Friday, January 31, 2014


"a portrait of each of my children, once each week, in 2014"

Cruz: Loves blueberry muffins and cottage cheese, race cars, superheroes, and Looney Tunes.  Beau introduced it to him the other night and we could hear him giggling from the other room.  He loves the Road Runner the most.  

Mila: Up until last week, this little lady was scared of her yawn.  We'd hold our breath the minute one would start because we knew it would follow with a scream!  She's getting used to her reflexes now, though, so I can finally get some baby yawn pics.  They're my favorite.     

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Everything that is Mila

Mila turned two weeks old this week and while one part of me feels like I was just pregnant with her, another part of me feels like we've had her a lifetime.  I've been home two weeks now and every day has proven to be quite the roller coaster as we attempt to slide into a new routine and keep our three year old busy during these long days stuck inside.  Mila is a wonderful baby - she loves her sleep, loves to snuggle, and loves to sit in her lamb chair or lay on the floor and listen to all the crazy antics of her big brother.  Beau and I often wonder if it really is that Mila is a good baby or if her parents are more laid back this time around.  We laugh that we used to tiptoe around Cruz when he was sleeping and hold our breath every time he would move.  Definitely a different story this time around. 

The most difficult hurdle for us since Mila's birthday has involved a stubborn string of colds that has plagued my entire family.  Cruz came down with a cold just a couple days before we had Mila and Grandma Mary had a rough night with him the night Mila was born.  Thankfully, he seemed to bounce back pretty quickly and was feeling quite good by the time we brought her home from the hospital.  By that next weekend, Beau caught it, followed by me a few days later.  My mom has been sick since Christmas, and it seems we've had so many visitors cancel due to various bugs.  I spent one miserable night with a fever just days after having Mila home, attempting to nurse under three sets of blankets and take care of her and her brother on less sleep than I'm used to.  Pair some nasty colds with three days of jury duty for the new dad and we had a wild first week around here!  Thankfully, I believe we are on the downhill swing and Miss Mila has stayed healthy so far.  I'm amazed at the power of breast milk - supposedly my body started building antibodies to fight my cold, which Mila gets when she nurses, long before I even had symptoms.  So, I keep nursing, try my best to not cough in her sweet little face, and give thanks every day she wakes up with a clear nose! 

In addition to our colds, Mila was also welcomed to the world during one of the coldest winters in recent history.  This Polar Vortex has brought with it multiple days with -30 windchills and quite the blizzard on Sunday afternoon.  It's been nice to hunker down and have every excuse to stay where it's warm and snuggle this little bug, but the cabin fever is beginning to set in and a little sunshine would do all of us some good!  The thermometer hit 20 degrees today and that was it - Mom came, we bundled up the kids and had lunch at Applebees!  It felt so good to get out of the house for a bit!  While I'd like to keep this 6 lb. bundle on my chest forever, baby toes in green grass and walks to the park sound better and better all the time! 

Polar Vortex and Vicks' Kleenex aside, we are so incredibly blessed with this baby girl of ours and just love getting to know her.  She's a unique little soul, perfectly created in God's image and it's so amazing to watch her grow and figure out this world of hers.

I thank Jesus for everything that is Mila Carys...(I did a similar post for Cruz when he was just days old)

...For the way her pretty blue eyes concentrate so when we talk to her.  She's an observant little thing and it almost looks as though she is trying to respond to our voices, moving her pouty little lips as if trying to utter syllables.  Sometimes when I make an owl noise at her, "whoo, whoo, whoo", she will pierce her lips in a little 'o' as if trying to copy my sound.

...For her long fingers and long toes.  She gets these from her mama and will most definitely be a piano player someday.

...For the way she always kicks one foot, just like she did inside of me.

...For her cute head of hair, especially the way it hangs over her collar in the back.

...For all her smiles when she's dreaming.  She dreams a lot and you're almost always guaranteed big smiles as she drifts in and out of baby dreamland.  We spotted what looked like a dimple already, too and I can't wait for the real thing.  Baby smiles are magic.

...For the top of her head.  All of our noses are attracted to it like magnets, even Cruz's.  The worst part of my cold has been my inability to drink in her baby scent.  Seriously.   

...For her love of sleep - so far so good.  The night we brought Mila home from the hospital, I finally woke her up after 4 1/2 hours of solid sleep!  I actually woke up rested on our first night home with her, a much different memory from her brother's first night!  She usually wakes up to eat every 3-4 hours, but Monday night, she surprised Mommy with a seven hour stint!  The next night, however, she was back to 3-4 hours, but I'm not complaining!

...For her symphony of sounds while she eats.  From her gulps to her squawks, to her little piggie snorts, she is a vocal eater.  And my favorite?  Her face when she comes up for air.  Her mouth all covered in milk, she looks as though she's just come back from war!  She's a fierce little eater and has poops to match!

Love me a good milk face.

...For her perfect pouty lips and sweet little nose.  I tell her people would pay big money for lips like that!

...For the way music seems to calm her down.  The other night, she was a little fussy before bed.  Beau took her and I went to put Cruz to bed.  When I came back downstairs, I heard the guitar from the bedroom and went to find Mila wide awake listening to her daddy play guitar for her.  It was adorable and I'm pretty sure it made Beau's week.

...For her hysterical, hold-her-breath cry when she's hungry or naked.  Mom always said I would go from zero to ten in .5 seconds when I was a baby and Miss Mila is cut from the same cloth it seems.  And for the first few days, she was scared of her yawn.  We'd hold our breath every time she'd yawn as right at the peak she would scream!  Thankfully, she's used to it by now. :)

...For her girly little physique but manly burps and poops!  Her burps would make a sailor jealous!

Thanks so much for all your well wishes and sweet comments as we've welcomed Mila to our family.  We sure love her!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Your Big Brother

Dear Mila,

Since the very first moments you met your big brother, I could tell you were very interested in him.  Your eyes told me so.  It's as if you've been listening to him for so many months, hanging on every word he's said, just waiting for the chance to meet him.  You are most alert and most content it seems when you're listening to Cruz play - it's been one of my most favorite things to witness so far.  You are just days old and you already seem to love him so much.  And really, I'm not surprised in the least.  He's pretty special, this big brother of ours, and I've been so very proud of him this past week as he's navigated this new world of his.



Maybe it's because I'm hyper aware right now that his world has changed and I'm paying more attention to him, or simply that I'm spending more time in our recliner nursing the baby, but I've been noticing so much about Cruz the past couple of weeks.  Little, menial things that say so much about who my boy is.  He is melting me lately, the sparkle in his big brown eyes, his patience when his baby sister interrupts our play, and the little things that make him so happy, from a dance party when Daddy's home from work, a completed puzzle all by himself, or a story about sharks before bed.    

...Or the way he always requests two Dr. Seuss books before naptime and usually falls asleep during the second.

...Or the way he always asks Beau about his Grandma J before they read Yertle the Turtle.  

...Or the way he nonchalantly responds 'aye aye captain,' when I ask him to do something.

...Or when he asked Beau the other night during storytime, "Can I put my head on your shoulder?" 

...Or the time he asked, "Who's that pretty girl?" referring to Vanna White, as I nursed Mila during an episode of Wheel of Fortune. 

...Or the way he refers to Beau's friend, Andy, with his first and last name.  Last night, Andy stopped by to bring Cruz some of his favorite childhood cars.  Cruz thought they were awesome and later that night said, "Andy Mullinex brought me these cars and they are special to me."  

Cruz has been pretty funny with Baby Mila since bringing her home.  At times, he doesn't show much interest at all, and other times, I'll catch him coming to check on her while I'm changing her or making sure she's included when we play something together.  This morning, I caught him trying to show Mila his Iron Man toy and tonight, I saw him using her back as a ramp for his race cars.  We also have to keep our eye on Mila's swing as he likes to walk by and nonchalantly turn the speed up every now and then.  He's quite interested in the whole nursing thing and repeatedly assures me that "big boys don't eat like that."  The other day, I was nursing her and Cruz came over to check things out.  He stopped by the top of her head, smelled her, and said, "ooh, she smells so good."  Even a three year old can pick up on that one.

My favorite is when he holds her.  He hasn't requested to hold her on his own yet, but every time I ask him he is very interested.  He's really quite good at holding her, and it's amazing to see a natural nurturer surface as he gently grabs her hand, kisses the top of her head, or tilts his little head to get a better look of her face.  It's the most precious thing, an early picture of the bond the two of them will have as they get bigger.

Last Monday, Beau got home from work and asked how my first day at home was.  And there, in the kitchen, while Cruz was still asleep in our bed, I cried big tears for my little boy.  His world has changed so much, and I'm so very proud of how he's handled it.  He's been so go-with-the-flow, soaking up the time we make for him and being so patient when he has to share.  If anything, he seems to appreciate our special time even more than he did before.  I just want him to know that although our days may not look like they used to, our love for him has only grown since bringing home his baby sister.  
That night, I returned home from a quick adjustment at the chiropractor to find my two boys having a ninja style dance party in the living room.  I watched him giggle and concentrate ever-so-seriously on his dance moves and I felt better.  Our boy is going to be just fine.  

And so is his mama. 


Monday, January 27, 2014

Mila's First Bath

I'll let the pictures tell the story for this one.  Mila's first bath, with big brother's help, in pictures...

Happy Monday and stay warm out there!  This Polar Vortex is a doozie! :)


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