Thursday, January 31, 2013

10 Months

Kai is 10 months old. As usual, I am late getting this up. Kai was not really in the mood for pictures and was making all kinds of grumpy faces during this photo shoot, but I got a few that work. His little personality is coming out like crazy now. He is such a ball of energy and is definitely giving me a run for my money. This month:
  • He is teething AGAIN. I wish all of those darn teeth would come in and we could be done with this teething business. He is so miserable. He has 2 more coming in right now, which brings the grand total to 6 teeth.
  • He is starting to be able to balance on his own, and has stood up and taken a couple steps...but is lazy. I think he realizes that he can crawl super fast, so walking takes way more effort. All in good time.
  • He gets a kick out of himself. He makes himself laugh all of the time. It's pretty cute.
  • He loves games. We play a lot of peek-a-boo, and he loves when I chase him around the floor on my hands and knees too.
  • His eyes are still changing colors. They are different every day. It is crazy.
  • He is learning more signs. He just signed "all done" to me today. Pretty exciting. 
  • He is starting to throw tantrums. We are in big trouble. I am trying to show him that kicking and screaming is not okay. I thought I had a couple years before that.
  • He is my cuddle-love. He loves to snuggle and cuddle up next to you.
  • He loves kisses. Mom, Dad, Keeva, toys, blankie...everyone gets kisses. Sometimes he grabs my cheeks and gives me big kisses; it kills me. 
  • He is a dancer. Drop a beat and he will be rocking out. I think there is a little musician in him. He even copies your dance moves.
  • He is starting to outgrow the pacifier. I think babies sucking on pacifiers are adorable, but I guess it's better than him being five and still wanting it. 
  • He learned to take his diaper off. Not good. 
  • He still likes to bite. How do you teach a baby not to bite? He thinks it's a game.
  • He also thinks getting into stuff he's not supposed to is a game. If you tell him no, that is his new favorite toy/activity.
  • He is starting to sing. At least I think it sounds like singing. He hums and blabs in a sing-songy tone when music is on.
  • He chats all the time. It is incomprehensible, but he thinks he's saying something. 
  • He loves to be out-and-about. Whether it's the grocery store, the science museum, or even Jo-Ann Fabrics, he is happy as long as he is out of the house. 
  • His hair is getting thicker. I have already given him 3 haircuts to try to thicken it, and now it is finally coming in full. 
  • He loves his puppy and loves to use her as transportation-aid to walk around the house. 
  • He is destructive. His favorite pastime is pulling all of the wipes out of the wipe box one by one.
  • He makes us smile all of the time. Just the funny little things he does and the silly facial expressions he makes are so sweet. He can brighten up the saddest moment.
Check him out:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Decisions Decisions

While I was preparing to have my son, as all mothers can attest, there will many decisions to make. I felt like every person I spoke to grilled me on how I planned my labor to go. Would I do it naturally? Do any early screening tests? Have an epidural? Be induced? Have my membranes stripped? Schedule the delivery day? Receive pitocin? Have a midwife? Doula? Deliver in a hospital? Birthing center? At home? In water? And the question went to and on. 
I wanted to have the perfect delivery that was talked about how awesome it was for years after. I read every book I could get my hands on and watched every documentary that Netflix had about birth. More often than not, our small apartment was filled with the sounds of women in labor as I researched. Months ahead of my due date I packed a perfectly organized hospital bed, stocked with snacks, aromatherapy, a cute and comfy birthing outfit, and all other "necessities." I typed out a very detailed birth plan and made organized folders with the plan and other information for every person that would enter the labor and delivery room. I had made all my decisions, and I was ready. Or so I thought. 
When I ended up having to have a c-section and every single one of my carefully made plans were changed, it was hard not to be slightly devastated; and I would have been if it hadn't have been for the beautiful, healthy baby boy in my arms. My mom told me that this was God's way of teaching me that with motherhood, you can't control everything, and things never go as planned. This is a lesson I am still learning every single day of my life as a mom, despite my stubborn and futile effort to plan regardless.    
Now that my little guy is 10 months old, life has thrown a ton of other curve balls my way. I was so naive and thought that all of the questions would go away when I got home from the hospital. Again, I was so wrong. Every time I figure one thing out, a whole slew of new questions come my way. Do you breastfeed? Bottle feed? Baby wear? Co-sleep? Crib-sleep? Immunize? Homeopathic medicine? Sleep train? Ferberize? Cry-it-out? No-cry? Baby-wise parenting? Attachment parenting? No sugar? All natural? And it continues infinitely. This can really stress a mom out. And sometimes it seriously does. I've read more than my share of books and studies. I have had sleepless nights researching on the computer sleep methods. 
When we came home from the hospital, I kind of thought that I would be able to put the baby down for regular naps, that breastfeeding would be so easy, that he would sleep in his crib through the night and everything would be hunky-dory. Then real-life hit. Sleep was a joke. He only went to bed after 5 a.m. and that was only on-top of me and after hours of screaming. Don't even think about naps. I had to use a nursing shield for the first 5 months of breastfeeding because he refused to latch without one. Fast forward 9 months, and the little man developed a terrible fear of his crib, screaming on the top of his lungs if you set him in it (even in a dead-sleep).
All of the carefully thought out plans that we made after much research just didn't happen. We had to adapt for the health and well-being of our family. After a lot of thinking about it, I am okay with having to adapt. I was so stressed that I had to have life planned out in order to be a good mom and have a healthy, well-adjusted child. Here's the thing, for every single study that says that one thing is best for your baby, you will find 3 more telling you that that thing will cause issues for them that will turn them into troubled adults. Take the the co-sleeping debate as an example. If you read some studies, they say that co-sleeping increases the risk of SIDS and cause dependent children; the next study says that it decreases the risk of SIDS because the parent is right there, and the children are more independent because their emotional needs are met. I can come up with hundreds of examples like this. There is no winning. 
I have come to the conclusion that in raising kids, whatever you choose, is right. Whatever Susie at playgroup chooses, is right. When it comes to being a parent, it is most important to be educated, informed, and then with your arsenal of information, do whatever is best for your baby, and be flexible. All that matters is that you are making decisions that are best for your family, and that your kid is happy and healthy. As long as you do that, everthing will be okay, and that's most important. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Year, New Us

Look how healthy that stocked fridge is!
When I had Kai, I was so proud that I lost my baby weight in just about 6 weeks. My body still looked pretty awful, but the scale was forgiving. For some reason (laziness) I never toned back up and actually gained more weight after that initial 6 weeks. Christmas was the final straw. After eating more than our weight in delicious foods and sweets during the holidays, Brad and I gained more than a healthy amount of weight. We decided it was time to make some big changes in our life. I did a bunch of research and made menu's and workout plans for Brad and I to follow, with the goal of Kai's birthday (March 20) as our deadline to get in shape. 

Week one: we thought we were starving to death. Even with snacks in between meals we both thought we were wasting away. Working out kicked our butts and we could barely move. 
Week two: we cheated A LOT. We were absolutely awful at eating well, and we worked out super sporadically. 
Week three: we are doing better, but it is hard to come back from a bad week. I am proud to say that we have both lost an initial 10 lbs and I am losing inches in my measurements already! It is so exciting to see progress.  
I have learned that all diet food is not created equally. Our diet includes healthy organic meals that are low in calories. Some of the recipes have been super good, and some of them have been tasteless piles of mush. We are working on that. Another thing I have learned so far is that eating healthy is EXPENSIVE. It is so much cheaper to buy unhealthy stuff. The last thing I have learned so far is that preparing these meals is time consuming. I have to get up super early to cook breakfast and prepare lunch and snacks for the day so Brad can take them to work. This is a lot of work! 
Being healthy is more of a sacrifice than I thought. Regardless, we are determined...and now by posting this I am counting on anyone who reads this to hold me accountable. Ready go!
Chicken veggie salad- one of the successes.

This is what we are doing if you are curious. I have learned to hate her. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Smart Family Photos

While we were in Michigan, we had a good friend take some quick family photos of all of us. It was freeeeeeezing, but we survived. Here are some of the pictures:

Christmas in Michigan

This Christmas, we got to go home to Michigan for the first time in 5 years. It was a wonderful, relaxing, food-filled fun 10 days. I literally gained 10 pounds from mom's delish cooking. Kai enjoyed the constant attention (for the most part). This is how our trip went: 
 First picture with Santa before we left 
 Kai's tatto from Brad's Christmas party
Brad's Christmas party for the kids 
Taking a break from driving through a HUGE blizzard on the way
The packed car
 New Years Eve ugly Christmas sweaters
The matching ugly turtlenecks 
 Dinner with Roxy, Trevor, and Jule at the Smokehouse
 Cuddle friends 
 Christmas morning, eating Daddy's nerf guns
 Opening his first ever stocking from Santa
Lots of cuddling with the giant bear 
Hanging out 

9 Months

My baby is no longer really a baby. I have been trying to figure out when scientifically a baby is considered a toddler, and the best definition I found was "when they toddle". Well, Kai toddles, so therefore Kai is a toddler? I am still trying to decided how I feel about this. He is so much fun, and constantly on the go, but at the same time, my little sweet baby is no more. This month was pretty magical with Kai's first Christmas. This month:
  • He poses for pictures. He has been doing this for a long time, but now he totally hams it up when you get out a camera. 
  • He figured out how to use the iPhones. This really freaks me out because I feel like it took me way longer to figure out my phone, and at 9 months he can do it. 
  • He mimiks. Brad and I need to watch what we say because he copies. At first we thought it was just coincidence that his babbling sounded just like what we were saying, but it happens to often now to be coincidence. 
  • He wants to walk. He uses everything around him to walk his way around the house, and has even taken some steps on his own. Just a matter of time.
  • He has an attitude and tells me NO and DON'T. I don't really appreciate it, but it is kind of cute. 
  • He gives lots and lots of kisses.
  • He is learning to be soft...but is really bad at it. Kai has a habit of hitting really hard and bitting (poor Keeva is his most frequent victim) so we are working on being soft. He will be soft for a minute and then go back to kid crazy hitting, followed by kisses at least. 
  • He is learning to sign. He only signs back "to eat" in his own modified way, but he really seems to understand our signs. 
  • He is non-stop. It is impossible to keep an eye on him because he climbs everything and is dang fast. I'm in trouble. 
  • He waves at strangers. He is still super shy but he is starting to wave at strangers as long as mommy is near by. 
  • He dances. It is our favorite parlor trick. Any song brings on his pelvic thrusting and now head bobbing and arm waving.
  • He eats anything and everything in sight. No food (or toy for that matter) is safe from his jaws. He loves weird things too like curry and peppers. Strange baby. 
  • He is getting too tall. I am having to hide my stuff because he is tall enough to reach everything. 
  • He has full blown conversations. These conversations are sometimes with us, toys, the air, food...We can't actually understand him but he does use many different facial expressions, hand gestures, and nodding. 
And now for the photo dump: 
 Smiley boy and his dog
Can you tell me has a cold with that runny nose?
 Concentrating on walking with his motorcycle
 Tall boy
 Excited to be riding his motorcycle
 Cheesy smile
 Rolling away from the camera
 So handsome 
 Look at those teeth 
Goofy smile