Friday, May 15, 2015

1st Month

Sweet baby Rosie has lived one whole month!  We are so in love this little girl. She is eating, growing, and sleeping so well!

She also cooperated for picture taking too.  Her sister was a little more finicky, but they look a lot alike!  See for yourself.

I love staring at this baby's face.  It makes those 9 months of torture not seem so bad.  Wow, can't believe I just wrote that!  I'm very happy not to be pregnant anymore!  

We are just loving the simple life right now!  I feel lucky that I mostly feel like myself and can do the things I want to do.  I'm just starting to ease back into a fitness routine.  The challenge is to be patient with myself and my body, but I do feel stronger this time around.

I think real smiles are in the near future and I can't wait!

Little Rosie, just remember, "you is kind, you is smart, and you is important!"

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Rosie's Blessing Day

On Sunday, May 3rd, 2015, Rosalie Maybelle Harper was blessed and officially given a name on the records of our church.

Rosie got all dressed up in our family blessing dress (made from the same fabric as my mother's wedding dress).  She was wrapped in my family's shawl and a blanket from her Grandma Harper. And just like the angel baby that she is, she slept through the entire thing!

Through the power of the priesthood, her Daddy blessed her and promised her many beautiful things. We have recorded those important words for her to read in the future, but a couple things stood out: Rosie will grow up to be known as a sweet and kind young woman who will help others to see how wonderful and important women are; And she and her sister will become great friends.

 Rosie is also wearing my little pink slippers

 eventually they'll like each other

but sometimes it will feel like this

Many family members were able to be with us for the blessing and were also able to come over to our house afterwards for lunch.

the pic that Hylan took and Auntie Sheree is holding Rosie

the pic Sheree took

family closeup

We had a delicious feast that my mom helped me to prepare.  I made these yummy Sloppy Joes.  We also made Mexican Macaroni Salad, Pea Salad, Pineapple Lush Dip (served with vanilla wafers, graham sticks, and fresh strawberries), my sister brought perfectly yummy deviled eggs, and we also had chips, cream puffs, various chocolates, and this ice cream cake: 

It was a wonderful day of family and celebration.  I can't believe how well I felt for two and a half weeks postpartum.

 another attempt at a family pic

 about as good as it was going to get

 my family!

I'm so happy.  So lucky.  So blessed!  And my angel baby let's me get good sleep.  It helped a lot to have Hylan home for a week and a half, my parents in town for two weeks, and Hylan's mom ready to help when I need it.  So many things are different this time around, and I am definitely not missing the anxiety and depression I had with that cute two year old up there.  I'm much better able to appreciate and relish life this time around and I do not take that for granted!

Families are Forever!  :)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Rosalie's Birth Story

Let's start with the doctor's appointment on Tuesday, April 14th where I was told my "bishop's score" was too low to schedule an induction like I had hoped to do.  In fact, the doctor looked up my ultrasound which showed a due date of April 27th (instead of April 20th).  Talk about depressing! So, the only thing I could do was schedule an appointment with him for a week out and play the waiting game some more, even though I had really felt like things were changing and I was getting really close.

Fast forward one day later.  I woke up really tired, but I still made yogurt pancakes for breakfast because it's one thing I can get Naomi to eat!  After cleaning up, etc. I sat down for awhile but could not keep my eyes open so I went to lay down in bed for about an hour and a half.  Naomi climbed on me for a little while and then entertained herself with her princess clip dresses and some episodes of "Sofia the First."

After lunch and putting Naomi down for a nap, I found some energy to do some prenatal yoga.  I had stopped exercising for about a week prior because I thought I was close to delivery and the strength exercises I was doing were giving me all kinds of lower body pains, but since I was now thinking I had another week until delivery, I knew I needed something, something like yoga!  

After I finished that up, I felt great, so I took a super long soak in the tub with some Epsom salts.  I was still trying to console my pregnant body, after all.

I was going to not cook dinner that night, but I had this idea to make pasta carbonara that I couldn't get out of my mind, so I made it.  Since I knew Hylan would probably be late getting home, and because I was hungry, and because Naomi still doesn't really eat the food I make for dinner, I ate my pile of pasta and peas alone.  After I finished up, and before I had a chance to clean up the kitchen, I sat down to change Naomi's dirty diaper and...then...I felt the gush...and I knew my water had broken.

Although every article you read says that the water breaking thing happens more in the movies than in real life (like 10% of the time), it has happened with both of my daughters now.  

At this point, I wasn't all that concerned, but I was really surprised since I had mentally prepared myself for another week of pregnancy.  As I was standing in the tub and using up all the towels in the bathroom, I kept thinking that I'd be able to get to a point where I could go clean up the kitchen, make sure Naomi was taken care of, pack a bag, and call Hylan to get home (maybe even have enough time for him to eat dinner).  BUT...then...and this is the weird part...after I got up from the toilet, there was this water balloon-looking thing hanging out of me.  Um...wait...what?

It was weird and uncomfortable and I still hadn't gotten to my phone to call Hylan and Naomi was not helping (she was happily playing with her princesses on the edge of the tub).

Did I mention that after a crazy wind storm the day before, this day it was SNOWING and there was at least 6 inches on the ground (pretty much the biggest snow storm of the whole year--go figure!)? And because of that, and the late yoga/bath of the day, and because I had made dinner, and because I wasn't planning on going anywhere, and because I was mildly depressed about being pregnant and tired, I decided to be a scrub and put my comfortable clothes on, pony tail my hair, and leave my face bare.  

Up until the strange water balloon thing, I also thought I would have a few minutes to freshen up my face before heading off to the hospital.  With Naomi, my water broke at 4:00 am and slowly leaked, but I had no contractions and didn't go to the hospital until about 2:30 pm, so that's why I wasn't panicked and thought I still had some time.  

This time contractions hadn't started yet either, but the water balloon thing...what the...?  It was a bit alarming and confusing so I started to play the "what if?" game and knew I needed to call Hylan right away, but I felt kind of trapped in the bathroom. 

Needless to say, I got my phone and called Hylan who did not answer the first or second time because he was in an appointment, but he did call back within five minutes (this was around 6:30 pm) and I told him he needed to get home immediately.

Meanwhile, as I'm still standing in the tub, I'm trying to google "water balloon hanging out before delivery," but it was not yielding any information, all whilst Naomi is blissfully unaware playing princesses and watching TV. 

Hylan's parents showed up soon thereafter and then so did he.  We decided to call 911 because no one knew what the heck was up with the "water balloon" thing and I wasn't really sure how I could get myself put together and sit in a car and drive to the hospital.  

So, in dramatic fashion, an ambulance came and whisked me away VIP-style to the hospital.  My contractions had just started about then, and I still was calm, but I felt relieved to be in the ambulance because I felt like I would probably make it to the hospital in time and hopefully my doctor would be able to get there.  (By the way, real contractions are a lot less painful than purely pitocin-induced contractions.)

We arrived at the hospital and the EMT guys wheeled me right up to labor and delivery, the nurses called my doctor and hooked me up to all the monitoring devices, but still no one had any answers on what the water balloon thing was. And they sure didn't hold back on the poking and prodding.  Ugh.  

I had plenty of time to order an epidural.  Hylan had time to register at the front desk and get some dinner.  My doctor showed up and was the only one who had an explanation for the "water balloon" thing, which if I understood it correctly was part of the membrane of the amniotic sac that had filled up with amniotic fluid (just like a water balloon).  He had a technical term for it which I wish I could remember, because still no one else has ever heard of such a thing.  Apparently, it wasn't really that serious, but how were we to know?  I sure didn't want to tug on something and have a baby's head pop out.  That would have been scary.

Until I had the epidural, I was uncomfortable (so much leaking...ew) and in some pain, but just relieved to be in the hospital and also still kind of in shock that this was all happening when one day ago I was told it looked like we were still at least a week out!  After the epidural, I was a lot more comfortable.  The nurses started me on some pitocin to help me get going a bit faster.  And we just relaxed, watching a few episodes of Property Brothers on HGTV.

I asked the nurse if she thought I would deliver a "tax baby" and she thought it wouldn't happen until after midnight.  

At about 10:30 pm, she checked me and said that she would come in again in about an hour and probably call my doctor at that point.  And then my doctor walked in.  He did some checking and said, "it's just about time to have a baby."

They prepped everything.  I was super relaxed and comfortable from the epidural.  He said "push" and a few minutes later, a small episiotomy, and about 4 pushes, Rosalie was born.  It was kind of amazing how fast that part went. She was was born at 10:58 pm, tiny and cute!  

Rosalie Maybelle Harper
April 15, 2015, 10:58 pm
6 lbs, 6 oz, 17 inches

Daddy snuggles!

I was there too, though this is the only picture of "me" there is.  ;)

cute sign the nurses made

Now I understand why people prepare and pack their bags for the hospital days/weeks in advance because all I had was literally the shirt on my back. So, the next morning Hylan went home to shower and get some clothes for me and Rosie as well as my cell phone charger.  

first outfit

flamingo hat

We left the hospital the next day around 6:30 pm (it would have been earlier but do you know how efficient the discharge process is?).  We were just ready to get home to Naomi and be done with the hospital and all the poking and prodding and laying around.      

And I felt okay this time around, not like with Naomi where I felt awful and dysfunctional physically and emotionally.

Daddy and his girls!

flamingo butt!

Rosie girl has been a dream baby!  I can't believe how well she eats, sleeps, and doesn't cry.  I keep thinking she is going to grow out of this, but so far she is a super happy and contented baby.  And we are actually getting enough sleep around here.  That makes everything better!  Husbands should be home from work more often.  :)

I'm recovering well, much faster than with Naomi and that third degree tear. Not to mention, I've been able to stay upbeat and positive this time around too. And no stress/anxiety with the whole breastfeeding craziness either.  (The Baby Brezza Formula Pro has been one of our best investments!) Everything is going so well, that Hylan, the girls, and I have already made a trip to Costco by ourselves. I've been able to stay on top of keeping a house clean and clothes laundered as well.  What a difference this time around.

Life is good.  What a pleasant surprise to have such a happy baby.  We have had so many friends and family offering help, giving us gifts, and making us meals.  It is so appreciated!  

And now my parents are in town to help out for the next two weeks.  These are special times!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April: Easter, Anniversary, & Rosie's Namesake

We had another dinner party on Easter Sunday, April 5th!  This will likely be my last hosting event for a bit, but I had just enough energy (and a spiral cut ham from Costco) to motivate me.

Again, my sister's family came over, bringing their funeral potatoes.  YUM.  I spent the Saturday before making this festive carrot cake.  

I spent Sunday morning making these hot cross buns.  Also a hit!

We had dinner (really lunch) in between LDS General Conference sessions. There was the yummy ham and potatoes, peas, pickled beets and eggs, and the baked goods.  I also found some cute Easter lollipops at a local candy store called Peppermint Place. It was certainly enough food for our party of 9 (4 adults, 5 kids).

We also did an Easter Egg hunt in our backyard because I wanted Naomi to have the experience.

Naomi was so excited to receive a Cinderella Magiclip.  She had been watching youtube videos that featured these toys with their dresses and how to make new dresses out of play-doh.

She plays with it for hours every single day.  She also got a Little People Belle and Beast, but Cinderella is her most favorite!  I found it at Smith's Grocery story, but we have since bought a whole set from Target so that we can use the princesses as bribes for something in the future.  :)


Well, anyway, so yesterday was our anniversary.

Hylan surprised me by rearranging his schedule so that we could celebrate last Saturday!  He has been working so hard in preparation for taking time off with Rosie baby and I thought he was going to put in a full day Saturday and an even fuller day on Monday, so his efforts to clear some time for just the two of us were greatly appreciated!

He had intended to take me to see Insurgent but I wasn't feeling up to sitting through a movie when we left, so we ended up getting slurpees at 7-Eleven and then going to Target to buy a double stroller.  

After that, he took me to get a much needed pedicure!  I have been wanting one for so long and it felt so good to be pampered a bit.

And then dinner at The Chef's Table, one of my favorite restaurants!

This was waiting for me when we got there. :)

Of course I took no pictures of the food except for dessert, but trust me it was delicious and worth every penny!

Cheesecake for Hylan

Chocolate Dome with Raspberry Sauce for me--THE PERFECT DESSERT!

I really appreciate a quality meal with the best ingredients prepared with the finest techniques!

It was a great day and a much needed date because we rarely get out without taking Nomie girl with us.


So now the countdown to Rosie continues!  My due date is Monday, April 20th, but today I will schedule an induction, most likely for Friday, if she doesn't come before then.  

A note on her name.

Little miss Rosie is being named after my grandmother's mother.  Her full name will be Rosalie Maybelle Harper.

My grandmother (Naomi's namesake) lost her mom when she was just 4 years old, a point that has defined her whole life (my grandma is now 91).

Maybelle Rosalie Christina Lewis
with her husband Simeon David Conger
My great grandparents

Maybelle was born in Salt Lake, married in St. George, and passed away in the Las Vegas area.  She was a wonderful singer and was even invited to sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at age 19. She also loved the church and attending Sunday School.  She just seems to me to have been a person who was happy and loved life.  She had 11 children, each of which has long since passed away, with the exception of my grandmother.  

I feel strongly connected to my ancestors and can't think of a better way to honor them. I think our meetings and reunions will be so sweet in the after-life!

And so we are excited to meet and love this new little girl who is coming into our lives very soon!  I think I am better prepared this time around and hope to have a better recovery (at least mentally, if not physically as well).  

I also hope that sisters Nomie and Rosie will become close and share a special bond.  

We are about to become a family of four!   


And now this blog is current.  PHEW.  Just in the nick of time.  :)

Monday, April 13, 2015

March: More Memories!

At the beginning of March, we treated Naomi to Disney on Ice.  It was a first time for all of us.  The show was called "Let's Celebrate" and featured many Disney characters in all sorts of costumes celebrating different holidays/events.

Naomi was really quite captivated and pointed a lot when Minnie Mouse was on the ice!  She also enjoyed her popcorn and twizzlers.  It has become a bit of a thing during shows.

We were in the third row, though it might not look like it.  I didn't really get any good pictures, but at least it shows we were there.
The birthday celebration on ice.


This was also a good month to nest and rearrange the bedrooms and closets. Naomi got a toddler bed, so her crib was moved to the guest room which is now Rosie's room, and the guest room furniture is now located in the basement guest room (which was formerly empty).  We also hung some shelves and did some light decorating.  It has all come together quite nicely and I could not have done it without Hylan's help! 

Apparently Kingo liked the new arrangement because first we found him on Naomi's bed, then in Rosie's crib, then on the changing table (not pictured).  He still likes sleeping on the changing table. 

Naomi got two sets of bedding: Minnie Mouse and Princesses.  Her bed/mattress was so cheap ( that Hylan told me to get two sets (once again, sheesh Hylan, why do you keep trying to twist my arm to do things? Can you tell he's more of a spender and I'm the saver). It's actually quite nice to be able to just switch out the bedding while one set is being washed, though.

And Naomi absolutely adores her bed!  She played with her bedding when we got it.  She hugs her bed at night and during nap time.  The transition to a toddler bed was about as smooth as it could be, although she was sick and teething that first week (darn those molars) so we were up with her a lot then, but since, it's really much more convenient for her to have the freedom and flexibility to get in and out of bed when she wants.  She has fallen asleep on the floor a few times and on the glider once, but hey, she's asleep!  And it's easy enough to pick her up and put her in bed.

Sometimes she will even put herself to bed for naps.  She is still, however, a night owl.  It seems like no matter what we do she just won't go to bed before 9 pm (and that's a good night, sometimes it's 10:30, which is when we go to bed). I blame late church, travel, sickness, inept parenting, and my desire to sleep in. But she still sleeps about 11-12 hours at night (with 2-ish hour daytime naps). She often wakes up between 9-10 am, rarely any earlier.  I'm not really mad about that because it gives me some morning transition time (you know because if I can, I sleep until 8:30 am. My best sleep comes in the morning hours!) 

Anyway, that's a long rant about sleep.  I don't get much great sleep these days as the pregnancy insomnia and incessant bathroom trips has taken over.  I'm not super excited for the newborn phase and the fatigue that comes, but I'm hoping I cope a little better this time around. 

Do you judge my parenting skills?  I have no idea how parents put their kids to bed at 7:00 pm?  I also have no idea how parents are okay with 6:00 am wake-up calls either.  I'm just happy when a baby/toddler/child sleeps through the night (at least 8 hours).  I love it when babies start to sleep longer and longer through the night.  I'm already looking forward to that, but I have no idea what kind of routine we'll morph into with two kids at different stages.

So, March Madness and St. Patrick's Day also happened.  I invited my sister's family over on the Sunday before the 17th for a holiday meal: Corned Beef and Cabbage, Irish Soda Bread, and this year, Chocolate-Mint Grasshopper Pistachio Pie.  Everything turned out so yummy.  I got the corned beef from Costco and my nieces kept calling it chicken and they gobbled it up like it was.  

I was planning on making these Shamrock Pretzel Pops with my 9 year-old Activity Days girls, but Naomi ended up being sick with a fever that day, so I just made them alone (and still have a mug full).  They are cute though, so you should make them next year.

I keep mentioning too many things I didn't actually take pictures of...

But here's something I did.

Hylan learned of a local wholesale princess dress event and this occurred.

Look for to be up and running soon!  He actually went and bought these dresses the afternoon we left for a quick trip to San Diego.

I've been having fun letting Naomi wear these super durable, machine washable, cute Disney-inspired dresses. 

Anyway, back to our trip.  You see, during our St. Patrick's Day feast, Hylan all of a sudden decided that we should go west for another one of my niece's baptisms (my sister's family was already planning on going and my parents were flying in from PA).  I was totally surprised that he was serious and wondered whether or not I would be able to handle it at just under 37 weeks.  

We left on a Thursday afternoon and pricelined a hotel on the way there.  In hindsight, perhaps a casino hotel wasn't the wisest choice for a quick overnight family stay, but we stayed in a very nice room at Caesar's Palace, at least.  It would have been worth it if we would have gotten to eat breakfast at Serendipity 3, but they didn't open until 9:00 am.  What the heck, Vegas?  We were there at 8:00 and just didn't want to wait a whole hour when we still had some travel ahead of us.  Oh well. Some other time for a frozen hot chocolate I guess.

Anyway, We lolly-gagged getting to California on Friday and spent the afternoon/evening with family eating, enjoying each other's company, and watching a bit of basketball.  On Saturday, my niece and nephew had a big birthday bash at a park with tons of food and even a cotton candy machine.  It was hot in CA and there wasn't much shade at the park. Also, Naomi got sick/feverish again (I think her molars are finally in and we are done!).  But all in all, it was a fun event.  

After some rest, we went to Belle's baptism at 4:00 pm and then the ladies watched the rest of Women's Conference (since we were at the Stake Center). That night, we ate at an authentic super delicious Mexican restaurant.

Here's the only proof I have that we were there.  Here is also the one and only prego shot you are going to get of me.  I just have not wanted to document it this time around.

We had planned to stay for half of Sunday (church, lunch, and a bit of the beach), but with Naomi feeling how she did, and with us anxious to get back, we ended up leaving in the morning and traveling all day Sunday instead of half Sunday half Monday (I had to get back to teach my class by 5 on Monday, no matter what since that was my last week of teaching before spring break and having a sub take over). 

It was a good time and I actually did surprising well for being so pregnant.

And that was March.

We're almost caught up!

Next Up:  April's Current Events

February: An Eventful Month!

As I mentioned before, my parents came in to town to celebrate my niece's birthday and baptism.  My brother's family also came in to town from San Diego.  This all happened to occur the weekend of the Super Bowl.  I'm not sure why I have no pictures of any of these events, but trust me, we had a great time (until the Seahawks lost--poor Hylan).

But I do have pictures of Naomi's 2nd birthday!  We went to another BYU women's b-ball game in the afternoon.

Chicken dance with the cousins!

Then we had a party back at our house!  I think the cousins enjoyed it.  I kind of did the same menu and decorations as her first birthday.  Naomi especially loved her Minnie Mouse balloons!  We had (crockpot) chicken fajita tacos and angel food cake with strawberry whipped cream and mixed berries.


Last year, we gave Naomi a stuffed Minnie Mouse and that was about it.  This year she was a bit more spoiled, but she really loved everything she received! Hylan and I gave her a magnet Elsa doll set that she still plays with every day!

Grandma gave her a singing pink rocking horse (this was during the assembly process) 

In the end, it was a simple, homemade, family birthday party perfect for our 2 year-old.

Another highlight of early February was shopping for fabrics for Rosie's quilt.  

This was only from the first store.  There will be at least 12 other fabrics, but I just couldn't resist the cute little Minnies for some of the quilt blocks.  My mom will embroider some special blocks to sew in as well.  I can't wait to see how it turns out because I haven't even seen all of the fabric choices!


On Valentine's Day, I just had to bake!  This is my favorite recipe for sugar cookies and frosting.  It makes tons, so lots of neighbors got to benefit.

I was going to make the Minnie Mouse cookies for Naomi's birthday, but I didn't have the time or energy, nor was it necessary, so they were included in the Valentine's Day baking!


My grandma (Naomi's namesake) made this blue dress for me when I was a little girl.  She had been asking about it since Naomi is the right size, so it was time to send some pictures!

I originally wanted to have some professional pics done, but if I waited to do that then it probably wouldn't have happened.  So one Sunday morning, we dressed her up, plopped her in a chair, told her to say cheese, and took pics with our phones.  ha ha!

It was really hard to narrow down some favorites because her expressions were so different, but my sister-in-law edited and spliced this one together for us.  Thanks Beth!

By the way, whenever someone tries to tell me my daughter looks like me, I wonder why they are lying to me.  We don't.  It doesn't make me sad one bit. She's adorable.  But it does kind of make me mad when people lie to me, you know?  Okay, not really.  But seriously, people, I'm not blind.

We are totally alike in personality though, so it's very easy to relate to her.  


Naomi's favorite pastime is watching youtube videos. She especially loves old Mickey Mouse cartoons, various videos of Disney toys, kid song videos (like Daddy finger, Baby Big Mouth, Wheels on the Bus), and these videos where they crack open plastic eggs or chocolate eggs to discover some sort of toy.  I don't even know how she finds these things, but she is very skilled at using the tablet.  I don't really mind because a lot of the videos reinforce learning colors, shapes, and songs.  It's nice she's content to entertain herself so I can do stuff like cooking, cleaning, or exercising.  :)

She rarely falls asleep outside of her room, but I guess she was tired this day.


Hylan's birthday was on Thursday, the 26th and we spent the day together as a family!  It's always nice when he takes time off, so that was a present in itself.  I bought him a couple of new ties that he needed and we ate at Rodizio for lunch and PF Chang's for dinner.  But again, sometimes I get too busy enjoying the moment to take pictures of things.

And that was February.  The third trimester really started to kick in and slow me down by now.

Next blog:  March:  Disney on Ice, Nesting, and San Diego!