Thursday, December 31, 2009

19 Weeks Old

I was just talking to my Mom, yawning, and trying to muster the energy to post about Liv tonight, New Years Eve 2009.  (Yawn again)... why, am I so tired?

Oh.  Well, looking at the photos from the past 7 days, maybe it's because we celebrated Christmas, my 27th birthday (on the 26th) and I just got home from a wonderful "kid New Years" (the 'ball' dropped at 8pm) with our friend Heather.  Also, Ryan is super busy this time of year with work.  In fact, Liv is looking forward to watching Daddy on TV tomorrow afternoon!  He's going to be in a commercial during the Rose Bowl during half time!  It's been quite the 7 days!

As far as Liv is concerned, I don't have her 4 month stats to share just yet... next week.  Her appointment was supposed to be when we had our big snow storm, but I decided it was not worth risking our lives on the road for a well baby appointment!  I'm betting she's 15 pounds, though!

What I can tell you, is there's a lot more yelling/screaming/talking going on in our house, and our youngest family member is (for the most part!) responsible for all of it!  She's gotten quite vocal over the past few days, and is also really enjoying sucking on her fist.  I also decided to go cold turkey on swaddling her at bed time...  She was making a habit of waking up around 4am due to an escaping arm, so we decided it was time to move on.  She's doing really well with that- waking up a little earlier in the morning, but is happy to eat and go back to bed...

That's it for this week.  Lots, and lots of photos.  Check them out at this LINK, or on the slideshow below!

Click here to view these pictures larger

Thursday, December 24, 2009

18 Weeks Old

This was a week of a few new 'first's' for Liv...  Our family went on the Amtrak train to NYC yesterday for a quick trip to see the big Christmas tree, and visit Ryan's co-workers.  We had a great time!  It was chilly, but a lot of fun.  Liv also got to visit the NY Office for Sesame Street.  Check out all our photos at this LINK, or on the slideshow below.

Liv made lots of friends during our quick get away.  If we could sell her smiles for a dollar each, we'd be millionaires.  All you have to so is say hello to her, and she's all grins.  She's such a good baby.  I thought Jillian was an easy going baby until I met Liv!  She's laughing more now too (I'll upload video soon- promise!) and is very predictable with her routine.  We love this kid so much!

Off to bed- we're looking forward to waking up tomorrow and celebrating Christmas with our two gorgeous girls! 

Click here to view these pictures larger

Thursday, December 17, 2009

17 Weeks Old

With the holidays approaching, things have been very busy around our house.  For the first time, I'll say I'm not surprised a week has passed!  We've done so much!

To see all the photos from this week, click HERE or check out the slideshow at the bottom of this post!
Our MOMS Club Holiday events were this week, so Liv had lots of fun being passed around at different events and watching all the kids running around and having fun.  One gathering was a pajama party/breakfast so the girls and I took a couple cute photos in front of a Christmas tree.  It's so fun to wear snuggly clothes out of the house!

Even though it's rather cool outside, Liv wanted to make sure she got a photo in the tiny bathing suit Grandpa Randall brought home from Europe for Jillian when she was a baby.  Please check out the photo below in the slideshow to see Liv's leg rolls in their full glory- baby chub is so fabulous! ;)

A couple other photos to note in the slideshow...  Liv in The Bumbo (she HATES it, and it was Jillian's FAVORITE... go figure...)  Liv all bundled up in her car seat for the cold weather (I love that warm wrap for around her seat!) and finally, my favorite pic of the week- a measurement of each of the girls bellies.  Yup.  Jillian's waist is bigger...  by ONE inch.  lol

Have a great week!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Middle of the week bonus post- video

This video is from awhile ago... back when I talked about how much Liv hated diaper changes. I just had to share it now that I edited it down a little...

video

Thursday, December 10, 2009

16 Weeks Old

Click HERE for all the photos from this week, or check out the new embedded slideshow at the bottom of this post...

Boy oh boy, time is flying by!  It's 10pm here, and my Mom just had to call me to remind me it was Thursday-Liv-post-day!  It's already been a week?  Really?

This little girl makes us smile so much.  She's honestly 99.9% of the time a breeze.  She swats at her toys all the time now, and makes so much noise when she sucks on her hands that sometimes I come in from the other room to see what's going on!

Jillian loves Liv.  She loves to give her hugs, hold her, give her a pacifier, pat her, bathe her, sing to her.  Liv is one lucky lady to have such a great big sister.  (Girls, read this 10 years from now...  you DO love each other, I promise!)  haha.

Liv is still swaddled up TIGHT at night to go to bed.  She loves being a baby burrito as much as Jillian hated it.  When she gets tired at night, you can see the relief on her face when I pull out the special swaddle blanket.  Seriously.

Okay- that's it for this week...  I have 1000 things to get done before bed, 999 of which will have to wait until tomorrow...

:)  Nancy

Oh- two photos in the slideshow I'd like to 'point out'.  One, me biting her cheek.  That's for everyone out there that would like to be doing that.  How could you see those cheeks and not want to eat them?!?

And two, Liv in her bouncy chair with a pacifier in her mouth, and one in each hand.  When you love something, go all out...  haha!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

15 Weeks Old

Here's a LINK for all the photos this week!
I love to go back to Jillian's babysite and read about what she was doing at Liv's current age.  Last week I told Liv she had better laugh this week if she wanted to keep up with her sister.  Well, sibling competition seems to work in our house because mere hours before I posted for this week, Liv let out a tiny giggle.  We were visiting with some of our local MOMS Club friends, and I told Heather that Liv was going to let Jillian beat her on this particular milestone.  Heather leaned down to tickle Liv and said, "You've got nothing to laugh about little girl?" Liv smiled and smiled at her and after a few more tickles and encouragement, let out a tiny little laugh.  So sweet.  So, not quite the big belly laugh Jillian did at 15 weeks, but regardless- it counts!  lol.  I'm sure Liv will be happy to read this when she is a little older!

Also this week, Liv continues to explore her hands and how to control her arms.  She is constantly batting at toys, grabbing things (hair! -ouch- ) and wiggling.  

On November 29th, Liv helped our family celebrate Ryan's 4th Alive Day.  Awhile back Ryan casually mentioned that he had always wanted a bonsai tree, so we go him one this year and the girls 'helped' him set it up...

In the photos from the week you'll also see Liv wearing the dress Jillian had on for her first Christmas photo.  I'd say the dress fits the girls about the same, but remember, Liv is 3 months younger than Jilli was when she wore it!  :)

'till next week...

Nancy

Friday, November 27, 2009

14 Weeks Old

Here's a LINK for the rest of the photos from this week, including our Thanksgiving feast!

A few fun details about Liv this week... Her eyes are still a dark, dark blue, but I think there is brown behind them. For now, she has a really pretty dark ring around the outside, deep blue in the middle, and a slightly lighter blue around her pupil. She's so pretty. :)

Liv rolled over once (early on) but has yet to repeat this feat. As of now, the most distance she travels is in the bath tub when she has the whole thing to herself with about two inches of water. She LOVES to splash around and is happy as a clam until she travels all the way to the end of the tub and knocks her head against the wall. When I move her all the way back near the drain, it's only a few minutes before she's back to the top. :)

Liv loves to snuggle. Always has. The hardest part about her right now is after she eats when it's supposed to be 'awake time' she'd really rather snuggle into me for a nice warm nap. Aww... me too.

Liv has started batting at toys hung above her, and is on the verge of laughing... next week maybe?! She makes these cute, cute little grunting noises when something is funny and smiles so BIG.

We can't say enough about how much we are enjoying this little girl... Until next week, enjoy the PHOTOS!

Nancy

Thursday, November 19, 2009

13 Weeks Old

PHOTOS FROM THIS WEEK...

Officially 3 months old tomorrow...

She's making more coo-ing noises, holding her head up like a champ, storing up her um.... 'messy' diapers for a day or two to be sure when she does go, it's EVERYWHERE, loves to listen to her sister sing songs, and really likes being on her belly.  She's still eating every three hours during the day like clockwork (seriously, 10 minutes past feeding time, and she lets me know it!) and sleeps from 9:30pm-11 & then 11pm-8am regularly.  This is one fantastic little lady we've got!

She smiles SOooo much now (whenever we try to get a smile, we're always successful) and really adds so much to our happy house.  WE LOVE LIV!

Have a great week- there's not as many photos this week, but I'd like to think quality makes up for quantity.  The other baby sitting on the couch with her is our friend Leah... she was born a week after Liv.

Have a great day!

Nancy

Thursday, November 12, 2009

12 Weeks Old

Click HERE to see all Liv's photos from this week!
Could it be?  12 weeks we've had the pleasure of knowing sweet Liv!?  Thursday sure rolls around quickly! What a bundle of joy she is.  I thought Jillian was an easy baby, but Livs even better.  In light of some recent effort, she's going through the night without a feeding (sometimes she wakes up, but a little reassurance, and she's back to sleep...).  I'm feeding her at 11pm before I go to bed (Ryan and I are night owls, and have always stayed up late so this is no problem) and she makes it through until around 7am.... anytime after 6am, I'm willing to feed her, but I sure won't argue with days like today when I had to go in at 8am to wake her up for breakfast!!!

I'm trying to be a little more diligent about tummy time, and as a result, Liv's bobble head is really improving.  She can hold her head up quite high (see this week's photos) and she seems to like it.

Also this week, Liv learned how to blow bubbles with her spit, played dress up with Jillian, posed for some naked photos to show off all her wonderful baby rolls, & met Vice President Biden & Dr. Jill Biden.  No photos of the Liv meeting the VP- before I could get a picture, she was kind enough to have a poop-tastrophy all over her patriotic outfit, and my shirt.  Sweet Ryan- pointed to my shirt and said, "Uh oh- position the baby over that mustard you got on your shirt!"  That's.  Not.  Mustard.  Ryan.  haha...

When Jillian was a baby, we went to storytime at the Library every week.  Today Liv got to go to the storytime for kids under 1, and we had a great time.  I can't wait to watch her progress through this great program the way Jillian has.  Jilli LOVES the Library.

That's it for this week- enjoy the PHOTOS, and check in on us again next Thursday!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

11 Weeks Old

Up until this week, I would say Liv still slept the majority of the time.  But now, she's really starting to enjoy being awake, and looking around more.  She cracks me up.  Often, when I'm feeding her she will look at me and crack a huge grin.  It's adorable except for the fact that she always seems to do it with a mouthful of milk, and forgets to swallow first.  Haha- messy baby.

I took a video this week that I'll have to post- remember me telling you about the cranky baby on her changing pad?  Well, I decided to do something for Liv that I had done for Jillian:  cut out a photo of Daddy and put it on the bottom of the shelf that hangs above her changing area.  I would say that since the addition of this photo, Liv cries at least 50% less.  When she notices it, she always smiles and sticks out her tongue.  Livi loves her Daddy!

Developmentally, Liv is doing great- holding her head much better, starting to really put weight on her legs if you hold her standing up, and can lift her head really high when she is on her belly.  Much more cooing going on now too...  so sweet.

One of the photos on the Shutterfly site this week is Liv with an old yellow bear.  That was my bear growing up, and his name is Boo-Boo.  I had to dig him out when I put Liv in that fuzzy yellow sleeper thing, because she reminded me so much of him!


Nancy

Thursday, October 29, 2009

10 Weeks Old

It seems one of the only things that gets Liv in a funk is a diaper change.  We're in trouble with winter approaching I'm afraid, because when a cool breeze hits her big 'ol belly, she screams.  I've documented the face she makes HERE.  Interesting however, that as long as her bottom is in nice warm water (in the bath) a cold tummy is not offending at all.  This little baby  l o v e s bath time.

Honestly, writing about cranky Liv during diaper changes is only of note because most of the time, she's a peach.  She smiles a lot (especially in the evening before bed- I think she's already trying to manipulate me into keeping her up a little longer) enjoys tummy time (by enjoys, I mean promptly falls asleep) and loves to snuggle.

We're keeping busy around here, getting ready for Halloween, and trying our hardest not to contract a nasty flu virus...  lots of hand washing and avoiding stuffy crowded places going on since Liv can't get a shot...

Double digits already for Liv's weeks... 10!?  That's practically 1/5 of her first year!  Better start planning her first birthday party now!  ;)


Nancy

Thursday, October 22, 2009

9 Weeks Old

What a busy week!  Click HERE for all the photos from the past 7 days- There are lots from our trip to Arizona!
This week was one of many firsts!  Liv went on her first plane ride to Arizona, and had a wonderful time!  She was able to meet her Uncle Travis for the first time, and many of my extended family and close friends too!  It was a wonderful trip (a little warm for these MD girls) and Liv was a perfect baby the entire time.  On the plane rides there and back she slept about 90% of the time, waking pretty much only to eat.  I could not ask for better than that!

While we were in Arizona, Liv also got to go to the zoo for the first time.  To be honest, she seemed less than impressed ;)

Developmentally, our little cutie seems right on track.  She is smiling, tracking things with her eyes, definitely recognizes her Mommy by sight and voice, moves her arms and legs a lot, makes plenty of cute noises, and is sleeping like a champ.  She loves to nap and snuggle, and is learning to fall asleep at night without her pacifier pretty well.  It's really rare at this point if she wakes more than once in the night to eat. We'll be working on dropping that feeding soon too- wish us luck!  ;)  Tomorrow she will have her 2 month pediatrics appointment, so we'll see where she falls on weight and height.  I think she is about the same as Jillian was at this age, but we'll see!  That would be pretty amazing considering she was more than a pound less than her sister at birth!  She sure is growing fast!

Mushy moment:  Liv woke up around 5 am this morning to eat.  I usually bring her into bed with me to do this, and then return her to her crib. Today however, we had a whole king size bed to ourselves (Ryan left early for a speech in NJ) so I let her stay and snuggle.  I almost got out of bed to get my camera because watching her lay there next to me on the bed was just so darn sweet.  Realizing I could not even hope to capture the sweetness of the moment on film, I soaked in a mental picture instead.  I love to lay there with my face right next to her and feel her breathing.  I love when our noses touch and I'm actually inhaling the same air she exhales.  There's nothing that smells or feels quite like that- it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about how special moments like that are.  Knowing this little person was created by Ryan and I... surreal.  

I suppose that's why I take so many photos.  A tiny chance to capture these moments that pass so quickly.  From one week to the next, it's like we've got a whole new baby in the house- always growing and changing.  As much as I miss 8 week old Liv, I'm also looking forward to weeks 9, 10, 11... Being a Mom is the best job in the whole world.  Ryan and I are so lucky, SO blessed to have these two beautiful girls to call our own.

Until next week!  Adios, and don't forget to check out all the PHOTOS!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

8 Weeks Old

Click HERE to see all the photos from our week! Liv sure is getting big!

I can't believe our little girl is already almost 2 months old. Time flies! This week I got lots of photos of Liv enjoying a bath with her sister, and hanging out at home. More about the week later- I'm in AZ with the girls introducing Liv to friends and family!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

7 Weeks Old

What a cutie pie!  For more photos from this week, click HERE!

This week we've had a lot of fun!  We went to a pumpkin patch near our house and had a great time.  I even got Liv balanced on top of a huge pumpkin for a photo!  Good thing she's such an agreeable baby!!!

I was also able to save up some milk so Ryan could give Liv a bottle!  This is pretty cool, because Ryan was never able to feed Jillian- (the little stinker would never take a bottle!) but Liv took it like a champ!  It feels so good to know she would not have a problem taking a meal this way- gives me so much more flexibility!

Liv smiles all the time, and is a wonderful baby!  We're trying to get her adjusted to sleeping without her pacifier...sometimes she wakes up when it falls out, so I decided to just do way with it for sleeping time.  This has produced some nap time/bed time tears, but she gets through it, and sleeps well.  The other night I fed her at 11pm, and she slept until 6am!  Woo Hoo!

Hope all is well out there- leave us a comment so we know you're checking in on us!  Weekly posts/photos are a lot of work and I love to read what you think!

:)  Nancy

Thursday, October 1, 2009

6 Weeks Old

Hey Mom- Trying to get a good photo of me for this week? Yeah? Well... this is what I think about you and that camera you're always flashing in my face!

Love,

Liv
Liv's such a great baby! She's getting stronger and stronger (not quite as much of a bobble head these days!) and has quite an appetite. She even accidentally rolled over while playing on our bed the other day. (It was just once though, and she was kinda propped to the side so it does not really count!) She loves to make eye contact with me while she is eating, and I love it right back. This is my favorite FAVORITE thing about nursing... it's just so darn sweet!

Ryan's parents came in to visit this past week and we enjoyed spending time with them, and introducing them to Liv- if you didn't see the post about our apple picking trip, check out the family blog- it was so much fun! (www.kulesfamily.blogspot.com)

As always, the photos from this week can be found on our Shutterfly site- at this LINK!

Have a great week!

Nancy

Thursday, September 24, 2009

5 Weeks Old

Link: Week 5 Photos!
Sweeter and Sweeter every week!  Liv is really starting to get such a nice little personality.  She smiles and coos, and really tracks people and noises with her eyes.  At her 1 month appointment, she weighed in at a 1/2 ounce shy of 9lbs!  That's nearly 2 pounds of weight gain in a month!  I guess my, "special Mommy milk" (as Jillian would call it) is really doing the trick!

Funny nursing story...  While my cousin Heidi was here visiting, Jillian asked me, "Does Heidi have special Mommy milk too?"  I explained how you only have Mommy milk if you had a baby in your belly.... to which Jillian replied: "Oh.  Well...  Hmm.... does Heidi have water?!"  Lol... I love kids.

Anyway- back to Liv.  Last night, she slept from 8-11pm, ate at 11, and went back to sleep.  From 12:30-1:30 she was a little fussy so I fed her again at 2am.  Then, after that feeding she slept until 8:30am!  6.5 hours! 

Liv enjoyed having my parents in town for a week, and we were sad to see them go on Tuesday.  Ryan's parents will be arriving for a visit this weekend though, so the girls will be happy to have extra attention again!  

Be sure to check out all the PHOTOS from this week, and see if you can guess which shot I've titled, "One good reason to have a sibling".

The biggest milestone for this week:  I put Liv's hair in a teeny-tiny ponytail for the first time!  Then I was able to use that to attach a clip.  Finally accessorizing!  ;)

:)  Nancy

Thursday, September 17, 2009

4 Weeks Old!

What a week!  

First of all, a description of what's going on in all the photos I posted:

Liv got to hang out with her baby friend Sarah, go to a fancy lobster dinner with Mommy, Daddy and Jillian (including an amazing dessert bar!), pose for Mommy in her room, open her first piece of official mail (her social security card arrived!), play at the kids gymnastics place near our house (she was GREAT at climbing the rock wall), AND meet my parents for the first time!  Woo Hoo!  We have had so much fun!

It's been great having my parents around for the last couple of days, and they have really enjoyed spending time with the girls.  They can vouch for the fact that Jillian really loves her little sister, and that Liv is even more adorable in person than in her photos ;)

Last night Liv slept for almost 5 hours between feedings, so it was a pretty fantastic night.  She usually goes about 3-3.5 hours...  She is getting stronger and stronger every day.  She can easily pick up her head and turn it from side to side, she's tracking people and noises with her eyes, she is starting to look amused (has almost really smiled!) and she has more gas than any person I've ever met.  Seriously.  She's the gassiest baby I've ever met.   I'm sure she will love me documenting that!!!

Better run- My Dad ran electrical for two new ceiling fans in the house, and he and Ryan are busy installing them right now.  I suppose I should be helping rather than blogging...

Have a great week, and don't forget to look at all the new PHOTOS!

Nancy

Thursday, September 10, 2009

3 Weeks Old!

Click HERE for Liv's 3 week old photo slide show!

Another week? Is it fair to say that I might start every post talking about how I can't believe another week has passed? Probably. Definitely.

Time passes so quickly with an infant- it's amazing to watch this little girl growing and changing. Right now she's wide awake and laying in my lap as I type. Totally happy just sucking on her pacifier and staring at me. So sweet.

The pacifier is one big difference between our girls. Jillian did not use one at all (HATED it) but Liv really likes it. I think it's because I introduced it much earlier this time. Last time the lactation consultants scared me into not introducing anything for the first 6 weeks, and as a result, Jillian never took a bottle. Good thing I didn't have anything better to do than be with Jillian every 3 hours for the first year... haha... Hoping things will be different on that front this time around.

This week Liv got to spend a lot of time with my cousin Heidi. Heidi came from Omaha to help out for a week, and we had a wonderful time. She's the best! Thanks for taking the time to come hang out with us Heidi! Liv also got to go check out Ryan's golf club, go to her 2 week well baby appointment (7.5lbs!), take her first shower with Mommy, visit Severna Park MD (where we plan to move before the girls start school), help Daddy out at work, meet more friends from our MOMS Club, and relax at home. Whew! It was a great week. Enjoy all the PHOTOS, and be sure to check in on us again next week!

Nancy

Thursday, September 3, 2009

2 Weeks Old!

Has it been a week already?!

It's amazing to think my due date was actually today... I feel kinda sneaky having gotten to spend the last 14 days with sweet Liv in our house! What a wonderful baby she is!

Check out all the photos from this week... Liv has had a lot of fun!

We got to meet a new friend from our MOMS Club- baby Leah. In the photos you can see Liv introducing herself via an attempt to feed off of Leah's nose! haha!

Also this week, Liv's umbilical cord fell off, so we were able to give her a real bath. Jillian helped (of course!) and Liv was pretty okay with the whole ordeal... She's not a big fan of being cold though, so there were some serious Daddy snuggles needed when she had to get out. After the snuggles Mommy fed her and prepared to get her dressed again, when Liv decided she would help me by pooping all over the clean sheets on our bed. We had JUST put the bed back together after a thorough AM washing caused by a similar issue. This time though, she hit the comforter, top sheet, fitted sheet, & mattress pad... Oh joy!

Liv's first metro ride into DC was this week too. My cousin Heidi is in town helping out with the girls, so we decided to head into the city to have a birthday lunch with my good friend Natalie. The girls were both great, and we enjoyed strolling around (trying to get a good view of the Washington Monument for Jillian) in the great weather.

On Sunday, Liv joined our family for our traditional morning bowling event. It was nice to introduce her to some of the people we see there every week.

Liv also met some of our military friends- the Decker's, & Heather, went to the park, strolled in Annapolis, and posed for plenty of photos on some of the cute quilts we've gotten from family and friends!

What a busy week for a 14 day old person!!!

Other than that, she's doing a great job eating and sleeping... She eats about every 3 hours, and still sleeps a lot. The last few days we've been getting to see her dark blue eyes more and more so that is nice. When she's laying on her belly, she can pick up her head and turn it from side to side... she loves being in her swing, and seems to enjoy car rides... Overall, just one fantastic baby! We're so darn lucky!

Enjoy the photos, and I'll update again next week!

Nancy

Thursday, August 27, 2009

1 Week Old!

Okay, in addition to the 100 or so photos I've posted of Liv so far, you can:
CLICK HERE for more new photos!
I also have a few more from this first week (like the one below) I'll share later, but they are from the batch of photos I took for her birth announcements, so I don't want to reveal them all just yet ;)
During Jillian's first year, I updated about her progress once a week. My intention is to do the same for sweet Liv. Already this week so many things have changed, so I welcome this opportunity to sit down, and reflect on what we've experienced so far with her.

In general, having a newborn in the house is one of the most amazing things... It's exhausting, wonderful, overwhelming, and simply amazing. To be honest, I've always loved newborns. The little puzzle of figuring out what makes them happy, reading their cues and responding to their needs... Breathing in the very essence of them. They are unlike anything else in the world. Such a tiny package of promise and potential. I love them. I love Liv. I can sit and stare at her for such long periods of time, and she can bring a lump to my throat by just laying there making her sweet tiny baby noises. It's magical.

So far Livy sleeps like a champ. We had one rough night when all she wanted was to eat and snuggle, but overall it's been great. Waking up every 3 hours or so to eat, and then right back down. We've been keeping her in our room so far, but I think the crib will come next week... She's doing well in there for some of her naps during the day so I think she can handle it- (assuming I can!) haha...

Eating is going well too- I'm getting used to the whole thing again, and she's slowly learning. I forgot how much coaching they need in the beginning! We brought her to her first pediatrics appointment yesterday, and she was only down a little from her birth weight, so that's good.

Even though this blog is about Liv, I think it's important to add that Jillian simply loves her. She is adjusting SO well, and looks for Liv in the morning to say, "Good morning baby Liv!" It's very sweet. She wants to hold her often (and then after about 5 seconds always says, "She wants her Mommy" and nudges her back to me). Lots of kisses, lots of helping Mommy and Daddy, and lots of saying, "Ew! Baby Liv pooped!" ;)

This week Liv got to meet quite a few of our friends from MOMS Club as they have coordinated bringing meals for our family. I feel so lucky to have found such a wonderful group of parents and children to call our friends. Thanks for all your support ladies!

Ryan's also been a great support. Jillian sure loves that guy! ;) He took this whole week off of work, so there's been lots of quality family time and extra attention for Jillian. It's been really nice.

Okay- that's it for this week. Tune in next Thursday for another batch of photos and an update on Liv!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Photos and the rest of the story...

Wowzer!  Okay- in case you subscribe to the theory, "A picture is worth a thousand words", here is a link for all the photos I've taken from the time we left for the hospital, until now.  Warning, there are LOTS!!!  :)

www.kulesfamily.shutterfly.com

And, for documentation sake, here's the whole story:

On Wednesday, August 19th we had an OB appointment around 10am.  While we were there, I got an exam and found out we were 2cm dilated.  By 6:15pm that evening, I was having regular contractions and called the hospital to decide our course of action.  They told me if I was the same, (or worse!) by 9pm to head in to check things out.

Jillian was already in bed, so we called our friends Natalie and Rene to come baby/dog/house sit while we drove to Bethesda.

We leisurely got out the door (my contractions were every 4 min or so, but not that awful) so we made sure to pack everything (just in case this was the real deal!) and got on the road.

Upon arrival at the hospital, my contractions had lessened (wouldn't you know?!) so I was sure we were going to be sent home.  However, my exam showed I was 4cm, and progressing, so they checked us in!

Once we got in our room, I got my epidural, pitocen, water broken, and was told to get some rest. (Okay- I made that whole part sound pretty quick and painless, but I'm saving you the labor details!)

I could not fall asleep no matter how hard I tried, but Ryan crashed out for a little bit.  At about 4:30am I started having a weird pain in my side.  When the doc checked me out, it was determined this was probably because Liv had quickly transitioned to a +2 station, I was 100% thinned, and dilated 10cm.  In summary:  It was go time!

I called across the room to Ryan to wake him up:  "Babe!  Wake up... wanna have a baby?" (Groggy Ryan) "Hm?  Huh?  Oh.... now? Sure!"  Haha!

It took him a minute to get the pull out bed put away, and stand by me.  While he was doing this, the staff was setting up our room for delivery.  My nurse was talking to me about how she counts contractions and suggested we do a "practice push" to make sure we were on the same page.  Count 3 of the practice push she quickly said, "Okay... um... please stop!"  She suggested the doctor quickly finish the prep.  Guess we were ready!!!

The first contraction where I was told to push, I gave it my all and I guess it was enough!  By count 7 or so, her head was out, and after a quick deep breath and another push, Liv was born!

4:46am, cord around her neck, covered with white goo, and screaming, Liv had arrived.  The cord was quickly dealt with, and she was just fine.  They were able to deliver her onto my belly and Ryan and I were completely consumed by this magical moment we had been blessed with for a second time.  In minutes, seconds even, we had gone from a family of three to a family of four.  It is amazing.

Enjoy the photos!

Friday, August 21, 2009

She's HERE!

Liv Madeline Kules
Thursday August 20th
7.1lbs, 20.5in, 4:46am!

More details/photos soon!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Appointment today...

Okay- so we've got progress...  

I went to the doctor today, and apparently I'm 2cm dilated, 50% thinned, and the baby is low.  That's good news considering when I was checked 10 days ago I was none of those things!

So... We'll see!

Keep your fingers crossed Liv decides to come soon- I'M SO READY!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Liv's Baby Shower!

Today I had a wonderful time celebrating at Liv's baby shower!  My sweet friend Karen was kind enough to host a gathering at her house, and it was simply wonderful!

Here's the cute cupcakes and all the yummy food:
Sweet personalized favors:
Me opening lots of wonderful, generous gifts:
An ADORABLE diaper cake/basket my friend Mariana MADE for me!  She's so talented!
Yolanda, Me and Kelsey.  All expecting within a few days of each other!
All five expecting women at the party.  Karen (our hostess) to my left, and Heather:
The whole wonderful group:
Thanks so much ladies for being a part of this celebration!  I feel so lucky to have all of you in our lives, and can't wait for you all to meet Liv!

Here is a link for some other photos we took, but didn't post:  LINK

Oh- and if you get these updates via email, you'll have to visit the site directly (www.kulesfamily2.blogspot.com) to see it, but there is a link on the right hand side of the page now where you can put in your guess for Liv's arrival date, weight, & length!  Happy Guessing!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Liv's Room is DONE!

Here's a LINK for all the photos of Liv's completed bedroom!!!!

Here's the whole story of how the room came to be, and all the things we did:

* Ryan and I shopped and shopped to find bedding we loved.  We found a collection from Kids Line called Birdsong which was being discontinued.  A store near us still had one in stock, so we were lucky to get the quilt, dust ruffle, 1 valence, diaper stacker, sheet and bumper.

* A few months ago, our sweet friends Sarah and Chris were visiting from Arizona and watched Jillian while Ryan and I went out of town.  As if they had not done enough, I convinced them to help me paint into the wee hours of the night.  We did a robin egg blue on the ceiling and top 18 inches of the wall, and a lavender on the bottom.  

* Next, Ryan and I measured/cut/painted half round molding to put between the two colors.

* We searched high and low for the perfect furniture for the room- we wanted the finish to be white, to have a nice sized dresser and crib that converts to a full size bed.  

* We knew we wanted to incorporate a large wall unit we could fill with baskets and use to store toys for the girls.  We purchased this and Ryan and I assembled it and were glad to have it while we organized the room!  We also purchased a large brown rug for in front of this unit.

* Our furniture order arrived, and Ryan and I set it up together in the room.  It's amazing quality, and weighs a ton.  Very nice.

* Next up were the curtains.  I made sheer panels for privacy, and long white curtains which are pulled to the side with pink ribbon.  Then, since our bedding set only came with one valance, I decided to cut apart the crib skirt that had come with the set, to sew tops for both windows.  Then, I added white tabs to those so we could hang them.  I also added a strip of solid purple fabric to the valence to jazz them up a little bit.

* Since I had cut up the crib skirt, I made a new one...  Out of the solid purple.

* I purchased a few lights to go on the top of the large bookshelf to provide ambient light in the room- I love the way this looks!!!

* After MUCH searching we found the perfect rocker/glider for the room.  It's white wood, with the perfect color purple cushions.  Thanks for your help with this, Karen! ;)

* I had purchased a few different baskets/containers to organize books on the large shelf.  It was actually hard to find the perfect ones that looked good and were functional, but after what felt like 1 million different purchases and returns, I settled on a nice wicker set with pink liners.  They're so cute and my Mom and I found them for a great deal!

My Mom came into town and helped SO much with all the finishing touches in the room.  

Together, we:

* Made floor pillows for the rug area by the bookshelf and a little pillow for on the chair.  A while ago I found a great stripe fabric that picks up all the colors in the bedding, so we used a lot of that, and cut up and used the fabric that was supposed to be the valance.  Cute, cute...

* Finished an art project...  I made 8x8 scrapbook pages online using Heritage Makers, featuring a tree, flower, and dragonfly.  I customized them a little more by using the words Liv, Madeline, and Kules over and over as the background of the images.  Then, I cut wood so it would have about a 1 inch border around the pictures, routed the edges, painted them white, and then used Mod Podge to adhere the pictures to the wood.  I also put Mod Podge right over a ribbon border so the whole square has a nice sealed finish.  They turned out great.

* Made a butterfly mobile for above the crib...  This was a labor of love for sure, but I'm really pleased with how it turned out.  We found a template for an intricate butterfly online, and used a copy machine to make 3 different butterfly sizes.  Then, we cut a bunch out of card stock, searched the neighborhood for the perfect branch, and hung the butterflies at different heights with pink string.

* Found 9 white frames we could use to display pictures of Liv with her extended family once she arrives.  We did this in Jillian's room too, and she says "goodnight" to each person often.  This means despite our distance in miles, our most important family members are familiar to her.  For now, we quickly drew fun little pictures with marker so the frames would not be empty!

*  Added a green polka dot ribbon (the same one that is on the pillows and the artwork) to the bottom of the sheer panels for the windows.

* And finally:  Hung a floating shelf for the diaper baskets, accessorized those baskets with alternating green/pink ribbon, hung hooks for towels, found the perfect hamper, hung Liv's name above the closet bordered by two large flowers on pink ribbon AND put a cute, "Shhh... Baby Dreaming" decal above the crib.

WHEW!  If you think that was a lot to type/read, imagine doing it all!!!!  I'm so glad it's done, so appreciative of all the help I had, and SO ready to meet Liv and see what she thinks of it all!  :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The finished product!

I could NOT be more pleased with how Liv's quilt turned out!  It is fun, colorful, cheery, and coordinates with the colors in her room very nicely without really matching...  It's perfect!
As you can see, I'm getting quite the belly these days!  We're almost 33 weeks along now...
This heart detail is along the top and bottom of the border...
Check out that perfect edge AND the adorable green polka dot fabric!
This striped material is solid on the back of the quilt, and the quilting detail is this ADORABLE hearts and hands stitch.  The hands are almost the exact size of Jillian's hands right now...  Aww...
I'm not sure if you can tell in the photos, but the stitching all the quilting was done in is a beautiful multi-colored thread.  It's so perfect!

I feel like I can say (without stretching the truth too much!) that I made this quilt, but I have to give a HUGE shout out to Shere and her friend Bobbie in CA.  I mailed my pieced front off to them, and they added the teal border to the front for me, the green edging, and did the heart & hand quilting.  The attention to detail and love that went into this blanket is obvious!  Thank you so much ladies for being such a huge part of creating this blanket- I love it, and I'm sure Liv will feel the same way!  :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

30 Weeks this Thursday!

Things are really flying now... hard to believe it is only about 9 weeks until we meet Liv!  We're working on getting things in place for her- the furniture is in route, and we got a large bookshelf purchased and assembled already...  Once the crib comes, I'm sure her room will come along quickly- I'm feeling anxious about it!  (and, judging from the solid kick to the ribs I just got while typing this, Liv wants us to get on it as well!  haha!)

The other day, Ryan and I took Liv's bedroom set with us to the fabric store, and picked out some materials that featured all the different colors in her room.  I've been working hard for the past few days- cutting, ironing, sewing...  

Liv's quilt:
I think it turned out pretty darn cute so far, and now I just need to have it quilted and edged.  My girlfriend Heather said she has just paid someone with a quilting machine to do this in the past (rather than hand quilting) and I think I'm going to follow suit.  Shere, are you reading this???  ;)

Hope everyone is doing well.  We're great, and aside from an aching back by the end of the day (compounded by sewing!) I don't have any big complaints!

Take care,

Nancy

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Decorating for Liv...

I love to plan, and be organized.  Please know however, that does not mean those things actually come naturally to me.  I am often fighting my inner clutter bug and procrastinator in order to get things labeled and designated to a particular space!  It's a lot of work.  That being said, I can truly say that I love organization because once it's all done and there's, "a place for everything, and everything in it's place"  it makes me happy to the core.  Honestly.  I think I was 100% sure of my decision to be a Kindergarten teacher early on when I saw those labeled cubbies and play kitchens with a photo/label for everything.  Pure bliss.  :)

Anyway.  Perhaps it's that desire to have things in place, or perhaps it's the fact that I look like this:
But Ryan and I went out today and ordered the furniture for Liv's room.  The photo below shows it in a dark brown, but we picked white.  And, the actual dresser we chose is slightly different than the one pictured (it has 6 large drawers instead of having a door in the middle) but you get the idea.  The crib, dresser (which we will use as the changing table) and a large mirror are the three pieces we purchased.
Aside from that, when our dear friends Sarah and Chris were in town (they were SO sweet to fly in from AZ to watch Jillian while Ryan and I were having fun at Indy 500 earlier this month) we got the room painted!  I'm holding off on the paint reveal (until we get everything in place) but I will share a stock photo of the sweet bedding we picked out:
So that's all the update for now!  Just had to share our purchases with you!  Babies are so fun!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

And her name is...

Okay, we're decided. 100%, no more changing our minds!

Our little girl's name is going to be:

Liv Madeline Kules

Jillian loves saying- "baby Liv!" and kissing my belly. She has also already changed it to "Livvy" which I'm sure is going to be a popular nickname...

I'm feeling fine- starting to have quite an aching back by the end of the day- seems about on par with what I dealt with while carrying Jillian.

Hope all is well!

Nancy

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

She's growing!

As you can see, I've got a little belly going on!  :)  We had our comprehensive ultrasound today (where they take a long time and check the baby for any abnormalities) and it went great.  Our little girl (confirmed gender again) was swimming around, and everything looked as it should for this stage of development!  

First Belly Shot:
Over the past few days, Ryan and I traveled to Arizona and Las Vegas with Jillian.  I have a funny baby story to share:  Over the week of being in Arizona, I didn't feel the baby moving at all.  It concerned me (since I had been feeling little flutters consistently for a short while) but I tried not to worry about it too much.  As we arrived in Vegas, I was happy to feel a quick kick of reassurance letting me know she was okay.  After that, she was pretty quiet again UNTIL Ryan and I went to the Beatles LOVE show...  For the first 5 minutes or so (when the music started) the baby had a dance party in my stomach!  It was hilarious!  I have never felt her that active before- it was really cool.  I think she's a Beatles fan!  ;)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We just could not wait...

When we went to our 16 week ultrasound appointment, we thought there was a very good chance we would find out if baby #2 was a boy or a girl.  So, when the ultrasound ended up not answering our question, we were disappointed. 

So- we decided to go to an ultrasound technician in our area and pay out of pocket for a gender check.

The result:  IT'S A GIRL!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

16 Week Ultrasound!

I see a few more people have cast a vote on the girl/boy poll.  I'm sure you'll be happy to know if you've thus far missed your chance to weigh in on the gender of baby #2, you've still got time.

However, if I put in a vote for the doctor who did our ultrasound today, it would be: 

"Um...Uh...Boy.  As a percentage? 51% boy to 49% girl"

So, as you can see, she is ULTRA confident about her guess. (Please read extreme 
sarcasm here!) We are putting off the purchase of linens and paint until someone gives us a little better indication than that!  The machine she used was not of the highest quality, and we only had a few minutes to peek as she was just doing the ultrasound as a favor to us.  Also, baby was squirming around and not too revealing...  

In about a month (I think the end of April) we're setting up the "big ultrasound" where they take the time to check for LOTS of detail, and are sure to get a picture of the genital region if you are interested.  

Anyway, here is our favorite shot we got of baby today.  I was online with my sister and proudly shared this "really clear picture" of the baby.  She responded that, "I obviously could see more than her in the photo" so, at the risk that Ryan and I are filling in the fuzzy gaps of an ultrasound with our visions of chubby cheeks and wrinkled thighs, I'll try my best to "point out" a few features for those of you less imaginative than we are.  Haha!

Anyway-  I'm posting the same photo twice.  Once with explanation, once without.  

Enjoy!


#1- Right knee
#2- Big Belly
#3- Right eye
#4- Left eye
#5- Chin

Hope that helps, Marilyn!  Haha!!  

Oh, and here is one more... you can sorta see the profile and spine on this one: