Our Family

Our Family

Sunday, June 30, 2013

3 Months Old: Weeks 10-12

3 months old.  This is craziness. It is so neat to watch little Ellie change and grow. She is getting so much bigger and seems really "long". She definately knows Rand and I well, but in the last few weeks I have noticed her, well notice other people too, differently.  She seems to notice her enviornment differently and I can just see her soaking it all in. She often is content sitting on your lap and just watching what is going on. She likes to be included in things and will often "join us" for dinner, sitting on either of our laps while we eat or sit in her bumbo while I work on the computer.

 I'm certain if she could choose to always be held and bouncing, she would, but I don't think that that would be good for either of us.  I have often gone to Rand these last few weeks asking him what it looks like to know what she wants, but not immediately meet her needs. I want her to feel secure in my love for her, but I also know that that security isn't dependant on our world stopping when she is crying.  I've finding there is no black and white answer. What I do know is that I just want her to know that I love her like crazy, but that sometimes I mess up in and don't love her how I would like to mom.  I feel big enough right now to admit these things to her know and say sorry and hopefully, one day when shes much older, we can talk about that stuff. 

It's been exciting for me to give myself grace in this whole parenting thing and not feel like I have to take on the weight of figuring out things like her schedule.  We are starting to adjust her to and adjust to her wake times and nap times.  I've been setting up nap times during the day and bed time and sometimes we even follow it.  Those days feel like bonus days. She moved into her own room three weeks ago after I bought monitors and the transition has gone pretty smoothly.  I wish I was sleeping a bit better, but were still not quite there yet.  She wakes up 2-3 times a night, but Rand has started waking up with her in the mornings, which helps.  

So here are a few new things I have noticed about her:

+She is sitting up so much more and can support her neck. This development is super exciting and fun because I am able to play with her more.  I'll put her on my shoulders, do airplane rides with her on my feet, carry her on my hip, and stick her in her bumbo during my morning routine 
+She is starting to like her tummy time because she is figuring out she has more control and can see more when she is on her tummy. 
+She has little dimples coming in on her sweet cheeks.
+She likes to point her feet when she kicks.  We tend to notice this when she is in her carrier. 
+We started noticing this little tuft of hair that sticks up on the back of her head
+She likes holding your hand. Definately one of my favorite things!
+She likes to touch her hair and feel fuzzy things
+We had our first successful nursing experience in public, sort of, at a rest stop in the car. 
+She has been giggling when we play peek-a-boo
+She can hold things so much better and will hold on to her toys, our mail, my necklace, my hair, and she has starting grabbing at plates and the table at supper. 

Grandma got her a few new gadgets that we will hopefully be using soon like an activity center and johnny jumper and I have found quite a collection of new outfits for her at garage sales and second hand stores. 

Rand and I celebrated our two year anniversary yesterday and enjoyed a fun meal at the toasted frog and an episode of the office.  We're a few years off the mark, but we are definately enjoying the character development in the show. Rand caught me off guard one day and was pretending to be dwight ;) Rand has been working really hard at creating a new website to feature his work and it is looking good. Outside of The Office, we've enjoyed reorganizing our limited storage space, discussing repayment plans for student loans, a few bike rides, long walks, and a few tennis matches in the last few weeks of the summer. 

We have continued dreaming about a home and I recently have taken an interest in healthier eating, cloth diapers, and Martha stewart stencils. The concept of dabbling in things is new for me. My typical pattern is to discover something new and then feel the need to figure it out, develop a system, or just do it, which is typically exhausting, overwhelming and anxiety provoking. Needless to say, I have had quite a few days of taking on things new things, but I am learning to "put them on the shelf" when they start to feel big and taking them out when I want to.  The words that best describe why are "it is for freedom that christ has set you free". Slowly, I am becoming more ok with my sin and my mess as I fight the daily battles and weighted tugs of cleaning, grocery shopping, thinking about business ventures, exercise, and being a mom and wife. I feel grateful for a husband that is there to listen and fight the battle with me! 

The next month we are planning to be in the cities nearly every weekend and I am going to be spending a week at my parents house in the twin cities and get to see my dear sister, Michelle, and other family. 
first time holding her toys
This is mom's favorite headband, still too big!
She will usually sit in here while I work or make dinner
Fourth of July. She loves america. Mom lives stripes. Rand, well I picked out his shirt. 
"Long hair don't care". Ha, wig, courtesy of Auntie Angie. 
Grandma Gutierrez's purchases after a trip to once upon a child. Yes, that is a toy horsie. 
First time in her Johnny Jumper. She was more entertained by the padding then actually jumping.
First time on mom's shoulders. She really just enjoyed eating my hair. 
Farmer's market with the carrier. We realized that we had been wearing it wrong for a long time and then read the directions. So much easier to use!
Sleeping at Grandmas. Still loves to stroke her hair before she sleeps. 
She is starting to enjoy her tummy time. These are my favorite jamies!

She likes to sit sideways typically in her bumbo. 
New favorite bedtime snuggle partner. 
 Typical dinner time. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Weeks 9 & 10 >> Two&Half months

So our Ellie Girl is already 2 1/2 months old. She is able to interact so much more with us and takes much more notice of the things around her. I think this has been my favorite change to watch in her the last few weeks. Physically, she is growing and healthy! She can hold her head up fairly steady and likes to move it from side to side to see things.  She has started to be able to hold onto things lately, like my hair, necklace, our fingers and her blankie and her friend Sophie the Giraffe.

The last week for sure has been moere challenging for all of us because her sleep/feeding schedule has been sort of off. She went from waking up about twice a night to around 4-5 times.  Were attemting to reset things for her, but man, I am definately feeling a bit off these days. Most of my days this week have been trying to resett from our nights.

 I have noticed that she has a strong preference for things that she likes.
+She loves to be held outward, bouncing, sucking on your finger, hand, or knuckle. 
+She likes her friend Sophie the Giraffe, specifically her ears and feet because they fit perfectly in her mouth ;).
+She likes her Aden and Adnais Blankets
+She likes playing on her playmatt with her mobile above her 
+She likes the music her mobile plays
+She loves her pacifiers
+She likes to be around people
+She likes holding your hand
+She likes to bounce
+She loves to move her feet and were talking MOVE them.
+She likes watching the Twins game with her Nana and Papa..well its either the twins or the bright, flashy movement
+She likes her daddy throwing her in the air
+She likes looking out the window
+She likes going on walks in her stroller
+She likes to soothe herself by stroking her hair with her Left hand

Here are a few fun things that we have noticed or that have happened over the past two weeks: 

>She will be "playing" under her activity matt and will get this look on her face and then have this 2-4 minutes burst of kicking
 >She likes to play with her mobile toys by swinging her arms back and forth like a gorilla
>She likes to chew on her blankets with her gumms
> when she wakes up in the morning and I start talking to her she just lights up like she hasn't seen me in years. It is so precious
>We will have conversations together.. Sort of. When you say goo goo gah gah type things, she will study you, then smile really big. This is one of my favorite things to do with her lately.
>She knocked Rand's glasses off his face one day
>She attended her first women' luncheon and cried through the beginning of it. I ended up rocking/bouncing her for about an hour. My arms are definately a lot stronger.  Who needs working out? Just have babies!
>She has enjoyed wearing some of her fashionable new 3-6 month outfitts that are SO CUTE! I ended up going shopping for her for the first time and enjoyed picking out a few outfitts. She is so fun to dress, I could buy clothes all day everyday for her. 
>She has upgraded to size two diaper
>A few days ago when I was feeding her a bottel she put her hands up and sort of held it. 
>She got to visit with her Grandma and Grandpa Gutierrez last week.  I'm pretty sure they are in love with her.  She enjoyed being held nearly the entire weekend and Grandma even bought her her first cloth book, the three little pigs. 
>She kind of fits in her bumbo.  Her neck isn't quite strong enough, though, so she sort of slumps to one side or rests her head on he chest. We can't keep her in there too long, but its fun to have her be more a part of making dinner or sitting at the table!

It is kind of astonishing to see how much life has changed these past months and how quickly we have all adapted.  Rand has been offering lately to watch Ellie the past few tuesdays and I have gotten to  enjoy some free time.  On Thursday's Nana and Papa (his parents) spend time with her so Rand and I can spend some time together.  Last week we went to L Bistro for 1/2 off pizza and Jazz music and this week we went to play tennis and got $2 cold drinks from Caribou.  Weve enjoyed some fun garage sales and have found some killer finds, like a red fold up wagon and a road bike for Rand.

 Rand has started biking and working on his website again.  I have been catching up on sleep, gettin my craft on, and reading ragamuffin gospel by brennan manning. We both have been dreaming some more about buying a home, buying land, paying off student loans, and HAVING MORE BABIES! We are excited to continue to grow our family in the years to come and are excited for this adventure called life. 

First Time in her Bumbo!
Loves to Chew her Blankie
Mom's Craft out of diaper boxes
Love her big blue eyes!

She always opens her mouth when she is excited.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Weeks 8 and 9

So our little dear is already 9 weeks. She is starting to fit into our newest nickname LuLu everyday.

Were adapting to a bedtime routine. We will put her in her nightime pjs and choose a book from our growing library of cute childrens books that Rand and I grew up on that and, while I hold her, Rand will read to her. Ellie has actually seemed to enjoy it and will often just stare up and Rand while she reads. 

When I tuck her in a night sometimes I will back up so she can't see me anymore and just stare at her. Sometimes she will just start screaming (if she's not tired enough) but sometimes she will just contently stare at her crib, the wall,  and get into her new classic pose; one hand on her face, while the other kind of caresses her hair. To say its beyond cute is an understatement ahh! 

In the morning when she is awake and I am attempting to eat breakfast I will set her on her matt beneath her mobile. When the music starts and the mobile starts to spin she will get this huge smile on her face and start rapidly kicking her feet.   

She likes to make bubbles with her spit and play with them.

She seriously loves to kick her feet. She'll go at it for like 15 minute blocks. Serious workout.
Her pattern is waking up twice in the night to eat. Not too bad!

She probably has about 8 pacifiers. The other day we were wondering were they all were, I felt likei had looked everywhere. I was in our room when I spotted something under the floor and I squatted down to take a peak. What I found was her little paci stash, ha. She had thrown a few out if her crib and unto the floor. You sneaky girl!

She has a notable Preference for me holding her over anyone else. While this ultimately melts my heart and makes me feel special, it has its challenges. 

The past two weekends we have enjoyed weekend trips to the townsquare for Artfest and the farmers market. Weve found some killer deals and frivilous finds at local garage sales. 

For Father's Day we celebrated with Ellie making muffins and breakfast in bed for dad.  She also got him this gadget for his camera that will allow him to snap photos while he is in them. then we enjoyed a fun afternoon BBQ at his parents that Bryn and I had schemed and put on. We enjoyed brats, burgers, hot dogs, watermelon, corn, and some yummy iced tea (my new favorite summer drink!). 

We're looking forward to Rands upcoming review at work and enjoying playing with our new iPad minis. We both have one. Rands is black with a black cover and mine is white with a strips gold and white chevron print. YES I am writing this blog on it! 

As both a mom and a "recovering legalist" my heart has faced a few challenges  But it is holding fast to Gods promise that "there is no condemnation" from Him. Oh, how sweet grace has tasted!Despite our apartment not having been cleaned in...well, a while and not having progressed any further in my Grad school homework, He is still drawing my heart to Him and into His beauty. 

As I offer myself to him, ALL of myself, even the One who doubts, the one who says, Lord show me that your promises are true because my only my head believes them right now, he shows up! 

He says, Jessica, my precious daughter, you don't have to prove that as a stay at home mom your time produces something. You can enjoy your sweet daughter and freely go on walks down the greenway or sit and cuddle with Ellie in the rocking chair. You can skip your homework or do it if you please.  You don't have to do the dishes if you don't want to! And you can go to Starbucks twice in one day! You can just be and you are MINE.   that stuff you feel like you need to fix, do, or control,  I want it too because I love you and want all of you! 

 I'm finding that I get to enjoy my daughter differently,smell the fresh scent of lilacs, stare out at the leaves as they sparkle and dance in the wind and light (they really do) and DREAM. Thank you Jesus.

Uncle Bryn Time
Mimicking Daddy
Hair Time
Mommy's Glasses

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


My college friend Hailey came up a few weeks ago and did a photoshoot with our family.  What a special treat! Her and her boyfriend John both love photography and are quite talented! Here are a few of the photos that I loved.

Weeks 6 & 7

Much of my day is spent studying Ellie.  I realized today that I will likely get to be apart of most of her firsts. That excites me so much. While I can't tell you if she looks more like Rand or myself, I can tell you her Three favorite things; looking out the window, bouncing, and chewing on my hand, fingers, or shirt. Her personality seems to be gravitating towards some of the tendencies that I have, as she seems certain of the things she does like and seems to delight in, well 'movin and shakin'. Here are a few fun memories over the last few weeks

  • She has been smiling SO much more. Rand and I melt nearly every time. She reacts to my expressions and loves it when I coo back at her. She seems to try and find my face when she hears my voice and it really makes me feel special to know that she, well, likes me. 
  • Routine is kind of changing. We are starting a sleep, feed, awake time schedule.  I read part of my first parenting book and well, it sort of freaked me out.  With Rand's encouragement and guidance, we are both starting to figure out what bits and pieces we would like to take from the loads of literature and advice we are getting to determine what is best for our sweet girl.  Day 2 of it and she already seems to be catching on fast.  Right now we are waking up about twice a night to feed her, but hopefully we will all be sleeping through the night in now time. 
  • She is a drooling machine and I have noticed she likes to play with the bubbles she makes in her mouth.
  • Right before Rand cut his hair, it seemed that she really just wanted to eat up his hair.  She would always open her mouth up to try and taste it. 
  • This past week her grip has really been growing.  She likes holding onto my hand and has started to grip other objects too. When we put her under her mobile she will sometimes swat at the objects. 
  • She took her first trip away from Grand Forks to visit Grandma and Grandpa in Cottage Grove.  She enjoyed the endless amounts of attention and spending her mornings with them while Mom and Dad tried to sleep a bit.  Pretty sure she just about melted their heart.  She was also able to meet her great-aunts and uncle and her Great Grandpa.

First Dress


Auntie Angie


Dress From Grandma

My favorite story comes from our first trip to Grandma and Grandpa's house last weekend.  We were on our way down and stopped at our midway point Holiday gas station in Alexandria to fill up. While Rand was filling up gas I jumped in the back to greet Ellie who looked up at me with a delighted look, like she hadn't seen me in days.  Yes, it melted my heart. Mood changes tend to happen fairly quickly, though, and a few seconds later it was clear that she was hungry. Neither Rand or I had really thought up a game plan for what nursing her would look like. I had quite literally thought, oh yeah, well just nurse on the road while were driving. Eh-- not so great of a plan. We devised a quick plan, ending up behind the gas station, with our stress levels definitely more escalated as Ellie screams became louder.  I hopped in the back and attempted to take screaming and thrashing Ellie out of her car seat, never a fun time. With not much room in the back and Ellie stretched across my chest I became pretty cranky. Nursing covers basically suck and space wise crunched in the backseat of a ford focus is not very spacious. I felt sort of like what I feel the pegs in the cars of the game of life feel like. And no for whatever reason I did not feel like the front seat was an option. Needless to say, we managed to get through the feeding. I put Ellie upright to burp her and bluppp, pretty sure her whole meal landed all over me, the car seat and her. I looked up at Rand kind of dumbfounded and just said, umm, I don't even know what to do. We couldn't find her burp cloth right away so Rand pulled out a small, 2X2 size cloth and handed it to me.  I started cracking up at our situation almost immediately because the cloth was just not going to cut it.  Lets just say we had determined more of a plan for on the way back!

Rand and I have been enjoying her more and more it seems. Were looking forward to a work review that will be coming up for Rand and have been exploring the idea of homeownership, which is fairly exciting for us.  It has been fun to dream! 

Apartment Garden

Neighbor dog Cuba. One day...