Thursday, August 7, 2014

Way past overdue update...

Well hello there blog buddies!  I hope you all are doing fantastic.  It's been a while since I last blogged and even longer since I last blogged consistently.  I wish I could tell you all that I had a ball the entire time I was gone but I'd be telling a story.  Overall things have been great and I'm definitely counting my blessings but things have also been challenging.  I have been reading a handful of blogs while away although I haven't left any comments.  I thought about blogging a lot but due to laziness, family, work and other excuses (lol), I didn't.   Anyway, I want to catch you up on what's been going on, although I'm not quite sure where to start...

So, let me see...2013 was an exciting year.  
--my husband and I celebrated 5 years of marriage and my son turned one.
--I finally completed school/training (after all these years) AND 
--landed my first real paying job at 32 (well I was 31 last year).  I liked the job overall  because it was very flexible and paid well AND I loved what I was doing.  I hated the administrative (paperwork) part of my job because it made life more difficult.  Being the obsessive compulsive person that I am, not only did I enjoy the job, I did a pretty dang good job...maybe too good.  For example, I would bypass eating, work after hours (without extra pay), pick up my kid late because I couldn't do a mediocre job.  Well, that was stressful because I felt like I was doing a mediocre job as a parent (although I wasn't I don't think but my obsessive compulsive (ness) wouldn't let me think otherwise). LOL.  It was my first "real" job and I learned a lot.  I learned my worth and how to negotiate my time, pay, benefits, etc accordingly.  I also learned how to stand up for myself.  The two days I picked up my son late due to the company's inefficiency, the company heard about it and they rectified the situation.  Overall it felt good to get reasonable compensation for my work (although part time) while not taking away from my family
--I also was able to stay healthy.  I only worked 3 days per week so I exercised a lot (both running and weightlifting).  I also ate better and was enjoying making fairly healthy meals for my family.  I felt so good and lost almost all my weight from my first pregnancy (well, all but 5lbs).
--the latter part of 2013 was more challenging because my grandmother had a massive stroke which she later died from in early 2014.  This has been very challenging because my grandma partly raised me and I was used to talking to her several times per week.  I had not experienced the death of a very close loved one until this.  It's still hard and sometimes I forget that she passed away because it feels unreal but then I'm reminded when I reach for the phone to call her to share some news with her.
--my son, IEK, had a great year too.  My husband and I are truly marveled by his sweetness, smarts, and language.  Language is definitely a strength for him.  He was a good sleeper but still a terrible eater.

2014 has been interesting thus far.
--My wonderful son turned 2 in early February and had a joint cowboy themed party with one of his buddies.  We all had such a great time and my husband's parents were there to celebrate with us.   He began showing interest in potty training a few weeks before his 2nd birthday and was fully potty trained with ease in no time.  He's an awesome little guy and we are so blown away by all he does.  We saw him go from being a docile toddler to a bossy preschooler.  So cute, but challenging :).
--In late March I stopped working and early April our family moved from North Carolina.  We spent two weeks with my husband's parents as we were relocating to the west coast and wanted to spend some time with them.  That was fun and very relaxing because for the first time in a long time we had family close by to help with our son.  
--In April we went on so many dates.  We even went to the Dominican Republic for a week.  We did an all inclusive resort type trip and was not impressed at all.  However we were grateful for the alone time that we spent together relaxing.  It was my son's first time being away from both parents overnight.  I cried my eyes out the first few days of the vacation.  My son did fine and had a blast with my husband's parents.
--Late April we relocated to northern California because of a great job opportunity for my husband and a potentially great one for me too.  We are using to hopping states a lot (although we are not military) but this was our first time living on the west coast.  I love our town--it's a medium size town with friendly people, great for families, fairly good schools, great food options.  It's bad for shopping but if I want something I usually can find it online if not in the stores.  We love our new town although it's taken our family a little while to adjust.
--Our two year old started having sleep trouble for the first time for likely multiple reasons: the MOVE, 3 hour time difference, newly potty trained, converting to a "big boy" bed to name a few.  The sleep issues were suuuch a pain in the butt for the most part they are resolved now, thank God.
--We celebrated 6 years of marriage in May.
--We expanded our family in June.  I gave birth to one adorable little girl, IVK.  She was born a little early but very healthy (had no complications and came right home with us--thk God).  She is now 2 months old.  She is a darling and her brother "loves her so much."  I agree for the most part with the saying that one of the best gifts you can give your child is a sibling.  I love seeing them together.  He's already very protective of her (although he's hard headed about being gentle with her at times). Haha!
--I had some challenges during the pregnancy--I had a rib dislocation at around 7.5 months that was excruciatingly painful.  Gosh--it was so bad that I could not sleep in my bed due to rib and back pain.  I slept in a recliner for close to 2 weeks.  I sneezed, heard and felt a pop, then was in immediate pain and that was hit.  Thankfully it resolved after about 2-3 weeks with chiropractic care and regularly icing the area.  Soon after that I developed hypertension during the pregnancy and was induced at close to 4 weeks early because it was safer.
--It was soooo stressful: moving to a new city with a sleepless toddler, no support, medical issues and the unanticipated early delivery of our 2nd child.  Of course we also had a lot of other small challenges (like not having my car for about 2 weeks after I moved because the car transportation company lied about transporting the car.  When they finally delivered it they dropped the car off at some random location 2 hours away from where we lived and left the keys on the wheel).

Of course, there's so much more but I've written too much already.  Despite all this we feel very blessed and we are very thankful to God.  Things have settled down a lot for us and we like it that way.  It's weird living so far away from family but we haven't lived in the same state as family in over 6 years.  We've had tons of folks visit us so far which has been awesome.  We love our town and feel eternally grateful for our healthy happy kids.  I'm also thankful for my husband who puts up with his "cray cray" wife with a smile on his face. LOL.  

Overall life is good!  I hope things have been good for you too.  The plan is to pick up blogging again and to be more consistent but I'm making no promises :).  I do want to document our history as a family so I will try my best.  I will share pictures when I so updates on both kiddos.  Also trying to get back in shape again (doing T25--because who has time for a longer workout, right?)

Mrs. K

Thursday, February 20, 2014

I'm in love with 2 guys!

How can you not adore a man who says that "the most amazing sound on the planet right now" is hearing our 2 year old son say "rhino."  

I love my husband! And I agree with him.

Mrs. K

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

IEK is 21 months--almost 2

My baby is almost 2 years old.  Oh my goodness.  He's now 1 and 3/4 lol.  I don't know what I'm going to do.  I remember when we were planning to get pregnant and we were so excited when we finally did.  It didn't seem that long ago BUT also it feels like he was always a part of our family.  It's weird.  I'll do a little update about the past 3 months.

My little guy is so awesome.  It is an honor for me to be his mommy.   He is a character.  I just love his little personality.  He's a little mischievous, super funny, extremely observant, always smiley, and sometimes bossy.  He's very sweet.  He loves to give group hugs with mommy and daddy altogether.  Whenever his dad and I show affection around him he stares then does this goofy smile.  He is super affectionate too!  He's still pretty clingy but I think it's getting better.  When we drop him off at the home daycare he doesn't cry anymore.  He still cries during the entire time in the nursery at church on Sundays.  Correction, this past sunday he stayed the entire time without crying.  He's definitely a momma's boy but he loves his daddy too.

He is talking up a storm.  Language is definitely a strength for my little booger.  He understands most of what I say and surprisingly he communicates very well too.  I usually can understand what he says or wants.  I've noticed that there are less tantrums since I can understand him better.  We talk to him like he's a big boy and he talks to us too.  Whenever he says the wrong word we praise him for trying then say the right word.  He looooves praises...but who doesn't.  He says sentences that are 2-4  words long.  At beginning of 20 months he was spontaneously saying "I wove you."  He says it all the time now and it's so sweet.  He'll look us right in the eye and just say it.  We taught him how to say "help" pretty earlier and he says it appropriately.  Unfortunately he heard me saying "oh shoot" maybe once or twice and now he says it too (at the appropriate time).  For example if I'm putting on his shirt and his arm gets stuck he goes "oh shoot."  It's kinda funny but I don't want him to say that.  He points out everything he sees and names them.  His favorite words are still "no" and "mine."  A few days ago I was disciplining him for something and he shook his head and pointer finger and said "no mommy, not nice."  I'm finding it so hard to not burst out laughing when he says little things like that.  Some of my other favorite words/phrases are: "it's scawy," "gofish," "ssss, daddy seeping," "nice toush," "it's waining," "hourt," "hep me mommy," "I sowwy." These are just a few.  He says so many cute phrases.  He tells me when he's going to poop ("poo poo") but refuses to use the potty.  He'll sit on it when he doesn't have to use it.  So I guess he's not ready yet but at least I get a signal when a diaper change is coming up.  His dad wanted me to mention some other funny things he says like: "shoenon."  That's his word for shoes.  He used to say "shoes" but I always tell him to put his "shoes on" so now he calls it "shoenon" (so hilarious).

He continues to be very active.  He loves to climb, run, jump, hang upside down and dance.  He's actually a pretty sweet dancer.  We went to some outdoor concert a few weeks ago and he was dancing the entire time.  He's not shy when it comes to dancing.  He runs pretty fast and has better balance (definitely less falls).  He's a strong little guy too and somewhat of a dare devil.  Fine motor skills are good but he doesn't use utensils often because I obsess about him eating and end up feeding him. 

He's still a picky eater overall but he has his moments of good eating.  I'm still having to hide vegetables in his food or else he wont eat them.  He loves his Nonna's chicken and rice, mommy's spaghetti and meat sauce.  He also loves when I cook callaloo.  He takes one 1-2 hour nap during the daytime.  We are still pretty strict and very consistent with bedtime.  His routine has been unchanged since he was an infant because it works.  Well, I guess he goes to bed at 8p now instead of 730p but he wakes up at 730a in the morning.  He does occasionally watch a little TV (very very infrequent--maybe on average once per week, if even that much).  We are a huge outdoor family so we are almost never inside sitting around.  He only watches Nick Jr and he loves their "music videos."  He loves the "shake the sillies out" song.  We go to the park at least twice per week and he loves the swings.  He's also pretty brave and goes on the huge slides.  Now that it's getting cold we may have to give that a rest.

As I said, he's pretty clingy to my husband and I, especially me.  But he does eventually warm up.  He warms up quicker to kids than adults, naturally.  He usually observes first then slowly integrates himself into whatever activity.  Once warmed up he's pretty social.  He gets along with other kiddos very well.  Actually he surprises me.  He is totally not aggressive towards other kids.  If a kid grabs a toy or even pushes him, he just looks at them then move on to the next activity without a fuss.  He doesn't get angry and he never retaliates.  I'm sure this may change but I find it so interesting.

Lately people have been saying that he looks a lot like my husband or my husband's mother.  His hair had beautiful curls over the summer but now that it's cold it's back to being straight.  He does have a few ringlets in the back of his head.  He has all but 4 of his baby teeth but his bottom right incisor is trying to poke through his gum.  He loves baths but hates to brush his teeth.  He doesn't like his hair combed or his nails clipped (especially toenails).  Diaper changes are easy because we sing songs.  Yeah, he loves to sing or try to sing.  He looooves animals but he's afraid of bugs.  That'll have to change.  Neither his dad or I are afraid of bugs--I don't know what is up with that.  He's getting a little better about playing by himself.  He's a good helper and follows directions pretty well.  He loves to "read."

There's so much to say about this incredible little boy of mine but I guess I'll stop.  I try to cram everything into these post because I want to remember in the future.  When he's a feisty teenager I want to look back and read this stuff and feel like I'm in a time machine for a little bit.

More than anything we are very thankful to God for IEK.  And there's one thing for certain, IEK is very loved! It is our daily prayer that we continue to be excellent spouses to each other and parents to him.

I know, I know...ya'll need pix.  I'll post one for Christmas!

Mrs. K

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Good to be home.

I was away from home for almost a month and I must say it's great to be back.  No matter how much fun I'm having on a trip I always miss my dwelling.  It's just nice to have a home base.

The first part of our trip was just with me and lil man since daddy had to work.  We first visited my grandparents and other relatives in Orlando, FL.  That was a lot of fun and they thoroughly enjoyed IEK because the last time they saw him was Christmas 2012.  Actually that's not true we flew down for my grandma's birthday party but we stayed less than 48 hours so that didn't count.  It's cool to think that December of last year he wasn't walking or talking really BUT now he's doing EVERYTHING!  IEK is very clingy to me so it took him some time to warm up to everyone.  I also don't think that it helped that my family is sooo loud and mainly "chat patois."  He's not used to the chaos because our home is so quiet.  He enjoyed it overall and it was nice to see him submerged in some aspects of my culture (food, language, music, etc).

After hanging with my family we flew to north Florida and visited my husband's parents.  We got to see my husband's sisters (and their families) and some other relatives too.  My husband's mom is soooo in love with IEK.  And he's pretty enamored with her too, but it's easy to see why because she's so awesome.  This week was the most relaxing part of the entire trip.  The house was quiet (although still noisier than ours).  I had a lot of down time because Nonna was all about doing everything for her grandson.  She had the coolest toys (some of which my husband used as a toddler).  Isn't that neat?  We got to hang out with IEK's twin boy cousins who are a year older than him.  It was so much fun seeing them play together.  IEK was always too young to truly enjoy the play.  He also seems to have developed a very close relationship with one of the twins (Dee).  They were so sweet to watch.  Dee would even protect IEK from his own twin brother. 

The next part of our trip was spent in a cabin in the Smoky Mountains in NC.  My husband joined us with his entire family (except his brother).  The log cabin accommodated 22 people for sleep and there was a huge table that seated 26 people.  The cabin was beautiful although older.  We only had about 15 people including the kiddos but it was tons of fun (and loudness, lol).  We enjoyed the hot tub, roasting marshmallows and eating smores.  The bigger kids (7 and 9 year olds) brought handheld video games but one night I convinced them to play board games.  They surprisingly had a blast.  By far, there favorite was Taboo.  They had so much fun that for the duration of the trip they mainly wanted to play board games at night instead doing other activities.  One of our nephew was so cute...he told his mom that my husband and I are so much fun, he wishes we could move back to FL and live close by them.  It was so sweet to hear that and it made us feel bad for living so far away.  I must brag a little and say that one of the the highlight of my cabin trip was racing my 2 nephews.  I WON!!! OK, I shouldn't gloat this much because they are only 9 but they are pretty athletic boys (they play just about every sport on the planet).  It's just so cute because they are pretty competitive and they really thought they were going to win.  I told them that I would give them each $15 if either of them won.  They were bragging and thought that it would be a piece of  

Anyway, it was so sad to leave each place and everyone but after being away from home for so long I was ready to get back to home base.  It was a great trip or trips.  IEK had a good time and my husband did too for the parts he spent with us.  He missed us dearly for the portions of the trip that he was home alone for.  I was very thankful that I had the opportunity to hang out with family.  But noticed I called it a trip and not a vacation. 

Anyway, since then I've lost one of my diaper bags with my wallet in it and had to go through all the trouble of getting that resolved.  I've been applying for jobs because I'm getting kind of bored and besides with my career and my only kiddo in daycare it makes sense to work.  I was going to wait until we move to find a job in our new city but the move will be in 4-6 months.  

Hope ya'll had a good weekend!

Mrs. K

Monday, September 16, 2013

I officially ran a 5K...and more!

My running buddy and I ran the 5K that I talked about in a previous post this past weekend.  The name of the race is the Get Heeled 5K (website:  Funds made from the race will benefit families with children suffering from childhood cancer.  My running buddy is a pediatric heme/onc doctor and signed us up.  He's pretty passionate about the topic so this wasn't a surprise.  But, I get to choose the next race.  Anyway, this was an awesome race.  There were lots of fun events for kiddos, food, music, etc.  The best part about the race events was the emphasis on remembering past patients who unfortunately have died from childhood cancer and also honoring current patients.

So about the actual race/run.  I ran the entire thing in 28 minutes.  Not the best time but I did it!  My initial pace was more of an 8 minute mile for the first 1.5 miles but then there were the unanticipated hills.  They almost killed me.  There were 3 large hills that seemed like they were never ending at the time.  I was taken by surprise by all 3 of them.  My running buddy and I ran the "route" twice but it was the wrong route so we were both surprised.  I think my time would have been better if I didn't have those hills.  Grrr!  I felt very old when little school-aged kids were passing me by sprinting up the hills. LOL.  I was like "what in the world."  My competitive self got the best of me and my pace was faster than what I usually run.  It was hard seeing all those people passing me. Hehe!  My running buddy actually gave me the ok to go ahead of I did.  He wasn't mad, thankfully.  My favorite part of the race was sprinting across the finish line! Oh yeah and seeing my husband and son waiting at the finish line for me :)

In other fitness news.  I've been working out 5 days per week for the past 2 months I think.  On the days that I run I usually don't do cardio at the gym--just weight lifting.  I've been eating better (sometimes).  I just freaking love food but I've been doing a better job not eating what I want everyday.  I'm 31...not 21 anymore. LOL.  Anyway, I've lost 2-3 lbs over the past month--still not at my pre-pregnancy weight but I'm ok with my progress.

Mrs. K

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Lessons in parenting--Part 1

I'm a mom of one 19 month old boy.  I'm no expert on motherhood but these are a few lessons I've learned.  Maybe they'll be helpful to someone else but mostly I hope I can refer back to them in the future for Baby K #2 or #3 or #4 or #10 (kidding).  

1) Distraction can work like a charm.  It can stop tantrums and get a toddler to do what you want.  For example--major melt down because he wants the scissors or some other dangerous object.  After freaking out (which you try your hardest not to do because the object then becomes more enticing to the toddler) you distract by attracting his attention to something more appealing (like daddy, the dog, a toy).

2) Singing is good for the soul and good for getting a toddler's attention.  It's also great for getting toddler to sit still for diaper changes and getting dressed.  Since I've had our little guy I've been doing a lot of singing--singing in the mornings when I go in his room, singing at bedtime, singing his favorite toddler tunes.  I've also been singing songs to help me get him put left arm in, you put left arm do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around, and that's what it's all about...He loves it and now he's at the point where he also tries to sing the songs with me.

3) It's ok to drop everything and enjoy the moment with your kiddo.  Don't be afraid to stop everything, get down on the kitchen floor at his eye level and be silly with him.  My little boy loves when I get to his eye level and make silly faces.  His favorite is my fish face.  It's even better when he tries to make the face.  The work or whatever it is will almost always be there.  It's ok to take a break and enjoy the moment.  Good for the kiddo and good for you too.

4) On the same note, it's not only ok for kiddos to get the silly's out.  Mommies can do it and it's even more fun when you do it with the kiddos.  Dancing, singing, being silly is great.  Do whatever works for you.

5) Getting frustrated is normal.  I love my little guy to death but he frustrates me sometimes.   I no longer feel bad about this.  I mean, we are human, right.  Some things that usually help to reduce my frustration is to give him a hug and kiss.  This works when he gets angry and it works for me too.  Taking a break and walking away helps too.  The most effective intervention for me is to send him to daddy so that he can frustrate him a little :).

6) Toddlers appreciate it when you talk to them.  They may not understand everything or respond but they like it.  Whenever I ask our little guy about his day, he rambles on about something.  He also repeats what I say to him.  I think he feels validated when we converse.

7) Embarrassment is a part of raising children.  I just figure he'll be paid back one day when I'm "old."  LOL.  And thankfully I'm dark-skinned so people can't see when I turn red. Ha! My toddler's new thing is yelling bug.  I taught him how to say the word a few weeks ago and he yells it out even at a piece of lint.  He yells it out, library, at the dinner table.  For example we'll be in church and he'll see a piece of lint (NOT a bug) and start yelling loudly...bug, bug, bug, bug.  He continues to yell this until I distract him.  There's no warning so he has scared me before with his loud "bug" yell.

8) Toddler tunes on Pandora radio is awesome.  It makes car rides more enjoyable.  He sings-a-long instead of whining to get out of his car seat.  It's also great at home.

9) Carry extra clothes for all.  And just in case you forget, being a mess for a few hours is ok.  There are worse things in life.  Actually helping to create some of the mess can be fun at times, although it's not fun cleaning it up.

10) The house does not have to be spic and span.  Coming to this realization was awesome.  I still like things organized but I'm less obsessive about it.  And you know what, I'm fussing at my husband less for his mess too.

11) Kids change everything--mostly for the better!  We had our son when we were ready.  He was planned.  Hubby and  I had been married for a few years.  We did some traveling.  We even had the dogs to practice.  We were very ready  but still nothing could have prepared us for the change of life.  But you know what we love every moment of being parents and would not change it for the world.  Although I always knew I wanted children it was something I feared for so many reason.  I'm a "want everything to be almost perfect kind of gal" and I don't like rocking the boat too much especially when I'm comfortable.  But looking back my fears were kind of ridiculous and I'm glad that I didn't let them make me delay expanding our family.

12) I am more unselfish than I thought I was.  It's amazing how easy it is for me to sacrifice sleep, time, energy for my little guy.  It doesn't even feel like a sacrifice because it comes so natural to me.  I used to be someone who hated getting up early, now I wake up earlier than my son and wait eagerly for him to wake up so I can run in his room.

13) Kids make you a better person.  Honestly!  My son brings me so much joy.  He makes me want to be a better person.  I behave better because I want to be a good example for him.  I am more "mindful" about what I say and do because I know there are little ears and little eyes around.  I'm so used to cheerfully giving to him that giving to others also come easier.

14) Being consistent is important.  AND I still need to work on this.  That's all I'm going to say about that ;).

15) Discipline with love.  Discipline and manners are important.  My Jamaican grandpa always says "bend di tree when it young."  You get the point.  This is tough but I think it's best to start early and to lead by example.  

15) Think of most things as a phase (both the bad and sometimes the good).  I remember when I thought my son would never stop spitting up...then lo and behold he stopped.  I remember when I thought he would never sleep more than 2 hours then more than 6 hours then sleep through the night.  I was proven wrong.  I remember when I thought he would never crawl, or walk, or run or talk name it.  I was proven wrong so many times.  I remember when I thought he would never gain weight because he's such a picky, this is still ongoing and I haven't been proven wrong yet but I know I will be.  It's helpful for me to think of things in phases to especially help me get through the challenging moments.  Thinking this way also helps me to savor the sweet moments too.

16) There's no such thing as a perfect parent.  We have all these goals about the type of parent we should be or want to be.  Try your best but know that things will go wrongFlexibility is important.  For example if your kiddo is 18 months and is just finally off the pacifier--IT's OK!  You should laugh at yourself for thinking that the paci will be gone by 9 months.

17) Let the past have a positive influence on how you parent.  Some people have had horrible pasts and others have had rosy pasts--wherever you lie on the spectrum, make the conscious choice to try to do a good job.  Although challenging, even people with difficult pasts can be great parents!

What other parenting lessons have you learned (even if you are not a parent)?  I'll include them in my Part 2 of this topic. 

And don't forget to laugh out loud once in a while :)

Mrs. K

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Accidentally ran 9 miles today...who does that?

My running buddy and I accidentally ran 9 miles today.  I know it sounds silly but we ran the Tobacco Trail which is a common running area in NC (no tobacco is on the trail, btw).  It's an amazingly beautiful trail and the other runners/ walkers/bikers are so nice.  We were planning to do 6 miles today but my running buddy who usually keeps track of the distance messed up.  (I'm "directionally-challenged" so it's not my job).  I was wondering why my feet were hurting towards the end.  LOL.  So, we ran 9 miles and it felt great!  The majority of my life I've been a sprinter but I was never a good distance runner.  But "practice makes perfect," I guess :) I just feel good and I just wanted to encourage you all that you can achieve your goals and more too.

Good luck!

Mrs. K


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