Thursday, December 18, 2008

because you can never have too many blackmail photos of your kids

With a kid this cute, you've got to add a little sprinkle of "super dork" to keep him on a even playing field with the rest of the less adorables. Thanks to the "Sewing Queen" A.K.A. Alissa, Hayden is sporting an ever so handsome handmade bowtie. And thanks to me, he has a haircut that is sure to be imitated by many a kid on the playground. LOL...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

About the kids

Just a few notes I want to record before I forget and holidays sweep in...

Although Samantha has been sick for the past month she has been sleeping through the night every night, with only a couple exceptions. She smiles big beautiful smiles and talks to us with so much expression! She is 13 lbs. now and has the chubbiest cheeks and a double chin. Her eyes are sooo blue! When she smiles her ears move back about an inch!

She loves to swing and Hayden enjoys turning the swing off... who knows why.

She still will have nothing to do with a pacifier and I've given up on the bottle - she gags when we try to put either in her mouth so why torture her when she's already sick?

Today we went to the doctor and found out she has an ear infection, sinus infection and she is wheezing. She is on albutural breathing treatments and amoxicillan. Hayden also has a sinus infection so he is on amoxicillan as well. She has had to sleep upright for about 3 weeks now. I am afraid this is going to slow her development as far as rolling over and doing baby push ups goes. Hopefully the medicine will do it's job and she will be feeling well soon!

Amanda is doing amazingly well. No sickness. Knock on wood! :) She has been a big helper. She spent last weekend at her Poppy George and Grammy Jessy's and got the royal princess treatment... which she totally deserved. She still can't stop talking about all the fun she had! She went to a Fun House, went shopping for a new baby doll at Target, went to the beach, hung out in the hot tub and slept in a "huge princess bed" (a full size bed with canopy).

We had a scare with Hayden yesterday - he got ahold of the Clorox Cleanup with Bleach and sprayed it at himself and all over a sofa pillow. Hayden and the pillow survived - the nice new shirt sadly, did not. He drank a cup of water and took an extra nap and was extra cranky, but has all the energy of a healthy Hayden child today... even with the sinus infection.

Hopefully the kids will get well soon and I can take our family photo for Christmas. Otherwise, look for our New Years or Valentines Day photo! :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

So excited and happy!

Yippeee! We don't have to move! (or live in our van! :) )

Michael got a job and he starts Monday! We are so grateful, happy, relieved and just plain giddy! We know the Lord had a hand in this turn of events and are soooo grateful. So if you see Michael walking around with a little kick to his step, or with a big 'ole clown-faced grin, you'll know why. Give him a big pat on the back and thank God for having mercy on our little family. 'Cause I don't know how much longer I could have lasted without my wishlist of 2nd tier necessities... q-tips, ice cream, conditioner, haircuts by professionals...


Monday, December 1, 2008

Blogstalkers Roll Call!

Okay all you blogstalkers. I wanna know who you are.
Who are you, Aiken, South Carolina?
Who are you, Athens, Texas?
I know who Glendale is... I think.
But Cincinnati, Ohio? Why do you find me so interesting? Hmm?
Europe? Why so vague?
Do tell.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Best of Buds

Carlee and I are the best of friends. It all started when she came to visit me as my visiting teacher through our church. At Christmas last year she made these really yummy garland-like rice krispy treats. It was super impressive. I don't think I have ever attempted to make anything special like that for Christmas treats. I guess I've always felt too "busy" and have always just done sugar cookies or brownies.

What's interesting is how our families have come to match up so nicely.

Michael and Paul get along great. And they have the "silly bone" in common.

First Paul:

Now Michael:

My Amanda and her Kirsten are great friends - even though Amanda is a 2nd grader and Kirsten is a 5th grader. They write elaborate stories together and act them out. They both like doing crafty stuff and boy can they both sing. I'll post them singing later...

Hayden and Kyler have this special connection. We don't really know why it is, but from the first time our families all hung out together Kyler paid special attention to Hayden... and Hayden's face just lights up like a Christmas tree when he sees Kyler. Not too long ago Kyler was riding in the backseat with Hayden and I caught this on tape:

We sure are glad we know the Pursells... they're super cool!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Samantha at 2 months

Oh my, has it been 2 months?!?
Here she is in all her cuteness.
I couldn't post just one - I can't decide which one I like the most!
She was very smiley and happy today!

... and a few of and with the sibs

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Know of any job openings for architects?
No? Hmmm...

I don't suppose the government would feel inclined to bail out all the architecture firms - when they're finished bailing out Wall Street and American car companies...

No, seriously - I'm not that cynical. I have faith that Michael will find a job. It will all be good and we'll learn some sort of ubber big lesson from it all. That's life - we'll roll through it with big 'ole clown smiles painted on our faces! :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Christmas came early - WAY EARLY!

I don't think I've ever been so excited, surprised or shocked... my big sister Wendy sent me an early Christmas present. It's the RCA Small Wonder digital camcorder and it TOTALLY ROCKS! I've been near tears for over an hour now. I can't wait to record our family this holiday season. Oh, the blogs I will post!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, big 'sis!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hayden is 2!


Things I Have Done.
Bolded things = Things I've done. Alissa got me started on this...

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (but I've been to Disneyworld)
8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables-tomatoes --the deer loved 'em
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb (but I've held a baby goat!)
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy - tooth fairy pillow with my initial on it. Amanda uses it now--- a lot.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle - right after burning my leg on the exhaust.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby x 3!
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake - it was gross
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Monday, November 3, 2008

samantha at 1 month

So these pictures mark the 1 month birthday of our little Samantha. We got her all dressed up for some quick pictures. She was a totally sweetie about letting me take her picture - I think she is going to be like Amanda - always lovin' the camera!

and a few pictures of Hayden and Amanda as well!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Voting - Disney Style

I'm anxious to vote this election, but mostly because after seeing the long lines at the library and city hall every day, I wonder how it will be possible for me to vote with three kids in tow. I'd get a babysitter but one of the Gove kidlings loves to nurse ever hour and a half and from the looks of it, I'd be lucky to make it through the line in 2 hours minimum.

You know, if Disney was in charge of voting in Florida moms wouldn't have these problems. They'd have FastPass set up and some sort of handicapped back entrance for mom's with overflowing strollers to get to the head of the line. OH YES! And entertainment for those unfortunate souls who have to wait in line. TV screens every 10 feet with cartoon characters of the candidates battling it out Tom and Jerry style.

I bet Disney would have had it all thought out and completely avoided that whole embarrassing "chad" thing too.

Just Imagine...

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Samantha's first Halloween! Grandma MoMo sent the cute jack-o-lantern onesie, totally saving the day! I had wanted to go all Martha Stewart and dress up as a spider web and dress Samantha as a spider, but it just wasn't happening. Mary Jane socks completed her outfit - she sure was a cutie!
Amanda went as a Pink Princess this year. It was fun doing her hair in a crazy bun - and she loved it!
She had a blast at the ward party and played carnival games over and over!
We went with the Pursell's trick or treating in a neighborhood near their house.

was a super cute pirate - I didn't get a picture of him in his complete costume... he had a cool hat and a sword and wore his camoflage crocks. He was super cute - but super asleep at the end of the night when I thought to take his picture. We decided against it though - we have a strict rule against waking a sleeping monster, eh umm, Hayden.

Oh - and the hillbilly pacifier... it didn't make it to the ward party or on the trick or treat trail. He hid it in one of his many hiding places around the house and we still haven't found it.

Hayden had a blast trick or treating. He was a stealthy double dipper and when he did get caught everyone thought it was cute and gave the rest of the kids extra candy too.

Friday, October 31, 2008

If I had a thousund dawlers

...our family could fly to Colorado to visit my parents - but only during Thanksgiving - not Christmas, 'cause {get this} ALL the flights to Colorado in the window of Christmastime are BOOKED. No. Really. Unless of course we go to the airport in Daytona and pay a ridiculous $890 PER PERSON {even little persons}.

Sorry Becky and Mike. I really wanted to sneak over to Colorado so Hayden and Conner could meet up and make their plans to destroy the world... or Mom and Dads house. One day, one day...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sick Kids

This blog spot and date was originally reserved for a cute picture of Samantha with a little sign next to her to celebrate her 1st month of life. Unfortunately, that picture won't be taken for a little while. She's just too darn sick and I'm just too darn tired. Hayden and Michael are sick as well. They've all got colds and Hayden has a severe case of the grumpies on top of that.

Samantha had to have a spinal tap yesterday. She had a fever of 100.3, went on a nursing strike and has been coughing and sneezing a lot. The results of her spinal tap were fine. This morning at 2:30 the girl FINALLY got hungry and decided to nurse for 30 minutes! Then again at 4:30 - I don't know how long 'cause I fell asleep.
(btw Samantha, my cha's cha's thank you - it was getting quite painful!)

No more sickies please...
Pictures perhaps in a few days...
I'm off to clean the room.playarea...anddolaundry.bye

Friday, October 24, 2008

Deep thoughts...

Been trying to put into words how I have felt in the not too distant past about life. About choices I would make for my children, my family. This post pretty much says it all. Though we have been "out of the rat race" for quite some time as a result of our financial situation I still feel that pressure and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who finds it crazy, silly, stressful and UNNECESSARY to keep running at super sonic speed without a clue as to where it will lead. I'm not suggesting a total "stand still". I'm just saying that it's a whole lot more efficient and productive to stand still while you listen to the Spirit to guide you in the right direction. Having no gas money or "discretionary" money makes it doubly easy to stand still. Times have been hard as of late, and it's only going to get harder... or will it? Perhaps it will just become quieter, slower - easier to hear the still small voice that will guide us where our Heavenly Father will have us go.

Check it out - she says what I mean in a much more interesting way...

Monday, October 20, 2008

What about Amanda?

It has occurred to me that I haven't posted much about Amanda lately. She has unfortunately been overlooked in my posts as of late - I'm not sure why. Perhaps because she is in school all day and my interactions with her go a little like this.

Me: Amanda! Wake Up! It's 7:40! We woke up late, so hurry and get dressed and go eat breakfast.
...10 minutes later... what have you been doing? I said get dressed, go eat.

Amanda: I AM! I'm getting Hayden some milk!

Me: Oh. Well hurry up. Daddy's almost ready to take you to school. WAIT! Comb your hair... and brush your teeth... where are your socks?!?! You have P.E. today!!!

Amanda: Arghhhhh! Okay, okay!!

Me: You look beautiful. Get your backpack and your lunch... BYE!

7 hours later:

Me: get in, get in, people are waiting! How was your day?

Amanda: GREAT!

Me: Great!

at home...

Me: do your homework, put away the dishes and then you can play on the computer.

Amanda: can I play a game on the laptop?

Me: After you do your homework and put away the dishes.

Amanda: but I don't want to, can't I just play on the laptop first???


Amanda: (insert any number of excuses why it's just not fair)

then dinner, book and off to bed.

I went to parent teacher conference today and left walking on cloud 9. Amanda is doing awesome, she's no longer in the remedial reading group - it turns out that she was bored or uninterested in the easy stories they were testing her with at first. Her awesome teacher caught onto this and tested her on a more challenging level and she did great.

She's a straight A student and loves all of her teachers. I couldn't be happier about her new teacher and her new school. I know this the right school for her - a place where she can really grow.

Amanda's teacher had wonderful things to say about her. She admires Amanda's creativity in writing and her expressiveness in reading. She catches on quickly in Math and Science and really enjoys her Music class where they are learning to play the violin. Amanda has a beautiful singing voice and has shared her talent at the playground - she's quite popular among the 5th grade girls!

We are all so proud of her and can really see a difference in her attitude about school. She's a bright light of energy in our family and very helpful with Samantha and especially Hayden.

We all love her very much!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Big Boo Boo!!

So my parents just got into town late last night and they are on their way over to our place. They haven't seen Hayden since he was itty bitty and this is what they are going to see when they get here.

He's NEVER gotten such a horrible boo-boo in all his life. It's totally freaking me out - he won't let me put ice or a bag of peas on his head to help it feel better. He's not even complaining about any pain. Doesn't it look just awful!??!

How, pray tell, did this happen?? He had a blanket over his head and went running into the corner of the couch. OUCH!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


A fellow photographer friend of mine was updating her portfolio and took these awesome pics of my kids. She made us all look prettier than we really are - thanks Rebecca! Feel free to check out some of her work and throw some business her way!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The 3 D's of Hayden

These days Hayden can best be described with these three words: Defiant, Destructive and Dirty! He's pushing buttons (on the tv and mom), asserting his 23 month old power of outrunning us around the sofa with the remote, and enjoying every moment that includes spilling, dumping or throwing milk. Oh - and he's really starting to smell like a boy. Not a baby, a BOY. You know the smell.

I miss my little baby boy...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

It's all about Samantha

Okay, so we're all a little obsessed with Samantha. She's as sweet as can be and pretty easy to please. Amanda adores her and is her protector from big brother Hayden. Hayden is getting a little better about sharing mommy, but still tends to throw toys and remote controls in her general direction when he's not getting enough attention.

Aunt Laura and Uncle Jim came for a visit from Arizona. It was a bit of a coincidence that they were here to see Samantha. They had hoped to see the shuttle launch, but it was rescheduled. Laura took some cute pictures of us. {below}

this one cracks me up!

On Friday Samantha and I had the house to ourselves. Michael, Amanda and Hayden went out on a boat trip in Daytona. It was a nice quiet day at home for us!

Friday, September 26, 2008


Samantha has been such a sweetheart so far. She sleeps well, eats well and even smiles a little for us. She just may be our *calm* baby. She hasn't met her siblings yet though! We are really enjoying our time in the hospital with her. Amanda can't wait to meet her!

The arrival of Samantha Margaret

Though she gave us quite a scare, Samantha was finally born safe and sound early this morning at 12:43am. She weighs 8 lbs. and is 21 1/2 inches tall.

We had 45 minutes of scary distress - she had her cord wrapped tightly around her neck not once, but twice! Needless to say we had to get her out fast because her heart rate was dropping dangerously low. She made it out and pinked up quickly. She's nursing well, pooping often and we are ever so proud! Pictures to come soon!

Vanessa and Becky - check your emails. Michael sent you both a sneak peek!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


So. All you mommies out there... how would you define contractions? Does a hand or foot stuck in your hip socket count? What about pulsing belly buttons? If you could *safely* levitate on your hard-as-a-rock belly with no hand or foot support, would such an ability - accompanied by intense pain - count as being "in labor"?

Why is it that I can't recall the exact feeling of a true contraction? I understood it perfectly well with my first two. No false alarms. No anti-climatic trips to the hospital. What is it about this pregnancy that has me second-guessing my instincts...

It's all your fault, Nurse Stumpy-Fingers. Really - how do you confuse the top of a head with an elbow? And do you *enjoy* causing pain and extreme discomfort or is that just one of your *talents*?

Oh, Dr. Brother Steven Nelson of Scottsdale, AZ .... oh how I miss your ultra-cool bedside manner and true understanding of an uncomfortable pregnant woman. If I could, I would fly myself back to AZ and beg, beg, BEG you to deliver my little Samantha. Hayden's birth was quite possibly the most glorious and super-ideal birth.
{but not the part where I puke up a bite of a Snickers bar - but that wasn't your fault. I stole it from my hubby minutes after the pitocin... totally my own doing...}

But I digress... pray for a baby this week. I can't take it anymore.

Monday, September 15, 2008

So embarrassed...

So Friday night was one of those uber-exciting nights that ended in disappointment, frustration and embarrassment. It started with my all-day craving for a Wendy's Strawberry Frosty Shake. I kept myself in check until about 6:30 when it was quite apparent that dinner at our house was not going to happen. I voiced my craving to my dear husband who jumped on the idea and went out and made a very non-frugal, rare visit to the Wendy's across the street. I ate a grilled chicken sandwich - or half of one - and then the contractions began. I continued to slurp down my frosty shake 'cause it was oh so delicious and I certainly didn't want it to go to waste. It was ever so yummy! Then the pressure came and I was in a panic - my hospital bag was not packed! I sent the household into high-gear in preparation for a trip to the hospital. Rooms were cleaned, babysitter called, bags packed, van packed.

We sat in the hospital triage for a while while I had 3 more contractions. I got a triage room and then Nurse Stumpy came in to "check" me and said that I was only a 3 (not the 4 I was at 12:30pm that afternoon at my doctors office - w.h.a.t.e.v.e.r.) and that the baby's head was not down. What? She said she thought she felt an elbow...but just for a moment. She kept stuttering about the baby being transverse, breach or non-vertex -- or was it hanging ten? --and then she started muttering slurred phrases involving c-sections and such.

We quickly got a ultrasound by another nurse who was supposedly certified to operate the machine they rolled into my room. More chatter about transverse, and "what do you think THAT is?"

A few minutes later, I'm off to the REAL ultrasound tech to get a REAL ultrasound that I was actually allowed to view and saw our beautiful little girls face for the first time since the alien pictures of 16 weeks.

Ohhh.... there you are little one! Oh! And your head is down and centered perfectly? Oh really? And there are your sweet little kissy lips and your cute little nose? Ohhhh! And YES you ARE a girl! And you're just kicking and punching and making all kinds of noise in there!

{sticking my tongue out at Nurse Stubby-fingers} I walk back to my room confident that we are having this baby within the next 12 hours. Instead, I am instructed to go home and wait for REAL labor. Grrr....

So here I am. No more contractions. Plenty o' pressure. Waiting for our little girl to come - and we just can't wait!

{thanks again Pursell's for coming over for our false alarm/ dress rehearsal}

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Hospital Tour

So not too long after finding out that I've started dilating, we packed up the kids and met our friends the Pursell's at the hospital for our hospital tour appointment. I considered requesting a wheelchair so as not to induce any pre-term labor by walking all over the hospital. But then it just seemed silly.

FYI - touring the hospital and having all your questions answered DOES NOT MAKE YOU FEEL ANY LESS NERVOUS ABOUT HAVING A BABY. If anything I am more nervous and a little agitated. First, I have to tell you that having a baby at the Scottsdale Medical Center in Arizona will likely spoil you to the point of disappointment with every other hospital around. We were truly spoiled to have unlimited meal service 24 hours a day for me AND Michael. Amanda and Michael were both allowed to sleep over night with me and the baby -same room. Lactation consultants were scheduled to come to nearly every feeding or whenever I called. Baby Hayden had his first bath in the recovery room with me taking pictures. Yeah - it was s.w.e.e.t.

It bugs me that my baby Samantha will have her first bath in the nursery and that I can't be there. Michael can, but not me - the one who did all the pushin'? And it bugs me that I will likely have to wait 24 hours before seeing a lactation consultant. HELLO? I thought the first 12 hours were the most important! I have a proven track record of sucking at breastfeeding (no pun intended) and needing assistance and guidance for the first 24 hours. We've been directed to bring cash to pay for Michael's meals and anything else beyond the 3 meals a day for me. Visiting hours are 9am-9pm for everyone but Michael. This isn't so bad - we all need our rest.

But anyway...

I am excited to meet our little Samantha - and so is Amanda. She's really excited about all the little pink clothes and fun little girl accessories. She's been saying 'awwww mommy, isn't this just adorable?' and 'Samantha would look so cute in this!!'

Hayden and Michael are cool with waiting a while. Hayden has gotten especially clingy to me lately and I think he senses that his world is about to be turned upside-down. Poor Hayden won't be the baby anymore. As much as it saddens me, it really is fun to watch him growing into a little boy with a big personality of his own.

Whether we meet Samantha this week or next, it's sure to be an exciting day!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Ummm, we interrupt this pregnancy for a special announcement

I had my 36 week appointment today. Apparently climbing over baby gates and carrying 35 lb. little boys to timeout 10 times a day can move a pregnancy "right along". I am 3 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. Oh, and sweet, sweet Samantha FINALLY decided to 'move into the starting gate' head first. Good girl, Samantha! You ARE a good listener. Now listen to this, little one. WE ARE NOT READY - SO NO EARLY ARRIVALS! WAIT RIGHT THERE! I still don't have a cutie pie outfit to take you home in and the van needs a good vacuuming and your daddy REALLY isn't ready for this at all. So stay put...for at least 2 more weeks...please!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

old school gadgets

So now that I've found our old school webcam (ie. it's more than 2 years old) I'm having a blast recording stuff... like Hayden. It's so fun to watch him play. Here's a little 2 min. glimpse of him playing with our dominoes and the Mexican train thingy. I love how he has to do a little wiggle dance every time he hears the train noise. If you start to get a little bored by the length, all I can say is, "Wait for it, wait for it...".

These are for you, Deon!

These are for you, Deon! I found our webcam and got it to work *finally*. So here are some pictures of *the damage*.

Exhibit A:
This picture really says it all, but of course I took MORE pictures...

Exhibit B:
from behind
Exhibit C:
Side view
Exhibit D:

And then there is Hayden...
Super cute - but - well, I know it can happen, but this kid was sitting very still and she still managed to cut the top of his ear with the clippers. OUCH! He took it like a trooper. But he takes most injuries like a trooper. He's such a big boy!


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