milestone alert!

We had to reschedule her 4 month appointment for about 9 days after she turned 4 months old.  I am always looking forward to her doctor appointments because I love to see how much she weighs and because I love her doctor.  I feel like we get so much good information at her appointments and it really feels like everyone in the office cares about Alice.  Plus, I was EXTRA looking forward to this check-up because Dr. Alt had previously talked to us about starting foods at 4 months, so we were waiting for a “go-ahead” on trying foods – which we got – yay!

waiting for the doctor {july 24}

waiting for the doctor {july 24}

Here are her stats:

11lbs 4oz

23in

She is still in the <5th percentile.  I guess that’s OK, according to the doctor, because she has always been that small and hasn’t dropped on the growth curve.  She’s just a little baby.

After we left the appointment we stopped at Target to pick up some rice cereal because I was too excited and COULD. NOT. WAIT. to try foods.  I have been waiting for so long for this!  She LOVED IT!  Gobbled it all right up.  Made a huge mess but we all loved it.  What a fun milestone.

let the fun begin!! {july 24}

let the fun begin!! {july 24}

she has no idea that we are about to blow. her. mind. {july 24}

she has no idea that we are about to blow. her. mind. {july 24}

LOVING IT! {july 24}

LOVING IT! {july 24}

trying cereal day #2 {july 25}

trying cereal day #2 {july 25}

cuteness {july 25}

cuteness {july 25}

 

So adorable.  I just love this kid.

{four months old!}

Our baby is FOUR MONTHS OLD!

 

i'm how old?!

i’m how old?!

ahhh!  so happy!

ahhh! so happy!

adorable baby girl

adorable baby girl

We had to get a new white long-sleeved onesie for these pictures.  This is a size 0-3 month.  It is so baggy on her… She’s just a tiny little thing.


 

fourteen weeks old {june 21}

fourteen weeks old {june 21}

fifteen weeks old {june 28}

fifteen weeks old {june 28}

sixteen weeks old {july 5}

sixteen weeks old {july 5}

seventeen weeks old {july 12}

seventeen weeks old {july 12}


Here are a few highlights from her fourth month {june 15-july 15}

TOES!  This kid LOVES her toes.  And EARS!  She’s figuring out that she has body parts and it’s adorable.  She grabs those toes and rolls around like a little bug on her back.  We’ve also started noticing that she grabs her ears when she’s hungry and tired.  At first we were worried that she had an ear infection, but I think we’d know if this kid was sick.  She would tell us… loud and clear.  So now we know that pulling on her ear = tired and hungry.

This kid is a playing fool!  She loves her keys, her oball, her blankie, anything that hangs from her play mat, and Spike the Unicorn.  I was OB-sessed with unicorns when I was younger (then transitioned into being even more obsessed with Hanson).  My WHOLE room was unicorns – unicorn wallpaper, unicorn Lisa Frank everything, unicorn figurines on every horizontal surface of my room…  I also just recently found a story that I wrote in elementary school about unicorns.  It was quality.  Why I didn’t pursue a career as an author of many unicorn themed novels is beyond me, and what I would consider a loss for readers everywhere.  So naturally we needed to start Alice early with her unicorn-love. My mom bought her a cute purple sparkly unicorn at Binder Park Zoo to help ignite her passion for these majestic creatures.

unicorn love {july 15}

unicorn love {july 15}

We started using her bumbo seat more often and she loves being able to sit up on her own.  I can’t wait until she actually does sit up on her own – it is so weird to think that my tiny little baby will soon be big enough to sit up by herself…  That’s crazy talk.   Buuuut it would be nice to give the back of her head a break so her hair can grow back because she definitely has a big bald spot back there.  Speaking of bald spots – you lose A. LOT. of hair after you have a baby.  Like tons.

This kid is tiny.  She’s in size 1 diapers.  Newborn jammies.  And 0-3 clothes.  She weighs something like 11 pounds.  She goes to the doctor on the 24th for her 4 month check up so we will see her official weight then, but she is sitting pretty securely in the 5th percentile.  That means that 95% of babies her age are bigger than her.  Wow.  We get comments all the time about how little she is.  It only bothers me because I feel like sometimes people are judging.  Especially when she was younger.  We went to Tulip Time when she was 7 weeks old.  We forgot to bring the stroller because we suck, so she was in the ring sling the whole time.  Someone said, “Wow, what a little baby.  How old?”  — “7 weeks.” — “Oh wow, I would have thought 7 days.”  Now come on.  I am not going to bring my week old baby to Tulip Time in the cold.  Seriously.  We are not crummy parents.  She’s just little.  And just naturally little.  Because, believe me, this kid eats.  Every two hours.  You could set a watch by her fussiness.  She starts to get a little fussy… oh, look, it’s been an hour and forty-five minutes since she ate.  Silly kid.

I went back to work more regularly during the last month.  It’s kinda sad that you get to be home full-time with you baby and as soon as she gets to a fun and interactive developmental stage – bam – you have to go back to work and miss everything.  It breaks my heart.  I love my job a lot, but I would also love to be independently wealthy and not have to work so I could stay home with her.

She loves watching screens.  I know.  Terrible parents here.  But seriously, she loves them.  Sometimes the only way we can get her to fall asleep at night is if she sits on Derek’s lap while he plays games on the computer.  He’s really sacrificing, I know.

loungin' {july 14}

loungin’ {july 14}

captivated {july 14}

captivated {july 14}

Her favorite thing to watch is Baby Van Gogh.  Who.  Makes.  These.  Things??!  Have any of you watched them??!  I am CONVINCED that a 7th grader in a graphic design/film class made this with weird stock clips from the internet.  It is AWFUL.  Awful.  But Alice is mesmerized by it.  Here it is for you all to see in case you were wondering.  But, I guess it’s better than having to watch Yo Gabba Gabba like other parents I know …  Although it doesn’t have the catchy, yet informative/educational, songs like, “Don’t Bite Your Friends” that Yo Gabba Gabba has…

THIS month has been my favorite so far.  I know I said that last month, but I lied.  I like this month.  Lots.  She’s so stinking adorable, playful, sweet, cuddly, and wonderful.  I just can’t get enough.

She loves to stand up.  It’s super cute.  She has a fun routine with me that after every diaper change I stand her up on the changing pad and she gets to bounce around for a while.  She laughs and giggles.  She’s seriously the best.

So I am a part of this amazingly helpful mom’s group on facebook.  I added a lot of you because it’s a fabulous group with wonderfully supportive moms.  There has been lots of talk on various posts in the group about the dreaded period of “four month sleep regression.”  AKA: your kid was sleeping through the night, taking regular naps, becoming a predictable and wonderful sleeper then, BAM see ya later sleep.  I was DREADING this.  We even chose not to transition her to her crib yet because she was getting close to being four months and didn’t want to chance this being an issue (plus I don’t know if I am ready to have her leave our room).  About two weeks ago her sleep started getting off-track.  She wouldn’t take naps at her regular time, she would wake up at 3am (on the dot) every night to get changed and eat (and maybe play), she wouldn’t go to bed at her regular time (staying up until 11 or 11:30p)…  Then all of a sudden she stopped.  She became more predictable again, taking naps, going to bed at her normal time, sleeping through the night.  I don’t know if this was the sleep regression or because I went back to work and things were different for her, but either way, it wasn’t nearly as bad or tough as I had prepared myself for.  Although, I like to think I have a very flexible view/mindset about infant sleep, so that probably helped with how I perceived/handled things.

Events from Month 3

Growing up

Geez… I guess I haven’t updated much this last month… whoops.

4th of July!  We didn’t do much except spend some time with Derek’s family.  Burt was terrified of the fireworks that were going off in the neighborhood, but Alice couldn’t care less.

PhotoGrid_1404497992350

happy 4th!


Here is a collection of cute Alice pictures from the last month:

loving on that baby {june 18}

loving on that baby {june 18}

Alice and her baby! {june 18}

Alice and her baby! {june 18}

We were out running errands and Alice was SCREAMING in the back because those darn rings WOULD NOT fit in her mouth.  then she passed out. {june 20}

We were out running errands and Alice was SCREAMING in the back because those darn rings WOULD NOT fit in her mouth. then she passed out. {june 20}

the only way Derek loses in bags is if he is holding Alice {june 21}

the only way Derek loses in bags is if he is holding Alice {june 21}

she has an expensive baby carrier but loves to look forward so we had to borrow a forward-facing one so she would be content ... for about 2 mintues {june 23}

she has an expensive baby carrier but loves to look forward so we had to borrow a forward-facing one so she would be content … for about 2 mintues {june 23}

"best friends share their toys" - Harper {june 24}

“best friends share their toys” – Harper {june 24}

amazing ladies {june 24}

amazing ladies {june 24}

look at this cute girl.  look at her! {june 26}

look at this cute girl. look at her! {june 26}

ahhh!  adorable hat - thanks Connie!! {june 26}

ahhh! adorable hat – thanks Connie!! {june 26}

soooo mad but soooo cute {june 27}

soooo mad but soooo cute {june 27}

snuggles with her mama {june 28}

snuggles with her mama {june 28}

cute little monster after a bath {july 1}

cute little monster after a bath {july 1}

20140701_133248

couch naps {july 1}

20140701_191401

sleepy {july 1}

20140703_172348

get in my mouth toy {july 3}

20140704_211720_LLS

beautiful {july 4}

20140705_144649

these newborn pants were HUGE on her when she was born. we couldn’t find preemie-sized pants so we had to make do. now they are way too small. she’s getting so big. {july 5}

20140705_171058

hanging out with dad {july 5}

20140709_194607

making sure dad puts the bumbo toys together properly {july 9}

20140710_140752

ahhh loving the new toys! {july 10}

20140710_141749

one cute baby {july 10}

20140712_145120

grandma and grandpa came to visit and couldn’t get enough of her {july 12}

IMG_20140630_155357

played too hard and passed out {june 30}

IMG_20140701_092154

nakey baby {july 1}

IMG_20140712_204453

bahahah grins {july 12}

IMG_20140712_204549

goof {july 12}

IMG_20140713_194230

hello world {july 13}

 

growing up

Today we officially retired her first pair of baby jeggings… They were starting to lean a little too far to the legging end instead of the jean end of the spectrum – and becoming more like capris… This actually makes me really sad.  Goodbye adorable jeggings. Goodbye newborn sized baby Alice.

image

{three months old!}

Our baby is THREE MONTHS OLD!

 

so big

so big

adorable girl

adorable girl

2014-06-15 18.27.25

 

Interesting facts about these pictures:

1. This is the same white onesie that she has been wearing in all the monthly pictures.  It’s getting pretty snug, so this will probably be its last appearance – which makes me really sad, actually.

2. She puked ALL OVER this onesie just minutes before taking these pictures – then started crying… It wouldn’t have been a huge deal but this is her only white long-sleeve onesie and I wanted to get this post up TODAY… soooo, the show must go on, people…

 


 

nine weeks old {may 18}

nine weeks old {may 18}

ten weeks old {may 24}

ten weeks old {may 24}

eleven weeks old {may 31}

eleven weeks old {may 31}

twelve weeks old {june 7}

twelve weeks old {june 7}

thirteen weeks old {june 14}  finally in size 1 diapers!!

thirteen weeks old {june 14} finally in size 1 diapers!!


Here are a few highlights from her third month:

We have reached the put-everything-in-my-mouth part of childhood.  I know it might start to get frustrating later when she is picking things up off the ground and putting them in her mouth, but right now it’s adorable.

In the last few weeks of her third month, she started to actually play – not just look at things, but really play.  Her favorite toy is her oball rattle.  This kid LOVES that thing.  Loves it.  It has been really amazing to watch her learn how to grab and hold on to things, and the oball was really how she learned.  In the beginning we would have to open her hand and close it on toys for her to grasp it.  She would keep her fist tight, the toy would stay in her grip and she would shake her hand, but she wasn’t really playing, yet.  After a while she would reach out and swat at toys hanging from her play mat but couldn’t really grab them.  Then she went through this awful 48-72 hr fussy period just before we left for Wisconsin (where she was a BEAR!!!) and after that she was reaching out, grabbing things, shaking them, and actually playing.  I know these are all normal developmental milestones, but it is so cool to be able to see your kid clearly starting to figure out the world.  So now she is playing, and that oball is the.most.amazing.toy.ever – according to Alice.  She could play with that things all day.  They only downside – it refuses to fit in her mouth – no matter how hard she tries.

tries so hard {june 12}

tries so hard {june 12}

 

WHAT?!?! She’s no longer wearing newborn-sized diapers?! You mean my 3 month old baby can wear regular sized diapers now?!  The ones that family stocked up on while I was pregnant.  So we don’t have to keep buying diapers every few days (because they don’t sell newborn sizes in bulk…)?!  YAY YAY YAY!  Although, she is still wearing newborn-sized clothes (and slowly entering no man’s land where she is too big for newborn size and too small for 0-3m…).  That’s OK though, because we don’t go through 15 of those in a day.

Alice went on her first out-of-state trip.  I wouldn’t really call it a vacation, just a trip.  Derek had a conference in Wisconsin for work so Alice and I tagged along.  You can read about it here: (coming soon – I promise!!).  It was on this trip that we used our LAST newborn diaper.  So many milestones.

This kid is a TALKING MACHINE.  Once she gets started, she just talks and talks and talks and talks.  She had been making more and more noises at the start of this month, but after her fussy few days (aka: growth spurt) she became a nonstop talker.  It is by far the most adorable thing ever.  Ever.  You CAN NOT get any cuter.  Check out the video page for some adorableness.  Just be careful – you might reach cuteness overload and explode.

This has been my favorite month with her so far.  I know that it probably won’t be my favorite overall, but it definitely is so far.  She is so much more fun.  She smiles and giggles.  She watches us and is interested in looking at things around her.  She loves to play and can lay on her play mat kicking toys and talking forever.  She still snuggles and loves to fall asleep in our arms.  She wakes up with THE BIGGEST smiles in the mornings.  She can hold her head up really well and is starting to be able to sit in a bumbo seat.  She is generally in a happy and smiley mood (which is quite a big change from when she was just a little baby and was Queen Fussy Face).  I just love it.  Love it.  Love it.  Love it.

Also, cuteness alert: she loves smiling at the cute baby in the mirror.  Melts my heart every time.  When we were in Wisconsin, she was reaching out to touch the mirror baby.  ADORABLE.  Adorable.

"oh, hello adorable baby!"

“oh, hello adorable baby!”

 

Events from Month 3

Stomp Out Stigma walk

Derek went back to work

Wisconsin Trip (coming soon)

Father’s Day


Here is a collection of cute Alice pictures from the last month: get ready, there are lots this time.

cutest faces {may 17}

cutest faces {may 17}

beans is less than pleased at the addition of this baby into our lives {may 18}

beans is less than pleased at the addition of this baby into our lives {may 18}

went for a walk in the park, alice loved the tula and burt loved sniffing out bunnies {may 19}

went for a walk in the park, alice loved the tula and burt loved sniffing out bunnies {may 19}

dangerously adorable pouty lip {may 19}

dangerously adorable pouty lip {may 19}

babies in sunhats, anyone?? yes, please {may 20}

babies in sunhats, anyone?? yes, please {may 20}

love it {may 20}

love it {may 20}

i eat this? {may 24}

i eat this? {may 24}

aunt katie visited! {may 26}

aunt katie visited! {may 26}

hating tummy time.  hating it {may 28}

hating tummy time. hating it {may 28}

she took a FOUR HOUR nap this day.  four. hours. {may 29}

she took a FOUR HOUR nap this day. four. hours. {may 29}

loving on sophie {may 30}

loving on sophie {may 30}

playing... how do i look so pale next to a kid that has literally been in the sun for 10 minutes in her whole life?!  {may 30}

playing… how do i look so pale next to a kid that has literally been in the sun for 10 minutes in her whole life?! {may 30}

unhappily snuggling with the seahorse {may 31}

unhappily snuggling with the seahorse {may 31}

burt laid next to her and she starting feeling his ear.  how cute?!?! {june 1}

burt laid next to her and she starting feeling his ear. how cute?!?! {june 1}

this is her face when you turn on the forward facing camera so she can see herself. {june 2}

this is her face when you turn on the forward facing camera so she can see herself. {june 2}

amazed by her own face {june 2}

amazed by her own face {june 2}

hanging out in the yard with her puppy {june 8}

hanging out in the yard with her puppy {june 8}

i must eat this {june 14}

i must eat this {june 14}

loves to play before bed {june 15}

loves to play before bed {june 15}

playing with burt {may 28}

playing with burt {may 28}

i eat this, too {may 31}

i eat this, too {may 31}

happy faces in the morning {june 9}

happy faces in the morning {june 9}

she was so fussy even grandpa was no match for her {june 6}

she was so fussy even grandpa was no match for her {june 6}

 

my first father’s day

PhotoGrid_1402836671965

So this is exciting. I get another holiday every year that I get to consider ‘mine’. It’s almost like another birthday. I’ve never really been a major birthday celebrator. I used to use it as an excuse to buy myself something, or have a bowling party at the casino club. Hell, this year I turned 30 and no one even knew it was my birthday (Thanks, Alice). For those of you that forgot my birthday, it was February 20th and you can mail gifts to our home. Please contact me if you need our address. For gifts I enjoy most product lines by Budweiser, Microsoft, or Titleist.

Father’s Day. Is it really another holiday that I get to consider mine? Is it a holiday for me, or is it a holiday for my father, or my grandfather? I don’t really think so. I think it’s more so a day that we stop and think about what it means to be a father, and stop and think about how thankful we are to our fathers. What I’ve thought about the most today is how being a dad has changed my life.

I don’t get to go places on time anymore.
I can’t count on a full night’s sleep.
I smell like sour milk.
I can’t make a tee time without checking my wife’s schedule.
When I go places, people are more excited to see my kid than me.
I can’t rock out to my favorite Meat Loaf cassette in my car.

But being a dad, I don’t mind these things. It’s all worth it when I come home from work and see my daughter. Usually she’s not smiling, but it makes my day. I never used to leave work on time. Maybe one day a week I left on time. Now I can’t get out the door soon enough to get home and see my baby girl. I really, really, really love this girl.

20140615_164255

20140615_164238

Being a dad also makes me that much more thankful for my dad. I’m sure that he went through all of these things as well, but instead of Meat Loaf I think he was more so missing The Temptations, The Mama’s and the Papas, and Isaac Hayes (Yes, my father was a huge Isaac Hayes fan and I don’t think anyone will believe that, but it’s true). My dad is into his sixties now, and every time I see him I am thankful he’s in our lives. I’m thankful for the influences he’s had on my life. I’ve never really thought of what my dad has taught me, but I’ll make a brief list in my, and his, normal smart ass commentary.

Speak less often. Fewer words will carry more meaning. And fewer people will bother you about shit.
Be responsible. If you said you’re going to do something, follow through on it.
Family is important. You might not like that person, and neither do I, but hey, they’re family.
Respect your boss. They can make your life hell if they want to.
Be nice to strangers. People respect you more when they think you know everyone.
Work hard. If you do what you need to do, there’s more time for beer later.
Don’t hug people. This is self explanatory.
Fix things that you don’t know how to fix. If you try and can’t fix it, take it to someone that can but don’t tell them you tried already.
Don’t start a fight. You can fight, but Doughty’s don’t start fights, they end them.
Take care of your pets. If you got sick, wouldn’t you want me to take you to the doctor too?
Pick your battles. If you’re not going to make your own dinner, just eat the casserole and don’t say anything.
Appreciate what you’ve been given. There are plenty of people out there that have less than you.

I’m thankful for what my dad has taught me over my lifetime. I’m also thankful every day that I still have him. When I reflect on this I hope that some day Alice can say the same things. Maybe she’ll be a better child and not be a smart ass about it. I hope that I can teach her all that my dad has taught me and more. I hope that she’ll get to spend plenty of years with me as well.

she really doesn't cry all the time! I swear!!

she really doesn’t cry all the time! I swear!!

the working world

Derek and I each were lucky enough to have a ton of time off after Alice was born.  I went back to seeing clients in Kalamazoo when Alice was about 5-6 weeks old, but that doesn’t really count because I was only gone for a few hours each time – no big deal.  I have a great boss at Pine Rest and she let me come up with a plan for my leave that worked best for my crazy hours (half days on Thursdays/Fridays and every other weekend).  I went back to Pine Rest on the weekend before Memorial Day but I don’t do the weekday hours until July.  I wasn’t too terribly concerned about going back on the weekends at Pine Rest because my partner is my amazing friend and weekends are pretty relaxed.  Derek went back full-time the day after Memorial Day.  I was a little nervous about him going back because that meant that I was home with Alice full-time, which was a huge transition.  At this point, he has been back for a week and a half and I am glad to say that being home with Alice has been amazing.  We have a good routine and I feel really confident that I’ve got this thing down.  If you had asked me to be home full-time with her 6-8 weeks ago, I would have cried.  I would have done it.  I would have survived.  But I would have cried.  We are so lucky and thankful that our jobs allowed us each to take 10 solid weeks off.  I hope that we have this same opportunity for each of our children, but I am beyond thankful that we could do this with our first baby.  I think that it not only helped Derek build a relationship and bond with Alice, but it definitely helped me.  I don’t know that I would have coped well if we had been a typical new family where the dad went back to work after a few days.  I truly believe that because Derek and I were both home together we each were able to take the time we needed to adjust to such a huge change.

If you’ve spoken to me at all since Alice has been born, you’ve probably heard me say this at least once:

In theory we all know that having a baby means you have to mold your life around them, but in practice it’s really difficult.

I have a Masters in psychology and have worked with kids and teens for years and years.  I know that having kids is a significant change.  I know that their needs come first most of the time.  I know that I won’t be able to do things or go places whenever I want.  I know that when babies cry it’s because they need something or something is wrong.  I know all these things.  Duh.  But when it really came down to it, it took me a while to realize what that meant for me, what that meant in practice and not just in theory.  I have to be 100% honest and say that the first few weeks were really hard, and I think that a lot of the difficulty was because I struggled with being able to step back and remind myself of the theory of it all.  The intelligent, adult, functional part of me knew that when she was crying it was because she needed us and not because she was trying to break me.  If I had been watching from the outside and saw someone else in the same situation, I would easily have been able to think of what she might need or ways to calm her – but in the situation all I could think was “stop crying.”  I had a hard time remembering that she was just a little baby, a human being, that needed me.  I had a hard time with having sympathy and empathy toward her and not just toward myself.  My biggest obstacle with becoming a mom was to stop being stubborn, whether intentional or not.  If she just ate 45 minutes ago but was crying and couldn’t be soothed I was stubborn to the idea that she needed/wanted to eat again.  When she was two weeks old, Derek went to bowling for the evening and I was home alone with her for a few hours.  She cried the entire time he was gone.  the. entire. time.  So naturally I cried for pretty much that whole time, too.  Usually every week after bowling he would stop at Little Ceasars across the street from the bowling alley and get me crazy bread because on Tuesdays it was only a dollar.  That night I called him crying, so desperate for him to come home as soon as possible that I couldn’t even fathom him spending the extra 5 minutes getting delicious crazy bread.   Looking back at this, I feel incredibly guilty and almost embarrassed at how I struggled with coping and having a new perspective on my changes – even though I knew they were coming.  That is why I believe that having Derek home with us for so long was such a blessing for all of us.  It allowed us to be able to be the “outsider” in situations and give the other one ideas of what might be upsetting her or how to handle it. It also let us take breaks.  There were times when I needed to be alone.  I needed it and I’m sure he did too sometimes.  I think that if I had been alone during those first few weeks I wouldn’t have been able to take the time that I needed to figure out the whole parenting thing.  I think that I would have been resentful at the fact that I was home alone all day while he got to leave and that resentment would have destroyed me, my relationship with Alice, and my relationship with Derek.

It has been really important for me to be honest about how I have coped with this transition.  However, being honest is very different from complaining.  I do not and will not complain about being a parent.  I wanted this and I love this.  I truly, 100%, with every ounce of me love this.  But sometimes it’s hard – and sometimes I struggle – and sometimes I need time to change my perspective.  And talking about that is not complaining.  It is honesty.  I find so much strength in talking with my friends that are parents.  Having kids can be really emotional, isolating, and stressful.  Lots of times it feels like you have to put on a face like you’ve got everything under control and know just what to do, even if that’s not the case.  I don’t like that feeling.  I am thankful that I have  such great relationships my husband, friends, and family where we can be honest and seek help/advice/support without feeling bad.

stomp out stigma

For the last 4 or 5 years Derek and I have done the Stomp Out Stigma walk.  The Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan puts on this walk every year to help “stomp out” the stigma of mental health.  Last year Derek and I became co-captains for the Pine Rest team.  Before we were captains, the Pine Rest team was always pretty small (5-10 walkers).  When we took over last year, there were over 100 walkers for our team!  This year we had over 200 people sign up, but unfortunately not many actually showed up because it was unseasonably cold on Saturday morning – I’m talking like 45*.  Freezing.

Our little group (Derek, Alice, Justin, my parents, and me) didn’t end up doing the actual walk, though, because of timing with Alice needing to eat and my sister being done with her race and wanting to visit.  She did the Hit & Run 5K which looked like the coolest race ever – basically like the show Wipeout.  How cool?!

Regardless, it was a fun morning and we are thankful for all the people from the Pine Rest team that participated despite the cold weather.  Last year we got a huge panoramic shot of the whole group and we tried to do it again this year.  It is very difficult to gather that many people for a photo, apparently… Most of the group was all gathered and ready and it was pretty clear that I was the one taking the picture.  I went to round up a few stragglers and turned around to see the whole group disbanding.  Apparently someone had come up with a camera, took a few pictures, and the group thought that was it.  Seriously?!  Geez.  I had to track the guy down to ask him to email the pictures to me…

 

Pine Rest 2

 

20140517_085623

 

 

 

20140517_085619

 

 

20140517_095922

 

{two months old!}

Our baby is TWO MONTHS OLD!!

big girl!

big girl!

 

sweet little baby

sweet little baby

growing

growing


five weeks old {april 19}

five weeks old {april 19}

six weeks old {april 26}

six weeks old {april 26}

seven weeks old {may 3}

seven weeks old {may 3}

eight weeks old {may 10}

eight weeks old {may 10} – still in newborn sized diapers – she was clearly not willing to sit still for this one.  I probably took 40 of them and this was the best.  Squirming away!


 

Here are a few highlights from her second month:

She SMILES!  At us!  Not just when she has gas!  It is quite possibly the most adorable thing IN THE WORLD.  EVER.  Although it is almost impossible to get a picture of it.  At this point, capturing her smile on camera is like capturing Big Foot on camera.  Here’s a few, but believe me – she is a smiling fool – when she’s not Ms. Fussy Pants, that is.

Just missed it {may 5}

Just missed it {may 5}

There we go! {may 5}

There we go! {may 5}

Little old man smile {april 29}

Little old man smile {april 29}

Sasquatch! {may 5}

Sasquatch! {may 5}

 

This kid has been such an unpredictable sleeper up until a few days ago.  Some nights she would sleep 2-3 hours at a time, some nights she would sleep for 4 hours, some nights she would be up every hour or so, and some nights she would be up for long stretches at a time (one night she decided to be up from midnight until 5:30am – fun…).  Recently, though, we have found a way to *sometimes* get her to sleep longer: load her up with milk just before bed.  That way her cute little tummy is full and happy and the effort of digesting knocks her right out.

 

She was super fussy up until about seven weeks.  We didn’t get to do too much fun stuff with her because all our time was spent trying to keep her less fussy, since not fussy was not exactly an option.  It was sad because we didn’t get to do too much fun developmental baby stuff, like tummy time or playing on the play mat, because she wouldn’t have any of it.  We still don’t know what exactly was wrong or what changed to make things better.  We think it might have been gas… She’s been a totally different baby in the last two weeks or so.  She’s happy and smiling, loves to be on her playmat, can sit in her rock ‘n’ play while awake, and doesn’t spend her days crying (or threatening to cry).

Here are some examples of the baby beast:

beast

beast

adorable little monster

adorable little monster

Here are some ways that we have learned to tame the baby beast:

  1. Back pats.  Oh tried and true back pats.  That calms a baby beast the best.
  2. Silly songs.  Alice doesn’t care for real baby songs.  She wants you to sing about what’s happening around her and about how she’s feeling/acting.  “Little baby Alice, she’s so mad.  She is a grump and cries cries cries.  Mommies and daddies need her to sleep.  They are so tired and babies should be, too.  She is so fussy, crying all the time.  Sweet baby Alice, she’s so cute”  You know, great lyrics like that.  Songwriting gold.
  3. Rocking.  The batteries on the swing died and we are lazy and haven’t replaced them in weeks – plus we don’t have a rocker.  It’s a small house.  We can’t fit another chair in here… So Alice gets rocked old school.  That mean me sitting on the couch rocking my torso.  Classy.
  4. Looking at lights.  She loves looking at the light from windows and gets the most awestruck look on her face when she stares at them.  Also, there is a vent in the ceiling above our bed that has a black vent cover ( yea yea, I know… replace that shit already!  Why do we have a black vent cover on a while ceiling?!  Laziness.  Pure and utter laziness.) that she LOVES staring at.  Contrast.  It’s all about the contrast, people.
  5. PICTURE.  Alice’s three best friends are Mom, Dad, and Picture.  What is Picture, you say?  Well let me tell you.  Picture is a picture (surprise) that is hanging on the wall above the couch in our living room.  Alice LOVES looking at Picture.  She will stare at that thing forever.  She can be so fussy but if you turn her so she can see Picture, she is all set.
Picture

Picture

 

love {may 15}

love {may 15}

 

She is still just a little thing.  She goes to the pediatrician on the 16th and that’s when we figure out how much she weighs.  We have only been able to weigh her with the following formula: (Laura+Alice) – Laura = Alice.  Here are our guesses for her  2 month weight: Laura 8lb4oz // Derek 8lb.

Official 2 month weight: 8lb14oz  what?! Huge.  Giant baby.  Well, giant for her.  She is only at the 5th percentile for both height and weight and 10th percentile for head size.  She had her 2mo appointment with Dr. Alt on the 16th where she got a check up and 6 immunizations.  She sucked down the oral one (loved it) and took the 5 shots like a champ.  She cried for about 30 seconds – her face got so dark red – but then immediately calmed down and was fine.  It wasn’t as heartbreaking as I had expected it to be –  until we got home and her little baby hamhocks were sore and swollen.  That was sad.  Poor baby.

proof that she is huge - for her, at least

proof that she is huge – for her, at least

gotta fill that tummy to ensure a good doctor appointment

gotta fill that tummy to ensure a good doctor appointment

waiting for the doctor

waiting for the doctor

getting ready for her 2mo shots

getting ready for her 2mo shots

poor little baby got 5 shots today.   she cried for 30 seconds then was totally fine.

poor little baby got 5 shots today. she cried for 30 seconds then was totally fine.

trooper

trooper

Oh, exciting news!  She can finally wear newborn sized clothes!  We spent a long time in the limbo between preemie and newborn sizes.  Only some newborn styles fit her and preemie stuff didn’t fit her because she was too long.  Weird clothing limbo.  But now she is able to wear newborn clothes.  They are baggy on her but fit overall.  This is exciting because she has SO MANY cute outfits and jammies that she can finally wear – and will be able to wear for a while.  Some small babies gain weight quickly and go from being teeny tiny to normal sized really fast.  I don’t think that Alice will fit into this category.  I’m guessing that she will be a slow and steady gainer.  The downside to her small size is that she is not going to fit into the clothes for her age – she won’t be wearing 3mo sized stuff at three month, probably more like when she is 5-6 months.  This makes all of her seasonal stuff at risk of not fitting her during the right weather, which makes me sad.  So we can’t really get too many clothes ahead of time.

Pacifier drama: We waited until she was two weeks old to introduce the pacifier.  There is a lot of conflicting opinions as to when is a good time to start the pacifier (at birth, two weeks, one month, never, when she’s breastfeeding well, etc.).  We chose two weeks.  We also chose to use the Soothie pacifier because it is popular opinion that that is one of the best kinds for newborns because it is most similar to the breast.  At 4 weeks we stopped using it because it was impacting her ability to breastfeed.  This was a DISASTER.  Sucking comforts this kid to no end.  She NEEDS a pacifier.  So we started using the MAM pacifiers because we had a bunch already and she loved them.  This kind didn’t impact her at all, maybe because it was a different shape… Anyway, we put that thing in her mouth and she gets sleepy eyes immediately.  We wouldn’t be able to go in public with her if she didn’t have a pacifier.  She would be a mess (we learned this the hard way).  So now she is a pacifier kid and is never without a pacifier attached to her clothes.

Events from Month 2:

Easter

First trip to Battle Creek

Tulip Time

Mother’s Day


Here is a collection of cute Alice pictures from the last month:

snuggles with aunt katie {may 4}

snuggles with aunt katie {may 4}

kisses {may 4}

kisses {may 4}

lounging with burt {may 2}

lounging with burt {may 2}

napping with daddy {april 30}

napping with daddy {april 30}

adorable baby {may 13}

adorable baby {may 13}

sleeping in her crib with her arm swaddle {may 13}

sleeping in her crib with her arm swaddle {may 13}

prepping for the 2014 NFL draft {may 8}

prepping for the 2014 NFL draft {may 8}

Matt's first baby-holding experience

Matt’s first baby-holding experience

hanging on to the rattle {april 29}

hanging on to the rattle {april 29}

one of my favorite pictures of her ever {april 29}

one of my favorite pictures of her ever {april 29}

snuggling with mommy {april 28}

snuggling with mommy {april 28}

lounging {april 28}

lounging {april 28}

passed out {april 26}

passed out {april 26}

one of my other favorites.  look at that pouty lip!  {april 22}

one of my other favorites. look at that pouty lip! {april 22}

one of our first walks {april 20}

one of our first walks {april 20}

play mat fun {april 18}

play mat fun {april 18}

beautiful baby {april 17}

beautiful baby {april 17}

lunch with grandpa {april 17}

lunch with grandpa {april 17}

 

wait... I'm HOW old?!

wait… I’m HOW old?!

 

first mother’s day!

 

PhotoGrid_1399823996071

 

Alice loves holidays and is very appreciative of me as her mom.  Clearly.  We are hoping to capture her jolly smiles like this for every holiday this year.  It will make a nice little photo book, I’m sure.

It’s kind of nice to have a baby in the few weeks before Mother’s Day. You can reap the benefits of the holiday (yummy breakfast, a nap, extra loving husband, and fun plans) without having been in the game too long.

Alice started the day off right by sleeping from 11p on Saturday night until 5a on Sunday morning.  I, however, woke up at 4:30a and didn’t go back to sleep.  That screams ‘mom of a newborn,’ doesn’t it?  While Alice may be getting better at sleeping through the night, I can only last so long before my own alarm clock (read: boobs) wake me up.  (And side note: “getting better at sleeping through the night” does not imply consistent improvement… the night before, the kid was up from midnight until 5:30a.  And I mean wide awake, cranky, and squirmy.  Really, Alice?!)  But anyway, Alice slept well then went back to sleep until later in the morning (and by “later” I mean 7-ish – any time is later when you wake up at 4:30).

Derek made a delicious breakfast.  He always does, though.  I don’t know what I am going to do when he goes back to work and I don’t get my daily raspberry and chocolate chip pancakes every morning.  That’s right.  Be jealous.

We spent some of the morning and early afternoon outside enjoying the amazing weather.  It’s nuts to think that just last week it was the coldest May 1st since the 1960s because Sunday was BEAUTIFUL.  Alice wasn’t a fan of the sunshine.  Aside from the fact that babies shouldn’t be in the sun, Alice inherited by ghostly white complexion (sorry….) and I have the feeling that we are going to have to go to great lengths to keep her from getting sunburned.  CPS really looks down on infants being sunburned I’m guessing.

babies and mommies

babies and mommies

Isn’t it obvious how much we (and our neighbors) tend to our yards….?

Burt even got to come out and join us.  Burt (or as Harbor Humane Society referred to him: “The Escape Artist”) is absolutely NOT trusted outside.  He can only be in our FENCED-IN backyard on a LEASH.  On a few occasions we have hooked him outside on a tie out with a harness – with CONSTANT supervision because he can even maneuver out of that.  Mother’s Day was the first day that he was actually somewhat less dickish outside.  He only tried to back out of his harness a few times and actually laid down.  If you have ever met Burt you can appreciate how monumental this was.  It was almost like he was giving me a Mother’s Day gift.  We still don’t trust him though… Also, Burt will have his very own special blog post in a few weeks – make sure you look for it.  I’m sure it will have tons of adorable Burt pictures along with lots of use of the words dick and escape.

little burt burt

little burt burt enjoying the day

I spent some of the morning working on a project for our moms from Alice.  Cute little pots with her hand print.  This spilled into the next day because the paint took forever to dry and Alice wasn’t exactly loving her role in the craft.

20140513_141403

In the afternoon we went to Meijer Gardens.  Can you believe that I have lived in Grand Rapids for 10 years and I have never been to Meijer Gardens?  Can you believe that Derek has lived here his whole life and never been there?  Wow… sad.  So we went.  We got a membership and I’m super excited to get to go back lots of times over the next year.

We didn’t stay too long because it was about a million degrees outside and we weren’t prepared for that.  But the time we were there was wonderful.  Alice was wide awake for most of the trip but was stuck inside her stroller because of the sun so she missed the fun.

beautiful day

beautiful day

brave little bunny

brave little bunny

Derek: “There are literally thousands of different kinds of plants here and you take a picture of a bunny?  We have bunnies in our backyard.”

Laura: “But this is a BRAVE bunny.  Look.  It’s out here with all these people.  We don’t have brave  bunnies in our yard.”

pretty tulips

pretty tulips

 

turtles

turtles

There was this little turtle who spent forever trying to get on that raft.  He just couldn’t get it.  He drew quite a crowd of people cheering him on.  He never made it… Sorry buddy.

enjoying the trip

enjoying the trip

it was soooo warm

it was soooo warm – ignore my grossness

carnivorous

carnivorous

Amanda, Derek made me take this picture.  He wanted me to text it to you in the moment and thought it was hilarious.  You’re welcome for helping him keep it under control.

After getting home, Alice needed some naked baby time to help cool off.  We weren’t complaining because she’s so darn cute.

little chunk

little chunk

so sweet

so sweet

 

Derek also surprised me with sewing classes (something I’ve been wanting to learn) and plans to go to Paint a Pot and make coffee mugs with Alice.  My parents sent me a Gardenia plant and a wonderful note.  And Derek’s mom sent me a card with a sweet message.

i vow to take good care of this, mom!

i vow to take good care of this, mom!

nosey cat

nosey cat

The whole idea of Mother’s Day obviously has a completely new meaning to me now.  Being a parent  has really made me realize just how much my parents love me.  It’s hard to imagine yourself as a baby and your parents as new parents.  I’ve always known them as parents and it wasn’t until recently that I really processed the fact that they were just people before I was born.  They went through the same transitions, same worries, same happiness, and same love that we are going through now.  It really makes me appreciate their love for me even more than I already did.

I was only able to celebrate Mother’s Day because of my amazing little girl.  She is the reason for the day, not me.  I spent so much of the day really thinking about how lucky I am.  I have an amazing husband who takes such good care of Alice and me.  And an adorable little girl who, despite being a fussy little thing, has brought so much happiness into my life.  I didn’t realize how much love I could have for someone else and it surprises me how much I love being a mom.  I was worried that I would feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and scared and that I would have a hard time feeling like I could take on the role.  The weird thing is that I do feel these things, but they are enveloped in so much love and happiness that they barely even matter.  She’s such a wonderful and amazing little girl and I am so happy to be her mom.   I love watching her grow and learn and master new skills.  She smiles at us now and it honestly melts my heart every time.  I love watching Derek with her.   My favorite thing is when I can hear him in another room talking to her or singing her songs.  I start to tear up just thinking about it.

 

2014-05-11 09.23.45

“Making the decision to have a child is a momentous moment: It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

20140511_092140

Here’s one last picture of Alice for giggles.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

 

 

 

 

tulip time

Now that we have our own little family we want to make sure that we do fun family things – even if she is still too young to understand or appreciate the activities.  Tulip Time in Holland was one of those events we wanted to make sure we went to.

We went with Ben, Mariah, and Harper to enjoy the sunshine, brisk weather, and tulip buds….  It has been a really cold spring and the tulips have been pretty slow going.  We walked around the craft show and it was a good thing that we didn’t have cash because there were LOTS of cute baby girl stuff that I would have impulsively bought.

I brought the ring sling to carry her with while we were there.  I wanted to bring the stoller, too, in case the ring sling didn’t work out buuuut we forgot to put the stroller in the car, so ring sling it was.  She did great it in and slept the whole time.  The only downside is that in the ring sling, people can see how little she is and assume that I am bringing a newborn baby out in the cold and that we are crappy parents.  Tons of people commented on how little she was and kept asking how old she was.  One person said, “Seven weeks?  I would have thought seven days.”  Thanks for assuming I’d bring a week old baby out in that weather…

extreme parenting - changing diapers, feeding, and blocking sun on the front seat of my civic

extreme parenting – changing diapers, feeding, and blocking sun on the front seat of my civic in the parking lot

 

wandering around the craft show

wandering around the craft show

 

It was pretty difficult to find a batch of tulips that were in bloom.  Most of them were still just buds, scared of the chilly weather.

Doughty fam

Doughty fam 3

 

It was a wonderful time with wonderful friends.

 

The next day, Katelyn came up to visit and we went back to Tulip Time but it was way too cold to stay, so we walked around for a bit then took off and hung out at home.