Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas fabulocity

Christmas this year was simply amazing. We went to St. Louis to have an early Christmas with my family which actually went very well. Except for the part where I developed Mastitis at a record speed but the rest was great! The next Friday, we had Christmas with Jason's family in Jeff City and that also went well. Jason was talking to his older brother, Mike, on the phone yesterday about how absolutely remarkable it is that both family gatherings went really well... it was a Christmas miracle ;) lol. Christmas day was the BEST!!!

I had been plotting gifts for months and was sooo darn excited to finally be able to give them to my family. I (well, technically Santa) hand made a felt tool set for David and a felt tool set for Ainzley - they turned out even better than I expected! Jason got some clothes (he has decided he wants to wear more button up shirts and polos), expansion packs for one of his favorite card type games, a board game (Settlers of Catan), a video game and few other things that I just can't remember at the moment. Ainzley got a lot of clothes and a winter coat for next year. She got a couple small toys but David had so many toys that she's pretty well stocked already. I got a couple cook books, attachments for my kitchenaid mixer, some movies, a willow tree statue, a giant reese's pb cup, and the complete Harry Potter DVD collection. David's gifts were some of my favorite. He got a Tag reading system, a couple shirts, a kids digital camera and a BIKE!!!! That boy has been begging for a bike for as long as I can remember so now he has one :) He was so darn excited for that bike :):):):):):):):):)

We just lounged around all day in our Christmas PJ's. I made a really good Christmas dinner. We had ham, steamed veggies, baked sweet potatoes, homemade bread and apple pie for dessert. After the kids went to bed, Jason and I played Settlers of Catan - it was pretty fun!

Christmas has always been exciting to me but this year was the closest to perfect it's ever been. I put a lot of thought and time into all the gifts I gave and everyone enjoyed what they were given. This year was the first year that David was actually asking for certain things and to be able to see him open the presents and find what he had been asking for was the absolute best.

This year has been a roller coaster for us. We welcomed the sweetest little baby girl into our family, got a promotion, bought a house, worked like crazy on the house, started nursing school, watched our kids grow, set goals, accomplished goals and planned our future. We have been blessed beyond what we could have imagined. We are so thankful for the knowledge we have of our Savior Jesus Christ, our mission here on earth and of the eternal family. 2011 has been simply amazing. We hope we can continue to follow the example of the Savior and see the good in every situation. We hope you all have had a terrific year and look forward to making memories with you all :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wow it's been awhile since I've posted but it's been pretty crazy lately!

Jason's done with school for the semester (and I will be too after tomorrow!!!) and we've been working our BUTTS off on the house! My favorite thing we've been working on is the guest room/office. We bought a desk, filing cabinet and book shelf to go in here and it's awesome! The only thing missing is the mattress (the bed frame is set up and waiting for it!). We've finished the painting, been doing some long-term decorating and have been decorating for Christmas. Our gifts are wrapped and under the tree though I have two more I'm making for the kids which could turn into four, lol.

David is HILARIOUS!!! Oh man, that little boy makes me laugh so hard everyday. He is always so darn excited to see Ainzley every morning. Yesterday we were driving around listening to Aindy Williams' Christmas CD (Jason's favorite) and David was singing along - he even knew the right words! He is JUST like his Daddy and loves Christmas so much! He always begs me to turn on the Christmas lights first thing in the morning and it is torture for him to have to wait until it's dark out. He is my little helper around the house. He wants to help me do everything and loves to watch me cook. He is just the funnest, cutest little boy!

Ainzley is growing sooo much! She's so stinking cute, too (of course ;) ). She has so many methods of movement! She will get up on all fours and scootch herself where ever she wants to go... backwards, lol. She'll do the same thing on her tushie. To go forward, she'll sit on her bum and use her legs to move - she's so funny! I'd love to say I think she'll be crawling by the end of the week, but she seems pretty content in her own ways. She just had a dr's appointment the other day and weighs 19lbs and a few ounces and was 28 inches tall. She also has SIX teeth all of which have appeared since September. It's making nursing a challenge since she's a lazy latcher but only 3 more months until we reach our 12 month goal so I'm going to stick it out :)

Jason and I are doing great. He's still working and I'm still raising the kiddos. We are loving our house more and more (if that's even possible!). We had our annual Christmas party last Sunday and it was a blast! We had so much room to do stuff and the kids were all playing upstairs doing their own thing. It was WONDERFUL! We had about 20 people there and could have easily doubled that and still have been comfortable. Transitioning from 1200 sq ft to 2700 sq ft has been challenging in some aspects but totally worth it as far as having guests over. We don't miss our apartment :) Anyway, back to the party. Like I said, it was awesome. We got to just socialize and snack before we decided to play Mafia. We were a LOUD bunch and a competitive one but it was great.

There's not a whole lot else going on. We're getting excited for Christmas and to see family again. I haven't seen my family since............ oh yeah, October but even then it was their pig roast so they were busy doing things and there wasn't much time to talk or anything. Anyway, I am so excited for one gift in particular and that is the bike we got for David. He has been begging for a bike for as long as I can remember - he even prays for one when we have family prayer at night! I bought him one at WalMart on Black Friday and am so excited to give it to him!!!! We didn't get him many toys this year because he has so many to begin with but also because whatever else we get him will be completely overshadowed by the bike so a few little things, some clothes and a bike. It will be awesome. Ainzley is getting mainly clothes and Jason is getting, well, I can't say here in case he randomly decides to check the blog (HA!) but he's getting some pretty great things, too.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving/Anniversary

This year, our anniversary fell on Thanksgiving which wasn't as "bad" as it sounds. When we picked our wedding day, I knew it would occasionally fall on Thanksgiving but it didn't bother me. This year as we explained to some people that our anniversary would share the day with a big, national holiday we got weird comments like "Hmmm... didn't think about THAT when you picked the wedding day did you?" or "That sucks". Really, it made no difference. It was fun because we got to be around our family most of whom were there for our wedding day anyway so it was fun. It was a busy week leading up to Thanksgiving since we were going out of town and all. Wednesday was pure chaos but we made it to Thursday.
Thursday started early and after not much sleep. While Jason was packing the car, I came out to notice a few things were different. I had just cleaned the car out the night before so when I saw a roll of Jason's work trash bags strewn over the two front seats and a permanent marker in my seat, I knew something was wrong... our car had been broken into. Jason took my car to WalMart Wednesday night but I am positive I heard him lock it when he got home. No windows were broken out thank goodness. They picked the lock. Our car is remote entry and there is only ONE lock on the entire car which is the drivers side door. Sure enough, there were scratches all around it (we've never used a key to open my car). They thieves made out good. We had THREE portable DVD players in the car, 10 DVD's, TONS of CD's (mostly from Jason's mission which we can't replace), and they took my Moby Wrap among other things. Once I realized my Moby and Jason's mission CD's were gone, I broke down. I felt personally violated. Oddly, I felt most sympathetic for David. He knew his stuff was gone but didn't understand why... How do you explain that to a two year old?? Our police station was mysteriously closed for the holiday so I couldn't file a police report until Friday. Thankfully our home owner's policy will be covering the stolen merchandise. Still, every time I look out the window and see someone, I wonder if they're to blame.
It took my a good hour before I was determined to not let someone's mean/rude/selfish actions ruin my day. I DID have so much to be thankful for. I was celebrating 4 years of absolute BLISS with my husband. We've had our moments, but being married to Jason is by far one of the best things in my life. He is my everything. I can't imagine my life without him. I am so lucky to have him by my side through this life and the eternities to come. We have two AMAZING children. My kids are my world. I am truly blessed to be their mommy and to be able to learn from them and teach them. We have a house, a car, Jason has a terrific job and is progressing in nursing school. We are healthy and happy and those are things that no one can take away from us :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The bare minimum

Last week was a difficult week for me. I'm not going into specifics because I've put it behind me and am looking forward. I stayed off the radar for most of last week including my school work. This semester has been especially difficult with how much our lives have changed recently and I needed a break. I did the bare minimum all week. I worked on the house but pretty much just let life happen. I'm catching up this week... dishes, laundry, diapers, sewing. There's a lot to do, but my break last week was great therapy and wonderful family time :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Birthday recap

It was my birthday yesterday! As a mom, I find that birthdays are just kind of another day. Diapers will still need to be changed (Jason did all but one of them, though) and babies will still need to be fed (not something Jason can do, lol). It was a pretty good day. I didn't bother setting an alarm so when I woke up, I was in a bit of a hurry to get ready for church though I didn't bother rushing - I got out of the shower 10 minutes before we were supposed to leave. We only left about 5 minutes late, though and still made it in time to take the Sacrament. We had a great time at church and came home. We ate lunch, put the kids down for their naps and couldn't decide what we wanted to do so we painted the dining room. Our best friends came over after they got out of church later in the afternoon so we hung out with them for the rest of the evening. That was really about all we did, lol.

My gift was one that I picked out and ordered for myself on behalf of Jason. I've always wanted a mother's ring and found a beautiful one on Etsy. Both kids' names are hand stamped on the band with their birthstone set next to their name. I LOVE it! It's simple and not annoying. There's also room for definitely one more, possibly two more names for future kiddos. It is perfect :)

I was quite surprised when neither of my parents wished me a happy birthday yesterday. No call or anything... I was particularly bummed that my dad didn't call. I'm just grateful for Jason working so hard to make my birthday amazing. I am so lucky to have the best husband EVER!! :) ;)

Friday, November 11, 2011

I keep meaning to continue the 30 day blog challenge but my Ipod is dead... seeing that my next entry is supposed to use my Ipod, I'm stuck. Honestly, I'm not loving the topics of the "challenge" anyway.

Yesterday I painted. ALL. DAY. The upstairs is pretty much done. I have the baseboards in Ainzley's room to do and the doors and door frames. Also the stairway needs to be painted but I don't know how we're going to get that done - it's two stories tall! Even though we have a ladder tall enough, we have to position it ON the stairs. I might just wait until my aunt comes down to help with that part. Our last major project of the year will be installing the fireplace. We're putting in a gas fire place because our house is heated electrically and Springfield is prone to ice storms... if we lose power, we would be stuck in an ice box. It wasn't something that was originally in the plans, but we're making it a priority because of the winter storms we get here. Besides that, our plans for the year are pretty much complete. We put up our exterior Christmas lights last Sunday because the weather was so nice we couldn't waste the day... we have NOT turned them on yet and won't until after Thanksgiving. We haven't decorated inside yet because I want to finish painting and get the fireplace done first.

So with my birthday 2 days away and our anniversary coming up, Jason wanted to surprise me with my gift. He set me up a consultation for laser hair removal. I'm excited because when I get pregnant, I get infected, ingrown hairs on my legs that turn into MRSA. It's happened with both kids and there's no sign of it stopping. I only get it when I'm pregnant so it's weird. Anyway, I'm excited by the possibility of not having to deal with that anymore, but I'm not sure if I'll go through with it. The price will be a big factor for sure. I don't really like spending money on myself and I'm sure it would be a moderate expense. I mean, we got Jason lasik surgery when we were first married so I think I should have the opportunity to spoil myself... but i don't really know. The consultation is free, though so there's no harm in getting all the info. I'll post more details later.

We got family pics taken a couple weeks ago and we just got the CD of them yesterday. Oh they are so stinkin cute! I can't wait to post some!!!

I guess that's all for now. I like this kind of posting way more than an assigned topic :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 11 – What's in your makeup bag?

Lots of makeup, lol. I don't wear make up too often. I typically go all out on Sundays and maybe put a little something on on Jason's days off but even that rarely happens, lol. I'm just not a big make up person anymore. When I was in high school and in show choir or doing pageants, I was almost always made up, but I'm much happier with the way I look without make up.

Side note: So I'm watching Ellen and those two British girls that sing Nicki Minaj are on the show again and they are so dang cute!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 10 – A photo of your favorite place to eat.

My absolute favorite place to eat is at home. I LOVE to cook for my family. My mom started teaching me how to cook when I was four and it's been one of my favorite things to do ever since. It was hard for me living in the dorm because I rarely got to cook. There was a kitchen in the building but we had to share it with everyone - 5 floors and 4 wings of people to share with. Anyway, I love to cook. Eating out is good every once in awhile, but home is better :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 9 – A photo of the item you last purchased.



I am in love with Avocados. I've been craving them for days and on my way home from the fabric store, I decided to pick some up. Tonight, we're having blackened chicken tacos topped with salsa and avocados - yummmmmm

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 8 – A song to match your mood.

The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars.

So last night I woke up at 3 am to an AWFUL smell. I immediately woke Jason up and asked him if he knew what that smell was. To me, I thought it smelled like sulfur and possibly skunk. It completely filled the main floor of our house. I don't know what natural gas smells like, but we called the gas company anyway. They came out and said that our gas lines were fine and that it was probably a skunk in our crawl space. The gas man left, we cracked a couple windows and went back to bed. It was dang hard to fall asleep with that smell!! Both of the kids slept through all the commotion - it didn't smell upstairs at all. In fact, my kids slept until 9am. I did too... but I am completely spent! I got entirely too much sleep and feel blah. I really want today to go by quickly since Jason's gone all day but I have almost no motivation. Hence, The Lazy Song. I don't even really like that song, but the title alone says it all for me today.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day 7 –Your wedding



I LOVE talking about my wedding. It was a fantastic day. For November, it wasn't too cold, the sun was shining and I married my best friend. We are married for time AND all eternity. Forever. There is no greater comfort to me than knowing what's next and knowing that Jason and I will be there together is a dream come true.

There was a lot of family drama surrounding my wedding but I was determined to focus on the good that day. I had two terrific bridesmaids come to St. Louis for my wedding. They came to town the day before and we had a blast. We stayed with my soon to be brother- and sister-in-law. I woke up that Saturday morning and fought with my hair, fought with my make up and was dealing with an ulcer in my throat but, again, stayed focused on the good :)

The temple ceremony was beautiful. It was everything I had ever hoped. Our reception was terrific. We had a mini honeymoon in a gorgeous hotel and had a wonderful start to our new life together.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 6 – A photo of an animal you'd love to keep as a pet.

So, here's the deal... I grew up on a farm and with a mother who always wanted to be a vet - We had all kinds of animals as pets! Dogs and cats of course. Also horses, sheep, exotic birds, chickens, peacocks, turkeys, ducks a goose. My older brother had a gecko. We had an iguana at one point, too. Oh, and a ring tailed lemur. I'm DONE with pets, lol. We currently have a dog. One small, hypoallergenic (since I'm allergic) dog for the kids. Between a husband and the two kids we already have, 1 dog is more than enough

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 5 – How important do you think education is?

Education to me is hugely important!!! I've always loved learning and have always been a good student. I get so excited for the first day of school even if I'm only doing online classes - I crave learning. Right now, I'm learning most about birth. I am crazy passionate about this particular topic. So much so that I'm choosing to devote my life to it. I never had any real direction in life as far as what I want to be when I grow up BUT in recent years, the more I learn about birth, the more passionate I become. I got the idea to become a midwife several years ago and when I prayed about it (just recently, actually) I got a "well, DUH!" answer, lol.
Another thing I've been learning a lot recently is home improvement and carpentry type stuff. My aunt is a contractor and i lived on a farm so there was always lots to do in these areas. I love working with my hands. Jason jokes that I'm building him a house... but it's kind of true, lol. I've done things to our house that I've always wanted to try but have never had the opportunity. It's been a lot of fun and a confidence booster - I really can do this stuff and I'm pretty good at it! :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

See here:
http://amyduree.blogspot.com/2010/11/day-4-your-favorite-photograph-of-your.html

No time to blog tonight :(

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Whoops!

Well, I already missed a day... poo. If it's any consolation, we were at the pumpkin patch for our second FHE for the week and it was awesome! Anyway, I'll make up for missing yesterday today.

Yesterday was supposed to be about my favorite movie.... I'm not sure I actually have one. No, wait. That's false. The movie I could watch over and over is Gone With the Wind. Scarlett, Rhett, Ashley... *sigh* not to mention the amazing dresses ;) I just love the whole thing. Not too many people remember but there was actually a TV sequel called Scarlet. Through a series of events, Scarlet ends up in her family's homeland Ireland. The whole thing is very interesting. I haven't watched it as an adult to compare it to the brilliance of the original movie so I'll have to look it up and let you know.

OK, today is about my first date. I honestly don't know which to count... my first date, like, ever?? Because that was in fifth grade, lol. My first date with my first serious boyfriend? Sophomore year and I don't even remember what it was. So, I'm going to go with mine and Jason's first date. We met at the fair and had planned to hang out the next week. We picked a day but Jason was taking the lead on the planning. I spent the morning and early afternoon setting up my aunt's classroom. By the time I got home, I almost called Jason to cancel but I had told myself after coming home from college that semester that I was going to make an effort to make a lot of friends in my new ward. I called Jason and decided to meet at the roller skating rink in his home town. Honestly, I thought we were hanging out with a group of people so I was pretty surprised when it was just us. Well, kind of. We met up but then went back to his parents house for dinner with the missionaries, lol. Then we went skating. We had the whole place to ourselves and talked for hours. We had a blast just getting to know each other. The night ended with a sweet hug (though he swears I wanted to kiss him, lol) and plans to get together again sometime. It was the best first date I've ever been on :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Copy Cat

A friend of mine started the 30 day blog challenge together (well, we didn't mean to... it just kind of happened that way) last year and I gave up on it. Caryn, did you finish it? Anyway, she recently decided to redo it so I'm going to also. Here's the list if anyone else wants to give it a go:

Day 1 — Your favorite song.
Day 2 — Your favorite movie.
Day 3 – Your first date.
Day 4 – Your favorite photograph of your best friend.
Day 5 – How important do you think education is?
Day 6 – A photo of an animal you'd love to keep as a pet.
Day 7 –Your wedding.
Day 8 – A song to match your mood.
Day 9 – A photo of the item you last purchased.
Day 10 – A photo of your favorite place to eat.
Day 11 – What's in your makeup bag?
Day 12 – Put your iPod on shuffle: First 10 songs that play
Day 13 – The meaning behind your Blog name
Day 14 – A TV show you're currently addicted to.
Day 15 – Something you don't leave the house without.
Day 16 – Something you crave for a lot
Day 17 – How you hope your future will be like.
Day 18 – 5 things that irritate ME about the opposite/same sex.
Day 19 – Something you’re proud of in the past few days
Day 20 – The meaning behind your blog name.
Day 21 – A photo of something that makes you happy.
Day 22 – Nicknames you have; why do you have them
Day 23 – A picture of you last year and now, how have you changed since then?
Day 24 – A photo of something that means a lot to you.
Day 25 – Who are you? What makes you different from everyone else
Day 26 – A photo of somewhere you've been and a picture of somewhere you want to go.
Day 27 – What kind of person attracts you.
Day 28 – In this past month, what have you learned?
Day 29 – Something you could never get tired of doing.
Day 30 – A photograph of yourself today + three good things that have happened in the past 30 days

MMMMK, my favorite song...

I don't know that I really have one. I have fad songs that make me dance or ones I like to sing. Musicals are almost always my favorites. I watch The Today Show every morning while Ainzley is nursing and they have a musical guest every Friday. This week, it's Coldplay and their song Viva La Vida has been stuck in my head all week! That song first became popular when I was pregnant with David and REALLY sick. Up until last year, every time I heard it, I would start to feel nauseous, lol. I'm so glad that has passed! Anyway, not really my favorite song, but one that's stuck in my head for the moment.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

200th post!

Last weekend was awesome! It was the weekend of my family's annual pig roast which I have blogged about many a time before. Roasting a pig, fishing, hayrides, family, friends... general awesomeness. Anyway, we left Friday after Jason got out of class and headed for the temple. Oh my gosh. We hadn't been to the temple since before Ainzley was born. I cannot tell you how nice it was!!!!!!!!!! The session was amazing and I just couldn't pull myself away from the celestial room. I love being able to attend the House of the Lord and feel our Father's love. I would love to hear Springfield, MO in the new temple announcements in April... Just sayin...

After the temple, we went to Applebee's for dinner and to watch the Cardinals play the Phillies in Game 5 of the NLDS. They ended up winning - another highlight of the night! After dinner we headed over to Rick and Linda's. They were kind enough to let us and our friends stay with them. Oh man did I miss them!!!!!! I love having a sister in law that I'm so close with. We don't get to talk much on the phone anymore but when we do see each other, we pick right back up like we never missed a beat. We got to their house at about 9pm. Linda and I didn't go to bed until 3:30am!!!! We had so much to talk about! The last time we stayed up that late, I went into labor so we kept joking that if we made it past 2am, someone was going to be having a baby LOL! It was not so amusing the next morning when we were both awake at 6:15...

Saturday we hung out around their house for awhile before heading out to my parents' house for the pig roast. Linda and I were exhausted all day so that's about all I remember, lol. We had a blast hanging out at my parents' house!!! Jason, David, my aunt and I all went fishing. Jason taught David how to fish. Together they caught 4 fish including a 4 pound catfish! Jason was so excited about the catfish. Everytime we go fishing at my parents' lake, Jason always says he's going to catch a catfish and this was the first time.

Sunday we were supposed to go home (our friends did) but we decided to stay and extra day so we could go to our niece's birthday party. Linda and I decorated Gwen's cake. Well, it's more like she decorated while we collaborated on the design since I had Ainzley with me most of the time. We left Monday morning :(

I was SO SAD to leave St. Louis this time! Normally we always come home early from our trips home because we like doing our own thing and want to get away from family, but this time we really felt compelled to move back... of COURSE that would happen right after we buy a house, lol. Jason, over the past few years, has decided that we would probably always live in Springfield and not move back to St. Louis... it's not looking that way, right now. Jason still has to finish nursing school and finish his work contract (since his work is paying for his schooling, he has to work there for 3 years after he graduates) but we're forming a plan to hopefully move back sometime after that. Things are always subject to change though so we'll see.

That's just about everything I have for now. Hope everyone else had a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall on the farm

Every year, Jason and I eagerly await the second Saturday of October because it's my parents' annual pig roast. Oh gosh, how do I put this... it. is. awesome!! I remember the first year they had the pig roast... I was a freshman in high school... maybe? I think so. Dad got up super early to put the pig in the rotisserie which kept breaking. Anyway, it's a huge ordeal. We invite basically everyone we know and it's an all day thing. I cannot wait for this weekend! We're leaving Springfield as soon as Jason gets out of class on Friday and going to the temple as soon as we get to St. Louis. I have been LONGING(!!!!!!!!!!!) to go to the temple for a month now. We haven't been able to go since before Ainzley was born - I think the last time we went was towards the end of January. When we were first married, we went every week and it was amazing. Then David came and we moved to Springfield. Even then we still went every time we were in St. Louis. Anyway, it's much harder to go when you have two kids and don't live near a temple. Whoa, ok, back to the topic... pig roast! So anyway, we're leaving Friday and some friends of ours are coming with us which will be so awesome. We get to hang out with family which is even more awesome still. And we're going to roast a whole pig, go on hay rides, have a HUGE bonfire, ride horses, go fishing. I LOVE fall on my parents' farm!!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

4 weeks

Well, we've been in our house for a little over 4 weeks now and I have no idea how that's even possible! The time has been flying!!!!

Jason has been busy and by busy I mean BUSY!!!!!!(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) School has been his main thing lately. It is common in one week for him to have 2 tests, 3 quizzes, 2 worksheets (that have to be typed with about 32 questions that require a paragraph for an answer) and a 2ish page paper. LOTS of studying! Then he has his 2 jobs. One is VERY easy the other is his full time job that he's had since we moved to Springfield. The good news is that he was just able to switch his work schedule from five, 8 hours shifts to three, 12 hour shifts. It doesn't really give him more time per se, just more convenient time. Now, rather than rushing off to work after school, he comes home and can study and do his homework. Today was his first 12 hour shift and it really wasn't so bad. He's not home yet, but will be soon.

David is loving his new house. There is SO MUCH ROOM for him! He loves his room and his new twin size bed. We had converted the crib into a toddler bed for him, but he was quickly outgrowing it... go figure! We painted his room green and he loves to tell everyone about it. It was nerve wrecking for me to have him sleeping in his room for the first week. Our room in on the main floor and the kids' rooms are upstairs which I think is a fine set up... it was just a hard adjustment for me in the beginning. David's favorite thing right now is cooking. He is all about it! Since he has figured out how to open the baby proof cabinet locks (yep, it does suck), he likes to get out all my pans and "cook eggs" for the family, lol. He also loves to sing. He knows all the words to Book of Mormon Stories, Do As I'm Doing, and Popcorn Popping and it is ADORABLE! He prays on his own and is a very independent little man. I love that little boy!

Ainzley is growing so stinkin fast! Last week she weighed 18 pounds and is 27 inches long. She is also sleeping in her own room and doing great! she started solids last week and is all about it! She's not too fond of sweet potatoes (though I honestly don't know why as the rest of us like them, lol) but likes everything else so far. She eats pieces of bananas and avocados and the rest is just the jar kind but she doesn't really care. She has been very interested in food for some time now but the recommendation is 6 months now so I waited the little extra time. I can't believe it's been 6 months since she was born!!!! The time really has been going so quickly!

I'm keeping myself very busy. I take care of the kids and have been doing most of the renovations on our house as well. I've done drywall, I've done painting, I've done caulking, I've done floors, I've wall mounted TV's... and I've surprised the heck out of myself! LOL I've always liked doing minor construction work, though and my aunt is a contractor which has been so nice! She has saved us a boat load and has been so helpful! I'm also in school this semester. I'm only taking 6 credits but it will be upped to 12 for the next 2 semesters so I can graduate in a year. I've been taking college classes since I was in high school so that makes a total of 6 years - I'm ready for a degree!

That's pretty much us in a nut shell right now... constantly doing something!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

We're IN!!!

We're finally getting settled in our new house! It is taking forever since Jason is gone 60 hours a week between school and his two jobs. Not to mention the study and homework time... It's only 10 more months, then we're taking a fabulous Disney vacation! Anyway, back to work! So very much to do!!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, we had the opportunity to go to the state fair to spend time with my family which we were really excited about. My little brother shows sheep up there (I did too a long time ago, lol) so they spend a week there camping. It's a lot of fun. Anyway, we drove up there, met up with my family and had a really fun day... and the weather was PERFECT which, in my 10 years of experience, is VERY rare, lol.

I did have a major down point. I know how awful it's going to sound but honestly, seeing my mom was a downer. She treats me like a stranger, never acknowledges my husband and barely interacts with my kids. She's only seen Ainzley once since she was born and mom didn't even glance at her while we were there. At one point, David and my dad were playing football at the campground and my mom walked out of the camper. A friend of mine asked David who that (my mom) was and he didn't say a word. My dad quickly responded with "That's no one." Everyone brushed it off but it was devastating to me. My mom really is no one to my kids. She is no one to Jason (not for lack of effort on his part) and soon, she may end up as no one to me. Since I've been in high school, I've longed for a relationship with my mom. I grew up with opportunities that my mom didn't have. I took advantage of the ones she wanted me to participate in (mainly 4-H and FFA) but, ultimately, it was the ones I found on my own that I loved the best (singing, show choir, etc). She didn't like that I wouldn't put her choices first and was very vocal about it. It got worse when I became LDS and married in the temple. I think it hit rock bottom for her when I got pregnant with David, got pregnant again with Ainzley, chose home birth and she finally realized that I have no plans to divorce my husband any time soon.

As a mother, I rejoice in my children. I don't know how I could love them anymore and want nothing more than for them to be happy. I want them to recognize their talents and pursue them, nurture them, grow them and share them. I want the BEST for them... I don't feel like my mom wants those things for me. I'm not saying I'm a better mom than mine is, I just wish she could appreciate the amazing things I've done in my life rather than hold a grudge because she realizes she couldn't control my life.

I am so jealous of girls/women who say their mom is their best friend. I am envious of moms who get to see their mom be a grandma. I think about the relationship I had with my mom's mom growing up. She was the BEST grandma I could have asked for! She did all the crafty things. We baked together. We watched movies together. Grandma's house was the best! I hate that my kids won't experience that with my mom.

My mom and I barely speak now. We basically have nothing to talk about. I try calling her and she won't answer her phone. I miss my family so much but being around them means being around her which is beyond difficult these days. I really don't know what to do anymore. It sucks so bad that I can't feel comfortable around my mom.

Ok, my venting/lamenting/pity party is over. Bless you if you made it to the end of this post!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Moving

So, it turns out we're going to be moving asap... Since we've both started school, we figure it will be easier to work on the house when we can be there 24/7. Lately it's just been me and the kids at the house and since they don't have the things they're used to having all the time (mainly beds for napping and a wider variety of toys), it's difficult for me to get much done. Poor David will just pass out on the rug in the living room when he wants his nap! Ainzley will just scream. Lately I've been swaddling her and letting her nap in her bouncy chair which has been working well but is only a temporary fix. Anyway, we're getting the carpets cleaned on Monday so really, as soon as we can get all our stuff over there, we'll be living there permanently.

On a side note, I'm really enjoying fixing up the house. I'm learning how to do a lot of stuff and have always been hands on so it's great! K, gotta pack

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I just ordered the material for Ainzley's crib bedding. I am beyond excited. I've picked the colors antique blue, white, silver and a few hints of pink. I'm all about girly, but like it to be understated rather than pink splashed across everything and am certainly opposed to bright pink and animal print... yuck.

There will still be soft pink, damask prints and handmade flowers in silver vases I found at Ashley furniture this morning (they're beautiful). I can't wait to post pictures! :)

Edited: I clicked on the "View Post" button after I published this post only to realize that Ainzley's room descriptions bares a lot of resemblance to my blog decor, lol. Trust me, it's very different! ;)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

As it turns out...

I'm a pretty good caulker! Which I already knew from the mission trip I took with my parents' church the summer before my senior year of high school... but reminders are always nice! ;) We put Wainscoting up in our dining room and yesterday I caulked all the seams. We also painted the ceiling (what an arm workout!!!). All we have left is the chair rail, painting the wainscoting and chair rail, waxing the hardwood and our dining room will be done! With the exception of the pantry, the kitchen is done as well. Appliances are in, flooring is down... it's coming together! We still have painting and cleaning to do but, overall, we're liking it.

School starts Monday!! We're excited that Jason will be starting nursing school and I'm almost done with my Associates so it's going to be a good semester! I think I'm going to take 2 8 week classes thought because I was also just hired by a local high school to make their color guard costumes which is looking like it's going to be a big project. I'm meeting with the coach tomorrow to finalize everything and then the work begins! If I'm not around for awhile... check for me under high piles of tulle!!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

To my wonderful son

You are your father. You are his mini-me. Much like your father, you are such a joy to our family. You are have his temper (beware!! ;)) but you are also quick to apologize and forgive. You and your father are determined. You work for what you want even if it's just to say you've done it. You love to learn new things and to make people laugh. I think he taught you Tagalog when I was busy with Ainzley one day because there are so many things you say that make me go "huh?" yet you are also very eloquent. You are so full of love. You are very VERY smart... never doubt your capacity for knowledge. You are very busy - always running, jumping, exploring and doing.

David you are so loved. We are incredibly blessed to have you in our family. Thank you for being a wonderful teacher to us :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

House update

OK, after a fast and furious visit from my family the weekend before last, there has been a LOT of progress!

2 sets of missionaries helped us tear up the ceramic tile in the kitchen and clean - that was basically all the prep work we got done, lol. While my family was here, we installed a new back door and frame, changed locks on both exterior doors, hung mirrors in the bathrooms, put up a banister in the stairway, leveled a floor, installed 2 counter tops, hung wainscoting in the dining room, patched holes, built a pantry, installed a new kitchen sink and a bunch more little things I've forgotten, lol. We still have a lot more to do, though and with school starting in 2 weeks, well, we may finish some things after we move in. We've painted a few rooms and even painted the dining room 3 times... let's just say that room is difficult to know what paint will look like on the walls until it's done. I still don't really like the color that's on the walls in there but Jason does. We'll see...

We also got all the appliances to the house yesterday! The stove and dishwasher were delivered by Lowe's and we picked up the Fridge and microwave. It's starting to look like a livable house! :) Only one bummer - someone stole our hose and spray nozzle. I mean, there was even a working dishwasher and a nice exterior door and you take the hose? Who does that?? LOL

Friday, August 5, 2011

I know I'm a day early, buuuttt...

Happy Baptism Day to my niece Azure! I am so proud of your decision to follow our Savior's example and be baptized. I hope you enjoy your gift - a scripture tote designed and made just for you - beautiful and completely one of a kind :)





Friday, July 29, 2011

Alright... let's talk about it

The Breast Milk Baby...

If you haven't heard, there is a new doll hitting the American markets in a few weeks. It comes with a halter top that your child wears that has flowers over the chest area symbolizing breasts. When the doll is brought to the flowers, it makes a sucking sound as if it is drinking milk. When the doll is brought upright, it cries until it is burped. It is marketed as a unisex toy and the American representative for the Spanish company who makes the dolls says the doll is meant to "let kids play as mommies and daddies naturally." Seeing that I've yet to find a man who lactates, I think perhaps they should alter their advertising...

Bill O'Reilly has said the doll is inappropriate for children stating he just wants the kids to remain kids. There is even a Facebook page of people who oppose the doll and are calling for a ban of the doll in the US.

There is also a lot of speculation about whether or not this doll will influence little girls to breastfeed their own children when the time comes. On the other hand, do babies sold with bottles influence little girls to formula feed their children? I highly doubt, as do many child psychologists and pediatricians, that dolls will influence how a girl chooses to raise her future children. I believe that dolls can send certain messages (Barbie... hello!!!) but I don't think this is going to make much of a difference. Many people don't even think the doll will catch on in the US.

Personally, I am not a fan. A woman's (girl's) body was made for having babies and breastfeeding but there has got to be a better way to teach this. As a mother who strives to nurse her own children for at least a year, I know the importance of breastfeeding. I advocate for nursing in public which is highly scrutinized these days. David knows where Ainzley's food comes from - he sees me nurse her 100 times a day. It is a natural thing and I hope to pass on my knowledge to my kids so they can make the best decision for themselves and for their children... I don't think the Breast Milk Baby will be a part of the learning process

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I live

For the sweet sound of my children giggling.

David and Ainzley bug have been playing together more and more lately - it is so sweet. Their favorite game involves Bug sitting in her Bumbo while David puts his head by her feet. She'll give a little kick which will cause David to erupt in laughter. Ainzley follows suit.

Today, they invented a new game. Ainzley still sits in her Bumbo except this time, David runs circle around her. Bug tries to keep up with him (following him that is) by moving her head so much that she almost becomes a bobble head to which David also has fits of laughter.

They also love to roll around on the floor together. Or David will dance around to the music of Ainzley's Jumperoo while she, well, jumps! LOL They are so adorable together. They make me smile :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What a weekend

Last weekend was just crazy. Thursday, I had a minor meltdown. Jason's scooter had been in the shop for 3 WEEKS which meant he had to take my car to work leaving me and two kids stuck at home all day, every day. I went absolutely stir crazy! I wanted to get out and not be home so Jason pitched me the idea of going and visiting my family. I was quite shocked to hear him say this because we haven't been to St. Louis since January and he really wants to go visit as well. I decided to think about it. I did laundry once we got home in case I decided to go. Hours after our conversation, but Dad called and invited us to come up there for the weekend since it was the fair and my little brother's birthday on Sunday. I told him Jason had to work but that I was actually already contemplating going up there.

Friday morning we got up and were so excited because we were FINALLY closing on our house that day!!!!! After closing on the house and picking up the keys, I decided to go to St. Louis. We hurried home so I could pack and get on the road so that the kids could nap in the car. We left just as Jason left for work. The drive took almost exactly 4 hours which is awesome considering it was just me and the two kids. We spent Friday, Saturday and part of Sunday with my family before leaving. Both the kids did terrific on the trip considering the ridiculous heat! David has also outgrown his pack and play so he had to sleep on the floor next to me and he did great! Went right to sleep like it was nothing. yay!

So, we came back Sunday afternoon (during nap time again) and were all so happy to see Jason! When he took Ainzley out of her car seat, she just stared at him and was smiling the whole time - it was beyond adorable! Monday we started cleaning our new house!!! We took a break around 1:30 so the kids could nap and Jason and I went and saw the new Harry Potter! A review will come in a subsequent post but WOW!!!!!!! is all I'll say for now ;) After naps and the movie, we went back and spent more time at the house. We won't be able to go back until Friday since we're crazy busy this week, but we're so darn excited to actually be doing stuff at the house. My family will be coming down to help us work on it next weekend and I'm so excited to 1. see my family again and 2. get more work done - I can't wait to move in!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dairy free!

Ainzley is a fountain. She is super cool, makes you feel happy when you look at her and, oh yeah, spews liquid EVERYWHERE! No joke... we use flannel receiving blankets as burp cloths! She is a true girly girl and has at least 2 different outfits everyday. Why? Because she soaks everything I put her in... not to mention my clothing changes during the day because who doesn't love to smell like sour milk in 100 degree temperature - not this guy!

I LOVE having my midwife live next door and I love that we're friends because she is super helpful. Seriously, 3 steps from my front door and I've got my answer - even easier than the internet :) Anyway, we chatted about Miss Ainzley's lunch-losing and Corina (my midwife) suggested I cut out dairy for a week to see if that would help. Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE milk? Ainzley is gaining weight just fine and doesn't get fussy while eating or while spitting up (classic signs of reflux - soooo thankful she doesn't have reflux!) so we'll just play around with my diet and see how things go. I also cut out soda 2 days ago. I just love the carbonation and I haven't ever been a heavy soda drinker so it looks like it's just water from here on out since I don't care for juice.

Stay tuned for updates

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Finishing from last time

Ok, Birth in all it's amazingness. I didn't know where I wanted to go with that post until Sunday.

Jason was teaching the 14-15 year old Sunday School class about the atonement. Like, the actual moment it happened. The suffering, the praying, the garden, the betrayal... THAT part. We watched the movie "The Lamb of God" and the scene of the Savior in the garden actually suffering really hit me. He suffered EVERY pain we could ever feel. Everything. From tweezing and eyebrow to *birth*. Christ knew what birth would feel like. This speaks volumes to me for some reason...

For Ainzley's birth, I knew I was going to go with no medication. I wanted to experience natural child birth, but I also wanted to give her the best birth I could. So many side effects of medications used in birth are unknown and I wanted to stave off any possible unwanted outcome from the medication. I didn't have the option with David. With him having a brain cyst and not having the option for testing for possible complications, the hospital was where I needed to be. Sidetracked...

Natural childbirth is hard. It's not something you luck into or something that happens because a woman has a high pain tolerance. You have to work for it. I did it for Ainzley. I loved my daughter long before I met her. I wanted to do the best I could for her and I'm very privileged to have experienced her birth the way it happened. I know my Savior loves me. I know he suffered much more than the pain of childbirth for me. I know the events leading up to His death weren't easy by any means, but I'm sure he would say he was privileged to have experienced it for us.

I'm not saying natural childbirth has made me Christlike... but feeling that intensity and knowing someone suffered it for me is humbling. I know it sounds silly, but natural childbirth has helped me grow closer to the Savior and, if possible, made me more appreciative of his sacrifice he made.

Friday, July 8, 2011

I love birth, lol... Strange I know, but it is amazing.

Kudos to you if you haven't rolled your eyes and are still reading ;)

I know, I know. Since Ainzley's birth, birth and labor have been a prominent topic around here, but I just can't get over the amazingness of it all! After just 40 short weeks... ish, there is a whole new person - from almost nothing! Women overcome the worst pain to give life to this little person. I mean, wow. My breath is taken away every time I remember when my kids entered the world. How much love is in my life and all the blessings, too.

There are so many thoughts going through my mind right now. Maybe I'll take some time to try to organize them and report back...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I knew this would happen...

We're renegotiating closing the night before we were supposed to close on the house!!! LOL It's just a minor issue so it's not a huge deal. We'll probably close on Monday or maybe even this Friday. Just a couple more days!!!!

Jason is still loving his promotion though he works longer hours than he's scheduled for often with no notice. Yesterday, he went into work half an hour early (1:30) and didn't get home until 11:45 - an hour and a half later than usual. I'm sure it won't be the last time it happens. It just means we miss out on our late night conversations which is a bummer.

We had a great holiday weekend. July 3rd is a cool day for our family. July 3rd, 2008 is when we found out I was pregnant with David and July 3rd, 2010 is when we found out I was pregnant with Ainzley. Jason wanted me to test this year too but I am 100% positive I'm not pregnant so I decided to pass, lol. We spent the 4th at a friend's house at an unofficial ward party. It was so fun! Our friend does his own fireworks display every year. This year, he spent over $750. Sadly, a good deal of them were wasted when the thunderstorms rolled in. It was still a fun day.

That's all for now. I'm off to bed!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

House rambling, lol

We close on our house in 1 weeeeeeeeek! Woot!

I begin with talking about the house for lack of a better starting point.

I am most excited about making this house our home. We have been dreaming of this house for months now and it's finally happening :) Once we get the keys in a week, we'll immediately go over and start cleaning. Our first major renovation is the kitchen floor. There is a dip in the floor from the foundation settling that we'll be fixing with... well, I can't remember exactly what it's called, lol. During that process, the ceramic tile will more than likely crack (not to mention the fact that it is not an attractive color) so we're going to be replacing it. The last weekend of July is when we will be getting LOTS of work done. My Dad, Aunt and little brother will be coming down to get some major projects done like repairing drywall, building a pantry, putting screens on the windows, replacing the back door and putting a banister on the staircase among many others. After that, we will be painting, installing appliances, cleaning carpets and doing one more cleaning to clean up from the construction and we'll be move in ready! There are other very minute fixes like replacing faucets and some caulking and stuff that can most certainly wait until later.

Not much to report other than that. I had the stomach flu Tuesday so I'm playing catch up after being out of commission for a day and a half. Jason has officially started working under his promotion status and he loves it! It's so much easier than what he did before. He has new responsibilities and is catching on very well. I am so proud of him for all his hard work.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Holy Cow - Another bit of good news!

I'm pretty shocked about this one... Jason was on his way to work this morning when a familiar phrase came on the radio:

"Call now to win!!!"

Yep, Jason called and won 4 tickets to a Springfield Cardinals game (the minor league AA affiliate for the St. Louis Cardinals) and a dinner for 4 to Fazoli's! We've never actually been to Fazoli's but we're going on Monday with some friends of ours from our ward and we're going to the game that same day with Jason's twin (a really good friend of Jason's who is almost a carbon copy of him - same name, too) and his son who Jason teaches in Sunday School.

Looks like Monday is going to be a good day :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Smile... then a head shake

He did it!!! Jason passed his clinical test for his promotion! He is now Jason Duree CNA (Ceritified Nursing Assistant), CMT (Certified Medication Technition). Fancy, right? Next Fall, he'll add 3 more letters onto the end of his name... he'll almost have more letters behind his name than in his name! LOL

While he was on the phone telling me the good news, he got into a fender bender - hence the head shake. I always discourage him from talking on the phone while driving because he is, well, can be, a less than observant driver. Not to mention the texas-sized blind spots that SUV's have... ugh. If you were to see the car, you probably wouldn't even notice the crack (it really is small), but it stands out like a sore thumb to me. The Equinox was my birthday present after all.

*sigh*

Jason's says it was bound to happen and I guess so. The first brand new car I've ever owned is tarnished. Boo. At least Jason is ok and it was still a brilliant day :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Last night of hiding out

It's finally here! Tomorrow, Jason will take his clinical test for his promotion which, unfortunately, will take place at 5:15 tomorrow morning... yuck. Even yuckier is the fact that I have to stay up and wait to bring Ainzley to bed. Her bed time routine consists of nursing to sleep between 9 and 10. Then transferring her to her swing for a couple hours while Jason and I have our late night talks since it's the only time we really get to talk, lol. He always lets me go to bed first before he brings Ainzley in between 11:30 and midnight... now I get to bring her to bed. I have a hard time falling asleep typically (I always have) so I have to try to fall asleep with Ainzley right next to me making all her little grunts and Jason on my other side snoring ferociously. Go ahead, be jealous!

I am completely looking forward to tomorrow being over and being able to get a restful night's sleep!

I'll see you all tomorrow... I'll be the one looking like a zombie

Thursday, June 16, 2011

More on Nursing School

We found out a funny tidbit of info yesterday. Jason was originally accepted as an alternate for nursing school (we already knew that, though). He was alternate #6 of 10. He works with a girl who is alternate #10. Jason told her yesterday that he got in and that maybe she would get a phone call as well. So this girl called the school wondering how many alternates were left before she might get into the program as well. The secretary she spoke to (and this is the good part) told her that, thus far, they've only accepted one alternate: Jason. Monday, they were notified that someone would not be able to attend the school in the fall so they started calling the alternates... they called all five before Jason but none couldn't get a hold of them - Jason was the only one who answered his phone that morning.

We feel really blessed and are extremely grateful :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hiding out

I'm currently hiding out in my closet, lol. Jason has to be to work at 5:15 in the morning. To avoid waking Ainzley and I up unnecessarily, he is sleeping in the living room which means Ainzley is asleep in her swing in our bedroom. So I don't wake her up, I'm in the closet until I'm ready for bed, lol. Annnyyywayyyyyy...

GREAT news has come to the Duree house - Jason will be starting nursing school this fall! After 3 application processes, he's finally starting and we couldn't be more excited :D We also got to see the house yesterday with the electric working! They had to have it turned on for the appraisal so we made sure to stop by and test everything out. We're very happy to report that all electrical systems seem to be in working order - including the jacuzzi tub! Yay!

It's been a good couple days. Now I'm tired and ready to be out of this closet! Good night :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Writing this made me feel so much better

I found this quote before Ainzley was born and fell in love with it. It's everything I didn't know about my self and everything I want Ainzley to remember as she grows up and goes through difficult times. I had this cut in vinyl and put it on a picture frame for her. I added her name at the top of the quote:

Ainzley
Daughter of Divinity
Be strong and of good courage
You are truly a royal spirit daughter of Almighty God.
You are a Princess destined to become a Queen
Your own wondrous story has already begun
Your Once Upon A Time is Now
~ Dieter F Uchtdorf

As silly as it may sound, I never knew any of this about myself. I always had self confidence, though and respected who I was. I didn't try to be someone everyone would like. My friends were people I genuinely liked and wanted to be around and they liked me for me. I was always proud of myself knowing that I was presenting my true self and other people liked being around that.

Somewhere, I lost that.

People around me make me feel (honestly?) like crap sometimes. But that's bound to happen - can't change someone else. What sucks is how I let it get to me. I dwell and over analyze. Suddenly I have these hurt feelings and resentment that just eats at me for days sometimes. People ask me questions then talk in circles questioning why I am the way I am, basically... sometimes, it borderline chastising! I get that not everyone is going to see eye-to-eye, but respecting those differences is important, not giving them the 3rd degree. People tell me how important I am to them, then forget about me when something or someone else better comes along. I was always proud of my matter of fact-ness and being forward and honest with people. Now I'm looked at as a witch. I wish I could just be loved for who I am.

I am a Daughter of Divinity.
I will be strong and of good courage.
I know my mortal mission, where I came from, and my divine destiny.
I was given my many traits and my personality because they are GOOD. Differences should be embraced, not frowned upon.

I refuse to be around people who would belittle me or make me feel less than what I am: a royal spirit daughter of Heavenly Father. I deserve better than that and I will make sure my kids do. My family needs me the way I was created. I will use my strengths and talents to raise a righteous family. I will live up to the person I know I can be and who my Heavenly Father wants me to be.

PS I am not referring to my husband at any way in this post. He is the best and I am so happy to be married to him for eternity :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Weekending

What a great weekend!!! Jason's work schedule has been a little off the past couple of weeks. The only guaranteed day off he's had were Sunday's and some random day during the week. Last week, he worked Monday-Saturday... it was a long week so we were really looking forward to his "weekend" off. Sunday we went to church which was great except we had to leave early. The refinished the gym floor and the fumes were AWFUL! I'm allergic to perfumes and really sensitive to smells so I got a migraine really quickly. We came home, had lunch, put the kids down for a nap and headed to the pool (with the baby monitor). After the kids woke up, we went to dinner at a friend's house. Our friend and Jason are basically twins. His name is also Jason. He and his wife have 3 boys - the oldest is 18 and the youngest is 12. We love hanging out with them and playing games. We came home just in time to get through bed time and Jason and I got to spend time swinging on the back patio after the kids were asleep.

Yesterday, we woke up and headed over to the house to take some measurements. Then we stopped by the mall. We walked into Sears and happened to find a great dishwasher on clearance. Then we spent the next 2 hours just wandering around the mall. Oh, and we bought David some new shoes. He needed new church shoes and we found some AWESOME tennis shoes for him for the fall. They're a size 11 (he's currently a 9) which is huge for a 2 year old but he's got such wide feet! Hopefully they'll last him awhile, lol. We came home from the mall, put the kids down for their naps and went to the pool again. Every Monday (that Jason has off work) we go out to dinner to a restaurant called Amigos. Delicious Mexican food!!! We love it. We went to Lowe's to get quotes of flooring and a counter top for the kitchen and finished the night with frosties from Wendy's... another Monday night/FHE tradition.

It was a busy weekend but such a blast! Jason also got called into work this morning instead of this evening so we get to spend time with him tonight, too. Summer is starting off good for us :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Blah

I am getting restless. I need a change... or a break... something out of the ordinary. Oh, vacation! Except all our money is tied up in the house for the moment. Which, by the way, we're closing on the house on July 7th - yay! I am definitely looking forward to the house - it needs a lot of little and very simple cosmetic fixes. It will keep me busy for awhile thank goodness! We also bought a fridge.... it was originally $2500 and we got it brand new for $1280. It's not a scratch & dent or a close out or refurbished - just a great deal. Gotta love Memorial Day sales! :)

Until then, I'm working on making my first blessing dress to sell and I will also be making bows... lots and lots of bows since they're easy and can occupy a lot of my spare time.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My heart absolutely ACHES for Joplin. I've seen so many pictures and heard so many stories of lost family members - especially children. A friend that I graduated high school with is a nurse and she went down to Joplin to help this weekend and it's bad. She posted some pics on Facebook and the only thing I could say was "Wow". Our ward was called to volunteer down there this weekend and I've heard that things went well, but there's still so much to do. If we are asked to go volunteer again, Jason will be going (he couldn't this weekend because my grandma and aunt were in town). Over 30% of the town is just gone. It could have been us. A slight shift in the storm's path and it would have been us. I'm grateful for the safety we had that night and that the storms we had in the following days weren't as bad as they were predicted to be. I'm glad that my family in St. Louis was safe in those mid week storms as well.

I hope and pray the citizens of Joplin are able to put the pieces back together and can find comfort in this difficult time

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What a month!!

May has been quite a month for us!!! Ainzley's blessing was May 15th and it was beautiful. I worked so hard getting things ready and was so relieved when it was over. Her dress was stunning! I've decided to make a duplicate (not exact, though) and sell it on Etsy. It will be the same design without the special order trim. Instead, I'm going to make a few small fabric flowers to decorate with and a headband to match. If it goes over well, I'll make more but for now, it's just a trial run. It will, of course, be called the Ainzley dress :)

Jason took his state CMT test on Monday and PASSED!!!! He has 3 days of clinical hours to do next month and then he's set! He is so excited to get to continue working at his current place of employment, but to have different responsibilities. Jason also got a very exciting manila envelope in the mail last Saturday - it was from school concerning his application to nursing school. He got accepted as an alternate! It doesn't guarantee that there will be a spot for him in the fall. They accept 30 people into the program every semester and 10 alternates. Jason is the 6th alternate. Number 36 out of 270 applicants - not too bad! They typically only use about 3 or 4 alternates (though there have been semesters where they have used all 10) so we'll probably go through another round of the application process, but I'm still so VERY proud of how far he has come since the first time he applied. We're also looking into other nursing schools in the area.

As far as I go, I'm FINALLY starting on my DONA Doula certification! I'm working on the required reading, will attend the 3 day workshop in October, then work on the births, writing assignment and breastfeed portion. I am so excited to be starting this portion of my life! Pregnancy and birth are my passion and I want to help women achieve the birth they've always wanted. Hopefully after finishing my certification, I can work with The Doula Foundation of Springfield. My midwife works with them and she loves it...most of the time, lol. The Doula Foundation is basically a grant system where low income or underprivileged women can apply to have their doula services covered either completely or partially. I'm really hoping to be able to work with them.

I think our biggest news this month is that the seller accepted our final offer on the house! Jason went to sign the offer acceptance letter today. We still have to have an inspection and have an appraisal done but we got the house for $11,000 under the original asking price AND the seller has agreed to pay the closing costs. We're happy to be making grown up decisions :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Today is such a beautiful day here in SW Missouri! The sun is out, the temperature is warm and the windows are open! It's nap time which is the only reason we are inside right now. It rained all day yesterday (though it was more summer thunderstorm-esque - warm, cloudy, thunder with rain intermittently. Those are my favs) and most of the day before. It's supposed to rain the next 4 or so days as well. I wish this weather could stay longer. Guess I'll be able to do some craft stuff over the next few days though it hardly seems a close second when all I want to do is be outside. The faster we get through the bad weather, the better - my aunt and grandma are coming to visit from St. Louis next weekend! They've not met Ainzley yet (as most of my family hasn't) so it'll be great for them to see her for the first time. So far on the agenda is a Springfield Cardinals game and a picnic at the park. I can't wait to see them!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

HOUSE

We found it! It is THE house... 4 bedroom, 3 full bathrooms, 2500 sq ft and totally in our price range! Well, initially it wasn't, but we low-balled the seller and they countered back in our price range. We're going to counter again just a few grand under what they just sent us to hopefully save some moolah! It was built in 1901 and was totally remodeled less than 10 years ago with the exception of the original wood floors which are in great shape. It's a foreclosure so it needs a little TLC. We went to Lowe's this morning and got some estimates on paint and other supplies we would need for the house and we're looking at about $650 after over-budgeting on everything. We're thinking that as far as painting goes, we're going to make a donation to the young men and young women at church for girls/scout camp and have them come help out with the painting for a day... that's just a preliminary idea so we'll see.

My midwife's husband used to be a housing inspector so he was nice enough to come look at the house for us. He found some dry rot outside by some of the windows but he said, overall, for a 100 year old house, it's in good shape and he wouldn't fail it. We still have to have the appraiser come out and look and have to have an inspection done, but all in all, we're really excited and things look like they're headed in the right direction. If all goes well, we're looking at a move in date around the end of July - a new house for Jason's birthday! lol

Other than our pending home-ownership, it's been a busy month! Jason will take his state CMT test on the 23rd and will do his clinical hours and state physical test next month (that's his promotion at work that I've mentioned in previous posts). He had his interview for nursing school yesterday morning and he's confident that it went well. David has entered the terrible two's *insert eye roll and head shake here*. I absolutely hate disciplining him! Well, spanking in particular. I grew up in a house that was full of physical punishment (thanks to my military dad, I guess) and it was awful. I feel that spanking is a last resort type of punishment so I'm trying to find more creative alternatives. He is a VERY sweet little boy though!!!! His vocabulary has grown exponentially and he uses sentences most off the time. And he is VERY polite. My favorite is that he doesn't typically use the word "yes" when answering questions. When I ask him if he wants/needs something, his response is, "I do! Please!" Adorable. Ainzley is amazing as usual. She is full of smiles!! She sleeps around 9 hours every night and is a great napper. I am so excited for her blessing this weekend!!!!

Speaking of naps, I need to get the kids down for them so I guess until next time...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Well, after only one post last month, I suppose it's time for another!

Life is still going well with 2 kids. Ainzley has really become quite animated in the last few weeks - she is just adorable! David has grown SO MUCH!!! I can't believe how big he really is! Of course, when Ainzley was born, it became very obvious that he was no longer my little boy... and it's still a shock to me, lol. He repeats every single word we say and loves books and Blue's Clues. We bought him an outdoor water table for his birthday this year which is enjoys on days when it's warm.

Ainzley is still sleeping through the night (woot!!!!!!!) and absolutely loves snuggling. Her blessing is coming up in just over a week and I'm feeling a bit stressed about it. I haven't really planned anything which is so not like me! Typically, I have things planned, oh, a month in advance, lol. It's really the after party I'm most concerned with. It's going to be a lot to handle. The kids typically go down for a nap around 2... we don't get out of church until 2. Strike one. After church, we'll be trying to get things set up with 2 cranky kids. Most of the people coming to the blessing haven't met Ainzley yet so all my help will be fawning over my daughter which will be considered as "help". All Ainzley will want at that time will be to nurse since she'll be tired... I would rather have help setting up, lol. Strike two. Strike three? Clean up... enough said. I'm hoping to have the get together in the nursery since it's adjacent to the kitchen and is a good sized room, yet it's smaller than the gym for cleaning up... IDK... enough rambling. I guess this is my way of trying to plan things, lol

A BIG new chapter of our life is about to begin: HOME OWNERSHIP!!! :) We've already gotten our pre-approval process over so now we're just hunting. We found a beyond perfect house for us... it's just a little over our loan amount. Even with the cash down we have, we're still short so we're negotiating. Wish us luck! We're still looking in case this one doesn't work out, though. What's even greater is my midwife's husband use to be a home inspector! He's going to come over and look at the house with us so we know what's going on with the house. If he finds something, we'll have to actually pay to have an inspection done (his license is expired) so we can have the official paperwork in case we would need to break our contract if we got that far. Anyway, we put an offer down on the house so it's really real! Hopefully I'll get to post pics of our new house soon (whichever one we find :) )

Well, both kids are sleeping peacefully so I should be too. Good night!

Friday, April 15, 2011

More thoughts on birth

Today I was thinking back to the Thursday before Ainzley was born... March 17th. Jason and I (along with the midwives) had agreed to try to get labor started the next day with natural techniques - castor oil, stripping membranes, etc. I had put David to bed Thursday night, took a shower and was waiting for Jason to get home. Once he did, he tucked David in, showered and we went out to sit on our swing on the porch. We talked about a lot of things... but mainly our upcoming birth. "I'm scared" I told him while trying to hide my tears. When he asked me what I was scared of, I told him "the birth".

David's birth was a scheduled induction due to post dates (I was induced 15 days past my due date and he was born on the 16th day). It was in the hospital and an unfortunately routine procedure. I had an epidural to relieve the pain and also to help me sleep... it wasn't so effective in that scenario since the nurses kept coming in to check my dilation every 2 hours. When it came time to push, I was able to feel him moving through the birth canal without feeling the pain - it was awesome! With the exception of family drama, David's birth was great. I was lucky to have a terrific OB who listened to my wishes and stuck to my birth plan. I would say it was on the better end of the scale as far as a hospital experiences go.

After having what I believe to be a pretty good birth, I had a moment where I was questioning why I wasn't going back to the hospital. I kept having thoughts go through my head of the hospital being THE place to have babies (duh) and my reasons for having a home birth seemed to be fading. I didn't know how I was going to have this baby without an OB and a sterile room!

It's funny that I thought like that. The fact of the matter is that maternity wards and hospitals weren't even around until the 1920's and I was so worried about having my baby at home and not doing it the "normal" way - society's view of the normal way hasn't even been around for a century! I was terrified of the pain of labor and for good reason - even though I had prepared myself my ENTIRE pregnancy for a natural birth, until you go start to finish (and I mean holding that baby in your arms finished) you can't really imagine it. It is the most intense and amazing experience... I just cannot stop thinking about it! It was truly a defining moment. I may have been scared, but I did it! I actually had my baby naturally, at home, surrounded by people who love me, my baby, and my family. It was such a humbling experience and I'm so grateful to have experienced it

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Still in awe

Nearly 2 weeks later, I am still in awe of my home birth experience. It all happened so fast that it was over before I knew it and now I have the most beautiful baby girl. I am still convinced that home is the way to go for us. We've settled back into routine and are so happy.

Ainzley is wonderful. She sleeps 8 hours a night and is a pro at nursing. She loves to snuggle (as most newborns do) and is just perfect. I've always heard how hard the transition is from 1 kid to 2, but it's not been all that bad. David hasn't really been acting out for attention and LOVES his little sister. He comes into our room every morning asking for baby and wants to hold her and give her hugs and kisses. It's so funny to say kids... plural! There are two now! lol

I think back to the morning I found out I was pregnant with Ainzley - it seems like so long ago! I remember thinking I had so much time before the new baby came... but it went by so fast! My second pregnancy/labor/delivery has come and gone and I can't believe it, lol. A part of me can't wait to do it again. I remember feeling that way after David was born - wanting another right away but we definitely needed to wait and we will again. From the time I stopped nursing David to the time I got pregnant again was 3 months. 3 months of having my body all to myself - that's it! I don't want a huge age gap between my kids, but I'm going to need a little longer than a few months. And I'm going to need to find a new month to have my babies born in. Seriously, 2 birthdays in 2 days, obviously in the same month - crazy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ainzley's Birth Pictures


Early contractions


My FAVORITE labor picture!


Filing up the birth pool!


My sweet midwife, Corina, after listening to Ainzley on the Doppler


Contractions in the pool


He was terrific during labor! Truly my knight in shining armor... or a swimming suit ;)





Last few contractions. I was in transition!


She's here!!!!! All 10 pounds and 22 inches of my beautiful baby girl!


One of my favs even though it's a little blurry


Jason was able to deliver Ainzley then resume his place next to me on the bed


Proud Daddy!


Our other amazing midwife, Mary





A sweet moment with Mary, David and Ainzley

What an amazing day!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ainzley's Birth Story

Friday the 18th, my wonderful sister-in-law, Linda, drove from St. Louis to Springfield to be here to help with our home birth. Since she's had 2 home births of her own and has been there for me through so many tough times, I knew she was perfect for the job. She got here around 1pm and we ran to WalMart to get a few things for her and her daughter Ava. We spent the afternoon hanging out and catching up. We went out to dinner at a fun Hibachi grill here in Springfield where I started having mild contractions. Since they were identical to the contractions I had been having for weeks that led to nothing, I didn't think to much of them and we continued with our evening. After dinner, we went home and had a couple friends of ours (Shannon and Aaron) come over for games. We became fast friends with them after moving into the same ward and they are so great with David. Shannon is his nursery teacher and he really likes her. Anyway, I continued to be uncomfortable but the contractions fizzled out a little later. Shannon and Aaron went home and Linda and I started one of our marathon chat fests.

Around 2am, Jason came into the living room and told me I needed to go to bed. I came in and started my bedroom routine and felt something weird. I went to the bathroom to find I had passed a blood clot about the size of a half dollar and was bleeding a little bit. I yelled for Jason to get Linda and to call the midwife. Since I wasn't gushing blood or soaking pads or anything, I laid back down to try to get some sleep. Around 2:30, the contractions started. I knew something was different about them so after breathing through a handful of them, I went to get Linda. They were already 2-3 minutes apart and lasting a minute. Since I was bleeding, I wanted to make sure we were being careful. We called the midwife after a few more contractions and she said she was on her way. Once she got there, she checked out the bleeding situation and assured me that everything looked fine. She checked me and got a surprised look on her face. She looked at me and said "Amy, you're dilated to an 8 and completely effaced. I'm not sure the other midwife will even make it here before Ainzley is born." I couldn't believe it! We listened to Ainzley on the Doppler and she sounded great so Linda and I continued getting through the contractions. It was 5:15 in the morning.

Jason started filling the birth pool and called Shannon to come watch David if he woke up and we got out the birth supplies. Amazingly, Ava and David both slept soundly through this rather noisy period. Since we were boiling water for the birth pool, we were using every burner on the stove and the heat from that set off the fire alarms at least twice, lol. I continued breathing through contractions and eventually had to let everyone else finish the preparations as I had bigger work to do. My contractions were really starting to pick up right before the birth pool was ready so I laid on my side on the bed while they finished. When I was FINALLY able to get in the pool, I was more than ready to be there. The water helped lessen the strength (or at least what I was feeling) of the contractions. I was a little annoyed with the temperature - it was so hot! Well, at least to a woman in labor it was. We stayed in the pool for a little while before the other midwife arrived a little before 6am. We listened to Ainzley on the Doppler again and she was still sounding perfect.

After awhile, I was ready to get out of the tub. I got up, dried off and returned to the bed. Jason held my hand and stroked my hair - he did amazingly, too. Not long after I got out of the pool, the midwives came and talked to me. They were getting concerned about the bleeding and wanted to monitor Ainzley more frequently with the Doppler. After every contraction, we listened to her and she was still doing perfectly. By this point, the contractions were unbearable and I knew I was in transition. Not too many contractions after that, I noticed that my body had started to push during contractions. I announced to everyone in the room that I was pushing and couldn't stop it! lol Jason wanted to catch Ainzley so he got ready and Linda was by my side helping me focus. After the first push, something interesting happened, I birthed the amniotic sac. My water never actually broke before this point. Jason and one of the midwives broke the sac (which was difficult as it was very strong they said) and I pushed again. This time, Ainzley's head came with an arm crossed over it! She was born after only one more push at 7:20am. She was perfect in every way. Jason placed her on my tummy and it was love at first sight... she even pooped all over me to let me know, lol! I was given a shot of Pitocin after the birth to ensure the bleeding was kept under control. Ainzley and I both got cleaned up and finally had time to just snuggle - it was perfect!

Our home birth experience was amazing. Jason and I have talked several times over the past few days and both agree that while we're not "anti-hospital", we definitely prefer the more intimate home setting. There were lots of interesting and even some scary things that happened in our experience. The scary part being the bleeding throughout labor and delivery - my estimated blood loss was about 4 cups. 2 cups is considered a hemorrhage. We examined the placenta and found that it had started to age a bit which probably caused a small placental abruption. The more interesting/uncommon being the amniotic sac being delivered first and needing to be ruptured, and her head/shoulder/arm being delivered at the same time and the cord was wrapped around her neck and abdomen. I share these parts of my birth, however, to show the abilities of these amazing women - the midwives. I've been in their care since about 17 weeks pregnant and have not doubted their abilities. I've actually felt better taken care of by them than the doctor I started seeing in the beginning of this pregnancy! It makes me so sad that people would talk bad about midwives without even having any experience with them. It makes me ridiculously angry that some Missouri legislators are trying to make home birth midwives illegal again. Without my home birth midwives, Ainzley's birth would have been very different - More traumatic and definitely not what I wanted. I'll always be grateful to the wonderful women who helped me have the incredible birth I was after. Pics to come later
Throughout my late adolescense and adulthood, I have had many positions (professionally and volunteer basis) that have helped me develop skills necessary to serve as a liaison to the community on behalf of a professional organization. I have spent many years in various organizations which have helped me grow skills such as public speaking, note taking, and scheduling. I am proficient in organization and mediation – always keeping the mindset of finding middle ground and while meeting the needs of those involved. I excel in the area of community outreach and thrive in situations where I am given reign to be creative and managerial. I am committed to achieving the best outcome and feel I have many fantastic qualities to contribute to any organization.