Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Peter!

Last night we got to go out! Peter and Angela, our close friends who have been so good to us, invited us over to celebrate Peter's birthday. It was a fondue party, and was SO yummy. So while G-ma Jan watched Eisley, we got to hang out with adults - a luxury now.

Here's Peter and Angela, who are also expecting their first little one next spring, and are also Eisley's godparents-to-be! Aren't they just the cutest couple?
Behold a rare sight: the cat-loving man! Peter and his kitty, Alex, are good friends:

Justin and Peter posed for this pic, and we had a good laugh afterwards. Justin looks like the Jolly Green Giant/Little Teapot compared to Peter (he was standing a few steps lower than Justin).

So we re-took the picture, with Peter more on Justin's level:

This is the first and only picture I have of me and Angela!

It was a really good night :)

The other day I got some good pictures of Eisley and I - it was during a thunderstorm and I was restless, so taking sentimental pictures seemed like a fun idea:

Friday, September 26, 2008

7 Weeks!

Eisley is 7 weeks old today! It's flown by. I know in just a heartbeat she's going to be turning 1...2...3... ugh. This sucks. Kids grow up too fast.

I'm addicted to, which I just discovered. Its so much fun, check out what I made:

On a serious note, someone's been using my debit card! I logged into our bank account tonite to see some suspicious online charges, several totaling about $40. Justin got worried and called the bank, and someone has my debit card info apparently and has been using my numbers! They will refund the charges and have canceled my card. But let this be a warning to all of you - keep close tabs on your bank account! These are small charges I might have overlooked!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Eisley's First September

I love September! It's such a lovely month, too bad it's drawing to and end. I have to show off some pictures of my lovely state, because I've heard out of towners exclaim "It's so brown here!" (usually in the winter, we have four seasons here), and yet, our state is nicknamed Colorful Colorado. Here's why, this is the sunset we saw from our back door last night (and we get lots of these sunsets, this is no rarity):

Here's a tree in Castle Rock starting to turn:

We call Eisley our "Piggy", and so this picture shall be named Pig in a Blanket:

She was sleeping so daintily the other day I had to snap a picture:

Last weekend we went out to Grandma Holly and Grandpa Jerry's land, their house has come a long way since I was last out there, before Eisley's birth. How fun that Eisley will get to visit her grandparents farm with the cows and horses.

This is Katie, Andy, and Eisley:

More beautiful CO, a view from the front porch of their new house:

A view from the back deck:

And another:

Here's the house, it's coming along quite nicely:

Before we left to run errands the other day, Eisley wanted me to take a picture of us. Here's me doing creepy puckered lips, Renee Zellweger style:

Eisley thinks she's too special to look at the camera:

I wanted to get a picture of Eisley's big beautiful blue eyes before they change more. Click on this one, it's worth enlarging:

One more week of September goodness and then we move on to October with birthdays galore and Halloween fun.

Cheers :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Halloween Time

Today Justin took on Eisley all day so that I could get some crafting done! The Carriage Shoppes is having an event on October 4th (details to come) and Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I was desperate to do some Halloween crafts. Hope you like them!

Visit my Lark & Lola blog or The Carriage Shoppes website for more details.
You can purchase my Lark & Lola crafts at my Etsy shop as well, although it is still being finished!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Long Post: Beer, Prayers Please, and Cleaning Day

First, congrats to Noah our BIL and Eis's uncle (I forgot to mention with all the excitement of having a newborn) as his home brewed beer (he makes with his best friend under the name Fierce Bad Brewing) won TWO silver medals at the Colorado State Fair Foamfest this year for deliciousness! Last year they won two bronze, so perhaps next year they'll take gold...?

On a sadder note, pray for Noah's uncle Justin as he is undergoing surgery this morning after suffering two brain aneurysms now. He is in an excellent hospital in Seattle and has made it this far (few aneurysm victims are so lucky) so we're praying for recovery. You can read more here.

I was very lucky this morning, as Eisley slept long enough for me to get some much needed cleaning done! I even did two loads of laundry (it's been months since I've seen the bottom of our hamper).

So while Eisley was doing this in our bed:

I was fretting over this mess:

But since she was asleep in bed (and I didn't want to move her because this was precious "Mommy Time" I didn't want to lose!) I couldn't make it, so I just tidied up barely:

This is the bassinet Eisley sleeps in for now. We found it on Craigslist for $15!

With my bedroom tidied up, I moved on to Eis's, which was in horrid condition but I didn't get a picture of before, so here's after - plus her door sign I made her :)

It feels so good to have this clean again

Her cloth diapers all folded and ready to be pooped on:

Then I moved onto our "guest bath" which daddy claimed for himself months ago and thus was very very messy! Since I never use it, I don't realize how dirty it gets until I walk in there, and my face is just like that lady in the shower on the movie Psycho.

And I even had enough time to clean up MY bathroom (our master bath). But I hate how non-decorated it is, so here's the only pretty part of it:

When Eisley started to come awake, I took her to be changed (more cleaning! never ends...) but I was rewarded with smiles. Unfortunately, this is the only pic I could get of her smiling and its not the best but you get the idea.

Now I'm going to go enjoy my clean baby and semi-clean house until daddy comes home and we start tearing it apart again.

Cheers :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hospital Bills

Thank goodness for health insurance! (Just unfortunate the government doesn't do more to help...) Here's my reason for the thankful spirit, a la MasterCard style, because the statements from our expensive little bundle have started rolling into the mailbox ( worry not - these totals aren't our totals, just what our insurance co was billed):

9 & 1/2 Months of Prenatal Care: $2500

Cesarean Birth & 3 Nights in the Hospital Loaded up on Percocet: $16,000

Painless Surgery via Spinal Block from the Anesthesiologist: $1500

4 Days of Hospital Health Care from Pediatrics for Newborn: $3000

Having your daughter safely delivered to the world and into your arms: Priceless.

There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's the PPO we opted for + insurance premiums.

(I couldn't resist! Been waiting for years for a good way to mock that commercial..)

And of course, it wouldn't be a good post without some pictures of my Piggy Pie:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

According to the Look-Alike Meter, Eisley looks more like dad! Justin says its because of the lack of hair...

MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celebrity - Collage - Morph

Saturday, September 13, 2008

5 weeks already!

Eisley's in her 5th week of life, its been over a month already. Sometimes I think, jeez, just 11 more and she'll be a year! I try not to think about it though...

We went on a nice walk this evening, and instead of taking the stroller, we put her in her Chicco carrier (baby shower gift from Angela & Peter). Eisley really enjoyed it, and it put her to sleep pretty quickly.

And here's a couple random pics:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Life as an Exclusive Pumper

If you were to ask me what the hardest part about being a new mom is, I wouldn't say the screaming baby at 2am. I'd say getting up to pump at 2am.

When you have inverted nipples like I do (a very very common thing), you and the baby have to work extra hard to nurse. The nurses at the hospital told me they didn't believe in "nipple confusion" and that it's a myth. I can now say with certainty - it is NOT!

despite what this looks like, Justin is not shaking the baby

My research into this subject has shown me that the first few hours after a baby is born, their sucking techniques are "imprinted" in their minds. So, since Eisley was given a pacifier before we were even moved to the post partum ward, we were doomed. Yes, many women can work through nipple confusin and get their babies to latch on correctly in the end, but if you have inverted nipples, it's 100 times harder. There's no way Eisley was going to want to work hard at it when she was given artificial nipples that made it so easy.

Here's Eisley and I goofing around in her play gym

So that sucked. No pun intended. Next baby I have I'm outlawing ANY artificial nipples until the baby is good and used to my inverted nipples. I've tried many a times to get Eisley to latch on - using hundreds of "tricks" the lactation consultants provided me. She just won't. And I don't want to frustrate her (or myself). I *could* get hr on with a nipple shield but she didn't want to eat that way and it hurt like hell, even for days afterwards - it's impossible to get them to latch correctly with a shield.

But I wanted Eisley to have breast milk. Plus, formula is HELLA expensive. So I'm what the online mom community calls an "EPer", or exclusive pumper. It's worth it to be able to breastfeed still (I just can't nurse), but it's definitely very challenging. Surprisingly, there's a LOT of moms who resort to EPing! After googling it, I've realized I'm hardly alone. And part of what's been able to keep me going is reading the success stories. Many women make it past a year...

In my honest opinion, it's got to be harder than regular breast feeding. For an EPer to avoid losing their supply, they have to have a really good pump (thank goodness I spent the money on a Medela way back when I was just a few months pregnant) because the body seems to know the difference between a baby and a pump and it often quits producing if it's not "real" enough.

I also have to follow a strict schedule. I am not supposed to go more than a few hours without pumping. So during the day, I do it ever 2-3 hours. At night, I usually pump before bed, around 10 or 11pm. Then I get up again at 1 or 2am. Then again at 5 or 6am. It's hard! Especially when Eisley is on a whole other schedule of her own. So I get up for her and the pumping. Luckily Justin helps with Eisley.

The only real pro is that it's not as painful, although I've already encountered some blisters.

I'm looking forward to getting past 6 weeks, because then I can *try* to cut down on the night pumping. The first 6 weeks is crucial to establishing good supply. After that, if my body keeps up, then I can cut back. If I show a decrease after trying, no cigar. So far I'm doing well, staying ahead of Eisley's needs by getting about 40-50 ounces a day. She only eats 25-30. As she gets older they actually don't need as much and we'll start to phase in rice cereal.

So, 8 times a day, about 2 hours total, I spend pumping :) and after each time I hand wash all the parts and set my mental timer for another 3 hours. It's hard, but if I didn't want to be doing it, I would stop.

I'm not sure how long I'll be able to go... I'm hoping for at least 6 months. But according to my calculations - thats almost 1500 times pumping! I already have a freezer full, we might have to buy another just to hold all this stuff.

Wish me luck, I want to go as long as I can...

She makes me look sooo white