4+ Months of Millie

It is hard to believe Millie has been in our lives for nearly 5 months now!

Not even 5 months and she has already grown from this:

To this:

We are so in love with our daughter.  While she has turned our world upside down in every way imaginable we can't imagine a life without her in it.

Nothing can prepare you for how your life changes when you have a child. Seth and I felt prepared. We both had a lot of experience taking care of babies so we weren't too freaked out about that.  Plus, the house was ready.  Our family was ready. We felt ready. However I don't think you have any idea how life changes until that little baby arrives.

Your life no longer is about you. It's no longer about your spouse.  It's all about this tiny baby. A baby that needs absolutely every thing from you. Every poop, nap, and meal is a micro managed event.  I'm someone who has always treasure my "alone time" so this has probably been my hardest adjustment. I remember one evening when Millie was about 5-6 weeks old I told Seth to take Millie to his parent's for a couple hours.  I went and picked up Cafe Rio, watching a couple episodes of Sex and the City - and felt energized.  I realized that it had  been nearly 2 months since I had any time at home alone. That's a big adjustment after 31 years of having a lot of time to myself.

Sleep has been the biggest trial.  Wow.  I miss sleep. I can't remember the last time I had a full 8 hours of uninterupted sleep. I think I was maybe 3 months pregnant?  Those first couple of months are a blur.  Millie needed to be fed every 3 hours.  I was of course up several times a night.  Luckily she wasn't overly fussy so I was able to feed her and she would go easily back to sleep.  You also learn how to sleep hard when you sleep in 2&1/2 hour increments.  On average Millie sleeps 4-5 hours at a time which means I am "usually" only up 1 time a night.  It's getting easier but it is definitely still hard. I have also always been a big napper.  Naps no longer exist in my life.  If they do- they are rare.  There are days after work where all I want to do is go home and rest.  That is no longer an option with an infant at home.  However, if I'm lucky, Millie wants to nap and will snuggle up in my arms so we can both rest our eyes.

While you are sleep deprived you find that your whole life revolves around sleep.  It is a rare night that I am not getting into bed around 9:00. I know - I feel like an old person.  I always thought we'd have friends over for movie nights when I had a baby.  While I would love to - the knowledge that she will  be awake between 1:00am-3:00am just makes it impossible.  The earlier I go to bed, the longer stretch of sleep I will get.  Sadly that means all of my alone time and time with Seth is out the window. Also movie night with friends is largely out the winidow. For now at least.  I keep thinking ANY DAY she'll be sleeping through the night.  Here's hoping.  My life will change so much when this happens.

Adjusting to working has been tough.  Staying home for 7 weeks during maternity leave was really difficult for me.  I missed work, I missed being out of the house. I missed feeling busy.  Now that I am back I find that it is just as hard - but in a different way. I constantly worry that she is eating, napping or fussing. I miss her so much that I must look at my iPhone pictures of her about 5 times a day. For the most part it's great being back but I do miss her terribly. I realize that if I was a stay-at-home mom I wouldn't feel quite as overwhelmed.  When I am home I am able to keep up with the laundry, the cleaning, the errands.  Now I feel like I have about 2 hours a night to do about 6 hours worth of work.  I also feel guilty when I have to work in the evenings.  I love KUER and I love our events but I do feel a lot of guilt being gone in the evenings.  Learning to balance family/work will probably be a trial for the rest of my working life.  Bring it!  Plus it sure takes a lot of baggage to go to and from work these days.

Having a baby challenges your marriage too.  There are days where I realize that Seth and I haven't really talked to each other.  As I mentioned before I go to bed early.  The days I do stay up to watch TV with Seth I end up falling asleep.  It's definitely a strain.  Keeping your marriage intact is a ton of work too.  You are both overwhelmed and exhausted.  We are so lucky to have willing babysitters.  We rarely have to ask for a sitter.  People often call and offer to watch her so we can go out to dinner and such.  That's the key.  Time away together. 

Yet I don't think I ever felt as connected to Seth as I did when we had her.  Millie's birth was the most amazing moment of our lives.  For days I couldn't keep my hands off him. I just wanted to be near Seth.  That experience bonds you in ways you can't describe.  Raising a baby is certainly a team effort. I know I snap at him. I know we get frustrated with each other.  But we both need to realize that we are just doing the best that we can.

Having a baby means life is no longer just about walking out the door.  Going to dinner requires so much effort.  You have to time the naps, the feeding, find a baby sitter, pack a diaper bag, drop off baby, go to dinner (and attempt to talk about something other than the baby), check phone 8 times during dinner to make sure baby is ok, rush back to the sitter to pick up baby, take baby home.  Life is just a longer process now. She's worth it.

Ok gripe session ended.

Although she has turned our lives upside down - we are absolutely in love with her.  As tired as I am, I still race into her room every morning just to catch a glimpse of that early morning smile she reserves for us.

I love her talking and cooing. I love her giggles and belly laughs.


I love that she will sit in my lap while I read to her. I love the way she kicks her legs and squirms when she gets excited. I love her new crab walk where she scoots around the room on her back.

I love giving her baths. I love singing to her. I love taking her for long walks. I love introducing her to the world. I love introducing her to food!

I love that even the most minimal milestones (rolling over) are a cause for such celebration. I love watching her eyes light up with excitement when she sees her toys.

I love helping her learn how to play.

I love when I get home from work at night she smiles at me in a way that makes me realize I am possibly her favorite person on the planet.

I love that when she is sick, she wants her momma. 

I love that she has brought a world of joy and happiness to our families. I love that I have to send a picture text of her to my mom, sisters, aunts, etc. nearly every day.

I love that she is not even 5 months old and is already such a card. 

She is so funny already.  How is this possible? I love her expressions.

I love that when I look at her I see so much of myself in her. I just love her.  More than anything in the world.  She's amazing.  I love you my sweet baby!

June 12th

On the 12th of every month I take 12 pictures to document my day.  Here's June 12th, 2012.

1. Story time with Ris.  Ris is our new nanny.  Today I was running a bit late getting ready. It was nice to have her here to keep Millie busy while I attempted to get out the door on time.

2. Boy do I miss the days when all I had to take with me when I left the house was my purse.  I am the "bag lady". You can't even see my bag with my breast pump in the car because it's black.

3. I had a container full of 2 cups of milk in my bag - for some cereal.  When I got to work the container tipped and spilled all over my desk.  My files were soaked.  I was pissed.  Here's my attempt to dry out my stuff.

4. As a University employee we have the option to participate in some health tests in order to get cheaper monthly insurance.  This was my day for a couple of tests. Really cool actually.  Here I am testing my Resting Metabolic Rate.  Turns out breastfeeding is amazing.  I currently need 2450 calories a day - just to maintain.  What!?  I know!  Yes please!  This doesn't even count what I need if I exercise.

5.  The second test was a  body fat percentage test.  I got to sit in this spaceship looking chamber.

6. I just kept staring at this poster hanging next to the spaceship and praying I at least made it into the "Moderately Lean" category. I did.  Barely.  Not too bad for only being 4 months after baby. Still not great.

7. I count down the time when I can get home and play with my baby girl.  Man she is getting so pretty!

8. Millie is getting really good at her tummy time!

9. Daddy's home!  Yeah! 

10.  Poor Millie had some shots yesterday.  She was not feeling well tonight.  We thought a bath would help with her fever. 

11. Man I love snuggling her up after bath time!

12. Bed time for mom!  Too bad I have to freaking pump first.  At least I have "The Great Gatsby" to keep me company.

Teaching Acceptance

This weekend was gay pride weekend in Salt Lake.  I'm shamed to admit that I have never actually been to pride. I usually made excuses of why I didn't go "It's too hot" or "I don't want to deal with the crowds".  This year though I decided I needed to go.  No more excuses.  And I knew I needed to take Millie.

I realize my daughter is only 4-months-old but I want to raise her to love and accept those that are different than her. I want to raise her to not be put off or frightened by people that aren't exactly like her mom and dad.

Heather, Seth, and I packed her up and headed downtown.  She's really fussy in the car, and she can be very fussy in her stroller so I wasn't sure how she would do.  But she was a trooper!

It was really important to me to have my brother Chris attend.  He spent the last 14 years of his life living in San Francisco.  I knew Pride in Utah couldn't hold a candle to pride in San Fran but I was so glad he came.

 Gay rights is extremely important to me.  When I found out my brother was gay I was 12.  Being 12 and being an active Mormon made this news a bit difficult for me.  Funnily enough the reason my mom told me was because I asked her "Mom why do Fer and Adam fight like they are boyfriend/girlfriend?"  My mom exchanged a look with Wally and said, "I think it's time to tell her."  So they sat me down and told me.

I wasn't sure how I felt about it initially.  I mean I was told in church how wrong homosexuality was.  But I never knew my brother to be any different. I never knew him to have a girlfriend.  And he claimed he knew he was gay since he was a child.  Plus even at the age of 12 I started to understand that being gay was difficult.  So why would my brother choose to be gay?

My activism started in Junior High when boys thought it was funny to call each other "faggot".  I used to stop people and say, "Don't you dare say the f-word around me!"  I wasn't willing to really tell people I had a gay brother but I wasn't ready to tolerate this language.

I continued with this through high school.  Yet in high school I started to meet some of my dearest friends - who were openly gay (and many more of you who weren't openly gay).  I never judged.  I loved them all.

And yet I was the most faithful and active in the church during this time.  I still believed in the church. I used to say "the first thing I'll ask God about when I get to heaven is about homosexuality."  I couldn't reconcile my belief in the church with the church's stance on gays.  I swept it under the rug for the most part.

One situation that still sticks out in my mind occurred during Sunday School. I was probably 17 and one of the members of the Bishopric was substitute teaching a lesson.  Homosexuals came up in the lesson and I remember he said something like, "If they want to be perverted that's their choice."  That stung.  How could someone that I thought was so close to God say such a hurtful thing?  To this day I still can't look this guy in the eye.

For years after high school I still was a faithful member of the church.  A faithful member who just didn't agree with one thing the church taught.  But I figured I would never find a religion that I agreed with 100% right?

I won't go into the details but shortly after my divorce I started to slip away from the church.  I would still attend but it became more difficult. I started to have several things that I no longer agreed with about the church.  But I still loved a lot of things about it.  I still do.

Then Prop 8 happened.  Let me just say that I totally understand that the church would not support gay marriage.  I get that. I am ok with that.  But when the church played such an active role in Prop 8 it was the nail in the coffin for me as an active member.  I couldn't reconcile my feelings anymore.  I even went and protested the church in order to show those I love that are gay that I wasn't ok with the church's role.

I have several friends who are still active in the church - with gay relatives and friends.  I know that in many ways they don't agree with the church on gay marriage but they still attend.  I applaud them. I think that is so difficult.  For me it was too difficult.  I miss the church.  I really do.  It enriched my life in so many ways.  However being an active mormon is no longer in the cards for me.  Will I ever go back?  Who knows.  For now I don't see that happening.

It all boils down to civil rights for me.  I know that a large portion of our population believes homosexuality is wrong.  However, your moral code does not mean you get to withhold civil rights from others.  Period. Believe it is wrong if you will. But don't take away or prevent basic rights from others.  Don't be full of hate because they are different.  That isn't fair. Believe what you will but don't hate others that are different.

I want to raise my daughter to love all people.  Gay, straight, bi - black, white, hispanic - christian, muslim, atheist.  It doesn't matter.  I want her to learn to love diversity and to be able to love others based on their character and not their sexual orientation/color/religion. Why are we so afraid of those that are different from us?

That's why I took her to pride.  That's why I don't care if she sees men walking around in speedos - or drag queens performing on stage.  Although she didn't know what was going on this year - she'll learn a bit more each year I take her.  She'll grow up knowing that her uncle is gay and she'll hopefully love him just the same.  I hope she'll have gay friends. I hope she'll attend different churches and see the beauty in all of them. I hope she'll have friends of all different colors.  That's a beautiful world to me.  And I wish it for her.