Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pulling for Girl

I really decided lately that I would like us to have a baby girl. With the first two I didn't have any preferences, and didn't care what gender came out. But, I am crossing fingers for girl now. I think because she might be quieter, and maybe less dramatic. :) Plus, she'll have the two coolest older brothers in the world, and what sister wouldn't want that?
Hear that little sister? You'll have two big brothers who totally adore you, will teach you all sorts of tricks and wrestling moves, and will probably make you laugh every day. Oh, and two parents who love you and promise not to put one of those giant bows on your head.

I was trying to picture our future little girl, and was having a hard time visualizing...until I remembered we dressed up Zadok as a girl for his first Halloween. (mostly for lack of costume). I think she's going to be a doll!

(a good-natured little Z, entertaining his Mom)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Here We Are!

So, apparently, if the camera timer takes our 3 year olds picture, he's totally okay with it. He actually sat there the other day and let us pose for a family photo! Yippeee! On a side note: These were totally spontaneous and right before bedtime. Micah had to remind me to put on a bra and change my pajamas. Anyways, here we are, all together! 2009!

And by the tree....

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Meadow Hot Springs

I'd like to say we are a Hot Springs family. We actively go looking for free, warm hot springs to splash in, and soak our bodies in. This particular one is down a long road, in the middle of cow fields. It feels surreal to be there, surrounded by snow and cows.I brought my snorkel along and dove down to the bottom. I felt like I was in the ocean, sans the sea life.
When Micah and I first got married we went hot spring-skinny dipping a few times in Spanish Fork. Yes, we were the naked hippie couple who didn't care if anyone was looking. (Sorry Boy Scouts and BYU students.)
Here we are below at Meadow Hot Springs, Utah. Happy Hot Springs!

This particular Hot springs is on private land, but the owners let people come soak anytime you want. They just ask that you keep it "family."

I found this old photo from the fist time we took Zadok to our springs. Wasn't he the cutest??

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

That Christmasy Feeling

When I was 22, and living with a couple roommates at Keiki Beach, I felt like Christmas was just the overwhelming, and daunting task of running around desperately looking for the perfect gifts for friends and family. I remember one year being in Old Navy the day before Christmas, angrily pulling my hair out because I didn't know what to get my sister! "So this is Christmas", I concluded. That, and the fact that our family was all grown up and separated, and my parent's were divorced, meant to me that Christmas just wasn't the magical, warm-homey filled love-fest it used to be. Oh well.
That year, however, I had a roommate named Pepper, who came from a large family, who's Christmas's happened to be the most important thing on the planet. As we were all living away from our families, she insisted we make our home the epitome of Christmas magic!
First, she convinced us to pitch in and get a Christmas tree (a large sump of $$ in the islands), decorate it with homemade ornaments, and fill the entire house with lights and Holiday decorations. Her enthusiasm started to rub off on me, as we sang along to uplifting Christmas music, decorated sugar cookies, and delivered goodies to neighbors. She was like a little Elf, running around busily spreading cheer to everyone around her. On Christmas Eve we slept out under the Christmas tree with us roommates, and a few other close friends. The soft glow of the lights from the tree, cast a warm shadow across our faces as we slept. There was an overwhelming feeling of goodness and love in the air. In the morning we woke up and exchanged small, and thoughtful gifts. I will never forget that Christmas!

Now that I have my own family, I know that Christmas doesn't have to be forgotten, stressful, or overwhelming. It simply starts with the magic-- the sounds, the smells, the colors, the tastes, the giving, and the feelings of goodness in the air, are what Christmas should be all about. That's the Christmasy feeling I want in our home, as we create traditions and generate feelings of Christmasy happiness throughout the years.
And for us, Christmas doesn't exist without Christ. He is the ultimate feeling behind all things good. He is the Spirit of Christmas that prevails over everything. We love Him and celebrate His birth, and that is a huge part of why we do what we do. I was so grateful that Pepper's love for Christmas extended from her love for Christ, and she was able to pass that feeling on to me.

Merry Christmas, and may everyone have that Christmasy feeling, however you choose to celebrate!

Scenes from the Season:

Our only attempt at a Family Portrait. Sad, I know. Someday our 3 year old will stop refusing to look at the camera....someday.

Zadok holding hands with his little friend Ethan at the Christmas parade:

Me and Odi, looking for the perfect tree:

Cutting down our tree from the National Forrest:

A Fun Day with Friends at the North Pole fest:

The Lights at Temple Square:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Me Sleeping

For some reason Micah likes to take pictures of us sleeping. This particular picture was to prove that we never make room for him in the bed at night. Whooops....The family sandwhich is getting smooshy, and smooshier.

It's kind of creepy sharing a picture of me sleeping. It feels like you might try to steal my dreams or something. I mostly dream about Humpback whales, and randomn people I don't know. So if that's your kind of dream thing, you can look at this picture.

Our growing baby, week 8

I am feeling much, much better this week. I don't know if it's because I have finally come to grips with the fact that I am pregnant, I am not feeling well, and it's just the way it is, or because our sweet friend Rebekah brought me goodies in the form of B-6, B-12, and Teas of red raspberry,ginger, peppermint, and milk thistle. Probably a combo of both. My morning routine is to get up, drink lots of tea or juice (water makes me want to barf until 6 in the evening) take my pre-natals and my anti-nausea vitamins, then get outside for a moment of fresh air. Even if that means standing on the doorstep and looking in at my kids, fresh air makes me feel good.

Last week I was really nauseous and depressed. I think the dip in hormones is the hardest because, through all the nausea, it's even harder to find anything good about my life. That, combined with changes in weather, is a bad combo for me. But, on the brighter side, it is passing.

We are going to have this baby at home in the water, again. I am excited for this next birth, because with each birth comes more knowledge, more experience, and more confidence. I think back to when we first had Zadok, and how nervous, and unsure I was about everything. Now, I know exactly what is happening to my body, and what to expect along the way. Both Micah and I feel at peace with everything we are doing, to prepare for this baby.

Our friend Rebekah is going to help with all our pre-natals. Since we don't know if we'll be here in 9 months, we were unsure about hiring a midwife. Rebekah, who is apprenticing with a local midwife, offered to nurture us with her loving hands, and be our "midwife." She will come over once a month and, all together, we will listen to the babies heart rate, and she will check size and positioning, and check blood pressure and proteins. That's all we really need. The rest of all that stuff people do, is hospital protocol, and pretty unnecessary. I am confident that if we do need extra medical help, that it will become obvious as we pay special, simple attention to our growing baby. We are grateful for Rebekah's loving support.

I am also personally grateful for Micah's loving support and encouragement. From day one, when we were first pregnant with Zadok, he always knew exactly what we needed to do, to bring our babies into the world the way they needed to come. He came armed with knowledge, and took time to educate himself on important issues. He thinks for himself, and doesn't let anyone tell him something is right, without thoroughly researching it, and coming to his own conclusions. He's able to avoid a lot of crap that way , and most importantly, make the best decisions for our family. I love my husband!

As we are preparing the boys for the arrival of their sibling, I happened across a wonderful book called, "How Was I Born?" It is complete with week by week pictures of the embryo and fetus growing larger, with kid-friendly descriptions. It is a book about a Swedish family who is expecting the arrival of their 3rd baby. The Mom's name happens to be Sally, and it is from the 4 year old little girls perspective. Zadok loves it, and we look at it every day.
At dinner the other night he exclaimed out of nowhere, "I SURE AM EXCITED FOR OUR BABY TO COME!"

It truly melted my heart.

Well, that's our growing baby report, week 8!

Some websites I like, with good info on low-intervention birthing:
I guess you have to copy and paste them, because the links aren't linking--darn it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Baby Mamas (Put A Sling On Em!)

I laughed so hard I cried! So creative, so fun, makes you want to dance...with your baby! Thanks to sling mama Leigh out in Manhattan who created this fab Baby Mamas sling video. Check out the making of this mama song on her blog, Marvelous Kiddos.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Our growing baby

We are pregnant. About 6 weeks.
I still can't believe it! A variety of emotions are all happening at once, and some days I am an emotional wreck! I know for certain, though, that when we first took the home pregnancy test, and stood there watching those two little lines appear telling us it was positive, I felt totally and completely overwhelmed with happiness. Micah and I stood there in the kitchen and hugged, and I couldn't help but feel total peace at that moment.

Months leading up to our decision to try having another baby, I kept going back and forth, and back and forth about it. One day I felt so baby hungry, and I knew it was time to try again. Other days I would rejoice in the freedom of having "older" children, and not having the demands of a baby in the house. I was running more, getting in better shape, spending more time reading, catching up on journals and scrapbooks, feeling more at ease with the daily chores, spending more time teaching and playing with the boys, rather than caring for their every needs. It was a good feeling. However, it wouldn't last long. There was another nagging feeling, which was telling me that we really, really needed to have another baby. It was my motherly instincts speaking to me.

I tried to be logical. I thought about how we're out of money, living on student loans, living in the smallest apartment ever, with no bathtub. (You can't be pregnant without a bathtub!) Also, Micah is just finishing up school, we might be moving in 8 months, the baby will be due the week Micah starts his new job, (wherever we are). Furthermore, I can't be pregnant through the cold Winter, without access to fresh, warm air everyday and outdoor exercise! Plus, I am still nursing a 20 mos old baby, and wanted to space it out more so I wouldn't be nursing during my pregnancy again! This list goes on and on!

But deep down there is this calm, that tells me our baby needs to be here. And somehow, it will all work out, because this is the perfect time for the newest member of our family to join us. I'm constantly learning to walk blindly with faith. There will always be big decisions to make, and life-changing paths to take, as we keep following diligently through life's course. What I always need to remember, and what gives me the most strength to make these big decisions, is to always, always know that God will never lead me down a path I can't handle. Even when I feel like I've reached the limit of my capabilities, He knows I can do it. He knows us, loves us, and is always here to help us, especially when we can't see the outcome.

I am excited for this little life growing inside me.
As hard as it seems right now, this baby is very much wanted in our family, and we made the right decision.

Monday, December 7, 2009

King for a Day

Our 3 1/2 year old wakes up a new character every day. He lives in a world of imagination and make-believe, where his characters become who he is, in the moment.
I hope he doesn't grow out of this for a long time. Sometimes he needs props, other times he is fine with just imagining.

At 7am (last week) he woke up to say, "I want to be a King today! "I'll need a crown, a cape, a sword, and a shield."
So, with some felt, some fabric, some cardboard, some scissors, and some glue, by 8:30am we had a King.

I love this kid!

I asked him, "What does a King do?" and he replied, "You know, sit in a throne, wear a crown....fight bad guys.' NOW, I know! Wish I could be a King for a day!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pencil Roles for Uganda

I barely met the deadline for the Pencil Roles project. When my friend Tracy put out a call to all her blogger friends to help make 500 pencil roles for a school in Uganda, I immediately felt impressed to do it! Her heart went out to these children, and I couldn't help but feel her inspiration to sew something small and beautiful for these children to enjoy. I committed to sewing 20 of them.

The deadline was Nov 30th, and on Nov. 27th, I was just finishing up the last of the stitches, and sewing on the 20 buttons. In fact, I even thought it would be a good idea to sew on buttons as we drove up the winding canyon. Three buttons into it, I started to get that awful wheezy, motion sickness feeling. A moment later I was dry heaving on the side of the road. Note to self: No more sewing on buttons whilst driving up the canyon.
However, I managed to finish them, and got them sent off on time.

I was grateful for this project. It was a a lot of fun learning how to sew something new. I also couldn't help but smile, every time I thought of my pencil roles in the tiny hands of an African child. I think we take for granted the love and time that goes into handmade gifts, and how much we truly appreciate them when we get one. After doing this project, I knew for sure, this would be a handmade Christmas for our family.

The tutorial for these pencil roles is here. They are so amazingly easy to make, and make cool gifts. I made one for one of our church girls that turned 12 and graduated out of the program. She thought it was the coolest thing ever, and tweeners are hard to please!