Door County Ladies Weekend 2015

Labor Day weekend represented our third annual family ladies weekend, in which my female relatives get together to eat, hike, hot tub, and drink copious amounts of wine. Previously we had ladies weekend in November, but we decided to try moving it up this year because our usual weekend happens to be Halloween this year. We arrived on Friday just in time for dinner.

This is everyone except my two cousins who arrived the next morning. I shared a Cajun pasta dish which was delicious. We sat outside on the covered patio and there was live music for entertainment. After dinner we headed back to the house. We stay at my aunt and uncle’s Door County house which is awesome. Sadly I could not partake in the wine on Friday because I had a 20 mile run on the agenda first thing Saturday morning. I did decide to have dessert (I made a mandarin orange cake and a chocolate bourbon pecan pie), and I had a cake travesty while trying to remove a piece from the pan.

I believe I was in bed by 10:30 this night (wild, I know). I wanted to get an early start for my run in the morning. I woke up Saturday at 6:50 and freaked out a little about how late I had slept. Ear plugs and my own bed were a glorious thing. I had coffee and eventually headed to Peninsula State Park for my run. The trail in the park is literally my favorite place to run in the world, so it worked out to do my 20 miler this weekend.

My plan was to run from the parking lot to Nicolet Bay Beach and back twice. That way I could break the run up into 4×5 mile segments so the distance didn’t seem so daunting.

It is always advisable to wear brand new shoes for a 20 mile run, yes?

It was foggy when I started and the trail was very pretty. My run went really well. I haven’t blogged about my training for this marathon, but my long runs in general have not been going well. All of my workouts during the week have been fine, I can hit prescribed speedwork paces, etc., but the long runs were killing me. I just never had one where I felt really good, I had a lot of stomach issues, etc. So getting this one in and feeling good was an awesome confidence booster for race day. I took it really easy for the first 5 miles and then slowly dropped the pace from there. I ran the last 11 miles at sub-8 min pace and the last 5 around marathon goal pace (7:37).

I walked around a little bit after I was done and found this view that did not suck.

When I got back to the house my cousins had arrived, so I talked to everyone for a bit before taking a much needed shower. When I came out there were bloody marys and a great spread of snacks for lunch. If only every long run could end that way.

After lunch we drove into Peninsula State Park to scope out campsites for our 2016 trip. It is a huge fiasco to reserve sites at this park (you have to do it 11 months to the day in advance at 9am or you will not get a site), and getting multiple sites together or near each other is no easy task. After we had walked around one of the entire camping areas, some of us trudged on to the next area while some of us thought it a grand idea to get ice cream instead. Can you guess which group I was in?

Eventually we headed back to the house and spend some time lounging in the outdoor hot tub with adult beverages. Before we knew it, it was time to get ready for dinner at Alexander’s.

We had a delicious meal (I split the ahi tuna with my mom) and then headed back to the house for our traditional dance party, where the selfie stick once again came out to play.

The blurry photos and sweet dance moves are fairly indicative of the amount of wine that was consumed.

After several rounds of dancing, we took the party out onto the deck since it was still nice out. This resulted in my favorite photo of the entire trip. Can you see my Grandma Joan peeking her head out right in the middle? Classic.

Post dancing activities included several card games and a very short lived (and not too well thought out) walk around the neighborhood before the last of us headed to bed.

Sunday morning we made a delicious breakfast at the house, and my mom, aunt Beth and I took a short hike while a few of the others hit the pool.

Once everyone was back we headed to the park one last time for a hike with everyone.

We returned to the house and ate lunch, and then it was time for me to head home with two of the other ladies. The rest of the group stayed until Monday, but I heard that Sunday night was slightly more subdued. All in all it was such a fun getaway that I look forward to every year. I just love these ladies!


Filed under Family, Travel

Walking and talking

Just popping in with a couple of updates on this cutie pie. First, let’s talk walking. Kai can totally walk by himself now when he wants to. I emphasize that last point because kid is so incredibly stubborn (takes after both of his parents), and will only walk alone when it is his idea. Otherwise, he insists on holding on to one of our fingers at all times to walk around where he pleases.

Lately he has been practicing standing up on his own without holding onto anything. He is very proud of himself when he does this, and he will take a few steps once he is up, but that is usually just to walk to one of us and demand a finger. I think he figures that he wants someone with him at all times anyways, so he might as well make the whole walking thing easier on himself by holding on.

I am sure any day he will just let go of our fingers and decide he is going to do it by himself, but for now we are slaves to wherever he wants to go. Oh, and if you try to let go of his hand he immediately sits down and has a little tantrum, so that’s fun.

Kai has been increasing the amount of words he says, and also the sounds he makes. His first official word was bread, which he says with great enthusiasm. He also says shoe, crumb, nom nom, and several other things that I have no idea what he is actually trying to say. He will say something, then repeat it, then repeat it louder when I can’t figure out what he is saying. I think he gets frustrated sometimes that I can’t tell what he means, but it is so cute when he says something with such conviction. He also makes noises in certain situations, like a spitting noise when I ask if he wants to brush his teeth. He also saw me blow on his quesadilla one day to cool it off for him, so now every time he has a quesadilla for dinner he blows as soon as he sees it.

Kai has been expanding his acceptable food list slightly, and is now a fan of macaroni and cheese, pizza, and honeydew melon. He is also obsessed with smoothies that I put in a reusable pouch for him. I always add spinach and usually some other veggies since that is the only way he consumes any vegetables.

Another major development is that Kai will now sometimes sit in the bathtub! Sometimes. He likes to play with his stacking cups in there, which will occupy him for a little bit. After a few minutes he will still stand up though. Baby steps.

We are trying to soak up the last little bit of summer in Wisconsin, with some last trips out on the boat and as many outdoor activities as we can squeeze in. Don’t get me wrong, I love being outdoors in fall too, but sadly there is limited time left for water activities and we have to take advantage when we can.

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Door County Camping 2015

Last week (August 8-15) marked our annual weeklong family camping trip at Peninsula State Park in Door County. We weren’t able to camp last year since Kai wasn’t even three weeks old, so we were extra excited about the trip this year. Between everyone we had four campsites and my aunt and uncle’s family stayed at their house nearby with my grandma. We left on Saturday and our departure became a huge ordeal and did not go as planned. Steve had two separate problems with the camper that needed to be resolved, and Kai sliced his finger open on the edge of a full length mirror hanging on the back of our linen closet door. So while we aimed to leave around noon on Saturday, we left around 4pm and arrived in the park shortly after 7pm. The huge campsite dinner was in full swing with about 32 people at the campsites. Luckily they set aside some food for us, because by the time we were all set up and got Kai to sleep it was at least 9:30. Not the greatest of travel days, but at least we made it and were able to enjoy the campfire for a bit before going to bed.

Sunday morning they guys left at 7:30 for golf, and I went for a 6 mile run while my mom watched Kai. I was supposed to do my long run this day, but with the long packing/travel day and late night dinner I wasn’t feeling it. The ladies and kids met at PC Junction at 11am for lunch. PC Junction is a fun restaurant where your food and drinks come out on a train car, and they have lots of outdoor pay spaces for the kids. Kai perused the menu and decided upon the grilled cheese with applesauce.

Then I got out my selfie stick and went to town. Thank goodness Steve wasn’t there, he would have been mortified.

After lunch (Kai ate his entire sandwich and applesauce), we headed outside for some fun. Kai chose the swing and as usual seems nonplussed, but he really does love it, I promise.

My mom and I took the boys (Kai and his cousin Ashtin) for a lap in the pedal carts, and nearly died of laughter when I could not steer us over a small bump.

More selfie stick action. How did I not have one of these sooner??

After all of the fun, we headed back to the campsite and Kai took a nap. I couldn’t believe how well he slept this whole trip in the camper. He took naps like a champ and slept though the night no problem. We had his pack n play set up on one of the bed platforms in the pop up camper, and had his noise machine going just like at home.

Sunday night we had pudgie pies for dinner and enjoyed the campfire.

My memory is already fading and I failed to take several billion pictures this trip (too busy enjoying it!), so I can’t give a daily recap of every day. From here on out I will just show a lot of pictures and attempt to remember some of what we did.

We definitely enjoyed soft serve on several occasions. Kai was a fan.

We spend a lot of time hanging out at the campsite. I set up a play enclosure for the boys, and they demanded that grandma and grandpa get in and play with them.

We brought Kai’s walker thinking that it would keep him off of the ground since he is not quite walking on his own yet, but now that he has been walking with the aid of just one finger, he wanted nothing to do with the thing (despite his happy expression here).

Several wagon rides were had around the campground, and Kai’s expression here is my absolute favorite. So not impressed.

One night we rode our bikes to see the sunset at one of the neighboring camp areas. Beautiful.

Kai really enjoyed outdoor story time with Grandma, which happened on a daily basis.

We also brought Kai’s own little camp chair along, knowing that he probably wouldn’t really sit in it. This shot was taken the one and only time he sat in the chair, and seconds before he tipped it over and landed face first in the dirt. Poor guy had dirt in his mouth and a bloody lip. Guess he will be more capable of sitting in a chair next year.

On Wednesday night we had a pizza party and my aunt and uncle’s house to celebrate Steve’s and my cousin Kelly’s birthday. My mom made a chocolate cheesecake since that is Steve’s favorite.

On Thursday we took a trip over to Whitefish Dunes State Park to go hiking and to the beach.

Dork alert! Steve actually allowed me to take multiple family photos with the selfie stick.

The hike was really beautiful along the lakeshore. The water is usually really rough over on this side of the peninsula, and you can hear the waves crashing into the rocks below.

Our whole hiking gang. See how awesome the selfie stick is??

After our hike, we went to the beach, where Kai loved walking around in the sand and surf.

Kai loved the sand in general, and he most definitely got it everywhere on this excursion. He needed to be hosed off that night in a major way.

Overall the weather on our trip was very good. There were a couple of storms that came through, and those are the times it is so nice to have a camper to hang out in instead of a tent.

As I mentioned, Kai slept really well throughout the whole trip. Most days he just took one long nap in the afternoon, but a couple times he fell asleep while we were running with him in the mid-morning. Then he took a short nap in the morning and a longer one in the afternoon.

Before we knew it, it was Friday. We went out to dinner on our last night and enjoyed some delicious food.

The trip was so much fun and I felt really sad when it was over. Why does vacation always fly by so fast?? Luckily this is a trip we can look forward to every year, and we do get to visit Door County somewhat often. We are going to see if we can squeeze in one more camping weekend this year in the fall since we do have a heater in the pop up. I have great memories of camping as a kid, and I love that now we can bring Kai with us and make more great memories as a family.

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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


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Filed under Kai, LunaBaby

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!


Filed under Family, Miscellany

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.


Filed under Kai, LunaBaby