Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Eve

This year was our first Christmas in our own home with no family around! While I was definitely missing our families, it was also lots of fun to just be together and do our own thing. We've all been looking forward to this day because it was the start of Kenny's long break from work. We need him home right now, until I get a better grip on this 3 kids thing :). I made some Christmas treats that morning, and Kenny took the kids out to play in the snow. It turns out it was only the beginning, as it didn't stop snowing the whole day and we got a few good inches! It was a beautiful white Christmas! :)

We went around delivering goodies to friends in the early afternoon. That evening I wanted to have our very nice and fancy Christmas Eve dinner of ham, augratin potatoes, rolls, peas, and sparkling cider. I got out the little flameless lights to have a nice low-lit meal. And I think the set-up was very nice, and it started out with the best of intentions.

But here's how the dinner really went down...
We sat down and Brynlee immediately needed the glass plate taken away from her, replaced with a small pink, plastic one. She ate the food well, but she made a huge mess all around her...and no she isn't wearing a shirt. I can't keep clothes on that girl to save my life. She's always either undressing or dressing up in weird outfits/hats etc. At least she was happy.

Tyler complained the whole time about how he didn't like anything we were eating and he was NOT going to have what we were having (this is a daily battle, by the way). So we, and when I say we I mean mostly Kenny, worked with him for long after the rest of us left, getting him to eat the food haha.

And Kenny and I took turns holding/trying to comfort crying Madison for the first half of the meal, until she finally slept soundly (but only as long as I held her).

I just had to laugh at my silly kids. No matter how nice and quiet of a meal I wanted to have, this is how it will always be with young kids in the house. And ya know, I'm okay with that. In fact, I love it.
After dinner we acted out the traditional nativity scene. Tyler really knows it well and got into it. Brynlee just enjoyed riding the donkey, or her dad. But my favorite part was when Tyler switched roles to a wise man and all of the sudden pulled out the vacuum hose extension and started "fighting all the bad guys". I don't remember that from the scriptures, but it was a nice conclusion to our Christmas story :).

Next was the traditional Christmas pajamas. I decided to buy Kenny pants instead of make his because then he would actually wear them. And I lost the pattern for my own and then Madi was born and I never got around to buying another one and making myself some, so I bought mine too. But the kids' pajama pants are homemade and matching, and that's what mattered most to me.

And we didn't forget to leave out cookies and milk for Santa. I got this cute plate at Kohl's :)

We had such a fun evening together and it was the best to watch how excited they were, especially Tyler. Although I think I was just as excited and giddy about the whole thing as he was. Christmas is way awesome when you have kids of your own! :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Never mind

Yesterday I decided I was going to go ahead with the whole potty-training thing. I felt like I was the one holding Brynlee back before, and that since we are stuck at home anyways I might as well take advantage of the opportunity.

So I started the day off putting her in a pull-up and talking to her about it. We sat on the potty several times that morning and she wouldn't go. After her nap I decided to put her in underwear so that if she went in her panties once, she might get it. It didn't take long before she peed on the floor, but it was on the hard wood floor so easy clean up. No big deal, we sat on the potty again and cleaned it up and talked about NOT going in our panties, just the big girl potty.

Not too long later, she pooped in her underwear. It wasn't a lot, so I quickly changed her and we once again sat on the potty for a while and talked about it some more.

Not even 5 minutes later she comes out of her room screaming with poop all over her hand and down her legs, and leaving a trail behind her on the floor. I ran her into the bathroom and cleaned her and the floor up, and stuck her in the tub. While I'm doing that Tyler walks in his room and informs me that, "there's poop on the chair, and on the floor." Well that was an understatement. It was EVERYWHERE!! Smeared into the carpet, a whole trail out to the door. I don't know how she did it, and so quickly too. So it took a long time and a lot of scrubbing and cleaning for that one. Madi was awake by the end screaming, wanting to eat, while I tried to hurry and finish cleaning up and get Bryn out of the tub. Yeah...I've had better days.

I called Kenny at work to complain and look for a little sympathy, but he couldn't stop laughing!! Thankfully by the end of the phone call he had me laughing too. And I requested he pick something up for dinner on the way home. :) At least he had a head's up for when he came home to a house that reeked of feces and oxy clean.

So never mind on the whole potty-training thing. I think we'll wait till next year to try again.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Outfits

So I got a crazy idea today, to do a little photo shoot of my kids. By myself. I had taken some of Madi when she was 6 days old, and I still needed some of Ty and Bryn, and some of all 3 of them dressed up together. I felt very brave doing this haha. I opened all the blinds, threw a black sheet over the back of a couch and had them sit on a chair. And I may be a teensy tiny bit biased, but I think they look pretty cute in them. Even with my poor photography skills, I have 3 beautiful children. That is still crazy to me. THREE!! Can you believe it?

I love the girls' dresses. Velvet and satin and oh so pretty. Hooray for matching!!

And only one of us was crying at the end...Madison, not me. She cried the entire time I was trying to take them of all 3 of them. But it sure was cute to watch Ty and Bryn try to comfort her and hold in her pacifier. I got several shots of that and I love them.
By the way, Madi looks exactly like Tyler when he was a baby.
I can't stop looking at these pictures. I just love my little family so so much. Ithink the Christmas season is the perfect time to bring home a new baby.

Grandma was here

My mom came to our rescue the day we got home from the hospital (Tuesday, the 7th). She stayed until Sunday afternoon and we were so glad to have her here. It really helps to adjust to a new baby when you have so much help. Not just me, but my kids too. She cleaned everything in our home, made us food, played with the kids, took turns at night with Madison, whipped up Madi's blessing dress in a few hours, went grocery shopping for us, and basically just made our lives easy for 5 days :). We missed her as soon as she left. Thanks for coming Mom--we sure love you!!

making sugar cookies

Friday, December 10, 2010

Madison's Birth

My mom is at the store with Ty and Bryn, and Madi is sleeping. So even though I want to nap too, I really need to just write this out before I forget all the lovely details.

Saturday morning I woke up and said, "I really want her to come this weekend. I'm going on a walk." So I did, but nothing happened. We went about our day as usual. I started having contractions late morning/early afternoon but nothing very strong and they were random. As the evening progressed they kept coming, but I was trying to not get my hopes up. We put the kids to bed at 8 like usual and I decided I should start timing them. So we put in a movie and just wrote down whenever they happened, which by now was about every 10 minutes. Then they were getting closer, like between 5-7 min. Around 10:00 I called my friend Rochelle, who had actually called earlier that day reminding me that she would take my kids whenever I went into labor. She must be very in tune :). So I told her what was going on and she offered to come over and sleep on our couch instead of having us wake up the kids and transfer them to their house. I was SO grateful for that. She seriously helped my stress level go way down, I was so concerned with how Ty and Bryn would do while we were gone, and now they wouldn't even have to know. So while we waited for her to come over, we got everything together and Kenny gave me a priesthood blessing. I was so grateful for that blessing because the words he said, and certain phrases kept coming back to my mind throughout the remainder of this process and it gave me a lot of comfort and peace. I feel so blessed to have Kenny.

Rochelle got to our house a little before 11:00. By that point my contractions were slowing down and I thought oh great! As we started on the road I kept praying that my labor would not stop and I'd be able to have her that night. We decided to go to Wal-mart since they were still open, just to walk around and see if we couldn't keep things going. So we did that for an hour (they closed at 12) and then headed over to the hospital. They checked me and I was at a 3, but their little machines weren't reading very many contractions. I was having a lot of back labor pains, which was a whole new experience. I didn't have that with the first two. So they said we'll keep you for an hour and if you haven't made progress you have to go home. So we got up and walked around in the hospital for the next hour and that certainly worked. So they said I was at a 4 and could stay! woohoo! A couple hours later I asked for an epidural. It was about 3 a.m. and I was pretty tired. I had gone to the hospital wanting to do it naturally, like I did with Bryn, because I was still scared of epidurals from Tyler's birth. But aside from not wanting all the pain, I really did feel like that's what I should do. It turned out wonderfully and they were very considerate and kind, knowing of my hesitation and previous experience. So anyways, right after I got the epidural, my doctor (midwife, actually) came into break my water and she checked me and said I was at an 8!! An hour later she came back and said, we'll start pushing in a few minutes. Sure enough, little Madi was ready to come. I only pushed for a couple minutes and she entered this world at 4:29 a.m. and mad as could be! :) She had the cutest cry though and it was such a beautiful and emotional experience. She is perfectly healthy and doing so well. She figured out breastfeeding quickly and hasn't had any problems. They kept saying it was like a textbook birth, and she was a textbook baby, etc. and it's true. We have been so incredibly blessed. My recovery has been amazing. I didn't tear or get an episiotomy this time and I can't even believe what a difference that makes. That's seriously the worst part of birthing.

We are all just smitten with her and it's so cute to watch Tyler and Brynlee get so excited to see her and hold her all the time. She has such a sweet spirit and we're all just so grateful that everything went so smoothly. We couldn't have asked for a better experience.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

In the Hospital

About her was the great compromise and we didn't decide on it till the day after she was born. I wanted Madilyn and Kenny wanted Madison so we agreed on Madison Lynn haha. We both love it though. We can't get over how beautiful and perfect she is. We are loving how thick and dark all her hair is!! She also has extremely long feet :) it cracks me up. I see both Brynlee and Tyler in her face for sure. Birth story still to come but for now, enjoy a few pictures of when we were in the hospital with her.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Madison Lynn Weston

Our sweet daughter was born December 5th, 2010 at 4:29 a.m. She weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. She has lots of really dark hair and she's as perfect as can be. Everything went so well and we are so ecstatic that she's here! Pictures to come soon.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I'm Still Here

Well I know I've been a bad blogger, and I wish I could say it's because I have a new baby to tend to. But that is not the case. I am still here, as large as can be, waiting anxiously for the arrival of this little one. This past Tuesday at my appt. they declared me dilated to a 2, which is better than nothing. But let me share with you why I'm secretly glad she has waited to come. For the last 2-3 weeks, we have all been feeling c-r-a-p-p-y. Lots of coughing and headaches and coughing and throat aches and coughing. First the kids, then Kenny and I inevitably got it. (I pray we didn't spread it to anyone else.) I kept putting off taking anyone into the doctor because I hate paying a doctor to tell me that we all have a bad case of the common cold. I just assumed they would say to let it run its course and it would go. But the time for it to go came and went, and we were all still sick. I had been praying so hard every day for us to all be miraculously healed so that we could be healthy when this baby joins our family. What a stinky deal for us to all be sick when she got here! I had been re-reading that talk on faith from General Conference and it got me really wondering afterward. I was sure I had enough faith for us to be healed. So why had it been so long and we're all still sick? The next morning I woke up around 4:00 and wasn't really able to fall back asleep (not being able to sleep=another fun daily occurrence). But I had a revelation during that time--GO TO THE DOCTOR. It was pretty simple. I suppose you can call what I was doing, faith without works :). So that morning as soon as the offices opened up I was on the phone making appointments, and demanding that Kenny do the same. By the end of the day we all had a diagnosis of sinus infections, and a good dose of antibiotics to get rid of them. Hallelujah!! Modern medicine is the miracle I was neglecting to partake of. But don't worry, we're all feeling much better now and just waiting. And waiting. And I seriously just can't wait to see her and hold her in my arms, and mostly just get her out of my stomach. It's pretty much all I think about.

If only we could agree on a name...

p.s. If any of you are missing your chin, just wait a few weeks. I hope to return all of the extra chins I've accumulated shortly after she's born.

Monday, November 29, 2010


We're all stuck inside today thanks to the constant rain, but I don't mind a bit. Just wanted to share my favorite picture from the month of November. I sure love this boy of mine.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday! My cousin Elise and her family drove down from Chicago to spend it with us. It was so nice to have some family around. Holidays are always hard to be away from everyone. We're all used to these massive gatherings of people for Thanksgiving, so it was a little different with just the 4 adults and 4 little kids. But we were sure glad they were here to help fill that void :). They stayed Wednesday night-Saturday morning. We had fun talking, playing games, black friday shopping (just me and Lise), cooking and eating of course, and taking the kids to the movie theatre to see the new movie Tangled. Here's a few pictures from the day of the feast. One thing that was really cool is we sat down to eat and a few minutes into the meal it started snowing!! Our first snowfall of the year--big, fluffy flakes. It was pretty neat even if it didn't last very long!

Violet and Tyler
Brynlee and Luke

The meal! I think it all turned out exceptionally well for it being our first Thanksgiving meal to prepare. Everything was delicious and we stuffed ourselves full!! We had a 12 lb. turkey, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, gravy, stuffing, rolls, pretzel salad, and a cranberry/sprite drink. I even saved my last strawberry jam of the year for this meal. It was worth it :)

The whole gang. Can I get any bigger?? I think not.

Dan and Kenny each working on a turkey leg.

Dessert!! Pecan pie, (Kenny just bought one because I didn't want to make one, but he must have his pecan pie at thanksgiving :). ) banana cream pie, pumpkin cheesecake with a pecan-gingersnap crust, and a chocolate-peanut butter pie. YUM!!
Thanks for coming Dan and Lise, we sure had a blast with you guys! It's been a fabulous year and we have so much to be grateful for!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tender Mercy

It's been a rough few days. The only thing worse than trying to take care of sick kids and a sick husband, is being sick and 9 months pregnant yourself. Then the kids got up at 6:20 this morning and I wasn't thrilled about that. Everyone, including myself, has been cranky and a little on edge.

But today we had a tender mercy--the weather was perfect. We even wore t-shirts!! I thought these days were over, but we managed to have a nice walk, and one more picnic lunch in our backyard today, per Tyler's insistence. It was just what the kids (and I) needed. I sat there on the blanket (hacking up a lung...) watching them run around in the leaves with the wind blowing hard. The sun was so warm and it felt so good. I couldn't help but feel so grateful! Grateful to be pregnant, grateful to have such beautiful and wonderful children already. Grateful that we don't get sick very often and we have such good healthy bodies and minds. I'm grateful I can be home with them every day, and that Kenny provides so well for our growing family. So many things to be grateful is great.

(Notice the picture in the bottom right of Tyler. He has a vacuum hose extension sticking out of his pants. It was his sword, and he is a warrior. It was even funnier to watch Bryn copy him and try to stick one down her diaper!)

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

A few things

Here's a cute picture of Tyler and his buddy, Jacob Reed. I made them matching (kind of) capes and it's pretty cute to watch them play.

Being super heroes!

Kenny got back late Wednesday night. The kids didn't see him until Thursday night of course, but boy were they happy to have him home. Even if he did come home sick and get me sick too, we're grateful to have him in any condition :).

Yesterday I took a day to myself and it was wonderful. I got a babysitter and left at 9 in the morning. I went to the temple, did a little Christmas shopping, and even treated myself to a delicious lunch at St. Louis Bread Co. (or Pandera). It was awesome. It would have been even better if I had Kenny there with me, but alone is good sometimes too :).
Yesterday I helped Tyler write a letter to Santa. I was so proud of him. I just told him how to spell things (or I'd sound it out and he'd guess the letter) but he did great. I think it's the cutest thing.

In case you can't read it it says "Dear Santa please bring me lots of presents Love Tyler" hahaha at least he's not picky and greedy right?
Well we're all feeling a little under the weather at our house. So on our agenda for the weekend is TAKE IT EASY! We're hoping to be recovered 100% before our guests arrive for Thanksgiving celebrations!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Things I love about today

-The way Tyler wakes up and comes straight into my room to climb into bed with me (if I'm still there) because he wants to snuggle.

- How Brynlee can't get enough of me. Okay so sometimes it is hard, but I try to give her as much of my attention as I can now because I know in 3 weeks (or less!!) she will hear a lot of "I can't right now" and "just a minute". I think she senses something's coming because she's extra needy and snuggly. I'll take all the lovin from her I can get! :)

-Mindy Gledhill's CD "Anchor", and Christmas music.

-A great friend (and visiting teacher). Heather watched my kids for my dr. appt. today and I came home from her house with my car full of goods. Clothes for my children (she has a boy and a girl too), a present, and a warm loaf of french bread.

-How an old toddler mattress entertains my kids for a long time. See the green blur?? That's Tyler in mid-air.

-That it's Tuesday, which means Kenny gets home tomorrow!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Stuff from the week

Monday: Dr. appt. went well. I got tested for the group B strep thing and haven't heard back so I assume no news is good news. We had a short and fun family night that evening.

Tuesday: Went shopping in Fairview Heights with the rest of the RS presidency and that was fun. I went to the hospital after that for the pre-admissions appt. and got all the paper work taken care of so I don't have to worry about it while I'm in labor. I'm getting so excited to have this baby and meet our little girl.

Wednesday: Tyler got to go with Kenny to Young Mens. They cooked a dutch oven dinner and played around. Ty felt like such a big boy and loved going to that with his dad. Brynlee came to a combined young womens/relief society activity where we made aprons out of tea towels. Very simple and cute.

Thursday: We decided to change things up a bit and squeeze in a date during the week! We went out to eat at La Casa Mexicana with our friends Jared and Terra Reed. We made Tyler miss his Little Gym class, but it was the only day we could make it work. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed getting out for a couple hours together. Our friend Damon was kind enough to watch our kids (he actually kept volunteering to do it so we finally took him up on it! he's so nice). After dinner we went grocery shopping for the campout since Kenny was in charge of all the food and he wanted my help :). I used to make fun of my parents for going grocery shopping and calling it a date...looks like we've arrived there too now haha.

Friday: Kenny came home early from work long enough to grab his stuff and leave again. He had lots of fun with the young men at his first campout with them at Pere Marquette State Park. I already mentioned earlier that I went to a little candle party and that was fun.

Saturday: I went to the craft fair and took the kids even though I didn't want to. Miracle of all miracles is when Kenny called and he got back earlier than I expected so he came and met us at the high school. He took the kids early and let me shop around for a while :). I got home and Kenny slept for like 15 minutes, then left for the leadership training meeting, which I should have gone to with him but didn't. That night we went to a little birthday get together for a guy in our ward.

Sunday: Church was great today. Right after we got home I made Kenny a lunch, quickly ironed a pair of his pants and kissed him goodbye. He is now in Houston until Wednesday night for some training for work. He' s staying with my parents, and he almost brought Brynlee with him. She's only free to fly for a few more months, but I just didn't feel good about sending her off, so she's here. But he made it there safely, and I'm glad.

Other things: Brynlee pooped in the toilet for the first time! It was exciting. She doesn't go in the potty all the time, and a lot of days doesn't even do it once during the day. I just follow her lead. She'll just randomly say sometimes that she wants to go on the potty so I help get her pants and diaper off and she goes and that's that. I really don't push it becuase I'm sure once this baby comes in 3 weeks she'll go back a little anyway. So I'm just kind of letting her do what she wants and get used to it slowly.
Both kids have coughs and it's getting old. They're not getting sicker or better, just cough. I am grateful they aren't really sick though, I'll take this over a lot of other things.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Here's the thing--I think motherhood is challenging.

I'd like to think it can be challenging for all moms; that we all have some similar feelings, and problems to overcome. Tonight I was at a Gold Canyon (candles) party, and one of the other ladies there from my ward started talking about how she feels like other people are out doing productive things all day while she's just at home with her 2 little boys. It really hit home to me because today was one of those harder days for me too. (I wasn't even going to go to the party because Kenny's gone on a camp out for young mens, and I didn't want to take the kids. But I really wanted to get out of the house and talk to other women, so we went anyway.)

She commented how she does "stuff" all day, but feels like there's not really anything to show for it at the end of the day. I realized that's how I feel a lot of the time too. For example, I clean and clean and clean and there's always more cleaning to do. There's so much redundancy to the day of a mom with young kids, and you might not even be able to tell how much you have done. So anyways, the point of this post is not to go on and on about how hard or unrewarding it can be.
The point is that I think it's good for me to identify what works for me. Sometimes I'll get stuck in a rut and wonder why I'm not as happy or feel as fulfilled as I do at other times with my kids. So it's helpful to really think about and identify what I'm doing or not doing that contributes to that. I hope that some of these suggestions are helpful to some of you. The majority of you that read my blog are young moms just like me. I would really love it if you'd share some tips with me, and let me know what makes a good day, good, for you and your kid(s).

First and foremost my day has to start off right. I love to get up before my kids and read my scriptures and pray when the house is quiet and I'm all by myself. I stopped doing this when I got sick at the beginning of this pregnancy, then got back into it, and now I'm tired a lot again and have fallen back out of the habit. But I can honestly say there's a big positive difference when I can have that one-on-one time with the Lord before anything else. I have to pray for more love and patience a lot.

I have learned something about myself, that I am extremely goal-oriented. Kenny laughs at me because I always carry around my little notebook with my many lists. Even if it's not a big deal, just regular stuff to do during the day like laundry or clean the bathroom, I write it down. Because I feel like that's my own little reward system when I can cross it off after it's done...even if it doesn't stay done. But the goal thing goes for other areas as well. I think there's not really any point to this life if we're not trying to improve and progress. For me, the only way to do better and get from one point to the next is to set goals, otherwise I just kind of ho-hum along in life. I'm grateful for my parents for instilling this in me because it's sort of how I function now. Not just my daily list of things to do goals, but in all areas of my life, for all different time periods too.

Another thing that helps me feel like I am doing more for my children than just monitoring them and keeping them alive, is to have things I want to accomplish with them every day too. There are different areas that I feel are important, and I try to have a little bit of time spent in each one. I used to have a chart that we'd put stickers on for each little section but again, I need to get back into the swing of things (this post is for me more than anyone). We would do a sports time, music time, reading time, crafts time, imagination and learning time. That way it's not just like oh what can I do now to distract them. There is more purpose behind it, and I feel like their activities throughout the day have some variance and are beneficial to them (that's always the hope right?).

Shake things up a bit!! I hate when life gets so boring and you don't feel like there's anything to really distinguish one day from the next. Find some new recipes and make a fancy dinner once in a while just for the fun of it. Rearrange all your furniture for a day and see what the kids do! Find out what's in your area and go to all the free stuff. Join library reading times and play groups and get out and have fun! Plan a party just for the heck of it and have friends over with their kids. I know this is weird, but I like to watch movies in French, or put the French subtitles on if I'm watching a show with the kids so that it's more entertaining/engaging for me :).

Lastly, take time for yourself. I love to workout and that was something I made sure to take time for, although in the last month of pregnancy here I'm not able to just go run for miles and de-stress. But I do make sure that I have projects to do in sewing, and a list of books I want to read so I do that at night too. I also am trying to get better at piano playing and although I stopped taking lessons this summer, I still try to practice often. These things are for me, to help me stay me, and feel like I'm not just forgetting who I am and what I love. It's important to stay grounded and take time for yourself. You can't draw water from an empty well.

Anyways I was thinking about the scripture in Ecclesiastes 3:1 "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." This is a unique season of my life and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I don't want to just get through it, I want to really love it and relish in it. Tonight was a good reminder for me of how I can do that, and that it may take a little more effort, or self-discipline, but it's so much more worth it.

An Invite

This is an invitation to all my sisters, and to anyone else who wants to come to my house. Leave your snow behind for a while!! Our weather has been in the 70's this week, and we have beautiful leaves to play in, right in our backyard :). Come join our fun!!

Notice the macaroni and cheese-stained mouth and shirt. We had just finished our picnic lunch.

Yes, we are enjoying every minute of it. Hope to see you all soon :)