Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Latest with Mila

This week Mila woke up with the best bed head hair. I had to document it. Her hair is becoming more difficult to manage as you can see from these pictures :)
Side shot of the do
Also in the past week Mila has discovered fans. She seriously loves watching fans and gets some of the biggest smiles on her face. I tried to capture some of the smiles. It makes you wonder what she's thinking about when she looks at it.
Here she is noticing it.
And here she is in utter joy.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Good Times in Austin

This weekend we decided to drive to Austin to see some of the sights. Although Chase has driven through Austin many times, he had never actually stopped in Austin to look around, and it had been many years since I've actually walked around the city so we thought it was high time we visit. Plus, Chase's mission companion, Cameron Thatcher, and his wife, Chelsea, live there now. So we drove up Saturday morning and met the Thatchers first at the State Capital.
Aren't these cool hinges???
This is where the Senate meets.
This is the Texas Supreme Court room. If Chase takes the bar in Texas this is where he will come to be sworn in I believe.
After doing a self-guided tour, we went to the University of Texas' campus and LBJ's Presidential Library.We finished our time in Austin with food and relaxation. We ate some yummy New York style pizza from Home Slice on Congress Ave, ice cream from Amy's, and of course, the Man vs. Food recommendation: Round Rock Donuts.Can I just say, these were to die for!! Jackson, like you, I don't know what it is but they are just amazing. Seriously worth the trip. Buy the glazed if you go because they were by far our favorite. What a great weekend! Thanks Cameron and Chelsea for putting us up for the night and showing us around Austin.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thank you

I would like to thank the many friends, and my husband, for commenting on this earlier post. I wasn't expecting to receive so many uplifting responses. It really was nice to read the comments and know that I am not the only one going through these struggles. I felt so supported and love, and for that I wanted to express my gratitude. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Our recent adventures

On the 4th Mila and I accompanied Chase down to San Antonio. We are loving being together as a family and are very pleased with our living accommodations. We're staying in a furnished apartment in a complex called The Villas at Oakwell Farm. Things we've done thus far while here in San Antonio:

*Chase and I have been able to play tennis a few times since the courts are right outside our apartment.
*Chase took us on a tour of Sam Houston's base where he works.
*This weekend we walked around some Japanese gardens. Not so conducive for a stroller but still fun.
*Last weekend we drove to San Marcos and hit up the outlets there. Seriously, combine the Park City outlets and the Premier outlets of Las Vegas and throw in a few more upper end stores and that's what you have in San Marcos. So fun!
*After shopping we ate in New Braunfels (a German influenced city) at Oma's Haus for dinner. Thanks Miles for the suggestions of which German food to try!
*We also have hit up a local diner here in San Antonio called Lulu's in order to try their 3 lb cinnamon roll that we first discovered while watching Man vs. Food. Don't worry we only consumed 1 lb of it if that. It was as big as our baby practically!
Still left on our Bucket List of things to do while we're here:
*Visit Austin and the University of Texas' campus.
*Hang out with the Thatchers (a mission of companion of Chase's).
*Consume a donut from the Round Rock donut shop that was also featured on Man vs. Food.
*Attend a Missions baseball game.
*Walk some of the neighborhoods in Alamo Heights. Apparently it's a nice area to live in.
*Take Mila to the Riverwalk and probably to the Alamo (both Chase and I have been previous to this summer).

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lets Be Real

Disclaimer: This post is all words, no pictures. It's pretty long and primarily just a compilation of my feelings as of recent. I wrote this post more for me than anything.

In the blogging world we tend to sugarcoat our lives--highlight the good parts of our days and hide the bad parts. That's not how life really is though; that's not reality. Today I feel like being real.

First off, don't get me wrong. I love my daughter and I often play for Mila Ben Folds' "The Luckiest" and feel truly lucky to have the opportunity to be Mila's mother. But, motherhood can be really hard. I guess I had it coming to me since my labor was a breeze. I can honestly say that the transition to motherhood initially was pretty smooth. I had Chase around those first two weeks and then my mother the second two weeks and Mila was a good baby, a golden child if you will. Really, she still is. Also, I did not face post partum depression luckily even though Chase and I honestly thought I would.

But these two months (yep, our baby is two months old as of today!) have not been without their struggles. From the beginning nursing has been difficult. I am so grateful for a patient and caring friend, Misty, who took the time to help Mila and I through some of our early difficulties. You see, in the hospital Mila was introduced to a nipple shield. As a result she was clenching anytime I would try to have her latch to me. This resulted in lots and lots of pain. So we worked with Misty and got Mila nursing without a shield. Shortly after we thought I might have a yeast infection. So I started on medication for that and we treated Mila with Gentian Violet liquid for 10 days. Poor Mila had stained purple lips and tongue. After treating for a yeast infection, I still found my chest just burning between and during feedings. I finally had the thought to pump for a week straight in order to give myself a break from Mila sucking me raw. This helped a ton, but was exhausting. Pumping and then feeding a baby can be exhausting, especially at night. After this experiment I was feeling a lot better, and I determined that Mila has a strong suck and was rubbing me raw. I now can have Mila feed on me regularly, but I pump every so often in order to give myself a break. I can't honestly say that feeding Mila is painless now because it isn't. I don't know if it ever will be honestly. But it's bearable.

Another difficulty I have faced becoming a mother is my own personal struggle with perfectionism. I am pretty anal and stress over doing things right, which has led me to read a lot of books in order to determine how to best mother my child. It's difficult to weigh out all the advice though, which leads me to the last difficulty I have faced.

As all babies do, Mila in the past few weeks has transitioned out of "sleeping like a baby" and thus my life of going and doing what I want, when I want, has quickly come to an end. Mila no longer gets good naps in her car seat so running errands during her "nap time" is out of the question. So how do mothers do it? How do you balance getting out of the house and allowing your baby to nap in their bed? I struggle with this. I have read the books "Baby Wise" and "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" and try to implement what I think is best for Mila, but that results in us being tied to staying at home for her to take 4 naps during the day--a short one after waking up; a long morning nap; a short afternoon nap; and then a longer midafternoon nap. When we ignored this little cycle on Friday in order to go eat lunch with Chase she was totally cranky and fussy all afternoon. When I have a cranky child due to lack of sleep I tend to beat myself up (another weakness of mine) and mark myself as a failure for the day.

Please don't think I'm trying to throw myself a pity party. Not at all. I just wanted to put into words some of my thoughts. I'm grateful to be a mother, but I do miss being in control of my days and nights and feeling confident that I'm doing things right (like when I was teaching seminary). I truly know that the Lord does give us trials in order for us to draw closer to Him and trust in Him. Many a prayer has been offered up to the Lord for help. And, my scripture study has become more meaningful. I find answers in the scriptures in a way I haven't in a really long time. For example, the Lord instructed me as I was reading 2 Nephi 4:28-29 last week. I was reminded that I must not allow discouragement into my life because that is just giving place to the adversary to work on me.

So, never you worry. These difficulties aren't getting me down, or at least I'm working hard at not allowing them to get me down. Luckily Mila's smiles (a tender mercy of the Lord I believe...babies start social smiling about the time you are having more difficulty determining what they need) brighten my down days. She sure is a sweetheart. Hopefully she'll continue putting up with me :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pool Time

Over the Fourth of July weekend, we spent time with my family in Dallas. Most of our time was spent at my SIL's parents' pool (just the way I like it). We jumped at the chance to introduce Mila to swimming (we want her to be a fish like me). We had a cute swimsuit that we didn't want to go to waste.
I learned though that you aren't suppose to put sunscreen on babies until they are 6 months old. And so I went out looking for a rash guard small enough for Mila to keep her from burning. I also discovered that they don't make swim diapers small enough for a 10 lb baby. So, I had to find an alternative, and I think I found a pretty cute one. I found the last rash guard at Target that they had for someone so small (hence why it is blue...it's all they had left) and I found a speedo, yes a speedo, that is suppose to take the place of a swim diaper. Behold Mila's swim attire...
We think she liked the water...I mean she didn't cry. She just quietly took it all in. The cousins loved swimming with her even though her time in the water was like 5 minutes long :) As can be seen in the picture below, she got tuckered out pretty fast. I can't wait until next summer when she can really start to appreciate the water.
Enjoy this video I put together of her adventures in the water.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Chapter is Closed

One of the loose ends I had to tie up before I left Utah for the summer was clearing out my office and taking down my classroom at the seminary building. It took me two days to organize and pack up 5 years of teaching. It was a bit sobering to turn my keys over to my principal and walk out of the building one last time. I loved my time at Mountain View and will miss my daily associations with my amazing faculty and students.


Here's me and Mila with some of my faculty the day we left the hospital...Mountain View was on the way home :)Darin, my principal missed Mila that day so we went back to visit him

When I got home from wrapping things up I officially retired my Echo shoes and my quad. Both were pretty worn down from years of use.
I know my time at Mountain View will never be forgotten. One, because it's how Chase and I met (No, he was not my student...eww! His sister was!). And two, because my very thoughtful husband secretly made cards for students to fill out describing what their favorite memory with me was; what they will always remember about me; and why they are grateful for me. We were able to read the cards while I was in the hospital and then put them in a photo album for me to always have. I'm so grateful he went to all that effort to help me preserve the memories I have at the seminary. Thanks Chase!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mila's Blessing Day

Last Sunday, July 3rd, Chase was able to bless Mila in my parents' home. Two of my brothers, my father, and my parents' bishop all stood in the circle with Chase.Although a small, intimate circle, thanks to modern technology Chase's family were all able to listen in via facetime and Skype. I wish I would have taken a picture because it was quite the sight to see. My SIL's were helping out by holding the phones and computer.

The blessing was beautiful. Chase really did an amazing job. Since we were in my parents home I had my niece record it so that I can write it down for Mila to read when she's older. It was amazing to hear some of the things the Lord wanted Mila blessed with. I feel like I know her better after hearing the blessing.

Well, here's pictures from that night.
First us with the woman of the hour
All the cousins that were present. These past two weeks in Dallas have been so fun to see how enamored my nieces and nephews are with Mila.
Then we had to do a little photo session of Mila. I love this picture of me and my SIL getting Mila primped and ready. The look on Mila's face is priceless. It's as though she's saying, "Really Mom? Do we have to do this?"
Yes, we had to do it! I had to get some shots of Mila for two reasons. One, so that I could document her with the blessing blanket that Chase's mom made her. (Isn't it beautiful?) And two, because her dress is from when I was a baby. Sadly, my blessing dress is practically falling apart because it was made out of parachute silk from WWII and so it has deteriorated over the years. But I found this dress in my stash of clothes and found it to be a great substitute!
The photo shoot was a success because I was able to get this great shot! I love it :) It is a great depiction of what the blessing pronounced about Mila--she has a quiet and peaceful disposition.