Sunday, December 13, 2015

Santa's littlest (and cutest!) helper

Hey everyone! We're only 11 days away from Ruby's first Christmas and Shane and I couldn't be more excited. 

This Christmas is going to be a little different than usual, and not just because we have another stocking to hang up. For the first year in either of our lives, we won't be spending Christmas in Knoxville with our families. Both sets of parents and my sister are planning on visiting us around Christmas, but we won't be making the rounds of Christmas parties or seeing any of our extended family.

It was a really hard but necessary choice for us to stay in Nashville this year. Ruby will be just twelve days shy of two months old, which means she won't be vaccinated yet. It sounds like tempting fate to have her in close contact with so many people at the height of cold and flu season. We're just not ready to test the limits of her little immune system yet and would rather not spend Christmas Day in the ER for a fever. It also doesn't sound like much fun to cram her, our two dogs, and our luggage plus Christmas presents into our VW Golf for a three-and-a-half hour car ride. Considering she screamed her head off on the way home from the grocery store right down the road, I don't think she's ready for long trips yet. 

In spite of the change of location this year, we're determined to have an awesome Christmas. It would be impossible not to, with such a little cutie pie to celebrate with! Check out our fun Christmas activity from last night, a photo shoot with our little elf baby in front of the Christmas tree! 
Disclaimer: I am in no way a professional photographer and was using a camera borrowed from my sister. In case you notice the lighting looks a little funny, it's because I waited until nighttime to take pictures (silly me) and was depending on lamps for assistance. 

I know all people think their baby is the cutest, but c'mon...she's adorable! 

I'm still amazed we were able to get this shot. This took a lot of patience and Shane dangling a dog treat over my head. They'd each take turns trying to come get the treat from him, so it's a Christmas miracle that both dogs were still and looking at the camera at the same time. 

If you look carefully in the background, the large white oval on the tree is her footprint ornament. Directly under it is a Santa head ornament with my fingerprint on it from my first Christmas. Didn't plan that but it's a nice coincidence :) 

Elf feetsies! The booties are from Target.

Ruby with her reindeer ornament from Little Sapling Toys, it's personalized with "Baby's First Christmas 2015" engraved on the back. 
She's getting a few of their adorable toys in her stocking but shhh, it's a surprise! 

We'd already bought her plenty of gifts but I couldn't help myself when I was shopping for the other kids in the family a few days the new presents got tagged from Santa to cover my tracks ;) 

Eventually even the best models get tired and ready for some milk. This was the one good shot I was able to get of her adorable Rudolph onesie from Hello Half Pint which we bought at an arts festival this summer. She had so many cute tie dye onesies and shirts for little ones, it was hard to pick our favorite! I'm sure we'll be visiting her booth the next time she's in town. 

To our friends and family in Knoxville...we hope you have a wonderful celebration this year, and hopefully we'll get to video chat you. We look forward to visiting you all at the next big holiday celebration when the weather and new parent stress levels are more amenable :) in the meantime, if anyone's ever in the Nashville area, be sure to stop by! 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Ruby Recap: Month 1

In case you missed Ruby's birth story, you can read it here

"Move it, peas! You're in my shot!" 


Yes, she did actually whack the peas out of her way. 

It's hard to believe that our little girl is one month old already! It's not been an easy month, but it's been the best month of our lives. Here are some of our favorite moments from the past month. 


Ruby's first... Thanksgiving! Her due date was supposed to be three days after Turkey Day, so our plans changed a bit from what we'd expected. Instead of me sitting around hugely pregnant and uncomfortable, I got to enjoy the holiday with a sweet little baby! Shane's parents, my parents, and my sister Hannah all came to celebrate with us. Shane is so awesome, he did ALL the cooking without any help from me! It was really nice to be able to relax instead of stress. Thanks Shane!

Everyone made it into these photos except Ruby...she's in her rocking chair on the floor next to me. 

We learned the importance of having a backup holiday outfit. Ruby started out the day wearing an outfit with cute little turkeys printed on it..and then she peed on it...twice. Good thing we'd bought this onesie as a backup just in case! 

As it turns out, adult size turkey hats make really good baby turkey costumes! Look at my silly little turkeys :) 


Ruby's first... visit to see Santa! Like crazy people, we took her to the mall at 2 weeks old to get her first Santa picture made. I figured it would be better to take her early before it got too cold outside and the lines got too long. We still had to wait over an hour! 

This picture is adorable and hilarious. Just check out Ruby up close. I got worried about Ruby getting big kid germs from sitting on Santa's lap after so many other kids, so I decided to hold her. I should've looked at us in a mirror before they snapped the picture. I promise she's not slumped over, it's just her outfit was a little large and bunched up right around her head. It does make her look like her shoulders are about to her ears though!   

Ruby and I also had our first public breastfeeding experience that day. Of all places, I wouldn't have imagined trying it at a Bass Pro Shop in a busy outlet mall, but when a baby's gotta eat, she's gotta eat! I was able to keep myself covered without having to cover Ruby. I felt a lot more comfortable with it than I would've thought. And thankfully I didn't even get any weird looks from others! I honestly don't know how many people really even noticed I was feeding her. 

Breastfeeding is NOT an easy thing to learn how to do, and looking at this photo makes me really proud of myself. At this point, I was still having a lot of trouble getting her to latch on. I had just gone to a breastfeeding support group two days before, and thanks to the techniques I learned there, this was also one of the first times I was able to get her to latch properly. 


Ruby loves... planking! You know, like the social media trend from a few years ago? Our little goofball loves to relax by sticking her arms and legs out stiff as a board. 

Ruby loves... her play gym! She isn't really big enough to play with toys and she can only see about 12 inches in front of her face, but she DID seem pretty interested in the hanging rattle after her hand accidentally whacked it. 

Ruby loves... her big brothers! Charlie and Sheldon alternate between ignoring Ruby and being completely entranced by her. They get really concerned when she starts to cry. If we don't get to her quick enough they'll start barking as if to say, "the baby's broken, fix her!" 

The first few days we had her home, Sheldon (on the right) would NOT let Charlie near Ruby at all! If Charlie got close, Sheldon would growl and snap at him like some sort of vicious wild animal. I had to catch and hold Sheldon so Charlie could get some Ruby snuggle time. 


 You had to be there... 
Ruby was wearing a 0-3 month size gown and it was way too big on her and at one point the neck hole was halfway down her chest. Shane took a look at her and said, "Ruby, I can see your cleavage! You need a cami secret!"

She sleeps in a cradle in our room. One night I had a hard time getting her to go to sleep; anytime I'd put her down, she'd start crying again. I finally got her down and she seemed okay, so I crept back to my bed as quietly as possible. I laid down, pulled up the covers...and farted. Really loudly. Ruby immediately woke up and started crying. 

You'll never believe it, but the other day, Ruby and Shane sneezed at the EXACT SAME TIME. Seriously. It was the weirdest thing. And today, Ruby sneezed a second after I did. I think she's got some sort of psychic / sympathetic sneeze thing going on. 


Happy one month, Ruby! 

P.S. How cute is she in that fleece vest and those jeggings? She doesn't wear "outfits" very much, we typically have her in gowns or pajamas, but when she does...she's way more stylish than I am!