A Mama’s Muse


Welcome to my blog!

I’m new to this and am not sure how reliable I will be as an author, but I wanted a way to share pictures and life with my family and friends, as well as a way to share about things I’ve found along the way that make Mommy-hood a little easier. The other main reason I wanted to do this is to include milestones and anecdotes for my baby boy, Kaelen (and future baby(ies) as well) that we as a family can look back on…a virtual “Baby Book”. I hope you’ll enjoy what you find :)

~ Erica

52 Weeks

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This post brings an end to the weekly “Bear Picture” series.  I realized that some of the weeks pictures haven’t been posted to the blog just yet, but I did take them and I’m planning to get them posted soon.  I have been so glad that I decided to take the pictures and I only missed one week when Kaelen wasn’t feeling well for pretty much a whole week (week 43).  The plan is to continue to take a monthly picture with bear since Kaelen has outgrown the laundry basket.  I may not attempt to post as frequently as I did (attempt) to post this first year, but my goal is to actually get my posts up in a more timely manner going forward than actually happened the last part of this year :-)

So with fanfare ::drumroll please:: and a little tear in my eyes here is the final weekly bear picture:

Kaelen 52 Weeks17


Since it was the last week I couldn’t only post one picture so here’s a few more.


Kaelen 52 Weeks29Kaelen Loves to Hug Bear or Knock Him Over When We Take Pictures.
(This happened pretty much every week since he was able to move Bear)

And since this was Kaelen’s First Christmas earlier in the week and we were given this cute Santa hat (thank you Aunt Nicole!) here are a couple festive pictures of Kaelen and Bear.

Kaelen 52 Weeks42 Kaelen 52 Weeks48

~ Erica

11 Months

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I have heard this quote more than once and feel like it exactly illustrates how I feel about the past months as I realize Little Man is nearly 1!

“The days go slowly but the weeks, months and years go quickly.”

I think I said this elsewhere in my blog, but the best advice that I heard repeatedly while pregnant was to really slow down and enjoy every moment because Warrior would grow and change so quickly. I thank God every day for our sweet Little Man and that I have truly taken that message to heart. The sweet and tender memories I have from this year are some of the absolute best of my life. I am truly blessed.
Kaelen has had tons more drooling and teething behavior this month but still no new teeth. I still think the fourth bottom tooth is the next one that will appear but the top canine tooth seems like it may come in before long as well. Only time will tell!


Kaelen continues to wear 18 month size clothes. Some of the pants need to be cuffed still so his feet don’t get stuck inside them while he is crawling. It looks like maybe he will actually stay this size for longer than he has stayed previous sizes which would mean he could wear this current set of clothes through the coldest months. Yay! Kaelen now has to have shoes on his feet whenever it is fairly cold out because even if his socks do stay on his feet with his activity level, he has figured out how to take them off! He tends to pull them off, chew on them, and then carries them around with him while he plays.


Little Man’s sleep got a little disrupted by daylight savings time, teething, and not feeling well, which combined with the busyness surrounding Thanksgiving, means that we are still working hard to get him re-settled into a stable sleep routine with just two naps per day and a return no over-night waking. Ideally, Little Man sleeps from 7:30 or 8pm until between 8am-9am and takes a 1.5 hour morning nap and a 1.5+ hour afternoon nap starting around 2pm. (someday it’ll happen…I will just continue to believe it’s possible until it does!)
This month we added several new foods including: Sautéed Spinach, Cranberry-Orange Dressing, and of course Turkey. Of those Kaelen liked the spinach and eats it somewhat regularly now. He tried the turkey several times but spit it out each time he tasted it even if it was “mixed in” with other foods he liked. The highlight of Kaelen’s Thanksgiving Dinner was Aunt Sarah’s Sweet Potatoes. I couldn’t reload his spoon or feed them to him fast enough! We are still nursing about five times per day and Kaelen seems to be happy with that frequency. We started letting Kaelen use a pre-loaded spoon with soft foods awhile back, but in the last month he has gotten really good at getting a significant amount of the yogurt, applesauce, sweet potato, etc. actually all the way into his mouth. It is so neat to see his coordination constantly improve. Kaelen uses either hand with a spoon and sometimes switches which hand he wants to use mid-meal (and sometimes uses both of course). I think it is so fascinating to watch little things develop as we see his preferences form over the next months.


Little Man said, “Mama” for the first time while looking me in the eyes when I went to pick him up out of his crib on October 31st! I was sooo excited! The speech therapist in me had to wait and see if he did it again to be sure it was 100% purposeful and completely linked to me, but it turns out that “Mama” was Kaelen’s true first word! Kaelen has continued to become more conversational and has begun imitating us telling him to say “more” by saying “mmmmm” or “mu” while he is eating and with some play activities like bouncing on the big exercise ball. Kaelen started saying “Dada” or “Dadadadada” while babbling just yesterday which we were really ready for.


Kaelen is very observant and seems to only need to see something once before he imitates and learns it! There are so many “activity” things that Kaelen is doing that are new so I think I’ll just list them as bullets:

– Kaelen now stops and claps to show his delight in something

– He can beat in rhythm with music (and still dances every chance he gets).

– Little Man began pushing on objects in front of himself to “walk” behind them on November 12, so we weighed down a medium sized cooler that is the right height for Kaelen and he pushes it around the on floor.

– Grandma taught Kaelen how to get the foam sea creatures (bath toys) to “stick” to the shower door or the sidewall of the bathtub and he has enjoyed playing with them that way ever since.

– Learned to turn the lights on and off using the switch on the wall.

– Starting to learn to purse his lips to kiss. He sometimes will give kisses with pursed lips but most often gives open mouth kisses. Kaelen has initiated giving his Daddy a kiss a couple times, but gives his Mama kisses all the time spontaneously! He will give close family and friends kisses sometimes if we ask him to, but not reliably (or spontaneously). I never cease to be amazed by how sweet spirited our little man is.

– Mid-month Warrior began taking more than 10 steps while holding on to our hands to move across the room. He has also started letting go of people/objects for just a second or two at a time while standing before grabbing back on or sitting down. We know it’s all just a part of the the pre-walking warm-up.

– Kaelen has been enjoying eating the knobs on the kitchen cabinets or opening/closing/banging the doors to play, but on “Pie Day” while we were at Grandma’s house making pies for Thanksgiving Kaelen figured out that there are lots of fun things INSIDE the cabinets to play with and explore! Time to install some more of the cabinet locks in the kitchen and bathrooms….

– Kaelen loves to carry around his toys with him as he plays and often has Sophie the Giraffe in his mouth or a hand, another toy, or even just one of his socks that he managed to pull off of his feet.


One last funny note to round off this post: Kaelen think it is absolutely hilarious when someone blows his or her nose. I would have expected him to be startled or bothered by someone sneezing and then blowing their nose, but instead he gets the biggest grin and starts belly laughing! We still haven’t figured out why it is so funny to him, but that sound delights our little boy.


Kaelen 11 Months08


Kaelen 11 Months19Cheesin’ for Mama

Kaelen 11 Months41

Kaelen 11 Months71Standing Unassisted


Kaelen 11 Months59“Pwwwwwt!” (Blowing Raspberries)

~ Erica


10 Months

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Wow! Another Post is due already. Well here goes:
Kaelen weighs in at 22lbs! He’s getting so big! He’s also really tall but we haven’t taken the time to measure his height recently. Kaelen has been holding steady at 7 teeth although he has had a few days where he was really chomping on his fingers in one spot next to his bottom middle teeth so I expect that will (eventually) be the next tooth to come in.

Little Man is now completely in his 18 month fall wardrobe. The little fall & winter patterns are so cute. He’s got a couple plaid flannel shirts that I put him in with his little overalls. So Handsome! We took some pictures in that outfit at the pumpkin patch that I will have to post… someday when I get “caught up” haha!

We decided that it was finally time to train Kaelen to sleep all the way through the night and so we started letting him cry until he went back to sleep in the middle of the night (or at 5-6 am… whenever he was waking up). After 3 nights he quit waking completely, and when he stirs he may fuss a little but relocates and settles himself within a minute or two. Its interesting as we’ve observed his sleep habits we noticed that Kaelen completely relocates himself to various places in the crib several times a night. Mostly he doesn’t even make a noise, but he moves to a different corner for a few hours. He’s a very mobile sleeper!

Kaelen continues to be more conversational and loves to laugh. His favorite things to babble continue to be “bababa” and “mamama” with occasional other sounds mixed in. Blowing raspberries isn’t speech but it is still one of Kaelen’s favorite things!

Food wise we have continued to add in foods such as quinoa, tomato, banana, & sweet potato. Kaelen definitely has favorites and will eat all of carrots, tomatoes, or egg that are on the baby butler before he finishes other things but that’s fine by me! He has gotten to be such a good eater! We also took Kaelen “out to eat” to Chipotle with us where he sat in his travel high chair and “ate” with us. We have eaten with our families and away from home lots, but this was his first time “eating out” even though we brought his food from home with us. Little Man also figured out that he likes to hold things to eat a certain way and sometimes that means that he picks up multiple different things in one hand. Tonight he wanted both tomato and egg in his hand so he worked really hard at it until he had them both just the way he wanted so that he could take a bite of both together. As I watched him I couldn’t help but think how smart he was to analyze how to get set up to do it even though it took him several attempts to get everything just the way he wanted.

Kaelen clapped his hands for the first time on October 15th. We have even caught him clapping in rhythm a couple of times! Recently Kaelen was laughing at Doug making a fishy face so Doug taught him how to suck his cheeks in and make a “fishy face”, which Kaelen thinks is hilarious. He now does it when he is playing, crawling around, transitioning between activities, and sometimes when we attempt to get him to imitate us (although not very often). Kaelen is very much a climber. When he is playing nearby us he often will climb up on top of, or over us to get where he wants to go or just for fun. Its humorous to us since it takes so much of his effort but he really enjoys the activity!

Enjoy the 10 Month Pictures!

Kaelen 10 Months09



Kaelen 10 Months16I’m getting SOOO tall!

Kaelen 10 Months58Clapping hands

Kaelen 10 Months49Look at me standing!



Learning cause and effect:  What happens if I crawl off the edge?

Kaelen 10 Months29


But Daddy didn’t let him hit the floor.

Kaelen 10 Months30



Kaelen 10 Months48 Fishy Face!

 ~ Erica

9 Months

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So much has happened this month it’s amazing how many changes happen in such a short amount of time!  It really is hard to keep track of everything that is new and different!  Somehow I’ve got to get better about jotting little notes along the way so I don’t overlook things.

Kaelen now has seven teeth, four upper and three on the bottom.  The two upper teeth on either side of the center came in within a few days of each other this month as expected since they seemed to be ready to pop out any second when I wrote the 8 month post.

Kaelen has finally reached the end of the 12 month clothes and I am in the process of switching out to his fall wardrobe of size 18 month clothing!  The first thing I had to switch out was the footed sleepers since the torso wasn’t long enough to allow room for his massive nighttime diapers.  It wasn’t long before I had to switch out the long-sleeved onesies and all in one jumpers/outfits.  Some of the 18 month pants/overalls are too long in the legs for Kaelen, but they’re right in the torso length so he will just be wearing cuffed pants and overalls until they’re the right fit!  As the weather has started cooling a little especially at night I’ve begun using some of the longer things and boy do I love overalls!  My Mama always use to say how much she preferred overalls to pants since the snaps on the bottoms of the legs make diaper changes so much easier and don’t require taking the pants down over/around the diaper each time.  I couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly!  We do have some pants, but I’m pretty sure for the most part that our Little Man will be living in overalls.

Kaelen has continued to wake once nightly to nurse, although the time has been widely varried this month.  I think it’s time to work with Kaelen on sleeping all the way through the night.  I hope to have a different update on that next month!  My hope for Kaelen switching to only taking two naps a day has still not materialized.  In the past few weeks Kaelen has seemed to prefer getting up a little earlier around 8am, which means that his first two naps are earlier in the day and by around 5pm he needs to lay down again.  I know it won’t be much longer before he drops a nap so I’m waiting patiently.  Kaelen has recently started to purposely snuggle on my shoulder when I’m putting him down for naps/bed time.  Its really sweet, after I put his sleep sack on him and am holding him as I walk over to the crib he puts his little head in the spot where my neck and shoulder meet and snuggles there for a few minutes.  I’ve decided that since he initiates it, that when he snuggles up I will hold him for a few moments longer and sway with him standing in front of the crib before I put him down for nap/bed.  I’ve prayed many times that he will stay snuggly & affectionate and so I’ve just been soaking this time up!

Kaelen has continued to be very vocal.  This month he learned to say “hoo” (somewhat like an owl sound).  He looks so silly when he says it and is often talking to a toy he is holding or to Daddy or me.  He continues to take turns while talking and will imitate and repeat us when we make the sounds he makes.

Kaelen has continued to become more coordinated and balanced with his standing and now often stands to play, holding onto the couch, his toy activity center, or one of us.  He loves to crawl to where we are if he isn’t near us and is into investigating everything!  Since he is more mobile Kaelen also comes to find or get me when he is hungry or wants to be held.  Its nice because it allows us to understand his desires a bit better.  Little Man loves to chase balls around on the floor and still carries the Sophie the Giraffe toy around with him everywhere he goes.      Kaelen has begun learning to “cruise” and has taken a few steps pushing on a small cooler, holding onto one of us, or the couches.  He still prefers to crawl mostly though, and if I stand him on the floor and hold his hands he will drop to seated and then take off crawling.

This month for foods I gave Kaelen some meats and proteins including Chicken, Salmon, Beef, and eggs. He LOVED the eggs (cooked hard and cut into strips) and the Salmon.  Kaelen would hunt around on his tray for all of the salmon or eggs and eat all of those before eating any of the other options.  All of the foods we are giving him are organic, vegetarian fed, free range, antibiotic free, no growth hormones, etc. Basically we want to protect him from pesticides and other chemicals that aren’t beneficial since anything he eats is more concentrated in his little body. It requires more planning on our part but we believe its worth the effort.  For nursing Kaelen is still nursing usually 6 times a day including his overnight feeding.  When he does occasionally get a bottle he gets 4-6 ounces at a time.

Kaelen 9 Months02


Kaelen 9 Months64

Kaelen 9 Months44



A Few Fun Pictures:

Kaelen loves to “fly” down the stairs with Daddy and this is a picture showing them coming down the stairs.

Kaelen 9 Months33

Kaelen 9 Months41“I like to chew on Monkey”

Kaelen 9 Months29I’ve got Daddy & Monkey and I am one Happy Boy!



~ Erica