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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 one month snapshot here; her two month snapshot here; her three month snapshot here; and her four 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 one month snapshot here; her two month snapshot here; and her three 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 one month snapshot here; and her two 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 one 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!

 

Victory: Trusted and Loyal Fur Sister

I do not have a blog post prepared this week.  Sickness hit our house recently, and Alex has been quite sick for almost a week with a terrible cold, double ear infection, and fever.  And, I caught strep and Doug is not feeling well either.  We have been in full caring and healing mode here.  Alex is getting better on her new antibiotic, thankfully.  Victory, as always, is always there for us.  During this time of sickness, there has been a silver lining — Victory and Alex have bonded.  Victory has given Alex lots of love to include licking all of the wet and dried mucus off of her nose and face.  (A short video is shown below.)  Alex does not seem to mind all of Victory’s affection.  Alex now holds her hand out gently for Victory to give her licks, ‘kisses,’ and she thinks it is great, which always brings a big smile to Alex’s face.  Alex is giving Victory loads of treats and she is now petting Victory gently on the head.

Victory means the world to us.  It is amazing to me how she always knows what is going on, even if she cannot express it in words to us.  She must know Alex is not feeling well.  (Typically, Victory is a bit timid about getting too close around Alex who is constantly in motion.)  Victory is such a smart, loving, loyal, and protective creature.  We are the lucky ones, and we are so glad that Victory is a part of our family.  Victory is such a great fur sister to Alex and she is always teaching us something about life.

 

Here is a video of Victory being such a loving fur sister.

2020 Word of the Year: Bliss

 

 

Happy New Year!  We had a great time over the Holidays and we hope that you did, too!  Alex was off from school for two weeks, and we all kept really busy, as a result!  We are now getting caught up and back into the swing of things!  Victory is so happy, I think, to have a quiet house back to herself during the week!  And, Alex is happy to be back with her friends at school!  I have reflected on my word for this year: bliss.  Last year I chose embrace; in 2018 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.  The idea of picking an intention has worked well over the past few years.  (I particularly loved this talk about not having specific New Year’s resolutions, per se.)

Bliss defined: /blis/ noun 1. perfect happiness; great joy.

Each day is truly a gift.  This past year was a good year filled with a lot of growth.  Our collective intention, this year, is to have as much bliss and fun as possible!  I am excited to see how this year unfolds.  And, we are off to a good start implementing this word/intention!

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.  There are so many possibilities.

Happy New Year!

 

Happy Pawlidays!

“What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass?  What would this world be like without dogs?” — Mary Oliver

Happy Pawlidays!  Thank you so much for a wonderful year filled with much growth.  I wanted to thank you so much for checking in over the past year — I am very grateful.

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 girls, Alex and Victory! (You can view our previous Pawliday cards here, hereherehereherehere, 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 you.  Thank you for reading this blog for however long or short you have been reading.  I sincerely enjoy creating content for the blog to share with you.

 

 

 

 

 

And, here is a short video from Alex saying ‘thank you’ for reading, too!

 

I will be taking a break from the blog to enjoy some down time with our little family, and I plan to be back to the blog sometime early next year.  We have some fun activities planned!  Meanwhile, if you are in a blog-reading mood, you are warmly invited to visit the archives — the links are shown below.  Warmest wishes to you.  This life…it’s all a gift.

Dog Related posts

Dog Rescue posts

‘Dog-Centric’ Artists Interviews

For Artists posts

Photography posts

Personal posts

Victory Related posts

Christmas Time: Visiting Santa

This past weekend we took Alex and  Victory to visit Santa, an annual tradition!  This year, however, went a little differently than last year — Alex was not keen on Santa this year.  (We even tried putting Alex on the floor by Santa, but that did not work either.)  Someday, she will get a good laugh from these photos, below, as you likely will as well!  Alex is very brave and fearless when it comes to everything, except for strangers and doctors, which I suppose are one in the same.  (The pediatrician says this is very normal for her age.)  So, this is how our pediatrician and dental visits go, shown below, and Alex does not give up easily at all!  Thankfully, Santa is extremely patient!

Victory, our beautiful fur girl, did very well, like always!  Victory also tolerated her sister well, too!  And, of course, Santa and his helpers remembered our beloved girls, as this is Victory’s sixth time visiting Santa and Alex’s second time visiting Santa!  You can see Victory’s previous trips to visit Santa here, hereherehere, and here.  This is the only Santa in our area that welcomes both of our girls!  Victory wore her Holiday velvet ruff and antlers; and Alex wore a burgundy corduroy dress to coordinate for their visit with Santa!  All proceeds from visiting Santa are donated to a local dog rescue, a very good cause near and dear to our hearts as Biscuit and Victory are rescues.  If you are interested, be sure to check with and visit your local pet stores to see if there is a Santa in your area that specializes in furry family members!

A few images from Victory’s and Alex’s second visit together with Santa are shown below along with images of Victory with Santa from the previous five years!  The time really does fly by too quickly!  We are so grateful for our fur girl, Victory!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victory’s visits to see Santa, 2014-2019!

 

 

The girls’ visits to see Santa last year (left) and this year (right).  Great change occurred in a year!

 

Additionally, each year, I have a photo ornament made with Victory and Santa for our Christmas tree!  This year, I made another ornament of our Victory and Alex together visiting Santa, a memorable visit; and one of Victory visiting Santa!  I also had personalized ornaments for Alex and Victory made for our tree.  I will get Alex an ornament each year, a tradition we had growing up!

Below is our decorated little live Christmas tree from Maine that we order online each year; and, this year, Alex was not willing to sit by our tree long enough for me to take a decent photo, so we will try again, at some point!

 

 

 

We have so much to be grateful for this year!  We are looking forward to celebrating our second Christmas together with both of our girls!

We hope that you are enjoying the Holiday season!