A First and a Fresh Outlook

I had my first unnecessary trip to the doctor with Kennedy today. I tried really hard not to be that paranoid, first-time mom who panics over everything. And I didn't panic until the doctors office gave me reason to. Anyway, two nights ago we kept hearing her coughing. It sounded exactly like the noise she makes when she wants out of her crib so we didn't think much of it. But then I got her out of her crib yesterday morning and she was really congested, had watery eyes, was still coughing, and sneezing a ton.  But her behavior was normal - she wasn't acting sick at all - so I tried not to worry. She coughed through the night last night again and she didn't seem any better today. I called the doctor to see what they would suggest and if I needed to bring her in. I wouldn't have worried about it except today is Friday and what if she got worse over the weekend when no one is there? They told me I could try a few different things and to watch her breathing really close. If it looks like she is sucking in around her chest to get air, then she's having trouble breathing. I hung up not too concerned and went to watch her breathe. To me, it looked like her chest was rising and falling instead of her tummy, so just to be safe I called them back and they said to get in right away. This freaked me out a little. So we hustled to the doctors office not showered, no make-up on, and in my pj's. Anyway, turns out she's fine, she just has a cold. They said I'd REALLY be able to tell if she was having trouble breathing and her doctor gave me a demonstration. Good thing because I wasn't really sure what to look for. Now I am. I'm sad my baby is sick, but she'll get over it soon. And she's still so good. She's not crying a lot or acting miserable. Just sleeping a little more than normal which is good. She even thought me bulb sucking the snot out of her nose the first time was quite fun. Not so much now. I'm not really sure where she got the cold from. My niece and nephew had colds but that was weeks ago now. There was a lady at Costco on Monday that freaked out over Kennedy and kept touching her and playing with her...She's my prime suspect.

I'm really excited for General Conference this weekend! Nothing better than getting spiritually uplifted in my jammies, strung out on the couch! But more than anything I'm just excited to hear what the Prophet and Apostles have to say. I mentioned a while ago about a lesson in Relief Society that really touched me. I haven't given up on my mission to be less judgmental and fellowship those around me. In fact I've really been working on it. It hasn't been easy. In fact it's been really frustrating when I've tried so hard to be nice and friendly to people who won't give me the time of day or who clearly don't care about me. I blogged about that about a week ago but I removed it quickly because it sounded whiny. I'm just still not sure what the right thing to do is in those situations. I tried, right? What else can I do? I shouldn't let people walk all over me and I shouldn't have to justify myself to people, or waste my time forcing a friendship when I get nothing, literally nothing in return; not a single inquiry about my life. I have better friends I'd rather be invested in who care. Anyway, that's a little off topic. I've learned a lot about myself in this process though. I'm clearly far from perfect. But I'm gaining more confidence in myself and realizing I'm a pretty cool person. Not everyone will agree on that and that's ok. It doesn't change who I am. And I'm realizing more and more that I can't change people, I can only change myself and how I react to them. And my reaction needs to be Christlike. It's been a fun, spiritual journey. I'm hoping I'll hear more this weekend that will inspire me to be a better person. Self-improvement is always a life-long goal. But it's very rewarding. I feel so much better about who I am as a person. Again, I've got a long way to go, but I'm moving forward and it feels great!  


3 Months and Other Updates

I can't believe Kennedy is 3 months old today. Where has the time gone? She's such a perfect baby! She sleeps through the night, wants to sit up more and more and is getting better at holding herself up, is starting to giggle (sort of) and usually ends up snorting which is the CUTEST thing, and I'm pretty sure she knows her name now. We love her so much!!! There are no words to describe the happiness she bring to us. Prepare for a major picture overload. They were all so cute and I couldn't pick so I'm using them all.

She's always in such a great mood when she first wakes up. Here are some shots of her in her jammy-jams and her bed hair trying to sit up on her own:

She's making major progress during tummy time. Yesterday I laid her down and walked away for less then a minute. When I looked back at her, she'd somehow managed to scoot herself all the way to the end of the blanket. I was totally surprised so I slid her back and watched her new technique. Here it is:
She lays down for a minute
 Then starts to lift her head and move her legs
 Then in one swift motion, she pulls her legs underneath her and uses her face and hands for support and scoots
 Then she gets tired and looks around until she's ready to be done

It was exciting! She'll be crawling before we know it! Before I update about non-baby related things, here are some more cute pictures to commemorate her big 3 month day!
 She loves this ball and is really good at grabbing it and trying to eat it.

Alright... now for some updates.
We've decided not to do our deck this fall. We're almost out of time and we didn't want to have to rush and get it done before it snows. We already bought half the wood and supplies we need to do it so they'll be staying the winter in the basement. We were pretty excited so this decision makes us a little sad, but it'll fun to do it in the spring along with the rest of our yard. And we'll have all summer to enjoy it. So instead, we cleaned out the basement and put things in the actual storage room instead of just tossing it downstairs, rolled out the little bit of unused carpet the sellers left, and set up the ping pong table!!
Maybe someday I'll actually get good at this game.

Cory is still loving work. His job is amazing! He may have long hours and have to work some Sunday's, but we're so grateful he's able to provide for us and that I can stay home with Kennedy. He also got $200 work boots and socks for free yesterday as a job perk. He was so excited! He walked into the store and said he was from Kennecott and the store owner showed him an entire wall of boots he could choose that were free of charge. "Here sir, pick some free boots!" It was awesome. Moab time is fast approaching so he'll be spending time in the garage getting the Jeep ready, a bi-yearly tradition. Lucky most of his work is done and we still have 3 weeks left. We're excited to go.

I've just been kicking it here at home with the munchkin. I wish I had something cool to say about my life but so far, not much to report. Being at home all day gives me a lot of time to think and be in tune with the spirit. It's amazing what I've been learning about myself. I feel so blessed to be at this point in my life.


Crazy Kid

We tried tummy time on the Boppy yesterday and it went a little like this:
All the leg kicking turned her a little Topsy-tervy
But she kept kicking her legs anyway

And she was happy about face-planting herself...

And she still got to practice lifting her head

Then she resorted to sucking on the pillow

And finally, we got to sit up like a big girl!


Things That Have Changed

Here are some ways your life changes when you become a mom:

You finally stop to smell the roses, because your baby is in your arms.

The sacrifices you thought you made to have a child no longer seem like sacrifices.

You respect your body ... finally.

You respect your parents and love them in a new way.

You find that your baby's pain feels much worse than your own.

You lose touch with the people in your life whom you should have banished years ago.

Your heart breaks much more easily.

You think of someone else 234,836,178,976 times a day.

Every day is a surprise.

Bodily functions are no longer repulsive. In fact, they please you. (Hooray for poop!)

You look at your baby in the mirror instead of yourself.

You become a morning person.

Your love becomes limitless, a superhuman power.

You finally realize that true joy doesn't come from material wealth.

You'd rather buy a plastic tricycle than those shoes that you've been dying to have.

You don't mind going to bed at 9 p.m. on Friday night.

You realize that the 15 pounds you can't seem to get rid of are totally worth having.

You discover an inner strength you never thought you had.

You no longer rely on a clock — your baby now sets your schedule.

You give parents with a screaming child an 'I-know-the-feeling' look instead of a 'Can't-they-shut-him-up?' one.

You take the time for one more hug and kiss even if it means you'll be late.

You learn that taking a shower is a luxury.

You find yourself wanting to make this world a better place.

You just plain love life more - everything comes together and becomes better because of one tiny person and your love for them.

Where you were once afraid, you're now fearless.

Nothing is just yours any longer. You share EVERYTHING!

No matter what you've accomplished in life, you look at your child and think, "I've done a GREAT job!"

You can have the most wonderful conversation using only vowel sounds like "ahhh" and "oooo."


Milestones and Cuteness

Yesterday was such a great day with Kennedy!!As mentioned before, she's been giving me grief about tummy time. I've been forcing her to do it anyway whenever I have the patience to let her cry. Yesterday, however, she didn't cry and she actually had time to practice lifting her head and for a brief moment, she actually lifted her chest completely off the ground with her arms! I was so excited I actually cried a little bit. I've been so worried that she'd never reach that milestone since she hated being on her tummy. I snapped a couple pictures:

She's also IN LOVE with this giraffe rattle:
Whenever we play with it, it's the closest she comes to laughing. Yesterday she also started reaching for it. Not every time, but occasionally, she'd look at it intently, then reach both her hands out and move them around until she touched it. I'd put it into her hands and she'd shake it briefly before she'd lose her grip. It was very exciting! It may be time to buy a floor gym or something she can start to play with. And we're really screwed once she learns how to play with things because then we'll be forced to buy all kinds of toys...

We pulled out Cory's baby book because we wanted to see what he looked like when he was Kennedy's age. Everyone says she looks like Cory, and she really does, but we had no idea just how much she does. Take a look for yourself.

I can now tell that she definitely has my eyes and ears, and quite possibly my mouth. It also makes me angry when people say she gets the red in her hair from me. I'M NOT A REDHEAD!! Has anyone looked at Cory lately?? His hair may not be red, but it's obviously from him. She has many features from him and I'm really happy about that. She's such a cute little bug!

I was making dinner and put her on the counter in her Bumbo thinking she'd last 10 minutes like normal then get sick of it. But she sat there a good 45 minutes playing with her rattle and rag and smiling at me whenever I'd talk to her while I cooked. She's got the best personality! And she looks so chubby in this picture!
 Last but not least, we were watching TV and I glanced down at her and found her sitting like this:

It made me laugh. And she stayed like that for about an hour.

I know much of this may seem insignificant and maybe even boring to those without kids. It's something you just don't get terribly excited about until you know what it's like. But oh well. Kennedy really is a special little girl. She's so easy going and mellow. She smiles so much and it doesn't take much to make her happy. She's so perfect. Words cannot express how much we love her!!


Random Updates and Thoughts

First up, after 5 1/2 months in our new ward, we finally got callings yesterday. We were both so nervous going in to meet with the bishop. We thought for sure we were going right to primary again. But instead we're now co-teaching with another couple the 14-18 year old youth for Sunday School. It's the perfect calling because it's every other week, only a Sunday gig, and we still get to go to Relief Society and Priesthood, which we love. But as he was talking about the influence we could have in the lives of the youth, I got all misty eyed because I started thinking back to my days as a youth in Sunday School. We had the best teachers! And although I was a little pill sometimes, I owe so much to those amazing teachers who taught me so much and set such a great example. I know they made a huge difference in the lives of all the youth in my ward growing up. I felt so humbled that here I was, 10 years later in their exact same shoes and I began to feel scared that I won't measure up as amazingly as they did. But we'll give it our all and hopefully be able to do a great job. We were called for a reason right? We're pretty excited and stoked that we get to serve together. I just hope Kennedy will behave herself on the times when Cory is working...

Next up, it's mid-September and we still have no visible progress on the deck. We have the plans drawn out, next step is to get a permit from the city, then we can go buy supplies. I'll be honest and say there's a slight chance it may not happen this fall, but we're optimistic that Cory will find the time to get it done before it snows.

Kennedy is growing like a weed. She's getting so big!! She's such a happy baby and all we have to do is say hi to her and she'll smile like crazy. Lately she's been sleeping all the way through the night. We put her to bed around 9:00-9:30 and she usually sleeps till about 7:30. I'm praying this continues because sleep is awesome! She's crazy about our ceiling fan and will squeal and kick when we turn it on. Who needs expensive toys? haha. She's really good at putting her hands in her mouth. She recognizes her binki and her bottle visually and sometimes she'll use her hands to push my hand up to her mouth when giving them to her. She's practicing sitting up in her Boppy. Once she gets stronger stomach muscles she'll have it made. Tummy time has been a challenge because she's decided she hates it. We're working on it though. And I guess I should mention since I'm getting a lot of questions/remarks about it that I'm not nursing. Mentally I understand it's a good choice for babies but I personally cannot handle it. People often ask me why, and I'll just honestly say that it grosses me out. I really tried to convince myself to be OK with it while pregnant and I really just can't get past my own feelings of it. I don't at all condone others who do it at all, in fact I'm impressed they don't have problems with it, but it wasn't the right choice for me. Kennedy is still very healthy, happy, and smart so I know I made a good choice for us. It was also very important to me to let Cory have the chance to feed her. In fact, he got to be the first one to feed her right when she was born and I cried watching them bond while they just stared at each other. So that's the scoop on that.

On Sunday we were watching a special on September 11th where they showed the film the two French brothers made about the rookie firefighter and happened to catch the whole day's events on their camera. I'd seen it before, but it was hard to watch again. It's pretty intense and it stirred a bunch of feelings inside me that I had during that day. I can't imagine how awful that day must have been for everyone there. Anyway, in the video when the north tower collapsed, the firefighters and the camera man were right beneath it. They took off running for their lives, all while the camera was still rolling. As the deafening roar and the dark cloud of dust and debris overtook them, one of the firemen jumped on the camera man to protect him, since the fireman was dressed in protective gear and the camera man wasn't. That one little act really got to me. I've been in brief moments in my life where I thought I might die. I know the fear that overtakes your body and the instinct of protecting yourself takes over your thinking. I've never been in something that terrifying before though, so I can't imagine how it felt. But, in all that chaos and fear, that firefighter had the thought to try and save someone else. In what I'm sure he thought was his final moment, he chose to do all he could to save the life of another. I'd like to think I'd have the same courage, but I'm not so sure. What a great example. I want to serve others more so that if that ever happens to me, my first thought won't be about helping myself, but about helping others. It really humbled me to see that.

That being said, the last days are truly upon us. There's signs everywhere in politics, the economy, behavior of the world, the elect being deceived, even the weather. But aside from all those things, I have felt the pressure of Satan trying to get to Cory and I in ANY way possible. He wouldn't be trying so hard if time wasn't running out to bring down anyone he can. And as we talked about in Sunday School, he wouldn't be trying so hard if we weren't something special that he wants to destroy. I've been absolutely AMAZED at the different ways he's tried to get at me. The other day we went to RCWilley. We've had a $100 gift card that we've yet to spend since that store is so expensive and we were hoping to find something. We didn't. But as the day progressed and we went to different stores for various items, I became more and more grouchy because all I thought about that day was all the things I want and how badly I want them and how I wish we had tons of money so we could just go buy them all. It took me a while to realize what was bringing me down. "Things" will never make me happy. Satan was really working on trying to get me to covet worldly things to depress me. I came home and sat there feeling stupid because we are already so blessed!!! It doesn't matter what I do or do not have. That's the first time I can remember caring that much since probably high school about having nice things. I don't think it's bad to want nice stuff, but to be so frustrated because you can't have it right now and to only focus on them and define who you are based on those things is wrong. I will never be a better person because I have a pool or a nice car. Things don't define people. People will like me for the person I am, not for the stuff I have or the clothes I wear. I was really surprised with myself and kind of in awe at the unpredictable ways the adversary is working to bring us down. Once I realized how blessed we already are and how I have no reason to complain I calmed right down. Now I know to be on alert from now on so that Satan can't make me unhappy that way again. I really do need to be on constant guard these days. I won't let him win. I won't let him deceive me. And I'll do everything in my power to keep him from getting to Kennedy as well. I'm grateful for the Lord and the promptings of the Spirit that help us choose righteously.


The Many Faces of Kennedy

Today was such a gorgeous day! Kennedy and I decided to go to the park and hang out. She stared at the trees and kicked and cooed and smiled and had a great time!

The Gain

I mentioned before how pregnancy/motherhood completely changes your perspective on life. It's hard to explain until you really get there. One area I've noticed a big change in is my attitude towards weight gain. In the past year I went from this:
To this:
Then back down to this:
I gained a miserable 50 lbs during pregnancy. I lost 30 of that in the first couple weeks after having Kennedy. I still have about 20 more to go to get down to my pre-pregnancy weight. And although that means a lot of work for me, and it makes me sad that none of my jeans will fit, I don't care nearly a fraction of the amount that I used to. I was cripplingly self conscious about every little flaw on my body, which is ironic when I was in the best shape of my life last year. Maybe it's the fact that there isn't a single part of me that hasn't changed from being pregnant, or the fact that I used to be a giant oompa-loompa, but I have this sudden bout of confidence that I didn't have before. I still want to lose the baby weight, but I'm not freaking out over it or getting depressed. It'll happen when it happens. I'm working hard at it. And I still feel confident with the body I have now. No, it's not ideal, but I think I look pretty good for someone who just had a baby. And every single miserable pregnancy moment and pound gained was worth it. I wouldn't ever trade Kennedy for a "perfect body." I'm very happy about this change in perspective for me. I don't want to live life feeling insecure all the time. And once you come to terms with how destroyed your body really is after childbirth, very little phases you anyway. My ribs and hips expanded, my eye sight is worse, my knees ache from time to time, I have spider veins in my ankle, my feet are longer... etc. But I don't care that much. My life is so much more rewarding and I'm a million times happier having Kennedy than before. I'll keep exercising and working hard to get back in shape and continue being active like I love to be and whatever happens, happens. I'm a much better person as a mother than I am being skinny. I'm grateful for this new attitude.