Tuesday, October 25, 2011


We are off to the Big Island for 9 days tomorrow.  Fun filled family time and hopefully no fighting! :)

To tide you over if I can't post while I'm on vacay, here is a HILARIOUS video of Kayla.  She has so much personality already and honestly already makes me laugh.  I can't get enough of this video (or her)!

Mahalo for reading/watching and Aloha until later! :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Photo Series

Kayla really missed her Aunt Megan....
(Cue series of photos after Aunt Megan leaves the room to talk on her phone.)






9 Month MD Update!

We found our new doctor in Illinois and saw her for Kayla's 9 month well check up today, we'll call her Dr. H.  She was great and very impressed with Kayla.  I hope we don't end up living too far from here so we can just stick her her because I liked her!  Here's our monthly update!

Weight: 18 lbs 1.8 oz (36.72%)

Height (Length): 2 ft 5 & 1/4 in (also known as 29.25 in, but it sound so much cooler in feet) (94.47%)

Head Circumference: 45.5 cm (87.92%)

Dr. H said even thought she's never seen Kayla before, she looks great and very healthy.  She continues to be long and skinny with a big head. :)  Dr. H commended me for continuing to breastfeed, even if it's only partially.  (It's nice to be recognized for my efforts, even though the efforts are mostly for me and Kayla.)  She also asked, "Is she crawling around?"  To which we replied, "Um...walking."  She was a little surprised.  We told her that Kayla can do some pinching to pick up her snacks instead of a full hand gripping and she is babbling.  Kayla was not a fan of Dr. H (she's definitely got the whole stranger danger mentality going on right now) but Dr. H said that she is obviously way ahead on her motor milestones and looks great.

She got a flu shot and her last Hep B shot today.  At this doctor's office, they let me hold her in my lap while getting the shots.  I tried to distract her with my iPhone and some lullabies, but she wasn't fooled.  She cried some serious tears for a few minutes, but she quickly gets over it.  It's hard for us but she's a little champ.

Here's some updates from this month:

  • Gross motor:  Obviously the biggie is walking.  I'm calling last Tuesday (10/19/11) her first day of walking.   When I got home from work, Daddy and Uncle Brendan were telling me they had been trying to get video all afternoon.  I picking this day because she had been taking anywhere from 5-7 steps prior to this, but this day seemed different.  She started taking smaller, more careful steps and she could go a further distance.  She also now sometimes chooses to walk instead of crawl to something.  She also learned how to clap this month which is such a cute thing to see.  She loves when we praise her for all the things she can do!
  • Fine motor:  Can use a pincer grip to pick up her cheerio shaped snacks.  Often "wrings" her hands together.  Has been using the sign language for "milk" but not consistently to signify that she wants milk.  She uses it when she wants something, which I guess is a first step!
  • Eating:  We are slowly transitioning her from purees to table foods.  Dr. H said that was find just to stay away from fish, honey and nuts.  But otherwise we could give her small portions of our table food.
  • Sleeping/Napping:  She actually has finally gotten on more of a schedule.  She take two relatively consistent naps each day around 9:30 and 2:30 for about an hour or two, depending on the day.  She is now consistently sleeping through the night.  Some nights she fusses a couple times and needs some consoling, but I actually feel like a normal person now in the mornings!
  • Talking:  She babbles a few syllables now, like bah, mah, meh, beh, etc.  She's pretty funny when she talks!
I've decided to save my official 9 month photos for Hawaii so they can be a little special, but here are some pictures I took with my new 50 mm lens over the weekend.  

Happy 9 month birthday Kayla Marie, I love you more and more each day!

Love those baby blues.
She is so full of life now!
I know this is blurry but she makes the best faces!

See...BEST faces
Love this onesie!
She loves to bang toys together.
So curious about everything.
Photobucket Photobucket

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I have "creating holiday traditions" on my 101 list.  I've been thinking about fun fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas traditions I can start with Kayla.  I'm coming up blank, as is per usual lately for me.  My brain is filled to the brim right now and I can hardly think of simple words I'm trying to find.  Anyways, any lovely readers have fall/winter holiday traditions that are simple and relatively inexpensive we can start?

(Hawaiin vacations would be a great tradition, but slightly too expensive.) :)  3 days.

Another side note, Happy Birthday to Grandma Hales...still under the hill...below the hill....going up the hill?  Whatever, she's young! :)


A Monumental Trip to DC

The Saturday before Kayla and I left with GiGi for Illinois, I basically dragged Justin along with us into DC.  Knowing we were moving and how much I love Washington DC, I felt like we were practically required to take Kayla to see some of the historic sites close to her birthplace.

Ready to go!
On our way there, while driving across the memorial bridge staring at the Lincoln Memorial (where Justin proposed), I said "I love living so close to all this.  I'm going to miss it." Thirty minutes later, while still trying to find somewhere to park, I said, "Well, maybe I won't miss this part of it." :)

Our first stop was the Lincoln.  Justin and I love to reminisce about our honeymoon seeing all the Asian tourists taking pictures with peace signs.  We tried to get some good photos with limited other people in them, without too much success.  I took (and edited) a ton of photos so I'll pick and choose and probably post randomly in other posts as well.
"Where are you taking me?"
"Come on Mom I'm trying to look at these people."
My stinker.
I actually really like this picture.
Normally, she's transfixed by the camera, but not with so many tourists around.
SOOOO many people to look at!
After the Lincoln, we walked to see the new MLK memorial, which was actually pretty neat with great views of the Jefferson.  I took some photos there but none with Kayla so I don't have any edited or ready to post yet.

"Where are we going now, Mom?"
Justin likes the editing on this one.
We proceeded to our favorite memorial next, the FDR.  It's so wonderful there because it doesn't feel like you are in a city.  I took a TON of pictures here.

Mesmerized by the waterfalls
We probably could have sat her in front of the waterfall all day.
Kissable cheeks

Trying to grab the water
She just loves to bang things.
Red is her favorite color.
Such a cutie.
Smiling at Daddy.
This might be my favorite picture I've taken so far.
We finished our walking tour at the WWII memorial so I could take a picture of my Virginia babies. :)

Her new favorite face.
Toes taste good
My VA babies.
The photograph is entitled "Pensive"
Light of my life :)
Overall, I know that Kayla may not remember much, but she loved getting to crawl around outside.  And I will remember the fun day with my little family before we moved away.  I really do love DC and hope we can make it back to visit friends often!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Happy .75 Birthday Kayla!

Today you are 9 months old and getting into everything!  We love you!

<3 Mommy and Daddy


Pictures and 9 month update to follow in the next few days!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Favorite things Fridays 10/21/11

I only have 2 today, although I know it's been awhile.  So I'll tide you all over with another adorable video of my sweetie. :)

1. Watching/listening to Daddy make Kayla laugh.  Baby belly laughs are seriously the most amazing sound....of pure joy.

2. Watching Kayla learn to walk.  Yep, she officially started walking this week.  Before she would take 5-6 steps here and there, this week, instead of crawling she chooses to pull herself up to standing and take small careful baby steps across the carpet to get my phone.

Stay tuned...tomorrow is another big day in A Hales Life. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Happy Thursday!

Enjoy...I do every time I watch. :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Top Five Signs

Kayla has been sleeping better (through the night) for about a month and a half or 2 now.  She was pretty much sleeping 7:30 to 7:30 without any wake ups.  Recently she's been waking up earlier, around 6:30 or so nowadays, and I'm not sure why.  But at least she isn't waking up in the middle of the night.  So I thought for a fun post, I would give you my "Top Five" signs your child has learned that sleep is good.

5.  You don't feel like you could fall asleep while your baby is screaming at the top of his/her lungs.

4.  Sleeping is no longer more important than eating.

3.  I can read more than 3 pages of a book before falling asleep with my Nook in my hands.

2.  I can actually remember words I am trying to think of, things I wanted to do, etc.

And the #1 sign your baby is now sleeping through the night:

1.  Previous train of thought when Kayla started crying in the middle of the night: Holy shit!  What could possibly be wrong now?  I can't believe she won't just sleep!  Why is she torturing us?
Current train of though when Kayla wakes up in the middle of the night (like last night): Oh I guess it's almost 6:30.  *Looks at the clock...3:15 am...What?*

This is ACTUALLY what I thought this morning when Kayla was crying at 3:15.
This is Kayla last week, after I got home from work and she had refused to nap pretty much all day.  I fed her and she literally fell asleep then and there, which she hasn't done in forever.  So I took a picture! :)

Can you give me another sign your baby is sleeping through the night?  (Besides the obvious which Justin pointed out to me, "They don't wake up.")

Monday, October 17, 2011

Half Check Off #41

#41: Complete a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.

About 3-4 weeks ago, Lauren came down to visit with her boyfriend, Kevin, right after we had moved.  Justin and I bought this puzzle from Barnes and Noble last time we were here for something do to.  The puzzle is of a picture by M.C. Escher (google him...the photos are pretty cool.)  We started the puzzle last time Lauren was here, and until this weekend I'd just been trying to work on it slowly on my own.  

Since my parents are leaving for Hawaii tomorrow and us kids are leaving next week, we wanted to get it done and out of the way.  No one wanted to help me because the puzzle was shades of grey and the picture wasn't exactly easily put together.  I would have given up, except I don't give up easily.  I finish what I start.  

So on Saturday, mom and I made a significant dent in the puzzle, and yesterday when Lauren and Kevin came down, we were able to finish it!!!  I didn't finish a puzzle on my own, so it's only a half check off!  Here's the finished product! 

NMM 10/17/11

Just think!  Your baby is going to learn how to love because of you!

Your words and actions start to have a lot more impact than you ever imagined before when you become a mom!  I realize that everything I do and say and how I treat other people, Kayla is going to mimic and I want to make sure I'm encouraging her to be the type of person people are proud to call their friend.  I hope that one day, when speaking of Kayla, people say, "Oh she is just the kindest person.  She is the type of person that would give you the shirt off her back."

Since delving into the cloth diapering community on facebook, I've started following two very hard to come by diapers.  For the most part, I think the moms in the community are so kind and helpful.  But when it comes to buying/selling/trading diapers, I think it brings out the worst in some of these mommas.  All I keep thinking is, Is this how you want your kids to treat other people?

So keep in mind, your little one is always watching and taking in your words and actions...make sure they are words and actions both you and he/she would be proud of!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Two Years

They were difficult, but they were wonderful and packed to the brim with love.

Two years ago, I married the only person I can ever imagine putting up with me through everything.  He's my complete opposite.  He is patient, and calm and level-headed.  I'm impatient (at times), high energy (at times) and sometimes let my emotions get the best of me.  I wear my heart on my sleeve and don't like to ask for help.  And he just wants to help in any way he can.

Don't get me wrong, we both have our flaws.  And even after being together for 7 years, we are still learning about each other.  And there is absolutely no one I would rather be embarking on these wonderful new experiences with.

He is the best daddy, the best husband and the best friend.  I wish we had more alone time together, but I hope at the very least, he always knows how much I love him.  And how I cannot imagine my life without him.

I love looking at our wedding pictures...this post is heavy with them.  However, I tried to pick some different ones that not everyone has seen.  I tend to post and re post the ones that are my favorites, so here is a just slightly different look at our wedding day. :)

2 Years ago today, the Hokie crushed Boston College on a cloudy Saturday.

You can't have alcohol in the limo without mixers right?

I actually love this picture :)

Hokie 4Ever :)

He still makes me laugh 

There is no one I would rather have as my dance partner.

Only he would let me smash cake in his face without doing it back.

I can't wait to see what the next 2 years bring!