Weeks 12 & 13- Starting Daycare, Purple Carrot & A Purple Monkey in a Bubblegum Tree!

Going into Monday like…

Anyone else? 😆

Hope y’all had a great weekend!! We have so much to catch up on since my last recap post!

On Saturday July 23rd, we went to my MIL (aka Gigi) and Gordie’s for a phenomenal cookout. The burgers were so good I had two 😋. It was a great evening with the fam. My SIL, Renee, is getting married in October, and it was great to spend time with her fiancé’s side of the family at the cookout since they were in town.

We grabbed a couple pics once we got home, even Moose got in a few :).

The next morning, July 24th, Miss Quinn and I went back to my MIL’s for a relaxing girls’ morning since my SIL, Laura, and her daughter, Lily, were in town. While the girls of the fam had coffee and pastries, the guys went golfing.

It was a great morning! The rest of the day was spent prepping for the week.

July 25th was more of the wonderful same, hanging out with my girl.

I really tried to stretch groceries that week before doing a big trip. I found some beef bone broth in the pantry and added some zucchini, squash and carrots along with protein collagen powder (can’t taste it, but it adds a lot of protein!). This was actually good & filling.

That afternoon we FaceTimed with my mom, Quinn’s Grammy. She is visiting again next month, and we’re all counting down the days!

Pretty sure this little smile was during baby shark. Yep, she’s as obsessed with the song as the rest of them. (Quinn, not Grammy, in case of confusion). Guaranteed dancing and smiles!

July 26th, we got a free box of Purple Carrot from Chris & Renee who use the vegan food delivery service. It was so fun to make the meals, and they were pretty darn easy! It’s so convenient how everything is pre-portioned too. The meals were good! Given that I eat meat again, if we do a meal service we’ll probably do one that includes meat and fish- but this is a great option for people trying to eat plant based.

Our first meal was this yummy summer veggie ciabatta. I added the balsamic glaze because it was giving me caprese vibes. DJ a and I agreed it was good choice!

That day we successfully had a 40 minute crib nap! Her longest yet!! Wooohooo. Over the last week or so she’s been averaging 25-35 minutes which is an improvement, and the transfer into the crib has gone a lot more smoothly/more quickly! After her nap, we walked around and said hi to all the different stuffed animals in the nursery. I would tell her what it was and then put the animal in her hand. She also loves just staring at the nursery decor.

Wednesday July 27th was Quinn’s first trial half-day at daycare. I got her bags ready the night before and felt prepared logistically, less so emotionally. That morning, I walked around our neighborhood to get her fresh air to start the day and then let her nap in my carrier long as possible before taking her. When I dropped her off, they let me nurse her in a designated nursing room (I love that they have this!). I immediately felt better when chatting with her teachers-she in in excellent hands there. My biggest apprehension leaving was how she’d sleep since she isn’t always napping consistently for long periods in her crib. I also was nervous what would happen if she went into her crying mode where me (specifically) holding her is the only thing that will calm her down. But I had to remember countless babies have gone to daycare before- & the one teacher had over 24 years experience in the infant room! They know alllll the tips & tricks to calm a baby.

After dropping her off, the rest of the morning was pure chaos. Which was a great thing because it kept me preoccupied. I hardly had a second to think! Also, I was looking forward to having some quality time with Moose- we haven’t had any time just the two of us since Quinn was born.

We had Stanley Steemer coming by to do the stairs in our house and the main floor since Moose is well potty trained (minus the occasional upset stomach accident). The last time we did it was a little premature, and our carpets were in dire need of some help (this was different than the deep spot treatment we did around his crate when I was in labor– but details, schmetails). While our Dyson power scrub does the trick for most areas in the home, it’s hard to get the stairs with it- so we just went ahead and decided to hire SS. I feel like this is the most boring paragraph I’ve ever written. Carrying on…

They arrived 15 mins earlier than their window to arrive, so I was pulling back in the driveway when they were here. I tried to crate Moose while they worked, but Moose was not having it. He barked incessantly. To finally calm him down, I climbed into the crate with him while they finished working, At least I was getting that quality time! Hahah.

One of the guys came over to let me know it was time to do a walkthrough before they left, and despite his best effort to stifle a laugh, he couldn’t help but crack up at the grown woman casually sitting in the dog crate with her dog. 😆

After they left, I dropped a glass container and it shattered all over the floor- so I spent a good 15/20 minutes cleaning that up and looking for every little shard. Like I said, chaos.

Then I took Moose to the trail- just the two of us, like the olden days. I longed for Quinn, but I tried to just give all my love and attention to Moose.

I felt so much relief when the pictures started coming in on the app. I love the app this daycare uses- it shares pictures and reports feeds, diaper changes and nap times.

When Moose and I returned from our walk, I had these gorgeous flowers waiting for me. I looked at the card – they were from DJ, knowing how hard her first day of daycare would be for me. He wrote the absolute sweetest words, and I’ll save that card forever <3. It made the day much brighter!

I then made our next Purple Carrot meal, a lemon asparagus pasta, to have ready to reheat for dinner. Yum!

When I checked the app next time, I was shocked to see Quinn was sleeping soundly!!

She was already adjusting so well! I was amazed! Someone told me infant daycare teachers are “magicians”, and I’d say this is a fair description.

I did some laundry and squeezed in a 3 mile run on the treadmill. Then I picked up my girl. They said she did very well!! It’s SUCH a relief to know she’ll be ok at daycare. It was one of those things hanging over my head all maternity leave, but she is thriving there.

She was especially exhausted after the first half day, so I just let her sleep in my carrier as long as she wanted.

July 28th I soaked up tons and tons of cuddles with my girl, allowing her to rest and not pushing too many crib naps.

At the end of the day, I noticed an orange glow around the house. I peaked outside and saw a stunning sunset. I watched it as a held Quinn tight in my carrier. Just one of those simple, precious memories 💛.

The next day, July 29th was her second scheduled half day at daycare. We started the day the same- some play time followed by a nap in my carrier before taking her in. After dropping her off, I had a virtual mimosa and coffee with my friend Clair who had off work that day, and then got to work on my to-do list. I packed up all the clothes that Quinn no longer fit into, which was one heck of an emotional experience! She has grown so fast!

I deep cleaned the house that day since I ran out of time on Wednesday. It felt so good! I also went for my longest run since giving birth- I have a ways to go before I’m back to my baseline, but I don’t even care, it just felt so darn good to be back out there!

When I picked up Quinn, she seemed way less exhausted than the first day. I could tell she was already adapting to the new setting tremendously. Again, they gave a great report!

I have also learned new ideas from daycare about ways to play with Quinn at home! There are more benefits to it than I even anticipated. And the after daycare smiles when she sees me melt my heart!!

July 30th, we had a chill family day at home 🧡.

The books of the week were Wake Up Farm! And Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? So fun!

That afternoon, she slept soundly in my carrier while I made our final purple carrot meal, a chickpea curry!

Monday August 1st, technically my maternity leave was over, but there weren’t any shifts that week for me to pick up. I did not mind the extra time with my girl!

Quinn has been loving this playmat she first used at her Gigi’s!

It plays music – and guys, there is this one song about a purple monkey in a bubblegum tree that is actually good 🤣. DJ and I were like, why is that song actually catchy? We found ourselves singing it around the house and looked it up on YouTube- the comments were so funny- a lot of people looking it up due to the playmat. Someone commented “There is no reason for this song to slap so hard”. Accurate 😂.

Tuesday August 2nd, we FaceTimed my sister, Halston. Halston just took her Bar exam and returned from a celebratory trip to Aruba!

That day I prepped this pistachio harissa salmon recipe throughout the day for dinner. It was really good, but I wish I had chosen better cuts of salmon and either cooked them in the air fryer or cast iron with a little added oil to crisp them up.

I’ve been on such a kick with nutrient dense bowls for dinner too- I use a base of spring mix topped with either ground turkey or ground beef/bison and then whatever veggies/grains/toppings sound good. I also melt a little vegan cheese into the meat. Vegan cheese is wayyyy tastier melted!

I’ve found that a way to keep Quinn calm while I make dinner/do laundry/etc. is to sing to her whatever I’m doing. I just make up random songs about folding towels and chopping veggies. Some days it feels like we’re living in a musical 😆.

Quinn was gifted this sweet onesie from the nurses at work. Of course, I love it too 🥰.

She used to squirm so much when I read to her on my lap, but now she tolerates it so much better and seems to really enjoy it!! I think it helps her reflux is overall well controlled now. Books for this week were What Will I Do With My Love Today? and Goodnight Moon ☺️.

I ordered Quinn a boppy to use during playtime as an idea from daycare. She loves it!!

Something new this past week- Quinn has started turning her body 180 degrees during tummy time. She just scoots all the way around. She says “Mom, I’m bored of that direction, I’m a free baby- I will look whichever direction I want!”.

Friday August 5th, I made us bowls with bison mixed with melted vegan colby jack cheese, farro, sautéed veggies, fresh tomatoes, vegan tzatziki, hummus and kalamata olives over spring mix served with a fattoush dressing. What a mouthful – literally! I’m already craving it again!!

This week I finished Ready Player One. Soo different than the usual genre I’m into, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

As I wrap up- I know this blog has changed a lot since having Quinn. I’m aware I’m that mom totally publicly obsessing over her baby- but she really is my world, and I thank you for sharing in this very special time in our lives 🥰 .

We do go on a road-trip soon. I’m simultaneously excited and dreading it considering Quinn hates the car 🥴. Wish us luck!

Questions for you:

Whatchya reading lately?

– What does August have in store for you?

<3,

Mackenzie

Week 10 & 11: Crib Naps, Birthdays & Time with Friends!

 Good morning everyone! Currently I’m in Quinn’s nursery, working on a crib nap again. Working on crib naps has occupied a good chunk of our time these past two weeks. We have had short successful naps of 20-30 mins, but not much longer than that. She’s at the 17 min mark right now though! (I jinxed myself because as soon as I typed that she started crying, and I had to put the post on hold hah). Whenever she loses her pacifier, she wakes up, so if anyone has suggestions on what to do about that please let me know 🙂 .

She is now back in her crib after a feed (she was due anyway), she’s just drowsily looking around, hopefully she’ll fall back asleep!

With the naps, we’ve been trying to stick to the eat, play, sleep routine. She was doing so well with this rhythm when she could sleep in my carrier, but the crib really seems to throw her off. It’s been an emotional and trying transition I think for us both. We alternate naps in the carrier and crib right now. I am always carefully towing a line between helping her practice crib naps and making sure she doesn’t get overtired. I do think we see a tinyyy bit of improvement every day, just going to continue to try to be consistent. I’m proud of her for even 20 mins!

We also have a couple trial daycare days this week for half days. I am very nervous, and I get a pit in my stomach every time I think about it. I know it’ll be ok, but my heart hurts thinking about sending her so soon from now.

Onto the fun happenings this past couple weeks!

July 9th, we went for a walk in the morning as usual and then went to a birthday party for my friend’s (Clair), son. It was Sonic themed and so adorable from the cake to the popcorn machine. I have missed her family so much, and it was really good to see them again!

 The day before this we discovered her love of dancing fruits and veggies, so this outfit felt appropriate 😄.

 That evening, Moose joined her with her tummy time. He often comes up and lays a big ol’ kiss on her out of nowhere. She looks surprised, but it never seems to bother her!

Oh my gosh she’s back asleep on her own without crying! Woohoo!! This is HUGE! Okay starting the timer now. 9:12 AM.

Moose has been on one with suddenly always wanting to get up on the living room coffee table. This dog, always up to somethin’. Haha.

 The afternoon of July 10th, I did a little craft time during Quinn’s playtime! My sister and Kevin gifted us this clay handprint and footprint picture frame. I printed Quinn’s foot no problem, but it was super hard to get her to open her hand flat for a print. So I decided to do Moose’s paw print instead and plan to put a picture of the two of them in the middle of the frame 🥰.

 July 11th, Marie sent some seriously adorable pics of Crush and Moose. Crush doesn’t leave Moose’s side.

Even when Moose was napping, Crush was just patiently sitting there waiting for him to wake up.

In terms of new fun developmental milestones these two weeks, Quinn has started holding things pretty well and she all of a sudden is chatting up a storm with her cooing! It’s so much fun. Every morning I sit with her with my coffee and oatmeal, we play some light “coffee shop hits” and chit chat back and forth. I’ll tell her what I’m eating, ask how her morning is going, but she’s especially engaged when I repeat the exact sounds she makes. She LOVES it. I sometimes smile so much during these times together that my cheeks hurt. She also studies faces for a long time now. Before this, her gaze was more shifty, but now she’s hyper-focused. She still is killin’ tummy time too.

 

She also has been trying to bear weight when we stand her on our legs, it’s wild. I’m like, girl, slow down! I can’t have two toddlers running around just yet!

The evening of July 11th, I started the Bachelorette in bed. I know many people have jumped ship on this franchise, but I have watched for as long as I can remember- I don’t think I’ll ever stop no matter how repetitive and silly it is! I’ll probably be in a nursing home organizing watch parties.

One thing different this time around, it takes me a couple days to finish an episode. It comes on at 8, I usually don’t start it until 830/9 and then shortly after 9 pm I am out if Quinn’s out.

 Another great pic from Marie that week of my boy 💙.

 The smiles are more and more frequent and more and more cheesy 🥰. I just soak up every single one. She gets such a kick out of watching me lift weights; this was a smile from that. She was probably laughing at my form 😅.

 Week 10, I suddenly got the urge to cook again. I haven’t ordered takeout in over a week, who is she?!

When I cook, I basically have to do it with Quinn either in the carrier or bouncer, but I’m finding ways to chip away at prepping a dinner through the day. I was feeling real motivated one day after seeing a recipe for filet mignon in the air fryer. I made them with a medley of vegetables and couscous. Oh my word! SO GOOD and so easy.

 It’s 9:31 AM! 20 min mark. Go, Quinn, go!

The evening of July 13th, I made a vegan Dr. Praeger burger with rice and veggies. This has been a super easy go to dinner for me lately. I usually top it with Noble Made dressings and hummus.

And she’s awake at 9:34 AM. Going to put pacifier back in and see if she falls back asleep.

She didn’t fall back asleep, but that’s ok! 21 minutes, not too bad.

July 14th we started with our usual morning walk. We had a bit of a chaotic morning, I don’t even remember why I just remember feeling frazzled, and being out on the trail immediately calmed me down.

 That evening I captured this precious moment!

 Mr. Moose was tuckered after a day at Marie’s.

 Friday July 15th Gigi stopped by! She dropped off this absolutely adorable bib. How cute is this?!

  July 16th I made us some shrimp tacos for dinner. Besides the steak, this is my favorite thing I’ve made in the air fryer. These tacos are becoming a frequent rotation! I just get the large easy peel shrimp, defrost them, lather them in olive oil, and douse them up with whatever seasonings feel right in my soul- usually a combo of cumin, chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder & smoked paprika.

This week we read The Rabbit Listened. I adore this book & its message!! She loves it too ☺️.

 I love how comfortable Moose is with Quinn now. The first couple weeks he went to the opposite couch she was on, but now he snuggles right up.

 Saturday July 16th was a very special day! It was Moose man’s first birthday. How is our fur-born already one?! I ordered a puppy cake from Okra and Molly online – and it was wonderful service! Super fast and fairly inexpensive. I made one little mistake- I accidentally ordered Moose a female cake, but I don’t think he cared 🤣. We had to stop him from devouring the whole thing in one go!

Oh and did I try it? Of course. I know it’s technically for dogs, but it’s made with all food us humans eat & it looked so appetizing 😆. It was not bad! Like a really dry peanut butter cake with zero sweetness lol. I see why Moose loved it though.

Since it was his birthday, he got dessert first. But for dinner, the old man got ground beef and rice.

Another morning walk pic. I know these blogs are quite repetitive! I guess that’s somewhat a good sign that we have a kinda maybe sorta semblance of a routine?

On Sunday July 17th, we took these pics of Moosey and Quinnie in her “And then there were four” onesie 🥹. I mean..

 That onesie was a gift from one of DJ’s coworkers, and I’m just so obsessed.

Don’t know where I saw this, but had to share since I saw it screen-shotted when going through my camera roll, lol. I’ve got 8 years on this person, and still don’t know what to say 🫠.

Monday July 18th , Clair came by with Jacob and Layla for a little mom and kids morning. We ordered breakfast from Garrets Mill Diner (still a favorite) and tag-teamed feeding the two toddlers, Quinn and keeping everyone happy/entertained while catching up!

We had fun putting on the dancing fruits for a couple minutes, and Quinn was thoroughly entertained by our dancing 🤣.

That afternoon we had two successful crib naps! Even though they were only 20ish mins a piece this was the most success we had had yet!

That evening I made Indian for DJ and was craving a salad for myself. The salad is not all that pretty- presentation goes by the wayside when the objective is make and eat the food before baby girl cries! And then if she’s in my carrier while I’m eating (which is often the case), I try hard to avoid dropping food on her. When it’s a real messy meal, I now put a light blanket over her head. I have found avocado in her hair, watermelon juice on the side of her head and peanut butter somehow got on her face one time. Oh and we can’t forget the cashew in the diaper 🙈. Sorry baby girl! She’s a trooper putting up with me, I’ll tell ya what.

Tuesday July 19th we had a gorgeous walk to start the day on our trail. The only annoyance is how buggy it is that time of morning. I have a mosquito net for the stroller, but that doesn’t help much when she fusses and wants in the carrier. Usually I just cover her legs with a light blanket if they’re exposed, or if it’s cool enough, keep her in a full body onesie.

That afternoon I was feeling ambitious. I needed to get Quinn a rehearsal dinner dress for a wedding in August, so I looked up baby clothing stores in town. I thought it’d be a fun little outing for us to do together. I found one only 9 minutes away. Perfect, or so I thought. Lately, Quinn doesn’t tolerate even a minute in the car. She hates it. I even dread the drive to and from walks. As soon as we started driving, she started wailing. I feel so helpless when she cries in the car. When we got to the area where the store was located, I realized we had to park in a parking garage – a minor inconvenience. I found a spot on the first level, unloaded her (still crying, now echoing through the entire garage), and she didn’t stop even in the stroller. I put her in the carrier and she immediately calmed down, but then I had this whole stroller I had to lug back into the trunk (not possible when she’s in the carrier). Out of desperation and a prayer that it wouldn’t get stolen, I hid the stroller in from view in front of the car. I jetted quickly to the store only to find it was vacated and no longer existed. I put her back in the car and she wailed all the way home. She was crying, I was crying, and I vowed to never leave the house again. Dramatic, I know, but when you’re stuck on the highway with a wailing babe it’s the worst!

Thankfully as soon as we came home she was a happy camper again, and I bought a couple dresses online for her instead. What would we do without online shopping. I really do not know.

Week 11’s book was Wake Up Farm. It’s so fun with the pop out images!

This week we spent a lot of time dancing and listening to music. I introduced her to some of my dad’s favorites- mainly 60s classics/60s Motown. I think her favorite song right now is I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch). I don’t think I’ve mentioned this on the blog yet, but Quinn’s middle name, Rae, is in honor of my dad and Grandpa- my dad’s middle name was Raymond and my Grandpa’s name was Raymond, but he went by Ray 🥰.

I was very much in the reading mood this past week too, I finished three books and started a new one. My favorite of the three was Educated, (yes, I finally finished it)- phenomenal!! One of the best books I’ve ever read start to finish. The pure genius of her writing gave me chills!

I also started Ready Player One, which is not at all my usual cup of tea, but I’ve heard it referenced quite a bit lately with the creation of Metaverse. I know it came out a long time ago, but I’m actually so into this book. It makes me feel a little bit like I’m reading Harry Potter again. Have you read the book or seen the movie?

Friday July 22nd, we changed things up during tummy time. I got this idea to use wrapping paper for play time from the Curious Baby cards. These cards are filled with some really fun ideas for each age!

She loved this idea. The crinkly sound of the wrapping paper kept her engaged for a while and see loved playing with it with her hands.

That evening, DJ and I decided we would try to do a date night at home since it’ll probably be a while until we have one out of the house again!

I started with a random throw together-whatever-is-in-the-pantry appetizer spread since I knew sitting down to eat may take some time. For the main meal, I made filet mignon in the air fryer , and had some homemade sweet potato soup from the food prep pre-baby, creamed spinach (dairy free for me) and rice.

Ms. Quinn was especially fussy, so right when we were about to eat our main meal, I put my attention on calming her down. She finally crashed in my carrier, so I stood and swayed at the kitchen island while DJ cut up my steak into bite size pieces that I could easily eat without disturbing her. We watched half an episode of Yellowstone and were ready to call it a night by 845 pm.

And that wraps up week 11!

Questions for you:

Do you have a favorite air fryer recipe?

– What is/was your favorite children’s book?

<3,

Mackenzie

Week 9: Fourth of July, Szalays and Dancing Fruit!

 Good morning/afternoon/evening, whenever you may be reading this! I am currently in the nursery with Quinn, trying to get her to nap in her crib. Right now, she only does contact naps in my carrier, so I’m hoping we can get her used to some crib naps before starting daycare. She’s happily just looking around at the moment, mainly fascinated by the cascading vines and flowers on the wallpaper, but I hope she dozes soon because I know she’s tired. And I’ve learned it can be very difficult to get her happy again when she’s overtired.

Anyway! Week 9 was a jam-packed, but wonderful one.

 It started out Saturday July 2nd with an early morning walk with the whole gang.

 (Not pictured – a sleepy Quinn in the stroller).

That morning, I had my first ever outing away from Quinn. It was hard to leave her for even a couple hours, but lemme tell ya- my hair was begging me to give it life again.

I went to get some blonde put in while DJ stayed with her and gave her a bottle. I called him on the way home, and he said all was going really well, so I even stopped to grab some coffee.

It felt like such a huge thing we had accomplished!! The rest of the day was just getting the house in order, doing chores, etc. We fit in some Yellowstone in the evening too.

Sunday July 3rd, we went for a very early morning walk before driving to a place called Lakeside in Danbury Township, OH for the day.

 DJ’s side of the family has a big reunion every year on the weekend of the Fourth. It was hard for us to make it while living in CA and TX, so we were excited to be able to go this year. We decided since we’re still working on Quinn’s sleeping, we would just go for the day of the 3rd rather than stay overnight. Both Moose and Quinn did very well on the way there. We laughed at Moose who sat like a human most of the trip, eyes straight ahead on the road 🤣.

 We only needed to stop to do one diaper change/feed break.

 The face of a happily fed gal with a fresh diaper!

When we arrived, we met up with Gigi, Gordie, Laura and Ricky and their daughter (our niece, Lily) before they headed back to Chicago. So good to see them all!! They’ll be back in a couple weeks, and I cannot wait!

Gigi and Quinnie!

 First Fourth of July family pic!

I asked Deej to take a picture of just Quinn with her outfit. This is how the pics turned out 😅. Sweet pea was not having it!

She was happy to get a picture while on her play mat though!

I just kept her in my carrier the whole day, besides when others were holding her. She met her Aunt Amy for the first time too! I couldn’t wait to see Amy, I miss living close to her.

For lunch, we had some incredible barbecue. Can we talk about what a CRIME it was that I lived in Austin and didn’t eat the meat when going to BBQ spots?! I missed out on some good smoked brisket 😭.

After visiting with family, the delicious lunch, and feeding/changing Quinn, we had a little downtime. DJ and I took Moose for a walk and enjoyed beautiful Lakeside.

Lakeside is situated right on Lake Erie. It feels like a step back in time when we go there- it’s a little oasis of cottages, old fashioned donut and ice cream shoppes, mini golf, a gorgeous chapel and the most peaceful dock. This place is special to me and DJ as it’s the first place we said we loved each other. DJ spent many summers here growing up, and I’m so glad he shared this special place with me too!

It was a great day with family and being in a place we love!

The next day, the actual Fourth of July, we went to another place we both frequented growing up- Szalays Sweet Corn Farm & Market! Side note- The Fourth of July also marked day two (in a row!) of me putting on regular clothes and makeup. Something that never happens lately!

Anyway, we just love this place. Szalays is known for probably three things- their BIG wooden swing, amazing corn on the cob and a great corn maze at Halloween.

It was scorching out this day, so we decided to just get some corn and then hit the road. We had a fan on Quinn, but still didn’t want to overdo it.

 We got our corn!! Moose laid happily next to us even with people walking by- we were so proud of him.

 That afternoon I read Three Little Kittens to Quinn. I read one book a day to her. I used to change it up every day, but I started doing one book through the whole week, and it seems the familiarity holds her attention better? Or I could be just reading into that ;).

 

July 5th was back to the usual! I just love ‘the usual’ which includes spending all the time and cuddles with my girl.

 Her cuddles are the bestttt.

 Lately on our walks, Quinn has started getting fussy at the turn around point. I’ve cut them short due to this, especially with Moose. If it’s just her and I, then I’ll put her in my carrier to finish out the walk.

 

Oh also!! Apparently there have been a number of black bear sightings around here. Gigi’s neighbor even saw one in their yard. So I’m definitely on high alert out on our walks.

 The smiles get more and more frequent every day! I’m obsessed.

 July 6th marked Quinn’s two month birthday 💕💕💕.

 The next day, July 7th, Gigi stopped by to hangout with me and Quinn while someone worked on our treadmill which broke that week. Getting it fixed is VERY important as it is one of my main ways to soothe her- I put her in my carrier, put the treadmill on a low speed, and she’ll conk out in a matter of minutes.

Since Moose has been a bit of a booger lately with having kennel cough and not being able to get his energy out as much at daycare, my mom sent him a care package (which indirectly is very much a care package for me). Thankfully he was acting totally fine and the cough went away, but he still couldn’t be around other dogs for two solid weeks.

July 8th Gigi helped me out big time by watching Quinn while I went to get a dress altered for a wedding I’m in in August.

That afternoon I discovered Quinn’s new favorite hobby- watching dancing fruit! We only play this for about 10 minutes a day – but my goodness she could probably watch this all day if we let her. And I truly think she intentionally dances along with them to the rhythm too! She also gets a real kick out of DJ and I dancing along to it!

 That evening DJ stayed back with Quinn and Moose while I snuck in my first trail run this summer and since having her! I only went two miles, but it felt amazing.

 And that brings us to the end of week 9!

Update on the nap- did not happen in the crib. We tried! She just was not having it. Maybe better success next time. For now, I’m soaking up the naps in my carrier. I know I’ll miss them.

Question for you:

Do you have any summer traditions?

<3,

Mackenzie

Weeks 7 & 8!

 Hey hey! I hope all my USA friends had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend with friends and family. I am writing this blog as we drive to see family about an hour and a half away (on July 3rd). Girlfriend is conked out in her car seat at the moment, just hoping she stays that way for a bit!

So weeks 7 & 8 were really good weeks overall! We had some breakthroughs with Quinn, which I’ll get into now.

First one- on June 18th Quinn took a bottle for the first time!! This was a big deal because I was a bit nervous she’d refuse a bottle up until I returned to work, but nope- she did great! We try to offer a bottle once a day to keep her used to it.

That day I did my first run on the treadmill since I delivered her. It felt AMAZING! I have a long way until I’m running marathons again, but I’m happy to do any running at this point.

 June 19th was Father’s Day. It was bittersweet- missing my Dad and knowing how absolutely incredible he would be as a grandpa, but then also it was awesome to celebrate DJ’s first Father’s Day ❤️. We went over my father-in-law’s around noon for a yummy lunch & to celebrate the amazing Dad he is too! We then returned home, DJ opened gifts, and we had a chill evening of watching Yellowstone.

 June 20th DJ and I took Moose to Beach Bow Wow. Our girl was a little fussy that day, so I stayed with her in the car until she calmed down. Then I put her in the stroller and walked her around the park until the guys were ready to go.

That was another wonderfully chill day just caring for our children- one furrier than the other.

Side note (the pic below made me think of this)- anyone else watch TV/movies at home with subtitles?

Moose sits on this pouf like it’s a chair, and it cracks me up.

 June 21st was a pretty relaxing day too! Something I’ve been really grateful for this summer is the electric fence. Moose has been loving just going out and exploring/sunbathing in the yard.

 Whenever I am playing with Quinn, Moose wants in on the fun.

 Quinn is fascinated by her big brother!

 We’ve been so impressed with her head control. This day also marked the third time she rolled over since three weeks old. She rolled a fourth when Gigi was here later in the week! She is one strong girl!

 June 22nd we had CoreLife! Oh now I’m craving some juicy steak again 😋.

 June 23rd I started the day with Kite Hill Almond Yogurt, cashews, collagen powder, peanut butter, berries and honey.

 That morning we had an ultrasound for Quinn to rule out tethered cord, thankfully all was good!! Quinn handled it so well too. Gigi came with us which helped so much.

She played with Quinn while I zipped around emptying diaper pales, vacuumed, unloaded the dishwasher, etc. It’s amazing how much you can get done with a couple free hands in a short amount of time!

 We had Piada for lunch. Safe to say I’m obsessed with that place.

Gigi also took this candid- I love she captured this because much of our day usually looks like this!

Mr. Moose developed a little cough that week, and we feared it was kennel cough. Gigi graciously took him to the vet while I stayed with Quinn. What would we do without her?! Sure enough, he did have kennel cough, which meant 14 days no daycare for him- and a rambunctious Moose for me!

 June 24th we started the day with a walk. I had my usual for lunch with a sandwich. I’ve also been on a kick of watermelon after walks lately. So refreshing. It’s funny because I usually eat an early lunch around 10/1030 with how hungry I’ve been. Who am I kidding I have another lunch at noon too. I’m definitely hungrier breastfeeding than when I was pregnant!

 Lately Moose has become more protective of Quinn. It’s so sweet.

 That evening, I made air fryer salmon- wow, so easy & goood!!

June 25th my good friend, Melissa, and her boyfriend, Michael, stopped by to meet Quinn. It was so much fun chatting with them, having lunch from Piada and introducing them to her. It’s pretty special because Melissa and I have been friends since we were in diapers ourselves!

 Week 7 was extra special because we got our first social smiles from Quinn. She made us work for them though 😅. I’ll never forget the moment when she gave me that first smile back. Best. Thing. Ever. Ok I guess there are a lot of “bests” with her 🥰.

 One of her favorite toys lately is this butterfly Rachel got her. The opposite side is all black and white contrast. It rattles/crinkles/squeaks, and she just loves it! I use it a lot when she gets fussy on car rides, and it tends to be a pretty good distraction most of the time ;).

A HUGE breakthrough from week 8 is Quinn now loves a pacifier! It was a lot of persistence and trying daily to get her to take one, and finally she accepted it. We now can’t go anywhere without it!! It is a game changer! We tried multiple different kinds, and this is the one that stuck.

Random, but her absolute favorite position post feeds is up on the shoulder. It makes sense with her reflux. DJ sometimes will do this little helicopter tour with her around the house, and she loves that too, ha!

This pic above is now my phone background 🥰.

My coworkers got this sweet outfit for her that she sported on Thursday June 30th 🥕.

Since Quinn loves being in the carrier so much, DJ got one too this week! She just loves being all snuggled up in it.

To help expend a little extra energy, we hired a dog walker a couple times to get Moose an extra walk a few days through his kennel cough quarantine. The walker sent the sweetest photos and Moose seemed to love exploring the new trails!!

Friday July 1st, Quinn had her vaccines first thing in the morning. This picture below is her saying “I did it!”. She just slept most of the day and was only a touch fussy in between naps.

Since she wasn’t feeling 100% after, I just had her nap on me while laying on the couch much of the day. Moose had a ton of pent up energy in the afternoon, so I gave him a card board box to gnaw on. Well, inside said box was a bunch of styrofoam which he proceeded to destroy to pieces. Since Quinn was fussing a bit as Moose created what resembled a winter wonderland on our floor, I was just focused on trying to calm her and figured I’d deal with the mess later. I decided c’est la vie, laughed at the situation and of course, documented it.

That brings us to the end of week 8!

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend ahead 😊.

<3,

Mackenzie

Weeks 3 & 4!

Hey hey!! How are you doing today? I have The Housewives of New Jersey playing in the background (my latest guilty pleasure) while Quinn is sleeping in my arms. I think this is as good a time as ever to start chipping away at this post!

So weeks 3 & 4…. were rough. It’s funny because some people say 1 & 2 are the hardest, but that did not prove true for us. Everything was going so smoothly weeks 1 & 2 thennnn not so much.

I’ll try to sum all that up quickly and then focus on the beautiful, wonderful moments over those weeks because those sure were there too and outshine any of the bad💕.

Soon after Quinn was born, I recognized she may have a cow’s milk protein allergy due to *unusual* stools, so we took her to the pediatrician, and they suspected it as well. I had to cut out dairy and soy from my diet (soy has a high likelihood of cross intolerance), but no big deal – whatever was best for her I would do in a heartbeat. She had no other issues or symptoms we noticed though. Those first two weeks, Quinn started out sleeping ok in her bassinet (as good as you could expect for a newborn). Then in week 3 she stopped sleeping in the bassinet entirely. She developed such horrible reflux and congestion that kept her awake, and she sounded extremely uncomfortable whenever we laid her down flat. The only way she would sleep was on one of us. Thankfully my mom was there week 3 when DJ returned to work, and she took over holding her the second half of the night between feeds. My mom said she loved that time though- she soaked up tons of cuddles and was able to make it through a couple books by the end of the week.

Anyway, back to the reflux- we tried everything we could think of to get her to sleep comfortably and to address the reflux, but nothing worked. It was the most heartbreaking thing seeing her uncomfortable. When my mom left week 4, that’s when things got extra hard because I was getting only an hour or two of sleep in a 24 hr. period (DJ helped me get a nap when he got home). I went from being on cloud 9 the first couple weeks to feeling suddenly down, helpless and exhausted beyond words by the fourth week. I was desperate for her to feel better & for any sleep myself. I also started experiencing mom guilt about various things for the first time- I have never experienced guilt like mom guilt, even if it’s probably many times objectively unwarranted.

Monday June 6th we met with a nurse practitioner who made all the difference. She really heard us out, cared about my own well being as well as Quinn’s and came up with some unconventional, yet safe, solutions we hadn’t tried yet. She also prescribed reflux meds that certainly have helped! Things started turning the corner. Here at week 6, we still don’t have any night routine that has stuck, but we overall are all getting more sleep & Quinn seems more at ease. I’d guess I get 4 hours minimum in 24 hrs. which has made all the difference! Also, Gigi has really come to the rescue and has helped me get some good naps in. We also had a couple specialist appointments those weeks to rule out anything mores serious causing the reflux, and thankfully nothing was found.

Anyway, I’m just so grateful it’s nothing serious causing her symptoms, and this will all improve with time. I just want her to be comfortable and happy more than anything!

Ok, onto the good stuff !!!

Saturday May 21st, Quinn met her Great Aunt Jean in the afternoon 💕.

That evening, DJ held her while studying for a certification exam he’s taking next year. I think the way she’s snuggled up on his shoulder is so sweet.

 May 22nd we started the day with a family walk on the trail.

 That afternoon my mom (Quinn’s Grammy) arrived in town! Woohoo! This was her first time meeting Quinn in person. Needless to say, she was ecstatic to meet her first grandchild!

 For an appetizer prior to dinner, we made a little vegan cheese and cracker tray.

 We had Piada for dinner. My mom-in-law (Gigi) dropped off some vegan food and treats the day before since I can no longer have dairy, so we indulged in those that evening. SO sweet of her 💕. Also these desserts were amazing!!

 While my mom was here we worked a lot on getting Quinn to take a pacifier. My mom was successful a few times. Quinn was certainly less eager to take one from me at the beginning but has improved since.

 Our daily routine that week started with my mom taking Quinn while I got dressed/had breakfast then we’d switch. Then we’d head out to the trail for a lovely walk. It was unanimously one of our favorite parts of the day!

 We’d go back home around 11 and start to make lunch after changing and feeding Quinn. I’ve been on a real kick of a Turkey sandwich on Dave’s bread with vegan cheese, avocado, tomato, lettuce and mustard. Usually I have a salty side like Hippeas, Snappea crisps or pretzel thins along with a piece of Hu dark chocolate. Oh, side note- some deli Turkey has casein in it, which is a milk protein (who knew?!), so I’ve been careful to make sure to buy “casein free” turkey.

That evening we had Ichiban Sushi for dinner. I was able to get some rolls soy free and used a soy-free soy sauce. SO yummy!

Since it was DJ’s first week back at work, he was very eager to hold her the minute he walked through the door ❤️

May 24th we tried our the bungee waist leash for the first time with Moose! Even though my mom was there and willing to help, I wanted to see if I could manage both Moose & the stroller while I still had backup. Thankfully, it was a smooth first walk!

In the afternoons, we would usually relax/cuddle with Quinn, do Tummy time (she turned over for the first time at 3 weeks- WHAT), read her contrast books to her, take turns taking naps and watch The Circle (we watched a season together in Texas so it was fun to watch the latest season together again here!).

 

That afternoon we added a bath to the mix. She really loves her bath time!

 That evening my mom made a delicious meatloaf with corn, mashed potatoes and veggies. So good!! We decided people are sleepin’ on meatloaf. Why is it not a more common dish these days?

Snuggles with Grammy ❤️

May 25th, while Moose was at Marie’s, we received the sweetest update from her! Apparently this adorable little puppy followed Moose around the whole day and looked up to him like a big brother 🥺❤️.

That day we also had a peds appt and then received the referrals.

On May 26th we scheduled the specialist appts back to back. We went on a walk in the morning as usual then went to the appts. Quinnie handled it all like a champ!!

My mom watched Moose while she dropped us off at one appointment since we went straight there from the walk.

 She also picked us up Starbucks while at one of the appts. I loved this decaf iced americano with oat milk and one pump of sugar free vanilla. Might be my new go-to there!

Since we were obsessed with my mom’s Instapot ribs the last time she was here, she made them up again that evening! Sooo goood!

 May 27th we went on a walk with Rachel in the morning. We all chatted about our recent reads a lot of the walk, and inspired by my mom starting a book club in Texas, Rachel decided to start a book club here with some coworkers and friends. I’m excited for our first meeting in July!

In the afternoon we took Quinn to meet her Nana Vi (her great grandma on Pete’s side). It was so so sweet. She gifted Quinn a silver sippy cup with her name and birthday engraved along with a beautiful spoon that says “blessed” and included the most thoughtful card to boot. This gift was my impetus to get Quinn a personal keepsake box.

Also random side note- I think I’ve worn a hat every day of maternity leave 😅. I cannot wait to get my hair done again! Should I go for the mom chop next time I get it done?

That evening Moose cuddled up to my mom while we watched The Circle. Had to get a picture!

We also received another sweet text from Marie that day. So proud of Moose!

 The morning of May 28th I took my car in to have the windows tinted so the UV rays would be blocked from getting to Quinn’s skin. It was my first time being away from her. Even though it was only about 30 minutes total, it was not easy! But it helped knowing she was in good hands with my mom.

That afternoon, Pete (Quinn’s Grampy) arrived in town! I put Quinn in the onesie I used to announce I was pregnant to them (it says I can’t wait to meet you Grandma & Grandpa, May 2022).

 Pete was one proud Grampy holding his granddaughter for the first time !

 In the pic above it looks like she’s saying, “please Mom, enough with the photos!”).

That evening we had corned beef sandwiches, okra, green peas & potatoes with carrots – yum!!

Quinn was loving her Grammy & Grampy reading her contrast books to her.

The morning of May 29th we all went out on a walk. Our crew grew from just my mom and me with Quinn and Moose most of the week to us, DJ and Pete!

Time to upgrade to a minivan?

 In the afternoon, Pete helped with some projects around the house. He’s a miracle worker when it comes to any house projects. Even things I think can’t be remedied, he finds a way! I was able to sneak in a nap, and we all spent time with Quinn (including Moose!).

First time using baby bouncer since she passed up the 8 lbs. minimum.

We also FaceTimed my Aunt Terry that afternoon too!

 That evening we finished The Circle. It was a pretty good season!

May 30th we went on a shorter walk in the morning since it was so warm outside. That afternoon some family friends came by to meet Quinn, and then it was time to say goodbye to my mom and Pete :(.

It was a hard goodbye, but I was so grateful for my mom’s help that week. And Pete’s help with house projects. It was sooooo good to see them.

June 1st was just a much needed chill day with lots of cuddles.

June 2nd I took Moose and Quinn out on the trail myself for the first time! It went well. It helped we got out there super early.

Gigi stopped in the morning to see Quinn 💕.

I finally figured out how to use this carrier wrap before my mom & Pete left, and now I spend much of my days with Quinn snuggly in it. She loves it, and it allows me to get stuff done around the house too!

I adore this picture of her and DJ!

June 3rd we spent some time in the nursery together reading books and rocking in the rocking chair. I feel so calm whenever we’re in there.

 And that brings us to the end of week 4!

Hope you all have a great week ahead 🙂

Question for you:

What food/dish do you think is underrated?

<3,

Mackenzie

First two weeks with our girl 💞

Good morning all! How are you doing today? Can you believe we are already pretty well into June?

In this post, I want to make sure to document the details of my first couple weeks with my girl before they escape me. It’s interesting how simultaneously the weeks and days feel like a blur, and yet I have never felt more present in every moment of them. The first two weeks were spent with so much skin to skin, cuddles, tummy time and introducing Quinn to friends and family. I worked hard to make sure that when she arrived, she would get all my attention during maternity leave. Prior to her birth, I pretty much lived and breathed my to-do list every day, so it’s been a bit odd not having one. I love it though, it’s a great change of pace and gives me so much freedom to be present in every moment with her. I thought I was going to do things much more on a schedule/be more regimented, but I have really opted to go with the flow. I just do what feels right for her/listen to her cues.

The first couple weeks, we went to bed around 10 pm. Putting her to sleep was the most anxiety-inducing thing we encountered the first two weeks. Writing this a few weeks in, we have invested in a sleep monitor and feel much more at ease.

During this time, she had some good nights where she slept soundly between feedings and other more challenging nights that we seemed to get no sleep at all. Staying awake during breastfeeding at night is hard too, but I’ve found some sugar free suckers help keep me awake. If I really can’t keep my eyes open, I’ll have DJ supervise us.

DJ took the entire first week off of work and the second he worked from home. This setup worked great and was such a nice way for our family to get adjusted to a new groove. He has helped a ton with Moose and will do absolutely anything I need help with from refilling my water bottle while nursing countless times (breastfeeding makes me so thirsty!!) to jumping out of bed to help soothe her at night. She responds well to his “shushing”.

Overall, having a newborn is what I expected in some ways and different than what I expected in other ways. I thought I would be overwhelmed and in a state of anxiety/panic all the time- but it hasn’t been that way. I have an unexpected sense of peace even in the stressful moments. It’s still hard at times and has not been without its challenges, but caring for her just feels so natural and wow, do I love it. I have never been more sleep deprived in my life which I expected (blaming any typing or grammar errors on that 🤣), but it’s pretty amazing how much you can function on so little sleep when you have to. I also recognize the awesome support I have had in DJ and our family which makes a tremendous difference, and I’m so grateful for them.

I will say Moose as a very young puppy was possibly more overwhelming on the day to day 😅 (although the sleep was a litttle better… which is saying something lol!).

Putting the rambles on hold for a second, I’ll start back to the first couple days home. We went to her first peds appt, also her first outing, on May 10th.

It was a great first appointment! She’d lost weight, which I know is expected at that first appointment, and my milk hadn’t quite come in yet. However, that afternoon my milk came in, and when we returned to the next appt, she had gained so much the staff almost didn’t believe it and reweighed her at the end of the visit, ha! Sitting here at 3 weeks, she went from 6 lb. 7 oz. at birth to 8 lb. 12 oz. Girl LOVES to eat like her momma. And she also gets hangry like her momma 😅.

Speaking of, that afternoon I finally got the Jimmy John’s I was craving through my whole pregnancy!! Load up the deli meat- woot woot! (Meat cravings are still in full effect).

On May 9th, my MIL, Quinn’s Gigi, stopped by with a laundry basket (a literal laundry basket) of AMAZING eats her and Gordie cooked up! We were set for the week with delicious teriyaki salmon, grilled sausages among tons of delicious sides. They spoil us!

We went on her first walk that day. The day was heating up fast, so we only went a very short distance. Plus physically, I couldn’t go far anyway. I absolutely LOVE the travel system stroller we got. I agonized over the stroller decision more than probably anything, and am very happy with our choice. It’s smooth as can be and after the learning curve, has become second nature with the set up.

I want to talk about the physical aspect of postpartum for a second. Is it me, or do people not talk enough about how hard the physical recovery is?! That first week hurt, badly 😅. I actually would take going through labor all over again over the recovery period. At about two weeks I’d say I really turned the corner.

On May 11th, I trimmed Quinn’s nails for the first time. Shocking how long and jagged they were at birth! She did great with it. I thought she’d possibly hate it, but she just let me file away. I can’t believe how quickly they grow back though! I feel like I’m constantly needing to file them.

Oh and of course, one of the most common questions we get is ‘how is Moose adjusting?’. So, the first week, he was certainly unsure of her and just kept his distance. But over the last couple weeks he has really warmed up and now will sniff her a lot/tries to give her kisses and sits all cozied up to her on the couch 🥰. He even dropped a ball in her lap one time as if she could play catch with him, lol.

He’s also sooo gentle with her. DJ and I both feel like the minute we brought her home he matured suddenly. It’s like he all of a sudden knew he was the big brother of the house and no longer the baby. He does get jealous sometimes though, but when we notice that we do try to make sure to give him the attention he’s looking for. The most mom guilt I’ve felt is toward Moose man and worrying he will feel second fiddle, so I’ve tried to be intentional about giving him lots of cuddles and love.

We also have a great set-up for Moose to go to Marie’s on M, W, F during the day to play with his friends and then he’s here with me and the babes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I miss him so much when he’s not here, but this has been really helpful during these early days, and he absolutely LOVES going to Marie’s.

The afternoon of May 10th one of my high school teachers dropped by with Daisy Cake Pops (the best cake pops in existence), candy and an adorable Alumni onesie!

That day Rach also got to meet our sweet pea!

P.S. I realize I started using this Snuggle Me to take her outfit of the day pictures 🙃. We rarely actually keep her in it though because she has some reflux going on.

And that evening Halston drove in for a few days to help us out and meet her niece ❤️.

Having Halston here was extremely helpful- she came at such a perfect time, especially with me not feeling physically 100% yet! We also had a few random things come up that week and she really stepped in to make things flow more smoothly. She even afforded me some extra sleep by taking some early morning shifts between feeds. It made all the difference! Oh, and she made us some homemade jambalaya before she left. All this right before taking her final law school exams. We would never expect her to do all this, but she is one amazing, selfless sister and Aunt. She also soaked up lots and lots of cuddles with Quinn.

May 12th, Quinn met one of her great grandmother’s, Mimi, for the first time. So special ❤️.

That evening we ordered from Piada, our latest go-to.

May 13th we got out for a walk on a beautiful day.

Quinn also got a delivery of gorgeous flowers from her Gigi for her one week birthday 💞

That Saturday, May 14th, we had her newborn shoot done in our home. It was a lifestyle family shoot. I had no idea what to wear given it’s hard to know what even fits right now and since the shoot was all about Quinn I really hadn’t given it any thought – so last minute I ordered a bunch from Target. Hal graciously picked it all up for me and thankfully one of the items fit! I’ve never done the same day outfit buy, but I guess that’s how it goes now, hah!

That evening, Quinn met her Uncle CJ, Aunt Maura and cousins Kate, Jack and Will. Kate was biting at the bit to hold her cousin Quinn as soon as she walked through the door. It was so sweet!!

We put her in the special onesie my sister and Kevin got her for meeting the fam 💕.

Chris and Maura spoiled us with Crumble Cookies- oh. my. goodness. these were good!!!

Sadly Halston left that evening. It was a hard goodbye, but we had lots of wonderful memories and moments just hanging with Quinn and chatting from the time she was here.

May 15th we went for another short walk out on the trail on a gorgeous day.

That afternoon, Quinn met her Grandpa Gordie for the first time and spent some quality time with her Gigi too 🥰.

May 16th, I got out one of her black and white contrast books. Newborns/infants are attracted to contrast, but I was amazed just how mesmerized she was by it!!! I had never seen her focus on anything until this book.

Random- but something I have learned fairly quickly is just how much you can do with only one hand free. I have never used my feet as an extra hand so much before either. I am still working on the making/eating food one handed- I’m already a messy eater and now it’s much worse 🥴. DJ even found a cashew in her diaper one time 🤣. I did start using a carrier when she weighed 8 lbs, around week 3, and it has made a huge difference!

May 17th, Gigi and I took Moose and Quinn out on the trail for a walk. It was the longest walk I had been able to do at that point (about 3 miles!), and the weather was perfection! It was so enjoyable as we just chatted away.

Later that day, Clair came by to meet our sweet pea 🥰

May 19th, I took Quinn on a walk by myself for the first time since I was able to drive again! Leaving the house, I had to leave Moose behind :(. Seeing him sitting at the top of the stairs watching me leave to go on “our” walk without him made me want to cry. I was determined to find a solution to be able to walk them both at the same time, and thankfully I have figured something out! Stay tuned!!

Some other little things about her I just love from these early weeks- she makes these little dinosaur sounding noises when trying to get comfortable or repositioning. It cracks us up- we call them her “dino noises”.

She also makes the cutest little facial expressions – my favorite is where she turns her head to side, raises her eyebrows and puts her mouth in a circle. I’m pretty sure she does it when passing gas 😂. I have to try to get a picture of it.

We call her Houdini because somehow she can get out of basically any swaddle except the Dreamland one.

I love dancing with her too to some quiet music, even though she sleeps through most of our dance parties.

Quinn is also a cuddle bug. She loves nothing more than nuzzling into us. She spends hours just laying on our chests.

And that wraps up week 2! Writing this at the end of week 3, weeks 1-2 were easy relative to #3. I’ll get into that in my next post.

I’m just so stinkin’ grateful every day, and I still can’t believe she’s ours 🥺💕. I’ll treasure these moments, every single one, forever.

<3,

Mackenzie

My Labor & Delivery Story!

Hey everyone!!! Oh wow am I ever excited to write these next few posts about our Quinn coming into the world. Thank you all for your sweet welcoming words for her 🥰. It’s crazy we have only been with her almost two weeks and how my heart seems to have expanded to a size I did not know was possible. So many memories and treasured moments in this short time. My favorite two weeks ever!!! I feel like I’m going to be quite rambly (not a word, but I think it works) these next few posts. Our lives have very much changed in the best way since my last recap.

I have my girl sweetly sleeping on me while I write this post on a notepad on my phone.  I think I have maybe written one post on a notepad before so we’ll see how this goes 😅. Mr. Moose is also curled up at my side. Life is good.

So, let’s get to it!

So naturally, it would make sense to recap my labor and delivery first! I actually loved my whole experience beginning to end. People say everyone’s experience is unique, and I couldn’t have predicted or planned how this would go if I had tried. And even though it did not go as I had planned, I reflect so fondly on it.

Oh wait wait wait! I have to back up! *Rewind tape noise*. A couple things happened the week leading up to delivery that I want to make sure to mention too.

On May 2nd, I went to L & D for a second time because I was uncertain if my water had broken, although this time I had no contractions. They did a pretty extensive workup, said it hadn’t yet, so I went home.

On May 4th, my amazing coworkers surprised me with a baby shower. They are the best 😭. I was totally surprised- goodness gracious they spoiled me and my fam!!! It was the sweetest thing.

May 5th is a funny day. So around 2 AM I started having those darn contractions again, very similar to the ones I had the week prior. Thankfully I wasn’t scheduled to work this day. I timed them, and they met most criteria to go to L & D, except they weren’t a full minute in length. I figured these were likely just latent labor contractions again, and I didn’t want to go to L & D unnecessarily for the third time in a week.

Anyway, I had scheduled a mat pad cleaning under the carpet around Moose’s crate (we had such a hard time getting the urine smell up in that area of the living room and realized it was the mat under the carpet that needed cleaned). We also had an electric fence installation scheduled that morning (our solution to the trespooping situation since we can’t build one). I know I probably *should* have cancelled the appts., but I really wanted to get that stinkin’ (quite literally) carpet mat cleaned and fence installed. Plus it was hard to get it all scheduled initially to begin with.

When the electric fence guy answered the door I warned him I was having contractions every 4-5 mins. The look on his face was hilarious. Poor guy probably thought he was going to deliver my baby 🤣. When he was explaining to me about the electric fence box, I had a pretty intense contraction come on and had to sit down. He asked if I was ok with wide eyes, and I just tried to act like it was no big deal and said it would pass soon 😂. I asked him if this was his first time installing a fence for a lady in labor and he said yeah- and then asked me if it was my first time in labor 🤣. The carpet guys came soon after that. It was quite a scene. Me having my contractions every few minutes, the raucous from the fence being installed and our living room in disarray to get that mat cleaned.

I messaged my mom-in-law and asked if she was around in case this was the real deal (I insisted DJ go to work until things progressed because I was still convinced this was latent labor). She came over right away just to hang out and in case things did get more intense since they weren’t subsiding. Once the fence was installed and the carpet was cleaned, we took Moose to camp bow wow since there was no way I was able to walk him that day to get his energy out. Also if we needed to go to the hospital he would be taken care of there. On the way there and back the contractions definitely got more intense, but still not quite a full minute. When we got back we ate lunch (I ate a huge lunch thankfully since, unknowingly, that would be my last meal for a while). I so enjoyed my time chatting and hanging out with my mom-in-law despite the contractions coming in more intense waves.

That afternoon, before getting in the shower, I noticed a trickle of fluid down my leg. No denying it was probably time to go to L & D. I was so grateful my MIL was there. She drove me to the hospital where we met DJ. Sure enough, my water was broken, and I was going to be admitted. The first thing my OB said when he saw us was “Third time’s a charm” lol. Since I was only 1 cm dilated, I had to be induced. With wanting to try to go unmedicated, I realized this may be a little more unrealistic with an induction (not impossible, but I was way more open to an epidural with pit on board). So now the game plan was just go as long as possible without the epidural. We were taken to our L & D room and got settled in.

Seeing the equipment for baby girl SO real!! She was going to be here so soon!

The rooms were nice and spacious, and DJ and I just chatted through contractions, and I even painted my nails early on. The Pitocin was started at 4 pm, and the contractions were manageable for a while. I had some jasmine essential oil on a cotton ball that was very calming and made the room smell glorious (a little went a long way!). The exercise ball in the room also helped tremendously early on. Then after a while we started walking the halls which was the only thing that helped with the pain. That, and DJ massaging me with counter pressure, which he did through every contraction.

I hit a point where I could imagine handling the contractions a few more times, but not a few more hours. I wasn’t dilating as quickly as I’d hoped, so I requested an epidural around 10 pm. The anesthesia team was all held up in the OR, so I ended up getting the epidural until closer to 1030/1045 pm. At this point I started to get the labor shakes and the pain was so tremendous for the last couple contractions I started screaming. The epidural got on board right on time. Wow, I have never experienced such blinding pain before as I did those last few contractions. Also, with the pitocin on board, there was no relief.It felt like there was just one wave coming quickly right after the other. Once I got the epidural, I experienced pure bliss. I am so glad I got it because I truly enjoyed the rest of the labor. And I’m grateful I experienced the contractions to the point I did just to have an idea of what unmedicated labor is like. I would definitely do it this way again!

Quinn did have quite frequent late decelerations toward the end of my labor, which were scary to see (she did end up having a nuchal cord, but, thankfully, it didn’t ultimately cause any complications and she came out crying). Our nurse was absolutely incredible- I can’t rave about her enough- she was very reassuring, confident and helped made sure our baby girl was okay the whole time.

Around 11:45 pm I was fully dilated and ready to start pushing. I pushed until 1:43 AM when on girl was born! I didn’t mind the pushing phase at all and nearly fell asleep between pushes a couple times 🤣. I’m telling ya, that epidural was magic. I avoided using the on demand button for extra doses so the epidural could wear off a little bit for more effective pushing , and I think that did make a difference.

When she finally made her grand entrance, the feeling that we both experienced was like nothing I could ever explain. Greatest moment of my life (besides every subsequent moment with her). I am all teary eyed writing about it now. DJ cut the cord, then Quinn and I did skin to skin immediately. She latched to breastfeed so quickly, and nursed for 50 minutes the first time! It’s so mind-blowing how they just innately know what to do.

One of my favorite parts was watching the way DJ looked at her and doted over her. I knew he’d be an amazing dad, but wow, seeing him be a dad to her is the cutest thing ever.

And would it be a true post around here without a food recap? First meal postpartum- a burger, fries and milkshake post delivery from The Burger Den (thank goodness they were open!). Someone told me food would be the last thing on my mind during labor, and lemme tell ya, I was thinking about my next meal with every one of those pushes 🤣. I was so hungry! The burger combo meal hit the spot and then we were off to our postpartum room.

I’m so grateful for a smooth delivery and, most of all, that Quinn is healthy <3.

I’ll recap the rest of our hospital stay in the next post 🙂

<3,

Mackenzie

 

Bow Wow Beach, Contractions & All the Emotions!

*This post was written on May 2nd*

Howdyyy! Continuing on recapping the end of April into May. Usually this time of year is known as something called Spring, but Ohio doesn’t play by the rules, and our winter continued with some serious snowfall on April 19th. Can ya believe it?

April 20th, baby girl really kicked out her foot & I was able to capture it in a photo! Isn’t that wild to see?!

April 22nd, I met up with Clair at The Town Tavern in Fairlawn. Neither of us had been before, so we figured it be fun to try out somewhere new together.

We started out with their soft pretzel to share as an appetizer.

For my main meal, I got a build your own bowl, with just about every ingredient option listed. Tons of veggies, corn, shrimp, etc. Oh man oh man was it good. I did not leave a bite behind. 

It was so good to see her & catch up. We talk on the phone pretty much every day, if not every other, but it is just is the best when we can find time to meet in person.

April 23rd, we took Moose out to Oak Hill again. It’s a little further of a drive than the usual bike & hike trail, but it’s usually less crowded, and we don’t have to worry about bikers sneaking up on us.

After our walk, we took Moose for the first time to Bow Wow Beach. This is easily our new favorite place to take him! It’s a beach strictly for dogs. Moose had the absolute time of his life, and it was his first time in the water (besides baths, which he HATES). Running around in the open water was a different story- he was loving every second. It was fun for us too because we don’t actually get to see him interact much with the dogs when he is at his dog daycare, besides the photos we get from Marie & the video stream from Camp Bow Wow. He was so good with all the other pups! Also, it was adorable- he’d play for a while then come running back to us to make sure we were still there and then run back to his friends. Melted my heart! This place is great.

When we got home, I made us some caprese & egg toasts for lunch. I have been on a caprese kick lately- I will make caprese avocado toast or caprese over eggs on toast most days of the week!

Moose was a sleepy sleepy boy that whole afternoon. Bow Wow Beach wore. him. out. He also has been snuggling up to my bump more often & has been even more cuddly in general (which I didn’t know was possible!)- I really think he knows she’s in there!

That afternoon, we knocked out assembling the stroller & getting the car seat bases installed. I was having no patience with the stroller assembly- but thankfully DJ figured it out. It was a relief to have all that done!

We went on a second walk that evening and pretty much had the hike and bike trail to ourselves which was peaceful.

We stopped by Culver’s after- I had some cheese curds & DJ had one of their mixers. Their mixers are amazing!

On April 24th, I met with Rachel at Creekside Restaurant for brunch. I think my taste buds have morphed into DJ’s through this pregnancy- I ordered chicken & waffles for my main meal, and it was HEAVENLY.

Rachel ordered their avocado spud- a stuffed potato with all kinds of delicious fixin’s and eggs!

We have to go back here because there is so much on the menu I want to try.

Last get together before the baby arrives! It was so stinkin’ good to see Rach. We have been both extra busy lately, it’s been tough to find a time to meet, so this worked out beautifully.

Clearly I need some sunshine 😂.

We took Moose back to Bow Wow that afternoon for round 2!

Also, want to see something funny? We noticed once all the snow melted, our grass was so much greener than our neighbors’. I think Moose may have been fertilizing our yard all winter without us realizing, lol. Maybe our neighbor will be asking him to come back over! 😜

April 25th I took Moosey out on another walk. Don’t let his cuteness fool ya- he was a rascal this day! His Dad was getting a play-by-play at work about all his shenanigans.

In all seriousness, people have said how a puppy is great training for a baby, and I totally understand why. I am so grateful to Moose for all he has taught me about myself in such a short period of time. I have identified things I will need to work on as a mom just through raising him. He’s taught me to be more flexible, more patient, to be more in the moment and to treasure each day we have together. I have times where I wish I had been a bit more relaxed and slow to frustration during his early puppy days- as it was only a phase. I look at pictures of him so little, and feel like I blinked and he grew up. I know in some sense it may feel that way with our baby. So because of Moose, I want to be super present and not miss a beat of my baby being a baby, even if that means not checking things off on my to-do list or letting the laundry pile up for a few days. I understand the hard days are going to go by fast, and to cherish each one of them no matter how hard they are. I realize he feeds off my energy, and how important it is to check myself so a bad day doesn’t wear off on those around me, most of all my child. He’s also taught me what it is to have pure joy through caring, nurturing and loving someone totally dependent on you. Seeing him happy makes me so darn happy- I can only imagine that will be magnified with our baby <3. I don’t know that I would have this perspective without Moose. We love that little, not so little, guy so much & are very thankful for him! I know he’ll be the best big brother.

Ok wiping away my dramatic pregnancy tears as I get back to the recapping..

I have started a new breakfast kick with oatmeal, PB & dates. Dates are rumored to have some benefits for labor. I figured why the heck not give it a go, especially because I do find them tasty.

April 26th I got a prenatal massage! I have been saving a birthday gift for the third trimester massage, and it was a great treat :). That evening was an OB appt. But after I NEEDED a burger instead of Corelife. I was so ravenous I didn’t even get a picture- but we got them from BurgerFi. D-E-lish!

Marie sent us this adorable picture of Moose and Captain (her dog) on April 27th. I love that Moose gets so much exposure to little dogs at her place, especially given how big he is (and he’s still growing)- he’s sooo good & knows to be more gentle with small pups. We got to see that at Bow Wow Beach!

That evening we got our car seat bases inspected! All good to go!

April 28th I had a serious craving for Jet’s pizza. Pizza is one of those things I would have thought I’d crave a lot in pregnancy, but I really have only craved it once or twice. I ordered mushroom & pineapple (which again, sounds so gross- but something about this third trimester is making me want all the savory and sweet combinations) & DJ had a meat lovers. I ordered their turbo crust for the first time with garlic, romano cheese and butter- and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to regular! It was a game changer.