Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Kendyl's First Christmas!

While it was just another day for Kendyl, it was super exciting for Matt and I this year to have our sweet baby girl in tow. Ever since Matt and I started talking about having kids we both have said how we couldn't wait for Christmases with them. As always, it was definitely a hectic day, but fun nonetheless. We started our morning opening presents at home. Ever since Matt and I got married we have opened presents in bed on Christmas morning. I think it is just our way of staying in bed a little longer before beginning the "rat race." We figured it was ok to do it one more year since Kendyl had no idea anyway. This year we went pretty light on presents for Kendyl. Matt got her a toy for her crib and a Disney princess "I Spy" book. Being the more practical one I got her some pj's from Old Navy because she has been rapidly growing out of her 3 month ones. I also got Matt a bunch of Disney movies so he could watch them with Kendyl which brings our total (of Disney movies) to 12. Lastly, Matt got me a necklace that had an opal (Kendyl's birthstone) in the middle with sapphires (our birtstone) around it.

Opening Dad's present.



In keeping with AZ tradition we then headed to my dad's for a late breakfast . I made my mom's famous monkey bread and they were gobbled up almost instantly. We had 3 dogs there (my dad's, my brother's and our's) so things were a little chaotic. We exchanged gifts and hung out for a bit before heading to the next house.

After my dad's we stopped over at the Wofford's (Matt's mom's side of the family) for a little while. They had a nice lunch and then we just spent some time visiting. They started playing a game of Left Right Center, but Matt and I couldn't stay because we still had my mom's house to get to. Christmas at my mom and Scott's was definitely unique this year. On December 23rd my mom found out that there was a good chance that she had lung cancer (which is weird because she has never smoked). Naturally, this made for a slightly depressing day, but my siblings and I were determined to make the best of it. We all had been struggling with the idea of our mom having cancer so we just wanted to take our minds off of it and just thoroughly enjoy each others company. Since then, we have learned the masses that were showing up are not cancer, but we are still not 100% sure what they are. At this point the doctor is suggesting Valley Fever or left over pneumonia from 2 months ago. That aside, we had a really fun night that was much needed at the time.My nephew Austin LOVES music so naturally he loves my I-pod. When I found an MP3 player for $20 at Fry's marketplace (that looked just like an I-Pod) I knew I had to get it for him. I realize that he is only 5 years old and will probably break it, but that is why we only spent $20 on it. We downloaded his Phineaus and Ferb CD along with a bunch of Michael Jackson (his FAVORITE!) and Beatles songs on it.

Playing Hungry Hungry Hippos

Granny and Kendyl

The Crooke kids

Just being dorks. We are doing a "fist pound."

Since we have officially run out of time on Christmas day we decided this year to celebrate with Matt's parents on Sunday the 27th. Stupid me forgot to take pictures so instead I have decided to post the family pictures that Matt's cousin took at Thanksgiving.

I love how Katie is looking right at the camera in this one.

Grandma and Kendyl.

Matt and Jay

We had a wonderful Christmas this year. As always our parents spoiled us way too much, but the best gifts of all would definitely have to be the little miss and finding out that my mom does not have cancer :) I hope everyone else had a nice Christmas as well!

SPELF 2009!

Another year, another successful special ed department holiday lunch. This year the theme was elves...or should I say SPELFS! In fact, our very own SPELF was able to attend!

What a fox right?

He was even willing to take pictures with those willing to donate...
Peachy :)


The afternoon was filled with fun activities. We enjoyed a yummy lunch at Nando's (a department favorite) and actually got to meet Nando himself! In keeping with tradition, we followed lunch with the White Elephant game. Naturally, there were singing stuffed animals, a one of a kind Dr. Moix hand print picture (that has made a repeat appearance every year since I have worked there), men's hair dye, Kiss makeup and a George Bush figurine that played recordings of some of the best "Bushisms."

Here are the newbies (accompanied by some other lucky volunteers) singing our very own version of some holiday songs including, Winter Wonderland-AZ Style, Here Comes Special Ed, and Spelf the Little Momer Person
My personal favorite is still Winter Wonderland-AZ Style. I said last year that I would post the lyrics because it was a very clever version so here they are...

Palm trees wave, are you listenin'?
In the pool, water's glistenin'
A beautiful sight, we're happy tonight
Livin' in the Valley Wonderland

Gone away is the blizzard,
Here to stay is the lizard,
A warm sunny day, we like it that way,
Living in the Valley, Wonderland.

In the desert we will have a picnic,
Cactus, sand, rattlesnakes and sun.
Christmas dinner is an old tradition,
It's pinto beans and tacos by the ton.

Later on we'll perspire
Temperatures rise even higher
A warm sunny day, we like it that way,
Livin' in the Valley Wonderland.

Here is the SPED gang...minus Lori for some reason? Definitely a fun group.

I seriously work with the best people. Though we definitely have to put up with some headaches being in Special Ed we have a fun time doing it. I also have to thank all the people who kindly held my baby so that I was able to socialize and eat lunch.

Here is Kendyl with one of her favorites, Aunty Char :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

2 Months!

Can you believe it? I know I can't. My time off from work with her is just flying by and January 6th is looming right around the corner. I love my job, but I am not sure I am quite ready to leave my baby for 8 hours a day :( On a more positive note Kendyl is doing excellent. At her 2 month visit she was 12 lbs 8 oz and 23.5 in long. Both measures are in the 90th percentile. She develops more and more personality each day. Lately, she has been "talking." Obviously, I have no idea what she is saying, but she can tell quite a story! I love having "conversations" back and forth with her. We spend a little time each day doing tummy time and her ability to lift her head is getting much better. She has been working on sucking her thumb for about 3 weeks now, but so far has only managed to be successful about 3 times. The rest of the times she just sucks on her fist. She is sleeping about a 5 to 6 hour stretch now during the night which is amazing. We did have a little setback the other night because she is sick and was having trouble breathing. I would say we never got more than a solid hour or 2, but things are back to normal now. She has also began putting herself to sleep which we are super excited about. For a while I was so stressed about "training" her to sleep through the night, but I am learning that things seem to just happen naturally so I have decided to stop worrying about it so much. Right now I am just trying to soak up all the time I can with her because I realize that I will never get this time back. She is just so much fun! Here are some 2 month pictures.

Gazing at Matt...She is SUCH a Daddy's girl!

See what I mean? Look at those cheeks!!

This was during our girls night while Dad went to the Cardinal's game with Mally.

Such a big girl!

Taking a little break during her tummy time

This is one of my favorite pictures. I love her eyes :)

Truly Blessed

Tuesday night Matt and I were sitting in the family room watching tv and a commercial for the 10 o'clock news came on. One of the stories they were previewing was about a fireman who was killed unexpectedly due to the storms from the night before. As it turns out, this man is the husband of someone that I went to high school with. They have 3 children together, all under the age of 5. While I did not know this person well, the story certainly shook me. What a tragedy! My heart broke for his wife and kids. I realize that there may not be a personal connection, but I couldn't help but feel completely devastated for this family. All week long I have been thinking about his wife and what she must be going through. I mean, how do you tell your kids that their daddy wont be here for Christmas or that they will not see him for the rest of their lives? I can't imagine having to live in a house with constant reminders of what once was there. It is so easy to take the little things in life for granted. I love my husband so much and I cannot imagine living without him. It makes me cry just thinking about it. Here they are, a young family, just getting started and it is taken from them in one night. All week long this has been on my mind. I feel awful that their loss serves as a reminder for all the good in my life. All I can say is this has been a real wake up call for me. My family means everything to me and to think that it can be taken away in an instant makes me want to worship each and every moment that I have with them. My prayers are with this family and I hope they can find the strength to make it through such a horrible loss.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Kendyl Pictures

Kendyl is doing so good. It seems like she is getting bigger every day. We are still working on the crib thing and the sleeping through the night thing, but she is getting better with her smiles and picking her head up. She is already a daddy's girl. She absolutely loves sitting with Matt when he comes home from work. Of course when she is fussing all she wants is me (Go figure). We are having so much fun with her. I am seriously so in love with this little girl! Here are some recent pictures.

Spitting her tongue out

This just melts my heart

We went out to dinner with some friends and my mom and sister the other night and this is how she fell asleep.

These are my FAVORITE pajamas on her because of this...

How cute are the little feet on these?

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is a Thanksgiving that I will never forget. What a fun experience to celebrate the holidays with children of your own. Thanksgiving is a perfect time for me to reflect on the things that I am thankful for and this year we have been blessed in so many ways.
1. Our baby girl. She has added so much to our lives and I just can't get enough of her.
2. My loving husband who takes excellent care of me and is a wonderful father to our daughter.
3. Family who is there for us whenever we need them and who we can always count on for fun and laughter.
4. My job/colleagues. With talks of layoffs again this year I am finding myself on an all too familiar path so I am feeling truly blessed that I have a job and colleagues that have literally gone above and beyond to help out while I am on maternity leave (especially Char, Cindi and Kim. You guys are awesome! I cannot thank you enough). Now that the laws have changed (eliminating seniority as a basis for layoffs) I am hopeful that I will keep my job, but I can never be too certain. Let's hope the state legislatures can figure something out.
5. My AWESOME sub Lisa. She has been such a huge help with taking care of my students while I am gone.
6. Our courageous military who continue to put their lives on the line in the name of their country. I am SO, SO grateful for their sacrifice.
7. Sleep. It is not what it used to be (not even close), but when I get it I am very thankful.
8. AZ winters :)
9. My home
10. The best dog in the whole wide world. Katie! She is being such a good big sister and we love her dearly.

This year we started our morning at my dad's house for Thanksgiving breakfast. This started about 3 years ago and we have maintained the tradition. I didn't end up taking any pictures though :( After my dad's we headed off to Matt's parents. They always do a big Thanksgiving feast. There were a lot of people there this year and Kendyl was able to meet her Payson family (Matt's aunt, uncle, cousins and their children) so that was fun. Matt's cousin was nice enough to take some family pictures of us so I will have to post them when I get them. Once we were finished at the Smith side we headed off to my side of the family. It was pretty much my immediate family, except this year my second cousin Ellen and her boyfriend Neil spent the day with us! My mom came up with lots of goofy things for us to do such as roasting marshmallows and playing dancing musical chairs (apparently she saw it on the Ellen show). I am proud to say that my husband was the winner :) Although, he did have a little size advantage. All in all it was another fun and busy Thanksgiving. Next up...Christmas!

Here are some pictures from the day:

Neil, Ellen, Taylor, Mom


Poor Scott always does the dishes

Kendyl with Aunt Courtney

Austin and Kendyl

Austin and his marshmallow

It turns out Neil is a professional at roasting marshmallows and Courtney is good at roasting imaginary marshmallows...

Friday, November 13, 2009

What's Going On...

Since my last post we went to Kendyl's 1 month doctor visit. I am happy to report that she is doing very well. She now weighs 10 lbs 6oz (95th percentile). Because of her jaundice we had to bring her in when she was only a couple of days old and that appointment she only weighed 7lbs 14oz so the little girl has been downing some serious milk! She is also 21.75 in long up from 20.5in when she was born (which puts her in the 75th percentile). From the looks of it she will be taking after her dad in the size department, but then again these numbers can change. This whole parenting thing is getting better all the time. Perhaps this is because we are actually getting sleep? There was one night where she was up from 12:00 to 4:00 and since then I have been a drill sergeant about getting her on a schedule. For the past week it has worked and she seems to be maintaining it...at least for now. During the day I am able to keep her awake by putting her in her crib when she starts to fall asleep (I miss letting her curl up on my chest to sleep, but I know I will never make it once I go back to work unless I am getting some sleep). If she is tired enough she will just sleep otherwise this is enough to wake her back up. Doing this is getting her used to sleeping in her crib and it is also helping her to sleep more at night time. We have also found that giving her a bath and a good feeding at night helps. She is not sleeping through the night yet because she still needs to be fed, but she is sleeping for about 3-4 hours at a time which I am LOVING! She continues to develop more personality all the time. We are definitely able to get more smiles out of her now. Yesterday I put a mirror in front of her face and she just lit up! She started kicking her little legs and smiling from ear to ear. It was so stinkin' cute! I would hate to jinx it, but she is really such a good natured little baby. She pretty much cries when she has a reason and rarely gets fussy. I am loving staying at home with her and as much as I love my job it is going to be hard to go back and leave her all day.

Poor baby was tired after a night of keeping mom up

Chilling out in her boppy

Meeting Kaeden for the first time. He is the son of my friends Heidi and Scott from work. They are 2 days apart. He was such a little snuggler and I loved it :)

Going in for a hug

Beautiful girl :)

Happy girl

Still working on the smile

Kendyl with her favorite cousin (he is also her only cousin). I love how she is looking at him.

This is Kendyl on the day we took her home from the hospital...

and this is her now. Look how much she has filled out her pj's.

I love the dimple on her right cheek :)

"Watching" the game with Dad. Go Suns!

There is a mirror on the back of this toy. Apparently she likes what she sees?