Thursday, August 30, 2012

Big-Girl Bed

Around the same time that we got Evie her shoes, Todd put together her toddler bed. My problem is that I don't get around to taking pictures of things until well after they take place. I'm trying to get better, though!
Anyway, I decorated her bed with the sheets, blanket, and quilt that my mom made for her before they came last week for Ella's baby blessing. I decided to get pictures of both Evie's toddler bed and Ella's cradle. The fabric on both beds is the same Jungle Babies theme that I love so much and have been using since Evie was born.
I still can't believe that Evie is big enough to sleep in a toddler bed!
At the head of her bed is her beloved stuffed giraffe.
A full-length shot of the whole bed.
This used to be Evie's tummy-time quilt, but now it lives on her bed, guarded by her stuffed lion.
Evie's bed in all its big-girl glory!
Remember the cradle? Here it is, all decked out for Ella!
A full-length shot of the cradle, featuring Ella's very own fuzzy blankie.
You can see here how the girls' beds are arranged. Our bedroom is on the other side of that orange wall.
At the head of the cradle is Ella's elephant that my mom got to match Evie's giraffe.
For the most part, Evie has been pretty good at staying in her bed. Right at first, she fell out a couple of times, so I keep my body pillow tucked under her bed and we pull it out at bedtime so she has something soft to land on if she falls out again. She's also discovered how to climb out, and we've had a few power struggles trying to get her to stay in her bed when she wants to get out and play. Overall, though, Evie is excited about being a big girl and likes her big-girl bed!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Success! For the entirety of our marriage, we've been bouncing from one form of birth control to another, trying to find the one that worked best for us. When we were still engaged at BYU, I went to the doctor for my premarital checkup. Because I get aura migraines, the nurse gave me a prescription for Camila, a progesterone-only pill, and told me to start taking it so it would already be in my system by the time we got married. After only a week on the pills, though, Todd and I agreed that this was not the form for us because I was a total grouch the entire time I took them, and not just because it was stressful planning a wedding virtually by myself. Todd went on his band trip to Korea/Japan, and I went back to the doctor. I begged him to let me have the estrogen pills, but he refused because it might increase my risk of stroke. I asked him how much the rates increased, but he didn't know. When I told him that it was my choice and that I was willing to take the risk, he told me to call Todd and ask his opinion. I informed him that a) Todd was on the other side of the world and b) it wasn't Todd's decision because it was MY body and, even though Todd was going to be my husband, he was still only my fiance and had no legal right to make my medical decisions for me. Despite all of that, the doctor held firm, and I walked home frustrated. When I complained to Todd about the doctor's attitude, he sweetly told me that, no, it wasn't his choice, but he would prefer if I found another way because he loved me and didn't want to risk losing me to a stroke. I looked at the list the doctor gave me, and read off the choices to him. Then I saw one I hadn't noticed before: Depo-Provera, a progesterone-only shot that is effective for 3 months at a time. We agreed that this sounded promising, and I called the doctor. He said he didn't usually prescribe it, but it was better than the pill, so he would leave the prescription at the pharmacy for me. I picked it up and got the shot in my bum on July1st, the day before Linds and Matt's wedding. I was one of their bridesmaids, so I had to stand during the whole wedding, and my rear was very sore. Fortunately, the soreness went away before our own wedding 3 weeks later. We stayed on the shot for the first 6 months of our marriage, during which Linds gave me my second dose. For that entire time, instead of the regular cycle I had for 8 years, I had nothing, which really freaked me out. This caused me to do a little more research and I found some pretty scary information about the shot's effects on fertility, bone density, and menstrual regularity. When we decided not to renew our prescription so we could start our family, I had to just wait for the hormones to drain out of my system. For another 3 months, I had nothing, but then it became apparent just how much the shot had screwed me up. I finally started again in March but to my horror I still wasn't regular. My cycles were sporadic but frequent: every other week or so. Entirely unpredictable. We had no idea when, or even if, I was ovulating, which makes planning a baby a bit more than difficult. Right after we went to another doctor to see if she could help us figure out what was going on, we found out we were expecting Evie! After she was born, Todd and I looked into other forms of birth control, because I swore I was never going back to the shot. We knew we were wanting to try for another baby later that year, so our birth control had to be short-term, and we already knew I couldn't do estrogen-based birth control because of my migraines. We decided just to go with condoms, which weren't particularly fun, until we felt the time was right to have our next baby. Right on schedule, we got pregnant with Elizabeth! After her birth, Todd and I did some more research. We knew that even though I was planning on breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months, we didn't want to trust breastfeeding alone because as someone I know put it, "That's how you get surprise babies!" We're planning on waiting a couple of years before trying for our next baby, so we didn't want to be stuck with condoms for 2 years. The estrogen-based birth control was still out. The progesterone-only contraceptives weren't working too well for us either. We actually have medical insurance now, so we looked at Paragard, the hormone-free copper IUD that is effective for 10 years. It seemed to have all the answers for us! I called the doctor's office for my 8 week postpartum appointment, and told them in advance that I wanted the IUD so they could have it ready for me when I arrived. Then the nurse told me that my doctor didn't usually insert an IUD during the postpartum appointment, but preferred to have his patients wait until 12 weeks postpartum. I am SO TIRED of having doctors tell me what I can and cannot do with my body! Birth control should be MY choice; they can advise me, but it should ultimately be up to me. Right? I talked to Todd, and we looked online to see what the recommendation was. Every medical website we looked at said that 6 weeks postpartum was fine, and we were already past that. We agreed that if our doctor really stuck to his guns and refused to give me the IUD, we would go to Planned Parenthood and have them do it for us. I went to my appointment and talked to my doctor in person. He explained that he preferred to wait so that the risk of perforation would decrease. However, when he saw that I was serious, he said that since I'd already had 2 babies, my risk of perforation was lower anyway and that he would do it for me. Yay! He had me come back today and he had everything ready for me. He had to use little pincers to open the cervix, and that HURT. But just when I thought I couldn't handle it anymore without fidgeting or screaming, he was done, and it was in place. He told me that I would probably spot for a day or two and maybe feel a little crampy; he also recommended, even though it was effective immediately, that we wait for a couple of days just to give my body a chance to adjust to having the IUD in place and to stop hurting, which is actually fine with me! I'm also supposed to go back in about a month for an ultrasound to make sure that it hasn't shifted and/or perforated. I am feeling a little crampy and am spotting just a little bit, but it's already better than it was, and I'm feeling happy and confident that we've finally found the right birth control method for us!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ella's Baby Blessing

Lots of people came to see us for Ella's baby blessing this month! Her blessing was on Sunday, August 19th, so we had people trickling in for almost the whole week before. Matt and Linds arrived with their girls on Monday, August 13th, and stayed with Scott and Jillian. The six of us have all been close friends for about four years now, so it was so much fun spending the week together, renewing our friendship and introducing the miniature members of what we all hope to be a lifelong bond. The three big girls (Big?! They're all under the age of 2 1/2!) loved playing together while the adults talked and shared stories and yummy food.
I think this looks like an AT&T commercial!

Linds and I had our little girlies, and Jillian is expecting their little boy next month, so we totaled 11 1/2 people: 6 adults and 5 1/2 little kids. Even with the extra parent, we still sometimes felt out-numbered, but overall, we had a great time. We all went to the zoo, and to the playground, and on Friday night we all went to Scott and Jillian's apartment for really yummy steaks.
That day, the 17th, my parents were driving over from Idaho, so after dinner, Todd and I took the girls over to my parents' hotel room so they could meet their newest granddaughter. Evie was super shy around my parents, especially my dad, but Elizabeth just snuggled right into their arms.
Then, very abruptly, Ella was awake and looking around at everyone with her huge eyes!
The next day, Saturday, everyone who was in town was invited over for a barbecue at John and Margot's house. Todd and I brought the meat, and we served hamburgers and beer brats. Mom loved holding Ella, and she got several cute shots of her sleeping contentedly on her lap.
Evie still wasn't quite warmed up to her Granddad by this point.
Actually, Evie wasn't really warmed up to ANYbody. She was crying on my lap a couple of minutes after this was taken.
Sunday morning was not as fun for me. We were planning on hosting a baked potato luncheon at our house after Sacrament Meeting, so I was running around desperately trying to get us all ready for church and trying to get the potatoes into the oven so they could bake while we were gone. We got to church with only a few minutes to spare, and I only had a couple of minutes to nurse Ella before they called her name, and Todd took her out of my arms and up to the front of the chapel. This time around, most of our priesthood circle consisted of men on Todd's side: Todd, my dad, his dad, his brother Scott, our brother-in-law John, and Matt. Mom and I wrote down the blessing as well as we were able, and Mom took a couple of pictures of Elizabeth in her blessing outfit. The dress was the same one Evie wore, but we got Ella her very own pair of little white satin slippers and matching headband.
Mom realized that the fluorescent lights were making the settings on her camera act funny, so she adjusted them for the last couple of pictures she took. Elizabeth was never as jaundiced as Evie was, and was never as orange as the first couple of pictures make her look. I, myself, was planning on taking family pictures with Ella in her blessing dress when we got home; but just before I was able to, she exploded all over her dress, so I had to hurry and throw it in the washer before it stained. Thus, there are no "family" pictures, but rather random pictures of various family members.
Elizabeth decided that she was starving...
...even though I felt like I'd JUST fed her.
Linds let me borrow her Boppy to feed Ella, and I decided: I WANT ONE!
We were so glad Matt and Linds came, and that Matt was able to be in the circle. We were afraid he wouldn't be able to because of his arm.
Clockwise: John, his son Collin, Mariah and Alyssa, their mom Jenette (Todd's sister), and John's other son Kevin.
This is Linds's cutie-patootie, Todd's mom and dad, and Collin.
We were sad to discover that my parents needed to get back to Idaho a day earlier than we'd expected, so they left Monday morning (today). Matt and Linds were leaving this morning, too, so we all had breakfast together at IHOP.

Granddad, Nonna, Ella, Mommy, Daddy, and Evie.
Our girls and the Hopes' girls. Someone needed to hold Elizabeth, so it's me, Ella, Evie, Lily, and Emma.
A nice couple walking in offered to get a picture of all of us. Bottom row: Me holding Ella, Evie, Anya, Lily, and Emma. Top row: Todd, my dad, my mom, Jillian, Linds, and Matt. Scott had to work, so he wasn't there.
We were sad watching everyone drive away, but I had lots of fun this weekend spending time with beloved family and friends! Thanks for sharing our baby's special day with us!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Evie's New Shoes

About a month ago, we finally got Evie some new shoes. It's taken me this long to finally get pictures of them, but here they are!
Evie loves them. She picked them out and now she loves to put on her "sparkee" shoes. We don't have to be going anywhere; she is more than happy to wear them around the house. It did take her a day or so to relearn how to walk while wearing shoes, though. It was sort of funny watching her clomp around in them until she got the hang of it. She tripped and fell down several times, but she was always good about getting right back up and trying again. Long live Evie and her sparkee shoes!


I have a new rocking chair! Well, it's new to me anyway. I've wanted a glider ever since I was pregnant with Evie, so Todd was saving up to get me one for our anniversary/Christmas/my birthday. The ones that we sell where I work are between $250 and $400, so he was planning on spending about $300-$350 on one, and almost had all the money he needed for it. Then yesterday, on our way to church, we passed an estate sale. Todd pointed out that they had a rocker. Unfortunately, he was giving a talk in sacrament meeting and couldn't be late for church, so we couldn't stop and take a look at the glider. I told him that maybe it would still be there after church, but he said he doubted it. Well, on our way home, I kept my eyes peeled, and it was still there! So we stopped and tried it out. It was comfortable and glided smoothly, with none of the squeaks and hiccups that my friends' chairs and some of the ones that we sell do! Then the miracle happened. The man selling the furniture came over and told us that he would give us the entire set--glider and ottoman--for $35! That's right: thirty-five dollars! He was sad to have to sell it, but they were moving to New York, and simply didn't have the room for it. Todd and I conferred for all of one minute, and then he went to the bank to pull out some cash while I stayed behind to guard my precious find. Todd called Margot to see if she would lend us the use of her van so we could get it home, and voila! I am the proud owner of a wonderful, comfortable glider that only cost me 1/10th the price of a store-bought one! Now I can rock my sweet babies to sleep or read stories to them in MY CHAIR!
(P.S. Evie has been playing with the ottoman almost nonstop since then. She thinks it's great fun to rock it back and forth, over and over, and try to climb on!)