Tuesday, August 28, 2012


"I was a much better parent before I had kids."

Have you heard that quote before?  It's funny really.  We all have these dreams about what our lives will be like when we have babies of our own.  We judge, criticize, and swear that we will never do that.  I think I've done all of that and will probably continue to do more.  

Now, you are probably wondering what those three little letters (WIO) stand for, and I will get to that in a minute.  I always swore that I would never be rocking my baby to sleep.  I wanted my baby to teach himself/herself to fall asleep without my help.  I knew I would never nurse my baby to sleep.  I was going to follow the Baby Wise schedule which is eat, play, sleep.  I always thought that the Cry It Out (CIO) method would be exactly what I would use.  It's fine for babies to cry, right? 

Then, along came Kai.

 In the early, newborn days, Kai would fall asleep anywhere, anytime.  Then, he became a little more alert and would need some help falling asleep.  Insert rocking chair.  I discovered that reading some books and rocking would put Kai right to sleep and then I could transfer him right to his crib.  (There goes 'never rocking my baby to sleep'.)

I still follow the Baby Wise, but definitely not to a T.  There are days, especially now that daycare has started, when all Kai wants to do after he eats is sleep.  A few months ago I would have tried everything to keep him awake.  Today, we both napped after he ate.

CIO?  Definitely not for me!  I've tried it, for all of 30 seconds.  I cannot listen to him lie in his bed and cry.  It just breaks my heart too much.  I keep thinking, "He must need something if he's crying."

So, do you think he has me wrapped around his finger just a little bit?

Well, I will have you know that I now only rock him until he's drowsy.  He will fall asleep in his crib alone.  There are even nights when I rock and rock and he isn't getting sleepy, so I just lay him down and he'll eventually fall asleep (after chatting away at his mobile).

Here comes the WIO method - Wait It Out.  I read this blog where the mother is writing a letter to her daughter and it spoke to me.  This is (almost) exactly how I feel about sleep training.

Read it

So yes, even though I am tired and I need sleep, I can wait it out so that Kai doesn't have to cry it out.  I secretly think I'll miss our middle-of-the-night cuddle sessions when he no longer needs me then.

Dear Kai...

I've been back to work for two full weeks now, meaning you've been in daycare that long as well.  You have adjusted unbelievably well, besides the cat-napping and major blow-outs you are having daily!  The older kids (especially the girls) just LOVE you!  When I arrived to pick you up yesterday and today, you were content in one of their arms.  Kamie told me that when the kids get there from school, you get swept away to 'play' with them.
Trying hard to sit up!
I think about you all day at work.  I wonder what you might be doing while I'm giving reading tests.  I wonder if you are napping while I'm eating lunch.  I especially think about you around 1:00pm everyday, when my lack of sleep starts to set in and I'm yawning through my read aloud.  All that I want to be doing is cuddling with you at home.  Every Monday morning, I am already wishing for Friday afternoon.  I love my job and my class, but nothing is more important than my time with you.

"Whatcha' lookin' at?!"

I am excited for this fall and winter.  Although we didn't have a busy summer, I still felt like we were always running somewhere (usually to Target when Mommy would get bored).  I'm ready for chilly nights and rainy Saturdays where the only thing to do is cuddle inside on the couch.  I'm ready for you and your daddy to bond over College Football Saturdays.  I'm sure this will forever be a tradition that you two will have.  I'm ready for surprise snow days where we can stay in our pajamas all day.  I'm ready for your first Christmas and to see your expression when we hang the lights on the tree.

Kai, you are one of the best blessings in my life.  I've said this before, but I really cannot remember what life was like without you.  You have brought so much joy into our lives, especially in your sweet smile and cute giggle. 


Saturday, August 18, 2012


I've been waiting all week to write this post.  I didn't want to jinx myself (and am hoping this doesn't jinx next week).

Kai started daycare on Monday morning when I went back to work.  I waited until the last minute to leave and walked into school right at contract time (8:15).  Of course I cried the whole way to school. I also rushed out of the building at 3:45 to get him.  On Tuesday, we had our Opening Day Ceremony at the Gallagher-Bluedorn beginning at 9am, so again I got to spend a little more time with him in the morning, as well as rushing home again.  On Wednesday, I got to go in even later, but Tyson got to pick him up.  We had "Meet the Teacher" night.  On Thursday our regular drop-off/pick-up schedule began.  Tyson does drop-off in the morning around 7:30am and I pick-up by 4:30pm.

First day of daycare

Kai is adjusting really well to daycare!  He was completely spoiled by all of the "big kids" Monday through Wednesday before they started school.  He's eating his bottles great - I wasn't sure how much he would actually eat, so I took my chances with 5oz bottles and he's doing fine with that.  However, Kamie (daycare provider) told me today that she thinks he will probably be ready to move to more ounces in a couple weeks.  He's a growing boy!!  The biggest adjustment are Kai's naps.  He's been a cat-napper all week!  A ten minute nap here, 30 min there, and if we're lucky, maybe a 40-50 min nap.  These will definitely be a work in progress.  He's used to napping with mommy, in his swing, in the Boppy, and absolute silence (with maybe the tv as background noise).  Now he has other kids that are playing while he should be napping!  However, with the little amount of sleep that he's getting during the day, he's still as happy as can be!  He is starting to sleep better at night though.  His bedtime has also moved up to 8:00!  About a month ago, he was going to bed around 9:30-10:00, then a couple weeks ago I moved it up to 9:00-9:15, and now he is exhausted by 8:00!!

Completely exhausted on Monday evening!

I'm so glad that he's being the good baby that I always tell people he is.  It makes my day when I pick him up and he flashes me that toothless grin!  It makes the whole day worth it.

Proof that we both survived the week and made it to Friday night!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Weekend Recap (updated with pictures)

On Saturday, Kai and I met Wendy, Ella, and my mom at the Farmer's Market!  It was on my Summer Bucket List and I can officially cross it off!  I really wanted to check out the "Mama Made" booth, but was curious as to what other booths would be set up.  I bought a yummy peanut butter, M&M, and kale bar at the Mama Made booth.  I'm seriously contemplating going back this Saturday just to buy another! I'm thinking someday I may have to hide veggies in treats like this for Kai.

Playing outside with Daddy before the Farmer's Market

After the farmer's market we headed to Main Street to check out the sidewalk sales.  We ended up in Sweet Basil Market and boy, do they have some fun things! I might have to make a trip back soon.  They have fun sprinkles and candies and dips and spices!  Kai was getting a little cranky so I had to exit quickly to keep the stroller moving so he would take a nap.

After our fun morning, we picked up Tyson at home and then headed to Evansdale for my brother's skateboard tournament.  It was so fun to watch the 12 & under age group!!  Well, it was fun to watch Josh too. :)  He ended up getting 3rd place in his division!

Uncle Joshy trying to tell Kai all about skateboarding
Tyson and I ended up leaving a little early to head to Doughy Joey's for a surprise birthday party for a friend/Tyson's boss (Jason).  We left Kai with my mom and dad.  The birthday party was fun and Jason was totally surprised!!  We ended up coming home close to 10:00.  Kai was tucked away in bed already. :)

On Sunday, we woke up to RAIN!!  As excited as Tyson was (and probably every other Iowan), I was a little sad.  We were supposed to have Kai's 4 month pictures and I was worried about the weather (we had planned to take them outside).  After I got out of the shower, I got a text from our photographer about rescheduling.  The date is set for next Sunday so let's hope the weather cooperates!  It ended up raining all day and perfect for cuddling Kai all day on my last day of summer break.
Perfect rainy day project

He loves it!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I'll let these pictures speak for themselves...

Friday night

Saturday morning

Friday, August 10, 2012

Four Months

This is going to be my least favorite monthly post, because Kai turning four months means it's time for me to go back to work.  I don't know how mothers do it when they return to work after just 6 weeks of maternity leave.  Kai had his well-baby check-up the day after he turned 4 months.  He weighed 14lbs and was 25 inches long.  That puts him in about the 40th percentile for weight and 50th percentile for length.  He has definitely slowed down from those first couple of months!!  He got another round of shots: 1 oral and 3 in his legs.  Of course he screamed and cried right away, but then calmed down and slept on the way home. 

At four months Kai is:
-wearing size 2 diapers
-wearing 3-6 or 6 month clothes
-eating every 3 hours (I think about 4-5oz at a time; he'll start getting bottles regularly on Monday)
-talking and laughing
-still not sleeping through the night (we've been going through a little rough patch where he's decided he likes to wake up twice some nights)
-making a razzing noise (sound you make when you blow a raspberry on someone's tummy)
-staying awake between eating for about 1.5 to 2 hours at a time
-playing with his feet!
-putting everything in his mouth (including his feet once)

Naked baby at 4 months

I caught a few smiles this morning!

Other things about Kai at four months:
-prefers to be sitting up (assisted) rather than lying flat on his back
-tries to sit himself up when we lay him in the Boppy
-recently noticed that he loves looking at the projector on his mobile at night

Practicing sitting up

Fingers in his mouth & grabbing his feet!
Not a lot has changed from 3 months to 4 months besides laughing, razzing, and playing with his feet.  He's still our happy, handsome little man!  I think he is definitely becoming a mommy's boy for the time being!  He's getting more and more particular about who is holding him, especially when it's time to sleep.  I love that he needs and wants his mommy, but sometimes mommy needs a break too. :)

Worn out after shots!

Showing off his battle scars!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


As some of you know, I had super short hair until I was in high school.  Wendy will take credit for me starting to grow it out and she's probably right.  Ever since I decided that I was over the short, pixie cut, I've only been allowing Wendy to trim my hair.  And by trim, I mean trim!  I would always make her show me how much she was going to cut before she cut it.  The longer it got, the more I allowed her to cut. 

After Kai was born, I immediately thought about cutting it.  Kai latched onto my hair right away and his grip has only gotten tighter!  Today, I finally let Wendy really give me a hair cut.  I feel like a free spirit now!  :)

I said that we should take a "before" picture after Wendy had made the first cut, so it was too late.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


We found a daycare way back in March, before Kai was even born.  Although she was new to the in-home scene, she had previously been employed at the UNI Child Development Center.  I felt good about our choice.  However, the closer it was getting to August, the more uneasy I was feeling.  Of course  I'm sure I would have been feeling this way whether we were sending Kai to someone we knew or a 'stranger'.  Last week, I received an email from our provider - she was closing her daycare temporarily.  WHAT?! I'm going back to school in two weeks....now I have the added pressure of trying to find a daycare last minute?!

I spent every day last week calling daycares.  I started with a DHS website, then some recommendations on Facebook, then some recommendations from providers who were full but passed along some names.  I have a REALLY long list of people, however most of them are too full to take another baby.  I've been so thankful for those who have given me another name or two to try.

I know there is someone out there who will be perfect for Kai and our family.  A friend of mine said "God already has someone picked out for you," so I have to believe that and find that person.  I keep telling myself that this is all a blessing in disguise.  Maybe I would have been unhappy with our first provider after Kai started going there.

Toward the end of last week I received a Facebook message from a provider who was too full to take Kai.  She gave me a name to try.  I immediately got in contact with this lady.  I was in luck: she had a full-time opening and she lives about a half mile from us.  I could literally walk Kai to daycare if I wanted (although I never leave myself enough time, so that won't be happening!).  We planned to meet on Monday (yesterday) evening.

Kai and I met Kamie last night and I immediately felt at ease!  She still had three of her daycare kids there and they were having a blast and seemed to love it at her house!!  Kamie also has three kids of her own (two girls and a boy) and as soon as we walked in, all of the kids rushed into the living room to meet Kai!  We have officially made our decision! Kai will begin daycare with Kamie on Monday morning. 

This is such a relief.  I can now enjoy these last few days without worrying about where he will be going next week.  I know it will be a huge adjustment.  Kai isn't very good about napping in his crib (first-time mom mistake??) and he's a super light sleeper (it's just me here during the day and I'm quiet when he sleeps).  Kamie will put him in a room by himself to nap until he's older and really knows how to nap.  We could be dealing with a very tired boy next week (and a tired mama).  I know he's going to love watching all of the kids play - he loves watching Ava play when he's around her. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Summer Bucket List Check-In

Now that summer for us teachers is almost officially over, I guess it's time to update the summer bucket list that I made way back in June.  Some of them I had linked along the way, but then we got busy and I forgot to do all of that tech-y stuff.  So, I'll link from here.

  • Organize our closet (including putting away maternity clothes and taking out clothes I haven't worn in years) - There isn't a blog post for this, but I definitely have done this one!  If you are a member of Facebook's Cedar Valley For Sale Group, you've probably seen me selling some items! 
  • Run a 5k - I ran the Dumont Sandbaggin' 5k!
  • Meet my new niece or nephew  - It's a girl!!
  • Order newborn pictures - This wasn't blog-worthy, but they've been ordered, received, and handed out.  Some have been framed but I have a project I need to do with a few of them. That will be blog-worthy! 

There are still a few items on my list that I haven't done yet!  
  • Read a book - Too bad Goodnight Moon doesn't count. I read that one almost every night.
  • Sew a tie/bow tie - This is in process! I have a deadline of Sunday because I want Kai to wear it for his 4 month pictures!
  • Go to a local farmer's market - I have until October, so I think I can get this done. 
  • Buy a photo album and put Kai's pictures in it - Seriously, for as many trips to Target as I make during the week I can't believe I haven't picked one up yet!  I think I'll be going this week!  

And some pictures completely unrelated to this post, but I know you're all here to see Kai.
Daddy and Kai chillin' in their white Ts

Doing his two favorite things: standing & chewing his fingers

This is what a fun-filled weekend will do to you!

Practicing sitting up with the Boppy!
He loves looking in this mirror

Kickin' back

"Hey Mom!!"

Sunday, August 5, 2012

An Anniversary, a Dedication, & a Baptism

We had another fun-filled, busy weekend at the Burton household!  Aside from Kai's dedication on Saturday at church, it was also my parents' 34th anniversary and on Sunday we celebrated Ella's baptism! 

We started getting ready for the festivities on Friday when Wendy and Ella came over to help get the house ready for the "party" (as Ava would call it) on Sunday.  On Friday night, Tyson ended up playing softball so Kai and I went over to watch for a little while, but left early so I could give Kai a bath before bedtime and then bake the cake for Sunday.

On Saturday morning, we woke up to dark clouds and a grey sky.  My parents and Josh were headed to our house in the morning to help me get some snacks ready for Saturday night.  Tyson was planning to take Kai to his work picnic for an hour so I could get some things done.  Well, about 30 minutes before Tyson & Kai were ready to leave, the clouds broke loose and it started to thunder, lighting, and downpour.  Needless to say, they stayed home.  My mom helped me get the food ready while the guys were entertained by Kai. 

After we were all ready for church, we got a very sleepy and cranky Kai halfway dressed in his crisp, white suit for his dedication (we finished getting him dressed at church).  At Prairie Lakes, we do child dedication rather than infant baptism.  This is a way for the parents to commit to raising their child in a Christ-believing way.  Kai will officially be baptized when he chooses and makes that commitment himself when he is older.

At the dedication service each family got to go on stage one at a time and "dedicate" their child by reading an 'Imagine the End' and verse of their choice.  The 'Image the End' is what we hope for Kai as he grows up and is an adult.  

When we imagine Kai as an adult, who do we want him to become?  It would be easy to just say Jesus and end this, but that's not our style.  We would like Kai to be the "Frankenstein" of characteristics that have been shown to Rachel and I in the lives of the people whom have helped make us the people we are and parents we will be.  We want Kai to be as devout in his walk with Jesus as our grandparents; to love unconditionally as his Nana has; tenacious in overcoming challenges like his Grammy; dedicated to his family like his Papa; to be as kind as his Aunt Wendy; the strength to do his own thing and not conform like his Uncle Joshy; to be as strong willed as his Aunt Kylee; as relentless in living life as his Uncle Mike; thirsty for knowledge like Uncle Kevin; as passionate as Uncle Nate; as accepting of others as his Aunt Jen; as quick to laugh and smile regardless of the situation as Uncle Josh K.; and as loyal as the rest of our ohana has been.
The verse we chose was Psalm 25:4-5....Make me understand your ways, O Lord!  Teach me your paths!  Guide me into your truth and teach me, for you are the God who delivers me, and on you I rely all day.

After the service, we ate in the cafe at church and then attended the Saturday night church service where we were introduced to the congregation.  After church, we headed back to our house for drinks and snacks and to finish Kai's cake for Sunday.

(click on the pictures to make them bigger)

On Sunday morning we headed to Orchard Hill Church where Darren & Wendy attend.  It was Ella's baptism day!!  She looked so cute in her pretty white dress.  This was the same dress that Wendy, myself, and Ava were baptized in.  (Kai should have been dedicated in Josh's baptism outfit but it was too small so Nana & Papa bought him a new one.  Josh was baptized at 6 weeks and Kai at 4 months.)  After the service, back to our house we went, but this time we had the whole Malcolm crew in tow as well (Darren's parents, brother, nieces, and nephew).  We ate lunch, passed around the babies, played with Ava, ate cake, and took pictures of Ella!   
Ready for church!

Darren with the babies!

Kai's strawberry-lemonade cake....YUM!!

And finally.....here's the star of Sunday's show!
Sleeping Beauty!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Taste Testing and More!

If it's not one thing it's another that Kai is putting in his mouth lately!  Thank goodness he isn't mobile yet and can only put things into his mouth if someone hands it to him.

He always stares down this lion...

 ....and today he attacks!!

And a few other pictures of our favorite little man!

Laying in mommy & daddy's bed

Nap time!

Look who's baby wearing now!