2 months! 

From flower girls to frenulectomy, we have had a busy last few weeks. Clint’s littlest sister got married on June 18th and all 4 of us were in the wedding. The family was all in town so the girls were lucky to get a lot of time with their cousins. Brooklyn still asks about Hannah and Cal-forn-na and when we can go see her. (Maybe once we can make it though a 5 minute car ride without her screaming “I wan get OUT!” we can consider a 5 hour plane ride…).

Sweet Eleanor had her posterior tongue tie revision on June 24th — ugh, the worst. We are hoping that it will help her to nurse a little easier (for the both of us) and that it will mean no other feeding or speech issues down the road. Clint held her while the doctor made the “clip” while I sat in the corner (Thanks Clint!). She was able to nurse immediately following the procedure which was good sign. To make up for Clint  having to hold her during the torture, I have to do her stretches 4-6 times a day for 2 weeks — meaning I have to poke my finger in her open incision site and keep it from closing back up. Ugh, really the worst.

And here is a little more of what we have been up to…

Brooklyn decided to give up her last 3 pacis to the “Paci Fairy” in exchange for some sweet presents. She still asks for the paci every now and then, especially if she is tired and/or gets hurt, but I am so proud of her for making this big step!

…and since she is a true big girl now without her pacis and all, daddy let her take her sister out for a spin. (This activity was very closely monitored by helicopter mom!)

Hannah (and Nate and Sarah and Kyle) got a grand welcome at the airport!

We got to visit with Brooklyn’s “boyfriend” Manning while we were in Wilson. His mom, Kasey, and I have been friends for 25+ years!

Brooklyn got her first big girl mani/pedi for the wedding 🙂 She immediately messed up the paint job but was so excited to show off her pink sparkles! 

Miss Priss even got to go to the bridesmaid luncheon. She wanted to make herself a bit more fancy thanks to Hannah sharing her eyeball stickers.

Brooklyn did a lot of playing and not a lot (or any) napping during the wedding weekend. She finally crashed on her Nena during the reception for a quick little power nap before hitting the dance floor with her daddy.

 

Father’s Day was the day after the wedding so we were able to spend a little time with Pappy before heading home. Eleanor loved loading him up with snuggles 🙂

Brooklyn turned 2.5 year old on June 20th. Her cousins happened to be at Chicfila and helped us celebrate 🙂

Happy 2 months baby Eleanor! You are so loved! 

…even if you do like to pull your sister’s hair 😉

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6 weeks! 

“Chunky Monkey” is 6 weeks old as of Thursday! She continues to get cuter each day (how is that even possible?!) and is giving us some sweet smiles throughout the day. We are working on helping her to nurse without getting frustrated due to a posterior tongue tie and weak oral motor tone. The therapy we are doing is going great and she seems to be making perfect progress. 

Brooklyn continues to be a great big sister and is more helpful each day. She read to her for me while I was getting ready one morning 🙂 

Daddy’s girls 😘


Brooklyn loves her some Wool E. Bull. She requested to go to a game as a reward for rocking out potty training! Her world  was made when we got a photo opp with him as we were leaving the game. 

Eleanor loves her new Elephant wubbanub. It disappeared for a few days and magically turned up in Brooklyn’s book bag. 🙄


When daddy gets home we have been hitting up the pool. Eleanor has the right idea😊

1 month! 

Well that certainly flew by. Eleanor is such a great baby, which has made this first month pass unreasonably fast. She is a great eater, is starting to look around at what is happening around her, and loves to be cuddled and worn. My personal favorite personality trait is that this girl knows her mama. She has been known to be “just fine” until I come into view and then she immediately starts crying for me. She sure does know how to keep me feeling the love 🙂 We had her 1 month check up today and she has moved on up to 10 lbs, 6 oz (+1 from birth weight) and is in the 80% percentile for both height and weight. She does follow suit with her sister’s tiny noggin at the 20th percentile.

Brooklyn…my sweet Brooklyn. She gets sweeter and feistier each day. Clint was gone 2 weekends in a row for bachelor parties (poor guy) so that left mommy to be both mama and daddy disciplinarian. We had help from both my sister (first weekend) and mom (second weekend), and it was STILL hard. I honestly do not know what I would have done if it was just me. I have a new respect for single moms, for sure.

We hit up City Barbeque on Friday for their soft opening (yay for free food!) and it was delicious! Brooklyn can be a tough critic when it comes to anything not Chicfila or sugar bombed, and she was loving every bite.

We also tried to fill our time with some outdoor play and took a nice walk down to Menchie’s for an afternoon FroYo treat. Brooklyn decided to work off her splurge by running part of the way home.

We have done a LOT of celebrating this week. Between both Theo and Jackson’s birthday parties, a friend from school, and Natalie’s bridal shower, we have been party people! We had to snap a quick picture of Jackson with a celebratory Mile High Pie (Winslow family favorite) to recreate an older pic…now only if I could find the original pic.

It is always a good, crazy time when daddy comes home from work. When settling down for bed, Brooklyn requested to be swaddled like her little sister. Smh.

Even through all the frustration of raising a 2 year old new – potty training – paci loving- new, big sister – I could not love this girl any more. She is growing up too fast (yeah, I know I say that a lot).

3 weeks! 

We are finally starting to get in the groove around here. Eleanor spends most of her time eating and sleeping, which is a little hard for Brooklyn to understand. Brooklyn is, however, getting more understanding and doesn’t interfere with feeding as much as she used to. Sleeping — a different story. Brooklyn HAS to wake her sister whenever she has the chance. I am sure, this too shall pass, but it is certainly the biggest source of tears at our house. Eleanor is typically a happy baby, excluding the hours between 8-10pm where she turns into a screaming machine. Some nights are better than others, but we typically spend those few hours wearing her, feeding her, swaddling her, and walking aimlessly around our house.

Caught her during an alert moment — right after eating (her most favorite activity) and right before a diaper change (her least favorite activity).

Snuggling with my girls. I love it when it works out that we are able to cuddle together without anyone crying 🙂

Mother’s day 2016 — first one as a mama of 2! Got in a few of my favorite things — church, everyone napped at the same time, and a {semi} relaxing dinner outdoors with a cold glass of wine. [[Disclaimer: There may have been a meltdown or 2 that happened in the process of getting to dinner — mostly centered around me desperately wanting to get out of the house and enjoy the day and Brooklyn desperately wanting to see my head spin by not getting ready. Thanks to Super Dad for diffusing the situation and getting us all out of the house safely.]] The girls got me some candy, beautiful flowers, cards, and jewelry. Brooklyn let me have the bracelet, but decided she was going to keep the necklace for herself — it was “Brooklyn’s Mother’s Day” after all. (Insert side-eye)

My mom got me turned onto a company called Plexus — they sell plant-based supplements that are supposed to do the body wonders. There are a lot of good anecdotal accounts of this combination of supplements (called TriPlex) boosting milk supply in nursing mothers so I decided to give it a try. I am still in the process of figuring out the right combination for me and Eleanor, but look forward to sharing my own account over the next few months.

On Monday, I picked up Brooklyn from school for a surprise Brooklyn/Mommy date at Menchie’s. I love sitting with her and hearing her talk about her day and whatever else comes to mind. Eleanor ended up having to come with us, but kindly slept the whole time – giving me and Brooklyn the time that we needed. I hope to continue doing something like this at least once a week. I miss Brooklyn so much during the day while I am at home with Eleanor. I am always thinking about things that would be fun to do with her while I am on leave but also know how much we are butting heads right now and how hard it is to make those fun things work out with a newborn in tow. We already have some summer Brooklyn/Mommy dates planned (pool and museum) once Eleanor gets old enough for me to leave her with a sitter for a few hours.

2 weeks! 

Somehow it has been 2 weeks since Eleanor was born, and while I can’t believe how fast it is going, it also seems like she has been with us forever. One thing I am doing differently this time around is using all of these great resources that are available to me, like the Lactation Consultant for instance. We went today and got the good news that Eleanor has passed her birth weight (9lbs, 8oz!). The best part of this is that I no longer have to wake her up to nurse her during the night 👍🏼 


Bailey is accepting the fact that there are now 2 little ladies to torment her on the regular 😬

Brooklyn needed some distraction while I am nursing, so we pulled out the “busy bags” I made. They entertained her for all of 2 minutes 🙂

Matching!

Week 1! 

We made it through the first week of being a family of 4 and I couldn’t imagine it going any more smoothly. Eleanor is a champion eater and sleeper, and big sister Brooklyn is loving her new role. Clint has been at home with us and we are so thankful for this time together as a family. Brooklyn has been enjoying going to school during the day which has helped keep some normalcy for her little world.

On Day 3, we made it out of the house for our first official family outing to church. Clint and I sat at the back with Eleanor and Brooklyn was able to get in some playtime with her church buddies. Although I had to make a trip to the Nursing Room during the sermon, the worship music included some of my favorites and warmed my soul. 

Eleanor and I have spent some good quality time together each night during our nightly feedings. She eats and snoozes, while I eat snacks and binge watch “The Mindy Project.” Win-Win 🙂 The past few nights I have had to wake her up every 3 hours to eat, otherwise she would sleep through her feedings. 

Did I mention this girl can eat? During the day, I am lucky if I make it 3 hours before she needs another feed.

Day 4 we had newborn and family photos with Southern Honeysuckle Photography. Eleanor, once she had a full belly, did great and was snoozy and overall pretty compliant. Sweet Brooklyn, on the other hand, had a pretty hard time following the game plan. Partially mommy’s fault in poor planning of having the pictures during nap time — fingers crossed that we got a few keepers in there! 

Bedtime routine is always a sweet, cuddly time at our house. I loved seeing these 2 girls snuggle up before the lights went out. Clint is already ready to bring home some bunk beds 🙂 My sweet girls. My heart is so full.

Meet Eleanor Frederick Winslow !

The Winslow Family has grown by one and our hearts could not be fuller!

A little about her entrance to the world…  As we began inching closer to her due date (Thursday, April 21), I became more and more uncomfortable. I had been having contractions on and off since the Thursday prior, but nothing seemed to stick around for long enough to make anything happen. After trying just about everything in the book (walking, acupuncture, spicy foods, you name it..), my midwife handed me a Castor Oil Cocktail Recipe to give a try. Castor Oil was the one thing I said I would NEVER do, but after she assured me that it was safe I decided to give it a whirl.

Castor Oil Cocktail: Blend 2 oz castor oil, 4 T almond butter, 3/4 c apricot nectar, 3/4 c champagne 

About an hour after drinking the concoction, I started having contractions. They were actually really close together but not very intense at the time. Clint and I did some walking around the block to try to sustain them which did help a lot. Once the contractions were getting to where I had trouble talking through them at 2-3 minutes apart for an hour, we decided to head to the hospital. (4:30pm Wednesday)

At the hospital, they got me checked in and in a room with a tub (score!). Our doula, Ashley, met us there and helped get the room set up. For about 4 hours, we worked on trying to intensify my contractions and help me progress. The midwife on call, Sue, said she would be back to check me around 9pm. My contractions were greatly uncomfortable but yet I knew that they had to get a LOT worse before we were close to having this baby. When 9pm rolled around, Sue informed me that sadly I was not progressing..and that she recommended that I went home to labor there for the rest of the night. Clearly, I lost it. I was NOT going home to labor with my 2 year old in the house and being 20+ minutes away from the hospital did not help matters either. She called in Dr. Gunter (who delivered Brooklyn) and his kind soul agreed to give me something to sleep and keep me over night. (MY HERO!) I was able to sleep for about 4 hours after some stadol and fentanyl, and woke up at 4am to discover the contractions had pretty much died off. I got worried thinking that they may send me home, so I began walking, squatting, bouncing, and dancing around the room to try to get my contractions to pick back up. It worked, and my contractions picked back up to 5 minutes apart, however they were really mild. Sue came in to check me again around 6am and to my surprise I had progressed and she agreed to break my water to get things moving along. Once my water was broken, I was sure things were going to move quickly. Instead, the contractions went from 5 min, to 7 min, all the way up to 15+ minutes apart. My doula had them bring me a breast pump to try to get contractions moving along — again, it worked! but then it did not sustain. By this time, there was a new midwife on call, Leigh Ann, and she suggested either pitocin or cytotec. I chose the cyotec, which mimics natural labor the best, and within 15 minutes I was having contractions again around 11:15am. Things picked up very quickly from there and by 1:20ish I was in full-fledged, slap-yo-mama active labor. Since I chose not to have an epidural I was able to move around the room and eventually get in the Jacuzzi tub while laboring. A little before 2:30pm, I was feeling the urge to push so Clint, the midwife, and my doula miraculously got me out of the tub and to the bed. Ten minutes of pushing and Eleanor was in my arms!

Eleanor was born on Thursday, April 21st, 2016 at 2:41pm

 

Both of us were in need of a little rest after all of that!

We were told that Eleanor would be around 7lbs, 10oz — wrong… Our little chunky monkey weighed in at 9lbs, 6oz!

We had a great team taking care of us! 

Future nurse, Aunt Holli, was with us every step of the way and was there for Eleanor’s arrival 🙂

Hello world 🙂 

So in love. 

Thinking about how Brooklyn would respond to being a big sister was something that I thought about constantly during my pregnancy. We prepared with a Sibling Class, books, and lots and lots of talking about “Baby Ella.” I was prepared to put down Eleanor when Brooklyn was coming in to meet her so that I could welcome Brooklyn with open arms. I also was prepared for a giant meltdown about a) mommy being in the hospital and b) there being a new baby. Brooklyn totally surprised us all. She walked right in and asked for Baby Ella and wanted to hold her immediately. She was even okay with me holding Eleanor! The icing on the cake was that Eleanor had bought a gift for Brooklyn — a new Baby Stella doll and accessories to match 🙂

Since Brooklyn was in Special Care Nursery, we were thrilled to have Eleanor in the room with us from the start.  Clint claims that Eleanor is going to be a daddy’s girl 🙂 He is such an amazing daddy to our two girls and I certainly could not be doing any of this without him. 

Uncle Charlie brought by some much needed Jersey Mike’s for us and the nursing staff. Can’t say that these suckers lasted very long.

At 24 hours of life, Eleanor had her newborn assessment – which included testing for jaundice. Brooklyn was borderline jaundice and had to have phototherapy so we knew there was a risk for that for Eleanor as well. Unforutantely, our fears were confirmed and Eleanor had to go under the lights. They were able to do the phototherapy in the room, so our homework was to keep her under the lights as much as possible and make sure she gets fed well enough to pee and poop out the bilirubin. After about 16 hours under the lights, we got confirmation that her numbers had improve, she could come off the lights, and we could GO HOME! 

Mommy and daddy took turns comforting Eleanor (who was a champ by the way) throughout the night.

Resting up for the ride home! 

She didn’t like the car seat much at first, but we have warmed up to the idea since then. 

Since coming home on Saturday, we have been working on adjusting to being a family of 4. Brooklyn both loves Eleanor and is understandably jealous at times as well. We are trying to figure out the best way for everyone to get as much sleep as is possible, especially during this time of cluster feeding. Eleanor got a great report at her doctor appointment today — bilirubin levels are maintaining in the low-risk range and she is gaining weight at double the rate they look for. This mama is feeling blessed and so in love with her sweet little family 🙂

I’m back!

…18 months later. Since my last post (when Brooklyn was 11 months) our life has transformed week by week and month by month. Brooklyn had an awesome 1st birthday party (Winter ONEderland), began school (Primrose School at Hope Valley Farms), had ear tubes placed (around 15 months), done lots of learning and playing, had an epic 2nd birthday party (Princess Party at Little Gym), and found out she was going to be a big sister!! Something about the loneliness and boredom of pre-baby maternity leave has brought me back to blogging, which I want to do a better job of keeping up with this time around.

Current Happenings:

Maternity Leave Day 2– Day 1 was filled with pampering, playing, and a long walk — already has me desperate to deliver. I decided to stop working a little earlier than I did last time because I haven’t been feeling so hot, but of course now here I sit with baby still cooking inside. I am trying to take advantage of this *me* time (Brooklyn is still going to school for most of the day) but also can’t help but obsess over getting this show on the road. I still have 9 days to go before my due date (April 21st) but am really hoping that this little girl will make her appearance before then. If not before, then certainly no more than a week past my due date since I am trying to avoid being medically induced. While we wait for Miss Eleanor Frederick Winslow to make her debut, here is a little of what we have been up to.

  Getting ready for Mustache Monday at school! Clint bought B a new step stool, which has somehow quickly taken her from a dependent toddler to independent kid. Slow down time!

  Since there is no rush to get out of the house in the morning, we are embracing a few extra books and taking a little longer to get ourselves ready.

 B is not the biggest fan of baths these days, so we use bribery at its finest. Who wouldn’t take a bath for a little ice cream treat?!

   37 week belly bump — I am currently at 38 weeks, 5 days.

  Shoe shopping! B LOVES her black and pink Nike’s so it took a ton of convincing to get her to pick out a new pair. 45 minutes later (thanks to a very patient Stride Rite employee) we left with not 1, but 2 pairs of shoes!

This girl LOVES Playing with her cousins! There is usually a lot of yelling, laughing, and a whole lot of love.   Today was Team Spirit Day — she chose the right colors 😉

Rare sleepy cuddles — soaking up every minute I can with my little girl while she is still my only child.

11 months!

Father time must be playing a trick on me. It is impossible that we have an 11 month old. Bittersweet for sure since the next milestone is ONE YEAR. Honestly, how does time go by so slowly when you are a kid but at lightening speed when you have kids? And I hear it only gets faster. Sigh.

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11 months! 18 lbs full of sugar 🙂

Month 11 might be my favorite one yet. Brooklyn is walking/running EVERYWHERE! She has an incredible sense of humor, and thinks its especially funny when I am scolding her for trying to drink Bailey’s water or pull the cords out of the socket. She still loves Frozen (stay tuned for a Frozen themed – WinterONEderland 1st birthday party!) and I can occasionally get in some cuddles while we watch. She has started showing an interest in stuffed animals and it is adorable to watch her pick one and carry it around the house. Here is a little of what we have been up to lately….

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Reading about dad’s favorite superhero at B&N

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01c8dd70667649d85664eafb2ea35ba5f567dfe20b Pumpkin Patch fun @ Ganyard Hill Farm with BFF Kathryn!

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Produce clerk at Marbles

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Shopping with mom! She was the star of the toy store 🙂

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“Little Chicken” on Halloween 2014!  

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LOVED the construction toys — definitely has a little of her papas in her (my dad and my papa, her namesake)

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Just a little weekend drive…

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Breakfast Bows

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Just a little gaming with Uncle Josh

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Making friends

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She is a big fan of helping mama clean (disclaimer: this is a factor in why my house is always a wreck)


Months 8, 9, and 10!

8 months!

8 months

9 months!  16 lbs 12oz (25%), Height (67%), Head (8%), Cuteness (110%)

10 months

10 months!

So we have a little catching up to do. The past 3 months have been incredible. Brooklyn is changing every single day and she never ceases to amaze me. I love watching her exploring new things and learning, even if it means getting into EVERYTHING. Here are a few of our highlights from the past few months..

“school”

A big milestone for both mommy and baby has come and gone already. At 7 months, Brooklyn started at a local daycare. We were all excited and anxious about this BIG change, since she has been at home with us or family ever since she was born. I knew there would be an adjustment period, but it was way worse than I expected. After a couple weeks, we realized that daycare (or at least our daycare) was not going to work out. Our happy little girl was unfortunately not very happy and the bottom line is that we want what is going to be the best for her. We explored a lot of different options…preschools, nanny shares, in-home nanny…and were at an overall loss for what to do. We wanted her to get a great learning and social experience, but we also wanted her to feel loved and nurtured — two things that were not happening at school. After a lot of prayers (and tears), the perfect option fell into our lap. Clint learned that one of his [best] employees was interested in nannying and had the experience we were looking for. We already knew she loved Brooklyn and felt this would be the best option for our family. Being a new mom, I was still a nervous wreck. Were we making the right choice? We were embarking in a very expensive endeavor just because of a “gut” feeling? I kept praying for an answer and guidance that I had made the right choice. Well, let me tell you something, folks. I made the right choice. Jo has been our nanny now for 2 months and it has been such a blessing to our family. She LOVES Brooklyn and Brooklyn LOVES her. Brooklyn is happy and well taken care of. And Clint and I are happy. Jo makes our life so much easier, just by doing the little things to help out that go a lonnnng way.Needless to say, our prayers were answered.

Teeth

Brooklyn has her 2 bottom pearly whites and the top 2 are working their way through. I still love our amber teething necklace, but some orajel and a little ice go a long way on the crankiest of days. She got her first toothbrush and LOVES having her teeth brushed (when we remember!)

Foods

brooklyn at rise

This girl loves to eat. She has earned her own spot in the pantry filled with applesauce, peas, carrots, cheerios, mac&cheese, and fruits — and the fridge has a dedicated spot for all of her yogurts. She will really try to eat anything off of our plates. Growing girl!

On the move!

brooklyn shoes

Brooklyn is all about movin’ and groovin’. A little after 9 months she started standing on her own. Now, at 10 months, this child is WALKING! She realizes that she is faster crawling, but just in the past few days she has been trying to walk anywhere and everywhere. She got her first pair of tennis shoes a few weeks ago (which is, um, still getting used to) so she does her finest (and quickest) walking in her bare feet. Bottom line: Walking is a serious game changer.

Friends 

It has been amazing to see Brooklyn interact with her cousins and her friends. She loves playing and is super curious about what other kids are doing.

brooklyn and nash unc game

This was way more interesting than the game outside.

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Slide races with Nash (with Jackson’s supervision)

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Just playing with BFF Kathryn — she has the BEST toys!

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“Okay, Theo, this is how you play with this.”

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Brooklyn and Kit. First babies of the ECU OT Class of 2011. I can’t wait to see these girls grow up together!

brookly and emma unc game

Older, cooler friend, Emma, and Brooklyn at the UNC game. — Thankful for the Talley’s and the friendship we have!

Mommy brag

With a demanding career and working mom, I need exercise in my life to keep my sanity. I love Pure Barre, but haven’t been able to make it on a regular basis. I also love the gym, but its been hard to get back into. So, I started running again. I ran a 5k back in July and then again a couple weekend ago. This past weekend, I upped my game and did an 8k. It was amazing. I definitely had “runner’s high” and ran the whole 5 miles –in 50 min, 32 seconds might I add. I am very proud of myself for pushing myself and continuing to reach the goals I set myself. I am toying with the idea of a 10k, or even a 10 miler in the spring, but no promises.

brooklyn at 8k

Brooklyn came by to congratulate mommy post-race! Thankful for supportive co-workers who push me to meet my goals.