Friday, November 29, 2013

Little Red Mirror

Before Nora was here, I came across a cute little mirror framed in red buttons that I thought would be a cute little accessory in the nursery (and add a little girly touch if we happened to have a girl!) It was only $10, so I bought it not knowing what we’d do with it and had my mom and dad bring it all the way across the ocean with them.

Once the mirror was here, I originally planned to hang it on a little rack we have just by the doorway where we hang her towels and a few decorative items, but then I had the grand idea to hang it just above the changing table where she can look into it during diaper changes.


Best idea I’ve ever had! I thought it would be a while before she would really notice it, but she immediately started staring at it and loves it! She looks in it the whole time, and it completely changed the way that diaper changes go!

2013-11-08 09.52.03

And sometimes we stay well beyond the diaper change, just talkin’ to that pretty baby in the mirror!

Note: These pictures are from the beginning of November. I tried to post about this from my phone several weeks ago, but the Blogger Ap kept freezing on me.

Big, Strong Girl!

Nora can only stay awake about 45 minutes before needing to go back to sleep, but what a fun 45 minutes we just had! (Well, really like 15 minutes once you subtract eating and a diaper change.) I can’t believe how big she is getting already! On Tuesday this week somebody asked me how many months she had, and then was shocked when I said just 7 weeks! So big and strong, so smart and beautiful!

Ignore the whiny voice in the background. I was so excited for her!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

Whether it’s swaying, two-stepping across the living room, walking laps around our apartment, bouncing on the exercise ball or acting as a 10 lb. weight while Daddy does shoulder presses, Nora likes to move! I caught a little sample of this on video a couple of days ago just as we were heading out for a walk. I wish I’d had my phone camera handy sooner because it sure was funny!

PS: The last two days (after a huge epiphany with help from my sister, Meg!) when I’ve been paying better attention to her sleepy signals and trying to catch her before she’s overtired, the movement necessary to get her to sleep or stop crying is significantly less. However, the girl still likes to move!

PPS: I love those big, dark eyes!

PPPS: She eventually fell asleep, and we got out for a nice walk to the park!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Nora: 1 Month


Weight: 4.6 kg/10 lbs 2 oz

Length: 54.5 cm/21.5 in

Medical Issues: We’ve been blessed with a healthy girl! The jaundice from birth is no longer an issue. At her 1 month appointment, they did routine sonograms of her head, abdomen and hips, and all was normal. She screamed the entire 30 minutes that the sonograms took. Apparently that is normal too. Smile


Sleep: She makes us work for it! Except for maybe once or twice in the swing, the girl doesn’t fall asleep on her own. She likes to be bounced and swayed and ssshhh’ddd until she’s out (and then some.) Since we don’t really have a schedule yet, we usually put her down for the night whenever we’re ready for bed, and she typically wakes up every 3-4 hours, which really isn’t too bad. For instance, last night I fed her and she pretty easily fell asleep at midnight (though she slept on her daddy’s chest for the first hour). Then she woke at 4 and ate for 15 minutes before going straight back to sleep. She woke again at 7:20 and ate again before going down for a morning nap, which is how I’m able to type this post. Smile She still needs a lot of sleep during the day, and when she doesn’t get it, we have a rough evening with lots of fussing. “They” say if a baby doesn’t get enough sleep, they get overtired and have a hard time falling asleep. This is most definitely true for her, so I’ve been trying to pay better attention to her signals and catch her before she has a chance to get overtired. When I pick her up and she’s tired, she immediately turns her head and lays it on my shoulder and her sweet little arms are on me almost like a hug. It’s the sweetest, most perfect sleep signal in the world.

Clothes: We’re still squeezing her into the newborn sizes to get one more use out of them, but she wears lots of 0-3 months as well, especially in “outfits” since the majority of newborn sizes I have are all gender neutral pajamas.

Diet: 100% Mama milk. I was so worried about breastfeeding, but she came out knowing exactly what to do. Though we definitely had some pain issues to work through in the beginning, those have all subsided, and we’re starting to find our rhythm. I think I am making plenty (maybe more than enough) milk, and she’s pretty efficient about it, so most feedings aren’t more than about 20 minutes. And I’m so glad I don’t have to wash a bunch of bottles. Ain’t no one got time for that.


Baby Gear Love: The only gear I’m loving right now is the Boba. It’s so easy to get on, and she seems to love it. Once we start walking, she immediately falls asleep. If she’s in the right mood, Nora loves her play mat. I swear she’s already beginning to knowingly bat and grab at the little toys that hang down.

Now I won’t call it baby gear hate because that’s a little strong, but I definitely have some baby gear disappointment in our stroller (Bugaboo Cameleon), which is a shame considering how much it costs, rave reviews, etc. It’s not very easily handled with one hand. For instance, if the brake is all the way on, I have to use two hands to get it off, which just isn’t very easy when you have a baby in your hands half the time. Also, while the bassinet is easy to get on the base, getting it off can be difficult. There’s also a handle on the bassinet that comes on and off. I find it almost impossible to get it off, and it usually makes me extremely frustrated. As a caveat, I should say that just in general messing with the stroller is difficult, so that could be the root of some of my frustration. Though we’re keeping it in the storage room downstairs, I still have to get it in and out of the storage room and down about 4-6 stairs all with her in my arms or in the bassinet. The storage room door is old and hard to open, especially one handed, so it’s not the easiest process. You have to really want to go out.

Milestones: Although you have to work pretty hard for it, we’ve gotten a couple real smiles and coos. She can also hold her head up high and turn her head from side to side during tummy time. She’s been a champ at head/neck control since she was born.


Likes: She LOVES the mirror that I hung by the changing table. It’s completely changed how our diaper changes go! She stares at it the entire time, and sometimes we stay well beyond a diaper change just talkin’ to that pretty baby! She also likes dancing while mama sings, being held, when her daddy burps her, the picture above our couch (I think it’s the contrast between the white wall and the picture that really captures her) and eating. She loves to eat.

Dislikes: Getting out of the bathtub. She seems to like baths until it’s time to get out, and then despite our best efforts to keep her warm, happy and pampered, she screams until she’s all dressed again. She also hates falling asleep anywhere but in someone’s arms. I’ve spent lots of minutes pulled over in a park or on the corner of some busy Madrid street with an empty stroller while I try to calm her and help her get to sleep before continuing on our way. Although it’s not always convenient for being out and about or getting anything else done, I try to remind myself that she won’t always want to be held, and I won’t always be able to calm and comfort her the way I can now. Sometimes that’s easier said than done.

Mama’s Thoughts: What a crazy, challenging, beautiful month! Sometimes it seems like it’s been way longer than a month and others, it seems like yesterday. Sometimes I can’t wait to get past these difficult first months, and I’m wishing for change and for some sort of schedule/order to be back in our lives. Then the next minute, I’m in tears as I sit rocking her to sleep because time moves too fast, and I don’t want her to change or grow up. We’ll have one successful outing where I feel like I did everything “right",” and I feel like I’m ready to take on the world. But the next time I end up carrying home a screaming baby with an empty stroller as people stare me down the whole way home, and I never want to leave the house again. Every experience, every day, hour, even minute, is different.

Overall, she’s a really good, pleasant baby. We’ve had a few rough days and evenings, but I think those are avoidable if I pay good attention to her cues and signals instead of what some book or doctor or other mommy says she “should” be doing.

I’ve never craved home like I have been in this past month. I just want to share her with everyone, and though I love holding her, it’d be nice to have a little bit of a break occasionally. I’m so glad Nonnie and Poppy got to meet her, albeit for just a few short days as it turns out, and I can’t wait to take her home in exactly one month from today to meet Grandma and Grandpa Matthews and all her aunts, uncles and cousins that are anxiously awaiting our arrival. Everyone is going to meet us at the airport with balloons and signs since they couldn’t be at the hospital, right? Winking smile) . Seriously, though, it’s been really difficult at times being over here by ourselves, but I’m really proud of us for doing so well on our own. Luke always reminds me that most things worth doing in life aren’t easy, and this beautiful article reminds me of that as well:

“…just because it isn’t EASY and PAINLESS – it isn’t necessarily wrong.  Sometimes hard is okay, sometimes, often, it’s even good.  Hard is how we grow.”

PS: These next pictures crack me up because it looks like she and the bear are positioned exactly the same, like they’re in the middle of a little choreographed dance, and it all happened by chance. Smile




Friday, November 8, 2013

Baby’s First Bath

After witnessing her disgust for baths while we were still at the hospital (she screamed like crazy and turned beet red!), we were pleasantly surprised when Nora seemed to enjoy her first bath at home. And so far, she continues to tolerate them pretty well, at least until the point where we have to take her out of the water. Despite wrapping her in a nice, warm towel and giving her lots of cozy cuddles, she screams like crazy until we have her dressed again.

Right now, she gets just two baths a week, usually on Saturday/Sunday and Wednesday. The Dad is a pro at getting the water temperature just right and giving a nice, good and quick bath. I decided to try a quick bath on my own this week while Luke ran to pick up dinner and found out the hard way that it’s much easier with four hands instead of just two!


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Bundled Baby

The mornings are already quite chilly in Madrid, dropping to the upper 30's - low 40's overnight. After Dr. Google assured me it was safe to take a baby out in those temperatures as long as they were dressed appropriately, I bundled up the babe, and we headed out on a walk. She was so nice and cozy, she snoozed the whole time!