19 November 2016

Fall Family Photos

At more or less exactly this time last year, I shared with all of you the photos our neighbor took for our maternity photo shoot. This year, on exactly the same date, we had her take some photos of our adorable family of three. Here are my favorites:






All photos courtesy of our wonderful neighbor, Lisa, at Gray Duck Studios. Many more are available, and I can send you a link to the online album if you are so inclined.

08 November 2016

Election Day 2016

I felt like maybe I should record this for posterity. The first order of business this morning was dropping Norah off at daycare - they open at 7, but are helpfully only a few blocks from my polling place (which also opens at 7). I was the 91st person to vote in my precinct today, after arriving 10 minutes after it opened and waiting in line for maybe 20 minutes:

I got an excellent spot. 
Very church basement-y
Woohoo!
Here we go, all I can do now is wait for the votes to be counted.

23 March 2016

Norah Opal

As you may have noticed, there was no Baby Bump Wednesday last week. That's because Andy and I were at the hospital, waiting for our dear daughter to be born. Sure enough, she arrived about 20 minutes after midnight on Thursday, March 17th. A St. Patrick's Day baby, and we're so glad she's here. I'll do a longer post with a bunch of photos at some point. In the meantime, please enjoy this video of her first bath at home. Credit goes to our excellent cinematographer, Mr. Gzmoohoo:


09 March 2016

Baby Bump Wednesday - Week 40

It's official - BGR is now definitely late to the party. Her original estimated due date was Monday. Today, as you may have noticed, is Wednesday. If I had a dime for every person at work who has said some variation on "What are you still doing here?" at some point this week, I'd be rich! But we are endeavoring to be patient - you can't rush these things and she'll come when she's good and ready. Everything checked out A-OK at my doctor's appointment today and we won't start worrying until she's more than a week late.

Andy and I are trying not to go too crazy waiting, so we've decided to treat ourselves in some way for each day she's overdue. Today we went out to dinner at one of our favorite Vietnamese restaurants, for example, Tomorrow we'll think of something else. I'm also trying some of the old wives tale ideas for inducing labor. I bought an exercise ball and I've been sitting/bouncing on it when possible. It's kind of fun. I'm also eating quite a lot of delicious pineapple. They can't hurt and it's enjoyable for me, so...

While we wait, here are today's photos:



The cats are pretty content that it's still just the 4 of us.

02 March 2016

Baby Bump Wednesday - Week 39

I think I can declare that we have officially entered the home stretch of this whole pregnancy deal. Baby Girl's estimated due date is less than a week away. Andy and I put the finishing touches on the nursery this week, namely we hung a picture frame and installed/set-up our way-too-fancy baby monitor. It has full color video, sound, you can talk to her via a microphone in the camera, and it is wi-fi connected so we can check on her from an app on our smartphones. Truly, we live in the future.

Now, for this week's photos. Excuse the outfit - I'm in my super comfy around the house clothes. 39 weeks, I think I've earned it. :-)



Lucy observing this process from her perch on a nearby chair:


The cats must think we're so odd...

In other baby-related news, one of my colleagues in Australia sent me something for BGR...


It's name is Snowy and it's a rare albino Koala bear. So cute! Snowy has found a good home among the rest of BGR's animal friends:


Ok, I think we're ready now. I may have a post next week, we'll see how on-time BGR decides to be. As I understand it, first babies are usually somewhat late. Watch this space for updates!

25 February 2016

Baby Bump Thursday - Week 38

Once again, apologies for the one day delay in posting this week. I bet a few of you wondered if I'd had the baby, right? But no, my excuse is once again that Grandma B and I were having a movie night yesterday. We watched Spotlight last night in preparation for the Oscars on Sunday. It was good but not super impressive, despite all the Best Picture buzz. Mad Max is still my absolute favorite movie from last year.

Now, on to the photos for week 38!



The doctor estimated 7.5 pounds at this week's appointment. She's doing well and on track to be born more or less on time, as far as we can tell. 11 days to go!

I was going to post earlier in the day, but I got distracted by Lucy sitting on my lap and using my hand as a pillow. Getting up from the couch therefore became less of a priority:

She was just too cute to disturb.

17 February 2016

Baby Bump Wednesday - Week 37

First, I think I have to acknowledge a not-insignificant milestone. Today's post marks number 300 for this blog. 300! That deserves a little bit of fanfare, I think.

Ok, and now on to why we are all here - baby bump photos! We have officially passed under 20 days to go until BGR's estimated arrival date. March 7th is only 19 days away! I think I had the same conversation about that seemingly tiny number of days with at least 4 people today, including my doctor. The weekly doctor's visit went well - still all good and normal looking. She estimates that BGR currently weighs about 7 pounds, meaning she should end up being something like 8.5. Seems totally reasonable and excellent to me.

Now, today's photos. Thanks as always to my loyal photographer, Andy:

I love that green sweater - so warm and cozy. In other baby related news, Andy and I did some shopping this past week for essentials that we did not receive at our baby shower. Chief among those was this:

The car seat was a gift from Grandma LR, but the stroller frame is new. It's super handy - the car seat just clicks right in! Calvin also finds it fascinating, apparently. We've also been practicing our labor coping techniques - breathing, positions, massage etc. We had to distract the cats with catnip toys to get them to leave us alone:

The carrot is full of catnip. They love it.
That's all for this week. Here's to only a few more of these posts before BGR gets to meet the world!

10 February 2016

Baby Bump Wednesday - Week 36

It seems more than a little surreal that I'll probably only have 2-4 more of these posts before our little girl gets to meet the rest of the world. When did time start moving so fast all of a sudden? On a related note, I had a doctor's appointment today, marking the beginning of my weekly visits. Everything checked out OK and as expected. She's even in the right position, head-down like she's supposed to be. This is all good news.

Andy and I are busy doing the final prep for her arrival - we've been practicing our labor coping strategies and we got the car seat installed in our car. Tonight we even packed our hospital bags. That was a very official feeling step! She has her own bag (the diaper bag, actually) with an adorable little outfit to wear when we take her home. Here's hoping it fits! We just have a few more things to buy for the house/nursery and we'll be as ready as we can be.

On that note, on to the photos! First, the bump!



And a status update on the current state of the nursery:

That picture frame needs to be hung above the dresser - we're going to add photos to it as she reaches milestones in her life. I'll add a photo from our maternity photo shoot for now. I just have to pick one - too hard!

 


It's pretty much ready for her, I think, at least once we get rid of all that cardboard. It's so exciting!

In other news that is perhaps slightly less exciting, this happened yesterday while I was watching TV:
Both cats, sitting on/adjacent to my legs. A minor miracle. Granted, that navy blue blanket is heated. Still. 

04 February 2016

Baby Bump Thursday - Week 35

Once more, apologies for the delay in this week's post. Grandma B and I had a great time last night watching one of the Best Picture nominees - The Martian. For the first time ever in her visits here, she was the one who got a cat sitting on her lap, and for most of the movie. It may have had something to do with the heated blanket:


We had home made popcorn and really enjoyed the movie. Matt Damon was excellent as he can almost always be counted on to be. Two thumbs up.

In other news from last week, I had my baby shower for BGR on Sunday. All of my pictures can be found here. I had a wonderful time and it was so great to be surrounded by so many people who love BGR already. I was a bit overwhelmed.

And now, the main event - the bump photos!



She's definitely taking up more and more space in there. As Andy likes to say, pretty soon she'll decide that mom is boring and come out to meet the rest of the world. We can't wait.

In addition to all the lovely gifts we got at our baby shower, we also did some shopping of our own this week and got this adorable toy chest to use as under-desk storage. Calvin is a fan:


Finally, look what I found at work today in the employee store:

She's going to be very well dressed. 

03 February 2016

Movie Night

My mom came over for a movie night this evening, so Baby Bump Wednesday will have to get pushed to tomorrow.  We had a great time though, and mom even got a cat to sit on her lap. Photos of that and more coming tomorrow.

27 January 2016

Baby Bump Wednesday - Week 34

34 weeks! It's crazy to think that there are just 6 short weeks to go until we get to meet our little girl. It seems like we still have so much to do! Fortunately, in aid of that, I have my baby shower coming up this weekend. I am really looking forward to celebrating with my family and friends, plus it should provide some of the essentials we are still missing.

I had my regularly scheduled check-up today (every two weeks, remember?) and everything checks out A-OK and as expected. I am measuring right where I should be, my blood pressure is good, and Baby Girl Rinderknecht's heartbeat was strong and clear. Yay!

Now, for today's photos:



Another loaner shirt, this time from my friend Maren who had her own baby girl, Maja, in July. I am so looking forward to all of our daughters growing up together. Jill has two now, plus Maja, and Adam and Ying's Sabinna and... I am sure I'm forgetting someone.

In other baby news, we received one of our shower gifts early and went ahead and opened it. BGR's crib now has a mattress. That's a key component, I'm betting:

Now we just need some bedding...
The cats are still mostly oblivious to the upcoming world changing event, which is good. We have even managed to keep them from jumping in the crib. Those empty cans are seriously effective.

Finally, the most exciting part of the last week - Mom and I attended the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, held at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. It was a long weekend (we were at skating from 9am to 10pm on Saturday, for example) but we had SO MUCH FUN. Now, a few photo highlights.


The top 5 women warming up before their long programs. Go Gracie! She was phenomenal. 
The top 5 men warming up on Sunday. Nathan Chen is the future and he was robbed. 3rd place for 4 quads? I don't think so.
Another personal highlight was when one of the pairs teams skated to a medley of Journey songs. I had to take a video:


Not the best quality, perhaps, but it was GREAT!

The cats spent most of the weekend missing me, possibly leading to this very unusual turn of events:
I'm pretty sure that's Calvin's spot. 

20 January 2016

Baby Bump Wednesday - Week 33

I almost forgot about Baby Bump Wednesday, dear readers! That would have just been sad. So now, without further ado, this week's photos.



That's my super comfy, around the house only sweater. An excellent Costco purchase, if I do say so myself.

Next week I promise there will be more content. Mom and I have a very exciting weekend planned, after all. Expect some photos and lots of excited commentary. :-)

And now, cats.

He's a weirdo.

13 January 2016

Baby Bump Wednesday - Week 32

I had one of my regularly scheduled doctor's appointments today - at this point, I'm having them every two weeks. In the last month, I'll have them weekly. Fun? In any case, the check-up went very well - I look completely healthy/normal as does Baby Girl R. All good news. Then I came home for the weekly photos:


Thanks to my dear friend Jill for the purple shirt - she just gave birth to their 2nd daughter in October and passed all her maternity clothes on to me, now that she's done with them.

Over the weekend, we also got some more prep work done on the nursery. I put up the decals I ordered a few weeks ago and I think they look super nice! The ribbon holding the curtains back is also new.


Also of note - the family heirloom rocking chair now has new cushions:


Finally, someone else had a medical check-up today. It was Calvin's turn to head for his yearly visit to the vet, this time with two shots - distemper and rabies. You may recall that Calvin HATES the car. His carrier is OK with him, however:


See? He climbed in there 100% voluntarily. However, once at the vet, he pretty much just hid under this chair:


Poor guy. At least he also got a clean bill of health.