Height: 22.1 inches
Weight: 9 pounds 6 ounces
Head: 14.35 inches
This has officially been the fastest month of my life. Yours too? 😉 Even though you’re still just a little nugget, you already seem so big to me. I feel like we were at the hospital preparing to meet you just yesterday…but at the same time, I can hardly remember what our days were like before you were here.
In your 31 days of life, you’ve already brought so much joy to our family. I had really hoped you would arrive in February, but I guess you knew we needed a little sunshine in March. This is an extra hard time of year for our family, but it’s tough to be sad with you around.
By the way, do you want to hear how you got your name?
About 5 years ago, when I was pregnant with your sister, I bought a “Dictionary of Surnames” on Ebay for 99 cents. It’s old and it smells a little funky, but it’s where we found Arden’s name…then Nash’s name…and now yours too. When I read “Hartley” out loud to your dad, he said, “I like that”…and I thought “ME TOO!” But then it occurred to me: it’s my friend’s last name. It may seem kind of weird that I didn’t immediately think of that–but in my mind, all of my college girlfriends still have their maiden names 😉 Your dad and I both agreed that we couldn’t do that, and we moved on. Several weeks later I mentioned to my friend (who also happens to be kind of a baby name guru and someone I always like to talk names with) that we really liked her last name. She immediately said she loved it and wouldn’t think it was weird at all. That’s when I started thinking of Hartley as a real contender. Okay, the only contender. About a month later it became official when I ordered a personalized swaddle and hat for you to wear in the hospital. When it came in the mail and I saw that sweet name in writing, it confirmed everything. I love it. It’s strong–but still so pretty and feminine. And it doesn’t hurt that it sounds perfect with your siblings’ names as well 😉
Your middle name, Evans, also came from the good ol’ surname dictionary–but the meaning behind it is extra special. Your Uncle Josh’s middle name was Evan, so I immediately stopped on Evans when scrolling through the pages. I said it out loud to my whole family who was over for dinner and they all loved it right away. Then I read that the meaning of Evans is “God is gracious” and my eyes welled up with tears. I knew that had to be it–because He is. Every time I say or write your full name, I’ll think of my brother, and I hope you will too. I know he’s proud.
Phew…okay. So now that you know the stories behind your name, let me tell you about your first month. Overall, you’re a breeze of a baby. I’m not sure if you’re easier or if your dad and I are just more relaxed (probably a little bit of both), but I’d say things are going smoothly…or as smoothly as they can with three kids!
Here are some highlights…
Everyone’s first question is, “How is she sleeping?” Luckily–pretty great. And I say luckily because that’s all it is–luck!! Most nights you wake up once to eat around 3am, then go back to sleep until 6 or 7. However, last night you slept from 9pm-5am…and I could kiss you for it. Okay, I did. It’s amazing how much better we all function with a full night’s rest. So keep it up, will ya??
Nursing is going great, thankfully. You eat about every 3 hours, but would happily do it all day if you could. Your dad gives you a bottle of formula here and there just to make sure you’ll take a bottle when we really need you to. I see a few arm and leg rolls beginning to form…so I guess we’re doing something right!
You smiled for the first time a few days ago–and I caught it on video! Then I was taping you getting a bath last night and you did it again! Pretty lucky, but I’m so glad I was able to capture that milestone. We’re looking forward to more sweet smiles in month two…
You are the star of the show right now. Arden and Nash always want to know where you are, if you’re asleep or awake, poopy or wet, etc, etc. Someday you’ll have some privacy…maybe 😉 Arden has been the best little helper. She brings me diapers, binkies and swaddles…let’s Hazel outside and gives her treats…and she’s actually really good at calming you down if I’m occupied with Nash. Just this morning I was trying to give you your pacifier so I could get Nash dressed for school–but you just weren’t having it. You were wailing until Arden came in, put the binky in your mouth, and said “oh girl…it’s okay,” while she stroked your hair. Instantly–you were calm. And Instantly–my heart melted. I can’t wait to see your relationships with your siblings grow.
You’re currently living in sleeper pajamas as we wait for better weather to arrive. Come on, Mother Nature…this girl has Spring outfits to show off!!!
Other than Arden’s magic touch, you pretty much always prefer to be held by me. There was one night where that responsiblity was really weighing on me. I’d been holding or feeding you ALL evening and when I finally got you in a deep sleep and put you down in the swing–you woke right back up and cried. Your dad tried to calm you, but it wasn’t working, and I thought I was going to lose. my. mind. All I wanted to do was go to the bathroom and throw some clothes in the washer–with two hands!!! Luckily though, most nights are much better than that. Plus, I know there will come a time when I will wish you would want me to hold you!
Your hair looks a little red right now, which would be crazy! Secretly, I think it would be fun to have one of each–a blonde, a brunette, and a red head…but I have a feeling it won’t last forever. It starting to fall out in the front, but that party in the back is still rockin! Thank goodness for headbands!!!
Two other big milestones: 1. You met your cousin Cora. She is the cutest and I know you two are going to have so much fun growing up together! 2. You went to your first movie: Beauty & the Beast…and you slept through the whole thing 😉
Well girly, that’s all I’ve got for now. You are truly such a joy and I feel so lucky to be your momma.
She is the cutest and sweetest! I feel like we for real are living the same life…and Annabelle and Hartley sound like two peas in a pod!
Mackenzie Oakley says
She’s such a doll! And I love that you found all of their names the same way, such a sweet connection!
Sarah S. says
Oh my goodness, I need to see her again soon! That picture in the DockaTot with her little legs crossed is precious (as are all of the pictures, but that one especially). And you mentioned the meaning behind the name Evans, but I didn’t know it was Josh’s middle name! Whoa. Everything about her story gives me goosebumps and she is just perfect beyond words! Plus, YAY for a full nights sleep!!! Keep it up, little girl!
Love this!!!! This is sooooo sweet. =) Congrats to your entire beautiful family.
Lindsay T. says
I have been waiting to hear the story behind her beautiful name. I, of course, cried when you got to the part about your big brother having a hand in it 🙂 Congratulations again on your sweet miracle baby, mama!
I love the name story. I guess you like last names as first names! Funnily enough, after we named Simon, we were reminded that my grandmother’s maiden name was Simons! So I guess it worked. These pictures are so beautiful and sweet.
Shoot I about cried, you explaining the meaning behind her middle name. She’s a doll.
Courtney Spena says
Gahh my hormones can’t handle this!! Her name. Everything about it has me in an absolute puddle. So, so special and beautiful and perfect.
Laura Keenan says
Love the stories behind her name, and all these super sweet pictures!
Oh, Vanessa!! You are makung me all kinds of giddy for September. Hartley’s name is so sweet and such a beautiful tribute to your brother. I need to find a couple of that Dictionary, I love surnames as first names (hello, Kinsey 😉
How precious is she? My goodness! I love how great the kids are with her and he meaning behind her name is so special!
Jess Ebeling says
She is seriously a doll! So perfect. And now I LOVE her name even more after hearing all the details!!!!
Beautiful family, soak up these times!
So, I cried through this whole post.
I simply adore Hartley’s name, and the meaning behind it all.
And, goodness, you sure do have some amazing help. Arden sounds like the best big sister in the whole world!
Cheers to One Month!!
Haha, I have to agree with Julie – our three girls are all the same!!!
Amazing to have other special mamas to do this with x
chelsea jacobs says
She is so tiny and precious!