Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Eliza's 1st holiday! Not my favorite holiday but I thought I'd document it nonetheless. :) We decided she was too little for a costume this year so we just went with some orange leggings -- I call them her pumpkin pants! She's a cutie!

Monday, October 29, 2012

6 Weeks Old

Eliza, You are getting SO big!!

I have really noticed her growth these past 2 weeks! (I'm so glad my parents are coming to visit next week before she changes even more!)

Overall, Eliza is a very happy baby. :) She wakes up around 7 or 7:30 most mornings and that is her "prime" time -- she loves the mornings like her momma. After she eats, I sit with her while she plays on her activity mat or lies on her happy spot, the guest bedroom bed, and stares out the window.

Nap time usually starts about an hour after she finishes eating and lasts about 60-90 minutes. When she gets up from her nap the routine starts again. :)

Eliza's night time sleep schedule has been pretty consistent the past few weeks. I feed her around 10 pm and then feed her again when she wakes up -- usually around 1:30 and 5am. I'm looking forward to some longer stretches of sleep (guess she still needs to put on more weight before she'll do that?) but overall the middle of the night feeds haven't been as hard as I thought they would be! I require (or did require) a minimum of 8 hours of sleep a night... but it's amazing what a 1 hour nap will do for your day!

Eliza loves her play time and is so alert! She loves looking at lights, ceiling fans, our faces, out the window, her mobile, etc.
Play time with daddy!
Eliza gets her arms and legs moving as the mobile is playing, so cute!
Eliza and I had a first this weekend... we spent our first night at home with just the two of us! Since Jamie was in town with me till Saturday, Will went to Illinois for a quick hunting trip. Eliza did great and let me get a decent amount of sleep. :)

I dressed Eliza in her first "big girl" outfit last week.

My little Gap baby!
Before my 6 week postpartum appointment this morning at the hospital, I ran by the breast feeding support meeting to have Eliza weighed. She weighs 8 pounds 12.5 ounces! Go girl! I knew she had put on some weight. :)

Great news from my appointment is that I'm all healed from delivery and my doctor gave me the okay to start exercising! I'm heading to the gym tonight.

Winston wanted in the pictures too!
We love you so much sweet Eliza!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Aunt Jamie

My very dear friend and college roommate just spent the past 5 days with our family in Kansas! It was such a special and fun time for us. It was love at first sight for Jamie and Eliza!

Notice Winston on the left licking Eliza's feet :/
Jamie received lots of snuggles and love from Miss Eliza but she also got to experience the periods of fussiness and crying. :) She jumped right in and learned the best ways to soothe our little one and helped out a ton!

The three of us went on a little shopping outing in Kansas City one afternoon-- I take all my visitors shopping in Kansas City. :) We had a great lunch at Nordstrom Cafe and then met one of Nordstrom's personal shoppers (this wasn't planned) and did the rest of our shopping with him. It was a great way to shop! And he even treated us to Vanilla Lattes. We had a blast! Eliza had fun too...

Eliza loves her car seat and strolling.
Having fun while Aunt Jamie shops for jeans.
We had plans to take Eliza on walks in the neighborhood and spend a great deal of time outside but the 80 degree temperatures we had at the beginning of the week turned into 30 degree temperatures by the end of the week so those walks didn't happen. Jamie-- Eliza and I will be ready for some good walks and runs with you in the Spring!

Most of our days were spent doing my normal 3 hour routine with Eliza -- eating, wake time, and nap time. Jamie was such a wonderful house guest and helped with preparing dinners, cleaning, doing laundry, etc.! Thanks for your help!

Not only was it wonderful for Jamie to meet our daughter but I had the best time just hanging out and spending quality time with such a good friend! Before moving to Kansas I was used to seeing Jamie in Birmingham at least every other week for a run, lunch, or a shopping trip -- so this move to Kansas has been an adjustment for both of us. I'm so thankful for her visit and that it won't be too long till we see her again -- we will be in Birmingham in December! :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

5 Weeks Old

Our girl is getting so big! (Or so it seems to her mom and dad.) Whenever anyone else sees our girl they comment on how tiny she is. :)

Eliza continues to be a very happy and healthy baby. Her sleep patterns have been pretty sporadic this week. I love the 3 1/2 hour stretches of sleep during the night, not the 2 - 2 1/2 hour ones (those make for a very tired momma in the morning). She is on a good 3 hour routine during the day-- it takes her about 15-20 minutes to eat, 45-70 minutes of wake time and then 1 - 1 1/2 hours of sleep. We are continuing to put Eliza in her crib for all naps and nighttime sleep, she has learned to expect this. Occasionally she will fall asleep in her bouncy seat but will wake herself up after a few minutes ready to move to her crib. :)

Eating is mostly going well. We have had a few fussy feedings this week. Fussy feedings during the night are one of the hardest aspects of motherhood so far. :) I'm not really sure what is causing this but it hasn't been consistent so I'm not too concerned. Even during the fussy times, Eliza still gets a full feeding so she is growing and putting on weight (my guess is that she weighs around 8 pounds).

I'm happy to say that Eliza is actually starting to enjoy bath time! This used to be a stressful time for all of us but it seems to be much more relaxing for Eliza now.

Here's Eliza enjoying her new favorite spot in the house (in the guest room looking out the window).

Eliza has a very fun week ahead as my college roommate of 3 years and very good friend Jamie comes to visit! We are so excited that Jamie is spending her fall break with us in Kansas.

Jamie's Rehearsal Dinner (August 2009)

Happy 5 Weeks Miss Eliza! We can't imagine life without you!


Last week we had a very special visitor, Will's momma, Mimi.

Eliza got to meet her Mimi just hours after she was born but since it was such a quick visit, we wanted Mimi to come back! We are so glad she did! She took such good care of all of us. We ate well :), had fun, bopped around, and overall were very well loved.

The timing of Mimi's visit was great because I felt comfortable getting out of the house with Eliza and the weather was beautiful, so we enjoyed a couple of visits to Kansas City to explore and shop! We also spent some time strolling around downtown Lawrence.

Eliza received lots of snuggles and love from her Mimi while she was here. Mimi also discovered one of Eliza's new favorite lounge spots. It's the perfect place for Eliza to lie on her tummy and look out the window.

More love from Mimi...

Thank you for coming to see us and Eliza! We won't make you come see us in the winter (we know how you feel about the COLD!) so we will see you in Birmingham in December! We love you!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Father's Joy

Some sweet words from my husband about Eliza...

I was told time and time again that Eliza would have me wrapped around her finger. And from the moment she was born, this was very much the truth. But that attachment has been largely emotional, almost guttural, more expressive and less practical. This last week, though, something has changed in the way Eliza and I interact, and I thought I should tell the story.

I have felt comfortable with Eliza since the moment she was laid on Christine’s chest. In the months leading up to her birth, I had the opportunity to hold several infants and – I will not lie – I felt uncomfortable. It did not feel natural, I felt awkward, and this worried me about holding Eliza. But when I hold Eliza in my arms, everything feels right with the world. It feels like I was made to hold her – the way she fits in my hands, lays on my chest, and, recently, looks at me are so affirming to my fatherhood. It feels, strangely, ordinary.

From the day we took her home I have loved playing with her. Because Christine spends the majority of the time with her, I grab her up any time she is alert. I started having conversations with her, as if she could understand every word that I was saying. Of course, we also play paddy-cake, have big-girl hugs, and bounce around on my knees – but I have intentionally tried to start building our relationship around conversation. This is something that I want us to have as we progress into her talking years, her adolescence, and her adulthood.

In the last week or so, the sweetest thing has been occurring. Whenever I walk into a room and Eliza hears my voice, she whips her head around until she finds me. And when we make eye-contact, and I begin to speak to her, she smiles. It is unreal, and my mother (who is staying with us this week) and Christine have been able to witness this slight transformation. I am beginning now to understand the oft-used saying “a father’s joy.” But this is not because Eliza has done anything to make me proud – she is not capable of that yet – but because she wants to know me, and I want to know her.

Monday, October 15, 2012

4 Weeks Old

How is that even possible?? These past 4 weeks have just FLOWN by!

I love being a mom to our sweet girl. I have so much to learn about her and about being a momma, but at the same time it has all been very natural. I feel so blessed to be Eliza's mom and I'm so thankful that God has entrusted her to us.

Eliza is becoming more alert every day and it's so much fun to watch her! Will and I both feel like we could just watch her ALL day long! She's really starting to enjoy tummy time now that she has more control over her neck-- she can lift her head up and turn it side to side. When she's lying on her back on the activity mat she is starting to engage with the toys-- it's so cute to hear her coos and watch her bat the toys around.

Sleeping is still going well. She had her first growth spurt last week (lasted about 2 days) so that made things a little different for us. But once that passed we've been back on the same schedule of feeding every 3 hours during the day and 3 1/2 - 4 hours at night.

Eliza continues to be a great eater too. I started pumping this week so I've been sharing the feeding responsibilities (once a day) with my husband (and this week, his momma who is in town visiting us!). It's been really nice to have them give Eliza a bottle around 10pm so I can get in bed a little earlier (amazing what a difference an extra hour of sleep makes).

We have taken Eliza on a lot of fun outings recently. She had her first trip to the Plaza (shopping center) in Kansas City this week-- first time in Anthropologie and JCrew. She is the most pleasant shopping buddy. I love have her with me and strolling her around! Will even said he finds shopping more enjoyable having her with us. :)

Eliza's nicknames are... EB, little pumpkin, little bird and toot-toot. :)

I'm so thankful for this precious gift! Happy 4 Weeks Eliza Burke!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Cutest Little Pumpkin in the Patch

In celebration of our 3 year Wedding Anniversary Will planned a surprise afternoon date for us (and Eliza) yesterday! My anticipation of the date reminded me of our college days when he would frequently plan wonderful dates for us. Yesterday morning he told me the theme of our date was "Skytop" -- a wonderful apple orchard in North Carolina that we visited annually -- so I was excited to see what he had found in Kansas that could compare.

Our date began at one of our favorite lunch/dinner spots in downtown Lawrence, Free State Brewery. Starbucks happens to be right across the street from Free State Brewery so I treated myself to a Pumpkin Spice Latte before heading out for Part 1 of our date -- a pumpkin patch!

I have really been wanting to take our little pumpkin (that's my favorite nickname for Eliza) to a pumpkin patch so I'm so glad Will planned this for us! We had the best time strolling through the pumpkin patch and picking out a pumpkin for each of us (we even got one for our dog Winston).

Our pumpkin family (Winston is the green one)

There was also a hay bale maze so we strolled Eliza through it. She was thrilled!

We snapped one family photo and then we were headed to our next stop!

Our next stop was...

Will found this place on the way to one of his hunting spots a couple of weeks ago. They are known for their Apple Cider Slushy and Donuts -- we got both. They were absolutely delicious!

We strolled around the farm for a little while and then sat down and enjoyed our donuts!

Our sleepy little pumpkin!
Thank you Will for planning such a fun afternoon for your girls! We can't wait to do it again next year!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Favorites: Newborn Gear

I really like seeing what items moms find helpful for their little ones so I thought I'd put together my own list of favorites. Based on my expert opinion (3 weeks as a momma) here's what has been helpful for us.

SwaddleMe Wraps by Summer Infant
I introduced Eliza to these the first night we were home from the hospital, she sleeps great swaddled. Occasionally I have not swaddled her during naps and she wakes herself up with flailing arms. We now use these wraps for nighttime sleep and naps. 

aden + anais Swaddle Blankets (the classic and bamboo collections)
Eliza is loosely swaddled in these whenever she is not in the wraps mentioned above. Our girl loves to be cozy and warm! I've had the classic blankets since Eliza was born and love them but I just received some of the bamboo ones as a gift and they are incredibly soft. I think Eliza likes them a lot!

Day Gowns
Since Eliza is so little most of the clothes we have don't fit her yet (even newborn size). The day gowns have been great because she doesn't have to fill them out for her to be able to wear them. They are also great for diaper changes in the middle of the night!

Soothie Pacifier
This is the brand of pacifier they give at the hospital and we have yet to try another one. Eliza took a pacifier from Day 1 and absolutely loves it. I love having something that soothes her so easily.

Video Monitor by Summer Infant
This is by far one of my favorite purchases! It has made it so much easier to have Eliza sleep in her crib at night because I can easily check on her. Not to mention, one less trip out of the bed at night is a bonus too! I also keep it with me when she's napping during the day. 

Sound Machine
We introduced Eliza to this (Ocean Waves) the first night at home. I now use it at night and during naps. I even downloaded an Ocean Waves sound app on my phone while I was waiting at the doctor the other day and it helped her sleep well on the go.

The travel Sleep Sheep is also great. It has a velcro strap that easily attaches it to the car seat or stroller. Eliza seems happy with this little thing too!
Snugabunny Bouncer

Eliza spends a little bit of time in her bouncy seat daily. It's a good option for her "wake time" activity. She's napped in it a few times but really does best in her crib (not complaining!). 

Crib Mobile
I didn't purchase this until last week because I wasn't convinced it was necessary. But after seeing how content Eliza is to lie awake in her crib I wanted her to have something to look at. I found this mobile from Pottery Barn Kids and absolutely love it. 

BOB Stroller (with Infant Attachment)
I knew this was the stroller for us before Eliza came along. Will's sister and mom both have them and they are the smoothest and lightest stroller (while pushing, not loading in and out of the car). The infant attachment allows this stroller to be used from the very beginning. 

Graco Snugrider 
Although I love the BOB it's not the most convenient stroller for bopping around town. This snap-n-go stroller is compact, light-weight, and easy to fold. I plan on keeping this stroller in my car and using it all the time!

I think that about covers it for now. I know these items are not essentials for having a newborn but they are some of my favorites.