Friday, September 30, 2011

Letters to Tory: One Month


It's hard to believe four weeks ago you entered the world and changed our lives forever. Your daddy and I are so in love with you; our hearts flutter at the very sound of your sweet baby sighs and squeaks. Oh, how I wish I could bottle up those lovely coo's and listen to them forever.

Tory Girl, you are such a good little baby. You sleep in 2 1/2 - 3 hour stretches and will snooze practically anywhere. Well, anywhere except in your nursery. It's the funniest thing, you happily sleep in the bassinet next to our bed, in your bouncy seat or cradled in my arms, but the minute I lay you in your beautiful, new crib you burst into tears. We'll continue to work on it, little girl. I know you'll come around ... eventually.

Speaking of sleep, you love to rest your head on my chest and will sleep soundly there for as long as I'll let you. Oh, how many hours we've spent snuggling together in the rocking chair. Daddy jokes we've made quite the butt imprint there. Who cares! I know these days are numbered, so I drink in every single moment I have you in my arms. As you sleep, I study every single inch of your body and marvel at all of your precious features. I love how your brown hair curls over the back of your pajamas and the way your gorgeously long eyelashes outline those deep blue eyes of yours.

Besides snuggling, we spend lots of time nursing and talking too. You're a great eater, and were from the beginning. I think all those extra days you spent in mommy's tummy helped you develop that much more because Baby Girl, you're such a fast learner. Just the other day, Daddy introduced the bottle to you for the very first time and you took to it like a champ! It's nice for you two to spend a little time together in the mornings before Daddy heads off to work, especially since the first few weeks of your life Daddy was traveling for his job. We missed him terribly while he was away; Mommy and Daddy were a wreck of emotions those few weeks. You've had that affect on us; our emotions feel so raw now that you're here. There's nothing more important in life than our little family of three.

Because Daddy was traveling, we had lots of visitors stay with us this month. Nana and Papa drove up from Nebraska to stay during your first days, Auntie Ashley, Jason and Brookie came a week later, as well as Mommy's friends Ashley and Val and cousins Jen, Zach and Lauren. Grandma Janie and Auntie Lindsay came over to care for you too.

What will your second month bring? It's hard to imagine. Already you've grown from newborn to 0-3 size clothing and I almost cried as I packed those tiny outfits away. The thought of you growing so quickly is both exciting and heartbreaking. I can't wait to discover your personality and watch as your navigate this world of ours, but my heart aches when I realize how fast the days on the calendar are flying. In any event, we have a lifetime of memories to create together and I'm anxious for every single one.


Friday, September 23, 2011

The Package

This story is just too awesome not to share ...

So, remember we bought a new house in July? The sellers were two brothers who bought the house together a few years ago. Two single guys. Anyhoo...


The day we came home from the hospital after having Tory, we had a bunch of boxes on the front porch. It's not uncommon for us to have many, many boxes delivered to us daily. My husband has a serious shopping addition (may I remind you of the hand-written thank you notes he receives from semi-regularly for being a loyal customer?) and he always ships things here for work, in addition to anything I might buy online.

On this particular day, my parents and I were standing in the kitchen making googly-eyes over the baby while Andi was nearby sorting through a few days of piled-up mail and ripping open packages like wildfire. All of a sudden, Andi stopped in his tracks and made an audible giggle. He held up a giant pink "play thing" along with a copy of Pulp Friction. ICK. Upon further investigation, we realized Andi accidentally opened a box addressed to the old homeowner. A box jam-packed with an evening's worth of entertainment for, you know, the exploratory type. The look on my parents face as they watched all of this unfold was priceless.

For several weeks now, the box has sat in our garage. I've asked Andi a few times to text the old homeowners to come and claim it; if not soon, it would find its way to the trash can.


This morning, Andi forwarded this email string from our realtor:

Hi [Our Realtor's Name],

I hope all is well and you had a nice summer!

[Old Homeowner] formerly of [address] called me this afternoon and said he thinks a package may have been delivered to the [address] house by mistake a week or so ago. Could you check with your clients and see if it may have arrived there? If so, [old homeowner] would like to stop by and get it or make other arrangements for it.

Thanks so much!
[Seller's Realtor]

... and my awesomely witty husband responded to their realtor with this:

[Seller's Realtor Name],

No problem, we got a package a few weeks ago and stashed it in the garage. When it arrived my wife and I were at the hospital with the baby and my Mother-In-Law accidentally opened it. All the contents are in it, we will seal it up and have it ready. 

Have the guys text me when they are coming over and we will leave it out.

- Andi


Did my mom accidentally open the package? No, but imagine the look on the old homeowner's face when he thinks she did. That, and how awkward he'll be when he comes to claim his goodies. Bahahahahaha. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wedding Wear

Our good friends Ellie and Derrick are getting married! The wedding's in San Diego the first weekend in October and Andi and I wouldn't miss it. We're bringing Tory Bug, as well as Andi's mom Janie to help with the baby. It'll be a quick weekend trip - in Friday; out Sunday - and I'm equal parts excited to celebrate two of our favorite people joining their lives together and anxious about traveling with a four-week-old baby for the very first time.

Maybe I'm naive in thinking Andi and I are expert travelers, but I don't think getting there with a baby will be too difficult. That said, every parent friend of ours likes to tell us differently. I mentioned to my girlfriends last weekend how Andi doesn't allow us to check bags (he's a travel dictator) and they audibly laughed at me. "Try NOT checking a bag with a baby," they said. When I mentioned this to Andi, he channeled Barney from How I Met Your Mother and flatly said "Challenge accepted." Think we can do it? We'll see ...

The hotel stay, however, makes me a little nervous. I suppose we'll request a crib from the hotel for her to sleep in. A friend asked if I planned to bring my own bedding for her. Do I really need to? I don't bring bedding for us when we travel, so I didn't plan on it ... but is that gross? GAH, I don't know. Parenting is hard! I know the room has a refrigerator so I can pump and keep bottles for her there. We'll introduce a bottle to her this week and hope she likes it. If not, I suppose I'll run back and forth from the wedding to feed her if needed. Luckily, everything takes place on the resort property.

We're contemplating bringing the car seat or just renting one from the car rental place. I think I'll bring a few diapers and wipes along, but plan to stop at the store and buy some once we get there (no need to lug all that stuff with us when San Diego has stores too). Tory won't need too many outfits since she'll primarily be in the hotel room with Janie (too tiny to spend time on the beach or even at the wedding for that matter). I did buy her a cute little dress in case she does make a wedding appearance - it matches D and Ellie's beachy wedding colors, naturally.

What am I planning to wear to the wedding? The heck if I know. I am SCARED to try on any of my dresses for fear how they'll look with my flabby stomach. I don't really want to buy anything new - especially since I probably won't be this in-between size for much longer - and anything I've seen online is form-fitting in the waist, of course. I'd prefer not to wear sometime too "tent like" for fear it'll make me look bigger than I actually am. Think it's OK to wear a black dress to a beach wedding? I think that'll be my best dress option. I have this one in my closet from one of my bridal showers a few years ago which has good boob coverage, is form-fitting but not too tight on the belly. Think this will work?

This trip is our trial-run for a mini family getaway in November or December. We're hoping to take Tory somewhere warm (maybe Florida?) for a long weekend before I have to go back to work. We're a family who loves to travel and I *hope* starting her early with prove successful in the long run. Her first trip - San Diego - at one month of age. What a lucky girl! I think I was 22 or something the first time I ever flew on an airplane. Crossing my fingers, she'll be an old pro in no time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Good Week

It's the beginning of a

Ha! I started to say it's the beginning of a good week, but not-so-quickly realized it's WEDNESDAY. Ah, life with a newborn ... I don't even know what day it is anymore! Anyway, we're having a good week for so many reasons ...

1) My best friend Ashley came to visit this past weekend, and I'm still on Best Friend High. (BFH = the feeling I get when spending time with someone from back home who KNOWS and GETS me. It doesn't happen all that often since I live 7 hours away from my hometown friends and family but when it does, hoo boy! I love it!). Over the weekend, we celebrated Ashley's 31st birthday in the most non-exciting way ever ... because let's face it, we're getting old and creeping into our mid-thirties (not even a book-end 30 anymore - geez, when did that happen?). And because she's the sweetest friend ever, she spent her birthday helping to care for my precious new baby, cooking me freezer meals and catching up on lots of girl talk.

We did take Tory out to dinner at Rojo Mexican Grill for her very first time at a restaurant. Of course, she was the perfect little baby and slept the entire meal. I also left Tory for the first time this weekend with our girlfriend Val so Ash and I could get pedicures at a nail shop down the street. I was only gone for an hour, but I felt a pretty intense bout of mommy guilt for leaving her and equally proud of myself for keeping it cool without her.

The hometown visitors just keep rolling ... this weekend my cousin Jen, her husband Zach and baby girl Lauren are visiting from Nebraska. I'm excited to have them here for a day or two!

2) Also, Andi's home!!!! Thank goodness this work event of his is almost over! I keep reminding myself to be thankful he runs a successful company and is able to provide for our family in the way he does ... BUT, I still feel like complaining about it any chance I get. The timing of this event just plain stinks (or maybe it was Tory's birth with bad timing since she was actually planned after the event was). But whatev's. Andi's home for two weeks, then has to leave again for the event finale in mid-October and then it's DONE for good.

I'm so happy Andi finally has some time to bond with Tory. He spent the morning at home yesterday, absent from any conference calls or work interruptions. And it's nice to have my husband back home. I missed him TERRIBLY. (Also, I can't believe how much I missed snuggling up to him without a giant belly between us. It's awesome to actually BE next to him again!)

3) Tory's 3 weeks old already. CRAZY! I can't believe how much my little girl has grown already. She's still wearing newborn clothes, but I'd estimate she's over the 8 pound mark now. Newborn outfits aren't any too big, and I think she'll soon be transitioning out of newborn diapers fairly soon.

I love her chubby cheeks and the little double-chin she's starting to acquire. My little girl is growing faster than this mama's liking, that's for sure. As I sit and rock her every afternoon, I close my eyes and wish to freeze-frame this moment with her snoozing in my arms. It's the best feeling ever. If I never do anything else in life but raise this little girl, I'll be completely content.

4) We're planning to introduce the bottle to Tory this week. It's a little earlier than all the books say you should, but I think she'll take to it quite well. (We introduced the pacifier last week and she didn't seem to have any nipple confusion while nursing). Our plan is for Andi to have a designated time frame he gives her a bottle (first thing in the morning or last feeding before bedtime) so they spend some daddy/Tory time together each day.

We are also traveling to San Diego next week for a wedding and bringing Andi's mom along to babysit. It'll be much easier for all of us if Tory will take a bottle from my MIL while we're there - even if it's just so I can attend the wedding without a baby in my arms.

5) I'm finally feeling like myself again, physically and emotionally. It took 3 weeks for my body to bounce back after delivery. I no longer weep at the drop of a hat and I'm able to use the restroom without a ten-step diagram. Thankfully, Tory is a good little sleeper as well and I'm getting sleep in about 2-3 hour stretches at night. While it's not a full night of uninterrupted sleep (I wonder what that even feels like anymore ...), it's enough to function during the daytime.

I'm no super-mom, but things are becoming easier with each passing day. Glad to have Andi home so life can finally get back to a (new) normal.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Post-Pregnancy Update: Week 3

After posting weekly pregnancy updates for the past 10 months, it feels a little strange not to share how I'm doing post-baby. I can't say I'm nervous about the way my body will bounce back following my pregnancy; I'm fairly certain the weight will melt off - especially since I'm nursing. More than anything, I'm curious to see what my body looks like afterwards (will everything go back to where it was before?) and how long it takes to feel like my old self again.

--- Week 3 ---

Pregnancy Weight Lost To Date:
25 pounds

Goal Weight: 12 more pounds to go

Diet: Really good, by my standards. Pre-pregnancy, I lived on cereal, chips and Diet Coke and I realize I can't eat this way after baby either. I know I need to keep eating well to supplement my milk supply. But eating is hard to do (or should I say, hard to make time for) these days! I'm trying to make a conscious effort to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and make good choices at each meal period. One of the best gifts I've received from family / friends is the offer to make a meal for us. It's easy to eat then! Meals are a little more difficult to make a priority when it's just me at home. I usually find myself eating yogurt, granola bars or stuffing a PB and J into my mouth in a rare moment I have to myself. While I'm focusing on eating well at meal times, I haven't been limiting myself to snacks or desserts either. I haven't gone overboard, but I do indulge in the occasional cookie, piece of chocolate, etc. Until I hit a weight loss plateau, I don't feel like restricting myself.

Exercise: A few walks around the neighborhood with Chloe and Tory, but not much else. It's far too chilly outside (geez Minnesota, I already had to turn out heat on!) so I can't really take the baby outside any longer. I don't feel motivated enough by lack of weight loss to break out an exercise video or join a gym. I suppose I could always bundle up the baby and walk the aisles of the grocery store if I get really desperate, but that just sounds like too much work.

Wardrobe: Still wearing maternity clothes, mostly, because they're loose on my belly area. While my body is basically back to normal (no more swelling), my stomach isn't as flat as it was before. And apparently I liked to wear tight clothes prior to pregnancy? I can fit into all of my pre-pregnancy shirts, but they aren't very flattering with my muffin-top waist and uni-boob nursing bra. I can fit into my old jeans already, but they're a little tight (did I mention my glamorous muffin-top waist)? Therefore, I've been wearing maternity leggings and maternity jeans - they're a little more forgiving!

How I am feeling: More like myself everyday. Two weeks ago, I was an emotional basket-case. Last week, I felt like I finally getting this mama thing under control. I made dinner for Andi and I TWICE last week! And I took a shower every day. Big milestones in my opinion. I'm starting to feel like myself more everyday and I know this week will flow even better, especially because Andi is home for two weeks to help. Life is finally starting to take on a new normal.

Goal for next week: Making healthy meals a priority!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hospital Check-List

My husband said it best: It's like staying at a two star hotel for a five star price.

I couldn't agree more. The hospital can really make or break your birthing experience. I'm thankful ours was a positive one (although, I haven't received the bill yet)! The care we received and our accommodations were clean, pleasant and met our level of expectations.

I received so many opinions from people prior to delivering on what to take with us to the hospital. Some friends tricked their hospital room out like a college dorm room and others said they didn't bring anything but themselves. Laura at The Diniwilks was kind enough to share her hospital check-list with me a few weeks before we headed to the hospital ourselves, and I'm so thankful she did. This mama was so organized it gave me a great jumping off point to craft my own need-to-haves. So, I thought I'd share what I brought to the hospital (and what I really ended up using). Hope it's helpful for some of you ... and will serve as a good reminder for myself next time around!

My Hospital Check-List

Clothes for Mom
  • Robe 
  • Two cheap nightgowns - I planned to wear one of these during delivery, but ended up wearing a bra only - I was so hot! They're nice to have at home now.
  • Black stretchy skirt - Got this idea from Laura at Navigating the Mothership. Great to wear in the days following with a nursing tank. Felt like I was wearing something semi-appropriate for visitors yet functional for hospital staff to do checks, etc.
  • Three nursing tanks - Only ended up wearing two of them, but glad I had another in case.
  • Two nursing bras - Only wore one of them, but glad I had options.
  • Five pairs of underwear - Didn't need them. Wore hospital mesh undies.
  • Three pairs of socks - Didn't wear them.
  • Slippers - Didn't wear them.

Clothes for Dad
  • 1 nicer pair of pajama pants - A must.
  • 1 t-shirt - Should have had two.
  • 1 button-up collar shirt - Didn't need.
  • 1 nice pair of shorts - Should have had two.
  • 1 pair of underwear - Should have had two.

Clothes for Tory
  • White and purple polka dot sleeper (preemie size) - Didn't wear, but was nice to have just in case she was super tiny.
  • White and pink dress with pink sweater (newborn size) 
  • Socks 
  • Receiving blanket

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste for both Andi and I
  • Shampoo and conditioner 
  • Razor 
  • Pick
  • Bobby pins - Didn't use.
  • Deodorant for both Andi and I
  • Makeup
  • Hair dryer
  • Straightener (travel size)
  • Dermoplast - Didn't use until I got home.
  • Tucks pads - Didn't use until I got home.
  • Breast pads - Didn't need - milk didn't come in until days later.
  • Nipple cream - Nice to have!

  • List of friends/family to call
  • Laptops with chargers - Didn't use my laptop - no time!
  • Jambox
  • Tory's baby book for footprints
  • Pen and notebook to write down gifts
  • Thank you notes - Glad I brought these! I used four of them.
  • Car seat
  • Boppy pillow - Nice to have!
  • Phone chargers
  • Camera / camera charger
  • Magazines - Didn't read - no time!
  • Granola bars - Didn't need.
  • Zico coconut water - Didn't need.
  • Sour candy - Didn't need.

Things I WISH I would have brought:
  • My own pillow
  • More clothes for Andi - he ended up wearing the same clothes for days.
  • My own bath towel - the hospital's were like sandpaper!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What I Did Today

Despite two weeks of piece-meal sleep and a husband who's been traveling for work, I can truly say I am the happiest I've been in my entire life. This baby girl of mine has completed me in the fullest aspect of the word; it's hard to describe how content I feel inside.

Last night as Andi snuggled into the covers, he remarked how exhausted he felt. Credit given, he has been working 15+ hour days for weeks on this big work event. BUT, DUDE. I'm not exactly feeling bushy-tailed either. I'm moonlighting as a milk machine, on call every two hours. Let's call it a draw - we're both a little on the sleepy side these days.

I'm someone who requires a lot of sleep, and I have no idea how I'm functioning on this little. The bags under my eyes tell me it's working me over in one way or another. But really, I'm not complaining. Being a new mama hasn't left me feeling stressed-out, worked to the bone. I think that makes a big difference. I'll take being physically tired versus emotionally drained any day. And if it means I get to snuggle my precious little baby all day and night, it's worth every missed wink of sleep.

Everyone says it, but you don't really grasp the reality until you live it. Raising a baby is all-encompassing. Andi asks me about my day and I really have no news to report. Somehow, time FLIES by, but I get nothing done. My day looks something like this:

Midnight - 1am: 
Nurse, change and burp the baby.
Rock the baby to sleep.

1:15am - 1:30am: 
Lay down, settle myself to sleep.

2:30am - 3:30am: 
Nurse, change and burp the baby.
Rock the baby to sleep.

3:45am - 4:00am: 
Lay down, settle myself to sleep.

6:00am - 7:00am: 
Nurse, change and burp the baby.
Rock the baby to sleep.
Kiss Husband good-bye for the day.

7:15am - 7:30am:
Lay down, settle myself to sleep.

9:30am - 10:00am: 
Nurse, change and burp the baby.
Dress the baby for the day.

Awake time with the baby. Entertain her; Shove a granola bar in my mouth.

12:30pm - 1:30pm: 
Nurse, change and burp the baby.

1:45pm - 2:00pm: 
Make lunch for myself AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
Shove food into my face AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

2:15pm - 4:00pm:
Squeeze in a nap, if possible. *keep sleeping baby, please keep sleeping*

4:00pm - 5:00pm:
Nurse, change and burp the baby.

5:15pm - 5:30pm: 
Decide what we should eat for dinner. Something that will take exactly two minutes to prepare ... because that's all I can spare.

Daddy's home!
"What do you know?" he asks.

And, I know this:
  • I REALLY have to use the bathroom. Can you please hold the baby?
  • I am STARVING. Can you make dinner? Or can you please hold the baby?
  • I need to run downstairs and change the laundry. Can you please hold the baby?
  • I'd love to take a shower. Can you please hold the baby?
I've had exactly two minutes to check Facebook and Twitter - and that's only because I can one-hand scroll on my cell phone during nursing sessions.

No time for blogging these days (I'll have to go back to work for that one, I guess).

Phone calls? Make appointments? Run errands? No time for that, friends.

Being a new mom is the busiest / least stressful / exhausting / most rewarding job I've ever had. Sounds complicated, and it is. But I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weekend Visitors

With Andi traveling for work this week and my post-pregnancy hormones raging like a wild bronco, I've been feeling a little lonely this week. Thankfully, I lined up lots of help to get me through the long days and nights of being home alone with a newborn.

On Friday, my sister Ashley drove up from Nebraska to stay with me for the weekend. I am SO EXCITED to have her here for a few days! There's no one in this world quite like her and I welcome the pleasant distraction of her larger-than-life personality and mother hen qualities. She promised home-cooked meals, lots of baby snuggling and even volunteered to massage my head to help me sleep. I could get used to this ...

Ashley's boyfriend and my niece Brooke are here for the weekend too. Brookie is getting to be such a big girl and loves to help with the baby. She's the third and fourth hands I've been wishing for - she brings me Diet Cokes, my cell phone and anything else the baby needs from the nursery.

Brookie's first time holding Tory 
Brooke was a little perplexed when she asked if she could feed Tory a bottle. I explained Tory doesn't drink from a bottle, she nurses just like a baby cow drinks milk from her mama. (Yes, I did compare myself to a cow - I couldn't think how else to relate it to a four-year-old)! "From your boob?" she asked. "Er, yeah," I said. (I really dislike that word). A few minutes later she walked over to me, placed her hand on my chest and said "here, I'll help you." It took all I had to hold back the laughter. It was so honest and sweet ... and a little awkward. Good thing we're not a shy family.

Brooke also found a doll given to me at one of my baby showers and she's played with it ALL WEEKEND LONG. She dresses it up in Tory's newborn clothes, swaddles her baby in receiving blankets and has tried out all the baby gadgets a dozen times. Brookie even drug out a child-size wooden rocking chair from the nursery, placed it next to my glider and rocked her baby doll for hours alongside me. Too cute!

Mama Brookie
Brookie being silly with the Boppy pillow
I'm forever grateful for my sister's help this weekend. She's got the magic baby touch - just like my mom and I - and I'll miss her company during late night feedings and marathon walking sessions around the living room, dining room and kitchen with Tory. Thanks Sister!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Super Mom

I sat on the couch Tuesday, working on Tory's birth story with a sleepy baby happily tucked in her bassinet nearby. The clock read 1pm and my mother-in-law, Janie, reminded me of Tory's one week doctor's appointment quickly approaching in a half hour. "It takes a little longer to get out the door with a baby," she said. Oops, I sort of forgot I was responsible for someone else but myself. It's the first time I've left the house since Tory's been home, after all.

I shoveled a sandwich in my mouth, grabbed the diaper bag and my sleepy, snuggly baby and placed her in the car seat. Janie and I hopped in the car and made it to the doctor's office with five minutes to spare - no sweat.

Janie was impressed. "You're Super Mom already," she said. You act like you've been doing this forever.

I walked up to the counter to let the receptionist know we had arrived for the appointment. I corrected the employee on the spelling of Tory's name (what I expect will be one of many times I'll / she'll have to do that in her lifetime - sorry little one). The receptionist thought her name was Tony; the nurse, Troy. Do I look like someone who'd name her baby TROY? C'mon now.

As I walked back to the patient room with my baby in arms, I glanced down at my feet. I still had my slippers on. Wow. Super mom status - DENIED. Good thing she's too young to be embarrassed by me yet!


Tory's 1 week stats:

  • Weight: 7 lbs, 9 oz. (she gained all of her birth weight back, plus an ounce!)
  • Height: 19 inches
We go back to the doctor for another check-up in one month. Let's hope I make it there with shoes this time...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Life With Baby

Wow, what can I say? I'm a mama!

We've been home from the hospital for a week now, and days have been a blur as we adjust to new life with a baby. I'm feeling very blessed as I reflect on my healthy pregnancy, positive labor experience and our first few days with Tory Christine. A new normal is slowly developing around our household. 

Tory's birth story is my last post at Baby In The Bubble. I'll be sharing our life experiences here at Live Inside My Bubble. For one of my "push presents," Andi made Baby In The Bubble into a hard-cover book so we'll always have the near-daily documentation of Tory's journey into our lives. I can't wait to share it with her someday - how awesome will it be to have all of your mama's thoughts and experiences as you grew inside her! I plan to do the same for Baby 2.0 someday.


Life With Baby

Tory and I were discharged from the hospital around 11:00am on Thursday, September 2. After signing paperwork and loading up our precious cargo into her new car seat, Andi and I bee-lined home with our baby girl to begin our new life together.

We dressed Tory Girl in an adorable pink and gray dress from Nana and Papa and fastened her into the car seat for the very first time. She wasn't a big fan at first, but quickly settled down as we left the hospital. I've never seen Andi drive as safely as he did on that car ride home. I suspect most daddies are the same way.
Going home from the hospital
Welcome Home Tory!
My parents stayed with us through Labor Day weekend. It was AMAZING having them here - they were so helpful! My dad did all the laundry; my mom cooked fabulous meals for us and both stayed up with me for late-night feedings. Unfortunately, in what I'm classifying as the worst timing ever, Andi had to work 15+ hour days all weekend. A giant work event, three years in the making, kicked off Thursday night - Sunday night. Lots of tears were shed by all when he left every morning at 5:00am and returned home around Midnight, sheerly exhausted. On Monday at 4:30am, he left for 7 days as the event travels down the Mississippi River. Thankfully, we have a good support system of family, but my heart shatters in a million pieces every time I think of Andi missing her first days at home. He's an emotional wreck, too; I know how hard this is on him. 

My mother-in-law Janie has been a big help this week, spending a few days here with Tory and I. I basically have the hang of all things baby, but it's a nice relief to have another pair of hands around so I can shower, shove a sandwich in my mouth or use the bathroom (my gosh, no one mentioned what a process that is)! 

Enough jabber already? Here's a picture of my baby girl - 1 week old.

Tory - 1 Week Old
I may be biased, but I have to say she's the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. Tory is such a good baby, too! She took to breastfeeding effortlessly and sleeps in 2-3 hours stretches when she has a full belly. I am in love with all of her precious baby sounds. My heart leaps when she snuggles her head into my neck and lets out a big, deep sigh - baby life is a tough job, but someone's got to do it.