One Year Ago

A year ago this week, Lance and I were St. John-bound, a day after discovering that we were pregnant. We were filled with joy, fear, and for me, relief that I didn’t have to spend anymore sad days waiting to be pregnant again.

It’s amazing all that we’ve been through in the past year. A positive pregnancy test, two super terrifying first trimester scares, an easy breezy second trimester where we found out we were having a girl, preterm labor and the ensuing nine weeks of bedrest, and almost 4 months ago, the arrival of our precious Bella.

I’m so thankful that we were able to get through the turmoil and come out on the other side filled with happiness.

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My first night away

Last week I spent my first night away from Bella. On my first day back to work, my boss asked if there was anyway I could take a one night trip to Louisville for a conference that we attend annually. He was unable to go, and he really wanted at least one of us to be there. While I wasn’t thrilled about arranging for my first work trip with just three weeks notice, Lance and I were able to work it out. I left early Wednesday morning and was home  by 6:00 pm Thursday, so I was gone for right at 36 hours.

Since Bella is exclusively breastfed, the hardest part of the trip (besides not getting to snuggle with my squishy baby girl), was planning out where and when I was going to pump between 4 flights and conference sessions. I had previously pumped on the road for my one-day work trip in March, but this was a bigger challenge.

For anyone who needs to pump at an airport, here are my findings thus far:

– Boston Logan: No special facilities. Family restrooms have an outlet, but you have to be prepared to stand.

– Charlotte Douglas: No special facilities. Family restrooms have an outlet, but you have to be prepared to stand.

– Louisville: No special facilities. Family restrooms have a comfy chair and an outlet! Score!

Thankfully the Convention Center also had a lactation area in the women’s restroom, so other than the annoyance of lugging a pump around between sessions, it was nice to not have to run back and forth to my hotel room. My hotel also provided a fridge so that I could keep my milk cold and I was able to stick the little freezer pack in the freezer shelf to get it frozen for my travel time home.

We also had to defrost frozen milk for the first time, which was a new challenge in of itself. Bella doesn’t seem to be a fan of thawed milk, although I was told it got better as she had more bottles.

I’m just happy that we all survived my first night away. I’m hoping in the future that with more notice of work travel, Lance and Bella can accompany me on trips and make things a lot easier for all of us!

 

A perfect weekend

Blah. It’s Monday. We had such a fantastic weekend that it is hard to accept the realities of another work week.

Friday afternoon, Bella’s daycare let out early and the entire school got together at a local community center for the yearly International Party. Even though we were just concluding Bella’s first week of school, it was great to be included in this fun event. Each class danced to a different spanish song, and after the performances, there were tables with homemade food from the teachers from their native countries. We sampled food from Mexico, Honduras, Columbia, Ecuador and Peru. It was great! Plus it was nice to meet other parents in Bella’s class and some moms with teeny tiny babies (I can’t believe she isn’t the teeny tiny baby anymore!) that will be joining Bella’s class soon.

Bella’s class and the one year-old class danced to La Bamba. It was so cute and of course we were proud parents video-ing and taking pictures as it happened.

She had no idea what was going on but was a good sport and didn’t cry for the entire duration of the party!

some of Bella's classmates

some of Bella’s classmates

Bella and her teacher

Bella and her teacher

La Bamba!

La Bamba!

Her teacher sewed all of the little girl dresses. They were so precious.

After starting off our Friday with all of that fun, we kept up the excitement all weekend. Saturday we went down to Chapel Hill for an Earth Day celebration. Mainly we went because we wanted to try out the grilled cheese food truck, but we also took in some of the other activities and made a mental note to bring Bella back when she is old enough to do the different kid’s crafts. Sunday, we took Bella to her first Durham Bulls game. It was a little chilly but she did great.

This week will be tough because I’m spending my first night away from her for a work trip. I’m a little nervous about all of the pumping I’ll have to squeeze in and all of the bottles she’ll have to take, but we’ll survive. Its only 36 hours so hopefully a good test.

 

 

What’s New

It has been a while since I have had a chance to blog. Last week was a slight mess, with Bella fighting her first cold and Lance having an illness of his own. I was fortunate enough to not get sick, but tending to the two of them was tiring in its own right!

Since it was Bella’s first cold, we also had our first test in figuring out how to handle it. The poor girl was sneezing and coughing and her whole nose was congested. She had some rough nights of sleep, waking up 4-5 times a night. We went out and bought a humidifier, became best friends with her Nosefrida snot sucker, and monitored her for a fever that luckily never developed. Thankfully, the cold has pretty much passed, although she still has a bit of a cough.

Yesterday, Bella received her school “uniform”. We are loving her daycare so far, and it’ll be great once she can actually fit into the short-sleeve onesie, long-sleeve onesie, and jacket that she was given yesterday.

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On Friday, daycare lets out early so that parents can pick their kids up and take them over to the local senior center for the International Party. Bella’s class is “dancing” to La Bamba and all of the girls are wearing adorable spanish dresses sewn for them by her teacher. I’m so excited for the cuteness and will be posting pictures as soon as I can!

 

Spring has sprung

The weekend following Bella’s first week of daycare and my first week back to work flew by. We kept busy, mixing in errands and chores with some Saturday night sushi and a Sunday evening stroll at Duke Gardens. I brought along the camera and we tried to snap some outdoor pictures of our baby girl.

south lawn at Duke Gardens...busy even in the evening!

south lawn at Duke Gardens…busy even in the evening!

posing with the tulips

posing with the tulips

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It was a perfect way to end a great weekend. We may even try and go back next weekend for some more strolling in the gardens. I’m already looking forward to taking her on a picnic this time next year!

 

Three Months Old!

With all of the travel and daycare starting/maternity leave ending, Bella’s three month birthday almost passed us by!

3 months

 

Here is a shot of her growth week by week:

Bella 9-12

 

The differences in the past month seem immense, but I guess that is how things go for all of the first year.

SLEEP: Her sleeping pattern has really changed over the past month. She has gone from waking twice a night, to once a night, and for the past two days…all the way through the night! She slept straight until 6:45 a.m. today. I guess she knew mommy was going back to work and that I’d appreciate the extra sleep!

ACTIVITY: Bella is much more aware now. She loves looking at herself on her play gym mirror and is starting to bat at the toys dangling above her. She is still not a fan of storytime.

SMILES: They are plentiful now! She will smile back at anyone that smiles at her. It is so cute and makes me happy every time.

TALKING: Well, I guess it is really babbling at this point, but we have conversations. We can chat back and forth with her for a solid 10 minutes. Oddly, she responds best when we answer her with babble instead of words.

GROWTH: No growth stats since she is now halfway between her 2 and 4 month pediatrician appointments, but her tummy seems to be growing a little. And according to everyone who meets her, those cheeks are growing too! She is still short and her newborn socks still fall off of her feet.

It’s amazing how much bigger she seems and how much more alert she is now that she is three months old. The next big milestones are sitting up and getting that first tooth!

No Foolin’ Here

It’s April Fools Day! You know what isn’t a joke? That today was my first day back to work and Bella’s first day of daycare!

After eight days on the road, we’re learning our new normal with this momentous day.

Bella must have known it was a big day, because she had her longest stretch of sleep ever, going from 7:30 pm to 6:30 am. I had expected a 4 or 5 am wake up, so I set my alarm for 7 am to begin my pre-work preparations. Nope, baby girl had other plans. So at 6:30, I got out of bed, changed and fed her, and put her back in her crib while I started to get ready. Lance and I had prepped everything last night to make the morning easier, so my lunch and her bottles were all ready to go. We were out of the house by 7:50 and after a brief goodbye at daycare, I was in the office by 7:15.

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Laptop, pump, bottle bag, wet bag, my lunch, diaper bag…oh yeah, and a baby

At noon, I went back to her daycare to feed her, which made a HUGE difference in the drama of leaving her in the morning. I think there is just a big mental difference between saying goodbye for less than four hours than for eight+ hours. It will be much harder when I have a meeting and cannot do those lunchtime trips.

Getting a huge smile when I picked her up made me feel a little better about things, and I loved that she was not crying either time I entered her room. Here is hoping that daycare continues to go well!