Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

2009 was a year of many changes in our family. I did a lot better this year with blogging and many of the events were actually recorded!

The birth of Katie came in March, making us a family of four. Michael adjusted well to this change, which was a welcome surprise to everyone who knows him. Our house a/c unit went out in April and a week later, the transmission went out in our car. We ended up getting a new to us Toyota Sienna.

I went back to work at the end of May and Michael went back to daycare while my mom watched Katie. The summer flew by and we took several trips, including our annual family vacation. We went to Virginia, Baltimore and New Jersey to visit family. Todd and Michael had their appointments at Johns Hopkins and everyone checked out well.

The business that I worked for was sold on August 31st and I was able to stay at home with the kids for a while. I have been very fortunate to have this opportunity and am very thankful that Todd has a state job.

Michael started preschool 3 morning a week in September. This has been a wonderful experience for him and he is thriving in the environment. He is growing up so quickly and says some of the most entertaining things.

The holidays came quickly and it was so much fun to experience them through the eyes of our children. Michael was Batman for Halloween and Katie was a turtle. Christmas brought lots of holiday activities as well as time with family.

Katie got her first tooth in December and she started to crawl right after Christmas. So we really didn't have to worry about her destroying the tree this year :)

All in all, it was a decent year. There were definitely some things that I wish wouldn't have happened but those were balanced out with things that I wouldn't trade the world for. Looking forward to seeing what 2010 brings!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

And she's off....

It's official now...Katie is on the move. She was army crawling across the floor on Sunday and she got up on all fours and crawled a little bit later in the day. She is also pulling herself up to her knees and playing with toys at that level. You can also stand her up at the couch or a chair and she will play there for quite a bit. She is fairly steady on her feet and a bit of a daredevil as well. Katie was standing at her Leapfrog table and turned to try to hold on to the couch. She didn't quite make it and got pretty upset. It was hard not to laugh because she was so determined!

As I sit here right now, she is trying to pull her new baby doll off the couch without standing up all the way. She is using Michael's lounge chair as a stepping stone to stand up. I forgot how much fun this age is. Watching Katie explore and learn as she sees things for the first time is so cute. And it's only a matter of time before she will be up and walking.

What's so funny is that I couldn't wait until Michael reached these milestones and anxiously awaited them. Katie crawled a bit later than Michael but I didn't worry about it. If it would have been Michael, I would have been wondering if he was on track with development. Now I know that each child does things at a different pace and has different strength and weaknesses.

And there is a video of Katie crawling on a separate post since I was having some technical difficulties.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Just wanted to wish all of our family and friends a Merry Christmas! Hoping that everyone has a safe, healthy and happy holiday whether you are near or far.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lights at the Zoo

Tonight we went with a couple of our friends and their daughters to the Lights at the Zoo. Even though we had a zoo membership, we just ran out of time to go last year. So we got Michael and Katie bundled up and headed out.

Katie wasn't too excited about the lights and didn't like it when her hat was on either. We had her bundled up in the stroller and as long as she was moving, it was fine. Michael loved the lights but kept asking about where the animals were. I can understand the confusion since we were at the zoo.

They had quite a few lights set up and there was one area that had dancing lights. You could stand in front of it and listen to the music while the lights "danced" around. I would have to say that was probably the highlight of the display.

After the zoo, we all headed back to the house for cookies and hot chocolate. It was nice to get out of the cold and relax for a bit. If we go again next year, I think we should try to go on a night that isn't so cold!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Katie's 9 months old

Katie turned 9 months old on Wednesday. Since the day was already so busy with Todd's birthday and Michael's Christmas present, we decided to schedule her well check for today.

She weighed in at exactly 18 pounds (50%) and is 29 inches tall (90%). She has already grown 10 inches since she was born. She is basically following the same growth curve that Michael did. She is now wearing 9-12 month clothes and 12 month pajamas.

Her appointment was uneventful otherwise. She got 2 shots, which made her less than thrilled. Her growth is good and she is hitting all developmental milestones. She isn't crawling yet but can get around by rolling and doing a little army crawl. I actually think she may pull herself up to standing before she crawls. You can stand her up with support and she can hold her position for about 10 seconds.

Katie is very vocal. She loves to squeal and will "talk" to things and people. I set her in front of the Christmas tree last week and she lifted up her hands and started babbling to the tree. It was quite adorable. Two of her favorite things to say are "dad dad dad dad" and "mom mom mom mom". And she will say them directly to address us.

She eats pretty much anything that you put on her tray. And tried to grab at everything that you don't! I think she is going to be a good eater. If you are eating and she sees something she wants, she starts to move her mouth like she is eating. We practice with the sippy cup but she can't quite figure out how to tip it up. She knows what it's for though. And thankfully, we won't have to wean her from the bottle as she doesn't get one very often.

I think this next month is going to bring many changes for Katie. I expect that she will have another tooth, be crawling and pulling up by 10 months. Or she could totally surprise me and continue to be as laid back as she is. The only thing that Katie really doesn't like are naps and we are working on that. I know it's exciting to be up with Michael and I all day but sometimes a girl needs her sleep. She is a great nighttime sleeper and I will take that over a good napper anyday.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Todd

I know that today is almost over but I just wanted to wish my dear husband a Happy Birthday! He turns 36 today. I like to joke with him about how much older than me he is. It's really only a little more than 2 years but he is closer to 40 and I am closer to 30 now.

Happy Birthday to a wonderful husband and father! I am so lucky to have him in my life and can remember when he turned 25. So much has changed since then and he has grown into a man that I am proud to call my husband. I hope that his day was great and look forward to celebrating many more birthdays together. Can't wait to go out to dinner and a movie next month.

Love, Karen, Michael and Katie

Monday, December 14, 2009

Just in time for Christmas

Katie's first tooth broke through on 12/12!! I had noticed that her gums were bulging and she was gnawing on EVERYTHING. She was chewing on her spoon, blanket, washcloth and pretty much anything she could get into her mouth. I thought that we might see her first tooth soon but I didn't get my hopes up. It was the bottom left center tooth.

I had thought that she would actually get teeth early. Around the time she was 3 months old, I thought I saw the beginnings of a tooth. It was actually some sort of white spot on her gums that went away. Michael got his first two teeth right after he turned 5 months old so I expected the same for Katie. When she didn't have any teeth by 7 months old, I stopped looking for them for a while. It was so hard to even get a look inside of her mouth anyway. Every time Katie opens her mouth, she simultaneously sticks her tongue out over her bottom gums. Would have gotten a picture but she won't open her mouth enough yet!

Katie didn't seem to be in too much discomfort from this. However, it does explain why she hasn't really been napping well during the day. She slept quite a bit yesterday after the tooth broke through. Thankfully, it didn't really affect her nighttime sleep.

I can't wait to see what she will look like once the tooth comes out a little more. I think that babies with their front two bottom teeth are so cute. I imagine that she will get the second tooth in about a week or so but I am not getting my hopes up as it seemed to take this one quite a while to come through. Looking forward to her next development but not wanting to rush it at the same time!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tree Photos

We finished decorating our tree on Tuesday last week. Michael did a great job helping me and only one ornament was dropped and broken. Fortunately, I was able to salvage the ornament with glue and you can't even tell it was damaged. We had fun picking out where to put the ornaments and Michael was quite proud of himself.

Here are a few pictures of the finished product:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Good Ending to a Bad Afternoon

Michael has an opthalmologist appointment at 2:00 this afternoon. It was looking like we were going to be early to the appointment, for once. I got Katie loaded up into her carseat and looked outside. It was raining....again! So I told Michael that he needed to wear his raincoat because it had a hood. He wanted to wear his Spiderman jacket and after some bargaining and coercing, he put the raincoat on. I got him into the car and then got Katie in too. We headed out to the appointment, which was only 10 minutes away. As usual, we got behind some bad drivers and it took us 3 turns to get through one traffic light right in front of the doctor's office.

I parked in the lot across from the office and went to get Katie out first so that I could take Michael and we could head inside. I dropped the keys into a puddle and was getting wet as Michael took his sweet time getting out of the van. Once inside, I let the receptionist know we were there. We were about 5 minutes late. She let me know that our appointment was at their other office! Of course, that one is about 20 minutes from where we were at. She called to see if we could still come but the doctor had a meeting at 3:00. I wonder how he was going to have time to see Michael anyway as the appointments usually take at least an hour, if not longer, between the eye dilation and the wait to get back to an exam room. So we could reschedule for tomorrow morning at the downtown office or the Tuesday before Christmas or wait until next year. Tomorrow is out because Michael has preschool and I didn't want to wait until next year. So 12/22 it is!

I was pretty irritated by now as I had dragged both kids out into the rain for an appointment that wasn't going to happen. Michael wasn't really cooperating and Katie wouldn't go to sleep, even though she was so tired. I got back into the car and was going to head home because I couldn't take another thing going wrong. But we had talked about going to the library earlier and Michael was still asking about it. So off we went.

This turned out to be the right thing to do and was probably just what we needed. We got to the library and it was still raining pretty hard. Luckily we got the only parking spot right in front of the building and headed in. This is a pretty small branch of the library but I really like it. They have an area right next to the front desk with a small table, puzzles and coloring. Michael saw a page to be colored with a candy cane on it. He took the crayons and started coloring each stripe a different color. He told me that it was red and white, even though he used orange, blue, brown and pink, which he proclaimed as Katie's favorite color! About halfway through the coloring, he decided to start doing the puzzles. He told me that he needed an umbrella like the person in the puzzle. I then read him a book and let him pick out a few by himself to take home with us.

While he finished doing puzzles, I looked for a book for Katie. Last time we went, we checked out the book Daddy Hugs for her. Since Todd reads to Michael almost every night, he looks forward to that. So he was not too thrilled when Todd was reading Daddy Hugs to Katie. I found the book Mommy Hugs and showed it to Michael. He told me that I should get it so I could read it to Katie. And then he told Katie about it. It was pretty funny.

Before we left, the librarian told me that Michael must be a great big brother. He was making sure that Katie was happy in her carseat and had a book to read at home. She was laughing at him too while we were there. He was telling me that Katie likes pink and he thought she would like Mommy Hugs too.

We got back in the car and headed home. Even though it was still raining, I felt like I could see a ray of sunshine that was only coming into our car. I felt so peaceful and happy to have spent that time together with the kids. The afternoon had taken a 180 degree turn for the better and let me see that it's always better to look at the glass as half full!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Santa Train

On Saturday, we took a trip to the South Carolina Railroad Museum. The forecast called for the usual rain but we decided to take a chance and went anyway. We were glad that we did because it never ended up raining, even though it was a bit chilly.

We took Michael and Katie to ride the Santa train. This was approximately a one hour ride through the SC countryside. We passed by other tracks, cranes, crossings that had to be stopped by railroad employees with signs. But the main attraction on this day was Santa!

He walked through the train and took the time to stop and visit with each and every passenger. When he entered our coach, Michael was so excited. To be honest, I was a bit nervous on how he would react when he saw Santa. Last year didn't go so well and I ended up sitting on Santa's lap with him to get a picture. Santa approached us and sat down on the seat next to me. Michael practically jumped into his lap. He gave Santa a big hug and told him what he wanted for Christmas (trains, of course). Michael posed for a picture with Santa and then it was Katie's turn. Katie let Santa hold her and she hardly cried at all. Most babies wouldn't let a strange man with a beard hold them. That's just how easygoing Katie is. We were also able to get a picture of both kids with Santa too.

It was a nice outing and Michael really enjoyed riding the train, as well as seeing Santa. I think this was the perfect setting in which to meet with Santa because you could get the one-on-one time and he didn't seem so rushed. Plus you could use your own camera to take pictures!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Tree

Friday night we went to get our Christmas tree. This was pretty early for us to get it. It always seems like we take our time to get the tree but we decided to get it done early this year. We headed out around 7:00pm to Home Depot. Most of the trees there were still wrapped up. Todd would bring the tree out and Michael would unwind the twine from the trees. Then we would shake the tree out and see if we liked it or not.

There were quite a few tall trees that probably wouldn't have fit through our doorway. We were looking along the back wall and then realized that those trees were 9ft-10ft....too big for us! After a while, we finally found the perfect tree for us. Todd, Michael and I all agreed that we liked it. It was full and just the right height with a perfect branch to put the tree topper on.

We always enjoy getting the tree and will continue to make it a family tradition to pick it out all together. Even Katie got to check them out....her vote will be counted next year!

Once we get the tree decorated, I will show some pictures of it. Right now, it only has lights on it. While it looks great so far, we need to finish the ornaments and put the tree skirt on. I will show some pictures of the finished product later this week.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday Tidbits #3

This was a pretty low-key week, which was good after traveling for Thanksgiving.

  • Michael, Katie and I enjoyed a nice day at home today.
  • We finally saw the sun today after seeing rain on Monday and Wednesday. I know it's winter but does that mean it has to rain every other day. And they are calling for more rain this weekend, as well as a cold front.
  • We are going to the Santa Train on Saturday, provided it doesn't rain. Of course, rain is in the forecast.
  • We are going to get our tree this weekend and get it decorated.
  • Katie looks to be getting ready to crawl or stand up. I am interested to see which one she accomplished first.
  • Michael is currently obsessed with watching Scooby-Doo and all things related to Scooby-Doo. He still watches Thomas and wants to play trains though. I found out from TiVo that some of the Scooby-Doo episodes are 40 years old!
  • Todd and I cooked a delicious butternut squash soup earlier this week. Even Michael liked it....this child has good taste. And this was one of our first collaborative cooking efforts!

More to come next week!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009