February 26, 2011

Monster Jam

For Valentine's Day, Jason got tickets to take Brevin and Spencer to Monster Jam in Salt Lake City.  They got temporary tattoos to put all over their faces for the occasion. Armed with a Pit-Pass and earplugs, they left for an afternoon of testosterone driven entertainment.  They loved it!  They were able to get up close and personal to each of the trucks and even took some pictures with the drivers. The event began, and they got to watch hours of engines reving, wheels spinning, and metal crushing.  One of the trucks even tipped over. Throw in some hot dogs and a soda, and it's a boys dream come true!

Garrett was forced to stay home with the girls, but he donned his monster truck t-shirt and temporary tattoos so he could feel a part of the excitement along with his brothers.  Maybe Garrett will get to go next year, since Jason says he is totally stoked to go that event again.

This post was authored by Amber

Not To Be All "Mushy" But...

.....Valentine's Day Was Great.

I was helped along by a website that offered this free printable for Valentine cards. 
Add some Pop Rocks and some signatures and they're ready to go.

Each of the boys received a can full of candy and a Hot Wheels Monster truck.  Brevin and
Spencer got tickets to go with Dad to Monster Jam, Dad got a pink necktie and a music
 CD (Men of the MOTAB), and Mom and Dad got new couches
(to be picked out together at a later date).

We did our traditional meals of heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast and heart-shaped
pizza with Martinellis for dinner (even though I didn't take a single picture of that).

More candy and chocolate was consumed than was necessary, and hot pink
Rice Krispy Treat hearts were given to school teachers and Primary leaders. 

Jason came home from work and asked if I had thought to put Ella in her new
red dress to take pictures for Valentine's Day. 
I had not, so I made sure to do that before the day was over.

All in all, it was a fabulous (albeit traditionally routine) Valentine's Day.

This post authored by Amber

Oh, Yeah. Ella is One Month Already.

I know this is going to sound so cliché, but I cannot get over how quickly a month has passed (there's no denying it--I am your stereotypical "mommy blogger").  I know, in part, I am functioning in a slightly sleep-deprived daze, but really! One month? Where did that time go?  Well, let me tell you.......

Ella At Two Weeks

Ella is very easy going.  And she sleeps. A lot.  This is one of the rare moments I caught her with her eyes open.  She has started to smile at us, but it is so infrequent that I could never anticipate when to have the camera handy.  We'll just start with open eyes at this point.  She is on a very predictable three-hour interval schedule.  She sleeps for three hours, she wakes only to eat, I manage to squeeze in a diaper change, and then she goes back to sleep. 

At her two week check-up she weighed 8 lbs. 3 oz. and measured 20 inches long.  She looked healthy in every aspect, which is a relief considering the season of sickness that is currently upon us.  So far so good for two weeks!

Ella At Three Weeks 

There is not much more to say about Ella at three weeks, other than I can now feel a difference in her weight when I hold her.  She has pretty much the same routine, and she maintains her easy-going disposition.  Her cry has developed in volume, but she doesn't do that much anyway.  She does grunt a lot, though.  That seems to be her first method of indicating any sort of need.

I wanted to take a picture of Ella next to her Raggedy Ann doll that I made. The doll is sentimental, because I used a pattern that my mother had purchased years ago with the intent of making a doll for each grandchild.  After she made the first two, she asked that we continue making the dolls once she passed away. I'm not a great seamstress, so this was a bit of a challenge for me, but I love how it turned out.  Plus, the 15-inch doll makes a great reference point to demonstrate Ella's size.  

I wanted to dress Ella in something red for the picture, but apparently clothing for little girls is only manufactured in hues of pink.  Well...at least I haven't found anything red, but a dear neighbor friend gave us a gorgeous red dress a few days later and we had to take pictures just for the heck of it!

Ella At Four Weeks

Ella is awake for longer stretches, now, and her sleep is now organizing into longer, consolidated periods that may soon be distinguishable as being naps.  She loves to be held as she sleeps, and there's no shortage of people to oblige.  She will also sleep very soundly in her carseat for lengths at a time. 

Now that Ella is more alert, we notice what large eyes she has (a common trait among our children). They appear to be turning blue, but we will see.  No matter the color, they will be beautifully framed by her perfect eyebrows and lush eyelashes.

Well, that's enough bragging for now...until next month!

This post authored by Amber

February 9, 2011

Ella's First Photo Shoot

While at the hospital, a professional photographer came to take pictures of Ella.  Unlike hospital photos of the past, several pictures were taken, props were used, and Jason and I were even invited to be in a few shots. (The invitation to be a part of the pictures was totally unexpected, so please excuse the hospital gown and three-day-dirty hair--mine, not Jason's)   We liked the pictures so much, we decided to buy the CD of images and photo copyrights. It was a bit of a splurge, but I think you'll agree it was worth it.

This post authored by Amber

February 7, 2011

Special Delivery

Thursday morning (January 20th), I went in to my doctor's for an appointment that I was not expecting to have reason to schedule. The time I could be seen was 8:30 a.m. with Dr. Rees.  When he examined me, he said he was surprised I had been sent home from the hospital the previous Monday.  He also mentioned that my blood pressure results turned out to be a little high--not enough to get all concerned and worked up about, but enough for him to use it as an excuse to send me to the hospital to have my labor induced.  He told me to go to the hospital right then, and he would call to make the arrangements for my admittance. 

I was taken off guard a little.  I hadn't brought my bag with me or anything, and I certainly wasn't expecting to go to the hospital in the morning (I tend to labor in the evenings and through the middle of the nights). Fortunately, Jason had come with me to be with Garrett and Spencer in the waiting area during my appointment.  He was planning to go to work right after, but was sent home to make arrangements for the boys and return to the hospital with my things instead.  While he was doing that, I headed over to check in to Labor and Delivery for a third time, stalling as much as possible to give Jason time to get there.

My nurse, Tricia, had been the one to observe me during my first visit, and I was thrilled to have her for the real delivery.  She was a sweetheart!  She got me all set up with monitors and an IV while Jason was arriving. She also checked my blood pressure, which was normal (too funny).  Dr. Drewes came in to break my water and start me on a low-dose of Pitocin at 10:45 a.m.  I was then allowed to receive the epidural, which I gladly accepted, and things were well on their way! 

True to form, I delivered a baby within two hours of having my water broken.  Dr. Drewes and Tricia both commented on the fact that it was a very short and uncomplicated induction.  I felt spoiled to have basically gone into labor without...well...laboring (and I was definitely not going to complain about having a baby at a decent hour of the day)!

So just like that, little Ella made her grand debut.  She weighed 7 lbs. 10 oz. and was 19 1/2 in. long ( 'cause people care to know those sorts of details), and she was a "cookie cutter" pattern of the three who came before.  As you can imagine, we are all a little smitten with her!

Here are some pictures from our stay in the hospital:

What girl doesn't love having her weight made publicly known
(or having nude pictures of herself turn up on the Internet)?!

After Ella was slightly "de-gunked" I was given a chance to hold her.

Dad is showing off his newly bathed little girl.  She is
sporting a little red bow that he picked out for her.

Yeah, she's a keeper!

From the very beginning, Ella demonstrated how
much she likes having her hands up by her face.

I will just say now, that the food at UVRMC was absolutely fabulous.  They had a room service program (for Mother/Baby patients only) where you could order whatever you wanted from a menu.  As you can see, I got a little carried away.  There are actually two meals in these photos.  Jason could prepay $7 to receive his own meal of choice. We got a babysitter for the older boys on my last day in the hospital so we could have a lunch date together.


There was no shortage of kisses from these three.  They love their little sister!

I got to come home to pink balloons and an "It's a Girl!" sign. 
It's all a little foreign to me, but I think I could get used to it.

This post authored by Amber

February 4, 2011

Pinewood Derb-Wii

Tuesday, January 18th, marked the night of the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby.  It turned out to be a blessing that there was a cessation of all contractions for a period of 48 hours so I could enjoy this event with my family (not to mention, I was pretty much in charge of the activity, so it was kind of nice that I ended up being there for that reason, too).

Brevin and Jason had worked for several weeks to bring Brevin's creative vision for his car to fruition.  He came up with his own design concept--a Wii remote.  While we had little idea as to how fast his car might be, we knew that at the very least, it would look awesome.  And it did!

Prior to the race, we tried to  prepare Brevin for a possible poor finish by telling him that he might not win.  I realize now that all of our back-handed pep-talks may not have even been necessary.  He was thrilled and shouted for joy after each heat of the race, "I came in second!" or "Yes! I won third place!" (Did he not realize that there were only four cars racing at a time?)  It was so entertaining to watch his reactions first hand, and I was so glad to have been present at his first ever Pinewood Derby.  As it turned out, of eighteen cars racing, Brevin's finished middle of the pack.  Not too bad for a car lacking in aerodynamic form!

Here are some pictures we took to prove that Jason wasn't the only one who worked on the car (although he did get totally engrossed in the project):

Sanding the Car

 Spray Painting the Base Coat

Adding the Stickers and Details

The Final Product (and Side by Side Comparison) 

This post authored by Amber