Monday, July 12, 2010

4 weeks old!

Halle is four weeks old today! I can hardly believe it's already been almost a month since she was born. She is growing so fast! At four weeks we are...

- Eating 4-6 ounces every three hours. Halle nurses and takes the bottle very well! I've been fortunate that Halle has not required any supplementing beyond my breastmilk.

- Still wearing newborn-size outfits and diapers, but has moved up to 0-3 month jammies. Halle is too long for her newborn-size jammies!

- Able to push ourselves up off our tummy and hold our head up for several minutes. I recently put Halle is her Bumbo (an infant seat) to see how she would do. She sat and held her head up by herself for 10 minutes! Halle loves to be upright (whether held or sitting) so she can look around.

- Making eye contact. When I come near Halle and talk to her, she turns her head, makes eye contact with me, and her eyes widen. Halle knows her Mommy! Halle also knows her Daddy's voice. I keep Halle with me during our church services, and when Jim starts to sing, Halle will look for him. His voice is also very soothing for her!

- Asserting our independence (already!). Halle has started to develop the nasty habit of fighting sleep. Halle will wear herself out trying to stay awake (especially during daylight and after her "bedtime" feeding at night). I'm not sure if it really is funny or I'm just terribly sleep-deprived, but watching her fight nodding-off can been hilarious at times!

- Still loving motion... of any kind. Halle loves car rides, the stroller, the swing and bouncer (but only on her terms!), and being walked around. She is quite the snuggle-bug as well and the only way I can get her to go down these days is on my chest. Halle also still loves to be all stretched out. If I try to wrap her arms up in her blanket, she will fuss until they are free.

- Now enjoying our bath slightly more. I tried her bath tub again and she is tolerating it... for now. Her hair still has quite a bit of red in it and has thickened since birth. It has started to stick up on top and looks very cute with a headband.

Now I will leave you with pictures of Halle from her very first bath four weeks ago... proof that at one time she did enjoy it!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What we've been up to...

Miss Halle (or "Littles", as Jim calls her) is already three weeks old! We've been quite busy the past few weeks trying to get our lives on some-what of a schedule. Halle is still eating every 2-4 hours but sleeps well between her night feedings and is usually very alert in the mid-morning and evenings. She is growing like a weed and has already grown out of several of her newborn jammies (which makes her Momma sad!).

Halle gets a bath every other day and so far does not enjoy it at all! In fact, we are still doing sponge-baths as the two immersion-baths we attempted in her little tub failed miserably. She does love having her hair washed and being snuggled in her bath towel!

Halle has gained a lot of strength in her neck and loves to be held upright so she can hold her head up and look around. She loves light and the sun and being snuggled. Halle goes through phases with liking the swing and bouncer, but always enjoys walking around, being pushed in the stroller, or riding in the car.

We celebrated the Fourth with a party at our home. Halle slept in her nursery for most of the fireworks but looked so cute in her sundress!

Jim and I have started experimenting with leaving her for short periods of time with her eager grandparents. It's been great to get out of the house and we even managed to squeeze in a date night this week! As much as we love our "Little Tuddles", we've missed the time we used to get with each other.

Jim is gearing up for his summer trips. He is taking a group of youth to Spokane in two weeks for their annual World Changers trip. They will meet up with youth from all over the northwest to help low-income families by working on projects such as painting or re-roofing their homes. In August, Jim will be taking the youth to an adventure camp in Montana for a week. They will be doing all sorts of fun activities such as white water rafting and horseback riding that help them to understand God in new ways and grow closer together. I am excited for how God will reveal himself to the youth and those they interact with this summer, but I am nervous to be a "single mom" for those two weeks. I appreciate Jim's help at home so much, even on his busiest days when he is only able to be here for a quick dinner between commitments. Fortunately I am blessed to have family and friends who are more than willing to help out!

I have to admit, as someone who always has multiple plates spinning in the air at the same time, being at home 24/7 with Halle was very difficult at first. I worked full-time up until she was born and I've never spent this much time at home before. I love Halle and am enjoying my time with her, but being cooped up at home has been hard. I've braved a few trips out with her but usually by the time she is fed and we are both ready to go I have a limited amount of time left before her next feeding. Jim is great at anticipating when I need a break and watching her for a few hours so I can get out of the house.

As for work, I had almost six weeks of paid leave saved up when Halle was born. I am planning on returning to work after those six weeks at a per diem status, which means I won't have a set contract with the hospital and can pick as many or as few shifts as I want. I will also be able to set my own schedule, which means I'll be able to flex around Jim's schedule so one of us will always be home with Halle. I am planning on picking up one six-hour shift a week at first to see how it goes for all three of us. I am so thankful to be blessed with a job that I both enjoy so much and allows me so much flexibility to watch my daughter grow up.

I can't believe how fast this summer is going! I'm sure we'll be posting Halle's three-month pictures before we know it!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Halle's Newborn Photoshoot

A sampling of the amazing pictures my friend and coworker Hillary was able to capture for us... Enjoy!