Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Favorite Ornaments

We have a ton of ornaments - those that my mom collected for me all throughout my childhood, those that Michael's mom collected for him all throughout his childhood, those that I've bought one my own to decorated with, 21 angels that my aunt gave me each year starting at birth and ending at 21, yearly White House ornaments, etc. Here are a few of my favorites that we've been given in recent years. It tells you a lot about me...

Carmen's first hand-painted ornament:
If Michael were an ornament:
If I were an ornament #1:
And #3:

One Great Compliment

Someone said the nicest thing to me recently, "Motherhood suits you well, doesn't it." I loved that. And I agree with him. These past four months have been fantastic. My little love bug is the best thing in the world. Michael and I can't imagine life any other way. All I want to do is hold her, play with her, feed her, change her, show her off and admire her. She's the best.

I loved being pregnant. It was an easy and joyful time. The hardest part was the labor contractions. After pregnancy, I just assumed I'd have months and months of weight loss to work on but lo and behold it all came off. All of it! I hit pre-pregnancy weight about a month ago and it keeps on going down. The best part is that all I've done to contribute to that is eat more. It's been this weird balance of not eating enough because it's hard to eat when you have a baby and then eating so much because I'm always hungry. I love the miracle nursing. Now to keep things real, this doesn't mean I am fit and back in shape. You can totally tell that I've had a baby. I have no desire to wear a swim suit ever again. But I have a work out routine that I will begin to do soon to help out with that part....I know this "eat more food = shed more weight" won't last forever. But overall, I have loved my first experience with pregnancy!

And sleep - well, I get plenty of that! In the world's terms I get plenty - I would still like 9-10 hours of sleep but those days are over. Carmen sleeps beautifully. I cannot complain. She falls asleep sometime around 8:30 or 9pm and then wakes up at 7am. Michael and I are working on getting to bed earlier but have yet to make it a habit. We certainly need to beginning in January - more than that in a few days!!!

I can't do all the things I used to do. I can't keep a tidy house or get the laundry done, but I don't care (most of the time). Being a mommy is my joy and I am so grateful!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Photo Card

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Christmas In Our Home

Merry Christmas everyone!

We thought that being on one of the main roads in our neighborhood that we have a responsibility to bring Christmas cheer through lights. We did a small amount this year, bigger plans for next.

Our lovely tree that won't die
Family stockings, this was so fun to have 3!
Kid tree - decorated with all our childhood ornaments and other mis-matched decor that I won't allow on the main tree.
My favorite tiny trees
Carmen's wreath handmade by Mama Simmons. It's beautiful!
Carmen's tree - given to her by Danielle! Thanks so much!
I am hoping to get a Nativity scene this year to add to our Christmas decor. I love Christmas decorating!

Friday, December 9, 2011

All smiles

Loving on Daddy for his birthday (back in November)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Life with 3

Last weekend we went on a date, well family date, to National Harbour in celebration of 4.5 years. We went to shop around, see the tree lighting, watch the fireworks show, then sit down for a fancy dinner. Michael made arrangements at a restaurant that could easily accommodate a baby carrier and made sure we were welcome to bring Carmen along. It was really delightful at first. The NH is decorated for Christmas and all the store fronts are so pretty. We spent some time sampling Christmas goodies in The Stonewall Kitchen and then walked outside when we heard the massive boom of the first firework. The tall buildings made the fireworks echo so loudly that we were a little concerned about baby. But to our amusement, the fireworks put her to sleep. We arrived at the restaurant in time and settled in to our cozy spot. 45 minutes later we got up and left without even being served our drinks. It was sad. I had timed Carmen's feeding schedule out to perfectly compliment dinner so that we wouldn't have to feed her during our date. We walked around to every other restaurant and the wait was 1.5 hours everywhere. Despite the fact that we were starving and 9pm was fast approaching, fast food was not an option. We got back to the garage, paid for parking and headed back to Fairfax Corner where a 20 minute wait absolutely delighted us! By 10pm we were eating a delicious meal and everything on the menu was nearly half the price of one entree from our NH restaurant, so we ate a lot. Carmen was perfect the whole time and, despite my urge to wake her up to remain on schedule, I let her sleep and enjoyed my wine and pasta with Michael. It turned out to be a very good outing. We recognize that it won't be this easy without a babysitter for long, so we fully enjoyed our family date night.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Neighbors

Who doesn't love real neighbors that actually interact with you and do life with you??? Granted that our neighborhood is new and still growing and soon people will come out of their shell, but we have lucked out with Andrew and Heather Francis. New friends from our church just bought a home in our neighborhood and we couldn't be more thrilled!

They have a precious little boy, Colston, who is only 7 months old. He is getting a red wagon for Christmas with 2 seats - one for him and one for a friend that I'm hoping will be Carmen. We'll get to walk together, play at the pool together, borrow eggs and sugar, help each other out with kid watching/dog watching, and the list goes on. I have been waiting and am ready for some real authentic community!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Video Monitor

It was brought to my attention by many of you that my previous photo of the video monitor was "creepy." Even Carmen's own daddy called her creepy. I guess it was a photo that only a mother could love. I just wanted to clear things up and let you all know that it does not normally creep anybody out. It was a bad photo and there was interference which made things look weird. The monitor is an awesome, invaluable edition to my 3 story house right now and almost always produces a sweet little view of my sleeping baby. Nothing to be scared about...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Bakers

We love them. (Not just because they love little CariBelle) But they are some of our favorites ever.

Don't you think they should have one of their own?!

Special Girl

Spending come time with Uncle Brad and Aunt Amanda:

Carmen was quite content in Amanda's arms. Isn't her little UVA dress darling? Michael bought it for her.

I still cannot believe this little snuggle bug is mine! Whenever I hold her, I'm overwhelmed with thankfulness that the Lord chose HER to be OURS here on earth. I never have to give her back to anyone, she's my baby. I'm the one people give her back to. I love it! She looks at me and knows she's mine. It's so so special.

I love the way her hair gets messed up on the sides after nursing.
I love how her hair is growing and getting fuller. There are about 5 little pieces on the top of her head that are an inch longer than the rest and stick straight out.
I love her beautiful voice. She is talking to us all the time now.
I love her stretches whenever you pick her up from a nap.
Carmen has the sweetest smiles and gives them out freely to anyone who entertains her.
She's got a slight giggle going on that has yet to turn into full belly laughter, but it's precious just the same.
She loves playing with her hands and is learning to move each finger individually.
If she's propped up on her boppy pillow, she uses her stomach muscles and tries to sit up fully - she's so advanced :)
Oh yeah, she weighed in at 13 lbs 9.5 oz and 23.5 inches at two months.
Her leg and neck muscles are super strong and make me realize how fast she'll develop and grow.
Her big blue eyes love to see faces when she wakes up.
She's just the most precious girl I've ever seen!

There is something so unique and special about baby girls. I hope all of you have one someday!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Quick Post

This was Carmen at a month and a half. But now she's two months old. I was suppose to post this a few weeks ago. Can you count her arm rolls?
Our sweet friend, Teddy, had this made for Carmen! I have one just like it from my childhood. Most thoughtful gift from a single guy!

Here was her birth announcement that we sent out to family. It was super cute. But now she's two months old, so again, I'm well behind on updates.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Wilbourns

Mike and Trinity Wilbourn and their sweet little ducklings lost everything in a house fire on Sunday afternoon. Praise be to God that the family was safely away at church when it happened. However, the loss that did occur is huge. Buddy, their dog, is gone along with most all their material possessions. Trinity is due in a little over a week with their 4th baby - can you even imagine what is going on in her head right now?? Her sister-in-law, Brett, has a helpful post on her blog.

I'm amazed at the army of people who want to help within our community. The body of Christ really is huge. But again, the need is great at this time and cannot to underestimated. The best way to help is prayer - pray for the Peace that passes all understanding to rest upon Mike and Trinity and their 4 little children during this time. But if you are urged to do more, gift cards or money might be the best, most tangible way to help. Michael is collecting our Portico communities' donations and working with a contact from MAG to keep tabs on what is happening on the "stuff" front. Mike and Trinity are long-time friends of ours and are a part of our weekly Community Group through our church. They are such humble people with servants' hearts - in spite of all this, Trinity already said that they "don't need much stuff since there are much needier familes," but still - there are definitely essentials that they will need to replace.

Leave a message or contact us or Brett or anyone you know who is organizing if you want to help out. We totally have an opportunity to love on them!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hoo Baby and Sleep Talk

She loved UVA. Michael took her for a stroll around grounds and then went to Mincers to buy her a little UVA outfit. Daddy said she was so happy. Uncle Preston (my younger brother) just submitted his application to UVA last night so now we're praying that he gets in to the college. Say a prayer for his acceptance too if you think about it. We're a growing Cavalier family!

Carmen is doing so, so well! She is eating perfectly and growing steadily. Each new day she begins to talk to me more and respond with lots of smiles. She did get her first cold last week. Thankfully it wasn't horrible, just a lot of snot stuck in her nose that I had to suction out regularly. It effected her sleep but didn't effect her happiness - she's such a sweet girl. Speaking of sleep, there's a lot of it happening under our roof considering how busy and mobile we've been. I almost feel ashamed for talking about how well she sleeps (similar to talking about how lovely and sickness-free my pregnancy was), like I'm going to offend the mothers who's children don't sleep solidly through the night - but I need to get over it. We've worked hard at teaching our baby good sleep habits and it's quickly paying off. Carmen is transitioning into the 10 hour sleep stretch from 9pm to 7am. Occasionally I'll feed her later in the night, especially with this cold, but for the most part she is passed out and will not wake up - no matter how much I try -after her nighttime feeding.

We've followed the principles of Babywise and it's clear that they have worked for us in this season. Our first 3 nights at home with her were hard - she had her days and nights mixed up. So for about a week we tried to teach her the difference and reverse her sleep patterns. She quickly made the switch and with the combination of feeding her every 2.5-3 hours, she fell into a regular pattern of sleep, eat, wake cycles. She learned not to stay awake after nighttime feedings and after two weeks, I was able to let her sleep for 5 hour stretches at a time during the night. That brings us up to the 7 week mark where she started to sleep longer and longer at night. Like I said, we're almost to sleeping through the night. She always wakes up happy and from her nighttime sleep and her naps. I love going in to get her! She's still in her bassinet in our room at night and during the day she's mostly in her crib. My current goal is getting her used to her crib and laying her down awake in hopes that she falls asleep on her own (Marta, I repeat your words in my head daily) She's doing really well with it. Sometimes her naps are only 25 minutes but she's learning and we're OK with that! Carmen is my joy and I just can't get over how darn precious she is!

Sometimes I catch her staring at the video camera for the monitor, like this:

Snuggle baby.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Too cute not to share

Carmen was all decked out in hot pink for Rebecca's wedding. The wedding colors were Hot Pink, Platinum, Black and Sparkle so she had to match as an honorary flower girl. She was too cute!

Thoughts for the Moment

My reality with a new baby is a lot different than I thought it would be. I thought things would be so drastically abnormal but they're not. And at the same time they are.

I am still me and Michael is still Michael. Our family and friends are the same. Our home is the same. My sense of humor, preferences, talents, likes and dislikes are the same. Just now there's a baby! I had this weird, un-thought out idea that somehow life as I knew it would be no more- in a twilight zone sort of way. But it's not!

What IS entirely different is what my individual hours in the day look like. Things that happen: I feed the baby, change and dress the baby, bathe the baby, hold the baby, play with the baby, put the baby to sleep, watch the baby sleep, and do it all over again. Things that rarely ever happen: shower, getting dressed, laundry, deep cleaning, washing dishes, completing an email or two, blogging (today is a lucky day), remembering what it was I walked up or downstairs to do, folding laundry, tidying up the house, getting the mail, going to the grocery store, getting wedding work done (scary one!), buying gifts for weddings, showers and birthdays, going to the bathroom (TOTAL change from 6 weeks ago when I lived on the toilet), writing thank you notes, cooking, uploading pictures on the computer. It just doesn't happen. And I think this is all part of Carmen still being so little and new. It's got to become possible to do simple tasks again right??

Though I'd like to shower and clean up the house, those things just aren't as necessary as feeding a new baby. And paying so much attention to my little darling is absolutely worth it!

This morning at 7:30am:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

No title

What's wrong with me??? I can't get a blog post done to save my life. Oh wait, I have a new baby and a busy October full of weddings. I cannot wait to be done with them! This weekend marks the end of my 2011 clients. It could not come fast enough. We also traveled to Rhode Island this past weekend for one of my best friend's weddings. It was gorgeous and so so fun. Road tripping took a little toll on us though. (Speaking of tolls, it cost about $75 in tolls to get there and back...says my dad. Ridiculous!) I had one bag packed for myself and 5 bags for the baby. How is that possible?! I'll post more pics of that later on. Maybe in November.

Funny pic: Carmen and Walker Campbell. Look at Walker's eyes! He looks terrified that I was taking a picture of the two of them together.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hats and Headbands

She's all girl!

We love her owl hat. Irresistible.

All dressed up for her first wedding:

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's Not September Anymore

That was the fastest September I can ever remember. I miss it already. But life has been good.

As each week passes, I can sense life getting easier and more predictable again. Carmen is SUCH a good baby but she's a new baby - and that takes some time getting used to no matter how prepared you are ahead of time. We have started to venture out more. Well, more like we were forced to venture out with my client's wedding this past weekend. We packed up our bags and headed to Charlottesville for a long weekend. I found it pretty stressful to travel and move into suitcases with a 4 week old, but special things like a cozy home at the Uhls' and friends like Amanda and Brett to love on Carmen when I couldn't, made the trip easier. I would love a nap just thinking about it all.

Baby girl has a wonderful nighttime schedule for her age and our days are making a little more sense now. She still loves to be held and talked to and really doesn't like to be without her pacifier after her play time is over. She was like that from day 4, apparently I was the same way as a baby. Carmen's facial expressions and smiles are coming to life. Michael and I love it and laugh at her cute faces all the time.

I need to take bath time photos because she loves it and so incredibly cute in her little tub. If you're ever having a bad day just come over and we can give Carmen a bath together, you won't feel anything but happiness.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Birth Story From Another Perspective

Happy Friday bloggies!

My name is Heather from

One Fisch, Two Fisch and today Megan has thoughtfully asked me to stop on by Los Dos (Tres?) Daubertos as a guest blogger. I also happen to be Megan's sister... her youngersister she often likes to add.

Today I am going to recount a short story that is near and dear to our hearts, and will be one that we will tell Little Miss over and over throughout the years to come: the birth story of sweet Carmen Isabelle from my family's perspective:

When September 6th rolled around, I could hardly believe the day had come that my sister would bring a new, precious baby into the world. All the months of dreaming about what Carmen would look like and how she would act, had finally come to an end. This was the day we would get to meet her ourselves

I could barely focus at work Tuesday morning because I was counting down the hours until noon when I would leave town and head to Fairfax hospital in Virginia. How long would Megan be in labor? Would she deliver before I got there? Would Carmen come quickly or would she make us all wait for hours in suspense? These were the questions running through my mind as I raced down I-95 in the pouring rain. Baby Carmen, here I come!

I arrived at the hospital around 3:00 and met my mom in the cafeteria so she could fill me in on Megan's progress up to that point, while Megan and Michael tried to rest. Was this really happening? It seemed like yesterday that we were all gathering at the hospital to welcome baby Brianna into the world. And now it was Megan's turn. How time flies.

Mom and I then took a quick trip up to Megan and Michael's room to see Megan and say hi one last time before the two became three. Megan looked tired and calm and seemed a bit out of it, but was still beautiful with her perfectly curled hair. It was obvious they were both so ready to meet their little one.

Around 4:00 dad arrived with Preston and Brianna still dressed in their school clothes, but too excited to care. Next Ashleigh and Amanda arrived and we all sat in excitement and anticipation, hanging onto our cell phones for any word of Carmen's arrival. Just as we were preparing to leave for dinner, we got a text from Michael saying that Megan was fully dilated and had begun pushing! We knew that Megan could be in labor for awhile and that we'd have to wait at least an hour to see Carmen ourselves, so we set out for a quick dinner at Sweet Water Tavern. The food was delicious, but we were all distracted by the thought of sweet Carmen being born. So we scarfed down our food and rushed back to the hospital.

When we arrived at the Birthing Center waiting room, we saw Bill, Lissa, Sarah, and David Daubert already there. It was a large waiting room but we all somehow made it feel small by our loud, happy chatter, the massive baby girl balloons we had ready, the several baby gift bags, and all the video camera sitting on the floor. I'm pretty sure everyone in the waiting room heard our entire conversation and knew quite well that a Carmen Isabelle was being born; we were way too excited to be considerate of the noise level.

Sometime around 7:00 we saw nurse Lynne McLoughlin who we've known for years from church, come into the waiting room with a big smile on her face. We all held our breath while she said "Well, I'm happy to announce that as of 6:34pm, Megan and Michael became the parents of a healthy, perfect, 7 lbs, 13oz baby girl!" There was a quick pause, and then "AHHHHHHHH!!!" was all you heard as well all jumped up, cheered VERY loudly and clapped our hands in-between hugging one another. The excitement was priceless; the moment was precious; and I'll remember it for the rest of my life. It was such a fun, loving moment that it left me thinking "I hope that when this day comes from me, I will be near all my family and have them right there anxiously waiting for my baby too."

We tried to wait patiently to get the message that it was time for us to see the baby and Megan and Michael. Our Worthley family all fought over the Daubert's cellphones as Michael (accidentally?) sent a picture text of baby Carmen to his side of the family and not ours. We all grabbed for the phones and within one second of looking at the little image, said "Oh my goodness, she looks just the Megan! And Preston, and Brianna!"

Holding Carmen in my arms made my heart melt. It is so incredible to hold a new baby who is so tiny yet so real and alive; it really speaks for what a miracle it truly is. Megan looked great overall, and despite the fact that her face was a bit swollen and she appeared to be out of it, her hair was still perfectly curled.

The end :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

3 Weeks Old

It seems like Carmen is changing everyday. She is so adorable, we can't stop looking at her. I think I need to work on some other phrases to say to her besides, "You're so beautiful. You're so pretty." We've really missed Daddy this week. He's been on a business trip in Austin, TX and it's been so hard having him gone. We both miss him too much.

I can tell that Carmen knows full well who I am now. She calms down when I'm near and loves to for me to hold her. It's so precious. We are starting to work on falling asleep on her own for naps and it's painful for me - but I know it's best for her. I have great support and encouragement from our beloved Mallory and of course, Michael, but he's just been gone for a bit now. Here's some recent photos:
Our first time at church as a new family of 3
Carmen's first shopping trip to the mall. Had to get her some colder weather clothes. And an owl of that to come.
First time spending the night at Grandpops and Nonni's house - with Mommy of course! Plenty of people to hold and love on her here.