Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2 Week Update


Today Aspen turns 2 weeks old. Things have been going really great. She is generally eating twice a night and I often have to wake her up to feed. She also generally nurses for 15-25 minutes and sometimes goes 4-5 hours in between feedings even though I try to wake her up after 3 hours. She had her two week checkup today and has not quite made it back up to her birth weight. We will weigh her again when we go for Everly's 3 year checkup next week. She still loves sleeping on her side and also being held up on your shoulder or chest. She loves being in the Solly Baby Wrap (and I love carrying her in it). She really can't fit in newborn footie pajamas (which is kind of sad) but we also have way more 3 month sized jammies so it is good. It won't be much longer before she is out of newborn onesies also. She is not super great at taking a pacifier yet but sometimes she does good. Last week we had her newborn pictures taken and got her baptized in the Catholic Church, both of which I will post about later. She has taken a bottle (of pumped breastmilk) a couple of times now so that I could go to the gym/run and has done great with those. It has not at all affected her ability to nurse from me either. She is also starting to be awake for longer stretches now and even making some really good eye contact. Hopefully it is not much longer before we start getting some smiles (that are not post-feeding smiles).

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

1 Week Update


Today Aspen is one week old! Overall, it has been a pretty good week. We left the hospital 24 hours after she was born and it was nice to go home so fast. The next day (Thursday) we had her pediatrician appointment and everything looked good but we had to go in on Saturday for a weight check just to make sure she was still gaining. Later Thursday my milk came in which I knew would be good for her gaining. At around 5 AM Friday morning when Justin went to change Aspen, we noticed she had a very big rash all over her stomach. Seeing that combined with the exhaustion from having a newborn made me really upset. I didn't want her to be uncomfortable, and it looked intense. We called the doctor's office once it opened and they asked us to come in that afternoon. We went in and even our doctor said it was good that we came in because it was pretty prominent, but that everything was fine and it was just a normal newborn rash. Everly would get little baby zits all the time and they would clear up fast but this was just so prominent all over her belly that it freaked us out. I was worried it had something to do with my milk coming in but thankfully it didn't. The rash has since cleared up (thankfully because we have newborn pics tomorrow). It did dry out her skin a lot as it cleared up but even that is better now. Feeding has been going pretty well, it is just not super consistent yet. I am not worried about that though because she is still so young but it is just hard to learn patterns when she doesn't really have any yet. I also had trouble latching with Everly for the first few weeks so I mostly pumped so this time period of nursing is kind of new to me. I am pumping as well already to keep my supply up and start storing for when I go back to work. So far Aspen loves sleeping on her side and belly. She loves being in the Solly Baby Wrap and she falls asleep while nursing often. I know that it is going to be harder when Justin goes back to work in a week but for now things are going well. Everly loves saying good morning to her baby Aspen and always says, "she's soooo cute"! Hopefully both of them cooperate for our pictures tomorrow!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Introducing Aspen Ann Larkins

We welcomed our second daughter Aspen Ann Larkins on Tuesday, September 16th at 5:34 p.m. She weighed in at 8 pounds 9 oz and is 20 inches long. I will get into the whole birth story at some point but for now here is a sweet picture of her in the hospital. We are home now and doing well but it also feels like we have a lot going on so we are just trying to adjust to our new larger family and hopefully I can get back to posting regularly soon!


Friday, September 12, 2014

Record Rainy Day

This past Monday we had a record rainy day in Arizona. We had been expecting rain as early as Saturday night and Sunday but it didn't end up coming until the early morning hours of Monday. I was awake because of my many trips to the bathroom but it was pretty loud so I probably would have woken up anyways. Plus, my alarm went off at 4 for the gym. I intelligently chose not to drive to the gym and slept in for another hour or so before getting up to shower. When I got out of the shower and was watching the news I realized I could not leave for work. This is what I saw:


Although that was not on my route, it was not far from my work and at over 40 weeks pregnant I was not about to chance it. I texted my boss and told him I was going to stay home until it calmed down. I decided to take that extra time to make some homemade pumpkin spice creamer for my coffee.  After Everly woke up and ate breakfast we worked on the letter "R" and made a raincloud picture becuase it seemed appropriate. Meanwhile Justin was working vigorously to keep our back patio from completely flooding.

Eventually we heard on the news that the Governor had declared a state of emergency and tweeted this:

Shortly after I got a text from my boss making sure I saw that and telling me not to come in. I was super excited to get a "free" day off especially at 40 + weeks pregnant. The rain eventually calmed down and then stopped and Justin headed to work. Everly and I decided to visit my sister-in-law who lives a few minutes away just to take advantage of the day off and get out of the house. It was nice visiting and seeing my niece's baby Remi, but I realized when I got there that I had a flat tire. I was stranded there until Justin could come and put my spare on during his lunch and am so grateful that my SIL was nice enough to host us on short notice. She made Everly a lunch and Everly demolished it. When we finally got to go home Everly told me in the car that she had fun at Carly's house, so it was all worth it! I was also able to take my car in later that night after Ev woke up and my tire was under warranty so it was not a huge deal. It was definitely a weird day all together but after seeing all of the damage and trouble that other people had in the storm, I am not too upset about my flat tire! Also, that little Remi is an angel baby. He sleeps, eats, and makes the cutest squealing noises. I sure hope Aspen takes after him...

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Aspen's Completed Nursery

Aspen's nursery is now complete and I have shared lots of progress pictures but I wanted to document it all completed and share where we got some of the items. It is not a huge room, but I know that she won't be spending a ton of time in there, especially since we have a separate toy room now. As far as a theme with this nursery, we actually just tried to stick with more of a color scheme of coral, gold, and navy. I love the colors together because it is girly, but not overly pink. I also love that it is not overly "baby-ish." I think that my favorite part of the nursery is the dresser that Justin refinished because it is something that came from my childhood but I really love all of it. Now if we just had a baby girl to put in it...

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Crib: Baby Mod from Walmart (previously used as crib and toddler bed for Everly).
Bedding: Crib Bumper, Blanket, Changing Pad Cover are from Lullabies and Lollipops on Etsy
                Crib Sheet is from Target.
Tassel Garland: Handmade from this tutorial.
Cloud Mobile: Handmade by my husband.
Rocking Chair: Hand-me down from Justin's family (originally re-finished for Everly's nursery).
Bookshelves: Painted spice racks from Ikea.
Curtains: Target.
Curtain Rod: Old and spray-painted gold.
Gold Mirror: Clearance from Kohl's.
Gold Frames: Some old and spray painted, some Ikea.  
Letter A: Made by my sister with Washi Tape
Prints: Fox from Pinterest, Fierce quote from Pinterest, Aspen Poster from Pinterest, Tree picture taken by us on our honeymoon in Aspen, Co, Worth the Wait print made on my iphone, haha.
Rug:  Ikea
Pouf: Clearance from Target.
Diaper Cart: Kitchen Cart from Ikea.
Dresser: Family hand-me-down refinished by my husband.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

National Grandparents Day

Last Sunday was National Grandparents Day. It was supposed to be raining so we decided to take Everly to a movie and invite my mom. My mom is the grandparent that Everly gets most contact with by far. Justin's parents both have passed away and my dad just moved to Michigan, although even when he did live here, he lived pretty far away and he traveled a lot for work. My dad stopped by last week before he moved and she does get excited to see him so that makes me happy even if she can't spend time with him all the time. And not to worry, my Mom definitely makes up for it in the Grandparent department. She is the ultimate Grandma. I would have loved to have given her another granddaughter for National Grandparents Day, but that didn't happen so she had to settle for a movie. We saw "Planes, Fire and Rescue" because it was the only real kid movie out. Everly loves going to movies and is really pretty good in the theatre. We went to a 9:30 A.M. movie but that didn't stop her from inhaling the popcorn. That girl loves popcorn. I could just sit there and watch her watch the movie the whole time, it is that cute! Also, she is still free at the movies so that is nice. While sometimes I wish that Everly grew up with 4 grandparents like me, I know that every family situation is different and we are so lucky she gets to spend so much time with my mom. Happy Grandparents Day!

Don't worry, we don't buy her candy!
Everly and her Grandma!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Phoenix Art Museum

As an employee of J.P. Morgan Chase, Justin had gotten notification that we could visit the Phoenix Art Museum last weekend for free. Assuming Aspen didn't arrive, we planned to go because they were also having Kids Day that weekend. I am still pregnant, so Saturday morning we headed over to the Museum. As we pulled in to the parking lot she said, "this is going to be so awesome." I love how excited she gets about things and CAN NOT wait until Disneyland in December. We had taken her to this museum once before as they offer free admission on Wednesday nights for certain hours when she was around 15 months I think. The art is definitely not kid-friendly, but it is a good experience for her to walk around and have to be respectful and quiet, plus it is multiple levels and she loves going up and down all of the staircases. There was also a really cool dark room we went into that had a bunch of dangly lights inside and mirrors and you had no idea where you were going (and Justin even ran into the wall). Most of the Kids Day stuff was planned for the afternoon when Everly generally naps, but they did have Alice in Wonderland playing on a loop in one of the exhibit rooms and we caught the end of it and she loved it. Guess we are going to have to get that movie now. Here are a few pictures from our trip and one from when back when we took her that first time:

Little Evie
"He's stuck in his cage."
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She had to jump on every single one of these carpeted dots!
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Heading home!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Friday Night Soccer!

The past two friday night's we have been able to go watch my sister who plays soccer for Grand Canyon University. It is really nice because the school is in Phoenix and actually only about 10 minutes from my work and 15 minutes from my house. Two of my other sisters played soccer in college but they were both out of state so it is nice to be able to watch Katy play. The team has not been doing very good but Everly still has a blast going out to the games. The home games are still free too which is awesome because even her high school games cost money. Everly has been going to watch her Aunt Katy play soccer since she was just a few days old! Last fall we even made the 2 hour drive to Flagstaff to watch her play. She plays in Flagstaff again this upcoming weekend and I would love to go, but Aspen really needs to come soon if we even have a shot at going. If not, we will just have to catch more local games during my maternity leave. It is so funny too because I play in a women's league in the fall/spring and Everly is far more excited to go watch Katy play than she is to watch me play!

Literally less than a week old here. 
At Katy's final high school game!
In Flagstaff last fall. 
Justin couldn't go up to Flagstaff last year but he caught the game at home on TV! 
This past Friday night at GCU.  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Baby First!

Yes, I am still calling Everly a baby because Aspen has not come yet to dethrone her from that title. A long time ago my sister painted Everly's nails (and never again) but I had never painted her nails. This weekend we did for the first time. I got a manicure and pedicure in preparation for the new baby last weekend (so much for that) and she has been really interested in how shiny my nails are so I figured it was a good time to paint hers. She did really well. It is not easy to maneuver around little baby hands, especially with a big belly, but she kept pretty still. Justin also helped speed up the drying process by blowdrying her hands and toes after I painted them. Little toddler painted nails is right up there on the cuteness meter with toddler undies! I said it makes her look grown up and Justin replied with, 'Wait until we see her next to Aspen." I don't get sad about her growing up because she is so funny at this stage but I do miss a lot of baby things so I am glad we get to experience that all again soon! I am trying to be patient but there is just something about hitting that due date that makes you REALLY ready to be done. Maybe Aspen wanted to give Everly a little more time as an only child before she steals away a lot of the attention. Who knows, but I am really grateful to have such a sweet little girl who is fun to spend time with and who is going to make an amazing big sister.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Pregnancy Update: 40 Weeks!


How far along? 40 Weeks

How big is baby? The size of a watermelon!

Total weight gain/loss:  They said I lost 2 lbs last week and while I actually think that all can vary so much depending on when they weigh me at least I am not gaining like crazy.

Maternity clothes? Yep. Can't wait to wear normal clothes again.

Sleep: Ok. Peeing 2-3 times a night is annoying especially when I don't drink anything right before bed and pee right before I go to bed. Where is it all coming from?

Best moment this week: The bedding came for the nursery so it is finally all complete!

Movement: More shifting and rolling and sticking out to one side.

Food cravings:  This week I have been craving homemade chex mix and I haven't gotten the stuff to make it yet so that needs to happen this weekend.

Food Aversions: None.

Gender: Girl

Labor Signs:  Not that I know of.

Pregnancy Symptoms:   A little bit of swelling but nothing even remotely like last time and it is only bad if I have been sitting for a while.

Belly Button in or out? In.

What I miss:  Beer. The first NFL game was on last night and I was just sipping on my water....

What I am looking forward to: the next step. I don't know how my labor, deliver, recovery, or maternity leave is going to go, but I know I am done being pregnant.

Upcoming appointments/events:  Made an appointment for next Wednesday. If I make it to then (which is likely as I have not shown any signs of labor) we will probably discuss induction.

Milestones: Ordered a couple of last minute baby items. Thanks to some gift cards from my birthday, Justin's co-workers, and my mom we purchased a Bob Double Jogging Stroller. It is normally $670 which is just bananas but was on sale as part of Target's Baby Sale this week and then I got 10% off from my niece's boyfriend who works at Target, 5% from my mom's pharmacy rewards and 5% off for using my target red card for what the gift cards didn't cover. I think personally we ended up paying like $20 so it was worth the wait. I don't actually plan on jogging with it, but my sister has one and they are great for walks and the zoo and I know this thing will be a lifesaver at Disneyland in December. I also purchased a diaper bag I have been eyeing for a while as part of this sale. It is normally $64 and I got it for $42 shipped so I am pretty happy with that!

This was the last print we added into the gallery wall in the nursery
this week and I think it is a very fitting way to end this post!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Nursery Update

Yay! Aspen's bedding came yesterday afternoon. I ordered it from Lullabies and Lollipops on Etsy. I had already gotten a navy crib sheet from Target and I ordered a gold dot changing pad cover, crib bumper, and crib blanket from them. They also gave me a cute little matching burp cloth as well (you can never have too many burp cloths). I know it did not have to be here before Aspen because she will most likely be spending at least the 1st month in the bassinet, but what can I say, I am nesting and I like having things done. My sister also finished making a letter "A" for the art wall and we hung that last night as well but I still need to hang 2 more pictures. I also need to buy a hamper of some sort for all the little laundry. Other than that, the room is done. I love how it turned out. It is girly, but not too babyish and most important to me is that it is not "store-bought" so it is unique. Can't wait until she is here to enjoy it!

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Thanks for posing, Oscar.
The changing pad cover
The letter "A" my sister made.

Weekend in Review

Summer is basically here and we are already in full on pool season. On Friday I had the day off so I spent some time with Aspen and took he...