Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Letters to my Baby: Month Four

Hey Princess,
Another month has come and gone! We're almost 1/3 of the way through your first year of life. You continue to bring joy to our lives every day, and your dad and I laugh at how often we marvel at your cuteness. You're very obviously not a newborn anymore, and it's so fun to interact with you these days. You smile all the time, and have started sprinkling sweet squeals and baby laughs into the mix. We act like complete fools trying to get your to laugh even more!

At your four month appointment, the doctor was quite impressed with your growth. You're more than 26 inches long, which puts you in the 99th percentile. You're continuing to be one long little baby! You're staying right on track with your weight gain, and weighed 14.5 pounds. And your sweet little noggin is still huge! You're getting better at lifting it, though, which makes us really excited. You're continuing to improve on tummy time, too. You'd lay there all day with your head down, but you're acting more happy when we prop you up, too. Before we know it you'll be holding your head up like a champ! The doctor did say that it's harder with such a big head, so we know you're working hard to get there!

You're still only eating breast milk, and you do a great job switching between breast and bottle. It's so exciting that we've made it through four months of exclusively breastfeeding! After some research and talking with the doctor, we've decided we'll wait until you're six months old to start giving you 'real' food. Mom went to a baby food class last week, and got tons of ideas and advice. We know it's best to wait a couple more months, but are also really excited for that time to come. Your parents love eating good food, and can't wait to share foods with you!

You are such a joy little lady. We love every day with you, and celebrate the love you've brought to our family. We couldn't be luckier!

Mom and Dad

Classic "fluffy butt" thanks to the cloth diapers!

Picnic at the Park!

Morning Playtime

Elise almost always sleeps in her crib...
but this little snooze on the couch was pretty damn cute!

Go 'Murca!

More playtime at the park

Current feelings about tummy time.
At least we're making progress!

We're working on transitioning out of the swaddle.
Elise loves to sleep in, and this was a particularly lazy morning.
I think it was about 9:00 am when I took this picture!

Joe's parents came in to hang out one weekend, and we
went down to the Square Roots festival. It's a great
Lincoln Square festival each summer!

Bedtime snuggles with Daddy.

We successfully drove to St Louis, just the two of us!
I'll share more of that in another post, but I was so
proud of both of us for surviving the drive.

Dinner out at Fork

We've taken the 'El a few times now, and it tends to lull
Elise into a sleepy state.

Babies first Green City Market visit.
She's thrilled, obviously ;)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

4th of July weekend!

Now that I'm working one day each weekend, a three day weekend is an extra special treat! We started the holiday weekend with a picnic on Thursday night, and by the time I went to work on Sunday I felt like we'd still had a full weekend of family time. It was lovely! We met up with three other families for a little picnic in Wells Park, and it was fun to introduce all of the husbands. I found this group of ladies through, and we've gotten together occasionally since our babies were just a few weeks old. It's nice to have other new parent friends that live right in the neighborhood!

There were actually four families at our little picnic, but I forgot about my
camera until two couples had already left. Oops!
Joe and Brian look like naturals with their little ones, huh?

Elise and Noah were beyond cute together!

We spent the afternoon on the 4th of July at our friends' Adam and Kristen's place. They had a great backyard, and we enjoyed relaxing in the beautiful wether and getting to know some of their friends. Adam and Kristen are expecting a baby in November, so they'll be joining us on this crazy parenting journey soon enough!

Little kids in swimsuits are irresistible, right?!

Though this is how she really felt!

She did actually get in the pool... for about 2 seconds.
Turns out it was still pretty chilly!

Not the best picture, but I had to commemorate our accidental red, white, and blue outfits!

These two are my favorites!
Overall, a great holiday weekend! We spent too long on Saturday looking at cars that we didn't actually want to buy, but it was still nice to have so much time to just hang out without mom or dad working :) Now we'll starting counting down to our first real vacation... we're headed to California next month!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Letters to my Baby: Month Three

Sweet Baby Girl,

It's already happening. Time is melting together, and the days are passing too quickly! You turned three months old almost two weeks ago, and I'm just now sitting down to document the last month. You're keeping us busy these days! Mom has gone back to work, and even at just two days a week, it's made life a bit busier. We want to savor every moment we have together with you, which means things like blogging take a back burner. But we're still taking lots of pictures, and making lots of memories.

This month your Grandma Haggerty came up to visit, and watched you while mom was working and dad was out of town. You gave her a run for her money, but you both survived. There were lots of snuggles, tons of singing, and enough sweet smiles to keep you both going through the day. Speaking of smiles, you really mastered smiling in your third month of life! Before they were kind of random and sporadic. Now your smiles are intentional, and they melt your parents hearts!

You grew a lot in the last month. At your three month checkup, you were measured at 26 inches long. That means you grew two inches in the last month, and you're in the 100th percentile for length. You are one tall baby girl! You're a good eater, too. You've gotten used to both bottles and breastfeeding, and you're right around the 50th percentile for weight. The official three month measurement is 13 pounds and 4 ounces. Pretty much perfect.

We're helping you practice lifting your head. It's a pretty big one (97th percentile!), so you're taking your time with that milestone. We practice tummy time every day, and can see you getting stronger with practice. You're starting to hold some toys, too, and your favorite is a cheap-o free rattle that we got at a Neighborhood Parents Network event. We've been trying out various mom and baby groups during the weekdays, to find new friends to hang out with. On the weekends we try to squeeze in time with all our long-time friends, too. There have been lots of cookouts and picnics on the weekends! We're savoring this summer weather, and all of your snuggly moments. You're growing up so fast! This third month is when we started seeing you as a real little person, instead of just a newborn baby. It is a sneak preview of what's to come... we sure to love you, and watching you grow is such a treat!

Elise is starting to love being worn by mom. The K'Tan is so cozy!

Morning snuggles are the best!

Happy first Father's Day!

Baby's first El ride!
We met Joe on Southport for dinner.

Elise was extra sweet to mom on her birthday :)

Grandma was in town for mom's birthday, too!

31 ain't so bad, right?!

We really couldn't love you more!

Friday, June 13, 2014

A beautiful wedding... and thoughts on finding balance

A couple weeks ago we dragged our tired new parent butts up to Madison, Wisconsin, for a wedding. It wasn't just any wedding, though. We were going to celebrate a couple that we've become good friends with, who have been dating since before Joe and I knew each other! (Joe and I met almost 13 years ago.) Jess and Natan are a great couple, and we were so excited to join in the celebration of their marriage!

The wedding was held outside of Madison, and it was beautiful! Such a lush setting, in the midst of so much green and lovely rolling hills. The bride was radiant, the groom dapper, and spirits were high. The food was delicious, too! So many of our good friends were in attendance, ready to toast the newly married couple. Overall, it was the type of wedding that is incredibly enjoyable.

This was the first Jewish wedding I've been to.
It was beautiful, and especially touching since the Rabbi
was also a good friend of the bride and groom!

The flowers were lovely... but the bride was more beautiful than they were.
Too bad I sucked at taking pictures this night!

Elise got her own personalized glass, and
Joe decided to use it to drink his beer :)
As you might notice in the last picture, Elise looks totally spaced out. It was hot and reeeealy humid at the reception, and pretty buggy too. She didn't do well with the heat, and was acting really lethargic. Quite stressful for the new parents! And that's where "finding balance" comes into play. Before we had Elise, I always said that I'd just take the baby along with me, and that life wouldn't need to change that much. Ah, the things naive first time parents say! It turns out things like naps, loud environments, and extreme temperatures affect little babies more than I was initially expecting. Duh! This wedding was a good reality check for us. While we wouldn't have missed it, it was not the same experience as it would have been a year ago. Or even a year from now. We spent a decent chunk of the reception in a random air conditioned cabin, nursing, changing, and cooling down the baby. I couldn't drink much, and we ended up probably being the first to leave. You better bet we stopped for some booze on the way home... mommy needed a glass of wine once baby went to sleep!

This is where Joe and I work to find that balance. We do NOT want to be the type of parents who give up on socializing. We want to get out of the house with the baby, but we have to find reasonable ways to do that. Obviously, with a situation like a wedding, we just have to make the most of it. I'm still so glad we went, but I'm a little sad we didn't get to enjoy the day more. But for more day to day outings and events, we'll just keep figuring out how it works for us. We ended up skipping a street festival a few weekends ago because it was too loud and crowded, but we went down the street and has snacks and a drink at a restaurant we really like. That was good... rather than admit defeat and go home, we went to plan B, which worked for baby and parents. We've brought her to a couple cookouts and get togethers with friends, and just have to accept that we'll be the first to leave. But we're there! And I do think the concept of balancing will get a little easier in a few months, as Elise gets into a predictable routing and also grows a little less fragile. Not to mention numerous friends are currently pregnant, so they'll be relating to this scenario soon enough! Someone once told me, "your life doesn't END when you have kids, it just changes." How true that is! We love our new life, and this precious little baby. And as we work to find this balance, who's interested in getting together for more baby friendly gatherings? :)