Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A 2 Month Old Update!

 

Today our little Ella turned 2 months old!


2 months old?! My ears can hardly handle me saying it out loud! She wasn't feeling the monkey love as much this month!

Time seriously needs to slow down! I can't believe how fast she's growing! I notice it most in the bath, when her legs are outstretched she is SO long now! and certainly not my little newborn baby :( 

...but we are loving how much her little personality is starting to shine through!

On exactly the day she turned 4 weeks old, I saw her first smile! My mom was staying with us that weekend and had taken her for the night shift, she brought her through to me so I could feed her before church and as I sat down on the sofa with her she smiled! I didn't know for sure if it was an 'official' smile because I had been noticing smiles for a few weeks that were probably just wind! but then the next day my friend Joanne came over and told me Ella had given her a smile while I was out the room, and then on Tuesday the health visitor came and saw a few of her smiles and told me that yes they were the real deal! So this was her first officially captured smile!


 It took daddy a few more days before Ella shared the privilege with him! So we captured it on vid...



but after that first week of random smiles here and there, the floodgates opened and there was no stopping her!


She is the smiliest happiest baby! She makes me feel like the funniest person in the world because she just grins away at everything I say to her! She is usually full of smiles first thing in the morning, like she's been storing them up all night long!


and daddy gets tons when he gets in from work too.  He also discovered that she likes the word 'mama' and so that got a great reaction...


Also, if you make the sound of a kiss 'mwah' that will always get a smile from her! Just recently even in the middle of the night when she's getting her nappy changed she'll crack a little smile on the changing mat waiting for your reaction, and even though we're not meant to chat away to her at nighttime so she'll go straight down again...it's hard to ignore her cute smiles so I usually crack a few back at her!



This month she got a new toy! A baby swing.  Lots of people on my baby group had said they had them and their babies fell asleep in them so then they were able to get things done around the house.  This sounded like a great idea! So we bought one second hand off gumtree, and I was very excited to test it out! Sadly Ella is far too excited by it to fall asleep in it, but it does keep her occupied for short periods of time.  The funniest part is it's pretty hi-tech and got a lead where you plug your ipod in for music, and a little led light display above her head for her to look at...but none of that interests Ella, the reason she is so in love with her swing is the grey plastic arm support that makes up the frame of the swing! Who knows why! but she grins away at that thing like it's all singing and all dancing! Funny girl!

Other exciting things that happened this month were Ella meeting her other Granny for the first time! and just in time before she jetted off to Tanzania!



We all went out to Tony Roma's Steakhouse, and it was the first time that Ella has not slept through a night out! She was super alert and loved looking around at everything going on! It must have exhausted her out though because when we got home that night she slept for her first ever straight 7 hour stretch, so we were loving that! Unfortunately I'm not sure our bank balance can justify taking her out for meals every night of the week to ensure she sleeps through the night! She's one high maintenance baby, haha!



 She also met her two uncles for the first time, Cam and Ja...



We took them to Loch Lomond, as it was their first time visiting Scotland! As you can see spring is in full force here in Scotland...it was 6 degrees, we were in hats and I was in gloves!
 

We also took Ella on her first sling adventure, and subsequently her first little hike!



This is called sling face, her little cheek got a little bit squashed! Luckily she was so snug and cosy she didn't seem to mind!



We went to the very spot where I had taken a bump shot back in November! It was so lovely to be there again, but this time with my little baby!



The view was still pretty spectacular with the snow capped Ben Lomond in the distance!



Daddy got some good snuggles in too...



and I snapped this pic of her, looking SO much like me when I was a baby!


 I was able to celebrate my first Mother's Day as a mother!!



Ella is the baby elephant, we call her Ella the elephant so I loved this card that By had ordered especially!


He also took us to this cute little farm shop and cafe, Scotland is severely lacking in anything nice like this and so I was touched that he'd gone to the effort of tracking it down! It was about 45 minutes away in a town called Douglas.



We sat on these super comfy chairs, and had a little Mother's day treat complete with chocolate coconut slices, yum!



Of course Ella has been well trained by Daddy and knows that the best way to my heart is through delicious baked goods, these fudgy brownies were packed with raspberries and baked in a farm in yorkshire and then delivered to my door - magic!



We had a brunch on the actual day of puffed pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, just like our good old Vancouver days!


and By topped off the day by making me a roast - which is pretty much my fave dinner on this planet!

Yes, I was well and truly spoilt! oh and I also got some awesome polka dot transfers to transform my Kitchenaid mixer into a polka dot mixer!!



It was a lovely lovely day, and it's been a lovely month with Ella just getting cuter and more scrumptious with each passing day!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

A 1 Month Old Update!

 

My baby turned 1 month old! How did that happen?! Where has the time gone?! The weeks have just flown by!

We marked the occasion with a little photoshoot with her and her monkey! 
She wasn't keen on him at first...
 

Infact she wanted to get as far away as possible...

 

but then she started to feel the love...


and by the end they were best buddies, arm in arm and everything!!


Here are some of the things Ella is loving at 1 month old:

Her playmat/jungle gym - she will lie under here for up to a good 20 minutes now looking at all her animal pals, her favourite seems to be the white tiger! She is even managing to hit some of the animals dangling down too, although we think this more by accident at this point. 


She loves listening to the music and she does these really cute cooing sounds when she is happy.  I just had to take a video


She LOVES her Daddy! Everything is more fun when he is around! She especially enjoys when he does the 'this is the way the lady rides' rhyme with her.  


She likes to lay across your lap, while you pat/rub her back.  When Mommy does this, we also play a baby mozart clip from youtube which really calms her down and she will lay there for ages being pampered!

I'm happy to report she's a Kings of Leon fan! I'm pretty sure she couldn't be anything but...since I listened to their new album on continual repeat whilst I was pregnant and so it's what she's used to, but if she's ever crying and won't settle I can whack a KOL tune on my phone and she's happy in no time! Comeback Story and Wait for Me seem to be her faves! Although Daddy will report that she likes drum and bass too...the verdict is still out on that one!

The hairdryer.  She sits in her little forest friends vibrating chair while I get ready in the morning, and it's positioned in front of the mirror which she seems to enjoy.  At the same time I dry my hair and she loves the sound of the hairdryer! In her first few weeks of life it would put her to sleep every time, I even got an app on my phone that played the noise and when she was struggling to nap we would play it.  These days it doesn't put her to sleep, but it does calm her down.

Her animal book.  This was a gift from By's work.  I didn't know babies can only see black and white when they're first born so she loved looking at these black and white pages with animals on.  The dog page is her favourite - which Byron is just thrilled about! 

The bath - she loves floating around in the water, moving her little legs around and looking at her bath book she has (thanks Auntie Nad!).  



Things she doesn't love so much:

Getting out of the bath - mainly because that means she has to be naked which she hates! She really doesn't like to be cold! We warm her towel up in the tumble dryer, so when she first gets out we wrap her up all snug and cosy, but then as soon as you start putting her nappy and clothes on the tears start!

Same goes for getting her nappy changed, the cool air is just too much of a shock for her! 

Being weighed by the health visitor - again she has to get naked for this!


Swaddling - we tried this at the start as we read that babies love to feel cosy and be wrapped up tight like when they were in the womb, and it's supposed to help them sleep through the night better because their involuntary arm movements don't wake them, but she hated it! She loves her arms and hands to be free, so baby sleeping bags are working out much better for her!


When we stop at red traffic lights in the car, she just loves motion so almost instantly falls asleep whenever she is in the car/in her pram...


 but as soon as we stop at a red light she knows the car has stopped and she starts to cry! In Ella's world she would like all traffic lights to be green!

Sleeping in her moses basket in the day - at night time she goes down everytime after a feed perfectly and sleeps away...but in the day, she knows it's not as warm and cosy being in there as it is falling asleep on Mommy so that is her preference! We're trying to break the habit, but sometimes she's just too cute and snuggly to put down!!

As I said at the start I can't believe 4 weeks has flown by so quick! I still remember the day she was born as if it was yesterday! So for now we're just soaking everything in as much as possible and enjoying each moment because we know they will pass all too quickly!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Welcome To The World, Baby Ella!


So after only 4 days of patiently waiting after my due date arrived, baby Braithwaite arrived into the world!


I went to sleep on the Thursday night and woke a few times during the night with a sore back which was pretty unusual because nothing usually wakes me in the night! I woke up Friday morning and there was still a dull ache there but I didn't really think anything of it.  Byron said he needed to do a site visit quite far away that morning at work but he wouldn't do it if I didn't want him to, I said go for it and that the baby wasn't coming anytime soon! He dropped in back at the house an hour later to pick up his wellies, and I told him I wasn't sure but I thought maybe this could be the start of labour! He had a half day and so came home around 1pm, and made me lunch.  By this time I was definitely feeling more pains, so I switched the tens machine on that my lovely friend Laura had loaned to me and I was good to go! The tens really took the edge of the pain nicely! By about 3.30pm I started getting contractions so I started timing them with the app on my phone, and when they were only 5 minutes or less apart we called the maternity ward and they told us to come in.  So at 5pm we left the house, hospital bag in hand thinking this is it - it's really happening! but unfortunately when we got to the hospital the midwife who checked me over said yes I was having contractions but they weren't nearly strong enough and I would need to go home again! Soooo disappointing! 


 So we headed back home, I got back on my ball and kept using the tens to help me through the contractions.  By 10pm they were way too painful so we headed back to the hospital again.  This time the midwife checked me over and hooked me up to the machine and gave me a sick bowl because I hadn't been able to keep anything down since lunch! I told her my birthing plan and she started running the water in the birthing pool for me...but she didn't seem to think anything was going to be happening too soon.  By her estimations of how far along I was in my labour, I should have only been having a baby by midday the following day!

I got into the pool at about midnight, with my trusty friend gas and air to help me through! It was quite relaxed.  The midwife only really came in about 3/4 times to check the babies heartbeat or see how I was doing, the rest of the time it was just Byron and I and I was just chilling out in the water! We asked her at about 2.30am if she knew how long it was going to be and she said she really didn't, because I wasn't hooked up to any machines or anything I guess it's hard for them to know.  By about 3am I started feeling like maybe I couldn't handle this birth thing with only gas and air and I might have to get out the water, but I had remembered the midwife in our parenthood classes telling us that usually there's a point when you think you can't handle anymore and then the birth is shortly after that...so I kept hanging in there, and next thing I saw the midwife coming in and putting an apron on and wheeling some equipment in so I started getting excited realising things were going to be happening soon!


At 3:28am I gave my final push, the midwife told me to reach my hands down to catch my baby! and there she was! I held her in my hands, speechless for a minute, until the midwife asked what it was!! I announced to the room it was a baby girl! She was weighed at 7 lbs 3.5 ozs, and she did not like being naked on that scale one little bit!


We were wheeled back to our room, and Ella got cleaned up and then we had our first official picture as Mommy and baby! This is when we decided our little bundle of cuteness should be named Ella!


We had some nice snuggles for around an hour, and we got to know one another before she fell fast asleep.  I got wheeled through to the ward to try and get some sleep too but I couldn't stop staring at my beautiful baby girl so not much sleep was had!


By came back to the hospital at 9am which is when spouses are allowed back in, and his dad showed up a short while later and popped in for 5 minutes (ahead of official visiting times) to get a peek at Ella! Her first official visitor was her Gramps!


Around lunchtime Granny and Grandad Jones also popped in unofficially! to steal a quick hug, and then everyone came back at 2pm for the official visiting time!


By's friend Stu was up visiting for the weekend before he was heading off to New Zealand so he also got a hug in before he left!


I pretty much stayed in my pj's the whole of Saturday so on Sunday I decided I had better get dressed and look a bit presentable so Ella and I could have some more pictures!


Our first official picture as a family of 3! We got the couple who I shared the room with to take this for us, and randomly their baby girl was also called Ella!


Just incase their was any confusion, here's Ella telling the world she's a girl! We didn't have any brand new newborn or tiny baby clothes, the only ones we had were hand me downs from cousin Ellis and she was so tiny that is all that would fit her...hence the blue onesie! That cardigan was also newborn size but was still massive on her, we had to roll up the sleeves!


I love how red her lips were in the hospital, super rosy! and I love her squishy face!


One last shot before we were able to take her home!


A few days later, we took her to the registry office to make it official! Ella Kristyn Braithwaite...no going back now!


We didn't really see her eyes for the first few days all that much, she slept nearly all day long! so this was a rare pic we managed to take when they were open! You can see she was also a little bit jaundiced still, but it cleared quite quickly.


 This was a newborn vest sent by auntie Mara, look how big it was on her! She was so teeny, and her cute bunny slippers that my friend Leanne knitted for her!


Mom had stayed with us the whole week which was amazing, she would take Ella during the day so we could nap and catch up on our sleep from the night before! and she also cooked and cleaned and generally helped us out so much!  On the Wednesday we headed to Glasgow to pick up Mel and Ellis from the station so Ella met Ellis for the first time! She slept through all the excitement of course...because at this point she was sleeping through everything!


Her first little outing was to Whole Foods where we got some delicious lunch!


Auntie Mel was loving the new baby snuggles!


and we had to take a picture of the adoring Granny and her 2 grandchildren she has now! Exciting times!


I couldn't believe how big Ellis seemed in comparison to Ella, he'd always been the baby in the family and now next to Ella he seemed like a little boy! We like the way he's patting her head here, shortly after he got a bit more rough though and we had to end the photoshoot!! His being gentle with new babies awareness is not the best!


On Friday night Uncle Arne was able to come and join the fun and he got his snuggles in, he didn't remember Ellis ever being as small as Ella but he was! I think you just forget easily.


So in the first few weeks I made sure I took as many pictures as possible so I wouldn't forget any of it! She is such a peaceful sleeper, I found it hard not to spend all day starting at her sleeping! We have been blessed to have such a good baby!


A few days later Auntie Mara arrived, and got caught up on all the Ella snuggles!


and we took Ella on her first visit to a cupcakery, but again she slept through the whole thing!


When she was 10 days old, she had a little photoshoot!


How I love those little lips of hers, and her sticking up hair at the back!


This was probably the turning point for when she started to stay awake more! She was meant to sleep through the whole thing so that the photographer could manoevure her into crazy poses, but she was awake most of the time with us all trying to shush her back to sleep! I quite like this final pic we got though where her eyes were meant to be closed but she'd popped them open! 

What a cutie pie!

We just couldn't be more happy, and we feel like she has always been a part of our family! I can't remember what life was like before her...although I do remember it involved a lot more sleep :)