Saturday, July 25, 2015

Alice Pearl

Little Alice Pearl made her grand entrance quite unexpectedly, two weeks early, on Thursday night.

She was born at 11:19 p.m. on July 23, weighing 6 lbs. and 20 inches long. Obviously, we are quite smitten with her already. We are so thankful that Alice is healthy and doing well! She is such a calm, content little baby. 

Now that we are home from the hospital, we look forward to getting settled in and establishing a new rhythm. Thank you all for your prayers! They were and continue to be felt by us in a very tangible way. Love to you all.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Room for Two

Since our house only has two bedrooms, and our plan is to remain in our current house for another year or so, Lucy and Baby Sister will be sharing a bedroom. I am not sure yet exactly how this will work. For the first couple of months, to make late-night feedings easier, we plan to have Baby sleep in our room. But eventually, Lucy's room will need to accommodate two little people instead of just one.

This is tricky for a couple of reasons. The room is pretty small; there isn't a ton of extra space. Also, I really want the room to be fun as well as functional. I actually want the girls to enjoy spending time in their room, playing and reading and creating. But, let's be honest, there are some things that have to happen in this room. Kids need to sleep, diapers need to be changed, etc. No way around that.

I had to get a little creative with the space, but I actually think it turned out well...

Lucy's side of the room... I still can't believe she sleeps in a big girl bed.

Still need to adjust the crib for Baby Sister...

Still on my to-do list...
- Sew a new cover for that pillow on the toy chest. I picked out that fabric ages ago, and I don't really feel like it fits the room at all. I want something really whimsical and playful.
- Adjust crib for Baby Sister.
- Add more storage. Not sure how I will accomplish this yet, as the room is already pretty tight. I may have to work some magic on the closet. 

*These things may or may not get accomplished before Baby Sister arrives. I am not going to set very high expectations for myself in the coming weeks. I am pretty proud of what has been accomplished already, mostly during my random nesting rampages. The rest of it will get done eventually, and even if it doesn't, that's OK. As long as my girls have a space to call their own, I'm happy.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Baby Shower

Today, my sweet friends threw me a little baby shower...

My mama and I...

It was so lovely to be able to celebrate this sweet little girl as we try to wait patiently for her arrival. I can't wait to meet her!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

37 Weeks

 Here I am at 37 weeks, looking super large...

At 37 weeks, Baby is about the size of a winter melon, weighing approximately 6.5 pounds and anywhere between 19-22 inches long. The countdown is 2 weeks and 5 days until my due date. What in the world. 

Today, I had 37 week checkup. My doctor went ahead and checked me to see if I've progressed at all. I'm currently 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. This is nothing crazy, as I was already 1 cm dilated and 75% effaced at 36 weeks with Lucy. Doesn't mean Baby is coming soon, or anything like that. The good news is that she is definitely head-down. And more good news - I tested negative for Group B Strep! This means that I will not have to worry about making it to the hospital in enough time to have antibiotics administered... I just have to worry about making it to the hospital in time to have a baby. 

I am feeling very thankful to know that Baby Sister is healthy and doing well in there. What an answer to prayers!

While we wait for Baby Sister to arrive, my mom is here visiting. We have been enjoying the beautiful summer weather and trying to take as many long walks as possible. On Sunday, some of my sweet friends are throwing a little shower for me and Baby A. As busy as things have been around here, I am so excited to finally celebrate this sweet little girl. I am also enjoying soaking up as much time with Lucy as possible. It is so hard to imagine that my baby is about to become a big sister. I know she and Baby A will have such a sweet, special bond, and I can't wait to see them together. I think my heart might explode.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Baby Gear (The First Three Months)

Now that we are just weeks away from welcoming Baby Sister, it's about time to take inventory and make sure that we have everything we need for her arrival. I get a lot of questions from friends about baby gear, which I am a little hesitant to answer because I just don't feel that babies need all that much stuff. That being said, there are a few things that are good to have. I decided to keep this list exclusive to the first three months of Baby's life, because in my opinion, everything after that can be purchased after Baby is born, when you have a better idea of what you need and don't need.


- Somewhere to Sleep: Baby needs a place to sleep, whether that's in a crib or a bassinet, or whether you plan on bed-sharing. We have the Arm's Reach Mini Co-Sleeper, and we love it. Make sure to get extra sheets. Babies spit up a lot.

- Extras: Swaddle blankets are nice to have, but not all babies enjoy being swaddled. Lucy did. We have Summer Infant SwaddleMe blankets, which I like because they are easy to use, even at 3 a.m. when you are the most tired you have ever been in your life. Keep in mind that loose blankets and bedding pose a risk of SIDS, so avoid the cutesy bumpers and quilts until Baby is much older.


- Bottles: Whether you use formula or breastfeed, it's probably a good idea to keep some bottles around, just in case. We have Philips Avent Natural Glass Bottles (4 oz). I like them. Lucy seemed to like them, too. We didn't give her a bottle super often, but every once in awhile, it was nice to get out of the house and let Daddy or a sitter handle the feedings.

- Breast pump: Make sure to check with your insurance company before purchasing a breast pump. Most insurance companies cover these. Usually, they will ship you a fancy, brand-new breast pump for free. So even if you don't end up using it that often, you'll have one around just in case.

- Nursing accessories: Nursing tanks, nursing bras, nursing pads, etc. Here's a great tutorial for reusable nursing pads that you can make yourself. Also, it's probably a good idea to stock up on nursing ointment. I used this stuff last time, and I will probably use it again.

- Extras: Some mamas like to use a nursing pillow while feeding their little ones. While I wouldn't necessarily consider this "essential", it was certainly "convenient" to have. Also, Aden + Anais swaddle blankets make great nursing covers and burp cloths in a pinch. Do not waste money on fancy / cute burp cloths. Old wash cloths or cloth diapers work just fine!


- Diapers: Whether you use cloth diapers or disposable, most people would agree diapers are pretty necessary. Feel free to disagree.

- Wipes: I am planning to try out these wipes this time around. Of course, many people just use cloth wipes and water, which work fine too.

- Diaper ointment: Lucy has such sensitive skin that we often had to use prescription diaper rash ointment. For more minor rashes, we used Burt's Bees. They have a great multi-purpose ointment that is also good for healing little fingernail scratches.

- Extras: Trash cans or diaper pails just for diapers are convenient to have. Ikea makes these great bins with lids that are perfect for holding used diapers. And if you're using cloth diapers, it's probably a good idea to get a good wet bag and washable diaper pail liner.


- Onesies: Babies outgrow clothing very quickly, so it seems a little silly to spend a lot of money on baby clothes, especially for newborns. White, Gerber onesies are super cheap, and they are also gender-neutral. On the downside, they are white. Baby poop is not. We have a couple dozen of these, in long-sleeve and short-sleeve. 

- Pajamas / Sleeper gowns: I used to think sleeper gowns looked super dorky, and I vowed to never put my babies in them. After Lucy was a few days old, however, I began to understand their appeal. No snaps in the middle of the night is pretty fantastic. I would buy 6-8 of these, depending on how often you want to do laundry. 

- Extras: Depending on the season when your baby is born, you may need some additional clothing items, like hats, booties, etc. Both my babies have been due during warmer months (except for the random snow storm we got when Lucy was two days old), so I never really bothered to get any of those things. 


- Bath tub: We have the Puj, and we love it. 

- Shampoo / Soap: We use Burts Bees Baby Bee Fragrance Free. I actually use it too. It makes my skin super soft and doesn't dry it out.

- Sponges / Wash cloths: These sponges are so gentle, perfect for baby skin.

- Thermometer: This may be TMI, but rectal thermometers also come in handy when Baby is a little backed up. 

Extras: You might want to purchase a baby grooming kit. These usually come with things like a brush and comb, nail clippers, an aspirator, etc. I don't think these items are super necessary. I always bit Lucy's nails; baby nails are so paper-thin, and I was afraid to use the nail clippers on her. And we never used an aspirator. Not even once. I'm not even 100% sure what they're for. 


- Car seat: Do you own a car? Do you drive it periodically? If so, you probably need a car seat for your baby. It is also a good idea to attend a car seat fitting at your local fire station or hospital (most offer them for free), since the majority of car seats are installed incorrectly.

- Carrier: It is probably a good idea to get a carrier of some sort, some place to put Baby so you don't have to carry him or her around all the time. You can get a stroller, a wrap, a sling, or all of the above, depending on your preferences. When Lucy was 0-3 months, I used the Moby wrap. It's not for everyone, but I personally preferred it over the other wraps I tried. We also have the Ergo carrier, which we used when Lucy was a bit older. They make an infant insert for it, but I don't know how comfortable / convenient it is, as I've never tried it. A lot of moms prefer "travel systems" for their infants, i.e. an infant car seat and stroller duo. That was never my thing, but I know a lot of people who swear by it if you're looking for an alternative to baby-wearing.

- Extras: It's nice to have some sort of "diaper bag", but you certainly do not need to buy an actual diaper bag. Backpacks work great, especially for dads who don't want to carry a giant Petunia Picklebottom-type situation all over town. If the very idea of a diaper bag offends you, you can throw one of these in your purse or in your car and skip the whole diaper bag thing altogether. 


- Humidifier: We live in a very dry climate, but even if you don't, a good humidifier will help to keep Baby's nasal passages clear. 

- Swing or Bouncer: Some moms consider these essential. I didn't. Lucy was my first baby, and I had nothing but time to hold her and stare at her 24/7. But, since I am about to have an infant and a toddler, I'm thinking that a swing might be pretty nice to have. We got this one. It looks a little bit like its from the future, but I have a feeling it will soon become one of my favorite things ever. 

And... that's it!

This list might seem a little scant. I'm sure it's missing some things that some people deem "essential", like pacifiers or Sophie the Giraffe. I'm not trying to say that these things are the only things you will need, and you need to run out and buy these items and only these items. Mostly, I'm making this list for my own reference, and for others to reference as they start to feel intimidated walking the aisles of Buy Buy Baby. It doesn't have to be as stressful as we often make it. Your baby will love you, even if you forget to buy her a WubbaNub.  

Potty Training Update

Since my last post on Potty Training, Miss Lucy has come a long way! She has used the potty away from home TWICE, once at a friend's house and once at my doctor's office, where she went both pee pee and poo poo! I never thought I would be one of those people who speak publicly about my child's bodily functions, but I am so proud of her!

{Lucy modeling her "big girl panties"...}

Of course, we still have little accidents here and there. But it's starting to feel like she's getting the hang of it! Hooray!

36 Weeks

I feel like I always say this, but seriously, where is the time going? Just 3 weeks and 4 days to go.

{Just woke up, so please excuse my bed head.}

At 36 weeks, Baby Sister is about the size of a large cantaloupe. She weighs about six pounds, and is anywhere between 19 and 22 inches long. These days, it's a major production for me to get out of bed, which I have to do several times during the night to go to the bathroom. It feels like this baby is sitting right on my bladder. 

At my doctor's appointment yesterday, I had my Group B strep test. I tested positive for GBS when I was pregnant with Lucy, and I had to receive antibiotics through an IV while I was in labor with her. This was not fun. I'm hoping I test negative for GBS this time around. 

I will also begin weekly doctor's appointments from here on out until I deliver. I am scheduled through the day after my due date, and I'm hoping I don't end up making it to that last one. Lucy was four days late, which isn't bad in the grand scheme of things, but I'm ready to meet this little girl and start adjusting to life as a family of four. 

My mom is coming to visit next week, and she'll be staying until after Baby arrives. I am so excited to have her here. Her presence will be a welcome distraction from the fact that I'm heavily pregnant, and it's hot, etc. Lucy is so excited to see her Lynnie! It gives me such peace of mind, knowing that Lucy will have someone to stay with her when we go to the hospital, and not just anyone, but one of her favorite people in the whole world! I doubt she'll even notice that we're gone.