Monday, September 28, 2009

Family Texans Day

Most people know that the Courtrights are big time Texans fans. We have season tickets (really great seats, I might add) and usually take turns going with Jeff to the home games each season. At Sunday's game, we got lucky and were able to buy some additional tickets right next to our usual seats. So the entire Courtright family, all 6 of us, went to the game! It was Kaitlynn's first game, too. We had a blast, despite the disappointing loss. Here's a recap in pictures and videos.

First, the tailgating:

Connor's new favorite trick, hiking the ball.
Here he is hiking the ball with Kevin.

Kaitlynn spent some of the pre-game time asleep in her carseat. After waking up, Kaitlynn joined the tailgating.
Chillin' with Kevin.Jeff and his best buddy Bob from Cincinnati.
Happy girl in her Texans gear.

And then it was game time.

All the Courtrights in our seats.
Jeff spent the game teaching Kaitlynn the game traditions. Love the red bow. She had a blast and lasted the entire game!
Jeff and his 4 best friends in the world: Pat, Bob W, and Bob A.

Enjoying the game.

Connor spent most of the game doing his "performance" for the crowd.

The Courtright clan (don't mind the bunny ears).

After the game, the kids passed out! Even Connor enjoyed a rare nap in the car.
Kaitlynn seemed to be saying, "Woe is me, I'm exhausted!"

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Connor's New School Has a Stage

It has felt like an eternity since Connor left his old school, Creme de la Creme, after Kaitlynn was born. Since then he has been hanging out at home with me. He often tells me how much he misses his old school and his school friends (which breaks my heart!) We promised Connor he would soon be able to go to a new school, and finally that day has come!

Last week Connor started attending preschool twice a week at a church right around the corner from our house, Foundry Methodist. They have a great program and, more importantly, they actually had openings in the 3-year-old class despite our very late enrollment. I'm not sure who was more excited, Connor or his Mom! When I picked him up that afternoon, the first thing he told me was how excited he was to be able to come back next Tuesday!

Connor shows off his backpack and lunchbox, all set for school.

In front of the school.

OK, this may seem totally random for those that don't know Connor well. One of the first things he noticed about his new school was the abundance of concrete benches throughout the property like the one below.

"Look Mom!" he said when he first noticed the benches. "My new school has a STAGE!"

Let me back up. We have a few of these benches in our neighborhood that Connor regularly visits. He LOVES them because he considers them each a stage on which he can perform. He has many song and dance routines, usually something from one of his TV shows like The Wiggles, Mickey Mouse, or Fresh Beat Band. And before he performs he always makes us introduce him. As in, "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the show! Please welcome, Connor [pause] Morgan [pause] Courtright!" And the crowd goes wild. What can I say... the world is his stage.

And what more could one want from a new school?

Blog List Update

I get SO excited when new friends join the blog world and create their own family blogs to share news and pictures. So I was thrilled to add my friends Beth and Julie to my blog list and now you can share in their adventures as well! I continue to get bombarded with Facebook requests from friends and family so I'm always relieved when I can keep in touch through blogs instead. (For now, we are resisting Facebook...).

Since I have become a perpetual blog surfer, I decided to split out my blog list into 2 separate lists -- 1 for friends/family ("My Favorite Folks") and 1 for those that I just like to follow ("Inspiring Blogs"). Some of the blogs on the Inspired list are those that really encouraged me as I waited out the last few anxious months of my pregnancy with Kaitlynn. There are some really amazing and courageous Moms out there that continue to embrace life's unexpected challenges and difficulties. I figure if they inspire me, they might inspire someone else.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Busy Girl

Before she got sick last week, Kaitlynn was busy doing lots of fun stuff...

Hanging out with her new toys on her carseat, Playing on the floor with her activity mat,
Enjoying lots of cuddles and kisses from her big brother Connor,
Chillin' in her Bumbo chair,
Posing with Mommy for Connor's first time taking a picture,
Having lots of laughs with Connor,
Enjoying silly time with Mommy and Connor,
Taking daily baths,
Trying on lots of new outfits, Getting her first bo-bo from a Hot Wheel being dropped (accidentally) on her mouth,
And her personal favorite, enjoying lots of facetime with Daddy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Rest of the Story...

I wrote about Kaitlynn's first illness (her "first sick") in my last post, but apparently the story wasn't quite finished yet. She definitely seemed on the mend on Saturday, but then Saturday night her fever returned and stuck around. Sunday night was the worst night we've had to date, because she was up constantly and couldn't be consoled. She cried and screamed unless I held her, and even then she seemed like she was in misery. By the time Monday morning rolled around, neither Kaitlynn nor I had gotten any sleep. I just assumed she was miserable from her stuffy/runny nose.

First thing Monday morning, Kaitlynn was crying and screaming, and no matter what I did she wouldn't stop. She was running fever and seemed to be in pain. At one point, I just couldn't take her crying anymore and I felt so helpless since nothing I did was working. So I strapped her into her carseat, placed the carseat in my bedroom, shut the door, and had to just let her cry while I was tending to Connor. She cried herself to sleep out of pure exhaustion after about 15 minutes. It just broke my heart! I finally called the doctor just to ask for advice but they really wanted to see her.

On top of her cold, she was diagnosed with ear infections in both ears. Yuck! As much as I hated to hear that, I was just so relieved that there was an explanation for her fussy behavior. So now she is on antiobiotics, ear numbing medicine, and baby Tylenol. And boy, what a difference. She woke up every 4 hours like clockwork last night as her medicine wore off, but I'm hopeful that the antibiotics will kick in soon and she'll be good as new. At least until the next sick.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Kaitlynn's First Sick

As Connor says, Kaitlynn had "her first sick" this week. I noticed she was eating poorly on Wednesday, and then on Thursday morning she was up several times with a bad cough and a bad runny nose. I took her in to see the doctor, and she was diagnosed as a classic case of BWAC (baby with a cold -- gotta love Dr. Pope!) Later that evening, she came down with a low-grade fever. And that same night, I started feeling achy with a sore throat myself. Yep, Mommy was sick too.

One thing that really surprised me is how happy Kaitlynn seemed even when she was struggling to breathe with her snotty nose. I had already prepared myself to be up all night with her on Thursday night, but she completely shocked me by sleeping soundly from 8:00 pm until 6:15 am the next morning! That's by far the longest stretch of sleep she's ever had. (The next night she was back to her 6-hour stretches!)

Despite her happy self, there was one point on Friday night which totally caught me off-guard. After bathtime with Connor, Kaitlynn had an apparent meltdown. She started crying and screaming louder than I've ever experienced, and she wouldn't stop no matter what I did. I don't know if it was her illness, a gassy tummy, or what. Jeff was away at a water polo game, so I was trying to keep Connor occupied with TV while I tended to Kaitlynn in her frenzied state. I walked with her, tried to feed her, gave her the paci, laid her down, even gave her another bath. Nothing would work! She was screaming so terribly that I actually wondered if she had some kind of injury that I couldn't see. I just couldn't understand what the cause was. After an hour or so, she finally started to calm down from pure exhaustion and then passed out in her crib. Phew! I would LOVE to hear any suggestions from you Mommies out there -- what should/could I have done to calm her down??

For now, Kaitlynn and Mommy seem to be on the mend. And we're thankful that the "first sick" wasn't too bad!

Happy girl, even when she's sick!

Little video showing how Kaitlynn is starting to roll on her side.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Conversations with Connor

It's funny, when your child is a baby you just long for the day when he begins to learn words and communicate verbally. But then it seems to come back to haunt you when that same child talks incessantly about anything, everything, and nothing. Yes, my sweet Connor is a talker. When the mood strikes, he just doesn't know how to stop. To me, to strangers, to his friends, to his toys, you name it. More than once a day it seems I ask (OK, demand) that he take a break from talking because Mommy needs some quiet time. Unfortunately (or maybe inevitably) that leads to even more talking.

Admittedly there are many moments of hilarity around here with Connor's verbal expressions. The other day I was rushing Connor out of the car and urged him to hurry several times. I kept telling him over and over, "Hurry, Connor, come on!" Finally he said in his most exasperated voice, "Arrrr, OK! You're so frustrating!"

He has also recently become the language police in our household. Don't dare utter the expressions "Oh my God," "Oh my Lord," "Oh my Gosh," or especially the word "stupid" because he will admonish you strongly by declaring, "Don't say that! That makes God very sad."

The other day Connor noticed as I was nursing Kaitlynn. He asked what I was doing and I said I was feeding the baby. He was very interested since he usually sees her eating from a bottle. The following day, Connor had his usual breakfast of cereal and orange juice. He then went over to check on Kaitlynn who was lying on the couch. The next thing I knew, Connor had lifted up his shirt and was leaning over Kaitlynn while pushing his belly towards her face. I asked him what he was doing and he replied, "I'm feeding Kaitlynn some orange juice." I was very confused until I remembered that he had seen me nursing her. So I suppose he figured he would "nurse" her with some orange juice from his breakfast.

Another time, Connor was watching his favorite Wiggles DVD. At the end of the movie, they show the credits with images of all the Wiggles characters and dancers. I was busy putting away the laundry while Connor watched the movie, but at some point I heard him saying something so I came back to see what was up. He was intently watching the screen while saying, "Hottie." Pause. "Hottie." Pause. "Hottie." etc. I looked up and saw that he was watching the images of the pretty Wiggles dancers flashing on the screen during the credits. Apparently he thinks they are all hotties. Like father like son I guess.

Lately he has been very insistent when trying to get Mom or Dad's attention. He will call us over and over (and over) until we answer. It goes something like this: "Mom. Mom. Mom? Mommy? Moooom! Mooooom? Mommy! Mama! Mom! Mom??!!!!!" Until I reach my breaking point and yell, "WHAT???!!" And this happens all day long, every time he wants my attention. Which is often. So the other day I got so frustrated with him saying "Mom" that I told him not to use that word anymore. "Don't say Mom anymore!" I said out of frustration. He thought for a minute about that and then said with some uncertainty... "Lauri?"

Now how could I NOT laugh about that?

Monday, September 14, 2009

What Happened to my Newborn?

Kaitlynn turned 3 months old today. Seriously, how does the time fly by so fast? We used to be out running errands and strangers would see Kaitlynn and comment on how tiny she was. Now they see her and exclaim how plump she is. Yes, we produce big babies around here, although I prefer to think of it as just healthy. ;-)

Here are her 3-month updates:
  • She recently discovered her hands. She will rub her eyes when she's tired, suck on her hands when she's hungry (or when she wants her paci), and she tries SO hard to reach out and touch her little baby toys. It won't be long.
  • She graduated from the pack-n-play crib in our living room to her crib in her bedroom upstairs. I figured it was the next step towards a full night's sleep. She does seem to sleep better up there when it's quiet and dark, but we're not quite up to a full night's sleep yet.
  • She is really trying to roll over. It's SO funny because as she tries to build up the momentum to roll onto her side, she makes these really loud noises of exersion and frustration. It's not a cry but closer to a yell. It reminds me of the noises Jeff makes when he's lifting weights and going for those last few difficult reps.
  • Several times Kaitlynn has blessed us with her laughter. It's not a full blown laugh yet, but she will tilt up her chin, wrinkle her nose, smile really big, and then give us that sweet little chuckle that just melts me every time.
  • She seems to be showing some early signs of teething. She is slobbering quite a bit and even broke out with a little rash on her cheeks recently, exactly the same as Connor did when he was teething.

I'm 3 months old today!

And here's Connor at 3 months. Again, they look like twins!!

I love my new crib.

I sleep so soundly.

Hello! My belly button is finally starting to shrink.Passed out on the couch.

Raise your hand if you like butterflies. My mommy cracks me up!
I can sometimes be very serious.
And when I don't get my way, I know how to pout.
What's that you say? There's a milk shortage??? Say it ain't so! Phew! Mommy was only teasing me! I LOVE my milk!
I love posting all the pictures on here showing how similar she and Connor look as infants. But I thought I would this time also mention some of the ways they are different.
  • Sleeping: Connor was sleeping a solid 8 hours at 3 months; Kaitlynn can sleep 8 hours (she's done it once or twice) but she usually only goes in 6 hour stretches. Lately she has been very consistent about waking up at 2:30 a.m. like clockwork no matter what time she goes to bed (usually by 8 p.m.) and then she's up again between 7 and 8 a.m.
  • Pooping: Connor had no trouble in this area, usually pooping several times a day. Kaitlynn on the other hand likes to save her "prizes" for every 2-4 days. And then watch out when it comes, because it'll go out the front, back, and both sides of her diaper if I don't clean her right away. It usually takes about 15 wipes to get it all, too.
  • Toots: Yes, my babies both are good at passing gas. Connor's little toots never smelled bad, probably because his system was so efficient at moving everything through. But Kaitlynn, oh my. Her toots could clear a room. I'm not kidding; they are smellier than anything produced by even us adults. And it's embarrassing because there's no way a stranger believes that smell came from little ole' her. So that leaves them looking strangely at me.
  • Temperament: As an infant, Connor was completely content as long as he got his milk (and lots of it). He would sit and observe his surroundings for hours and be perfectly happy. Kaitlynn is a little more high maintenance in this area. She is perfectly content for about 20 minutes, and then she wants to do something different. She loves to be walked around, but her favorite thing of all is when you get close to her face and talk to her. She'll "talk" right back, usually with lots of coos and gurgles.
  • Size: Connor was a BIG baby. Lots of rolls, dimples, and chunkiness. Kaitlynn is also big, just not quite so. She's our "petite" princess.

Many people continue to ask how Connor is adjusting to having Kaitlynn around. Simply put, he adores her. He is constantly, and I mean constantly kissing her. He always checks on her and also tells me all the time to make sure I am making enough milk for her! I have to remind him sometimes to be gentle with her, but overall he is so sweet and loving towards her.

Connor always wants me to take his picture with his baby sister.

He loves to lie next to her on the couch.

Another brother and sister pic.

He also tries to comfort her when she cries.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy Girl

Lots of milk + a fresh diaper + attention from Mommy =
1 very happy girl!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Connor's First Sleepover

Jeff has been suggesting for weeks that we invite Connor's best buddy over to spend the night. So on Friday night, Connor had his first sleepover with his pal Benjamin! He was very excited and they had a blast doing lots of activities.

They played with toys...
Fed the ducks...

And they even had time to swim.

When it was finally time for bed, both boys had to grab their blankies and lovies.

Jeff made a soft pallet on the floor in Connor's room so that one boy could sleep on the bed and the other on the floor. Then they curled up to watch The Wiggles before getting tucked in. Except when I peeked in on them a little while later, this is what I found:

It was so funny to see the boys jumping around like little monkeys. They were so excited to be spending the night and watching The Wiggles together!

When I got up in the middle of the night to feed Kaitlynn, the boys were passed out! I thought it was so funny that they even slept in similar positions.

Here's one quick story from the sleepover that I wanted to share.

When the boys went outside to swim, we had a surprise test of their swimming skills. For those of you that have seen my previous post about Connor and Benjamin's recent swimming lessons, you'll recall that they both were taught to float on their backs if/when they fell in the water. On Saturday morning, the boys were playing on the steps of our pool like in the picture here:

As Benjamin stood on the step, Jeff gave him a boogie board to see if he would like to use it to float around the pool. Benjamin dived off the step to get on the board, but as he dove he missed the board and fell into the water over his head. Jeff and I both immediately jumped up to go rescue him, but before we could even reach him Benjamin had popped up on his back and was floating face up! He definitely had a look of panic on his face, but he was floating safely and continued to do so until Jeff pulled him back to the steps. What an incredible feeling of assurance that the floating technique works and the swim lessons paid off! Great job, Benjamin!!