Friday, July 17

4th of July Weekend









This year for the 4th of July we went to see the candy bomber drop candy all over the Scera Park with 10,000 other people. (he flew directly over our house twice later that night while we were outside painting our trailer and that was way cooler if i'm being totally honest.)

Bayli and Everli had lots of fun outside this weekend, playing in the sprinklers, reading books on a picnic blanket, running around naked. you know the drill.

on the evening of the 3rd we played with sparklers and "pops" fireworks in our backyard as a little family. normally we would be over at a friend or family members house celebrating with them but this year we spent the time as just the 4 of us, it was different but very very wonderful.

that Saturday the 4th, garrison and i went to the stadium of fire and left the girls with his parents. one of our friends had extra tickets from his work and he was kind enough to give them to us. this year Journey was the main performer. i grew up listening to that band. they were my favorite of all my dad's "good music" so when i found out they were performing i had a mild heart attack out of excitement. that excitement didn't die out until a few days after the show. they were so good. and even though the lead singer has been replaced by a philipino guy, the show was still extremely enjoyable.

Wednesday, July 8

At Almost Two Weeks Old

When Ev was just a few days old I did a little mini photo shoot with her, trying to capture some of the perfect little newborn-isms. I am just a little obsessed with her blonde feathery hair if you can't tell. If you try hard enough you can almost smell that sweet newborn scent up against her velvety soft skin.

Wednesday, June 17

Sisters

Everli is already 6 weeks old! i haven't been writing much on the blog because i have been a bit busy. we've been getting used to life with two kids as best as we can. Everli is the best baby ever and has been sleeping through the night basically since her 2nd week of life. she is so great and hardly ever cries. she is so well tempered and cuddles like you wouldn't believe. Bayli has also been amazing. she is so in love with her baby sister, and yet at the same time knows how to give her space, and help me out by giving Ev her binki back, and throwing away stinky diapers, and more. Garrison and I have genuinely been blessed with two GREAT kids. i don't know what bargain in heaven we had to make in order to get them but it's totally worth it.

Watching the two of them interact during this month has been a dream. I can tell as they get older things will get more complicated between the two of them, they'll start fighting over toys, and who gets to be held by mom, and pushing each others buttons, but for right now they are perfectly content with one another and i am cherishing it while it lasts.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of the two of them from these beautiful past 6 weeks.








Wednesday, May 20

Everli Mae: A Labor Story

Everli Mae Jones was born Friday May 8th at 6:30 in the evening. She weighed 6 pounds 4 ounces, and was 18.5 inches long.

Here's how the day went:
at 9:30 that morning i went to my dr's appointment, he wanted me to come in to check and see if i was still having issues with high blood pressure because the last time i went to the hospital my readings were too high... and because of another consecutive reading of high blood pressure in his office, he decided to induce me. after dropping Bayli off with family, we headed to the hospital.

at 10:30 i got admitted to the hospital, walking past the triage rooms we had visited way too many times and straight to our delivery room was such an amazing feeling.

at 11:30 we started pitosin to get my contractions going stronger. i was only at 1.5 cm dilated and 80% effaced when we started. (the same dilation and effacement i've been for the past three weeks)

at 12:45 the dr came in and broke my water. when he did this, i was 2 cm dilated. as i laid in bed I could for sure could feel the contractions, but i had been experiencing the same kind of pains for the past few weeks, so i was doubtful they would be doing anything with helping me dilate. My family came to visit and distract me, bayli was even there for a bit before she went to my parents house to nap, once my family left, I went for a walk around the hospital to try and get things moving. i did this for about an hour or more and then went back to bed to try and breathe through the contractions as they continued to get more intense. i distracted myself by watching videos on youtube of men trying to endure through simulated labor pains.

by now it was 4:00 and i was only at 3cm dilated. figuring i was in for the loooong haul since my labor was progressing slower than id hoped after having my water broken, and enduring the pain for as long as i could, and even trying to help them along by walking, i asked to get the epidural.

after getting everything with that taken care of it was about 4:45 and my nurse wanted me to lay on my right side to help the baby's head get into the correct position, she said the plan was to have me switch sides each hour to kind of corkscrew her head into the right place. i laid on my side for an hour while i almost dozed off to sleep because the relief from the epidural was so wonderful.

at 5:45 we switched sides. she checked me and i was dilated to a 4, we both were thinking it would be hours until i delivered. she went to go get the new nurse that would be replacing her since it was almost 6:00 (shift change happens between 6-7.) so that she could start explaining what was happening with me and my labor's progression to the new nurse before she left.

around 6:15 as my first nurse was in the room explaining things to the new nurse i started feeling some changes occur in my cervix. i wasn't feeling the same kind of pressure as i felt with bayli, but i knew that something was different. she hadn't even finished explaining the stuff to my new nurse but i interrupted her anyway and asked her to check me, she checked me and said i was dilated to a 7. surprised, she told me that things would be happening fast now, and that in an hour or less i'd have my baby! so we texted my parents and told them to hurry and bring Bayli to the hospital. the nurse quickly finished explaining things as they got the room ready.

at 6:25 i started feeling much more pressure, i doubted that i could have dilated even more in such little time, i had literally been checked only 10 minutes before, but i said i was feeling ready to push anyway, and she checked me and i was at a 9, we did one practice push to get me to a 10. it worked, and with perfect timing, our dr came in. we did two pushes through the next contraction. i used a mirror so i knew that she was crowning. then he explained that i would need an episiotomy again, which didn't surprise me, as i felt the next contraction coming on, i pushed, he cut, we did another push which got her head out, then the last final push and...

at 6:30 pm out came the rest of her.

in summary:
it took 3 weeks of prodromal labor,
6 hours of early labor after being induced (the last 2 hours of which i had an epidural)
15 minutes of transitional labor
6 total pushes through 3 contractions.
and we had ourselves a baby.

they laid her on my chest and started to clean her off. she was still tiny, and covered in vernix, just like bayli was. but she was also different. lots of blonde hair, not a big crier, she nursed almost immediately and this entire time while i delivered my placenta and got stitched up, she and i just laid there together, i cried happy tears, she whimpered infrequently. turns out i needed 16 freaking stitches to repair my two tears, but i didn't feel or even think about any of it. we said goodbye to our first nurse. as she left she said "thanks for hurrying so that i could see that beautiful babe."

the doctor finally finished my stitches, and we could hear my parents talking outside our room with Bayli, i couldn't wait for her to meet her sister. as soon as the dr left and i was covered again we let my daughter and my family in the hallway come in. i had had tons of time holding Everli, but i hadn't even realized that Garrison hadn't held her yet. so after he helped bayli up onto my hospital bed to take a look at her new sister, garrison finally took his turn at holding his new daughter.



for about an hour or so we had so much fun in our delivery room letting everyone take turns holding her. more friends and family came over, i ate dinner, and Everli this whole time just hung out kinda still covered in vernix, but beautiful as ever, and totally pleasant. she seriously never cried.

the time came for us to go to the mom and baby floor, and for Everli to go get her bath and get checked in the nursery. i was feeling wonderful, and i wanted so much to be able to watch her first bath, so my nurse pulled some strings and i got permission to go down with my husband and both of us could be there watching the happenings in the nursery. i was told that i had to stay seated in the wheelchair, which i felt was unnecessary, but still if that was the requirement, i was willing.

the nursery was amazing. once she was all clean, and deemed healthy, we went back to our room, said goodnight to Bayli (who had been watching from the hallway) and all 3 of us fell asleep. seriously my recovery has been awesome, i really love this whole second child thing. it's like my body knows what its doing and how to fix itself this time around. I really have been so lucky to be blessed with a smooth easy recovery, and to have been given such an amazing, beautiful, healthy, well tempered new daughter. (she loves her sleep and we love her for it.)

parenting a newborn has been like riding a bike, everything came flooding back, how to nurse, how to change a diaper, how to avoid being peed on, how to burp, what the different cries mean, and even the schedule. it all came flooding back and it was as if she'd always been a part of our lives.

i love her so much, and Bayli has transitioned into being a big sister beautifully. when i watch the two of them interact i feel like my heart is going to explode. Nothing with this pregnancy or delivery went the way i thought it would. but it turns out i got everything i didn't know i wanted.

Everli is such a joy in our family. it's safe to say we are all obsessed with her.


Friday, May 8

39/40 weeks

well... despite our many trips to the hospital, thinking we were in labor. this little lady has decided to overstay her welcome in the humble home i've been creating for her the past 9+ months within my body.

-i now weigh 137 (a total weight gain of 12 pounds)
-i have started getting stretch marks below and around my belly button. my belly is measuring many inches larger than it was with bayli. the itchiness and tightness is unbearable sometimes.
-sleeping goes like this: fall asleep around 11:30, wake at 2:00 to go pee, stay awake for a few hours while i try to go back to bed enduring through a few contractions, finally fall back asleep around 3:30 or 4. (usually after watching an episode of Friends in order to get my mind off things) and sleep until 7:30 when bayli wakes up. i pee again. garrison takes care of her while i finish sleeping until he leaves for work at 9 which is when i actually get up.
-the belly button is still an innie, and i am still not wearing maternity clothes, but i should be. i'm just stubborn and keep convincing myself that she will be coming out today anyway, so i wouldn't get enough use out of the clothes. i basically wear lots of knit loose shirts and leggings/skirts. or my robe. lets be honest. i'm almost always in my robe.
-we still deal with really frequent contractions daily. the pain is something that i can bear. as sad as it sounds im basically used to it by now. the hardest part is the confusion. not knowing if "this is the real thing" or not. we have now made 5 trips to the hospital, each with contractions mere minutes apart, and each time another issue get's either added or resolved. first we found out i had a UTI, next time we thought i was in labor, contractions were only 1.5 minutes apart and crazy intense for hours, but no dilation or effacement. next we were worried about leaking fluid only to find out my water hadn't broken. another time it was for blood pressure levels that were too high, but not high enough to induce immediately, just check up on. seriously, what else can they throw at me? eventually they will just have to admit me.
-we officially scheduled our induction date for the 12th of May if she doesn't come on her own before then.
- i'm just glad that she wasn't born on May 4th -national star wars day- "may the fourth be with you"
- at our last ultrasound (38.5 weeks) she was measuring 6 pounds 10 oz. a very healthy weight. but still on the small side so we don't think we will need to do a c-section. hopefully she will stay under that 7 pound mark until i get her out.
- i am in a much happier and patient place than i was in this post, i have learned a lot about myself these past few weeks, i have also learned that there's usually a reason for things, and garrison got strep throat a few days ago, so it was a good thing that he dealt with that with the baby safe in my belly instead of worrying about her catching that terrible sickness at only a few days old.
-i am a big planner and have a very hard time letting things go when they aren't in my control. this pregnancy has tested me more than anything else in my entire life, it has easily been my hardest trial to date. i feel like it has just been one concern or another for the entire 9 months. from placenta previa, (which resolved itself) to loosing too much weight from terrible morning sickness, to confusing due dates since our conception date and her measurements never added up, to baby measuring big, then small, then big again, me not gaining enough weight, and all of the other things i mentioned earlier like uti's, contractions, and blood pressure. BUT... we've gotten through it all, and right now, regardless of the issues we have had to deal with earlier, things are looking up. we are in a good place to deliver this baby girl, and thank goodness none of the issues have turned into anything serious so far. it's been a looong ride, and all of these worries have not made the trip seem any shorter. but it's practically over and i can almost smell her already we're so close to having her in our arms.

Thursday, May 7

Journaling Book of Mormon






Here's a link to the website i used to buy my Journaling Book of Mormon. a guy named "ben crowder" compiled it using the pdf that the church released. there aren't any changes to the text besides the footnotes and chapter summaries have been removed. it's an 8 1/2 x 11 inch book. you can even download the pdf version to look at exactly how the book will look on his site. (or you can use the pdf to have it printed yourself. but... i looked into that idea, and i couldn't find anywhere that could print it for cheaper than the lulu version i linked.)

there's also a Pearl of Great Price, and a Doctrine & Covenants version. although the lds church/ben crowder hasn't released a bible edition, here's an affordable king james version you could use.

now for the fun part: journaling supplies!

my favorite supplies to use include: stamps, washi tape, watercolor paint (using very little water since the paper is not super thick and can buckle), sharpie pens, stickers, and highlighters or crayons used as highlighters.

there are many methods of journaling, like writing down a favorite verse from that page of scripture, writing down quotes from hymns, or general conference that relate to that set of scripture verses, drawing images/using stickers that help you remember visual parables. you could tape a page of velum paper to the inside margin and use that entire sheet of paper to draw, or write down a long thought. and obviously, you could just use the wider margins to write down thoughts with a pen or pencil like you would a normal journal.

my end goal for this set of scriptures is for my children to be able to look through this book when i am older, or dead, and see not only my spiritual thoughts, but also see my creativity, and how my art improved over the years, i hope they look through it and read it as you would a normal journal. i put a date stamp on the bottom of each page that i doodle on so that they will know how old i was and when those scriptures stood out to me.

studying my scriptures like this has made me truly "ponder" the scriptures. i like to start my scripture study when Bayli has gone down for her nap, i start by praying, and asking either a question, or to be shown a set of scriptures in a new light. then i start reading. once i find a scripture, or have a thought that feels worthy of "journaling" i spend some time doodling and creating. this time that i spend drawing helps me think even deeper on the scriptures. finding more questions, thinking about comparisons to other verses, and truly pondering what the lord wants me to learn from those scriptures. the quiet time i have after praying and reading is truly priceless, and i've never experienced scripture study like it before. it's literally been life changing.

finally, another important part of this unique way of daily scripture study is that it provides an opportunity for me to spread the gospel and share my testimony through social media. taking pictures like the ones above, and posting them to my social media with an explanation of why those scriptures are important to me helps me encourage scripture study in others, and share my beliefs, opening the door for missionary opportunities, and encouraging others to participate in their own scripture study.

I encourage you to find your own version of scripture study that allows you to do more than just read. to truly ponder. maybe that is this journaling book of mormon, or maybe it's something else, but whatever it is, i hope this post has helped you see how scripture study can be fun and can be something that you look forward to doing on a daily basis. not only to read the word of the lord and his prophets, but also because of the personal growth it brings to your spirituality and in my case... creativity.

Wednesday, May 6

The End of 3

i wanted to compile a few of our family pictures of just the three of us before our fourth littlest family member joins our clan...

taking family pictures is extremely difficult. not only is it difficult to fit us all into the photo, but getting our stubborn 3 year old to look at the camera, nonetheless smile at it is a whole 'nother issue. we really need to work on taking more pictures together. but... a selfie stick has been purchased and even used a few times, and i got a new phone so the quality of my photos are much much better now, and i am planning on using my dslr on a tripod, or asking friends and family to take our pictures more often. there's another goal for this year.

for now... enjoy my compilation of family pictures from the past few months, most of which would never see the light of day because they are not great quality. but... it's what we've got. (our last attempt at taking family pictures here)