Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cute Smiles

I want to put one of these pictures on my desktop at work.

*sigh* but which one?

Monday, April 27, 2009

New Game

I'm so excited. Right now, just one minute ago, we taught Kendra her first game: peekaboo! It took her a few times to understand it, but I think she finally got it. Now she smiles when we peek. It's so amazing! It's a red-letter day in the Farnsworth household.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Daddy's Girl

I asked Grant to take over with Kendra this afternoon while I busied myself around the apartment picking up before some visitors from church dropped by. I thought this was too funny not to share.

Now that's what I call multi-tasking! Since I had the camera out anyway, we got a few more great shots. Grant gave me a tutorial in using the external flash and all the gizmos he's been constructing to go with it.

She didn't mind her little perch too much...

We're still having a hard time aligning the camera and where she's looking...but it still makes for beautiful baby pictures. Mostly because we happen to have a really beautiful baby. Not that I'm biased or anything...

I'll bet looking at that makes you want to have a baby right now, doesn't it? Yeah, me too. I think it's ironic how quickly we forget the super hard stuff about pregnancy, labor and delivery and having a newborn around when we see a cute baby (even our own). However, without this weird amnesia, the human race wouldn't have survived.

I always save what I think is the best for last, and this one is a real kicker.

Isn't that great?! She really does love her Daddy, and she's totally got him wrapped around her little finger.

But I don't think he'd have it any other way.

Dejunking and Candid Moments

I figured out why Ashley married me, because I shower her with children and money

Though not necessarily as much of either as she would like. Actually those are the proceeds of a craigslist sale of my studio monitors. For those who don't remember, I bought some professional speakers and a subwoofer for my digital piano so I could really rock out back when I was single and had nothing better to do with my time and money. It turns out, I don't fit in those categories any more. Who needs $1000 worth of speakers (weighing in at over 100 pounds) hanging around their tiny two bedroom apartment? People who don't have enough children to fill those bedrooms and their time. I'll just use regular spearkers for a while. Some day down the line maybe we'll revisit the piano speaker situation, but I'd rather put that money toward a house to keep it in.

I caught Ashley and Kendra sleeping the other day. It was so cute (it always is, it seems)

They were like this for a long time. The funny thing is that just as I started taking pictures Ashley yawned in her sleep. Awesome photo op. This was not a posed photo

Ahh life in the Farnsworth household. I just didn't know life could be so full of Kodak moments, you know? My little girls are always worth taking a picture of and remembering. That's why I do it so much.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Kimbery's Visit and Some More Pics

We had some fun today. Our niece Kimberly came to Chicago to do an orchestra concert and we were able to attend the performance. This was the first chance Kimberly has had to meet Kendra. It was short but sweet (and the concert was good too).

Kendra continues to grow and develop. Each day we notice that she has so much more mental and physical capacity. She has become more snuggly lately. She doesn't just lay there powerless, she actively snuggles up with Mommy. It's so sweet.

And she's just as cute as can be

The following picture was taken while she was sound asleep. It's much more unremarkable than what she was doing a few seconds before I got the shot. She was actively waving her arms and legs around. Having some kind of intense dream, one in which she can actually crawl around, apparently. It was so cute.

But we think it's cute when she just lays there sleeping, even if the headband starts slipping down and makes her do a little frowny face. That's our little girl!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My rant of the day.


Parking where we live is a JOKE.

First of all, this town pays money to a whole force of people to be the most unscrupulous Parking Nazis, ever. They can and will ticket your trash at will, so you have to be careful. I've learned most of their rules the hard way, unfortunately.

Not only are there the endless regulations and schedules to remember and follow or be ticketed or even towed (and the ticket for getting towed ain't pretty, I've seen it before and had to learn from a friend's misfortune just how to avoid it), but on our block we have a special problem. A bunch of losers who live elsewhere come park on our block to then walk to the train station from here. Hmph. Okay buddy, because you feel you have to clog our streets during the day, I have to haul my baby and my groceries over a block because I can't find a parking space when I get back from the store. Unless I get back when the train that leaves downtown at 5:15pm comes in. I often meet Grant at the stop and walk with him back home and I complain unnecessarily loudly at those hosers about what they do right in front of them. It's not one of my finer points, I'll admit and would be more Christ-like to just grin and bear it. But it's hard to remember that when you're struggling to carry a car seat and groceries and have to make multiple trips to get it all.

This problem is compounded on street cleaning days--frankly, I think they clean the streets excessively here but at least it's only actually every other week and not every week like the street signs say. But on street cleaning days the number of available spots gets cut by half because you can only park on one side of the street throughout the whole neighborhood. Awesome.

Normally I avoid the hassle by stratigically parking my car on the appropriate side of the street a couple of days in advance. So we get home from church and park on Sunday, I don't go anywhere on Monday and I don't have to worry about it Tuesday morning. I forgot to do that this week and I realized I was on the wrong side of the road. No big deal, right?


I was gone over ten minutes circling our blocks of one-way streets looking for a spot and the closest one I found was two and a half blocks away. I was on the verge of tears that it took me so long because I left my poor defenseless baby in the apartment for this "quick" venture. I was sure she'd be screaming and I was cursing myself for being such a bad mother for not bringing her with me to do this.

Turns out, she was still passed out in her swing, just the way I left her and looked like she hadn't even stirred in her sleep while I was gone. But still, knowing she could have been screaming and neglected scared me.

On street cleaning weeks, they do one side on Tuesday and the other side Wednesday in our zone. I'm leaving now to run to the store so that I'll arrive back at home just at the ordinance ends at 4pm. The one perk of this street cleaning halibalu is that if I plan it right, I can garuantee myself rock star parking with my baby and my groceries instead of having to haul them a block or more because of the hosers who use our block as their parking garage.

But still. The parking situation here drives me nuts.

I don't care about a big fancy house--just give me some place with off-street parking. Not even a garage, just a spot to store my vehicle. And a washer and dryer. I won't digress on that, it's a rant for a whole other day.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Birds of a Feather

When I was in college I noticed how much people who are roommates start acting and even looking like each other. Ashley and Kendra sometimes have a mind meld. You can see the mood of either of them in the other.


Lookin' at stuff

Thinking about burping:

Showing off the outfit

Just for Fun

Kendra has quite the fan following. This one's for all of you.

I can't believe she's already two months old! It feels like we've had her for a LOT longer than that...

Okay, now Mommy's really going to get back to the housework. Promise.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dressing Up

Well, it's easter. And for so many people in the world, that means dressing up. This is the first time we've actually put Kendra in one of her dresses for church. I think we've had to keep her in onsies before just because we were about to be super late for church each time and decided we'd rather have a few more minutes there than put on Kendra's dress. The funny thing is how many times that has happened already. :)

So we decided to take the family easter picture.

Kendra wasn't actually cooperating that well, but it was a lot better than it was about five minutes after this picture was taken. It turns out she was rather fussy all throughout church. I'm not sure if Ashley has mentioned it thoroughly enough, but Kendra has kind of made a life change. That is, she is sleeping for long periods of time every night now. It happened very suddenly. Like 7 hours, sometimes more, every night. It's awesome. The flip side of that is that during the day she doesn't sleep much. So in the afternoon/evening she can get pretty fussy sometimes. But she's so much more awake during the day these days, and that means Mommy and Daddy are too.

Cuties in Pajamas

I've also seen a number of cute mommy/daughter scenes that I thought were cute while I happened to be holding the camera or testing the flash, so I caught some of them. All very informal, and Ashley probably thought I wasn't going to keep them.

Of course, Ashley doesn't always like my late night flash photography experiments

But she tolerates them pretty well nonetheless.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Bushel and a Peck

This video really speaks for itself. It's actually a second take--she did a whoooole bunch of really cute stuff for us and I thought it was recording. But I thought wrong. Luckily, they graced us with an encore performance.


Just for the record, Grant did go ahead and change her diaper. Very willingly. And Grant didn't realize until yesterday that he doesn't know the tune to that song. He's quite self-conscious about what everyone will think--he almost didn't want me to post the video. Yeah, right! Like I could contain myself from sharing that kind of cute!

Oh Happy Day!

We have hit a milestone every new parent dreeeeeams of. Fondly. Sometimes desperately.

She's 7 weeks old and she
slept through the night. The whole night.

No swing.

No white noise.

Just a really full tummy and a nice cozy blanket swaddled tightly around her. Granted, it was probably because for whatever reason she hadn't been able to sleep for more than an hour at a time all day and was completely wiped out--but hey, I'll take what I can get! It's acttually dawned on me since that she's probably going through a growth spurt and just needs more to eat...

I think it's a cruel joke of nature that a woman can't sleep for a full day straight after giving birth. I mean, come on! Twenty-five hours of labor and two hours of pushing after two nearly sleepless nights in a row and I didn't get to crash for more than a couple of hours when it was all over?! I think mommies (and daddies, for that matter) deserve at least a 12 hour grace period to recuperate before needing to stimulate milk production. Seriously.

We've gotten into a pretty smooth routine of only needing to get up once during the night for some time now. And it was actually ironic because even though she slept the night through, I was up for significant portions of it lying in bed and straining my ears because I was sure she was screaming and I just couldn't hear her.

Turns out, she was doing more snoring than screaming. For nine straight hours. Awesome.

AND--Grant has tomorrow off work so when he comes home tonight he'll stay for three whole days, whoopee!

Oh happy day!

I know it probably won't last...but it's still AWESOME.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Bit of Fun

I was chatting with the IT guy at work and it turns out he's an avid photographer. Such a great hobby for meeting people. Anyway, he lent me a $1500 lens and some accessories. It was funny because the stuff actually made my camera look small.

That thing on top of the flash is a diffuser that keeps the people you take pictures of from looking like a rabbit staring into a car's headlights. This weekend I'm going to try and make something that accomplishes the same thing for myself. It's do-it-yourself time, baby!

What you can't see in these pictures is that this lens is exceptionally heavy. All told it was like 6 or 7 pounds I think. After one photo shoot I was tired of holding it up. It sure was a performer, though. Silent, fast, sharp. It uses ultrasonic vibrations to move the focus rings instead of a motor. Oooooooooo.

I put it all together and took some pictures of Ashley and Kendra. This is what I get to see when I walk in the door after work.

And sometimes I get to see (or experience) this

I love my little girls.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Helping Hand

I guess we each came with preconceptions about how you calm a baby besides just holding her. I have always thought those little bouncer chairs were the best way to do it...they have them now that vibrate to sooth the baby, and then if the baby moves she shakes herself. We bought one, but it doesn't seem to do much. We have actually had better luck putting her in the carseat and then rocking it ourselves.

However, Ashley has been wanting a swing. One that will either swing side to side or front to back, and which has an A/C adapter. We finally found a good candidate on craigslist. And guess what? Ashley was right. Kendra loves it! She is so restful for long periods of time as she swings back and forth.

And there's a little mobile that hangs down and rotates around. I always thought that kind of thing was stupid, but Kendra looks right at it. Very entertained.

When it's running it makes a high pitched whine...the kind you hear in your head but not usually with your ears. Makes you wonder if you are crazy or going deaf. However it also has a host of other sounds built in. I think Kendra likes the little jungle sounds, songs, and weird white noise it makes.

Overall she's just been a happier baby since we got it and I can tell you Ashley has been happier. She hasn't had to rock the car-seat for hours on end, as she did before. And that puts a smile on everyone's face, especially in the middle of the night.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Broadening Horizons...

I think a great quality to strive for in a relationship is to continually want to be a better person for your partner. Grant demonstrated that this weekend when he sat down to dinner with me on Sunday evening.

I really wish I had pictures for it--and I actually did think of getting out the camera, but I didn't want to over-dramatize the situation (we're done with that stuff, and enjoy the nice, boring married life).

He ate mushrooms. Willingly.

When he told me he wanted to try them so he could get over his abhorrence, I didn't think much of it. I cooked some up with onions and steak so he'd have plenty of other flavor to try them with. When it came time to eat them, he approached them the way I approached active labor--with lots of hesitation. First, he stared at them. For a very. Long. Time. Then, he took a deep breath and put them on his fork. Next, he wiped his face and brow several times--and that's when I realized the magnitude of the event. Eventually, he put the bite in his mouth. First he tried a tiny piece of mushroom with a giant piece of steak. Then he gradually adjusted the ratio until he had much more mushroom than steak in his bite. And finally, he tried the mushrooms just straight up.

It wasn't toooo bad, he said. I was really impressed and proud. He certainly could have gone his whole life without eating mushrooms and no big deal. That's not like me and active labor, unfortunately. And after seeing him do it, I relaized and appreciated what a monumentous event this was for him. This was no small potatoes sort of aversion.

I started him out on simple button mushrooms--next up, we're going a little more delicious and little more hardcore in the realm of mushroom consumption.

That's right--portobello, baby.