Thursday, December 31, 2009

Daddy's New Year's Blog

Kendell asked me to do one thing over this holiday break, and that was to create a post right here on MichelSpot. I wasn't sure what I would write about, or what would be interesting to read, but then I thought that it might be fun to reflect on the crazy year that was 2009.

Last year at this time, Kendell was spending her new year as an expectant mommy, and I was a nervous father to be. I was excited for the baby to get here, but I was also nervous as to what he or she would bring to our lives. Everyone always says..."Oh kids make your lives so much better" or "I can't imagine what it would be like not to have kids now". Well I was still a bit on the fence.

Those months leading up to May really flew by. Kendell was busy at work, and I was in the middle of state assessments at school. When we weren't at work, we were busy planning for our little one's first appearance. We were buying cribs, changing tables, wall decor, clothes, diapers, bottles, pacifiers, and countless other items. Would all of this be enough? What do we still need? The questions kept coming.

All of those answers would come in May when Ledger James Michel was finally born on May 5th, 2009. What a crazy day that ended up to be. I could go into lots of detail on things that happened that day, but if you are reading this blog, you probably already know what happens. The one thing I will say, is that I was so proud of Kendell for handing everything so well. She was so very brave, and made everything so calm and easy. When the moment came that night, and Ledger was finally born, it took awhile for it to sink in that I'm a dad now. It's funny but it's almost 8 months later and I still feel that way. I'm someone's dad....crazy huh? :)

The next few months were a blur, and I have to tell you that I was so nervous to be home alone with him this summer. What do I know about babies? What do I know about being a dad? Well I guess we both survived each other, but I have to tell you that being alone with a 3 week old will stress you out just a bit. I was stressed, but I knew that with each day things would get better. And I was right...days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months. Everything was going so quickly, and my stress level kept going down.

What I really liked was when he got a bit older, and i could "play with him" a bit more. Guys tend to like to be a bit more rough with their kids, and I am no exception. In addition to that, it's been so cool to watch him start to develop his own personality and watch him get bigger.

Well there are lots of things that that I could have talked about on this blog today, but the one that that really changed for me this year, was the fact that while all those people said "I can't imagine what it would be like not to have kids now"....I realized they were exactly right. I love Ledger so much, and I can not imagine him not being in our lives. I feel that Kendell and I are so very blessed to have such a wonderful thing in our lives. It is the most wonderful thing in the world to be married to the one you love, and to have someone come along to make that love even more grand. My family is the greatest thing to ever happen to me, and I am so very thankful for them.

I want to wish everyone a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ledger's First Christmas

Santa's Little Helper

Ledger's first Christmas was a great one!  We woke up Christmas morning and had family breakfast.  I tried to make Christmas tree pancakes, but they look like vaguely-triangle-shaped blobs.  So we had snowman pancakes instead.  Hey, maybe that will be a new family tradition.

After breakfast, we opened the few presents we had for Ledger under the tree -- a choo choo train from Mommy and Daddy and a Gumball Machine toy from the Guy family.  He really enjoyed playing with his new toys.

At noon, we headed over to Grammie and Grandpa Michel's house to have a family lunch.  Grammie made a full turkey dinner with all of the fixin's.  We all really enjoyed it.  We took out the NEW camera that we just got for Christmas and snapped some cute pictures of Ledger after lunch.

(This picture is funny because he thought it was hilarious to grab onto the camera strap while Mommy was trying to take a picture!)

After lunch, we drove to Lindsborg for the Peterson family's annual celebration.  We arrived just before the chaos of the kids present exchange.  It is truly a tribute to the organizational skills of the adults and the patience and good-natured attitude of all of the kids that participate still leave with a smile on their face -- even when the 14 year old boy leaves with a bucket full of "jewelry making" supplies.  Not to be outdone, the adults had their annual exchange as well.  I was the 2nd person to pick, and my gift was a make-up goody bag (yay!) with a terrible "Chiquita Banana" hat.  Of course, I didn't end up with the hat, but it seems like everyone enjoyed wearing it.

We left Lindsborg and came back to Salina to enjoy an evening of cards with the Michel family.  We taught them "Shit on Your Neighbor" and "Aggrivation" and then tried the new card deck game called "Monopoly Deal".  We had a good time and everyone laughed a lot.  Just how Christmas should be: fun with family! :)

As I said before, it's just not the holidays unless someone gets sick.  Ledger started us off by getting pink eye the day before Christmas Eve.  Luckily the eye drops cleared that up pretty quickly.  But starting Christmas Eve night, I started feeling a little under-the-weather.  By Christmas night, Chris was feeling bad too.  So the Michel family has pretty much been in quarantine since then.  We all have a cough and sore throat with some drainage.  Chris has some body aches and my voice is completely gone.  I have had to go back to work this week, but communicating with clients has been a real challenge.  :)  Since Chris is still off of work this week, he has been home with Ledger, resting and trying to get healthy again.

The holidays have been great, but as always, have gone by too fast! :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

So despite our bout with pinkeye, we had a wonderful Christmas Eve with our families.  Mom and Buddy visited to play cards.  Ledger loved playing cards with Oma.

 In the afternoon, we went to the Michel's house to have their family celebration.  As you can see from the photos below, Ledger got a big stack of presents!!!

Chris and I were very excited to open OUR presents on Christmas Eve too.  This year, with the encouragement of the Guy family, we decided to ask Santa to bring us a nice digital SLR camera to take pictures of Ledger with.  Santa brought us a Canon Rebel XSi with a 16GB memory card!  We are really looking forward to the improved quality of our photos!

Pink Eye

Of course the holidays couldn't pass without someone getting sick.  Unfortunately, it was Ledger.  Yesterday he started having green discharge from his right eye in the morning and by the afternoon, it was bloodshot and itchy.  We called the doctor who prescribed some eye drops ($90 for this little bitty teeny bottle of drops) and told us that he his highly contagious and that it would probably spread to the other eye too.  Yay.  He wasn't feeling well at all and last night was a rough night for all 3 Michels!!  So we've been holding the kid down three times a day to get eye drops in him and it did spread to his other eye... but so far he hasn't infected any of the people he's been around.  Today he seems to be feeling much better!

Monday, December 21, 2009

2nd Christmas

This weekend we had our second Christmas celebration in Oklahoma with BoomMa and BoomPa Powell.  We had a GREAT time, although it went way too fast.  Early Saturday morning, we woke up early and used our opportunity to pose Ledger with the Santa hat and sitting in the presents.  We got some really adorable pictures, including the one at the top of the page. 

Ledger did great opening some of his own presents.  He loves ripping paper!  :)  He got a really cool lion that he can sit and ride on OR he can push around once he gets a little better at walking around while holding on to things.  It seems like it's a great toy to grow with him.

Saturday evening, we got ourselves dressed up and went to a birthday party for my cousin, Jordan.  This was Ledger's first chance to meet Jordan's kids -- Hayden, 3y, and Lilah, 9m.  All of the kids got along really well.  Hayden was very interested in Ledger, but he also really liked Josh. :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'm SO Big!

This month, Ledger has made great strides towards being a bigger BIG boy!  He is eating much better now... and can use his little pincher fingers to pick up little pieces of food and put them directly into his mouth!  Right now, he loves Cheerios, Puffs, and string cheese.  He's still trying to figure out fruits and veggies, and he does like broccoli and carrots but does NOT like sweet potatoes and peas.  And he is figuring out how to use a cup on his own.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rubber Ducky, You're the One!

I just wanted to share some photos of my sweet baby boy in the bathtub with his rubber ducky.  It is his favorite bath time toy!  He is just now starting to discover that bath time can be fun.  He likes to splash and play with his ducky! :)


Monday, December 14, 2009

20th Anniversary

Today is Oma and Papa Hensley's 20th Wedding Anniversary! :)  We celebrated this milestone with a big party on Saturday at the Lindsborg American Legion.  There was good food, good people, and loud music -- does it get any better than that?!  Ledger went to the party too, and was pretty entertained by the flashing lights... even IF the music was a little loud for him.  The "Peterson" family loves to dance, and there was an open bar, so we all really enjoyed ourselves.  To see all of the photos, including a fairly embarassing video of Pete bustin' a move, click here.
The happy couple:

Ledger kissing his Auntie Em

The family dancing the night away.  Of course, someone had to yell "GATOR" during Shout.

Ledger does the YMCA

One more picture of the happy couple.
We can't believe it's been 20 years!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

First Christmas

This weekend we had Ledger's first Christmas celebration.  The Perkins' came from KC to Lindsborg this weekend.  Since Emily is on call on Christmas day, we celebrated the holiday together a little early!  Ledger (sorta) helped open his first present and we had a great time.  Notice Ledger's wonderful Christmas tree jammies! :)


Friday, December 11, 2009

Ledger's First Santa Pictures

Taking your screaming, "stranger-danger" child to sit on the lap of a stranger in the mall is a time-honored Christmas tradition.  But, for those of you without kids, those cute little photos are PRICEY!!  So we've been waiting for a "free Santa pics" event -- and today was the day!  Our Parents As Teachers program hosted a Christmas day at the mall where the kids could take free pictures with Santa, ride the Christmas train, and even get complimentary pretzel bites from the Pretzel Maker.  Best-of-all, since it was a Heartland Programs event, it didn't take much convincing for me to get Oma to join us for the fun!  Ledger did great with Santa.  He studied him really hard, but he didn't cry and he didn't yank that poor man's beard!  For me, that's a successful Santa sitting! :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

KISS Concert

Thursday afternoon, we drove to Kansas City's Sprint Center to see the KISS: Alive 35 tour.  Chris is a big KISS fan and has seen them in concert a number of times before, but I am not a KISS fanatic.  Sure, I like "Rock and Roll All Night" and some of their other top hits, but I certainly can't have an in-depth discussion about their catalog and multiple albums and tours.  Chris really loves seeing live music and insisted I go see KISS because they put on such a fantastic show -- with lights and pyro and ziplines and theatrics, oh my! :)

I can honestly say that I'm really glad we went!  I enjoyed driving down there with our friends, Brandon, Shawn, and Damon -- the conversation was hilarious.  The show was great -- very entertaining.  I mean, the costumes alone are enough to keep my attention.  (Where else can you see a 60-year-old man in 7" platform boots and nearly ass-less chaps?!)  But the whole show, I couldn't keep my eyes off of Gene.  I mean, he is KISS for me.  Paul Stanley has the great voice and says some funny stuff, but Gene's stage act is one-of-a-kind.  I'm posting a few pictures on this blog, but if you want to see all 120 pictures, plus a full video of "Rock and Roll All Night", click HERE to go to our picasaweb page.

I also want to say a big THANK YOU to Oma, who stayed home with the little man.  He decided he was not going to be cooperative and didn't go to sleep easily.  While he was in the crib, he actually pulled himself up to standing!  Time to lower the crib mattress!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Well, this week we were finally hit with our first significant snowfall of the season.  And boy did it SNOW!  We got about 7 inches in 24 hours.  Right now it is a blustery 11 degrees outside!  :)  Gotta love living in Kansas, right?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sitting Up

This weekend, we noticed that Ledger can do something new. He can get himself from a laying down position to a sitting up position all by himself. This makes him particularly mobile now and he can play and play on his own without much "assistance" from mom and dad. In the video, it looks like he uses the box to help him sit up, but I assure you that he can do it without the box there. He's done it about 5 times on the floor in front of me as I write this blog! :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ledger's Log: 7 Months Old


Today, Ledger is 7 months old!  I can't believe it!  Somehow, 7 months old seems so much older than 6 months -- I think it's because he is officially closer to 1 year old than he his to being newborn.  How fast they grow.  In the last month, Ledger has had his first parade, first Thanksgiving, and has been through his first funeral.  All of those events meant that he met lots of family members and was passed from person-to-person.  He is especially tolerant of meeting new people and letting anyone hold him.  Here are some of the developments in the last month:
  • He loves being at child care and playing with his little "buddies".  
  • He is more mobile now and can move himself a lot (more than you would think is possible) by rolling and slithering backwards on his belly.  We are working on teaching him how to move forwards!  
  • Ledger still doesn't like eating solid foods much, but we keep trying.  
  • He is suddenly laughing more often -- we don't have to work so hard to get a giggle from our boy.  He thinks that sneezing and blowing raspberries are particularly hilarious.
  • He is still wearing clothes sized 6-9 months but he is so tall that he can only fit into 9 month footie pajamas now.
We are really looking forward to Ledger's first Christmas and New Year's and spending time with all of our family.  :)  Love, CKL