No costume for our munchkin (sorry to disappoint some of you), but here she is in her cute Halloween outfit from Great Aunt Kel-lee.
Enjoy your candy!
And of course… the obligatory bath towel photos:
Anna turned 2 months old today. Here is a picture of her now:
YES, we are finally getting smiles and coos out of her! She’s growing so fast. She’s somewhere around 8.5 to 9 lbs now. For comparison, here she was at one month, about 6.5 lbs then:
Since I was in 3rd grade my family has taken a yearly trip up to Lake Superior’s North Shore, where we rent a cabin for the long MEA weekend every October. (Yes, I still call it “MEA”, although I’m pretty sure it’s called something different, and John is now the only member of the family who actually gets the extra two days off!) I look forward to this weekend all year long, as it is always fun, refreshing and relaxing!
This year was Anna’s first trip; our friends’ younger son’s first trip (he was born 6 days after Anna); and Traci’s first trip in three years – finally, the whole family was together again! Our friends Angela and Luke and we were a little apprehensive about sharing the cabin we have this year, as there would be three kids under the age of 2, and we didn’t know how it would go, but it ended up working out really well – only a few screams during the night! Anna did have some screaming fits (2 1/2 hours of inconsolable crying) due to her new acid reflux medicine (which we have now stopped), but she tired herself out so much that she ended up sleeping really well at night.
Other than that, it was the usual relaxing fun. We took a trip to Gooseberry Falls, where Beth and Jeff took some beautiful engagement pictures, thanks to Mom and Angela. John and Luke walked around with the babies in their front carriers, since Anna was finally over the “minimum 8 lbs.” weight limit. We also all enjoyed walking down to the shore from our cabins (it’s about 20 feet away), looking out at the sun and moon shining on the lake, and viewing the passing ships through Dad’s scope.
There were a lot of cribbage games played, as well as two games of Bowls. Everyone there will dread being my partner next year: I got last place both times! Late Saturday night brought a competitive and cutting game of Spoons (in which I also placed last!), leaving Luke the champion, although there has been some talk that Jeff was also worthy of that title, and Angela also came close.
And last but oh-so-definitely not least, there was the food and drink. The dinners were all delicious as usual, and the Halloween sugar cookies were the typical hit, but the snacks are always the highlight. We all had (quite a bit more than) our share of caramel corn and puppy chow (mmmmmm…… puppy chow…), and to top it off, Saturday afternoon was spent on a new tradition: beer tasting! We each had brought 3 bottles of a brew, and although An and I couldn’t drink as much as we’d like (we’re both breastfeeding and/or pumping), we all had a great time trying and rating 9 different beers. (The “winner” of the beers was Magic Hat #9, in case you’re curious.) We also had some pretty sleepy – and tipsy – people at Mass that evening!
We had a fantastic time up on the shore again this year, and already are looking forward to next year!
A few months ago John and I were honored to be asked to be godparents to our good friends Brian and Briana’s daughter. Hailey was born two and a half weeks before Anna – we are so excited to have another baby girl in the “family” so close to her age.
On October 10 we participated in (and celebrated!) Hailey’s baptism with her parents and their families. We had a great time and are so happy for her. Welcome to the Catholic Church, little one!
Many people have asked us why we chose the name Anna Kateri for our daughter. And now, here’s the answer!
“Anna” had always been on our list of names, although we had thought we’d go for something longer that could be shortened (i.e., Anastacia). In the Bible, Anna is a prophetess who, along with Simeon, recognizes the Christ child for who he is: the Savior of the world (Luke 2:36-38). The name “Anna” also had importance for us from our history of miscarriages, since it is connected to both “Ann(e)” and “Hannah”. Saint Ann was the mother of Mary, grandmother of Jesus, and it is said that she had sorrows in her life from either miscarriages and/or infertility issues. Hannah, in the Bible, has great difficulty conceiving as well, but eventually bears Samuel, whom Hannah consecrates to God and who becomes a prophet. There is also an order of religious sisters from Scotland with the name “Hannah’s Tears”; we have been in contact with them since our second miscarriage and they have sent up many prayers for our family!
“Kateri” was something new; we hadn’t had the name on our list originally. Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was a Mohawk (Iroquois) woman who is in the process of beatification (becoming a Saint) in the Catholic Church. “Kateri” is “Catherine” in Mohawk. You can read her story here and here. Blessed Kateri was somewhat of a patron saint of Catholic Youth Camp, where John and I met (one of the buildings was named after her), which is why we ended up choosing this beautiful name.
Putting these two names together was purely John’s idea. He gets all the credit. 🙂 We were in our car, heading home from an ER visit in April, and as we discussed names John said, “Anna Kateri”. I thought it sounded beautiful and didn’t say much more in the car. The next morning when I used the name, John teased me, “Oh, is that what we decided?” Apparently I had decided on my own; thankfully John loved the name, too!
She did end up with a fairly “vanilla” name (you know she isn’t the only Anna Rogers), but like her Grandpa Rob pointed out: “Scientific proof (as if any were needed) that my granddaughter is unique in all the world”:
I don’t know if I’ve said this anywhere on the blog yet, but we are so thankful to God for the gift of our beautiful daughter! And, of course, now we can’t imagine our little Anna Kateri with any other name.
The first weekend in October was a big (and busy) weekend for us. Saturday afternoon was the last baby shower for me and Anna, and it was wonderful, thanks to hosts Kay and Hallie. We had a great time seeing friends and family, ate some delicious food (well… Anna had milk), and were given many beautiful gifts.
That evening was spent with both sides of our families eating pizza and relaxing with each other, while of course fawning over the baby. It’s always nice to spend time with both sides of our family; we love them all!
Any free time I had that weekend was all spent preparing for the baptism celebration on Sunday afternoon, and there was no way I could have possibly pulled it off without our family helping out – they were all lifesavers (especially Traci, who helped all three days and never complained!). After a late Saturday night and an early Sunday morning, everything was finally ready, and we were off to the church for mass (where Anna was passed from family member to family member all hour long) and, finally, the baptism itself.
The ceremony was beautiful; she was awake for most of it but didn’t cry (lucky us!), and it was officiated by a priest who is a friend of the John’s family and had been praying for Anna throughout the pregnancy. We were so happy he got to be the one to baptize her! Anna’s Godparents are Mike and Hallie, and we have no doubt that they will be excellent examples and leaders in the faith for their niece. Thank you for agreeing to be her sponsors!
Finally, our daughter was freed from Original Sin! As John likes to say, “Now she can only commit unoriginal sins.” 🙂
After the baptism we had a gathering at our house for lunch, cake, and a celebration of Anna’s life (both spiritual and physical) with family and friends. It was also intended to be a thanksgiving of sorts for our loved ones. We are so lucky to have our “miracle” baby and feel so blessed to have all of these wonderful people in our lives who took the time to support us and pray for us over the past few years. You have all helped us reach this happy point in our lives and we will be forever thankful for you all. God is so good!
My aunt Kel-lee and her son Xander were able to come up to Minnesota for a week in September (unfortunately my uncle Rob had to stay home). They spent the second weekend of their trip with us (and Traci and my mom) and we all had a great time! We had dinner at Perkins (thanks, Mom!), watched and/or played many, many games of Chutes & Ladders, ate cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory (thanks, Kel!), and visited the MOA and Nickelodeon Universe so Xander could be a daredevil on the bumper cars (his favorite ride) and see Dora.
The best part of the weekend for John and myself was the “date night” that the other three offered us. Kel-lee, Traci, and Mom all watched (spoiled?) Anna for one evening. And what did John and I do? Go to the movies, you say?
We took a nap.
Not kidding. We were originally going to go see a movie in the afternoon, but we were so tired that we decided to stay home and nap. It was the best movie we ever saw. 🙂 We did go out for dinner to the Chianti Grill, where we had a gift certificate (over a year old…), and it was delicious and relaxing. We had a great time afterward as well, driving around random streets in our neighborhood to look at the lights of downtown St. Paul. To top it off, cheesecake was waiting for us at home. Thank you again to the three of you who watched Anna that night! We really enjoyed our night “away”!
It was sad to have Kel and Xander leave again – we never know how long it will be until they’re back in town – but we will look forward to their next visit! Love you guys! 🙂