Wednesday, May 30, 2012

One Month

Eloise, you are one month old! You are just the sweetest baby and a wonderful addition to our family. 

You are growing each day! Right now you weigh 8lbs 9oz (25-50%) and are 21in long (50%). You are still wearing newborn diapers and newborn clothes, but we are gradually putting you in bigger things. 

You eat every 3 hours during the day and go 3-4 hrs at night. We are starting to spread out the time between feedings. Sleep training is going well, but we will have to wait and see how well. Each day you are becoming more alert which is just so fun. I love it when you look up at me with those big blues eyes. You are such a wonderful baby. It is so easy to take you out. You love your car seat and pretty much sleep the whole time. The hardest part is when you cry because you're tummy is upset. You barely cry, and so when you do and we can't do anything to help you, it makes us very sad. My biggest frustration with you is that you spit up all the time so you are either always wearing a bib or your clothes get super messy. But if that's as bad as it's going to be, we'll take it. 

Your father and I are so blessed. We love you so much! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sleep Training

Within the first few days of life, it is encouraged to demand feed your baby. Paul and I wanted to get Eloise on a schedule as soon as possible, so by making sure Eloise got full feedings each time, she put herself on her own 2.5-3hr routine. Once we got home, we stuck to this. We also wanted to informally begin sleep training. For us, we choose the Babywise method. Part of implementing this was to wake Eloise up if she was sleeping past 3hrs during the day. Newborns sleep A LOT, so this also helped make sure she was getting enough to eat and wasn't sleeping through it. 

Being a parent is hard. All parents, I think, want the same end goal: a happy, healthy baby, and a good nights rest. But, knowing the best way to achieve that is challenging. There are so many "methods" to raising a baby, but learning your child and learning which way is best is the toughest part. Last week, we formally began sleep training. We wanted to begin sleep training early, because we didn't want her to get accustomed to a certain way of falling asleep and then all of the sudden change it on her later. We wanted her to learn it right away, so it would be all she knew and be more comfortable with it. Along with Babywise, we have been trying some other techniques including Crying it out, and the 4 S's

We start and end our day at the same time to establish consistency and to help differentiate between day and night. Each day includes a routine of feed time, wake time, sleep time - in that order. Having wake time after feeding, along with putting her to sleep while still awake, helps her to avoid a habit of falling asleep with outside soothers. We don't want her to only be able to fall asleep while eating, rocking or being held. While these things are not bad, we just don't want them to become the norm. Crying it out and the 4 S's have come into play during nap time. We have learned that crying it out does NOT work if she is past a certain point in how tired she is or if she has been overly stimulated. We have had to learn her "time for a nap" cue. After about 45min-60min of wake time, we will notice her eyelids become heavy and she starts to relax a bit. This is when we begin Setting the stage, Swaddling, Sitting, & Shh-pat. The first three are done immediately after we notice Eloise becomes tired. If we miss the cue, nap time will not go as smoothly. For us, sitting has become the most important part in recognizing when to put her down. We sit with Eloise up over our shoulder and pat her back. Within a few minutes, her body becomes relaxed and her eyes begin to open and close. She is still awake, but sleepy. This is when we put her down. After putting her down, 1 of 2 things happens. She falls asleep on her own, or she cries. If she cries, we use a combination of CIO and the last S: the Shhh-pat. For Eloise, the hardest part of sleep time is learning to calm herself down or self-sooth. After putting her down, we allow her to cry for an allotted amount of time, then we will go check on her and "shhh" while rhythmically patting her back. We do this only for a couple of minutes and then leave. Never picking her up out of bed. If she continues to cry, we wait for a longer period of time - then go in again. CIO is definitely difficult, and not for everyone. No one wants to sit and listen to their baby get upset, but each day gets a little better and if watching the clock, you'll begin to notice that they really don't cry for that long before falling asleep. 

Night time is by far the easiest. We set the stage by changing her into her sleeper, swaddling her before we feed her, and minimizing all the lights and sounds. Nighttime is the only time when we allow her to fall asleep while feeding, but still making sure she is alert enough to get a full feed in. She is still young and wakes up at exactly 2am and 5am every night. Immediately after I feed her, I put her right back to sleep. I also avoid changing her diaper if I don't have to because changing her diaper during the day indicates wake time and we want to encourage her to recognize a difference between day and night. My hope is, by recognizing my own baby's needs as well as being consistent in these practices that she will be sleeping through the night by 12 weeks. This has been true for most of the people I know who have tried it. I'll keep you updated on how it goes. 

*Now, this method of sleep training is not for everyone nor am I saying that my method is the best of all. Paul and I began praying for the guidance and wisdom to parent our child since before she was born, and we currently feel this is what is best for us. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Briar Rose Custom Monograms

I love anything and everything monogram and a few weeks before Eloise was born, I got the greatest gift: an embroidery machine! I'm always lusting over outfits at the store that I know would look adorable with a little monogram on the front, and now, I can add my own! In the past few weeks, I have started my own Children's custom monogramming business. I have always loved those little applique outfits and I'm so glad that I can make my own and share them with others. Be sure to check out my Etsy site. Below are some of the listings I have up now. 

{Surfboard onesie}

{Ladybug shirt}

{Sailboat Shirt}

*If you are interested in custom work for you or your little one, email me at I am always looking for new product ideas. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Postpartum Style

Truth: apparently you look your heaviest in the weeks after having a baby, not before. Your face and body look swollen, your chest is double the size it was 9 months pregnant (which is double the size it was before you get pregnant), and nothing fits right. But for me, that is no excuse to dress poorly. Here are a couple looks I've tried. 


{Dress: Target; Cardigan: J.Crew; Handbag: Kate Spade}

Date night 

{Dress: The Webster for Target; Handbag: Kate Spade}

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My 1st Mother's Day

{Someone was not too excited to be taking pictures}

My first Mother's day was both wonderful and eventful. It started out fantastic, with a pancake breakfast made for me by my husband. I also got a sweet card from Eloise and new sandals that I had been wanting. It ended wonderfully with a steak dinner prepared by Paul and my FIL. Even though I had a great breakfast and dinner, I had a rather eventful afternoon. I was changing my little girl's diaper when she had an explosive poop all over the wall! It seems only fitting that I got a big welcome to motherhood on my first mothers day. Ha!
Overall, it was an amazing day. I am so thankful and so blessed to be a mom and to be able to celebrate this day. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Summer Style: Gingham

If you know anything about me at all, you know how much I love gingham. I think I might have mentioned it once or twice before. Either way, I am super excited that gingham has become the "it-print". This is both bad and good. Bad: it's everywhere. Good: It's everywhere. More and more people are wearing it, which kind of stinks, but more and more stores are carrying it, which is great! It used to be you could only get gingham button down shirts from haberdashery shops, but now you can have gingham print on almost any apparel item, at any price point. You can even get gingham spoons! I may go a bit overboard this Summer with it, but I just love it so much! 

{℅ Just Dandy}

{dress: Shabby Apple}

{shirt: Old Navy similar here, and here}

{shorts: J.Crew}

Monday, May 7, 2012

Newborn Pictures

Since Eloise was born, I have had the most fun using my new camera. A few days back, she and I had a fun little photo session in her coming home outfit and just a few of her adorable hairbows. Look how small she looks in her crib! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

7 days

{day 1}

Miss Eloise, you are a week old today! Oh, and what a week it has been. Each day, I learn that Yes, I can! There were so many things I thought would be so hard, or even impossible, and every day you give me confidence and reassurance that I can do it! God is good!

{day 2}

You are so little. It's so adorable, but you don't fit into any of your clothes. We have maybe 5 onesie/sleepers that don't completely swallow you, so we do laundry a lot. Even all of the headbands & bows are too big for your sweet little head. Oh well, you'll be big soon enough and then I'll wish you were still little. 

{day 3}

{day 4}

You are growing and are practically back up to your birth weight, which is great! The Dr. even said I can let you sleep a little longer at night if you want to. I do, and you sleep 5hrs! You love to be held, but are getting used to sleeping in your bassinet and are so cuddly. You will not, however, sleep on your back. You hate it, so side sleeping it is. 

{day 5}

{day 6}

You are becoming more and more alert each day. You are so fun when you are awake. I love looking at your big blue eyes. They're so pretty. I'm trying to enjoy them before they start to change color. Your hair at the moment is brown. It will be so fun seeing how/if your hair and eye colors change. 

{day 7}

Sweetheart, you are such a blessing. Your dad and I are so thrilled that God chose us to be your parents. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Skinny Girl Sangria

I'm going to tell you a little story about this bottle of Skinnygirl Sangria. Last Summer, when this stuff came out, it was somewhat hard to come by, at least in the beginning. Paul knew that I had been wanting to try it, so one day, he had stopped in a liquor store, saw they had it, and brought some home as a surprise for me. Well, wouldn't you know it, not an hour before he got home, I had taken a pregnancy test. It was a faint, but it was positive. I was so appreciative of the gesture. It was such a sweet surprise, but I unfortunately had to decline. What a way for him to find out our lives were about to change forever! So this bottle of sangria has been in our possession for the past nine months and this week, we were finally able to try a (small) glass. It was delicious! 

I'm trying to think of something creative we can do with the bottle to have as a keepsake. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Announcing: Eloise Anne Stafford

She's here! 

Eloise was born Friday, April 27 at 12:45 in the afternoon. She weighed 5lbs 15oz. We are so in love! 

{Proud Grandparents}

{My mom}

{Headed home}

More details to come...
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