Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ode to Kim Hermansen

My good friend from High School posted this on her blog. I thought it eloquent and concise and agreed with it wholly. So, I thought I would copy and paste it to my blog for everyone else to enjoy. (Hope you don't mind, Kim:) I couldn't say it any better myself.

Get Off of My Cloud
I just want to say that tolerance goes TWO WAYS. And I think that sometimes people forget that. I was talking with someone who insisted that I live with my boyfriend before marrying him, or I would never know if we were compatible. Why is it okay for him to tell me this, and it would seem so intolerant of me to tell him something like, "You really should stop drinking. Its bad for your health and you're wasting a lot of money." Why do I have to be tolerant of working mothers, but they don't have to be tolerant of stay at home mothers? Why do I have to be tolerant of the rights of homosexuals, when they don't have to be tolerant of my right to teach my children that homosexuality is wrong? Tolerance is good. Acceptance of others beliefs in the name of tolerance is the exact opposite.
Posted by Kimberly Hermansen

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Fat Dose of Toddlerhood

You could describe Anslie as the Tazmanian Devil, a whirling dervish, a firecracker, and a bolt of energy all rolled into one... with a hefty dose of attitude to top it all off with. And, boy did I get a helping of that little girl tonight! She does this thing while she is playing, and especially when she is mad, where she will just flail her entire body around without any regard to her own safety - or anyone else's for that matter. We were both on the couch playing and she had her back to me and decided to pull her stunt and smacked me right in the lip with her head. It's a good thing her noggin is hard because she hardly noticed what she had done. I, on the other hand, all but cried because when her head hit my mouth my lip scraped against my tooth and took off a layer of skin. So, lucky me, I get to visit family on Thanksgiving with a big 'ole fat lip. I guess I can add this to all of my other "mommy battle scars". I am sure there are plenty more where that came from!

These Boots Are Made For Walking

Monday, November 24, 2008

We went out to dinner tonight to "celebrate" our good news (see post below). We got home right around sunset and I thought to myself, "If I could show people the way I feel inside right now, I think it would look like that sunset." So, this is what it looks like to know that your child is perfectly healthy after months of wondering if there was something wrong with her.

We can all breathe easy!!!

We have finished all of Anslie's tests for her low weight and the doc called me this morning to let me know that everything has come back normal! Yay! We are so grateful for this good news! We will still keep an eye on her weight and continue pumping her full of extra fat and calories, but there is nothing to worry about. Fhwew!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

For those of you who are curious...

I thought I would post some of the things I have been working on for my final portfolio for my photography class. I am focusing on portraiture and these are just a selection of the pictures I have taken. Don't know exactly what I will turn in...we'll just see how things morph into place.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Sudden Outburst

Kevin and I were getting groceries and Anslie in the car after a trip to the grocery store on Monday when Anslie shocked the heck out of both of us. Kevin was standing at the back of the car putting the groceries in and I had just finished buckling Anslie in her car seat. Kev was chatting away at her trying to distract her so she didn't cry and said something along the lines of "only crazy babies cry when they sit in their car seats!" Then Anslie shouted at the top of her lungs, plain as day, "CRAZY!!!" Every consonant and vowel was there. By then I was sitting in the front seat and I whipped my head around to look at Kevin to see if he heard the same thing I did. His jaw was hanging down around his knees. I'm not sure if it was on purpose or not, and she hasn't repeated her outburst since (Kevin has tried putting the work 'crazy' in every sentence he has said to Anslie since Monday), but even if she didn't understand what she was saying and just go lucky with the sounds she put together, that is one crazy first word!

(BTW-she does say ma-ma-ma-ma-ma and dee-dee, but only when she is upset)

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Fingers and Toes"

I am grateful for these fingers and toes. It is through their hard work that my family survives.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

12 month update

I can't believe we made it through our first year together as a family! As I reflect back on this year it is almost overwhelming to realize all of the changes, triumphs, struggles, tears, and laughter we experienced. I have to admit that this year wasn't an easy one. I have learned so much from my daughter (I am still getting used to saying that phrase) about myself and my relationship with others, especially my husband. I have also seen through her eyes both the most beautiful and ugliest parts inside of myself. I am grateful for the opportunity to rise to the challenge of becoming a better person through raising her, and I hope that my endeavors will be rewarded with her trust and love. I hope to have an understanding of what she needs to be a happy child so that she can grow up to be a fulfilled adult. I am experiencing the Refiner's Fire and I pray that the end product will be something treasured and beautiful.

My baby isn't a baby anymore! Anslie is almost a full-blown toddler! Once she is walking, that's it! Although I will miss having a tiny little one in my arms, I am excited for all that toddlerhood will bring.

Some of Anslie's favorite things to do are playing with any kind of string or ribbon, banging things together to make noise, spontaneous dancing, being tossed around like a little gymnast, clapping her hands, and waving at any and all people within sight.
She also thinks she is very funny and will laugh at any random thing she does...then she stops to make sure you are watching and think that she is as funny as she does. It's really cute that whenever she see's someone clapping, in real life or on TV, she automatically thinks they are clapping for her and will join in the fun. Anslie gives kisses on demand, although if you try to pucker up when she doesn't want a kiss, she will dodge it!

Anslie is a pretty good eater. She really likes peas, cottage cheese, raspberries, strawberries, bananas, graham crackers, and cheese. She does really well with chicken, fish, and hot dogs too. We try to give her whatever we are eating and she really seems to like that. She is still on the low side for her weight (14 lbs, 10 oz) so the Pediatrician has decided to start testing her, as a precaution, for anything that could inhibit her weight gain.

Anslie endured her 12 month shots and having a TON of blood drawn all in one day. Poor baby! We have also suffered through collecting stool samples (so gross!) and are still trying to get a urine sample from her, but the means by which we were instructed to do so isn't really working out. I fear that they may need to catheterize her, but we will cross that bridge when we get there. At the end of the month we are taking her to Children's Hospital to have a sweat chloride test performed (not sure why). Once all of the results are in we will meet with the Doc. We are all confidant that nothing will be found, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Other than being underweight, Anslie is developing exactly as she should.

Anslie is also starting to take an interest in books. She likes to touch the pictures and turn the pages while I read. I hope this is a sign of good things to come! She also has so much fun playing with all of the new toys she got for her birthday! One of the games we play is going shopping. I give her a paper bag and we put her blocks and other toys inside of it and pretend they are all kinds of groceries. Anslie helps by putting her blocks in one by one. Once the bag is full we unload it and then start all over again.

School is going really well for me. I really like my class because it is challenging and also provides a creative outlet. I hope to be able to continue with the program once this class is finished. It's convenient that it's only once a week, but we just have to work Kevin's schedule out before I will know if I can take the next class.

Kevin is working as hard as always and enjoying what he can at work. It's the "slow" season so I think he gets a little bored, but he tries to keep himself as busy as possible. Things are going really well for us and we are enjoying this time in our lives. We are really blessed and we try to remember that everyday.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The After Party

After Anslie's party and much needed naps for (almost) all, we headed out to Mission Beach for a bonfire and s'mores. All of the fire pits were taken so we improvised and had our fire in a BBQ. It wasn't quite the same but it turned out just fine anyway. It was a good thing that it was a warm night - we almost didn't even need sweaters!

She was trying to get into trouble in the mud

Anslie was so done posing for pictures by then

My dad and his sushi...

Yup - she's playing with matches. Good job dad! :)

Anslie really liked the s'mores. (Actually, she only got graham crackers - she had eaten enough sugar already!)

Anslie's 1st Birthday Party

We spent Saturday at the park with lots of friends and family, including Kevin's parents and my dad and step-mom. We enjoyed pizza, cupcakes, good company, and sunshine. The weather was perfect - we couldn't have asked for anything better, especially for November! Here are some pictures from the party:

Anslie's Birthday "cake"

My dad and and the Birthday Girl

Mommy and (not so much) baby

The Gang

Blowing out the candle

First bite of birthday cake

The Ruffners

Anslie had fun opening her gifts

A classic favorite

My mom made this birthday cake hat for Anslie

Thanks to everyone for making Anslie's party a success. We had so much fun and really appreciate your love and support! It wouldn't have been the same without you!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween/Birthday Extravaganza!!!

This Halloween was very special for our family because it was also Anslie's first birthday! (Yes, she was born on Halloween for those of you who are wondering.)We started our busy weekend off with taking Anslie out to a "birthday breakfast". Kevin bought her a special "birthday princess" hat that she didn't mind wearing too much while we ate.

(Mom and Dad at breakfast with the birthday girl)

Kevin's parents flew in from Chicago to spend the weekend with Anslie and with them came Anslie's favorite birhtday present! Her Great Aunt Theresa gave her a mini push car that she could ride in. Anslie LOVED it!!!

Soon it was time to get Anslie into her Halloween costume. She was pretty patient while I put her "makeup" on...

Here she is! Our beautiful Fairy Princess! Everyone loved her costume and thought she was the perfect little fairy!

We decided to go to a local shopping mall to try out Anslie's first time trick-or-treating. We rolled her around in her new car for a little bit until the mall got too busy. Then Walt, Connie, Kevin, and I took turns carrying her to each store to fill up her candy bucket.

Anslie really liked sucking on all of her treats...we kept the wrappers on them.

After trick-or-treating at the mall, we gave a couple streets in our neighborhood a try. We actually filled Anslie's entire candy bucket up, which we placed in the front compartment of her car in which we pushed her around in. That was her favorite part of the whole experience!

After we were finished (and made sure we got use out of Anslie's costume, it was time to go home to eat dinner -grilled steaks with home-made chili and cornbread - and was present time! We decided to let Anslie open all of her presents from the family on the actual day of her birthday, instead of trying to do them all at her party. She got a lot of great gifts; clothes, toys, a piggy bank, and a savings account.

We really appreciated everyone's gifts, and Anslie genuinely likes everything she was given...except for the clothes because she doesn't know what they are. But I liked the clothes! :) After opening presents, it was bath time and then bed time. Anslie definatley earned a good night's sleep!

We really enjoyed our Halloween/Birthday celebration. Stay tuned to read all about Anslie's first birthday party!!!