Archive for the ‘Newsletters’ Category

Koren: 3 Months

Filed under: Koren,Newsletters,Photos — Amy @ 6:22 pm

Dear Chunky Monkey,

It’s true.  You have leaped into the 75th percentile in weight.  The idea of having an above-average sized baby is surprising to us, because it took Kaelin a solid year to get out of the 10th percentile.

Obviously, you love your milk.

Your personality is really starting to show through and you’re quickly turning from testy infant into charming, pudgy, bright-eyed, smooshy-cheeked baby with an endless supply of happy spit bubbles.  I am quickly becoming addicted to your round, squishable cheeks.

You absolutely adore your changing table and it’s always easy to coax a multitude of smiles out of you while you’re kicking around on it.  Unless it’s the middle of the night, in which case you scream like I’m ripping your arms off every single blessed night, and what is it about the fact that your father is trying to SLEEP 10 feet away from you that makes you think it’s a good time to turn into a screeching banshee?

Speaking of your father, I believe you are quickly becoming a Daddy’s Boy.  At the very sound of his voice, you crane your head around trying to locate him.  You won’t even do that for a rattle or your sister or the microwave (bottle time!), so you KNOW he must be special.  He can always make you smile with his “Haaaaaapy Boyyyyyyyyy” chant, which is rather endearing.

You’re not sleeping through the night yet in the purist sense of the phrase.  You still wake up between 12am and 2am and demand a bottle before resuming the sleeping ritual.  Then you’ll sleep until about 4:30am and go back to sleep for intervals of 10 minutes to 1 hour until approximately 7 or 8am.  Thus, I’m getting enough sleep to keep from going insane, but I’m hoping this early morning pattern will JUST CHILL OUT ALREADY pretty soon.

You have started willingly sleeping in the bassinet for the majority of the night, which is an improvement.  I am beginning to nurse just the slightest bit of hope that we will eventually be able to transition you to an actual CRIB – you know, those things that babies are supposed to sleep in that are NOT shaped like Mom’s arms or the rocky swing or the Soothing Motion Glider because there’s this idea that babies can sleep on a flat surface for more than 10 minutes at a time WHATEVER.

You are, however, still very dependent upon the Swaddle to sleep for any decent period of time.  Any by “Swaddle” I mean the special, double-blanketed so-tight-a-500-pound-octopus-could-not-wrestle-free-from-it wrap.  If your arms are secured, you can sleep for many consecutive beautiful peaceful hours.  But if there’s a chance of wiggling yourself out of the wrapping, you’re up within 2 hours crying because you CAN NOT stop boxing yourself in the face.

It’s very tempting to start putting you to sleep in your car seat where the arm restraints are wiggle-proof. Last week you fell asleep in the car seat and we left you buckled in until you woke up – EIGHT HOURS LATER.  So it seems that the only thing keeping us both from an uninterrupted night’s sleep is your pesky arms.  Seriously, kid.  You’re going to have to get over that.  You’re growing out of all your blankets and I cannot continue to swaddle you until you’re 5 years old.

You started Mother’s Day Out 2 days per week last week and it seems to be going very well.  The teachers love you and with a teacher:baby ratio of 1 to 1, I’m thinking you probably enjoy getting righteously spoiled.  They tell me you love “music time” and are a generally happy kid.

You contracted your first cold this week.  Fortunately, it was relatively minor and short-lived.  A good thing, since you made sure to give it to me.

You love kicking around on the floor, but you absolutely cannot stand “tummy time.”  As in, it makes you REALLY ANGRY.  This is rather unfortunate, as the doctor has prescribed 10 minutes of Tummy Time, 3 times per day to strengthen your arms.  She might as well have prescribed shoving caster oil down your throat.

At your 2-month appointment, the doctor had the audacity to force you into about 30 seconds of Tummy Time.  It took me 15 minutes to get you to calm down from that injustice.  As a point of reference, it only took me 2 minutes to get you to calm down from the 3 shots you received.

You’re really starting to take an interest in things around you.  You’ve discovered the hanging toys attached to your bouncy seat and were gleefully flailing about under them today while we fixed dinner.  I can put a rattle in your hand and you’ll hold on to it for a while, expressing a little curiosity when it makes noise every time you move.  The other day you reached out and grabbed a toy.  With the intensity at which you were staring at it, I’m sure you did it on purpose, even though it was a rather uncoordinated gesture.

You’re our precious little butterball and we’re enjoying your growth and development each month.  Though in the future if you could at least wear an outfit once before growing out of it, that would be peachy.  Thanks.

Love,
Mama

Koren: 2 Months

Filed under: Koren,Milestones,Newsletters — Amy @ 9:01 pm

Dear Koren,

You are officially two months old.  This last month has seen a lot of changes and has been rather eventful.

Of course, when I say “eventful,” I mean by the New Parent Standard, which considers a change in poop consistency to be down right monumental, right up there with the 2008 opening ceremony of the Olympics, the Russian attack on Georgia, and Brittney Spears returning to the VMAs.

Since your birth, we proudly bragged about your mellow nature, telling everyone who dared to ask about you what an easy baby you were, and how you rarely ever fussed. 

This proved to be a mistake.  At around six weeks, we were curtly bitch-slapped by all our lauding, as you suddenly became He Who Would Rather Scream Than Sleep.  We were unprepared for this change in demeanor, and there were days when your dad would find me cowering in a corner with glazed eyes after spending the day doing everything I could think of to MAKE. IT. STOP.

Eventually, we decided to nix dairy from my diet and to switch you to soy formula.  Within days – almost hours – it made a world of difference.  You now nap during the day (most of the time), and whatever discomfort was ailing you seems to have subsided.  You still prefer to be held when awake, but when I hold you it actually seems to satisfy you now instead of just providing some resistance for all your thrashing about.  I’ll take that.

You’re starting to become much more aware of your surroundings.  You look me in the eye when I hold you, which is far more satisfying to me than trying to figure out what could possibly be SO INTERESTING in the space over my left shoulder.

You’ve also discovered the fan.  When you notice it, your eyes and mouth will often fly open.  And then your eyes will stay intensely focused on it while your mouth makes the “oooh” shape.  Total awe.  One day I’m going to catch that look on camera because it’s adorable.  Sometimes, we can lay you on the bed and turn on the fan to occupy you for upwards of five minutes.  That’s like, enough time to pee AND toast a waffle.  With both hands free.  Can you hear the angels singing?  I can.  I definitely can.

You have your own brand of aerobics, often performed while laying on the bed watching the fan.  I totally sympathize.  I need a serious distraction when I exercise too.  You flail your arms in circles and kick your legs – first the right side, then the left.  Wax on, wax off.  Mr. Miyagi would be proud.

My favorite part of the last month has been that you’ve started to smile intentionally.  You don’t do it all the time, but every few days your father and I can elicit a little grin out of you by playing with your cheeks or tickling you or talking to you in ridiculous voices that people only use to make babies smile.  And when it works, it’s gold.  Pure gold.  Parenting becomes instantly more rewarding when your child communicates happiness to you in ways other than “I’m not yelling at you right now.”

Speaking of yelling… yeah.  You do that.  You’ve found your voice and are experimenting with all sorts of new noises.  Most of the time, they are expressions of complaint.  Tired of this position?  “WylaWAAAA.”  That bottle isn’t arriving fast enough?  “HiYAAAAW.”  It’s always a statement, and while usually aimed at the world in general, somehow you always manage to direct it right into my ear.

You have what seems to be a very strong grip.  You like to grab my shirt while I’m holding you, making it very difficult to put you down or changes positions.  If offered, you’ll wrap your tight little fists around our fingers.  Kaelin derives a lot of pleasure out of that and has decided it’s your way of showing her affection.  We’re not going to tell her otherwise.  She thinks you are the coolest thing since disposable diapers, and I hope that one day you’ll realize what a great sister you have and return her affection.

But back to your fists, there’s something we need to discuss.  Please.  Please.  PLEASE stop punching yourself in the face when I’m trying to put you to sleep.  It is totally not as entertaining as you seem to think it is.  Especially at 4am.

Also, please stop the “You-might-think-I’m-asleep-but-just-as-you-crawl- into-bed-I’m-going-to-rub-my-hands-and-arms-all-over-my-face-and-grunt- relentlessly-for-an-hour” routine in the middle of the night.  It ensures that neither you nor I can get any sleep and makes us both grumpy.  I cannot stand over you for two hours holding your hands down so you can sleep.  The more sleep I lose, the more I start to entertain the idea of duct-taping your arms to your sides.

Though you’re currently battling a pretty intense case of cradle cap, your skin has cleared up completely.  This makes me very happy because a) the acne or rosatia or whatever it was looked rather painful, and b) you have such a cute face underneath.  Especially now that you’ve become more expressive.  Those wide eyes and that toothless grin are priceless.

You seem to be especially expressive when playing your favorite game, the “stand up and jump” game.  Whenever you’re being particularly dissatisfied, we can usually make you happy by holding you up so you can stand and jump on your little bowed legs.  Your legs are already quite strong and I know you’re going to love the Jumperoo when you get big enough to use it.  Your sister did too. I have no doubt that you too will jump yourself into exhaustion like your sister did on more than one occasion.  And I will find myself once again standing over a child who has just done an unconscious face plant into the Jumperoo, and examining my options:  a) Risk waking you up by peeling you off, or b) Let you nap in peace and end up with kangaroo shaped indentions in your forehead.

Yesterday you rolled over by yourself for the first time.  I put you in your crib on your tummy while I fixed you a bottle and you were really unhappy about that arrangement.  The tantrum you threw while I was gone started to melt the paint right off the walls, but when I returned you were on your back.  It was an act of desperation really, but I think it counts as a milestone just the same.

You’re really starting to change and your dad and I are enjoying watching you grow.  We know there are many months of milestones ahead and we look forward to each and every one of them.  Except, perhaps, the teething.  Feel free to put that off until your second birthday.

Love,
Mama

Koren: 1 Month

Filed under: Koren,Newsletters — Amy @ 7:31 pm

Dear Koren,

You are 1 month old.  Well ok, 1 month and 2 days – because in this family we are nothing if not fashionably late.

The last two weeks have flown by faster than I can fathom.  Part of me hopes that it will continue to go this quickly because there are so many things I’m looking forward to – smiling, sitting up, crawling – but at the same time I want to bottle up this point in time so I can come back to those sweet little cheeks forever.

Unfortunately, those sweet little cheeks are currently covered in little red splotches.  I’m sorry to say that you’ve developed a pretty bad case of infant acne.  Even your ears are covered in little bumps.  I hope for your sake that this is not an indication of how your skin will respond to puberty.  If it is, I can promise you that I will refrain from pointing out and naming your pimples… but I cannot guarantee that your sister will have the same restraint.

You’ve become very interested in lifting your head up.  The doctor was impressed at your two week appointment at how well you were doing with that, and you’ve continued to pursue it since.  You’ve also discovered your legs and like to kick them when you’re doing “tummy time” in a motion that scoots you forward.  I wonder if you’re trying to set a record for the World’s Earliest Crawler.  You certainly manage to shimmy up my chest when I’m trying to burp you, though you don’t seem to have thought through where exactly you’re going to go once you get to the top.

The nursing is getting better.  We no longer have to have a wrestling match every single time I try to feed you.  Although I would like to point out that it’s considered rude to fall asleep at the dinner table.  And if you insist on doing so, please try not to fall asleep clutching your plate and fork so tightly that nobody can clear the table in the meantime.  Either nurse or get off the boob, son.

Your eating has also begun to even out more.  You are eating less frequently and smaller portions during the day, which is nice.  Unfortunately, it also means you’re eating more regularly at night.  You seem to be on a 3-hour cycle 24 hours per day now.  Although last night you managed to skip a meal during the night.  I’m not counting on that to become a habit just yet, but I would like to mention that it was VERY NICE and any time you want to repeat that, I’m totally ok with it.

You have pesky hands.  They seem to operate entirely independently of the rest of you and have an agenda that ranges from mischievous to downright diabolical.  Your right hand seems intent on punching you in the cheek while your left hand loves to jerk the pacifier out of your mouth with a gusto that leaves you looking rather stunned.  For that reason, I’m glad you’re not all that dependent on a paci and usually sleep without it. 

After every midnight feeding, I rock you to sleep.  And the second I crawl into bed you start fussing immediately because you’ve gotten your fist jammed into your nose and I have to drag myself out of bed to pull it out and tuck it back into the blanket.  Apparently though, we’re not the only ones with this problem, because Lord Google actually returns quite a few search results for “infant straight jacket.”

Getting a bottle into your mouth is sometimes like trying to maneuver a golf ball through the swinging pendulums at the put-put range.  Yesterday, you were taking a bottle when your hand reached up and dug its fingers into your face.  You stopped eating and looked around, as if trying to find the perpetrator.  Finally your hand released your cheek and your attention returned to the bottle. 

You really like your changing table.  It’s the only flat surface that I can put you on for upwards of 10 minutes and you’ll be content to kick around and look at the ceiling fan and the blinds.  You’re not crazy about diaper changes, but seem to think them worth enduring in exchange for the opportunity to play on the changing table.

Your sister is completely enamored with you.  She can’t wait for you to interact with her, and neither can I.  You have a very exciting world awaiting you, and I’m sure she’ll teach you every thing she knows.

Today you jabbed her in the eye with your fist while you were sleeping.  She covered her eye and made a face, which then turned into a smile.  “He’s playing with me!” she said.  Appreciate that while it lasts, kiddo, because in a few years she’ll just slug you back.

Happy 1-Month Birthday kid – we’re looking forward to many more.


Ready for the Home Run Derby, best seat in the house

Kaelin: 19 Months

Filed under: Kaelin,Newsletters,Videos — Amy @ 6:12 pm

A few minutes out of a typical day…

Gratuitous Photos

Filed under: Birthdays,Milestones,Newsletters,Photography,Such is Life — Amy @ 10:52 pm

…Or, “Celebrating the ways my life has changed more over the last 12 months than I ever thought possible.”

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1 Month:
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2 Months:
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3 Months:
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4 Months:
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5 Months:
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6 Months:
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7 Months:
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8 Months:
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9 Months:
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10 Months:
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11 Months:
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12 Months:
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Happy Birthday, my little munchkin! (Yeah, I know, a few days late – it takes me some time to get the pics off the camera and on the computer)

First Birthday

Note: Pictures are coming soon, but I’m too tired right now to mess with getting them off the camera.

Dear Kaelin,

Year #2 was off to a great start this morning as you cheerfully handed your grandfather a turd.

Apparently you found it stuck to the dog’s butt and felt compelled to share your discovery. Your gift was much appreciated …if only because you did something with the poop OTHER THAN shove it in your mouth.

We went to the Texas State Fair today in honor of your birthday and you had a fabulous time being overstimulated beyond belief. You enjoyed chunks of turkey leg and funnel cake, and riding around on Dada’s shoulders.

Your favorite part (due in no small part to the fact that you were totally nap-deprived and sugar-high, I’m sure) was the Ferris Wheel. The little people walking around below were so fascinating and the couple we shared the carriage with even gave you a little stuffed frog. You got SO EXCITED over that frog, laughing and squeezing it as though it was your Kitty.

Then as soon as we went our separate ways, you threw it out of the stroller in announcement of your impending nap and BAM – you were out like a light. You snored all the way home.

When we got home and changed you into a new set of clothes, one startling fact became very obvious: You have quite suddenly and without warning grown into 12-month clothes. Today. Sometime between breakfast and lunch. This morning, you were still growing into the 6-9 month clothes. After being 1 to 2 clothing sizes behind for your entire life (doesn’t it sound like a long time when I put it like that?), it appears that you are finally catching up.

Perhaps it’s the massive amount of turkey, cheese and green beans you have been ingesting recently. But now I really need to update your wardrobe, as I was expecting to have several more months before you needed 12-month sized clothing. I hope you like onesies kiddo, because that’s what you’ve got.

When it was time for your second nap of the day, which was a necessity due to the birthday part we had planned for this evening, you absolutely refused. You have never been so stubborn about not taking a nap as you were today – and I have never been so agitated by it, knowing that if you DIDN’T nap before the party, you would be a little bear this evening.

Eventually, we resorted to driving you around in the car, which successfully resulted in a good 45-minute refresher nap. Enough for me, I was ready to take what I could get at that point.

The party was a success, and even though you were again overstimulated by all the presents, and overtired from an already big day, and were forced to stay up an hour past your usual bed time, you did very well. We were really impressed.

As expected, you received a totally unreasonable amount of cool presents, and completely ignored most of them – preferring instead to play with the wrapping paper. Evidently nobody listened to me when I told them ahead of time that would happen. You did develop an attachment to one particular toy – a little plastic horse-riding figure – and carried it around in your mouth for most of the evening. Apparently equestrians are tasty.

You ate cake and ice cream, and ice cream, and then you enjoyed some ice cream. Since our trip to the fair had been unsuccessful at reaching sugar-high energy levels sufficient for powering an airbus, we made up for it at dinner by injecting the sugar introveniously. While we learned at this point that you apparently have a pretty high tolerance for sugar, it did manage to keep you up long enough to get through the party. Just so you know, if you develop diabetes as a result of today, it’s totally Grandpa’s fault. And probably Uncle Jon’s too.

After some of the guests had left the party and things had quieted down some, you discovered a new toy that your Aunt and Uncle had brought – one that had previously been overlooked in lieu of all the Fun! Wrapping! Paper!

They bought you a stuffed Eyeore that’s really soft and has a long tail. We could see you make the connection almost immediately when you truely looked at it for the first time:

It’s a Blue Kitty!!!

Tired as you were, you actually giggled as you enveloped the Blue Kitty in a huge bear hug and tackled it to the floor, rubbing your face in the fur. You dragged Blue Kitty around with you for the rest of the evening, clutching it to you, and even tried very hard to pull it up the stairs with you – a very arduous task, as the toy is the same size as you are, and climbing stairs is hard enough when you’re too sleepy to keep your eyes open and move your limbs at the same time.

Happy Birthday, my little munchkin. It’s been a fun and full day, and I have a feeling you will sleep very well tonight. And so will I. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this exhausted.

Love Always,
Mama

11 Months

Filed under: Newsletters,Parenting — Amy @ 6:00 am

I refuse to believe that my daughter is almost a year old. It’s simply not true, stop telling me that it is, I’m not listening, LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

We went to the park yesterday and she had the time of her life, clomping around in her new shoes. Though she’s been walking for over a month now, shoes are a novelty – being completely unneccessary until now.

See, we don’t DO “outside” unless the temperature in the shade is UNDER 3600 F …so no need for shoes until recently. But now that we’re approaching fall, it’s getting to be a bit more reasonable, and we can venture outside without the risk of getting stuck to the pavement.

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She’s getting more talkative. She’s had her own language for a while now, but we’re really getting the idea that she’s starting to assign specific words to specific meanings. Bah-Bah is bottle. Mah is Light (which we only know because she points at the light on the ceiling every time she says it). Her latest additions are “Dot” and “Dude.” I don’t think they’ve been assigned meanings yet, she’s just enjoying the sound of them right now.

“Wow, Kaelin. That’s some wild hair you have there.”

“Doooooood.”

She’s able to understand a lot more words than she can say. I can ask her where her duck is and she’ll go to the toy bin and retrieve it. When asked, she can point to our eyes, nose, mouth and ear…but her favorite is nose and she’ll often start pointing it out without the suggestion. She also really likes pointing to all the babies in a book or magazine.

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She’s trying to grow out of her morning nap. I don’t neccessarily mind this if it means with certainty that she’ll sleep for at least 2 hours in the afternoon. On the days when she DOESN’T do that, I can feel the pigment in my hair start to fade.

She’s starting to understand the concept of “NO” and insists on testing us as often as possible. She’s more than willing to tow the line at every oportunity, to see EXACTLY where that line is. When I make her lay still and quiet in her bed at night, she’ll try rolling over. When that doesn’t work, she’ll try flinging her leg over. When that doesn’t work, she’ll look at me and TWITCH. I’m beginning to fear the teenage years.

She’s still not sleeping through the night. Or rather, she has not RETURNED to sleeping through the night since she started teething several months ago. It’s like a bad joke to get a taste of sleeping through the night and then have her suddenly quit doing so for an indefinite period of time. Last night she slept until 4:00am, which was a miracle. Actually, at 2:30am, I got out of bed and went to make sure she was still breathing, thinking surely something MUST be wrong. By 2:30am, she has usually woken up at least twice. But no, she was sound asleep, doing just fine. Kaelin, if you want to make a habit of that again, I’d be in full support.

She’s teething again, which we only know because we can see the little nub of a tooth poking in on the top. It doesn’t seem to be bothering her at all, which is nice. And she hasn’t had the drooling symptom that accompanied the last round of teething. Also nice.

We finally had to give in and purchase a new vehicle when she grew out of her car seat, since the next size up didn’t physically fit into our 2-door coupe. We ended up with a Hyundai SUV and I’m absolutely LOVING it. I think I will probably never go back to 2 doors. It’s also nice to be able to fit more than just the stroller in the trunk. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone grocery shopping, lugged the huge cart full of my purchases out to the car, and opened the trunk to find that I’d forgotten to remove the stroller and had no room for the groceries.

Speaking of groceries…she’s eating more solid foods now, including finger foods. Which I fear may be leading toward the seemingly inevitable disaster in my near future: the neccessity of cooking.

I don’t cook. I never intended to start cooking. In my book, cooking is a complete waste of time.

You spend all this time and effort preparing a meal, and standing over it for an hour just makes you so ravenously hungry that you can’t wait to actually get it all on the table before consuming it, so by the time every part of the meal is complete, you’ve already eaten 90% of it and don’t get the chance to just sit down and eat for a few minutes (even if you’re good and resist the temptation of eating it before you get it to the table, you still don’t get the chance to sit down and enjoy it because the kid – who has had to be otherwise occupied during the hour you spent preparing the food – is now tired of whatever you’ve managed to distract her with previously, and requires full attention). And then you’re done and it didn’t taste nearly as good as it would if the restaurant made it and now you have to spend the rest of the evening cleaning up the kitchen.

But it’s hard to come up with healthy finger foods for a toddler that require no preparation, yet aren’t just sodium & carbs (yes, Cheerios, I’m looking at YOU). Child cannot live on Cheerios, string cheese and dried fruit alone. Though the more I imagine cooking on a regular basis, the more I’m considering pushing the limits of that theory.

10 Months

Filed under: Milestones,Newsletters,Parenting — Amy @ 1:00 am

Well, we were right. Kaelin started taking steps during the last few days of her 8th month, and by mid-9th month she was a walking pro. For a while we called her our Little Frankenstein because she walked with her arms sticking straight out in front, but she has since become quite adept at the skill and chooses it as her preferred method of mobility. And she loves mobility.

We had our house painted this month and our would-be dining room is now a rusty red. It looks great, especially since it actually matches Kaelin’s Pack’n’Play now. I know that may seem a bit unneccessary, but the reason we call it a “would-be” dining room is that as of yet, the room remains unfurnished with anything but her 500 million toys.

Speaking of toys, we have decided that this is going to be a rather inexpensive Christmas for her, as she seems to have little interest in actual baby toys. She would much rather play with a comb, a post-it note or a pool ball any day than the above mentioned 500 kazillion toys. She’ll pick a half-empty water bottle over the latest fangle-dangle-sparkle-spangle baby toy any day of the week. Occasionally, she comes to work with me and my co-workers have been known to ask what I’ve done to her, since her favorite toys appear to be office supplies. My little future secretary in the making.

Monday we took Kaelin with my parents to one of Dallas’ premier photographers. The photo shoot was the fulfillment of a gift certificate J and I gave my parents for Christmas, with the intention of getting a portrait made with them and Kaelin. The shoot was a success and Kaelin did very well. In fact, the photographer was so taken with her that she invited us back in two weeks so Kaelin can model for a workshop she’s teaching.

While her new walking skills are exciting, she has managed to pick up a few nasty habits in the last month, including an almost total strike from solid foods, and the propensity to eat any and every particle she finds on the floor…even geckos. While she’ll jump at the chance to shove a bit of grass in her mouth, her new favorite delicacy is carpet. It’s becoming an obsession. I’m sure we could recarpet our house with the amount of fuzz bits we have pulled out of her mouth. We were beginning to wonder where all these magic strands were coming from (it’s not like we never vacuum, despite what my mother may tell you) but recently the mystery has been solved: THE CAT TREE.

Yesterday, I was awarded the Worst Mother in the History of the World Award by my daughter, after blocking her access to said shedding cat tree with some kitchen chairs. There ensued much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Ok, the gnashing might be an exaggeration, I think you have to have more than two teeth to properly “gnash.” But it was not a popular move.

Actually, our house is beginning to resemble a battered fort, barricaded at every entrance with random pieces of furniture, toys, boxes, and whatever else was around at the time. Since she’s walking now, Kaelin has discovered a whole new realm of exploration, and we have chairs and gates scattered about to discourage her access to some of her favorite items: the fireplace, the speakers, dog food, a wobbly table, the water dish, cat tree, candlesticks, stairs, etc. So if you come over, don’t expect a place to sit. All our chairs are taken.

One of her favorite games now is playing a variation of Peek-A-Boo with the sheer curtains on our windows. There’s something about being able to see through fabric that really tickles her. It is the source of many laughs and consequent wrestling matches.

Basically, this month has been very full and our daughter has grown up more in these last few weeks than we could have thought possible. Sometimes we wish she would just SLOW DOWN ALREADY, but every thing she learns and discovers is so much more fun.

8 Months Old

Filed under: Newsletters — Amy @ 8:01 pm

So…I didn’t write a 7-month newsletter.   It’s certainly not because nothing momentous happened.   It’s just that I didn’t manage to find the time.   And here I am, already late for the 8-month newsletter.   Tsk, tsk.  

I do apologize, since I know you were all counting down the days and eagerly awaiting the appearance of said newsletters.   WEREN’T YOU.   YES.   YOU WERE.   Ahem…

Anyway, the past two months have changed our lives forever as parents.   Kaelin is growing and developing in so many ways, we’re afraid to blink for fear we will miss the part where she sprouts wings and flies away.

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As of about two weeks ago, she started crawling.   She figured it out one day and hasn’t stopped since.   Actually, it’s kind of an odd looking crawl, because she’s mortally afraid that if her left knee touches the ground a land mine will go off.   So she more or less does a 3-legged hobble around.   It seems to work for her though, as she is quite mobile.   More mobile than, say, we’re comfortable with.   Let’s just say that I’ve embarked on a new exercise plan…it’s call “Chasing Kaelin and removing things from her little fingers.”   I do approximately 10,000 reps per day.

She pulls herself up on everything that she can get to, including tables, chairs, toys, the fireplace, my leg, and the dog.   She has also become quite good at cruising around said items to get closer to whatever else she wants to be hanging on to.   She habitually locks me in the shower in the mornings by pulling herself up and leaning on the shower door.     I can’t open the door without knocking her backward and she seems to derive great joy out of my predicament.   Or maybe it’s the charades I go through in the attempt to get her to  move that she finds so entertaining.

2006_06_07_019.jpg

They say that babies go through a period of  interrupted sleep patterns (i.e. no sleep for parents) when they are learning to crawl, or walk, or when they are teething.   Kaelin  is currently in the  process of all three of those events.    The  day after she started crawling, she also began cutting one of two teeth that are now quite visible in her mouth.   Our nights haven’t been the same since, and we currently finding ourselves crawling into bed while it’s still light outside out of sheer exhaustion.   Only to be awakened an hour later by She Who Formerly Slept Through the Night.

2006_06_07_022.jpg

She holds her bottle now.   Well, sort of.   She does hold it, but spends more time twisting it around and popping the nipple out of her mouth so that milk shoots all in her hair, than actually drinking from it.   Baby steps.

We went swimming with her this month for the first time.   As long as it’s not too cold, she seems to equate the pool with a giant bath tub, and can’t get enough of it.   She adores baths and starts bouncing up and down when she hears the bath water.   Sometimes we forget how mobile she is and look down with surprise to find that she has made it accross the room and is now standing by the tub looking in with great enthusiam, in about 2.3 seconds.

She says “Mama” now.   And she says it a lot.   Unfortunately, she seems to think it’s some kind of curse word, as she only uses the term when she’s exceedingly displeased.   J has been trying unsuccessfully to get a “Dada” out of her.  

The letter “D” is just not in the picture right now.   “Baba,” however, is a favorite, and comprises most of her vocabulary for the time being.   She recognizes certain words, like “Puppy,” and looks around for the dog when she hears it.

 2006_06_19_009.jpg

She absolutely adores books, and enjoys being read to for long periods of time.   Unfortunately, “Go, horse, go; Go fast, go slow,” isn’t exactly thrilling best-seller material, so it can get a bit tedious after a while.  

Her other favorite toy is Baby Tad, who is the biggest  wimp around.   She loves to push him over, trample and body slam him – to which he responds, “I LOVE YOU,” “Let’s snuggle,” and other  passive phrases.   It’s a co-dependent relationship in the making.   We’re just glad she’s the dominant partner.

She’s a very affectionate child.   She gives great hugs and huge, sloppy, open-mouthed kisses.   It’s very cute.   I often think about how cute it is afterward, as I  wash all the drool out of my hair.

So…crawling, pulling up, cruising, teething, talking and attempts at walking –  much of which occurred  within about a week’s time.   It seems that every time we sneeze, she’s picked up a new skill, or a new way to most effectively get into things we would rather she stayed away from.

We’re expecting her to finish her doctoral dissertation in about a month.   After that, she has plans to be the first woman president.   Watch out, Hillary.

8 Months

Filed under: Kaelin,Milestones,Newsletters,Parenting — Amy @ 4:23 pm

I do believe the past two months have changed our lives forever as parents.  Kaelin is growing and developing in so many ways, we’re afraid to blink for fear we will miss the part where she sprouts wings and flies away.

As of about two weeks ago, she started crawling.  She figured it out one day and hasn’t stopped since.  Actually, it’s kind of an odd looking crawl, because she’s mortally afraid that if her left knee touches the ground a land mine will go off.  So she more or less does a 3-legged hobble around.  It seems to work for her though, as she is quite mobile.  More mobile than, say, we’re comfortable with.  Let’s just say that I’ve embarked on a new exercise plan…it’s call “Chasing Kaelin and removing things from her little fingers.”  I do approximately 10,000 reps per day.

She pulls herself up on everything that she can get to, including tables, chairs, toys, the fireplace, my leg, and the dog.  She has also become quite good at cruising around said items to get closer to whatever else she wants to be hanging on to.  She habitually locks me in the shower in the mornings by pulling herself up and leaning on the shower door.  I can’t open the door without knocking her backward and she seems to derive great joy out of my predicament.  Or maybe it’s the charades I go through in the attempt to get her to move that she finds so entertaining.

They say that babies go through a period of interrupted sleep patterns (i.e. no sleep for parents) when they are learning to crawl, or walk, or when they are teething.  Kaelin is currently in the process of all three of those events.  The day after she started crawling, she also began cutting one of two teeth that are now quite visible in her mouth.  Our nights haven’t been the same since, and we currently finding ourselves crawling into bed while it’s still light outside out of sheer exhaustion.  Only to be awakened an hour later by She Who Formerly Slept Through the Night.

She holds her bottle now.  Well, sort of.  She does hold it, but spends more time twisting it around and popping the nipple out of her mouth so that milk shoots all in her hair, than actually drinking from it.  Baby steps.

We went swimming with her this month for the first time.  As long as it’s not too cold, she seems to equate the pool with a giant bath tub, and can’t get enough of it.  She adores baths and starts bouncing up and down when she hears the bath water.  Sometimes we forget how mobile she is and look down with surprise to find that she has made it accross the room and is now standing by the tub looking in with great enthusiam, in about 2.3 seconds.

She says “Mama” now.  And she says it a lot.  Unfortunately, she seems to think it’s some kind of expletive, as she only uses the term when she’s exceedingly displeased.  J has been trying unsuccessfully to get a “Dada” out of her.

The letter “D” is just not in the picture right now.  “Baba,” however, is a favorite, and comprises most of her vocabulary for the time being.  She recognizes certain words, like “Puppy,” and looks around for the dog when she hears it.

She absolutely adores books, and enjoys being read to for long periods of time.  Unfortunately, “Go, horse, go; Go fast, go slow,” isn’t exactly thrilling best-seller material, so it can get a bit tedious after a while.

Her other favorite toy is Baby Tad, who is the biggest wimp around.  She loves to push him over, trample and body slam him – to which he responds, “I LOVE YOU,” “Let’s snuggle,” and other passive phrases.  It’s a co-dependent relationship in the making.  We’re just glad she’s the dominant partner.

She’s a very affectionate child.  She gives great hugs and huge, sloppy, open-mouthed kisses.  It’s very cute.  I often think about how cute it is afterward, as I wash all the drool out of my hair.

So…crawling, pulling up, cruising, teething, talking and attempts at walking – much of which occurred within about a week’s time.  It seems that every time we sneeze, she’s picked up a new skill, or a new way to most effectively get into things we would rather she stayed away from.

We’re expecting her to finish her doctoral dissertation in about a month.  After that, she has plans to be the first woman president.  Watch out, Hillary.

Click here to view the last month in photos.

Not a Newsletter

Filed under: Newsletters — Amy @ 10:34 pm

Kaelin is with the grandparents for the night, which means I have time to…um…fake that I didn’t completely neglect the Month 7 newsletter.

This isn’t really a newsletter. It’s basically a chronical for my own records so I can look back and see when things happen.

She’s SO ABOUT TO CRAWL. In the last week she has learned how to get from a laying to a sitting position, and how to pull herself up into a standing position in her crib without any help.

Which, of course, means that she’s also ready and eager to try all sorts of other things she’s just not ready for yet…like standing up without holding on to anything for support, and launching herself after certain objects – both of which result in the rather unpleasant face plant. (more…)

7 Months

Filed under: Milestones,Newsletters,Parenting — Amy @ 4:22 pm

She’s SO ABOUT TO CRAWL. In the last week she has learned how to get from a laying to a sitting position, and how to pull herself up into a standing position in her crib without any help.

Which, of course, means that she’s also ready and eager to try all sorts of other things she’s just not ready for yet…like standing up without holding on to anything for support, and launching herself after certain objects – both of which result in the rather unpleasant face plant.

She moves now. I don’t really know how, since she’s not crawling yet. But I can put her down and five minutes later, she’s several feet from where I put her. Her Teleporting skills are making me nervous.

Nap times as we know them are over. She now thinks that cribs and Pack-n-Plays are for standing, not for sleeping in. I have resorted to strapping her into her car seat for naps, as that seems to be the only way to overcome the zealousness of her determination to stand.

She has no interest whatsoever in holding her own bottle. She would much rather let us hold it for her so she can devote her hands to much more important tasks…like playing with her hair. Or mine.

I hear a lot of babies develop a security dependency on certain objects – a blanket, toy or passy for instance.  For Kaelin, it’s my hair. Everything is OK, as long as she has a fist-full of hair.

She shows definite responses to our verbal cues – she knows that “good girl” etc. is a positive thing and it makes her so happy to be rewarded that way. Likewise, I’ve started our first training lesson by using “OW” and “NO” when she yanks on my hair. She seems to make the connection (after testing the cause/effect several times…ow) and eventually quits yanking…but it seems we have to re-learn the lesson each day.

She has become quite the chatterbox recently. Bah-Bah-Bob is a frequently heard phrase. We have no idea what it means. She’s especially articulate when she’s standing up or when she’s really annoyed at something (like being forced to take a nap).

She has said Ma-Ma twice…unfortunately, she only says it when she’s really, really pissed. Somehow, I don’t think that’s a good sign.

Despite J’s efforts, there have been no attempts at “Da-Da” yet. She knows the word “Puppy” but hasn’t tried to say it, that we’re aware of. She and Puppy are becoming fast friends and their greatest joys revolve around him “kissing” her face and hands repeatedly.

She didn’t cry this morning when we dropped her off at the church nursery…but when we went to pick her up, we could hear her screaming all the way down the hall. They said she had been happy until that point, so that is an improvement over previous nursery visits.

She’s developed a curious attachment to me that, frankly, baffles me. An example was when we picked her up from the nursery. J was holding her and she screamed all the way down the hall, but the second he handed her over to me, she stopped. When she’s really upset about something, no one else in the world can calm her. But as soon as I pick her up, she’s OK. It’s odd, and I can’t explain it. It’s cute, but at the same time frustrating that she doesn’t respond to J or Grandmommy or anyone else when she’s in that state.

Must be the hair.

Tomorrow she goes swimming for the first time. As excited as she gets about Bath Time, we’re expecting that she’ll have the time of her life.

Unfortunately, it means that I have to get in the water as well, which requires (insert ominous music here) A SWIM SUIT. The only one I have was the one I bought for my honeymoon. Not happening.

Will be making the emergency shopping trip tomorrow morning.

Click here to view the last month in photos.

About Me

Hi. I'm Amy. I started this website in 2005 as a place to deposit my journal and photos. It has gone through a few incarnations and masquerades as a family site, but since I'm the only one who contributes to it, it's really all about ME, ME, ME.

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