3:26 PM

The Thanksgiving Sickies

December 23, 2009

A Thanksgiving post? Right before Christmas? Oh yes, you read right. Our house has been over-taken by the sickies!

Poor Kaleb started with a horrible cough 4 days after Thanksgiving. Of course the spread of germs was rampant on that day and we just couldn't avoid the inevitable, even with my constant hand washing. The doc diagnosed him with croup and gave him a single shot of steriods. We start the humidifier, get out the vicks and set up shop in the living room so Kaleb can sleep in the recliner.

Fast forward three weeks, two more doctor visits and finally a $93.00 antibiotic did the trick. Just in time for Christmas germs! I'm sure Kaleb barely remembers what it is like to sleep in a normal bed.

Thanksgiving, nevertheless, was a blast and we really enjoyed seeing the whole family. I cannot believe how different things are this year. Kaleb even got to eat at the big boy table!

The big kid table & feeding himself.

Now that is what I call service. He is a ladies man :)

We did a little Christmas decorating- he loved it!

I promise I won't wait another 4 weeks this time, even if my house gets the sickies again!

Kaleb is 1 year, 2 months, 4 weeks old.

1:34 PM

14 Months

Thursday, December 3, 2009

So we (thankfully!) got internet hooked up at the house and I have an entire booklet of blog's that I need to catch up on so here we go...starting out with Kaleb's 14 month stats:

Height: 33 inches (or close to it... I couldn't get a good read on the little runner!)
Weight: 32.5 pounds

I keep waiting for his weight to come off like everyone says once they start walking. Tomorrow marks 3 months since he started and we've seen NO weight loss. He run's now. Full speed. We still haven't seen him drop or hold a weight. Thankfully he's in the 95th percentile on both things so his height and weight match up. He is solid. People are always genuinely surprised when they pick him up.

Here are some of the AMAZING things he's doing now:

He can show you where nose, ears and eyes are on any person, especially himself. He likes to stick his finger up his nose instead of on it, but I'm going to count that!

When he likes something he makes this "O" face and sucks in air really fast. It sounds like he's gasping as if to say, "Oh my goodness. Do you see that!?" I love this sound.

He can point out which animals are fox, bear, bird, dog and pig. He makes sure to kiss them when we ask, "Where is fox?"

He loathes when anyone tries to sit in his chair. We sometimes set stuffed animals in it and he throws them on the ground.

He isn't attached to anything including a pacifier.

If you ask him a question he can shake his head yes and no without prompting.

After he drinks out of a straw he says, "Ah!" like he just quenched a huge thirst.

He had mastered these words: Mom, Dad, Daddy, Sacha, Suede, Don, Hat, Ho-Ho, No, Stop, Cheese, Sit, Broom, Dog and Done. And today he was walking around saying, "Wee wee wee wee wee."

When he brushes his teeth he sways left to right the whole time. When he finished he says, "Done!"

He is obsessed with music. He is especially fond of songs with really strong beats. He is an awesome dancer. He actually moves to the beat. Thank God he has mommy's rhythm!

He has mastered the stairs.

He knows if he wants the gate down all he has to do is run at it full force and tackle it over. We are currently searching for gates you bolt into the wall.

We took a night light down because it was too bright and the next morning he went to the plug and tried to put it back. He also tries to put DVD's in the DVD player. He's so stinkin' smart.

He likes to help me empty the dishwasher. He picks up one thing at a time and waits patiently for me to take it from him and put it away. While I'm putting it away he picks up the next thing... it takes me a good 1/2 hour to empty but it's worth it to let him help. I've never seen anything like it before.

He started throwing tantrum's this month. They are NOT fun. I can usually avoid them if we stay on our schedule but Lord help us on Holiday's.

I cannot believe he is 14 months and talking, running, jumping and playing like a big boy.
Where did the time go?

Kaleb is 1 year, 2 months, 1 week and 1 day old.

7:17 PM

Kaleb's First Birthday Party

Written on: Monday, September 28, 2009
Posted on: November 21, 2009

Kaleb's first birthday partywas a gigantic success. We had it on Sunday which was perfect for the football/Bengal's theme. The Bengals ended up beating the Steelers 23-20 so that added something extra. We love a Bengal's Win! We decided to grill out and provide food for everyone which turned out so nice. The day was actually sunny and felt amazing. Kaleb was a very happy little boy and, after threatening everyone in the house, I was able to lay him down for a nap right before his party.

We wanted to make the morning of his actual birthday special

Daddy had to work but he met us for a great lunch!

Some of his birtday haul from us, he was a very happy camper.

The cupcake cake: very good for little kid's parties. No cutting!

All my neices, nephew plus Kman & Riley.

He was ready.

Smash cake. I made that one myself :)

His gift from Aunt Olivia!

This was the face he made when he realized he had all new toy's the next morning.

Overall everything went amazing. Kaleb was so tired after that weekend he slept a good 14 hours into Monday morning. I know future parties will only get bigger and more fun but it felt good to celebrate with our closest family and friends. I'd call the day a huge success. Hopefully Kaleb did too!

Kaleb is 1 year, 3 days old.

3:37 PM

Looking back: 1 year later

Written on: September 25, 2009
Posted on: November 21, 2009

This is an honest account of what I can recall from those first 24 hours.

The morning of Wednesday, September 24, 2008 looking back... I was.... on edge. I passed off everything on pre-baby jitters. Now, I'm attributing those feelings to a little thing called, "mother's intuition."

12:50 pm: As they we're checking us into the room I looked at the room number. No, no no this was all wrong. I don't remember exactly what it was. I could probably check but it's not important. It had a ton of 6's in it though- how stupid right? Why would a bunch of 6's make me uneasy... it's just a room number Ericka!

1:45 pm: After the nurse hooked me up to the monitor’s she showed us that I was having a few contractions on my own which was awesome news. I tried my best to keep an open mind about my birth plan. I just wanted a healthy baby and I trusted God's plan.

7:00 pm: Nightfall quickly approached and my parent's stopped by for a visit. I couldn't walk or even sit upright for hours at a time because of the medication they had to put in to induce my labor. My cervix was completely closed when the process began.

September 25, 2008

7:00 am: Four agonizing rounds of medication. One amazing sleeping pill. No progress. Dr.Grim makes the call: c-section. I found out from the nurse that Dr.Grim's brother passed away suddenly. He was leaving right after my surgery. I find it amazing that he even made the trip in for me; he kept his promise to us. I wonder if his brother hadn't passed if we would spent more time trying to induce my labor, maybe try IV medication or something. I am happy with the decision to go with the C-section, knowing how much Kaleb was struggling on the inside now

7:15 am: I started crying hysterically when they go to take me back to surgery before my sister and mom can arrive. Dr.Grim, again, saves the day and grabs some breakfast while I wait for my family. Thank God they made it in time.

7:45 am: I go back alone for my spinal. My doctor get's an A+++ for my spinal. I didn't feel a thing! They bring Brian in for the surgery. I-pod on...

8:20 am: The surgery is the most bizarre experience. I can feel tugging and pressure but nothing uncomfortable. Brian, however, is struggling. I can tell. He goes quiet for long periods; I can tell he’s praying to himself. I keep asking if he can see my "guts" yet. He doesn't find my joke funny and keeps especially quiet when a drainage bag full of my blood busts on the floor. Bless his poor heart.

He told me what he was praying for a few months later during that time. It is so unbelievably personal that I don't know if I should share the details. The guy really loves me though.

8:29 am: "Okay Ericka, you're going to feel some pressure." (This is the understatement of the century) My eyes started watering. It felt like there was a giant elephant on my chest. I can't breathe. I couldn't even get a breath to say I can't breathe. I make a few grunting noises and just like that the pain is gone. Kaleb was stretching out and he was so set on his position they had to use forceps to get him out. He was literally squishing my lungs from the inside. I'm going to have to put him in a 'timeout' spank him for that when he's a little older.

8:31 am: Kaleb makes his entrance into the world. Silence. I can still feel each heartbeat, each second that ticked by, before I heard his beautiful cries. Of course, I was sobbing by this point and then suddenly I realized it was quiet. Too quiet. I cannot see the warmer above me so I start twisting around on the table to try and get a better look.

8:35 am: The details of the next few moments are burned into my brain. When Brian returned to my side I knew immediately something wasn’t right. He said, “Don’t worry. Kaleb is fine. He is healthy but he is missing his left hand.” I felt like I was in a dream. What? His what? I couldn’t catch my breath. I grabbed Brian’s hand, “He’s healthy right? He’s okay? It’s just his hand?” I could still hear his screams behind me. “Yes, he’s fine.” I instantly felt relief, “Then who cares?! He’s healthy… go be with him!” He argued for about 15 seconds before he left my side. He told me later that is the hardest thing he's ever had to do.

8:40: It's so quiet in the room. My vision is blurry from the tears. Happy tears. I didn't need to decide that this hand thing was no big deal. I felt heavy... nauseated... I barely get the words out before I start throwing up. Doc throws some crazy cocktail into my spinal instead of the IV and I feel instant relief. Now that is service.

Dr. Grim tells me about Jim Abbott while he's closing. I drift in and out. I'm guessing doc slipped me a little something extra to help me relax. I'm thankful because I'm alone. This is why they should let two people come in with you on a c-section. Sheesh.

9:15 am: It's been almost an hour since his birth. Recovery. My sister in law, Jennifer, gets to me first. All she said was, "he's beautiful" and I lost it. It felt good to have her there. I didn't even know if they'd make it down here for the birth. I know now the waiting room was packed. She asked what I wanted, "My mom & sister please."

After my mom and sister arrived I really felt good. Dazed from the medication. My eyes start itching. I start to just rub them and after a few minutes I start to really scratch. Hello spinal side effect: itching! The nurse gives me a shot of something which knocks me loopy again.

Olivia and my mom take some pretty hilarious pictures of us during this time. My eyes aren't open in many of them but I'm making some pretty awesome faces.

11:00 am: I still haven't seen Kaleb yet except for those quick seconds at first. My bed is too big to fit in the NICU and he's too unstable to transfer. My nurse tries to tell me I can go see him when I get up to walk around 5 pm. Everyone tries to persuade me but it isn't happening. When she leaves the room I threaten everyone in it, you help me or else. I was up a few minutes later. Ah, sweet relief.

I cannot explain how life changing it is to have a child, unless you've been there yourself. It is the most pure, unselfish love I have ever experienced. I look back on that day with such wonderful memories. If I had any doubt about Brian or God or the point of living, it all changed that day. I have loved every second of his first year. I cannot wait to see what life has in store for our special little boy. He continues to amaze me each and every day.

Happy Birthday Kaleb. We love you.

Kaleb is one year old.

1:35 PM

Livin' On A Prayer

Friday, November 6, 2009

We went from thriving to existing within a few short months.

I'm sure everyone can recall my Summer of Saving post in May. We were so overwhelmingly excited and motivated and on the move. I just knew that when we left my parent's house we would have the house of our dreams and a nice little nest egg to boot.

Fast forward: November 1, 2009.

Existing. It's such a yucky word. How do you fall so fast? I knew that this whole bad economy thing would effect us when I heard the term "recession" thrown around three years ago when Brian & I began our life together. Oh how very wrong I was about HOW much it would effect us.

The long and short of it? We are broke, looking for work and living with my in-laws. It turns my stomach just reading that sentance. Me. Ericka. The always over-achieving, planning, saving, wise-decision making person I grew up to be had hit the bottom. No, not rock bottom but lower than I have ever been.

My work? It's still there but some funding issues (to say the least) has caused me to take a step back and let them fix what is wrong. I still volunteer my time and work a few hours a week to help correct the issues but as of now I am severly under-employed. I love my job and I just continue to pray that the company can finally get the push it needs in 2010. I just found out I landed a part-time job with a local TPA (an insurance company similar to my old job) so hopefully that will give us the boost we need for this holiday season.

Brian's work? They promised amazing things when he took this new job in May. No lay-off's, no 'seasonal' work, great benefits, even better pay and close to home. When I casually reminded Brian that it was time for his insurance to become effective (have you ever had to pay a COBRA premium? It's ridiculous.) We we're notified his hours we're being cut which means no insurance and a lay-off would be imminent. Damn recession.

This was 2 months ago. So... here we are.... barely surviving. Our savings was gone, gone, gone when Kaleb's medical bills started rolling in from that 7-day NICU stay. Our 'Summer of Saving' and turned into the 'Summer of Surving' and now it's simply 'The Winter of Existing.' To try and make the burden lighter on my family we had to head to Hamilton to stay with Brian's parents. Thank GOD for our family. Between my grandparents, B's parents and my amazing mother Kaleb wouldn't know we we're struggling if I told him so. I can only praise the Lord for that- not to mention the outpouring of support from our friends. I hate living across town... I miss my Char & Dani & my sister.

So this post turned out pretty, um, negative. That was not my intention because some very great things have happened because of this gigantic wave of crap we are dealing with right now. Brian and I are so very close. Insanely close. Stripping a family down to nothing will really show you what you are made of... I sometimes find myself wondering what it would be like to go through this with someone else and immediately feel thankful for Brian.

The biggest positive is all the time with K-man. This winter he will spend all his time with family. No outside daycare which drastically limits his exposure to all these sickies (H1N1, seasonal flu, ect). We continue to pray and wash our hands frantically in hopes of keeping him safe this season. Kaleb is rotating between me, Brian, his mom, my grandma and Aunt O during working days.

Stripping it down and admitting all of these struggles has been tough. We are all here, we are all healthy and we still have faith (and are counting our MANY blessings)

I have continued to blog and have a ton of updates to post. Keep an eye out for them- words of encouragment, bible verses, your own stories and prayer requests are always appreciated.

Kaleb is 13 months, 1 week and 5 days old. (and over 30 pounds- I know right!? Look for an update soon!)

10:12 AM


... is coming.

4:05 PM

9/23/08: You Are Evicted!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

On Tuesday, September 23, 2008 my mom and I headed into the doctor for my 8:00 am, 36 week appointment. I was hoping for a little progress since I was becoming increasingly miserable. I was really swollen and then was still really itchy from that great rash I developed mid-July. My blood pressure was crazy high (think like 170's...) They had me lay down for a while and it was still as high. I had protein in my urine so they sent me back for a NST (non-stress test).

The diagnosis: Pre-eclampsia. Yikes. Dr.Grim was not impressed with his movement and called down to the hospital to try and get me in right away. My blood pressure was so high that he thought the risk of taking me early was worth it, considering he was measuring so large. According to the biophysical profile Kaleb was 38 weeks 4 days (full term) and according to my LMP I would've been 41 weeks (actually overdue!) The quickest induction date available was Wednesday, September 24th, 2008 at 1:00 pm. Dr.Grim agreed to letting me go home and wait it out as long as I was on strict bedrest. He said walking around, cleaning, getting last minute stuff for baby could cause me to have a seizure and injure me or the baby. I actually had to call Brian from Dr.Grim's office to meet me at home.

We both arrived home by lunch and I sent him to Walmart with my final list of things I would need around the house. I hadn't started cooking my meals considering I thought I had at least 3-4 weeks before we'd have a baby. Olivia, thankfully, headed over to our house and I sent her on her way with the grocery list to get the kitchen stocked up. I spent the hardest 24 hours of my life watching reruns of Deliver Me, A Baby Story and Birth Day. (I'm pretty sure this made the 24 hours drag along even worse!)

Brian and I prayed very hard together before we went to bed this night for our beautiful son.

We knew when we woke up in the morning our lives would be forever changed.

Kaleb is 11 months, 4 weeks and 1 day old.

11:17 AM

Birthday Stuff

Thursday, September 18, 2009

Here's the invites that went out yesterday. I obviously blurred out B's number and part of the address. I ended up having to print them from the office and they turned out amazing! The 5x7 ended up being a great size and I even put some fall color leaves in the envelope to give it a little something extra :) Now that I feel so genuinely creative having created that invite entirely from scratch I think my Christmas card insert will be amazing this year. Here's a little flashback to our Christmas insert last year:

B and I have a long weekend of shopping ahead! I won't be able to finish his scrapbook before the big day but I am working on a few other things instead to play/show at the party. We just finished the final menu and are heading out to order the cake this weekend. Yikes.

I had no idea how much my life was about to change this time last year. No idea.

Kaleb is 11 months, 3 weeks, 2 days old.

1:34 PM

Bengals, Bouncing Babies & Birthday's!

Monday, September 14, 2009

My blogging has seriously been lacking and that is an understatement. We are in the process of some gigantic changes for our little family and of course the blog takes a hit. However, I still journal ideas and now I’ll do my best to update the HUGE amount that has happened in the past 2 weeks.

Kaleb has 8 teeth now. 4 on top, 4 on bottom. It is amazing to see him eat a cracker! Who would’ve thought something like that could make me so happy!? He went to his very first Bengal’s game with Dani and Ava. It was so much fun. Of course, the kiddo’s didn’t make it too long but at least we can say he went to his first game before he was a year old. Here are some pictures of the outing: Our beautiful Bengal babies :)

He was interested in the game. More interested in his Cheerios.

Dani & Ava Me & K-man

Kaleb got his first haircut on September 4, 2009. We took him to a place called Cookie Cutter’s in West Chester. It was amazing. He was so distracted by Bob the Builder and his race car he barely noticed anyone cutting his hair. (He did take a few swipes at Denise- but she was a champ!) We snapped a video clip and you can see how much fun he’s having! If you turn up the volume you can hear him say his new favorite word, "Cheeeeerio." We even got the cutest certificate for his first cut and she attached some of his hair. Oh, how my little boy is growing. He seriously looks like a little Brian running around with blonde hair and blue eyes. I guess he did get something from his mama.

And finally the biggest news to date, Kaleb took his first steps last Saturday (9-5-09). He stood up in the middle of the room on his own and just started walking. Of course, I was like, “Look! Oh my gosh!” and startled him. Idiot move mom. He still won’t do it if he knows you are watching and he’s pretty darn lazy. He knows he can get there faster with his monkey crawl so he’ll just do that instead. He is his father's son.

With his birthday right around the corner we are going to have to scale down the party. We obviously aren’t in our own place just yet and honestly, it makes me overwhelmingly sad. I’m going to do the best with what I have to work with, thank goodness I have such an amazing support system. Hopefully by the holiday’s I’ll be able to update more often and we’ll be settled into a new place. I did send off for his invitations I created for $0.00 on Scrapblog.com. Yep. You read that right ZERO dollars. I love being thrifty. Woo hoo!

Kaleb is 11 months, 2 weeks & 6 days old.

10:26 AM

11 Months

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

11 months. 11 months. How is that even possible? I know I keep saying that each month but still I sit here counting down the months... This is it. Next month he will be 1 year old. Dang.

Kaleb (11 Months):
Standing on his own without holding onto anything
He has 6 teeth now! (4 on top, 2 on bottom)
He says "Bye!" (with a kiss) to Bear, Fox and Bird each morning
Turning the pages when we read at bedtime
Babbling up a storm
He plays catch with Brian (The kid has quite an arm too!)
Dad, Mom, Hi, Bye, Duck, and Ball are a few of his favorite words
Can almost climb out of his crib and pack-n-play (Yikes!)
Snuggles the best when he first wakes up
He hasn't met a food he doesn't enjoy yet
The kid is a climber. All the way up the stairs, Up the headboard, hi-chair and my personal favorite, his carseat (which he can undo the top strap and push himself up and out)
Starting to throw tantrum(s) when we take something away
I have some great pictures in his big boy pajamas he started wearing last month (size 24 months/2T) so I'll have to post them this week!
I can't believe Kaleb is 11 months old. Where does the time go!

10:30 AM

Scratch that Itch

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

This story is a little, uh, well inappropriate? I can't think of a good word for it but it's down right hilarious and too good not to share. You've been warned.

We don't have much of a routine right now but Brian is big on putting Kaleb to bed at night when we get home. He usually gets in bed with him and I head to the shower/bath/read time. The other night I got into bed (Kaleb resting between us) and fell asleep. About an hour later Brian wakes me up.

B: Hey. Kaleb doesn't have a diaper on right now.

E: What? (I pull back the covers and see Kaleb laying there spread eagle without a diaper or pants on) Why is he like that? (I immediately start feeling around for some wet spot on the sheets)

B: Well here's the thing, Kaleb's butt was itching. We we're laying here and he was just really digging at his butt cheek. So I took his diaper off and he had a bug bite. So I scratched it for him. (At this point I start to giggle) Then I put his diaper back on.

E: And the reason he is diaper-less now?

B: Well... after I scratched his butt for him he started digging at his boy parts. I don't know the rules on all this stuff but I'm pretty sure it would be inappropriate for me to scratch that for him so I took his diaper off and let him do it himself. He liked it so much he feel asleep.

Oh. My. Gosh. At this point I'm laughing so hard that my sides are aching and Brian just cannot understand what is so darn funny. Sometimes I wonder what I would come home to if I worked more and Brian worked less.

Kaleb is 10 months, 3 weeks and 4 days old and scratching like a big boy. Is that considered a milestone?

12:07 PM

Taste Update

Friday, August 14, 2009
First and foremost, the Taste of Colerain was a success. I had a babysitter back out at the last minute which left me scrambling for a replacement. And let's be honest, that was #1 in my mind. Thankfully my amazing grandmother stepped it up and took Kaleb two nights in a row. Not just during the Taste but overnight so that we didn't have to wake him up at midnight and bring him home. Talk about self-sacrifice. She is my hero :) My mom's best friend, Penny, had K on Sunday for a few hours before we just brought him up to the Taste. He really enjoyed seeing everything and I got to duck out on clean up to take my boy home and spend some quality time with him. Brian and I both took off Monday to spend the day with our boy too.

Me, Mom, Amanda & Olivia setting up. I love this picture.

Can you guess who is in our penguin costume?

He knew his Papa was in there! He kept saying, "Dad? Daddddddd...?" and looking the the mouth.

Once a marine, always a marine.

The penguin was a gigantic hit. We had two high school boy's take turns running around in it during the day. We had some serious heat so my heart goes out to those two amazing boys! At night, Brian took his turn in the suit which eventually led to him being called, "The Party Penguin." I have some hilarious video's of our penguin (Brian) getting down!

The food was awesome, of course. Cody and Char we're my sanity. They we're troopers the entire weekend. Poor Char ended up passing kidney stones at work on Monday after over-hydrating herself during the Taste. We have already booked our place next year and I have them scheduled off work again :) I couldn't have asked for a better staff during the weekend.

During Kaleb's stay with my grandma I went down on Saturday morning to have breakfast with them and spend a few hours playing before I had to head back. After breakfast Alie, Kaleb and I laid down for a nap in my grandma's bed. Two hours later I woke up to Kaleb standing on his own in between us! The kid is standing on his own. It makes him seem so big to see him hovering there ready to take his first steps.

He is running down the couch only holding on with his 'helper hand.' I was thinking he'd be a while to walk but I might be eating my words soon. The kid is on a mission. Thank goodness we have had our video camera out non-stop lately. We've caught so many adorable moments! I cannot believe we are going to have a toddler in just a few short weeks.

Kaleb is also cutting teeth #5 and #6 so I stayed home with him Tuesday-Thursday. We had our routine down and I was really starting to enjoy being a stay and home mom. I enjoy my job too though. I have the best of both world's! Now that the taste is over you can expect a lot more Kaleb blog's- I know that's what you all want!

Kaleb is 10 months, 2 weeks and 6 days old.

10:11 AM

Bengal Fever!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Kaleb got his pictures taken on Sunday for his first birthday party invitations! We actually switched it up and went to a new studio and we we're pleasantly surprised. We did not have to do anything- this woman was amazing! As you can see, we are having a football themed party so everyone should get their gear ready! It should be a blast :)

We ordered a ton of pictures too, obviously. How can we not!? If anyone has a favorite, let me know. The studio we went to was having a super huge sale and we got our pictures for a very good price. If we order more they will continue to honor our discount so just drop me a line!
Kaleb is 10 months, 1 week & 3 days old and getting cuter by the second.

12:11 PM

Taste of Colerain

Friday, July 31, 2009

Hello... last weekend before the Taste... I know you see a pattern forming here. I have it on the brain! I got an email asking what we are serving, so here you go.

Island Shrimp Skewer- Grilled Shrimp on a Sugarcane Skewer. Mango Marinade. Old Bay Rub. Amazing.

Loaded Baked Potato Bites- Baby baked potatoes, Cheddar Cheese, Sour Cream, Chives, Real Bacon Bits. (I don't even like all of that stuff and these are my favorite!)

Pot Roast & Potato Sliders- Slider bun, Homemade Mashed Potatoes, Topped with Slow Cooked Pot Roast. Served open faced. (Mmmmm... we've prepped these out 5 times. I'm sick of Pot Roast but I'm in love with the combo!)

Honey Garlic Boneless Wings- Need I say more? This. Sauce. Is. WONDERFUL.

You want some pictures? Ok. I can do pictures. These are pictures WE took, not something we printed off some website and then plan on 'hoping' our food turns out this way. We prepped them out and then snapped some pictures.

You're hungry right? I thought so. Visit Taste of Colerain for directions and more information.

Kaleb had Lucky Charms for breakfast. Lucky Charms people!? Isn't that cereal reserved for the population of those of us OVER a year old? I don't know. It just seems very un-baby like to me. I never thought cereal could make me so happy, yet so sad at the same time.

Kaleb is 10 months, 6 days old.

10:49 AM

Organized Chaos

Thursday July 30, 2009

Ok... so to say my life is hectic right now would be an understatement of the century. Taste of Colerain is a gigantic undertaking and since it is the 20th anniversary they are expecting close to 30,000 people. My once organized, normal office now looks like this:

There is something to be said about my organizational skills. Check out that booth diagram :) This is why she loves me!
If you are in the area you should stop by... we have an amazing booth location and we are PRAYING for great weather. That could really make or break this event.


In other news my son is now doing his best to climb out of his pack-n-play. He's managed to get about half way out before falling back down. Is that normal? I really thought he could play in there for a while, I guess that's another toy I can retire soon. I managed to snap a picture of the beginning stage of his escape attempt:

On Saturday it was pretty dry and hot around here so we let Kaleb down in the grass for the first time with no shoes on :) He was pretty unsure at first but he ended up loving it. Here are a few pictures of my boys to make up for my lack of blogging recently!

Sure I'll stop for a picture Mom. Take your time.

This is his monkey crawl. Check out his feet! I love this face :)

Ok Dad- I've had enough. Let me GO!

But I will take your hat and sunglasses with me.

Of course it's just not fun unless I am pushed to the limit so K is getting his pics taken tonight for his birthday invitations... wish us luck!

Kaleb is 10 months, 5 days old.

10:47 AM

10 Months

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

On Saturday my little boy turned 10 months old. Time Flies. Here is Kaleb and I this time last year:
Kaleb is standing up like a champ. He crawls 3 different ways: army crawl, knee crawl or monkey crawl. The monkey crawl in my favorite, he crouches down and scoots himself across the floor so he's ready to stand up whenever. It's like he's walking crunched up in a ball. He can say, "Dada, Baba, Ball, Dog, Hi and my personal favorite, Mama." There is nothing I love more than hearing him scream, "Mamommmmm mamamamamom!" If you are eating regular food and try to give him baby food, forget it. The kid wants real food.
He loves to sleep in-say 10:00 am these last few weekends- Brian and I thank him for this much needed sleep. He is absolutely in love with Tigger and Pooh on the Disney channel. We have recorded a few episodes and once he hears those songs he's in a trance. I love it! He's starting with the separation anxiety especially when he's tired or isn't feeling well. (I think it's harder on me than him) These 10 months have flown by faster than I prefer. His hand hasn't slowed him down one bit. Isn't God great? We love you baby boy!
Kaleb is 10 months, 3 days old.

10:31 AM

Adventures In Fatherhood

Friday, July 24, 2009

As I mentioned in the previous post Brian & Kaleb got some serious one-on-one time this past week. As I headed out for work the boys headed for Brian's parent's house for a visit. They ended up at Golden Corral hoping to allow Kaleb a chance to sample everything he could possibly get his 4 (yep. He has 4 now) teeth around. Great Idea.

As they sit down to get drinks Brian decides that Kaleb needs a diaper change. He takes him, the wipes container and one diaper into the bathroom. (I'm sure all mother's can see Rookie Mistake #1: that is what the diaper bag is for! Don't be afraid to carry it!) As he lays Kaleb down on the changer he realizes the right side is broken so he's holding it up with his leg. Kaleb is, of course, trying to roll off, stand up, kneel-basically anything but lay down. Brian quickly realizes that Kaleb is covered in poop. It's in his shirt and his shorts so he starts attempting to undress him and ends up with poop in Kaleb's hair and up his back. He looks into the wipes container and realizes he has about 6 wipes (Rookie mistake #2: How can you not check to make sure you are fully stocked!?) He does his best with what he has but quickly moves on to toilet paper. It gets stuck all over Kaleb, who is now trying to eat the toilet paper. (Rookie Mistake #3: Toilet Paper? Restaurant toilet paper? Need I say more?) Brian gives up at this point and he takes him over to the sink and just starts rinsing him off.

As he goes to put his new diaper on Kaleb begins to pee all over and ruins the only diaper Brian brought into the bathroom. What is a distraught dad to do? He throws away his outfit, diaper, wipes container and walks my child butt naked out into the restaurant to get the diaper bag. He dresses him at the table. Brian's parents are laughing so hard at what is going on they are absolutely no help to my frazzled fiance :)
I'm happy to report Kaleb was able to eat like a champ and settled in for a long afternoon nap. Brian gave me a call at work to warn me not to ask why his diaper bag is missing items and his outfit it not coming home. Besides Kaleb coming home smelling like restaurant soap I think it was a pretty successful outing!

Kaleb is 9 months, 4 weeks and 1 day old.

9:40 AM

Lightening Kaleb

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Today it is raining pretty hard here. It has got to be pretty bad if Brian calls his crew off to stay home. The whole company did today. Guess who has K man? Brian! I am so excited that they get to spend a whole day together like they used to last winter when I went back to work and Brian stayed home with K for 8 weeks after my maternity leave was up. God love him :) He's such a good dad.

Last night we got to visit Cody & Char's new house! After 9 long months of waiting, waiting, working and more waiting they finally signed the papers on their new house. The best part? It is right down the hill from us! They are doing some cosmetic updating to the place before they move in but we put Kaleb on the floor last night and he went crazy. I now see why my child doesn't crawl up on his knee's... he's super fast! Check it out for yourself, he made it from one end of the room, across the hall and into the master bedroom in about 12 seconds. It's a little dark but you get the picture...

I cannot believe the first time we stepped foot in their house K was only 1 month old. Congrats Cody & Char! We love you :)

Kaleb is 9 months, 3 weeks and 6 days old and as fast as lightening apparently.

9:08 AM

Weekend Update

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

This weekend was pretty low-key. Brian worked on Saturday so Char and I headed out to do some shopping early that morning. We got a little carried away and ended up at Ikea, Chipolte, Target, Carter's, Micheal's... TJ Maxx... We pretty much walked the entire length of Voice of America Park. Wouldn't you know, Kaleb was SUCH an angel! Of course, Char did all the work with him. I don't think she let me push his stroller one time :) In typical-man mode he didn't let our shopping trip get in the way of his all important nap time:

On Sunday Kaleb got to go to a baby shower with his Aunt O. He had a blast and was fast asleep when he got home. Brian and I spent the time he was gone cooking. It was so much fun to prep out the stuff we are going to make for K's birthday. I cannot believe we are planning his birthday! I'll post some more of that stuff in my post tomorrow.

I've also decide to put Kaleb's age at the end of each post. It's nice to see his exact age the date I wrote the post. I've seen Baby Rabies do it forever, it just clicked that it would be nice to do with K-man. On that note...

Kaleb is 9 months, 3 weeks and 5 days old.

1:25 PM

The View From Here

Friday, July 17, 2009

My baby sitter was out sick on Wednesday and Thursday. On a very happy note... here was the view from my desk on those days.

Yep. My boy got to go to work with mom! I had him strapped in my big chair for a little while. Then he jumped in his jumper-roo for a bit. I had a small window from about 7 am to 11:30 am to get some things done each day before he went into I'm a hungry baby, feed me now mode. He, of course, did amazing. I cannot wait until he's old enough to come into work and go help out in the kitchen!

Obviously this leaves little time for blogging. We are in full party planning mode for K's birthday. Ah! Happy Weekend!

8:59 AM

How to Change A Dirty Diaper (Daddy Style)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I decided to pick up Kaleb early yesterday (around 3) and we went over to visit Ava and Dani for a bit. Kaleb started to throw his usual it's past 6 o'clock and I'm tired but won't sleep routine so we headed home. We ate, got a bath, played with the doggies, took a walk and then started dinner in hopes of eating with daddy tonight. I cooked two separate meals, one healthy for me and one fit for someone who just worked 13 hours, and sure enough he walked in 10 minutes before they were done. I sent him to the shower and set the table.

We ate our meals out back on the porch as the sun was setting. Kaleb was unusually good, probably because of his father's presence at the table. He was snacking on our food and laughing. We washed up after dinner and went to put Kaleb to sleep. I was changing the sheets when Brian looks at me, "Ugh. Ericka, is that poop? Ericka, seriously, Is that poop!?" His voice was more frantic with each word. "Yep, Looks that way. Let me grab the wipes for you." His face was priceless.

Normally I handle all the dirty ones. I don't mind, it doesn't bother me one bit. I usually trade it for something like a bubble bath. Every now and then I let him handle one though, just so he doesn't forget how it's done :)

He laid out a towel and got one flap undone before Kaleb was flipping over and trying to crawl away. "Nooo Kaleb. Daddy is trying to change your (gag) stinkies." He takes a wipe, does one swipe and throws it to the side! About 15 wipes later I decide to point out, "Kaleb has poop on his foot." Brian turned to me in horror, "No! Ewww how did that happen?" In the brief moment he stopped Kaleb took off again and when Brian reached for him he stuck his whole arm in the dirty diaper. I couldn't understand the jumbled mess that came out of Brian's mouth next because he was gagging, I was laughing and Kaleb was busy crawling around our brand new sheets with a naked butt.

I stepped in at this point, assuming he'd had enough and got them both cleaned up for bed. Brian agreed to put him to sleep so we all read a story and I jumped up to finish some laundry. I come around the corner a half hour later and Kaleb is wearing Brian's belt jumping on the pillows. "Oh it's Mom!" Brian yells and pulls him under the covers. Needless to say I had to be the bad guy and let them know that 10 pm is way past little boy's bedtime.

I love these nights.

10:09 AM


Monday, July 13, 2009

I am happy to report this weekend was uneventful. Thank God. Kaleb finished the last of his medication, Brian and I both worked Saturday, and we really did a number on the house Sunday.

Kaleb decided to be an awesome little man this weekend and sleep in until 9:30 am Sunday morning. I was so over-joyed to be able to sleep in that we whipped up breakfast for Brian. He was so happy with our little gesture he went to work right away! First he swept the pool, did some crazy landscaping in the back and made dinner for everyone. It was actually a great weekend. My parents spent the whole weekend at the shop putting the finishing touches on some of the tile. We literally have to set equipment and we are up and running. They were obviously amazed at all the work we (...I mean Brian...) had done.

Kaleb also has one tooth breaking through his gums on the top. There might be two, he isn't really into letting me take a peek right now.

I threw in some pictures for my extra-boring post. Hopefully we'll have something better later this week :)

10:21 AM

One *Bang* Up Holiday

Friday, July 10, 2009

So it's been a while since my last post, for good reason. The holiday weekend started out good. Kaleb was fast asleep before any fireworks started so we'll see how he does next year. He did get to see some sparklers and such but he wasn't too interested. He did look awful cute though!

On Monday Kaleb started to get fussy. He was a bear all day and we finally wrestled him to bed around 11 pm. I woke up to Kaleb crying about 3:30 am. It was strange. He never cries. I scooped him up and tried rocking him back to sleep. No chance. I made a warm bottle, Brian sang to him and we plopped him between us in bed. Thank God.

At 4:41 am I woke up to Kaleb moving around. It looked like he was kicking his feet and throwing a tantrum. It took all of ten seconds for my eyes to adjust and I knew something wasn't right. I screamed for B to hit the lights. It was far worse than I imagined.

Kaleb's back was arched, his little body shaking and convulsing. His eyes were fluttering back into his head, drool coming out of his mouth, pale, lips turning blue. "Call 911 and meet me upstairs!" I called to B as I ran for my parent's bedroom. My mom knew something was up as soon as my foot hit the top stair. I burst into their room at full speed. "I need help Dad! I can't think straight." My normal don't-panic, you've been through this training, you have a medical degree did not register one bit. I kept thinking, I cannot do CPR on my baby. I cannot do it.

Thank God for those moments when my Dad didn't allow his 15+ years with the fire department get clouded by Kaleb's convulsing body. We turned him on his side and I swept his throat making sure he hadn't ingested something. I held his tongue aside so he could pass air and his color perked up immediately. Five minutes later he was snoring. Of course, we couldn't wake him up but the squad was there now.

I jumped into the back and asked to do his oxygen treatment. I begged. They agreed and one of the EMT's sat in the front. I know they went against protocol but I was so thankful! About half way down to Children's Kaleb came around and screamed his head off the rest of the way. I have never been more thankful to hear those screams. Brian followed the ambulance in our car and I was proud at how level headed to entire family was- of course, this wasn't our first time.

The short version? Kaleb had a febrile seizure. 2-3% of children will have them when they suddenly get a fever. It doesn't have to be a high fever, Kaleb's was a cool 101.2 when we arrived at the hospital. It probably went from 98 to 101 in about 15 minutes and then he had the seizure. If you have one seizure, you are 30-40% likely to have another. Memorial Day weekend we found Kaleb unresponsive in his bed. He was like a wet noodle. We took him into the ER and they weren't sure at the time but they are comfortable now saying he had a seizure and we found him in the post-dictal state where he is sleeping (but unable to wake him). He is now 70% likely to have another one before he is 6. The good news? He will probably out grow these seizures. He will probably have more but now we are prepared.

His top teeth have broken the surface which could've been the reason for the spike in fever. Nice. How many more teeth do we have to go? He is on an aggressive fever treatment. He no longer to have Infant Tylenol or Motrin. He is to have a teaspoon of the Children's kind alternated every 3 hours. We have to be very careful about testing for fever's too if we want to try to head one of these off in the future.

I wonder if I should just stick one of those fever temp skin things to him permanently? I was off the last three days with our booger making sure he was good-to-go before releasing him to anyone else for the day. I am praising God that we put him in bed with us that night. I cannot begin to run down the "what-if's?" because there is a good chance he would never go back into his own bed. I am also equally thankful that I have an amazing partner who supports us in every way, an amazing dad who reminded me of my medical training and my mother who keeps us all in line and provides me with a job that allows me to stay home three days and watch over our beautiful baby boy. He ended up being okay to help Mommy cook on day 2!

The doctor at the hosptial did have the nerve to tell us, "We'll he shouldn't have been in your bed..." I'll spare you the details but let's just say it lit one smokin' fire under Brian's butt. I highly doubt she'll bring up that point with another parent again. He was very professional about it, I have to admit. She deserved every, single minute of it too.

On a Side Note: So what are the odds that my child is born without his hand? Slim to none. Completely random. So now he's one of the 2-3% who has these febrile seizures. I'm going to get some lottery tickets and I'm going to let Kaleb touch them. He's obviously got some magic quality that allows him to defy odds.