Sunday, May 3, 2015

Scenes From A Week: May 3

Jacob's six weeks old - yesterday!  This week was another good one - it feels good to be starting to feel like myself again (well, myself with 5 hours of non-consecutive sleep :).  Jacob is growing and changing... and thriving.  He's a precious and precocious little boy, and he makes every day more fun.
This week we took walks every day - including two in one day on a few occasions.  The weather was phenomenal - topping out at 75 degrees one day and starting to really feel like Spring/Summer (my favorite time of year).  My parents came this weekend to make further progress on "THE PROJECT" (our basement reno) and sneak in a few Jacob snuggles in between :)  I love having them here - my mom did the early morning shift each morning, allowing Scott and me to catch some extra ZZZs.

While my dad and Scott were cranking in the basement, my mom and I tackled my to-do list.  We reorganized Jacob's closet, planted flowers in my planter out front, worked on my baby book, and made big meals (read: lots of leftovers!) each day.  I love having them here!

cutest hands ever
obsessed with his pants
look at those little piggies
strolling on a beautiful Thursday afternoon
cute outfit from a girlfriend of mine
reclining (cute onesie from his Grandma Special)
obsessed with this weather forecast (well, minus the rain)

gramps "taking a break" by being on baby duty

enjoying some delicious vino with the Steils and Maloneys on Saturday night

bright eyed boy
a 5am wake up call never felt so good
Grammy (aka baby whisperer)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Scenes From A Week: April 26

Jacob's fifth week of life was another beautiful one.  Our family of three has settled in to a nice routine... which has allowed all of us to feel a little more normal.  We're getting more sleep (knock on wood), and our lives have settled in to a comfortable pattern.  These 12 weeks of our lives are different than any other will ever be - and I'm trying to savor each day.

The week started with Jacob having a doctor's appointment on Monday.  He did beautifully... though he did not much care for his shot :(  On Tuesday he turned one month - the fastest month EVER! We hosted Scott's parents and siblings on Wednesday night so they could spend some time with Jacob.  The rest of the week was filled with sunny afternoon walks (our record was 2.5 hours!), a Target run and time spent snuggling with Jacob at our house. The week concluding with a calm and nice Spring weekend!  It's always more fun on the weekend, when Scott is home from work and everything is a little more leisurely!

love means leaving your wife half an avocado and two peeled clementines :)
one month <3
stylish little man
J received a very fun (and fashionable) package from his Grammy/Gramps!
ready to stroll (hilarious - he is freshly bathed, and stylin' in a killer outfit...
and his mother was un-showered and wearing spit-up stained leggings.  #motherhood!
i love this face
working on his baby book during naptime - my goal is to have it up-to-date before
the end of my maternity leave
HH - first time trying Grapefruit Shandy and I lovedddd it

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

JSS: One Month

Happy one month to my sweet boy, Jacob Steil Special.  We've had a wonderful and busy first month together, and it's been better than I ever imagined that it would be.  The month started rather dramatically, with Jacob being born just after 10pm on a Saturday night (like his daddy, he didn't want to miss a Saturday night!)

We checked out of the hospital three days later, and began our life at home.  My parents - Jacob's Grammy and Gramps - were with us for the first two weeks of his life, helping Scott and me to get settled in to our "new normal".  They took the graveyard shift each night, and helped do all of the heavy lifting (literally, as I wasn't supposed to lift anything heavier than Jacob).  After cleaning our house and stocking our fridge, they left on Easter Sunday, and our new life as a family of three set in.

Jacob has been sleeping very well (for a baby:).  Our typical day includes me going to bed around 8pm, and Scott hanging out with him - and Jacob sleeping intermittently - from 8-11pm.  At 11, Scott will do the late feeding, and change his diaper, and then bring him in to our room.  Jacob prefers sleeping at a slight incline (many infants do!) so he's enjoyed some QT in the Mamaroo (h/t to Jacob's second cousins G&E for the Mamaroo loan).   Jacob wakes up around 2, and again around 5 to eat and be changed.  He'll usually go back to sleep for another 1-3 hours, and then he's up in earnest.  I usually get up by 7a and get our day started.  I throw in some laundry, tidy our house, or do other things on my to-do list (chores, blogging, email, etc).  Sometimes I nap while Jacob does during the day, and sometimes I work on items to keep our household afloat.

Jacob loves riding in his stroller - he usually falls asleep within one block:)  We started walking when Jacob was one week old (and I was finally able to walk semi-comfortably) and we walk almost every day for about an hour.  The fresh air is good for us both!  He is a great car-rider, and has been to Target four times, Nordstrom once, Aldi three times, and the Pediatrician twice. 

Speaking of the pediatrician, Jacob weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces at birth.  He was 7 pounds 8 ounces at his one week appointment, and 9 pounds 15 ounces at his one month appointment.  (And yes, I take most of the credit for that :)  He was 19.5 inches at birth, and 21 inches at one month.  He shows incredible head and neck strength!  He loves to kick his legs and is very alert.  I predict that he'll be ahead on his physical milestones over the next few years.  

This month, Jacob met his parents (haha!) as well as both sets of grandparents, his uncles Matt, Joe and Ryan, and his aunts Kelly and Katie.  He's met several of his great aunts/uncles.  He's also met a handful of our cousins, and a few of our friends.  He's been a great sport meeting so many new people!

Jacob loves to snuggle on his mama, to do tummy time with his dad.  He loves when his Grammy gives him a bath (he's lukewarm on when his mama bathes him - I'm not very fast:)  He likes to be in the action - if there are people talking by our kitchen peninsula, he isn't content with chilling across the room.  (I think he'll be a social butterfly like his dad).  He HATES getting his diaper changed, which is unfortunate because it's changed about 10-14 times per day.  (Poor lil guy).  He wears a lot of onesies and "gowns" and is quickly outgrowing NB size clothes and diapers - he's still in both of those, but I can tell it's almost time for the next size up.

We mostly call him Jacob, but occasionally Jake (or Jakey).  I also call him Boo, Bugaboo, Snerks, Angel, Friend, and Lovebug.  (Snerks is kind of random, but it's a nickname that Scott had for me while we were dating).  

  He is a joy in our life (even when he wants to eat every hour from 5-10pm most nights).  To be honest, it feels like he's been with us forever... even though it's only been a month.  So much has changed over the past month - including the fact that I changed my first diaper!  (Sorry, Jacob, I think you'll be my "guinea pig" in so many things in your life!)

Jacob is one of the great loves of my life, and I feel so lucky to be his mother.   Below are some of my favorite pictures from the first month of JSS! 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Scenes From A Week: April 19

Jacob's fourth week of life was a really good one!  He met a few new people, and enjoyed outings to Target, Babies R Us, and Aldi... twice :)  He was visited by his Grammy and Gramps who helped us check off a bunch of items from our to-do list - almost finishing a new basement bathroom, making three home-cooked meals to give us lots of leftovers, and just generally being incredibly helpful ... AND being J's first babysitters as Scott and I enjoyed our first post-baby night out! :)  It was a wonderful way to spend a weekend.

Maternity leave is a joyful and strange thing.  I feel so fortunate to spend Jacob's first 12 weeks of life with him, and I'm focused on making this a really special time for our family.  We have developed a really solid routine, which allows all of us to get some sleep, to spend some time as a family, and keeps us all sane and organized.  Importantly, it also allows us to keep our house clean, our fridge and bellies full, and our "to do" list progressing.    I hope to blog more about our routines sometime, but for now, let's just say that it's working for us!

while J was napping, I power-cleaned our house, watched an episode of RHONY,
and enjoyed one of these puppies ;)

sunday afternoon play time with daddy
Grammy snuggles
mama's blue eyed boy
first date night out since J was born! 
Grammy took the 5am shift so Scott & I could sleep extra :) 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

JSS: What's in a name

When I got pregnant last summer, one of the things I felt strongly about was to not find out if our baby was a boy or girl before he or she was born.  I was pretty freaked out about childbirth, and I felt like having that ultimate surprise be just around the corner (or, 37 hours around the corner as it may be) would help keep me focused and positive during labor and delivery.. and I was right.  

Fortunately, Scott was on board with this plan - which made it much easier to stay strong.  It was interesting - our friends and family were very split.  Our parents loved that we were waiting, but it drove some of our friends crazy.  All in all, I'm very glad that we waited - when I was being wheeled to the Operating Room for the unexpected Cesarean, knowing that I would meet my baby - and learn so much more about him/her - in just a few moments... well, that was a sanity-saver, and kept me focused.  Hearing the "it's a boy!" was the sweetest noise I had ever heard, and it was a moment unlike any that I have ever experienced.  

Since we didn't know what we were having, we weren't certain what our baby would be named.  In fact, we didn't have "THE NAME" selected for either gender - we had a short list of a few names that we liked for each, but nothing set in stone.  Our sweet boy was nameless for about 18 hours after birth as we debated the merits of each one.   Naming this human is an honor that we took very seriously.

In the end, we selected the perfect name for him:  Jacob Steil Special.  I like that Jacob is a strong, Biblical name - and one where there is a formal and informal version (Jacob and Jake).  I wanted a name that was classic and masculine, and not too trendy.  Jacob also has ties to my Rank relatives  - I have a first cousin named Jacob, and the name actually extends back to my grandfather's grandfather, who was Jacob IV!!  The middle name is something I had hoped for years.  My dad adopted me almost 15 years ago, and Steil is his last name.   I've written at length about him, but it bears repeating: my life changed dramatically for the better when Shawn Steil married my mom.  I was treated like a "real" daughter from day 1, and I learned so much from him- about parenting, family, loyalty and love. I wanted a way to honor this important part of my history, and to tie Jacob's name to that side of his family.  I think it's really special - Jacob shares his middle name with one side of his family, and his last name with the other.  I am a sentimental person, and I think the sentiment here is really lovely (and yes, I'm very biased:))

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Jacob Steil Special: A love story

Below is the lengthy story of how my beloved son was welcomed in to this world.  It’s slightly medically graphic, so if you’re bothered by that, you may want to skip this post.  

I have hesitated to post this for weeks, unsure if I should share it or not.  I am a private person, especially when it comes to certain medical details, but since most of my blog readers are family, and many people already have the summary, I decided to share.  I'll be glad to have the detailed record at some point down the line.  Without further ado:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Baby Special: 38 Weeks

Weeks:  38 weeks!  Baby will be here in a matter of weeks – if not days – and I am growing more excited by the minute.

Baby's Size:  I’m done with this one on the ol’ questionnaire – baby is “Baby Size” and that is all that matters!

Trimester: THIRD!

Cravings: No cravings!  I've yet to experience one, in fact.

How I'm Feeling: Feeling darn good!  (I’ll downgrade last week’s “great” answer to “good”).  I’m more tired than usual, have a bit of swelling in my feet and fingers (my wedding rings are still on, but they are getting tight… I really hope that I can keep wearing them until the end).  I've been taking the bus to work each morning – and walking to the train after work.  It’s about a mile and a half walk, and I just decided I’m only doing it one direction from now on.  I am feeling darn good for being so pregnant though – and I count that among my biggest blessings right now.  At my weekly doctor’s appointment they noted that my blood pressure was slightly elevated (still within the range of normal, but elevated versus my baseline that was established over the past 8 months of care).  I’m going in in a few days to double check that, as I certainly want to do what’s best for this baby.

Movement: Yep!  Baby continues to move and shake!

My thoughts:  It was another wonderful week – if only a tad bit quieter around the home front.  I've officially “retired” from evening events – needing to spend more time at home relaxing.  Since baby could come at any time, it’s especially important to me not to get too worn out – I want to be prepared to hop to action at a moment’s notice!  This week I tackled some easier remaining items – hospital pre-authorization, making some postpartum supplies, etc and I feel eager and ready.  By this time next month, I'll be holding my sweet baby in my arms instead of in my belly! <3

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Baby Special: 37 Weeks

Weeks:  37 weeks!  Today I am considered “full term” by many practitioners – the time when if the baby was to start coming now, the doctors wouldn't try to prevent him/her from being born.  There is an old wives tale that first time moms often go late, but scientifically speaking that isn't entirely true.  Regardless, baby seems pretty comfortable where he/she is, and I have a feeling it’ll be a bit longer until the great debut. 

Baby's Size:  Baby Special is over 6 pounds and longer than 19 inches.  It’s now… baby size.  (Eeeee!)

Trimester: THIRD!

Cravings: No cravings!

How I'm Feeling: Feeling great.  I've been told that the last few weeks can get long and uncomfortable, but I'm still feeling very good - I'll hold on to that as long as I can and do everything possible to extend it - comfortable shoes, 10K steps every day, lots of water, naps, etc.  

Movement: Oh yes!  Baby is active (and is keeping his/her mama up at night moving around). :)  My mom got to feel a bunch of undeniable kicks this weekend, and it was a joy to share that with her.  The baby is a-movin'! 

My thoughts:  It was a wonderful week.  My parents came this weekend for one final work weekend before the baby – and my dad, mom and Scott accomplished so incredibly much in our basement.  The goal was to get this set up so that there were a variety of quieter projects to work on after the baby is born, and that is what was achieved.  My mom and I ran all of my pre-baby errands on Saturday  (including buying more newborn diapers to have on hand, pictured above!).   We also finished nearly every remaining item on our 100-item pre-baby checklist (I’m so not even kidding about the number of things on the list, haha).  I've washed the baby’s clothes and blankets in Dreft.  Our crib and Bassinet are put together.  I've placed a final Target order for the remaining items that I “need”.  My hospital bag is packed and in easy arm’s reach.  I’m all about letting Baby come when he or she is ready – but I’m ready whenever that may be.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Oh Baby Special

My "Maloney" baby shower was hosted last weekend - the last weekend in February.  It was hosted by my sister-in-law, Kelly (my brother Matt's wife) at her beautiful home in the city.  We invited my aunts and girl cousins, as well as a few of my closest girlfriends and some dear family friends.

Kelly's house looked absolutely amazing, and she thought of every detail possible:

note the baby clothesline (top) and the onesie guessing game (lower); white
balloons and letters spelling out BABY, fresh flowers.
spectacular bubbly bar (including a bottle of "baby proof bubbly" :)
#ohbabyspecial <3
The food spread was spectacular - and was as delicious as it was beautiful.  Delicate sandwiches, fruit, bite size snacks and an insanely good cake: 

My sweet sister-in-law really went all out for me - it was a really special day.  It was made even more special by the many people that came so far to celebrate - Megan from Des Moines, my mom, Joni, Patty and Liz from CR/IC, Laurie from Minneapolis, Barb from Dubuque.  It really means so much.