Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Eve

I think this picture pretty much sums up our Christmas Eve. How lucky we felt to have our 3 day old Christmas baby in the nativity this year. Cute cousin Connor, dressed up as a cow, kept coming up to Luke, stroking his head and saying "Ooohhh, it's okay baby Jesus."It was so sweet and one of my favorite things about the night. My other favorite: not being in the hospital but gathered together with my wonderful family.

And then there were some very fun gifts from Grandma and Grandpa for all the grandchildren. Livs and Cares got a new Playmobile grand mansion (and it has been well used everyday since!)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Family of 6

There is so much to catch up on—Luke's birth story, our whirlwind Christmas, life at home with 4 kids...I am just too tired each night to edit pictures and type coherent thoughts. I have to remind myself that I am still in recovery mode and there will be plenty of time down the line.

**As I look through hospital pictures I am so grateful for my 2 nights there. Yes I missed my family, a lot. But there is nothing more healing than calm and quiet and incredible nurses who did whatever I needed and took great care of me and my baby. And those nights of sending sweet Luke to the nursery so I could sleep as long as I wanted—priceless. I woke to see the sunrise both mornings but felt more rested than I have in months.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Baby

Carrie and Luke are both doing well and I leave in just a few hours to bring them both home from the hospital. It will be a crazy and busy time of year for a new baby, but it will be just what we need to help us slow down, quiet down and focus on the right things this season. For those of you who have been waiting for a better view of baby Luke, feast your eyes on this!

Unto us a son is given from Joseph LeBaron on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Good Baby

This precious little man joined our family at 8:10 pm last night weighing in at 8 lbs 8 oz—my biggest baby yet. For arriving a few weeks early he's quite the mushy beefcake and we are all in love with him.
 More details to come but for now we must sleep and nurse, and sleep and nurse some more. I rather adore these calm, quiet days in the hospital cuddling my beautiful boy. I still cannot believe my body made him. He'll forever be my best Christmas miracle :)
and we're pretty certain his name is Luke but we're still deciding on his middle name...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Weekend Without a Baby

What lovely timing it would have been for baby boy to come this weekend—and he did not. I may have even "dropped by" the hospital just to see if I had progressed at all and if they would want to admit me because I was sooo dilated. Turns out I hadn't changed since my appointment last week even with all the contractions I've had and a good, long outing to IKEA. Now, I think baby's destined to arrive Christmas Eve (absolute worst timing) but I really just hope he'll hold off for a good 10 days (and then I'll deliver a 9 lb baby!) Oh it's not at all about what I want though is it?

We did get some fun family time in this weekend indulging in cupcakes from the Sweet Tooth Fairy and getting letters sent off to Santa at IKEA. I love that Olivia told me to write that she wants a new Barbie and a fancy outfit—just like her cool big sis. So cute how much Livs wants to be just like Cares :) And Bentley wants Legos and Hot Wheels—plain and simple and the same wishes he's had for like 3 years now. Love that too.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ballerina Girl

Caroline showed off her newly learned ballet skills in a sweet little performance at the studio today. She was beaming with joy to dance for all her admirers (Joseph, my mom and me) and has fallen in love with her Christmas gift from Miss Kaylynn—her polka dot scarf. Along with several videos of our girl we ended up with quite a few pics—and just from an informal little showing. We kind of totally adore her:

 Lucky girl even got some pretty flowers from her daddy
And she may have made her grandma just a little bit teary reminding her of the days she used to come and see me performing :) Very sweet morning for all of us!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More in December

We're all cuddled up watching The Polar Express as I type—a classic advent activity. The last few days we've put up festive window gels, attended our ward party where Bentley was a wise man in the nativity, made foam ornaments for our tree, checked out the lights on Christmas Tree Street over in Sugarhouse, watched Elf, and cut out tons of snowflakes. We've also read some scriptures from Luke 2 each night before bed—some of the best to be found in the Bible (and a huge reason we are thinking about the name Luke for our newest little guy—seems perfectly fitting for a Christmas baby.)

Speaking of baby boy, he is giving me a run for my money lately. Yesterday, in the early afternoon, my mucus plug came out as it has with all my other babies several days before they've arrived. And then the rest of the afternoon and early evening I was contracting quite regularly for about 6 hours—but the contractions generally came every 10 mins during most of that time, a few closer, a few farther apart, and I knew not to get too worked up about them unless they started coming much closer. Around 10 pm they slowed way down and I went to bed shortly after that. For a while I was getting nervous that the babe may indeed come but I just didn't feel like it was time yet. And so we are still here :) Contractions are nothing new for me but they generally stay pretty random and scattered throughout the day. Another continual episode like that and we may be having a baby!
Another sweet shot of Livs napping away at dinner the other night. In the car on our way to The Dodo she said "mom I'm feeling pretty hungry." I told her I would peel her a clementine and by the time I handed it back to her she was snoozing in her carseat. This is the result of dark, early nights mixed with naps only here and there. She is still my baby :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Letter at 36 Weeks

Dearest little baby in my womb (who doesn't actually feel very little anymore),

You are getting so close to arriving and I am thrilled about it! Now, do you think that you could decide to be born near the 18th of December (give or take a few days?) If you come too soon we will miss Caroline's little ballet performance this week and she would be so sad. But if you wait too long we could end up in the hospital over the very best holiday of the year—and we'd miss our family terribly. I just want you to know what would work best for everyone and then decide from there. Thank you wiggly baby—I know you will do your very best to make your mama happy :)

All my love,

**After another appointment with the dr today I am now at a 4 (still 80% effaced). Oh what does it mean?! This kind of thing is my hubby's favorite—anticipating a big surprise coming at any time. It is, however, not exactly my favorite...

Thursday, December 8, 2011


We have had a crazy week with 3 busy and fairly late nights in a row. But tonight Joseph had to work late so the kids and I were on our own, early bird schedule—dinner at 5:00 pm, in the tub/shower by 6:00, scriptures and reading done by 7:00 and then a little replay of the Home Alone "traps" portion of the movie before the girls' bedtime (I think my kids have the order of all the pranks down pat by now...) Bentley stayed up later so we could work on spelling homework and then he helped me wrap a gift for Caroline. It is always a lot of work to wrangle my kids all by myself but I do love it when we can have an early and productive evening.

Getting essential projects done is my goal every day lately but I like to have just 2 or 3 things I will accomplish and then that's all I hold myself accountable to. Today it was getting our advent activity done (dyed pasta garlands which really just turned into making necklaces with a jingle bell on them), getting the kids' teacher gifts all ready to be delivered tomorrow, and wrapping the last of my kids' gifts to put under the tree. Beans and Cares have been super wrapping helpers for cousin gifts, grandparent gifts, and things for each other so we have gotten a few wrapped and ready each day. I love to see the tree fill up with lovely packages for all our family.
 Holiday handsoap from Bath and Body Works for the teachers. 
Can you see how Cares wrote "We "wash" you a Merry Christmas" on the card she made her teacher? Totally cheesy, yes. But such a practical gift that should get a lot of use 
(and smell very cheery and bright)

Tomorrow I need to figure out the whole infant carseat thing: mine is in great condition after 3 kids but it is now more than 7 years old and sadly past its expiration date. I hate to spend money on something I already have and keep asking myself if I really need to get a new one. Articles like these seem to convince me that I do. Hmmmm, major debate going on in my I need to get a new one?

And I am going to finish up this cute project I have been working on the past few days (directions and photo from this blog):

Monday, December 5, 2011

PJs and Centimeters

I'm writing this post so much later than I anticipated tonight as we had the kids' elementary singing program this evening. It was kind of a total nightmare to be honest—started 20 minutes late, was way too overcrowded and deathly hot, the acoustics were pretty bad and the kids sang for all of 15 minutes (2 songs by each grade K-2). Last year it seemed to run smoothly and was quick and easy so I don't know why they decided to change things up. Oh well—my kids were darling when they sang and even cuter whenever they waved to us from their little seats in the stands. As a parent I could never miss something like that simply because my children just get soooo excited to see Joseph and me there, cheering them on. Makes me heart happy to know they care so much.

And now, the debut of the kiddos' Christmas PJs:
I love the idea of special Christmas pajamas but can never make myself wait until Christmas Eve to give them to my kids—it's too fun to see them in their PJs as part of the anticipation of Christmas. Plus, we definitely needed some more non-summer jammies that actually fit my long, long kids. (I sewed the pants but the t's are from Target—cheap and easy).

And of course a silly-faced shot—wouldn't be my kids if we didn't fit in the crazy, 
"do whatever you want" pic... 

Now, in centimeter news, I seem to have already dilated to 3 of them (and am 80% effaced). Baby's head is also down and he's in prime position to come when he pleases. At 35 weeks the 3 cm do surprise me—but then again, I slowly and surely dilated with both Cares and Livs so I can't be too stunned. This baby really could arrive any day...hopefully he'll cook for at least another week but I realize I am not in charge of such things and my body will just do what it's going to do. Exciting though! Although pelvic exams really are not fun...ouch.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Advent Begins

Day 1: Making paper chains

Day 2: Watching Home Alone
Day 3: Hunting for elves at Gardner Village
We had a lovely mish-mash of family join us including my parents and Maddie (after they'd had Cares and MJ for a sleepover last night) and Mary and her 2 kiddos. It was pretty cold there this morning but I love anything that gets my kids outdoors and running around!

Coming up this week:
Day 4: Making sugar cookies
Day 5: Elementary school Music Program (Beans and Cares are singing)
Day 6: Swimming at the rec center
Day 7: Journey to Bethlehem (at my parents' ward)
Day 8: Making dyed pasta garlands

I haven't planned out the whole month like I usually do because 1) things always end up shifting around as unplanned events come up and 2) there could be a baby mixed in this time around and I'll definitely need to rework things if so. For now, we are taking things a week (or even a few days) at a time.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Festival of Trees

I think we got a head start on advent activities this year by heading to the Festival of Trees this evening. I am usually hangin' with the YW on Wednesday nights but 2 of them were performing at the festival tonight—made sense to me to go support them and see them dance. I figured my kids would get bored after a few numbers and want to go look at more trees with Joseph while I stayed and watched more dancing. Oh no, my kids loved watching the dancers—the music was all very cheesy and Christmasy, the costumes bright and showy and the girls all dolled up—what's not to love, right? Plus, my cute YW are both cloggers and their pieces were really fun and upbeat.

 Loving the belly at 34 weeks (or at least that's what I tell myself as a daily mantra...)
After almost 30 minutes, I dragged my kids away and onto some fun activities before heading home. There was nail painting, fishing for treats, and ornament making.

And of course the sharing of lollipops between sisters.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sweet Sleeper

Transitioning out of a daily nap is not easy:
I think she's just too cute when she's out like that. Luckily Livs thrives on a 15 minute snooze and wakes up happy and bright. I think we are quite alike in that way :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Decorating Weekend

All is decorated and ready for our beloved Christmas holiday! Each year I am more and more grateful for my darling little helpers. They get so excited over every new thing we pull out and then get right to work finding a home for each ornament or stocking or Nutcracker. We worked most of the day Friday once we were home from the cabin and got so much done. Cares happily (and carefully) set up our lovely pewter nativity set and Bentley helped carry tupperwares full of decor up from the storage room for me—hooray!

Sweet Livs helped a lot with the tree after reading each and every Christmas book (hair in her eyes and all :)

Yesterday Joseph worked on yard/garden/lawn furniture clean-up while I sewed Christmas PJ's for the kids. We also met up with Ruth Ann and Neil for dinner, and then made a family run to Target. Once the kids were snuggled up in bed, I hit the movie theater with my mom, big sis and 2 sisters-in-law to see the new Twilight movie. Afterwards we realized that low expectations are the key to a great movie! But just getting out for a bit and hanging with the girls was quite refreshing too.