Saturday, April 28, 2012

Introducing Nora Margaret Smith

 Nora Margaret Smith was born Friday April 27th at 10:28pm, arriving at 38 weeks of pregnancy, about 13 days before the doctor's expected due date on May 10th(though I was scheduled to be induced on the 8th, her ultrasound due date, if she hadn't come by then). Nora weighed in at 7lbs and 1oz and is 19 inches long. She arrived with a head of dark hair, just like her brother Charles. The miracle of birth is always such a strong reminder to me of our Great Creator, Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ and for the tremendous love they have for each of us. I am so grateful to be a mother and to have had this experience once again.

Now for the play-by-play of yesterday (these are my favorite posts to go back and read in my blog books, so though it may seem like a lot of boring details, I love reading them so I continue to put them in):

Friday started out like a typical day. We got up, had breakfast, I dropped off the kids at school, then Annabelle, Jane and I went grocery shopping. We came home, put everything away, I swept and mopped, and then we picked up Charlie from kindergarten. Once we got home, the kids went outside to play for a little while and while I was in the bathroom, I noticed a little pinkish mucus. I didn't think too much of it because I had my doctors appointment yesterday and he checked me and sometimes when they do that, there's a little spotting, but I decided to call Scott and let him know and tell him to make sure he always keeps his cell near today and to answer it if it's me. I also talked with my mom that morning about different things and gave a heads up to my neighbor who would be watching the kids when we were in the hospital, like I did with Scott...told her it may be nothing, but it may be something.

I am in charge of making invitations for an upcoming church activity, so I went over and picked up the information I needed to make those, and then as soon as Jane went down for her nap after lunch, I got to work on the invitations and brought them back to the person I was reporting to so she could approve them. I decided I'd better leave the original with her just in case I didn't make it to church on Sunday so she could run off as many copies as we would need. Charles and Elisabeth got picked up for piano, the girls and I cleaned and played and then picked up the kids from piano just before 3pm. When we got home, I made some mexican brown rice and started pulling things out to make enchiladas for dinner. I never got to finish that task.

 Elisabeth and I began gluing pieces together for invitations and the other kids played. As we glued I started to feel some cramps in my stomach, but you know, having four little children and being in a non-stop whirlwind of busy-ness all day everyday, I really didn't have much time to think about it. At 430 I told Elisabeth she better get ready for her soccer game because we'd leave the house around 5:05 so we could pick up dad from Firestone where he was dropping off his truck to get a new muffler and then we'd head straight over to her game. She went down to change and I went to the bathroom. That's where all the fun started :). I was bleeding, quite a bit. It was dark red, dripping and there were some clots that were the size of quarters. Luckily, I had a phone in the bathroom with me. I paged my doctor. While I waited for him to call back I called Scott who was on his way to Firestone and told him to come home instead of dropping his truck off. I called Alicia (my neighbor that would be watching the kids) and told her what was going but also said to wait a little while because I wanted to still try to make Elisabeth soccer game. Then the doctor called and our plans changed. He wanted us to come in now. Alicia came over. I called Elisabeth's soccer coach and asked if they could pick her up and drop her back off at home before and after the game. Then I started to notice some more cramps....contractions. But they weren't very strong yet and I didn't have time to time them. Scott arrived a few minutes later and we quickly put our hospital bag together and then we were off. I wish we had paused for a moment to eat dinner before we left because they don't let you eat until after the baby is born. Oh well.

We got to the hospital around 530pm. I was dilated to a 3 and 80% effaced which was an improvement from my doctors appointment the day before. I was put on monitors and we watched contractions for an hour over which time they were about 3-5 minutes apart and getting a lot more intense. It's amazing to me how fast contractions can get intense.

When the nurse checked me again, I was still 80% effaced but at a four now. She called my doctor and he said he wanted me to stay. He's a smart man and I'm always grateful to hear those words. We moved to a labor and delivery room down the hall. There they got me started on an IV(missed the vein the first time which hurt a lot, caused blood to flow, and now a day later some swelling and bruising in that upper forearm) so that I could have an epidural.

Around 730pm I got my epidural. That was not fun. They never are, what with having to be all curled up in the fetal position while you're having contractions, but this time was the worst. After the anesthesiologist put it in, he went to put a catheter in my back and I started bleeding which apparently is not a good thing. So he pulled the catheter out and tried to stick it back in the same hole a different way. Well that caused some sort of nerve reaction because my right leg, near my knee did a reflex thing and was all tingly. And he said it didn't feel right to him. So he took it out and went down lower into my back and did the whole thing again. Not fun, but it worked and it took the pain away which I'm always appreciative of, though the next day(today), my lower back is hurting and bothering me more than any other pains. Anyway, that was my drama for the night.

Once he left, my doctor dropped in to break my water since my water never, ever breaks on it's own. This was around 8pm. He left and I had Scott run to the Redbox and get us Hugo :). We were able to watch about half of it(we had to stop a few times so I could get checked...I was at a 7 and 1/2 around 9pm) before I started feeling a lot of pressure down low. I called my nurse, she checked me and I was at a ten. This was around 10pm. She called my doctor and he headed on over to the hospital...he lives close and so he likes to deliver all his patients, even when he's not on call, which I really like. I had strict orders not to push until he got there because last time, with Jane, he was just across the hall, the nurse asked me to give one practice push to see if we could get her down lower and out she came!

The doctor promised to hurry over though, and he was there within about 6 minutes of the nurse talking to him. By about 1025pm Doctor was there and everything was ready so I had the go ahead to push whenever I felt like it. I pushed three times through the first contraction and out she came! The head on the first push, then everything else on the other two. Nora was born at 10:28pm and Scott cut the cord. The doctor delivered my placenta and gave me a couple of stitches. We stayed in the labor and delivery room until about midnight at which time we were moved to a recovery room. The nurse brought me a sandwich right after Nora was born because she knew I was hungry(I probably mentioned it a few times :)). I was able to nurse her a few times that night and she did fabulously. She slept some but I didn't sleep much because nurses are always coming and going, checking her vitals, my vitals, pushing on my tummy etc. After a couple of hours I had most of the feeling back in my legs and could walk to the bathroom with a little assistance. And now, I'm walking around everywhere and having a hard time sitting still. If they let me, I'll go home tonight. I know I won't sleep well here. My lower back is giving me a little pain and discomfort because of the epidural, but it's not terrible, and the after contractions aren't too bad...though they're at their worst when Nora nurses.

 Overall everything went wonderfully and I feel so blessed to have had another safe labor and delivery and I feel so grateful for the opportunity I've had to bring another daughter of God into our family.

 And look at her handsome daddy! I'm so lucky to have such an amazing husband and father for our children(notice the "happy birthday" sign in the background...Scott and the kids brought that to put up in our room). He is always so supportive, and I know I can always count on him.

And for the name: The name Nora is a name both Scott and I have liked for awhile. We almost named Jane Nora. We like old fashioned names, names that have withstood the test of time, and Nora is one of those names. Nora means 'honor' and I love that as well. A good, strong meaning. And her middle name, Margaret, is a family name, and if you know the stories of our previous four children, you know we always do family names so that the child feels more of a connection with their family members who have gone before and paved the way. I have several ancestors with the name of Margaret, the closest in line being my great-great grandmother, Margaret Cramer who was a strong, pioneer type woman.We love our Nora so, so much already. When the kids and Scott came to visit us at the hospital, Elisabeth showed me the picture and letter she made for Baby Nora and said something like, "Mom, when I was writing this letter to Nora, even though I'd never met her yet, I felt so much love for her already that I wanted to tell her in this letter." All the kids are thrilled about the new addition to our family, and so are we. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

38 weeks

Boy am I tired! The last couple of days I've woken up between 445 and 5am because of either contractions or back pains and it takes me awhile to fall back to sleep. The result is I'm tired, very low energy and not really wanting to do much during the day. And it doesn't help that the sun was hiding for a good part of the day yesterday. It was still nice and warm(we've been in the 70's and 80's) but I need the sun. It literally brightens my day.

I had my doctors appointment earlier this morning. I've gained about 37 pounds so far which is actually amazing for me! I'm usually up in the high 40's by now, and by the end I usually gain about 50 pounds total. If I can end up gaining ten pounds less than in previous pregnancies, I'll be happy. It means ten less to lose in the end. Even though I am far from perfect on eating the way I want (I'm still enjoying too many sweets with refined sugar, though not nearly as many as before), I think drinking my green smoothies most days and eating a lot of whole foods I make from scratch(meaning not out of the can/bag and not highly processed) has helped out a lot. Also, over the past year, I've really developed a distaste for fast food joints which is also beneficial for my weight and overall feeling of well being. Not that I ate a lot of fast food before, but we'd probably take the kids out once a month to Arctic Circle or some place like that. That being said, nothing has progressed in the past week. I'm still dilated to a two(well he said 2+ so maybe a teensy bit of improvement...but I think he was more saying that for my benefit), 50% effaced and baby is at about a negative two(meaning she's not very low yet). I did have him strip my membranes but since she's so high up, it might not do much. Next week I'll have him do the same and then if she's not here by the 8th of May I will go in for an induction. Mom arrives on the 9th. Yay! Please let the baby be here before then! I feel so ready. She has gotten so big and uncomfortable, it makes it hard to do just about everything. Sometimes I need to remind myself that there are several reasons I like pregnancy: hearing the heart beat, knowing you'll have a tiny baby in your arms soon, trying to understand the miracle of it all, feeling the baby move...until she's huge. But right now, at 38 weeks and me not sleeping well, I'm finding it hard to remember those reasons because I just want her out and here with us.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Melting Pot, Massage, BYU Roommates

Last week was a nice week full of all sorts of activities I was looking forward to. First, Scott and I went on a date Tuesday night. I bought a gift certificate for Melting Pot online several months ago. I bought a 'cheese fondue for two' at half price. We'd never been to Melting Pot before because we'd heard how expensive it was, but I'd always wanted to try it. So I bought the coupon in hopes of using it near my birthday. And that's exactly what we did. We dropped the kids off with Lindsay and Matt and then went downtown. We ended up ordering the cheese fondue and the chocolate(white chocolate of course since I'm now 9 years free of any brown chocolates). Both were were yummy, though I would most likely not go again if we had to pay full was good but it wasn't that good. And I figure it wouldn't be hard at all to make these things myself and for a lot less. With the chocolate, our favorite items to dip were the fruits so if we ever did it at home, that's probably all I'd get to dip. Dipping cake and marshmallows in chocolate, for Scott and I, was a bit much. But the strawberries and bananas were great. I liked that the waiter came with all the ingredients in hand and put it together right in front of us. Being my typical self, I'm mentally calculating how much of everything goes inside: about 2 c broth, an adult sized cereal bowl of grated cheese, a little minced garlic, 1 c spinach, chopped, etc. My favorite things to dip in the cheese were the veggies and bread. We enjoyed ourselves. It was a fun and new experience. And I love any alone time I can get with Scott. It was nice to sit and visit together without worrying about anything else at all.

The next thing I was looking forward to that week was Saturday. Saturday was busy, as usual. I got up at 630 and went grocery shopping to be sure I got that in. It was sunny and beautiful outside so it wasn't a struggle to get up. And it was nice getting a parking spot up close, walking around a not crowded Walmart, without any children climbing in and out of my cart(which I normally don't mind but when I'm nine months pregnant it gets a lot more difficult) or begging for things on every aisle. When the kids come with me, I usually bribe them with their pick of produce, for example, "if you can stay with me and keep your hands to yourselves, I'll let you pick out one item from the produce section". They love this and generally each child has one thing in particular they always go for: Annabelle- strawberries, Charles- blueberries, Elisabeth- a peach or bag of Cuties..though she's not with me very often during my shopping. Once I got home Scott went to get his truck inspected and then we started putting together my new bathroom over-the-toilet cabinet that I used some birthday money to buy. He finished it while I went to my maternity massage which was wonderful. The masseuse and I talked before hand about what I wanted to achieve during our session and I told her a nice massage on my back and then whatever else might help bring on labor :), so she also did a lot with my feet and ankles. She also explained to me what she was doing while she was doing it so that I could teach Scott.

Later that evening, after Elisabeth's soccer game, we got together with my roommates from BYU. Five of the six of us were present which was really fun, two came in from out-of-state for BYU graduation(in the picture below, April is holding up a picture of Ashley, our other roommate who is out of state and wasn't able to attend).  Shayla is the one next to me and she was my room-roommate during our freshmen year at the dorms. Jessie is in the orange and she was my room-roommate sophomore year when the 6 of us lived in an apartment together. Five of us lived on the same floor freshmen year and loved each other so much we wanted to lived together the next year and then we were blessed to have gotten April(in the blue shirt) as our sixth roomy. These ladies literally changed my life. They were and still are an amazing example to me of how Christ like people live their lives and I wanted to be just like them. Three of us got married at the end of our sophomore year which means our boyfriends, then fiances, and then husbands knew each other and so yesterday was a fun evening of reminiscing, love and laughter for us all. Between the 5 of us, we had 16 children there with us.  Jessie took a picture on her camera with everybody, so once she sends it to me I'll add it on here. Thanks Jessie for hosting the event at your house!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

37 weeks and Nesting

In the past week I've done all my normal daily and weekly cleaning(dishes, sweep, mop, clean bathrooms, vacuum, tidy house, laundry) plus:

cleaned out the garage
organized our bedroom closet
dejunked and organized girls room
dejunked and organized Charlie's room
got newborn baby clothes out, organized and put away
scrubbed showers/bathtubs
made extra frozen meals for our family to use after I've had the baby(though I still want to make a few more)
cleaned out bathroom drawers
cleaned base boards
spot cleaned walls
redecorated master bath
went through backyard with kids and picked up any trash and toys left out and put them away
Got several D.I. bags together
organized book shelves

These are a lot of these things I wish were perfectly nice all the time, but the truth is, the kids aren't very good about putting things back neatly and nicely(aka, exactly the way I want them) and so even if they do get it in the general area, it doesn't always look nice. There will be clothes hanging out of drawers, books piled upon books on the shelves, paper...oh paper, we find paper everywhere! They draw cute pictures and write sweet notes to each other and to Scott and I all the time which is wonderful, but heavens, I am constantly finding papers everywhere!

We haven't set the bassinet up yet or put the car seat in the car, but with this being baby number 5, we really don't feel the urgency in getting those things together early. The bassinet only takes about 15 minutes to set up and since the hospital is only a few minutes away and Scott will be going back and forth, we figure he can set it up once the baby has arrived, that way it's not taking up space in our bedroom until absolutely necessary. Scott could also run by walmart and get diapers on his drive from home to hospital if we still don't have any yet :).

Since I'm now full-term, I think I'm going to up my exercise. Though I probably will start doing that after Saturday when I have my maternity massage and I get to see my college roommates and their families...I don't want to miss that! I want to speed walk a couple of times a day and I think I'll do some Tae Bo again :). It seems every time I've had one of our babies, I was always exercising quite a bit that day....and a couple of times it was the day I had a doctors appointment where I requested to have them strip my membranes. I'm not sure if either one of those things is 'the reason' why, but I think mostly, baby was ready and those things just kinda helped move labor along.

I had my 37 week appointment. I'm now dilated to a two and 50% effaced! We did an ultrasound and though the baby is head down, she's not way down there just yet. According to the ultrasound, she's around 6 lb and 15 oz right now, though that can be off by half a pound either way, but that does say something since both Elisabeth and Jane were about 6 lb 12 oz when they were born and my other two were 7 lb 4 oz and 7 lb 13 oz. So, hopefully soon! We'll see!

Monday, April 16, 2012


My birthday was last week which means I have one more year in my 20's. Time sure flies!

On the morning of my birthday, Scott surprised me by making a jam tart. I had never had one before and it was so yummy! He used a recipe from a book and even modified it himself to make it a little more healthy(used half whole wheat flour instead of all white and only used half of the 1/4c sugar it called for)...he sure knows me well! And isn't it pretty? Scott is one very talented man. And he's mine! I'm so lucky!
He also bought my favorite granola cereal that I rarely buy for myself because (1) it's expensive and (2) even though it's healthier than most cereals, it still has cane sugar in it and sugar is sugar and really shouldn't be eaten at breakfast every morning; but it was delightful on my birthday! A friend of mine got me another box of that cereal and some beautiful, juicy oranges and a bunch of bananas which was perfect. I got to open my new 3 barrel jumbo curling iron that morning and use it which I was so excited about and even had a dream about the night before! I had told Scott before hand only to get me that curling iron for my birthday and nothing else since I just bought the Bosch mixer and the camera, both of which, even though were used and I found for a great deal, were still really expensive. Scott's parents and mine as well sent over a gift and so did my little sister. I can usually count on her to add to my wardrobe which I'm always happy about. She's a lot cuter and trendier than I am so I know anything she sends me will be wonderful(she sent me the scarf I'm wearing in the picture below)! Later that day I had a friend stop by with a gift card to get a maternity massage! She and another one of my good friends had gone in on it together and I was completely surprised and at the same time so excited. I've always wanted to have one, but never gotten around to it. I have my appointment scheduled in about a week and a half. I can't wait! (by the way, I'm hating all pictures of me now. And I hate looking in the mirror. About the last month of pregnancy, I start holding water so my hands and feet get swollen and my face looks....well...fat. Such is life.).

Around 10 that morning, a neighbor called and told me to bring my kids over to her house and that I was supposed to go meet Scott at work. Scott had arranged a babysitter so we could go out to lunch together which was really sweet and so peaceful(peaceful because we didn't have kids with us). We used my birthday coupons I'd received from Rubios, a mexican restaurant, which made lunch really inexpensive. Later that night we went to Elisabeth's soccer game and afterward we ate dinner at Sweet Tomatoes (a buffet with lots of salads, pastas and soups). One of my requests for the day was that I didn't have to worry about dinner. The kids were happy too because they love Sweet Tomatoes...well, any buffet restaurant really. Scott and I like them too because everyone gets what they want and are happy...and the two older kids can help themselves which keeps them busy which means better behavior :). Not that they are bad but generally, I really don't enjoy taking kids out to eat because they have a hard time sitting in their seat and only their seat, not standing on the benches/chairs, using quiet voices, and not leaving the booth. But at buffets, they do pretty good and it's fine if they walk around. And since I mostly hate fast food chains, all places with play areas were out of the question even though most kids do fine there as well.
Jane was eating with two utensils at one time. It was pretty cute.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pirate Treasure Map Cake

This week I was able to make a pirate treasure map cake. I had asked my good friend Lindsay if she would mind doing another photo-taking/cake-making swap because I'd like to have some newborn photos. She agreed. This cake was so fun to make. The size is a single sheet cake, which is equivalent to two cake box mixes. It's done in butter cream and fondant. I covered the chocolate cake in butter cream and made a butter cream shell border around the top(tip 18) and bottom(tip 21). I made one half-batch of marshmallow fondant and used that to make the pirate map that sits on top of the cake, and to make the red stripes going down the sides of the cake.
Lindsay found these cool little pirate guys so we added them on the map, and I had some pirate candles I added as well. All the writing on the fondant map was done with edible frosting markers. I rolled the edges of the map up and then took some brown icing color and painted the edges of the map so it looks a little more aged. I made the map the day before I made the cake which gave it time to dry in the shape I wanted and it worked better timing wise for me as well.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

36 Weeks

I love the Spring! I love the weather in the Spring: Sunshine, not too hot with a little rain here and there. I love the flowers! My birthday is in the Spring. And this year, we'll get to add a baby to our family in the Spring!
I had my doctors appointment today. He did the group B strep test and checked to see if I was dilated and effaced. I'm not effaced yet and I'm dilated to a one. That's pretty typical for me. Usually when I check into the hospital for labor, I'm at a 2 or maybe a 3, but when I get to a 4, it generally means I'll be a ten within a couple of hours(sometimes much less). And same goes with effacement. I have a tentative induction date set for May 8th which is her due date according to the 20 week ultra sound, though my doctor keeps her original due date based off my menstrual cycle which is May 10th. I'm really hoping for the first few days in May. We'll see.

I am so heavy! If I sit in the same position for too long, my bottom gets numb. If I stand for more than a few seconds, I start to get uncomfortable. So I do a lot of pacing while I stand and shifting while I sit. I started getting cramps in my calves about a week ago. The first two I got were super painful! They woke me up in the middle of the night. Luckily they each only lasted about 20 seconds, but they were an intense 20 seconds. Since then I haven't had them come back so strong, but I have felt them lightly throughout most days. It has also gotten a lot harder for me to roll over in bed. Imagine a whale on dry land trying to turn from one side to the other. Practically impossible :). It's not pretty, and it takes a lot of energy and effort. It doesn't help that I have to take my body pillow with me. But I need that thing. I should find out who invented the body pillow and write them a thank-you note.

Easter Celebration

I'm behind in my blogging. I'm at a very busy stage in my life right now, as I'm sure many of you are. Every day is busy. Every minute is filled. Four young children with needs to be met, a house to clean, bills to pay, a family to feed, daily piano practices to supervise, school, sports and lessons to be driven to and from, a calling to fulfill, reading to be done and on and on. Keeping up with blogging is very important to me because I want a record for my family of our day-to-day lives, so I continue to blog and spend the little, precious time I have keeping a record...but sometimes I get a little behind. Anyway, onto our Easter celebrations.

The week leading up to Easter, we pulled out our spiritual easter eggs which you can read more about those by clicking on the link. We did this as a supplement to our nightly family scripture study. We've done this for years and the kids love it. I love that they are learning the Easter story so well.

Saturday morning we went to our local grocery store for their annual Easter Egg hunt. This is another tradition we've had for years. I like that it's indoors and not as terribly crowded as others we've been to. Also, if we get one easter egg hunt done in the community, I don't feel the need to have to put on an Easter Egg hunt at our house which is a bonus. I reminded the kids to go for the non-sugar items and they were wise and followed my instructions for the most part. They each grabbed a little candy, but they know I'll only allow a few pieces and then everything else goes in the garbage. We got half a dozen fresh oranges(so juicy and sweet!), Elisabeth got a roll of nickels, they got pencils and a teddy bear and some other odds and ends. Later that day we dyed easter eggs. Jane didn't last for long. She kept putting her whole hand in the dye trying to get the eggs out and then she'd accidentally drop and crack them when she did hold them with the spoon. Scott distracted her with something else.

Sunday morning the kids woke up and we did our traditional scavenger hunt to find their Easter baskets. They LOVE doing this and I'm pretty sure it's their favorite part about Easter. They like going on a mission together and reading and figuring out all the clues. Here are some of the things in their Easter baskets this year(besides the food and drinks, everything else came from the dollar store):
Annabelle: hula hoop, butterfly net, coloring book, princess puzzle
Jane: coloring book, bubbles, sand bucket and shovel, watering can
Elisabeth: coloring book, Bingo game, flip flops with some twisty accents to add on
Charles: sketch pad, Bug Kit, rubber baseball, Snakes and Ladders game

Everyone got fruit leather and 100% juice capri suns, a few got yogurt covered pretzels and animal crackers which I got from the health food store, and Scott and the girls each got peanut butter chocolate eggs(not healthy but a specific request from Scott; he also got a cadbury egg). I always include a 'spiritual gift' and we made it a family gift this year. We got a double feature movie: The Prince of Egypt and Joseph King of Dreams and a couple of 'Liken' cds...I had bought all of these media gifts at least 6 months ago when they were on sale really cheap and just saved them for now.

Annabelle finding one of the clues under the kitchen table. Our rule was that they had to take turns finding the clue(minus Jane) and that the older ones had to let the younger ones try to figure it out on their own before they helped.
The kids huddled together talking about one of the clues, trying to figure out what it means and where the next 'egg' clue was hidden.
They found their baskets in Jane's bedroom(remember she's sleeping with the girls downstairs now; at least at night). Like my high chair in there? It takes up so much room in the kitchen. I've decided I don't want to have a high chair anymore. I like my booster seat better that sits on a chair and doesn't take up extra room. Ugh, and I really just don't like that high chair. We got it for $5 at a garage sale some years ago. The plastic fabric is all ripped and the padding is coming out all over the the place. The bottom support/foot rest is broken and crooked and on top of that, we're potty training Jane and she peed in the cushion. The cushion went directly to the garbage and now we're waiting for the rest of the high chair to go in next. It'll go in the trash once the garbage man takes my old, broken, double stroller away.

I meant to put in mini peanut butter sucanat cookies which I had made earlier that week and froze, but forgot about them. So instead Scott put them in easter eggs that evening and the kids went out hunting for them. I also meant to put seeds for planting in their baskets but forgot. Oh well, maybe next year!
Happy Easter!!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Pictures From General Conference Weekend

Here are some pictures I took during General Conference this past weekend:

The kids had several quiet church activities to do during conference. We require them to be in the room with us during all four sessions(minus Jane who we have take a nap during a session each day), and we asked them to sit and listen to at least one talk during each session at which time they couldn't be working on other quiet activities. They all did well and Elisabeth listened to some extra talks and took notes which was nice.

I did our Conference Wall a little different this year. I didn't want to print off all those pictures again this year and use up all my paper and ink so instead I just took our large butcher paper that says "conference wall", and Elisabeth, Charles and I wrote out different topics we thought might be discussed in conference and then they stuck the pictures of the apostles and the first presidency near those topics.
Another new thing we did this year that the kids loved(and something I read about in the Friend Magazine), was I pulled out about 6 old Friend Magazines and allowed the kids to go through them and cut out pictures they liked. Once they had all their pictures cut out, they each had a piece of butcher paper(Scott brought a bunch of this home from work...they just had stuff on the back which worked fine) and they glued their pictures on there, creating posters that we put up in their rooms afterward. They loved this project and were so busy working on them making them look nice. After conference was over we allowed them each to take 2 minutes and tell us whatever they wanted about their posters which they also enjoyed.

We had our traditional girls night on Saturday while the boys were at the priesthood session. I gave the girls pedicures(they thought the foot scrub was very ticklish), we all chose matching toe nail polish in Easter colors(Scott had done mine the week before because I can't reach them anymore) and then we played a few board games and finished off the night watching Cinderella. After the boys watched the priesthood session at the church building, they went over to our local grocery store and bought ice cream sandwiches which has also become a tradition for them.

And last but not least, we finally allowed Jane to move downstairs with the girls this weekend. I say finally because both Elisabeth and Annabelle have been begging to have her down their with them for months and we would always tell them, "when she's two." So of course, the day she turned two they wanted her down there but we resisted a little longer and finally decided to give it a try this weekend. The girls love it! All of them. Even Jane! She's been in there for about a week now and every night when it's time to go to bed Jane starts skipping and smiling and then she'll go down the stairs by herself while calling out, "Night!" We always follow her down a couple of minutes later and tuck them all in and sing them a primary church song, but it's so nice to have had her adjust so easily and happily to sleeping with the girls in the basement. And into a toddler bed rather than her crib. But I still have her nap during the day in the crib and I'll continue to do that as long as possible. Even when her new baby sister arrives, I'll still have Jane nap in the crib and baby can sleep in the bassinet and then the playpen if Jane will keep on napping.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bridal Shower and random pictures

Last week I took my two oldest girls to the bridal shower of my best friend all growing up: Katherine. We grew up in Washington, both lived out in Utah for awhile, she moved to California for a while and is back in Utah for some time and it sounds like she will be living pretty close to us which I'm excited about. The lady that hosted this party was amazing. Seriously, you should have seen this house. It looked like you walked into a fairytale princess land. We all got to take home these really pretty Medieval type, cone shaped princess hats and some bottled glitter with a Disney phrase on it about love. The food was all labeled with princess names which I loved. Anyway, it was so fun seeing Kath and her mom and a couple of her sisters(she grew up in a family of 10 kids), and I'm glad Elisabeth and Annabelle were able to come with me and see this cute family again because it had been a long time.
And some random pictures:

Elisabeth making German Pancakes...her favorite.

Charles helping make yogurt smoothie popsicles.
The kids out on the swing set. It has been beautiful these past few weeks! Sunny and several days around 70 degrees!
Jane sporting some sun glasses
Jane and her green smoothie mustache