Welcome to the world little Penelope!


We (as in, Hugo and myself, we come as a package deal now that he has decided not to take a bottle…waaaah!!! But that is another topic for another time) are back after a few weeks of vacation. Or sort of vacation. First, we went to Texas. I flew out last-minute last week to go help my sister Elli and her husband Joe with her newly hatched and unexpectedly early Penelope Wren!!! See my cute new little niece??? Sidenote for those who are just joining: Elli works as Chief Officer of Pattern Production (COPP, yes I just made that title up) here at Made By Rae. You can see more posts about her here and here.


She is such a cute little button.


Penelope was born four weeks early and weighed 5 pounds 5 oz so there were some concerns with jaundice for the first week and now she has some reflux issues, but otherwise she has been healthy and fine. She eats like a champ and is gaining weight swimmingly. The birth was smooth (and drug-free, go Elli!!!) — it helped that Elli was in labor denial and wrote off her contractions as intense Braxton-Hicks for the better part of a day. One just doesn’t expect to be a month early, so that was understandable, but then it was kind of intense when she finally realized she was having a baby roughly an hour before she had the baby. Penelope is Elli and Joe’s first baby so they’ve had the usual crash-course in sleepless nights and paranoia, but they are settling in and are already fantastic parents.


Elli and Penelope!



I thought Hugo was small, but then I picked up Penelope and nearly threw her at the ceiling because she was so light by comparison. I’m now of the opinion that he’s a bit of a chunk. A cute little chunk.


So then, after Texas, we came back and our family went and stayed at a beach house on Lake Michigan for a week. That was last week. It was so ridiculously cold for a week at the beach in August; usually in Michigan it is so oppressively hot and humid that the Lake is just the ticket. I found our rental on Craigslist and it had some issues but overall it was beautiful and gorgeous and brand new and the perfect thing to get our family together for a nice stay-in-one-place vacation. You can see some pics from the lake in my Instagram feed, @madebyrae. It’s really nice to be back home now though.

PS. Please don’t pin or use photos of Penelope, thanks!

16 thoughts on “Welcome to the world little Penelope!

  1. Congratulations Elli and Joe! Welcome Penelope. She is really really so so nice! And Hugo looks like a giant in comparison. Beautiful, but kind of, well, older. A lot happens in four months doesn’t it?

  2. Congrats! I also have a bottle-refusing son, quite a surprise after the first had no problems at all with it…

    I started now at 6/7 months with a normal cup, plastic one ’cause he often managed to throw it on the floor, but after a month or so he was able to actually drink from the cup as well. πŸ™‚ Easiest & cheapest to practice with water or tea, even better to practice during bath time or outside, but for us it worked pretty good. And no extra bottle costs and never a problem now that I forgot a sippy cup or bottle. Might be worth a try for you guys as well?

  3. What a precious peanut! It’s amazing how tiny the newborns are compared to an older baby. Hawthorne seems tiny to me compared to his sisters, but I know he’d be a giant next to a newborn.

  4. I can understand the labor denial thing. My first came 4 weeks early as well, and I really didn’t think it was labor until about an hour before. My hubby didn’t believe me at all. Boy was he surprised when she was there an hour later!
    Congratulations on the new niece. She is adorable!

  5. Your family is precious, and I hope you all had a great vacation! If you haven’t heard of it yet, there’s a great website called airbnb.com for finding short term rentals, I found a cute little loft in Victoria Canada for my vacation there. It was a good experience πŸ™‚

  6. Congratulations, Elli and Joe, and congrats to you too, Auntie Rae! Hugo and Penelope will be great buddies when they get older. Same-age cousins are so fun. And isn’t it insane how fast babies grow?? My nephew was 6 mos old when C was born and looked like a GIANT baby at the time, but now they’re the same size! Crazy crazy.

    Also Hugo, buddy, you’ve gotta start taking a bottle! Mommy needs to go see a movie or something!

  7. Beautiful babies and lovely new momma. I adore Penelope’s name. Sorry about the no-bottle-attached-to-mommy-at-the-bra thing. Sooo been there. If you need to pop out for a while and your babysitter needs a solution, tell them to use a medicine dropper to dribble milk in the side of their mouth. That’s what my MIL had to do with my little nursing addicts.

  8. Brings back memories of my first born. She was tiny too. She is precious. Congratumations everyone. Hugo has a playmate wheb he gets older!

  9. Wow…another Penelope!! Seems the name is becoming quite popular!! I picked (or rather my husband did and I adored it and agreed) Penelope way back in 2008 when our first child was on the way…should it be a girl. Baby was a boy though, so we figured we should go with our boy name of Edmund, of course…lol!! Three losses and 3.75 years after our boy was born (to the day) we finally had our Penelope…who is a giggly, wiggly, jabbering-nonsense little 16 month old now. They really do grow so fast!!

  10. Hi Rae:
    Just wondering where you and Elli are in the whole sleep sack versus blankets debate?

    • Hi Vivian!
      I’m a bit of a cowboy when it comes to blankets and babies; I figure if you swaddle them tight in a blanket and check on them frequently, it’s OK to use blankets, so for newborns I’m a big swaddler. That said, now that Hugo can wriggle his way out of a swaddle, at night I take away his blanket once he falls asleep (it’s his comfort object) and just have him in a sleepsack. I feel better about him sleeping in his crib for 10+ hours when I know he’s not going to get tangled up in a blanket. I’m also anti-crib-bumper for this reason. πŸ™‚

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