Wednesday, December 30, 2009


That's what I said this morning as I opened my email and saw this:

Although I said it more like Seth and Amy, as in: really, Gap?!? The last email I got from you was about holiday delivery. We have two feet of snow on the ground. I still have my Christmas tree up. And the first day of winter was nine days ago.

So, no, I do not think I will take a first look at spring as your email suggests.

I mean, REALLY.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Business in the front, McLaughlin in the back.

I have some serious concerns about my child's hair. He was born with straight hair, but now it's beginning to take on some frightening characteristics.

His hair is starting to look...nappy.

But only in the back. The front looks exactly like Nate's — soft, straight, a little poofy. He even has the Breyer hairline. But the back is super textured and kind of kinky.

What if that's what he ends up with? Stick straight Breyer poof in the front, nappy McLaughlin afro in the back?

Poor kid. I figured he'd get one or the other...but not both. Definitely not both. That's just cruel.

Though I'm sure it would make for an outstanding mullet someday, if he decides to go that route.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

At seven months, Calvin...

Says "Mama" and "Dada."
Crawls backwards.
Pulls himself up in his crib.
Identifies the Tylenol bottle (Is this an early sign of drug addiction?).
Has two teeth.
Sleeps through the night (FINALLY. Though rarely past 4:30am.).
Rolls every which way.
Reaches out to be held.
Squirms constantly.
Shakes his head back and forth, back and forth.
Eats like a champ.
Thinks his dad is totally hilarious.
Has completely stolen our hearts.

We love you, silly boy!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Well, I'm very bendy.

Hey, what's that on my feet?

Better check it out using my best checking things out tool.

Hmm. Still really not sure.

These are really weird. Perhaps I will crawl backwards and hide them under this couch.

Much better.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

So big.

This does not look like a baby.

This looks like a little boy.

Not so fast, love. Your mama isn't ready for you to grow up quite yet.

What the world needs now... cookies. Lots and lots of them. Because it's Christmas and that means you can eat anything you want without repercussion!

(Just go with it. It will make you happy, I promise.)

Sunday I spent the day baking with four of the nicest ladies you'll meet. This baking tradition of ours started in 2003 when my friend Andrea and I got inspired and baked a ton of Christmas cookies at her mom's house. Well, Andrea moved to Philly (boo), but her mom Linda, our friend Joanna, and two of Andrea's friends, Jackie and Colette, joined me in her absence, and we've been getting together to bake, chat, laugh and eat every December since 2006. Unfortunately (for us), Jackie moved to Japan two years ago, so this year another friend, Willa, joined us.

Every year we show up at Linda's house and make a huge mess. We all make 2-3 kinds of cookies, split everything up, and then leave with more cookies than one person should ever feel comfortable having in their home.

This year we made 15 types of cookies in a record-breaking four hours:

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Snickers Cookies
Mexican Wedding Cakes (also known as Russian Tea least by me)
Thin Mints
Pretzel Bark
Double Chocolate Biscotti
Cranberry White Chocolate Biscotti
Molasses Sugar Cookies
Cranberry Turtle Bars
Hello Dolly
Flake Cookies
Marshmallow Christmas Wreaths
Cranberry White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

And now they are all piled on my dining room table. I have plans to give them away, but there's something kind of wonderful about coming home to a cookie buffet...

No, that is not a picture of my personal cookie buffet. That is Linda's table before we split things up, although at that point we weren't done so there were more cookies in the kitchen. And on her deck, which conveniently doubles as a refrigerator/cooling rack.

Here's hoping my dear co-founder will be back in Minnesota next year and we'll be making this huge mess at her house!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Our Thanksgiving in (very few) pictures.

I am terrible at taking pictures during holidays. And at posting the few I did take in a timely fashion.

The Brall (Breyer/Hall) Thanksgiving was fun, as always. There was lots of oohing and ahhing over the group's two smallest additions — though Calvin seemed massive next to tiny little Madelyn (at nine weeks she weighs little more than Calvin did at on earth did I get that kid out??).

We ate, we laughed, we had some issues with tupperware. It was great to have everyone together, and fun to give Calvin his first taste of real food. He didn't seem very excited by mashed potatoes (Nate was devastated) but he did seem to enjoy the sweet potato casserole we made (my Nana's yummy recipe). I'm sure next year both will fall by the wayside when he has his first encounter with green bean casserole (the only thing that requires seconds, in my opinion).

And finally, a quick video of Calvin with Madelyn. What a flirt! We have high hopes for these two, as there has yet to be a Breyer/Hall wedding. Sadly, we didn't get a picture of them in the matching Thanksgiving onesies Laura bought them.

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