elsa :: 8 month update

Didn’t I just post her 6 month update!?

Well, here we are already, Elsa at 8 months old ::

Weight :: 25lbs

Teeth :: Two bottom in since December. Currently cutting four top teeth ALL AT THE SAME TIME!! They have all broken through the gums. After these, I am hoping we will have a break in teething. So many, so fast…no fun.

Sleeping :: Not big on daytime naps, unless riding in the car which is good since we are on the go so much. She likes to be worn in the Tula baby carrier and will fall to sleep fast while in it. Nighttime sleeping has varied with her growth spurts in the last few months. She likes to go to bed late and sleep in late.

Eating :: She is still mostly nursing. Loves peas, bananas, apples, blueberries, carrots and salmon.

Hobbies :: She is a water baby, contented to stay in the water whether it is in her bath or at the pool. Playing peek-a-boo, her piano, clapping and smiling round out most of her days.

While she still is not crawling, her latest discovery is that the furniture is the perfect height to pull herself up on.  Cruising between the ottomans and the couches has become a favorite activity.

Just look at her go…!





I can vividly remember taking this photo of Ari at 8 months, standing proudly after pulling himself up on the same ottoman, just a few short years ago.

Here is a link to that post (with a video!) :: 8 months old!.




four weeks old & one from the archives :: alex’s first fest

Four weeks old and just as sweet as she can be.



As more of our friends and neighbors meet her, there are long gazes and speculation of who she most looks like. It is hard to say for certain. She is a great mix of all three boys, in one moment she can resemble Andy and the next Ari. Just yesterday, Papa commented that she looked like Alex in a dress!

What are your thoughts?


Nicknames so far :: Elsa-bel, Elsie, Elsa-baby, and Elsa-pie
Weight :: a few ounces shy of 10 lbs (at birth :: 8 lb 4 oz)
Length :: 21.25 in (at birth :: 20.5in)


Every year, on the third weekend in July, our village has a fest with a huge beer tent, bands, rides and games. We headed down Saturday night and again on Monday. Taking Elsa to her first fest at only a few weeks old made us remember when we took Alex to his first fest when he was a few weeks old, the Nuremberg Altstadtfest.

firstfest alex

Tomorrow is the last day of school and boy are we ever ready for summer break!!



doings :: this past week {6-12 july}

Last week, the two week honeymoon following Elsa’s birth ended. It was time to start adjusting back to daily life, now with a new baby. We took it slow, keeping our days mostly unscheduled.

Here’s a peek at what we’ve been up to.

:: Registering Elsa’s birth with the village of Landstuhl (where she was born).
:: Filling out all the paperwork and gathering needed documents to apply for her SSN, Passport and Report of Birth Abroad. It is quite a process.
:: Sadly saying goodbye to Papa each morning as he returned to work.
:: Feeling grateful for successful pumping, bottle feeding and an awesome husband who gave me a few hours out with girlfriends at the Italian Nights fest in Kusel on Friday night.
:: Scheduling 6 week postpartum/well baby check-ups.
:: Celebrating reaching pre-pregnancy weight by packing up the maternity wardrobe that was generously lended to me (thanks Tiff!).
:: Planning a Jurassic World themed birthday party for our oldest who is turning 10(!!!) in a few weeks.
:: Loving this sweet song Ari made up and sings for Elsa (turn up the volume!) “Go to Sleep Little Elsa”

:: Counting down the last days of school.
:: Picking cherries from the trees in our garden.
:: Packing up newborn size clothes/cloth diapers that are already too small.
:: Watching this sweet little girl as she naps on the porch on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

:: Holding her close.
:: Kissing her soft cheeks.
:: Falling more and more in love with her.


Still in disbelief that she is really ours!



her first week home :: Elsa

This first week, or so, little Elsa has been doing all the typical newborn things. Sleeping, nursing, cuddling, filling up her diapers, sleeping some more, nursing some more, and repeat. She has been so relaxed and easy to soothe.

Papa has been home to share in these moments and has been a great help with taking on all the school drop offs and pick ups, grocery shopping and general keeping the house in order. Sadly, he will return to work on Tuesday. It won’t be easy for either of us.

The boys have been amazing in the welcoming their baby sister to our family. They always ask to hold her and keep tabs on whose ‘turn’ it is. They each carry a photo of themselves with Elsa in their school bag and have enjoyed showing it off to friends and teachers. They are anxious for her to have more waking moments and when she does have her eyes open, they exclaim loudly “her eyes are open!” Andy was particularly interested in when her cord would fall off. At one week, it fell off and he said he was happy because it looked like it was ouchy for her.

Earlier this week, Elsa had her first bath in her own tub right beside her brothers. She was relaxed and seemed to enjoy it.




I had a bit of fun taking these photos. Dressing her up with a bow and in my new favorite shade of green. It is a nice alternative to all the pink! I love how she looked on the blanket that Ema made for her…our sweet little baby girl.



The precious moments of these first days and weeks, they go too fast. I want to linger in them. She has me reaching for my camera multiple times a day. Capturing snippets so I will always remember. Papa has caught the shutter bug too and has been snapping some sweet photos to share with family on email.



Our fourth of July weekend will be a hot one. Temperatures are expected to reach above 100*. We plan to keep cool at home, grill some hamburgers and set off the fireworks we have left over from New Years. We wish you all a great weekend!



and now we are six :: bringing Elsa home

We brought baby girl home early in the afternoon yesterday. Elsa had a peaceful day sleeping and being passed around by her brothers as they took turns holding her. She woke once in the night and then again around 5:00 this morning.

During those wakings, in the quiet while nursing her, it really hit me… we are six now.
Another hand to hold, another head to kiss.
Another love to fill my heart.

I snapped a few photos of Elsa in her ‘coming home’ outfit.
It is the same outfit that her Papa and all three of her brothers wore home from the hospital.
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Thank you for all for the sweet well wishes and loving thoughts on Elsa’s arrival. We miss you all dearly.



this moment :: 21 weeks {27 february}

Sweet belly kisses like this one from Ari have made this pregnancy extra special. We took well over a dozen pictures as Ari kept saying ‘let’s do it again’!

We are a little more than halfway through this pregnancy and I’ve been feeling good. Here is some of what has been going on ::

:: Food cravings :: Surprisingly, I really haven’t had any.  My diet has consisted mostly of beans-it doesn’t matter what kind!, jalapenos, baked potatoes, pepper jack cheese sprinkled on everything, crunchy granola, clementines and COLD glasses of milk. Red meat is not that appealing to me so it’s chicken or turkey breast.
:: Sleep :: I am sleeping comfortably and deeply. After the first trimester, the frequent waking at night to go potty has ended (for now I guess!). There are about ten pillows on my bed that I arrange ‘just so’ each night before I crawl in. I’ve been thinking I should’ve invested in one of those full body maternity pillows!
:: Action in the womb :: Baby kicks are getting stronger and occur frequently throughout the day. I mostly feel them deep and low in my abdomen. They almost always to seem to begin when Jason is near. I am anxious for the boys to feel them for the first time. I find myself wanting to stop whatever it is that I am doing to sit and enjoy feeling the life inside of me.
:: Daily conversations :: Daily talk about this baby has all three boys curious and interested in the retelling of their own birth stories. It is one of my most favorite things to listen to Jason share each experience with the boys as he remembers. Their questions and commentary are priceless!
:: Baby names :: We each have a top three list of boy’s and girl’s names. Thankfully, Jay’s and mine match up pretty well. The boys have some pretty creative names that we will reserve to use as possible nicknames.
:: Gender reveal :: Our last visit to the doctor was almost four weeks ago. The position of the baby made it tricky to view the genital area on ultrasound.  So we left not knowing for certain.

The next appointment is on 3 March. We are looking forward to peeking in on baby and hopefully getting clarity on whether we will be welcoming a baby boy or girl!

Is there anyone who wants to offer up a guess!?




{joining :: soulemama}