3 months

Dear Claire Diana,

3 months!! Man oh man, how time is flying by. I already miss my tiny little newborn, even though you are getting cuter and sweeter with every passing day. You are seriously the cutest little doll of a baby. You are so happy and content, life is good for miss Claire. You are the perfect second child, not minding in the least if you need to just chill in your swing for a little bit while I spend some time with your big sister. Everyone comments on your laid back, good natured spirit and how you are such an easy baby, and you really are! You demand very little attention (although you still get PLENTY of it!) and you always greet everyone with great big, happy smiles.

You love to snuggle constantly. I’m probably creating some bad habits with you because you have NO desire to nap anywhere during the day besides on mommy (thank goodness for all the wraps/carriers/slings I have, otherwise I would get nothing done!) With Leah, by this age I was working hard getting her to nap in a crib, knowing that I was going back to work in a month and she would need to nap in a crib at daycare, but with you, there is no pressure or time line. You are most content to sleep on your mom, and I’m most content just to let you! I’m all about letting you take the lead and just do what you need to do, and I can’t lie and say I don’t love all my snuggle time with you. At night you are sleeping in your rock and play next to our bed from 9 pm to 4 or 5 am before waking up to nurse. Every single morning, after your early morning nursing session, you snuggle down in bed between me and your daddy for another few hours of sleep before getting up for the day. Again, another bad habit? Who cares!

You love to nurse, still eating every 2-3 hours, and you are chubbing up quite nicely. It cracks me up when you happen to catch my eye while you are nursing, and you break away to give me a big, huge happy smile, like you are happily surprised to see me there.

You have rolled over from your tummy to your back one or two times, but you really don’t see the need to expel much physical exercise. When we try and do tummy time, you will lift your head up for a minute or so, working on those core muscle, before deciding to just lie down and rest for some time. You just like to relax, no one can blame you for that! You are my delicious little snuggle bug and I am loving every minute of my days with you!!

Love,
Mommy and Daddy

One Month

Our sweet Claire,

How are you one month old already?! Between all our family visitors and the holidays, these last few weeks have flown by and, before we knew it, a whole month had passed since you came into our world. You are such a sweet, even tempered little girl. You have seamlessly fit into our little family and it feels like you have always been here with us. Your big sister Leah is so in love with you. She smothers your head and cheeks with endless kisses and will tell anyone in the room, “That’s MY baby sister!” and “I love Claire!” You love cuddles and sleeping on mommy more than anything in the world. You will be in the deepest sleep on my chest, but as soon as I attempt to set you in your swing or cradle, you will pop awake with a grunt and a disgruntled look, as though you are saying “Hey, I didn’t say you could put me down…” I’ll admit, you aren’t the worlds greatest sleeper. Because you love to snuggle so much (and because you pretty much refuse to use a pacifier) it can be tough to settle you down for the night. Daddy and I joke that you have some sort of internal alarm clock that makes you bolt awake as soon as we are ready to go to bed for the night. You are sleeping 3-5 hour stretches at night (although, every once and awhile you will throw in a 6 hour stretch, but those are very rare) but you are a quick night nurser before settling back down to sleep again. One thing that makes it hard for mommy and daddy to sleep at night is the fact that you are one LOUD sleeper! You make the funniest grunts and snorts all night long, which, although adorable, are awfully hard to sleep through. Daddy and I took your first movie the other day (Hunger Games!) and although you slept through the movie like a perfect angel, you did emit a few grunts and snorts that seemed to be perfectly timed to when the movie was in it’s most serious and quiet scenes. At one point, you emitted your token “goat noise” as daddy and I lovingly call it, which made the lady in front of us laugh and say to her friend, “It sounds like there’s a lamb in the theater!” You are a fabulous eater, and mommy still marvels at the fact that she has nursed you without any pain or difficulty from day one. You are starting to chub up quite nicely and you still have the furriest little shoulders (don’t worry, it won’t last forever!) You are definitely our little Italian baby and daddy and I laugh when we compare your olive complexion to your sister’s creamy one. You girls are the cutest of sisters, but you sure will look different growing up. Our two beautiful girls; one grey/green eyed with fluffy blonde hair, and the other dark eyed with the silkiest chestnut hair. We cannot WAIT to see what this next month brings, our little Claire Diana.

Love,
Mommy and Daddy

2 week update

I cannot believe that it’s been 2 weeks since Claire was born!! Time is flying and this sweet girl gets cuter every day. Her sweet little personality is such a perfect addition to our family and we are all falling in love with her more and more every day. Here’s a little update on what’s been going on here these past 2 weeks….
Claire-Is doing awesome. She is such a chill baby. She honestly barely cries. She seems to be the quintessential second child, you know…all “I’m here, but I don’t want to be too much of a bother..” She just hangs outs, loves being cuddled and held and will quietly let out a few little grunts when she wants to eat. She LOVES to nurse and has already gained almost a full pound since birth!! We had her 2 week appointment on Monday and her pediatrician was so surprised at her weight. Most babies just make it back to their birth weight by 2 weeks, but our little chunky monkey likes to excel and go beyond the norm. Talking about nursing….
Nursing-
Is going AMAZING. I was prepared for it to be difficult at first, as it was with Leah. I loved nursing Leah (we went 16 months and would have gone longer if it was up to me…) but it was hard and painful and awkward at first and it made for a very anxious and unpleasant first few weeks. So I was mentally prepared for that again. I was prepared for the stress and the soreness and the “let’s try and get the hang of this” period, and yet instead…it’s been a complete breeze. Claire nursed for the first time about 10 minutes after she was born and she has been moving along smoothly ever since. There was NO pain this time around at all. She latched on like a champ and is already nursing on both sides at every eating and is not showing any one side favoritism (unlike her sister). Which is probably why she is gaining weight like a little champ. I don’t know if nursing is so much easier this time around because I’m so much more relaxed or because Claire seems to have the perfect latch, but whatever it is, I’ll take it!
Sleeping-Oh the funnest part of having a newborn, right?? Claire totally tricked us the first few nights home from the hospital by making us think she was a stellar sleeper (the first few nights she slept glorious 5-6 hour stretches).  Then, just when Brett and I were high fiving each other for getting so lucky she was all “Fooled you!!” and started sleeping the (let’s be honest) normal 2-3 hour night stretches that aren’t as fun. Every once in awhile, just when I think I’m going to pass out from exhaustion, she will throw in a good 4 hour stretch that will help mommy regain her sanity. What can I say, the girl likes to eat. It’s not the waking up to nurse that is the hard part (the girl is efficient and can be done with both sides in 15 minutes) it’s the settling down part that is the hardest. The kid is like an old man with the sleep noises she makes; grunts, snores, snorts and the likes that makes falling asleep again hard. Once she is in her deep sleep she is silent again, but that usually takes about an hour after nursing to set in. An hour in which I am up, rocking and patting, and trying to get her to settle in again as fast as possible. However, again, I am so much more relaxed this time around. With Leah, I remember some nights, looking at the clock glow at 3 am and panicking thinking, “I will never sleep again…” This time, however, I remember how short this phase is, and, exhausted or not, I plan on soaking up every snuggle I can get with this little peanut, even the ones at 3 am..
Leah-Is doing well! Don’t get me wrong, there have been fits and crying and a weird new stutter that coincidentally started the day we brought Claire home from the hospital, but everything she is displaying is like Child Development 101 for how a 2 year old should act when a large change is made in their life. We have been showering her with love and patience and special treats and she is slowly adjusting to this new little person in our lives. The good news is, she never once took her aggression and adjusting out on Claire. From day one she has LOVED this little girl. She is always asking to hold her and feed her and she rubs and kisses her head every chance she can get. My mom and Brett’s mom have both been here and have spent a lot of special attention on Leah (she even spent a few days alone with her nana up at the island condo) and we are making sure that both Brett and I spend 1 on 1 time with her as well. She is SUCH a good girl though and I have been so proud of how she has handled this new change!
Healing-Has been a little rough, but I’m getting there! I had some pretty bad tearing with Claire’s birth (maybe the result of pushing her out in less than 10 minutes?) which has made the healing process longer than it was after I had Leah. Add in the fact that I now also have a 2 year old who is dying for attention (and wants mommy to pick her up and hold her) and the fact that I might not be the best at letting myself just sit still and heal, and it’s been a tough 2 weeks to say the least. But having Leah up at the island this week has really helped with making myself rest more and I think we are finally rounding the corner over here. Body wise, I’ve been shocked at how fast my uterus seems to be shrinking back down to normal size!!! Everyone warned me that your body bounces back much slower with number 2 (and then slower still with each baby after..) but I have had the opposite. Body wise, I am bouncing back MUCH quicker than I did with Leah. Maybe the result of working out consistently my entire pregnancy? Who knows, but I’m not complaining!! I gained a total of 35 lbs with this pregnancy and I am down a little more than 20 lbs so far. Obviously, I am doing nothing at the moment besides nursing and sitting on the couch (while inhaling bags of Trader Joe’s cowboy bark-anyone ever have that stuff?? I’m seriously addicted) but I am excited to be cleared to start working out again at my 6 week appointment and then hopefully the last 15 or so lbs will come off quickly!

So, overall, everyone is doing great here in the Becker house! I even surprised myself by getting Christmas cards of the girls out on time. Look at me go. 😉 Now we are getting ready for my parents and sister to come next week to celebrate Claire’s first Christmas!! It’s a good, good life over here… 🙂

20 weeks

 

Half Way!!!
So the biggest news this week is that we found out that baby is a GIRL!!! Cue shocked expressions….The night before we found out we jokingly asked friends and family members to cast their final votes and the result was overwhelmingly “boy!” Brett and I (and Leah!) were also firmly planted in team boy. (Side note on Leah..our little girly trouble maker is VERY intrigued with boys these days, so she had been saying baby was a boy all along…)

Thursday morning I awoke with butterflies in my stomach, both excited and anxious to head to our scan. We decided to bring Leah along, not that she would ever remember, but we thought it would be a fun memory for us that she was there when we found out her sibling’s gender. We lucked out with the world’s sweetest ultra sound tech who patiently put up with Leah’s multiple “what’s that?” questions and walked us through the entire scan. At one point when she was measuring baby’s legs, she did a quick scan over the “area” and I caught a quick glimpse.  At that point I was pretty sure it was a girl, since nothing major stood out, but I wasn’t 100% positive. So we waited while the measurements continued, my heart pounding the entire time. And then came the big question…”Do you guys want to know what you are having?” We gave an overwhelming “YES!” and she laughed and commented that baby was positioned with her goods perfectly visible. (Which really was so sweet and considerate of her, compared to her older sister who made me work for it-drinking juice, peeing, and jumping around like a mad woman before she finally showed us her goods. I guess we know who the easy child is going to be…) And then we heard the big news, “Looks like Leah will be getting a sister! Baby is a GIRL!” Immediately tears started streaming down my face and I couldn’t stop smiling. And the crazy part was, as much as I really thought baby was going to be a boy up until that moment, when we were told that it was a girl a sense of peace swept over me and I thought “well of course baby is a girl!” I felt at that moment that I had always known she was there with me and that obviously she could never be anything other than her sweet self. Motherhood is funny that way. Even while still in the womb the baby becomes uniquely and indistinctively yours and you feel like you have already loved them your entire life.

Brett was, of course, shocked but thrilled. The tech joked and said “Sorry daddy!” but, looking at the sweet smile on his face as he heard the news, I felt that this man was made to have girls. He reminds me of my own father when I watch him with Leah; patient, fun, loving, and instilling a strong confidence in her that can only come from her daddy. And as for Leah? I cannot stop smiling when I think about the gift she is getting. A sister!! There is honestly nothing in the world like a sister. I should know, I have three of the very best ones in the world. Three God made best friends. And I can only hope and pray that Leah (and baby no name) cherish their relationship as I do my own. Brett and I are already planning on how to change Leah’s room around to accommodate her new baby SISTER and my heart feels full.

If you are still reading after all that, here’s a few more updates for the half way point!
Total weight gain: 6 lbs. I jokingly told Brett the other day that my body seems more than competent at making up for lost time. Yes, I might have had a slow start with the pregnancy weight gain, but, no worries! We can catch right back up in no time. My body is all, “Oh you just ate a yogurt? Okay, I’ll just add another lb for that…”
How clothes are fitting: So the other day at work I’m walking to lunch and all of the sudden “pop!” my pants came unsnapped. That’s when I decided that it might be time to make the switch to maternity pants. And then, as I slid my maternity work pants on the next day, I thought “Why the heck did I put this off for so long! These are so comfy!!” And then half way through the day, after the 10 millionth time of pulling up my pants I remembered why. Yes, maternity pants are the bomb, but they are also a pain in the butt when your bump doesn’t exactly fill them out yet….
Movement: Baby girl is rocking and rolling in there, but definitely not as much as her big sister was. I definitely feel her moving constantly, but she seems more relaxed and chill unlike her sister who started her tumbling career in the womb….Let’s just say I am hoping that this calmness in the womb translates into a calm baby…it’s possible, right???
How I’m feeling: Awesome! Lots of energy, no excessive sleepiness. I’ve been hitting the gym a few times a week and feeling great at work so let’s just say I’m fully enjoying this “honeymoon phase” of pregnancy…
Random: I don’t remember if I’ve said this already, but my sister-in-law AND two of my best friends/co-workers are all pregnant as well and we are all due within 2 months of each other. Now, as we are all finding out the genders (2 girls and a boy so far…the last of the group will find out in month or so…) I find myself giddy with excitement at having all these babies at the same time. My friends and I already joke about forced play dates, whether our kids like each other or not, but there really is something so fun about having babies at the same time as friends!

19 weeks

19 weeks! Updates for this week include……Another lb gained, baby is starting to move like CRAZY (the movements are still like little light flutters, but when baby kicks hard enough I’m starting to feel him/her from the outside if my hand is exactly in the right spot…), and I’m still craving salt, salt, salt! With Leah I was all about the sweets…ice cream, cookies, chocolate, you name it, I wanted it. With baby #2, I could totally pass on the brownies, but then eat an entire bag of pita chips. Not sure either is the healthier option….The belly is starting to really pop this week (at least to me). I’m still fitting into my normal work pants (and STILL no one at work seems to know I’m pregnant…) but I have pulled out my all time favorite maternity shorts from when I was pregnant with Leah (being worn in above pictures). These shorts are sooo comfy, but after wearing them until 41 weeks with Leah, and then passing them on to my sister when she was pregnant, let’s just say the belly band is a bit stretched out. Even with it folded down, I’ve still been hiking up my shorts all day, but it’s totally worth it. Just give me a few more weeks and I’m sure this stomach will be filling out the belly band once again. So! Let’s talk gender for a minute!! We are (hopefully!) finding out whether baby is a boy or a girl this Thursday at my 20 week scan (so as you can see, I’m always a few days behind with these weekly updates, but oh well…) Everyone and their mother is telling me that this baby is a BOY (including one of our super sweet 70 something year old hospital volunteer who apparently is “never wrong” and who took one look at me and said, “You know it’s a boy, right?” And, truth be told, when I was pregnant with Leah she did correctly guess girl….) so I feel myself being sucked in and definitely, definitely thinking this kid is a boy. Which totally means that it’ll be a girl, right? I, on the other hand, stink at guessing what other people are having (I am seriously always wrong) so I don’t even know what to think about my own. I keep getting asked if I have a “feeling” on “inclination,” but honestly I don’t, besides the fact that boy, boy, boy has been pounded into my head from everyone around me. Yes, this pregnancy has been a little different than my last, yes baby’s heart rate is consistently lower than Leah’s ever was and yes, I’m craving salty foods, so all signs DO seem to point to boy, but  we all know those “signs” mean nothing in the end. So wait we will for just a few more days!! Honestly, I will be thrilled no matter what baby is. A lot of people seem to assume that I want a boy, “Oh, well since you already have a girl!”But, growing up with all sisters, I would be thrilled to pieces if Leah gets to experience just a little of what I did. So as lame as it is to say “All I want is a healthy baby!” I can totally say with 100% conviction that, no matter what gender news we hear on Thursday, I will be crying tears of joy!!!

18 weeks

I’m not crazy about these pictures because of the weird shadowing, but that’s what happens when you make your husband take them at 7 pm…
So, let’s see what’s new this week……The belly is starting to pop a little more. I still feel like I’m at the stage where I can wear one outfit and look really pregnant and then another where I do not look pregnant at all. Such a strange phase…like a constant disappearing/reappearing belly trick. I’m still wearing all of my normal clothes; pants still fitting fine, but my work pants have officially become a little snug unless I undo the top hook. The weight is finally coming on…with a sudden quickness that is just thrilling. (Ha). It’s like one day you step on the scale and you’re still your normal weight, and then the next morning you step on and you somehow managed to gain 3 lbs overnight!? So that’s fun. As far as food goes, this kid is making me crave carrots and cucumbers dipped in either ranch or hummus something fierce! I seriously cannot get enough. Sadly, my nightly ice cream eatings (which were short lived after my first trimester nausea) has quickly come to an end. Baby is not crazy about dairy to begin with, but every time I try and eat a bowl of delicious ice cream after 7 pm I am punished with extreme nausea and overall grossness so I have officially thrown in the towel. You win this time, baby. I guess I’ll just have to eat my ice cream for lunch from now on! Exercising is going pretty well. I ran 3 (slow) miles on the treadmill on Saturday and I felt great! Until about 20 minutes after I was done and my stomach muscles started to hurt so badly, like they were bruised to the touch. This week is a big week with ligament/muscle stretching and growing and apparently my 3 bouncy miles did not do my stomach any justice. Luckily the uncomfortableness did not last very long. This has also been a big week for movement (finally!) This past week I really started feeling baby flutter and roll, which has been so much fun. This is my favorite stage of movement, when those little flutters bring smiles instead of painful “ouch!!!”-es as will soon happen post-30 weeks. And that’s about all that’s new in the 18th week!!