Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Christmas Eve with the Dawkins!

My mom's side of the family always gets together at my grandmother's house on Christmas Eve night.  We have finger foods, snacks, ham biscuits and later we open presents.  This is the night that I was talking about in my post yesterday.  All 9 of us grandchildren would wait patiently around the tree, just staring at the piles of presents until someone told us that we could get started!  It always seemed like the adults took FOREVER to be ready!

I didn't take pictures, but we started the night watching a compilation of video clips that my cousin, Jessica, organized and put to music.  My grandfather was in a lot of the clips and I don't think there was a dry eye in the room from laughing and crying.  It was so funny to see my aunts and uncles at my age now and see all of us crazy grandchildren running around being silly.  My how clothing and hair styles have changed, we were all fashions victims, old and young.  One thing I did notice though is how YOUNG all of my aunts and uncles looked...I know that sounds like such a naive thing to say but they did!  And I've never thought that they look OLD now...its just amazing how much you change over the years...I  completely blame it on the children :)  Anyway, I told my mom afterwards that I'm always running from the camera because "I'm not wearing any makeup" or because I'm in my "around the house" clothes, or my hair doesn't look right...I've come to the realization that I'm as young as I'm going to ever be again so I need to start cheesing for the camera every time it comes out because this is as good as its going to get!!

This group can get kind of loud and crazy at times so it can be a little overwhelming to someone that is not used to a big family.  Last year, my uncle Jody made my grandma play "Let's Make a Deal" for her present :)  Other years we have all played games and we have also provided Christmas for a needy family in lieu of gifts to each other.  We always have so much fun and you never know what may be going on with this bunch of crazies :)

And we wonder why the grandchildren love Papa...he's always handing out food!  Owen eating a ham biscuit.

Kellan shoving in a biscuit before mommy notices.

We don't do this every year but I think we should start.  Here are my aunts and uncles and my mom.  Uncle Mike in the front, Uncle Jody, mom, Aunt Tammy, and Aunt Tracie

The siblings with their mom, my grandma.  I'm not sure what Jody is doing to Mike's hair :)

This is going to be a must-do tradition!  Every year when we were kids we always took pictures on this sofa together.  I wish I had one of all of us on the computer to compare to this one.  These are the great-grandchildren:  Kellan, 14 months, Owen, 3 years, Eden, 12 months, and Brooklyn, 7 months

I wonder what was going on over there?

And then we tried to re-enact the grandchildren picture...except we don't all fit on the sofa anymore!  We were supposed to be getting in order from oldest to youngest and I think this may actually be right.  From left to right:  Me, Dana, Chad, Jessica (my sister), Jessica, Brandon, Grae, Colby, and Bailey, the youngest, laying across everyone.

There were many attempts....

and we finally got a good one with every one's eyes open!

My grandma with all of her presents :)

Owen showing off his belly...we are not sure why :)

Opening presents used to be about its ALL about the babies!

Trying to get Kellan to look at daddy taking pictures but he is just too excited about his My First Story Reader because it was talking to him.

The cutest outfit EVER from Colby!  

He snuck away to get into Brooklyn's gifts...who doesn't like a pink hippo?

Holding on to his firetruck in his lap and trying to open the barking dog from great-grandma at the same time.

Brooklyn loving on her new outfit.

Eden modeling her new outfit...

I think somebody is excited about their new laptop :)

It always happens...what do the babies want?  The bows! :)
We could have just stopped with gifts for Kellan after this night.  He got so many things, I will try to remember them all:  A penguin singing bath toy, Eight Silly Monkeys, a Goodnight Moon puzzle, a musical train set, a fire truck that lights up and makes siren noises, a dog that barks when you take his bone, Little Honey Bear and the Smiley Moon, a snowman sweater vest, a red puffy vest, a plaid shirt and jeans, and the My First Story Reader. Christmas Eve at grandma's is my favorite day of the whole year and I always look forward to it!  I can't wait to watch these babies grow up together and pretty soon we will have a new group sitting around the Christmas tree waiting on US!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pre-Christmas with the Rodgesters!

Since we were going to be in NC with my family for Christmas, we got together with Michael's mom's side of the family the Saturday before at his Aunt Karen's house.  After we ate too much good food, cousin Dylan was ready to open presents.  Well Michael and I ate too much good food...Kellan however refused to eat anything which is totally unlike him.  He also had a runny nose.  This was the day that he decided to be a picky eater.  He wouldn't eat anything...not even bread!  Luckily it only lasted a week and he got back to eating again.  Looking back on it now, we are pretty sure he was teething and he has a molar or two to show for it.  

Dylan reminded me so much of me and all of my cousins when we were small.  It seemed like it took YEARS before the adults were finally ready to open presents.  The only difference is that there is one Dylan (+Kellan now) and there were 11 of us on one side of the family and 9 on the other side.  We always had a huge group sitting around the tree just waiting to get the go ahead to start passing out gifts!  

I did not do a good job of taking pictures of the rest of the family but here is Kellan opening his presents!

He was (and still is) in love with his sock monkey that plays peek-a-boo from Great Grandma Rodgester.

It makes him laugh every time :)  This has become one of his must-have toys on long car keeps him entertained for a long time.
He's gotten much better at opening presents since his birthday!

He also loves his big stuffed horse from Aunt Kim, Dylan and Uncle Calvin.  It is the perfect size for him to sit...

and it didn't take him long to learn that if you squeeze his ears he makes galloping sounds and neighs :)  

Daddy being silly...

He hopped right on his new 4 wheeler from Aunt Karen and Uncle Hardee.  It makes revving sounds and all other kinds of noises when you push the buttons.  He has passed lots of time sitting on this, pushing buttons, and listening to the sounds.

Kellan had such a great time and I know each year is going to get more fun (and more challenging) as he understands more about Christmas...and next year he will get to share it with a new baby!

Monday, January 28, 2013


We were lucky enough to get a couple of inches of snow last week and it was Kellan's first opportunity to actually go outside and experience it.  

Mommy even made peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips for the occasion :)

"If this is what it takes to play in the snow I don't wanna go!"  Kellan was not happy about the snow boots, snow suit, and coat that he had to wear. 
Kellan was not impressed with the snow on our first attempt to play.  He couldn't walk in his boots and I think his coat was too bulky for him to move around easily.
Even daddy couldn't help change this attitude!
We came back inside because he just was not enjoying himself at all.  He already had a runny nose so I knew we shouldn't stay out in the cold long, but I was determined that he was going to love the snow so we tried again.  

We took his coat off to see if that would help him move around a little better...and out we went again.
This time was much better!  He still didn't do a lot of walking in it but he did enjoy sitting in the snow and looking around.

Mommy covering him up :)

Cold!  Look at that face :) where did this stuff come from?

He finally played in it a little bit before we had to come back inside to get warmed up.

After we took off our snow clothes Kellan enjoyed a "tootie" and got it all over himself, the furniture, and the floor!  It was a short-but otherwise enjoyable first snow day for Kellan :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Kellan is 15 Months Old!

Kellan turned 15 months on Sunday, January 20.  He had his check up on Thursday, January 24 and these are his most current measurements.

Height: 33 1/4 inches (97%)
Weight: 28 pounds (90%)
Head Circumference: 19 1/4 inches

Totally unsuspecting baby on the way to get his 15 month shots...

This was our hardest doctor's appointment yet.  As soon as we entered the exam room he lost it.  He wouldn't let me set him down.  He fought us when we took off his clothes and clung to both of us crying hysterically.  When the doctor tried to listen to his heart and lungs, he pushed her hands away.  He refused to open his mouth and wouldn't turn his head so that she could look in his ears.  He totally remembered getting shots last time, he knew what was about to happen, and he was MAD!

It was horrible.  He had to get 3 shots and he was not a happy baby...but he survived and by the time we got in the car he was back to his little smiley self :)

Daddy said he deserved Texas Roadhouse yeast rolls after that whole ordeal...those can cure anything!
A few more statistics for this month:

Sleeping: Kellan's bed time has unintentionally moved back to between 9-9:30 pm. Some nights it is even later than that.  One Saturday this month he refused to go to sleep so I went and got him and put him on the couch with daddy watching a movie.  My 15 month old baby was laying with daddy, blankie in hand, paci in his mouth, watching Rise of the Planet of the Apes at 11 p.m.!  Not the best parenting decision we have ever made but he was totally engrossed in the "monkey movie," much to mommy's dismay.  Let me tell was a far cry from Eight Silly Monkeys that mommy read to him right before bed.  He typically wakes up anywhere between 8 and 9 a.m. 

Most mornings Kellan will still take a morning nap for about an hour to an hour and a half.  I have a feeling he will begin to drop this soon.  He also takes an afternoon nap anywhere between 3-4 pm and he sleeps for another hour and a half to two hours.  We're just not "follow the clock" parents (whether that is good or not is yet to be determined) so Kellan does not have specific nap times, however he always takes 1-2 naps a day.  I still read his signals and when he starts getting whiny, falling down, rubbing his eyes, and bumping into things, I know its nap time.

Eating: I'm still making a lot of Kellan's food but he has become a much more picky eater.  He went through a phase the week of Christmas where he barely ate anything.  Everything immediately went to the floor.  I was so frustrated because this behavior was not like him at all.  We think it must have been teething because he ran a slight fever at night and also had a runny nose during this time.  The following week he perked back up and was his regular piggy self.  He is still a pretty good eater but one day he may gobble up a particular food and the next day he may throw it to the floor or spit it out.  Every meal is a surprise.

I don't know if you can see all of the carrots that Kellan threw all over the floor.  The exact same carrots that he devoured the day before.  I was one VERY unhappy mommy.
He had food everywhere!  This was a common occurrence for a few days...
He has 3 meals a day with breakfast being between 8:30-9 am. He usually eats half of an avocado (that I feed to him) and half of a banana cut up into pieces so that he can feed himself.  If I make myself scrambled eggs or grits sometimes he may have a bite of that too. 

Around 12:00-12:30 he has any combination of 3 items.  Most of the time he has cut up fruit, pieces of cheese/cup of yogurt, and some kind of vegetable or maybe even left over pieces of meat.  

Around 5:30-6:00 he has his "first course" :) of dinner which is usually something that he can feed himself while I am cooking our dinner:  cheese, cut up fruit, veggies, raisins, hard boiled egg, cut up leftover meat, etc.  Then when we sit down to eat dinner, he goes back in his high chair and eats whatever he might like that we are having.

There isn't really a point in listing the foods that he has had because by now he's pretty much had it all!  He has even had his first turkey sub at Subway.  Kellan is still in love with bread...if he sees it on the table at a restaurant, he will refuse to eat anything else.  We have to hide the biscuits at Cracker Barrel and the cracker bowls at other restaurants.  Restaurants are pretty much the only time he gets bread at all. 

I know it sounds like we just let him have anything now and although we have become much more lenient, we still avoid all processed/boxed foods and always try to make the healthiest choices for him.  The majority of the time we still stick to his same diet of fruits, vegetables, dairy, eggs, and cheese but at birthday parties and certain restaurants we still let him indulge :)  We even got him his first strawberry ice cream cone at the mall and I made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies that he liked so much he has learned the word "tootie".  He is a kid after all and to me the most important thing is that he WILL eat healthy foods and that it remains the basis of his diet.

One night Michael and I were both cleaning the kitchen after dinner.  Michael had moved the candy bowl to the edge of the counter where he was wiping and when we looked down someone was enjoying a chocolate Santa.  This is why the candy bowl is usually out of reach for little hands.
-Drinking: Kellan always drinks either whole milk or water, that's it, no matter where we are.  There is absolutely no reason to have anything else and he adores both so why mess with that?

Clothes: Kellan is wearing 18 months and 24 months, it really just depends on the brand.  Some 18 months fit him perfectly, some are a little snug.  Some 24 months fit him perfectly, some are a little big.  He is still wearing size 4 diapers and he can only squeeze into his size 6 and size 6 1/2 shoes!  His blue Stride Ride sneakers and black (enclosed) Crocs are the shoes he wears the most.


1. Kellan is now able to open the doors in our house.  We have lever handles so all he has to do is pull down.  He is pretty much able to wander everywhere.  The scariest part is that he now tries to follow Michael out the back door and into the garage when he leaves for work.  As if we didn't have to watch him closely before, we have to watch him even more closely now and keep doors to the outside LOCKED!

2. His vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds and he loves to copy words that we say.  Words that he can say:  nana (banana), night-night, cheese, shoes, socks, duck, yes, no, mommy, daddy, thanks, you, car, truck, tractor, doggy, ball, paci, Briggs, papa, Elmo (much to mommy's embarrassment), spoon, milk, tootie (cookie), chicken, bath, shoot, this, hat, more, uh-oh, book, hammer, hot, cold, light, and more that I know I am forgetting.  He surprises me all the time with words that he knows and is able to use.  He talks all the time and there are plenty of words that he says that we just can't understand yet.  He still calls most all foods nana, no matter what it actually is.  Whenever you hand him something he almost always says thanks.

3. We are now up to (at least) 9 teeth. He has 4 on the bottom and 4 on the top and one molar that we know about.  It is getting more difficult to check because he bites down when you try to feel around in his mouth. 

4. Kellan can point or find the following objects when you ask for them by name:  his ears, nose, mouth, hands, hair, belly, foot, socks, shoes, duck, shirt, ball, mommy's glasses...and a world of other things that I just haven't found out yet!  One morning I was just talking out loud to myself (and him) and I asked him where mommy's glasses were...totally not thinking he knew what I was talking about at all.  When I turned around he had my glasses in his hand, holding them out to me. :)

5.  He is now able to get down off of furniture like the sofa, chairs, and our bed.  He can't climb UP yet but he can slide himself off.

6.  When Kellan wants to get up on the sofa, chair or bed he pats it and says "mommy"...even if he is talking to Michael. 

7.  I still sometimes lay down and take naps with Kellan.  I've just been so exhausted and he is such a good snuggle buddy...lucky for me he still sleeps in his crib just as easily too.

8. This child LOVES music!  He loves his xylophone, electronic drum, hand drum, and keyboard...he constantly keeps the music going whenever he can.  He loves to "sing" along with daddy.  One of my new goals is to play one or two songs for him regularly so that he can learn them.  Right now he tries to "sing" to all kinds of songs but he doesn't know the words.

9.  He still loves books and will often sit on his little couch and "read/babble" out loud to himself as he turns the I overheard him reading Are You My Mother to himself.  On each page he said "mommy," "daddy," "mommy," "daddy."  The story does not mention a dad but I'm glad he included daddy anyway.

10.  Kellan is into everything.  Seriously nothing is safe from his exploring.  He notices EVERYTHING and he does not leave a crack or crevice untouched.  Nothing within his reach is safe.  His favorite toys are anything that he can find inside of kitchen and bathroom drawers and cabinets and he is obsessed with the dishwasher.  One afternoon, I was changing Briggs in the living room while Kellan stood beside me, babbling to her and handing her toys.  While I was pulling her pants back up I notice Kellan wandering off into the bedroom.  After I get her situated, I walk by to find him.  I found him alright.  Standing in our bathroom, top drawer open, daddy's razor in hand...and I kid you not...the child was shaving his upper lip!  Thank god he did not cut himself...I don't know how we got so lucky but thank goodness he was unharmed.  It takes him one minute to get into something dangerous and it also reminded us one more time that he is watching EVERYTHING that we do!  I haven't had any trouble with him in the house plants this month...we'll see what next month brings!

11.  Right before he takes something he knows that he's not supposed to have (cell phone, TV remote, etc.) he will flash you the biggest, cheesiest grin that you can imagine with his eyes squinted shut.  Even though this was from last month I'm going to keep it because he still does this.  Now he adds a loud, boisterous NO! NO! before he touches or does something that he knows he is not supposed to do.  I should note that this does not keep him from actually doing it or touching it.  I also caught him telling Briggs No! No! and pointing to the dishwasher right before he attempted to climb in it himself.

"Maybe if I smile really big she won't notice that I'm taking this book off the shelf that I'm not supposed to have."
He doesn't like to neglect the magazine basket either...he is more caught up with Oprah magazine than mommy is!  And if you can't tell...he is actually saying "Cheese!"
I should have waited until he was "finished" with this kitchen drawer before I took the picture.  There were plastic bowls and lids everywhere.
One night while Michael and I were organizing some things in the living room we noticed that Kellan had been awfully quiet.  Michael found him in the guest bedroom, digging in one of my craft baskets, completely covered in glitter.

Who needs toys when you have the wand off of the blinds?

12.  Since the new baby will be taking over Kellan's nursery at the end of May, we are slowly transitioning Kellan into his new room on the other side of the house.  Right now it is just his play room.  Mommy is not ready to move him quite so far away to sleep and there isn't really a reason his crib is still in the nursery, right beside mommy and daddy's room.  He loves his new room and it is slowly becoming more organized.

Playing with his alligator in his playroom
I have moved a few things into the nursery in preparation for the new baby.  Kellan seems to think I took this chair out just for him and he enjoys reliving his infant days in the bouncer.

13.  I am letting Kellan practice feeding himself with a toddler fork and spoon but let me tell is so hard because he makes such a mess!  I know it must be done in order for him to learn.  He loves it and sometimes will pick up food with his hands, stick it on the fork, and then eat it :)

14.  He still loves a bath and all that you have to say is "bath" and he says "BAT!" and runs for the bathroom.  When the water is running he tries to throw his little leg up over the side of the tub whether his clothes are off yet or not!  He loves his bath toys and can be found digging in them at all times of the day.

15.  Kellan has become such an affectionate little boy.  He will hug and kiss his stuffed animals when you ask him too and sometimes just out of the blue...especially if he's getting sleepy.  Our favorite thing that he does right now is wrap his little arms around your neck, put his head on your shoulder, and pat your back with his little hand.  It is just precious.
Giving giraffe a squeeze
16.  My sister got Kellan an indoor basketball goal and Michael plays with him all the time.  In fact, they play so much that when basketball is on TV Kellan will sit on his couch watching the game and yelling "shoot, shoot!  shoot, shoot!!"  He says the same thing while he's playing basketball with daddy.

17.  I started trying to teach Kellan a few signs when he was 6 months old.  I gave up a few months later because I just wasn't getting any response from him and I felt like I was completely wasting my time.  It has been MONTHS since I have even attempted signing with him.  Just a couple of weeks ago Kellan ran out of milk and when I turned around he was doing the sign for 'more' PERFECTLY and saying "Mo!, Mo!"  He does it all the time now to let me know that he wants more.   It just goes to show you that babies are taking in EVERYTHING at a very young age.  This new baby better get ready because mommy is not giving up this time!!

Signing for more :)

18.  Kellan was digging around in daddy's closest and came out with this hat, wearing it exactly like this! :)  Saying "hat!, hat!"

19.  He has just now discovered our see through fireplace and loves running to one side and looking at you through the glass, then running to peek at you on the other side.

20.  Another of his favorite toys is this twirly helicopter thing that spins when you twirl it between your hands.  He got it from a goody bag at a birthday party and he is in love.  He will go for hours handing it to you and saying "This!, This!" and wanting you to fly it for him.   Luckily he is just as impressed with mommy's seriously pitiful flying abilities as daddy's that go flying all over the room.

21.  My child likes Elmo.  There.  I said it out loud.  Much to mommy's dismay he is actually a little obsessed with Elmo.  I don't know why.  I have never bought anything with Elmo on it, nor do we encourage talk about Elmo or watch him on TV.  It just happened.  His Gigi bought him a dancing Elmo for his birthday but he hardly has anything to do with, so that's not it.  Gigi also bought him a pair of Elmo pj's that he wears but he never really talks about him when he's wearing them, so that's not it either.  He finds that little furry red thing everywhere.  There can be a picture of Elmo a fraction of an inch big on a pack of wipes and Kellan will find him and point him out.  He digs through all of his bath toys saying "Mo!"  I knew he did not have an Elmo bath toy but lo and behold the container of capsules that turn his bath water different colors has a picture of Elmo on the outside.  He has millions of apps on the iPad but somehow Elmo has become his favorite the point that he calls the iPad "Mo!"  Lord help us all...what do kids see in that furry red animal with a lisp?!  I don't get it.  I hope its a phase...

22.  Kellan loves to play the different apps on mommy's iPhone and the iPad.  Elmo's ABC is of course his favorite but so is Peekaboo Wild, Peekaboo Barn, and the Itsy Bitsy Spider.  He plays Peekaboo Wild so much on my phone he now calls my phone "Ah-boo!"

23.  I have a confession.  When we were at the Honda dealership getting an update to our car, I played Elmo videos on my phone to keep Kellan in my lap and not wandering around contracting everyone's cold and flu germs.  He was so engrossed in the songs and videos he never budged or even looked up.  I had numerous people come up and tell me how well behaved he was...*sigh* oh the things we told ourselves that we would never do...

Here are a few more pictures from this month:

Shopping with mommy at Marshall's
Eating a grilled cheese and people watching at Panera with mommy.  He loves to watch people, grin and wave frantically at them, and then completely ignore them once they talk or wave back to him.
He is an extremely grumpy morning takes one to know one.
Shopping with mommy and daddy at Sam's Club
I can't wait to see what is in store for us this month...and I can only imagine what is going to happen when there are TWO of them!!