eloise {week 1}

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{week 1} how has it already been a week since eloise was born? it just doesn’t seem possible that this little lady has turned our entire world upside-down in 7 days, but she has. we have spent most of the week just staring at eloise & pinching ourselves that we created such a remarkable tiny human. there have been lots of cuddles with mama & papa, as well as family & friends that are in town & have stopped by to visit. we are also just trying to figure out the ins & outs of a newborn feeding & sleeping schedule! we are beyond the original 2 hour feeding schedule that eloise started on at birth which is such a relief! {for those of you not in the know, a feeding schedule is calculated from the start of one feeding to the start of the next. then you have to take into account how long the baby feeds!}

eloise was pretty eager to breastfeed within a few hours of her birth & has been a champ eater ever since. once we got home, we had a few nights of very rough feedings with lots of tears & feelings of hopelessness. I knew that starting out right with breastfeeding was really important, especially the baby’s latch, so we reached out to a few people we knew who could possibly help & ended up with some stellar advice. by the end of this week we have really gotten the hang of it! if you are a new nursing mama or will be, take note of a product called All Purpose Nipple Ointment. seriously, this stuff is a healing balm that works wonders & can be prescribed by your babe’s pediatrician. plus, apparently it treats diaper rash as well! I tried lanolin {based on lots of recommendations} but eloise hated it. I also tried Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Balm which I liked, but didn’t work for me quite as well as the prescription ointment {though it smells heavenly!}.

lots of people have asked about eloise’s birth & other such things, & I don’t want to leave everyone hanging. I plan on sharing e’s birth story in a few weeks. there are a few other things people have asked, so here you go:

{how is sadie doing with elosie?} sadie was a bit hesitant at first & mostly ignored eloise for the first two days or so. if she was around & eloise made as much as a squeak or a sneeze, sadie was darting away as fast as possible. now though sadie is very much part of the “pack” & wants to be wherever me & eloise are {mostly}. sadie will come up & sniff eloise when I am nursing or sitting with her & then curl up right next to us & take a snooze. I also often find sadie sleeping in the nursery when we aren’t in there; so it’s either a really sweet sign that sadie loves eloise, or because the nursery has the nicest rug in the house!

{who does eloise look more like – mama or papa?} at a quick first glance, eloise is a mini-mama for sure. but if you look closer, she does look like aaron as well, including her not-quite-black hair & her steely grey eyes. obviously her eye color will change as she ages & the color pigment comes in, but I am hopeful she will end up with eyes more like aaron {hazel} rather than mine {dark brown}. also, most of the faces eloise makes are from her papa!

{where did the name eloise come from, is it a family name?} eloise is not a family name {though I joke that it comes from sadie’s family since it is french & so is she!}. it is a name that I grew up with since one of my favorite childhood books was Eloise. as soon as we found out I was pregnant, eloise was a contender. I was panicked my entire pregnancy that the name would become super popular & we wouldn’t be able to use it {much like the name eleanor did. boo.} but according to historical records, eloise hasn’t been popular in the US since the turn of the last century. and then her middle name grace is a family name, after my late grandmother.

{what do you call eloise, does she have a nickname?} we call eloise eloise at the current moment. there are lots of nicknames that people have come up with, but we are of the mindset that a nickname {or two} will come organically. if we wanted to call her something different, we probably would have picked that name instead. so eloise it is!

{are you getting any sleep?} we are definitely getting less sleep than we were pre-baby, but we are doing our best to get some shut-eye during the night. eloise has been letting me sleep a few hours between night feedings which is good. the biggest thing I am learning is to fall asleep quickly after a feeding as it often takes some time for me to get back to sleep. during the day though, it has seemed impossible to “sleep when baby sleeps” despite my want for a nap. this is something I am definitely prioritizing to start this week though so wish me luck!

{is the nursery done?} the nursery is about 95% done. the saturday before eloise was born we were able to move into the nursery space. aaron was able to set up the crib, & my mom & I were able to unpack clothes, diapers, etc. & add a few other details, like hanging the mobile. I am hoping to share the nursery in a few weeks, if not sooner!

{are you going to cloth diaper or use disposables?} ultimately we are going to use cloth diapers, but for now we are still using disposables from the honest company. we are still getting the hang of diapers {so many!} plus we didn’t want to invest in newborn cloth diapers. in the coming weeks & once eloise is big enough {the newborn diapers are still big!} we will make the transition to cloth.

{how are you feeling?} I can’t speak for aaron, but I am feeling pretty good. not having as much sleep as I would like is tough, but it is worth it for the middle-of-the-night snuggles that I get with my daughter {!}. my post-partem recovery is going really well too.

p.s. for any soon-to-be-mamas, I highly recommend using phone apps for timing contractions & also keeping track of feeding/sleeping/pooping schedules. you are going to be so tired & everything will blur together, so it’s nice to have a record! for timing contractions, we used an app {on my iPhone} called Full Term. it is easy to use {well, it was easy to use for Aaron because let’s be honest, I didn’t use it} with a start & stop button & you can email the details to your doctor/midwife/doula. for keeping track of all things baby, I have been using an app called Baby Connect. I normally won’t pay for an app {or anything more than 99 cents} & this app was around $5 I believe, but it has been so, so worth it! there is a great timer function for nursing, & different areas to keep track of diapers, doctor’s visits, milestones, etc. you can also add another caretaker to your user profile so dad, grandma, nanny, etc. can also add & access information.

happy one week eloise!

M

my weekend in pictures.

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{eloise had her first bath. well, at home; she had one at the hospital.}

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{welcome home eloise grace! thanks for the lettering mom!}

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{we rarely drink soda, but aaron saw these at work & they seemed so appropriate!}

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{eloise being completely overstimulated with sophie the giraffe & her activity mat. she particularly liked the elephant which appropriately has the letter E on it!}

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{this little card came with a gift we received this weekend. a good reminder! I think I’ll keep it on top of our changing table.}

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{aaron & eloise cuddles.}

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{eloise enjoying a sunday afternoon nap.}

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{a friend brought over the most beautiful dahlias – thanks ashley!}

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{in honor of the late robin williams, we watched a bit of the birdcage.}

this was our first full weekend as a family & boy was it a great one! my mom is still in town & it has been so nice to have an extra set of hands around. the weather was a little hotter than I would have liked, but since our nursery is in the basement, it is much more tolerable. we stayed around the house & tried to get things organized {I definitely owe you an update on the house!} & even managed to get some sleep! today also marked eloise’s first full week – the longest, craziest, best week ever! how was your weekend?

M

project baby {it’s a girl!}

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as many of you know from calls, text, or instagram, {or have guessed from the radio silence} we have a brand-new addition to our family!

we would love to officially {albeit belatedly} introduce our daughter to the interwebs!

eloise grace lower

august 10, 2014 | 12:20 pm | 7 lbs 13 oz | 20 inches

we are all home & doing well. thank you so much for all of the love over these past few days! I’ll be back next week with more updates!

welcome to the world eloise!

M

project house {week 18}

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{wall sconces in master bedroom // vanity in master bathroom // clawfoot tub in kids’ bathroom}

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{light fixture in master bedroom // downstairs hallway lights}

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{dutch door for the laundry room & handles on the closet doors // bath fixtures waiting to be installed // living room is coming together}

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{downstairs hallway looking towards master // upstairs hallway with new light & attic access}

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{light fixture in entryway // front porch light fixture // stair hand railing}

this week at the house {& for the rest of the project!} is all about details. the electricians were in this weekend getting lighting fixtures installed, & outlets & covers installed. the interior paint is mostly finished with touch-ups needed, but that will probably not be totally done until after we have fully moved back in.

this week the plumber is in to install the bath fixtures &, fingers crossed, the electricians will be back to complete their work. at the end of the week the entryway floors & stairs will be fully finished & sealed.

we have been able to “move back in” to the main living space, though we aren’t yet living there full time. hopefully that will happen sometime this week! the new space is starting to come together though & hopefully we can really start on the nursery soon!

fingers crossed our completion is a bit earlier than more recently anticipated {maybe, next week??}

M

project baby {week 39}

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{top: asos maternity boyfriend t-shirt // shorts: old navy linen blend drawstring shorts}

{week 39} holy 9 months pregnant & just a week from my due date – eek! how did we possibly get here? it seems like we were just finding out I was pregnant…

we have had some summer heat these past few days, though running fans seem to do the trick. I just wish I had a swimming pool to float around in! while I dream of a pool, I am working furiously {but super slowly} to get us mostly moved back into the house & all the baby stuff organized. the carpal tunnel in my hands & my feet swelling thru-out the day keeps me in check, but I still feel like I am being productive. my own form of nesting, I guess!

the strangest thing is that this babe could come at any time. wait, what? our hospital bags are packed & in the car, but we are still sort of all over the place. I guess this is what all expectant parents do, right? wait & go on with normal life…

the baby was great at my last check-up. still head down with a slower heartbeat on the doppler which is apparently perfectly normal & expected as it is a sign of the baby growing & maturing – yay!

what are your guesses on baby lower’s arrival? this week, next week?

M

my weekend in pictures.

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{celebrated our four year wedding anniversary on friday!}

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{even though we did a no gift anniversary this year, I woke up to flowers from my lovely husband!}

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{celebratory date night was book of mormon! much more vulgar than I expected, but hilarious.}

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{we started moving back into the house this weekend – again – & decided I should wash & iron the curtains for the living room before putting them back up since everything was covered in dust. glad I did this, but a little sad that the curtains shrunk in the wash!!}

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{ben & sarah came over & helped hang our gallery wall in our living room, & organize until we can move into the new space.}

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{sunday house project meant work in the nursery! we can’t fully move everything into the space yet, but we took the opportunity to paint some stripes on the ceiling. so excited!}

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{ordered a free trial of diapers & wipes from honest company. these are newborn diapers & I can’t get over how teeny tiny they are! oh boy.}

this weekend was a whirlwind of hot summer weather, celebrations, & house work. we were able to take some time on friday to really celebrate our wedding anniversary which was so, so fun. plus, we know it’s one of the last big dates we will get in before this babe arrives {we also have a date planned this week to see sara bareilles!}. we spent the rest of the weekend moving things to the house & getting some work done – organizing, cleaning, painting. can’t believe how fast this weekend went.. also, holy august – we are having a baby this month!

how was your weekend?

M

happy four years {wedding anniversary}!

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{some of my favorite engagement pics – all taken in seattle at sisko gallery, pike place market, kerry park, & gas works park}

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{some of my favorites from the big day!}

four years has flown by, I am telling you. each year seems like it goes faster & faster! maybe it was because this year was a bit crazy, well with project baby & project house cruising along at full speed! this fourth year seems to have passed in the blink of an eye.

just a few words to my lovely husband: aaron – I can’t believe that I have been so lucky to be your partner for these past years. thru our ups & downs you love me unconditionally, & I will be forever grateful for the way that you support & take care of me. this year marks a huge change in our marriage & our relationship as we add a new life to ours. I know that you will be an amazing father to our child just as you are an amazing husband to me. thank you for the best four years so far! I know that together we can do anything & have the best time doing it! I love you more than words can express.

happy anniversary aaron – here’s to a lifetime more of celebrations!

xo M

see here for our anniversary posts years two & three.