Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Almost 7 Months!

I never know where to start these updates. So much happens every single day and I don't want anyone to miss any of it, so I just keep snapping pictures and writing stuff down. These updates take hours (go through a month's worth of pictures and movies, choose the ones for the blog, make low-resolution copies so they upload faster, uploading, writing, editing!) - but they're a labor of love, and I really enjoy doing them. I need to figure out a way to make a copy of them for Kaylee, since they're a great record of her first year. Anyhow, on to the good stuff!

First, the past months of drooling and chewing and fussing have paid off. Kaylee has TEETH. As in more than one. As in TWO TEETH so far. And more are on their way. In barely two weeks, she has gone from one tooth barely showing (in the photo below), to two teeth well on their way up and hugely visible. I'm still working on getting a pic of the latter - when I get it I'll post it as a small update. You can barely make it out, but if you click on the picture to maximize it in your browser, you can see the white line of the lower front right tooth sticking through her gum. The first tooth broke through on 3/11, and the second arrived on 3/19 (front bottom left), so she now has both her bottom front teeth. They're very cute, and very sharp. I'm trying to redirect her biting to her teething toys.

First tooth - 3/11/09

Also, this past month, we got a box of love in the mail from our very bestest friends in the whole world - and inside was this adorable coat with a note that read, "Because every girl needs a fabulous coat!" This isn't the best shot of Kaylee in the coat, but you get the picture. The very next time I get her dressed up I will take more pics front and back so you can see how adorable this coat really is. The clothes sure don't last very long at this age, when they grow so fast! Thanks for the gorgeous coat, Matt, Jen, Emma, and Will! And for all the other goodies, too! You guys are the best!

Ooh, it fits PERFECT!

Here's one of Kaylee and Mommy just chilling out. She's such a happy baby!


Here are another few pics of snuggle time - these were taking during the super fussy couple days right before the first tooth broke out.

Kaylee and Mommy on the snuggle chair...

Kaylee drooling and chewing on Mommy's knee...

Kaylee immediately after the drooly chewy knee session...

Mocha likes to jump up and snuggle with us sometimes. We have been trying to teach Kaylee how to pet Mocha gently. Mocha is a very docile, tolerant cat. Kaylee starts out gently touching... and then she gets excited and grabs a big handful, and then when she gets even more excited (if that's even possible!), she screeches and that's usually when Mocha has had enough and jumps down and leaves the room. Suzie usually totally ignores all the Kaylee/Mocha loving sessions. Mocha will also snuggle with Kaylee and I in our bed if we happen to be there taking a nap. Mocha just likes a warm body to cozy up to...

Kaylee petting Mocha.

One thing that's been very very neat to watch is how Kaylee is putting things together now, and how fast she is learning and remembering things. One example is the interactive toys she has. Her exersaucer has a teapot that plays music. You have to tap the top of it to start the songs, and it plays through a repertoire of about 5 different ones. There are also little flashy lights that blink on and off while it plays tunes. One day, it clicked for Kaylee how to make the music play by herself and she was SO EXCITED! Now when we put her in the exersaucer, she immediately plays a few songs on the teapot before exploring the other toys...

Kaylee posing with the teapot as it plays her a song.

One of the first times we realized Kaylee knew
exactly what she was doing to play music!

A couple random pictures of our happy smiley baby!

Hi! Can I take a picture, too?

Uh, yeah okay, so where is my lunch again?

Hey! Look how fast I can run across the kitchen! My feet are totally blurry!

I like Nana's measuring cups. They taste like cookies!

Wearing a cute new outfit from Aunt Jennifer.

Another great smile!

Now we think our daughter is very photogenic and cute, and has a wonderful smile. But don't kid yourself - there is a lot of work that goes into photographing babies. Just wanted to show you an amusing example of what goes into a photo shoot to get one or two great shots. Remember that really cute St. Patrick's Day pic from a couple weeks ago (a couple updates ago)? Well, here are a few of the St. Patrick's Day duds. Very cute duds... but duds.

Oh, look! My Monkey!

Oops... I fell over!

What do you mean the camera isn't ready?

I DON'T WANNA TAKE PICTURES ANY MORE!

We have an adorable girly pink Gator onesie for our baby Gator. One afternoon, while Kaylee was in an exceptional mood, I took a few snaps of her in her crib. She had just learned pretty good sitting up skills, and we recently added a crib bumper to help her keep her arms and legs in at night (she is sleeping MUCH more soundly now that her arms and legs aren't constantly getting stuck!).
Baby Gator!

Every girl needs a pair of fluffy bunny slippers...

especially when they taste so good!

Hey. I'm sitting!

I'm still sitting... don't I look cute?

Kaylee has also been spending quite a bit of time on the floor, which is great for strengthening exercise as well as learning how to get around and exploring her world. She loves to play with her balls and toys, she scooches around the room, and she's getting stronger and has gotten up on her hands and knees quite a bit the last week or so. She's not crawling yet, but we think she's getting close...

I'm kinda getting bored here. Can we do something different?

Yeah! This is more like it, I like rolling around and playing with my balls!

Look at all these cool balls! They taste pretty good, too!

Balls rhymes with crawls. Let me practice what I need to do to crawl...

This getting ready to crawl thing is hard work!

A video of Kaylee up on her haunches, rocking a little,
getting ready to learn how to crawl. Ironically, this is
set to the score of the movie, "Times to Come," which is
based on the H. G. Wells story of the same name. We
thought this was hilarious.

Since Kaylee is getting around a little more now, we are finding that we have to occasionally contain her if we need to leave the room for more than a few seconds. We brought her pack & play into the living room, and she spends a little bit of time in it. Most of the time she doesn't mind too much, but if we leave the room for too long, she lets us know she isn't too happy about it. If we go out to prepare a meal or something, we usually bring her into the same room as us so she can maintain eye contact - this avoids tears, usually.

Kaylee quietly playing in her play pen - note the little
furry sentinels on guard, keeping Kaylee from harm.

Aww.... what a great smile!

Kaylee and Grammie Rioux...

Along with Kaylee's great smile comes her awesome giggles and screeches. We managed to get a few in movie form... we're now working on the screeches becoming a little more volume controlled - she's loud enough that it hurts our ears and we need to teach her the difference between loud and quiet.

video
Kaylee making mommy giggle...

video
Daddy making Kaylee screech!

video
And a random video of Kaylee learning how
to play Nintendo with Daddy... She knows
she should be pushing buttons on the controller...

And one more cute pic just to get you through until the next update! Thanks for keeping up with us!

Bye! See you next time!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Aww....


Check out this nice shot of Kaylee I got with my macro settings. She was sitting on my lap, about a foot from the camera. What a cutie!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

From your favorite little Leprechaun!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Six Months and Counting...

So much has happened at our house since the last update! We are amazed at how fast Kaylee changes, how big she is growing, and the cool things she is learning! She LOVES books and she LOVES young children's television programming. Right now we keep the TV tuned to PBS's Sprout channel. There are lots of age-appropriate shows on, and she especially seems to love Sesame Street (especially the musical numbers and Elmo's World) and Caillou.

Also, Kaylee is such a HAPPY baby!!! We are so blessed to have a baby that lights up the room wherever she goes. Everyone comments on her great smile, enjoys her laughter and babbling, and we certainly agree with them. It sure makes the middle of the night and early morning trips into her bedroom worth it when she is so thrilled just to see us. She smiles EVERY SINGLE TIME!

On to stats: Kaylee was 6 months old on 3/5, coincidentally Georgine's birthday. It's so neat that our birthdays are exactly 6 months apart. We might start a half-birthday thing with her when she's a little older - not a big drawn out affair, but maybe a special treat on her special day.

Kaylee had her 6 month well-baby visit and shots yesterday. As usual, she charmed everyone at the clinic, especially the nurses. And she did so well, she only cried for a few seconds after her shots and was quickly consoled. It's so hard to hold your baby while they get shots and know what's coming for them - we're doing it for the better good of both her and everyone else, but she's so little.

Kaylee now weighs 16 pounds and 4 ounces, and she's 25 1/2 inches tall, basically near the 50th percentile on both measurements. I thought for sure she was over 18 pounds, judging by how difficult it's getting to carry her in her car seat now, but we probably have a couple more months before we need to move her into a bigger convertible car seat. We also need to consider getting her a stroller soon, it'll sure make trips to the mall easier, though they have strollers at the mall, too. The mall strollers are geared toward bigger children though, and they aren't very supportive for wiggly babies.

Kaylee also continues to eat cereal, fruits, and veggies, and is doing really well. She had her first soda cracker last week, and I'll probably try graham crackers or arrowroot cookies or teething biscuits soon. She loves to chew, but needs stuff that turns to mush. What messy times we're going to be dealing with soon!

She is teething hard now, and she really means business. You'll see several shots of her with her fingers and hands in her mouth and chewing on things!

Developmentally, she is passing objects back and forth in her hands, tracking moving objects with her eyes, developing a little separation anxiety, playing Peek a Boo, and starting to learn we come back when we leave her sight (leaving the room, hiding behind a blanket or a corner, etc.). It's so much fun to play with her and see how excited she gets when we come back.

On to the new pictures and movies!

Enjoying some floor time... smiling and
telling us big stories...

Playing with her dragon ball pit - she likes to chew on
the dragon's fins, as they have crinkly stuff inside and
make crunchy noises...

Completely tuckered out after a hard evening of playing.
This is snuggle time in on Mommy in the rocking chair
right before putting her in her bed...


And finally, in BED! Snoozing happily....

She's on the move now! We find her in a different position almost every time we check on her during the night. It's especially amusing when she ends up perpendicular to the crib bars. She's almost tall enough now to touch one side with her head and one side with her feet! When we notice her start to be up on her knees or grabbing the bars and pulling up on them, we'll be lowering her crib mattress to the bottom level. We don't want her toppling over the rails!

A couple pics during a little photo shoot we played around with. I *love* how these pictures turned out. All we did was drape a piece of black velvet over a rocking chair and use both natural light and a fill in flash. I love that there are no shadows behind her (the black velvet absorbs any shadows from the flash) and her features really stand out.


Kaylee and Monkey - BFF

video

And here's a shot of what she was doing while
we were getting these cute pictures!


She has a couple really really cute sleeper sets that are made of fleece and have cute stuff on the bottoms of the feet and on the butt. This particular pair has a ladybug on the butt. I believe I referred to it on an earlier post but never showed a picture...


Kaylee practicing sitting up. She's starting to get pretty good, but she can sit up for a LONG time when she's got her Boppy pillow for additional support. Notice the outfit she is wearing; in December it was too big, in January it fit her perfect, and by Valentine's Day, the sleeves barely reached her elbows! We're having that trouble with lots of her clothes - they still fit her body but the arms and legs are several inches too short!

Kaylee sitting with the help of Boppy!

Kaylee is mostly mesmerized while Ian plays Nintendo. The graphics are very child friendly, the music is catchy, the colors and action are compelling, and Kaylee loves to try and touch the buttons on the controller and "help" Daddy play.

video
Kaylee "helping" Daddy play Nintendo.

Kaylee in her Bumbo chair - I love her little CSI: bodysuit.
It stands for Cute, Sweet, Innocent.

Daddy and Kaylee playing. He is pretending to chomp her all up and she is screeching and laughing. We usually laugh just as hard as she does when we play like this.

Daddy chomping Kaylee to bits!

video
More Daddy chomping, in action...

video
Kaylee and Mommy playing one evening. She
gets
VERY excited and giggly when we play!

Kaylee and Papa (Georgine's dad, John). We usually go over to Nana and Papa's for a sleepover every couple weeks to give Daddy a break, whether just to have a quiet night or to get some extra work done, undisturbed. Sometimes it's distracting to work from home! We always have a good time on our sleepovers, and Nana and Papa and Grampy Green enjoy the company. As you can see, Kaylee quite adores her Papa, too. Reminds me of Shanny when she was a baby...

Papa snuggling with Kaylee...


Another pic of Happy Girl Kaylee, playing on the
floor. See how well she is holding herself up?

Sometimes she gets quiet and "talks" to
us
as she is playing on the floor...

I love this close up shot of Kaylee. She
was just quietly looking at me.


Yet another pic of Happy Girl Kaylee. Can you
believe how many happy shots we get? She's
so
cute! (TOTALLY biased, here...)

Here's a cute series of her sitting on the couch with Monkey.

Just noticing the camera...

Going back to chewing on her fingers...

And giving Mom the smile she was hoping for!

Another series of some floortime shots:

Hi, Mom!

See how I can hold myself up now?

Mommy, you're laying on the floor with me! Cool!

I think I'm going to start chewing on my fingers again...

Here's a shot of me holding Kaylee, and my grandmother (also named Georgine!). This is taken at my mom's, the day we celebrated our birthdays together. My mom's birthday is on 2/27 and mine is 3/5, and ever since I became an adult, if we are together to our birthdays, we usually celebrate them both at the same time. This year we each baked a cake: Mom made a chocolate layer cake with a yummy broiled glaze and peanuts on it. I made a pineapple angel food cake with pineapple coconut whipped cream. They were both yummy, and almost everyone had a piece of BOTH cakes. MMMmmmmm, cake!!!

L-R: Georgine Johns, Kaylee Johns, Georgine Rioux

Also last week, we got a surprise in the mail from the Hundred Acre Wood. Aunt Jennifer sent Winnie-the-Pooh and some of his friends to come live with Kaylee! As soon as we opened the box and passed them to Kaylee, she squealed over each one. They are all happily living in the basket in the living room with Teddy and Monkey and the Pooh lovey and Bun-Bun the Bunny lovey, where Kaylee plays with them every day!

Kaylee and Pooh...

Kaylee and Tigger...

Kaylee and Piglet...

And a couple other friends from Disney World: Dumbo the Elephant;

and Pluto the Dog!

Also, a very nice lady from my mom's church made this adorable hat for Kaylee. It's got a really cute spiral pattern on the top, and it falls into a really cute ruffle around her head. Since the temps have warmed up quite a bit recently, I have been wearing it on her for the last week or so. It looks cute on her, don't you think?

Kaylee modeling her new hat!

Sometimes when Kaylee is playing in Daddy's office and doesn't want to be laying on the floor or sitting in her exersaucer, Daddy puts her in one of the small round laundry baskets we carry her toys around in. She's a perfect fit, and it helps support her as she is still working on her sitting skills and balance.

It keeps her toys nearby;

And she doesn't seem to mind! :)

I recently found a walker at the thrift store for Kaylee. Once I scrubbed it's nooks and crannies, I intended to bring it down to the basement and take Kaylee down there with me when I was sorting things out. However, she is scooting around really good and would get into the things I am sorting (tools, which are NOT baby-friendly), so we're just using it in the kitchen for now. So we have both a walker AND an exersaucer for her. She likes to be in the walker in the kitchen when I am busy cooking supper, where she can look at herself in the dishwasher (shiny black plastic which acts like a mirror) and bump into my legs once in a while, while she follows me around.

Following me around the kitchen...

Lots of teething - poor baby... We feed her in a booster seat that puts her at the exact height to taste the edge of the counter top in the kitchen. She's really chewing everything she can, at this point. We're just trying to keep clean chewy things within reach of her and redirect her when necessary. For how much teething she's doing, she's still pretty happy, for the most part. Don't worry, the teeth aren't actually through yet, she's still just gumming it here:



Oh, this feels SO GOOD!!!

Well, that was a LONG update with TONS of pics and movies. We'll try and do them a little more often, but hope you enjoy!

Until next time, lots of love from Ian, Georgine, and Kaylee! XOXO