Tuesday, May 29, 2012

One Crazy Memorial Day

Yesterday, Scott and I invited our nephews over to go swim in our apartment complex's pool. We learned an important lesson from this though... ALWAYS check the expiration date on sunscreen before you use it. WHOOPS! They all got fried. Poor Scotty got the worst burn he has ever had and is now covered in blisters!
Consider it a lesson learned, and please learn from our mistake, nobody wants to experience this pain. He is so burned that he can hardly move or sleep and it makes it hard for him to hold Chloe! So sad, poor guy. Here's hoping he feels better soon! 

On top of that, very late last night I had to go to the ER because I had been feeling sick all day and got really dehydrated to the point that I was feeling super nauseous, had an awful headache, was very light headed and had a fever of 103. YIKES! Not fun, and it wasn't getting better. I needed to be drinking water, but every time I tried I felt like puking. So they stuck me with an IV, rehydrated me, and got my fever down. What we found out is that it is very likely I have a virus. 
First Scotty, now me, lets just hope the Chloe doesn't get it too. 

As you can tell, we had quite the exciting day! Hopefully our life can calm down a little bit now, I feel like we have just had a crazy month and a half!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

One Month of Change

This past month there has been a lot of adjusting for us and lots of change. Nobody could have helped us to understand just how much it takes to have a baby. People have talked about the lack of sleep, the amount of love you feel, and how quickly they change, but even with hearing this before, I could not fully understand or appreciate any of this until now.
The most difficult part, according to me, is staying positive at night and learning to function on a very small amount of sleep. Finally, Chloe is starting to get her days and nights figured out though and it is bit by bit getting easier. Either that or I am just getting use to everything. She is able to fall asleep at night much easier between feedings though and will sleep (for the most part) for at least one span of 3 to 5 hours a night. Some nights are better than others, but she is getting there.
The part that makes all the hard nights and hours of calming her fussing and crying worth while is the amount of love I feel for her. I didn't know it was possible to love like this. It is different from anything I have ever felt before. There are times when I just hold her and stare at her and get such an overwhelming feeling of love and joy. She is just so sweet and impossible not to love.

Here are pictures of Chloe from her first month here!
It is crazy to see how much she has changed already. As much as I know it is a good thing for her to grow and change, it almost breaks my heart at times. I just want her to stay little forever!

Flowers for Mothers Day

For mothers day, Scotty ordered me some beautiful flowers from ProFlowers. They switched and downgraded the order though without letting him know. So on the Sunday, he was disappointed when 12 roses arrived instead of what he asked for. Of course, I still thought they were so sweet and pretty. Scott got ahold of the company though and complained. They said it was because the flowers didn't meet their quality inspection. After explaining his disappointment in the way everything was handled though, they agreed to send out his original order at no cost, so I got two flower arrangements for mothers day!
These are the second flowers that came!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

With Mother’s Day coming on Sunday, I have had the opportunity to really think about the importance of motherhood. The way women raise their children affects generations. It is a vitally significant role to be a mother. According to the first presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, motherhood is “the highest, holiest service assumed by mankind.” Mothers have the most influence on their children’s lives. This starts even before birth. What a responsibility!
            To be a mother is to participate in God’s work. It is how we as women participate in His creation. We do this by not only providing physical bodies for our children, which is a miracle in and of itself, but we also teach, love, and nurture them and help them discover the people they will be in this world.
            Being a mother is a full-time job and is a huge responsibility but I have been told time and time again that it brings no greater joy. There is no perfect mother, and no perfect way to handle each situation. Every family has different challenges that make them unique. However, most, if not every, mom gets feelings of being inadequate and easily compares herself to other mothers around her. By doing this, we fail to remember that other moms have trials that are unique to them. All we can do is be the best mother we can and love our children unconditionally.
I recently read a story shared by Dieter F. Uchtdorf in a talk he gave in October of 2008.  He shared…

I’m sure it comes as no surprise, but the differences between men and women can often be quite striking—physically and mentally, as well as emotionally. One of the best ways I can think of to illustrate this is in the way my wife and I cook a meal.
When Harriet prepares a meal, it’s a masterpiece. Her cuisine is as wide-ranging as the world, and she frequently prepares dishes from countries we have visited. The presentation of the food is awe-inspiring. In fact, it often looks so beautiful that it seems a crime to eat it. It’s as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the sense of taste.
But sure enough, no matter how perfect everything is, looks, and tastes, Harriet will apologize for something she thinks is imperfect. “I’m afraid I used a touch too much ginger,” she will say, or, “Next time, I think it would be better if I used a little more curry and one additional bay leaf.”
Let me contrast that with the way I cook. For the purpose of this talk, I asked Harriet to tell me what I cook best.
Her answer: fried eggs.
Sunny-side up.
But that isn’t all. I have a specialty dish called Knusperchen. The name may sound like a delicacy you might find at an exclusive restaurant. Let me share with you how to make it. You cut French bread into small slices and toast them twice.
That is the recipe!
So, between fried eggs, even when they are greasy, and Knusperchen, even when they are burned, when I cook, I feel pretty heroic.
Perhaps this contrast between my wife and me is a slight exaggeration, but it illustrates something that may extend beyond preparing meals.
To me it appears that our splendid sisters sometimes undervalue their abilities—they focus on what is lacking or imperfect rather than what has been accomplished and who they really are.
Perhaps you recognize this trait in someone you know really well.
The good news is that this also points to an admirable quality: the innate desire to please the Lord to the best of your ability. Unfortunately, it can also lead to frustration, exhaustion, and unhappiness.
I know that this is a quality I find in myself that often gets me feeling down and unsatisfied. I always want things to be perfect. I want our home to be spotless, to make the perfect meals, be the best homemaker, and be a supermom who knows how to calm my screaming girl every time she cries. How unrealistic is that? But I have a hard time remembering that I can’t be perfect, especially not in every aspect. It is a good desire to want to be perfect, but nothing is going to go according to my plans. I wont always have the energy needed to get everything done that I would like. I may not be able to get the laundry done when I would like or vacuum when I would like to. Sometime, I am going to overcook the chicken. It happens. And we all know that being supermom who knows how to solve every problem is impossible. So even though these are great desires to have, it is impractical. This story helped me to remember that it is the accomplishments I make that need to be remembered, not the little imperfections that come with daily life. All I can do is be the best I can and try to love every moment of every day. If I don’t, I will only continue to disappoint myself, and then I wont enjoy being a mother and a wife.
            President Thomas S Monson has said, “My dear sisters, do not pray for tasks equal to your abilities, but pray for abilities equal to your tasks. Then the performance of your tasks will be no miracle, but you will be the miracle.” If we pray to have the abilities to meet our tasks each day, we will grow as people, as mothers, and wives, and will become the best people we can. What a blessing it would be to feel that we are become stronger people with greater skills instead of having our tasks lessened to our abilities.
            This is such an exciting Mother’s Day for me, since I am able to see it in a new way than I ever have before. I feel like this year it is celebrating me! But what I have also learned is that Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate women, not just mothers. Whether you have kids or not it is a day to celebrate you as a woman. Motherhood can be found in simply serving others, by being a mom, aunt, sister, friend, teacher, etc. Ardeth G. Kapp has said “Every woman can find happiness and fulfillment in mothering. You need not possess children to love them. Loving is not synonymous with possessing, and possessing is not necessarily loving. The world is filled with people to be loved, guided, taught, lifted, and inspired.”
            So, happy Mother’s Day to all the women out there. Thank you for all you do to help and touch the lives of others. Thank you for being an example, a teacher, and a friend. You are appreciated and you are making a difference. And a special thank you to my amazing mom and mother-in-law. You have both taught me so much and been such a blessing in my life. Thank you for your constant support of our family, for helping us with all our concerns and needs, for spoiling your granddaughter and us. Thank you for being always being there. We love you! Happy Mother’s Day!

Also, I just have to add this video that Scotty shared with me! It was something I really needed to hear, and I am sure many of you could use this as a reminder as well! You are loved, and you are doing okay! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Chloe's First Days Home!

What an adventure to say the least! Having a new baby to take care of has definitely been an adjustment, and as much as I would love to say I have it figured out, I know I’m not even close. It is a nonstop job – though it is exhausting and has it’s frustrating moments, I can’t help but remember how important and sacred it is to be trusted to care for, love, and nurture another human being, especially one who is so helpless and relies on me for everything at this point. What a great opportunity and what a sweet blessing to be participating in the Lord’s eternal plan. 
            Well, we got home Wednesday afternoon. And though there are still times when it all seems surreal, it finally started to settle in that we are parents. We spent the rest of that day loving on our little girl. We just didn’t want to put her down or stop staring at our beauty. She is such a sweetheart. The next day, we went to the pediatrician for her first visit. That morning before the appointment, Scott and I both noticed she wasn’t quite herself. She wasn’t focusing on us as we talked to her; in fact, she seemed to have a hard time focusing on anything at all. She also was struggling to nurse as well and seemed more tired than normal. It was nearly impossible to wake her up to nurse when she was supposed to. It would take us 20 minutes to get her to wake up for even just a 5-minute span. At the pediatrician’s office, we found out Chloe’s Jaundice was getting worse because she was also dehydrated. My milk still hadn’t come in, so we had to supplement her feedings with formula until she got better and it came in. It broke my heart knowing she wasn’t doing the best she could be. I didn’t know what more I could do to help, and I just wanted her to be feeling better.
            After a couple days of supplementing with formula and doing everything we could to get this girl better, my milk came in, Chloe’s Jaundice went away, and she was able to get rehydrated. Thank goodness! I could finally calm down a bit and know she was going to be okay. Everyone had told me that she would be fine, but when she depends solely on me and I feel like I can’t do anything to help, it is hard to stay positive and know she will get better. So you can imagine my relief once she was finally doing better.

            That first week was spent with many visit from family, all wanting to love on Chloe and being so kind as to help Scott and I get some rest. We got a few naps in throughout the week and let me just say, naps make all the difference with a newborn. The constant lack of sleep makes it hard to function the way I would like. It has been hard changing my schedule to match her needs, the biggest challenge with all of that is sleep. And then on top of that, we have had a really hard second week.
            Sunday night, we had dinner with Scott’s parents. It was nice to get out of the house and have Grammy and Papa there to hold her and enjoy their new granddaughter. After dinner, Scott started to feel sick. He was getting really nauseous, his stomach was bothering him, and he was getting light headed. I took Chloe home and Allison helped get Scott home and up the stairs into our condo. He was getting worse by the minute. I can’t remember ever personally seeing Scott so out of it. Maybe part of that is because my hormones are all out of whack and it can be hard for me to see things clearly right now, but I was so worried about him. He constantly needed to go to the restroom to throw up and his dizziness was getting worse. He was having trouble walking on his own. Thank goodness Allison was still here and was able to help him move. His legs started to give out on him and it took both Allison and me to get him to the couch, and we still almost didn’t make it. If it were just he and I, he would have been lying on the floor helpless. He was having sharp pains behind his eyes, and also in his lower abdomen, specifically his right side. This led us to the conclusion that he could be having an appendicitis attack. It was so hard to see him like that. Finally, just after midnight, because it was only getting worse, his parents took him to the ER, and I stayed home to care for Chloe. My mom came over to help me and keep me calm while I impatiently waited for a call to hear how he was doing and know what was wrong. Around 3am, Scott called to let me know that he was dehydrated and had been hooked up to an IV to rehydrate, and that they told him it was possible that these were all signs of appendicitis in the making, or a stomach virus.
            The next two nights we stayed at his parents so that he could have extra help. Scott was slowly doing a little better, but not good enough. He went to the doctors on Wednesday and was able to get anti-nausea medicine as well as getting rehydrated through an IV again. Because we were nervous about Chloe or me getting sick, Scott continued to stay at his parents house the next few days while I stayed with mine just a few minutes away.
            While I was at my parent’s house, we were able to finally introduce their dog, Riley (who by the way is the most wonderful dog in the world) to Chloe. He is the sweetest and friendliest dog, but had never been around babies before. He had no idea what to think of Chloe. He would just stare at her or constantly walk by her to “check on her” or she what she was doing. What I think is absolutely hysterical though is that anytime she would fuss or start to cry, Riley would whimper and yip along with her. If she let out a big cry with all her lungpower though, Riley could bark at her. It sure made bath time interesting with Chloe screaming and Riley barking, while my mom and I tried to calm them both.
            Thursday night, I brought Chloe over for a quick visit with Scott while we figured out our game plan. Scott was starting to do better. We decided that after an eye doctor appointment the next day, we would both finally go home again. One more night apart – we could make it. It was breaking my heart to keep Chloe and Scott away from each other, not to mention I wanted to be with him for his comfort and support as well. It is so hard being separated from your husband with a new baby, especially when you feel like you have no idea what you are doing because everything is new. And with my emotions on high, it didn’t make things any easier.
            Friday afternoon, my dad and I took Chloe for her first walk. She slept through the entire thing, but it was nice to get fresh air and a little bit of exercise. Once we got back from the walk, I got our things together, picked up Scott, and we went home. Finally! We were home again and ready to get into a schedule.
Chloe has been getting her days and nights mixed up, therefore leaving me with almost NO SLEEP. That night, Scott became SUPER DAD! Whenever Chloe got up to nurse, he would get up too and take her once she was done and spend the time in-between her feedings getting her back to sleep while I caught up on some much needed sleep. Isn’t he just the best? I appreciated it so much.
            I am so grateful we had both our families to help us out. Scott was able to get the help and care he needed to recover and I was able to get the reassurance I needed. I was getting so down on myself and was having a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Though Scott still isn’t feeling 100%, he is working on it and slowly getting there. He was doing so much better over the weekend, but then Sunday night and all day today, his nausea has come back. It will be so nice once he is feeling like himself again and we start to figure everything out. We have been doing everything we can to get him healthy again, but it is so frustrating not knowing exactly what is causing him to feel the way he is or knowing what more we can do to stop it from getting worse.

            Let me say really quickly that there are some things worth mentioning about these past two weeks that are a little more positive and amusing. I have loved feeling like I am a mom. The realization of this comes and goes, but it becomes more recognizable everyday. Visit from friends and spending time with family has definitely lightened the burden of these hectic days and even allowed me to relax a bit. Also, we realized that one pretty hilarious sign of being a new parent is dreaming of falling asleep with the baby in your arms or lying next to you, only to wake up when hearing her fuss and making noises and comforting your pillow. At first I made fun of Scott when I saw him rocking and shushing his pillow. Now I can’t talk though since I have caught myself several times doing exactly the same thing. It must be part of that whole lack of sleep thing I have become so familiar with.
By far, one of my favorite things though from this week was hearing Scott comfort Chloe and get her back to sleep by humming primary songs to her. Although he hummed many, the one that caught my attention was hearing him hum “I Feel my Savior’s Love”!

            As he hummed it, I had the words running through my mind.

I feel my Savior’s love
 in all the world around me. His Spirit warms my soul
 through everything I see. He knows I will follow him; give all my life to him. I feel my Savior’s love, 
the love he freely gives me. I feel my Savior’s love; 
Its gentleness enfolds me, 
and when I kneel to pray, my heart is filled with peace. He knows I will follow him; give all my life to him. I feel my Savior’s love, 
the love he freely gives me. I feel my Savior’s love
 and know that he will bless me. 
I offer him my heart; 
my shepherd he will be. He knows I will follow him; give all my life to him. I feel my Savior’s love, 
the love he freely gives me. I’ll share my Savior’s love
 by serving others freely. 
In serving I am blessed. In giving I receive. He knows I will follow him; give all my life to him. I feel my Savior’s love, 
the love he freely gives me.
            Not only did it help Chloe fall asleep, but it also helped me relax and remember that no matter how challenging it gets, or how frustrated I feel because I’m not getting enough sleep, the Savior knows how I feel and is here for me. It also reminded me of the great purpose of our Heavenly Fathers plan. I was able to remember the importance of the choice Scott and I made when we were sealed in the Denver LDS Temple last year, and how blessed we are to have the knowledge that families can be eternal. This is not supposed to be easy. Haven’t we all heard that those things that are worthwhile take hard work and don’t come easily? It takes hard work because we need to appreciate it. Raising Chloe and being the best mom I can be will be difficult, but it will be worth it. Our family will be the greatest blessing and I am already able to see how it is changing our lives for the better. I just need to keep this perspective and know that it will get easier.
Soon enough Chloe will have her nights and days figured out, Scott will be feeling better, and we will be getting a little more sleep at night!