Monday, May 30, 2011

Bike the Drive

Yesterday morning was the annual Bike the Drive here in Chicago in which Sean participated this year. They close down Lake Shore Drive for about six hours in the morning and people appear from everywhere to ride their bikes down the road along the lake for 30 miles (15 miles one way). 

It was not raining, so the weather was not completely uncooperative (it has been raining constantly for the last couple days). Apparently the morning was extremely foggy to the point that one could not see anything apart from the road, which is really too bad because there are some fabulous views of the city and the lake.

Chicago River bridge

looking into the city from the bridge

looking out at the lake from the bridge

After getting up at 4:30am and biking 30 miles, Sean came home and went to church with us, packed up some boxes in the afternoon, and even managed to grill burgers for dinner while the rest of us hung out on the deck! What a wonderful guy!!


Of course I had to get some pictures of Cora squeezed in here too! ;)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Springtime Days

What have we been up to lately, you ask? Oh well... a little of this and a little of that. Cora can tell you.

We get outside when we can.

We laugh and giggle.

Spending time in the Baby Bjorn is loads of fun now that facing forward is an option.

In the morning, hanging out in the Jenny-jump-up is usually pretty interesting, except that I'm not quite sure how to get it to do anything. Is there some sort of trick to this? Chewing on the sides must be what it's all about.

Story time is the best! Especially when gnawing on the pages is allowed.

And of course, this strange new thing of getting food off of a spoon. I like to squirm around so that Momma hits my nose and eyes instead of my mouth. Seems like a good trick. Then I usually start squawking to get out of the Bumbo seat. It's just too constricting for an adventurer such as myself!

Then we usually play some fun games before bed. I'm SO BIG!

And that's about it for a typical day. Here's one more of me smiling. Momma and Daddy love to see me smile. I'm a happy baby. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

American Child

I have been thinking a lot about our country. The way we live and what is in store for us in the future as individuals as well as a nation. 

Where we are headed. What it was like in the past as opposed to now. 

Even just the huge difference in the way I grew up compared to how Cora will. I remember we just used to get thrown outside to play with no other entertainment than what we could procure for ourselves. Will I even be comfortable letting Cora go out into our yard to play by herself (or with siblings) even if I could see her from the window? What if I looked away for a second and someone took her? The world is not what it used to be, and she will not even be growing up in as rural an environment as I did. 

And all this technology has made a huge rift in the generation gap. The internet is wonderful, but it sure does make bad things accessible to children that one would never have even fathomed thirty years ago. But at the same time, we can't fight it and say that Cora will just never get to use the computer. Unrealistic. Kids will probably be using iPads in school instead of Trapper Keepers when she goes.

Will my child have a cell phone when she is 11? I used to think, "no way," but now I really don't know what we will feel is right in 11 years. 

And how long will God decide to bless America? It could definitely be not as long as we think or would hope. 

But as unhappy as I might be about certain things in our government or the ridiculous political correctness of the day, I am still so thankful to be an American. 

After visiting India last summer and seeing the extreme circumstances that others on this earth accept as their reality, how could I not be so very appreciative? 

At church a couple of weeks ago, I learned a little of the sex trafficking that goes on in that country. Little girls 6 and 7 years old being forced into a life that would be horrible and traumatizing for a mature woman! 

We are blessed.

No matter how badly those in power seem to be trying to mess it up... we are so very blessed to be Americans.

I have been listening to the song below a lot in the past week. It prompted this post. For some reason it reminds me of the way I grew up and my family now and also makes me feel nostalgic, because some of the pride and hope alluded to seems like a life past that will not be able to be regained.

But the words have this promise of what could be that I know we still have in this country, because our family is in the middle of grasping that guarantee.

I feel like we are not proud to be Americans like generations before us. We don't have that sense of unity anymore, except in rare circumstances like 9/11. And it is really easy to get sucked into that ungratefulness. 

Despite everything going on and possible harder times we might be headed towards as a nation, I am still honored to be living in a free place, and I am thankful that my child will grow up with incredible possibilities available to her. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Third Post Of The Day - A Few Pictures

I have had trouble uploading my pictures lately which is partly why I hadn't posted in a while (I have also been trying to be responsible and pack). I have so many cute pictures of Cora that I wanted to put on here, so I figured I would add one last post of the day with just that... random pictures of the most adorable baby on the planet.

First... the Bumbo seat. I know Grandad will appreciate this outfit.

Yes, that is camouflage she is wearing - a cute gift from our friends Chet and Jenni (ok mostly Chet).

And now for the pictures she will be mad at me for taking when she is older - naked tummy time.

But, seriously?... cutest baby ever.

California or Bust

Well, it's officially official. We found a house to rent in California and signed the lease last Monday. Sean has finished all of his licensing requirements and other multiple paperwork items for his new job, and he is wrapping up more residency requirements daily.

We have booked a moving company, started packing, and routed our trip via mapquest.

In just four short weeks, we will be hitting the road to begin the 38-hour drive to our new home. We are planning on taking our time and will be visiting a friend and a few sites along the way. Sean has his schedule for July, and he will be starting on the 7th, which will give us a nice amount of time to get settled. 

It's incredible that we are really doing it. I am looking forward to every new experience!

First Solid Food

Cora ate her first "solid" food on Saturday (rice cereal). She's my big girl now!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cora's Stats

Cora had her four month appointment last week. She was exactly 15 lbs and 25" long. She is in the 75th percentile for both (at two months she was 95th for height and 75th for weight). Her head circumference is in the 50th percentile (which is up from her two month appt where she was only in the 10-15th). She had to get vaccines again which was just as awful as last time, except she was less consolable afterwards. I always make Sean hold her and watch. Shots are my least favorite thing so far about being a parent. 

Our pediatrician gave us information about giving her solids between four and six months. My baby is growing up. *sniffle* 

We are going to wait until five months before starting based on various sources of information (some say four, some say six, blah, blah).

Yesterday we started another "grown up" thing...

Drum roll...

The Jenny Jump Up! 

I had to stuff blankets around her so she wouldn't slide around, and she was too low to the ground the first time but really didn't seem to mind being in it (despite the face displayed below).

"I'm trapped! Let me out!"

Can't Get Enough Giggly Baby

This video isn't the best because I was trying to film her while not putting my iPhone in her face, as she gets distracted. I am just in love with her little laugh!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day

I was actually more excited for Mother's Day than I have been for any other holiday in a while. My first one... In church they always honor the mothers by having them stand during the service, and that was going to be me! 

We went to church and heard a wonderful sermon! Afterwards, Sean took me downtown to get me a Mother's Day gift. We stopped at a little cafe and bought sandwiches, which we took to a nearby park to eat. He bought me a silver heart-shaped locket with two compartments. I am going to put a picture of Cora and a lock of her newborn hair into it. 

It was a lovely day.

As a special gift to me, Cora laughed for the first time on Mother's Day. I thought she had laughed once before, but it was nothing like this. I think she was just on the verge of crying the other time, and it sort of came out like a laugh. This was contagious!! Sean was swinging her, and she just kept giggling at him. I didn't get her on film the first time, but yesterday she was at it again. Enjoy!

Monday, May 9, 2011

"I Have Feet. Let Me Tell You All About It."

Someone has recently discovered that she has feet as well as hands, and she is constantly playing with them.

Gramma Peachy's Memorial

For those of you who didn't know, my grandma on my dad's side passed away on January 26th. She was cremated, so we didn't need to do the funeral right away and my Grandpa decided it would be better to wait until the weather was more cooperative to have the memorial. So the weekend of April 30th, I flew back to MN with Cora for a time of grieving and celebration of a life with my family. Unfortunately Sean had to work, and he was very much missed.

We decided to go a day early and spend a day with Sean's parents, so they could see Cora. 

Nani, Granda and Cora

On Friday morning, Ron and Nancy drove me to meet my brother, and he and I headed up to my parents' house in northern Minnesota. My brother Korry has a two-seater sports car that he managed to squeeze a car seat borrowed from friends into the back "seat" behind my side. This posed a slight problem as Cora was then stuck in the back seat by herself (I usually sit back with her to play on long car rides). She fussed a little more than usual, but we made it up in one piece. 

My Grandmother on my mom's side came for the weekend to spend time with us and meet Cora. She arrived with my great aunt Liz (my maternal grandpa's sister) on Friday evening, and we ate wonderful food and had a nice time talking and entertaining the baby.

Cora and Great Grandma Imelda

Saturday arrived and was a wonderful time of visiting family. The day was a little chaotic at times as my mom had duties to perform, decorating and serving at the meal provided after the memorial. My grandpa gave a moving speech, and we all cried. I stood in the back of the room with Cora and prayed that she wouldn't fuss or even coo, as I would have had to step out, and I didn't want to miss any of it. She made a couple little screechy sounds just to make sure everyone knew she was still there, but she was quiet the whole time and I didn't have to leave once. I was so thankful! 

Great Aunt Liz

Grandad and Cousin Kim (who made the dress Cora was wearing)

Four generations of girls

All of the great grandchildren of my Grandpa and late Grandma (my cousin Kandi's kids, Alex and Abbi)

Korry and I headed back to his home on Sunday after a meal of waffles and maple roasted bacon. It was a bittersweet farewell, since we will be moving to California before we see my family again. I'm sure we will visit just as much as we do now, but it is so much farther away that it just feels like a different goodbye. 

Uncle Korry and Cora

Grandad and Cora

Cora and Gramma

Last moments with the sweet baby. What a loved little girl!

Cora and I stayed with Uncle Korry on Sunday night and headed back to Chicago on Monday afternoon. We really missed Daddy and were very, very happy to be home.