Kale hitting four months in September is absolutely perfect. He's finally at an age where we can DO things. The past three months have been all about breastfeeding, sleeping and snuggling, but now Kale wants to be on the move at all times (I'm in so much trouble when this kid gets mobile). So starting a new schedule in September works great for us and since all the new fall classes are starting up, everything seems to be aligning. Yesterday I signed us up for four (yes, FOUR. Am I insane) classes.
Monday's - Baby Signing. Yup, Kale is going to learn baby sign language so we can communicate with signs before he develops words. I've heard that baby's who sign have fewer tantrums because they don't get frustrated when they want to tell you something but don't have the abillity. He'll learn how to sign things like "more" and "milk" and "full" (although we all know that he's never going to need that one....). I think he might be a bit young even though the class is open to 3-12 month olds, but at the very least he'll be hanging out with other babies and improving his hand-eye coordination.
Tuesday's - Swimming! I can't deny him his love of the pool despite my hatred for cholorine. He'll learn how to float, go under the water (OMG), and just get comfortable swimming around and playing.
Wednesday - Music class. I'm really excited for this one because I lack any and all music skills, but want Kale the have the opportunity to develop his own. The class is a mix of singing and playing instruments and I'm sure it's going to be loud and hilarious. All the babies attending will be born in 2010 so I can also guarantee that it's going to be super cute.
Thursday - Salsa dancing! Yes - Kale and I are going to salsa up a storm. I love dancing and have always wanted to learn to dance a proper salsa. Now I'm going to learn with a baby strapped to my chest! I'm willing to bet serious dollars that Kale will sleep through this class since he normally konks out after two songs when we dance at home.
I can't wait to do all of this fun stuff with Kale because we are totally over hanging out at home and taking walks to the park to lay in the grass. All of the classes are only 30-45 min. - just long enough to keep Kale entertained, but not so long that I'll be totally exhausted with this schedule. And best of all? We'll still have our afternoons for breastfeeding, sleeping and snuggling....
Just over a year ago I was sitting in my friend Lexy's kitchen while she told me about meeting a guy in the park while taking her dog for a walk. He was also there with his dog and they ended up chatting and they really hit it off (in a friendly way - she'd been dating Les for nearly a decade). While she talked, I aimlessly flipped through some photo's on facebook that a pregnant friend had posted and was commenting on how great they looked. The phone rang and Lexy picked up and I could hear a male voice on the other end. She was being a bit shady, trying to keep her voice low and doing a really bad job of covering up the fact that she didn't want to talk to the other person in front of me. When she hung up the phone she looked at me and said "promise me you won't tell anyone. Not even Kris." And I said, "OHMYGOD, you're having an affair with the guy from the park!" and she said "No! I'm PREGNANT!"
And then we screamed and hugged and said ohmygod about 800 times.
And THEN, about a month later, I got pregnant. And we spent the next 7 months being pregnant and awesome together. Here we are at our MA graduation. Aren't we super cute pregnant women?!
On March 17th Lexy gave birth to Hudson and 7 weeks later along came Kale. Needless to say, the boys are Forced Best Friends Forever.
Last week Lexy and Les got married and last night they celebrated with friends and family. It was such a fun evening. Lexy looked incredible, Hudson was on his best behaviour, and Kris and I got to dress up for the first time in what seems like forever. Here's a few photo's to recap our night...
My incredibly handsome men.
Before we even walked in the door Kris had spit up on his shoulder and I had breast milk down the front of my dress. Classy.
Kale danced for two songs with us before he passed out.
Hey, it was an open bar! What do you expect?!
The beautiful couple.
Hudson. Strapped in with the headphones on.
Love this boy.
And guess what? The kid freaking loved it.
Then I got pregnant and started reading about attachment parenting and my BFF Dr. Sears and his lovely lady Martha told me all about the benefits of wearing your baby. Not only can you get things done, but babies who are worn also cry less, learn more, are more organized, and are SMARTER. You can read all about these benefits here.
Before Kale was born we bought a ZoloWear ring sling and a Beco Butterfly 2 and our super cute doula Monique gave us some tips on good positions for newborns. When Kale was born I was a bit nervous about using the ring sling. Well, I was basically a bit nervous about everything so it shouldn't be a surprise that figuring out how to hold my tiny infant in piece of material with two metal rings wasn't exactly a calming activity. Eventually I gained confidence in it and found that I could still get the dishes done, throw in a load of laundry, or simply chill on the back deck with a good book while Kale was snuggled close to me in the sling.
Kris and I both LOVED the Beco right away. It was super easy to strap Kale in and he felt totally secure. The Beco quickly became our choice carrier for times when we knew we'd be wearing Kale for longer periods of time, like the grocery store or a trip to the park. The ring sling was best for short errands and getting things done around the house. It didn't take long before I stopped lugging the 800lb. car seat through stores in favour of slipping of Kale into the sling. He rarely woke when we transitioned him from sling to car seat or sling to bed and when he did he'd just open his eyes for a second or two and then drift off again. We also stopped using the stroller since he spent 90% of his time in there screaming and again, it's at least 600lbs. and doesn't exactly fit neatly through the aisles of Pier 1.
As the summer warmed up the cotton ring sling and the Beco made wearing Kale a very hot adventure and so I bought a Sew Funky mesh sling. Not only is the sling great for hot weather and using in the water, but it's made here in Guelph! In fact, Tanja, the woman who makes them lives right down the street. Anyway, Kris quickly became jealous of my cool new mesh ring sling and while he attempted to wear it a few times, he isn't a man of patience for little details and he'd often have the sling down by his belly and the fabric straining against his neck. So for his birthday Kale bought him a Sew Funky pouch sling and it was love at first wear. Kris loves to wear Kale and he takes him for a walk almost every night before bed in his pouch sling. I think that a big reason Kris loves wearing Kale so much is because he secretly loves the attention they get.
I've since become addicted to carriers and recently purchased a Kozy Mei Tai so that I could do a high back carry. I haven't mastered that carry yet, but still love using the Mei Tai for doing tummy to tummy. Plus, it has a super cute owl pattern.
Even though I think that babywearing is pretty common in my town, we still get lots of looks and comments from strangers whenever we're wearing Kale. 99.9% of the things people say are positive and a lot of older women normally say something about how they wish they had something like that for their kids. On different message boards people have shared some of the negative comments they've received from strangers about wearing their toddlers and maybe that will happen as Kale gets older, but so far we've gotten mostly "ahhhhhh! sooo cute" comments.
I'm not sure I would have survived the first few weeks of Kale's life without wearing him. We had some challenges in those days and Kale cried ALOT and often the only thing that would calm him down would be to go for a walk in the sling. Now that Kale has adjusted to life a little better he doesn't cry very often and I credit that a lot to him being worn. I think if we were stuck on having him in the stroller or carrying him in the carseat, outings would be a lot more difficult since he hates sitting in either of those things. We also wear Kale down almost every night. One of us takes him for a walk in the sling or the beco or the mei tai and he normally falls asleep after ten minutes and when we get home we can easily slip him into bed. For the most part, Kale is perfectly content being worn and loves to look around and take in the world while feeling totally secure next to his mom or dad. He went through a phase a little while ago where he totally resisted being worn and only wanted to be carried directly in our arms. That (thankfully) seems to have passed and we're back to wearing him all around town.
Here are a few of our babywearing photo's....enjoy!
On Sunday we stopped in the Sugar Bush to see my very awesome friend Bran Don Davis, who has been living abroad for way too long. A bunch of my very best and very oldest friends were staying with him as they had all gone to a wedding the night before. We walked in around 1pm, just in time to watch everyone roll out of bed with a fresh hangover to relive foggy memories of the night before. It was very much like walking into the year 2001....except I was holding a baby. Funny how life changes...
When we got home, Kale was exhausted but very happy to be reunited with his jumperoo. Kris and I were also very exhausted and when Kale went to bed at 8pm, we were very happy to be reunited with a bottle of wine...
To make everything just that much better, Kale discovered that he can scream this week. He can hit notes that even dogs can't hear.
Our cat was so freaked out that he jumped through the screen door last night to escape.
Ok. That's not true. He did jump through the screen door (like a bullet), but it was to attack a neighbouring cat. Apparently a lack of sleep has had an affect on him.
Thankfully, Kale gives me these looks during the day and I can keep going:
If this post actually makes any sense at all I'll be totally impressed.
Thankfully, Kale slept most of the way there despite his continuing hatred for the carseat. We checked into the B&B, picked up a cheese & cracker platter, and had a really nice time at the party. Kale started dozing around 8:30 and so went back to our room to try and settle him in for the night. It took a bit of extra time to get him down because there was no air conditioning and so Kale was in his diaper and he gets super excited when he's naked...
The best part about the B&B was the giant bed. I think it was bigger than a king size. Kale was able to sleep in between us with his arms sprawled and we didn't even come close to touching him. Such a nice change from the three of us squeezed into our queen sized bed with bed rails. Apparently Kale liked it too since he slept like a rock and only woke up twice for a quick bite to eat. It was so nice to get a good nights sleep.
The second best thing about the B&B was the amazing breakfast which made me question why we ever stay in hotels with their crummy continential breakfast. Before breakfast Kale and Kris read the paper out on the porch:
We got home yesterday feeling well rested and ready to tackle another week. Kale's teething pains seem to have settled a little. Yet, despit my best efforts to recreate the B&B scene in our own bedroom last night Kale still had a restless sleep. We're considering putting our queen sized bed together with the spare double bed to make the family bed bigger.... I'm willing to do just about anything for a good nights sleep these days.
Here are some extra photo's from the weekend:
Irritability. As the sharp little tooth rises closer to the surface your baby's gums may become increasingly more sore and painful, leading to your baby being very fussy.
Drooling. From three to four months of age you may see your baby start drooling more often than normal. Teething often stimulates drooling.
Chin Rash. If your baby is a big drooler, the constant contact with saliva can cause the skin around the chin and mouth to become irritated.
Chin rash? CHECK.
Biting & gnawing. A baby that is teething will gnaw and gum down on anything she or he can get their mouth around.
Biting & gnawing? CHECK.
Also, coughing (CHECK!), diarrhea (CHECK!), cold like symptoms (CHECK!), and best of all....not sleeping well (CHECK!).
Yes, that would be a pillow under his feet. He can't reach the ground yet.
Kale loves the jumperoo. He has full on conversations with the monkey and the bird and there's even space for his best friend Sophie the Giraffe to hang out. He doesn't even have to lift her, he just lowers his face to chew on her legs. This is Kale's version of heaven. Oh, and it plays music and animal noises every time he bounces. Which is every four seconds. This, of course, is our version of hell.
It's tragic. Babies are supposed to love being in the car. Haven't we all heard the stories of parents driving their babies around the block at 3am because it's the only way they'll sleep? So why does Kale hate it so much? I mean, he really, really HATES being in his car seat. Not only does he scream, but he turns bright red and gasps and chokes for air. His eyes fill up with tears and if you're the lucky one who gets to sit next to him in the back seat in an attempt to calm him, he'll look right into your eyes and it is the.hardest.thing.to.handle.
This happens just about every time we get in the car. Even if it's just for 10 minutes. So imagine what it's like when we try to make a three hour trip. Well, allow me tell you.....
Kris and I had been contemplating a visit to my parents all week. We haven't seen them in awhile and Kale changes so much so quickly. Friends of ours were also having an engagement party up that way and so we thought we could drop in on that. The only thing holding us back was Kale and the car seat. But on Saturday morning we decided to wait until Kale was ready for a nap, strap him in and just drive. He actually did really well, sleeping for the better part of the trip. He would wake at the red lights, scream for the duration of the light, and then fall back asleep as soon as we started to move. About two hours into the trip we had to stop for gas and we were both starving. We pulled into a rest stop and while Kris went in to grab us some lunch, I fed Kale. The line up was really long and it was pretty hot out, so I kept the air conditioning running until Kris got back. When we were set to go, we turned the key, and............nothing.
The battery was dead. Ugh.
Thank goodness Kris's aunt lives in the town that we stopped in and was able to come give us a boost. Seriously - so lucky.
At the very least, we did get a visit in. Even if it was in a McDonald's parking lot.
An hour and a half after stopping for a quick bite, we were back on the road. Except for the this leg of the trip, Kale was not asleep. Kris and I took shifts in the back seat with him because really, one person can only handle so much. I swear, he looks right into the depth of your soul with those big blue tear-filled eyes and it just breaks your heart into tinny little jagged smithereens. He did this for the whole hour. We talked to him, sang to him, tried to play with him....we literally had a ton of toys, but he wasn't interested at all....
Eventually, we made it. By this point, both Kris and I were on edge - stressed and tired from the entire ordeal. Those who didn't have to make the trip with Kale were very happy to see him...
You'd think Kale would be exhausted after a day like that, and he was, but he fought sleep for most of the visit. The car seat drama, the sleep fighting...ugh. What should have been a relaxing trip was just exhausting.
On Sunday morning we packed up our things and drove over to have brunch. As we pulled in the parking lot, we looked in the backseat and Kale was passed out. We quickly u-turned and headed for home in hopes of making most of the trip with him sleeping. We had to stop at a mall along the way when he woke up so we could walk around for awhile. Kris was holding him in his arms when we noticed that he'd passed out again. We quickly ordered some coffee and headed straight for the car. Thankfully, we made the rest of the trip home with Kale asleep.
So...yeah. That's what it's like to travel with a three month old that hates his car seat.
But now he's three months. The fourth trimester is over. He's officially a little human being and boy, does he ever let us know that. Kale still loves to be held close and wants to be on the move all.the.time., but he's really developing his own personality these days and enjoys spending some time independently.
Basically, he's awesome.
Weight: 15 lbs.- that's right, he's now TWICE his birth weight. When we tell strangers that he's three months they get this schocked look on their face and then we say "yes, he's a big boy." I absolutely LOVE his chubby cheeks and rolly polly thighs and I think it's awesome that he's so big and healthy from breast milk only.
Height: approx. 25 inches. (it's tough to measure a wiggling baby)
What size of clothes is he wearing?: 3-6 months. Right now he fits in this size perfectly. The other day we were contemplating buying him some new sleepers because the 3-6m. size only goes up to 16lbs. I'm guessing that by four months he's going to be in the next size.
Milestones in the past month:
- Discovery of his hands. I would estimate that Kale's hands are in his mouth 90% of the day. He's sucking and chewing and drooling all over them. A couple weeks ago he figured out how to seperate his thumb from the rest of the hand and has turned into a certified thumb sucker. Sometimes when he's sleeping in the bedroom he'll start sucking his thumb so loudly that we can hear him down the hall in the living room. He continues to refuse a pacifier, but that's ok with us. Kale can use his thumb to comfort himself and can put himself back to sleep if he wakes. Sometimes he wakes up from a nap and is perfectly content to lie there sucking his thumb for awhile.
- Talking. When Kale was two months he started making cute little baby noises. Now he has full on conversations. Anytime you stand him up facing you, he starts to tell you a story. Not only are the noises he makes totally adorable, the facial expressions are to die for. He throws his entire body into that conversation. His eyebrows go, his forehead furrows, and his legs kick while he stretches his neck to get as close as possible to your face.
- Sleeping. I don't want to jinx anything, but Kale has become an excellent night sleeper. He only wakes up once to nurse and oddly enough, he wakes up at 4am - the exact time the cat likes to be fed. Apparently they share an internal alarm clock. After he eats, he'll go down for another couple of hours, but they can be restless for him unless he's elevated.
- Reaching out and grabbing things. While he still gets more misses than hits, Kale has started to reach out to grab things. I swear it's entirely motivated by the fact that he wants to put it in his mouth since everything he does get a hold of heads in that direction. It takes an awful lot of concentration for him and he's pretty amusing to watch.
- Sticks his tongue out. I'm not sure why he does this, but one week it was like he discovered he had a tongue and for the two solid weeks he would stick it out all the time.
- Smiles. While he started smiling at two months, now he smiles at just about everyone and everything. When strangers smile at him, he smiles back. When he wakes up in the morning, he has endless smiles. I remember in the first month of Kale's life when he was crying so much that I would have mini-freakouts, convinced that I had the unhappiest baby ever. Now, nothing could be further from the truth. The kid loves to smile.
- Laugh. We've only heard it a couple of times, but we've definitely heard some laughs. When we do something that he really loves, he opens his mouth as wide as possible and every now and then, a laugh manages to escape.
Special outings in the last month:
- St. Jacob's Market - this is where Kale learned about obesity.
- Casey's Birthday - Kale's first kids birthday party.
- Guelph Arboretum
What is his routine?: For the past couple of weeks Kris and I have been tracking when Kale sleeps and eats to see if he's starting to adopt a schedule. Our research shows that Kale tends to take about 4 naps a day (two short ones in the morning, a longer one in the afternoon and one around dinner). He eats 8-10 times a day (more lately since he's been going through a growth spurt) and generally goes to bed between 9-10pm and wakes up around 7:30am. None of this can be banked on though, since he likes to mix it up all the time. I think that as he gets older he'll start to stick to some kind of schedule, but we're definitely not forcing it.
We have developed a night time routine for Kale. When he starts to get sleepy we start the routine, which helps all of us wind down from the day. Again, as Kale gets older we hope that this night time routine will be an indicator that it's time to go to sleep, but right now it's just about winding down. The great part about having a night time routine is that you can start at any time, so if we get home late one night or if we notice he's sleepier earlier that usual, he still gets the same cues that it's the end of the day. Our night time routine goes like this:
Bath - one of us will have a bath with him, wash him up and play in the water.
Naked time - we put a towel down on our bed and let Kale kick it naked for awhile. He loves to thrash his arms and legs around when he's naked and watch the ceiling fan.
Massage - we moisten him up with some lotion and gently massage him from head to toe. You'd think this would relax him, but generally he keeps dancing and laughing.
PJ's - we bundle him up in a fresh diaper and pj's
Walk - normally this is Kris's part of the night. He puts Kale in the sling and the two of them tour the neighbourhood. By the time they get back Kale is normally sleeping and it's just a matter of putting him down in the bed and he's out for the night.
Kale's favourite things to do:
- Eat his hands/suck his thumb
- Stand on your lap and tell stories
- Be naked
- S tare at the ceiling fan, his airplanes above his crib, and trees
- Go for walks in the sling
Photo's of Kale from this month:
Kale giving me the business about his hair.
Look at his child's luscious locks! The first thing that comes out of people's mouth's when they meet this little man is usually "Oh my! Look at all that hair!" It's his TRADEMARK. So imagine our dismay when we started to notice that it is beginning to thin out. We were warned that babies tend to lose their hair, but we thought that Kale was going to be the exception. He just had so much! Ugh. Not only is it starting to fall out, but it's fall out in a ring around his head so that he still has lots of hair up top and at the nape of his neck. To add to the horror of it all, we noticed last night that he's developed a slight case of cradle cap and this morning it seems to have gone from slight to full-on. Kale is obviously upset. This is what he thinks of the situation:
Thankfully he still has his two best friends for comfort....Left Thumb and Right Thumb. Mama, on the other hand, is a mess.