Liana is two months old!

My little peanut has grown so much, and even survived her first set of infant vaccines!

Six week photo shoot

Enjoy Liana's latest photo shoot with a 'soot sprite theme', as well as her six week updates!

Liana is one month old!

We decided Roo's one month update called for a photo shoot! Read about her eating and sleeping routines and find out what her favorite activity is at one month old.

Liana's birth story

Read through my diary as I undertake one of the most magical moments of my life: giving birth! This is the story of a natural unmedicated childbirth experience as told by a first time mum.

Little Roo's nursery

Check out photos of Liana's one-of-a-kind nursery and read about how the ideas for her Studio Ghibli inspired room sprang into fruition.

Monday, July 28, 2014

MummyMonday: Baby and Mummy Summer Wishlists

Liana is getting so big! Okay, so she is probably only pushing 11lbs, but she is almost twice her birth weight. She continues to amaze me every day with how observant and smart she is. She is growing and changing right before my eyes. Just this morning she requested new clothes and toys for the summer. At only three months old she knows just the face to put on to make me melt and do anything she says. On this account, we both decided to make our summer wishlists!

 1. Cute little summer dresses! Liana is begging to add to the 4 or 5 dresses she currently has and thought this Good Lad Baby-Girls Infant Multistriped Seersucker Sundress would be an adorable addition for the summer.

2. Sun shades! She is less concerned with the brand but is convinced she needs shades similar to these Monsoon Baby Diamante Flower Sunglasses to be glamorous like Auntie Desiree.

3. Crib mobile! Come Autumn time Liana knows she will eventually start sleeping in her crib. To make the transition easier, she has included this My Baby Sam Pixie Baby Mobile on her list.

4. Beach cabana! Liana is just as excited as I am to go on a beach trip, but doesn't want her sweet little skin and eyes to get damaged by the sun. She requested this cute little One Step Ahead Summer Smarties Infant Cabana. I think she was impressed by the cooling and airflow ventilation features.

5. An exersaucer! Liana went a little on the steep end when she picked out the ExerSaucer Triple Fun as her choice of entertainment. However, she knows she will make the most out of it since it can grow with her as a Play Gym, Exersaucer and Activity Table all in one!


* * * * *



1. ModCloth Milkshake Things Up Dress

2. From top left, clockwise: Kate Spade Lido Flat, ModCloth Chasing Down Dreams Flat, Revolve Limousine Ballet Flat, Betsey Johnson Tammie Crochet Flat With Bow, Sperry Top-Sider Lakeside Slip-On, Jack Rogers Slim Ballet Flat

3. MAC lipstick in Creme D'Nude

4. Mineral Fusion nail polish in Blushing Crystal (a pale pink) and Marble (white)

5. ModCloth Lace In The Sun Dress
 
(Not pictured: ModCloth Chic By The Creek Dress and ModCloth Yearning For Yesteryear Dress are really cute too!)



Now we're just sitting back with our feet up and waiting for the so-called "Christmas in July" thing to happen. :)

What's on your summer wishlist?


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Grammy and Auntie come to visit!



Yesterday I was all prepared for my mom to come down and visit for the day and Liana and I sat outside to await her arrival. She made quite the entrance, driving her birthday present up the driveway: a yellow and black Mustang convertible! And not only that but she also brought Desiree with her. Liana had the biggest smiles ready for her Grammy and Auntie.


I gave them a tour of our new home (I think I mentioned already that we recently moved again) and there was a lot of chatting and catching up. As our bellies grew hungry I prepared us some of the double cheese vegan lasagna that I made on Wednesday night for Ashton's birthday. I was so excited they both loved it and wanted the recipe!
We decided to get out of the house and go to Dighton Rock Park in Berkley for a walk. I hadn't been there before and didn't know what to expect, but it turned out alright. It seemed like a good spot to have a picnic and the water scene was beautiful, but the paths were a bit overgrown and unkempt. We attempted one of the paths, but Liana was having a tough time handling the hike in her stroller. We visited the museum and signed our names and where we were from in the guest book. There were entries dating back to July 2006!


After Liana had her afternoon lunch, we packed up and headed home to meet up with Ashton, who arrived home from work right around the same time we did. We chatted some more and made peanut butter and homemade jelly sandwiches. Yum!
I was having so much fun watching Liana with her Grammy and Auntie, it was sad watching them go. And soon after they left, Ashton went out to a friend's house, so Ani and I were hanging out just the two of us for the rest of the night. To put an unexpected closure to a perfect day, Liana let me hear her laugh for the very first time! I was playing around with her while she was sitting in her bouncer, and out of nowhere she started laughing. I was so surprised and excited. I absolutely wanted to capture the moment, but my phone and camera were upstairs. Luckily I had my computer on the counter so I opened Photobooth and tilted the screen down toward the floor so the webcam could peak at Liana. I managed to catch just the end of her laughing, but it is still super cute. I immediately uploaded the short video to YouTube so I could share the amazing moment.


It's not good quality video, but it's her first ever laugh! Enjoy!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Ani's three month update.


Hello again! I realize I have been quite MIA on here lately, but there was no way I would miss posting about Liana's past month! We've been super busy with moving (once again) and I am juggling being back at work and trying to get out of the house with Liana on my days off. I'm hoping to get into a better blogging routine soon, so I can post more often.


Growth! Liana is growing like a little weed! My little munchkin is probably nearly double her birth weight now. Most people look at her and comment on how tiny she is. I agree with them, but I know being her parent allows me to also see how big she is at the same time. She is smiling all the time now, even at strangers, which I am happy about! Our pediatrician mentioned (and I've read about) babies developing separation anxiety between 2-4 months, and one of the signs is selective smiling (reserving smiles only for mummy and daddy). Another sign is waking more at night and looking around to make sure her parents are close by, but Liana doesn't do this either. I think it's because she spends most of her waking time with us and there aren't really periods of time when we set her down and walk away.


Strength! For over a month now, Liana has been bearing her weight down on her feet like she is ready to stand. She obviously lacks the balance and coordination to stand up on her own, but by practicing while holding my hands she is building up strength in her legs. Our pediatrician and my baby emails say babies start bearing their weight down around 4 months and Liana has been doing it since before she was 2 months old! I'm not surprised though; the day she was born I had her laying on my chest and when she heard a noise she lifted her head off of me and turned her head to both sides before laying it back down and completely surprised the nurse! I also think Liana is really close to sitting up on her own. My baby emails say that on average babies sit up at around 4 months, so I think she is right on track. When I lay down and sit her on my belly with my legs behind her, she pulls herself forward to sit all the way up (instead of just laying back resting on my legs). She usually overshoots and pulls too much and ends up falling forward. I usually catch her with my hands and let her push her hands off of mine to sit up straight again, but she usually overshoots again, pushing too hard, and resting her back on my legs again. She knows how to push and pull herself forward and backward to get to where she wants, and as soon as she gains balance she will be able to sit on her own!! Another thing she does is when she is laying down and holding my hands, she grips my hands pretty hard and uses them to pull herself into a sitting position, and then bears down hard on her feet and with another giant pull she straightens out her legs and uses my hands to pull herself into a standing position! I'm going to see if I can get a video of her doing this so you know what I'm talking about. She is just so strong it honestly amazes me!


Changes! On numerous occasions I've caught Liana sleeping on her side. Previously, she would only sleep on her back. I got her to sleep on her tummy only once but I deliberately put her like that to see if she would like it. She's not a very picky sleeper though and sleeps through pretty much everything and can sleep anywhere. Which also brings me to her bassinet! I didn't think she was going to sleep in it, but since we moved I was adamant about getting her to sleep in it. Her regular sleep schedule at night is from 10-6. This first two nights in her bassinet she went down between 9:30-10pm and woke up around 3am. We figured out it wasn't the bassinet though, it was because she was too cold! After adding another blanket (covering up to her belly button), she has slept through until 6-6:45! (Last night, for example, she slept from 9:30pm-6:45am). She also still enjoys her morning nap too. She eats right away when she wakes up between 6-6:45am and then naps until her next meal at 9-9:30am.


Development! Liana is working on developing hand/eye coordination. She hasn't successfully reached out, grabbed, and held onto anything yet, but yesterday she was pretty close. I always have my cell phone all up in her face since I use it to take pictures/videos of her and while the camera was on she reached out and grabbed the side of my phone and tried dragging it away, haha! I think I'm going to put more toys on the floor with her during tummy time and on the tray of her high chair so she can work on grabbing them. I also haven't heard Ani laugh yet! She is a whole bundle of smiles, showing off her gums at any chance she gets, but she hasn't even let out a giggle yet. I'm trying to wait patiently, but she is really testing me!!


**Please excuse the continuously grainy and washed out pictures. I am still using my cell phone for photos! :( **


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Baby's first vaccines!

This week has been.... let's just say, "horrendous". And there's still half of the week left. I'm not one to post negativity on my blog, but I suppose I'll tell it like it is.

I've had planned for several weeks that this Monday was to be my first day back at work and I spent a lot of time in my head preparing myself. We picked out a day care and took a little tour and everything was to be all set on that end. I knew I'd be upset when I left Liana for the first time, especially her being in someone else's care. I had to keep reassuring myself that these people are trained professionals and that nothing was going to happen to her. But I was still working myself up with pre-separation anxiety. I wondered if Liana was feeling the same way.

Monday came and Ashton went off to work in the morning as usual. Due to some (partially) unforeseen circumstances, Liana, however, did not go to day care. I brought her to work with me around noon and Ashton took a half day from work and met up with me to pick up Liana. Things were not going as planned. I hate to admit I was slightly relieved knowing that Liana would be home with her daddy while I was at work. Of course three hours into my shift I took a break and still called home to check up on her. I missed her so much. She will be in day care soon and I know I'll miss her even more. I just hope she doesn't get separation anxiety from me too badly. :(

Also while "unenjoying" my first day back at work, something else completely unexpected happened to me. How do I put this lightly...? My first set of ... monthly lady problems ... since I got pregnant decided to peek in on me and see how I was doing. I tried to tell her I was delighted by her ten month absence and that she could continue her vacation for a little longer, but she insisted on staying. Maybe some of you have experienced this, but for those women who haven't and men that never will, let me tell you about one thing in life that can cause more pain than childbirth. I had read about and heard from a friend that your first menstrual cycle after giving birth can be a little shocking and pretty awful. I was so naive thinking "how bad can it be?" THE WORST. The heaviest and most painful I have ever experienced! I was literally bending over in pain. It was embarrassing enough to have this happen at work, but then I had to pretend like it wasn't happening. I had a terrible night of sleep due to the cramps and the next morning I couldn't wait to take a hot shower (hot showers have always helped with my cramps, I think this is why I wanted the tub when I was in labor!). I woke up and I think Ashton was a little disturbed by my state and quickly offered to go out and get me any kind of medicine. Yes, please! So now I know what to expect (and to dread) next time. And so do any of you planning for your first child. Don't do it!! No, I am kidding, I would definitely do it again to be blessed with such a beautiful baby. But honestly, I felt like my body was being sneaky for ten months making me think I was getting off scot-free, and then got a good laugh when it threw this on my plate my first day back at work. Ha. Ha. (Note the sarcasm.)

Later on Tuesday I was feeling a little better due to the meds, but then something ELSE happened on my way to work. I think it was an allergic reaction to the pollen or maybe something got in my eye, but whatever it was made the bottom of my left eye swell up like a balloon! I had about an hour drive to work and I could only half see out of my left eye. Day number two back to work wasn't looking any better than day number one. Long story short, the swelling didn't start going down until half way through the day and wasn't completely gone until the next morning. I spent yet another day being embarrassed because several new employees started working while I was on leave and I had to meet them looking like I got stung in the face by a bee. I had to tell everyone I talked to right away that I was allergic to the pollen or something so they didn't think my eye always looked like that! Eww. Needless to say I spent most of the day avoiding eye contact with co-workers and failing to avoid customers.

Wednesday came and it was time for another trip to see Liana's pediatrician. Baby girl is up to 10 lbs, 4oz! I have to mention that I should be given an award for often guessing her weight so accurately. Ashton guessed 11 lbs (he always thinks she's a fatty), and I guessed 10-4! I think to be exact she was 10-4.4. Today was the day I had to watch Liana get her first round of infant vaccines. I turned around and picked up my phone to distract myself as Ashton held Liana and the needles were being prepared. I think I actually tweeted about it at that moment... I turned back around just in time to see her getting the third injection and getting cute little band aids on them. Liana let out a cry and Ashton immediately scooped her up to console her. I had tears in my eyes and was afraid I'd start balling. But Liana was quite the little trooper! Literally only a few moments of tears and she was over it! She did amazingly and it made me feel so much better--no actual tears fell from my eyes either. Yay, no need for the embarrassment, haha.


Sorry for the blurry picture, she really is quite the squirmer! She had to drink one of the vaccines and the other three were in her legs, as you can see two band aids in the picture.

I really hope the second half of this week is better than the first. I'm guessing it will be since it involves a pay check and a wedding! :)


Friday, June 20, 2014

Liana's two month update & photoshoot.

Little Roo!
Two months old!! We know what that means... infant immunizations coming this week. Eeek! I have been dreading this for weeks and am going to be so sad to see Liana in pain. Her pediatrician says once she is soothed afterward she will forget all about it. I hope she's right. :(

Reading about Disney princessesMaking a run for it!
Liana is slowly becoming more independent. She now plays alone on her playmat for up to 30-40 minutes at a time. Of course I am usually in the same room as her, but no matter what room I'm in I can still hear her.

So beautiful ♥
I was told that babies are able to hold their heads up on their own at 3-4 months, but Liana has perfect control of her head and neck already! Her legs are really strong as well. She can stand up if she holds onto my hands! Okay, that only lasts about 30 seconds at a time, but she is getting there!

She had one too many...Wiggly worm!
For over a month now, Liana has been consistently sleeping 6 hour stretches through the night and several nights she has slept 8 hours. I feel like the luckiest mum! Even after she wakes up to eat, she goes right back to sleep until 9-11am and then she is on her "waking hours."

Sleeping beauty
My little peanut is finally up to 10lbs!!! She is just now starting to grow out of her newborn size clothes. She is too long for her newborn footed pajamas so she can't wear them anymore. She is still wearing newborn onesies, shirts, and leggings for now.







Look at those big eyes! I honestly don't know how I got so lucky. She is absolutely perfect. She literally makes my life complete. I love her more than anything. ♥









I'll end it here before I get carried away and completely take over with Liana photo spam!!
More soon though. :)
 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Dani and Ani have a spa day!!



Liana and I decided to have a bit of a homemade spa day and pamper ourselves today. We slept in until 10am (after her initial wake and feed at 7am), then Liana ate while I multi-tasked and researched school options online.

Then around noon we took a shower and I used her California Baby calming wash. She was so relaxed, she fell right asleep in her sweet little owl towel! Her brief nap allowed me time to moisturize myself, get dressed, throw up my hair, and pick out her clothes.

Next I decided to massage my little princess awake. I put her on her tummy and rubbed her California Baby lotion on her back and cute little bum cheeks, hehe. She didn't really wake up too much until I rolled her over and did her tummy and put her diaper on her and got her dressed. Of course by that time she was ready for lunch, so I fed her and put her down so I could clean up a bit and get some granola and blueberries for myself. Yum!

Not too much later Ani was ready for another nap, so I let her sleep on the couch while I painted my nails, did a bit of makeup, and worked on my blog. After her nap I trimmed her nails and we relaxed on the couch together for a while, with the window open and a nice breeze blowing in. We both even took another short nap before daddy arrived home from work!
I'm really going to miss spending every day with my little peanut when I go back to work. :( It's too soon!!



Thursday, June 5, 2014

I'm so exhausted!


Being a mum is definitely the most rewarding job I've ever had. I love everything about it, and yet I am so exhausted! As of the past 3-4 weeks Liana only wakes up once in the night to be fed, the only time we leave the house during the weekdays is to go for walks or for appointments, and we aren't doing very strenuous activities at home. So why am I so darn tired? I honestly think it's more "mental exhaustion" than anything. I have so many thoughts spinning around in my head about what I want to do as I move forward in my life after maternity leave. Childcare for Liana, my job, taking classes, finding time to spend with my family, future children... There is so much to think about while also remaining in the moment. And it's super hard to actually find time to sit down and make a plan while taking care of a new baby.

The most important topic on my plate: Childcare. I have only two and a half weeks left of my maternity leave, and we still don't have a plan for childcare. This is stressing me out to no end, but I don't even know where to begin. My entire family and everyone else that has offered to help us out with babysitting and whatnot is about 2-3 hours away from us, so while the offer is very much appreciated, it doesn't really help us. Daycare centers for infants usually run around $50/day and if I am to be working full time (which I really need to be), that can run us up to $250/week, which is money that we don't have. I'm feeling pretty stuck knowing that we can't afford daycare, but we also can't afford for me to not be working. :(

So that issue brings up thoughts like: Should I get a new job? I know I should find a job that pays more and/or that is closer to home, but I LOVE my job. I've never been able to say that and I honestly don't know a ton of other people who can say that. Of course I have some off days at work and I get the occasional grumpy-pants customer, but I love Whole Foods (Oh, I feel so lame). Should I take classes to be more qualified for another job? Yes I have a Bachelor's degree, but it's a dual degree in sociology and women's studies. Now I know what you're thinking, "what the hell do you do with that?" Exactly. I would really really love to do some type of work with computer technology--(have you seen my new blog layout? It took days of playing around with xml and css codes to get it to look this good!). I am not really qualified for any jobs with computers though, so I would have to take more classes for that. I think my dream would be to incorporate my creative side with my slightly tech savvy side and do graphic design work. Now that is a whole other ballgame.

My biggest problem-- indecisiveness. About EVERYTHING. And for me, that means not acting at all. I have all these thoughts building up and what have I done? Write a blog post about it.

Anyway, enough of me rambling. Here's what you all came for, another photo of my little Ani.

Oh my, look at her face! Haha, she's like "what the heck is going on?"


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Liana's six week photo shoot!


For this little photo shoot I decided on a soot sprite theme (to match her nursery). I only wish she was wearing a little Totoro hat to fit in! She started to get a bit fussy with me so we took a break and jumped in the shower and then she felt much better for the rest and even fell asleep toward the end. Seriously, I got the cutest pictures of her when she got sleepy. You'll see.


Little roo is six weeks old today! I honestly don't even know where the time is going. So much is changing so fast, sometimes I wake up and I'm like, "Wait, I gave birth? I was just pregnant yesterday!" And I so, so miss being pregnant. If I'm sad about anything right now, it's definitely the fact that my belly is flat again. :( There's no way to truly describe it, but I never felt more confident and alive than when I was pregnant. Not to mention, baby girl gave me practically flawless skin and no monthly visits from auntie! lol


Liana news! She can see quite a bit more now and is focusing on and tracking all kinds of moving objects and noises. She seems to really like her new Hello Kitty because of the noise it makes. She holds her head up all the time now and is still practicing rolling over. I'm pretty sure she recognizes her bottle because she gets slightly calmer when she sees it coming (sometimes she's a little too frantic to notice though!). I can't believe how smart she is getting!


Just as things were becoming fairly regular, munchkin has picked up a new sleeping pattern (go figure!). She still sleeps for a good six hour stretch every night, but it is gradually becoming later. What was once 9pm-3am, has now become 11pm-5am. Last night, however, she threw me a complete curveball and decided 7:45pm-2am was best. Whatever the time, I absolutely adore watching her sleep. I get very broken sleep as it is, but sometimes when I wake up to feed her and lay her back down, I still watch her for another half hour or so while she sleeps. I just can't help it!


I know I've been saying how much I love the Moby wrap and that we just purchased an Evenflo carrier, but I have discovered yet another method of babywearing: the sling! I have a Hotslings carrier that is probably the quickest one to use. It is slightly lacking in comfort (for both me and Liana) but it is by far the simplest one to use. Just throw it over your head and one arm and slip baby in between the fabric of the front. Since it isn't the comfiest to wear around, this one is best used when I'm sitting down. It's great for when Liana has just finished eating and is super tired but is fighting off sleep. I slip her in the sling and she nods off within minutes. Perfect!


As every new mum thinks, I have the most beautiful and intelligent little girl there is! She is changing so quickly and I don't want to miss a thing. So naturally, I take a billion pictures of her to the point where she gets pretty annoyed with me! Everything she does is so cute, I don't think I could get a bad picture of her. Along with the every day candid shots, I also enjoy setting up mini photo shoots with her. As long as I can think up new themes and poses (and can find the time when I go back to work), I want to continue with these once a month. How cute will it be to compile these monthly photo shoots for her first birthday?!


I hope you enjoyed this week's photos. I added these and the rest of the pictures from this photo shoot to her one month photo page accessible from the menu above (or you can click here to see them). Hopefully she lets me continue these on a regular basis!

video

Lastly, I will leave you with this mini clip of what could possibly be her first tiny smile!


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Newborn survival items!

Liana is 5 weeks old today and about halfway through her "newborn" stage. I decided to choose and write about three baby items that have been absolute lifesavers over the past 5 weeks with her.


Graco Pack 'N Play's Portable Cuddle Cove

This is the item responsible for helping Liana sleep through the night without me. For weeks she would sleep only an hour or so by herself, but would sleep up to 5 hours with me. While I love spending the night with my little snuggle bug, it's really important to get her used to sleeping on her own. I think she likes the snugness and warmth of the Cuddle Cove, making her feel comfortable and safe. She now sleeps between 5 and 7 hours a night in this!


Moby wrap

This is one of the most convenient baby items we own. We started using this when Liana was around 2 weeks old and have tried several different carry positions with it. I love the fact that I can keep her close to me, but also allow me to do other things around the house or use it when we go out as well. It is extremely comfortable to wear, since it is basically a long piece of cloth that is tied around our bodies. We also have an Evenflo carrier that is great as well, but I love that the Moby wrap offers a lot of different carry positions.


Woombie

This is one way to get the perfect swaddle every time! Many babies love to be swaddled tightly because it reminds them of the coziness and safety of being in the womb. When Liana is having trouble going down for a nap during the day, sometimes the Woombie is just what she needs to calm down. We zip her up in this and put her in her Cuddle Cove during the day (we don't need to use it at night because she is a pretty good night sleeper). This is so much easier than trying to put her in a tight blanket swaddle that she's going to kick her way out of anyway!


There are definitely other items that we received as gifts that we use all the time and really appreciate, but these were the ones that stood out to me the most and make a difference almost daily. I think it'll be interesting to see how this list will change over time as Liana grows. :)