Sunday, December 30, 2007

Day Two

Day two with Chiara has come and gone. She continues to do all the spectacular tricks you night imagine: nursing, sleeping, peeing, smiling, making little sounds, and helping me write this.

Chiara getting some sun.Snuggling after our sun.

Now we have proof.


Uncle Dave can hold a baby one-handed.

Look how much bigger Ezra is holding Chiara than holding Asher four years ago.

I bet this will be a common sight.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Chiara Beth Springfield Serrins

Welcome to our daughter, Chiara Beth Springfield Serrins.

Born 12/28/2007 at 9:51 am. She was 8 lb. 10 oz (one oz more than Asher) and 19.75 inches. If you can't tell from these pictures, she is beautiful and perfect! She is doing wonderfully so far at figuring out her main jobs including nursing and snuggling and sleeping.

Chiara is named for Rachel's maternal grandmother Clara Pierce (Chiara is an Italian form of Clara and it means light). Beth is after Rachel's sister Laura Beth.

Mama and Chiara have some naked snuggles.
Look how little she is.
Chiara gets her exam.
Michelle, our midwife, and Chiara in her first outfit.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Day

We had a very good and cozy family Christmas. Christmas eve Asher opened one present and we bundled up and went for a walk to see lights in the neighborhood. Then we got up early and he just wanted to open one present and play with it for a while. The adults opened all our presents and Asher spread his out throughout the day (and today too and he's not done yet).

Asher's big present this year is this electronic talking globe. You can see how excited he was by it.

Asher and Mama play with the globe.

LD and Joey took a break from redecorating and cooking to come over and share our Christmas dinner of dressing, broccoli/cheese/rice casserole (courtesy of LD's day of cooking), green beans, salad, and pie. Here she's playing and Asher is dancing.

And a little thing like Joey's sleeping off the exhaustion of five days painting and putting in new floors can't deter Asher playing dragon puzzle with him.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Presents from Haley

Rachel's friend Haley is very funny and, I guess, likes to look in second-hand stores or some other vintage place. She sends awesome and funny presents and post cards. This year's holiday presents were.

This awesome coin bank so that you can save up your coins to buy new jeans. It actually had directions for saving money. Put coins in the slot or something like that.

This coin purse. The other side has a guy throwing his hands up in front of a rainbow but I couldn't get a picture to come out without a glare from the flash. It's Rachel's new coin purse.
Thanks, Haley.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Grandma Susi Sweater

We are so lucky. Ok, we're not lucky in that neither Asher nor Lucky got to meet Grandma Susi or have her make them a sweater. But we're lucky that our cousins have shared their Grandma Susi sweaters so generously. The other day we opened a box of hand-me-downs and found this very colorful sweater.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Trail of Lights

Sunday night was the Third Annual Sullivan/Serrins/Springfield Trail of Lights tour. We may want to shorten the name sometime and be grateful that Mike is a Sullivan or it would all become even more cumbersome. Per tradition, we got a table for the 3.94 Serrins/Springfields and 5.84 Sulivans at Shady Grove after playing on the stage for a while and opening presents. Then we moved to the Trail of Lights with the other few thousand folks now celebrating Sullivan/Serrins/Springfield night. Nice of them to come, hum? Jay took a picture of everyone (but Jay) under the entrance way and I'll post it when I get it.

Opening presents

Asher and Molly seeing the lights in Style.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Candidate Finances

Wow. Yesterday I read this article in Money magazine on Candidate Finances. It's a little mind-boggling and while I'm aware that the average Joe could afford neither to quit his/her job for a few years and travel around campaigning nor to finance a campaign, it's really shocking just how much these people's personal finances differ from that average Joe. The article has more details but the bottom line summary for reported assets:

Obama(D) 1.3 million
Thompson(R) 8.1 million
Clinton(D) 34.9 million
McCain(R) 40.4 million
Giuliani(R) 52.2 million
Edwards(D) 54.7 million
Romney(R) 202 million

Those are the only candidates on which the article reported. Wow.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

'Tis the season

Christmas preparations and celebrations are going quite well. Today we got the lights on the tree and the tree topper on top. It's a good thing we cut a few more inches off the bottom of the star wouldn't fit. I held Ash so he could put it up there and it was still a stretch (and I was standing on a step-ladder).
And the other night Audrey, Will, and Keegan came over to exchange presents. Audrey picked up Greek food (yay!) and then the kids exchanged their presents. Asher got the Latin America puzzle which completed his set and we got Keegan a pop-up train book and train sticker book.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"So I said, 'look here, ABC is the way it goes' and he goes, 'no way' and I said 'yes way' and he said, 'no way.'" Then pow.

Ok, that's not how it happened. More like Asher was running around the corner and fell into the dining room chair. Nice shiner though?

Saturday, December 8, 2007


The holiday season is upon us and it's always fun. In true blended family style, here are assorted pictures. Asher has enjoyed lighting the menorah every night and he has done the lighting. Here's a picture, although in this one I am holding the candle. He's really enjoyed his presents too, including: South America puzzle, Asia puzzle, a Barnes & Noble gift card, and some little toys. Then, yesterday we went out to the Elgin Christmas tree farm. Ok, it was a little strange to cut our own Christmas tree when it was 83 degrees out and I worked up a good sweat sawing it down and dragging it back. They have a good system there where you ride out on a hay ride and they drop you and you just wander around to pick the best tree and cut it down. It wasn't very expensive either which surprised me. Asher helped me cut down the tree but you can't see him very well in this picture.

We haven't started decorating the tree yet but look how big it is. I'm not even sure that our tree-topper star will fit on top. It's our first time to have a live tree and it's just beautiful.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

An Ode to TiVo

Ok, not really TiVo but a DVR. This post isn't strictly family related but the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) deserves a blog entry (or 30). We got a DVR less than 2 weeks ago. It's wonderful. We got more channels too and I can't say that I've watched any more TV than before but the DVR is great. Now we can start something taping at 7:00 and start watching it at 7:20 rather than having to wait until the show is over. How wonderful. Particularly if we're taping something from 7-9 which means it would have taken us two days to watch it.

Let's say it all together: The DVR is great!

Friday, November 30, 2007


Dave is doing better since his bike crash. You may (or may not) know that he crashed while out riding on Thanksgiving. I hear people say that they don't need a helmet because they are in control of their bike (or skateboard or rollerblades, etc.) but you can't be in control of your bike AND other people's bikes AND stray dogs AND cars driven by people talking on the phone or applying makeup. Dave is a very accomplished rider as is Joe, yet they crashed last week.

Joe broke his clavicle. David broke his clavicle, scapula, elbow, two ribs, punctured his lungs and spent 3 days in the hospital as well as having surgery on his clavicle and his elbow. He'll be doing PT for quiet a while. And both Joe & David's helmets broke. In David's words, he's "not a vegetable" because his helmet was fitted correctly. The NHTSA has easy instructions to make sure your helmet (and your kids's) are fitted correctly.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

35 Week Visit

We saw the midwife today and had an excellent visit. The baby and Rachel are both healthy and progressing great. I think Asher's favorite part was snuggling Boomer!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving and Karaoke

Well, it's Thanksgiving and what's traditional? Turkey? Bowling? Football? Injuries requiring medical treatment. All covered, except bowling. And what's new this year? Karaoke.

Alissa and Asher singing Rolling on the River together.

Mitzi, Jonah, and Alissa with a hand from Asher.

Jonah singing Time Warp!

Ezra singing Light my Fire

And Rachel and Alissa singing. I can't remember what.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

34 Weeks!!!!!

It's hard to believe that Rachel (or maybe Lucky) is 34 weeks along today. 34 weeks? That's really far along. This site has all kinds of information about what the baby is doing right now.

We feel like we're really on top of things generally. Lucky's room is ready, we have clothes, the house is clean, etc. We bought a freezer and we haven't started cooking anything for dinners but we're ready to start. And if Lucky is a girl, we have a name picked out. If Lucky is a boy... We have a list of names at least and we'll probably choose at some point. I love this site for name popularity.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Work Baby Shower

We had a really great baby shower at work last Wednesday. Our friends Audrey and Serra hosted. I don't have any pictures from the shower. Serra's cousin designed the for us so it's a one-of-a-kind and we asked her to design matching thank you notes. She used our sun/moon theme and it all came out looking really fantastic. We ended up with a small group (I hope I remember everyone): Trish, Cyndie, Helen, Sharon, Serra, Audrey, Joyce, Kristen, Chris, Becky, Rachel, and me. The gifts were of course wonderful and generous including: a new baby monitor, some toys, baby clothes and socks, and Target gift cards.

It was a really great time and I feel so fortunate to have the love and support of all my friends.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Asher's haircut and winking

Well this is quite cool for a few reasons. First, here's Asher's new hair cut as well as him showing off his winking skills! Yay for winking.

Second, here's what's cool. Rachel took this picture on her mobile phone. Then she sent it to me because I wanted to try out blogger's mobile feature. Basically I sent the picture from my phone to blogger and it sent me a claim code. I typed in the claim code on the computer and it transferred the picture over to our blog. How long did it take? About 2 minutes. That's cool.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Farm visit and haircut

We're at the farm this weekend having our last visit before not traveling any more for a while. We came up on Thursday, stopping to have a very nice lunch with Ina at Cafe Brazil. It was wonderful to see her and they let us bring the dogs on the deck. So it worked out very well. Then we came on out to the farm. We've had a very good visit and Duane, Michelle, Duncan, and Phoebe came out last night.

Asher has been wanting a haircut from Andrea and he just got one and boy does he look cute. I'll upload a picture as soon as I have one.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween and Journaling

Asher and I went trick-or-treating last night while Rachel gave out candy. We didn't get as fully cat-ed up as Sunday but we both wore our tails and hats. Actually he's wearing his tail today too. He's still a cat he says. We went to three houses. I had planned that we would go to six--all people we know. But most of them were at parties so we went to two houses on our street and one on the adjoining block. Then we came home and helped give out candy. We saw some really good costumes. Asher tried a krackle I think. I thought Tootsie Rolls would be kind of hard to eat.

We had fun.

Also yesterday, he wrote his first journal entry. Rachel was outside playing with him and writing in her journal and he wanted to do the same. So she got him a notebook and pencil and said that you can write how you feel. He wrote: "Happy!" I don't want to quote his entire entry because that seems like an invasion of his privacy but basically he summarized his day playing at Heather's (Happy) and how he feels about Lucky (Happy). Very cute.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Our Halloween Party

We had our now traditional Halloween party this Sunday. By a few hours before the party, nearly everyone who was invited had RSVP'd and we were expecting a full house. A few families canceled so that was disappointing. But the guests and hosts had a great time (or so it seemed).

I don't want to post all the pictures but here are a few highlights. The Cat in the Hat and Little Cat F were the hosts. The first guests and my favorite grown-up costume was Will as The Man in the Yellow Hat! Dig that yellow suit!

Other guests included a cat, a skunk (who didn't put on his costume but that's ok), a scientist (not mad), a harlequin bug, a magic 8-ball, the unibomber, Moaning Myrtle (complete with toilet seat), Snow White, The Mad Hatter (or at least his hat), a vampire, and a ... golf head?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Team Heisz-O'Neil

Lucky us. We got a visit from Deborah, Katie, and Zach this week. They were in San Antonio to complete their second-parent adoption (Congratulations) and came to stay with us from Friday to Sunday on the way back home. The last time we saw Zach he was two months old and they change so fast now. What a cutie! He said "Mama!" I heard it and no one can disagree. Well, not and convince me. He's all over that rolling-over action and he's like the head of the smiling organization.

We had a great visit with Deb & Katie both playing lots of reading the dictionary and putting together Asher's new Africa puzzle map.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Unpacking boxes

We got out boxes and boxes of clothes for Lucky and put them in the new dresser in his room. While we were at it, we went through hand-me-downs for Asher and pretty much "turned over" his entire wardrobe. There were a few "party" shirts in the box and he wore this one to Jayden's birthday party last weekend.

Speaking of Jayden's party, Angelique & Sabina gave us their Amby baby so we have another very fabulous hand-me-down in the baby's room:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

LD & Asher

Last week LD came over for dinner. We were eating what we had on hand which ended up being: Meatless Manwiches, Broccoli (very little), green beans (very little), and breaded baked eggplant. It was good if a bit random.

Then LD and Asher went to read a book (Peaceful Piggy Meditation).

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"Lucky's" Room

Well, it's not complete but we are really making great progress on Lucky's room and I wanted to post a few pictures. First I (Debra) painted two coats of this very pretty yellow on the walls and ceiling. That went very well but it seemed a bit too bright. So then we got an off-white shade and mixed it 1/4 with glaze and LD and I did a faux finish using feather dusters. That looks pretty cool. Rachel drew a sun and moon on opposite walls (Sun = North and Moon = South).

She painted the moon a very deep blue and we are going to get glow-in-the-dark stickers for little stars on it. Unfortunately we haven't found them yet.

The sun, she painted the same blue from Asher's room and then put clouds (as you can see).

We have a new dresser from IKEA (white and right under the moon) and we still need to set up the crib and bassinet as well as moving the new rocking chair into the room. Last night we started to go through boxes of clothes that Asher wore as a baby as well as other hand-me-downs that we had never opened. It reminded us once again both how adorable baby clothes are and how generous everyone has been.

I'll post more pictures when we have the little stars on the moon.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Debra's 40th Birthday Party

For my birthday a few weeks ago, we went to the water park near here for the day. It was a great day with the Levines, Kremer/Serrins, Springfield/Serrins, and Etheredges. We missed Nina's family but understand.

I think everyone had fun. Asher went down the froggy slide as you can see in this picture.

We don't have pictures of everyone who came but here's a good one of some cousins and me and Joey:

And the three siblings all went down the tall slides:

Thanks to everyone who came. I thought it was a great day and a good way to celebrate the next 40 years of my life!