Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cute Stuff

Kendra has always been a photogenic little baby, but now she's getting big enough that we can take some really fun action pictures.

Playing peek-a-boo (well, we cover her with a blanket and she pops out while we say "peekaboo")...

Her first crawling attempts...

Posing on Daddy's lap...

She likes to touch scruffy beards with her feet. :)

Banana Oatmeal Facial

We've been heavy on the videos lately, but the video of this seemed to capture it much better than the picture.

I love being a member of the Mommy Club. Swapping war stories of child-rearing is so fun and helps me feel so deliciously normal. A few weeks ago I was having a Mommy Club pow-wow with some really fun Mommies I know and one of them told me a story from a few years back when her husband was the Nursery Leader at church (Nursery is the name of the Sunday School program for children 18 months through 3 years old). One week one of the teachers didn't show up, and when they got home they read a last-minute email the teacher had sent explaining her absence. Apparently, she had decided to give herself a banana oatmeal facial but it got too messy for her to be able to make it to church (even though Nursery begins almost an hour and a half into church services). Clearly, this woman didn't have any children at the time and didn't realize that banana and oatmeal facials happen all. The. Time.

Actually, we should have taken some video of me too, because some of it ended up on my face as well...

I'm sure all the members of the Mommy Club will understand.

For best results, click on the picture to enlarge.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

More video fun

Just because she's so darn cute.

And seriously, always this agreeable when she wakes up.

She hasn't figured out how to "hide" herself yet, but I love the way she peeks out from under if she doesn't pull the blanket all the way from over her face the very first try. :)

Have I mentioned lately how much I love being a mom?

REALLY time to baby-proof!

Did you see that? It's even more gratifying that she did it several times and then did it again after we grabbed the camera. It's not like with laughing where she did it once and then not again for three months. Tease!

We were sort of torn because we really wanted to reward her for her amazing accomplishment, but there was NO way we were giving her those nasty, nasty keys.

Maybe we'll have to give her some Otter Pop this weekend...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Good Parenting

Admit it. You've totally done stuff like this, too.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Feedin' Time

Well, we moved into full swing with the baby food. Oatmeal, rice cereal, peas, squash, carrots, you name it. Kendra munches them all with enthusiasm. I think this girl also likes the mess just a little.
She puts her hands in her mouth just as you put the spoon in. Fun times! We were having a field day with it because it's so fun. However, it turns out that she likes food a lot more than milk, and she was completely willing to be weaned. In fact, she pretty much decided she was done drinking. That didn't make Mommy and Daddy happy...babies need those milky nutrients, not to mention water. So we have pretty much moved away from the food so when she gets hungry she gets milk again. We still feed her grown up food (that is, veggies and carbs) every day, but not as much as she wants. We thought that was a good compromise.

And then there's her special treat, chewing on plastic things

Actually they don't have to be plastic things. She will bite anything she finds, including Mommy and Daddy's fingers. Everyone keeps saying that's because she's teething. If fact, it's become kind of a joke that any time she gets fussy we say she must be teething, but there's no real evidence of that. Although she's growing at the rate of a normal person (or even a large person) her teeth age is pretty young. Looks like we might have a Farnsworth-style know, breaking the 70 pound barrier in high school, hitting puberty around the time you go to college.

But teeth aside, her development has been really impressive. She rolls around the house. Not sure she has the idea of crawling yet, but whatever she can do to get from where we put her to where she can find things to put in her mouth is good with her. She's so huggable and kissable, we just eat her up.
By the way, even though this is a picture of Ashley and her, Grant wrote this blog. Honestly, you don't want me in there ruining the picture. :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

See anyone you know?

When my sister and I were little, the university in Topeka was doing The Sound of Music and we talked about how fun it would be to audition, though we didn't. Someone else did have the opportunity...see anyone you know?

BIG thanks to Jackie for taping the news that night and to Kristina for digitizing it 16 years later so the whole world can enjoy it. :)

What we've done with the place...

So, I'm finally getting off my duff and giving you some "moved-in" pictures. Have I mentioned how much I love being moved-IN? As in, no-longer-in-a-state-of-moving? Aye, aye, yikes. I have such great husband and family, who so lovingly took care of me in my moments of emotional upheaval as we went through the process.

First detail worth blogging: we hired movers (because we had so much cash floating around from not going to the family reunion and not buying a house...not that I'm bitter). It was a little more expensive than we thought it was going to be but it was worth every. Dang. Penny. All I had to do was box it all up and be there to open the door at the old place and the new place and take care of the baby while they did it all. I had all of my attention to focus on the baby, it was awesome. And it went very smoothly. They were friendly, fast, efficient and they didn't break or steal any of our stuff. Grant didn't even take the day off work, he just left from one apartment and came home to another. Awesome.

Our bedroom isn't that different, it's just our stuff in a new room.

The bathroom we changed up a little. Since there are black accent tiles in the work, I decided to switch up the colors we used from brown/navy to black/turquoise. I love it!

The baby's room, well, she basically uses just a small corner. But it's hers and she'll only ever have to share it with a sibling (don't get jumpy, that's not an announcement) instead of stuff like the piano, the elliptical and the third computer.

She seems to dig it.

We really like the way we have our living room set up, though I need to take some time to sing my husband's praises. We spent Saturday arranging and rearranging furniture until we had everything in a spot we knew we liked. See all these bookcases? They're pretty much in the same spot as where the movers put them when they brought them up from the truck. However, Grant moved them in and out of the room at least 3 times as we decided what to do. And he didn't complain once. That Daddy, he's pretty great. :)

Which leads us to the dining room. Which for us, is the music/exercise/tarantula/scrapbooking/deep freeze room.

In the old apartment, Grant only rarely exercised or played the piano because those things were in the baby's room and she was often sleeping at the most convenient times for him to do those things. So now he'll have to come up with a new excuse when I suggest it... (And for the record, I don't keep the step out in the middle of the floor, I just haven't put it away since my work out.)

The kitchen doesn't look much different from the "before" pictures...

But have I mentioned the cabinet space? In the old apartment, we had two sets of 5 shelves to give us extra storage space (and we don't have that much, honest!) which I've been able to decoratively set out elsewhere, yeay! I'm pretty excited about that. Even Kendra has her very own small cabinet just with her stuff in it.

So, now that we're settled in, life is just groovy. We've pretty much figured out how everything works and we've got super friendly neighbors. Grant's back on the El and it's farther from our place than the last one, but it's a shorter train ride (if we can just figure out the schedule...) And the parking is awesome. Especially because of this:

That, my friends, is McKinley Park. And, it's right across the street from our apartment. And, it's ginormous and clean and safe (as there's a police station across the adjacent street) and amazing. So it also means that we share the parking with half the people. And though it does fill up, it does so in the evenings and on weekend mornings after I've already parked from running errands. No more walking a block and half carting a baby and bag's full of Sam's Club goods (which is a relief--have you seen the size of her lately?)! Yeay!

The neighborhood is predominately Hispanic, which means this Mamacita is going to have to brush up on her espanol if she's going to make any friends. I keep trying to practice stuff in my head that I remember from high school, but it all turns into a weird form of Spangarian that I can't figure out.

And we're on the top floor. Which means we haven't taught our baby to sleep in only to have the upstairs neighbors get us up at 7am on a Saturday with loud, pulsating techno. Seriously? And it's a small building, so we're only sharing the 2 washers and dryers with 7 other apartments instead of having 3 washers and dryers to share with over 30 apartments. And it's central air, so we don't have radiators clogging up a significant amount of space in every. Single. Room. Do you have any idea how much more space there is to put stuff when you don't have to arrange your furniture around radiators? A LOT. Yeay!

And by the way, if you ever want to come visit, we're pretty close to Midway (which is where you'll land if you fly Southwest, and you'll also get the cheapest ticket). We realized that when we drove past it on the way to Wal-mart (which was only five miles away itself). Basically, if you call me as soon as the plane lands, by the time you get off the plane, get your luggage and get to the curb, I can totally be there to pick you up. Or, you can take the Orange Line, which has a stop a half a mile/less than 10-minute walk away. Naaice. But, if you insist on coming into O'Hare, you only have to change trains once, which isn't too bad either.

So, we're pretty stoked about the new place. It's an adventure and one that we're doing together! I was strangely sad to leave the last place...we fell in love spending time together there. We started our family there and have been really happy...but, to all things there is a season and now is the season for something new. We'll watch Kendra take her first steps here and say her first words and who knows what other wonders are in store for us here...

Our new Home.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Narcisism much?

This probably isn't the post you were expecting because, yes, we did move. Yes, we're still in Chicago. No, we're not in a house (do NOT get me started on what my amazing cousin-in-law Danielle so accurately describes, "this craptastic market"). But we ARE in a new bigger and cheaper apartment, in a new neighborhood, in a new ward and stake--it's quite an adventure! If you'd like to see pictures of it empty, you can click here. I'm taking this little break from unpacking so we're not ready for the "official" and moved-in picture shoot yet. You'll just have to come back later.

But, we try not to disappoint our surprisingly large following with long absences! We wanted to show you some more funniness of Kendra. We took this video a few minutes after we posted the last one last week.

No, we don't just sit her in front of the TV and have her watch it. We don't hide her from it, though and let it continue running even if she's awake and playing on her mat while we're watching something.

But I do set her in my lap and turn on a video for five minutes about once a week or so to clip her fingernails (I can't believe they grow that fast, but if I get lazy about it, she totally claws her face and there are scratches on it, poor thing).

We've been playing in front of a mirror every day since she was born, so I think she totally recognizes herself in videos and in pictures when Grant's screen saver pops up, which is solely pictures of her. She cracks us up.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Feel Good Fun

There are some things that leave you Happy. That make you sure the world is a better place after you experience them.

Like the movie Enchanted.

Or pictures of your baby.

Or this wedding video.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Mish Mosh

You ever have one of those nights where dinner is an eclectic mix of leftover Chinese food, spaghetti and cold cuts for the sake of clearing out the fridge? This is one of those blog posts. There's not really a theme, it's just mish moshed together...

It's been a quiet week here off Lake Michigan... (kudos to those who get the reference).

Actually that a total lie, it's been pretty nuts. So nuts that several times this week, I haven't started my work-out until after 5pm. So, by the time Grant comes home, he finds me like this:

I'm doing one of my step aerobics work-outs and I'm in the middle of the hardest combo on the disc, so I'm huffing and puffing like the big, bad wolf here. This picture has not been enhanced at all. I really do get red in the face with weird white blotches. Strangely enough though, Grant's never seen this side of me.

It really freaked him out.

But really, weird pictures of my working out face is totally NOT why you came to this blog today. Am I right or am I right? So let's move right into the good stuff.

Kendra is developing rapidly--it's so cool to watch! Last week Grant got her last bottle of the day ready when out of nowhere, she just grabbed it from him and started drinking it. All. By. Herself.

At this moment I realized my tiny baby wasn't so tiny anymore. Well, this moment and the one I checked her on the percentiles and saw she was in the 71st percentile for height (a feat never before accomplished by a Farnsworth!), 83rd for weight and 95th for head circumference (in case that anomaly of a height reading made any of you question her paternity). She's constantly surprising us. We love every last minute!

And even though she can hold her own bottle, I still hold her and feed her myself most of the time. Eventually she won't want me to hold her at all, so I gotta enjoy this while it lasts.

I think every parent snaps a picture of every baby sound asleep in the high chair. I've seen mine many times, and I always wondered how it happened. I mean, you'd have to leave your kid in a high chair for a long time in order for him/her to fall asleep, right?

Wrong. I was feeding her and she took a bite, turned her head and passed out cold. No lie.

Don't worry, folks, I got her cleaned up and in her crib right after I took this picture.

This morning, I crept into Kendra's room to grab something out of her closet. I thought she was asleep until I turned around and saw this:

I laughed out loud! That ain't posed, folks. She's totally pulling down the bumper with her hand so she can see out. Peek-a-boo!

So, naturally, I grabbed the camera. I mentioned earlier she's totally a morning person, and here's the proof.

At the beginning and the end of the day, she's our darling little girl.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Renaissance Faire!!

Since we got married, Ashley has been working on getting me to let my hair down a little (so to speak) and go out and do some stuff instead of staying in my nice comfort zone, which is about a three foot circle around my computer. First on her list (and one of the conditions of our marriage) was attendance at the Renaissance Faire! I always thought they were a cool idea, though I never imagined that I would drive way in the heck out to one.

It was a very interesting experience. I must say I was surprised to find that it's not really people who are particularly in to history or re-create the way things were back in the day. More like people having fun in any way that's reminiscent of the renaissance. I mean, look at this guy
Yes, very fun. Next time we go to one of these we are totally going to dress up, although hopefully a little more tastefully.

We saw some really awesome jousts and fights. Surprisingly entertaining, really. It's ultimate fighting challenge, with weapons and (for all we could tell) death.

Afterward we took in some acrobatics shows. Those are knives he's juggling, by the way.

We were hoping Kendra would be a little darling the whole time. However, it turns out that she really doesn't like strangers, and we interrupted her routine. So for the first few hours, she cried constantly. It was very embarrassing and we felt like bad parents. We almost went home. Then she fell asleep in the moby wrap and woke up resigned to the fact that there were strangers around and that wasn't going to change.

After that she seemed to be the most popular attraction there

Finally we were able to be the proud parents instead of the skulking, apologetic parents. The rest of the day was wonderful.

We lucked out in another way too, the weather was amazing. I mean, perfect. Summers here in Chicago are really sticky, hot, and generally evil. This day was designed from the ground up for our renaissance faire enjoyment!

I have to say I like renaissance faire people. It's a bunch of nerds getting together and being silly with the understanding that no one is going to break the mood or criticize. No self-consciousness, no bullies to beat you up and take your lunch money. We felt a certain kinship with them. And even though we aren't the type to play dungeons and dragons or wear these kinds of outfits to church, we do know people who do those things, and we like them. There was just a lot of positive energy there, and everyone was your friends. It's a nice break from the usual cold distance people give each other in big cities.

Downsides of the faire: 1) there were far fewer real swords and other armaments than I expected. It's all about the weapons, people! 2) really bad fake accents are hard for me to get over. I guess that's me not leaving my criticism at the door. Next time I'll come in a period outfit and with a silly feigned English accent and get a little more into the spirit of things. Naaice.

By the way, medival helmets are not built with Farnsworth sized heads in mind.

I'm really glad we went. We're embracing the write-and-nerdy culture we've both enjoyed at various times in our lives. And we gave Kendra (and us) a rare chance to interact with people outside of our little three person universe.

A Note from Ashley: I sort of very stubbornly insisted that we go this weekend because we weren't at the Richardson Family Reunion--we had originally decided not to go because we were planning on buying a house, so it made sense not to blow money for a trip that was quite far and only for a few days. But in the end, we didn't get either of the houses we put down offers on, and we found out about the 2nd offer the day before the reunion, so we couldn't even throw it together at the last minute. No house AND no reunion--we were crushed. This cheered us up considerably!

Have I mentioned... much I LOVE being a stay-at-home mom?

The perks are amazing. You just never know when a hum-drum sort of a Monday is going to turn into THIS:

Makes those giggles we saw a month ago small potatoes, eh?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Time to baby-proof...

Grant didn't believe me when I say that Kendra can roll from her stomach to her back. Until this weekend. Because we weren't at the family reunion. Not that I'm bitter. Hmph.

We need to get it on video, because every time it happens, it's accompanied by a resounding THUD.

Well, today we heard several thuds in a row and looked over to find that Kendra has figured out how to roll across the room. She actually doubled-back a bit by the time this picture was taken.

She seems quite pleased with herself, doesn't she?

Then, she realized there was a bookshelf there full of things to explore...

And not long later, a piece of sheet music was discovered...

...and confiscated. No paper is safe from this baby anymore. She'll totally eat it. Apparently she likes the taste and texture of it better than rice cereal.

She's going to really be keeping us on our toes now. We understand that once they go mobile, the fun doesn't end until they leave for college!