December 4, 2015

Arwen Mae - Six Months

You can now roll from back to belly and belly to back quite easily and we often find if we lay you down somewhere, you are nowhere near where we put you down. You can sit by yourself and only fall over if you get bored/tired. You also just learned (like within the past week) how to blow raspberries. We went Christmas shopping tonight and you were in the backseat just spitting everywhere!

This month we dedicated you in church. Grandma (my mom) made you your dress and it came out stunning. You were definitely the most dressed up, but I love that the dress can be passed down and around for many generations to come. 

Your favorite word is 'plop'. I'm not sure why, but it makes you laugh every. single. time. Another guaranteed laugh is to toss you into the air or bounce fast. You love when mama and daddy get up in your face or when we sing and dance with you. You have the cutest laugh and I absolutely love it when you scrunch your nose and giggle. Once I start tickling you, you really start laughing and smiling. 


You have two new teeth! One came in (bottom, to your right), then the next week the other front, bottom tooth came in. You had your first solid food - banana! You looooved it and continue to love it. You have also had avocado, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, red bell pepper, and carrots. You did not enjoy avocado at first, but now I think it is your favorite. 

First Thanksgiving!
You still sleep really well and for that, we are so so grateful. Our routine is to put a night diaper on you, then we go upstairs and change into your jammies. Once in your PJs, we read a book or two, say our prayers, turn on the sound machine, then shut off the light. We kiss you goodnight and lay you down. Sometimes you don't make a peep and just go down and fall asleep. However, if we waited too long and you are super tired, you cry for a minute or two, then fall right asleep. 

All that blonde hair!!
You are growing up so fast. This past week your dad and I keep mentioning just how independent you are getting! You are starting to hold your bottle even. I'm trying to soak it all in and take as many short video clips as I can to remember all the small things we do in our day-to-day lives. I don't ever want to forget your little fingers wrapped around mine while you drink your bottle, or the way you lay your head on my chest, or the way you look at me when you haven't seen me in a while. Though, I hope through all your changes and growing up, you still hold my hand, lay your head on my chest, and light up when I walk into the room. You will forever be my little girl and I can't believe you are half of a year old already! 

November 14, 2015

Thoughts and Prayers for Paris

My heart just hurts for Paris and everyone affected. I look at Arwen's face and am reminded that the world does have some happiness left. These have really spoken to me in the last day:

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” - Gandhi

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:5-8

November 11, 2015

Grateful November - Day 11

November 11th, 2015
- I am so thankful for our Veterans and people currently in the Armed Forces. Looking at people posting pictures of their loved ones in the Army, Navy, Marines, etc. and they look so young (because they ARE young). It takes such a brave, courageous soul to fight for our freedom and rights. Thank you so much to everyone who fought and continues to fight for us. You are true heroes.

November 10, 2015

5 more days of Grateful November

Um, I have been grateful, I just haven't posted about it!

November 6th, 2015
- I am thankful for my first Goddaughter, Viktoria Noelle. It was her birthday and although I don't get to see her nearly as often as I would like, she deserves to know that she is so so loved by her Dommy. Love you VikVik!!

November 7th, 2015
- I am grateful for new friends. We got together with a few new friends that live down the road and it was great to get to know each other. Although I am not the best person at small talk, it was great to start to build a relationship.

November 8th, 2015
- I am thankful for falling leaves. Although at the time I may not have been, it was some great family time picking them up. Andrew was blowing the leaves and I was the compactor into the leaf bags while Arwen hung out in her stroller/Bumbo and Moose ran around in the fenced yard. Getting stuff done for the win!

November 9th, 2015
- I am grateful for best friends. Mine is wonderful and often knows what to say to soothe my soul. <3

November 10th, 2015
- I am grateful for the time to stop and slow down this morning. I was already running late when I left and a light turned on, so I pulled over and tried to figure out what it meant. Apparently, cars now have a light that alerts you that your tire has low pressure. Well, I had a flat, which meant I had to wait for AAA to come, but it gave me more time with Arwen and Andrew and for that, I am always grateful.

November 5, 2015

Arwen Mae - Five Months

I know, I know. I said last month was my favorite age, but this one is my new favorite. You are learning so much and SO much more interactive. Having a newborn is tough, but this age, this age is wonderful. 

You started daycare this month! And you love it. You absolutely love watching all the kids. Your teacher says if you are fussy, she can put you in a seat near all the other kids and you will be happy. The other kids adore you as well. Apparently they try to make you laugh and bring you toys. The other day, I went to pick you up and I just hear "Arwen's mommy is here!". It was so sweet to hear those words. I love being Arwen's mommy! 

Sleeping is going so much better this month. 4 month regression is real you guys. You go to sleep between 7pm-8pm and wake up between 6am-7am. You sleep in your crib and usually when we check on you before going to sleep ourselves, your arms are straight up over your head. Last night you were on your side with your arms laid out. 

In the past week you have rolled over from back to belly, found your feet, and you are almost rolling from belly to back. You'll probably do it for us this weekend. You can sit on your own for a bit, but after a while you get tired and topple. 

Always have to have something in your mouth. Allllmost rolling over.
You did it!! And were so excited since mommy and daddy were so excited!
You still love baths (though you are getting too big for your baby bathtub), being outside, and especially Moose. Moose comes over to smell you and lick your slimy hands, but if you try to grab her she runs away. I still hope that someday you two will be best buds. 

You had some other exciting firsts this month: you went to the beach for the first time and we dipped your toes in the Atlantic! It was a girls beach day where we went to visit Amma and Great Gram while they had a spot on the beach. 

We went to the zoo with Auntie Brandi, Auntie/Cousin Kaylee, Uncle/Cousin Ben, and Ariel. You weren't too interested in anything, but it was great to get out of the house and have fun with family. 
Had to take a picture with the anteater for daddy
You sat in your high chair for the first time! We'll be starting solid foods soon as you are very interested in anything we eat. You don't particularly like it, at least with me in the evenings, but I'm sure that will change once you start real food. 

And finally, you had your first Halloween!! You were technically a bear, but I also made you be little red riding hood with Moose being the big bad wolf. 

So many pictures, but I just want to remember this special time in our lives. You are truly such a happy baby and your smile is contagious. This fall and winter are going to be so fun!!

Grateful November Day 4 & 5

November 4th, 2015
- I am thankful for technology and the ability to talk to people without being right there. It is so nice to be able to hear someone's voice even when they are miles away. 

November 5th, 2015
- Sunshine is what made me especially happy today. It was so warm out and even though I had to walk Moose and Arwen this morning, messing up my routine (I'm a creature of habit, what can I say?), making me late for work, the sun and the fog were just so beautiful and made me realize that I had everything I needed right there. 

November 3, 2015

Grateful November - Day 3

November 3rd, 2015
- I am thankful for Andrew's sense of humor and how well he knows me. For the past few weeks, Andrew has been teasing me that he did something while I showered and it scared Moose. Those were the clues. He knew me and knew that a). I wouldn't let it go and b). that I wouldn't figure it out. Well, a few clues later (the neighbors can see, it is inside the house) and I figured it out!! He took down the old, broken shade that was slanted across our bay window! Lesson learned: I am not observant.

November 2, 2015

Grateful November - Day 1 & 2

As you all know probably know, American Thanksgiving (for those not American...) is at the end of this month. During this time we are supposed to give thanks (I know, such a creative wording for the holiday). Well, I've always seen these ideas where people post things they are grateful for each day and this year, I want to try it.

November 1st, 2015
- I am thankful for an easy pregnancy this past year because after birth was hard on me. Physically and emotionally and I just didn't prepare for that. It took many months to feel even remotely like myself. I thought I read everything and knew most of what it would be like, but you can't really prepare for it without being through it.

November 2nd, 2015
- I am grateful for daylight savings. I know there are many parents who are like WHAT?! I am grateful because I got to see Arwen before I left this morning (though apparently she was super grumpy for Andrew... sorry!) and she was so tired before bed and from me trying to keep her up a bit longer, that she cuddled and almost fell asleep in my arms again. 

Obviously there are more things I am thankful for today/yesterday, but these are the ones that stood out to me. So, what are you thankful for on this November day? 

October 9, 2015

Arwen Mae - Four Months

This is my favorite age so far, though I am sure that will continue to change as you grow. You are finally starting to interact more with the world and with us! Every time daddy comes home and sings to you, you smile soooo big and shake your head. 

This month was hard on sleeping, but so far into your fifth month, we've hit the jackpot, but that is for next month's post ;) After last month's post, I'm not sure you slept the whole night for the whole month - usually waking up at least at 2AM to get an additional feeding. 

While taking your 4 month pictures (the one above WAS taken on your four month birthday, though this post was late), you weren't totally into it. So, I have added some more from a few days before. 

Always with your tongue out. Even the doctor and nurse pointed it out at your doctor appointment! 

I love, love, love when you look up and I can see the fullness of those cheeks! You have such a cute, little round face! 

You are so ticklish. I tickle the sides of your neck and you open your mouth really big. I tickle the back of your neck and head and you shake your head and hunch your shoulders. I tickle your tummy and you suck it in and smile. 

You didn't actually start daycare this month since they didn't have a spot until this up coming Tuesday. Your Auntie (she's really your cousin, but she's more like my sister and your aunt) Kaylee watched you with cousin Ariel. It was very fun to see you interact with your cousin. I know I say this all the time, but you two are going to be great friends. I love that you will grow up with her by your side. The doctor said you are social and will most likely love daycare and seeing all the kids. I wonder if this means you will be extroverted, unlike your daddy and I. 

September 4, 2015

Arwen Mae - Three Months

Maybe it is because it is the end of my maternity leave, but little girl, you seem to have grown up SO much this past month. I look at you, especially your hands, and see so much growth and change. Those little fingers are still little, but not nearly as delicate as when I first met you. They are sturdier, have more control, and can grasp better than before.

The past three months comparison:

When you learn something, you learn it fast. You may not do something one day, but the next day you do it all the time. Just one day you were able to stand on your feet, and one day you were able to giggle, and smile at everyone. All of a sudden, just one day, and you could lift your head up and look around. Your newest learned ability, is putting things you find in your mouth. The dress you were wearing in this picture? In your mouth. Hands? Always in your mouth. 

As for sleep, you had been sleeping really, really well (like from 8PM to 6AM - our time to get up for work), but the last week you started getting up at 4AM. I was so confused and was just about to wonder if I had jinxed it, when I discovered the problem. By 4AM, you were tired of having your hands and arms in a swaddle. Last night, you woke up at 4AM, I uncovered your arms and you went. back. to. sleep. It was glorious! But only for a few minutes because I was so excited, I couldn't fall back asleep... Needless to say, my baby no longer wants to be swaddled. Yup. And she no longer likes to fall asleep on my chest. How are you so grown up already?!

One day last week, I was holding you and probably scolding Moose by the window and you were just giggling away at Moose. She would bark, you would laugh. She would lick your feet, you would squeal. It was the cutest thing. Unfortunately, it hasn't happened again, but you have certainly found your smile and laugh. This video definitely shows it (and is my favorite to date!):
(Don't mind my singing...)

You have this look you flash us sometimes and I have a suspicious feeling you are going to be devious, much like your daddy. You and Ariel, whom I believe will be a total sassy lady, will be quuuuuite the pair. 

Some firsts from this month include taking your longest car trip to Maine to celebrate your Great Grammy's 90th birthday! The trip ended up being about 5 hours total in a car. You did as good as I would have expected, but I'm really glad we were able to surprise Grammy. 

You were wearing this dress Auntie Brandi got you from France, but ended up peeing all over it...
Not sure why you hair looks red in these pictures... it is definitely still blonde.

August 9, 2015

Arwen's Birth Story Part 2

(Part 1 here)

We got to the hospital around 1AM and once they checked me, I was 4cm dilated, so they admitted me! My plan was to try and go natural, so I requested a room with a tub as I heard that helps with pain. Well, it did help the next few contractions, but at 5AM, I got an epidural and it was amazing.
The hospital room you were born in!
Daddy and I tried to sleep every once in a while, but mostly we just watched Property Brothers. Around 1PM, there were two midwives on call, working together, so they came and checked my cervix again to see if I had dilated any further. I had only progressed a little bit, so we decided to break my water. Apparently it was bulging and was about to break anyway. They said there was a little meconium in it, so we knew you had to be whisked away to be cleaned and examined before you were able to meet mommy and daddy. The midwifes said they would be back around 3PM to check my progression.
Much happier! :)
Once they came back, I was at 9.5cm dilated and they said we would start pushing soon! However, I was starting to feel a lot of contraction pain again and the epidural didn't seem to be helping. The nurses got an anesthesiologist to check it out. Turns out, my line had fallen out and would need to be replaced. This was the worst part of the whole labor and delivery. I was shaking, crying, and dry heaving in pain and I had to sit up and try and sit very still for the doctor to re-administer the medicine.  It was a very scary time and I could tell daddy was pretty shaken up about seeing me in that much pain and agony. Soon after the medicine kicked in and I was feeling so much better!

Around 6PM, the midwives returned and deemed it time to start pushing! If I can give you any advice about having a baby, it would be not to clench down on your face/eyes so much. I pushed so hard it broke many blood vessels in my face and both of my eyes were beet red for at least a week. However, the extreme amount of pushing resulted in you being born about an hour later at 7:21PM.

My face all swollen the next day
Apparently while I was pushing one of the midwives predicted you would be 8 pounds, 14 ounces because she didn't want to scare me with 9 pounds. I didn't hear her - I was completely in my own little world. You were born at 9 pounds, 1 ounce!! They let you rest on my chest for a tiny bit, then took you away to clean you up, weigh you, etc. and to fix me up. Once you were across the room, all of us (midwives included!) realized we didn't know whether you were a boy or a girl, so daddy went over to check you out. He asked me to guess and I said "A boy!" and he just went "Wrong". We were so excited to have a little baby girl!

Once I got you back in my arms, you pooped everywhere!! The nurses were highly impressed by how much and how it got everywhere! This is probably too much information, but when I went to take my first shower, I found more on my side. Very impressive.

You were the first baby daddy ever held and the first diaper he ever changed, so I had to get a picture of course!!
You were born Wednesday night and we went home on Friday. Getting home was quite the adventure as we had a prescription to be filled, but couldn't find the prescription the doctor gave us. We went back to the hospital, but there was no one that could fill it again. We ended up leaving an hour later than we had planned, hit rush hour traffic, and going to our doctor's office, but we finally got the prescription filled.

This whole adventure has been great so far and only going to get better. The recovery has been the hardest part, but it has all been so worth it. We love you Arwen Mae!

August 3, 2015

Arwen Mae - Two Months

This month has been more smooth as we are learning each other and hormones are leveling out. You learned to smile and though it takes a big reaction of mine to get a smile (such as peeing without a diaper under you), it is the most beautiful smile I have seen. You can also see further and whip your head around taking in everything you see. Since you can see more distance, you have found der weihnachtsmann, the Santa we got in Germany that sits on the shelf above the couch. 

You've enjoyed meeting more friends and family this month, including all of your biological uncles and cousins! They loved seeing you and pretty much everyone we meet mentions that you look like daddy. 

Other parents, please don't hate me for saying this, but Arwen honey, you are an EXCELLENT sleeper. The minute you turned one month you started sleeping ~6 hours at night. The doctor says once babies hit 11 - 13 pounds they start sleeping like that and since you were such a big baby, you got to 11 pounds easily. 

Your major firsts this month mostly involve meeting so many new people, but we also had our longest separation. I went to the Taylor Swift concert and though I missed you so very much, I had a blast. From what I heard, you had a great time with daddy too!

This upcoming month is the last month we get to stay home and be together, so I'm going to try and savor it. You'll be going to daycare while daddy and I work. Right now, I am excited to get back to work, but it definitely won't be easy at first. I love being there when you wake up to give you give kisses on your little cheeks. 


The dress was Amma's (Daddy's mom) when she was a little girl
Doctor Update:
Height - 24 inches
Weight - 14 pounds, 3.5 ounces
Head circumference - 40.5cm

July 22, 2015

Arwen's Birth Story Part 1

Although you were born on Wednesday, June 3rd, this story starts the Saturday before. That Saturday was the day before your due date, May 30th. Your daddy and I had a weekend tradition before you were born of getting "special drinks", which were usually a Monster for your daddy and an Arizona iced tea for me. So, that morning, we got our drinks from CVS and decided to see if Uncle James would want to get dinner and hang out for the night (daddy's code for go to the computer superstore).

James took this picture that Saturday - the last picture of me pregnant with Arwen
About a half an hour before James came, I started having consistent contractions. I had been having some contractions, but rarely and never consistent like this. I was excited, especially that you may come on your due date, but I didn't want to get too worked up as I had heard many stories of contractions going away after an hour or two. James came out and we went to dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant, then went to the computer superstore. Through this time I was having contractions about every 10 - 13 minutes and they were lasting about a minute - the doctor says to go to the hospital when contractions are 1 minute long, every 5 minutes, for at least an hour. After James left, I told daddy (yes, I hadn't told him this whole time as I knew he would get too excited and get me worked up too), but they ended up fizzling out later that night.

After that Saturday, I barely had any contractions, let alone ones that were consistent. Daddy and I decided we would work from home pretty much until you came. At that point, we were desperate and thought you would come like 2 weeks late! It was especially nerve-wracking since Daddy had accepted a new job and it would start at the end of June. If you were born 2 weeks late, he wouldn't get his two weeks of paternity leave!

On Wednesday, we were working from home and I was thinking about what the difference between Saturday and the following days were to try and start contractions again (like I said, we were desperate to meet you!). I remembered I had an Arizona iced tea, which has caffeine and I hadn't had it or any caffeine since! We got a can of the tea and contractions started again! We decided to go grocery shopping (excellent idea by the way) and got gallons of iced tea since we assumed the contractions would taper out again. By 8PM, since the contractions had been happening for about 3 hours, 7 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute, we called Amma and Grandpa to get Moose. We called the hospital and they said to wait at home as long as possible. 

The contractions got closer and closer. We tried to sleep, but I was in some pain every 5 minutes and daddy was too excited and hyped up. I took a nice, hot shower, which helped with the pain a lot. At 1AM, we called back and said the pain was getting much more intense and the contractions were now about 3 minutes apart. They said to come in! 

July 3, 2015

Arwen Mae - One Month

Arwen, you light up your mama and daddy's life. In this first month, we have experienced so many firsts (as expected) and life has most definitely changed. 

You currently do 50% breastfeeding, 50% formula and you are rocking it and your weight has increased as it should. It did drop to almost 10% and did not want to increase at first, but we have found a nice balance with both options.

We celebrated daddy's first father's day! You wore an "I heart Dad" onesie and gave him books to read to you. It was a little hectic, as this whole month has been trying to learn you, but it was great to celebrate how wonderful you are in our life and how great of a father you have. 

Our first outing, not to the doctors, was to Qdoba and we sat outside as to not disturb anyone if you started screaming. You didn't and a lovely couple stopped by to ogle you :)

On average you sleep from 10pm to 3am, then wake up around 5/6am and you are generally up for the day around 8/9am. You take a longer nap around 11am or 12pm until 2pm or 3pm. Mama was especially nervous for the lack of sleep, but I think I'm not too crabby. 

I'm sure there are many more things to try and remember about this time, but I'm a wee bit tired. 


Doctor Update
Weight - 10 pounds 14.5 ounces (85th percentile)
Height - 21.5 inches (50th percentile)
Head circumference - 38cm (97th percentile)

May 24, 2015

Third Trimester

38 weeks and 4 days
Symptoms: Same as before. I felt great until a few days ago (about 38 weeks). Now, I am completely ready for baby to come out. 

Doctor Appointments: I am down to weekly appointments. Baby has been head down for the past couple weeks, so that is excellent news! The doctor also mentioned baby is about 7 pounds - estimating by feel, so not sure how accurate.

Sleep: Few and far between, but I do fall asleep fast! Though, I certainly feel like a turtle on its back when getting out of bed, which is often with baby cuddling with my bladder. 

Movement: Baby is still quite the acrobat and loves to move and dance. The movements are definitely visible if you stare at my belly long enough!

Food Cravings: Less root beer now. I really wanted hot dogs, so tonight we had some. I am also chowing down on watermelon like its my job, but I did that last summer too :)

Things That Happened
- Older cousin Ariel was born! 
- Both Andrew and I celebrated our birthdays. For mine, we went out to dinner and I got delicious pot roast. For Andrew's birthday, I'm pretty sure he put down flooring. 
- Had a wonderful family and friends tea party baby shower. It was so great and so many people were able to come out even though the weather was less than ideal. This baby is so incredibly loved. 
- Had a work shower, which was also awesome. I mean, they had a make-your-own-sundae bar. Perfect!!
- We took birthing classes, a breastfeeding class, and infant CPR. 
- Mostly, we have just been setting up the nursery. It is mostly done, but requires some organization as most of baby's things are still in the basement. We ordered our glider today, so hopefully that comes in fast. A new post with picture of our updated bedroom and baby's room will be coming soon with before and after pictures!
- Andrew had a dream of baby. Amma (Andrew's mom) was holding baby and Andrew asked if he could hold baby since he hadn't yet (aww!). Then, baby started crying and he asked how baby was doing and baby said in a cute little voice "Good". He asked again and baby said the same thing, then he asked if baby knew more words and it said "No". Haha! Also, apparently baby was blonde, but he couldn't tell the gender. 
- I made James take some photos of Andrew and I for maternity pictures and I edited some. I can't wait to print some of them out and hang them in the house somewhere! In these pictures, I am 35 weeks, 6 days. 

Dr. Baby (baby's in utero name, if I haven't mentioned it), we are ready for you! Anytime you want to join us, we will be over the moon anxious and excited. I can't wait to see what you look like and to hold your little body outside of mine. 

February 22, 2015

Second Trimester - Part 2

Second Trimester - Weeks 21 - 25

26 Weeks
Symptoms: I am feeling great! My gag reflex has calmed down, but since I feel great, I get a little over zealous and then I have some ligament pains and I remember I need to take it easy. I think walking the dog every day has really, really helped me. I am definitely slow when walking, but moving helps keep the stretching pain away and makes me feel good as I haven't gained too much weight - just the right amount.

Doctor Appointments: We had one last week with our doctor, who is transitioning to a new position within Beth Israel, so I don't think she'll deliver the baby. Baby's heartbeat was 155 this time and didn't move around too much when trying to find the heartbeat, unlike previous appointments. Shortly after, baby was back to kicking away :)

Sleep: It has been going OK. A few weeks ago, I bought a Snoogle (a giant pillow that goes around me) and it has been GREAT to sleep with. Highly recommended. I plan on trying to use it as a breastfeeding pillow as well. So, I have that pillow around my back and neck, then lean the pregnancy wedge my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas under my belly and I sleep great until I have to pee. Lately, I wake up to pee and am wide awake, which is unfortunate, but then I am so tired the next night, I fall back asleep. It is a vicious cycle.

Movement: Oh my goodness. Baby doesn't stop moving. Baby moves especially when I am hungry, about 30 minutes after I have eaten, if I wake up, and if I lie down. This baby is never going to sleep.

Food cravings: They seem to have disappeared. Though, I wouldn't mind some chocolate covered strawberries...

Things that happened:
- We went to the Azores! It was a pretty good week, full of traveling and adventure (my favorite type of vacation!). There were a few hiccups, but it was a great time and we ended up missing the first huge blizzard of 2015. I'm going to try and make a separate Azore post with pictures and more details. 
22 weeks in the Azores
- We got home, terrified we would not be able to get into our driveway, but our neighbor was so gracious and cleared the snow in both driveways. That was the best present!
- During our vacation week, Andrew felt baby kick for the first time! Now, my belly shakes and you can see a bump if you are looking. Creepy, I know.
- Since that first snowstorm we missed, there have been several others (at least 2 others that shut down my work). It feels like Andrew has been shoveling non-stop for weeks. 

- We officially started working on baby's room. Don't worry! I took before shots and there will most definitely be a before, during, and after post - love those! 
- Last weekend was Valentine's day, so we went out for lunch and did some errands before it started snowing. I wore my cute not-very-wintery jacket and we had our first public recognition of baby in the grocery store line! She said she thinks it is a girl because I am apparently carrying low. 
- And just like that, we are in the third trimester! I am so excited to meet this little baby, but not yet. You still have some cooking left to do little babe (and we still have a lot to do!).