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Author Archives: Laurel

2 Months!

Goodness she grows in leaps and bounds!

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Evelyn has discovered the wonderful world of color! She is able to spot the mobile above her bassinet and it gives her hours of pleasure every day.

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She even spent some time with her cousin’s baby doll watching the mobile at Grandma’s the other day. (Her cousin, Rosie, insisted that her ‘baby’ join Evelyn in the Pack ‘n Play for the viewing. It was pretty cute.) 🙂

Mornin' Evelyn

Evelyn’s favorite time of day is first thing in the morning. She becomes a bundle of smiles, chatter, and even some laughter.

Happiness

She’s starting to smile socially now and will respond to happy faces near hers. What a beautiful smile!!

Grabbing

Her hands are beginning to find their way into her mouth for a little self-soothing. She’s grabbing toys and sometimes navigating them towards her mouth. She loves grabbing Mommy’s hair and refusing to let go. She sweetly gives little pats on your back when she’s at your shoulder if she’s in a good mood….or more aggressive ones if she’s not.

Evey and Daddy at Christmas

We had a special treat with Daddy home for few extra days during the holidays. They spent quite a bit of quality time playing together.

Flying with Daddy

She loves to stand while he balances her, or fly high in the air. She also likes Daddy’s beard that is coming back in, scratching her head back and forth underneath his chin.

Hooray for sleep!

This is how she likes to sleep. (Hooray for sleep!)

What a blessing our little Evey is!

Another First Christmas….

This year was Stephen’s and mine first Christmas together as a married couple. Christmastime last year we were rather preoccupied with wedding preparations and didn’t have nearly enough time to focus on the celebration of Christmas.

wedding busyness

This year, we put up our little tree at the beginning of December, hung it with a strand of lights and our few little ornaments, made an attempt at an Advent wreath (which never got lit, but at least it had a presence on our dining table), hung Christmas lights from our apartment balcony (only ones on the row), enjoyed homemade eggnog, hot buttered rum and Gluwhein on numerous occasions, created candy cane reindeer, munched peppermint candy bark, and “hung” stockings near the ‘burning log’ on the TV as we lack a fireplace.

wedding reception kiss

But most importantly, we were together commemorating this amazing first year together. I am so blessed beyond words with his love, and having him by my side with our newborn daughter was the best Christmas present ever.

Muff family at Christmas

Here’s to many, many Christmas’ with him to come!  🙂

Evelyn’s First Christmas

I loved watching Evelyn and Daddy open stockings and gifts under our tree. We did this a few days before Christmas as we planned on being at Stephen’s parents’ house on Christmas morning.

First Christmas 1

First Christmas 2

She was very excited about her new fleece jacket and hat! She loves her fleece!

First Christmas 3

One of her favorite gifts is this blanket and hat made by her Grandma Muff. She loves to snuggle inside when we go on car rides or walks in the cold.

Snuggled

On Christmas Eve, she got all dolled up in her party dress, but was pooped long before the party ended.

Asleep in her party dress

Grandma Munsill gave her this little silver bell with her name engraved on the side. I read the story of the Polar Express to Evelyn so she would know Santa would visit her as long as she heard its sweet sound.

Evelyn's silver bell

For someone so little, she certainly had a big Christmas! 🙂

Laurel’s Goals for 2013

I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions. I aim for New Year’s GOALS, a few things to work towards throughout the year. Saying ‘Exercise every day’ isn’t very motivating, but saying ‘Run a 10-K’ gives you a reason to run.

Laurel photography

* I want to work on my photography more this year, learning how to use my Nikon DSLR better in manual mode and practice composition techniques. (Perhaps to start a photography business in the future???) To help achieve this goal, I started a 365 Project on a little side blog — http://laurels365project.blogspot.com — which I intend to post a photo on every day for a year. Please stop by! 🙂

Eiffel at night blurry

* I would like to be fluent in French by the end of the year so I’m going to start working on Rosetta Stone at least 5 times a week. I still need to determine a reasonable amount of time each day to work on it. Another aid to gaining French fluency? I’d like to read “Les Miserables” in French from cover-to-cover but I’m not sure I’m up to the task just yet. (This is a lifetime goal for me.)

holding daddy's hand

* My brother gave me a scrapbook for Christmas that I am turning into a baby book for Evelyn. I’m planning on fixing at least 2 pages a month, updating it with milestones and photos. It is my intention to have it filled out by the end of the year to commemorate her first year.

running on the beach

* I have some exercise goals that I’m still hashing out as I’ve just begun to get back on my feet after giving birth. Starting out this time around after an exercise hiatus is a bit different with my body having changed from pregnancy as it never has before. I’m doing some research on good exercises to restrengthen my core and beginning to walk daily with Evelyn before I begin running again.

March - Steve and Laurel

* I love to spend quality time with the people in my life that I love……especially my husband! 🙂 On that note, we are making it a priority to have a date night (or morning or afternoon) every Monday. My husband has the day off and many places are empty of people since it is during the normal work week. Our little ‘third wheel’ may be along for the ride most of the time for now, but it’s important that we have some time together despite our lack of ‘alone time.’

I will come up with more things as the year rolls on but it is always good to get things off to a good start in the New Year!

Mommy, what are you doing?

Mommy, what are you doing?

I love this photo. 🙂

Happy New Year!

We’re taking a little breather after a wonderful rush of holiday celebrations! We have many things to share but only a few moments now to write….

happy Evelyn!

The Muff family wishes each and every one of you a Happy New Year! May 2013 bring many adventures, joy and blessings!

The Gown

I took a few moments the other day after Evelyn’s bath and redressed her in her baptismal gown. My good friend, Lizzie, who lives on the other side of the country, sent it to her, so I wanted to capture a few close-up shots for her to see and to memorialize my beautiful daughter in this beautiful gown.

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One month!

We’ve reached the one month milestone. It is incredible how much Evelyn has grown each day! Every day her personality is a little more revealed, she becomes slightly more alert and attentive, and comes closer and closer to filling out her bassinet.

Evelyn is completely infatuated with lights. Being born near Christmastime was rather fortuitous as she has plenty of opportunity to catch a glimpse of twinkling lights. We sit for hours every day staring up at the lights sparkling on the Christmas tree. It’s her favorite thing to do at 4 am right now. I’m trying to convince her there are better times of the day to do such things….

She’s recently discovered her tongue and loves to sit with Daddy flicking her tongue in and out of her mouth at him. He responds in kind. She’s also inherited the trait of being able to roll her tongue like a hot dog. 🙂

We’ve taken her on a couple walks but she doesn’t stay awake long once we get moving. I hope she enjoys being outdoors as much as Mommy and Daddy do. I certainly anticipate many hours at the park with her in the future as she loves to MOVE!

I’ve been attempting to coordinate a nap or two of hers with getting a few things done, but she loves to be right alongside Mommy (or Daddy, but he’s at work during the day) at all times. I recently introduced her to the Ergobaby when we’ve been out and about. She was all smiles the first time I put her inside and enjoys the close snuggles. I’m going to try her inside to get a few chores done here soon.

Right now, I’m typing this one-handed as I hold her in the other. (I’m getting better at this every day! ;)) She started off napping right next to me on the couch, but I could only satisfy her with that for so long….

3 Weeks!

We have made it through 3 wonderful, although mostly sleepless, weeks with little Evey. In just 3 weeks, she’s developed and grown in great leaps and strides right before our very eyes.

On Thanksgiving morning, I laid her on her stomach for some tummy time and she decided she liked it better on her back. Yep, she’s already done her first roll-over. We have to keep an eye on that girl.

She’s very strong. She practices lifting her head every chance she can get. I caught her staring into Daddy’s eyes while lying on his chest the other day. We have to be on guard though because she also likes to throw her head into the side of yours, which can be rather painful for both parties.

We made an extra trip to the doctor this week because I was concerned about how her bellybutton was healing. Her cord fell off last Thursday, but it wasn’t drying out as quickly  as I thought it should. The doctor placed a bit of sodium nitrate inside which is supposed to desiccate it. While we were there, they took her measurements and she had gained a full pound since her visit the week before. Needless to say, she is a very healthy eater. 🙂

She’s beginning to focus and look more intently at things, especially our faces. I wish I knew what was going on inside her little brain. She seems to think very deeply about things.

Evelyn’s birth-day

 

 

It has been difficult to find a few spare moments to write.The feedings, changings, and sleeplessness have contributed, but I must confess, the hardest part of finding time is resisting the desire to sit and watch her peaceful — or, oftentimes, expressive! — face as she sleeps. And the waking hours (minutes, right now) I can never put her down or pull myself away. It is true; I am smitten with my daughter.

Although probably the hardest thing I’ve accomplished in my life, I thank God for the fairly smooth delivery of our baby, Evelyn Rose. After several instances of false labor starts, true labor began about 10 pm on Thursday, November 8th with contractions about every 10 minutes apart. On the coldest evening of the season yet, we tested out its authenticity taking a brisk walk outside. They remained consistent.

Thinking we had some time, we decided to go to bed with me attempting to sleep through as much of it as I could. Shortly before midnight, however, I was brought out of my sleep rather abruptly, noticing contractions were 2-5 minutes apart. I awoke Stephen who, wisely, insisted we head to the hospital, while I protested that we were supposed to wait for 2 hours before we headed over. (Only when they remain at 5 minutes!) As we drove down the quiet streets, passing empty shops on the way to the hospital, I kept thinking, I can’t believe we’re finally here, finally at the point we’re going to meet our daughter!

I was hooked up to the monitors and checked right away after our arrival. Only 2 centimeters and about 50 % effaced. We still had a ways to go. About 3:30 in the morning, my doctor came in and I was at 3 centimeters. She decided to break my water to move the process along. It certainly did the trick. Contractions were constant, nearly unbearable. Although we had aimed for a drug-free birth, I decided to get a bit of Fentanyl put in my IV in order to take the edge off and give me a little reprieve before transition.

Somewhere between 6 and 7 in the morning, I announced that I was giving up and needed the epidural. They began setting things up and contacting the anesthesiologist. I started to feel this urge to use the toilet. I asked the nurses for some assistance in getting up and they suddenly became excited, and began turning on the lights and calling other nurses into my room. Little did I know, I had reached transition. Too late for the epidural. Time to push.

I had a wonderful team of nurses and my doctor coaching me through each contraction, telling me how and when to push. You’d think it is pretty straightforward, but I found a little coordination was involved and with each contraction I became a little more effective. After about an hour, my beautiful, healthy baby girl was placed in my arms by my husband where she happily stayed for two hours until the nurse came to measure and bathe her.

Although we were greatly blessed with an excellent staff during labor & delivery and recovery time, my greatest ally during the whole process (before and beyond) was my husband. He coached me through each contraction, even holding us up when I was standing every time a wave of pain overcame me. He stayed constantly by my side, praying with me. He helped me focus on breathing well and bringing her further down with each contraction. Even when I rapidly changed my mind from one moment to the next about what I needed, he was patient and worked through it with me. I could not have done it without him and I’m certain his support contributed to my relatively short labor.

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