Sunday, December 2, 2012

First Thanksgiving

Micah's first Thanksgiving was wonderful. He did amazing! He slept through his first plane ride. He got a little fussy on the drive to Twain Harte, which is understandable since we had been traveling all day. Funny how a two and a half hour car ride turns into a five hour drive with a little baby! Phil, Susan, and I were in no hurry to get there. And, while my dad said he was in no hurry...let's just say that taking that much time to stop and feed and care for an infant is not in his comfort zone. It was actually a pretty enjoyable ride. Due to my dad's crazy side roads to avoid traffic and because we also had to stop to feed Micah, I was able to see the windmills up closer than ever before and we saw a motocross track, which was pretty cool. It's a good thing that I already live by the motto "It's the journey, not the destination, that matters"!

Sleeping flyer!

Must Have First Thanksgiving Outfit!

We arrived in Twain Harte, the little wonderful slice of California gold country that I happen to call my Happy Spot. With the smell of pine and smoke drifting into the car and with the prospect of sunny days ahead, I knew we had made the right decision to take Micah on his first big trip at only two months old. We were lucky enough to have Phil's family and Jen and Alan join us, so we had to rent another cabin for all 11 of us (my parents and Ben and Beth included). What a lucky guy Micah is! He had all of his Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles under one roof and sharing his first Turkey Day with him! Thanksgiving day was gorgeous, the food was yummy, and of course our family so pleasant to spend time with. The family at the cabin is my mom's side and her mom's side. That's why it's the Laffin family cabin with about fifty people each Thanksgiving. Nothing reminds me of being thankful more than having a huge extended family to share the day with. Usually my cousins and I are so busy racing around checking off Thanksgiving traditions all day: Go on a creek walk, play B.S. card games in the back bedroom, go to the park to sing Christmas carols, walk to the lake (and usually get lost), eat Auntie Diane's tasty spinach dip, and then eat pumpkin pie. Although in the last few years we have been growing up and not doing as many of the old traditions, this year (thanks to Micah) was truly the first that I just sat down and enjoyed conversations with everyone (and still managed a few of the didn't think I'd forget about Auntie's spinach dip and pumpkin pie, did you?). The coolest, yet almost scary thing about this year's Thanksgiving, was how obvious it is that the generations have shifted. There was a whole group of little kids playing in the woods with sticks and racing to be at the front of the line to eat. That was the cool part (well, that and the fact that Micah has two cousins on the way in Amy and Laura's bellies!). The almost scary part is that when the food line opened up and the oldest generation was called to eat, it was no longer my Grandparents generation, but that of my own parents! So weird! They don't seem old to me. That night back at the rental cabin, after showing everyone he can roll over from front to back (twice in a row!), Micah slept in the arms of his Gramma Susan while the rest of us played a big game of charades. There is nothing more wonderful than a sleeping baby and tons of laughter with all of your family.
Laffin Family Thanksgiving 2012
He really was happy!

Micah and his Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, and Parents!

The Vrbas side
The Strauss side
The new generation of kiddos

Micah not only got to enjoy his first trip to Twain Harte, but he also got to enjoy his first trip to Nana and Papa's house and San Carlos. It is amazing how much he changed just in one week of vacation! He slept five to six and a half hours each night (and could have done more if it weren't for his mom having to wake him up to help her body which hadn't adjusted to all of his wonderful sleeping yet!). I also lost track of how many times I had to do the cliche mom thing and put my hand on his chest to feel if he really was indeed still breathing! Micah is also getting so heavy and long and he is super interactive with huge eyes and big smiles. He is paying attention to colors and patterns, loves staring at lights (like the Christmas lights on all of the trees in downtown San Carlos), and seemed to enjoyed it when we have read him stories!

New development: such a great sleeper!

My parents had a little Sip and See for their friends to get to meet Micah. A few of my good friends came too and I am so bummed that I didn't get a picture with any of them. I am finding it a bit hard to lug around my big SLR camera and hold Micah. I guess it will be easier once he starts walking. It was, again, a nice change of pace to just sit and relax at a party instead of being the usual social butterfly. As I sat out on the deck in my tanktop, yes tanktop at the end of November (ah how I now miss you California!), I looked around and grew more and more thankful that my parents surrounded us with such loving and caring people.
Is that a proud Nana or what?!
Auntie Jen sure knows how to make cute welcome items!

The most exciting part of the Sip and See was that Micah finally got to meet his Great Gramma Jacquie in person! Poor Great Gramma, Micah was not in the best of moods at the moment. Luckily we got to see her again before flying back home and he was a bit better (ok, sleeping, but still...!).
Four generations!

Another highlight of the trip was finally getting to see my Uncle Will and Aunt Leslie. Aunt Leslie had pneumonia and other issues going on that kept her in the hospital for about two months. But she is a fighter and so she is now at home and on a stronger path to recovery. I don't know what it was, but Micah just took an instant liking to her! He barely looked at the other people there and yet every time he looked at Aunt Leslie, a giant smile grew on his face. It was so cute. We also got to Skype with my cousin Elizabeth and her one year old daughter, Ellie, who kept seeing Micah and saying, "Baby...Baby!" as she pranced around their living room in nothing but a little tutu. So adorable!

The most important lesson I learned on Micah's big trip was that I don't have to worry about him having a close relationship with my parents. It was already obvious that he has a special bond to each of them. When we visited Nana at her school, Micah smiled at the sound of her voice out of many others. His Papa makes him laugh with silly faces and games already and Micah also feels comfortable enough to fall asleep for six plus hours many nights in a row with his Papa. If those aren't signs of love and good bonding, I don't know what are.

My new favorite photo! Micah loves his Nana!

Micah loves his Papa!

Micah loves his Gramma Susan, Nana Joyce, and Papa Jay!


  1. Micah has certainly changed all of our lives for the better. I never realized how much a baby can mean to life and the impact of someone like Micah. As a family, we can experience Micah as he grows and matures even more so in some ways then when you and Ben grew up, as we were so much younger back then. Keep sending photos and I love our Facetime video sessions.

  2. I agree Dad. And luckily the rest of our family can feel like they know Micah thanks to this blog! Love you!

  3. Hi Ali,
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about Twain Harte to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!


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