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Six Month Snapshot: Alexandra

We made it half a year, six months, outside the womb, together, and baby Alex had her very first half birthday, recently!  How is our baby Alex already six months old!  So much has happened this month!  The theme for this month summed up in one word is transition.  Baby Alex is changing all the time.  In fact, she got her first two teeth, which are coming in, the two located in the lower middle of her mouth, which we have affectionately named, “chomper” and “pointy!”  She was quite fussy during the later part of December, just prior to her teeth cracking through the gums.  Her sleep was pretty erratic, during this time, and we were both pretty tired, and we still are tired, imagine that!  Her sleep is slowly improving, but it is still erratic with the teething. The drool is also quite real with the teething!  We really love these bibs, which help preserve her clothes during teething due to all of the drool!  It is hard to believe she will have 16 teeth by the time she is two!  We are wiping these little teeth stumps (“chomper” and “pointy”) daily, per my dentist’s recommendation, to help keep them clean!  Our baby girl is eating solids for mostly for dinner this month after really not liking the rice cereal, and she also is not a fan of the oatmeal!  So far, she likes squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, mango, avocado, and pears!

She has also moved to her ‘big girl’ stroller seat on her Bugaboo Fox!  We finally have the swaddle down for sleeping, it only took us six months to figure this out!  We use two swaddles concurrently: this arm swaddle and the Ollie Swaddle!  Baby Alex cannot escape wearing these two swaddles, finally, which helps prevent her from waking up!  We hope that we get down to only getting up one time a night or not getting up at all during the night, but the teething has not made things easy at night, recently.  She still really loves to roll around on her tummy and she can spin and roll around like a pro.  She can get into the crawling position, and we anticipate her to be mobile soon, which is a scary prospect!  We already started to baby proof our home.  This month our baby girl also started going to her play school a few days a week and, so far, it is going well!  She did, however, get sick, with a fever, for the first time, which was difficult, likely due to teething.  She is doing and feeling better now, thankfully.  During Alex’s sixth month, we also celebrated her first Christmas and New Years together!  We had a great time together celebrating with friends!  Alex also experienced her first snow recently!  She continues to grow and grow!  We are biased, but we think she just gets more beautiful each month!  We go to the pediatrician later this week for her sixth-month check-up; and we hope at, some point, she slows down with her physical growing!  She is very long and we are going through clothes like they are literally going out of style!  She is wearing mostly 18 month sized clothes, depending on how the clothes fit!  Victory is still doing well in her ‘big sister’ role!  She loves greeting Alex each morning while licking her from head to toe, a morning ritual, which we have coined, “Victory doing her morning rounds!”  We have some evening time, mostly at night with Victory, and I think she really enjoys this alone time with us!  We love our girls and we are embracing it all, and we feel so blessed beyond words!

A few highlights from Alex’s sixth month include:

-this arm swaddle has really helped us with sleeping during the day and night!  I highly recommend it!

-the teething has not made Alex too happy!  As a result, she has been up a lot at night the past few weeks, which has not been fun for anyone!

-she still loves to grab her feet and grab anything in sight and put it in her mouth!  We are still using the teething glove!  She has managed to get into Victory’s water bowl recently!  We have taken the first steps to baby proofing our home.

-she makes lots of sounds and she says, “agee;” “hey;” and “atoy toy.”  We have no idea what these words mean, but she repeats them!

-she loves to give her vocal cords a work out, at times, while screeching quite loudly!

-she is learning to swallow without sucking first!  We are working on introducing more types of foods, each week!

-she loves to give Victory treats!  We open up Alex’s hand and then Victory comes over and licks the treat from the palm of Alex’s hand, and Alex thinks it is the funniest thing, as she chuckles and smiles!  Alex does love to stroke Victory’s fur and she does not seem to mind Victory’s daily licks all over he body!

-she loves to play and she loves to be read to!  We are a fan of these books!

-she still finds the mirror very captivating!

-she has learned how to spit and thinks it is fantastic!  Sometimes, we even find her spitting in her crib in the mornings and she thinks it is so funny!

-she is sometimes holding her bottle on her own!

-on a daily basis Doug asks Alex where she is hiding her cookies, which is very important, based upon this video!

-she is still very alert and observant!  She is still going to the gym with us sometimes in the evenings, and she seems to like the care center, so far, when our favorite care provider, Lynn, is there to care for her, so we can get a work out in several times a week!  We plan to take her swimming soon, when it gets a bit warmer outside!

-she still loves her Ergo, and we have done some walks together, despite the colder temperatures!

-she still loves her swing, and she takes at least one nap in it daily, typically!  (I am not sure what we are going to do when she outgrows her swing!)

 

A few highlights I would like to remember:

-photographing and making videos of Alex — I want to remember and capture as much as I can!

-enjoying our first Christmas and New Year together as a family of four!

-greeting Alex in her nursery in the mornings!  One of my favorite times, and Victory always joins us!

-loving on her long, velvety soft and smooth body!

-loving how she smells after a bath!

-loving how her hair is so fluffy and soft against my skin!  It keeps growing!

-loving her chuckle, which is so adorable.

-watching her ride on her Daddy’s shoulders around the house, which she loves!

-watching her eat her first foods, which has been fun to witness!

-watching her greet Victory in the morning and her Daddy in the evenings during the week after work!

-watching her explore her environment!

-remembering that she loves (prefers) to be naked, in her diaper, at home!

-remembering her sticking her tongue out to feel her chompers!

-remembering how peaceful she looks while she is sleeping!

-remembering how she likes to dance while holding our hands to keep her balance!

-watching her meeting and interacting with new people — right now, she is open to other people and does not seem to mind being in the company of others!

-remembering her getting sick for the very first time.

-giving her a bath without her being so upset, although she still is not loving bath time!

-enjoying our morning time consisting of: play time and story tine together, a time when baby Alex is very animated and she is generally in a really good mood, and now Victory joins us, which makes it even better!

-rocking Alex to sleep at night in her swaddle!

-marveling at her smile — she has the most wonderful smile that melts our hearts!

-admiring her eyes — they are the prettiest deep blue eyes I have ever seen!  We think she is going to keep those beautiful blue eyes!

-loving her long, dark eye lashes!

-enjoying the beautiful morning light in Alex’s nursery each morning!

-staying in our pajamas for days, not leaving the house!

-knowing how much our little Victory affectionately loves her ‘little sister!’

-watching Alex play with her Daddy!

-having our first real date night this month, which we hope to do one to two times a month!

-knowing on the days that I feel totally exhausted, that I will someday really miss these early days, and I need to remind myself, at times of this fact.

-still asking myself what will I miss about this time of my life when it’s all gone?  This question keeps everything in perspective.

-most of all, we are cherishing getting to be Alex’s parents!

Doug and I are very grateful for our little girl and our little family!  We feel so fortunate.  We look forward to seeing Alex’s little personality continue to develop and unfold.  Below are a few images: Alex’s monthly portrait; Alex and Victory’s monthly portrait; followed by photos of Alex throughout this month; and some iphone images during her sixth month with us!  You can read our birth story along with viewing images from Alex’s birth here; you can read Alex’s first month snapshot here; her second month snapshot here; her third month snapshot here; her fourth month snapshot here; and her five month snapshot here.

It has been quite a bit of work keeping up with Alex’s monthly photos; printing of the images; creating her photo book for her first year; creating blog posts; and writing Promptly Journal entries.  However, this time will only happen once, and we want to record and remember it, so we are going to keep going with this process through the first year, where so many changes occur, sometimes seemingly over night!

 

 

 

 

 

You can see the extraordinary change in only six months, below!

 

 

 

 

You can see the the change over a six month period, immediately below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few iphone images from this month!

 

 

 

Five Month Snapshot: Alexandra

How is our baby Alex already five months old!  The time is flying by so quickly, and she is changing and developing all the time!  I swear sometimes that she looks bigger in the morning compared to the previous night!  The theme for this month summed up in one word is patterns.  Doug and I have found patterns to most of our days with Alex.  This month, Alex is intrigued with holding her feet, as shown in the second image below!  We find her, many times, in the happy baby yoga pose!  She loves it.  She is also sitting up with the use of her hands to hold herself steady.  Alex’s sleep during this month has been a bit erratic.  Some nights she sleeps through the night and others she is up multiple times, as she has escaped her velcro swaddle wrap.  We are now using the Ollie Swaddle, while continuing to use the Dock-A-Tot, which is helping us get more sleep, which she has not, yet, escaped, which results in her waking up and waking us up.  She is still a morning girl, and the mornings are her best time of day!  We savor morning time with Alex and Victory.  Victory is still doing well having a ‘little sister.’  Victory makes her ‘morning rounds’ with Alex every morning and licks and cleans Alex, a daily ritual!  Sometimes, in the early evenings, before bed, Alex does have a rough time, some melt downs, which are not fun for anyone.  She still fights sleeping, at times, since birth, especially, in the evenings.  She is usually in bed and asleep by 8:00 p.m. most evenings.  She continues to grow, grow, and grow.  She is in 12 month clothing already!  She is really quite long, and I still continue to pack away her clothes that no longer fit each month!  This month we took Alex out to eat with us several times and she did well!  We also took her to her first Navy football game!  It was fun!  We also took our girls to see Santa recently and everything went pretty well!  Most of all, we look forward to celebrating our first Christmas together with both of our girls!  We are just about ready for Christmas and we are doing our best to stay in the present moment!

A few highlights from Alex’s fifth month include:

-the Ollie Swaddle is a life saver.  I highly, highly recommend it, if your baby needs a reliable swaddle!  It is the best swaddle we have found after trying a variety of swaddles since Alex was born.

-she is having erratic sleep at night this month; some nights she sleeps through the entire night and others she is up multiple times.  The new Ollie Swaddle is helping to keep her asleep during the night.

-she loves to grab her feet, her new favorite position, and she is trying ever so hard to get those toes in her mouth — most of the time, she is usually successful getting her big toe in her mouth, which she thinks is great!

-she is still putting everything in sight in her mouth!  We are still using the teething glove!

-she is drooling a lot, but no signs of any teeth yet!

-she likes to spit sometimes!

-she is a pro at rolling over from both her back and stomach!

-she still loves to play ‘peek-a-boo!’

-she still loves tummy time — she is so close to being a mobile baby!

-she truly found her vocal cords — she can screech for long stretches and she thinks it is humorous!

-she absolutely loves the mirror and loves to look at herself in the mirror, which she finds very captivating right now!

-she has started to hold her bottle a little bit during feedings!

-she loves to touch her hair with her hands while she eats!

-she tried rice cereal for the first time, but it did not go over all that well!  (We are going to try giving it to her in a bottle and see how that goes!)

-she also loves it when you rub your nose on her nose — she thinks it is the greatest thing!

-she is touching Victory’s fur more and more.  (We can’t wait for her to fully understand who Victory is!)

-she still loves play time and story time — she loves to be read to!

-she is still very alert and observant!  We take her out to eat with us and she loves experiencing new experiences, thankfully!  She continues to do well when we go out to eat; and she did well at her first Navy football game where the Navy won!  She is now going to the gym with us in the evenings and she seems to like the care center, so far, so we can get a work out in several times a week!  We plan to take her swimming soon!

-she still loves her swing, and she takes at least one nap in it daily, typically!  (I am not sure what we are going to do when she outgrows her swing!)

 

A few highlights I would like to remember:

-photographing and making videos of Alex — I want to remember and capture as much as I can!

-greeting Alex in her nursery in the mornings!  One of my favorite times!

-loving on her long, chunky body along with all of her folds and rolls, which are mitigating some!

-loving her smell and her velvety smooth skin — it is so soft!

-loving how she smells after a bath!

-loving how her hair is so fluffy and soft against my skin!  It keeps growing, and her hair appears that it will be relatively thick!

-loving her chuckle — it is so adorable.

-loving her ‘baby talk’ and ‘cooing.’

-enjoying our morning time consisting of: play time and story tine together, a time when baby Alex is very animated and she is generally in a really good mood, and now Victory joins us, which makes it even better!

-enjoying watching Alex playing in her jumper!

-rocking Alex to sleep at night in her swaddle!

-marveling at her smile — she has the most wonderful smile that melts our hearts!

-admiring her eyes — they are the prettiest deep blue eyes I have ever seen!

-enjoying the beautiful morning light in Alex’s nursery each morning!

-knowing how much our little Victory loves her ‘little sister!’

-watching Alex play with her Daddy!

-remembering when Alex first listened to Christmas music, which she loves!

-knowing on the days that I feel totally exhausted, that I will someday really miss these early days, and I need to remind myself, at times of this fact.

-still asking myself what will I miss about this time of my life when it’s all gone?  This question keeps everything in perspective.

-most of all, we are cherishing getting to be Alex’s parents!

Doug and I are very grateful for our little girl and our little family!  We feel so fortunate.  We look forward to seeing Alex’s little personality continue to develop and unfold.  Below are a few images: Alex’s monthly portrait; Alex and Victory’s monthly portrait; followed by photos of Alex throughout this month; and some iphone images during her fifth month with us!  You can read our birth story along with viewing images from Alex’s birth here; you can read Alex’s first month snapshot here; her second month snapshot here; her third month snapshot here; and her fourth month snapshot here.

 

 

 

See how much Alex has grown as compared to last month!

 

 

See how much Alex has grown as compared to last month!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few iphone images from this month!

Four Month Snapshot: Alexandra

How is our baby Alex already four months old!  The time is literally flying by so quickly, and she is changing and developing daily!  The theme for this month summed up in one word is flow.  Doug and I are going with the flow with Alex each day, as she is in charge of or schedules, most of the time!  However, there is becoming a little more predictability to our days.  Doug and I are getting more into the swing of things, each day!  This month, Alex is captivated with putting her fists (and any object within reach) into her mouth — we do not see any signs of any teeth coming in, yet, but she is drooling more and she loves to go to town on her hands!  Alex is also sleeping through the night most nights these days.  There are still some nights, though, she gets up to eat.  She goes to bed quite early and, as a result, she is up early.  Doug and I have been going to bed earlier ourselves in order to get more rest.  She continues to grow at rapid speed!  Each month, I pack away the clothes that no longer fit!  She just recently had her four-month doctor’s appointment and she is in the 95th percentile for length!  Baby Alex still loves to play and to be read to in the mornings and evenings!  I love spending time with her in the mornings as she is very well rested and full of smiles!  It is always so wonderful to see Alex smile so big when she sees us in the morning — it is the best!  Victory still comes into Alex’s nursery during the morning, day, and evenings, which is great!  Victory still licks our Baby Alex and cleans her daily!  It is really adorable!  Victory has been doing well, too, except for a recent ear infection that we are treating, which we, thankfully, discovered early.  As such, our little Victory should be on the mend!  Finally, we are looking forward to celebrating our first Thanksgiving together as a family of four!

Everyone is adjusting pretty well and we have a flow to most of our days together.

A few highlights from Alex’s fourth month include:

-she is sleeping for much longer stretches, along with a few descent naps these days!  She now uses a larger velcro swaddle wrap, which is working well!

-she really loves to suck on her fists and fingers and she loves this teething glove that we recently discovered!  The Nuby products have worked great for us, thus far!

-she is sitting up in her Bumbo seat while holding her head high!  This month she has seemed to have almost outgrown her Bumbo seat!  Her thick thighs get stuck in the leg opeinings!

-she is rolling over more frequently and she can roll over from her back to stomach and from her stomach to her back!  She also loves to lay and play on her side while doing ‘scissor kicks’ with her legs!

-she loves to play ‘peek-a-boo!’

-she loves tummy time and she is doing tummy time for longer stretches!  She, so badly, is trying to move her little body, but she is not quite there yet, but she is making progress!

-she is even more interactive this month — she smiles at us a lot, and she makes lots of different noises and sounds, which is really lovely!

-she loves for us to blow air on her stomach — she chuckles so much!

-she also loves it when you rub your nose on her nose — she thinks it is the greatest thing!

-she loves to move her legs, while playing — they are in constant motion!

-she is touching Victory’s fur more and more.  (We can’t wait for her to fully understand who Victory is!)

-she still loves play time and story time — she loves to be read to!

-she is still very alert and observant!  We take her out to eat with us and she loves experiencing new experiences, thankfully!  She did well this past weekend at her first Navy football game where the Navy won!

-she still loves her swing, and she takes at least one nap in it daily, typically!

-she still does not love bath time — she tolerates it at best!  Alex is now a member of our gym!  We look forward to taking her with us to the gym!  We soon plan to get her into some swim lessons soon at the Goldfish Swim School!

-she still loves to go on walks in her Ergo!  We try to get out most days for a walk together, when the weather is nice outside, which are becoming less and less, unfortunately, with colder weather upon us.

 

A few highlights I would like to remember:

-photographing Alex — I want to remember and capture as much as I can!

-greeting Alex in her nursery in the mornings!  One of my favorite times!

-loving on her chunky body along with all of her folds and rolls!

-loving her smell and her velvety smooth skin!

-loving how she smells after a bath!  (We love the Baby Cetaphil line!)

-loving how her hair is so fluffy and soft against my skin!

-remembering that Alex’s body runs warm and when she gets warm, her cheeks turn a really rosy color!

-remembering that she gets extremely fussy right before bedtime in the evenings!

-enjoying our morning time consisting of: play time and story tine together, a time when baby Alex is very animated and she is generally in a really good mood, and now Victory joins us, which makes it even better!

-enjoying nursing Alex, especially in the mornings and evenings, as it is one of my favorite times of day with her!

-hearing her little ‘baby talk;’ ‘cooing;’ and ‘chuckles!’  She is becoming more vocal at increasing decibels each day!

-marveling at her smile — she has the most wonderful smile that melts our hearts!

-admiring her eyes — they are the prettiest blue eyes I have ever seen — I know that I am partial!

-enjoying the beautiful morning light in Alex’s nursery each morning!

-knowing how much our little Victory loves her ‘little sister!’

-watching Alex play with her Daddy!  (Daddy is in charge of Alex’s books and toys!)

-knowing on the days that I feel totally exhausted, that I will someday really miss these early days, and I need to remind myself, at times of this fact.

-enjoying taking Alex out to dinner with us — she is pretty well-behaved!  We are lucky!

-still asking myself what will I miss about this time of my life when it’s all gone?  This question keeps everything in perspective.

-most of all, we are cherishing getting to be Alex’s parents!

Doug and I are very grateful for our little girl and our little family!  We feel so fortunate.  We look forward to seeing Alex’s little personality continue to develop and unfold.  Below are a few images: Alex’s monthly portrait; Alex and Victory’s monthly portrait; followed by photos of Alex throughout this month; and some iphone images, of our precious girl along with some images of Alex and Victory during her fourth month with us!  You can read our birth story along with viewing images from Alex’s birth here; you can read Alex’s first month snapshot here; her second month snapshot here; and her third month snapshot here.

 

 

 

See how much Alex has grown as compared to last month!

 

 

See how much Alex has grown as compared to last month!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few iphone images from this month!

Three Month Snapshot: Alexandra

How is our baby Alex already three months old!  The time is going by so very quickly.  We are savoring each day and fleeting moment!  The theme for this month summed up in one word is groove.  Our days typically have a sequence of events that occur, which I think Alex likes!  She is sleeping in her nursery at night, and it is going well.  She usually sleeps through the night; and other times, she is still getting up once during the night to eat.  She is also growing, growing, and growing!  She has outgrown a lot of her clothing, that I continue to pack away to make room for her bigger clothes!  Baby Alex also loves play time and story time in the mornings, one of our favorite times together!  She also loves to play with her toys, especially her rings, with her Daddy!  She is always in a good mood in the mornings and she is always smiling up at me when I greet her in the morning.  It melts my heart.  Now, Victory joins us every day for play time; story time; and for every feeding in the nursery!  (Previously, Victory was a little nervous to enter the nursery, but that no longer holds true!)  It is really wonderful!  Victory is the most active ever since adopting her as she is always attentive to her ‘little sister!’  We now refer to Victory as ‘Mamma Victory,’ since she is so attentive, attuned, nurturing, and loving to our precious baby Alex.  She loves licking Alex each day — it is really quite adorable!  Baby Alex is ‘talking’ and becoming more vocal each day, which has been really fun to witness!  We are excited to see her little personality continue to develop!

Everyone is adjusting pretty well and we have a groove to most of our days together.

A few highlights from Alex’s third month include:

-she is sleeping!  We are tired some days, but we are doing pretty well.

-she is sitting up in her Bumbo seat while holding her head high!

-she rolled over for the first time during this month!

-she loves tummy time and she loves holding her head high while on her tummy — she seems pretty determined, and we think she might be a ‘mobile baby’ soon!

-she sometimes sucks her thumb, but still loves her paci!

-she is very interactive — she smiles at us a lot, which is really lovely!

-she recognizes Victory and has felt her fur and head with her hand a few times.  (We can’t wait for her to fully understand who Victory is!)

-she loves play time and story time — she loves to be read to!

-she loves her new toys that her Daddy picked out recently from the Manhattan Toy Company, which we love!  (She has a super strong grip with both of her hands!)

-she still loves her swing, and she takes at least one nap in it daily, typically!

-she had a few more ‘blow outs’ this month that necessitated an immediate bath!

-she still does not love bath time — she tolerates it at best!

-she loves to go on walks in her Ergo!  We try to get out most days for a walk together, which has been really nice!

-she is even doing FaceTime now with her grandma and grandpa!

 

A few highlights I would like to remember:

-greeting Alex in her nursery in the mornings!

-loving her smell and her velvety smooth skin!  I wish I could bottle that lovely smell up and keep it forever!

-enjoying our morning time consisting of: play time and story tine together, a time when baby Alex is very animated and she is generally in a really good mood, and now Victory joins us, which makes it even better!

-enjoying nursing Alex, especially in the mornings and evenings, as it is one of my favorite times of day with her!

-hearing her little ‘baby talk;’ ‘cooing;’ and ‘chuckles!’  She is becoming more vocal each day!

-admiring her eyes — they are the prettiest blue eyes I have ever seen — I know that I am partial!

-enjoying the beautiful morning light in Alex’s nursery each morning!

-knowing how much our little Victory loves her ‘little sister!’

-watching Alex play with her toys with her Daddy!

-knowing on the days that I feel totally exhausted, that I will someday really miss these early days, and I need to remind myself, at times of this fact.

-enjoying taking our girls to the Eastern Shore for crabs!

-looking forward to taking our girls to the pumpkin patch this weekend, weather permitting!

-enjoying dressing up our girls for Halloween — they are simply adorable together in their costumes — more to come!

-enjoying seeing Alex FaceTime with her Grandma and Grandpa!

-constantly asking myself what will I miss about this time of my life when it’s all gone?  This question keeps everything in perspective.

-most of all, we are cherishing getting to be Alex’s parents!

Doug and I are very grateful for our little girl and our little family!  We feel so fortunate.  We look forward to seeing Alex’s little personality continue to develop and unfold.  Below are a few images: Alex’s monthly portrait; Alex and Victory’s monthly portrait; followed by photos of Alex throughout this month; and some iphone images, of our precious girl along with some images of Alex and Victory during her third month with us!  You can read our birth story along with viewing images from Alex’s birth here; you can read Alex’s first month snapshot here; and her second month snapshot here.

 

 

 

 

See how much Alex has grown as compared to last month!

 

 

See how much Alex has grown as compared to last month!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few images from Victory’s Birthday!

 

 

 

A few iphone images from this month!

Two Month Snapshot: Alexandra

How is our baby Alex already two months old!  The time is going by so very quickly.  We are savoring each day and fleeting moment!  Overall, things have been a bit easier this month as compared to our first month together!  The theme for this month summed up in one word is rhythm.  We are finding our rhythm and grove with Alex!  We figured out what paci finally worked for Alex, one that would stay in her mouth, thanks to a recommendation by a friend!  Most importantly, Alex is finally sleeping, as compared to the first month, which is monumental.  She gives us about four to five hour stretches at night, six and seven hours on occasion, which has been so nice!  She is the most animated and interactive in the mornings after waking up and in the evenings right before bed time.  She is interacting with us and we love to see her smile, it melts our hearts!  And, she is taking about one to two long naps a day, on average, which has been great!  The Dock-A-Tot, paci, white noise machine, and velcro swaddles have helped immensely with her sleep!  We have learned what her cries mean, for the most part, we are trying to anticipate her needs, and we are getting a rhythm to our days, all the while she is constantly changing and growing.  Speaking of which, recently, to make more room in Alex’s closet and dresser, I packed away her clothes that no longer fit!  It was bittersweet.  Some clothes, she only wore one time, as she is constantly growing!  Overall, our life feels so much simpler since her arrival, all the while our life is more complicated simultaneously.  Most of all, we enjoy and love our baby Alex immensely!

Doug and I have also found our rhythm together.  We tag team to care for Alex and Victory.  We have become very efficient at getting things accomplished!  The element of time has a whole new meaning for us.  We have managed to even work out a schedule whereby we can both go to the gym multiple times a week, which is a feat with a little one!  I have managed to be able to see and visit with some friends, which has been really nice as well!

Victory is even doing better, too.  Last month, she would, sometimes, retreat to our bedroom when the baby cried and when we had visitors.  Now, she is staying with the baby and I even more.  I think it takes some time for everyone to somewhat acclimate.  We tell Victory each day that she is going to have a little sister that absolutely adores her in the coming months when Alex is able to understand and really discover Victory.  Victory is very gentle and kind with Alex, and we are very fortunate for this.  They are even nap buddies!  We have been able to get out for some outings, dinners and ice cream with Alex and Victory!   You can see below, Victory and Alex pictured at each of their gils’ dinners together this month!

A few highlights from Alex’s second month include:

-she is sleeping!  We are so elated!  We are all feeling a little more rested, but we are both tired!

-she is staying swaddled at night, with her velcro swaddles, which has helped immensely with her sleep and our sleep!

-she is a loud sleeper and she grunts, like a wild boar, which is apparently normal!  As a result, we moved her at seven weeks in her Dock-A-Tot to her crib in her nursery, down the hall, where she is now sleeping at night.

-she found her fingers and hands!  She sucks on her fingers and fists sometimes.  She is still looking for that thumb, possibly!

-she gave us some big smiles!  It was wonderful to witness!  She is starting to interact with us, which is neat!

-she loves her play yard!  She is mesmerized by all of the hanging objects and sounds!

-she loves her swing, and she takes at least one nap in it daily, usually!

-she has had several ‘blow outs’ that necessitated an immediate bath!  Thankfully, Doug handled most of the clean up during these instances and I gave Alex her baths following each ‘blow out!’

-she is tolerating bath time and we have moved to a larger bath tub for her, as she is growing like a weed!

-she and Victory like to be read to in the evenings before bed!

-she is still enjoying taking walks in her Bugaboo and Ergo!  Fortunately, she was born at a nice time of year so we can get outside, despite the rain and hot and humid temperatures, recently!

-she loves to eat and nurse!  She always let’s us know when it is time to eat!

 

A few highlights I would like to remember:

-enjoyed designing and creating our baby announcement introducing Alex, which we mailed to friends and family during her second month!

-love greeting Alex in her nursery in the mornings!  I think she is seeing more clearly, these days, as she gets older!  I enjoy our morning time, and play time together, a time when baby Alex is very animated and she is generally in a really good mood!

-enjoying nursing Alex, especially in the mornings and evenings, as it is one of my favorite times of day with her!  (We refer to her affectionately as our ‘little cherub!’)

-loving the little noises she makes!

-knowing on the days that I feel totally exhausted, that I will someday really miss these early days, and I need to remind myself, at times of this fact.

-enjoying taking Alex and Victory out to eat a few times and having things going well!

-knowing now that I can reach 10,000 steps without intentionally exercising from running all over our house, room to room, all day long!

-Doug is sharing all types of music with Alex when he spends time with her in the evenings after work!  Sometimes, she will even fall asleep!

-most of all, we are cherishing getting to be Alex’s parents!

Doug and I are very grateful for our little girl and our little family!  We feel so lucky.  We look forward to seeing Alex’s little personality develop and unfold.  Below are a few images: Alex’s monthly portrait; Alex and Victory’s monthly portrait; followed by photos of Alex throughout this month; and some iphone images, of our precious girl along with some images of Alex and Victory during her second month with us!  You can read our birth story along with viewing images from Alex’s birth here; and you can read Alex’s first month snapshot here.

 

 

 

See how much Alex has grown as compared to last month!

 

 

See how much Alex has grown as compared to last month!

 

 

Alex working away in her play yard!

 

 

Alex in her bouncy seat!

 


 

 

Alex in her nursery!

 

Below are some iphone images of our little cherubs!

 

 

 

 

Here are our girls having a ‘Girls’ Dinner Date’ at multiple restaurants, including the Coal Fire; Mission BBQFive Guys; and Wegmans!

One Month Snapshot: Alexandra

Our little girl, Alexandra, whom we refer to as “Alex” is six weeks old already!  The time is flying.  I thought I would share some thoughts on our first month as a family of four.  (This post is a little late getting posted as we are still catching up on everything, as best we can, since having our baby.)  The theme of the first month summed up in one word is adjustment.  We waited a long time for our little girl to arrive and, as first time parents, we really did not know what to expect once she was here, with us, even though we took classes and read books to try to prepare.  Her birth is the biggest change of our lives, a very positive change!  However, one cannot really know what it feels like to welcome a child until it really happens.

Our Moms came and helped us during the first month, which was really helpful.  Doug was also home, during this time, which was also extremely helpful.  My recovery was a little longer than typical due to some complications.  Overall, during the first month, we were trying to figure out Alex’s needs such as sleeping and feedings.  We also had to remember that everything was and is still new to Alex and she is figuring out her new world as well.  Each day was different during the first month.  As a result, Doug and I were pretty sleep deprived during this time and we were beginning our adjustment during this monumental transition.  My brain, most days, feels a little scattered, evidenced by this article stating that a woman’s brain changes permanently after having a child.

Victory is very good with Alex she licks her feet, legs, ears, and face!  However, there are times where we can tell that she likely misses the way things were prior to Alex’s arrival, which is only natural.  Doug and I made and continue to make an extra effort to give Victory extra love and hugs along with getting her out for some outings, which was quite challenging to implement the first month, which felt quite chaotic overall.  Everyone is adjusting.  We look forward to outings this fall when it is cooler and Alex is a little older!  However, with time, we are finding our rhythm with Alex, a day at a time, along with helping Victory feel included as she is accustomed to as well.

 

A few highlights from Alex’s first month include:

-fighting going to sleep quite often — she would stay awake for stretches up to eight hours at a time!  She is very alert and it feels like she looks right into your soul with her little almond eyes.

-sleeping, most of the time, only if someone held her!  She would wake up as soon as one put her down for sleep — she would open her little eyes right away!

-enjoying taking walks in her Bugaboo and Ergo!  She fell asleep during most walks.

-escaping her swaddles, routinely, so we moved to the velcro swaddle, which has worked really well and they have prevented her hands and feet from moving all around, disrupting her sleep!

-refusing to sleep in her bassinet so we got the Dock-A-Tot, which she really likes and everyone started to get some sleep, as a result!

-crying during her entire first bath at home — but she smelled so nice once we were done!  Fortunately, she has done a little better during subsequent baths!

-lifting her head up, even though she does not have control of her head — she looks like a little turtle when she does this!

-enjoying nursing and eating!

-falling asleep often on our chests!

-seeing a couple first smiles!

-enjoying sitting out on the deck getting some fresh air!

-dancing with Doug to music to help calm Alex during her ‘fussy periods!’

-enjoying being read to before bedtime!

 

A few highlights I would like to remember:

-loving her smell — there is nothing like that wonderful smell and soft, velvety skin of a newborn!

-loving her little almond eyes, which are the darkest blue eyes I have ever seen!  I know we are biased, but we think she is just beautiful!

-enjoying being able to nurse our little girl!  I cherish this time, knowing it will not last forever, as the days are passing by too quickly and it seems she is physically changing daily!

-getting to see Doug be a dad (in addition to a fur dad) — he is great with Alex and he helps me a lot!

-celebrating my ‘big birthday’ with our little family on Alex’s one month anniversary!

-most of all, getting to be Alex’s mamma!

Doug and I are very grateful for our little girl and little family!  We feel so lucky.  We look forward to seeing Alex’s little personality develop and unfold.  Below are a few images of our precious girl along with some images of Alex and Victory during her first month with us!  You can read our birth story along with viewing images from Alex’s birth here.  (I aim to take images as life spontaneously unfolds.  However, I plan to take one portrait of Alex each month, during the first year, to see the progressive change throughout the year, also shown immediately below!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Birth Story — Introducing Alexandra Rose

I am happy to share our birth story of our precious, Alexandra Rose!  I am writing this story in the thick of it!  I was finally able to finish writing this thanks to many nursing sessions and a few naps.  We also finally just finished designing and preparing our baby announcements as well!  Everything takes a bit longer to get done these days!  We are still in newborn survival mode.  We understand that the first three months is analogous to the fourth trimester.  Our days have radically changed, for the better; however we are all still adjusting, including our fur girl, Victory!  For any other new mamas out there who feel like they are the only ones who have experienced days where you get nothing else done — even the simplest things — it is ok.  My main job is to keep our baby girl fed, dry, and loved.  And, after all, we will never get these early precious days back with our baby Alex!  We try to be fully present in order to soak everything in.  Doug has been really great with Alex and we work as a team and help each other in order to make everything work as smoothly as possible!

Victory is doing well.  We know it has been a big change for her, but she seems to have adopted Alex into her pack!  Victory is always close by me and she follows me everywhere.  She loves to lick Alex’s legs and feet when I nurse her.  We all take naps together, keeping things as normal as possible for our fur girl, Victory!  We look forward to the fall for more outings together, with the four of us, along with cooler temperatures.  We have managed to take Victory and Alex out for a few dinners near the house and all has gone well, thankfully!  Victory always loves her outings!  I am also working on Victory’s birthday theme and Halloween costumes for our girls!

Overall, we are all adjusting to this new little person who is totally dependent upon us; and Alex is also adjusting to her new world, too.  Thus, we are taking it a day at a time.  But everyday, I wake up, I am so grateful for our miracle baby!  I love her newborn smell and her extra soft skin.  It was an exceptional journey, and we are so grateful to have a healthy, beautiful baby.  Somedays it feels surreal that she is really here!  Baby Alex is very sweet, extremely alert, loves to nurse, is physically strong, likes tummy time, likes to be talked to, and always loves to be held.  The Dock-A-Tot and these swaddles have helped us get some sleep at night!  Each week she is sleeping a little more, which is great!  We are all learning as we go, as it is a huge life transition for everyone, and it will take some more time, but we can never imagine life without our precious little Alex.  We are so blessed; and Alex is truly a gift.  Our little family will never be the same and our hearts have grown immensely since her arrival!

 

 

On to our birth.  On July 13 around 10:00 p.m., the doctor came in and told me that I was 10 cm dilated and 100% effaced and it was finally time to push!  Finally – after a really long labor!  Doug and my Mom stayed with me in the room along with the doctor and nurses for the delivery.  Doug stayed up by my head and cheered me on during the pushing.  After about 25 minutes of pushing, at 10:30 p.m., our baby girl made her way into the world.  It all felt so surreal.  Doug cut the cord and the cord tissue and the cord blood was saved and sent to be cryopreserved with the Cord Blood Registry, CBR.  I will never forget Doug’s face — he looked in so much disbelief that she was actually here, with us!  She weighed 6 pounds, 15.8 ounces and was 20 inches in length.  The doctors quickly dried the baby off and put a hat on her and then immediately put her on my chest, skin to skin.  I heard her first cry as they placed her immediately on my chest – warm and perfect.  I looked at her and looked at Doug and was in compete awe at this little beautiful living being that we created.  We were a family, she was all ours, and I felt so overjoyed.  Then, we shared her name, Alexandra Rose!  Doug picked her name, a name he has always liked for some time, and her middle name is in honor of Doug’s beloved Grandma Rose.

 

 

Fortunately, our baby did not have any latching on problems, and she was willing to nurse, something I really wanted to do for her.  The nurses then took her to do some physical checks and foot prints, etc.  I will never forget meeting her for the first time.  Coincidently, she was even born on my Mom’s birthday as well, and she arrived, full term, five days early from her due date, July 18!  We were then transferred a few hours later to the postpartum unit of the hospital where we all stayed for two nights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following day, our fur girl, Victory, came to the hospital and met the baby and I got to hug and hold our fur girl, who I missed dearly.  (The hospital was kind enough to permit Victory to come after requesting her presence in advance).  It was a treat to have our whole little family together!  Friends also came to visit that evening to meet our baby girl!

 

 

 

On the early evening of July 15, Doug and I went home with our baby.  Truthfully, we were both scared of being on our own with her.  We appreciated all of the nurses’ help along with the lactation consultants’ help as well.  I was fortunate to have an excellent doctor and very kind nurses during my labor and delivery stay at the hospital.  Upon arriving home, it was also very helpful to have our Moms here to help us for several weeks as well.

 

 

 

Doug and I are currently finding our rhythm with Alex.  Each week gets a little easier.  We enjoy our evening walks together with Alex and Victory; and Alex loves her Bugaboo Fox and her Ergo with the infant insert!  Presently, each day is different and we are cherishing our time with her and Victory; the days are moving at lightening speed.  It is hard to believe she is already five weeks old!  She is growing like a weed and we are trying to savor and capture these days with her, which I try to document visually and in her Promptly Journal, which I love, as an alternative to a traditional baby book.  Most of all, we love getting to be Alex’s parents.  Somedays, I cannot believe I get to be Alex’s mama!  We are so very grateful for our little family!  Thank you so much for reading our birth story and I hope to share more soon about our first month as a family of four!

 

Loving Winter 2019

Happy winter!  Winter is not one of our favorite seasons of the year, with less day light and colder temperatures, but we are embracing our time together!  Below are a few things I have been recently loving this winter!

 

 

1. Gathre World Mat — We gave Alex this play mat for Christmas, and we love it, and she loves it, too!  It works really well, by creating a smooth surface, for playing!  We also have Gathre bibs, changing mats, and a mat for the high chair, that we love!

2. Matimati Bibs —  Since the teething has been in full swing with Alex, we discovered these bibs and they work really well to keep the drool off of her clothing.  They also wash up quite nicely, too!

3. Nuby Massaging Brush — We love the Nuby massage brush/teether!  Alex especially loves it, as she uses it each day!

4. Steve Antony Panda Books — We read to Alex daily, and we fell in love with Steve Antony’s panda books that we fortuitously discovered this fall!  They are wonderful.  We have one more to order, and then we will have all of these panda books, that are available right now!  (Steve Antony also has other wonderful books, too!)

5. Inheritance, by Dani Shapiro  — I love Dani Shapiro’s books.  I have read all of her books, except for one, I believe!  I love reading memoirs, and this was a very interesting and moving memoir.  This memoir explores such questions: What makes us who we are?  What combination of memory, history, biology, experience, and that ineffable thing called the soul defines us?  It is a fascinating read, and Dani also has a new forthcoming podcast coming out next month.

6. Orvis Dog Leash — This leash is back at Orvis, which we had monogrammed for our beloved Biscuit!  We recently got this same leash with Victory’s name engraved on it, like Biscuit’s leash.

Happy winter!

You can view other things I love here!

2019 Word of the Year: Embrace

 

Happy New Year!  We had a wonderful time over the Holidays and we hope that you did, too!  We are back from taking a break over the Holidays and we are getting caught up and back into the swing of things!  Many people write new year resolutions.  I concurrently write down my goals for the year, which I recently finished, while also reflecting upon last year, a life changing year, but I have found it more helpful to have a word, an intention, to focus on throughout the year.

This year, after reflection, I decided the word embrace would be my word for 2019.  Last year I chose the word peace; in 2017 I chose relax; in 2016 I chose present; in 2015 I chose flow; in 2014 I chose trust; and in 2013 I chose the word create.

Embrace defined: /əmˈbrās/ noun 1. an act of accepting or supporting something willingly or enthusiastically.

I decided that I want to absolutely embrace this year.  We waited a long time for this season to arrive and I plan to fully embrace and be present through it all.  We are truly excited to see what this year has in store for us!

Are you considering selecting a word for yourself (or letting one find you)?  There is no right or wrong.  The main thing to remember is that this is your word.

And what do you do with this one little word?  You live with it.  You invite it into your life.  You let it speak to you.  You might even follow where it leads.  There are so many possibilities.

Happy New Year!

 

 

 

Happy Pawlidays!

“Because of the dog’s joyfulness, our own is increased.  It is no small gift.”  — Mary Oliver

Happy Pawlidays!  Thank you so much for a wonderful and remarkable year!  I am very grateful to my readers!  Thank you so very much for reading the blog — it means so much to me.

Below is the front of our Pawliday card (the back of our card containing text is not pictured) along with our matching envelopes using custom stamps and little photo seals of our beautiful Baby Alex and little Victory!  (You can view our previous Pawliday cards herehereherehere, here, and here).  Sending our Pawliday card is one of my favorite parts of the Holiday season!  This is my way of sharing our Pawliday card with all of our blog friends!  Thank you for reading this blog for however long or short you have been visiting!  I truly enjoy creating content for the blog to share with all of you.  We hope that you have a wonderful Holiday!

 

 

 

 

And, here is our top nine images for 2018 from Instagram, shown below!

 

 

Over the Holidays, I will be taking a brief break from the blog to enjoy some down time with our little family.  I will return to the blog in January 2019.  Meanwhile, if you are in a blog-reading mood, you are warmly invited to visit the archives — the links are shown below.

Dog Related posts

Dog Rescue posts

‘Dog-Centric’ Artists Interviews

For Artists posts

Photography posts

Personal posts

Victory Related posts

Happy Pawlidays!