Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Mini Vacation

Two days after Christmas, we loaded up the van and headed to the Dells!  I drove our van packed with Wendy, my mom, Ella, and Kai while Darren drove the Malcolm's van with Tyson, my dad, Josh, and Ava.  The drive took longer than we had planned, but as soon as we arrived we got into our suits, ate supper, and headed to the indoor water park!

We stayed at the Chula Vista resort for 2 nights (Thursday & Friday).  The water park was great! It had something for everyone! There was an infant/toddler pool that was heated so the babies and Ava spent a lot of time there.  In that pool, they also had two mini slides that Ava took just about everyone down with her.  It was also a zero-entry pool so Kai could just sit on his own in the very shallow water.

They also had another kids' pool with basketball hoops that Ava roped Tyson into taking her to.  The "lazy river" was not so lazy, so I didn't spend anytime there. However, Ava got Papa, Nana, and Tyson to take her there as well!  While the kids played, the adults took turns enjoying the slides!  On our second night there, we left Ava and the babies with my parents and Josh, so the rest of us could make sure we hit up all of the slides! 

We had a lot of fun and can't wait to go back and check out everything that Wisconsin Dells has to offer.  We didn't do anything outside of our hotel, so we would like to see what other activities we could find.  Next time we might have to look into the condos though.  Our rooms were just regular hotel rooms and with a baby who doesn't sleep well (Kai) it was not working out the greatest. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Kai's First Christmas

Get comfortable, this is going to be a long post!

Last year we celebrated our last Christmas as a family of two.  We had high hopes for Christmas this year, knowing that we would have a sweet 8 month old baby (boy? girl?).  The holiday did not disappoint.

We started off Christmas with two snow days (Thursday and Friday), making my winter break begin early!  On Saturday 12/22, Wendy and the girls came over and we headed to Dumont, leaving the men behind (they came a few hours later).  My aunt Mari, uncle Kirk, and cousins Dustin, Kelsey, Kendra, & Hannah all joined us for lunch at my parents' house. Dustin goes to school in Florida and this is the first time that he's met Kai or Ella!  After lunch and a couple hours of playing, we went to visit my grandma Pecha in Ackley.  After several photo ops and visiting for awhile, we came back "home" where Darren, Tyson, and Sophie (Malcolm's dog) had just arrived.  We spent the rest of the night relaxing.

On Sunday, us and my parents went to their church, while the Malcolm's went to Darren's family Christmas.  After church, Kai crashed, Tyson ran, and I got some more relaxing time while my parents got lunch ready.  Besides making a Christmas pie and a quick run to Hampton to pick up some laundry detergent, we didn't do much on Sunday.  Kai got spoiled with attention for being the only grandbaby around and he got a ride around the house from Papa in a diaper box pulled by a belt.  The Malcolm's arrived around 7:00pm and then it was game time! We played a few rounds of Whoonu and then Battle of the Sexes.

Monday marked Christmas Eve and Tyson had to work!!  We spent the morning in our pajamas and were all ready to open presents by the time he got home around 12:30!  However, that was just the time that Kai was ready to take a nap.  The rest of us took turns opening gifts, but mostly Ava was doing the gift opening.  This year, my parents only gave gifts (except the traditional pajamas and a couple small things) to the grandkids because we will be going on a vacation next year that we traded the presents for!  However, the grandkids hit the jackpot!!  When Kai finally woke up, we opened his gifts.  He came home with some pretty awesome gifts: a  ride on/walk behind motorcycle, a lawn chair with his name, tons of clothes, 2 new pairs of shoes (Pumas and Vans), sippy cups, a homemade taggie blanket, stacker cups, puzzles, books, shape sorter, remote, Little People airport (and so the collection begins!!), a laptop, steering wheel toy, a cube with several spinning objects on it, and MANY, MANY more things that I'm sure I'm forgetting!

After the presents were opened, Ava gave Kai a ride around the house in her new sled.  I could not believe that he just laid on his back and let her pull him around!  Then we ate supper (Tyson's "famous" Chicken Tortilla soup) and scrambled to get ready for church on time with two sleeping babies who still needed to eat and get dressed!  We made it on time and decided this may be the last year that we can all fit into one pew!  The Christmas Eve service was bittersweet.  Last year Wendy and I were both pregnant, so to have two babies this year was a blessing.  However, it was our first Christmas without my Grandma Meinders and I think it hit us all when they turned down the lights, lit our candles, and we all sang Silent Night.  After church we took a few quick pictures, changed the kids into their jammies, and drove back to Cedar Falls and my parents and Josh followed.

On Christmas morning, Kai let us sleep until 8:00am!  We all got up and went into the living room to see what Santa had left for him!  Kai was surprised with an elephant ball popper, some much needed new socks (he is quickly outgrowing his others), bath soap, a new book, more sippy cups, 4 different textured balls, and some snacks.  He also opened his gifts from us (not sure if this will be the tradition we continue or if he'll open them on Christmas Eve from now on).  From us he got a stack of new books (I'm trying to add to his library - we can't have a teacher's son with no books!!), a bath scoop to hold toys, and a bunch of new clothes.  We didn't go too overboard.  We just wanted him to have a few gifts from us and a few from Santa.  Nana and Papa took care of the rest!! :)  He got so many new 12month outfits that I'm considering packing up his 9month stuff that still fits just so he can wear the new ones!!

The rest of Christmas day was spent at the Malcolm's.  We went to their house for brunch around 10:30 and stayed until 5:30.  We played with Ava and Ella's new toys, played several games, and just had a relaxing day.

Now Kai and I (Tyson is back to work today) have one day of relaxing before we leave again.  Tomorrow 12/27 we are going to the Wisconsin Dells for a little getaway.  The Malcolm's, my parents, and Josh will be coming along as well.  Then, we'll get back on Saturday and wait a couple more days until Tyson's mom, Nana, and sister arrive for a week!  This is definitely a busy few weeks in the Burton household, but we'll never get Kai's first Christmas back so we might as well celebrate for two weeks! 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Eight Months

Another month has come and gone and I'm back for another monthly post!  Kai had a busy 8 month birthday today - we had family/8 month pictures at the Gallagher-Bluedorn.  I weighed him this afternoon after his nap and the scale shows that he didn't gain any weight.  He was still 18lbs 3oz and about 27.5 inches long.  I'm thinking the no weight gain either has something to do with when I weighed him last to when I weighed him this time (maybe after he ate the first time..?) or it could be the fact that he's had a cold for almost 3 weeks straight.  He's still been eating pretty well, but his body has been in overdrive trying to fight off this cold!

At eight months Kai is:
-wearing size 3 diapers
-wearing 6-9 or 9 month clothes
-wearing size 2 or 3 shoes (I've just recently been putting shoes on more often.  Twos will be too small pretty soon so any new pairs are 3s)
-eating 6oz every 4 hours
-eating oatmeal with fruit at 8:30am; a fruit or vegetable at 12:00pm; fruit or vegetable at 6:30pm  (he's eating about 1/4c fruit & veggie per day)
-going to bed between 7:00-8:00pm (earlier side if no late afternoon nap) and still waking between 6:00-7:00am.  On the weekends, he's starting to do better with sleeping until closer to 8:00 - mostly because I'm more likely to try to get him back to sleep.
-starting to pull himself on his tummy but he gets really frustrated quickly
-rocking when put on hands and knees but not going anywhere
-showing all signs that he wants to crawl, just can't quite figure it out yet
-still practicing with the sippy cup & water, but prefers us to hold it up to drink from
-still not sleeping through the night
-clapping/playing pat-a-cake 
Naked baby at 8 months!
A little dark but the best that I got of him on his back. It's like wrestling an alligator now!

Other things about Kai at eight months:
-he's been giving the best hugs lately!
-he's pulled himself up to standing about twice now but he's really unsteady on his feet still
-loves pulling all of the puzzle pieces off his puzzles and banging them together
-loves anything that makes noise, especially toy drums
-he's starting to become really interested in his books.  I've been reading to him since we brought him home, but now he'll try to hold the book and loves one book with a finger puppet
-favorite foods: avocado, peaches, peas, green beans, squash (still likes oatmeal, apple, pears)

 Banging the puzzle pieces together!                           Looks good but still pretty unsteady!


 On Friday night, we headed to Dumont.  The man in red was making his grand appearance at Old Fashioned Christmas and this would be a perfect opportunity for Kai to meet him!  On Saturday morning, we headed to the library.  There was no line so Kai got right on Santa's lap.  We didn't have screams, cries, or smiles.  He seemed less than impressed with Santa and the Mrs., however, he was interested in Santa's long hair.

Playing with Papa on Saturday morning

Hello Santa!

Not impressed, but not scared either

Baby Santa!!

Winner of a ham!!

Kai the penguin

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dear Kai...

We are entering Mommy's favorite time of the year: Christmas! There's just something about it that makes me anxious for this time every year! I love all of the time spent with family, the music, the lights, the movies, and the quiet snowfalls that often happen while we are sleeping.  Most of all, I love the traditions!  As a little girl, I always knew what to expect.  We would get dressed up for the Christmas Eve service as church (which I was often in).  It was always a candle lit service and the whole congregation would sing Silent Night until the entire church was glowing with candles.  After church, my Grandpa & Grandma Meinders and Great Aunt and Uncle would come over to open presents! It always took hours to get to the last present, but it was my favorite family time!  Mommy, Uncle Josh, and Aunt Wendy would then go to bed, in hopes that Santa would bring us just what we had asked for.

On Christmas morning, Santa always left a pile for me, Wendy, Josh, and Nana & Papa.  The rest of the day we would watch new movies, play new games, and try on new clothes.

Now it's time for Mommy and Daddy to start some traditions with you.  I know you'll never remember your first few Christmases, but it's important to us that you know the true meaning of this holiday season as well as enjoying some family traditions for years to come. I would like to do a combination of something that Mommy and Daddy each did as children, as well as adding a new tradition to call our own.

I hope you grow to love this time of year as much as I do.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Our holiday weekend started right away on Wednesday with guests arriving from Nevada and Colorado.  Three of the guys that Tyson grew up with and their significant others were joining us for Thanksgiving this year!

Tyson headed down to Des Moines on Wednesday morning to pick up the gang.  By the time I was out of school, picked up Ava, Ella, and Kai at daycare, they were already in Cedar Falls.  This was the first time that any of them had met Kai.  My parents brought a Mexican feast down for supper and we spent the night catching up.  The last time Tyson and I saw everyone was at our wedding over two years ago!!

On Thursday we had a lazy morning at home and then headed to my parents around mid-morning.  We spent the day cooking, drinking, and relaxing while the guys were outside practicing at the "Pecha Shooting Range" (aka my parents' yard).  We ate around 3:30pm and then continued with the drinking and relaxing.  Most of the men dozed off at one point or another.  We decided to head back to Cedar Falls around 7:00pm, as we had an early morning ahead of us!

At 4:15am on Friday morning, our alarm clock was ringing!  Time to get up and head to Iowa City!  My parents drove down to our house in the wee hours of the morning so they could spend the day with Kai (aren't they great?!).  I'm not quite ready to leave him overnight yet, especially because he's not sleeping through the night.  We left for IC around 5:00am and the tailgating began soon after we arrived.  However, it didn't last long before everyone was so cold that we decided to pack it up and head over to The Vine, a local sports bar. 

***I should mention that on the way to IC, I realized that I had left my battery pack for my pump at home and I didn't have the wall plug either.  In a mad rush to figure out what I was going to do all day, I became the proud owner of a manual pump! ***

The guys went to the game while myself, Jen, and Caleb hit up the movie theater!  After (another) loss, we headed back to Cedar Falls to relieve my parents from babysitting.

Saturday morning was our first morning to sleep in!! Even Kai got the memo and slept until 7:30am.  We had a really lazy morning and afternoon.  Everyone except myself and Kai went to Beck's around 2:00pm to watch some of the games that were on.  Kai and I did go and visit them after he woke up from his nap though.  They got home around 10:00 and Kai was already fast asleep.

Our last day with everyone was today.  Kai and I stayed home while everyone else went to Perkins for breakfast (it was Kai's nap time).  The rest of the of the morning/early afternoon was spent with everyone packing up, cleaning the van & garage, watching football, and getting some last minute snuggles in with Kai.  They left for Des Moines at 1:30 to catch their flight home.

It was so great to see everyone again!  When these guys get together, it's usually a loud and crazy time, but it only happens once a year or every other year.  

I can't find our camera cord to upload pictures, so I'll have to add some later!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

One Sick Baby

Last weekend we had noticed that Kai had a pretty runny nose and was starting to cough.  We thought nothing of it until Sunday afternoon/night when his cough started getting worse.  He wasn't running a fever, but his breathing was really raspy and labored when he was sleeping.  We picked up some baby chest rub from Walgreen's, hoping that would help a little.  By later on Sunday evening, his cough was sounding really bad.  I was pretty sure he had croup.  We let daycare know that he was going to the doctor in the morning and probably wouldn't be coming. 

When we woke up Monday morning, his cough sounded painful!  Tyson was able to get him in to see Dr. Smith right after they opened at 9:00am.  It wasn't croup, but just a really bad cold. Ugh.  That means nothing but time was going to cure this. 

Tyson and Kai spent the rest of the day at home.  We used the humidifier constantly, applied baby chest rub at every diaper change, propped up his crib mattress, and offered more water than usual. 

I decided on Monday night that I wanted Kai to stay home another day, just to relax and get in some good naps before heading back to daycare.  Tyson couldn't take another day off and we have an extreme shortage of substitute teachers right now, so I asked my dad to come and spend the day with Kai.  Of course Papa was willing to come! 

Now, a week later, Kai still has a little bit of a cough and a stuffy and/or runny nose, but he is definitely sounding better than he was a week ago! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Shopping Weekend

Last weekend, we packed up the van and headed to Des Moines for a weekend of shopping!  The Malcolm's and my parents also came along.  We left on Friday right after school.  We spent Friday night just hanging out in our hotel rooms.  Ava showed my mom and I how to play Sequence for Kids and she let me win!  Kai and Ella played together on the bed until Kai let out one of his famous screams and scared Ella.  We all headed to bed pretty early.

On Saturday morning, Kai woke Tyson and I up at his usual 6:00am.  He obviously didn't get the memo about sleeping in on the weekends, especially in hotels!  The women set off for shopping and pedicures around 9:30am.  We shopped at TJ Maxx and then went to the Aveda Institute for pedicures.  After that, we headed for Jordan Creek.  The men, babies, and Ava stayed back at the hotel.  It sounds like they swam for awhile in the morning, then watched football and took naps in the afternoon. 

We went to P.F. Changs for dinner on Saturday night.  Ava wanted to sit between me and Kai.  She was totally in love with him all weekend!!  She loved his little scream and kept making him smile at the restaurant.  Every time he banged on the table, she did it back, which only got him going even more!  It was so cute to watch them play together.  The best part of the whole meal was when our desserts were delivered (mini desserts in big shot glasses) and Ava was sitting on my lap.  She grabbed a spoon and said, "Is this mine?!" and started eating away!  I think I only got a couple bites!

We got back late from dinner and I fell asleep when I was trying to get Kai to sleep around 8:30pm!  It sounds like everyone else went to bed early too.

On Sunday, we all ate breakfast and then went swimming one last time.  Kai and Ava loved the cold water, while my mom, sister, and I preferred the hot tub.  It was too hot for Ella and the pool was too cold so she only got in long enough to take a picture.

Even though we went Christmas shopping, I still feel like I have a lot to buy yet!  I think Ava is the only one who is just about done. 

Kai's Latest "Tricks"

Seriously, this boy is growing faster than I can even keep track of these days!  I spent Tuesday (11/13) night trying to get Kai to say 'mama'.  I kept saying "mama, mama, mamamamama."  I was pretty sure that between all of the other babbling that he's doing, I heard "mama" in there once or twice.  Of course Tyson didn't believe me.  However, on Wednesday (11/14) morning after I left for school I got a text message from Tyson.  It said "Kai just looked at my coffee and said mama." 

I only think it's fair that Kai's first word was 'mama'.  I mean really, I carried him for 41 weeks.  :)

Yesterday (11/15) I picked Kai up from daycare and when we got home I sat him down on the floor.  The next thing I knew, he was clapping!!  He wasn't even attempting to clap on Wednesday.  How did that just happen?!  I have been doing a lot of pat-a-cake with him lately and he obviously caught on!! 

Ok Kai, talking and clapping are great, but please stay some-what stationary for awhile.  I'm not ready for a crawler!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Seven Months

I wish this little guy of ours would slow down. We are officially closer to one year than to birth.  Boo!  I weighed Kai on our scale at home before daycare on Friday morning.  He came in at 18lbs 3oz and roughly 27 inches long.  (Sorry for the delayed post; we spent the weekend in Des Moines.)

At seven months Kai is:
-wearing size 3 diapers
-wearing 6-9 or 9 month clothes
-eating 6oz every 4 hours
-eating oatmeal for breakfast at 8:30am
-eating a vegetable for supper around 6:30pm
-getting from butt to tummy occasionally (not sure if it's on purpose or accident though)
-reaching for us to pick him up!!!  (It happened for the first time on my birthday 10/13 - but he reached for Daddy...dang it!)
-practicing with a sippy cup but hasn't quite gotten the hang of it
-still waking up at night
-going to bed at 8:00pm and waking up for the day between 6:00-7:00 (I wish I would have included this every month)
-usually taking 3 naps (morning, afternoon, and after daycare)
-holding his own bottle if given the opportunity
-rolling over from back to tummy (mostly when he's sleeping)

Naked baby at 7 months!

Other things about Kai at seven months:
-screams this high-pitched scream when he is excited...or just at random times  :)
-still putting everything in his mouth, but we're seeing a lot less drool.  I guess he wasn't teething after all
-loves to stand, but can't pull himself up on anything yet or really even stand up by holding onto anything - he can "pull" himself up using our hands, but that's all
-still loves to be snuggled when he's sleepy, but otherwise he wants to be playing

We often get asked, "Is he really this happy all of the time?!"  Actually, yes, he usually is a happy baby!  Of course he has his moments, but we've been very blessed!

"I'm outta here!" (but not crawling in this house yet.  Thank goodness!!)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Adventures in Food

I've been meaning to post about Kai's new-found love of food for awhile now, but every time I sit down to post, I realize that either a) Kai just woke up or b) I haven't uploaded the pictures to the computer yet!

We started cereal on September 1st.  I know I've posted about this before, but it really did take a few weeks before Kai started loving his cereal.  I waited until Kai was almost 6 months before introducing any solid food per the doctor's suggestion.

10/7 - Introduction of the sippy cup.  Kai wasn't sure what to do with it.  He chewed on it but didn't realize there was anything inside of it (about an ounce of water).

10/8 - Kai's first taste of sweet potatoes.  He wasn't a huge fan.  I think he was a little caught off guard that what he was eating wasn't cereal.  It was almost my first try at making/pureeing anything and I don't think I got it smooth or thin enough.  We tried 3 days of sweet potatoes and moved on.

10/12 - Kai's first taste of green beans.  He loved them from the first bite!!  These also weren't extremely smooth because of the skin on the beans, but obviously smooth enough for Kai!  He ate green beans for 6 days.

Daddy always adds sound effects which makes eating more fun too!
10/19 - Wendy and I spent all day peeling, slicing, chopping, baking, boiling, pureeing, and freezing baby food.  We now have a stocked freezer of squash, green beans, peas, apples, pears, and avocado.  Kai had his first taste of squash and loved it!!  We've stuck with squash for a few weeks now.  
Hmm...not too bad.

10/20 - Kai started eating cereal for breakfast around 8:30am and eats a vegetable for supper around 6:30pm.

 11/5 - Kai's first taste of avocado.  YUM!!  It's a little thicker than the other purees, so I mixed a lot more breast milk in with it.  He was giving us some funny faces, but kept coming back for more!
I think I like it...

Yep! I do!!
I haven't introduced any fruits yet.  Within the next couple of weeks, I will probably move on to fruits.  I'm thinking by the end of November/beginning of December, Kai will be eating cereal for breakfast, fruit for lunch, and vegetable for supper. He has also taken a huge interest in our food these days...

Kai's First Halloween/Nevada Day

Last year, Halloween got away from us!  We didn't go to a pumpkin farm or carve pumpkins.  In fact, we didn't even BUY pumpkins from anywhere!  We're lucky we even remembered candy for trick-or-treaters (well, being pregnant I wasn't going to forget a chance to stock up on candy!!).

This year, we went all out!  A couple of weeks before Halloween we met the Malcolm's and my mom at a pumpkin farm just north of Waverly.  It is perfect for kids!! I think Kai will really love it next year when he can really enjoy all that this farm has to offer. I did take him for a ride in their little "train."  We also picked out pumpkins to carve and went on a hayride, twice.

Kai was holding on for dear life!

Nana and the babies!
 Kai and Ella have aunties who LOVE candy!

Kai and the Great Pumpkin!

The night before Halloween, Tyson and I got busy carving our pumpkins after Kai went to bed (we still waited until the last minute to do this).  We've made this a tradition since the first Halloween that we were together (minus last year).  I'm excited to see how Kai likes playing in the pumpkin goop next year!

 On Halloween day, Kai wore his lion costume to daycare all day!  He was the cutest lion I've ever seen!!  After daycare, we met Wendy and the girls (Princess Ava & Baby Chick Ella) downtown to take Ava trick-or-treating.  After hitting up all of the stores, Tyson and I took Kai to a friends' house and then home to greet our trick-or-treaters.  (By the way, we had such a low number of kids this year so we were left with a ton of candy.)

A little tired on Halloween morning.

Baby Chick Ella

Princess Ava
Lion Kai

Happy Halloween!