Friday, November 29, 2013

{Nate the Great} One Month

Nate is one month old! Can you believe it?!?! He's holding up his head and getting better every day at it, he makes a ton of noises, and he's a huge eater! We don't have a doctor's appointment until January which sucks because we don't know how big he is but I'm guessing between 10 and 11 pounds. He was 9 1/2 pounds at 2 weeks. 



The wall behind the chair will have something on it soon, hopefully.

Here's his official one month old shot (the rest were at 4 weeks). The bear is the same as it was with Lily. I debated on using a different animal but thought this would be fun to compare the two. 

{Throwback Thursday} Lily's 1st Month


(Yes, I know today is Friday, I'm late due to Thanksgiving). 

As we just celebrated Nate's first month, I thought this Throwback Thursday would be a good time to show what Lily looked like in the Summer of 2009 at one month old. They definitely have some similarities! 

Here's the old, original post from our previous blog (as I try to bring over the important posts so I can then delete that blog once and for all!):




I can't believe that Lily is ONE MONTH!

She's moved up from her Newborn diaper to Size 1. I know a lot of people don't believe she could fit into them until 3 weeks old due to her weight, but she's pretty skinny in the hips/butt area. Her thighs are the reason why we moved up - the Newborn size squeezed her little legs too much. So now she's a Size 1. Soon, she'll be switched to our cotton diapers and we'll see if we like them! (I really hope we do because diapers are EXPENSIVE!)

She barely fits into her Newborn size clothes. She has a very long little torso, causing some problems in a few styles and brands of clothing. Poor little girl, already taking after momma's luck when it comes to clothes. She can easily fit into some 0-3 months and a few 3-6 months that are smaller than average. I also like the larger size when it comes to some clothes because they're easy to put on!

Her hair is changing colors. It's getting a red tint to it but also coming in more blonde. I'd be happy with either - or combined to a nice, strawberry blonde color!

Her eyes have stayed blue. Doug calls them a silvery blue, which is kind of true but the outsides are darker. Whatever shade of blue you want to call them, they're beautiful and I'm glad the doc says she thinks they'll stay blue!

She's a big eater. She LOVES food. Luckily, we can go around 4 hours in between feedings during the night. Now if she could do that during the day. I'm trying to space them out a little, but when she cries at the top of her lungs and it's all for food, I cave in. I hate when she cries, especially when I know I can stop it so easily.

Speaking of food, Grandma J got her take an entire bottle! I was one happy momma! This means that Doug and I can have a date night some time. I just need more time to stock up the supply, which is really hard when she wants it all the time!

She loves car rides and sleeps through most of them.

Her bouncer is her second bed. She sleeps so well in it, probably even better than her bassinet. She's not huge on the toys that go above it, but she's getting better with them in her face. I think she likes to sleep propped up, which the bouncer allows. But we never keep her in it at night, just while we're with her.

She's super expressive. If you've seen her, you know what I mean. Her eyes, eye brows, and mouth are always moving. Her hands are always moving and are so fun to watch. I wish people could see her expressions she makes after nursing, but until we can get the pictures taken while she's on the bottle, I will not be taking pictures while I nurse her.

She likes to make noises and sounds. She makes a lot while she's in a light sleep, but is also making more when we "talk" to her.

And one of the best things ...

She's starting to smile. Now, you may say that they're due to gas or whatever, but a smile is a smile when you're going for cuteness! She started a little something with Doug when he touches her head. She'll make huge smiles for him. I get a few when we're talking or nursing. She has a lot of different types of smiles too - I can't wait until I get them on camera!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

{Holidays} Happy Thanksgiving



I hope you all have a great day! I made a caramel pecan pumpkin pie and my great grandmother's potato roll recipe (in the photo they were just shaped to rise again). Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

{Confession} Nate's Pregnancy


Those are Nate's angel kisses and after seeing them for a month, I've decided to share a little back story about Nate's pregnancy.

At one of our early ultrasounds, the sonographer was measuring everything they typically measure and she noticed that the thickness of the neck (the NT) was thicker on Nate than the typical "healthy" range. This started to freak me out before anything else came our way (and boy did it!). I didn't remember any of this from when we had Lily and we had a ton of ultrasounds with her for another reason. But it never came up with Lily. Now, after the sonographer found this thickness, she changed moods and got super quiet and serious. Cue freaking out now.
 
After she was done, we met with my doctor, and he started to talk about issues with Nate and how and what it could mean. Basically, one of the biggest things that comes from this test is that it's a marker for Down's Syndrome. Doug and I walked away from the appointment sad, disappointment, freaked out, and extremely nervous. Our baby could have Down's. And before I go any farther, I know this isn't a death sentence by any means, but it's not exactly what parents want to hear.
 
There's a lot to this whole story and I feel like I'm not even getting it all, but it was an incredibly stressful time. We were barely into our second trimester, I felt great, but was nervous as can be because of this. So, we followed the doctor's orders and had blood drawn for them to test.
 
It was Doug's birthday week, we were out to eat at a local pizza place when we got the call.
Our baby had a 1 in 24 chance of having Down's. All I could think of was "WHAT?!" and then I wanted to cry. I did too, but I tried to hold it back until after the phone call with the doctor and when we weren't in public.
 
The chances were increased due to my age (I was almost 31 at this point) and the measurement of his neck being larger than normal. I Googled it. Don't. It'll just scare the crap out of you.
 
After that result, which of course freaked us out, we talked to the doctor and he mentioned a test called Verifi. It's accuracy is really good and so we did it. It was a lot less stressful on the baby and me to do compared to other tests, plus the accuracy is higher. But he mentioned that sometimes insurance doesn't cover it, so we had to be pre-approved to do it. He didn't think it'd be an issue as we're already marked at a higher risk but had to throw that into the stress bucket.
 
Needless to say, we would have paid for the test out of pocket (roughly $1000) if necessary. But my insurance is awesome and so they covered it. We had more blood drawn and sent it away to California. Now the waiting game. And then came phone tag with my doctor's office because they wouldn't leave the results on my answering machine. Thankfully I had two amazing paraprofessionals in my class to help watch the students while I tried to answer phone calls and call them back. I didn't tell the paraprofessionals what it was for, I felt ashamed at the the time (I guess that's the feeling), but I did eventually tell some people. Only two people at my work knew and only our immediate family and my best friend (who worked as a sonographer) knew.
 
Well, we finally had the results that he was not Down's or anything else that shows up on this test. There could still be a possibility (at this point in my pregnancy) that he could have "something" but we were positive he was good as can be!

However, we were not fully out of the woods. We did two specialized ultrasounds, one of Nate overall, measuring everything and one of his heart. The heart one was right after the negative results and I remember the doctor (who my best friend works with, which is one of the reasons she knew) was like "Then why are you here?!" after we told him the test was negative. He made things feel so much better. His coworker, the genetics counselor, was not that way.
 
If you ever have to go to a genetics counselor, I feel for you. I went with Doug and my mom and we had information from Doug's parents too. Other than our nephew, everyone in our entire family was born normal and remained that way. No weird blood issues, no Down's, nothing. Our nephew, long story short, was born with a cleft lip and esophagus, plus a few other minor issues. I don't know if it was ever contributed to one thing or another but he's a cute little 4 year old who has energy to sell now. So here we were, sitting in her office, and having to go through everything in our history. Which, of course, brings up cancer and my brother, and that's always sad, but has nothing to do with why we were there. She should have met with us AFTER the ultrasound but that didn't happen.
 
So... back to the photograph. After Nate was born and my brain returned to semi-normal (it's still a little out there in la la land some days), I noticed the Angel Kisses on his neck. Our peditrician, who knows nothing about the Down's chance and all of that, saw them and said that they are fine, normal, and will likely go away and that they are "nothing to worry about." I like to think that they are someone's way of saying they were watching out for him.

Monday, November 25, 2013

{DIY} Driftwood Heart Art

As mentioned (and shown) in this post, I finally got around to using some of the drift wood Doug found during our Alabama trip last year. It sat in a plastic container on our back porch this entire time (that poor area is now our junk room it seems...must change that soon!). 



 I started by painting one of the many canvases I have in shades of blue. I wanted to include all shades, as I have light blue drapes and a darker blue rug in this room. Plus, it looks like water/sky when all blended like I did. After the painting was dry, I took the pieces of driftwood and started with the broken sand dollar piece in the middle (that was found in the heart shape). It was then like working with a puzzle, trying to find pieces that fit well and made it balanced. It's not perfect but I like it. The little extra piece on the bottom will have the location and date written on it when I find my silver paint marker. 


I love how the blue really brightens up the wall. The "Root Beer Fizzle" wall color goes a bit dark some days, especially with a lot of wood and black tones of the frames. I may have to repaint next summer, but I don't see anything happening soon. 

Linking up at:
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Made in a Day

Friday, November 15, 2013

{Christmas} DIY Ornaments



Are you in the decorating mood yet? I think I'm getting there! The more Christmas and holiday items I see out there on blogs and in stores makes me want to have Doug bring up the boxes and get started. I typically do not do anything until after Thanksgiving when we go chop down our tree (a yearly tradition except last year). 

But, before I go crazy decorating while on maternity leave, I figured I'd do a little ornament round up from the previous ornaments I've created. Some how I'm missing a few of the ones I've made with Lily, so hopefully I can get good photos of those this year while we make our yearly ornament. Plus, this year I will have to start one with Nate! 

Years ago, I created the crystal ornament "icicles" and gave them out to coworkers and friends. I kept quite a few, as once you buy the supplies, it's easy to make a lot. I think they add a great sparkle to the tree and are nice to tuck in here and there for a little shine. And, really, who doesn't like lots of sparkle on their Christmas tree?!?

The painted versions are made using either the clear glass or plastic ornaments from the craft stores and acrylic paint. You can see all of the other color versions here. I think I may make some more of those this year! 

The glitter ornaments were last year's creation and let me tell you, people LOVE them! I made a few for our yearly Christmas party at work and they were a hit. Plus, they are extremely easy to make and it doesn't take as much as glitter as you would think. I played around last year with different colors and will definitely add some more this year. Lily really liked them too because they are "sparkledy." 

In addition to those above, we've done hand and foot prints of Lily over the years. We tried salt dough but it didn't work out, plus her hand was too big. I think it'd be a great way for the first year ornament, but may be too big and heavy as kids get bigger. 
Partying at:
Not Just A Housewife

Friday, November 8, 2013

{Nate the Great} 2 Weeks

I do promise that not all future posts will be about Nate (or Lily for that matter) but as of right now, that's what it's going to be. Not only do the grandparents like it (Hi Grandma!), but other people seem to enjoy his cuteness too. Plus, I haven't had the energy lately to do much around the house. I'm lucky to get the dishes done, the floor swept, and some laundry finished AND put away. My energy level is increasing and the pain is pretty much non-existant now, but I also know I don't want to over do anything. I still can't drive and do anything crazy. But I would like to tackle a few projects around the house, starting with my dining room's buffet that has turned into the dumping ground for everything in transition (as in finding a home for things). Not to mention, my office area is a mess and I'm trying to organize a bunch of things so that some day when the shelves are built, I can just put the stuff on them and call it a day. I may also repaint in there but that'll have to wait until next summer... and also for me to finalize a color.

Anyway...

Nate is TWO WEEKS! 

He has this leather chair in his bedroom (thanks Babby and Papa!!) and I plan on taking weekly and monthly photos on it. I'd like to find a small chalkboard to prop up behind him to write the weeks on. Too bad I didn't think about that sooner! 


He is an eating machine! Every two hours, if not sooner, the boy wants food. He'll nurse some but I'm not producing enough, so he's on formula too. He'll take both, which is sometimes unusual for kiddos. I think he'll be our good eater out of the two. Lily is a little picky (unless it's chicken, cheese, fruit, or chocolate). I swear Nate will be the boy to eat everything as soon as we let him. 

He sleeps great during the day, allowing me to take a nap and relax some too. At night it can be a different story but he did give us one night of sleeping through the whole night (9-4:30 is what I definitely consider a full night!) but most of the time he's up for an hour or two halfway through until we finally get him full. Thankfully I'm off work and this isn't killing me!

He's still tiny. I was expecting another giant baby, so I bought all bigger clothes. Some of the 0-3 are still huge on him, especially the footie pajamas as they are a little long. But he's growing! Not every baby can be a giant like Lily (she was 9 lbs., 10 oz at birth!). I say he's tiny but giving birth to a 9 lb baby isn't exactly small...

He's not fussy except when hungry. 

He loves to cuddle and will happily be held all day long.

His two trips in the car (if you consider a 5 minute car ride a trip) have knocked him out. He's not a fan of the carseat but once he's in there and covered up with blankets, the boy is out. We went to the doctor's office last time, the mall, and back home before he even woke up. Well, after the doctor's office he was out, while there was a different story.

He's a poop machine. And pee too, so we're not worried about him not getting enough food. 

He has a little crooked smile that has gone both ways but normally to his left. It's adorable and will make anyone's heart melt.

His eyes are a grayish blue color but I wonder if they'll go more towards a green/gray. I hope so!

He responds really well to Lily. It's fun to watch him around her because he becomes more alert. It may have something to do with how loud that girl is!

He does NOT like baths and diaper changes. He prefers to be warm!

He makes a lot of random noises, sometimes making it hard for me to sleep. I know he's really deep asleep when he's quiet! 

He likes to be swaddled but will fall asleep quickly once swaddled correctly. He hasn't turned into his sister who had to be swaddled and bounced, jiggled, and moved constantly to fall asleep as a baby.
And today was his 2 week checkup and he now weighs 9 lbs., 5 oz. (bigger than birth weight which is great!) and has grown a half an inch since birth. We didn't get the card that shows what percentile. The doc is happy so we are too!

{40 Before 40} Nate


I think it's safe to say I've marked another one off the list! #4 is now crossed off! 

I've since found a lot of really good lists, be it a 40 Before 40, 30 Before 30, or 101 in 1001 and I've started to rethink a few of my choices. But for  now, I'll keep them as a way to think about the future. I still have 9 years before I hit the big 4-0! 

I think having 15 done and only 31 years old is pretty good! Now to start on some of the others... starting with some family portraits and a rug for my living room (I'm always checking out options!).

Thursday, November 7, 2013

{Upstairs} TV Area

I'm working with my new camera (Canon 5D) on taking updated photos of the house. However, I think my white balance needs help and the rainy weather hasn't helped either. Anyway, here are two shots of our upstairs TV area. It still needs decorations, a new lampshade, and some other help but some day it'll get there. 


If you remember, or are new to the blog, it used to look like this (below) before we gutted everything, added spray foam insulation, new drywall, new windows, new trim, and painted everything.  While getting a new HVAC system  through the whole house, we had the guys add in two vents upstairs as there were none. The broken heater was removed and blocked off with a built in shelving unit. We did keep the carpet as it was in good condition and neutral enough to live with, plus we did not want to deal with that additional expense on top of everything else.

It may have room to grow but it's come a long way!

Two toned (and super dark) with wood trim from the previous homeowners. Insulation was practically non-existant in this attic turned bedroom.
The brick wall that had to go, along with Doug's closet (that's still there). The TV area is right behind the wall of his closet and the chairs (shown above) are near where Doug is standing. That's the same window (well, area, as we replaced all the windows) as shown above.

We added additional wood stripes to help make the walls thicker and hired out the spray foam insulation. It has a super high R value and has worked great for our upstairs room! 


By the way, we were sad to see the brick go but by covering it up, we gained more insulation so that this room actually became useable. By using the room, we've gained a master suite... we have our king sized bed in the middle, I have a walk in closet/dressing area, Doug has a good size walk in closet, there's a small bathroom, the TV area, and my office. Talk about a lot of space that once was impossible to enjoy due to the high heat in the summer and the miserable cold in the winter. Now it's great! 



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

{Nate the Great} Funny Faces

Nate is almost two weeks old! WOW! 

He is super expressive (when awake) and here we caught him while waking up. He is the king of making faces and goes instantly from one to another... here are just a few (yes, there's a lot but not nearly as many as I took). Just as fast as my shutter can click, he makes that many faces. 























These were all taken with my Canon 5D and I need to work on my color. The yellow blanket and our not so great lighting made these all go yellow. I tried editing some, but I'm still learning the camera. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

{Holidays} Halloween

This Halloween we decided to stay at home and go around our little town. The past couple of years has seen us going to the larger town nearby where friends and family live. However, with our newest family member and me just being days out from surgery, we thought it'd be best to stay at home. We did take Lily out to a nearby neighborhood though and there were some nicely decorated homes (and some a little spooky for a 4 year old!). 

Here's her first house. I liked how they were out in front so you didn't have to ring the doorbell. It seemed to be a popular idea. 

Our little black cat (hard to see with the pink coat and Hello Kitty skirt) under a giant black cat. 

My two Treats for the night. And yes, Lily has both a mask and ears. It was cute! 

My two babies with my parents. 

The four of us. 

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