Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Day in the Life of Nathan


Our little Nathan is all boy. He loves to explore and climb all of a sudden, and it is sure giving me a run for my money!

I decided to take pictures of some of his antics yesterday to show Sam when he got home from work. I got most of them, but before I started taking pictures he had already successfully climbed up on the bathroom counter, turned on the water, and washed his hands and feet (and head, and tummy, etc).

I stripped him down so I could get him dressed for the day, and before I could catch him he had climbed into the bath, plugged it, and turned on the water. He didn't mind that it was freezing. Apparently I'm going to have to be lots more vigilant about helping Ellie remember to shut the door after she uses the bathroom.


He was quite pleased with himself.


I got him dressed and he decided to climb on the table and finish off Ellie's toast. She was not so happy about that. (Funny side note about his shirt: he's convinced it's Jonah's because it's a onesie. Every time I put it on him he points to the front and says "Jonah.")


He loves to climb in the drawer that has the plastic dishes in it. I try to remember that it's not that big of a deal because that's why those dishes are down there in the first place, so they are constantly strewn across the floor.


And I guess he can't hurt the spoons either.


While I was feeding Jonah he found the suckers we keep on the top of the shelf next to the window he's sitting on: he ate quite a few, but he was nice enough to save one for Ellie...


And then while I was putting Jonah down for a nap, Ellie got the oatmeal out for him, because apparently I don't feed him enough. :)


Tornado? Nope, just my Nathan! :)


I started cleaning up the oatmeal while he looked out the window, and I noticed this:


The whole reason I put him in the onesie is because he has learned to take his pants and diapers off, but he can't get to the snaps on the onesie. I guess it doesn't matter though because he figured out how to undo his diapers without undoing the snaps on his shirt.
So I changed his clothes since taking his diaper cover off had made him soak through his clothes, I gave the kids stuff to color with, and I went back to cleaning up the oatmeal.

Not very long after that Ellie came to tell me that he was eating chalk.


And they decided it would be a good idea to color on the window, so they got to clean that up.


I am pretty dang tired after cleaning up after this little boy all day long, but I sure love him. 


And it's a good thing he's so darn cute when he gets into trouble!

So today, Instead of staying home, we started the day out with a trip to the park so he could get some of his energy out, which was nice because he could climb on anything he wanted! 


And, lest you think he is always crazy, here is this picture (that I can't figure out how to rotate):


He's pretty dang sweet too.

Oh, wait.... I just discovered this:


You can guess where he is now:


If only he realized that cleaning it up is a punishment.....

Monday, August 18, 2014

While I Was Nursing... Continued


First, I have to start off this post by mentioning an important detail to this story:


We got cats. A momma and a baby. If you know me, you know this is something I swore I would never do - I am just not an animal person. But do you know what? We live next to a field. And there are mice in fields. And I HATE mice.

We got the cats from a lady in Blackfoot. She said the mom caught mice and birds all the time - yay. We got a litter box, some cat food, and we set up a little bed for them in the garage. We were ready.

Every time I went out to see the cats, I expected a dead mouse. But for a couple of weeks - nothing. So I stopped mentally preparing myself for a mouse each time I went outside. 

Then on Friday morning I let the cats out into the yard, and when I came out the back door with their food, the cat dropped a dead mouse at my feet. Oh my goodness. SO GROSS! I jumped back and ran into the house to tell Sam he had to take care of it.

Fast forward to today, and Ellie and Nathan are outside playing while I nurse Jonah inside. Every once in awhile Ellie comes in to bring me a rock or a weed. After I had a pretty good pile of rocks on the couch next to me, she comes running in and says, "Mom! There's a mouse under the steps outside!" I asked her if it was alive or dead, and luckily the answer was dead. She was quite enthusiastic about it and told me how it couldn't run because the cat killed it, and that the cat was carrying it in its mouth, and how it was "just a little mouse." So I went out to survey the situation. 

The cat was standing over the mouse, so I tried to shoo her away, but she wasn't interested in leaving her catch. So I grabbed a shovel and tried to psych myself into picking the mouse up with it... And here is where I wish I had a video of what went on. Every time I tried to pick up the mouse, the cat would try to pick it up, and I would freak out and try to get it away (let's be honest, I really didn't want to watch the mouse get eaten). So I would frantically yell to the cat, "Get away! No, cat, stop! Go over there! Ellie, call the cat!" Ellie would call the cat, it would start to go over to her, and when I tried to pick up the mouse again, it would dart back over to me, which would startle me and make me drop the mouse again. I would scream, jump back, and say "Ew!" Then Ellie would do the same. This happened about 5 times before I finally got the stinking mouse onto the shovel. Then I dumped it into a disposable cup and carried it into the house at arm's length saying "Ew, ew, ew!" with my little shadow doing exactly as I did. 



Of course I had to document it for posterity's sake. 

We put another cup on top and taped it together (I didn't want to be able to see it, or worse squish it later...) before throwing it in the trash outside. You betcha we washed our hands thoroughly after that little rendezvous! 


Yuck! But as I told my mom today, better dead on my porch outside than alive in my laundry basket inside...

Now after that repulsive story, enjoy a cute picture of Nathan:


Ahh, much better.


Friday, August 15, 2014

My Path to Motherhood: Jonah


    *** We went to breakfast while we were in California, just as our little family. 


     The first thing the waiter said when he saw us was, "Wow, you guys haven't wasted any time!" Then, pointing to each kid, "Bam, bam, bam!"

     Because of comments from some people and stares from others, I thought it would be fun to take the time to share the story of how we decided to have each of our kids, starting with our first little blessing, Ellie. In sharing each of these stories, I hope to share my belief that when to have children and how many to have is a personal decision between a husband, wife, and the Lord. I have a very real testimony that the Lord does have a unique plan for each of His children, and often the Lord's plan for us is not what we may have imagined. And, most likely, His plan for you is not the same as His plan for me. And that's ok. ***

YOU CAN READ PART 1 HERE, AND PART 2 HERE.

     I wanted to start out this final post by saying that I hope that I haven't portrayed in any way that everyone needs to have children soon after getting married, that they need to have them close together, or that there is any one "right" way to get them here.

     I also wanted to acknowledge that I know that getting pregnant and having children can be a painful or sensitive topic for people who want more than anything to be parents and haven't yet had the opportunity, or have lost a child or children to pregnancy complications. I want you to know that I have not been oblivious to your feelings as I have posted these stories; rather I have been very aware of how sharing these details may affect you. I hope that those of my friends in these situations know that I think about you each often, and that I love you.

     As I mentioned in Nathan's story, he was born via emergency c-section. At my 6-week postpartum visit after Nathan, I asked about future pregnancies and the possibility of a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). My doctor was very positive and reassured me that I was a great candidate for a VBAC with future deliveries. He also said that it would take 18 months for the scar on my uterus to completely heal, so if I wanted to be at the lowest risk for uterine rupture, he would suggest that my next baby be born after that 18-month mark (since I saw the effects of a uterine rupture while I was doing my Mother/Baby clinical rotations, the thought terrified me).

     Because of my doctor's suggestion, I thought we would wait awhile to have another baby. Besides, if I'm being completely honest, recovering from a c-section and getting used to having two kids was giving me a run for my money!

     I took a semester off of school from January-April, and during that time I took the NCLEX - and passed! I had fulfilled my long-time goal of becoming a Registered Nurse. In April I went back to school to get my Bachelors of Science in Nursing.

     In May I had that familiar feeling again - we needed to bring another baby to our family. Sam and I were a little hesitant because of the doctor's advice, but we acted on faith, and were very excited when we found out I was pregnant again in July - baby due at the beginning of April.

     Around the same time we learned I was pregnant, a friend of mine told me that the home health agency she worked for was hiring nurses for pediatric patients. I enjoyed learning about and taking care of peds in the hospital, and the hours were unbeatable (2 8-hour days a week), so I took the job.

     I went to school and worked two days a week, which meant I was away from my kids more than I wanted to be, but I learned a ton between the two.

     After a few months I started to dread going to work each time - not because the job was unpleasant, I actually quite liked it - but because I hated spending more time than necessary away from my kids. The job I was working was not necessary for us financially, it wasn't giving me any significant nursing experience, and my kids just needed their mom home as much as possible. Sam and I talked about these thoughts for a month until finally one day in December as I was dropping Sam off on my way to work, I broke down. (Coming home to find the babysitter asleep on the couch with Ellie glued to PBS and Nathan playing on the floor in a dirty diaper  a few days earlier may or may not have sent me over the edge...) His response was, "You need to give your two weeks. Today." I was surprised. I didn't want to be a quitter. I didn't give my notice that day, but after Sam and I prayerfully discussed it some more, we decided that it was better for me to be home with the kids when I wasn't at school, rather than working. So a few days later I gave my two week's notice, and I haven't regretted that choice even once since.

     My final semester of school started in January of 2014. For the clinical hours in one of my classes, I was blessed to work with the very instructor that gave me pointers on applying to the Nursing program after Ellie was born. She pushed me to work hard, but she was also very understanding of my situation. It turns out that she, too, went through nursing school at BYU-Idaho with kids. I enjoyed working with her and listening to her experiences as a nurse, a mother and a grandmother as my due date got closer.

     On March 30 my little VBAC baby, Jonah, was born. Needless to say, I missed my final clinical rotation the next day. :)


     Jonah is such a calm, content little boy - he only really gets upset when he's tired or hungry. He loves when his siblings interact with him, even if it is a little rougher than I would prefer. I echo the testimony I shared on the Lord's perfect timing of the births my other two kids: He knows what He's doing, and I am so grateful He sent Jonah to our family when He did.








     Our life is crazy with three tiny kids. The house is almost never clean or quiet. It involves almost as much planning to get kids out the door and keep them occupied at the grocery store as it takes to plan meals. I haven't heard more than a 2-minute snippet of a church lesson in over a year. My clean clothes don't stay clean for long, and neither do the kids'. My days consist of wiping bums and noses. We sing the same songs, read the same books, and have the same conversations over and over and over again. I mitigate fights, kiss "owies," and enforce rules. As a lady said to me when she learned the ages of my kids, "Wow, you sure are becoming immersed in motherhood quickly, aren't you?!" I am. And like I said to her, "I wouldn't have it any other way."




Friday, August 8, 2014

My Path to Motherhood: Nathan


*** We went to breakfast while we were in California, just as our little family. 


     The first thing the waiter said when he saw us was, "Wow, you guys haven't wasted any time!" Then, pointing to each kid, "Bam, bam, bam!"

     Because of comments from some people and stares from others, I thought it would be fun to take the time to share the story of how we decided to have each of our kids, starting with our first little blessing, Ellie. In sharing each of these stories, I hope to share my belief that when to have children and how many to have is a personal decision between a husband, wife, and the Lord. I have a very real testimony that the Lord does have a unique plan for each of His children, and often the Lord's plan for us is not what we may have imagined. And, most likely, His plan for you is not the same as His plan for me. And that's ok. ***

YOU CAN READ PART 1 HERE.

     When Ellie was about 6 months old, I started getting baby hungry again. I know it seems silly because I already had a baby, but if you've ever had the feeling, you know what I mean - you can't really explain it. One day as I was praying, I asked the Lord to help me stop feeling that way until He wanted us to have another baby. When I got up off of my knees, the feeling was gone - I was no longer baby hungry.

     I enjoyed being a mom to my little girl, and I started my second semester of nursing school in January without a single thought of another baby.

     As I got dressed one day at the beginning of February, the thought came to my mind, "I would like to have another baby." The thought took me by surprise because I had been so content with my life the way it was - and, honestly, my time was consumed with school work, clinicals, classes, and taking care of Ellie. So I decided to kneel down and ask the Lord if this was my answer. Was it time for us to invite another member to our family, or was I crazy? I had an overwhelming feeling that yes, this was my answer.

     I brought up the whole experience to Sam, who wasn't exactly sold on the idea. We were both set to graduate in December, (him with his Bachelors and me with my Associates) so he thought we should at least wait to try until the baby's due date would be after my graduation date. However, I felt strongly that we had received an answer, and we needed to follow the Lord's timing. Besides, it would probably take a while for me to get pregnant anyway.

     Well, at the beginning of March I got a positive result on the pregnancy test. The baby would be due a week before my graduation date. We were very excited and a little nervous, but above all we knew that we were following the Lord's plan for us.

     In July of 2012, Sam was offered a job as a Business Analyst at BYU-Idaho. We decided to accept the offer, which was a great blessing to our family, however there was one little issue: Sam wouldn't graduate until December, while he agreed to begin working full-time starting in September. So for those three months, he would be working 40 hours a week as well as tackling a full class load. (Did I mention what a hardworking man my husband is? He's amazing.) Oh, and we had a baby due in November. We had a bit of a crazy semester ahead of us!

     The semester was busy, but it was full of tender mercies for our family. I was blessed with a very understanding clinical instructor who helped me arrange my schedule to complete all of my hospital rotations before the baby was due and Sam was assigned to groups of students in his classes who catered to his busy schedule for study sessions and working on group projects.

     In November our sweet little Nathaniel was born via emergency c-section.



     Sam and I finished out the last two weeks of the semester - taking tests, giving presentations, and me preparing for the NCLEX. I look back on those two weeks and wonder how we did it, and I know the Lord strengthened us because we were doing His will. We could not have done it alone.


     Again, I testify of the blessing of the Lord's timing in sending Nathan to our family. Logically, it did not make sense to bring another baby into our family when we did - but the Lord knows more than we know. He loves us and wants the best for each of us. Sometimes it takes a little leap of faith to do what He asks, (and sometimes a big leap) but I know that when we follow His will, he will help us accomplish it, though that does not mean it will be easy.







     I am so grateful for this little blonde, blue-eyed boy, and the timing in which the Lord chose to send him to us. And I think Ellie would agree (on most days) that she loves having a little brother as her best friend.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My Path to Motherhood: Ellie


*** We went to breakfast while we were in California, just as our little family. 


     The first thing the waiter said when he saw us was, "Wow, you guys haven't wasted any time!" Then, pointing to each kid, "Bam, bam, bam!"

     Because of comments from some people and stares from others, I thought it would be fun to take the time to share the story of how we decided to have each of our kids, starting with our first little blessing, Ellie. In sharing each of these stories, I hope to share my belief that when to have children and how many to have is a personal decision between a husband, wife, and the Lord. I have a very real testimony that the Lord does have a unique plan for each of His children, and often the Lord's plan for us is not what we may have imagined. And, most likely, His plan for you is not the same as His plan for me. And that's ok. ***

     Sam and I were married in April 2010. When we got married we didn't plan to have children right away. We were both in school. I had applied for the Nursing program at BYU-Idaho, and was anxiously awaiting what I anticipated to be an acceptance letter in June so I could begin classes for my major that fall. And did I mention I was only nineteen? We knew we wanted kids, but we wanted to wait until after I graduated from nursing school to begin that part of our lives.

      In June I received a letter from the Department of Nursing: I was not accepted to the program. I was absolutely devastated. I had wanted to be a nurse for as long as I could remember, so I wasn't giving up. I planned classes for that fall, resolved to get perfect grades, and turned in my application for spring semester. That was it - I would start in the spring.

     However, plans changed in July. I don't remember what I was doing exactly, but the thought came to my mind that we should have a baby. I shook it off - we had only been married three months, and I was going to nursing school first. A few days later, I had the feeling again. And again the next day. So I sheepishly brought it up to Sam. I don't remember him being shocked, but he did suggest that we spend a few days praying about it separately, then we would go to the temple seeking answers, and finally we would kneel down together and pray about it. I still remember where I was sitting in the Idaho Falls Temple when I received my definite answer. The next day was a Sunday, and we came together to discuss our thoughts. After a bit of cajoling, I told him about my experience. And, wouldn't you know, his experience was similar. After our discussion Sam offered a prayer, and when it was over we were in agreement - we needed to have a baby.

     At the end of August I took a pregnancy test in the Wal-Mart bathroom, (that's a story for another day) and it was positive. We were ecstatic.

     From the moment we announced my pregnancy a couple of months later, people asked us, "Was it a surprise?" People we knew, people we didn't - they all seemed to feel the need to ask the same question, especially those who knew that we were planning to wait until we were finished with school.

     In January I received another letter from the Department of Nursing - again, I was not accepted. This time I was relieved since our little girl was due in May, and Spring semester started in April, but I was not deterred from my goal. I turned in my application for fall. I was still going to be a nurse.

     Ellie was born in May 2011, less than a month after our first anniversary.



     While we were in the hospital, Ellie and I were cared for by a BYU-Idaho Nursing student and her instructor. I mentioned to them that I was applying for the fall semester, and the instructor gave me some pointers on applying. This was a reminder that the Lord has a plan for me, and that He is mindful of my goals and aspirations. As I followed the Lord's will in choosing to become a mom first, He then provided opportunities for my education.

     In June I received the letter I had been waiting for - I was accepted to the Nursing program! I started in September.


     Sam and I were both in school, and we tried to arrange our schedules so that one of us would be home with Ellie while the other was at school, but it didn't always work out. It was so hard for me to leave my baby with someone else while I went to class. I even missed Ellie's first laugh. Sam took a video for me, and when he showed it to me when I got home, I cried.

     Ellie came with me to study groups, watched me as I practiced my skills on mannequins in the nursing lab, and even acted as "patient" when my classmates and I had to document a pediatric assessment.

     The Lord's plan was different from the one I had made for myself, and boy am I glad. Ellie is our little ray of sunshine.

     "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, saith the Lord."
            - Isaiah 55:8







     I am so grateful for the Lord's timing in providing me the privilege of being "Mommy" to such a sweet, contagiously happy, bubbly little girl.