10 1/2 weeks!

Right now Archie is cooing and keeping himself entertained in his crib. The sounds that come out of his mouth are hilarious. The faces that go along with them are pretty entertaining too. He is perfecting the art of the sad lower lip. I don't know how Dave will resist that as Archie gets older.

We have been taking him out quite a bit this past week. He has been to 3 holiday parties and dinner out with neighbors. I barely got to hold him during these events and he did really well with being handed from person to person. I cannot wait until all his relatives get to see him at Christmas! I am not so much looking forward to packing or flying with him though. Hopefully he will be one of those babies that sleeps the entire flight (fingers crossed).

Other than being new parents, life has been fairly uneventful lately. We stay in most nights catching up on our television programs, having tummy time marathons and giving baths. During the day if he is being fussy I will go out and run errands because he always sleeps during car rides. Sometimes he will will fuss when I have to stop at a light, but as soon as we get going again he is fine.

He is a great sleeper at night. He goes anywhere from 5 1/2 to 8 hours in a row. His naps during the day aren't nearly as long though. Sometimes he only needs 15 minutes and then will be up for 3 hours. Oh well!


Archie meets Santa

We went to Boulder yesterday just to get out of the house and test our parenting skills! We manged to have a meal in a restaurant, I breastfed successfully in public, we walked around a bookstore and we got to see Santa. It was a productive day and Archer handled himself well. Below are the first of many Santa pictures over his lifetime. Enjoy!

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The last month or so

Archer is almost 8 weeks old and he has been keeping me not necessarily busy but tied up. During the day he won't sleep for more than 10-15 minutes unless I am holding him. In fact I am typing this one handed b/c I have a sleeping boy in my left arm. I love him more everyday though so he can pretty much get away with anything. He really enjoys tummy time on his play mat and he can lift his head for about 15 seconds at a time. He is also starting to smile.

For Halloween we dressed him up as a chili pepper and took him around to meet the neighbors. He slept the whole time, but Dave certainly enjoyed eating all of his candy! I've gotten more comfortable taking him on outings. He sleeps for the most part while we are out which makes it easier. Aunt Becky M. came to visit 2 weekends ago. She got a little cuddle time with Archie and now she wants her little one to get here soon. I bet she can wait until May though!

About 2 weeks ago Archie started fitting into his 0-3 month clothing and his cloth diapers. I will admit I was a little apprehensive at first about using them, however, now I think they are great. He hasn't gotten a diaper rash since we began and I only have to wash them every 3-4 days. The laundering process is really simple too. They are a bit bulky, but that is the only downfall so far.

He gets his first round of shots tomorrow so that should be interesting. Lets hope they make him sleepy and not cranky. For Thanksgiving Dave and I ordered a dinner from Whole Foods. I don't have time to shower let alone cook an entire meal. Then we are going to attempt a family trip to Boulder. All in all, we are starting to get into the swing of things. Archie let us sleep 5 hours last night which was a first! Let's hope this is a rising trend.


Tummy Time!

We had a 4 week check up yesterday for Archer. He now weighs 7 lbs 9 oz and has grown an inch in length since his birth. Our pediatrician also said that he very alert and focuses better than a lot of newborns his age. She also said that we should start tummy time with him, about 2-3 times per day for about 2-3 minutes at a time. This morning we did our first ever tummy time and Archie did a great job. He tried to lift his head a few times and let Mommy take some adorable pictures!

We have also been reading, singing and talking with him during his awake periods, which last for about 1-2 hours at a time. We listen to XM radio on our television and really enjoy trying out the different stations. Archie likes the First Wave radio station which coincidentally is also my favorite! We have a book called "Baby Plays Pat-Pat" that has a lot of great black and white pictures. He focuses really well on it.

Here are some pictures of his first tummy time and some of him just being plain cute.


Flying Solo

Dave and I have been very lucky over the past 3 1/2 weeks. Both Grandmas have been here to help as well as Aunt Marlene. They helped with laundry, groceries, sleep, household chores, dinners and sanity. Yesterday Grandma R. left and Dave and I were officially on our own as parents. Since it was Sunday we both switched on and off holding, burping and keeping Archie entertained. He has periods of wakefulness that can last 1-2 hours. He has also recently been eating every 2 hours during the day.

Today, however, Dave is at work so it is just me, Archie and the animals. As far as babies go, ours is pretty content. He cries only when he needs to be burped, is hungry or is trying to push something out. As soon as his needs are met, he relaxes again. We have only had a few really long, annoying nights. For the most part we get 2 1/2 to 3 hours of sleep in between feedings. I still have tons to learn about being a parent though. It is a little nerve wracking to be the person solely responsible for keeping a little human being alive. When Dave gets home from work I will give a little sigh of relief. I honestly don't know how single parents do it. Kudos to them!

There are also the daily joys of being a parent. Yesterday, Dave held Archie for about 2 hours while he slept. When he gave him to me I started to cry because in that 2 hours I forgot how perfect our son was. Sometimes when Archie is crying and I come up to him and hold his hands he just looks at me and immediately calms down. He is becoming a lot more aware of his surroundings and when he looks into my eyes I just melt. I love him more and more every day and I cannot believe that Dave and I created this perfect little man.

Anyway, here are some more recent pictures of our beautiful baby boy.


Archer has arrived! (a birth story)

On October 1st our little one decided he had incubated long enough and made his arrival 3 weeks early. I was so convinced that I was going to have a late, big baby that when my water broke at 1:30 a.m. I had somewhat of a panic attack. Being the Virgo that I am, a list of all the things that I wanted to get done before he got here started forming in my mind. Then I just had to breathe, tell myself that there was nothing I could do now and let Dave know we would be parents within 24 hours. His panic attack started shortly thereafter!

(This is the start of a more detailed birth story. You have been forewarned.)

We got to the hospital around 2:15 a.m. and they admitted me about an hour later. We had a huge laboring room that unfortunately looked out over a Wal-Mart. Oh well. Anyway, my contractions weren't starting naturally so they put me on a Pitocin drip at 5:00 a.m. and about an hour later I could feel them building. I was able to lay down and nap during the first 2 hours, but at around 8:30 I had to sit up and start that wonderful Lamaze breathing. Little did I know that sitting at the edge of the bed would be the only laboring position I could tolerate. I tried a rocking chair, balance ball, walking, standing, laying down, etc... Nope, I spent the next 5 hours sitting on the edge of that stupid bed hanging on to the side rail for dear life.

I had not ruled out getting an epidural, but I wanted to dilate to around 4-5 centimeters before I did so. My contractions started to get pretty intense around 11:30 a.m. and my Dr. was going to come check me at 1 p.m. to see where I was at. That was the longest time of my life, but when he came back at 1 I was dilated to over 4 centimeters and I asked for that epidural. It was heaven! I was able to lay down, talk, joke around and in the next 2 hours I dilated from 4 centimeters to 10 and was ready to start pushing at 3:50 p.m.

Pushing is tiring, but it didn't really hurt. Around 6:00 p.m. my Dr. was called in because we were getting close and at 6:16 our little baby boy was born. It is a very weird experience this whole birthing thing. You spend all this time growing a little one inside of you, then you spend hours, sometimes days, trying to get them out of you and then they are just there. I understand now how a woman can still smile after all of that because it all seems so insignificant compared to the little person you get to hold when all is said and done.

Here are the stats and then I will bombard you with pictures of our precious little one!

Archer James R.
born at 6:16 p.m. on October 1, 2009 (3 weeks early)
weight: 6 lbs. 13 oz.
length: 19.5"
head circumference: 14"

(about 2 minutes old)

(one of his more lucid first moments)

(making the Boppy look huge)

(sleeping in his car seat)

(hanging out with Daddy)

(another car seat shot)

(sleeping, well, like a baby)


Nesting or just being me?

So I really haven't been hit with the urge to clean and get things ready for baby and visitors. I have, however, been trying to get some organizational things done that I know I will not have time for once Baby R. gets here. That seems typical of me and not of some mythical pregnancy symptom.

Last week I uploaded about 500 photos to Snapfish from the past year. My photo albums were updated through my rehearsal dinner, but that meant the wedding, honeymoon and the past year were still MIA. I received those prints the other day and spent last night putting them in order and then into my albums. Now they are updated through 2 weekends ago!

My next order of business was/is my hospital bag. I am 36 weeks pregnant today and according to my Dr. the little one weighs about 6 lbs. 8 oz. That is a full term sized baby and I still have 4 weeks until my due date. A hospital bag seems like a good thing to have prepared just in case. I have all my toiletries, the baby's coming home outfit and an outfit for me. I still need to get together all my labor comfort items and some snacks, etc... At least it is started.

I spent all day Monday washing cloth diapers. Unbleached prefolds need to be laundered at least 5 times to prep them for baby. Plus I hadn't washed any of the covers, fitteds and pocket diapers that I had purchased over the last few months. It is recommended that you hang dry any diapers that have elastic in them so I had diapers hanging all over my laundry room. Now they are all sitting is a laundry basket waiting for me to put them away.

Not related to organizing, I have also been doing a little bit of scrapbooking/card making in the past week. I really love making cards even though some of the ones I made last week aren't my favorites. Oh well. Science Matters started back up for the school year. I am acting as a teacher's aide/mentor for this first club b/c I could go into labor at any time. It is nice to get out of the house with a purpose. I will definitely be starting back up with them in January as well.

Other than that life has been pretty ho-hum. We are experiencing a cold front here in the Springs. It snowed on Monday and today and the highs have been in the 40s. Too bad my pregnant self isn't really enjoying it. It doesn't matter if it is 90 degrees or 30, I still sweat.


Happy 28th to me!

I clearly remember my last 2 birthdays. Last year we spent the day packing and flying to NJ b/c we were leaving for our honeymoon the following day. We were in the very last non-reclining row by the bathrooms. The year before I had a little pity party b/c it was my first birthday in CO away from family and friends.

This year, however, I am in a completely different frame of mind. I am thoroughly enjoying the solace of sitting at home doing whatever I please. I am looking forward to the phone calls from my family and friends. I am doing laundry, washing dishes, playing around on-line and just enjoying being me. With motherhood right around the corner, I am not going to get many more days like this.

It's funny how the anatomy of your birthday changes as you get older. Instead of fanfare and hoopla, now I just want to have a nice conversation and relaxing day. I am not saying that presents and cake are a thing of the past. Really, can one ever tire of presents and cake?
Instead those are nice additions to a day not the focal point.

So I say Happy 28th Birthday to me!!

(birthday lilies from Dave)


Raspberry & Apple pickin'

Yesterday I noticed that the Saturday forecast was supposed to be 60 and overcast. Is there a better time to go to an apple orchard? I think not. The last two years we have gone to the orchard it has been hot, even in October! So this morning we put on our jeans and sweatshirts and drove south.

When we got there we took the tractor ride down to the pick-it-yourself area. We started with the raspberries and had pretty good luck. I discovered that the most ripened ones were way on the bottom, practically dragging on the ground. Everybody else was looking near the top of the bushes. Suckers! Dave and I filled our pint pretty quickly and then went to pick some apples. Not so lucky there. The only apples we saw we sad, small and had been ravaged my the squirrels. So we walked back to the store and picked some Jonathons out a bin.

When we got back to our car we noticed that the Red Delicious apples on the tree right in front of our car were awesome! Dave picked about 6-7 and walked back to the store to pay for them. I am probably going to make some sort of cobbler with the Jonathons and we will just eat the Red Delicious. Then we left so Dave could make it home in time for the Michigan vs. Notre Dame game.

Maybe I will go back and get pumpkins when my sister Marlene comes to visit. I love apple orchards even when the pickin's are slim and there is not a donut in sight.


Happy Anniversary

This past weekend Dave & I celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary. I cannot believe it has been a year since that beautiful September day we got married. However, 1 year also seems like such a small amount of time. I feel like it kind of diminishes all those experiences we've had for the past 10 years. Our life together didn't start 1 year ago, it started when we first met over a decade ago.

Anyway, we spent our anniversary weekend in Breckenridge. It was kind of coincidental since we got an extremely discounted rate on a hotel if we sat through a 2 hour presentation of a new vacation property. They basically tried really hard to make us spend $20,000 so we can vacation in condo style for the rest of our lives. We are more the camping and Days Inn kind of people though. So after telling 3 different salesmen "no" in as many ways possible, we got to start enjoying our weekend.

(a beautiful day in Breckenridge)

The weather was in the 60s and kind of overcast, aka perfect pregnant lady weather!! We walked around town, did some shopping, ate some good food, watched the U of M football game and ended the weekend at the Denver Aquarium. The best was our anniversary dinner though. We ate at a little bistro in an over sized u-shaped booth. There was a live band and the food was delicious. Most momentous though was the necklace Dave got me. He has never picked out a piece of jewelry for me that I haven't given him any input, but he did good! He got me a gorgeous sapphire necklace with diamonds. I have always wanted a sapphire piece of jewelry since it is my birthstone. I love it!!

(The necklace Dave got me!)

Now we are back into our regularly scheduled lives. I had a Dr's appt. today and he told me I should probably get together my hospital bag. Not that he thinks I will be going into labor anytime soon, but he does want me to be prepared for anything. Yesterday Dave and I were talking about how weird it is that one day is just the two of us and then very next everything will be different. I have a feeling we are going to be getting out pretty often these next couple of weeks.


Almost 33 weeks

Not much to report here. Our childbirth classes start tonight right after our pre-admit appointment at the hospital. Crazy to think our child is going to be born next month! You will have to forgive how awful I look in this picture. It was the end of a long, hot day and my body has started rebelling against me with achy everything. Oh well!


Baby Book

Most of the baby books on the market are totally cheesy in my opinion. I looked at a few with my Mom and even she wasn't too impressed. I've looked on Amazon and read other peoples reviews on them. Blah. Boring. Bland.

Well, after searching for months I have found two that I really like. They are both sold on Etsy.com and both are around $60. That seems like a lot of money for a baby book, but I cannot find any others that even come close.


All her books are customizable. I love the Green Tea Floral Cover with the gender neutral pages. In the future you can order more pages like "first outings" and "2nd year". Once the little one is born she can also personalize a name plate for the front window of the book.


Very similar in style, the other book I like is also customizable. I like the chocolate or sage cover with the whimsy nature design. She too offers additional page packs and a personalized name plate.

Basically I have decided that I will order one of these two books. I just need to decide which one. They are both adorable and unique! Fortunately I am the type who will actually fill out my child's baby book so I do not feel that guilty spending $60 on it. I have spent more making my own scrapbooks.

Gender specific dream

I haven't had too many baby related dreams so far. The ones I have had the baby has always been androgynous. Well not anymore. Last night I had my first gender specific dream and, ladies and gentlemen, it was a GIRL! I woke up feeling a little off balanced because we have been so sure that I am carrying a boy. Within the last week though I have been having doubts.

I was looking in the mirror the other day and my Mom, who thinks I am carrying high, insists that means a boy. My Grandma Stock predicted the gender of my older siblings correctly based on that theory. I don't think I am carrying high or low. To me, it looks like this kids is pretty well centered in there. While I was staring at my belly that day, the thought crossed my mind that it was a girl. Since then I haven't been able to shake it. We had an ultrasound last week in which the lab tech said she. I don't place too much stock in that though since we have had ultrasound techs call the baby "he", "she" and even "they". It is just another thing to plant the seed of doubt in my mind.

All this speculating about the gender could easily be solved if we just found out at our next ultrasound. However, I am very glad that we are not choosing to do that. Even though the gender changes weekly for me, I really have no desire to spoil the surprise. I keep thinking how cool it will be for Dave to be the first one to see of we have boy and girl. I've had plenty of special moments with Baby R. already. I want Dave to be the first to know the gender and the first to hold him/her.

So for the next 8 weeks I will just keep flip flopping and calling the baby him one day and her the next.


The 92% completed nursery

We are basically done with the nursery with the exception of a few items. My Mom is making a new cover for Dave's IKEA Poang chair that will go in between the closet and crib. We are getting a ceiling fan installed. The humidifier is on its way and we will order the baby monitor probably in October. Other than that the room is ready for a baby and two tired parents! This is a picture heavy post so enjoy!

View from the door
Angled view from the door
Crib close-up
Future home of the Poang chair
View of the door side of the room
Changing table between door and rocker
Close-up of rocker
Right side of closet
Left side of closet
Closet dividers in action
Super adorable Land's End diaper bag
Changing table basket
Cloth diaper covers, fitteds and all-in-ones
Our cloth diaper prefold stash
Bunny curtain holders