Don't blink

Before I had a child people always told me, 'don't blink or you'll miss something.' How true that is turning out to be! I don't think I've actually missed anything yet (man are my eyes dry) but I'll tell you, my little girl is changing and learning rapidly. Lately she's figured out her own style of crawling and is extremely interested in the fringe around the hem of our Christmas tree skirt. It would appear that she loves presents too, who doesn't, right? The mode of travel she decided on is to get into a monkey position (hands and feet) and then flop to the ground and repeat. So far it's been pretty successful though I don't see this lasting long since it takes a while to get anywhere. We'll see what her next modification will be.

Another point of progress Eva has made is in eating. We ran out of homemade baby food and I hadn't gotten a chance to make some more so I tried just mushing up some peas and giving her that with some other things. She did really well so we started trying more and more things. I noticed that she was showing a particular interest in trying to pick things up with her thumb and pointer too. Bring in the O's. I feel like in an instant Eva went from very smooth pureed food to picking up and eating finger food all by herself.

We had some friends in town last week and it was really nice to see them and catch up a bit. Thursday morning we had all finished breakfast (Eddie's boss was nice enough to let him come in a bit late) and Eva and I walked Eddie to the door as he was leaving for work. Normally I wave 'bye bye' to him and I say 'bye bye Daddy' by myself. This time I was not the only one waving and talking. Eva joined me with a wave and also said 'buh buh da da'. This was another one of those precious moments that I won't ever forget. Since then she waves and says 'buh buh' whenever she sees herself in the mirror.

Over the course of the past month a huge, wonderful blessing has occurred. Eva has pretty much stopped spitting up!! I'm not sure when it happened exactly but one day I realized that I didn't need to keep a bib on her all day. It's been fantastic. Thank you God.

I'm gearing up for Christmas. Things haven't been as organized as I would have liked but stuff is getting done. We decided to have Christmas at our house this year and have our folks come down here. Sadly my parents won't be able to join us as previously planned but Eddie's parents will still be making the trip unless the snow decides otherwise. We're looking forward to being home for the holidays and allowing Eva to have her first Christmas at her house.

Overdue Updates

Wow, I haven't updated in a while. Things have been so busy around here with the holidays. It seems that it has taken 3 weeks to prepare and recover from a one week trip! First you have the week of prep, getting things together and ready to go. Then you have your week away. Finally there's the unpacking and clean up resulting from being away for a week. Do you find that happens to you?

Our trip was a success. Traffic was not terrible (thanks for your prayers) and fairly uneventful aside from losing our low beams halfway through the trip up. Luckily our high beams were working and the highways were pretty well lit. We got in around 10pm Tuesday night. Wednesday was a pretty low key day of prepping for Thanksgiving and that night I was surprised, midway through cleaning my parents fridge, by my good friend Chrissy and her boyfriend Mike. We had planned on getting together but I forgot, oops. We were able to spend a couple hours together and it was great to FINALLY meet Mike who I've heard so much about. He's a keeper Chrissy!! Mom was kind enough to finish the fridge cleaning extravaganza despite being tired from a long day.

It was so nice to be able to see family and spend some time catching up on Thursday. It's been almost a year since I saw my cousins and their kids and it's amazing how much everyone changes in that amount of time. My parents were so gracious in hosting everyone for Turkey day. Eddie and I are grateful to them for their hospitality and for opening their home. Mom worked really hard to make the house beautiful for everyone and to make the bedroom we stayed in cozy and inviting. Thanks Mom! Thanks to Dad too for all your hard work and the help that you gave Mom. All in all it was a time of good food, good fellowship and lots of laughs. My brother Ben and his lovely wife Vicky joined us on Thursday night and, while we didn't get to spend as much time together as I would have liked, it was good to see the newlyweds. We got to meet my youngest brother JD's new girlfriend Amanda and she's really sweet. Ironically JD was Ben's best man and Amanda was Vicky's maid of honor! Neat.

Friday we got to have a wonderful breakfast with everyone and have an early Christmas with Grammy since we'll be spending Christ's birthday in Virginia. Thanks for all the nice gifts Grammy. Eva is really excited to try out her tricycle when Mom and Dad bring it down for Christmas! After lunch we packed up the car and headed over to New York to spend some time with Eddie's family. We were able to spend some time relaxing with Eddie's parents and Bandit that night. Saturday Mom L. was kind enough to orchestrate a lunch get-together with Uncle Bob and Aunt Gigi. It was great to see them and for them to spend some time with Eva. Grammy Sara wasn't able to join us but we had a chance to visit her later on in the day at her beautiful new home. She was happy to see Eva and we got some great pictures of the two of them together. Happily we didn't have to leave on Sunday and compete with the rest of the travelers returning from their holiday.

We had a fantastic time with everyone. I am amazed that we didn't do any shopping. It seems like every year we buy something and I was pleased to keep our wallets safely tucked away. Despite all the fun we had with family it's good to be home.

In other news we got a nice new TV on Wednesday. It's super big and shiny.

Eva update: She's super close to being a full blown crawler. She's got the hands and knees rocking down. She's got the rolling all over the place down. She's got backwards crawling down (much to her dismay) and I'm anticipating forward motion any day now. Still no teeth. I feel like these also could be here any day. Poor girl seems to chewing on everything and pouring drool from her mouth but there is still no visible evidence of pearly whites. I'm eager for her to get some teeth so we can start expanding her food selection. I'm hesitant to give her things that she has to chew for fear that she will choke but I guess I have to move her menu forward at some point. I think the arrival of teeth will help that. When did you start expanding your child's menu?

Snow and Sounds

Well, yesterday it snowed for the first time! I wish we got more of it in the DC metro area but I'm sure others around here don't agree. This is a place where a couple inches of snow closes schools for two days. Whatever! I like my snow. Sadly there was not any accumulation yesterday; it was very brief and light. No matter the size, it still got me excited for this winter and made me think there was hope of getting more than the standard couple of inches. I think this area is due for some heavy snowfall...bring it on. Hopefully we'll get a chance to use our new fire place!

Lately it seems that Eva has been developing at a rapid pace. She's been breaking out all kinds of single consonant sounds, your standard 'ma', 'ba', 'pa', etc. In addition she's started to experiment with consonant combination and it's got me excited. I am expecting to hear what resembles a word any day now. So the verbalization seems to be right on track and crawling is coming along too. Eddie and I made the mistake of leaving her somewhat unattended on the floor for a few minutes...when we checked up on her she was in the middle of the living room reaching to try and grab a paper off the coffee table. She's quite skillful in the art of rolling (that's how she got to the table) and is pushing up more and more onto her hands and knees. I read the other day that some babies don't crawl but roll or scooch then just walk. Hmmm, don't think I'm ready for that. Teeth are still a mystery. In the mean time I'm enjoying lots of gummy kisses which she seems to want to give out without restraint. Fine by me, it makes me feel so loved. If you see me and I have particulate matter or a crusty patch on my cheek you can just assume it's courtesy of Eva.

Next week, as we all know, is Thanksgiving! YAY! Fall and the holiday season is by far the best time of year. Sweaters and snow, turkey and family, Jesus' birthday...hellooooooo, great season. Anyway, we'll be traveling to see family next week and I'm not looking forward to it one bit (the traveling, not the family). Car trips aren't so bad it's just the traffic that gets me down. I'm praying that God blesses us with a smooth, fast and uneventful trip. We're leaving Tuesday mid-day to head up to MA and my family. We'll spend Thanksgiving day there and then head over to NY to spend a few days with Eddie's family and go home from there. I've been compiling a mental list of all the things we'll need to bring. This is our first Thanksgiving with Eva and the list has probably tripled since last year. Along with our basic clothing we now need to anticipate everything that Eva will be needing. Food, clothing, toys, bibs, burp cloths, seating, blankets, pacifiers, teethers, and so on. This is one of those times I wish we had a wagon or a van. Regardless, I'm happy that we will get a chance to see family and spend a little time catching up.

Words, Prunes and Savings

There have been a few things that deserve mention on the blog in the past week. Friday morning was a very special time. I was in bed feeding Eva before I had to get ready for work and Eddie was just laying there with u
s. He leaned over to say hi and was looking at our beautiful gift from God. All of a sudden, Eva stopped eating to look at her Daddy, reached out and put her hand on his and very softly said, 'Da Da'. It was one of the sweetest moments we've experienced as parents. She then turned her head away from us both and softly, almost inaudibly, said to herself, 'da da da' as if to make sure she had gotten it right. She then resumed her gaze at her Daddy and touched his face and again said, 'Da Da,' but more confidently and louder this time. Needless to say Eddie's eyes were not dry.

This past weekend Mom and Dad LaBombard were in town for a visit. We had a nice time relaxing together and the guys got a couple projects done. Our car now has new headlights that will hopefully pass inspection and help to get our car registered so my poor husband can stop being pulled over by the cops. They also wired up our living room so that our surround sound works. I was very impressed with how smoothly these projects were completed and happy that they didn't result in frustration for all parties involved. Mom L. and I headed to Bloom on Saturday to take advantage of triple coupon days while the guys spent time together and Eva napped. I had yet another successful coupon-using experience minus a few issues. I also took a second trip on Sunday afternoon to use up the remainder of the coupons I'd neglected to bring with me on Saturday. This time my trips yielded the purchase of about $115 of goods for....$10. Unfortunately I could have saved more but due to poor planning on my part I missed out. I'm not too upset since I still made out like a bandit. I'm really happy also because I didn't compromise by purchasing products that didn't live up to our standards just because it was a 'good deal'. I always struggle with that aspect of bargain shopping.

This morning I decided to try and feed Eva some
of the very cheap prunes I got over the weekend and you can see how much she loved them from the picture below.

Eddie and I actually tricked her into eating some more so we could snap this picture. Then we proceeded to laugh at her while she recovered from the horrifying prune experience. (I know, we're terrible parents) Needless to say I had to mix up some peas and cereal for her so that she actually ate something for breakfast. At first she cringed with the expectation of the prune taste but then proceeded to say 'MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM' as she ate each bite of peas. At least she likes her veggies!!


I know this is a little late but I wanted to get the pics of Eva from Halloween up. Great Aunt Gigi gave her this cute white and orange striped outfit complete with pumpkin socks and rattling pumpkin slippers! We had about 30 trick-or-treaters come by our house. I bought mini pretzel packs rather than chocolate and Eddie was concerned that we were going to be 'that house' in our neighborhood. I just didn't want to hand out stuff that I wouldn't eat myself. Why should I pump kids full of high fructose corn syrup? Yuck.

Super Savings at KMart

I owe many thanks to Money Saving Mom! She recently posted about Double Coupon Days at KMart and I was able to score big! I'd been saving coupons hoping for a good sale to come along and this was just what I needed! I knew the coupons would come in handy but being relatively new to the 'game' I had no idea that stores would double coupons up to $2!! I feel like I made out like a bandit scoring $47 worth of goods for $12.

I got 2 bottles of shampoo, 2 bottles of conditioner, 1 bottle of body wash, a 3 pack of soap, 3 tubes of toothpaste, 2 packs of cough drops, 4 boxes of cereal, 1 bottle of lotion, 1 bottle of dish soap and 1 bottle of dishwasher rinse agent.

It feels so good to save so much and know that it's benefiting my family. Thanks again Money Saving Mom!!

Baked Apple Goods

Well I finally got around to baking some yummy apple treats! I decided that I was tired of making the same old apple or banana bread so I flipped through the index of my cookbook on Wednesday to see what kind of apple-y goodness I could concoct. A Carmel Apple Cake caught my eye. I didn't have the caramel ice cream topping it called for so I made my own variation of a caramel sauce and it worked just fine. The cake was delightfully moist with a nice tang of Granny Smith apples to contrast the would-be overpowering sweetness of the caramel. It seemed to be more of a cobbler or crisp, minus the oats, rather than a cake but it was still very yummy. No complaints here. Eddie actually decided it is going to be his new birthday cake.

Wednesday evening I was excited to show Eddie this new treat that I had made when he arrived home from work. He said it smelled and looked great but he was hoping for some apple bread... Soooooo, Thursday I made apple bread. It was delicious and moist with the subtle flavor and crunch of pecans.

We picked up a gallon of cider while we were at the orchard so I decided it would be a neat idea to try to make some apple cider pancakes. The flavor was good but the texture was kind of weird. When I tried to flip a pancake the side scrunched in on itself. Aside from being mildly deformed they came out good. I caramelized some apples to go on top and I think we both enjoyed those the most. Next time I will just make regular pancakes and put caramelized apples over the top.

We still have plenty of apples for some more cooking adventures. Who knows what yummy things await!

Beautiful Day

Well Sunday was the big Care Group apple picking event. Unfortunately not everyone could make it but I think those of us that were there had a good time. It was an absolutely beautiful day; bright and sunny with a nice fall breeze. Believe it or not, short sleeves were spotted and those wearing them were comfortable! We couldn't have asked for better weather.

Eva got her first taste of apple picking and Eddie even helped her find an apple just her size!Eva apparently thought that everyone looked like an apple that should be tasted. Here she is trying to eat me, Eddie and Uncle Dave.

So far there has not been any baking, maybe tomorrow.

I'm a winner!

Today I feel like a real winner. I'm not even being sarcastic! Let me splain. Yesterday evening I was feeding Evangeline and checking the blogs I follow on my Ipod. I clicked on the newest Eco Child's Play post and was puzzled to see my name on their blog. I thought, 'oh this must be one of those emails that inserts your name automatically' and then I realized it wasn't an email, it was a blog. I continued reading and was pleasantly surprised to find that I'd won the drawing for a Medela nursing camisole! Yippee!!

I feel like I never win anything. Of course that may be because I don't really enter all that many contests and drawings. Generally I feel like they will just waste my time and yield nothing in return but I'm certainly glad that I took the time to enter this one! Perhaps this will even change my perspective on entering contests. You can't win if you don't play, right?

Anyway, I'd like to thank Eco Child's Play and Medela for my lovely new prize. My husband and daughter also thank you for relieving their eyes. I'm sure they are glad that they won't have to view my current (dingy) cami as often now.


Fall has finally arrived! Or is it winter? I only work two days a week at the US Patent Office and I've been thoroughly enjoying the part time schedule. Monday was a work day. As I prepared for the day I opened the door to bring Eva's things to the car and lo and behold there was frost covering my vehicle! I knew it was going to be cold outside because Sunday night was fah-ree-zing and we had to turn our heat on for the first time this season. I guess we're skipping a portion of the nice crisp fall weather that I so looked forward to all year. That's how northern Virginia operates; summer to fake fall to winter back to summer again (there is no spring). The days seem to be fairly mild thanks to Mr. Sun but the wind chill brings it back down to brrrrrrrrrr degrees. I am openly admitting to those residing north of Virginia that I have become a bit of a wimp. I no longer consider a day in the 50s to be 'nice'. Give me a sunny day in the upper 60s or 70s without too much humidity. Granted, I still love a good crisp day but it would seem that my definition of crisp has changed.

We'll be heading out to go apple picking after church on Sunday. One of Eddie and my favorite fall activities. Last year they ran out of cider donuts before we got to the orchard and I'm hoping, for Eddie's sake of course, that we are able to secure a couple (dozen) before they run out this year. Who runs out of cider donuts...honestly. I'm looking forward to getting out to enjoy some colorful leaves, friendship and the beauty of nature that God has so graciously provided us. I've already started dreaming up all the possibilities that a large bag of apples holds. Of course all these ideas are based on the availability of unlimited time. Sadly I anticipate that these dreams of steamy baked goods and lovely flavors will melt into apples cut up with peanut butter or even just eaten whole. Maybe if we're lucky I'll make a pie. If we do manage to be creative with our fruit I will let you know. In the mean time, enjoy your fall!

Eco Child's Play

Eddie (I know a lot of you know him by 'Ed' but I just feel weird calling my hubby that) turned me on to this blog a while back called Eco Child's Play. It's about green parenting and non-toxic living. I've been keeping up with it thanks to my new Ipod Touch (thanks babe!!) and I've got to say they talk about some good stuff. I like how they have different authors and their focus is not always about the same topics over and over. There have been posts about everything from the environment to new products to food to breastfeeding and many more. This blog has proven to be a good method for drawing my attention to things I wouldn't have necessarily thought of on my own. While we're not the 'greenest' family around, I like being challenged to try and do better and many of the topics on this blog do that for me.

So, if you get a chance and want to see what it's all about check it out!

Oh and I forgot to mention, they're running a contest right now to win a free nursing tank from Medela!!

6 Months Old!

Eva had her 6 month check up yesterday. Everything is well. She is growing and developing right on schedule. She now weighs 15 lbs 6.6 oz and is 27 inches tall. That keeps her at 90% for height and just over 25% for weight. We are so blessed to have a happy, healthy little girl.

Overall the visit went well and this particular doctor didn't pester me about vaccinations so that was a huge plus. Previously the doctor we'd seen kind of badgered me about not vaccinating or waiting to do so. Yesterday the doctor we saw was very civil and merely explained what the vaccinations were for that Eva would have given. A good visit I think. We barely even had to wait to be seen so

Why blog?

I've been putting off starting a blog for a while now. Will I be able to keep up with it? Will it be a success? Will family and friends find it to be a useful place for staying up to date with the LaBombard family? All questions that have crossed my mind while determining whether to do this or not. Only time will tell what the answer to these questions will be but I'm hoping the answer is yes! I think a blog is a great way of keeping people up to date with life and thoughts in general. This is going to be a good exercise in self editing and not writing down every random thought and lame joke that comes to mind...or at least that's the idea. I'll be sharing about our day to day life, Evangeline's development and any other topics that seem worth sharing. Ed may also compose some posts so we'll try to keep you informed about who writes what. Thanks for taking the time to check us out. Enjoy!

How the LaBombard family began

Ed and I (Ruth) met in college at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the virtual tundra that is Troy, NY. We were married in August of 2005 and over the past three years God has extended immeasurable grace to us. In my personal opinion 2008 has been the best year yet! On February 29 God saw fit to bless us with the gift of owning our own home. While modest in size and appearance it is a place that feels like and is in fact home. We are so happy to now have the means to open our home to others and to use it for God's glory. On April 11 we welcomed Evangeline Adler LaBombard into our family. Home ownership is pretty exciting but, let me tell you, that was an even better day. For now we are a family of three. Hopefully, in the future, God will see fit to further bless us with additional children. In the mean time we are thoroughly enjoying Eva and her fascination with the world around her.