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!