Sunday, July 31, 2011

Elsa and her Bestefar

My dad is down visiting his little baby granddaughter this weekend, and he was instantly glued to her. She's getting a good exfoliation from his mustache kisses!

Meghan was so sweet and got her these two little flapper headbands. I'm usually against those headbands that look like garters with all the satin and lace that some people insist on putting on babies as soon as they're out of the womb, but these ones are super cute, and don't leave a huge indentation across her forehead when you take them off.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!

40 years... dang! They're in it for the long haul. Congratulations Mom and Dad, we promise to throw you a party for your 50th so keep it up!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Photo shoot!

Elsa was very uncooperative when Karen and her new camera lens came over to do a Glamour Shots sesh but she got a few great shots in. I love the ones with Henry looking at her. :)

2 weeks 2 days and I haven't eaten her yet.

She's still pretty precious... Definitely throws more hissy fits than she did in her first week which made us freak out and think the harness was hurting her, or that she was gassy because I drink a lot of soy milk and have a cup of coffee in the morning, or that she was broken. Our pediatrician said we could try the baby gas drops (which we bought immediately) or I could try an elimination diet (no thanks, I'll take the screaming baby AND my morning cup of coffee thanksverymuch), or we could just get real and realize that babies cry for no good reason. So we're dealing. Sometimes well, sometimes not so well.

She was good last night though and I got a few solid chunks of sleep in, so I feel awesome today. Another great discovery today is that she loves the Ergo carrier!! I still need to figure out how to wrap her in the Moby where it works with her harness, but the Ergo is a snap on and drop baby in set-up and she's a happy camper moving around with me wearing it. Thanks Mark and Lisa!!

No time for hair and make-up with a baby. Well actually, now I might now that I have my hands back!

She makes a lot of funny faces and throws up gang signs with her spastic little hands. It's so cute, and I'm trying to capture them in photos and video so we can make fun of her when she's older.

Our friends have been SO great these past few weeks. I love the texts from people checking in with us (especially since I'm bad at carrying my phone around with me and usually miss phone calls), and how accommodating everyone is when we tell them they can't come over to see the baby because she's freaking out and mommy hasn't changed out of her milk stained peejays yet. Mandy also made us a super yummy lasagna full of veggies and light on cheese (she knows me so well) which sustained us for a solid three days of dinner, and Mark and Karen came over and brought us a sushi dinner! It was great because I could hand off the screaming baby to Karen and she was all over her. Quiet in a few seconds.

They also brought us the sweetest gifts, as if they haven't hooked up this baby enough already. Karen embroidered (and altered!) this sweet little swiss dot dress with her name and kitty, and the sweetest little dedication on the inside.

 It will be perfect over her harness too. The onesies aren't fitting too well with the hip straps so she's mostly in shirts and diapers (she finally fits into her cute colorful g diapers!!) and some dresses.

Mark made her these monogram cardboard letters for her nursery too, and I can't wait to hang them up. The colors are perfect, and it's so sweetly personalized. Artist friends are the best!

She does this a lot. She'll have a major freak out and then two seconds later looks like this:

Such a faker! She's also still doing those random jerky movements where she throws her arms out to the side and does spirit fingers. It startles me sometimes.


My baby's a mouth breather.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, July 24, 2011


How old does a baby have to be before you can drop them off in the IKEA babysitting station while you shop? Is 2 weeks too young? Because IKEA has some awesome stuff right now...

Pale pink Ovantad vases, only $1.99 each! So pretty for little blooms.

Skurar hanging plant vase, $4.99. Really sweet, cool for growing herbs in the kitchen.

Socker trellis support in fun colors, $2.99. I need to plant more vegetables that require structural support so I can buy the pink ones.

Broccoli head toy wearing a gingham dress. Enough said. Want.

The famous Urban chair is back, in black, and in kid size. Awesome and future design classic that I'm sure will be discontinued because that's what IKEA does. Elsa needs one of these for the dining room, even though she can't sit up and already has a tripp trapp.

I need to figure out the Moby wrap so Elsa and I can go shopping!


I love rompers. For me but now especially for the baby. I put her in this little elephant one yesterday because it fits around her harness really well. She reminds me of Maggie from The Simpson's when they'd dress her in that star snowsuit and her limbs were fixed into place. Ha!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, July 22, 2011

Elsa- 1 week 4 days old

29xbkM on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs
make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I miss my housekeepers.

Also known as our moms. They came down for a week the day after Elsa was born and were SUCH a big help. They cooked and cleaned and bought us groceries and changed maybe half a diaper. I think they were trying not to take over so that we could do our parenting thang. :) Still, all the emotional support they provided that transitional week was oh-so-appreciated. And now the real test begins. Jeff is off teaching this week so I'm at home with the baby. Alone. I'm feeling pretty good about it so far though, even after a pretty sleepless night (I swear, she fed *probably* 18 times last night. She'd latch on, suck for a few minutes, fall asleep, I'd wait a few minutes and then sneak her back into her bassinet, lie down, and she'd start wailing. Repeat x 18.). If I feel good after that, I'm thinking I'm going to be alright.

The moms got a lot more pictures than I did this past week and in reviewing what was on my camera, I'm pretty annoyed that we didn't get more pictures of the moms with Elsa. Hopefully they did!

Jerod and Karen and baby Jude came over so the babies (and future BFFs) could finally meet. Look how thrilled they are!!

Dads and their babies. Seriously nothing sweeter.

My mom crocheted these little matching Viking hats for Jude and Elsa. Jude's actually fit! Elsa's is still a little bit big. Jeff wants to dress Elsa as Kim Jong Il for Halloween (don't ask, someone put that in his mind and now he wants nothing more than to dress his baby girl as a Korean dictator) but I'm thinking a Viking and Valkyrie would be pretty awesome. We can turn a Radio Flyer wagon into a Viking Ship for added effect.

In my last post, my dad said my head looked really weird, I guess because I was bent over and kissing Elsa's head, making the perspective out of whack. So here's my head looking normal Dad.

I think she likes this swing... not as much as her bouncer but she mellows out in it when the washer or dryer is on (the laundry room is right next to wear we're keeping the swing). Another awesome hand me down from Karen and Mark!

I put my mom and her embroidery skills to work, stitching on Elsa's first growth chart entry. Look how perfect her stitches are... I should have had her redo the numbers that I stitched too!

Sue brought this *adorable* denim dress for her. It will have to live in her closet for awhile (her whole body probably fits in one of the sleeves) but it was too cute to pass up. The buttons are covered in really sweet fabrics. I love it.

My mom also went to town with the amigurumis. She made this little seal:

A mouse and a cookie, which apparently goes with a book we don't yet have:

And this fashionable little bear, with a fascinator!

Love 'em. The moms too. Thanks for coming down and helping Mom and Sue!! Come back soon!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My little purebred puppy

The day Elsa was born, the first pediatrician to evaluate her noticed a "clunking" in her hip sockets. Newborns have flexible hip joints because they are still a malleable cartilage and not yet solid bone. Hip dysplasia (misalignment of the hip joint) is less commonly seen (1% of baby girls have it, 12% if they were born breech) and is usually diagnosed after a moving ultrasound is taken of the baby's legs moving in and out, and the leg bone is seen popping in and out of the hip socket. Elsa had the ultrasound done the day after she was born and we were referred to an orthopedist who we saw this morning.

The orthopedist agreed that she had unilateral (on her left side only right now) hip dysplasia and it would be best to correct it immediately since she is so little and her chances of having normal hips after treatment this early is very good. Treatment for hip dysplasia at her age is thankfully not surgery, but with the use of a cloth harness that she wears. It looks like a cross between lederhosen and a parachute harness, and it brings her legs up and out like she's doing a squat. She has to wear the harness 24/7 for 6-8 weeks to ensure her little hip joints form the bone properly, with her acetabula snuggled nicely inside the sockets. After those 6-8 weeks, another ultrasound or x-ray is done to monitor her development and she gets weaned from the harness wearing it for another 1-2 months for various hours of the day, mostly at night when she sleeps. The harness doesn't hurt her (it's soft on the parts that touch her skin) and since we're getting it on her while she's so young, she doesn't really know any different. Fitting a harness on a three month old is much more difficult. Luckily it doesn't really affect diaper changes (and actually makes them a little easier since her legs are in a more fixed position and not squirming all over the place) and we now hold her like a football facing out which she seems to really enjoy.

You never want to hear that there is something that can pose a challenge to your little baby's development, but in the grand scheme of things, this is a minor bump in the road and one that she won't even remember. We are so *SO* blessed to have a healthy little baby, and this will be over before we know it. The real bummer about this is that she can't wear her adorable little baby leggings and socks for awhile. Sad face. I'll just have to put her in little dresses until the harness comes off. Luckily we have a few of those lying around...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sweet baby cheeks and a story of birth

"Sometimes," said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart." A.A. Milne

Was he talking about honey pots? I'm talking about my little baby. She went to her first appointment with her pediatrician yesterday and she weighed in at 6 lbs and 14 ounces. So little! Not abnormally so (they're supposed to lose a little weight the first week after being born) but it's still the smallest living thing I've ever been mainly responsible for. I kind of feel like crap, sleepy and I'm sore all over, but I have such pride and joy over this little creature we brought into our lives that all the rest doesn't matter. She's pretty amazing.

So my mom doesn't think I should share the birth story on the blog, but ain't no one going to censor me!! She thinks it will scare people that haven't given birth before, but it wasn't really that bad and it has a happy ending, plus I'm pretty sure I'm not spilling any secrets by saying labor and delivery without pain medication HURTS. So here goes:

Almost exactly at midnight on Monday July 11th I had my first contraction. It cramped and hurt for about a minute and then subsided. The same pain came and went 6 minutes later but I wasn't entirely sure that they were contractions, having never felt them before. Honestly, it felt like gas. Bad gas, but a plausible theory considering Jeff and I had Alberta's for dinner (bad idea, btw- I think their hot sauce, while awesome, is what kicked everything into high gear so quickly). I sort of went to bed thinking this would take awhile and that I could time them in bed while Jeff slept. That was comfortable for about no seconds. So I decided to get into the tub which is what any crunchy granola in labor would do. It felt better, but I didn't want to drop my iPhone into the water (which is how I was timing the contractions) so I screamed to Jeff (he was dead to the world, I even tried calling him on the phone from the bathroom and he didn't pick up) so he could come in and help.

Within the hour (from 1:30-2:30 am) my contractions went from being 6 minutes and change apart (and lasting a good two minutes- that was horrible) to two minutes apart, and still between one and two minutes long. This scared me so I said "HOSPITAL. NOW." Thundercats go!!!!

It took us about 15 minutes for me to gasp out last minute things I wanted for my hospital bag while Jeff fetched them and I doubled over the bed in pain. Not much can prepare you for what that feels like. I tried to do my yoga breathing, tried swaying, the idea of my beloved bouncy ball suddenly horrified me, and pretty much every position sucked. I just had to suffer through it.

During the quick car ride to the hospital (thank God we live less than two miles from the hospital), my contractions went from two minutes apart to one minute apart, which I knew in my gut made me very close to the time to push. The nurses sensed the urgency as they checked me into the triage room and did the first exam to see how far along I was. I heard so many birth stories during my pregnancy where women were in labor with active contractions for awhile, thinking they were close and then getting checked only to hear they're minimally dilated and effaced. I was thinking I was going to be like that because it's my first baby, but nope! On admission to the hospital at 3:30am, after only 3.5 hours of labor, I was 100% effaced and 8 cm dilated, with my bag of waters bulging. The doctor asked if we could rupture them and at that point, I knew any hope of an epidural was quickly fading. I was in so much pain, and wanting that relief so badly, but I was also a little excited to know that I was going to be forced into the natural labor and delivery I really wanted. The doctor ruptured my membranes and a half hour later at 4:00am, I was completely dilated and ready to push.

The four hours I spent up until this point laboring were hard, so painful, and with very little time in between contractions to rest and prepare for the next one. Little did I know, this would pale in comparison to the three hours and 45 minutes I would spend trying to push her out. The doctor said she would give me until 7:30 to push on my own until we needed to consider moving to the OR for a C-section. She said if by 7:30 the baby had come down far enough for the vacuum suction to be used, we would do that. I prayed so hard that my pushing would bring her down to that point, I was terrified of having a C-section after all of this work.

Contractions still came about every minute to two minutes for these 3+ hours, but I couldn't physically push with every one because they were so exhausting. Holding your breath for a count of ten, three times for each contraction while pushing as hard as you can physically push, is mind-blowingly difficult. My face was so swollen from the pushing, and probably all the fluids I was getting through my IV too, that I looked like a completely different person. I didn't want to look at Jeff with my puffy face contorted in pain, so I focused instead on Samantha, our doula, who was a godsend. I know Jeff would have gotten me through it if she wasn't there, but her calm and supportive voice really kept me going when I felt I just couldn't anymore. I whimpered many times "I just can't do this, she is NOT going to come out this way. I can't, I'm not able to do it." and she would just reply "Liv, you ARE doing it. She is so close, you are going to have this baby the way that you wanted. Stay strong, and push her out." So I did.

Elsa was born at 7:46am screaming her miniature head off. She was immediately plopped right onto my chest and I got to look into the face of my baby, the one I had dreamt of so many times while pregnant, and cried along with her.  Jeff got to cut her cord while she was on my chest, and then stayed with her as she was brought over to the warming table for her exams. She scored a 9 on her 1 minute APGAR, and a perfect 10 on her 5 minute, and was the picture of health. Thank the sweet heavens.

So that's my birth story, minus a few details y'all just don't need to know about. Sam got a bunch of pictures of the whole thing, and you're not going to get to see those either. I will however share a few of my perfect little baby:

My OB wasn't on call the morning I went into labor so we didn't get to have him deliver her which was a little disappointing (fun fact, our OB went to Mitty, the same high school as Jeff!!) but the doctor we did get was awesome. Very professional, a little serious, but encouraging and respectful of my wishes to try as long as possible to avoid the C-section.

Here's proof she was 7 lbs, 9 ounces, not the 9 lbs, 7 ounces Jeff told everyone on Facebook she was. Liar.

This is the only picture I'm allowing anyone to see of me after giving birth. Still unflattering, but it shows that you're still able to smile at and love something that caused you so much pain a mere seconds before. Incredible.

I thought Jeff would cry or hyperventilate or pass out but he was pretty cool the whole way through. Except when my IV got ripped out and I covered one side of the bed in blood. He had to leave the room then.

Her little feet are the cutest things in the world. I stroke and pinch them a lot to get her to wake up and breastfeed. I want to chub her up.

Uncle Jan! He was the first to come and visit us in the hospital that night, and even brought me sushi!! He remembered that it was my first demand.

Godmomma Mandy holding her for the first time! The love was instant.

Karen, Mark and Henry came and visited us in the hospital too! Karen brought me ridiculously good chocolate peanut butter malt balls... how did she know!? Henry looked a little confused as he looked between my somewhat deflated stomach and this little squealy thing everyone kept calling Elsa. He knew Elsa as the thing inside my big belly so the wheels were turning when he saw that Elsa was an actual baby!

Marmie made a beeline for the baby as soon as she came in and held her right away and sniffed her head. I think she's fond of her.

Noni got to hold her next, so neat to see the moms fawn all over her!

She's mostly sleeping in her bassinet right next to my side of the bed, but it's fun to put her down for naps in her crib. She looks so tiny in it!

Elsa and her nipple shield fascinator:

On her way to her first pediatrician's appointment! She was such a happy camper in her car seat and in the car! Thank god she likes it. We took her for a walk around the neighborhood today in it attached to her stroller and she was so alert and mellow during it. I think we found another way to trigger that calming reflex...

Speaking of, here is Jeff showing off his mastery of the 5 S's from The Happiest Baby on the Block. Thanks Sandy Abate!! You saved us with that gift!!

That's it for now. This post took me about 8 hours to write, with many many interruptions. Mostly from my mom, some from the baby.