Kai: 12 months

I realize I am now 12 days late with this post, but it’s summer and we’ve been busy. Also this will be the last official monthly update I do, so I had to make sure it’s a good one.

Twelve months. And just like that, my baby is one.

Let’s start off with some stats. Kai had his one year check up this past week and weighed in at 27lbs 7oz (98%) and measured 32.5″ tall (99%). So basically he is still a giant. He wears 24 month clothes and size 4 disposable diapers (but I will probably go to size 5 next time we need to buy them). I don’t even know how many teeth he has now, at least 12 with more seeming to pop through every day. He has two molars on the bottom, which I was surprised to find in there a few weeks ago because he never seemed too bothered by them. I’ve heard that molars coming in can be hell, but luckily we have escaped any real issues with sleep or otherwise in that department.

Kai still loves to eat, is still super picky, and is also a bottomless pit. His favorite foods at the moment include grapes, pancakes, french fries, greek yogurt, and bread with sunbutter. He seriously loves carbs and will pretty much put away any bread, cracker, pretzel etc. that you put in front of him. He is much better now about eating fresh fruit and likes strawberries and blueberries, but veggies are out of the question unless in pureed form. Ditto meat, though he does seem to like breakfast sausage. He is very hesitant to try any new foods, and when he does he usually spits it out immediately after not recognizing the flavor or texture. Also, if I feed him a puree out of a container, it sure as heck better not contain any chunks, bits, or any other offensive particles or he will remove it from his mouth with his hands. He still loves to throw food on the floor if it is something that does not please him at that particular moment.

We have also switched Kai’s bottles to organic whole milk, after spending about a week mixing them 50/50 with whole milk and formula. Yes, he is still drinking two bottles of milk a day for the simple fact that he will not drink milk out of his straw cup. In fact, he will not drink cold milk at all, it must be warmed to an acceptable temperature. His doctor recommended offering it in his straw cup with meals which we tried, but he will not drink it. Period. He does love to drink water out of his straw cup which is great. He got a taste of OJ that they were sampling at Costco the other day and he LOVED it. However, I do not plan to start giving him juice at home when he drinks water just fine. I guess we will see if he eventually comes around to cold milk, otherwise I don’t think it is that big a deal if he just doesn’t drink milk straight up. He has another doctor appointment in three months, so we will see what she says at that point.

Kai is still a very good sleeper, and we are now at the point where he goes back and forth between taking one nap and two naps. If he wakes up before 7am it is usually a two nap day, one from 10:30-11:30 and another from 3:30-4:30. I do not let him sleep more than an hour for either nap when he takes two. If he sleeps in past 7am or we have plans in the morning, he takes one nap, usually starting between 11:15-11:45. Sometimes this nap will be nice and long (over 2 hrs), and sometimes it will only be a little over an hour. When that happens, he goes to bed early. Typically he sleeps for 10.5-11.5 hours a night and takes 2+ hours in naps. It will be kind of nice when he is ready to switch to one long nap every day, but until then we just go day by day.

Kai can stand on his own indefinitely, and has taken as many as 3 steps on his own. He will only try taking steps if one of us is right in front of him to catch him, and it is kind of a step/lean/fall into us combo. He loves to walk around holding our hands and demands to do that more and more. I had my hopes up that he would be walking somewhat well by the time we go camping in two weeks, but that is clearly not going to happen.

Kai likes to be around other kids whether we are at a get together or he is at the gym daycare. He talks non-stop, but still has not said anything that resembles an actual word. We are working on pointing at things, though he doesn’t quite grasp the concept of pointing with his own finger. If I say “Kai, where is your nose?” he will reach for my hand, grab it, and touch his nose with it. Cracks me up.

Kai is obsessed with opening and closing things, as well as taking things out and putting them in. He loves to play in the refrigerator and any cabinets he can get into (not many since we keep them locked). He will take things from the floor in his room and place them in drawers, or move things from one drawer or shelf to another. He is a busy body for sure.

This little angel face has developed quite the little temper over the past month. When he gets mad about something or things aren’t going his way, he whines and whips his head back and forth, and sometimes he will bang his head on whatever is near him (luckily he has only really done that on things that are soft, like the couch). I told his doctor about it and she said, “yep, you’ll be getting a handout on temper tantrums today. Basically, they think they are in charge and they don’t have words to express their feelings, so this is how they act out instead.” So apparently this is normal, and a phase that will probably last for at least the next three years (a conservative guess I’m sure).

Kai loves to be outside, which is pretty much where we are in the summer.

We went strawberry picking and he surprised me by picking the strawberries right off the bush and eating them with no prompting from me. Guess he just knew what to do there.

He also enjoys swimming in the pool as well as the lake.

Kai even went tubing for the first time at my dad’s house on Father’s Day. My dad has the biggest three person tube I have ever seen and we went in as a family (at about 5mph :-))

Grandpa Ken even let him drive the boat for a while.

On the Fourth of July we took Kai to see the fireworks, and I was really nervous given his history with being scared of loud noises. Even though it was a couple of hours past his bedtime, he surprised us by doing great. He sat on our laps and watched the fireworks, and even got a little bored after a while. We covered his ears during the really loud boomers and he was just fine.

On Kai’s actual birthday, we went to Waterfront Wednesday which is a weekly live music event in the summer in our town. He stood right up at the table and helped himself to a potato chip, little stinker.

I let it slide since it was his birthday and all. And because they are too cute not to share, here are his one year portraits.

I don’t know how to wrap this up without getting too sappy, I just love this kid so much. I’ll end with this quote I came across not to long ago that I absolutely love:

“Making the decision to have a child — it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” -Elizabeth Stone

Indeed.

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A Day in the Life – Summer 2015

July 13th 2015

I am 34

Steve is 38

Kai will be 1 in 2 days

Zooey Cat is almost 14, though she does not make an appearance in this post

6:36am – I wake up and reluctantly open my eyes. I tip up the video monitor and see Kai starting to stir.
6:38am – I get up, make myself a cup of coffee and mix Kai’s bottle. These days we are doing a 50/50 mix of whole milk and formula. Kai is tossing and turning a bit, but he looks like he is trying to go back to sleep so I leave him be. I sit down at my computer and check emails, Facebook, etc. Kai seems to have gone back to sleep.
7:15am – Kai is waking up again. I start getting up to put his bottle in the warmer, but then…
7:17am – Kai goes back to sleep. He has already been sleeping for an unprecedented 12 hours after only taking one nap yesterday. I email my friend Cara about the playdate we were planning for this morning. Her 4 year old has a t-ball game at the park right by our house, so we plan to meet there at 9:45am.
7:30am – I start working on Kai’s birthday party post, since we had his party on Saturday.
7:41am – I get my running clothes on, having decided that I will just run with Kai in the stroller today to save time instead of going to the gym.
Please do not be jealous that my headband has a cheese curd on it. That’s how we roll in WI.
7:45am – Kai is awake for real this time. I put his bottle in the warmer and head in to get him. I sing our little good morning song and of course he is excited to see me. I change him and stand him in his crib while I go to pick an outfit for him. In the meantime he starts jumping and bangs his mouth on the crib rail. He is crying and i pick him up, noticing that his bottom lip is bleeding a little. Poor guy, what a way to start the morning. I get him settled down and he has his bottle.
8:15am – Kai and I are ready to run.
We do five miles and I take it very easy since I am getting over a cold. It is so humid that I have to take my shirt off after the first mile.
All done!
9:15am – I put Kai in his high chair and give him some Cheerios and a container of pear pineapple baby food. I quickly rinse my face and towel off before throwing on shorts, a tank and a hat. No time to shower now. I make an iced coffee for myself and shove half of a breakfast bar in my face before heading out. It’s going to be a scorcher today.
9:38am – We leave for the park in the stroller, and I sip my iced coffee on the way there. On the walk I contemplate who to call/notify about the giant colony of bees that have taken up residence on the side of an abandoned horse barn that is right on the walking path.
I also text my business partner who I am supposed to be trading massages with this afternoon to tell her that I am getting over a cold. She opts to cancel our trade which is totally understandable, but dang I wanted a massage. I call my mom and leave her a message that I won’t need her to babysit this afternoon. We arrive at the park and Kai swings for a bit while we wait for his friends.
They arrive shortly after and we walk over to the baseball diamond where the t-ball game will be.
10:15am – Play ball! The 4 year old t-ball game starts and it is so freaking cute. Kai crawls around during the game, but doesn’t want his knees to touch the grass or the cement, so he crawls on his feet like a nutball.
He also spends a lot of time holding my hands to walk around which is new, and standing up holding onto the fence and the garbage can.
10:47am – Kai seems to be getting sleepy, so we leave the park and walk home.
10:55am – We arrive home, wash our hands and it’s time for lunch. I cut up some fruit for Kai and make him some bread with sunflower seed butter, his favorite. I put it on his tray and he immediately throws a piece of bread on the floor. So that’s how it’s going to be. I take away his bread because I can tell he is in a sassy mood. We will save it for dinner. I get him some mixed berry greek yogurt and he eats the whole thing, along with some cheese puffs and a few bites of fruit (the rest of which ends up on the floor).
11:15am – We play with toys for a bit and Kai poops, good timing right before his nap.
I change him and he is a maniac as usual. I give him an empty plastic bottle and it keeps him busy for a second. Also, he no longer even remotely fits on the attached changer, but we still use it anyways.
We read a couple of stories before Kai’s nap, and he cuddles with his blue monkey.
11:30am – Kai is down for his nap. We are trying out a one nap schedule this week to see how he does. I’ve been having to wake him from every nap when he takes two, and he still would take forever to fall asleep at night. I turn on the video monitor and start unloading the dishwasher.
11:40am – My mom comes over. She didn’t get my message about not needing a sitter. But she has brought homemade muffins, so score! I glance at the monitor and see that Kai is asleep. I talk to my mom for a few minutes before she heads back home. Luckily she only lives 2 miles away. I am starving and eat a muffin immediately.
11:50am – I shower and then put the same clothes back on (don’t judge). I also throw a load of sheets in wash.
12:05pm –  I am ravenous. I throw together a quick lunch of party leftovers (yes!). A mini BBQ chicken sandwich, grilled veggies and fruit. So good.
I catch up on some things on the computer while I eat, then I clean up the kitchen. Since it is approximately eight thousand degrees out today, I get out Kai’s new water table and fill it up so he can play after his nap. I do a little more organizing and cleaning inside.
12:54pm – Kai wakes fussy. Dang, that was not a long enough nap. I leave him be and goes back to sleep, thank goodness.
1:07pm – I go back to working on his b-day post, and really want to get it done.
1:44pm – I hit publish. Blogging is time consuming.
1:50pm – Kai is awake and crying. Two hours and ten minutes is a super long nap for him, but he does not sound happy about being awake. I go in and get him, and he cries even harder. I change him and think maybe a bottle will help. I fill a bottle with whole milk and give it to him cold (he has had cold milk before). The temperature of the milk pisses him off greatly and now he is screaming. I throw the bottle in the warmer and he cries like the world is ending the whole time it is heating up.
I settle on luke warm and he finds this acceptable. He drinks the bottle and we regroup. He pushes his walker around briefly which is a new skill. Previously he only wanted to play with the toys on the front, but all of a sudden he wants to walk.

We go into Kai’s room where he helps me fold his laundry. I also clear out a bunch of too small/wrong season clothes from his drawers to make room for the new outfits he got for his birthday.

2:50pm – We both have a snack of Teddy Grahams. Kai also has some applesauce, and I make the mistake of thinking he might be able to handle the pouch on his own. Nope. He immediately and forcefully squeezes half of it onto his tray before I can grab it from him. He eats the rest with me holding the pouch and we clean up.

3:00pm – I re-suncreen Kai and we head outside to play with the water table. It is so stiflingly hot and humid. I love summer and heat and sun, but this is a little much even for me.
I try sitting in the shade a few feet away but Kai is not having it. He just keeps wanting to come by me, so I suck it up and play with him in the sun. He drinks some of the water and splashes around.
3:27pm – Kai is done at the water table, so we go inside, change his diaper and get him a dry shirt. He is still generally crabby. I decide we will go back out into the inferno and try out the new trike we got him for his birthday.
At first he is not happy at all about getting in, but once I start pushing him around he grabs the handlebars and seems to be enjoying himself. He is so tall that one foot or the other was dragging on the ground for much of the time, but whatever. I had to snort like a pig in order to get him to smile for the above picture. We walked around the neighborhood for a bit, and I was dripping with sweat.
4:00pm – Enough of the heat. We head inside to the glorious air conditioning to play. Somehow we killed an hour here and I have no photos to remember what we were doing. I’m sure it involved a combination of playing with toys and Kai crawling around getting into things.
5:10 – I give Kai his dinner. This time he eats his Sunbutter bread, but he throws much of his fruit on the floor. He also has a container of pureed vegetables.
Sometime while Kai is eating Steve gets home from work and looks at me like I am a crazy person when I take his picture.
5:45pm –  Kai plays with Steve while I get the clothes I pulled out earlier into bins in the basement. I clean up a little bit more and start a load of laundry.
Then I crack open a beer. Yes.
6:15pm – We all play together in the living room. We try to get Kai to walk and he takes as many as one step before launching himself forward into our arms.
6:50pm – Bath time.
Kai is his usual stinker self in the bath and refuses to sit down or really cooperate in any way. Thus, bath time is short. I get him dried off and in his jammies while Steve mixes his bottle. While it is warming up, the two guys play on the couch, and there is a temporary emergency when blue monks is dropped behind the couch.
7:15pm – I give Kai his bottle, we brush his teeth and read three short stories. I put him in his sleep sack and we sing Twinkle Twinkle. He is extra lovey tonight and readily gives me several open mouthed kisses on the lips. I say goodnight and put him in his crib.
7:27pm – Kai is asleep. That was fast. I guess he was spent from his one nap day. I start deleting photos and making collages for this post.
7:45pm – Steve comes out of the office with his remote controlled helicopter, wait I’m sorry, QUADcopter and announces, “I’m going to get some footage of the gutters” (it has a camera on the bottom) Omg. I can’t make this up.
I start making dinner and he returns several minutes later. After checking the footage he announces “the gutters are clear for the impeding storm.” Thank goodness. And this is why I love him. I finish making my dinner of more leftovers, this time over salad greens. I am lazy and I hate wasting food, what can I say.
8:00pm – I eat dinner while watching Gilmore Girls (don’t judge), then work a little bit on this post.
9:22pm – I cue up the season finale of Orange is the New Black to watch with Steve. I also eat a piece of leftover cake while we watch. I doze off a bit at some point, and then when I glance at the clock I see it is 10:26 and the show is still on. I check and there are 18 mins left. It is already so past my bedtime, but I can’t stop watching now. We finish the show (meh) and I get ready for bed.
10:50pm – Lights out and good night!

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Kai’s 1st Birthday Party

Kai turns the big O-N-E on Wednesday, and we celebrated the birth of our little man over the weekend with a big party. We actually celebrated four family birthdays: Kai, our niece Aiva who shares a birthday with Kai and is turning 2, my aunt Beth and my mom’s fiancé Joe. That’s how we do it up in these parts. With such a big family we pretty much lump the celebrations into one per month. Obviously Kai was the man of the hour, and did so well at his party.

Of course I had to go all out with some decorations for the first big party we have held at our house.

I got this banner at the party store and printed pictures of Kai from each month from newborn to 12 months. And then I totally cried looking at it after we hung it up on Friday night. Sniff sniff.

Table decorations were “preppy whale” theme from the party store.

We used Kai’s baby pool as a drink cooler on the deck and filled it with water and beer. We also had a cooler with more water and soda, as well as 2 jugs filled with rum punch for the adults and n/a punch for the kiddos. I got the fish net and fish stickers from the dollar store and hung it behind the drinks. You can’t really see it, but I decorated the stair railing in the background with blue and green crepe paper and cut fish out of foam paper and attached them so it looked like they were in seaweed. I didn’t get a good pic of it, but I was fairly impressed with how it turned out since I am probably the least crafty person I know.

And then there was the watermelon whale. I saw this idea online and I really really wanted to pull it off. I can only take credit for finding the idea, because Steve stepped up big time and did all of the carving which turned out better than I could have imagined. We added blueberries on toothpicks for the eyes and a piece of dusty miller out of the garden for the blow hole. I loved it so much and was sad to have to throw it away after the party.

The guests started arriving around noon, and I believe we ended up with 34 people including ourselves.

Kai opened his presents around 1pm, and oh my gosh did he make a haul.

Towards the end of gift opening it started to rain, so we hurried to move everything inside. Thankfully it was a short sprinkle and we were able to resume outdoor festivities in no time. After gifts it was time to eat. We had shredded BBQ chicken sandwiches (I cooked the chicken in the slow cooker and shredded it the night before), grilled veggies, and a few delicious salads, all brought by family members. I failed to get a photo of the food, but it was delicious. While everyone ate, I got Kai to take a nap which was great.

While he was sleeping, I set up the water table that he got as a gift for the kids to play with, and they loved it.

Kai woke up around 4:15 and joined in the fun.

And then it was time for cake.

Kai was so not into being in his high chair at this point. We got a half sheet cake from Costco, and then we also got Kai and Aiva their own special cupcakes that they could go to town on. I ordered these from a local grocery store, and I was so impressed when I picked them up. I was not expecting them to be so elaborate or impressive, especially for what they charged.

I brought in the little bath toys and just said I wanted an underwater theme, and they took it from there.

We sang and then gave the kids their cupcakes.

Aiva dug into the frosting right away, and Kai started crying. He wanted nothing to do with that thing. Ha! Guess he takes after his mama and doesn’t like frosting. The cake is where it’s at.

We tried getting him to taste the frosting which resulted in frosting all over the face. It was only once we peeled off the cupcake wrapper and he realized there was actual cake in there that he got into it. And then… he went to town.

Smash cake success!

After everyone had cake, the guests slowly started to depart. By 7:30 or so everyone was gone, we gave Kai a bath and bottle, and he was asleep shortly after. Steve and I were exhausted, especially because I was sick. Kai had so generously passed along his cold to me on Friday, so I was feeling pretty lousy by the end of the party. Steve cleaned up outside while I cleaned up inside, and not too long after that I was ready for bed.

Overall the party was a huge success and the birthday boy had the time of his life. We are still not done opening up all of his new toys, and the house is not totally cleaned up yet, which I believe are the signs of a great party. Or that I am lazy, one or the other. Kai officially turns one in two days, and I just cannot believe that my baby is growing up so fast.

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Kai: 11 months

My baby is 11 months old. Somebody hold me. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that we will be celebrating Kai’s first birthday next month. The photoshoot this month was virtually impossible, it is a wonder I was even able to capture these few images before he was rolling around or standing up on the chair.

The curtain was clearly much more interesting than sitting for mom’s camera.

While I don’t have an official height/weight, Kai was 25.5 lbs at the doctor a few weeks ago. He still fits in most of his 18 month pants (a few of them are too short), but all of his summer outfits are 24 months and fit him perfectly. He outgrew his size 4 shoes, so we had to shop for some size 5’s. After ordering and returning several pairs, I have come to the conclusion that the Sesame Street shoes from Payless are really the only ones he can wear because they come in wide. He has some fat little feet, and most shoes I couldn’t even stuff his foot into at all.

Sleep: We are still in a good groove over here, and Kai has even started sleeping in a little later! He usually wakes up somewhere around 6:30, but he has had a couple times where he slept until 7-7:15. I pushed his first nap out to 10am, which I read can help in solving the super early wake up problem, and it seems to have helped. So he naps from around 10-11 (I don’t let him sleep past 11:15). His second nap is around 2:45-4 (don’t let him sleep much past 4). He goes down for the night around 7:30 and is usually asleep by 8. He sleeps with his blue monkey lovey (aka blue monks, aka monk-a-do). He loves that thing, and sometimes now he has to bring it with him out of his crib after he wakes up. He rubs his face on it and chews on it constantly, and that is why blue monks is also sometimes known as stinky monkey. He gets washed in the laundry, so I have to make sure that happens between naps or we would have a problem.

Eating: Omg, this kid can eat. Still just about as picky as ever, but he can put it away. His favorite food at the moment is sunflower seed butter on bread. To update on the peanut allergy situation, he has one. We met with the allergist at the beginning of the month, and he did a skin test which came back positive. So now we are the owners of two epi-pens and have been instructed to feed him no peanut containing products whatsoever. Ugh. Honestly, I am not completely convinced that he couldn’t eat peanut butter and be just fine (since he has in the past), but I am not going to risk it. There is a chance he will outgrow this, and they will test him again in three years. It sucks hard core for someone like myself who eats peanut butter in the quantity that I do, but it’s not the end of the world I suppose. He LOVES the sunflower seed butter even more than almond butter which is great.

Other favorites include bread of any kind, goldfish, cheerios, cheese puffs (any carb really), freeze dried strawberries, chobani yogurt and baby food. He was on a fresh berry kick for a week or so which I was so excited about (the freeze dried versions are expensive!), but it didn’t last and now if presented with fresh fruit it will end up on the floor. He still loves purees, but I am really trying to come up with some other foods he will eat besides sunbutter bread. So far I’ve got nothing. He has tried cheese tortellini, grilled cheese, and quesadillas, all of which may end up in his mouth or on the floor.

Kai is still loving his three 8oz bottles each day, one in the morning, one before his afternoon nap, and one before bed, none of which he holds by himself.

Skills: Kai loves to be standing upright as much as possible. He has become an old pro at pulling himself up and anything and everything, including walls and doors with nothing to grip onto. His record for standing unassisted is about 5 seconds, and he only practices solo standing on occasion. His crawling has evolved from mostly army crawl to mostly big boy crawl, and he is getting pretty speedy.

Changing his diaper is still a production, and he can go from lying down to standing against the wall on his changing table in .4 seconds. I have to pull out all the stops with singing, making animal noises, tickling, etc just to change him.

Kai loves to be outside, and now that summer is in full swing, we spend as much time outdoors as possible. We have gone to the beach, the park, for walks in the stroller, and we spend a lot of time playing outside in the yard on a blanket.

We have also tried the swimming pool a couple of times, but Kai prefers not to stay in it for very long, and the water must not be too cold. Since it is inflatable, he lets about half of the water out every time when he uses the side to stand up. He likes to sit on the outside of the pool and play with the pool toys, but that is short lived as well since there are so many other fun things on the deck to play with, like the garden hose and patio chairs.

My mom and I took Kai to the splash pad for the first time, and after much initial indifference towards the whole thing, he started to enjoy himself and put his hands in the water.

His thighs. It’s too much.

Kai’s latest obsession is removing things one by one from drawers, shelves, laundry baskets, anything really. I have stopped folding any clothes that go in his bottom dresser drawer, and the laundry hamper in our room is also a favorite.

Seriously, if I leave him alone in his room for one minute I will come back to find him emptying something.

Another obsession: doors. If he sees an open door, he must close it. And if you open it up again, he will close it again. He has closed me out of his room, and he is especially obsessed with our kitchen entry door (which is the main entrance into our house). If he sees that one open, he will be on a mission to close it immediately.

He is also tall enough to reach the door levers, which has us rethinking our choice to do levers instead of knobs on all of our doors. We have to keep our bathroom doors closed at all times to keep him away from the cabinets and toilets, but the doors open in, which means if he reaches up and pulls the lever while leaning on the door, he’s going in, likely flat on his face.

Kai also loves electronics and electrical cords, and he loves to sit in front of the entertainment center and open the cabinets and push buttons.

Oh, and we had to get an oven lock.

In case you can’t tell, Kai is into everything. Everything.

Kai still loves to clap, wave and click his tongue. Whenever someone coughs or clears their throat, Kai will fake cough which is hilarious. He loves to hear himself make noise, and has taken to screaming at a decibel level that can’t possibly be safe for human ears. He yells when something isn’t going exactly as he wants, like when you won’t let him chew on a phone charger for example. He has such a little attitude, which is both hysterical and maddening. He recognizes me from across the room when I pick him up from the gym daycare and gets so excited to get to me as fast as possible. I love it.

Kai is obsessed with Little Baby Bum videos on YouTube, and we allow him a little bit of screen time on occasion before bed or when I need to distract him in order to trim his nails. It is basically just animation set to nursery rhymes and I don’t know how it is so incredibly mesmerizing, but I swear he could sit and watch it all day. It is really the only time he will sit still on my lap, and I love when he leans back into me all relaxed and cuddly. I couldn’t help but snap a pic of his thighs while he was sitting on my lap. I will be sad to see those chunkers go once he starts walking and thins out a little.

We got our boat out on the water this past weekend for the first time since summer of 2013. Though Kai initially had very mixed feelings about sailing the high seas, he eventually warmed up with the help of some snacks, and after a while he was enjoying looking at the wake and the other boats.

Man I love this kid. He is hilarious and sassy and goofy and such a sweetie pie. I love watching him grown and learn and become his own little person. But please time, slow down just a little. I am not ready for my baby to be one.

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Hartfest Half Marathon

Saturday marked my official return to distance racing, with the Hartfest Half Marathon, a small local race in Wauwatosa. As my “A” race for the year will be Lakefront Marathon in October, this race would be a good “see where I’m at in training” type of situation. The week leading up to the race I was having some problems with my right calf, which really had me worried. It felt like it was just on the brink of becoming strained after my easy run on Tuesday. I took off on Wednesday and then tried a super easy 5 miles on the treadmill on Thursday. It felt ok as long as I went slow, and actually felt a little bit better by the time I was done. I decided to play it safe and rest it on Friday, and was able to have my massage partner work on it briefly in the afternoon. I also rolled and stretched the hell out of my legs and hips in the days leading up to Saturday, something I really need to be doing a lot more often.

Saturday morning my alarm went off at 5:40, and it was time for coffee. I had one cup (oh how I wanted another one, but I didn’t think it would be a good idea for my stomach). I also had a banana topped with peanut butter, corn flakes, honey and cinnamon. Weird, I know, but it is tasty and sits well in my stomach. Kai woke up around 6:30 so I got him out and gave him his bottle. I finished getting ready and just after 7am I woke up Steve to take over baby duty.

I drove the 25 mins or so to the race and was pleased to find plenty of parking available at the start. I got my packet and returned to my car to pin on my number and stay warm. I snapped a selfie before heading out to use the bathroom and do a warm up jog.

Here goes nothin’!

I jogged a little less than a mile to warm up, and I was still really worried about my calf. I could feel it even running slow, so I had no idea what would happen in the race. I knew I had to be careful and bow out if necessary, as it would not be worth getting injured right at the beginning of marathon training.

I did some stretching and ran into Julia and her husband Nate. How those two manage to train with three littles is beyond me, I find it hard enough to fit it in with one when you factor in Steve’s training as well. We chatted for a while and headed to the start, and before we knew it, it was race time.

Pic stolen from Julia’s blog.

I started the race very comfortably, which was the plan. My coach had originally planned for me to be in the 7:40ish range for pace, and I doubted that. He told me to go out at 8 min pace, then drop it every three miles or so according to how I was feeling. I think my first mile was an 8:02, right on target. I realized about a mile in that I totally forgot about my calf, which was a good thing. Miraculously, it wasn’t bothering me at all. Miles 2 and 3 were right around 7:50, and mile 4 was 7:22. Whoops! I dialed it back to the 7:45-7:50ish range for the next 3 miles. The course was fun, it had a little bit of everything. Paved path, gravel path, sidewalk with plenty of turns and a couple hills for good measure. Not a fast course by any means, but interesting enough to not get bored.

I saw a lot of friendly and familiar faces throughout the race which was great, and one of the things I love about running. Around mile 7 there was a pretty big downhill, and I started to feel a little twinge in my calf. I decided not to push it any harder and hoped that it would hold up to the finish. Though I didn’t fee like I was pushing too much, miles 8-12 were in the 7:30-7:40 range. By mile 12 I was really starting to get tired and I couldn’t wait to be done. The fronts of my ankles/shins started to cramp a little, a telltale sign that I needed salt (Gatorade), but I knew there wouldn’t be another aid station before the finish. I held on as best I could during mile 13 which was 7:44. A woman sprinted past me in the finish chute (dang it!) and I was finally done.

My official time was 1:41:33 (7:43 average), which I was really happy with for this point in the season. After the race I chatted with a bunch of different friends and enjoyed the breakfast of pancakes, eggs and fruit. I did not partake in the free beer, and was really wishing there was coffee.

I headed home, showered, and then played with my little buddy (who was so so so crabby) for the rest of the day. That night Steve picked up a good IPA, we grilled food and had Bubba’s frozen custard (it was peanut butter custard with chocolate covered pretzel pieces and a caramel swirl, omg).

And now, marathon training has officially begun!

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Filed under Races, The run

Camping at Pinewoods

Saturday night we took Kai camping for the first time. We recently upgraded our pop up camper, and wanted to try it out at least once before our annual weeklong camping trip to Door County in August. We packed up, stopped at the grocery store for supplies, and made the 25 minute drive to check in at Pinewoods campground around 4:00 on Saturday afternoon.

We brought Kai’s walker along not thinking he would really be able to get around much on the dirt and gravel, but he was immediately driving that thing all over the campsite without too much trouble at all. He was very helpful in making sure Daddy was properly setting up the camper.

As Steve was finishing all of the set up, I gave Kai his dinner. Dining al fresco is his favorite.

We still had a little more setting up to do in the camper, so we made use of a Friday night rummage sale purchase.

It’s a plastic play enclosure, and we just spread out some blankets underneath. Kai loved it. He was busy with his toys in there for quite some time, and his favorite thing to do was pull up on the sides and let go, seeing how long he could stand all by himself and how much he could impress his parents.

Steve made a fire that we got to enjoy for a few minutes before Kai’s bedtime.

A little after 7pm, we got Kai ready for bed. He only took one nap this day, so he was extremely tired, but he never got crabby like he would have at home. Kid LOVES to be outside, and I hope he never outgrows that. We made his bottle and heated it in a pot of water on the stove. His sleeping arrangement was a pack n play up on the platform for one of the beds in the camper. We took the king mattress off and doubled up mattresses on our side, so the pack n play sat directly on the wooden bottom. He also had a curtain that blocked off his sleeping area from the rest of the camper. I failed at taking a photo of the set up, but it was kind of like he had his own little bedroom. We brought his white noise machine, and hoped that it would stay on all night without killing the battery. I gave him his bottle and read him some stories, then zipped him into his sleep sack and put him in bed, hoping for the best. He immediately cried when I closed the curtains and left, but it only lasted a minute or so and he was quiet. We could hear him moving around for a little bit, and he was out.

Steve and I enjoyed sitting by the fire, then we cooked our gourmet dinner of weiners and potato chips over the fire (the weiners, not the potato chips). Of course no campfire would be complete without s’mores, which we had as well. It got a little bit chilly outside, and I was worried that it was getting too cold in the camper, so Steve went in and turned on the furnace. When he turned it on, it ended up killing the sound machine (something about the inverter blah blah whatever). I was a little worried about Kai staying asleep since he is used to having the sound machine all night, but there’s nothing we could do about it if we wanted heat.

Kai cried a few times in the night, but never enough to warrant checking on him or even making him aware that we were in the camper with him. He made some noise around 5:30am and I thought he was up for the day, but he went back to sleep and the same thing happened at 6:30. It started raining pretty hard (and it was loud!) around this time, and we could not believe that he went back to sleep. He officially woke for the day at 7:20, which would be seriously sleeping in at home. Since it was raining, we hung out in the camper for a while.

Also since it was raining, Steve and I tested out the toilet in the camper (yes, our pop up has a toilet and shower) to avoid walking to the pit toilets with an umbrella. I gave Kai his breakfast, and around 9:30 it was done raining. We decided to go for a hike with the stroller. Our campsite backed up to the Scuppernong hiking trails, which I have run many times.

The BOB did a great job off roading, even on the hilly rocky sections.

Kai fell asleep during our hike, and when we got back to the campsite I kept walking with him so he could continue his slumber while Steve started packing up. He slept for about 40 mins, a nice little morning nap.

We finished packing up, and once again Kai was very helpful with the trailer.

Though it was a short trip, I deem it a total success. Kai seemed to really love being out at the campsite, and the pop up was great. We even made a list of a few things we need to get for it before our big trip in August. I am hoping we can find another weekend to go camping before then, but that may prove difficult with all that is going on in the summer. Either way, I can’t wait for our trip this year, which will be Kai’s first week long camping experience.

 

 

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Filed under Family, Nature, Travel

Kai: 10 months

Did I not just write Kai’s 9 month post last week? This month has flown by even faster than warp speed it seems, and just like that my baby is only two months away from his first birthday.

Let’s start with some stats. Kai went for his 9 month checkup in late April. He weighed in at a whopping 25lbs 1oz and measured 30.25 inches tall. That puts him in the 97th percentile for height and the 98th for weight. ‘Atta boy! He is still in 18 month clothes, though the 24 month summer clothes I bought on clearance last year fit him already as well, and he is in size 4 disposable diapers. Kai is still rockin’ eight teeth and still drooling a lot lately. I thought I saw another tooth ready to pop through on the top, but he never lets me get a good look in there.

Sleep: Again, not much has changed in the past month, except for a slightly later bedtime. Kai wakes for the day at early.com, usually between 6-6:20, though on rare occasion he will snooze until 6:40 or so. He takes his first nap around 9:30 and his second nap around 2:30. Both naps can range from an hour and five minutes to an hour and a half on rare occasion. Kai is in his crib for the night around 7:30 and asleep between 7:35-8:00. I hate to put this out there and jinx the situation, but ever since we went on vacation Kai has no longer been crying out throughout the night, and peacefully snoozes all night long. Hallelujah!

Eating: Oh, this kid. One day he will gobble up a waffle for breakfast, the next day it ends up on the floor piece by piece. His favorite foods include baby cheese puffs (would seriously eat the whole can), cheerios, freeze dried strawberries, and almond butter bread. Why almond butter you may wonder? Well, at Kai’s nine month check up I mentioned that he had a skin reaction to a few different foods when he rubbed them on his face. These included limes, raspberries, blackberries, and peanut butter. He could eat these foods just fine, but when they got on his face he would get a horrible red blotchy reaction. It didn’t seem to bother him at all and would go away within 30-60 mins. When I mentioned it to the doc, she was concerned about the peanut butter and wanted to do a blood draw to rule out allergies. Well, lo and behold, the test came back positive for a mild peanut allergy. Nooooooo!!!! It is a well known fact that peanut butter makes up about 50 percent of my diet, and one of my worst nightmares would be for my kid to be allergic. His test came back at a level 2 (0 being no allergy and 6 being severe). For now he is abstaining from peanut containing products and we have an appointment with an allergist on June 3rd. Interestingly, he has since been able to eat berries (and rub them all over his face) with no skin reaction whatsoever, so I am hoping that he will be able to have peanut butter and be fine. A life without peanut butter would be, well, sad.

Kai still loves his purees as well, but I am glad he is finally starting to branch out with his finger foods. He is still taking three 8oz bottles a day. One when he wakes up, one around 2pm before his nap, and one before bed. He loves his bottles and gets a huge smile whenever he sees one being prepared.

A few weeks ago he finally started to hold his own bottle, and it was the cutest. That lasted maybe two weeks, and then he reevaluated the situation and wondered why he was doing all that unnecessary work. Now he reaches up, tips the bottle into his mouth, then lets go and enjoys a hands-free experience while I hold it for him.

Kai loves drinking water from his new straw cup, which he mastered while we were on vacation.

Kai is still army crawling all over the place, and he stands up every chance he gets, including while you are trying to change his diaper or get him dressed. He loves to practice pulling up to standing and lowering back down to the floor, or dropping something on the floor and leaning over to pick it up with one hand holding on.

Sometimes he likes to let go and practice standing all by himself, but he is still very off balance and only lasts a second or two before he falls over. His legs are so strong, but I don’t think he is going to walk until he is one just based on his wobbliness. He can clap, wave and give kisses, and when I ask him to say “mama” he says “mamama.” He has learned how some of his toys work, like his shape sorter. I get the shapes started in the correct holes, and he pushes them in and smiles and claps.

Kai likes to play at the park, mostly in the wood chips. He also enjoys the swings, going down the slide with mom, and pulling up on the bars.

We took Kai on his first hike at Lapham Peak and he loved it. We got an awesome hiking carrier from a friend and it is perfect for him. He is up high and can see everything.

We celebrated my first Mother’s Day, which was great. It was the day after we got back from vacation so we were all a little tired, but we spent the day with family at a get together and then chilled out at home with our little family of three. Kai even bought me flowers.

Kai’s personality just gets better and better every day. He is a total goof ball and cracks me up all of the time. He also has a little attitude and let’s you know immediately and loudly if he isn’t happy about something.

I didn’t think my love for this kid could grow any more, but it just gets bigger and bigger every day.

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Filed under Kai, LunaBaby