Monday, December 13, 2010

Still Here

So I've been meaning to do a new post for weeks now, but every time I think about it I've got my hands full with something else. Then of course I forget. Oh well.

Leo has been something of a fussy-britches as of late, partially from feeling a little cabin fever and partially from less than ideal sleep. We think he's been going through a growth spurt the last few weeks, because he's been waking up early (anywhere from a hour to two hours early.....grrr) and eating voraciously once he wakes. We try to stuff him as full of dinner as we can, but it doesn't seem to make much of a difference.

And he's started waking up at some point almost every night and crying until one of us goes in to give him a little comforting and tuck him back in. He goes right back to sleep at that point, but if we don't go in he just cries louder and harder....Not sure what's at play there, guess he just needs some sort of reassurance that we are still here. Regardless, all of this adds up to him getting less than the ideal 11-12 hours of sleep each night.
And in the cabin fever department, it's finally gotten cold and snowy here, so we don't get out of the house all that much. I joined a local mom's group on Meetup, so that helps us get to some more playdates, but I think he's still getting antsy. Probably doesn't help that he hasn't gotten any new toys in months - why buy a kid new toys right before Christmas? So I think he's a bit bored with all his stuff. He's about to get plenty of new stimulation though - a road trip down to my mom's for a week, then a week at Byron's parents place with all his family. Plus all the goodies that Christmas entails for a kid.

In preggo news, I've been feeling pretty good. Starting to feel bigger, but mostly just notice that when I'm trying to get stuff done. Bending over to pick up toys is starting to get fun. On the plus side, I'm still comfortable laying on my back at night, which got uncomfortable very quickly with Leo. Hopefully that means that Baby Girl is smaller than he was (though really, he was huge at 9 pounds 5 ounces, so she has to be smaller, right?)

The nurse practitioner said everything looks good so far - all my vitals are good and my weight gain has been pretty minimal so far. Here's hoping the rest of this continues to cruise along well.
Speaking of Baby Girl, she is super active like Leo was. Though while he had a tendency to poke outward, she seems more interested in attacking my internal organs and pushing straight down. Not exactly what I would call comfortable, but it's pretty minor. She also gets the hiccups pretty frequently like he did.

Just about 3 months to go until we become a family of four! Maybe I should get around to taking a belly pic sometime soon to share. Funny how entertaining a toddler all day can distract you from doing things like that....

Monday, October 25, 2010

Leo becomes a man... sort of.

As some of you now know, Leo underwent surgery last week at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago for an undescended testes that he's had since birth. I know, I never mentioned it before, it just seemed kinda weird to be like 'Oh yeah by the way, Leo's got one ball in hiding...' It's apparently quite common (I think I read about 1 in 100 baby boys these days) and the surgery is considered pretty routine. It was outpatient surgery, just over an hour long, and everything went perfectly smoothly.
And I managed to not freak out, burst into tears, or chew my fingernails off. Impressive, I know. I wasn't really worried about the surgery itself, mostly just the general anesthesia (because you can't give a baby local anesthesia and hope for them to stay still...) Most people handle general anesthesia without problem, but it still carries a risk.
Anyway, he was fine, was disoriented and wailing for the first half hour after waking up (which they said was very normal due to the disorientation and confusion). He gradually came back to normal over the next half hour, then was his normal self the rest of the day. Of course, Tylenol with Codeine might have helped in that arena. Good stuff. And he's been doing swell ever since, just two small incisions to keep clean and a little bruising.

In more fun news, we were in New York City about two weeks ago for Byron's brother Scott's wedding to the lovely Adee, which was very fun. It was an intimate event in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, mostly just close family. Leo of course wore his finest, and was quite popular. More photos of the lovely event can be see here.

Next on the docket - my ultrasound is scheduled for Thursday, at which time we'll hopefully be able to tell if #2 is a boy or girl! Speaking of him/her, they're pretty active already. I'm getting lots of pokes and bumps from them, which is fun. Believe it or not, we're already over halfway thru this pregnancy.... whoopie!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Next Kern Baby!

Yes, as many of you know, we are expecting Kern baby #2! Mr. Leo is going to be a big brother around March 15th. We'll be finding out whether it's a boy or girl at the end of October. whee!

I'm sure many of you are a bit surprised at this news coming so soon. If we weren't planning to move after Byron graduates in May (to a location/job yet to be determined) then we would have waited a little longer, but I didn't want to deal with switching midwives mid pregnancy. So we gave ourselves a 4 month window to try, after which we would wait entirely until after Byron was done with school to try again.

So here we are - yours truly seems to be quite fertile. :)

We're definitely excited, though it's very different from the excitement of finding out I was pregnant with Leo. It's much more tempered now by the thought of two kids in diapers and the uncertainty of where we'll be headed to after graduation. Also the uncertainty of how Leo will handle having a sibling. But the upside is that there are alot of things I'm not worrying about (since I've already got 'em figured out), like breastfeeding and basic newborn care.

Happily, I've been feeling pretty good so far - a tiny bit of nausea and a little bit of shortness of breath, but that's it. Then again, almost all of my pregnancy discomforts with Leo came at the very end - please God let me not develop that super itchiness again......

In Leo cuteness news, we're headed to NYC next weekend for Byron's brother Scott's wedding to the lovely Miss Adee, and Leo's got himself a fancy new suit for the occasion. We had a little fashion show of the new duds, and he looks just adorable. We'll definitely be posting pictures of that once we get home!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dizzy Day

Just a little video I had to share: Leo repeatedly spinning himself dizzy.

Other fun recent tidbits - Leo has suddenly figured out how to drink out of a straw. He showed no interest in them until I was drinking one of the new McDonalds fruit smoothies (which are yummy, by the way), then he pulled the straw into his mouth and drank almost half of it! It's a random little skill, but it's cool . Now he's using a sippy cup with a straw and loving it.

He's also starting to get the hang of using a fork - we picked him up a set of toddler silverware and he loves to (occasionally somewhat effectively) use it to stab his food and feed himself.
Looks like we're now the parents of an I-do-it-myself toddler!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Settling back into home

Well it's been a whirlwind summer, and it's finally done. Ok, technically it may still be summer, but Byron started back up at school last week, so it's fall to us. Byron traveled almost every week for his internship, and Leo and I took several long trips (most recently to Florida to see my dad in Miami then a week of family vacay in Naples).
Leo was mostly fabulous with all the travel - in fact on our return trip from Florida, Byron and I were on separate flights (Byron direct, me with a connection) so Leo traveled home with Dada, and did splendidly. I thoroughly enjoyed sticking my nose into a book with zero interruptions on my flight!
Our Florida trip was great - Leo got to spend a whole week with Grandpa & Elisa, lapping up the Miami beach scene - and as per usual, picking up a few more adoring grandmothers along the way. That kid is a grandma magnet. Though he did seem a little confused when they all wanted to speak Spanish to him.
Somewhere along the way, Leo somehow developed a fascination with ceiling fans (there are alot of them in Florida, no surprise). He now likes to adamantly point at them (repeatedly) until you say the word fan. And, in the last week, he has started to do the same thing with light fixtures. Future contractor? Who knows.
Leo has definitely come to appreciate the beach much better than the last time we were in Florida (when he cried as we got even close to the water) and now giggle maniacally when you first walk him up to the waves. In fact if we didn't hold him back, he would happily run face first into the ocean until it covers him. He also discovered the joy of chasing the birds on the beach - he can't fun fast enough to catch them, or fast enough to make them fly away, so he just runs after them, laughing like a madman, as they walk as fast as they can in the opposite direction. It's pretty freaking cute.
We also got to see my high school best bud Corinne when we were down south - she and her hubs are just moving to Miami so she drove out to Naples for the day, then we stayed with them the night before we flew home. Leo was all over her right away - and he was so excited by her dogs that he managed to actually scare them off a bit. 25 pounds of squealing toddler is enough to scare off two dogs, no matter how big they are.
All in all, it was really great to get around this summer and see everyone, but it's practically delicious to be back home. We're working on transitioning Leo to a one-nap-a-day schedule, and looking forward to playgroups with all the other student families. And oh yeah, Notre Dame football. :)
I'll have more of our summer's picture to share in about a week - the charging cable for my laptop died and I can't get to the pictures I had already downloaded on there until the replacement arrives. Here are some that were still on my camera.

Monday, July 26, 2010

We're Walking

Not sure how so much time manages to go by between postings these days, maybe it was the marathon 2 week road trip extravaganza to my Mom's place then down to Dallas to see Vic & Sarah. Sounds like a good reason to me. Yeah, so Leo and I drove from South Bend to St Louis (approx 8 hours) which was actually pretty good, then a few days later we hopped in the car with my mom and drove 12 hours down to Dallas to see my brother's family. It wasn't 12 hours of peace and joy, but it was honestly better than I expected.
Our visit was great - Vic & Sarah's kids Thomas (6) and Elizabeth (3) were obsessed with Leo from the moment we arrived. He was hugged, carried, read to, talked to, played with (sometimes without his willing participation) and it was really fun to see them all together. Thomas was particularly smitten and told me several times that "Leo sure is a cute baby." Not what you expect to hear from a 6 year old boy. I think he really liked the idea of having another boy to play with instead of his sister, despite the fact that Leo couldn't really play with him very well.
The trip home to my mom's was less peaceful than the ride down, and our return leg home a day later was the final straw for that poor kid - about half of the ride was loud wordless protests from him about his unhappiness. But we made it! He is totally done with car trips for a while. We're headed down to Miami to see my dad in a few weeks, so we'll see how the plane ride goes on that one.
But the real exciting fun is that Leo is walking now! In about a month, he's gone from a step or two at a time, to barely crawling at all and standing up from the ground without support. He's zooming all over the place, and enjoyed a few scenic strolls through gas stations while we were traveling. And he making more and more word sounds - I think I've heard kitty, duck, bathtime, giraffe (bathtime is his favorite time of the day, perhaps because his nakedness allows him free access to get grabby with himself - so it's a happy word for him). He's looking more and more like a toddler every day instead of a baby. And I think the transition from two daily naps to one isn't far behind either. High school can't be far away.....
For travel pics, check out my Flickr page:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

13 Months

It's official - our little man is on his way from infant to toddler. He's 13 months old now, and has been cruising around the living room nonstop behind anything with wheels for about a month now. And he got several cool big toys with wheels (a big train, a buggy, a walker) for his birthday, so there is usually a veritable stable of potential cruising vehicles strewn around the living room. He'll push them around, walking behind them, and move around the room with one hand on a toy or furniture at all times. Then in the last week he's increasing started letting go while he's standing still.
Then a few days ago, he took a couple little steps without any support! Granted it was just a couple little steps getting from Mom to Dad, but it's a pretty exciting development nonetheless. So flat-out walking seems to (finally) be in our near future. Which I imagine will mean more work, but also more fun.

Happily, Leo seems to be coping well with Byron's extended travel schedule this summer for his internship. He's usually gone Thursday thru Sunday, which is much better than being gone all summer like we originally expected. Leo seems to be young enough to not really know that Dad's gone until he comes back home and gets all excited to see his Dada again. On the downside, naptime has become much more chaotic and unpleasant now that I am weaning him entirely off breastfeeding. I had cut down to just nursing at naptime, which was an easy transition, but as I am now ready to regain sole proprietorship of my body, he has to fall asleep for naps on his own. It's an uphill battle, but a necessary one. He's still sleeping really well at night, so if naps are terrible for a few weeks then I suppose we'll all live.
And while Byron works this summer, Leo and I have a growing list of summer travel plans - Chicago, Missouri, Dallas, Miami.... Looking forward to it!
Check out more pics at

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Leo!!!

Yes - Leo turned one today! And celebrated by enjoying his new backyard swing (and he loves that thing), and destroying the rest of his birthday party cupcake. And I do mean destroy - I'll need to vacuum tomorrow.
So hard to believe he's turning 1 - I can still remember what it was like to have a life before he was born! But it's hard to remember a time before his sweet smile. Yeah, he can be alot of work, but he's incredibly sweet and an all-around happy little guy. Not to mention that he is now sleeping though the night, which gives him bonus 'good baby' points. I'm not the kind of girl that's frequently driven to sentimentality, but it's hard not to get all sweet and sappy over him on this milestone. Three cheers to all of us for surviving his first year, and looking forward to many more to come! We love him more than we ever expected, and he brings us more joy than we thought was possible.

If you want more pictures of the handsome man, they're up on my flickr page, see the link below.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Birthday Party!

Birthday Party Weekend, originally uploaded by Click Click Chick.

Leo's big #1 birthday is approaching, so we had a little birthday party for him on Friday before all of Byron's classmates head out of town for the summer. The house was packed (cold and rainy weather, so the planned garden party idea was nixed), many delicious homemade treats were enjoyed (gourmet burger bar, homemade ice cream sandwiches) and Leo even got his own giant cupcake. Which he actually seemed a little confused by....but I guess if you've never had icing before, it can be confusing. Also his Kern grandparents came to visit from Chicago for the weekend, and he got a bunch of new toys - a Radio Flyer wagon, a push-around buggy, a tree swing in the back yard, baby Legos, trucks... all sort of super cool stuff! We'll put up an official birthday photo on his actual birthday, the 13th. Check out the rest of the birthday pics on my Flickr page:

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Blue & Gold Game

Every spring Notre Dame plays a football scrimmage game they call the Blue & Gold game. It's surprisingly well attended (so many rabid fans hungry for football) and we all enjoyed it as a family last Saturday. It's free for students and little kids, so a great occassion to get the little man out into the stadium. It was unfortunately cold and a bit rainy, so we weren't sure how long he'd last, but he loved it! He enjoyed a little MBA Family Life Committee tailgate beforehand, and contentedly sat and watched the first half of the game without squirming, fussing, or anything. Hooray!

He also showed two small but entertaining developments the same day: he started to clap his hands, and started to sort small objects. The clapping we'd been trying to teach him for a little bit, and he seems to have really caught on to the idea. The object sorting is really entertaining - he started by moving a pile of goldfish crackers, one at a time, from one compartment on his stroller into another, then moving them back. Then later the same day, he started shaking all his small plastic shapes out of their bucket but then putting them back in one at a time. They're small developments, of course, but really cool to watch.
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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spring at last!

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted, but it's really Leo's fault. See, he's gotten really mobile, which means I have to keep more of an eye on him at all times (which leaves less time for blogging) plus the right half of my laptop screen abruptly died a few weeks ago, so I'm now using Byron's old desktop set up in the office, meaning I can't just whip open the old Lappy in the living room while Leo's playing. And oh yeah, it's been ridiculously nice outside so we've been spending lotsa time out there.
As you can see from the pic, young Mr. Leo is also enjoying this weather. He's also sporting a total of 6 teeth. And he's crawling like a speed demon, and pulling up to stand on everything. I think he's going to be walking pretty soon - then my free time really gets curtailed! He's started to really laugh and giggle alot when we do something funny or bounce him around - and peekaboo is a real favorite.
And he's got a really cute Easter photo that we will post for you tomorrow - so stay tuned!

Monday, March 1, 2010

9 Months Old!

Well time keeps on moving forward (despite the occasional feeling otherwise), and our little Leo is now 9 months old. We had his 9 month checkup last week, and can report that he is now 24 and a half pounds, and is maintaining a head size in the 90th percentile. His weight and height have (thankfully) dropped from the 90th percentile down into about the 70th-75th percentile, otherwise I wouldn't be able to hold this kid for more than a few minutes. And his bottom two teeth been in for a while, with his top two joining the party in just the last week.

And he had been pseudo-crawling for the last month or so - he could move forward mostly by shimmying along on his belly. Now in the last week or two, he's really crawling with his tummy off the ground, and can really cover some distance in the 30 seconds I leave him alone to use the bathroom. In fact now he crawls to find me in the bathroom each time. Guess it's time to kiss privacy goodbye, eh?

And the coolest thing is that in the last few days he's really started to pull himself up on anything at a good height once he crawls over. And if you hold his hands while he's standing up and walk with him, he's pretty good at stepping along with you. I imagine it will be at least a couple of months before he's really cruising around and walking on his own, but it's cool to start to see a glimpse of that skill now. So the babyproofing continues, with more to come I'm sure, as we discover the new and various things he wants to play with that he really shouldn't.

And Leo has now officially outgrown the first of his baby toys. The fantastic exersaucer, which he loved loved loved for so long, now seems to frustrate him because it keeps him in one place. And ditto for his swing, and his jumper to a lesser extent. So we're packing them away, and are in the market for a big activity toy of some variety to take their place. We're happy to take recommendations if anyone has something they would recommend.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Here are some photos of the project I just completed - some felt wall hangings for Leo's room with various animals on them. There are a total of 10 of them, and I have to admit they are pretty cute. I had started these a few months ago, hand sewing them, then set them aside during the hubub of the holidays. Then I bought myself a sewing machine with some of my Christmas gift money, so I did some of the border stitching with that.
In related news, I'm developing product ideas for a small baby products company I'm going to start, which I've named Leozeenyo (modified spelling of the portuguese word Leozinho, which means "little Leo.") These animal hangings (perhaps modified) may be a part of it, along with a few crib mobile ideas I have.
The rest of the pics can be seen on my Flickr page - - along with some other photos of what I've done in Leo's room. It's kind of a weird space upstairs in the former attic space, so the walls are all angled. Once I make a prototype for the mobiles, I'll post some pics of that too.

Some wintertime fun

snow bunny, originally uploaded by Click Click Chick.

January was a pretty snowy month here in South Bend, so we whisked Leo outside for a few cute snow pics. And they were quite fun and successful until Leo got his hands covered in snow, and consequently quite cold. I have a bunch more pics on my Flickr page - - including a few more from outside, plus some other fun ones, including Leo's face after eating pureed beets.
Speaking of beets, Leo is starting to really eat like a champ - he's enjoying beets, beef, carrots, peas, barley, oatmeal, apples, and yogurt right now. Making his food is fun, and since he eats such small quantities we can afford to get him the good organic/free range/grassfed stuff. And he's got chicken livers and ground turkey to look forward to in the near future (thought I think he may have to fight Byron for the chicken livers, personally I say blehg to them). He's become a pretty vigorous eater, eating a full plate of three different items each evening, and usually yogurt with apples during the day.
In other fun news, I've been super crafty lately and have made some cute stuff for Leo's room, plus have an idea for a related small business, but I'll do a separate posting about that shortly.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Holiday Marathon = Complete!

Yes, I know it's been a while since I've posted. But in my defense, it was a marathon holiday season. We drove down to my mom's place south of St. Louis, and stayed there a week. Then drove up to Byron's folks in Chicagoland on Christmas Day, and stayed there 4 days. Then drove back to South Bend and hopped on a plane to my dad's place in Miami for a week. So we were away from home for about 3 weeks, and it was exhausting. Great fun though. Leo got to see all his grandparents (and meet his Great-Granna for the first time!), get his face licked by a dog (which he absolutely adored) and see almost all his aunts and uncles. There was snow, ice, and beaches. Planes, trains, and automobiles. OK, no trains. But everything but that.
Leo was the lucky recipient of an abundance of adorable clothes and great toys. He even got to help open some of them (and frankly once he did, all he wanted was the paper to chew on...). While we were gone, he got really good at sitting up by himself (which is great when it comes to playing with toys) and started pushing himself up on his hands and knees when placed on his tummy. He's THIIIIISSSS close to crawling - and is getting great at scootching himself backwards when he's on his hands and knees.
Also, his bottom two teeth have broken through. There was alot of consternation and wailing before that happened (and some more since) but he now has two little nubbins poking through. Which has led to me being bit a few times when nursing, which was not fun. Hopefully we can nip that practice in the bud, pun fully intended.
As for Leo's new year's resolutions, he told me "mamamama bababa aaa dadadada" which I translated into something about eating more vegetables this year, and learning to walk by the time he's 10 months old. (True story - an aggressively friendly preggo lady in Miami aka 'Auntie Michelle' made friends with Leo while we were waiting for our table at a restaurant and while she was holding him, declared that he had strong legs and would walk by 10 months. Crazy hormonal lady, but very genuinely friendly....)
We've all happily settled back in at home, and are enjoying dressing Leo up in all his new outfits and playing with his new toys. And yes, so far he's even enjoying eating all his vegetables. That's one resolution he doesn't get to break!
There are a ton more pictures on my Flickr site if you're interested: