Wednesday, July 30, 2008

celebrity look-alikes

I was inspired by Melissa. I have no idea who some of these people are, but it was pretty fun to do. I LOVE that Sam's best match was Dakota Fanning.

Monday, July 28, 2008

being a mom

I always knew I would enjoy being a mom and that I would love my children, but I never expected to be as attached as I am to Anna. I love her so much. When she wakes me in the middle of the night, either hungry, or flailing her arms which have escaped her swaddle, I just want to snuggle her close, and its hard to put her back in her crib after she's eaten and fallen asleep on my chest. In the mornings, when I wake to her "oooo-waah!" cries of hunger, I always giggle as I pick her up with her pink cheeks, her confused "I-just-woke-up" face, and her active little tongue. I wish her good morning, cuddle her, kiss her, and sing to her. And now, she's so alert and curious, she just looks around at the whole world, so entranced by what she sees. Often, she catches my face in her searchings. She smiles wider and wider at the faces I make. (She has an ADORABLE little dimple at the top of her left cheek). We play and read and sing all day, exchanging smiles, and I am occasionally rewarded with a little cough/giggle that's brand new this week-- Anna is so surprised when it erupts from her mouth. In the evenings, when I could have some time to myself as Sam plays with her, I end up just watching them play, always ready to jump in if she gets fussy. At night, after she's bathed and swaddled, she snuggles up to me as she eats, and now ultimately relaxed, she gives me a gummy grin in the middle of her meal.

I'm so filled with love it catches me off guard sometimes. I can feel it bursting in my chest. It fills our lives and home with joy (exhausted joy) and I can't help but know that life is right-- not always happy or easy or wonderful, but right.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

cosby's are cool

Summer is here, which means we finally have interesting activities to report on. Of course, having Anna around is always interesting. She's getting cuter by the day. She coos and smiles all the time-- while I'm feeding her, after I feed her, while we're playing, in the bath, on the changing table. It makes me SO HAPPY and I just kiss her all over. She's so alert and interested in everything now. She loves to be sitting up so she can look around; we love to laugh at her wobbling balance attempts while she builds up her trunk and neck muscles. True, there are plenty of fussy and frustrating moments, but her cuteness and cuddliness more than make up for any of that.

So, onto the fun. We made it to one free outdoor Houston Symphony concert this summer. We went to dinner at Pollo Campero. Sam said he ate there all the time on his mission in El Salvador and has really been wanting to go back and to share the experience with me. I thought the food was very yummy-- better than KFC-- and it was fun to eat my fried chicken with salsa in a corn tortilla that came as a side to my combo meal. We were the only non-Hispanics there and I think I got the full experience with the European football semi-finals playing and the radio blasting trumpet-tooting, Latin pop.

The evening was gorgeous-- not too hot, and a little breezy. A cute old couple was walking by us to put up their chairs and the old woman saw Anna and said, "Well she is just too cute to pass up," and proceeded to coo at her and comp- liment her hair and eyes. Later, when we were taking some pictures, she said, "Would you like my husband to take a picture? He's very good at taking pictures. He can take one now, and some later, at intermission too. His pictures are very good." So we had the old man take our picture.

The music was wonderful. The symphony played "The Fountains of Rome" by Respighi, which I had never heard before. It was simple and pretty and I enjoyed it more than I expected to. They played Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto next with the second prize winner of the Ima Hogg Young Artist Competition as the soloist. It's one of our favorite pieces and was a surprise since the contest had been held that week and we didn't know who would be performing. Anna was a little fussy during those but slept most of the time. After intermission they played Respighi's "The Pines of Rome." We stayed long enough to hear my favorite part, but Anna and I were both tired, so we left a little early and heard the finale in the parking lot as we drove away. Sam and I promised ourselves we weren't going to give up doing the things we enjoy just because Anna makes it a little harder, and it was nice to live up to that promise, even if it means doing a things a little simpler than we used to.

The next week, we had a new couple in our ward over to dinner. They just moved in from Provo and have two adorable 5-month-old identical twin daughters. The story of their pregnancy and birth was quite an exciting one, and reminded me how grateful I am that Anna and I were both so healthy through the whole thing. We had so much fun getting to know them and we love having more friends our age in the ward (though there are a lot already!).

The next day, we packed up the car and headed to Dallas for a Cosby family reunion! Anna did really well in the car and slept the whole way, though she had two rough nights following that. She had a baptism by fire into the fun and craziness of Cosby gatherings and though she would let me know when things were getting a little too loud and exciting for her, she did really well over all.

We had SUCH a good time with our family. Sam's parents hosted all of us and were so sweet to give up their room and huge walk-in closet so Anna would have a quiet place to sleep AND Sam and I wouldn't be kept up by her at night. Ruth created a child's heaven in the back yard with kiddie pools, sprinklers, sandboxes, and the trampoline. I loved to sit out there in the evenings on her swing and chat with my sister- and brother-in-laws. It was also the perfect setting for evening scripture study where we enjoyed one another's insights and testimonies.

In the beautiful back yard

We went to a waterpark and had great fun floating around the lazy river in a train and racing down the slides. We played lots of games and Guitar Hero (not my or Anna's favorite). We had a town parade and delicious barbeque on the 4th. We enjoyed the cousins' talents in our quick little talent show (definitely my favorite-- especially Isaac's roaring rendition of "Praise to the Man"). And mostly we just talked and ate and relaxed, which is exactly how vacations should be. We missed Jacob while we were there and will miss everyone else until we can find another time to be together again.

Cousin Isaac

Daddy daughter time

With Cousin Isabelle

Little Firecracker?

Four tired patriotic cousins (and Oma, the bear)

We caught Anna sucking her thumb for the first time during a nap

Anna and Aunt Amy

Things have been pretty quiet since we've been home. Anna had her two month check up. She's 23 in long and 13 lb 6 oz which puts her at the 90th percentile for weight. We love her little rolls. She got her vaccinations today and so far all has gone well and will hopefully continue that way.

I leave for Ohio in a week to visit my family and attend my friend Christine's wedding. Anna will get to meet her Grandpa Stay, her Great Grandparents, and one of her namesakes, Anna Jo, along with all my wonderful friends there. I can't wait, though I'm a little nervous about the flight, and making Anna transition to another strange environment. Still, I imagine it'll be a little bit easier flying with her when all she needs to be entertained is me, and not books, toys, snacks, juice boxes, kleenexes, restraining devices, etc. Ah, the joys to come...