Friday, March 30, 2012

Last Tuesday afternoon

Tuesday was perfectly sunny so we decided to venture out into the backyard and soak up some vitamin D, enjoy the fresh air, draw with side walk chalk, and eat goldfish crackers and mandrin oranges.

And today the sun is shining, I just woke up from a great nap, and Brooks & Aves are still napping. But as soon as they wake up and Ava is fed, we'll be heading outside again because I want a repeat of that Tuesday afternoon with my Littles :)

Happy Weekend!

I've been looking forward to ours for sure...soaking up Adam/Daddy being off work and home sweet home for 2 days in a row(!), snuggling with Brooks and Ava, and all while watching and listening to General Conference. Mmhhmmmm, can't wait :)

PS -
Brooks + Ava = BFF

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Spiritual Health:
Read "The Inifinite Power of Hope" by Deiter F. Uchtdorf
"Think of the worth of this eternal gift, [hope]. Surrounded by those we love, we will know the meaning of ultimate joy as we progress in knowledge and in happiness. No matter how bleak the chapter of our lives may look today, because of the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we may hope and be assured that the ending of the book of our lives will exceed our grandest expectations. 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.' (1 Corinthians 2:9)"

And I watched this lovely, short video that shows beautiful images while highlighting some the most touching points of his talk :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sweet moments at the hospital


in no particular order...

Walking into our room // Our first family photo
Relaxing with my baby girl // Flowers from loved ones
Mama time for Brooks, Capri Sun in-hand // Tender kisses from Grandma Stum
Sweet dreams after a good feeding // Walking Ava back from bili-light treatment in the nursery
Brooks being introduced to Ava, a bit unsure // Little B loooooved my hospital phone
Sweet Daddy & Brooks snuggled, singing songs // Lots of smiles from Dad & Mom
Counting Ava's ten, tiny toes // Looking up at her loving Grammie Kjar
Ava's first kisses from her big brother // Daddy's cuddles in the sunlight
Uncle Ben came to meet his newest niece // Baby Brooks & Baby Ava
Girl time with Aunt Mandy & cousins Emma & Grace // Sweet Kira came too
Great-Grandma Smoot (and Great-Aunt Shauna) got some snuggles // Brooks our entertainer!
Beautiful cousin Kalia holding baby Ava // Daddy kissing his "girlfriend"
Holding Daddy's thumbs tight // In Mama's arms
Leaving the hospital as a family of FOUR // Buckled up & ready to go home sweet home!

This post was made possible by my incredible Mom who's been staying with us...cooking, cleaning, folding laundry, playing with Brooks, and snuggling Ava...so I can nap, nurse, get one-on-one Brooks time, and right now, blog :) Love you Mom!


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Spiritual Health:
Read "To Acquire Spiritual Guidance" by Richard G. Scott
"I witness that as you gain experience and success in being guided by the Spirit, your confidence in the impressions you feel can become more certain than your dependence on what you see or hear."

Monday, March 26, 2012

40 weeks...then in my arms


Dear Baby Ava,

I really did think I'd be writing you (as the baby in my belly) a 40-week letter. But this letter comes to you now that you're here!! You are here and in my arms. I'm actually writing the text of this letter on my phone as you nurse. Feeding you in the middle of the night is tiring, to say the least, but I absolutely love this time with just you and me, in the still, quiet darkness. I'm in heaven listening and feeling your sweet little nose breathe right up against my skin, your tiny hand with long fingers is resting on to my chest, and I've only had to tickle your feet twice to wake you up to keep eating ;)

I can't believe just 5 days ago you were in my belly. A part of me misses it...but OH, I am loving having you in my arms finally! When I hold you real close, your little movements, especially your hiccups, feel so familiar to me. Last night your sweet Dad was holding you and you started to get the hiccups...he was so worried because they were jolting your little body. I assured him it was okay, and that I remember feeling you have hiccups a lot toward the end of my pregnancy with you. The worried look stayed on his face though until your tiny body relaxed. He sure loves you little one.

And Ava thank you so much for being such a calm, sweet baby. You had high levels of bilirubin at the hospital, so now that we're home we've had to have you spend most of your time in a bili-bed (your little UFO, as Dad calls it). You're such a trooper and have been wonderful to sleep so much, and so well, in it. Your easy going nature has also made it so that your big brother still gets lots of Mommy and Daddy time too :) We're still working on helping Brooks understand that you're his sister, but soon enough I know he's going to be loving on you all the time and you two will be the best of friends!

Oh Ava girl,
I'm so grateful your loving Heavenly Father sent you to us. This Momma of yours is head over heels. So thrilled you are ours forever! But now I've got to put you back to bed...sweet dreams little one.

Love,
Mom

PS - Here are some photos your Dad took...a fun before-and-after comparison don't you think? The left is just an hour before you joined our family, and the right was when you were barely 2 days old, both in front of the hospital bed you were born in :)



Saturday, March 24, 2012

say "hello" little one...



Our beautiful baby girl Ava Lu was born Tuesday morning at 7:24am.
She weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces and was 20.5 inches long.

She has her Mama's nose,
her Daddy wrapped around her finger already,
and the best big bother who's still figuring all this out.

With every sweet breath we're falling more in love with her tiny body and giant spirit.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ice cream, chess, and coaxing with kisses

The night before last, Adam and I stayed up much past our bed time...we played chess on his iPad and ate [my very favorite as of late] crushed vanilla bean ice cream from the carton.
It made for a good night :)

But the combination of not getting sleep and eating too much sugar has resulted in this pregnant mama feeling rather sick. Ugh... How did I ever survive college?? ;)

I had a tickle in my throat yesterday, and today it's all sorts of soar and I'm slightly congested. Thanks to vitamin C, peppermint tea, and a good, long rest while Little B napped, I feel a bit better. But I'm just praying I get back to 100% before this baby arrives. I want...no, I NEED to be able to smother him or her with kisses! Any and all good-health vibes sent my way would be much appreciated :)

Oh, and smooth-labor vibes are welcome too :)
Today is our babe's due date! He or she is definitely still cooking. But we've been doing lots of coaxing with sweet kisses from big brother. Come out little one! We're ready for you!

***************************************************************
Spiritual Health:
Read "The Power of Scripture" by Richard G. Scott. LOVE HIM.
"Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high. They can become the key to open the channel to communion with our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ."

Saturday, March 17, 2012

What's been making me terribly happy lately...

1. Taking Brooks and this baby bump of mine on lots of walks the last few days.
2. Regina Spektor station on Pandora + our new iHome (I've never had one...basically changed my life:)
3. Enjoying an enchilada picnic at the park with my boys.
4. Getting texts from my sweet Mom checking on me.
5. Making a "BIG brother" T-shirt for Brooks to wear when he meets the babe.
6. Back rubs from my sweetheart...especially when he focuses on my lower back.
7. Crushed Vanilla Bean ice cream.
8. Catching goodnight-kisses between my boys...kisses that quickly turned into a jumping-on-the-bed session ;)
9. Contractions. Yes they make me happy, because they're not bad yet, and I know they're helping get our baby here.
10. Pictured below, tonight's breakfast-for-dinner of green german pancakes and green milk for dinner in honor of St. Patty's day :)

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Spiritual Health:
Watched this powerful video. Loved seeing how the Holy Spirit affects so many different people, and why it's so important to them...what a blessing the companionship of the Spirit is in my life.

Physical Health:
Looooooong walk with Brooks...and I gave myself a mini pedicure, which gave me quite the stretch! ;)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Little B's 2nd Birthday




Wednesday we had a wonderful day being together, just the 3 of us, for Brooks' birthday :) The day included...
breakfast at Kneaders in our PJs,
paper crowns for the birthday boy,
facetiming Grandma and Grandpa Stum,
birthday-suit action while playing with balloons from his party,
Brooks taking a looooooong 3 hour nap,
toy shopping,
going to McDonald's for dinner (and sneaking in some DQ),
watching The Lorax.

And in between all of that there was lots of dancing and plenty of tickle-fests.
So glad that we had a fun early birthday celebration and then enjoyed a simple, but oh-so sweet day. WE LOVE YOU LITTLE B!
Happy Birthday son :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dear Brooks,

Tomorrow is your 2nd birthday!! This Mom of yours can't believe it. You have been such a wonderful son the past two years. You've taught me so much.

Your dancing has taught me to let loose more and be silly.

Your tears have taught me to look at other mothers with fussy babies and children with a more understanding heart.

Your obsession with wooden spoons and metal bowls (for fun drumming sessions) has taught me that the best toys don't cost a thing.

Your sweet smile has taught me to be more optimistic.

Your ability to fold your arms and say "amen" has made me appreciate and love prayer even more.

Your curiosity at times has taught me patience.

Your hugs and kisses have taught me to never underestimate the power of physical affection.

Overall, you have taught me to love more fully. I am a better person because of you.

Your Dad and I can't wait to see what this next year holds in store for you, our big two-year old boy! Love you to the moon and back. Happy Birthday (tomorrow) sweetheart!!

Love,
Mom

PS -

Monday, March 12, 2012

Daddy date to the park


While we're anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little baby, we're also soaking up these last few days where it's just the three of us. So Saturday evening we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and went for a walk to the park.

We all know Brooks loves the park! He'd set up camp & live there if I let him ;)

But oh, when Daddy comes along...and we bring a picnic and sidewalk chalk and it's t-shirt-wearing weather...it manages to get even better.


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Spiritual Health:
Read the First Presidency's message for March... "Why Do We Need Prophets?" by President Uchtdorf. Loved it! So grateful for our prophet and inspired leaders.
"God loves all His children. That is why He pleads so earnestly with us through His prophets. Just as we want what is best for our loved ones, Heavenly Father wants what is best for us. That is why His instructions are so crucial and sometimes so urgent. That is why He has not abandoned us today but continues to reveal His will to us through His prophets."

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Brooks' 2nd Birthday Party!


Saturday morning we had an early celebration for
BROOKS' 2nd BIRTHDAY!!
His actual birthday is coming up on Wednesday...it's still sinking in that my Little B isn't so little any more :)

It was a PJ party and we had a waffle bar with all sorts of yummy fixings...fresh fruit and berries, homemade syrup (thank you Penny!), ice cream, fudge, caramel, and some tasty bacon & sausage. We lucked out, and I think it hit the spot of the kids and the adults ;)

Some of our wonderful family (missing those who live far away!) and a few of Brooks' closest friends came to celebrate with us. We all had a great time eating, visiting, laughing, playing...you know, what all fun 2-year-old birthday parties are made of.

And everyone was so generous!! Brooks received so many thoughtful gifts (some that he's already loved playing with!) that will make for some fun times this spring and summer! But don't let the last picture deceive you ;) it was during present-time that he actually had a couple pretty good melt downs. That boy is Mr. Independent and was not in the mood to open a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. Yowza. Thank goodness he was surrounded by people that love him no matter what :)

And the candles in the our cinnamon roll "cake"...yes there are most definitely more than 2. But that's because our little man loooooooooves to blow out candles of any kind, so after singing "Happy Birthday" he got to blow them out, a couple times. His friends and cousins even joined in!

Thanks so much to everyone who came!! We love you & your families to the moon the back :) Adam and I are so grateful to have such incredible people in the life of our son.

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