I alluded to this yesterday in my Newborn Necessity post, but I wanted to dedicate an entire post to the kindness and generosity of our friends and family since Coco's arrival.

We have received incredible handmade gifts in the mail,

 And week long visits from the grandmas (my mom is "Mimi" and the Knight's mom is "Ma").

Even surprise visits from the best of friends!

In case you didn't know, after a baby is born, most doctors caution parents to keep their baby at home for 2-6 weeks before exposing her to the outside world.  Since Coco was born in August, and not as many sicknesses are floating around as in the winter, our doctor gave us the 2 week timeline, and then cautioned us to go places during non-busy hours after that until she is a month old.

Okay, now, that sounds easy enough, but y'all know me.  I am a goer and a doer.  AND, since I had a c-section, I was feeling fine as soon as I got home from the hospital.  Sooo, being restricted for 2 weeks was hard.  I went a little stir-crazy.  If it wasn't for my mom, the Knight's mom, the Knight, and our amazing friends, I would have gone insane.

Anywho, even though Coco and I were pretty much homebound, our friends and family really kept us entertained and well-fed.  Our friends from church signed up to bring us FIVE WEEKS of home cooked meals.  Five weeks, you guys.  That is amazing.  They used a really cool website to keep things organized.  www.mealtrain.com.  It lets the chefs and the recipients easily see who is bringing what on each designated day, and keeps everyone from duplicating the same meals over and over.  Plus, it provides a great place for all important contact information, meal preferences and allergies, and preferred delivery time.

Additionally, many friends have dropped off lunch and stayed for a much needed visit.  This support, encouragement, and entertainment has made the first few sleep-deprived weeks so much more enjoyable!

Friendship and frozen meals,
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Newborn Necessities

Coco is three weeks old!  I am glad that we have managed to keep her alive this long.  Every day, I am in awe that a) we are parents, b) I am not pregnant anymore, and c) our newest addition to our family is finally here!  She is just wonderful.  I am in love.

With the addition of Baby Coco, our house has become filled with Baby STUFF.  Although there are several things that all babies obviously need (diapers, formula, clothing), the following is a list of our fave newborn life-savers that are not so obvious (or well-known)!

aden and anais swaddle blankets - These gauzy soft blankets are perfect for swaddling, snuggling, and can even do double duty as burp cloths in a pinch.

baby flash cards - Coco LOVES these.  Apparently, when babies are brand new, their vision isn't quite top-notch, so they can see high contrast images best.  We line her bassinet with them, rotate them, and go through all the animals' names and sounds daily.  She stares at them at length, and sometimes I catch her smiling and cooing at her little farm animal friends.

bassinet - This is by far the most useful thing we have.  It is the perfect size for our little 7 pounder (now probably 8!), and rolls semi-quietly all over the house.  She sleeps so well in this, and I can take her anywhere while I shower, do the dishes, or even step outside.

moby wrap - We love the Moby wrap.  It is a little daunting at first when trying to learn how to put it on (think yards and yards of folded fabric), but as soon as she gets snuggled in, Coco zonks out.  I think it makes her feel a little like she is in the womb, and it is great for going grocery shopping and taking walks outside (a must for any new mom trying to get over those baby blues!).

kinderglo night light - this is the coolest nightlight.  It is portable (the little owl detaches from its charging stand) and doesn't need batteries.  It changes different colors continuously (soft green, blue purple, red, blue), but you can pick a particular color and keep it on that, as well.  This is a great nightlight for nursing and diaper changes in the middle of the night - bright enough to see, but not too bright to wake the little one.  Also, it turns off automatically after about 30 minutes, so you don't have to worry about turning it off.

sleep sheep - We strap this cuddly lamb to the outside to Coco's bassinet, and it calms her instantly.  A little removable sound machine fits into the sheep's back, and has 4 different sounds.  We particularly like the ocean sounds.  It has a 23 and a 45 minute timer.  We haven't had to wash it yet, but we hear that it washes beautifully, as well.

sleep machine - This is another great sound machine that we have in her nursery.  (Notice how almost all of our faves have to do with sleeping?  It is clear what we miss and value most!)  It does triple duty - nightlight, iPod dock and sound machine.  Coco isn't sleeping in her crib yet, but I use this during the day when I'm nursing and sometimes at night, when she is especially fussy and I'm trying to calm her down without disturbing the Knight.

(see it tucked behind the little pink frame? It rocks!)

Finally, I can't say enough how much we have enjoyed and appreciated all of our friends bringing meals and gifts the past few weeks.  I know that doesn't really count as a "newborn item," but in my view, it is also a necessity.  It takes a village, right?  We haven't had to cook in a while, and I have really loved (and needed) the company!

Hope this is a helpful post if you are shopping for a cool baby gift, or getting ready to be a parent yourself.  I hope to have some non-baby related posts soon, but please just bear with me a bit longer.  I can't help myself, and they always say that the best writers just write what they know.  Right now, all I know is BABY, so I guess that's what I want to write about.

Lambs and lullabies,
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Coco Bean, 1 and 2 weeks

So, we are starting to get in a routine around here.  Sleep and all other activities seem to occur in 2-3 hour increments, and when sweet Caroline isn't eating, I'm scurrying around trying to tidy up, write thank-yous, or catch up on sleep myself.  It is wonderful and peaceful and hectic and exhausting all at the same time.

I hope that soon I can resume "normal" blogging (whatever that means for me, I have no clue), but until I get a handle on Miss Coco Bean, posts will be little unexpected surprises, here and there.

Kind of like Baby Girl's smile:
This past Wednesday, we both had our 2 week checkups.  Me for my c-section incision, and Coco for her routine checkup for her doctor to review weight gain, reflexes, and to check on how nursing is going.
I am happy to report that both went really well!  At my appointment, the doctor said that I could resume driving, lifting whatever I felt comfortable, and could basically do anything I wanted to, absent abdominal crunches (obviously, I was very torn up about that.  Not.).  Also, I have lost 18 lbs so far! Whoo-hoo! Only 12 more to go!
Miss Coco did quite well herself.  She gained back her birth weight, plus another 3.5 ounces, weighing in a 7 lbs, 3.5 oz!  I know that is a boring detail for most, but basically, for me it meant that nursing is working, and she is eating well!  All of her reflexes checked out, and her doctor said that she is perfect.

Of course, we already knew that...

Don't you just love this quilt?  This is the fine handiwork of my mama's best friend, Kelley B.  You can check out her Etsy store here.

Also, on the dog front, Betty Rascal and Henry seems to be adjusting to the baby okay.  Betty seems a little put out at times, but I am doing all that I can to make her feel like "old times."  She sits right beside me when I nurse, I hold her when I am not holding the baby, and soon, I'll take her for walks with me and Coco.

The Knight takes Henry for 3 and 4 mile runs, and both of them have been getting lots of attention from our visiting family and friends.

Little one is starting to stir, and I know she will be hungry when she wakes up.  Gotta run!

Coffee and Coco Beans,
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A new beginning...

Last Wednesday, I looked like this:

Exactly one week later, I look like this:

The reason?

Meet our baby "Coco."  

One week old today, and more precious than we could have ever imagined.  

Experiencing sheer wonder (and exhaustion!),
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Coco's Vintage Inspired Nursery!

Hallooo to you all!

I have MIA lately, but that is because Friday was my last day at the firm for THREE MONTHS.  Whoa.  That is big.  It took approximately 1-2 months (intermittent) to be able to wrap everything up and pass it off to my oh-so-capable fellow associates.  I worked until almost 9 on Friday night and worked again yesterday, but I can happily say that, until I am ready to take on more work, I am done and ready to focus on Coco!

Speaking of Coco, she is doing pretty great.  Her heartbeat is strong, at 38 weeks, she weighed in at 7.5 lbs (zoiks!), and she is still quite the busy bee.  I am feeling good, but this Memphis heat is definitely taking its toll on me (Heat index of 119 today!).

As of my appointment on Monday, I have gained right at 30 lbs.  I look pretty beefy in my pictures, but I am going to work really hard after she comes to lose this baby weight.  The Knight and I signed up to do the Memphis/ St. Jude marathon in early December.  He is going to run, of course, and I am going to slow it down this time and walk it.  The cool part is that I have convinced his aunt and his mom to walk it with me!  I'm so proud of them!

Okay, so I won't tease you anymore...here are pictures of Coco's room!  I have to say that I really love it.  It turned out a little sweeter than I originally envisioned, but I think it manages to be refreshing and serene at the same time, with a little happy twist here and there.  I hope you enjoy it, too!

Nursery Source List:
Crib and Dresser - BabyMod "Olivia" at Walmart.com
Crib Bedding - Liberty of London for Target
Wall Decal - KidsCorner on Etsy
Curtains - Urban Outfitters
Chair - Hand me down
Shelving - Target
Mod Flower Light - Ikea
Side Table - Target
Mirror over dresser/changing table - West Elm
Pink Bookcase in closet - Target
White Bookcase - Craigslist
Little Chair - Garage Sale
White Fluffy Rug - Target
Wall and ceiling color - Sherwin Williams "Tame Teal"

AND...If you want more info about the planning and work that went into getting her nursery ready, go here for the original plan, go to this one for details on the mobile, this post when I was torn about the furniture, and here for how to take a storebought crib skirt and make it your own.

(the original mood board/mock up of Baby C's room)

[*UPDATE 1/26/11*]
Now that our pumpernickel has been around for a few months, I have to say that her nursery is functioning pretty well.  The layout works, the rug is miraculously still in good condition, her furniture is great (although we did have to contact the merchant for a few replacement pieces), and the color is still very appealing to me.  The only things we added after her birth were a hamper, a trash can, a humidifier, and we moved more books from the bookshelf to the end table.  We also tried to install a dimmer switch, but for some reason, we couldn't get it to jive with the eco-friendly flourescent bulbs in her ceiling fan. 

If you are planning your nursery and have any questions, feel free to post a comment or shoot me an email at curtsies (at) gmail (dot) com.  If there is one thing I can think and talk about all day, it is shopping and decorating!

Sweet dreams and playthings,
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