Saturday, January 17, 2015

Baby photo update

Here is an updated photo of David. He is growing and changing so quickly. They always do! He is starting to smile and giggle, and loves to be held and snuggled. He also loves watching his older brothers and sisters and I can tell he is just itching to grow a little bigger so he can play with them.

Since Thanksgiving break, we have had a ton of sickness go through our family. First, Madi brought home the flu. Then, one of the kids got strep throat. So then of course everyone in the family got it, except David and I, fortunately. After we cleared that up, it came back a week later. This time, I did get it. But David and Brysen did not. After that cleared up, the flu hit again. Yaay. Fortunately, we were all feeling pretty good at Christmastime, just finishing up round 2 of strep. Currently, I am in the final stages of earaches and bronchitis which I picked up from this last round of the flu. One of the hard parts of having a child with a slightly lower immunity & resistance is that she brings something home and then we all get it, since she is SO good at sharing her germs. I, for one, am looking forward to warmer weather with a vengeance so that I can get these kids outside more often! Praying that we can all make it through the rest of the winter HEALTHY!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

He's here!

It's been almost a month- but in all my free time, I am usually trying to sleep or wash dishes or something. Okay, let's be honest, free time doesn't really exist for me right now. 5 kids will do that to you, I suppose. I can't believe we have 5 kids!

Here's the latest addition:

David Rafton Dodds
Born: October 18, 2014
7 lbs 15 oz, 19.5 inches

He loves to eat, sleep, eat some more, and sleep some more.  We are just hoping he will stop waking up every 1.5-2 hours a night to eat! He is a beautiful baby and we love him to pieces.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Counting Down

I'm at that stage in my pregnancy when I feel so big and awkward that it is difficult to do anything. Some days are worse than others, of course. It's at that point where the days seem to go by like weeks but the weeks go by like days. I am 36 weeks along now. At my appointment last week, I had the Doc check me just to make sure I hadn't started dilating or anything. Since 2 of my children have been born early, I want to be prepared just in case. Of course, I never really am prepared for the whole birthing experience, no matter how many times I have gone through it already. All 5 of my previous babies have had their own unique experiences, and all of them have been completely different.

I am about 50% effaced and dilated to maybe a 1-2. My Doc was convinced that it will be a while still, which is good and what I had hoped to hear. Everything went pretty routine at my appointment and I am now down to once a week visits. I've been having weekly Non-Stress Tests at the hospital for the past month now, just to keep an eye on the baby and make sure his heart rate and amniotic fluid levels stay normal. I've only had one appointment thus far that has been abnormal. They almost sent me up to Labor and Delivery for closer monitoring, but fortunately it was just the position they had me in during the test that accounted for the abnormal readouts. A pregnant woman should not lay on her back for too long, lest the baby not receive enough oxygen and show decelerations in his heart rate.

What I did not like hearing at my last appointment was that my Doc will be out of town over my due date. I am due Oct 24 and he will be out of town from Oct 21-Nov 3. That is a long time. And I didn't find out from him, I found out from his receptionist when I went to schedule the rest of my appts for the month. He was out of town on Brysen's due date last year as well. We ended up inducing Brysen 4 days early. I was hoping to be able to go into labor on my own, and to be honest, with B I thought I was going to- I had actual labor contractions starting at 35 weeks, and it was a rough month. This time around, no real contractions yet but lots and lots of Braxton-Hicks ones. I'm positive that my Doc will suggest early induction this time as well, probably for Monday the 20th of October. I will discuss it with him at my next appointment on Tuesday.

That would mean I am down to only 3 weeks to go, which is a good number to plan for. It is getting increasingly harder to lift and carry, and even HOLD Brysen anymore. He weighs 27 lbs now and is definitely not a featherweight. He is solid. Fortunately he is walking around all over the place now and getting faster by the day. He has come down with the flu and last night Jim and I took turns sittin up with him as he had a fever and did not want to lie down. It is really hard for me to hold him for very long on my lap, the baby inside me takes up so much room that it makes it hard to breathe and move when I have another baby on my lap as well. It's really getting difficult to lift Madi into and out of her carseat as well. It's time to really focus on helping her climb in and out of the car & her seat on her own. And to teach Tysen how to buckle his own seatbelt because I can barely reach inside the middle of the bench to buckle him. We will be switching everything around once the baby comes, and will have to leave the back seat up most of the time to put kids in- but at least I won't have to be 8 months pregnant and trying to reach into the back of the car to buckle kids. We are still not exactly sure on the best setup of the carseats, Since there will be 4 of them.

We also don't have a name picked out for this baby yet. My top picks: Luke, Kai, Zane, Zander. Jim's current top pick: Dirk (after Dirk Pitt, in our favorite book series by Clive Cussler). I hope we can agree on something before the big day arrives!

Here's a little eye candy, hee hee!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

It has begun!!

This is what I have been up to this week:

 Pears and peaches to come next week!

And this is what else we've been doing...

Tysen and Aspen started soccer last week. It's so fun to go to their games and watch them play! Aspen's team plays by actual rules, and it is fun to watch her learning the different positions and getting better at them. Tysen's team focuses on just kicking the ball the right direction- and he is actually a pretty good little player! If anyone wants to come to a game, they are on Wednesday nights at 5pm for Tysen and Thursday nights at 6:30 pm for Aspen, then both of them play on Saturday mornings at 11:30. I didn't get any pictures of Aspen's first game, but here are some blasts from the past that are fun:

 "When I grow up, I wanna be...."

 Playing goalie like Daddy!

...and my all-time favorite...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

First Day of School!

This year, we have 3 kids in school. They all go to 3 different schools. Aspen is at Suncrest Elementary, a school that she hasn't been to before, but Madi is back at Hillcrest Elementary where she started Kindergarten and Tysen is at Learning Dynamics Preschool (where Aspen also went). They start and stop at 3 different times. So, I'm going to have to get organized! I'm just glad that Madi can ride the bus, and that Aspen has kids in the neighborhood to walk/ride scooters/ bikes to school with. We are fortunate to have some really great people in our ward.

Here are some fun First Day of School pictures :)

                                                             Here is Madi, getting on her bus!
Aspen is in 4th Grade this year and Madi is in 2nd Grade.

                                                                                   She rides her scooter to school with her best friend                                                                                       from church. We live too close (a mile away) for                                                                                            her to ride a bus. She always wanted to ride her                                                                                            bike to school though, so now she gets to!
 My little girl is getting so grown-up!

 Tysen was SO excited to start Preschool- and to bring his soccer ball for Show and Tell! He started soccer last week and is loving it. First game is on Saturday at 11:30 for him and Aspen, if anyone wants to come watch!

                                                                                           Tysen's teacher is Mrs. Garrett. This is his door.
 Again, very excited to bring his soccer ball to school!!

And he is very excited that Elizabeth is in his class! They are going to have so much fun together this year.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fun in the water!

This week, we thought it would be fun to cool off at a splash pad. Provo recently installed one at Pioneer Park so we thought we would give it a try. It was a blast! Debbie, Carrie, Elizabeth & Catherine came to splash in the water with us. Brooke, Becca and Nathan even came for a little while- next time we are going to make them get wet too, though! We chose the perfect day to go. It was actually cooler than usual, with a bit of a cloud cover so we weren't dying of the heat (okay, I wasn't dying of the heat for once... the kids actually thought the water was a little cold because it wasn't as hot outside).

This splash pad was really fun because there were little pathways in between the water that you could walk along, so you could be in the middle of it without getting completely soaked- unless you wanted to! The pathways were constantly changing as different water fountains would turn off and on. It might have been a good idea for the kids to have some water shoes on though, because it was a little slippery and all of them slipped and fell at least once. No major damage was done, I am happy to report.

Here are some fun pictures:

 My two "twins"


My little water baby 

Carrie, Catherine, and Elizabeth 

Aspen and T had a great time playing with their beach balls in the fountains.

I discovered that taking the kids to a splash pad is SOOO MUCH easier than trying to take them to a pool on my own. We had a ward activity at the Scera Pool in Orem a few weeks ago, and I was on my own with the kids at that one. Fortunately I had quite a few extra hands who were willing to grab a kid for me when I needed them to. Especially Madi- who is so fearless in the water, she will just jump right in, or face plant herself into the water with no second thoughts. Except that she can't get her face back out when she needs to breathe...  so, a splash pad is a much better option for us for now!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Another big change is on the horizon.

In about a month, our family is going to undergo a very big change. For over 10 years, we lived on-site at Aspen Grove Family Camp in the mountains of Provo Canyon. We took a big step in January and moved down to Orem. Jim has continued to commute to work since then- the first time in his adult career that he has had to commute farther than walking out the front door to work. That was a big change. Next month, we are taking it a step farther. Jim will be leaving Aspen Grove to pursue a degree in the medical field. We have loved our time at Aspen Grove and it was a tough decision to leave. But we both feel that it is time for a change, and that now is the right time to make this move. It's a very difficult and scary decision to have Jim quit his job- 2 months before we have a baby due, to top it off. But we are excited for the future and Jim is looking forward to a change in his career. He will take the next year to finish the pre-requisites he needs, then will apply to a Physician's Assistant program. That will be approximately 2 more years. So if all goes as planned, in 3-4 years we will be settling into a new job somewhere. Since there is only one PA program in Utah, it is likely that in a year or so we will be relocating depending on where Jim gets accepted. Hopefully it will not disrupt the kids too much, but it will be a good experience as well. Here are some pictures of Aspen Grove. I'll be honest, it has been hard for me this summer not living on-site, but I am also enjoying being down in the valley where there are things for the kids to do, friends to play with, and shopping is just around the corner.