Monday, July 29, 2013

3 Months

Our sweet Lucy girl is three months old! She is growing so fast that we can hardly keep up...

Lucy at 3 months:

- She is very talkative... She loves to make sounds, and I'm pretty sure she thinks we can understand her.
- She is extremely curious and interested in everything that is going on around her. 
- She sleeps in her crib like a big girl. 
- She is getting better at holding her head up. When we put her in the Bumbo seat, she can support her neck and look around the room. 
- She has discovered her hands, and she could spend hours just trying to figure them out. She hasn't discovered her feet yet, but I'm sure the day is coming. 

We are so in love with this little girl. She has such a goofy little personality, and I can already tell that she loves to make us laugh. I can't believe she is already three months old!!!

P.S. Sorry about the photo quality. I took these with my phone, and they are terribly out of focus... Still, they're too cute not to share :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cousin Kate Comes to Denver

Yesterday, we got to spend time with my cousin, Kate, in Denver. She had a long - 12 hour - layover on her way to Seattle, so we picked her up from the Denver airport and took her to explore the city (and tried to convince her to move here).

We ate lunch right on 16th Street, which provided the best people-watching. Then we decided to check out the Denver Aquarium...

{Lucy loved looking at all the fish... when she was actually awake.}

We had never been to the Denver Aquarium before. I think it's unfair to compare it to the Atlanta Aquarium, which is probably the nicest I've ever been too... but also pretty expensive. The Denver Aquarium is a lot more budget-friendly, but it is slightly less impressive. Still, I think it's a great aquarium for kids. The exhibits were organized by region, beginning with a neat desert exhibit where you can experience what it feels like to be caught in a flash flood. 

There was also a mermaid show - which I would have LOVED as a kid - about protecting our oceans from pollution, and a pretty decent shark exhibit. At the end, there is also a large touching pool, so that kids can feed the rays and touch starfish. 

{Lucy with her Auntie Kate}

{Worn out...}

After the aquarium, we went to a coffee shop and hung out until we had to drive Kate back to the airport. It was so good to see her and catch up! Kate, thank you for spending the day with us! We love you!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Sleeping Through the Night

This week, Lucy has been successfully sleeping through the night!

{Lucy's newborn portraits}

When Lucy was about 8 weeks old, her typical bedtime was around 10:30 p.m. She usually woke up around 4 a.m. for a little late night snack before going back to bed and sleeping until 8 a.m. Lately, we've been attempting to move her bedtime earlier and earlier. She'll be 12 weeks on Sunday, and we are getting to the point that we would all benefit from an earlier bedtime. (Mainly because M will be starting classes in the fall.) 

This past week, we focused on developing a bedtime routine: bath, pj's, book, bed. For the most part, she was still awake when we put her down. Usually, I ended up feeding her one last time before she would actually go to sleep, so we incorporated a bedtime feed into the routine as well. We have been shooting for an 8 p.m. bedtime, but we don't always make it. By the time we eat dinner, clean up, and do the whole bedtime routine, it ends up being more like 9 p.m. That's still better than 10:30, so we'll take it!

I was worried that, with an earlier bedtime, Lucy wouldn't be able to make it all night without a feeding. But for the past couple of nights, she has gone to bed around 9 p.m. and slept until 6 or 7 a.m. I usually go and get her out of crib, feed her, and then we cuddle in our bed until 8 a.m. 

If you define "sleeping through the night" as sleeping for 12+ consecutive hours, we're not quite there yet. Still, I'm so proud of our Lucy girl. She's moved out of our bedroom and sleeps in her crib. She lets us get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, which we certainly appreciate! 

By the way, it has not always been easy, and we are not super parents. We read two books that really helped us: Baby Wise and Healthy Sleep Habits. I never want to give the impression on this blog that we have it all together... If you've spent five minutes with us, you know better :)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Lucy Plays

Hello all. Hope you had a wonderful weekend. M has been out of town on a backpacking trip, so Lucy and I have been having some girl time.

Over the past few weeks, it has been so neat to watch Lucy interacting with the world around her. She has grown so much more active, and just recently, she started to become interested in her toys. We ordered a play gym for her, and she LOVES it.

I never thought I would have so much fun watching Lucy play. It is actually embarrassing how many pictures I took of Lucy enjoying her play gym. I thought a video might be more enjoyable for y'all, though. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Traveling with a Baby

I was feeling pretty nervous about our first big trip with Lucy. We would be flying from Denver to Atlanta, and then driving ten hours from Atlanta to Sanibel Island. And then, we would be doing it all over again the following weekend. Yikes.

But, as it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. Lucy was more content when we were traveling than she was when we were relaxing at the beach. How is this possible? Well, aside from many sleepless nights praying that all would go smoothly, I think I had a lot of very good advice...

 {Lucy sleeping like a baby on the plane}

Here are the tips I received that helped me most...

- I was most nervous about the flying part of the trip. Mostly because I didn't want Lucy's little ears to hurt, resulting in her screaming non-stop for three hours. My friends told me that - if a baby is awake - the best way to make sure their ears don't pop is to let them nurse during take-off and landing. Lucy actually slept through both take-off and landing on our flight there, but coming home, she was awake for both. I let her nurse, and sure enough, zero crying. In fact, she was smiling the whole time. I was so relieved.

- We tried our best to book our flights during times when Lucy would ordinarily be asleep. Our flight out was  early in the morning, around 6 a.m. so we had to leave our house around 3 a.m. We completely underestimated the time it would take to check our bag and navigate the airport, and so we actually almost missed our flight. We made it to our gate just in time, and I was amazed that Lucy slept through the whole ordeal, including security and a Home Alone esque sprint through the airport to catch our plane. She slept through take off, woke up once on the plane to eat, and went right back to sleep again. Just like she would if we had been at home. Our flight back to Colorado was in the early evening, around Lucy's ordinary bedtime. She ate as we were taking off, played with us for about an hour, and then fell asleep. She woke up to eat just as we were about to land, and then fell immediately back to sleep. 

- I know sometimes it's necessary to bring a car seat when traveling, but I found that it was so convenient not to have to lug a car seat around. We brought a light-weight stroller, which is also useful for carrying other things through the airport, as well as the trusty Ergo carrier. We used both, and getting through the airport was super easy. Having Lucy with us didn't slow us down at all. We also checked my suitcase, so that my hands would be free to push the stroller and carry Lucy through security.

- M's parents were nice enough to find a car seat and a pack'n'play for us to use, so we didn't have to bring those things with us. That made our lives so much easier! We also discovered that you can rent car seats from the car rental companies. You pay a little extra, but so worth it in my opinion!

- While driving, we obviously had to stop every so often, so that I could feed Lucy and change her. This turned out to be not such a big deal, and we took advantage of the breaks to fill the car up with gas or use the restroom. We ended up stopping as often as we would without a baby.

I'm sure it won't be so easy every time, but I feel much better knowing what to expect. We all survived Lucy's first trip and are no worse for the wear. Thanks for the advice, friends :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Vacation Photos

We're home from our vacation! As promised, I have pictures galore...

We started off our trip visiting my brother in Georgia. John lives in an old farmhouse out in the country, so it was the perfect place to unwind after our first flight with Lucy (more on that in another post). Saturday night, John took us out for tacos and margaritas, and then we got to meet his lovely lady and her precious family. Sunday, we attended our old church and got to see so many dear friends. I was sad our visit had to be so short, but it was wonderful to get to see everyone. I am so thankful that we were able to let everyone meet Lucy, too.

{Lucy loves her Uncle John}

Monday morning (around 4 a.m.), we left for Sanibel Island. It's a long drive, and we were hopeful that Lucy would sleep through most of it. The trip was much smoother than expected, especially considering that we had a car stuffed full of four people, a baby, and two dogs. And there was a monsoon. Obviously, we were all very relieved when we finally arrived... 

{our beloved Sanibel}

{playing on the beach}

The week was filled with so many big firsts for Lucy - first time on a plane, first time seeing the ocean (though I'm still not sure if she actually saw it), first time swimming in a pool. Of course, with all these new experiences came new concerns - Was she getting too much sun? Was she getting enough rest? It was a little overwhelming! It made me realize how different vacations are now that we have a baby. Not quite as relaxing as they used to be, but so much better in so many other ways.

{Lucy logging some pool time and M's incredible farmer's tan}

{my view, lounging by the pool}

On Tuesday night, M's parents watched Lucy for us, so that we could go out on a date. We went to a little place on the island called The Mad Hatter. The food was delicious! We shared a bottle of wine, and I had the most incredible crab cakes in existence. It was our first date since Lucy was born, and it was much-needed!

{The Mad Hatter}

On July 4, there was a big Independence Day parade, so of course we went dressed in our most patriotic attire. That night, we grilled hot dogs and burgers, and after sundown, we watched the fireworks. I know, how very all-American of us :)

{Lucy and I taking in the parade}

Halfway through the week, we were joined by M's brother, Taylor and our sister-in-law, Pammy. We were so thankful to get to spend some time with them...

{Lucy meeting her Uncle Taylor for the first time}

Our last night at the beach, we took some family photos. We had originally planned to take them on Friday, but we had to postpone them due to rain. Fortunately, on Sunday evening, there was the most beautiful sunset. I'm so excited to see how the pictures turn out.

{Lucy looks super thrilled to be taking family pictures.}

Overall, we had a wonderful vacation. I am so thankful for the time we were able to spend with our loved ones. Even though traveling with a newborn can be a little tricky, I feel like we did alright! Lucy was such a trooper. Maybe there's still time left in the summer for her first trip to Europe... ;)