Monday, December 26, 2011

Two Under Two

 
...That's right! Evie is going to be a big sister! When we found out we were pregnant with her, we immediately told EVERYONE! This time, though, we wanted to keep the pregnancy under wraps until we were able to go to the doctor and make sure everything is fine. We told immediate family, but no one else. I took a pregnancy test on November 1st, and it has been killing me to keep it a secret for so long, but we finally went to the doctor's office on Friday! On the phone, we were told that at our first appointment they automatically do an ultrasound to find the heartbeat and to date the pregnancy. The only problem was we were given about four different prices for that first appointment. Even when we showed up on the actual day, they charged me less than they'd said, but told me they were only doing a Doppler instead of an ultrasound. We were very confused and asked the nurse once we were in the room to explain once and for all what was going on. There was a small ultrasound machine in the office itself, so she left to ask the doctor what he wanted to do. He came in and said that because no one had given us a straight answer, he would just do the ultrasound for free!
Our first ultrasound with Evie was when we were 7 weeks along, so there wasn't much going on yet. She really just looked like a little cocoon:
This time, though, I was almost 12 weeks along, so the first thing we saw, even before a heartbeat, was little feet kicking. Instead of a cocoon, this baby looked a little like a gummy bear:

At the beginning of my pregnancy with Evie, I was still working the last of the Depo Provera shot out of my system, so I had no idea how far along I was. This time, it was so nice to have clear and accurate dates to work with! According to my calculations, my due date was July 8th. The doctor, after checking my dates and looking at the ultrasound, put my due date at July 10th, but a couple of days one way or the other is no big deal.
The doctor asked me if we had planned this baby or if it was an "oopsie," and I want to make it clear that this baby was planned for and prayed for, just like Evie was. Todd was a little surprised that we got pregnant so fast after deciding we wanted another baby, but I wasn't. Infertility doesn't seem to be my cross to bear; pretty much as soon as we decide we want a baby--boom!--there's a baby. And I really don't care this time what we have. I very much wanted to have a girl first, and when I would pray for Evie's health and safety, I would secretly pray that she would be a girl. I had a feeling that she was, but I didn't know if it was just wishful thinking. This time, I have a feeling that we're having a boy, but I would be really thrilled either way. It'll be great if we have another girl, because we already have plenty of girl baby clothes. Also, they would grow up to be best friends. On the other hand, it'll be great if we have a boy, because it would be a fun new adventure to have one of each. Also, we would have someone to "carry on our family name." Either way, I'm sure our kiddos will be close, because Evie will never be able to remember a time when she was the only child, and the next one will obviously never be able to remember a time without Evie. They will always be an important part of each others' lives. And mine.
Oh, I am so excited to finally have the news out in the open! I'm PREGNANT, everybody! Again! And my 22nd birthday is in 2 days, which means that once this baby is born, I'll have 2 babies under the age of 2 while I'm still 22. How cool is that? I am so thrilled about this baby, and can't wait to embark on this adventure again. You all are welcome to come along for the ride!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Evie's First Christmas!

This year turned out so much better than I'd hoped! We planned out presents in advance and saved up for the majority of them--a big change from last year. We only went over-budget by a little bit, Evie had a great haul, and I'm sitting here sipping some delicious eggnog. Life is good!
Evie's first Christmas started Friday night when we went to see Santa. The local mall across the street encouraged their customers to take their own pictures with Santa for free, which was way better than the $20 studio fee I was afraid I'd have to cough up to document this rite of passage. So we bundled up and headed over, with Evie dressed in her adorable holiday outfit, to see how Santa and Evie would get along.
Apparently several babies freak out once they're sitting on his lap, but Evie (our little social butterfly) was just fine.
Both Santa and Mrs. Claus were very taken with our little girl. They commented on how pretty, friendly, and festive she was. Of course, we puffed out our proud parent chests, smiled, and agreed.
Christmas Eve was a hectic day of working, running some errands on my lunch break, and doing some last minute shopping right after work. We ate dinner when we finally got home and then it was time to hang stockings!
Christmas Day itself had lots of ups and downs. Todd and I woke up just before 6 and went upstairs to open our presents, letting the munchkin sleep for another couple of hours. We went back to bed at about 7:30, but I woke up at 8 to the heartbreaking sound of Evie sobbing in her sleep. To cheer her up, I sent Todd upstairs to get her our present to open.
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She had lots of fun pounding on the paper and pulling it off! Once we pried her away from her new toy, we took her upstairs to open all of her other presents:
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This rattle was from her Uncle John. Then her girl cousins, Kim and Emily, gave Evie a toy cell phone so she can "call" people on her very own phone instead of always trying to steal Todd's phone when I'm talking to someone else.
She had a grand time playing with the cell phone while waiting to open her next present from her Uncle John and Aunt Margot, which turned out to be...a Rock-a-Stack!
Evie immediately fell in love with her new colored donuts, and it took some convincing for her to let go long enough to open another present. But she decided it was worth it when she saw what her boy cousins picked out for her. Kevin and Collin got her a brand new fuzzy little teddy bear that Evie loved snuggling.
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Todd's supervisor from his old job has a four-year-old little boy who wanted to give Evie a present. He gave her a Winnie the Pooh phone that makes all kinds of fun noises. 
Santa brought Evie a boxed set of mini board books, which she immediately wanted to start reading. Of course, Todd and I are so proud of our budding bookworm!
Last of all was Evie's stocking. She finally learned how to pull things out of it, and got very enthusiastic about it!
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Just for the record, her stocking included a rubber ducky, two new teething rings, a hairbrush, a "Baby's First Christmas" ornament, and a package of strawberry/apple puffs. Once Evie had opened all of her presents, we posed her in front of the tree, surrounded by all of her loot:
It's a pretty good haul for only being 9 months old!
Shortly after we brought all of her new toys downstairs, Evie spit up all over herself, our bed, and her new teddy bear. Unfortunately, that was the last of the formula we had until we can pick some more up tomorrow and it meant we need to do a load of laundry. On the plus side, though, it gave us an opportunity to try out her rubber ducky and her hairbrush! Evie thought it was extra fun when Mommy sang "Rubber Ducky" and squeezed her ducky at the squeaker parts. She even kissed him on the beak. Then she cried when it was time to get out of the tub and dry off because she had to leave her beloved ducky behind.
After Evie's bath, it was my turn to shower and get made-up (I got new make-up in my stocking!). While I played with my hair, Evie played with her colored donuts. We think that the orange one is her favorite because Todd says that she was holding the orange one in her left fist and had the others in a row next to her. Then, one by one, she would pick up another color in her right hand, compare the two, and bang them together. Then she would put down the other color and pick up another, repeating the whole ritual over again. Apparently, she did this for several minutes until I startled her by turning on my blow dryer.
Once we were all clean and polished, it was time to go to church. Since it was Christmas, we only had sacrament meeting, followed by a Merry Mingle that involved food and chatting. During the sacrament, we kept Evie quiet by feeding her puffs one at a time and then letting her read her books. She was in a pretty good mood until we went into the cultural hall for the Merry Mingle. Then she was hungry, but she wouldn't eat the food we tried to give her. She was tired, but she was too overstimulated to sleep. Eventually, her face just crumpled and tears started to fall. Honestly, I started to laugh because her heartbroken face was just so adorable that I couldn't help it. A lady in our ward stopped by to talk to her, and Evie made an admirable attempt to flirt and cry at the same time. I really wish I'd caught it on camera!
Evie cried until we finally gave up and decided it was time to head over to Todd's parents to meet up with the rest of his family. As soon as we started the car, though, she fell asleep and she stayed asleep for a couple of hours while the rest of us opened our presents. She finally woke up enough to sort of open her presents. (Sorry the video is sideways; I don't know how to fix it!)
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When we finally got home (at only 6 o'clock! It was a very long day.), Evie started playing with her new toys while we called out-of-town family and friends to wish them a Merry Christmas. She enjoyed sitting on my lap and playing with her new cell phone while we talked on Todd's. Now, while I post on this blog, she's on the floor playing with her orange ring again. I know that she's too little to really remember her first Christmas, but I think that, overall, she had a pretty good day and so did we. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

On Purpose

This post will be short but sweet. I just wanted to proclaim to the world how much I LOVE being a wife and mommy. No matter what kind of day I've had, my family can make it better. One kiss from my husband, one smile and snuggle from my daughter, and my world just lights up like a Christmas tree. Sometimes at work, I catch myself smiling at nothing, just because the thought of my baby's face or laugh crossed my mind. THIS is my purpose in life; THIS is why Heavenly Father put me on this earth: to be the mother of Todd's children. I'm thrilled that I found my purpose so early in life because now I get to enjoy it for even longer, and I can't wait!

Monday, December 5, 2011

More Adventures

Just the other day, I looked at Evie and I swear she'd visibly grown during the night. She's doing all kinds of new things, and she's very excited about them. She can actually crawl now--on her knees and everything! And she's fast about it too! She loves to stand up, and can pull herself into a standing position using almost any piece of furniture in the house. Or, regardless of whether we're sitting or standing, she'll just pull on our legs until she's standing up. She has also discovered the stairs, and keeps trying to escape up them before one of us comes to recapture her. Or, if we run up the stairs for a moment to get something, she tries to follow us. So far, she's managed to make it halfway up the staircase before being caught. On the one hand, I'm proud of her and her accomplishments, but on the other, I'm scared to death that she's going to fall down the stairs and get hurt. We're planning to get a gate next week when our coupon becomes valid; until then, we have to keep a sharp eye on her. Also on Evie's adventures around the house, she's started finding tiny, almost microscopic, specks of fuzz or dirt or whatever, and she manages to get a tight grip with her tiny little fingers, inspect them for a moment, and then pop them into her mouth. Sometimes I can catch her in the act of inspecting her next potential morsel and take it away from her, but other times I don't realize she's eating something bad until I notice her chewing. Of course, the sneaky baby has also taken to chewing on just her tongue so as to throw us off. *Roll eyes here* When I go to her and poke my finger into her mouth to scoop the offending bite out of her gullet, she always seems so pleased. Almost like she's thinking, "Good, Mommy! You got to me just in time. Of course, I'm getting faster and I'll eventually win, but nice attempts in the meantime!" Speaking of "Mommy," we think Evie is starting to recognize us! Sometimes, when Todd hands her to me, she'll smile, snuggle into my shoulder, and say "Mamama." Other times, when she's upset and wants to be comforted, she'll wail "Maa-Maa-Maa-Maa!" It just tickles me pink to have her actually be calling my name (even if she's really just stringing sounds together instead). She can't say "Daddy" yet, but she says "Dad-un-Dad-un-Dad-un." The other day she pulled herself up using our bed, and she saw the cat lying there. So she looked at him, looked at me, and said "Ghee!" So I said, "Yes, that's the kitty!" She just beamed and did it again, "Ghee!" So I responded again, "Yes, that's the kitty!" We did this a few more times, and Evie was just thrilled. Finally, she plopped back onto the floor to discover some dust to eat and the game ended, but I actually had lots of fun! I don't know if this is still just baby babble or if Evie really is trying to use big-people words, but either way, it's fun to play along as if she is. She has a fixation with faces lately, especially mouths. She steals my glasses at least twice a day, doing so while I type this, in fact. And she likes to poke my teeth, lips, and tongue with her little fingers. She thinks it is strange and silly that I have teeth in the back of my mouth. In her own mouth, Evie popped a third tooth just this past weekend and might be growing a fourth, but she won't let me get a close enough look. She pops her lips and loves it when other people copy her. And I've caught her making fish-lips a couple of times! The poor little munchkin has had a cold for over a week now, but she's been her usual cheerful and fun little self through the whole thing. I'm so proud of her for all she is and does, even when it keeps me on my toes!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

On this beautiful autumn day, I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to count the many blessings the Lord has given me. First of all, I am thankful for my family.
My parents raised me to have faith in my Heavenly Father and to act on what I knew to be right. They taught me to gain an education and to be always learning.
Because of them, I attended Brigham Young University, where I met my husband. I am thankful that I found such an intelligent, handsome, talented, funny, loving man and that, by some miracle, he fell in love with me too.
I'm thankful that we were able to be sealed together for time and all eternity in the Lord's holy temple.
I am thankful that, because of that sealing, all of our children will be born in the covenant and be part of our family forever. I'm thankful that we were blessed with such a beautiful, happy, smart, healthy, lively little girl and for the joy and laughter that she brings into our lives.
 I'm thankful that we're able to take care of that sweet girl through gainful employment.
I'm thankful that we have food to eat, medicines to heal us, and modern technologies to make our lives easier. I am thankful for wonderful friends who share so much of themselves with us. I am thankful for music, art, and literature. I am thankful for love, laughter, and beauty. I am thankful for this gorgeous world, my good health, and my life itself. I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, and my Heavenly Father.
I am thankful that through Christ's Atonement, all of these blessings are possible, especially the gift of eternal families.
 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Eight Months

My little girl is getting so big--she's 8 months old now! This is the perfect age, and I really wish she could stay this size forever. She can't talk back yet, and she can't really get into too much trouble. Plus she's still little enough to snuggle into my arms. But she's old enough now to show off her own little personality and sense of humor. In fact, she does such silly things all the time nowadays, and I just wanted to share a couple of them:
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She's such a cutie! Since the day she was born, her eyes have been her largest and most prominent feature.
In fact, I hate to say it, but she used to look slightly bug-eyed. In the past couple of months, though, her face has filled out and she's grown into her eyes. Evie's always been a cute and pretty little girl, but now she's growing into quite the little beauty!
 I'm happy to be Evie's Mommy, and I wanted to share that joy in celebration of my baby's 8 months of life!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Leaps and Bounds

Holy cow! Evie is learning and growing at a ferocious rate. It isn't possible to leave her in one spot anymore and expect her to still be there a few minutes later. That little girl moves fast! And she's smart! She understands the phrase "Come here!" and she'll crawl towards us and then reach up her arms for us.

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Evie is a very social little person, and likes to be with her Mommy and Daddy. She's learning to follow us wherever we go. The other day, I left her in the middle of the living room floor while I ran downstairs to get her a bottle. When I came back two minutes later, she was behind the recliner, halfway to the stairs, and was playing on the fireplace bricks. Good thing I came back when I did, or she might have made it all the way down the stairs! Then yesterday morning, I gave her a bath, put a clean diaper on her, and left her to play in the middle of the bedroom floor with the door closed so she couldn't escape. I left the door between the bedroom and the bathroom open so I could keep an ear on her, and I got in the shower. Only seconds later, I heard little grunts getting closer and closer. After washing my hair, I poked my head out of the curtain and saw my little girl grinning up at me from the bathroom doorway. When I was all clean, I looked out again and she was sitting up on the cold floor, playing with the bathmat. I dried off and stepped onto the bathmat, and she grabbed my feet and tried to climb up my legs.

She's getting good at climbing all around. A couple of nights ago, I was curled up on the couch playing on my computer, and Evie was playing on the floor at my feet. Suddenly, I heard serious little grunts and then felt her pulling up and playing with my toes. I looked down, and she had used the couch to pull herself up to a standing position! I called to Todd, but just as he poked his head around the wall, she plopped down again. Then she pulled up again, but plopped down as soon as Todd tried to see. Finally, he was able to witness this major event! And this afternoon, I was finally able to document it!
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Besides her physical accomplishments, Evie is learning to try new foods. I took her to her appointment on Tuesday, and she is now allowed to have three solid meals a day, in addition to her bottles, and she's allowed to try meats. I got her all kinds of fun new foods to try: apples and cherries, pears and raspberries, apricots with pears and apples, apples and blueberries, and mango. We fed her turkey in turkey broth Tuesday night, and she was not impressed. She kept gagging, and refused to finish it. Last night we tried beef in beef broth, and the same thing happened. Finally, tonight, we tried apples and chicken. I don't know if the third time is the charm, or if having a familiar fruit flavor mixed with the meat helped, or what. But she scarfed it down!

At her appointment on Tuesday, we also weighed and measured her. She is now 24 7/8 inches tall (4th percentile--but she's our child; we're not surprised she's short!), weighs just over 16 pounds (23rd percentile--hooray!) and her height to weight ratio is in the 84th percentile. She's a very healthy and happy little girl, and she's learning and growing at a good rate!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Best Blessing

There's something about a hot shower that just starts my day off right; the hot water works the kinks out of both my muscles and my thoughts. Today while I was in the shower, I had an epiphany. It occurred to me that my purpose in this life truly is to be a mother. I've always believed that families are central to God's plan for us on this earth, but it suddenly became real to me this morning. Really, my epiphany was that our lives revolve around our children; they are some of our biggest trials sometimes, but they are also our greatest blessings.

Most of the worst things that can happen in this life happen to, or because of, our children. Some mothers get horribly sick while they're pregnant or have difficult labors. Many of those mothers have to do that all alone because the fathers flaked out on them. Some children are placed for adoption because their parents, despite wanting and loving those children desperately, simply cannot provide for them. Others are just neglected. Sometimes, children turn their backs on the way they were raised and lose touch with their families. Some children are born with a devastating illness, and others develop illnesses later on in life. Some children are horrifically abused, and others die tragically young. Some parents struggle endlessly to provide their children with the basic necessities of life. Regardless of individual circumstances, it is safe to say that being a parent is not always easy, and no child has a perfect life. Every single family has their own personal struggles in life and has to learn to overcome them together. Every parent is haunted by stress, by trials, and especially by worry.

But in the end, it's all worth it. One single smile on the face of a child wipes away an entire night of crying, throwing up, and cleaning. One look into the pure innocence in a child's eyes makes a mother forget all the pain and exhaustion she feels after labor. One sweet giggle from your little one blots out the swathe of destruction that follows that little one around the house. And all true parents would do it all again. Even the "mistakes." A close family relation had her son when she was seventeen years old, and when he was eighteen years old, he died from an allergic reaction to drugs. She has told me that she would do it all again; even knowing that she would only have those eighteen years with him, she would choose to get pregnant at sixteen and have him at seventeen, just for the pleasure of knowing him and being his mother. Todd and I would do it again, too. Even though we can't really afford to give Evie the life we want her to have, we would choose to have her again because she is our precious little girl and we love her.

That was really my epiphany this morning: children are a privilege that eclipses any trials that they may bring. The love of parents for their children makes every sacrifice and every challenge worth it, just to have the blessing of a child in our lives: the best blessing of all.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sleeping Cutie

This week something sad has happened; Evie has finally outgrown the cradle. It's the same cradle that my Grandpa made when I was born, and it makes me happy that the same cradle has rocked both me and my baby girl to sleep. These pictures are of me on December 29, 1989--the day after I was born:
When my mom came to stay with us the week after Evie was born, she brought the pieces of the cradle and put it together for me. This picture of Evie was taken on March 28, 2011--the week after she was born:
The family resemblance is striking, isn't it? We Jacobs girls are so cute!
In the four months after that, Evie started moving around A LOT while she slept. She'd scoot herself backwards until her head hit the headboard. Sometimes this would wake her up and she'd start crying. Other times she'd somehow scoot herself sideways and end up like this:
Just during the last couple of weeks or so, she's started rolling over onto her tummy while she sleeps. Even from birth, Evie has always preferred sleeping on her tummy, and now she has the strength to get there on her own. Also, she got to the point where she'd prop herself up onto her arms, and then she'd grab the side-rail and pull herself up to look and smile at us in the mornings. That was when we knew it was finally time to take her out of the cradle. She's really enjoyed it, and it's kind of sad to think that this phase of her life is over forever. A few days ago, I got home from work to find that Todd had put up the Pack-n-Play and rearranged the bedroom so I wouldn't have to. But he kept the cradle up so I could get one last picture of Evie in it.
We're hoping to be able to afford to get Evie a real crib sometime soon. But until then, she's sleeping in her Pack-n-Play, and she seems to be adjusting well to the change in her sleeping routine. She loves all of the extra room she has now; we'll find her in the strangest positions in the morning! We also put her in the Pack-n-Play so she has a safe place to play while we're doing other things. She enjoys that, once the solid outer walls are rolled up, the sides are made of mesh so she can see us while she plays. Then we can roll down the sides at night so she can sleep without distractions.
We've closed one chapter in our lives and opened another. The cradle has served two generations very well, and I'm sad that we can't use it anymore (at least until we have another baby), but I AM grateful that we were able to use it as long as we did and that I got to share something special like that with my daughter. Thanks, Grandpa, for making something so beautiful and lasting! Thanks, Mom, for letting us use it for Evie! And thanks, Evie, for being such a sleeping cutie!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Trunk-or-Treat

Tuesday night was our stake's Trunk-or-Treat night! Usually, that means that everyone comes to the church parking lot, people decorate their trunks, and their kids go around to all the cars to collect their goodies in a safe environment. Sadly, Tuesday night was cold and rainy, so we had to pile into the church building instead.
I only worked from 10-2 on Tuesday, so I got to dress up my little munchkin and be a part of her first Halloween! A week or so ago, I got this really cute costume from work at a quarter of the original price:
Then Todd and I looked all over the place for cute tights/shoes to complete the ensemble. Finally, Tuesday afternoon, we found them at Walmart. Unfortunately, Todd had to work that night, but I promised to take lots of pictures for him. Just before we left, I fed Evie some peaches, gave her a bath, and dressed her up in her cute ladybug costume.
When we got to the church, my niece agreed to be Evie's candy collector while I tried valiantly to keep Evie's hat on her head. But, before we could collect any candy, Evie threw up her peaches--all over her costume. So I ran her to the ladies' room, dodging my visiting teacher in the process, and cleaned her up as best I could with wet paper towels (because, of course, I left her diaper bag at home). My mother-in-law assured me that she couldn't tell that anything had happened to Evie's clothes, and we resumed our candy-begging. Once we were done, I plopped Evie on the floor so we could relax a little. She wasn't her usual charming self because there were bright fluorescent lights, a bazillion people talking loudly in the hallway, and her tummy wasn't feeling happy. She was still the cutest little ladybug ever, though!
Evie has been trying SO hard to crawl lately. She'll get up on her knees and rock back and forth, but she can't quite get her arms and legs coordinated. She came super close, though, when she discovered an abandoned Twizzler on the floor!
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Evie finally got her prize, but I then discovered that it had already been gnawed on one end, so I quickly and sneakily exchanged the nasty Twizzler for one that she got in her bag. She didn't notice Mommy's bait-and-switch, and she started telling me all about her fun new candy:
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The entire night, her hat with the adorable antennae kept falling off. I think we need to find a bobby pin or some elastic before Halloween night.
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Happy Halloweenie, everybody!