Saturday, June 1, 2013

Vacation!! May 2013

We had the amazing opportunity to go home for three whole weeks!  We are so spoiled!  We knew we wanted to spend some time home this summer to escape the Georgia heat and to see our family, but we were planning on a little later in the summer... Because of Stevie's school and work schedule though, we had our biggest break in May.  
This being Lyla's second set of flights- we were a little less nervous to fly with her.  She was a lot more awake during these flights than the ones in December, but she did awesome.  She only cried a few times, and mostly out of boredom.  Everyone sure loved her!  People in the airports and on the planes would stop us and ask about her.  They would also comment on how beautiful she is... which makes us feel good :).  Of course we think she is a looker, but it is nice to know it isn't completely just in our heads.  
We arrived in Utah and met up with Grandma Jeppson.  I was SO excited to see my mom- because your mom is... your mom! She quickly got in her first set of Lyla loves and sent a picture to a jealous Grandpa who was still working up in Burley.  Dad and Kim joined us a few days later for the lovely Angie Lash's wedding.  I had the privilege of getting to do her hair for her big day.  It was fun dolling her all up for her wedding- making her feel just as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside :).  The wedding was great.
 Then we headed over for Buddy's big Angry Birds birthday party! It was a blast!  Becky made the party sooo cute.  There were Angry Birds cakes (homemade), pinatas, bowling, and John, Stevie, and Kim took turns being a giant pig cut out of cardboard and letting all the little kids chase them around in Angry Birds masks.  It was such a hit!! Buddy is so glad to be 5.
We spent the next week with Stevie's family.  It was so good to see them all and catch up.  I really felt like this time around I didn't have to lock myself in a bedroom to nurse the entire trip, and now that it isn't flu season and Lyla has some immunizations, I was able to relax and just enjoy everyone.  She sure loved all of the attention.  We got to see a bunch of Stevie's extended family at a fun Mother's Day dinner.  Lyla got to meet her Great Grandma Carol, who has a particular talent for making her smile during pictures. She finally met Aunts Jeni, Julie, Jelaire, and their kids (and some grandkids) and Uncles B and Rob.  Lyla had such a great time with Baylie and Brady.

 It was amazing and almost therapeutic to be around family.  We stayed several days with Grandpa Steve and Carolynn.  Man does Lyla have Grandpa wrapped around her little finger :)  They enjoyed spending mornings together before Grandpa had to go off to work.  She sure does love him.  Lyla also got to meet her Great Grandma Camille and Grandpa Larry.
Everyone is so loving and supportive- it was great to see all of the people we have missed so much. 
We also enjoyed some of the fun Utah restaurants we have been missing terribly.  Our first stop was Costa Vida with my Aunt Nadine, her kids, and my cousins Jenna and Brandon.  I HAVE MISSED THOSE PORK SALADS!  lol.  We also had Winger's for lunch one day with Amy, and California Pizza Kitchen & the Cocoa Bean with my old coworker Bekkah and her hubby Jonny.  Great food and even better people!  Man, now I'm hungry again ;) 
We spent a day over in Eagle Mountain- went and visited (favorite) Aunt Jeni and her family, and then the Amanda and Justin and cutie Capri Pickup.  Man I've missed Amanda!!  Can we seriously be neighbors yet?! 
Lyla got to have her first professional photo shoot during this trip.  My wonderful friend Shantell Bullock spent one morning with us, capturing beautiful pictures of my sweet Belle.  She is so talented!  I highly recommend her to any friends in the Utah Valley area who need any kind of photography done.  I'm excited to see the pictures when she finishes editing them!
The second weekend of our trip we headed up to Idaho!! We got to go up to Sugar City and see my grandparents.  Great Grandpa Jeppson just loves Lyla.  He spent so much time holding her and playing with her.  Great Grandma sure loves her too :)  We got spoiled with some amazing raspberry jam, Grandpa's aged cheddar cheese, and a few great rounds of Rook!  I even got to play with my favorite partner, Grandpa.  We had such a great time.  
The next big stop on our trip was Kim and Alex's cute new home!  These two little love birds invited us over on Kim's birthday.  We went to Ruby Tuesdays for lunch and then I got to cut and color Kimmy's hair for her birthday present.  We ended the night with some good ol' Twilight Rifftrax- Breaking Dawn Part 2.  So funny.  Kim and Alex are so cute together- and I sure did miss my favy little sister.  Don't know if we could ever settle down in Pocatello though... Stevie is allergic!! He broke out in hives- we later found out the culprit was really some new laundry soap, but it makes you wonder... ;) 
Then home.  It was so peaceful walking into my house and just sitting down on the couch next to my parents.  I totally understand the meaning of "home sweet home" now.  Ahhhhh.  We just spent the next few days relaxing and enjoying my parents.  We went for walks, played some Candy Crush :) and did some baking with mom.  It was so great to be back.  Stevie and I got to go on our first real date and night out away from the babe.  We went to Iron Man 3 and hit up Dairy Queen after.  We realized that we are a little rusty on making conversation that doesn't revolve around our little princess... We made a trip over to Uncle Wayne and Aunt Janet's to visit.  It was great to see them and their cute kiddos.  Lyla couldn't quite decide if she liked Tyler, but she sure did love Megs and Rachel. :)
 I also got to see Beverly Gerratt while home.  It was great to catch up with her as well.  Lyla enjoyed all of the late night snuggles and spoiling from grandpa and grandma.  She sure will miss them!  We also fed her rice cereal for the first time.  She didn't quite know what to think of it... but now we can't get it into her mouth fast enough! Such a fun milestone.  
After some teary goodbyes we headed back down to Utah for a couple days.  We spent one last evening at Grammy's (Stevie's mom's) house with Uncle Brady and Aunt Amy.  They had fun giving Lyla more loves and some rice cereal.  Amy said "That was the most rewarding thing I've done all week!" after seeing Lyla bounce with excitement while feeding her rice.  Lyla sure is blessed to have so many amazing people in her life.  
We spent our last day in Utah with the Fitch family.  I got to cut little J and Becky's hair.  John spoiled us with his amazing ribs!! And Becky and I finished the night with a little pedicure.  I miss being so close to them and all of our Sunday night dinners and game nights.  
Now that we are back home and trying to get Lyla adjusted back to our time zone, it all sinks in how much we miss our families back home.  Even though we miss everyone so much, I know Georgia is where The Lord wants us.  We have really had some great experiences out her and met some amazing people.  I know when I look back on the story of our life, this will be one of my favorite chapters.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

5 Months! {how to sleep train your dragon}

This month has been so much fun! Lyla is growing and growing- which we LOVE. We feel like she has changed more this month than any other month. She has started giggling, rolling over, squealing and babbling, and she has even made a few crawling attempts! She loves to kick her feet up in the air and put her toes in her mouth. Every day is a new joy with our little Belle.
We have started sleep training Lyla. We tried when she was 4 months, but we decided after a few days she was a little too young and it was so hard for us to listen to her cry and cry :(. So this time we took a little different approach and followed the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth. It is a really good approach to sleep training. Before when we were trying to help Lyla learn to self soothe, it felt like torture to listen to her cry. This book pointed out that you shouldn't let crying prevent you from doing what is best for you child. (It gave an example that when your 2 year old cries because he doesn't want his diaper changed, you change it anyway, even though he is crying). After looking at it this way, it was easier for me to just relax a little and know I was doing what was best for my babe. And so far it is working SO well! We will put her down for the night, and even though she still sometimes wakes up before feeding time, she will cry for a few seconds and then go right back to sleep. And she is so much happier now! It is like we had to endure a little bit of crying at first, but now we have much less crying while she is awake, which is so fun. I highly recommend this book. One thing I have definitely learned is that you have to do what is best for your own child. No one knows your child like you do, and I feel that parents are blessed with inspiration to know what is best for their little ones. I'm just so glad that we have found something that works for us to help Lyla sleep better.
Stevie and I started a health challenge a few weeks ago. We are not so much focused on weight loss- as I'm still exclusively nursing and can't restrict calories, but we are just trying to get healthier habits. It includes drinking 64 oz of water each day, not eating after 9 PM, 2 fruits/day, 3 veggies/day, 30-45 min of exercise 5 times per week, and no sugar/sweets 6 days a week, and journaling what you eat. It has been fun and we feel better about our eating habits. Lyla loves the jogging stroller, and I love all of Georgia's beautiful scenery. (still not sure how I feel about running in this heat and humidity though!)
My little craft this month was something I made for my sister- It was something she found online that I just recreated. It was fun, but I think I'm a little too OCD for somethings ;). I used a pattern and painter's tape for my chevron lines, but they weren't as crisp as I wanted... maybe if I use spray paint next time? I don't know- any tips are welcome!! haha
We have an exciting trip ahead of us- 3 weeks back home :) I'm sure next month's blog will be much more exciting!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

4 Months!

Wow how quickly this last month has gone! Our little girl has changed so much! So thankful for google + and FaceTime that help us keep in touch with our far away families.
Lyla and Stevie have had their first few evenings alone this month while I was lucky to get a couple nights out with the girls! It was hard to leave my baby girl for a few hours, but very much needed for my sanity to get a little "me" time. Stevie and I also enjoyed a few date nights (sort of) just after Lyla went to sleep. We watched Breaking Dawn Part 2 (with RiffTrax of course!), Wreck It Ralph, The Hobbit, and Les Mis this month. It is so fun to get some time together after she goes to sleep. Time to just talk and catch up and keep our relationship happy.

This month has been so fun as far as Lyla's development goes! She is still smiling and being so adorable. She now coo's and makes cute little gurgles and ga-ga's on a regular basis, and she LOVES when you repeat them back to her. She is getting much better hand-eye coordination and can deliberately grasp or swat (where as before, it was a little hit and miss :). She also does this adorable thing when she gets excited, she will take a few big breaths with a big open mouth, like a little pant. It makes us giggle. Stevie and Lyla's game of the month is "Super Lyla". He will lift her up in the air and she will stick her legs straight out and plank. She loves it and so does daddy. It helps build up her neck and back muscles too. She is also starting to try and sit up on her own- super strong babe! We received a hand-me-down Bumbo from a nice neighbor, and she does pretty well in it.
Super Lyla
Lyla turned 100 days old on St. Patty's day! We sure are "lucky" to have her :) It is so hard to believe that it has been 100 days since she came into our lives! They have been some of the most rewarding and challenging, and also most fun days of our lives.
This month we got to enjoy Stevie being home for a whole week! He had spring break, and since his main part time job is at the university, and we lucked out that his other job didn't have anything scheduled, we got spoiled and had him all to ourselves! Stevie and I got ahead on some spring cleaning projects and spent the week enjoying each other and our sweet babe. It was such a wonderful week!
Getting some housework done with the help of Belle :)
Spring Break To-Do List
Out to dinner during Spring Break
Lyla's first Easter was sure fun. Grandma Jeppson sent over some goodies for her first Easter basket. It was filled with a cute stuffed bunny, a rattle, some chain link toys, a cute little Princess Belle and Prince little people toy, and a Sophie la Giraffe. It was a fun day and she looked so cute in her little Easter dress.

Conference this weekend was fabulous. We are so blessed to get to hear from living prophets and receive their teachings. It is still a little hard to get used to the sessions starting 2 hours later because we live in Georgia, but still a wonderful weekend.
Sunday Morning Session- still in our pj's

Thursday, March 7, 2013

3 Months!

This past month has been so much fun. Lyla is growing and developing quite the little personality. I love spending each and every day with her, and Stevie says that the hardest part of his day is leaving us. We are very blessed that he is so hard working, and I'm grateful he works 2 jobs along with going to school, so that I have the opportunity to stay home with my sweet Belle.
Some of Lyla's fun new skills include swatting and grasping at objects with her cute little hands. She LOVES her hands. They are a fun built-in toy that offer loads of entertainment. Also she has started kicking like a mad woman when she gets excited. Her legs do this cute little jig. She hates tummy time, but in spite of that she is getting strong neck and shoulder muscles. Lyla is also getting really good at recognizing Stevie and me. When Stevie comes home from work or when we are in a room with lots of people, she knows who we are and lights up for us. It is so fun to be someone's everything. She will look up at me with her big eyes, and get a giant smile, and it makes all the poopy diapers, all the late-night crying worth it. I would do anything for this sweet little babe :)
So a brief recap on February-
Valentine's Day! Such a fun day to get to go a little bit crazy on showing our love for each other. Stevie spoiled me with some fun new clothes, as I no longer have a baby belly, and I was feeling a little bit like a frumpy momma. Because we are "starving graduate students" I asked Stevie not to spend money on flowers, so he took it upon himself to wrap my presents to look like hearts and roses. What a romantic silly goose. I did some fun candy-grams and other little nerdy notes. I also got him a notebook with pictures of me and Lyla on it so he can miss us a little less when he is away at school. We went out for a picnic with takeout Olive Garden. The weather was mostly permitting, and we got to try out Lyla's new stroller. It was a fun evening.
Another fun event in February was a visit to Athens, to Mike and Ali's! It was so great to see family and spend some time with them :) They are great hosts. We went to the little zoo there and saw all the fun animals. It is a cute and tiny zoo, but hey it is free! We also went out to eat and tried this little pizza place- Your Pie. Super yummy.
Between a cold at the beginning of February, and a stomach bug at the end of the month, our sweet babe is a skinny mini! We are trying to get her to plump up so she can stay at the percentile she was at her first two months. To help my milk supply stay up and meet her demands, I made these yummy "Milk Making Cookies". I was a little leery at first, but they turned out pretty good, even Stevie likes them! We are hoping he will start lactating so I can skip a nightly feeding every now and then :) just kidding! I just like to tease him because he is eating more cookies than I am.
A progression of Lyla's 1st thing in the morning expressions.  She is so happy in the am!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

2 Months!

Miss Lyla is 2 months old today! It is hard to believe how fast it has all gone. I'm trying so hard not to be sad about how fast it is going, but rather enjoy every minute.
This last month has been so much fun- Lyla is getting such a cute little personality. We've had some ups and downs- she can go from being the crankiest sad babe to being the most adorable little one. She has started making noises that aren't cries or screams and they are so cute. Stevie and I will just giggle as she coos and happily squeals. One night as I was putting her to bed, she was sound asleep and let out this adorable little squeal and got a huge smile on her face. She must have been having a happy dream :)
Another fun things she does now is frown. This may not sound fun, but she will kind of whimper and give us this giant frown, and although it is sad she is upset, it is SOO cute.
About a week ago we went to visit Stevie at one of his jobs. It was nice for us to get out of the house, and on the plus side Lyla LOVES her carseat. Stevie enjoyed seeing us during his lunch break. Lyla is one cute distraction :)
Stevie and I still constantly fight over who gets to hold her and when. I usually let him win though, since he works so hard to support us so I can stay home with her all day. Lyla is such a daddy's girl already. When he gets home from school or work, she lights up and gives him HUGE smiles.
Lyla started sleeping through the night a week or two after we got home from our Christmas trip. It has been so amazing to get 8-9 hours of sleep a night! But unfortunately she isn't quite gaining weight like she was before she started sleeping through the night, so we have to start waking her to feed her every 3 hrs. I'm super sad about this! She has such a great routine and I hate waking a sleeping babe to eat... but you gotta do what you gotta do. I've also been drinking this tea- its called "Mother's Milk" to help make sure my milk can keep up with her demand. For all you breastfeeding mommas out there worried about your milk supply, this stuff is a great natural remedy! My sweet hubby- who likes to experience EVERYTHING as far as parenthood goes, says it tastes like potpourri... haha he is such a goof. It does have fennel in it and lots of herbs, so its not the best tasting stuff, but it sure does work.
We made it through our first cold. I got it first, then Miss Belle, and then Stevie :( Being a stay at home mom is so hard when you aren't feeling well. It was also so hard to see our little girl sad and just confused about why she was hurting. Luckily we all made a speedy recovery.
I've have had a little "me" time while Lyla naps so I had the chance to make some fun Valentine's Day crafts. Super fun and cheap therapy :) and I love hobby lobby and Pinterest.
Still loving everything about being a mom and I'm sure Stevie would say the same about fatherhood.