:
People holding Lyla throughout the day
Merry Christmas from the Rings (Kevin, Katherine, Lyla, and Dr. Jones)
Monday, December 24, 2007
Drew was gracious enough to give Lyla some of his baby clothes and Lyla wanted to show all the readers of The Rings of Grand Rapids what great taste in onesies Drew had. She insisted on wearing the white headband so people wouldn't confuse her for a boy. And Lyla's mom picked up the awesome grey sweatpants for her at Target because, well, it's winter here.
We love you Drew!
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Katherine's getting ready right now and I just need to get my shoes on (and poor myself some coffee and change Lyla's diaper and load her in to the car) so we're almost ready to go. The only thing that could stop us is the horrible winter storm that currently bearing down on Grand Rapids. Apparently, five people have already died and it's going to bury us in snow starting at 3 pm. So hopefully we will have time to go to Target (for diapers) and the grocery store (for bananas... and other food) after church... assuming we make it to church at all.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
(Check out these screen shots from the 2-disc set)
From Thank you Grandma
From Family portrait (unaired)
Plus deleted scenes:
Baby, how did you climb up on the banister?!? (unaired)
- and -
In stores now, pick up your copy today!!!
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
A few things to point out in the top picture: her umbilical cord stub is about to fall off and you can see her cute bellybutton; she has a Snoopy band-aid on her left leg from her vaccination; the one-mitt look - Lyla's lack of complete motor control still results in scratches on her face, but it's hard to keep the mitts on her.
Last night we gave Lyla a bath (and since her umbilical cord has fallen off, we used the baby tub for the first time). Katherine and I have not quite figured out how to not make baths the worst thing Lyla's ever experience (that girl really turned on her crying A-game recently), but when she's done she looks soft and precious. I guess all the crying wore Lyla out because she spent the next two hours sleeping on Katherine's chest and then in my arms for an hour after that.
Here are my two beautiful girls:
And here's a video of precious girl sleeping in daddy's arms (hint: turn up your speakers to hear some quality baby snoring):
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
In terms of Lyla's further development, we went to the doctor for her two week check up. Lyla did great and only cried once when she got a vaccination shot but she only cried for like five seconds before returning to sweet little girl (Katherine cried a little too, neither of us liked seeing Lyla poked with a needle). Baby's growing just fine, she's grown just over an inch and is now 21 inches long. She's also regained the weight she lost at the hospital plus some so she's weighing in at 8 lbs 2 oz. It was funny because the doctor said she's in the 50th percentile for weight and the 90th percentile for her height... tall and skinny, just like dad.
Monday, December 17, 2007
I didn't know that there was a market for ironic baby clothes, but those pithy tee-shirts are all the rage these days, so why wouldn't young hipsters want their children to reflect their apathetic worldviews. It is a nice picture, right? Well, that was one of, oh I don't know, a bazillion shots that it took to get one when she wasn't howling (she's not a fan of bathtime yet). Take a look:
After a lot of crying and impromptu attempts to sooth Lyla, Kevin discovered two new methods: 1. Lyla seemed to like it when I lay gently across her; and 2. well, see for yourselves:
(<-) Almost have it!
Got it! (->)
Sunday, December 16, 2007
We took Dorcas to the airport yesterday and it was sad for all of us. We miss her already (and not just because Lyla decided to stay up until 3 am last night, apparently she was really really really hungry, she ate for 5o minutes straight!!! and also not because I had cereal for breakfast instead of a delicious egg cooked over-easy.), her presence in our house is just such a joy. We're very very grateful for the love that she and Jeff have for us and for Lyla and can't wait until the next time we get to see them.
Here's a slide show of Dorcas and Lyla's greatest hits:
We love you Dorcas!!
Here's a picture (<-)of our neighborhood that Katherine and her mom took yesterday. Notice the light dusting of snow that is covering most of the ground. For most of you (especially Lyla's San Diego fans) this may seem like a lot of snow. Behold the wonder of six inches of snow!! I took this picture (->) from our front stoop. I wasn't really up for venturing out to get better shot of snow. Check out the accumulation on the railings or on the yellow kayak just to the right of the lamp post. (wow, I finished writing that sentence and realized that our pathway is kind of like those picture puzzles from Highlights magazine. Find the following items in this picture: a flag pole, a lamp post, a kayak, a frog statue. Awesome, I love that magazine!)
Anyway, winter is upon us. I asked Lyla if she wanted to go sledding, she said no. I can't say I blame her. We could easily lose her in 6 inches of snow.
Side note: Taking care of an infant usually occupies at least one hand and arm at all times. Katherine and I have had to develop some dexterity so that we can actually get other things done. Anyway, Katherine was quite amused at me working on this blog post while eating breakfast and soothing the baby:
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Mommy time, of course. Probably my second greatest joy as a husband and father is watching Katherine and Lyla grow in their love for each other as mother daughter.
How can a baby know, let alone love, her mother when she's not developed any social recognition capabilities?
Honestly, I don't know. Like wizards and geniuses, babies are powerful beings who are to be respected and feared. Not questioned. But seriously, Lyla and Katherine together is a picture of abounding love and I'm blessed to get to witness it. Granted, Katherine is also Lyla's only food source, but it's clear that their relationship has had a 9-month jump start on everyone else and that their bond is a special one.
What proof do you have that Lyla and Katherine love each other?
Seriously, what's with all the questions? Just look at the pictures, okay? Geez.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I just KNOW that the girls are going to be good friends; Emily is going to be the ring-leader and Ally and Lyla (did you notice that their names are an anagram?) are going to be the henchmen, doing whatever Emily tells them to. It's going to be fun. Plus, the combined cuteness of these three girls is going to be unbelieveable.
Anyway, I just did my 4 pm check of faithaweir.blogspot.com and discovered that Faith posted an adorable picture of Allison sleeping. My first thought was "Man, Allison is sooooo big!" (Granted, I have spent the past six days inundated with a newborn, so my frame of reference is a little skewed).
My next thought was "These cousins are destined to be BFF." Why is that you say? Um, awesome sleeping positions. Duh. Check it out:
Lyla could hardly contain her excitement as we got ready to make the trip. Here's a picture of her hardly able to contain herself as she waits for Dad and Grandma to get ready to go:
Here's pictures of her face lighting up as we walk into the store:
Here she is as we turn the corner and enter the dairy section (note the joy on her face):
Man oh man, was it an exciting trip. With so many high quality and name brand items to choose from, I'm surprised that Lyla could take it all in, but she did great. She was able to get everything from the list Mommy had made for her and even picked out a couple treats that weren't on the list (mmm, mmm Cookie Dough ice cream).
Anyone who has shopped at Meijer knows, getting in and out of the store quickly is not an option and after over an hour of shopping, both Lyla and Daddy were tuckered out.