A Thanksgiving Morning Surprise

Adam and I woke up on Thanksgiving morning when we heard the kids giggling and laughing. That’s what we wake up to most mornings. We were enjoying a few last moments of a warm bed when we heard a door slam. I thought Liz must be up going to the bathroom. She doesn’t usually slam the door, but maybe she was really tired. I heard the door slam again. Liz must have closed the bathroom door on her way out. Another slam. Liz went back into her room? Another slam. Maybe Whitney (Liz’s cousin was visiting us this week) is going to the bathroom. Another slam, and the laughing is getting louder. Suddenly Adam asked if that could be the kids slamming their door. We jumped out of bed and headed to their room. When we opened the door we found Kimball standing in front of Brinlee’s crib, and Sawyer in Brinlee’s crib. The boys were laughing and excited by their new tricks, and Brinlee was mad because she hadn’t managed to do the same. We spent Thanksgiving morning babyproofing their room. Thankfully I had done most of the cooking the day before. We removed everything but their cribs and the rocker. It’s pretty bare in there. We now have 2 dressers in our upstairs hall. Nice.
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/There are the perpetrators. It was so hard because on the one hand we’re so proud of them for accomplishing something new, but on the other hand, don’t do that!!
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/We wound up not being able to spend Thanksgiving with family. I came down with a cold, and since my dad is having surgery this week and my nephew was in the hospital with pneumonia a few weeks ago, we couldn’t risk exposing them. We were really sad not to be able to go, but it was too dangerous for them. In anticipation of a big crowd, I had bought a 23-pound turkey. Now it was just our family, Liz and her cousin, who was visiting. That’s not a lot of people for a huge turkey. We invited our next door neighbors to join us. Turns out they’re vegetarian, so they didn’t help us whittle down the turkey, but they were able to eat a lot of what we had (and we had a lot). We were really happy they accepted. I made everything wheat- and egg-free, just in case Kimball wanted a bite of anything. So I made bread and cornbread from spelt to make the dressing, and you could not tell a difference at all. I did some voodoo on the corn pudding. I used spelt to make the gravy. The only thing he couldn’t have was cheesecake, which we bought. As we sat down to our Thanksgiving feast, I was so proud of having (a) prepared EVERYTHING myself for the first time (we usually divvy up the dishes) (b) having successfully prepared everything (c) having figured out how to make it suitable for Kimball to eat. The kids had a delicious meal of….cheese. That’s right, cheese. Am I at all surprised? No. A little disappointed? Yes. I have to say that everything was very good, and they really missed out.
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/The night before Thanksgiving we had our family’s traditional dinner of chili. Why chili? Well, because the dressing only calls for half a pan of cornbread, and what is one to do with the other half pan of piping hot delicious cornbread? Eat it with chili! The other reason? Chili is perfect cold-weather food. The kids went crazy for the cornbread. Basically, they ate half a pan, and begged for more. It was all gone! There was no more cornbread to give them. They hardly touched the chili, but they were definitely full on cornbread.
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/Brinlee has become such a picky eater. Maybe I should say discriminating. Tonight I made homemade hamburger helper, which is usually a huge hit. Brinlee has decided that the only part of it she is willing to eat is the macaroni. She carefully picked out individual macaroni pieces and loaded her spoon. Then she carefully inspected the spoon to make sure no stray hamburger or veggies had snuck in before eating it. It took her AN HOUR to eat her dinner. Speaking of spoons, the kids have become very proficient with their spoons. They eat yogurt, cereal, anything with them. They’re getting so big. Our kids have never seen The Little Mermaid, but somehow Brinlee has decided that it’s a good idea to comb her hair with her fork, preferably when it’s coated with lasagna or macaroni.
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/We are amazed daily by the verbal explosion that is happening. Every day they say something new. The first sentence they said (which Adam taught them), was, “I love mommy.” But the first sentence they came up with on their own was, “Close. The. Gate.” Sawyer said it first. Then Kimball. Then Brinlee. Now they say things like “More milk please.” They also say, “Mommy coming. Daddy coming.” When they want us to come to them. It is so cute to hear them talk. Sawyer is still the biggest chatter box. I have a feeling that he will never ever stop.
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/Sawyer and Kimball have learned the almighty attraction of the remote control to the male hand. They chant “Me memote!” and will do just about anything to get it.
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/Caisen is a charmer at bed time. He knows that once his siblings are in bed, it’s his time to monopolize. He really turns it on. He starts grinning and cooing and touching your face. He laughs and giggles and cuddles. I love that time with him. The closer to bed time it is, the more adorable he gets. While he takes his bottle he plays with your fingers, looks lovingly into your eyes and wraps you around his adorably chubby little fingers. It’s so hard to put him to bed every night, but we do it because he needs to rest, and we need to clean up the disaster downstairs.
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/Kimball is so affectionate. He loves hugs and kisses. He’ll ask for, “More kisses! More kisses!” He also asks for hugs. He wants to hug most when it comes time to change his diaper. The closer we get to the changing table, the more he wants to hug. His desire for affection also increases when he hears Caisen cry from his room. Meaning, if I need to go upstairs and get Caisen because he woke up and he’s crying, Kimball suddenly can’t get enough of me. Kimball loves to do puzzles. We have some with animals, vehicles, letters, numbers. He is very good at getting the right ones in the right spot.
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/Brinlee loves her winter coat and the hood on it. When we were at Biltmore in that miserably hot basement, she wouldn’t let us take her jacket or hood off. The whole drive home from North Carolina she wore it. She loves her fuzzy blanket and wraps up in it in her crib, even though she’s wearing heavy winter pajamas and the room is plenty warm. She has a shirt with a hood on it, and she always wants the hood on. She loves the hood on her bath towel. We’ve decided that Brinlee loves to be swaddled. She loved it as an infant. She loved actual swaddling with a blanket, but she would also wedge her head into the corner of the crib.
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/As much as she loves to be tightly bound, Brinlee is our daredevil. The girl has no fear. We went to a bouncy place with the Guinns, and there is this huge inflatable slide. I took her down a few times, and then she started going on her own. My own stomach did a little lurch every time I went down. She obviously likes that sensation. She is always climbing on anything to get taller. I found her standing on the lion push car, on a hardwood floor trying to unlock the deadbolt. I can’t believe it didn’t roll out from under her. She’ll climb on anything she can. She likes to stand on their table and say, “Tall!”
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/This is the massive slide Brinlee went down herself. She tried to climb up the ladder herself, but she couldn’t reach.
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/All day long we here the same request, “Jumpy on! Jumpy on!” They love their jumpy, and love to turn it on even more. They like me to pull out the plug cover, plug it in, press the reset button, and turn it on. They like watching it inflate. And after they’re done jumping, they like turning it off. They treat it like a WWE wrestling ring. They throw themselves off the sides, body slam in the middle and flip over the sides.
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/The words I hear most during the day are, “Huzzat?” (What’s that?). It’s their favorite question. They like to quiz me by holding up different objects and asking, “Huzzat?” So far I am passing my quizzes. Do I get a raise?
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/For the longest time our kids never took anything to bed (except Brinlee. She’d take whatever small toy she had in her hand at the time). Last winter we introduced blankets, with our pediatrician’s permission. We were hoping they would catch on to the idea that if you’re cold you can cover up. Most times the boys’ blankets were in the floor in the morning. Brinlee immediately loved it. This summer we started putting a book in each of their cribs hoping to keep them quiet if they woke up from their naps early (it didn’t work). They have destroyed many cardboard books, so even pieces of books are ok. Recently Brinlee started taking her Shrek triplet baby to bed, and the boys began to follow suit. Then we got a stuffed bear from Carter’s for the recall situation, and she latched on to that (in addition to the baby). So now the boys also take bears to bed. The most recent addition is a rubber duck for each of them. So at bed time we have to gather babies, bears, rubber ducks, blankets and books (or pieces of books). Sawyer even snatched a foam rubber duck shape out of the tub last night and took that to bed too. Their cribs are getting quite full all of a sudden. They would take their water cups to bed if they could, but after they used them to beat on their cribs the one time we tried it, I decided against it.
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/Sawyer is leading the talking-in-sentences movement. He is dying to converse. He runs down his list of vocabulary words (and it’s a loooooong list). He usually groups them by categories – farm animals, colors, activities, numbers, letters, foods, toys, the weather, objects, anything he can think of or see. You have to repeat what he says before he moves on to the next word. If you don’t repeat the word, he will repeat the same word over and over and over until you do. As he says his words, he’ll sign them if he knows the sign. That boy has a lot to say, and he is figuring out how to say it. He is still such a happy boy. He loves to play with and talk to Caisen. He is happy to see everyone else happy. Sawyer loves to play with his siblings and mommy and daddy. Tonight when we were heading up the stairs for bed, he gathered 3 books, and when we got to their room he put one in each crib. He has picked up on one of mommy’s phrases. Sawyer loves to respond, “No way!!” when he doesn’t want to do something. Of course, in typical Sawyer fashion, he is usually laughing his head off as he says it.
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/Brinlee wearing mommy’s favorite apron.
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/She started hamming for the camera.
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/Liz took these pictures of the kids when she and Whitney took them on a walk.
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/Happy Brinlee!
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/Kimball’s having a good time.
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/Sawyer is perfecting his coy act. He’s getting very good at it.
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/There’s smiley Sawyer!
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/Caisen is such a cute, smiley baby!
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/Hey cute baby boy!
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/Caisen chews on his lower lip so much it get gets chapped.
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