Friday, December 28, 2012

Home for the Holidays: Greenville

We are spending a lot of time in our hometowns this month. Our first stop was my hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. It was Eliza's first time here and I had the best time introducing her to our family and friends.

My grandmother and grandfather came over to my parents house first thing when Eliza and I arrived on Sunday. My grandmother, Priscilla, "Miss Pris" couldn't wait to get her hands on her first great granddaughter! It was a special moment to witness because I have a close relationship with Miss Pris and spent so much of my childhood with her!


My parents hosted a Sip & See drop-in last Thursday and Eliza met lots of our friends -- childhood friends, college friends, family friends -- it was a lot of fun! Here's Eliza with one of my childhood friends, Riley.


Will and I with our sweet party girl!


My mom's brother and one of his daughters came to Greenville for a quick visit before Christmas. We loved visiting with them and introducing them to Eliza!



My mom and I also took Eliza to visit Santa at the mall.


Will and I went on our first date post-baby while we were in Greenville. We went to one of our favorite restaurants, Northampton Wines. It was so nice to have a little adult time and know that Eliza was in good hands with her Gigi and Poppy!


Poppy spent a lot of time reading to Eliza and she just loved it!


Gigi and Poppy both spent lots of time entertaining Eliza on her activity mat-- her happy spot!


On Christmas Eve, we attended the family service at my parents church, Christ Church Episcopal (where Will and I were married). It was a really sweet service with lots of children singing. Eliza did great and slept through half the service.


Christmas day we had a quiet morning with my parents and my grandfather at my parents home.

Our little family!

Eliza slept through most of the opening of presents but she did, of course, have fun playing on her activity mat.

Eliza excited about her 1st Christmas!

Christmas afternoon we went to my grandparents house -- just across town-- and spent time with my dad's family. Eliza was such a trooper and loved meeting her extended family.

Eliza with Poppy and my cousins
Cousins with our mommas

Before heading to Birmingham (the day after Christmas) I spent some time with dear friends -- Mara Diana and Jennifer.


I'm so thankful for the time we spent in Greenville and look forward to our next visit!

Monday, December 17, 2012

3 Months Old


3 Months Old...it's hard to believe our tiny little Eliza is officially out of the newborn phase. I have to say that the sleepless nights and foggy-state haven't been as bad as I was expecting. (Thank you Eliza for being a good sleeper!)

Health-- You are a growing girl! I'm not sure of your exact stats right now but I'm guessing you weigh around 10.5 pounds and maybe 22 inches? You definitely don't seem like such a fragile little baby anymore and you hold your head up very well on your own. You are still wearing Size 1 diapers and you are just moving into 3 month old clothes-- I was kinda sad to pack up your tiny newborn outfits. On another note, your daddy and I were both had a cold/cough for about a week and you managed to stay happy and healthy-- I think it's the breast milk. :)

Eating-- You are very much on a 3 hour schedule during the day. If we are out and about when your feeding time rolls around you let me know that it's time to get home and eat! I like your predictability. Now that you will take a bottle (so thankful!) we know that you take about 4 ounces each feeding-- and you eat 6-7 times a day.

Activity-- These last few weeks have been so much fun to see your little personality start to blossom. You are such an alert baby and active baby! From the time you wake up in the morning till your last activity time in the evening you are ready to play! I love watching you discover the toys on your activity mat, wiggle your little body and make the sweetest sounds!

You really like Jacques the Peacock!

Sleeping-- You are doing so well! Most nights you wake up at least one time to eat (and I love having that snuggle time with you). A couple of nights you have treated us with a full nights sleep (I like that too)! My goal is to have you on a 7pm - 7am sleep schedule and you are working towards that. Most nights you go to bed around 7 (with a feeding around 9), you wake up once during the night and then you are ready to start the day around 6:30. I like the mornings so I'm okay with your early rising. You are still getting 3 good naps a day (usually around 1 hour 30 minutes each) and you get a little nap in the evening before we put you down.

It seems that your fussy evenings (4-6) have subsided for the time being and your daddy and I are very thankful for that! You usually only cry when we change your clothes or diaper (you silly girl!) and when you get tired.

We are so thankful to be in South Carolina and Alabama for next few weeks to share you with our families! You are such a joy to have and I'm so thankful that God has entrusted you to us.

Eliza's 1st visit to Santa

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Bottle

Tommee Tippee
This is the miracle bottle for Miss Eliza!

We only gave her bottles on Tuesday and she did so well with them. We have continued to give her at least 1 bottle a day since then to keep her familiar with it.

Here she is happily taking a bottle! We are so proud of her. :)


Holding the bottle on her own!
We are so proud of you big girl!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sleep & Bottles

BIG news... Our girl slept through the night last night! I can hardly believe it. I know it's about the "time" that she should start extending her nights (she's 12 weeks old) but I've just adjusted to the once a night feeding so I was shocked when I woke up at 5:30 this morning and had not heard from her!

She actually still sleeps swaddled, this happened to be a morning
where she fell asleep looking at her mobile.
Eliza has really settled in to a great daytime routine -- 

Wake up & Eat -- 6:30 or 7am
Play -- about an hour
Sleep -- 8:30am (naps for 1- 1 1/2 hours in crib)
Eat -- 10am
Play --  1-1 1/2 hours
Sleep -- 11:30am (in crib)
Eat -- 1pm
Play -- 1-1 1/2 hours
Sleep -- 2:30 pm (in crib)
Eat -- 4pm

After the 4 o'clock feeding is where the schedule gets tricky for me. I'm still trying to figure out how to structure our evenings. Eliza used to be super fussy from about 5-7pm so I never knew what to expect but she seems to be growing out of it. I know eventually I want her on at 7pm-7am schedule but she doesn't seem ready for that yet. 

Recently I've been feeding her around 6:30pm, giving her a bath, and putting her down around 7:30. Then I'll wake her up around 9:30 for one last nighttime feed and diaper change. Until last night she has been waking around 2 or 3am for a feeding and then sleeping till 7am when we begin our daily routine. 

I suppose I will just continue with our current nighttime routine for the time being. I don't love waking her up at 9:30 but it doesn't seem to disrupt her nighttime sleep. 

Another thought, I don't want to change too much in her schedule right now (except for her sleeping through the night!) because we are about to spend the next 3 weeks out of her normal environment. I will do my very best to keep as much normalcy in her day as possible. :)

In light of our holiday travels, my husband and I are determined to get Eliza to take a bottle! She took a bottle beautifully when she was 3 weeks old but then we did not give her one for several weeks and our next attempt did NOT go so well! We even had my mom (a NICU nurse) try to give her one and Eliza still refused it. 

After talking with a mom of 5 young children who encountered the same bottle-taking issues, she gave me the idea for a "bottle boot camp" -- choose a day to only give Eliza a bottle. This doesn't sound too hard but after just 5 minutes of a screaming baby refusing to eat you start to get worn down! She suggested choosing a day when both Will and I are around so we could support each other in our decision...

Well, it just so happened that today (when she decides to sleep through the night for the first time!) is our decided bottle boot camp day. I was a little nervous about re-introducing a bottle to her after 9 hours without eating (because obviously I want her to eat!) but I also thought this could be a good time to do it because she is VERY hungry. Will attempted to give the first bottle -- no luck! It was 15 minutes of screaming and refusing to latch on to the bottle. 45 minutes later it was my turn to try...AND she actually took it! She did not fuss at all and took 5 ounces! We are going to continue giving Eliza a bottle all day today in hopes of her becoming more comfortable with it. I'll report back with the results later!

Oh, and another thing...after many unsuccessful attempts with the Medela bottles (although it's what she took at 3 weeks) I decided I wanted to start this bottle boot camp day with a new one. I bought the Tommee Tippee bottle because it's supposed to be "closer to nature" -- most like mom. :) 

Well, so far so good! As much as I love breast feeding our sweet Eliza I'm looking forward to sharing the feeding responsibility and having the option of being away for more than 3 hours. That's understandable, right? :) Oh, how I love this sweet girl so much!!


Yes, it's that cold in Kansas where we wear a hat and mittens inside!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Eliza's First Airplane Ride

Eliza's 1st plane ride (at 10 weeks old) was a great success!


We flew in the morning which made for a happy baby. The flight from Kansas City to Atlanta wasn't completely full so we were given an extra seat. This definitely spoiled me because we were able to bring her car seat on board and let Eliza sleep in it. You wouldn't think that holding a small baby for 2.5 hours would be a big deal but Eliza isn't exactly the cuddliest baby so it was very nice to have a seat for her. :) I fed her right as the plane was taking off to help with the pressure in her ears and it seemed to really help. She stayed awake for the first hour of the flight and slept the second hour.


Although Eliza was a very pleasant baby to have on the plane I was so worried the whole time that she was going to start wailing uncontrollably! It's happened a time or two when we've been out shopping and I was nervous that if it happened on the plane I would have a very hard time consoling her. Thankfully that was not the case... this time!



Next week I'm flying with Eliza to South Carolina but this time it will be just the 2 of us. I'm glad I had a trial run with Will helping his girls out. Although I often see couples with young children traveling I never realized how complicated it is to travel with them. I think the most troublesome part is getting through security -- taking off your coat and shoes, taking your laptop out, collapsing the stroller and putting it on the conveyor belt, taking the baby out of her car seat and sending it down the line... walking with the baby through the metal detector and then getting all of those things back together on the other side -- all while the people behind you are hoping you would move a little faster! :)

I'm hoping our travels next Sunday will be as successful as her 1st trip!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thanksgiving

A delayed post due to sickness around our house but I wanted to document our special Thanksgiving.

Since before Eliza was born Will and I said we were going to have a quiet Thanksgiving with our little family in Kansas because we knew we would be doing some extensive family visits over Christmas.

Well, the day before Thanksgiving we learned that Will's grandfather, Pop, was going to die in the next few hours (he had been in ICU for a week) so we made the decision to fly to Alabama to be with family. Our trip home brought both sadness and excitement to us and Will's family. It was a very special Thanksgiving to celebrate the life of Pop (and the 57 year marriage of Nana and Pop-- they had a beautiful marriage!) and get to be with much of Will's family. And of course we were so thrilled to introduce little Eliza to everyone AND be in the South. :)

Eliza was definitely glad to be in Alabama but between the plane ride, no sleep schedule, and LOTS of faces and noise to say she was overwhelmed and over-stimulated when we arrived would be an understatement! Thankfully after a good nights sleep she bounced back.

We got to visit with lots of family and friends-- it was so wonderful! Here she is with some of her admirers...

Granddad & Mimi
Aunt Brenda, Granddad & Will
Eliza looks so happy to be with Nana!
Will's Grandmom meeting Eliza for the first time
Will's sister, Aunt Abby
Cousin Ellie Jane-- they are going to be buds!
Love this one of Eliza with her Mimi
So happy to see "Aunt Jamie" again!
Eliza meeting our Tuscaloosa friends, Rick & Carrie (and soon-to-be Caroline!)
We can't wait to be back in the South in less than 2 weeks!! Eliza has a lot more family and friends waiting to meet her in South Carolina!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sarah's Visit

Last week my good friend Sarah came out to Kansas for a visit! Eliza and I were so excited to see her!


We had fun bopping around downtown Lawrence, taking her to campus, and of course shopping in Kansas City.

It was also great just to hang out at the house, snuggle with Eliza and do lots of talking!



The weather was beautiful every day so we went on a couple of walks too.


Sarah also helped me put up some Christmas decorations. We aren't doing a tree this year since we are spending 3 weeks in South Carolina and Alabama but I did want a some decorations around the house.


We had such a wonderful time with you! Please make it an annual tradition to come visit us in Kansas!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

2 Months Old


Eliza, what a wonderful 2 months it has been! You are the perfect addition to our family and your daddy and I adore every day with you. You bring us so much laughter and joy! As much as I want time to slow down so that I can keep you little :) I cannot wait to see you grow and develop over the coming months. Happy 2 months sweet pea!

2 months stats:

Height: 21.25 inches (14%)
Weight: 9 pounds 5 ounces (16%)

I love that you are such a little thing!

You took your shots like a champ. I think you cry more when I change your clothes. :) You were a little sensitive and fussy after your shots but I enjoyed the extra snuggles with you!

You continue to be a great eater! Although we introduced you to a bottle (of breast milk) around 3 weeks old (and you took it well) we didn't give it to you regularly... when we tried giving it to you around 6 weeks old you refused it! We are working on re-introducing it to you. Your dad is being very patient with you while you fight the bottle feedings. I hope you catch back on quickly! I'd like to be able to share the feeding responsibility every now and then. :)

During your 8th week you slept your longest night stretch...5 hours! You have had a few more 4-4 1/2 hour stretches since then. I won't get too excited about your sleep patterns yet because I know things will continue to be sporadic. I certainly felt very well-rested the mornings after those longer stretches of sleep.

Mornings continue to be your best awake time and I look forward to that time with you everyday! You love your activity mat more than anything and we've also started listening to some fun children's music then too (Elizabeth Mitchell is my current favorite and you seem to like it too)! Your fussy time of day usually appears shortly after your 4pm feeding and lasts till we feed you again around 7. I had been trying to put you in your crib to sleep during your "rest" time but have recently let you just nap in your snugabunny or in your mom or dad's arms.

I look forward to seeing how you grow and change in your 3rd month of life! We love you so much Eliza-bug!



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gigi & Poppy: Round 2

Will went on a hunting trip to Illinois last week so my parents came to stay/play with me and Eliza. What a fun week we had! Gigi and Poppy were last here when Eliza was born so they were definitely ready to see their grand baby again!





They couldn't get over how alert she is and how much personality she already has! Eliza had a wonderful time being loved on, talked to and played with by her Gigi & Poppy.


Mornings on the activity mat are the best!
Gigi gave Eliza a bath-- I think they both loved it!


I had a fun time taking my parents into Kansas City one day for an afternoon of shopping and good eating. Here's my dad with Eliza and I before we went shopping. I love how Eliza is looking at my dad,  so precious!


I also enjoyed taking my parents into downtown Lawrence for lunch and strolling around.

Eliza gave her Gigi and Poppy some great snuggles before they left.


Although my parents were here for 5 days it went by so fast! Thankfully we will see them in 4 short weeks when we are back in South Carolina for the holidays! We can't wait!