Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Weeks of Pictures

3 weeks old, and loving pre-fold diapers the most these days! Also, those old people pads I used when I worried my water would break in bed make handy portable changing pads.

Hard to get either of them to smile.

Aves sporting the latest hair trend - the Back Bump

showing everything Avery has to sleep with...

besides the usual 7 pillows and dozen stuffed animals and 5 blankets, we also have a box of hair clips and a stack of flashcards...

as well as an assortment of books and a xylophone! The extra toys rotate and sometimes she wakes up with different toys than she went to sleep with.

1 month photo out-takes: yawn

"Whoa, Mom!"

"Do I look like a natural? How's this pose?"

"Aw, come on! Seriously?!"
breakfast at Nonnie's house - chocolate toast, with a Nutella booger and her homey stance. What up, G?

Eleanor meeting her great-grandparents

5 weeks and smiley

I think she was telling E she was ready to go to the store or to dinner.

big sis invading tummy time

Saturday, October 22, 2011

6 Week Update

I'm trying to catch up on my posts here - we're at our 6 week mark with Eleanor. The time is flying by! I had a good check-up with my doctor, and I'm feeling more and more like myself each day. It feels amazing not to be pregnant anymore, to be able to breathe fully, to sleep on my back, to not get winded when walking to the mailbox.

She is settling into a better routine - she tends to nap when Avery does, finally, and she likes to sleep in the swing around 8 pm until I pick her up for a dream feed and put her to bed. She then sleeps for another 3-4 hours (4 is becoming more consistent), eats, and goes right back to sleep. We're generally up twice in the night, she sleeps for a bit while I fix Avery breakfast and spend some time with her, and then she's awake for a few hours (usually crying if I'm not holding her).

Eleanor had her first cold, or allergies, something. Having an over-attentive big sister who gives a lot of kisses isn't great for keeping illness away.

We are surviving still, though some days it feels like just barely. Survival. I feel like that's the theme these days. I am often overwhelmed. Our home is a disaster more often than not, and if you come over and see a clean living room, it's only because I threw everything into our bedroom ten minutes before you arrived. I am still processing hormones and can cry at the drop of a hat. My patience is thin and Avery pushes the boundaries more and more. When I told her that she was going to get a spanking because of her antics at the doctor's office, she just looked at me and said, "Okay." She is defiant and stares me down, daring me to discipline her. Without fail, Luke arrives home from work to a mess, Avery running wild, and a worn-out me with a baby attached to a body part. I'm not complaining, but wanting to be honest so I can look back and remember the craziness of this time. And, sometimes, all I can do is laugh through the tears.

Raising these two girls is proving to be quite the sanctifying act, but through all of this, I am thankful for these blessings that God has given our family.

A Month of You

It has been quite the adjustment: two children, two daughters, not enough hands, crying children at the same time, sweet cuddles and sharing and kisses. Two in diapers. Same schedules for a day, then completely opposite schedules. Not enough sleep but also not as hard as I remembered.

You, sweet Eleanor, have increased the joy in our home. You bless us with the biggest smiles. You are starting to coo, when you're well-fed and relaxed. You love to be held, and we love to accommodate that request. Bath time is a favorite of yours; you become so calm when you're sitting in that warm water. You are a champion eater - at just a month old, you are more than 2 pounds above birth weight, giving you squishy cheeks and little rolls on your thighs. 

Avery is quite the devoted big sister. She loves to share her lovey with you, she watches out for you and lets us know when you're crying and "need something to drink". She rocks you in your carseat if you're upset. She is always asking if you're having fun or if you like something that she shows you. The second you wake up, she rushes over to say hi.

You are tiny and precious and these days are going by too fast. Don't grow up too quickly.

Eleanor at 1 month: 9 lbs 10 oz, 21.5"

Newborn Photos

Eleanor's newborn photo shoot was fun - it took a little bit of coaxing to get her to sleep, plus a lot of nursing in between shots, but she was otherwise easy to work with and managed to avoid pooping all over the place like Avery did at her newborn shoot.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Oh, Baby

My friend Erin is wonderful - amazing mom, friend, and photographer. I'm blessed to have her in my life simply for who she is, but also for the sweet gift of capturing our family's memories time and again.

It's hard to believe that it's been 6 weeks since these photos were taken! I'm also the slowest at uploading pictures these days, but finally, some favorites from my maternity session. We didn't do this when I was pregnant with Avery, and I had always wished for some beautiful shots of me with a belly. Pregnancy is beautiful in and of itself, but it's nice to have these to look back on.

Sunday, October 02, 2011


Two point five years of fun and unspeakable joy because of this girl.

She has changed our life for the better, and I'm so thankful for the privilege of being her mama.
bouncing on the large bouncy ball

Some highlights:
  • She carries on a non-stop dialogue. Much of it makes me laugh.
  • We're working on teaching her to not whine. Some days it feels like a losing battle.
  • She loves her baby sister so much. She shares her most prized possession, her lovey, with Eleanor, and then tells us how nice it is to share. 
  • She gives Eleanor kisses all day long, but she refuses to hold her. 
  • She role plays and has a very active imagination. Much of the scenes stem from Caillou or Dora and take off from there. 
  • Her latest role playing is pretending to come to dinner. She puts on a purse, and sometimes my shoes, and tells us she'll be to dinner soon. 
  • She is crazy about her daddy - he is always willing to go outside and throw the bouncy ball around with her, which is her favorite outside activity. He also plays the best games.
  • She has been wandering the apartment at random hours of the night, usually around 5 or 6 am. We put her back to bed and remind her she has to stay in there until her clock turns green. Not sure why she's okay with that, but can't just seem to follow that rule before then. It's frustrating, but I'm usually up anyways nursing Eleanor. 
  • Apparently I'm the feared parent, because this morning she came into our room asking for Daddy, but when she saw me stir, she bolted. 
  • She has the best laugh I've ever heard. 
  • She loves to be tickled and will ask for more tickles.
  • Avery goes down for a nap everyday without fuss, but sometimes I hear her playing in her room after I've tucked her in. I don't mind this, as long as she stays in there, and she usually puts herself back to bed and falls asleep. The other day I heard her playing with the play kitchen, and then 5 minutes later she called for me to pick up her lovey. When I opened the door, she was completely tucked back under the covers, looking just like I had left her. She must have been so proud, thinking she had fooled me. 
  • She is the worst eater. I dread meal times. 
  • She loves to dance but asks us not to dance (or sing) when she is. I don't blame her - we're awful.
  • She's fun and quirky and is such a delight.

Eleanor, Week 3

Week 3 began our alone time as a family - I had Luke around Friday through Sunday, and then bright and early Monday morning I was up bright and early functioning on my own. It ended up being a really really long week, especially when Eleanor decided to have her awake time during Avery's naptime, which meant not much of a nap for me. I'm learning to master the art of power napping. Thankfully, Luke walked in the door at 3:45 on Friday afternoon, asked what he could do to help, and I handed over Eleanor and took a long nap. Thankful for a sweet hubby!!

The girls and I did get out twice this week, once to the free breakfast at Chick-fil-a, and once to Sprouts for groceries. It's actually easier than I thought it would be - Eleanor goes in the sling first, then I get Avery out and settled in the cart, and off we go! Then Avery is the first back into the car for fear of her bolting or a stray car coming too close.

First tub bath - it took awhile to get to this milestone because of a stubborn little stump of umbilical cord that wouldn't fall off. I'm so glad it's gone now, because sponge baths are just annoying! She's happier sitting in a little puddle of warm water too. Avery sat up on the stool and watched and handed me things when she wasn't busy climbing up and down off the stool.

She is much more alert these days, which means she is also grumpier, unfortunately. She is realizing when someone isn't holding her and she starts to cry. Gone are the days of just crying for food!

This week she liked to cluster feed in the mornings, sleep mid-morning through lunchtime, and then have a couple hours of awake time before going back down mid-afternoon. She then slept much of the evening and started another cluster-feed session around 9 pm until around 11 pm. I put her down, went to sleep, and she'd be up an hour later (ugh!), before we settled into 3 hour stretches for the rest of the night.

The days were broken up by friends dropping meals off - we'd get to visit for a bit, and adult conversation is such a welcome relief!

Eleanor and I also had a girls' night with my sister Michelle and our friend Kelly, who was in town for a work convention. We sat and gabbed for a couple hours over pumpkin pancakes at Kerbey Lane. Eleanor slept til we finished our meal, and then woke up for a meal of her own. I forgot how easy this age can be!

I also got my first intentional smile from Eleanor, on Thursday! Kelly was holding her and talking to her, and E  gave her a couple small smiles, and when I sat down next to them and started talking, E looked over at me and gave the BIGGEST smile ever. Melt my heart!

We celebrated week 3 and started week 4 with a Sip 'n See in Eleanor's honor - almost everyone there had a nursing baby or a baby on the way. Thankful for sweet friends and family who celebrated with us!
MJ snuggling Eleanor
Crystal and a hidden Titus, Shana and Lyla, MJ with Eleanor

Michelle and sweet Sadie
Tomorrow is the start of another 5 days alone during the day, but I'm feeling better and able to get out more and I'm more confident in my ability to handle two, so it should be easier.
another visit from D-dad, who has been missing his girls terribly!