Why Kaitlyn Doesn't Face Forward...

A couple of weeks before we arrived in Miami for the one-week getaway, we ordered Kaitlyn's "big girl" car seat.  We had it shipped to Miami so we could start using it while we were there.  She was still in her infant Snugride and it was definitely time for the new seat.  I purposely bought a convertible seat that could be installed rear-facing so we had the option to keep her rear-facing for a bit longer.  I knew that she had to be at least 20lbs. AND one year-old to move to forward-facing, but I also knew that those requirements were the minimum and had always heard that keeping a child rear-facing until 2 years-old was safest.  I was still up in the air on which way we would install it.  As we got closer to actually using the new car seat, I got excited at the thought of switching her to forward-facing.  It would be such a new experience for her--to be able to see Mommy & Daddy while in the car, to see out the front window and check out the scenery more than she could while rear-faced....how fun!

Well, a couple of days before we left for Miami I saw this post from Ariana at Becoming Mom.  After watching the video (I posted it below), I was no longer up in the air and I was no longer excited for her to have a better view.  I still feel like Kaitlyn is a little peanut and has always been under weight.  So, while she is over 20 lbs, it's not by much.  (She was 22 lbs. on the luggage scale at the airport on Sunday).  Would she enjoy being forward-facing?  Absolutely!  Is she completely miserable in the car while rear-facing?  Not at all!  We've been lucky that she's a good passenger and doesn't mind being rear-facing.  I know I may seem over protective and paranoid, but I figure there really is nothing more important than her safety and I'd hate for something to happen and regret not doing what is best for her for the sake of making car rides more "fun".

Please watch the video and pass it on to anyone you know with small children:

(If you are reading this post in an email, click here to see the video).


Pregnancy Week 24 Belly & Pics of Baby Boy

Here's a week 24 belly bump pic.  Baby Boy is doing great!  As you can tell, we still don't have a name.  He's moving more and more every day and Ron finally felt him move earlier this week.  I had my last doctor's appoinment with my physician in Ecuador today and all is well. :)
Here are some pictures of Baby Boy from the last ultrasound on April 19.
He's sucking his thumb in this one.  What a cutie!

Month 5: Watch what you say -- baby is now able to hear outside noise from down in the womb. Studies show that baby finds gentle music and your own voice most soothing. Nipples are starting to sprout, and that little face is fully formed. And, baby's starting to settle into sleep cycles, snoozing about 12 to 14 hours a day. It shouldn't be hard to figure out when -- just pay attention to those kicks as they start and stop.


Kaitlyn's First Haircut

While Daddy is in Washington, D.C. this week, Kaitlyn, Nana G and I spent some girly time together.  We went to lunch, did some shopping and Kaitlyn got her "hair did" for the first time. :)  I know her hair wasn't very long to begin with, but she had some strands that were a bit out of control and would hang down past her nose.  I figured it was time for a quick maintenance trim.

Surprisingly, she did SO well!  She hopped right into the chair and immediately let the hairdresser get to work.  Paying the extra money to take her to the "kiddie" salon helped.  She watched some tv, played with toys and was completely distracted by her surroundings. 
She seems pretty bummed in these pictures, but she really was just fine.
I totally expected her to freak out when she started on her bangs, but she wasn't bothered by it at all.
Silly girl!
She looks like such a boy here!
The barrette helps, but I'm not digging the "style" the hairdresser gave her. 
I'm so proud of her!


Phat Straps Epiphanie Bag Giveaway

Since I bought the fancy camera last August, I have been on the hunt for a new camera bag.  I have a small black bag I'm using for now, but my camera gear is starting to outgrow this one.  I've always wanted a bag that doesn't look like a camera bag.  Something cute, yet functional.  While perusing the Bump Photography Board, I saw some of the girls mention Epiphanie bags.  I found their website and immediately fell in love.  They make gorgeous camera bags that look more like fashionable purses.  I am currently coveting Belle.
Isn't she gorgeous??  And look how much she holds:

They also make these red and brown bags, but Belle is my favorite!

I have yet to splurge on her because I'm not quite ready to drop that much change on a camera bag, BUT today I discovered that Phat Straps is giving one away!  Yippee! 

If you'd like to enter to win, run over to their site to see the various ways of entering.  Wish me luck!


Pregnancy: Weeks 21 & 22

I forgot to post about week 21 last week, so here it is:
Week 21: Baby gulps down several ounces of amniotic fluid every day, both for hydration and nutrition and to practice swallowing and digesting. And, these days, those taste buds actually work! Studies show that after birth, babies are most interested in tastes they've already experienced through amniotic fluid. Meaning, think about what you want your future child to eat as you prepare your own lunch.

And from here on out, it's monthly updates:
Pregnancy: Watch what you say -- baby is now able to hear outside noise from down in the womb. Studies show that baby finds gentle music and your own voice most soothing. Nipples are starting to sprout, and that little face is fully formed. And, baby's starting to settle into sleep cycles, snoozing about 12 to 14 hours a day. It shouldn't be hard to figure out when -- just pay attention to those kicks as they start and stop.

In the last week, I have really begun to feel pregnant (a.k.a. big, tired and constantly having to pee).  Keeping up with Kaitlyn (when we're out of the house) has gotten a little more difficult, mainly because I tire so easily.  I'm feeling Baby Boy more and more every day.  It's such a great feeling! Ron and I are busy making final preps for our move next month. We need to buy a lot of things in advance in order to make sure we have everything we need before our packout.  We're still researching names and have yet to find "the one".  I hope we can decide on something soon!

And because so many of you have been asking and because I'm already feeling the guilt of neglecting our second child, I present to you the first belly pic of this pregnancy.

I feel much bigger at 22 weeks this time around.  Check out 22 weeks with Kaitlyn:


What I'll Miss About Ecuador

With less than two months before we pack up our home and say goodbye to Ecuador for good, I've been thinking about some of the things I will miss most about Quito.  Yes, we are eager to go and we have our gripes about this place, but there are also some things that I'll love and miss about Ecuador. 

Some things that I'll miss about Quito...

  • Quito was a place of many firsts.  It was my very first experience living overseas and the first home Ron and I shared as newlyweds.  It was also the place where we started the journey into parenthood.  Quito was Kaitlyn's home for her first year.  And we will be departing with baby #2 on the way.  These facts alone make Ecuador a very special place for me.

  • Waking up to this view every most mornings:

Over the next few weeks I plan on highlighting more.  Stay tuned...


Children's Music

Lately, Kaitlyn has really been enjoying her music. I bought a Sing Along Party CD from Walmart last December. It has the usual classics: Old McDonald, Skip To My Lou, London Bridge, etc.  (I wish I could link to it, but I can't find it anywhere on the internet.)  She absolutely LOVES this CD. It's on constant rotation in the kitchen CD player and we listen to it at almost every mealtime. Since we do listen to it every. single. day., I feel the need to throw in some new stuff. There's only so much I can take of How Much Is That Doggy In The Window?!

After reading this post from Ariana at Becoming Mom, I became hopeful that I could find some music that we could both enjoy.  Her suggestions are great!  I especially love Frances England's "You & Me".  It's such an adorable song!  Ariana created an iMix of some of her favorites, which you can check out here.

While browsing some more music today, I discovered a children's CD created by none other than 80's heartthrob Rick Springfield (Jessie's Girl, Don't Talk to Strangers).  His children's CD is more lullaby than the upbeat music I'm looking for, but it still sounded great from the previews I listened to.

I'd love to hear any other suggestions any of you may have.  What are your child's favorites?

Recent Kaitlyn clips

Ron put together this quick video of Kaitlyn doing some of her new tricks:


A Weekend in Baños

Last weekend was a 4-day weekend so we took advantage of the extra time and traveled to Baños, a small town about 3 hours south of Quito.  Baños is located in the Tungurahua province along with the Tungurahua volcano (most of the provinces in Ecuador are named after the largest volcano in the region).  You may remember seeing headlines about the volcano erupting shortly after we arrived in Ecuador (it made AOL Headline news).

We stayed at the Samari Resort and Spa.  It was such a beautiful place!  The resort is just off of the main highway that runs through the town, but as soon as you pull into the driveway you forget about all of the commotion on the other side of the walls.  The grounds were beautifully landscaped and we spent a lot of time outside enjoying the scenery.
They had a small playground, which Kaitlyn loved.  As soon as she saw it, she squealed "weeeeeeee."
The spa had a really nice pool and the entire area was covered with a glass roof.  The rooms surrounding the pool were for massages, which I had the pleasure of enjoying on Saturday morning.
Peacocks wandered about and Kaitlyn loved to chase them.
We had lunch at another popular resort, which had an amazing view of the entire town.
After lunch we went for a drive to see some of the famous waterfalls in the area.
On our way back to Quito, we stopped to have lunch near the Cotopaxi volcano at the Hacienda of San Agustin de Callo.  The hacienda was built on the site of an Inca palace and some of the original walls built by the Incans were still intact.  After lunch, they brought about 20 llamas into the courtyard for feeding time.  Anyone could grab some carrot sticks and help feed them.  Kaitlyn got right into it and loved being so close to them.  She giggled every time they took a carrot from her.  We were amazed that she wasn't afraid and really seemed to enjoy it.
She enjoyed checking out the geese and the horses, too.

It was nice to get out of town and visit another beautiful city in Ecuador.


Our Easter Celebration

We had a great Easter holiday this year.  In Ecuador, Easter weekend is a 4 day weekend since Holy Thursday and Good Friday are holidays, as well.  We decided to take advantage of the 2 days Ron had off from work and go out of town.  We drove to a town about 3 hours from Quito, called Baños.  I'll blog about that trip later. 

On Sunday morning, Kaitlyn woke up and we got her ready to go see what the Easter Bunny had brought for her.  I loved the bunny ears on her, but unfortunately, she didn't keep them on.  This was the best picture (blurriness and all) that I could get of her wearing them.
We lured Kaitlyn to the front of the apartment and waited for her to realize there were treats sitting out  for her.  This was when she first caught a glimpse of the goodies.
She was so excited! :)
Her Great-Grandma Rahm made her the adorable bunny basket.  She wasn't sure what to think of it all at first, but she knew it was something to be excited about.
Her Nana and Papa G sent her the adorable flower headband.
It tooks some convincing, but she finally believed us when we told her the bunny basket wouldn't bit her so she got the guts to reach in for the first "hidden" egg.
The Easter Bunny left a couple of other eggs in the living room for her to find.  I'm not sure how he knew, but he filled the eggs with a few of her favorite treats...Cheerios, animal crackers and Fruit Loops.
Once she knew what she was looking for, she was looking all over for those eggs!
We then went to church where Ron and I took turns entertaining Kaitlyn outside.  She just isn't diggin church these days and refuses to stay seated.  Her refusal eventually turns into a screaming tantrum.  Mainly, because we don't let her run free.  If she could just roam around, she'd be perfectly happy, but we obviously don't want her to disturb everyone else. 

In the afternoon, we went to a friend's house for lunch.  I tried to get some pictures of Kaitlyn in her Easter dress, but she wasn't very cooperative.  She got lots of compliments on how cute the dress was (thank you, Aunt Lisa and Tia Barby!)
We hope all of you had a great holiday, as well!
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