Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Merry Little Christmas

Kiefer had a Merry 1st Christmas! We flew down to my parents’ in South Carolina. Despite an ear infection, Kiefer did really well on his first airplane trip. He slept through the second half of the two-hour flight and didn’t even wake up during the landing. Grandma and Grandpa met us at the airport and were surprised to see how big Kiefer has gotten since they last saw him in August.

My sister, Janice and her boyfriend, Geoff arrived a day after we did. They shared some very exciting news with us: they’re engaged! We’re thrilled for them and look forward to their wedding (plans are still being ironed out). Kiefer had the best time with Aunt Janice, and Uncle Geoff as well as Grandma and Grandpa.

We didn’t do anything terribly exciting while we were in South Carolina. We went on some walks and otherwise, simply enjoyed the time away from the harried pace of our lives at home. Grandma and Grandpa took care of Kiefer one afternoon while the rest of us went out for a drink in downtown Greenville. When we returned, we were surprised by Ms (Mollie Wilson), our middle school band teacher and family friend, who drove from her home in North Carolina to see us!

While in South Carolina, Kiefer tried a new fruit: bananas. He absolutely loves them. He’ll eat an entire jar of bananas and still want more. He’s now eating quite a lot—fruit with cereal in the morning, some bananas in the afternoon and vegetable with cereal in the evening.

We’re happy he’s eating well because just two weeks ago, he was pretty sick. He didn't want to eat and he was burning up (102 F). He even threw up. Poor little guy. We took him to the doctor and they said he had an ear infection and some sort of bug, but they weren’t sure if it was viral. After a few days of lots of sleep, he was back to his normal, smiley self. That was our first time dealing with him being sick and we were so worried! I guess you really never know what worry is until you're a parent.

Now that we are home in Massachusetts, we are enjoying some quiet time. We will stay home this New Year’s. We are going to be visiting the Netherlands from January 11-21. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone and introducing them to Kiefer. We’re not really looking forward to the travel, though. I’m sure Kiefer will do fine. He likes to flirt, so he’ll have fun on the plane.

A happy and healthy 2008 to all!


Thursday, December 6, 2007


Kiefer celebrated his half-birthday on November 26th. I made a half birthday cake for him. Actually, I made it for us, since Kiefer can't eat cake yet. We enjoyed it for him!
So many firsts! Kiefer also celebrated his first Sinterklaas! Because I had class until late on Wednesday the 5th, we had to move our celebration to today. Kiefer enjoyed chewing on everything… wrapped presents, wrapping paper and the presents themselves. Sinterklaas and his Piets (Oma, Opa, Paula, Frank, Mina, Garth and Alana) sent along some wonderful presents. Kiefer loves them all! We managed to get a pretty good family photo after all the present opening festivities. Even Oliver wanted to be in the photo!

Although it was a little on the early side, we decorated our Christmas tree on Saturday, December 1st. Kiefer enjoys it very much. The lights and the sparkly ornaments are great. That evening, we visited Kiefer's friend, Anya, and her parents. Anya's mom's name is April, too, and Anya was born just 9 days before Kiefer! Anya has been sitting up on her own for weeks now and I think Kiefer didn't want to be outdone, so he started sitting up on his own while we were visiting. He will fall over easily if he turns to look at something to his side or behind him, but he's getting there!

Roel is going to have Kiefer all to himself on Saturday as I will be at a spa day with Bonnie, Cindy and Laura. We have decided to make this an annual Christmas present to ourselves. We all wonder why we didn't think of it sooner!


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Turkey Day Around the Corner

At his doctor's appointment yesterday, Kiefer weighed 16 pounds, 14.4 oz (7.7 kg) and was 26" long (66 cm). He is now in the 25 percentile for his weight and height. At his 4 month check up, he was in the 75 percentile. So his growth has slowed, but that's good. He was getting big very quickly! And he has very chubby cheeks and thighs!

Kiefer did so well with the shots. He cried as soon as the first of the three needles went into his leg, but he was better in a minute. I got a flu shot in solidarity.

It snowed today! It was the first time Kiefer has seen snow. I don't think it made much of an impression on him. I'm sure it will next year, though.Thanksgiving is only 2 days away. We're not going anywhere... just having a nice, quiet Thanksgiving with the three of us. Kiefer will get to try a new vegetable then. We gave him a little mashed sweet potato yesterday and he made a face of absolute disgust as soon as it was in his mouth. He swallowed a couple of bites and then threw up 5 minutes later. Not much of a success. We gave him a little more tonight and mixed it with some milk and it went down a little easier. All these new tastes!

Happy Turkey Day,

Thursday, November 15, 2007

November 15

Kiefer had a great Halloween! He spent it at home with Roel handing out candy to the trick-or-treaters. I was at class until 9:30, so I missed all the fun! :( We enjoyed Kiefer in his cow costume! He was pretty cute!

At the beginning of November, we started giving Kiefer some rice cereal. He likes it OK, but we recently introduced him to oatmeal cereal and he really likes that. He still doesn't quite have the whole eating from a spoon thing down, but he's getting better every day. We're going to start giving him vegetables once he turns 6 months, which is very soon!

Kiefer is finally getting the hang of rolling from his belly to his back. He's been rolling from his back to his belly for a couple of months now, but couldn't return to his back and would get very frustrated. He's also pulling his legs up under him, which is preparing him for crawling. Roel and I are in no rush to have him crawl, though. We're perfectly happy knowing that he can't get too far right now. Things are going to change a lot when he starts crawling.

Work and school have been very busy for me. Luckily, I have two weeks off from school and work is slowing down. Thanksgiving is next Thursday (Nov 22nd). We're not planning on doing much. I will make a little feast for me and Roel and we'll enjoy some time at home. After that, I need to think about writing a paper for the following week. I only have one more month left in this semester! Hurray!

Roel and I have been thinking about visiting the Netherlands in January. Tickets in May/June (when we would like to go) are more than twice what they are in January. Roel is monitoring the fares and we think we can get a pretty good deal. It's going to be very exciting for Kiefer. He'll be on his first flight to visit Grandma and Grandpa in South Carolina for Christmas. And should be go to the Netherlands, he'll be on a long flight there just a couple of weeks later to visit Oma, Opa, Tante Paula and Oom Frank.

Well, that's the latest!


Friday, October 26, 2007

5 months

Kiefer is 5 months today! He's such a happy little guy. We're pretty sure he has a cold because he has a runny nose, but it doesn't seem to bother him! He's all smiles! About a month ago, we purchased a Nosefrida. It's a plastic tube you put at the end of the baby's nostril and you suck on the other end to clear the baby's nose. I know... it sounds really gross, but there's no way baby buggers could end up in your mouth; the tube is long and there is a filter. Anyway, it works so well! Kiefer is always so happy when we use it. Roel likes it, too. He refers to it as the "snot sucker."

Kiefer thoroughly enjoyed his visit with Tante Paula and Oom Frank. Roel's sister and her boyfriend stayed with us for a couple of weeks at the beginning of October. Kiefer got all sorts of attention and many new presents from the Netherlands. He has quite a few books in Dutch now, which is good since we are attempting to raise him bi-lingual.

Work is extremely busy for me now. I have many applicants for my programs and the deadlines to get their materials to our partner institutio
ns abroad are fast approaching. I'm also very busy with school. I've been so busy since the beginning of September, that I think I wore myself down so much that I got sick. I've had a sore throat, headache and general yucky feeling off and on for the past couple of weeks. I now have a head cold so I'm hoping that this will be the end of it!

As you can see from some of the photos in the albums, Kiefer is enjoying the fall... pumpkins, leaves and silly hats. Halloween is less than a week away and he's going to be a cow! The costume is a hand-me-down, but it will do just fine as he'll wear it for only a couple hours on one day! We'll be sure to take some photos!


Sunday, September 30, 2007

Kiefer now weighs 15 lbs (6.8 kg). At his 4 month check up on Tuesday (Sept 25), we learned that he was in the 75th percentile for both his weight and his height. He's a well proportioned baby. I think he's absolutely adorable, but I am totally biased. However, when I pick him up from daycare in the afternoon it does seem like he's even cuter than he was in the morning. How is this possible?

Things are going well. I think I've adjusted to being back at school and work. We now have a routine and that makes it easier. I do find it difficult to do my reading and assignments for school. As much I like my classes, they can't compete with Kiefer.

Roel's sister, Paula, and her boyfriend, Frank arrive on Monday for a two week visit. Kiefer will finally get to meet his Tante Paula!


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Kiefer has learned to roll from his back to his belly. He went from his back to his belly and back over and over on Friday (Sept 7) evening. Since then he can easily roll onto his belly but doesn't always manage to return to his back on his own. He gets frustrated when he can't.

He's doing great a daycare. Holly found that if she warmed up the bottle nipple, he was quite content with the bottle. Whew! Although it's not like he is skinny. I went to the hospital to weigh him today and all the nurses commented on his chubby cheeks. He now weighs 14 lbs, 8.7 oz (6.6 kg).

Another big change for all of is that Kiefer is now sleeping in his own room. He had been sleeping in a co-sleeper in our room, but we thought it was time for him to go to his own room. I was a little sad the first night, but I'm OK now. He's doing really well. He will sometimes sleep through the night, but usually he wakes at around 4 or 5 because he's hungry. Once he's fed, he goes straight back to sleep. He never cries when he wakes, either. Usually, it is either Roel or I who discover that he is awake when we check on him after we've gotten up to use the bathroom.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Today was Kiefer's first day at daycare! It was a little sad to leave him. He fell asleep in the car on the way there and I'm sure he was quite confused when he woke up and I wasn't there. Holly, our daycare provider, said that he did really well except when it came to taking the bottle. Roel has given him a bottle with breast milk every day for the past month and a half so he could get used to it. Well, he is used to taking a bottle from Roel and in the evening, so he wasn't too thrilled about getting a bottle in the morning from Holly. He'd much rather have the real thing! Anyway, 6 hours went by quickly because I was extremely busy at work.

Kiefer is getting so big! He weighed 14 lbs, 3.5 oz (6.46 kg) on August 29th. He loves to stand on his very strong legs. We suspect that he'll be rolling from his belly to his back very soon. He already rolls onto his side very easily. We've had some very special visitors lately. Grandma and Grandpa Stroud came from South Carolina to visit for a long weekend in August and just a few days later Oma and Opa Ebling came from the Netherlands. He's had a great time visiting with them.

I can't believe that I am back at work and school again. I have no idea how I am going to find the will to tear myself away from Kiefer on the weekends when I have to do schoolwork. It is going to be very difficult. I think I am going to have to do a lot of the work at night after he has gone to bed (that is if I'm not too tired).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

2 months

Kiefer is 2 months old today! He's breastfeeding like a champ... he gained a whole pound in just one week. Yesterday he weighed 12 lb, 1 oz!

We finally got him an activity gym and he absolutely loves it. The last few photos in the photo album illustrate that. You can also take a look at a video of him admiring his reflection in the mirror that came with the gym. Click
HERE to see it.

Being the proud parents that we are, we take a lot of pictures of Kiefer. We only post some of those photos on this website. If you'd like to see more, you can visit our
Picasa web album.


Monday, July 16, 2007

7 weeks old!

Kiefer is 7 weeks old! He seems to be getting bigger and changing by the day! It is so much fun to see him grow and learn. Just last week, he finally discovered his Nijntje mobile and has a great time watching the Nijntjes and talking to them.

Oma and Opa left on July 3rd and since then it's just been the 3 of us. Things are going well. We're trying to establish some sort of schedule, but just when we think we have one, Kiefer decides to change it! We're usually able to sleep 4-5 hours at night before he wakes to be fed. Once he has something in his belly, he usually sleeps for another 2-3 hours. Not too bad!

I haven't been getting out too much... usually only 3 times a week. Now that he's getting bigger, I am feeling more comfortable about going out with him. I can't believe he'll be going to daycare starting in September when I go back to school and work. He will be there for 25 hours a week.

As anyone can see, Kiefer looks exactly like Roel. It does look like his eyes are getting dark, so he may have my eyes! That's something, I suppose!


Thursday, June 14, 2007

3 Weeks Old!

Kiefer is now 3 weeks old! It is hard to believe! Roel and I really starting to settle into our role as parents. Kiefer is a really great baby... he sleeps 4-6 hours at a time at night, so we're not as sleep deprived as we had anticipated!

My parents (now Grandma & Grandpa) drove up from South Carolina and arrived the day before I went into labor. They spent a lot of hours at the hospital waiting for Kiefer to make his entrance. It was so nice to have them with us... Grandma took care of all the cooking and cleaning while I recovered. Meanwhile, Grandpa kept busy installing a ceiling fan 3 storm doors, and a couple of lights. It was hard for all to say goodbye when they left on the 5th.

A few days later, our friends from the Netherlands, Andre & Marloes, stopped by for the weekend. They planned stopover in Montreal so they could drive a few hours to see us before heading to Vancouver to vacation. They are the first of our Dutch friends to visit us here in the States. We went on a few strolls with Kiefer and spent some time catching up!

Andre & Marloes left on the 11th and Roel's parents (Oma & Opa) arrived the following day. They are very happy to see Kiefer in person since they had only seen him in photos and via Skype. They are spending a week in the Finger Lakes region of New York and will return for some more quality time with their grandson on 23rd until the 3rd of July.

It took me a good 2 weeks to really recover from the birth. How wonderful to not have to take Advil every six hours! Breastfeeding seems to be going well. He's a bit of a lazy feeder and falls asleep a lot while he's feeding, but other than that we're doing OK. I am going to a support group at the hospital every Wednesday, which is very helpful. Some of the mothers there with older babies keep telling us newcomers that it gets easier... and each day it seem to!

It's hard to find the time to sit behind the computer and e-mail and update the site. We have started to use our Moby wrap and while Kiefer sleeps all cozy in the wrap, I am able to get some time behind the computer.

Today is Father's Day... Roel's first! We're not planning to do much... probably just go for a stroll later in the afternoon.



Sunday, May 27, 2007

Welcome to the World, Kiefer!

Whew! What an unexpectedly long labor... 44 hours. It started at 2:00 AM on Friday, May 25th. Because this is our first baby, I had no idea when I was supposed to head to the hospital and I didn't want to look stupid and get there too early. So, I hung out at home, went out with my Mom for a while and by 6:30 PM the contractions were close enough together and uncomfortable enough (couldn't talk through them) to head to the birthing center. Our wonderful Doula, Marah MacRostie, met us there. The Hypnobirthing techniques and birthing tub were great until I became very tired at around 4:00 AM on Saturday, May 26th. When the midwife checked me and told me I had not dilated much (3 cm), I almost lost it. They gave me something to help me sleep for a few hours so I could rest up, but I woke up every 5 minutes or so with contractions.

Feeling better in the morning, we continued with the Hypnobirthing techniques, but as I wasn't making much progress, the midwife broke my water around 11:00 AM. A few hours later, there was still little progress, so we agreed to the midwife's suggestion of Pitocin. Ugh. Drugs and an IV were not what I had envisioned. This was such a tough decision for us because we wanted a natural childbirth.

By 4:00 PM back labor, which I had had almost from the beginning, was becoming unbearable. The regular contractions were do-able, but the back labor was not. It was present during contractions and after... basically all the time. At first, counter pressure helped me get through them, but eventually no change of positions or techniques seemed to work and I was so stressed and tense during the contractions (which came in waves of three) that I was getting even more tired. It was so awful and I had no idea how much longer I would have to go that I finally decided for an epidural. I got it around 6:30 PM or so and it enabled me to get some rest before pushing started at 10:30 PM.

And finally he was born at 11:11 PM! He was a lot bigger than I had expected (8 lb, 12 oz). He's so beautiful and we're so in love with him!