Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Belle's First Christmas

Mac loves Belle!

Family pic...that is really green for some reason


The clean up crew!

Mac got gifts too!







Santa came to visit





Maia and Belle




Belle and her first Christmas gift







This year Christmas was especially fun (and busy). Belle really had no clue what was going on, but we enjoyed dressing her up and opening her gifts for her. We had Christmas with my family early, as there are way too many of us to coordinate getting together on Christmas day. It was crazy and loud, but always so much fun. Paul's family came out this way to celebrate Christmas. It was so nice to have them out this way and I was very glad not to have to pack up a baby and a dog. I realize how much work this actually takes and how easily I am overwhelmed.

We had a fabulous Christmas and feel so blessed.

















Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bath Time

Belle LOVES to take baths. Here are some pics of her taking a bath and getting dried off. I had to add them because they were to stinking cute not.
















Monday, December 7, 2009

Nothing Overly New, Thus a Boring Update

Life has been fairly calm around the Thompson household. Belle is fighting her first cold. I wish I could blow her nose for her! It's so sad because her nose will get so stuffed up that she can breath while she is eating. Poor little thing. She as been sleeping alright at night, but our days are spent being a sad girl.

We are working hard with Belle at napping. She has never been a baby that sleeps much, so I am taking the advice of Marc Weissbluth, M.D.. He wrote "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." I am determined to get Belle on some sort of sleep schedule, than what we are doing now. In all seriousness, I am ecstatic if I get one 2 hour nap out of her in one day. The upside is that she doesn't tend to be too cranky considering her lack of sleep. About 6:00pm is when she crashes, but the rest of the day she seems to be fine. Anyway, so today was my first go at following "the book." She took an hour and half nap for me this afternoon and then after being up for two hours I put her down again for another nap. She went down at 3 and eventually fell asleep at 4:20 to wake up at 5:00. Go figure. What is hilarious is that she doesn't even whine much in her crib. She mainly sits and talks to herself, so I haven't had to countdown the minutes of her screaming bloody murder before going in to soothe he. Not too bad so far.

Anyway, that's about all the excitement in the Thompson house. I've been swamped with school and Paul has been busy with work, but things are still going good!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009












This Thanksgiving was a lot of fun, but extremely busy. Paul and I has our first experience of what it takes to cart around a baby and a dog. It was exhausting!
Thanksgiving Day we spent at my parent's house in Kalamazoo. All of my siblings were there and so were all of the kids. It's always busy when we all get together, but it is a ton of fun and I love when the entire family is together. Belle did a lot of hanging out on her playmat, napping in her swing, and taking pics with Meme and Papa. I also got some hilarious pictures of her sitting on my lap. Those cheeks are getting chubbier.

The rest of the weekend was spent on the eastside of the state with Paul's side of the family. It was the first time they had seen Belle since she was 2 weeks old, so it was fun to watch them spend some time with her and get to know her better. Mima and Bipa (sp?) got to babysit her on Friday night while Paul and I went to a Pistons game with Monique and Adam. We had a great time and we are sure Mima and Bipa relished their time with Belle for the evening. The rest of the weekend was spent playing Wii Rockband and hanging out.

All in all, Paul and I feel we have so much to be thankful for this year. We have healthy families that we are close with, and a beautiful daughter that has made us more thankful than we could have imagined. I can't say I am too thankful for all of my schoolwork at the moment, but it will all be over with soon :-)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2 Month Check-Up

Today was Belle's 2 month check up. I am so thankful it is over and done with! Poor thing.

First, the good news. She was 11lbs 6oz, which put her at the 50th percentile. She was 24.5 inches long, which put her at the 90-95 percentile. All in all, she is tall and skinny. Looks like she will have a future in modeling ☺ Her head was also in the 95th percentile, probably because of how smart she is! So, she will be my Harvard student who puts herself through school by modeling. Perfect!

Now, the sad news. Baby shots are the worst! Thankfully, they have a new shot that combines three of the vaccines, so she only got 3 shots instead of 5. Belle was having a grand ol' time laying on the table while the nurses and doctor googled over her. She was laughing and smiling and loving every minute. Then, they counted to three and jabbed the needles in her little legs. She sat there for a moment trying to take in what was going on and then lost it. It was like she felt tricked! They all loved on her, just to shove needles in her legs! Oh my poor girl! She cried and cried and I was doing all I could to console her without losing it myself. After a few minutes she calmed down and fell asleep while I was holding her.

I gave her some Tylenol and I plan on cuddling with her all afternoon.

Monday, November 16, 2009

2 Months and Growing...

Belle is 2 months old today and I can hardly believe it! In some ways I feel like the time has flown by, yet in other ways I feel like she has always been here. I really barely remember what life was like before! It's insane!

Belle has hit a few milestones this past month. She started to smile at 4 weeks, she is packing on the pounds (she is out of all her newborn clothes!), and is sleeping in her crib and has had a couple all nighters (11pm to 5:30am)! She is growing and changing like crazy! She loves her playmat, and has begun to love her swing a lot more! I have even tried some Praise Baby with her, and she is warming up to that:-) Overall, I think she is used to life outside the womb and has realized that she likes it a lot.

We feel so blessed to have her and she is the joy of our lives.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Marc and Caden Came to Visit

Last weekend Marc and Caden came out to visit! Caden hadn't met Belle yet, so we were excited to introduce the two. Needless to say, I think Caden was WAY more excited about hanging out with his buddy "woof woof" (Mac). As you can tell from the pictures, they got along very well!


Belle loves her Uncle Marc




He LOVES Mac!



Caden definitely gave Belle lots of kisses, but I'm sure he will think she is cooler when she does more than sleeps, cries, and poops. Can you blame him? It was adorable to watch him interact with her. We hadn't seen Caden in awhile, so it was awesome to see him again and to hear how much more he is talking. He is a ball of energy and such a sweet boy.

Last weekend was also the first time I sang at our church, Cornerstone. I wanted to sing on their praise team but in between having a baby and getting acclimated to motherhood, it was a challenge to find time. Overall, it went well and I had so much fun. Paul and I are glad to be part of a church again and being able to use our gifts. It had been awhile, but we have definitely found a church home that we feel is right for us. I am even a part of their MOPS groups, which I love.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Belle Smiling and Cooing

video

This was my attempt to capture Belle smiling and cooing a bit.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

So, Paul and I were extremely excited to dress Belle up for Halloween. She was a monkey. The costume was still a bit big for her, but we thought she was still the cutest monkey we had ever seen. As usual, we went to Jill and Jason's to meet up with everyone. The guys took the kids trick or treating and the girls drank coffee at the house :-)

The week before Halloween Paul and I went to Liz and Mike's house for pumpkin carving. It was tons of fun and we were quite impressed with our pumpkins. Paul's is the Frankenstein head.





Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hanging In There

Well, Cricket told me I need to update my blog more, so I thought I would write a new post to stay updated!

Nothing majorly new to write about, we are just plugging along in our new role as parents. We are learning a ton and trying to get some sleep at the same time. We are definitely waiting for all of those milestones that happen so early on. At this point we are eager for her to smile at us, and mean to smile at us. Right now, we find her smiling randomly, but not necessarily in response to anything...and definitely not when we talk or tickle her.

I am also ready for Belle to start packing on the weight! Haha! She seems so little to me still and I can't wait until she sports some chunky thighs and some rolls in her belly! At this point she still seems so fragile to me and I am ready for her to bulk up so she is a bit more resilient!

On a personal note, I visited with some of my old coworkers for the County Wide Food Drive today. It was so good to see them and reminded me how blessed I was to work in such an amazing agency with fabulous people. I am happy to be able to be home with Belle, but definitely miss the people I used to work with.

All in all, I love being a mom...even if I stress out about taking her to Meijer or how I am going to get myself together in the morning with a fussy baby. She is a blessing to us and is truly our greatest accomplishment.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

11 Days In

So, Paul and I have been parents for 11 days. It has been extremely rewarding, yet extremely difficult. We have had a few sleepless nights and days where we look at each other and know that we are both running on fumes. Either way, it's amazing how it's all totally worth it and you somehow love why you are staying up late and changing poopy diapers :-)

Belle has already changed so much since the day she debuted into this world. Her hair is still crazy and all over and we love it! We have received many bows as gifts since she was born :-) Something about all that hair makes everyone want to put a bow in it!

I am braving taking her out and praying that she doesn't lose her mind while I am out to lunch with a friend or at the mall with my mom. So far, she has done pretty good and it helps me build my confidence. It's hilarious how someone so little dictates so much of my life right now. I keep reminding myself that it's okay if she cries in public and that it really only bothers me and not those around me (I think!).

Below are pics of her first bath and other random ones we have taken recently. We love her to pieces and love learning new things about her each day. We can't wait till she gets more interactive, but at this point we are enjoying our little newborn.





Sunday, September 20, 2009

Isabelle Mae is Here!

Belle has finally arrived and Paul and I are on cloud nine! She is beautiful and we are completely amazed by her. I figured that I needed to update our blog about everything.

Tuesday I was having contractions all day, but they didn't hurt too bad. The nurse told us to go in and get checked, but unfortunately they sent us home at 11:30 at night and they also gave me two Ambiens to sleep. The Ambien basically drugged my up and I was high as all get out! I seriously stumbled up the stairs to our bedroom and was so out of it. Paul told me that I was acting really loopy! I am not sure why they gave me two Ambien, but I don't think I will ever take the stuff for as long as I live. The entire beginning to my labor is a bit of a blur.

I woke up at 1:45am with horrible contractions and my water broke at 2:00. We went into the hospital. I had about an hour or so of hard contractions and then they gave me my epidural. Let me tell you, it was the most amazing feeling ever! Haha, thank the Lord for drugs! I was able to get some sleep and around 6:30am they told me I was dilated to 9cm and was going to push soon. Talk about moving fast! 7:10 we started pushing and 7:50 Belle came!

She has a FULL head of hair and a good set of lungs on her (that must take after me). The labor and delivery went awesome and smoothly. Belle weighed 7lbs 13 ounces and was 19 inches long. Paul and I are two proud parents and we are amazed at the work of God. I am in awe how he can create a tiny person and put all of their organs, body parts, and even their personality altogether so perfectly.

Since being home we are learning the ins and outs of parenthood. I have personally struggled with the normal hormonal things and just strugging to take care of a newborn while my body is healing. Paul has been my saving grace. Belle had a rough first night, but we are learning what things work and what things don't work. I am sure this is much of the entire journey of parenthood.

Below are some pics of are little peanut. She is seriously my favorite thing ever.


Haha, this is how she ends up when we put her in her swing. Apparently she must like to be all scrunched up!
Rock Star


Friday, September 4, 2009

40 Weeks

Well, today is the official day that Paul and I have been anxiously awaiting...my due date. However, a due date does not mean that we have a baby. I had a doctor appointment this morning that went well, and my body is progressing into labor, but I still have no quite hit those strong contractions.

Next week we have an appointment to do the non-stress test, and then we will have an ultrasound done. This makes me extremely excited. I would rather meet Isabelle in person before this, however, it gives me something to look forward to next week if I haven't already had her. The nurse told me that an ultrasound at this stage can show how much hair she has and really show what her face looks like. I think that is amazing!

We are anxiously awaiting Belle's arrival, but we know that she will be here shortly. It is so bizarre to think that our lives are going to completely flip around and revolve around one small being. We are excited, but nervous at the same time. There is so much unexpected and uncertainty.

At this point, we are praying God gives me patience to make it through however long this waiting game lasts. My pregnancy has been a wonderful experience so far, but these last few weeks are taking a toll on my body. I am a bit more sore, sleeping is more difficult, and my mind is going nuts on whether the feelings in my belly are contractions or just her moving!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

10 Annoying Things People Say and Do to Pregnant Women

Okay, so I have had a wonderful pregnancy overall, but I found this list and was amazed at how much I could relate! I had to share this, because in some ways I feel it is my Public Service Announcement to everyone out there who says these things to pregnant women! I have experienced each one and can tell you that they are all very annoying.

1. Old wives tales as gospel. As scientific as it is, it's annoying when people tell you with certainty what sex the baby will be based on how you're carrying.

2. Manhandling. Suddenly your globe of a stomach becomes public domain. Old women and customers in grocery stores suddenly flock to molest your belly as if it is the most accepted and natural thing in the world. More common than a handshake.

3. Horror stories. While pregnancy brings kinship between women who otherwise had nothing in common, it also brings out their burning desire to regale you with stories of their horrific stories of birth. Never will you hear more about botched episiotomies and days of fruitless labor and stopped baby heartbeats. Why anyone thinks someone with labor on the horizon would want to hear this is beyond me.

4. The just wait until...syndrome. Nothing is less pleasing than to have your current station in pregnancy belittled with just wait until... (insert anecdote here). Sometimes it is only limited to how much worse your pregnancy will get (as if it hasn't been bad in different ways throughout) but it can also extend to just wait until you get no sleep when the baby is here. When does this end? When I have a baby I guarantee I will start hearing about the terrible twos...when I have a 5 year old it will be "Just wait until you have a tween" and then just wait until you have a teenager. Thank you harbingers of doom, but I think I will take my torture one day at a time.

5. The belly reactions. Pregnant women are hormonal; they are seldom happy with their expanding waistline and are self-conscious in regards to their looks. Why do people feel the need to point out how big they are? "Oh my god! You're huge" are NEVER words a woman wants to hear. Similarly, "Are you sure you aren't having twins?" should have a moratorium slapped on it.

6. Unsolicited opinions on birth plans and breast feeding. The debates between no drugs vs. drugs in labor and breastfeeding vs. not breast feeding can be hot ones...but it should be relegated to the no talk zone along with religion and politics. I am sure that everyone feels like their information is true and correct, but it is a personal choice.

7. Ingestion Nazis. The people that watch you like a hawk just waiting for you to eat or drink something that they think is on the no no list. Pregnancy is hard enough without people commenting on nitrates or caffeine. What self respecting pregnant person isn't going to be aware of the do not eat or drink items and the risk associated with each? Everyone's Dr. is different and new information is being uncovered every day.

8. Unsolicited name advice. A name choice is a privilege bestowed upon people carrying and raising the child. Yet, despite varying tastes, everyone wants to weigh in on name choices. Even the most well meaning person offering up names puts the pregnant couple in the uncomfortable position of having to shoot down names. One man's Bertha is another man's treasure.

9. The “expert” syndrome. It seems that some women who have been pregnant, even forty years ago, feel like they know everything there is to know about all pregnancies. Even though all pregnancies are different they feel the need to weigh in of what is normal or not normal in a pregnancy. Even if they are directly contradicting scores of baby books and professionally trained medical workers, they toil on, spreading misinformation and causing panic or feelings of abnormality.

10. Unhelpful weight advice. Yes I know it is better not to gain too much weight. Yes I am aware of how hard it is to take off weight. Yes I know that breast feeding will not melt away my fat. Yes I’m aware that stretch marks are no fun to have. Enough said.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Home Stretch

Well, we are in the final weeks of pregnancy and getting more and more anxious! I have had a couple of baby showers, we have completed the nursery, and I am struggling to find clothes that fit my growing belly. I have loved being pregnant, so I am trying to cherish the last few weeks, but it will be so exciting to meet Isabelle (not to mention a reduction in backaches and the capability of sleeping without 100 pillows!).




Paul and I recently took a trip to Mackinaw as our last big hurrah before our life/marriage as we know it completely changes. It was a fabulous trip and I am so glad we took the time to get away together. We went to Mackinaw Island, visited a zoo (which was sort of a glorified farm), and took a boat tour of the Soo Locks.






As we finish up these last few weeks, it has brought about a lot of mixed emotion. For one, I am petrified of childbirth because of all of the unknown! I know that the final outcome is well worth it, but coming from someone who is horrible with pain and anything that might hurt the entire thing makes me so scared. On the other end, I am scared of the whole parenthood thing because I know it is learn by the seat of your pants and I just pray that some of it comes naturally.

Overall, Paul and I are excited and looking forward to the changes and new adventures ahead of us. Hopefully, we keep some form of sanity through it all!