Monday, February 28, 2011

Kadester Update

At six-and-a-half months old, Kaden:

  • Has become a pureed fruits and vegetables connoisseur .  He tried his first vegetable, green beans, on February 4th.  Since then, we have added carrots, prunes, pears, squash, bananas, and peas to his repertoire (in that order).  He loves them all.  We had a brief moment this morning (whilst he he was introduced to peas alongside his rice cereal) that I thought he might permanently boycott the little, round pellets (since he started crying after every bite and trying furiously to spit the mush out).  After a re-introduction at dinnertime, I think even peas might have won him over.  He loves to eat.  He voices his disdain if you don't shovel food into his waiting, open mouth quite quickly enough. 
  • Has his first tooth.  All of that Orajel really wasn't wasted on our fussy baby.  He actually WAS teething.  I felt the sharp point of Kaden's first tooth on February 7th while, you guessed it, rubbing Orajel on his gums at bedtime. 
  • Mostly sleeps through the night, with occasional relapses.  After Kaden started solid foods, we started "sleep training."  Basically, we don't pick him up when he wakes up in the middle of the night anymore.  We do the 10-15-20 minute go in, comfort, leave routine, until he falls back asleep on his own.  I know half of you are thinking I'm a terrible mother for letting my son cry in his crib, but I've got to say--8 hours of sleep at night is a glorious thing.  Most nights he just sleeps completely through the night, but every once in a while we'll have to go in and comfort him a few times before he'll zonk back out.  The biggest battle we had to fight in this department was breaking the swaddling habit.  Kaden has always loved to be swaddled.  Usually when he woke up during a nap, or during the night, it was because he had "broken out" of his swaddling.  We even used the special Swaddleme blankets, which were miraculous, but eventually he outgrew them.  Even the largest size.  We had mastered swaddling him in a select few blankets that were still big enough to get the job done, but he was getting too strong for those.  When we started the "sleep training," we also stopped swaddling, so he could learn to fall asleep without it. 
  • Can sit up by himself, with supervision.  Kaden can support himself while sitting up, but quickly topples over if he reaches too far for whatever object catches his fancy.  We are practicing every day, and I think he'll be sitting completely solo before long.
  • Whisper-talks to himself in the morning.  Oh my, this may be the most precious thing my child will ever do.  It is soooooooooo cute to listen to him do this.  Every time I try to catch him on film he promptly stops, however.  I hope  I can always remember what this sounded like.  After Kaden wakes up in the morning, he usually ends up cuddling in bed with me and Chad.  He just lies here, content as can be, whisper-babbling.
  • Makes consonant sounds, which means he's now more of a babbler, and less of a coo-er.  It's pretty clear that the word "Dada" will probably be numero uno.  He already says this about a zillion times a day, he just doesn't know that he's saying it.  
  •  Bathes in the real bathtub now.  We finally had to face reality:  our 28 inch baby can no longer bathe in the baby tub on the kitchen counter.  This was a travesty.  It is so much easier to bathe him while comfortably standing at the counter top.  Kaden LOVES taking a bath.  He kicks and splashes like crazy, and tonight I discovered that when squirted by his bath toys he can't contain his giggles.  He finds it hilarious.  He still can't take a bath every night because his skin gets too irritated (he still has some eczema).
  • LOVES to jump.  If he's not in one of his jumping toys, he still pretends that he is.  He jumps while you hold him in your lap, and he even moves his legs like he's jumping while he's lying down. 
  • Has figured out he can actually go in a complete circle while in his exersaucer.  His favorite part of this toy is the toy phone attached to it.  He tries to eat it, instead of talking to whatever imaginary friend is on the other end.      
  • Still hates being on his tummy.  I talked to the pediatrician about this one, because I'm afraid he's never going to learn to crawl.  Kaden will only tolerate limited tummy time before he starts to scream. 
  • Can successfully remove his pacifier and put it back in.  This is such a blessing.  He used to take his pacifier out when we'd put him down at night and then wake himself up by hitting himself in the face with it, attempting to get it back in. 
  • Has better motor skills in general.  I love watching him play with his toys now, because he really does seem like he is starting to "play."  He can really hold on to objects now.  His favorite toy right now is by far his soccer ball.  Although he mostly just tries to, unsuccessfully, eat it.   
  • Loves music.  The Disney music channel on Pandora is a frequent listen in our house.  (I love that part of my day consists of dancing to hits from The Jungle Book and The Lion King.  My life is seriously so awesome.  Especially when it's 1:00 and I'm still in my pajamas.)  Some of Kaden's favorite songs right now include "The Wheels on the Bus," "The Itsy, Bitsy Spider," and "Popcorn Popping."
  • Still loves to be read to and is still pretty attentive while listening to the story (after initial attempts to ingest the literature).
  • Loves to play peek-a-boo and patty cake.  
  • Still typically takes three naps during the day.  One in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the early evening.  I wish so much he would just turn this into two LONGER naps.  It would really help give me time to get more done.
  • Is a snugly little guy right now.  He likes to bury his little head in your chest while you hold him.  I took him to see the English teachers at North Lenoir and he cuddled with every one of them.
  • Is still precious, sweet, and is so much fun to take care of every day.
  • Is growing up way too fast.

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    In Six More Months My Baby Will be ONE?!!

    Kaden's Six Month Stats

    Weight -- 17 pounds 10 ounces, 53rd percentile

    Height -- 28 inches, 91st percentile

    Head Circumference -- 44.75 centimeters, 77th percentile

    Kaden's Six Month Portraits

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Low-Key Valentine's Day

    I didn't grow up really hating or loving Valentine's Day. 

    In elementary school there wasn't much NOT to like about getting a valentine from everyone in your class, each one usually accompanied by a piece of something delectably sugar-rush infested.  Of course, you did have to be careful about what message you gave to each kid in class.  You wouldn't want the boy who picked his nose and saved the boogers for later to get the wrong impression by giving him a message that said, "You're cute, Valentine!"  Maybe it was the English teacher developing within me way back then, but I was always very attentive to the semantics behind every valentine in the cardboard box that my mom and I would pick out together.

    The most memorable valentine of my elementary school years came in sixth grade when Brandon Earl, whose bowl cut I happened to be madly in love with, gave me a valentine that professed he wanted to be my first date when I turned 16. (I had recently returned a necklace he gave me and told him I couldn't date until then.  Had Elliott Goodrich not blabbed about the necklace to my parents, I probably would have kept it, but alas, it wasn't in the cards for Brandon and me.)  His promise was never kept.  Sadly, by the time Brandon and I reached dating age, he no longer had a bowl cut, and friendship had replaced our previous feelings of romance. 

    If I ever remotely detested Valentine's Day, it was probably in junior high.  By the time 7th and 8th grade rolled around, we no longer got to have the classroom bashes filled with conversation hearts.  Instead, those of us who didn't get anything for Valentine's Day got to listen to the names of everyone who DID get called to the office to pick up their bouquets of flowers, giant teddy bears, and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates.  At the time, watching popular girls try to find an empty spot on their desk amidst all of the red and pink paraphernalia, so they could complete our Earth Science assignment, wasn't the most thrilling.  I had an empty desk, a terrible haircut, and braces.  It wasn't too hard to find a spot on my desk for a worksheet on plate tectonics.  Even then I didn't HATE Valentine's Day, though.  Plus, by the time we would graduate from high school, most of the popular girls from junior high were pregnant, druggies, or just a bit washed up.  (That doesn't sound cold and unfeeling at all, does it?)

    In high school I only had a boyfriend for one Valentine's Day.  My junior year, though, my friend Lena Campbell and I decided we were sick of hearing every one's names called on Valentine's Day and never getting our fair share of the goods.  We went to Wal-Mart together and picked out gifts for each other, then delivered them to the front office the morning of February 14th.

    Even now that I'm married, we don't really make a huge deal about Valentine's Day.  As long as Chad gets me a bouquet of flowers, or a card, or makes me a stellar dinner, or does something to remind me he knows it's the day of love--I'm good.  (If he doesn't do ANYTHING, then we will have a problem.)  We don't usually go out to eat on Valentine's Day, because restaurants are packed, service is terrible, and it's just an unpleasant waste of an evening. 

    Yesterday Chad brought me flowers in the morning.  Last night we dropped Kaden off at my mother-in-law's house and drove to Moss Hill Elementary to take pictures of a 6, 7, and 8 year old basketball team.  And, being the domestic diva that I am, I ironed my husband's shirts for his Valentine's Day gift.  And I know that some of you are thinking I should do that all of the time, but sadly, my husband married me, and it's in the contract that I don't have to do that chore.  I'm not a huge country western fan, but I'm pretty sure that some country singer sometime sang a song that says something like, "I don't do windows."  If I was a country singer, my song would say, "I don't iron."  Judge me if you must.  I love an ironed shirt as well as the next lady, but when my husband looks freshly pressed 9 out of 10 times he's ironed his shirt himself.  That is why my Valentine's gift was straight from the heart. 

    I think if we were amazingly wealthy, I would hire a maid, but all I would ask her to do is iron.  And maybe clean the bathrooms.  And do a dish . . . or two . . .  merely occasionally, of course.  And put the clothes away after I've washed them.  But, really, she might as well wash them if she's going to put them away anyway, right?  Oh, to dream.

    Anyway, I hope I haven't de-romaticized Valentine's Day for anyone.  I'm sure we now seem like a very unromantic couple.  But here's the thing:  shouldn't romance happen spontaneously, and not just one day of the year?  To me, Valentine's Day is just a day to remind us how much we love that special someone, and to maybe make us think about how we should show that person how much they mean to us a little bit better every day of the year.  

    I hope your Valentine's Day was nice, and that you felt loved, because to me, that's all the day is really about.      

    Tuesday, February 08, 2011

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