Friday, August 29, 2014

the rest of the week

It's been another exciting week of OMG I HAVE A BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! over here. Sorry if that makes for unexciting blogging. I'm sure that some day I'll be all bored and ho-hum over how impossibly adorable every single thing Millie does is and I'll have other exciting things to blog about, but today isn't that day. Well, except for one thing. If you hate babies and cute pictures, just scroll to the bottom and I'll give you some amazing advice about pizza.

We tried on some skinny jeans just for giggles. Obviously she looked fabulous, but I felt bad about squeezing her into legit tight denim at such a young and tender age-- back to the soft and cuddly leggings!

 On Wednesday we had her follow-up appointment with an audiologist. Camilla failed her hearing test (in one ear) in the hospital, so she had to go re-test this week. The doctors all said it's super common to fail the test and that nearly all of the babies will pass it a few weeks later (once all that amniotic fluid has cleared from their systems), so we weren't too worried about it. I had no idea what the test would entail (they took her away and did it in the nursery while we were in the hospital, so we didn't see it), but when they started strapping electrodes to her tiny little head, it made me feel sad!


Luckily she did just fine and passed with flying colors! She slept the whole time just like she was supposed to and I guess her ears and brain did whatever it was the doctors were looking for, cause they gave her an A+ and said she didn't need any further testing. So yay Millie!

We take baths several times a week. It is my favorite thing on earth every single time. While I get the bath (in the kitchen sink) ready, Matt gets the baby ready. And then they come to me like this:

Camilla still LOVES her bath and her flower petal thing, but now we've started also putting her in the little plastic bowl thing for a soak...and she loves that too. It is the most precious thing ever!

Yesterday we embarked on our first Family Road Trip to visit my family for the long weekend (haha- since we're still on maternity/paternity leave, our whole LIFE is a long weekend! Wooo!! But other people have a long weekend this weekend, so we shall celebrate with them). Since we ended up not buying that Honda Pilot (womp womp), this was our first big excursion with baby, dog, and ALL THE STUFF crammed into our little Toyota Matrix. We ended up with Millie, me, and Lola all squeezed into the back seat. The front seat was basically empty, but I just didn't trust Lola back there alone with the baby- Lola's not such a great car rider under any circumstances, running back and forth along the back seat, jumping against the window...ugh. I was just worried she would stomp right over the car seat and the baby in her passion to look out both windows. But with me in the middle, I could keep her corralled to 'her' side of the car. It worked out fine, but it was not a particularly fun drive. If we win the lottery or come into an inheritance anytime soon, you can put 'vehicle with 3 rows' at the top of my to-buy list.

But we made it and we are happy to spend time with family and enjoy a change of scenery for a few days! 
Yaaaaaay family!! And yaaaaaay for this adorable ruffled outfit!!
Right, pizza.

Judge me if you will, but when I got a circular in the mail for Little Caesar's and saw that they now have a PRETZEL CRUST pizza...I almost died of happiness.

I love Little Caesar's pizza anyway. I know it might be unpopular to say that, but in all honesty, I'd pick Little Caesar's over Papa John's any day. I just think it's delicious- and CHEEEEEAP to boot, so even better!! (Also, I think many of the people that turn up their noses at Little Caesar's haven't actually tried it in the last decade...don't knock it til you try it, folks!) But anyway. Normal love aside, when I saw this SOFT PRETZEL CRUST (which I feel really needs to be written in all-caps because IT IS A CRUST MADE OUT OF SOFT PRETZELS), I knew I needed to try it immediately.

It lived up to all of my expectations and then some. YUUUUUMMMMMM. Everyone in the family agreed- best pizza invention ever. Pizza ON A SOFT PRETZEL. God bless America, this is why I love this country. I can be so fat and so happy because THERE IS PIZZA ON A SOFT PRETZEL now.

So there's my weekend recommendation: get thee to a Little Caesar's, give them $6, and be eternally happy with this new and most delightful pizza innovation. Amen.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

photo shoots, showers, and CAKE

We had a wonderful weekend (umm...and beginning of week...apparently I'm not such a consistent five-day-a-week-blogger anymore!). We spent lots of time with Matt's siblings (and accompanying in-laws and offspring) who came to visit and meet Millie for the first time!

Millie was super excited to meet her cousin Eliana. Eliana is about two and a half months older and they are going to be best friends! And they are bound to be subject to zillions of photo shoots together, whether they like it or not.

Also, please try to ignore my pedicure-lacking feet in all of these pictures. Don't nobody have time to crop photos these days.

It cracked us up that as soon as we put the girls on the blanket, they both made the exact same pose! Arms up, right leg hitched up...ready for our pictures!

Camilla hasn't yet figured out the art of making non-scary faces for photo shoots. If she ever gets newborn pictures taken, she's going to need to work on this. She has this perpetual "AHHHHH THIS IS SCARY!!! WHAT IS HAPPENING?!??!!" face thing going on.

 My mother-in-law and sisters-in-law hosted my first shower on Sunday afternoon! It was incredibly lovely and tasty and perfect! 

If you are from around Athens, all you need to know is that the cake behind me in the picture is a Cecilia's Spanish Lemon. There are very few things that I would not do for a piece of Cecilia's Spanish Lemon cake.

Right, but anyway, the shower. In addition to having my favorite cake, we were thankful for many supportive and generous friends showing up to meet the lady of the hour (Camilla, obviously...I am merely her carrier). And I really didn't get any other pictures from the shower, sadly...I was busy showing off the babe, opening presents, and stuffing my face with cake. SPANISH LEMON, YALL. I cannot emphasize the cake enough here.

My SIL Amy was wise enough to gift Camilla with an outfit to match her cousin's so that they could take some twins pictures!! Don't they look just like twins?!? Ha.

They locked their arms together like that on their own!!! It was so cute! Until they were like wait, what happened, why is my arm stuck against something?!?! Waaahhhhhh!!!!

They felt a lot better about life once they had their respective pacis.

We even convinced Timmy to pose with his sister and cousin. Too bad he didn't have a matching outfit!

So other than that we've just been hanging out, making bottles, cleaning bottles, sterilizing bottles, putting away bottles, pulling out bottles, and ummm...I don't know, other stuff, but all I can recall is the BOTTLES OH THE BOTTLES THEY NEVER STOP. My sister called yesterday and was like 'hey, what's up?' and I said 'oh, nothing, just doing some laundry,' and she said 'WHAT? You're not cleaning bottles? This is the first time I've called and you haven't been cleaning bottles!' What can I say. THEY ARE TIME CONSUMING.

We also got some baby sunglasses and sat by the pool for awhile!
We started a 'soft roll-out' on the cloth diapers yesterday! I was procrastinating starting them, waiting for...I don't know what, some big day or reason to start. Then it was mid-morning on a Monday and I was like what the heck, let's start now. So far, so good! I don't quite have all the 'stuff' I need yet (like a wet bag/diaper pail liner that actually zips...), so I'm making do and improvising, but I'd say it's a success so far! Then again, I haven't actually had to wash anything yet. I'm sure once that starts, I'll spend just as much time doing laundry as I spend washing bottles...and since THAT is what my life consists of now, I'm sure you're just dying of anticipation for how exciting my blog will be for the next few weeks! Try to contain yourself, please. Hopefully I can make up for the lack of interesting content with cute baby pictures.

Ah- before we go, a non-baby-related observation from the weekend. As per usual, when we hang out with all my siblings-in-law, we play a lot of board games (and I totally just spelled that 'bored' games...Freudian slip??? Naaahhhh...). After a riveting game of Clue, I happened to see Matt's little keep-track-of-the-game sheet next to mine. 

His is on the left, mine on the right. We both played the same game and both correctly solved the mystery...but the differences in how we keep track totally made me crack up. I guess this is reflective of the differences in how our minds work and how we process information. After I got done laughing at his non-detailed information tracking system (that still worked, mind you!), the rest of the group showed their sheets. We were about a 50/50 split on the detailed/non-detailed tracking methods. I thought it was really funny...but also, whoa. Brains are funny things!

Friday, August 22, 2014

friday favorites: newborn ed.

I feel like there's an actual link-up somewhere called 'friday favorites'...but I'm too lazy to go find it, so I'll just steal the name and take it from there.

Since Camilla is only 17 days old, I don't think I can quite consider myself an expert on all things baby just yet...but there are a few things that I can safely consider my favorite(s) already. Let's see if I can get to them all before homegirl wakes up from her nap, shall we?

1. SimplyNoise

Not sponsored, not anything...just amazing white, pink, and brown noise. I know- who knew there were other colors of white noise? Not me. But the brown noise has saved our lives nights. Millie doesn't cry at night, but she does make tons of weird baby (and barnyard) noises that are incredibly distracting for people who want to sleep. Since we started turning on the brown noise, we all three get a lot more peaceful sleep. I'm not sure if it somehow discourages her from making all her sounds, or if it just drowns them out...whatever it is, I'm not messing with it. Brown noise for the win!!! (And this brown noise is not to be confused with the brown note episode of South Park, which was basically the funniest thing on earth to me in high school. We definitely do not want to be playing the brown note in our house...)

2. Bath time

Millie LOVES her bath at night. You already saw the picture of her in her Blooming has the same effect on her every single night. Instant baby relaxation. I swear she purrs when she's laying in the sink, enjoying the warm water pouring over her. And after the bath is over, you get to have a cuddly baby in a hooded towel!!! Everybody wins!!

3. Generosity.

I'm sure everyone loves being the recipient of generosity, regardless of whether you have a newborn or not, but I have been blown away this week.

See that? That's the spare fridge/freezer in my in-laws' basement. See what's completely filling the entire freezer? Donated breast milk. Not pictured is my freezer, which is also filled. We received over 1,400 ounces of donated breast milk this week. (And there are another 340 ounces that we just couldn't store, but can go get later once we free up space.) I'm a big believer that 'breast is best,' but it wasn't a super viable option for us this time. (Yes, I'm aware of adoptive breastfeeding, but for a variety of reasons, it wasn't in the cards for us this go-round.) J was willing and able to breastfeed Camilla twice right after she was born- we were all incredibly thankful for this gift for her health and immunity. And since then, she's been doing super well on formula. But I'd been hoping to find some donated breast milk to supplement her formula with, and...well, sometimes God provides beyond your wildest dreams. This isn't just a few bottles worth. This is months of liquid gold. Millie is a big fan so far, and I oscillate between being most excited about the health benefits for Millie and the dollar bill benefits to me as we can cut WAY down on how much formula we have to buy!

If the idea of using donated breast milk skeeves you out-- don't worry. It's actually safe (the way we're doing it- not to say that there aren't sketchy stories and Craigslist situations that should be avoided) and probably more common than you'd think. This is something we discussed with our pediatrician (who supported the idea) and that we're incredibly thankful for and in favor of for our baby. Yay! 

4. Generosity, Part II.

Hand-me-downs. Probably 90% of Camilla's wardrobe is either a hand-me-down or something from a yard sale or consignment shop. And she looks TOTALLY STINKING CUTE ALL THE TIME.

I mean...look at her!! There are plenty of expenses that come with babies (and let's not forget the adoption itself!!), so I'm really grateful that we haven't had to spend a lot (or any, really...besides a few things I just couldn't help myself about) of money on her fabulous wardrobe. Also, now that I am experiencing first-hand how quickly she grows out of stuff- I feel even gladder I've not given in to more temptation at BabyGap and Target. She's already outgrown things!! She's not even three weeks old!! This is madness!!

And the clothes are one thing, but wanna know what I'm even more thankful to have received (FOR FREE) secondhand? Her entire stash of cloth diapers.


Most of my cloth diapering friends say that if you have 18-21 cloth diapers, you'll be set until they potty train. That gives you enough to get through with doing diaper laundry every 2-3 days, which is apparently the prime amount of time to a) not go crazy doing laundry, and b) not have your house get stinky with dirty diapers. But at $20+ bucks a pop, getting your initial diaper stash can be a pricey undertaking (although- take into account, once you GET your spend basically $0 on diapers for the rest of their days, unless you choose to use disposables for trips or special occasions or babysitters or whatever).

So please try to imagine how thrilled I am to have been given (FOR FREEEEEE) 36 cloth diapers. Try to imagine my happiness. I guess there are certain advantages to having taken SO LONG to have your first baby that the rest of your friends are DONE having babies and ready to get rid of all their baby stuff, including cloth diapers! 

We haven't actually started using the cloth diapers yet (we were gifted tons of disposables, too, and since she goes through about 80 diapers a day these days...yeah, gonna keep using up those disposables), but I regularly just sit and stare at them and think about how thankful I am that I won't be throwing money away every week buying Pampers. Thankful thankful thankful. 

So...those are my favorite things for newborns so far. Sorry that some of the things aren't so easily obtainable (just run to the store and pick up some generous friends!)...but they're the things that are my favorites right now. Maybe next time I'll pick things that are actually purchase-able items. 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend. We are looking forward to Matt's family all coming in to town to meet Millie for the first time! And I have my first shower on Sunday!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

tbt: pink shorts ed.

After I got dressed this morning (okay, afternoon), I realized that the outfit I selected was one I'd worn (and taken tons of pictures in) before.

I wore the pink shorts-navy tank outfit while we were vacationing in Mexico with our friends Adam and Jessie last year...almost exactly a year ago. Since it was vacation, we took tons of pictures, which meant that when I put on these clothes today, it immediately reminded me of our vacation and all of those photos where I was wearing it. 

I loved that vacation. I love Mexico, I love the beach, I love being pampered at all-inclusive resorts. I loved the girl time, I loved the couples time, I loved braving the public buses in search of 'real' Mexico (you know, outside of the tourist areas). I loved playing miniature golf by the ocean, eating plantains for breakfast, and having people bring me drinks out on the beach. In retrospect, I even love how extremely angry I was about our luggage being lost for THREE DAYS OF OUR TRIP THANK YOU FOR NOTHING DELTA. Just kidding, I still don't love that, I'm clearly still harboring bitterness.

A year ago, when I wore the pink shorts and the navy tank top, I had a really good day. I look back at those pictures and I smile at the happy memories, thankful for the opportunity for a wonderful vacation with great friends.

But a year later, here's what I'm doing in the same outfit:

Today I'm wearing my pink shorts and navy tank top and I'm cuddling and swaying and rocking a baby who can't figure out why she's so mad. Our friends Adam and Jessie came over last night to bring us dinner and to hold and admire our sweet daughter. There were no breezes off the ocean, no fruity drinks, and not a word of Spanish (or Spanglish) was spoken. When we finished eating, we had to clean up our own dishes. But man oh MAN...what a beautiful difference a year can make. 

Same outfit, same friends...but I'll take this sweet baby over a thousand weeks in a Mexican resort, hands down.