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Our Love Story: Part 5: Engagement

Garren and I dated for 4 months before we got engaged. Yes only 4 months, but keep in mind we had known each other for 6 years by then. We already loved each other we just had to see if we were in love. SPOILER ALERT: We were definitely IN love ;)

Here is the story of the day we got engaged!

Garren took me snowshoeing! We headed up the mountain at around noon. Not going to lie. I hated snowshoeing at first. I couldn’t do it. I already am not the most coordinated person in the world so it was super awkward at first, but I eventually got the hang of it. We hiked 2.5 miles completely up hill. At one point I seriously considered laying down in the snow and telling him to go on with out me. He was incredibly patient and encouraging to me the entire time. I feel like I can do anything when he is supporting me. I always make fun of him for being impatient while driving or in other circumstances but when it comes to me he is the most patient man in the world. Any way getting to the top was MORE than worth it. The view was breath taking. One of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. We ate lunch and then I joked with Garren that I deserved a trophy or something for making it. He agreed and told me he had a prize. He made me close my eyes… and eventually, let me open them. When I did he was on one knee with the most beautiful ring and asked me to marry him. He said other things, but I honestly can’t remember a single thing he said, other than the life changing question. I think I said yes a hundred times and possibly cried a little bit.  My hands were too cold to take my mittens off so I had to wait till we hiked back down the two miles to put my ring on. Talk about making me work for it! So worth it.

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Our Love Story: Part 4: “I Think I Like You”

Love Story Part 1

Love Story Part 2

Love Story Part 3

Garren and I talked on the phone a lot when he got home from his mission. One night I was nursing a broken heart when Garren called me. We talked for a long time and he managed to get me smiling. A few weeks later I was going down to Cedar for my nephews birthday and Garren asked if we could hang out. He picked me up Sunday morning and made me breakfast and we watched conference together. I could tell something was on his mind but I didn’t want to force him to talk to me.

I kept waiting for him to say something between conference sessions but he didn’t. Finally right after the second session started, he said, ” Larissa, what if, I think I like you?” All I said back was, ” You think you like me?” Really what kind of statement is I think I like you? So he took it back and said he liked me and that he wanted to date me.

I was speechless. We had been friends for so long I just didn’t think this was really happening. He asked me what I thought about it and I gave the excuse that my favorite apostle was speaking so he had to wait until the talk was over. Really I was freaking out inside wondering if this was going to ruin our friendship or if our lives were about to change for the better. I was too nervous to speak so I wrote down everything I was feeling and gave it to him to read. He still has that embarrassing piece of paper somewhere.

A part of me was really nervous that things would get weird between us but the transition from best friends to falling in love was the easiest thing I have ever done in my life. Being with him just felt right. Life has thrown us some curve balls and there have been some very hard trials but being with him has never been hard. Our love story is my very favorite :)

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Blair Monroe- 8 and 9 Months Old

 

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8 months

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9 months

 

I have failed at blogging the last 8 weeks. Let’s just say I have just been trying to survive. It’s been a rough couple of months. So here are the 8 and 9 month updates.

Blair had a followup doctor appointment for her ear infection three days before she turned 8 months so we were able to get her height and weight!

Height: 27.2 inches (61%)

Weight: 15 lbs 4 oz (9%)

Her 9 month appointment has been postponed due to Garren’s clinical schedule and us only having one car. (Kill me) So I will have stats for her 10 month update.

Clothing: She is still wearing 6-9 month clothing. Most are still big on her but some do fit very well. I have a feeling she will ring in the new year still in this size clothing. The girl has a ridiculous amount of clothing so it’s nice to have time to have her wear all of it! Getting her dressed is my favorite part of the day. If only I could get myself ready too!

Diapers: Cloth diapers=Love. Blair is now pretty regular with how often and when she goes to the bathroom. She poops once every other day and goes through 4-5 diapers a day. I now only have to wash about twice a week!

Eating: She is nursing every 3-4 hours during the day for about 4 minutes on each side. She is honestly horrible at eating solid food. Occasionally she will take 4-5 bites of baby food, and she will eat some solid table food. Tonight she ate mashed potatoes, pork chops, and asparagus. She doesn’t actually consume a whole lot but I pray this gets better soon. (See Sleep)

Sleeping: She still wakes up 2-4 times a night. I honestly can’t believe my 9 month old still wakes up as often as a newborn (at least as often as she did as a newborn) I am exhausted. We got so desperate as to try CIO and it just made things worth. We gave it a fair shot. 2 weeks of her crying and absolutely no progress. I know this will past so I am just trying to get through it. Thankfully she is the world’s happiest baby during the day so it makes up for it.

Social: Blair loves people. She first stares them down to see if they are trust worthy and if she likes you (which she normally does) she smiles. She has become quite the momma’s girl lately. She generally wants me and has some separation anxiety on the rare occasion I am not with her. She says mama, dada and gives kisses, but only when she wants to. She kisses her stuffed animals a lot more than she kisses us. She loves talking, so that hasn’t changed. I take her to the park a lot and she just loves watching all the little kids. I can see just how badly she wants to be running around with them!

Likes: Violet (Dog that says her name and a bunch of other stuff) her bear, blankey, and turtle in her bed when she goes to sleep, standing, trying to walk, swinging at the park, reading books, talking, going out of the house, play dates with Lucy

Dislikes:  When I walk out of the room, going to bed, being overly tired, when dad kisses her when he hasn’t shaved, waiting to nurse

New this Month: Well she graduated from army crawling to regular crawling just before she turned 8 months old and then two weeks later started pulling herself up on everything. That first week of her doing this was terrifying. She hit her head on EVERYTHING. I was a ball of nerves the entire time. Not sure why people seem to forget to tell new parents about this horrifying stage but seriously! Now she is pretty good about getting up and down and walking along things. She gives kisses, dances when she hears music, and understands small phrases we say to her. She is at such a fun (and exhausting) age! We go to Texas in two weeks and I am not looking forward to the 4.5 hour flight. Pray for us! Oh! Plus she has SIX teeth. Three on top and three the bottom with one more on top trying desperately to come through.

Fun Things We Did:

  • Nana and Papa came to visit
  • went to the circus
  • went apple picking
  • went to Boston and rode on a bought for the first time
  • went to Portsmouth
  • went to the movies for the first time
  • first halloween!

Looking Forward to:

  • Going to Texas
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas!

Pictures from the last two months: 

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8 months

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9 months

 

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Blair Monroe: 7 Months Old

20140904_185910_17 months just sounds so old! I no longer have a “little” baby. (She is in fact still little but you know what I mean) She is closer to being one than she is when I had her. Does that sentence even make sense? No doctor appointment this month so no stats!

Nicknames: These haven’t changed. Still mostly call her Blair, munch, baby girl, monkey, sweetheart ect

Clothing: I just switched her clothes over to her 6-9 month wardrobe mainly because I didn’t want to have to go into the storage room in a few weeks and do it then. I figured I might as well get it done while I was unpacking the house any ways! I realized a few of the outfits were 3-6 months which is sad. I get confused on how carters does their sizing! Luckily she still fits in them so I just kept them with the 6-9 months. I wont lie, she could probably get a full other month out of her 3-6 month clothing but fall is coming so I want her to get use out of her warmer weather 6-9 month clothes before transitioning into the warmer stuff!

Diapers: Our love affair continues with the cloth diapers! We wash them Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays and haven’t had any issues with leaking or blowouts. She goes through 5-6 diapers a day.

Eating: She is nursing every 2-4 hours during the day for about 5-10 minutes on one side. I have to go into her room with the blinds drawn, light off and the white noise on in order for her to eat enough and not get distracted. We are still doing baby led weaning but we haven’t been consistent with it because of the move. She still loves chicken, asparagus, carrots, avocado, and now likes zucchini and tolerates bananas.

Sleeping: One day I will look back on this and it will just be a blur. Seriously a blur. Tuesday night she was awake from 10:00 pm-4:00 am crying. Just completely inconsolable. It was so weird and horrible. She has been everywhere this month. One night she slept 10 hours (I repeat ONE night) and some she doesn’t make it more than 2! I am pretty good about not letting it frustrate me because honestly I was never a great sleeper and she generally goes right back to sleep. She seems to be consistently waking only twice a night now, with the occasional bad night. I don’t think the move helped her routine. She was a little off the moment the boxes came out and she is just now starting to settle down.

Social: The last two weeks she has been a lot less social. She screams if I leave the room and will cry and look for me if someone else holds her. It’s so strange since she has never had these issues before! I have read plenty of things that say it’s normal. It’s just part of growing up and learning people can walk away from you. She will still smile and talk to other people as long as she knows I am there and am not trying to leave her.

Likes: the zippy, Sophie the giraffe (actually she LOVES Sophie), when you sing the abc’s, the tv show Super Why, nursing, water: watching it, bathing, playing, swimming you name it she loves it, the ergo, her stroller, being outside, rolling around on the floor and army crawling, her new big girl car seat, being thrown in the air, her jumper, mommy

Dislikes: bottles, getting overly tired, being hungry, being ignored, when mommy walks out of the room, being held by people she doesn’t know

New this Month: This month has been full of change. She now army crawls every where. It is the weirdest army crawl. She doesn’t use her left arm, she just tucks it under her and uses her right arm and legs to get around. There is nothing wrong with her left arm, she uses it equally when playing and eating she just doesn’t know how to use both arms while crawling! She can sit up unassisted and tries desperately to get from her tummy to a sitting position but she hasn’t figured out that quite yet. She also gets up on her hands and knees and rocks back and forth. You can see she is just trying to figure out how to truly crawl. It’s kind of adorable. We moved into a bigger apartment so she has a much bigger area to learn all these new skills. She has officially said her first word “Dada”. I tried to no avail to get her to say mama. Little stinker! She also got her first hair cut! We only trimmed up these random long pieces she had so that it was all a little more uniform and hopefully grows in somewhat similarly.

Fun Things We Did:

  • Swimming with Lucy
  • Walked the beautiful trail in Manchester
  • Went to the art Museum
  • moved into a new apartment

 

Looking Forward to:

  • we are going to go Blueberry picking
  • a trip into Boston!
  • Nana and Papa coming in NEXT MONTH

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Through a Mother’s Eyes

Last week Garren and I watched The Fault in Our Stars. I had read the book so I thought I was prepared for the emotional plot of the movie. What I didn’t expect was to see it from a whole different perspective. While reading the book, I was Hazel. I felt the things she felt and I connected with how she processed everything that was happening to her and around her. The movie brought on a completely different experience. Instead of connecting with Hazel, I felt myself connect with her mother, watching as my child suffered from cancer, illness and heartbreak. I felt like my heart was being ripped out when Hazel’s mother told her it was ok to let go. I can only imagine the anguish parents must go through while caring for a sick child. I know without a doubt we would do anything to trade places with them. I found myself silently thanking the Lord for my healthy daughter.

I later realized this is not the only way my vision has evolved. I can now walk into a room and spot the tiniest items that may find their way into my daughters hands and later mouth. I will see a baby drooling and instead of wondering why his parents haven’t wiped him off (for probably the 100th time) I wonder if he is teething. I see the woman in the grocery store seemingly oblivious to her toddler’s tantrums and wonder when the last time was, she had a decent night’s sleep. I will watch a child hold the door open for me and wonder how I can teach my daughter to be polite. The world has also become a little more dizzy as I find myself swaying whether or not I am holding Blair. Mostly I look at her in complete awe that I get to be her mother.

When they tell you life will never be the same once you have a child they aren’t lying. The world get’s a whole lot bigger and a whole lot smaller all at once. Suddenly there is danger at every corner. (Who knew sunscreen is dangerous before six months and a teddy bear in the crib is sure to be fatal?) Suddenly I am the world’s greatest comedian and I can do the same stand up routine a hundred times in a row, and my audience will laugh just as hard the last time as she did the first.

I am grateful for the opportunity to understand and empathize on this new level. Being a mother has most certainly turned me into a crazy person, but the payoff is worth it.

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Our Love Story: Part 3: Grand Adventures and Personal Growth

Read Part 1

Read Part 2

After our first year of college Garren was called to serve a 2 year mission for our church. He was called to the London, England South mission. I asked him to write something about his experience: Serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was a turning point in my life. Not only was I able to go to a new country and have the blessing of serving so many different people, I grew up and had gained a greater understand of what was important to me. As a missionary I learned that family and relationships are the single greatest thing we have in this life, and the gospel of Jesus Christ enhances those relationships to make them more complete. This was an amazing time in my life.

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While Garren was on his mission I had quite a few adventures of my own. I spent the majority of 2009 in Westchester, New York. I was a nanny to three year old twins. I fell hard for these kids, the state of New York, and the amazing friends I was able to make. We traveled to places like Boston, and Washington DC and explored Manhattan. The kids taught me how to be patient and love freely despite learning and behavior disabilities. Then in May 2010 my two best friends and I traveled to Ghana to teach English, volunteer in a special education school, and live in an orphanage for a little over a month. That month was one of the longest but fastest (and hottest!) months of my life. I learned so much about the world outside my comfort zone and fell in love with these children and their culture. I day dream about going back all of the time.

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Garren came home from his mission in August of 2010. There was a brief moment right before he came home that I let myself wonder what it would be like to date him but I quickly pushed it out of my mind since I knew how much he liked my best friend. The moment I saw him our friendship continued where it had left off. (We did write each other 4 or 5 times while he was on his mission.)

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Blair Monroe: 6 Months Old

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This post is so late. She is closer to 7 months than she is six but her doctor’s appointment was rescheduled to today so I didn’t have her stats. Oh well. Better late than never!

Height: 26.25 inches (58th percentile)

Weight: 14 pounds 8 ounces (14th percentile)

Head Circumference:  16.25 inches (12th percentile)

Dr. Appointment: We saw a different doctor this time and I loved her. She was a thousand times better so we are switching! She seemed to care a lot more and seemed much more knowledgeable. She didn’t give me any grief for Blair’s size so that was nice as well. She said she is always consistent so she is just a small, healthy baby. She said since she is on the taller side her height to weight ration percentile is 6% which is funny. Tall skinny girl. Blair has a lip tie but the doctor said it’s not anything to worry about right now and it looks ok. She could tell she is a very efficient nurser because of her nursing blister on her lip. She got the last round of her shots. She didn’t scream this time, just instantly hyperventilated. I sang her favorite song and she calmed down in less than 5 minutes and is now happily playing. Best round of shots yet! She doesn’t have another appointment until 9 months and wont need any immunizations! (Well she will need a flu shot but whatever)

Nicknames: Garren calls her monkey and monkey butt (what?), we both call her munch, munchkin, munch baby, and I call her babies, love, and Blair. I have been trying to get Garren to use her name more. I am afraid she wont know it!

Clothing: She is still rocking her 3-6 month summer wardrobe! They actually fit perfectly right now so she looks extra cute. She may move into her 6-9 month clothes in the next few weeks because the onesies are starting to get a little tight in lenghth.

Diapers: Cloth diapers through and through. Garren and I were just talking about much we love doing cloth diapers. We are lifers for sure! We wash diapers ever Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and skip the weekend. It’s really the perfect schedule. The sun is magical just so you all know. All of her diapers still look brand new because the sun bleaches out any stains that she might get.

Eating: She nurses ever 3 hours during the day. She could go longer stretches but I try and feed her more frequently throughout the day so she doesn’t wake as much at night. We have started baby lead weaning. She really hated purees (and still does). She gags every time we try and feed her. With baby lead weaning you skip the purees and just give them some food right off your plate. It’s actually awesome! She learns to feed herself and she gets to take it at her speed. There is no risk of chocking because babies have the tongue thrust reflex, and they don’t have the capabilities to move food to the back of their throat before they learn to chew. Plus we are always right there with her. So far she is not a fan of bananas or broccoli, but she loves chicken, asparagus, avocado, and bread!

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Sleeping: She is doing a little better with sleeping at night. She sleeps in 3-4 hour stretches and usually only wakes up twice at night. We have had a few bad nights of her waking every hour and wanting to be held but she also had her first cold and cut two teeth this month so I can’t really blame her! Her naps have been amazing! She takes three naps a day. The first one is usually 45-50 minutes and then the other two are 1-2 hours long. I feel like I suddenly have so much time on my hands to actually get some things done! (You know… like showering)

Social: My little social butterfly continues to love being around people! She is always pretty quite and inquisitive when she first meets people. She basically stares them down and tries to figure out what they are all about and then she quickly warms up and will smile for any one. She is a talker and isn’t afraid to share her opinion. Loudly. She now seems to know exactly who Lucy is and a huge smile always spreads over her face when she sees her! It’s the cutest thing! I love watching them start to interact with each other.

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Likes: the zippy, Sophie the giraffe (actually she LOVES Sophie), when you sing the abc’s, the tv show Super Why, nursing, water: watching it, bathing, playing, swimming you name it she loves it, the ergo, her stroller, being outside, rolling around on the floor and trying to crawl, her new big girl car seat, being thrown in the air, her jumper

Dislikes: bottles, getting overly tired, being hungry, being ignored

New this Month: Blair got sick for the first time this month from the plane ride back from Utah. It was so sad! She had tons of mucus so we were constantly sucking out her nose, and sitting in the bathroom with a hot shower running to help relieve the congestion. She was still super happy but her energy level was much lower. She now has TWO teeth on the bottom and the top two look like they will me making an appearance before too long. We got her a convertible car seat and it has made a world of a difference! She actually likes being in the car so that’s been fun. She has also been sporting ponytails and pigtails as of late.

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TEETH!

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Fun Things We Did:

  • Went to Bass Pro Shop to look at the fish
  • Lots of park trips to play on the swings
  • Went on many walks

 

Looking Forward to:

  • Summer fun! Lots of swimming, swinging, play dates and walks
  • we are going to go Blueberry
  • a trip to the beach
  • a trip into Boston!
  • Moving into a bigger/nicer apartment next weekend
  • Nana and Papa coming in October!