Monday, June 19, 2006

Oh, the Excitement

So, we've had a few very big days recently. Yesterday (Sunday, 6/18) was Kieran and David's first Father's Day! David was excited because he got to watch all the sports he wanted to without a peep from me... That me
ant we watched all three soccer games, PLUS Game 5 of the NBA Finals ("which was a great game btw" DGF) last night and I didn't even ask David to help me pack for our upcoming move in a month. I even pretended to be interested in the basketball game last night, too!
Yesterday also happened to be Kieran's two month birthday. We went to breakfast at a restaurant right across the parking lot from the hospital and thought about what we were doing two months ago and how much little KRUF has changed since he was born. No longer our scrawny, little, wrinkly-faced dude; now he's a chubby ball of glee and energy. Every day he changes a little bit more and gets more and more fun. No more mindless bouncy-walking all day long with the little guy--now he loves to observe and interact with his environment. It's a real treat to read to him because he laughs and coos and kicks his feet in excitement.
He LOVES to read! I guess he takes after his mom and dad in this way already. His favorite book right now is 'Horns to Toes and in Between'--a board book with come colorful trolls who talk about all of their body parts. We occasionally switch it up with 'Snuggle Puppy' (which David read to him every night in utero) and 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar.' He also likes to talk to us and give us his opinion on things.
But most exciting of all, Kieran is starting to discover his hands. We just made this connection today. For quite some time now he's been keeping his little balled up fists under his chin, hoping one of them will make its way to his mouth. (We like to call him our little T-Rex when he's doing that, if that gives you a good mental image of what he looks like when in that pose.) The past several nights, he's been beating himself up, whacking himself in the face with his little hands, but it wasn't until today that we realized that it was his subconscious trying to get those little fists up to where he wants them--in his mouth, of course.
Today the three of us drove down to my sc
hool so I could attend my friend's thesis defense, and on the way back, I noticed that Kieran had extended his index finger on his right hand and was concentrating on it as he tried to bring it to his face. He managed to get it in his mouth once, but his other attempts mostly hit him around his eye. He was concentrating very hard, nonetheless, and has been trying to get his hand to do what he wants. Like all other things, it's a work in progress, but he is very persistent! I leave you with these pictures of our little genius working on this big milestone. Enjoy!

Okay, so how do I do this again???

Okay, watch the hand...

watch the hand...

there's the finger...

oh, no! not the eye, not the eye! I'm looking for the mouth! Let's try this again.

I'm getting warmer...

Alright! I got it!


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Oh, the Joy of a Sleeping Baby

*Sigh*... Kieran (aka Mr. No-Sleep) is taking a nap! And a long one, at that. He's been asleep for the past hour, allowing me to jump in the shower and (*GASP*) shave my legs! I cannot complain. Although Kieran has been a champ at sleeping through the night for the past month or so now, his sleep habits during the day have been tenuous at best lately. As he's become more aware of his surroundings and what's going on in them, he's become increasingly resistant to napping during the day. David and I are speculating that it is because he is afraid that he might miss something exciting and/or important while he's snoozing. He gets himself so exhausted and will finally fall asleep in my arms (or David's occasionally), but as soon as his little body hits the mattress, he wakes right back up, protesting. It doesn't help that for the past few days there have been loud banging noises coming from the apartment next door. Of course, the noises would have to be in the room that is right next to our bedroom where I'm trying to get Kieran to nap.
When he's tired, we can get him to fall asleep in his swing, but he rarely naps in there for longer than 30 minutes or so. Then it's back up, checking everything out. So, our typical day consists of several catnaps, 20 minutes here, 30 there (if I'm lucky), and then a VERY tired baby at the end of the day who sometimes falls asleep in 10 minutes; more often, though, it takes about an hour for him to wind down. Since Kieran is a sucker and won't take a pacifier and hasn't quite figured out how to get his thumb in his mouth yet, I get to stay with him and nurse him until he falls asleep. Sometimes being a human pacifier gets really old! We're really looking forward to the day when Kieran can employ some self-soothing techniques.
Funny, while I was writing this post, a very cranky Kieran woke up. I don't think he was quite ready to do so. I'm pretty sure that the banging noises next door are the reason he woke prematurely. I cannot wait to move into our new house with bedroom walls that aren't shared with anyone! And which is located in a nice neighborhood where our car won't get broken into and our cd player stolen. Yes, that did happen over the weekend, unfortunately. I was really bummed out about it for a day or so, but I'm really glad that it was just the cd player that was taken. They could have taken our stroller, which we keep in the back of the car, but apparently they weren't interested in that. Just the cd player, which was a wedding gift from my brothers. It's funny how your priorities change when you have a baby. Sure, I was bummed about the cd player, but I would have been WAY more bummed if it had been the stroller, which we use more often these days. So, enough about our exciting weekend. Hope yours was a little better!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Memorial Day

Kieran said he felt like a big superstar when he and I were home over Memorial Day weekend--the camera never stopped flashing! He wanted me to share these pics with you all. Enjoy!


Me and my big cousin Jay checking each other out. I'm sure we're going to have lots of fun and get into lots of trouble together. I can't wait! And, my mommy and Auntie Amy can't wait for Jay and I to become Hokies just like they, daddy, Uncle Brian, and Uncle Dan were. They're already dressing us for that eventuality!

Mommy, Me, Jay, and Aunt Amy. I'm trying to work it for the camera, although it's hard to tell in this pic.

Me and Aunt Amy. I'm so glad that she drove all the way down with my cousin Jay to visit for the day!

My Aunt Cathy giving me my bottle of mommymilk. She arrived just in time to help feed it to me!

Me, Mom, Jay, Aunt Amy, Aunt Cathy, and Mandy (wee-wee and pee-pee's doggy)

My Aunt Diane, me, and mommy. Don't let the face fool you; I sure was happy to see her!

Uncle Rudy (Andrew) carrying me in my Baby Bjorn. I love that thing and my Uncle Rudy!

There I am again in Hokie garb while my brave Aunt Molly was holding me!

Aunt Kathleen made sure I was happy and even helped change some of my diapers!

Here I am with my Uncle Albert. You can't really tell from this picture, but my mom sure thinks I look like him!

Aunt Becky made it home from rebuilding houses in Mississippi just in time to meet me before I left. I'm sure glad that she did!

My Uncle Dan sure was patient. I was in Virginia for three whole days before he got to hold me!

Here I am with my Aunt Liz! She changed almost all of my diapers when I was in Virginia. We really had a great time during those diaper changes. Aunt Liz would sing to me and make me laugh.

Pictures with my grandparents!

Here I am checking out my Grandma Carol. I sure do think she's pretty!

Me and Grandpa Don. I'm really glad that he and Grandma Carol came down for the day to visit me!

Here I am in an Ullrich four-generation picture with my Grandpa Tom (aka pee-pee), Papa, Grandma Jackie (aka wee-wee), Nana, and Mommy.

Here I am with my Grandpa Tom at the end of a long day. Later on that night, when I was asleep in his arms, he and Uncle Albert promised to give me hot dogs one day!

Another four generation picture with Mommy, Grandma Jackie, me, and GiGi.

Me and Aunt Sharon. She got me to fall asleep in her arms, which is no small feat!

Here I am with mommy's college buds, Casey and Nick. I'm pretty sure they'll be on my side when I start getting into trouble!

This was my first experience at Cracker Barrel. I didn't get to eat any of the food, but I sure loved the company! It was great hanging out with mommy's good friends Sarah, Joy, and Danila.

The World Cup Begins...

So, just last week I was thinking back over the time since Kieran's been here and realizing just how many basketball games have been on the television since we brought Kieran home. David, for those of you who don't know, is a pretty big sports nut. We actually had to have a discussion near the end of my pregnancy clarifying that under no circumstances would there be any sports events of any kind be permitted on the tv in the delivery room--I didn't care if it was the NCAA basketball championship game. Needless to say, David was thankful that Kieran waited to make his grand entrance until the interim between March Madness and the NBA Finals.
At last, the NBA finals are almost over. The Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat have already played one game (Dallas won), and once one of the teams wins four of the games, it will finally be over. So, I was thinking about how I was finally going to be free from sports on the tv for a while, at least until football season begins in late August; then it'll be sports indefinitely until this time next year. I'm just thankful that David doesn't care to watch baseball. And, I was thinking that if we decide to have another baby sometime, timing the birth so that it falls sometime in late June, July, or early August would be ideal in terms of having David's undivided attention and help without the distraction of any sports. The fact that being nine months pregnant during that time would be incredibly unpleasant almost seems worth it if there were no sports on.
I was thinking about all of this last week, so imagine my dismay when David came home one day and excitedly mentioned that on Friday, June 9th the World Cup of Soccer starts and will be going on for the next month or so... Fortunately, since the games are being held in Baden Baden, Germany, the time differential is great enough that most games are held during the day, so David watches some of the games from a classmate's apartment during lunchtime.
Nonetheless, I've lost my husband's u
ndivided help and attention pretty much for another month. This morning he woke up at 7 a.m. bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when Kieran stirred for his morning feeding. David eagerly changed Kieran's diaper and asked for just *one* small favor before KRUF and I got back in bed for a little nursing and some more sleeping: could he please just watch the World Cup games today. Okay, sure, I knew that our friend Chad was probably going to come over at 2 to watch whatever game's on then, but I was unsure as to why David was asking about this at 7 a.m. It turns out that (because of the time differential) the games have been on tv since that time, and, sure enough, my husband has been downstairs watching them all. Granted, he did take Kieran down with him after he woke up, letting me sleep a little more, but the dull roar of the stadium is enough to make my eyes pop out. And, little KRUF is excitedly *watching* the game with dad, although I think that he's more intrigued by the crazy expressions and excited movements that David's making and the occasional chanting that's coming out of his mouth.
*SIGH* I guess if we decide to have another, I'll just need to make sure it's either before or after four years from now. In the meantime, I've just got to resign myself to being outnumbered as the only family member who doesn't care a lick about sports. (The exception being Hokie football, of course.) So, it begins.
I leave you with these few pic
tures of my guys watching the various sporting events that have been on our television over the past few months. Enjoy!

NBA Finals...

And now, the Worl
d Cup...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Our Alert Little Guy

Every day Kieran becomes more and more alert, active, and aware of his surroundings. He smiles and coos like crazy when he's in a good mood, which is often. He really likes to yak it up with dad and mom, but his favorite things to talk to are his mobiles, even the one that doesn't move!!! He'll stare at them for (literally) twenty minutes at a time talking to them and just letting them know how much he loves them. We caught some of the excitement on camera last week. Enjoy!!

What Fun Times These Are

Kieran is over seven weeks old. It's so hard to believe that he's been here with us for nearly two months!! Every day it gets easier and easier, as we're finding our groove as parents and he's adjusting to his new world. We're slowly easing ourselves into some semblance of a bedtime routine and, as a result, Kieran's sleeping better and longer. We end the evenings with a bottle given by dad (which is not KRUF's idea of a good time, at least not right now), followed by a bath, some quiet, get-ready-for-sleep time with dad, and then a bit of nursing until he falls asleep.

Bathtime is arguably Kieran's favorite time of the day. He loves being in the water. He is usually quietly alert at the beginning, but then he gets going and really enjoys himself, as you can see from the pictures!