Tuesday, January 15, 2013

In other news...

(My effort at a blog post NOT Kennedy-focused)

Today is a 'snow day', and they closed Briarcrest. So right now, I get to sit beside my hubby under a warm blanket on the couch as baby sleeps (and watch the Lance Armstrong news over and over again on ESPN. I'm already OVER IT!) It's raining and freezing out there, so it IS getting nasty. But there aren't many better things then getting up for work and finding out you don't have to go! Happy day!

So now that Christmas is over and school has started back up, Kent and I are trying to get back in the rhythm of things. Off-season track workouts at Briarcrest have started 3 times a week, so I am excited to get to know this group of girls and get them in shape! You know there aren't many things I love more than building relationships and working out : ). So coaching high school track is such a blast for me, and I'm thankful I can help (although I'll miss personal training during this time). It also keeps me connected to my track-obsessed husband who counts down the days all year for track season to start. Now I just need the weather to warm up so we can all enjoy running outside again! Right now I have to be creative in doing plyometrics, stairs, and sprints in the school hallways with the girls. Last year I was pregnant with KJ but was still able to do most of the workouts with the girls. Sadly, I feel like I was in better shape then than I am now!

So I decided I need to join a gym! (Along with all the other 1,000s of New Years resolutioners). And while I normally prefer running and just lifting at home, I don't like taking Kennedy out in the cold or rain. It's also nice to have my own time where I don't have to think about anything else, AND, it is nice to change it up and do other things besides running. When it comes to working out, I go back and forth between the 'all I want to do is run' phase, to the 'I need to change it up because I'm getting bored' phase. Right now I'm in the latter and am excited to try out all of Lifetime's classes. I have to say, it is hard to beat the classes offered at the Fayetteville Athletic club. Those have made me a bit snobby when it comes to being satisfied with a workout class. But we will see how Lifetime compares. My only other real possibility for gyms with good childcare around here is the Jewish Community center, which I want to try next week. Lifetime is so dang expensive. So we will see!

My sis and best friend are both about to have their baby boys in a few weeks! I hate living so far from them and having to miss it! I'm looking into plane tickets to Phoenix to meet my sis's baby in March, but right now they are about $600. It would be fun if Kent and I could go together over spring break, but I doubt the tickets will be cheap around that time. We are missing our annual family trip to Florida at the end of February because of Leslie's baby being born, and now with Leslie having 3 kids and flying being so expensive, I don't know when our next family vacation will ever be. Thankfully, we will all be together at Christmas in Chicago next year, Lord willing. I don't have plans to be back in Chicago before then, but if  cheap flight comes up, I will definitely jump on it. There is no place like home and I miss my friends and family!
We also had no plans to be back in Fayetteville, Ar to visit our peeps there anytime soon. BUT, one of the girls in my FIRST K-life small group back in 2005 is getting married in May and has asked me to be in her wedding. YAY! I'm so excited to be a part of her happiest of days and to be around lots of favorite people! Let's hope Kennedy will be a better traveler for those 2 upcoming trips.

That's all that I've got!

Kennedy is 6 months old and on the move!

(Well, somehow after I posted this, the whole thing got deleted so I am going to try my best to recreate this 6 month blog! Ignore it if you already read the 6 month update...)

Dec 11th-Jan 11th was SUCH a fun month with you! You continue to change so much, and I'm amazed at all you are learning. Everyone says it gets better and better, and they are right! Each stage is so incredible, but I love learning your personality, what you want, what you like and don't like...you certainly are your own little person!

From the last time I posted, I was frustrated that you wouldn't play by yourself at all, constantly needing me to hold you or entertain you. Well, in the last 2 weeks, you have been doing so good at playing by yourself!
-You like your jumperoo now and spend about 20 minutes playing in it every morning. We got a 'Johnny jump-up' from a friend that we hung in our doorway a while ago, and you are really loving it because you can push off and swing side to side and control your movement a little more.

-You have suddenly become so much more mobile! When Nana and Papa came on Dec 22, they brought a huge tub of toys for you and a huge alphabet play mat where you have been rolling around and inching your way towards different toys, grabbing them, figuring out how they work, and of course putting them in your mouth. You continue to reach for EVERYTHING and are much better at grabbing even small items. You have been propping your feet up under you lately like you are going to crawl, but when you push off, you don't move your hands so you fall on your face. Sometimes you sort of figure it out, but still aren't confident.

One thing is sure. This girl is on the move! You also just figured out how to sit in the past week. I still sit behind you or next to you because you aren't totally stable yet, but if a toy is in front of you, you will lean forward and play with it as long as you can before you start tilting sideways. You would definitely rather be on your tummy playing because then you can move around.
-You have also become SO vocal in the past 2 weeks, babbling nonstop and saying mamama, bababa, and other almost real words : ). I LOVE it!
-Bed time WAS between 6:30 and 7pm, but now you want to stay up a little later. And when we do put you down, you will sometimes sleep  30 minutes and wake up crying and crying. What's the deal?  When you do finally fall asleep, you are up about 12 hours later. Sometimes I hear you awake in the early morning just playing in your crib for awhile. You take 2, sometimes 3 naps a day, totaling 3-4 hours.

-You stopped taking a pacifier and cannot decide which fingers you like to suck on best. I thought it was your middle two, but lately you like your thumb.

-We still try to read to you, but all your want to do is put the book in your mouth.

-You are eating 6 times a day, every 2-4 hours. We tried rice cereal and oatmeal, but did NOT like the taste when mixed with formula OR breast milk. You liked peas, and today we tried avocado. You made a horrible face but ate the whole container! Not sure I'm ready for this whole people food thing!

-You finally found your toes! You try to put them in your mouth whenever you are on your changing table, and like to pull off your socks and chew on those too.

-At your 6 month check up, you measured 26 inches and weighed 13.11 pounds (Doc said we gotta fatten you up!). You are still wearing size 2 diapers and some 3 month onesies, but mostly 3-6 month clothes (although a few of your pants are too short, so we had to pull out the 6-9 month pants). You wear a lot of hand-me-downs from some of mom's friends who have girls older than you. Sorry about that, but you go through clothes so fast, it's really nice to not spend money on more clothes every couple months (as much as I love shopping for you!).

-You sleep with your legs tucked up underneath you, butt up in the air. So cute.

During dad's 2 week Christmas break, I brought you into bed with us in the mornings and we had lots of sweet family cuddle time. After awhile, you would start wiggling around, trying to climb all over us. We love how happy you are in the mornings! Although we still have to work hard to make you actually laugh, you smile and are happy almost all the time.

Your first Christmas was so wonderful. First of all, you got so much play time with your dad!

It is the sweetest thing watching you respond to him and see your face light up when he talks to you. I loved the fun family time we got together and it refreshed me so much!

We kicked off the Christmas festivities with a tradition of mine to make gingerbread houses. We went to Josh and Brittney's and you enjoyed hanging in the moby wrap while we decorated our house (church).

Nana and papa loved their time with you! You spent hours playing with all your new toys, cuddling with papa, and showing off all your new skills.

On Christmas Eve day, we all went to Lolli and Pop's to celebrate Christmas. We ate cinnamon rolls, opened our stockings, listened to Pop share a devotional, talked about how God has moved in our lives the past year, and spent some time in worship. That wore you out, so you napped while we all opened presents. Your dad and I got a new toaster oven, a vacuum cleaner, and a Keurig, which we are SO excited about. Lolli got you a walker, and I'm sure we will test it out in the next month. It was such a wonderful day, and although you didn't last through the Christmas Eve service, I think you enjoyed the time with your uncles, aunt, and grandparents.

Uncle Drew
KJ and Pops
Auntie Jenna

Uncle Lane

The next morning, we woke up, ate breakfast, then did my family tradition of opening stockings from our 'secret stocking friend'.

We enjoyed a relaxing day together opening presents with my parents and playing games. Your dad was pretty excited about the cornhole game he got from my parents, and I loved my new Kitchenaid mixer! Nana got you a baby bullet so I can start pureeing some fruits and veggies for you to try. You also got some veggie tales videos for down the road and some teething toys. Your favorite part was eating the wrapping paper.

We ended the night back at Lolli and Pops with all of dad's extended family. After meeting a few other relatives, you slept through that part too :).

Nana and Papa
After Christmas, it was time to get ready for Auntie Jenna's wedding! Your great grandmother, Libby, (dad's grandma) flew into town and was SO excited to meet you!

Mom and dad were both in the wedding, so you hung out with Nana and Papa while we went to bachelor/bachelorette parties, brunches, rehearsals, and hair appointments. Your aunt was a calm and collected bride, absolutely gorgeous, as was your Lolli! It was such a fun wedding and we SO wanted to bring you, but it didn't start til 7pm which is your bedtime, so we had to ask our fabulous neighbors to come watch you.

Your dad and uncles were looking sharp in their tuxes, and (after crying as they watched their sis walk down the aisle), they showed off their dance moves late into the night. Everyone had a blast, and it was a beautiful wedding of 2 amazing people.

Lastly, we had a New Year's Eve party at our house with some friends from our Sunday School class. Things got a little rowdy at times, but you slept right through it all (Thank goodness). We are so thankful for these friends and hope you can grow up surrounded by these awesome families the way your dad and I grew up supported and loved on by our parents' church friends.

2012 has been an amazing year, and as we start up 2013, I look forward to what God is going to do and the ways you are going to grow and develop! We pray for you every night, Kennedy, that you would grow up to know and love the Lord! We love you!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Getting real

I don't mean to complain or come across as discontent with my life in this post! I really am and feel sooooo ridiculously blessed. So I'll start off with that preface.

But lately things have been hard for some reason. I guess the newness of being a mom has died down or maybe it's just the current phase my baby is in, but I'm feeling pretty limited. What I mean is, and moms will totally understand, there aren't a lot of things I can actually DO right now. For Kennedy to have a good day, I feel like I basically need to stay at home with her so she can nap, get changed, and eat when needed. She won't ever be on MY schedule, and she obviously can't yet adapt to changes from hers. She can't be put off when she is hungry or tired. This equals lots of crying.

I always wanted us to be the parents who didn't miss a beat and could still attend all the outings and events they did before baby. We 'decided' beforehand we would try to just bring our kids along with us as much as possible and teach them to be flexible. Haha! How naive we were. Lets just say that as much as we TRY to keep life rolling and keep going to the places we used to, KEnnedy does not do well when she isn't on her schedule. And her schedule is hard right now! She still nurses every 2-3 hours (and I'm super thankful she is still breast feeding! I know that is SO healthy for her & want to continue, but it isn't easy!) She needs to nap every 2-3 hours (for 1-2 hours each time) and she will only sleep in her own bed. This means I can only leave the house for 1.5 hours at a time if I'm to get home in time to feed her. This means if we don't want to have a meltdown, I can only go somewhere in between her naps. Y'all, this is so hard! How do you make plans with people when her nap needs change, (sometimes she sleeps for 2 hours and sometimes 45 minutes), sometimes she can go 4 hours without food & sometimes 2. Sometimes something small overstimulates her, and sometimes she is content for an hour playing with her toys. All the things I'm involved in or want to be involved in DO NOT fit between her nap schedule. I don't love giving her bottles if we are out, because if she doesn't nurse I have to pump later that day to keep up my milk supply.

The times I try to just suck it up and go ahead with my plans end with baby screaming all the way home, me nursing her in a bathroom stall (gross), or her getting way overtired due to a missed nap or overstimulated & then having a meltdown. Those times wear me out and make me not want to leave the house the next day. Things that used to be SO simple. And I see other moms who seem just fine with it. So is it just me?

I don't want to drop off the planet to stay home with Kennedy all week. I need people! I want to do stuff, be productive, serve and help others. I want to live in community with other people and be a blessing. Yet I feel stuck right now. I LOOOOOOVE getting to stay home with Kennedy, don't get me wrong! I'm just trying to figure out how to make it work for the both of us.

The other thing is this. I am SUCH a quality time person. But when i have KJ (unless she is napping at our house), I don't see how I can get focused time with anyone! How do moms EVER get quality time with their friends? If I were to go get coffee with someone and KJ was with me, it's not like she would just sit quietly and let us talk. (That only happened for the 1st 6 weeks of her life!) Now, she is so wiggly and has such a small attention span. You can't get more than 2 sentences in and she needs my attention. I know it'll just get harder when she is a toddler and when I have more kids too (Lord willing). I remember trying to hang with my friends who had kids and leaving our time thinking, did we actually ever finish a single conversation? Unless KJ is at the age where she can REALLY play independently or play with the kid of the person I am hanging with, I don't think I'll get quality conversations with people for awhile! UgH! This is killing me. How do moms feel close to other moms when the kids are always the focus? So tough!

Suggestions on these things anyone? Kennedy REALLY is an awesome baby and is more and more fun each day. She IS getting more content for longer time periods and does GREAT at home. She loves people and new places! But I think it wears her out & she just gets easily overstimulated when we are out and about for too long.

So these are my mom thoughts lately. I want to get involved in things and serve and commit to weekly things, but with Kennedy's ever changing schedule and needs, I just don't feel like I can. Then I feel like a bad person OR just left out of every thing. Help!
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