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I am a happily married new mom who loves exploring, creating new adventures and loving on my sweet daughter. I am a K-2 teacher who is now staying at home with my little one! Welcome as I explore all things a part of my sweet city love!
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Emma's Birth Story

Emma Frances, my calm, loving, observant baby girl was born on April 17, 2015.  My goodness, this little baby has changed my life in more ways that I ever thought.  She's made my marriage stronger, she's shown me a new kind love for Charlotte, she's made me feel stronger and more capable than ever before in my life.
She hung on 8 days after her due date.  8 of the longest days of my life.  I was so uncomfortable, so anxious and such an emotional mess.  My midwife told me about 2 weeks before my due date that I was dilated, that the baby was really low and that I could have her at anytime.  My midwife is amazing and since she's such a part of me becoming a mom twice - I honestly love her.  However, her telling me that I was dilated and ready was a mistake! I couldn't sleep, it messed with my pysche.  I felt like a walking time bomb.  Would my water break at the grocery store? Would I wake up in the night having contractions? Would we have to call my brother-in-law in the middle of the night?? People also kept asking and asking.  Very sweet and thoughtful but exhausting.  NO, she wasn't here.  Yes, I was ready.  Yes, I was anxious.  Yes,  I could burst into tears at any time.

My sister came to visit (with plans on being here after the baby was born) 5 days after my due date and instead of snuggling with the baby, just got to take care of my emotional pregnant self.  We had foot soaks, yoga meditations and delicious lunches.  It was truly perfect.  When she left Wednesday, I went to the doctor and had my SECOND membrane sweet (not painful at all, hooray!) and then the next morning my parents came up to be with us and care for Charlotte during my induction that was scheduled for Friday morning. I really, desperately, wanted the experience of going into labor at home at not being induced.  I didn't get that experience with Charlotte and it was so important to me.  So having to be induced just made me even more emotional.  I know all that matters is a healthy baby but I so wanted that drive in labor to the hospital, the timing of contractions on my own...

Praise God, contractions started early Thursday. On and off all day.  I walked and walked and walked and was able to walk through the sporadic contractions.  We had dinner together, took our last pictures as a family of three, and told mom and dad that they may be getting a call from me tonight (fully expecting that not to happen since I was scheduled to be in the hospital at 8am).  Sure enough, by 9:00pm, the contractions became regular.  Every 9 minutes.  I called our midwife, who wasn't even on call, and said that she wanted to deliver our baby and that she was heading in.  Amazing, right? We both showered, finished packing, called my parents and left for the hospital a little before midnight.  I remember the epidural taking forever with my first delivery, so I asked for it almost right away.  Contractions were picking up big time and I knew they'd start snowballing quickly.  The epidural was placed around 1:30 and was flawless.  C and I talked, took some pictures, slept a little and then I woke up feeling a lot of pressure.  The nurse came in, I gave a little push and then she told me to stop, the baby was coming! Our midwife came in and a few quick pushes later and Emma Frances was born at 6:02am weighing 7lbs 8 oz, 4 ounces heavier than her sister.  She was lifted onto my chest, began nursing almost immediately and I felt just so calm, peaceful and absolutely in love.  I never wanted to let her go.

She's so spectacular.  She completes our family in the most perfect way.  My heart aches for her when she's not in my arms.  We're close - bonded together in the most special way on earth.  My baby girl, my sweet Emma.


The Learning Studio

Blog friends!! Hello!! I read your blogs everyday but I cannot believe I haven't posted since little C was a few months old.  We have the most beautiful, amazing, joyful, spirited 18 month old now!

Since our family lives far away, I was trying to find a way to connect her to her aunts, uncles and grandparents in a way that is natural and meaningful (and not tied to something digital).   I made these photo tiles for Charlotte with pictures of her family and she LOVES them.  She puts them inside her little pocketbook.  She feeds her family pancakes at breakfast.  She pushes them in her baby stroller.  She's learned the names of her aunts and uncles.  They've been priceless.  I thought maybe other moms would enjoy something similar for their little cherubs.  The Learning Studio was born!  Send me an email (bevin.irby[at]gmail.com) and I'd love to create photo tiles (magnetic or non-magnetic) for you!  See my Etsy page for my details about ordering: www.etsy.com/shop/thelearningstudio



The Crib Transition

We are trying to make the transition from Rock N Play (a bassinet of sorts) to crib.  It's so not as easy or as seamless as I wished for.  The bassinet keeps her snuggled and cozy and the crib...well, it's just so big and cavern-like.  After researching tips and tricks online, I settled on one that makes her crib look pretty high-tech.  We've stuffed pillows underneath to raise her mattress and rolled up two blankets under her sheets to create bolsters.  I know, I know - "do not put ANYTHING in the crib with your baby."  It's ok, we're watching her and she's yet to spend a full night in her crib. We're just tackling naps so far - and that's a struggle.  The bolsters and incline are helping but we can tell her naps are not as restful as they are in the bassinet. Friends last night suggested moving her from bassinet to crib when she's super drowsy and won't really notice a change - great idea! I think we might try that tonight.  In good news, baby girl is out of her swaddle! I feel like that's a major hurdle that we are over - thanks to LC and her desire to be a free woman! It is so cute, when she is in her crib, she sleeps with her arms fully extended (in a T shape)...I think she likes the new space, she just doesn't quite know how to handle it all just yet.

We had a rainy weekend here in Virginia, so we played a lot inside and LC got introduced to her Jumparoo!  She wasn't so sure at the beginning...but is starting to really like it! She spins around (not so much bouncing up and down) but thinks it's pretty cool to be standing on those feet.  She'll be visiting it today as she watches mommy organize her newborn and 0-3 month clothes for storage (ahhh oh my gosh).

The weekend starting off with a little date with her birthday twin friend!

Our first date night since LC was born.  It felt great to go out to dinner and enjoy some time together, just the two of us.

 Jump! Jump!

LC was practicing rolling from back to side on Saturday!

Our rigged crib...pre-bolster