Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

We had a great Christmas. My family came over from Des Moines on the 23rd and we had a big dinner. The next day Caeli and Thor had to head to Wisconsin, but there was plenty of time for snuggles with Kenley and playing with Lachlan before they left.

Sadie enjoyed having her buddies here fora visit, too!
We had a low key Christmas Eve - the children's service at church at 5:00, then soup for dinner at home.
Santa visited while we slept and Lachlan thought it was funny that he ate the head off the gingerbread cookie we set out. We also found carrot bites out in the snow that the reindeer left behind!

Kenley and Lachlan both enjoyed opening their gifts Christmas morning. Well, Kenley was more interested in chewing on hers, but Aunt Bethany helped her out.

A big breakfast and some Candyland playing made for a delicious Christmas morning.
Christmas night we went over to the Williamson's for another yummy dinner and more gift opening with the cousins.
Kenley enjoyed all the excitement from her Bumbo seat.

The boys finished up the night with a dance party.
More photos from our Christmas are on Flickr. Hope you had a very Merry Christmas with your loved ones, too.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Kenley at 6 months

Well, like many people, I'm starting to feel some panic that Christmas is coming too quickly. I have so many things that I need/want to accomplish before the 24th, and I know I will have to let some of them go for lack of time. I'm also trying to prioritize doing fun holiday things with Lachlan and just enjoying being together as a family instead of letting the craziness get to me. So after Kenley finally fell asleep on my chest this afternoon and after eating way too much peppermint bark - I took some time to write about where our sweet little girl is at her half birthday!

It has been a fun month with you, Kenley! You've been making yourself heard with coos, screams, and giggles. It is clear that you are trying to communicate with the rest of us. The smiles come easily and you still kick your feet like crazy whenever you get excited. You want to be up and watching everything that is happening around you. You would rather be sitting in the bouncy seat or up in the Bumbo seat than playing on the floor. Of course, your favorite position is to be held! Now that you are sitting up more, your hair is coming in and getting a little poofy! Every day I kiss your chubby cheeks, admire your long eyelashes, tickle your round belly, and snuggle you as much as possible.

We're still working on finding the best way to get you to nap. You need lots of bouncing and rocking to settle into sleep, then you only nap for a short time. The pacifier helps you fall asleep, but if you're awake, you usually pull it out and inspect it. That's what you do with most toys these days - slowly turn and inspect them and/or chew on them. No teeth popping through yet, but they must be coming soon!

Your diet still consists of mostly breast milk. You nurse every 3-4 hours during the day and a couple times during the night. A couple weeks ago we tried giving you baby oatmeal (single grain with some breast milk mixed in). You did great right away and eat a bowl every night at dinnertime now. Next we tried bananas, but you have mostly been spitting those out. We're excited to start trying more fruits and veggies with you now.

We celebrated your first Thanksgiving with family in both Des Moines and Iowa City. You also got to see your first snowfall this month. You look so cute in the little fuzzy bear coat that's been handed down from your cousins to Lachlan and now to you. Looking forward to seeing what you think of Christmas in a few days!

Friday, December 10, 2010

the Advent calendar!

Two years ago, I spotted this advent calendar and was inspired to create one for our family. Well, it didn't happen that year, or last Christmas, so I was determined to make it this year. Then I saw that Jill was hosting a handmade advent calendar sew along (based on the same Inchmark project) and it gave me the motivation I needed to get started! I also found lots of inspiration in the Homemade by You Flickr group (especially Katie's gorgeous ornament! And oh, her plush nativity!! Next year...).
I decided that as long as I was making one for us, I would make another for our nephews to enjoy. I set out in early November making all the little felt ornament pairs. I used wool felt (instead of the standard poly felt), which was definitely worth the extra expense since I was making something that I want to keep and use for many years. I also ended up sewing a back layer of felt on each ornament, which made them much sturdier and covered up my stitches.
I embroidered the numbers 1-24 on felt squares, then machine-stitched those squares to the white fabric base. I also sewed the tree and 24 buttons to the white fabric.
For the finishing, I cut a patterned fabric backing and sewed a little label to it that says "made with love by mama, Christmas 2010". Then I sewed the two layers back to back with a red binding around the edge.
I finally finished both calendars earlier this week, so we missed the first week of December, but we will enjoy it until Christmas and for many years to come. I hung it in our great room, right at Lachlan's level, so that he can add another ornament to the tree every morning. I'm so glad that I took the time to complete this project (even though I feel quite behind on the rest of my Christmas preparations!).

Sunday, December 05, 2010

pine cone garland

pine cone mosaic
Originally uploaded by Kirsten W

I've been using all my bits of free time over the last few weeks (including those when I would normally be blogging) to work on a special Christmas decoration/gift/keepsake. That project is almost finished, so I hope to share it here later this week. But until then - here is a pine cone project that Lachlan and I made around Thanksgiving time. First we went on a pine cone hunt in our yard, then we painted and glittered them and I hung some on a ribbon above our kitchen sink. The "rejects" are residing in a glass bowl on our dining room table, and they look lovely, too. It is as simple as can be, but I love how naturally festive they look hanging in our kitchen. Today we put up some other Christmas decorations - it is so much fun to pull out the boxes and rediscover all the pretties!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kenley at 5 months

It is clear that you are a social baby, little Kenley. You connect with everyone around you, smiling, cooing, and blowing bubbles. Several people have exclaimed "she's batting her eyes at me" when talking to you, so I think that makes you a flirt! You are also working on some new sounds, including a very loud, shrill scream, and a low growl. Lachlan is still the main attraction for you. When he is in the room, you are always watching him, and he gets laughs from you easily and often.

You are still rolling from back to tummy, but not really the other way yet. It's not for lack of leg strength, though. When you are in your bouncy seat or car seat, you kick them so much that you getting rockin' and rollin'! The chewing and drooling continues and I'm convinced a tooth will pop through any day now. You still sleep pretty well at night, but you are definitely a cat-napper during the day. Sometimes I feel like I spend more time walking and bouncing you to sleep than you actually sleep.

Unfortunately, you're having an issue with your birthmark right now. We've been to see a pediatric dermatologist because it started bleeding (or as they say, "ulcerated"). The doctors are not too concerned, but it sure is hard for us to see you in pain! Luckily, a few smiles and extra snuggles is all it takes to cheer you up again after it is hurting.

You had your first Halloween experience this month. Lachlan suggested that you dress as a baby mermaid, so I sewed a sparkly green tail for you, and stitched a couple felt shells to a onesie for the top. You looked adorable, and were a big hit at my preschool parade at work. Not many people got to see your costume while we were trick-or-treating, since you were all bundled up and sleeping in the stroller.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Halloween fun

We had a fun Halloween weekend around these parts. Saturday we visited the Iowa City Farmer's Market for the last time this season. It became part of our weekly routine to go have breakfast and wander the market this summer. I know both Lachlan and I will miss it until next year.
After the Farmer's Market, we stopped to visit dada at work and show off Kenley and Lachlan's costumes. Lachlan wanted to be a robot and when I questioned him about the details, he said "a yellow robot, like Plex". So Plex from Yo Gabba Gabba was what we went for. I sewed the costume using black and yellow fleece, some great silver fabric, and heavy duty interfacing to hold the shape. His headpiece was just attached to a headband.

Lachlan also suggested that Kenley should be a baby mermaid. That ended up being a perfect costume to fit into our annual teacher theme at Preucil this year - characters from Peter Pan (I went as Wendy for the Friday parade). I found the perfect green scale fabric, cut it into strips, and sewed them to another piece of green fabric before making the tail with an elastic waist. For the top, I just sewed two felt shells onto a pink onesie. I did contemplate making a mermaid headband of some kind, but ran out of time and motivation for that.

We left our pumpkins uncarved until yesterday, so we worked on cleaning them out and designing and carving them in the afternoon. Lachlan was so funny, he insisted that the smallest pumpkin was his (I had pictured that one as Kenley's) and he wanted it to be "scary" and have a mustache. I had seen the carrot nose somewhere online, so we added that for some additional personality. Kenley observed the whole ordeal from her bouncy seat, which she can really get rocking hard these days.
When trick or treating time rolled around, we met up with our neighbors who have a little boy Lachlan's age and a brand new, two week old baby boy. The boys did a great job knocking on the doors, saying "trick or treat" and "happy halloween" and even "thank you"! They also brought home quite a haul of candy - our neighborhood doesn't have very many trick or treaters, so everyone is very generous with their candy.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday morning

Sleeping in a bit (my high school self would not have believed it if I said 8 am was sleeping in)... chilly trip to the Farmers Market... dishes, laundry... a little bit of work on Halloween costumes...turning on the heat for the first time...watching Sadie and Lachlan play together, love that they're both finally ready for that...giving my girl some extra snuggles and kisses...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kenley at 4 months

We have certainly been blessed to have such a happy, smiley baby, little Kenley! Every time someone talks to you, you start to grin and wiggle. I love how your arms and legs wave and kick when you get excited. You are still fascinated with your hands. Now you've started to grab for toys, especially your Minnie Mouse, and your babysitter Carissa's long red hair. You also love to grab your pacifier and yank it out of your mouth, although you get frustrated when you can't get it back in.

You started to roll over four days ago while we were visiting grandma and papa. You roll from your back to your tummy, and you're getting better at wiggling your arms out of the way and pushing up. Hopefully you learn to roll from your tummy to back soon, because you get upset when you get stuck on your belly. We also visited the zoo, the Farmers Market, and Uncle Thor and Caeli's house while we were in Des Moines. You aren't old enough to connect with where we are yet - but you always notice who is there. You are especially interested in watching what your brother is up to, of course.

Earlier this month we took a family trip to Kansas City. Thankfully, long car rides seems to make you sleepy, so you were a great traveler. While dada was at training meetings for work, you and I and Lachlan had some adventures at the Children's Museum, the science museum and a sculpture garden.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Hello, October

We're enjoying the first day of October outside in the afternoon sunshine. After I took this photo, I was reminded of another one I took a couple years ago...
Kenley at 3 months, October 2010

Lachlan at 3 months, July 2008
...and then there were 3.
And one of them was a *real* goofball.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kenley at 3 months

Kenley, you are so much fun at three months. At the beginning of the month, you were just starting to give out smiles and coos. Now you will smile just about anytime someone makes eye contact. You're realizing that you have a voice, and we like to have cooing conversations back and forth. This morning you went on and on for 45 minutes. Your grandma says that you have a "girly" voice. You have also discovered your hands and like to stare at them, and turn them, and finally stick them into your mouth. Nana says that this was your great-grandma Hurd's favorite time, when babies start to discover their hands, and she would have loved how intent you are. You've been sucking your thumb daily and have even fallen asleep that way a few times. A natural thumb-sucker, just like your mama was.

You've become even more content this month. You are happiest when someone is close and talking to you, but you also like to sit in the bouncy seat, go for walks in the stroller, and lie on your quilt and wiggle and kick. I try to anticipate when you are getting hungry, because once you realize you want to eat, the wailing gets loud and demanding very quickly. You're nursing every 3 hours during the day and a couple times during the night. You're settling into regular nursing times, but your napping times and durations are still unpredictable. We can't complain, though, since we are all getting good sleep at nighttime. Bouncing or walking around with you (or both at the same time) is still the best way to get you to sleep.

This month you were baptized at our church, Zion Lutheran, in Iowa City. It was such a beautiful day. So many people from your family were at the service and at our home afterwards to help us celebrate. You also took your first road trip to Chicago this month with mama and her friends, Wendy and Codi. We had a fun girls' day shopping at the Renegade craft fair and you were such a great traveler - sleeping through most of the car time, and soaking in the sights and sounds when you were awake.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Renegade Craft Fair - Chicago

On Saturday, Kenley and I took a road trip to Chicago with Wendy and Codi. Our destination was the Chicago Renegade Craft Fair and it was definitely worth the drive!

There was music, food, and lots and lots of great artists and crafters. If you're looking for a gift or a treat for yourself, I highly recommend checking out the list of Renegade artists.

Little Miss Kenley was an excellent traveler - she did lots of napping, but also took in all the sights and sounds from the stroller when she was awake. She was happy to get a little time to stretch out when we stopped for a snack, though!

You can see a few more photos from our trip on Flickr

Friday, September 10, 2010

Kenley's baptism

Last Sunday Kenley was baptized. It was a wonderful day. Her Aunt Bethany and Uncle Zach stood up as her sponsors.
I ordered Kenley's sweet baptism gown from Etsy seller Anastacia y Gus. It was beautifully custom made for her. I love how simple it is, while still being sweetly detailed.
After the service, we had a lunch at home. Or as Lachlan kept saying, "All my family come to my house!" It was wonderful that so much of Kenley's family could be there to help us celebrate, including her great grandmas.
We also had some yummy treats, including Norwegian krumkake made by my Grandma Olson! Mmmm!