Monday, January 31, 2005

So, here are some photos after all! These are from last night with Kennedy playing with her friend wormy. Her eyes light up when she sees wormy who also squeaks and makes crunchy noises when you squeeze her segmented sections.

We like to play on the floor. It gives Kennedy and her moms room to stretch and move around. Sometimes, though, we just sit and stare at the ceiling.

No photos today - just a quick update on the goings on...

Last night I worked on getting our family newsletter completed so that we can finally send out our New Year's cards. Now I've printed about half and the ink ran out, so another task awaits before I can get them in the mail. Looks like I won't make the mailing in January after all - oh well.

Kennedy's sleep patterns got funky yesterday and she went to sleep at 7pm (usual time is more like 9pm). When 11pm rolled around, she decided it was time to be awake. I tried rocking, singing, nursing, more singing, swaying, bouncing, feeding her a bottle - all to no avail. We saw midnight, 1am and 2am together. I finally took her downstairs and got in about 10 minutes of play time before she decided she was tired. The best part is that when I finally gave in for some play time I was rewarded with the best smiles and giggles ever - melted my heart. A bit tired today, but we'll manage.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Here's a picture of Grandpa and Kennedy from our lunch on Saturday.

We've been reading Dr. Seuss's Wacky Book of Opposites The Foot Book and comparing our "small" feet and "big" feet.

Kennedy's growing into the HRC hat our friend Tiffany gave her. Though I don't know how much longer these shoes will fit.

posted by Sheryl

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Today we went to lunch with Aunt Tami and cousins Katrina and Kirkland. It was the first time that Tami got to see Kennedy.

While at lunch Kirkland found a new use for his chopsticks.

After lunch, Sheryl and headed out to do some shopping. We started at Costco and stopped only when the cart was so full that nothing more would fit. (Good thing we didn’t grab the larger-sized carts.)

We then headed over to Babies ‘R Us (dangerous!) to get a mirror for the backseat. We hope this helps with Kennedy’s meltdowns when she has to ride in the car. (Please, please, please!) While there, I nursed Kennedy in the mother’s room and experienced the benefits of a nursing stool. Can I just say it took all of 2 seconds to get one added to the cart after Kennedy was done eating?!? It’s a fantastic addition to our routine.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Look out Baby Vogue, here comes Kennedy. She has always been a vision of high style thanks to contributions from family members, but this outfit just about takes the cake. Thanks to Mimi Clark for this sweet dress.

Our newest cat, Elle, has sure grown in size alongside Kennedy. I think she’s about twice as large as she was when we got her in November. She’s an incredible pain in the neck (no, Elle – get off the counter; no, Elle – stay out of the trash; no, Elle, quit eating the plant…) but she’s still as sweet as can be. Jack, our oldest cat, sure likes having her around. They play together and groom one another too.

Sheryl met this evening with a few friends to discuss creating and publishing a zine this spring. Kennedy and I went along for the ride and tried our best not to be too disruptive. Kennedy did great and showed off her smile for everyone at the table.

Sad, sad news; I pulled out the calendar today and realize I only have three more weeks off before I return to work. It hasn't really sunk in yet, but the thought that it is only three more weeks is really depressing. I'm sure I'll have a good cry (or two, or three...) before the big day comes. sigh.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

What a day for a daydream…
Today, January 27th, marks a big milestone for our family. It was exactly one year ago today that our Little Kennedy was conceived. Karma added its blessing by arranging to have our adoption ceremony at the courthouse today as well – weren’t we shocked when our lawyer informed us of the date?! 1st conception, then validation – Hey 2006 – what do you have in store for us next January 27?

All silliness aside, this morning was a fantastic celebration of our family as we went to the courthouse to meet with the Judge and have her sign our adoption papers. We were joined by our friend Megan and Grandpa Anderson (Grandma had to work). Another sad omission from our crew was daughter Stacey who lives in Texas – we sure wish she could have been here as well.

Sheryl is now legally the mother of Kennedy – not that our hearts needed that piece of paper, but it means a lot for us to have this ‘right’ given to us by the court. (Insert raging rant here about why the hell we have to pay for this right, go through an extensive legal process, retain a lawyer, and did I mention pay for this – all because our marriage is not recognized by the government?!?!?)

Here we have the Judge signing the adoption forms; Kennedy made good and sure that the Judge did her job right. We all got a good laugh from her expression here:

And, because she is so photogenic, here’s another photo of her in one of her recently-found outfits. This one features Winnie the Pooh. Kennedy is such a string bean that the pants fall right off; needless to say this outfit is going into the ‘hold’ pile until we get a little more meat on her bones. Speaking of, she’s just gone through another growth spurt and weighed in at just over 11 pounds this week!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Check out the brand new Glynos-Wolford blog giving special prominence to life in Whitefish, Montana. They're good folk and dear friends. They visited us in Portland this past August and we took this picture on a day trip to the coast.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

This morning I got up about an hour before Kennedy and had some adult time. I did fun things like have a cup of coffee, pay bills, and (gasp) put on makeup. As Kennedy grows we’re starting to push the limits on the 0-3 month clothes, so I started going through the larger sizes I had stashed away. I was surprised (and a bit sad) to find a pile of 0-3 month clothes that I somehow misplaced with the larger sizes. It was a bit like Christmas in finding some new outfits. Here we have Kennedy modeling one of them.

The Music Together class that we’re taking is a lot of fun. The class is really designed to teach the adults how to stimulate the babies with music through tones, rhythms, dancing, and, of course, singing. It’s been a blast and Kennedy really enjoys it.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Sheryl here. Kennedy has about 1000 and 1 facial expressions. This is typical of one she makes when she is just about to check out. She's been playing so hard lately that when she suddenly realizes she is tired, she can go into melt down (our term for her sudden crying when she is hungry or tired) in zero to one seconds.

In Seattle, Kennedy and I went to Left Bank Books, a worker owned collective just in the Pike's Place Market. We picked up a coloring book that used to be a zine entitled Girls will be boys will be girls will be... published by Soft Skull Press. As they say, it's not your average Dick and Jane coloring book. This coloring book is a great reminder of how gender stereotypes pervade our lives. I'm glad to see this former zine get published.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Last week Grandma and Grandpa Anderson came over to hang out with us; here is Grandpa Joe playing with Kennedy on the floor. She especially likes playing with this one musical rattle (to the left below) that plays Fur Elise.

We spent the weekend in Seattle; I had a work meeting on Friday and then we had our fancy (post) holiday party on Saturday night. Even Kennedy got into the act; here we are donned in our finest:

We took Kennedy to the party with us; she was certainly the center of attention for a lot of us. Sheryl says she was the Bell of the Ball - I agree. Here she is with our friend Vincent.

While in Seattle, we discovered a new favorite toy for Kennedy: tissue paper. It seems as if she's exploring texture with her fingers now - it's great. She had a nice time playing with the chiffon of her holiday dress as well.

Here's Kennedy being carried around the room as a "sack of potatoes" looking for a place to land. Her head control is so amazing. She sort of looks scared in this photo but trust me, she was smiling and laughing while Sheryl was carting her around this way...

Kennedy's latest favorite pastime is to blow bubbles with her spit and make raspberry noises - cleaning up the drool is a small price to pay to hear her have such a good time talking and playing.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Here come teeth!!! This last couple of weeks Kennedy is really starting to show signs that her teeth are on the way; prolific drooling, gnawing on her fists (or anything that she can get into her mouth), more drooling… Yesterday I got out all of the teething rings and got them washed up. The problem is that they all seem so big and heavy – that, and Kennedy is just getting the whole eye-hand coordination thing down. For now, we’re helping her explore the rings since holding them herself is still a skill she’s developing.

Today Kennedy really got a hold of one of her rattles and gave it a good shaking; I think she’s starting to learn cause and effect with things she’s holding. Then she brought it to her mouth to suck on – it was great!

Today is Martin Luther King Day – here’s to one of our history’s greatest Civil Rights leaders. Every year I try to go back and read his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. I find it liberating that we’ve come so far as a population since the 60’s; yet I also find it frustrating that still have so far to go on so many fronts.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Sheryl here. Kennedy's back and neck muscles are super strong for her measly 12 1/2 weeks age. We like stretching her neck and putting our heads together and taking crazy pictures.

On icy morning's like this one there's not much to do except stay in and be domestic and hang out with the family. Starting the day off with pan fried potatoes is pretty sweet. Mmmmmm.

We've been bringing out the big equipment lately too. Niki, our good friend from Whitefish, Montana, bought us this Champion juicer when Susan and I got married. Today I'm thinking up veggie burger recipes in my head. All that carrot pulp we're producing is a good first ingredient. Susan picked up some beets and chard and cucumbers and other juice worthy veggies earlier this week. Mostly to point we've been juicing a mix of carrots and apples.

At Christmas we scored this bread machine from Grandma and Grandpa Anderson. We have yet to actually use it, though. But there's no bread in the house, so now might be the time. The whole modern look of this Betty Crocker machine just makes me laugh out loud. Check it:

Susan picked up a dvd for me--Cat Power: Speaking for Trees: A Film by Mark Borthwick (2004). I'm crazy for Cat Power. This movie is poetry music and nature. The cricket sounds added a nice touch. Susan thought that the crickets were irritating. Continuing along the music line we all watched Connie and Carla. Drag Queen cabaret and show tunes meets mobster drama. Not so good.

Last night I had such visions of being able to post some fantastic pictures of Kennedy seeing her first snow. Alas, we were thwarted by the forecast again since all we woke up to was freezing rain. Portland has about 1/4" of ice on every surface making for treacherous travels. Luckily, Sheryl and I are prepared and well stocked; movies, popcorn and chips, soda - you know, all of the provisions needed for an iced-in day.

Kennedy and I are enrolling in a music class with Music Together. We were told of this class by an acquaintance in our new mom's class so we've missed the first session; our first class will be this week and we'll let you know how it goes. The program sounds awesome; from their website:

"Music Together is based on the premise that all children are musical and that parents play a crucial role in activating and nurturing their child's music development. The classes build on children's natural enthusiasm for music and movement, providing a good foundation for future instrument, dance study or music appreciation."

Today's photo of Kennedy is with her first Gund bear - graciously bestowed by our dear friend Beth. The bear's name is Schatze which means sweetheart in German. Kennedy likes to feel the fur and smile at it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Well, we've gone through what every family with children knows - we've all managed to get sick over this last week. The funny thing is that now that Sheryl is going through it, I can predict for her how long each symptom will last. It's a relatively minor cold - but the 'crud' hangs on and on and on...

Yesterday we had Kennedy's 'two-month' doctor appointment. I put that in quotes because today she is already 12 weeks old. Kennedy is progressing well, of course. She weighed in at 10 pounds, 2 ounces and is 23.5 inches long!

Being a parent has been such a joy from the first day - but it is becoming more exciting as she is leaving her very needy new infant stage and starting to interact more with her environment. Major milestones include rolling over (the doctor couldn't believe she's rolling over so soon and she made me show her!), playing airplane, standing up with assistance, and talking. Here she is on Christmas night playing airplane with Sheryl.

Kennedy regularly talks to us and her voice is so sweet. We can't wait to start hearing English words but for now we are thrilled with her own special language. Here she is talking to Blue Cow.

She is also starting to enjoy baby toys. She not only reaches out and grabs things, but she's also kicking and grasping dangling objects. We have this one fun toy that sits over her and it has a kick plate that activates sound and lights; we all love it. (At least for now; I expect the songs will get old and start to grate on our adult nerves after a couple of months!)

Sheryl and I have been using the Champion Juicer given to us by dear friend Niki to make fresh juice and it's great. So far we haven't gotten too wild and are sticking with carrot-apple. But today I got us some beets, chard, celery, spinach and cucumber for more exotic forays. This is all practice for when Kennedy gets old enough to start exploring foods other than breastmilk; we're reading Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron in preparation for making our own baby foods. Oh, and today we started wearing cloth diapers (they'd been too big prior to the holidays). Who'd have thought we'd end up so 'granola'?

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Holiday trip notes – part 3: Tulsa to Arkansas City, KS and back to Houston December 26 – 31

Sheryl, Stacey, Kennedy and I left Houston on the 26th to travel to see Mimi and Papa Clark in Kansas. We flew into Tulsa which is about 2 hours away so we could swing by to see Sheryl’s aunt and her family. Sheryl’s Aunt Sharon is her mom’s twin (are you following?) so it’s always fun to see them and share the photos from Texas. Here is Sharon and her immediate family – her husband, Jim and their three children Bryan, Heather and Brandi.

After leaving Sharon’s we headed north to Arkansas City, KS. Now, mind you as you read this – it is pronounced ‘Ar-Kansas City’ not ‘Ar-Kansaw City’. Same goes for the river with the same name. After all, there is now ‘w’ in Arkansas! Mimi was thrilled to see Kennedy again and Papa Clark got to meet her for the first time.

While in Kansas, we got to spend some time with my nephew, Jonas, as well. At first Jonas was pretty jealous of Kennedy but he soon forgot all about her to check out Stacey playing the piano.

After several days in Kansas, we headed back to Houston for another day before heading home. It was difficult saying our goodbyes, but we know we’ll see our loved ones again soon.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Blasted - I woke up with a lousy cold this morning. I hate being sick; I spent a good portion of our holiday fighting a cold and it really bites to have it back now that we're home.

I had intended to write tonight about how much Kennedy has advanced over the last month, but it will have to wait for tomorrow or another day. Stay tuned for notes on smiles, rolling over (yes, rolling over!) and our new game airplane.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Holiday trip notes – part 2: Sheridan, TX December 24 – 25

Sheryl, Kennedy and I left Houston on Christmas Eve day to go to Sheryl’s parents house (Mema and Papa Sanford). This is the annual family gathering of the family on Christmas Eve; there are 11 adults and 11 ‘kids’ in all.

Kennedy was a big hit, of course. It was fantastic for her to finally get to meet her large family from Texas. Here she is meeting Mema for the first time.

When we arrived, it was snowing which is highly unusual in this part of Texas. It didn’t snow enough to accumulate where we were – but there was enough to ogle at when we arrived. Here you can see some of it in the photo with Sheryl and her dad, Del.

We have a blast cramming all 22 of us in the three bedroom house – the floor is usually wall to wall humans at night. As usual, we watched movies and munched on junk food the entire day. Even little Kennedy joined in on the fun.

On Christmas Day, we started by having our mini-family Christmas before the main event. Stacey got us a Baby Einstein video and a couple of music CDs – Kennedy loves them all. We got Stacey an iPod – we think this photo pretty much captures how she felt about it! Maybe Apple would be interested in it for an upcoming advertising campaign?!?

All three brothers-in-law are completely serious – not a funny bone in their bodies. Here is Darrin – an embodiment of stoic poise.

Kennedy had a great first Christmas – full of serious torch-passing. Patty, Sheryl’s youngest sister, passed on the Little Princess title and Ryan bestowed the Youngest Grandchild title. Per family tradition, the grandkid’s photo this year included its newest member. It was a fantastic day for us all.

One of the best parts of our trip was the chance to see Stacey interact with Kennedy; it really made our heart swell to watch her hold and sing to Kennedy. Stacey is a fantastic big sister, a wonderful daughter and a terrific young lady and we miss her something fierce.

Stay tuned for the final installment of our holiday trip notes.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

A quick check-in for this new year. Susan and I were talking last night about what an incredible year it has been. Last year at this time we hoped to get pregnant. We celebrate this new year with our newest daughter, Kennedy.

Susan will have some more holiday trip notes to share with you all soon. We had a lot of fun with everyone and Kennedy had a great time with her new friends Pinky, Piglet, Lamby, Winnie the Pooh and Franny the Elephant.

I can't even begin to describe how saddened we are by the devastation caused by the tsumani in southern Asia and Africa.