Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Six weeks.

Happening this week...
  • still not eating perfectly but she's perfect to us
  • gaining a bit, which is good; we want those thigh rolls! 
  • smiling and cooing a lot which is AMAZING
  • reacting well to acid reflux medicine, though mommy forgot for a day and a half...
  • loving on grandma who's visiting
  • developing some brown eyes
  • liking her play mat for about five to ten minutes
  • making funny faces
  • sleeps well on mom
  • took a bottle
  • has been dabbling in cloth diapers
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, April 28, 2014

Going on today.

We've still got some family help in town...we really can't express our love and gratitude for the support of our families but we can hope to one day pay it forward ourselves in a similar manner.

Aaaaaaaaand...

1. There's no better smell than a baby's head.

2. Or a baby after her bath.

3. We're talking summer plans; they might involve a lot of logistics but they're exciting.

4. We're dabbling in cloth diapers this week...and hoping to make them worth their while.

5. For no real reason, there is SO much Ben & Jerry's and gelato in our freezer...yum!

I hope you're well folks, whatever you're up to today and this week!!
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Long day.

We walked and walked today with our little girl.
And it's a good thing since the weather is supposed to decline here in the next few days.
Too bad being in her stroller doesn't tire her out as much as all the walking did for me!
Have a great start to your week folks!
xoxo,
natty

Saturday, April 26, 2014

In between.

I love when the blossoms are still out on the trees but the leaves have started to make their way in.
Are you enjoying spring pretties where you are? The tulips and daffodils are waning but still brightening up the neighborhood.
Have a great rest of your Saturday!
xoxo, natty

Friday, April 25, 2014

Good day!

Today we:

Saw a rainbow
Went to the grocery store {Big News for me still}
Had dinner with Mike's brudder and his girlfriend {burgers!}
Spent quality time with Hanna Lu's grandma 

And experienced many other little glories...

Have a lovely weekend folks.
xoxo, natty

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Five weeks...two days late!

Here's little bit.
A whole inch longer than five weeks ago! 

She so favors looking around so here's that sweet face.

Going on this week:

  • making cute sounds 
  • smiling {is it too early? I hope not}
  • sleeping better on people than in her bassinet
  • not sleeping super well after three AM {help us}
  • still working on eating well and gaining weight
  • being very cute

Have a Thursday folks!
xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Snuggles.

 xoxo, natty

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It could be total bunk.

But I'm willing to try it if I ever get some time to actually read the dang book.
Plus how cure is that little baby? 

Going to an actual mama/baby-yoga class might also be a good idea...I'm very grateful I've got a few months to try out this stuff!
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hey-o hey-o hey-o.

We just put my stepmom on the curb at the airport and we're really sad about it so let's think of something good...

1. It's a gorgeous day out and we'll hopefully make it for a walk.

2. Our hot-water heater got replaced last week and there's a really nice handyman currently making some small much-needed repairs here and there...yippee for a new and functioning shower handle vs. just using pliers like we had been doing for way too long.

3. It's Marathon Monday! And a gorgeous day for the many runners out there slogging through 26.2 miles. One day maybe I'll be amongst them?

4. There's a long and somewhat shaggy dog on the couch next to me.

5. And a beautiful baby asleep {& probably ready to wake-up} in the other room..and she's mine!!

Hope your Monday is treating you well dear Reader.
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A couple inches more.

Happy Easter folks. We kept things low-key around here but drove ourselves out to VIrginia's Great Falls Park and enjoyed some time out of doors.

We did not go to the mall to take Easter Bunny pictures which I had kind of masochistically wanted to do. #theresalwaysnextyear

And! Also masochistically, I tried on some super skinny jeans that have been lurking under my bed since around September. We are not quite there yet, but getting very close...having gained about 50 pounds {#fulldisclosure #lovinghashtagstoday} while pregnant I was not expecting anything so exciting as this development. It's not so much the vanity issue rather than having to afford a whole new wardrobe issue.

So, here's to resurrections and new beginnings and old jeans.
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, April 19, 2014

His voice.

I'm still taking full advantage of my amazing stepmom and grabbing moments here and there. A big thing I need to work on as a new mom is relaxation and some self-care...if I can't take care of myself then poor baby! And today's incarnation is the Tom Petty P@ndora station and some headphones. Ugh, I love Tom Petty.

In other news, our hot water heater is officially replaced; woo hoo! The poor thing had been struggling for several months now and what with being at the end of my pregnancy/having family in town/having a baby/getting horribly ill/having a  newborn to care for, it didn't get the attention it deserved until just now. Our dishes hadn't been as clean and showers were nowhere near as long as they could be. In fact, a big plan of mine for my labor {before it took an entire weekend plus a day and wasn't progressing...} was to do so in a hot shower here at home before transitioning to the birth center. Our hot water lasted about ten minutes up until last night so that plan went out the window. We can also start cloth diapering {because I need something else with which to preoccupy myself these days} since prior the washer wouldn't have been hot enough to do the job well enough.

Do you feel wonderful when you get household things taken care of Reader? I {acceptingly} imagine this feeling won't be coming too often for yours truly these days, what with some far more important {& adorable!} work taking precedence.

Happy weekend!
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, April 18, 2014

One month old.

We got these fun stickers and headbands from a friend...what a generous and cute gift for a new mom! 
Someone wouldn't stretch out her legs.
Happy one month Hanna Lu! What a month it’s been with my health adventures…baby girl has adjusted really well and done beautifully.

She’s a very alert baby, holding eye contact for a long time and she’ll even follow something as it goes past her eyes.

She’s not the longest eater…I might have some issues with my milk supply {too much too fast} that make it tough for her and possibly give her a bit of reflux so hopefully she can adjust/grow out of this.

Hanna had a good week of morning/afternoon naps and then the past few days has been on strike. She’ll also have a fussy period from about 7 PM to midnight. This is tough and HL’s daddy really takes over at this time, which is awesome. She’ll have a good stretch of sleep at the beginning of her night, whenever it begins, and then maybe another good stretch of sleep, and then the last sleep before “getting up” for the morning isn’t that great. I’m wondering if her fidgety sleep is reflux/digestion related?

Hanna Lu is creeping up on a pound heavier than when she was born and definitely is too big for her newborn clothes. She’s a wee small for some 0 to 3 month clothes but not for all so that’s what she’s mostly in these days.

It seems like she can almost roll over but it could be her arching her back from tummy troubles…

We love this little girl oh so very much and can’t wait to see what she’s up to in the next month.

xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, April 17, 2014

More thankful than we can express.

Our daughter has a nightly "witching hour" which is a misnomer since it lasts from about 7 PM to midnight. She will fuss a bit, wants to be held and walked around, danced with, etc., and she won't stay asleep even if she dozes off. It's sad because she's obviously very tired. 

On top of some possible acid reflux it's not the best time of day for us all and my step-mom is an angel on earth for happily holding Hanna Lu and swaying with her/doing things the baby likes while we eat dinner and get some rest.

How can we ever ever ever thank her?

And, though I know we'll make do and be fine, how will we ever ever ever manage without this support?
xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Four weeks.


I’ll do an official “One Month” post on the 18th but today marks four weeks of Hanna Lu in our lives and that’s four weeks of our lives being infinitely better than they were. Unfortunately last week I fell ill again, but it was determined, finally {we sincerely hope}, that it’s a blood clot that I’ve been battling {they can cause fevers}…I’m currently on two types of antibiotics and blood thinners and a whole lotta desire for this ordeal to be over so that we can fully enjoy the sleeplessness and our beautiful baby. Thankfully, my step-mom was here helping us out/helping us to live {the woman knows how to feed people and watch a baby} and for that we are eternally grateful.

Anyway, on to happier things! I’ll be doing just once monthly updates after this so this is Hanna Lucy’s last weekly update, though I’ll stick with a picture a week for sure {I just love to see those thighs!}.
Not the clearest of today's bunch but at least her brow isn't furrowed the way it likes to be. And do I notice new thigh rolls on the left?!?!
How old: 4 weeks old

Weight: She clocked in at ten pounds and ten ounces this morning. Little bit is still a weird eater. It could be that “forceful letdown” thing but for the past few days she’ll have a feeding or two a day where she angrily cries and pulls off, then gets on again. She’ll repeat the process until she falls asleep if I let her but it’s so pitiful to see/hear her cry and I worry that it’ll cause her to dislike nursing. I ran it past the pediatrician briefly today and she said it won’t turn her off of it and to just keep an eye on the behavior. I’ll keep trying to pump for a minute or two before baby eats.

Likes:
·      Eating…sometimes.
·      Staring at people.
·      Staring at lights/windows.
·      Staring at a purple ribbon that’s part of a card that hangs on the wall above her changing pad.
·      Baths.
·      Being “worn”…but for a not-long time.
·      Driving…for a time and as long as the car is moving.
·      Making the cutest little face where she rounds her lips and seems to arch her brows; at least I like it.

Dislikes:
·      Eating…sometimes.
·      Those few cold moments after getting out of her bath.
·      When she’s settling in for a good sleep, she makes a very sweet little “ah” sound.

Milestones:
·      Baby girl saw her first cherry blossoms last week. We weren’t down there long and she was ready to go home and eat the moment we arrived but she saw them!
·      She has been doing some “tummy time” on her playmat for the first time. She can almost scoot forward, which seems odd. She lifts up her head and also turns it from side to side, though she rests it right after. There is a bout a two-minute appreciation of this exercise and then HL is ready for something else. She also enjoys the same playmat on her back, but I want her to get the time flipped over for her muscle development and head shape.
·      Someone got her very first bathrobe! 
The face belies her true feelings towards he duckie robe. I think I'll be forcing her to wear it until it fits as a shirt, I think she's that stinkin' cute in it. Says an overly biased mother.
     Thank you Lola!!!
·      We think we might be seeing some actual smiles…they come when she’s in a staring contest with me and they’re not complete smiles but I love them. They'll never be camera catch-able, I'm sure.
·      Hanna Lu will also make an almost laughing sound in her sleep and maybe half smile at the same time…SO CUTE.

Sleep and eat:
·      Hanna Lu is eating every one and a half to three hours.
·      Some feedings are way shorter than others; she’s efficient and other times she’s either not ready to eat or peeved that it’s coming out too fast…same issues as earlier.
·      She has been sleeping in one of those Velcro-baby-straight-jackets instead of being swaddled in a blanket…she seems to fight this a bit less? Maybe because it’s not as stretchy as a blanket can be.
·      She is still a loud sleeper. My step-mom, Hanna Lu’s Lola, is SO gracious and will let us have the baby sleep out with her, and I’ll get up and go out and feed her…this has been tremendous because sometimes it’s hard to sleep with those crazy sounds she makes and with another ER visit in our recent history, this extra quiet sleep is amazing.
·      When she’s fixing to wake up, HL will often get really loud/fussy for about an hour while remaining asleep…should I let her sleep through this? She doesn’t come out of it really upset or that fussy, so I figure that even if it’s a light sleep it’s a sleep and I should let her be.
·      I’ve done the white noise machine during her naps a few days now and it seems to go well…but we haven’t given it a try at night yet. I also don’t know if we could handle the “heartbeat in the womb” sound {or any of the others, for that matter} that the baby seems to favor. What we can abide by, though, is the fan and I think it might be time to start having the fan on at night anyway {despite the next two days’ predicted cool weather} so maybe that can help drown out the baby sounds.
·      HL falls asleep best while eating, though she can be lulled to sleep while being held; neither of which are truly sustainable but I don’t believe we’re anywhere near getting to the point where we try to full-on teach her how to do it alone. Though I’ve read/heard that quickly waking baby as she’s put down to sleep and allowing her to re-fall asleep there in her crib is a good technique. I’m just way too scarred to give that one a try.

Miscellaneous:
·      Hanna Lu definitely has her witching hour towards the end of the afternoon/early evening/through to midnight sometimes. We work through it together and having the extra set of hands has been a true Godsend. I do think she’s just overtired/processing the day’s events {though she still sleeps for a lot of the day [on a good one], what gives?} and I’ve read to preempt the signs of tiredness but sometimes she’s just not ready to eat and that’s truly the best way for her to go to get there so we’ll have to just try different things and be glad that she’s adorable.
·      Someone has an Easter dress to wear and if she’s good then the Easter bunny may just deliver her some goodies {goodies that a one month old might enjoy}!

xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, April 14, 2014

Free time, when I can get it.

I"m very much so still taking things very easy around here, mentally and physically. But there are still highlihgts of the day!!

1. Despite trying to be low-key, I made it to Target today; I had been wanting/"needing" to go for weeks and finally made it thanks to our wonderful and selfless Lola {my step-mom}/babysitter.

2. I finally started watching the new season of Call the Midwife. I feel as though some people get in a lot of TV watching when they're on maternity leave; maybe because I have way too much on my mind health-wise {EVERYTHING means something to me now} but I also feel like I get maybe 30 minutes maximum of time in which to do nothing.
Look at sister Monica Joan!
I started recording the season after the first episode aired so I watched it on my computer in several parts/naps...

3. Speaking of, my step-mom has really been making our lives so much easier. She takes the best care of us and though we would have been OK without her, my most recent health issues and ER visit would've been much more challenging than they were. Thank you Lola, we adore you.

4. We saw THIS on a commercial for the circus.
Those are three poodles, in case you can't tell. I'm having a hard time figuring out how small the white one must be because dogs cannot be as massive as the black ones appear to be.

5. We knew this before s%$# went down for the first time several weeks ago but after this past weekend it's just been so much more in the forefront of our minds that our family and friends are simply the best. We feel so loved and cared for and the warmth and thoughtfulness of everyone helps to buoy our spirits and get us through the days and nights. We are extremely blessed.

I hope your health is good, my dear friends, and that it's a beautiful spring week wherever you're at!
xoxo, natty

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Neat article.

I'm not doing much these days, obviously, and reading stuff online and doing stupid Buzzfeed quizzes have become two of my daily mainstays.

Since it's Sunday and Palm Sunday to boot, I'll share this cool story HERE. It's not all vapid 80s throwback questionnaires I fill my time with! And, I actually had been in the middle of a book but things got just way too crazy and focus is in short supply around here so, poor brain, please forgive me, we'll get more intellectual eventually {in 2032?}.

Have you been reading anything interesting folks?
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fear of shots.

It's a good thing I'm not petrified of needles {I don't love them, let it be known}; my "condition" was finally diagnosed, not as an infection as was thought three long weeks ago, but as a blood clot. After another really long night in the ER that involved an MRI, we got the news that I would be injecting myself twice a day with blood thinners for the next six weeks.
Anyone else out there gone down this sharply turning road?
We are SO hopeful that this is it but at the same time can't help but feel jaded after such a long road of unknowns. Plus, this business is scary; thank goodness for modern medicine and doctors. 

Anyway, as mentioned, we are really keeping our fingers crossed that this is a healthy resolution for my issues and that we can Move On, be healthy, and enjoy our baby girl.
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, April 11, 2014

Happy Friday.

Things are still up in the air here, health-wise...wish us luck with some further tests this weekend.

And, for those of you who can, please enjoy the weekend for me?!
xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hey universe!

Today was a rough day; we found out that infection I fought in the week after I had my baby never really went away. We're upset on several levels, not to mention that I was feeling pretty crummy this morning {I'm still not feeling 100%, obviously}.

I had been feeling so much better/well/normal and it's really disappointing to be back here...it's the same infection and it's just that the original antibiotics didn't really get the job done. I'm on two new ones and being optimistic that this will be successful.

Soooooo...we're ready for this roller coaster ride to be over. And we're grateful for any positive thoughts.
xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Rare snippets.

My step-mom is oh-so-graciously visiting and taking care of us for a  week and because of that I just washed my hair for the first time in a long time.

Most days, with a three-week old infant, I feel like I'm grabbing at straws and strapped to the couch because she only naps well on a human body. Granted, I have two extra hands helping us right now and I just read a little article on how some newborns receive too little love because their parents are stressed/busy/preoccupied with other life issues, but I feel so lucky to have this little one in our care and part of our new family. She's just so beautiful to me and I think {hope!} I'm emerging from the fog that is the First Few Weeks that was made even thicker by my horrible return to the hospital two days after we got home - getting out of that haze of trying to survive I'm finally sensing glimmers of the gratefulness I feel considering how much I had wanted this child and to stay home with her and watch her grow, if only until August 15th or so.

I'm still a bundle of hormones and it doesn't hurt one bit that the blessed little one is currently napping for longer on her own during the day than she ever has, plus the extra hands giving me some respite, so suffice it to say that I don't anticipate waxing this poetic or even having the time to do it come a week from now when we're back on our own, but it feels good to have some solid positive and confident feelings {& a longer shower} even if they last for only an hour.

Wrapping this up, I think the baby universe can and will toss us rightly on our heads many times over from here on out which is why keeping a good sense of humility and humor will do us justice...so I suppose our Go0gle searches of cat GIFs, Jimmy Fallon videos, and Cosby parenting sketches will increase. And that's not a bad thing.
xoxo, natty ♥

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Three weeks.


We’re almost at a month; wow! I hope that we’ve learned some things? Maybe, just like I was going to make a list of things I loved about being pregnant, I’ll try to make a list of things we’ve learned next week. But, let’s see what’s on this week’s radar.
Looking a lot like last week. That red birthmark/spot on her left cheek is fading now.
How old: 3 weeks old

Weight: Despite some odd eating and much worrying on her mother’s part, Hanna Lu is up to ten pounds six ounces…she gained two ounces in one feeding this morning at our twice-weekly breastfeeding/new mom support group at the birth center which was exciting.

Likes:
·      Sleeping on her mom during the day.
·      Warm baths.
·      Staring at lights/windows.
·      Not being gassy.

Dislikes:
·      Nursing on my left side…see below.
·      Having an unclean diaper.
·      Her swaddle when she’s ready to wake up in the morning…when we first unwrap those little arms go straight up in the air and it’s adorable.
·      Letting her parents eat dinner together or go to bed at the same time; Michael will usually take the ten to whenever fussy time while I get to sleep first {thank you thank you thank you dear sweet husband}.

Milestones:
·      Little girl is gaining some good weight, finally, though being her size to begin with it wasn’t a concern.
·      Hanna Lu went to her first soccer game to see her daddy play. We walked around the track in the stroller twice and then went home. She screamed for one of the laps but it was because of a diaper issue not anything soccer related.
·      Our daughter also met lots of new people this weekend, school friends of her father and some of his Peace Corps friends as well.
·      We had our first “play-date” yesterday; a friend with a three-month-old baby came over and spoiled us rotten with lunch, dinner, and gifts; it was glorious and we feel so blessed. No playing actually happened, both babies let their moms eat and then they themselves ate. It was pretty hilarious now that I think about it.
·      I drove just the two of us for the first time last week.
·      We tried the Moby wrap, a long piece of fabric that lets an adult wrap a baby to him/herself. Hanna Lu liked it the first time, and hasn’t liked it the subsequent two times I tried, but we’ll keep on keeping on because people swear by these things and it would be very helpful to try and get things done.
·      We had our first and second story times; we liked the first and cried during the second.

Sleep and eat:
·      The little one eats every two to three hours for five to 20 minutes at a time. She tends to eat for less time on my left side {see below} and doesn’t always burp.
·      I found out that I create a forceful release of milk sometimes which causes  the babe to act angry while she’s feeding – pulling back, re-latching, letting out some annoyed sounds, trying it all over again. The trick will be to get rid of some of that milk by hand expressing it before I feed her. I’ve also tried another trick, making sure that the milk flow is working against gravity. Hopefully this helps her enjoy the experience more. I think that some babies who have mothers with this condition adjust to the flow or just learn to be really efficient eaters {which our child seems to be already} and not love nursing for comfort. I’m hoping for the former.
·      The baby still sleeps for several hours at a time over night, though she can have a wicked crying time for several hours before finally giving in to sleep {like last night} – Michael usually takes this shift which is very kind of him since crying can be so hard to hear continuously.
·      In her last sleeping shift of the night, she kind of fusses for the last hour and sounds like the Hulk trying to break free of her swaddle.
·      Daytime naps happen best and longest on my chest. I just recently tried swaddling her during the day…I was under the impression that a bit lighter/less sleep during the day may encourage better/longer night time sleeping, though I’ve since read otherwise. I still think if she sleeps away the day the night time sleep stars later {again, yesterday} but a good deep sleep is important because it can prevent her from being over tired. During the day if she’s in the bassinet/Moses basket, Hanna Lu sleeps maybe an hour…on my chest, it could be two to three. I love those naps together but I don’t need that much rest at one time and it feels good to have a bit of autonomy so I’d like to see her nap better on her own.
·      We’ve tried the white noise machine and she just doesn’t seem to love it. We’ll keep plugging along with it though, trying it in different ways.

Miscellaneous:
·      Are all three-week olds this ____________________________? I find myself asking this question to myself several times a day; I wish we had our own private baby expert other than Dr. Google!! It’s so helpful to go to the birth center twice a week since the lactation consultant who runs the program knows so much and there’s usually a pediatrician type person roaming around. Currently, are they fussy for a lot of time when they’re awake? Or, rather, do we have a fussy baby or does she just need/want more/less stimulation? I suppose I could go nuts playing this game so I’ll just enjoy the beautiful baby that we have.
 

xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, April 7, 2014

Urban herding.

It's a rainy Monday here that will hopefully be turning into a sunny Tuesday that will also hopefully segue into some cherry blossoms later this week so that is a Good Thing...and some more:

1. I don't do F@cebook but I will browse it every once in a while. 

This morning I came across this ad; please note "urban herding"
 
This makes me so happy on so many dog-loving levels but, really, seriously, what is urban herding? 

Any enlightenment from the universe would be appreciated.

2. My step-mom is coming back to DC to help us tomorrow; sweet mercy thank you so much step-mom!

3. An extremely sweet and thoughtful friend brought us lunch, dinner, flowers, and a gift for baby girl today; we are so loved and we appreciate it all more than we can communicate.

4. Speaking of that child of ours, who's currently on nap # bajillion of the day so hopefully she sleeps some tonight, she received her very own social security card today. Now she has an official identity. And can retire.

5. We also received a summary of what the hospital is charging for our stays there; we are BEYOND grateful for our health insurance.

What's nice about your day today reader? At least something small I hope.

xoxo, natty

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Big weekend.

We did quite a lot this weekend...for our new normal.

The baby experienced her first soccer game yesterday; we walked two laps around the track while dad played before we went home ahead of him. Our second half absence must've distressed him quite a bit because the poor guy did something unfortunate to his hamstring and thus couldn't run the Cherry Blossom ten-miler this morning. Not could I, for other less-athletic reasons.

Last night we had a few friends over for pizza and then some more friends over for bagels this morning.

It was definitely the most I'd done {& most normal experiences I'd had} in a long time. And suffice it to say, our child had the busiest weekend of her life.

Now we're all pooped and ready for a good solid two to four hours of sleep.

May you enjoy your own glorious six to eight and have a great week ahead!
xoxo, natty

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Thanks!

Today my dear husband watched out child while I went out for some me-time.
And it was glorious.

Thank you so much, dear better half, that hour and a half really recharged me.
xoxo, natty

Friday, April 4, 2014

New things.

Today I drove our baby in the car by myself for the first time...and we made it home safely - woo hoo!
First time baby wearing.
I loved thinking about all of our "lasts" before we had the baby and now we get to experience a bunch of "firsts". 

Unfortunately, this evening we're  experiencing not for the first nor the last time some fussy baby time.

Happy weekend!
xoxo, natty