Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Baby Girl

The last couple of months have been BUSY. Brett was gone Monday through Thursday for the first three weeks of May, which was fine, but exhausting since I was 37 weeks pregnant, and therefore huge and very cranky. I wasn't concerned about going into labor while Brett was gone because I've never been early, let alone weeks early, and even if I did, Brett was only four hours away. He got home safely and we got back into our regular routine with a week or so to spare before my parents flew in to be here for arrival of baby. 
I had some great ward friends throw me a baby shower, which I didn't get a single picture of, but it was lots of fun with more cute little clothes and blankets than I knew existed! Bless the women in my ward who know how to dress little girls and are willing to share their wisdom with me. :)
So, onto the birth story, feel free to skip ahead if birth stories make you yawn/queasy/want to overdose on birth control. 
My parents flew in late on May 29th. I should have gone to bed early, but instead I stayed up late and went to bed just before they got in, at about 1 AM. I had a doctor's appointment the next day in the morning and my parents were still nice enough to watch the kids while I went, even though I know they were super tired and jet-lagged. When I got to the doctor, she looked at my chart, checked me out, and asked me why in the world I was still pregnant since I had been making great progress for the last three weeks. I just sat there, huge and still pregnant, and told her I didn't know. I was the same way with the boys, the doctor would tell me I'm progressing and to not go far, and then nothing would happen to past my due date.  Anyway, the doctor stripped my membranes (which isn't exactly comfortable, by the way) and told me call the next week if nothing happened over the weekend, but she was confident that I'd have the baby within a day or two. 
The rest of the day was pretty normal. We took Jason to school, went grocery shopping, went to the bank, nothing too exciting. When Brett got home we went to a local pizza place for dinner, where the family next to us quietly remarked on my massive size and wondered when I was due. I had been having small contractions off and on in the afternoon, but they didn't hurt and they weren't consistent. Once we headed out to dinner they started becoming uncomfortable, but were short. During dinner, the contractions were becoming more frequent and intense. It was then I realized that I had no idea how to time contractions. I'd been induced with both the boys, so I didn't ever need to time anything. I told Brett and he found and downloaded an app to my phone that let me push a button for the start and stop of every contraction and would calculate the info for me. (Where would we be without smart phones? Guesstimating contractions in restaurants like fools, that's where!) After dinner, my app told me contractions were 4-5 minutes apart. Brett wanted to take my parents on a short driving tour around town, so we did that. It was actually a helpful distraction while we were out driving around, mostly because I could just close my eyes and find a "happy place" instead of answer my kids when they keep asking what's the matter with me. We got home about 7:45, and got the kids in the pajamas and ready for bed, very quickly, because I wanted to go to the hospital right NOW. By the time we got to the hospital, two minutes later, I was in a lot of pain. While walking into the building we passed another lady walking out and she laughed at me. And I silently wished she would break her ankle on the way out so that she could hobble into the hospital in pain and have someone laugh at her. Then I felt bad, and then more contractions. When we got to the labor and delivery they asked if I had called my doctor yet and I sort of panicked. Was I supposed to? Were they going to send me home? Did they not think I looked "in labor" enough to be taken seriously? Thankfully another nurse just took me into a room and said they'd start monitoring me. I had Brett take a quick preggo picture, because I have pictures from my other pregnancies and wanted to be consistent:
This is my "hurry and take the picture while I can still smile" face
By the time I was changed into a gown and they'd strapped the monitor to me, I was at the transition phase of labor. I was at 7-8 centimeters and they told me if I wanted an epidural, to ask for it now. Here's where I strayed from my previous labor experiences. I told them no. I don't really have a good reason for why I chose to go without an epidural this go-round, my previous labors were both induced and with epidurals and I had no problems with that, the recovery was fine, everything went smoothly. Basically, I've always wanted to see if I could go without it and have never been able to, so I wanted to try. 
Ok, here's the thing about childbirth-every single TV show, movie, actor's portrayal of a natural delivery is absolute crap. There's no lamaze-breathing through that. There was, as I found out quickly, a whole lot of screaming, which many people "forgot" to mention when telling me about their experiences. While I was in labor some part of my brain recalled a sentence from a book I'd read that stated, "Nurses observing women who use the Bradley Method often report that the woman in labor appears to be sleeping." LIES. Who are THESE women? If they look like they're sleeping it's because they're not far along or they've passed out from the pain. 
Thankfully, it didn't last forever. Our little girl came fast like I hoped she would. She was born at 9:19, meaning from the time I walked in the door to the time she was born was just less than an hour and a half. 

 Baby girl was 7 lbs. 9 oz., 20 1/4 inches long, born at 9:19 P.M. She is the complete opposite of my boys, she was born at night, they were born in the morning, she was early, they were late, she is a girl, they obviously are not girls :), she came on her own, they were induced, I could go on, but I think you get the picture. She had the most heartbreaking little cry I'd ever heard. It sounded (and still does) like she's devastated by her current situation.

If you're wondering what that white thing is on my wrist, it's a tissue. Brett knows I hate the IV, especially the needle sticking into my hand part, so he asked the nurse to cover it up for me, which I thought was very sweet of him. 
The boys are quite in love with her. I worried they really wouldn't like her, especially Brandon, but they both have done well. If anything they like her a little too much, I'm constantly telling them to get out of her face so she can sleep and that they can't fight over who gets to hold her next. 





She has lots of dark hair like the boys did when they were born. People keep asking how Brett and I made a baby with such dark hair, and I really don't know. I haven't known with any of the kids! Neither of us had dark hair, or really any hair when we were born. I don't know where this genetic quirk comes in, but I think it's adorable! She has blonde eyebrows and eyelashes so I think it'll lighten up quite a bit within the next few months like Jason and Brandon's hair did. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Carrots

For some reason, I find Easter to be the holiday that I'm willing to put in a little more festive spirit for. I think it's because I've had a break from the mayhem of Thanksgiving/Christmas and we have no birthdays around this time of year. Plus it's starting to warm up and the days are longer...you know...spring and such. Anywho, last year I made the boys a giant Easter Egg out of rice krispie treats, and we hid Wreck it Ralph inside it. It was awesome and tasty. :) This year, Brett thought it would be fun if we ordered them a book we had borrowed from the library and they loved, called Creepy Carrots. Carrots...Easter Bunny...totally festive, right? The boys love stuffed animals, so he thought we should get them a little stuffed carrot to go along with the book. Also a great idea, but I couldn't find any online for less than $15, which is ridiculous, in my opinion. So, I did what I always do when I have a specific item in mind and can't find what I'm looking for in the price range that I feel is reasonable- I decided I'd just make it myself! And then I regret it later. But then I'm good with the finished project, so I convince myself that the process wasn't all that bad. It's a horrible cycle.

So, I made the two plush creepy carrots (for less than $5, by the way) and what I thought would take me a couple hours, maybe, really took closer to 6. Also, the orange fabric sheds everywhere. EVERYWHERE! The fact that the lady cutting the fabric had to use a tiny vacuum to clean up the cutting table after she helped me should have tipped me off, I suppose. By the time I was done sewing, our table looked like the murder scene of a muppet- orange fuzz all over.

Here's the finished product:




Now that I've made them, I came up with a way to make them more efficiently, should I ever need to make plush carrots again, which is doubtful! The boys loved them, so that warms my heart that my efforts weren't wasted. 

On Saturday, Jason's school (which is part of a church) hosted an Easter egg hunt/lunch/song service that we went to. They did songs first, which were very peppy, something I'm not used to from singing LDS hymns! The music director wanted everyone standing and doing little hand signals along with the music. They had little crafts for the kids to do that were symbolic of Easter- ours were little butterflies made out of sticky foam. Then the boys waited (oh-so-impatiently) to go hunt for the Easter eggs. 








They were funny because they spent the first few minutes walking right past a bunch of eggs looking for who knows what. They walked right past some and would pick up others. Consequently, they did not get as many eggs as they would have liked. Much pouting ensued. 
(Sidenote: Two days later and I still have one of the peppy songs stuck in my head. The one I liked the least because I felt the words were oddly chosen. Argh!)

For Sunday, the Easter bunny left the books and stuffed carrots, we did a little egg hunt before church . I love how excited they are first thing in the morning on a holiday :)





Now, I know that Easter is not all about bunnies and candy, and we have been telling the boys the reason we celebrate Easter is because of the resurrection of Christ, which enables us to live again. Jason seems to understand it a lot more than Brandon does at this point, but that's okay, it's a work in progress. 

I'm so thankful for our Savior and for His sacrifice that enables me to be with my husband and my children long after this life is over. 

Happy Easter, everyone! 




Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Moving

We recently moved across town to a different house. It's not really bigger, but it does have three bedrooms, so baby girl will have a place to sleep besides in the living room, which is where I was planning on putting her. Anyway, packing up all our stuff to haul it across town just to unpack it again was such a pain that I think we will just live here forever! :) What an exhausting process!
I clicked on my blog here by accident the other day and noticed it had been a month since I updated anything. A month! How did that happen? I thought it had been a couple weeks, tops. Well, here's some of our happenings around here that have occurred in the last month.

 
Here we have a nice empty room that will be the baby's room. It's currently occupied by our queen guest bed because the mattress and box spring wouldn't fit down the narrow stairs to our basement where I was planning on putting it...so now it's in there. We will figure out somewhere to put it eventually, but until then, what kind of girly bedding goes with gray walls? I want to decorate her room, but I hesitate. I don't like decorating. It's more of an anxiety-producing activity than a fun one, so I could probably use some help. I'm thinking a pale pastel yellow, maybe pink? And some navy? Possibly polka dots? I don't know, help me out here people.


We went to a kid's museum and the boys decided to paint their faces. They've never, ever wanted to do that before, so I was a little surprised. Jason said he painted his face like a wizard. Brandon...just wanted to draw on his face. And the table. And everything else. 


Brett surprised me with a completely frivolous and wonderful gift. He knew I'd been pining after a little mini iPad for awhile, but would never buy it for myself. It was totally unexpected and very sweet of him to be so generous! I love my mini. It's adorable and a great size. 


Check out our new washer and dryer! Aren't they pretty? :) I love them. They're easily the nicest washer/dryer we have ever owned, also the biggest capacity. We have only every had hand-me-downs or ones we bought off craigslist. Never matching ones. Never large ones. It's funny how excited I am about machines that wash and dry clothes, but I do a lot of laundry, so I feel justified in my excitement. 
They were a pain in the butt to get in the laundry space. Our stairway is very narrow, and these machines aren't small. It took the delivery guys special moving straps and about 2 hours to shimmy them downstairs. Getting them in place and hooked up was an entirely different project. But now they're in, they work and I LOVE them. 


My Mom got us some clothes from Old Navy and had them shipped to us. The boys were excited until they figured out it was just clothes, then they were much less excited. I was still thrilled though, because Jason got some new shirts and Brandon got some jeans that don't have holes in the knees! All the boys' jeans have holes in the knees. I refuse to buy more in protest of this never ending winter. So my Mom bought some for them. :) I love these tiny onesies. They're super cute! And it makes me feel weird to be getting clothes that don't have trucks or monsters or come in one of the primary colors. Girls clothes are uncharted territory! 


I got a couple plants (I think they're pansies? Shows how much I know about plants.) from a Relief Society activity and the boys were really excited to plant them with Brett. They're excited to do anything with him because he's awesome and quite fun to be around. See?


Do I ever give them both a piggy-back ride? Well, no, partially because I'm pregnant, but also because even if I weren't, it wouldn't occur to me to give both of them a piggy-back ride! 

So that's what new with us. With the help of a very generous Elder's Quorum, we moved. We've been a few places. We set up some machines that make us feel like grown-ups. This weekend is Easter, and the boys are very excited about it.

Hopefully we will start potty training soon so we only have to buy one size of diapers in about 7 weeks. 

Have a great week, all!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Busy

There's a church quote that I can't remember by someone I can't remember (That's a great way to start a post. I should do that more often.) that essentially says that if you're doing the right things, the less important things will fall out of importance in your life. I think of it as a good, better, best analogy. Blogging is one of those things that has had to fall out of importance lately, even though I enjoy it and it helps me remember things so I count it as journal writing. Anyway, the point it, we've been busy, what with doctor appointments for me and shuffling the boys back and forth to places, looking for a new place to live, finding a new place to live, and now packing for the new place. It's been a lot to handle.

Last weekend I had the great experience of taking a break from running around like a crazy person so I could run around like a teenager with my very dear friend Stephanie. She flew into Chicago and we stayed the night there and walked around the city during the day. I showed her all the places I knew of, and got her lost several times. (My sense of direction is iffy at best, and I thought the GPS on my phone would be helpful, but no, no it wasn't. It'd usually tell us we were going the wrong direction after a few minutes of walking in the wrong direction.) We had some amazing Chicago-style pizza and then walked around some more to try and walk off the pizza :) Then I couldn't waddle anymore and we came back to Michigan a little earlier than planned. She was great to put up with my pregnancy speed, which is not fast, I have to admit. :)

The view from our hotel room.
While we were walking around some homeless guy yelled, "Congratulations! You must be so excited to be a vessel for new life!" and the weird part for me was that I was a little surprised he knew I was pregnant. My coat has always been really puffy in the front so I thought it wasn't obvious. And then I saw this picture. Yeah, I look very pregnant.


I normally don't take pictures of my lunch, but this is an exception because...well...LOOK at it. I wish computers came with taste technology or something. So yummy! We met another one of my Utah friends, Maren, for lunch to eat this delicious pizza. It's so fun when people come visit! She was there visiting the same weekend and had lived in Chicago, so she was kind enough to point us in the right direction back to our car. 

I love showing people the bean. 

Sidenote: These are the clothes that were in my H&M bag. I bought the little red dress and sweater, and Maren brought the adorable little onesies. I sent Brett this picture and he said they were very cute and girly. Then when I got home and showed them to him he was surprised to learn they were for the baby! I guess he thought that they were my size and I bought them for me? I laughed for awhile at that. I haven't been size 3-6 months for awhile. :)


Once we got back to good ol' Michigan it was pretty cold, at least compared to the jacket weather that Utah has been enjoying! We took Steph down to lake on part of our tour of where we live. 

Here we are standing on what is usually water, currently an iceberg made of sand & ice.

This was our hike down to the lighthouse. It was a very slippery hike!

Where the people are standing is usually where the dock ends. The surrounding ice is usually all lake water. 

It was really nice to have visitors and grown-up conversation. Although I like living here (well, mostly I do, with the never-ending winter I'm starting to get a little bitter towards the state of Michigan) something I really miss is friends and family from home. I'm so so glad that she took time out of her life to come and visit me!

As far as the rest of our time, it's mostly been spent doing mundane things like grocery shopping and laundry, good grief, I get so sick of doing laundry! Also, moving is a terribly time-consuming and annoying process. There's nothing like going through all of your stuff several times to make you wish you lived like a monk with no stuff at all! Our new place will have three bedrooms, which I think will be good for when new baby comes. It also has a fenced yard, which will be nice for the boys go outside and play. Overall, I'm excited, but I've really loved this house and am sad to leave it. 

On that lovely, somber note, I'm going to get back to packing. If I don't post again for awhile, assume that I've been buried under a stack of boxes. Or that I'm hiding in one so I don't have to face the insurmountable task of unpacking. It'll probably be the latter option. :)






Friday, February 14, 2014

A Puppy Party

I don't feel like I am a very fun or festive person. I don't really like decorating for holidays because I know I'm going to have to take in down again in a few weeks, and it doesn't seem like a constructive use of my time. Frankly, many things I do aren't a constructive use of my time, but I actually enjoy those other things, so they get priority, you see?
Jason did not get this trait from me. The other day he said our house was boring and he was going to decorate it to "make it look much more better." So he hung up some of the things he's made at school on the walls. I love this kid. :)


He also hung up that turkey, and then made an exciting race track for the cars. 

At any rate, the other day first thing in the morning Jason announced that he was super excited because it was his puppy's birthday. This was the first I'd heard of it and I bought them, you'd think I'd remember such an important event!  :) He decided it was going to be a combined birthday for all his favorite stuffed animals, and spent the morning going around the house and putting cars, crayons, and other toys in bags for their presents. Later on, while I was at the grocery store, I saw some tiny cupcakes and thought to myself, "What the heck? Why not be fun and throw the puppy a birthday party when Jason gets home from school?" So that's just what we did!

Here are the presents all gathered up right where I can step on them. 

We decided they were turning 2.


Jason with the birthday animals. He thought it was terribly funny that he put the dog in the high chair. 


We sang to them...Jason blew out the candles.




Both the boys loved the eating of the cupcakes part and did pretty well at not getting the sprinkles everywhere. 

Because today is Valentine's Day, it should be shown that we do give our kids Valentines, even though the most decorating we've done is to put a bouquet of hearts on sticks in a vase and stick it on top of the cabinets. 




I often like to dress them alike. I don't know why...
They loved their little candies for breakfast. For some reason they didn't seem interested in their yogurt or cereal this morning! WEIRD. :)

See those little blankets stacked on the desk behind the boys? Quite girly, no? That might be because we found out this little baby will be of the female variety! It just occurred to me I haven't blogged since we found that out. We are excited, the boys have been saying all along that they want a sister, so I guess they knew something I didn't. I switch back and forth between excited and really, really anxious. I have never had a girl. I am not a very girly girl. I don't really like pink. I'm hoping I'll pick it up as we go along! Jason has some great names picked out, like Alayssis. (Sounds like "molasses" but with an A) I seriously don't know where he came up with that one, but I'd be willing to bet there's someone in Utah that would actually name their child that.  :)

When we went for the ultrasound, Brett took a poll from his co-workers and thought it'd be fun to bring back a pink or blue treat. I went to the store with him and thought I'd bring back something for the boys as well. The only time I'm actually looking for pink treats, they were nowhere to be found! They had tons of blue and yellow cupcakes, cookies, doughnuts, you name it, they had it in blue. There was ONE little cupcake cake that was pink and shaped like a flower, so I was going to get that for the boys, and when Brett went to put it in the cart it slipped and fell upside down. It was pretty bad. Soo...we didn't get that one. Brett got some normal white cupcakes and put pink Hershey kisses on them and I got the boys some pink ice cream instead. They were pretty excited. It may have been excitement over the ice cream, but that's ok too.

We got a pretty sweet delivery this Valentine's Day...



We get some awesome perks working for a major appliance company! What's that package on the bottom? So glad you asked!


That would be an amazing, high-quality, stainless steel set of pots and pans that should last us for more than a few years, which is how long all our other sets of pots and pans have lasted us, which is why we have a crazy hodge podge collection of pots and pans that don't really go together. 

It's funny the things that are exciting as an adult. Pots and pans, wahoo!!! I'm really that excited! 

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!




Tuesday, January 7, 2014

That Time Michigan Turned into Hoth




Michigan is cold. This may be the understatement of the year, which isn't hard to do because it's not like we're that far into the year yet. We are currently experiencing the "polar vortex" that has plummeted most of the middle/northern states into insane sub-zero temperatures, cancelled schools, and caused us to not leave the house for three days. Usually when someone says it feels like it's -40 outside, they're just really cold. Those have been our actual temperatures, people! Really, it's been only (ONLY!) -6 to -10 degrees, but with the wind, it feels like -40. Roads have closed. Brett was encouraged to work from home. We haven't gotten mail. It is seriously like living on Hoth. The wind and snow make visibility close to zero. Plus, there's so much snow in our back alley that there's literally nowhere to put it, so we haven't shoveled much. Brett tried to dig out our front porch yesterday and by the time he came inside, his eyelashes and eyebrows were developing frost.

This picture isn't the best of the eyelash frost, but it was definitely there. And he hadn't been outside that long, maybe half an hour? He's a brave man. 

Even though we have been stuck inside and the kids are starting to drive each other crazy (and me, too, who are we kidding?) there are lots of things I'm grateful for in this experience.
First, we all have colds, but aren't deathly ill. We are healthy enough to just ride this out at home. Second, Brett is in the habit of checking the weather regularly. This meant that we stocked up on groceries at Costco on Saturday and he swung by work to grab papers, in case he had to work from home. Bless him and his thinking ahead! I'm so glad that he has a job that has allowed, and even encouraged, him to work from home at this time rather than try to go in to the office.
Additionally, I'm so glad that we have power/heat/water, all of which (knock on wood) have been working just fine, so that even in the literal blizzard outside, we have stayed comfortable inside. 
I really wish I had better pictures to show the craziness of this storm, but I don't dare venture outside long enough to take any good ones. Here's what we have:

All our windows look like this. The winds have plastered snow to the screens and it just accumulates. 

That's about an inch and a half of snow in between the screen and the actual window. It's especially windy on this side of the house. 

Our car after Brett cleaned it off. Before he got to it, it just looked like a giant mound of snow- you couldn't see any gray.

This is our basement window, it's at ground level. It's entirely buried in the snow. 

Another one of our windows. We can't really see anything out of them anymore. 

Frozen porch light.
Since these aren't the typical snow days where we can just bundle up the kids and let them run off energy by playing outside, we have had to be a little creative with them. They've been doing a lot of this:





Yes, we are literally running off their energy with the treadmill. Brett got it for me for Christmas (let the record show, I asked for it and wanted it, it wasn't a rude "you're getting fat and this is a hint" type of present) and it's been getting quite a lot of use! I really like it because it allows me to walk or jog when the weather is, well, like a polar vortex outside! The boys love it and are always anxious to walk or jog on it, with our careful supervision, of course. :)

We also looked up a few things you can do in sub-zero temperatures. You can blow bubbles and they will freeze before they hit the ground. It works, but it's so windy we couldn't get pictures of them. You can also take boiling water straight from the stove top, take it outside and throw it in the air and it'll turn into snow. Note: Your children will be mad about this because they associate a pan of boiling water with making hot chocolate for them. 


I have a video of us doing the boiling water thing, but it won't upload. :( I blame blogger. 

I'm hoping that the next few days warm up a bit. I'm also hoping that our cars will start so that when it's safe for us to go somewhere that we can actually go somewhere. In the meantime, we will stay warm and hope all of you are doing the same!