Baby Nora: 4 Weeks

The past 4 weeks have flown by. Nora has changed so much and even looks so much different! We feel like time has gone by quickly, but it also seems like she's been with us forever. It's hard to remember life without her.

Weight: We'll get an official weigh in about a month from now. She is gaining weight for sure! And getting longer too.

Health: Little Nora is as healthy as can be, even after Matt and I were super sick last week.

Social: Great Grandma and Grandpa Bothun came to visit this weekend, and Nora also go to meet the final uncle - Maclendon! I forgot to mention last week that Nora went to church with us for the first time, and I also brought her along to bible study. She enjoys car rides as long as she is full.

Sleep: We've been trying to put Nora down for bed between 8 and 8:30pm. She usually wakes once between 1 and 2am and then again around 5 or 6am. Then she goes back to sleep again until 8 or so, which means I go back to sleep too :). She falls asleep again before lunch for a little bit, and then in the afternoon I put her down in her crib for a longer nap. She'll usually sleep around 2 hours then.

Diet: Feeding times have increased a little bit this week. She's been averaging 20 minute feedings instead of 15. I'm not sure whether she's having a little growth spurt or that maybe it's because my milk supply was a little down after having the stomach flu.

Clothes: Nora is officially in 0-3 month clothes! She can still wear a few of the bigger newborn items, and she's wearing newborn diapers, though probably for just another week.

Crying: Nora cried only a couple short times in the 36ish hours Matt and I were sick this week! She was so easy going for us - a huge answered prayer! 

Postpartum: I've been pretty tired again this week. I think getting sick set me back a bit, but other than that I am feeling pretty good.

Milestones: While she was on her play mat this week, Nora reached up and grabbed rings twice! When she's in her alert state, she moves her arms and legs around like crazy. I can also tell she's working on smiling, but it's not quite there yet. Her neck is getting stronger, and when she's being burped she will hold her head up for about 10 seconds at a time! Nora went for her first walk in the stroller too! She slept nearly the entire time, so we'll just say she liked it :).

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
We are headed up to Indiana (Nora's first little road trip)!
+, Lauren Aiken


Baby Nora: Week 3

I'm a little late with Nora's week 3 update because Matt and I came down with a bad case of the stomach flu. We are on the mend now, and Nora seems to be doing just fine!

All of the pics I took this week are just iPhone photos. I'll try to have some more for next week!

Weight: Nora goes back to the pediatrician after Christmas for her two month check-up. Based on her weight gain over the past three weeks, I'm sure she is well over 8 pounds now. Her little face and arms are starting to fill out, and she definitely feels heavier!

Health: Her dry skin is almost pretty much gone now.

Sleep: Nora has been sleeping anywhere from 3-6 hours at night. She usually has a longer stretch in the beginning of the night and then wakes up several hours later early in the morning. This means I've been getting much more sleep as well!

Diet: Milk! Typically, she eats around 8 times a day. Her feedings are closer together during the day and more spread out at night. 

Clothes: Most of her newborn clothes are pretty snug so I'm going to start adding in 0-3 month things this week. 

Crying: In the afternoons, Nora gets a tiny bit fussy before her nap. She doesn't cry that often though, apart from when she is hungry or if I wake her up.

Postpartum: I'm feeling really great this week! I've noticed a little soreness if I'm particularly active one day. For the most part I don't feel like I had surgery 3 weeks ago though. 

Milestones: Nora's stump fell off, and she has a bellybutton!! She's more alert everyday and still working on focusing those pretty little eyes.

+, Lauren Aiken


Fall Recipes

Today I'm here to share some of my favorite recipes we've tried this fall. Matt and I have been so blessed to have both of our moms here over the past two weeks. Not only did they get to spend time with Nora as a newborn, but they also cooked meals for us, cleaned, and ran errands for us. Thank you both!! I enjoy cooking so I am looking forward to cooking again, but it sure has been nice to spend minimal time in the kitchen lately.

The photo above is the first recipe. It take awhile to chop all the veggies, roast, assemble, and bake, but if you have about 2 hours on hand it is well worth it! Matt and I both loved this recipe! 

Stacked roasted vegetable enchiladas
Roasted butternut squash, red pepper, and rosemary
Baked orzo with eggplant and mozzarella

These last three recipes require much less fuss, which is exactly what I've been on the lookout for lately. They're quick but full of flavor.

Savory moroccan soup
Slow cooker cream cheese chili
3 ingredient slow cooker chicken tacos

You can check out more of my favorite recipes here!
Do you have a favorite fall recipe? I'd love to try it!

Happy Thursday!
+, Lauren Aiken


Baby Nora: Week 2

Weight: Nora weighed in at 7 pounds, 15 ounces today - up 10 oz from last week!

Health: Nora had her 2 week check-up today. Her dry skin has moved from her tummy to her extremities now, so hopefully it will be gone by next week. Her umbilical cord stump is super dry but hasn't fallen off yet. The doctor thinks within the next week it will fall off. She'll go back after Christmas for her two month appointment.

Sleep: We are enjoying Nora's ever-growing alertness during the day. She is still sleeping really well at night. We've only had to console her a handful of times. We are planning to transition her from the pack n' play in our room to her crib soon. She's taken a few naps in her crib so far so I'm hoping it will be smooth! Any recommendations are appreciated!

Diet: 100% milk. As evidenced by Nora's weight gain this week, she's a great little eater. I was so concerned the first week since everything I read said newborns need to feed 10 minutes on each side every 2-3 hours. After trying everything, I still couldn't get Nora to stay awake and interested for 20 minutes. Matt encouraged me to be patient and just let her stop when she was done. Now that I see she is gaining weight, I realize that I can't put so much weight in what I read and that we really have to learn what works for us.

 We've settled into a pretty good routine now, though I know it will evolve. She typically eats for about 15 minutes at a time, and feedings vary from every couple of hours to 4ish hours apart. The doctor said we could let her sleep as long as 6 hours at night (if she'll let us).  

Clothes: Newborn clothes still fit, though some of them are getting pretty tight!

Baby Gear: We're researching baby monitors this week as we are beginning to think about the transition to the crib. (I will probably remove this topic unless we have something specific that we love that particular week).

Crying: Nora has been exercising her voice a little bit more this week! She cried for a good 30 minutes in the car on the way home from the doctor because she was hungry, and she's had a couple of crying episodes before bed this week. She's a tiny bit fussier than last week but still really laid back overall.

Postpartum: We're two weeks out and I'm feeling 90% back to normal!! My soreness is almost completely gone. I saw my midwife on Thursday, and she removed the stereostrips that were covering my incision. I had a low-transverse incision, which is horizontal in the lower part of the uterus, making VBAC a possibility next time.

Toward the end of this week I noticed an increase in my energy level...probably a mix of no pain medicine and also longer stretches of sleep since I was trying to feed Nora every 2-3 hours the week before.

Milestones: Nora looks so much older this week. Her figure is filling out a little more, and she hardly looks like a newborn. She's also beginning to focus with her eyes and has tracked objects a couple of times.

Matt went back to work this week so we are cherishing our evenings together. He had two weeks of paternity leave, and even though one entire week was spent in the hospital, it has been so nice to have the time together to really bond as a family.

+, Lauren Aiken