29 August 2014

Elliott - One Week Old

Here we are with a one-week-old baby. As anyone who has had a newborn knows, the first week is such a rollercoaster with plenty of challenges mixed with the highest of highs.

Elliott continues to charm us as we get to know his personality just a little bit. Primarily, he is one chill dude. As a result, I've had more than a handful of feeding frustrations as he would rather sleep, relax, or give a crappy latch rather than properly feed. We're working through it, and I know that he'll be a champion eater again before we know it. I'm hoping that his lax attitude pays off when we can finally let him sleep until he wakes up.

He's opening his eyes a little more each day, and his umbilical stump is hanging on by a tiny thread. He has dragon talons that grow at an incredible rate. His jaundice seems to be slowly dissipating, and his purple feet are slowly coming right. Hopefully his weight will be headed in the right direction from now on, too.

Although I am not undertaking the full 52-week photo project that I did with Madeleine, I do want to document Elliott's growth these first few weeks and then monthly through the first year. And so, without further ado, enjoy this first week:

24 August 2014

Welcome, Elliott!

We are pleased for you to meet the newest member of our family.


22 August 2014 at 11:15am

8 lbs. 13 oz. (4 kg) and 22.5 inches (55.9 cm)

I was blessed with an amazing birth experience, which I attribute to George's constant support, our out-of-this-world great midwife, a pregnancy full of yoga, and somehow managing to follow my instincts through the process. Stay tuned for a birth story at some point. 

Elliott (so far) seems to be a very chill baby. It's a bit of a shock to hear newborn cries again, especially when he wakes up. Forget the toddler babble we're used to hearing - he wants attention now. But, once he's fed and clean, he's usually pretty relaxed. In the looks department, he takes a lot of resemblance from George, a bit from Madeleine, and a touch from the likes of Winston Churchill and Benjamin Button. I can't wait to see his little personality and body develop!

Madeleine loves him to pieces and has already tried to share her (completely inappropriate for his age) toys with her brother. Because his name is also a surprise to our little chatter box, she is still learning it and also refers to him as "Baby Brother" (his name from the pregnancy) and "Brand New."

Fortunately, we have lots of time with George home to help us ease into our family of four status, and I wouldn't want to do it any other way. 

We're all so happy that Elliott has joined our family!

17 August 2014

Game on!

What's one of the hardest games in humanity? The waiting game. For someone who plans everything and tries to constantly be fully prepared, it is excruciatingly difficult to wait for an event over which I have no real control and which will profoundly affect my life. In case you're wondering why the blog has been so quiet, it's because I've been playing this game.

While I don't have cute newborn photos to show you (yet!), I will give you a fun little little comparison in one of my favorite maternity dresses...both taken as pregnancies coast through the middle of week 39 and approach their official due dates. Madeleine was born on her due date, and I've sworn that this baby would be early through virtually the entire pregnancy.

Last time:

This time

Barefoot and pregnant. Waiting and waiting and over analyzing everything. That's what I'm doing these days. I am so lucky to have such good company (Denaye and Nico in addition to George and Madeleine) as I go through this time.

Stay tuned for cuter content in the days (??) and weeks ahead. 

08 August 2014

Gender Neutral Nursery Reveal

Happy Friday! 

I have a little treat for you: photos of our completed nursery! Remember the preview, nearly five months ago? I've already shown you a lot of the individual projects, but let's have a look at how it all came together.  

You've already seen the mobile and the crib skirt and sheets, but this is where the magic is going to happen. Do you hear that, Baby Boy? You're going to be a great sleeper, just like your big sister.

The camera in the corner is a webcam. We're using the same model we have for Madeleine, and we securely link it to a free app on our phones, which is only viewable in our home.

The blue bear was a gift from a friend, and I'm so excited that he'll have his own bear after seeing how much Madeleine adores her Gund.

Right next to the crib is the chair we moved in from Madeleine's nursery. We want Madeleine to move to a new bed on her own timing, so we opted to only minimally reuse key items. This chair is amazing for nursing, soothing, and occasionally catching some ZZZZs with a newborn (it glides, swivels, and reclines), and now Miss M has a lower chair that is better suited for her reading. Happiness all around. I can hardly wait to curl up in the chair with Baby Boy and his houndstooth quilt

A couple of weeks ago, I strategically planned for Madeleine to paint in the colors of the nursery. She loves painting and enthusiastically complied with my wishes. 

Then, I surprised her by displaying a few of the pieces in the nursery. She is incredibly proud of her art work and points it out every time we go in the room. Turns out, it goes really well with the inspiration art piece and the bunting I whipped up.

Remember those built-in shelves and bench? This is how they turned out. We have plenty of space to store things as our needs change, and it's been fun to have a place to display things after a shelf-free nursery. 

The green light on the bottom shelf was made by George and should be a nice way to get a bit of light at night without turning on the overhead lights.

This is the fingerprint guestbook that the ladies made for me at my baby brunch. It's flanked by a kiwi that I convinced Madeleine to hand down and an owl door stop that I painted.

This silver dollar is one of the most special parts of the nursery. It has a long and meaningful history with George's father's family with roots here in Seattle. For the past four years, I've been waiting to find the right place to display it, and I think this is just right. It's "mounted" using museum wax to a piece of the fabric used for the window cushion.

I sewed the cushion for the window seat from an outdoor fabric meant to be fade- and stain-resistant, so I hope that it's true to its promises. Making my own piping and sewing on such a large scale were definitely some new challenges for me, but I really enjoyed watching this piece come together. It's not quite as tight fitting as I might like, but I'll take it!

On the other side of the room is the changing station and dresser. 

In the frame at the left, I've displayed two Hawaiian postcards. We found out that a new member would be joining our family on the morning we returned from our trip to Maui, so I thought it was fitting to include a little Aloha in the room.

We'll eventually be adding a diaper pail to this space, but it's currently backordered.

Of course, I took advantage of an excuse to make another divided basket. I'm pleased with how this one turned out, and I discovered that the "scraps" from making crib sheets are the perfect size for the interior lining. Score!

And, yes, that is an industrial container of hand sanitizer. We are ready!

Behind the door, at kiddo height, we hung these three lil' owls. 

The first thing you pass upon entering and last thing you see when leaving is another special part of the nursery. This horseshoe came from my grandparents' farm, and it still has remnants of dirt caked in the shoe. 

Phew. You made it through the tour!


Ceiling Paint: Misty Gray (2124-60)
Trim and Cabinet Paint: Super White (PM-1)
Crib and Dresser: Pali Lucca Collection
Sheets: Homemade using this tutorial
Crib Skirt: Homemade
Mobile: Homemade
Chair: Best Chairs Tryp
Quilt: Homemade using this pattern
Brown Picture Frames: Aaron Brothers
ABC Print: Children Inspire Design
Bunting: Homemade with Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow fabric
Beaver Tote: 3 Sprouts
Clear Globe with air plant: World Market
Owl Bookend and Decoration: World Market (actually a doorstop)
Grey Felt Bin: Target (a long time ago)
Jacks: World Market
Cushion Fabric: Sunbrella Spectrum Mist
Olympic Peaks Art: Metsker Maps at Pike Place Market
Changing Pad: Keekaroo Peanut Changing Pad in Sable
Wipe Holder: OXO Perfect Pull in Aqua
Laundry Basket: Target
Owls: World Market

And now...time for the favorite part game. What's your favorite element? For me, it's a toss-up between the mobile and Madeleine's art.

(Psst - In case you're wondering, this is the nursery we prepared for Madeleine's arrival.)

05 August 2014

Madeleine's Bus Adventure

One of the more ambitious items on the summer bucket list is taking Madeleine on a bus downtown. Here's why: we live about 30 miles from downtown with limited public transportation; it's been a hot summer; and I keep getting more pregnant by the day. But, Madeleine loves various forms of transportation (and vehicles in general), so I was bound and determined to make this happen. 

Enough stars aligned last Thursday that we did it. Come along for a look at our adventure! 

Waiting for the bus: 

An hour later, and we were finally downtown. Madeleine was totally mesmerized by all of the vehicles, people, buildings, you name it. I thought she might be a bit shy, but she was actually really excited to say "hi" and wave to anyone who would make eye contact with her and wanted to explore as much as I'd let her. 

We decided to have a morning snack (sugar and cinnamon pretzel treat for our special adventure) while we watched the Monorail.  

On our way out of the shopping center, we stopped to browse and ended up buying a new Pete and Larry book, one of Madeleine's favorite series right now. 

Then we headed back down a bunch of escalators to catch our bus home in the bus tunnel. 

We were definitely approaching nap time by the time we headed home, and I was so grateful that we had two seats for the two (and a half) of us...unlike our ride into town. 

It was the Thursday before Seafair weekend, which means Blue Angels practice and lots of vehicular and marine traffic. The weather was beautiful, and it was fun to catch a glimpse of the Blue Angels as we crossed the 520. Madeleine was rather taken with the "special planes" and quite pleased that they made an appearance over our house this weekend, too. 

Madeleine loved riding on the bus, seeing the other vehicles on the road with us, and telling me when people were getting on and off the bus. 

Clearly, her urban adventure made an impression. 

After well over an hour and a half on our bus, we were let off at the last stop...which is when I learned that the very same route number that we took into town would not take us back to the park and ride where we'd left the car. Thankfully George was able to swing by and shuttle us back to our car, but it wouldn't have been an authentic experience without getting stranded by Seattle's screwy public transportation system. 

I had so much fun with my little girl, and I loved seeing her react to new surroundings. Any inconvenience it caused was totally worth it! 

What adventures are you taking this summer? Are they all going as expected?