Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pure JOY

Some of our dearest friends, the Guinn's, had their little bundle of "joy" last week. It was fun going through part of my pregnancy with Julee and exciting to have a girlfriend to talk baby stuff with. Trey & Julee welcomed Joy Avery into the world this past Wednesday. We went up to the hospital to see this precious little family and to introduce Ella and Joy (since they are required by their mammas to like each other and be best friends). Joy is absolutely adorable and Julee looked amazing! Here's a couple pics of our visit to meet baby Joy...

So tiny!!!!
Best friends meeting for the first time :)
Ella looks so big next to Joy
Us at the same hospital almost 4 months after Ella's birth

It was funny to see Joy and think how tiny she was, but not be able to remember Ella being that small (even though they were about the same size at birth). It's crazy how fast they grow up and how easily we forget. As I reflected upon my own experience with those first few weeks and life over these last 3 1/2 months, I thought about things I miss about Ella being a newborn, things I'm glad we don't have to deal with anymore, and things that I love about the place she is in now.

Things I miss about Ella being a newborn...
~her being so tiny (even though I can't remember how small she actually was)
~her ability to sleep anywhere at any time
~the smile that came across her face while falling asleep (still happens sometimes)
~just having a newborn baby girl
~the sounds she would make while nursing (they were hilarious and so loud)
~rocking her
~just holding her for hours and watching her
~cuddling with such a tiny baby
~her newborn smell
~the way she fit in the sling; so tiny and curled up
~the sounds she made while sleeping (overwhelming at the time & caused me to miss out on sleep, but I miss them now)
~trying out all the firsts with her (bouncer, swing, stroller, tummy time, sling, etc.)
~how easy it was to swaddle her so snugly and how that soothed her

Things I'm glad we are done with...
~dealing with jaundice
~the constant fear of SIDS or her not breathing at night (this hasn't completely gone away, but has lessened)
~waking up to feed every 2 hours
~the uncontrollable crying and emotional roller coaster I was on (due to hormones or baby blues or whatever caused me to be an emotional wreck for many weeks)
~the sleep deprivation
~the feelings of not knowing what to do as a mother (still feel this at times though)
~the first few weeks of breastfeeding (they were so hard)
~recovery from childbirth
~the consuming worry, fear, & guilt

Things I love now about the stage Ella is in...
~cooing & babbling
~laughing & giggling
~how observant and alert she is
~experiencing all the new things with her
~reaching and grabbing for things
~cuddling with her (it's different than it was when she was a newborn, but it's still my favorite thing to do)
~rocking her (she fights it now, but I manage to rock her every now and then)
~how she turns to look at me when she hears my voice
~the smile that comes across her face when I come to get her out of bed
~how excited she gets
~her holding her head up on her own
~being able to go places with her
~a more scheduled life (naps, feeding times, bedtime are all somewhat consistent)
~being able to read her more and know what she wants or needs (at least most of the time)
~watching the excitement on her face
~watching her discover new things on her own (so much more of this to come)
~bath time and playtime are so much fun!
~how she starts to "talk" when I sing to her like she's singing along with me
~knowing that each day will bring even more changes in our little girl
~that my milk has been sufficient for her and helped her continue to grow and be strong
~that she doesn't want to lay down; she wants to sit up at all times and be a part of things

It's so fun to watch Ella grow and change and mature and learn new things :) Each day is better than the one before, but all of them have been special and true blessings. I can't get enough of her! I want to hold her and kiss her and love on her all day long!!! Joy is such a perfect word to describe what Ella is in my life.

15 weeks old

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Just The Beginning

Ella is growing so fast each week! Within about a week, she started cooing, giggling, and grabbing for things. It's so much fun to watch her change. We know it's just the beginning of all the fun times to come as Ella's personality continues to grow and she learns more new things.
She loves her bumbo! The only problem with the bumbo is that every time she's in it, she violently spits up a ton!!! She just loves sitting up like a big girl and smiles and giggles for us the whole time she's in it.

Trying out her sunhat to block the dreaded sun! She's not too big of a fan.

Had to capture one of the many feeding blisters she's had on her top lip. This girl loves to eat!

We got to have a date night a couple weeks ago. Thanks Mom & Dad for babysitting Ella so we could have a night out.

She has started to notice and reach out for the toys in her activity mat.

...but let's me know when she's had enough by turning her head and staring off.

14 weeks old

14 weeks old-all stretched out

not too happy about another picture

Ella, Macie, & Myles

Macie loves Ella's toes

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Monday, May 10, 2010

My First Mother's Day

I celebrated my first Mother's Day on Sunday! It was such a wonderful day and I'm so blessed to finally be a mom! Thanks Mark & Ella for all the great Mother's Day gifts and our time together yesterday. It was a very special day! We also got to have brunch with Mark's parents on Saturday and my mom spent the evening with us on Thursday to celebrate each of them as well. Then on Sunday, we randomly ran into my mom and siblings at the Domain, so that was special to actually get to give my mom a hug on Mother's Day and for Ella to see her Omi. It was a great weekend and a fabulous Mother's Day! Ella was 14 weeks old on Mother's Day :)

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Being a Mom

I get to celebrate my first Mother's Day on Sunday. What a blessing to finally be a mom! There is something so special and almost indescribable about being a mother and the love you feel for your child. I came across this poem and thought it described my feelings on being a mom and captured the essence of motherhood pretty well. Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful moms out there, including my amazing mom! What a blessing it is to be Ella's mom.

Before I Was a Mom

Before I was a Mom I made and ate hot meals.
I had unstained clothing.
I had quiet conversations on the phone.

Before I was a Mom I slept as late as I wanted.
And never worried about how late I got into bed.
I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.

Before I was Mom I cleaned my house each day.
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to lullabies.

Before I was a Mom I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom I had never been puked on, pooped on, spit on, peed on, or pinched by tiny fingers.
Before I was a Mom I had complete control of my mind, my thoughts, my body and all my feelings.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put it down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a Mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important.

Before I was a Mom I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was OK.
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache or the satisfaction of being a Mom.

I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much......
......before I was a Mom.

...Author Unknown

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