Sunday, September 29, 2013

birthday weekend

hey baby girl,
well, in typical mom fashion i'm a bit late on this post.  last weekend was your mom & dad's birthdays!  we had quite a busy weekend and you were such a trooper traveling all over the place and seeing so many people!  
we started out the birthday celebrations on friday night with grandma & grandpa.  they brought over a yummy dinner and cake and we celebrated me turning 30 (yikes!) and your dad turning 32 (he's the old man).  this past week you've been a little fussy during the evening hours and your grandparents are ever so patient with you during this time.  they always take turns holding you so we can have a break, eat, etc.  
saturday morning was your dad's birthday.  we started the celebration with a "man cake" of donuts & sparkling candles.

then aunt kristen, uncle mike & nathan, kylie, & brianna came over for breakfast!  aunt kristen and i have been friends since we were young (i honestly can't even remember when we met--it seems like we've always been friends!) and in high school we had a tradition of making pancakes in bed for each other on our birthdays.  she brought cinnamon roll pancakes for our birthdays this year! what a great way to start out this new decade.  this was the first time you met your "cousins" nathan, kylie, & brianna.  the girls loved seeing "baby nora" and nate said you were "so cute"!  i'd be perfectly happy if you married him or brooks one day (just saying!) 
ky & bri giving you all the dolls and loveys they could find!
after our cuddles, breakfast, and playdate with the favia's we started getting ready for our evening. since it was both of our birthdays, we wanted to go somewhere special for dinner.  we went to balena and had delicious dinner, wine, and dessert!  grandma and grandpa came to watch you and you slept most of the time for them!  of course you sleep for them and not us! what's that all about, girl!?  this was the first time we left you and although it was soooo hard, it was a much needed night out!  that night you slept for 4 hours straight! (it's the small things we celebrate these days!)  i felt much better about leaving you since you were with my parents.  i knew you were in good hands.  

don't worry, the celebrations continued on sunday for MY birthday.  your dad had a special day planned for us.  we started out with sleeping in (WOO HOO!), then cake and presents at 10am (totally normal, right?!) and we were off for our adventure.  we started with breakfast in lincoln park at jam & honey, a fave spot of ours.  nothing says happy birthday like banana nutella pancakes!  after pancakes and coffee we ventured into bucktown for margaritas at big star, another fave location of ours.  it was such a beautiful day that sitting outside having a margarita was exactly what the doctor ordered!  
all dressed up for our birthday adventure!
whenever people asked what i wanted for my 30th birthday, all i could say was "i have everything i could ever want and need".  i have the most supportive family, a handsome and loving husband, and the most beautiful gift of all, daughter.  this day was extra special because you are now in my life.  a year ago today your dad and i were just thinking about how we were ready to expand our family and now here you are and we couldn't be any happier!  you bring us the most joy and love and truly are the greatest gift.  there are some days where i just look at you and think, "you really are mine!" 
thank you for making my 30th birthday the best birthday yet!  i look forward to sharing all my birthdays with you!
all my love,

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

3 weeks!

baby nora,
you're three weeks old today! i know most moms must say this, but i cannot believe how fast time is going!  while i am excited to see you grow and reach certain milestones, i am going to miss you being such a tiny, squishy peanut!  good thing for me, you still got lots of time! :)

we took you to the doctor again this week for another weight check.  you gained 5.5 ounces and now weigh 7 pounds 13 ounces... a whole pound more than when we left the hospital! we'll go back again next week for your one month check up (ah, seriously..already?!)
this week sleep has been up in the air.  some nights you'll be up only 2-3 times and fall back to sleep after nursing, but others you sure seem to be fighting sleep!  these make for definite coffee mornings for mom & dad! you sleep really well in the car, stroller, or swing still.  we've been using the baby k'tan & ergo carriers a lot this week and they are fabulous!

you're still mainly nursing every 2-3 hours with a bottle here or there of my milk.  daddy likes to give you a bottle in the mornings.  it's your special time together :) we went to a breastfeeding support group this week and learned a lot.  apparently, we're doing this thing correctly!  it was nice to meet other new moms, too.

this week you reached a new milestone with clothing!  gigi was over on sunday afternoon and when she and your dad were dressing you they noticed your feet didn't fit in a newborn sleeper! you were all scrunched up in it.  we put you in a 0-3 month sleeper and you fit perfectly! crazy that in only three weeks you're growing so much! i wonder how long you are now... we'll find out next week!

you had a lot of visitors this week!  your aunties cindy & sue came to hold you and brought us a bottle of (much needed) wine. you also got to meet my parents oldest friends, larry & karen.  they just loved holding you and reminisced about holding me when i was that tiny! saturday night grandma came to rescue mom & dad (we were up ALL night the night before!) and we went out to have a quick burger & beer and caught part of the Purdue vs Notre Dame game.  sunday gigi came over so we could run a few errands.  it was raining and we didn't want to take you out.  monday night my friend jackie came over to cuddle with you!  she has been a very, very helpful friend in the baby-department.  her daughter was born in november and jackie has loads of advice for me! i can't wait for you to have a playdate with her daughter!

we got a few new baby gear items this week that you seem to really enjoy.  you are obsessed with the pacifier.  it seems to be the only thing that calms you down sometimes.  however, you still push it out, then cry when it falls out.  we found the wubbanub seems to do the trick and you like to hold on to the little lamb, too! we also got an ergo baby carrier with the infant insert and you fall right asleep when put in this!

no real big milestones this week, but you do seem to be much more alert these days!  we did a few firsts this week... our first trip downtown for a walk on the lakefront.  it was a beautiful day and you slept the whole time!  you and i also had our first "girls shopping trip" to nordstrom! i found a few new outfits for you to wear this fall/winter.  of course, you slept the whole time! one day i hope you love going to nordstrom as much as i do. although, i'm sure your dad would much rather have you not follow in my footsteps when it comes to shopping!

nora boo, we love you.  sometimes i wish time would just stand still so i could enjoy all these newborn snuggles forever.  we have a big week coming up this week with your dad's & my birthdays and your one month birthday!
with all my love,

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

two weeks

Dearest Nora,
Today you turned two weeks old! How did we get here already?!

today we went to the doctor again for a 2-week weight check. you weigh 7 pounds and 6.5 ounces.  you were doing so well putting on weight the past week or so, this week wasn't as great.  you are, however eating and pooping a ton so the doctor wasn't too worried.  we'll go back again next week, just to make sure.  i guess you really are a tiny peanut!  (PS-when I call your "cousin" brianna a "peanut" she responds with, "I'm not a peanut, you're a peanut! i'm bri!")

this past week you slept pretty good.  you only had one night where you weren't too interested in sleeping.  usually you nurse and fall right back to sleep.  since you hate having your diaper changed, we change it in between the feeding.  this seems to be more comforting to you, especially at 3am!  sometimes i even have to wake you up to eat after 3/3.5 hours! thank you for letting us get some sleep during these first two weeks!  we can only hope this continues :) during the day you seem to be on a pretty typical 2.5-3 hour schedule.  you eat, are awake for about 30-60 minutes, and then fall asleep again.  you like to sleep in your swing and car seat.  we've tried a few naps in your crib and you don't seem to mind that! however, your favorite is to sleep in mommy's arms (i don't mind!!)

you're eating pretty well, too. you get hungry about every 2.5-3 hours, sometimes more often in the evenings.  you're really good at showing us your "hunger cues" and we are now able to read them before you get too anxious.  we love when you are just about to nurse, you shake your head back and forth with your mouth wide open and get so excited to latch on!  right now you are exclusively breastfed and pretty much only nurse.  dad's been able to give you a small bottle once or twice, but you seem to eat best with me for right now! we'll work on this later though :)
snuggles with aunt kristen

you're still wearing only newborn clothes... you are such a tiny peanut!  you have a bunch of clothes to look forward to wearing... your closet looks better than mine!  before you were born your dad said "my daughter will be the best dressed babe on the block"... he sure wasn't kidding! :)

visitors this week included your aunt jocelyn and your future hubby brooks!  you also got to meet your great-grandpa.  We call him Gramps (your dad's grandpa) and he is the sharpest grandpa i know. he seems to think you are one pretty little girl!
gramps & nora 
you ALSO got to meet your great-grandma (your mom's grandma)!  she was so excited to meet and hold you.  she brought you a sleep sack for you to wear when you decide you're done being swaddled.  she sure knows what you'll like!
great-grandma & nora 
your favorite things this week are still pretty much the same... the swing, the stroller & your fingers! we have taken to calling you a few different nicknames...peanut, punkin, squishy... wonder if any of them will stick??? (no idea where they came from, either!)
you had a pretty eventful second week of life!  on wednesday you had your newborn photos taken. you cooperated pretty well in the beginning then decided you were done with the photo shoot... we had to nurse you back to sleep to finish up a few more pictures.  our photographer was VERY patient with you and we think she got some great shots!  we're looking forward to seeing them! you also went out to lunch AND dinner for the first time... you slept the whole time!  your dad & i like taking you places because it helps get us out of the house and you are so easy to travel with right now.  although our trips are short, they are much needed!  in addition to your oh so busy week, you lost your cord stump on thursday!  it kinda scared me at first--i thought i did something wrong that it came off so soon--but i guess you were ready to shed that last connection between us :( (it did bring a tear to my eyes...)
nora, we were right... the days and weeks just keep getting better and better with you around! we love you oh so much!
mom & dad

nora & brooks... future besties!
bath time! 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

birth story

our little nora,
the day you were born was the best day of our lives.  it was fairly unexpected though! i wanted to write about your birth day so you could look back on this one day when you're old enough to feel the  emotions your dad and i felt that day.  this is the day that changed our lives for the best...
(or so we thought...)
monday, august 26th (7 days before your official due date) i woke up and felt that possibly my water broke.  it didn't seem like a lot and i wasn't having any contractions, so i pretty much ignored it.  i got ready and went to work as usual.  by lunch time, i called your dad and told him that i was pretty sure my water broke.  i called the doctors office and of course, no one answered!  i left a message and a nurse called me back later in the day.  she instructed me to head to labor & delivery at lutheran general hospital.  i figured i only had about an hour left of work, so i stuck it out and went straight to labor & delivery at 3pm.  on the way over to the hospital i started having some period-like cramps.  not knowing that these were actual contractions, i wasn't sure what was going on!  as i parked and walked into the hospital i knew something was up... i did not feel like myself.  on the way over, i called your dad and told him what was going on.  i asked him not to call anyone just yet until we figured out what was up.  by 4pm i was checked in, hooked up, and monitored.  sure enough, my water did break and after a few tests they figured that there really wasn't much fluid left in the womb.  i was having fairly regular contractions by this point--about every 2 minutes lasting for about 30 seconds to 1minute but was only 2cm dilated and 100% effaced.  at this point, i called your dad again and said, "come asap! i'm having contractions and my water officially broke!" no more than 15 minutes later, your dad was walking into Room 12 in L&D with all the bags and goodies we packed weeks earlier.  we were ready to have this babe! we called our parents and some close friends to let them know that our babe would soon be arriving!
i was group b strep positive so i had to have an IV immediately upon arrival.  this made walking around and laboring in the room slightly difficult.  it was hard to find a comfortable position.  i did like the swiss ball, though.  both sets of your grandparents came for a quick visit and were so excited about the impending arrival of their first grandchild!  
by 8pm, i was 4 cm dilated and things were getting pretty intense.  i stuck it out for another hour and by 9pm i was 6 cm dilated and opted for the epidural.  i was pretty happy with this decision because i knew i needed rest to make it through the long night.  your dad and i stayed up for awhile watching Chelsea Lately! and talking about our future.  we talked for awhile about what we might name you, how we would care for you, and what we thought you might look like.
last picture of just us before you were born!
your dad fell asleep for awhile, but i was too excited and nervous about what was to come to get much sleep.
around 11pm there was a nurse shift change and we lucked out getting the best nurse on the floor! she was so attentive, positive, and encouraging.  she checked again and noticed that my contractions slowed down a bit.  we talked about starting pitocin, but...
by 1am i was fully dilated and ready to push!  they called the doctor on call from my OB's office and wanted me to "labor down" for at least an hour.  they sat my bed up and at 3am i started doing a few practice pushes.  however, i wasn't making much progress so we waited to push until 3:30 when the doctor came in again.  after an hour of pushing and very little progress, they told me that you were face up (or "sunny-side up" as they put it!) and this was making it difficult for you to come down the birth canal.  my contractions slowed to about every 5 minutes at this point and it made it very difficult to continue pushing.  we discussed some options at this point.  the doctor told me that since you were face-up and my pelvis was very narrow, it was going to be difficult for you to come out.  that, coupled with the slowing contractions would allow me to opt for a c-section.  she encouraged me to push for at least another hour to an hour and a half to see if i could make any progress on my own.  at this point, the epidural had almost completely worn off and i was exhausted.  if it wasn't for your dad's encouraging words and the doctors persistence, i think i may have opted for the c-section.  however, i gave it another try and after another hour of pushing, you were finally here! 
you were born at 5:31am on August 27, 2013.
they immediately put you on my chest for our first skin-to-skin session and were able to delay your cord clamping, do all your tests, and wipe you down. dad was able to cut the cord and i think this may have been one of the greatest moments of his life.

knowing that we did this and made this perfect, beautiful little baby girl brought tears to our eyes.  at that moment, we knew our lives had changed for the best and would never, ever be the same.  we loved you the minute we saw you! you were so tiny and pink with a great set of lungs! 
your dad ran out to the waiting room to share our good news!  pretty soon after, Grandma & Grandpa, GiGi, Grandpa & Uncle Mike came to meet you.  being the first grandchild on both sides definitely gives you the "spoiled" title :) you sure are one loved little girl.  i hope you always remember that. 
this blog is named after one of my favorite songs.  some of the lyrics say, "lay down in our mother's arms, for here we can rest safely".  holding you in my arms, i promise to always keep you safe and away from harm.  you are my baby girl, my greatest life accomplishment.

"how beautiful, yet fragile, life is so enjoy every minute of it"... for after all, it IS one sweet world!
with all my love,
your mom 
nora marie 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

One Week Old

Baby Nora,
Today you are one week old!  This past week FLEW by!  We spent our days mostly at the hospital and the pediatrician's office.  We came home from the hospital on Thursday and went on our first "outing" to the pediatricians and the hospital to get your bili levels checked.  They went up, but fortunately a few days later you are cleared of jaundice!  
You weighed 7 pounds 4 ounces at birth and we left the hospital with you weighing 6 pounds 13 ounces.  At the doctor's office on your one week birthday you officially were back to your birth weight! You sure are growing fast :) (maybe a little too fast for mommy's liking....) 
Right now you are sleeping most of the day and night.  Each day you are awake more and more and we love seeing your navy blue eyes wide open!  You seem to be up for a little bit after nursing and then conk out for an hour or two.  You're sleeping well at night, too.  The past few nights we've been up every 3-4 hours or so.  You nurse and then fall right back to sleep.  Hopefully this stays this way! Right now, you're sleeping in our room and daddy will pick you up when you awake and bring me to you to eat.  You try and take naps in your crib, but mostly end up napping in someone's arms, the swing, or your carseat while we're on a walk. 
You're eating so well, too!  Fortunately, we've had a good start to nursing and although you fall asleep so easily while eating, I know you're getting enough because you're growing, putting on weight, and pooping galore! 
This week you are only able to fit in newborn clothes.  I tried to put a few cute BabyGap 0-3 outfits on you, but you are swimming in them!  You are mostly wearing newborn onesies and pj's.  You are just such a tiny peanut!
Since this past weekend was Labor Day Weekend, you had quite a few visitors!! You got to see GiGi, Grandpa, Uncle Terry, Uncle Mike, & Uncle Jimmy one night for dinner.  You also got some great cuddles in with Aunt Kristen & Uncle Mike.  Their kids are just so excited to meet you one day, too! Most importantly though, your Uncle Kyle came home from school to meet you for the first time.  He was in awe how tiny you were and LOVED holding you!  I'm a little sad that he doesn't get to see you so often during your first year, but hopefully he'll come home as often as he can to see you.  He sure loves you bunches! You also got to have dinner at Grandma & Grandpa's house.  You were quite fussy, but loved the cuddles you got from them! 
Uncle Kyle & Nora 
Aunt Kristen & Nora
Uncle Jimmy & Nora
Some of your favorite things thus far include the swing, the stroller, and your hands!  You love being able to suck on your fingers and feel your hands on your face.  We try and protect that perfect beautiful face of yours, but we know it makes you happy to have your hands on your face.  After all, that's how you were in the womb.  Every time we took an ultrasound picture of you your hands were covering your face! 
A few milestones from this week include coming home, your first walk, your first trip to Target, and your first bath!  You are not a fan of baths just yet... you cry the whole time and it breaks our hearts.  Hopefully soon you will love splashing around in the water! 
first walk with Lucy

First Bath!
Nora, we love you so much and never knew a love like this existed before.  Our days are filled with trying to make you happy and comfortable.  We love listening to your coos and grunts and laughing at all the cute faces you make! This has been the best week of our lives and we know it's only going to get better and better! 
With all our love,
Mommy & Daddy 
love those blue eyes

our family :)

one week photo shoot