Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Baby's First Christmas!

Pre-Christmas with Joanna

Grace Louise and Joanna in their matching Christmas outfits! Joanna was clearly NOT having it!

Christmas Eve
Looking adorable in her Christmas dress from Miss G

Our first Christmas together

Reading the Christmas story with mom

Grace Louise loves her new pups!

"This dog sings! Millie, Jada... take lessons!"

Christmas Day with the Crazies!

Couldn't end this great Christmas gathering without snapping a shot of the "crazy toe" girls!
(Grace Louise inherited (literally) a crazy pinky toe from my Aunt Donna. It has a mind of it's own! And Aunt Donna is proud!)

Monday, December 28, 2009

More Holiday Pics!

Here are some pics from a little holiday get-together I had before Christmas. I made yummy clam chowder, sammies, and hot wassail and Zac brought a delicious chocolate mousse cake for dessert!

As you can see from these pictures, Grace Louise was hammin' it up for us, providing plenty of entertainment!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

God's Girl

Hannah, a barren woman of the Bible, petitioned the Lord for a son and when she received the blessing of her child, she said,

"As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD. I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD." And he worshiped the LORD there. 1 Samuel 1:26-28

In our church we practice baby dedication instead of infant baptism. This past Sunday, Jimmy and I testified of God's goodness in the birth of Grace Louise and were happy to publicly dedicate her back to the Lord. During the testimony, Jimmy shared that in his first prayer over her life, he confessed to God that she was His, only ours for the blessing and responsibility of raising. We realize that our job is to raise her up in the way she should go, teaching her to know and love Jesus.

This particular Sunday was also our church's "Gifts for Jesus" service where talents of singing, poetry, and even ping pong ball eating (never mind) were shared to bring honor and glory to God. At such a joyous time as this in my life, I feel like I'm MAJORLY on the receiving end... my gifts to God pale in comparison to the abundant blessings He's bestowed- (I believe this is called grace!) Aside from the very obvious gift of my beautiful child, God has given me the gift of knowing Him more. I shared with the congregation that the experience of motherhood has given me a cherished glimpse into the kind of love which God has for me. I look at Grace Louise and often cry tears of joy, overwhelmed by the love that I feel for her. And to think that God's love for His children is even greater. This I cannot fully understand. But I am drawn closer to Him in a father/daughter kind of way, knowing that he looks upon me with unconditional love and longs to hold me close to Him. One of my new favorite songs that so beautifully describes this love is at the top of my playlist. Enjoy!

Kept her cozy in tights, frilly socks, and mittens. Not to mention this adorable bonnet!
Her animal mobile friends keeping her entertained while mommy and daddy get ready for church.

"Happy, Happy, Happy, Happy. Happy are the people, whose God is the Lord!"

Monday, December 21, 2009

Party Time

'Tis the season for fun with family and friends!
Our first holiday party- a cookie exchange at Michaela's house.
There were wonderful goodies and, as usual, Michaela was a most gracious host.
We had a yummy time!
"Mommy's Little Deer"
(One day she's gonna kill me for dressing her like this!)

Yes, as you can see in the bottom picture of this collage, she was screaming before we left the house to go to the party. All better after some ninny.

Grace Louweezy

Another great week here in the Hurst home. Grace Louise is growing like a weed! We went for my 6 week check up at the Birthing Center and weighed our munchkin- a whopping 12 lbs (half way to doubling her birth weight)! Need I say nursing is still going well?!?! Still dropping the one middle of the night feeding, but otherwise eating every 3 hours. Now if I would go to bed earlier to take advantage of that long stretch of sleep... She seems to be happy with the eat-play-sleep routine and it makes life easier for me too! I think (hope) that the worst of the gassy days are over; we haven't had a REAL gas fit in a couple of weeks. She is undoubtedly getting better at passing it- even in public! (hmmm, hmmm excuse you little lady).

My healing is taking a bit longer than usual. Through so many twists and turns in this whole experience, God is teaching me to sllloooowwwwwww down. And I'm learning. As fun as it is to be out and about, I am perfectly content staying home and having my own little love-fest with this precious angel girl. These days go by so fast and I'm determined to stay in the "now", enjoying every moment with her.

Last Thursday night, Jimmy and I went on our first dinner and a movie post-baby date... Grace Louise was the best (and cutest) third wheel ever! We went to the movies to see Old Dogs and were the only ones in the theatre. The best night of all for her to interrupt the picture show and she never even made a peep! She slept most of the time. Oh yeah, the movie was great!

Today was my first day back at yoga. And my first time leaving Grace Louise with someone other than her daddy. Lala was an awesome baby-sitter, following my directions, precisely! ;-) wink wink. She took a bottle of pumped breastmilk while I was gone and was a happy, sleeping baby when I got home. Triston was at the house with mom and, as always, was an eager helper! He loves this baby like you wouldn't believe! Precious! Now, if I can just teach him to change her diaper...

Yoga was wonderful! I didn't realize how much I missed it and will definitely be getting back into my regular practice. Yoga throughout pregnancy was special because I really felt like it helped me connect with my baby. I knew that deep breathing and relaxation was great for both me and my growing bambino, plus it was part of "training" for the marathon of childbirth. Today, my yoga practice was all about me and appreciating/experiencing my own body and its abilities. I forgot what it was like to bend and stretch without a big belly in the way! Okay, enough of this hippy talk... go have a cup of hot herbal tea and enjoy these pictures!

I fed the little milk munchkin and let her hang out in her crib for some awake time. Does this look like awake to you??? I think not!

Monday, December 14, 2009


The time has come... We finally got the rest of our diapers in the mail and have completed Round 1 of cloth diapering! We decided to use cloth diapers for two reasons- 1) to save money 2) the negative environmental impact of disposables is ridiculous. I probably would have been less inclined to use cloth except that my cousin has had great success with her brand, BumGenius (which Jimmy and I also decided to use). After seeing how easy and modern the diapers were and after calculating how much money we would save, I was sold! If Grace Louise is potty trained at 2 1/2 years old, we would have spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $2600 on Pampers. 24 of these diapers (including the liners) cost $400 and thanks to the generosity of great family and friends, we only had to pay for half! These diapers will last at least until Grace Louise takes the "throne" and perhaps even for her brother or sister (perhaps, perhaps, perhaps a brother or sister).

We use a dry pail to store dirty diapers in and have enough diapers to wash every third day. As long as she is breastfeeding there is no toilet dunking or spraying the poopy diapers out! Everything goes in the washer on a short cold cycle first and then on a longer hot cycle to get squeaky clean. Line drying is preferred, but they can even go in the dryer! Everything comes at a cost to the environment, but washing these diapers (especially in an energy efficient washer) is undoubtedly the lesser of the evils.

Still not convinced?? Here are a few facts about cloth vs disposable diapers from DiaperShops...
  • Over 27 billion disposable diapers are sold and 92% of them are put into landfills in the US.
  • It is estimated that it takes between 500-700 years for a disposable diaper to decompose, under optimal conditions.
  • Disposable diapers use twenty times more solid waste than cloth.
  • Disposable diapers use twice as much water in manufacturing than cotton diapers require for washing.

Sporting the pink- her first time in the diapers!

Mmmm... look at them fine thigh rolls!

Week 5-6 Pics

Still proud of our Gators!

Oh, how incredibly sweet she is sleeping. My little angel.

And just as sweet trying to wake up! Stretch...

"Lord have mercy, baby's got her blue jeans on..."

Waiting for BeBe to take us shopping on Saturday!

First outing away from mommy!
Jimmy took her to church on Sunday, and I stayed home to rest. I fed her before they left, so I knew she wouldn't be hungry... She was just perfect and I didn't have a meltdown without my baby. I actually enjoyed the time to myself, but was sooo happy to see her and offer some ninny when they got home. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
"uno momento por favor"

"okay, that's better...CHEESE!"

"hey, you see dad over there... he wants his picture taken too."

Relaxing with mom before bed.

"Good morning, dad! I'm feeling exceptionally strong today!"

Getting warm after our bath.