Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Happy Birth Day, Kinley!

To our great joy and delight, my niece, Kinley Madison Grace, has joined the family. 

Baby Kinley — 7 pounds 6 ounces, 20.5 inches

Congratulations to my awesome brother and his beautiful wife for creating this amazing tiny human and welcoming her into the world. 

It was a long haul for these two (three!), but they made it and Baby Kinley is finally here, safe and sound.

It was only a little more than a year ago that we celebrated AJ and Morgan's wedding, and already their family has grown to include a perfect little daughter. I'm just so proud of my baby brother for growing up to be an incredible man, husband, and now a father. 

He's going to be an amazing daddy.


Nana holding Kinley for the first time. I think she looks so much like my brother here!




I was fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by dozens of cousins, so it makes me so happy that now Ryder and Kiley have another cousin to grow up with. Ryder is quickly being outnumbered by the girls though! 

Welcome to Earth, Kinley! We can't wait to get to know you. You are already so incredibly loved...

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Bair Beach Break

We are having an absolutely gorgeous summer out here in the Pacific Northwest, and we've been trying to take advantage of the sunny weekend days as much as possible.

Recently, this meant another trip over to my aunt and uncle's house on the beach in Port Townsend, where we met up with my parents and my sister for a fun, quick little visit. 

Who needs toys when you have a box of wine corks to play in? He's pretending he's driving an airplane...

It was a beautiful day for lunch on the patio followed by some bocce ball on the private outdoor court.



The day really heated up quickly, so afterward we headed into the plunge pool to cool off.








Both kiddos got to spend tons of time hanging out with family.

Kiley and Auntie Erin.

Ryder and Auntie Elaine.

As usual, Uncle Mike made us an incredible dinner that we ate while enjoying breathtaking views of the Puget Sound.


And of course we spent lots of time at Ryder's favorite place — the beach!







We're so lucky to have such an incredible getaway spot just a few hours from home. 

Many thanks to my aunt and uncle for their continued hospitality!

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Dear Kiley... Five Months


Dear Kiley, 

I can't believe that you're already five months old!

We've started to get into some regular routines lately, which has been nice for everyone. I went back to work full time, which brought on some big changes (and was very sad for me). But you have been thriving in the new normal, and everything has gone pretty much as well as we could have hoped for. When Daddy isn't on shift as a firefighter, you and Ryder stay home with him. And when he's at work you're with our nanny who we absolutely love, and she has really enjoyed getting to know you.

You're such a trooper, just tagging along with us wherever we go.

Our summertime weekends have been quite busy, with trips down to Olympia to help clean out your great grandparents' house, as well as to host a baby shower for your Aunt Morgan.

We also spent a fun family weekend in Port Townsend.

















You celebrated your first Fourth of July!



For the second year in a row, we spent the holiday down at Brett and Haley's house on Lake Tapps. I was kind of worried about you being out in the sun all day, taking naps in a strange place, and then sleeping through the nighttime fireworks, but you were such an angel! You hung out, napped, and went down for bed right on time — shockingly without being bothered by the booms of fireworks right outside even once!







You got to spend quite a bit of time with Aunt Erin this month, both at home and on family trips.





You love being outside.

 We like taking you for walks around the neighborhood, but you'll only tolerate your stroller for about half an hour before demanding to be picked up. I think you just like to be out where you can see what's going on.





We continue to experiment with baby-wearing.

You seem to enjoy hanging out in your ring sling for about an hour at a time. And I've gotten pretty good at carrying you around in that while simultaneously completing one-handed tasks around the house.





You're really starting to like toys!

You've been spending short bits of time at your activity table, although I don't think it's very comfortable for you because your legs don't quite touch the ground.





You've figured out how to grasp things, and you especially like nice chewy toys like Sophie the Giraffe.



And you still absolutely love your balance chair, literally spending hours in it every single day, just kicking your chubby little legs to your heart's content.



You absolutely love your Big Brother.

Ryder is having more and more fun with you every day, as you become more engaging and interested in the world around you. He loves nothing more than to make you laugh, and can do it better than anyone.



We are working on your passport applications, for both your American passports as well as documentation for your British citizenship, which you will get through Daddy and your maternal grandmother.

Your passport photo turned out absolutely adorable!



You continue to be a great sleeper.

For naps, you still enjoy being swaddled and cuddled into your Rock 'N' Play. You take two naps a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon for about 2-3 hours each.


At night you sleep swaddled in a Pack 'N' Play next to Mommy and Daddy's bed. We like having you close by, and it makes it easy for me to nurse you in the middle of the night. You typically wake up wanting to eat once or twice during the 12 hours or so that you sleep.


Usually you're too busy and stimulated to sleep without being swaddled and officially put to bed, but every once in a while you'll let me rock you to sleep in my arms.


You've discovered your feet!


You roll over sporadically, and you seem to love the sound of your own voice (which often involves a lot of screeching).

You've grown a lot! 

You wear six month clothes and weigh almost 15 pounds (60th percentile). You are 25" long (63rd percentile), and your head size is in the 94th percentile (probably because you're so smart). We continue to struggle with your absolutely horrible cradle cap. I've been trying everything — washes, creams, ointments, oils, exfoliation — but nothing seems to make much of a difference. Luckily it doesn't seem to bother you at all, so it may just need to run its course. At your last doctor appointment you had two shots plus an oral vaccine, and you did so well and were such a big girl! 

Most of the time we call you Kiles, or Sissy. None of us can remember a time when you weren't a part of our family. We all absolutely adore you, and every day is a new adventure as we watch for what you will do next. Your joy is infectious, and you smile with your whole entire body. You rarely cry. 

You are so incredibly loved, my sweet little angel.