Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

This is the face she makes when she first sees Daddy when he comes home from work.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

And she's off!

Kenzie's crawling! She's been going backwards pretty efficiently for a few weeks and last Friday night she figured out how to put one hand in front of the other. She really only wants to crawl if she's headed towards something she's not supposed to have like the presents under the tree, the dog's ball, my cell phone, etc (funny how babies know what's off limits). So, at the risk of looking like a bad parent who plays fetch with her baby, I had to tease her with Kona's ball to capture this video. Note Kona watching carefully, not sure how he feels about this whole thing.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Picture This

bedhead + breadsick = adorable.
sister + brother - moderation = two tired puppies

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Not just for rabbits anymore.

Here's to orange poo!
Carrots are yummy.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Giant Monster Baby

Shortly after giving birth to McKenzie, Dustin's brother and sister-in-law, Alan and LeighAnn, came to visit us in the hospital. They had their six-month-old girl, Lily, with them. Lily was a peanut, but seeing her next to our day old baby made her look so much bigger. Dustin, in an affectionate babytalk voice, looked at Lily and said something to the effect of, "Look at you Lily. You're a giant monster baby." What he meant was, "you look so big next to our little one," but it came out a little wrong. Immediately after Alan and LeighAnn left Dustin said to me, "I hope they didn't take that the wrong way when I called Lily a giant monster baby."

For the following weeks it was a running joke in the family. Every time we all got together someone would inevitably say how big Lily looks next to McKenzie. Eventually, after Alan's persistent claims that "Lily is a normal size baby!" and LeighAnn's reassurance that no offense was really taken, the joke died down and it hasn't been mentioned since.

Why am I telling you this? Well, McKenzie had her six month well baby checkup on Saturday and she weighs almost what Lily weighed when she visited us in the hospital. I can't imagine a baby small enough to make McKenzie look big. I guess it's all about perspective. Here's a shot of McKenzie, our giant monster baby.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Every Month Counts

Ask any five-year-old how old she is and she won't tell you five. She'll say, "five and a half," or "five and three quarters," but never just five. When a person has only a couple years (or months) under her belt every month is important. Today is McKenzie's half birthday and we're going to celebrate in style!

She's doing so many new things these days, including sitting up on her own and rolling from her back to her belly. After her next doctor's appointment she will get to eat her first solid food (I've got the rice cereal ready and the baby spoons cleaned).

The "Sleep Through the Night" campaign is progressing slowly; we still have a way to go. I'll write more on that soon.

Enjoy this video of Kenzie rolling over. I know she doesn't go all the way over, but I know she can get on her belly if she's on her side so I say it counts.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Kona!

Kona turned one year old today. It seems like only yesterday...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Caption Contest

What's Kona doing?
Give the best caption and you could win big!

note: no real prize will be awarded

Sunday, November 1, 2009

D Day

Today is the day I begin a "Sleep Through the Night" campaign. It will require great dedication. It will be torturous and long and sometimes I may question my ability to make it through. The motive: more sleep for all. The method: a modified "let her cry it out" with a side of back rubbing and hand holding. I am armed with the advice of friends, family, doctors and numerous parenting books. I'm ready. I know crying won't hurt her. She'll forgive me.

She won't remember this right?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thumbs are for Wussies

Diaper changing just got a little bit harder.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Get Outside!

McKenzie LOVES to be outside. I'm trying to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible before it gets too cold. Right now we can go in and out with ease but it will be harder when I have to bundle her up with a million layers. Here are a couple pictures from a recent hike LeighAnn, Lily, McKenzie, Kona and I took.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Snore the Night Away

McKenzie has her first official runny nose. Here's a little play-by-play of my night...

  • Rock Kenzie until 11:15 pm when she finally falls to sleep

  • Quietly crawl into bed, hoping the squeaky bed spring stays quiet this one time

  • Sleep until 1:30 am when my internal clock tells me Kenzie will be waking up (which she has done precisely at 1:30 every night for the past two weeks)

  • Lie awake listening to Dustin, Kenzie, and Kona and try to determine which one of them is making that incredibly annoying gurgling sound with each exhale

  • Nudge Dustin, he rolls over...still hear the gurgling...wasn't him

  • Reach to the nightstand for something to throw at Kona (I don't want to wake the baby by calling his name)
  • After three missed throws finally hit Kona with toy, he stretches, rolls over...still hear snoring

  • Realize it's my little angel, stuffed up, poor thing, but still sleeping soundly

  • Fall back to sleep with the discovery that as a wife and pet owner I loathe snoring, but as a mom I find it surprisingly bearable.

Chalk it up to another lesson learned by a new mom.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pumpkin Head

At Plymouth Rock

If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say "pumpkin hat" while out with McKenzie this weekend I could afford to be a stay-at-home mom until she graduates college. This hat was a gift from my Aunt Gail and Uncle Steve and earned us more attention than we've ever had before. I think I'll have to leave it at home if I actually want to accomplish anything while I'm out because everyone wants to stop and talk about the gorgeous girl under the adorable pumpkin hat. Can you blame them?

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Must-Have List: Part One

Kenzie, meet Bumbo. Bumbo, Kenzie.

When Dustin and I first found out I was pregnant and began looking for items to register for, we were overwhelmed by the sheer number of products in Babies R Us. We tried not to get taken by the cute duckies and all the pink flowers and focused on just the items we felt we "needed" not the ones we "wanted." Now that I've been a mom for four and a half months (but who's counting) I'd like to take this opportunity to add a couple items to the must-have list.

The Bumbo is amazing. LeighAnn handed this down to us when Lily grew out of it and I can't believe that such a simple thing can be so useful. (Dustin is always saying, "why couldn't I have thought of that.") Kenzie can't sit up on her own yet but likes to be propped up and it gets pretty wearing on my arms and back. Now McKenzie sits next to me so I can interact with her while I prepare dinner and she is the centerpiece at our table. She entertains us while she takes turns watching daddy, mommy and Uncle Matt eat.
Another back saver: the Moby wrap. This 16 ft. long piece of fabric is a little intimidating at first (so much fabric, so little baby), but it is the coolest thing. McKenzie loves being nestled in close to me and it makes it so much more comfortable to take long walks. When I face her forward in the wrap she gets to giggle at all the crazy things Kona does while we are walking in the woods around our house. Babywearing is all the rage right now and I would definitely recommend it. It is enjoyable for both mom and baby (and probably would be for dad, too, if I could only get him to wrap himself up Obi Wan Kenobi style).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Kona Rules, Kenzie Drools

Okay, I've caught a little flack for leaving Kona out of the picture when naming our blog. I assure all you dog lovers out there that Kona hasn't gone anywhere. He is just as much a part of our family as he was before Kenzie arrived. You will hear about our wonderful pup as you watch our baby grow.

Kona keeps us on our toes and, while he's significantly easier to care for than McKenzie (can't gate her in the kitchen while I go run errands), he still occupies much of our time and we wouldn't have it any other way. He's learned many tricks and we plan to share them with you here. Kenzie can only roll one Kona go all the way over! Hana, Mindy's dog and Kona's sister, is also adept at rolling over but I guess she just didn't feel like it on this particular day. Dog lovers, enjoy!

Go, Kona, go!

Go, Hana, go?

Here's a quick video for your Kenzie fix. She is "talking" a lot these days but when she sees the camera she freezes up. This is the best I could capture for now.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


We've probably taken a hundred photos in the last two months. I picked a few for you to check out here.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Kenzie Flips

Over, that is. She's been rolling from tummy to back for a couple weeks now but up until yesterday she refused to do it on camera. She always has a look of surprise when she finally makes the turn and then gives a little victory smile.

This is just one of the many new things she is able to do. She has really good head control and likes to be propped up to sit. She holds onto toys and focuses intently on her singing caterpillar ("Red, red, you heard what I said..."). McKenzie is a pro at getting her hands into her mouth. When she's tired she gently sucks on her thumb and index finger, and during her wakeful hours she can be caught with buckets of drool falling off her chin while she tries determinedly to put her entire fist into her mouth. Is she teething? I don't know, I'm new at this.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


In an effort to bring you up to speed on the last four months of our lives I'll answer the most commonly asked questions of the past four months.

Q:Is McKenzie a "good" baby?
A: Yes. This question, which is by far the most common one we are asked, always makes me smile. I must admit, I've asked this question before, but now that I have a baby of my own I've had to rethink it. Is there such a thing as a "bad" baby? When people ask us this I assume they want to know if she is happy, what her sleeping habits are, etc. Read on.

Q: Is she a happy baby?
A: With the exception of her week at Newfound Lake (by far the worst week of her life) Kenzie rarely cries. She gets fussy when she's hungry or tired but can be soothed quickly if I know what she needs. Everyday she smiles more often and is starting to make lots of cooing noises. Dustin beat boxes for her and that is one of her favorite things.

Q:What are her sleep habits?
A: Habits? There aren't any. It seems that each week brings a new surprise and I've learned not to count on anything being like it was the night before. One thing is for sure, Kenzie does not like to sleep on her back. She startles frequetly, wakes up, and can't fall back to sleep. She's had nights where she sleeps for five hours, nurses and sleeps for three more and nights when she wakes up and wants to play at 3 am. Many people have told me that six months is the magical age when she'll start sleeping better. I hope they aren't lying.

Q: Kristen, is it weird not to be going back to work?
A: Yes and no. I never thought I'd be one to put my career on hold so readily, but I can't imagine it any other way. I love being at home with McKenzie and I know that I'll be a teacher again soon. I've applied and interviewed for a couple jobs teaching adult education at night and that might be just what I need to stay in the game without being away from Kenzie too much. We're learning how to pinch pennies so I can stay home for as long as possible

Q: Does Dustin like his new job?
A: Yes, although there are definitely tough moments. He teaches five different courses and that requires a lot of planning. He is teaching a class called "Housing and Interior Design" which is interesting because he doesn't know anything about interior design. That one requires some extra prep time. The students are a little tough but once Dustin gets his classroom routine in order I'm sure they will fall into place.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

We're New at This

We're new to a lot of things these days. There's this blog...who knows how this all really works. Then there's Dustin's new teaching job...more on that to come. And, oh, we have a new baby! We hope you enjoy hearing about our parenting adventure and we look forward to sharing our lives with you.