Monday, February 28, 2005

Sheryl and I had a great weekend; the weather was so fantastic. I think it was in the mid-60s yesterday. We took Kennedy in her stroller to the grocery store and walked around our neighborhood some. There were dogs out barking too, but she didn’t seem too interested in them.

Last night we went to an Oscar party at my boss' house – Kennedy was a great baby. She decided she wanted to be part of the action and refused to go to sleep though, so we had a bit of a tough ride home since she hates the car seat. One funny thing, though, is she got to gabbing up a storm late in the evening – I think she was practicing her acceptance speech for when she gets her own Oscar, ha ha.

We have had estimates on taking care of our trees (trimming and removal of a couple of trees) at our new house and now it’s looking as if it may not be as straightforward as we thought. Why, oh why, can’t something just be easy for a change? Oh well, it makes us strong.

Sheryl and I got new camera phones a few weeks back and today I was able to figure out how to pull the photos we take off of the web. Sheryl’s been great about sending me photos during the day so I can feel connected. Here is Kennedy playing this morning – surrounded by her toys. Below that, Kennedy is looking at her picture book.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Yesterday Megan had Kennedy laughing so hard at the zoo.

Today Kennedy and Jake met again. They met the first time when Kennedy was about 3 weeks old. Jake is one month and 2 days older than Kennedy and about 1/3rd larger in weight and height. He's totally cute and adorable.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Kennedy, Megan and I took the bus to downtown and then the Max line to Washington Park today. We went to the zoo (Kennedy's first visit) and there were a thousand kiddos with their parents there. It was awesome. The elephants were also cool, especially the new baby elephant. Otherwise, we saw a beautiful peacock who showed her feathers to us, a tiger sleeping in the sun, and a lot of monkeys.

Kennedy was worn out by the time we left. Here she is on the Max ride home.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Kennedy took her first bus ride today to downtown Portland. It was another beautiful day here, about 65 degrees and sunny. Lots of people like to talk to you when you have a baby. The most oft asked question is "How old is the baby?" We met a woman visiting from New York and a Grandma who said "There's nothing more special than a baby" then talked about the hardness of the teenage years. She has a 13 year old grandson.

We met Susan at her office for lunch.

Susan jumping in here... It was great to see the family at lunch; Sheryl brought sandwiches and I was able to sit with Kennedy for a long feed. Tomorrow Sheryl is talking about taking Kennedy for a walk. Lucky me, I get to work. sigh. The good news is that tomorrow is FRIDAY and you know what that means... WEEKEND! Yea. I'm really looking forward to spending time with Kennedy and Sheryl.

The TiVo is getting a good workout. We tell it what shows we like to watch and it takes it from there. On the 'To Watch' list now is West Wing (from last season - did you know they air those here at like 1am on Mondays?), The Parent Trap, Teletubbies (Sheryl's favorite, ha ha), Law & Order, Smallville and Crossing Jordan. The bad part about it all is that it begins to guess at what we would like. I can't tell you how many episodes of Matlock we had to delete (sorry if there are any fans out there), Howard Stern (?), and a bunch of stuff in Spanish from the international channel. Luckily you can just vote it down and it seems to learn not to do those shows again. The best part is now that we've got it set up, we no longer try to catch shows at a certain time or watch stupid stuff.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Elle, the ever curious cat, sure likes Kennedy's toys.

Kennedy cried on the phone in the ear of her sister Stacey tonight. Stacey says she's been playing her guitar a lot. We can't wait to hear what she's learned! She's coming up for a visit over spring break. She's on track to graduate college this summer. Good stuff.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I survived Day 2 at work. I kind of cheated because I worked from home this morning before going with Sheryl to Kennedy's 4-month checkup. All's well on that front; Kennedy is progressing according to schedule and weighs in at 11 pounds 14 ounces. We love our pediatrician, Dr. Basco. She's great about providing advice without being too preachy or judgmental.

Kennedy has been having a blast with Sheryl while I've been at work. Today they went to the park and Kennedy went on her first swing ride with Sheryl. Kennedy thought it was super fun.

Kennedy and Sheryl again took advantage of the fantastic weather we've been having. It's been sunny and in the mid-50s. Spring is getting here too early - we are all worrying about a drought this summer since we haven't had much rain. Here's Kennedy hanging out on the front porch while chewing on her favorite thing - her fingers.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Well, I made it through my first day back at work. It was tough being away from Kennedy, but I had a photo on my desk of Sheryl and Kennedy so that made it more bearable. Also, Sheryl did a fabulous job of sending me photos on our new camera phones so I could stay in tune with their day - it was awesome. Thanks to all of you for your emails and phone calls of support - it means a lot!

As for actual work, there's so much to do to get caught up that I hardly know where to start!!!

When I got home, I was greeted with the biggest smile from Kennedy and a full-on laugh-fest - too funny. Sheryl is making me a special dinner tonight; jumbalaya - yum!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Today, Kennedy is 4 months old and we celebrated by painting our main bathroom – actually, Sheryl did the vast majority of the work. It looks great so far – all we have left to paint now are the doors and the trim. Were sticking with white paint to accent the existing blue and white tile.

Grandpa Anderson came over for a visit – Grandma Anderson has a cold so she had to stay home. Dad and I played some with Kennedy and then walked to the grocery store to grab a few items. The weather here has been so uncharacteristically warm and sunny so our walk was graced with sunshine and flowers (crocus and daffodils are up already!).

Today is my final day as the full-time mom – back to work tomorrow and I am so dreading leaving Sheryl and Kennedy in the morning. I can’t bear the thought of having to focus on other things other than caring for Kennedy – it just seems so foreign. I am excited for Sheryl to have the opportunity to stay with Kennedy for the next several weeks, though – they have a lot of fun in store!

Kennedy continues to develop well – her upper torso is so strong and she can stand assisted for as long as you’ll support her weight. No teeth yet, but she loves to chew on anything she can get her hands onto (or her fingers if there’s nothing left to grab). Here she is with her wooden fish – a gift to us from friends Kellie and Bryan from Whitefish.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Our friend Megan came by for some blueberry pancakes and a visit with Kennedy this morning. They had fun and Megan stayed inside with Kennedy while Susan and I toured our yard with an arborist. There's a lot of trimming and thinning to do, it seems. These trees haven't had much tlc in a good while.

Later today we got out the Johnny Jump Up for babies 4 months to walking age, or so the box says. Since Kennedy is 4 months tomorrow, we took it out for a trial. It has a double spring door frame clamp. We bought it at a garage sale and it's about 10 years old so I'm a little leery about quality and safety. One thing for sure, it is amusing.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Just a quick note today - it's my last day off before returning to work so I am being stingy with my time. I spent the day playing with Kennedy and trying not to be too depressed. (WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!)

Sheryl and I broke down and got a TiVo - we got so sick and tired of the commercials and want to be more strategic with the TV that we do watch. The idea is that we'll load it up with good educational programming and those shows we like so that we're not channel surfing during dinner, etc. I got it installed and configured this afternoon while Kennedy napped - can't wait to try it out later.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

I'm sitting here watching Kennedy sleep in her bassinet - she's holding her plush dolly given to her by Mimi Clark for Christmas. She is just the most beautiful thing to watch as she sleeps (and as she plays and does just about anything, but you know what I mean...). I'd add a picture but I'm too scared that the flash would wake her, you know?

Anyhow, we've been spending the week easing into what I think her routine will be with Sheryl after I return to work. I've been feeding her by bottle at least once a day and practicing falling asleep in ways other than breastfeeding. Today I tried something shocking; I laid her in her bassinet wide awake to see if she would put herself to sleep and lo and behold there she is snoozing away. (Normally we bounce her or rock her to sleep then lay her down after about 20 minutes.) Amazing. She had some difficult falling asleep at first - she kept startling awake but I would just 'Shhhhhh' her or put a hand on her and she would drift back off. This is a great day!

Edited several minutes later to add: Well, I spoke too soon. She woke up when she coughed. We're trying it again. sigh.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Kennedy is really growing. It’s hard to imagine that Kennedy will be 4 months old on Sunday! I’ve been slowly culling out clothes that no longer fit her and desperately try (why?!?) to make sure she wears those clothes that are on the cusp. Today she is wearing this outfit that came from our friend, Chong. It will probably be the last time she wears it since she is getting too long.

Last week, we dressed Kennedy in an outfit that was mine when I was a baby. It, too, is nearly too small and is meant for warmer weather, but we wanted to get a picture of it before it was too late.

It's hard to believe that I'll be at work this time next week. Boo hoo.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Today Kennedy and I took Sheryl to lunch to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We went to the Redwing for lunch – one of our favorite local spots. This afternoon, Kennedy slept for a good three hours total so I got a lot of housework done which always brings a sense of accomplishment with it.

Tonight I made dinner for Sheryl – nothing too complicated, just stir-fry – and we actually ate dinner at the table!

For Valtentine’s Day Sheryl got me a cut-crystal and silver vanity jar – it’s gorgeous. We joke that the only thing it really lacked was being filled with chocolates.

Kennedy’s been fighting a cold and now Sheryl and I are convinced that she’s shared it with us. I thought she probably just had allergies – but now that our throats are starting to hurt I’m not so sure. Whatever happened to breast-fed babies being so healthy?!? At least it’s a fairly minor nuisance to Kennedy. Her biggest issue is when I go after her with the suction bulb – booger snatcher thing to try and clear her breathing. It’s almost comical the way she tries to dodge it – I finally just give up because it’s so traumatic for her.

Kennedy likes to play with her toys – this one in particular is fun for a good 10 minutes of smiles and giggles. When she kicks the bottom part, the top part above her lights up, moves around and it plays music.

I’m in countdown mode now – this is my last week off before returning to work. I can’t get that little voice out of my head that says ‘this is the last Monday you’ll have with Kennedy before returning to work…’. Stupid voice. Sheryl is going to take some time off work to hang out with Kennedy when I return to work – so I try to put my energy into getting excited for her.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

This is Kennedy on her first stroller trip. Good thing we went for our walk yesterday evening. It was rainy and gray here today.

Today we mostly stayed in the house and played.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Grandpa Anderson brought this onesie as a gift home from a San Francisco trip way before Kennedy was born. Kennedy's just big enough now to fit into it.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

At Christmas Mema Sanford gave Kennedy a set of hand-embroidered Tee Towels. They feature a kittin performing the actions from "Here We Go 'round the Mulberry Bush" - the lyrics line up with the kitten's activities pictured here:

Speaking of kittens, I caught Elle hitting the books - she must be practicing her Feline Fundamentals getting ready for Cat College. Hmmm - the jokes are getting worse and worse; must be sleep deprivation!

We received the photos taken by Sheryl's new camera and there are some great shots - luckily we were able to get them digitally as well so we can share them with you here. Most of the shots were taken by Sheryl's capable hands - here's one I took of her with Kennedy while they were relaxing.

Also from the printer, we received copies of the photos from the disposable camera that the nurses provided during the C-Section when Kennedy was born. Here is Kennedy at just 2 minutes old. The 'nurse' in the photo is Sheryl - they had her in scrubs during the surgery and allowed her to bring Kennedy to me while they were sewing me up. I still remember what an amazingly powerful moment that was for us. sigh.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Kennedy is starting to like the swing. She likes this one (at her Anderson Grandparents home) with side-to-side motion and a mobile better than one at our house that swings back and forth and doesn't have a mobile. Here's Lucky watching her swing.

We've been reading Kennedy the 5 minute Good Night Stories book Mimi got her for Christmas. Our favorite story so far is "The Tiny Train's Big Job" about a little train who struggles but eventually finds a job that is perfect for her. I also got a new 35 mm camera from my sister and I've been having fun taking pictures.

Monday, February 07, 2005

It’s time to write a blog...
it’s time to write a blog...
hi-ho-the-derry-oh, it’s time to write a blog!

I find myself narrating my day with silly songs these days – one of the techniques they’ve taught us to use in our Music Together course I take with Kennedy.

Sheryl and I have both discussed our desire to find a church that we can go to so yesterday we went to the First Congregational United Church of Christ in downtown Portland. We liked the fact that they are ‘open and affirming’ in their acceptance of all people. While there we went to the pancake feed fundraiser for the youth group and met a lot of very nice people. The cooking skills of the teenagers, however, left a small amount to be desired. Sheryl and I both laughed as we went home to eat more food - but happy to support the youth group nonetheless.

Today I wrestled Grandma Anderson’s arm to come over for some quality Kennedy time while I had some quality house-cleaning time. We managed to get both and I can’t tell you how rewarding it feels just to get a few of those To-Do items checked off our list.

Sleep: yesterday Kennedy managed to have her nap schedule annihilated by our outings to church and to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for the SuperBowl. I'm determined to do better today and so far we’re looking good. Kennedy had about a 45 minute nap this morning and so far has been asleep for 2 hours for her afternoon nap. (WOW! - No wonder this blog is so long!) Can’t let her sleep too long, though, or she may get her night/day sleep messed up – it is such an art getting this sleep thing down at this stage.

Here is the daily photo of Kennedy. She is dressed like a farm girl; we’re practicing for when we go to visit our mid-west family this spring for a wedding… Now if I could teach her to say things like ‘supper’ and ‘Tues-dey’ she’ll fit right in, ha ha.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

We went to Grandpa and Grandma Anderson's house to watch the superbowl game. Normally Grandpa Joe falls asleep before anyone else, but Susan and Kennedy were fast out in the third quarter. Like Grandpa like daughter like grand-daughter, eh?

Saturday, February 05, 2005

We spent the last of our gift certificate money from Mother Natures a Portland store carrying earth friendly baby products. This time we opted for 100% organic cotton separates. The pants are from Sage Creek Naturals and the shirt from Sckoon. The Sckoon products are by far our favorite. And Kennedy likes the super softness of the fabric.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Kennedy and I spent most of the day cleaning out the pantry room off of the kitchen. It felt like spring here in Portland. We took breaks from cleaning and played too, mostly with Myrtle Turtle. This turtle has a special mirror belly.

Later, when Susan came home from her day out, we all walked to our local grocery co-op. We noticed that daffodil stalks are starting to shoot out of the ground.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

My nephew Jason is joining the blog ranks. He started writing Ragamuffin Ramblings . Check it out.

Kennedy had all the fun at home today. Here she is in part of her tummy time routine. She's starting to enjoy tummy time more.

Later in the day, Susan took her to get some pictures done (studio coupon deal) and K. was totally not happy there. I don't think she smiled for one photo. As soon as they got home she perked right up, though.

I think she just likes to play.

This is Kennedy finally able to wear the sweater Gail P. gave her. Gail commissioned a crocheter for this fine work. Besides being precious, the sweater is keeping Kennedy warm this morning.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Just a quick update today... Kennedy is up to 11 pounds, 5 ounces. I'm reading a book that addresses how to help your baby sleep better. Some counter-intuitive advice includes longer naps in the day and an earlier bed time. We've started paying more attention to both; today the naps seemed to elude us, but Kennedy was asleep at 7:30 tonight. We'll see how tomorrow goes!

A depressing day as our nation's 'leader' decided to make his top priority what I consider an attack and an affront to our family. sigh. Fellow blogger and United Church of Christ Seminarian, Chuck Currie, analyzes the State of the Union and sums up many of Sheryl and my feelings on this topic. The bottom line for me is this; if marriage is a contract upon which our government bestows rights, obligations and privileges, then all should have equal access. If it is "a sacred institution" then I wonder how atheists and non-religious folks have gotten away with getting married all these years. Maybe those marriages of non-believers should be nullified. And don't get me started on the careless and on-a-whim marriages that get performed in Las Vegas. OK - enough soapboxing - I've got better things to do (you know - like the dishes, laundry, and if I'm lucky, a shower).

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Quack. Kennedy likes playing with the duck she got from Judge Wyatt. Well, she likes gumming it. Still no signs of redness or swelling of the gums or tooth bumps. But she sure likes gumming things and she's a drool queen.

Susan is reading the no-cry sleep solution by Elizabeth Pantley. There's some good foundational stuff in this book and Susan called me twice today just to read some Aha! passages.
I'm currently reading 3 books. Actually 4 if you count the cookbook Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. But I'm more selectively browsing through that in search of a recipe that makes me want to get up and find where the slow cooker is buried. Susan made vegetarian sloppy joes tonight. Mmmmm. She used a seasoning packet which was good by me but way too spicy for her. She ended up eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But I digress. Ghost Wars the secret history of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet invasion to September 10, 2001 by Steve Coll is the main book I'm reading but I have to read it in 30 minute segments. It's hard to track otherwise. Fascinating. Otherwise, I've started some books I can pick and put down if I need to (important with a baby in the house). The books are blink, the power of thinking without thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell and The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln by C.A. Tripp.