Wednesday, December 23, 2009

4 Years Ago We Were Doing This...

...and I'm eternally grateful that we did!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear Readers...

Sorry I haven't posted. I'm not in the mood, I'm too tired, I have other things to do...blah blah blah. And upon further inspection, I have come to the conclusion that I despise Christmas and I don't wish to bring my readers down with my anti-holiday attitude at this current time.

So to all of you proponents of Christmas for whatever reason, Bah Humbug.

Besides, Christ was born in April.

Google it.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dear Aunt Bethany...

Dear Aunt Bethany,

We sure love you. And we feel like we have to apologize because our mom is a super-slacker. We know she promised you that she would update our Christmas/Hanukkah wish lists online, but she hasn't. So we decided to do a blog post in her behalf. We have to start out by saying that we really don't need anything. But we know your retort to that would be somewhere along the lines of "Well what kind of favorite non-aunt aunt would I be if I didn't get you Christmas/Hanukkah gifts?" and we, as small children, appreciate that. So, here's the deal: Books are always good. Mom loves for us to have educational toys. Logan is a fan of drawing and artsy-things (but not finger-painting or anything else that gets his hands messy). Animated movies are nothing to sneeze at. Logan wears 3T with size 6-7 shoes and Kaylee is fitting well into the 6 month size clothes. And having you come visit us for a few days would also be a ton of fun. So there are some ideas. We aren't picky. Hope it helps. We love you SOOOO much!!!

Love always,

Logan and Kaylee

Trying To Win Another Giveaway...

Check it out. It would make for a fun present for the kiddos!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Snapshots...

Busy day today...

First, we decided to give Kaylee her first taste of baby cereal.

She LOVED IT!!! I had to make her a second bowl because she wouldn't stop freaking out. She just wanted more.

also, her 4 month doctor's appointment is tomorrow. My guess is that she is still chubby and tall-ish with an averaged-sized head.

In other news, we started decorating for Christmas. The outside lights went up on Saturday (I don't know why the picture is tiny...sorry) and so did the tree. But we saved decorating for today. Logan did a great job. However now that he is in bed, I am going to spread out the ornaments a little better :-)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving...

I know it's not the same, but it's just not Thanksgiving without it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Snapshots...

Some Sunday Snapshots from Skaneateles. How about that for alliteration?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Snapshots...

The Palmyra Stake had Stake Conference today and since we were already in Palmyra, we decided to visit the Sacred Grove.

Basically, my kids are adorable. And I'm really loving being home to show them off :-)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Hometown Halloween...

It was nice to be back in Bloomfield with my kids to trick-or-treat this year. I've learned a few things:

1. It doesn't matter how much time you spend making your kid's's just going to be covered up by a sweater.
2. The words "please" and "thank you" don't exist on Halloween. Nor do they matter. You get the candy anyways.

3. You should only plan on hitting up a few houses close together that you KNOW will have good candy instead of trying to get to as many as end up carrying your kid after 15 minutes, regardless.
4. Halloween is the best opportunity to see 55% of the people from your hometown in one fell swoop when you've been gone a while.
5. Stick close by to the firehouse. They have donuts, cider, candy, games, and the other 45% of the town that wasn't giving out candy at their own houses.

And then the costumes. Kaylee gets the Mommy award for cutest Pink Leopard EVER. (Even though she doesn't look happy in any of the pictures we got of her in it.)

Logan wins the Mommy award for best "Dash" Incredibles costume made by his mommy.

And Madison wins the "Seriously Best costume EVER" award. She was an iPod that actually played music. It cost her nothing, she (and her mom) made it practically the day of Halloween, and she came up with the concept all on her own:

In other, non-related news, I seem to be winning things from the blogosphere left and right. Remember how I won that copy of "The Dark Divine" in June? Well, I also won a spot on the author's "Street Team" to shamelessly promote the book. Which mainly means I get swag. Which I am VERY excited about. (More on this later.) And then tonight I found out that I won a $50 off $100 purchase coupon for Old Navy from Thrifty NW Mom!!!! (See post below!!!) HOW GREAT IS THAT?!?!?!?!?!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Old Navy Weekly...

I'm obsessed with this site. Just about every Thursday, my life goes on hold while I wait for ONW to update. But this week, I was too busy. You know, packing and all. So I'm trying my luck at a giveaway on Thrifty Northwest Mom, a blog I am also obsessed with. Go. Read. Enjoy.

I'm off to finish some last-minute packing. See y'all in New York!!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Things I Did Today...

All of a sudden, my trip to New York snuck up on me. (And yes, I know "snuck" isn't a word and that it's actually "sneaked," but that sounds absurd.) Knowing that I leave Friday and that I have a TON of stuff to get done, I kind of started stressing. So I texted Liz to find out if she could maybe take the kids for a few hours and, amazing woman that she is, said no problem and to bring them right over. And do you know what I was able to accomplish in about 4 hours with no children? Let me enlighten you:

FIVE loads of laundry (thanks to the laundromat!), including towels and sheets. AND FOLDED IT ALL.

Did about 3 days worth of dirty dishes and put them away.

Repaired a suitcase zipper.

Washed the front outside window of my AND my neighbor's house. (That wasn't on my to-do list, but they were bugging me.)

Found my Halloween Shirt.

Went grocery shopping.

Solved my "I can't take juice through security at the airport and I WILL NOT pay $4.50 for a Gatorade at the gate" predicament. (Kool-Aid singles...which were on sale!)

Waxed my eyebrows and did a quick microderm abrasion facial.

Paid the gas, electric, and internet bills.

Made dinner.

Took dinner to Zac on campus.

Looked for my iPod and Logan's birth certificate. And though I didn't find them, I know a few places where they aren't now.

Sure I still have a few things to do, but all in all, it was a productive afternoon! And I feel like I owe my sister-in-law my life :-)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

BYU Homecoming Parade 2009

Oh how times have changed... (this one is '07 with Dani and James)

And this year:

Logan made bank in the candy department...I think we could even skip trick-or-treating next week!!!! Of course we won't, but we could :-)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Punkin' Carvin'

The quality of these pictures is...well...horrendous. But I have nothing other than my camera phone (which was dirty, apparently) since our camera is pretty much shot, so at least I am capturing the moments in some form.

Logan dictated the shapes he wanted ("Square eyes. Heart. Scary.") and that's what he got. And Kaylee just got a tiny pumpkin, so I painted it and gave it a skull and crossbones with a sparkly bow. Kind of precious if you ask me. Zac just did a 5-minute face carving on his (which surprised me since he usually goes all out) and I will probably do mine after I'm done with this post. Guess you'll have to stay tuned for pictures of all of them out on our porch to see mine :-)

And yes, that is Matt DiPerri. He is at our house. In Utah. And it makes us happy!!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Snapshots...

We went to the pumpkin patch yesterday and got Aunt Liz to tag along so we got some cute pictures. I only have access to a few so far, but they are blog-worthy:

We got the kids' pumpkins there and grabbed 2 for Zac and myself at the grocery store on the way home. We'll probably carve them tonight since this next week and a half will be busy. I have 2 baby blankets, a Halloween costume, and a scrapbook to finish...not to mention Zac's best friend Matt is coming out from NY for a visit on Wednesday (until next Monday!!!), and then I have to gear up for my flight home with the kids. We leave on the 30th!!!!

All in all, I'm looking forward to the trip back to NY. Sure, the reason behind it sucks (you know, my dad's crappy heart), but I'm grateful for my wonderful family that decided it was important for me to be there and are flying me and the kids back. I'm also grateful that I don't have any responsibilities keeping me in Utah and that I am able to fly back for such an extended period of time.

Well, back to the sewing machine :-)

Follow-up: I did not touch my sewing machine tonight, nor did we carve pumpkins. But tomorrow is another day. For now, I'm trying to win blog giveaways and here is one of the newest ones: on Thrifty Northwest Mom. And, like I've said before, feel free to sign-up and if you win, send it to me :-)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sunday-ish Snapshot...

It was taken on Sunday, at least. On our way back from Vegas. Where we had a lot of fun.

Today? Not so fun. Kaylee had her 2-month immunizations. 3 shots and then an oral rotovirus one. And Logan also got himself 3 that was due at 18 months (oops...), one that they were out of last time we were there, and then the first of 2 flu shots. He gets the second one next month. To make up for causing him pain, Zac took him to the store and got him a 5 pound bag of gummy bears. So I guess it all worked out in the end :-)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Trying To Win Another Giveaway...

This one is HUGE so I doubt it will happen, but it's worth a shot. One of the blogs I follow is giving away a trip to DISNEYLAND!!!

You can check out the contest here.

And if you're out of state and can't make the trip yourself, you should sign up anyways and if you win, give it to us as a Christmas present!!!

Also, I just opened a Capri Sun for Logan with one hand while holding Kaylee with the other arm. I'm getting this mothering thing down :-)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

1305 Days...

Disclaimer: this could easily become a dark, twisty, sad post. But seeing as how this is my journal, it is one that needs to be written. Deal with it.

I've recently been catching up on one of my favorite TV shows...Grey's Anatomy. And I've been avoiding this most recent season because I knew one of the characters was killed off. And if you know me at all, you know I don't deal well with death...even if it is on some silly show. Because fictional or not, it brings up some very real emotions. Well, the first two episodes following George's death were broken up into days since he died, with the episode I just finished ending in "Day 40." And it was oddly comforting to know that some other mind out there was using that system because I've been doing the dame thing. It has been 1305 days since Gary died.

Right after I got that terrible phone call from my dad, I was talking to one of my very good friends and she told me that the only thing I could do was to take it one day at a time. And that's what I started doing. And it's what I have been doing. For 1305 days.

Another terrible cliche that has come along with the "one day at a time" thing is the whole "not a day goes by that I don't think about him" one. I'm nearly positive that not a single day has gone by that I haven't thought about him. I have his couch, his car, his cookware, his piano...the list goes on. And even if I didn't have all of those things as physical reminders, I'm sure it wouldn't matter. I've thought about him every day. For 1305 days.

Another reason I've been thinking about Gary a lot (and probably 96% of the reason I'm writing this post) is because I've come to a very difficult part in the novel I've been working on for the last year. I'm closing in on the scene where the girl's uncle is about to die (sound familiar?). And I haven't been able to sit down and write it for almost six weeks now. I've been using the excuse that I have a new baby to my writing group, but let's be honest. I just can't write the scene yet. It still feels too soon. But it's been 1305 days.

Lastly, to go with my cliche thing a few paragraphs ago, there is this annoying song they have been playing on the radio a lot. And part of the chorus goes "that which does not kill you can only make you stronger." I'm going to disagree with that. Because though Gary's death didn't kill me, it broke me. It shattered me into a million pieces. And though I've been putting myself back together for the last 1305 days, I'm still not whole. And in no way am I stronger. I'm changed, but not stronger. So that cliche is a ton of crap. And it bothers me every time I hear it.

Like I said, dark and twisty post. But if you read through all of that intense, soul-bearing, scatter-brained mush, I have another thing that has been weighing on my mind that maybe you can ponder for a while:

I have a bottle of Pantene Shampoo and a bottle of Pantene Conditioner in my shower. I noticed about a week ago that the shampoo bottle is in both English and French. This doesn't bother me. What bothers me is the fact that the bottle of conditioner is in both English...and SPANISH. I get the bilingual thing. Sort of. (Ok, not really. It's manufactured and sold in AMERICA so it should be in English.) But why is one in English/French and the other in English/Spanish???

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday Snapshot...

This is my new baby. I've been in the market for a double stroller since...well, before Kaylee was born. I had become partial to the Sit-N-Stand Delux, but I just couldn't commit for a few of those reasons being that it was going to cost upwards of $160. So in my daily browsing of free stuff and baby stuff on Craigslist, I happened across an ad for a used double stroller that was $60. And the ad said this:

"VERY NICE Evenflo Double stroller! This is in PERFECT condition! Very limited use! both seats recline, has shade covers for both babies, back seat has attached bar that flips into position for an infant car seat and an attached strap to keep it secure! Handle has a built in WIPE HOLDER which is super cool! It is the easy step in design so an older child can climb in and out without you having to pick them up! AWESOME STROLLER! I'm selling it because I bought a double jogger."

My biggest beef with the Sit-n-Stand was that the baby's car seat would be in the front and kind of far away...especially if I need to pop a binky back in or adjust the sun shade. So a stroller that gave me the option of having the car seat in the back was intriguing. However, the BEST thing about the Sit-n-Stand was that it gave Logan the freedom (and relieved me of the duty) of getting himself in and out of the stroller. And this stroller has that option, too!!!!! Not only can the snack tray on the front seat be removed so he can just get in and out, the back seat (when not occupied by a car seat) has a little step that he can get up on to get in and out of the seat. A bonus with this stroller is that not only do both seats have fully adjustable sun shades, both have reclining seats!!!! For serious, this is the stroller I had been dreaming about.

However, I have learned to be cautious when buying from can't have the highest of expectations. But I was NOT disappointed!!! This stroller literally was in better condition than Logan's that we've had for two+ years. Granted Logan's stroller got some serious miles (to and from campus nearly every day for 2 years) so I can't complain, but this one doesn't even have any sun fading on it. And it's just as light as the single stroller is!!!

I know I usually don't ramble on in my Sunday posts, but I'm seriously in love with this thing. And even though it's 55 and drizzling out, I still took it on a walk between Conference sessions. Yay!!!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Kaylee At 2 Months...

I'm sick so this is going to be short, but I want to post Miss K's stats before I forget. She had her 2 month well baby check today and at just over 2 months old is:

12 lbs 3 oz...90th percentile!
23.5 inches long...90th percentile!

She smiles ALL the time.
She still rolls over from her stomach to her back whenever she gets the chance.
She prefers to be held than being in her swing, bumbo seat, papasan chair, etc.
She loves being in the Moby long as she can face outward.
She is a light sleeper during the day (45 minute naps every 2 or 3 hours), but is THE BEST sleeper at night. She goes down around 11, sleeps straight through until 6 or 7 when she wakes up to eat, then instantly falls back asleep when she is full and sleeps until about 9.

We sure love this little princess!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Brand Spankin' New...

This last week has been a week full of new stuff. Or mostly new. Let's start with Kaylee's new stuff:

First, a crib. Like I said, it's mostly new. It was Logan's, which was given to us by the Christensens. Which I believe was given to them by someone...but you get the point. It's new to her! She isn't in it at night yet, but naps there during the day. The bedding is also new...though I got it at a garage sale the week after I found out I was having a girl. It was brand new and bought at Target, but since the lady didn't have the receipt, she couldn't return it. Score for me!

And then Kaylee's other new thing, a best friend:

This is Alice (Allie) Naomi Williams. My best friend Dani had her Tuesday 9/22 and we decided that our girls are going to be best friends just like our boys already are.

On to Logan's "new" stuff:

Yep! He got a fish tank! And though we don't have fish in it yet, it is housing his stupid African diving frogs we got him at the Utah County fair last month. And I'm sure we'll get fish eventually. The deal for the tank itself was that Logan had to sleep in his own bed every night for a week. No falling asleep in our bed, no coming into our bed during the night. Strictly his bed. And he did it. And then I found the whole setup (tank, decor, light, heater) for $30 on Craigslist. So it was a done deal. It also seems to be serving as motivation for Logan to go to bed at night, so I love it so far.

And Zac's new stuff? A laptop. Apparently, the Cadillac of laptops. It's made by a company called "Alienware." It's graphics and processor make Macs look like pieces of crap, apparently. It came with a pretty hefty pricetag, but we managed it. And hey, the goofy, giddy grin on Zac's face is totally worth it:

So now for my new toy:

I GOT A NEW VACUUM!!!! The one we inherited from Gary was damaged beyond repair after lending it out, so we bit the bullet and got a new one. And though I would have loved a Dyson, we just didn't have the $500 to spend. So we grabbed this one on sale at Sears for just under $100. And I LOVE it. When I start vacuuming one room, I can't stop. I pretty much have to do the whole house. And then am tempted to do the neighbors'. Anyways, I feel a little sick to my stomach right now, so I'm cutting this post off. But I just wanted to keep you all updated :-)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Snapshot...

Just one of many adorable pictures that my sister-in-law, Liz, took. Hopefully she'll hand over the rest soon and I can get some hard copies printed and sent out...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Guess Who Can Roll Over?

And not just once, but twice. She was doing tummy time and within 30 seconds rolled over on her left side. We "oohed" and "aah-ed" and put her back on her tummy. Then less than a minute later, she rolled over on her right side. Just for the record, she is rolling at 7 weeks old. Go baby, go!

Monday, August 31, 2009

First Day Of School...

Classes at BYU started today. And for the first time in a long time, I am missing out on the first day of school. I did take the semester that Zac and I got married off (Fall 2005), but aside from that, I have been going to school since September of 1989. Granted that was nursery school, but it was still school. But 1989? That's 20 years, people!!!!!

So how am I feeling? I thought perhaps I would be a little sad or feel the slightest tinge of jealousy when Zac headed out the door this morning. But do I? NOPE! I even went back and looked at this post that I wrote right after a favorite professor of mine informed me that I should eventually pursue a Master's degree. I'm still flattered, but there is NO WAY IN HECK I am considering any more school in the near future. I was also glad to read that post and realize that I have no regrets about my life so far. I'm glad I invested as much time into my education as I did, but I am also thrilled to be a stay-at-home mom with my two adorable children.

Now back to that "Zac going to school" thing. Some of you may have recalled this:

and are now thinking, "Um...didn't he graduate?"

Answer: Yes. Sort of. Let me explain.

BYU does this nifty thing where they allow you to "walk" even if you aren't done with school yet. We took advantage of this courtesy for a few reasons...mainly because both Savannah and I were graduating and we thought it would be easy on our families if they could attend one graduation instead of having to come back out here four months later for another. And I guess my biggest reason was to get a picture of Zac, Logan, and myself all in caps and gowns. True story: we didn't get that picture. I was a little sad. But I digress...

So Zac walked and still had to take 3 credits to get his diploma. And he took those credits this summer. So technically, he was finished with school 2 weeks ago. However, we are still here. "Why?" you ask?

Several reasons, actually. The main one being that Zac doesn't have a job or an internship with any major companies yet. And we don't feel comfortable just moving to LA or Seattle and HOPING he gets a job. So we thought about our options a prayed a lot and came to the conclusion that we need to be here still. So after that decision was made, things started clearing up even more for us. Zac's financial aid package covers his tuition...and then some. So we figured by staying here and Zac going to school (which isn't going to cost us anything), not only does Zac get to keep his current job, but he gets to keep his account and computer access at the animation lab. Which means he gets to keep building his portfolio and working with some great programs (that would cost us upwards of $5,000 if we got them at home). And the other bonus about Zac remaining a student is that recruiters will be coming to him for internship and job positions instead of the other way around.

So that's why we're still here and Zac is still in school. And I am not. And that is fantastic!!!

Sunday Snapshot...

Logan and Kaylee getting ready for bed. So precious.

Also, I'm trying to win a blog giveaway. It's for some high-value coupons at ThriftyNorthwestMom. I really love this site and all the free stuff she tells you about. I even got 24 free digital prints at Walgreens because of one of her posts. It was great...I sent them from my computer to a Walgreens in New York and had my parents pick them up so now they have some new hard copies of their favorite grandbabies :-)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Happy Accidents...

This weekend we had Stake Conference and while we didn't plan on attending the two-hour session this morning (with a million other people in an extremely uncomfortable place with a crazy two-year-old for two hours), I had every intention of attending the adult session last night with Zac. However, this is what went down...

3:19 p.m.- Texted wonderful sister-in-law, Rosie, who is in town visiting from New York and asked if she wanted to spend some quality time with her nephew while we went to church. She gladly obliged.

3:40 p.m.- While doing laundry, asked several neighbors where and when I could expect the session to be held since the only info on our RS calendar for August 29th was "Stake Conference.". The general consensus was 7-9 at the Provo Tabernacle.

6:00 p.m.- Made dinner and got dressed while Zac picked Rosie up from Liz's.

6:43 p.m.- Left Logan in the capable hands of his "Aunt Losie" and headed out the door with Kaylee.

6:58 p.m.- Parked in the parking garage we THOUGHT was the free one behind the tabernacle. Turns out it was neither free NOR behind the tabernacle.

7:09 p.m.- After circling the block and realizing we had no idea where the building was, headed back to the car and called best buddy Chris to confirm the location of the tabernacle. We were three block too far north.

7:11 p.m.- Realized neither one of us had the $2 cash it required to get out of the garage. Zac prepared to walk the 6 blocks to our bank to use the ATM. I was close to a breakdown. Then a very kind and wonderful gentleman overheard us talking about what to do to get out of the garage and gave us the $2. He said it was because our daughter was cute.

7:14 p.m.- Exited the garage and drove to the one that was in fact free and behind the tabernacle.

7:18 p.m.- Arrived at the tabernacle doors behind a family dressed in t-shirts and shorts (suspicious clue #1) and ahead of a good thirty other people (suspicious clue #2...18 minutes late is late even for Mormons).

7:19 p.m.- Zac forgot to leave his huge glass of diet Pepsi in the car, so he took it back. Meanwhile, I waited just inside the doors, surrounded by a lot of middle-aged men in black pants and white shirts with no ties (suspicious clue #3).

7:20 p.m.- A ton of middle-aged women came pouring out of the bathroom in all black. Something years of experience had taught me as "concert black." (Suspicious clue #4.)

7:21 p.m.- Finally asked one of the concert-attired guys, "So...funny question...what are you here for tonight?" He responded with a smile and, "What are YOU here for tonight?" I said, "The adult session of the Provo Stake conference?" And he chuckled while handing me two tickets (free tickets, but still...the gesture was appreciated) to the concert being performed at 7:30.

7:23 p.m.- Walked out to meet Zac on his way back from the car to inform him that the event being held at the tabernacle was, in fact, the Utah South Area adult choir's summer concert entitled "The Lullaby of Broadway," and not Stake Conference.

7:24 p.m.- Shrugged our shoulders and walked in to find our seats and proceeded to enjoy an hour and a half of Broadway numbers.

Sure, it wasn't Stake Conference, but we had a nice little spontaneous date night. Hooray for "Happy Accidents."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rants and Raves...

Dear BYU Financial Aid department,
You suck. I have never experienced more problems with financial aid processing than I have with you over the last 4 months with Zac's stuff. First it was the incompetence of someone there who entered the aid year as 2006-2007 instead of 2008-2009. That delayed us getting loan money for THREE MONTHS. We had to take out a short-term loan form BYU that wasn't paid until 3 weeks AFTER it was due. Not our fault, YOURS. And now we have been presented with $5,000 of Stafford Loan money which we will gladly accept, but we are also entitled to receive $2,500 in Grant money (according to the FEDERAL WEBSITE!) and yet there is no mention of a Pell Grant anywhere on YOUR website. My frustrations with you do not end there, but since I find myself becoming increasingly agitated just writing about this, I am going to stop before I throw something.

Dear Costco,
Thanks for making shopping fun and economical. Even if you do take way more of my money than I intend to let you take every time I enter your glorious threshold.

Dear People that always park in our spot,
I know we don't have assigned parking spots in out complex, but I think it is generally assumed that you park in front of your own door. Not OUR door that is seven parking spots down from yours. I don't care if you have a huge truck that you find impossible to park in the right spot instead of the left spot and when all the other left spots are taken you feel entitled to ours. YOU AREN'T. IT'S OURS. And I'm only writing this to let off some steam so I don't key the side of your vehicle next time I have to park anywhere but MY spot in front of MY door.

Dear Cafe Rio,
Thank you for existing and making the thought of eating at your fine establishment tomorrow reason to make it through this last week.

Dear BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications,
Please hire Zac for the job he applied for. Our whole family would be eternally grateful if he had a job that did not require him to work until 1:00 a.m. every night of the week.
-The Steele Family

Dear Creator of our bodies who came up with the concept of breastfeeding,
Why? I'm soooo over it.

Dear Kaylee,
I love you. And I really appreciate the fact that you slept from midnight until 7:30 this morning...only to wake up and eat and go back to sleep until 9! And even though I know posting about it will cause it to never happen again, I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed seven hours of uninterrupted sleep. I love you!
Love, Mommy

Dear Logan,
I love you. Thanks for collaborating with your sister and sleeping in until 8:30 this morning. And a BIG thank you for sleeping in your own bed the whole time! I "lu you much!"
Love, Mommy.

Dear Creators of High School Musicals 1 and 2,
I find your movies entertaining. And I really appreciate how much my son loves the numbers "Getcha Head in the Game" and "I Don't Dance." So thank you for airing both movies on Disney Channel the other night so I could record them and get good quality copies on DVD. We watch those two "music videos" about 10 times a day and they are catchy enough that I don't hate them :-)

Dear BYU Webmasters,
Why is your website in a continual state of retardedness? I swear it is next to impossible to navigate, not to mention full of broken links and script errors that have prevented me from being able to do a million things, such as waiving the INSANELY expensive student health plan. Please stop sucking.

Dear Spell-check,
"Retardedness" should be a word.

Dear US Post Office,
Thank you for getting packages from my parents in a timely fashion this week. And for delivering Kaylee's birth announcements promptly last week. You have escaped a rant this time around. But've been known to screw up in the past and I will not hold back when you do so again.
-Sarah Steele
1115 E 1140 S #4

Dear Inventor of the Teleporter,
Hurry up and invent a teleporter already. I would very much like a device that would transport me and my children instantaneously to various parts of the country (i.e. New York, San Antonio, Disney Land, etc). Oh, and if you could make it free to use, that would be friggin' sweet. Thanks in advance.

Dear Zac,
I love you.
Love, Whife.

Dear Disney Channel,
Thanks for keeping Logan entertained so I could write this. But I feel your magic has worn off for now. See you again around nap time.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fun In The Sun...

It is freaking hot today. Our outdoor thermometer says 96. And that's in the shade. So we decided our family activity for the day would be to wash the car. We have the car wash soap, so we took that and some other car washing supplies over to our old apartment complex that has a car wash area equipped with hoses and a vacuum. The water was nice and cold so it was a fun little family activity...and productive to boot!

Zac hosing down the Sube

Logan being such a good helper! (Before we started chasing him with the hose...)

And Kaylee watching all of the activities from the comfort of her car seat and a shady tree.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday Snapshot and Stats...

First order of business, the pictures:

I tried to snap one of Logan kissing Kaylee, but I got the before and after.

Second order of business, Miss K's 2 week check-up. Babies are expected to be back to their birth weight by two weeks. This ensures they are eating enough and you're producing enough, etc. Well, if you recall, she was 7 lbs 4 oz. And at her doctor's appointment, she was a whopping 8 lbs 7 oz!!! That put her into the 55th percentile for weight. She also measured 21 inches in length which put her in the 70th percentile. And her head is 37.5 cm, in the 80th percentile. Whereas Logan's ginormous head was 41 cm at 2 weeks and put him above the 100th percentile.

In other baby news, I think Kaylee is having the same dairy issues Logan did. When I eat/drink dairy, she screams her head off after eating. Logan seemed most affected (effected? I don't remember...) after I would eat chocolate, but dairy did a number on his tummy, too. Knowing that, I gave up chocolate for the last three days, seeing if it would help Kaylee at all. It didn't. So now I'm off dairy for the next three days and we'll see how that goes. It won't be easy for me, I'll tell you that. I love cheese and yogurt. And recently, we've been having milkshakes for dessert. And though I can't have the shakes without a Lactaid pill, I will still miss them dearly. Oh well. I guess a happy baby will be worth it.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Snapshot...

I have a feeling this is what most of my Sunday Snapshots are going to look like for a while...

Friday, July 31, 2009

Baby Kaylee's Birth Day...

Ok, both kids are asleep and I'm waiting for the husband to get home from work so I thought I'd finally sit down and write out all of the gory details of my little princess' birth last Tuesday. So, for those of you that are interested, here goes:

My doctor agreed to induce me on Tuesday the 21st (even though it was her day off) because Monday night was when my WONDERFUL mother-in-law, Jaylene, flew in from New York to help out around the house after I had the baby. My sister-in-law, Savannah, also flew back here from New York the same day after having been gone for three weeks. So Tuesday the 21st seemed like the best idea, knowing I would have someone to watch Logan and knowing that I could get full use out of my mother-in-law for the week that she was here. So Zac left work early Monday night to drive to Salt Lake to get his mom and sister. There were some construction issues which detoured them for an extra 45 minutes in Salt Lake, but when they finally got back here to Provo (about 12:30 a.m.), we visited for all of 20 minutes before everyone went to bed. After all, we were expecting an action-packed Tuesday and wanted to get our rest.

Well you can guess how well I slept. I think I fell asleep around 2:30 but woke back up when Logan came into our room at 4:15. So I got him his juice and decided I would sleep better on the couch. Which I did. For an hour and a half. When the hospital called.

Me: Hello?
Nurse: Hi Sarah, this is so-and-so from Utah Valley Regional. We have you as the first on our list of six inductions for this morning. How early can you be here?
Me: Um...
Nurse: Is quarter after six going to work?
Me: Um...maybe. What time is it?
Nurse: 5:40.
Me: Um...
Nurse: Would 6:30 be better?
Me: Um...yeah, sure.
Nurse: Great! See you soon!

So I rolled out of, and made myself a bowl of oatmeal before rousing the rest of the house and calling Savannah to come watch Logan. We made it to the hospital by 6:37 (I may have gone to mother/baby on the 4th floor instead of labor/delivery on the 5th floor) and got everything situated. I was in my room and getting the heck poked out of my veins by 7:00. The nurse blew the vein in my left hand (the same thing happened with Logan) and then tried for the vein in my right hand. And blew that one, too. I still have bruises ten days later. So I asked Zac to punch her after she left to find someone else to try the third time. A few minutes later she came back with two other nurses, one of which was able to get a vein below my thumb on my right hand. So the pitocin was started at 7:30.

The contractions were about how I remembered with Logan...just really bad menstrual cramp-like feelings. So I put up with them while lying in the bed for a few hours while chatting with Zac and Jaylene. After a while I made them leave to go eat some food and when they got back I got out of bed to use the bathroom and pretty much refused to get back in bed. The contractions were getting harder and being in bed was not making it any easier to deal with them. But when I was standing and swaying a little, they were tolerable. But all good things must come to an end and the nurse really wanted me back in bed to monitor the baby. So I complied. And when she checked me, I was at a 3 1/2. I wasn't impressed.

A few more hours went by and we watched TV while we waited for everything to progress enough for them to break my water. My doctor was monitoring me from home (since it was her day off) so her intern came in to break my water around noon when I hit a 5. His name was Dr. Kirk. He also put on an internal monitor so I could move around. But I was really starting to feel some Pain (with a capital P) so I wasn't planning on moving too much anyways.
*side note: I was on oxygen at this point, too, because the baby's heart rate would dip during contractions*
So I was lying on the bed, really feeling the contractions, considering my options. As previously stated, I really wanted to avoid the epidural. And though Jaylene knew right where to rub my back during a contraction to relieve some of the pain, it was still AWFUL. So I asked for some drugs to "take the edge off."
Nurse: Ok, I've got the Fentanyl. Did you want a whole dose or the half dose?
Me: Whole?
Nurse: Ok, but the whole dose might make you dizzy.
Me: Then just half.
Three contractions later
Me: I need the whole dose. Now.

So here I am, doped up with something 100 times more potent then Morphine (source: Wikipedia) and still crying "Ow, ow, ow" through every contraction. And only at a 5. I started weighing my options and thought to myself, If I'm only at a 5, this could go on for another few hours. So I begged for the epidural and started crying, "I can't do this." Zac called the nurse and told her I needed the epidural and she bumped me right to the top of the list. Then a few minutes later, enter Nurse.

Nurse: Ok, you were at the top of the list, but the anesthesiologist had to go to an emergency C-section. But he will be here as soon as he's done.
Me: I can't do this, I can't do this!
Jaylene: crying
Me: Thinking: There is NO WAY I am going to be able to sit still through an epidural. No EFFING way!

So my contractions were right on top of each other and I wanted to die. And then two minutes passed with no contractions. It was the best two minutes of my life. And I justified getting the epidural if I would be able to go through the rest of my labor feeling like that with no pain. It sounded glorious. And then I had three contractions where one wouldn't go away completely before the next would start. And I was back to wanting to die. And at some point, I flipped over on my hands and knees which seemed to freak everyone out. Mainly because my doctor wasn't even at the hospital yet.

Nurse: Sarah, you don't feel like pushing, do you?
Me: Thinking: I don't know, I just need the pain to stop!!!
Nurse: Ok, I'm going to check you again.
Me: Thinking: Ok, well, you're going to feel a head.
Nurse: Alright, there's the head. Sarah, don't push.
Jaylene/Zac/Everyone else in the room: Don't push, just breathe, breathe through the contraction, etc, etc.
Me: (After breathing through one contraction) Thinking: Who is in the room? Zac, Jaylene, my nurse, I think one or two other medical personnel...screw it. I'm pushing.

So I started to flip over on my back again but while I was still on my side, I pushed. And the head was out. And again everyone started telling me not to push...but this time they had good reason. They wanted to ease the shoulders out so I didn't tear. Good plan. However, it was still painful to have half a body in me so I may have flipped out a little. At this point, my doctor was pulling into the staff parking lot and was ready to rush up to my room so she called the nurses station to let them know.

Dr. Harrison: This is Heather Harrison and I'm on my way to Sarah Steele's delivery. Would you patch me through to her room so I can hear how she's doing?
Nurse: Well I just heard her scream, "Get it out of me NOW," so I think you might be too late.

So that was a bit embarrassing to find out later. And it was a little sad that my doctor didn't make it, but it was the first time my nurse ever had to deliver a baby. At lest it was memorable for her!

So I went from 5 cm dilated and 80% effaced to complete delivery in 26 minutes. Kaylee Faye Steele was born at 12:26 p.m. (the exact time predicted by Dani!) and was a petite 7 lbs 4 oz and 18 inches long. Or 18 and a half...there is some dispute over what was heard. But now looking at this picture, I see that 18 1/2 was recorded. And though there was some meconium when they broke my water, she didn't have any problems. And since she came out so fast, her head was even normal-shaped...she is just perfect!

Oh, and some people are wondering about her name. Kaylee doesn't have any real significance. It just happened to be in both mine and Zac's top five names and was the only one we agreed on. And the Faye is after my Grandma Shelia who's middle name is Faye. My grandma is really special to me and I wanted both her and my daughter to know it :-)

So will I do it without an epidural again? Probably, but I'm not positive yet. Having done it both ways, there are pros and cons. I loved the recovery without it. I literally hopped right out of bed minutes after Kaylee was born. And painful as it was, the feeling of giving birth to your child is pretty cool. And indescribable. However, it really freaking hurt. Not so much the birth, but the contractions at the end (and during transition...okay mainly during transition). So if you're going to get an epidural, you should do it the second you get to the hospital and not feel any pain. But if you're going to sit through contractions for a few hours to see how much you can handle, you might as well go all the way without it because it was amazing.

And yes, Logan loves her!