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Evangeline Grace: 2 Months Update

31 Dec
My favorite milestone this past month is definitely her smiling.

My favorite milestone this past month is definitely her smiling.

Our sweet girl has learned to smile and happily shares a grin often.  She absolutely loves to cuddle, nurse, take baths, and smile at Daddy.  It is especially sweet when big brother Eli comes over to play with her and makes her grin from ear to ear.  I have been surprised at how much Eva and Elijah are enjoying one another.  I thought they would be older before they really “played” together.  At this point I feel like I have adjusted to having two children although I do still worry that I am going to leave one of them somewhere!

We ended up canceling her checkup two weeks ago because I had a nasty cold.  Last week we were traveling so Evangeline finally made it to her checkup today and weighed in at 14lbs 4 oz and 22 inches long.  She is actually 2 months and 2 weeks at this point.  No wonder all of her 3 month clothes were so tight!  😉  I am so thankful that Eva is healthy.  I was a little surprised at her weight gain but I guess she is just going to be a chubby little baby until she starts to crawl.  She has the most adorable chunky little legs I have ever seen!  Evangeline continues to be a curious little girl always wanting to look around.  She has also started to squirm and kick with her legs.  Sometimes we catch her putting her little hands in her mouth.  Already she seems to be quite dramatic and acts as though she is going to die if we don’t pick her up fast enough when she is hungry.  🙂

6 Weeks Old

6 Weeks Old

Thankfully Eva continues to be a great sleeper and usually sleeps a good 8 hours (except when we are traveling).  She still sleeps in our room at this point.  Evangeline recently decided that she hates bottles.  😦  We had to supplement the first few weeks with expressed breast milk and she had no problem taking a bottle.  Selfishly I would love to go out on a date with my husband longer than 3 hours so I am hoping that we can convince her to take one again.  Breastfeeding is great at this point and I believe I have made it over the two month hurdle.   I think that as a mother one of the sweetest milestones is when you are nursing your baby and they look up at you and smile and a pool of milk dribbles out of their mouth.  So precious!  If you haven’t had this happen then it probably just sounds weird but it melts my heart like butter every time!

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How Mommy is Recovering: My incision is healed at this point and I took my doctor’s advice about walking for 2 weeks before resuming any other type of exercise.  I have worked up to about 45 minute walks and would like to reach the hour mark before I join any of the aerobics classes at our gym.  Two weeks ago I was feeling a little tender on my right side after too much activity so I am trying to be careful not to push myself too hard.  I am noticeably less tired than I was a month ago and feel like I have a good handle on things.  Now I am just trying to enjoy each and every moment.  They grow so fast!  🙂

Happy Birthday Elijah & 20 Questions with Eli

15 Dec
Happy Birthday Eli.  We love you so much.

Happy Birthday Eli. We love you so much.

It is incredibly hard to believe that my sweet little boy is 4!  Everyone says children grow up so fast but it is so true.  He is such a delight and I am so thankful that God has given him to us.  For his birthday this year we decided to use the money we would usually spend on toys on an activity since he has so many toys.  We spent a wonderful morning at the Newport Aquarium.  Elijah was even able to touch a horseshoe crab and a star fish.  He was too scared to touch a baby shark though!

Touching a horseshoe crab and starfish.

Touching a horseshoe crab and starfish.

We really ejjoyed the Scuba Santa show at the Newport Aquarium.

We really enjoyed the Scuba Santa show at the Newport Aquarium.

They even had a show with Scuba Santa and a group of sharks.  If you look closely in the picture you can also see Santa’s elf who is holding a great big stick that he uses to smack the sharks when they get too close to Santa!

Evangeline turned 2 months old on Eli's birthday.

Evangeline turned 2 months old on Eli’s birthday.

This year I decided to interview Eli.  Hopefully I will remember to do this every year.  🙂

  1. Who is your favorite person in the whole world?   Baby Sister
  2. What is your favorite color?  Red
  3. What’s your favorite television show?  Leapfrog’s Numberland
  4. What’s your favorite outfit?  He had no answer for this one.  That is probably because we are always telling him to put pants on!  😉
  5. What sport do you like best?  Basketball
  6. What song do you love?  Jesus Loves Me
  7. What’s your favorite cereal?  Life
  8. Who is your best friend?  Baby Sister-note he usually refers to Eva as baby sister instead of Eva or Evangeline.
  9. What do you want to be when you grow up?  Eli said he wants to be a person!  He also said he wants to be a preacher.
  10. What is your favorite book?  I’ll Pray Anyway-a book about Daniel that he has partially memorized
  11. What are you really good at?  Playing
  12. Where do you wish you could go on vacation?  A bounce party
  13. What is your best memory?  When I kissed baby sister
  14. What would you buy if you had $1000?  Oreos & a baby doll
  15. What vegetable do you love the most?  Green Beans
  16. If you could have a wish, what would it be?  He had no idea.
  17. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?  Chocolate
  18. Who is your biggest hero?  Mommy
  19. What do you like to do best with your friends?  Play
  20. What do you hope you’ll get to do before your next birthday?  Play with baby sister a lot.

He is such a sweetheart and we love him so much!  I am so glad he was blessed with such a great birthday this year!

Frugal Things I Did Last Week

5 Dec
She is so happy with her frugal family!

She is so happy with her frugal family!

My sweet girl is 7 weeks old already!  I can hardly believe it.  My body feels like it has healed and I am no longer experiencing pain.  Hooray!  We are slowly adjusting to our new normal around here.  Our frugal ways have not kicked back in completely but we are making a little progress so I thought I would share what we were up to last week.  

Frugal Things I Did Last Week:

We hosted a birthday lunch for my Dad at our house on Sunday after church.  I made a simple BBQ from a pork loin and served it along with: Pasta Salad, Cole Slaw, Vegetarian Baked Beans, Pumpkin Cake/Cobbler, and Chocolate Cake.

Despite hosting Thanksgiving for 26 people I did not go to the grocery at all last week.  I knew the stores would be absolutely crazy and I wanted to avoid taking two young children out in the craziness.  This allowed me to avoid lots of extra impulse purchases that are much harder for me to resist around the holidays.

I baked a ham (along with the turkey) that I had to cook myself and saved about a dollar per pound.  This was actually my first time baking a full ham. I mixed up a glaze of honey, apple juice, and honey mustard.  I basted the ham about every 15 minutes and it tasted great!  It was so easy that I will probably try to bake one a couple of times a year.

I made Eva Grace's Thanksgiving peasant dress & Eli's matching tie shirt.

I made Eva Grace’s Thanksgiving peasant dress & Eli’s matching tie shirt.

I sewed curtains for one of the windows in the kitchen.  The week before I sewed curtains for the bathroom.  Now I am just trying to decide what style curtains to sew for the Family Room and Kitchen.

I made a Christmas canvas as a thank you to a couple in our church who allowed our family to stay at their cabin while they were visiting.

I made a Christmas canvas as a thank you to a couple in our church who allowed our family to stay at their cabin while they were visiting.

I went Black Friday shopping at Hancock Fabrics and Michaels.  I didn’t go crazy and compared to most years bought a small amount of fabric and notions.  Hancock Fabrics matched JoAnn’s 25% off your total purchase saving me extra money.  

We had a bunch of bananas that were going bad so I baked banana nut bread for our Thanksgiving Dessert Social at church.

I sewed a Christmas gift for one of my nieces.  No picture since her mama reads my blog! 😉

I gave my cousin her birthday gift.  I made her doll a Christmas Dress, headband, and two tiny school binders.  I used this tutorial for the headband and Simplicity 4786 for the doll dress.  I had the pattern on hand and have made it many times.  Everything I used to make her gift I had on hand.

Eli made jello jigglers.

Eli made jello jigglers.

I breastfed and cloth-diapered my daughter all week.  This is a substantial savings in our life every week!

What frugal things did you do last week?  

Evangeline Grace: 1 Month Update

13 Nov
Eva Grace at 1 month

Eva Grace at 1 month

I still can’t believe it!  My sweet girl is one month old.  In some ways this month has flown by and in other ways it has been a long month.  🙂  Evangeline is starting to look less like a newborn and more like a baby.  I am really enjoying how much more alert she is throughout the day.  We have seen a couple smiles but have been unable to capture one on camera yet.  We all find ourselves acting ridiculous trying to coax one out of her!  At her checkup on Friday she weighed 10lbs 6oz (minus the 4 oz cloth diaper she was wearing) and measured 21 inches long.  I am really excited about her weight gain since she had a little trouble gaining weight in the beginning.  The day we left the hospital she weighed only 7 lbs 6 oz so she has gained 3 pounds this month!

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I am so thankful she has gained enough weight that we can discontinue supplementation.  The pediatrician also said that I don’t have to wake her up every three hours to nurse if she is sleeping at night.  (I had to wake Eli up as a baby.)  Last night she slept 6.5 hours straight so I feel great today!  It’s nice that I don’t have to stress out about her weight gain now.  I don’t mind pumping but I did not like giving her a bottle since it made her gassy.  Breastfeeding is going much better than it was a few weeks ago.  Hooray!  Eva Grace & I have had our fair share of breastfeeding struggles the past couple of weeks and have really benefited from sheer determination and the help of a wonderful lactation consultant Bethany Hanser at Motherhood Express in Florence.  We’ve been to see her twice and she has been so helpful!  She is very reasonably priced but I would happily drop a large chunk of money on a good lactation consultant.  It makes a huge difference!

 

3 weeks old

3 weeks old

Eva Grace is such a sweet baby and is bringing much joy to our family.  It’s still weird to think that I have 2 children.  I’m planning on taking them both to the grocery store so I guess reality will really set in then!  😉  My recovery is going well.  I am not fully recovered yet and still experience a little tenderness on my right side.  I’m still trying to limit myself on stairs for right now but other than that I feel pretty good.  Despite having a 3-year-old I have been able to rest a lot more this time.  I have realized that the best thing I can do for the first two months is to take it easy and allow my body to heal.

nov 2013 067

It has been fun to watch Brandon fall in love with his baby girl. I think she already has him wrapped around her little finger.  Eva Grace loves to fall asleep on Daddy’s chest in the evenings.

The proud big brother.

The proud big brother.

Elijah has turned into an excellent big brother!  He is always telling me Eva is hungry whenever she makes the tiniest bit of noise.  My favorite thing is when Eli comes to me and mimics the faces that Eva is making.  It is hilarious!  I will have to try to capture one on camera soon.  Eli loves to fetch things for me which has been a big help while I am recovering.  He also enjoys helping me change her diaper.  I always let him pick out which diaper she is going to wear next.  (Since we cloth diaper this is a little exciting.)  Eli and I continue to have alone time reading or working on an activity.  He had a wonderful time finding a caterpillar and making a habitat for it.

I must say that I have really enjoyed becoming a mommy of two this past month.  It has been such a sweet blessing from the Lord and we are so thankful.  Part of me is glad that Eva has reached the one month mark.  I was able to go to church on Sunday and it was WONDERFUL!  My soul was so refreshed listening to the word preached and worshiping with fellow believers.  I can also see how I have grown and changed as a mom from when Eli was first-born.  I actually find myself enjoying some of those late night wake up calls this time around (so long as I find time for a nap later in the day).  Overall I feel a lot more laid back about a lot of things.  🙂

Evangeline Grace is here!

19 Oct
Evangeline Grace is Here!

Evangeline Grace is Here!

Evangeline Grace Emerson

“Bearer of the good news of Grace”

October 11, 2013

7:38 am

8lbs 5oz, 20 inches

“For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him.”  1 Samuel 1:27

Pregnancy & Sewing Update: Week 37

2 Oct
Brandon snapped a picture of me at the Columbus Zoo.  We were blessed to be able to slip away just the two of us for a few days before we welcome another baby.

Brandon snapped a picture of me at the Columbus Zoo. We were blessed to be able to slip away just the two of us for a few days before we welcome another baby.

A funny thing happened a few weeks ago.  While at the doctor’s office we realized we were a week farther along in our pregnancy than we thought!  Our due date didn’t change we had just been counting down the weeks wrong.  Regardless this little girl is coming soon!  🙂  She will be born for sure sometime in October.

It is so exciting to be nearing the end of this pregnancy.  The changing weather reminds me often that our new baby will be here soon!  We have spent a lot of time in the past couple of weeks talking to Eli about having a new baby in our family.  He asked us whose house the baby would sleep at the other day.  I thought it was so funny that he didn’t realize that the baby would live with us all of the time just like he does.

Our baby girl has not been moving as much as she did a few weeks ago which means we have been doing a little extra testing the past few weeks.  Ever since she switched to the head down position she just doesn’t want to move around as much.   We had an ultrasound and more non-stress tests that showed that all is well.   I’m also wondering if she is moving more during the night and I am just sleeping through it?  I guess she is just saving up her energy for labor.  🙂  Currently I have gained 14 pounds with this pregnancy.  My blood pressure looks great which I am so thankful for.  I had my GBS test and passed this time around.  Now that I am going to the doctor twice a week I feel like my time is quickly slipping away from me.  A trip to the doctor is pretty much an all day affair at this point or at least it feels that way.

I have been doing a better job exercising (walking) but haven’t been back to the gym in a while.  At this point I am just done with weight training.  If I manage to get some walking in I feel like that is plenty!  I have been trying to spend more time resting and less time working on the huge list of projects I would like to finish before the baby comes.  Brandon has been doing a great job of reminding me to rest but it is still so hard for me to do.  The biggest project left to complete is cleaning and organizing our basement.  (We were finally able to purchase a guest bed and mattress which are set up in our basement.  Hooray!)  I also have a bunch of sewing for the nursery that I would like to do but honestly I care more about having the basement clean before the baby comes than having everything all pretty in her room.  She will be sleeping in our room when she comes home from the hospital anyway.  🙂  I have yet to make a single freezer meal which isn’t good.  By the time I feel like I have time in the day to tackle something like that I am just ready for a nap.  Since we really could go into labor at anytime I am trying to stay well rested.  I want to be as well rested as I can for when labor begins.

I did attend a LLL meeting last week which was wonderful.  So many sweet little babies.  It was great to be reminded of all of the great benefits of breastfeeding.  It made me reflect about how some of my own personal reasons for breastfeeding have changed since my first baby.  Before Eli I wanted to breastfeed primarily because of the health benefits and the fact that it is free!  Although both of those reasons are still great-I really want to breastfeed this time around because of the bonding.  That is probably one of the things that I am looking forward to the most (once I get past the first couple months of difficulties.  Breastfeeding was very difficult for me at first last time.  I’m hoping it isn’t as hard this time but at least I am mentally prepared for there to be a learning curve for baby and I.)  There was a little boy there who was 3 who had a great time pushing his cars over his 6 month old little sister’s belly over and over.  🙂  I laughed so hard!  I’m sure that will be Elijah for sure.

Sewing Update for the past couple weeks:

The two wet bags I made for our baby girl.

The two wet bags I made for our baby girl.

I sewed two wet bags.  I used PUL material I had on hand and a nice thick fabric that I had purchased for a different project years ago.  I also had the zippers in my stash.  I was really pleased with how the large wet bag turned out.  All of my other wet bags are square sized but I decided to make this one more rectangular.  I hope both bags can stand up to lots of washing and wear.  (That has been my only complaint with homemade bags.  They do not seem to hold up as well as bags you can purchase.)  The small-sized wet bag is really tiny and will probably only hold 2 diapers.

Peri Pads- I sewed a bunch of 4.5″ squares of flannel together to make peri pads.  I am planning on soaking these in witch hazel and using them for discomfort “down there” after the baby comes.  Has anyone ever done this?

The flannel sheet I sewed, 2 sets of nursing pads, and a newborn side snap shirt where I sewed on baby rick rack.

The flannel sheet I sewed, 2 sets of nursing pads, and a newborn side snap shirt where I sewed on baby rick rack.

Nursing Pads-I made a few more nursing pads from scrap fabric using the serger.  I think my serger might need a new cutting blade because it is really struggling.  I’m planning on sewing a couple more pads on my mom’s serger this week.

Sheet- I sewed a crib sheet out of a cute flannel fabric that matches the blanket I made for baby girl.

Size Newborn dress

Size Newborn dress

Dress-I used this tutorial to whip up this sweet little newborn peasant dress.  I thought it looked more like a 0-3 months size after it was sewn.  It was fairly quick and easy to sew.

What advice do you have for us as we prepare to meet our little girl any day now?

Pregnancy Update: 33 Weeks & Sewing Update

4 Sep
The blanket I made for Baby Girl.  We have decided to go with Elephants, Giraffes, & Owls for the nursery.

The blanket I made for Baby Girl. We have decided to go with Elephants, Giraffes, & Owls for the nursery.  Notice the cute little tag I found. 

Now that it is finally September I feel like I am finally getting close to having this little girl!  She will be here sometime next month.  🙂

I had a doctor appointment last week and the baby sounded great.  She is quite the wiggle worm when it comes to the Doppler.  My sister Katelyn actually went with me and got to hear the heart beat which was neat.  As of last week baby girl was head down and locked in the pelvis.  Let’s just hope she stays that way!  (Elijah had to be delivered by C-section because he turned breech at 39 weeks.)  I can definitely tell a change in her movements since she switched to the head down position.  I have now gained 8 pounds this pregnancy which I am pleased with.  I sure look like I have gained a lot more though!

I have been having a little trouble with some leg pain in my left leg due to a vein that sticks out a little bit.  It has been that way since college but it has gotten worse with pregnancy this time.  The doctor recommended compression stockings.  I didn’t realize how vain I am as a person until I had to start wearing them!  🙂  They are awful in many ways (& cost a fortune) but they do help my leg not to hurt.  I think I have been much more active exercising since I started wearing them which is really good.  I really want to stay in shape for the birth.

Brandon & I toured the hospital where I will be giving birth.  I was very pleased with the tour and look forward to delivering there soon.  It was actually much nicer and had more amenities than I expected.  There are plenty of restaurants right next to the hospital so Brandon can get his fast food fix while we are there.  We also went on a fancy date afterwards to Red Lobster which was wonderful.  🙂  I have such a sweet husband.

My doctor did allow me to attend a girl’s get away in Gatlinburg, TN this past weekend.  Hooray!  I missed my boys like crazy but it was SO much fun to hang out with a bunch of girls I went to college with and rarely see because we all live so far away from one another.  I even rode the Sky Lift!  We went to celebrate the fact that one of my sweet friends is getting married in October (less than 2 weeks before baby girl is due).  I really hope I get to attend her wedding.  It was kind of funny because I was pregnant the last time I went on a girl’s trip with this bunch of girls.  🙂

I have started making head way on a couple of sewing projects for baby girl.

The flannel swaddler I made from Simplicity 2165.

The flannel swaddler I made.

I used Simplicity 2165 to sew the swaddler out of flannel.  I made this pattern last year twice for two friends who were expecting.  It was pretty easy to sew the third time around.

I sewed two burp cloths this week.  These are contoured and will not slip off your shoulder.

I sewed two burp cloths this week. These are contoured and will not slip off your shoulder.

I’m hoping to start cooking some freezer meals this month to eat after the baby comes.  Do you have any great freezer recipes to share?