Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Annelise Marie

Annelise is 5 weeks old now, she turned a month old last Friday.  This kid is amazing.  She smiles, does the silent laugh, and is just freaking hilarious.  Sometimes I'll be laughing at something she did and she'll give me this big grin and laugh with me.  I also love when she unlatches while she's eating and smiles at me.  This usually precedes her falling asleep very quickly, but it's really cute anyways.  Annelise knows my voice and she definitely knows John's voice.  She loves her daddy so much, she just stares at him adoringly.

Annelise is also very vocal.  She's been making noises that sound like 'Hi' since she was born, but now she makes even more noises.  We have whole conversations during her 3am party time (I wish it was 3pm, but that's ok) and I cherish them.  Her whole body is noisy, my precious baby girl can burp and fart with the best of them.  Her daddy is so proud.  When Annelise really lets one loose, you can hear it from across the room.

She holds her head up well and follows objects with her eyes.  She especially loves watching me eat peanut m&ms.  I'm a great mom, huh?  I'm just waiting for her to roll over, I know I'm going to cry.

We talked to my parents on the webcam today, so Annelise had her first experience with being 'on TV'.  She slept through most of it, of course!  I'm putting all of my pics onto Shutterfly right now, but it takes a while to upload almost 150 pictures!!  Hopefully I'll be able to post some pics on here tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Winter Clothes

As a Texas Girl, my idea of a winter coat is apparently laughable. Literally, Mandy and Johnny laughed when they saw my 'coat'. In preparation for moving to Japan, we asked for money from everyone for Christmas and planned on buying coats and stuff while we're here in Indiana.

Yesterday we went to the mall and I had my first true case of sticker shock. Over $200 for a freaking coat? And it's not leather? I ended up getting a Columbia parka at JC Penney for a price that didn't scare me, but John's still looking for one. Then we went to Macy's to look for more coats and boots. John was skeptical that I'd find anything in the shoe department, but I ended up getting 2 pairs of boots for under $100!! I got a black pair and a camel-ish pair, I'm so excited about them! I still need some hiking boots *shudder*. Hiking boots represent everything I hate. They're not pretty and you use them outside, in the cold, in difficult walking conditions. I don't like the cold. I don't like being outside. I don't like traipsing around the great outdoors. I love John. Yeah, that's why I'm buying hiking boots, because I love my husband.

So now I'm almost set for the move. Except for coming to terms with leaving my mommy after living with her for 7 months and not being able to text or call my sisters whenever I want and not having Target or Chick-fil-a again. Oh well, as long as John and Annelise are there I'll find a way to survive.

Oh yeah, and my baby is so freaking adorable. It amazes me how much she's grown just since we left Texas!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We had a wonderful first Christmas as a family of three. Christmas with the Sylvesters was a lot of fun, Annelise got some adorable outfits from my aunts & uncles and I got a really cool photo album in the gift exchange. For the second time since John joined the family, he got Axe body spray in the gift exchange.

At Christmas with the Johnsons, John got a puffy vest to match all the other guys in the family. We have to exchange it for a bigger size, but he can't wait to wear it.

Monday we went to Wichita Falls to get Annelise medically cleared to go overseas. It took a while, but we got that all taken care of and now we're just waiting on her passport to come in. We also got to visit our friends, the Kelly family, which was really nice.

Christmas Eve was very busy and very fun, we finally got the Christmas tree up that day. That night we went to my cousin's house for the Zmolik Christmas party. We only stayed for a couple of hours, but we got to see lots of cousins and Annelise met her great-great-aunts, my Meme's sisters. After the party, we went to Midnight Mass to start Annelise's first Christmas off the right way. Mass wasn't as full as usual, so we all got to sit together along with my aunts, uncles, and cousins. John, Kyle, and Trent dressed up so that they all matched my dad, it was so much fun seeing his face when he realized what they had done. He laughed so hard that he had tears falling down his face!

We woke up Christmas morning and opened presents, Granny and Papa were even there! Annelise got a tutu from us, a playmat from Santa, and an awesome wooden puzzle from her aunts & uncles! John and I asked for money from everyone, we have to buy warm winter clothes for Japan. We spent all day at home and then went to Granny's house that night to play games.

Annelise spent her one-month birthday with the girls, we went shopping on the day after Christmas. She was really good and had lots of fun shopping at Wal-Mart and Target. My mom, sister, 2 aunts, and youngest cousins left that day for Iowa.

Yesterday we flew up to Indiana to see John's family. The flight went well and Annelise was great, again. We're having lots of fun up here and Annelise has met a great-aunt, her great-grandmother, and a cousin already. More aunts, uncles, and cousins will be met later in the week.

I have lots of pictures to post but I left my camera cord in Texas and my parents' computer hates blogger. I'll get it all figured out eventually and then make one big picture post. Until then, check myspace, facebook, or just stare at the Christmas card we sent!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Letter 2008

Howdy All!!

2008 has gone by quickly for the Minear family and has been busy enough that weʼve finally gotten around to writing a Christmas letter.

We started the year saying good-bye as many of our friends left us behind in Clovis. We were sad to see them go and hopeful that weʼd soon follow their lead. We made a trip to Indiana in February and John was able to do a lot of genealogical research and even meet a distant cousin!

Over Easter weekend, Angela visited John in San Angelo, where he was taking a 7-week-long class, and shared the good news that we were expecting our first child on November 22. The next ten days were a whirlwind; after we called and e-mailed everyone we know with the baby news, John found out that he was accepted to Weapons School. After another round of phone calls and e-mails, we got one more piece of amazing news, we were leaving Cannon AFB and moving to Misawa Air Base in Japan! Yes, that all really happened over a space of ten days!

John got back to Clovis just in time for Angelaʼs first prenatal appointment and we got to see our little Nugget on the ultrasound screen. He left for two weeks in Las Vegas just as the movers got to the house and Angela experienced her first Air Force move on her own. Thanks to help from a few friends, everything went smoothly. Now weʼre just waiting to see if everything survives the move to Misawa! Angela moved in with her parents in Ennis and John spent his two-week ʽvacationʼ in Ennis, building a workbench for Angelaʼs dad and working on the ranch. It was hard work, but he needed the time outside in preparation for six months in the vault at school.

John moved to Nellis AFB for the remainder of the year, and Angela spent her time in Ennis. We met up in Huntsville, Alabama, at the end of July when John was there for a class trip and Angela was at a family reunion in Tennessee. She drove three hours just to see him, but thatʼs what you do in the military. The next time we saw each other was for Labor Day weekend in September, and by that time we knew that we were having a girl. We had lots of fun together in Vegas and even got to see another Cirque du Soleil show thanks to a great military discount.

John missed out on seeing Angelaʼs belly growing from day to day, so he was very surprised the next time he saw her! She started having contractions two days after the babyʼs due date and by the time John got to Ennis on the day before Thanksgiving, Angela was in full-blown labor. He got to the hospital just two hours before our beautiful little girl, Annelise Marie, was born by c-section. She weighed 8 pounds, 1 ounce and was 21 inches long. We came home from the hospital two days later and John got to spend a few days with us before returning to school.

And now itʼs December. John just graduated from Weapons School and is now a Weapons Officer. The graduation was a lot of fun and he even received an award! Weʼre packing up here and driving back to Ennis for Christmas, and are then flying up to Indiana for New Yearʼs. Weʼre coming back to Texas just in time to attend a wedding (one of Angelaʼs cousins) and have Annelise baptized, and then weʼll be leaving for Japan on January 21. We canʼt wait to start that adventure!

Annelise is amazing. Her smile is beautiful and although she looks likes Angelaʼs baby pictures, she has Johnʼs mouth. We will be communicating with the grandparents, aunts, and uncles by webcam so they donʼt miss out on all of the fun stuff while weʼre in Japan. Sheʼs discovering her hands and stretches all the time, Angelaʼs pretty sure she did that in utero, as well. Annelise is a little wiggle-worm and weʼre enjoying discovering all of her quirks. Annelise just went to the doctor, and at 3 weeks has grown an inch and now weighs 9 pounds, 4 ounces!

Johnʼs going to be very busy in 2009, work will take up a lot of his time and Angela & Annelise will take up the rest. Heʼs hoping to find some time to paint and as a family weʼre looking forward to making trips around Japan to see our new home. Angela is going to spend all of her time chasing Annelise, which is already shaping up to be quite a job. She also canʼt wait to get back into base life and make new friends in Japan. Angela misses the volunteer work she did at Cannon and is hoping to find some fun stuff to do at Misawa. Annelise is going to be spending her first year doing all kinds of things, sheʼll be travelling across the world before sheʼs even two months old! She canʼt wait to move to a new place and make friends, although it will be weird for her to be surrounded by people sheʼs not related to!

Check this page regularly for updates, weʼll do our best to post stories of what weʼre doing and plenty of baby pictures. We love to get comments from our friends and family, so drop us a line!

Merry Christmas,
John, Angela & Annelise

Friday, December 12, 2008


Here goes!  I've had a journal at since college, but decided to move to a new site once Annelise was born.  Hopefully posting pictures will be easier here and I won't have to worry about clogging up my friends' pages with pics and having to do LJ-cuts, I was always bad at those!  Not that I'm completely leaving LJ, I'm just moving my personal blog over.

Stay tuned for pictures and a Christmas newsletter!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Annelise's birth story, posted in LJ and reposted here...

I got my first contraction at 4:30 Monday morning (11/24), I can't believe it's already been a week!  They were irregular and uncomfortable so I went about my day.  I told my husband when we talked that morning and then told my mom.  She and I were set to run errands, so me having contractions sped her up in getting her stuff done.  We went all over the place and got lots of stuff done.  That night they were about 5 minutes apart so I decided to lay down and rest, hoping to leave for the hospital overnight.

No hospital trip, the contractions got further apart and irregular and stayed that way all day Tuesday.  Tuesday night they were more intense, I had to breathe through them.  At about 12:45 Wednesday morning, my water broke.  I felt something that I hoped was the baby's head 'clicking' into place and then felt a gush.  I had enough notice to take the pillow from between my legs and was very grateful for the advice that had me sleeping with a plastic tablecloth under my sheets for the last few weeks.  I soaked a couple of pads and pairs of underwear before realizing that the fluid was greenish.  Knowing that meant that she had passed meconium and being a first-time mom, we rushed to the hospital so she could be monitored.  That turned out to be a good and not-so-good idea.  Mom seemed to take forever getting ready, but we finally made it to the hospital and checked in around 2.

My doctor wasn't on call, but she had left instructions to be notified if I came in.  I was dilated to a 2 (after not being dilated AT ALL the week before) and Annelise was at a -1 station.  I was really excited and settled in for a long labor.  I'm glad I went in for monitoring, Annelise's heartrate was weird all night/morning.  My doc came in around 8 and checked me, I was dilated to a 3.  She asked if I wanted an epidural and I said yes, I was so tired from 2 nights of contractions.  I knew it would slow things down so she said if I wanted one right away she'd start me on pitocin to keep things moving.  So it was good that I was being monitored because Annelise's heartrate was wonky the entire time, but I know that if I had stayed at home I would have gone without the epi and pit longer.

We spent all day watching CSI and the home shopping channels and answering the phone.  My sisters and aunts called and texted all day, my mom was always on the phone with them!!

My husband had changed his flight and got to the hospital around 7:30.  By that time I was an 8 and Annelise hadn't moved down any more.  The doc said that because of her heartrate and mine (mine was high and hers wasn't fluctuating with the contractions) we might want to consider a section.  John and I talked and we realized that we would rather have a section then instead of waiting longer and being forced into one.  We really just wanted to make the decision ourselves.

My section went well, my nurse-anesthetist was awesome and so was the doctor.  I shook the entire time and all I could think about was 'How is she going to make a straight incision when I can't stop shaking?'  They got Annelise out and said that she was a girl.  We had been told she was 'most likely' a girl so I'd been saving all of my receipts.  When I heard the news I said 'Good, now I don't have to take all the clothes back!'  They showed her to me and then got her all cleaned up.  She was placed next to my head before they took her to the nursery and I gave her lots of kisses and told her I loved her.  John went to the nursery with her and she apparently kept her eyes locked on him the whole time.  She was 21 inches long and 8 lbs, 1 oz.

After they took her to the nursery the NA asked if I wanted 'the relaxing shot' and the next thing I remember, I'm in the recovery room.  They brought Annelise to me there and she nursed, latching on with no problem.  She stayed with me for an hour and then went back to the nursery for a while.  They moved me to a regular room and I got to see my parents and sisters.  

Annelise was brought back to me in the middle of the night and we've been inseparable ever since.  She had some congestion in the hospital, but my husband is now thoroughly trained in the art of the bulb syringe and she's great.  We came home Friday afternoon and are enjoying being out of the hospital.  Annelise is feeding well, my milk came in last night.  She's lost almost a pound since birth, but now that my milk's in I'm not worried about it.  Her color is great, no sign at all of jaundice.  She's smart and amazing and I am so in love.  I love watching her sleep because she's so peaceful but I hate it when she sleeps because then I can't see her beautiful eyes.

John went back to Vegas yesterday morning and it sucks not having him here, but he'll be done next week and then we get to be a family!  Annelise loves him so much and he's an amazing father.  He's been my biggest cheerleader, talking me down when I was stressed about her eating and talking me up when we have a good day.  We had a rough night Saturday night, turns out she didn't like me putting lanolin on my nipples, and she spent a lot of time screaming.  Once we jumped that hurdle, I mentioned that it's times like those that parents shake their babies, when they feel like nothing is working.  He looked at me and said, 'I guess I can see how that happens, but I didn't want to shake her at all, I just wanted to hold her close and figure out how to make her feel better.'  Not that I ever worried about him shaking her, but it just goes to show what a great man I married.