Sunday, April 16, 2017

An Alway Family Easter — 2017

Happy Easter from our two little bunnies!


We celebrated Easter this year at my parents' house, and it turned out to be a super low-key, relaxing weekend — exactly what we needed! My family is big on traditions, and for Easter we have a few that we are intent on passing on to Ryder and Kiley.

We colored Easter eggs.









We made a Bunny Cake.



We gave out Easter baskets.


We had an indoor Easter egg hunt.

I put a mini marshmallow inside each of the plastic eggs and I don't think Ryder could have been more thrilled...

We got dressed up and went to church.

Actually, it was just Nana and Ryder who went to church, but it does continue to be a tradition for some family members.


We had an outdoor Easter egg hunt.

During Ryder's nap, Stew and I the Easter Bunny re-hid all the eggs out in the front yard, and once again Ryder had the time of his life running around looking for them and eating more mini marshmallows. I have a feeling that Easter, with all of it's treats, is going to end up being his favorite holiday, just like his daddy. 





My brother AJ, my sister-in-law Morgan, and their little egg, still cooking...

Not quite old enough for egg hunts yet. Next year will be another story...
Kiley hung out in the yard.


She wasn't quite sure what to think of that big, bright ball up in the sky... she hasn't had much experience with the sun, yet.







Sidewalk Chalk.

For whatever reason, Ryder always seems to receive sidewalk chalk as an Easter present. Just one look of it and chills of fear run over my entire body, so I do not participate in this particular activity. Did you know that Calxophobia, or the fear of chalk, is a real thing? 




After a lovely afternoon hanging around outside with the kids, my mom served an absolutely delicious ham dinner with all the trimmings. 

Although it was just a small group of us this year, it was honestly the most relaxing holiday I can remember having in a long time.

We hope that you had a wonderful Easter as well. 
Now bring on Spring! 

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Dear Kiley... Two Months


Dear Kiley, 

You're two months old and such a little doll!

Although we are trying our hardest to soak up and enjoy each and every moment, it seems like the time is just flying by.

It's been a busy month!

You celebrated your first St. Patrick's Day!




St. Patrick's Day is a big holiday in our family. Not only is my family Irish, but March 17 is also the date of Mommy and Daddy's wedding. This year marked our fifth anniversary, and to celebrate we went out to a fancy dinner, just the two of us. It meant leaving you for the very first time, but you were in safe hands with your big brother at Nana and Papa's house.

You were not entirely thrilled with our St. Patrick's Day photo shoot...

The next day was lots of fun!

Instead of a having a traditional shower for you before you were born, your Aunties Nichole and Morgan hosted a little family "meet and greet" to shower you with love when you were about five weeks old. It was a wonderful way for everyone to spend some quality time with both of us, and your aunties really went above and beyond what we ever could have expected with a super adorable Woodland Forest Creatures themed event at Nana's house.


You were a very well-behaved guest of honor.

Matching outfits with Auntie Nichole.

You got to spend lots of quality time with your cousins, Sophia and Aubrey. They love you so much!



That same weekend, you rolled over for the first time!


You have never been a fan of Tummy Time, so it actually didn't surprise me that you were eager to get off your belly. 



You like spending short periods of time on your play mat, especially when Big Brother is there to help entertain you. 




And although it took a while, you've finally agreed that you sort of like your swing, and will spend short awake periods in it, even sometimes falling asleep for cat naps. 


You still sleep quite a bit, and I love taking pictures of your angelic little face.




And taking photos of you sleeping with Daddy is still one of my favorite activities...






You sometimes sleep in some funky positions!



And you seem to particularly like sleeping on your side, sometimes dozing off in random places like that.





Just like your brother, you seem to like your Baby Bjorn bouncer chair, I think because it's easy for us to put up on the table or counter so that you're at eye level with us.


The weather around here since you were born has been absolutely terrible!

I hate keeping you cooped up in the house all the time, but it's been incredibly rare for the rain to stop long enough for us to get outside at all. However, we have managed to get out for a couple of short walks around the neighborhood in our new double stroller, which you've seemed to enjoy...



All bundled up for a chilly trip over to the park.

You started smiling!

This is pretty much our favorite thing that has happened this month. At first the only person you would smile for was Daddy, and you still grin for him every single time. But now you're willing to share your sweet little gummy smile with almost everyone, and it makes all of your other crabby moments absolutely worth it. 





We've had you try a bunch of different pacifiers, and to my disappointment the only one you seem to tolerate is this big ugly "Soothie."


Sometimes it looks like you might become a thumb sucker...


Most evenings you go through a period of extreme fussiness, and being carried around is the only thing that will calm you down.

It can get tiring, so often Daddy or I will wear you for hours in the baby carrier, because it's the only way we can get anything else done or spend any quality time with your brother.



Ryder continues to be an amazing big brother. 

He talks to you and tries to comfort you when you're upset, delivers burp rags and helps with diaper changes, talks to you in the car, and constantly wants to give you hugs and little kisses. 

It's just the sweetest thing I've ever seen...




Unfortunately this month you ended up with some pretty horrible baby acne and cradle cap. The cradle cap was actually so bad that it infected both your ears and began to look super painful, so we took you to the doctor and got a special wash to help it heal. At that particular visit you clocked in at 11 pounds, 4 ounces. 



Your bright little eyes light up every single day.


Sadly, Daddy went back to work last week, so for the first time we were all on our own for 24 straight hours.

I was very apprehensive about how I would handle two kiddos (especially at bedtime) all on my own, but you and your brother were actually very well behaved and we got though it just fine. We sure were lonely without Daddy though, so on his next shift, a Saturday, we went down and spent the time with Papa, who is always happy to get in some extra cuddles with you. 



You're growing so fast!

You feel so much bigger and heavier every single day. Your two-month checkup isn't scheduled for another couple weeks, but I'm anxious to see how much you've officially grown and how you are weighing in on the percentile charts. You're controlling your head much better and you love laying on your back while kicking your legs and flailing your arms for exercise. You are wearing size one diapers and you still fit into 3 month clothing, but barely.

Nursing continues to go well, but so far you're still refusing to take a bottle despite our best attempts. For the moment, we've decided to just take a break from the frustration and just keep nursing. But eventually you're going to have to choose a bottle that you like, my love!

You're such a good sleeper!

Well, at least at night. Between 9:00 and 10:00 each night we put you in your jammies and wrap you tightly in a warm fleece swaddle. Then we typically nurse one more time, give you your pacifier, and lay you down for bed. You typically fall asleep in less than half an hour without much fuss, and sleep in your bassinet next to our bed for the rest of the night. You do usually wake up once between 2:00 and 4:00 in the morning to nurse, but after that you go back to sleep until your brother wakes up around 6:30. One time you both slept in until 8:00!

During the day, however, it's another story. Maybe it's because you're sleeping so well at night, but you've stopped taking long daytime naps and typically only catnap in 10- to 20-minute intervals throughout the day. This makes it a bit difficult for us to get anything done, because we never know how long you're going to give us a break, but if it's a trade off for the nighttime sleeping, I'll take it!

I can't believe that the first half of my maternity leave is already over, and I'm starting to anticipate going back to work and how difficult it will be.

But for now I'm trying to continue to just soak up every moment with you, my precious angel baby.

I wonder if you can even imagine how much you are loved...