Sunday, October 28, 2012

Oh Julia...

 **Note her enthusiasm as the evening progresses. It took her two hours to finally relax around people in costumes.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Life is changing

Who knew there would be so many changes in such a small amount of time?

First was the arrival of little Jack. We couldn't be happier to have him and he is doing relatively well for a baby. Our biggest issue is daytime sleep, which is surprising because he sleeps really well at night. Try as I may with vacuum noises and swaddling, he won't sleep for more than 30 minutes alone. He wants to be held constantly.

Julia, Julia, Julia. Love this girl. She is getting such a personality, which unfortunately includes attitude. However, we do not fall for the tantrums or hissy fits. She loves to help with Jackson and she herself is growing so big and smart. At her last check up she weighed 23lbs and was 34 inches. Her head and height were in the 75th percentile and her weight was in the 50th. She also is a huge drinker and so we moved her up to size 5 diapers (which you can tell are meant for larger children than herself).

"Where are you from?" "Tejas" "Tejas?" "Texas" "Tejas, Texas? Never heard of it" -M&D
Yes, we are moving to Texas!! Brenan hadn't been looking for a new job, we really like Orem Mazda, and somehow still unbeknownst to me he found a job in Texas! He drove down and made a whirlwind of a trip and was offered two different jobs, both with Mazda dealerships (the top 3 Mazda dealers in the US are in Texas). Then, a couple of days later he accepted one, quit Orem Mazda (they were sad) and he packed up and left for Texas. He also randomly got connected with a Mercedes dealership owner and went to meet him...outcome still pending. Regardless, I am here in Utah with the kids and he is in Texas and will begin working tomorrow. We are trying to sell our lease and after Thanksgiving we will move down and all be reunited again! The next 4-5 weeks will be tough, but I'm confident that with all of the nice helpers around me I can get everything done.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Baby Jackson

I know it has taken me a while, but here is Mr. Jackson Theodore Cole. He was born on August 29th at 9:25 pm (birth story is below). The last three and a half weeks have been so amazing and he is such a sweet baby. Here is a little about him: He was 19 in and weighed 6lbs 7oz at birth, he was born 27 days early, he is a way better nurser than Julia was, he laughs in his sleep, and he loves to look around.  He is also surprising strong and can nearly roll over (whoa) and holds his neck quite well. I decided to wait until now to post pictures because my wonderful friend (@ AO Photography) took his newborn photos and most of my home photos pale in comparison. I will post those too, someday...

I know this one isn't "edited" but I am completely in love with that mini smile.

Birth Story
So, I didn't know I was in labor. After our "false alarm" two weeks prior, I had been taking it easy and I was just trying to make it to September, because I wanted a September baby. The morning of the 29th I thought I was leaking amniotic fluid and after a lot of reluctance on my part and a lot of you-must-go on Brenan's part, we went to the hospital to get me checked. Luckily my mom was already down here since we were supposed to go shopping so she took Julia. We went to Orem Community (not where I planned on giving birth) because that's where the doctor was and I figured it didn't matter since I wasn't in labor. I got all checked in and after the test was run, I was told I was not leaking fluid. Bummer, another false alarm. Before I was supposed to be discharged the doctor came in (probably for good measure) and we chatted and he said that because I was dilated to a 3 and 75% effaced (when I got admitted) I was considered to be in pre-labor and that even though I was there he could not induce me because A) I was only 36 weeks and B) I needed to progress to at least a 4 on my own. However, he said he'd come back in a few minutes and check again, just to make sure. Alas I was at a 4, 80% effaced, and I had a bulging sac (meaning my water was ready to break anytime). So in a weird and unexpected turn of events we stayed. At 4:50 he came in and broke my water. At 6:30 I wasn't progressing fast enough so I was given pitocin. The first hour to 90 minutes I felt fine enough and I wasn't in terrible pain, we watched Seinfeld for most of this time. I got one shot of morphine to take the edge off before I was too dilated to get IV drugs. Then at about 8 or 8:30 the pain got horrible. Awful, terrible, the worst. Not getting an epidural brings a whole new meaning to a pain scale. My pain was a 10. I was put on oxygen because I wasn't breathing well enough and the baby's heart rate was dropping. When you are in horrible pain and have a mask on your face, all you want to do is punch someone for making you more sweaty and annoyed than you already were. I was not the nicest person at this point, and yes, I was vocal (sorry Brenan for yelling at you).  I don't remember how often they were checking me, but at my weakest point I thought I was still at a 7. I asked for the epidural. I did, I thought I was done for. The nurse (and Brenan) encouraged me that I could do it without the epidural and when she checked me and I was at a 10 and my pain immediately decreased because I knew I could push. But I couldn't. The doctor wasn't there yet. I'm probably the only person to apologize while giving birth. I remember I kept saying I was sorry that I was pushing, but I couldn't help it, my body was doing it naturally. Finally the doctor arrived (which felt like it took FOREVER) after about 15-20 min and I got to push. Since I could feel everything he basically let me do my thing, he didn't have to coach me on when to push (which by the way, pushing didn't hurt at all, at least not compared to the contractions). After about 6 pushes Jackson was here! Hooray, I made it without the epidural and even though he was also preterm, I had another healthy baby!

Also, I did not cry during labor. What up! I'm tougher than I thought.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

we are alive

here i am blogging from my phone while jackson is asleep on my lap. julia keeps bringing me "gifts" from the kitchen, like dirty cups and the lid to the garbage can. i don't know how to make my letters uppercase, hence all lower case words...julia is grumpy from getting her immunizations today and we are all pooped from the dr. visit. someday soon i will get a post up on baby jackson, and our adventurous birthing story along with all the new info on how big julia is getting.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Look what I got Julia to eat!

That's right, I got her to eat spinach and broccoli pasta. Recipe below.

Getting Julia to eat vegetables has been a challenge. She has the teeth for it, she just doesn't like raw or plain vegetables, with the exception of sweet potatoes.

The second problem is getting me to eat more vegetables, mainly ones that she will also like. While we were at my dad's house she ate a ton of vegetables and I finally figured out why: They were served mixed in with other things or prepared in interesting ways. For example, she loved the kale we had. Granted, it was tempura battered and fried, but still, she ate more than most of the adults.

So I came up with simple solutions to get more veggies in our diet. This first way was simple and delicious and she was literally asking for more the entire time. I make big batches so that I can freeze some ( it's great make ahead meal that freezes well, especially with baby #2 on the way) and have another day or 2 of meals for us. Here is the recipe:

Broccoli and Spinach Pasta
1 TBL butter
1 TBL flour
1 cup milk (for a lighter sauce, use skim)
1/2 cup grated cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cooked pasta of choice, about1 cup uncooked (I recommend wheat or fortified pasta)
Vegetables of choice, chopped finely

Melt butter and stir in flour. Once it is smooth slowly add in the milk, using a whisk to get rid of chunks. Bring to a light boil so that it thickens. Reduce heat, add in cheese and salt, and voila! Sauce is ready.
Add in vegetables of choice and keep on low heat so they get soft. Add in cooked pasta and you're ready to go. With the extra pasta (if there is any) divide it into plastic bags portioned for your toddler and freeze. It reheats in about 1 min, stir after 30 seconds.

The nice thing about this recipe is that it is simple, completely flexible and healthy! I know that the makers of baby/toddler foods have the best intentions, but this is preservative free and way cheaper than buying pre-made food.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

But mom...

Julia is such a big girl now. People ask how old she is, and even though technically she is 14 months, I still tell people she is a year old. I'm not into telling my people my kid is 19 1/2 months old...what does that even mean?!

Here is Julia at 14 months:

She can identify about 10 different body parts, properly.
When watching Bubble Guppies or Blues Clues (her favs) she dances and claps along.
She loves to feed herself, even when stuff doesn't make it to her mouth.
She can properly tell us a few sounds that animals make, like a sheep says "baa baa"
When we say "time for prayer" she folds her arms
During lunch/dinner when I blow on her food to cool it down, she blows, too.
Dad taught her to blow kisses.
Fruit is her favorite and is an easy sell.
She does not like carrots. No matter how they are served.
Her and Walter are buds and she "plays" with him, i.e. chases him around the house giggling.
She is a teething monster...we're waiting for her last two to break through (we can see them), but other than that she has her whole row of teeth on top and bottom (minus her big kid molars).
We are bottle and pacifier free!
When we give her milk, she knows that it is nap time and heads upstairs. Willingly.
She does all of the motions we've taught her to "Monkeys jumping on the bed" which is adorable.
She is getting infinitely better at telling us what she wants, either by mumbling something that sounds like the word or pointing. The other day she pointed to a tylenol measuring cup to let us know her teeth hurt.
I feel like she is growing like a weed because she is already fitting into some of her 18 months clothes and we just went up another shoe size.
She is our cute little mimic.
She is learning to help cleanup (so nice).
This girl is the happiest girl (99% of the time) and we love love love her!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Party Planning 101.1

This is an ode to my mother who may be the best party thrower ever! Here are some preliminary tips on party planning...

The beginning stages

  1. Pick a theme. My mom is already planning, purchasing, and scheduling her Halloween Party. She has been in the works for quite some time, I'd say a good six months. Not all parties need this much advanced planning, but hers does. The theme this year is like an Old Hollywood/ celebrity theme. Once the theme is narrowed down it makes it super easy to start collecting decorations, invites, etc. 
  2. Start Collecting. Nothing is worse than falling in love with the last xyz at a store, then to find out that it can't be ordered in time. For Julia's birthday party I found the cutest little gift boxes at a garage sale in April as well as themed cupcake decorations at a post-Easter sale. If I had waited until June to get these things I probably would not have found what I was looking for or I would have had to of settled for the next best thing. I also purchased all of the table clothes, cups, plates, decorations a month in advance just to make sure we had it all and I didn't have to stress last minute. Seasonal items also tend to be available in greater supply months before the actual holiday.
  3. Make your guest list. Even having a tentative idea in your mind of how many people are coming will help with small last minute details. Try and send out a Save The Date card, text, FB invite, etc so that people have plenty of time to get work off so they can be there. This is especially important at catered events, like our Halloween Birthday party 2 years ago, or say, a wedding...
  4. Make a tentative menu. Start collecting recipes, advice, ideas, etc to help make food planning and preparation a breeze. I had my menu made about a month in advance for Jackson's baby shower and I was able to tweak it accordingly. I didn't have to stress about less thing.
I will stop here. These are the first 4 steps to a great party, but trust me there are more to come.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

4 Year Anniversary

Today is our anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful, amazing, loving husband!

4 years later...
...1 kid, 1 on the way
...2 dogs, 1 gone
...3 years in Utah
...4 fun filled anniversary celebrations

Brenan is the greatest and I'm so glad I married him 4 years ago! I love you.

3rd Anniversary in Arizona

 2nd Anniversary in Vegas

1st Anniversary in Colorado

Friday, July 27, 2012

Our baby shower :)

I was inspired by a couple of different things to make my baby shower more crafty and less...traditional? I'm not big into measuring my belly with toilet paper, or sniffing melted candy from diapers, so I thought I would try something different this time around. I will post all of the "how-to's" on my other blog, In Pursuit of Domestic Goddessness

Instead of a traditional "it's a boy" sign, I opted to make one that showcased Jackson's name.

 We made cute little onesies for Jack, this is just one of the many cute ones that our guests made. 

I saw something similar to this on, yes, Grey's Anatomy. I cut out little cards that everyone could write notes on for Jackson that I can later put in his scrapbook. It turned out really cute. 

We had such a great time and were glad to have our friends come celebrate with us!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Julia's one-year photo shoot

My wonderful friend Amberly (who now has a photography blog: AO Photography) took Julia's one year photos a few weeks back and here they are!

Julia was not really in the mood to smile, but we caught a couple...

We finally caught a smile


Friday, July 6, 2012

Baby Shower Invite

Facebook absolutely refuses to work on my computer and I don't trust the post office/myself to deliver invites on such short notice, so here is the invite for the baby shower. We are having brunch and doing fun stuff like this: Necktie onesie

Here is a link to mapquest of our address:

You are more than welcome to bring your kids/babies--don't stress over getting a baby sitter, we have lots of toys! Plus the dog will be gone, win-win :)

You can RSVP to me on facebook if you don't want to call/text. Totally cool, no biggie.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Baby list & colors

It seems like I just did this...
I have been asked a lot lately what we need for baby Jackson and what our nursery colors are...Well here is the answer to all of that :) I also feel like this is more helpful than registries, even though I did them, because you can see what we need and get it anywhere, versus just Target or Babies R Us-- Like garage sales, hand me downs, homemade things, second-hand stores, etc...

Nursery Colors: Blue, brown, red
Here is his bedding, blues and browns. 

 Here is the "themed" artwork. Yes, we're going with a sports theme. The photo didn't turn out fabulous, but the red/brown are more defined in person.

Things we don't have:
Diapers size 1, 2 (and honestly, they don't have to be Huggies. Target brand, Member's Mark, and Fisher   Price are all brands we have also tried and liked.)
Bassinet Sheets
Crib skirt
Diaper pail (any brand is fine)
Wipe warmer
Changing table mattress pad thing
Night stand
Baby blankets
Crib mattress
High chair
Blessing suit

Things we have some of:
Diapers size N,1
Crib sheets
Socks (about 10 pair)
Breastmilk storage bags
Nursing pads

Things we have:
Clothes...a ton of clothes. **see below
Nail trimmers
Burp cloths
Blanket animal (like where it has a stuffed animal head in the middle of a tiny blanket...)
Avent bottles
Avent size 1 or 2 nipples 
Avent bottle adaptor ringsBumbo
Avent 0-6 month pacifiers
Receiving/swaddling blankets
Stroller (single and double)
Baby thermometer- digital, ear, or forehead kind
Pacifier clips
Lamp/night light
Baby wipes
Car seat
Baby bath/wash
Hooded towels
Baby mittens (the kind where they can't scratch themselves)
Bottle drying rack
Baby tub
Bottle brush
Changing table 
Bottle warmer
Radio and video monitors
Baby oil
Baby lotion
Pack 'n play
Baby mirror for the car
Nose suckers
Baby swing
Floor gym/play mat
Baby play bouncer
Rocking chair

My wonderful amazing sister-in-law gave us a ton of clothes (she has 4 boys). Combine her clothes with other gender neutral outfits we had and a few things that were given to us, we are good to go.These are just the nb/0-3 month clothes!! There is easily this much in the next size up...I just ran out of hangers.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Here are our Colorado adventures. We overlapped our visit with Brenan's sister and his aunt and uncle.It was a super nice vacation for me because not only did I get to see our family, I had a ton of people who wanted to play with or hold Julia, which was superb.

 The family hanging out at the cabin

Julia and Grandpa Ted

Brenan and Amber in a "friendly" game of ladder ball

Farewell lunch for Amber and her boys at McDonalds

Group shot, minus a couple of cousins...

Julia and Aunt Debbie at Black Canyon

Brenan and Julia, about 2 minutes before her meltdown

Impromptu swim party. Brenan wore his clothes and Julia went nakey...well, in a regular diaper

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dad's visit, part 1

My dad came out a few weeks ago for Alex's graduation and to visit us. Here are our adventures from the first half of the week.
 Can you spot Alex? Second row, turned with his hand sticking out...
 Alex getting his diploma, just after he flashed his Batman shirt to the crowd.
 Papa Ron and Julia cuddling.
 Grandma Lorraine and Julia at Utah Lake.

Brenan and Julia
Lorraine and Jules at 7 Peaks.
 Papa Ron and Julia having a good ol' time.
 At graduation...yes it was that boring.
 Julia's first trip to Temple Square
 Me, Papa Ron, and Julia
Papa Ron, Lorraine, Julia.

Lots more pictures to come...