Monday, December 20, 2010


Our son was born Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 12:59pm. He was 7 lb 12 1/2 oz and 22 inches long. We think he's just perfect, beautiful, and all of those gushy parent feelings.....I'll get up the energy sometime to post about his birth. Merry Christmas to all of you! We're enjoying the blessing of a baby boy in our home as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.
What a special time of year....

Monday, November 29, 2010


So, no baby yet....even though I had regular contractions for about 12-14 hours yesterday. 12 min apart, then 10 min apart and even up to 5 min apart during the wee morning hours. But, they never got intense, so no baby yet. :) The experience definitely got Brad and I inspired, though, to finish a few things up and get even more prepared. It really could be anytime now, and it's so exciting. Contractions are coming, Christmas shopping is pretty much finished, baby's room is set up, and only a few baby items need to be brought up from the basement and cleaned. I'll let you know when baby comes.....yippeee!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's time to blog.....

I feel like blogging, so I'd better take advantage of that while I have a little time. Some things going on here lately....

  • I was homeroom mom for Bethany's party on Friday, so I planned crafts and a game for the kids as well as state guideline approved snacks. You'd think that since I taught elementary school, it'd be no big deal, but I am so NOT creative. I asked a friend for some ideas, and ended up doing spider hands and foot ghosts with the kids. (tracing, cutting out, and gluing googly eyes.) By the time they finished these, and ate their snacks (pre-packaged apple slices, 100 cal pack fudge drizzled choc. chip cookies, and frozen yogurt) we ran out of time for the game. No biggie.
  • I finished writing the primary presentation parts, so we start practicing this week. I'm excited to see the kids prepare and share what they've learned this year. Especially the songs, that's my favorite part.
  • We had the Forest Festival in early October which is always lots of fun with the kids. It was especially fun because my nephew, Jaxson got to enjoy it with us. He stayed with us for about 6 days because his baby brother was in the hospital. That was scary for everyone, and the doctors finally determined that Ranger has severe reflux and that causes his apnea, which is why he was turning blue. (all of this after a bout of pertussis - whooping cough) Poor baby, and his poor, exhausted parents, spent around 4 weeks in the hospital.
  • Soccer games finished up. Whew. Onto basketball soon....
  • My dad had a heart catheterization (sp?) in early Oct., as well, and some blockage was found in one of his arteries. So, he had a stint put in and has been monitored by an external defibrillator since then. This has been scary for all of us, and Dad is now focused on his health. But, the blessing here is that the problem was discovered in the first place, before a heart attack. The Lord was watching out for him when an irregular heartbeat was discovered before his colonoscopy. I love my dad, and I'm so grateful that he has received good medical care.
  • Around the same time, I was going through my 2nd gestational diabetes test. You know, the 3 hr, 4 blood draws yucky one. I failed it. Oh, what a bummer. So, since then I've been super strict with my diet, and the doctor said I'm doing well controlling it with diet and exercise. 4 glucose tests per day, exercising 3 times per day, and planning meals and snacks very carefully.... for less than 6 weeks more, hopefully. When baby is born, it should go away. I was really stressed for a while about it, but now it's just the way it is. My chances for diabetes later in life increases, which was already a risk for me anyway. So, making healthy life changes is even more important now. I can do it.
  • I've started Christmas shopping. I need to get things done super early this year with the baby due on Dec. 14. I'm sure the last few weeks, I'll be too exhausted for shopping. So, my sisters and mom and I are off to Pennsylvania this weekend for some 0% clothing tax shopping.
  • I'm soooo excited to meet my baby and have a newborn in our home again. People ask if I'm ready, or tired of being pregnant. I'm ready, but not in any hurry. I enjoy pregnancy..feeling the baby move and grow, being a part of the miracle of procreation, being responsible for another precious life. I love it so much. I've been telling the girls all along that baby will come after Thanksgiving but before Christmas, and that time is almost here. I can't believe it.
  • A sweet, kind man in my home ward passed away unexpectedly this week. I've known him forever. His family was part of our small ward, and everyone knew each other very well. It's so sad to think of what his wife, kids, and grand kids are going through. He was too young, too full of life.....yet he knew what was most important. He attended the temple regularly, he served people all the time, he smiled and focused on taking care of his family. While it is incredibly sad, I am so glad that he was spiritually preparing for all of these years. Having a knowledge of eternal families and of Heavenly Father's plan gives so much comfort. I pray that his family will feel that comfort as they grieve.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Attempted photo sessions.....

So many of you out there can get such amazing pictures when you ask your children to pose....I have to settle for silly or un-natural or eventually tears because they don't want to try anymore. They are so darned cute, but I have such a difficult time getting them to be cute at the same time........Sigh.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

4th Birthday - Mallory

Mallory turned 4 last month, and we celebrated at the park with family. Two days before her birthday she informed me that she wanted a Dora cake. Well, I wasn't up to finding a cake pan and doing it myself, so for the first time ever I ordered a birthday cake. It was yummy, and I still made cupcakes to make sure we had enough for everyone. She had a good time, and is very excited to be four. Below is a picture of her with Bethany and their 2nd cousin, Tyler.

Mallory at 4......
  • She uses her dimples in her "I'm so cute" way to try and persuade people to do what she wants. She has this beautiful smile, and she knows it. She likes to say, "pretty please with a cherry on top." We're in trouble, I think.
  • She finally is moving out of her crib, which she has loved sleeping in, and is going to share a room with big sister and new bunk beds. (this transition has been pretty smooth...whew.) She even got to pick out her big girl bedding which has purple trim and butterflies, flowers, etc. Very cute.
  • Mal loves TV, movies, talking to my parents on the phone, using the mini-vacuum, climbing all over her daddy, eating and running. If she goes outside, she wants to run up and down our sidewalk over and over again.
  • Mallory has quite the stubborn streak. Sometimes I don't think there is any consequence that could motivate her to just give in and do what we want her to do. Oy!
  • As ornery as she can be sometimes, Mallory can also be a very snuggly little girl. I love it when she crawls up next to me, or when she rubs her face all over mine.
  • Mallory is so excited about the baby that is coming, but does not want to feel it move. She laid her face on my belly once and it moved, which kind of freaked her out. But, she is constantly wanting to see my bare tummy which then makes her giggle.
  • Playing dress up and ballroom dancing with Bethany is one of her favorite activities...also, shoe fashion shows with dramatic modeling.
  • Mal can sing most of the songs on the "glee" soundtrack, and calls #1 "Don't Stop Believing" " my song".
  • In Primary, she sits in the front row and sings her little heart out....when she wants to. She has made tears come to my eyes as I lead the music and hear her sing every word of "I Know My Savior Loves Me."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mallory - 1st Day Back to Preschool

Last week, Mallory started back at her Montessori preschool. She was very excited and it's been nice for me, too. :) Bethany started soccer practices a couple of weeks ago, and piano started back up. We are definitely busy again after our relaxing summer.

After her first day......
I had to make her pose for this one to compare to last year. This is what motivated her to pose for above photo....

Ready for practice....


Yesterday I had another ultrasound to check on the position of baby's placenta. I was pretty worried because I could tell the baby was resting its head against the placenta and was head down. The ultrasound tech did an internal ultrasound, too, to get more exact measurements from cervix to placenta. Just as I was telling Brad that I thought it was still too low, the doctor walked in and said, "you're good. we're out of the danger zone. now, it will keep growing higher." I told her I noticed it was still low, but she explained that the measurement for too close is 1.5 cm and mine was now 1.8 cm which was good. So, .3 cm seems pretty tiny to me, but I don't know what my measurement was last time, so as long as it had grown away from the cervix at all that is good news. Can you say 'relief'? I felt so much relief. When I looked at Brad I could tell that he did, too. Prayers have been answered. I'm now looking forward to hopefully a non-csection birth, but you know how labor is.....unpredictable. I'll just focus on trusting in my Heavenly Father and His plan for baby and me.

*Also, I'm getting super excited to squeeze this baby.....I could tell from the last ultrasound to this one that his/her cheeks were fuller and it kept playing with its hands and feet and moving its mouth. It's so fun to watch your baby's face and movements (that I could feel while I watched) made me feel even more connected to our little bundle.

*oh, yeah.....under 100 days now!! Wootwoot!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Another School Year Begins

Bethany started second grade on Thursday of last week. She often says she doesn't like school when people ask her, which puzzles me because I know she enjoys it. She was secretly super excited about the first day. She was dressed and ready before we woke up, and couldn't stop smiling. It's starting to hit me that this growing up thing is just going to get faster and faster. I have to look closely now to see the little girl she used to be. Of course, what will I be saying a few years from now??

She couldn't hide her real feelings in this one, could she? :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

On my mind....

I've had some things on my mind lately. Sometimes I don't share them because I'm not sure if it's appropriate, or I don't want it to sound like I'm being overly dramatic, or I figure it is probably boring. But, tonight...I feel like sharing.

I have been known to have a temper. It flared up this evening. I'm ashamed to admit it. I have this super-sensitive button when it comes to my cooking. I don't know why. I've had it for around 3-4 years now. I don't cook very often. I'm made fun of for it, and I feel embarrassed that I don't do better for my family -- that is one of my roles as mother, right? I deal with it, and sometimes I do better than others. Brad never comments or complains. (that, without a doubt, has saved him from my wrath :) Tonight, though, Bethany got grumpy with me when I served broccoli with her mac and cheese. How dare I?? She pretty much only eats chicken nuggets, fries, mac and cheese, microwaved hot dogs, and sometimes steak. Green beans, cucumbers, and corn are the only veggies, and corn doesn't really count. Well, when I saw her disapproval I asked her if my cooking was not good enough for her. (leading question, I know.) She said yes, then went on to say that she likes Grandma Judy's cooking better. I mean, yay for my mom, but ouch for me. I lectured her good, I left the room and was really mad and hurt, I came back and told her she better eat it all, etc., etc. I had both girls upset, and we sat there eating our mac and broccoli with tears and silence. How silly, right? I hope I never react like that again. The last thing I want my kids to remember about me in 20 years is how scary their mommy used to get when she was mad. Ugh.

When I had my ultrasound last, only last week - it seems like a month ago....Brad and I thought everything was awesome. The tech was the best ever. She took like 40 minutes measuring, taking pics, explaining things, and showing me the baby's face over and over. It was so cute because Baby would open and close its mouth and move its tongue around. It was just so cool. Then, I went to the bathroom afterwards to empty my bladder, of course, and the doctor met me in the hall on my way back. She said, "the placenta is too close to your cervix" and I immediately got scared. I knew the diagnosis before she said it, placenta previa. I got tears in my eyes and kept thinking about a dear friend of mine who went through the worst case scenario a couple of years ago when she had to have an emergency c-section and her sweet baby did not make it. When I got emotional I explained to the doctor about my friend, and she wanted to know more. She told me that it was very rare for that to happen, and that 85 % of her patients with this carry to full term and the previa corrects itself. They'll check by ultrasound in another month of so, and more often if needed. I'm on pelvic rest which is stressful for other reasons. (If that's TMI, sorry.) That's the only change in my lifestyle she has prescribed. We're okay if I don't start bleeding in the next 15 weeks, and I'll have a c-section if it doesn't correct itself. (also freaking me out because I haven't had one before.) After the first day, I calmed down. I have no control over this. We just keep praying for the baby and for all to be well. My pregnancy seems to be moving in slow motion now because I'm waiting to find out if the placenta grows to higher ground, so to speak. It's our time to focus on faith and positive thinking.

On a lighter note, I'm getting the feeling that this baby is a boy, and it's not based on anything logical, probably. I physically cannot get through 2-3 hours without a protein boost. I don't want chocolate, which is completely weird for me. A friend did her crystal thing over my belly and declared "boy." And, I checked the Chinese calendar which also said "boy". Why am I doing this when I say I don't want to know the gender yet? Why should it even matter? I don't know. Curious to see if these methods turn out to be accurate, I think.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Brief Rundown...

Okay, first off -- pregnancy sickness has finally worn off, just in time for vacation. Wootwoot! I felt pretty good for the long car rides, mini-golf and many other activities. I LOVE the 2nd trimester. Everyone keeps asking what we are having, and the answer is......whatever God sent us!! We don't find out the gender before it's born, and although it is tempting I decided to stick with the tradition. I mean what does it really change?? My nursery stuff will be the same stuff I've used before which is neutral, I have neutral newborn clothes, the walls are green in the nursery, and I just have to make sure we have a name for boy and girl. I can depend 100% on what I find out at birth, and the ultrasound tech can get it wrong sometimes. (Right, Rebecca?:) I really like the surprise at the end. Brad would have found out this time, though, if I hadn't preferred to wait. I think I'll stay strong through future ultrasounds. :) Summer will be over soon for the school kids, so we're preparing for second grade. And although I wish I was more like my super go-get-it-done friends, I am relaxing as often as possible. So, many projects are waiting for me around the house. Maybe I'll get some done before baby??

In June the Ginn Family visited us from North Carolina. We visited a couple of nearby state parks and the guys golfed. Below are some pics from Stuarts Park where there is a slippery swimming area in the river.

Aunt Heather with Jaxson and Mallory

Throwing rocks was fun for the younger ones

Here is Hannah....4 yrs old now.

Melanie and Mallory cuddling for movie night
June 30 my nephew, Ranger, was born. We got to visit him when he was 2 weeks old, and I finally was able to visualize having a newborn soon.
We forget how tiny and squooshy and perfect they are.
In early July, my mom, sister and myself had a bridal shower for Heather, with a WVU theme.
In mid-July our family took a vacation south. First we visited my brother's family, then some friends in NC ( Manns, Millers, etc.), and then headed on to Myrtle Beach, SC to have our beach week with Brad's parents and siblings and their families. I didn't take too many pics, but the humidity was off the charts, hence the foggy picture below.
It was so much fun, and relaxing, too.

We drove back north on Friday evening to be able to attend Heather's wedding in Oakland, MD. I like this picture of her and my dad. It was a beautiful day. We're happy for her and Jared.

Look at that view as they walked back down the "aisle". Beautiful!

Friday, June 11, 2010


Bethany finished 1st Grade this week. She did very well this year, and is super excited to be a 2nd grader now. Reading and math are favorites of hers, and PE and music, of course. I tried to take the traditional picture in front of our door, but her eyes were red and didn't fix right. Oh, well.

After school, Last Day of 1st Grade
Before school, last day of 1st Grade...let's compare to the 1st day of school this year below..

Monday, June 7, 2010


I want to remember this one from last night....
As we're getting the kids ready for bed, Mallory took some time with just me and "the baby". My tummy just started to pop this weekend and she was touching it and asking about the baby. She said, "Mommy, is the baby a girl baby or a boy baby?"
I said, "I don't know. We'll just have to wait and see."
Mal - "Oh, we have to see if it has boy eyes or girl eyes??"
heehee, so sweet

Mallory's last day of Montessori ....for this year anyway.

Owner/director/teacher - Ginny (retiring), New Director/teacher - Pam, and Denise in background.

These teachers are amazing, so patient, and loving. We're very glad that Mallory got to go to this school, and will for the next two years.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

You may have noticed...

You may have noticed the new little widget to the right......yes, we are having a baby. I found out in mid April. As is usual for us, the news was shocking, even more so this time but I don't know why. I have felt like there would be another baby for us someday, but I don't think I was expecting it to happen right now. Though, the timing is great. Mallory will be 4 by the time new Baby Bennett arrives, and we found out last time that it is a great age difference. And, we'll all have a very special, early Christmas gift. :) We are excited, and I'm looking forward to the next phase of pregnancy. The last five weeks or so have been very slow and yucky for my body, my poor husband and kids have been dealing with 1st trimester mommy. I've hit the 12 week mark. I must say, Brad has been outstanding...taking on the dishes, laundry, cleaning, outside work, extra parenting duty plus his own job and normal responsibilities. He has made all the difference in me keeping my sanity. I'll have my 1st ultrasound next week, and after a conversation I had with my mom a while back, Brad and I are looking forward to confirmation that there is one little blessing in there, and not a twin shocker. ;) I told her that I've had every 1st trimester symptom in the book this time, and she said her third, and twins pregnancy, was like that..very different. hmmmm.....of course, we'll take what the Lord gives us, but I'd feel more confident with what I'm used to - one at a time. :)

Some favorites I haven't shared....

impromptu "tea" party after school

going to daddy's bball tournament

egg hunt at Gma and Gpa Poe's house, also Elite Eight game day for WVU

end of season bball Bethany

last time they bundled up for snowplay 2010 (yay!)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Life Recently.....

I know it's been forever since I blogged. Sorry. I seem to be pretty busy lately.

  • I have been taking a cake decorating class during the month of April, and it has been mostly enjoyable. I stink at making flowers, so that part has been frustrating, but tonight is my last night of Course 1. The next course starts next week, and I'm undecided about taking it.
  • Bethany decided not to play baseball, so we're getting a much needed break from sports. (It was 3 practices a week, 1 1/2 - 2 hr practices, and 2 hr. games...ugh.)
  • Our friend, Chris, visited for Brad's Stake basketball tournament. It was great seeing him.
  • Spring weather has been awesome, and I don't even mind when it gets colder for a few days like it is right now. The sunshine is wonderful!
  • Mallory is keeping me on my toes everyday. She tells stories, sings primary songs, and even makes silly faces and tells little jokes. But, then she gets mad when you laugh because she thinks you're laughing AT her. 3 yr olds, right?
  • Bethany is growing up way too fast! She is learning to play piano and hopefully swimming and bike riding next. I love it when she just amazes us. I look at her and think, "you were a baby in my arms just a little while ago, right?"
  • Church is busy for us right now....primary activities, meetings, training, youth firesides and priesthood meetings for Brad, and on and is good to serve, though. We wouldn't have it any other way.
  • I'll post some recent pics soon.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


The fever has broken!! I know, you don't know what I'm talking about. Mallory and I have been stuck at home since Sunday. ( well, I went to church while Brad stayed at home with her.) She hadn't left the house since Saturday because she suddenly came down with double ear infections. Luckily, we played our pediatricians' team in basketball that day and they took us to their office to check her out. She was crying pretty much non-stop. Anyway, since that day she has had a fever and terrible nights and lethargic days and it has been awful to witness as a mommy. One of her ear drums was on the verge of may have, I don't know. She has been in terrible pain. This was a first for us -- Bethany had them a lot as a 1-2 yr old but they were never this bad.
I was reminded this week of how fortunate I am to have healthy children. As hard as it was for me to see Mallory in pain, I have nothing greater to compare it to, and for that I'm grateful. Friends of ours have lost children, suffered through their children's cancer, and had unimaginable trials involving their children. How blessed we've been....
So, no fever today!! Yay! We went to WalMart for groceries and to the park after school pickup and then on a walk this evening after dinner. Wonderful weather, healthy children, and can't get much better than that.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Today is a good day!

The sun has been shining for the last 6 days, and I'm loving it! There is just something about sunshine (vitamin D, maybe?) that boosts my energy, lifts my mood, and makes my days more productive. Mallory and I were able to walk around a downtown city block without snow boots today. The sidewalks now have enough room for people to walk on dry cement, although there are still mountains of snow piled up along the edges of every street, parking lot, etc. I'm going to soak up as much of this as I can until the rain starts tomorrow. :(
Another great thing about today -- I was able to eat out for lunch and have this very yummy white chili, (only 1 pt. WW) and half of the turkey sandwich, on whole grain bread w/ lettuce and mayo, with cranberry mayo spread (very lightly applied) and NOT feel guilty about eating out. Yay! I've been trying to watch what I'm taking in and have started using the Wii fitness programs regularly. I feel good, though I don't intend to weigh myself for at least another week or so.
To quote one of my kids' books, (CareBears), "Happy Sunshiny Day!".

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's officially starting to get to me....

Winter, that is..... I've always disliked when people complain about the weather. I mean, really, of all the things to get upset about it's one of the things we have absolutely no control over. It's winter, so it snows, and it's icy and we're stuck indoors a lot. Today was the day that I realized I've been spiraling into the winter blues. So, tomorrow it's my goal to do something to snap out of it. Get motivated to stay busy enough to not even think about it....we'll see how that goes. :) Hope you're all getting along okay with winter.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Quote for the Day

Brad called me today after he'd taken the girls to school to share a story about Mallory. He said that he had her stand on the sidewalk while he walked Bethany around to get in the car. When he came back for her, he picked her up and she started patting his back and said, "I love you Daddy." Then she shocked him with this: "Daddy, those birds are freaking me out." He was so startled, so he asked, "What?" She said, " You know, don't you see them? Those birds are freaking me out." (the black birds hang around for winter) He and I shared a good laugh when he told me about it. Neither of us had ever heard her use that phrase before, but, yeah....she probably learned it from me, as did Bethany. Oh,'s not a bad word in my book. (Although the women who play for the Pembroke ward basketball team would beg to differ....when I used it during a basketball game several years ago, the whole bench started screaming at me for using foul language. Me?! In a church game?! Puhlease. I turned to them and said, "freaking is not a bad word." So there. ;)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dedicated Runners

A few weeks ago, my sister Heather visited for the weekend. Some of you know her, but in case you don't I'll tell you a little bit about her. She is an elementary music teacher (and assistant band director at the high school) in Maryland, less than an hour and a half drive from our home. She is a temple worker at the Washington DC temple. She is an amazing friend and sister. She is also an inspiration to anyone who wants to get fit. She has worked extremely hard to reach her goal weight, and is doing things for the first time like running races and training for a half-marathon. (Brad is supposed to run it with her, but his training is kind of inconsistent.) When she visited our home Brad agreed to run with her, even though we were getting some serious snow accumulation. I had to take some pictures because they looked so cute as they got ready to take on the snow and ice. ( I know cute isn't a word they'll appreciate, but they really did look cute. :) When they got back from their run, they were covered with snow...Brad's eyebrows had melted by the time I took the picture, but check out Heather's hair. People think they're crazy running in this weather, but they really have no choice. We are having a real winter with snow every week, sometimes everyday. We've had 8 snowdays just in February and 3 2 hr. delays. Heather has about 5-6 feet of snow outside of her house and has had more snowdays than we have. But, the training must go on......

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Just Because....

Brad and I are pretty laid back about Valentine's Day, so we do our usual date night and sometimes we exchange cards. No biggie. Brad would ignore it entirely if I agreed, because "it's not even a real holiday." I don't entirely disagree with him. Besides, we have date nights every week and he lets me know everyday how much he loves me. A few weeks ago, we were having a rough patch with Mallory and her tantrums. It was a preschool morning and she was refusing to get ready and was screaming and crying. I had just woken up, and since I'm not a morning person, it just rubbed me the wrong way. But, Brad carried her to the car and delivered her to preschool where she immediately stopped her tantrum upon entering the building, walked off with her teacher and proceeded to play her little heart out for 2 hours. That afternoon the doorbell rang and a man stood there with a flower delivery. I was so pleasantly surprised. It included Gerber daisies and what looked like little red lilies (though I'm not sure they were), which are my two favorite flowers. The card read, "just wanted you to know how much I love and appreciate you. Your Loving Husband." I called to thank him and asked why he'd sent me flowers, and he told me that he knew I was having a rough day and wanted to do something special for me. How sweet is that?! I have decided that I would much rather receive flowers on an unexpected day than on Valentine's Day. But, that's just me. :)
I absolutely loved how colorful the arrangement was....especially during our white, white winter.