the first week

Last Monday, I called my mom to chat about how things we’re going (I had worked up until the Friday before so this was my first “free” day). She commented that she hadn’t seen a recent preggo picture of me so I snapped this one and sent it to her before heading to an afternoon doctor appointment. 39 weeks, 2 days.

Last Monday, the nursery also looked like this. (We bought a sleeper sofa for the basement and had IKEA deliver it the day before.)

Last Monday, we also had a baby.

Avery was breech for the last several months of my pregnancy (we tried a version and other methods to turn her, but she was stubborn), so we were anticipating a scheduled c-section on Wednesday.

Wednesday, at 4:00. I even wrote it in my planner.

However, on Monday afternoon I got a call from my doctor’s office saying that the results of some blood work done earlier that day were a little off and they’d like me to just head on over to L&D triage to get checked out. To make a long story short, I felt great and baby was doing well but, per the doctor’s recommendation, we decided to not chance anything and go ahead with the c-section that night. It went very well and we’re grateful for the top-notch team that was taking care of us.

In other good news, Kyle did not pass out.

I’m also grateful for friends who bring us cupcakes. Pink cupcakes.

It was a gorgeous couple of days in Seattle and I lived vicariously through the view out our hospital room window. On the second day Kyle snuck home to take care of a few things…like moving the IKEA boxes out of the nursery. Of course, we thought we had another day or two so the house was in a state of slight chaos. Laundry on the bed, dishes in the sink. DIRTY FLOORS. It was very important to me that Kyle mop the floors when he was home. He did. =)

As soon as we got home we gave Avery a quick tour of the house that ended in her room. All of a sudden, things got very real and that crib felt very big.

Yeah, we didn’t finish the basement in time either. Fortunately, Kyle is at home this week as well and has been spending part of his days priming and painting (zero VOC for both) in preparation for my mom’s arrival this weekend.

For those that have been wondering how Bailey and Avery would get along, I think this should sum things up:

Some friends of ours watched Bailey while we were gone and Kyle waited to pick him up until after we were home. We started with a slow and controlled introduction, but once we knew that he would be calm we let them get a little closer. And then a lot closer. As predicted, Bailey was a gentle giant and Avery seemed oblivious to what was happening.

There’s just a coat of primer on in these photos, but it already feels so much better. We hired out the drywall work and they finished only two days before Avery’s arrival.

Although it seems to be gaining in popularity, Avery has been our “girl name” since Kyle and I first started talking about marriage and babies when we were still in college. In the part of Tulsa were Kyle grew up, there’s a scenic road called Avery Drive. It’s the type of road that you might drive down with your girlfriend on a nice fall day.

Though it’s traditionally a boy’s name, we liked that it sounded feminine without being too girly…that it was unique but not weird. I hadn’t looked into the meaning behind the name until a few months ago while thumbing through a baby name book at the doctor’s office. I think the definitions vary, but this particular book said that Avery meant “counselor to the elves”.

WHAT? Done and done. I think about that now every time I see her swaddled in her fairy blanket.

Meanwhile, progress in the basement continues and the finished stair no longer feels so out-of-place.

We debated different middle names, but ultimately came back to Elizabeth. It’s a family name, a classic middle name, and we liked the way it all rolled off the tongue. We held off on telling people her name (besides family) until she was born. Although Kyle may disagree with me, it was fun to have one little surprise. We also thought there was a chance she would look like a Lillian or a Hazel instead. But she didn’t.

[Also, that girl had some fingernails! I waited a few days to trim them (hence the mitts) but when I did it was easier than I expected. Easier than trimming a kitten’s claws at least.]

To make the space as bright as possible and match the rest of the house, we’re going with BM Natura paint in “super white” for the basement. Except for the doors, More on that later.

Upstairs, a lot of this has been happening. This baby likes to sleep!

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, we finally decided to just buy a sleeper sofa from IKEA. We’d been going back and forth between getting a real bed, a sofa bed, or keeping our comfy (but only sleeps one) couch. Since the room will be used as both a guest room and tv room, we really needed a sofa bed. Aesthetically and functionally, I thought the Karlstad would be a good choice, but we were disappointed with the sleeper sofa version. So we came up with our own IKEA hack of sorts and will share that in the next post.

More brother-sister bonding. Although we never leave Avery unattended with Bailey, we feel comfortable that he won’t try to jump on her or aggressively lick her. She’s also just not that interesting to him now, but I know that will all change before we know it.

Although originally optimistic that we could maybe somehow get the second bathroom and laundry room done in time, we soon accepted reality and only had half of the basement drywalled. I like to think that once we get the itch to start on a project again, we’ll have a nice little one downstairs, ready and waiting.

Avery isn’t quite ready for 0-3 months clothes yet, but not knowing how big she would be I cautiously only bought a few “newborn” size things – mostly little wrap tees and white onesies. I did receive this dress from a friend and remember thinking at the time how itty bitty it was.

Another thing I wanted to do pre-baby was clean up the laundry area in anticipation of an onslaught of baby laundry. Well, clearly that didn’t happen either. But y’know…it doesn’t really matter. Clothes still get cleaned and I just have to be a little more careful not to drop tiny wet baby socks on the floor.

This is our new normal and we wouldn’t trade it for anything. [Side note: the nursery layout and connection to the living area has actually worked really well for visitors. We moved the LCW in for extra seating and impromptu laundry holding.]

Finally, thank you for all your wonderful comments. Even though it took me a few days to respond, I read every single one. Speaking of, if there is one piece of gear that has been invaluable this last week it’s been my iPhone. I don’t know how new parents survived before. I text photos to family, FaceTime with my mom, moderate comments, take about a bajillion photos and even use it as a night-light to check on her in the middle of the night.

Diapers, swaddles, iPhone.

Now that we’re into our second week with a newborn, we’re feeling better adjusted to this new schedule of days broken down into 2-3 hour chunks. I also feel very fortunate that (so far) I’ve had a speedy recovery and almost full nights of sleep. I know this probably won’t last, so we’re enjoying it (and, err…finishing the basement) while we still can.


61 Responses to “the first week”

  1. Dawn Moore says:

    hmmm…. less than 2 weeks and Bailey is snuggling, the house is construction ridden and you’re posting your brains out. You two are SUPER-PARENTS! The images are beautiful and I just love that, like the Travelocity gnome, Avery is being photographed everywhere! Congratulations! (and “counselor to the elves”? I’m IN!!)

  2. brianne says:

    Oh my gosh she is just so precious. Glad to see you guys are settling into your new normal and that you’ve managed to capture the cutest baby/pet photos ever! Keep ’em coming 🙂

  3. Patricia Ann says:

    Avery is so precious! I am honestly not in a phase in my life where I would ever consider bringing a child into this world but you two makes it seem like a piece of cake in between the remodeling of the basement and spending time with her AND the equally adorable Bailey. 🙂

    I’m excited to see the IKEA hack and the finished basement! Good idea on painting the walls white. Like I already said, this is the least scary looking basement I’ve ever seen. 🙂

    • chezerbey says:

      Haha, definitely not a piece of cake but not as rough as we were anticipating these first weeks to be. Then again, I’ve heard babies don’t really get colicky till after two weeks…

  4. Matt says:

    You are truly amazing and inspiring people!

  5. brismod says:

    She’s beautiful. Congratulations and enjoy the new chapter in your lives. xx

  6. Suzanne says:

    Basement looks awesome!!!
    She looks so tiny in her little crib! It looks like you guys have the swaddling thing DOWN.

  7. Keira says:

    She’s just gorgeous! Congratulations. The basement looks fab as well– so bright! Love that window. You guys are amazing!

  8. katie says:

    the pictures of bailey and avery make me happy, i bet they will be fast friends. she looks so tiny in the crib picture!

    the basement is looking good, hard to believe it’s a basement. so much natural light!

  9. Ali says:

    Wow! Thank you for being so open and honest about lifeso soon after birth! I am due in about five weeks and our remodel is still in full blown progress. I know it will be ok to have odds and ends left but am hoping to have the nursery in somewhat livable condition. Also…the dog and baby photos get me excited!

    • chezerbey says:

      Thanks Ali, I think a lot of the “getting stuff ready” is psychological since yes, newborns really don’t need much. But it did make me feel a lot better coming home to a clean house and having a bulk of the basement work done. Of course, I think it also made a big difference that the basement is somewhat separated and I really don’t *need* to go down there except to do laundry.

      That being said…I’d still recommend to get as much done as possible beforehand. 5 weeks is a lot of time. =) Good luck!!

  10. mai-ling says:

    Newborn’s are so precious. I’ve loved every moment with our Lilly On-Ling.
    I have yet to write my journal entry about the entire experience. But I’m going
    to very soon. Including the meaning of her name.

    BTW We had the Tiny Love 3-1 Napper as a replacement bassinet. Since
    we have a small house and we needed something in our small bedroom.
    But we found that she didn’t sleep in it well. So we ended up with our original
    plan which was the Rock n Play sleeper. zOMG, it works great as a co-sleeper!

    Yes, iphone, android phone whatever phone…works amazing!

    • chezerbey says:

      Good to know…I looked at the Rock ‘n Play as well but decided on the Tiny Love. So far she likes it (we got it for the same reasons since our bedroom is so small), but I could see the other one being better for traveling since I believe it folds up?

      Hope you and your little one are doing well!!

      • Irene says:

        indeed, it folds up nicely. We used it quite often in our small house as well (it was the only option that fit right next to the bed)

        Congratulations! the first week we were home was a complete blur. I had a very similar experience it sounds like for delivery but she had weight problems so I could not allow her to sleep more than 3 hours at a time. Breastfeeding made it all the more exhausting since I was the only one who could feed her. It goes so quickly <3

  11. heather says:

    Congratulations again on your perfect little girl. It looks like Bailey is happy to have a new little friend in the house.

    • chezerbey says:

      I know he loves her, but I did notice yesterday that he is starting to get a little jealous. Last night we found him curled up in our bed in a doggie fetal position. =)

      • Heather says:

        I know there is enough love to go around. 🙂 If you normally walk him, be sure to stick with his schedule, if possible. You and Kyle are his “world”, so sticking to his pre-Avery routine is very calming to pets.
        Congrats and well wishes.

  12. Chris says:

    That picture of Bailey and his baby made me want to cry! P.S. Love the folks at Swedish. 🙂

  13. Heather says:

    I love how immediately dogs take to babies, like “You brought me a new pack mate?! Cool.”

    That was the most seamless move between discussions of infants and drywall I’ve ever read. Everything looks wonderful–enjoy your lovely little family!

  14. Kara Moore says:

    Check out the Similac iPhone app, whether you’re doing breast or bottle. It logs feedings and sleep and other things for you.

    The basement looks great! I’ve been jonesing for a drywall update but trying to be patient, as I know new babies tend to shake things up!

    • chezerbey says:

      Thanks Kara, I’ll have to check that out. We kept a written log for the first 5 days but we seem to be on enough of a schedule (for now at least!) that it makes it easier to remember.

  15. Amy says:

    Congratulations! I love what you’ve done with the nursery. Your calm, cool demeanor makes important posts like this really fun to read.

  16. Isabelle says:

    CONGRATULATIONS to your new, beautiful family addition. And how generous and nice to share such a lengthy and detailed post with all of us here, while probably in full swing to getting used to your new way of life. MERCI!

  17. Mariane says:

    I want a baby, I want a baby, I want a baby, it would be a third baby so I have to moderate myself, Avery is so cute, she makes me want another baby! You two are like wizards of organisation and efficiency, you blow my mind. Also, just like Isabelle said, merci to share this with us!

  18. I think this is one of my favorite posts you’ve ever written. So often I read in awe of you and Kyle…the two of you remind me of superheroes w/ your boundless energy for your jobs and upgrading your home. It will be fun to read how your blog entries evolve with Avery. I’m so glad to hear your first week was awesome. BTW, I love “Super White” too and basement is a total transformation. It will match the rest of your beautiful house in no time.

    • chezerbey says:

      Thanks Amy! We’re definitely not superheroes and there are plenty of things that we’ve let slide this week…I think what works for us it to just tackle one day at a time and figure out what the most important tasks are and then focus on that. I’ve read a few things that say new parents should pretty much not get out of bed the first week or two, but that’s just not our style. =) (Makes it easier that we have a baby that likes to sleep!)

  19. Dusa says:

    Bailey really does look like a giant in those pics. I’m sure if they are fast friends now, they will be when Avery starts dropping food from her high chair! And Kyle – way to go in the “last minute clean up all the things” sprint!

  20. Alan Michael says:

    Hi Zerbeys! This is probably my favorite chezerbey post because you interspersed newborn baby pics with basement renovation pics. If that doesn’t get you a Hardcore DIY merit badge, I don’t know what will.

    Avery is lovely and I always thought of it as a girl’s name anyway (I know two female Averys). The pictures with Bailey are particularly special to me. I grew up with a dopey but sweet cockerspaniel named Bailey, and even though they’re different breeds, I always think of him when I see Zer-Bailey. I’m curious to know how the passing of Felix has affected him and what he thinks of this newer, pinker addition to the family. We may never know, but I think dogs are wiser and more aware of what’s going on than we give them credit for.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this wonderful moment with us and I know you will keep us updated!

  21. Paul says:

    Basement looks amazing, nice work! Avery looks happy.

  22. Jo says:

    What a pretty baby – congratulations!

  23. Melissa says:

    Congratulations again to you guys! Avery looks great and I almost cried seeing the photos of her and Bailey together; I know they’ll become great pals. The dry-wall has done wonders and makes the basement look more homey. Even though I know there’s still a long way to go, can’t believe how much you’ve gotten done right up to delivery!

  24. ungood says:

    Congratulations again to you guys! Avery looks great and I almost cried seeing the photos of her and Bailey together; I know they\’ll become great pals. The dry-wall has done wonders and makes the basement look more homey. Even though I know there\’s still a long way to go, can\’t believe how much you\’ve gotten done right up to delivery!

  25. Stefanie says:

    Great post Lauren & Kyle! I love that she is even sleeping in the picture with her cute dress on.

    Its been so fun to watch such lovely friends as you two transition to parenthood so seamlessly! You were meant for it. She’s such a beauty I can’t wait to continue watching her grow!

  26. Tara says:

    I just love the picture of Kyle holding Avery while looking out the window. Dads and their girls, so darned sweet. And Lauren, you look so content snuggling with your girl. Glad you are all doing well. I really think you guys need to invent a DIY Construction Baby Holder. You know, kinda like those Craftsman tool pouches for buckets – only this could be for DIY Babies! Just a wacky thought! Congrats and continued sleep for you all.

    • chezerbey says:

      Haha, I think you might be onto something. One of our friends did get her a hot pink hard hat and youth size hearing protection. It will be several years till she can wear them, but when the time comes she’ll be ready! =)

  27. julia says:

    wow, congrats! i missed the previous post and thought this post was the announcement of avery’s birth! she’s beautiful and i love the name 🙂


  28. annabelvita says:

    What a simply gorgeous baby and a fantastic name. Congratulations!

  29. Janis says:

    She is far too adorable. Congratulations, guys! Bailey looked so proud being big brother to Avery.

  30. kim says:

    Congratulations!! Avery is absolutely beautiful – and that’s not all that common for a newborn 🙂 I have always been partial to that name, and my adorable niece is also named Avery. Best wishes – hope you’ll keep posting pics of her as she grows!

  31. Ofelia, from México City says:

    Congratulations! Your baby is beautyful, gorgeous and a blesing. Your world never be the same again. Ah, that basement… awesome! My second sister’s name, who recently passed away, was Elizabeth, so kudos for that too!

  32. iLa says:

    Congratulations! and welcome to Avery!

  33. southern gl says:

    Love all the great photos. She is absolutely gorgeous!! What a lucky girl she is !

  34. Furpants says:

    OH my gosh! she is cute. And this post style of baby/basement/baby//basement was pretty funny.

  35. cheri says:

    Welcome to the world Avery. I think you picked yourself some good parents.

    It’s a no-brainer. You must blow up the picture of Bailey with his chin resting on Avery. Too sweet.

    Oh and PS. A few germs, here and there, are good for little ones. Please don’t rewash dropped socks!

  36. Monica says:

    She is beautiful! Congratulations! Wishing you all the best and many more nights full of sleep.

  37. Congrats, you guys! What a lovely addition to an already lovely home and family. You will soon notice how trivial housekeeping, DIYing and blogging seem after hour-long baby-staring sessions. 😉 Don’t get me wrong. There are still important – just not priorities.

    Jealous of your sleep-filled nights! xo.

  38. housetweaking says:

    Congrats, you guys! What a lovely addition to an already lovely home and family. You will soon find that housekeeping, DIYing and blogging seem trivial after hour-long baby-staring sessions. Don’t get me wrong. They are still important – just not priorities.

    Jealous of your sleep-filled nights! xo.

  39. Jenna+Zeke says:

    Congrats you guys! We are soooo happy for you and can’t wait to meet little Avery! She is amazing!

    • kzerbey says:

      thanks guys, we walked to the new neighborhood park last night with her, not bad. we’ll try and walk by your place sometime soon to soon say hi. -Kyle

  40. I LOVE her name! Those are some adorable photos. Enjoy this time while you can! Don’t worry the basement will get done eventually.

  41. hjc says:

    Just got back to town after three weeks out of the country and was so excited to see your new arrival! She is beautiful – congratulations! Best diy project so far!

  42. m4r7a says:

    as sweet and snuggly as the baby and the dog look together, please read this: too many parents know too little about this topic…
    I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for the architectural aspect so far and just don’t want to “look away”…

    • chezerbey says:

      Thanks for link! It is a subject that we’ve looked into and take seriously. Bailey has been around babies and small children and we felt comfortable enough with him being that close to her for a brief (and supervised) few minutes. I think it’s one of those things that every parent/dog-owner has to make a judgement call on based on the temperament of their own pet. The last thing we would do is put Avery in any kind of danger and we also felt it was important for Bailey to understand what was going on and know her smell. We do keep him from licking her or getting too close w/o our consent (and so far he really doesn’t seem too interested in either).


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