the homepage of gregory and ann kline

Thursday, September 29, 2011

9 Months

Look who is 9 months old!

So much is going on with these little 9 month olds. They will be going to the doctor next week and I am looking forward to finding out just how big they have grown. Sean is wearing 6-9 months clothes and Aaron soon will (finally) be out of the 3-6 month stuff. Both little guys are still a bit behind developmentally on account of being premature, but they do therapy and are making huge strides. They are sitting up. They have even hung out in the big double seat in the Sam's Club shopping carts. Sean and Aaron have certainly become aware of each other. We have now reached the point where if one cries, so does the other. Gotta admit I liked it better with only one baby crying at a time around here.

Sean is my mover. He isn't crawling yet but will be any minute. I am kinda panicking, but mostly pretending that I don't know that crawling means he will be into everything. He started sitting unassisted around 7.5 months. He moves from sitting to laying down, rolls around, and moves in circles while he is on his belly. He can get up on all fours but hasn't figured out how to move in that position. He tries to pull up on things but isn't there yet either. Everyone we meet notices what a social and smiley guy he is. He's rather laid back, but also makes sure he doesn't miss a thing. Still no teeth for this guy but I am hoping they show up soon because the excessive drooling is gross. He loves to eat and I haven't found anything that he doesn't really like. Sleep isn't horrid. He has slept through the night several times recently but usually still gets up at least once to eat. Up until about a week ago I have been letting little people nap during the day as they see fit. Then I got really frazzled when I wasn't getting anything done. Been working towards a loose nap schedule now and for the most part, it is going well (two naps a day for Sean). Although today Sean was determined to nap on his own schedule.

Aaron likes to work on his fine motor skills. He figured out the sitting independently thing about 2 weeks ago. He is happy to sit and play with his toys. His favorite toys are books. He has a pretty good pincher grip going on. He still detests being on his tummy. Aaron is the thinker. When he meets new people he is very serious and checks them out. (If he is tired he cries when he sees new people.) He is usually happy with Greg, but certainly has quite a preference to me over anyone else. He will play for a little bit alone, but then he is ready for me to hold him and reassure him again. He now has his two front, bottom teeth. His top front teeth are getting ready to poke through. He is cranky and miserable and has a runny nose and is really clingy so they better show up soon. He is a decent eater, which is more than I can ask for considering his early troubles with eating. That boy has got a temper. Since the time he was 4 months old, he has been throwing quite a temper tantrum anytime you take something from him or try to get him to do anything he doesn't want to do (like get buckled into his car seat). Aaron is our little talker too. No words yet, but he is saying several consonants like /d/, /t/, /g/, and sometimes even /th/. He is a good napper and usually still naps 3 times a day, his last nap being a short one that always seem to take place when we would rather be feeding him dinner. There has been some sleeping through the night, but then the teeth thing started happening so he is usually up at least once.

And of course, both these little guys are loved a lot!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mommy Necklace

I have had to give up on jewelry. Not that big of a deal since I don't usually wear much anyway. But I do feel rather naked without earrings. No more earrings for me for a bit. Every since Aaron discovered a few months ago just how interesting those little dangly shiney things could be. I put up a fight at first. Just kept telling him to be gentle and hoping that soon enough he would become bored by my jewelry. Instead of becoming bored, he refined his ability to grab and pull. No more earings for me.

Then I bought a mommy necklace. I bought mine on amazon.com because that is where I buy everything. I think it might even be called a "Mommy Necklace". Looks nice. And it is a fully functioning, safe, chew toy for babies. Made with non-toxic beads, held together with a sturdy string, and even has a break away clasp just in case your little one tugs a bit too hard. Aaron and I are both big fans!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Mostly Healthy Lunch #10

Southwest inspired! Sandwich is whole grain bread, Kraft Sandwich Shop Chipotle Mayonnaise, lettuce, cheddar cheese, turkey, red onion, and avocado. (No onion for the kids and they picked off the avocado.) Sides of blue corn chips and salsa and a pear. Pears are a southwest food, right?


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cute Guatemalan Kids, Take 1

Every August for the past few years we have gone to two picnics for families who have adopted from Guatemala. The first one is at a wonderful family's house. The first year we went, I didn't even know the family and only knew one other person there. It was a bit awkward to show up at these complete stranger's house. We lucked out though because they are such nice people. Other the past few picnics, we have shared adoption stories and marveled over how much each of the kids has grown. This year, I found myself involved in very few conversations about the adoption process. Five years ago, my whole life revolved around things like DNA tests, PGN, and "getting pink". Now all that seems almost foreign to me. I can't remember half of what was in the giant stack of documents that we had to send off to Guatemala. As consuming as bringing my kids into my life was, it almost seems like a tiny little hiccup in the life that I have been able to share with them. No matter the story, it still amazes me every time I get to spend time with other families with children from Guatemala. What if? What if we had taken another route? What if we had waited a little longer to do our paperwork and the child we now have in our lives had gone to another family? What if Marcus and Will weren't brothers? What if we never got to meet any of these people and share this amazing bond through adoption? What if these beautiful kids didn't get to be friends?


Thursday, September 22, 2011


As I always say, when you are being attacked by a bear, do whatever you need to survive... even if it means sacrificing your children.

Sean seems completely bored by his crazy mother's antics.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Truth about a Tooth, Part Two

Back in July I wrote about how Aaron had his first tooth. It was this bizarre tooth that was off to the side and looked almost like the top of a molar. A few weeks ago, it went away. I couldn't make this stuff up. Completely gone now. As of a few days ago, he does have his first real tooth. It is the right front bottom one. It is poking through and getting more and more noticeable each day. Sean is still as toothless as ever.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Let's Talk About Race

Race. It is every one's favorite subject. The one that no one wants to speak about, I think because no one wants to say something wrong. I'm going to talk about it anyway. And I am sure I am going to say something wrong so I apologize ahead of time.

When I think back to my childhood, I am not sure I realized that there were more than two races. Everyone was either white or black. And in the town I grew up in - the town I still live in - most everyone was white. In fact there was only one black kid in my class through the fifth grade and it took me until the end of fifth grade to even realize he was black. I just thought he had a good tan. I can think of only three black people that I would consider acquaintances of mine all the way through high school. It wasn't until college that I finally had my first black friend. Then the school year ended and we lost touch.

I by no means avoided people of other races. People of other races just haven't been readily available in my life. Not until 5 years ago. Suddenly each and every day I would wake up to find a Hispanic person living in my house. Then four years ago, two Hispanic people were in my house and in my life every single day. I found myself far more aware of race. People would look at me and my kids when I was out and I could never be sure if they were looking because babies are just darn cute, or if they were looking because we were different races.

A few weeks ago Marcus had "Kinder Camp". He got a chance to meet his teachers, meet the kids in his class, see his school, and get an idea of what kindergarten would be like. When I dropped him off, I got to see all the kids that would be going into kindergarten with him. There I was taking a survey of the races of all the kids. I spotted three African American kids and was over the moon with the fact that two of them were going to be in Marcus's class, including one boy Marcus knew from his baseball team this summer. Up until a few years ago, I never thought I would care what race his classmates were. Now I'm glad he won't be the only non-white person in his class.

So far, Marcus hasn't had any questions about his race. We talk often with Marcus and Will about how all our skin is different colors and all our hair is different colors. We have talked about how his black friend from his baseball team that is in his class has really dark skin. I feel like maybe we should talk about racism but I don't have any idea how to address that subject with a 5 year old, particularly since I haven't been exposed much to it myself.

A friend of mine has a (white) son in kindergarten that is much more diverse than Marcus's school. A day into school and this little boy came home with some tough questions. My friend and I discussed how hard it is to talk about race because it is one of those important subjects where you just don't want to mess up the conversation. I remembered something I read on Ask Moxie about a discussion of a chapter in a book about white parents talking about race with their kids. (The short version is that white parents just don't talk to their kids about race, and in general what white people do to teach their kids about race is just not enough.) I thought that maybe surrounding ourselves with other multicultural families and being educated in the subject through our adoption agency would give me a leg up. I am still clueless.

I remember during one of the seminars we attended through our adoption agency that the social worker was talking about race in our families. She said that when our kids reach grade school age, us parents begin to forget in a way that we are a different race than our children. We become so comfortable with how our families look and see our children as nothing else than just our children and don't notice the skin. However, it is at this same age that our children begin to notices the differences in people and in themselves.

I've gone through life with the message driven home that race doesn't matter. I want my kids to grow up thinking the same thing. And yet, to make race not matter, I feel like it needs to be a bigger part of our life and frequent conversations.