Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lily's Newborn Pictures

When Lily was 5 days old, we had her newborn pictures taken!  I was a little nervous about how things would go- ie would we all look completely exhausted, would Lily cooperate, etc., but once our photographer, Elizabeth Blank, arrived my nerves were settled.  We took the pictures at home which I highly recommend- made it much easier to take a break to feed, change diapers- you know, the normal baby stuff.  

I'm SO happy with how they all turned out! :)  It is amazing how much Lily has changed since these pictures.  Elizabeth will also be taking pictures of our Little Miss at 6 months & 1 year....a wonderful way to document her growing thru the year.

Now the hard part....deciding which ones to frame & hang around our house :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Month Already?!?!?!

Our sweetest Lily- Where does the time go???  It seems like yesterday we were in route to the hospital to meet you & now here we are- you are a month old!  While we have been on a roller coaster for the last 4 weeks, I wouldn't trade them for the world.  You are much more than your dad or I could've imagined.  You bring smiles to our faces in the wee hours of the morning, brighten these rainy days we've been having & just make every hour of life better.  

You have changed so much over this month.  When we came home with you, your newborn clothes were huge on you, but slowly you've managed to fill them out (although you're probably a little bit away from moving up in clothing size).  You are starting to get sweet little rolls on your legs & arms and your little cheeks are more than I can handle!  You are beautiful my precious girl! :)

At your month appointment, you weighed 7 lbs. 8 oz. (15th percentile), were 20 1/2 in. long (30th percentile), and your head measured 14 1/2 in. (50th percentile) are one petite little girl :)  Daddy & I both agree while you are small in size, your personality is not!  You my dear girl keep us on our toes.  You love interaction with people & LOVE to be held.  

Lily, you are an eater---mommy's little piggy! :)  I'm pretty sure you would eat around the clock if we would let you.  You are currently eating half mommy's milk & half formula, which seems to be working because you gained 21 oz. in 10 days...woohoo :)

We are still using newborn diapers and I'm pretty sure it will stay this way for a while longer.  We're using Pampers Swaddlers & while they are a bit costly, you seem to like them & they are doing a good job of holding in all the goods.  On a side note, your daddy is a rockstar at diaper changes!!!  You did give him a run for his money in the middle of the night at 3 weeks (hello poop & pee!), but overall he has successfully changed his fair share of your diapers :)  

Your sleep---oh your sleep.  Overall, you're a good baby & good sleeper, but some days are better than others.  We are working on establishing a routine & naps are tough.  You fight them SO hard, unless you are being held.  However, your nighttime sleep is great!  For the past week, you've been going down around 9:30, waking to "snack" around midnight or so, waking one time in the middle of the night between 3 and 4 am, and then sleeping until 7:30 or 8...daddy & I have been getting much more sleep than we anticipated!  

Last night you surprised us big slept for 6 1/2 hours straight!!!!  Mommy has never felt so rested :)  We changed up your bedtime routine a bit and cut out the snack feed...I'm hoping you are on the fast track to sleeping thru the night! :)

Important Dates/Things to Remember:
December 25, 2012- 1st Christmas
January 1, 2013- 1st Time to Ring in the New Year 
January 7, 2013- Cheered Alabama on to Win the National Championship- #15

Lily, daddy & I couldn't ask for a more fun, sweet, even tempered, loving little girl.  We are incredibly blessed to be your parents.  We look forward to continuing to watch you grow--what fun times we have ahead!  Love you sweet girl! :)

1 Week:

 2 Weeks:

3 Weeks:

1 Month:

And just because Lily is so cute, more pictures over the last couple of weeks!

Roll Tide- #15!

Activity Mat Time
Visit from Sugar, Boss, Cody & Allie
Matching Bebe :)

Brother & Sister

Meeting her new BFF- Caroline! :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Hard Truth

I'm not really sure how to start this post.  Most everything on this blog are accounts of the upbeat, positive & fun parts of our life, a family scrapbook if you will, but it doesn't mean everything in our world is sunshine & roses.

Some days are hard.  Mr. S & I have been through our fair share of ups and downs--from sickness to job changes to just navigating life, we have weathered some pretty difficult stuff.  However, nothing could prepare us/me for what we had to deal with the first 2 1/2 weeks following Lily's birth. 

I had always imagined labor being the hardest part of having a baby.  You repeatedly hear stories of long labors, emergency situations, things that could happen when the baby decides to show seems people don't hold back when it comes to sharing their labor experiences.  Breastfeeding, on the other hand, you rarely hear about.  Granted, I had heard stories of how great it was, how it offered a perfect time for bonding between baby & mom, and how everyone should do it, but what I didn't hear about was how HARD it is for some.  

I knew all along I wanted to breastfeed.  It was something that was super important to Slade & me--- the best thing for Lily!  While pregnant, I tried to gain as much information as possible regarding the topic.  I read blogs & books, spoke to moms who breastfeed...I wanted to be prepared mentally for what was coming my way.  I knew it would have us tied to the house more & it would require my time more than Mr. S's, but I didn't mind.  

Once Lily arrived, we immediately let her breastfeed.  She was a natural at sucking & I immediately thought we would have no troubles.  I remember thinking--this is really as easy as everyone makes it out to be!  The 1st day we fed every 2-3 hours & seemed to be doing great, however, after a consultation from a friend, it seemed Lily's latch wasn't correct at all.  She was latching & sucking & getting the milk (well at the time colostrum), but not in the best way.  

Over the next 2 weeks we met with a lactation consultant 3 times & had family members try to help us figure out how to get her latch right, but nothing seemed to work.  By this time, I was in such pain it was unbearable.  I would dread the next feeding & cry whenever she was on me....I was devastated.  Instead of using this time to bond with my daughter, I was hating it.   I felt like I was failing as a mom. 

Now, not only were the feedings painful, but every time we went to the doctor, Lily wasn't gaining enough weight.  This was another huge blow.  Not only did I feel like I was killing myself to feed her, but I wasn't even doing a good enough job at it...looking back, I know this isn't true, but at the time that is what I felt.  I remember thinking time and time again, I've pushed myself physically in so many ways---I've run a marathon, completed a Tough Mudder race in freezing temperatures & I CrossFit, how can I not get this breastfeeding thing down?!??!  I don't think I've ever been more sad in my life.  

After Lily's doctor appointment last Friday, we decided that it is best for all of us if we start to supplement formula.  As much as I hated to do this (& cried when she got her first bottle), I had to let go of my selfish desire to only breastfeed Lily & do what is best for her health (& mine!).  She needs to gain weight faster & adding in formula will do that.  As for me, the doctor told me to quit nursing until I'm completely has been 5 days & I'm still in pain.  I'm not sure if I'll give it another go once I'm healed, but I am pumping every 3 hours and feeding that to Lily before the formula, so she is still getting breast milk...which is the ultimate goal! 

I do not write all of this to scare or discourage anyone from breastfeeding.  I know it is different for everyone, but I wanted to put our story out there for those that have problems & feel lost.  If I didn't have such a strong, supportive husband & wonderful family, I'm not sure I would've been able to get through this time as easily as I did.  While there were tears & heartache, I know we did what was best for our family.  I guess that is the lesson learned...there is no way to prepare or plan for parenthood!  You let go, pray a ton & make decisions that you feel are best for your family! :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year- Christmas 2012

This was by far the best Christmas yet!  

Having a little one adds so much more excitement & fun to the holiday.  Lily took center stage at all five of our Christmas celebrations with family & I'm pretty sure she LOVED all the attention!  

We kicked off celebrating Jesus' birthday with my family on December 22nd at Josh & Neeley's.  They did a wonderful job of hosting the crowd!  Everything looked beautiful & the food was yummy (thanks Uncle Chef for our favorite spaghetti!).  This was a bit of a change for us, since we normally all gather on Christmas Eve in Birmingham, but it was so nice to have everyone come to Atlanta.  

We spent the day visiting, catching up, playing with the kids, eating, opening gifts & playing Dirty fun times!  Between football for Cody, the Navy for William & life for everyone else, it is only about once or twice a year that we all get together & I'm so glad everyone could make it work :)

Merry Christmas!

On Christmas Eve, we headed over to Slade's cousin's for a Christmas Eve Drop In party!  Lisa & Monte put on quite the party---the food was delish & company was even better!  It was wonderful to see & visit with some of Mr. S's family that live out of town too.  Also, Lily got to meet Mema, her great grandmother on Mr. S's side! :)  This was such a special & sweet moment!  

We finished off Christmas Eve at the Lichter's baking cookies for Santa & spending time with Sugar!  Also, Bryant had some fun with Mr. S's cowboy boots! :)  We just love this little man!

Before we knew it, Christmas morning arrived.  This is the first Christmas we have woken up at home & while I had mixed feelings going into the holiday season, it was wonderful to wake up on Christmas morning to a loving husband & baby girl!  It was even more wonderful to celebrate the morning just the three of us!

I know Lily was only 9 days old, but she was a very good girl this year & Santa brought her all kinds of goodies :)  Not to mention, Mommy, Daddy & Brother were all good too!

Sugar came over to give Lily some Christmas hugs before heading back to Birmingham...

And we couldn't let the day pass without some pictures of Little Miss in her stocking!  Pure cuteness :)

Christmas day wrapped up with a visit from Papa Rick!  (Sadly, I didn't take any pics)

In between Christmas celebrations, Ashley & Trey came over from Birmingham to meet Lily!  We enjoyed spending some time with our friends & visiting with them :)  Thanks guys for coming to see us!

We had a couple of days to recover before the real Christmas events started with Mr. S's side of the family on December 27th & 28th.  Lindsey & Mike were wonderful hosts for the whole weekend!  We spent Saturday with Bebe & enjoyed delicious food, visits with extended family, a fun Dirty Santa game & lots of catch-up time with the was a wonderful day:)

 Papa & Rosie came up on Sunday & we enjoyed time with them too.  Lily has now met all of her grandparents!

And last, but not least, we were joined by the Massey's for a visit before they left town.  The kiddos were so sweet with Lily & did a great job of holding her :)  Warms my heart that she will grow up with so many older cousins!

We could not feel more blessed than we did this Christmas.  Becoming a parent has allowed me to gain a new insight into God's love for each of us....a love of selflessness and grace.    

Happy Birthday Jesus! :)