Wednesday, September 24, 2014

First Day of School

The kids have been back in school for about a month and a half. Our Summer was the usual busy, fly by type, with a little pregnancy exhaustion sprinkled in. It has been nice to be back in our routine.

Wally started Middle School this year. Sixth grade. I have been holding my breath for the past month and a half waiting to see how he settles in to things. Change is hard. Learning a new routine, lockers, 8 periods a day, and every day after school cross country practice makes it that change a LOT! He has done really well so far. He does not love cross country. It is weird having him gone so long every day, and I worry about that. He is good at it though. It is also important to keep Wally busy, and to a large extent, forced to work outside his comfort zone.

This kid is quick! He comes in in the top ten in nearly every meet! His coach wants him to run the two mile with the eight graders in regionals! We will just have to cross our fingers a new baby and the regional meet do not intersect!

Will is in 4th grade. He is the same social, friend loving guy he has always been. Every day after school there is a master coordination plan he puts into action to get time with all of his friends fit in during the week. It requires a lot of confusing phone conversations, rushed piano practice, and picking up and dropping off. At 36 1/2 weeks pregnant, it is exhausting for me. 

Georgia is in 2nd Grade. She has the same teacher Wally had. She is a great teacher. Georgia is doing well. She is getting to the age where she is also all about friends. She has really taken to 2nd Grade. It is good to see her thriving! 

Walker started pre-school. He goes four days a week. He LOVES to go to school! He goes to a private Lutheran school. He told us that they are nice there, and don't worry, because they know about all the Jesus people! I am impressed with how much he is learning! They are working the 5 year old class pretty hard to get them ready for Kindergarten, and it is awesome! 

The school year is already chugging along at a quick pace! Now we are getting ready for baby to make her entrance. According to my doctor, it will be sooner than later! I need a bit more time than she is giving me, as she is predicting an early delivery within the WEEK! What?! I told her I feel like I have two more weeks in me. She said, "Maybe, give it your best try!" Holy cow! Where have the past 36 weeks gone?!

I had to edit this post to add the photo I took of Walker in front of his school on his first day. He started a couple weeks after the other kids.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pinedale, Wyoming

My husband has a dream of living in a small town, in the middle of nowhere one day. The small town thing is okay, to an extent, for me. I just need access to a large, or semi large community because I was not raised a small town girl.
One tiny town that has been on Del's radar for a while now is Pinedale, Wyoming. It is around two hours from Rock Springs, I believe and hour and a half from Jackcon Hole, and about 4 hours from Salt Lake City where our parents are. The problem is that Rock Springs is not a large town in and of itself. It is the biggest thing going on after you leave the Pinedale city limits! This town is tiny!

It is also very charming, very pretty, has cooler temps, GREAT parks, and access to remote mountain destinations! My husbands dream come true!

It is the perfect place for our family to VISIT regularly!

So we did it! We booked a cabin on a lake about 25 minutes up into the mountains, and down quit the dirt road, surrounding Pinedale. Half Moon Lake.

Beautiful, serene, open, remote… those are all good words for this lake! There was one large cabin built on it, one camp ground that did not appear to be very populated, and the Half Moon Lodge, where we stayed. It consists of eight cabins in varies states of age and updating, built above a lodge with a nice restaurant, great decks, a small dock, and amazing views. Other than us, there were only a handful of people there.

Both my parents, and Del's were available to drive up and meet us for the weekend! So we all stayed in a cabin, and had a nice time at the lake and down in Pinedale.
It was such a nice weekend we got to spend with our parents! We rented a pontoon boat from the lodge and went out for a little cruise on the lake. They dropped my Mom, Hank, and me off back at the decks and headed back out for some fishing. I am not much of a boat girl because I suffer from extreme motion sickness. Unfortunately, the fishing attempts were unsuccessful. The wind really picked up, and the water was not great. It was still fun.

My Mom and Dad.

Del's parents.

Us. We had just driven from Nebraska earlier this day to meet up. We are looking a little haggard.

A mural painted in the middle of downtown Pinedale really beaconed to me. Seeing as I am feeling a bit like I could fit in with a herd in my pregnant state.

Pinedale has a shallow stream running right through the middle of town. There are at least two parks that we played at that are on the banks of it. The kids had so much fun wading out into it,and throwing rocks. There is a park with a small kid's fishing pond, a trail with bridges and amazing scenery, a wagon ride through town, and a cute playground where deer were roaming around freely, and unafraid. There were local kids coming down to the fishing hole, and to play in the river the entire time we were there. I sat in the shade with Del's parents and my Mom, while my Dad and Del fished with the kids, and Del tried out his fly rod. I didn't know if I would be able to get Del to leave. It was pretty idilic.

The view from our front porch. We were pretty much the only people on the lake. Del's parents had a huge newly remodeled cabin. Ours and my parents was quit a bit more rustic.  We didn't know what they would be like until we opened the doors, and Del's parents were staying up above us on the mountain.  It was still great though, and we had a good time!
We went to the Mountain Man museum they have in town. It was pretty cool. We learned things about Mountain Men we certainly didn't' know before our visit. We spent the rest of the day in town enjoying the parks.

Walker has the touch! This kid is always the one catching the first fish!

Georgia had one on the line, but it got away. I got a video of it, and she probably won't appreciate that I post is one day because in her excitement, she adjusts her underwear! Ha! Who hasn't, Georgia? Who hasn't?
I am having trouble getting this video to play after I upload it from my Youtube channel. I am going to give it a day, and if it won't work, I'll try again. Boo.

We went to church at one of the very nice wards in town, and then hit the road for the Salt Lake Valley.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dominican Republic

Del and I, the very pregnant lady, got back from a few days in the Dominican Republic a couple of weeks ago.
I was, unsurprisingly, not very good about taking pictures. Mainly because my brain was being steamed the entire time. That country is so incredibly hot and humid in August! Which yes, makes perfect sense that a country in the Caribbean would be hot and humid in the middle of Summer. But with my added sensitivity as a pregnant lady, I was FEELING it! I have a couple of friends, and a sister in law who served missions for our church in the D.R. and I have been informed that it is always pretty hot, and can be unbearably humid for the majority of the year. Props to them for sweating it out while sharing the Gospel! Online it says that trade winds keep the country from ever getting too hot and humid. I think whoever wrote that has never been there.

I wish I could say we were off on adventures, exploring this new country the entire time. We were not unfortunately. I would love to see the capitol city of Santo Domingo Considering it was founded in the 1400's I'm sure it is full of interesting history. I will have to make another trip when I am not carrying another human being in my body.

We took a group of Del's sales reps and their guests down for the company top performers rewards trip.  We stayed in Punta Cana at the Reserve at the Paradisus.

I basically sat in the shade and tried to stay cool, and not get poisoned by nuts the entire trip. I know, I'm a fun one! My worry was added to this trip by my pregnancy, and my desire not to have a baby, or an anaphylactic reaction while in the Dominican Republic. My favorite  spot was in the shade by the pool with this gigantic pot of flowers sitting in front of me.

It is always so nice to get away with Del. I will be forever grateful for our families, who shuffle our kids around, and do so much to entertain them while we are away!

I was worried about flying all the way from Utah, where we left our kids, to the D.R in one shot, in the middle of the night, which was what our options seemed to be. So we stayed one night in Dallas. Our flight from Dallas to the D.R. had, and I am not kidding you, fifteen people on the entire plane! It was almost creepy walking down the unlit, empty isle to the bathroom at the back. Eight of the people sat up in first class, where I am sure they were thrilled they had paid more for their seats, while the rest of us all laid down across our own row of three seats.

What an awesome four hour flight! It saved me to be able to lay on my side!

I wish I could say the flights back to Utah were as pleasant.

They were full flights. And by full, I mean full of hot, humid, ornery returning vacationers, who had just endured a delayed wait to load the plane, on an outside, unshaded tarmac. Oh, and all the while, a local musical band played an unending stream of incredibly LOUD music on drums and what appeared to be cheese graters two feet away from sensitive ears, and hung over heads, and ceaselessly passed a hat through the crowd trying to gather change from a cashless, from a week of tips, crowd.  Blah! Unpleasant travel. That is generally just the price you are going to pay for a vacation.

Waiting for a trolly. This resort was massive. You needed a trolly to get most places. But there were several times that we just walked it because we were tired of the trolly run around.

Del and the single brothers on the trip. He was hesitant about being placed in the middle of these two.

Rockin' my bump at the beach with these folks.

Lots of pool time.

A blurry photo of Del with his gift to remember this year's reward group, signed all of those on the trip.

It was good to relax and spend time with Del. It was also nice to get home. I'm so grateful for my bed, my home, and my family. I am also grateful to know that soon, I will have this baby in my arms, and I will be able to get my body and mind back! I hope!
I am proud of this guy, and all he does for our family, his business, and others. This pregnancy has made me realize how much support Del gives me, above and beyond the support he usually is. I have really needed it during this twist of events in my life. It is incredible to have such a good friend by my side in life.  I was happy to get away for this trip, and happy to come home and move on to the next few months!

Most of the guys. We are always missing a few.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fifth Pregnancy... So Far

I thought a little update on the baby we are expecting would be a good thing to document. It has been so hard for me to sit down and get thoughts to paper, or any other medium lately. I have always noticed a drain on my brain power during pregnancy. But this time, it is especially acute! I feel like I am living in a fog that will not lift. Reading saps me, schedules make my head spin, preparing my Relief Society lesson for the month leaves me stressed and confused. I HATE it! I have never felt so unproductive. Mainly because I forget the task I am in the middle of.

This brain drain is also beginning to have a cost associated with it, and it is adding up! I went to the Farmer's Market to see my chicken lady and bought a beautiful, whole, fee range chicken to cook up for dinner the next night. She put it in a bag for me.  I went to put the chicken out to prepare the next day, only to suddenly recall that I had put it in the bowl on my table after buying it, and there it sat, for 24 hours. Money down the drain.
This past weekend, Del and I went to the city for the night, and long agonizing story short, I ended up throwing my car keys away.
A tow and new set of keys and too many hundreds of dollars not to give me a stomach ache later, and I have yet another frustrating example of pregnancy brain.

 These are just two examples. I am having trouble recalling the others.


Honestly, having my kids home all day, and trying to keep up with their swim team season, Summer camps, music lessons, and doctor's appointments, is not helping me keep a clear head. I am grateful in many ways for these months leading up to the baby, with just the older kids. We have managed to have some fun along the way in spite of my pregnant body.

I have no choice but to be patient with myself, and so I am holding on to the hope that things will return to normal after I get settled with the baby.

I am 26 weeks pregnant. I am definitely in maternity clothes, and have gained weight, but just how much is between me and the scales. Ha! Let's just say that I am bigger than I have been with any pregnancy at this point, so far.
I am really hoping my body remembers to cooperate like is has in the past as far as getting fit after delivery!

We found out at about week 16 that this is a baby GIRL! We are so excited! Finding out was so much fun! We went to a 3-D ultra sound company, and it was worth the money! The time spent with your ultra sound is so personal and fun. We were able to get some really cute shots of our little girl. She has the prettiest profile! The 3-D is just amazing! To see skin and a hairline at 16 weeks is mind blowing! She had her little forearms up next to her ears, and her head tucked into her chin, so we were not able to get a good facial picture of her. But from what we did see, she is precious! I was immediately taken with  how cute her developing features were!

Here is one of the 3-D shots at 16 weeks. Tiny little thing. She keeps those arms up by her head in every ultra sound we have had! It is kind of hard to determine what is what, but this shot is looking down on her head. You can see her forehead, the bridge of her nose, and her forearms up next to her ears.

We also felt really secure in the gender determination by the technician we had. She trains other techs in gender ultra sound. That is always good to hear after being told our very boyish Wally was a girl years ago!

I am finally out of the nausea faze. I have had a couple of nights of sickness since is officially subsided, but for the most part, it is better. I am now dealing with Braxton Hicks contractions. These are nothing new to my pregnancies, as they have always started early on. I have been ordered to drink a gallon of water a day to help ease them!

That is a LOT of water! I have gotten to the point that I can handle it for the most part on the good days when the baby is not laying as heavily on my bladder. At my 20 week ultra sound at the hospital, it was confirmed that not only is this still a girl, but she is snuggled right up to my bladder, and her head is super low. Gonna be a comfy one!
The water is helpful on the good bladder days, but I have found the main benefit has been for my skin! Wow, it is amazing how that much water clears up your skin! I guess I'll keep it up as best I can just for that perk!

Unfortunately, the 20 week ultra sound also revealed that the placenta is low lying, and could possibly be growing down. This could lead to placenta previa, which would lead to bed rest and a C-section! I had another ultra sound just this past week, and the GREAT news was that my placenta is moving in the correct direction, and for now I am out of the woods! I will be monitored by ultra sound continuously to be sure it stays that way.

Our little girl was showing off all her charm during her ultra sound. She sucked her hands and thumb! She yawned and practiced her bubble blowing with her mouth! She played with her toes, pulling her feet way up by her head! It was so much fun watching her just exist in there! It still amazes me that there is a person doing all of her sweet little movements inside of me!

So I have officially recorded something on this pregnancy! Three more months!

Here are the pictures from the last ultra sound that the awesome tech gave me.

Playing with her toes.

Sucking on her hands, and grabbing her feet.

Great shot of her foot!

Profile shot. She kept stretching her neck backward.

Sucking her thumb! So sweet!

The picture of her yawing is kinda creepy when you can't see anything but black and white bones!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Georgia's Ranch Birthday Party

Well I am really racing to get caught up with events that need documenting around here! Georgia turned seven at the beginning of May. I had been promising her a party, a real, planned out, lovely party for an entire year leading up to it. She reminded me often that her last friend party was when she was three.

Then her little sister decided that she would join our family. As I have already shared multiple times, sick is just the beginning when it comes to describing my early pregnancy. I told Georgia that the party was still on. But it had to be pushed back several weeks. We made her day special, then set our sights on the end of May for the big event.
Georgia was so inspired by our Spring Break trip to the Dude Ranch, that she wanted to continue the theme. So we set up a party at "Georgia's Ranch."

Our desert table.

Birthday girl!

We had horseshoe cookies made to go along with our theme. As Georgia and I carried the two boxes full of them to the table, she dropped her box, and all the cookies broke. I hope it is not bad luck to break a horseshoe, because that would mean we have an entire box full of bad luck headed our way.

Dressed in our duds.

The invite.
We had a new cake decorating business here in town do the baked goods. It is owned by a young woman, and it is always nice to support those shops. Our poor horse topper took a tumble halfway through the party, thanks to Walker's helpful hands.

Georgia really wanted her horse Brownie to greet her guests as they arrived. We also made sure they were ready to ride with the correct gear. A pink handkerchief, and a sequin cowgirl hat.

Our table set for "chow time" on the Ranch.

Hats and handkerchiefs ended up strewn all over the yard.

We sent the girls home with their hats and handkerchiefs, and a bag of salt water taffy.

Suddenly everything happened at the same time. My friend Michelle (a real life pioneer woman, with a farm, homeschool and all, plus Relief Society President calling… props, girl) pulled up with the horse trailer...

The guy we had come out to mark utility lines to put in a new basketball hoop came to spray...

And all  our little Ranch pardners arrived for the party!

Our ride for the day was named Amigo. He was the gentlest of the gentle. Some of the girls had been very hesitant to ride, and a couple moms called me to let me know that their daughters may sit out the horse ride portion of the party.

We put the girls at different stations, and I had the reluctant girls do their craft before going over to see the horse. By the time they got there, they had watched all their friends ride. We ended up having every girl not only eager to ride, but excited to try trotting! They all did really well with the loping, and it it was awesome to see them get past their initial fear!
Georgia was our first rider. She just loves it!

Our craft table had the girls decorating and painting a horseshoe to take home as a lucky charm.

Michelle brought her little guy who is Walker's age, and the two of them found plenty to entertain themselves. Overlook our sad, sad bush that needs to be pulled out. We had several trees and shrubs that did not make it through this past bitter cold Winter. It was brutal!

Wally taking a ride while the girls ate.

The cowboy of my dreams. Del was so helpful all day, even though I know he had a million things he needed to take care of.

Our "grub." We kept it simple, and seven year old friendly, with sandwiches, chips, fruit, and yogurt. Some of Georgia's favorites.

Again, look past the dead shrub backdrop. I need to get out there with a chain saw. I'm not afraid!

Handsomest ranch hand in the county.

So excited, and relieved to have pulled off another birthday around here! It was a good time with these cowgirls at the Ranch!