Monday, November 29, 2004

We had a great visit last night from our good friend, Tiffany. She moved to Washington DC about 5 months ago and we’ve missed her dearly. Tiffany works for the Human Rights Campaign and she brought with her a HRC hat and outfit for Kennedy – we love them! Here she is being loved on by our newest addition; Elle.

Kennedy has been rewarding us with smiles and something pretty darned close to laughter. Of course, I’ve not had much luck in catching a full on grin with the camera – but this one is pretty close. She has been such a joyous addition to our lives – these two moms couldn’t be more thrilled.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Elle has been busy making friends with all of our guests. Here she is climbing on our friend Andrea. Andrea and Max and Laural and Peter all came over today visit Kennedy. Elle was actually the life of the party. Kennedy mostly slept.

In her active stages she still likes to stretch and play.

On Chuck Currie's site today is a story about The UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries joining with the National School Boards Association and 11 other organizations to publish a legal guide to help schools and students understand the rights of young persons and responsibilities of educators with regard to sexual orientation issues. It's a good resource that is value add to more than just educators. If you have an opportunity, spend some time on Chuck's site. It's the best progressive social, political and religious site I know. I read it and I think, here's a man who truly is fighting the good fight.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Kennedy spent Thanksgiving meal at the grown-up's table, but in the sling. She tucks in so cozy.

Our house dynamics changed a bit yesterday when Elle arrived. Socially, she's at the opposite end of the spectrum of Jack. Speaking of Jack, he's not excited about Elle's presence. We've tried to introduce them slowly by exposing their smells to each other, etc. We keep Elle in a separate room at night.

Our friend C.K. spent Thanksgiving meal with us and helped us with the Elle/Jack introductions. He's a natural with Kennedy. Here he is multi-tasking keeping Kennedy calm and leaving a Thanksgiving message for his sister and her family.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

It's the time of year where I get all sappy and think of all the wonderful things in our life that we have to be thankful for. Sheryl and I are blessed with two wonderful daughters, we have a wonderful house to keep warm and dry, and a loving family that supports us.

My cousin, Nick, is in the Marines and is stationed in Iraq. He wrote this week how much he appreciates the luxuries in life - you know, things like toilets and showers. It really puts things into perspective.

Kennedy continues to develop a full range of funny expressions. We've even been blessed with smiles from our little pumpkin. Kennedy seems to be gaining weight on track - she's even developed those squeezable breast-milk fed cheeks.

Dad heard a radio program last week talking about how cats are social animals and do far better when they have a playmate. Needless to say, this re-opened an ongoing conversation that Sheryl and I have had about getting Jack a kitten. Sheryl accuses me of setting Dad up for this in order to get a new cat (Not true!). It took about all of 2 minutes of discussion before we decided that Jack has adjusted to life quite well lately and would benefit from a little playmate.

Soooo, we adopted a new kitten on Sunday; we're going to name her Elle (pronounced 'Ellie' - you know, we can never do anything too standard in our household - ha ha). We haven't gotten her yet; she's been in foster care and was spayed on Tuesday. We hope to pick her up tomorrow! She's all black with a long, regal face. We hope the introductions go well.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

We talked with Stacey via phone the other day. You will notice I've added her picture on the sidebar from when she was visiting this past summer. Dave, Laural and I did a fundraiser for Move On .org at Haven's Coffee shop and Stacey sang a song. I'm going to try to coordinate another event for January 2005. If we're lucky, we'll get Stacey back up here to sing. Stacey's in college at University of Texas San Antonio, on track to graduate July 2005. Stacey and Kennedy will meet for the first time in person next month. Kennedy had a guest recently. Cindy, a friend of Susan's from Utah, flew in and spent the night with us Friday night.

Yesterday Grandpa Joe and the three of us watched the Oregon Ducks get smashed by the Oregon State Beavers. Being Duck fans, it was a disappointing game. Fortunately, we're not fanatics so it didn't ruin our day.

We've been trying to dance daily with Kennedy. Dancing is great fun. We try to expose Kennedy to a variety of music. Today we danced to Tom Waits. It put Kennedy right to sleep!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Susan here, dropping in to update you on our progress at home. Kennedy is now 4 weeks old – so hard to believe it’s been that long! We’re focusing on spending her awake time in play; we’ve made faces at her, spent some ‘tummy time’ on the Boppy, looked at dangling items, and sang lots of songs. Kennedy really likes mirrors too.

Sheryl’s favorite game to play with her is ‘strong legs’; she lays Kennedy on her lap and pulls her up by her hands and Kennedy helps stand by pushing with her legs. We all get a kick out of that game – we even think we’ve seen a couple of smiles emerge from Kennedy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Grow girl grow! Kennedy has to be growing. She's taking this I eat at mom's thing very seriously.

This is the time for big growth spurt # 1--at four weeks old. According to literature she is also regulating her eating and sleeping and emotions. Her hungry cry is funny. It sounds like a "ye-ack". She's attracted to lights and the color red, but her visual focus is still best at 8 to 12 inches away. I had phone conversations with almost all of my siblings this past Sunday, my birthday. They can't wait to see niece Kennedy. And we can't wait to see all of them. The cousins are all anxious to see her too. Niece Amber, from Freeport, Texas, is flying up to spend her spring break with us all in March. Kennedy's first airplane trip will be to Houston to see my family, then we'll fly to Tulsa and drive to Mimi and Papa's in Kansas.

I'm trying to find some time to see Jim Van Bebber's The Manson Family. It's playing at the Clinton Street Theater but, sadly, only through Thursday this week. Maybe Netflix will make it available.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Megan stopped by this morning to see Kennedy. Megan just returned from about 3 weeks at sea on a Baja Ha Ha rally. You can read the trip notes here. It sounds like quite the adventure.

Later today we went to Great Granny Kay's house in Oregon City for the family Thanksgiving celebration. Kennedy was in an awake state a good part of our time there. Kennedy's expression in this picture with Grandma makes us laugh.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Sometimes I have more fun with the camera than Kennedy does, but she's getting somewhat used to the flash of it all. This is Kennedy's "Shelly" outfit. It came from Aunt Shelly--my twin.

We took her to her first party last night and she did great! Mostly she slept and got packed around by me in her sling.

Grandpa came over today and he put on the sling and we all took a walk around the neighborhood.

When Kennedy is in the sling it's very hard not to check on her every 5 minutes to make sure she's breathing, etc. She loves the sling and usually is asleep after a few minutes.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Niece Krystal sent us this picture of Papa Sanford at his garden just after Kennedy was born. Mema says the garden has doubled in size now. It's still warm where they live in Texas. Papa has to garden behind a fence because they live in a lake community that has protected status for deer. No shooting/hunting in residential areas.

Kennedy played with her Lamaze frog this morning. The flowers are crunchy and textured. The body is satin. The ring has things that spin. Kennedy likes touching it all, but gets overstimulated after more than 5 minutes. I like that the frog can sit on Kennedy's belly.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Mema and Papa (my parents, Texas) sent Kennedy a rolling mirror. Jack the cat was looking at himself this morning in the mirror. Kennedy loves mirrors but doesn't spend much time on the ground yet, so we put it up to her face for her.

Susan and Kennedy are both doing well. Kennedy is 3 weeks and 1 day old today. For the past two nights she's had at least one 4 or 5 hour block of sleeping. Amazing!

Friend Alison from Boston sent me the link to It's been good for me to see the faces of other people who are sorry that Bush is in office still.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Today Mimi left to go back home to Kansas. Kennedy and I have both done our share of crying over her departure. Before she left, we captured this picture with the fall colors in the background.

Here is a shot of Kennedy sprawled out on a family heirloom; this baby blanket was made for my father when he was a baby. It also kept me warm at night when I was a baby. Now the fabric is coming apart in the back, so we’re opting to keep it in storage so it will be around for Kennedy’s children too.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Today I packed away my maternity clothes for storage. In a way it was sad; I was closing a chapter of our life and packing away those clothes that had got me through the last 5 months or so. Sniff. On the bright side, I now have lots of room for me to re-introduce my 'old' clothes that I packed away last spring - if only I could fit into them... sigh.

Today Kennedy spent the majority of the time awake which was fun when she was happy and not so fun when she was upset. We tried our all-in-one cloth diapers today - it was very disappointing as they leaked all over the place. We'll try again when she gets a little bigger because maybe they're too big?

Tomorrow my mom will return home to Kansas - it will be a tough tough day for us all.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Mimi and Kennedy are having a great time bonding. This picture is classic. We're all really enjoying Mimi's visit.

Kennedy is doing very well. Sleeping a lot, eating a lot, creating a lot of output. She has a fair number of alert periods too. This is not one of them.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Well, my mom has been here for three days now and her help has been absolutely a life saver. She's been adament about me taking it easy; no doing dishes, laundry etc. While I still am a bit freaked out about this huge journey Sheryl and I are embarking on, having her here has made that panic all the more bearable.

Yesterday we had a big day; we first went to visit Sheryl at her job and introduce Kennedy to her co-workers.

Following the visit to Sheryl's office, Kennedy had her first pediatrician appointment. It amazes me how many people are drawn to Kennedy as a newborn. The protector in me made me want to scream 'get away from my baby you random stranger with lots of germs!' Rational, huh?

Our little angel continues to warm our lives with her presence. Can't imagine what life would be like without her now.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

We met Susan's mom, Patty, now known as Mimi, at the airport last night with Kennedy. It was such an exciting meeting. We're so glad to have her here! I think that Kennedy has her eyes, but Mimi doesn't see it yet.

Sometimes Kenedy isn't too interested in getting dressed. She's been showing off her voice for all of us.

Kennedy and Mimi went with Susan to her two week OB check-up.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Sheryl's tooth was still acting up today, so she stayed home with me. It's starting to feel somewhat better so she'll likely be back on her feet tomorrow.

Tomorrow is a big day for us; not only will the elections shape so much of our future, but my mom is flying in from Kansas to see us. She is so excited to see Kennedy - the waiting has been killing her. She'll get to stay a week so we'll have lots of photos to share.

Get out there and vote tomorrow (if you haven't already voted via mail).