Friday, December 12, 2014

Malcolm's Birth Story

I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that he's here and was so early.

I fully expected to have him in three weeks, since Annabelle and Luke were both born two weeks early--- apparently Malcolm had other plans.  This past week, I spent the time getting ready for a Relief Society dinner that I helped plan. I figured once that was out of the way, I could start prepping for Malcolm. I was literally going to pack my bag for the hospital the very next day.

Usually for RS Meetings, Greg stays home with the kids, but this time, he was planning to be one of the Child-care supervisors, which meant I came ahead of him and the kids to the meeting--- instead of him playing single Dad at home.  Since it was a dinner and presentation, I had lots of other things in the car, as well.  So, I got to the church at 545 and started unpacking the car.  There was a fair amount this time, but I was being really good and not helping with heavy stuff or doing too much.  I even sat down to rest a few times while we were setting the tables.

A little after six rolls around and I wanted to double-check the child-care just before Greg showed up.  The other gentleman was there and I wanted to see if the bag I brought with movies, crafts, and treats had made it into the right room.  As I was leaving the room, I felt the same 'pop' that I've felt twice before and knew then and there what had happen. Luckily, I happened to be just outside of the bathroom, so I beelined for it. My friend, Becca, saw me go into the bathroom and followed me.  She asked me what was wrong and I told her: "my water just broke."  Her response: "are you sure?"  Yes, I'm pretty sure.

She went to grab another friend, Lori, while I sat there and tried to keep it together.  Mentally, I was trying so hard to keep it together.  I instantly had so many worries for Malcolm.  I was only 35 weeks THAT day... was he going to be okay? I then had to call Greg to tell him the news.

G: Hey, did you forget something? We're on our way. (I usually forget to bring something to the church on those nights)
A: No... my water broke.
G: What?! Are you sure?! (what is it with people asking me that question)
A: Yes, I'm sure.
G: I guess we're having a baby. Everything is going to be okay.
A: I know.
G: You better give your folks a call. We'll be there in a minute.

Looking back, it was that conversation that was the first peaceful prompting from the Holy Ghost reminding me that everything, and everyone, would be okay.  Lori came in and further talked me off of my mental breakdown ledge, so I could sound okay when I called my Mom.  The conversation with her ended up pretty much the same as Greg's, except they would come to the church to pick up the kids after they met us at our house to give me a blessing--- because we had to go to the house to pack a bag.  Being fourth-time parents-- and all--- we were super prepared. We said goodbye to the kids (surprise we're changing your lives a little earlier than planned) and got a lot of well-wishes from friends as we left (seriously helped me to stay calm).

About an hour after my water broke, Greg and my Dad gave me (and Mal) a blessing of strength and comfort. He blessed us to be strong, to endure what was ahead and promised that everyone would be fine in the end.  We finally got to the hospital around 730 pm; the triage nurse was the nicest lady and pretty much told me they trust all of my instincts because this was my 'first rodeo'. She also told me that one of her kids was born at 35 weeks and was perfectly happy and healthy college student (I don't think it was a coincidence that she was my first nurse).  At 745, we were admitted because my water was really broken and we were really going to have the baby; it was actually the same room that Luke was born in.

At 815, I had my first check and the nurse said I was a 1 and it felt like Mal was breach. Now-a-days, breach equals c-section--- so the good feelings I had worked so hard to build up for the last two hours instantly went away.  Not because I didn't think either of us would have been in danger; it was the fear of the unknown. I had three babies before this one, so I thought I had a fairly good grasp at what to expect during labor--- I just figured this one would go a little faster. Since, they weren't sure, they ordered an ultrasound to double-check.  When the on-call doctor came in to do the ultrasound at 845, it showed that Malcolm was NOT breach, just high and small, so he felt breach.

Since I wasn't breach, she ordered Pitocin. After Jared, I've tried to make sure I get my epidural first before Pitocin comes, but the other doctor was busy, so I got Pit first--- at 930--- on a very little dose. I progressed slowly (not surprised) until right before the epidural at 1045. The pain started to get bad, so once everything was set up, it felt as though it didn't work on one side--- impatient Amber didn't give it enough time TO work--- so I pressed the button at 1115.

With the pitocin going and the epidural in, we were in a holding pattern. So, we tried to rest as much as we could. At 1215, the nurse came to rotate and check me and I was only at a 4.  I was actually pretty shocked that I wasn't further--- because my previous birth patterns showed me that I would labor faster with this one. Well, sometime in the next hour, I went from a 4 to a 10--- however, I didn't realize it because I pushed the button and was completely numb.  So, when the nurse went to check me at 120, I was complete (and probably was for a while) and Mal was crowning.

So--- what happened next? The typical labor room panic induced by all-of-the-sudden ready-to-push Amber. Four for Four. At least I was right about that. A bunch of nurses, including NICU ones, came in to prep the room--- while my nurse tried to hold Mal in until they were ready.

At 138 everyone was ready, and I half-way pushed Malcolm Aaron out into the land of the air breathers. When he came out, they only kept him on my chest for a few seconds and took him away to make sure everything was okay. And, as my blessing said earlier, everything was okay. He passed all of his newborn screening, was breathing on his own, and because he was just at 5 lbs, he didn't have to go to the NICU.

This whole hospital stay has been a little surreal. He's so early, but they haven't been treating him like a preemie. Right now, he's doing a carseat study and if he passes that, we can go home today.

At some point during the whole ordeal, Greg turned to me and said, "he just wanted to be like his siblings and have a 1 and 0 on his birthday--- plus he wanted to be an airbreather for Christmas".

Merry early Christmas to us... and our family of six.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

An Early Christmas Present

Malcolm Aaron surprised everyone and came 5 weeks early. Born at 138 am, on 12.10. 5lbs, 16 inches long.
We're both doing well and if he passes all his tests, he'll come home with me.
Merry early Christmas to us!
Prayers and happy thoughts are always appreciated.

The name story: When we found out Mal was a boy, we were kind of surprised. Totally excited, but surprised. All of our previous names from Jared and Luke quickly failed--- none of them seemed to fit. We knew his middle name would be 'Aaron' after Greg, but we were stuck on his first name. I started looking for awesomely classic names. As I was making a list to email Greg, I saw a link to an article title, "Baby names for the Sci-Fi family." An article perfect for us. I clicked on the link and started to read the list. One name popped out to me because I knew how much Greg loved the show it was from. Malcolm. From the short-lived, amazingly awesome show, Firefly--- which happens to be one of Greg's favorite shows. So, I knew if I emailed this name to him, he'd agree. I believe picking names are very spiritual experiences, so I thought I wouldn't email him the name--- however, at the moment I thought that another thought came into my head, 'this is his name.' Done. So--- I emailed Greg a list of a names and at the bottom I said "or we could name him Malcolm Aaron and call him Mal." He emailed back and said 'done... we could also call him "Captain Tightpants.'

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Card 2014

Another thing finished off of the "to-do" list. Woot.

Each thing done feels like a small victory since we've got about t-minus three weeks (or so) until Baby M's arrival.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

34 Weeks & an Ultrasound

How far along: 34 weeks (I know I skipped a few updates...)
Weight Gain this month, Total Weight Gain:  20 lbs since 18 weeks, 160 lbs
Approximate Size of Baby:  cantaloupe
Maternity Clothes:  Exclusively and ready to get out of them.
Sleep:  I've had BH contractions for a while now--- but nothing serious. Sometimes they wake me up, most of the time Baby M wakes me up to pee.
Memorable Moments:  Since my last update, we found a name that we both LOVE and it totally feels perfect for this baby. He's super active. The kids loves to tell me I'm getting bigger and they all love to lay on my body to feel the baby kick them. It's pretty funny. I also had my emergency appendectomy when I was 20 weeks--- which was super scary and also really spiritual. I felt Jay and my Granni with me, comforting me, and reminding me that we would both be okay. I also KNEW he was a boy and KNEW what his name was. Annabelle really wants him to be born before Christmas--- Daddy really wants him to be born before the end of the year--- I guess we'll have to wait and see what he wants to do.
Movement:  Super active--- especially after I eat something.
Exercise:  Being a mom of a first grader, preschooler and toddler are enough exercise for me right now.
Food Cravings/Aversions:  The only issue I have it not being able to eat too much. I ate too much at Thanksgiving and spent the better part of the evening laying on my parent's couch trying not to think about the
Not-so-Fun Symptoms:  I'm near the end, so I'm big, tired and ready for the baby to come... but totally okay with him cooking some more. :)
Status of Belly-Button: gone
What I Miss:  Being able to play with my kids and still have energy. (still miss that)
What I'm looking forward to:  I'm holding off getting ready for the hospital until we finish with our December Relief Society meeting next week... after that I'll get the hospital bag and other things ready for M. Holding my sweet baby and being family of six. Not wearing maternity clothes anymore.
Anything Else:  He's growing like his siblings, so just like my last two babies, I had an ultrasound today to make sure he wasn't too small. It was fun to see him again, he looks great and I'm so excited for these holidays to hurry so he can be out of me and be in the land of air-breathers.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Jared's Third Primary Talk

Our primary needed a couple of kids to step in and do the sharing time tasks at the last minutes.  Annabelle gave the scripture while Jared did the talk.  His topic was: Remembering Jesus Christ Helps Me Choose the Right.

My talk today is about how remembering Jesus Christ helps me to choose the right.

Remembering Jesus Christ helps me to choose the right because He always made the right choices.

If I think about what Jesus would do when I have to make a choice, then I will choose the right.'

Remembering that Jesus was kind to others can help me to be kind.

Remembering that Jesus obeyed Heavenly Father can help me to listen to my Mom & Dad.

If I choose to follow Jesus's example, I will always choose the right.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Gratitude Turkey 2014

The tradition continues....

Greg: Little Helpers-- Annabelle-- Helpful Friends-- Agency-- Peace at Home-- Pillows-- Nice Music-- Helping Hands-- Amber-- Frankincense-- Gratitude-- Jared-- Grandparents-- Picture Memories-- Luke-- Puzzles-- Quiet-- Skype-- SwRI-- Jesus Christ-- Cub Scouts-- Baby M-- Warm Hugs-- Fuels & Lubricants-- Nice House-- Our parents-- Games

Amber: Greg-- the Holy Ghost-- Helpers-- Freedom-- Personal Revelation-- Talents-- Our House-- Annabelle-- Our bodies-- New Experiences-- Warm Clothes-- Hot Chocolate-- Jared-- Luke-- Baby M-- Priesthood-- Scriptures-- Serving Others-- Book Club-- My Bed-- Animal Style Fries-- Wonderful Parents-- Good Books-- Our Van-- Laughter-- Family Time-- Pumpkin Pie

Jared: My House-- My Family-- Brains-- the Universe-- The Scriptures-- My needs-- Thanksgiving-- Movies*-- Luke-- Star Wars & Harry Potter-- Mom-- Daddy-- Mac & Cheese-- Turkeys-- Being Thankful-- Cardinals Baseball-- Annabelle-- Toys-- Dinner Table-- Couches-- In 'n Out Burger-- Oba & Jiji-- Video Games-- Mema & Deda-- Our Bodies-- Being able to Read-- Thanksgiving Parade

Annabelle: My Family-- Daddy-- the Temple-- the World-- My Toys-- Mama-- Monkeys-- Birthday Cake-- our WHOLE (extended) family-- Holy Ghost-- our House-- Cheese-- Luke-- Mac & Cheese-- Jesus-- Football-- spending time with Daddy-- Texas-- Pumpkins-- Swings-- Preschool-- Turkeys-- Mema & Deda-- Sunglasses-- Oba & Jiji-- Aunts & Uncles-- Jared

Luke: "Popcorn Popping"-- Cars-- Cheetos-- Rain-- Packing Bubbles-- Daddy-- Mickey Mouse-- his Jiji-- Mommy-- Phones-- Food Pouches-- Animals-- Star Wars-- Jared-- Annabelle-- Hot Dogs-- Mema-- Deda-- Doodle toy-- Apples-- French Fries-- The WHOLE family-- Oba-- Green Blanket-- Blocks-- Great Gma & Gpa-- Cousins

*When we went and saw Big Hero 6 for Annabelle's birthday

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Birthday Questions: Annabelle at 5!

Since it's birthday time, it was time to do a birthday interview with Annabelle. Funny enough, I'm starting to look forward to this as much as their birthdays:
  1. What are 3 words that describe you? happy, fun, sweet
  2. I'm really good at:  painting
  3. What makes you happy? Being with my family
  4. What makes you sad?  When I'm sick
  5. What is your favorite animal?  Monkey
  6. What is your favorite food? Mac 'n Cheese
  7. What is your favorite color? Pink and Purple
  8. What is your favorite part about church? when I'm at sacrament meeting
  9. What is your favorite scripture story?  When Jesus is born
  10. What is your favorite holiday? Why?  Valentine's Day because I love you! (she gives me a hug)
  11. What is your favorite treat?  Laffy Taffy
  12. What is your favorite type of music?  Disney music
  13. What is your favorite toy? My dolls
  14. What is your favorite sport to play?  swimming & t-ball
  15. My favorite books are:  ALL of my Princess books and Elephant & Piggie books
  16. What is your favorite movie?  Frozen  TV Show? Octonauts
  17. If I could go anywhere, I would go to: Disney cruise like you and Daddy
  18. What songs do you like to sing?  "Let It Go" & "Love One Another"
  19. Best thing our family does together:  have FHE and plays games
  20. If you could pick any pet, what would it be?  Ghost (Z & K's dog)
  21. When I was little I used to: cry and sleep
  22. My best friend is:  Alex
  23. What do you like to do with Mommy?  going on outings with here
  24. What do you like to do with Daddy?  watch Star Wars with him
  25. What do you like to play inside? play with legos
  26. What do you like to play outside?  swinging
  27. If I had one wish, it would be: To have snow powers like Elsa
  28. Are you afraid of anything?  Giant Spiders and mosquitoes
  29. When I grow up, I want to be:  a normal Mommy like my Mom
  30. Who is the coolest person you know:  my whole family
  31. *EXTRA*  My favorite memory is: playing at Sea World with my family and friends.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Annabelle is FIVE

Her Birthday Celebration at Preschool
Whenever Annabelle turns another year older is when I feel the passage of time the most. She's my little girl and she's not so little anymore and I'm trying REALLY hard not to be super sad about it.

Weight: 42 lbs (50 %)
Height: 44 inches (75 %)
Hair: whispy strawberry blonde
Eyes: depends on the day--- dark to amber brown
 nothing's changed
Shoe Size: 11 or 12
Clothes Size:  6T+ dresses, 5/6 shirts, 5T shorts/skirts 
Nicknames: Belle, Annabellie, Bellie, Little Mama, Little Girl, Sissyturkeybutton
 Luke, Jared, Daddy, Mommy, Pink Blankie, anything Disney Princess--especially Frozen, Sea World, anything having to do with Art, singing, dancing
Dislikes: She still dislikes being bossed around--- like anyone else. Her pickiness has expanded to most vegetables except for raw carrots, cooked broccoli, pickles and edamame.  If she has a certain way to do something, it frustrates her when you do it differently. Unfortunately, she the only time she'll eat Chicken now, is if we have it a Chick-fil-a.
Favorite Food:  She still loves Mac & Cheese with Chocolate Milk and I don't see that changing anytime soon.  She also gobbles up tomatoes, most burgers, cheese pizza (anything cheese actually), and Japanese food (phew).
Favorite Toys: She still loves all of her dolls and dressing and undressing them. 
Favorite Books: Scripture Stories, All of her Princess books, & Elephant/Piggie books
Favorite Things to Watch: Pretty much any Disney Channel cartoons--- her show of choice right now seems to be Octonauts.
Other New Tricks:  She is enamored with Jared's ability to read and often laments how she cannot read; so we're working on that ALREADY with her. Her favorite place to be at Preschool is either on the swings or in the Art Room. There's not a day that goes by without her bringing home an art project--- usually it's a new painting. My current dilemma is figuring out what to do with them all.
What's next: Becoming a Big sister again, getting ready for Kindergarten next year, learning to read.
How she drives us crazy: She whines A LOT. We're trying to work on it--- and for the adults, working on being patient with her and trying to teach her other ways to express her emotions. When her imagination gets the best of her, she tells TONS of stories. This is normally a positive, unless we're trying to get the truth out of her.
Why she's so awesome: She is our little jewel. She has the most caring and sensitive little girl. She also has the best imagination. She's super smart and loves to make everyone happy. She's a joy to be around.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Lukie Pookie is TWO!

My first alone outing with the kids (Annabelle and Luke) post-op was to Luke's two-year-old check-up today. Just like yesterday, it was really hard when I had to pick him up--- you know--- to keep him from running away and doing dangerous stuff--- like leaving me.  I really don't have a choice, and I miss holding him, but I feel it in my scars--- which is weird.  Here's the update on Luke.

Weight: 30 lbs 4 oz (80th percentile) --- he's almost caught up to Annabelle!
Height: 34 3/4 inches (75th percentile)
Head Circ: 19 3/4 cm (90th percentile)
Hair: whispy strawberry blonde
Eyes: Brown
Teeth: 20--- he got his two year molars early
Shoe Size: 7 or 8
Clothes Size: 2T pants, 2/3T---sometimes 4 shirts and jammies
Nicknames: Lukie, Pookie, Pookie-Pants, Luke-the-Duke, LP, Babe-ah, Lukie Luke
 the family, Green Blankie, Mickey Mouse, dancing, singing "imperial march", he absolutely LOVES "Happy" by Pharell Williams--- he dances every single time.
Dislikes: being mauled by his older siblings, almost all veggies, staying in one place too long
Favorite Food: He pretty much only likes to eat carbs & fruit.  When he eats veggies, it has to be in a pouch.  
Favorite Toys: Stuffed Mickey & Mario, cars, trains, and planes--- basically any kind of vehicle and ramp combination.  He also really likes a baseball mitt and glove we got him when the older kids got their T-Ball gear.
Favorite Books: The Monster at the End of the Book, Lift-the-flap books, Mickey books, Star Wars books
Favorite Things to Watch: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse & Octonauts seem to be the two shows he'll sit through.  He'll also sit through any family movie we watch.
Words: He's the slowest of our kids to talk, but I know he'll get there.  He says a lot of things, with his mouth closed.  He really only opens his mouth when he's emotional. His doctor said to give it another 3-6 months and watch for improvements before we take any other steps (like speech therapy).  Most of the time, he talks in one syllable sounds. Like "Bah" and "Jah" for Annabelle and Jared or "cah" for popcorn
Other New Tricks: He follows complicated directions really well, listens and helps.  When Z & K brought Adrienne over he was really mindful of her and even sat and held her (with Oba's help, of course).  Another awesome thing he does is say mealtime prayers.  Granted, we can only understand a couple of words, but he mimics and tries to say the whole prayer.  It's really cute and I've been meaning to get it on video, I just never have the camera next to me at prayer time (go figure).  He also does all the actions for "Popcorn Popping" which is also very video worthy.  Another thing I absolutely love is his running hugs.  If you ask him to "give you loves" he'll come running to you with mouth open grunting--- which is super cute.  He also started giving raspberry kisses, aka Zerberts and they're, messy, but so fun to receive.
What's next: Getting ready to be a big brother in Dec or Jan--- adjusting to having more alone time with Mom & sometimes Annabelle--- more talking (please)!
How he drives us crazy: He's still messy when he eats--- but he's getting better.  I'd love to hear him start talking more, but that'll be at his own pace.  He screams randomly--- like full-fledge blood-curdling volume--- usually it's when we're at the store or somewhere quiet--- like church.
Why he's so awesome: He's still so chill, which is why I don't think he bothers to talk.  He already has his needs met, so why talk?  Most of the time, he's happy and full of life.  He loves to find new things and gets so excited when he sees someone or something he loves.  His dance is probably one of the cutest things you'll see and he's super smart--- just like his siblings.  Each one of them is so unique and different, and it's so amazing to witness their growth and love them so immensely.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Annabelle's 2nd ---and last--- First Day of Pre-K

Annabelle had her first day of her new preschool today (hence the title--- since she really had her first day of preschool last year).  We decided to change to an actual school this year, so she could have some school (i.e. not jumping around) experience.  A few of our friends had enjoyed sending their kids to her new school, so Luke and I checked it out during the spring this year.

Almost immediately, I knew this school was the right fit for her.  Once, I told her she'd be going to preschool with her best friend, she asked me almost DAILY when it was time to go to 'her new school.'  This went on. all. summer. long.

Last week, less than a week from my appendectomy, I had to attend Parent Orientation and, then we went to Meet-the-Teacher.  If it was possible, I was even more excited to send Annabelle there and knew she'd love it.  When we went to M-t-T, I couldn't get her to leave once I got her there.

Luke was really cute because he REALLY wanted to stay.  Maybe next year, buddy. I actually had to pick him up for the first time in almost two weeks--- and it was hard.  I'm technically not supposed to be holding him yet, but he really didn't give me much of choice, since he started taking off.  I don't know if he's gained weight since my surgery, but I certainly have missed holding him.

When the time came to actually leave today, she ran in and didn't look back.  After talking with the office for a few minutes, I had to find her to say goodbye.  She got comfortable real fast.  I'm pretty sure she's going to have a great year before she heads off to the adventure of kindergarten.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Decade of Gregbo Adventures

315,569,260 seconds. 5,259,600 minutes. 87,658 minutes. 3,652 days. 521 weeks. 120 months.
3.5 kids. 6 pregnancies. 4 apartments. 1 home. 3 graduations and degrees. 2 cross-country moves. 2 cross-town moves. 8 Cardinals games. 1 amazing cruise. Too-many-to-count compromises, fits of laughter, surprises (mostly by Greg), misunderstandings, diapers, and nerd-filled discussions that would make Sheldon and Amy look cool.
Sometimes you're the last person in the world I want to see, but all the time, I love you.

1 eternal bond.
10 years.

Happy Anniversary, love.

Now, let's celebrate the best way we can: by going to Meet-the-Teacher Night. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

18 Weeks & a Reveal

How far along: 18 weeks
Weight Gain this month, Total Weight Gain:  5 lbs, 140 lbs
Approximate Size of Baby:  sweet potato
Gender:  we found out this visit
Maternity Clothes:  I can wear almost everything in my maternity section now, except for a couple shirts and pants that I save for the end.
Sleep:  I'm always tired, but I usually have a hard time going to sleep.  It stinks.
Memorable Moments:  This visit started out with the anatomy visit to check on the baby.  The general consensus was that this baby is going to be a girl.  I guess just following the pattern and Annabelle's desire to have a sister.  Well, her desire will have to wait a little longer because the evidence suggests that this one is going to be a BOY!  As always, we're excited.  While we waited for our follow-up appointment, we started looking up boy names because we didn't agree on either of the ones we had before.  Hopefully we'll find one we agree on sooner rather than later.
Movement:  He's not as active as his siblings yet, but I'm sure that'll change as he gets bigger and I can feel him more.
Exercise:  Keeping up after the kids and going swimming are really the only ways I exercise this time around.  Hopefully once the heat wears off, we'll be able to go for walks around the neighborhood again.
Food Cravings/Aversions:  This time around, I really haven't had some strong cravings.  Once someone mentions something for dinner, and it sounds good to me, then I want it.  But usually, it has to be mentioned first.  As for aversions, I have to take a bite of the food first to be averted to it, if that makes sense.
Not-so-Fun Symptoms:  My skin broke out like I'm a teenager again--- and I seem to be extra sensitive to my emotions, as well.  It's kind of ridiculous.
Status of Belly-Button: a little concave, but still there.
What I Miss:  Being able to play with my kids and still have energy.
What I'm looking forward to:  The heat subsiding; feeling the baby more often; Jared and Annabelle starting school; our new niece being born in September/October.
Anything Else:  To tell the kids, I took a video of Jared and Annabelle looking at the sonogram pictures.  The first two pictures showed arms, head, and legs.  The last one had the gender pictures and the words.  I told Jared to read it out loud to Annabelle; he read it, her face dropped, and she started to cry.  I had to stop taking the video and cuddle with her.  After she calmed down, she said, "it's okay, Mom.  I'll love the baby and then the NEXT baby will be my sister."

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Annabelle's Third Primary Talk

Apparently it's the kiddo's season to give talks in primary.  Annabelle was asked to give the talk today about family prayer and she did a great job.  She even read a couple of sentences alone--- that's right--- our baby girl is learning to read.  I think her growing up is going to be the hardest on Greg and I.  Here's her talk:

My talk today is about praying in our families so that we may be blessed.

Family prayer is a commandment for Heavenly Father.  The prophets have said it is one of the most important things to do as a family.

When we pray as a family, we are blessed by being stronger together.  Each prayer brings us closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus.

What I like about Family Prayer is that we pray for others to help them feel better.  I always feel happy when we pray as a family.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

13 Weeks

**back posting how I felt with each month of this pregnancy, since this is the first pregnancy post, I'll include all of the categories and then add/subtract them when they are relevant** 

How far along: 13 weeks exactly
Weight Gain this month, Total Weight Gain:  less than 5 lbs, 9ish lbs
Approximate Size of Baby:  Kidney Bean :)
Gender:  Gotta wait a few more months for that
Maternity Clothes:  using my Bellyband, but I'm still fitting into most of my clothes.
Sleep:  Constantly tired.  I fall asleep pretty easily right now, which is usually hard for me to do.
Memorable Moments:  We told Jared & Bellie about the baby yesterday.  Jared asked how the baby got there.  Greg responded, Heavenly Father put it there.  Jared: How did he do that?  Greg (stumped):  You'll find out when you're older.

Movement:  Not yet... but excited for it
Exercise:  Keeping up after Jared & Annabelle; strolling around the neighborhood... Segway ride for Greg's birthday in a couple of weeks... it's exercise ;)
Food Cravings/Aversions:  Only thing I can really handle right now is cereal, bread, eggs, and meat.  Everything else makes me nauseated for the rest of the day.  I also CANNOT drink any kind of carbonated beverage.  The first week, I went for a drink of Sprite and it was INSTANT nausea.  I've never had such a strong reaction to food while pregnant before (except the smell of coffee with Jared--- I can't stand that now too--- good thing we don't drink it).
Not-so-Fun Symptoms:  SUPER tired.  I get so easily tired right now, so Greg's picking up a lot of my slack.  I'm really
Labor Signs:  Sure hope not!
Status of Belly-Button: just fine, fitting into some of my pants is a different story
What I Miss:  Being able to eat normally.
What I'm looking forward to:  The 2nd Trimester (hopefully, no more nausea, tiredness and worrying about losing the baby), Feeling the baby move
Anything Else:  Since I had two miscarriages previous to this pregnancy, I spent most of the first couple weeks I knew I was pregnant going back and forth to my doctor.  She wanted to make sure my hormone levels were increasing normally.  Even though I've been to the doctor, I few times I still haven't heard the heartbeat.  I didn't hear it during the last visit because I saw it on the ultrasound.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Jared's Second Primary Talk

I know I just wrote a post like this, but with Annabelle, instead of Jared.  As fate would have it, two weeks after Annabelle gave her talk, Jared was asked to talk.  It seems strange that Annabelle would give her second talk first, but last year, we always seemed to be out-of-town when Jared was scheduled to give a talk.

I think they finally decided to stop trying to assign him.  It's a good thing they picked this week since we're leaving for California this week.  And, since we were up in RR for Father's Day, we would've not known about this assignment, if it wasn't for the email reminder sent this week.

So, Jared and I sat down and figured out what he wanted to say.  He even wrote it down; until he got tired a few sentences in.  So, I became transcribe while he reminded me what he wanted to say.  Since his last talk, he's learned how to read, so we didn't even go up to help him; Greg and I just watched our little boy grow up some more.  Seriously, why are they growing so fast?!?!

His Topic: I can prepare now to be worthy to enter the Temple.

His Talk:
The temple is a sacred place.  Even though I can't go inside yet, I can prepare now so I will be worthy when I am old enough.

I prepare to go to the temple now by helping my family.

I prepare to go to the temple now by playing nicely and being a good example.

I prepare to go to the temple now by going to church and listening in primary.

Every time we do what is right we prepare to go to the temple.

I want to go to the temple one day.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

9 Weeks

**back posting how I felt with each month of this pregnancy, since this is the first pregnancy post, I'll include all of the categories and then add/subtract them when they are relevant** 

How far along: 9 weeks exactly

Approximate Due Date: January 13th, 2015
Starting Weight, Total Weight Gain: 130, about 5 lbs
Approximate Size of Baby:  Green Olive
Gender:  We should find out in August sometime...
Maternity Clothes:  I'm still fitting into most of my clothes, but I broke out the BellyBand faster this time and can already fit into my small maternity clothes.  My doctor said, 'well, honey, it is your fourth.' :)
Sleep:  Constantly tired.  I have very little energy and it's really frustrating with three kids at home all expecting an awesome summer (and I want to give it to them).
Memorable Moments:  We're telling the whole family this weekend, we've even kept it a secret from the kids.  Tee hee.  *** When we found out, I took a test a couple days early and it was negative.  Fast forward a couple days, and I thought maybe a really am.  So, I fished the old test out of the trash (because I didn't have any) and it had a really faint line.  I was so shocked and started laughing; I took a picture and sent it to Greg because he wouldn't answer his phone.  Later that day, I bought another box and took another test... just to make sure... and this time the line showed up right away.

Movement:  Not yet... but I'm really anxious to see just how much sooner I'll feel this one.
Exercise:  It's pretty much whatever I'm doing to keep up with the kids.  We occasionally go on walks, but I'm so easily exhausted right now.
Food Cravings/Aversions:  I'm not too bad this time around.  If I overstuff myself once I finally get hungry then, I'll get nauseated.  Also, it's inconsistent on what will make me sick.  For example, I'll have ice cream one day and can't handle it the next.
Not-so-Fun Symptoms:  Just like the rest of my pregnancies, I'm extra tired and Greg is doing so much to help me out.  I feel so guilty not being able to do "my job," but I am building a human being and trying to get used to the hormones again, right?
Labor Signs:  Sure hope not!
Status of Belly-Button: a little bigger than normal
What I Miss:  Doing my jobs as a wife and mom.
What I'm looking forward to:  The 2nd Trimester (hopefully, no more nausea, tiredness and worrying about losing the baby), Feeling the baby move
Anything Else:  I thought I wouldn't be anxious about this pregnancy, since I had a healthy one with Luke, but I am.  I'm not going to the doctor frequently like I did with him and everything looked great, except for a little clot that should go away.  Greg & Z gave me a blessing of health and strength.  It was very comforting and fit exactly into what I was anxious about.  *** Greg teased my doctor at my first appointment, asking her to keep her calendar open for New Year's.  Since Annabelle and Luke were two weeks early, that's where we looked on the calendar.... December 30th.  She said it was a little too early to keep it open and laughed.  I guess we'll all have to wait and see what happens over the holidays.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Annabelle's Second Primary Talk

Annabelle gave her second Primary talk yesterday and she did a wonderful job.  She spoke clearly and we even brought pictures for me to hold while she spoke.

Every day she amazes me; mostly because she's growing up so fast.

Her Topic:  Temples make it possible for families to be together forever.

Her Talk:
Families are an important part of Heavenly Father's plan.  I love my family & I want to be with them forever.

Temples make it possible for my family, and all families, to be together forever.

If we live worthy, we can go to the temple and make special promises with Heavenly Father.

These promises are how we get to live with Jesus Christ & Heavenly Father forever.  It is also how we get to see family members who have already died again.

I know if I live worthy to go to the temple, Heavenly Father will keep those promises with me.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Birthday Questions: Jared at 6

  1. What are 3 words that describe you? helpful, silly (said in a questioning tone), my skin is peach
  2. I'm really good at:  running, galloping, reading & baseball.
  3. What makes you happy? Going to a Dinosaur Museum & spending time with my family.
  4. What makes you sad? When I lose something that I like.
  5. What is your favorite animal?  Orca Whales
  6. What is your favorite food? Sushi
  7. What is your favorite color? Green, Blue, Orange, Yellow, Gold & Silver
  8. What is your favorite part about church?  When we take the Sacrament
  9. What is your favorite scripture story? Mormon because he put all of the stories together.
  10. What is your favorite holiday? Halloween, Christmas & Easter
  11. What is your favorite treat? EVERY treat!
  12. What is your favorite type of music? The music from Star Wars
  13. What is your favorite toy? Dinosaur & Star Wars Legos
  14. What is your favorite sport to play? Baseball
  15. My favorite books are: Star Wars books, Silly books
  16. What is your favorite movie? Star Wars: all of the episodes!
  17. Favorite TV Show?  Wild Kratts
  18. If I could go anywhere, I would go to: Dinosaur Museum, Disneyland, WDW, Disney Cruise, Beach
  19. What songs do you like to sing? (He started humming the Star Wars theme & Cantina Song when I asked) and "Love One Another"
  20. Best thing our family does together: Have fun, watching movies and spending time together
  21. If you could pick any pet, what would it be? Hamster, ant-eater & lizard (because they'd eat ants & caterpillars)
  22. When I was little I used to: crawl and scribble
  23. My best friend is: Caleb
  24. What do you like to do with Mommy? Playing Disney Infinity and go to YogurtZone
  25. What do you like to do with Daddy? Same thing as Mommy & to build towers with him.
  26. What do you like to play inside? Hide-n-seek, legos & play video games
  27. What do you like to play outside? throw frisbees & play in the sprinklers
  28. If I had one wish, it would be: Being a grown-up so I could do whatever I want to do.
  29. Are you afraid of anything?  tarantulas & zombies & Haunted Mansions
  30. When I grow up, I want to be: a Paleontologist
  31. Who is the coolest person you know: Dad & Mom (editor's note--- woo hoo!)
  32. *EXTRA*  My favorite memory is: Going to Aquatica last summer.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Jared: Year Six

Yesterday at Sea World
Weight: 46 lbs
Height: 46 1/2 inches
Hair: light brownish red
Eyes: dark amber brown
 He's getting his six year molars (a couple are stuck behind his other ones--- hopefully that changes) AND he lost his first tooth last week.
Shoe Size: 10 1/2 to 11
Clothes Size: 5T pants for waist, but 6 for height, 5T & small shirts
Nicknames: Bubba, Buddy, Handsome, Big Guy
Likes: Annabelle (although this one changes on an hourly, maybe minutely, basis), Luke, Star Wars toys, dinosaurs, reading, playing the Wii, Sea World, Avengers, playing with Legos
Dislikes: being misunderstood, when Annabelle or Luke touches his stuff
Favorite Food:  Burgers & Japanese food
Favorite Toys: his dinosaur & star wars legos
Favorite Books: anything he can read by himself especially silly books like the Elephant & Piggie Series.  We're still into Magic Tree House; Captain Underpants is done after the one we finish.  I want to start Harry Potter this summer...
Favorite Things to Watch: Octonauts & Wild Kratts--- he's really into learning about animals right now
Other New Tricks: He's one of six Kindergartens who accomplished the GT (gifted & talented) tasks, so now he goes to that class, as well.  He reads at a mid-first grade reading level & LOVES to learn
What's next: Making a Summer To-Do List, including books to read.  We definitely need to teach him how to tie his shoes (parenting fail on our part).  Saying goodbye to his best friend who's moving to North Texas...
How he drives us crazy: He's still really LOUD.  The couple days this year that he's gotten in trouble is because he doesn't listen and is too loud in the classroom.*** He's super poky in the morning--- I feel like I spend the whole morning nagging him (and I don't like it).  We need to figure out something else to try for next year.
Why he's so awesome:  He is still a great helper & brother.  Everyone has moments of frustration, especially with siblings, but for the most part, he loves & treats Annabelle & Luke so nice.  He learns SO FAST and wants to help with almost anything.    Random funny thing is does right now:  He's nearly tongue-tied, which will be fixed next month, but because of it he has a hard time with Ts & Fs.  SO... when he counts, it sounds likes this... ONE, TWO, FREE, THOR.  Apparently, someone's got the Norse God of Thunder trapped somewhere & Jared is the key to finding the location. :)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

18 Months of Luke the Duke

I know I say this with EVERY update on the kids, but I'm just AMAZED at how FAST the last 18 months have gone.  Luke is 18 months old!  So weird & fantastic at the same time.  Here's the lowdown on our Luke-the-Duke.

Weight: 27 lbs 13 oz (75th percentile)
Height: 33 1/2 inches (80th percentile)
Head Circ: 19 1/2 cm (90th percentile)
Hair: whispy strawberry blonde
Eyes: Brown, can't tell if they're going to get any darker or not--- I guess we'll see
Teeth: 16--- just missing the two year molars
Shoe Size: 6
Clothes Size: 18 month & 2T, depending on the style/brand of clothes
Nicknames: Lukie, Pookie, Pookie-Pants, Luke-the-Duke, LP, Babe-ah, Lukie Luke
 STILL: Annabelle, Jared, Daddy, Mommy, Green Blankie, Mickey Mouse, splashing ADDED: climbing, waving to EVERYONE, stuffed Mario, being verbal (I think--- I hope)
Dislikes: staying in the car too long, Annabelle's over-a-minute-long hugs, almost all veggies
Favorite Food: He pretty much only likes to eat carbs & fruit.  When he eats veggies, it has to be in a pouch.  
Favorite Toys: Stuffed Mario, Stuffed Mickey, & Scooby, Cars toys, car ramp Greg made for Christmas.
Favorite Books: He hasn't gotten into books as fast as the other two.  He'll still down for the first couple of pages & then bolt to get another book.  He likes anything Disney, especially Mickey.
Favorite Things to Watch: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Octonauts, we watched Cars for the first time with toddler Luke & he really liked it.
Words: car, ah-duh (all-done), Dada, Jah (Jared), nigh (good night).  Right now, he does a lot of talking with his mouth closed--- I'm excited to get to hear his voice more.
Other New Tricks: He's a full-fledged toddler now. Fits and everything. He gets into so much.  He especially LOVES to climb on almost everything.  He dances, points, and pulls.  I'm surprised he hasn't figured out how to get out of his crib yet.  He understands directions & loves to be with Jared & Annabelle.  He also has a really good throwing arm and likes to show it frequently--- most often in the form of a toy quickly moving from upstairs to downstairs.
What's next: Spring Break visit from Mema & Deda, Talking more, getting used to nursery, hopefully finding more food he likes.
How he drives us crazy: He likes to copy right now, so he'll copy when Jared/Belle gets too loud/throws a fit/hits someone, and since he's just learning, he thinks it's okay.   The food thing is starting to drive me crazy; since he throws dinner can get messy real fast.
Why he's so awesome: He's a peaceful happy going guy.  His personality is perfect to defuse any negative situation which is nice when his older siblings are not so peaceful.  He already loves to help with anything his two little hands can reach.  His favorite thing to help with right now is the laundry--- specifically pressing the buttons on the machines & changing the loads.

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Week Ago...

We boarded a boat, with our best friends and had the best vacation...

We had a great time.  Funny enough, we're both dealing with a little bit of motion sickness now that we're off the boat.  Hopefully, I'll fill in the details soon with the amazing adventures on the Wonder... especially since I threw out my back and won't be going anywhere anytime soon...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Frozen Family

I need to write this down before I forget...

Last night while the kids got ready for bed, we started to sing the songs from Frozen.  We have the CD and it's currently on repeat in the car... and by repeat I mean, Mom will get chewed out if she even thinks about listening to other music.  Backstory properly established, back last night...

Everyone (Greg included, minus Luke) started singing the songs.  We got through most of them before we started reading scriptures and pushed off bedtime because of our impromptu karoeke.

Hopefully the grumpies today will be because it's way too cold for my Texas Weather Wiennies, and not because we made a Frozen memory last night.

Today: Annabelle and her preschool carpool friend listened to "Let It Go" and sung every. single. word.  I couldn't help but giggle listening to two four-year-old girls singing a Princess song.  So cute.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Luke's First: Utensils

I'm recommitting to this blog.  Just in time to go out-of-town on a big cruise.... so excited! Seriously though, I want our family to have a record of what we've been up to.

Luke is growing up so fast--- he's only three months away from nursery.  CRAZY.

Today, at lunch, I was feeding him some yogurt and he started squeaking at me and signing 'please.'  I then, asked him if he wanted the spoon.  'please' was the answer I got---- it's his go-to sign.

He had a grand ol' time with the spoon.  He even got some yogurt in his mouth a couple of times.  Couldn't believe it.

After a few minutes, though, he decided it wasn't fast enough and he went straight to the source.

Everyone always tells you, it goes by faster with each kid and it's so true.  It doesn't feel like it's been two years since we were so excited to finally be pregnant again--- let alone to have a now TODDLER in the house.  This is one of the reasons that it is necessary to keep up with this blog.  I'm going to forget things.... and I don't want to forget.


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