Thursday, April 29, 2010

Keaton's 16-month stats and other random updates

I took Keaton in for his 15-month well visit on Wednesday, but it was more like a 16-month check-up considering he turns another month older tomorrow. His stats were pretty steady with his 12-month visit: Head circumference 48 1/2 cm (75%), Height 30 3/4 inches (50%), and Weight 22 lbs 6 oz (25%).

Past appointments have gone pretty smoothly but this time around Keats hated every single second of it. He hated the nurse who stuck this thing on his head and then held him down to take his height measurement. He hated the doctor using his cold stethoscope on his bear chest and contorting his legs to check all his joints. And he really, really hated the vaccines. When it was all over I held his little body close to me for an extra minute or two; he wrapped his legs around my waist and clung to my neck while the tears slowed and eventually stopped. The nurse popped in before I had even gotten him redressed. Normally I hate being that person holding up the exam room, but at that moment I really didn't care.

As of today I'm 26-weeks pregnant. In the last week I've been feeling some good solid kids from this babe. And I'm happy to say they are no longer always straight down into my bladder/cervix. I'm now feeling them all over, including in the upper portion of my belly. I don't know for certain that the baby has flipped (or even if he/she has that they will stay that way) but I'm slowly becoming less worried about the baby sitting breach.

When s/he does start moving and grooving I can't help but to stop what I'm doing and stare at my belly for awhile. Watching the baby move around in there will never get old.

I'm reading the book Water for Elephants. Its been so long since I've read a good book. I'm not zooming through this by any means, but I've loved every second of reading it thus far.

For the past two years we've had this sparrow nest on the ledge of our front door. And for two years in a row we've had at least one set of babies born in it. I love it. You can see the little guys from inside our house when the mama swoops in to feed them. The downer is, they've left a huge amount of bird poop in our front entryway. Bird poop that we've failed to clean up. This year Collin decided to take the nest down, the mess was just getting to be too gross. A robin had other plans though and now we have another nest and a new bird. I have to admit, I'm kinda happy, I can't wait to see those little suckers hatch again this year.

Speaking of birds, I've agreed to take on the task of keeping our bird feeder filled this year. I took this on a few weeks ago, but I have yet to remember to pick up bird feed. I'm failing miserably at this task.

Last Saturday it was rainy and yucky out and when it was time for Keaton's nap we all curled up on the couch and napped together. It was pretty awesome and we're already making plans for a repeat this weekend. I'm also hoping to make some progress on the spring cleaning of our closet this weekend.

These pictures were all taken at the beginning of March (Keaton has considerably more hair now). They aren't of good quality, which is why they have just been sitting on my hard drive untouched. I need to move a bunch off though to clear up some space so I figured if I'm ever going to post them now is as good of time as any. Besides it's Thursday night at 10 pm and I'm tired, it seems like a good time to post random pictures with random text. In fact, I should do this more often.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A boy and his dog

We were sitting in the living room and from the kitchen we could hear the chomp chomp chomp of Maia eating her dog kibble. Simultaneously though there was another sound coming from the same direction...


Splash splash.

Splash splash splash.

It took us a second to figure out what it was but as soon as Collin did he jumped up and made his way to the kitchen (via the entryway). On his way there he bellowed:

Bruske! Get out of that water bowl!

Instantly the splashing stopped and before Collin even made it in there we heard the little pitter patter of feet cruising back to the living room (via the dining room).

He came in with the most innocent look on his face, like "hi guys, I'm just in here reading books."

I almost bought it, but the soaking wet pajama sleeves totally blew his cover.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dear Keaton: 15 Months

Dear Keaton,

A couple of weeks ago you turned 15 months old. When I first starting writing these letters I planned on doing them only once every three months for your second year, lately I’ve been wondering if that was a mistake. You have changed so much in the past three months that sitting down and writing this has felt like a daunting task, where do I even begin? I guess I’ll begin with this; three months ago you were a little boy quickly moving towards toddler hood, today you are a full-blown toddler, in every sense of the word.

Mother Nature blessed us with an early spring this year and this could not have made you happier. At 15 months I think it is safe to say you are an outdoorsman. You love to be outside and would spend the entire day there if possible, running around at top speed, picking up sticks, or “helping” daddy clean up the flower gardens. And by help I mean throw all the bark that belongs in the flower beds onto the lawn. Unfortunately it is still chilly in the mornings here so when you bring your hat and coat to us or Busha at 10 am and then walk to the door we have to figure out a way to distract you for a few hours. Luckily for you, Busha also loves being outside, so during the week the two of you frequently spend your afternoons in the yard. She showed you how to load up the yard trailer with sticks and leaves and you have become quite the little helper. Over Easter weekend we went to Papa and Busha’s so you could open your Easter gift (a wagon for their house!) and they hid it in the woods for you to find. As soon as we walked out the door you spotted it, ran to it, and lifted up the seat. But before you got your other gifts out you saw a leaf on the ground and you instantly abandoned the gifts to go pick up it up and walk it across the lawn to put it in the trailer.

You understand so much these days and even if you aren’t talking yet you are definitely communicating with us. There has been lots of pointing and grunting at things lately and you are pretty insistent until we figure out what it is you want. I recently read something online that said living with a 15 month old is like having a small caveman in your house and I thought, yes, that’s it exactly! You’ve also started mimicking everything we do. Although we’ve always prayed before dinner these days we ask you to pray with us. You put your hands together, usually holding your right fingers in the palm of your left hand, and look up at us with wide eyes as we begin, Bless us O Lord….. We finish the prayer with “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” and you have started pointing to your head and chest, for Father and Son. And then we usually clap and cheer before actually eating because it is so awesome to see you go through these motions.

Watching you morph into a full-blown toddler has been awesome in so many ways, but of course with the good comes the bad. You’ve mastered the tantrum, complete with screaming, crying, refusing to stand, throwing yourself on the floor, and my personal favorite, banging your head against anything and everything, including doors, the couch, the wall, you name it. Usually we know the cause of the outburst - making you come in from outside or closing the mud room door so you can no longer dig in the dog food or pull out all of the brooms/mops. This past weekend though we went to the water park with your cousins and after breakfast on Saturday morning we went back to the room to get changed before heading down to the pool. You didn’t quite understand the plan though, all you knew is that you wanted to be with the other kids and we took you away from them. Oh boy did you let us have it; you threw a tantrum of epic proportions. You have not been that inconsolable since you were an infant and honestly, your Daddy and I were dumbfounded. Nothing calmed you down and by the sounds of the howls coming from your mouth we thought for sure you were in pain (you’ve been teething again lately). We gave you a dose of Tylenol which seemed to work for a minute but as soon as I set you down you ran to the door and threw yourself on the floor, wailing at top volume. It was then that I put it all together and realized that you just wanted to be with your cousins. We opened the hotel room door and like magic your tears were gone and you were a happy, enjoyable kid again.

The thing is, I’ll totally put up with the occasional tantrum if it means you’re going to freely dole out hugs and kisses. You’ve been very lovey lately and will often lay your head on our shoulders, wrapping your arms around our necks. Sometimes it only lasts a second, but every time it melts my heart. At 15-months you like to look through books and point out items to us, you climb on everything, love to look out the windows and go for wagon rides, are learning your body parts, love brushing your teeth (you have all your molars now and are currently working on your eye teeth), your favorite treat is marshmallows (you shove them in your mouth by the handful), you’re just starting to get into watching cartoons/kids dvds, you like to help me clean by bringing me the dustpan or pulling all of the laundry out of the dryer (and then climbing in), and you’re very shy in front of new people. Every time we move into a new phase I fear I’m going to miss the previous one, but that never seems to be the case. You’re growing and changing and learning new things every day and instead I find myself falling in love with the exact stage you are in. Your Daddy and I talk frequently about how much our lives have changed since you arrived and how happy we are right here, right now. You make life even more enjoyable than we ever expected.

I love you Stink,

Thursday, April 15, 2010

24 weeks & an ultrasound update (finally!)

  • I loved how Em did one covered and one bare belly shot during her pregnancy, so I thought I'd start doing that. I was hoping to get a good picture of Keaton and I together, but he had just woken up from a nap and wasn't really having it.
  • Okay, go ahead, you can say it....holy cow, she's gotten big! I know. I know! This was my 20-week shot only 4 weeks ago.
  • The other day I asked Collin: am I carrying this baby higher, lower, or the same as I did with Keaton? He looked at me, tilted his head, pursed his lips in contemplation and said: you're carrying it further out. And I guess he's right because check this out... here was my 26-week shot with Keaton (I didn't take a 24 week) - ummm, yeah, I could give that belly a serious run for its money.
  • I thought this was all in my head but now that I look back at pictures, both from Keaton's pregnancy as well as ones from earlier in this pregnancy, I think I am carrying this baby differently. Not on a higher/lower basis, but this time around I feel like I'm carrying it everywhere. Like my whole mid section has just ballooned. I haven't gained as much weight as I did last time, so I really just think its different. If that makes sense.
  • The baby has started moving alot more, but at this point I would still say it seems to be less active as Keaton. Maybe it is still just too early, but for now I'm standing by that.
  • The Braxton Hicks have also started. Actually, I should have included this in my last update because I think they started around 18 weeks. They still aren't terribly frequent, but they are unmistakeably BH.
  • My 24-week apt. was yesterday and things seem to be going well. As soon as he measured my fundal height I asked what I was measuring, worrying that I might be measuring ahead since I've gotten so big. But no, I was right on at 24 weeks. So that was a relief.
  • The baby's heart rate was the highest it has ever been, in the 150's - at one point it was 157.
  • The rest of the apt. was pretty routine, we talked about the ultrasound (more below) and (again) about the possibility of me going early. He said he was going to start checking me at 30 weeks. That made me happy to hear. As long as I make it 34 weeks they'll let me go if I go into labor.
  • Of course you know what all of this talk means right?? I'm totally going full-term this time around :)
  • As I'm sitting here typing I'm also watching my belly move. This baby must know I'm talking about him/her...all that crap about me not being active?? I'll show you MOM.

Okay, so, on to an ultrasound update!! Our ultrasound was two weeks ago now, but we were having some computer/scanner issues so I wasn't able to post the pictures.

  • The ultrasound went great. Both of our moms came with us and I think they really enjoyed it.
  • As soon as our tech set the wand down the baby was in full view and I couldn't believe how much bigger it was compared to our 16 week ultrasound, which was only 6 weeks earlier.
  • During our ultrasound the baby was sitting breach. Collin is going to totally roll his eyes when he reads this...I know it has plenty of time to flip, I know it could be flipping on a daily basis, but I also know that the kicks I've been feeling are going straight down into my bladder/cervix...and it worries me a little. Of course when I brought this up at my apt. yesterday my Doc had the same reaction as Collin, he's not worried. We have plenty of time. Tonight, for the first time, I'm feeling some kicks up on my left side, it gives me hope. Please baby, turn for mama!
  • Babe had his/her hands up my his/her face during much of the ultrasound. And after one of my bathroom breaks (I think I took 3!) s/he had his/her knees tucked into his/her chin.
  • Blah. One good thing about finding out the sex is you don't have to type all this his/her stuff so much.
  • As I'm guessing you've figured out, we didn't find out, we're keeping the surprise for game day.
  • At the end of the exam I looked at the tech and said "should I even ask this??" and then asked if she knew. She said Yes, she knew what it was. My reaction was, well, that means its a boy and she said nooo, not necessarily, if it was a girl she said she'd know that too since she does this every day.
  • I'll admit, it was really, really hard to not just have her tell us right there. But, now that it is over I'm happy we didn't. I really just love surprises...
  • I had one gut reaction during the ultrasound. It was just for an instant and I haven't had one since, but during the exam for a moment I thought it was a boy. Of course as the exam went on I started to waiver and right now I have no idea whatsoever, but that was the one gut reaction I've had during this pregnancy.
  • Okay, enough talk....on to pictures!!



(Remember K's ultrasound?? This was the ONLY pic we got!)

This one is a little creepy, so maybe don't look too long. Or, look but maybe focus on the nose down.

This one isn't quite as clear, but it is my favorite of the 3-D pictures. It was at this point s/he had his/her legs up by his/her face. And do you see the cord sitting right below his/her chin?? The reason I love this one though is that I think s/he looks just like Keaton as an infant.

Monday, April 12, 2010

One in which I should not admit

I don’t like to toot my own horn, but when I stop and think about it, there are many things in which I could call strengths. And at the same time, there are many things that I could call weaknesses. Take knowledge of the English language for instance. I have a vocabulary of a gnat and the ability to properly construct a sentence of a 6-month old. I use commas where semicolons should go and have a love for run-on sentences. This is all a bit odd to me since my mother is an ENGLISH TEACHER. For the love!

The following conversation is one in which I probably should not admit to, but when has personal humiliation ever stopped me? I chapped my ass while training for the half marathon, if I can admit to that, this is nothing!


(while looking through my twitter stream) Who are the bucs?

The Milwaukee Bucks?

No, its spelled B.U.C.S.

Oh… (he smiles, knowing exactly where this is going) the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Well, that’s what I thought, but why do they call them the bucs?

Short for buccaneers. You know, because a buccaneer is a pirate.


Like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, one side of their stadium is a huge pirate ship.


What did you think a buccaneer was?

A rodeo rider.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Easter 2010: Mr. Bunny

It was a few days before Easter 2009 when Collin got the call telling him that Keaton had just won a drawing at a local gas station. It was a drawing that Papa & Busha had entered him into and when Collin called to give me the news our minds started racing as to what the prize might be. The possibilities were endless. A free pizza? A hotel stay somewhere? $5,000 cash????!!! We were like little kids on Christmas, full of anticipation.

When I got home that night I was pacing, waiting for Collin to walk in the door, waiting for the surprise to be revealed. When the door finally opened surprised I was.

Keaton's prize??

A 42-inch stuffed white bunny. 54 inches if you include the ears.

We looked at each other and at that moment had the exact same thought. OMG what are we going to do with this thing?

He was quickly dubbed Mr. Bunny and took residence on Keaton's nursery floor. We made jokes about Mr. Bunny and laughed at how huge he was. But you know what? By the time summer rolled around and we figured it was time to put him away for the year we had all grown a little attached. Mr. Bunny was kinda like family.

I never thought I'd say this but when it was time to pull him back out this year, I realized I had kinda missed those big black eyes and floppy ears. And Keaton was thrilled to see him. Mr. Bunny is again sitting on the nursery floor and Keaton frequently runs at full force screaming ahhhhh! before tackling him. I think we'll all be a little sad to see him be packed up again this year.

After Keaton received his prize last year Busha took a picture of the two of them together and sent it home with Keats one evening. That picture hung on our fridge for quite some time last year and when we pulled Mr. Bunny out a few weeks ago, we knew we needed an update.
Mr. Bunny 2009

Mr. Bunny 2010

Look how big my little boy has gotten!! Ahhh! There are lots more Mr. Bunny photos (as well as some other Easter pictures) on Flickr because I couldn't decide, I love them all!


This concludes my Easter 2010 posts. Hope you all had a lovely holiday.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter 2010: Easter Baskets & Egg Hunts

On Easter morning we all woke up early and my mom and I made a couple of breakfast casseroles while my dad and Collin took the dogs to the dog park. After breakfast we discovered a surprise in the living room. The Easter Bunny had come to visit!

As soon as Collin set Keats down and pointed to the basket he sprinted to it and dug inside.

Instantly finding his most favorite treat...MARSHMALLOWS!!

The Easter Bunny was pretty good to Keaton this year, but do you know what's even more fun that a basket full of gifts???

Taking the grass out of the basket and throwing it....

all over the floor!!

After looking through all of his new stuff it was bath time and then nap time (for a little boy who refused to go to bed for Grammy & Grandpa Grizz until 10 pm the night before).
That afternoon we headed up to Justin & Kira's for an Easter celebration.
While the food was being finished up we took the boys outside for their very first Easter egg hunt.
The Easter Bunny had also made a stop by Auntie Kira & Uncle Justin's and there were eggs hidden all over the yard.

Some where on the ground....

Some were in trees....

And some were hidden up high where only Daddy's could reach.

The boys trotted around the yard for quite some time and found all of the eggs.

By the looks on their faces, I'd say it was a success!

After the egg hunt we headed inside and stuffed ourselves on ham, cheesy potatoes, green bean casserole, calico beans, 7-layer salad, stuffed mushrooms and deviled eggs. Then we finished the dinner with not one but TWO desserts, which were both delicious.
The best part of the day though was spending time with our families, mine, Kira's and Collin's. Being able to celebrate with all of our families together is such a blessing.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter 2010: Coloring eggs

Technically last year was Keaton's first Easter but at the time he was only 3 months old so we didn't do a lot of the traditional Easter activities. This year I was so looking forward to the holiday and as part of my Spring Soul Season List I included take Keaton to see the Easter Bunny and color Easter eggs; both of which would be a first for him.

Kira and I made plans weeks ago to get the boys together the day before Easter to color eggs; the eggs that would be used in the hunt on Easter Sunday. So following Keaton's nap on Saturday afternoon we loaded him up and headed north for a little coloring fun.

Kira had the table set up when we got there and while the boys played we got all 2 1/2 dozen eggs ready to go.

And the coloring buckets full of the appropriate mixture of lemon juice and water.

Aaaaaaand....this would be where the battery in my camera decides to die!!! Dead camera battery, no case with extra battery or second camera on hand. So I was unable to document Keaton's first egg coloring adventure. Doh!

The boys spent the majority of the afternoon playing while us adults did the majority of the coloring, but they both threw an egg or two into a bucket and for (roughly) 12 and 15 months I suppose that's about all you can ask for.

The eggs turned out great and as tradition in our family each person present at Easter dinner had a personalized egg with their name on it. And most importantly the Easter Bunny had a basket full of eggs to hide for the hunt on Sunday afternoon.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter 2010: Breakfast with the Easter Bunny

Each week following mass we'd get in the car and I'd scour the bulletin for the date. When March rolled around I knew it would be posted.

Get your tickets for Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, Saturday, March 27th.

Noooo!!! I let out an audible cry. I'd been waiting weeks for this and wouldn't you know it was on a Saturday where I had to be out of town, celebrating with my cousin her upcoming wedding at a shower held by my aunts.

I thought about it for awhile that afternoon and realized just because I couldn't make it to the breakfast didn't mean Keaton shouldn't go. So the following week after church we bought 3 tickets for Collin, Papa, and Busha to go with Keaton.
That Saturday morning I sent the boys off before Kira and I even left town. We were about to cross the Illinois border when my phone rang and Collin filled me in on the morning. I knew immediately by the sound of his voice that it had been a hit. Even though I was sad I wasn't able to join them, I was so happy that Keaton enjoyed his morning.
They got to church around 9 am in time for an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. The room was filled with kids and families and when the Easter Bunny made his long awaited arrival the room cheered. Keaton was very interested in this giant bunny and didn't take his eyes off of him; following his every step around the room.
When it was time to get in line for pictures Keaton did fine. He didn't seem afraid and even as Collin set him on the Easter Bunny's lap he was okay. But then Collin backed away and Keaton realized whoa, wait, Daddy's not holding me and, oh my, what is this thing?
Following pictures they headed to the craft room where Keaton made a marshmallow butterfly out of a ziploc baggie and a pipe cleaner, colored a paper bag to use on the egg hunt, and frosted cut-out cookies. Keaton is a huge fan of cookies and, well, frosting, so Collin dipped the stick in the frosting and as he prepared to put it on the cookie Keaton grabbed it and shoved it straight into his mouth. Busha has pictures of his frosting covered face.
After crafts they headed to the church nursery to play for awhile and then it was time for the hunt. The field was divided into age groups and there were lots and lots of eggs in the 0-3 section. The hunt started and Keats headed straight for his prize. Not an egg, but a piece of bark. And he was thrilled. In the end he brought home about 8 eggs filled with various things, including a $5 bill, which was strategically placed by Papa.
As we crossed into Illinois I asked Collin if Keaton was tired and he told me, oh yeah, he's sleeping. He ate half is butterfly on the way home and then crashed. "His butterfly?" I asked. Collin said he'd show me when I got home. When I walked in the door that night the boys recounted the whole morning to me and now I can't wait for next year.