Monday, February 28, 2011

Find a Happy Place: Photo of the Day

We all need a place to go when we feel down or feel scared. We need to find our happy place. In this case, Jane found a place under the chair during the thunderstorm.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chicken Soup for the Belly: Photo of the Day

On an icky day, or on a day where you feel icky, nothing does it like chicken soup.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Welcome home!

After a long day at work there is nothing like a welcoming smile.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Let's Vote: Photo of the Day

The right to vote and the ability to change leaders peacefully is something we can so easily take for granted. Right in the middle of the revolutions and reform sweeping northern Africa and the Middle East, we had an election right here in Chicago. Couple this with what is happening in Madison, and you get to see people peacefully voicing their beliefs and political ideals.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Photo of the Day: Flowers

Flowers can send all sorts of messages, and almost all of them are good: congratulations, I love you, I'm thinking of you, happy holiday, I'm sorry. Flowers brighten up a room and brighten up the day.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Photo of the Day: Fuzzy Friends

We all (hopefully) had those things growing up that made us feel safe in an unfamiliar world: at night, at school, or at the doctor's office. Linus had his blankey and the rest of us had binkies, purple stuffed bunnies, or some such thing. Today we still have those things, don't we? A friend on speed dial, a box of chocolate, some fuzzy pajamas, a good book, a favorite prayer, or just the warmth of our home that helps us face it when the world gets scary or too much to handle.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Photo of the Day

Hi All,

This is the Graham half of angieandgraham. I was listening to WGN radio today and heard something interesting. A woman was speaking on the show about a recent blog or article or news piece she had done in relation to the "winter blues."

According to her interviews and research, there are several different things we can do to help ourselves have a better outlook on life and feel better. A couple of her examples included standing for thirty minutes or simply going outside for three minutes. The one that really struck me, though, was the story of this six-time Ironman champion who had never won a race until he had spoken to this shaman. The shaman told him that he had to shift his thinking away from being competitive and trying to outdo everyone to a more everything and everyone is connected mindset. Once he did that, this triathlete started winning competitions. He stopped hoping to outdo everyone and started hoping that everyone who have the best race possible.

Anyways, as this radio interview went on, the discussion turned to how people can apply these ideas. It is easy to see how you can apply the standing for thirty minutes or the going outside for three minutes ideas. The change in thinking is something that will take more practice, I believe. What struck me, though, was that they said you don't even really need to get outside to always feel the benefit. Sometimes just seeing or remembering pictures or events that evoke those responses can be just as beneficial. Just having those yellow tulips as your desktop wallpaper will do the trick, so they say.

As I was driving, I started thinking about how I could apply this concept. I already get outside daily, although maybe I can reflect on it a bit more. I already spend plenty of time on my feet. I can work on the cooperative vs. competitive mindset, but the seeing positive images idea stuck with me. To that end, I am going to set two goals and I hope to share the product with you.

1 . I will try and look at and post a positive photograph each day and

2. I will try and actually take the photo that day.

We'll see how this goes. I welcome feedback, the borrowing of this idea for your own use, and the sharing of your own photos.
Today's photo (above) is one of our spring bulbs breaking through. Who cares if that groundhog was just buried under two feet of snow, spring is on its way!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Funday

Since Hannah's last video was so well received, she's decided that she wants more camera time! In fact, she demanded it! We sat down yesterday afternoon and shot this in 4 takes. Someone's copped a diva attitude lately....

....She's really unhappy with me.

And now, Five Questions with Hannah!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Things I Have Decided

Being home alone with a baby all day gives you a lot of time to think. I'm not big on watching TV during the day unless there's an unfolding news story or SVU or Living Single marathon.

I have amazing taste in television.

But when Hannah's napping and I'm trying to do housework or we're out running errands, I make command, absolute decisions that become law. Such as:
  • Gilmore Girls is a pretty amazing show and it's a crime that said show is now off the air.
  • A bad movie is almost as theraputic as a good cry.
  • 95% of the people on Twitter are using it wrong. I do not consider myself among them.
  • Glittens are easily one of the best inventions in the world.
  • Frigidly cold temperatures without snow is like a middle finger from the universe.
  • Roasted cauliflower smells like feet.
There you have it. Random, absolute thoughts that are now canon law.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Hannah loves music. I didn't go to great lengths to listen to music during my pregnancy because I listen to a lot of music anyway. It's fun to watch her face when she hears a song she recognizes. The first time she heard Glee's "Don't Stop Believin'" was a hoot. She was upset and fussy, and I popped in the CD and she hushed right down. The look on her face was totally one of recognition. "Hey! This is my JAM!"

Hannah is also a huge Beatles fan. I have, as proof:

1. She's awesome.
2. I play a ridiculous amount of Beatles music on my ipod.
3. I sang this song to her while I was pregnant.
4. Did I mention that she's awesome?

Since we were hanging out the other day and she was in such a good mood, I grabbed the camera and shot this. So, for your viewing pleasure, I bring you: Sing-A-Long With Hannah.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Two Months Old!

Holy moly! My itty bitty baby is two months old today! How the heck did that happen?!

Hannah had her two-month checkup and she took her shots like a champ. She wasn't a fan of getting stuck in both thighs, but she didn't mind the rotovirus vaccine being poured down her throat. (I'm pretty sure she was hungry.)

She's grown quite a bit from her 1-month photo session, and she now tops the scales at *almost* 9 lbs. and 22 & 7/8 inches. Miss Nanner is going to be long and skinny, just like her dad. And uncle. And aunt. And her other aunt, who isn't even a blood relative! She's 50% me, I swear! She even has my nose! Hmm...I wonder how my fat nose is going to look on her dad's body....

Okay, who's ready for a picture parade?

Jane needs to inspect everything before we can begin.

Alright. We're all good here.

"Dude, I am totally digging these fake shoes!"

"Aw man! This thing again?"

"These finger things are really delicious!"

And the head goes boom!

There...that's a little better.

"I disagree. I like my head down!"

Nanner pulled her arms back up into her playsuit. Clearly this is her way of protesting monthly photo shoots.

"Le sigh."

No, Jane. We haven't forgotten about you!

The Thinker.

"I wonder what that big brown jail is for..."

"No, I'm not sleepy. Why do you ask?"

"Huh. This thing's actually pretty comfy."

"Aw, Mr. Dog, I love you!"

Hannah was diagnosed with reflux at her one-month appointment. Since then, simple activities like diaper changes and napping have become much more enjoyable for all of us. She no longer screams during diaper changes, and she's become pretty tolerant of them. She even enjoys them when I tickle her feet and sing silly songs while cleaning up her bottom. Since she's not in constant pain, she doesn't mind it so much.

Hannah started smiling at 5 weeks old, and it's really easy to make her smile. She loves looking at faces, but once she gets a good look at a face, she's eager to focus on something else. She's always moving her head back and forth, looking for something interesting.

She's been turning her head toward voices she recognizes for a few weeks now. Unfortunately for my mother, that means Hannah's looking for me or Graham when she's being held by someone she only sort-of recognizes. Sorry, Mom. It'll be a little while longer before you're her favorite person.

Tummy Time is more fun for us now, too! She's a pro at moving her head back and forth, though once she finds her hands, she sticks her fingers in her mouth and gives herself a breather. She's always scooting herself around on her mat; Graham thinks she'll be an early crawler.

Two weeks ago we went to church and learned all about Baptism for Babies. We spent a long time thinking about godparents and made our decisions a few months before she was born. Her godfather was pretty easy, but godmother was a whole different story. Hannah is exceptionally lucky in that she's surrounded by strong, independent, and loving women of faith. I debated flipping a coin on more than one occassion. She's a lucky girl, and I know that no matter what she's always going to have strong role models to look to.

We got her baptism date set up with the church, and after an hour with the church deacon and a family-friendly baptism video, we were all set. Her christening won't be for a few more weeks, but I'm glad it's set in stone with the church.

She's been wearing 0-3 ,month clothes for a few weeks now. Weight-wise, she was still getting some use out of the newborn stuff, but she grew 2 inches in her first month and buttoning those onesies was getting tough! about a week after that, we said farewell to her itty bitty baby things and she's more than comfortable in her "big girl clothes".

As far has her doctor's appointments go, she's in the 50th percentile for head and height, but only in the 10th percentile for weight. Because her weight gain has been slow--despite some weeks of round-the-clock feedings--Hannah's got a date with a GI doctor to make sure everything's in proper working order.

So...there you have it! Another month down. 10 more to go before we throw her a one-year birthday bash!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowed-In Checklist

  • Husband: Check
  • Baby: Check
  • Plenty of wine: Double check
  • Hot chocolate: Double check
  • Movies-a-plenty: Triple check
  • Warm clothes: Check
  • Blogs to read: Check
  • Board games: Check
  • Dinner (to be made later): We're working on this one.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

And now for something completely different...

I've come to the realization  that I have morphed into one of those people who is mildly obsessed with their cat. Excellent! Despite an obsession that may or may not be healthy (I'll leave that diagnosis to the social workers in the family), it leaves me with plenty of time to take pictures of my cat and carry on a few dozen conversations that begin and end with, "Meow?"

Jane loves feathers and strings. So what did she receive from Santa Paws this year? A bunch of feathers attached to a string! This provides hours of kitty and hooman entertainment. Wanna see? Sure you do!

Our vicious attack kitty approaches her prey by playing coy.

"Why hello there! What is this we have here..."
 Like any good attack kitty, she first plays with her prey, lulling it into a false sense of security.

Then, she makes her move, attempting a capture using both front paws and her dastardly claws of doooom! 

"Haha! Weird bird-like thing, now you are mine!"
Then, she moves in for the kill! 

"Now, I bite you!"

The sweet taste of victory

"Mmm...weird bird-like thing, you are delicious!"
Then, her bird-ish toy escapes! Back to the hunt! 

"No, weird bird-like thing! You are mine!"
Suddenly, she's distracted by feathers... 

"Hey there, Mr. Weird Bird-Like Thing! Get in mah belly!"

"What are you looking at, hooman?"
She regains control of her prey, confident in her cat-like reflexes and superior intellect. 

"I'm the winner! Victory is mine!"
When the "bird" tries to make his escape, Jane fights back! 

"No! You iz MINE!"
Realizing her prey is gonna go down fighting, she changes tactics. 

"I will use my claws of steel to take you down!"
Finally, bored with the fight, she decides to engage in some friendly play. 

"I don't understand why you don't die....but you sure are pretty."

So. My obsession with my kitty is growing day by day. I'm okay with it. You should be, too.

P.S. Please excuse the disaster area that is currently our front room. Kitty & baby keep me busier than you'd think!