Thursday, January 31, 2013

five generations

My great grandma and I share a birthday. While I turned 25 on the 25th, great grandma turned 90!! My family threw a party for her and I couldn't not go. Mia is the first 5th generation baby born into the family and we had to get pictures! Mia is so lucky to have such amazing grandma's to look up to, and so am I :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

just some randoms...

I'm the worst mommy ever! Actually... I'm the worst mommy/blogger EVER! I used to be the queen of taking pictures, but ever since I had Mia, I've been the worst at picking up the camera. But the good news is that my sweet hubs treated me to an iPhone sooner than I was expecting. So Mia better watch out.... because I just became the queen of taking pictures again :)
Since I hardly blogged during the first month of Mia's life, here are some random pictures of my sweet baby during her first 4 weeks.

 I look hideous in this picture but I love how dainty my daughter looks :)

 Taking Mia home from the hospital.... poor baby hated the car seat. But she loves it now :)

As soon as we got home from the hospital Eric snuggled up with Mia on the couch. He'd been waiting a long time for this moment :)

Mia and I got all dressed up for Eric on New Year's day! Trust me... this was a big deal because I rarely even brushed my hair during those first 2 weeks of Mia's life, ha ha!

I am so incredibly grateful for my friends in this town... and now we all have babies together! They are going to be little besties :)

Clearly they are super thrilled with each other :)

 Mia and daddy on her first day to church. We only stayed for an hour and kept her hidden in her car seat the whole time :) We do not want her to get sick!

I am so in love with my baby! She is such a sweet girl and loves to cuddle! And our favorite is her smiles.... she loves to share them with us and it never gets old! Eric and I feel like our hearts are going to burst every time she smiles at us :) I could not feel more blessed to be Mia's mom! Now if only I could figure out how to make time slow down.... I will have a 6 week old on Thursday! Ah!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

a golden birthday

I always thought my "golden" birthday would be ultra special....
I'd spend a week on a warm, sunny beach!
Or go shopping in NYC and spend a horrendous amount of money that I'd later regret :)
But today, I'm celebrating turning 25 on the 25th by changing poopy diapers, napping, watching a Revenge marathon on netflix while snuggling my angel baby, and anxiously waiting for Eric to get home from work. 
It's not a glamorous way to celebrate my birthday, that is for sure! 
But I can't imagine a more golden way to spend my day.
I'm so truly blessed to have my little family to celebrate with!

Until we are all on a warm, sunny beach together.... it just doesn't get any better than this!
Happy Birthday to me :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

weekend review

Eric and I went on our first date minus Mia on Saturday!! My parents couldn't wait to kick us out the door so that they could have their granddaughter all to themselves :) I knew I'd miss Mia, but I was excited to have some time alone with my man. Of course I had to get a picture of us just before we headed out...
And then I had to get a picture of Mia, who is totally mesmerized with her daddy in this picture. As soon as he started talking to her she focused on him and gave him a little smile :)
And then I had to get a picture of our little family because I love them so much! And I was already missing Mia.... ha ha!
Eric took me out for an early birthday dinner (I'm really hoping for special birthday treatment ALL week... ha ha!) to Red Lobster. I always love that place, but I couldn't really eat there while I was pregnant so I was way excited to eat there again. I may have eaten 6 of those ridiculously addicting cheesy biscuits in like 2 seconds :) And then my sweet husband took me shopping. He kept telling the employees in each store that he was trying to get me excited about shopping and new clothes again :) He really is the best and I'm so grateful he cares so much! I actually bought a pair of jeans, normal jeans. I can't remember the last time I did that! Yay, for packing up the maternity clothes and wearing my stuff again!
Other than our solo date night, our weekend has been very low key. But I guess that's how life goes when you're still adjusting to being parents! I can't wait for more adventures and to show Mia everything we love!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

just a sneak peek.... our perfect, angel baby's newborn session :) I can't wait to share the rest of Mia's photos!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

my story about nursing

I realize most of you won't be interested in reading this post, and I'm okay with that! I want to put my story out there because I was totally caught off guard by how difficult nursing is. People say it's hard, but they don't tell you just how hard it truly is. I'm sure there's no way to ever be truly prepared, but if this helps just one new mom feel a little more sane....

When I was in the hospital I didn't have a lactation consultant help me until it was too late. The nurses were sweet and ready to help, but they didn't teach me how to nurse. And once I did see a lactation nurse? I didn't understand what they were trying to teach me. I felt stupid so I quit asking for help, which led to a major melt down at 2AM in the bathroom my 2nd night in the hospital. The nurse just happened to come in our room at that exact time to take Mia's vitals.... I felt so dumb! I thought they weren't going to let me take Mia home because what kind of mom cries in the bathroom at the hospital?? Ha! The nurse was really sweet and comforting but she couldn't figure out why I was so torn up. So the next morning I had a lactation nurse help me feed Mia a couple times before we left the hospital. I was feeling pretty confident that I had it all figured out, but once we got home we all fell apart again.
I was in so much pain because I was so torn up. We weren't sure if Mia was getting enough to eat because my milk hadn't come in yet. And Eric was at a loss of how to help either of us, so he kept asking me to quit nursing. He couldn't stand to see me in so much pain, and it was heart breaking to think about Mia being hungry. My friend gave me the # to her lactation nurse and told me to call her anytime. This lactation nurse was a life saver! She came to my home and really taught me AND Eric how to nurse. We both felt so much better after she left! But the pain was so great that I had to use a nipple shield until I could heal. Because of the shield, Mia wasn't getting enough to eat. The shield is great for some moms and babies, but having that barrier made it difficult for our feedings. I would nurse for an hour and Mia still wouldn't be satisfied! So I tried to ditch the shield once I was healed, but she wouldn't latch without it. The day of Mia's 2 week appointment, after plenty of begging from Eric, I gave Mia a bottle of breast milk (I pumped since day 1 of getting my milk but I was too proud to give Mia the milk in a bottle. Ridiculous, I know!) I bawled the whole time for unknown reasons. Looking back, it was the crazy hormones and my emotions were all over the place, but I thought I was failing because I liked giving her the bottle and HATED nursing.
At Mia's appointment we found out that she hadn't gained an ounce in those first 2 weeks. She hadn't even made it back to her birth weight. My doctor told me to nurse 15-20 minutes at the most, then offer her a bottle of breast milk after. It was such a relief to hear that I didn't have to nurse for an hour anymore! Formula is the next step if she doesn't gain any weight. But I'm so happy to say that we had to loosen Mia's diaper! Our baby girl is finally putting on a little chub :) I'm excited to go back and find out how much weight she has gained. And I'm even more happy to say that nursing has gone so much smoother in the last week and a half!! She latches fine without the nipple shield, but I did have to put up with quite a bit of fighting the first couple days of no shield. And she rarely needs the bottle after a feeding (but sometimes I do the bottle instead of nursing just to give us both a break, ha ha).
I was so incredibly shocked to find out how hard nursing was. The physical aspect of it is excruciating, but the emotional aspect? I can't believe how intense the emotions and hormones are! I wasn't expecting it to affect me. But I cried, I cursed, and I beat myself up all day, every day. I thought about quitting every second of the day but I didn't want to be a failure. But here's the thing... I wouldn't have been a failure if I had chosen to quit nursing. The only thing that matters is that baby is full and healthy and happy! I made my decision to continue nursing after lots of prayer and support from my friends and family. But I wish I could go back and erase all those self destructive thoughts I had about myself because nursing wasn't easy. It helped having a husband who cared so much, a supportive family, and friends who were quick to give me advice and encouragement! I hope I can help new moms who are struggling, as much as I was helped! But the main thing to always keep in mind... if nursing sucks it's not because YOU suck! Don't be afraid to make the decision that is best for your family, you won't be a failure either way!

Sunday, January 13, 2013


A couple of weeks ago my dear friend, Shay, came to visit and meet Mia! She was a life saver that evening.... I swear she knew I was about to lose my mind, and was willing to keep me company despite all the craziness. (Being a mom really is the most amazing thing ever!! I know I keep dropping vague hints that life was miserably crazy, and it was at first. Not because of Mia, she's an angel baby! The problem for me was nursing, but we've got that figured out now! I do have a post coming that explains what I went through.)
When it was bath time, Shay took pictures which I loved because I hadn't done that yet! Mia HATES bath time right now, ha ha. We could only "sponge" bath her until her cord fell off. It's gone now so we can start giving her baths in her tub, and I hope it helps her to like bath time more! I realize no one cares about these pictures like I do, but I'm going to share them anyway :)

PicMonkey Collage
PicMonkey Collage 2
My strong, chicken legged, ANGRY  baby :) She is only 1 week 2 days old in these pictures! She has tried standing since day 1, basically. (Is it bad that I laugh and think her anger is cute during bath time??)
PicMonkey Collage 3
All better now that mom is done with bath torture time :)
I love this squishy face! I just can't get in enough kisses :)

P.S. Shay... if you're reading this (and you better be reading this...) come back ASAP! Mia misses you :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2012 in review

2012 was the BEST year of my life, and also one of the hardest years of my life! Eric and I experienced so much change, so much growth and so much love. We moved to a new little town that we hated for his "dream job". Then his dream job turned out to be everything BUT his dream job, if that makes sense :) We found out we were expecting our first baby! We played hard, worked hard and even cried hard at times. My attitude wasn't always the best in 2012, which made the hard times harder. But I've learned from my mistakes and hopefully am a better person because of it. I will never forget 2012 and how it changed my life!

  • Eric got a job offer and we made the decision to move. {I was heart broken! But there was no question about supporting my husband. And we have grown closer because of this move!}
  • Eric and I received our concealed weapons permits. {We all know how Eric loves his guns, ha! And I have yet to get a pink gun, but it's gonna happen!}
  • We went sledding with my family. It was my first time ever and I LOVED it. Wish we were doing it again this year... but next year Mia will be old enough to go play in the snow and it will be SO fun!
  • We celebrated my 24th birthday {which was moving day so I was more than a little depressed, ha!}
  • We finished moving across the state and got settled in our new home.
  • I babysat 5 boys for a week {and shared the most ridiculous story about poop here :)}
  • We celebrated Valentines day.
  • We went to Vegas with friends.
  • We had a snowy weekend getaway with my family.
  • We trio adjust to our new life. Eric had a much better attitude about it than I did :)
  • I made a visit up north because I missed everyone so badly.
  • I shared a secret... our dream pet :)
  • I shared a super embarrassing story about toilet paper...
  • I found out I was pregnant ON Eric's birthday. Best birthday surprise ever :)
  • We celebrated Eric's 26th birthday.
  • We went to Arizona to visit my best friend and went to my first real MLB game.
  • Eric finished school... woo hoo!!
  • Eric and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary!
  • We spent a week in Maui!
  • We spent the rest of the month telling our family and friends our amazing news... baby on the way!
  • We started to make friends in this crappy town! Definitely made life easier for me :)
  • We had an amusement park vacation with Eric's family!
  •  Hiked Angels Landing with some amazing bloggers  friends.
  •  Nothing too exciting happened this month as far as traveling goes. We visited family but other than that? We pretty much just stayed at home, roasting away under the summer sun.
  • I progressed in my pregnancy, felt movement for the first time, and found out we were having a GIRL!
  • Life was really boring, but busy! This month pretty much consisted of working and getting ready for baby!
  • Eric and I finally went camping for the first time together! I LOVED it even though I was pregnant :)
  • We went to Vegas for the weekend and I had a surprise waiting for Eric... best I've ever been able to surprise him!
  • I babysat kids for 2 weeks while their parents were in Europe. It was probably easier babysitting these kids than taking care of my own home... they were amazing and did everything for me since I was so pregnant :)
  • The leaves started to change and fall was finally in the air! I'd been anxiously awaiting the season change because it meant I was that much closer to meeting my baby girl!
  • I had my baby showers. We were so incredibly blessed by our family and friends.
  • Eric surprised me for the first time ever! {I knew when he was proposing because he gets so excited he gives the surprise away, ha ha!}
  •  Nothing much to report for this month. We just worked a lot and I anxiously awaited the arrival of our baby girl. BUT she didn't come early :)
  • We celebrated Thanksgiving with the Brinkerhoff's. 26 pies.... that's all I have to say about that!
  • We became parents to a perfect baby girl!!
  • Eric had to work Christmas day {SUPER lame} but my family stayed with my house and we celebrated a wonderful day!
  • Eric and I spent the rest of the month making the biggest adjustment of our lives... figuring out how to be parents :)
 Like I said... 2012 was an amazing year for us! The best part of the year was obviously becoming a mommy :) I love my little family SO much and I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store for us!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Because I always have to post a picture of some type of food or dessert :) I was trying to induce labor by eating this. Didn't work, but I did enjoy it ha ha!

40 weeks 2 days... one of my very last baby bump pictures!

First moment of really holding my brand new baby girl!

Merry Christmas from my brand new family of 3!

My sweet angel baby.

Spoils for Mia. The generosity of my blog friends just blows. us. away. We could not be more grateful for all the love, gifts, encouragement and kindness you all have shown us! I love you all!! THANK YOU!

I feel like I'm slooooooooowly getting life back in order! I'll start posting more pictures on instagram (especially once we upgrade to iPhones... I just hate the camera on my droid!) but I can't promise my feed won't be plastered with Mia's face :) She's just too precious, I have to share!
And more blog posts will be coming. But it since it takes 2 seconds to upload to instagram you just might see more action there from me this there month :) And it's a special month! We're figuring out life as a family of 3 and it's my birthday month. And did I mention it's my golden birthday? Hopefully there will be some fun stuff to post about ;) 
So if you want to follow along, my username is courtbrink!

Monday, January 7, 2013

a love so deep....

We all know how crazy I am about my Eric. I love my husband so incredibly much. And thanks to him (and me, because let's face it.... he didn't really have to work for it, ha ha) we have our perfect daughter. I knew my heart would explode with love for her, I was expecting that! What I wasn't expecting was how my heart would explode with more love for Eric.
Becoming a mom has been a crazy adjustment. Crazier than I was expecting.... and I blame it on nursing. But that's another post for another time :) There have been multiple moments where I thought I was literally going to lose it! My sweet husband has come to my rescue time and time again, and I couldn't be more grateful!
I knew Eric would be so hands on with Mia, especially because he was so involved with the pregnancy. But the first day he went back to work, I about died over how many diapers I had to change. Ha, that sounds ridiculous! But I'd only changed about 4 diapers leading up to that because daddy was so on top of it :) But aside from being a hands on daddy, which I appreciate so incredibly much.... Eric had been my rock emotionally. He has saved my sanity in these short couple of weeks more times than I care to admit! We have loved, laughed and cried (happy, sad and frustrated tears) together over our baby girl.
Eric is so quick to tell me what an amazing mom AND wife I am (I need to be my best at both. I don't want to give one more effort than the other). And he goes into detail about why I'm so "amazing" and it's always what I need to hear, when I need to hear it. On new year's eve I started bawling because I was the worst new years date ever. I'd managed a shower and that was about it. No hair, no make up, but I did shave my legs :) And I was climbing in bed at 8:30pm to feed Mia, with the intention of passing out right after she did. I cried to Eric and told him I was sorry for the lamest new year ever, and he teared up and told me there was no way he'd rather spend the holiday and that it was a perfect night. Obviously he was stretching a bit by using the word 'perfect'.... but knowing that he was so happy with his wife and new daughter was all I needed to hear.
He truly is the best dad. So loving to Mia. He has all the patience in the world for her! And he is constantly reminding me how sweet and innocent her spirit is. She is fresh from heaven and trying to figure out this crazy life just as much as we are. He does his very best to make her feel comforted and loved.... we both do! Eric is constantly singing to Mia. He makes up his own tune and words and its just the sweetest thing :) He has a way of calming her that makes me believe she knows her daddy, and she knows she's so loved by him!
I'm so eternally grateful for this man. My husband that I get to send eternity with.... I don't know how I got so lucky! He truly is the best dad and hubs ever!

P.S. My sweet friend, Laura, came to visit the day after Mia was born. I remember feeling like I looked like death, but Laura insisted on snapping a few pictures. She told me I'd regret it if I didn't let her and she would have been right! These pictures melt my heart! I love seeing my angel baby... so sweet and innocent. Fresh from Heaven. We're the luckiest parents ever! (And so lucky to have amazing friends! My Utah and Nevada  friends... if you need pictures! Check out Laura!)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mia's birth story

40 weeks 4 days 
On Wednesday December 19, I walked into my dr appointment hoping we would be scheduling an induction date for Friday the 21, but knowing they would make me wait until Sunday the 23 (which would have me 1 week overdue). The nurse took my blood pressure and told me it was a little high, I joked and asked if it was high enough to get me induced?! Then my doctor walked in the room and asked, "Wanna have this baby today?!" I responded the only way I knew how.... "Shut up!" ha ha :) He told me, "You're done being pregnant. I can tell, you're just done!" So he called the hospital and set up an induction for midnight! My blood pressure must have truly been high enough to get me in there because they monitored that pretty closely after I had her. Anyway, I went home and called Eric and told him we were going in at midnight! We were both shocked, excited and nervous all at the same time :) I spent the rest of the day cleaning, running errands and getting ready to go to the hospital. Midnight could not come fast enough!
Once we got to the hospital they set us up in a room and hooked up my iv. They gave me some pill (I don't remember what it's called) that dissolved in my mouth. It was to help soften my cervix and dilate. Then they started me on an antibiotic and told us to sleep. After 10 minutes I had the nurse back in our room because my body was itching like crazy and felt like it was on fire! I totally had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic (I'm allergic to most fun!) so she gave me some benedryl and told me to sleep. Shortly after that my contractions were just regular enough that I couldn't sleep. Oh it was a LONG night :) At 8am they started me on pitocin. The nurse had me on a low dose because my contractions were 2 minutes apart or less, and they wanted me and the baby to be able to recover in between. My body had been progressing so well they were guessing I'd have the baby by lunch time. But of course my contractions slowed down once they put my on the pitocin, so weird! I got an epidural around 11am and let me tell you what, that drug is AMAZING! I was terrified to get it but I didn't feel a thing! And of course I couldn't feel the contractions after I received it which was amazing! My doctor broke my water shortly after I got the epidural and then the waiting game was on (as if it wasn't already). Lunch time came and went and Mia still wasn't in position. So we tried different positions of me practically laying on my stomach to get her to drop all the way. My epidural was just right so that I could feel the pressure of the contractions, but no pain. And I could feel the pressure of Mia dropping into position. I suspected it was time to push before the nurse checked me. My parents stopped in to say hi and see how I was doing, but I kicked them out so that we could get the show on the road! (Sorry mom and dad, ha!) Finally my doctor told me I could start pushing. Let me tell you people, pushing is nothing like the movies! You don't just push once or twice and out pops a baby (at least that's not how it normally happens). I pushed 3-4 times during a contraction, 10 seconds each push. My sweet husband was in charge of counting and I'm tellin' ya... he's never counted to 10 so slowly in his life! At least it seemed that way :) I could feel the contractions coming on before they showed up on the screen so they took the monitor off my belly to give more room for skin to skin with Mia. The pressure of baby was pretty intense.... but then the burning started. I told my doctor it was burning and he just said, "oh, I'm SO sorry!" Apparently I had nerves that couldn't be numbed right in the path of Mia.... the burning made me want to hurt someone! Between contractions I just had to lay there with my eyes closed and work through the pain. I couldn't talk or do anything else. At one point they asked if I wanted to reach down and feel her head. I knew that I wanted to, but I couldn't work through the pain enough to do it. I'm still sad about that :( The epidural was so amazing that I hadn't prepared myself for pain during delivery (and obviously I didn't handle the pain well, ha). In the last minute of delivery Mia's heart rate dropped because the cord was wrapped around her neck. My doctor was so calm about it I didn't even know she was in distress! He gave me an episiotomy and told me to push until she came out even though I wasn't having a contraction. I had no problem with that :) As I pushed I heard Eric's voice catch as he was counting. My sweet husband cried as Mia was born! (I ended up pushing for 31 minutes. They say most first time mom's push for at least 2 hours. So I did pretty good!) They placed her on my belly and the only thing I could do was touch her and say, "my baby!" I just kept saying it over and over again. I was in shock that I actually had a baby, and she had a head full of hair :)
Mia kind of whimpered and whined as they cleaned her off so they took her to a corner of the room and did breathing treatments for about 20 minutes until she really opened up her lungs. They measured her at 19 1/2 inches long, and weighing 7 pounds.
My doctor finished his business with me while I downed a Dr Pepper :) I really wanted Dr Pepper but they wouldn't let me drink anything but water during labor, ha ha. Eric just kept going back and forth between me and Mia, making sure we both were okay.
They finally brought Mia back to me and I really got to hold her. That's when I lost it and started crying. I couldn't believe I was finally holding my sweet, perfect angel baby. I am so incredibly grateful to my doctor for safely delivering our baby girl, and all the nurses that helped my little family during our stay at the hospital. I could not be more in love with Eric and Mia! I can't believe we're finally a family of 3!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

new year, new me

Our new year's eve was less than exciting.... we spent the evening at home, mostly sleeping :) But Eric and I wouldn't have had it any other way! Thanks to Mia, we were all dead asleep long before midnight rolled around. And thanks again to Mia, we were up in time to ring in the new year as a family of 3! 2012 was the most exciting year for us as we anticipated the arrival of our baby girl. Now we can't wait to see what 2013 has in store for us and we are so excited to watch our daughter grow!

 One special moment of snuggling Mia in the hospital.

My new year's resolution is to be the best momma I can possibly be to my angel baby! And of course, to be the best wifey ever because Eric deserves the best :) And maybe to get back in shape, ha ha! But I am going to strive to be the very best I can be for my little family that I love so much! I'm sure I'll add more resolutions to the list as time goes on, but for now? My focus is loving my sweet family :)

P.S. Birth story is coming up next! Promise :)