Monday, December 13, 2010

Merry Christmas

It's not as easy to get things done around here as it used to be, but we are thrilled with the reason why. I usually decorate a lot more for the holidays, but alas, a baby makes everything like that a touch harder. We certainly don't mind though. Katie is the sweetest and best reason for not being as productive as I used to be.

These next 2 pictures were taken the night Wayne and the kids decorated our tree downstairs. Bradley is such a caring big brother to both of his sisters. Don't get me wrong, they have their moments, but overall they adore one another.

I have my few things that I bring out every year. I don't change them because I love them and it's become tradition to have them this least for me. I'm not sure it means as much to Wayne and the kids, but this is what helps our home feel like Christmas to me.

I made these ornaments for our first Christmas. I picked up the pre-cut wood shapes, sanded, painted and stained them. They were really fun to make, and I think they turned out cute too. I have little ginger bread men, Santas, hearts, stars, and little Christmas trees. But I think my favorite thing on these trees are the berries. I really love these trees. In fact right now when I get up to feed Katie during the night I sit under them and use them as my light source.

The glitter pine cones in the basket were made last year with my mom and sisters. My mom gathered pine cones from one of their trees and we made several with glitter, we did some with cinnamon oil to smell delicious, and others we used to make garlands. We were going to do another project with them this year, but ran out of time. We will have to do more next year.

I love a beautifully illustrated book, and at Christmas my favorites are The Night Before Christmas stories. I have several of them and I love getting them out each year and looking through them. These are just a couple of my favorites.

Wayne's sister Kristi gave me the tiny one. She collects miniatures, so this was perfect gift from her. It reflects both of us, I love that!

This is my new book that Wayne added to the collection this year. It's a fun one with moving holograms in it. The kids really like this one.

We also love this book. It has a theme for every day of December up until Christmas day. We love taking time each night to read from this book. It has fun old fashioned art work, and wonderful stories and quotes. It has become a favorite tradition for all of us.

Wayne did it again! He found us a beautiful tree over Thanksgiving. For the first time ever, I watched Wayne help the kids decorate and didn't do a thing. I was sitting on the couch feeding Katie. (I did give a little advice here and there about where to hang the ornaments, but they did all the work.) They did a pretty good job! I did put the lights on the tree though. There are 1100 lights on this tree. It looks so pretty when we turn off the downstairs lights and just use the tree for light.
I think my favorite ornament for our family tree are these tin ice cycles. They were a gift from my brother Patrick. He bought them from tin smith on his mission in Canada. They are very delicate, and I think they add the perfect finishing touch to the tree.

I always look forward to getting out my nativity each year. I think it brings a sweet spirit with it, which is why I put it on the mantel. It's the first thing you see when you walk into our home, and we get to walk past it every time we need to head down our hallway. It really is a lovely nativity.

Katie is the reason we needed to add another stocking to our mantel this year. What a wonderful surprise she has been! We are so grateful for all the prayers that were offered this year in her behalf. We know that it is because of so many of our wonderful family and friends that she is here at home with us rather than the NICU. I love all the staff there, but I was so glad that I didn't need to spend time with them this time around. Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Time is flying

Where does the time go? I can't believe that our little Katie is already one month old. Can anyone slow things down a little for me?

We are enjoying her so much though. She is such a sweet little girl. She hardly fusses at all, and loves to be held by anyone who is willing, and it's not hard to find someone who is willing. We are usually in line taking turns. I'm having double the fun with making bracelets and hair bows. Soon I will start making matching skirts for Elli and Katie. Girls are soooo much fun!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Welcome Katie Lynn

She is here! Little Katie Lynn was born Tuesday, November 9th at about 3:30 pm. She weighed 5 pounds 11 ounces and is 18" long. I think what surprised me most was her fuzzy dark brown hair. I wasn't expecting that, and it was a very happy surprise. She has a sweet and very calm temperament. She hardly makes a fuss, and loves to cuddle.

Here I am just before we got in the car to head to the hospital. I was scheduled for a c-section mid morning, but there were 3 other emergencies that pushed us back into the afternoon. I was okay with that because I knew that with both Bradley and Elli I probably bumped ladies who had a scheduled c-section. It was only fair for it to happen to me. (When I saw this picture I realized that I really didn't look that big, but boy did I feel big.)

I can't say enough about the huge difference there is between having an emergency c-section, and one that is scheduled. With Bradley I had gone through 28 hours of labor and because his heart rate was fluctuating too much they had to deliver him c-section. With Elli I was so sick with pneumonia and her being so early, c-section was the safest for a good outcome. I was so exhausted after both that it was very hard to recover. This time was vastly different. By evening, so just a few hours, I was able to have my soft food dinner. I got up during the night and walked a bit, and was well enough by morning to have a real breakfast. Boy did it taste good too! But I think that anything would have tasted exceptional after fasting for a little more than 24 hours, then only being able to have broth and Jello. I had french toast, a banana, hot chocolate and a cinnamon roll. Yum! I walked a bit more on Wednesday and was able to get in and out of the bed with more ease than I have with my other 2. It was a very happy ending!

I LOVE this picture! Elli's shirt says Big Sister, and Katie's says Little Sister. Elli couldn't wait for Katie to come home. She is already planning on how she can help me. She is going to "rock her and share her toys, and Katie will sleep in my room" she says. I am so happy for Elli to have someone close in age and a sister at that! I think they are going to be great friends!

Bradley is a very proud big brother. He said something funny on Tuesday night though. I think the reality of the situation didn't hit him until he saw and held her. My nurse asked Bradley if he was excited to take her home, and he responded with, "no, I don't think I'm ready to have her at our house." So when Wayne brought the kids back on Thursday night I asked Bradley if he was ready yet, and he said that he was ready now. What a funny boy! He is very protective and sweet with her. I am grateful to have him to help me out, it's just nice to have one of your kids be old enough to understand what is going on and that they need to step up and help. I am really proud of him!

This is her cozy outfit that we bought her home in. I made the cutest little brown and blue flower to put on a head band to go with the outfit, but she was too small. The head band wouldn't stay on her itty bitty head. I'll have to take it in a bit so that she can wear it.

Another problem with being so small is that it is very hard to adjust the car seat straps to fit her snugly like they are suppose to. Her poor little double chin rubbed against the buckles all the way home. I now know to put a little bit of her blanket between her chin and buckle so that it doesn't irritate her.

Wayne just took this picture yesterday. I think it is proof that she is happy to be home with us too. She really is delightful and we are so thrilled to have her in our family. Thanks to everyone who has helped us out during my pregnancy and who has prayed for us. We have been blessed and we know you all played a big roll in that.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Today's the day!!!

We are heading in this morning....more to come later!! HOORAY!!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The latest

Well, I am now 34 1/2 weeks along. Isn't that just amazing!?! I always hoped to get this far, but have to admit that I had my doubts. I saw my doctor this weeks and the plan is that on November 8th I will go in for an amniocentesis to check the maturity of her lungs. (I will be 37 weeks by then, and 80% of babies have mature lungs at that point.) If they are mature, then I will have the c-section the next day. If they aren't mature, they should be able to tell from the amniocentesis roughly how much longer she will need and we will schedule the c-section according to that.

I have to admit that I am really hoping thing work out for the 8th & 9th. I am ready to bring her home. My bags have been packed for a couple of weeks now, and I have finished all my sewing projects. She has a new soft blanket, a car seat tent, and a wrap blanket that goes inside the car seat. I do have lots of fabric to make her skirts to match Elli, but those will come later. All we really have left to do right now is figure out what her name is going to be.

So lets hope that she is among the 80%, I really like the sound of November 9th for a birthday.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

this and's catch up time again!

So here is the most amazing picture I have to share with everyone. I am still amazed that they can actually do this. We went in for our 28 weeks ultrasound (I was having them done every 2 weeks up to this point), and I asked the tech to try to get me a good profile shot because I didn't have one yet. After she had taken a couple of cute little profiles, she looked and the clock and said, "we had some extra time before you see the doctor, let's try this." It isn't something they normally do at my office, you have to schedule a 3D ultrasound appointment separate from anything else. But the tech said that she was glad to have a chance to practice for a minute. Well, I was too. Not only are we past the really scary point in this pregnancy and things are still going well, but now we know what our little girl looks like. AWESOME!!

Bradley was really excited to go back to school this year. He has a great teacher too, she loves science just like Bradley, and she even loves reptiles just like him. I think it's going to be a fun year! He has already been on 2 field trips, one to the state fair, and the other to the symphony, and he still has a long list of more trips throughout the rest of the year. He is going to give the school choir a try too. He wanted to run for school treasurer or historian, but that didn't work out because we have to be out of town the day he would give his speech, so I think he will wait and do that next year. He is growing up so fast. We are so proud of him!

Bradley worked hard in the garden this summer and was over 2 of the 8 grow boxes we have, plus the pumpkin patch. He also grew this cabbage that he was sent home with at the end of 3rd grade. His veggies all did really well as you can see. The carrots are really tasty. I can eat the beets because I know they are so good for you, but they aren't my favorite. Bradley does like them though.

It's hard to believe that it has been 3 years, but Elli just had her 3rd birthday. I had some generous neighbors pass on this fun kitchen, and she was so excited when Wayne and Bradley came around the corner of the house with it in hand. She had a pile of presents in front of her, but we had a hard time getting her away from the kitchen to open them. Actually, the kitchen was a hit for all the cousins we had over that night as well. Elli got some toy food, pots and pans, and dishes. She also got a Strawberry Shortcake video from Sadie and Sawyer, and a Cinderella doll from Noah and Clara. It was a fun night.

Surprise, surprise, Elli wanted a pink birthday party. For those of you who don't know, Elli is rather obsessed with pink. I wasn't sure if I'd be up to decorating a pink princess cake, so Crystal was kind enough to do it for us. She had a Barbie cake pan and worked really hard on it only to have her sweet little Sawyer lick the bottom of the skirt. Needless to say, he ate that piece at the party. The cake was really cute, even with the lick marks. Thanks Crystal for jumping in and helping me out! You are awesome!!!

Okay, so last spring I blogged about all the cute skirts and things I wanted to make for Elli. I had said that I would put pictures on here of the things I did, well, I'm finally getting around to it.

First up is this fun summer skirt. I love the colors, and I was so excited when I realized I had this cute pink shirt that matched perfectly. It was a happy coincidence. It's hard to see, but I made her a super cute pink and green bracelet to match.

Next up is this strip quilt for Elli's toddler bed. I didn't do this alone. I had the help of Wayne's very capable and talented cousin Kara. I'm not sure if I would have dared to try this without her help. The back side is a super soft swirly pink fuzzy fabric. I don't even know what it's called, but it really cute.

For the 4th of July I thought it would be fun to make a denim skirt. Elli had some jeans that had a hole in the knee, so I cut the legs off and added this fabric. It was a learning experience, I know better now what to do the next time. I think it still turned out okay though.

This is the skirt that got the ball rolling. My sister Marianne made this for Elli and made a matching one for Clara. It is so cute! I think Marianne and I have new obsession with fabric now. It is so much fun to go find coordinating fabrics for skirts. I have to ground myself from fabric stores so that I don't go overboard. A little girl can only have so many skirts, and we are probably already past that point as it is.

Crystal made this darling bubble skirt for Elli. She had made one for Sadie and used the left over fabric for Elli. Elli loves matching her cousins!

This last one is the fabric I picked out for Elli's Halloween costume. I got the idea from a friend to make a strip skirt with fun Halloween fabrics and have Elli be a witch, so this is what it will look like. The skirt is all but finished, I just need to add the elastic in the waste. I found a cute black shirt with a cat face on it. I think it's going to be a really cute costume. And not scary at all, which I love too. I'm not really into the ghoulish, scary side of Halloween. I just like the cute, fun side of the the holiday.

Last, but not least, these are pictures of our one camping trip this summer. We weren't able to do as many things as we had hoped for this summer because of our surprise baby #3. But my family had a reunion that we didn't want to miss, and Wayne had some very generous clients who allowed us to stay at their cabin so that I could go. It was a bit of a drive from the cabin to where my family was camping. But the luxury of having a bathroom I could access during the night without needing to hike through the woods was worth every minute of the drive. Besides, as you can see from these photos, it was a lovely cabin. We were so grateful to stay there.

The flowers were so pretty on the way up to the campsite. This is one of my favorite places! If Wayne and I could build our own cabin here we would love it!

Here is our sweet little Elli on the bridge with her daddy. She is a daddy's girl, just like I was. She and Wayne had been throwing rocks into the river.

Friday, August 13, 2010

24 and counting....

I have some great friends and neighbors who are just as excited about each week that passes by as we are. Each Sunday when I see them at church they all cheer and say one more week!!! They have been planning an ice cream party to celebrate reaching 24 weeks, which is 5 days past how far along I was when Elli was born.

Here is Elli sitting with Kandi on the left, Sheree in the middle with 2 of her kids, and Allison on the right. They had star light mint ice cream which I had been craving and almost bought the night before. So apparently they we in tune with my cravings. AWESOME!!

How do you like Elli in her shades? She wears them everywhere outside, and on her head when she is inside, which she learned from me. Like mother, like daughter I guess.

This is Erika, and there were several other friends there that I don't have pictures of. Thank you Heather, Heidi, Sarah, Candace and Mandi. It's so nice to be surrounded by girls like all of you who take such a keen interest in others. I really appreciate all you do for me and my family.

Let's do it again at 28 weeks, and the next milestone after that is 32 weeks. We're going to make it this time!!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010


Last night at 2:35 my Grandpa passed away. He was 99 1/2 years old. It is amazing to think of all he saw and did during his lifetime. Grandpa was a sheep herder, a fireman, a mechanic and many other things. He saw everything from the beginning of cars to the development of the Internet. He saw the valley go from mostly farming to shopping centers on every corner. My parents home is just minutes from his home, so we were able to see him a lot. We had many Sunday dinners together, played a lot of baseball in his backyard, watched the 4th of July parade in his front yard, went on early morning fishing trips in the summers, had our annual camp out, and heard story after story of his life. Grandpa we love you and will miss you, but we are so grateful for the life you lived. We are so glad that we know about the plan of salvation, we know you are happy and at peace now. What a fantastic reunion you must be having right now. We won't forget you Grandpa!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'm still here...

I have been a bit of a nervous wreck lately as I'm am approaching the 20 - 23 week mark in this pregnancy. With Elli I had an ultrasound the day I was 20 weeks, and that was the moment when we found out that she was going to be early. I was put flat on my back right there at the doctors office (I even rode home in the back of the car lying down), just hoping to buy as much time as possible. It would have been wonderful to get more than 3 weeks and 2 days, but she is healthy and well now, so we are happy. All the struggle and stress has been worth it.

However, I just don't want to do that whole thing again, so I've been anxious as I have approached these dates. Yesterday I reached the 20 week mark. I had an ultrasound last week, and so far there is no change, which is exactly what we want to hear. I go in again next Thursday, and will continue to see the doctor every other weeks unless there are changes. Changes could mean weekly doctor visits, bed rest at home, or even bed rest in the hospital, so I continue to hope for no change. I am getting a great collections of cute little pictures of our little girl though.

We are tossing name ideas around right now. I think we have narrowed it down to two. The problem is that Bradley is dead set on one, and Wayne likes the other name better. Let me know what you think of our two choices: Katie Lynn, or Emily (we still don't have a middle name for Emily). I won't say who likes which one best, I'll just wait for your comments.

She is a busy little thing inside me. It feels like she is in a constant cartwheel state. I am relishing every movement she makes though because I lost out on so many of those with Elli coming so early, and I never know how much longer I will have with this one. We do feel pretty good about things working out this time though. At the very least I am hoping to be able to watch October General Conference at home. I will be 32 weeks the Tuesday following conference, and that is pretty much in the clear when it comes to complications with preemies. We would have a NICU stay, but it wouldn't be near as long as we had with little Elli. It would be weeks rather than months. I could manage that, but let's hope I won't have to.

Monday, June 14, 2010

drum roll please......

So....I had an ultrasound appointment last Thursday. I was a bit skeptical that we could really find out what we are having because I was only 15 weeks, but we wanted to know if we could. Everything looks good and we were able to get a great look, this little one was not very modest. Since this is my last time going through all of this, I wanted to have some fun with the announcement. I got this idea from the show 19 kids and counting. The plan was to have the cake inside indicate the gender. Pink cherry chip cake for a girl, and blue rainbow chip for a boy. (Thanks Crystal for the cake pan and decorating stuff. It was fun making this cake.)

The lighting wasn't that great, but I think you can tell that it isn't a blue rainbow chip cake. It's a GIRL!!! I was so shocked! Happy, but very surprised. I really thought this one was a boy. So much for intuition. We are thrilled, and so excited for Bradley & Elli to have a baby sister. It is going to be fun for all of us, but especially for Elli. Bradley was a little disappointed, but he is really happy about it now. I will likely have another ultrasound in a week or so, and I will make sure to confirm the gender then. The ultrasound tech did say she was 95% sure, but another confirmation doesn't hurt anything. Another girl, I can't believe. Yay!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

It's A.......

We just want to make the news official: We are expecting another baby! For those of you who are as shocked by this news as my family, it was a surprise to us too, but we will gladly take it!

I am 15 weeks along, and things are going well. I have been on moderate bed rest from the time I found out, so my house is looking lovely, LOL! Wayne is actually doing a pretty good job of keeping up with the inside and the outside chores, especially considering the fact that he hates doing inside work. He would always disappear when his mom was dividing out the chores. They would find him outside chopping wood or doing some other outside work. He is a real trooper, and I am so grateful for to have his complete support. Bradley is 9 now, and he is also a huge help.

I have had 3 ultrasounds already and am scheduled for another this week. I was fortunate that my doctor agreed to let me have my cerclage done a little earlier than he normally would. Usually they wait to put the stitches in after week 13, but I was able to get it done at 11 weeks. That was a huge relief to us!

We are very excited about this wonderful surprise. We are of course nervous because of my history, but we will do our best to have faith that all will work out for the best. Our favorite way to put it is that we are cautiously optimistic about things working out.
We don't know what we are having yet, and we can honestly say we will be thrilled either way. I'll keep everyone up to date on any news we have. Just pray that we don't have a repeat of last time. We don't really want another 23 week preemie.

Friday, March 26, 2010

40 years old

For a few years now I have wanted to throw Wayne a surprise party for his 40th birthday. I wasn't sure if I would ever be able to pull it off. It took me a while to come up with a good cover story, but I finally thought of one that would give me a pretty good shot of pulling this off. I called our good friend Scott, who is now the Bishop of our previous ward. I had him ask Wayne to come do a tax planning and help meeting. Wayne's birthday is in the middle of tax season, so it wasn't a weird request. I was a little worried that he would just tell Scott that he wouldn't have the time because of tax season, but he said yes. So I began the preparations.

I wrote to all our family members and as many friends as I could and asked them to send me some fun memories of Wayne. I took those letters along with some favorite photos and made a scrapbook for Wayne. I really had fun reading through all the letters that came in, it brought back a lot of memories, or enlightened me on a few things I hadn't ever heard before. If you are reading this and forgot to send in a letter, I can always add to the book and would be happy to do so.

I sent out invitations to the surprise party to family and friends. I asked them all to arrive no later than 6:15. Wayne's "meeting" would begin at 6:30. It seemed like everything was going perfectly until a few days before. I asked Wayne what he'd like to do for his birthday and he said, "let's go out to dinner on Saturday". I panicked inside a little and suggested breakfast instead. He thought that would be okay. At first when he suggested that we go out to dinner Saturday night, I thought he was trying to get me to spill the beans because he suspected something. I'm not a good lier, and he knows it. The next morning I called Scott to see if Wayne was still planning on the "meeting". He said he'd talk to him. That night Wayne came home and told me that he had forgotten all about his "tax meeting" with our old ward and began asking me what I thought he should present. I helped him a little with his presentation, and was soooo relieved that he wasn't suspecting anything.

Saturday morning I sent him off to work with a lunch so that he wouldn't have to leave the office for any reason. He had told me that he was planning on going back to work after his "meeting", but I said I would really appreciate it if he worked straight through the day so that he could come home after his "meeting". He said that he would come home as soon as he was done.

When he left, I began making a birthday banner, finishing up the book, and making relish trays, and cookies. Everything was going perfectly until just after lunch when the phone rang. It was Scott. He said, "guess who I just ran into at Costco?" I asked him who, and he said, "Wayne, and while we were talking, guess who we saw?" My heart started sinking.... "who did you see Scott?" I asked. "Your niece and nephew." "Who, which ones?" I asked. Sharmi and Brian had come up early to run errands before the party and their oldest and youngest were wandering around. When Wayne asked them what they were doing in town (they live about 2 hours away) Kristen said, "We're here for uncle Steve's surprise party". Steve is Wayne's brother just older than him, and just happens to be in the ward that is hosting the fake meeting. The problem is that Steve's birthday is in August, and Wayne knows that. Scott just stood there like he had no clue about what was happening. (He is much cooler under pressure than I am, thank goodness!) I just knew that Wayne was going to put 2 and 2 together. Scott said that maybe Wayne would be thinking that the surprise party was after the "meeting" and that's the reason why I wanted him to come home as soon as he finished. I was feeling rather deflated, but hopeful that Scott was right. Dang him! Why did he have to go to Costco just hours before the party?! Even with the possibility of the surprise being spoiled, we still had to get everything done as just in case. :Please don't let him figure it out", was all I could think about.

We stopped and picked up balloons and headed to the church to set up. There was a luncheon there just before us, so we were lucky and didn't even have to set up tables and chairs. We put up the sign, arranged balloons, and set out the food. We had tons of delicious food! Thanks everyone for bringing something to share. I was also grateful for my family and a few of Wayne's family who came to help me set up. I couldn't have done it all without you! THANKS!!!!

It got really exciting for me when people started showing up. This building was perfect to pull off the surprise. The primary room is where we were having the party, and it is connected to the kitchen. The primary room and kitchen are also connected to the relief society room. So we had our friends from our last ward wait in the relief society room, while the rest of us waited in the primary room. Scott was the look out and was going to call me on the cell phone when he arrived. They even had prelude music so make it feel even more legitimate.
We were all waiting as quietly as possible after we got the signal over my phone. Scott began the "meeting" then paused to ask Wayne if he could pull him aside for a minute before they got started. He took Wayne to the door in the back of the relief society room which leads right into the primary room. Wayne followed him and we all yelled "SURPRISE!". It worked! He didn't suspect a thing, and he had a pile of handouts in his arms to prove it. IT WAS AWESOME!!!!
As soon as we all yelled surprise, the rest of our friends followed Wayne into the primary room. I was sad that they didn't get to see the look on Wayne's face, but grateful for their help in being the decoy.

Elli loved seeing almost every single cousin in one room. She actually knows most of them by name. We keep Christmas photos on the fridge all year long so she can look at them and name who they are. Bradley wasn't disappointed to see everyone either. Most of the boys disappeared into the gym to play basketball all evening. (Which was fine by me, the adults were able to visit longer that way.)

It really turned out to be a great evening. Thank you so much to everyone who came, especially those who traveled. And thanks to Wayne's family who stuck around to not just help finish the food, but clean up. I would have been there a lot longer without your help! And thank you to Scott for being my partner in crime! I had a wonderful time, and I know Wayne did too. It meant a lot to him having all the people he cares so much about in one room.
I love you Wayne, and I'm so glad that I got to do this for you!!!!