19 September 2014

Recent Happenings

As expected when there is a new baby in the house, the blog has been rather quiet. I can assure you, though, that our house has not been so quiet as we are all learning to adapt to our new normal. Spoiler alert: a new baby is not the only change we've experienced over the last month.

Like Madeleine's growth spurt wasn't enough, she suddenly looked like a giant next to Elliott!


I've spent a fair amount of time - though never enough - admiring this beautiful baby boy.



At his first brunch, Elliott asked to be fed as our food was arriving and, after being fed, was very chill again. 


The week before Elliott was born, Madeleine climbed out of her crib for the first time. We pretended like it was an isolated incident until, first, we watched her on the webcam as she threw her leg up over the side of her crib and then we had to run across the house to stop her from launching out of the crib...two days in a row. After that, we deployed operation Big Girl Bed. 

In preparation, I took Madeleine fabric shopping so that she could pick out fabric for pillowcases for her new pillow. I whipped up a couple of simple pillowcases using this tutorial. This was a big moment for me, handing over design control after pouring my heart and soul into the perfect room for Miss M. Her primary colored underwater creatures now hang out with Christmas puppies and pastel zoo/safari animals. 


On the day of the big move, Madeleine busted out her tools and helped her dad turn her crib into a toddler bed. 


I can't tell, but I think she may have been excited about the results. We've had a few hiccups, but I'd say that the crib to bed transition has gone much better than expected, especially given the poor and sudden timing. If we could only end the nap strike that is nearly a month long and counting...


For Elliott's first trail walk, Madeleine busted out her hoodie and prepared her pockets for trail treasures, though we were sure that the blackberries she picked went in her mouth and not her pockets.


Elliott enjoyed his inaugural ride in the Beco Gemini


Another day, Elliott enjoyed his first bottle al fresco. I'm so grateful for the flexibility of having George feed him liquid gold when I want/need to spend a bit of time away from Elliott.


Grandma came to our rescue for a couple of weeks, and we were so grateful for the time she spent with each kiddo, books she read to them, and weeding she accomplished in our yard. While she was here, we went to the aquarium, where the octopus, Delilah, put on a great show. (Madeleine has asked to go back and/or pretended to swim like a diver at the aquarium almost every day since our visit.)


I wonder if the ice cream treat we got while downtown has anything to do with her attachment to the aquarium.


None of us wanted Grandma to leave.


Elliott and I had a great play date with Eloise and Misha. Can't wait to watch these two (slowly, please) grow up together! Hopefully this is just the beginning of regular play dates.


I hesitate to say that we're starting to find our stride as a family of four. Some days/nights are better/worse than others, but we're making it through and trying to take advantage of George's few remaining days of leave by going on some family adventures. We just might survive this period of intense transition.

12 September 2014

Elliott - Three Weeks Old

We got to know Elliott a little better this week. As his vision improves, he is spending more time taking in his surroundings, and it's fun to catch him staring at some little detail that I never would have noticed...like the other morning when I was pumping and he was checking out his reflection in the gloss white paint of his built-ins. He continues to be pretty chill with a flash of drama when he wants fed or has to have his diaper changed. The word content is often used when people see him, though I can tell you that he has the ability to nearly turn himself inside out with screaming, too. I think he's going to follow in Madeleine's footsteps and be a finger sucker, but I think he may be a little quieter as I've only been able to elicit a few little squeaks from him in the vocal department.

Life with a newborn revolves around eating and sleeping. Elliott has been all about eating this week, and he has an extra pound and second chin to prove it. Given our difficult start with his imperfect latch, I was particularly chuffed to have a pediatrician compliment his latch yesterday. Elliott's eating exhausted me earlier this week when he decided to demand milk every 2 to 2.5 hours around the clock for about 30 hours.

Fortunately, sleep follows eating during a growth spurt. If last night is any indication, Elliott's sleep is getting into a better pattern with longer blocks at night. We're still working on getting him to sleep in his crib most of the time and on establishing a bedtime routine. I'm curious to see what his sleep looks like over the next several months because Elliott already wants to roll onto his side as soon as he's laid down and he manages to wiggle around the crib, covering a surprising amount of ground in the process.

I'm pleased to share that Madeleine still adores her little brother. She loves to kiss him, report her adventures to him ("Baby Elliott, I saw an octopus!"), sing to him, and tell him what to do ("Wake up, Elliott." "Drink milk, Baby Elliott."). When I'm feeding him, she likes to crawl up in the chair beside me and ask to have his "piggies" sit on her lap so that she can admire his toes. It's pretty cute.

Speaking of cute, check out our little dude.



05 September 2014

Elliott - Two Weeks Old

Elliott's second week of life included the low experience of being ready to throw in the towel on breastfeeding and the high of getting a great report from the pediatrician. This is the week that Elliott seems to have figured out how to eat, and his mum seems to have figured out how to chill out and trust herself a bit.

Elliott continues to be very chill, though I have seen a stubborn streak show through from time to time. I'm super interested to watch his personality develop. When he starts to fall asleep, he flashes this huge grin, which totally melts my heart. Tonight, his daddy seems to have gotten one of these grins during awake time; I hope my turn is next.

Now that Sir E has figured out how to eat, he seems to be growing very quickly. He is so long! The few newborn items I have will probably only get one more wear, and I'm not sure how long the 0-3 month clothes are going to fit at his current rate. Did I mention that he is one long baby?! As you can see, we've introduced cloth diapers. Because we only have a handful of tiny ones, we're still using disposables for about half of our daily diapers, and I'm anticipating that we'll need to move into the next size of cloth diapers within a week or two.

Although Madeleine did tell us "all done Elliott" this week, she continues to be very fascinated with her little brother. He is the first thing on her mind when she gets up in the morning and has to get a goodnight before she goes to bed at night. She is just dying to pick him up, which keeps us on our guard at all times. I hope that Madeleine's positive affection for her brother continues!


29 August 2014

Elliott - One Week Old

Here we are with a one-week-old baby. As anyone who has had a newborn knows, the first week is such a rollercoaster with plenty of challenges mixed with the highest of highs.

Elliott continues to charm us as we get to know his personality just a little bit. Primarily, he is one chill dude. As a result, I've had more than a handful of feeding frustrations as he would rather sleep, relax, or give a crappy latch rather than properly feed. We're working through it, and I know that he'll be a champion eater again before we know it. I'm hoping that his lax attitude pays off when we can finally let him sleep until he wakes up.

He's opening his eyes a little more each day, and his umbilical stump is hanging on by a tiny thread. He has dragon talons that grow at an incredible rate. His jaundice seems to be slowly dissipating, and his purple feet are slowly coming right. Hopefully his weight will be headed in the right direction from now on, too.

Although I am not undertaking the full 52-week photo project that I did with Madeleine, I do want to document Elliott's growth these first few weeks and then monthly through the first year. And so, without further ado, enjoy this first week:



24 August 2014

Welcome, Elliott!


We are pleased for you to meet the newest member of our family.

ELLIOTT PAUL

22 August 2014 at 11:15am

8 lbs. 13 oz. (4 kg) and 22.5 inches (55.9 cm)






I was blessed with an amazing birth experience, which I attribute to George's constant support, our out-of-this-world great midwife, a pregnancy full of yoga, and somehow managing to follow my instincts through the process. Stay tuned for a birth story at some point. 

Elliott (so far) seems to be a very chill baby. It's a bit of a shock to hear newborn cries again, especially when he wakes up. Forget the toddler babble we're used to hearing - he wants attention now. But, once he's fed and clean, he's usually pretty relaxed. In the looks department, he takes a lot of resemblance from George, a bit from Madeleine, and a touch from the likes of Winston Churchill and Benjamin Button. I can't wait to see his little personality and body develop!

Madeleine loves him to pieces and has already tried to share her (completely inappropriate for his age) toys with her brother. Because his name is also a surprise to our little chatter box, she is still learning it and also refers to him as "Baby Brother" (his name from the pregnancy) and "Brand New."

Fortunately, we have lots of time with George home to help us ease into our family of four status, and I wouldn't want to do it any other way. 

We're all so happy that Elliott has joined our family!