Sunday, January 31, 2010

Daddy-daughter date

Saturday afternoon, while Charles was at a friends birthday party, Daddy took Elisabeth out on a date. They ate lunch at the mall and rode the carousel there and then went over to Target to find a birthday gift for Annabelle(she'll be two in two weeks) and then over to Barnes and Noble. They had a really nice time together. Unfortunately, Scott didn't take the camera so I have no pictures. I'll try and remember to take it on my date with Charlie next week, something we're both really looking forward too!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Annabelle's dancing skills

Charles got the Cars soundtrack for his birthday and the kids turn it on and we listen to it several times a day. Annabelle, our 23 month old, especially loves the 'life is a highway' song and she loves to dance along with the music. The other day she had pulled a chair up to our oven and counter area, and when Charlie turned on his music, she started doing this hilarious little dance, most of which was done with her rear(I think she learned these moves from her dad :)). Here's a short clip for your viewing pleasure:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Water aerobics

For the past three Saturdays, I've been taking a water aerobics class at our local gym in the mornings. There are usually around five of us, sometimes more, sometimes less, it's all women and the others are all around the age of 60, and I love it. They are the sweetest ladies and they are part of the reason I want to keep going every week, so that I can have a chance to visit with them. Water aerobics is very low impact and with water aerobics, you can get as much or as little aerobic activity out of it as you're willing to put into it, so it's nice because everyone in the class can exercise at their own level and pace. I bought a ten punch pass, so it should last until the end of March, right before the baby is due, which will be perfect.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Our good little reader


Elisabeth loves to read and she loves to be read to. Well, all the children love to have stories read to them. And even though Elisabeth is our little kindergartener(I guess that's not really a word), she's a very good reader and in fact, her teacher asked us if she could start meeting with the first grade teacher regularly to read with her, and so starting this past month, she's been going to read with the first grade teacher every day so that she can still progress. Since we have another reader in the house, it makes things nice for mom and dad because Elisabeth can takes turns reading books to her younger siblings when we're busy trying to make dinner or get something done.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Birthday activities


I like to have records of what we do for birthday and holiday celebrations, so I can look back and remember what went on.

Scott's birthday celebrations began a couple days before his birthday this year. Friday night we went on a double date with our friends the Arkell's to Mark Anthonys Italian restaurant. Gina found an awesome coupon on citydeals.com: buy a $25 gift certificate for their restaurant for $12.50! I love things like that! Dinner was nice and we enjoyed our time together and then afterward we went over to Kohl's to see if we could find Scott some corduroy pants for work. They were having some clearance sales that weekend and we were able to get him two pairs of nice corduroy pants, normally $48 each, for a total of $12.80 all together! They were on clearance for $9.60 and then I had a 15% off coupon on top of that and a $5 off coupon as well. I love getting a great deal. And I loved hearing the woman working at the cash register say, "You saved $83.93". Cool. We were also able to find the dvd Hoosiers(which is a sports movie that Scott really likes) for $4 at Walmart. We saved those gifts for Sunday morning when he opened his other gifts at breakfast. For breakfast we had egg mcmuffins(with sausage patties, eggs and cheese), hashbrowns and pancakes. While we ate, we went around the table and each told Scott something we love about him. After breakfast we went to church and then started on dinner preparations...well actually, Scott and I started dinner preparations Saturday night. He wanted something called Sunday Ragu, a recipe we found in an Italian cooking magazine, which is fettucini noodles with a home made sauce and a whole lot of various kinds of meat. We had ground pork and beef for meatballs, large sausages, and steaks with bacon wrapped up inside. Scott was in meat heaven. Because I don't like many meats, I rarely make any besides chicken, so this was a special treat....and we have a lot of leftovers. Krissy came over for dinner and dessert. We had the usual giant chocolate chip cookie (though we added some large guittard chocolate chips, upon Scott's request) with a border of frosting and a message written in the middle. It was a nice day.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Daddy Coupons

Sorry about the terribly blurry picture, but it's all I've got.


Last week I was talking to my mom about what I was going to do for Scott's birthday this year...I didn't have a lot of great ideas, mostly because I don't like just buying something that he could easily buy himself. I want to give him something that is from me and that he can only get from a loving and willing heart, if that makes sense. But like I said, no brilliant ideas, though I thought I'd give him a gift card with a coupon from me, made by me, allowing him to have a few hours of time to himself one Saturday to do whatever he wanted whether it was shopping with the gift card, exercising, going to a book store or whatever. I wanted the kids to do something as well, but I didn't know what, and Mom suggested having them too, make coupons for dad. After giving it some more thought, I decided we'd put a Daddy Coupon book together for him, that have different jobs or services from me and the kids, that we can do to help daddy. So there are coupons like, "I will put on my pajamas the first time you ask" and "I will clean any room in the house you ask me to clean" and "I will iron 5 items of your clothing"(that one's from me, and it's 5 more than I do in a year, so I think it'll be a valuable one :)). I love this idea because we're each able to think of things we can do to serve Dad and I'm sure we'll be using it a lot more in the future. (As a side note, it was funny getting ideas from Elisabeth and Charles....Charles especially because when we first started talking about this, he didn't want to do anything that was helpful. He just wanted coupons that said things like, 'I will play with my sword' or something like that.)

Elisabeth helping cut out our daddy coupons

Happy 29th Birthday Scott!


Scott and I have been married for about 6 and 1/2 years now and we've gotten to know each other pretty well during that time. He continues to amaze and excite me and is my favorite person to spend time with even though we're different in many ways: he's more of a math/science and engineer type of brain and I'm more of an english/literature and mommy type of brain :). Yet we compliment each other very well and we've learned how to communicate which is an important thing. I'm so grateful to have him as my best friend and eternal companion. Anyway, here are a few of my favorite things about Scott during this point in our lives:

1. I love that Scott gets a kick out of tricking us(me and the kids) in believing there is someone knocking at the door, when really it's him knocking somewhere else inside the house.
2. I love that he sings in the shower(Honey, I hope you don't mind me sharing that, but it's cool. Really.)
3. I love that he can fix things: car battery, swamp cooler, broken faucets, holes in walls (he's done all of these and much more)
4. I love how excited he gets about his presents for Christmas and birthdays. He's like a little kid, searching the house for a gift, checking our online bank account to see where I've shopped, and once he's found a wrapped gift, he'll pick it up and turn it over, give it a little shake and try and figure out what's inside. It cracks me up!
5. Scott is so smart and such a hard worker. I love that he can do anything: read, write, cook, play the piano(a little) and the guitar(he's teaching himself and can play quite a few little tunes that are actually recognizable!), tend children, clean, etc.
6. I love how family and Christ centered he is. He always puts us and the gospel first in his life; he's diligent and dedicated and I love that about him.
7. I love that he rarely complains or talks bad about anything or anyone.
8. I love to listen to Scott tell stories to the kids at bed time, about when he was a little boy.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Delicate Pear Cake with Carmel Sauce


This is a dessert recipe I got off my friend Monique's blog some time ago and have been wanting to try. For Christmas my mom got me a spring form pan and so I had no more excuses not to make it. We made it today and it was SO yummy! Light and fluffy and everything was good and the carmel sauce was delicious. The kids loved it too, though they pulled off the pear slices on top, but that's okay because it meant more pears for me and Scott!

My new pan
Here's the recipe:

CAKE
1 16oz can pear halves in extra light syrup
1 pkg. White cake mix
1/3 cup oil
3 egg whites
Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 10 inch spring form pan. Drain pear halves, reserving 1/3 cup liquid. Place pear halves in a blender or food processor blend until smooth. In a large bowl combine cake mix, pureed pears, 1/3 cup of reserved liquid, oil and egg whites. Mix at low speed until moistened. Pour into pan, bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let stand and cool completely.

FROSTING
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 16 oz can pear halves in extra light syrup drained
½ cup finely chopped hazelnuts or walnuts (optional)
In a small bowl beat whipping cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold in vanilla. Frost cooled cake. Cut pear in half lengthwise into about 32 slices. Arrange on top of the cake slightly overlapping. Press nuts into sides of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

SAUCE
1cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup whipping cream
½ cup butter

In a sauce pan bring all the a boil. Boil over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cool slightly. Drizzle over each piece of cake.

NOTE
You will need to get 2 16 oz cans of pears
1 pint of whipping cream to equal 2 cups

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

January relief society activity

Since I am the Relief Society meeting leader in our ward, when we're in charge of the activity for the month, I'll most likely put a post about it here. We invited the Young Women in the ward to this activity which included how to start a blog and blog book, a candy making class, and we worked on a fruit bouquet which we gave to a friend in the ward who is on bed rest. We had a really good turn out and I think all went pretty smooth and well. Here are a few pictures from the night:
Candy making with Monica
The fruit bouquet- we used kale to cover the floral foam and the skewers(well, we did the best we could with our non-professional skills), and then we had pink and brown dipping chocolate, cantaloupe, strawberries, pineapple, grapes and marshmallows.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Top ten reasons I enjoy pregnancy

(Number one being the greatest reason I enjoy being pregnant)

10. With each pregnancy, I get to indulge a little. I'll generally add a couple of new maternity clothing items to my wardrobe and I always get a pedicure during the 9th month(it's sure hard to paint, none the less reach your toenails when you're 9 months pregnant. And the massage is very much needed with all the extra weight. Though Scott is also really good about giving me foot massages).

9. I can ocassionally pull off the "I need you(Scott) to run to Taco Bell and get me a tostada right now, even though it's 9pm and almost our bed time becaues I'm hungry and that's the only thing I want to eat." For the record, I've only done this a couple of times. I have such a good husband.

8. Being able to go through our ancestry files and baby name websites in search of a good and meaningful name.

7. Once I'm noticably pregnant, I've found that strangers seem to be more friendly and kind. I think people feel more comfortable around me when I'm pregnant: they'll talk more, open doors and give up seats and sometimes even touch my belly. I think it's very cute and fun to see this loving side of others. I guess this makes sense because I too feel more comfortable around not only pregnant woman, but around children and the elderly. For some reason, different stages in life make people seem more approachable.

6. Being able to hear the baby's heartbeat at my monthly checkups. It's amazing to have two heartbeats inside your body!

5. Not having to deal with a period or tampons(I apologize to my male readers) for awhile.

4. Being able to feel and see the baby move around inside my tummy once it's big enough. So cool!

3. Talking about and getting excited with my kids and husband about welcoming another child of God into our home. We like to talk about what she'll look like, when she'll come and how she'll change our lives.

2. Miraculous watching my body change knowing there is a little human being in there growing and getting ready to come out.

1. Knowing that in a short time I'll have a tiny little baby in my arms, curled up on my chest sleeping(with her cute, tiny bum in the air, of course, because her feet will be tucked under her knees and tummy).

The whole birthing process is amazing and miraculous and sacred and is a testament there is a creator and an author: our loving Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hello, old friend

Over the past month, I've read close to nothing considering how much I usually read. Well, I mean novels, though I still read my scriptures and the Ensign magazine. We've just been so busy around here with traveling and Christmas and New Years and birthdays and school that I haven't had much time. I did finish, Drawing Closer to God, by Henry B. Eyring this month, but I only had a couple of chapters left so I don't know if that really counts. And before that, the last novel I read was a disappointment. I don't know if any of you have read Shannon Hales new book called The Actor and the Housewife, but if you haven't, in my opinion, don't bother. I was so disappointed. But I suppose I went in with pretty high hopes considering her Goose Girl is one of my favorite books ever. Anyway, the whole plot of the story I really did not like: A mormon 30 year old woman who is married and has 4 kids(I think), meets a male Actor and they become best friends; oh and he has a crush on her and kisses her once..no, twice I think. And her husband didn't care too much; just wanted her to be happy. Okay, it wasn't exactly in that context, but it was still pretty bad. Mostly, I am very much opposed to strong relationships with the opposite sex once you're married(besides family). Scott and I have rules as a couple like, don't allow someone of the opposite sex in the home if your spouse is not around, and don't accept rides or go out to lunch, etc, etc. Which, perhaps some people in the world find that silly, but we think it's safe and a good thing. So anyway, throughout the entire book I was squirming in my seat and muttering things under my breath about how stupid some of the characters are and why would anyone write a book like this. But I finished it, hoping it would at some point get better, though it never really did. Anyway, enough about that. That's not what this post is about.

Today I went to the library and picked up a new Marcia McClure book that was on hold. She has written about 30 clean romance novels(10 of which are only e-books) and I've read just about all of the hard copy books. I really enjoy them. They're all pretty similar: girl meets guy, they fall in love, there's some sort of problem, but they get together in the end. I've read so many of her books and know her style so well that I almost get giddy when I'm holding one of her new books in my hand and can't wait to open it's cover and begin reading. It's like visiting with an old friend. One you love and look forward to hearing from because it's so familiar and comfortable. And now it's time for me to get back to my book, Saphyre Snow, which is currently sitting on the couch next to me, calling my name.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Elisabeth lost her first tooth!

For the last couple of weeks, Elisabeth has had a wiggly front, bottom tooth. Sunday, while eating an apple, it got really wiggly. So much that she walked around the house showing everyone how she could pull it forward and down all the way so that you could see behind it. Kinda gross. Tuesday morning at breakfast, it came out! She put it in a sandwich ziploc baggie and stuck it on her dresser for the toothfairy...she didn't think it would be comfortable to have it under her pillow.

Elisabeth showing off her wiggly tooth

Elisabeth holding her first lost baby tooth in her hand

Later that night after she'd gone to sleep, we took the tooth and left a note with a dollar in it's place.
I know what some of you are thinking: you tell your kids the truth about santa but not about the tooth fairy? But the truth is, I'll tell them the truth with anything. If they ask if the tooth fairy is real I'd say, "of course, and I'm her!" so there you have it.

Now I'm wondering what to do with her first baby tooth. Do any of you keep them as a keepsake to show them later or do you throw it away? Hmmm?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Projects: bouquet, tutu, closet...

For enrichment in a couple of weeks we're doing a couple of activities. One of which is putting together a fruit bouquet. I'm teaching the class. I've only done this a couple of times so I'm not an expert, but I'll give it a go. I've been reading up on different tricks and tips and I thought I should probably practice first. So here is one thing I did this week. I cut out flower shaped pineapple with my cookie cutter. When I made this bouquet last year, I also made flower shaped pineapple but it was completely free hand carving and it didn't look nearly as good as this. So this is pretty exciting for me. I'll try and remember to bring my camera to the activity so that I can get a picture of the final product of what all the women put together.


And another project I worked on this past week was making Annabelle a tutu for her 2nd birthday next month. Her cousin Bella has one and Annabelle put it on every day while we were visiting, so while I was there, I took down measurements on length and width and what I'd need, and decided I'd try to make it when I got home. Once I got home I also read up on how others made similar tutus. The entire project from start to finish took about two hours and the total cost was about $5.50, but if you did a second one it'd be more like $4.00 because I have enough elastic to make a few more. If any of you would like to try this yourselves, here are my instructions on how to do it:

What you'll need(you can pick any matching colors):
White elastic-20inches long by 1/2-1 inch wide (this was a good size for Annabelle. Just measure the waist, cut, and then overlap about 1/2 an inch and sew pieces together.)
pink toole-28 strips (about 25''L x 6''W)-I bought two yards and used it all
white toole-28 strips(about 25''L x 6''W)-I bought two yards and used it all
pink ribbon- 5-6strips (about 25''L x 1/2''W) I bought 4 yards and used it all
flower clip(optional...I haven't added this yet)
colorful, toole, pink ribbon (25''L x 1''W)(optional...can add this piece to the front where flower is)

Sew two ends of elastic together. Tie toole in double knots(or you can fold in half and pull two ends through loop) in pattern: two white, two pink or one to one. Add in ribbons spaced equally apart. Can add a flower clip and another piece of fancy pink ribbon to the front of the tutu.

Sorry I don't have a great picture of the tutu. When I give this to Annabelle for her birthday I'll take a picture of her with it on.

This weekend Scott and I also took care of a couple of projects. I went to Home Depot(that store is a little frightening to me; it's so big, it smells like saw dust and I have a hard time finding things. An old family friend whose husband travels a lot with work said she learned that if she just took whatever was broken into Home Depot, found someone to talk to, and looked really sad, they were really good about showing her everything she would need and explaining how to do it :). Good advice.) and luckily several employees asked me if I needed help finding anything, which I did, several things actually, so I took advantage of all of their help.

When we moved into our house over 2 years ago, our mailbox was missing the red flag on the side. We finally got one of those and put it up. They're only a few dollars and it literally took me 5 minutes to get it out of the package and onto our mailbox, so I don't know what's taken us all these years. Oh well, at least it's done now.

The faucet on the kids tub broke last week so Scott fixed that and he also put a closet door in Elisabeth's room. That is also something that's been that way since we moved in, and it wasn't ever really a problem, but now that we're getting ready to move Annabelle down to Elisabeth's room (not sure when exactly yet, but sometime in the next several months), I wanted a door on the walk-in-closet, which is full of toys, since Annabelle likes to get in and dump things. This should keep her out for a little while...hopefully until she's old enough to understand that we don't dump.

28 weeks


I am now 28 weeks and in my final trimester. I feel and look like I should be much further along. I was talking to Scott the other night, telling him I wanted to start running(jogging actually) or doing more physical activity because I feel like I've been having more aches and pains with this pregnancy, especially lately. Though, in retrospect, I'm sure a lot of that has to do with my little fall down the stairs last week(or 2 weeks ago? Can't remember exactly). My tailbone is still sore, but much better, and for a couple of days my neck and upper shoulder area were achy, probably from a type of whiplash. I'm still doing the elliptical machine a few times a week and I do a prenatal yoga maybe once a week and this past Saturday I did my first water aerobics class which I plan on continuing to do most Saturdays until delivery. But I don't always feel like I'm pushing myself enough, if that makes sense. Maybe I'll try and go jogging sometime this week or at least a long power walk. If I do, I'll let you know how it goes. If I jog with my big belly, I'm sure I'll get lots of funny stares. And that's okay. As long as I can stay healthy and active and have a not so achy pregnancy and an easier delivery(yes, exercise and yoga and all that is really supposed to help quite a bit with labor and delivery), then I'll be happy.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Painting and potty training for Annabelle

For dessert, Annabelle ate the ice cream on top of her warm brownie, but apparently didn't like the brownie and thought it would be better utilized as some sort of paint for her high chair.

And we've started potty training Annabelle. I'm not sure if we're going to stick with it because it's a lot of work for us parents at her young age(she'll be two February 16) and I'm not sure if me and my belly are up to all the bending involved with accidents and other things. Saturday and Sunday, since Scott was home to help, we let her go around bare bummed. She had some accidents Saturday morning and afternoon, but then Saturday evening she was successful! And Sunday morning she went both pee and poop in her potty chair, so that was cool. But she had an accident later when we didn't remind her to go sit on her potty and when we weren't carefully watching her for signs of needing to go. And since tomorrow is Monday and Scott will be back to work and Elisabeth has school, I may put her in panties or pull-ups, though that may cause a regression. I guess we'll just have to see.

Nutrimill wheat grinder



We got a wheat grinder for Christmas! I love it! It's not terribly loud(though it kind of resembles a blender), it doesn't blow out any flour, it's fast, clean and just all around a really cool tool. We bought a bucket of white wheat last week from Costco and ground some and used the flour in our pizza and pancake recipes. We didn't use all white wheat flour in the recipes but did a half and half with white flour as well...I just wasn't sure if we could handle all white wheat just yet because of not only the taste but also when you are first beginning to add whole wheat in your diet, sometimes it can do some funny things to your body...though we do eat 100% wheat bread with our sandwiches every day so we probably would have been fine. But anyway, everything tasted great!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday Char!


Last night, once Charles was fast asleep in his toddler bed, Scott and I went in his room and made up the twin bed that he's moving in to today with his new birthday Lightning McQueen blanket and new red sheets. We also rolled out the road rug we got him on the floor of his room and I set out a few of his cars on there. I wasn't sure if he'd see any of it when he first woke up because he usually gets up when it's still a little dark out and comes straight to my bed without turning on any lights. But when I got up a little before 7am, I saw that the light in his room was on, and there was Charles and Elisabeth playing on his new rug. Later, I asked him how he knew the rug was on the floor or if he could see it but he said no he didn't see it, but that he felt it when he walked across his room; well, that makes sense.
They played while I made breakfast. Charles requested sausage, so we had sausage and pancakes since me and the girls aren't huge sausage fans. (I used some white flour and some white wheat flour that I ground with my new wheat grinder the other day. I love that thing! Thanks Scott for a great Christmas gift!) Charles only ate sausage though and probably 3 or 4 links. Oh, and before we ate, Charlie opened his other gifts from us and from Grandparents on both sides. He got a lot of Lightning McQueen things and some linkon logs and was in heaven all day! I saved the long cylinder cardboard piece that was in the middle of the road rug and cut it into two halves which was one of Charlie's favorite things to play with throughout the day because it kind of looks like a sword and he loves swords! We haven't allowed him to have one for awhile since his last sword always got him into trouble; when that thing was in his hands, it was so hard for him to keep his imagination from running wild and to remember not to use his sisters as something to be attacked.
Later in the morning we watched a couple of neighbors and Charles got to play swords with one of them. He had a lot of fun sword fighting if you couldn't tell from the small pictures. For lunch Charles requested hamburgers and cheetos which we ate, along with dessert: a cupcake, and ice cream floats.

Fast forward to the end of the day: Chuck-E Cheese for dinner with the family and Aunt Krissy. We brought our own Lightning McQueen cupcakes; something that Charles specifically asked for and wouldn't budge on. When he first told me that's what he wanted, absolutely nothing came to mind. So I tried to get him to switch to a Lightning McQueen cake or a race track cake with Lightning McQueen on the track, but no, he would not compromise even a little. So my next step was to look online at cakecentral.com to see if anyone else had made Lightning McQueen cupcakes, and there were surprisingly a whole lot of people who had made them...and just about all of them were frosted normal with Cars toppers on the cupcakes. Easy! So I went to Zurchers, our local party store and found several different types of Cars cake toppers, picked up one I liked and some Cars stickers, and used those and the stickers(I made our own cake toppers with the stickers, a toothpick and some blue construction paper) with some sprinkles.

Happy Birthday Charles! We sure love every inch of you! Oh and I don't think I mentioned before, but Charlie is finally a sunbeam! And he did great on his first day and loves his teacher!

Four years ago...

....on January 5, 2006 our day started out like any other day. Scott and I had recently graduated from BYU, and so our family of three was living with my parents in Washington while Scott interviewed with different engineering firms. Our second baby was due to arrive within the week, and everyday I hoped he would come and I would try and do things to get contractions started. I did advanced Tae Bo that morning, but nothing seemed to change.

The missionaries were coming over for dinner that evening and just before my mom and I were to begin dinner preparations, I felt a few contractions. I didn't want to get others excited prematurely, so I kept that information to myself and decided that if I felt more, I would watch a clock and time them. I felt contractions throughout dinner, but they weren't as close together as I would have liked; they were probably 5-7 minutes apart, though I was just keeping track on the digital microwave clock, and I was involved in the conversations with the family and missionaries, so I wasn't sure how accurate that was.

After dinner Scott and I went downstairs to our room, I grabbed his watch and took it to the bathroom with me while I straightened my hair(yes, I'm the crazy type of person who wants to not look scary when I'm at the hospital so just like when I had Elisabeth, when the contractions became regular, I would go into the bathroom and make sure my hair and makeup were done, LOL! I know I'm a little funny about that, but I don't want to scare off any nurses or doctors, or the newborn when I welcome it into the world). The contractions were more like three minutes apart and they were getting stronger. I knew it was time. From what I remember, this is how things happened next.

I walked out of the bathroom and casually said to Scott, "I think we should put the hospital bag in the car."

"When? Right now?" he said, not really paying attention.

"Yeah." He turned to look at me, smiled and said, "Really?"

"Yeah."

"Well, don't you think we should time them?"

"I have been. They started just before the missionaries arrived."

"Oh, okay."

We grabbed our bag, put Elisabeth to bed, went upstairs and told my parents that we were headed to the hospital and then we were off. When we got to the hospital the nurses at the front desk looked at me and by my walk and talk, were not very convinced that I was truly in labor. One of the nurses checked me. I was only dilated to a 2. And I learned a valuable lesson here: when a nurse asks you, "on a scale of one to ten, how much pain are you in?" if you know you're in labor, just say ten. I said 7 or 8 which was a mistake. But, I knew that this boy was coming and in the past, things started out the same. I would be barely dilated and then as soon as I was to a 4, I was to a ten within minutes.

Now at this point in time(which seemed to have been minutes later from when I arrived at the hospital) the contractions were coming much, much stronger and were much more painful and that's when the nurse asked me to either go back home or walk around the hospital for an hour and then they'd check me again. I told her I wouldn't be able to do that because I could barely move any more from the pain. So, thankfully, they decided to put me on monitors for an hour and then she'd come back and check me again(which, I might add, was very painful. This nurse was really not gentle).

When she checked me again, I was dilated to a 4 so they let me stay. I was brought up to another level and on our walk up there, I asked if I could please have an epidural. They said yes. But unfortunately, the anesthesiologist was in another wing of the building helping someone else so I would have to wait until she got there. It was about 11pm at this time when they checked me in. Thirty more minutes of excruciating pain and torture later, at 1130pm the anesthesiologist finally arrived and got my epidural started. It took 15 minutes for it to kick in. Once it did, I was able to let go of Scott's hand(he said it really hurt him too when I was having a contraction because my nails would dig in his skin, which I can't fully understand because I bite them and so they're never really long, but anyway, he was in pain while I was in pain) and he went and found a little bench in the room to sleep on . But at the moment he sat down, the nurse came in to check me and said, "You're at a ten! I'll get the doctor." Scott got back up and came to my side.

Within 10-15 minutes the doctor arrived and I was allowed to start pushing. After a few pushes Charles was out at 1216am on January 6 weighing 7lbs 12oz(or around there) with a full head of very dark hair, dark eyes and olive skin all of which was such a contrast to his older sister. The labor went pretty fast and I'm so glad the nurses decided to allow me to stay, otherwise we may have had him at home, or worse, in the car. We love our little boy! Happy Birthday Char! "Ka-chow!" (In the words of Lightning McQueen, Charlie's favorite disney character/car/movie/toy/cd/bedding etc)
THEN:Dad and Char

Elisabeth and Char
NOW:
This was taken yesterday when we made the kids' crowns
.
This was taken this morning at Charlie's birthday breakfast. I'll post more on the birthday celebrations later.