Friday, March 26, 2010

Some Privacy, Please

Creepy comments from strangers have caused several of my friends to take their blogs private in recent weeks. At first I thought, "Phew! We haven't had any wierdos stopping by!". But then it occurred to me that it's possible any creeps coming through have just been smart enough to keep the comments to themselves.

Deciding I'd rather play it safe than sorry, I plan to make this blog private in the next few days. For those unfamiliar, this means only friends & family who've received an invitation will be allowed to keep up with Windy City Westy's. Hopefully this will keep any crazys (or at least crazys we don't know:) from peering into our lives (especially the lives of the kiddos). Please let me know if you'd like an invite by: leaving a comment here or on facebook, sending me an email, text, call, etc.

And if if you're like me, and enjoy periodically checking in on more distant acquaintances' blogs every now & then, don't worry, this isn't like an ultra-exclusive wedding or swanky club invite list. Really, don't hesitate to shout 'count me in'. Even if we haven't talked in years. As long as I know you (or my sister, or mom, or friend does:)... and you're not a criminal... you'll be welcome at this private party.

Chill Baby

While pregnant I would rub my tummy and ask God for a laid back baby - one who didn't require constant motion (often via lunges), didn't scream at the top of their lungs for no apparent reason, would take a pacifier, would sleep when you laid them down... you get the picture. Not that I'd ever experienced ANY of those things (insert sarcasm - scroll back to my Sept, Oct, Nov 2007 posts if you've forgotten). No really, though I knew we could do it, I just preferred to enjoy the baby phase a little more this time around.

I'm thrilled to report that God answered this prayer! As the below photos demonstrate, Annikah is a sweet, chill baby. She loves to cuddle when awake. She takes a pacifier (though doesn't always require it). She'll fall asleep in your arms (or in the floor or in the bouncy seat) and stay asleep when you lay her down (for the most part). Rye & I were reminded of this last weekend when she had a "fussy" day. At day's end we realized we were frustrated mostly because said unexplained fussiness is so outside her standard MO.

We'll see if/how this wiring continues as she grows. For now, we're sure enjoying it... and her!

A good taste of the girls' current relationship - Elynor flying around (and hopefully not into) Annikah. Annikah straining her neck to keep up with her sis.

Makeshift Nursery

Who needs a nursery when you've got a Moses basket & a pantry?! You've got to get creative when you live in tight quarters!

Because I couldn't sleep hearing all her baby noises and/or she wakes too early so we let her cry a bit, this is where Annikah's spent the second part of each night since about week 3. She starts the night upstairs (sharing a room with Elynor since last week - whoohoo!) and moves to her private quarters after her middle-of-the-night feed. We've told her to enjoy these fancy accommodations now, because once she starts sleeping later she'll be stuck sharing a room for the foreseeable future!

30 + 1 = Ryan!

As of Monday, Rye is officially a 30-something. We celebrated his big 3-1 with a few of his faves: meat-filled deep dish pizza (he & Elynor did, anyway), chocolate peanut butter cheesecake, and Illini basketball (so what if it was in the NIT?!:). When shopping for the cheesecake ingredients Elynor decided he would love some green carnations and picked out one for each family member. She's knows his tastes so well, doesn't she?! Here's to another great year!

Who needs a bib when you can just take off your shirt!?

Aren't those flowers beautiful? E is talking to Rye while eating lunch in the background. Below is a clip of her multitasking prowess.

Big 10 Tourney

We had the privilege of watching the Illini defeat Wisconsin in this year's Big 10 tourney. My sis, Katie, lives/works in Indy and hooked us up with amazing tickets for Annikah's first & Elynor's 2nd Illini game. We then had a sleep over at Katie's place. In the days leading up to our trip Elynor could not wait to sleep in her Winnie the Pooh sleeping bag (thanks other Aunt Katy)... unfortunately the thrill wore off by 4am, when Rye had to join her on the floor. All in all it was a great first family of 4 road trip. Thanks, Kate!

I think this pop, french fries & ice cream were Elynor's highlights... oh, and getting to wear her quite-a-bit-too-short cheerleader dress.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Just a little envious

Of her baby sister...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sleeping Beauty

A few seconds into tummy time...

Guess she wasn't in the mood to work out. I can relate.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Mystery Grafitti Truck

This has been the view from our front door for almost 2 weeks:

Well, the crazy yellow truck mysteriously appeared 2 Saturdays ago. The first layer of grafitti appeared 3 nights ago and an additional layer has greeted us each morning thereafter. We've seen noone go to/from it but the IL plates/sticker are current.

Is it an innocently parked truck that has had the sad misfortune of becoming a tagger's canvas? Is it a traveling canvas for a particular group (gang?)? When, exactly does this painting happen (while I'm up feeding)? What's inside (or who)? How long do we wait to report it?

...the questions list is long.

One thing I'm sure of is I'm thankful our house isn't currently on the market.

Add this to the storybook of our life in the city!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 15, 2010


It's so difficult to catch these early grins in photos... But hopefully these give a little glimpse into Miss A's new found skill. God knows just when we parents need this, doesn't he?! Right about the time we're thinking... Where's the love?! Come on, I need something in return here, kid (such a window into our selfish nature, huh?!:).

Keep 'em coming, Annikah Kate!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Happy 4 weeks + 2 days!

Tuesday marked Annikah's 4 week birthday! Though some days seem to last forever, the the 4 weeks have flown by.

A is following a pretty regular 3 hour routine with a few longer stretches at night. She's eating like a champ (fits right in around here:) and minus some fussiness in the evening is a very content/predictable baby (praise God). She is staying awake for about 1 hour at a time and has become much more alert in the past week. She loves to watch her sister and has also shared a few smiles (mostly for e & rye). We introduced a bottle around week 2 and she's gone back & forth wonderfully. She's also quite flexible with where she sleeps - one arrangement we're still working out. During the day naps alternate between her crib & bassinet - mostly determined by if elynor will be in their room. At night she starts in the bassinet (in our room) and then after her first feed goes downstairs to the Moses basket. I just couldn't stand hearing all her baby noises as I tried to sleep. She probably won't sleep in the crib at night until she's sleeping through, as we're cautious about disrupting elynor. I'm crossing my fingers that's soon. Though she does well for her age, the reality of a month with no long stretches of sleep have caught up to me. I'm feeling the sense of some serious jet lag - walking in a fog, headaches, and slowness. I can't wait for the girls to go down for afternoon naps so I can sneak one too (thank goodness this happens most days) and E nearly has the Little Einstein episodes on my phone memorized. I'm giving thanks for the recent days with sunshine to wake me up!

Here are A's 4 mo stats:
- 11 lbs. 10 oz. (95%)
- 23" (95%)
- head: 14 7/8" (50-75%)

... Quite comparable to E (once she got on the charts, around 3 mo.)

We love you little girl and can't wait for what the next month holds!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

E's Photo Gallery

E's been honing in her photography skills in recent weeks. We never know when a photo shoot lurks. Here's a quick glimpse into her growing portfolio -

Self Portraits



*Can you guess what this is? It took me several minutes to figure it out!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


E: I want someone else to do that.
Me: To do what?
E: Someone else to feed Annikah from their belly button.
"How's Elynor doing with Annikah?" is a frequent question we hear these days. And our answer is, "Pretty well, we think.". We've definitely had our fair share of tantrums, whining, and unpredictable behavior... but the truth is, these were present before Annikah's birth. It's difficult to separate what's due to Annikah's addition and what's simply the result of being 2. All in all, Elynor shows tremendous concern and affection for Annikah and likes to help in any way possible (sometimes a little too much...). She's full of kisses for Annikah and likes us to narrate her every move to Annikah (Mama, talk to Annikah about Elynor eating cereal... Mama, talk to Annkah about Elynor dancing...).

Judging by the above exchange, she'd probably prefer a little more undivided attention from me, but most obvious jealousy appears in the presence of Daddy. When he's around she prefers all his attention be on her. But again, this is not so different from the pre-Annikah days.

As Rye & I continue to navigate this new adventure, we pray for wisdom in loving both girls individually while also helping them to cultivate a rich friendship.

Grandparents Visit

Immediately following Annikah's birth we were blessed with visits from both sets of grandparents! We are so thankful for the active role they play in Annikah's and Elynor's lives and will always cherish these memories.

P.S. The frequency of my blog posts has not kept pace with the level of activity in this home over the past several weeks. I just loaded nearly 250 photos to my computer - yikes! I only wish I could document all the excitement. I'll do my best to back-post the highlights in the coming days and keep up the pace in the future.