Friday, June 28, 2013

5 on Friday

One: I have been using the Simple brand of make up remover wipes and they are making my routine so much easier at night.  I love them.  The eye make up remover pads don't quite take off all of my eyeliner, but it's better than nothing and my sensitive skin likes that there aren't any harmful chemicals in there.

Two: Andie and I have had 2 mama and daughter shopping dates.  Both have ended with Andie's closet growing.  I have a problem.  Baby clothes are way too cute.
Summer Days Baby Wear

Three: TL and I love HGTV and the new "Love It or List It Too" show takes place somewhere in Vancouver, BC... that has officially been added to my wish list of places to visit.  Gorgeous.  I like this idea:

Four: My girlfriend, Katie, and I have known each other since elementary school... and now we both have baby girls.  Her daughter is 6 months old and lately we have been meeting up, along with friends Jamee & Lisa, for weekly walks and lunches.  It's so much fun to see us and all of our carseats, strollers, and baby gear as we take over an entire large table at lunch.  We are "those" people at the restaurant.  And I kind of love it :)

Five: I have really been loving Instagram lately.  A lot.  This new video feature is so fun.  Love getting to see so many great ladies in more than just a photograph.  And I may or may not post too many pictures of my kid.  Sorry about that.  And this new video thing may not help that situation.  Have we connected yet on Instagram?  @TracyZLesh
My faves on IG this week: the beautiful necklace my sister, Kel, got me that I am so crazy about.  And the chubby cheek monster.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer Wear

I sadly misplaced my sunglasses last weekend... so I am on the hunt for new sunnies. I really like the 'cat eye'-ish look, but am still trying to figure out what looks best on my face. I am also a huge fan of Ray Bans. Nordstrom rack, here I come :)

We had some wacky weather in Northern California earlier this week. It was rainy and gloomy, which I didn't mind too much... now we are back into the 100's, it's supposed to be 106 this weekend. Yuck!

Lately, my go to outfits have all been simple and casual. I have been doing some online shopping at American Eagle, Old Navy, and Gap. They all have some great deals. {40% off your entire purchase... oh yeah!}

I've always wanted one of these LV speedy bags, too. Love them. But I am happy to trade in that 'want' for my new purse. A diaper bag. :)

Casual Summer Wear - on the go

American Eagle Outfitters lacy top / Zadig & Voltaire collared t shirt, $185 / American Eagle Outfitters torn shorts / American Eagle Outfitters cuffed denim shorts / Timeless flat pumps, $34 / Louis Vuitton printed bag, $970 / American Eagle Outfitters cuff bangle bracelet / American Eagle Outfitters bracelet jewelry / Cotton Candy collar jewelry / STELLA McCARTNEY sunglasses, $225

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wedding Flashback: Highlight Movie

Just last week, the amazing videographer {Michael Jensen} from our wedding sent me an updated highlight reel.  It's a little different than the original, but he titled it our "Anniversary Edition" {even though our anniversary isn't until Sept 5th}. It was so nice to watch (and watch and watch) and remember this day.

There has been a lot of baby talk on this blog lately.  I can't help it, my life lately has revolved so much around our sweet girl... she's rocked our world.  But she wouldn't be here if it weren't for this man, our love, and the foundation of our family.

Here's a little flashback to our wedding.  Hard to believe it was almost 4 years ago.
Time flies when you're havin' fun.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Meeting "tiny" family members

In the last few weeks, Andie has met lots of her family and friends.

She met my nephews... Ryan and Adam... and oh my goodness, it was the sweetest thing.
Ryan is 4 years old and he has been very anxious to meet his baby cousin.
He's been very concerned about Andie since she was in my belly... asking questions like "does the 'bacuum' hurt her ears" when I was vacuuming at my parents house and "is Andie hungry" when we were out to dinner.  He's the sweetest little guy and his love for her has to be one of the most precious things I have ever seen.  He even sang "You are my sunshine" to her the first time he met her.  We were all a little chocked up as he sang his tune because he did it all on his own.

Last Friday, we went to the Bay Area to meet up with TL's cousins, Steve & Mackenzie, and their two adorable little guys.  It was so much fun to have Andie meet them and we really enjoyed spending the day with them.  These boys are adorable as well... so smart and sweet!  

TL and {almost} 5 year old Cam
 My BIL Joe playing!  He's a great uncle.
 Cousin Steve and the kids!

I truly cherish these memories and love having all 4 of these little boys in my life.

So excited for baby Stella {my sister's baby girl} coming in August!

Have a wonderful Monday and start to your week!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Andie's Birth Announcements

I spent hours while Andie was napping going through all of the Tiny Prints designs - and it's so hard to pick just one!

Thank you to Veronica from Nica Photography for releasing these pics for us to use!

I am in love with Tiny Prints and all of their birth announcements.  They make the best stuff.

Hope you're having a wonderful Sunday!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Our Day Trip to Tahoe for Father's Day

For Father's Day... we decided to take a mini day trip to Lake Tahoe.  With the weather creeping into the mid 90s, it was a refreshing break to be in the mid 70s.  We are very lucky to only live about 90 minutes from South Lake Tahoe :)

Andie did great - slept the whole way there and back and was up with us while we ate lunch.  We ate at The Beacon, and it had a great patio area right on the beach.  Then we walked around the beautiful beach area and made our way over to the Heavenly shopping area to browse.

TL's first father's day was a big deal to me and our family - and I think we are going to make this a tradition to go every year.  It was so sweet how many people stopped and wished him a happy father's day.

 The Beacon's shady patio
 My handsome guy.
 A little half smile :)

I had the kitchen all decorated to surprise him when he woke up with balloons, cards, and a little gift from Andie and I.  We had dinner and spent Saturday evening with my parents to celebrate my amazing dad!

It was a special weekend celebrating the two greatest guys in my life!

Friday, June 14, 2013

5 on Friday

Love linking up for this 5 on Friday with some awesome bloggers :)

1.  I am in love with this song by The Band Perry.  My sisters played it for me and it got me a little choked up.  Reminds me so much of my mom and the comfort I have with her.  My favorite lines are "There's no safer place i've found, then the shoulder of her white nightgown" - and "she's the light in the window of the house I grew up in".  I hope someday Andie thinks of me when she hears songs like this.

2.  Andie's head is finally starting to be the size for all the bows I have!  I know this is so little, but I can't contain my excitement.  The jars full of bows in her room are finally getting some use :)

3. I am over the moon excited to celebrate TL on Father's Day this Sunday.  This is the first year ever that he gets to celebrate this day... and Andie & I hope to make it a special one.  I also love any chance I get to celebrate my dad.

4.  I NEED to start cooking again... but I have been a total lazy bones about this and haven't lifted a finger near the stove lately.  My goal for this week is just to make one meal for us for dinner.  There.  I wrote it out, now it needs to happen :)

5.  I am deeply saddened by all of the destruction that has happened in Colorado with the huge fires and with the huge tornados that have taken place recently in the midwest.  I can't imagine what so many people who have been faced with these tragedies are going through.  It's been heavy on my heart - they're all in my thoughts.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Our first month baby essentials

TL and I were brand new to this baby stuff.  
I've read that every baby is different... some love certain things and others have little interest in them.  Here are a few of the items that were essential for us during this first month of her life.  
None of these are sponsored suggestions... they were all bought for us by family!

My MIL got this for us as a gift a few months after we found out we were expecting.  It was hid away in a closet until TL and I were out shopping and he saw it on display and realized how cool it was.  We had it set up and ready for her when she got home and within an hour of getting home from the hospital, she was already swinging away in it.  It plays music, moves in 5 different ways at different levels of intensity, and plays comforting sounds.  Everyone who comes over says they wish they made one for adults.

My sister's good friend Christi had one of these for her new baby boy and my sister came home from visiting them raving about it.  She ordered one for us and a few days after we were home from the hospital, we got it.  It is seriously amazing.  With the nail clippers, it's easy to cut the nail too short.  This thing is awesome, you can put it directly on your skin and it won't hurt at all.  It's super soft, but does the trick at cutting their nails.  It has 4 different files to use as they get older.  TL loves giving her little manicures - and it has saved her face from getting lots of scratches!  {Notice in the picture she doesn't even care that TL is doing her nails... it's very quiet}

My mom and a few of my friends insisted that we have a few pair of zip up jammies for her when she was little, and my mom got us these Carter's ones that have little mittens on the end of their hands (which is great at keeping them warm and also helps with them scratching their face).  For the first 2 weeks, she only wore these at night - and it was so easy for TL to change her and get her dressed again.

4. ItzBeen Timer
While we were in the hospital, we were struggling figuring out how to remember the times she ate, for how long, etc.  My mom ran to target to pick up one of these ItzBeen Pocket Nanny timers - and it has been a huge help, especially for bre*stfeeding.  I still write down notes on when she eats so I can recognize any schedule she has, but the timer makes it really convenient.  You can also use it for diaper changes, sleeping, etc.

This thing is pretty amazing.  My dad and TL gave Andie her first bath the night we arrived home from the hospital and we realized how cool this thing is!  It has a sensor on it while running under the faucet that tells you a specific comfort zone for the temperature of the water and it beeps profusely at you if the water temperature gets too hot or cold.  It also has a draining system so the water is constantly flushing out and stays clean.  This was a great feature when she pooped a little in the tub because it flushed right out!

What products have you found essential for the first 6 months?
Anything that we have to have?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A letter to Andie: You're One Month Old!

My dear daughter Andie,

I simply cannot believe it's been a month since the doctor put your tiny warm body on my chest and I experienced the meaning of love at first sight.  That overwhelming love I felt has intensely multiplied.  You are so beautiful and seeing you grow everyday is one of the biggest joys I have ever experienced.  Your smell is divine and soft, I hope I never forget the sweet scent.

I will never forget the moments when you were just days old that I was able to comfort you for the first time.  I held you, rocked you and sang you to sleep.  These moments make me so happy.  I have felt sadness, too, as I realize these days of your newborn stage are numbered.  I am not ready for you to grow so quickly.

Your daddy and I have learned so much in just this short amount of time.  It took me a few days to figure out how to comfortably hold you and put you in your car seat.  The first few days you were home, waking you up at night to eat was like a party in our bedroom.  We talked to you, stared at you and planted an abundance of kisses on your chubby cheeks.  As the first month of your life went on, we figured out how to be more efficient, cutting those 2 hour long parties into a 30-40 minute routine.  You're a quick eater, it usually only takes you abut 10 minutes to get what you need.  You wake up now between once and twice a night.  You are known to go stretches of 4-6 hours at night, which we appreciate and understand may not last as you grow.  And speaking of growing, you have gone from 5 pounds 10 ounces when we took you home from the hospital to more than 7 and a half pounds.

One of my favorite things has been watching you look around and take in the world.  You open your eyes wide and scan your surroundings.  I always wonder what you're thinking.  You definitely recognize your daddy's voice and when you hear it, you immediately look for him.  The relationship you have with him is already so precious and it makes my heart burst.  He loves you so much and tells you all the time.  He loves holding you and talking to you.  I know you will always adore him, what a lucky girl you are to have him as your daddy.

When we first brought you home, you had such a tiny cry - and since you've found your voice, you've gotten louder.  We love hearing your sighs, squeaks (sometimes I call you Minnie Mouse), screams, and noises.  You make us laugh when you sigh loudly.  You also have lots of noises that come out of your little booty... you're quite gassy.  And the dimple we see on your smiley face after you toot is adorable! You also love making a "kissy face" - which daddy and I always respond to with "kissy lips get kisses!!" One of my favorite expressions is the one you make when you stretch your neck back and the little wrinkles pile up on your forehead.  It's a look of contentment.

You're strong... you can lift your head and turn it from side to side.  You also love to be stretched out... you sleep with your arms sprawled out and above your head in the 'touchdown' position.  You were never a fan of being swaddled and you spend a lot of time stretching when you're awake.

Breastfeeding you has been one of my favorite things.  I love when you look at me while you eat and I haven't minded waking up to feed you.  You took a bottle from your dad at about 4 weeks with no problem.  I had mixed emotions about this and it made me sad, but I know it will be a good thing.  Your dad loves being able to feed you, but he knows how important it is to me to breastfeed often.

You are finally starting to fit into and fill size newborn clothes and the bows are just now fitting on your head.  It has been so much fun for us to dress you up.  Pictures of you are deceiving because your cheeks are so chubby.  When many people see you they can't believe how tiny you are.  But you're growing so quickly.

You have had lots of visitors. I will always remember the abundance of support we've received from our family and friends.  You are definitely one very loved little girl!

Your dad and I talk about you all the time to each other.  We love you so much! We still can't believe you're here and so pretty.  We think you're a great baby and feel very lucky!

Getting to know you during your first month has been truly remarkable.  You have brought so much joy into our lives and becoming your mom has brought me so much fulfillment.  Your little personality is shining more and more and you have a spark to you!  I cherish you, my sweet girl.

Your mama

 Memorial Day
 First time on your activity mat, you enjoy looking at yourself in the mirror.
Taking a nap in your crib with the special blanket Gramz had made for you!
 Daddy giving you the bottle for the first time!
 You like listening to us read you books!
Mama and her girl

Friday, June 7, 2013

5 on Friday

Linking up again this week with some fabulous ladies for 5 on Friday!

1. I wrote last Friday about being nervous to post Andie's little birth story and I finally did it 2 days ago.  It was one of those posts that I kept just hitting "save" and finally just hit "publish" and nervously read and re-read after I posted it.  It's always a weird feeling to not know who exactly is reading what you write, but at the same time - it means so much to me to read all of the sweet comments, emails and text responses that I received.  Thank you for your support and encouragement... I can feel the positive energy, and it is truly amazing! 
Her little hospital photo shoot at one day old.

2. I have been obsessed with this candle {beach rose by ebba} in Andie's nursery... it makes her whole room smell SO good.  I another one so I can spread the love around the house.  I don't think the "strong sensitivity to smells" has left me yet.  This is probably my most favorite scent.  I am addicted.

3. Tomorrow we are going to try and give Andie a bottle (of bre*stmilk) for the first time.  I have been nervous about this because I don't want her to have any confusion, but the lactation consultant we saw said 4 weeks is a great time (can you believe she's 4 weeks tomorrow?!?).  If it works out and she takes it, we will only do it for special occasions for the next 4 weeks until she is bigger and I feel more confident.  If she takes it, I may actually leave her for more than an hour while I see my bunco girls on Sunday :)

4. My sweet mom got us some amazing frames that I love!  I am definitely tuning into my "wanna be a southern girl" roots - I love anything monogrammed or with our names on it. {There are plenty of other reasons I wish I was a southern girl - y'all are amazing!}  She also got us an adorable personalized blanket for Andie that we keep in her crib.  She is the most thoughtful mom in the world.  

5. I had my postpartum check up with my OB this week and he told me I need to wait another 2 weeks before I can start slowly getting back into my work out routine.  Part of me was a little bummed because I know it will be great for me to get back on our treadmill, but part of me was also a little relieved.  2 more weeks of not having to come up with excuses ;)  I was fortunate enough to snap back to my pre-pregnancy weight pretty quickly, but the muscle tone is definitely lacking.  I walked A LOT every day after we were taken off of bed rest (8 miles the day before Andie was born)... but, I have severely missed running.  It will feel good to get back into it.  Looking into a half marathon to run this fall to get me motivated! 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Andie's Birth Story

{I have been really nervous & hesitant about posting this because I don't want to over share - but I realized that I write this blog as my little journal of milestones in my life, things that make me happy, and to connect with other amazing people in the world.  I have always thoroughly enjoying reading the birth stories other moms have posted in the past, so I did this just in case others get the same joy of reading as well... and it's something I want to always remember.}

Overall, we had a wonderful pregnancy.  I felt good after the first trimester sickness ended, exercised, ate (mostly) healthy and stayed focused on the joys of pregnancy.  Our pregnancy did have some ups and downs, though.  At 29 weeks we were hospitalized for a couple days because Andie's heart rate was having "variables", or dropping suddenly for short periods of time.  They gave us a shot called betamethasone, which can help develop her little lungs and organs at a little quicker pace in case they decided to take her really early.  I was also having contractions beginning at 29 weeks, but they weren't anything that was making progress for birth, so they put us on modified bed rest and sent us home.

I went into the hospital a couple times a week for stress testing, or "antepartum testing".  They hooked my belly up to the machines and listened to her heart for about an hour.  The little variables would still happen, but not nearly as much as they were happening before we were admitted to the hospital. At about 34 weeks, they let us skip out on the fetal stress testing and just starting seeing us more often to keep an eye out.  The entire experience was scary.  They aren't sure what was causing these little drops, but from what they could tell, there was compression in there somewhere that was causing it.  They did lots of tests and ultrasounds - and assured us everything was okay with Andie.  In fact, at 29 weeks - she measured larger than average for her gestational age.

At our 36 week check up appointment, my doctor told me Andie was a little on the small side and may not be growing like normal.  I had zero progress for labor even with all of the contractions I could feel and they could see when I was hooked up to the machines.

On May 10th, we went back for our 37 week appointment.  When my doctor measured me, he again expressed a little concern that she still didn't seem to be growing.  So, he sent us back into radiology at the hospital to get another big ultrasound to track her growth.  Before we left to go, he mentioned that there was a chance he would want to induce us if she was smaller than 6 pounds.  We went in for the ultrasound and about 30 minutes after getting home, we got a call from my doctor telling us to come back... he wanted us to be induced.  Andie was measuring right around 5 pounds, give or take a pound.  Because she was measuring so big at our previous ultrasounds, they estimated that she stopped growing at about 34 or 35 weeks.  He called my situation "IUGR" - or Irregular Uterine Growth Restriction.  Basically, the girl was out of room and not growing anymore.  She was measuring in the 4th percentile.  My doctor, the radiologist, and the doctors he consulted with all believed it was best for her to come now.

It was surreal.  The details of this day are a little foggy to me.  TL and I were frantically running around our house, putting the car seat in the car, packing bags (thank goodness my sister had given me a list of items for the hospital and already started packing for me), and hopped in the car.  We made it back to the hospital by 2:45pm.  I was having contractions on my own, about 1-3 minutes apart.  At my appointment that day, I was 1 cm dilated and about 80% effaced.

For induction they started giving me the drug Pitocin.  I've heard horror stories about this drug, but I decided to ignore it all and just think about the end result.  Andie.  They started me on the smallest dose. After just a few minutes of pitocin, Andie's heart rate dropped into the 90s for about 90 seconds.  The doctors and nurses ran in and decided to kill the Pitocin and decided on another form of induction... the foley bulb.  This is a not-so-fun form of inducing labor {click to read what it is if you don't know}, but the risks of dropping her heart rate were much less.  The bulb helped dilate me to a little more than 3 cm... it took about 11 very uncomfortable hours to do the trick.  

At 4am, the foley bulb had done its job and I decided to get the epidural.  TL and I didn't sleep at all that night, but the excitement was looming about what the next 24 hours would bring.  In the middle of the night, Andie's heart rate dropped twice, causing the cluster of nurses and doctor to come in and hook us up to oxygen... but other than that, she was taking labor well!

By 7am, I had made progress on my own to about 6 cm.  The doctor broke my water to keep the progression going. At 11am, they decided to once again start pitocin to see how she would handle it.  They started it at the lowest level... and this time, she took it well.  By about 1:30pm, my nurse came in and said she was going to start preparing the room for delivery based on how close my contractions were to each other.  Thinking the pitocin would take hours like they had warned, TL jumped into the shower (our delivery room had a bathroom with a shower), and my sister Julie started knocking on the door to let him know that she was going to be coming soon!  Within a minute or two, the doctor came in to check me, and sure enough, I was at just under 10 cm - Andie was ready to come soon!  My doctor and nurse were amazing.  

My sister, Julie, stayed in the room with me until TL was out of the shower (quickest shower of his life).  She and I talked about my fears.  I was scared.  So scared.  I was nervous about Andie - after everything we had been through, was she going to be healthy?  Would her heart work?  Would she fit through the birth canal?  Would she come out breathing?  Would she have 10 fingers and 10 toes?  She and my nurse calmly reassured me that we would be okay... that she was healthy.

When TL was out of the shower and by my side... it was just he and I with our nurse and doctor.  It was quiet.  Intimate.  I kept telling them how scared I was, but I was constantly reassured that we would be great... that Andie would be okay.  A few minutes later, the nurse prepped and explained to me how the pushing would all work.

I was told that it could take hours for moms to push out their first baby.  But... after one contraction she was already making progress.  My nurse said after one push "well, she has hair!"  My epidural was the perfect strength.  I could feel the pressure with each contraction, but the pain was dull.  The doctor, nurse, and TL talked me through 3 more contractions - and out came our little girl at 2:47pm.  TL watched her enter the world and cut her cord.

I was so scared to see her for the first time.  My mind raced with fears - and as I kept my eyes clamped shut, I could hear the doctor and TL telling me to open my eyes - that she was perfect.  And just after I opened my eyes, she was placed on my chest... and I heard her cry.  And I fell in love.  And I had the overwhelming realization that my whole life was changing at that moment.  This little part of me was suddenly out in the world.  I sobbed.  It was the only way my heart could release my feelings.

There we were. TL, Andie, and me.  Our family of 3... crying.  Joy.  Bliss.  TL held me as we admired her.

I don't know how to express how the moments were after her birth in writing.  

But they were some of the happiest moments of my life.  

Our last picture of our family of 2, shortly before her arrival.
 A few minutes after she was born.
 Daddy comforting her as they took all of her measurements.
 A very proud and happy dad.
 Skin to skin with his baby girl.
 First photos as a family of 3.
 She's about 24 hours old here!
 Leaving the hospital with our girl on May 13th.
First picture at home.

Andie was 5 pounds 15 ounces and 18 and a half inches long.