Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kieran + Christmas

Wow, December flew by - Kieran turned 9 months old and I didn't even realize it for a week or so! Such is the life of the second kid, right? I don't know where he is at length, but he's 21 lbs now - amazing! He is such a little man, truly, with regards to his shape. All the sudden I noticed he has really big hands. Maia had the delicate, sweet girly hands and Kieran's actual hand is very wide, plus he has his long chubby fingers. Along with the big hands he also has giant thighs and the widest, roundest tummy I've ever seen! He's wearing 24 month pajamas now & 18 month clothing in the day - insane. I absolutely cannot believe how big he is! I remember bringing home my tiny preemie and thinking he'd be small forever - not so, not at all! The kid grew like a weed, just like Maia. It's something I am so proud of - MY milk did that!

I have a couple Christmas pictures to share. I can't even believe Christmas is over, it went by in such a flash. I'm actually still in the mood for Christmas cookies and Christmas cookies, present wrapping - all of it! Maia is obsessed with our tree, still, and still singing Christmas songs as well. Actually, every day since Christmas she has been saying "Merry Christmas, mama!" to me in her sweet little voice as she gives me a hug. Aww!

Anyways, our Christmas was wonderful. Just perfect. We saw Josh's mom and stepdad the week before Christmas as they visited from Georgia and had a great time! They took Maia one day and night, and she had a blast going to the Mall of America with them a few times. Josh and I hosted Christmas brunch for our gift exchange - check out our spread! We made egg bake/sausage fondue, Kristiana Kringle & chocolate chip banana bread (all family recipes), sweet corn spoonbread from Smitten Kitchen, and Josh made a fruit salad as well. It was awesome! I love entertaining!

Christmas week we went to my dad's house one day, my mom's Christmas Eve, my mom's Christmas Day for brunch, Josh's dad's for Christmas Day lunch & then my paternal grandparent's house the day after Christmas - whew! It wasn't too exhausting (we're used to it) and the kids totally took it in stride, they are so easy-going. Maia was up until 11pm on Christmas Eve but it didn't even faze her.

Christmas Eve

Maia in her doctor dress-up outfit. So cute!

Christmas morning

Maia with the scarf I made her

Maia and the doll sling I made her

...and a shot from Christmas Day..but no family shots of all 4 of us, oops!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and that you have a Happy New Year as well! I can't wait to see what 2011 brings for our family :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

sewing projects

Ha, talk about falling short on the {month of thanks} posts - more like a couple days of thanks posts :) Oh well. I've been really focused on things around the house and school, like sewing, getting ready for Christmas and oh, FINALLY getting my house organized and some more boxes unpacked. I meant, we've only been here since August, it's about time, right? Nothing like a little motivation to get me moving - Josh's mom and stepdad will be here visiting next week, and I also have a holiday party mid-week. Fun!

I have SO much to post about! Family-wise there has been a lot going on! We're doing baby-led weaning with Kieran now and we started with sweet potatoes, bananas, avocado & apples - he is LOVING it! But like I said, that deserves it's own entry later :)

For now I just wanted to share some of my sewing projects. I've been having a lot of fun sewing lately! I made a doll sling for Maia for Christmas, an apron for me, and fleece pants for Maia (I'll be making some fleece pants for Kieran soon as well!) Both the Fat Quarter Apron Tutorial & pants tutorial are from Prudent Baby, my absolute favorite DIY/sewing/crafty blog!

Fat Quarter Apron

Fleece pants

Doll sling

I am on a Prudent Baby project roll - next, if I have time, I'd love to sew Kieran a stocking, as he doesn't have one yet! (Maybe after school's done - just one more week!) Here's the Prudent Baby version - so awesome!

Friday, November 19, 2010

day 19 {a month of thanks}

I'm not very good at doing this daily, but oh well.

Day 19. I am thankful for childhood wonderment, and for getting to experience childhood things through my kids once again.

I didn't get a chance to post this last weekend, but we had our first snow in Minnesota last Saturday and of course Maia was THRILLED! When she first saw snow she squealed - so cute! (Then every morning since then, right after she wakes up, she runs to the window and screams "snow!!!!") I had to capture some pictures of my kids looking at the snow together - it was Kieran's first snowfall and he could definitely tell something was up as he looked out our big window! It was so fun watching them experience the first snowfall, something I've always looked forward to each fall/winter since I was a kid. What a treat to see the joy in their eyes!




Then we headed outdoors. Maia had so much fun!



Hard at work with her plastic shovel.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

day 16 {a month of thanks}

Day 16: Today, I am so thankful for not only a happy, healthy preemie son, but also for a developmentally on-par little dude!


Today Kieran had a NICU follow-up to check his development. They do one at 5 months adjusted, 12 months adjusted & 24 months actual age to chart his progress and make sure he's not behind developmentally. Because he is supposed to be 5.5 months, he should be meeting milestones based on that adjusted age at least, and I'm happy to report that he is doing just that, and more!

An occupational therapist had him play with toys to check fine motor skills, and then did some listening/cognitive exercises. He also played on a mat to show off his gross motor skills, and despite holding on to his feet the entire time, still managed to roll around and show them what he could do :) While the testing went on, the occupational therapist wrote down scores for him on something called the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. They tallied up the scores and came up with the following - keep in mind that 85 to 115 is the "norm."

Cognitive Score - 110
  • Age equivalence: 6 months
Motor Score - 124
  • Age equivalence - Gross Motor: 6 months
  • Age equivalence - Fine Motor: 8 months
Language Score - 100
  • Age Equivalence - Expressive Language: 5 months
  • Age Equivalence - Receptive Language: 5 months, 10 days
So, as you can see, he's right on par with his adjusted age for everything, and even "caught up" in fine motor! As for height and weight, well, he continues to be a big, healthy boy there, too! He weighed 20 lbs and was 27 3/4 inches long, which means he's still 50th percentiles for his actual age and off the charts for adjusted age, woohoo! The RN who did his measurements was SO excited to hear that Kieran was breastfeeding and remarked that he didn't even look like he was born premature. I happen to agree with her! What a long way he's come from 2lb 10 oz, hm? I am so proud of my AMAZING son!


Monday, November 15, 2010

sibling love. {a month of thanks}

Well, it's been a little nonstop in the Collins house since last week, so I missed a bunch of {month of thanks} entries. Ah well, I'll sum up the weekend in a little bit. For today, enjoy my two sweet kiddos having fun together.

Day 15: I am SO thankful to have two kids close in age like this (1 day away from 2 years apart) They are an absolute blast and I love watching their bond form!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

day 9 & 10 {a month of thanks}

Day 9. Sometimes I lament the fact that I drink too much Diet Coke (always 1 a day, sometimes 2) and that I need to cut back, but this week, during Daylight Savings time adjustment at our house? I AM SO THANKFUL FOR IT.

Natalie Dee says it better than I ever could. This is ME, ha!

As for Day 9, today I am thankful for amazing opportunities presenting themselves to me lately. I'll expand more on this soon, but I'll just say 2011 is looking to be a great year for me!

Monday, November 8, 2010

day 8 {a month of thanks}

Day 8. Today, I'm thankful for this amazing redhead:

Ha, you thought it was going to be one of my kids, right!? ;) No, but seriously, Conan's triumphant return to television tonight made me SO happy! He is honestly the only man other than my husband who can have me laughing so hard I can barely breathe - and he didn't disappoint tonight. Josh and I were just about dying of laughter a couple times! I'm so glad he's back on TV! Team Coco!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

day 7 {a month of thanks}

Day 7. Today I'm thankful for warm, sunny days in November that allow me to take a certain little sweetie pie to the park (and to practice using some of the new-to-me settings on my new camera!) The park was lovely, the camera practice, not so much. But practice makes perfect, right? So I'll keep practicing!



Saturday, November 6, 2010

day 6 {a month of thanks}

Day 6. I am very thankful for dates with my husband. We've always had a tendency to forget to make time for them, so last month on our anniversary, we made a commitment to go on at least one a month (special thanks to our lovely sitter, Auntie Kiki, for committing to the 'sitting'!) The past few dates we've been on have been so special, and not because we did the most wonderfully romantic things, but simply because we're just alone together! It's so refreshing to get a moment to chat without having to talk loudly over a toddler, and eat with both hands free. I can't believe we let dates fall by the wayside, because it's evident to me now that they are crucial to our foundation and strength as a couple. When we have that opportunity to connect outside the house, it's like we've recharged our "couples battery," I love it!


Friday, November 5, 2010

{a month of thanks}

I was skimming a few blogs today and saw something I liked - a blogger was giving thanks daily in a "month of thanks" series. I love that idea! I am constantly listing off things I'm thankful for in my head, but it's rare that I get a chance to write them down. So, five days into the month where Americans focus on giving thanks (oh my gosh, Thanksgiving Day is right around the corner!) I myself have decided to do a little "month of thanks" feature. Some days you'll get just text, some days you may get a picture, too. Sometimes there will be explanations, and other days, it will speak for itself. Maybe I can even get the husband to join along for a couple days!

I'll just catch up on days 1-5 right now, then hopefully post daily or nearly daily for the rest of the month.

Day 1. I'm thankful for my new camera, which is challenging me to my tech core as I try to learn how to use it.

Day 2. I'm thankful for suckers & lollipops, which have been occasionally helping me get through long, necessary shopping trips with a feisty 2.5 year old.

Day 3. I'm thankful for my long, thick hair, which has taken me a looooong time to grow out. It's so pretty and worth the long effort it took to get here!

Day 4. Consequently, I am also thankful for hair-binders and cute ponytails, because if the baby pulls on my hair once more I just may scream!!!!

Day 5. I'm thankful for Izzy's Ice Cream in St. Paul for introducing me to the most amazing ice cream I have ever tasted - salted caramel ice cream. It's the kind of treat that, after you take a bite, you close your eyes and pause to savor the flavor of the most perfect combination of sweet & salty, but you look sort of silly doing it so your husband makes fun of you. Oh well. It's just THAT good.

What are you giving thanks for today?

Monday, November 1, 2010

happy halloween (yesterday!)

Just had to share some cute photos of the kids' Halloween costumes! I did end up making Maia's tutu & painted her broomstick black - the rest of her costume I found for super cheap at various stores. For Kieran's costume, I made the hat, beard, belt & added felt mushrooms to some shoes I found at a consignment shop for a $1. I was able to come in under $30 for both costumes, which is pretty good! I could have done better but I decided that Maia had to have a GIANT tutu, I guess. Ha, oh well. Enjoy the pictures!!

Spinning around in her tutu. Some passersby told her she had a cute skirt, but she loudly exclaimed "it's not a skirt, it's a TUTU!"

"See my broom?"


Sitting up all by himself!





Out trick-or-treating

Family picture in front of the old Hollywood Theater in our neighborhood. It's been vacant for years...spooooky! ;)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

7 months old!

Wow, just realized today that Kieran is 7 months old! That's so crazy! I just can't believe how fast time is flying by. Well, I can...but you know. It's still so shocking. He had a 6 month checkup with his pediatrician (we're a little behind) on Friday and he weighs 18lb 9 0z and is 28 inches long. According to the World Health Organizations growth charts (I like to use those, as they're for breastfed babies only) he is in the 85th percentile for his BIRTHDAY. Not even his adjusted age! For his adjusted age he's 97th percentile, ha! Sounds about right. Big sister was 18lbs at 4 months, and Kieran is 4.5 months adjusted, and he's really been matching her growth pattern. She topped out at 22lbs at 6 months so we'll see how much more he gains before he plateaus. His pediatrician and I both agreed that while Kieran is much more developmentally advanced than a 4.5 month old (his corrected age) he's not quite acting like a 7 month old, either. He's somewhere in between, more like 5-6 months old, and that's just fine! He isn't expected to be caught up until age 1-2 so he's doing amazing. We'll start feeding him solids next month when he's 6 months adjusted.

What else? He's SO close to sitting up on his own! He really likes to stand up more, though. I'll try to get him to sit up on his butt sometimes and he'll keep straight legs and just want to stand. He's pretty much outgrown his swing so we're working on obtaining a jumperoo of some sort so he can have some solo jumping time. He's pretty big in his bouncer seat as well, so when he's not in mama's arms or working on sitting he's hanging on the floor on a blanket with his sister or something. He's doing a lot of tummy time, and while he CAN roll both ways now, he doesn't do it much. If he's naked he's more apt to roll back to tummy, but I hesitate to keep him naked for TOO long - we have to pile a couple towels underneath him when he's airing out, as you can imagine!

We're just having a lot of fun right now. The kids are both really fun ages and we're getting out and doing a lot of great fall activities on top of going on walks and out to our local park. We visited an apple orchard and pumpkin patch recently with my grandma, and tomorrow we're going to another apple orchard. On Saturday we went to the last day of the farmer's market at Mill City in Minneapolis, which was fun, and we've been doing fall baking, too - we made crockpot applesauce & then oatmeal applesauce bread in the bread machine with the applesauce Maia & I made! So fun! We're just really living it up right now and having a blast doing it.

Maia at Aamodt's apple orchard

At the pumpkin patch (inside a barn, actually)

Josh & Kieran at the park

Kieran on my back in the Beco Baby carrier (love my carrier!!!)

And the kids - did I mention I'm having a blast with them, too!? They are both at such a fun age, as I said, and I'm loving it! Maia is the sweetest big sister and loving on her brother constantly. The other night he fell asleep nursing while I read bedtime stories to Maia, and she insisted I leave him there - she said "Go! I want to snuggle with him!" So I sat outside her door for a minute and let her snuggle, then grabbed a picture. What sweeties!


Here's my little miss sassy-pants :)

Hope you're all having a lovely October! I'm headed to the craft store tomorrow, I have GOT to get started on the kids' Halloween costumes!