Sunday, May 19, 2013

Master Plan success!

 Well, I'm back.

It was a long and glorious weekend loving on my new niece (and my brother and sister-in-law, too). I was none too happy to have to kiss her sweet head goodbye this afternoon, but I can guarantee that my trips home will be MUCH more frequent now than they have been for the last few years. A sweet baby to love on is about as compelling a reason to drive home as I've ever had, so I don' t imagine it will be too long before we hit the road to head back for more baby loving. Jake, my brother, estimated that I wouldn't make it til Wednesday, but I think I'll stay strong a little longer than that...maybe.

I've got some pictures for ya today, at least. Jake's holding a firm line on the 'no Facebook' picture ruling, which I am happy to respect, even though he didn't explain why and also stated that he might change his mind in the future. I asked whether I could pretty please put pictures on my blog and Instagram, though, because my friends were dying to see my new niece. He had no idea what a blog or Instagram was, and no time or desire to figure it out, so he sorta said 'okay, fine,' as long as blogs and Instagrams aren't 'like Facebook,' and left it at that. So that's where we are, but if he changes his mind and issues me a cease-and-desist, then I hope you'll hold these pictures in your memories for all the days to come. Cause my niece is CUTE!

Meet Carley Anne.

This is the dress that Emily, my sister-in-law, wore home from the hospital when SHE was born!
Matt and I visited them in the hospital on Friday morning and afternoon and then helped them pack up and head home. I mostly helped by holding the baby, obviously, and offering my expert advice whenever asked (or not asked). And I hauled a few loads of pink loot about a million miles to their car in the parking deck. And I kept track of what crap went where when we packed up the room so that later I knew where 'that piece of paper with such and such' and 'that thingy the nurse gave us' were located. This was Stage 1 (Make Yourself Useful) of my Master Plan: Hold The Baby The Most. It went swimmingly.

While Matt fetched their car and pulled it around, I videotaped our entourage leaving the hospital. This was Stage 2: Get All The Good Photos & Videos So That They Won't Want You To Leave. Once we were loading Carley into the car and discussing our transportation arrangements, Emily realized that she couldn't crawl up and over across the back seat of their (huge) SUV to sit with Carley.

 [Rabbit trail: Emily had FOURTEEN STAPLES from her c-section. In addition to the internal stitches and what-not. I'm not sure what's standard these days, but that seemed a little insane. I asked Jake how long her scar was and he holds his hands out about 18 inches apart. And swears he's not lying. But then later on he changes his story and says that the doctors actually had to use the 'pumpkin method' to get Carley know, cut a big circle, pick up her skin, yank Carley out, replace the skin-circle, and stitch? OK, sorry, that's disgusting, but we almost died laughing. So I'm not sure which story is true, but either way, Emily was in a crap-ton of pain from it, and in no condition to be sliding across back seats or doing any sort of movement at all.]

Ever the helpful aunt, I volunteered to sit in the backseat with Carley and make sure she was okay on the way home. This selfless act was well-received by all and I silently congratulated myself for scoring this important job.
That's right, suckas-- I'm the one riding with her on her first car ride! BOOM!
 After the slowest and most careful drive of Jake's life, we finally made it to their house. This was when I moved into Stage 3: Make It Seem Like You're Doing Them A Favor.

Emily was exhausted and in pain. She needed to sleep in her own bed. Jake was tired and had loads of sporting events to catch up on. He needed to focus on that. Carley was doing what she does best: sleeping and being cute. I could pretty much handle that on my own. So I made it perfectly clear that everyone was welcome to sleep and I would take care of the baby.

And so they did and I did. And they thanked me for helping them. HAHAHAHAHAHA. No, really. It was excruciating...

I'm not sure if Carley is normal or not, but here's all she does: sleep. She eats about every 4.5 hours, and then she just sleeps some more. She doesn't cry. She doesn't open her eyes. She doesn't fuss. She just sleeps. And does cute little wiggles while she's sleeping. And grasps onto your fingers if you stick them near hers. It's pretty awesome. She seriously doesn't cry. And she has no need for that eat-every-2-hours nonsense most babies apparently need. I guess this is a benefit of weighing over 10 pounds at birth? Who knows. Who knows if it will last, either...heh heh...but it lasted for the 3 days I was there, so that's really all that matters, right? I mean, I think that even Jake and Emily were rather astonished by how easy she is and how little she wakes up during the night.

 So this is basically what we did for three days. Hang out on the couch, pass the baby around, maybe go sit outside for awhile (babies need to tan, you know!)...poke at her and try to wake her up...marvel at how she will make really mean baby faces but never's pretty awesome.

On Saturday I decided to have a photo shoot with her. Jake and Emily were sleeping, I was in charge, and I decided to put some of the trillions of clothes in her closet to good use before she grew out of them. This was my first newborn photo shoot and I must say, it was pretty awesome. Pretty much she just stayed stuck however I set her, so it was really easy. We did this shoot on their dining table on the covered porch outside.

 I actually got tons of good pictures (Emily cried when she saw them later. SCORE!!) but it takes too long to resize and upload them here, so this is all you get. I thought the yellow dress was just TOO cute!

Later I entertained us by doctoring up the photos a bit on Picmonkey. I think I did a really good job.

Preparing to be the Bachelorette one day!

 Oh, the sunglasses are real, by the way. They were super cute and I thought she'd pitch a fit when I put them on her, but she didn't. Nothing fazes this one, apparently!

So all in all it was a pretty perfect weekend. I would estimate I was the Baby Holder approximately 75% of the time I was there, with the other 25% of the time being shared by the other 7 people who were present most of the time (Matt, my parents, Emily's parents, and Jake and Emily themselves). Those are pretty good numbers, so I feel confident I've sealed my position as Most Favorite Aunt (and sister/sister-in-law) for the time being. Jake and Emily seemed a little panicky when we left town, but we have plans for plenty of FaceTiming and hopefully that will help me out (not gonna help them, since I can't babysit via iPhones...) until we get to be together again in person.

Lest you think I did nothing but hold Carley all weekend, here are a few of my less-notable accomplishments: went to a county-wide yardsale (bought a book and a new bike helmet), ran a 9:34 mile (PR!), spent $$$$$ at Ulta, drank 2 new beers (summer bucket list goal), and uncovered a veritable treasure trove of laughs in my own baby books/'school memory' books my mom kept about me as a child. Don't worry. More coming from that soon. If you follow me on Instagram, you've tasted but a preview...mwah ha ha.

With that, I'm off to get ready for a new week (bah) and -most likely- stare at pictures of my sweet baby niece. And text my brother to see if he misses me yet. Yippee!!


  1. OMG how adorable is she?! What a little sweetheart. Enjoy her Most Favorite Aunt! :))

  2. Such a great job at being the most favorite aunt!! She's a cutie and I love the first pic of you with miss Carley :)

  3. So sweet! I love her name. Being an aunt is a best. Glad you had a great weekend and congrats!

  4. I am so glad you earned your official Baby Holder title and managed to not steal her from the hospital! ;) Would have been tough not to with that precious little yellow outfit though!

  5. She is absolutely adorable!! Her sweet face oh my gosh. I'm so glad your plan was so successful :) And that your brother has no idea what instagram and blogging is so you can share her pictures!! :P

  6. Carley is such a beautiful baby girl! You took the best pictures of her... maybe you should you be a newborn photographer.

  7. She is really cute! Sometimes newborns look all squished, but she is a cutie! And congrats on that 9:34 mile!

  8. Oh. My. Goodness. She is adorable!!! I'm so glad your brother doesn't know what a blog is so we can see these super cute (and hysterically funny Picmonkey!) photos. You should definitely be a newborn photographer because these pictures are awesome!

    Way to be super-helpful and be Carley's first babysitter. That definitely gives you the title of Favourite Aunt :)

    I also managed to drink one new beer this weekend. And we had a games night!

  9. Yeah. Just gonna say it. You are the nicest infertile I've ever met. I grow horns and make excuses for my absense whenever my family and friends have babies. But again, I suck, and am not nearly as awesome as you. Real talk.

    Carly is a cutie!

  10. This is such a cute post. I love all of your plans/goals - hold the baby the most. Haha! And I also agree with are someone to be admired in this community. I couldn't have done it.

  11. OMG. These pictures are wonderful!! Such sweetness!

    And WTG on your PR and progress on the summer bucket list!

  12. You are totally welcome at my house if you want to go for your second newborn photo shoot. Although I'm in the wake-up-the-baby-to-eat-every-3-hours camp, so I can't promise a no-tears, all-sleepy session for you. :)

  13. Oh my goodness, she is adorable! I started to cry when reading this and looking at the pictures because it made me realize that my Lilly isn't a newborn anymore and she already looks so much bigger than your niece. They seriously grow too fast! :( I also LOVE your plan and how it worked out, yay you!

  14. I would totally hire you for a newborn photo shoot. Those pictures are gorgeous!

  15. So glad you were successful! She is adorable and glad to hear she has been a low maintenance baby for them (and you) so far :)

    Also, if you want to come watch Colby & Clara while I sleep, that would be awesome. I just can't guarantee they won't cry...

  16. So precious. Looks like she is a content little one. I think bigger babies do sleep longer--maybe because they are the size of a 3 month old. You did a great job auntie. Maybe they will let you keep her for a weekend when she is 6 months or so. Way to help out the new mommy with sleep and photos. I'm sure she could use one of those great pictures for a baby announcement! I'm looking forward to baby comparison pictures.

  17. Wow she's gorgeous and you are such a good photographer!! I'm glad you had such a nice weekend :)

  18. cheeks and dimples?! omg. dying. also, you need to take more newborn photos. you're good girl. though that might be more painful than it's worth, so never mind.

  19. She is too cute. Way to sacrifice and handle most all of the baby duties! :) Aren't nieces just the best??

  20. She is so very cute!!! My SIL is the very same way about facebook but she doesn't want pictures of her baby anywhere at all on the internet. She said the hospital pretty much told them not even to put up signs in the yard because of babys getting stolen these days so I think that's why she didn't want pictures of him posted. I am totally enjoying being around him though just as you are with your niece. Congrats!!!

  21. HAHA!!! Your brother doesn't know about blogging or instagram?!?!? He's like the opposite of you, I take it?

    Glad you had a good long weekend at home with your family and the new addition!


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