Monday, December 27, 2004

Happy Holidays, everyone!!! Sheryl and I are here in Kansas now; we’ve had a tremendously busy time these last several days. We started in Houston to see Sheryl’s twin, Shelly.

Stacey came to Houston the next day – it was the first time she got to meet her little sister; it was a touching moment for us all.

One evening, Sheryl’s sister Gayle and family came in to Houston and we all went to dinner at a Japanese steakhouse. Below are niece Heather and Kennedy, Stacey/Gayle/Heather with Kennedy, and a photo of nephew Ryan trying his hand at the hibachi.

On our final day in Houston, we went to the Butterfly Emporium; Kennedy slept through the whole thing.

That sums up our first two days – there’s much more to report – we’ll post more soon!

Monday, December 20, 2004

Tomorrow Sheryl and I are taking Kennedy on her first airplane trip. We’re heading to Texas to see Sheryl’s family; then we’re off to Kansas to see Mimi and Papa. When it’s all said and done, we’ll have six – count ‘em – SIX airplane trips under our belt. Kennedy is super excited to meet all her family members that we’ve been talking about.

Not to be left out of the fun, Jack and Elle are looking forward to hanging out with our friend John while we’re gone.

We’ll do our best to provide updates while we’re on the road. Happy Holidays and safe travels to those of you who are joining the masses on planes, boats, buses, trains, spaceships and the highways.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Today Kennedy and I went to our first Mom and Baby yoga class. It was great to get out and get physical again. We’re having a weight-loss contest at work and I can’t help but feel a little sheepish in entering; I’ve got a bit of an advantage with the breastfeeding weight-loss. I expect the yoga to help in this arena as well.

Kennedy has been busy adding weight as I’ve been shedding; she’s gaining about an ounce a day. Yesterday at the new mom’s class she weighed in at 9 pounds, 7 ounces.

Tonight we had Sheryl’s holiday party for her work group. It was great to get out and be social twice today!

Monday, December 13, 2004

We had a great weekend! I feel wiped out from being so busy – I think Kennedy and I will lay low today. On Saturday Elizabeth stopped by with a pair of Robeez shoes for Kennedy – as Elizabeth says, ‘a girl’s gotta have her shoes’. They’re supposed to be the best baby shoes on the market as they don’t fall off. In fact, at the library I noticed that almost all of the other babies toddling around had these types of shoes on.

Our dear friend Martina also came for a visit on Saturday. She was in town only for the weekend so we were lucky to get her to ourselves for much of Saturday. Martina moved from Portland just over a year ago – we miss her dearly. In the afternoon, we met more friends for coffee at Haven coffee shop just down the street from us. It was my first truly public nursing experience and it was no big deal (thankfully).

Great news – I was able to fit into my jeans for the first time on Saturday – wahoo! I’ve been losing about a pound a week (after the initial weight drop) with no real effort on my part. I’m only about three pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight – now to get down to a more ‘ideal’ weight is my goal. We hope to start mom and baby yoga later this week, too.

Saturday night Sheryl and I had our first date in months. Grandma and Grandpa came over and watched Kennedy while Sheryl and I went to see the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company perform as part of the Whitebird dance series. It was great to get out and about – but I was so glad to hold Kennedy again when we got home.

Yesterday we had visits from Megan, Martha and Laurel. Laurel and I worked on a craft project to give as Christmas gifts. I can’t reveal what we created as some of you will be receiving them as presents – but it was fun. Here is Martha and Kennedy enjoying a fun moment.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Elle (the new kitten) is so much the opposite of our older cat, Jack. Where Jack is terrified of his own shadow, Elle couldn't be bothered by 'scary' things like the coffee grinder or the vacuum cleaner. Today while vacuuming, Elle just stood in the door and watched.

My fears about the two cats not getting along are slowly starting to fade away. Often times I have to urge Jack to be gentle - he'll pin Elle down and bite her. She just lays there calmly - and when he lets her up she'll chase his tail. Today I was petting both cats when Elle started to lick Jack's neck. I stood there and watched as she proceeded to wash his neck and ears - too funny.

Edited to add: It happened again - I caught Elle grooming Jack - this time there's proof...

Things here are good - it's unseasonably warm here in Portland today and no rain (at least for the moment). A perfect setting for a walk through the neighborhood.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

My attempts at catching Kennedy’s heart-melting smile have been thwarted… Part of it has to do with the delay of the camera’s snapping of the photo after pushing the button, part of it is because the camera seems to never cooperate when she holds a smile, and ironically part of it is because the flash of the missed photo usually makes Kennedy smile and I can’t get the following shot captured quickly enough. (How’s that for a run-on sentence?)

I have managed to get the following shots today in an attempt to get that perfect Christmas card photo. At this rate, we may be sending out New Year’s cards instead of Christmas cards!

We’ve periodically tested out those baby ‘gadgets’ that we’ve received / bought over the months. So far, the swing has been a flop – she just screams when we put her in it. However, I had some success with the bouncy chair yesterday for about 5 minutes (then she started to scream). Fortunately, one member of the family is enjoying the chair instead.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Grow Baby Grow!!! Kennedy has really made huge progress over the last week. Sheryl and I both have noticed that she is becoming more confident and secure; she is exploring her environment more and especially likes kicking her feet and waving her arms. We’re practicing holding objects too.

Today Kennedy and I went to the new mom’s group at the hospital; there were about 20 other moms there of babies under 4 months. It was great to see others and share in our experiences. While there we weighed Kennedy and I was shocked to see that she’s gained nearly 2 pounds since her birth 7 weeks ago. 9 pounds, 1 ounce!!!

All in all, I’m starting to feel much more confident as a mom. Today was a good day – I feel like I can actually manage all of this – wahoo! Let’s hope I keep having these good days.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Yesterday we had a great visit from our friend Luke. He brought his mom and dad (Elizabeth and Patrick) along as well. We shared cinnamon rolls, pet the new kitten, pointed at the baby and generally had a good time. Luke really likes talking on the phone, too. He had a nice conversation with his good friend Elmo.

Last night was my annual holiday party. Sheryl and I got all dolled up; Kennedy got in the action too by donning her purple velvet outfit given to her by Mimi.

Kennedy was a huge hit at the party. She spent the first two hours sacked out in the sling then woke up after having her dinner. She was alert for about 45 minutes - much to the amusement of my co-workers. Above we have Kennedy with Jamie; here she is with Cheryl. All in all, it was a great night for us all.

Friday, December 03, 2004

This morning Susan tells me she thought "that sure is some messy hair" when she saw me. She hadn't realized that I had already showered and fixed my hair. Heh. About a week ago, I got my hair cut short again. I want restart my work out routine and short hair is so much easier to deal with. Here's my short hair and Kennedy in her new HRC hat Tiffany brought us from the Washington, D.C. store.

HRC is the Human Rights Campaign. Read their statement denouncing CBS and NBC’s refusal to air a United Church of Christ ad that emphasizes the church’s welcoming of a diverse membership, including same-sex couples. There's more on this story at Chuck Currie's blog.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Today we had a visit from my good friend, Ruth. She and I went to high school together here in Portland. Actually, ‘went’ is a bit strong – if I remember correctly, she and I spent a lot of time our senior year avoiding school as much as possible.

Kennedy continues to grow and sleep a lot. Today we received a webcam from my mom, so we’ll be able to get online together and have a video chat. We haven’t got it set up yet, but we can’t wait to be able to see Mimi on a regular basis.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Yesterday Kennedy and I went to the Book Babies program at our local library. We sang songs like ‘The Wheels on the Bus…” and “My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean…”. Kennedy was by far the youngest baby there although it is for babies 0 to 1 year old. Regardless, Kennedy and I had a blast – she was fascinated with the other babies.

Kennedy is starting to lose the hair on the top of her head – apparently this is pretty normal. Sheryl says in Costa Rica some of the babies have their heads shaved entirely.

Today was a bit of a rough day; Kennedy was fussy all morning – I suspect it was her tummy. She did sleep most of the afternoon, though, so hopefully it was a temporary condition.