My little girl is already 2 days shy of 6 weeks old. HOW did that happen?? Halfway done with maternity leave and I cannot believe it. We’re having a blast with Dagny and learning so much about her and our parenting methods (hint: not much different than parenting two fur babies at this point). I’m finally starting to feel more human now that we’ve worked towards a nursing / sleeping schedule that seems to work best for all of us and we love seeing new personality traits peek through when she’s awake and alert.

If I’ve learned one thing in these first 6 weeks, it’s that all of my efforts to simplify our lives before she arrived are paying off via less stress for me as I focus on Dagny and our new life together.

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Age: One Month

Weight: 8 pounds, 8 ounces (gain of 1 lb, 10 oz from birth)

Height: 20.75 inches (gain of 1.75 inches from birth – who knew babies grew this fast??)

Sleep: Longest stretch of sleep was 5.5 hours towards the end of the month. Mommy didn’t sleep quite as long with the frequent checks for breathing. Little one grunts and cries out at least 3-4 times a night but doesn’t officially wake up.

Clothes: Still in newborn size but some of her footy PJs are too short.

Diapers: Currently wearing Kanga Care’s Lil’ Joey newborn cloth diapers. She’s developed a rash we have to attack and will be switching to disposables for the duration but we love the ease of cloth diapers and washing daily is not as difficult as it might seem.

Firsts: Her first official holiday was Christmas 2015 at two days old. We gave her first bottle the day before she turned one month. I don’t love to pump so we try not to give unnecessary bottles but it’s a great relief that she took the bottle easily and has no issues nursing still. We pretty much followed the 4 week rule. She also smiled for the first time on her one month birthday. I had been gone most of the afternoon (hence the bottle – she needed one that day) and when I got home she was alert in her crib, saw me when I came in, and gave the biggest smile! My heart totally melted to pieces.

Personality: She isn’t fazed AT ALL by Kate & Trudy’s loud barks and craziness. They all love each other at this point. It took Kate zero seconds to be all over Dagny but Trudy needed a little more time; finally warming up around 2-3 weeks. She cries after every big yawn, loves staring at the sunlight through window blinds and the watercolor above her crib, and being in the car as long as it’s moving and she isn’t hungry or wet. Her cry reminds me of the scene where Buddy the Elf sprays perfume in his mouth and I recorded it so I’ll never ever forget it! We think she may have developed some mild colic but I’m not convinced and will try everything before settling for that word. She’s been consistently crabby between 1-5pm for a week or so. Gripe water hasn’t really helped so we’re trying the next option of simethicone drops. Overall, she’s your typical newborn this month and we’re really excited to see how she grows and changes month to month!

Must Have: We couldn’t live without our Little Unicorn swaddles this month. They are huge and thick and make amazing nighttime swaddle blankets. They have a ton of new sets too and my eyes are getting bigger than my wallet!

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Welcome…Dagny Amelia, born December 23, 2015 at 6:13am. She weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces and measured 19 inches. We are positively thrilled to have her in our lives! How did we ever live without her?

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How far along? Done! Baby is HERE!

Total weight gain: 52 lbs, all in – TONS of swelling and definitely didn’t feel like I had gained this much (though looking at the 13 week photo…yes, yes I did gain this much). Baby girl is two weeks old now and nearly 29 lbs are gone already. I don’t mind the extra weight at all right now but I’m looking forward to getting into an exercise routine. I was having dreams about being active in the last few weeks – ha!

Maternity clothes? For the most part, out of these now. Thankfully, I survived the last few weeks with no new purchases. Now it’s nursing clothes!

Stretch marks? Ended the pregnancy with 3 minor stretch marks on my right upper thigh. Nothing on my belly! I had a conversation with one of my nurses about it and our theory is anyone who had terribly bad acne growing up (both she and I qualify) get by with few or no stretch marks.

Sleep: I slept well until the end…and with two weeks into parenthood, am still sleeping quite good. Dagny feeds every 3-4 hours at night and hubby lets me nap during the day if we have a particularly sleepless night.

Best moment this week: Week 37 – We attended Husband’s work Christmas party and boy was I swollen. The swelling wasn’t the best part, but seeing his colleagues was a lot of fun. It was a miracle I found a pair of shoes to fit.

Week 38 – FINALLY finishing up my work project. I reconciled the program to $0.00 this week and couldn’t have been more elated! It is so nice to have the stress of that project off my plate. I do like to say that having been through those two years makes parenthood look easy (and I’m pretty sure I was right based on how well these last two weeks have gone for us).

Week 39 – Last minute everything! Haircut, highlights and pedicure were fit in and we went over to a friend’s houses for a little Christmas party as well. They were all surprised to see us given how close we were to baby time, but I wanted nothing more than to get out. We also saw Star Wars – my promise to the husband. Dagny was born 3 days later, so I’m pretty sure she’s a Star Wars fan and just wanted to start catching up on the movies she’s missed.

Miss Anything?: I missed nothing but my feet towards the end of pregnancy. Now that I have those back, I can truly say I miss nothing! I don’t miss being pregnant because I have my little girl to hold (though her kicks were super fun to feel) and I don’t miss life before her for the same reason. Life is good!

Movement: She moved quite a bit right up until delivery!

Food cravings: While I was in labor (and didn’t know it yet) I craved Dairy Queen. I asked my husband to run out and get me some. I realized I was truly in labor when I changed my mind about that ice cream run…

Anything making you queasy or sick: Labor transition! LOL.

Gender: Girl!

Symptoms: Swelling and sore hips/pelvic joints…plus the Braxton Hicks/labor contractions.

Belly Button in or out? Out!

Wedding rings on or off? Off!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!

Labor Signs: I went into labor on 12/22, which is incidentally the day our blonde Dachshund (ok, I) guessed. Our little one arrived at 6:13am on 12/23! Braxton hicks are one feeling but labor contractions were completely different. They felt like really bad period cramps. I started feeling them around 2pm on 12/22 and we showed up at the hospital around 12:45am. My water broke at the hospital and afterwards I was checked at 10 centimeters! I should have clearly gone to the hospital earlier, but my contractions weren’t close together until around 11:30pm. I was able to get my epidural (despite hitting 10 cm already) and Dagny was born healthy and happy! I was up and walking around as soon as I could manage and have been feeling rather well in the last two weeks. Labor was definitely not as crazy or scary as I imagined and for that, I’m so thankful. I also had an amazing team of nurses, doctors, anesthetists, etc.

Looking forward to: A lifetime with our sweet little Dagny Amelia!

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With Thanksgiving behind us and 4 weeks left to go, we’re super anxious now to meet our little girl! 4 weeks from now I’ll either be posting the next installment of bump photos or a special installment with a birth announcement. Only time will tell and it’s not within our control, so we’re just taking it real easy around these parts. I will say, here’s hoping she arrives on her due date exactly, right after our 40 week bump photo, which I may now do the day before her due date – ha!

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How far along? 36 weeks

Total weight gain: 38-42 lbs, depending on swelling – ugh! I was hoping to keep it to 35 lbs but I truly don’t feel like I’ve gained so much. You can see about 2 pounds in my giant feet though…

Maternity clothes? I ordered a maxi dress and two tops from Pink Blush Maternity and should have checked them out much earlier. Love their clothes! The fit is perfect and so comfortable. That’s all though…no more maternity clothes shopping!

Stretch marks? …another 4 weeks of no stretch marks. Pretty please skin, stay hydrated and stretchy for just a little bit longer!

Sleep: Still pretty good, though hubby has confessed to me that I’ve started to snore in the mornings. Ah well. I’ve also started to wake up every 3-5 hours, which still isn’t bad but is more than before.

Best moment this week: Week 33 – super uneventful as I had the worst bout of swelling to date which prompted me to go on self-imposed bed rest with feet propped up. The best moment though was probably making our favorite casserole for a new friend who just had a baby…and getting to hold that sweet baby while my own kicked from inside. ::heart melt::

Week 34 – Random day off for husband! We totally forgot he gets Veteran’s Day off so it was a nice surprise to have him home.

Week 35 – Receiving a surprise call from our electrician that they had an opening to install our dining room chandelier and bedroom wall sconces 10 days early. ALWAYS a great time to get something finished early when the clock is ticking towards Baby Day!

Week 36 – Thanksgiving Day, of course. We spent it with our neighbors who graciously invited us over for dinner. We missed our family but are that much more excited to be with them in January after our babe arrives.

Miss Anything?: Seeing my normal feet. I’ve figured out a trick where if I wear my Nike’s tied loosely for at least a couple hours, when I take them off all the fluid is in my ankles and I can see normal feet again (for 5 minutes)!

Movement: She’s losing the space to kick so it’s just awkward and very strong stretches and jabs for her. I was talking to my husband the other day about how it feels and while talking with my hand on my belly baby girl literally jabbed my hand so hard it made me scream. It was as if she heard us talking – ha!

Food cravings: Trying so, so hard to take it easy on the food these last few weeks. Chocolate cake is a win always, but peppermint ice cream is probably #1 right now. Holidays and all…

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.

Gender: Girl!

Labor Signs: Still more Braxton Hicks and I’m getting the feeling they’re getting a bit more intense. I have this weird feeling I’ll deliver early (maybe a week but hopefully not more). We had Kate (the blonde doggie) place a bet in the baby pool and she picked all of the factors that match hers – particularly the date of arrival which matches the date Kate came home to live with us 5 years ago – 12/22. Kate rules this house, so I seriously would not be surprised if she won the baby pool too. We’ll see!

Symptoms: Swelling and sore hips/pelvic joints. The sore hips have started in the last 2 weeks and I can definitely tell everything is loosening up in there. It’s a really weird feeling…

Belly Button in or out? Depends on how baby is positioned but when it’s out, it’s never as bad as I previously imagined.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing rings sized to my normal middle finger just to have something.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! Had some moments of moodiness recently and when things don’t go my way, I get cranky and frustrated easily. Nothing that couldn’t happen to my non-pregnant self though. Ha!

Looking forward to: Finishing my work project within the next 2 weeks (sooooo close!!), hopefully finishing my 2014 Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery sampler by the end of the month since I just signed up for 2016, attending husband’s Christmas party next Friday (and probably sitting in one place for the entire time), and of course, BABYYYY!!!

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We’re really in the home stretch now and couldn’t be more excited! Everyone keeps saying my nesting instinct will kick in soon but I can’t help but laugh and say it’s been there all along – our house is almost where I’d hoped it would be by the time baby girl arrives! Her nursery is 90% complete and we’re working on a couple other projects and purchases throughout the rest of the house that will give me such peace of mind to have completed. Only 8 weeks to go before we get to meet our sweet baby girl!

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How far along? 32 weeks

Total weight gain: 30 lbs – eek!

Maternity clothes? Miraculously, I do still fit in some pre-preg tops but mostly the ones that were already too big for me. I ordered some Old Navy maternity tops to get me through the next two months. While I’m not loving my wardrobe right now, I’m planning to be patient and quit purchasing until I’m ready to buy regular clothes again.

Stretch marks? Bought another 4 weeks of no stretch marks. 8 weeks to go! I know I’m not totally in the clear until she’s here, so fingers are crossed.

Sleep: It’s crazy – I just don’t wake up as often as I figured I would by now. I’m not sure if my Bump Nest pillow is just the best thing ever or I’m just lucky. Either way, enjoying the sleep while I can…especially today’s extra hour of daylight savings!

Best moment this week: Okay, best moment of week 29 was, hmm, not much. I had to take the 3-hour glucose test after failing the 1-hour, so that wasn’t fun at all. I ended up passing the 3-hour so no gestational diabetes, but week 29 was pretty uneventful.

Week 30 was AWESOME. We got to see little girl on our 3D/4D ultrasound. She has her daddy’s upper lip and mama’s big wide nose. Ha! It doesn’t appear she has any hair at the moment so we’ll just have to see when she gets here. We also attended baby classes AND had our maternity photo session this week, so it was a big week for baby.

Week 31 was also uneventful because daddy was out of town! In the past when he was in the Marine Corps and gone at drill, I would make the best of his absence and get so much done around the house. None of that really happened this time – I was just a complete waste of space missing him like crazy!  I guess that’s a good sign that I won’t later kick him out for too long – haha!

Week 32’s best moment was picking said missed husband up from the airport and celebrating Halloween! We went to the neighbor’s house for a little party which was pretty fun and gave out candy to a whole bunch of adorable trick-or-treaters. We haven’t seen so many trick-or-treaters since we were their age so it was nice to finally live in a kid-friendly neighborhood to enjoy the holiday.

Miss Anything? Still frustrated over the swelling problems. It’s no fun at all :(

Movement: Still quite a bit and definitely more predictable each day but I get the feeling she’s quickly losing space to wiggle in there. The movements have started to be more rolls and twists vs. jabs.

Food cravings: The other day all of a sudden I wanted Reese’s peanut butter cups. YUM.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Still no.

Gender: Girl!

Labor Signs: More Braxton Hicks but nothing major.

Symptoms: Swelling – boo! Super tired again too, but not as bad as 1st trimester.

Belly Button in or out? Only out when baby girl is pressed against it with her back. She’s usually more towards the right so most of the time this little belly button is flat as can be or still in entirely. Crazy!

Wedding rings on or off? Definitely off as of the end of our maternity photo session. I was getting nervous about how difficult they were to take off each time. Taking no chances the rest of this pregnancy!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!

Looking forward to: We are not 95% complete with the project I previously mentioned because unfortunately there is just too much left and not enough hours in the day! I should really be 95% in the next 4 weeks because if we’re not, then I better start training someone else to close this program out – ha!

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Despite how long it’s been since I posted these images here, I have definitely been taking them consistently! I’m starting to figure out how best to archive them once baby girl arrives and I’m thinking a super simple little digital scrapbook – maybe Artifact Uprising? Any ideas? I want something quick and easy but that results in all of these photos printed for the memory box.

4 weeks of bumps below!

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How far along? 28 weeks

Total weight gain: 23 lbs

Maternity clothes? I basically live in my Blanqi support tanks now (got the black and white one recently) and just ordered the leggings too. As the weather gets cooler, time to shift wardrobe accordingly, so some shopping has occurred recently despite my better intentions to save money.

Stretch marks? Not yet…fingers crossed – only 12 weeks to go before I’m in the clear!

Sleep: Still going really well. I only ever wake up and get up 1x per night, if that, so I’m still sleeping mostly through the night. When I wake up just due to baby kicks or dachshund movements, I typically fall right back asleep. There have been a few mornings where I’m wide awake at 4am, but those are rare.

Best moment this week: Um, best moment of the last FOUR weeks – ha! Let’s see…week 25 was awesome because we traveled to Chicago and Grand Rapids to visit family and enjoy our baby showers. That was by far the best moment(s) of the last 4 weeks – seeing everyone and having a great time celebrating baby girl!

Week 26 was completely non-eventful due to the return from traveling which knocked us out.

I painted our bedroom during week 27 as I felt like I was getting to the point of missing the opportunity. We’re loving the new relaxing color and have finally setup the 2nd TV in our house for all of my third trimester not-getting-out-of-bed moments coming up.

Week 28 was low key as well – we got some baby and house stuff done and hubby started a 5-gallon batch of beer! He promised to save me a few bottles for January.

Miss Anything? Being able to sit and/or stand with no swelling in my feet. It has begun!

Movement: TONS. I’ve started to be able to tell how she’s lying based on her kicks. It’s so cute feeling what I know are little fingers wiggling around or not so cute getting jabbed with a foot on the side of my belly. Who am I kidding, all movement is so adorable and super mind blowing.

Food cravings: I might have reached the first food craving milestone…not long ago I thought “english muffins with peanut butter and raisins would be delicious.” I tried it, and I was right.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really…I’ve heard of third trimester “morning sickness” and I’m really hoping my avoidance of first trimester doesn’t mean I’m doomed for third.

Gender: Girl!

Labor Signs: Nope…just a couple braxton hicks so far.

Symptoms: Lots of swelling in my feet due to all the sitting for work I’ve been doing. Trying my hardest to take more breaks and elevate my feet often. I drink so much water I don’t know what else to do!

Belly Button in or out? Still in…and I cannot believe my eyes. It’s pretty much flattened out, but still in!

Wedding rings on or off? On. My hands swell occasionally but it’s not as bad as my feet.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!

Looking forward to: First exciting thing to occur next week is our 3D ultrasound…I can’t wait to see the little bug and hope she smiles for us! Next exciting thing is finishing a huge work project and becoming unchained to my desk on a regular basis. If it takes me 4 weeks to post again, I should be 95% complete with that project if all goes according to the current plan! Hooray!

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