Wednesday, September 25, 2013

15 weeks

Our little one is 15 weeks old. 

 HG loves some bath time.  She has started kicking the water and "splashing" with her hands.  This Mama loves her sweet rolls.

 Doing some cheers..."Ready, Ok!"

She is obsessed with eating her hands right now.  It is all she wants to do.  She has started drooling too. Very lady like Hatley-Grace!

We have some more hair now too, and the little bows stay in for a short time :) 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Home Ownership

Tomorrow, Marty and I will become homeowners.  We are filled with various emotions about this, but are mostly excited about our new place to call home.

Home Stats:
4 bedrooms
3 bathrooms
3147 sq ft
large kitchen
large enclosed lanai
living room with a fireplace
formal dining room
laundry room (that could double as another bedroom)
2 car garage
detached garage

We first saw this home in July.  During our walk through, we we able to look past the wood parquet floor and pink tile bathroom and see a place that felt like home to us both.  While house hunting in Florida, we saw some nice homes, yet none felt "homey" to us.  This house was the first that we could envision our family growing in and enjoying.

The space in this home was the big selling point.  Marty's job as a youth pastor means we need to be able to have people in our home, lots of people.  This home has two big living spaces that will do just that.  Also, both of our families live far away, and the bedrooms in this home will accommodate them visiting.

The list of projects is long, as well as the timeline, but this home is very livable.  We are very excited to embark on this new adventure together as a family, and can't wait to feel settled soon!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hatley-Grace at 14 weeks

This picture melts my heart.  This is my sweet girl at 14 weeks.

We figured out that she cannot tolerate spinach or kale.  We have battled some phases of projectile vomiting in the past, and this week specifically identified them as a result of me eating kale or spinach. Bye bye healthy green salads for a little while :(

HG is noticing her hands, and uses them to bat at some of her toys. 

She smiles and almost giggles when we play patty-cake, patty-cake, and peek-a-boo.

She is tolerating tummy time more, and is working hard when we stretch her neck.

We have tried two nights of 12 hours between feedings, 7pm-7am.  So far one night worked and one night she woke up at 5.  

We are closing on our house on Tuesday, so we are in packing mode here.  Marty and I are both a little stressed and anxious, so prayers would be appreciated.  Thanks :)

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Two weeks ago, we went to the physical therapist because Hattie-Grace has mild torticollis.  This simply means one of her muscles in her neck is tight so she favors looking to her right.  This is probably due to her positioning in the womb, the girl didn't change positions for about 20 weeks.  If not addressed, this could affect her gross motor development, so we went to the PT to learn how to help.  We do two stretches, after every diaper change about 10 times each.  We stretch HG's right ear to her right shoulder, and stretch her neck all the way to the left.

(Please note these stretches do not hurt our baby, they just look a little uncomfortable)

We also have tried to do most things from her left.  I sit to her left while she is playing, or read a book to her left.  We went back to the PT on Friday, and she was so pleased with our progress!  Now we have added a "Superman" stretch, where we hold her like superman on our lap and she practices lifting her head.  I have been so impressed with how quickly these few stretches have helped her mobility.  We are praying that the visit this week will be our last, and that we can continue with what we have learned on our own.

Friday, September 13, 2013

3 months

Our tiny little Hatley-Grace is now 3 months.  Wow, how our sweet little girl has grown and changed over the past 13 weeks!  She went from a 5 lb. 10oz. newborn to a 12 lb. baby with sweet rolls on her legs and big cheeks.  She used to sleep most of the day away, and is now alert and taking in the world around her.  She is noticing her hands and stares at them often, yet is not aware that she can do anything with them.

Many people comment on how content Hattie-Grace is.  She is truly a happy and laid back baby.  She is comfortable with anyone picking her up and holding her.  At youth group, the girls love to hold her and play with her and HG enjoys them as well.  She is becoming very social, and doesn't always nap while we are out and about.  She will just look around with tired eyes and take in all the new sights and sounds.

We have started to "settle" into a good routine, which will change soon, but I love this stage with HG.  She wakes at 7, and is still on a 3 hour routine throughout the day (nursing, playing, napping).  On most nights, she sleeps from 10:30-7.  I feel safe to say that we have survived the "newborn stage", with all its lack of sleep and middle of the night feedings!  In our case, it really wasn't that bad since HG would always go right back to sleep after nursing.  A huge blessing for our first baby :)

Dear Hattie-Grace,

You are no longer an itty bitty newborn, but a sweet spirited baby.  Part of me is sad to see our times in the middle of the night end.  Looking back on it, those times were so special and something I won't forget.  I did not know how fast the first three months would go.  At times, the monotony of each day seemed to never end, now in a blink of an eye you are bigger and able to interact with me.  We are still living a very boring life of eating, playing and sleeping, but we are able to get out and do much more now :)

Gosh, Hattie-Grace, your Mama worries about everything.  When you were tiny, I worried about if you were eating enough, now I worry about if you are developing "like you should".  You haven't rolled over yet, and I worry.   You don't hold your head up for long stretches during tummy time, and I worry.  You wake up early from your nap, and I worry.  You throw up, and I worry.  I pray you get your Daddy's care free spirit :)  I have continued to learn to trust that God has a perfect plan for your life.

I love when your big blue eyes stare up at me, and the way you wrap your whole hand around my thumb when you are nursing.  I love that you are content while strangers hold you and that you smile back at the youth group girls when they make faces at you.  Your complete trust in your Daddy and me to care for you is a constant reminder to me of how I need to trust in my heavenly Father fully each day.  He has provided for you and been faithful to you so very much in your short 3 months, and will continue to watch over you and provide for your every need for all of your years to come.  We have a wonderful heavenly Father Hattie-Grace, and for that we will always give thanks!  

You are such a blessing to our lives and we love you so very much!
Love, Mama

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Second/Third Month Favorites

Second/Third Month Favorites

HG will be 3 months old this week on the 12th.  I guess I skipped 2nd month favorites because we were away at the beach, oops.  Again, I hope this helps some of you that are expecting and creating registries.  We are still loving everything on the first month list.  All babies are different, yet this is what we have enjoyed in the Cates home the past two months.   

1.  Board Books:  HG loves listening to books.  She looks at all the colors and pictures on the pages.  The kindergarten teacher in me loves that she enjoys books at this stage.  Her favorites right now are Mister Seahorse, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, and Are You My Mother?
2.  Fisher Price Rainforest Activity Gym:  I did not want one of these in my house.  I purchased one at Target earlier, and returned it because HG was not interested.  We went over to a friend's house recently and she loved this gym so much I had to order her one.  This is a new toy in our house, and she has loved it!  She loves all the colors, textures, and lights on this gym.  It folds easily to be put away in the evenings, when I don't want to see baby stuff all over the house.
3.  Aveeno Products:  This has been my favorite brand so far.  I love the scent, and how gentle it is on HG's skin. 
4.  Boden Rompers:  These are the softest, sweetest pajamas.  I bought another print on sale, and love them so much I will continue to buy these pjs once she grows out of the 0-3month set I have.  I love that they are not footed, it is hot here in Florida!  
5.  Flip Diapers:  We started cloth diapering around month 2.  I have loved saving our family some cash, and the Flip brand with organic cloth inserts have worked wonderfully.  If you are considering cloth diapering, I would love to answer any questions you may have.  I was overwhelmed at first, and many friends gave me advice from their experience.  That was the best way for me to learn what would work best for us.  
6.  Graco Pack n Play:  We traveled to the beach in August.  This pack n play worked great for us.  It is pretty easy to assemble, and is compact in the car.  
7.  Advent Soothie Pacifiers:  We have used these when HG goes to sleep for a nap or bedtime.  They helps her soothe herself to sleep.  We haven't tried any other brands yet, so I am not sure if they are the best on the market, they have just worked for us. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

12 weeks

Hattie-Grace experienced her first Hokie football game this weekend.  She was excited, can't you tell :)

This week I noticed a speck of brown in her eye.  I have a "freckle" in my eye, that just looks like a speck of brown.  I wonder if she will have one too!

We enjoyed a relaxing day on Labor Day together.  Marty was home for the afternoon, and we took HG to the pool.

Tummy time is still a struggle.  1/2 the time she throws up, the other 1/2 of the time she just lies there.  We introduced the Boppy to see if that will get her moving some more.

Hattie-Grace has been sleeping through the night on and off this week, about 6-8 hours.  I think we are making the transition to 8 hours between feedings at night :)  Bring it on!

I weighed her on a friends bathroom scale this week and she was 12 lbs.  Our sweet little one will be 3 months old next week!