Monday, June 30, 2014


6/27 Helena's last night sleeping next to Mommy

She's at the top of the bassinet now, but by morning she has moved to the bottom!

6/28 First night in her crib
Helena moved out Saturday night.  From her parents bedroom, to her own bedroom.  Her mom may or may not have cried.

I knew it was coming.  Her bassinet was getting too small, or she was getting too big, or a combination of the two I suppose.  Over the past couple of weeks I noticed that Helena's room in the bassinet was getting nominal.  Then last week she started kicked the ends of it.  My original thought was to have her next to me in the bassinet for 6 - 8 weeks.  She made it to exactly 7 weeks.  Saturday night was her first night in her crib, and she did great!  She slept all night both Saturday night and last night, and I like to think she likes her room.
It's amazing to see them grow and change from day to day!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

so much love

Cooper enjoying the sun!

Bailey meeting a new friend and playing in the water.

Cooper all laughs!

Love this!
I love seeing all the love that Helena receives.  It reminds me that at one point in time I was a baby, and had so much love that I didn't even know.  It has given me a greater understanding of the love that I have from my parents and all the family around me.  It is such an amazing feeling to grow more and more in love with her each and every single day.

Last weekend we had some more visitors from Nebraska.  Chris' friends Mike and Angela, and their two kiddos Bailey and Cooper.  Bailey will be 4 next week, and Cooper is 2 and half.  These kids are great!, and I'm so happy that Mike and Angela traveled out to meet Helena.  Also along for the ride was Mary, my Mother-in-law.  I love seeing her with Helena.  Pure joy.
We took the kiddos to a water fountain play area near the house, and the kids had a great time, and it was so nice for Helena and I to get out of the house.  More and more we are growing old of staying at home, so even if it is just for a short outing I like to get us out of the house when I can.  We're getting the hang of breastfeeding in public, so I'm growing more confident with taking her out for longer periods of time.
I'm really enjoying all of the visitors we've had.  It's really sad that we don't have any family here, but I'm super thankful that majority of our family is so close and can easily travel to Denver.  We've stretched out the visitors enough so that it isn't overwhelming and not back to back.  As much as I love my days with Helena, having some adult interaction is always welcome!    

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sleeping Beauty

I've been meaning to document this because I just want to remember.  A couple of weeks ago when my mom and aunt Michelle came to town Helena slept through the night for the first not even 5 weeks old!  I was blown away, then she slept through the night again and again!
She usually falls asleep between 9 and 10, and wakes up around 7am!  I'm still getting up in the middle of the night to pump, but it has been so nice!  Plus it has saved us a little bit of formula since it is formula that she gets for her middle of the night feedings.
However, I think this trend is coming to an end, as the past two nights she has awoken at 4:30am to feed.  Which is I want I want to remember that one time when baby let mommy sleep!

I absolutely love it when she falls asleep on me.  It is such an amazing feeling, having her in my arms, and just memorizing all the tiny details of her perfect little face.  I can't believe she is mine.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Tummy time

Helena really enjoys her tummy time!  She's getting SO strong.  She can hold up her neck, and kicks her legs like crazy.  Seriously, where does the time go?!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Maternal Instincts

Courtesy of Dewdrops Photography

A pleasant surprise to this new motherhood role is how natural my maternal instincts are.  As a first time Mom I think it's normal to worry about every little thing, but some things I felt like I just knew.  That once Helena exited my body all of these motherhood genes magically aligned for me and this new responsibility that I have.  It was like a whole other miracle taking place.  It's so amazing how God creates this little being, then gives us the knowledge of how to care for His creation.  He truly is trusting us to take care of His child.
Like how warm to make her bath, or the temperature of her milk.  The trimming of her finger nails, figuring out her wants and needs when she is crying.  The tightness of her swaddle.  How hard to pat her back when burping her.  Knowing that it's ok to set her down so that I could get a bite to eat.  Keeping her temperature just right.  Feeling her fall asleep on me and knowing that right now it's impossible to spoil her.  Wondering if she is getting enough sleep or too much sleep.  Feeling confident that I have a healthy and happy baby girl.
There is so much information out there and it's overwhelming and in my opinion impossible to keep up with.  I haven't read any "survival guide" for caring for a newborn, or kept track of how often she is eating or how many poppy diapers she has compared to her wet ones.  I just know that I'm doing what's best for my baby.  Every baby is different, unless there is a guide that's written just for your child, you just have to try your best.  So it feels great to not question everything.  
I feel like this has been a long time coming, but throughout my pregnancy I questioned everything when I thought about bringing a baby home.  I remember when I was younger and would babysit and the Mom would tell me that I would know if the milk was too warm or too cold.  And I thought to myself "But how do you know?!"  Now I get it.  Now I just know.  Helena is trusting me to take care of her.  It's incredibility empowering to know that all of this knowledge comes with having a baby, that your maternal instincts just take over. 
I know I'll make mistakes along the way, but right now my gut tells me that I'm doing a pretty good job.  These maternal instincts are new to me, but I have a feeling I'll be relying on them for the rest of my life!  And as of right now, they've served me well.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Father's Day 2014

Helena has had another eventful week.  On Wednesday my Mom and Aunt Michelle drove up to spend some time with Helena, and to give Chris and I a post-baby date night.  It was a great visit, Helena got to spend some more time with Grandma, meet her Great Aunt Michelle, and give mom and dad the opportunity to reconnect as husband and wife.
She's a beauty
 On Friday we traveled out to the Butterfly Pavilion.  I used my Moby Wrap for the first time, and we did great!  Helena slept the whole time.
Baby-wearing at the Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly on the diaper bag

My mom enjoying her grandma role!  She looks fantastic as a grandma!
 Saturday night we had a date with some sushi and wine at The Happy Sumo!  My mom drove us and picked us up so we could relax and enjoy the evening!  We had some drinks, great sushi, and some alone adult time.  We were there for three hours, and just enjoyed ourselves.  We talked about how our lives have changed, and how we've changed since Helena has rocked our world.  It was a great time!
Yummy sushi!, sushi was missed over the past 10+ months.

Great Aunt Michelle

At home from date night
 On Sunday we had a low key time celebrating Chris' first Father's Day.  My mom and Aunt Michelle left in the morning, and the rest of the day we just hung out as a family of three.
Seeing Chris with his little girl is such a blessing.  I love seeing him as a father and comforting his daughter. 
A good dad

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

One Month

Baby Helena turned One Month yesterday!  Can you believe it?!  I know I can't.  Life is such a miracle, it's still hard for me to imagine the she came from inside of me!

One Month stats:
Height: 22.5 inches (98%)
Weight: 9 pounds 10 ounces (75%)
Head: 14.5 (62%)

Little girl is growing!  The first month is a crazy and fun blurry mess, but we've had a blast getting to know her, and her getting to know us.

Breastfeeding is still a struggle.  I'm nursing with the nipple shield during the day, and bottle feeding at night.  I'm still pumping at night, and periodically throughout the day depending on when I nurse.  The hospital grade pump that we rented for a month is due to go back tomorrow, I wonder if I should keep it for another month?

She's been in size 1 diapers for about a week now, and still wears her newborn clothes comfortably, although her NB swaddles are too small for her.  I've been dressing her in her 3-6month clothing just because we have more options in that size, but those clothes are really still too big for her.

She's definitely more aware of what's going on around her, and fights sleep during the day.  She truly doesn't want to miss a single thing.

We've started tummytime, and she's so strong!  Her pediatrician was so impressed today at her appointment with how long she could old up her neck!

She's super long, and is almost too long for her bassinet.  My hope is to keep it in use until she's at least 6 weeks, but I would prefer 8 weeks.

She loves her swing.  And Dave Matthews!  When she is super fussy we'll put on Pandora Radio, and Dave calms her right down.

She won't take a pacifier, and for this I'm somewhat grateful.

She loves the water, and really enjoys bath time.  I hope she'll be a water baby!

I feel so blessed that she chose me as her Mom!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Mental Exhaustion

she's cute but she's exhausting
One of the things that I was ill-prepared for in this whole first time parenting role is the mental exhaustion.  Everyone talks about how tired you'll be, and I guess I just assumed they were talking about the physical exhaustion.  I get being tired with a baby up every few hours or so and not getting my 8 hours of consistent sleep, but it's the mental exhaustion that has me in tears. 
Helena's "schedule" for the past few days has been tiring.  She's up in the afternoon, from about 2:30pm to 9:30pm.  She'll take small cat naps for about 20 minutes (if I'm lucky, they are usually about 5-10 minutes) during that stretch of time.  Our pattern is for her to get a clean diaper, eat, be a happy content baby for about 10-15 minutes, then she is just fussy.  Sometimes it's small grunts, other times it is full on screaming bloody murder, or a combination of all things fussy.  I don't know why she's upset, if her stomach aches, or if something else is going on?  Eventually she'll relax enough and close her eyes, but no more than for 20 minutes, and we just repeat our pattern.  From start to finish it's about a 3 hour cycle.  A few rounds of this, and I know she is exhausted, and by the end of the day I'm exhausted.  But little girl just won't take an afternoon nap.  I question if this is normal?  Helena is definitely more aware of her surroundings, does she cry just for me to come pick her up?  Does she cry just to cry?  Does she cry because something is wrong?, if so, what's wrong?  I'm starting to question everything and wonder what in the world I'm doing?!
The upside to this schedule is she's sleeping for much longer stretches at night.  And once she does get her nighttime feeding, she seriously goes straight to sleep.  As of right now her longest stretch has been almost 6 hours!  And with all things considered I would much rather have a fussy daytime baby that won't sleep than a up all nighttime baby.  ...although last night was a rough one, as Helena and I were out in the living room at 2:30am, and never went back to bed.  But the nights up are far more infrequent than her nights where she'll eat and go right back to sleep.  For that I am thankful.
I definitely have a case of "Mommy Guilt".  And that hasn't helped with the mental exhaustion.  In addition to entertaining Helena during the day I want to keep the house cleaned, the dishes put away, and the laundry done.  What's difficult about this, is it's all me.  Chris could seriously care less if the house was clean.  And I know people say that all of those things can wait, but don't they need to get done eventually?!  I'm doing my best to enjoy my baby, as she's already changing so much, I like to think I'm staying present, making mental notes of this time, but in the back of my head I also see it as my responsibility to keep the house kept.  In the days when things don't get done I definitely find myself feeling guilty.  I feel like I'm a bad wife, or a bad mom, or both.  I know it's in my own head, but it is still there.  The days go by super quick but I'm almost confused when Chris asks me at night what me and the baby have been doing, and I don't really have an answer for him.
I pray things will get easier (they do get easier, right?!) and in time I'll figure it out.  Right now I just feel like I have no clue what it is that I'm doing, and for the most part that's because I really don't know what I'm doing.  There is usually a moment or two each day when Helena will snuggle up against me and let me know that I'm doing an OK job, and those moments are the ones worth remembering.  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My Model Daughter

I gotta be honest here.  One of the reasons I like going out in public with Helena is hearing all of the compliments she receives.  I love it when people ask how old she is and they are so surprised by how young she is.  She gets a lot of "she's so cute", "look at all that hair", and "wow, look at those eye-lashes".  But lately the word that's used is "beautiful".  We were at a shopping mall on Memorial Day and a couple of ladies probably in their 60's were commenting on Helena when one woman said how cute she was, and the other lady immediately corrected her and said: "No, she's beautiful."  Since then I've had a handful of people (a combination of strangers and people I know) let me know that not only is she cute (because she is a little baby) but that she's beautiful.  I gotta say, I makes me feel like I've done something right.  Just sayin'.

When Helena was a week old we had our photographer come over to do her newborn photos.  This was a big process.  We had to heat the house up to 80* and keep her asleep.  Bryn was at our house for 3+ hours, but she did her job, and got some great shots of Helena!  A couple of days after her photo-shoot, I got an email from Bryn asking if Helena could come be a model for a newborn photography workshop the following Saturday (at 2 weeks old).  I was hesitant for a few reasons.  That was Memorial weekend, and my in-laws were in town, and she was awake for a lot of her previous session, and I didn't know if I was comfortable making her go through all of that again.  But when I got the Ok to bring my mother-in-law and grandma-in-law, I figured why not?  And I'm so glad that I did.  Bryn was one of the photographers attending the workshop held by Dewdrops Photography by Amy McDaniel and Nicole Smith Photography
Prior to the workshop I didn't do any research in regards to these photographers, but once we got home I looked them up and realized how popular they are!  And now I can't help but feel gracious and blessed that Helena got photographed by these two extremely talented photographers. 
Helena was mostly fast asleep during most of the shoot, until she got transitioned to Nicole who was teaching about natural light photography.  Nicole was trying to get her back to sleep when she was holding her, heard her fart, and moved her hand just in time for Helena to take a nice big poop into her hand!  I gotta say it was very comical.  Thankfully Nicole handled it graciously while the photographers around her helped her clean up. 
That's my girl!