Friday, October 31, 2014

23 Weeks Young!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The weeks just keep flying by!  Emily is 23 weeks young and loving life!

Despite my predictions to the contrary, she still doesn't have any teeth.  I feel like I've been saying "any week now" for months already!  Oddly enough, her hand-chomping seems to be dying down a bit over the past couple days.  Not sure if the pain is actually decreasing or, more likely, her tolerance is increasing since by now she's a drooly teething pro!  ;)

Luckily, no more hickeys this week and the lovely facial bruise Emily gifted me last Thursday is finally gone!  {Sorry I didn't get to post a pic of that gem -- couldn't get a flattering angle in any of my selfie attempts, ha!}

She is closer to sitting up on her own and getting her toosh up in the air which will allow her to crawl, but still has a little more practicing to do before she achieves either of those very big milestones {phew!}...

Emily is a party animal!  She attended TWO Halloween parties last weekend, and will be celebrating some more on the actual day!  {Photos of her costume to come!}  At the party our condo association organized, we met FOUR other babies who live in our building that are Emily's same age!!!!  And that's in addition to twin boys her age that we've met in the elevator and another little girl a week older than Em who is in my moms' group.  I guess there will be no shortage of playmates when this kiddo is old enough for play dates!

Naps this week have been a disaster.  Either non-existent or 30 minutes maximum, no matter what I do to help her sleep more frequently or longer.  She also woke up one night in the middle of the night and was awake for over an hour, log-rolling around in her crib and on our bed when we tried to soothe her back to sleep.  If teething or her reflux isn't the culprit, then perhaps it's an early start to her "Wonder Week" mental leap.  This should be a fun few weeks if the sleeplessness continues!  ;)  Despite her tiredness, I'm still able to get some smiles out of her so that's a good sign!

Shep and I have started visiting day care centers in preparation for my return to work in a couple months.  I can't believe I have to start thinking about returning to work already.... it feels like it is too soon!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Baby Halloween Costumes

Only 1 day until Halloween!  Are you excited??  Shep is definitely the one of us more into Halloween as a holiday generally {fun fact: I never carved a real pumpkin until I met him!}, but this year even I'm looking forward to the spooky celebratory day so we can see Emily in her costume again.  The costume is still top secret, but I can assure you she looks SCRUMPTIOUS in it!  Don't worry, all will be revealed soon enough, and I promise the adorable factor is well worth the wait.  :)

I will show you what her runner-up costume idea was:

Shep and I order sushi every Friday, as sort of an end-of-week tradition.  We've ordered from the same restaurant almost weekly for the past few years {I ate veggie rolls during my pregnancy!}, so definitely considered a sushi costume for Emily as meaningful but funny.  Alas, we went with something else that, in my opinion, is muuuuuuuch more tasty.  There's just something about babies dressed up as food that cracks me up!

Speaking of delicious-looking babies, check out some of the adorable costume ideas featured in the Huffington Post lists here and here.

Although those are all quite cute, I have to say that the award for most creative definitely goes to Jessica Chavkin, who loves Halloween so much that she decided to dress her baby up in 31 different costumes!  He's a cutie, and she's quite the costume designer!  Check out her Instagram photos here.  Here's my favorite:

A photo posted by Jessica Chavkin (@jchavkin) on

So tell me.... will you or your little ones be dressing up this year?  What is the most inventive or best costume idea you've ever seen or worn???

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My Love

I started this list back in August, when Emily wasn't even yet 3 months old.  I wanted to keep a growing ticker of all the little things I love about my little baby -- the little details that would play in the movie of our lives, before time washes away these seemingly minute details.  But then I realized that as time marches on, some of these anecdotes won't apply anymore.  How sad to think that my little baby girl won't fit in my lap forever.  So, I decided not to wait -- there will never be a complete list.  Each day is a gift, and each week or month that passes brings something new I love about my little girl...

I love the way she . . .
- Forms her mouth into the tiniest little "o" shape as a newborn.
- Crosses her ankles when being held cradle style.
- Covers her face with her little fists when she's tired.
- Smiles so big when I look her in the face.
- Curls up in my arms when I'm holding or feeding her.
- Smiles in her sleep.
- Holds onto my shirt with her little hands.

... Makes each day more meaningful now that she is part of our family.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

22 Weeks Young!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

{Let's pretend this post is timely instead of a few days late -- we were having trouble with our internet connection so I wasn't able to upload the photos from my camera until now!}

This was a double birthday week for Emily!  On Wednesday, she turned 5 months old!  Then on Thursday, she turned 22 weeks old!  {Are you keeping up???}  Yes, those both count as birthdays.  And yes, I'm still counting her age in weeks.

To celebrate her 22 week birthday, Emily gave me a hickey on my face next to my chin.  A big one.  One that's very obvious, is hard to cover up even with makeup, and looks ridiculous.  But how could I possibly be mad at THIS face?!?!?!

I just can't.  :)  Poor girl is still teething like crazy and needed something to suck on to ease the tension I guess.  My face was the closest thing to her mouth at the time, so there you have it.  I knew that motherhood would bring new experiences every day, but this is an interesting one for the memory book!  ;)

Over the past week or so I've noticed Emily interlacing her fingers together like in the top photo above.  I guess maybe it is a new skill she's working on.... finger dexterity!  She also still tries to grab her toes at every opportunity:

Here she is in her big girl stroller!  I am tempted to rename her "She who is always tired but never sleeps":

Emily is VERY excited for her first Halloween and to show off her adorable costume!  We are keeping it a surprise until Friday, but believe me when I tell you she looks DELICIOUS in it!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

5 Months

Happy 5 Month Birthday, Emily!!!!!

  • Makes all kinds of sounds!  She talks to herself and yells up a storm when on her playmat or awakening from a nap.
  • LOVES reading books!  She gets so excited about reading books that we don't read them before bed because she gets too riled up!
  • Watches my mouth intently when I'm talking or singing and tries to move her own lips to mimic me.
  • Can almost sit up on own, but still needs a little support to avoid falling over to her side.  I'm guessing that she'll be sitting up independently very soon though!
  • Loves sucking loudly on her toes!
  • Extends arms outward like a mummy and touches/grabs my face with her hands.
  • Superb hand-eye coordination and really adept at grabbing toys or my fingers and putting them into her mouth.  She is strong too -- if she wants to put something in that adorable mouth it takes all my might to stop her!
  • Started biting on my collar bone {ouch!} and sucking on my jawbone {sooo ticklish!}, probably to relieve teething pain.  Speaking of teething, no pearly whites yet but if her drool and chomping is any indication they should be here annnnnny day now!
  • Startles when she hears someone blowing nose or sneezing.
  • Has begun to cry when I leave the room.  Not sure if this is super early separation anxiety or something else.
  • Just in the past few days started extending arms outward when laying on her back as a sign that she wants to be picked up.
  • Rubs eyes with fists when tired.
  • Now has mostly "real" hair, though she still has those adorable wisps in the back!
  • Loves when I sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" with accompanying hand movements.
  • Actively rolls over during diaper changes.... it's hard to keep her on her back because she's so squirmy and determined to roll!  I recently heard another mom refer to infant diaper changes as "wrestling a baby alligator" and I concur -- she is shockingly strong!
  • Prefers to sleep on her right side or her belly.  {When she sleeps...}  She decided she grew out of her Rock-n-Play and let us know it earlier this month by trying to roll over in it and pushing herself up with her feet, so she is also now exclusively sleeping in either her Pack-n-Play or her crib {for naps} -- bye bye Rock-n-Play!
  • Moved into some footie pajamas that are Size 6-9 months!  For clothes, she's still wearing mostly 6 months with the exception of some 3 month outfits that still fit her.
  • Graduated from the bassinet attachment of her stroller into her big girl seat!  Technically she still fits in the bassinet, but she got bored of laying down.  The last time we used the bassinet for a walk, she rolled over onto her tummy and was holding her head up high to look over the side like a puppy looking out a car window!


    It was hysterically cute, but I guess that means she's ready for her big girl seat now!
  • Got her first taste of cool weather and doesn't appear to be a big fan, though she looks adorable in her little hoodies and hats...

Emily grows and changes every single day.  Each day is a new adventure and there are "firsts" right around every corner.  But with each first, there is also the possibility of a "last".  While I'm not sure I'm ready for all these new firsts.... I'm DEFINITELY not ready for "lasts"!  Last time she slept in her rock-n-play.  Last time she rode in her bassinet attachment.  Tear, tear, sob!!!  Here is a poem I recently came across that brought tears to my hormonal maternal eyes!

{Click To Enlarge} -- Source

Thursday, October 16, 2014

21 Weeks Young!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Remember last week how I said it's proving more difficult to take good photos of Emily as she gets bigger?  Yeah, that's totally true.  Today I took over 100 photos of Miss Emily {no that's not an exaggeration!} and most of them came out as blurry action shots, which means she was rolling around like crazy and wouldn't stay still long enough for me to snap the photo.  Exhibits A & B:

If she was laying still, it's because she was pulling on her ear or had her fingers shoved in her mouth, like so:

But, like a crazy first time mom with an addiction to taking photos, I just kept snapping away.  As luck would have it, my muse is quite photogenic, even when she's trying to be uncooperative.  ;) . . .

This past week we took a long car trip upstate to see some out-of-town cousins.  It was Emily's longest ride to date and she did okay, though she was very fussy by the time we were 30 minutes from home thanks to 2 too-short naps in the car and a skipped nap while we visited, so we pulled over and stopped at a grocery store to stretch out.

She continues to produce drool like a Saint Bernard, and I have a feeling we might have some teeth making an appearance for her 5 month birthday because she has been tugging on her ear non-stop all day today, in addition to putting anything and everything she can get her adorable little fingers on into her mouth.  Emily has also taken to sucking on my jawbone {which cracks me up each time!} and biting on my collarbone while I'm holding her {ouch!} in recent days.... interesting pastimes, huh?  As long as she doesn't give me a hickey on my neck, I'll gladly act as her personal teething apparatus.  ;)  Poor little Em... I hope she gets some reprieve from her teething discomfort soon!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Those of us who have experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth or death of a newborn think of our little angels all the time.  But today is a special day of remembrance, and a day to raise awareness.  Before experiencing my own miscarriage, I didn't realize how common pregnancy loss was.

It can be a frightening, painful, exhausting and very isolating experience to lose a baby.  Though nobody can take the pain away, women and couples experiencing such loss shouldn't have to feel alone.  Many people don't talk about pregnancy loss, for a myriad of reasons.  When I experienced my own loss last year, I didn't exactly want to publicize my own misery for my family members, friends and colleagues to hear about.  One of the reasons why I shared my story through this blog was to try to relate to other women who experienced similar loss to mine.  I thought if I could help just one woman not feel quite so alone, exposing my own fears, frustrations and grief for the world to read about would be worthwhile.  It turns out I did connect to several women, going through losses similar to mine.  Though we'd never met in real life, our lives overlapped in ways we'd each never imagined in our worst nightmares, and we helped one another cope.  {Ladies, you know who you are -- thank you for your support!!}  And through it all I learned that keeping my miscarriage a secret was not only unnecessary, but a disservice to other women out there who were going through it, and who felt like I did.  Miscarriage is more common than most people know {click to visit link}.  So I'm here today to say, you are NOT alone.
The unfortunate fact is that more of the women in your circles than you realize have been through or will go through pregnancy loss at some point in time.  Some more than once.  There is absolutely no reason to be embarrassed or ashamed.  Many people won't want to or will have a difficult time talking about sad events like pregnancy loss, and believe me, I get that.  But the more we start talking about these statistics, the less alone our fellow women will feel if the unthinkable happens to them and they experience their own loss.

If you have experienced your own loss, you have my deepest sympathy.  Your angel baby is in my thoughts today.

Friday, October 10, 2014

20 Weeks Young!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, hello there!

Someone had her 20-week-birthday yesterday!

Emily is so active and rolls around so much when we lay her down on her back that it's becoming increasingly difficult to get any good weekly photos of her!  I think I took between 20-30 shots of her yesterday and this was one of the only ones where she is looking at the camera and her body isn't contorted into a half-roll.  ;)  She's such a cutie pie.

I realllllly don't want to jinx myself, but I *think* that she may finally be exiting the 4 month wakeful period.  The past 3 nights, she's slept much better, falling asleep around 8pm and waking up between 1-2am and then again at 6am to eat.  It feels like a vacation compared to the days a couple weeks ago where she was up EVERY. SIXTY. MINUTES.

Starting this week, Emily also has been sleeping in the bassinet of her pack-n-play full-time.  I used to put her down in the Rock n Play for the first part of the night because she slept better in it, but she got very squirmy and kept trying to roll over in it the past week or so.  Then, just in the past few days she figured out how to push herself up on her legs with her feet pressed against the bottom of the seat, so we haven't been using it the past few days.  It is the cutest thing though.... as soon as I lay her down on her back in the bassinet she immediately rolls onto her side, and then half the time immediately rolls onto her tummy.  She initially has a bit of a hard time getting comfy on her tummy, trying to stick her butt up into the air but not quite knowing yet how to tuck her knees underneath her.  With a little help or pat on the back though, she settles in and then has been sleeping pretty well on her side or tummy.  Of course I was a nervous wreck the first few nights she was doing it, checking on her to make sure her face wasn't planted into the mattress every time I heard her move around.  But she's been sleeping a lot better now, which is a relief.  Once we get back into a regular sleep routine, we'll try to tackle sleeping in her crib!

Emily has gotten very introspective this week.  Perhaps it's part of her current "wonder week" mental leap, but it's been adorable to see her awake yet calm, just looking out at the world, either in her stroller or sitting with me at home, with an expression on her face like she's thinking.  She's typically so active and easily excited that it was a little jarring at first to see her just sitting still in the stroller during a walk.  I think her brain is just processing even more information, and she is learning to focus more on objects instead of squirming around non-stop all the time.  I've noticed she also jumps or flinches every time Shep or I sneeze or blow our nose.  I'm not sure why she is more sensitive to this now than she used to be.... perhaps she's just more in tune with her hearing?  She also has been audibly laughing a bit more, which is just the most beautiful sound to my ears.

Another new habit Emily developed this week is tucking her bottom lip into her mouth.  Though her face looks ADORABLE when she does this, I wish she'd stop because the skin above her chin is getting all chapped from being sucked on.  I've been applying a tiny bit of lanolin ointment to it which I think has helped.... hopefully this is just a passing phase though.

Emily has been doing pretty well with teething after an initial rough start, but it seems to be getting a little worse again.  She has been biting down on my finger HARD, poor thing.  For an infant, she's surprisingly adept at grabbing my finger and navigating it directly into her little mouth.  And not in a gentle haphazard way either, no siree.... She does it with purpose and with strength!!!  She's also been a little more fussy than normal because of the teething I think, because I notice her getting fussy or clingy she is trying to shove her hands or any other close object into her mouth passionately.  Her toys don't stand a chance -- they all get covered in drool numerous times a day.  ;)

Exhibit A:

That flower didn't stand a chance.

She has tried biting down on me while feeding a couple times too, which hurt like heck.  When she did this I just unlatched her and said "no" while making eye contact.  Hopefully she learns that it is not funny to bite mommy while eating before the teeth come in!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Postpartum Supplies Checklist

As a follow-up to the hospital bag checklist I shared a few weeks ago, I thought I'd share a list of
postpartum supplies that I found helpful and/or outright necessary upon getting home from the hospital.  Thanks so much to those of you who chimed in on additional "must haves" for the hospital bag -- feel free to leave your suggestions for all your favorite postpartum supplies in the comments section below!

For Mom At Home
  • Tylenol and/or Motrin for pain relief (as directed by your doctor)
  • Extra absorbent cotton maxi pads
  • Granny panties
  • Dermoplast spray
  • Nursing pads -- I think I've tried every disposable {and some reusable!} brand out there and prefer the Johnson & Johnson brand by far; they are the most absorbent in my opinion and not itchy at all!
  • Witch Hazel pads or wipes
  • Lanolin ointment or coconut oil -- for use on cracked or sore nipples
  • Sitz bath spray -- I loved the Motherlove spray and highly recommend it!
  • Peri bottle -- To fill with warm water for washing after using the bathroom; the hospital should provide you with this.
  • Nursing tanks or other clothing and pajamas that allow for easy access for breastfeeding (if applicable) -- This is something I totally underestimated... I had no idea how many of these I'd go through a day/week, thanks to getting puked on or leaking issues and not enough time to do laundry.... so get a bunch of these!!!  There are some very nice brands out there, but Target and Kohl's both have some very affordable options that you can order online for free delivery, score!
  • Donut seat cushion -- Our hospital provided an inflatable one for us to take home!

For Baby At Home
  • Diapers and wipes
  • Clean onesies, pajamas, swaddle blankets & burp cloths
  • Gentle/unscented clothes detergent -- See how your favorite products are rated by the EWG here.
  • Lots of love and cuddles!

For Your Home
  • Pre-made meals in freezer (or takeout/delivery menus from restaurants) for hungry parents
  • Hand soap and hand sanitizer (for guests who wish to hold the baby!)
  • Extra toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues

{In case you find it helpful, here is the list in printable format.}

These aren't really supplies, but rather some more just-home-from-the-hospital-postpartum-tips-and-advice I wanted to share:

  • Be sure to drink plenty of water and eat healthy meals!  While taking care of baby, it's easy to forget to take care of yourself, so put someone else in charge of feeding you for the first few days or weeks if needed since you'll likely be in charge of feeding baby.  You might find it helpful to keep a filled water bottle along with some healthy snacks that can be eaten easily with one hand (e.g., dried fruit, nuts, snack bars, etc.) near your feeding station chair to grab during middle-of-the-night feedings and those times when your baby falls asleep in your arms.  :)
  • It also goes without saying to get as much rest as possible, but that's often easier said than done!  Many people advise new moms to sleep when baby sleeps, but I didn't really find that possible.  It must've been all that adrenaline running through my system, but I just didn't feel tired though I'm sure physically I was.
  • It might see daunting at first, but try to get outside for a walk or some fresh air at least once every day.  Don't worry about what your hair looks like, whether or not you've showered, or the fact that you're still in your pajamas from last night -- fresh air does a mind good, and some gentle walking will help blood circulate to your lady parts which can promote faster healing!
  • Finally, don't be afraid to set expectations (and recruit your partner to help enforce ground rules if needed!) when it comes to visitors in the early days.  While I'd never advise anyone to turn away free homecooked meals or offers to do laundry, it's important that mom gets a lot of quiet time for physical recuperation after getting home from the hospital, and it's important for mom, partner and baby to get some family bonding time too!
Once labor is over, the real fun can begin!  Enjoy every moment with your new precious bundle.... the time passes far too quickly!

So tell me..... what did I leave off my list????

Thursday, October 2, 2014

19 Weeks Young!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Mommy and Daddy can't imagine
Our lives without you!!!

Happy 19 Weeks, Emily!  We love you!!!

Emily got her 4 month vaccinations on Tuesday.  Thanks to teething and her 4 month sleep regression, she was tired and a tad bit cranky before her shots, so we weren't expecting an easy appointment or evening afterward.  Emily was a bit squirmy and fussy during her physical exam, and the doctor referred to her as both a "princess" {when the doc walked in and asked how Emily was doing} and a "stinker" {when we told her Emily still won't consistently take a bottle} before handing her back to me to hold because she was "hard to examine" due to all her kicking and rolling around.  Emily drank almost all of the rotavirus liquid vaccine {without spitting it out this time, hooray!} and didn't even wince when the first needle went into her chubby left thigh.  The second needle was a bit larger though, since it covers 3 vaccines, so she did cry loudly after her right leg was pricked, but she luckily calmed down pretty quickly once Daddy started doing a very amusing clown tap dance in the room after the nurse stepped out.  And for the record, unlike last time, Mommy didn't shed any tears this time around!  ;)

In terms of her growth, she's doing amazingly well!  She weighs 15 lbs 3.5 oz, is 24.75 inches long, and has a head circumference of 41 cm!  We got a little worried when the nurse gave us some low percentages for her growth statistics, but it turned out the nurse was calculating Emily's measurements as if she were a boy.  Silly nurse!  The doctor gave us the corrected percentiles, and we were glad to hear they are right on track with her prior measurements.  The doctor was pleased to hear that Emily laughs, can sit up with help, and roll over -- she does all of them and has been for a few weeks now!  We are super proud parents, to say the least!!!

E is for EMILY!!!

Unlike last time, Emily thankfully didn't seem to have an increased temperature this time around, but we did give her a dose of Tylenol before bed because she was crying hard and wouldn't calm down to fall asleep.  It was a bit hard to tell if she was uncomfortable due to pain from the shots or her teething, but the Tylenol seemed to help her get to sleep for a few hours at least.  Then she was up again a few times at night for her now-typical 4 month wakeful period shenanigans, but at least she was smiling then!  :)
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