Friday, May 30, 2014

Too Much...

I can't even handle how adorable this baby girl is.

 This is my daughter... the most beautiful, breathtaking, adorable baby in the world.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Marriage Postpartum

Our marriage had changed postpartum.  Well, our marriage has changed and evolved since the day we were married.

Looking back, our first year of marriage was the hardest.  It was wonderful, but it was a HUGE adjustment and we had a lot to learn.  We had never lived together -- neither one of us had ever lived with anyone except roommates, and married life was a HUGE change.

We were continuing to learn about each other, finding a routine, learning each other's expectations of marriage, and learning to communicate.

Our first year of marriage was great, but it was a year of adjustment.  Our second year of marriage was better than the first, and our marriage has continued to get better and better every year.

That being said, we are into a new season of adjustment -- the season of parenthood.  A season where it is no loner just the two of us, and we, together, have this HUGE responsibility of our daughter's life in our hands.  She needs both of us, and we need each other -- and, once again, we have a lot to learn.

We are learning to communicate in a new way, depend on each other in a new way, and work together as an even more interdependent team as we were before.

When Chris and I were first married, I realized why so many marriages fail.  Marriage is wonderful, and incredibly joy-filled, but it takes work to combine your life with someone else's.  Now that we have a baby, I, again, realize why so many marriages fail.  Keeping a marriage thriving in parenthood is work.  This is work that both Hubby and I are committed to, but it is work, and anyone who tells you differently is either not being truthful, or their marriage is not thriving.

Last weekend Hubby and I caught a few minutes of an interview by basketball player, Dwayne Wade.  I have no idea what was one that we happened to catch part of this interview, but we caught on to the fact that he has three sons, and is raising a nephew.  He was talking about the bond he has with his boys and how much he values being a father.  I think he certainly deserves to be commended for how much he values his role as a father, but he said something in his interview with which Hubby and I adamantly disagreed.

He was talking about how important his relationship with the boys were, and he said something like, "You're in a relationship with their mom, and you never know what's going to happen with that, but your relationship with the kids has to stay strong through everything," -- something like that.

I immediately said to Hubby that if what he just said was his attitude about his relationship with the mom, I think you can know "what's going to happen with that" the relationship is not going to last.

Marriages do not just last because two people, who are in love, get married and have children.  Advice that a friend who has been married many years gave me before I was married is that marriage is not 50/50... it is both people giving 100% every day.  Truer words were never spoken... and now that we have a child, its more like both people giving 200% every day.  We each give 100% to Tracey Ann... but we still need to give 100% to each other.

I am so thankful that God gave Hubby and me two-and-a-half years together just the two of us before He blessed us with a child.  And I am so glad that He is teaching us how to keep our marriage a priority despite the changes postpartum.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tracey Ann - 4 Months

Our baby girl is growing SO fast!  Where is this time going?  Every day it feels like she is doing something new and we love her more and more.

Weight: I'm not sure... she has a doctor's appointment on Friday, and they will tell us.  I haven't remember to take a rough estimate on our scale.

Length:  Long enough to now touch her little toes to the ground when she's in her exersaucer.  They just dangled during her first few weeks of playing in it... now her little toes touch the bottom.

Clothing size:  She has definitely outgrown her newborn clothes, and her 0-3 onesies.  She still fits in her 3 month onesies, and most of her 0-3 month sleepers... but she's growing every day.  I have LOVED dressing her in cute little outfits now that the weather is getting warmer.

Eating:  We're still on exclusively breast milk, and she has a great appetite.  This month she has begun to eat larger meals less frequently during the day.  Also, she's eating faster (which has been really nice for me).

Sleeping:  She was in such a great sleeping routine (10-5) for so many weeks... but this month her sleep schedule has changed.  For some reason, so started waking up around 3am... then again at 5ish.  I've just started the process of trying to soothe her, and not feed her during these middle-of-the-night awakenings.  So far, I am not on the let-her-cry-it-out band wagon.  We are very slowly working on her putting herself to sleep without nursing, and going back to sleep in the middle of the night without nursing.  She is still in her bassinet, but I expect we will be removing the bassinet and moving her to the bottom of her pack-and-play very soon.  She's also taking longer naps during the day when she sleeps sounding... I think she's having a growth spurt.

New things/discoveries: 
  • She is all about her fingers these days.  She had found them last month... but now she knows what they are.
  • She is reaching for and grasping toys, my hair, clothes, blankets, everything and bringing them to her month.  Depending on how well she as grasped the object, sometimes she drops the object en route to her mouth and ends up just sucking on her fingers instead of the object.
  • We introduced her to her exersaucer this month and she LOVES it
  • She has started chattering a lot more
  • She's started to have regular evening bathtimes
  • She has officially been baby-sat by Grammy and Papa Sanden, Grandma and Grandpa Miller, and Daddy... and she has survived them all -- although she kept all on their toes
  • First time in a baby jogger -- we can't run with her yet, but we got a great deal on a BOB, and we can walk with her
  • First Mother's Day

New Accomplishments: 
  • Chattering
  • Exploring her exersaucer
  • She was dedicated in church this month
  • Holding her own bottle... we breastfeed whenever possible (from the breast) so when she suddenly held her bottle while she was home with Daddy it was so surprising... she doesn't keep a perfect hold of it yet, but she definitely grasps it and holds on

  • Bathtime
  • Her exersaucer
  •  Looking at our phones... especially when family is on FaceTime
  • Going for walks in the pram now that the weather is warmer
  • Being outside
  • Smiling at people
  • Her pacifier
  • Her Mama and Daddy
  • Nursing

  • Being tired
  • Having her fingernails cut

Places She Went:
  •  Her first PEO meeting with Mama and Grammy
  • First town event -- a safety fair
  • First time to the Vail condo
  • First night spent in the Vail condo
  • First night spend in a drawer
  • First trip to a National Park -- Arches in Utah (she slept through most if it)

Special Memories:
    • Her church dedication in our little Rifle church with both sets of her grandparents
    • Her first night spent in the Vail condo
    • Her weeks with Grammy and Papa Sanden
    • Her week with Grandma and Grandpa Miller
    • Her week with Daddy
    • Mama and Daddy's first date night alone since Tracey Ann was born... where Tracey Ann had dinner with Grandma and Grandpa Miller in the same restaurant as Mama and Daddy were having their date
    • Meeting some of Daddy's students for the first time

    • Tracey Ann
    • Tracey
    • Baby Girl
    • Beautiful
    • Pumpkin
    • Punky
    • Little Spitter

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    Saturday, May 24, 2014

    Learning To Play

    Tracey Ann is learning to play... and it is absolutely awesome!


    This is how little her legs were when she first started playing in the exersaucer... just over ten days ago.

    Here is how her little legs fit now... this is NUTS!!!... Her little toes are starting to touch... just barely, but they touch.

    She is really learning cause and effect -- she gets the toy to play music, then she looks up to make sure that Mama was watching her.  We are crazy about this baby!

    So, to the naked eye, these videos might seem really similar... but to the enthralled parents of this brilliant child, they are most adorable actions ever caught on film.

    So much fun!!
    Happy 4 months, Tracey Ann!

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