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This Week

^^^ Fever all week.  The time we actually left the house he went naked.
^^^ Swimming at Grandma’s.  Pre fever
^^^ Another shot of Jack’s room.  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.
^^^ Sometimes you just need something new.  This dress made it into my bag.  Its super comfortable and since its 10 million degrees outside this keeps me cool.
^^^ Pearl got a haircut.  This is the shortest we’ve ever gone with her.  Not sure how I feel about it.
^^^ Celebrated Ivan’s birthday two days early.  Just the two of us.  It was pretty great until he started throwing up 6 hours later.
^^^ Walked in the sweltering heat.  Anything to get outside.
^^^ Realized I left our leftover out over night, yeah that sucked.
^^^ Burning this candle everyday.  I know it sounds weird but really its good if you like that woodsy smell.
^^^ Spending summer break rotting our brains.
Teething, it sucks.
^^^ This outfit on repeat.  Every.  Single.  Day.  Along with do I look like Elsa?
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OREGON / SEATTLE 2014- CITY GUIDE

We love going to Oregon to visit Grandma and Grandpa Raile.  Their house on the coast is so relaxing.  This year Grandma had to fly back to Az last minute so we had her house to ourselves.  We stayed in Oregon half the week and then decided to head up to Seattle the other half.  Man I love that city.  A big city will a small town feel.  So much good food and so fun to wander around.

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Mothers Day

This may be the most random mix of pictures but I can’t let this day go undocumented. This Mothers day Ivan’s mom was out of town so we ended up going to Pine to be with my family.  I never imagined what a blessing motherhood would be.  I love seeing these babes change and grow into their own.  The days can be monotonous.  Wiping rear ends and picking food out of the rug can get old.  But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Raising these amazing little babies really is amazing.  They’re funny and witty, they crack me up and bring me to tears all at the same time.  I could have a baby in the home for the rest of my life and be completely happy.  I love being able to stay home and raise them.  I am so grateful to Ivan for that.  The days are long but the years are short.  I’m trying to cherish these long days.  Happy Mothers Day to all the mommas out there.
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Life Lately

I’m getting used to this small house, farm living life.  When we first started looking for a house we both agreed we needed more space.  We had slowly downsized the past few houses from 4,000 sq. ft to 2,400 and we were dying in that.  When we saw this house I just knew this was the one.  It was small we even left and laughed that there was no way.  Before we got home I told Ivan to go back.  I said I think it can work.  My sister lives in California and everything in California is on a much smaller scale.  So when I told her the size of our house she laughed and said that would be like a mansion to them.  She’s helped me realize we live in excess.  We buy more and more junk and fill up our houses until they are cluttered and we are constantly cleaning just to keep the clutter at bay.  Why do we torture ourselves?  Why do we hang on to useless crap?  Do you ever go to a hotel and think, I could live like this?  This is actually really nice, I have what I need.  I do.  So Ive been on a quest to de-clutter the house, get rid of stuff and simplify.  Can I just tell you how freeing it is.  I still have a ways to go.  But man have I gotten rid of so much stuff and its like a weight lifted.  You should try it. Just watch an episode of hoarders buried alive.  It’ll get your buns cleaning in no time.  I love having my family so close together in this house, it doesn’t feel small because we spend so much time outside.  Which is one thing we never did in our last tiny backyard.  We are on over an acre and we have huge trees that sway in the wind, I really love that sound.  Its peaceful in the backyard.  I feel like I’m in a small town but I get to be right in the middle of the city.  Its pretty perfect.

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Life Lately

^^^ This picture is childhood perfection.
^^^ This suit might bring out the worst in her.  Little stinker.
^^^ Really is there anything better than your kids loving each other?  I think not.
^^^ We got concrete
^^^ Made Valentines crowns
^^^ Practicing her gymnastics
^^^ Jacks first basketball game.  We decided season tickets are a must next year.
^^^ Jack goes to church.  It was a big deal!
^^^ We wore red to kick off CHD awareness week
^^^ The Gilbert LDS Temple is complete and we took the kids through.  It was amazing.
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^^^ This little lady helped me make cupcakes.  I’m still on the hunt for the perfect white cupcake recipe.
^^^ We go to the new house everyday after school.  The kids are outside all afternoon and are always bummed to go home.
^^^ This sass talked her dad into letting her get a bikini.  I have no idea how since Ava has never been allowed to wear one.  Oh how she loves it, she wants to wear it everyday and can’t stop saying she can’t believe her dad let her get it.
^^^ Not the clearest picture, but I just love that gap in his teeth.  Ive never had a baby with a gappy smile until now and I sure do love it!
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Last night I looked over at Ivan and said “Do you realize Elle is going to kindergarten in a year and it will just be me and Jack?”  He looked over at me like I was nuts and said yes.  I’ve never sent one off to school and not been pregnant or had two at home to look after.  What are Jack and I going to do all day?  My babies are growing up.  I know that’s life but I don’t have to like it, do I?  When Ava and Henri were younger life seemed slower.  I thought I had forever with them.  I enrolled them in everything feeling like we’d be bored just sitting at home.  Now all I want to do is sit at home with my babies close by.  Lately my kids growing up has been on my mind so much.  The thought of being done having babies is so hard for me to get used to.  I’d love another, heck I’d be the happiest girl in the world if I could raise a baby for the rest of my life.  I know I don’t have to be done, I could have another.  But I’m too scared.  What if something was wrong?  I couldn’t do it again, it would break me.  I’m really happy with my healthy family.  I’m so blessed to have four babies.  I look at Jack, such a miracle.  This boy growing up right before my eyes, beautiful and full of happiness.  Those days of sitting in the hospital wondering if I’d see him grow up, wondering what he’d look like, if he’d be like his brother.  Here he is and I enjoy him so so much.  For now this is it for my family as much as it saddens me to think of never holding a brand new baby straight from heaven in my arms again I am so grateful to have these beautiful angels.  A friend of mine told me this fun idea, she posts her favorite picture of each of her kids from that week.  I’m getting a late start but here it is.

We bought 8 chickens over the weekend and let me tell you these chickens are everything to this girl. She’s in there with them all day.  She’s teaching them to fly, she says.  I had to let her know they aren’t going to fly when she started using tough love and tossing them up in the air like a mama bird pushing her babies out the nest.
Henri is really helpful around the farm, helping me rake and bag leaves.  Always my best picture taker, ready to smile and actually look at the camera.
I have so many good pictures of this girl its hard to pick just one.  She’s showing Ellie the Elephant how to do “gynastis” and how to breathe when you do “gynastis”.
Last but not least.  Ivan’s new hood ornament.  The cutest one I ever did see!
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Farm livin’

Ive dreamt of living in a little bungalow, surrounded by big trees and the sound of nature.  The middle of nowhere, just me and my little family.  Away from all the noise of the big city, the ballet classes and soccer practice, the tumbling and after school activities.  Chickens in the yard.  A pot of stew on the stove.  A garden and a tree house.  A big yard for the kids and their imagination.  A swing hanging from the big tree that we carved our names in the night we got the house.  Today we got that house, the house my kids will grow up in and call home and I couldn’t be more excited.

The house is still in the city, but feels like our own little small town.  Its going to be an adventure.  There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to call this little and I mean little (think 1800 sq ft after we close in the 1 car garage) bungalow home.  For now it will be taking down walls and opening up rooms, new floors, cabinets, lights, windows and adding a pool.  Eventually we will add on, but for now we are going to be bring this old beauty back to life.

She was built in 1975 and hasn’t changed much since.  We will be raising the ceiling and painting the brick.  Wood floors throughout.  All new bathrooms.  White cabinets and some all around updating.  Ill post progress as we go.
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Here’s to a new year

2013 I say you were a terrible year and Ivan disagrees and says it was the best year of our lives.  I say I’m glad to see you go.  I had the hardest pregnancy of any of my pregnancies.  I had debilitating anxiety.  I don’t know how I made it out alive.  I have never and hope to never feel that way again.  I am sad for anyone who suffers from anxiety on a regular basis.  It is very real and very emotional mental and physically exhausting to live in a state of constant fear and worry.  My midwife told me I had the  pregnancy I did to prepare me for what was to come.  I think she’s right.  I’d say this year changed me more than any year, possibly all other years combined.  Jack was born with a sick heart and its been a long recovery.  Not long in terms of chd but long for what I thought was a healthy baby.  I am so blessed and the last half of the year really was amazing.  I have a whole new respect for the amazing man I married.  The father he is to our babies.  The babies we have and all the happiness they bring to this family.  I really do enjoy every single day.  Maybe its come with age maybe its come with grieving what I thought would be the loss of my baby.   I emotionally prepared myself for Jack’s passing.  I hardened myself in a way.  I knew Id have to be strong.  I stuffed down those feeling of not thinking I could move on and live without this baby.  The baby I loved more than life itself.  The baby I wished over and over I could change places with.  I imagine a piece of a mother dies when she loses a child.  I didn’t lose him and I thank my heavenly father everyday for that but I think that part of me is still fragile, still trying to come back.

//This year I’m going to focus on my family all the other stuff can wait.  My house doesn’t need to be spotless.  I know someday Ill miss those filthy hand prints on everything.
//I’m going to make sure my kids know how important they are to me and how much I love them.
//I’m going to date my husband.  Marriage is something you always work on,  you don’t take it for granted.
//I’m going to work on raising money for hospitals and families in need.  Something as small as a blanket or toy or someone letting you know its okay to be sad and angry when you are in the hospital can make a world of difference.
//I’m going to be a good friend and be there for friends that need me.
//I’m going to work on finding my strengths and talents.  Ive got to be really good at something besides diaper changing.
//Most importantly I’m going to enjoy myself.  Happiness is what you make it.  Its not a place or a thing.  Its a decision you make and I chose to love every minute or at least most of them. To laugh off the hard ones and cherish the good.

A year in pictures

^^^I laugh every time I see this picture of Ava this is the look of a child whose being tossed from family member to family member while her parents are in the hospital.  I can only imagine what the photographer thought when she walked in looking so disheveled.

Here’s to 2014
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Cardiologist TAPVR 8 month check up

We just had Jacks 8 month cardiologist appointment.  I get so nervous for these appointments.  I worry about what they will see in his echo.  Will he need another surgery?  Will the pressures in his heart be where they should?  Is his confluence growing?  All these thoughts and emotions run through me the week before.  Jack still has a hole between his right and left chambers.  All babies born with TAPVR have it.  Its the only thing that keeps them alive.  Normally they close it when they are reattaching the veins to the heart.  Jacks couldn’t be closed because the pressure in his heart was too high from him being undiagnosed for 2 weeks.  His cardiologist said we’d watch it and best case scenario its closes on its own, worst case he has a catheter procedure and they go in and close it when he’s a few years old.  We also watch to see how his confluence is growing, where they attached the veins.  Its scar tissue so it can be unpredictable.  Ideally it will grow with his body and get bigger as he does.  If it doesn’t grow then they would have to go back in and do another open heart surgery and make it bigger.  So I worry, I can’t imagine him going through all of that again.  At his four month cardiologist appointment everything looked good but still unchanged from his 2 month.  I have to be honest I was a little discouraged.  I get sad that they couldn’t close the hole initially.  I just want this all behind him.

We always start with an echo.  The best advice I can give any parent when taking your child in for an echo is be prepared.  It can take an hour and babies hate laying flat for that long.  I pumped milk, brought toys and had his favorite music.  The other option is a sedated echo and no parent wants to do that.  Of course they can’t tell you what they see on the echo so we head into the room and wait for the doctor.  Our doctor was at lunch so we had to wait an hour in between the echo and actually seeing the doctor.  Pure torture I tell you.  The doctor came in and looked over Jack.  He always tells me he can’t believe how bad he was and how great he is now.  He’s putting on weight and growing like a champ.  He said his confluence is growing and his hole is closing!  I really was shocked and amazed.  Jack is a fighter and blows me away everyday.  This really is the best news we could have ever gotten!  We don’t have to go back for 8 more months and if everything continues the way it is we can go to once yearly appointments.  Wahoo!!!!

Cardiologist appointment

His scar is really starting to fade
Cardiologist
cardiology
Joys of sitting in the waiting room for an hour I want that picture above Ivan’s head to hang in Jack’s room
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