Thursday, June 30, 2011

Our Roly Poly!

Remember this post where I mentioned her pediatrician predicted she'd roll over soon?  I knew she was active, seemingly more active than other babies I'd seen at her age, but I didn't put too much stock into his prediction ... until Monday ... as in three days ago, as in the day she was 6 weeks and 2 days old.  We were enjoying tummy time and all of the sudden she rolled over!  It was early evening and a friend was coming to visit, so we didn't have time to try again that day.  The next day, however I had the video camera ready and we tried for a few minutes with no luck ... she was getting fussy, so we regrouped, took a walk around the room and then tried again.  Aaaannnddd, of course, immediately upon putting her down she rolled, with no camera in sight.  We tried again many, many times that day with no luck and again on Wednesday.  And again on Thursday morning.  She was soooooo close, but no dice.  I will note here that she really loves tummy time, so this was actually a treat for her and not solely for video purposes : ) 

Fast forward to this evening when Mike got home from work.  She'd taken an afternoon nap (this doesn't always happen), was well rested and apparently ready to show her stuff.  She rolled immediately after he put her down and, of course, before I had the camera ready.  I thought for sure it was a one-time-only event, again.  But, we were both in for a treat, she rolled and rolled and rolled.  She's our little SUPERstar ... and I'm so happy that I can finally share this milestone with you!  Enjoy ... and try not to be too amazed at her brute strength!

Apologies in advance for my sing-song baby voice ... you may want to turn the sound off before viewing ...

As you can see in the second video she really isn't a fan of being on her back ... once we turned her back over she was happy as a clam.  She also passes a lot of gas ... more on that and her lack of pooping in another post ...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Miss Kelly goes to Lexington

Mike's job requires him to stay out of town overnight about one day a week and although the first few times he was gone were fine, I decided those were prime days to take Miss Anna to my old Kentucky home to get a little lovin' from some of her favorite people.  She was a fantastic traveller and enjoyed all of the comforts of home thanks to Gigi's meticulous preparations.   

Napping with her Gigi ... travelling can really wear a gal out!

Visiting with Paw Paw and Cutie the Cat

Showing Uncle Michael how strong she's gotten ...
and NOT pooping her diaper this time while he was holding her

Making funny faces with Maw Maw
She enjoyed showing off her new moves to all of her grandparents and the consensus is that she's just growing up too fast ... so, you can keep being cute, you can keep loving to move and shake, but please don't get any bigger little Miss!

** Not pictured is her "playdate" with Harper Claire, my friend Kara's little girl, born just five days before Anna ... already BFF and definitely going to break A LOT of hearts. **

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Officially Announcing ...

Anna was a star at her newborn photo shoot a few weeks ago and I had the hardest time picking just a few photos to include in her announcment.  She really is the apple of our eye!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Funny (& and a shout out to our furry children)

In posting the funny above I realized my readers might be wonder what happened to our first "born."  Rest assured they are still with us and have been wonderful with the transition to big brother and sister.  They keep a respectable distance from Anna, understand they are to steer clear of her room, paraphernalia and toys in general and I'm pretty sure they are counting down to the day she'll be able to drop a few nibbles from her high chair.  In being home I've realized that the above caption is oh-so-totally-true and many-a-day I wish that I could fall asleep on a whim as they do about 120 times a day... oh, the life of a cat : )

Milo looking generally regal as usual ... he's started asking for his dinner earlier and earlier each day,
confused as why the tiny human gets to eat whenever she cries, but he doesn't ...

"Oooooooh, you were setting this up to monitor the tiny human's growth ...
I thought it was for me ... is it still OK if I spoon with the bear?"

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tiny Dancer

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

From the cuddles, to the tickles, to the many, many diaper changes, to the total and complete adoration ... we can't imagine a more perfect Dad!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Handy as a ...

... pocket on a shirt ... or a newborn jumper as the case may be ...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Growin' Like a Weed: Month One

Someone is growing like a weed!  At her one month appointment Miss Anna weighed in at 8 pounds 1 ounce, gaining a full pound and an ounce since birth and a pound and 11 ounces since her last visit at four days old.  She's 20.5 inches long, growing a full inch since last month!  She received high marks in all other categories and upon seeing her wiggle around on her tummy the doctor predicted that she'll roll over a bit early.  Although I'm happy to hear she's doing well and potentially going to hit a few milestones early, we're certainly not wishing away any of the time we have with her now as our cute little peanut. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011



Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Letter to Anna: Month One

Dear Anna,

Wow, time certainly does fly, you're a month old today! The past four weeks have been the best weeks of my life; filled with tears of joy, intense laughter and so much more love than I can ever comprehend. You arrived two weeks early and although the pangs of pregnancy are just a distant memory, I do remember that I was sooooo ready to meet you, yet shocked and nervous when I actually went into labor. You're sitting next to me right now, making the cutest coos and tiny grunts; I melt each time you gaze at me, able to recognize and focus on my face over the past few weeks and now I have no idea what there was to be nervous about.

We didn't know you were going to be an Anna until you were born and both your father and I swore you were a little boy. Needless to say, you were the best surprise we could have imagined! You're named for my maternal grandmother, Anna McWilliams, and your father's maternal grandmother, Bessie Elias; they were both phenomenal women and I'm so blessed to have had the pleasure to know them. I have no doubt that they are both looking down on you from above with so much love pouring down, and hope you will think of them when you see that tiny break in the clouds that lets the sun filter through on a gloomy day.

You are one of the most content babies I've ever been around and you genuinely excel at being a baby. You took to breastfeeding right away, sleep very well (up to 3 1/2 to 4 hour stretches right now), pee and poop with gusto and get more adorable each day. You hardly ever cry and when you do it's likely because you're having your hair shampooed. Even during your first hours of life when you were being poked, prodded and given shots, the only thing that made you cry was when they washed your hair during that first bath. The bad news for you is that your head is full of luscious black locks that show no sign of going away, so you're in for a life of shampoos; if you're anything like your mother, you'll quickly come around to being pampered.

I can't imagine what I did with my time before you were here and have no idea how I thought I was as busy as I did. It took a few days to realize that my days for the foreseeable future would be spent in hour and a half to two hour increments in between feedings. This past week we started getting out and about a bit more - Target, Old Navy, Babies R Us and the Grocery - and you are a champion shopper and traveller. You generally sleep through the car ride and then wake up a bit during our destination outing. You always show-up the other babies by hardly making a peep and generally attract numerous comments with buzz words including "tiny, peanut, all of that hair! and happy baby."

This past weekend we had a situation that I initially thought would have Child Services at our door in a matter of minutes. Long story short, you sustained your first bee sting under my watch and I was in hysterics and proclaimed to your Dad (away for the evening) and your Gigi that I was the "worst mother EVER." A call to your pediatrician and several questions later it was determined that you were perfectly fine and I was told to watch for a few symptoms for a couple of hours. During the entire ordeal you hardly cried and even that short bout was likely due to my hysterics. I'm sure this will be the first of many head bumps, scraped knees and scratches and although I know that seeing you in pain won't get any easier, it's par for the course and you're one tough cookie already.

I could go on forever, but eventually you'll be ready to eat again, so I'll sign off with this last bit.  I know I'm in for a wild ride … I'm hoping that somehow I'll be prepared to have everything I did to my parents returned to me by you and times a thousand … but in the meantime please know that you will NEVER find someone who loves, prays, cares and worries about you more than I do!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Anna Arrives ... Part III ... Outtakes

Part II of the narrative was pretty serious ... labor, forceps, screaming ... and I can tell you that almost 4 weeks later I barely remember the labor at all.  In between all of the stressful parts there were some funny moments I want to remember ... Enjoy!

Bon Appetit ... I was only allowed ice chips and a couple of popsicles during the 18-hour labor ... a great diet plan if you ask me.  For Saturday's lunch my Mom brought Mike back a huge bowl of Mac 'n' Cheese from the Au Ban Pain in the lobby.

Me:  How was your lunch?  Was the Mac 'n' Cheese as good as I remember?

Mike:  Ehhhh, it was OK.

Me:  Just OK?!  Was it better than frozen water?  Because let me tell you, the ice chips I'm getting on an all-you-can-eat-buffet basis are just DELICIOUS!

It's all about the adjectives ... Mike was a wonderful, wonderful support during labor, but toward the end I started to get a little snarky ...

Me:  (Contraction)

Mike:  It's over, you did really well with that one!

Me:  WELL?!?!  That's all you have is the word WELL?!?!  That's like saying "you did mediocre at handling that contraction which seemed to feel like someone was spooning your uterus out with a dull spoon."  Think about using words like WONDERFUL, FANTASTIC or AWESOME.

Working towards a grand finale ... Toward the end of the 2 1/2 hour pushing session my nurse and Mike were doing anything they could think of to keep me motivated and encourage me to continue pushes that were particularly productive.  At one point I took matters into my own hands ... I'm not particularly proud that I resorted to "yelling" at my baby, but at the time it seemed there was no other option : )

Nurse Anne:  OK, here's another one coming on, get ready ...

Me:  (deep breath in) OK BABY, TIME TO GET OUT!!  (push for 1, 2 ... 8)

Me:  (deep breath in) GET OUT!! (push for 1, 2 ... 8)

Me:  (deep breath in) GET OUT!! (push for 1, 2 ... 8)

Nurse Anne:  Those were your best pushes yet ... can you keep that up for the next round?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Voted Miss Popular

Just like any  newborn, Anna has had a steady stream of visitors ... anxious to meet her and get their fill of that sweet baby smell.  She hasn't met anyone she doesn't love and generally has her fan club under a spell within a matter of minutes.  Here's a run-down of her entourage so far ...

Uncle Michael ... hesitant to hold her, but he fell in love right away. 
She returned the love by exploding in her diaper a few minutes later ...

Soon-to-be Aunt Jennifer ... taken post diaper explosion : )
Auntie Amber ... check out the shots she got during her visit here.

Then Grandma Kelly was finally able to get to Cincinnati ... her visit was fantastic and included A LOT of holding and cuddling : )

Paw Paw stopped for a visit on his way back from Columbus ... who needs caffeine when you can get a baby fix to keep you goin'?
Auntie April came up for a weekday visit and Anna was able to give her in-utero little boy a few tips on how to be the best baby ever ...

Uncle Sean (Mike's brother) came for a weekend visit and fell in love with his niece!

Ditto for Uncle Brian ... not a bad hold for a bachelor : )
Big yawn for (Great) Aunt Carol ... she is the baby holder to end all baby holders!

Snoozing with Cousin Leah ... she hopes to be as well travelled as Miss Leah one day!

Friday, June 10, 2011


Mike and I knew that with a baby on the way it was time to get a camera that was a bit of an upgrade from our point-and-shoot ... especially considering we'd finally have subjects that didn't walk on four legs and meow constantly.  After talking to several folks and reading online reviews we settled on the Nikon 3100 and LOVE it.  I'll admit that I'm still very much a novice and have A LOT to learn, but for now it's helping me capture some of Anna's cutest faces and moments I'll cherish for a lifetime.  Below is a montage taken within a minute of each other and shows her little personality shining through with each shot.  Thanks to Grandma Kelly for being such a great baby handler during this impromptu session : )

Thursday, June 9, 2011

All Anna all the Time

Because there's no humanly way possible that I can keep Anna's entourage happy with daily photos and because she's just so dang cute, I created a Shutterfly Share Site to house what I know will be thousands of adorable shots to be taken this year alone.  This site will be a true data dump of all shots we capture and will be more than I'm ever able to post here or on Facebook.  The site link is:  or click here.  I promise to upload pictures at least once a month but won't always post on here when I do, so save as a favorite and check back often. 

Anna, shocked at hearing the news of her very own Shutterfly site ...
Ok, not really, but I love her face in this picture : )

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bright Eyes and Goodbyes

We finally got around to using our new fancy-pants camera (Nikon 3100) and as I was installing the software required to (finally) download those pictures I figured I should snag the last few off our point and shoot camera.  This is one of my favorites of Anna's first week and was taken the day my Mom was heading back to Lexington after staying with us for several days.  We were tearing up over an extra-sappy Oprah (one of her last episodes) and I could tell that Gigi was trying to get in her last few snuggles ... I had just finished feeding the little Miss and Mom wanted to burp her.  I swear those eyes get me every time ... I know they will morph into their permanent color in a few months, but for now I can't get enough of them as they gaze back at me with their blue-gray wonderfulness. 

A few hours later we were both tearing up as she left our nest ... tears of happiness, excitement and love.  I've said it on here before, but it's worth mentioning again, I can't thank my Mom enough for her help, support and general awesomeness during those first few days (and always, for that matter!).  We love you Gigi!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

To tide you over ...

I know I'm totally behind on posting ... and not for lack of pictures, just lack of time ... I've been entranced by the cutest baby ever!  While I figure out how to whittle down the cute shots I've been capturing, check out Amber's blog post (click here) for a glimpse into her visit the week before last.  I had no idea she was able to capture all of those cute little expressions during her visit and am now trying to figure out if I can make that collage poster size : )

Monday, June 6, 2011

What's Cookin': Creamed Spinach

Mike and I love a good steakhouse meal, in fact, we had one planned for the day Anna was born ... guess we'll be getting to that in about a year, ha.  As much as we both love a good steak, the sides come pretty close to being my favorite part of the meal and it's always a tough decision as to which ones we select.  Creamed spinach is one we both love ... for me it adds greenery and the appearance of being healthy ... Mike doesn't make any bones about his reasons, to him it's just good eating : ) 

I wasn't allowed to drive for about 2 weeks after giving birth and my first outing, sans child, was the day before my birthday.  I got crazy and went to the grocery for a few items ... including treating myself to a salad bar for lunch ... I know, I live on the edge.  I was so excited to be out of the house and in real clothing that didn't resemble pajamas, that I forgot my birthday was the next day.  And by the time I texted Mike that my cart was full of the fixins' for a steakhouse dinner, I was salivating.  Although I appreciated that he had planned to get takeout from my restaurant of choice, I was already thinking about steak, corn on the cob, creamed spinach and a blackberry cobbler. 

I saw a version of this recipe on the Food Network a few years ago and it's one of the easiest in my recipe box.  It takes about 10 minute to make, can be made in advance and is a crowd-pleaser for our table. 

And, I'm happy to report our at-home steakhouse dinner on my birthday was wonderful ... the cobbler waited a few days, however, as I was treated to an ice cream cake that evening (my selection from a few weeks prior) ... enjoying the meal with Mike and Anna on the patio, a glass of wine (my first since pre-pregnancy) and a cool breeze was pure perfection. 

Doesn't it look healthy ... and pretty?

I promise we had corn ... just no room on this plate : )

Creamed Spinach

2/3 c heavy cream
2 T butter
Salt, pinch, to taste
Pepper, heavy pinch, to taste
Nutmeg, pinch, to taste
2 10 oz packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Combine the first five ingredients in a pot over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Heat to just below a simmer and until reduced a bit.  Add the spinach and stir until combined.  At this point the dish is ready to serve. 

If making in advance, put into an oven-safe dish and top with a little Parmesan cheese, if desired, store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Prior to serving, heat the dish in a 300 - 350 degree oven until warmed through and cheese is bubbly. 

Serves about 4 ... to increase the recipe just add about 1/3 c of cream to each additional box of spinach.