Mollie arrived to us on July 6, 2010 at 10:42 AM. She weighed in at 6 lbs, 6 oz and 19 inches long!
We could not be more in love and can already see the start of our little family blooming!
Thanks for your continued love and support ~Leigh Ann, Matt & Mollie

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Where has the time gone?!

So apparently, 3 months marks the transition from a newborn to an infant. We have a few more days, I'm not jumping the gun quite yet. It's so hard to believe how much these little beings change in just a few short weeks! My newborn will soon become an infant...wowsers, where has the time gone?!
Lounging poolside at Kiawah
Just Playin'!

One week I'm stressing that I need to be better apt to handle her wants & needs, I mean, the girl does communicate but I just doing speak 'baby' very well sometimes...At least she only cries when she needs something and once I go down my short list of what those things could be, I stumble upon the correct answer. Whew crisis averted. Once she hit about 2.5 months this was soooo much better!!

As much as it makes perfect sense, Matt and I have to constantly remind ourselves that babies are just 'miniature us's'. Some days we're more hungry or less hungry than others. Same with babies. Some nights we sleep well, some nights not. Same with babies. I could go on & on.. We're still trumped at certain moments, but for the most part, we're getting the hang of this! And loving every second of it- she really is super fun!!

Her personality's really starting to come through. There are times when she needs her alone time & doesn't want to be held. I hear ya. She'll wiggle and whine and as soon as you put her down, she's fine. I've always been one to enjoy time by myself as has Matt. I think that's a great attribute in a person when they enjoy spending time with just themselves. I bet she'll like her independent time to play and just chill when she gets older, too. When I would worry about her napping, my mom would remind me, 'when she's tired, she will sleep.' I really didn't quite get that & thought I had to tell her when to do it and coax her into falling asleep. Not the case. If I provide her the opportunity to fall asleep she will (in most cases) fall asleep. I got so wrapped up into having her 'be by the book' that I was missing her messages and her individuality. I've learned my lesson & will let her be her OWN person. As much as I wanted a schedule, we pretty much have one without me forcing anything. For that, I am grateful and comfortable.

Her smiles are out of control! The girl will crack me up. We finished feeding a few days ago and I started singing Bad Romance by Lady Gaga (don't ask) and the girl LOVED it. Oh great. Yep, she is def the niece of Julie & Jane Szteiter, the biggest Gaga fans I know:) I cannot wait for Mollie's out loud laughs to start!!! They are almost there & I am dying for a real giggle. While she can 'talk' up a storm, and seriously at times we can hardly get a word in. Matt and I just look at her and laugh. What in the world could she be trying to tell us? Something very important and useful, I'm sure:)
She was all smiles then stopped once the camera came out!

She also recently loves to hold things and touch things. Hence this precious picture of her holding her babydoll! She naps with her over her face and blankie in other hand. We knew she was a snuggle bug from DAY 1-- Melts my heart!!
Loving on babydoll

We have daily tummy time & while she is awesome at holding her head up, no signs of her attempting to roll over yet, but we're working on it. 
Roll Tide Roll!!
She's been sleeping great. She basically tells us what she wants and we follow. Guess we already know who is in charge here, right?! Her naps are pretty consistent and even if brief at times, she gets what she needs. Her fave afternoon nap spot is on her tummy (supervised, of course) in our living room leather chair. It's adorable & she always looks so content!
We were trying different bedtimes to see what works and think we've ended up with right about 7pm. She has been doing down like a champ! We bathe her, have massage time, pj's, then read Goodnight Moon, eat a touch more, then bed. As we're reading Goodnight Moon, she always starts to fuss right around the page of 'Goodnight mush' because she knows her bedtime snack is right around the corner- haha! I usually get up once with her about 3 to eat & I also pump then we're all good:) Looking forward to her spacing that out til wakeup time!! A few nights ago it was ALL night, 8pm-6am, then the next night it was, lets keep that up!!

So, we're going to have our last little while with our newborn and then she grows up into a new category. So very hard to believe and I know she'll be crawling before I can even blink my eyes. For now, we'll enjoy our little tiny Mollie:)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Matt & I are celebrating 4 years of marriage today!! I remember that magical day like it was yesterday and relive it often. The day he proposed to me in Asheville and it was snowing, the moment I called my family to share the good news, the day I walked down the aisle in my dad's arms to wed my best friend.

4 years? How could so very much happen in just 4 years? An amazing wedding, a couple weeks after my mom falls down and busts her teeth out, my sisters go off to college, my dad is in the hospital for 74 days, my parents sell their house and probably 95% of everything in it and then we welcome Mollie into our lives:) Whew. That exhausts me just writing it out.

I can only imagine how wonderful all of these many more years will be with our little family. We've taken some awesome trips together, laughed so hard we've cried and cried so hard we've laughed. What is in store for the next 4? I don't know, but I will say excitement is sure to be had:)

I'm lucky he chose me. I'm lucky we were blessed to have a beautiful little girl together. I love you, boo and Mollie does too!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

She's growing!

Yesterday we had Mollie's 2 month vaccine Pediatrician appt. I will honestly say that I had no clue what to expect nor how she would react. I was dreading the shots! I've only heard one pain cry from her and it was the other night, when my ring either scrached her neck or she got a scratch elsewhere & I just rubbed it. Either way, I knew that was a pain cry. When I heard it, I just snuggled her real hard and hoped it would go away ASAP whatever it was! I knew we'd hear it again with the shots. She did GREAT! Was snoozing in my arms at the time they were ready to do them, so I woke her a bit, had to lay her down, the sweet nurse was quick and she cried a few good wails, but that was it! Then I scooped her back up, snuggled with her & rocked and presto, back asleep...for almost 3 hrs!!! She fell asleep in her carseat and I even ate lunch in my car, in the driveway so I would not disturb her!
Check out my boo-boo's :(
I actually ADORE our Dr, so it's been nice to go to him and he really spends time talking with the patients about what baby is doing, how the family is doing, milestones, what we need to look ahead at doing/not doing, etc. It's wonderful to have him as an important resource and he's been helpful from Day 1.

Also at this appt they do measurements and look at percentiles/averages. She is exactly 10 lbs!!! I knew she was close to that a couple weeks ago and Matt & I even thought she'd be a touch more, but nope -10 even. That puts her in the 50% percentile, so exactly average--although I think she is waaayyy better than average:) Big improvement as at 2 weeks, her weight was in the 10% bracket. She is now 22 1/2 inches in length, putting her in the 80% bracket. Where is she getting this height?! Not me or Matt, haha, must be my side as the rest of my family is pretty tall. I knew she might be lengthier than usual, as some 0-3 month outfits are so wide on her, but pull a bit in the length. Go girl, get you some height!!
Gah, I'm so big!
I don't know if it was the vaccines or not, I am hoping not, but she had an awesome night's sleep last night. We currently have a consistent bedtime routine, just not really consistent bedtime. We made the effort to put her down earlier than usual last night, when showing tired signs and she went to sleep without even a wimper! Woke up at 12:45 and I needed to pick her up, pat her back & put her back down. She didn't wake again until 4:30am!! She ate pretty well & then back down (which she is always good about, thank God). I went in there this am at 6:45 to start our day!! She was stirring, but not totally up. Had the BIGGEST grin on her face too!! Guess that's what happens when we get a good night's sleep, huh?! Yay, hope we're on to something, I've known she needed more nighttime sleep hours, um as do Matt & I. Day sleep issues will be next:)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Information Overload

“One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload. There’s always more than you can cope with.”
Marshall McLuhan
“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.”
Gertrude Stein

I've always felt like a pretty confident woman. Confidence in myself & confidence in my choices. It's always been a priority of mine to build up others self-esteem, especially women, as it's sooooo important and we all know why.

When Matt and I were first talking about starting a family, there wasn't a whole lot to do or 'study' ahead of time, per se. We wanted children together and that's all there was to it. So, of course, once you find out you are pregnant, the mass of information becomes out of control. I mean,you immediately want to read up on what you as a child-bearing mother should do & more so, what we should NOT do-- Matt likes to say the book "What to Expect When You are Expecting'  is full of 'all things you cannot do.' In all honesty, he's spot on. When you are pregnant you tend to worry about what you are eating, your size & what's normal and more so, what's going on with this baby inside of me? Well, there are plenty of books, websites and people's opinions out there to last us a lifetime! I don't even think I read through all the pregnancy books I had.

Fast forward to the present & we have a beautiful and sweet 9-week old little girl:) Almost the moment she arrived, I then moved onto the books and websites of parenting. A whole new genre at Barnes & Noble, if you will. Now...I really didn't stress or worry much during pregnancy, I knew it was all in God's hands and as long as I did what was healthy for me and baby, that's all I could do. Ha, not the same way I feel now that she is here!!! I wish it were that simple. Maybe it is and I'm just suffering from information overload.

Once you have that new life in your arms, the decision has automatically been made that you will do ANYTHING & EVERYTHING in your power for them. It's so true, it's almost frightening. In thinking and feeling that, you want to try and do everything right. Well the problem is, what is 'right?' What's right for one baby and family is not for another.

I heard the cliche 'Babies don't come with instruction manuals' time & time again and I really thought it was so lame. Now, um yeah, where IS my instruction manual?! After 9 weeks, we are for sure figuring things out. Books, websites and friends have helped, but there is an overabundance of information out there to 'help' you & at times it for sure has. On the other hand, sometimes all it does is confuse the heck out you and make you question yourself. I think that's the hardest part. I never really squabbled in my confidence or my choices, but I swear these past weeks sure have tested that. What if we do this, will that help? How do I help her sleep better? How do we get her on a schedule? The list goes on...On that note, I sent Matt to go out and get a particular baby sleep book for me. He comes back and informs me that the book was at B&N in the 'Problem Children' area. Great. Now, my child has a problem..just one more thing to worry about. Yeah right.

I know I'm the only mom Mollie will ever know & I think I'm a pretty darn good one I will say:) I want to make her the happiest baby possible and do everything 'right.' I think I'm starting to let go of the obsessive need to read into things too much and question our choices. I want Mollie to lead us and let us know what she wants. Hun, we're listening- tell us what you want! I promise to put down all the books and delete some of the bookmarked websites & just spend time with you. Not a whole lot of information, just good ole' quality time:) Our newest favorite past-time.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy 2 months, Mollie!

How could so very much happen in just 2 short months?! Our lives have been changed forever and we're so grateful for that:) I figured now would be a good time to recap things that have happened this month & see Mollie's progress of growing up to be a big girl! It really is amazing how quickly they develop and learn!!

Here are some basics to catch you up to speed: She is 21 1/2 inches long (was 19 at birth) --she is stretching out!! We have no scale, but I'm guessing she is pushing 10 lbs (was 6.6 at birth)...also heard that was the magic number to help her sleep through the night:) Wooohoooo! We also go to her 2 month pediatrician appt next week to do vaccines..I think I'll cry as hard as she will!
Look how long I am!
Mollie has grown out of 'newborn' sized clothing and into 0-3mths. Some of those are even too big on her, but as I've learned real quick with a baby girl, there is never a shortage of clothing. Isn't that with all females?! Thanks to spit up, etc we have multiple outfit changes a day, so we do get to wear everything! She also moved out of newborn sized diapers around week 7 and into size 1. I did a pretty darn good estimate on diapers when couponing and only had to buy 1 extra package of newborns! I just restocked a pack of 1's on the changing table and have 2 more packages..can we make it with those until she reaches 12 lbs?! Haha, I think no, but they are big packages, so we'll see. I also got a TON of wipes (or so I thought a ton) on clearance at CVS months ago. Matt sort of laughed at me at the time, but he knows I love having back-ups of things..and especially those must have items like diapers & wipes!!

Her bedtime routine consists of given her a bath around 6:30ish, which she LOVES, then lotion and massage time, then pj's--we then chill for a bit and maybe read a book and then have our bedtime milk between 7-7:30. She is usually asleep around 8pm. We are not doing a 'dreamfeed' with her, although I know it works for sooo many people, but rather letting her wake on her own in the night and it's usually just once around 3am. Last night was 4:30!! I figure if I have to get up around then to pump regardless, I might as well do everything at one time.We still swaddle her at night, as her arms would still most likely wake her up..actually I don't know, but not willing to take the chance quite yet! When she wakes up, she has somehow inched her way down to the other end of the crib. I guess the girl can move- Eeks, may have an early crawler and walker, we shall see:)

She has gotten so strong, too! She will really push her legs and put pressure on them, which feels so funny for being so small! We've also been having daily tummy time and she's getting awesome at holding her head up-- we're so pumped for that & cannot wait to sit her in her Bumbo seat at the table & elsewhere with us to chill. She already wants to know what's going on & not miss a beat.
I'm getting so strong!
 She and I have been getting out and about a good bit & each time gets a bit easier. We do daily morning walks in the neighborhood, usually after her morning cat nap, so she is wide awake and looking all around at the trees, hearing the birds, etc. I've been laying her flat in the stroller, but a few days ago I sat her seat up and she did great! Matt had his first solo excursion with her this weekend. They ventured to Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond and World Market. They both survived just fine:) Sunday, we took her to her first Riverdogs baseball game and then today we had an awesome picnic at the Mt. Pleasant Waterfront Park.

My mom and dad left Charleston about a week ago. It was so sad, as they've been here since the middle of May! They'll be in Point Clear for September, October & November, then on to Boone, NC for December. That's also where we'll all do Christmas so that should be super fun! They bought a VERY cute cottage just around the corner from our house and have spent every minute of free time fixing it up. I'm not lying when I say every free minute. The place looks amazing and has so much charm & character. I'll need to post some pics once they get back up here. Guessing come January they will be here for a bit. I mean, who can stay away from Charleston or your only grandchild?!

Now the bittersweet part...I start back in the office tomorrow. Just 2 days a week however in September, then full-time in October. I said the other day, just as I'm getting the hang of this & getting into my groove, time to go to the office! But hey, my time with Mollie has been amazing and will make weekends with us 3 that much more special I think. At least that's what I'm telling myself:) We have a great lady that will be watching Mollie out of her home & we are thankful for this arrangement- we also have a friend who's little boy will be there starting in January, too! So fun:)

That's us in a nutshell these days. Matt and I are just in awe of Mollie each & every day. We've been having such fun with her! Her coos and smiles get us every time and just make us smile that much more. Cheers to 2 months Mollie and cheers to us surviving and thriving- it's been a wonderful ride thus far!