Tag Archives: Baby

The Newest

My favorite thing in the entire universe is meeting my babies for the first time.

My 2nd favorite thing in the entire universe is meeting my friends’ babies for the first time.

MJ did not disappoint.

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I love being able to say, “When you were born, I was __________.” I will remember it all. I remember when Stella and Cleo and Jaxon and Delaney and Michael and George and Brennan and Hayden and Aubrey and Corbin and Lizzie were all born. I remember where I was when I heard the news and what I was doing. I remember being excited and happy and nearly bursting with excitement to see all of them.

I’m lucky that I snuck my way in to meet MJ with Tara and Hailey just hours after he took his first breath.

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I’ll forever associate this tiny little thing (5lbs 13oz to be exact) with intense August heat, the Raspberry Festival in Cottonwood and watermelon beer.

I won’t be able to wear my WSU running shorts without also thinking about the sweetest hint of red on that tiny little head and the way Sadie’s room was overflowing with people who couldn’t wait to meet MJ.

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August 2nd is forever a beautiful day.

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Welcome to the world, MJ. Good luck navigating through the sea of girls that you will constantly be surrounded by thanks to the Boulevard. Thanks for making life a little bit sweeter, more fun, and more beautiful. We love you already!

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17 Weeks

She’s 17 weeks.

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To all of you non-parents (moms tend to count their child’s moments in weeks instead of months until about 6 months…and then months instead of years until they are 3….it’s just the way it is) that means she’s a little over 4 months.

I have 17 pictures of her on this grey rug in the same onesie and will probably have one hundred more before I decide to do something with them.

Her smile is beautiful and her hair is not. But it’ll come in.

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This might be a weird thing to say, but I love her name more and more with each day that goes by. She’s a Francesca 100%.

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She rolls over now, and only just mastered it this week. She hates being on her tummy and loves being carted around. She loves her mouse friend, loves chewing on everything (is she teething??) and is the sweetest.

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I get asked a llllll the time, “Who does she look like?” because she isn’t quite like my first 3 who looked so much alike for their first 12 months. Or Charlotte who looks a lot like me and like Jamie with her big brown eyes. Or Ollie who is so uniquely herself, apart from the others. She’s Francesca with perfect ears and silly hair. Grey-blue eyes and skin tone in between fair and olive.

And at 17 weeks, she’s just perfect.

Newborn Essentials: what you definitely, totally, absolutely need.

I know a thing or 2 about newborn essentials. I’ve brought home 6 babies, gone through 6 first nights at home, nursed 6 newborns, and clothed 6 tiny bodies.

I know about newborn essentials.

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1. 4Moms Momaroo seat.   Yes, this $269 baby seat is a must-have. It mimics something like 6 different movements (the kangaroo is similar to what it must feel like to be gently walked and bounced, that kind of thing), it plays sounds, and can even play music from your mp3 player. It reclines and sits more upright for older babies and it plugs into the wall (as opposed to using batteries) so it’s always charged and ready to go. This seat has been an absolute life saver for us. Franci likes white noise and she likes being moved in a certain motion…thank you 4 Moms.

2. Mimijumi bottle.  This is the best bottle I’ve found that makes breast feeding and bottle feeding at the same time as easy as possible. The soft texture of the bottle up against the baby’s mouth and face (that sounds so weird reading it back) feels a lot like a nipple might, and the slow-flow nipple is just right for babe.

3. Gerber cloth diapers. Yep, I’m totally just talking about the cheap Gerber prefolds. I don’t cloth diaper (baaaaahahahhahaha you silly people) but I do clean up a lot of slobber and spit up and sometimes the baby goes through spurts of wetting through her diaper at night and it’s great for laying down under her. They are super absorbent, cheap, and wash really well.

4. Kickee Pants newborn outfits. I’m partial to the Kickee Pants gowns, but really any of their things will do. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt material softer than what these are made of. They must be made from cloud fibers. I like them especially for the warmer months because they are a little bit thin, breathable, and slip on and off like a dream.

 5. Soothe Shirt by Lalabu.  I wore Francesca in my Soothe Shirt to 4 or 5 different events in the first month of her life. Why is it perfect? A) she was protected from germ hands wanting to hold her. No one will ask to hold your baby when she is literally inside your shirt. Creepsters might…but always say no to creepsters. B) she was used to being a part of me, which soothed her, which made her really happy to be basically as close to me as she’d been for the previous 9 months. She never fussed in her Soothe Shirt. C) it’s crazy comfortable. It’s so easy to nurse in, it’s tight enough that I feel comfortable wearing Franci in it, and it’s cute.

6. Nose Frida. 10x better than the nose suckers they give you at the hospital. It’s easy to clean (unlike the others) and you can control exactly how much suction to use. My babies all prefer this to the bulb syringes every time.

7. Freshly Picked crib moccs. Newsflash: baby shoes do NOT stay on your tiny baby’s feet. Unless they are Freshly Picked moccasins. To be honest, aside from the fact that they couldn’t be any cuter, I put these on Franci (and still do) because it keeps her socks on! Ollie thinks she’s being very helpful when she pulls off Franci’s socks every chance she gets. But she has a harder time pulling off these tiny shoes which makes my life so much easier.

8. NUK Nursing pads. If you are one of the lucky ones who produces lots of milk for your baby, you’ll need something to soak up all that liquid gold so that when you’re checking out at the grocery store and you hear a random baby cry and your milk bags get confused and think they need to let down…you’re covered.

9. Mustela newborn shampoo. And wipes. And lotion. Because Mustela smells what I like to imagine heaven smells like.

7 Weeks

Francesca Leilani is 7 weeks old today.

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Her hair is looking an awfully lot like Charlotte’s did at this stage…which might not be such a great thing in a few months.

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But right now, there’s nothing about her that isn’t perfectly cute.

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She spends her days nursing, sleeping, hiccup-ing, and kicking. She kicks like you wouldn’t believe.

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She wakes up twice at night to eat and would rather snuggle in next to me to go back to sleep than be put back in her bassinet. 7weeks-108

This week alone she attended a Boys and Girls Club dinner and a Pepsi party. She’s quite busy.

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Time’s going by very quickly. So quickly that by the end of the day, even though I’m completely exhausted, I want to rewind and instead of putting that 3rd load of laundry in, scoop up the baby and hold her and rock her an extra 30 minutes. I know this phase is only a fraction of my time with her and feeling like I’m soaking it all in has been difficult.

So excuse me while I steal some baby time.

4 weeks and snow

Today, Franci is 4 weeks old.

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She is nursing beautifully still.

Her legs are still itty bitty, but I see a tiny roll starting. This makes me happy.

She smiles. You guys, she SMILES!! She first smiled at me. I’m not kidding and I’m not lying. It was 2AM and she decided she didn’t want to sleep. I was watching her and she was smiling and I totally didn’t think it was real because she isn’t even a month old! But then the next day, my dad said she smiled at him. Now…I rarely believe my dad when he claims to catch milestones like this. Because he’s a lying dog. But then that night, she smiled AGAIN at my friend Liz. And then today she smiled at me once. They are few and far between, but they are real.

She wakes up 2-3 times a night to eat and is a pretty good girl about going back to sleep. She’s way better behaved than Alice and Charlotte.

Oh, and she’s still crazy cute.

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And today is even a little more magical because we woke up to snow — lots of it!

And, believe it or not, it continued to snow throughout the day. And when that happens, you get blessed with pictures like this:

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Happy Snow Day.

Nursery Tour

I have less than 5 weeks until my official ultrasound due date, but 3.75 until “my” due date. (Are you confused? So your original due date is calculated by counting 40 weeks out from the first day of your last period. But then it sometimes changes based on how the baby measures at your early ultrasound around 11-12 weeks. With 4 of my 5 babies, they arrived early — two were 10 days early, one was a week early, and one was 4 days earlier than my ultrasound due date. I usually just go by my dates I calculate. Mostly because it makes the time go by faster. I’m no fool.)

I try really hard to put on a happy face and be positive about everything, but the truth is that I’m pretty miserable. Being pregnant and chasing after a 1 year old, 3 year old, 5 year old, 7 year old and 9 year old is taxing. Driving around all day is more tiring than it sounds. I’m nauseous 80% of the time and if I eat even a teaspoon too much of food, my very restricted stomach sends it back up. My organs are so squished in there and my belly is so tight that every time Francesca moves, it hurts. I know this was all totally my choice, but guess what? Everyone gets to complain now and again. It’s a rule.

And did you know that certain anxiety medications are no-nos during pregnancy? So when I’m having an especially anxious day, it’s a little more difficult than it was before. And to be honest, I’m quite stressed lately. My dad has that goof-ball of a disease lymphoma and they have been going to Seattle for doctor’s appointments and such. So along with being worried about him, this mama’s girl is missing the quick pop-ins to their house. My kids miss them desperately when they are away. Thanksgiving is coming up and for some reason it’s stressing me out, even though I won’t have to be doing any work! Oh, and Christmas. You guys, buying Christmas gifts for 5 children is really stressful!! I want to get them ordered and wrapped before Franci arrives and there really isn’t much time.

But I’m so excited to meet this little peanut. And one really happy and fun thing that gets me excited is finishing up the nursery. The nursery that doubles as Olive’s bedroom. It wasn’t awful before, but now it’s complete.

Aside from one wall, you wouldn’t be able to guess it’s a shared girls’ bedroom. We are a little sick of pink at this house, so Danny and I wanted a modern, soft, neutral feel to the room and I think we got it.

This is the wall opposite the big window. On the left is the walk-in-closet and on the right is the bathroom. It’s true, they have their own bathroom. We are just really fancy in this house.

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Honeycomb Shelves: Fab

BabyLit Books: Peek Kids

Camera: Twig Creative

Rocker: Pottery Barn Kids

Their room is quite small, but there is so much natural light thanks to 2 big windows. The play tent is a perfect size for a couple tiny little people to hide and get away from big siblings..and there are always little animal friends taking naps.

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Teepee: Be Little You and Me

The beds. Yes, the baby will sleep on that mattress when she transitions from our room. Yes, we will definitely get rid of the cords. Yes, it’s perfectly safe. I promise. We are going the Montessori way again with the floor bed and once she’s able to crawl safely out of something off the ground a bit, we’ll add another bed like Ollie’s (because older toddlers certainly don’t need floor beds for the most part). Oh and Ollie’s bed? Dan totally made it. I showed him a picture of a bed I wanted from Etsy and he said, “Okay, I can make that,” and he did. There are no screws or nails or anything, it all fits together perfectly. I love being married to a crafty guy.

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Bedding: Ikea

Sheepskin Rug: Amazon

Pink Tower  and Brown Stair Blocks: Kid Advance

Floor Play Gym: Ikea

For this corner, I wasn’t quite sure what to do because it’s right behind the door so a dresser couldn’t fit there, and it’s a weird space anyway. I decided to do the ‘ol Ruthie standby and create a felt ball garland and hang pictures from it. Olive LOVES looking at pictures of the kids and naming all of them. The bouncer will probably move from room to room once Francesca arrives, but for now it’s stuck on the grey rug in the corner.

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Grey Rug: ikea

Felt Balls: Hello Maypole

4Moms seat: Babies R Us

And my favorite part: the wall. Okay, so here’s the story. I had ordered these decals and literally that same afternoon I went on a deals site and saw they had similar decals for 1/4 the price. I skedaddled and cancelled my first order and went ahead with the cheaper option. You guys, trust your gut. You get what you pay for. Similar does not mean same.

The cheaper ones arrived and they were a horrible color and horribly shaped. I’m glad they were cheap, but they were a poor choice. I should have just completely copied my friend Lauren and gone this route from the very beginning. But look, I ordered them, they arrived and they are perfect. (Also, Lauren was genius and told me to use a laser level to apply them…so easy, so fast, and so good).

We are currently using the cubbies as storage for shoes, blankets, diapers, blocks, toys, and books.

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Cubbies: Amazon

Decals: Walls by Mur

A few things left to do (but that we are pretty sure will either never get done, or won’t get done for ages): paint the doors white, paint chalkboard/magnetic paint on the bottom squares of the 2 doors on the wall, add baseboards. We shall see.

Next baby post: the hospital bag.

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From scoot to rock…..and eventually crawl

She’s my fourth baby and I still ask people, “So when do babies start sitting up?”

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I forget.

Probably because all of my babies have done things at all different ages. Maria walked so much earlier than Jamie (who walked later than the average baby), but Jamie’s verbal skills were better than Maria’s as a toddler. Alice slept through the night at 2 months while Maria didn’t until she was a year old. Potty training? Jamie was so easy. Maria….not so much.

Charlotte has some friends (*cough* Lilly *cough*) who are superbabies. You would not believe that something that tiny could crawl as well as they do. Charlotte, however, has been quite content with rolling everywhere. Yes, rolling. Like a ball.

Until recently…

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Her arms are locked and ready to support her body while those knees go up….

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…and up that little bottom goes.

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And just like that, she’s rocking.

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Pretty soon maybe she and Lilly will have crawling races around the kitchen. Oooh I hope so. I am not sure it could get much cuter than a crawling race….