Friday, December 23, 2011

WE SAW SANTA!!!

This is Miles' first Christmas and we couldn't let it pass without seeing Santa for the very first time. He was a good baby for Santa. We were a little worried because he was getting fussy while we were waiting in line. But he ended up loving Santa. Merry Christmas everyone. 
Miles with Santa! I know him!


The story behind the Christmas Card

I love sending out Christmas cards. There is something about stuffing the envelopes and sticking on the stamps that really gets me into the Christmas spirit. In the past we have had photos of Aaron and I and our dogs, Hayduke and Rissa (who has passed on), and most recently Willow, our spunky Brittney puppy. Well this year we skipped the photo with the dogs and went with the newest addition to our family...baby Miles. As I mailed the last of our Christmas cards to our family and friends, I realized that some explanation about the photo may have been needed that I didn't include in the letter.

Our Billboard right by the Dairy Queen

You see, we are somewhat of celebrities in our little town. Miles was the last baby born at the old hospital in Jamestown. I'll post the birth story at a later date, because it was quite an experience. They moved us over to the new hospital the following day and we were the first family in the new birth center. So because of this momentous event the hospital's marketing team wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to publicize the new Family Birth Center. They took tons of pictures. It was a good thing that I had some makeup with me and a fun custom hospital gown I got on Etsy. Reporters from the Jamestown Sun came by to interview us and the hospital took a video of the interview. We were on the front page of the newspaper with a feature article along with another Mom who had the first baby in the new hospital. Aaron did get recognized by a stranger in Hugo's after the article ran.

Anyway...a couple of weeks after we got home Aaron and I got an email from the Marketing Manager at the hospital saying that they were going to use our photo in some advertisements including newspaper ads and on a billboard! I had to blush and smile widely. I've never been on a billboard before, how many people have? So once it went up we knew we had to get our picture taken in front of it. The picture was taken in August, so we are in shorts and short sleeves. See...it does get warm in North Dakota.

The billboard was right by the Dairy Queen in town and everyone who went through the drive-through saw our (well Aaron's mostly) smiling faces. The billboard was up for about a month. We got lots of messages and comments from our friends. It was pretty fun for me, I must say. I'm not sure Aaron enjoyed the celebrity as much as I did.
Thanks to our friend Lori for being the photographer for our photo shoot.
All fun things must come to an end. Our billboard was removed to make room for an ad for the Hairball show that came to town. It was fun while it lasted and we knew that we needed to share the photo with all our family and friends on our Christmas card. We hope you all have a wonderful Holiday and enjoy the card.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Missing Miles

This week (Dec. 19-21) I am on a business trip to the DU headquarters in Memphis. Although I love visiting Memphis, I am missing Miles terribly. This is the first time I have been away from him so long...3days. When I left ND I felt like I was forgetting something. Miles comes with me/us pretty much everywhere we go these days. I do have a bunch of pictures with me that I keep looking at...I just can't help it. They are of Miles at various age stages and looking at them is helping me with my milk letdown. I am pumping while I'm away to make sure I protect my breast milk supply.
He looks so sweet here.
Go Gators!
Go Bulldogs!?!?

The wingspan

This is his "milk drunk" face, we just finished nursing.

The favorite puppy dog hat
Aaron is on Dad duty this week. He has Miles all to himself for 3 days. He is doing great so far. I am anxious to hear how the nights go. Miles has been waking up at 1am and 4am lately and I am the one who gets up with him to nurse and then get him back to sleep.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sleeping like a baby...what exactly does that mean?

Well, as parents Aaron and I are learning that you really can't rely on anything staying the same with a baby. Last week we had a good string of days where Miles was sleeping through the night from 9:30pm to about 6:00-7:00 am. Last Saturday he even let us sleep in until 8:00! Well that streak was broken on Sunday (Dec. 11) with him waking up at his typical 3:00am for a feeding. Monday night was more of the same and Tuesday night he was fussy going to sleep and was hard to put down. Finally he went to sleep at 10:30pm, but then woke up at 1:00am, then again at 3:00am.
Sleeping baby, Miles about a month old here

Thankfully our friend Stacey and her little girl C. let us borrow their swing. It is a Graco, it has 6 speeds, plays music AND has white noise sounds. It ROCKS!! Our original swing (Fisher Price) that I got at a yard sale for $10 quit working, well...it still works, Miles just got too big for it. I think the most that this swing supports is 12 pounds. Stacey told me that the Graco swing will support up to 25 pounds, so we are set for another couple of months.

Miles with his foot in his mouth...:)
Well, these days he is doing something really funny. He has discovered his feet and wants to put them in his mouth any chance he gets. It is quite funny, but a little frustrating when I try and change his diaper. But really...how can I get frustrated with this little guy when he makes me giggle so much.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Angry Bird Party

Two weekends ago Miles attended his first birthday party for his buddy Mur-Man who turned two. The party was everything Angry Birds! For those of you who don't know what Angry Birds are...well it is a game that Mur-Man is obsessed with. He plays it all the time on his Dad's iPad. Just Google it and you'll figure it out. Our WOM-MOMs did it again and threw a wonderful party. My friend Lori made an Angry Bird shirt for Mur-Man and I didn't want Miles to be left out of the fun. I made an Angry Bird onsie for him too. Check out the photos from the party with all the fun food and decorations on the WOM-MOM blog.
Miles the white Angry Bird

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Just keeps growing

4 months and almost 14 pounds
Miles has hit the 4 month mark and he is continually showing us new things he can do. He has moved up to the #2 size diapers and we have adjusted the snaps up one notch on his cloth diapers. One behavior that is a big deal for babies is rolling over from his tummy to his back. Miles has started doing that. Tummy time is paying off. He is also holding his head up high when he is on his tummy. He seems to like it a little more than when he was younger.
video

Another milestone is sitting up on his own. He isn't quite able to do that yet without our support, but we are expecting it any day now. Miles can grab on to our fingers and pull himself up to a sitting and standing position. Big stuff for our little guy, we love watching him grow. He had the hick-ups when I filmed this, so he wasn't in the best mood. He HATES the hick-ups.
video

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving

Well the holidays have started and baby Miles had his first Thanksgiving. We were so happy to have Grandma and Grandpa Kross come up to North Dakota to celebrate with us. Grandpa Kross hadn't met Miles yet, so we were extra ecstatic to have him hear with us.
Grandma and Grandpa in the snow, as little of it as there was.
This was just before Dad started throwing snowballs at Mom

The Grandparents got here on Saturday before Thanksgiving and we had a whole week to spend with them. They got a nice little shock...I mean introduction to North Dakota November when they landed because it was in the teens. Growing up in New Jersey I would think my parents would be able to remember what cold was like. Not so much, but they were troopers and it warmed up later in the week. We went out to Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge and saw the new visitors center. We also had a fun treat when we got to the refuge we saw a bald eagle feeding on a dead deer.
Miles is just waking up here, Grandma looks wide awake though

We also went out to a friend's property to do some shooting. Grandpa wanted to practice with a gun and scope of his. Aaron took Willow for a walk about to hunt. Well, Grandpa and I shot for a bit, then he got too cold. Granted it was a pretty cold and windy morning, and the wind in ND can be brutal. Grandma stayed in the truck with Miles and kept warm.
Grandpa Kross and Miles reading the paper

So Thanksgiving came and we all had our responsibilities. Aaron was in charge of the turkey, I covered the green beans, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie (I was also supposed to cover the cranberry sauce but Aaron ended up making that too). Grandma had the stuffing, creamed onions, and gravy while Grandpa made his famous butter and cream laden mashed potatoes.
No Dad! That's the baby not the turkey! Don't carve him!

Whew! That was a close one, good thing Mom was here to keep Dad from serving me up for dinner.




The kitchen was a well oiled machine. The turkey went in the oven first. As the day went on everything came together. When one dish was finished someone picked up washing the dishes. Then of course Miles demanded to be fed and we had to hold off eating for about half an hour.
Everyone at the Thanksgiving table, baby in the sling
Grandpa and Miles waiting for the mashed potatoes
Pass the gravy Grandma

On Friday after Thanksgiving was the Jamestown Holiday Dazzle Parade. Aaron and I have made it somewhat of a tradition to go to the parade and sit with our friends Karla and Scott. Well, I thought it would be fun to take the whole family to sit out in the cold for an hour and watch the parade.
Waiting for the parade to start, Grandma in the bomber hat I let her borrow.
Grandpa originally planned on going to the Grill (a local restaurant just down the street from where we were) to sit by the fire and stay warm. But he decided to join the family out in the cold and we are glad he did. This week was all about family and if we were going to be cold, at least we were going to be cold together.
The whole family in the cold.
Well, Grandma and Grandpa got to see the full range of Miles' moods. We had smiles and crying and up in the middle of the night and the rare sleep through the night night.We were sad to see them leave and we love them and can't wait to see them again. I really enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday with "my beautiful family".

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cloth Diapers

Hey everyone, as you may know I am using cloth diapers with Miles (Aaron says he is just along for the ride). Many of you have asked me how it is going. Well my friend Lori has a blog WOM-MOM and she asked me to do a guest post on my cloth diaper experience. Check it out, Part 1 and Part 2.
Miles in his BumGenius cloth diaper.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Halloween...a little late

Well, I know it's a little late to post about Halloween, but since I didn't start the blog until after Halloween, I wanted to do a little catch up. And if any of you know Miles' Mom (me) very well, you know that I LOVE Halloween and Miles will be dressing up until he is old enough to resist. Which if he is anything like me will never happen.

So I usually have a party at our house every year. But this year we had visitors the week before Halloween and with the new baby, we thought it would be easier on us and pretty cool to share the fun if we asked a friend to host the party this year. Our friends Justine and Andrew hosted the party this year in their new townhouse. Which was AWESOME. They were great party hosts and they let me take over their place with all my crazy Halloween decorations.
The family all dressed up at the Halloween party

So we brought Miles to the party. I was the Wicked Witch of the West and Miles was my flying Monkey. I wrapped Aaron's face in gauze and he was the Invisible Man. It came out quite well IMO. Well, Miles was pretty uncomfortable in his costume so he didn't stay in it long. I think he was starting to get sick too, so that was probably the cause of his fussyness that night.
Greeting Trick-or-Treaters on Halloween


Well, Halloween was actually on a Monday this year and we had plans to go to a Willy Wonka themed kid party at the Lutheran Church with our buddy Mur-Man and his mom. But Miles and I weren't feeling well, our cold was really hitting us that day. So we just stayed in and handed out candy to the trick-or-treaters. But, Mur-Man did come by and showed off his Monkey suit costume too.
Monkey Mur-Man and Miles

For the baby's first Halloween I was disappointed that I didn't get any great pictures of Miles in his costume the night of the party. I think it was mostly because of his mood. So I dressed him back up in his costume last week and took some good pictures.
Miles the flying monkey


Here is my confession. I don't prefer to buy costumes. I really get into Halloween and I love making my costumes. Well, this year I ended up buying my and Miles' costume. This is something I am not really proud of, but it was the easiest option for us this year. In the future, I plan to make our costumes. I love thinking back to when I was a kid and my Mom made all my Halloween costumes. I would love for Miles to have those same memories. Hope everyone had a fun Halloween.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Family's got the Funk

Well, this week we've got the funk! And not the good kind where we are jammin' with George Clinton. I mean the snotty nose, cough, congestion, sore throat type funk. It started with Aaron a few weeks ago. And as everyone with a family knows, it is only a matter of time until everyone gets sick. I started with a sore throat on Halloween. I knew I was in for it. I tried my best to keep it from Miles and was hoping that my breast milk would give him some antibodies to help fight of the cold. But alas the little guy got sick. It is tough seeing him coughing, I know it is uncomfortable for him. I could also hear the congestion in his chest when he breathed. So, I took Miles to the walk in clinic on Monday (we saw Dr. Muhs who delivered Miles) and they said to just wait it out and that I could give him some infant Tylenol to make him comfortable. They took an x-ray of his chest just to make sure he didn't have fluid in his lungs. That was ok, and they sent us on our way.
I love my Dad, but I hate it when he gets us sick.

Have you ever seen how they take a chest x-ray of an infant? It is a bit barbaric looking, but it doesn't hurt them. I found out it is called a "Pigg-o-stat". They sit the baby on this little seat that looks like a bicycle seat then enclose the baby in this clear plastic tube thing with his arms stretched above his head. They can then turn the baby on a swivel to get the angle they need for the x-ray. Miles was ok at first, then he started to wail, as any baby does when put in an uncomfortable and weird position. But we got trough it. I stayed with him and wore a led apron while they took the x-rays to try and comfort him.
Not Miles in this picture, but this is the devise they put him to take his chest x-ray

Aaron is over the sickness, but Miles and I are still working through it. The worst is over and now we are pretty much just dealing with the mucus breaking up and a lingering cough. We are hoping to feel closer to 100% by the weekend because Grandma and Grandpa Kross are coming for Thanksgiving!!! Grandpa Kross will be meeting Miles for the first time and we can't wait.
I gotta stay warm in my car seat when I'm sick so things don't get worse.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christmas Gift Ideas

Can't wait for Santa!

Well, we are already getting requests for suggestions for Christmas gifts for Smiles. We don't really need much, but we know that there are lots of people out there who love us and want to give something to our little guy. One suggestion I would like to make is something from Tiny Tillia (http://www.tinytillia.com) by Avon. I created a registry on the site for some things that I thought were cute.
It's getting cold outside, I love my doggy hat!

Now, some explanation. A friend of mine, Melisa Bernard, recently became an Avon representative. She is a good friend who recently moved away from Jamestown and I miss her dearly. Melisa's husband has been battling colon cancer for several years now and he recently lost his job. Melisa started selling Avon to supplement their income and help with his chemo treatments. So I'd like to help her out and support her new business. So please if you are considering getting a gift for Smiles check out my Tiny Tillia registry. Also if want to buy some Avon stuff, go to Melisa's page and make her your Avon Rep.
Thanks so much.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Visitors

Well, there is nothing like having a baby to bring the visitors to town. In the past 3 months we have had lots of people come to town to meet Miles. First there was Grandma Kross (my mom). She arrived the day Miles was born. She was such a big help with taking care of the dogs, and helping with house work while all my attention was on baby. Next Grammie Julie came to visit 2 weeks after Miles arrived. She also helped with house work and watching baby at times when we needed her. These early visits were great, I just hope the Grandmothers didn't get too board. We really didn't do much besides sit around and try and keep Miles content and happy.
Grandma Kross with Miles, only a few hours old
Grammie Julie with Miles, about 2 weeks old

Next to visit was Grandpa Sam and Nanna Linda. They came baring gifts. One of which was a pedal push ATV type toy that Miles will eventually grow into.
Grandpa Sam and Miles, 5 weeks old

Nanna Linda and Miles, 5 weeks old

Some friends of mine from Florida sent us some cool Gator gear for Miles to wear on game day. Shortly after this visit Nanna Linda sent Miles some Husker gear. No one seems to want Miles to be a Gator fan.

Most recently (last week in October) Grandpa Sam came back to J-town for the annual duck hunting extravaganza. And he brought with him Uncle Luke and beautiful Aunt Brandi (Auntie B). They needed a crash course in parenting because they are expecting Miles' cousin in January. Well they got it, thanks Miles for breaking them in. Auntie B changed her first diaper and got really good at putting Miles to sleep.
Auntie B and Uncle Luke breaking out all the toys to play

Our photo shoot on the deck. The puppy dog hat is a gift from Auntie B and Uncle Luke.

We are excited to have more visitors over Thanksgiving. Grandma Kross is coming back to see how much Miles has grown. AND!! Grandpa Kross is coming to see Miles for the first time! We can't wait for him to meet his second grandson.

We love our visitors and welcome all our friends and family to come up and stay a while in ND. Choose your time of year wisely though. Grandma and Grandpa Kross from Florida may get a treat and see some snow when they get here. Whether they will be happy about that or not remains to be seen.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Why I'm here

Well, I decided to start a blog to keep everyone up to date on the newest addition to my life. My little guy Miles. I thought this would be an excellent way to chronicle his escapades and mark his milestones as he grows up. Plus, since we have lots of friends and family spread all over the country, I thought this would be a fun way to stay in touch with them.

So here it is, keeping track as we travel Miles Ahead in our lives.