Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Kids make me Laugh

This picture is from last month. The kids wanted to both be carried (a common problem) but as you can imagine at 8 months preggo I wasn't up to carrying either one of them. So Joey played the hero daddy and grabbed them both. They loved it as you can see!

Having a great day today. All my daycare kiddos are on vacation so it's just me and my munchkins. They just get cuter and more entertaining by the day. Just a few moments from today that have made me smile:

Yesterday Tyler got grounded from Lego Batman on the XBox for something (don't even remember what now). Today he asked to play and I told him he was still grounded. He said "But mom...if I'm grounded from Batman that's means I'm on the Naughty List!" I told him not to worry, he just needed to work hard to get back on the Nice list ;)

We were listening to Christmas Music this morning. Kelley was saying how she could NOT wait until Christmas. She was lamenting that she just wanted to go to bed all day today and tomorrow so then it would be Christmas. A song came on that's called "I just can't wait till Christmas." She points excitedly to the music player and says "This song is EXACTLY how I feel."

Tyler was in the kitchen and exclaimed "Oh NO!" Kelley asked why he said that. Tyler responded "Because I have Play-Doh up my nose!"

It still amazes me how much they pick up on. Yesterday Tyler noticed the fireplace and that it had glass on it. He wasn't quite sure how Santa was going to get in. So Kelley took over the explanation about Santa's magic and how it didn't matter that we had a small chimney or if there was a fire it in or that it had glass over it. She does the whole talking with her hands thing and her little pointing and explanation of the whole thing was very entertaining.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

I'm awake!

Maren is still sleeping much of the time, but I was able to snap these yesterday while Aunt Karmin was here. The lighting and color isn't really fantastic I know, but I love her little eyes just looking around so intently.

I'm loving just holding and spending time with her. Unfortunately she's now on the bilirubin lights for jaundice and so that cuts down on the time I can just cuddle her significantly. She's supposed to be in there most of the time. We are going in today again to check her levels and I'm hoping they've dropped enough we can be done with those. It's just the saddest little thing you've ever seen! She does seem to adjust after she's been in there for a bit, but when I first put her in there, especially if she's been out for more than an hour or so, she just screams and is so upset until she basically wears herself out and can sleep. Tyler was on the lights too and it doesn't seem like it took very long to get where he needed to be, so we'll hope for the best.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Katie Maren DeGraaf

Can I just say...she looks just like Kelley to me in this picture! I wasn't sure she had that look when she was born...but feel that way more every day. Tyler looked a lot the same as well. Maybe I'll try to scan in their pics so you can see for yourself. But it sure seems to me that all our babies have a certain look...

OK, so the first question we're always going to get is why didn't we just give her Maren as a first name if that's what she will go by? Those of you that know my family know we have Kristy, Kelsha, Karmin and Kember. My mom is Colleen, then there's Pete and Ryan who are kind of left out :) Well, when we named Kelley, it was NOT because of all the K names in my family. My mom's maiden name is Kelley and my parents nearly named my sister that. I've always liked then name and it just seemed to fit when she was born. Even after naming her Kelley I had NO intention of continuing with the K theme. We didn't know what Maren was before she was born, but we have both liked that name for a long time. It is my sister's middle name, as well as prominent in my family history. Since it was a name we both really liked, we were pretty sure that's what we would name our next girl, but we never get set a name before our babies are actually born. We talked about different names a lot and one day I mentioned that I liked the name Kate. Not Katherine, but Katie or Kate, I think is really cute. Joey loved it and thought Katie Maren was perfect. I suggested Maren Katie or Maren Kate, but by then he was kind of set on Katie Maren. Besides he said "I kind of want to continue with the K theme", which makes me laugh. It's my family thing and I didn't even want to do it. What is really funny, is that my parents didn't really intend to do it either. Karmin was supposed to be Monica! I remember being bugged when she came home as Karmin, because I liked Monica better. But such is life and now it seems we are carrying on the torch.

Someone asked if it's a family thing to go by middle names also. I guess it kind of is. My grandmother, at least one aunt and my brother all go by their middle names. I know it will be a pain for her. I already had to explain to the doctor's office today about it. it too late to change it??? Speaking of which...I still don't really feel settled on the name really. Has anyone else gone through that? I didn't love Tyler's name either at first, but I knew there was no changing his name, Joe was determined there. There's some flexibility here though and we almost changed it yesterday in the hospital. Maren is for's just Katie I'm not sure about. I do like the name. I suggested it as a possibility. But we did find a name we liked better (Kennedy). Both Kelley and I like it better. I don't know that Joe likes he better necessarily, but he does like it. The problem is we didn't want to take it away from the sister(s) that suggested it to us, even though Maren won't go by it anyway. But I just keep going back to it.

The reasons I like Katie: It's mom has a lot of Irish in her family history. Kelley is Irish also, if you didn't already know that. It's cute, fun, light. I played Kate in Taming of the Shrew. Not that I want my daughter to be named after the Shrew, but it was my first play and kind of a fun connection. It goes really well with Maren.

The reasons I like Kennedy: Both our other kids have last names for middle names (Madison and Thompson). Joe kind of wanted something a little more "elegant" than Katie, if we could come up with it and I think this fits the bill. Plus I just like it better for some reason. It's my fault really though. I was being a brat and wouldn't tell my family what we were considering until we decided and put it on the birth certificate paperwork. As soon as my sister heard it she suggested Kennedy. Loved it...but once the paperwork is filled out, it's harder to change your mind. It would have been easy yesterday, but now would be a big process to change it I'm sure.

Anyway...on a final note. We thought all along it was a girl. We both had a feeling for a while that our next baby would be a girl, way before we even got pregnant. Then after the ultrasound we both thought it was a girl. We would not have been shocked if it was a boy though, but it was just one of those feelings. Well speaking of my sweetheart, I think I'll go steal her from daddy and get ready for bed. Thanks for all the comments! We sure are loving her and enjoying this season with her here. Hope you are having just as Merry a holiday as we are!

Per request...

I guess we keep getting in trouble for not posting more pics of the baby! Here's a few more and Joe is bringing home his nice camera today so we can hopefully get some better ones. The kids are in love with's really cute. Tyler keeps saying "I love her" and telling me the blanket he bought for her says "I love you", even though it doesn't :) This morning he asked if she was sleeping and if he could sleep with her. Kelley constantly wants to hold her as well and understands that even though she cries when she holds her, it's just because she doesn't know her as well and she will get used to her.

I will try my best to post more, better, up close pics of the baby today, along with a post about her name :) For now, enjoy...

Only a few hours old here (if that!)

Monday, December 14, 2009

More pics :)

Midwife Laurie Hansen, Maren and I

Because of the H1N1 they won't let any children in to visit :( But the kids seem to enjoy seeing their new sister through the nursery window at least.

Another one of baby and I. It is quite ironic to me that the one time I actually had my hair and makeup all done up, we didn't get the picture of us headed to the hospital, because I could barely get out the door, nor the picture of us right after delivery, because we had left the camera in the car. So this is several hours later. It still is better than my other after baby pics though :)

Just a fun one of the kids I took yesterday in their Christmas outfits.

Five, Four, Three...

It's a GIRL! We decided on Katie Maren DeGraaf and are going to call her by her middle name...but we are now rethinking the first name....We are going to sleep on it and will let you know if anything changes. She was 7 lbs 14 ounces and 20 inches long, born at 9 AM this morning, 8 days early. For those of you that don't want any more gory details that should sum it up, but it's a pretty good story if you want to stick around. And I think this story beats Kelley' funny as THAT was. (For those of you that missed it I wrote about it here.)

Many of you know that I was SURE this baby would be early. Kelley was 10 days early on her own, Tyler was 2.5 weeks early. I had to be induced with him because of preeclampsia and almost was with Kelley for the same thing. I also have been having Braxton-Hicks with this baby for months and almost thought I might end up with a preemie! So we passed the preemie mark, 2.5 weeks came and went, 10 days early came and went and I was starting to think I might end up with a Christmas baby after all. It seemed like the one time we really wanted an early baby we weren't going to get one. My due date was the 22nd, but I thought it would be so ironic if I ended up overdue with this one.

At my 37 week appointment I hadn't made ANY progress, but was dialated to a 2 + last Thursday, so was hopeful at that point. My midwife offered to strip my membranes to see if we could encourage things to start on their own, so that was tentatively planned for tomorrow morning. In the meantime I was taking warm baths, eating spicy foods, trying to encourage the natural process along. Last night I finally finished typing up arrangements for the daycare kids and put the finishing touches on the Christmas program I was in charge of for church. The kids rooms were switched, my house was cleaner than it has been in a LONG time, I was actually feeling like I was ready to go. I put on my facebook status that the 14th seemed like a good day, but figured that was probably just more wishful thinking.

This morning I woke up at 1:30 AM, 3:30 AM, 4:30 most nights lately. I couldn't get back to sleep and so finally decided to just go shower. I started to have a few painful contractions, but they didn't last long. Still I had this feeling I'd better get my hair fixed and makeup on if I was going to. Right before 6 AM I started to have more regular contractions. They were painful and 4-5 minutes apart, but not very long in duration and still bearable. At 6:45 I told Joey he might want to get up and get showered because we'd probably end up at the hospital this morning. I also texted my sister and told her I might need her at the daycare this morning. About 7:20 I decided to lay down and see if they went away. They didn't go away completely, but slowed down to almost 10 minutes apart, so I figured we could wait until it was time to take Kelley to school at 8:30 AM. Karmin showed up, Joey got up and dressed. Contractions were still bearable. Just before 8:30 AM I had one or two contractions that were pretty painful and so we started shuttling kids out the door. Joey gave me a blessing before we left. It very quickly went to the point I was thinking there was no way I was going to get through the natural labor I had planned.

I had another contraction hit me as I was getting in the car. It was all I could do to crawl up onto the seat kneeling backwards and within the two blocks it takes to get to the school I'm yelling at Joey "get the kids out of the car NOW!" We had Kelley and the other 7 year old neighbor girl from across the street with us and luckily they thought it was pretty funny and so were just giggling the whole way. I'm glad it wasn't traumatizing for them :) We stopped at the school and my water broke and then there was all this pressure at one time. I crawled out of the car thinking there was no way I was going anywhere else. Joey kept telling me "you have to get in the car". I insisted I couldn't two or three times, but finally crawled back in. We headed off to the hospital and by this time I was certain I was going to die. Joey turned on Lund Highway instead of Airport Road like he was supposed to. Luckily it wasn't right in the middle of a contraction, or I might have killed him. Traffic was CRAZY though...I mean for Cedar City. There was three or four people ahead of us the whole drive, so he couldn't just pass them all. (Had I been thinking I would have told him to just put on his flashers and gun it). He was thinking though and trying really hard to get us to the hospital in one piece. Of course everyone ahead of us was taking their sweet time.

Funny side note here...I will freely admit I was yelling my guts out in the middle of those contractions. I kept thinking about my mom. She had all five of us naturally and whenever we would see a movie with a women screaming during labor she says "That's not really how it is..." Apparently she was not a screamer. I was thinking about this as I could think of nothing else to do besides scream and hold Joey's hand. I didn't want to break the windshield or something and so was trying to be as still as I could. So at one point in the middle of a contraction Joey says "your pushing....don't push...just breathe". I said "I CAN'T, I'm pushing I don't care!!!!" I also told him "If I'm not at least an 8 when I get there I've got to have an epidural!" So much for the natural birth...or so you would think....

Well we finally made it to the hospital and he pulled up to the ambulance entrance thinking it would be faster. There was no one there though, so I hopped out of the car. I had kicked my shoes off, so only had socks on, walking through the snow around the corner to the ER entrance. There was a wheel chair in the front entrance and Joey got me to sit down. He wheels me in and I'm yelling "This baby is coming now! Laurie...." Laurie is my midwife and luckily her office is in the hospital right next to the ER entrance. Her staff saw me come in and everyone is staring at us, but a few people in their right mind wave us down the hall to labor and delivery.

I have to admit at this point I thought I was probably being a little melodramatic. I wasn't sure the baby was coming right away, but that was all I could think to yell. Joey got me down to L & D and they directed us right to a room. I ran in the room and dropped my pants as fast as I could kneeling by the side of the bed in the middle of another contraction. Probably the biggest relief of my life was when I asked "is the baby coming?" I got a big fat YES! I don't know what I would have done if it wasn't at that point. The nurse kept telling me "Laurie's on her way, do what you have to do. I don't want to deliver this baby on my own, but I can...." Laurie walked in, I pushed maybe two or three times and she was here. Apparently she was already more than crowning when I got into my room. That was 9 AM.

It was really cool because almost before I realized that she was out Joey saw her and told me it was a girl. I was standing up next to the bed and I think he was behind me, so he had the perfect view as soon as she was born. It was neat to have him see that and let me know. No one else even thought about it until later. Of course most of the people there didn't even know my name, let alone that I didn't know my baby's gender yet.

And that was that. Five hour labor with Kelley, Tyler's was four, Little Maren was only about 3 hours total and nearly born on the highway at that. It was funny because I kept telling people I was afraid I wouldn't know when to go to the hospital and that something like that would happen, although I didn't REALLY think it would. That happens in the movies..yeah, just like people's water doesn't ever break in public places.... Kelley and Tyler were both pretty much no question as to when I needed to go in. People kept telling me "oh you'll know". Well I'll tell you what, until about 30 minutes before I delivered I didn't "know" for sure! My contractions weren't consistent or very long. Laurie told me afterwards, "Next time, you come in when you START having contractions...." Ya, that's a good bit of advice I think I'll follow!

Well, she's perfect. I feel great! It is true that recovery is SO much easier with a natural birth! I will have to write more later, but for now, I think I'll get back to my baby :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fun Saturday!

Kelley has been wanting to take dance for years. I've hesitated for a lot of reasons. Some of them include: 1) It is kind of cost intensive when you consider the classes, costumes, traveling if you do competitions, etc. 2) Although I know there is a lot of value to dance, there's also a lot for a mother to be nervous about. I've seen some of the dances they have these little girls do and the costumes they put them in. Although it is tempting to get on my soap box here...I won't. is something I think about a lot. 3) Time, we don't have a lot of it to spare :)

Well this year Kelley was asking about it again and so I asked if she would rather take dance lessons and get dance stuff for Christmas from mom and dad, or if she wanted toys. She said she'd rather have dance. (It was hard decision for her though, and it helped that she will probably still get a toy present from Tyler ;)

Joey thinks it's a good idea because she's at the age where she should start developing her interests if she wants to really excel at them. So....Kelley is now in ballet. I figured that was fairly safe as far as the modesty in dress and dance thing goes. It does bring up another concern....body image. I know a lot of ballerinas struggle with that, but I think I probably have more to do with helping her develop a positive attitude than anything else. Anyway, back to the point. She's taking ballet with the Cedar City Junior Ballet and will also be in their production of Cinderella in Feburary (19, 20 and 22 if anyone wants to know...). Right now she's slated as a fairy and a cupboard mouse. This is a picture of her first practice last Saturday. Isn't she cute in her little ballet bun? She seemed to really enjoy herself. I think she will really like the performance aspect of it. She tends to be very "animated".

Later that day we also went to the Storybook Calvalcade Parade. Best parade in Cedar City...I can't believe we haven't been before! It was so fun. It was a bit long and we ended up leaving early, but overall the weather was very nice and it was great for the kids. I think that the city has just collected story book costumes for years and years and uses the same ones every year.

Tyler's favorite was the marching band. My little rhythm boy. He hears a beat and he can't help but move! He liked the characters on the floats, but the ones that came down the sidelines giving the kids high fives scared him. He kept running behind me. He does the same thing at SUU games with the T- Bird. For some reason it freaks him out. Come to think of it, the only character he would see at Disneyland was Pooh Bear. Didn't want a thing to do with any of the rest of them. Funny kid...

Kelley's favorite part was all the princesses...of course!

The kids also got to see Santa. Pictures were supposed to be $5, $10 if you wanted a digital copy. BUT since we left the parade early, we were the first in line. The line formed quickly and Santa came in before the photographer or anyone else that appeared in charge for that matter. I tried to wait for someone, but there was a big line of people that didn't want to wait, so I just snapped the photos myself and saved a few bucks.
Tyler was funny. He didn't want to go see Santa...of course! The Santa was really good and said he didn't have to, but did ask from afar what he wanted. Of course then Tyler went off on Batman. While he was a little distracted by that we asked if he wanted to go get a treat. He said yes and went over to get one himself.

We got lucky that he was willing to turn around and cheese for the camera and that Santa did the same. Of course my camera was slow and so I didn't get the first grin, which was REALLY cute....but snapped this one, which will do for the year I suppose.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


I know it's way past the point, but for posterity's sake...we had a great Thanksgiving. Joe's parents hosted at their home and we enjoyed a fabulous meal! My sisters, Kelsha and Karmin both joined us as well because my parents went out of town. The girls are both finishing projects for schools, so they stayed local to allow time to work. Mel and Cindy have the epitome of a "man cave" in their basement. I wish I had a picture of it...but as it is, imagine a giant big screen TV with I think 5 or 6 Laz-Y-Boys and a Futon, all meant for football viewing pleasure. And that is all the men did all day. Joe was delighted.

All the cousins that were able to come....

Kelley has a thing for "handles". When she was only about two or three she used to ask for the oval with the handle on it from the chicken. Even with the size of the turkey handle....she did a pretty good job on it!

The kids had a great time with their cousins and managed to stay out of trouble. The weather outside was nice so they were able to run around plenty and were completely worn out by the end of the day. Poor Tyler kept begging to go home by the end of the night until he finally decided that sleep couldn't wait for his bed.

Making Applesauce

I think it was last week or so that I FINALLY got to the last box of apples I had sitting on the back porch. I put them off for so long I thought for sure they were going to go bad, but they did fine out there, even in the snow and freezing weather. So then I put them off even longer figuring they'd be fine....well I finally got to saucing them. Tyler was so cute wanting to help. He wanted to crank the sauce maker. I didn't think he was strong enough to do it fast enough, but after I showed him how he did the whole batch! I love it when the kids want to help me with this kind of thing. I don't know if it will last, but I'll take it for now!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I want another entry... let all of my friends in on the friend Brooke has this great website called She and her other friend post great ideas for decorating on the cheap. For the next seven days they are hosting giveaways. This wreath trio is the first one. I'm sure you have to enter by tonight so...go get em girls!

Baby Update

For anyone officially tired of baby related's kind of a big thing for me right now ;) So here goes:

I am now officially 37 weeks, which is full term! At my appointment today there is no change from two weeks ago. My Braxton Hicks contractions have actually decreased since then, in part I think because I'm not stressed anymore about having a preemie baby. I still have no signs of preeclampsia. It came on fairly quickly with the other two, but with Tyler I was induced 2.5 weeks early because of it. My next appointment isn't until next Thursday, so unless I go into labor on my own it will be at least the 10th before we have a baby. As uncomfortable as I am...this is good news. We still have a lot to do before we get ready and this week and next are fairly busy at the daycare. Plus my backup plan (Misty) is out of town on the 7th and 8th.'s to at least one more week....