Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

We had to stay super local this year as Matthew was on-call Thanksgiving Day. So we had my sister Kayla and her husband Josh with us as well as Matthew's brother Ben.  It was a small group but it was so perfect!  We started cooking pies in the morning while we watched the parade.  It was a perfect Thanksgiving and Matthew never got called in.

Gavin tried out solid food for the first time on Thanksgiving.  He was a champ and loved it!

The day after Thanksgiving we went to my Grandparents to visit. Jenna and her family met us there and we has such a great visit playing games and munching on Thanksgiving leftovers.

I sure do love having so much family nearby for the holidays.


Oh my, I am so behind!!  But I am determined to catch up!

A couple weeks before Halloween we decided to make a last minute trip to Idaho to visit Jenna's family.  Matthew was out of town that weekend and Jenna's husband was also out of town so we were glad to keep each other company.  The kids sure had a blast. They just eat up cousin time whenever they can.

We went to this cute little pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins

After we brought them home we painted them. We like to paint as opposed to carve!  I love their focused faces!

We decided to do a family batman theme this year. It was so fun! We dressed up to go to the Allens annual Halloween party. It was complete with a chili dinner and decorating sugar cookies. 

Happy Halloween from Cat Woman, Robin, Batman, Bat Girl, and baby Joker

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The first Few Months...

Gavin is three months old now! Time just goes so fast.  His first few months of life have actually been a very hard adjustment for us all. Gavin has been nothing like my other two.  We definitely have had more challenges with him.  He had nursing issues which really stressed me out combined with lack of sleep and Matthew working until 11pm for the first month of his life = survival mode.  He also was a very colicy baby which I have never experienced before.  So needless to say I was just living hour to hour for the first few weeks.
One week old.

He also had jaundice pretty bad and had to lay under these lights for three days straight.  It's so hard not being able to hold and snuggle your newborn and to have to get his heel pricked every day for a week to check his bilirubin levels. So not fun!

The kids really have done a stellar job of adjusting.  They were totally neglected some as I was busy with the new baby, or pumping, or trying to take a quick nap while they were watching a movie.  But they love their new little brother so much.  Kensley has had some moments of tantrums and acting out but that is totally to be expected when you aren't the youngest anymore. They are also pretty good about not being too rough with him.  I've been impressed!

2 months old

 Taking a nap in Kensley's bed while we were cleaning up their room. 

They are helping to bounce Gavin while I made dinner.  They are such great helpers!

Three burrito babies! They always see me swaddle Gavin so they grabbed their blankets and wanted me to swaddle them as well. 

We are now past the newborn snuggly phase but we sure love this little Gavin guy.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Austin Turns 6

Austin is just getting so big so fast!  He has been looking forward to his birthday for months so we was so excited to have it finally come.   With a new baby and a very sleep deprived mom, we opted for a family party this year.  We went to Chuck-E-Cheese.  Austin LOVED it and had such a fun time.  At the end of the day he said that was the best day ever (yay!).

He kept saying things all day like "I'm stronger now that I'm 6." So he felt like he should be able to spread his own sprinkles on his cake... good job dude!

Austin is such a great older brother. He is so very helpful and if he sees a need he is the first one just jump up and help.  He still loves to play with cars and trucks and also loves building with legos. He will be starting 1st grade this fall!

4th of July

Provo puts on a great Freedom Festival for the 4th of July.  So I voluntarily woke my kids up at 5:30 in the morning on a holiday so we could drive down to Provo to catch the all the hot air balloons as they were being filled.  It was so cool!  So glad we did it!  The kids thought it was it was pretty awesome. 

This year we got together at my grandparents house for the 4th.  My mom was in town as well as two of my sisters and a few cousins.  The Allens put on a great BBQ dinner and grandpa put on quite an awesome display of fireworks! It really was such a great family get together!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Baby Gavin is Here!

Our little boy came on May 29th. He was 7lbs 5 oz and 20 1/2 inches long.  He is perfect and we love him!

Here is his birth story:
I woke up at 4:00 in the morning to my water breaking. I woke up Matthew and we debated waiting until the morning to go to the hospital but I wanted to go right then.  I'm so glad we didn't wait!  I called a neighbor and she came right over to be with Austin and Kensley.

 By the time we were driving to the hospital, I was having really bad contractions. They were worse than I have ever had before.  When we got to the hospital they were coming about every 3 or 4 minutes.  The nurse took one look at me and said "You clearly look like you are in pain, let's get you admitted." Once I was gowned up and in a hospital bed I asked if I could get my epidural as quickly as possible. The nurse checked me and told me I was dilated to an 8! She gently explained that an epidural wasn't going to happen. What?! I am in so much pain at this point and asked them what else they can give me for the pain.  The nurse replies that I am progressing so fast that any medication probably won't work in time.  My only choice is to go all natural.

  I have never wanted a natural birth so I was totally not prepared for this.  The nurse calls in a couple extra nurses in to help prepare for delivery since things were happening so fast.  Another 10 minutes of severe contractions and I am ready to get this over with and get this baby out!  The doctor finally gets there and with one push, Gavin was here!  But my goodness, that push was the most pain I have ever felt.  It literally felt like my body was being ripped apart, because it was!  I don't even think the doctor was in the room for a whole five minutes total.

As far as natural childbirth goes, it was an ideal situation because it happened so fast and I didn't tear at all. I had a total of 1 1/2 hours of labor with no warning whatsoever.  But I still can't believe that I could have had this baby anywhere ( in my house, in the car, etc) and my pain would have been the exact same yet I was in a hospital surrounded by nurses! I would have never chosen to go naturally but I will say it made my recovery so much smoother which was nice.

Here are the kids coming to see baby Gavin for the first time.

They were amazed at how small he was and they were both so happy and gentle with him. Let's hope they continue that!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Easter and Spring Break

Easter this year was pretty low key considering that Matthew missed all of it.  He had to work all day Saturday and Sunday.  So no family picture but we still were able to get some good ones of the kids and their cousins.

Love these kids!

 All the cousins on the Graff side of the family

We also did an Easter egg hunt with the cousins and had a great Easter dinner.  We spent most of the weekend watching General Conference, missing Matthew, and eating Easter candy.

Spring Break was the week right after Easter.  We didn't really have any major plans so we tried to do something fun every day.  Honestly I was worried about how I was going to keep my kids entertained for a whole week with no school, preschool, with Daddy working late every night and with me feeling huge/uncomfortable and lacking energy but we actually had a very enjoyable week and were able to do somethings that I had been wanting to for a while. These were the highlights:

We went to the Salt Lake Discovery Children's Museum.  I had a coupon to use and we loved it!  

 Austin's favorite thing was the construction site.  Kensley's was the play house and kitchen.

Another day we went to the Thanksgiving Point Children's Museum. They had a lot of really cool things there but honestly it was just way too crowded to even enjoy it.  Once we went outside to the Tulip Festival it was much more enjoyable.  We went with one of my cousins who just moved back to Utah and our kids had so much fun together.  We ended on the huge grassy hill and had a food truck dinner.

 The last day of spring break Jenna and Cole came into town for a few days.  We took all the kids to the Draper Aquarium.  These cousins love spending time together so it super fun.  

I found Kensley and Rylee dressed in princess dresses and reading books together. So cute!

Austin and Cade were collecting "nature" in their bags.

Now we are counting down days of school and days till our baby boy arrives!  I wonder which one will come first? 

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Us Lately

Since the beginning of the year Matthew has been slammed with work.  He has had a couple of rough months in residency.  He has been working about 70 hour weeks since the beginning of January.  He has been on-call a few different weekends and has spent a few nights sleeping at the hospital.  We knew it was going to be a rough couple of months but man, it sure hit hard. March is a little lighter month for him but April, May and June will also be quite rough.  Oh, perfect timing to have a baby! 

I have also never seen Matthew so sick before.  Usually he never gets sick but with the intense schedule and stress at work his body hasn't been about to keep up.  One morning when he was home sick, Kensley decided that if she read him some books, he might feel better!

The kids and I have been trying to keep ourselves busy this winter doing inside things.  One morning they decided to put swimsuits on and do some "cleaning" at the kitchen sink.

"Look Mom, my cheese is a race car!"  Everything he eats somehow turns into a plane, car or boat. 

When Matthew does get home, he is immediately tackled.

We've done lots of painting this winter.  I can't believe how grown-up Austin looks here!

If I can't see or hear Kensley playing, then she is usually sitting with a pile of books reading. This day she was reading to the bear. 

I got a new straighter for Christmas this year and Kensley really wanted me to try it on her hair one Sunday.  It's so long when it's straight!

Austin took this picture for me to document that I am indeed getting bigger.  I am 26 weeks along. When I looked at the picture after he took it I had the immediate thought that I definitely feel a lot bigger than I am! I guess everyone feels that way when pregnant.  But everything is going pretty good besides heartburn and getting more and more uncomfortable but just normal things. 

On the few days that it's been warm enough to be outside we have gotten together with cousins to jump on the trampoline or play at the park.  Check out Kensley's awesome trampoline hair.

I love coming to Austin's school to volunteer or help. (When I was teaching I always appreciated parents that came in to help so I want to be one of those parents as well!)  I also LOVE spying on Austin and seeing him in the classroom environment. It's a win-win. :)  This time I was helping with the 100th Day of School party.  Kensley is in the background participating in one of the activities. 

In January I joined a mommy preschool group for Kensley.  We rotate whose house it's at and it's been so great for Kensley. It's nice to have something for her to participate in and to make new friends.

That's a little bit of what we have been doing this winter.