Days 12, 13, and 14

I feel like it is so easy to find joy in our new daughter that I’m almost cheating at this 100 Happy Days challenge.

Day 12 (Monday, July 14)

I didn’t get a photo of this, but we have a milestone! On Monday morning as we were playing with her before David went to work, we saw Annabelle’s first social smiles. Not gas, but actual emotion! Now if only I could get her to do that on camera…

We’ve been blessed to receive so many wonderful baby gifts. And some of our favorites are the handmade gifts. On Monday I received a box from my longtime friend Beth with an adorable baby outfit and a fantastic owl she had crocheted. Annabelle seems to really like it. It’s pictured with baby A on a lovely quilt made by one of David’s longtime friends Becky. Becky also made a beautiful quilt for our wedding. We are so blessed to have such talented friends who share their talents with us!

Annabelle likes her new owl friend made by Beth L!

Annabelle likes her new owl friend made by Beth L!

The quilt Becky made may look too big now, but she'll grow into it.

The quilt Becky made may look too big now, but she’ll grow into it.

Day 13 (Tuesday July 15)

Annabelle is not overly fond of tummy time. I know it is important for her development so we do small stretches of it. On Tuesday, I assembled her baby activity gym. The cats liked it, she was less impressed. I tweeted some photos with the phrase, “So far the cats like the baby activity gym more than the baby.” I realized that thanks to the vagaries of English that could have two meanings. One: the cats like the baby activity gym more than they like the baby. Two: the cats like the baby activity gym more than the baby likes the activity gym. I meant the second, but both are actually true.


That evening Annabelle got all dressed up in a fancy outfit for a party to celebrate her Aunt Ellie graduating from art school.

All dressed up and ready to party!

All dressed up and ready to party!

Day 14 (Wednesday, July 16)

Wednesday was Annabelle’s first trip to the library. She got to meet all my coworkers. I was meeting a new librarian whom I hired before going on maternity leave. We’ve read almost all of Annabelle’s books to her multiple times so I picked up a read with me bag. The read with me bags contain 10 board books on a theme, a toy, and some rhyme sheets and reading tips. It’s a great grant funded program and collection and I’m glad to be a part of it. I chose the baby faces bag because Annabelle loves staring at people’s faces. From other early literacy training, I knew that developmentally faces are of the most interest to her right now. And sure enough she tracked on the photos of the baby faces far more than she has any other book illustration. She even smiled back at one of the books!

Lots of new books to read! (Posed on a quilt made by her Grandma Cleta who took her kids to the library every week.)

Lots of new books to read! (Posed on a quilt made by her Grandma Cleta who took her kids to the library every week.)

Days 10 and 11 – bottles and balls

Even though I’m not working during maternity leave, weekends are extra special because David is home with us. He i so good with her, such an amazing father, I love watching them together.

Day 10, Saturday July 12
We’ve been exclusively breast feeding and plan on continuing to do so for quite a while. However we will have to introduce pumped milk in a bottle when I go to work or if we ever want a date night again. On Saturday, I pumped a little to try out the bottle and to mix with her vitamin drops. She doesn’t like the drops straight from the syringe. David gave her the bottle. It was magical to watch him have that experience and bond with her in a new way. As for Annabelle, she was trying to take it all in. It seemed to confuse her that she was getting her familiar food from a different person and in a different method. I love breast feeding so much, it’s an incredible experience, but I’m glad someone else gets to have the joy of feeding her too.

David gives Annabelle her first bottle. The cats observe.

David gives Annabelle her first bottle. The cats observe.

Day 11, Sunday July 13
During the first two weeks at home we got to watch lots of World Cup. I’ve never paid much attention to soccer (excuse me Futbol) but David loves it. And it was a lot of fun to watch with him. We watched the first US game during my labor and most of the games that were on when he was home. Only during US games did we determine it was best if he didn’t hold the baby. I even watched the last US game when he was at work because I’d gotten into the entire thing. Sunday was the finale and we watched Argentina and Germany play. For David it was a perfect day, he got to hold his baby, have a beer, watch soccer.

Beer, baby, soccer. Perfect Sunday for David.

Beer, baby, soccer. Perfect Sunday for David.

I also made us some soft pretzels (one of my favorite things to bake) in support of Germany. Someday soon, I’ll post my recipe. I love to bake, especially breads, and I hadn’t done any baking since Annabelle was born. It felt good to be baking again even if it did take a lot of energy and planning around a newborn feeding schedule!

Yummy pretzels. I made these with whole wheat flour.

Yummy pretzels. I made these with whole wheat flour.

Four more years until the next World Cup. But there’s women’s World Cup next year in Canada!

Days 7, 8, and 9

I was just posting my 100 happy days one day behind, and then more behind. But I don’t feel guilty or obligated because I have a newborn. It’s helping me focus on my many blessings and that is the point.

Day 7 (Wednesday July 9th)

We got our beautiful prints, birth announcements, and digital images from our newborn session. One is here, the rest you can see on our photo page.

SV Annabelle newborn-28

Day 8 (Thursday July 10th)

We went to Annabelle’s three week appointment. After the difficulty she had gaining weight the first week, we were so relieved that she had grown one inch from birth (up to 22 inches) and now weighs 9 lbs 1 oz! She’s too long for all her newborn outfits and most of her 0 to 3 month outfits even though she isn’t too wide for them. Apparently our little girl is going to be tall. Here’s a photo of her in a 3 month outfit. It’s a little too wide but none too long.

Day 9 (Friday July 11th, today)

It’s been a calmer, quieter day today. Just the two of us hanging out at home which I needed. It’s been a busy busy week. This parenting thing for a new baby is no joke. I’m exhausted and can only really accomplish one thing a day. So today what is making me happy is a freezer full of food. I prepared some meals before Annabelle was born and our friends also brought us food. It’s saving our bacon because the most complicated thing I’ve cooked since she was born is one batch of banana bread and boiling pasta and adding already prepared sauce.

Pictured is some salmon pot pies. Chicken pot pies have been my specialty and go to food for when I took freezer meals to friends who had babies. For this batch of salmon pot pies, I took David’s favorite salmon chowder recipe, did a bunch of modifications, and voila these.  Super yummy. At one point we had about 10 in the freezer, but we have been eating them since then. Ignore the crust, I was having a bad crust day.


Day 4: Josh the webmaster

Day four of things that make me happy are all of our friends. We went up to a friends BBQ and got to introduce Annabelle to more of our friends. We also got to see Josh again. Josh is the guy who hosts our website and fixes all the things that go wrong. In addition to being a great webmaster, he’s a great friend. He’s the first to volunteer if you need help painting a nursery or moving house.

And here’s a fun picture of him meeting Annabelle a few weeks ago (June 21st – I’m cheating with an old photo for today). He was one of the first to bike over to our house and see the new baby.

Good friends and friends like Josh make us happy today.


Day 1 of 100 happy days

The 100 happy days movement challenges people to find and celebrate something happy every day for 100 days. I thought I’d try it and start with this.

My husband is man enough to babywear. We went through all the fabric choices until we found one David would wear that I also liked. It’s 75, far too hot by Alaskan standards. So far Annabelle is taking after her Dad and her Native heritage and runs on the heat generating side. Babywearing is so far a success except you shouldn’t wrap the two hottest people, my two Eskimos, together in wool on a crazy hot day.

Still a great walk.


Mommy Baby Selfie

David is really good at taking photos of himself with the baby. I’m not. Thus there are a lot more photos of everyone else but me and Annabelle.

So this morning while doing snugly time, I experimented with some selfies.


I think the trick is to find a time when I’m not stripped to the waist for feeding and my hair is brushed.


Because Annabelle always looks gorgeous and needs no photo prep.

Let’s Go For a Walk

They told us everything was harder with a baby. I didn’t understand. Today’s goal was to leave the house and go for a walk. It took us forty-five minutes to do that. We were delayed by her first blowout diaper (all over David) and then spit up all over me.

But we went out for a walk.


We didn’t go far, and Annabelle didn’t seem impressed but we did it. It felt good for the grown ups too.


And we read books at home.