Monday, December 26, 2011


Thursday, December 22, 2011

3 Months!

Noelle is 3 months old today. Despite her dad's insistence that she should no longer be colicky, she still spends a fair amount of time a day screaming, but other than that, she loves to smile, to look at faces (especially baby faces) and to watch tv (really... It's weird). She likes to sit up, with assistance, and to bounce in her chair. She had her first cold last week but is getting better now. She even started sleeping through the night, though she has since stopped that behavior. She hasn't quite found her hands yet, but she's starting to pull things to her mouth more often. She's starting to drool like crazy so we know teeth are on their way...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Noelle's Blessing

Last week, Zach blessed my sweet baby in Church. He blessed her to be a light to those around her, and to grow in testimony and faith, among other things. She did so well. She fussed up until the blessing and then right after, and even though she spat up, spat her binky onto the floor and was wide awake during the prayer, she didn't cry, which was nice. The hardest part was getting her into her dress!
(a beautiful crocheted dress from Nana Jenkins)

Monday, November 21, 2011

On the Hunt for the Elusive Smile

Noelle has been smiling a lot lately, and we've been on a quest to capture it photographically.

And, as you can see, we've been failing. I think she's teasing us.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Two things I've learnt this week

1. You cannot light a match on sandpaper. Pinterest, you failed me.

2. You can shred chicken quickly and effectively in a kitchenaid. Pinterest, you've redeemed yourself.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

When pregnant, many women feel the need to create a birth plan - to put their preferences down on paper and make sure everyone is fully aware of them. I never made a birth plan because I figured that we would just play it by ear. Well, I never wrote one down. Naturally, I just wanted to do whatever was best for Ellie without getting stressed if her plan didn't coincide with my carefully laid plan. But I did have ideas. I didn't want drugs, I didn't want to throw up, I didn't want to feel like I was dying, I didn't want a c-section. I wanted a healthy baby. As it turns out, Ellie came into the world just as I would have had her do, unmedicated, relatively quickly, and completely healthy.

Fast forward a few weeks. Now I have no plan, not because I'm trying to play it by ear, but because I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing! Ha! As a new mum, I feel like I'm the infant who is brand new to this world and doesn't know a thing, scrambling to find out that one elusive thing that will please and satisfy my baby. And no matter what it is, I'll do it. But still, I have ideas of what this should all be like; ideas about what should work and how things should go. Ellie is 7 weeks old today, and things have not gone according to my [non] plans at all.

At around 4 or 5 weeks old, my quiet sleepy baby decided to cry. And I mean cry. Now, it's not like she was going for 5 hours straight or anything, but it felt like if she was awake, she was screaming. It's was enough to make you want to cry/ actually cry your eyes out.

In my heart of hearts, I thought that Formula was bad and that I would be a bad mum for giving my baby formula... but here's the secret: hungry baby does NOT equal happy baby. As the past few days have testified to Zach and me, Noelle was screaming non-stop because she just wasn't getting enough to eat (despite 2-3 hour long nursing sessions) or enough sleep (because she was hungry).

As we caved and started to supplement breast milk with formula, Noelle has been sleeping much better and screaming much less. I guess giving formula to your baby isn't nearly as bad as letting her starve after all. ;) [although, fair warning, the poop is much stinkier]

The point is, I'm not going to feel bad about it. My baby is growing, she's developing, and she's happy [at least sometimes now] so I'm beginning to learn that despite my plans [and all the advice in the world] I'm going to do what works for my baby. I'm going to do what's best for her because I love her and because I am her parent and she relies on me in a way that no one else ever will [what a scaring thought...]

And, just so you can see how big my baby is getting:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Getting Ready for Winter

Monday, October 31, 2011


I hate Halloween.  Ok, I don't "hate" it (I mean it does involve lots and lots of candy after all), but it definitely is not my favourite holiday.  When summer quickly starts to fade into fall and the leaves on the trees begin to change and drop, the air seems thick with looming holiday festiveness (and rain...) but I can't ever seem to get geared up for Halloween, especially when Christmas draws nearer and nearer still.  The very mention of Christmas puts a smile on my face, so I guess I like Halloween in that it marks another milestone in bringing Christmas cheer even closer.  But that's it. 

Burrito Ellie

Ellie's Opinion of Halloween:

Despite my lack of enthusiasm, we did put our 5 week old baby in a costume (for 30 seconds) because it involved felt tomato slices and lettuce leaves (that I was going to make anyways) and a swaddle blanket (aka a piece of beige flannel) and it was just so darn cute.  Maybe now that we have a child, I will get more into the Halloween spirit... maybe next year Zach and I will even dress up too, but don't quote me on that.  However, if Noelle's costume is anymore complicated than a piece of cloth I might have to start working on it now just to have it done in time... 

Friday, October 21, 2011

1 Month Old!

Our teeny weeny baby is a month old! She still likes to have her hands up by her face, she still doesn't sleep in her crib (or anywhere else that isn't on mum or dad, really), she still loves to play in the bath and she still eats and sleeps a lot. She is just now starting to fit into her newborn onesies and shirts but her newborn pajamas are nearly too short (she has long skinny legs and long feet). She's starting to smile more and coo and just when we think we're starting to get a schedule worked out she decides to want and need something entirely different. I guess that's just part of parenthood though...

Monday, October 17, 2011

You Know You have a Newborn When...

- Your baby's dressed in an adorable outfit while you forget to even wear pants... and if on the off-chance you remember to put pants on, they are covered in pee, poop, and milk.

- You cry when you inevitably drop that ounce of milk you just spent an hour pumping on the floor and it spills everywhere (you also tear up when it takes your infant approximately 22 seconds to drink the 2 ounces of milk that it took you an entire day to collect!)

- It takes you at least three days to plan and prepare to sweep the bathroom floor

- The word "multitasking" has taken on a completely new meaning... You constantly surprise yourself what you can now accomplish with one hand.

- Getting dressed in the morning often involves putting on pj's... at least they're clean though... sometimes...

- You are unnaturally interested in poop and puke.

- You're getting ready for bed when you realize you haven't eaten anything but granola bars all day long.

- You do laundry every day.

- Most days, you can't even remember your name

- You love a tiny, squirming, pooping, spitting-up, and screaming creature more than you could ever imagine and are willing to forgo every shower/ hot meal/ minute to yourself forever just to take of that little baby.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Yesterday, we celebrated Thanksgiving with a huge dinner. The turkey weighed 3 times what Noelle weighs (which as of Friday was 6lbs 1oz yay!) and we ate a ton of it! It was also Ellie's first time going to Church and she did great. She slept through the first block, ate through the second, and slept through the third!

Ellie and Mum before Church:

Ellie vs. Turkey:

Ellie and Dad in milk/ turkey comas respectively:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

2 Weeks Old!

Today is Ellie's due date! Whenever I look at her now, I'm nothing but shocked to think that she ever fit in my belly at all (and she's still tiny... we will find out tomorrow if she's back up to her birth weight yet...). Anyways, instead of celebrating a brand new baby today, we have a 2 week old baby who is quickly teaching us all about who she is and what she does/ doesn't like.

At 2 weeks:
- Ellie sleeps - a lot.
- She's got a record of 2 good nights in a row!
- She still likes to have her hands up on her face when she's sleeping
- She found her thumb and sucked it (once or twice... it was the cutest thing in the world)
- She needs to be swaddled at night, otherwise she wakes herself up kicking
- Ellie loves music and her play mat
- She loves her bath, but hates to get out of the water
- She likes to be cuddled and for her back to be patted
- She has fuzzy hair and her dad's dark hazel eyes
- She still sleeps with Mum and Dad because she doesn't like to sleep alone at night
- When she's really hungry and routing around for food, she snorts like a piggy
- She falls asleep the second we put her in the car or stroller
- She will kick herself off your lap if you're not holding on tight(learned that one the hard way...)
- And... she ROLLS OVER! We put her on her back and she will roll over onto her side, back to her back and then over onto her other side... We're hoping that when she gets a little fatter, she won't be able to move around so much :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Yesterday, between sessions of General Conference, we should have napped (Ellie doesn't think it's bedtime until 2:30am these days...) but instead we went on a walk into town. On our way back, we found these sunflowers that were as big as Noelle. Sunflowers make me think of the end of summer and the beginning of fall which is always an exciting transition for me. And since Ellie was born on the last day of summer, her birth will always be a part of this seasonal transition.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Just Relaxing

My baby is a week old! When she stretches out and squirms around, I can't help but be amazed that last week, she was inside me (kicking). She loves to cuddle and to play. Zach helps Ellie do her "exercises" every evening which she tolerates. Yesterday, she even found her tongue! Now if only she'd figure out that night is for sleeping and day is for playing...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Baby Ellie at 5 Days Old

Ellie is finally eating (and eating and eating and eating). She slept really well last night too - she woke every 1.5/2 hours to feed but she hardly fussed at all. She was so happy (and hungry) today and we're starting to work out our own routine as a family. Zach's going back to work tomorrow, so we'll see how Ellie and I hold up on our own...

Noelle's First Tummy Time!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Baby Story!

While Noelle is snoozing away, I can't help but take a minute to record how she can into our lives a few days ago. I feel like if I don't write everything down, I'm going to forget all the special little things that brought us so much joy (and pain).

First of all, when Zach and I moved to Canada, we each picked a day that we thought Noelle would be born. Her first due date was Sept 16th, but was measuring too small so her due date got moved back to October 6th. While Zach chose Sept 27th as his day, I chose Sept 22nd as mine (two weeks early). And lo and behold, Ellie is such a Momma's girl, my water broke Sept 21st at 9:30pm. So, in short, I won the bet, but I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.

On Wednesday, Zach and I set up our new bed in our new suite. We were feeling pretty good because while the suite still isn't quite finished, it was at least liveable with a bed in it! Just as we were setting some things up, I told Zach that I thought my water broke and as I continued to leak amniotic fluid everywhere, I became more and more sure. I wasn't having any contractions at all though. Because of family history of really fast labor, we decided that we should just head to the hospital to be safe.

We got there at around 10:00, it was pouring rain and of course we forgot our coats (and Zach forgot change for parking and the phone charger...). I got checked and was 2cm dilated (boo!) and after a bit, they sent us home.

We went to bed and at 2:20am I woke up with contractions. We started timing them and by 4am they were coming consistently every 3 min - so we grabbed our coats and headed back to the hospital.

At the hospital I was now 3cm dilated so they admitted me because of that and because my water had already ruptured. Everything was going well until it just wasn't anymore! Contractions slowed right down and I had to walk the halls to get them going. I was frustrated and so tired. I was so happy when at 11:00am we got sent home again because it meant I could take a nap and not stress about getting the baby out.

At around 3:00pm I began to feel what a "real" contraction feels like (it hurts!). By 4:30, I was in tears with each one so we got ushered off by my Mum to the hospital again. (we forgot our coats again...) This time, I was 5cm with painful contractions every 3 minutes.

I was not a stalwart happy camper at all. I was in pain and nauseous and really really uncomfortable. After awhile, I was started on Fentinol (a narcotic) which was supposed to "take the edge off contractions" (yah right). The nurses had to try three times to get the IV in so the drug could be administered and then it only made a difference during the first contraction immediately afterwards. The next nurse later told me that the drug doesn't really prevent the pain anyways. Gee, thanks! Finally, I was in so much pain, I begged for the epidural, hoping for some kind of relief. But I was already fully dilated and ready to push! (after 3 hours in the hospital).

All of a sudden, I was surrounded by nurses and tables for the baby and my doctor was there and I was pushing. Which wasn't super fun either. Because of the drug, I kept telling them that I couldn't do it and that they had to get the baby out NOW! After nearly an hour and the baby started to crown, it hurt so badly, I changed my mind and told them just to put her back in because really, it hurt much less with her in than with her half in and half out!

At 9:05 after the most intense pain of my life, Noelle really did pop out (I always got mad at Zach for saying she would "pop" out like it was so easy...). She was so small that after her head, her shoulders and body just slid right out. She was perfect and beautiful and precious and ours!

Despite Zach's reluctance, Dr. Wilson got him to cut the cord (which he says looked like the Elder Wand! haha...) and we waited for the afterbirth. I felt so much joy and relief and love. It was beautiful.

The nurses weighed Noelle at 5lbs 11oz, and 18in long. She was bright red and healthy and just perfect. Meanwhile, we waited and waited and waited for the placenta to deliver. I only pushed with Noelle for an hour and after longer than that waiting for the placenta to come out, my doctor decided to try to manually pull it out (which, after having just pushed a baby out was NOT super fun or comfortable at all). It hurt like contractions all over again. And... it didn't work! She could get the placenta to disengage from the uterus so a specialist had to come in and then he tried to pull it out too (also felt great! only NOT!). He couldn't get it either so I had to go to the OR to have them put me under and then get it out and stitch up my tears. I don't remember a lot after that until the next morning when I woke up with Zach sleeping on the floor next to me and a baby at the foot of my bed!

It's so surreal that she's really ours and that we are responsible for taking care of her and teaching her and loving her and being her parents. We went home yesterday with our sweet baby Ellie and she's doing just great. She's learning to nurse and to do what babies do. We love her so much and are so excited to get to know her and to have her as part of our family forever!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Almost There...

While most of our apartment still looks like this:

And this:

The baby's room is finally ALMOST DONE! It's a good thing she decided to measure small and have her due date pushed back three weeks otherwise we wouldn't have made it. We still need to put up shelves in the trees and a few other little things, but it's really and truly ALMOST DONE! (Can you tell that we're excited to almost be done moving and building and fixing and unpacking after nearly 3 months??)

Zach refinished the glider for me and I made new cushions for it. He also made all the shelving in the closet. I made the curtains and the bedding and the changing pad cover. I made the poms above the crib and our good friend Chelsey Hancock made the adorable button "N" above the bookcases. I still have a few more pictures to get up too...


We're really excited to get the apartment all finished and have our own place (obviously) but we're even more excited to welcome Baby Ellie home in a few more weeks and to be able to spend time together as a family.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Welcome September

When Zach and I decided to move to Canada, we decided that it was the very best thing for our family while ignoring one very large stipulation: we wouldn't have any health insurance until September 1st. And when you expecting a baby sometime in late September/ early October, that's kind of a big stipulation just to ignore. But it's September today, and I am officially health insured again! Yipee! If fact, not having insurance these past two months has really helped me to be super patient about having this baby. I know a lot of people get really anxious towards the end of their pregnancies, but as of right now, I'm feeling really content waiting some more... Maybe that has to do with the fact that the suite isn't quite finished yet though.... I am excited to go to the doctor tomorrow because I haven't been in a month!! Hopefully all goes well and baby's measuring good and happy!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Saturday Trip to Victoria

Zach and I drove down to Victoria yesterday for my old friend Wade's wedding. It was a lot of fun to be able to see some long-lost friends and to be able to celebrate Wade's marriage. Zach and I also went to the Oak Bay Marina to look at the boats... but it was so hot we were forced to take refuge in the nearest Dairy Queen!

In other news, my belly is huge and Zach just got a new calling in Church as a Faith in God leader which means he gets to work with the cubs. He's pretty excited about it I think. There are 13 very active boys in the program who lost no time at all in telling him that the way the program works is that they play dodgeball every week! We'll see if that's the way it will continue...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I've been meaning to blog for awhile now, the problem was just coming up with something worthwhile to write about. My camera batteries are dead so I can't even blog about all the headbands I've been making lately... But seeing as it's Sunday, I thought I'd write about something that's been on my mind this week.

A few days ago, zach and I were reading in Ether in the Book of Mormon. We read chapter 6 which is where Jared and the Brother of Jared make the journey across the sea to the Promised land. While they were traveling, they were constantly tossed to and fro and buried In the depths of the sea. It sounded like a trying trip to me and it lasted 344 days. What really struck me about this story is that the people were so grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord (the wind, the storms etc) that eventually got them to the Promised land. In verse 8, it says that "that the wind did never cease to blow towards the Promised land while they were upon the waters."

How often do we feel like we're being tossed all around from one trial to another, through one storm straight into the next without realizing that the Lord is constantly directing the wind and the waves to lead us to the promised land, or in other words, back to Him? I know that God is our Loving Heavenly Father and that He truly does have a plan for us that will enable us to be the best people we can be, even though it feels sometimes like we're left alone to fight through the storms of life ourselves.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Crazy Life we Lead

So, a few weeks ago, I won a game of rock paper scissors. And then we decided to move to Canada in exactly one week. We said goodbye to our friends and family, our apartment (which got leased in one day = huge blessing!), our lovely ward, our bountiful garden (Amber, is it dead yet?), and a bunch of other stuff. But the last straw? My houseplant. I nearly broke down when Zach suggested we throw it away (you can't take plants across the border...). I have a reputation for killing plants and that one (his name was Fritz) had nearly survived to see his first birthday. It was such a huge feat for me and he was so green and pretty that I left him outside the front door instead of in the dumpster. I can only hope the new tenants accepted him into their family.

Since we've been here? Zach saw a bear up the mountain. We saw 30 bald eagles in a bay in Courtney and then we went back another time to take pictures. There was only one there that night, but the beach was littered with fish carcasses and heads of the eagles' lunch. We're slowly settling in and eagerly awaiting the flooring to be installed in our soon to be basement suite so we can move into it at least a little.

Our girl is growing a ton and kicking a ton too. Zach was surprised to know how hard she kicks when he actually saw my belly move. I don't mind those ones at all, but she's also developed the awesome habit of kicking my bladder every 5 minutes which really isn't as cute.