Friday, December 16, 2011

Tis the Season

Thanksgiving:

We started our vacation in Logan. We spent Wednesday night and Thursday with Loren's family in Smithfield. It was pretty quiet, but it was a yummy meal which is what Thanksgiving is all about ;). Early, early Friday morning we took off to Mt. Pleasant to my Grandparent's cabin. It's one of my favorite places ever, because of the people there. Alysha had a hard time being in the car that early in the morning, but she finally took a nap for the last hour of the 4 hour drive. We had a fantastic 2nd dinner and spent the rest of the day hanging with the family. Becky, Brian, and I had our annual Phase 10 championship and let the record show that Becky won 1st, and I won 2nd! (It was a big feat for us to beat him :)) We also did some crafts and made our candy countdowns for Christmas. I just love spending time with my family. We laugh so much and have so much fun! :) Alysha did awesome. She ran around with the other cousins and learned how to go up and down stairs....my youngest cousin is only 11 months older than Alysha so there's really no age difference in my family. She fits right in :). Saturday most everyone had left the cabin already and the rest of us spent the day watching football (Go Michigan :)) and Loren and I took the 4-wheelers out for a drive. We went up a little too high and hit the snow and I got stuck! So we turned around and got Aly and drove back to Logan. Sunday we headed home.

December:

This month has been pretty weird for me. I usually get way into the Holiday spirit, but I just can't drag myself out of a funk this year. We put up a tree, but it didn't really help. There's not enough snow outside and I miss the traditions I used to have. Everyone keeps telling me to get over it and start making our own traditions, which we are, but it's the first year without my family. I think I just need this year to get used to it and next year will be better. Tonight and Tomorrow we're doing our holiday baking and I'm really looking forward to the sweets! We have a lot that we have to do to get ready to leave next Thursday for Herriman. We're going to be spending Christmas with Loren's family again. But I did make plans with my aunt's family to spend Friday with them. I'm really excited for that. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't like Loren's family! It's just unknown. It's hard for me to be excited without knowing what will be going on. I'm very tradition oriented. I guess this is the hard part of growing up...
But anyway, Alysha's excited. She loves Christmas trees. She doesn't touch ours, but anytime she sees a new one, her mouth drops open! She helps everyone open presents so I think she'll get opening hers in a few days. I can't believe how big she is. It's an amazing difference from last year. But just as fun. :) Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Walking Walking

Aly's walking!! She can stand up in the middle of the floor all by herself now and walks when she has the right incentive :). Crawling is still faster, but if there's a panda or a dog involved she will gladly stand up and walk to get it! We just love our baby girl!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Blog Stalker...I mean Slacker.

Goodness. I'm really good at reading everyone else's blog. I'm just not very good at writing on my own.
Get ready for a bomb of pictures cuz I'm going to try to upload some!
Loren surprised me with a fantastic 21st birthday! We spent the night in Logan eating sushi, cheesecake, and dancing! It was so wonderful to see my friends and to just relax!
This is Alysha's new thing. She points at everything :)

We spent the weekend in Provo/Herriman after my birthday. We went the Brian Stokes Mitchell concert at BYU and then spent the night at Loren's brother's family. They took us to Gardner's village and we spent a great afternoon looking at all the festive witches!
On our way home from Provo we stopped back in Logan to celebrate Loren's brother's birthday and attend Aly's first hockey game. I SIMPLY LOVE HOCKEY. So fun! There were some great fights too :) Night well spent.
Aly's 1st birthday party! We had it a few weeks early so that my mom and grandparents who were visiting could celebrate with us! Aly didn't really enjoy herself cuz travelling gives her a tummyache for a few days, but luckily everyone understood. :) She's so fun!
Aly's new outfit from her Great-Grandma Smith....sorry, I don't know how to rotate! Ugh. This is what I woke up to one morning. Aly had taken her diaper off and there was poop EVERYWHERE. And she was SO proud! :( It was a lot to clean up...
The next few are from our adventures at the Corn Maze! Ignore my appearance...
Aly's 2nd 1st birthday party! This one was the day after her birthday. She loves to read and was very excited about her presents! Again...ignore my appearance.

We got her a ball pit. She loves it! But even with 120 balls we need to buy more. There's just not enough!
Aly's cupcake :)

Loren got Aly a baby stroller and she just LOVES it! It's adorable!!
More with the ball pit.
Aly LOVES peek-a-boo. :D

video If this video uploads...it's a video of Alysha walking with her stroller! She needs NO help and will not take it! However she still can't turn around herself. It adorable.
Happy 1st birthday Alysha! Mommy loves you!!

Her stats:
Height 31.25 inch 98%
Weight 21.5 lbs 75%
Head circumference 17 inch 10%

Friday, September 23, 2011

Recovery

So I'm about recovered from my Tonsillectomy. I just have to say. WOW. That was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I'm so TIRED. I was only eating between 100-300 calories A DAY. I ended up losing 8 lbs and now I'm just working to maintain it. The mornings are still hard cuz going all night without a drink really dries out my throat. But by about noon I'm feeling better again.
I got called 2 weeks ago to be the Nursery Teacher in my ward. Talk about overwhelming. I now have 3 different callings and this is the one that I'm SO afraid of. I really shouldn't be afraid of 2 year olds, but I am! I'm scared of not doing it right. I'm afraid of being completely in charge. I'm afraid of them running wild through the church screaming. I am glad just because I get to take Aly with me so we won't be just walking around the halls of the church anymore. She'll now actually get some other baby time too, which I think will be really good socially for her. It's a huge act of faith for me to have even said yes. I was SO tempted to say no, but I've never been able to see how a person can say no to a calling from the Lord. Obviously he knows better what we need than we do. And so starting Sunday I'll be teaching in the Nursery. Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Bad.

I'm world's worst blogger :). I think about blogging, then I never get around to doing that :).
August:
Alysha has been trying to walk. She's walking while holding our fingers, but she's still a little to scared and unsteady to venture out on her own. Alysha loves to wave, clap, and sing. She's such a ray of sunshine in our lives. Loren and I can't imagine our life without her. I just love when she wakes up laughing and wants to cuddle. Alysha is always hugging us. She loves to read books and she will tell you that a cow says mmmmmmmooooo. :).
We took Aly to Lava Hot Springs for an evening and she LOVED swimming in the warm water. It was a wonderful evening spent with Loren's parents and his sister's family.
On September 4th Loren and I got to celebrate our 1 year anniversary! It's gone by so fast. On the 2nd Loren took me out to dinner at Stockman's and then we went and saw the movie Crazy, Stupid Love. It was VERY funny. On the 3rd Loren was very secretive. At about 8 o'clock he ran out and picked up our baby-sitter. We picked up some chinese food then he blindfolded me. He drove me to his office and led me upstairs. He'd set up a romantic dinner for us on the roof of his office building! He had music playing and lights. It was just beautiful. Then we set up a projector and watched a movie on the side of the building. I was so surprised!
Tuesday I got my tonsils and adenoids out. This is not a good experience. I'm just hoping that it'll be good in the long run. I have not been able to eat anything other than popsicles, jello, and very watered down mashed potatoes. The pain pills make me very nauseous. And without any food in my stomach I feel very weak and dizzy all the time. I have not been able to lay flat for 3 days. The one thing I'm VERY grateful for is that my mom is here taking care of Alysha. And me. She's been so wonderful. And luckily Alysha's been really good too. She's very comfortable with my mom and has not had any issues without me. I just can't wait until I feel better again. Hopefully by next week. But it could be another 10 days according to the doctor. Ugh.

Friday, August 5, 2011

July

Ok truthfully nothing's happened. But everyone else is updating their blogs with these exciting things going on, so I figured I'd let you all know that we're the same as before!

Aly's crawling everywhere, getting into everything, and it's so fun. She climbs up and stuff and scares me to death. She loves getting chased by her dad. She has this high pitched squeal that she'll let out as soon as she thinks she might be close to about being chased! She has decided that nap time is not her thing, but she's SOOOO grouchy by bedtime that I'm still being "mean mom" and making her take one. Currently she's in her bed screaming. Anyone have a way to make it easier?? We do it at the same time everyday, and with the same routine. But she doesn't get it. Morning naps are definitely easier than Afternoon naps. And bedtime's not usually too hard either. Just that dang 3o'clock nap time. Other than that, she's just trying to learn out to be brave enough to walk without holding our hands or the couch. Yesterday was the first time she stood up off the floor by herself without using the couch or someone as leverage, so we're making positive steps towards actual steps! :)
Loren will have been at his job for a year on Monday so he's got a meeting to discuss a raise. :) Wish us luck. Otherwise he's still looking for a part-time job. If anyone knows of anything, or needs computer work done please let me know! He can fix almost anything, clean up virus, etc...macs or pcs, doesn't matter. Thanks for the help!
I'm just trying to become a better housewife and mom. Part of that is actually making dinner for my family every night. It's getting more necessary cuz AlyRae doesn't like baby food anymore. She only wants the good stuff that she can feed herself. That means I need to make some of that! I made myself a really cute menu board out of a mirror and have been using that to get a little more organized. So progress is happening. :)
We're just looking forward to 2 weddings this month. Loren is a groomsman in one and the best man in another so we're going to be busy with that! Stay tuned :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Fantastic Four(th)

The Fourth of July has always been my favorite holiday! I love the parades, the sunshine, the bbqs, the family, the fireworks, all the people!! I just love a good party. This year was especially special cuz it was Alysha's first year! Loren and I were so excited to show her everything and see her reactions! I got up early and made us breakfast and then we got ready to leave for the parade. Loren made Aly's hair all spiky and I sprayed it with glitter and stuck a hair bow in. Surprisingly she did REALLY well keeping it in this time. Sometimes she's not as good :). We found a great place to watch the parade. Alysha caught the eye of lots of people in the parade and lots of spectators. It's cuz she's so cute :). Halfway through she fells asleep. I was shocked at how she could sleep through loud music, sirens, and honking horns. We went home and made burgers and had a great bbq with some friends. We decided to go down to the Liberty Festival at the Falls. I got a beloved snocone :) and we walked around all the booths. We went to where we wanted to sit, but just as we got close we learned that the bridge we needed to take was closed cuz it was flooded! Luckily we saw a small piece of grass that hadn't been blocked off by other people and we grabbed it. Somehow we missed the signs that said fall-out zone...The fireworks started and we learned just how amazing our seats were. We felt like we were right in the fireworks. They were directly above us! It was absolutely amazing. Then we realized that sparks and cardboard and other debris was showering down on us. I swallowed part of a firework and when we got home Loren and I both discovered debris in our hair :). But it was absolutely amazing. They were so beautiful. And the cutest part was AlyRae. She started giggling like crazy. I thought she would be a little scared or something, but she LOVED it. At first she just sat there with her mouth hanging wide open, but then she started laughing so hard! It was adorable. I can't find our camera cord or else there would be videos and pictures here, so stay tuned. :) Over all it was an amazing day. I am so lucky to have Loren and Alysha in my life. I am SO happy!

Catch up

So I got my wisdom teeth out a few weeks. I was really worried about it cuz I had never had any work done on my mouth other than cavities and braces. I don't consider that a huge amount of work. But Loren reassured me that it wasn't going to be too bad by telling me, "Just imagine getting hit in the mouth by a semi-truck." That helped a ton :). It was that bad. I couldn't eat real food for a few days because my sockets were so sore. But I think that the worst pain was my jaw. Having my jaw held open for 2 hours made it so so so sore. I was on 800 mg of Ibuprofen for 2 weeks. But it's getting better and I guess it was a good thing that I got it done :).
The day after I got my teeth pulled we headed to Utah to go camping with my family. It was so much fun!! We partied in Payson for a few days. We tried fishing, we took some walks, we played games, and we ate great food! Oh and we battled 100 degree temperatures, termites, and mosquitoes. ew. At one I fell asleep in a hammock and got a stellar tanline on my arm.
On Saturday we left camping and went back up to Logan for Loren's little sister's wedding. In the sun. I thought I was going to die cuz I was SO hot! But it was a beautiful day and it was wonderful to see the siblings :). Only 1 of 12 kids was missing. I met Loren's brother and his wife and kids that I had never met, and now I know the whole family! It was a fun time and then we drove home that night. We discovered that Alysha gets car sick. It could have just been spending all day in the sun, but Loren and I both get sick so I'm thinking that she just takes after us. We stopped to clean her up at 1130 at night and two cops pull up behind us. They were just checking to make sure we hadn't hit a tractor tire that I guess what in the middle of the road? But it scared me to see their lights that late anyway!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Oops

Oops. Sorry blogging community. I have been seriously lacking in the communication department. Updates:
Alysha is growing so fast! I am having a hard time keeping up with all the changes :(. She's got almost 3 teeth now and is crawling so good. Today she started actually crawling on her knees and not just army crawling and she is getting stronger and stronger. She's eating constantly and loves graham crackers and strawberries. Also applesauce and watermelon. And today we introduced honey nut cheerios to her diet. A new favorite for sure :). She loves anything with bells and balls and her stuffed animals. And luckily right now she's taking a nap :D.
I started a new job about a month ago at a daycare and I love it. I'm tired everyday and I am finding a new hate for everything 6 years old, but it's worth it :). Also I am getting my wisdom teeth out cuz they're growing in and it's the most painful thing ever! When your mouth hurts everything hurts. Now I totally understand what Aly goes through getting these new teeth. I also quit my hospice job and last weekend was my first weekend off in forever and Loren and I enjoyed it so much!! We walked around a few farmer's markets in town and a beautiful little water way. We also walked through a couple brand new houses.
Loren and I are looking forward to going camping with some family next week and then his sister Hannah is getting married next Saturday. We're very excited to get to spend 5 days together without any work and to get to see our families.
I don't know if I posted about my trip to DC. Alysha and I had an awesome time with my family! We spent 2 weeks playing tourist. It was a fabulous vacation and I can't wait to take Loren back there sometime soon!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Aly's 6 month stats

Ok went to the dr today. Aly's large for her age. Surprise surprise :). She's 17 1/2 lbs and 27 1/2 inch long. He says she's developing on schedule. Now she's teething. Today's been so hard! She cried all night and anytime I put her down today she screams. I can't do anything! Plus, for some reason I am really clumsy. I spilled a Jamba all over my car. The dr says that everyone has good and bad days and that includes babies. I just wish that Aly and I didn't both have bad days on the same day!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Skirt!

Ok I'm in love with this website...(Thanks a lot Candace!) And I found this pattern for a skirt and I made it and I'm definitely in love! I'll post pix of my finished skirt later, hopefully I'm actually getting a camera this week so I'll be able to take a nicer picture. But here's the pattern to check out!
http://www.rufflesandstuff.com/2011/03/3-way-skirtdress-tutorial.html

Happy Crafting!

Friday, March 18, 2011

A rough March

So this month has been a little crazy, but Loren and I are SO blessed!

At the beginning of February Loren and I found out that tho I was on birth control, I was pregnant again. At first we were very very shocked and thrown aback, but we got used to the idea and were getting very excited to have another baby. At my appointment in March we found out that something had gone wrong. I had a blighted ovum. It was a genetic disorder doomed to fail from the beginning. The embryo had been reabsorbed into my uterus and left the placenta and egg sac behind. It can continue to grow for 3 months without realizing that there's no baby and just giving my body false pregnancy symptoms. But when my doctor couldn't find a heartbeat, she knew that this had happened. We were very devastated. The first day was extremely hard, but it got better. I started to be more grateful that I was not going to have 2 kids a year apart. We decided to get out of town for a few days and be with family. So the next day we loaded Alysha and all her stuff into the car and drove to Logan for 3 days. As soon as we walked into Loren's parent's house Alysha started coughing and sneezing. We assumed that Aly was allergic to animals like Loren is (his parent's have 3 cats and a dog). She was miserable all weekend. And we were too cuz we had to spend all night walking her around and trying to get her to calm down enough to sleep. But she kept coughing and choking and crying. We hoped that as soon as we got home she would get better as we have no animals! And Sunday night she seemed to be a little bit better. But while I was at the gym on Monday I got a desperate call from Loren to come back home. Alysha was throwing up everything all over. She had mucus all over her face and was crying and choking again. So we put her in the van and we to the ER. After about 2 1/2 hours we got the diagnosis of RSV. They gave her a breathing treatment and sent her home. We let her sleep in her car seat to keep her up a little higher and we had to feed her PediaLite because the formula was giving her too much mucus. Luckily by Friday she was doing a lot better!! We were very very grateful not to have had to admit her to the hospital.
Since she's been better she's definitely found her upper range! I spent most of Sunday in the hallway because Aly was shouting. She thinks it's the funniest thing ever. And it is! While we're at home. Not church. One older woman in our ward told me, we spend so much energy getting them to talk, then we trying our hardest getting them to stop!! But we love AlyRae and we love that she's starting to communicate better with us!! :D
Hope your month was better than ours!! Aly and I are looking forward to April when we get to go visit my parents and family in Virginia for 2 weeks. Look forward for our DC post and pictures! :D

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine's Day

I just had to post how much I love my husband!! I am so lucky to have someone who will stand beside me and take such good care of our family. He is a wonderful dad and husband and I love him so much!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Musical Crazy

So I've always loved music and movies and particularly musicals! I spent many hours watching musicals while I was pregnant with Alysha, mostly my favorite, The Music Man with Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth. Since Alysha was born we've been very aware that she LOVES music! She will calm down immediately whenever I play it and she screams in the car until the radio gets turned up. The funny thing is that the music that works the best still is from The Music Man. She turns towards the TV and stops everything she's concentrating on when she hears Kristin start to sing! Hopefully this means that she will grow up to be a huge Broadway star :D.

Monday, January 24, 2011

3 month birthday

I just can't believe how fast little Aly is growing up! Everyday is wonderful. Some days are better than others, but she always can find a way to put a smile on my face...even when I'm so frustrated!
We just got her a bouncer and she ADORES it!! It has a couple elephants that hang down and she yells at it all day and just loves it when she hits it and it swings back! See the bouncer here...
We have so much fun everyday and it just gets better and better! We love you so much Alysha Renae!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

...

hmmm...forgot one thing...comments=love :D thanks!

January...so far...

And here we are to the new year! Already it's been great! ...Bittersweet.
My job finally started to pick up. I'm working every Friday, which makes me happy cuz I have some way to give back and feel like I'm making a difference in someone's life again. My best friend Allison is willing to babysit for me in exchange for using my washer and dryer! She's been such a blessing and a life saver! She's so good to Aly and I'm very very grateful to not have to pay for daycare.
We spent a wonderful time with my parents last night. Kinda a last hurrah for them in Idaho. We went to dinner at Cafe Rio and then enjoyed a couple hours in the hotel pool. Playing Marco Polo and swimming races. Then this morning they started the long drive to Washington D.C. My dad is starting a new job there and they're very excited for a new adventure! I'm happy for them to be able to try something/place new, but I'm gonna miss having them across town! And I'm a little bit jealous of their experience too...;). But Loren and I are planning on taking AlyRae across the country to visit her Granny and Grandpa Howell!

December and 1st Christmas!!

December was full of miracles for us! As all newlyweds and new parents can probably test. It's hard. It's work. And making ends meet is especially hard at the holiday season. Halfway through the month Loren was blessed with a raise at work. He was already getting benefits, but now he's making salary and getting paid holidays and vacation. We were so grateful!! But there was one particularly hard day. We were at the point where we were pretty sure we couldn't get a Christmas tree which was VERY difficult for me to accept. I am so used to having one! And it didn't feel quite like Christmas without it. Loren kept telling me that it would be ok and so I was believing him. That night we decided to get out of the house. So we went to his co-worker's wife's dance recital. (Which happened to be free). Afterward we drove down Candy Cane Lane to look at all the lights. At the end of the street was a house beautifully decorated with Santa and Mrs. Claus sitting out front! So we stopped and asked to take a picture of Alysha with them. They were so nice and we got Aly's 1st Christmas documented with Santa Claus. :) (Again. Free.) I was so excited to get a picture that I didn't have to pay $12 at the mall for!
Then we went to Walmart to pick up some baby formula and some Christmas lights which Loren said he was going to use to decorate the apartment and make it feel a little bit more like the holiday season. With all the coupons we had we only owed 26 cents. I was thinking that was pretty amazing, and then the cashier said, "oh don't worry about it." A previous customer had not accepted his change and it was still sitting on the register. It was 26 cents. We decided to push it a little farther by going to dinner at Famous Dave's. (Loren's newest favorite BBQ place.) I had gotten him a gift card for his birthday a couple weeks earlier which we were going to use. I realize that this was technically paid for with our own money, but the point is that it was money already spent and put aside for when we needed a treat. Including the tip it came to $30. Exactly the amount of the gift card. Loren had a surprise for me when we got home. He'd called a friend of his and told him our situation with the Christmas tree and asked if they happened to have an extra plastic tree. He did and they got it into the van without me noticing at the dance recital. Once I learned what he'd done and put together everything else that had happened that night, I started crying. I was so overwhelmed by how blessed we had been! We spent the rest of the evening decorating our beautiful tree and being grateful for everything we'd been given!
We spent a wonderful Christmas eve with my parents, siblings, and a good family friend. Christmas morning we went back to my parent's house for breakfast, presents, and fun! :) We played with new games, tried on new clothes, and spent some wonderful time together as a family. Loren and I were so happy to be spending our 1st Christmas together and getting to share it with our beautiful little girl!! Loren got me the most wonderful coat!! It's Calvin Klein and puffy and white! It's got down feathers and I LOVE it SO much! It was the one thing that I wanted for Christmas and he got it for me. What an amazing guy! I needed a warm coat so badly and now I'm not cold anymore!
The week after Christmas we took a quick trip down to Logan for Angela's wedding! It was a very very cold day, but it was beautiful. Angela and Bryan are so happy together! It was great to get to share in their joy. Thanks guys!!
We ended the year exactly how we wanted to. Together.

November

Bringing Alysha home was quite the adventure, but by November I'd pretty well settled into a routine everyday. We had a little bit of trouble at the beginning of the month with Aly's weight, but she finally started eating correctly and she started gaining weight, and once she started, she picked up speed!! We spent our days cuddling, watching Ellen and Oprah and the news, and trying to figure out the whole mommy thing! :) Loren had totaled out his car in September and then at the end of October, the car was a victim of a hit and run in front of our apartment. So needless to say we were ready to get rid of it! So we took the insurance money we got from it and bought my parent's van. They were selling it because they didn't want to move it to Washington D.C. with them. We have loved it so far! I love having all the trunk space and it's so much more reliable than my little 24 year old Honda :). Loren hates paying so much in gas, but I feel it's worth it to know that I'm not gonna be stranded in the middle of the street again. (Which happened in September.)
We decided to make a long trip all over Northern Utah for Thanksgiving. We left after Loren got off work on Wednesday and drove through "the blizzard of 2010" to Logan for the night. It took us over 3 hours to get there. It normally takes me about 2 or even just under 2 hours. Thursday morning we drove to Herriman, Ut to eat with a couple of Loren's siblings and their families. We had a fabulous feast prepared by Marlene and then we had a great time hanging out with Jeremy's family for the rest of the day. What a neat family they are. They're so welcoming! They had just moved into a new house and it was BEAUTIFUL! We watched the deer outside and enjoyed being together. We stayed there that night then left in the morning for my grandma and grandpa Howell's cabin. Alysha was so good! There were tons of people there and she did very well getting passed around all weekend! Though by the time we got home, all she wanted was her mom. :) good for me :). So Friday we ate another Thanksgiving dinner with my grandparents, and my parents, and all my dad's 5 siblings and all their children. The only person missing was my cousin who is living and working in California. It was the last time that was going to happen for a very long time so we were all very happy to be together!! We took a huge family picture and spent some time together out in the snow and doing crafts. My smart mom brought all the stuff for each family to make a "kisses" advent calendar.
On Saturday Loren and I headed back up to Logan, making stops along the way to a few more of his sibling's houses to show off AlyRae! She really is the center of our lives :D. We then met up with some friends in Logan, again to let them meet our baby, and had dinner and Spoon Me! :)
Thanksgiving weekend was a great success. We had a wonderful time visiting with so much family and we were SO grateful for such a great baby that tolerated all our driving around!

Friday Night

So while my baby and my husband are sleeping, I thought I'd catch up on my blog! So here come a whole lotta posts!!!