Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010

2010 has been such a wonderful year. I am so blessed and so thankful for all the memories we have made this year.

I Celebrated My 22nd Birthday with Wonderful Family
(Whilst being 31 Weeks Pregnant)
March 12.2010

I Become a Mommy to This Sweet Little Angel.
May 14th. 2010

Celebrated Our Year Wedding
Anniversary With the Love of My Life
June 17th. 2010

We Celebrated Austin's 23rd Birthday at the Coast
(Also Maisie's First Beach Trip)
September 11.2010

Took Our Very First Family Vacation
September 24th - October 4th 2010


Maisie's First Christmas
December 25.2010


As it is bittersweet to say goodbye to a year that has been so incredible, we are so excited for what 2011 has in store! Maisie's first steps, real words (even though she already says mama) and celebrating her 1st birthday (yikes). We don't know what is ahead, but looking forward to finding out. Its been great 2010, you have been good to us. Happy New Years everyone!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mango a No-Go

On Christmas day Maisie had her first taste of mango. Her eyes lit up and before I could put more on the spoon her mouth was wide open as she tried to grab the bowl and spoon. I have never seen this reaction from her. Usually she just eats whatever I give her. Sometimes I can tell it's not her favorite, but she will still eat it. Mango is definitely her favorite so far, but Maisie loves mango, but the mango didn't love her back.

Maisie has never had a diaper rash. I was proud of it too (notice *was). We have had a couple close calls, but thanks to Burt's Bee's diaper ointment we have always caught it in time. But even the Burt's couldn't stop the mangoes havoc on my sweet Maisie. When trying new foods I am sure to keep an eye on anything out of the ordinary. I look for rashes (the obvious) and the not so obvious tummy aches and trouble sleeping. I was a little worried about mango because it is totally different than anything she has had before. After that first bite I couldn't deprive my darling baby of something she enjoyed so much. She had maybe an ounce of it and then I had to cut her off. That night went by great. No rashes. No trouble sleeping. Then the next morning while changing her diaper she was a little red. I put some powder on and went through the day. Maisie then had a B.M and when I was changing that diaper I noticed it was a whole lot worse. Austin made an emergency run to Fred Meyer (because we were at his parents house and of course the one time I don't bring the diaper ointment is when we need it) slathered her up and upped the diaper changes. Everyday it got a little better, but today it is completely gone.

I think we will give it some time before we reintroduce it again. Maybe next time I will dull it down a little with a banana or something else on the bland side. While on the topic of foods, I thought that I would share the foods Maisie has had so far and tell you the Maisie yum or blah factor.

Pumpkin- Big Yum (loves it mixed with oatmeal too)
Avocado- Big Yum
Peas- Yum
Sweet Potato- Yum
Acorn Squash- Big Yum
Pears- Yum
Prunes- Yum
Banana- Big Yum (but it makes her terribly constipated)
Mango- Biggest Yum
Apples- Blah unless it's mixed with pears or pumpkin and then Yum
(I think she finds them too tart alone)
Zucchini-Blah (she will still eat it, but she makes a funny face with every bite)
Carrots- Big Blah (on occasion she will refuse to eat it) Mixed with peas she will eat most of it.

I make all of her purees (Except for prunes. How the heck do you make those anyway!?) organic and fresh. I figured that I have always had a big part of what she eats (I.E breast feeding) so, I didn't want to give up knowing that I am only giving her the best I can. I am so happy I have such a good eater. I have high hopes of her becoming "foodie" like her parents. I just won't stand for a picky eater! Haha my mom has taught me well.







Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Here & There

Austin had to work Christmas eve, but he ended up getting off a little early and we were able to have our Christmas present opening session before we had planned. We put on some Sufjan Stevens Christmas music, ate homemade Christmas cookies and fudge and had a wonderful time playing with Maisie and showing her all her new goodies.

My parents got Maisie a couple of neat toys that she loves. One is a alphabet ball thingy (Austin & I think it looks like one of those bingo ball spinner things). She can hit the side and it spins until it lands on a letter. Then depending on the setting it will say the letter, an animal that starts with that letter, or the noise that letter makes. Maisie was so fascinated from the second she/we unwrapped it. As it's spinning it lights up and sings a little tune. It took her a little bit to figure it out, but she has it totally down now. They also got her a bird house stacker. It has three bird houses in descending size that she can stack on top of each other and then put the three little birds into the houses. She is not quite coordinated to stack them yet, but she loves knocking them down, chewing on the birds and clanking the houses together. Maisie also got a cute piggy bank and a Huntington Beach t-shirt (so cute! I can't wait to take her there some day).

Aunt Katie got Maisie a 5 pack of baby legs! They are so adorable, plus she can wear them forever. They are just so cute and also functional. They make diaper changes a breeze, protect baby's knees when shes crawling around and they also make an outfit. Maisie loves them too. She knows her chubby thighs look extra scrumptious when shes wearing her baby legs!

Austin & I got Maisie a 4 set of Dr Seuss board books, a FAO Schwarz wooden bear stacker (looks old fashioned and I love that!) a new outfit, The Very Hungry Caterpillar board book and a blow up penguin that she can bat at and it comes back. She loves to watch it teeter back and forth and she thinks the noises it makes are so funny (it laughs when its knocked down and plays a funny song in between). She is definitely good in the toy department for a little bit.

After we opened our presents we packed our bags and headed to Salem where we could celebrate Christmas with Austin's family (parents and sister). We went to bed way to late, but were able to sleep in for a change. We headed up stairs where Aunt Miranda was trying to stay patient while waiting for every one to congregate to the living room. We all finally made it and then started another present opening extravaganza. Maisie this time made it out with tons of clothes! Which is great. Maisie never says no to a cute outfit!

Austin & I also got great gifts as well. My parents sent me a lamp that I saw when I was visiting them. I loved it so much I was contemplating taking it as a carry on! Austin convinced me otherwise haha. This lamp is amazing. It is modern yet, comfy chic. I knew that this lamp is what I would want to base my (Austin's too) whole room around. The pattern and colors already matched our bed spread in a perfect, but not to matchy match way. So I was thrilled about that. Weeks prior I had guessed my gift, but my parents kept their cool, but I'm just a good guesser (plus I can read my parents like a book). Anyway, so when I "knew" that was my gift Austin and I had mentioned to his parents that we would want to furnish our room. Yeah, get this... We have been living in our apartment over a year and still don't have bedroom furniture. Up until last month our bedroom t.v was sitting on a box! We were just preoccupied getting living room/dinning room (places people actually see) and then Maisie's nursery that our room definitely got the back burner. I was always a little down about that because a bedroom should feel like a refuge. Anyway, after telling Austin's parents about my future lamp and how we would like furniture, they gave us a gift card to Ikea for Christmas. Yesterday we spent forever looking and figuring out how to spend our money the smartest. We do need a bed frame/headboard, but that could have taken all of our money so we got a dresser, a bedside bookshelf, a t.v table thingy, a new shower curtain and a high chair for Maisie that we needed badly. Last night Austin set up all the pieces and we reorganized our room and already it feels so much better. There is still more things that we need like a bed frame a big dresser and maybe some art, picture frames and maybe even a coat of paint. Austin told me today that when he woke up this morning it was like waking up in a nice hotel (but anything would be nice comparing to how it used to be haha!) we did good and I am excited to add more in the near future.

Here are a few pictures from both of our Christmas celebrations!

At Home on Christmas Eve


Opening Presents from Nana & Papa


Very excited about the H.B tee
P.s check out those baby legs!


At Grandma & Grandpa Lee's on Christmas Morning

Opening the first gift.

Sporting her one of her many new outfits

Still so cute even when frowning.

We had such a wonderful Christmas. We were surrounded by loved ones and having a great time celebrating the Saviors birth for the first time with our little Maisie moo. Christmas has come and gone, but the warm cozy feelings are here to stay.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Maisie Moo's 7 Month Birthday

It's incredibly strange to say that Maisie is 7 months now. I remember counting by weeks and now my baby is closer to a year old than when she was a newborn. There are moments where I miss those days, but then I am quickly reminded how amazing it is to have an infant this age. She is now a baby with a million faces. Just watching her for a minute you see contentment, boredom, alertness, inquisitiveness, but overall the sweetest and silliest expressions. Another thing being her noises, as much as I miss those newborn sounds (I.E the lip smacking, stretching noises and squawks), absolutely nothing can beat her saying "mom mah... momma... mmom...mom mom" I don't think she has fully put it together that what she is saying is my name, but she definitely knows I respond and that I am ecstatic everytime she says it. Which is pretty frequently now. It's certainly her go to noise. :-) I can see we are heading down a very busy road here soon, but we are ready. It's so fun to see her learn and grow!

Maisie is truly a blessing to Austin and I. Before her, we never knew it was even possible to love something this much. She is our breath of fresh air, our constant reminder of what's important and who we want to be better for. The gift of parenting has been nothing short of incredible. 7 months ago Maisie entered our life and there's not a day that goes by where I am not reminded how blessed I am to be her mommy.

Happy 7 month Birthday Maisie Moo! We are so in love with you.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

O Tannenbaum

Last Monday we headed to Scholls Oregon to go to a family Christmas tree farm our friends had recommended. The 20 minute drive was so beautiful. We cruised the country roads and it wasn't raining that day and that rarity alone made it all the better. Maisie was bundled up tight and we were excited to hunt down our very first Christmas tree. The noble firs were stunning! About five minutes into the search we spotted a great contender, but we wanted to keep looking. We remembered the spot and kept going. We hiked all the way up and over and even though 99.9 percent of the trees were gorgeous, they just weren't the right fit for us. We kept laughing to ourselves wondering if the first tree was the right one. Sure enough, after an hour we headed back to "our tree". While Austin was busy sawing away I set a towel down and had a little photo shoot with Maisie, but before I share some of the pictures, Maisie gave us quite the scare...

Maisie is fearless now. I don't know what happened in the past 2 weeks, but shes such an adventurous and incredibly curious baby. I had just sat Maisie down on the towel and as I was getting the camera out of my purse Maisie lunged forward grabbed a huge handful of pine needles and dirt and tried shoving all of it in her mouth. I swept her up and pulled all the debris out of her little hands and wiped off her face and did a couple mouth checks. I sat Maisie back down and started to take some pictures until she fell over sideways and proceeded to roll in the dirt. The ground was soft and she was loving the change of scenery. I cleaned off her white sweater (why do we dress our kids in white!?) and the dirt she managed to get on her face. I plopped her up-right again and continued on in the photo shoot. Then she started to act a little funny. She was still full of smiles, but in between she was making a weird chewing motion with her mouth (like a cow does while chewing on long grass). I picked her up in a panic thinking something was in her mouth I opened her mouth as much as she would let me and I didn't see anything. Austin kept reassuring me that she was just fine, but I when I was holding her she began to open her mouth really wide and continue to do the chew thing. She was still breathing, but definitely focused on what was in her mouth. Austin helped me hold her while I did the "2 finger scoop" and sure enough I felt something. She opened her mouth really wide this time and I saw a 2 inch pine needle in the back of her throat. I grabbed it out and sure enough Maisie was fine. She continued like nothing ever happened. Thank heaven! On to the pictures!


Baby Maisie & Baby Tree




Watching Dada cut our tree down.



Meet Maisie's New Toy, The Tree.

A little update for you... Maisie is a rolling machine! Man, she can move now. She no longer minds being on her belly because she can get around now. She wants to constantly roll under the Christmas tree and then grab the lower branches and shes even tried to chew on a couple of them, but that was a no go. It's so fascinating see my baby become mobile! It's only going to get more exciting from here. I am a little nervous, but bring on the baby proofing!

Maisie has her 6 month (but really 7 month) appointment tomorrow. Expect an update!

Friday, November 26, 2010

New Learned Skills

Maisie has a couple new tricks in the works. 1 being, she is now drinking from a sippy cup. Austin and I were not in a hurry for this step, but upon finishing up our dinner with her one evening, she surprised us with an amazing feat. Austin had her in his lap and as we were chatting away, in one swift movement she lunged forward grabbed Austin's glass and put it to her lips and took a little sip. From that moment we knew she was ready for a big girl cup. Austin was more impressed with her skill, as I was just thankful he was just drinking water that night opposed to soda. Maisie loves her sippy cup because to her it's a brand new toy and something she can suck on and get a little drink.

It's a drink...
and now it's a toy!

Her other trick she is try to master is sitting up all by herself. It seems like she it getting better and better with each passing day. It started that she could sit up for like 10 seconds by herself and quickly has learned how to balance herself for much longer. I am thinking she will have it completely mastered in a matter of a week or two, but it is very exciting! I am just imagining her on Christmas morning sitting all by herself surrounded by gifts and wrapping paper.

Oh how I love that kissable bald head!

Maisie has a little (and I mean teeny) diva in her. Maybe it's a girl thing, but she is very capable of doing certain things by herself, but for some reason she will whine until we cave and either do it for her or pick her up. An example is this, she is very able to roll a few times or just from back to belly and belly to back, but for some reason she has decided she is now sick of doing it by herself. So she will be on her back and kind of pushing off with her legs to move around a little bit and then she will roll onto her belly and instead of rolling around or back onto her back like she used to, she will now just lay there defeated until we roll her back over. It makes me laugh every time because she acts so pathetic. I have no clue why she suddenly started doing this, but hopefully she will start rolling around again because it is just so cute!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sleep? Yes Please!

I haven't been updating as much as I would like, but believe me I have a good (more like great) excuse. 

Maisie had her 6 month growth spurt (she usually finishes her growth spurt by the time she hits the age. So like 5 days to a week a head of time) and honestly, this one was extra rough. I am surprised I survived it! It was five excruciatingly long days and even longer nights of constant feedings and waking up every hour to do so. The days were hard because on top of the feedings, she was super fussy from being so tired. I was dead exhausted mentally and physically, sore and unable to get anything done I.E laundry and dishes (which stresses me out even more). I was so ready for this growth spurt to end and ready to have my sleeping baby girl back. We survived the no sleep 6 month feeding frenzy and I was able to get some rest. Thank heaven!

Maisie went back to her normal sleep schedule. It was amazing to start catching up on my lost shut eye, but 3 nights after her growth spurt ended Maisie started not sleeping (again). At least with the growth spurt she would pass out after each feeding, but this time she would only latch on for maybe 5 minutes (so unlike her. Even if she's not hungry) and then start squirming and crying. I could tell it was a pain cry. She wouldn't even open her eyes. I would repeat our normal bedtime routine, but this time it was taking much longer to get her to sleep and then the minute I set her down she would start crying. I put on her ocean waves white noise and it would help settle her down, but with all the effort of trying to get her to sleep, it was hard for me to fall back to sleep. So here I am dead tired and trying to fall asleep. I finally slip into la la land when I am woken up by Maisie's painful moans and cries. I knew I shouldn't have looked at the clock, but I did and I had only been sleeping for maybe 45 minutes. I swaddled her up tight, rocked and shushed her to sleep and started the process over again 10 times in one night. The next night 8 times, the night after that 5, and finally last night she only woke up 3 times and was relatively easy to get back down. I feel as though my brain is fried. I figured out that she is teething, but she has been having teething symptoms  for months now, I just think now something is starting to happen. I still don't see or feel any bumps, but I can tell it hurts her to nurse. She is constantly chewing on everything, including me (ouch!). She's been pulling at her ears, but I have been taking her temperature frequently and no sign of a fever. I used to dread the thought of her getting her first tooth because I adore her toothless grin so much, but at this point this tooth needs to show up so Maisie can be comfortable again. 

I really should be trying to get some sleep right now, but I feel a slight twinge of guilt when I go a while with out at least a tiny update. We are all healthy and happy, just on the tired side. Even with all the sleepless nights Maisie has been up to some exciting new things! But I will save that for another post.

Friday, November 12, 2010

November Birthdays

November is a great month because a few of my favorite people ever celebrate their birthdays this month. On the second was my baby sister's 21st and today is my dad's 51st. I wish we could have been there to celebrate with them, but they know how much we miss and love them. I hope their birthdays were fantastic and from what I hear from Katie, she sounds like she is having a fantastic time not being a minor anymore.

So, from Maisie, Austin and I we would like to wish our dear loved ones again a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! We love you so much!



Now it's on to Thanksgiving! :-)



Sunday, November 7, 2010

Milk Machine to Future Food Factory?

Maisie has had her first tastes of real food, so far only oatmeal and pumpkin, but I can already tell I am going to be obsessed with making her homemade baby food. The recipe of disaster is this: 1) I already love to cook and 2) So far her main food source is breast milk, I.E liquid gold. You can't get any better than that. It was specifically made just for her and what she needs. Being the proud breast feeding mama that I am, I naturally only want the best food for her. Nothing else simply won't do. I think the only way for me to ease my fears of her weaning early, is knowing that if she does wean early, she is getting organic, made with love, goodness. Of course I understand that it's not entirely realistic to say I will never give her premade food, so if I do have to bust out a jar of natures best every once and a while, so be it. But my goal is to try to make a great majority of her food. So far the only tool I have is a borrowed magic bullet, but after much research I have found my dream machine...

voilĂ !
Meet the baby cook. It steams, purees, defrosts and reheats and I want it! Badly. My only concern is that in order to make a decent sized freezer batch it will take multiple uses. The only thing is that I would only have to place the veggies or fruit in and I hate to sound like Ron Popeil here, but "set it and forget it!" So what I have to cook the food in batches and then blend it. I will totally deal. I am very tempted to make this my Christmas wish, but I figure with good money management and a little saving I can get it before Christmas. :-)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Wow...

I have one gifted baby.


She even does it in her sleep!

About a week ago Austin and I saw that Maisie had perfectly interlocked all her fingers together. We thought it was on accident, but even then, we were amazed by her accidental accomplishment. Man, has she proved us wrong! The top picture is from earlier today and the bottom is from a few nights ago. Saying I am impressed by her coordination and concentration is an understatement. I am so proud of my little Maisie Moo.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Maisie Shenanigans

My baby girl has been developing new skills faster than I can keep up. I have been trying to keep a mental list of all the new things she is up to, but it's about time I blog about it.

Maisie has a repertoire of ways to express amusement and depending on her mood she will either belt out a big belly laugh, chortle, chuckle, giggle, shriek, shrill and she even has a noise for when she is smiling so big, but not quite laughing yet. She has even figured out just how loud she can be and that it's a lot more fun to mix up not only your noises, but also changing up how softly or loudly you make them. She's a silly girl and I take pleasure in all her noises she comes up with to express how happy she is. There are a few sure ways to get her laughing and currently those things are:

1)Singing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider", "Old McDonald", "Head & Shoulders Knees & Toes" and this is rediculous, but Austin and I one night were singing the African gospel song "Shut de do" and she loved it! So we are now forced to sing that one as well. It has never failed getting a giggle out of her. haha

2)She is really into playing the games Peek-a-boo and "where's Maisie?!" She waits so quietly until we pull the blanket off her or until we pop up from behind the couch or from under the table. The Halloween onesie my mom got her was just perfect because that game is definitely played a few times on a daily basis. It's amazing seeing her face light up and understanding what's going on around her. She has put together that just because she can't see us doesn't mean we are not there. A whole world exist around herself and it really blows my mind to see her making that connection.

3)If we put on some music and pick her up and dance with her or even if I just dance silly where she can see me. Gets the laughter going. I think I would seriously die of embarasment if some one could see how crazy I act around my baby. I am constantly making up little songs, bouncing and dancing around just for the amusement of Maisie and nothing makes me happier than seeing her smile and hearing her giggle, so my craziness totally pays off.

She is completely obsessed with her little feet. All the toys in the world could not amuse her as much as those cute little feet attached to end of her legs. Months ago she discovered them and they haven't got old yet. She is always grabbing her toes and recently starting to suck on them. The cutest thing about this is she tries to be sneaky about it. She is always trying to hide the fact that she has her toes in her mouth. She will be holding her toes and I turn my head for one second then I hear her sucking and I look over and alas she has crammed in as many toes as she can. Then when I go to look at her she stares at me with her mouth wide open and just lets the toes slip out. She then of course starts giggling. She is such a flexible and sneaky baby. She melts my heart with all her silly antics.

When she is laying on the floor and she gets excited about something, whatever it may be she will shuffle her feet back and forth in the air. It makes us laugh every time because she opens her mouth and starts to breathe a little heavier and then start doing this leg shuffle. It's hard to explain, but trust me it is dang cute!

She loves seeing the world from a sitting up perspective so she loves her bumbo and has taking a recent interest in her bouncer again. We used to use that when she was a newborn and needed to set her down because it vibrates and very calming. She is loving it all over again, but for different reasons. The toy bar has a flower when pulled plays a song and has removable little crinkle bugs. Well now that she is much more aware of her surroundings and interested in feeling (and tasting everything) she rips off the bugs and pulls on the flower so it plays a cute little tune.

Maisie and I take baths together and it is seriously one of my favorite things. There is nothing like that skin on skin contact and seeing how happy she is to splash around and try to gulp the water and bubbles (of course I don't let her, but boy does she try!) I am so glad she is a water baby! I really need to enroll in some mommy baby swim classes. I know she would love it and I would too!

Sometimes when Maisie is in a stubborn or an over stimulated mood she will refuse to laugh or even smile. Or when she does start to laugh it will quickly turn into a complaint. It is so funny to see this bi-polar act in person. Austin is always calling her "a tough crowd", but I love it. It makes Maisie, Maisie.

She thinks it is so funny to drop everything thing and then reach for it. At this rate I will have abs of steal by months end. haha no complaints there. I can totally tell that this left over baby weight is just going to fall off once she's mobile. She reaches for everything that catches her eye. If it be a remote, cell phone, keys, news paper, seriously she wants to check out and study everything.

Grabbing/rubbing Austin's beard scruff is one of Maisie's favorite pass times. She will rub his beard for hours, but now she is taking special interest into noses, ears, lips and eyes. Oh yeah and hair! She grabs/pulls on everything. She is just so curious about everything and it's amazing to see the world through her eyes.

Occasionally if Austin is preoccupying Maisie while I am trying to get something done (get myself ready, or doing dishes or laundry) and then if I come into eye sight or sit some where she can see me, but I am not in reach she will stare at me with the most pitiful look. Austin says it looks like she just witness someone kick a puppy. Then she will burrow her head in his neck and then pop up just to give me the look again. This mainly happens when she is hungry, but sometimes she just wants her mommy. Nothing wrong with that right?! :-)

Well there you go, Maisie's shenanigans in a nutshell. I adore my baby girl. She is just perfect in so many ways, As sad as I am to see my baby change and grow, it's so exciting at the same time. I can't wait to see the amazing girl she grows up to be.






Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Solid Food Endeavor

With how busy we were leading up to Halloween, I kind of forgot to post about Maisie's first real solid food (oops). In Arizona I mushed up a tiny and I mean itty bitty piece of avocado and gave it to her, but she still had the instinct to thrust her tongue and push all food out of her mouth. So it ended up sliding down her chin instead of into her belly, but oh well. So we gave it a little more time and then with the encouragement of our pediatrician we decided to give it another go on the 17th of October. We fed her 1 tablespoon of Natures Best Oatmeal (we choose the oatmeal over the rice cereal because it's less likely to cause constipation) mixed with an ounce and a half of pumped milk and she loved it! She opened her mouth right away and swallowed her first spoonful. I was preparing for a huge mess because of what I have read and what other mothers have warned is that babies end up wearing more of their first food than actually eating it, but in Maisie's case she definitely ate more. Don't get me wrong it was still a messy endeavor (she discovered how fun it is to blow bubbles on the spoon) but my little piglet just couldn't get enough and ended up eating all that was in the bowl. She did get a tiny bit constipated, but it's understandable seeing how she's never digested anything other than breast milk. It was a fun afternoon filled with laughter and of course full bellies.

Her Very First Bite

Looking At Daddy

Helping Mommy

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween

I have always been fond of Halloween. I mean who doesn't like to play dress up and eat way to much candy? But this one was extra special because it was Maisie's very first Halloween! We had so much fun together as a family, carving our pumpkins, roasting the seeds, baking cookies, watching "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" and of course busting into our delicious candy stash. We only had three trick or treaters, but as Austin says "that's more candy for us!"

Our friends had their baby at 12:14 am on Halloween, so for a chunk of the day we were at the hospital visiting them and their precious new born, Ella. She is just darling and it was mind blowing to think that 5 1/2 months ago we were in the hospital welcoming sweet Maisie into the world. Our baby girl feels like a giant compared to 8 pound Ella. We are so happy and excited for our dear friends. It was great to celebrate the birth of their second daughter with them this eventful Halloween.

I thought I would post a couple pictures of our first family Halloween. Enjoy!


The Lee Family & Our Pumpkins,
"Mummy dearest" & "Bone Daddy"

Maisie & The Pumpkins
(Don't worry I'm holding on to her. You can see my fingers on her right shoulder.)

My Sweet Muffin

The Perfect Onesie Nana Sent Maisie.
Currently Maisie's favorite game

Right now Austin and I are getting a taste of what it will be like to have two children. We are watching our friends eldest (15 months old) daughter over night while they are still at the hospital. So far it has been great. The little beauties (Livvie and Maisie) are both sound asleep and we are hoping everything will run smoothly, but with a 15 month who misses her parents and a teething 5 1/2 month old things could get pretty interesting. haha!

Today Maisie got her first taste of pumpkin (mixed with lots of breast milk of course). We picked a farm fresh pumpkin and I decided that we could carve it and save the scraps so I could whip up some fresh pumpkin puree. It turned out great and Maisie loved it too! She has only had her oatmeal cereal a handful of times (I didn't even want to attempt feeding her solids while she was sick) but I originally wanted to skip the rice or oatmeal cereal all together and just stick to organic veggies and fruits, but our pediatrician thought it would be best because of all the iron packed into the cereals. So we have done that like I said a handful of times, but now its on to the good stuff! Then after I try the veggies and fruits and rule out if theres any risk of allergy I will mix a little bit of the oatmeal in it. Anyway, I made a ton of the pumpkin puree and also steamed some honeycrisp apples and mixed the two for future feedings. It turned out very delicious! I freezed a bunch and saved some of the plain pumpkin for tomorrow and the next couple days of feedings.

I need to do a big update on the haps of Maisie and I need to include the pictures and story of her very first feeding. I will try to do that tomorrow (fingers crossed). She is growing so fast and it's hard to keep up with all the new stuff she is up to! But I thought I would post about our first family Halloween. It was a perfect start to the holiday season! I am so excited for all of the festivities to begin!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Memories of Labor

Our good friends are expecting their second daughter. She is about 38 weeks along and it's been a hard journey on her this time around. Keeping up with a 15 month old while dealing with morning sickness, back/head aches and signs of preeclampsia is far from simple! She is definitely ready to meet her baby girl. I just got a call and she is pretty sure she is in labor. They are getting everything ready to head to the hospital and making arrangements for their daughter. After I got off the phone with her and her husband it made me think of when I was in labor and a lot of memories I had forgotten about. Some funny and all painful, but I thought I would share.

When I started to have contractions I was out to lunch with Austin and Katie (my sister) Thursday the 13th of May around 2ish and I was starving! I devoured my cheese raviolis , my bread, part of my sisters salad and a couple bites of Austin's panini. I even complained as I walked out of the restaurant that I was still hungry. I had a couple signs that this was the start to real labor, but I chose not to get my hopes up because I have had all the signs before. Looking back now, it was quite obvious that my body was totally preparing for the long painful journey ahead by stocking up on all the food it could get. I wish I would have listened to my body telling me to eat more because that was the last food I had until after Maisie was born (about 30 hours later) but instead I felt like a cow and went against my instincts. We planned on having an early dinner, but by the time dinner was in the works I had completely lost my appetite. My stomach was in knots and the last thing I wanted to do was eat.

So after hours of laboring at home I had decided it was time to go to the hospital around 4am. Katie had fallen asleep on the couch and Austin was fully clothed trying to get a little sleep in our bed. I sat next to Austin and told him we needed to start making our way to the hospital soon. We started debating if Katie should come with us because there was the possibility that they would send me home (yeah right) and we knew this was going to be a long process and that some one might as well get some sleep. Katie said she would call a cab in the morning and so that was the plan. I said goodbye to Scooter, hugged my sister and then I walked (if thats what you want to call it) down the 2 flights of stairs and across the parking lot to the car. The minute we got on the main road I started to cry, more like bawl. I have never felt so emotionally unstable in my life. At first I was crying because I was scared and then it turned into "this is the last time of just me and Austin" and then "the next time we come home will be with Maisie". These are all legitimate things to be emotional over, yes? But then I became irrational. Half way to the hospital I started to become hysterical about Katie possibly missing the birth and her having to take a cab to the hospital. I was saying something to the effect of "I don't want the cabbie to kidnap her" haha (so ridiculous) After crying so hard the whole car ride we finally got to the hospital. I got hooked up in the triage room and my blood pressure was sky high (due to my car ride long freak out). I was still crying in the room and the nurse thought I might of came down with preeclampsia. They seriously took my blood pressure like 10 times in 5 minutes. I kept telling them it was because I was stressing out and crying so hard, but to be safe they took my blood and waited for the results. Of course it came back just fine, but that just proves how hysterical I truly was. I was in pain and vulnerable, oh my poor, poor husband. Austin and I both laugh about it now, because it's so funny to picture me having such strong contractions (2 minutes long 4 minutes apart) and worrying about all these unnecessary and irrational things and to the point my blood pressure sky rocketed. I am already a worrier, but under those conditions I was a mess. haha

After I was checked into the labor and delivery suite it was not long before I was running a bath. Any one who really knows me, knows when I am feeling under the weather a nice warm bath always helps. I am a pretty modest person so I had the bathroom door shut thinking that if it were shut no one would come in. WRONG. I am in the middle of a contraction, in fetal position completely naked and the door opens and sure enough theres 2 nurses in the bathroom with me. There wasn't a shower curtain or anything to hide behind so I just sat there, embarrassed of course. I know that these ladies don't care, they have seen close to everything, but I have only been at the hospital for a couple hours and already feeling uncomfortable not only from being in labor, but because I was in a new surrounding with lots of people I have never met before. Within a couple hours all modesty went out the window. All of my attempts failed and so as the pain increased I could care less about modesty.

You know those exercise balls that a lot of women use while in labor? Well I affectionately call them the labor ball of death. My mid wife said I should give it a try because I was just starting transitional labor and I was having a hard time coping with the contractions without tensing up. The most simplest tasks with 35 hours no sleep are tough, but labor is close to impossible! She explained that most women find relief while using them, so I decided to give it a whirl. My whole body was already trembling because pain mixed with adrenalin mixed with extreme fatigue. I got on this ball and that was the only time during labor that I was tempted to scream. I think my already unsteadiness then put on this unstable ball did not mix well. I was facing my bed and I remember closing my eyes trying to bounce and relax and when I opened my eyes the first thing I saw were my clenched white knuckle fists gripping the bed sheets. I tried my best to tough it out, but after a half hour there was no way. I settled for pacing back and forth in my room and sitting in a rocking chair. Ladies, don't let me discourage you from using a labor ball because I think I am one of the few that didn't enjoy them.

After I got my epidural I was feeling much better. The epidural was light so I had no problem moving around on the bed to switch positions. I could move my legs and I knew I could walk around, but of course they wouldn't let me. I was able to take a quick nap so I ended up falling asleep while hugging the head of the bed (on all fours) and when I woke up my legs were completely dead. Just my weight on my legs while I napped numbed me more than my epidural did. I noticed that my right side was cramping pretty bad turns out the epidural was stronger on my left side then right I started feeling uncomfortable, but compared to what I was feeling before it was defintley tolerable. I could feel every contraction and I started to notice how long and strong they were. The last hour until I was able to push it felt like my right side never had relief it felt like it was in a constant contraction.

My labor lasted 30 hours. It was an incredible, insightful, beautiful experience. I think labor was totally designed to push you to your limits so when you do finally meet that precious baby whom has been developing in you for 9 months its nothing short of amazing. There is not one experience that defines me as much as giving birth to Maisie and the work it took to get there. I became a mom that day.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

4 Month (But Really 5 Month) Appointment

We would have had Maisie's 4 month appointment when she was actually 4 months old, but due to switching insurance and the complications that followed that, we couldn't. Then with our trip to Arizona it pushed it back even more, but finally after multiple reschedules she had her appointment yesterday just 2 days shy of her 5 month birthday.

Around 11 o'clock we left our home for the dreaded "4 month old appointment" I.E more shots. I was so nervous. Maisie was in such a happy, playful mood and I felt so sad that she had no idea what was coming her way. We love our pediatrician so that definitely helps, but still, she was going to make my sweet baby cry therefore she is not my best friend. We went over all of Maisie's growth and she is doing fantastic! 80th percentile across the charts in height, weight and head circumference. She is advanced when it comes to supporting herself and trying to sit independently (haha now I'm THAT bragging mom) so the Dr thinks shes ready to start some solids. I am so nervous and kind of dreading it because my breastfeeding mommy instincts are sad because I feel that she won't need me as much. After much reassurance by the Dr (and Austin) I feel we might be ready to give it a try. There are many factors that the doctor feels that Maisie is ready. 1- Maisie has been early with all her developmental skills and starting solids is a developmental skill not just something that magically occurs at 6 months. 2- Since Maisie has been growing so much she has bumped up her night feeding to keep in demand of her growing needs. Our Dr feels that maybe adding some solids will help her feel satisfied longer and aid with her growth. So, most likely this weekend Maisie will have her first taste of food. Ah!

Let's get to Maisie's growth numbers:
Birth: Weight: 7 pounds 0 oz Height: 19.5 inches
1 week: Weight: 7 pounds 3 oz (gained the 4% body weight she lost in the hospital plus 3 oz)
2 weeks: Weight: 7 pounds 15 oz Height: 21.25 inches
2 month: Weight: 11 pounds 1 oz Height: 23 inches
5 month: Weight 15 pounds 5 oz Height: 26 inches

Just like last time I left the room when it was time for the shots. I waited right next to the door and I heard Maisie start "complaining" that's what it sounded like. Not quite a cry, but definitely a unhappy noise. I heard the Dr say "one down, one more to go" and then Maisie started to cry, but not the red face, clenched fist cry like last time, it was more like a "that hurt, now comfort me." I hurried in the room and Austin passed her to me and within 30 seconds she was fine. Within a few minutes she was back to her cooing and smiling self. We are so proud of our baby girl. She is growing and thriving and we are so excited to watch her grown even more. It's such a bittersweet thing, watching your baby change in front of your eyes, but its even more rewarding.




Monday, October 11, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Adventures

Since Maisie's birth I have dreamed about the day of taking her to her first pumpkin patch. For many reasons, but I think mainly because I have memories as a little girl taking family trips to the pumpkin patch and so naturally, I wanted to make some with Maisie! Fall is by far my favorite season. The crisp air, comforting food and an excuse to make some cider (or hot chocolate) and light a fire. Plus, picking and carving pumpkins is a great bonus too! So today Austin and I took Maisie to her first pumpkin patch(es).

Friends of ours recommended Kruger Farms and so, that was our first stop of the day. It was a fantastic little drive. The farm is actually located on an island (Sauvie Island) and so there is a huge river that runs right next to the farm. It was still a bit chilly when we got there and the morning dew was starting to dry, but it was still a very muddy adventure. Okay, anyone who goes to a pumpkin patch thinking there will be no mud involved is in for a rude awakening right? So first stop was the organic market where we bought some caramel apples and cider. Oh yeah we also bought some farm fresh corn as well. They seriously just picked it so we couldn't pass it up! Then we walked the pumpkin patch in search for a great first pumpkin for Maisie and I think we found it. Personally, I love a pumpkin with a personality and those perfect "magazine cover" pumpkins just are too blah. So we found one that's a little lop sided and with an extra long stem. It is the perfect shade orange and has tons of vertical grooves. I would say we did a great job, now we just have to figure out what to carve on it.

Next stop was supposed to be Roloff Farms (the little people big world folks) but as we pulled up to the farm we noticed that they are only open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Lame! Plus you have to pay for parking! Eh, oh well. So instead of Roloff Farms we went to Plumper Farm. It was so quaint and fun. There were tons of beautiful flowers (especially sunflowers!!) and some animals too. Maisie was pretty much sleeping through this whole farm because it was during her afternoon nap time. So we just pushed her in her stroller and let her sleep. Maisie is not very happy when shes tired, but who is?

We then came home where we grilled our farm fresh corn and made another delicious gluten free meal. It turned out to be a wonderful and sunny (who would have thought that?) day. I am sure we will most likely go to another one before Halloween comes because I still would like to go to my favorite one in Canby. But for now I am very satisfied. We had a wonderful time as a family and so, Maisie's first pumpkin patch experience was a great success!

Here are a few of the pictures we took today. Enjoy!

Sunflowers!

Maisie and Daddy on the hunt for a pumpkin

Searching high and low

Beautiful Maisie

Mommy and Maisie

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Going Gluten Free

I thought it was going to be a lot more difficult, but thanks to Trader Joe's going gluten free couldn't be going any more smoothly. We started this adventure pretty discouraged realizing groceries are now more expensive and after tasting brown rice bread (yuck!) we thought maybe this task was impossible, but after discovering great tasting (and healthy) food and also finding that so many restaurants accommodate us gluten free people, our attitudes have changed. This started out as something to see if Austin's stomach issues would settle, but I now see this becoming a lifestyle for us. I feel much better about the things I now eat on a daily basis. It makes me so happy to open my cupboards and have tons of tasty healthy meals to prepare. I have to admit I love bread, but having to come up with alternative carbs is fun. There are a couple of items that are making this gluten free transition a little easier. A special thanks to...

Envirokidz Peanut Butter Panda Puffs
Quinoa

Rice Pasta & Cheddar (gluten free mac & cheese)

Maybe I am speaking to soon, seeing how it's only been a week since our switch, but Austin is on board and hopefully this will help his stomach out. Poor guy thought he was lactose intolerant, maybe had IBS or was stressed out, but something is up and we will get to the bottom of this! After reading about Celiac disease it sounds like classic Austin and gluten allergies are the 8th most popular food allergy, so it's definitely worth a shot. I really hope this does the trick, but if not, cheers to healthy eating!

Last night Maisie and I made a delicious gluten free dinner. Heres Maisie helping in the kitchen.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

.:Our First Family Vacation:.

Yesterday we got back from our lovely trip to Arizona. I would have mentioned earlier on here that we were going on vacation, but for security reasons I decided not to. Better safe than sorry, right? Anyway, Maisie and I packed our bags and hopped a later plane to Phoenix Friday the 24th and then Austin met us there late Sunday morning. Maisie was doll on the plane. She quietly played with my necklace and slept probably three quarters of the flight (I think the combo of the white noise and turbulence helped lull her to sleep) . We landed at 9:30pm, and it was great to see my parents. I was so tired, but couldn't resist the temptation of a late night In-N-Out stop. We finally got to my parents home where both Maisie and I slept like babies. The next day we had a girls day. Katie, Mom, Maisie and I had lunch and spent the day talking and shopping around. That night we met up with my Dad, Mike, Walker and Jackson at BJ's Pizzeria and it was great to finally meet my newest nephews. They are very energetic handsome boys! The next morning Austin flew into town and I was so excited for him to finally relax. He works so hard to support Maisie and I and out of everyone he needed this trip the most. We for the most part relaxed, but we all did tons of fun things with my family... including but not limited to:

Lounging at the "Lloyd Resort", floating on rafts getting too much sun, acting like three year olds and running around a giant splash pad, In-N-Out, Jordans, Castles and Coasters, Mini golf, Wildflower bakery, Sipping on Iced tea in 105 degree weather, Shooting guns in the desert, visiting with family, Dillions, watching the most beautiful sunsets, family craft projects, Maisie being spoiled by the grandparents, Office season 1, sitting out by the fire pit, never feeling cold, summer clothes, producing mass amounts of vitamin D, taco night... Now that's a vacation! There are absolutely no complaints about our trip, except having to leave. 10 days just goes by too fast!

Austin and I enjoyed our trip so much that was started talking about the possibility of maybe moving back down there one day. We even made a list of pros and cons about living in both Oregon and Arizona. We agreed that we both still love Oregon, but Arizona might be the cards some day. Our lease isn't up until June and frankly there is no way in heck I will move there in the Summer so we still have a while to figure things out. I am already the missing the 100 degree weather, but at the same time this is my favorite season. I don't think you can ask for anything better than fall in Oregon. I am so excited to take Maisie to her first pumpkin patch!

Now I know this is lame because we have a brand new camera, but we didn't take very many pictures. My dad definitely was the photographer (and he also has a camera that kicks our cameras booty!) so we do have pictures, but my dad is in charge of those. He finally updated his blog and he uploaded a few pictures from our trip down. You can check those out at my Dad's Blog and I thought I would also post just a couple on here as well.


Austin, Maisie and I outside the Asanti Fountain


All of us outside Asanti


Dad, Katie, Mike, Mom, Maisie, Walker and Jackson

The cutest little baby sporting her new head band.

Vacation is very tiring!