Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April: Easter, Anniversary, & Rosie's Namesake

We had another dinner party on Easter Sunday, April 5th!  This will likely be my last hosting event for a bit, but I had just enough energy (and a spiral cut ham from Costco) to motivate me.

Again, my sister's family came over, bringing their funeral potatoes.  YUM.  I spent the Saturday before making this festive carrot cake.  


I spent Sunday morning making these hot cross buns.  Also a hit!


We had dinner (really lunch) in between LDS General Conference sessions. There was the yummy ham and potatoes, peas, pickled beets and eggs, and the baked goods.  I also found some cute Easter lollipops at a local candy store called Peppermint Place. It was certainly enough food for our party of 9 (4 adults, 5 kids).

We also did an Easter Egg hunt in our backyard because I wanted Naomi to have the experience.

Naomi was so excited to receive a Cinderella Magiclip.  She had been watching youtube videos that featured these toys with their dresses and how to make new dresses out of play-doh.


She plays with it for hours every single day.  She also got a Little People Belle and Beast, but Cinderella is her most favorite!  I found it at Smith's Grocery story, but we have since bought a whole set from Target so that we can use the princesses as bribes for something in the future.  :)

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Well, anyway, so yesterday was our anniversary.


Hylan surprised me by rearranging his schedule so that we could celebrate last Saturday!  He has been working so hard in preparation for taking time off with Rosie baby and I thought he was going to put in a full day Saturday and an even fuller day on Monday, so his efforts to clear some time for just the two of us were greatly appreciated!

He had intended to take me to see Insurgent but I wasn't feeling up to sitting through a movie when we left, so we ended up getting slurpees at 7-Eleven and then going to Target to buy a double stroller.  

After that, he took me to get a much needed pedicure!  I have been wanting one for so long and it felt so good to be pampered a bit.

And then dinner at The Chef's Table, one of my favorite restaurants!

This was waiting for me when we got there. :)

Of course I took no pictures of the food except for dessert, but trust me it was delicious and worth every penny!

Cheesecake for Hylan

Chocolate Dome with Raspberry Sauce for me--THE PERFECT DESSERT!


I really appreciate a quality meal with the best ingredients prepared with the finest techniques!

It was a great day and a much needed date because we rarely get out without taking Nomie girl with us.

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So now the countdown to Rosie continues!  My due date is Monday, April 20th, but today I will schedule an induction, most likely for Friday, if she doesn't come before then.  

A note on her name.

Little miss Rosie is being named after my grandmother's mother.  Her full name will be Rosalie Maybelle Harper.

My grandmother (Naomi's namesake) lost her mom when she was just 4 years old, a point that has defined her whole life (my grandma is now 91).

Maybelle Rosalie Christina Lewis
with her husband Simeon David Conger
My great grandparents

Maybelle was born in Salt Lake, married in St. George, and passed away in the Las Vegas area.  She was a wonderful singer and was even invited to sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at age 19. She also loved the church and attending Sunday School.  She just seems to me to have been a person who was happy and loved life.  She had 11 children, each of which has long since passed away, with the exception of my grandmother.  

I feel strongly connected to my ancestors and can't think of a better way to honor them. I think our meetings and reunions will be so sweet in the after-life!

And so we are excited to meet and love this new little girl who is coming into our lives very soon!  I think I am better prepared this time around and hope to have a better recovery (at least mentally, if not physically as well).  

I also hope that sisters Nomie and Rosie will become close and share a special bond.  

We are about to become a family of four!   

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And now this blog is current.  PHEW.  Just in the nick of time.  :)

Monday, April 13, 2015

March: More Memories!

At the beginning of March, we treated Naomi to Disney on Ice.  It was a first time for all of us.  The show was called "Let's Celebrate" and featured many Disney characters in all sorts of costumes celebrating different holidays/events.


Naomi was really quite captivated and pointed a lot when Minnie Mouse was on the ice!  She also enjoyed her popcorn and twizzlers.  It has become a bit of a thing during shows.


We were in the third row, though it might not look like it.  I didn't really get any good pictures, but at least it shows we were there.
 
The birthday celebration on ice.

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This was also a good month to nest and rearrange the bedrooms and closets. Naomi got a toddler bed, so her crib was moved to the guest room which is now Rosie's room, and the guest room furniture is now located in the basement guest room (which was formerly empty).  We also hung some shelves and did some light decorating.  It has all come together quite nicely and I could not have done it without Hylan's help! 


Apparently Kingo liked the new arrangement because first we found him on Naomi's bed, then in Rosie's crib, then on the changing table (not pictured).  He still likes sleeping on the changing table. 

Naomi got two sets of bedding: Minnie Mouse and Princesses.  Her bed/mattress was so cheap (Walmart.com) that Hylan told me to get two sets (once again, sheesh Hylan, why do you keep trying to twist my arm to do things? Can you tell he's more of a spender and I'm the saver). It's actually quite nice to be able to just switch out the bedding while one set is being washed, though.

And Naomi absolutely adores her bed!  She played with her bedding when we got it.  She hugs her bed at night and during nap time.  The transition to a toddler bed was about as smooth as it could be, although she was sick and teething that first week (darn those molars) so we were up with her a lot then, but since, it's really much more convenient for her to have the freedom and flexibility to get in and out of bed when she wants.  She has fallen asleep on the floor a few times and on the glider once, but hey, she's asleep!  And it's easy enough to pick her up and put her in bed.

Sometimes she will even put herself to bed for naps.  She is still, however, a night owl.  It seems like no matter what we do she just won't go to bed before 9 pm (and that's a good night, sometimes it's 10:30, which is when we go to bed). I blame late church, travel, sickness, inept parenting, and my desire to sleep in. But she still sleeps about 11-12 hours at night (with 2-ish hour daytime naps). She often wakes up between 9-10 am, rarely any earlier.  I'm not really mad about that because it gives me some morning transition time (you know because if I can, I sleep until 8:30 am. My best sleep comes in the morning hours!) 

Anyway, that's a long rant about sleep.  I don't get much great sleep these days as the pregnancy insomnia and incessant bathroom trips has taken over.  I'm not super excited for the newborn phase and the fatigue that comes, but I'm hoping I cope a little better this time around. 

Do you judge my parenting skills?  I have no idea how parents put their kids to bed at 7:00 pm?  I also have no idea how parents are okay with 6:00 am wake-up calls either.  I'm just happy when a baby/toddler/child sleeps through the night (at least 8 hours).  I love it when babies start to sleep longer and longer through the night.  I'm already looking forward to that, but I have no idea what kind of routine we'll morph into with two kids at different stages.
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So, March Madness and St. Patrick's Day also happened.  I invited my sister's family over on the Sunday before the 17th for a holiday meal: Corned Beef and Cabbage, Irish Soda Bread, and this year, Chocolate-Mint Grasshopper Pistachio Pie.  Everything turned out so yummy.  I got the corned beef from Costco and my nieces kept calling it chicken and they gobbled it up like it was.  

I was planning on making these Shamrock Pretzel Pops with my 9 year-old Activity Days girls, but Naomi ended up being sick with a fever that day, so I just made them alone (and still have a mug full).  They are cute though, so you should make them next year.

I keep mentioning too many things I didn't actually take pictures of...

But here's something I did.


Hylan learned of a local wholesale princess dress event and this occurred.

Look for dressmyprincess.com to be up and running soon!  He actually went and bought these dresses the afternoon we left for a quick trip to San Diego.


I've been having fun letting Naomi wear these super durable, machine washable, cute Disney-inspired dresses. 

Anyway, back to our trip.  You see, during our St. Patrick's Day feast, Hylan all of a sudden decided that we should go west for another one of my niece's baptisms (my sister's family was already planning on going and my parents were flying in from PA).  I was totally surprised that he was serious and wondered whether or not I would be able to handle it at just under 37 weeks.  

We left on a Thursday afternoon and pricelined a hotel on the way there.  In hindsight, perhaps a casino hotel wasn't the wisest choice for a quick overnight family stay, but we stayed in a very nice room at Caesar's Palace, at least.  It would have been worth it if we would have gotten to eat breakfast at Serendipity 3, but they didn't open until 9:00 am.  What the heck, Vegas?  We were there at 8:00 and just didn't want to wait a whole hour when we still had some travel ahead of us.  Oh well. Some other time for a frozen hot chocolate I guess.

Anyway, We lolly-gagged getting to California on Friday and spent the afternoon/evening with family eating, enjoying each other's company, and watching a bit of basketball.  On Saturday, my niece and nephew had a big birthday bash at a park with tons of food and even a cotton candy machine.  It was hot in CA and there wasn't much shade at the park. Also, Naomi got sick/feverish again (I think her molars are finally in and we are done!).  But all in all, it was a fun event.  

After some rest, we went to Belle's baptism at 4:00 pm and then the ladies watched the rest of Women's Conference (since we were at the Stake Center). That night, we ate at an authentic super delicious Mexican restaurant.

Here's the only proof I have that we were there.  Here is also the one and only prego shot you are going to get of me.  I just have not wanted to document it this time around.

We had planned to stay for half of Sunday (church, lunch, and a bit of the beach), but with Naomi feeling how she did, and with us anxious to get back, we ended up leaving in the morning and traveling all day Sunday instead of half Sunday half Monday (I had to get back to teach my class by 5 on Monday, no matter what since that was my last week of teaching before spring break and having a sub take over). 

It was a good time and I actually did surprising well for being so pregnant.

And that was March.

We're almost caught up!

Next Up:  April's Current Events

February: An Eventful Month!

As I mentioned before, my parents came in to town to celebrate my niece's birthday and baptism.  My brother's family also came in to town from San Diego.  This all happened to occur the weekend of the Super Bowl.  I'm not sure why I have no pictures of any of these events, but trust me, we had a great time (until the Seahawks lost--poor Hylan).

But I do have pictures of Naomi's 2nd birthday!  We went to another BYU women's b-ball game in the afternoon.



Chicken dance with the cousins!


Then we had a party back at our house!  I think the cousins enjoyed it.  I kind of did the same menu and decorations as her first birthday.  Naomi especially loved her Minnie Mouse balloons!  We had (crockpot) chicken fajita tacos and angel food cake with strawberry whipped cream and mixed berries.


 



Last year, we gave Naomi a stuffed Minnie Mouse and that was about it.  This year she was a bit more spoiled, but she really loved everything she received! Hylan and I gave her a magnet Elsa doll set that she still plays with every day!


Grandma gave her a singing pink rocking horse (this was during the assembly process) 

In the end, it was a simple, homemade, family birthday party perfect for our 2 year-old.

Another highlight of early February was shopping for fabrics for Rosie's quilt.  


This was only from the first store.  There will be at least 12 other fabrics, but I just couldn't resist the cute little Minnies for some of the quilt blocks.  My mom will embroider some special blocks to sew in as well.  I can't wait to see how it turns out because I haven't even seen all of the fabric choices!

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On Valentine's Day, I just had to bake!  This is my favorite recipe for sugar cookies and frosting.  It makes tons, so lots of neighbors got to benefit.



I was going to make the Minnie Mouse cookies for Naomi's birthday, but I didn't have the time or energy, nor was it necessary, so they were included in the Valentine's Day baking!

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My grandma (Naomi's namesake) made this blue dress for me when I was a little girl.  She had been asking about it since Naomi is the right size, so it was time to send some pictures!


I originally wanted to have some professional pics done, but if I waited to do that then it probably wouldn't have happened.  So one Sunday morning, we dressed her up, plopped her in a chair, told her to say cheese, and took pics with our phones.  ha ha!


It was really hard to narrow down some favorites because her expressions were so different, but my sister-in-law edited and spliced this one together for us.  Thanks Beth!

By the way, whenever someone tries to tell me my daughter looks like me, I wonder why they are lying to me.  We don't.  It doesn't make me sad one bit. She's adorable.  But it does kind of make me mad when people lie to me, you know?  Okay, not really.  But seriously, people, I'm not blind.

We are totally alike in personality though, so it's very easy to relate to her.  

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Naomi's favorite pastime is watching youtube videos. She especially loves old Mickey Mouse cartoons, various videos of Disney toys, kid song videos (like Daddy finger, Baby Big Mouth, Wheels on the Bus), and these videos where they crack open plastic eggs or chocolate eggs to discover some sort of toy.  I don't even know how she finds these things, but she is very skilled at using the tablet.  I don't really mind because a lot of the videos reinforce learning colors, shapes, and songs.  It's nice she's content to entertain herself so I can do stuff like cooking, cleaning, or exercising.  :)

She rarely falls asleep outside of her room, but I guess she was tired this day.


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Hylan's birthday was on Thursday, the 26th and we spent the day together as a family!  It's always nice when he takes time off, so that was a present in itself.  I bought him a couple of new ties that he needed and we ate at Rodizio for lunch and PF Chang's for dinner.  But again, sometimes I get too busy enjoying the moment to take pictures of things.

And that was February.  The third trimester really started to kick in and slow me down by now.


Next blog:  March:  Disney on Ice, Nesting, and San Diego!  

Sunday, April 12, 2015

January: The year started off poorly but the month ended well!

Moms should never get sick!  Moms don't get sick days.  Pregnant women should be exempt from infections and viruses.  Ugh.  Yuck.  Talk about losing control of your body!

So, the thanks we get for taking care of our sick children, sometimes results in us getting sick (this season was such a bad one for people everywhere).

I got a cough/cold that lasted for at least two weeks (it wasn't the flu, I did get tested even though I had a flu shot) and then just when I thought it was clearing up, it turned in to a sinus infection (luckily, antibiotics can help with that!).  It was bad enough that I had to cancel my second class of the semester because I was just too ill to do anything.  It was also difficult because how do you take care of a toddler and your own fatigued pregnant self when you're sick?

And the gagging.  Oh my gosh the gag reflex comes on strong for me, especially during the so-called glorious trimester.  Teeth brushing and retainer-wearing were just so annoyingly gag-inducing.  Add that to persistent coughing, and all of a sudden you have a recipe for more cookie-tossing.  YUCK. YUCK. YUCK.  I did way more of that this pregnancy than last, and a lot of it was just because the hacking caused so much distress that that is how my body reacted.

In short, it was miserable on so many levels.  Not to mention, once I actually got better, it still took my lungs at least an additional couple more weeks to heal. Laying down was not my friend for a long time.  When I get a cough, man it is just that bad barking cough, and I hate it.  And it's so hard to sleep!

But on to happier subjects...

Back in November, Hylan had mentioned something about how he wanted to start the tradition of taking Naomi to BYU women's basketball games.  Um, really Hylan?  You don't have to twist my arm.  I think we ended up going to at least 5 games in January in February and I'm pretty sure I initiated all of those trips, but it was because he said he wanted to!

So, one of those days when I wasn't feeling awesome (but better than on January 1st when we had planned on going with my sister's family to a game and having a traditional New Year's dinner together), we took Naomi to her first BYU women's basketball game.  And it was good times!


She got to wear her fancy track suit.


It's so much less stress to go to a women's game because there is lots of room to play!



And the chicken dance is always involved during a timeout in the second half. The cord guy is kind of in the way, but I'm so glad Naomi has such a great Daddy who is willing to take her down on the court.


They may have held up traffic a bit, but I just thought they were a cute pair!


Oh yeah, and then there was that time that Naomi went to the doctor with me, during one of my many prenatal exams, and when we got home, I turned around to notice that she had stuck a giant sticker to her head.


Here's a better shot.  I didn't panic but I did put her right in the tub.  After a few attempts at different methods of removing the sticker without creating a bald spot, I finally realized that baby oil might work.  A little dousing and it slipped right off!  Phew.  Tragedy averted.  So, let that be a lesson for the future.  Greasy hair is much better than a bald spot!  And at least baby oil smells good.  :)

Later in January, we found ourselves shopping for Rosie.  Hylan said that she needed some of her own (new) clothes.  I'm not sure that I felt it was necessary, but you pick your battles, right?  ;o) Once again, you don't have to twist my arm off, Hylan!  Whatever you say, dear.  :)


When I found the flamingo baby clothes at the Carter's outlet, it was super hard to resist buying too much! And then later in the week, it was super hard to resist the other flamingo outfits we found at Kohl's.  I thought I might take something back and then I realized I didn't really need to.  Everything was just too cute!  

Did you know I've been obsessed with flamingos since the first grade?  It's my thing.  I love that babies don't care what you dress them in so you can dress them in whatever floats your own fancy. And so I do!  And this is why sometimes you do a load of darks, sometimes a load of whites, and sometimes you do a load of pinks!  Yep. Or maybe that's just me. I bet it's just me.  :)

Hylan worked a lot in January too.  He even got to do some events at Sundance with clients and coworkers, but the wives were uninvited, so Naomi and I had a date one Friday night to the Dyson repair shop, Lowe's, Costco, and Culver's.  That's what this crazy selfie is all about.




My parents came out in late January through early February for my niece's baptism, so that really helped take the woes out of the month also, but more on that in the February post.

This next picture is just another one of my faves.  It was taken the day my mom, sister, and I met up at IKEA.  The pink sweater with the white collar, the white skirt (under her Betsy doll), the tights, the patent leather shoes, and the curly puff on top of her head, I just gush.  Sorry, I'm gushing.  I'm the mom.

 

And that's a better way to end the month.  And a blog post!


Next Up: February: More family fun, Naomi's 2nd Birthday, and the blue dress photo shoot!

December: The good and the bad

As soon as we got back from our trip, Hylan, with his new title at work, started to really ramp it up, working long days plus Saturdays.  This put a wrinkle in my plans to try to enjoy as many festivities of Christmas as I could, but that was just in the first half of the month...

We had our ultrasound at the beginning of December where we found out that it was another:


I kind of thought we were going to have a boy (not really a premonition like with Naomi, just a thought), but was quickly delighted when I realized I could use all of the same girly stuff again!  Plus, we have yet to agree on a boy's name, but have had an easy time naming our girls, so I guess it's the way it's supposed to be! We were both happy at the prospects of two little girls.  Sisters.  I hope they grow to have a strong bond!

Back to this idea of having a super fun awesome stress-free enjoy-the-season baking, decorating, crafting, looking at lights, watching cheesy Hallmark movies every night kind of Christmas season. That all quickly came to halt when I woke up one frightful morning to hear Hylan writhing in pain laying on the floor in our closet.


I did get one project done. These trains were fun to hand out!

Yikes!  He had established such a great routine waking up in the early morning hours to go to CrossFit...but the morning of Saturday, December 13th, he ruptured a disc in his back.  This disc (and his degenerative spine) had been causing him issues for a long long long time, but his exercise routine seemed to help mitigate the pain/numbness until this injury which put immediate, direct pressure on the nerve , rendering him incapable of much movement at all (I still don't know how he drove home from the gym).  It was so hard to watch and not really be able to do much to help him.  

Thankfully, with the help of Hylan's father and brother, he was able to get to the ER right away to have an MRI and then schedule an appointment with a surgeon, while I stayed home with Naomi. He was in so much pain for the next several days, but we were so fortunate to then be able to schedule surgery, a microdiscectomy, for Thursday, December 18, 2014.    

To be honest, I was kind of relieved that he would be able to have this procedure done which could potentially eliminate the chronic problems he had, but it certainly wasn't going to be easy on him (or me, for that matter)!  

Hylan's family watched Naomi while I spent the aforementioned day with him at UVRMC.  During his surgery, I spent the time getting Christmas cards prepped and mailed out and played Scrabble on my phone.  All went well with the surgery and he stayed overnight for monitoring while I went home to tend to Naomi.  

But then on to recovery.  No twisting, bending, or lifting for him for at least six weeks!  And of course, in the immediate time, lots of resting, but not too much because he was also supposed to get up and walk frequently.  It was not my favorite time because I had to assume more duties like kitty litter, trash, all the loading and unloading, and Naomi all the time!  It doesn't sound like much, but you quickly realize how helpful a husband is when he can't help anymore.  I really wanted to complain, being pregnant and all, but at least I was in that "glorious 2nd trimester" so I had a bit of stamina for it.

Such is life.  Our church Christmas breakfast was two days later on Saturday and Hylan was able to go with me, though he was sore, it was good for him to get out and walk a bit.  And we have these great gems of pictures to treasure because of it.  

 Yes, we actually have a professional Mr. & Mrs. Claus living in our neighborhood.


It's just that Naomi wasn't too excited about it.

And so the Christmas season was not quite as magical as I had hoped it would be, but I know Naomi enjoyed opening her gifts (mostly from her grandmas) on Christmas day.

On Christmas Eve night, we went over to Hylan's parents house where his sister and our brother-in-law had prepared a delicious turkey dinner.  I mean, really, DELECTABLE!  When we got home, I let Naomi open the jammies I bought her in PA.  She seemed to like them.



 Scottie Dog!

Of course, this is just before she tripped and fell down the stairs (such a scary moment hearing the bounce, thud, scream).  :( :( :(  Her pants were too long (#momfail).  She was okay after a few sobs and cuddles though.  Then we read the Christmas story in the bible and said goodnight.

We slept in on Christmas morning, opened our stockings first, then I made biscuits and gravy. After that, we (mostly Naomi) opened our gifts (I think it was like 11 am when we got to this part. HA HA!).  And by the way, it snowed all Christmas morning.  That was so beautiful and perfect!


 One of the fun stocking stuffers.

A coin purse from Hawaii with money (also from Grandma)!  

She still loves Minnie Mouse



 Necessity toys from grandma like a puzzle...

 and shape blocks. 


Also barnyard animals from her other grandma!

Naomi also received a barking/walking puppy with a connected hand remote control from us which she loved (because she played with it back in October at Walmart).  She had a delightful Christmas and still plays with all of these toys today.

We spent the remainder of Christmas day not doing much.  It wasn't really my favorite day though because Nomie became quite ornery.
  
And that night we realized why.  She got sick with croup.  Gosh was that horrible.  And of course, Hylan did too much trying to help me out, but a week of getting up with her every night for several hours, giving her constant steam baths, changing the humidifier, and tending to the needs of the household really wore on me.  He did so much that he thought he tweaked his back again and went in to have another MRI.  Thankfully, he didn't do more damage, but he was still awfully sore from his incision for weeks more.

This is how she spent her time when she was feeling a little better.

The year ended on a low and 2015 began on a low because then I got sick...but more on that in the next post.


Next Up: January's Woes.  (Wow, that really makes you want to keep reading doesn't it?)