Monday, January 25, 2016

Blizzard 2016

In case you haven't heard, there was some snow here in Virginia over the weekend. Holy cow! I can tell you that this is definitely the most snow I have seen at one time in my whole life. It's really hard to be sure how many inches we got because of all the crazy drifting, but I read an official report of 34 inches for our town. At one point on Saturday afternoon I had to go across the street to my neighbor's house to feed her cat because she was stranded at work and the snow was up to my hips in some spots.

I have to tell you, the recent weather has made going back to work seem easy. So far the majority of the days have been snow days :) Major bonus. Matt has also been home due to taking his paternity leave after I went back and now he will have the day off tomorrow too. Life is pretty great.

To entertain ourselves during the storm we participated in our first Pat Collins Snow Stick Challenge. The theme was 'Cabin Fever Cure.' We love how our submission turned out. For those of you not familiar with Pat Collins and his Snow Stick, all I can say is that it's a very coveted prize here in the DMV. We also cleaned the house and did lots of laundry and of course a lot of shoveling! Yesterday (and today) was absolutely beautiful. The sun was out in full force and it didn't even feel super cold. We took Quinn out for a little bit in her snowsuit. The girl was so warm and cozy in there she fell asleep! On that note, I leave you with some pictures :)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Three Months

This is an extra special Friday at our house. Lots to love, as opposed to my last Friday post two weeks ago. My absence from blogging can be attributed to trying to enjoy the last few days of maternity leave and then returning to work (briefly!). This Friday Quinn is three months old, both Matt and I are off work (paternity leave for him and a snow day for me), and we are embarking on the biggest snowfall in five years! We celebrated today by going out for a quick lunch before a lot of extra together time this weekend.

Snow Day Story
Now for some quick updates on the life and times of Q. Three months! Hard to believe. Just today I had to bust out some of her bigger sleepers because she is so stinking long! She's like a little banana baby...long and skinny. We don't have a doctor appointment this month, so I am unsure of her exact stats but she has probably grown another inch and I would estimate she weighs about 12.5 pounds. We have lots of smiles and laughs coming from our sweet girl. She is also getting super strong. She can hold her head up pretty reliably and LOVES 'standing up' on our laps. She also loves to dance while we sing her songs. Some of her favorites include the Twist, the Whip Nae Nae, and Michael Jackson's Shake Your Body, along with all the things I randomly make up. I wish I could get a good video of it, but when you pull out a camera she becomes very serious and wants to stare at that instead. She's very observant and curious about all the things around her.

Quinn continues to have a lot to say. She makes lots of happy noises all the time. She still loves all things with lights and enjoys being in her play gym. She has become an expert at grasping her toys and reaching for the things she likes and that interest her. I guess all her time at the gym in paying off...I think she is strengthening her core. She spends a lot of time bringing her feet up to her chest recently, but hasn't quite found her feet with her hands. Speaking of hands, Q has spent a lot of time this past month sucking on her hands. It seems like when she is awake she is always moving. She loves to kick her feet and flail her arms.

Loves sucking her hands
The other night I left the room to heat up my dinner, I came back she had picked this up from beside her head and was grasping it with both hands! Go Quinn!
Matt and I continue to feel like we have won the lottery with Quinn's happy demeanor. She still sleeps like a champ in her crib each night. We had a little bit of a transition when we decided to drop the swaddle from her sleep sack, but now we are all set. I usually have to wake her up in the morning after about 9-11 hours of sleep. Up until about a week ago she was a great napper too, but seems to just want to entertain us during the day. I will most definitely take that in exchange for the great nighttime sleep!

The road to dropping the swaddle.
This is the month that my maternity leave ran out (although I have been lucky to have snow days and two hour delays most of the days, so it still feels like working isn't real) and I had to go back to work when Q was 12 weeks old. We are lucky enough to have Matt be able to take his paternity leave now, and then have family coming in to take care of her until the beginning of February. After that she will start daycare. I feel very good about where she will be going, but hard nonetheless.

Since her two month post, Quinn's clogged tear duct has opened (!), she's been to the audiologist and passed with flying colors, she celebrated Christmas, has taken her first road trip, and rocked in 2016. We are looking forward to her first big snow this weekend, her baptism next weekend, lots more milestones, and getting to see her personality develop in the next month! We love you little Quinn!

Out to lunch before getting snowed in!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Friday Love

This Friday is hard to love. It's my last Friday of maternity leave, next Friday I will be among the working crowd. I'm just a little bit in denial about the whole thing. I'm so sad to be leaving my Q, but I still have some days left and we are going to enjoy them. 


Maternity Leave. Oh how I have enjoyed my weeks at home with Quinn. I just can't even imagine doing motherhood and work right now, but I know people do it and we will both be better for it. I figure I will need to see the counselor (HA!) at work for about two weeks since I will be sad, we will be finding a new family routine, and I will just be in general overwhelmed with missing out on almost three months of school.


Gingerbread Lattes. My mom has been visiting to keep us company the past few days since Matt is out of town. Today we decided to celebrate Friday instead of be sad about it. We took Q to her favorite, Target, and got gingerbread lattes while we shopped. I do love an occasional gingerbread latte even though I do not like sweet coffee. I always make a point to get one during red cup season at Starbucks :)


Making a Murderer. I noticed Making a Murder was quite a trending topic on the Today Show and social media, so I jumped on the bandwagon. I have watched seven of the episodes. It's awesome! I highly recommend, especially if you were a Serial season one fan. I can't wait to see what the last episodes hold. And then I can't wait to talk about it with someone and read all the things online about it. It's been hard to wait.


Board Books. Because when I can't think of anything else to do, we read a book. Plus I love books and reading and want Q to share that love.


Three Playoff Teams. All three teams the people in my house collectively pay attention to have made the playoffs. The Steelers squeaked in last weekend, the Patriots are the Patriots, and the Redskins somehow clinched their division. I've decided the Redskins are our number three team because it is Q's hometown team, and we do get stuck watching them on Sundays. Anyway, hopefully we will get to share the post-season excitement longer than one week.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Q's First Christmas!

I guess my theory on this post is better late than never! We were so busy over Christmas running everywhere, and then we needed to get back into the swing of things here last week, so I am finally getting to making sure I document dear sweet Quinn's first Christmas on the blog.

We took our first road trip as a family of three, driving four hours to my family's house in Pittsburgh. We had originally planned to leave on Wednesday morning after Q's breakfast, but Tuesday around lunch I started to think about all the things that usually happen in the morning, and it's usually Q's most awake time, and I started trying to convince Matt it would be a better idea to leave when he got home from work that evening. He didn't think so until he did think so when he walked in the door after work. So we hurried up, fed Quinn one last time, threw everything in the car, and crossed our fingers. She fell asleep about ten minutes in and didn't wake up until we got to my parents' house and took her out of her seat. YES! Same thing happened on the way home. We could not have had a better experience with her in the car. 

During our time in Pittsburgh, Quinn made her social rounds at both my mom's work and my dad and sister's work (they work at the same place). She also went to meet my grandma at her assisted living place and was a little celebrity with the residents there. We took her to church on Christmas Eve. She was seriously the best behaved baby. We were totally not adhering to any kind of schedule like we typically do at home. She was so go with the flow for our entire trip. She made us look good. 

Ready for church on Christmas Eve
Christmas day we had dinner with my entire extended family at my sister's house. This is where Q got to meet all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins. We are talking a lot of people, and again no schedule. She did great. Before visiting with everyone, we opened Quinn's gifts from Santa and did our family gift exchange. She got money for college, a winter bunting, lots of books, and a couple little toys, including the NogginStik. I did not want to buy that thing. It was expensive, seemed kinda dumb, and I wasn't even sure she would like it. The reviews convinced me. I'm so glad I did. Quinn is obsessed. I'm serious. I didn't think she would care, but she really likes this thing. I highly recommend it for new babies. 

There is not one picture wearing this where she doesn't look like this or worse. 

After Christmas day, we decided to give poor Q a break. We hung out at my parents pretty much all day on Saturday. Matt and I got to go out on a date in the evening. We saw a movie and went to dinner. Sunday was another relaxing day watching football and just hanging out with our family. 

First cousin pic
Old favorite and new favorite.
I am glad we have Q's first road trip in the books. It's good to know that we at least have a chance at traveling in the future. We are so lucky with how wonderfully she has fit into our family. This Christmas was definitely extra special with her in our lives. We know holidays will only continue to be more special as she grows older and really gets into the holiday spirit! 

The NogginStik!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy 2016!

Happy New Year! 2015 was a great year for us. We had Quinn! It will be a difficult one to top. Last night we just hung out at home and we were in bed at about midnight. We held off on opening our bean pot until this morning. There were lots of good entries, but the obvious favorite was October 22nd. We are looking forward to what this year will bring us and watching Quinn grow.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Day In The Life

Matt asks me each day when he gets home what we did all day. There's a lot of days I seriously can't remember, but I know we did a lot. This gave me the idea for this post. This isn't exactly the most typical day of my maternity leave, but it kind of is a good picture. I recorded this the day after we came back from our trip to Pittsburgh...not typical. We also had an appointment for Q at the audiologist which isn't typical, but at the same time between myself and Quinn I feel like I have spent half my maternity leave in doctor's offices. Quinn was also a little off schedule this day in the afternoon, but of course that happens. So here is what December 29th 2015 looked like for us :)

12:14: Quinn took a little extra effort to get to sleep. She did take a very long nap midday on our drive from Pittsburgh to home. She's usually in bed before this, but we did have a very well behaved traveller, so I can't be too upset. Once Quinn was asleep, I went straight to bed.

5:55: Matt's alarm goes off for him to get to the train for work. He is out the door by 6:20. I waited for him to get ready while laying in bed and thinking about the day ahead. If I was smart, I would have tried to stay asleep.

6:25: I convinced myself to get out of bed, and was very thankful Q didn't wake up yet. This gives me time to hurry up and get myself ready. So I take a shower, get dressed, and blow dry my hair.

7:00: Time to get Quinn up, changed, and dressed.

7:10: Quinn and I go downstairs to feed her, watch our friends Matt and Savannah on the Today show, and of course change more diapers.

8:00: After Quinn's feeding, I need a wardrobe change (spit up problems), and I get my breakfast. Then we go to the gym (aka the play mat thing for babies). While she's in the gym, I pump (for milk to store) and talk to her. I get the milk in the fridge, we do some more gym time, and I change her quickly.

8:30: I fix myself some coffee and get Quinn situated in her carseat to get ready to go to her appointment. I'm happy we are pretty much stress free and on time.

9:00: We make it to our audiologist appointment on time! This was an interesting experience, but we are now sure that Q can hear very well, so that's all that matters. She was a good tester too!

10:15: I decide to feed Q in the car instead of going home since we are closer to Wegmans and it cuts out a coming and going from the house. I'm not totally sure this was the easier option, but it all worked out.

11:15: Grocery shopping at our favorite, Wegmans! Quinn sleeps the majority of the time.

12:45: We get home. I unpack the car and put away the groceries. Thankfully Q stays asleep when I take her out of the carseat so I have some time to eat my lunch, clean up bottles and pump parts, and organize all the pumped milk that we transported back from our trip.

1:30: Quinn's lunch.

2:10: Play time. Including tummy time and more time at the gym.

3:00: Quinn takes a nap. I am holding her. I usually don't do this, but I'm getting sad my leave is coming to an end so I decide to hold her a little longer. I pay bills with the other hand :)

3:35: I put her down in her rock and play which we keep downstairs so I can go through the mail and prep dinner for tonight.

4:10: I check in on my insurance...something else I have been doing a lot of on my maternity leave. I also spend some time just looking at facebook and other stuff on the internet.

4:40: What I call 'Quinn's senior citizen dinner.'

5:00: Now Quinn needs a wardrobe change and afterwards we do a little tummy time and read a story.

5:45: Typically Quinn would take a little catnap, but she's a little fussy and wakes up after 15 or 20 minutes. I let her fuss a little bit in her rock and play while I fill in the details about her first Christmas and her two month well check in her baby book.

6:15: Feeding. More like a snack.

6:30: Snuggle time.

6:45: Matt comes home and takes a shower while Quinn and I finish up getting dinner together. Matt plays with her for a little before dinner.

7:30: Dinner...the three of us always have dinner together.

8:00: I clean up dinner while Matt plays with Quinn and changes her. I go through the pictures from our Christmas trip.

8:40: Quinn gets a little fussy. Typically she would take a little nap before her last feeding, but that's not working out.

9:15: I prep her last bottle. Matt feeds her a bottle at about this time every night. While he is feeding her, I pump then store the milk or make a bottle for the next day, and then wash all the pump parts and bottles from the day.

10:30: Bedtime for Q. Matt is putting her to sleep tonight so I get myself ready for bed and try to stay awake until Matt is done. I was not successful. Apparently he came to bed at 11:15 :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Two Months!

Baby Q is two months old today! People always tell you how quickly time goes and it's so true. I can't believe how big she is and how much different she is this month than last month. She had her two month well visit yesterday. She is still keeping it long at 23 inches and now weighs 10 pounds 13 ounces. The doctor was very pleased with her growth and her strength. She can push herself up, hold her head up very well, and has good control during tummy time. Sometimes we can even get a smile out of her until she starts screaming to get off her stomach. We also suffered through her first round of shots (3 injections and 1 oral vaccination). I have never seen Quinn so upset, or so red. It was tragic. So sad. I am not looking forward to doing that again. I pretty much let her do whatever she wanted for about 5 hours after that...that included eating and sleeping.

Quinn's latest accomplishments include rolling from tummy to back. The first time she did it was on Thanksgiving when she was five weeks old, but she has become a lot more consistent recently. Also around five or six weeks she started smiling intentionally and even laughs! It's the best! She is still quite vocal - in a good way - at all times of the day, even in her sleep. She is a very happy and content baby. Matt and I consider ourselves so, so lucky to have her, and even more lucky with her wonderful sleep and demeanor. She still sleeps in her crib, in her own room, each night, and pretty consistently sleeps all through the night.


In addition to those tricks, she has also really begun to focus on objects. She still loves lights, but now looks at you when you talk to her and definitely could stare at the lion in the gym for a very long time. She might be in love with him. Quinn can also track objects, like the lion or people, when they move. She swats at toys and reaches for things as well. She can grasp things if you put them in her hand. She might be considered a local celebrity at Wegmans, Target, and The Running Store!

It has been a busy social month. We have had visitors, celebrated Thanksgiving with friends, Grandma and Grandpa came to visit, she met Santa Claus, and Quinn even attended her first Christmas party. She was very well behaved for all. We are so looking forward to the next week of social events for the holidays. Quinn will get to meet more family members, take her first road trip, and of course celebrate her first Christmas!.

Obviously, Quinn doesn't come without challenges. We discovered that Quinn has a clogged tear duct (thanks Aunt Caitlin!). Hopefully it will go away with time, but for now I am providing her with nose massages. She also continues to spit up on a regular basis as well. That's probably her most frustrating quality.


We love Quinn so much and are enjoying every moment with her. I always feel so torn..I wish I could stop time and she could be this small and I could stay home with her all day, everyday, but at the same time I cant wait to see what the next month(s) brings.