Thursday, March 31, 2005

We had a low rain day today so we went to the park. Kennedy really likes her assisted slide rides. Bonus: One of the other mommies at the park had bubbles blowing so we went and played in them.

We finally developed our stack of film and have some pictures to share. Here's a good one of Stacey and Kennedy.

We thought this picture captured the spirit of Kennedy's first ever food--rice cereal--experience.

Here's Kennedy in her St. Patrick's day hat.

Here are Kennedy and Grandpa Joe having some fun on Easter Sunday.

And, finally, here are some of the family members who gathered on Easter--Tammy, Grandpa, Grandma and Kennedy, Granny, Sheryl, Susan, and Krystal.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Kennedy was petting Elle and then found her tail and gave it a little tug a few days ago. It was too funny. Is this a good looking pair, or what?

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Kennedy is starting to show more and more personality – it’s fantastic watching her learn to communicate. Here she’s saying “Hello. I love to play!”

Yesterday we had dinner with some friends. Jean is moving to Costa Rica soon so Kennedy had to get in her goodbyes. We’ll miss Jean, but wish her the very best.

I miss seeing Kennedy during the day. She’s been resisting bedtime lately to squeeze in as much snuggle and playtime as possible, so either she misses me too or gee, those things are just fun...

Sunday, March 27, 2005

As we continue exploring new churches, we attended another UCC church today. Kennedy wore her brand new special Easter dress sent to her by her Mimi in Kansas.

We liked this church. They seem to really like kids. They have a big rug off to the side for infants and their parents. You can sit on a blanket on the floor together with your child or sit on a side couch or side pew. Kennedy liked sitting with the other infants. We liked sitting with other parents and not feeling like we needed to take Kennedy out when she started talking and making baby noises.

After church, we had a super nice time at Great Granny Kay's house for lunch. Krsytal was glad because she got to meet Granny and eat meat too. Bonus for her. We don't eat much meat in this house. It's been somewhat of an adjustment for Krystal, but she's been a real trooper about eating vegetarian and has tried everything we've prepared so far. She especially liked the tofu scramble in a tortilla. But, as she says, with enough cheese and salsa, anything can taste good. Heh. Here's Krystal and Kennedy before we left the house this morning.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Here's Kennedy playing in her Graco Stationary Entertainer 360FE. We bought it at a garage sale and this model is old school. K. likes it, though. The new models are way different. Welcome to the 2000s... They're called stationary activity centers now.

We couldn't resist putting taking this picture of Kennedy with her "mouse" look.

The tree care crew spent 2 1/2 days at our house this week. Here are some before and after pictures of the garage entrance. The before picture is from this past summer.

They trimmed about 15 vine maples, 3 lindens, 1 larch, 5 hinoki cedars and various other small trees as well as cut the bamboo down in the back patio.

It was pretty noisy those 3 days with chainsaws and wood chippers. We have a pile of wood for our friend Megan to use in her fireplace. Earlier this winter, we converted our wood fireplace to gas. Krystal and Kennedy have been having a lot of fun. Here they are spending time on the floor with various toys.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Monday evening we tried our first experience with rice cereal. It was a messy and comical undertaking to be sure. Kennedy was very keen in chewing on the spoon but didn’t quite know what to make of us trying to include the rice mixture at the same time.

Sheryl gave it a whirl too – after Kennedy donned a new (dry!) bib.

We got our hair cut over the weekend – Sheryl’s spikes are sassy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Elle has learned a new trick; watching TV. Here she is looking in on Kennedy’s Baby Einstein video.

We think we may give Elle away. After losing Jack the Cat earlier this month, it’s hard to look at the cat we bought just for him and not be sad. She is such a sweet cat and I think she really yearns to be with a cat-friend and not just her humans. Family friends of ours have offered to take her for a test run in a couple of weeks, so we’ll see.

Here’s today’s photo of Kennedy. I have *got* to get all the pictures we have loaded on the camera on my computer so we're not posting 'old' photos - you know, like a whole week old! Up next time; photos of Kennedy’s first experience with baby rice cereal. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

So much has happened over the last several months – I feel like I’ve personally gone through metamorphosis three times now. The first stage was that of the initial mom adjustment over the first two months. That stage was completely terrifying; I felt unsure of myself and scared that I wouldn’t be able to handle all the pressure of having to care for Kennedy. Breastfeeding was tough and I didn’t know how to handle the stress of her crying. Thankfully I had Sheryl there as a big part of the equation – supporting us both; I can’t imagine doing this without her.

The second phase was spent relishing being a full time mom; I was getting the hang of nursing and caring for Kennedy. She was crying less as I was better able to anticipate her needs. Sheryl and I had our work/life routine down and we were more equipped to travel with Kennedy to other cities as well as events locally.

This final stage – which we’re in now and I’m sure is just the pre-cursor to the next stage – is fantastic. We feel very confident as parents and Kennedy is really starting to show her personality. She is such a happy baby (most of the time!) and we are much more skilled at reading her cues. Sheryl is still off from work, but they do a great job of staying connected during the day over the phone.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Susan here, dropping in for a big update. It’s hard to believe that Kennedy is actually 5 months old now!!! She is getting so big – she’s nearly 13 pounds now. She still fits into most of her larger 0-3 month clothes, which seems funny given that she’s 5 months old – but we’re starting to branch out into the next size up.

On Saturday night we celebrated Grandma Anderson’s birthday with a nice dinner and a trip to see an Irish fiddler play with the Oregon Symphony’s pop series. Silly me, I thought I’d be able to get Kennedy to sleep in the pouch through it all. Instead, she wanted to play with the baby in the bathroom mirror as the event started. She did sleep some but then decided that the pouch routine was getting old. Probably not an adventure we’ll try again for some time.

We reluctantly sent Stacey back home today; it was so sad because I didn’t get to spend much time with her since I had a big event for work last week that kept me tied up most of the week. The good news is we’re going to try and get her back out here in May after finals are over to spend some time with us again. Yay!

Niece Krystal is here now to join our household; she’ll care for Kennedy during the day while Sheryl and I are at work and go to college in the evenings. We’re starting to explore ways to create a social network for her to ease the transition to a new city.

The tree guys are here today to give our property a good trimming. We’re having three of the larger evergreen trees removed entirely (one will cause sidewalk damage from big roots in the next few years, one makes it really hard to park in the garage, and one is too close to its neighbor tree). We also have 12 vine maples around the perimeter that need a good pruning, the bamboo in the back is being cut down, and there are about six others that are getting trimmed. Who knew so many trees could fit on our standard lot?!?

One upcoming project we have is to replace the fence. We saw this one that we liked in our neighborhood and may try to do something similar depending on material costs.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Krystal and Stacey and Kennedy had some fun this past week at the Seattle Aquarium.

Stacey posed as a jelly fish.

Then, she put on this scuba outfit in less than one minute.

And finally, here she is posing as an octopus.

We're sad to see her go back to college. It was a fun spring break. Kennedy is certainly going to miss hanging out with Stacey. Stacey's been slinging Kennedy around and site seeing all week.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

We've been out and about in Washington the past days. Kennedy has moved up to the next clothes size level now. She's right on target with an average of about 5 oz per week weight increase.

She's also learned that she can make us laugh out loud by making this face.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

We went to Forest Park for a good hike today. Stacey carried Kennedy.

We stopped for a break at one of the trail heads and then headed back down. Kennedy slept some of the way.

When we got off the trail we went to the airport and picked up another of our Texas' nieces, Krystal.

Today is Kennedy's last music together class. We are going to try hard to make it, but may not. The sun is out for today and we don't want to miss outdoor opportunities. Here's Kennedy playing to her music cd.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

We've been so busy that it's been hard to find time to post. We got Amber to the airport early yesterday; then went to church and lunch with Grandma and Grandpa Anderson. Yesterday afternoon consisted of recovering from early morning airport runs and a super-rich lunch.

I promise we'll have a big post soon - in the meantime, before out of town relatives deluge us questions about where the latest photos are, here's a quick pic of Kennedy.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Today we drove up to Mt. Hood. The temperature on the mountain was about 52 degrees. Sweet. We found snow at Timberline Lodge, but not much. There was snow-machine snow at this tubing place further down the mountain. Here are Amber and Stacey tubing down the hill.

Tonight we're watching Kubrick's The Shining in honor of our visit to Timberline lodge where it was filmed.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Update: We've been out and about the past few days. On Wednesday Amber, Kennedy and I went to Multnomah Falls. We didn't climb all the way to the top, though.

Then we spent a few days in Seattle. Here we are at the Pacific Science Center.

Kennedy spent a great deal of time in the pouch. Perfect for viewing the world and then later tucking in and going to sleep.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Susan here, dropping in for an update. We’ve loved having Amber here for a visit. Kennedy especially likes the added attention. Sister Stacey will be here on Friday and we are so very excited.

On Sunday we took Kennedy for her first swimming lesson. Sheryl was busy filming and photographing the event while Kennedy and I enjoyed time in the warm pool. While in the pool we practiced a yoga stand out of the water, leading Kennedy by the base of her neck and kicking off the wall. The evening culminated with Kennedy’s first submersion under water – it was great!

Amber and I tooled around downtown today... lazing around Pioneer Square and other such activities. Later in the day we took Kennedy to music together class. We sing songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider. Here are some pictures of Susan singing that song with Kennedy at home last week.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Niece Amber, Kennedy and I drove to the Tillamook Cheese Factory today. I think the Cheese Factory has a Mr. Rogers feel to it; Amber thinks it has a Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory feel. Then we headed to Cannon Beach where we bundled up Kennedy and walked on the beach.

Here's Amber in front of Haystack. Bummer, high tide was in so we didn't get much tide pool action. We did see a few starfish.

Kennedy felt her first sand in her toes today. All in all not too exciting of a trip for her, though. She doesn't like wind or bright sun on her face so...

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Grandma and Grandpa Anderson came over for a Saturday night dinner and Kennedy playtime.

Today it was so warm outside that we put Kennedy in this shorts outfit. A woman at the grocery store told us we had a good looking son. Heh.

Our niece Amber flew in this afternoon from Freeport, Texas. Kennedy loves seeing her cousins.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

We learned more about the color blue today with the help of this multi-textured blue block.

This day last year we had our first ob/gyn visit and saw our first ultrasound picture of Kennedy. Then, we went and got married. Multnomah County opened up marriage to everyone on March 3rd of last year. This is a special date to us.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Mimi bought this bugsy yellow outfit for Kennedy. She's just grown into it. The bib is perfect as Kennedy's new favorite thing is blowing spit bubbles.

Today we're learning more about the color yellow with the help of this multi-textured yellow block.

Our boy Jack the Cat is gone. We’re beside ourselves in mourning so we’ll likely take a break on the blog. Or else, publish a lot in order to move on. Not sure at this point.

We loved our little guy – neurotic as he was. We’ll miss him something fierce but recognize that he’s no longer in pain. My heartfelt thanks goes out to the staff at the Dove Lewis animal hospital; they were very supportive and did a great job taking care of him during his last days. As morbid as it may seem, I took a photo of him after he’d entered his final rest. With tears streaming down my face I say a public goodbye to my Jack.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

I’ve been riding the bus to work these last couple of weeks and it has been a learning experience for me. I’m starting to learn more and more about rider etiquette and how to avoid interaction with those souls who wish you to share in their delusions. I say this in all kindness; Portland has a significant problem with the homeless/mentally ill; many would claim this problem started with the closing of our state hospital Damache some years ago.

This afternoon I learned a bit about Clark Gable from a man on the bus who tried everything to engage me. According to him, Clark’s name was really John, he worked selling ties in Meier & Frank (like a Foleys store for those of you in TX), and his father told him that acting was for sissies. An amusing ride to be sure.

Then there are those pearls of wisdom presented by strangers – such unexpected wisdom. Yesterday, as I was riding to the vet hospital to see Jack, I was feeling so down and depressed. I sat down next to an older man who my intuition told me not to acknowledge for fear of confrontation. He just looked scary. Anyhow, after about 5 min. he said to me ‘You look like you’re having a hard day’. His voice was filled with concern. I replied that yes, it was a tough day for me.

He then began to counsel me ‘Things will get better. No matter how hard things seem now, it will improve.’ I shared with him that my cat was in the hospital and I was worried to which he replied, brilliantly, ‘that’s probably the best place for him to be... there are people tending him that know what they are doing.’ It was such a simple statement – but one that had such a huge impact in my outlook.

I went to see Jack again this afternoon and he has improved remarkably. I can’t help but get my hopes up that he’ll recover, but I know in my brain that the damage done could still be too much for him to survive. Thanks to all of you who hold Jack in your thoughts. I’ve even got a photo to share from this afternoon:

Today we're learning more about the color red with the help of this multi-textured red block.

New things: Kennedy can hold her bottle up all by herself. She has increasing interest in her toes and raspberry blowing.

Jack is doing marginally better; last night he ate a little bit of food but he's a very very sick little guy. They are going to check his bloodwork this afternoon to see if his kidneys are starting to recover. He'll be in the hospital for at least another day.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Kennedy is learning more about the color green today with the help of this multiple textured block.

It was a rough night last night; we had to take Jack the Cat to the cat hospital. His kidneys have shut down and they aren't sure why (he's only 4!). They're going to keep him on IV fluids for 48 hours and then re-test his blood. If he doesn't respond to that, then it is likely that his kidneys are so damaged that recovery isn't likely. We're beside ourselves with worry and grief.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Kennedy and I pretty much spent the day yesterday cleaning veggies and talking to arborists and tree trimming service providers. There are broccoli and cauliflower florets under there somewhere.

Kennedy is really starting to laugh a lot. It's a lot of fun hearing her laugh.

And her hand eye coordination continues to amaze me. She found this wooden spoon useful for batting around big bird. Yesterday I imagined K. could be a good drummer.