I almost hate to write about our good fortune, in fear that it might come to a screeching halt...But, I'm just too happy to keep it to myself. The sleep fairies must have sprinkled some magic dust on our little one, because last night Kennedy slept the ENTIRE night. (She goes to bed at 7:00 and didn't wake up until 5:40 - wow!) Yes, she is nearly seven months old and no, she hasn't really done this before (there was one fluke night back in September, but that was so long ago...). Up until a few days ago there were many nights where we were up two, three, even four times with her. Now, I'm not sure if she's fighting off an illness, going through a growth spurt or just realized that she needs more sleep, but whatever it is I'm ecstatic. With this new found nighttime sleep, she's even napping better. She took two very good naps today and went down without a peep each time. Could her sleep problems really have been solved without endless nights of screaming??? Is it too good to be true? Perhaps, but I'm primed to ride this wave of good fortune for as long as I can.
As the "terrible two" phase rears its ugly head on a near daily basis, I find myself very thankful that I do in fact love my son more than life itself. Otherwise he may have found himself on Craig's List for the bargain price of $1! It's either go completely crazy or remember all the funny, clever, loving or sweet things that he has done during the day instead.
Today was no exception: the bad - a few time outs for hitting or pushing, a fit because I said no TV, crying (hysterically)because he wanted juice instead of water, etc. And the good: We were cleaning up his toys together, because I wanted to vacuum the family room and he made the comment, "but vacuuming doesn't make me very happy." The way he said it was so sincere with just a hint of the dramatics that I appreciate so much. He was so serious, as if to say, "why would we do ANYTHING that doesn't make ME happy?" Here's another, after a good nap, Carter informs me that he needs to go poop (it's always a big announcement, by the way). So, I help him get situated in the bathroom and then run out to tend to Kennedy. Here is what I found when I came back to check on him.
He really does make me smile. Carter's sporting goggles, which he'll inform you are used to put your head under water. Although, he's "not big enough to do that yet, because he's not 3". In addition to "swimming" around the living room in Daddy's goggles, his "SuperCarter" cape (a homemade Superman type cape with a big C emblazoned on the back) has made a come back. He often dons ski goggles with it because, after all, super heroes must wear goggles. I'll have to try to snap a picture of it next time.
And we ended the day, saying our prayers together before bed. Carter, very lovingly, said that he'd like to pray for his family and that was it, no one else. Typically he'll pray for his friends, maybe his animals, airplanes, books, etc. It warms my heart to know that he loves us and feels loved in return. Now, if only I could keep this warm, fuzzy feeling when he's throwing a fit, we'd all be better off.
I am thankful that both of my children love bath time. From the start, the water has calmed Kennedy and Carter has never complained about jumping into the tub, either. Carter has recently started taking "big boy" showers (which he pronounces shires) and often strips down and joins one of us in the morning too. I figure he's getting twice as clean that way! Kennedy graduated to the big tub a few weeks ago and has finally settled down enough so that we're not completely terrified of her wiggling out of our grasp. It helps that she's sitting so well on her own. Here are a few pictures from bath time this evening.
Carter used this same cute froggy towel when he was a baby - it was a gift from my friend Carrie Kolmer. I had to snap a shot of Kennedy with it too!
Carter and all of his glory. Tonight he decided to dance to his music after his shower. The boy loves to be naked!
We had Kennedy's six month check-up with the pediatrician on Wednesday. I didn't have any pressing concerns, but it's always good to get a thorough examination and clean bill of health. Unfortunately, the doc discovered that she had infections in both ears. Poor girl. I felt like a horrible mom for not bringing her in sooner, although in my defense, she hadn't had a fever and wasn't tugging at her ears. She had been having trouble sleeping, but for those of you who know her that's not too out of the ordinary! A part of me was quite proud that she'd been feeling so ill and was still so good - it just goes to show that she's one tough cookie! Other than the ear infections, Kennedy is doing great. She's weighing in at 15.2 pounds (~35%) and measuring 25.5 inches (50%). In comparison to Carter, she's so dainty - at this same age Carter was already over 18 pounds! Developmentally she seems to be right on track and the doctor didn't have any worries. She handled the shots like a pro, barely let out a cry and was easily soothed. She's been quite sleepy but thankfully doesn't seem to be in much pain. We've got meds for her ears so hopefully we can get the infections cleared up quickly. All in all a good check up!
Since Carter was so sick on New Year's Eve and we weren't able to go out with our friends, we rescheduled our celebration for this past Saturday night. Tim and Kirstin met us at the door with party hats, blowers and champagne (the real stuff from their trip to France - fancy!) and we proceeded to celebrate the New Year. It was such a fun evening...it was wonderful to spend some time together as a couple and it was great to spend some of that time with our dear friends. It's nice to be reminded of why Kyle and I love each other and how much we still enjoy each other's company. And it was even nicer to actually finish a conversation and linger over our meal. Who knew it was possible to eat at such a leisurely pace?!? Here's to a wonderful year in 2009!
Today Kennedy turned six months old and I find myself wondering, "where did the time go?" It seems like yesterday that I was as big as a house and anxiously awaiting her arrival. She has grown and changed so much in these six months...She is now sitting up on her own for several minutes, eating solid foods (rice cereal and sweet potatoes so far), rolling over frequently, sleeping on her own (for the most part - we're REALLY working on her sleep issues), laughing hysterically at her brother's antics and lighting up the world with her smile. For the most part, she's a very happy baby - that is, as long as she's getting what she wants. Some might describe her as a bit demanding, a little stubborn perhaps and even a tad manipulative. She's all girl and knows what she wants, a little more like her mom than we had hoped! And boy, can she be vocal. I think we have a future chatter box on our hands. We continue to see our trusted physical therapist once a week as Kennedy has some sensory issues that need attention. We hope that this won't be a long term issue, since she's getting help at such a young age. She loves to be held, doesn't so much care for tummy time and can't get enough of her big brother. She also still enjoys riding in the Bjorn and has recently started to enjoy time in her exersaucer. She's fascinated with Jake, is starting to sit still for story time and loves her bath. People are always commenting on her eyes - they really are big and beautiful - we're so hoping that they stay blue. She's a charmer when she wants to be but is definitely weary of strangers. She prefers the comfort of Mom or Dad's arms to anything else. Thankfully she's spitting up a little less, but we still contend with it several times a day. I have no idea if the reflux medicine actually works, but she continues to take that, as well. We love her dearly and can't imagine our family without her. Kennedy, you truly are a blessing from God, everything that we hoped and prayed for.
I've been thinking about this topic for a few days now (thanks Lins) and think I've come up with the top ten things about this past year. All in all, it was a great one for our family and we're anxious to see what 2009 has in store for us.
10. Arctic Blast 2008! For all of you northwesters, you catch the reference. Our news coverage of all the snow was relentless and quite dramatic. But for the family and me it was beautiful.
I'll admit that we did experience a bit of cabin fever, but it was so much fun to build a really impressive snowman, to see Carter out sledding with the neighbor boys and Kyle plowing through the neighborhood. I love the snow, and I loved having a white Christmas.
9. Holidays - A bit vague, yes, but none the less the holidays were extra special this year. Not only did we celebrate with family and friends, but Carter really, really grasped the meaning and festivities this year. For Halloween, he chose his own costume, enjoyed a week of fun activities, said "trick-or-treat" and "thank you" at the eight houses we hit in the neighborhood and then enjoyed the candy he received for several days.
We hit a whole new high during the Christmas season. It was truly a miracle to experience the joy and wonder this season through such innocent eyes. Carter had a blast helping us decorate the house, making cookies, picking out the perfect tree, participating in Advent at church, wrapping presents, visiting Santa, decorating a gingerbread house, etc.
And through it all, we were doubly blessed to have Kennedy celebrating with us. Carter showed his little sister the ropes and she enjoyed the holidays as much as an infant could. I also have to add that getting to dress her up was an added bonus for me!
8. Potty Success - After several months of using the potty intermittently, Carter reached full blown "potty trained" status in November. We are so proud of the big boy that he is and were relieved at the ease of reaching this milestone.
7. February 14th - The day we were told that we would be welcoming a little girl into our world. After fully convincing myself that I was carrying another boy, I was shocked and overjoyed to learn that our little baby was in fact a girl. I didn't fully trust the ultrasound, so I went back for a second scan two weeks later. Thankfully the results were the same.
6 -4. Wonderful Family Vacations - We were fortunate to do quite a bit of travelling this year. With two trips each to Arizona and San Francisco and a wonderful summer trip to Eagle Crest, we enjoyed lots of time with family.
Justin and Stacy hosted us for a wonderful weekend in the city. We had so much fun exploring San Francisco.
Nana and Pops always love having us visit and we're so thankful they live in such a fun place. We always enjoy our trips to Arizona.
Our annual summer trip to Eagle Crest with the Phelans
Back in Arizona in October. Visiting Stillman Railway Park - Carter loved the trains!
3. 5 Year Anniversary - Kyle and I celebrated our fifth anniversary in March. It is hard to believe that it's been five years already...although so much has changed in that time. I am so thankful for the love that he gives and am constantly amazed by the father he has become. I am so lucky to have found such a supportive, forgiving, strong, faithful and loyal man to marry. I can't wait to see where the next five years will take us.
2. A nephew is born! - On September 23rd, we welcomed our first nephew, Bennett Justin Simon. He is such a welcome addition to our family and we love him so much. We can't wait to watch him grow and feel so fortunate that our kids will have a cousin so close in age.
1. Kennedy Marie Phelan - Nothing could top the joy we felt when Kennedy was born on July 9th. We had been waiting so long to meet her and were a little nervous about her arrival (after having such a scare with Carter). But God had wonderful plans for us and after just three and a half hours Kennedy came into this world in the most peaceful way. She stole our hearts from the first second we looked into those big, wide open eyes, and our lives will never be the same. What a blessing she is!
Well, I've decided to try my hand at a new website...one that's free and more easily accessible. Lots of our friends have gone this route, and we so enjoy reading their frequent posts. I'll keep our other website active for the next month, so feel free to check it out: www.babyjellybeans.com Either of the kids' names will work - it's been so fun to do and I'll be a little sad to see it go.