Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Friday, January 20, 2012

Kairos Moments

One of my mommy friends shared the link below on her Facebook page today and I had to steal if for my blog. This article is so true! Being a mom is the toughest job I have ever had. To be completely honest, it is much harder than I ever thought it would be. However, with great challenge comes great reward and I would not trade a single sleepless night or a crying fit to see one of Kyle's smiles or hear his sweet laugh. These "Kairos" moments are what make motherhood worth while and I thank God everyday for the opportunity he has give me to be Kyle's mommy. And now that my little babe is fast asleep for the night, I am going to kick back and enjoy a beer and some pizza with my husband, and congratulate myself on another successful day in raising my baby boy. I could not ask for a better Friday night!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sitting Straight

Kyle started sitting on his own this weekend and he LOVES this new perspective on life! He started sitting for short periods of time a few weeks ago but was pretty wobbly and if he tried to play with any toys he would fall over. However, on Friday last week he woke up one morning and could sit and play with his toys with no problem. He has become such a happy baby and loves that he can entertain himself from this position. I also love that we have reached this milestone! I can plop him on the floor with a few different toys around him and he will play for a good hour before needing some assistance and attention from mommy. He is thoroughly enjoying all his Christmas toys so thanks to all our friends and family who spoiled this little guy with gifts this year.

Other milestones from the past week include, responding to his name when you call it and saying the word “mama.” While he does not understand that I am “mama”, he does say the word often, especially when he is tired. I will rock him to sleep while he drones “mamamamam…moooommmm…mamammama.”

We also took a nice family trip to Crested Butte for MLK weekend. While it was a bummer that there was horrible snow for skiing, the silver lining was the weather was beautiful and it felt like spring in the mountains! We were able to get outside with Kyle and go for a fun runs in the BOB stroller. Eros was also super excited with the weekend. Matt took him Nordic skiing and he loved it! It was so nice to get away and enjoy a family weekend together in one of our favorite places. It made me realize how much I am going to miss having Matt home when he leaves!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Five Months

Dear Kyle-

You turned five months right around your first Christmas. It was clear that you love the holidays! Your dad and I had so much fun with you this month. Daddy had three weeks off to spend with us before he deploys and we loved every minute of our time with him. You were quite the traveler this month spending time in Baggs, WY; Colorado; and Whitefish, MT.
Our first trip was to Baggs where Grandma Shannon grew up and mommy and daddy got married. You got to meet lots of your great aunts and uncles and even took your first buggy ride on Rosemary the mule. Mommy rode in the buggy on her wedding day and it was a special experience riding in it with you and daddy. I remember thinking my how far we have come as we rode down the lane. You enjoyed your buggy ride and almost feel asleep to the motion her hooves pounding on the gravel.

We spent Christmas Eve with Grandma Mary’s family in Ft. Collins and again you were the life of the party. Everyone had fun holding you especially your second cousin, Kayleigh, and you loved seeing your extended family. You sure were spoiled with lots of presents. On Christmas morning we went to Grandma and Grandpa Meersman’s house and opened presents and enjoyed spending time with the family. You got the cutest sweater that mommy loves to dress you in!

On Christmas night we took our first airplane ride to Montana. I was unsure of how you would do on the plane but you did great! You loved all the sights and sounds in the airport and fell asleep as soon as we got on the plan. I could not have asked for a better travel partner. Once we landed, we were greeted with huge smiles from Aunt Kate and Uncle Nate. We spent the week snowshoeing, antique shopping, and spending time with family. You loved every minute of it and it was becoming clear that you enjoyed the outdoors which makes your mommy and daddy very happy. We put you in your bear snowsuit and you were quite warm and comfy being outside.

You also got very good at rolling and finally rolled for your daddy! I had seen you roll a few times but he had never witnessed it. You also started sitting up on your own for a few seconds at a time. You love this new perspective on life and I can’t wait until you can sit on your own for long periods of time.

I can’t decide if you are teething or not. I keep thinking that you are but I see no sign of teeth under your gums. However, you have all the symptoms. You are drooling like crazy; clear runny nose off and on and you chew your fists in pain from time to time. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

You had another major milestone this month; your first taste of solid foods in the form of rice cereal. You were showing all the signs that you were ready to eat. You were grabbing for our food when we ate and moved your mouth open and closed. And ready you were. You ate your first tablespoon of cereal mixed with breast milk like a champ. Some definitely made it on your face and hands but for the most part you ingested a fair amount and every day that you have ate since you do better and better. You get very excited as I prepare your food and when I start putting the spoon toward your mouth you kick your legs with excitement. We will wait until you are six months to give you additional solids but I am positive you are going to love eating. I plan on making your baby food and can’t wait to start!

I can’t believe you are almost half a year old. You have not been in our lives for that long but I can’t imagine life without you.


Four Months

Dear Kyle-

On your four month birthday daddy came home from his training and he could not believe how much you had changed. You had full control of your head and could look around with ease at the world around you. You also started sticking your tongue out at us which was too cute!

You continued to grow like a weed weighing 15lbs 8ounces and 25 inches long at your 4 month well baby exam. Your size is definitely one of your defining features at the moment. People always comment on how big and healthy you look.

You still enjoyed spending time on your activity mat and started taking interest in your puppy dog. The two of you are quite a pair. He loves to try to sneak in as many puppy kisses as he can when mommy and daddy are not looking and will lie next to you whenever you are on the floor. He is also very protective of you and goes on guard whenever a stranger comes into the house.

You have also started enjoying baby toys which worked out very well with Christmas right around the corner. Everything you touch goes in your mouth! Grandma Shannon bought you a Very Hungry Caterpillar toy which you love.

Yu still sleep well at night with one wake-up in the early morning and then you usually fall back to sleep for a few more hours. We started teaching you to self soothe with your favorite blanket which is going well. You definitely love your “nana” and are immediately comforted when you grab onto it and bring it to your face.

We enjoyed our first Thanksgiving with you and were reminded of how thankful we are to have you in our life. You have changed our lives completely but we could not imagine life without you. Your smiles melt our hearts and you have taught us what love really means.
We ended the month experiencing one of the sweetest sounds, your laugh. You do a lot of “air laughs” where you open your mouth but nothing comes out. However, every so often something really gets you excited and you let out a little belly laugh. It always brings a huge smile to my face and makes all the sleepless nights and crying fits worthwhile.


Three Months

Dear Kyle-

At three months you hit a big milestone, you were no longer a colicky baby, and you became an infant! Mommy learned that she much prefers having an infant to a newborn. Daddy had to leave for a month of training in Louisiana when you were three months old. It was very hard to say good bye but it was good practice for when he deploys later this year.

We survived the month without daddy but not without the help of your loving Grandparents. You are one lucky kid to have three sets of Grandparents who adore you! They love spending time with you and are a huge help in giving mommy breaks to recharge her batteries.
You grew a ton this month and really developed into your own little person. You started rolling on your side and by four months had rolled over completely. You were interested in grabbing objects in front of you and your smile would light up the room. You were happiest first thing in the morning giving us lots of smiles and coos. You also started chattering quite a bit. I think you are going to grow up to be quite the chatter box like your mommy.

We also made the transition from sleeping in mommy and daddy’s room to your crib. You were such a big boy and made the transition with ease. You love sleeping in your crib and enjoy waking up to your bear mobile in the morning. Mommy also enjoys having you in your crib as well. I did not realize how much better I sleep at night not hearing all the noises you make in your sleep.

You also experienced your first Halloween and mommy dressed you as a baby tiger. You were sooo cute! Mommy soon realized that holidays are all that more fun with babies and can’t wait until you are old enough to understand what Halloween is all about.

While your colic was gone, you were still fussy in the evening and we realized that it was because you were tired so we pushed up your bedtime from 8:30 to 7:00 and it made a huge difference in your mood. It was also a great for mommy and daddy because it gave us a few hours in the evening to spend time together without having to take care of you.

It was clear you were growing into a happy healthy human and I could not get enough of you sweet smile.


Two Months

Dear Kyle-

By the time you were two months you and mommy had settled into a nice little routine. I went back to work after my maternity leave for a few weeks and quickly decided to leave my job for the time being to focus 100% on raising you. I am so thankful that your daddy’s job in the Army allows me to stay at home right now. I really can’t imagine working, you require all of my energy and I don’t think I could balance both at this time. One day I plan to go back to work, but for now taking care of you is a full time job.

Being a stay at home mom was a bit of an adjustment. I had to find things to keep both you and I entertained. Just hanging in the house all day got quite boring for the both of us. You loved getting out of the house so we would take many trips to Target and the grocery store. Your eyes would light up and you would smile as I pushed you in the shopping cart. We also joined a playgroup with some of mommy’s friends in Colorado Springs and started a playgroup with mommy’s friends from high school with babies. We both loved getting out and seeing other babies and talking to other mommy’s going through the same joys and challenges of parenthood. Another part of our daily routine was taking Eros to the park to get his exercise. You loved hanging in your car seat and watching me throw the ball for Eros to fetch.

We found that the best way to sooth you when you were fussy was to bounce you on the edge of the bed. Most babies love being rocked but you loved being bounced. After hours of being cooped up in my room bouncing you I realized that I could get the same result if I bounced you on an exercise ball. It was a great discovery that allowed mommy to bounce you while watching TV with the rest of the family and it also saved the springs on our bed.

We also gave our first attempt at feeding you a bottle when you were 6 weeks old. To mommy’s dissatisfaction you rejected the new form of nourishment and much preferred getting your food straight from the source. You were a puristJ. We tried multiple bottle nipples but it was clearly not something you were ready for and since I did not have to go back to work I accepted the fact that you and I were going to be attached at the hip for the time being.

You also started to become more interactive at two months and I enjoyed finding things that would cause your arms and legs to move with excitement. You loved when I read you books, especially The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Cat in the Hat. I also built your Lady Bug Activity Mat and you immediately fell in love with this apparatus. It was like being in a baby amusement park and provided you with hours of entertainment. Mommy also loved the “ladies” as I nick named the mat, because it allowed me to get things done around the house.

The first month of your life you hated baths with a passion but we tried again at two months and you fell in love with your tub! We created the “Kyle Spa Treatment” before you went to bed every night and it helped you fall asleep with ease. I would run a hot shower for a few minutes to steam up the bathroom and put your towel in the dryer to warm it while you were bathing and after you got a lotion massage. You loved the spa experience. It was one of, and still is, my favorite times of the day with you. You also started sleeping through the night at two months which was AMAZING! I was able to recharge on much needed sleep from the past few months and felt like a new person. While you became a great sleeper you were not the best napper. You thrive off of 4, 30 minute naps a day. This is challenging for mommy because I can’t get much done during your naps since they are so short, but since you sleep so well at night I can’t complain too much.
You had your first well baby exam at two months and weighed in at a healthy 12lbs 15ounces and were 23 inches long. You were in the 94th percentile for weight and 70th percentile for height. You also received your first round of vaccinations and did pretty well with the whole experience.

Life with you just kept getting easier and more joyful as you started developing you own personality and interacting with the world around you.


Colic Monster

Dear Kyle-

It would not be a true recap of the past five months of your life if I did not take some time to write about our adventures with your colic. When you were about three weeks old you started routine crying fits in the evenings. Mommy and daddy were not quite sure what was wrong with you but all we had been reading about newborns said it was common for babies to get fussy in the evenings as they processed their day. However, your crying seemed much more than just a fussy baby and lasted for almost 3 hours. After talking with the nurses we concluded that you were one of the 30% of babies who is colicky. Your dad was also colicky as a baby so we got lots of support from your Grandma Schardt.

This was honestly one of the most trying and challenging times of your mommy’s life. It was heartbreaking to not be able to do anything to console you and you quickly got the nickname “screaming meme”. You usually started up around 5:00 when you dad got home from work and stopped between 9 and 10 at night. Your dad and I would take turns holding you while you screamed and sometimes it got to the point where we would have to put you in your swing to cry by yourself. I apologize if you ever felt unloved during this time. I never stopped loving you but I was very distressed with your behavior and sometimes we needed a break to recharge. There is nothing worse than a screaming baby. Many nights you would bring the entire family to tears as we wondered what we did to deserve such an unhappy baby. Everyone assured us that usually by 3 months babies grow out of colic and it disappears as quickly as it starts so we began the countdown. Most parents don’t want their babies to grow out of the sleepy newborn stage but your daddy and I could not wait! After about a month and a half we became used to the colic routine and entered each night armed with ear plugs and determination to make it through the evening without breaking down. By two and a half months the crying fits started to lessen in duration and by three months they were pretty much completely gone.

I am happy to say that with a lot of prayers and help from Grandma Shannon and Grandma Mary we survived those trying three months and through it I gained a great deal of patience and strength that I never knew I had.


One Month

Dear Kyle-

The first month of your life was a whirlwind of emotions as we adjusted to life with a newborn. It is true what they say, nothing can really prepare you for parenthood, you just have to jump in head first and do it! You came home from the hospital when you were two days old. We could not wait to welcome you home and introduce you to your puppy Eros. Grandma Mary welcomed us when we got home and we quickly put you in your Sungabunny swing. You immediately feel in love with this swing and it became your favorite place to sleep! In fact, you would probably still be using it today if you had not gotten too big. It was hands down the best baby purchase I made.

The introduction to your puppy went very well and we could tell that you were going to be buddies from the start. He could not get enough of your scent and tried to smell you every chance he could get. He also wanted to give you lot of puppy kisses.

You ended up being born during a very important training exercise for Daddy and after lots of consideration we decided that he should lead his Soldiers in the exercise for the next 48hours. We had lots of family offer to help so we knew that you and I were in good hands while he was away. Grandma Mary stayed with use for the first few nights. My milk came in when you were two days old causing me a lot of discomfort. I was producing way more milk than you could drink but after a few days my body regulated itself and we were good to go. You were an excellent nurser and was very patient with mommy while she learned the ropes of breastfeeding. When you were four days old your Grandma Shannon and Aunt Kathleen came down to help take care of us. You daddy also came back from his training and we were able to spend some quality family time together. Aunt Kate made us lots of yummy meals and Grandma Shannon knew just how to hold you when you were having stomach gas.

Being born in the wee hours of the morning caused you to reverse your nights and days so it took some time to get you on a good sleeping schedule. Luckily we had lots of helping hands to take the night shift while mommy and daddy caught up on some much needed sleep.

One thing is for sure, you are very loved by your family. On the day you were born all three sets of Grandparents were there to hold you along with your Aunt Holly. Everyone immediately fell in love with you! You ended up being born a month before your Aunt Holly and Uncle Zach were married which gave us the opportunity to introduce you to all of your Great Grandparents and Great Aunts and Uncles in the first month of your life. Great Grandma and Grandpa Schardt also flew in from Florida to meet you! It was a very happy time but also very exhausting! I look back on that first month and wonder how I survived. I quickly learned that I can function on much less sleep than I ever thought I could.

After one week of help from the family you and I “flew solo” for the first time. I was pretty nervous to have just you and I alone by ourselves but we got along ok. With all the help we had that first week I had not had much of a chance to truly bond with you so it was nice to have some quiet time to hold and cuddle you. You loved to take naps on my chest which I loved but stopped me from getting anything done during the day.

At two weeks old you went on your first outing to a “Hail and Farewell” for daddy’s work. It was held at the Fox and the Hound Bar. You really enjoyed all the white noise in the bar and slept most of the time! When you were three weeks old you made your first trip up to Littleton for Aunt Holly’s bridal shower. You were quite the socialite and let everyone in the room hold you! When you were one month old you attended your Aunt’s bachelorette party at the Hyatt in Downtown, Denver. You were the only man allowed :). Grandma Shannon watched you while mommy went out to dinner with the girls. It was the first time I had left you since you were born. You also started smiling at four weeks! I remember you giving some of your first similes to your Great Grandpa and Grandma Schardt. You loved the sound of men’s voices and would usually smile if Daddy talked to you.

Your first road trip was when you were five weeks old to your Aunt Holly and Uncle Zach’s wedding in Crested Butte, CO. Overall the trip went pretty well for how young you were. You did amazing on the day of your aunt’s wedding and slept almost the entire day while mommy and the girls got ready and most importantly you made it through the entire wedding ceremony without making a peep! Your aunt bought you a little tuxedo onesie and you looked very handsome.

I have to admit, that many moments of that first month are a blur, but we survived and each day mommy got better at taking care of your needs. We became quite the pair and it was clear that you were definitely a mommy’s boy from the beginning.


The Night You Were Born

Dear Kyle Baxter-

The night you were born was one of the most miraculous nights of my life. It is a night I will never forget! It was Friday, July 29th 2011, three days past my due date. I had been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions on and off for the past two weeks and I was getting extremely anxious to meet you. Your Grandma Mary came down to Colorado Springs earlier that week to keep me company and help pass the long days as I waited for labor to start. We went on lots of walks, she massaged pressure points in my feet and ankles, I drank lots of Red Raspberry Leaf tea, basically I was trying everything I could think of to try to get labor started but you were very comfy and content in my belly. Each day that week I would wake up waiting for a sign that labor may be imminent and I was starting to get discouraged that you might decide to stay in my belly forever! Finally, on Friday morning I woke up to some light bleeding and had a feeling that this was going to be the day. I called my doula, Candace, that morning to let her know about the bleeding. She told me that was a good sign, and to drink lots of water, eat a good meal, and to start doing pelvic rocks every hour to ensure you were in a good position for pushing.

With a hopeful heart that I would be meeting you very soon I went for a “curb walk” that morning, took a shower, went to Chipotle for lunch, and did lots of pelvic rocks throughout the day. Grandma made us a delicious broccoli casserole for dinner that night and while we were eating I could feel contractions starting to intensify more than the usual Braxton Hicks contractions I had been feeling for the past few weeks. I did not want to say anything to your dad and Grandma for fear that they would think I was “crying wolf” once again about going into labor that night. I figured I would just take it easy the rest of the evening and see if things picked up. At 7:00p.m. my back started hurting so I decided to soak in a warm bath. I told your dad that when I got out of the bath we should watch a movie together and take advantage of yet another night with just the “two of us”. My contractions started to kick up another notch while in the tub, however, I could still talk through them so I was not totally convinced I was in labor. After my bath, I walked downstairs to find your dad peacefully sleeping on the couch. He had a long week of work and I figured if I did go into labor that night he could use a nap so I let him sleep.

Meanwhile, I went upstairs to our bedroom and tried to find something to watch on TV. As I lay in bed my contractions started to get closer together and become more regular. I also had to focus on my breathing to get through them. Grandma came in to check on me and I told her that I just wanted to be alone to focus on you and me. I had a feeling that active labor was on its way, but again, did not want to jinx myself. Your puppy, Eros, came upstairs to the bed and laid his head on my stomach as I worked through each contraction. He was such a calming spirit. About two hours had gone by and Grandma came back in to see if I was still doing ok. I told her to heat up a rice pack to ease the pain in my back and decided that maybe it was a good time to wake up your dad. I was not sure where the night would take us, but I was focused and ready for you to arrive. I gently woke your dad and told him that I was having pretty regular contractions and that maybe “tonight was the night”. He groggily looked at me thinking, here we go again. However, I knew in my heart that tonight was different. We went upstairs and started timing my contractions using an application on my iPhone. I told your Grandma to head to bed, your dad and I had things under control, and if we needed her we would wake her up.

For the next few hours your dad, Eros and I sat in bed and worked through each contraction together. I was very focused on my breathing during each one and in between I would rest, talk and laugh with your dad. I don’t remember what we talked about, but I do remember the feeling in the room was very peaceful and quiet. As the contractions got closer together it was becoming evident that we were definitely having a baby soon. I started wondering if I should go to the hospital but I was doing a good job of managing the contractions with the help of your dad and my water had not broke yet so I figured we were probably a ways out from active labor. At one point, I remember asking your dad if he thought we should go yet, and he said, “we need more data” because there was not a clear enough pattern to the contractions we were tracking. They were averaging one minute in length and three minutes apart, but then sometimes they would shorten to 30 seconds in length and be about five minutes apart.

At about 12:30a.m. I felt a gush of water with one of my contractions and went to the bathroom to find I was leaking a lot of blood. I still felt ok, but was pretty nervous to see that much blood and did not remember reading anything about lots of bleeding in our birth class notebook. We woke up Grandma, who was in a dead sleep, to see what she thought. I could sense some concern in her eyes so we called our doula. Candace did not seem concerned and said that it was probably just my cervix effacing in the midst of my water breaking so we decided to carry on laboring at home when all of the sudden I felt a contraction that sent me to my knees. At that point we quickly decided it was time to head to the hospital. Your dad went into military mode and calmly got me and your Grandma loaded into the car. Before I knew it we were on our way.

As we pulled out of the driveway my contractions took on a whole new level of intensity! I was in a lot of discomfort and quickly lost my focus. Instead of breathing through the contractions I started screaming. My goal was to have a natural childbirth and I never doubted my ability to do so until we started driving on Post. What was a 10 minute drive seemed like an eternity! I remember thinking to myself that if I am only 4-5 centimeters dilated, I may have to break down and get an epidural. I did not think I could endure this level of contractions for much longer. We finally arrived at the hospital and I was quickly wheeled up to labor and delivery. The nurse examined me and told me I was 8 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced! In the midst of intense contractions, a relief overcame my body, “I can do this,” I told myself. I was in the final stretch of the “marathon”. They quickly checked me into my labor suite, introduced me to my midwife, Gwen, and with renewed strength I was ready to welcome you into the world.

Your dad was by my side holding my hand the entire time. I found the most comfortable position to labor in was kneeling with my arms resting over the back of the hospital bed. Your dad was behind the bed helping me focus and breathe through each contraction and your Grandma was rubbing my back. It was the perfect team! I gained my strength by looking into your dad’s eyes, he was my rock, and I could not have done it without him! I quickly got into a rhythm with each contraction: Intensity, Intensity, Intensity, Relief, Relief, Relief, and Repeat. After about an hour of laboring in the hospital, I started feeling the intense sensation to start pushing. The midwife quickly checked me and gave me the green light to start pushing. While labor felt like an intense charlie horse in my stomach, pushing was an entirely different sensation. Just as I began to push, our doula, Candace arrived. It was the perfect time to welcome the third member of our team. She and your grandma each held one of my legs and your dad continued to give me the strength and focus I needed through each push. Just like with labor, I quickly got into a rhythm with the pushing and within 45 minutes you made your entrance into the world at 3:20a.m. on Saturday, July 30th.

The doctors immediately brought you to my chest and I could not believe what my body had just done. I had given birth to the most amazing little bundle of joy. It was love at first sight! You came out purple, but as you took your first breath your body quickly turned bright pink. Your dad cut the umbilical cord and the nurses whisked you away to clean you up. Your dad kept a close eye on you the entire time to ensure you were never alone while the doctors took care of cleaning and sewing me up. My placenta passed with ease and then began one of the most intense parts of the entire labor experience: stitching me up. I was given a local anesthetic so I could not feel pain but I did feel lots of tugging and pulling and all I wanted to do was relax. At least the nurses had you right next to me while they were cleaning you up so I could hear you exercising your powerful lungs :).

To all of our amazement you weighed in at a hearty 9lbs 8ounces and 21 inches long! I had no idea I was carrying such a big boy. We were soon reunited and quickly began our nursing relationship. It was evident that you were going to be a good eater from the start! While you nursed, I could not stop looking at you in amazement thinking of the miracle that we had all just witnessed. There was so much love and happiness in the room as we took turns holding you and made calls to all the family to tell them the good news. You had arrived and our lives were forever changed from that moment on. I could not have asked for a better birth experience. It was absolutely perfect just like you!

“Heaven blew every trumpet
And played every horn
On the wonderful, marvelous
Night you were born
~Nancy Tillman

Love, Hugs, and Kisses-

Welcome Back!

Hello Friends and Family,

Welcome back to my blog! I took a 6 month hiatus, but I am back and excited to start writing again. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to get back to blogging. I love writing and documenting things so my plan is to try to update once a week. This year brings a lot of excitement and challenges and writing will provide a good outlet to express my thoughts.
To document the past 5 months of Kyle’s life and to bring everyone up to speed I decided to write letters to Kyle in the past tense. I hope you enjoy reading along.