Sunday, November 27, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a....Crafty Christmas! Part 2.

Other cool gifts we're planning on giving this year are homemade "hand" ornaments. Originally I was planning on making these awesome bird ornaments a la Martha Stewart. However, it struck me that our family would probably rather have something more personal than a pretty bird...perhaps, stencils of their grandchildren's hands?

I can remember making hand ornaments in preschool- well, I can remember my siblings making them at least. They were set in plaster and SUPER heavy- Mama had to put them wayyyy back on the branches to keep them from sliding off. Anyway, I know how much she liked them, so I figured, why not combine the ideas of Martha's great, light dough and the handprint theme?

To make our ornaments, I mixed up Martha's dough, which consists of cinnamon, applesauce, and craft glue. The mix smells heavenly, by the way. After letting it firm up for a bit, I rolled it out. To form the hand shapes, I cut the dough around a tracing I drew for each of my girls on cardstock.

After the dough dried, I painted the ornaments and put the girls' initials on the appropriate hands. I also tied ribbon on and wrote the year on the back in marker.

I think these came out really cute and I hope everyone likes them as much as I do!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a....Crafty Christmas! Part 1.

(Obviously my efforts to blog daily are an epic fail. An ER visit for what I thought was an appendix issue turned into the 12-hour migraine-from-hell, and the blogging train derailed from there. To make up for it, the next few posts will be amazing ideas for how you can make great, homemade Christmas gifts that don't scream 'homemade' or have relatives struggling for polite ways to express their gratitude.)

Idea #1: Liquor, and/or liquor assortment

Making homemade flavored liquor is not only easy, but results in a product that is often superior to what you'd buy in the store. This year Brett and I decided to make limoncello, Irish cream (aka Bailey's), and coffee liquor (aka Kahlua.) Because limoncello takes the longest (upwards of a month), it's already brewing away. The Irish cream and coffee liquors are pretty instant-gratification, so we won't be mixing them up until later. I'll post the recipes for those next week.

Limoncello How-To, based on original recipe posted by Patty Mitchell

You'll Need:

15 lemons
2x 750 ml bottles of alcohol, or one 1.75 L jug (our preference)
Everclear works the best for this, but a cheap domestic (FLAVORLESS) vodka works too
3 cups sugar
3 cups water
Large jars (canning jars work great)
Bottles for the finished product
Decorating supplies (ribbon, print-at-home sticky labels, stamps, whatever)

1. Wash the lemons to remove any wax present. Peel them, using either a vegetable peeler or a box grater. For our method, we used the box grater. Make SURE not to get any of the pith- the white part. It'll make your end product bitter.
2. If you're using the 750 mL bottles, divide the liquor between a couple large glass jars. If you're using the 1.75 L jug, you'll simply remove .25 mL (measure using a measuring cup) and reserve for another use.
3. Add the lemon peel to the liquor.
4. Hide the jars/jug in a cool, dark place. Shake them up whenever you think about it and let stew for at least 2 weeks.
5. Mix up a simple syrup using the sugar and water. Heat on the stove on low heat, stirring frequently, until sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool.
6. Add the syrup to the liquor. You may need additional containers at this point- just do your best to divide it equally.
7. Let sit for an additional 2 weeks (minimum).
8. Strain through cheesecloth (or a coffee filter) into clean giftware.
9. Allow to sit for at least another week before using. After that, you'll want to store it in the freezer.
10. Share and enjoy!

Endnote: What to do with all those lemons???

Brett and I love to cook together, and we go through a LOT of fresh lemon, as "lemon juice" from a bottle is persona-non-grata around here. After we made the limoncello, we juiced all the lemons and poured the juice into ice cube trays. Once they were frozen, we dumped them into ziploc bags. Now we have *real* lemon juice readily available! We also made some candied lemon peels with the lemons that were left after we wore our hands out juicing the first 10 or so. We will be giving those away with our limoncello. Throw in some homemade biscotti and a good coffee and you have a delicious Italian gift basket!

Are you having a crafty/homemade Christmas this year?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Poor Bug!

For the first year of Lucy's life, I was *so* diligent about updating the blog with all her milestones. Her first solid food, words, steps...all were duly recorded.

Poor Junie! I haven't done nearly as well with keeping up with her development. We've been good about taking pictures, but...her poor scrapbook is months behind. Luckily I had the foresight to purchase a "baby's first year" photography package when she was first born, so I do have some amazing portraits for her.

Ironically enough, Junie has actually been hitting all her major milestones *much* sooner than Lucy did. At almost 11 months, Junie:

- walks all over the house!
- is very vocal: can say mama, dada, bug-bug
- enjoys playing with her big much as Lucy will let her
- loves dancing to music
- still takes 3 bottles a day, but can drink just fine out of a sippy cup
- eats lots of solids, including nearly everything we eat at the table
- goes to bed when we do, but sleeps in until after I'm out the door for work
- usually has one nursing session during the night, after work, and before bed
- smiles almost all the time- she has the sunniest disposition!
- hangs out on my back whenever she can

We love our Junie Bug!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My last meal.

NaBloPoMo prompt for today:

If you knew that whatever you ate next would be your last meal, what would you want it to be?

Oh, man, do I love food! Cooking is one thing that Brett and I really enjoy doing together- along with watching cooking shows. When we watch tv together (which is actually pretty rare), it's almost always Food Network. We especially love Iron Chef and Chopped. Although our tastes are constantly evolving, there are a few specific things I'm crazy about right now. Luckily enough, they fit perfectly into a cohesive meal! Here we go- I'm including the recipes we use as well.

Hummus with vegetables
(Cup of soaked garbanzo beans, heaping spoon of tahini, swirl of olive oil, squeeze of lemon, as much fresh garlic as you like, sprinkle of sea salt- whiz in the food processor until smooth)

Main entree:
Massaman curry over jasmine rice
(Click on link for recipe- I learned this by heart and now cook from memory)

Homemade, freshly-grilled naan
(Click on link- cooking it on the grill is key. One batch makes enough for two meals for us, so I freeze half and save it for next time.)

Rice pudding made with more jasmine rice, coconut milk, and coriander
(Use your favorite rice pudding recipe, subbing jasmine rice for regular, coconut milk for cow's milk, and coriander for most of the cinnamon. Here's a good starting recipe.)

Beverage #1:
Mango lassi made with homemade yogurt, whole milk, and a sprinkle of coriander
(In a blender: flesh of 2 mangos, tablespoon of your preferred sweetener, cup of yogurt, 1/2 cup milk....blend until smooth, and then sprinkle on coriander.)

Beverage #2:
Expresso with sweetened condensed milk :-)

...And there you have it! What would you pick for your last meal?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

PS- To help me get back in the groove, I'm participating in NaBloPoMo- blogging every day for a month! Let's see if I can actually make it :-)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday.

Junie @ 9 months.

Lucy and Aunt Kirty.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Whoa, it's been awhile.

I just realized it's been a crazy long time since I posted! Lots going on I'll try to get a catch-up post put together for tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some pics from our trip to Callaway Gardens over the weekend.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Who Needs a Stroller, Anyway?

....'cause when it comes to flying,
is the way to go.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Leap of faith.

^^ I'm taking a big one. ^^

As of last week, I submitted my request to separate from the Air Force.

If it's approved, I'll be done in the beginning of April.

At the same time, I'm gearing up to launch into postpartum services full-time.

I bought a domain name and webpage (still under development).

I have a Facebook page.

I'm working on my business materials, which is a bit overwhelming in itself.

But the first few steps are the hardest (and scariest), right?

If you're the praying type, I'd appreciate your prayers as we make some pretty significant changes around here.

If not, I'd appreciate your thoughts and intentions.

On a side note, I don't know if I'm going to know what to do without my uniform...I forgot my hat last week (for the first time ever), and felt completely naked. I can't imagine not putting on the uniform every day. Perhaps my ABUs will be replaced by scrubs in a few years?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I love a new wrap!

This one is a gorgeous orange Dupioni silk DIY number....

Sunday, June 19, 2011

On Fathers' Day.

It's one of those difficult holidays. Every holiday is hard, to be honest, after you lose a parent. But seeing all the cards, balloons, commercials, etc. aimed at helping you to 'don't forget Dad!' makes it a bit tougher. Brett is an awesome, amazing, wonderful, the-girls-are-so-lucky-to-have-him Dad- but I have to be honest and say that when I hear "father" I still think of my dad.

Love you, Daddy.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Days like today....

...make me feel like I'm going to beat this thing yet.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I'm finally ready.

I've written and re-written this post a thousand times in my mind. That's the main reason why I've been so substandard in my posting lately- I've wanted to address the issue at hand, but couldn't find the time/didn't feel up to facing it directly. So instead I've been tiptoeing around my feelings, putting off this post and instead writing about more upbeat activities like yogurt making. I guess that's part of the facade.

I contemplated over and over whether to actually write this down- seeing it on "paper" makes it seem more real. Acknowledging it, I feared, would give it more power.

But here's the thing- I'm not alone. Other women have experienced- other women will experience- what I am going through. The fact that so few of us talk about it- especially to anyone besides our spouses and perhaps best friends- makes us feel even more isolated.

So I'm going to share in the hope that this helps at least one other person- and because I need the kind of catharsis I think writing will provide. Deep breath, here goes:

I have postpartum depression (PPD).

I have been experiencing symptoms for approximately three months. My PPD struck right when my doula training said it would- at about three months postpartum.

That's right- I'm trained in identifying PPD. More broadly, I have training in identifying PPMD, or Postpartum Mood Disorders, which, besides PPD, also includes anxiety, psychosis, and a handful of other postpartum issues. Mind you, my experience is in identification and referral only- treatment is for the experts.

So why was I in denial for several weeks? Simple.

My PPD didn't manifest itself in the manner we often read about and see in the media. It didn't come on suddenly, and I wasn't acting irrationally. My moods weren't directed at my children, and I didn't feel like an inadequate mother. I felt good when I was with my kids. I had an amazing birth experience with Junie, she was breastfeeding well, hell- she was even sleeping through the night! What did I have to be depressed about?

Still, I felt like a cloud was hanging over my head, following me everywhere I went. I might have two, three good days- days where I felt like I had kicked this thing- but then ol' Mr. Raincloud would show up again. I felt anxious. I was distracted at work. I couldn't focus, I felt sleepy all the time, and I wasn't interested in things that I normally loved to do. I felt like I was in a haze. Small setbacks that would have seemed like minor issues before suddenly grew to mountain-size.

I don't know why I'm talking in the past-tense- I still feel this way frequently.

One time-tested approach to dealing with PPD is peer counseling- talking with others who share your experiences. So that's what I've been doing, and it is helping.

I've come close to asking for a low dose of Zoloft (one of the only drugs used for treating PPD that is considered "safe" while breastfeeding), but there are no long-term studies regarding its use by breastfeeding moms. Also, taking the drug would prohibit me from donating my extra breastmilk, which is one of the big motivators I have to keep pumping. Donating gives me a big emotional boost, and I don't want to give that up.

So I'm hobbling along, trying to take life a day at a time. I've come up with strategies to help me through the day, and I schedule in fun activities with the kids, as well as time to myself, to provide me with little things to look forward to. I find that simply getting more sleep (I only average 5-6 hours a night currently) and making exercise a priority are helpful as well.

And I refuse to be ashamed of my PPD. I've been through a lot over the past two years- losing my Dad (while I was 6 months pregnant, no less), a job change, a relocation and new home, back-to-back pregnancies...I certainly have had a lot to process emotionally.

I'm eagerly awaiting the day when I feel like myself again- when I'm not feeling so overwhelmed and emotional and frustrated. Not feeling like yourself is a terrible feeling.


Additional confession: See the picture above? The one of me smiling and holding my two beautiful girls? That was taken about one hour after I had a complete meltdown because I couldn't fit into the dress I was planning on wearing for Easter. I won't go into details, but it was bad. My point is that many of us hide our feelings very well, and it is often impossible to identify how a person is feeling from their outward appearance.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Yogurt- the Remix. Plus my current obsession.

As I mentioned in the original post, my first attempt at yogurt came out tasting delicious, but lacking in the texture department. For my second attempt, I integrated some of the changes I mentioned earlier, and the result was amazing! Thicker, richer, possibly even more delicious. Here's what I did:

1. Poured 1/2 gallon milk into heavy pot. Snapped on my candy thermometer.

2. Heated on medium-low, stirring occasionally, until it hit 180 degrees. Meanwhile, heated oven on "warm."

3. Pulled pot off heat, put on the lid (as best I could, given the thermometer).

4. Waited for the milk to cool to 110 degrees. Meanwhile, turned oven off and allowed to cool a bit.

5. Removed some milk using a large measuring cup, stirred in a couple tablespoons of yogurt.

6. Returned mix to pot, whisking thoroughly.

7. Removed thermometer, replaced lid. Made sure oven was below 110 degrees (to protect my culture), turned on oven light to help keep it warm.

8. Wrapped thick towel around pot (including lid). Placed covered pot in oven. Allowed to rest overnight.

Here's the finished product, scooped into the Bell freezer jars I mentioned earlier. One of them actually tipped over in the fridge and yet didn't leak. These are perfect for the job.

What to do with all that yogurt? We are currently obsessed with the mango lassi. Here's what to do:

1. Drag out your blender.

2. Pour 1 cup of yogurt, 1/2 cup of milk, fruit and juice from 2 mangoes, and your preferred sweetener in the blender. I've been using a bit of agave nectar, Brett likes good ole' sugar. My new mango secret: after you cut out the pit and scoop out the flesh, squeeze the pit over the blender with your hand. This ensures you get all the juicy mango goodness around the pit and decreases waste.

3. Whip until smooth.

4. Top with ground cardamom and enjoy! These are even better if you let them sit in the fridge for a bit to get really cold.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Kitchen, the Laboratory: Part 2- Yogurt

After my successful experience with kefir-making, I decided to experiment with making yogurt. I'd heard that it was possible to make yogurt in a crockpot, so that's what I did. Here are the steps I used, which are a mash-up of the techniques described in both the link above and my Wild Fermentation book:

1. Pour 1/2 gallon milk into crockpot (I used whole, unhomogenized, organic milk and a 4 quart crock). Put on lid and set on low for 2 1/2 hours. You're aiming for the milk to hit 180 degrees (this is both for pasteurization and thickening purposes- although some folks claim heating the milk to this temp is unnecessary).
2. Turn crockpot off, insert thermometer, allow to cool until milk reads 110 degrees.
3. Remove one cup of the milk. Stir in 2 tablespoons live-culture yogurt, and pour back into the crock. Whisk thoroughly.

4. Put the lid back on the crock, wrap in a heavy towel, and allow to rest for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight (8+).

5. Scoop yogurt into cups (I found these great Ball freezer jars on Amazon- they are stackable, pretty leak-proof, BPA free, and dishwasher safe) and refrigerate.

6. Enjoy! From what I've found, these should stay fresh for a week or more, but may become more sour over time. We've been enjoying our yogurt with granola and fruit, as well as in mango lassis. Yum! I can honestly say that store-bought yogurt (even my $2/carton splurge stuff) doesn't hold a candle to what I made, taste-wise. Remember to save a bit to start your next batch with.

I'm still working on tweaking some of the steps, mainly in regards to the crockpot temp. My yogurt came out a bit runny, and that's mainly because I got impatient with waiting for my milk to cool. It seems the crockpot heated the milk much hotter than was necessary. This week I'm going to try heating the crockpot on "warm" while I heat the milk on the stove. Then I'll turn off the crockpot, pour the milk in, mix in the culture, and continue with the rest of the steps.

One extra tip: Save a bit of the yogurt and don't jar it. Line a colander with cheesecloth, put a bowel underneath, and pour the yogurt over. Allow it to drain for a few hours- you'll be left with a yummy, thick, cheese-like spread that's great on toast (among many things.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Kitchen, the Laboratory: Part 1- Kefir

A few weeks ago I had a revelation: most of the foods I spend the most money on are also the healthiest. But last time I checked, there aren't many coupons out there for things like kefir and kombucha- and many of the brands I prefer are small organizations, not the type to offer sales.

Still, I'm not willing to give those things up. I'd rather spend more money on food and know I'm giving my family, and myself, the best food possible. Luckily, I found another option- make them myself.

That's right- it turns out that three of my bigger "indulgences"- kefir, yogurt, and kombucha- are all pretty easily (and cheaply!) made at home. So my next few posts will explain how I've started on this journey of producing more of our food at home.

I started with kefir. For those of you who are unfamiliar, kefir is defined by Wikipedia as, "A fermented milk drink that originated with shepherds of the North Caucasus region, who discovered that fresh milk carried in leather pouches would occasionally ferment into an effervescent beverage." Kefir can be flavored or unflavored, sweetened or unsweetened, and the amount of time it ferments for influences how sour it is. Think of it as a stronger, more sour version of yogurt.

What's cool about kefir is that you can only make it with kefir grains- a mix of bacteria and yeast that combine with lots of other scientific-sounding things to create colonies that look sort of like califlower. So, essentially, you can't just manufacture it- you have to obtain the grains from somewhere first. Some of the grains still used today have been around for hundreds of years, passed hand-to-hand around the world. Cool, right?

My kefir grains.

Anyway, the kefir you buy in the store is a far cry from the real stuff. And it's expensive- about $4 for a 32-oz bottle. Because the demand isn't very high, it's processed to give it a longer shelf life. You know what that means- a lot of the bacteria and other organisms that make kefir so great for you die off. Lucky for me, I have friends who make their own kefir and were willing to share. Please keep in mind that there are many different approaches to making kefir- the following description is simply how we make kefir at our house.

1. Start with whole, organic, unhomogenized, and preferably raw milk. You'll also need a clean quart jar with lid, kefir grains, something to strain the kefir with, and any additions you want to make- we add fruit.

2. Pour milk into the jar. Make sure you don't fill it more than 2/3 of the way full.

3. Add kefir grains. The recommendation from my copy of Wild Fermentation says 1 tablespoon per 3 cups of milk, but I say just eyeball it.

4. Put the lid on the jar, shake it around, put it on your countertop, and wait approx. 24 hours. How long you let it ferment is a matter of taste. The longer it ferments, the more sour it will be. Make sure to shake it a couple times throughout the day.

Jar of kefir- notice the cream on top.

5. At this point, strain out the kefir grains. They can be store in fresh milk in a container in the fridge until you're ready to use them again.

6. Put the lid back on the jar and stow it in the fridge. You can enjoy as is, or like we do (below).

7. When it's good and cold, pour it into a blender. Throw in some fruit (we use frozen mixed berries) and whiz.

Finished product- doesn't it look delicious?

8. Enjoy! We tasted our first "homebrew" tonight, and it knocks the socks off the store-bought stuff. Ahhh...saving money tastes *extra* good.

9. Store leftovers in fridge.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Junie at 4 months.

I took Junie to her well-baby visit this week, and she's doing great.

13 lbs, 1 oz
24.5 inches long

She rolls from back to tummy, but not tummy to back yet. Junie is a very happy baby, and spends most of her time smiling, laughing, and "talking" (emphasis on *most*). She's still exclusively breastfed, and generally takes 2-3 bottles while I'm at work. We won't start solids for a couple more months. Junie gets tons of attention from her older sister, who enjoys changing her clothes, attempting to brush her "teeth," and removing and re-inserting her pacifer. I'm starting to wear her on my back now, which she really seems to enjoy- and it definitely boosts my productivity as well! Junie also enjoys sitting in her Bumbo seat, and is getting steadier every day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


First Half-Marathon: Pensacola, FL
2 hrs, 43 minutes
16 weeks postpartum

Monday, March 28, 2011

It's my birthday!

Nothing says "birthday" like going to work early, right? At least we had a Breastfeeding Support Group meeting today, so that made the day go quickly. After work, I picked up the supplies for the shrug that's going to be my next knitting project, and I went for a quick run.

Brett and I had the nanny come over for a bit so we could go to dinner- first time we've had dinner all by ourselves in almost a year (what's a date night?!?!?). We put Lucy to bed before we left, and Junie was about to nap, so I was able to bypass mommy-guilt for the time being.

We headed to McGuire's- our fave Pensacola restaurant. Brett forgot his wallet, so not only was he unable to drink, but I got to buy my own birthday dinner- wahoo! Anyway, our meals were delicious as usual, and we had a good time, even if we talked mostly about the kids.

I especially enjoyed all birthday wishes, the chocolate-covered strawberries that arrived at work, and my spankin' new Kindle. Thanks, everyone!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I am sick. So here are some pics of Junie....

....who I am praying doesn't get sick as well (same goes for Lucy, and Brett, of course). So far mama's milk is working its magic in this respect, so thank goodness for that. Since I basically feel like sh*t and have no motivation to write a long post, and because Junie is already rolling over both front to back and back to front (wayyyyyy earlier than her big sis, I might add), I thought I might as well document it. Her first "official roll" was on 12 March.

Can we slow things down just a little, sweetheart?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Emily’s Guide to Successful Pumping: Part 1- Attitude

In my experience, the most important factor in one’s success or failure as a pumping mama is ATTITUDE. As I’ll describe in coming posts, equipment and environment are two more important aspects. However, I firmly believe that if a mama is truly committed to pumping, she will find ways to overcome a difficult work environment and to make the best of what equipment she has available.

When one first decides to pump, whether out of necessity or by choice, there are several decisions to be made and options to think about and these ideas are all affected by a mama’s personal beliefs and her body’s capability to produce for a pump. Some things to consider:

1. What are my goals for pumping? Do I want to attempt to feed my baby breastmilk exclusively, or am I willing to supplement if needed?

Breastfeeding isn’t an all-or-nothing relationship. Even if your body is not able to produce enough for the pump to breastfeed exclusively, every ounce of breastmilk counts- and, after all, breastfeeding isn’t just about breast milk. I’ve heard many mothers say that they were unable to pump “enough,” so they quit entirely and went to formula or donated breastmilk. Remember that inability to pump DOES NOT equal inability to breastfeed, as some women are physically unable to maintain their supply on a pump. Are you willing to pump even if you have to supplement? Giving formula during the day and nursing when you’re home is an option. Even when my supply plummeted during my pregnancy with Junie, and Lucy was receiving formula bottles while I was at work, I was able to nurse Lucy when I was home. She didn’t get much milk, but I reminded myself that every drop of breastmilk contains antibodies, and the comfort and closeness we shared was wonderful.

Some suggestions: continue to breastfeed when you’re home. If you’re comfortable with the idea, put your baby in bed with you- baby can nurse at night. I’ve slept through more nursing sessions than I can possibly count. Some babies even reverse-cycle, sleeping while mom is away and nursing frequently when mom is home. This makes things easier for a mom who has trouble producing for the pump, because it decreases the amount that baby must be supplemented- especially in an older baby who is also taking solids.

2. How long do I want to pump for?

Setting a goal in regards to how long you want to pump is important, both emotionally and for practical reasons. If you only want to pump for a few weeks or months, renting a hospital grade pump is probably a better option than buying a pump designed for home use. If you are committed to pumping for several months to a year or beyond, buying a pump is the more economically sound decision.

Goals also help keep you focused. Set short-term goals- they are easier to meet, which is very motivating. Once you meet those, you can set your sights higher. I’ve known mamas who initially wanted to pump for 4 months, and dedicated themselves to that amount of time. By the time they reached that point, they had adapted so well and pumping was such a part of their daily routine that they set new goals for themselves- pumping for a year or even beyond.

3. Who can I talk to? What support is available?

I have found that talking to other mamas who are going through the same experiences as myself is incredibly helpful. In-person support groups, online groups, someone who works with you and pumps as well- all are options. In my last workplace, we didn’t have a designated pumping area- so I made my office into one. I pumped at the same time as a co-worker, and it really made things easier. It was a wonderful opportunity to support one another and share “tips of the trade,” which I’ll talk about later.

4. Be gentle with yourself.

Even if pumping doesn’t work out for you- whether it’s because of physical or emotional reasons- treat yourself kindly. You’ve done the best you could, and there’s no shame in that.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lucy at 18 months.

Weight: 22.4 lbs (20th percentile)
Length: 32.48 in (70th percentile)
Head: 18 in (25th percentile)

So basically Lucy is growing like a weed, and has *luckily* not inherited my giant head.

The doctor didn't bug me about her speech, either- he was too busy being impressed by her signing. (Insert sigh of relief here.) Luckily Lucy was on her A-game today and signed several phrases for him- including "help-ball-please," as she reached for the ball on his desk.