Sunday, December 16, 2012

Our House Post-Baby

Shortly after I got pregnant, I posted about how our house was changing already.

Needless to say, the changes have continued. In the interest of keeping it real, I wanted to document the various areas of the house that have been taken over by baby.

*Disclaimer, these pics were taken a few weeks ago, so some things are different already. And making room for Christmas decorations has forced use to move things around even more.

Let's start with "command central":


Because Ava's nursery is upstairs and we knew she'd be sleeping with us downstairs in our bedroom for the first few months, we set up the pack and play to avoid traipsing up and down stairs with a baby in tow 27 times a day. She never slept here very much, we mainly use it for the changing table. We also set up her hamper and diaper pail here. So basically, we didn't use her nursery at all for the first couple of months. Her Mamaroo (swing-type device) also lives here as well.

This is what my nursing station looks like:


Water for keeping hydrated (always!), bulb syringe for boogies, Boppy, burp cloth, phone for entertainment while trapped under a nursing baby, and pump.

Bassinet and Sleep Sheep set up in the bedroom:


And bouncer/rocker in the bathroom (I wouldn't be able to take a shower without it):


Our dining room table always looks something like this (minus the fall centerpiece):


Laptop, paperwork, bills, mail, magazines I'll never have time to read, Ava's baby book.

Also in the dining room -- parking area for strollers and car seat:


Moving on to the kitchen -- dish washing/drying area:


Milk storage in the freezer:


And you can always find multiple bottles of milk in the refrigerator.

Finally, Ava's nursery.


Sure, it's still beautiful, but now it normally looks like this: curtains drawn, playmat and blanket down on the floor for play time, and thankfully, a cute baby!

The bassinet and pack and play will be put away soon, but we'll be adding a high chair, exersaucer, toys galore, and who knows what else. My clutter-hating, OCD self is handling things well so far, but I'm relatively certain this is only the beginning!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ava: 3 Months


This kid. Really? I simply cannot get enough of her.

There's no scheduled checkup for 3 months, so we had to take her weight ourselves. We used to put her in a huge metal bowl and weigh her on our digital kitchen scale (yes, it is as hilarious looking as it sounds), but last night when we put her on there we got an error message. She's officially too big! So we did the hop-on-the-scale-with-and-without-the-baby trick. So she's approximately 14.6 lbs.

Clothing: still in Carter's 6 month and mostly 3-6 months in other brands. She's been in Size 2 diapers for a while now.

Eating: still exclusively breastfed, although she gets about half of that via bottle now at daycare during the week. I send 4 4-oz bottles and she usually only drinks 3 of them (and then I send the leftover bottle again the next day). I feed her once in the morning, twice before bed and usually only once during the night, for about 7 feedings total.

Sleep - Nighttime: daycare has made such a big difference in bedtime. She was going down around 9 and then waking several times before she was finally out around 10 or 10:30. Now, she's getting sleepy and fussy by 6 or 6:30, we do bath and nurse and she's down by 7 or 7:30, usually for good. She usually wakes up once around 3 or 4 (although occasionally she'll wake up at 1:00 and then again at 4:00) and then we're up for the day at 7:00. Still in the bassinet in our room, although now that she's at the 3 month mark I think I'm officially ready to try transitioning her to her crib!

Sleep - Naps: still catnapping. Mostly 30 or 45 minutes. At home, she naps in her crib, although daycare is still trying to work on getting her to nap in her crib there. She'll fall asleep in the swing, and as soon as they move her to the crib she wakes up. Although she did take two longer crib naps at daycare yesterday so maybe there's hope!

Activity: at daycare, I think she spends her awake time rotating between the swing, bouncy seats, play mat and tummy time. At home, she's usually either on her play mat, laying on a blanket on the floor, or she's sitting up in our laps looking around. She absolutely despises tummy time, and it's causing me lots of stress. She'll hold her head up for about 5 seconds and then bury her face in the blanket (because she knows I will immediately pick her up to rescue her from suffocating). I'm starting to worry she'll never roll over or crawl. Although, our pediatrician warned me at her 3-month appointment that because she's so "healthy" (aka chunky) it will likely take her a bit longer to roll over, sit up, crawl, etc. and not to worry (me, not worry? yeah right). I've started to try out some different tummy time tactics though, like walking around while holding her "airplane style" on her tummy, putting her on the exercise ball on her tummy, or propping her up with the boppy or a towel under her chest. It seems to be helping some, so we'll keep working at it. And now that she's 3 months (and has always had good neck control) I'm eager to try her out in the Bumbo seat and then jumperoo or exersaucer (which she's getting for Christmas).

Milestones: no major milestones this month, but every day I seem to notice some small new thing that she's started doing. Like trying to pull her head forward when she's reclined, grabbing the washcloth and putting it in her mouth while she's taking a bath, folding her hands together, rubbing her eyes when she's tired, grasping a toy in her hand, and wanting to "stand up" when you're holding her.

Happy 3 months baby girl! We can't wait to celebrate your first Christmas :)


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Working Mom


My maternity leave officially ended last Thursday and back to the working world I went.

All in all, I have to say the first few days have gone pretty well.

I took Ava to daycare for a few hours on Tuesday and Wednesday before we had to do the real thing on Thursday. I definitely recommend this strategy. I had plenty of time to chat up her teachers, deposit all of her supplies and paperwork and get her settled in. Plus, I wanted to be sure she was going to take a bottle from her teachers before I was a 40-minute commute away (she did, thank goodness).

Because I was sort of looking forward to my "free time" while she was in daycare on our practice days, I didn't get too too emotional when I dropped her off (although there were a few tears). The first afternoon I got things done around the house and the second afternoon I went to Target and to see the new Twilight (every mother's dream right?!). When I dropped her off on Thursday I was much more emotional, but was able to keep it together. Had we not had two practice days, I would have been a basket case.

It was nice to get back to work and see everyone. My team welcomed me back with signs on my desk and cupcakes at our afternoon departmental meeting. They're the best.

I'm trying to find our groove as far as getting out the door in the morning (Lee leaves at 7, so I'm on my own to get us both ready and do daycare drop off), pumping at work during the day, and preparing bottles and getting everything ready for the following day. In case you didn't know, working mom with kid in daycare = bag lady.


These are all of the bags that I have to get out the door with every day: lunch, cooler bag for pumped milk, pump, cooler bag for daycare, laptop, purse.

Ava seems to be doing well in daycare. She's definitely worn out by the end of the day, so her bedtime quickly adjusted from around 9:30 to around 7:30. This is great because it gives me time in the evening to fix her bottles and get everything ready for the next day. It's not so great because by the time I get home from work I only have about 2 hours with her before she goes to bed and usually she's really tired most of that time.

But that's what weekends and holidays are for right? We had a really great weekend at home with her, and on Friday night Lee (unbeknownst to me) snapped this picture of us:


And I know that I have so much to be thankful for. And that everything is going to be ok.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Birth Announcement


I thought you might like to see Ava's birth announcement.

I took the photo myself after we didn't get the sleepy-newborn shot I was going for during her newborn photo shoot (more from both sessions here).

I ordered the announcements from Etsy seller Palm Papers. I liked that she offered printing instead of just a digital proof that you have to have printed yourself like most Etsy sellers these days. The digital route is definitely less expensive, but as a mom with a newborn I definitely did not have the time or energy to arrange printing on my own.

Plus, the quality of the cards was so much better than what I could have gotten at Kinko's or Staples. The cards are nice and thick, with a slight texture, and they also have the pink gingham printed on the back as well which is a little detail that I really love.

Funny story: when my grandma got the announcement in the mail, she didn't think it was Ava. She's so much chunkier now, I can actually kind of see why. (Although it would be weird to put a picture of someone else's baby on my birth announcement, right?)

These went out in October, and I'm now working on our Christmas cards, so I'll share that with you once they've been delivered. You're going to be amazed at how much she's changed in the (less than) 10 weeks between when the two photos were taken!
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