Friday, December 12, 2008

Could she be any more cute?

It happens anywhere and everywhere. I'm at the cashier to order a coffee and my order isn't taken until after the employee locks eyes with Kaitlyn, gasps, makes some baby sounds, comments on her enormous eyes and incredible beauty. I'm walking into the grocery store and some bystander looking for car keys hollers out, 'what a cute baby, oh my'. I'm in the elevator and Kaitlyn makes friends.
Forget me, I might as well as not be there, she will be fine on her own-I'm sure of it! People are always struck by her babyface--I often tell Steve, 'Babe, we did good' and he quickly reminds me that he will have his shotgun ready when she starts dating! Ha! Protective Father-just like my own! She is a magnet, anywhere and everywhere, people notice her. I could be suffering from one of those 'I'm fat, totally fat, nothing fits me anymore, I just want to hide but I still need to go to the store for eggs' kind of days and it doesn't matter, people could care less about me, they probably don't even see me (which is completely fine-I'm not complaining), all they see is this gorgeous charismatic girl with huge brown eyes looking at them and they trip over their own feet. I've seen it too often-really, Kaitlyn turns heads.
I took this photo a couple of days ago, actually, I took a series of photos because I was struck by her beauty. Was it because she was wearing my favorite color for her? Chocolate? I get days like this...I find myself staring at her in amazement, blown away that she came from me. This little being I created! I can see why so many strangers notice her, I find myself speechless at times by her beauty.
I'm sounding like a stuck up mom who thinks her baby is superior to all other babies-not the case, I just really recognize that this little bundle has something special about her-it's in her eyes, in her smile, in her glow that so effortlessly appears each day. She is captivating and I know the general population thinks the same! There are big things she will do in her lifetime, I just know it!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

T is for Tooth, Tupperware and Talk

Baby Kaits is truly growing up! Already six months old she faces the realm of teething daily which finally brought something to fruition, the beginnings of her first pearly white! That's right a little white tooth was found peering through her gum and of course, razor sharp, was felt by me while nursing this morning!

Kaitlyn is also fond of a common household item, Tupperware. Aren't all babies fascinated with this American classic--having roots back to 1946. I'm sure every generation has a photo like this one: sweet baby in tub engrossed in tupperware playtime!

Now Talk is all Kaitlyn wants to do. From morning to night like the cycle of the sun, she wakes up talking and goes to bed talking. This week, however, her talking began to make some new headlines as she found an interest in repeatedly saying 'Da Da'. While she may not realize the importance of her words, we certainly do! Lucky Dog Steve, he wins this one--'Ma Ma' should be just around the corner!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Birthday Memories

So Turkey Day really can be an over the top-deck out your front yard with holiday decor type of celebration. It was Sunday morning, November 23, and the brothers were out with their girls walking the neighborhood streets of Camarillo when they found this Turkey warming up someone's lawn! It wasn't a typical Sunday morning, mind you, it was the twins birthdays! In 2006 this lucky day was planted on Thanksgiving which made for a unique celebration-this year, however, is was fortunately on a Sunday allowing us to start our day with homemade blueberry pancakes and end it with not only an incredibly decadent meal at the Waterman in old town Ventura, but this over the top-football themed birthday cake:I'm no pro, but I sure have fun decorating cakes. This one was a T-shirt design with two Raider candles and on the divided shirt was the logo for the two rivaling schools that Steve and Stan pursued for undergraduate studies.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Snippets from DC

Kaitlyn in her typical 'Hello World, I'm ALIVE' energy!

Uncle Jeff holding the cousins on departure day! We left to the airport shortly after this photo...


Teething some more.

Uncle Fr. Denis with the pack.

Uncle Garrett, Little Garrett and the memorable sock puppet embracing the joyous Kaitlyn.
Below: Kaitlyn getting some love from Jenna and mommy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Soaps, Suds and Smiles

Bathtime, while it's a bit of a chore as it includes slippery moments, soapy suds and sometimes tears, it brings out the best alertness Kaitlyn has to offer. She is adorable during and right after a bath-this picture says it all! You must know, however, shortly after her candid shots I found a lovely wet mark on the bed. Go figure. All good things come with a price! She's 100% baby, I should have known.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Surprise Vacation...

What started out as a plan to get a vacation after the Thanksgiving holiday turned out to be a Thanksgiving holiday vacation. Earlier in October I had a real Momnesia moment and booked a trip for Kaitlyn and I to visit my brother, Jeff and his wife, Steph with their new son, Truman (he's only a week older than Kaitlyn). Originally I had planned on going to Hawaii with them but plans changed and visiting them in Falls Church, their current homestead just outside of DC, became the option. I purchased our flight without consulting a master calendar and to my surprise I booked our trip to depart on the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving-which was never the intention. I suppose some things just work out and this was one of them...a real treat!

Kaitlyn has been having the time of her life-overly stimulated with laughter and stares, her eyes have rarely shut. She is the bulldozer of the two cousins, the center stage, the leader of the pack while Truman typically  sits back and chills, lets her do her thing. Occasionally he begins to fuss when he gets a little irritated with her dramatic personality, but he's taken quite a liking to her despite the extra outbursts on her part!

Along for the holiday festivities, Jenna, my long time girlfriend, trekked down to the DC area from NYC. Kaitlyn has taken a strong liking to her-most certainly for her stylish ways and gracious personality!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nurturing Ritual

Nursing, it has to be one of the most beautiful experiences. I already love this child, but I am convinced this love grows with each stage of our nurturing ritual, it has no boundary. Our bodies are truly amazing.
As if there is a personality with each stage, Kaitlyn is clearly evolving in her nursing style. For a long while she was considered a NIP NAPPER which basically meant that she would take a little lunch and then take her siesta. Then she went head-on into the stage NIP and MOVE. While nursing she had to be moving, something, anything. Often it was her foot that she would push, pull, push, pull then suddenly start the push, pull cycle with my shirt or the most unexpected, my breast! Hilarious (and sometimes painful). She is still a NIP and MOVER, but she has now entered into another stage...the SERIOUS BUSINESS stage. These nurturing moments are short lived and often conducted while sitting up as if she doesn’t have time to lie down and lounge anymore! I find it amusing, endearing, precious, timeless and miraculous…

Welcomed Wrinkles

Kaitlyn's wrinkles are going to come prematurely-she's constantly smiling and laughing, at least she was during this recent visit to her Great Grandma's. There must have been something in my milk on Wednesday as she was hilarious. Miss Non-stop Energy was on stage, fully aware of her audience with each move. Not only were her smiles continual but so was her mouth. She is no stranger to singing everywhere but the bath, reading out loud to anyone who will listen and even shouting to random people in line at the coffee house. At this rate her future is looking very bright-possibly a career in communications?

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Joey

I saw this fleece cover-up on-line a while back and thought I could make it instead of spending the $80 plus it would take to get it at my doorstep I ventured to Jo-Ann Fabrics and raided the fleece department. I made my own pattern and figured it would be a bit of a trial and error as I'm no master seamstress. Having said that, I'm pretty proud of my creation. There certainly are elements that need to be further refined, but for a first time try, I'm excited!

The item that I based this on is called the Peekaru, very cool, very functional cover-up. My version is called The Joey (name was given as a suggestion by my facilitator from my postpartum mom support group). Kaitlyn seemed to enjoy the view and when facing the east coast chill over the upcoming Holiday I'm sure she'll be appreciative of my creation!

Aftermath of Oral Surgery

I'm in bed, lying down to maintain a no-stress recovery from this morning's oral surgery. I had all four of my wisdom teeth yanked as they were pushing in causing my front teeth to cram and develop crossbites and other annoying issues. With gauze in my mouth and a vicodin in my system, I'm feeling strange but really relieved that the process is over. Despite the aches to come and the inability to speak, I have wonderful helpers to care for Kaitlyn. This morning, before the surgery, I took some photos of her in an outfit her Nana had gotten for her...our favorite part is the hat!
Kaitlyn is full of personality-between her repetitive sounds she makes to her excessive jumping in her exersaucer to her constant giggling...she's my JOY and she gives me reason to stand strong, face reality and conquer.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bathtime Bliss

Kaitlyn loves getting in the water, making splashes by kicking her legs--but what she really likes to do in the bath is put everything in her mouth...surprise, surprise! From the tub itself to the washcloth to the toys, she is totally into the feast of bathing. I love watching her get into this focused playtime when her bottom hits the warm water. She is so intense, gripping onto the ring toy or rubber ducky, biting down on the tub itself, as if escaping into another time zone. She engages in this imaginary world and I sit as a bystander in awe trying to figure out what fairytale she is creating.
When I bundle her in the towel after bath time she brings with her whatever toy she had been clinging onto and if I snatch her when her hands are free the actual towel becomes the next feast. She remains happy and blissful until I start to dress her. Like any baby once the clothing hits the skin, that great feeling of freedom from lounging in her birthday suit is tainted. This is when the cries begin and continue until I have her totally clothed ready for bed. It's a hard life for this little one, really hard!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

'Katie' in Catalina

Nana, she is full of great ideas..she took my mommy and me to an island called Catalina so we could sit on the beach for the afternoon and look 'Hollywood' glamorous. My mommy found these great glasses in a shop and got them for me so I could stop squinting, it was sort of bright over there. Nana and mommy had a yummy lunch while I took a nap and then on the boat ride home Nana fed me some cereal! I love my Nana. She knows how to crack me up! She always calls me Katie which I like, it's her special name for me.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

NICU Halloween Bash

Kaitlyn, the curious Piglet

Getting some laughs in...

Kaitlyn, the flying piglet...

Uncle B, work and play...

Mommy her little Piglet

What a blast of a time...fortunate for us Benet was in town for the evening so he joined the festivities! Each year all newborns that were under the care of the NICU Angels are invited to celebrate their lives at a Halloween reunion at San Antonio Community Hospital. This year was the 18th bash, filled with caricature artists, scarecrows, food and photography. It was a festive night out for the three of us, Kaitlyn, of course being the star of the show in her hot pink Piglet outfit!

Young and Old

If wrinkles could talk I think my Grandmother's hands would have enough short stories to create a series of novels. Seeing Kaitlyn's smooth, round fingers holding onto her Great Grandmother's thumb my mind was captured by the intricate lines and age spots painted upon her hand of 90 years. What will Kaitlyn's hands look like when she is this gracious age? My hope is that she, too, will have a series of novels...if only wrinkles could talk.

Today we shared the morning with her Great Grandmother, another treasured visit. She looked so fresh, wearing crisp white and hair recently styled. Kaitlyn took to her without hesitation, she knows her Great Grandmother, there was a sense of familiarity.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

High Chair Chat

It took me forever to pick out a high chair, I was obsessing over which one to get. Plastic with adjustable foot rest or wood with stationery rest; 3 reclining positions or none; collapsible or permanent; wheels or no wheels; vibrant candy striped, obnoxious disney characters or fashionable solid fabric; tray that goes on with one hand or requires both...choices. Sometimes I wished it would be more simple, it's hard enough for me to decide if I like Pampers over Huggies.

Well, after obsessing for more than three weeks I purchased a high chair that would be just right:
no frills
can stand up to 60lbs (aka, it's an investment)

Sure, it doesn't have wheels, there is no reclining position or adjustable footrest and the tray takes two hands...but so what. I may not be able to squirt it down with a hose but it's not flimsy, it's not an eye sore and it certainly will last through the ages!

Having babies really changes your home...I find burp cloths in bed, toys in bathrooms, boardbooks in the office and Kaitlyn's laundry is always going! There are sippy cups and gerber spoons in our sink, breastmilk in the fridge, baby shoes in the family room, and a new collection of baby/toddler catalogs in our mail. To think it's just the beginning!

On a side note, Kaitlyn is growing a Mohawk! This phase of hair loss/hair growth keeps us laughing...

5 Months of SMILES

We had a photo shoot this morning right in the guest bedroom adjacent to her nursery. I grabbed this lovely summertime dress as it went with the fancy hair band I recently purchased and sat her next to these frilly pillows...such a girl! I am almost convinced that the mornings are my favorite time of the day to enjoy Kaitlyn. She is overly expressive, filled with smiles and an energy that seems to say 'I love being awake!' I could face her in the morning, any morning, and feel revived, ready to embrace the day ahead. Her sweet sparkle in those eyes melt any tired spell I may have.
I am truly blessed.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Family Affair

What a special day to remember! Steve hung out with Kaitlyn and I as we ventured to the Live Oak Pumpkin Patch to capture some holiday spirit and family portraits! It's not everyday that we get Steve to tag along with our activities so today was a real treasure. He was Super Dad: feeding the goats with Kaitlyn in tote, talking to Wilbur the pig, posing for endless candid photos, and just showing off his gals! Little Miss Sunshine was taking it all in and I was thinking 'there are trade offs for having a husband who is generally free during the day--he can come along when Kaitlyn has field trips at school, he will be free to make any show and tell and he is able to have afternoon naps with his wife!' Hmmm. An attractive schedule for an attractive man!

An Expanding Cuisine

The time came, I knew it was going to be sooner than later. Kaitlyn was introduced to rice cereal. The first experience, as photographed here, was met with wide curious eyes and a wide open mouth, but today's trial was very different. I'm anticipating her gag reflux to kick in as her facial expressions today were everything but curious and satisfied--in fact I don't think any of her spoonfuls actually went down her throat (most of it came back out and landed either in her lap or cascaded down her chin like a creamy rice cereal waterfall). She was more amused with the spoon than swallowing. No problem, all the books say this is expected and as I try more each day she'll eventually figure out that the flavor is pretty tasty (ummm...can't say I agree with that statement but for someone who has only had mother's milk, I'd say it's a start for creating a discerning palate)!