Thursday, November 29, 2007

Our neighbors, the Griswolds

By K.J. Cardinal

That's it, I'm convinced. I'm convinced that our neighbors on the corner of Gerry Drive & Laurel Drive are The Griswolds. I can't wait for Cousin Eddie to roll into town with his trashy motor home to visit our neighbor, Clark W. Griswold.

OK, that probably only makes sense to you if you've seen the movie National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, which I'll assume you have. (If not, it's a must for the holiday season). Anyway, take a look at the photo of their house I took. They have more Christmas lights on their house than I've ever seen. Seriously, it's insane. Believe it or not, the picture actually doesn't do it justice at all.

As if the lights ON the house weren't enough, they have lights on trees in their yard, a detached shed in their back yard and all four sides of the house. Plus, they have all of those "extra" lights like a Noel sign, reindeer, Santa Claus, Polar Bears...I could go on and on and on.

Don't get me wrong, I think Christmas lights are a cool a point. But, there's absolutely no need at all for a spectacle like this. They don't annoy me because it's a waste of electricity or because I'm a bah humbug about the holiday spirit, but they definitely annoy me. Well, I'll get off my holiday lights soap box for now...hopefully you can come by in the next month or so to witness this spectacle though. It's really unbelievable.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A sleeping beauty

By K.J. Cardinal

Let me start this post off by knocking on wood. I know that this could be like breaking up a no-hitter, but I just had to post this bit of good news...last night Anna slept for six hours straight. We fed her at 10 p.m. and she didn't wake up until 4 a.m...what a glorious, glorious night.

Anna, Angie and I all slept in our bed together. I was woken up by Anna fussing, like she was getting hungry. I rolled over, looked at the alarm clock and seriously did a double take when I saw that it was 4 a.m. I was expecting it to be 1 a.m. or maybe even 2 a.m. I immediately felt horrible because I felt like I completely slept through her entire 1 a.m. feeding. It's not that Angie couldn't handle feeding her at 1 a.m. all alone, but I was just surprised that I didn't wake up at all during the whole process. Then, Ang told me that Anna slept six hours straight and boy was I psyched.

Again, I'm sure that she'll keep us up all night tonight for this post, but I just had to post the good news.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Faces of Anna

By K.J. Cardinal

If the old cliche "a picture's worth a thousand words" holds at all true then this "Faces of Anna" graphic should definitely be good for a few million.

As you can see, Anna has developed quite a little personality and she is so expressive with her many faces. A picture or two of her wouldn't really do this justice, so I had to take a bunch of mugshots of her so you could all see for yourself.

Please take note of the gratuitous self-promotion going on with her bib too. Definitely not the prestige of being the Gerber baby, but it's a start.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

By K.J. Cardinal

Anna spent her first Thanksgiving out in Ludlow at Angie's parents house. It was her first big holiday and also her first big party.

The turkey that Nezzy (Angie's mom, pictured right) cooked was amazing and looked so good that we had to get a picture of it...of course, with Anna. The bird weighed 22 pounds, almost twice as much as Anna, so as you can see it was quite a feast.

After dinner we spent the next six hours playing a new trivia game that Angie bought, Smart Ass. I highly recommend it to anyone that's in the market for an affordable Christmas gift. Everyone from Sammy to Angie's parents were really into it and the fact that we literally played it for six hours should show how much we all like it.

Anyway, Anna reminded me a lot of her Aunt Kate when she was little as Anna was able to pretty much sleep all day in the loud and rowdy kitchen as we all sat around the table and played games the whole day. She didn't even flinch, fuss or cry at all when everyone was shouting out answers.

It was a great day all around and Anna continues to impress us with her ability to sleep through practically anything.

Happy Thanksgiving to all...especially Aunt Kate in Ireland...we miss you!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Anna: Six weeks and counting...

By K.J. Cardinal

Anna turned six-weeks old on Friday and she keeps getting cuter and cuter and bigger and bigger by the day.

I can't believe that she's already six weeks old. It seems like six weeks has flown by, but it also seems like she's been in my life forever. I said to Angie the other day "I can't remember what it was like before having her." And, I really can't. It's hard to explain, but maybe this is how all parents feel.

At her doctor's appointment on Friday she had another weigh-in and she's up to 10 pounds 13.5 ounces. She's on the verge of drinking more than four ounces at a time, which should only help her sleep through the nights. She's currently sleeping at about three to four hour clips at a time, which is awesome

Anna also got three shots at her doctor's appointment. Daddy couldn't stomach the idea of seeing her hysterically crying, so I had to stay home. She didn't like the shots much, but according to Angie it wasn't as bad as we expected...but the aftermath was much worse.

Her legs were very sore and you couldn't easily hold her without putting pressure on her thighs...which was so painful for her...and even more painful for me to see her that way. Anna was completely miserable on Friday afternoon before we got her some infant Tylenol...and that seemed to do the trick. By last night she was back to her cute, lovable self and not fussing at all.

The highlight of Anna's doctor appointment though was that the doctor told Angie "You could have an athlete on your hands." The doctor put Anna on her tummy and Anna proceeded to lift her head up completely (almost propping herself up on her elbows) and then kicked with her legs to slide forward. This is very advanced, according to the doctor...and very cool, according to Dad.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Have you ever seen a lassie?

By K.J. Cardinal

The next time you're at my parent's house, ask Andrew "Have you ever seen a Lassie?" I guarantee you'll love the answer.

The cutest little boy in the world has become addicted to Papa's rendition of Have You Ever Seen a Lassie. If you mention the song around him, he walks into Papa's room and points to his guitar on the wall. Obviously, Papa can't resist giving Andrew his "fix", so Papa proceeds to take down his guitar and play the ditty for Andrew.

With Papa finger-pickin' away, Andrew goes to his spot at the foot of Papa's bed, holds on to the bed frame and sways back and forth just like Papa does. All of that is cute enough, but I have two other parts that are my favorite about the whole spectacle...

1) When the song is over, Andrew immediately signs "more" with his hands and Papa plays it again...and when the song is over he signs "more" with his hands and Papa plays it again...and when the song is over he signs "more" with his hands and Papa plays it again...and when the...I think you get the picture. He's addicted.

2) If you're in Papa's room while all this is going on, you better be swaying back and forth or the "Lassie Police" will bust you. While Papa's singing away, Andrew proceeds to scan the room with his big, brown eyes to make sure everyone's swaying away with him and Papa. If you're not, then Andrew just stares at you with a look that makes you give in to his peer pressure and join him and his swaying addiction.

Again, the next time you're at my parent's house, ask Andrew "Have you ever seen a Lassie?" I guarantee you'll love the answer.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Anna turns one month, discovers hands and voice

By K.J. Cardinal

On her one-month birthday, Anna Maria is more alive than ever.

When not eating or sleeping, Anna can be found practicing for her future job as an air-traffic controller and blabbering uncontrollably like an old woman as she has officially discovered her hands and her voice. It's really quite entertaining, as you can see from the video.

After getting off to a slow start on the weight gain, I think she's rounding the bend and closing in on a come-from-behind victory. All she does is eat. And, her intake appears to grow daily too. In the past few days alone she's gone from eating 3 ounces per feeding to 3.5 and now she's over 4 ounces.

Thankfully with the increased eating has also come increased sleeping. The past two nights she's slept for at least four-consecutive hours and I'm starting to feel like Rip Van Winkle. I know that this won't last forever, but Ang and I are loving it while it's lasting. Only feeding her once throughout the night seems like a Christmas miracle compared to the three or four feedings a night that we had to endure just a few weeks ago.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Andrew's Halloween Fun

By Tiffany George

Andrew's 2nd Halloween was spent dressed up as an adorable giraffe. Surprisingly, he didn't mind putting the costume on at all, and even managed to keep the hood on while we were outside. We only intended to visit a few houses to trick-or-treat, but our little man enjoyed the festivities so much that we proceeded much of the way down Dodge Street. Of course Daddy was eager to continue along, knowing that he would benefit from the candy that Andrew scored for him.

As usual, Kim, Darlene, and Gail came over to our house for trick-or-treating since they don't get many visitors at their homes. With our annual dinner, KFC, in hand, trick-or-treating began. Andrew sat in his high chair and peered out the window, hoping to get a glimpse of each costumed kid who ventured onto our front porch. Visibility was low, so we came up with a plan. Each time a child came to our door, Pete would offer them one piece of candy, but told them that he would sweeten the deal if they would wave to the baby in the window. Most kids willingly obliged, giving Andrew the chance to get to see everyone in costume.

After dinner Pete and I took Andrew out while the grandparents manned the fort. Andrew gladly rang each door bell by himself and reached into the candy bowl to grab one treat. At one house they said "do you want another?" and Andrew did the "please" sign indicating he liked their idea...Daddy did too. Andrew carried his Easter basket/Halloween bag around to every house by himself this year, and could even bear the weight of each piece of candy that he got. Last year he could hold his bucket, but dropped it the instant one piece of candy made contact with the plastic. With the candy safely deposited into his bag, he would give a thank you wave to each of our neighbors and we were off to the next house.

I'm not sure if it was the trick-or-treating that rocked his world or just the fact that he got to be outside at night, but either way this kid once again proved to be a little angel.

Once back at home he enjoyed going through his candy. He would take out all of the pieces and then put them back in. It's funny that this year he has no idea what candy is, or that he can open these packages to eat a yummy treat inside, and we're in no rush to teach him. His favorite candy to play with is the mini Crunch bars, and I'm not sure what we'll do if someone accidentally eats them!