Friday, October 31, 2008

Larkin's First Halloween

Happy Halloween! As you can see from the pictures above, we dressed up as Disney characters... Larkin celebrated her first Hallow's Eve by dressing up as Dumbo the adorable big-eared elephant, Brian was Linguini from Ratatouille (note the rat on his hat), and I was Snow White.

The weather was perfect for trick-or-treating (mid-60s) and so there were lots of ghosts, princesses and superheroes out knocking on doors for candy this year. We gave away candy to 180 kids! After that, we took Larkin around to a few of our neighbors for her first official trick-or-treating extravaganza... the first piece of candy that she received was a piece of Dubble Bubble gum!

We topped off the evening with a party at the house of our friends, Chuck and Kay. We celebrated with Grandma and Grandpa Hittle there. Peggy was dressed up as a pirate and Jim was a scary witch. Larkin had a blast reaching out and grabbing Grandma's nose and earrings!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Larkin's First Solid Food

Today was a really fun day. We did a little of this and a little of that. It was a beautiful, blue sky day, but incredibly windy! We headed over to the playground and open field area near the elementary school near us so we could let Sera off her leash. She had a blast running free, smelling everything and even climbing up part of the play equipment! Brian and I both chased her around and I even got on a swing (blast from the past)! Later this evening, we started and watched most of a "Bourne" movie marathon... Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy, and Bourne Ultimatum. It was a fun, relaxing, family-spending-time-together sort of day.

The most exciting part of the day, however, was that Larkin tried her first solid food today! She had organic whole grain rice cereal. We actually fed her twice today and you can watch shortened highlight videos of both of them below (and they are quite different)!

During her first rice cereal feeding, Larkin was not so happy and cried off an on throughout the meal, getting frustrated with the textured mush I kept opportunistically shoving into her mouth. We persevered through it though and got something down.

During her second rice cereal feeding, Larkin was much happier. We got almost all of the rice cereal down (~1 Tbsp) and we even shared in a small gigglefest!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hittle Halloween Pumpkin Carving Party!

Today, we threw our annual Hittle Halloween Pumpkin Carving Party! It was a blast! This party has become somewhat of a tradition for us... it's something we actually started years ago when we were at Cornell, and we have done it most years since. Our party this year clearly fit the phrase "the more the merrier". We had ~35 friends and family over to our house, and 15 of them were kiddies under the age of 7! The theme was Mexican (e.g., tacos, burritos, tortilla chips, etc.), so we thought it was fitting to put baby Larkin in a chili pepper costume! The rest of the photo montage below should give you a small taste of what fun the party really was.

Here's a quick look at the decor... We put up both fun and scary Halloween decorations and the kids were absolutely terrified of a bowl of candy that had a moving hand coming out of it! We also set up a play area in the middle of the Great Room floor for the kids. The toys are a little old for Larkin, but it shouldn't be long before she's playing with them too. As you can see from the "before" and "after" shots, the play area was a big hit!

When the kids arrived, each one ran in a different direction. Some wanted food, some wanted to play in the play area or on the piano, and others wanted to go outside. Some of the girls played “princess” (as there were 2 Snow Whites and a Cinderella) and held a tea party of sorts with lemonade, gold fish, and Pirate’s Booty. Some of the boys played “spies” and ran around with endless energy (even though they informed us that since they were spies, we weren’t supposed to see them)!

Since it was probably the most perfect 75 degree day, the kids had fun outside too. They bobbed for apples, and I don't know how he did it, but Luke -- who is missing both of his front teeth -- actually got an apple! Meanwhile, Aislinn enjoyed pretending she was a dog, so we'd throw a ball and she'd fetch it! The kids also played on our neighbor's swing set and as you can see in the picture below, the princesses enjoyed swinging together... Cute story... when I went over to watch them swing, I heard the girls saying back to each other while they swang... "Hi, Cinderella!"...."Hi, Snow White!"...."Hi, Cinderella!"...."Hi, Snow White!" and so on.

After we enjoyed our Mexican dinner, we were successful in gathering all 15 of the kids together for a group photo... how adorable is that?! We then got pictures of the babies... Larkin the chili pepper with Daddy and her big sis Sera, and Aunt Jenny and cousin Sierra the pumpkin!

Finally, as it got dark, it was time for the pumpkin carving. Check out the fabulous jack-o-lanterns that we made this year! What a great ending to a great party. We're already looking forward to next year!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Jenny, Sierra, and Annie too

Brian’s sister, Aunt Jenny, and cousin Sierra came in for a visit this past week. It’s been 2 ½ months since we last got the girls together, and it was so much fun! Sierra and Larkin definitely noticed each other, and they even grabbed at one another. Larkin is currently in to grabbing at people’s facial features (i.e., watch out if you have a big nose, she’ll grab it!) and at one point she actually grabbed Sierra’s ear (see 2nd pic below...Larkin is on the left). Sierra got her back by trying to steal Larkin’s coveted ball toy (see 4th pic sure to click on the double-pic in order to enlarge it). The girls are so cute together… they even held hands a few times (see 3rd pic below)!

Since Larkin and Sierra are only 20 days apart (Sierra’s older), the girls are naturally meeting milestones at roughly similar times. Even so, Jenny and I make a concerted effort not to “compare” our babies. It makes for a much more fun time when we’re together. We do, however, love to joke about some of the physical differences in the girls and we’ve got a few pictures to prove it…check out the picture below... in it you’ll see that Sierra’s foot is considerably bigger than Larkin’s! Sierra’s longer too, but Larkin weighs more. And, as you’ll see in the 2nd pic below where they’re both lying on their tummys, that’s Larkin on the left in the camo outfit and Sierra on the right in the striped socks. Now, look how much bigger Larkin’s head is! Geez… and it’s a bit ironic too….Sierra (the one with the smaller head) was born via C-section and Larkin (the one with the bigger head) was not! It’s that darned “Hittle head” I was nervous about delivering! As I’ve heard from a number of people… good thing she came a little early! Ha!!!

Auntie Annie, soon-to-be Uncle Sean, and their rascal pup Sadie came in to visit on Saturday too. We had a fun night hanging out with the whole family, checking out different wedding dresses that Annie’s considering for next May, and watching the MU-Texas football game (sorry, Sean)!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sera's 4th Birthday!

Happy 4th Birthday, our sweet Serafina! Our fur-child and the big sis of the family had her birthday today. It was such a beautiful day – literally perfect weather in the 70s with a breeze – so we took the opportunity to lay in the sun with Sera on the front stoop. Sera loves to open wrapped presents too, so we wrapped up a squeaker toy and her favorite treat (a Lamb N’ Rice bone) and then let her at ‘em!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Prelogar Wedding Reception

Tonight Larkin donned her first evening “Cinderella” ball gown at the wedding reception for Brandon and Elizabeth Prelogar. Brandon, Brian’s best friend growing up, and Elizabeth had a destination wedding in Guatemala a mere 4 days after Larkin’s birth! So, needless to say, we weren’t able to be there. It sounds like it was a blast and we wish we could have been there, but at least Brandon’s father was able to read a speech that Brian wrote for Brandon on his behalf.

Since there were others like us who weren’t able to make the trip to Guatemala, the Prelogars threw a fantastic bash (as always!) this evening in a gorgeous new building that Brandon’s father designed. After devouring her bottle when we first arrived, Larkin did pretty well for a good portion of the evening… and she looked so cute in her dress (thanks to the Shimkaveg family)! As it got a bit closer to the “bewitching” hour and as the music got louder, Larkin started to get a bit fussy, so we changed her into her watermelon footed sleeper for comfort. Then, “pass the baby” time started… Larkin cried a bit when Elizabeth held her, but Elizabeth persevered like a champ and got her calmed down so when another lady took her, she fell right asleep. It was then a lot easier to pass her around once she had zonked out! Eventually, as it got late, Grandma and Grandpa Hittle took Larkin home with them so that Brian and I could stay at the party a bit later. We had a great time and are so glad we were finally able to celebrate with “Uncle” Brandon, “Aunt” Elizabeth and the rest of the Prelogar clan!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Grandma Hittle's Birthday

Happy Birthday, Grandma Hittle! To celebrate, we enjoyed a fabulous dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, M&S Grill. Larkin slept through most of the meal, but we woke her up so that Grandma could feed Larkin her last bottle for the evening and spend a little time with her. Larkin is into grabbing at faces right now (chins, noses, etc.), and she did so to Grandma a number of times. It’s adorable except for when she “gets” you with especially wet fingers that she’s been sucking on!

Above are a couple of very cute pictures of Larkin with her Grandma. Several people think Larkin looks a lot like Peggy, especially when she smiles… it’s those luscious “Dineen” lips and her blue eyes!