Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Rebecca Claire || Eight Months

 photo Blog_1487.jpg
Becca Bear is 3/4 of her way to one. She is really a delight and rarely fusses except overnight when she thinks we should still hang out, at least once. (Let's not discuss the times when it is more than once. Those moments are less thrilling.) Kip would be quick to add that one time last week at dinner she was exceptionally tired and sobbed her way through stuffing her face with roasted sweet potatoes, so she does cry other times.

Rebecca weighed about 20 pounds earlier this month when I took her for her flu shot, so that's a good estimation for Rebecca at 8 months. She is still wearing the Gap onesie in size 6-12 months, though she wears quite the assortment of sizes right now depending on brand.
 photo Blog_1489.jpg
This sweet drooling baby has two bottom teeth (that's it, still) and a little bit more hair filling in. We noticed recently that it is lighter than we thought it would be and almost looks exactly like mine when I was a little girl. Wherever we take her with Kip, people always remark, "Oh, she has her daddy's eyes!" which is so very true. Lucky me to live with these dark eyed cuties!

Rebecca's favorite activities including eating, pulling toys out of her basket on the floor, reading books, walks, songs, and talking to Mom & Dad. She's a great eater, nursing a little bit less as she adjusts to lots and lots of food. While she will eat pretty much everything, we think it's so cute and fun when we find something she really likes and kicks her legs for more. Last week it was pears from Costco!

Her favorite toys are the classic Fisher Price stackable rings (both at home and daycare) and the large lids from orange juice and almond milk containers. She loves those things! As soon as she starts crawling, I am sure we will need to reexamine everything that is at baby level because she is certainly curious.
 photo Blog_1488.jpg
Overnight she loves to cozy up in her pajamas and her magic merlin suit. Unlike most babies, Rebecca does not roll over in that puffy sleep suit so we keep using it! If she wasn't wearing it, we know she would be sitting up in her crib because we've seen her do it on the floor countless times, going from rolling to her knees to her bottom. But she's also not crawling, just thinking about it.

Randomly Rebecca will use a pacifier - she does at school for her limited napping - but she is never that interested. It's just an occasional accessory. I have no idea what this means, and it seems weird she would develop a preference for a pacifier at 8 months old! Her napping is much better for us at home, she goes down without a fight, and we're constantly brainstorming with daycare to see what we can do to help her get more sleep there.
 photo Blog_1490.jpg
I took these photos while Kip was working last weekend which was definitely challenging. She wants to roll over and look out the window as soon as I lay her on her back, and she also started trying to lunge forward off the chair. Daredevil baby! She is in constant motion, so we'll see how she does at family photos with our beloved Erica May. We most often call her Becca Bear, and we really do adore that little bear.

Friday, October 21, 2016

K-State v. Texas Tech || Rebecca's First Football Game & Oktoberfest

 photo Blog_1478.jpg
Before we talk about the game, I need to explain Kip's absence at the game! Much to their surprise, Kip and his dad "drew" antelope tags this year for Kansas. They were not expecting to get to hunt antelope this year, but they were excited for the opportunity. Kip and Keith headed out west to scout and hunt the first weekend of October, and though there were some close calls, they came home without antelope. Kip said something to the effect of thanking me for letting him go, but my response, without hesitation, was that I was so glad he went with his dad. That's very special time - four days, father and son together. We're about to enter deer season, so feel free to ask if I'm still feeling this patient in mid-November!
 photo Blog_1480.jpg
So because Kip was hunting, Mom, Lauren, Rebecca and I loaded up the van and headed to Manhattan. Luhrs Ladies on the road! Rebecca was wearing another one of her darling new K-State outfits and because it was super warm at the tailgate, she was comfortable before we went into the game. And adorable, obviously.
 photo Blog_1485.jpg
Besides her first football game, Rebecca was also attending her first tailgate. And it was Oktoberfest! A perennial favorite, they even had a wedding shower at the Oktoberfest game two years ago. Our adventurous eater ate pretty much a whole bierock by herself so she was really getting into the German mood! Sometimes Becca makes the funniest expressions, so I tried to capture all of them in the photos of her from her first game.
 photo Blog_1479.jpg
We picked up mom's first cousin Becky Jo (also a Rebecca) on our way into town, plus we were able to visit briefly with some friends from KC that now live in Newton, Kansas. Joan and John Stretcher walked all the way over to say hello on their way into the game and meet Rebecca. (You can see Don Norton still in his official German/Kansas lederhosen in the background!)
 photo Blog_1486.jpg
Rebecca's bedtime is usually between 6 and 6:30, so a 6:05 kickoff was a pretty tricky thing to pull off. The photo of the two of us in front of the stadium is a perfect capture of Rebecca's sleepy face. She was fighting sleep at this point!
 photo Blog_1482.jpg
It was still nice as we were going into the game, and I carried a jacket for Rebecca, one for me, plus pants that I could put on her when it was time. We were both warm and cozy with the extra heat the Ergo provides. She was asleep in the Ergo before kickoff, a truly remarkable feat since it was Harley Day. Only a very tired baby can fall asleep with 100 Harleys roaring around the stadium. I went to find the nursing mom's room early in the first quarter, and while it was nice to be able to watch the TV, it would have probably been easier just to take her to Mom's car and about the same walking distance. The room at Bill Snyder Family Stadium doesn't compare to the one at the K.
 photo Blog_1484.jpg
I had no idea what to expect, but Rebecca definitely woke up after eating and was awake for all of the first and second quarter. We took the baby headphones but they are almost impossible for the baby to wear in the Ergo because she keeps one ear pressed against my chest! They worked much better when we were flying with my dad to Nebraska.
 photo Blog_1483.jpg
The good news was that even when she was awake, she was very happy! This blurry photo was too cute not to share, especially with her sweet little teeth. She bounced and looked around and was fine until halftime where I fed her again, bundled her up and put her back in the Ergo. She slept part of the third quarter and some of the fourth, screamed and cried until we got on I-70 and sweetly slept all the way back to KC. It was a lot of work, and I admire all the parents who take their babies to all the games. We are so fortunate to have family to help at the game, a RV to get out of the elements, friends that we sit with, and two loving grandparents a couple miles west of the stadium who want to spend time with her on game days too.

The other good news was that the Cats won, and it was a fantastic game. It was super fun to watch, and the weather finally felt like fall in Manhattan.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Jennie, Joe and Grace in Kansas City.

 photo Blog_1463.jpg

Jennie, Joe and Grace spent September 30 through October 3rd in Kansas City, and we loved getting to spend at least part of every day with them. To sum up their visit: the girls were busy playing and the grown-ups were busy eating barbeque. Grace will be two later this month, and she was pretty into baby Rebecca. Here are a few photos from our adventures!

 photo Blog_1460.jpg

They arrived in from Chicago late on Friday night, but we were all up and ready to go on Saturday morning! We put their girls in their matching outfits, and Kip made waffles, bacon and eggs before we packed up to head to Roe Park to meet up with other friends from KC and high school. One of our high school classmates had a darling little four-year-old who thought she should join in the fun with all the photos. Rebecca is oblivious to all the love. (But I am loving her little leg rolls in her leggings!)

 photo Blog_1461.jpg

While we planned for the baby girls to match, it's just a coincidence that Jennie and I are wearing some of the same colors.

 photo Blog_1466.jpg

After the park, we spent the afternoon at our house. We had lunch with my mom, Rebecca took a TWO hour nap while Jennie, Joe and I walked with Grace around the neighborhood and through Sprouts. We were inspired to make chocolate chip cookies by the bakery section, and Joe and I discussed the merits of measuring in grams vs. ounces while baking and how to use an oven thermometer to get a more accurate read for baking. Basically, we loved catching up on life and having the Conti family in Kansas City. It was their first time meeting Becca and the first time Kip and Joe met too!

 photo Blog_1465.jpg

For dinner we grabbed Oklahoma Joe's takeout to enjoy at another friend's house in the backyard, loving the perfect fall weather. We would end up eating fantastic KC barbeque twice while they were visiting as we couldn't resist a chance to see everybody again on Monday AND eat at Q39. What can we say, we love when people come to KC and want to eat fantastic food!

 photo Blog_1462.jpg

Rebecca made some hilariously concerned faces when we put both girls in the grass to snap some more photos, but in general, she was up for all the adventures while Jennie, Joe and Grace were here. She just wasn't too sure about the extra hugs! It is so nice to have these photos from their visit so we can watch how the girls grow over the years. Thankful for all the family time together in KC this fall!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Fall Weekend Wrap Up || September 24-25

 photo Blog_1448.jpg
Yeah! Another fall weekend! You can tell Rebecca is excited about the extra mom and dad time. Or whatever music was playing at Cider Hill Family Orchard - she loves to dance when we sing songs or there is music playing! On Saturday morning the 24th, Rebecca, Mom, Kip and I drove out to Cider Hill to pick up some apples for making applesauce. 
 photo Blog_1447.jpg
There were tons of people out to pick apples, but we really just wanted to buy them. This year the cost was the same whether you pick them up or pick them yourselves, so we bought our apples, snacked on some kettle corn, and enjoyed the new pavilion and the cool breeze. And what's cuter than a baby sitting on a box of apples? Not much I tell you.
 photo Blog_1451.jpg
It was good that we got a jump start on the day because we had a lot going on! Lauren was a bridesmaid in Megan's wedding, and we were excited to be attending as guests. The wedding was at Jacob's Well in Westport, and the ceremony was beautiful. A pastor from Megan's childhood performed the ceremony, and she did a great job. Just like at our wedding, she had Megan and Rehaan turn around and look at all the people there supporting their marriage. Since marrying Kip, I always cry at weddings because I'm so happy to be married to him.
 photo Blog_1450.jpg
Kip stayed home during the ceremony so that the time with the babysitter wasn't quite as long and met us at the beautiful reception site in the West Bottoms. Rebecca went to bed for sweet babysitter Grace, a big first for Becca. Previously only Kip and I have put her to bed! So when Grace text at 6:45 to ask for the wifi code and tell us Rebecca was asleep, I felt like I had won the lottery. Parents night out at a fantastic wedding reception for great people!
 photo Blog_1449.jpg
The reception site, The Faultless Building, is the farthest north than I have ever been in the West Bottoms, practically at the edge of the river. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and we loved seeing the table centers that Megan & Rehaan used! Much like the boxes from our wedding, they found wooden boxes on Etsy and filled them with gorgeous flowers - and they used the same florist. I love all things navy so the navy and gold details were right up my alley. We joked that Kip could make some more and sell them on Etsy, and then I decided I was still glad to be out of the Etsy business

Kip declared the toasts from the wedding the best that he could remember. Megan's sister and maid of honor, Allie, recruited her brother to help with the toast. It was funny no matter how well you know the bride and groom - Kip was cracking up as well. Besides delicious wedding cake, they also had a s'mores bar with various candy bars. Kip's favorite dessert! Megan and Rehaan are both medical professionals in the Denver area, and we are so excited it worked out for these kids.
 photo Blog_1446.jpg
Sunday afternoon we had a very special treat with a trip to Q39! Kip's parents were introduced earlier in September when they came to a soccer game for Kenny's birthday, and they couldn't wait to comeb back. We were happy to meet them for lunch, especially because Kip's aunt Sara and uncle Glen were visiting from Arizona. It is not a stretch to say it's some of the best barbeque in the country, and one of the best in KC for sure. Rebecca was sweet as ever; it's her specialty these days. Thankful for her easy going personality so we can take advantage of all the wonderful things about fall.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Five Books of September.

 photo Blog_1459.jpg
I started September with The Happiness Project and have been on a deep dive reading and listening to Gretchen Rubin's writing and podcasts ever since. My cousin is a big fan, and it was time I got started reading too. This was an excellent read, and it made me really think about a few things. Especially the precious time I have with Rebecca and Kip each day and how that time could be happier. We're still trying to figure out how to get Rebecca to sleep more but reflecting on this book and what we can do to help, Kip and I decided that a big focus should be that I try to go bed earlier. It does help! Gretchen Rubin is intense, but the narrative way she writes is friendly. It's easy to take her suggestions and say, YEP, I could do that. Or, NOPE, not for me. If you want to start down your own Gretchen Rubin rabbit hole, start with the podcast, her quizzes, etc. And if you have just even the littlest itch to think about how day-to-day life could be happier, read the book!

Liane Moriarty did it again with Truly Madly Guilty. It's a captivating story that gave me a good dose of anxiety, so I read all 400+ pages quickly trying to get it all figured out. It's not exactly the same as Big Little Lies and The Husband's Secret, though she's got sort of a formula she follows. I'm still not sure I'll keep up with all her books, but it's easy to see why she has fans.

Exposure was our book club pick for September! I finished it but feel sort of "meh" about this Cold War British "spy" story. The reviews on Amazon were positive so it seemed like a good pick!
 photo Blog_1458.jpg
Masterminds is one of about 50 books that I recently prepared book talks for at school. The characters all live in a small town called "Serenity" that is seemingly perfect. But something is definitely not perfect because when they try to get out of town to explore they are immediately sick and can't go on. I loved this one and feel great recommending it to kids! I will not keep reading the series though...this is a common theme in my reading. I rarely ever get past book one.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children just opened in theaters as a new movie, but I thought the book was creepy enough I do not need to see the movie. My book club cohort has almost all read the whole series, which is super fun! I needed to catch up since they don't normally all beat me to young adult lit. It gave me the heebie jeebies in the middle of the night, probably because the photographs that are included are so weird!