Thursday, December 31, 2009

The past year...a reflection


How quickly a year passes...and how quickly things change over the course of a year.

Almost exactly a year ago we returning from our impromptu trip to Quebec City. We had the time off, knew we wanted to go somewhere, and ended up in Quebec in a last minute deal. We had a wonderful time in a very quaint and European city. We dined and explored and did a little skiing (or falling I should say). We came back recharged for 2009 not knowing what was in store for us.

Matt and I overlooking the cute shopping area in Quebec

We returned to the states, did some visiting with his family and got ready for what we hoped would be a productive year. Goals and resolutions floated around our heads...we both wanted to get healthy, eat better, work out more, keep a clean house, get organized, pay off debt...the list went on and on. We knew that a family might be in our future, but we were really looking to the summer for that. We had a big vacation to Europe coming up that we were very excited about!

In February that all changed. We decided to give this whole "trying" thing a whirl and we all know what happened next...

A beautiful site to see...

So we kept it a secret...for a while. We wanted to enjoy our Europe trip and knew that everyone would worry about me pushing myself to see too much if they knew. So we went and had a wonderful last adventure.

Matt and I in Edinburgh

We came back to the states (again) ready to slowly tell family and friends our great news. We were immensely happy! We found a church that we felt had a deep sense of community, our baby was growing, and then we started home renovations...you know about the joy that provided. I went to New York and got larger with each passing day. Before we knew it October was here and the baby wasn't waiting any longer...

Happy!

I remember driving to the hospital thinking that it was the last time I would be going anywhere or doing anything not a mommy. Looking back I think L&D went fairly well...and the outcome was great!

In the Nursery

The last part of 2009 has been busy with getting to know this tiny creature that God has entrusted us with. She has taught us so much about simple happiness and joy. We have loved introducing her to the world.

Our angel!

If you had asked us if this was where we thought we would be we would have laughed a year ago...now we can't imagine it any other way! The three of us look forward to 2010 with anticipation and faith that good things will come!










Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Massive Recall

We recently purchased Roman shades for our three living room windows. I had been wanting Roman shades for quite some time, but quite frankly could not afford the outrageous prices most stores were asking for them. The week before MacKenzie came to join us we were walking around Target (in efforts to get her to come out) and saw brown Roman shades on clearance. It took several trips to several different Targets to collect the correct size and color (and one of them is still a slightly different brown from the rest...but it is very difficult to tell), but we got all three windows covered for about 30 bucks. We are happy for our shades and like the extra warmth they bring to our increasingly brown living room.

Recently however we read an article about a different brand shade being recalled. While these shades are different from ours we still looked at the article to see why. We then became frustrated with the reasoning behind the recall. I completely agree with the idea that a child could, theoretically, grab the shade cord and wrap it around their neck causing strangulation. However, where is the parent accountability factor? When will parents be held accountable for actually taking care of their child rather than simply recalling every device that has some contributing factor in the unfortunate death of a child. There are numerous devices in stores that one can purchase quite inexpensively that will take a cord, wind it up, and make it impossible for a child to get to. Additionally, one could also check on their child every once in awhile to make sure they aren't accidentally doing something that could be harmful to them. I realize that I am a new parent, but I would hope that I would check on my child who was playing with enough frequency that something like this would not happen.

Matt and I see the constant recalls of products (even though there are some products that need to be recalled) as more of a blame game that is becoming more and more prevalent in our society. I completely understand that if something happens to your child that you would want someone or something to blame, but is this really the way to go?

All of this being said...I will not be removing my Roman shades, but do hope that I can prevent this from happening to MacKenzie or any other child that comes into contact with my window coverings...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Christmas!

We had a fairly decent Christmas this year. It is difficult with three sets of parents to make sure everyone gets quality time with us (and especially now with the baby). It was also challenging because we knew Matt would have to work Christmas Eve until 3 and we thought he would have to work the day after Christmas as well making a few short hours available to run around visiting. In the end we made a schedule that worked well for us and MacKenzie. We also worked to set the precedent that our children (unless it is a special trip) will wake up in their own home Christmas morning. We want that to always be the same and to be a special time for us (and whomever wants to join) to open presents, listen to music, have a special breakfast and enjoy quiet time. It ended up that we spent Christmas Eve in College Station with Matt's family, my mom, Fred, sister, her boyfriend, and his little girl came Christmas morning, and we went to my Dad's Christmas afternoon. We also spent the evening of the 26th at my mom's with her extended family. We had some wonderful food and enjoyed all of the visiting. MacKenzie did really well and did not fuss when passed from person to person. We are looking forward to next year when we can start talking to her about why we celebrate Christmas and she will even be able to open her own presents (I think...)!

While Christmas is not just about the presents, it is nice to look for and give presents, as well as to receive things someone thinks you will like. We are very glad that our family has listened when we tell them what a big baby we have because all of the clothes she received fit or are big for her to grow into. We did not receive any 3 month (even though she is only 2 months) which is good because we are about to have to pack all of the clothing up for her. We enjoyed opening her presents and did not mind getting a few little goodies for ourselves along the way!

Here are a few pictures of our busy days!

Matt likes to hold her and fall asleep while watching t.v.

MacKenzie and her PawPaw (my dad)

Santa brought us a good present this year!

Chloe, Jesse, and Auntie J

Popi, MacKenzie, Grammy KiKi

We even got Aunt McKay to hold her...

Getting McKay to hold her was a really big deal. We would love a baby cousin on this side of the family for MacKenzie to play with...we think it might be awhile though. Perhaps our next child will have a play mate and MacKenzie will just have to be left out and have to entertain herself...poor little MacKenzie...

Merry Christmas to everyone!!!

Blackberry Cobbler

I didn't get any pictures of the cobbler I made which is too bad...it was lovely. Here is the method/recipe anyways...

You need a double pie crust. I simply used the Pillsbury pre-made roll out crust...I have an infant so I am allowed to take shortcuts...it is just as good anyways.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Mix 4 containers of fresh blackberries (approx 5 cups or so) with 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar, two teaspoons of cinnamon, two tablespoons of flour (I used tapioca flour for extra thickening), and 1/4 cup of Brandy (you could also use orange liqueur or orange juice if you are averse to alcohol). In a 9x9 baking dish place the bottom pie crust, scoop in berry mixture, dot with half a stick of butter, and cover with other crust (I cut and wove into a lattice top). Sprinkle a bit of sugar over the crust. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the mixture is hot and bubbly.

This cobbler was very easy and took no time to assemble. It tasted as good as the frozen cobblers and had the benefit of being mostly homemade. I wish I had a picture of it, but alas...no dice.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas spirit

Earlier this week I was having trouble with a lack of Christmas spirit. Between getting things settled with MacKenzie, going back to work, and getting out of work for the break things sort of snuck up on us. We had done the obligatory Christmas parties, giving to charity, making cookies, watching movies, listening to Christmas music, decorating and such. We even saw the Star presentation, watched The Nativity Story (not a bad movie at all), and I reflected on what the season really meant. How could I not appreciate the true meaning of Christmas? Christmas is a time to commemorate the birth of a child who changed the world...and I should really understand that this year because of the birth of our little girl who changed our world. I then realized (as we all do at some point) that Christmas is so multi-faceted that it is understandable to be in tune with one side of Christmas and not the other. I was truly feeling the spiritual side of Christmas in reflection of our own child, but I was not into the secular side. This was a disappointment to me because I really enjoy the Christmas season. I like all of the time spent with family and friends because it is one time of year that people truly try to get together and enjoy time together. I like all of the food and smells associated with this time of year. I enjoy finding gifts and little treats for people in my life (this year was way too easy). I like watching movies and drinking hot cocoa and all of those other wonderful traditions that we should do all year round, but instead try to cram into a month or so. My mom had the same lack of spirit as I did, so we have really worked on picking up each other's mood over the past few days. While we might not be the regular Christmas elves that we usually are, we aren't the Grinch and Scrooge that we felt like earlier and look forward to this special time with joy.

Regardless, we are looking forward to MacKenzie's first Christmas and her two month birthday today!

Yes, that is MacKenzie in a stocking...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

8 Weeks!

MacKenzie,

Today, in less than an hour, you will be 8 weeks old! The time has disappeared and we already have so many memories with you. You have done so many things this last month. Thanksgiving was a wonderful time where you got to meet your Aunt Dena, Uncle Sol, Cousin Solena, and Uncle Stephan. Cousin Solena loved to hold her "baby cousin", the two of you will be great friends one day (a bigger post on that to come). The biggest thing you did (and mommy was very worried about it) was going all the way up to Oklahoma to visit family. You did so wonderfully that all of my concerns went away. Everyone there seemed to love you as much as Daddy and I...if that is even possible. You also got your first obligatory "screaming baby" on Santa picture...we will write more about that later!

You have grown up in so many ways. You are definitely more interactive and rather than merely having times you are awake waiting to go back to sleep you have times where you actually play and socialize with anyone around. Some of your favorite things to do are to lay down and stare at the lights or to sit in your bouncer. Whether it is on purpose or not you kick at the toys on the bouncer and make it move around. Sometimes Mommy and Daddy can even get a full meal in together while you sit in the bouncer! You love to smile and give us big gummy smiles all the time. When Daddy comes into the room you automatically look to where his voice is coming from. You have the craziest hair that stands up and sticks up all around your head, the only way it will stay down is if there is enough oil in it to weigh it to your head. There is a lot of debate over what your hair color will be. Sometimes it looks blond, sometimes light brown, and sometimes looks auburn red. Seems like you are making us wait to find out. Your eyes are still blue and are even bluer when you wear blue...which we can't put you in often because then everyone thinks you are a little boy! When you play you are starting to "talk" and you coo and "yelp" at us a lot. MacKenzie, you are an amazing eater and getting to be a great sleeper. The few baby sitters we have had say they can swaddle you, give you the pacifier, lay you down and you will go to sleep for good naps. You do not do that for mommy though, if mommy tries to lay you down you get very upset. Mommy does not mind holding you while you sleep, she would much rather do that that finish the laundry or clean the house anyways. MacKenzie, we want to thank you for the joy you have brought to our family. You are such a wonderful blessing and we love you!

Love,
Mom and Dad
Such a happy Santa's Helper
She's a Ninja!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Big Gummy Smiles!

It has been a lot of fun in the last month to figure out what catches MacKenzie's attention. We love that she truly is smiling at us more and more...

video

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Back to work...

I am back to work today. The past 7.5 weeks off have been wonderful, I have so enjoyed getting to care for and get to know my little girl. Today is not going to be easy, but I have four days of finals then Christmas break to spend a bit more time with MacKenzie. Then it will be Daddy's turn to spend a couple of weeks with her...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Diaper change


So this post may not be what you are thinking it will be about. If you would like a post all about the wonderful world of changing MacKenzie's diaper, then please let me know. This post is about changing her diaper size (and a little about changing her diaper).

MacKenzie quickly grew out of her size newborn diapers. They were an adventure in themselves. The hospital automatically uses size 1 diapers and folds down the front to avoid excess "rub-age" on their little umbilical stubs. Thus, when we got home we were still using the hospital freebies of size 1s. When we ran out of those I told Matt to go look upstairs for the smaller diapers that we had received. Many friends had bestowed diapers of various sizes upon us and a few friends gave us hand me downs of opened diaper packages. I thought we had some newborn diapers, but Matt insisted that we did not. So we continued to use the size 1s. Once I mustered the energy to make the trek upstairs, I discovered that we did indeed possess many newborn diapers. I quickly brought them downstairs to use them before our dinosaur passed them up. A wonderful thing about the newborn diapers is the notch that is cut out for the umbilical stub. We were able to use most of them before she outgrew them and passed the 10 that were remaining on to her cousin who was born two weeks after she was.

In the past week or so, Matt has really been pushing for MacKenzie to move up to the size 2 diapers. We have had a blow-out or two, but I felt that they have been mainly due to our putting on the diaper rather than the diaper size not functioning properly. Maybe a small part of me was simply sad that she was passing through sizes so quickly and I am not ready for her to grow up as fast as she is (she is almost 7 weeks). I finally conceded that when we finished the box of size 1s we could move on to size 2s. Matt joyfully purchased the size 2s (strangely this is the only size diaper we did not receive from family or friends...lots of size 3s to look forward to though) while I treasured each and every size 1 that was left.

Last night/ Early this morning was the last of the size 1 diapers. I shuffled over to her pack and play to change her before she ate. I grabbed her last size 1 diaper and a wipe, positioned it under her bottom, got ready to fasten the tabs, and felt a warm fountain of baby pee christen my arm. MacKenzie told me in her own way that regardless of Mommy (and even Daddy) being ready to move on to size 2 diapers, she was a big girl and ready for the change (ha ha...change). I threw away the wet size 1, broke into the size 2 box and moved on.

Sadly, the size 2 diapers do not possess the "wet" indicator line that the newborn and size 1 diapers did. I guess we will have to start learning how to tell if a diaper needs to be changed the old fashioned way.

A bath tub picture just for the heck of it!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Source of Frustration

There is a constant source of frustration for Matt and I, and hopefully for Aggie fans everywhere. To us, and maybe it is merely because we are on the Aggie side, it seems that Texas A & M has to work that much harder than many other teams in order to garner respect. This is by no means a post devoted to the idea that A & M is superior to all other teams, but it is a post devoted to the idea that Aggies do not get as much respect or credit as I feel we deserve.

To prove my point, watch any nationally covered A & M vs. Whomever sporting event. More often than not, when you listed to the commentators, there is less talk about how wonderful the Aggies are doing and more talk about how terrible the other team is doing. For Matt and I, it feels like there is an automatic assumption that in order for our team to be doing well, other teams have to be performing poorly. This is probably consistent across the board, but Matt and I mainly notice it during football and men's basketball. Listen for it yourself, tell us if we are crazy.

Additionally, there is an automatic stigma in society that Texas A & M is terrible at sports. Looking at sports in general we are consistently competitive in all sports (excluding football more recently, to be discussed later) and have numerous Big XII championships to boast as well as some National Championships. I fully recognize that this is Texas and football is king, but we have to give the other athletes that work hard on our campus some credit. As far as football is concerned, it seems we have fallen on some hard times. Our team's performance is erratic at best, but things seem to be looking up. While this season was barely a winning season, we were more than competitive in the BIG game vs t.u.. Many people were saying "Beat that Texas A & M", when they probably should have been saying "We better step up our game next year". The number 3 ranked team in the nation was almost toppled by a completely unranked team composed almost entirely of freshman. We have some work to do Ags, but we might be singing a different tune in the next few years.

Speaking of singing tunes, regardless of our standing in the eyes of others, the most comforting aspect of being an Aggie is the fact that we will always stand together to sing our fight song and to watch the best band in the nation...


Regardless of how our team does, whenever possible, you can find us in the stands and if we are not there in person, we are part of the Spirit of the 12th Man. Whoop!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Part of Thanksgiving weekend

As part of our Thanksgiving plans Matt and I decided to take MacKenzie up to Oklahoma to visit his maternal side of the family. The decision to take her all the way up was not an easy one to make. We tried to see if there was a possibility of us flying because I could feed her in transit, but it was not going to work out (mainly because we would have to pay exorbitant amounts of money to fly in a propeller plane). So we made the decision to leave after she fell asleep for her "big chunk" of sleep on Thanksgiving night. We prayed for a good trip and we were rewarded. Matt was able to make good time because there was no traffic and MacKenzie only woke to feed once (and threw it all up causing us to need to quickly change her). We got to Oklahoma around 5 a.m., fed MacKenzie, handed her off to her Grandma Dee, and went to sleep.

Later we woke up to see our little girl being admired by the family. We are glad that we were able to see some of the family and for MacKenzie to meet some of her relatives. Matt spent most of the day helping his Grandpa, Dad, and Uncle fix the water heater. I spent time with the "women folk" and really enjoyed handing her off to Grandma Dee for a couple of hours so I could take a nap. There is such a difference between napping when she naps (and still having to listen for her or care for her if she needs it) and napping when someone else can take care of her needs. Overall she did great and did not get as fussy as we thought she would with all of the people fighting over who got to hold her next!

Matt took this artsy photo while driving around in the pasture

Auntie McKay, Great-Grandma, and Grandma Dee
(We ALWAYS hang out in the kitchen, I love it)

Cuddled up in Great-Grandpa's arms

Getting some love from Great-Grandma

Matt with some of his favorite people in the world!

While driving back from Oklahoma, the GPS took us the long route and we got stuck in Fort Worth traffic so we called the trip quits in College Station and spent the night with Matt's parents. Sunday night (back in Houston) I became really sick and worried that it was the flu. I did not want to come down with the flu and I really worried about passing it on to Matt or the baby. Thankfully (that seems ironic) it was a case of mastitis (probably from irregular feeding during our trip). I definitely felt worse than I had in a while, but with rest and antibiotics I am recovering.

Hopefully I will get some pictures of the "other" parts of Thanksgiving up soon!

Snow Day!




video

For those who have not heard, Houston (and most of Texas) has snow! In our part of town it never stuck really well, but you could definitely see the flurry of snow almost all day long. It was a nice excuse to stay cuddled up with MacKenzie for most of the day, but I had to take her out in the snow for a minute to get a picture or two. The video is us watching from the window, but I am not so sure she likes the actual cold as much as she likes the excuse to be warm and cozy (but I cannot blame her).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving

What are we thankful for...do you really need to ask...

This picture says it all. We have a healthy baby who seems immensely happy with her place in the world. Last year for Thanksgiving we had no thoughts of expanding our family, now we couldn't imagine our family without MacKenzie.

I am thankful for all of the love and support of our family and friends, know that those ties extend beyond blood and beyond continents (yes, Martha...that means you guys too!). I am thankful that Matt, MacKenzie, and I all have each other and that we can spend time together. I am thankful that we are able to provide for ourselves and help out others who ask. We are thankful for the endless blessings that seem to be bestowed upon us and we look forward to a joyous season of celebration!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

4 weeks old!

A friend of ours...Cassidy tries to write a "letter" to her baby girl every month to watch her progress so I thought I would try to do the same her.

MacKenzie,
Today you are 4 weeks old and Mommy and Daddy are a little shocked as to where the time went. Four weeks ago today Mommy was lying in a hospital bed with you near by in your bassinet and to be quite truthful I was a little shell shocked. One minute we were impatiently awaiting your arrival and the next minute you were here (or at least that is how it seems now). You have changed so much in the past 4 weeks. You have grown so much too! It is amazing to see you stretching and filling out your bassinet, clothes, and our arms. You barely seem like a newborn to us anymore. We laugh as we put on some of your clothes and see that the arms or legs don't quite reach down to your ankles or wrists! You have already gained a lot of control over your neck and back muscles so you surprise us when you lift your head off of our chests when we hold you. Today, Mommy set you down on your play mat so she could use the restroom and when she came back you had rolled over to your side! We love to watch you smile in your sleep and we feel like real smiles will be greeting us soon along with a laugh or two. You have begun to reach out for things and although it will be some time before you are successful, Mommy and Daddy love when you reach out for our face! One of the favorite things that you do is when you are sleeping and relaxed and you throw your hands in the air like a little rapper. Mommy and Daddy cannot help but laugh at that. You are an amazing eater and we are proud to watch you eat well and to see you grow as the days go by. You like to sleep on your side, unless someone is holding you and then you just like to sleep! You are becoming more and more alert each day and Daddy loves holding you as you look around the room. You are most alert if there are lights on because you like to stare at the lights like a little bug! We have spent lots of time with Grammy KiKi and Poppy, and know that there are many other family members and friends who want to spend more time with you. We are excited to see where the next month takes us, know that our heart grows more and more for you each day. We love you MacKenzie!

Hand holding!

Big feet

Our little Family

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Random things I keep leaving out

Here are a few shots from my "belly" photo shoot with my step father. We had to do the obligatory Mom and Dad compare their belly shot!
Matt was exceptionally sweet and good natured and let his love for our little baby show in the pictures!
This was my idea...we are hoping to go through some of them and send them to blue bell in hopes of getting free ice cream for life!

We also have been slowly going through the plethora of pictures that we have surrounding MacKenzie's birth. I began to tear up a little looking through the pictures from the day she was born, she has been such a blessing to us!

This picture is the last picture of Mattie and I as "non parents", this is right before we started to push
And this is our first family photo! We are all pinked out! Matt went out into the waiting room wearing a pink shirt (he also had a blue shirt packed) and all moms who have delivered get the pink gown. It was a nice coincidence that it goes with our little girl!

Also last Monday, MacKenzie got to meet her Uncle Martin. Matt's parents and Martin came down to visit for the day. Uncle Martin interacted with MacKenzie perfectly laughing at her and all of her expressions. I think they will have a wonderful relationship some day. I didn't get any pictures of Martin with MacKenzie, but Deb has some, we will see if we can wrangle them away from her.

Lastly, a lot of people have been asking what we call our little girl. A lot of times we are still using Baby girl, Sweetie, and names of that nature. I have gotten into the weird habit of calling her "Girlfriend" especially when she is fussing at me because she is hungry. My mom, stepfather, and many others have picked up the Mac portion of her name and use that almost exclusively. They like to say she is having a "Mac Attack" whenever she is upset. Matt's mom picked up the Kenzie for a while, but I don't know if it will stick, we will see what she calls her when we visit for Thanksgiving next week!

Old update...home rennovations

I may have posted one of these pictures before, but I never concluded the home renovations.

We obviously finished, for the most part. We have all concrete floors downstairs and laminate upstairs with the exception of the upstairs bathroom. We have repainted the entire inside of the house with the exception of the downstairs closets. We went a little bolder with colors that some people expected, but they are still "normal" enough for us. Our bathroom is blue, the kitchen is cream and chocolate brown, the loft is a darker maroon than before, the living room is green (as seen in the picture below) and the rest of the house are two different neutral colors.
The painter nearly made us lose our mind. What should have taken between one and two weeks ended up taking 4-5 weeks. He never really finished, I made Matt pay him to get him out of our house. There are still several touchups that Matt and I will need to take care of, but living at my mom's and in our own wrecked house was too much for this pregnant (at the time) woman to handle.

Below is a picture of the laminate floors (in progress) and the maroon t.v. room. We are really pleased with the floors (both upstairs and downstairs) and are glad that we are starting to get "resettled" in.
We still need to get the extra bedroom organized (it has turned into a jumbo storage closet) and fix up the desk we moved into the loft, but we are pleased with our progress so far, and very glad that MacKenzie seems to be thriving in the home we have made for her!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pico!

One of my favorite things to indulge on is chips and some sort of dip. Since I was in middle school, Dad and Mom would throw a Christmas party for all of their business associates. I always enjoyed the party, but really enjoyed the days after when I got to indulge in all of the leftover food, especially the dip. There are very few dips that I do not like...spinach, green onion, regular onion, bean, 7 layer...the list is endless. The possibilities only get better when you breach the Mexican food "dip-age". My mom ate endless amounts of chips and salsa when pregnant with me and this is a tradition of sorts that has continued. In fact, we often have to laugh at Mexican food restaurants when they bring those teeny tiny little saucers of salsa because we need so much more for our mexican food.

I will first post about the "easiest" of the Mexican dips...pico de gallo. It is a simple method.

Chop and seed roma tomatoes (you can use whatever tomatoes you have, but Romas are cheap)
Chop red onion and cilantro
Cut a jalapeno in half and take out the seeds and most of the white "ribs" (this is where the heat is...so proceed with caution in using it...and wash your hands)...dice the jalapeno.
Throw all produce together.
Add lime juice, red wine vinegar (just a splash), and salt to taste.

This is simply the basics...adjust levels of the ingredients to your own particular desires.

Enjoy with tortilla chips!

I will try to do a "series" of posts about salsa and guacamole next!

A week full of firsts

This week we have done a lot...MacKenzie has has a lot of new experiences too!

On Sunday we went on MacKenzie's first big, nonfamily social outing. We went to our small group from church where she sat in Daddy's lap until she got hungry. Daddy is so proud to show off his baby girl so it was nice to sit and visit with grownups for a bit. We then went to a friends surprise party. The place was packed celebrating his passing of the bar exam. With all of the adults mingling and children playing the house was exceptionally noisy, but that did not phase our little girl. She slept in our arms the whole night and only woke a few times. We are very glad that she is doing great so far with our mission of socializing her early. We want her to be well adjusted to being around other people.

On Monday we went to her two week pediatrician appointment. MacKenzie is growing like a weed. She has gained back all of her birth weight and then some, she is now 9 pounds 3 ounces and 22 inches long. The doctor was very impressed that she has gained so much weight on exclusive breast feeding. I am so proud that I can provide her with all of the nourishment she needs. It helps us get through those late night feedings a little easier! Also on Monday MacKenzie's cousin, Cohen, was born. She has not been able to see him, but I am sure that there are plenty of play times and cousin fights in their future!

Wednesday, Daddy had off so we went errand running and Daddy took us to lunch. It is such a special treat for us to go to lunch together and I love that now MacKenzie can go as well. We love spending time together as a family.

Below is a picture of MacKenzie in her bouncer seat. I included this picture in the blog because before I had my own child I never quite understood how important a good bouncer seat was. It is solely because of this item that I am able to take a shower some days or get dinner going. This bouncer is Mommy's best friend because as long as MacKenzie is fed and changed it can provide me with at least 15 minutes to get a few things done. For that, I am eternally grateful!


MacKenzie has also enjoyed some good snuggle time with Daddy and Mommy over the past few days. She is such a sweet little girl and I hope we continue to raise her as such!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Two weeks old

MacKenzie is now two weeks old. She is changing daily and is growing faster than we can keep up with. It is a little sad for us to grab clothes she hasn't worn yet, hold it up to her, and realize that cramming her long body into a little bitty outfit would be more frustrating than beneficial. Fortunately for us, there have only been a few onesies that she has not been able to wear. We have tried to put everything else on her at least once. She is also learning that her body does not have to be curled up into a ball all the time anymore. As you can see in the picture below she does enjoy stretching out quite a bit.


We do not have a plethora of new information to report about little Miss MacKenzie. We have really enjoyed watching her expressions and growth over the past week. We have had a few rough nights, but it is only because she likes to stay awake while mommy and daddy want to sleep. She has not been crying a huge deal once one of us get up with her to rock her, which is good because at least one of us is getting sleep while the other one is up with her. This is my baby girl almost exactly two weeks after she was born.


We go to the pediatrician tomorrow for her two week appointment. We are hoping she is back at her birth weight (I would be very surprised if she has not surpassed that) and that everything checks out good.

In other news, Mattie has been doing awesome at the bank the past few months. We have needed a bit of a boost in business and that boost has appeared several times over. Mattie is enjoying his job, but I think he misses his girl (girls) when he is at work. Apparently my classes are being little darlings while I am gone (sarcasm) which is making it that much easier for me to want to go back in December and January (more sarcasm).

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hiccups

video

Our baby likes to hiccup...she hiccuped a lot in the womb and even had hiccups during labor...this is a trend that has continued as you can see!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Our Due Date

Today, November 5th is our due date. We have looked forward to this day for months with excitement and anticipation. Of course, MacKenzie had plans of her own and has made this day more routine than we had planned or thought. It is so strange to think that 38 weeks ago we started this journey. We hoped that something wonderful would happen and that we would be given a child, but knew that sometimes things like this take time. Two weeks later we saw the positive pregnancy test that let us know our little girl was on the way. The following couple of weeks we kept our gift a secret between the two of us. It was nice to have that special time where only the three of us knew about the little life growing inside of me. We cherish that time that we could just look at each other and smile knowing about our little baby. We sent as many good, strong, healthy thoughts her way as possible hoping that those good thoughts would help her cells divide and multiply and that she could grow into the child she was meant to be. A few weeks later we went on our first family vacation. It was great to get "one last hurrah" in for mommy and daddy, but almost as exciting was coming back ready to tell family and friends. We told family slowly, treasuring each experience of letting people into our secret. By the time we made it to the end of the first trimester we had announced to the world that our baby was coming. It made that time go by so quickly. Our first doctor's appointment was in late March. Although we had our positive pregnancy test, I cannot forget the joy to hear the doctor confirm that we had a baby on the way. Seeing our little baby on the ultrasound was an unexpected joy as well. We made it through the second and third trimester on such a high. For the most part, I had little to complain about except for workers on our home renovations. We just wanted everything perfect for our little one to come home to. We continued to go to the doctor and check in on our little one. We got extra ultrasounds to measure her progress and Matt and I enjoyed showing off the pictures of our stubborn baby. With November 5th approaching, we counted down the days with more and more enthusiasm. That is, we counted down the days until I went on bed rest. It was such a strange feeling to go from counting down days to counting up days since we knew that she was not ready to arrive. We wanted her to be the healthiest version of herself and coming 5 weeks early would have posed a difficult and challenging road for her and us. When she did decide to come two weeks early we were excited for her arrival. We finally got to see who the little one growing inside of me was. We had so many questions about who this baby was. Now we have so many questions about who she will be. We have already learned so much about who she is and who we are as parents in the time since she was born until her due date- today. The past 38 weeks have been more than we could have ever imagined and more than we could have ever asked for. We are so looking forward to guiding MacKenzie through life and seeing who she will be. Happy Due Date little MacKenzie...Mommy and Daddy love you very much!!!

From this...

To this...


Monday, November 2, 2009

1 week old

So we have had Baby Girl at home with us for one week and she has graced us with her presence for just over that time. We are so amazed by her each day and measure her progress with joy. We hate to jinx ourselves because she has already been such a good baby. In the past week she has been smiling more and more (and we don't care if it is gas related or not...we like the smiles anyways) and is getting great at opening her eyes and looking around. We are still speculating eye color, but so far they have remained blue. Her hair, which came out fairly dark is getting lighter. Matt says that it gets lighter with each washing, but it is apparent that the new hair that is coming in is definitely lighter. So we might have a blondie on our hands, it is exciting to see even those changes. She is being very good about feeding and if we keep up such good work we will feel very comfortable taking her out into public soon. We want to try to keep her safe during flu season as much as possible though so we will maintain a strict hands off policy with all those germy people out there!!! This past week daddy learned about making sure that MacKenzie was done with the last diaper before putting on a new one. He has had the experience of being used as extra diaperage a few times now. I think MacKenzie likes hearing his reaction to it...I know I do.

We handed out a bit of candy for Halloween and took MacKenzie across the street to meet our neighbors, but didn't do too much else. We did dress her up in a few outfits she received from friends Crystal and Katie and Mrs. Larsen.
MacKenzie covered in candy corn!

Her shirt glows in the dark and says "I love my mummy"

Daddy also went to the store to get a pumpkin which we hallowed out and stuck her inside for some pictures. It was too cute to resist, but pulling her back out of the pumpkin reminded me a little bit of her being pulled out of the womb. That part was definitely strange!

Our Pumpkin!

We are, as I said, amazed by her growth and development and hope to document different changes as much as possible. Here we have Daddy's thumb with her foot...

We are so happy with our Baby Girl...as if you couldn't tell and feel that she is doing an awesome job. We are continuing to adjust and still appreciate all of the family and friends who have come to see her and shown interest in her life. We love that she gets to feel a tremendous amount of love from the people around us!

Friday, October 30, 2009

might be a while

It might be a bit before I can post anything new and inspiring. We had our baby girl a week ago and are trying to manage that. I did have two great food experiences in the hospital...

First I learned that a midnight snack of peanut butter and honey graham crackers is AMAZING. Big kudos to Nurse Molly who brought that little bit of protein packed deliciousness into my life.

Second, if you have to order off the menu at Methodist Willowbrook, trust me when I say to go for the chicken fajitas. They were really good and fresh tasting and the tortilla rocked. It was the perfect amount of chewiness and would have been easy to make into a good taco. Top off the meal with their oatmeal cookie. It was the perfect balance of oat/cinnamon/raisin flavor and the consistency was soft with just enough give to make you feel like you are enjoying a nice dessert.

I will get back to better food posts soon!

39 weeks?!?

So here we are at 39 weeks and things are not looking like they are "supposed" to. My belly has definitely deflated over the past week. It is strange to think that our baby girl should be growing inside of me still. I would feel so sad to not have had the past week with her, but then I guess if I hadn't had the past week with her, I would not know to feel sad.

This is why we have a saggy belly: because Baby MacKenzie is out here in the world to be with us directly, rather than through mommy!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our little Aggie

We almost forgot to mention that we were very excited to see the Aggies Beat The Hell Outta Texas Tech on Saturday, MacKenzie's birthday. We are convinced that such a strong showing from the Fightin' Texas Aggie Football team is a direct tribute to our little girl and that she brought them good luck from a far...

Here is an article about the win! http://www.aggieathletics.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/102409aab.html


Home sweet home

Baby MacKenzie was ready to be released from the hospital much sooner than I was. We had to wait a good chunk of the day for mommy to take care of...we will call it business...before we could all go home. It was kind of nice being forced to sit around the hospital with no chance of visitors while the major storm passed through. Matt took a load of presents and bags to the house while I met with the lactation consultant to make sure Mommy and Baby were doing ok. It was indescribable to sit in the glider, feeding my baby girl, listening to the storm. I doubt there will be many moments in life that are as calming as that. Once mommy finally did her...um...duty...we were ready to go home. We got her dressed in the outfit that Auntie J and Grammy KiKi picked out for her. She loved the pink dress because it was not the typical pink dress that most babies go home in. She was all ready for her "Homecoming".

MacKenzie and Daddy yawning at each other


Her Homecoming dress...bright pink with a beautiful black sweater and matching pink bloomers! Look at how long she is!

The ride home was uneventful, Mattie went and got the truck since we were having such yucky weather. He wanted to make sure his girls were safe. We brought her into the house, very glad to be home.

Daddy carrying his baby girl inside

Baby MacKenzie has started to adjust to life at home pretty well. She is feeding pretty good, we are still working on getting more, longer feeds in...it will help her gain her birth weight back. She has been so mellow and calm so far that we feel really blessed to have her and hope that she is pretty good like this all of the time. Friends from our neighborhood stopped by last night, but we waited to have any other visitors. Grammy KiKi and Poppy are supposed to come by later, we are looking forward to having people come over, we just don't want to be overwhelmed. Last night we ate pizza from Papa Johns and watched some t.v. while we settled in to just being at home. Matt took over baby holding duty (until she feel asleep) after one of the late night feedings so mommy actually got some decent rest. We are all doing so well together!

This morning we had our first Mommy and Daddy bath. MacKenzie did great and squabbed a bit, but enjoyed being nice, clean, and warm afterwards. We went to the pediatrician as well today to check on how she was doing. They are rechecking her jaundice levels, but other than that she is doing well. When they rechecked her jaundice level she did not cry at all...such a good girl!!!

We will continue to let everyone know how we are doing and are so grateful for the support and love we have received from our friends and family. We are so thankful for our little girl and feel blessed to have her in our life!