Friday, September 26, 2014

Here it is.

So for those wondering, here are some photos of my house. We're still hoping to be in by Halloween. Before we can move in, the flooring needs to be completed, the toilet fixtures need to be install as well as the kitchen sink and other faucets. We will need to get the oven and dishwasher installed (and then we'll add the refrigerator and washer and dryer when we move in). Then a tree needs to come down (it's really close to the house, leaning towards it and when they installed the septic, they severed the roots on one side). The current set-back is that we're waiting for the electricity to get hooked up to the house. The builder said there isn't much more more they can do until the electricity is hooked up, so hopefully that will happen soon.

For now, here are some pictures:

The front of the house.
This is what you see when you walk in the front door.
Here is the room on the right. It's labeled as a living room, but I'm pretty sure we're going to use this as an office/ school room as the kids get older. 
To the left, is the dining room. 
Between the dining room and the kitchen is this little butler's pantry. 
Here's the kitchen (looking in from the family room).
So this is the pantry and one of the reasons we liked this floor plan so much. We l loved that there was so much space in the pantry. 
Off of the kitchen is a garage.
This is the family room, looking in from the kitchen. 
Okay, back to the front door, so we can head up the stairs. 
To the right of the stairs is a little laundry room. I am so grateful to have a space to do laundry that is not in the kitchen.  In our last home, the washer and dryer were in the kitchen hidden behind some billfold doors. I'm just so glad that they will have their own space. 
Next is our room. This is looking in from the doorway. 
This is the sitting area in our room. I'm really excited about this space because this will be the perfect place for the baby's crib. 
This is our master closet. It's not huge, but I'm grateful for the space. It's definitely bigger than our last master closet .

Our master bath! I am just so excited to have another bathroom in the house!!
The other side of the bathroom.
This is the hall bathroom. 
This will be Adelaide's room. 
Adelaide's room, from the window. 
This will be the boys' room. 
The closet in the boys' room.

4th bedroom.

I love this little window and have plans to build a window seat there. 

The tiny door here is the closet. Look how narrow it is! I don't think I'll be able to fit through that door much longer. Haha. 

 So, there it is folks... our new home. It will be fun to update these pictures when we have carpet and get all moved in. For me, I think it will be fun to see the beginnings, the bare bones and then to see how it all changes. After just over a year living with my in-laws (as helpful as that's been), it will be so nice to be in our own home, our own space again. :) I'm getting excited!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Blessings These Days

Well, I realize it's been awhile since I've posted anything on this blog. I do have two semi-recent drafts that I just never published, that's a start, right?

There's a lot to catch up on. Part of me hasn't caught up in awhile because I haven't had time. I have been busy with doing things with the kids, just being a mom, a wife, my photography business, etc. Part of me hasn't caught up because it's overwhelming to think about. For example, Caleb turned 3 back at the end of June. I took his 3 year pictures, but haven't even had time to edit them yet except for a few of the kids together for Independence Day. (I am going to try and get them edited this week though).

And then a part of me hasn't updated because I wasn't really sure how to or when the right time would be. I have been incredibly blessed lately. Things are going pretty well for my little family these days and though I have been grateful and feeling blessed, I didn't want to say much for fear of what people might think. Also, with social media, I see so much more heartache around the world, in our country and even in the lives of my friends and family and I didn't want to feel like I was rubbing anything into anyone else's face. I really don't know how to articulate better than that really. I have just been feeling sad for, maybe empathetic is a better word, towards my friends and family and want to show my love and support. Please know that I am aware that heartache happens, and I've experienced my own heartache, but I also rejoice in the happiness of my friends and family and I am sure you guys, do too...Does that make sense at all?

So, as I've thought about and as I've been more and more grateful for my blessings, I realized that it is okay for me to share the good things that are happening in my  life. And my friends and family will be happy for those good things happening just as I am happy for the good things in their lives.

This is not to say that we haven't had struggles and trials, because of course we have, but the good just outweighs the bad these days.

So what is going on in my life these days?

Well, last June (as in June of 2013), Jeff and I decided that we wanted to move out of our small home (just over 1000 square feet, 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom home).  We already had two children and knew that at some point in the future, we'd want to expand our family. We started our home search, not completely sure at first, but as we continued to look at homes, we started to get more and more excited about moving into something bigger and more suited to our family's needs. We were looking for a 4 bedroom home with 2 bathrooms. We started our search in the Midlothian and Chesterfield area. We (and I guess, really I) wanted to stay in our ward if at all possible and if not, we wanted to stay in our stake. As we searched for homes, we ran across several in HOAs and that was something we were not interested in. Sometime in August, we found a home that we both loved. It was an older home, built in the 70s. It was in an established neighborhood, but not in an HOA. It was also on a .5 acre lot and had a lovely backyard with a screened in gazebo (and the gazebo had a fan!). This home had 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a living room, a family room with a fireplace, a rec room, a florida room and a laundry room. It also had a walk-up attic. It had everything and more that we wanted in our new home. It also had a large 2 car- attached garage with storage space above. The home definitely had work that needed to be done, but the sellers had also done quite a bit of work and had already started renovating the home. We looked at more houses, and then came back and looked at it again. We did notice that there was some water damage and mold issues, so we before we put an offer in, we asked if we could bring contractors to come and check out the house and give an estimate for the work required. A contractor and a mold guy came the same afternoon. They looked at the damage and came up with a a plan and by week's end sent us the estimate, about $10,000 combined. We put in a full-amount offer but asked that the seller pay for the repairs. They accepted and we were set to close on Sept. 19th. Yay!! So then we did the inspection and we found more problems. Leaky roof, more mold, termites. We already knew that the seller was not willing or able  to help with anymore of the issues. So we withdrew our offer. I seriously mourned that house. It had a nice front porch, a large yard for the kids to play in, and so much character. I didn't think we'd be able to find another home we loved as much.

We kept looking and were met with disappointment after disappointment (for example another home, I really liked got an offer placed on it that same day). Finally, we broadened our search and Jeff started looking at land. We happened upon a strange L shaped lot in Aylett, Virginia. It's a little 3 acre lot and though strangely shaped, we decided we could build there. So, we're in the process of building our home. In fact, it's nearly done and hopefully, we can move in by the end of October (!), though we haven't been given an official date yet.

While in transition, we've been living with my in-laws (so since mid- September) and while it's been good and helpful, it will also be so nice to be in our own place and have our own space again. :) This home that we will be moving into, does not necessarily have everything that I want, but it's a great home and definitely bigger than our first home together. I am very grateful that we have been able to do this. That though there are some stressful moments, that it is finally coming to fruition and that we'll have a home more suited to our family's needs as we continue to grow.

Speaking of growing, we are also expecting baby number 3 sometime at the beginning of Feb!! The official due date is Feb. 4th, which also happens to be Adelaide's birthday. But, babies come when they are ready, so we'll see if this baby will actually come on the 4th. So far, one baby has come a week early and one 3 days late. We are thrilled to be expecting another new little one and can't wait to bring this baby into our home. :)

Speaking of home, I am planning on having a home birth. There is a wonderful midwife here who does home births. I am already so impressed with her. I tell you, I have truly been so blessed with the wonderful doctors/midwives I've had with each of my babies. Caleb was delivered by two of the best doctors. They were compassionate, understanding, nice and fun to be around. They made me feel strong and able. Adelaide was delivered by the most amazing midwife. She was awesome at our appointments and fell in love with Caleb right away. She was amazing and calming during the labor and delivery of Adelaide and she even came to see me again that evening (even though she had already been up all night long and all afternoon while I was in labor). And now my current midwife seems to be just as amazing. I am grateful for each of these wonderful women.

Speaking of babies again, we find out what we're having on Monday (as in tomorrow)!! We found out with Caleb, but not with Adelaide. I am excited to find out what we're having this time. With Adelaide, I just knew we were having a girl. This time, I have no idea. Sometimes, I think boy and other times I think girl, so who knows... well, we will on Monday! :)

So I guess the big things happening in our lives right now is the fact that we will be moving into a new house sometime in the next couple of months and that we will be expecting a new member of our family in early Feb. And we are all so thrilled!!

Anyway, so any guesses as to what we're having?

Today at 19ish weeks.

From the other side.
This was at 16 weeks.

Here's our new house. I'll be honest, another reason I didn't want to share is because I am kind of embarrassed by it. Anyway, if you're interested in seeing inside pictures, let me know! I took some, but thought that since this was already kind of long, I'd post more later if people were interested. :) 
 These are from back in early July:

These next couple are just from a couple of days ago. 

Well, I guess that's all for now!! :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My boy almost drowned… right in front of me.

Myrtle Beach Vacation 2012
This is something very dear, embarrassing and still hard for me to say out loud. But as summer approaches, I think it's important for me to say it. Two summers ago, when Caleb was just 14 months old, he nearly drowned right in front of me. It was one of the scariest days of my life.

We were on vacation with my dad, my husband and my three nieces. Jeff and my dad and one of my nieces were in the ocean. I had the other two and little Caleb up further away from the beach but playing in a little pool of water that had pooled onto the sand. We were sitting there with another mom, grandmother and little girl. All the kids were playing nicely in the water. Caleb LOVED the water. While the children were all playing, the adults were talking. Caleb was standing right in front of my, less than arms length away. I was watching the girls play and Caleb was bent over playing in the water.  At least, that's what I thought. I thought my little baby was playing. Soon, the grandmother remarked at how nicely he was playing and couldn't believe that he wasn't afraid of the water at all. That's when I realized that I hadn't heard a sound from him. That he was quiet and still, though bent over. I quickly yanked him up and with fear in my hands and heart, realized that my boy's face had been down in the water. He wasn't playing at all, he was drowning. When I yanked him up, he threw up, then gasped for air and then promptly started crying. I was terrified. I kept thinking about all of the "what ifs" What if that woman hadn't said anything? What if  I didn't pull him up when I did? What if I continued watching the kids play and talking to the adults, never realizing that my son was in trouble?

And those "what ifs" didn't stop in the next moments. That night, I was so terrified that he was going to drown still. You know, if a kid swallows too much water, they can still drown after they're out of the water. I didn't sleep that night. Instead, I looked up signs of drowning. I had no idea that if a child, or any person for that matter, were drowning, they aren't usually flailing about- that's what I'd always pictured, the child would be flailing, bobbing up and down, gasping for breath, making some sort of ruckus so you'd know they were in trouble. But that just isn't true and certainly was not the case for Caleb.

Caleb wasn't interested in going in the water much more during that trip. In fact, he ended up getting pretty sick and had a blessing. He was still a pleasant little boy and enjoyed the playground at the resort, but preferred to stay away from the water. I was afraid this would affect him for a long time, and gratefully as we found out the next summer, it did not. It took him a little warming up to get into a pool, but once he did, he was fine and had great fun. I expect this summer will be much the same.

Now as summer is approaching and there will be times where we'll be swimming either in pools or the ocean, I just wanted to bring to my remembrance and possibly to my friend's understanding of what drowning really looks like. It's not like what we see in movies or what we might picture in our minds. It's quiet, eerily peaceful.

Here's an article that I found helpful and maybe you will too.

Drowning Doesn't look like Drowning

And another:

8 Quiet Signs of Someone Drowning

This year, especially as I have two (very active) little ones to keep safe near water, we're going to try and get the kids into swimming lessons. I think it's important for even the littlest to know what to do in the water.

My sweet boy. (2012)

I love those curls of his… wish he still had them. :) (2012)

Monday, April 7, 2014

A is 14 Months

So I've been terrible at keeping up my blog lately… anyway, Adelaide is 14 months old now. I can't even believe that she's so old. I know I say that all of the time, but she really is growing up so fast. Today though, during General Conference, I held her in my arms- just for a second, I was reminded of how little she was. Last General Conference she was just two months old. and now she's walking, climbing, talking and sassy. It's amazing. I had no idea what kind of toddler she was going to be then, you know? I didn't know what her personality was going to be like… it's just amazing to me how much babies develop in such a short amount of time.

Anyway, Adelaide says a bajililon things already. Part of me is amazed, part of me is kind of sad about it. I just am not ready to be done with her baby stage yet.

Here are her current words and she adds a new one nearly every day.

up (uh)
down (dow)
baby (bah bah)
bye (bye)
hi (hi)
water (wawa)
bed (buh)
book (boo)
ball (baw)
eat (eat)
bath (bath)
bubbles (buhbuh)
pop (pop)
Namna (nana)
Caleb (way yah)
head (haea)
shoe (shoo)
sock (soo)
nurse (ssss)
apple (apple)
banana (nana)
cookie (tootie)
thank you (titoo- almost said in a whisper)
Lisa (eessa)
Chrstal (tista)
mine (mine)- her favorite word currently
play (pay)
dog (dah dah)
truck (tah)
car (dar and sometimes a dar)
blanket (boh boh)
light (ligh)
bird (burr)- she points to the bird
Night night (nigh nigh)
help- heh
outside (I can't remember how she says it at the moment)
pooh (because Caleb says, "I need to go pee pee and poop" every time he needs to use the bathroom. Adelaide follows him to the bathroom and says pooh pooh")

She signs "please" and "more" and she just started shaking her head "no"

She also says the phrases:
I want some
take a bath
I want get in bed (meaning she wants to get into the pack-n- play or up on the bed).
I turn (for my turn)

I feel like she says more… but I can't remember right now.

She says animal sounds for cat, dog, cow, horse, sheep, pig and donkey (our favorite).

She can point to her head, and ears. She wiggles her fingers when you ask where her fingers are. She picks up her feet if you ask where her feet are. If you ask where her hands are, she makes a fist with both hands. Her eyes and nose are tricky. But if you ask her where "my eyes are" she can point to your eyes.

She still loves to climb and can climb on the sofa, the bed, the kitchen chairs and onto the table. She likes to climb into the dishwasher, into baskets, buckets, strollers. Sometimes I see that she is on top of something and wonder how she got there. She's a tricky baby.

She loves to put things in her mouth still… but if you ask her to spit it out, she will- sometimes she will run away first, but she almost always will just spit it out.

She loves to wrestle with Caleb. She will climb onto him, grab him around his neck, pull him to the floor. He doesn't like it so much.

She loves to follow Caleb around and do whatever he's doing. If he's playing with blocks, she wants to play with blocks, too. If he's playing with the ball, she wants to do the same. If he's playing on the piano, she comes following. He likes it sometimes, sometimes, it's bothersome to him.

She also likes to copy what he says. So she's always trying to repeat whatever noises he makes. He thinks it's funny so he says random sounds and she'll copy. It's one of their favorite meal time games.

Her favorite songs these days are: "Once there was a Snowman". She does the actions and she'll even say, "tall, tall, tall" and "small, small, small". ; "If You're Happy and You Know It", "Wheels on the Bus", and "Ring Around the Rosies", oh and, "Walking, Walking".

She is always amazing people at the park when she climbs up the stairs and comes down the slide by herself.

Just like her big brother, she LOVES to be outside. So we're super excited for good weather! So we can play, play, play!!

She loves to read books and enjoys the library.

Caleb and Adelaide have started playing better
lately, which is awesome and fun. It's so fun watching them play. It's really neat within him explore language as he tells her what to do and imagines with her. For example, the other day, they were playing and Caleb goes, "Addieyay, there's a spider! Oh no! It's a big one! Aaaahhh!!!" and he got up and ran away. There was no spider. Or if they are playing outside and someone is getting ready to leave, "Addieyay, watch out, Papa's getting ready to back up. Be careful!"

I guess that pretty much covers the last two months. :)

Time for some pictures:
(Sorry, they are way out of order)

St. Patrick's Day (night)

Finally a tooth!! :)

I really love this photo. 

I caught these two playing with a little green beetle they found on the ground.

Miss Sassy Pants.

Do you see what I see? her hair is getting longer and look at that little curl!! :)