Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Big Changes

It has been a busy few months for our family. Since our little Callie joined us she has done a lot of traveling. When she was about a month old we headed back to Utah for Christmas which I was SO happy about. Ryan only stayed a few days and actually had to go back to work the day before Christmas but the girls and I got to spend it surrounded by the rest of our family and we were very happy to do so. The girls and I then stayed for a few weeks while Ryan went back to work. At the end of January Ryan came back to get us and we took the chance to bless Callie. Ryan gave her a beautiful blessing.
The next day we headed back to Grande Prairie not knowing when we would be back to Utah to see our family. The wait wasn't long. About a week after returning we heard back from a job that we had applied for months before. Ryan got an official offer from Holly Frontier Refinery on Feb 14. Which made my Valentine's Day present the best one I've ever received. We were moving back to Utah!
It all happened very quickly. Ryan's rig happened to be shutting down for a month two days after we got the call so we decided to just go for it. Got out of our lease early and left Grande Prairie within about 10 days. 10 very stressful and emotional days. Packing up the house alone with two babies was a beast of a chore, but my real struggle was leaving my friends. While I could live the rest of my life without experiencing Grande Prairie weather again, I can't say the same for the people I met while there. I made some amazing friends who truly became my family and leaving them, especially so quickly, was not easy. I will be forever grateful for their love and support while I was so far away from my family with a husband gone all the time, especially during my pregnancy.
After saying our goodbyes we were on our way. Headed back to our home and family. Our actual home, however, was rented out at the time. So we spent a few weeks at my moms. Once we finally got our renters out we decided to do some fixing up. Some necessary and some just for fun. Ryan still had two weeks before he started his new job so we decided to become DIYers. With two babies, it was quite an adventure. We did a lot of things one-handed.

And Oaklee spent a lot of time like this (she has a habit of
stealing Callie's bumbo, it's very fun apparently):
We made custom frames for our bathroom mirrors
using crown molding that we painted and stained.

We also used the crown molding and some wood letters from Michael's to make this project in our room after painting an accent wall.
Here's the completed room:
Next we painted some stripes in Oaklee's room. Yes, it is a lot of pink.
We only do girls in this family and our house has a lot of pink.
Then we added the girls names:
We are pretty proud of ourselves for our first attempts at DIY. And it was actually a lot of fun.
After finishing our projects and moving in we still had a week before Ryan started his new job so we had some great family time.



Ryan started his new job this week and I have to say I am extremely grateful. We have been so blessed for this all to work out like it has. We both feel like this is where we are supposed to be. Grande Prairie was a necessary learning experience. We both grew a lot as individuals and as a couple and learned some lessons that I think we needed but I am very grateful that the Lord has decided it is time for us to be back in Utah surrounded by our family. Seeing the joy on my kids faces as they get to see their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all the time makes me so happy.
I am so blessed to have my crazy husband and his crazier children.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Introducing Callie

On Saturday, November 16 at about 12:15 in the afternoon we welcomed our little girl Callie.
She was 7 pounds even and 20.5 inches long, with a FULL head of dark hair. Way more hair than Oaklee was born with.
The day didn't go exactly as planned (it's almost as if babies don't care about their mother's plans). Late Friday night my sister Lindsay arrived from Utah. Incredible timing, especially with Ryan away for work. So we got Lindsay here and then about 9:30 Saturday morning my water broke. I knew from Oaklee's birth that I was going to have this baby pretty quickly, so we got everything together and jumped in the car. After dropping Oaklee off we hurried to the hospital. When we arrived I didn't waste any time telling any nurse who would listen that I was going to transition quickly and I needed drugs right then. The next hour or two were a little stressful for me. While I'm sure all the nurses there were very competent, they didn't take my warnings seriously and needless to say it was time for me to push and they still hadn't given me any drugs. Now, I know that women have been having babies for thousands of years without drugs, and many women today chose to do it naturally. I had absolutely NO desire to be one of these women. I will probably have a bitter spot in my heart towards the Grande Prairie hospital until my dying day.
But I digress. After being at the hospital less than two hours our little Callie was born. About five minutes after she was born Ryan walked in, after rushing home from the rig. While I wish he could have been there for the birth, I am so glad he got there as soon after as he did.

While the delivery part of Callie's birth was more stressful than Oaklee's, the rest of the day was a breeze compared to Oaklee's. No CPR, no tubes down her throat, no IV's in her head. It was so amazing to get to hold her right away and know that she was healthy as could be.
Later that afternoon Oaklee came to meet her new sister. The first 20 minutes were a little rough on Oaklee, but she eventually warmed right up to her sister and now I hear her say at least 10 times every day, "Oh, cute baby Callie." Although if you ask Oaklee if Callie is cuter than her, she is very quick to tell you no.

24 hours after her birth, Callie and I were headed home.
We got to have a few great days with Ryan before he went back to work Tuesday night. Since he is gone I have been extremely grateful for Lindsay and all her help. We've had an awesome first week getting adjusted to our new little girl. Oaklee has been a champ. With a few small moments of jealousy thrown in, but for the most part she loves her sister and is very helpful. We love our little Callie and think she is adorable. Here are some pictures to convince you that she is:


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Last Days

As my due date draws nearer (and my level of comfort  decreases greatly) I've been thinking a lot about the fact that these are my last weeks and days with it being just me and Oaklee. For two and a half years she's been my little buddy. And with Ryan's job keeping him away from home three weeks out of the month, it really has been just me and Oaklee most of the time. Don't get me wrong, of course I'm extremely excited for this new addition to our family. I know that Oaklee will be such a good little helper and an amazing big sister. But I can't help but be a little sad too. Our whole dynamic is going to change. For the better, I have no doubt, but still a change. So, as a tribute to the last days of me and Oaklee as a duo, I thought I would do a post about some of her antics.
She's a crazy kid, that Oaklee. Way too much of her dad in her. Good thing I like her dad. She's always had a big personality but as she's become better and better at speaking I am just blown away by what comes out of her mouth. Some of my current favorites:
  • She will randomly stop in the middle of playing, look up at me and say, "What are you doing here?" I'm not sure where I'm supposed to be, but apparently not in the room with her.
  • Every time I go to the bathroom (which these days is constantly) she will follow me and ask, "You go potty?" And after I get out, "You went potty?"
  • Same thing with the shower, at least twice during every shower she will come pull the curtain aside and ask, "You take a shower?"
  • She refers to herself as 'you'. When we are looking at pictures she will name everyone and when she gets to herself say, 'you.' I've started saying, "That's Oaklee," but she's sticking with you.
  • She LOVES to Skype/Facetime. Good thing her grandparents think she's cute too or they would probably stop answering. She constantly asks me to call someone. Mostly I think it's because she likes having an audience and being the good people they are, our family members are willing to sit and watch her do whatever activity she thinks is entertaining at the time.
  • She has a purse that she HAS to take everywhere. If I try to get her to leave the house without it there is a major meltdown. She will lug that thing all over any store we go to. It contains all the essentials; her cell phone, her car keys, and a full set of Disney Princesses.
  • She loves to dance. I get asked multiple times a day to turn on a song for her. Most of her dancing consists of her spinning in a circle, which has on more than one occasion resulted in a bruised head from falling over.
I'm sure there are many more that I can't think of now (pregnancy brain is not joke people). And of course she did pick up a few of her dad's less desirable traits as well. I could do without the night terrors and the short temper. But I'm so grateful this insane little girl is mine and I can't wait to see what excitement she brings to being a big sister. 
Here are a few pictures of what we've been up to the last few weeks:

 Oaklee has a new found fascination with pockets. She gets so excited when an outfit has them and will walk around most of the day with her hands in her pockets.

 We had an awesome Halloween. The weather was MUCH nicer than last year and Oaklee got to go to her first trunk or treat. Ryan had to work on Halloween but a few days before we carved pumpkins with him and Uncle Tyson.

As you can see Oaklee was a kitty. Cutest one I've ever seen.

 Modeling her new elephant pajamas. She also has a new fascination with elephants. I'm not sure where it came from but she gets very excited about them.

 Oaklee and Ryan like to watch movies together. For some reason instead of watching shows on our TV they will sit together and watch them on Ryan's phone.

 We got our first real snow of the year, and unlike last year, Oaklee LOVED it. She had so much fun playing in the snow with dad. She was not happy when we made her come inside.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pregnancy: Not for the faint of heart.

Pregnancy.... A miracle they say. I think 'they' are men. 'They' don't have a uterus. Now, obviously the end result is worth it. Babies are great and all that. But until that baby comes, it is just 9 long months of torture. Torture that comes at you from a hundred different and unexpected ways.

My mind set at the beginning of this, my second, pregnancy: I can do this. The first one wasn't so bad. Sure there was some morning sickness, but there are drugs for that. Some mild heart burn, but I like the taste of Tums. I had a hard time sleeping, but that was just preparation for the sleepless nights to come as a new mom. I can do this even with a toddler to take care of. No problem.

Oh the stupidity. Obviously everyone experiences pregnancy differently, so I speak only for myself when I say, pregnancy number two SUCKS!

That morning sickness that was easily cured by drugs? That will triple, maybe quadruple in intensity. Drugs will only do so much. Even with the maximum dose you will still find yourself throwing up in the driveway, the car, the bed, outside the doctors office, and in the flower bed. I knew my morning sickness was really bad the first time Oaklee stopped on her way to the car to spit in the grass. She had seen mom do it so many times she assumed that's what we did on our way to the car. Add to this lovely image the fact that we were living in a friends basement at the time, so this was not my yard I was violating, but someone else's. I'm sure they were really loving their decision to let us live with them. Also, all the people who assure you it will go away after the first trimester? Liars. Big fat liars.

That heart burn? Go ahead and throw the Tums away, they won't touch this. I've come to think of my chest as an active volcano. The burn is always there, bubbling, mocking my hunger, daring me to eat something. And once I do, the volcano erupts, bubbling up into my throat until I am literally choking on it. Literally, I have choked on my heartburn. I am taking a prescription twice a day to help, but I still can't sleep flat. I miss being horizontal. It's such a great way to be.

The lack of sleep? Between peeing, hunger, the resulting heartburn, and Braxton Hicks sleep is a thing of the past. A distant memory. I know at some point in my life I have slept more than a half hour at a time, but I can't recall what it feels like. I bet it's wonderful.

Braxton Hicks contractions are another demon I was not prepared for. I never experienced them with Oaklee and they are evil. For a solid month now at least 15 hours a day my uterus feels like someone is trying to squeeze the water out of a wet towel. Stop teasing me uterus! If you are so eager to contract let's get on with it and have this kid!

There are a number of other side affects that caught me off guard, some of which I won't mention because frankly there is no need to embarrasses myself by sharing them. Needless to say, they aren't pretty. One last one that I had heard was very common but was not expecting was the deterioration of my teeth. This kid is literally sucking the life out of my mouth. By the time I get everything fixed I think I will have paid for my dentist to get a new car.

In closing may I just say, this kid better come out as cute as the last one, otherwise I can't promise to feel like it was worth it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My make up attempt.

How on earth does one go about catching up on a year of neglecting their blog? To be honest, the prospect of doing it is making me want to go another year without blogging. But, as I was bugging one of my friends for going two weeks without giving me a new post to read, she pointed out that I might be a little hypocritical. So I will do my best.
I don't think I can possibly cover everything so I will cover the highlights.
Over the past year, in no particular order:
  • We moved into a new home. It is just a rental but we were ready to be in our own space again.
  • Oaklee and I (sometimes with Ryan) have made the trip from Grande Prairie to Utah 6 times.
  • We went on a trip to California with my family.
  • Ryan and I each had a sister leave on a mission.
  • Ryan received a promotion at work.
  • Oaklee has grown in leaps and bounds, learning to walk and talk.
  • And perhaps the biggest one, we learned that we will be adding another little girl to our family this November.

We are so excited about this new addition to our family. I am due November 27 which makes me just under 35 weeks right now. This pregnancy has been a little more difficult than Oaklee's was so I'm happy to be nearing the end. My doctor is watching me closely now, because this is almost exactly when Oaklee was born. We still aren't sure why she decided to make her early entrance, but we are hoping this baby comes out breathing on her own, whenever she decides to come. The thought of doing another month with a baby in the NICU makes me panic slightly, so hopefully this kid cooks all the way. Cross your fingers.
This last year has also been filled with growing experiences for me. The task of sharing all of those experiences isn't one I'm up for undertaking. But because I'm apparently making lists today, I'll make another of some of the lessons I've learned, again, in no particular order:
  • How to be a single mom 3 weeks out of the month.
  • How to be apart from family, including Ryan, on holidays. Side note: I'm not claiming that I do this gracefully, just that I am capable of it.
  • The HUGE blessings that can come from having good friends.
  • The humility that can come only at the hands of a two year old.
  • And maybe most importantly, the gas stations with the cleanest bathrooms from Grande Prairie to Kaysville.
I'm certain there are more I'm forgetting, and there are quite a few lessons I have learned before but been reminded of this year. I'm not always eloquent when it comes to expressing my feelings but I do want to say that this has been a year of personal and spiritual growth for me. There is a lot about my current situation in life that I never planned on, some positive and some negative. I'm still quite a work in progress, but I have seen the benefits that come from these unexpected events. The opportunity to grow and learn has been ever present in my life. I'm not always willing to take those opportunities, but I'm working on it.
On a MUCH lighter note, a side effect of Oaklee learning to talk over this last year is her personality bursting out in new and hilarious ways. I have said it before and I will say it again, she is SOOO much like Ryan. She talks constantly and always amazes me with the things she has to say. She has a HUGE imagination and I do my best to keep up.
To end this long, random, and somewhat rambling post I will leave with some of my favorite pictures from the last year. Enjoy!

And lastly, the one and only photo of my pregnant belly you will see. Oaklee also felt the need to show her belly. Who wouldn't want to look at hers right?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall in Canada

The snow has arrived and Oaklee is ready!
She's got her war face on and everything.

We hyped ourselves up by looking out the window. Oaklee was
so excited, thought the snow was great. Couldn't wait to get outside.
And then we actually went outside......
Nope, not a fan. It's going to be a long winter in Canada.
Along with the snow came the cold weather. Oaklee and I made a trip to Walmart today. After freezing our butts off with just the 15 second walk inside, we've decided we will be staying in the house until April. Ryan will have to pick up groceries on his way home from work.
Aside from the risk of frostbite, we have been enjoying our time in Grande Prairie. Oaklee is as crazy as ever. She makes me laugh every day. And she gets more like her dad every day. Good thing I happen to enjoy his personality.

We are living with Ryan's brother Corry and his wife Steph. They just built a beautiful townhouse and decided a naughty one year old would do a good job of breaking it in. So far no permanent damage. Hopefully it stays that way. Honestly though, we are lucky to have such a beautiful place to live while we are here for the winter.

This summer and fall seem to be FLYING by. It felt like we were just getting settled into Grande Prairie when we made a trip back home to Utah. My Grandpa passed away and we were lucky enough to get there early enough to spend some really great time with him before he died. We loved getting to see everyone. We had only been gone a month but we are needy and missed our family. :)

We've been back in Grande Prairie for about 3 weeks now and are getting settled again.
Ryan has to go work in this every day:

Poor sucker. Oaklee and I are very lucky he's willing to spend 12 hours a day out in Canadian winters. I'd like to say I'd do the same for him, but......I think we all know that would be a lie.
While daddy is working very long hours Oaklee and I find ways to entertain ourselves:

 Oaklee has a current love affair with banisters.
They provide hours of entertainment.

Pumpkin carving! I really can't believe it's almost Halloween.
This will be our first holiday away from the grandparents's, aunts, and cousins. Hopefully they forgive us for not having Oaklee there to trick or treat. It will certainly be strange for me not to spend it with them. Oaklee is going to be a lady bug! Pictures to come.