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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Big Boy, Small Feet

I am anti-shoes for babies. They are pointless (hello they can't walk) and expensive! Kye didn't own shoes until it got cold outside. Well his first shoes are getting too little so I decided we needed to get him some NICE shoes. The ones he had originally were $5 each from Old Navy for two of them and then the other pair I got for $4 at a used kids sale. Since he'll most likely start walking while in his next size of shoes I thought it was a good idea to invest in some that are meant to be comfortable for a new walker.

I have seen some ads on pedipeds and they sold me! They are recognized by the American Pediatric Medical Association as contributing to better foot health. They've also won a bunch of awards for being the best children's footwear! All their shoes meet the "shoe requirements" outlined in What to Expect the First Year. I was not too pumped to find out the prices and when I told Zach about them he was worried they'd look "gay." When I checked out the website, however, I was pleasantly surprised! Yeah the shoes are expensive but not as bad as I was picturing (I know baby Nikes and such run over $30!). They are currently having a special on some of their shoes so I was able to get him two pairs at $23 each. I didn't know if they would be considered "gay" by Zach's standards so I was nervous when I showed him but they passed the test! They are "hedero" enough for our son :) I was also excited because instead of having to buy him a tan pair and a brown pair they had shoes that have both brown and tan on them! We went for that pair and a navy/gray pair. I already bought him some black dress shoes (on sale at Gymboree for $6) that he can wear the RARE times he actually wears black (so annoying but they just don't make black for babies for some reason?).

I wanted to make sure to get Kye a proper fit so I printed off their shoe size guide. I looked in Kye's current shoes and realized the kid was wearing a 0-6 MONTHS! haha! He's in 12 month clothes but 0-6 month shoes! I couldn't believe it! We measured his foot and he is still right about at the 0-6 month (XS!!!) size. I called them and told them where he was at and they told me to go ahead and get the SMALL which is 6-12 months!!!
They were so nice on the phone and the order arrived so quickly! I really like them!!! They are completely flexible and seem to be comfortable on him. He has plenty of room to grow in them but they are not too big either. My mom also told me that the opposite velcro feature is great because the kids can't get them off as easily. So that's a bonus! Aren't they cute???
While Kye isn't a walker yet I do have to recommend these shoes. You can read all about them on their website but I'm very impressed with the construction and do believe their slogan that they probably are the "next best thing to bare feet!"

In the meantime I'm wondering if Kye will go through a sudden foot growth spurt? Is it not crazy that his feet are so little? I told Zach that if kids are anything like dogs that it's probably a bad sign...small paws as a puppy equals little full-grown dog!I also think the small feet, tall body, big head issue may make him take longer to walk. That's tough to balance all of that on those little feet!!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Shower for Chrissy

Our plan was to leave from the Aflac Kick-Off then head home (2 1/2 hours) get Kye and drive to Melbourne (4 hours). Well the plans changed! After all that driving Zach was exhausted and we decided to just leave Saturday morning. It worked out great and we got to Melbourne a little before 11. It gave Mom and I enough time to get the food and all ready for the shower!

Here are the invites I had made for it, didn't they turn out cute?
I was excited to be hosting a family shower for Chrissy. I really wanted to let our family have a chance to get to know Chrissy a little better before the wedding in March! I invited both sides of the family but I know a lot of Dad's family is all spread out so they couldn't make it. We still had a good turn out though and a great time!

Before everyone got there Chrissy gave me my bridesmaid gift! She was planning on giving it to me at the Bachelorette Party but I'm not going (it's a 3 hour 20 min drive for me and since I don't do the club/party/drinking thing I'll just be a Debbie Downer for sure!) so she gave me mine early! I liked everything she got for me...but I can't show any pictures since the other bridesmaids haven't gotten theirs yet!
For Christmas Brandon got Chrissy a really cute (and handy!) purse hanging thing that you can put on a table or something and it gives you a spot to hang your purse. Mom and I loved it and so Chrissy got us each one to thank us for hosting the shower! I was pretty pumped about it :)
The hostesses and Bride!
I think it was some of the BEST food I've ever had at a shower! Everyone kept saying how yummy everything was which made us feel good :) I made a strawberry layered cake and some adorable bread cut-outs with a spread on them. Mom made a salsa and meatballs! It all looked so pretty!
I love Shower Games...I think it's the whole point of a shower! haha. We played a game where everyone had to answer questions about Chrissy to see who knew her the best (of course most of us are still getting to know her so it was great to hear her answers!). We also played Shower Gift Bingo which is always a hit. My little cousin Aiden loved that one!!! I made all the game boards with blue computer paper and a brown paisley stamp, aren't they cute?
Of course no bridal shower is complete without a round of the Toilet Paper Bride game! Sabrina and Caylin made perfect brides and everyone had a good time covering them in beautiful wrapping paper dresses!
Caylin actually wrapped HERSELF in the toilet paper haha. The finished products!
Everyone was so generous when it came to the gift-giving. Brandon and Chrissy are stocked up now for sure! And they got so many things off their registry!
I had to get her somethin' sexy ;)
Susi was in charge of making the bow bouquet
It was another successful shower for sure! It started at 3:30 and everyone stuck around until after 6 just talking and enjoying being together. After everyone left Chrissy tried on her wedding gown which was exciting! It was fun having Cassandra, the maid of honor, there with us as I think she's AWESOME and if she lived closer I totally know we'd be super good friends! The next morning Zach and I headed out. He did put some finishing touches on Mom's bathroom and it looks AMAZING! I need to get some pictures of it for sure :) It was a VERY short weekend but I'm so glad we were able to give Chrissy such a nice wedding shower!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Aflac State Kick-Off

Last Friday (I know I'm running behind, whatever!) Zach and I drove to Columbus for the Aflac State Kick-Off Meeting. Mrs. Charlotte and Mr. Rusty also went to the event as Mr. Rusty was being recognized for his 20th year with the company. Since obviously Mrs. Charlotte wasn't available to watch Kye for the day I asked Ashley to do it! She did a GREAT job and I've asked her to write about it as a guest blog entry sometime soon! I'm interested to hear what she thought about watching Kye (it was her first time) and whether or not she liked the schedule he's on! :)

Since I am no longer an Aflac agent (it made sense for tax reasons for me to give up my Aflac license but I still have my insurance license so I can pick back up the Aflac one if needed in the future) I didn't think I'd be able to go to the meeting. Zach put in a call and Tripp (the state coordinator) let me come since Zach was (again!) #1 in the state!!!

It was a nice time getting to see all the Aflac people and getting to support Zach in all his many awards. Football was the area of Zach's life where he shined and I know we all miss those days so I'm thankful that he works for a company that offers him competition and an arena in which to thrive! He won many awards; got recognized for making President's Club in 2009 (Paris trip), he made Key Club (where the prize is a gold ring that they upgrade again and again every time you win!), he was the #1 agent in our state for 2009, and won several other awards too.
Of course I'm proud of him! Especially for all his hard work last year. 2008 was his first full year with Aflac and it was an adjustment. He's used to seeing his other family take Fridays off to golf or whatever and it's hard when you're just starting out to realize that you can't do that stuff yet!!! In 2009 Zach worked his BUTT off! The economy was MUCH worse than 2008 but he still wrote almost just as much business and still managed to be #1! I'm hopeful that he'll do even BETTER in 2010! We have our sites set on landing some big groups and hopefully hiring some awesome people (if you are interested in a job where you're your OWN boss and the awards are limitless let me know!). 

It was good that Mr. Rusty came to the event as well. He was not only recognized for his 20 years but he was inducted in the Aflac Ga-South Hall of Fame! He was the very first person to be inducted and they gave him a jersey with his name on the back. They also are putting one of his jerseys in the training room to help motivate new people to see how successful they can be with the company!
My favorite part of the day is getting to hear about all the upcoming trips! Zach has already qualified for 5 days in Amelia Island in March. Then this year he should also qualify for us to go to Jamaica for 5 days and on a cruise to the Caribbean for 5 days! It's SUCH a nice ship! We'd have a room with a balcony and it's one of those ships that has a putt-putt course, mall, surfing pond, and tons of other stuff. It's a Royal Caribbean ship but Aflac will rent out the ENTIRE boat! How fun! AND if Zach makes it as one of the top 85 agents in the NATION (in 2009 he was #86!!! Missed the trip by ONE person!!! So disappointing!) for this year then we'll get to go to BERMUDA next year!!! Wouldn't that be fun?!?

This year was a special kick-off meeting. The theme was "Happy 10th Birthday to the Aflac Duck" and they actually got the REAL duck featured in all the commercials to come to our meeting!!!! A real celebrity :) haha
we all sang Happy Birthday to him
While seeing the Aflac Duck was cool the neatest part to me was that Mr. Paul Amos came to the meeting. He is one of the ORIGINAL FOUNDERS of the company! It was started in Columbus, GA by three brothers (all Amos brothers) and he's the last living brother. Isn't that awesome? Zach and I had the chance to meet him and his adorable wife while in Paris and it's such a unique opportunity to get to see him in person. He's an incredible man who truly loves the Lord, his company, and his employees. His son is currently the CEO of the company and Tripp Amos is his great-nephew who is our State Coordinator. I love that it's still a family company!!!
Tripp, the Duck, and Mr. Amos!
Even though it was a LONG day (Columbus is a 2 1/2 hour drive for us!) it was fun and I'm thankful that I was able to go. These kick-off meetings always make us excited to be part of such an amazing company and motivate Zach to do the BEST he can for this year!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Weekly Lunches

As one of my yearly goals I want to work on not doing and going so much in the evenings. Zach and I both feel it's very important to have family meals together as many nights of the week as we can. We've been doing great so far! We have had several people over for dinner already this year. Yeah it may be a little costly (with both money and time) to cook for people but it's still probably cheaper than eating out and it allows us to sit down and eat with Kye while he is eating AND get him in the bed on time.

We've been focusing our sites on the Lord more this year which we really needed to do! Zach and I decided that Wednesday night would be the ONLY night of any week that Kye doesn't get a bath and that he stays up past his bedtime. We're not one of those families that stay over at people's houses late or have our kid at Walmart at 10:00! Kye's schedule is important to us and we plan to stick to it. Since Wednesday night church starts at 7 (Kye's bed time is 7:15) we don't really have any choice. We still eat together as a family then go to church and before leaving church we change Kye into his night clothes. He falls asleep in the car and we lay him down when we get home into his bed (around 8:30ish). He's still been sleeping great when we do this, but he doesn't behave well for his church class. He's just too tired poor kid! I'm going to start giving his class teacher some snacks for him and hopefully that will help :)

Since we're trying to put God first and our family second I worried about losing my friends. We obviously can't be going and hanging out as much as we used to and not only do I miss that but I'm sure my friends do to! Since the start of the year Zach and I agreed that one day a week we could each go to lunch with a friend. I know that sounds like we're cheap, but we ARE! We NEVER eat out!!! Seriously!

Zach's only gone to lunch a couple of times but I've gone just about every week! Kye and I got Applebees with Katie, Two Friends with Shauna, and Two Friends again with Ashley and Ashley! I really want to start having the blog be MORE of a journal so I'm trying to take more pictures of things (I know MORE pictures...) Here are the ones from my lunch with Ashley and Ashley!
It was so nice because Ashley (Troutman not Hiott) and I haven't hung out I don't think EVER! haha! I just realized that! I've always liked her but it's tough to make plans. Lunch is such a great thing to do on a busy schedule and I enjoyed getting to know her better. And duh, it's always great to hang out with Ashley (Hiott) too! Whenever I go to lunch we always go at about 11. I know that's early but Kye typically gets up from his nap at 10:30ish so I can get him in the car and go then we don't have to leave until around 12:30. It works out great as Kye eats pretty much the whole time we're eating! He was still a little sick when we went with Katie so his behavior wasn't awesome but Shauna, Ashley and Ashley all got to see a sweet little boy!

I'm hoping the trend continues and that I get to use my weekly lunch to not only spend time with my "gold" friends but also get some new "silver" friends too (gotta love the song "make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold!").

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Last of the Breast Milk

Yesterday I got down to only 10 oz left of breast milk! I made it all in one bottle and Kye got the last breast milk he'll ever taste (at least from my breasts anyways!) I felt a little sad when I defrosted it and gave it to him. I think I didn't mind stopping when I stopped nursing because I knew he'd continue to benefit from having breast milk that I had in the freezer. Now he's just got formula!

goodbye Lansinoh bags...hello freezer space!
It is a lot easier just making formula bottles than dealing with defrosting the breast milk and it's going to be great to have so much free space in the freezer! But I'd much rather still have some to be feeding him. Part of me wonders if I should have just given it to him once a day instead of twice so it would have lasted longer? But I want him on whole milk at one year old so I would have hated spreading it out then having a bunch left over. It really worked out pretty well! He got breast milk everyday until he was 10 months and 23 days old! That's pretty impressive!!! I hope that baby #2 can get somewhere close to the same amount Kye has been able to have!

My biggest concern is now that he doesn't have breast milk that he'll get sick. He has had a wonderful immune system and has only ever had a MILD fever and that was ONE time and due to his shots! He's had ONE cold and it never led to anything more than a runny nose. What is breast milk was the reason? I know it helps them have stronger immune systems and I just hope that he had enough of it for so long that it's permanently strong haha!
Now I'm slowly working on getting him used to room temperature formula. Since breast milk fresh from the source is warm he's used to warmed milk. I heated both the breast milk and the formula so he wouldn't have confusion with the two. Now every feeding I'm just warming up the formula a little less and a little less. Once it's down to room temperature and he does okay with that I'm going to start mixing in the whole milk little by little and want to have him fully adjusted to it before his 1st birthday since my brother's wedding is that weekend and I don't want to be worrying about warming bottles, making formula, or transporting all that junk!

Any tips for the transition to whole milk?

Worst Customer Service EVER

For our last wedding anniversary in May Zach bought me a very nice Sony camera. I have LOVED it and have enjoyed having better quality pictures. However, soon after I got it I noticed that it started to take "double vision" pictures. It would do it for the first picture of a series, but it'd only be ever-so-often. Well slowly and slowly it got worse to where it was EVERY time I turned on the camera and then it became more than just the first picture. It was SO annoying and I decided to call Sony and see what they could do about it.

Here are some examples of what it was doing:

Pretty bad huh? Especially bad when you get your child to smile for a picture (which is tough for a baby!) then it's ruined :( Anyway this was back in October when I called and they told me to send it in. I kept it until my birthday weekend because I knew I'd want to have it for Kye's first Halloween and such then I sent it in to them to be repaired (I sent it off on Nov 3rd). It cost me $18 just for the shipping. They got it and kept it for 3 weeks. When I got it back, right in time for Thanksgiving, it STILL did the same exact thing!

I was so upset and annoyed. I called them the day after Thanksgiving and they were closed to it had to wait until that Monday. They told me they would send me a shipping label in my email to ship it back to them for free and they PROMISED me that I'd have the camera back by Christmas. I didn't get the shipping label for over a week in my email in-box and it took me calling them EVERY day (no joke) in order for them to finally just send me the label!

I sent the camera in the day after I got the label (Dec 4th) and then waited to hear from them. Of course they never called me so I called them. I got the run-around and was told that my camera may be fixed by Christmas but it also may not be. I broke down crying because it's my baby's first Christmas! I NEED a camera (yes, I have another camera but they don't know that do they? Plus it's not half as good as this one on the quality!). The guy had the balls to say to me "ma'am why are you crying?" in a sarcastic tone. They were SO rude. I called them practically everyday (and I'd call right at 9 when the opened) and EVERY person I talked to was RUDE.

I'm all about equality and everything but none of these people spoke very clear English. I'm not saying that non-English speaking people are rude but these people were! They talked down to me, treated me like I was an idiot, and did NOTHING to try to help me. I got very angry when one of the people told me the camera had a good chance of not being ready by Christmas because they say it takes 3-4 weeks from the time they receive the camera. It was THEIR fault that I didn't send the camera sooner b/c THEY didn't send me the shipping label! I explained all of this to him and he sarcastically replied by telling me the definition of a TIME FRAME! UGH!

Thankfully I FINALLY got my camera back on DEC 23RD!!! Did they cut it close or whhhhat?! Then guess what? The FIRST picture I took with it did DOUBLE VISION! Ugh I was SO SO SO MAD!!!! I called them right away and, as usual, asked to speak to a manager. I actually knew by name the mean managers so I'd call and say "I'd like to speak to a manager but not Lee or Lynn" haha. That time I actually got through to a NICE person (I'm not sexist but it was THE FIRST WOMAN who I'd dealt with!) and she was great. She felt very bad for me about my situation with it being my son's first Christmas and she said for me to keep the camera to use over the holidays but that she'd send me another label and this time guarantee that they will REPLACE the camera with a NICER one.

She was nice, but didn't do her job. I didn't get a label (shocker). I finally got one after the holidays and I shipped it out, again, on Dec 29th. It had a tracking label and I saw that they received it on the 31st so I started my calling back up. Then I started getting told that they would be REPAIRING my camera again! I cried (for like the 100th time with these people) and got very, very rude towards them (I think I earned it).

The end result was that they took time to look over my issues with my camera (and I emailed them MORE examples of what it was doing) and they called ME (for a change) and told me they'd be sending me out a new camera but it'd be the SAME type of camera I'd had before. Great! I mean I AM thankful for the new did come with extra batteries and such which are handy...but after ALL I went through with them ALL I have to show for it is the SAME camera I had before?!? Doesn't seem fair does it?

My "new" camera arrived last week along with a comment card from Sony. No worries I filled that sucker out goooood. I let them know that I'd be writing this post and that I wouldn't be buying Sony again. Honestly though, I will. I may have HATED the customer service. I may have had an AWFUL experience with the first camera but I do love Sony products. I just had a lemon camera. That happens. What SHOULD have happened is that the second time they had to repair it (I understand repairing it once) they should have replaced it with a new one. AND they should have thrown in a new memory card or something along those lines. Instead I got strung along for MONTHS and treated HORRIBLY in the process. For sure the worst customer service of MY LIFE!!!!

Phew! It feels SO good to vent about that! :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Great Customer Service

This is my post about the best customer service I've ever had, my next post will be about my worst. And yes, they have both happened at about the same time!

I'm the kind of person who always considered myself to have "bad luck." As I've grown up and matured I realize that I don't actually have "bad luck." Bad things do happen to me. It may take a lot more effort and a lot longer to get to a desirable end result in a lot of situations for me. I may face a lot of drama along the way but in the end everything always works out. I now think (after Ashley has pointed it out to me on several occasions!) that I have good luck. I've come to appreciate the little bumps in the road because I have faith that everything will work out, in the end, to be a positive result.

About a year ago we bought Kye's nursery furniture from a store called Our New Baby in Thomasville, GA. We ended up buying the Ocean collection by Baby's Dream. Looking back I realize we dropped more dough than we probably should have on all of the furniture but we plan to use it for at LEAST the next baby or maybe all of them so it'll get it's full use for sure. Since we got the furniture the drawers on the smaller dresser (which we use as his changing table) have always been harder to open and shut than they should be. I've just kinda dealt with it and not really given it much thought.

Now that Kye is mobile he loves opening and shutting the drawers (I allow this, he's just not allowed to touch anything inside of them) and we've allowed him to have the bottom drawer of the changing table to be a play-drawer that has some toys in it. Well it's been getting HARDER and HARDER to open and shut. Finally Zach took out all the drawers and inspected them and realized that the manufacturer actually spray painted the metal hinges! So dumb! Now the texture is messed up and it screws with the traction to make the drawers stick.

I tried to call the manufacturer although I figured they wouldn't do anything about it. Well their website was down so I called the store where we bought it all from to ask them if they had a number for the manufacturer. The girl asked me what was going on so I was honest with her and told her that we've had the furniture for quite some time and explained our issues. She said to call back on Monday (this was Friday) and we'd figure something out. I tried calling Monday but didn't get anyone so I called on Tuesday and they put me through to the manager.

He was SO nice! I wasn't expecting ANYTHING from them and he told me that they are shipping me out a BRAND NEW DRESSER!!!! Can you believe that? He didn't ask for any proof or anything! He didn't even care that we've had the pieces for about a year! Isn't that wonderful? He said "you paid good money for this furniture and it should be good quality." THAT'S how customer service should be handled!!!

I was so thrilled to tell Zach and we both agreed that the next baby we WILL be using them again (we won't need furniture but plan to just buy a nice chair as the chair we bought for Kye will be in our room for me to nurse instead of in the nursery!). Even if they end up being more expensive than another store it's worth it to know that they back up their products! I was SO thrilled and so impressed at how quickly, smoothly, and efficiently the whole thing was handled! If you're looking for nursery stuff definitely check them out!

We thought about what to do with his current dresser since it's a great piece of furniture just has messed up tracking. Zach thinks we can buy some new tracks and fix it so we may use it in our room! Just replace the hardware and it'll match great :)

I also have to add a second best customer service experience lately! I got my bridesmaids dress from David's Bridal in Jacksonville and got it home to discover some construction issues with the zipper. I called them and they told me to ship it to them and they'd fix it free of charge. I called to check on it yesterday (it'd been one week since I mailed it out) and they said it was already fixed and should be on my doorstep by Wednesday! Of course I haven't seen the finished product yet but that was pretty dang impressive!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Nightmare Nap

On Monday Robyn and I had a fun craft day planned. I was very excited about it! We made banners for our kids upcoming first birthdays! The plan was to go over to her mom's house and let the babies nap while we worked. Of course, nothing with children ever goes as planned.

Kye and I got there around noon (and her mom's house is BEAUTIFUL btw!) and got to meet everyone. Then we set up a pack and play for Kye in a back bedroom. At 12:40 I took him back there and laid him down like normal for his nap. Well, this nap was anything but normal.

I left the room and expected he'd go to sleep as usual. Went back out to the kitchen and started to lay out my letters and he started crying. Ugh. Went in and he'd thrown the paci out of the pack and play. So frustrating!!! I tried a couple more times in and out in and out in and out. He just wouldn't go to sleep. I've NEVER had this happen before his entire life!!! I'm not kidding! I was clueless on what to do. I ended up just staying in the room with him from about 1 until a little after 2!!!

I felt so rude and so so so embarrassed. Here I am this Babywise "Nazi" and someone who preaches the importance of schedule and routine. I go on and on on my blog about how many benefits I've seen from Babywise and how wonderful my child behaves because of it. Then he won't sleep! Seriously?

While the reasons he wouldn't sleep don't really matter, I feel like it was partially due to the room being very bright. I know at my mom's house we have to cover the windows with blankets to keep out the light so he'll sleep. When in a new environment he wants to (understandably) check everything out. Who would want to sleep when there is all this cool new stuff to look at?

It ended up that Robyn and her sister, Laura, cut out a lot of my paper for me for the banner since I was back in the room with him the entire time. Then I just got him up at 2. I NEVER do that but what other choice did I have? I thought I handled him pretty well during the entire thing because I didn't pick him up once. Honestly he wasn't even all that fussy. He was just awake and playing and would only cry when he'd throw the paci out of the pack and play (maybe it's time to dump the paci???) or when I tried to sneak out of the room.

At about 1:45 I went from being annoyed with him (and the situation) to feeling guilt. I was the one who messed up his routine. I was the one who took him out of his comfort zone. I should have never gone over there. I should have put his needs first. I was selfish. I felt so bad for him and apologized to him like a thousand times. The poor kid was exhausted. He looked like a drunk person for real! He'd stand up then stumble back down. Poor little kid :(

Then when I got him up I felt more guilt. I had been looking forward to some girl time and I know Robyn had too. I mean I'm free all day any day but she was on a rare day off from work! And she spent her afternoon cutting out my paper for me (and I'm finishing the rest of my banner at home)!!! I felt awful about the entire situation. I think I apologized to everyone there another 1,000 times.

I then became worried about how the night would go. Seth and Crissy were coming over with their kids and I thought for sure Kye would be awful. It was his first time in his entire 10 month long life of just completely not sleeping for a nap. He surprised me though! He was so well behaved and so sweet and loving. I joked that I should have him skip naps more often! He is not a typically cuddly kid but he just sat in my lap and laid on me for so long. It was Heaven!

I am trying to find the best things in all situations and the good in this was that I know what to expect on my brother's wedding day! He's getting married AT 1 which is when Kye is down for a nap so Kye will be skipping that nap all together. At least I now know that he should be pretty good even without the nap. AND he still slept great that night and everything so even though it messed up MY day it honestly didn't mess up his that much. I read that he's now at the age when "bad" days or naps or other random issues won't affect him as badly as they would have in the past. Not that I'm saying to make nap-skipping a regular thing (b/c let's be honest here I'll NEVER do that on purpose!) but it is good to know that when situations arise where something has to be altered in his day that he'll recover from it. Now I just need to plan a BABY FREE girl day!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day Date to Jacksonville

One of my goals for this year is to put our marriage at the top of our priority list and go on more dates together! So far we've done pretty well with this. When we went to Melbourne Mom stayed with Kye after he went to bed and Zach and I enjoyed Olive Garden. This past weekend we took Kye to Mrs. Charlotte's for the day and we drove to Jacksonville.

My main reason for going was to pick up my bridesmaids dress for my brother's wedding but we decided to make a fun day-date out of it!!!

First we picked up my bridesmaid dress at David's Bridal (which is a story within itself, I LOVE the dress but when I got it home and tried it on with my accessories the zipper un-zipped itself while I was zipping it up so I had to ship it back to them for them to fix it...praying it gets back in time!) then we went to St. Johns Town Center Mall (what a mouth full) and did some shopping!

We went to the big ToysRUs to look for some birthday gifts for Kye (totally unsuccessful there, online is SO much easier) then to Victoria's Secret to get me a couple new bras! We hit up some other stores (found jewelry for my rehearsal dinner dress and found Kye some cute Gap clothes on sale) then enjoyed lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. It was SO GOOD as ALWAYS! They have my favorite meal there (crispy chicken costoletta). Since we've been doing so well with Weight Watchers I seriously only ate 1/3 of my meal. I just was STUFFED! Of course we still got dessert but we split it and I couldn't even finish my half!

On our way home we stopped by the Carter's outlet since it was Martin Luther King Jr weekend I knew they'd have a sale and they did! We got Kye several lounge clothes for the house for $3 each! Such a steal!

It was a very fun day just the two of us. It's funny how we used to take car rides alone together for granted! Now I cherish them. We get to talk and sing along to OUR music and not have to worry about Kye crying or sleeping :) It's the little things that make a day great and this was one of the fun ones for sure. Zach and I don't go shopping often (like most guys it's not his favorite thing) but he is my favorite shopping partner!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Best Recent Book-To-Movie

I know I just wrote a post at how much books made to movies suck but last night Zach and I had a date-night and watched the BEST one I've seen recently! Well actually, I should say re-watched.

Back when it first came out I saw The Da Vinci Code (before having read the book) and wasn't that crazy about it. Zach and I both recently read the two Robert Langdon character books (Da Vinci and Angels and Demons) and rented the movies. We watched the movies in the order the books were written so we watched Angels and Demons first! It was HORRIBLE. Last night we watched Da Vinci Code and were pretty excited about it. After visiting Paris last April we were excited to see the Louvre and other sites that we'd had the chance to see in person. I figured I'd enjoy seeing the sites but that the movie would be just as horrible as Angels and Demons.

I was wrong!!!

This movie followed closer to the book than ANY of the movies I've seen recently! It even had SEVERAL exact lines!!! The casting was great and the movie developed beautifully. While Angels and Demons was straight action, Da Vinci Code took it's time and told a true STORY. There actually wasn't much action at all and they included a LOT of the history! There were, of course, some changes to the original story in order to speed things up to fit in a movie time slot. But the changes they made were ones that made a lot of sense and did NOT affect the actual story or plot in any way. I was so impressed!

This is the first time I can think of where reading the book actually made the movie even better! I enjoyed it MORE the second time than the first and Zach and I both agreed that having the knowledge from the book made the movie more interesting and exciting! Go read it then rent the movie!

I think it's been a really fun thing for us as a couple to read books "together." Technically we take turns reading the same books but I have enjoyed seeing Zach begin to love books and enjoy them. I like that we can talk about the story and the characters and then critique the movie together too :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Toy Recalls

For Christmas Santa got Kye the Little Tykes Tool Bench. He LOVES it and it's been one of his favorite toys! Before Christmas I actually saw this bench in my Parenting magazine as a toy recall. It said that babies could choke on the little nails. I assumed when Santa got it for him that it was a newer version and that the nails were fine. They are HUGE so how could he possibly choke on them?
Well I thought it was probably a good idea to call just in case, as these nails have become Kye's favorite toy! I called the number listed in the magazine and they said that yes, Kye's bench is part of the recall. I really couldn't believe it. How could a child choke on these nails?!? I asked the girl about it and she said that one child (an 11 month old) did choke on one of the nails. While she didn't die, the company does have to replace all the nails on ALL their toys that have them (and three of their toys come with these same nails). Can you imagine how much that will cost the company???? I told the girl that it's kinda ridiculous, I mean come on. Parents just need to watch their kids! I mean it has to take some serious effort to get this HUGE nail down ya know?
I told her to go ahead and ship out the replacements to me (free for me of course) but in the meantime I feel totally comfortable with Kye playing with them. I mean I watch my child so I don't see him choking on them!!! Of  course within a few days of talking with her THIS has become Kye's favorite way to play with the nails.
He crawls around with them in his mouth just like this!!!
I guess I can maybe see how a kid could choke haha!!! Especially if carrying them in the MOUTH at ALL times!!!

This whole recall thing really got me thinking about how when we buy things for our children we just assume that they are safe. I never think twice about it. If a toy says it's meant for his age then I feel totally comfortable leaving him alone with it to play. Why would I worry? Well, to some extent we should worry!!! I mean think about alllll those parents who have the drop down cribs. So scary!

While I'm not freaking out or anything about Kye's stuff, I do think it's smart to check out the list of toy recalls yearly to make sure the toys our children have aren't on them. This is the second recall I've actually dealt with. The first was with Kye's pool float and it was okay as his float was made after the recall date. While I'm not some toy safety nut or anything, I do think it's worth checking out the list and seeing what's on it! It's a VERY long list but if your toy is mentioned it tells you how to contact the company and they are all very nice about it. Plus it's free for them to fix it so why not? Better safe than sorry :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Book is Always Better

It seems like just recently all my favorite books have been turned into movies. I've re-read each book before the movie comes out and await eagerly to go to the theater. Why do I continue to do this when I'm always disappointed? Zach was never a big reader and when I'd tell him how good a book was he'd say "I don't want to read it because I don't want to ruin the movie." While that sounds kinda backwards, it is also true. If you only see the movie then you may like it. If you have read the book and THEN see the movie, you will probably be disappointed. I even think when you see the movie first, THEN read the book you still enjoy the book more.

Here are the recent books-to-movies I've seen and my thoughts on them:

Harry Potter Series: I never read the books. Everyone says they are much better than the movies and I guess I should read them? I didn't like the movies though so it doesn't inspire me to read the books! I thought the movies were too long, boring, and too much "action" without enough story. I'm not an action fan (shocker)!

Twilight: SUCH a great book. The best book of the saga for SURE. Movie was awful. Like so bad it was funny awful. They actually did a pretty decent job of following the book, I just didn't like the casting and I felt like it was almost made to poke fun at the book. I also thought it was cheaply made and it bothers me how the vampires flew and how they looked in the sunlight. It was also annoying at how bad the acting was (Jasper and Charley especially)

New Moon: This is probably the only movie I can think of that was BETTER than the book. I couldn't stand New Moon the book. SO boring. So drawn out. It was the worst one of the saga to me. The movie people had a lot more money after the success of the first one and you could tell. Better graphics for sure! Also a better director because this time the vampires didn't fly :) Charley still gave me the creeps (he so child-molesterish) but overall it was a pretty decent movie! Of course I'd like more sexual tension between Edward and Bella but whatever!

Angels and Demons:  I read Divinci Code after seeing the movie and fell in love with Dan Brown books! He's an awesome author and does such a good job of teaching true history mixed within a fun, fast-paced story. The movies? All they include is the action. Zach was annoyed that we went to rent them and they were in the action section of the rental store! I read Angels and Demons before seeing the movie and the movie was a typical blockbuster type film. In my head while reading I always pictured our friend Ryan Cooper as the main character (he's a history type guy and would make a wonderful professor!) and I enjoyed that image more than one of Tom Hanks. However, I thought Tom Hanks in the role was wonderful! I just wish they had spent more time developing the plot instead of just jumping to the action!

My Sister's Keeper: I'm adding this one after my original post when I saw my comments from Lindsay (as I totally agree with you!). I LOVED this book and I read it after I heard about the movie coming out. I was pumped to see the movie as the book was so incredibly moving. The movie was terrible. They totally changed the ending!!! How can you do that?!?! Like changed the ending in a way that it made the book not even make sense. Ugh it made me SO mad. So so so mad. I cried very hard while reading the book. I felt so sorry for the family and could easily put myself in the mom's shoes (so strange now to be relating to the parents and not the teenage characters!). When I saw the movie I did NOT cry one bit and instead felt so much anger that hollywood had to put a spin on it. It's a BEST SELLING BOOK! Why change it? 

Confessions of a Shopaholic: I thought this one had promise. I love Isla Fisher and it was by a big name producer! But it was AWFUL. Worst book-to-movie by far. They had her in AMERICA and the whole book she lived in England! So stupid. I watched it with Ashley and we actually almost just shut it off. I was so sad that it was so bad because it was such a great book. I love the whole series of them and really relate to the character but the movie made her seem so stupid and the love story so pushed and fake.

I decided to write this post because Lovely Bones just came out to theaters. I read the book a couple years ago when I flew on my own to Michigan for my family reunion. I started it on the ride over and finished it on the way back. I BAWLED my head off in front of everyone. It then became my favorite book ever (and I've read quite a few books so that's a pretty big honor!). I've heard buzz about the movie for quite sometime now and I couldn't wait to see it. It had big name actors: Susan Sarandon, Mark Wahlberg and more. And it was directed by an academy award winning director (Peter Jackson). Sure, I couldn't stand Lord of the Rings (which Jackson also directed) but I still had high hopes.

Was it my favorite movie of all times? No. (That honor still goes to Memento!) But it was decent. I thought the casting was RIGHT ON. The girl who played the main character was perfect. Susan Sarandon was flawless. Even the lady that played the mom was great. The book isn't so much about death as it is about life. It covers a great span of time and tells many mini-stories that are all equally important to the plot. I felt like the director used his time for the movie (about 2 hours) to focus on the wrong things. Instead of trying to tell as much of the story as possible, he tried to show as many cool effects as possible. The "Heaven" scenes were so boring! I could have fallen asleep. He also just decided to skip around in time and not tell us the amount of time that had passed. In some scenes you felt like the death had just occurred, in others it seemed like it had been 10 years.

It did included most of the main story though and even many of the direct lines from the book. I was thankful for that even though I really don't have a desire to see it again (whereas I've already read the book twice and will probably again in the future). Zach is probably just going to read the book and not bother with the movie. If you've never read the book, you may enjoy the movie. And if you haven't read the book in a long time, you may also enjoy it. It wasn't the worst book-to-movie ever that's for sure! If the "Heaven" scenes had been cropped out and the time would have been better explained I honestly think it could be one of the best!

I think the main issue with books made to movies is that books have more time. They can tell details and history and back story and character development that a movie just doesn't have time to do. I know they never compare but I'm sure I'll still be seeing all the movies that come out from books I enjoy (Eclipse is next!).

SO FUNNY: I just wrote this post (literally!!!) and went to check my email and saw a news blurb pop up that they are making What to Expect When You're Expecting into a movie too!!! How is that even possible? This is one where the movie will probably be better than the book as the book is a reference manual!!! Dang they'll make a movie out of ANYTHING now won't they????

Brought me to Tears

Like several other "bloggers" I follow Kelly Brown's blog. She's been through such a journey with her little girl! Harper, her daughter, just turned one and her husband put together a video for Kelly covering Harper's birth and stay in the NICU. I totally wish we'd done more video taping while at the hospital! We got everyone once Kye was born but I wish we'd taken some "interviews" before hand like they did. We tried to video each other at the house before we left and my video was me in the bed mid-contraction and me saying "hi baby, please stop hurting mommy" Zach cut it off after that!

Here is a link to the post. I know it's kind of strange to be posting about someone else's post but it is just a very touching video. For all of us parents who gave birth to healthy babies it makes us realize just how blessed we truly were. I took for granted that Kye's eyes opened right away. That he was breathing on his own. That I got to hold him in my arms. Got to breastfeed him. Got to bring him home within 24 hours after he was born.

It gives me chills just thinking about how hard it must have been for them. They had a hard time getting pregnant and Harper was their miracle baby then she was born and almost didn't make it. Can you imagine??? I don't think any of us can! I don't even know this woman or her family yet I cried through the entire video.

I thank the Lord that I am so blessed with such a beautiful, healthy, happy little boy. I pray that I will be just as blessed to have all of my future children be born just as perfectly as he was. That I will never have to know the pain and worry of having my baby in the NICU. I pray for those who do have to go through such an experience. That He will give them strength and bless their babies with healing.

I think each of us should take a second every day to thank God for just how much He has blessed our lives!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

From DDs to Barely Cs

I am almost titled this post "From Porn Star to School Girl" but I thought that might be a little inappropriate...

After drying-up it took a while for my breasts to be fully dry. One still leaked a little milk from it every now and then but that has stopped. My nipples continue to be pretty itchy and look scaly. It makes sense if you think about it. The milk ducts are like an open wound that is now healing!

I'm adjusting to life post-nursing. I don't miss actual nursing one bit! Ever! It's not that I didn't love it while I did it, because I did, it's just that it was truly time and I'm enjoying not being "pregnant" for the first time since May of 2008!!!! It was awesome to wash all my maternity bras and pack them away!

What's not awesome though is how in about a weeks time my boobs went from sexxxxy to barely there. I was wearing a 36D and now my 34C (pre-pregnancy size) is on the tightest it can go and I have to keep tightening the straps all the time. I went to Victoria's Secret to get measured and she said it can take 3 months for them to decide on a true size but that I was measuring at a 36C. She's so full of it!!! There is NO WAY!!! If my 34C doesn't fit then a 36C would fall off! I actually tried on dresses for my brother's upcoming rehearsal dinner and the only strapless I have is a 36C and Zach laughed because the underwire was waaaaaay under the bottom of my boob!!!

Before getting pregnant I LOVED my smallish chest. I thought they looked great in clothes and I could wear "sexier" stuff without looking too sexy. When my breasts got bigger (and bigger and bigger) I didn't like them. They made it tough to dress the way God wants me to (conservatively) and were just in the WAY. Well, now that they are gone I miss them dearly. I feel so insecure!!! I don't feel attractive. I feel like my flat chest makes me look fat (as big boobs make your stomach look more flat and flat boobs make your stomach look bigger, don't you think?). I for SURE don't feel sexy. Zach swears he finds me just as attractive but c'mon what guy doesn't LOVE a girl with big ladies?!? I'm sure he misses them too but he'd never admit that (he's a smart guy).

I think it's so crazy how much having a baby changes your body. I just didn't expect THIS many changes. I had Kye 10 months ago and I'm still changing. It makes me think about Crissy, who is pregnant with her third baby in three years! She was nursing the first one when she got pregnant with the second one and was nursing (I think right?) the second one when she just got pregnant with the third. What are HER boobs gonna do when (well if haha) she stops having babies?!? I kinda get why she's having them all back to back. While it doesn't really give her body a chance to fully recover, it does delay dealing with baby weight, boob loss, and baby bangs! Whereas I plan to spread out all our kids so that means I'll FINALLY get my body back only to turn around and get pregnant again!!!

I'm interested to see if my chest goes back to normal. I know the lady said to give it 3 months before investing in a new bra but Zach and I are going to Jacksonville on Saturday for a fun day-date together and I plan to get re-sized at the Victoria's Secret there then buy a new bra. I just can't live with this one being too big! We'll see what size they say I am...I can't even remember the last time I wore a B, maybe when I first started wearing bras (in the 2nd or 3rd grade! haha!). I can't possibly be a B? Can I?

UPDATE: I wrote this post but forgot to post it haha! We went to Jacksonville and I got re-sized and I AM a 34C. The girl said that my old bras are well, old. They were so stretched out that they no longer fit haha! Luckily I had some coupons so I bought a new bra (Very Sexy style and it's awesome! Z said it made a BIG difference!) as well as a strapless one (also the Very Sexy style). I hate having to always buy nude ones! A lady in front of me checked out with a bunch of sexy printed and colored ones and I got 2 nudes. BORING! But it's practical and I can't see spending that much money on something I can't wear with everything ya know? Maybe least I have a bra that FITS right now! We'll see if the coming months bring any changes, I honestly think this size will be my size until I get pregnant again!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Invisible Woman

A friend sent me this video and it's so so so inspiring. It's called The Invisible Woman. It's about 5 minutes long but is very good throughout the whole thing so it's not a bit boring :) Watch it!!!

This really touched me. I am only beginning to enter the world of "the invisible woman" but already it helped me put my life in perspective. What I do all day should be things that glorify God. He sees everything I do. I want to work hard to keep a happy, healthy, productive, clean home not just for Zach. Or Kye. Or myself. It's all for God. My job is a homemaker and I need to take that job seriously and do it to the best of my abilities.

I think it's easy to forget that God sees all. He is always part of our lives everyday. He doesn't just show up to listen to us pray. He's there for it ALL. Does everything I do make Him proud? Does it all help me get to Heaven?

This short video helped me want to be better. I want to be that ultimate Mom...but more importantly I want to be God's ultimate daughter :)

If I Had Ever Done Drugs...

If I had ever done drugs it would have been a baddddd situation!!!

Luckily I've never even smoked a cigarette! I've had alcohol a few times but was always really nervous about it. Alcoholism runs deeeep in my family and I remember going to AA meetings with my aunt. Those meeting really had an affect on me and I never wanted my life to go down such a sad and difficult path.

I do think that part of the reason many members of my family have struggled with alcohol issues is that we have addictive personalities. My mom and her diet cokes, my brother and his cereal growing up, and me and my ice cream! Even more than just ice cream I get on "kicks" where I crave the same thing EVERY day for while. I go through a phase where I have to have Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast, then Cherry Poptarts, then toast, then back to Cinnamon Toast Crunch again! I know it's not the healthiest way to be (especially with the ice cream!) but at least I'm not "addicted" to anything that damages my body or mind.

In high school I dated a guy for three years who had an issue with marijuana. I know, I know people say you can't be addicted but I think he was! He'd get high in the shower! Who does that unless you have a problem???

I never understood why people would do drugs or why they seemed to be so lazy. Well, after my laughing gas experience at the dentist I TOTALLY get it!!! I am affected by medication very easily (when I was recently sick I took the KIDS dose of Nyquil and was OUT for the whole night and was still out of it the next day). I don't know if it's just because drugs affect me so much or if the dentist was "hooking me up" but whatever it was I truly believe I was HIGH!!!

While laying in the chair breathing that junk in the lady was sitting in there the whole time administering it to me and I was so afraid to talk to her. I was scared I'd say something crazy. I became paranoid! I thought just licking my lips or moving my legs would make me seem nuts to her. I feared I'd talk too loud or too quiet or just say something off the wall.

My whole body felt tingly and it felt so good just to rub my skin! I sat there ever-so-often rubbing my thumb against my wrist (not too often b/c I was scared she'd notice) because it felt so tingly and awesome! My mind was racing to a million different places. I felt like I was back in high school (which was the last time I had dental work done where I got gas) and kept thinking about how hilarious it is that I'm married with a kid!

I also felt very, very lazy. It took SO much effort just to uncross my legs. I had to sit there and think "ok uncross now" and it felt like my leg weighed a ton. I only did it once because it seemed like too much effort to do it again. I totally got why Mark always seemed so out of was too much effort for him to do anything!

Once the dentist started on the dental work (after what seemed like YEARS) it started to wear off and I, being the too-open person I am, made a comment to him about how awesome the gas was and how it's a good thing I never tried any drugs! So the whole time he was working on me he talked about addicts he knew and people in his family who struggled with addiction issues.

It really was a crazy experience. After my work was done I thanked the girl for not talking to me while I was on the gas because I was worried I would have said something stupid (who knows I may have!). She said that the reason she didn't speak to me was that the gas stops working when you open your mouth. She also said that all it does it relax you and won't make you say anything strange. Sorry she was totally wrong about that! It did WAY more than relax me. I swear when I was sitting there breathing that stuff in the music they were playing sounded like a foreign language with a studder issue and when I heard people talking in the hall it sounded like a thousand echos!

Afterward I felt normal again. Of course I had cavities filled on both sides of my mouth so I was numb and looked like Two-Face from Batman with my mouth all curved funny when I went straight from the dentist to get my hair done. I know after my experience that I need to be careful whenever Kye gets work done because he may be affected by medicine the same way I am and I don't want my kid to become some laughing gas junkie!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

10 Months Old!

Here's a look at how Kye is doing compared to what What to Expect the First Year considers the "norm" for children his age. He's a boy so I suspect he may start falling behind as I've learned that little girls just develop quicker but we'll see! I thought I'd include some pictures of Kye enjoying his Cozy Coupe that he got for Christmas. He was pretty scared of it at first but has used it a couple times (He just sits there and I push) and is warming up to the idea of it!

(trying to figure it all out)
This month Kye can do all of the things he "should" be able to do including:
  • stand holding on to someone or something
  • pull up to standing position from sitting
  • object if you try to take a toy away
  • say "mama" or "dada" indiscriminately (well not mama...)
  • play peekaboo
  • exchange back and forth gestures with you
(favorite part is the siren!)
Kye can do all of the things that a ten month old "will probably be able to do" and "may possibly be able to do" including:
  • get into a sitting position from stomach
  • play patty-cake, clap hands, or wave bye-bye (he waves bye-bye but not the other ones)
  • pick up a tiny objec with any part of thumb and fingers
  • walk holding on to furniture, also called cruising
  • understand "no" but not always obey it
  • stand alone momentarily
  • say "dada" or "mama" discriminately (he says "Sadie" while only looking at Sadie so I feel like he does this but I can't tell if he says "dada" and actually means Zach because he says it so often)
  • point to something to get needs met (he doesn't actually point but he will reach)
Kye can do some of the things that a 10 month old "may even be able to do" including:
  • indicate wants in ways other than crying (signing!)
  • "play ball" which means rolls the ball to you (he also throws it!!!)
  • drink from a cup independently (sippy counts right? I assume so)
  • pick up a tiny object neatly with tips of thumb and forefinger
  • use immature jargoning, gibberish that sounds as if baby is talking in a made-up language
  • say one word other than "mama" or "dada" (he says Sadie, Hey, and Bye pretty well, Levi too but not as clearly)
  • respond to a one-step command with gestures, "give that to me" with hand out
Things we will still work on this month:
  • stand alone well
  • walk well
My Thoughts: Um dang! I thought Kye would be behind this month!!! I don't know why I thought that though. I guess because you hear about so many babies walking early and he isn't even standing alone all that great yet. I guess he's doing "better" than I thought! Yay Kye! I still don't think he'll be walking by next month but we'll see!
Monthly Summary: This chapter focused on a lot of random questions. Pretty much none of them applied to me and the one that does I'll be making another post on soon (Kye's temper). It also covered a lot on discipline and an entire page on how spanking is wrong. Obviously Kye is already well disciplined and we will be spanking ("Spare the rod...spoil the child") so that section didn't apply to us either! However, Kye is about grown out of his size 3 shoes and for his size 4s I was thinking I should probably get him ones he'll be able to walk in. This chapter covered tips on what to buy for a walking baby (who knows he could wear 5s before he walks but I figured it'd be smart to assume he'll walk in his next size shoe just in case!):
  • Flexible Soles: the more flexible the better!
  • Low Cut: high cut shoes stay on better but they are too confining and interfere with ankle movement
  • Porous and Flexible Uppers: made of leather, cloth, or canvas allows feet to breathe.
  • Flat, nonskid bottoms: rubber or composition soles, particularly when they are grooved, provide a less slippery surface than leather, unless it is also grooved. Use sandpaper or a few strips of adhesive tape to help make bottoms rougher of shoes that are too slippery
  • Firm Counters: the back of the shoe should be firm, not flimsy. You don't want any irregularities that could cause irritation to the back of the baby's heel.
  • Roomy Fit: the top of the shoe shouldn't gap open while standing, nor should heels slip up and down with each step. If you can pinch a good bit of the shoe (width wise) with your fingers then it's too big. You want a thumb's width between toes and the end of the shoe.
  • Standard Shapes: look for a shoe with a broad instep and toe and a flat-as-a-pancake heel (no cowboy boots...dangggg!)
Anyone have any shoe advice?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Summary of Month 10

Wow, seriously..month 10?!?! I have a little calendar that I keep next to the computer where I write down all the little things Kye does throughout the month so I can keep track of it. And guess what? It only goes through his first 12 after this month it has ONE left. So crazy! I'm not sure how long I'll continue to do his monthly summaries, we'll see. It may stop at a year or I may go to two. Not sure yet!

Teeth: As you can tell from other posts, Kye now has 2 teeth! Both his bottom ones are in and I love it! They look so cute and make him look so grown up. I hear that after the first tooth that the rest come in all at once so I'm wondering when we'll start seeing the top ones poke through!
Rough Playing: My child is all boy. I never really got that expression until now! His friend Lorelai came over to play and she was so sweet and just naturally gentle with the dogs. Kye pretty much will hit the dogs every time he comes near them and is totally WILD. He loves playing rough with his daddy (which scares me so I try not to watch). This video shows one of their latest games. All his rough play results in a lot of bruises. Like enough to wear people probably think we should have social services called on us! So embarrassing! I guess having a boy makes me think "I want him tough" so it doesn't bother me too much that he gets so many boo-boos! You can see two HUGE ones on his forehead..awesome...
Jumping: It's taken 10 months, but Kye does actually go pretty wild in his jumperoo. Don't they stop using this thing once they can walk? I will miss it! It's great because it entertains him and keeps him contained haha! Here's a video of him actually jumping in it!

Temper: The biggest thing, in my opinion, that's affected this month is Kye's temper. Mrs. Charlotte has always told me that Zach was a very whiny baby and I think Kye may have inherited this trait (they say what goes around comes around). He will be playing fine then suddenly get frustrated and pitch a little fit. He's also started doing this when he wakes up in the middle of the night (which we had to deal with some this month, the first time it became an issue since he was 8 weeks old!) as well as when he wakes early from naps. We've just let him work it out on his own. He will thrash around the crib, arch his back, the works! Finally he'll realize it's not working (our only guess is that he's mad b/c he wants to get up?) and he gets tired, grabs the paci and monkey, and goes back to sleep! During the day when he does it he'll just randomly bust out crying, let out a yell, and throw his toys. Then he'll get over it and keep playing. He even will get super mad when we don't let him do something (like when I'm taking pictures and he wants to touch my camera). I really don't like it! It seems so snotty!!! Hopefully it's a phase and he'll get past it. If anyone has any tips of what to do it'd be great! I was thinking that maybe he's frustrated and that teaching him some signing may help? I heard that helps with temper issues? Here's a pic of my angry child! And no, no video of this, but maybe I should take one to remind him someday of what he put us through haha
Dancing: He likes to break it down! He still loves his Laugh and Learn table (even after all the new Christmas stuff) and will push the button then dance to the song then stop and push another one and dance some more. Here's a video showing off his skills (already a better dancer than mommy!) 

"No": Kye may not be able to say much yet but he does communicate decently well with us about things. He's gotten pickier with his eating and knows what he likes and what he doesn't. If he doesn't want to eat something, he lets you know about it! Here is a video of me trying to get Kye to eat something and how he will shake his head NO! If he accidentally gets something in his mouth that he doesn't like (broccoli) he will CRY and keep his mouth open and continue to cry until you take it out haha! 

Doors: Kye's favorite thing to do right now is open and close things. He enjoys the laptop on the Laugh and Learn table, the gate door on his baby gate, any drawers, and especially doors to rooms. He will open and close it over and over again and gets very frustrated when he closes it all the way where he can't open it back up again! Yes, he's had plenty of slammed fingers this month but it doesn't seem to really phase him! Here's a video of Kye opening and closing the door.

Wild Before Bed: I know a lot of books and such advise to be careful about making your child too hyper before bed time. The time before bed should be relaxing and soothing. Well, not at our house! Even if Kye is practically asleep at the dinner table he gets mega pumped for some bath-time. He'll play like crazy (with his favorite duck toy especially) and then be sooo wild when we have some family time in his bed room. I have to chase him around the room with the lotion to put it on him (forget "massaging"). It takes both Zach and I to get his pjs on! Here's a video of how wild he is! Yet right when we (usually Zach) lay him down in the crib we (typically) don't hear a peep until 7 am! :) 
Holding Bottle, Sippy, Sharing: Before making the switch to sippys I knew it was time because Kye started holding the bottle on his own. Here is a video of it. Since switching to the sippy cup I've been so much happier! I love the Take and Toss cups! They are cheap (like $4 for 5 at ToysRUs), easy for Kye to hold, and they can fit 10 oz which is great! Here is a video of Kye practicing holding the sippy on his own. It's also cute because it shows another thing he's mastered this month: sharing! He is so sweet and tries to share stuff with everyone. He's not always so great at letting go of the item, but at least he offers!
"MMM": While eating (I'm LOVING the real food by the way, another switch I'm glad we made this month!) Kye is very expressive. I already mentioned that he lets us know when he doesn't like something. Well, he also lets us know when he does! He will say "mmm" all the time! He started doing this on his own but now we'll do it to get him to do it haha. I'll especially say "mmm" when he tries a food I'm not sure he'll like. I'm hoping it'll trick him into like it haha. Here's a video of Kye saying "mmm" while enjoying his yummy food!
Cruising: Yes, he cruises now! While I guess this is a sign of walking soon, I don't really feel like he's going to actually walk. Maybe I'm in denial about it? But I just don't think he's very close yet. He doesn't cruise all the time and he can't stand unsupported for more than like a 1/2 a second so I think it could be after his first birthday before he is actually walking but we'll see! Here's a video of my cruising man!

Shooting Hoops: Basketball is one of my least favorite sports. So duh, I wasn't super pumped that Santa got Kye a basketball hoop for Christmas! It has turned into a pretty fun toy though! At first Kye just played with the little balls but now he makes baskets. It's very cute and it's fun to see him enjoy a true boy toy (if we have a girl next, this will not be a toy she gets to play with!!! haha)! Here's a video of course! (can you tell from all the videos that my real camera wasn't working this month...there will be a post to come on that!)

Signing: With communicating, I've always tried to teach Kye how to sign both "more" and "all done." He has actually done this a couple times this month! It's pretty exciting and I feel like he's starting to understand! his "all done" sign has now turned into more of a "bye bye" but whatever! It works!
Dogs: Kye has always loved the dogs. But this month with him being sick (and me being sick) they have been SO awesome. They totally cheer him up and make him so happy! I'm so thankful we have them!!! Even though Kye did get his first piece of dog food this month (we caught it before it got swallowed though haha) While Kye can STILL not say "mama" he does say both "Sadie" and "Levi." Of course, it's one of those things that I can tell he's saying it but I'm not sure other people can! I tried to get a video of him saying their names but I think he only managed to say "Sadie." Check it out for yourself! At least it did capture how happy they make him, I love it and think EVERYONE should have a dog! :) 
Copying: Kye's really become a copy-cat this month. I first realized it when we were at church and a little boy who was playing with Kye had some gum he was smacking. Kye started "chewing" gum too! It was so precious! He'll also copy me when I put my arms up and say words. He'll say: mmm, bye-bye, hey, dada, Sadie, and Levi :)

Hiding things: I think Kye is starting to learn cause and effect and that when he can't see something that it doesn't mean it isn't there! He's been really into hiding things. He will put things under the pack and play in his play area and have fun trying to reach them! Here's a video of him doing it as well as some pictures!
Tall Kid: I know Kye's always been around the 90th percentile for length but he just seems SO tall now! He will stand up and be able to reach the top of his changing table (he adores opening all the drawers then pushing them all back in haha). It's crazy to me! I remember my mom saying that she loved when I couldn't reach the counters in the kitchen because she could hide things up there and not worry about me seeing them...I feel like at this rate Kye will be looking over the counters in no time!!!
Peek-a-boo: It's continued to be a fun game with Kye this month, especially before bed where he will put his towel over his head a thousand times. He's so fast with it that we don't have time to say "where's Kye?" half the time! We never really play it using our hands and I guess we should? But the towel works so great! I don't often "hide" either, I let him do all the work haha. Here's a video!

Reading: I mentioned in the baby-led weaning post that Kye came and sat next to me and read his book. He's done this pretty often this month when we leave him alone. If we're interacting with him he doesn't go grab a book but if we're just sitting there not really messing with him he'll go pick it up and "read" it. This includes turning the pages and even talking some! I'm so glad he has a love of books and hope it never fades. Here's a video I caught when I spied on him :)
Climbing: I know that if we actually had trees in our yard that they'd be being climbed in the future! Kye will intentionally throw a toy over me so he has to crawl up and over my body to reach it. He has actually crawled all the way over the Tonka truck my mom got him. And he's even climbed over the Laugh and Learn Table! One day I was in the kitchen and looked over to see him inside his toy box! haha
Eating: Since I stopped nursing all together this month, Kye has adjusted very well. He drinks 2 sippy cups of breast milk and 2 of formula a day. He still downs 8 oz at his 7, 11, and 7 feedings and drinks 6 at the 3 feeding. He has done well with the solids although he has his days where he just won't eat much of them. We've realized with all the company and go-go-going with the holidays that Kye doesn't do well in a loud environment (he never has really!). He just won't eat because he's too interested in everything else going on. Lately he's been drinking 1/2 of the sippy then fussing so we give him solids and he finishes the sippy while eating the solids in the high chair. I think it's a good thing as eventually he WILL drink while eating instead of drinking all the drink then eating the food ya know? I honestly don't feel like Kye misses nursing at all. He was ready to move on, and so was I! Also I wanted to mention he RARELY pukes now :) It took 10 months but I hardly ever even need a burp rag. It's AWESOME!

"Tada!" Kye will work to get a toy then when he has it he'll hold it up in the air. Every time he does it Zach says "tada!" We now realize that he's super proud of himself for being able to hold it in his hand and he's wanting some recognition for his achievement. It's funny how we all look at it differently. When he does it Zach always says "tada," my mom says "so big!" and I say "arms up." Whatever we may say about it, we all think it's adorable!
"Bye Bye": Kye's biggest achievement this month has been waving bye-bye. Mr. Rusty and Mrs. Charlotte actually get the credit for this one as he was doing it when we got home from skiing. It's been neat to see him learn it more and more. At first he'd only do it when we held his elbow, then he started doing it on his own but only when we did it too, then he'd do it at random times on his own, then when we said it he'd do it, then he started kinda talking when he did it, and now he'll actually SAY "bye bye" and do it!!! Along with bye-bye he's also learned how to give 5s (they are low 5s not high ones, and he's also started giving 10s haha). And he also says "HEY" allll the time (several of the videos this month caught that one!) Here's a video of Kye doing both bye-bye and giving 5s. Here is another video taken earlier in the month before he could actually say "bye-bye," and here is one recently when he actually started saying it! So neat how so much changes in such a short time!!!

Personality: This month has been so great, the highlight obviously being Christmas! It's been amazing to see Kye's little personality really develop this month. While I don't like some aspects of it (the temper) I do love how cute and fun he has become. His little noises and faces are just so precious and it's such a joy to watch him interact with us and with the dogs. He keeps me fully entertained for sure!!!
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