The obligatory Thanksgiving Day "things I'm grateful for" post, inspired by my friend Sarah:

Knowing my grandma is always watching over us. Every once in a while I get a really strong feeling that she's near. It overwhelmed me at the ultrasound when we found out we were having a girl. I know she's been with us every step of the way, and will watch over her namesake for the rest of her life.

My hubby. He is loving, snuggly, goofy, caring, helpful, smart, handy, and a million other things I could go on and on about here. But above all, he is a wonderful father and husband who makes us laugh until our bellies hurt. Annie and I are lucky girls.

My family. Mom for her neverending dedication and love for her kids, grandbaby, and grandpuppies. Dad for his sense of humor and unconditional love for all of us. Jason for his sweetness and his ability to always say something thought-provoking. Megan for the goofy sense of humor she still hasn't lost and unending desire to stay close to her family. Kathryn for her hilariousness and her loyalty to her family. Kevin for his desire to be a good uncle and little brother, and his love of sharing with all of us. We are so lucky to have all of them.

Meg's fiance Tim. We already think of him as a brother-, son-in-law, and uncle to Annie, but we are so excited that they are making it official. They are perfect together. I'm so happy she found someone who is so good to her.

My in-laws. Man, did I luck out in this department. Paul's mom Sue is sweet, loving, and never judgmental. And I am so glad she found Harvey, a sweet man who takes care of her, and treats us as if we were his own kids.

My pups. My loving, snuggly, cute, totally obnoxious doggies. We can always count on them to be incredibly happy to see us when we walk through that door. They are the definition of unconditional love, for us, and for the new little sister we brought home this year. Home would feel absolutely empty without them.

A wonderful day care situation. I still wish I could be home with her all of the time, but we lucked out in the sense that Annie has time with her grandma, her mom and dad, and a wonderful couple who are always so happy to see her, and treat her as if she were one of their own. Which is encouraging, because their kids are polite, well behaved, and very sweet to Annie. We pretty much hit the day care jackpot.

Fridays at home with Annie. I can't express how wonderful it is to have 3 days at home with Annie even though I work full time, and to know she has a full day at home with her Dad during the week. The long days are completely worth it.

A job I enjoy. After 7 years I am still loving what I'm doing. I'm challenged every day and I have the opportunity to work on several very different projects. It is flexible and relaxed, and I have very few complaints. It really is an ideal situation for me.

Wonderful coworkers/former coworkers. I have made so many good friends working at my company, friends who I've worked with, and friends who I've met through them. I know we'll have them for many, many years. They have done so much for me, more than they know.

My softball team. A great group of people. I love that we get to see each other every week for months out of the year and we never get sick of hanging out together. I love that we are all competitive, but in different ways. I love that we can pick on each other and laugh at each other without anyone having hurt feelings. I love that we all want each other to do well.

Kelly, Mike, Marce, Kelly, and Kris. Julie, Mike, and Tony. A great group of buddies. We love being with them, and try to see them as often as we can. They love Annie as if she were their niece. They make us laugh until our sides hurt. The best kind of friends.

Griffin and John. Annie is so lucky to have had built in friends when she came into this world. Or future boyfriends/husbands, depending on how you want to look at it. ;) And what an amazing gift to be asked to be someone's godparent. We are so honored.

And of course, I am so, so thankful for this incredible little girl:

She is healthy, happy, beautiful, amazing, and has shown us what true unconditional love feels like. Her smile melts my heart. I've never felt this kind of grateful in my life.


Photo Shoot Break

It's been way too long since I last posted! Update on the rolling: this week she made vast improvement rolling onto her back, so we're doing much better. In fact, she's really been getting around lately, between the rolling and the almost creeping. I think she'll be crawling before we know it! She is still waking up in the night, but only once, and that's because we're having trouble figuring out her eating schedule now that we've introduced cereal. I'm sure that will work itself out soon though. I'm not sweating it too much because she's been nursing for much shorter periods lately, so when we get up in the night she eats for about 10 minutes and goes right back to sleep. She's such a happy, easy going baby. I can't say it enough, I really lucked out.

Here is a video of Annie playing after her Christmas card photo shoot. The sound is really wonky, but I kept it because the faces she makes in this video are so entertaining. At about 1:55 you can see the "drop everything I'm doing to watch George walk by" face. We've been seeing that one a lot lately.

I suppose it goes without saying that it is extremely difficult to get a good picture of a 5-month-old and 2 dogs. Near impossible really. In the final one you can only see the back of George's head next to Annie & Gus in the chair, because George decided he was done sitting in front of them and needed to look out the window. It was the only one where Annie wasn't a blur of motion trying to grab at poor Gussy. Needless to say, we all needed a break after we were done. :)

Post Christmas Card Photo Shoot from porkchop on Vimeo.


5 Months

Annie turned 5 months old on election day. I have no words for how nerve-wracking and exciting that day was. We stayed up way too late to watch Obama's acceptance speech, which of course was totally worth it. So inspiring. We are feeling better about where this country is headed already. That night Annie woke up at 4 in the morning. She's been waking herself up in the night lately by rolling over onto her belly. She's having trouble figuring out how to roll back to her back, so she gets frustrated and lets out these little screams until you come in and roll her over. We don't know what to do about this. We bought her one of those things that keep them from rolling over in the crib, but she gets out of it. Sometimes she's okay with that, I come in in the morning and it's at the other end of the crib, and she's lying on her belly, snoozing. But most of the time she doesn't want to be on her belly so she lies there and screams until we come in to roll her over. So needless to say, we're putting her on the floor to practice her rolling as much as we can! It's almost funny how mad she gets when she can't get back over. She doesn't even try, she gets onto her belly and then gets really angry. And they say rolling from their front to their back is easier for babies. Hmph! In other news, she's started her cereal! We tried right after her 4-month checkup, but she didn't seem very interested and wasn't getting the hang of the spoon, so I decided to wait a few more weeks. We started last weekend and she's doing much better. She seems to really enjoy it, she grabs at my arms and sticks out her tongue for more. She's getting much better with the spoon too. Next month we can move onto fruits and veggies. Man though, is that going to be messy. The cereal is messy and sticky enough! Totally worth watching her face when she reaches for more though. She's definitely into this eating thing!


It's a new day...

...and we're feeling so hopeful for our daughter's future!



Annie went trick-or-treating at Grandma and Grandpa's and got her first sucker!