Monday, May 31, 2010

Never fails

My mom dropped by some more pics from Westly's birthday, with some really cute ones of West's favorite part of the party.... a tree.
Our picnic tables were set up next to a tree, around which West ran in circles away from anyone who would chase him :) It's the simple things.
Running from Paul's Grandma Betty

Running from Grandpa (my dad)

Got a bonk  :(

Taking a break from the tree to check out a kite with Grandpa Joe (Paul's dad)

Some quality arbor anatomy education with Grandpa (trunk, bark, roots... )

Birthday Party

We had West's party this last Sat at Riverfront Park. For simplicity's sake we kept it small (just grand- and great- grandparents). It was a bit overcast but felt nice outside; we ate cake, opened presents, rode the carousel, and visited. It was relaxing and really nice :)
Thank you Ana for taking pictures with our camera! It helped me so much and they turned out great!

Westly L-O-V-Eing his first cupcake with frosting
This was the first time he really "got" the present thing :)
Really, really wishing he could open this basket-ball hoop at the park
Playing with his new choo-choo
We did a few rides on the carousel. He loved his horsey
Mommy, grandma, and great-grandma checking out pics (great picture Ana!)
I love this bright motion picture! West had so much fun :)

The cupcake he was devouring in the first pic was a special one from a batch he and I made that morning. I'm sad I didn't think to get any pictures of them, they turned out pretty cute for everything-free! Vanilla cake and frosting with bright blue sprinkles (that he picked out, by the way). I let him lick the spoon for the first time (a lot of "firsts" that day!), here's some cute pics of our project.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Finishing up a busy year

We have finished the last of our weekly commitments for the year. *deep breath* This year has been a whirlwind: We both did men's and women's discipleship (Galatians study, Wed and Sun morn), young marrieds' small group Thursdays, teaching 3rd graders Sunday mornings (which we will continue until the baby comes), and serving as leaders in Club Rocksalt on Tuesdays.
Although we're both glad for a breather with baby girl coming, this year has been amazing. God surrounded us with such awesome people to serve and learn with. This was both of our first time teaching elementary age kiddos. It was a challenge and we learned a lot about how God has gifted us, but we built some wonderful relationships with the little guys and the other parents we were working with. Last Tues was our last night of Club Rocksalt, so we snapped a pic with our group of 5th (and one 4th) graders.

Yes, that is me squeezing one last time into my definitely-not-maternity Club Rocksalt t-shirt. I think everyone is glad that part is over! We were missing a few kids, but this is most of them. As crazy as they are sometimes, we both really came to love these guys. Next year we are looking forward to working with the middle school youth group, and hope to get to keep hanging out with this crew.
For now, we are enjoying free weeknights. Paul has also been able to work ahead in his classes, and will be absolutely finished with class work before baby arrives (almost a month ahead of schedule)! I am so proud of him!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

She's coming!!!!

Well, she's not coming right now. But I was struck today by the realization that we have only 2 months, just 8 weeks until she arrives!!!! Ah! I am now entering a state of giddy expectation accompanied by panic-driven hyper-productivity. This week I have washed every curtain in our home (including the hanging quilts acting as curtains), sorted through our clothing, and re-organized all of our storage closets-- and it's only Wednesday. I feel clean and organized, and I want to keep going. Am I nesting? :)

I am also getting down to business with a crib bumper I bought on Craigslist several weeks ago. It's from the Penelope collection at Pottery Barn, still running $69 new. I found it in perfect condition, along with a custom made matching crib skirt, together for $30. Super cute. I love the patterns, and you can't beat Pottery Barn style and durability.  There is one little thing though...

I am chopping it up. Yes. And sewing something else on instead. I fully acknowledge the Pottery Barn heresy I'm commiting, but hope that you will grant me pardon once you see the final product. In the end, I hope it will look great with the quilt I have already completed (to be pictured in a later post). There may be a lot of before and afters in the coming weeks, as I continue to compulsively get our home ready for our little princess.

I have discovered that, at least while Paul is at work, coffee, Tylenol, prenatal Pilates, and a Belly Band are a busy pregnant girl's best friends. I am utterly addicted to my 10 Min Solution Prenatal Pilates Workout. I look forward to it all morning, go through withdrawals if I miss a day, and I highly recommend it to anyone who also happens to be pregnant. Coffee and Tylenol are self-explanatory (and dr. ok'd as safe for baby), but the Belly Band is good not only for fitting into your pants, but also helping to support those over-stretched and tired ab muscles, preventing injury.
I am also very thankful for the prescribed, baby-safe, sleeping medication that is prompting me to bed right now. Goodnight!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Westly is 2!!!

My baby boy turned 2 years old Saturday. I feel a little jarred; we've been so busy since our wedding I hadn't realized just how fast time has gone. The little 6lb bean we swaddled so tiny in the hospital is now running, talking in sentences (although usually accompanied by a lot of jabbering), tells me where the "Blue's Clue" is before Steve notices it, and is 2ft 10in tall (complements of his well-child checkup today)! We had a little celebration together, with an only slightly bigger one planned with the grandparents later this month. Mommy is not up to coordinating big events at the moment :)
Ok, so the fire was scary, and he was little grumpy (not to mention messy), but Westly did enjoy his "everything-free" chocolate cupcake sans-frosting. Unfortunately, most frosting has powdered sugar and all powdered sugar has cornstarch. At age two, though, he was happy and has no idea he missed anything.
Our fun, relaxing day included a visit to Grandma Lori's while Mommy and Daddy had breakfast together.  Yay! Both grandparents' houses are more fun than Disneyland at the moment, so this was a treat for all of us :) The rest of the day was family time: playing at the park, napping together, rough housing with Daddy, using his new colors with Mommy, and all snuggling on the couch to watch Westly's favorite movie- Cinderella. Yup. Here though, it is refered to as the "kitty movie" (well, an "ahhhhhh" sound, a little like suffocating, is his word for kitty. Not sure why on that one). This is because his hands-down favorite character in the movie is the cat. Yes, the evil one named Lucifer. What can I say? He loves kitties.

Thanks Lord for such a great day with our funny, precious little boy!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Allergy Triumphs :)

Since last August we have been learning to live with a set of food allergies that make buying pre-packaged food almost impossible. West is allergic to:
banana, chicken, corn, egg whites, egg yolks, milk, soy beans, strawberries, wheat, oats,  peanuts.

Of that list, peanuts (and actually any nuts at this point) are the only ones we need to carry an Epi pen for, his last encounter consisted of the early signs of anaphylactic shock (scary to think of, even a year later). For the most part though he only gets rashes all over his little body, possibly headaches/tummy aches (these ones are hard to I.D. since he can't tell us yet), and either super-hyper or super-emotional. So not fun, but the reactions disappear about 4 days after he eats the offending food, so life goes on. At first this was pretty insane, but we are thankful to know what was hurting our baby. God has taken us through and it's now part of life, and really not too hard to live with. 

West helping me make "everything free" pancakes. He actually knows how to carefully pour each measuring cup into the mixing bowl! (Please don't worry about him being next to the stove while I cook- we spend a lot of time with food and he has a very healthy fear of anything I tell him is "hot" or "makes owies" :)

What interests me today is the fact that we are getting some foods back!!! The allergist told us at the time of the blood test that he could, potentially, grow out of all but peanuts by age five (peanuts are for life, lovely right?). So we are to test them every so often by introducing them one at a time and watching for a reaction.

We have been doing this since August, but the results have been disappointing. Sooooo when we tried both bananas and wheat last month with no noticeable reaction it was pretty exciting!!! He can still only have them every 4 days to be sure the reactions don't start again, but I can't tell you how happy it makes me to hand my little boy a banana and see his face light up :) He can also have spaghetti with us (as long as I make his sauce from scratch) which makes him feel so good. He loves being "just like Mommy and Daddy".

So there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and some cute pictures of a happy boy :)

Saying "Yay! Yay! Yay!" while I hand him his banana :)

Don't you love the Pluto sticker? My son can accessorize :)

"Mmmmm! MMMM! 'Nana!"

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


It's been "one of those weeks"- events scheduled back-to-back for days, late nights and early mornings, careful planning going haywire, a seemingly unending series of household items breaking, jury duty, and allergic reactions (for those reading who don't know, West is allergic to numerous foods). Needless to say, we are all pretty wiped out and very thankful for three empty days on the calendar starting tonight :) My little cutie has been a good sport with everything going on, especially considering he's not feeling good after getting ahold of allergy foods. He's tired though, and sleeping much more soundly than usual, so I snapped a few pictures while he was zonked during nap today :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Job Search Begins!

Just a quick note to say Paul has begun putting out applications! He doesn't technically graduate until July/Aug, but we've had several folks tell us it doesn't hurt to start now. I'm so proud of him! Working on his resume this week, the amount he has accomplished in the past three years is incredible, especially considering how demanding his personal life has been on a guy who will turn 23 this Sept.
Specifically, he is looking for something with the State that works with his BS in business, but doesn't have much of a preference where he settles at this point. Please let us know if anyone hears about a good opportunity, and be praying we are patient enough to end up where God want us.
Whew! It's actually a little scary to be looking at moving on- money may be tight where we are now, but it's familiar and life has actually been fairly calm and predictable this past year. Over the next six months we plan to have a baby, end school, change jobs, change ministries at the church (moving up to middle school from elementary), and, Lord-willing, buy a house. I've always been a little skittish with change, and it's all beginning now!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Baby Girl!

For those of you who haven't met her, this is baby girl! These are from 18 weeks (10 weeks ago), so she is much bigger currently. I think they said she is around 2 pounds and over 12 inches now.

Close up of her face. I'm excited to see her in person, we were amazed at how much West looked like his ultrasound when he was born (I guess we shouldn't have been, it was a picture of him!)

Little feet :)

We found out yesterday that Breiella/Briella will be coming into the world at 7:30 am on July 16th, 2010! We're having trouble deciding on spelling (as we half-way made up the name there is no conventional spelling), please give us your thoughts! Still no ground gained on the middle name either. "Westly David" was ultimately decided because David means "beloved" (which West is :) and because of the legacy of King David. He wasn't perfect and even sinned in some major ways, but he continually turned back to God, and is remembered as "a man after God's own heart". That's our desire for Westly, not that he'd be perfect (not possible), but that he would come to know his Savior and would be a man who is committed to God in his heart. Choosing a middle name that gives a legacy is really important to us for this precious girl as well, but nothing has struck us as fitting yet. Praying that God lets us stumble across something soon!

It's getting down to the final months, today I'm 28 weeks and 4 days (just entering the 7th month). Unfortunately there will be no "pregnant pictures" posted of me on this blog. I love seeing other people's, but I am not brave enough to see how huge I'm getting every time I open this page :) I'm starting to feel the need to slow down a bit, and holding West is getting rather awkward, since there is already a baby sitting on my lap!

We are working on the concept of a baby coming with West, and I even thought we had made some progress the other day. He and I sat for almost 15 minutes looking at pictures of him as a baby, with me pointing at my tummy and telling him there is another baby in there, who will someday come out and live at our house. He grinned and looked at my tummy again and again. Then, with a big smile that said "Oh, I get it!", he pointed at my tummy and said.... "ball!" Well, so much for that! I think he's still too young to buy into that whole "babies come from mommy's tummy" business. That theory is just a little too crazy to be true :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

boy time :)

I am so glad Paul likes to rough house with Westly (he's such a good daddy)! I, well, don't- so it works out well :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

West and Daddy

Paul has been working really hard lately between getting Corban ready for graduation at work (lots of overtime) and finishing the last dozen weeks of his own classes (yay!). After getting off work and finishing homework he's pretty wiped out in the evening, but West still gets his "Daddy time" in! Here's some cute pics of the two of them chillin' after both of their busy busy days :)