Sunday, December 23, 2007

The End of the Year

Welcome to our last update of the year. Our Christmas letter is below, after this short update covering this past week.

Visions of sugarplums...

Last Sunday, Nanny came down to see Keelie, as she hadn’t seen her in a while, partly due to a trip to central Florida. Keelie was really happy to see her, and while Keelie was off of our hands, we got some chores done.

Keelie reached SIX MONTHS OF AGE during the week! Yay! That meant another trip to see her pediatrician. Our precious little girl was upset by the shots, but was over them quickly. Her reaction was subdued compared to her screaming getting her 4-month doses. Keelie also checked in at the 50th percentile in height, so she’s smack dab in the middle of average. Amazingly, though, she has more than recovered from the rough going early on with her weight. She’s now in the 75th percentile! There’s proof for sure that she has some of my blood.

Here's an example of how Keelie has grown. That picture above is Keelie at 26 weeks. The one below is Keelie at 10 weeks.

Here are some pics of Keelie in her bassinet.

This is where she has been sleeping.

Everything goes in the mouth.

Ain't she adorable?

Friday night, we started Keelie on “solid” food. Up until now, her diet had been almost nothing but breast milk.

There have been signs that she is mentally ready for variety. For example - she used to spit out some of her medicine if we weren’t careful, but now she not only will happily drink it, she will grab the oral syringe we use to give it to her and she’ll hold it herself.

She’s also reaching for our glasses and plates whenever she can. In this video below, you can see her trying to grab the spoon.

So that’s what we’ve been up to since our last update. Here’s our end-of-the-year message...

The Year in Review 2007: State of the Pellmans

We’re not sending out a lengthy Christmas letter this year, since everything we’d put in it had been right here in this blog, and as you’ve read, we’ve been occupied with the baby. Here’s our brief-as-can-be end of the years message...

Greetings to you and your kin!

The first half of the year was mainly about preparing for the arrival of Keelie. The second half of the year has mainly been about taking care of Keelie. Any parents who remember having their first child can relate, I’m sure. It is an event that changes everything. Keelie has five grandparents, nine actual aunts and uncles, and two cousins in the area, many of them right here in Anaheim. So, there has been lots of visiting with family.

There hasn’t really been too much excitement.

Professionally, I settled into my new position.

Didn’t have as much time for freelance writing.

We took a couple of trips, but no long out-of-state vacations. March was the trip to San Diego/La Jolla scheduled around a wedding. November was the trip to Philadelphia scheduled around a Bar Mitzvah.

Throughout the year, we got together with multiple times with three friend groups. Homecoming (our friend group from church) officially disbanded this year by absorbing into a larger group that has official meetings at church. We hope to still get together with everyone from Homecoming for lunch or something here and there. One of the families moved to Africa, so it is a little harder to meet up with them. Then there are the current and former Disneyland cast members that Donna keeps going as a group by mailing out invites to monthly get-togethers. We’ve made it about every three months or so. Finally, there’s a group of Disney enthusiasts (some of whom are professionals within the corporation) who get together for dinner and home theatre entertainment and sometimes field trips. We’ve only met up with them twice since Keelie was born, because the home theatre sessions aren’t really at the time or place for a baby. Each of these three groups have been great social support and fun and needed adult contact.

So far, there have only been three times we have gone somewhere without Keelie. The first was the “Weird Al” Yankovic concert in October. The second was the “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” anniversary event in November. Finally, there was our anniversary this month.

We did lose a family member - Kori’s paternal grandmother, who had been beyond interaction for a while. And, one of my heroes who I had been fortunate to have casually known over the years, died suddenly at a fairly young age.

Our legal matter, in which we are the plaintiffs, is continuing with the possibility of being resolved in 2008.

So, it wasn’t a big year for changes other than Keelie’s arrival, which was change enough!

Kori is a terrific mother. It has been such a pleasure to watch her take care of our little girl. Four years ago, Kori and I hadn’t even met in person yet. And here we are, married and proud parents.

Thanks for reading and thanks for your love, friendship, and support throughout 2007. We look forward to 2008 and pray the New Year will be a great one for you, full of health, happiness, and His love.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Three Years Since I Was Korinated

Check out these pictures of Keelie from back at the 5-month mark.

She has Daddy's feet!

She’s almost six months old now.

It really looks like Keelie will be crawling any day now. She has mastered sitting with little support, rolling over from any position, and gets up on her hands and knees. She also does her best to get off of the sofa and to the floor. She’ll turn over and “climb” the pillows on the sofa. I’ll try to get her to crawl, but so far she sticks to rolling to move from here to there, since she knows how to do that.

She really likes this thing, and we'll put her in there when she's fussy and nothing else is soothing her, and it usually works.

We have Keelie on a strict diet of breast milk... and flowers.

It was a Saturday evening two weeks ago when I last updated this blog. That day, I gave Kori one of her anniversary gifts early (we both maintain wish lists on, because it was a book on getting babies to sleep through the night. Then it occurred to me that the book needed a prequel... a DVD on how to find the time to read when you are a new parent!

Well, as it turns out, after Keelie finally fell asleep at 1am, she ended up sleeping straight through until 11am. Woo-hoo!!! She must have seen the book and realized the jig was up! Poor Kori, though, woke up a few times wondering if something was wrong. We would later learn that Keelie must have forgotten that she ever saw the book. Oh well.

Keelie's taste test says that there is no lead in the toys.

The World Famous More In-Demand Than Lion King Tickets Annual Keel Family Christmas Party was good this year.

The place quickly filled up with the usual suspects, most of them people from Pam & Bill's church. Keelie was getting lots of attention, of course, and it was nice to let other people share the joy of holding her, which gave us breaks.

Santa showed up and thrilled everyone...except for Keelie, who did NOT like being held by the jolly fellow, even though he had glasses and plenty of beard for her to grab hold.

As the title of this post indicates, we celebrated our third wedding anniversary. Woo-hoo! It was Kori's year to plan.

Kendra and Steve were very kind to watch Keelie as we dropped in on the Disneyland Resort. Being without pregnancy or height restrictions for the first time in a long time, we rode Space Mountain, the Matterhorn, and Big Thunder Mountain before catching the holiday fireworks show. Then we hopped parks and rode Tower of Terror.

Dinner was the Napa Rose in Disney’s Grand Californian. We'd eaten there once before. They are supposed to be really good with the wines, but there was no way Kori was drinking any and I wasn't going to drink any since she couldn't. Dinner was nice but took a while. It was late when we picked up Keelie.

Here's Kori posing with the dessert. Notice the writing in chocolate syrup.

Back at home, we exchanged our anniversary gifts.

Okay, because you're still reading this... here's another cute picture of Keelie to reward you.

We went to my office holiday party at the end of a workday. There was a yummy buffet, one drink per person included, and a raffle. We left after the raffle was over and before the dancing started.

...but not before we got some good pictures of Keelie in a Christmas dress.

Here we are fighting over the bottle.

Keelie grabs my necktie to draw me closer to "clarify" who should control the milk bottle.

Keelie raises her arms in victory.

She shows off her ruby shoes, telling us she can get us home with a couple of heel clicks.

Keelie got to see one of her doctors again, and he’s pleased with how she is doing. He told us we can start her on solid foods. We’re planning to after she sees her regular pediatrician again.

Last weekend, we made it to an annual Christmas get-together of some current and former Disneyland Custodial people. The group has monthly get-togethers at a Hometown Buffet, but this was at an apartment. Like the department, it is an eclectic mix of people.

Check out Keelie impersonating a fly trap...

The writing says "All Mommy wants for Christmas is a Silent Night". So true.

We kept up the tradition of gathering at the Keel home to decorate. That was this past Thursday. Last night, we went to a party at Dave & Jenn’s to congratulate Dave on his graduate degree. Way to go, Dave!

Here’s Keelie right after a workout.

This afternoon, we made Bill & Paula’s annual holiday party, which was good as always.

So, as you can see, we’re keeping very busy. Thanks for stopping by. You can comment here or send us a message at KEPellman [at] yahoo [com].

One last thing.

Since you have been so good, here’s video of Keelie doing “peek-a-boo”. She loves it. You can hear her laughing if you listen closely. Normally, she’ll pull the blanket over her face and pull it off by herself. But she’d already been doing it for a while this evening before we got the camera going, so I had to help out a little.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

It’s a Small World

It’s rushing around time, since we’re almost to the end of the year. It gets dark so early. I’m more of a summertime person. That goes back to my swimming and bodysurfing days. Kori is much more in to the Christmas season and all of the decorations and such. I’ll be glad when we pass up the Winter Solstice and the days can grow longer again.

That's Keelie sleeping off her milk coma. You can see the bottle on the left of the screen. Actually she tends to keep her naps really short.

Keelie continues to grab everything within reach and hold on to it, if not gum it. She loves using my thumbnail to scrape her gums. We think she’s teething, but then again we’ve thought that for a long time now. She loves her blankets. Remote controls and cell phones are often objects of her attention, since they seem to be so important to Mommie and Daddy. She’s been sucking on her fingers, and more and more is picking up thumb-sucking, though she likes keeping her hand/fingers parallel to the floor as she sucks on her thumb. Is that gangsta style?

She’s always had strong legs, to the point of being able to “stand” as long as we hold her so she doesn’t fall over. Her leg strength is also what allows her to suddenly push off of whoever is holding her and to try to take a dive, or squirm off of their laps in an attempt to reach the floor. She attempts to do pratfalls quite often by sitting up and rolling over.

Keelie has acquired a high-pitched squeal. It isn’t as pleasant as her babbles, but we suppose she has to explore her full vocal range.

For some reason, if we refer to the child safety seat for the car as the “Captain’s Seat”, she doesn’t mind going in to it. She used to pitch a fit when we told her we were putting her into “the car seat”. Definitely a first child. She’ll love getting siblings to boss around. Er, uh, I mean for whom she can be an example.

You wouldn’t know it from these pictures, but she does laugh and smile.

We bought a new digital camera to replace the one that was stolen in Philadelphia. No, we still haven’t so much as received a phone call back from National Car Rental at the Philadelphia Airport. Thanks, National. But on the bright side, American Express went ahead and covered the loss, which is cool. Yay, American Express!

Last Sunday afternoon, we made a Disneyland visit with Keelie, just as it started getting dark. We didn't take the stroller or wheelchair, but rather I carried Keelie in one of those chest-snuggly things. She was facing forward this time and it was the first time she was there awake. She held on to my thumbs most of the time. We just went in to walk around a little, say hi to a few people, check a couple shops, and ride the holiday version of It's a Small World.

For some reason, the camera flash made it look like I was wearing neon (Kori says it is for safety.). Can you spot the milk bottle in that picture?

For those of you who don’t know, Disney has always made a very big deal about the holiday season, but Small World Holiday started up ten years ago. I already wrote about the history of Disneyland holiday celebrations here.

Keelie seemed to like the stimulation.

This picture below is Keelie at 23 Weeks!

She seems a little surprised. Maybe she was still recovering from Small World?

That’s Keelie with her Uncle Troy.

I think Keelie is signaling that she’s ready for a larger bottle. (It’s closed.)

She’s able to sit up on her own, but after a short while will attempt some stunt.

Yesterday, we went shopping at Wal-Mart, and we happened to bump into Keelie’s Puma and Aunt Kirby. I would have found that to have been such a fluke, only I know of people who have bumped into each other on the other side of the world. It’s a small world, indeed.

Here’s one of the things we got her at the store. I put it together and we stuck her in there, and immediately she picks the least interesting thing as the thing on which to focus.

Maybe she's overheard her mother calling her father Eeyore?

Finally, here’s some video Kori took of Keelie babbling, since pictures might not be enough for you to enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by. Comment here or write us at KEPellman [at] yahoo [dot] com.

There are lot of parties and get-togethers coming up. See you there!