Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Well, almost everyone...

Mimi says "I want to be the baby!" The transition to a family of 5 "two-leggeds" has gone very smoothly......for most of us. It must be a cat thing.

Baby It's Cold Outside

Or at least cool enough to wear some sweaters.
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Christmas Crack

The decorations have been in the stores for weeks.
Many gifts have already been purchased.
There is a beautiful Christmas tree standing in my living room.
But the holiday season can't officially begin until the Hickory Farms Melt Away Mints show up.
Let the celebration begin!

Monday, November 28, 2005

I've Got My Eye on You

I have so much to be thankful for.
There are the big things: my incredible husband, our wonderful families, our children, the health of us all, my fantastic IRL friends, our amazing church, Daddy McAustin's job.

There are the small things that may seem inconsequential to others, but are huge to me:
The trip I made to the grocery store the other day, listening to the new Sheryl Crow cd Daddy McAustin got for me, in the 87 degree sunshine, alone. The 5 pound box of the best chocolate covered almonds I've ever tasted sent to me by my father for my birthday. My upcoming spa day. The fact that Thanksgiving dinner was the first meal I've cooked since Princess Lulu was born because my amazing church provided us meals for the last 3 weeks.

(And let me pause just for a moment and elaborate on that last statement a bit to let the enormity of it all sink in: sweet and sour chicken, pot roast, chicken & sausage pot pie, hominy chicken casserole, ginger-sesame pork tenderloin, chicken parmesan, green chile enchiladas, King Ranch casserole, spaghetti. These were some of the entrees. Just the entrees! And these angels didn't just bring the entrees, they brought the entire meal including salad, sides, and dessert! One friend even stuck in banana bread for breakfast. What did I tell you, amazing, no?)
And then, of course the other somewhat trivial stuff that I'm eternally thankful for:
Netflix, online shopping, mail, shopping carts that hold 3 children, blogging, blog friends.
Sometimes it overwhelms me that I am this fortunate.

I've got my eye on all this and will try to do a better job of remembering to be thankful for the life I live.

Have a wonderful week.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Here Comes Santa Claus...

Time: Saturday, November 26, 2005 11:00(ish)am
Place: Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas
Event: Chuy's Blue Santa "Children Giving to Children" Parade

We went, we saw, we forked over our toys.

Princess Lulu's First Parade


"da dunt, da dunt..."

The Big Man in Red

Daddy McAustin & His Boys

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Stuff Portrait Friday: Give Thanks

Welcome to another edition of Kristine'sphotographic scavenger hunt. This week is, of course, all about Turkey Day. Kristine asked to see:

Our thanksgiving meal

Someone who makes Thanksgiving

The aftermath

and she says that bonus points will be awarded for any tacky centerpieces, but I took some creative license with this one.

I must confess that I didn't look at the specifics of the pictures until after the meal was over, and the aftermath was well under control, because? I was a bit busy cooking all that food, of course...and playing referee between toddlers....and entertaining houseguests. All the while trying to shoo everyone out of the kitchen so I could get finished. (And yes, the baby isn't quite 3 weeks old.) So, this is all I can offer.

What makes Thanksgiving:

The Family McAustin ( before the consuming ensued)

Our Meal

Look closely at the above photo. Daddy McAustin's family has something against poultry of all varieties, so the Turducken was out, and our meal was all about the pig. Spiral sliced ham, sweet potatoes, asparagus with sweet onions & gold peppers, rolls, cranberry sauce, and some lovely Franciscan merlot.

The Aftermath:

The china & crystal can't go in the dishwasher, so Daddy McAustin pulled KP duty, and did a bang-up job....while keeping everything intact.

The Centerpiece:

(and not solely because she had to be held practically the entire day due to some apparently very painful gas)

We gave thanks for the blessing of Princess Lulu, who turns 3 weeks old tomorrow.

(Please note the adorable, sleeveless Cornelloki dress she's wearing because? The temperature was 87 degrees today. 87 DEGREES on THANKSGIVING, and I have a Christmas tree sitting in my living room which was set up by two men wearing shorts. Must.get.cooler.soon......)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Amarillo on My Mind....

Who says war's no fun?
Check out this.

What? The link doesn't work?

Apparently I am not smart enough to make the html link work for this, so if you want to see it, you'll have to copy and paste it into your address box.

Monday, November 21, 2005


She really does do other things besides sleep!
Princess Lulu at 2 weeks old.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Stuff Portrait Friday: Represent!

Welcome to another rousing edition of Stuff Portrait Friday. This week, Kristine challenged us to stretch our minds, and think outside the box - a.k.a. not rely on pets/kids to fit the bill. She asked to see the following:

Something representing your past
Something representing your present
Something representing your future

I have one of each (however "boxy") plus a bonus. Onward....

My past.....

German heritage on both sides. This is a photo and photocopy of the back of the photo of my maternal great-grandmother's parents and siblings. This was the photo they had taken just before they left for America in the mid-1800's. The photo was taken in Hamburg, Germany.

My Present......

This is a snow globe (ha! I live in central Texas, there's no snow here!) depicting my current hometown of Austin, Texas, which is undoubtedly the coolest place to live in the state. Shown in the globe are the Loop 360 bridge (red), the University of Texas tower, the State Capitol building (dome), (in?)Famous 6th Street, and a longhorn. If you look closely, you may be able to see the Congress Bridge Bats flying in the sky. Austin, a great place to visit, a better place to live!

My Future...

December 10, to be exact. I will be spending the day in stress-free luxury and pampering at the Lakehouse Spa courtesy of Daddy McAustin in honor of my birthday.

And a bonus....

Something representing my past, present & future. A picture of my mother, grandmother, and husband on our wedding day. These are the two women that influenced my life the most, and my husband who influences me every day from now on.


Did you play? Be sure to leave me a comment to let me know, so I can come check out yours over the weekend.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

"I've got a dragon by the tail.....

...and the head, and all parts in between."

The first real cold front of the season finally blew through yesterday afternoon, so today is an actual fall day. We made our first trip to the library as a foursome, and everyone made it back to the car unscathed. (It's Wednesday, so you know anything can happen.) They boys loved playing out in the courtyard in the crisp air.

And of course I can't seem to post without including a photo of the Princess.

Don't you wish someone would swaddle you up like this on a cold night?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

H2O, Xs&Os, & OCD....

A quick update...

First bath for Princess Lulu.

All dressed up for church.

The Critter's OCD resurfaces once again.

Oh, the kissing and hugging! (I know it will stop, so I'm trying to gather as much photographic evidence as possible to prove it to them one day.)

Have a great Tuesday!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me!

What do this:

...and this....
...and this...
.....have in common?

(other than an undisclosed amount of Daddy McAustin's hard-earned cashola)


Yes, yesterday I turned 36 - or twenty-sixteen in Mama Duck's birthday math. My gift is a day at the Lake House Spa at Lake Austin Spa & Resort, which is the most fabulous spa ever...or at least the one that I can drive to. It is world renowned, and has been written up in Conde Nast, as well as numerous culinary mags for the cafe. I am truly a blessed woman in so many ways!

(The gift almost makes up for the comment made by Little Bit upon seeing my shirt:"A cow Mama, MOOOO!" Almost.)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Oh, the Frilly & Flowery Fun.....

After 2 boys born during the same season, it's really fun to do something different....

Stuff Portrait Friday: "Show Me the Money!"

It's Friday, and that means that it's time for Stuff Portrait Friday. Princess Lulu is one week old, things are going really well, and I thought I should play because Kristine says that next week will be harder. She told us:"show me the money!" and here's the list:

The last thing you bought for yourself
The last thing someone else bought for you
Your wallet

The last thing I bought for myself:

....was not these, but rather a Black and White cookie from the same place: Sweetish Hill Bakery. I didn't have a camera with me, just a newborn, so alas no picture. I will describe it for you, but you will have to imagine it's deliciousness: a checkerboard cookie made from 4 squares of chocolate and vanilla shortbread, yum.

The last thing someone else bought for me:

These are the flowers Daddy McAustin bought me while I was in the hospital last weekend. Actually a reflection of the flowers with the UT tower in the background. Hook 'em Horns!

My wallet:

A wallet is a very personal thing, and I have the hardest time finding one that fits all my non-negotiables. Bosca seems to be the only brand that I can guarantee will have at least some. This one was an emergency purchase, as mine previous one had been stolen. Actually I left it on the roof of the car, so really I invited someone to take it. It has only 2 of the features I require: separate checkbook (which fits inside) with a DL window on the outside, and cash holder on the outside. I don't really like the looks of this one, but I was desperate. I will keep it until it dies, because I paid full price (emergency, remember?), and I'm too cheap to waste that money.

Did you play? I may not have time to comment on everyone's, but I would love to see your stuff.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Check Out the Check Up

Today was Princess Lulu's first doctor's appointment. Dr. D. was very impressed that she has gained back her hospital loss plus 1 ounce before her 1 week birthday. Daddy McAustin took the boys with him to Home Depot while the Princess and I then had a leisurely lunch on the patio at Sweetish Hill Bakery, and then ran a few errands.

I had forgotten how easy it is to run around with only an infant to deal with. Upon second thought, it's not that I forgot, it's that I don't remember it as being easy the first time around! A friend and I were discussing this yesterday, remembering the first weeks after our firstborn's came along. I can remember not even making it downstairs before 10am in the mornings, and there was NO way I was ready to leave the house before 2 or 3 in the afternoon. I know I didn't actually leave the house at all for several weeks after the Critter was born. I guess there's nothing like the "trial by fire" that is the first child to gain that invaluable experience.

Anyway, we all have adjusted much better to the arrivals of the subsequent children, and the Princess is no exception. The boys are IN LOVE with her, and spend much of the time she's awake sitting next to her, pointing out her body parts, offering her their lovies, as well as sharing completely inappropriate snacks for a newborn. (Only the sweetest of big brothers would share his spinach nuggets with you.) And I keep trying to get a good shot of all the kissing that's going on, but that darn digital delay foils me every time. I'll keep you posted.

The Critter: green eyed, but definitely NOT a monster.

Top-o-the-head kiss shot from Little Bit.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Yet another scrumptious baby girl photo....

You are all probably weary of seeing pictures of this child, but to borrow a phrase from
Amalah, "the scrumptious baby? she must be photographed."
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 07, 2005


Answer me this:
How do you give birth to an almost 8 pound baby (along with all their accompanying fluids...) and weigh a mere 6 pounds lighter than before giving birth?

And I had to include this one:

The Critter and Little Bit had to have hats like their sister.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Doctor's....

So I had a doctor's appointment at 9 on Friday morning, and this is what we ended up with just before 3:
It was quite a morning! Here's how it all shook out:
9:00 I tell the Good Doctor that I've been having regular, 'take notice' contractions 7 minutes apart for the last hour. He examines me, and says I will give birth before the weekend is out....but that he's out of town. We talk about the option of induction for Monday if nothing has happened by then, and he says he'll make the calls and let me know. He comes back in and says that I win a trip next door - RIGHT NOW if I want to.
9:30 Call Daddy McA. to tell him to get on the emergency child care arrangements - babysitters with cell phones, Nana on a plane etc.
10:00 Walk across the parking lot to the hospital, get checked in, settled into L&D room - with just a purse, not hard to do.
10:30 Nurse starts IV fluids, contractions still regular and strong, but not painful.
10:45 Daddy McA. arrives.
11:10 (This next part is as a result of Little Bit's birth experience: no one told me then that when you're already in labor and they break your water, all hell breaks loose, and that I would need pain meds immediately. A lesson I only needed once.) anesthesiologist arrives to do the epidural. TWICE. NEITHER. ONE. WORKED. AT. ALL. (The downside of having it done when you're not in pain to begin with....the absence of pain is hard to detect)
11:45 Good Doctor breaks water. Nothing happens, except the contractions I had been having go away.
12:30 Pitocin started. 3 cm dilated.
1:45 Contractions start coming every 4 minutes, but not nearly as strong as before. I chalk this up to the miracle of having administered the epidural before I was in pain and stupidly comment that there is no pain whatsoever.
2:30 PAINFUL contractions start 2 minutes apart.
2:35 EVEN MORE PAINFUL contractions 1 minute apart. POWERFUL urge to push consumes me. (I never felt that urge with my boys and knew when to push because of the tightening feeling you feel when the contractions happen. I completely understand what all those women were talking about now.) Press extra boost button on epi machine.....NO RELIEF WHATSOEVER.
2:45 Call for nurse. Tell her it's time to push. I could tell she didn't believe me, and was just humoring me when she did the cervix check. She immediately gets on phone and tells Good Doctor to come over NOW.
2:46 (at this point the bed isn't broken down yet, there isn't an instrument tray in the room, and like 6 people start rushing around doing all that stuff.) PUSH. PUSH.
2:48 Nurse says "Don't push anymore!" I say "I HAVE to!" Nurse "NO! You've got to wait for the doctor! PANT LIKE A DOG!" So I did.
2:51 Good Doctor runs in, slides on the stool, and says"Thanks for waiting for me! OK, give a good push." PUSH.
2:53 Her head is out. "Don't push, wait." He turns her over. "OK, one more" PUSH.
2:54 She has arrived.

We're home now. Here are some scenes from the last few days.

Welcome Home Elizabeth Louise