Friday, May 27, 2011


Penny has a lot of great nicknames so far. Our family is a little silly, so we are constantly coming up with new nicknames.
our sweet pea, at two weeks

Of course, Penny is a nickname, too! Here are some of the names we've called our little Penelope:

- Penny
- Penny Pen
- Pen Pen (my mom and Katie love using this one)
- P
- sweet pea
- sweet potato
- little P
- Munch (because of the face she would make when she was eating)
- Scrunchie
- our little Tiny Tine (also a nickname for Katie when she was little)
- Pennzill and Penzoil (from Kim)
- Penny poo poos on (from Katie)

I'm sure this list will grow and change as she gets older. She is such a sweet girl!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lara's birthday cupcakes

I've done some baking here and there on the side for people. It's really fun and sometimes brings me a little pocket money. I haven't started the baking gig back up yet since having Penny, but I thought I'd try to rustle up something for my friend's birthday. Her favorite is yellow cake with chocolate icing, so to make it easy on myself I thought I'd do a box cake with custom decorations.

I had some candy melts (like the kind you get at the craft store), basically like white chocolate. I melted them down in the microwave, poured the melted mixture into a squeeze bottle, and drew cursive L's on waxed paper. I let them set overnight, and the next day baked up the cupcakes. Once the cupcakes were cooled and iced, I decorated each one with some sprinkles and perched an L on the top. The finished product got a little melty and messy on the way to the party, but they still turned out pretty cute!

Happy birthday, Lara!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

FO: Maxi top/dress

I'm really into knitting dresses right now. Here's the Maxi top/dress pattern from Ravelry. This one is for Penny, and because the pattern scales to a lot of different sizes, I'm now working on one for Katie in a different color! I used Berrocco Vintage yarn in Fondant and Limone.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Two months

Our second month with Penny was pretty eventful! Cory and I celebrated our second anniversary when she was just over a month old. That day was full of adventure - severe storms knocked out the power at our house and a great deal of the city, including the restaurant where we had planned to eat dinner. Everything ended up fine, though, and we did make it out to eat and celebrate. One of the most exciting things happened earlier that day; Penny rolled over for the first time! With no electricity, we decided to do a little tummy time, and she rolled from front to back. We were so proud and surprised. We thought it might be a fluke, but she did it several more times in the following weeks, so we just have a very active girl!

One of the best parts about this month was that Penny really started to gain weight and fill out this month. We had been taking her to the pediatrician every two weeks to monitor her progress, and by her two month checkup, she was up to nine pounds! We really started to get the feedings down, and lost our fear of formula, and she is getting the right combination to gain weight and still get the benefits of breastmilk. She started sleeping better, and we began to get into a better routine. She slept so well, she was only getting up once in the middle of the night! She had some baby acne, but it mostly cleared up by the time she turned two months.

Better sleeping habits made for a great transition back to work. I went back to work in the middle of April, and Cory started staying home with her. He has done so well with her, and it makes it so much easier on me to know Penny is with her daddy. It definitely takes teamwork and patience, and every day isn't perfect, but we are getting there. The hardest part is feeling like you never get a break, but I think it's that way with a baby no matter what the daytime arrangement is.

We took Penny to her first wedding, and she wore a dress that I wore when I was little. I'm so glad I thought to get a picture of her in it, even if it was at the end of the night!

We started to get some smiles this month, too! My sister took this great photo of Penny that we used on her birth announcement. She's about six weeks old here.

She also had her first Easter! She wore a dress and bonnet that Cory's Aunt Shiela gave her.

Two months old and growing fast!

Friday, May 20, 2011

One month

Penny's first month came with a steep learning curve. The first few days were blissed out, a blur of cuddling, visiting, feeding, and changing. She was so little, so she really swam in most newborn clothes. It was cold in March, so we kept her in sleep n' plays mostly (like footie pajamas). Her coming home outfit was one that I bought her, a white pajama with shamrocks on it, since she was due on St. Patrick's Day. We are so lucky that Penny has an older cousin, though - she already had a huge wardrobe to choose from!

Cory's parents (her MawMaw and PawPaw) came up for the birth, and her MawMaw stayed with us for a week! It was so nice having her here, and she got lots of quality time in with the baby. The second week, my mom (her Nonie) came every week day and helped clean, cook, and take care of Penny. She wasn't short on attention, for sure! Cory and I are so lucky to have great parents and so much help.

She has been sleeping in her crib since the first night she came home, so we wouldn't have to transition her into it. During the day, though, she napped wherever was convenient, like her swing or the pack n' play. She was always pretty happy and calm, unless she was hungry. Although it turns out, she was hungrier than we thought. At her two week appointment, she was still down 12 ounces from her birth weight. At four weeks, she was still 6 ounces under birth weight, so we started adding in some formula, and she instantly started sleeping better.

Toward the end of March, we made our first road trip as a new family! We went to Louisiana to see Cory's family, and go to our friend Adrian's wedding (Cory was a groomsman). She did wonderfully in the car, and MawMaw babysat her for us two nights in a row! The rehearsal dinner and wedding were so much fun, and it was really great to introduce Penny to everyone. She also came with us to Cory's cousin's birthday party, and to his grandparents' house. She is a great little traveler.

Here she is with my Nana and Papa:

One month old!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Expectations vs. Reality

On having a baby:

Expectations: You won't know all the answers. Duh.
Reality: Most of the time you know all the possible answers, and have no idea which is the right one, and every time you ask someone for advice it will be different. You will trust your pediatrician, but you will still wonder if you're doing the right thing.

Expectations: Falling totally in love with my baby, instantly.
Reality: Being instantly wowed by my baby, but taking a while for the deeper bond to develop.

Expectations: Not getting enough sleep.
Reality: Getting even less sleep than that.

Expectations: Being a parent would be fun.
Reality: Seeing my husband become a parent would be powerfully emotional (and fun!).

Expectations: Being an emotional wreck the first week back at work.
Reality: Being glad to have an outlet for adult conversation, and a full paycheck again.

Expectations: Being a "different mom" who wasn't part of that exclusive "mommy club" that seems to exist.
Reality: Being glad to have friends who have been through the early stages of motherhood already to know I wasn't alone in my frustrations about parenting, and to share in the joys that seem mundane outside of that perspective.

Expectations: Wanting to break out of the house often, and socialize as much as possible (with baby).
Reality: Being torn between being sad for not being invited to many events (wanting to socialize) and trying to keep the baby on a good sleeping schedule (wanting to stay home).

Expectations: Breastfeeding would either work or it wouldn't, and I would adjust accordingly.
Reality: Breastfeeding sort of works, and we do a combo of nursing and formula.

Expectations: Seeing her smile would brighten up any bad day.
Reality: Even better than expectations.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Penny's Birth Story

I want to go ahead and write this down before I forget the details (and I'm sure I have forgotten some already). I had a wonderful pregnancy. I felt so happy all the time. I wasn't sick much and didn't gain much weight. It had taken us a while to get pregnant so I was grateful for every day of it.

Toward the end, my blood pressure started to go up. It never turned into pre-eclampsia, but I did have a couple of short stays in the hospital for testing (a couple of hours at 35 weeks 6 days, and a couple of days at 36 weeks 6 days). I was on bedrest from the first hospital visit until delivery, and eventually put on medication for my blood pressure. Penny looked great at every ultrasound, but they were monitoring me very closely. Finally, my doctor said it was time to go ahead and induce at 37 weeks, 6 days. I was due on March 17 (St. Patrick's Day!), but Wednesday, March 2 at 4 am found me and Cory in the lobby of our hospital, checking in to have our baby!

I got called back around 4:30, and they hooked me up to an IV, checked me, and strapped on the monitors. I was worried about getting any pain meds too early because I was trying to avoid a C-section if the induction didn't go well, so I didn't get any right away. I wasn't feeling any pain that early, anyway. I was really shaky because I was so nervous - this wasn't how I had pictured having my baby! My nurses were really great, though, and Cory was so supportive. I made him take notes so I would remember when everything happened, and he acted as liaison for all the communications with friends and family.

By around 8am, the doctor came by and broke my water. After that, the contractions really picked up! I was starting to have to breathe through them. They told me it would take 20 minutes for an anesthesiologist to get to the room to have an epidural, and just to let them know when I was ready. I still held off for a while. I really wanted to experience labor for myself. The best way I was able to describe it that day was, "it feels like my uterus is in a trash compactor." Haha! My personal goal was to make it at least halfway dilated, and then if I was miserable I would get the epidural. I had to get to the personal point where it was scarier not to get it than to get it. The contractions got a lot stronger, and after getting checked again, I went ahead and got it. It took on the left side stronger than the right, but they rolled me on my side and it evened out.

Around 10am or so, the family started coming to the hospital and asking to visit. I had been worried about them all seeing me in a lot of pain, but since I had already had the epidural, I let them in. Cory's family had come up from Louisiana the day before, so we had all the grandparents there, plus my grandparents, my sister and her husband, Cory's brother, and our friend Sarah. It was a full house! Everybody came and hung out for a while, and around 12pm I think, I got checked again and I was already at 8cm. I told everyone I wanted to take a nap to rest up for what was coming up, but we all kept talking and visiting, and an hour later, I was ready to go! So much for that nap!

The doctor told the nurses to get ready and have me practice push while she went back over to her office to continue her regular schedule of office visits. Little did she know I didn't need much practice! They had me push for about five minutes and Penny just came right on down! They called the doctor back, and then I had to wait and not push while we waited for her to come back. Once she got in, it was all business. Another 10-15 minutes of pushing, and at 1:41 pm, out came our little girl! I immediately started crying, and they put her on my chest. Ten fingers, ten toes, beautiful and healthy and pink. 6 pounds, 13 ounces.

My blood pressure improved as soon as I delivered, so we both went home on time and in great shape. Our little family. :-)

FO: Elenka dress

I'm going to start posting some of the things I'm knitting. I've been bad in the past about not finishing a few projects, so I figure I'll post things as I finish them. FO means "finished object," and I just recently finished knitting the Elenka dress from Knitty for my niece, Katie. It's made with a cotton yarn called Cotton-Ease.

Here's the final product - this was a really fun pattern and went quickly!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Changing gears a little...

So, it has been a really long time since I've blogged! I've been getting multiple requests to start blogging again, and I have a really great reason.
Penelope Ann
born 3/2/2011 at 1:41 pm
We love our Penny so much! Look for more posts soon!