About Me

Hi! I'm Abby. My husband, Carl, and I are happily married since October 2007. Our little family of 2 (well, 3 if you count Chief, the dog) added one more in October 2011 when we welcomed Audrey Elizabeth, our first child into the world. Our life was forever changed. And to add to the joy and excitement, we added another daughter, Clara Marie, in May 2014. I wanted to create this blog originally to document all the milestones throughout my pregnancy with Audrey so we could remember that special time in our lives. And now I get to write all about Audrey and Clara and our life with these amazing "Larson Ladies", which is so much more fun!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Activity Mat Fun

Carl took this video of Audrey playing on her activity mat on 11/27/11.  Audrey is 6 weeks old in this video.  She has so much fun playing with the toys!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Audrey is 1 month old!

On Tuesday, November 15th , Audrey turned one month old. I cannot even believe it has already been a month since she was born. Every day, I just smile and thank God that we have her in our lives. She is a true blessing!

Picture taken Nov 15th

At one month...

Audrey weighs 9 pounds, 4 ounces and measures 21.5 inches long
That means she has grown about 2 pounds in this first month! Doctor Tess, our family practitioner Audrey is seeing (in lieu of a pediatrician, which is another story for a different day), really was pleased with this growth. I believe this puts her in the 65-70th percentile for height and weight.  (Source: CDC.gov WHO growth standards) She sure does like to eat. And sometimes more often than is "convenient" or ideal for me. But I wouldn't trade those feeding times for anything in the world. I love her facial expressions and those smiles that melt my heart. I love these bonding times with her! And I also realize that the more I feed her, the more milk supply I will have and therefore the longer I will be able to breastfeed. Breastfeeding has really worked out well. It's been hard at times, but I am thankful I get to do it because of the health benefits (for Audrey and me) and because of the cost savings. Formula is expensive! And me (being my frugal self) would just rather not spend money on formula when breastfeeding is free!  Do you think she'll be tall?  We sure do hope she gets the Larson height, and growing an inch and a half in the first month is a good start!
Picture taken Oct 30th

Audrey is wearing size 0-3 months clothes
I tried dressing her in some newborn clothes at 3 weeks old, but they were really snug.  That was my first indication that Audrey had grown in weight and length.  We love the side-snap shirts for wear everyday.  They are so convenient in that you don't have to pull them over her head.  In fact, Carl went out and bought a lot more of those shirts that first week we had Audrey at home.  We have shirts and onesies.  And they have mittens which is so nice to both keep her hands warm and keep her from scratching herself.  Love them!  We also really like sleep gowns, sleep sacks, and sleep onesies with the footies.  Do you see a pattern?  We love clothes that keep her warm and make it easy on us to change her diaper.  Audrey has been in "regular outfits" a few time like when we are going out to the mall or to the store or out to eat.  But you will be more likely to find her just in a onesie or shirt and diaper around the house.

Audrey wears a size 1 diaper
When we were in the hospital, we got used to the size 1 Huggies (with the wetness indicator).  When we got home, we had some newborn diapers that were really handy because they have the cutout for her umbilical cord.  But after her cord fell off and we ran out of newborns, we switched back to size 1.  There really isn't much difference between different brands of diapers; they all do their job.  We use Pampers, Huggies, and Target brand.  But we found that we prefer Huggies to the rest.  Target's are kinda big and bulky on her, and Pampers has a mesh lining that sticks to her bum when her diaper is really wet or full.  It looks like it would hurt.  But believe me, we are not throwing any unused diapers away!  We will use anything we have.  We are so lucky and appreciative that we received so many diapers as gifts!

Audrey has accepted a bottle several times now, which makes me so happy!  That gives me the flexibility to pump and then run some errands or just be away from her for longer than a couple hours.  Carl and I were even able to go out and celebrate our anniversary on November 13th...4 years and 1 month.  Finally, right?  We were planning to go out for a nice dinner on October 15th, but Audrey had a different plan for us.  :)  Grandma Larson was nice enough to watch her for us for a couple hours and Carl and I went to Coopers Hawk for a nice dinner.  I even had a glass of red wine!

Audrey is eating about every 2 1/2 to 3 hours, even during the night.  Although, she did go almost 5 hours one night.  Needless to say, that was awesome!  It's really not too bad, though, getting up in the middle of the night.  Every night's different, but I've seen this pattern quite often...11pm, 2am, 5am, 8am.  Most nights are good nights, although we have had some challenging nights.  Through her first month, Audrey slept in a cradle right next to our bed.  This was so convenient for the nighttime feedings.  The trick, and what determined whether it was a good night or not, was how easily and quickly she fell asleep again.  The first week was no problem.  She slept soundly between feedings, day or night. But after about 2 weeks, she became much more alert during the day.  Even though it's a lot of fun during the day, she sometimes would want to stay up at night, too.  And since she was sleeping in our room, I didn't want her to wake up Carl who had to get up early for work.  There were quite a few nights of rocking her to sleep only to have her wake up again after only a few minutes in her cradle.  And then there was the walking about hte house trying to lull her to sleep.  Or giving her a pacifier to occupy and calm her, but usually that's more trouble than good because she wouldn't be happy when the "paci" fell out so I had to be there and awake every few minutes.  So, after talking with the nurses at Audrey's checkup, we decided it was time to transition her to her crib. That has worked out really well, and she has been such a good sleeper in her crib.  What a good baby!  I seriously don't think we could have gotten any luckier with Audrey.

Audrey loves to be held!  We have been so fortunate to have many friends and family who want to come see Audrey.  And most love holding her.  A lot of times, she'll just fall asleep in their arms.  When I'm home during the day with Audrey, I try and put her in her bouncy seat so I can cook breakfast/lunch/dinner or eat or take a shower for instance.  She likes the bouncy seat and a lot of times will fall asleep.  But there are some times when she'd just rather be held.  And I am happy to stop and hold her.  Seriously, I don't think there is anything better in the world than holding her and looking into that sweet face or watching her sleep in my arms.  So precious!  (And because of that, I still haven't finished all our thank you notes.  I'm working on it.  Almost there.)  I love seeing Carl hold and interact with Audrey.  He was trying to give her a pacifier the other day and commented on how she'll only take it "it it's on her terms, just like her mom".  Ha!  I guess I am like that...I am more willing to do things when they're my idea.  Hopefully this means she will be strong and independent, but not stubborn or difficult.  We will see!
Picture taken Oct 21st

Audrey loves to play on her Baby Einstein activity mat.  
She loves to look up at the whale and octopus and all the other toys dangling from the top.  She will swing her arms to hit them so they make sound and move.  And then a couple times a day, we'll turn her over for "tummy time".  She's very tolerable of being on her tummy, even from the very first time we tried it.  We started tummy time as soon as her umbilical cord fell off around day 10 or so.  She proves she is a strong little girl.  She bicycles out her legs so they slide on the mat, to the point that we joke that she would get up and run out of here if she could.  Also, she can hold her head up for several seconds and turn it from side to side.  She also pushes herself up on one arm/leg at a time so her body is in the beginning stages of rolling over.  Carl did see her roll over on November 15th, but we think she had a headstart with how he had her positioned on the mat.  Either way, she's getting some muscle strength and coordination.  Gramps Patton compares her to Secretariat.  Ha!
Source:  IMDB.com

Audrey likes to make a lot of sounds...coos, moans, grunts, you name it.  Grandma Larson says Audrey is "singing".  She's just getting ready to voice her opinion!  

I think that about sums up the first month.  Audrey is such a blessing!  She's easy-going, strong, beautiful, loving... the list could go on and on and on.  

What a great month it has been getting to know our little girl.  We love you, Audrey!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Audrey's umbilical cord fell off on October 26th (last Wednesday).  And you know what that means?  She can take a "real" bath now!

She just loves her bathtime.  She's so laid-back but wide-eyed during the bath. I just crack up...she is so cute it just kills me.  (I'm a little biased; a proud Momma!)  But really, she doesn't cry or fuss at all.  She's really curious and seems to enjoy it.  Here are some pics from the first bath that Carl and I gave her together.

This last pic captures the "get a diaper on her ASAP" moment right after the bath.  Isn't she so cute with the monkey-hooded towel?  Our cute little monkey!

New Car!

Carl and I have been thinking for awhile that we might need to get another car to replace his 2-door Honda Accord.  Carl's Accord really has been a great car for us.  It has over 140,000 miles on it and runs like a champ.  But after having Audrey, we realize that we are challenged for space.  I kept thinking about how we would transport Chief and Audrey in the same little car.  Even in the Camry (the bigger car of the 2), it would have been tough.  We didn't even know if the car seat would fit in Carl's car.  And even if it did, it would be a pain to fold up the front seat to crawl into the backseat with Audrey and fasten her in the carseat.  The only thing holding us back (well, holding me back!) was that both the Accord and Camry are paid off.  I really didn't want a car payment again!

We (by "we", I mean Carl) did a lot of research and we really liked the Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring models.  They have 3 rows of seats, which will be important as our family grows and for taking Chief along on trips with us.  Also, when we go down to Central Illinois, we're going to be bringing a bunch more stuff now.  This car has a lot more room.  So Carl and I headed out to test drive it and find out more about it.  We really liked it a lot!  And, they had 0% financing on the new 2011 models.  Good timing!

Both photos courtesy of Mazdausa.com

Isn't it beautiful?  It's so nice and has so many bells and whistles that we've never had in our cars before.  Carl really researched it and found the right dealer with one of the last 2011's in the area and even negotiated the purchase and trade-in.  That stuff stresses me out.  I thank God he took care of it all!  And he did a darn good job, too.  Love this new vehicle!!!

Happy Halloween!

Have you seen anything cuter?  Seriously...
"My First Halloween" 

Going to "show off" her cuteness at Target with Auntie Am.  Audrey's first trip of many to Target!

Coming Home

We were discharged from the hospital on Monday morning, October 17th.  It was nice spending all of Saturday and all of Sunday at the hospital.  The nurses really took care of us!  They even sent us away with bags upon bags of diapers and wipes and other goodies.  So thankful for them!

We were excited to go home with Audrey!  We dressed her in a cupcake onesie.  Isn't she just the cutest??

Carl went down to get the car while the nurses wheeled me downstairs.  It was a lot of fun carrying Audrey while they wheeled me through the hospital.  I got to show off my baby!

Once Carl pulled up the car, our first true test... get her in the car seat.  It took us a few minutes, but we got her securely fastened in and we headed home.  Carl drove while I sat in the backseat with Audrey.  Audrey was crying quite a bit at first, but as we headed down 95th Street toward 294, we passed over some railroad tracks and some bumpy terrain.  She calmed down once we got into a rhythm with the bumps.  She came to really like the car!

Carl and I joked that it was a longer trip going home than it was going to the hospital just a few days earlier.  I know that's the biggest cliche, but it really was true.  We had precious cargo in tow and Carl was being extra careful.  

As we were getting into Lockport, Alan Jackson's Remember When came on the radio.  My last pregnancy update post had some lyrics to that song in it.  Weird, right?  Of course, I started crying.  All of my emotions just hit me.  We were bringing home our little girl.  Our lives are change forever!

Then we pulled up to our house.  There was a sign with a balloon in the front yard and balloons inside (all courtesy of my parents and sisters).  We also came home to clean sheets on our bed and a finished nursery.  I was already crying, but then seeing the balloons and the nursery finished, I just bawled.  Amber wanted to surprise us with the clean sheets and the finished nursery.  She knew it would mean so much to us, and it sure did.  I was so thankful!  They spray-painted shelves, hung pictures and decals on the walls, and added the finishing touches.  Look at the pics!  All that's left is to put pictures in the frames and finish adding to the shelves.  I love this nursery!  It is even better than I dreamed it would be.  

It was really indescribable to be home with our baby girl.  This day, October 17, 2011, was one of the happiest days of my life!  Our lives and our home is changed forever... for the better.

Audrey's First Visitors

Here are some pics of Audrey's visitors at the hospital right after she was born...

Grandpa Patton 

Grandma Patton

Grandma Larson

Grandpa Larson

Aunt Amber
"Auntie Am"

Aunt Ashley
"Auntie Ash"

Aunt Jennifer