Life With Ida : 4 Months

Classic second child mom right now and I'm doing a terrible job documenting everything.  I am taking a lot of pictures, but the whole move kind of threw things off so I haven't been doing monthly posts like I did with Cora... so I'll do a quick recap of the months I've missed.  I took 8 weeks off for my maternity leave and it honestly felt like Ida slept all day everyday for the first 2-3 weeks. I barely even saw her eyes open during that timeframe, and when they were open she was smitten with Ben.  I spent those first couple weeks working on getting our apartment ready to move and recovering from childbirth.  At 1 month, we went on our trip to Washington D.C. and she was pretty great that whole time.
The rest of my leave was getting the house situated and trying to have some lazy days cuddling my newborn.  The last week of my leave I fell down the stairs and hurt my tailbone, so we spent a lot of time cuddling.  Since Ida spent so much time sleeping and I still had to entertain Cora, I felt like it took me a little longer to get to know her than when Cora was a newborn.
I did half days at work for two weeks and I didn't realize how much I missed Ida until I got back home from that first day back and I just wanted to cuddle and kiss her forever.  It was at that point that I realized how much I was in love with her.  Moving on to 3-4 months pictures...
Ida is the perfect baby.  She sleeps really well, eats really well, and doesn't cry much. I'm constantly pinching myself at how lucky we've been with our babies because they are so amazing. Like if I had to find a flaw, Ida is a little whiny/clingy when she is sick and her skin is a little dry... so really she is perfect.  Even when she does cry, it's quiet.

One of my favorite things about Ida (besides how perfect she is) is her smile.  It is the best smile I have ever seen.  It lights up her face and her eyes kind of twinkle and you can't not be happy looking at her.  She is so generous with her smiles, but it's so hard to capture in photo/video so it kind of feels like our little secret.
She recently started making a cooing noise.  Generally she is pretty quiet (even when she cries), so the cooing has been so fun.  She usually does it when she's really happy or excited.  One of the first times she did it was when we were watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  Dumbledore switches the end of the year feast decorations from Slytherin to Gryffindor and she made the most excited loud coo ever.  It was so hilarious and cute.  Cora likes to make a similar noise and try to egg her on so they coo back and forth.
I'm constantly being surprised at how tiny Ida is.  She was small when she was born and has stayed consistently around the 40th percentile (which for my family is pretty tiny).  She may be small, but she is so strong and I have a feeling she is going to surprise us with her fierceness. I'm so excited to watch as she grows up and see her personality continue to come out.

Even though I don't really want to compare them, it is fun to see if Cora and Ida look alike at the same age (spoiler alert: they don't)... so here is Cora's 4 month update.  They're both completely different but perfect in their own way.  Pretty cool how that works.

To see more pictures of Ida, check out her hashtag on Instagram at #IdaRue 


Christmas 2016

This Christmas was a pretty great one!
As always, our family has a marathon of events for the Christmas holiday season.  We didn't have quite so many this year, but it was all still fun.  We did our regular potato sausage making one Saturday morning.  Less people participated and somehow every single link managed to burst, but it is always a fun to keep up the tradition.  Cora is old enough to participate, so she really enjoyed checking out the whole process and jumping in where she could.
My parents and I met up at the zoo for the Festival of Lights one evening.  It was a headache getting Cora out the door, battling traffic to get there, standing in the member services line because I forgot my pass, and battling the insane crowds to check out the lights. We checked out a building I'd never been in before and got a really great view of their sloth. We all ended up having a lot of fun and I'm happy that I forced us out of the house to get there.  

Thursday morning, I woke up and got some quiet time.  Cora was sleeping in, so Ida and I headed out to do some last minute grocery and present shopping.  It was weird to only have a baby and not be dragging along a baby and a toddler.  When we got home, my friend Margaret came over and hung out with us that afternoon.  As always, it's fun to catch up with her and Cora and Ida are both big fans.  
That night, we got together just our immediate family and opened our presents, had dinner, and played games.  It was a relaxed fun evening and was nice to spend some time together.

Christmas Eve, we hung out around the house all morning and finished up our present wrapping.  It was really nice to spend some lazy time together before our big family events.

Cora was in the church play, so we headed to church a little bit early.  She has a small speaking part where each of the kids talk about their word (hers was love) and what they learned about it.  During the rehearsals she'd babble on and on about things she loved and other random things.  So needless to say I was a little worried about what was going to come out of her mouth when she had a mic in front of her.  She ended up being wonderful.  She said something along the lines of "My word is love.  I love my whole friends and family" and then repeated it a couple of times.  The whole service was really beautiful and Cora really enjoyed performing in the play alongside her cousins.

After church, we headed to my Aunt and Uncle's house for dinner and presents.  It's always fun to watch the kids open their presents and see them run around together.

Christmas morning, Cora slept until about 10:30 when I had to wake her up.  Santa dropped off some stocking stuffers at our house and brought her presents to my parents, so we headed over there for breakfast and opening presents.  Cora was so sweet and passed out the presents to her sister and other family members before she even opened her own.  We had lunch and hung out for a tiny bit before we headed home to rest.
In the evening, we went back over to my parent's house to join our entire family in an evening of hanging out.  We had some great food and just chatted and relaxed with each other.  As I've already mentioned, Cora LOOOOVES her cousins so she had fun running around with them all evening.
I didn't have to work the following week, so we spent the whole week relaxing and hanging out around the house.  Cora had a sleepover with my parent's one evening, we had a family birthday party another night, and New Years Eve was just another night for us. We didn't do much all break, but I really enjoyed being able to relax and be lazy for a little bit.  I really loved getting to spend so much back-to-back time with Cora and Ida and was the perfect timing since I was missing my maternity leave.  Overall, great break!


Wedding in Washington D.C.

We made a trip to Washington DC during my maternity leave to celebrate a family wedding. We left around 11pm Thursday evening and made it there at about 9 the next morning.  It was a pretty foggy trip and had an early morning stop at McDonalds for breakfast, but driving overnight is definitely the way to go with children.  Driving through the mountain during a foggy morning sunset was stunning.
When we arrived Friday, we chilled for an hour or so and then got ready for a bridal luncheon. We got some rest in before we headed out for the rehearsal.  Cora was a flower girl and was mostly excited to spend time with her cousins.  Afterwards, we headed to the rehearsal dinner.  Cora was over all of the activities at that point, so we didn't get to stay for the whole thing.

The next morning, Cora, Ida and I met up with my parents and went to breakfast. Afterwards we walked down to the mall to check out the monuments.  The Natural Museum of African American History and Culture had just opened a week or so before so it was neat seeing that building and all of the people around.  Turns out you have to line up pretty early to get tickets, but that is definitely on our list for the next time we visit.

When my Dad and I were standing around waiting for Cora, my Mom, and cousin, there were a bunch of ladies walking by for some festival. They were waving and smiling as they walked by, then one of them realized I had a baby in my wrap.  Next thing I know, they were all crowding around me to have a peek at the baby and pat Ida curled up in her little bump.  It was the cutest thing.

We slowly made our way to the Washington monument.

After the Washington Monument, we continued on to the WWII memorial.  It is a new one since I've been to DC last so that was neat to see.  They did a really great job with that memorial.  There was an honor flight group there and I unintentionally caught a photo of a veteran tearing up as he was being pushed around.

At that point I needed to stop and nurse Ida, so I stopped by the mirror lake to relax and nurse.  We rested for a little bit, then decided that we needed to head back and get some rest before the wedding. Cora was tired so I ended up throwing her in the backpack for her to get a little nap.  It was not fun carrying both babies since Cora is getting pretty big, but totally worth it because she got a little nap.

We had a little rest and then got ready for the wedding.  Cora had to be there early to get her hair done and pictures, so I went with her and Ida a little bit early.  Cora is all about hanging out with her cousins, so it was a great time for her.

The wedding was beautiful! My cousin and her husband are the cutest couple (they even made it into the Ken Bone Izod commercial) and the venue was amazing.  Cora was a little rowdy during the food and toasts.  Once it was dancing time, Cora and I hit the dance floor for quite a while.  She refused to dance with anyone and had quite the moves.  At the end of each song she'd ask for one more.

We were on the first shuttle back to the hotel and it was midnight.  We had a good laugh that the only other people on the shuttle was my 90 year old grandpa and some of my older aunts and uncles. We headed home the next morning so we could get ready to close on our new house.  Overall, the trip was really fun and exhausting, but definitely worth all of the extra work it takes to travel with kids.

For more family vacation pictures, check out our #coopstromsonvacation hashtag.
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