Friday, January 20, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
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.”
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
“Heaven blew every trumpet
And played every horn
On the wonderful, marvelous
Night you were born.”
Love, Hugs, and Kisses-
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.