Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas "and Beyond"

Christmas came and went in a lazy fashion this year. Little M didn't wake up until 8:30 am and we all stayed in our pajamas all day long. It was so fun watching her get so excited about Santa and the presents. Ever since she told Santa at the mall that she wanted a purple teddy bear, she's been telling everyone she meets that "Santa said he would look for a purple teddy bear" to bring her. (Thankfully he didn't promise one, just that he would look for one to bring. Purple teddy bears are very hard to find!) But Santa came through and found one, and it was the first thing she looked for as she approached the tree that morning.

There were many other presents for all 4 members of the family from us, extended family, and Santa. Here's Princesses M & A with their piles of loot.

After presents were opened we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and spent the entire day watching the movies that we received. Alex got "Kung Fu Panda" from Little M (she gave me her entire allowance for a couple weeks in order to purchase it for her Daddy.) Little M got "Tinkerbell" and Baby A got "Toy Story II" from Santa. Ok so that last one was one I wanted in the Disney collection, but Santa had to give it to someone! Little M also got a free "My Little Poney" dvd with her doll from Santa. It's a pretty annoying one that she insisted on watching 4 times yesterday. I think the dvd might just have to dissappear for my sanity's sake.

I spent most of the day cooking for our Christmas meal. I was trying out some recipes and just having fun preparing a fancy meal for us and 5 of our good friends who weren't spending the day with family. We had our family Christmas meal on Sunday with two of my brothers and their families. It was really fun being able to do it twice this Christmas and enjoy the company of both friends and family. And I actually got to use all my fancy china and tableware (much to Alex's chagrin, since he had to do the dishes.)

I posted several of our Christmas dishes that turned out well on our family recipe blog if anyone is interested. The cherry stuffing and spiced turkey turned out really well.

Today has been one of those "Ok, I guess Christmas is over, now what do I do?" kind of days. A lot of cleaning, bill paying, more movie watching, a little "Killer Bunnies" (Thank you Aunt Sharlott for the recommendation! That is a really fun little game,) some blogging, and just hanging out around the house.

It's been a very nice, relaxing, and fun Christmas!

I can't believe it's almost 2009!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Traditions

This Christmas season has taken on a whole new excitement as our first daughter is now 3 and is learning about and embracing the holiday. She's been so excited about Christmas and Santa, that the magic of Christmas has returned for Alex and I as well. Seeing as this will be her first "aware" Christmas, we have been thinking a lot about what kind of traditions we want to have as a family. We've drawn from our family traditions, and from experiences in our lives to start new and old traditions for our children.

Thanks to my mother for this first of traditions. She built and gifted us with this nativity advent calendar. Little M has looked forward to moving the star down one notch every day, knowing that when the star got to the stable that Christmas would be here.

Another form of advent I adopted from my mission in the Czech Republic. They have 4 candles that they begin lighting the 4th Sunday before Christmas; adding one new candle each week until the Sunday before Christmas all 4 candles are lit. These little snowmen decorate my advent candles. (The floating candles in the center are just for fun.)

Another inspiration I took from my mission: The entire month of December, the Czech people fill their homes with many different kinds of little Christmas cookies (cukrovi), so that they always have a spread to offer guests who come to their home. I found myself wanting to bake when December rolled around this year. I made 3 different recipes from my mission and many other candy and cookie recipes I've collected over the years. Three Christmas "must makes" came from memories of my Christmases of old. Homemade almond roca and fudge were always to be found in our home at Christmas time. As was wassail brewing on the stove Although not a cookie or candy, this spiced cider just smells like Christmas to me. However before long, I found my home this year STUFFED with sweets, and I'm afraid we Americans don't just go visiting as much as they do in the Czech Republic; so I assembled several plates of treats to give away to families we know. Little M had fun delivering them and wishing everyone Merry Christmas!

We found ourselves the subject of another family's tradition this year. We have a secret Santa that anonymously delivered a piece of this adorable nativity set each night for the 12 nights preceding Christmas, accompanied by a story or song about each piece. Tonight we received the last, and most important piece: the baby Jesus.

Tonight, after it got dark we drove around the neighborhoods, looking at Christmas lights then came home to our Christmas eve dinner of fish and rice. (In typing this I realized that it was a serendipitous choice of meal, as fish (carp to be specific) is the traditional Christmas eve dinner in the Czech Republic. It's representative of Christ and his apostles being "fishers of men" or something like that I think. They have live carp sellers in the street there like Christmas tree lots here. I think we'll make that a tradition too. Fish for Christmas Eve, Turkey for Christmas Day.

After dinner we opened one gift from under the tree; the Christmas pajamas to be specific. I've heard of families that have this tradition, and I've always liked it. This year the jammies of choice were Tinkerbell themed. Except for Alex. I tried to find him green pj's to just match the color of Tinkerbell. All I could find were X-Box pajama pants. Oh well, it's probably appropriate for such an avid gamer as he is anyway. Here's me and my girls in our Tinkerbell jammies:

After changing into our jammies, we made some hot cocoa and in keeping with the old family tradition on both sides of our families, we read Luke 2 together and talked about the real meaning of Christmas.

Then we helped little M set out some milk and banana bread for Santa before putting her to bed. (We had a lot of old bananas around the house this week, so that's what Santa gets this year.)

Christmas day traditions I'll be keeping from my parents: an orange in the toe of the stocking and a mini box of cereal for a tide over breakfast in the stocking. And we'll be opening presents one at a time as a family. And after the craziness is over I'll make cinnamon rolls (my sister-in-law's tradition; only she makes hers fresh, and I'll be doing them from a can).

Yes, I know it seems like a lot, but I figure, as the years go by some will stick and some won't and we'll probably add a few new ones along the way. In any case, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Baby Shopping?

Yesterday Alex was glancing at a coupon booklet from Target we recieved in the mail and was joking to me about how much money we would "save" by buying all this stuff from the booklet. Suddenly Princess M started hyperventilating and crying and practically screamed at us, "But I LOVE (baby A)! I want to keep her! I love her so much...! I don't want a new one!" We finally calmed her down, confused at what she was talking about. The we noticed the cover of the coupon booklet:

She thought we were talking about buying a new baby!

I'm so glad she loves her sister so much to get so emotional.

The Eagle Has Landed

I got to go undercover this week on a secret mission. I accomplished my mission successfully, but apparently it didn't stay secret for too long. Guess I need to work on my poker face. My target blogged about the whole thing already so if you want to read about it follow this link.

Motherbird...come in Motherbird...
The pickle is in the barrel...
the package is dropped...
the hall is decked...
the yule is tided...
the candy is striped...
the gift is wrapped...
the ornament is hung...

Monday, December 15, 2008

New Family Blog

I was browsing the blogs of some friends and family today and ran across a recipe blog created by my cousins, the Edwards family. It was such a great way to store, share, and search for recipes (using the label and search functions already in blogger), that I was inspired to start one of my own. Feel free to check it out at I've been in a baking frenzy this Christmas, so my first posts are of some of the Christmas recipes I still have around the kitchen available for photographing.

If you're a member of my immediate family, be expecting an invite in your email to be an author on this site. I'll be thrilled to have you accept and post some of your favorite recipes. Check out the Edwards' blog to see the potential of the site.

For those of you who are in my ward, I thought this would be a great way to handle the ward recipe exchange group. Then members can post at will and all the recipes are in one location, rather than a slew of emails in our inboxes. What do you think? It would be very easy to create one for the ward and very simple to maintain.

My Sassy Girl

I was playing with M on our LoveSac and when I got up to leave and start dinner, my wedding ring scratched her leg. "oh, M, I'm so sorry! Did my ring scratch your leg? I'm very sorry!" She looked a little hurt, but she didn't cry, so I assumed all was well.

So I'm making dinner in the kitchen, when I feel something rub on my leg. I look down to see my daughter digging her fist into my leg. "Oh, I'm sorry, did my ring hurt your leg?" Sure enough, she had found her little princess ring and was TRYING to scratch my leg. Trying not to laugh, I told her that no, it didn't hurt, so don't worry about it. So she tries again to dig her ring into my leg. "Oh, I'm sorry, did my ring hurt your leg?" What a little punk!

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's official

I've never been one to stress over getting older, hide during my birthday, or be embarrassed over telling someone my age. I've always thought it was kind of silly. You are what you are; everyone gets older every year; and you're only as old as you feel right? Well, I still feel like a young punk, so I've never thought anything of it.

So, I was pretty surprised when I was at a stoplight, looking at my tooth in the visor mirror, and WHAM, KABAM, there it was! A big, long, grey hair slapping me in the face and mocking my obliviousness that had allowed it to get so long and obvious, unseen before today. Talk about a reality check. I guess my body has begun the unstoppable slip down that aging slope. I am officially past my physically prime time of life.

At least I have taken up exercising 3 times per week. I've been doing aerobic classes for 2 months now and have just started a strength training regimen. I'm really enjoying it. And M loves the child watch. She calls it her "ekercise class" too. I guess it's about time I started taking my health a little more seriously. After all, this big, fat, grey yelling at me that my body isn't going to last me forever.

It's hard to take a picture of one hair. If you can't tell, it's the one hair running horizontal across all the others.

By the way, Alex informs me that this isn't exactly my first grey. Apparently he has plucked one from my head before. I don't remember it. In any case, it's the first one to slap me in the face, and grab my attention.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Daddy's Little Girls

M found a football and wanted to play with her daddy. I thought it was so cute!

She adores him! It just melts my heart. She even wanted to kneel exactly the way he was for the picture.

Two comments on this picture:
First, I took it because it cracks me up how he balances Baby A there on his shoulder while he's on the computer; and she loves it; it puts her right to sleep.

Second, you may notice he's wearing this red hat alot (which I knitted for him; I'm so glad he likes it). It's because he totally buzzed his head after thanksgiving and now his head is cold all the time. He went from Mountain Man to Prison Inmate in one swoop of the clippers. We'll have to post a picture of it soon.

Love/Hate Relationship

M and our cats have one of those relationships. M LOVES the cats, and they usually Hate her. Probably because she loves to chase them around the house, screaming, and is always trying to hug and kiss them (just a little to tightly). But every now and then (when M is unusually calm) they let her get close enough to pet or cuddle with. And Artemis has recently taken to sleeping in M's room instead of mine. I think there's definitely a bond growing between M and Artemis.

Check this out: Proof that they really do love her deep down.

They're so sweet!

Tragedies and Miracles

I caught M playing in my purse at church in UT; she had dumped my jewelry out of the bag I had brought it in. I loaded it all back in, scolded my daughter and didn't think of it again until I caught her in my purse again after we got home. I took inventory of the jewelry and to my dismay found that that one of my tanzanite/diamond earings was missing.

Now I normally don't put a lot of stock in jewelry, but not only was this one of the very few pieces I have that is a real stone (most of my stuff is pretty cheap), but Alex had bought these for me on our honeymoon and given them to me on the birth of our first child. So, you can imagine how sad it made me to think of losing it. But considering the most likely place it could have gotten lost was at a pew in the church in UT, we both agreed that the chance of anyone finding it was slim, much less that the person who found it would know to return it to us. Nonetheless, I was talking to my sister on the phone and mentioned it to her, with little hope in her actually finding it.

But miracles do happen; she called me back soon thereafter to report that my mother had been vacuuming her home and just happened to notice that little earing before it got sucked up. They'll be mailing it out to me soon. We're so thrilled that it was actually recovered! What a blessing!

That's two for two, now. Alex gave me this gorgeous aquamarine on the day we got married that had been in his family for some time. What do you know I left my toiletry bag with the aquamarine in it in a drawer at the hotel in Florida on our honeymoon. I was just sick when I realized it. Thank heaven, the cleaning crew found it and were honest enough to turn it in. We got that one back too. I'd rather we didn't try for three times.

Thanksgiving Holiday

We drove out to Provo, UT for the holidays this year. Two of my brothers, my sister, and their families all met up at my grandmother's/parents' home for a week of festivities. Unfortunately we couldn't find our camera for the first half of the week so I need to get copies of pics that everyone else took (please guys!)

We blessed Baby A in my parents' ward, played in the leaves, knitted/crocheted a lot, made a bunch of pies, and just had a wonderful time with family.

Here's some shots of reading "The Polar Express" in the cardboard train the kids made, complete with hot chocolate and jingle bells.

My incredibly talented sister-in-law generously took some Christmas photos for us:

We topped off our trip with an eventful drive home. We had a beautiful drive home until we reached ski country in the rockies. Our drive was perfectly timed to get stuck in a traffic backup caused by an accident that had occured just minutes before, which kept us at a standstill on the interstate for over an hour waiting for cleanup, which was just enough time to keep us from crossing the eisenhower pass before the snow storm that closed I-70 and most of the other mountain passes. We took the one highway out of Breckenridge that was still open down south to highway 24 straight to Colorado Springs; bypassing Denver completely and adding 3 hours to our trip. But we got home safe (Alex had to work in the morning so staying in a hotel was not a good option for us.)

Crazy to think that if we had left lunch 5 minutes earlier we would have made it through to Denver before all the problems hit. We found out later that actually that would have been worse, since there was a huge storm south of Denver that delayed traffic on I-25 up to 4-5 hours. So that 5 minute delay that seemed such bad luck actually was probably the best thing that could have happened to us given the circumstances.

This Thanksgiving, I'm especially thankful for our family, our beautiful daughters, our health, and a loving Heavenly Father who watches over us and protects us.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Free Online Backup

Due to the recent crash of BOTH of my computers in the last couple weeks I have finally researched and signed up for online storage. Something I have been meaning to do for a long time now.

Anyway the one we chose is Mozy Online Backup. They offer 2 gigabytes of free space (not just for a promotional period, like other providers I looked into) and unlimited space for a small monthly fee. The really cool thing is that it downloads a program to your computer that automatically backs up everything once a day (or more often if you want). So once you set it, and tell it what you want backed up, it will automatically scan your computer every day for new content and back it all up with out your even having to think about it.

I called my Microsoft certified, computer geek, brother to ask him about the program. He loves it, uses it, and says it's very easy to retrieve files if needed. So with that piece of mind, I want to recommend the program to any of you who have ever thought that maybe they should be backing up their computer now and then.

Having recently had 2 computers crash, I can tell you there's nothing quite like thinking you've lost everything. I keep all our family pictures, personal journals, professional documents, thousands of mp3s, and countless other files on those computers. Luckily, I didn't lose anything with these recent crashes, but I can tell you, I'm not taking the chance again.

Besides all that, it's easy & FREE!! The first 2 gigs anyway. And what's more if you say I referred you to Mozy than we BOTH get an extra half gigabyte of free space! Just use the link below to sign up, or reference my code: 9LZ32I during your set up process.

Thank you for using us as a reference and for reading our shameless promotion. ;)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Single Strand

One last thing. Today we had a little baby scare. We were at church and Alex noticed that one of A's socks was missing. Oh well, no big deal. But about an hour later in Sunday School, I was looking at her little foot, keeping it warm with my hand and started picking out the sock lint stuck between her toes. Upon closely inspecting her foot in this way, I realized that what initially looked like just chubby baby rolls on her toes was really pieces of hair/string that was wrapped tightly around three of her toes. It wasn't cutting off circulation just yet, but I could see how it could very easily in very little time.

I quickly engaged the help of my sister in law out in the hall to remove the tightly bound lint/hair from her tiny toes. This is harder than it sounds. We had to immobilize her foot all the while she was kicking and screaming, in order to pick it out with our fingernails. it was too tight to slip a pen tip under and I was too scared to get too close to her foot with the pocketknife someone generously provided, with her kicking so. I'm sure that pulling on the hairs in order to break them must have really hurt her little toes, and the middle toe that took the longest to extricate still bears an angry red mark where the hair was twisted.

Of course a scene like this draws attention. Apparently this is not a completely rare occurrence. One lady told us how her nurse/sister told her stories of babies who had this very thing happen and had to have their toes amputated because it wasn't caught in time. I can see how easily that could happen. Especially in winter when her feet are covered with socks or booties all the time. And the poor little dears can't just tell you what's wrong. I never would have thought before to check the toes of a colicky baby, but I can tell you, I'll be checking Baby A's toes a lot more often now.

It's scary to think of how fragile the human body really is; especially these adorable little babies' bodies. That a single strand of hair could cause them to lose a couple toes. I'm just sooo grateful for a lost sock that allowed us to find the problem in time.

Lost Momentum

Well, it finally happened. My computer died. It's been on the way out for a while, so it wasn't too big of a surprise. Luckily the hard drive was still available and alex had an old laptop I could use and transfer all the really important stuff to, until I could get my computer up and running again. However, as luck would have it, just as I got the info transferred and the laptop ready for use, it died too.

I was so proud that I had gotten into a regular habit of blogging, and then I was cut off. Now I've had the laptop back for over a week and I haven't blogged anything in over a month. Not for a lack of things to say. Let me just fill in the highlights with a few of the best pictures.

Halloween was fun. M had been looking forward to it for over a month. She wore a tinkerbell outfit to the ward party and chose the pumpkin again for trick or treating. She and Alex had a blast going home to home, and she came home with an entire bucket full of candy.

She especially developed an affinity to skeletons this year (thanks to "The Nightmare before Christmas". So much so that she chose to have Halloween again for her birthday party. It made for cheap supplies when I could buy all the stuff for her party the day after Halloween. We served lots of spooky treats and all the kids came in costumes. Everyone had a great time. And M is now 3 years old.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sleep, Glorious Sleep!!

I discovered "Gripe Water" yesterday. It's an herbal remedy for gas, hiccups, colicky baby stuff. Looks like water and smells like black licorice, but it's supposed to work even better than the mylicon drops. Baby A doesn't seem to benefit at all from the mylicon stuff.

Now I can't be sure yet that it is a result of the gripe water, but Baby A actually slept for over 6 hours straight last night. She usually only sleeps like that in the afternoon. Night time for me usually consists of feeding every two hours and at around 1 am she screams for at least an hour before going back to sleep. So six straight hours of sleep for me was heaven!

I felt so rested today I actually went to the gym and worked out for an hour. I haven't done that since I first started getting dizzy with pregnancy. It kicked my butt, but in a good way. I hope to make this a habit 3 times a week from now on.

Now let's just hope that Baby A's new sleeping schedule will become a habit as well.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Professional" Shots

My sister-in-law, Rachael, recently picked up a new fancy camera and has been going professional with her photography skills. She's proving to be quite the natural talent. She took some family/individual photos for us after Baby A was born. I think they turned out fantastic. In fact I've added some of them as permenant fixtures on our blog now (See above and to the side.) You can decide for yourself. (Unfortunately the slide show program cut off the bottom of some of the pictures.)

If you would like to see more of her work, she's started a blog to showcase her photos at

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Our Little Star

We're learning how to convert video to a digital format. Here's our first two attempts. The first has good audio, the second has the actions. We couldn't seem to get both in one video.

(You can pause the music playlist at the very bottom of the entire blog if you don't want to listen to both simultaneously)


(now if someone could just tell me how to save this as an MP3 and upload it to my playlist on this site; THAT would be cool!)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Big Sister

Actually Little M is doing much better than I had expected. So far, I haven't detected hardly any jealousy and on the contrary, she has been trying to be the best big sister ever. She wanted to hold Baby A from the first time she saw her, and is always very gentle in her touches and kisses. She fetches diapers and wipes for me, and tries to calm the baby when she's fussing. (She's decided that all she has to do is call Baby A "Sweetheart" and that will make everything better.)

This afternoon I laid down for a nap while Baby A was sleeping and later awoke to her starting to get fussy. I came downstairs prepared to nurse, to find that Little M had attached the toys to her bouncer chair and was attempting to feed Baby A from the bottle that Alex had warmed for her a few hours ago. And she was just getting her to calm down when I showed up. It warmed my heart to see her trying to comfort her sister, rather than just coming to get me to do it.

Another funny thing that happened today. M had helped me bathe Baby A and I was getting her dressed again, when I turned to find Little M had stripped her clothes and hopped into the baby tub, not wanting to miss out on the fun.

We have been struggling a bit with the obedience lately though. Maybe related to having a new baby, maybe it's just part of being almost 3. As a result, M has been spending a bit more time than usual in time out. Yesterday, I was chewing a piece of gum while nursing and M decided she wanted one too. For several reasons, I had expressly told her "no" and as I could see she was on her way to my room to get it anyway, I informed her that if she came back with gum in her mouth that she would be sent to time out. She quietly slipped away. When I finished nursing and was about to go check on her, I heard the time out timer ring in her room and she shortly came back. She had nothing in her mouth but she informed me that she had eaten gum and thrown it in the trash. I went upstairs and sure enough the last piece of gum was gone from my dresser and thrown away, chewed in M's trash can. I expressed my sorrow at her disobedience and said she'd have to go to time out. Then she informs me that she already went to time out. She had apparently climbed my dresser, gotten the gum, and gone straight to her room and put herself in time out, setting the timer, and then happily chewed her gum in her room during "time out." I guess she decided that time out was worth a piece of gum. She was so proud of herself for having beat the system. I almost felt bad putting her in a real time out. Is that double jeopardy? Maybe it is, but it didn't seem to me that the first time should count. Although M certainly felt it did. Poor girl. Alex and I couldn't stop laughing later on when I told him about it.

Welcome Baby A

These last couple weeks have been a sort of babymoon for us as we've tuned the rest of the world out for a little while and just spent some time with our new baby. But now it's about time I started picking up all the loose threads of my life that I've been ignoring, one of which is this blog. First let me tell you a little of the birth.

Everything went better than we could have expected. I started having contractions about 2 weeks before our due date (which come to think of it was today). But they weren't lasting very long and Alex had to work on Fort Carson the next day with no way to back out, so I took it easy, not wanting to have our baby without him. But as soon as he got home from the base, we went on a long walk to my brother's house, just to visit. Once again, some contractions, but they didn't seem to be sticking. I kinda gave up on having her that day, and we made dinner plans with my brother and walked home to get ready, (and to make Alex's birthday cake.) However, this time they stuck. I kept having to take breaks in the cake making, and Alex ended up making most of his own cake.

By this time we called the midwife, Dotti. She didn't really believe that I was going into labor. (Mainly because I had called her, as opposed to Alex, and was able to talk through my contractions) She had me go lay down for a while to see if they would let up. They didn't. She reluctantly agreed to come check me, and Alex took little M to my brother's home for that dinner we had planned. Her husband was scheduled to come set up the labor pool that evening, and it was just starting to fill up when Dotti announced that I really was in labor, and we'd be having this baby soon. We feared that the pool wouldn't be ready in time. (It takes a lot of hot water to fill that thing.)
Anyway, labor got more intense, the assistants showed up and started taking care of everything. They really were angels. Alex and I just had to concentrate on getting through each contraction. Just as I was really wanting to get in the pool, it was about half full and we decided to get in anyway, while it continued to fill. Nothing felt so good as relaxing in that warm water between contractions. Before too long, Alex got in with me, and the next thing I knew it was time to push. Thank heavens that part has always been short for me. Two pushes and we had a baby in the water. Alex was able to catch the baby, and I was finally able to relax with my new baby in my arms. It all took 4 1/2 hours from the time we walked home to the time the baby was born. (A great improvement from the 36 hour labor I had with M.) And Alex now shares a birthday with both his brother and his new daughter.

There were no complications at all and my recovery has been a breeze except for an annoying cold I had for well over a week (it's hard enough getting sleep with a newborn without a racking cough added to the mix.) Once again, I thank my Heavenly Father that Baby A didn't get sick from either me or Little M, although I was constantly afraid she would. Thanks to my sister-in-law, Rachael, we now have the baby anouncements done. I'll be sending them out to immediate family members as soon as we can get my computer fixed. If anyone else would like one, please email me your current address and we'll get one sent on the way.

Baby A is beautiful and doing great! She was two weeks early so we had to be careful at first that she didn't get too cold or hot until her body could better regulate that itself, but she's doing wonderful and sleeps a lot; which I am grateful for. My mother came out to help us for a week. She was an angel, helping around the house and especially entertaining Little M all day, so she didn't feel brushed aside with all the new baby fuss.

You know, overall, I've spent a lot of time these past two weeks just looking at my two beautiful girls and kind, thoughtful husband, and marveling at how blessed I am. We've received so much help from friends and family, and really, I can't think of a single way this experience could have turned out any better than it did. (except maybe the cold) I'm so grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who has been watching over us and has blessed us so much with all these wonderful people in our lives, and a beautiful, new, healthy, miracle to hold and love. I really love being a mom!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Our new baby!

On Wednesday evening at 8:35pm, our new daughter was born. She weighed in at 6 lbs 14 oz and was 19 inches long. The labor took a relieving 4 hours... relieving because our first baby took 36 hours of labor before entering the world.

Here's a picture of the family now. We're testing out two names for the baby and will decide soon.
Just wanted to let everyone know that I haven't called already. Love, the Leahys

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Rewards for Good Behavior?

So, a few days ago, I took M with me to run a few errands (something I increasingly do as JoDee's pregnancy progresses) around town. One of the stops was at Blockbuster. JoDee had been excited to watch the movie Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow and I was tasked with the job of finding it.

Well, after I had found the copy that I hoped was the right one (I didn't know at the time that the Paltrow Emma was the one JoDee wanted to see), I went up to the register to rent it and found out I needed a new Bbuster card. The clerk gave me an application and the whole process took some time.

During this 10-15 minute period of time, M was playing with the candy in the aisle and, periodically, bringing a package up to me and showing it to me. I responded once with, "Yes, honey, that does look yummy! Would you mind putting it back?" And she did.

A few minutes later, she brought another piece of candy up to me: "Hmm, what kind of candy is that?" She told me she didn't know, but that we needed it. So I told her I was sorry but we weren't going to buy it.. unless she had some money. I asked her if she did and she said no. "I'm sorry, sweetie, but I guess we can't get it. Would you mind putting it back?" And she did.

Every parent knows how nice it is not to have to nag in public and I was grateful for M's good behavior. I wasn't the only person pleased by M either. A guy in the line behind me made a comment about what his grandchildren would be acting like and said he couldn't believe she was putting the candy back. I laughed and said, "Well, if she doesn't, she doesn't get to come with me next time. Not that she always behaves, mind you." The clerk made a comment about M and about how terribly behaved his 2-3 year old nephew was. This generated a short chat about the challenges his brother was facing as a single father and I wrote down the name of a book that had really helped JoDee and me with M.

Well, after all that fuss, I finally got the movie and was nearly leaving the shop when a lady came up to M and another boy that was behaving well and gave them both a small bag of candy that she had bought them for being such good children. M thanked her for the treat.


On the way home, I found myself musing at how M got rewarded for good behavior.. how pleased I was at her good behavior and how I hoped she wouldn't expect to get something every time she acted well in public. :D

Found something else that took place since my last post. M served a nice picnic breakfast or lunch, I have no idea what time of the day this took place but I'm still wearing my 'jammies,' so I'm hoping it was a breakfast event.

If you look closely, you can see some of her princesses and a little statue of Mary that JoDee had to buy while in Russia.. something about a glow-in-the-dark Mary that she couldn't resist.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


So I got a comment on my last post asking me about the benefits of using a midwife, and rather than go on another long soap box tirade about something I feel very strongly about (and a lot of my family has already heard many times. Sorry guys!) Let me just tell you my story really quick and point you where to go for better information than from me.

Let me start by saying, I'm a pain baby. I've always been really quick to take a pill to alleviate whatever might be feeling not quite right. So when it came to the idea of childbirth, I always knew I would be going straight to the hospital, getting whatever it takes to remove ALL pain, etc. no questions asked. Let someone else be a martyr.

Then I got married. My husband really wanted to try to not use drugs, for the baby's benefit. I thought, "Fat Chance!" but agreed to do some reading up on the subject. We had some really close friends in town who had their baby at home, with a midwife, hypnobirthing style, and a lot of other things that I thought were nuts, but her prerogative. More power to her. She loaned me a book however that changed my entire outlook.

I really appreciated this book as my first in a long line of reading, because it seemed to me to be a mostly unbiased look at all the different options and medical or nonmedical procedures that are available to women these days and compared them side by side exposing all their benefits and drawbacks; and then let you be the judge on what was best for you. My husband laughs, because as I read further and further along and just became educated in these things I knew so little of, my comments were... "Honey, I think maybe let's try no drugs after all..." "Honey, I think I'd like to use a midwife in the hospital..." "Honey, forget the hospital, I think I'd like to do this at home..." I think he got more than he bargained for when he started me on the reading route.

Anyway, the name of the book is "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" by Henci Goer. And I would recommend this book as the first reading anyone should do if they would like to explore the options that are available to them in childbirth, including, but not limited to, the hospital/OB route.

I read several other books with my pregnancy with my daughter M, most of which I don't now recall, but this book really changed my entire outlook on what was best for both me and my baby when it came to birthing. I found myself wanting to take the same route that I had so ridiculed in my friend not too long before. It just made more sense to me now. Maybe she wasn't so crazy after all.

If after reading this book, you find yourself thinking that there may be more to midwifery than our popular society would have you believe, like I did, then there is one other book that I would recommend as strongly as the first. This one was given to me by my current midwife (we moved since our first child) and has left an equally strong impact on me and has solidified and given strong facts and statistics to back up my understanding of both superiority of the midwife model of birth and the greater safety it provides to both the mother and the baby. It's called "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" by Ina May Gaskin, one of the leading midwives in the country, who has attended literally thousands of home births, and is one of the foremost authorities on the subject. Seriously, I found this book to be a fascinating read.

Anyway, I don't profess to be an expert of any kind on this subject, but I did think I'd share with you all the two books that have influenced me the most in all my decisions in regards to my pregnancies and births. Then if you're really interested, you can read them and discover for yourself what is best for you. Ok, I'm really going to get down off my soap box now, and get back to blogging normal everyday stuff again. ;)