31 December 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Tooth

It has been a fun Christmastime with all of us at home. Lotty has gotten used to having Daddy around and perhaps Mama has too. Monday will come as a bit of a shock for us all.  The big news during this time is that we can feel Lotty's first tooth.  Sorry, no pictures of that.  We first felt it on Wednesday, the 29th.  It has bothered her a bit and she feels it all the time with her fingers and tongue.

Lotty has continued to try new solid foods, including carrots, pears (cooked up at home) and prunes! She has also started eat rice rusks (shown in picture below). She isn't always the neatest eater, but she is getting the hang of it, and Max enjoys looking from crumbs and finishing leftovers.

Waiting for crumbs

Of course, Lotty sometimes wonders what it is that we are giving her!  So far about her favorite thing to spread on her face is carrots, though I think it is prunes with rice cereal in the picture below (right).  


For Christmas, Auntie Marie & Nick gave Lotty a giant kangaroo with a baby in her pouch.  The baby has been named Foster.  No definitive name has emerged for Foster's mother.

Auntie Kathryn helped Lotty open some presents on Christmas evening.  Kathryn is Lotty's part-time nanny, so they know each other really well.  This was a mobile of the world with people from all over.  It was from Oma and Grandpa Derksen and came from the Ten Thousand Villages store here in Seattle.

05 December 2010

Thanksgiving, food and more Lotty play

It looks like we missed posting in November all together.  It isn't like it is an especially short month, but it has been a busy one.  Elizabeth had two concerts in conjunction with the release of her second solo CD.  You can find it here.  There was also a trip down to California for a week around Thanksgiving.  Grammy and Grandpa Brown had not seen Lotty since she was a few weeks old, so it was good for all of them to get re-acquainted.  It is a Mendocino County Law that you have to take pictures of the ocean while there.  Here are a couple that Paul took:


While on the trip, Lotty rolled over for the first time.  She did it a total of three times and hasn't done it since.  So for now, she remains basically immobile.

We started feeding Lotty "solid" food on Saturday.  Her first food was rice cereal thinned with breast milk.  She was a bit unsure of what to do that first meal, but it went better today.  She didn't seem to have any adverse reaction to the rice, so that is good.

Just today, Lotty started playing with the toys on the Baby Einstein play center that she got from Grammy and Grandpa Brown.  She was first fascinated by the bongo playing lion (who wouldn't be) and then started playing with the flexible necked giraffe.  I think she will find it more fun when her feet actually touch the bottom.  For now, though, she can just hang out in it with a little supervision.

31 October 2010

Pumpkin Carving

Saturday night was pumpkin carving night.  We decided that a happy pumpkin was in order this year; we can try for scary later.  Not sure if we have the skills to pull off scary.  Paul was pretty pleased to make curves that were somewhat smooth!  Lotty watched from her high chair, which wheels around nicely between the dining room and the kitchen.  She then inspected the finished product on the front porch.  Look at those chubby cheeks!

After the mess of carving the pumpkin, it was bath time.  Actually, Lotty didn't get all that messy, but it was time for a bath anyway.  She enjoys bath time and we usually get some good smiles with her in the tub.

Paul is working on a set of smile pictures to come out soon.

17 October 2010

Mountain Retreat (Belated)

As some of you may know, we took a little vacation to the mountains when Lotty was 2 months old.  (Actually right after she got her shots, which worked out better than it could have.)  If you have been keeping track, she is now over 3 months old.  So yes, it has been a while.  Our excuse is that we have all been working on Elizabeth's new CD, In Her Honor, Vol. 1.  That is now off to the presses and I thought I had better post something here.

As I mentioned, we went up to the mountains and rented a cabin not far from Index, WA.  Our trusty old Subaru was pretty full with stuff for the baby and the dog.  You can see the front door of the cabin as well as the view we had from the riverbank on the other side of the cabin.  The cabin had some nice large windows that looked out over the river, too.

We were joined for part of the time by Oma and Grandpa Derksen, giving us some help with watching Lotty and letting us have a dinner out in the happening town of Gold Bar.  You can see Oma with Lotty in front of the big picture windows overlooking the river.  It may have been the shots, but Lotty spent time by the wood stove happily napping.

The whole Smith Derksen Family also made it up during the day on Saturday.  They brought their dog, Camello for Max to use as a chew toy.

We did get to do some hikes as well.  Lotty didn't hike very much, but she was happy to be carried.  Most of the hiking time she slept, but she did look around for a little bit while we were in the forest.  You can see we made it up to the waterfall, which was very nice.  Max definitely enjoyed getting out more.  You can see Lotty with Paul in the carrier.

Don't worry.  More recent pictures of Lotty and stories about what she has been up to will be coming soon.

05 September 2010

Lotty Conducting

Below are a few pictures of Lotty as she learns to conduct:

OK, everyone come in together! 

Now this is the intense part...
Ugh, you call that "in tune"?

And this is just a cute one of her when she is awake.  Gotta love the tongue sticking out!

For those of you that are interested in projects around the house, our patio is almost done.  It is actually a little farther along than this picture shows; we now have steps coming down from the sliding door.  We enjoyed a couple of ice cream sandwiches on the patio today after our walk.

18 August 2010

At the Opera

Like previous years, Elizabeth is teaching at the Accademia d'Amore, the Baroque opera workshop run by Stephen Stubbs and Maxine Eilander.  Unlike previous years, this workshop is at Cornish College of the Arts and now necessitates childcare.  This is being handled by Paul and Oma (Grandma Derksen).  They found a lounge on the bottom floor of the building and have been camped out there.  Auntie Kathryn also stops by at times.  They have milk left for them, but most of the time Elizabeth has been able to come down at breaks to feed Lotty.

This first pictures, taken outside the main concert hall, makes it looks like Lotty wants her space.  Instead, she got taken to the student lounge/computer lab.  It is a pretty nice space, but has gotten rather hot over the last few days with the outside temperatures getting to be about 90°F.  Fortunately, the weather has turned cooler and that makes it easier on everyone.

Sometimes, a wonderfully sleeping baby decides that things which were just fine maybe aren't so fine any more.  Maybe there is reason to be a bit grumpy.  Or maybe things are downright terrible and a formal complaint must be made to management.

But Oma is there with a bottle to make things all better.

15 August 2010

Grammy & Grandpa Brown Visit

Paul's parents were in town for a longer visit at the beginning of August.  They got a chance to get to know their granddaughter.  There was time for "reading" stories, and snuggling.  Of course, Grandpa found time to wash and clean out the cars.  This was also appreciated, but more by Paul than anyone else.

The Sunday before they left, we had Lotty's baby dedication at church.  It is sort of like a baptism, but less wet and letting her decide about it later.  It was an opportunity to use the wonderful, antique blanket that our friends Ryan and Nikki gave to us.  It was a very nice service, especially since our pastor, Jeanne, has a wonderful way with babies.  

14 August 2010

Life at home with Lotty

Elizabeth has found her iPhone to be very valuable while nursing.  She can make calls as well as check email while nursing.  At least 2 fingers are involved in typing with one hand.  Note the blur of her fingers above the small screen.  Maybe the iPad would be nice for this, but the small size of the phone lets her put it just about anywhere and be able to use it one-handed.

Several people have asked us how max is doing with the new baby in the house.  He is really doing well.  He was very careful around Lotty when we first got home from the hospital, but we encouraged him to come over, sniff her and say hi.  He has aways furiously wagged his tail when he has been close to her.  Lotty is completely comfortable around Max, not knowing any different.  All the time spent with Max as a puppy teaching him that he was never allowed to bite people is now paying off as we have no worries that he will be gentle with her.  The one stuffed toy with the squeaker in it is another matter. That one probably will meet an untimely demise.

This last picture was an experiment. Lotty was pretty much asleep and hardly moving, so I (Paul) set the camera on the floor, stopped the aperture down to F22 with the ISO set at 100 and let the camera take about a 20 second exposure.  I guess this is more like the way portraits used to be taken.  In any case, the small aperture gave me a really wide depth of field, but the perspective in the shot still gives it a 3D feel.

24 July 2010

Cribs, Quilts & a visit from Grandma & Grandpa Brown

Lotty has been spending some of her nap time in the crib in her room.  You can see that she always enjoys sleeping there.

Although she sleeps most of the time, she does have awake time, too.  A few mornings ago, Paul and Lotty let Elizabeth sleep a little longer and tried out this wonderful quilt that our friend, Ann, made.

Just a couple of days ago, Paul's parents came to visit on their way from Northern California to Nebraska for a family reunion.  Those not geographically challenged realize that Seattle really isn't on the way between those places.  I guess their route had something to do with meeting their first grandchild.  They will be back in the first part of August for a longer stay.