Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January 2017

A new year always brings a fresh start that for some reason feels so good!  We expect 2017 to bring some exciting changes for our little family with Victoria making her arrival and Logan now working full-time and we can't wait to see what lies ahead!  January was great but I'm happy it's over--the closer we can get to spring the better!

Our month began with church on the first and the realization that Eli would have started primary this year!  It's exciting and weird to think he would be growing up so fast.  Because of his early January birthday, he would have spent nearly an entire year in nursery as a 3-year old.  A sweet lady, whom we never met, drew a special picture of what she envisioned Eli would look like as a young boy and dropped it off at the cemetery for us on the day of his funeral.  We have cherished this picture ever since and I can absolutely see him in it!  Austin has many of the characteristics of this picture and we've also had several people see it and say things like "Wow, what a darling picture of Eli!" before realizing he died long before this.  The accuracy is that good in my opinion!
On the first we also celebrated Eli's and Logan's birthdays with my family.  I love that it feels just like any other birthday and not something awkward or forced just because he isn't here.  As our kids get older, I want to make it into an even bigger celebration and do something really fun as a family on that day.  For now, we keep it low-key but it's still perfect.
Early on in the month it seemed like Logan was outside shoveling at least once a day for a week straight.  Austin still doesn't love going out in the snow but he was mesmerized watching his daddy work!
I usually take our Christmas things down right after Christmas but I couldn't muster up the energy until after New Years.  As much as I love having it up, it feels so good getting it down and having everything clean and back in order.  Austin was a big help putting things away too! :)
On Eli's actual birthday, the 4th, we got some balloons and went to the cemetery with our families to sing.  The lighting and weather were really crappy that day so the pictures we got are really poor quality but I'm glad we have something.  Eli's cousins in Seattle didn't let the distance keep them from joining in on the birthday festivities! 
On Logan's birthday, the 6th, he was able to take the day off work which was the best thing of all!  We had our first MCA scan for Victoria that day so we ran to that appointment before stopping for lunch at Sapa Sushi Bar downtown.  It's officially my favorite sushi restaurant now!  Oh my goodness, it was so delicious and I've craved it many times since!  From the outside it looks a bit scary and not somewhere I'd ever walk into but the food is completely opposite of that.  If you haven't been, you need to go asap!  After lunch we went and picked up Austin and took him shopping for a bit.  We didn't buy much but it was fun to be out as a family.  Later that evening for dinner we ate at one of our favorite restaurants, the Dodo.  Talk about a day filled with the best food on the planet!  Logan says he had a great day and I sure hope so because he deserves it!  I'll never forgive myself for forgetting his birthday the year Eli was born when we were still in the hospital and I was wacky trying to recover.  Every birthday going forward has to make up for that!  I didn't take a single picture on Logan's birthday which I'm bummed about but at least I was distracted because we were having such a good time as a family!

Austin is finally starting to warm up to nursery a bit!  He has a hard time when we drop him off but calms down shortly after.  I love peeking at him when I can and seeing him happily playing.  Life is always better when he has his bunny.  Thank goodness for that thing!
I took Austin to Gateway Discovery again a few weeks ago and it was extra fun because it was really dead and it was just me and Tinny.  We usually go with other friends or family members, which we love, but it was really nice just enjoying 1-on-1 time with him. It made me a bit sad realizing he won't have much of that when his sister comes.  
Logan grabbed Little Caesars on his way home from work one day this month and every time we eat it, Austin is obsessed with the dipping sauce.  He dips his pizza and crazy bread in it but he also loves eating it straight off his fork.  Yuck.
A few of Austin's favorite things are fireplaces, the iPad, and Mimi so getting all three at once is a big bonus!
We had Beck over for a little while earlier this month and he and Austin had so much fun together. They are really starting to play well together now and constantly laugh at each other.  Things are almost always good between them unless a screen is involved.  We're trying to teach Austin that it's okay to let other people watch with you.
Poor Tinny was diagnosed with his 6th ear infection earlier this month.  I don't think he has had enough of them to get tubes yet but it sure feels like he has them all the time!  I asked my mom how many I had had when I got tubes and I think she said it was like 17 diagnosed infections in 6 months or something crazy!  I guess it could always be worse!
Austin was so thrilled when the snow melted and it warmed up a bit during the middle of the month and begged to go outside constantly!  Every time we went to and from the car he would sneak over to his playhouse and hated not being able to stay outside.  I'm right there with him--I hope it warms up asap this year!
My sweet grandpa, who we live with, turned 92 this month.  He's slowing down but is still doing so well for his age.  I hope he hangs around for as long as possible!  We had fun celebrating his birthday and hearing him wish for "another 92"!
I had tried convincing Austin to eat snow many times this winter but he wouldn't even think about it so I was super surprised when I let him run outside ahead of me a couple weeks ago only to go out and find him chowing down the snow!  He kept holding it out to me saying: "A wawa!" funny kid.  He now wants to eat the snow any time we go outside.
Naturally, this is one of Austin's favorite things!  I have to admit that he may or may not have watched more shows than necessary during this pregnancy.  His favorite shows currently include: Daniel Tiger, Stinky and Dirty, and Car City.  More than those, though, he LOVES watching home videos of himself doing random day-to-day things.  
We read the children's scriptures with Austin every night before bed and rotate through the four different books.  I actually feel like I learn so much reading the simple versions of the scriptures.  We recently finished the Book of Mormon for the second time--one year exactly after we finished it the first time.  I hope we keep this up for years and years to come!
Logan got his diploma in the mail this month and it was such an exciting thing for all of us because it truly made it feel like he was officially done!  He is going to walk in May as long as it doesn't conflict with Victoria being born and I can't wait for him to experience that!
When Austin saw Logan out snow blowing last week he was dying to get out and help so I got him all bundled up and he loved it as long as he didn't have to get in the snow.  Helping his daddy outside has always been his favorite!
A couple Saturdays ago we decided to put together the toddler bed I had found for Austin online ages ago but we didn't anticipate switching him just yet.  I had no desire to deal with him getting out all night and I was sure he would but I thought he might warm up to the idea if he just saw it set up for awhile.  He immediately fell in love with it and sat on it all afternoon reading books and playing with toys.  When he was in the bath that evening Logan moved the mattress back to his crib and when he went in and saw it he said: "Oh no!" with this saddest inflection.  We asked if he wanted to sleep in his big boy bed and he said: "Yeah" so we decided to give it a go.  Shockingly, he stayed in it all night and ever since then has never once tried to get out during his naps or at night.  I'm sure there will come a time when he realizes he can get out but his room is completely pitch black so I think he's a little scared to get out for now.  He wakes up much happier than he used to and is still so proud of his bed.  I'm glad we have that transition taken care of before Victoria gets here!
Victoria's crib sheet might be the only pink thing in this room for awhile!  At least it doesn't scream boy too much...
I had to run a couple errands at the mall last week so of course we had to stop by Hot Dog on a Stick too!  I have never liked corn dogs but man, that cheese on a stick is SO tasty!
I guess Austin loves it too! 
Logan's aunt and uncle have these little benches and Austin is obsessed with them.  He has always loved sitting on small things (even if it's not made to be sat on) so he loves that these little seats are the perfect size for him!
After getting over his ear infection, Austin had just a couple healthy days before catching another nasty bug this past weekend.  He was SO miserable and not himself at all.  I had his ears checked out just to make sure they had gotten better and the doctor confirmed they were fine but that he just had a new bug.  This winter seems to have been nastier than normal!  The one good thing about Tinny being sick?  He let me cuddle him to sleep for the first time EVER!  He typically refuses to have anyone lay by him and he has never fallen asleep in our arms (except as a tiny baby).  When he had a hard time falling asleep on Saturday I went in and laid next to him and he immediately put his hand on my face and fell right to sleep.  Listening to him breathe as he slept so peacefully with me next to him was a dream!  For several days while he was sick, Austin had basically no appetite so when he finally asked for a hot dog and peaches I was thrilled!  This kid would eat hot dogs for every meal if we let him.
 Odds and Ends:

My pregnancy hit some bumps this month but things are okay right now, thankfully!  Victoria's MCA level, which tells us how anemic she is, took a big jump a couple weeks ago and we thought we would have to transfuse but after lots of prayers from many people, we have been able to hold off longer than we originally thought we could.  It's difficult and risky to transfuse this early (I'm only 22 weeks) so every day we can put it off is a huge blessing.  Fortunately her growth and movement are all normal so that's a huge blessing.  Fingers crossed things continue to go well!  I'm grateful we have appointments so often right now but man, has this pregnancy gone by slow because of that!  I feel like I should be way further than 22 weeks right now but I'm just grateful to be pregnant at all!

All things are great with Austin!  He's busy, hilarious, and learning lots every day!  He said his first two-word sentence the other day when he saw an empty bottle and said: "All gone!" He surprises us every day with a new word but then he won't say it again until it's his idea.  He rarely says anything when you ask him to so we love when he's in the mood to say new things.

Logan is really liking work and is liking being done with school even more!  He came home the other day and said: Guess what?  Tuition was due yesterday!  I love not paying tuition!"  Haha so do I!

I think that does it for January!  Every month that passes gets us closer to warmth and meeting Victoria so we hope it goes by fast!

Monday, January 9, 2017

"Another year, gone!"

**There's nothing like a classic Dumbledore quote to start off this post!**

I'm bummed I never got around to posting about November but I don't have the energy to go back through the entire month right now so I'll just highlight the last two months instead.  They sure were great!  Pregnancy sickness has rocked my world once again and it doesn't help that this time around I'm chasing a toddler as well and can't put my feet up whenever I want.  All that aside, I wouldn't change how things are going right now for anything and feel so blessed with all that is going on in our lives right now!

Starting off November is a hilarious little story and picture that you probably had to see to think was funny but I need to share it.  There was a broken branch stuck in our tree that Logan was trying to jump and grab but it was a bit too high so he came up short several times in a row.  Austin thought it was hilarious every time Logan jumped and missed and kept giving us the most hilarious belly laughs.  I'm glad I caught one of them!
Later on in November we were invited to the Utah basketball game with some of our friends.  Austin and Beck had a great time running through the empty rows and behaved better than I thought they would!
Austin went to nursery for the first time on November 13th!  He cries when we drop him off still but apparently he calms down within a couple minutes and is happy the rest of the time.  During the switch between second and third hour I guess they pull the room divider shut in the nursery so they can get snacks ready during the lesson and apparently Austin HATES it when they do that for some reason.  I heard him pretty upset when I walked by yesterday but they said he calms down really fast.  Funny kid.  When I picked him up yesterday he got so excited and kept saying: "Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!" and blowing the leaders kisses.  It's hard to believe our little 3.5 pounder is a big nursery kid now!
After the first snow storm of the year we were so excited to take Austin outside to play but our high expectations were short-lived.  He hated every second of it!  If he was standing on the cement he was okay but the second we put him in the snow he had a meltdown.  I think he doesn't like how unsteady it is so he gets really nervous.  The first two or three times we took him outside it just got worse so I expected him to take a year or two before he warmed up to it.
You would think we dropped him in a foot of snow!
I've been searching mine and Logan's phones for the pictures we took on Thanksgiving but I can't find a single one!  I'm shocked we didn't take a family picture or at least one of all the wonderful food!  Our minds must have been preoccupied because we finally shared on social media our exciting baby news!  I was one day shy of 12 weeks on Thanksgiving and it also happened to be my birthday so we thought that was a perfect day to announce.  I've written all about the anticipated arrival of our baby girl HERE in a previous post.  We are so excited!
Despite the lack of pictures, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We were feeling so much love from all of our family and friends and we got to spend the entire day with the people we love most so it was perfect.  It was my family's year for Thanksgiving so we had a great time eating and playing games with them.  My mom's food was fantastic and she went to a ton of effort to make the entire day memorable with lots of games and prizes.  Unfortunately Austin had burst his ear drum the night before but every InstaCare we called was closed and his peds office wouldn't call in a prescription so he was pretty miserable the entire day.  I felt so bad that he couldn't enjoy the holiday but at least he won't remember it!

I got our Christmas all set up the day after Thanksgiving but couldn't have done it without my mom so many thanks to her!  This was the first time in three years that we haven't just pulled Eli's tree out of storage so that was different.  It had been pretty damaged as we moved it in and out of storage the last few years so it just wasn't in a condition to be put up again.  When we took it apart last year we saved a lot of the ornaments and will be able to use them and have a little piece of his tree still.  It was fun having something different this time around!
Thanks to my good friend, we got an awesome deal on an annual pass to the Discovery Gateway museum downtown and Austin loves it!  We've only been a few times so far but we'll get great use out of it this winter! 
After Austin burst his eardrum on Thanksgiving, he went through a phase for the next few weeks where he was SUPER clingy to me and wouldn't let anyone (including Logan) hold him or even talk to him it felt like.  Thankfully he is past that now and back to his old self but we did get a classic Santa picture during that time!

My mom and I took Austin to the mall a few weeks ago to get some new shoes and he immediately grabbed the bright pink ones and held them up to his feet.  You should have seen his face when I put the plain white ones on instead haha!  He hit it off real quick with the kid mannequins and we were dying.  I wish I could have understood the gibberish he was speaking to them!
A few weeks ago we went with my family downtown for our annual visit to Temple Square to see the lights.  Unfortunately it was right during finals week so Logan wasn't able to join us but we still had a good time!  Austin loved playing on the dinosaurs at the City Creek food court and wasn't thrilled to leave.  After a quick dinner we braved the cold but it actually wasn't bad!  I was prepared with tons of layers for both of us and ended up taking a few off because I was too warm.  Austin seemed to enjoy the lights but his favorite part was stopping for hot chocolate at the end!  He sure loves his cousins :)
Logan and I have always cut Austin's hair on our own but I wanted him to have an official haircut before Christmas so we took him to Cookie Cutters and had a decent first experience!  He sobbed when we put him in the chair but as soon as he got a sucker he calmed right down and only pulled his head away a few times.  I didn't get a great picture but his cut looked super cute so I was happy about that!
Austin loves sneaking into my parents' room when we're over there because he knows how to turn on the bathtub water.  How can I stop that sweet face from having fun?? :)
Austin is a berry lover and eats so many of them I'm surprised he hasn't turned into one!  My mom gave us a giant bag of raspberries and blackberries and Tinny ate them in one sitting!
Now for Christmas!  We were with my family for Christmas Eve this year--my favorite night of the entire year!  We've had the same traditions since before I was born and I look forward to them so much.  My mom's dinner was delicious, the grandkids got their darling PJs from my parents, my sweet grandpa read the Savior's birth from the bible, the grandkids opened their presents from my parents, my siblings did a gift exchange, we sang some fun Christmas songs, and finally headed home to get ready for Santa!  It was a night full of memories that we won't forget for a long time!
After putting Austin to bed, Logan and I stayed up and played Santa as we put together Austin's train table.  It was so fun to be doing the things for our own kids now that our parents did for us for years.  We got to bed late but I sure was excited all night to see what Austin thought in the morning!
Thankfully Austin slept until 8:30 on Christmas morning and woke up a happy camper!  He got excited as soon as he saw his train table from the other room but was a bit apprehensive and didn't want to run in without us.  It took him about 2.5 seconds to warm up to everything and he immediately fell in love with his trains!  I thought he'd like it but had no idea how much he would love it!  He loved going through his stocking too and got excited when he saw his other few presents set up next to the train table.  It was a simple Christmas with just a few toys but it was perfect for the age he is at.  We played all morning and finally drug ourselves away to get ready for church!
We got word on Sunday morning that our ward was cancelled because they were unable to clear the parking lot of snow but we were planning on going to my parents' ward anyway to hear my mom speak so it didn't mess with our plans.  We left a bit early so we could stop by the cemetery but that quickly turned into a bad scene.  We drove a short distance into the cemetery before getting a bad feeling about going in because the roads hadn't been cleared but rather than turning around like we felt we should, we kept going.  We weren't even able to make it to Eli's spot before becoming completely stuck and unable to move at all.  Furious with ourselves, Logan tried pushing while I drove but we weren't going anywhere.  Before calling family for help, we decided that our best option would be to make the short trek to Eli's grave, say a family prayer, and ask for help.  Thankfully we were blessed with a Christmas miracle and somehow made it out of the cemetery right after getting back to the car.  I'm sure Eli pushed us right out of there!

It felt wonderful attending church on Christmas and my mom gave a beautiful talk on one of the greatest gifts our Savior offers us--peace.  It was perfect and I honestly wish Christmas fell on a Sunday every year.  
After church we went over to my parents' for my mom's traditional Christmas brunch.  The food was great and we had a wonderful time relaxing with my family and getting play-by-plays from my nieces and nephews of their mornings.  Later in the evening we went to Logan's aunt and uncle's for dinner and had a nice time with them!  Austin got a few more presents from Logan's family and it was the perfect way to end a perfect holiday.  We had such a fun holiday and couldn't have asked for anything more!

During Austin's nap on the day after Christmas Logan built a hill in the backyard hoping it would entice Austin to play in the snow with him.  He dreamed a bit big because Austin was having none of it!  Even sitting in the sled on my lap while Logan pulled us around the yard just about undid him. 
He was much more content watching dad play from a distance.

Because of our previous snow fiascos, I was really nervous about our plan for New Year's Eve to go up to Logan's sister's cabin to go sledding and snowmobiling.  I prepared for the worst and figured Austin would survive one way or another!  The drive is about an hour so we left when he was super tired hoping he would get a quick nap in but of course he didn't close his eyes the entire time.  When we got out of the car and he saw all the snow he got a bit nervous but he quickly became transfixed with all of the snowmobiles and seemed okay for a minute!  We had to park down below the cabin and ride the snowmobile up and Austin fell in LOVE with the ride!  He didn't want to get off and kept begging to get back on.  Figuring he was happy for the time being, Logan quickly took him to the back of the cabin to try sledding and he loved that too!  It was a complete miracle!  Maybe he's more comfortable in feet of snow instead of inches?  Who knows.  He still didn't love standing in the snow on his own but he was perfectly happy sledding.  We were so happy!
Hoping Uncle Matt will take him for a ride!
After it started getting dark we headed home and finished the night with dinner at Logan's parents' house.  It was a great way to ring in the new year!

Austin Update: Austin is growing up so fast into such a big, healthy boy!  His personality shines through more and more every day and he is constantly showing us how independent and opinionated he is!  I have a feeling we've hit the terrible twos a bit early and it's not fun.  He has thrown some of the WORST tantrums over nothing and only calms down after he cries it out on his own.  Thankfully they don't happen often but plenty enough for this pregnant mama!  He is learning to say new things every day and says around 20 words right now.  It's so helpful when he knows a word for what he wants and doesn't have to scream for it.  If he doesn't know the word for what he wants, he knows we don't allow his whining so he'll say: "Zis! Pees!" (This! Please!)  So dang cute.  He loves giving my belly kisses and probably thinks tummies are called sissies.  We'll fix that one later on.  Thankfully he continues to be an excellent eater and sleeper and is happy and content nearly all of the time.  Staying home with him every day is one of my greatest blessings!

Pregnancy Update: I'm 19 weeks now (tomorrow) and am officially over halfway since I won't go past 37 weeks.  I'm still throwing up a lot and don't enjoy most foods.  During my last two pregnancies I didn't feel very good until closer to 26 weeks but I hope I get a reprieve a bit sooner this time.  We had our first MCA scan last Friday to check Victoria's blood levels and so far she is doing okay.  She is affected more at this point than Austin was but that's to be expected.  We'll just continue to keep a close watch on her and pray for the best!

Logan graduated from school last month and I am so proud of how hard he worked to get to where he is.  It took him longer to finish than we originally expected but with how sick our kids have been, Logan put his family first and committed to finishing school when the time was right.  He is relieved to be done with this stage of his life and has a great job lined up that he has already started.  We are feeling very blessed and have created many wonderful memories this year!  It's crazy to think 2016 is over but we're excited about everything 2017 has to offer!  Our highlight will be meeting Victoria and we have some fun vacations planned as well!