Monday, June 30, 2008

Weeks 3-5 Update

Our little sprout is growing up! Larkin is spending more time awake then she used to and really starting to focus on objects around her. It was really exciting the day I knew that she recognized her mommy's face. And, just a couple of days ago she smiled back at me when I smiled at her - that's a moment I won't ever forget. Here are a few cute pictures of her from the last couple of weeks (you can click on the pictures to see them enlarged).

Larkin had her one-month doctor's appointment today, one day shy of 5 weeks of age, and it went really well. She weighed 8 lb. 7 oz. and her length measured at 20.5". Her doctor said we could start letting her sleep longer through the night and reduce her feedings from 7 down to 5-6 per day. Yay - only 1 night time feeding means more sleep for us!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Meeting Auntie Dana!

Karen's sister, Dana, came into town for a long weekend to meet her niece and we all had a blast. We did a little shopping, went out to dinner, played some family games, took long walks, and just enjoyed spending time together.

In addition to giving "Larky Lu" all sorts of goodies like the LeapFrog Dreamscapes Soother, Auntie Dana gave Larkin her first piece of jewelry. It's a sterling silver baby bracelet from Links of London and it's beautiful! "Danawesome" loves you, Auntie Dana!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

First Time Out - M&S Grill

Larkin's doctor had told us to keep her home for the first month. We don't know if it's what he recommends for all babies or in her case because she was a preemie, but we decided to listen to him. But, now that she passed her one-month marker, we thought it would be fun for a dinner out on the town. We chose a favorite restaurant of ours, M&S Grill, and enjoyed a wonderful meal in the best corner booth of the restaurant with Grandma Cook and Auntie Dana, who was in town visiting. I had a wedge salad with blue cheese dressing and scallops with risotto - thus, enjoying two things (blue cheese and scallops) that I couldn't when I was pregnant. It was a great dinner and a great first outing for Larkin - she slept the entire time!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Newborn Lounger

I found this fantastic little "chair" for Larkin... it's called a Boppy Newborn Lounger. It's basically a Boppy pillow with fabric covering the hole so a newborn or young baby can lounge in it. We love it! Larkin is comfortable in it and it gives her a chance to look around and see what's going on around her. Here are a few pictures of Larkin lounging (the first two are from her first time in it)!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Due Date Party!

Today, June 21st, was our official due date... so we decided to have a Due Date Party! The day started out with a great visit from our NYC friends Dan and Dorit. They brought Larkin an adorable watermelon dress, onesie and blanket set from Gymboree, which Larkin is modeling in the picture of her and Dorit. They also brought us a variety of sweet desserts, which was perfect for Larkin's party. Thanks for the gifts and for visiting, Dan and Dorit!

Later that evening, Grandma Cook, Brian and I put a candle in the desserts and had a little party. Larkin wore her "coming home" outfit again and got to sport a festive "Happy Birthday" hat which she didn't mind all that much, to our delight!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

First Time on Swing

Here are a few pictures of Larkin in her adorable swing. The swing was a shower gift from Brian's parents and it can swing both front to back and side to side. We tried both directions and we think Larkin prefers swinging front to back, but she lays there chillin' regardless. This Fisher Price Starlight Cradle Papasan Swing is pretty at night too - it has a canopy that can display a starlight show that's projected onto it. Larkin hasn't paid too much attention to the light show yet, but us adults like it!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

To the best Daddy in the whole world... we love you!!! Happy Father's Day! Love, K, Larkin, Sera, and Snowy

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Meeting Auntie Annie

Little Larkin got to meet her Auntie Annie today! Brian's sister, Annie, and her boyfriend Sean, came into town to meet Larkin and spend the day hanging out at Brian's parents' house. We had a great time and Larkin loved Annie! We cooked buffalo meat out on the grill, and enjoyed the perfect weather we had today. It was a great day and we can't wait for Auntie Annie to visit us again soon!

Double Crown

Both my babies, Larkin and Sera, have double crowns! (A crown is a circle or "whirl" of hair). Being a Rhodesian Ridgeback, it is expected that Sera would have a double crown. That is what gives her the "ridge" along her back, where the hair runs the opposite direction (from back to front instead of front to back), and it is the primary distinctive feature on a Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Funny enough, Larkin also has a double crown! While most people have one crown (and thus, one part in their hairline), Larkin has two, which is fairly rare. It is responsible for her current faux-hawk hairstyle as the hair from her two parts comes together in the middle! Having a double crown is supposedly lucky and our pediatrician has told us that it means that Larkin will likely be ambidextrous! The theory is this: right-handed people have hair that grows clockwise from the crown, left-handed people have counterclockwise hair growth from the crown, and people that are ambidextrous have double crowns (one growing in each direction).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

First Tornado

At 2 weeks 2 days old, Larkin survived her first tornado! A flock of seven or so neighborhood girls were over visiting Larkin (she is a very popular topic in the "tween" girl neighborhood circles here), when the clouds started to build and the sky started to turn green. Knowing that a big storm was heading our way, we heard various neighbor mothers calling out for their daughters to come home. The girls left and shortly thereafter, just minutes before we were to sit down for dinner, the storm head was upon us and the tornado sirens went off. (Our communities have actual sirens that go off whenever a tornado warning has been issued. Tornado warnings mean that a tornado has been spotted and confirmed to be within a storm cell). We hurried down into the basement and waited it out. The tornados missed our neighborhood, but one did touch down only about 3 miles away and it hit a transformer, knocking out our power. We were without power for several hours, but it came back on just in time for our midnight feeding - how convenient! Above is a picture from our back patio.

First Tummy Time

Here are a couple of pictures of Larkin during her first official "tummy time"! Larkin seemed to be content enough on her tummy... she "read" her book, turned her head from left to right and back, and actually ended up sleeping through part of it.

Larkin is laying on a blanket that Brian's sister, Jenny, made for her. We taught Sera that she's not allowed on Larkin's blankets, so you can see her showing restraint as she watches Larkin's tummy time on the blanket. Sera has been such a fantastic big sister!

The day after these pictures were taken, we did some more tummy time with Larkin and she actually squirmed/wriggled her way up the blanket by pushing herself with her legs! Brian actually caught it on video - we were all so impressed as she grunted and pushed herself forward a whole foot! Not bad for 2 weeks 2 days old!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Belly 2 wks Post-Partum

My favorite jeans are back! Here are a few pictures of me 2 weeks after the birth. I'm down to within 10 lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight already...the weight seems to be falling off without much effort. In fact, I'm having to consciously eat foods with fat to keep my up my breast milk for Larkin. To be honest, while a part of me is excited to be getting my figure back, another part of me really misses being pregnant (I actually really loved my belly)!

These belly pictures come with a funny story. We were taking the pictures of me in the red shirt when we were interrupted by the arrival of our window cleaners. At some point this morning, I changed my shirt and then we regrouped to finish taking the belly picture. The window washers were still there though and they happened to be cleaning the window next to where we keep our bird, Snowy. Snowy was so frightened by the window washer that he flew all over the house until he found us upstairs in our bathroom. As you can see, he found comfort by landing on my head!

Larkin's 2-Week Update

We can't believe how fast Larkin's first two weeks have flown by! She is doing great!! Here's a summary of what's been going on here in the Hittle house.

As mentioned previously, since she was a preemie, Larkin was visited by some nurses and saw her pediatrician twice in her first week home, just to be sure she was gaining weight and overcoming her jaundice. We really lucked out... she is an eager eater and was back up to her birth weight by day 9 and was a whopping 6 lbs. 1 oz. by day 10! Her pediatrician was really happy about that. She also was able to overcome her jaundice on her own and didn't need the blue light therapy. After her good doctor's appointment on day 10, Larkin now doesn't need to go back for her next appointment until she's 1 month old. Now, 2 weeks old, Larkin is growing so fast - she is a muncher who loves meal time!

Larkin has also had a lot of firsts already... she smiles, she can lift her head enough to turn it from side to side, she can roll from her back to her side, and she seems to be able to focus better on objects like her black and white books.

For the most part, Larkin sleeps around the clock. She occasionally thinks 1-3 a.m. is a good time to be awake, but usually we have to wake her for her meals and aside from that she sleeps. It has only been in the last couple of days that she has had short spans of awake time during the day where we stimulate her with a variety of fun activities. She rarely cries and actually has been pretty good about self-soothing. Larkin loves to be swaddled, although she sometimes sneaks her little hands out so she can suck on them or try to scratch at her face!

She doesn't love bath time, but she does seem to enjoy our daily walks around the neighborhood with Sera. Sera has been so good with her. We love our family walks and I'm excited that we have a great summer in front of us where we can be outside a lot.

That's all I can think of now... it's meal time for the Little Hittle and then we're off to bed! More updates forthcoming...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

My 32nd Birthday!

Today I celebrated my 32nd birthday! And, I've got the best birthday present I could have ever wished for.

We didn't want to take Larkin out on the town quite so soon, so we had a fun little party at our home with my parents and Brian's parents. Above are a few photos of Larkin with all four of her doting grandparents... she loved all of the attention! My parents have been staying with us since Larkin was born to help ease our transition into parenthood... we've been really lucky to have them here for so long and are so grateful for all their wonderful help. We're also lucky that Brian's parents live only a couple of miles away, as they will be such a good support system for us on a regular basis!