Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry Christmas

In sticking with the theme this year "Better Late Than Never" - our Christmas cards just went out. Three days after Christmas. But they were sent and we love them, and we hope you do, too.

Merry Christmas, from our family to yours. What a blessed year it's been!


PS: Huge thanks to Emily Forsberg for the amazing photo shoot. And thanks, also, to our friends who used Minted for their Christmas cards (and sent them on time!). We received a few, and loved them, so we used Minted for our cards and were thrilled.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Recipe: Coconut Shrimp Curry

I LOVE a good curry. Love. It's all I wanted for probably 4 months of my pregnancy. And I will never turn it down even now. So ever since my friend Abby posted this recipe, I've been dying to make it. And great news (for my belly) - I've actually been cooking over the past couple weeks. Gasp! Yes, it's been glorious.

Ingredients

  • Canola oil (or coconut oil if you have it; I didn't)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 cup potatoes, cut into bite-size cubes (about 1/2 of a large potato)
  • 7 oz coconut milk
  • 7 oz milk
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp honey (or sugar if you don't have honey)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil on medium high heat
  2. Add curry powder; cook for about two minutes (at this point, your kitchen will smell AMAZING)
  3. Stir in garlic; cook for about one minute
  4. Mix in potatoes, then coconut milk, then milk; then shrimp, tomatoes, tomato past, honey and chili powder
  5. Cover and simmer on medium low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
  6. Add frozen peas; cook for 2-3 more minutes
  7. Serve over rice (I used basmati rice because it's my favorite)

I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and it's pretty easy, honestly. No photos, sorry. I ate it too fast. Don't judge me.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mixed Emotions

There's a certain level of comfort in knowing that we will not have any more children for the next five years unless we want to. I won't get into the ins and outs (pun intended) of our sex life, but it does make things much more pleasant to know that there is a pretty much fool proof plan in place preventing any accidents.

Don't get me wrong, we want more kids. Just not right now. When I heard Jessica Simpson ispregnant again (already?!) I think my uterus tried to jump out of my body and into oncoming traffic. I am not ready to be pregnant again. Will I ever be ready to willingly take on those wretched nine months again? Probably. Sleep deprivation erases your memory, Men in Black style.

London is perfect. She is such a wonderful baby, sleeping well and happy to be on the go constantly. Each day she learns new "tricks". Each morning it seems like she's grown up overnight. I don't want to miss a moment of her childhood, I want to BE PRESENT for her every day. So no, we're not ready for two kids. Not for awhile, and I'm happy that medical science has advances that allow us to make the decision not to have more children right now.

But there's also a certain level of sadness that comes with it, for me at least. I had forgotten that part of it, that for all the good things about it, it does feel a bit ... final. And formal. There are no surprises. There is no "lets just see what happens". As much as I know I made the right decision, there is a level of sadness (read: hormones) that I think I underestimated.

But in another nine months, when I'm still sleeping regularly and not vomiting daily, I imagine I'll have forgotten all about that tiny bit of sadness. That "Irish twins" bullshit is for the birds.

Besides, London Claire seems pret-ty happy to be an only child for awhile longer.


Gosh I love that kid.

Monday, November 26, 2012

london claire is five months old

Age: five months six days (gimme a break, it was a holiday)
one of my favs of the five month pics i took on wednesday
Height: assuming somewhere in the 25 inches realm
Weight: 16lbs 4oz as of last week
Hair Color: brown / red in the right light, and it appears it's starting to grow back in
Eye Color: blue
another one of the five month pics i took on wednesday
Favorite Outfit: bright blue top with zebra print pants. so on-trend. her owl print jumper from "sweetie" was another favorite. i'm a sucker for a baby in corduroy!
sassy thing, playing in her baby gym

looking like a little school girl on mommy's birthday
Sleep: if you'd asked me a week ago, i would've said "amazing!" ... but she didn't do great while we were on vacation. and by "not great" i mean, i didn't sleep more than a few hours total, two nights in a row. but, since we've been home, we appear to be getting back on track. and in case you're wondering, she was sleeping from around 8pm to around 6am most nights. looks like the ol' CIO works.
Eating: still sending 4x 6oz bottles to daycare each day and she often doesn't take all 4. we cluster feed in the evenings but no more dream feed so she normally goes 8-5 or 8-6 without eating. the past few days, though, it feels like she's been eating nonstop so it may be a growth spurt. we recently gave her cucumber slices to gnaw on and she loved them - i'm sure the cold felt great on her teeth (which the ped says will likely not break through until sometime around christmas)
Illness: baby had her first ear infection, a rite of passage for a daycare kid i'm sure. but after 10 days on amoxicillin, she is back to 100% according to the recheck appt last week. she's still suffering a runny nose and cough, that has woken her up on more than one occasion. 
Development: she is sitting pretty well for a few minutes at a time on her own! she loves to jump in the jumperoo now. she also appears to wave in response to us waving. maybe i'm imagining it.

practicing her sitting during her five month photos
Movement: rolling rolling rolling! back to belly, belly to back, and back again. she can scoot a little bit if we put her on her belly.
Favorite toy: she still sleeps every night with the small sheep that my mom got her. still liking the bouncy seat (though she's starting to weigh it down!) and loves to pull up on the hanging toys from the overhang on it. she really enjoys the exersaucer now that she's figured it out. she loves her little gym that has noisy toys that hang down enough for her to grab them. she loves all teething toys, but especially sophie the giraffe and a rasberry teether i found at buy buy baby.

keeping herself entertained while mom & dad eat dinner
Funniest habit: she figured out how to fake cough and realizes it gets our attention. 

Best moment of last week: the past week has been kind-of rough for london, which means they've been rough for me too. i love that, no matter how bad of a day she's having, ben can always make her laugh. listening to her giggle while he kissed and tickled her last night was so special.
she is such a daddy's girl
What I'm looking forward to: christmas, of course! and getting her back on track in terms of napping and sleeping.


can't forget to post an adorable halloween photo! she did so great wearing her costume, and was definitely the cutest elephant around!
it doesn't get any cuter than a baby elephant!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Recipe: Stuffing

I'd be lying if I said I didn't open a box of Stove Top every now and again. Ben loves box stuffing, and I do not have the time or the patience to make it homemade on a weeknight. But when it really counts, there's no comparison. The "real" stuff is where it's at.

Ingredients
  • One loaf of White Bread, broken into small bite size pieces
  • 4 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 tsp Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried Parsley
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp Sage
  • 1 tsp Rosemary
  • 4 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 7 tbsp Butter (stop judging me)
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Spread the bread "cubes" onto two large cookie sheets, lined with foil
  2. Melt 5 tbsp butter and pour over bread cubes
  3. Bake bread at 350 until golden brown, tossing once halfway through (15-20 minutes)
  4. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp butter in large skillet over medium-high heat
  5. Add celery, onions, garlic and a pinch of salt; sautee until onions are translucent (5-10 minutes)
  6. Mix veggies & cooked bread in a large bowl
  7. Stir in seasoning, spices and broth
  8. Mix in beaten eggs until all bread is well-coated
  9. Transfer to a well-buttered 9x13 glass pan and top generously with pads of butter
  10. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 25 minutes
  11. Uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"How's she sleeping?" Part One


As far as major life events go, the knee-jerk reactions are as follows:
  • Engagement: Have you set a date?
  • Wedding: When are you going to have kids?
  • Pregnancy: How are you feeling?
  • New Baby: How's she sleeping?
Why is this the question that everyone asks a new parent? The answer can really only go one of two ways. Either the new parent says "s/he is sleeping great, we are so lucky!" and then everyone wants to punch them in the face for all the sleepless nights they had with their own child, or the new parent says "s/he is not sleeping and we are zombies and OMG why do people have babies?!" ... or something along those lines.

Because, really, what new parent ever feels they are sleeping enough? I don't know adults without kids who are sleeping enough. But I tell you this, adults friends without kids, if you think you're tired now ...

JUST WAIT.

Just wait until it's been three months and you haven't slept in longer than 3 hour increments in the better part of a year*. Then you'll know tired. When all you want for Christmas is a way to transfer coffee directly into your blood stream, then you know tired

*that's another subject altogether, but to all the jerks that say "sleep now, while you can!" to a pregnant women, you've obviously never known the joys of heartburn, peeing every 30 minutes, anxiety, nightmares, insomnia, chronic congestion, why is this pillow so hard, is he seriously snoring that loud, did we send Aunt Sally a thank you note and an 8 pound bowling ball with legs that's trying to break out through your lungs. and oh yeah now you have to pee again. go ahead, ask me if I miss being pregnant, I dare you.

The thing is, London was an amazing sleeper when she was tiny. She slept three hours straight the first night she was born, and at least that long every night thereafter. She was sleeping 5 hour stretches regularly at 5 weeks. She never missed a beat despite a transatlantic flight. Ben & I thought we were doing everything right - she was sleeping in her own crib from the night we brought her home! - and we actually talked about how easy this "parenting" thing was. Famous last words.

Then she hit 8 weeks and it all went to shit. No schedule. There were a few nights she was up every hour and a half, two if we were lucky. I remember one particularly trying moment when I was holding her in the recliner and Ben was laying on the floor of the nursery. It was about two in the morning, he was muttering something along the lines of, "What do we do?," while I googled, "How young is too young to cry it out?".

Those were desperate times. 

And of course, they coincided with the time that I was starting back to work, so I had approximately 300 people each day asking me if I was getting any sleep. Did the fact that I am double-fisting diet coke and iced coffee not clue you in to the fact that NO, I am not getting any sleep?!

Sometimes, as new parents, we smile and nod and say everything's great to avoid the unsolicited advice. But then, your resolve wears so thin that you start whining to anyone who will listen about how many times she was up last night (Five. Or was it six?) and next thing you know, you're in the pediatrician's office pleading with her to just let you get some sleep!

To be fair, by the time London hit 4 months, she was waking up twice most nights. To bed at 8pm, up at 1, up at 4, up for the day at 7am. This was pretty standard. And to many new parents, waking up only twice a night probably sounds like a dream. But when you're never getting more than 3 hours of sleep at a time, you're ready to fix it. Of course, the pediatrician told us what we already knew was the answer - those three dreaded words.

Cry. It. Out.

Ugh, makes me sick to my stomach just seeing them. Cry it out, or CIO as the cool kids say, is a super controversial topic (almost as much so as breastfeeding - another topic for another day). But we committed to it because we knew that teaching London to self soothe was the only way we'd ever get her sleeping through the night. I'd be lying if I said there weren't a few nights where Ben all-but had to restrain me in bed.

... to be continued

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Trials and Tribulations, London Claire style

I'd like to promise that I won't update you on London more than once a month but whatever, that's a lie, and I don't want to lie to y'all.

So here's what's up: we are having a time of it. I hate to ask for prayer for such seemingly trivial things like baby sniffles, but this prayer isn't for ME, it's for the BABY ... so it's ok, right? Don't get me wrong, I personally don't mind asking God to help with seemingly trivial things, I just hate to burden other people to ask Him for my trivial things when they could have very big things to ask Him for ... or their own trivial things. Whatever. But I know His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Did you follow all that?

London is sick. Currently, she's snoring on the couch next to me, because she's so congested she can hardly breathe. It's depressing. Almost as depressing as her greasy Donald Trump comb-over hair. Looks like mommy needs to give daddy a lesson in bath time, am I right?

But I digress ... the child has been congested for what feels like weeks. I get it, she's in daycare, she's going to get sick. We humidify. We saline-ate. We snot-suck. And the congestion continues. The past few mornings, she's thrown up after she eats "breakfast" (AKA boobie milk). And she started coughing, but I wasn't really sure if it was a real cough or if she was just coughing because she figured out how and it amuses her. The kid is adorable, what can I say? Anyway, yesterday, she was running a low-grade fever, and that was about enough for me. Since I couldn't send her to school anyway, we went to see Dr. Seidel. Ears are good, chest is good, yadda yadda just a cold. I admit, it's good to hear your child's pediatrician say you're already doing everything you can, but it's also somewhat frustrating. Can't I do MORE? I'm a doer, you know?
she's still pretty
By yesterday afternoon, she was just a big ball of pathetic. Lethargic, fussy, barely eating, in and out of sleep, wouldn't be put down. I mean, just pitiful, y'all. I have to admit, I cried a few times with her while she whimpered in discomfort. Is there anything more disheartening then seeing your child in pain? If there is, I don't want it. Ever.


Praise the Lord, she slept well last night, thought she would half-fuss every thirty minutes or so, moaning a little bit, then put herself back to sleep. Can I get an AMEN for sleep training? This morning, wouldn't you believe the child's fever was up to 102.8?! Mama just can't get down with that. So, back to the pediatrician we went. Ears are good, chest is good, but let's just do a quick blood test. White blood cells elevated, thinking this is more than a virus, need to test for a UTI ... wait a second, you're catheterizing my four month old?! But I am thankful for a thorough doctor, and I'd much rather us unnecessarily catheterize the baby than have it go undiagnosed and affect her kidneys. She was so brave during the finger stick and just whined during the whole cath process, which was heartbreaking. Poor little dear.
If that doesn't just break your heart
There are a whole lot more words on this page than if I had just gotten right down to it: London is sick. She might have a urinary tract infection. If you have some prayers to spare, send them our way.

  • Pray for her comfort, because right now she has very little; specifically, for the fever to break and her congestion to ease up.
  • Pray for Ben & I to properly care for her, and not to take our frustrations at her illness out on each other.
  • Pray for the doctors to be thorough in her care, but not to rush toward medicinal intervention unless it's necessary.
  • Pray she is healthy enough to return to school on Tuesday, because we are quickly wearing out our ability to work from home.
  • Pray that no one else, among our family, friends, coworkers or her class, gets whatever is plaguing her sweet little body.

Thank you, sincerely, for any talking to The Father you can do on our behalf.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Recipe: Egg Salad

This is Post Number Two of God-Knows-How-Many regarding the baptism reception. I shouldn't even be posting this, because Kelly did most of the "making" of this egg salad, but I supervised and directed and she doesn't have a blog so I win.

I made tuna salad and chicken salad (possible recipes to come) but got the most compliments on this egg salad. It's the dill, y'all!

Ingredients
  • 9 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dill weed

Directions
  1. Mix all ingredients
  2. Cover and refrigerate overnight (about eight hours)
  3. Serve on King's Hawaiian Rolls for best results ;)

Photo credit: Alina Patel

Monday, November 5, 2012

Recipe: White Sangria

I obviously have never thrown a baptism reception before, but I knew what I wanted it to look like. Pink & white; fresh, crisp and clean; more luncheon and less backyard bbq. Somehow With the help of my best friend, I was able to achieve exactly what I was going for. It was feminine but adult, minimal but not haphazard. And the best part was that everything was done when we left for the church, so all I had to do was pull things out of the fridge and the party was set.

I will never not take off the Friday before I host a party, Amen?

I'm going to break the reception down into several posts because there were several good recipes, but here's the first (and arguably the most important):

Strawberry Lemon White Wine Sangria
(you could probably just call it "white sangria")

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 2 apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup strawberries, tops cut off and quartered
  • 1 750 mL bottle Sauvignon Blanc (or other white wine)
  • 1/2 cup Bacardi (or other white rum)
  • 4 cups Sprite (or other lemon-lime soda)

Directions

  1. Add fruit to pitcher
  2. Pour wine and rum over top of fruit
  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight or longer (I made it Friday night and served it Sunday morning)
  4. Add soda immediately before serving

So refreshing! Even though it was October, it was still delicious. And it wasn't too strong! This would be great for a girl baby shower or wedding shower, and you could customize the fruit to your theme (blueberries and lemon for a boy baby shower, etc).

Photo credit: Alina Patel

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

London Claire is Four Months Old


Age: four months and three days (see, I'm getting better!)
Height: 25.25 inches (84th %)
Weight: 15 lbs 6 oz (also 84th %)
Hair Color: brown / red in the right light, and falling out quickly :( I picked whole clumps out of her crib this morning, it is heart breaking. her head is in the 89th % and her hair can't keep up!
Eye Color: blue - beautiful blue!
Favorite Outfit: she wore a sweatsuit to the fair last weekend. babies in hoodies, is there anything cuter?
how adorable is that hat?!
but i also really loved when she wore her zebra legwarmers for the first time. so edgy!
onesie from her godmother, "aunt kiki"
Sleep: well ... it's a lot of "one step forward, two steps back" these days. every time i feel like we're making progress for a couple of days, she'll revert. and nothing seems to work for the 4-7am hours. we practiced a 7-10-2 schedule (modified based on what time she went to bed), which basically means I'm dream feeding her right before I go to sleep. it helps some, or at least it did for the first few days, and the pediatrician recommends the dream feed to keep her sleeping longer. however, she told us that we're never going to get her sleeping more until she learns to self-soothe. if you don't know what that means, it's three wretched little letters ... C-I-O. Cry it out. I tried last week while Ben was traveling for work, and she screamed for an hour before I gave up. we tried that twice, and I decided she wasn't ready. Dr. Seidel said she is ready, and that if we want her to sleep, we have to commit. so last night, we committed... sort-of. after three hours, I gave up (can you tell who the "good cop" is in this situation?) and went in to nurse her. but we did not go in for the rest of the night (3-7) and she was able to get herself back to sleep pretty quickly at 5 and 6. maybe this is progress? we'll try it again tonight. one thing I do know, CIO is probably the most controversial baby issue - even more so than breastfeeding. everyone has an opinion but here's the thing - if you're not in support of it, i don't need to hear your's.
Eating: we have upped the bottles to 6oz (4x / day, though she doesn't always eat all four at daycare). we are cluster feeding in the evenings to stock up for bed, but I've broken her of the nursing to sleep which is a huge success in my book. and then the dream feed at 11ish. middle of the night - TBD (normally I've been nursing her twice), then she eats when she wakes up and tops off when I drop her off at school. Dr. Seidel gave us the go-ahead to start foods but recommended we wait until her sleeping is more consistent so as to know if something is affecting her tummy. i gave her a tiny taste of ice cream with a spoon and she enjoyed it, and did pretty well, so I think starting foods is going to be fun.
Illness: we are both still taking the probiotics and that seems to have helped with her gas, but we are still getting the occasional green / sour smelling diaper. gross, i know. she now has ridiculous diaper rash, a rash under her neck from all the drooling, and thrush. awesome, mother of the year right here. so we have her on antibiotics for the thrush and hoping it clears up within a week. and i think we'll start pulling her off the zantac once her sleeping is more consistent as well, which is great news!
Development: she loves to stand - prefers it to anything else. and she'll even "walk" her feet if we're holding her hands. she can stand up for a few seconds leaning against the couch or her crib, which is impressive to me. she can sit in the recliner in her nursery pretty well. she mimics sounds like "hi" and "i love you" with her intonation and such, which is adorable.
oh me? just standing around, nbd.
Movement: she's still trying to do "crunches" where she pulls her head up if she's reclining in any way. she rolls over frequently from belly to back, but hasn't mastered back to belly yet (which the dr said is ok). no crawling, but she'll scoot herself around in circles.

video


Favorite toy: her small sheep that my mom got her. it's supposed to be a scentsy sheep but we took the fragrance out. it's just small enough for her to cuddle with it so i give it to her in her crib and on the changing pad to help calm her in the mornings and evenings. she's also starting to like her rubber ducky in the bath, and still enjoys the bouncy seat and exersaucer.
snuggling with her little lamb

Funniest habit: she has discovered her voice and loves to shriek loudly as part of conversation. this makes her laugh, which of course makes us laugh. she also has a variety of cries, one of which is like she is yelling at us and sounds so angry, and another is a blood curdling horror movie scream. i feel bad when we laugh at her but ... not that bad.

video
Best moment of last week: she was facetiming with my mom and waved goodbye. twice. genius baby! and when i show her pictures on the phone, she swipes at them. and she hung up on ben's mom twice. the fact that our four month old is so tech-savvy probably speaks to the fact that a) she's brilliant and b) we're on our phones too much. and unrelated, but last night i put her down in her crib (we've been working on putting her down "drowsy but awake) and walked away - not a peep! she was restless for a few minutes but then went right to sleep with no crying. maybe it's because of the shots yesterday, but i'll take it. that was a pretty awesome moment considering it's something we've been working on for a few days.
What I'm looking forward to: taking her to florida next month for thanksgiving, where she'll get to meet lots of great aunts and uncles and second cousins and cousins once removed, etc. OH! and dressing her up for halloween. she's going to be ridiculously adorable ... IF she'll wear the hood.

And of course, I have to post a few favorites from her baptism. she was so good, all weekend, despite missing naps and being passed around to all sorts of new people. it was magical!

taking a little break from all the people
monogrammed bloomers to match her monogrammed bib
the bonnet was short-lived but oh! how cute 

Monday, October 15, 2012

London Claire's Baptism

This weekend, London Claire was baptized at our church. We had friends and family travel from all over the country to celebrate with us as we vowed to raise our little girl to know and love the Lord just as He knows and loves her. Moments like this Sunday morning remind me that she was His first, and He gave her to us. He picked her out just for us, and us for her, but we are just borrowing her. She is His forever. We all are, Amen?
My heart was so full as I watched London meet friends and family that are so dear to us. Her godfather from California, her great grandparents from Florida, her great aunt and uncle from Arizona - I know she won't remember meeting them, but from the looks on their faces, they will certainly remember meeting her. We were blessed to have both of my parents here from Virginia, L's godmother and her husband from South Carolina, her "god-grandparents" from Tennessee, plus a multitude of our close friends and family from here in the area. So blessed, y'all, so freakin' blessed.
I fought back tears throughout the ceremony.

That's a lie.

The truth is, I fought back tears for the past few weeks as I rocked / nursed my baby to sleep every night in her precious nursery, because I was staring at the beautiful christening gown my mother & I bought her before she was even born. I fought back tears as I dressed her in the delicate pearl bracelets and monogrammed bloomers and ruffly socks I had picked out just for her special day. I fought back tears as I slipped the delicate smocked gown over her perfect little head and tied the sweet matching bonnet under her double chin. So when the ceremony itself came, there was no more fighting them back.

The tears won. 

As I stood in front of the church we have come to love, looking into the pews to see our nearest and dearest, promising the minister to raise my little one as Christ would have us to ... there was no hope for me. It was so beautiful. I saw several of the women closest to my heart also tearing up, and I know it's because they have so much love for our precious girl and want the best for her just as we do, and want to teach her about the love of God by showing her first. I just can't describe that feeling, but I can say - gratefully and humbly - that Ben and I are unbelievably blessed.
So, if you were able to join us for any part of this weekend - physically, spiritually or emotionally, if you sent us well wishes through cards, gifts, facebook messages or texts, if you were lifting us up in prayer from around the country, I can only say thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Words could never be enough but please know that we are eternally grateful for the support you all have provided and will continue to provide on this precious journey.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Letters to London: Sleeping Beauty

Dear sweet baby,

Sleep is a hot commodity these days, so I feel like I should be taking advantage of every single minute you're actually asleep. I should be sleeping, myself - not writing this. And certainly not spending the extra 10 minutes (sometimes longer!) each night watching you sleep. But I can't help it.

You're just. so. perfect.

You're perfect all the time, at least your dad and I think so. But I tell you what, when you fall asleep in my arms - there is not a sight in this world more beautiful than that. It makes me fall in love with you all over again, every night.

Tonight, I kissed your sweet little mouth and you instantly sighed and fell into a heavy breathing, like you felt the love I have for you and knew all was right in the world. And the little sleep smiles I occasionally catch - ah! I die.

You know, now that I think about it, you're so precious when you sleep ... You should probably do it more. I could only imagine how beautiful you'd look sleeping 4 or 5 hours in a row ;)

I think I'll be using your video monitor until you go to college. I can't imagine ill ever get tired of watching you sleep. I never understood parents doing that, until now.

XOXO,
Your mama

PS: I wasn't joking about sleeping more. Please?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Better late than never

Do you feel like I post that a lot? Because I do. But it's true, it's better to post something 3.5 months after the fact than not at all ... right? Or maybe I'm the only one who feels that way.

So Emily Forsberg (the same dear friend who did our Christmas Card and Maternity photo shoots) gifted us a newborn photo shoot as a shower gift. As it turns out, London was not your typical "mold me, shape me, anyway you want me" type of newborn. She was more of the "the sun is too bright, this stupid lacy romper is hurting me, and oh yeah I just pooped" type of newborn. So we didn't get a ton of great shots, but Emily is so talented that she adapted to London's diva status and - to quote Tim Gunn - made it work.

Here are my favorites, and the ones I'm choosing from to get printed out for our house. Because my child is 3.5 months old and I don't have a single photo of her up in the house. Which, honestly, isn't that surprising considering we have been married five years this weekend and we don't have a single wedding photo up in the house. Good times.

even at one week old, loving the hands

you know she had to have a hair accessory

baby booty! don't mind the diaper rash, poor thing

why so serious?

sleeping beauty

she obviously has her daddy's skin tone

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

London Claire is Three Months

... or, she was. a week ago. whatever.

Age: three months (three months, six days today)
Height: about 24 inches (haven't checked recently)
Weight: as of 9-20-12, she weighs 13lbs 3 oz
Hair Color: still brown, though lighter than when she was born, and has a reddish tint to it
Eye Color: blue
Favorite Outfit: she wore "real" blue jeans for the first time last week, with a pink & white striped onesie - it was precious. I've been dying for her to wear this outfit and she looked like such a little girl (not a baby!), perfect for a fall school day.
watching daddy's soccer game

Sleep: she is back to doing a long stretch when we first put her down, anywhere from 4.5 - 6.5 hours (praise Jesus). bed time is anywhere between 8-9 and as much as we try to make wake-up time 7am, she rarely sleeps past 6:30. we did a little bit of sleep training, because we were having such a hard time after she started daycare with her getting up. all we did was - for about a week - only feed her at night every 3-4 hours. so if she woke up before it had been at least 3 hours, ben would go in a soothe her while she was still in her crib - rub her belly, give her a paci, etc. seems to have worked, or maybe it's the combination of her getting more to eat during the day and being worn out by daycare.
Eating: I started sending 4x 5oz bottles (instead of 4x 4oz) to daycare and she's been taking 3 of those a day. she normally wants to eat when we get home from school / work, nurses to sleep, up anywhere between 1-3am to eat, whenever she wakes up (in the 6am hour) and a little bit right when we drop her off at school. so she's averaging eating 7-8x each day, every 3ish hours (during the day).
Illness: she has her first stomach bug, according to the pediatrician, but her demeanor has not changed and she hasn't been running a fever, so I think we've gotten off pretty easy in terms of her first "illness".
at the dr's office - doesn't look sick to me!
Development: the teachers have started putting her in a baby einstein exersaucer and she LOVES it! she is supporting herself on her feet in that, and reaches out to play with the spinning toys. miss tracy is very impressed with her fine motor skills, and so was my mom - she said that I wasn't reaching / playing with toys like that until 4 months. she can sit up while propped against the couch and much prefers that to laying down, unless we're paying constant attention to her (such a diva!).

still a little unsure of herself sitting

Movement: I actually got to see her roll over (from belly to back) this morning, and I got so excited. she tries so hard to pull her head forward when she's in her car seat, bouncy seat or laying down.
Funniest habit: she gives kisses with her mouth wide open - as soon as one of us leans in and gets close to her mouth, her mouth is as big as it can be!

giving daddy kisses at brunch after church

Best moment of last week: I walked upstairs last night when Ben was getting her ready for her bath, and she was in hysterics at Ben because he was talking in a British accent. no matter how hard I try, I will never be as silly as daddy! it's a little voyeuristic, but I love watching them play together.

she loooooves bathtime now

What I'm looking forward to: her baptism (october 14) - I've been shopping nonstop on etsy and looking for ideas on pinterest. if you have any suggestions, send them our way.

this template is a work in progress, as I couldn't find one online that I liked. if you have suggestions of things I should add or things you'd like to know, please let me know!

oh, and I still haven't uploaded her three month photos, so here are some of my recent favorites. the three month photos will be coming in a separate post, hopefully soon.
 
lunch with the hughes' - evan gave london her first kiss
tailgating for the nc state game - too hot for clothes!

Monday, September 17, 2012

London Claire's first laugh

Any working mom knows - it's tough. You sometimes feel like you're not in control of any aspect of your life, and there are those days you just need a win.

I mean, I NEVER feel that way and I always have it together. But if I happened to have a day where I fell apart and that day happened to be today, there's probably only one thing that could make it all better.

This:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psdBDaihC2A&feature=youtube_gdata_player

She laughed for the first time. If that's not a win for the day, I don't know what is.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Finally

I am the worst {blog}mom ever.

But, finally, I am writing an entry. I'm writing it from my phone so I can't guarantee how pretty it will be. And there's a baby sleeping on my chest so I can't guarantee how long it will be. But I'm writing it, so bear with me.

I swore I would update constantly, documenting every aspect of my daughter's life like I did my pregnancy. Then motherhood happened. Being a stay at home mom is hard, y'all. But I'll be damned if I didn't just have the best three months of my life.

Then reality set in. And on Monday, London started daycare and I went back to work. Hardest thing I've EVER done is leaving that precious baby with virtual strangers. I worked my ass off to grow that kid for nine months, and have worked my ass off to keep her growing for three months since she's been born, and now you just want me to ABANDON HER?!

But seriously, it gets easier. The emotional wounds start to scab over and you both start to adjust. And then, if you're a control freak like I am, it gets harder - when you realize you're not succeeding as a mom or a wife and your house is a wreck and you're not contributing at work and OH MY GOSH, MY LIFE IS IN SHAMBLES! The next thing you know, it's 1am and your husband is laying on the floor of the nursery while you feed the baby and google, "how young is too young to cry it out?"

I wrote on a friend's facebook wall, "Being a working mom sucks sometimes."

But then sometimes it doesn't. Like when you get a paycheck and you're able to buy your daughter diapers or occasionally even cute clothes, or when her doctors appointments and medicines are taken care of. Or when you go to pick her up from school and she gets a huge grin on her face. It sucks a little less then.

We are figuring it out, just like we are STILL figuring out how to parent this little nugget. And it'll continue to get easier. It has to, or else no one would do it - right?

The important thing is we survived the first week. Now, here are some gratuitous photos of the week that you've probably all seen on instagram. Sorry I'm not sorry.