Thursday, December 26, 2013

9 Months

Dearest Kinley,

**very late and without pictures.  I will add them later.  I am out of storage on my computer and we had quite the external hard drive debacle, so when that is resolved I can get pictures off of the camera and onto here.  But, I figured, since you are about a week away from your 10 month post, I should just publish this anyway...ugh.

You are now 9 months, and I am late in writing this again.  We had your well child appointment last week.  Afterward, I had mixed emotions.  You had only gained 1 oz in 3 months.  You are 14 lbs, 2 oz.  Basically, a tiny little girl.  If we are being realistic, an ounce is barely anything, so essentially, you have not gained weight.  This is heartbreaking to hear as a mom.  It is my primary job to keep you fed and healthy.  As for what you are eating, I don't feel that it is less than other children your age.  You still nurse 6-8 times a day (depending on how many times you wake during the night-more on that later) on the weekends and days I am home with you, and on daycare days you nurse at least 4 times and have two bottles at daycare.  You are also eating solids, though since your appointment we are fattening up what you are eating.  Breakfast is now toast with peanut butter, butter, or cream cheese along with a fruit.  Lunch is some version of what we are eating-with butter, oil, or cream cheese added.  Dinner is similar to lunch.  I am trying to give you what we are eating, so last night when we were eating steak burritos, you ate steak, cheese, and veggies.  We used to give you water with your meals in a cup, but now we are giving you breastmilk in your cup.  You are doing a great job feeding yourself with your fingers and are often using a pincer grasp.  You make most of it to your mouth, other than the pieces you throw to the ground.  You love meals now, and when you see food you either get very excited or angry that it is not right in front of you.

The other thing from your appointment that was disappointing to hear is that your hips are "loose".  I am an early intervention teacher, but not a physical therapist, so I don't have a very good grasp on what this means.  You still do not like to bear weight, though you have been doing it more.  We give you a lot of time on the floor, and since your appointment we have stopped using the exersaucer.  When you do stand you don't seem very sturdy and often lean forward.  This has been something I have been concerned about for a while, but now that you are 9 months, I worry a bit more.  It might just mean that you will walk a little later, so I just keep telling myself it will be fine; you will be fine.  It's just hard not to worry.  As for other motor milestones, you still sit well, and have been catching yourself when you are about to fall.  You roll all over the place, and you are fast!  This past week you started to do some army crawling forward, not far, but you are figuring out how to move forward, so that is all that matters to me!  You have been starting to use a pincer grasp and have also started to clap.

This month also marked your very first Christmas and also your very first time with a stomach bug.  We all got sick, so Christmas was not the joyful day I had hoped it would be.  I made it to Christmas Eve before the sickness hit me, but unfortunately that kind of derailed all the plans I had for your first major holiday.  Despite all of the sickness, I was most thankful that you were finally feeling better on the day and that your dad and I were sick on different days so we could trade off parenting duties.  As for Christmas, you got a lot of fun gifts!  I am glad that you now have some different and more age appropriate toys to play with!

You are such a joy and we could not love you more.  Each day you delight us with you joyful personality and spunk!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

5 weeks?

So, due to a very irregular period...I just don't know my due date for sure.  I went to the doctor last week to confirm the pregnancy and to meet a new midwife at a new clinic.  I am excited that this will be a completely different experience for me, and I am hoping a very positive one.  A new hospital, not knowing the sex, and a new little human.  I am debating doing bump photos, mainly because my last bump isn't totally gone.  This is good and bad.  Good because I think it will take people longer to notice, and bad because my body is not where I would like it to be before pregnancy changes everything again!  I have an appointment in three weeks where I will have an ultrasound (never had an early one before) just to be sure of the due date.  I am not totally sure that I want to do this, and I think it is up to me.  It will be a longer appointment, gathering past pregnancy information and overall health  background information.  I am debating on whether or not to tell people before this appointment (work especially) since it is not normal for me to have two appointments within a month of each other.  It makes me think they may catch on.  We might tell people around Thanksgiving, which is sooner than we though, however, it would be the longest we have waited to tell family.  I am starting today to feel a little nauseous, so that stinks.  I have to make sure that I eat enough to support the growing baby, make milk, and of course keep myself healthy.  Feeling sick does not help me eat crossing my fingers!  As for the rest of the family, Caleb is home sick today, and so Kinley and myself are here with him.  He had a very high fever yesterday so he has to be home today (and of course he is feeling just fine now).  So, I am enjoying a day with my babies!

Saturday, November 9, 2013


It should be no surprise that I love having children, and I am sure that I have mentioned before how it has always been my dream to have three.  This is something that Eric and I talked about at length, and we both decided that three was going to be our number.  So, with that knowledge, we talked about when to "try".  We decided that the perfect time to try would be next summer.  Kinley would be about 16 months then, and then would be just over two when the baby would come.  It sounded lovely.  I was glad to have a plan...and one that would work with our budget (no more than two kids in daycare at a time for one).  I haven't divulged a lot about budgeting here, but, to say the least it has been stressful, always.  I wish that was a worry we did not have, but it has been.  It seems that when we start to figure it out, something comes out of the blue.  For example, we just were starting to feel a little more comfortable and had a good plan on how to get some more money in our savings account, when we found mold in our bathroom.  So, now, all that "extra" is being used to remodel the bathroom.  Sure, it will be nice to have a beautiful and relaxing space, but it would also have been nice to have a bit of a buffer in savings.

I recently heard someone speak on television, to be honest, I think it was one of those televised sermons...weird.  However, the message keeps playing back to me.  The jist was that we are given exactly what we need.  Simple.  So, if you think you need more, you don't because you have what you need for the moment...and maybe one day you WILL need more, but then you will have it.  This is annoying, yet true.  For some reason, we are always hit with these things...bathroom remodels, needing new tires, broken vehicles, etc...just when we have a little bit more.  Okay, I have now gotten off track, but, it will all make sense in a moment.

So, let's backtrack to the night before last.  I had been super tired lately, falling asleep on the couch, which was out of the ordinary for me lately.  I had just been feeling a little "off".  So, knowing my body and myself, I took a pregnancy test.  It was positive.  I was in shock.  Serious shock.  I held it together and went back out to the living room and sat down and watched television with Eric.  I was trying to figure out how to tell him.  Should I do something cute and creative?  Should I just blurt it out?  I did nothing.  I didn't know what to do.  I wasn't sure how to tell him.  I knew that we had talked about this, and I also knew that we weren't being too it is always a possibility.  However, not to give too much information, with two kids and very little sleep there weren't many chances that could result in...THIS.  I took another test in the middle of the night, just to be sure.  Stupid of course, but, I was shocked.  In the morning, I woke up thinking about all things stressful, and all things baby.  I figured out a due date...but still guessing on that since my periods have been horribly irregular.  I could not sleep, and I could not keep this to myself.  I woke Eric up to tell him and his response was quiet.  I knew he would need to process this, just as I still need to.

Since that initial shock (that still resonates) we have decided that this is of course a blessing, and that though it is not ideal, it is going to be, so we need to embrace it.  So, now I am thinking about carseats, daycare, two kids in diapers, a baby that will no longer be the "baby" very soon, and a big brother that will get even less attention now.  I am also thinking about the morning/all day sickness that is soon to come and food aversions, and how to keep this from people for 12 weeks...depending on how far along I am now.  According to my calculations, I will be due July 21st.  However, if things repeat themselves, this baby is likely to come about 2-3 weeks early.  There is a lot to think about, a lot to decide, and a lot to look forward to.  We want to be surprised this time, I want to switch providers and delivery hospital, figuring out where the baby will sleep (most likely our room for quite a while--stupid split level) and Eric already mentioned the words...minivan.  Ugh.  So much to do, and I am sure that this is going to go very fast!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

8 Months

Dearest Kinley,

It is so cliche to say, and I think I have mentioned this a few times, but the days are long and the years are short.  This time has been flying by, and I can hardly believe you are already 8 months.  You are such a joy and delight in my life and always bring a smile to my face.  You are such an important part of our family already and I wonder what life was like before you came.  In fact, I can barely remember what life was like before children at all.  I do know that I must have wasted a lot of time, because now it is such a rare thing.  So, back to you.  I think I will look at a few major categories this time:  sleep (or lack of), eating, milestones, and activities.

So, sleep.  Well, you are on a much better schedule, however, have not been sleeping through the night.  I am sure that you are capable, but, just miss me at night (or that is what I tell myself).  I know I could probably get you to sleep if I let you cry it out, but I am just not cut out for that.  I can let you be if you are just fussing and sometimes you will fall asleep on your own.  However, most of the time I nurse you back to sleep.  You are eating at this time, not just using the boob for comfort, so I wonder if you are just hungry.  It is very easy to get you back to sleep.  A typical day is waking around 6:30 am, napping around 9:00 (when at home) or 10:00 (when at daycare), waking up around 11:00 for lunch.  You nap again around 12:30-1:00 and wake up around 3:00 (depending on how long your first nap was).  You then go to sleep around 6:30 pm.  You have been waking about once in the middle of the night, around 12:30 am pr 1:00 am.  Of course, sometimes you wake more than others...but, at least it is easy to get you back to sleep.  

You are now a much better eater.  We had a bout of constipation this month, so you got well acquainted with prunes, and liked them.  You have eaten prunes, pumpkin, squash, raspberries, mixed fruit, pumpkin pancakes, pears, oatmeal, yogurt, cottage cheese, avocado, applesauce, cantaloupe,  eggs, and sweet potato.  You have liked most of these foods and seem to be interested in feeding yourself.  We gave you some pumpkin pancakes, and you were able to grab the small pieces and get a few in your mouth. I feel like I have been slacking in the food department and need to start giving you more finger foods.  I think you are ready for them since you are moving the food around in your mouth well with your tongue and are munching food with your gums.  

You have been rolling for a while and roll around the room to get to what you want.  Your fine motor skills have improved, making it more important to make sure the floors are always clean-since you are most intrigued by small things you find!  You have not figured out how to get into sitting yet, but are able to get out of sitting by falling forward and getting on your tummy.  You have started to show more interest in standing and have been bearing some weight on your legs.  You have started to be frustrated when you can't get to things you want and have been pushing up on your arms and lifting your tummy off the ground.  I feel like crawling will come soon...but for now I am relishing in the ability to sit you down and leave you for a few moments to go to the bathroom or get something from another room, since my ability to do this is fleeting.  You have also started using a super silly grin and smile and laugh when you see your favorite people.  I love how much your eyes twinkle and your face lights up when you see me.  You have been doing more babbling, though overall, you are pretty quiet.  A few weeks ago you were around another baby that is one week older than you and it was adorable to hear you talk to each other and it was funny how similar you sounded.  You now hold a toy in each hand and have started to bang them together.  You are also learning to imitate, so we have started signing with you.  So far we are showing you the signs for "milk", "more" and "all done".  You like to imitate shaking your head "no" and banging of any sort.  

You started to sit in a high chair at restaurants this month, which is great to free up space and not have to have someone be responsible for holding you.  However, you still sometimes complain so we pick you up.  You have been showing a lot of interest in the dog and cats, and for some reason they let you grab their hair and skin without moving away.  I guess they are that starved for attention!  You are starting to be able to play on the floor for a few minutes alone and with your brother, without getting too upset.  You love his toys the most, and always make a beeline for them.  So far, he has been pretty good at letting you touch them-as long as he is able to indicate which ones are just for him, which I am totally okay with.  You are not allowed to touch his blankie, for one, and I can compromise with that.  About your relationship with your brother, I am sure I have mentioned this before, but this is the single most exciting thing to watch grow and develop.  You and your brother will always have your own relationship, separate from the ones you have with us as your parents.  I love to see how kind and sweet you are to each other-though I am sure it will not always be so sweet all the time.  The other day I was sitting on the couch and looked down to see you two holding hands, on your own.  My heart just melted at that moment.  Parenting is sometimes challenging, and even more so with two of you little buggers, however, I am doing my best to love all the moments, because they are too fleeting.  You are starting to figure out how certain toys work, and already have stopped just mouthing toys-you now experiment with them to see what they do.  It is so much fun to see your brain work.  

This month marked your first Halloween.  I love holidays, and feel like I don't always give them the attention they deserve, or that I would like to.  When I was little my mom-your grandma-made a big deal about every holiday.  She made my costumes, decorated the house, we made crafts, it was a big hoopla and I loved it.  So, for this halloween I tried to make it super fun.  We painted pumpkins, made crafts, carved pumpkins, and dressed up in costumes.  You, my dear, go to sleep very early.  When it came time for trick-or-treating, you were already out so you did not even make it into your costume on the actual day, luckily I had gotten some photos of you a few days beforehand.

So I think that sums up most of what is new with you...but really, what is most important is just how much you are loved and just how much I love watching you grow and learn each day.  I can never steal enough kisses from you and can't wait to get home to snuggle with you every day after work!  I love you baby girl...more than you know!



Sunday, October 20, 2013

My first baby.

Oh, Zoey.  You were my first.  The first one I fed.  The first one I cared for.  The first one I rushed to the doctor when ill.  You were the first that taught me to think of others before myself.  Now, you have been demoted to one of the last that I think of, and for that I feel terribly.  It seems that the littles have taken over our house, and somehow you have taken it all in stride.

The year was 2002.  I had just graduated college.  I had just gotten an apartment where I would be living alone.  I knew that it was time to get a pet.  I went to the shelter, and I met you.  You were clingy from the start.  I hugged and held you for a while, then decided I would go home and think about it.  As I put you back in the cage, you stood up on your hind feet (all 1 pounds of you), grabbed the bars with your little paws, and mewed very loudly.  You broke my heart and I immediately asked the shelter workers to hold you for me so I could go get kitty related things in order to bring you home.  I even picked up a copy of "Cats for Dummies".  I got back that afternoon to pick you up, and the rest is history.  You went everywhere with me, even to the drive thru.  I did not name you for a week, and finally my friend Kim suggested Zoey, the name of her fish that died.  It seemed just spunky enough for you.  You taught me a lot in that year...mostly how to care for another.  I had the emergency vet on speed dial as well as animal poison control.  You pumped soap in your mouth, you got locked in the fridge, you got your tail stuck in the were trouble.  From the moment I had you, you were a piggy.  You are still a cat that has to have your food measured and you have to eat twice a day.  You were a tiny fireball.  I have always loved that about you.  You are outgoing, definitely not a wallflower.  You aren't a lap cat, you prefer to lay on a chest.  You are a lover, and a bit of a fighter too; always have been. 

You have taken all the changes in your life in stride, and I am thankful for that.  We have moved, gotten another cat, gotten a dog, gained a husband, and had two kids.  Yet, you still are you, through all of this.  You somehow are very kind to the kids, and rarely nibble them.  The only time you do is when your whiskers or tail are pulled.  Caleb already knows your triggers; never petting you when you are lying on your back-since you will bite then.  You have dealt with all they dish out well.  You are tolerant, and I think you actually enjoy the attention they give you.  I do love you, and know that you will probably be around to see many more changes in our lives-since you are healthy as a horse and are most likely going to be around for 20 more years. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A day in the life...fall edition

Navigating the Mothership has motivated me to do another day in the life post, so here we are again.  A day in my crazy life.  These are very time consuming, yet so worth doing.

Here are links to past posts:
Summer 2013
A week in the life-Spring 2013
A week in the life-Spring 2013
A week in the life-Spring 2013
A week in the life-Spring 2013
A week in the life-Spring 2013
A week in the life-Spring 2013
Fall 2012
Summer 2012
Spring 2012
Winter 2012
Fall 2011

This is from yesterday, October 16, 2013.  This is a stay at home day, since I am off for MEA (though I don't think this is what it is called) and our daycare is closed.  I didn't have anything fun planned, and I certainly did not take enough photos...but here it is anyway:

2:00 am--Kinley wakes up.  This has been FRUSTRATING.  We have been regressing by the minute in the sleep department.  Is it teeth?  Is she sick?  Growth spurt?  Who knows.  I just know that this sleep thing is a constant battle these days and I would love to get 8 straight hours.  Maybe someday.  At least she is easy to get back down, a little nursing and she is out again within a few minutes.

5:16 am--She is up again.  I try to get her back down, but she is not interested.  She cries and does not calm down, so by 5:30 I just grab her and bring her to bed with us.  I check my e-mail and facebook.  I am waiting for bedding for her bedroom and I am antsy about it.  We also talk about what to have for dinner.  I also check our bank account, which is such a fun (insert sarcasm) thing.  Ugh.  Finances have been beyond stressful and it just feels like we can't get our heads above water.  Maternity leave sucked us dry.  Anywho...back to the fun stuff.

Zoey snuck in the room for snuggles.

The lump is the dog that snuck in as well.

5:50 am--I make coffee and look at bills.  I recognize that we need to get our budget figured out, so that goes to the top of the very long to do list.  I also do dishes.

6:20 am--I nurse Kinley.  Caleb is still sleeping.

6:55 am--Caleb wakes up and starts talking and never stops.  This is what happens now...never-ending chatter.  It is impossible to remember all the funny things he says!  We start breakfast.  I make cream of wheat for me, Eric feeds Kinley, and Caleb eats a banana and yogurt.  We are enjoying having more room in our dining area now that we got a new-to-us table that is smaller!  I am also happy that our old table is living happily in a friend's house.  I do miss it, but love the space!

Scored this table for the same price we sold our coffee table for!

trying to drink this gross stuff to increase my milk supply

new tablecloth for the new-to-us table

7:34--Breakfast is over and I read books with the kids.  Eric gets ready for work.  Caleb feeds the animals (quite the feat, since the cats eat different food and in different rooms) and is so proud of himself for doing it.  I am excited that maybe this can become his job soon.

8:10 am--Eric gets Kinley ready for her nap, meanwhile, Caleb watches an episode of Word World.  I hate relying on the television for times like these, however, at least it is educational.  These days, since watching this show, he has been VERY into sounding out words and how things are spelled.  He can spell many words now, and I have a feeling he will be a reader sooner than later.

8:30 am--I am done laying Kinley down and Eric heads out the door.  I start to take pictures of clothes that we are getting rid of, so that I can post them on Craigslist.

8:55 am--Kinley awake, so I bring her downstairs.  She plays, Caleb plays...this is lovely.

9:40 am--Kinley seems tired (of course), so I try to lay her down again, unsuccessfully.  I put diapers together, do more laundry (never-ending), and let Caleb watch another episode so that I can post those craigslist ads.

Just some of the boxes of clothes that need to go!

Caleb's tower

10:26 am--I got the kids dressed...though I am not dressed myself yet.  My stomach is grumbling and I can't wait for lunch!

He loves her.  A little too much at times.

Art wall.  I love walking past this everyday!

11:00 am--I get the kids upstairs for lunch.  I let Kinley play on the floor while I get Caleb's sandwich ready.  This kid could live off of PBJ's...and kind of does for lunch at least.  During lunch Caleb wants to play a game.  We start to talk about words that start with different letters.  These are the ones he came up with.

The angry birds snack is from ECFE the night before, he waited very patiently to eat it.

P-Pineapple, Penguin, Pen, Pear, Porn.  Yup.  Porn.  Now, it should be noted that amongst some of these "real" words were made up ones.  He will often make up words when he draws a picture and I ask him what it is.  So, I am convinced that he made this one up.  I swear we have not discussed porn in front of him!  I told him that is not a word, but he argued it was.

R-Relax, Rent

B-Belly, Bag, Blender, Bread, Bun, Beep, Bear

C-Cap, Candle, Cash, Candy

S-Sandwich, Sand, Sun

N-Necktie, Nest

F-Feather, Five, Finger, Flag

J-Juggle, Jenny, Jon

G-Grandma, Grain

This kid's vocabulary astounds me at times.  He is so verbal, and always has been.  Motor skills...well, we are still working on that.

11:30 am--We go downstairs to play and read books.  I am feeling distracted by this day in the life post, trying to document everything, yet, not being very present in the moment because of it.  Double edged sword kind of moment.  I vow to make up for it tomorrow.

12:05 pm--Kids are breaking down.  The combination of me being distracted, barely a nap for Kinley, and all the time inside with no change, has everyone at their breaking point.  25 minutes until naptime...countdown ensues silently for me.

12:39 pm--Both kids are asleep.  I have learned that it is best when I lay Caleb down first, then Kinley. While I am getting him in bed, she usually plays in the exersaucer.  My little baby (8th percentile) can now finally touch the floor in it.  I debate what I could do during nap, but decide to sit and do nothing instead.  I am glad that I did that because at 1:50, both kids are awake.  This is the LONGEST day ever.

I decide to shower, because I am supposed to meet work friends around 2:45 pm.  However, after showering and getting ready I am faced with two very unhappy children.  At about 2:40, I realize that we are not going to make it, so I text them to let them know.  My threenager is mad about everything in this moment...but the biggest issue is that he wants a prize for going pee.  He is potty trained, and has been for a few months now.  But apparently, he still thinks peeing gets prizes.  Nope.  So I am of course the meanest ever (it is usually in these moments when he says things like "I just need my dad!"). I decide to facetime with my parents to see if that cheers him up.  It works for a little bit.  He likes talking to them.  While we are facetiming (is that a word?), my mother in law tries to facetime as well.  So, when we are done with my parents, I try to call her.  We are able to talk for about a minute, before I realize that this is a disaster.  Both kids are screaming and nothing will make them stop.  I begin to wonder if Kinley's ear is bothering her.  She has been pulling at her right ear all day, and that combined with the no sleeping has me wondering.  I think I might take her in to the clinic to be sure.

5:04 pm--Eric is home, later than I hoped, so no clinic.  Also, we were out of cheese, so the enchiladas that I had planned for dinner are out.  Instead we decide to head to Pizza Ranch.  If you haven't heard of this before, it is the perfect place for kids.  Kids are cheap, and it is a buffet, so you can feed them immediately! I am aware that eating out is not a good choice after the morning and the stress of money...but I don't have it in me to cook at this point.  I get food ready for Kinley and grab a couple diapers, then we head out.  On the way we pass a field.  Caleb mentions that he likes that yard.  We also pass a church that has circle windows, and he is a big fan.  When we pass a corn maze, he says, "we should go there."  When we get into the restaurant, Caleb gets on the floor to point and name each of the letters in Pizza Ranch that is on a rug.  I have no pictures from dinner because I thought I left my phone in the car (it was in the diaper bag the whole time), but it was good.  Kinley was ready to go home to go to sleep, but Caleb did not want to leave until every last bit of his pizza was gone.  When we get to the car Caleb says, "It's all good in here, I like the lights on."  He also sees the moon and says, "We don't sleep during the day time, we just sleep during the night."

6:50 pm--We are home, and luckily Kinley did not sleep in the car, since her bedtime is 6:30.  Eric gets her ready for bed, while I change quickly and help Caleb in the bathroom.  He starts to pee while standing up then says, "I think I have to poop".  DISCLAIMER--THIS NEXT PART IS GROSS--I swear, it was like things were moving in slow motion at this in the movies where you start to see something happen but are frozen and can't move.  I see him turning, then I see poop coming out of him.  He tries to sit down, but it is too late...there is poop on the floor, on his shirt, on the toilet.  It is gross.  I want to hurl.  However, he tried so hard to make it, so I don't want him to feel bad.  I start the shower and begin to clean up the mess.  He is helpful to point out all the places that he sees the poop.  I decide at this moment that standing and peeing is not a good idea for a while, and that he should only sit for the time being.  Eric helps him wash in the shower, and I take Kinley to put her down.

7:23 pm--The dust has settled.  Kids are asleep...for a minute.  Kinley wakes up and cries, so I go feed her again (story of my day).  She is finally asleep.  Eric and I are both cranky and not really listening to each to avoid an argument, I go to bed.  I think I need it anyway.