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New England Spring

Saturdays are my favorite day of the week. Garren is home from school and we always make sure to get out of the house! Today it was supposed to be in the low 50’s so we had the brilliant idea to go to the park, have a picnic, and walk the trail around the pond. When we got there we saw this:

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The entire park and pond were still covered in ice. The trail was as well so there went our picnic and walk idea! This winter has been beautiful, cold and long. We are ready for spring and desperately missing sunshine! I can’t wait to take Blair out for walks in her stroller but until all the snow and ice melts it wont be happening! Garren and I found a picnic table to eat our food. We journeyed over to Target and then to Market Basket to do our grocery shopping. B slept through our entire family outing.

IMG_1147 IMG_1148 IMG_1149Garren goes to a church meeting on Saturday mornings so Blair and I played. Can you say cutest pictures ever? Her smile absolutely kills me! Plus a baby in Polo? Come on. Precious.

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Cheeky Girl

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The best part of this photo is I had no idea she was smiling until after I was looking through the pictures!

Days like today remind me of how blessed I am. I have such a wonderful husband, a beautiful little girl and so many opportunities ahead of us. I love getting to spend time with these two and couldn’t ask for anything more.

 

Tonight I am going to watch General Women’s Conference at our church building with the other sisters of my ward. I am so excited to spend time with women my age and also nervous as heck to be away from Blair for 3 hours. That seems like an incredibly long time to be away from my baby. I have separation anxiety ;) I know it will be a positive experience though. Plus Blair and Daddy have a March Madness date set for tonight ;) Those two are precious.

 

 

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Postpartum: 7 weeks completed

Well now that baby girl is 7 weeks old (Yes I know… crazy) I am feeling 100 times better! I had my postpartum check yesterday and every thing has healed up nicely! I started working out this week and it’s been wonderful and horrible at the same time. I love that, just worked out, sore feeling but I am definitely out of shape. It’s going to be a long hard process to get to where I want to be but I know it will be worth it! Plus there is something so therapeutic and rewarding about exercise.

I started exercise one on Jillian Michaels 30 day shred. I do it right after I feed Blair in the morning while she plays on her met. I kid you not, girl friend spends half the time staring at me with the most judgmental look on her face. Pretty sure she thinks I am nuts for jumping around.

This was after she stopped furrowing her brow so I didn't get her in all her judgmental glory ;)

This was after she stopped furrowing her brow so I didn’t get her in all her judgmental glory ;)

Yesterday while waking down the halls of the doctors office I said to Garren, “LOOK HOW FAST I CAN WALK!” No more waddling (and limping) for this Mama! His response was, “What you mean regular speed?” Rude.

The ligaments around my pelvis are still having issues and I go through spurts of horrible pain and an inability to walk. Luckily they are starting to get further apart and I can tell it’s healing.

I did deal with the baby blues as most mothers do but I am feeling really great now. I am still incredibly homesick though. Something about having my baby girl here has made me homesick for the first time in my life. I have always been one to move around and be up for the next adventure but my heart aches knowing our families are missing Blair grow up. I know we only have one more year out here, and we will definitely make the most of it, I just miss our families. We are very blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives.

New England is home to the eternal winter. I am dying over here. Being cooped up in this apartment can make you go a little crazy. It’s just too cold to bring Blair out though. Luckily one of my good friends out here had a baby girl a month after me (even though she was only due a week after me…. poor girl is a trooper) and we have weekly “play dates”. Yes they are more for us than for our babies but look how stinking cute they are!

Lucy and Blair

Lucy and Blair

I think Blair and I are finally getting a hold on this breastfeeding business. It no longer hurts and she latches like a pro. I have yet to learn how to do this while covering up though. I seriously need to learn this because I go into panic mode when we are out and about and she starts to get hungry. We drop everything and just go home because it’s too stressful. I think part of the stress is the nursing cover I have been trying to use is basically a tent and just feels impossible to maneuver in. I just bought a nursing scarf because it looks a lot easier to use so wish me luck! I really want to get this figured out because I would like to start going to all of church (opposed to just Sacrament meeting) after she gets her vaccinations in 2 weeks. If any moms out there have any tips on public breastfeeding PLEASE share. I am struggling!

I really am so spoiled, Blair is such a good baby. She only wakes up to eat once at night and goes right back to sleep. I am getting way more sleep now than I did when I was pregnant but motherhood is exhausting. By 8:00 pm I am done for the day. I can feel myself falling asleep while standing! Unfortunately Blair has declared bedtime to be 11:00 pm so I have to push it through those 3 hours.

Garren has been wonderful, as always. When he gets home from school he takes Blair and lets me take a nap, or a shower, or do whatever else it is that I want to do. Honestly though I love being a mom. I love cuddling my sweet girl and seeing her change and become more aware of her surroundings. There have been a few brief moments (especially during Blair’s witching hour) that I miss when it was just Garren and I. I feel guilty the second I think that, and have shed tears from feeling like a horrible mother, but marriage definitely changes once you have a baby and alone time is non existent! We are all learning and doing the best we can.

I have been having a lot of nightmares about being pregnant again, or about my labor and delivery. It may seem a little dramatic to a lot of people, but I feel pretty traumatized from the whole ordeal. Hearing the word pitocin literally makes my heart race and my hands shake. It will definitely be at least a couple of years before we do this all again! I don’t know how people have a newborn and a toddler. It literally sounds impossible. MOMS ARE TOUGH! My hat is off to all of you :)

She is pouting because I made her take a picture with me before eating

She is pouting because I made her take a picture with me before eating

 

 

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Our Top 6 Baby Purchases

When you are expecting a baby you buy and receive a lot of stuff. Clothes, toys, furniture, diapers, the latest break through in baby soothing, you name it they got it! As new parents we obviously didn’t know what we would end up using and relied a lot on friends, family and the internet to tell us what we need. Now that we are six weeks into this parenting thing we are experts! (Please note the intense amount of sarcasm in that sentence. Maybe in 18 years we can claim the title of competent!)  We have discovered some neat tricks that work with Blair. So these are our top 6, would rather not live with out, baby products.

Number 6

The Changing Table– This one is an interesting one. Most people told us not to bother with this, and that we would never use it. I personally wanted one because when I was a nanny I used ours ALL of the time. We have actually had this changing table for nearly two years because I fount it at DI for 15 bucks and it matched the crib I knew I wanted one day. I refinished it and I am so glad we have it! We change her diaper on it every time and she loves it. I think she likes being up closer to our faces. She is a major wiggle worm so it’s easier to keep her contained on the table rather than trying to change her on the floor or the bed.

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Number 5

Boppy– Now I am not sure if any one has ever told you, but breast feeding is HARD. It’s a really steep learning curve and the boppy is so helpful. It’s kind of like having three arms. It holds her right up next me. Turns out Blair also loves sitting in it and she will sleep HOURS longer if she is propped up in it rather than laying flat on her back. Now I know pediatricians every where say babies should lay flat on their backs on a firm surface. I assure she is very safe and well looked after.

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Note: It’s extremely important to have two covers….. We learned that the hard way.

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Number 4

Snuza– Also known as peace of mind. New mothers are worriers. We worry about our baby’s health and safety 24/7. The first week of Blair’s life I didn’t get any sleep. Not because she didn’t sleep, but because I was waking up every 10 minutes to make sure she was still breathing. It was exhausting. So Garren did some research and found the snuza. It had great reviews so he bought it. (Garren, who is the exact opposite of a worrier, was also waking up to check on her frequently. He is the cutest dad.) It’s a little device that you clip to their diaper and a sensor sits on her stomach. It detects movement (breathing). An alarm will go off if no movement occurs within 18 seconds, or if the movement is really weak for a couple of minutes. I love this thing. I feel so much more at ease and don’t have to constantly poke her, put my hand on her chest, or hold my finger under her nose to make sure she is breathing.

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Number 3

Play mat– I really wanted on of these before Blair was born because I remembered how much my nephew loved it. For some reason the only ones I could find were between 50-70 dollars. On a grad school budget, I just wasn’t willing to pay that much. Finally I found one at TJ Maxx for 19 bucks. I am so glad I found it. The first two weeks of her life she really could not have cared less about it, but now she loves that thing. She will lay there for half an hour just swatting at and talking to the hanging toys. For a mom who needs to be able to eat, go to the bathroom, or do some house work, those thirty minutes are GOLDEN. I love hearing her lay there and talk to herself while she plays. Music to my ears.

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Number 2

Miracle Blanket– Yes this blanket is a little more expensive than most people would want to spend on a blanket but let me tell you, it’s more than worth it. Blair loves being swaddled at night, but she can get out of the swaddle in every single blanket besides this one. It’s nearly impossible to get out of the miracle blanket if swaddled correctly. This thing is amazing. She now sleeps in 5 hour stretches in this baby! She also looks like a super cute little burrito while in it, so that’s a plus. A week after she was born she spit up all over her miracle blanket (more like projectile vomited) and we learned the hard way to have duplicates of those kind of things. We quickly rectified that issue and haven’t had a problem since.

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Look how tiny she was! I can’t believe how much she has grown already!

 

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I also can’t believe how much her hair has grown since this but that’s a topic for another day

And Finally the NUMBER 1 baby product we purchased:

Baby Ergo– Garren found a practically new Ergo Sport on craigslist for 50 bucks. That’s a screaming good deal, and since Blair had loved the moby wrap we jumped at this opportunity. I liked the moby wrap but I felt like over time the fabric got to loose, and it started hurting my back. Since Blair is still really small we got the infant insert for the Ergo with a gift card we had. This thing is like the baby whisperer. The moment you put her in this, not matter how upset she was before, she instantly calms down and will either happily look around or fall asleep. It’s very comfortable to use, never hurts your back, and we will be able to use it even when she is a toddler on our backs. If you are in the market for a baby carrier seriously consider the ergo!

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And because I think my baby is the cutest baby in the world here she is in her cute little Sunday dress yesterday!

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Saturday is Family Day… and Sometimes Mechanic Day

Since Garren is very busy with PT school throughout the week he always makes sure to dedicate Saturday afternoons to Blair and me. Today started out like any Saturday but ended up a lot like this one. We had grand plans to go to TJ Maxx and then grocery shopping. (Yes sometimes this is what our fun day looks like, no judging!) Well on our way to TJ Maxx the check engine light came on and the car felt like it was going to die. We were literally in the same area of Manchester as last time. So we pulled into the same mechanic and got the EXACT same diagnosis except for the opposite side. So we needed another oil control valve. How exciting.

Luckily we had the ergo with us, so I put B in it and she went right to sleep. That thing is a miracle worker. After getting the diagnosis and time estimate I called one of our friends and she graciously agreed to pick Blair and I up and take us home. Really I think we are blessed that both times this happened we were so close to a very good mechanic. They were so nice and straight forward with us. While I was walking around Garren said he had deja vu and asked me how happy was I that this time I am not 9 months pregnant. Quite happy!

When Garren got home we gave Blair a bath (She loves her baths!) and read some stories to her. She is starting to really pay attention to us when we talk to her. Its adorable.

I have watched THIS video of her probably a hundred times. That smile melts my heart.

I know I post a lot of pictures of Blair but you should know that’s not going to stop anytime soon. She is too cute to not share! I can’t believe she is already six weeks old!

Enjoy more pictures of her:

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Bath time, pre hair wash. HER HAIR YOU GUYS!!! I love it

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Happy girl before we left for TJ Maxx (Aka the mechanic)

All Clean!

All Clean!

 

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Attitude!

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Tried out the bumbo for the first time. She loves sitting up, but her head control is not quite up to par for this yet! (Hence the pillows.)

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1 Month Stats

We went to Blair’s one month appointment today! She is 5 weeks yesterday.

Height: 22.5 inches 77th Percentile

Weight: 9 lbs 22nd Percentile

Head Circumference: 14 inches 10th percentile

So she is still very tall and skinny but growing! I can’t believe she grew over 2 lbs in one month! Blair was so good at the doctor. She was smiling and cooing the whole time. Her hips, heart and lungs sound perfect. The doctor said her baby acne is normal (we knew that) and that baby girl is very healthy! We feel so blessed that she is doing so well. I swear we should have named her Elsa because there was another huge snow storm today. There has been 10 storms in her short 5 weeks of life with the biggest one being on the day she was born.

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Already for the Doctor!

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Blair Monroe- 1 Month Old

1monthI can’t believe my baby is a month old already! Cue the mama tears! This has been the fastest, hardest, best month of my whole life.

Blair’s Dr Appointment isn’t til later this month so I will update her weight, height ect when I know it!
 
Nicknames: Baby Girl, B, Cuddles, Cuddle Bug, Princess, Little Turkey
 
Clothing: She is still in newborn sized clothes but I think by the end of the week she will be wearing her 0-3 month sized clothing. I honestly can’t believe how tiny she is! The doctor’s had me prepared for a huge baby! We actually didn’t have almost any newborn sized clothing because every one told me they grow out of it in a matter of days. Luckily my mother in law took us shopping for itty bitty baby clothes. Not going to lie I am already sad she can’t wear these outfits longer! They are so precious. They make me want to have another girl next (YEARS down the road, Years people).
 
Diapers: We haven’t started cloth diapering yet mainly because I didn’t want to learn how to breastfeed and cloth diaper all at once. Now, however, we are waiting for her to chunk up just a little bit more until we use them. She would still fit into newborn sized disposables but we ran out so we are using size one. Once we run out of them we will start using her adorable cloth diapers.
 
Eating : We are finally getting this nursing thing down! I will be honest and say breastfeeding is way harder than I ever imagined it to be. I already love it though. I love how it instantly calms her, and I love seeing how content she is after eating. The first two weeks we used a nipple shield but we have successfully weaned off of that. She currently eats every 2.5-3 hours but last week at 3 weeks old she went through a growth spurt and cluster fed. She was eating any where from every 30 minutes to 2 hours. It was pretty exhausting but we made it through it! We have recently started introducing the bottle at one feeding every day so that Garren can feed her, and if I ever have to leave her she will be able to eat. So far she is not a fan. She actually did eat the last two nights from the bottle, but always ends up nursing at the end. (Although that may be for my benefit as well, for some reason I have a lot of anxiety watching someone else feed her. Weird right?)
 
 
Sleeping: Blair is starting to be more awake during the day. She is so alert! She definitely still sleeps throughout the majority of the day. At night she does pretty well. We usually go to bed around 11 and she will wake me up at 2:00 am and then between 5-6:00 am. (Not counting the cluster feeding days). Sometimes she goes right back to sleep, other times I am up with her for about an hour. She loves being swaddled in her miracle blanket and bounced on the yoga ball. She also loves being sung too. I am already afraid for the day when she realizes I can’t, in fact, sing well. I better enjoy it now.
 
Social: She definitely knows who her mama is! I love that she wants me when she is upset. It’s a crazy feeling being needed by your child. My heart is so full when I pick her up crying and she instantly calms the second she is on my chest. She loves looking at her daddy, and will make eye contact with both of us. She hasn’t socially smiled yet but we do get a lot of milk drunk or half asleep smiles that we love. She also laughs in her sleep and a LOVE it it’s the cutest thing in the whole world.
Random: We have a little tub that we can bath her in but we recently discovered it’s a lot easier for her to just come in the tub with me. She absolutely loves it. She cries when I hand her to Garren to dry her off and get dressed. I guess all those baths during my pregnancy rubbed off on her ;) She only baths about twice a week, unless she decides to pee while getting her diaper changed and it runs down her back into her hair…. But that’s a different story.
 
Likes: nursing, laying on your chest, baths with mommy, cuddling, skin to skin contact, singing, bouncing on the yoga ball, being swaddled, the Moby Wrap, her play mat
 
Dislikes: the bottle, being put down, the swing (hopefully this one changes), having her diaper changed before a feeding, tummy time
 
Fun things we did:
  • Blair has now been to the mall 3 different times, out to Dinner once, to target, Daddy’s school and to Bass Pro Shop. She has been so good every time we bring her out! We just pop her into the Moby wrap and she is good to go for a couple hourse.
  • She got to meet her Nana and Aunt Heather. Both are completely smitten by her.
  • Mostly we are just getting use to being a family of three. There have been a lot of outfit changes, a lot of tears (by baby and mommy), lots of cuddles and endless amounts of happiness!
 Mama: The first two weeks I definitely had the baby blues. I cried a lot and generally felt completely overwhelmed by both good and bad emotions. Being in charge of a tiny defenseless human being is scary. However, in all honesty, I am surprised how natural it has all come. I feel like we were well prepared (and emotionally ready) for this change in our lives and it hasn’t been a crazy hard adjustment. I haven’t been to the doctor yet for my postpartum check up but I am feeling really good. I am still having some issues with my right hip/sciatica but it’s not as bad. I am shocked at how hungry I get while nursing and I am trying to eat healthy. I drink well over 100oz of water a day.
 
Daddy: Garren is the best dad in the whole world (and husband for that matter) He is always willing to change diapers and walk around soothing our baby girl back to sleep. He is constantly asking me if I want to go take a nap or how he can help me. He went back to school Monday after having a week off for spring break and we already miss him. I know it’s really hard for him to leave her during the day so I try and tell him fun things when he gets home. (That will get easier when she starts doing more than eating, sleeping and pooping!)
 
What we’re looking forward to: I am excited for Blair’s Dr appointment in a couple weeks to see how much she has grown! I am also looking forward to using her cloth diapers. I think we might try bringing her to church this Sunday, depending on how the night before goes. I am a little nervous just because I know every one is going to want to see her and I don’t want her getting sick. I will probably just put her in the Moby wrap to keep her protected from illness.
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Some Fist Pumping Action. She is excited to be a month old!

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