Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Monkey Baby

Happy (late) Halloween! I can't even tell you how much fun Greg and I had sifting through the baby Halloween costumes at Costco. Being parents is THE FUNNEST.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


I can't believe that Brynn is 10 weeks old. I always mean to post pictures of her, but somehow the time has just gotten away from me. How can I sum it up? Life with her is wonderful. Last night as I said my prayers I just poured out my heart for how grateful I am for her. I can't believe how beautiful she is. And I almost can't believe that she's mine and I get to keep her. 

That feeling of "mineness" is something I've been so looking forward to. Whenever I would babysit growing up, I always dreamed of the day when a baby would reach out to me and I would be the one they really wanted. And now, even though she's still tiny, that's what I have with Brynn. I'll be honest, I didn't settle into this feeling automatically. For one thing, Brynn is an IVF baby. This was an incredible blessing for us and I am absolutely sure this is what we were supposed to do to add to our family. I wouldn't have done it otherwise. But it did mean that the whole process of getting pregnant and finding out I was pregnant was a lot different than I imagined it--not bad, just different. And then the whole time I was pregnant I was scared. I tried really hard to connect with her and bond with her, but I wonder if something inside of me held back a little bit because I was afraid that what was happening was too good to be true, and I was just afraid I would lose her. I don't think it's a feeling you can really explain unless you've lost a child in pregnancy before. 

And then when she was born, we were so happy. But let's be honest. The newborn stage is hard, and even though I was crazy with love, I was also crazy with sleep deprivation and hormones. But now that things have settled down a little, and we're getting more used to each other, it's really starting to dawn on me: this is my daughter. She's finally here. She's all mine. 

I'm so happy. 

So here are some pictures of our beautiful Brynn girl. Some are kind of old, but I just want to throw them all up here to document some of my favorites: 

Look at that cute face! 

The carrier is her favorite thing ever, so we go on walks a lot in the park across the street. Look at those lips! 

These pictures below are a big deal because they were the first pictures we got of her smiling, when she was around 6 weeks. Oh man. So adorable. 

The wider my mouth gets the happier I am! 

Just doing my ab exercises in my swaddle sack: 

My super cute coat! 

Aren't hats on babies so darling? 

So I never blogged about it, but we went in to New York City for our 5 year anniversary/my birthday. (I saw The Lion King on Broadway and it was AMAZING!!! Greg officially gave me the best birthday present possible when he bought me that ticket!) Brynn was so good the whole time in the city! Just hanging out with Daddy in Grand Central Station:

Her eyes are so lovely to me. 

She's also a pretty fantastic sleeper. While she's still a little inconsistent, she can sleep from 10 to 6, eat really quick, and then conk out for another 2 hours after that. It's amazing. 

In one of the dresses Mommy made for me: 

Tummy time: 

When she woke up this morning. I can't believe how big she's getting. She was a little immodest because her pajamas got pulled down by her sleeper sack. Greg and I thought it was hilarious: 

If you ever read this Brynn, there is one thing you must always, always know. You were so very wanted. And you are so extremely loved. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Brynn's Blessing

We had a special day here on Sunday. Brynn was blessed at church and we had family in town to be with us. A baby blessing in the LDS faith is similar to a christening, but it is performed by a lay member who has the Priesthood. It was such an amazing experience for me to be able to watch my daughter be blessed by her dad, and I know it was an amazing experience for Greg to be able to do it. 

Blessing her is something we've been looking forward to doing for years. When Austin and Daniel were born they both received blessings. They were very simple and very powerful. It was a window into who they were. I felt the same way at Brynn's blessing. She has her whole life ahead of her. It was a reminder to me that the whole journey of bringing her to our family was never just about "us," if you know what I mean. She has her own life, her own talents, her own strengths. She's going to have her own struggles and make her own choices. She's so little now, but there are so many things she is going to experience. She's not just my beautiful daughter--she is her own person. Maybe that sounds simple and silly, but having this more full picture of who she is just makes me fall in love with her even more. 

I was pretty proud of her blessing dress. I knew she would be a girl the moment we found out we were expecting, and I really wanted to be able to make her a blessing dress. I practiced sewing the whole time I was pregnant so the dress would turn out nice. It was a little big for her, but Grandma Zollinger helped us fix that with a ribbon around her waist. I thought she looked so beautiful and I'm so glad I started the tradition of making my kids' blessing clothes! Hopefully I can keep it up. 

Isn't she lovely though? 

Greg's parents and his brother Morgan's family came into town. It was so fun to have them here! We took Brynn out on some adventures this weekend and just had a blast. 

I'm so happy she is in our family. 

We took some cousin pictures. James was not having any of it! But they still turned out pretty adorable. 

Motherhood is funny. I've never been so consistently exhausted in my life and sometimes I have no freakin' clue what I'm doing. But she is beautiful and life is so good. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

4 Weeks Old!

Hey, we made it! Brynn is a month old (almost...pretty much).

This past week we had a great adventure and went to church for the first time. Brynn was very cute in her Sunday best, if I do say so myself.

 Church is exhausting!

There was also a time this past week when I was trying to take a really photogenic picture of Brynn to post on an online baby shower page. Most of the time she's very cooperative, but sometimes Miss Brynn just doesn't feel like posing all pretty and stuff. These are samples of the pictures I kept getting: 

It was pretty hilarious. Just for the record, I still think she's pretty stinkin' adorable in all these "real life" shots. 

We're still working on the sleeping/eating/napping thing, but life is pretty good around here. Mom finds something new to worry about every day, but since worrying is BY FAR my bestest talent, I guess I didn't expect anything else. And after a few weeks where Brynn lost a ton of birth weight and really struggled to start gaining it back, she now is packing on the pounds pretty good! For serious though, after a million weight check pediatrician visits, she put on half a pound in 4 days. FOUR. DAYS. 

Good job Baby Brynn! Here's to another 4 weeks! 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Brynn Eliza

It's been a crazy two weeks, but we've finally got it together enough to post some pictures of Brynn. At some point we'll recap the whole labor story and maybe even get around to telling about our adventure with being hospitalized with breastmilk jaundice two different times. But as for right now, let's just post some braggy pictures of our beautiful daughter.

I always pictured that she would take after Greg, but she sure does look a lot like me.

In the hospital (the original time. You know, to be born)

Home, sweet home. 

Baby mullet: 

I don't know why she sometimes sleeps this way? 

With Mommy:

Hello hello! 

With Daddy: 

Even though I've been looking forward to it for so long, I'm not exactly sure what I expected life with a newborn to be like. It's surreal that she's mine and that she's here to stay. It's wonderful. It's very hard. I've made mistakes. It's been hard to forgive myself. I am so happy and sometimes so afraid. Even though having this baby is different than what I thought it would be, I think this new experience with her and with my family is what we've always wanted. We're learning so much and we're changing in ways that we never could have without her. Like I said, it's crazy that she's mine and that I get to keep her here with me the rest of my life. It's amazing. Hard, but amazing, and that's all I've ever asked for.