11 Months

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I have heard this quote more than once and feel like it exactly illustrates how I feel about the past months as I realize Little Man is nearly 1!

“The days go slowly but the weeks, months and years go quickly.”

I think I said this elsewhere in my blog, but the best advice that I heard repeatedly while pregnant was to really slow down and enjoy every moment because Warrior would grow and change so quickly. I thank God every day for our sweet Little Man and that I have truly taken that message to heart. The sweet and tender memories I have from this year are some of the absolute best of my life. I am truly blessed.
Kaelen has had tons more drooling and teething behavior this month but still no new teeth. I still think the fourth bottom tooth is the next one that will appear but the top canine tooth seems like it may come in before long as well. Only time will tell!

 

Kaelen continues to wear 18 month size clothes. Some of the pants need to be cuffed still so his feet don’t get stuck inside them while he is crawling. It looks like maybe he will actually stay this size for longer than he has stayed previous sizes which would mean he could wear this current set of clothes through the coldest months. Yay! Kaelen now has to have shoes on his feet whenever it is fairly cold out because even if his socks do stay on his feet with his activity level, he has figured out how to take them off! He tends to pull them off, chew on them, and then carries them around with him while he plays.

 

Little Man’s sleep got a little disrupted by daylight savings time, teething, and not feeling well, which combined with the busyness surrounding Thanksgiving, means that we are still working hard to get him re-settled into a stable sleep routine with just two naps per day and a return no over-night waking. Ideally, Little Man sleeps from 7:30 or 8pm until between 8am-9am and takes a 1.5 hour morning nap and a 1.5+ hour afternoon nap starting around 2pm. (someday it’ll happen…I will just continue to believe it’s possible until it does!)
This month we added several new foods including: Sautéed Spinach, Cranberry-Orange Dressing, and of course Turkey. Of those Kaelen liked the spinach and eats it somewhat regularly now. He tried the turkey several times but spit it out each time he tasted it even if it was “mixed in” with other foods he liked. The highlight of Kaelen’s Thanksgiving Dinner was Aunt Sarah’s Sweet Potatoes. I couldn’t reload his spoon or feed them to him fast enough! We are still nursing about five times per day and Kaelen seems to be happy with that frequency. We started letting Kaelen use a pre-loaded spoon with soft foods awhile back, but in the last month he has gotten really good at getting a significant amount of the yogurt, applesauce, sweet potato, etc. actually all the way into his mouth. It is so neat to see his coordination constantly improve. Kaelen uses either hand with a spoon and sometimes switches which hand he wants to use mid-meal (and sometimes uses both of course). I think it is so fascinating to watch little things develop as we see his preferences form over the next months.

 

Little Man said, “Mama” for the first time while looking me in the eyes when I went to pick him up out of his crib on October 31st! I was sooo excited! The speech therapist in me had to wait and see if he did it again to be sure it was 100% purposeful and completely linked to me, but it turns out that “Mama” was Kaelen’s true first word! Kaelen has continued to become more conversational and has begun imitating us telling him to say “more” by saying “mmmmm” or “mu” while he is eating and with some play activities like bouncing on the big exercise ball. Kaelen started saying “Dada” or “Dadadadada” while babbling just yesterday which we were really ready for.

 

Kaelen is very observant and seems to only need to see something once before he imitates and learns it! There are so many “activity” things that Kaelen is doing that are new so I think I’ll just list them as bullets:

– Kaelen now stops and claps to show his delight in something

– He can beat in rhythm with music (and still dances every chance he gets).

– Little Man began pushing on objects in front of himself to “walk” behind them on November 12, so we weighed down a medium sized cooler that is the right height for Kaelen and he pushes it around the on floor.

– Grandma taught Kaelen how to get the foam sea creatures (bath toys) to “stick” to the shower door or the sidewall of the bathtub and he has enjoyed playing with them that way ever since.

– Learned to turn the lights on and off using the switch on the wall.

– Starting to learn to purse his lips to kiss. He sometimes will give kisses with pursed lips but most often gives open mouth kisses. Kaelen has initiated giving his Daddy a kiss a couple times, but gives his Mama kisses all the time spontaneously! He will give close family and friends kisses sometimes if we ask him to, but not reliably (or spontaneously). I never cease to be amazed by how sweet spirited our little man is.

– Mid-month Warrior began taking more than 10 steps while holding on to our hands to move across the room. He has also started letting go of people/objects for just a second or two at a time while standing before grabbing back on or sitting down. We know it’s all just a part of the the pre-walking warm-up.

– Kaelen has been enjoying eating the knobs on the kitchen cabinets or opening/closing/banging the doors to play, but on “Pie Day” while we were at Grandma’s house making pies for Thanksgiving Kaelen figured out that there are lots of fun things INSIDE the cabinets to play with and explore! Time to install some more of the cabinet locks in the kitchen and bathrooms….

– Kaelen loves to carry around his toys with him as he plays and often has Sophie the Giraffe in his mouth or a hand, another toy, or even just one of his socks that he managed to pull off of his feet.

 

One last funny note to round off this post: Kaelen think it is absolutely hilarious when someone blows his or her nose. I would have expected him to be startled or bothered by someone sneezing and then blowing their nose, but instead he gets the biggest grin and starts belly laughing! We still haven’t figured out why it is so funny to him, but that sound delights our little boy.

 

Kaelen 11 Months08

 

Kaelen 11 Months19Cheesin’ for Mama

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Kaelen 11 Months71Standing Unassisted

 

Kaelen 11 Months59“Pwwwwwt!” (Blowing Raspberries)

~ Erica

 


10 Months

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Wow! Another Post is due already. Well here goes:
Kaelen weighs in at 22lbs! He’s getting so big! He’s also really tall but we haven’t taken the time to measure his height recently. Kaelen has been holding steady at 7 teeth although he has had a few days where he was really chomping on his fingers in one spot next to his bottom middle teeth so I expect that will (eventually) be the next tooth to come in.

Little Man is now completely in his 18 month fall wardrobe. The little fall & winter patterns are so cute. He’s got a couple plaid flannel shirts that I put him in with his little overalls. So Handsome! We took some pictures in that outfit at the pumpkin patch that I will have to post… someday when I get “caught up” haha!

We decided that it was finally time to train Kaelen to sleep all the way through the night and so we started letting him cry until he went back to sleep in the middle of the night (or at 5-6 am… whenever he was waking up). After 3 nights he quit waking completely, and when he stirs he may fuss a little but relocates and settles himself within a minute or two. Its interesting as we’ve observed his sleep habits we noticed that Kaelen completely relocates himself to various places in the crib several times a night. Mostly he doesn’t even make a noise, but he moves to a different corner for a few hours. He’s a very mobile sleeper!

Kaelen continues to be more conversational and loves to laugh. His favorite things to babble continue to be “bababa” and “mamama” with occasional other sounds mixed in. Blowing raspberries isn’t speech but it is still one of Kaelen’s favorite things!

Food wise we have continued to add in foods such as quinoa, tomato, banana, & sweet potato. Kaelen definitely has favorites and will eat all of carrots, tomatoes, or egg that are on the baby butler before he finishes other things but that’s fine by me! He has gotten to be such a good eater! We also took Kaelen “out to eat” to Chipotle with us where he sat in his travel high chair and “ate” with us. We have eaten with our families and away from home lots, but this was his first time “eating out” even though we brought his food from home with us. Little Man also figured out that he likes to hold things to eat a certain way and sometimes that means that he picks up multiple different things in one hand. Tonight he wanted both tomato and egg in his hand so he worked really hard at it until he had them both just the way he wanted so that he could take a bite of both together. As I watched him I couldn’t help but think how smart he was to analyze how to get set up to do it even though it took him several attempts to get everything just the way he wanted.

Kaelen clapped his hands for the first time on October 15th. We have even caught him clapping in rhythm a couple of times! Recently Kaelen was laughing at Doug making a fishy face so Doug taught him how to suck his cheeks in and make a “fishy face”, which Kaelen thinks is hilarious. He now does it when he is playing, crawling around, transitioning between activities, and sometimes when we attempt to get him to imitate us (although not very often). Kaelen is very much a climber. When he is playing nearby us he often will climb up on top of, or over us to get where he wants to go or just for fun. Its humorous to us since it takes so much of his effort but he really enjoys the activity!

Enjoy the 10 Month Pictures!

Kaelen 10 Months09

 

 

Kaelen 10 Months16I’m getting SOOO tall!

Kaelen 10 Months58Clapping hands

Kaelen 10 Months49Look at me standing!

 

 

Learning cause and effect:  What happens if I crawl off the edge?

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But Daddy didn’t let him hit the floor.

Kaelen 10 Months30

 

 

Kaelen 10 Months48 Fishy Face!

 ~ Erica


Ah ba ba ba ma ma ma!

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You will all have to bear with the Speech Therapist in me for a little bit in this post!

Early this morning we arrived home from our trip to Atlanta and as I changed Kaelen into a night-time diaper and his pajamas he began doing some Consonant-Vowel sound play for the first time!

The first thing he said sounded like the title of this entry, “Ah bababa mamama” but he went on from there while he was on the changing table enjoying listening to himself.

Thus far Kaelen does all of the following: shrieking, blowing raspberries, Ah, Oh, Ooo, Goo, Ba, & Ma.

The shrieking is sooo funny because he does it quietly with lots of extra air coming out. I’ll have to try to get a video of it. Blowing raspberries is his FAVORITE and he instantly gets a big grin when someone blows one to him. He has been doing extended vowel play with the sounds Ah, Oh, & Ooo and changing the pitch of his voice up and down for a while. It’s so fun to see him develop and add new things!

Here’s a video of him “talking” 🙂

~ Erica


28 Weeks

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The most exciting thing this week is that Kaelen has started moving across the room purposely! It’s mostly commando crawling or getting up on his hands and knees then lunging, but its clear that he will really be crawling soon!!! Yay! In the meantime we have to go ahead and put up the baby gates….

We also lowered the crib to the next setting because Kaelen realized he could suck on the rails if he picked his head allllllll the way up. He also was able to lift his bottom above the level of the rails when he got up on his hands and toes (doing baby down dog).

Kaelen and I joined my friends Megan & Bethany at the pool on Tuesday and he is really enjoying the water. He spent most of the time we were in the water grinning and kicking/splashing. It’s taken a little while but he seems to be getting used to wearing the sun hat & sunglasses. Today when I put them on he tried to eat the sunglasses, but since the sun was bothering his eyes so within a few minutes he quit messing with them. I’m super excited about Kaelen learning to swim with how much he loves the water. He dunked his face a couple times today and came up sputtering – haha! I think he was trying to drink the pool! Next year I’m planning to put Kaelen in ISR swim lessons (Infant Self-Rescue) since they are able to teach very young children to float, then roll& swim to the edge of the pool. Not only is great for safety but also gives him access to the water and the ability to swim earlier than most kids learn to really swim!

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Kaelen28Weeks17

~ Erica


6 Months & 26 Weeks

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I can hardly believe our little warrior has been here for half a year already!  Its mind boggling as I think about how much Kaelen has grown and changed in such a short period of time.  Since this post is both on a Friday and on a month anniversary I am only doing the one post.  All the weekly and monthly pictures will be at the bottom of the post.

I’ll start with Kaelen’s stats: He weighs more than 19 pounds but we don’t really know by how much, his height is 30 inches, and he has grown into 9 month size clothes.

One big development is Kaelen’s first tooth emerged last Saturday (June 22nd).  It is the left center tooth on the bottom.  The best part about this tooth’s arrival is that it came without causing much fuss.  Other than having been very drooly for awhile now Kaelen didn’t have any other symptoms of teething.  I certainly hope that he continues to have an easy time with incoming teeth.  The other bottom center tooth is on the way out any day now.  Once enough of the tooth is showing to get a picture I will, but thus far its impossible to get a picture of.

On Monday night (June 24) we took Kaelen to get his first haircut.  I know most people wait longer to cut their baby’s hair, however the long sections by his ears were constantly sticking to his face, getting in his eyes, and just generally looked scraggly…so we decided to go ahead and cut it.  I’m amazed at how much of a difference it made!  He still has little old man hair, but at least its a better shape now!  One day it will fill in… for now at least its cuter 🙂

Kaelen now sits for more extended periods of time on our laps or on a blanket while playing with a toy  (click here to see video I posted) but eventually falls over after awhile or when he’s “done”.  I would estimate he’s sat un-aided for possibly 5 minutes or more.  He sat under the play gym and held onto it/played with the toys from that perspective and seems to really be enjoying playing in the seated position.  This week we also got out the baby piano and the first block set and thus far he LOVES banging on the piano.

Little man is able to rock back and forth on his hands and knees.  This often results in him lunging and scooting around.  Today Kaelen did something that surprised us both because of the strength it takes; he picked himself up on his toes and hands….it looked alot like the yoga pose “downward facing dog”. I love it that there’s so much growing and changing!  Its exciting every day to see what he’s going to do next!

On Sunday Kaelen actually lunged/scooted/rolled across our bed to get to me about 3 different times.  It is so neat to see how he is purposely attempting to move himself to get places!  It seems like he could start crawling anytime he wants to but there are definitely a couple pieces he still has to figure out, like releasing his hand from the floor and reaching forward.  We realize with his new mobility that it is time to get the safety gates put up so that project is now on the short list to get done ASAP.

Kaelen is still taking three naps per day most days and is sleeping as much as 12-14 hours at night.  Most nights Kaelen has still been waking up to eat around 6am, but three times this past week he slept all the way through until 8am!  I am pleased with him naturally lengthening out his sleep, but eventually really hope that he will keep his routine “wakeup” time at 9am. (Hey I can hope even if it may not be realistic!) Kaelen loves to roll around and scoot in his crib when he’s supposed to be falling asleep at nap time or bed time which means that he often takes 30-60 minutes to go to sleep when I put him down… even when I make sure to put him down as soon as he starts showing signs of being tired.  I can put the baby in the crib, but I can’t MAKE him sleep….  Kaelen’s naps are continuing to range from 45 minutes-1.5 hours each.

Kaelen really wants to experience his whole world through his mouth.  He’s been able to pickup toys to chew on for a while, but this month he really has wanted to put EVERYTHING he sees and is interested in into his mouth.  He’s fascinated with anything we are holding, what we are doing, and ESPECIALLY our food and drinks think he’s even tried to chew on the mirror and the wall! On June 4th Kaelen “found” his toes and has since gotten where he will either bend all the way over to chew on them or pick them up to investigate or chew on.  Since he got that first tooth in he does seem to be more careful about chewing on his hands/feet from the sides of his mouth.

Little Man continues to nurse about six times each day and now that he has turned six months we plan to start him working on solid foods.  We are planning to use Baby Led Weaning, which essentially means that we will put large pieces of easy to grab foods (e.g. carrots, toast “fingers”) for him to learn to pick up and put in his mouth to gnaw on.  This method teaches him to feed himself, and to gnaw/chew on foods before he learns to swallow them.  Since he still gets all the nutrition he needs from nursing there’s no pressure on the amount of solid food he gets.  Another advantage to this way is that he won’t get used to the pureed consistency of most baby foods since he will be experiencing many textures right from the very beginning.  I’ll be sure to post lots along the way!

Kaelen 6 months 26 weeks87_1

Kaelen 6 months 26 weeks34

Kaelen 6 months 26 weeks53

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Behind the Scenes:

Kaelen 6 months 26 weeks81

Here are a few “Outtakes”

Kaelen 6 months 26 weeks37_1

Kaelen 6 months 26 weeks63

Kaelen 6 months 26 weeks44

~ Erica

 


24 Weeks

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I have to admit that I am so grateful that I can back-date posts to the day they are supposed to have been published when I don’t get around to it in a timely way! We spent a ton of time with family and away from the house this week so I’ll cite that as my reason why :).

Here’s the pictures for Kaelen this week.

 

Kaelen 24 Weeks

 

I almost selected this for the weekly picture, but decided I wanted to show one where he was looking toward the camera:

Kaelen 24 Weeks18

So excited by bear this week!

Kaelen 24 Weeks22

“Look Mama I got the bear!”

 

 

~ Erica


Singing Love Songs to Mama

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One of the things that my best friend told me was that her nursing relationship with her daughter Lily has been truly special.  There’s a long back story that I won’t share here, but needless to say I’m delighted for her. As a result of watching what she went through I was really looking forward to experiencing the perks of nursing my own baby.  Other than a few minor concerns along the way that I feel like most mothers face like: “is my baby getting enough?”, “How do I know when to switch sides?”, and “when will he quit playing instead of eating when it’s time to nurse?” Our nursing relationship was pretty blessed and went well from the start.  Once Kaelen was a couple weeks old he began doing something that to this day is my favorite thing.  After he finishes nursing if he hasn’t fallen asleep while eating, he lays back in my arms or against the pillow and begins cooing, smiling, and carrying on all while staring up at me with those gorgeous blue eyes of his.  I refer to this as him “singing love songs to Mama”.  I can’t truly describe how it makes me feel but I fall in love with him all over again every time he does it.  The whole world disappears and he and I are alone in our moment together.  Anyway, I’ve been trying for a while to get a clip of him doing this on video so I thought I’d share a clip here for my memory (don’t worry everyone is fully clothed) since I know he won’t do this forever….

~ Erica

 

 

 

 


Kaelen’s Eyes

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I absolutely love watching my baby.. haha.. which mom doesn’t?  I think he’s beautiful and he changes constantly so there’s always something work observing.   One of my favorite things to do is watch his eyes and see what he is looking at.  Anyway one of the neatest things is that his eyes are a beautiful blue color (for now) except for his right eye which has a brown section…… I thought I’d share a picture of his eyes with you here.  I don’t know how normal it is for eyes to have sections of a completely different color and I don’t know if Kaelen’s eyes will stay the way they are or if they will continue to change. If anyone knows something more about eyes feel free to comment below!

 

Kaelen'sEyes2

 

Kaelen'sEyes1

 

~ Erica


Kaelen’s First Laugh

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Doug reported to me that Kaelen started laughing aloud during “playtime” one day in the past couple of weeks. Unfortunately neither of us remembers exactly which day it was.  I was working out or in the shower when Kaelen did it so I hadn’t had the opportunity to see or hear him laugh except in his sleep until last Wednesday night.  Evidently, I’m not very funny to Kaelen or I just haven’t figured out what I need to do to get him laughing- haha :).  On Wednesday, Kaelen was with his Aunt Noelle and he found her to be hilarious because he laughed with her all evening, including when I returned to pick him up.  It is the cutest thing ever!  Anyway, she stalked him with her iPhone to get a video of him laughing so now I have it to share with you!  Enjoy!

~ Erica


First Friends

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There was a string of friends that all had their first babies over the past six months and so this past week was an opportunity for Kaelen to meet them, and for us to meet their babies.  I was amazed to see how big he is compared to some of the other babies, even ones who are significantly older than he is!  We had a wonderful time.

The first event was a wedding, here our friend Van is holding Kaelen and Lincoln (4 months).

Van, Lincoln, & Kaelen

 

Next we took lunch to our friends Adam & Mandi who had their daughter Adalynn at the same birthing center we used.  Here Adalynn is 1 week and 3 days old!  Mandi and I had a great visit sharing our birth stories and catching up on “being mom”!

Adalynn&Kaelen44

Adalynn&Kaelen06

Both Adalynn & Kaelen were over 9lbs at birth and super long!  She was 23 inches!

Over the weekend Doug and I attended a leadership conference where we saw a few more friends between sessions!  It was great because many of us brought our babies with us.  It was good to catch up with everyone!  (Bear with the cellphone pictures:)

Jessica, Carson, Kaelen, & Me

Kaelen & me with Carson (2 months) & Jessica
I love Carson’s adorable little outfit! She’s got Mommy’s sense of style!

Kara, Albon, Kaelen, & me
Kara & Albon (2 months) with Kaelen & me
Albon is such a cutie!

I’m so excited for our kids to grow up together!  These are the first of many fun times!

~ Erica