Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tis the Season to be Sick...Fa La La La La!

There is a reason we have not posted in a long time. No, I haven't been out shopping and making delicious holiday treats. Instead,we have been soooo sick! The good news is that we are finally all well, other than a few lingering coughs. The bad news is I am sure the virus is passed on to some other poor, unsuspecting family. If somehow we have passed anything on to you, I am deeply sorry. It all began right around Thanksgiving. Grace woke up vomiting and the rest of us woke up with a killer cold. After 3 days Grace got better but then got the cold. MK's cold turned into horrible asthma which caused a huge asthma attack resulting in a trip to the urgent care and us up for nights checking on her. Then I came down with strep throat which flattened me. Then Grace's cold seemed a little dangerous so we had multiple whooping cough tests done... and for a period of time were quarantined to our home. During which time MK started vomiting and got a seriously violent case of stomach flu, which she then passed to Grace and to James. I possibly got a mild case of it too, but someone had to stay well... so shear determination kept me from some of the worse symptoms. But now we are all well! Grace's tests came back negative for pertussis and both girls are back to sleeping through the night! Halleluiah! There were moments when I thought it would never come. To all those who are ill during this Holiday season and to all mothers who have ever been repeatedly puked and pooed on, my heart goes out to you! I think I understand at least a little bit.

(Sorry for no cute pictures. I am not the mom who takes pictures of kids in their yuck! More will be coming soon... I promise!)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Favorite Halloween Yet

Picture this... A warm evening in Utah (no jackets required), colorful fall leaves coating the sidewalks, the sound of friendly neighbors chatting and laughing as they eat their hotdogs, sip their hot cocoa and gather around fire pits in the center of the cul-de-sac, warm homemade melt-in-your mouth donuts and large candy bars being handed out to all, and best of all 2 adorable little girls in our arms... one who had been practicing for weeks for this special night. It was a dream! Our little neighborhood is truly euphoric and watching MaryKate knock on doors and say "trick or treat" and "thank you!" and beam with pride and excitement was as good as this holiday gets. I am not a fan of the bloody, dark, spooky Halloween but after this year, I am in love with Halloween. The concept alone is a magical dream for small children...go on a family walk, wear dress-ups, see friends, and get offered candy at every house! Yes please!

We went to the Zoo for Trick or Treating on the 29th. It was fun, but super crowded! MaryKate wore her Elmo costume and got to ride the elephant on the carousel... her dream come true! (side note: I had to practically fight a mom for it. Sorry... first come, fist serve! Don't worry, I was polite.)

On Halloween we first went to our shopping village around the corner that has nearly 50 shops that pass out candy and gifts to the kids... love it! By the time we were done with that MaryKate wanted Elmo OFF and would not put him back on after dinner for trick or treating. She wanted to wear her Hello Kitty dance leotard and be a ballerina... fine by us, even though people probably thought she had the lamest, simple costume. She loved it and was so happy in it.

Grace was a little tiger. It was MaryKate's 2 years ago and Grace fit it much better. I was really lame this year and did not make a single costume and had no family theme. The truth is I feel cheap and I've been making 40 costumes for our church Nativity... so I am sewed out!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Dear World,

A Questar maintenance man just came to my door. He was a nice older gentleman and as he was leaving he said, "Thanks Kiddo!" Bless him! Bless him! It was such a lovely reality check. Although I may have so many gray hairs coming in that I can't take the 30 minutes it would require to pluck them all and although after Grace the only weight I am losing is coming from the hair-loss on my head and although my memory is getting so bad that I lost my wallet twice this week, I am still a kiddo!!! Little kids look at me like I'm Methuselah, but older people see me as so young. I love that.

I think I'm going to go help myself to a fruit snack and dance around the living room to MaryKate's Chipmunk version of Single Ladies!

Kathy the Kiddo

P.S. Halloween pics are coming soon. We had such a great time!

Monday, October 31, 2011

MaryKate Turns 2

What a fun, exhausting day! Early in the morning James & I woke MaryKate up with breakfast in bed. She was very confused at first but loved the novelty of it all.

Then MaryKate had 4 of her best friends come over for a super fun Dora birthday party. My goal was to simplify and do only what she asked for. She wanted Dora cupcakes, Dora paper plates, balloons, and waffles for dinner. Easy enough! So simple in my mind... Then why did it take all day to prep for this little party?

I, of course, had to throw in a little Dora Adventure Treasure Hunt. So I made this map to put in her backpack that led the kids to 5 clues/riddles that if they answered correctly, they received a treat or toy for their goody bag. It was lots of fun & adventure.

Dora's hair is piped with chocolate & cooled on wax paper and mouth made out of fruit roll up.

Oh, how she loved to play with her balloons... thanks to Daddy for picking up some for her.

At MaryKate's 2 year check up she measured 3 ft 1 in and is in the 99% for height, 90% for weight and her head size is still literally way off the chart. The doctor predicts she will grow to be 6 feet tall ( which is what the doctor said about me but I only made it to 5'10).
Her favorite things right now are Dora, Elmo, Wonder Pets, Dinosaurs, the swings at the park, books, her sand/water table, and dancing to music. She loves to eat eggs, carbs, fruit, yogurt, and fruit snacks... pretty typical. She talks from morning till night and now thanks to Dora speaks a surprising amount of Spanish. Moments ago she got a leg stuck in Grace's crib and was yelling "ayudame!" When I came to help her, she said, "O, Grasias Mama!" She cracks me up! Especially her over use of the word "Actually". She is very curious and can make messes faster than I can clean. The other day she pulled a huge jar of minced garlic of the counter and dumped it all over the kitchen floor, then walked through it. I looked down and yelled "oh, cr*#!" (which I've been trying to stop saying) As I cleaned the floor & her shoes, she ran around in circles saying, "oh, cr*#!" over and over.
We love MK and are so thankful that she is a part of our family. Everyday is full of laughter and fun thanks to her little spirit. Happy Birthday MaryKate!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall Break + Cabin = Fun!

During the University's fall break, Mike & Amy invited us to go to their family cabin in Logan. Their cabin is gorgeous so we got the best of both worlds: clean bathrooms and outdoor fun!

James took MaryKate fishing with Mike and the boys. She loved it. As you can see she thought dipping her pole in the water and swirling it around was fishing. To every father's surprise the kids were just a little too load and a little too impatient to catch anything.

But as you can see by MK's smile, she didn't mind one bit that she didn't catch a fish.

Of course, we had a campfire and roasted marshmallows. Amy introduced James to using a ritz cracker instead of graham and Mike taught me proper roasting techniques. Needless to say, we had the best smores of our lives thanks to them.

On Friday morning the kids all woke up at the frightful hour of 6:00 am... so I decided to make these SPOOKY cupcakes with them so the others could catch a few more winks. It was so fun to watch Max devour the decorations before being placed on the cupcakes. They did great. It was fast, fun, and finished before 7:00 am!

We went on a beautiful walk through the fall leaves and enjoyed they fresh canyon smells. Grace seemed to enjoy it... well most of the time and MaryKate loved every minute of it!

When it was time to check out, we had to clean & pack up. So we put on some Dora or Diego and didn't hear a peep from the kids for over an hour. This is what I found when I went up to check on them. I love the zoned look on their faces.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

2 Months of Magic

OK... so truthfully the last 2 months have had their magical moments, but also have had their moments of pure madness. We've been to the ER twice, had a few minor finger pokes in the eyes, been late to every meeting/appointment, and worked through the emotional drama of a mild case of postpartum & turning 30. However, I am glad to report that Grace now sleeps through the night, MaryKate has stopped pushing kids to the ground and strangling them, and I am at the point were I can smile and laugh about our 2 melt down hours each day...most of the time:). James has remained calm and constant through it all and his 3 girls are thankful for that. He is the best!

We really have had some fun times this last month and some big milestones. Grace was blessed on Sunday by James and that was a very sweet experience. James' parents came in town for that & General Conference, so of course we packed the weekend full of fun stuff including a mini early birthday party for MK & a trip to the zoo and to the Alpine Loop to see the fall leaves (gorgeous!). I also turned 30 a week ago. James took me out for dinner and gave me some great gifts including a book he made with pictures & kind letters from 30 awesome people who shared their memories of me. We sat in the restaurant and ate and read and cried together. Then I had cake and ice cream with the Johnsons. Thank you to everyone who wrote notes, sent texts, or called. It made me feel so loved and blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life. I love you all!

Grace not only started sleeping from 9:30 to 7:00 she also started smiling. You've got to love both of those milestones! She is a very sweet girl. She doesn't like the swing or laying on her back, but she loves being cuddled and people watching. We love her to pieces.

MaryKate got a cold which triggered an asthma attack that put her in the hospital for 3 days. She felt so much happier after they gave her lots of medicine & put her on oxygen.

Align CenterI forgot to mention that my mom came and helped just before Grace was a month old. She & I took MK to do fun things like ride ponies and see the dinosaurs at Thanksgiving Point. We're so glad she could come!

My birthday cake was a slice of Cheesecake Factory "Adam's Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple". Heavenly! (As yummy as the homemade ice cream I had that night. Thanks Johnsons!)

Friday, August 19, 2011

We kept 2 girls alive for 2 weeks

Life around our house has had very much a feeling of adjustment. We are still trying to figure out how to be parents of two. We have come to appreciate those who have 4, 8 or 12...we truly admire your strength. With two sets of diapers, two girls to dress, to girls to feed, two girls to pack into our car...we definitely have our hands full. And although it is crazy, we have been enjoying the moments when we recognize how blessed we are to have two beautiful little girls in our family now.....P.S. be ready for a of lot pics...Grandma was asking for some.

Grace is a very pleasant little baby. Now that her bowels have calmed down, and diaper rash is gone. She is a joy. She is sleeping 5 to 6 hours at night (which makes mommy very happy), and is starting to open her eyes more and look at us. She is a fun little girl.

MK is wonderful with the new baby. She wants to hold her all the time. She is a little bit emotional. Everything is hard or hurts or ouchie. Having to share our attention is not easy for a 22 month old. But she is doing well.

We had a little photo shoot on Grace's 4 day mark. We went up to Red Butte Gardens, it was beautiful, and so was our little girl. Here are a few of the highlights of the pictures that James took.

We also have been able to be together as a family this week, due to a vacation from school. So we have been trying to have little adventures here in Salt Lake...(adventures a 2 week old can handle).

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Grace Editha Gardner

As we were choosing names, we were trying to decide between Edi (pronouced E-dee) or Grace. Grace has always been a name we have loved and it has become an important principle of the gospel to us over the past few years. Edi would have been in honor of Grandma Editha Gardner, who was a great example of faith, endurance, kindness and service. We just couldn't decide on how to spell it and worried people would always call her Eddy (ed-dee) so we compromised and used Editha as a middle name. We will most likely call her Gracie for now.

MK is loving the baby. She wants to hold her all the time. Anytime Grace cries, she wants to know why and wants to help. We are trying our best to make the transition from being an only child to a big sister as easy as possible. Things are going well for now, but I am sure there will be some rough moments ahead.

Grace is still in her sleepy newborn mode, but is starting to love to eat, look around and cuddle up close to us. We sure love her, she truly is our amazing Grace.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A New Addition

Last night at 7:45 the newest member of our family came into the world. She is a very pleasant little girl. She was 8 lbs. 1 oz. and 20 inches long. She is a miracle not only because she managed to come out with a full head of hair, against all genetic odds, but also that she came without having to have a C-section. It took 12 hours. After 10 hours she hadn't dropped yet and only dilated to four. We had about given up hope when the doctor came about an hour and a half later and said the baby had dropped most of the way and was dilated completely. The doctor said we could start pushing. 15 mins later, she was here. Here are a few pictures of the little girl. More to come soon. Including the name...:)