Monday, April 30, 2007


EMMA (middle name to be determined)

Weight: 7 pounds
Length: 20 1/2 inches
Time: 8:37 PM
LOTS of dark hair!

Brinn's water broke this morning at 4 am. Her contractions started coming pretty regularly by noon or so (Brinn will have to correct me if I am wrong.) She progressed pretty well and by 5:50 pm began her pushing. She pushed for nearly 3 hours and was a real trooper. She didn't have any drugs (call her CRAZY) and did a SUPER job. Kent did a great job applying constant counter pressure. Brinn's back was killing her. Good thing he has such big hands and firm knuckles.

Mom and baby are doing well. From what we could tell (after only 1 hour after birth) she has her mother's eyes and definitely her fathers nose. It's an R family nose, infact her cousin born only months ago has a very similar nose.

These are just a few of the pictures I managed to get in the short time I was there.

Thanks to you both Brinn and Kent for allowing me to share such tender moments with you!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Dancing Queen

Ainsley has been in a Parks and Rec introductory dance class since January. It is for 3-6 year olds and does both ballet and tap. I like it cuz it meets during the day, Mondays at 1:30 pm, and doesn't add one more thing to our after school schedule. But because it meets during the day, the boys and Daniel had yet to see Ainsley dance. The kids had off school the Friday before and Monday after Easter, so Daniel took those days off as well. We took a mini vacation (post coming soon) and surprisingly Ainsley still had dance on Monday. We were home by then so we all went to support her and Daniel captured these moves with his camera.

It has really been interesting to watch. Ainsley has always been a climber and very agile, but dance has been a real challenge for her. She has trouble grasping both feet and hand motion at the same time. She works really hard on getting the steps right, but fails to move her arms at all or vice versa. She has really grown alot since the beginning of the class where she only watched the other kids without trying at all and ran to me repeatedly. She now attempts all the moves while carefully watching the teacher and doesn't come talk to me very often. Don't get me wrong, she's still Ainsley and that being said, there is always a little mischief! But at least I can see she is growing and trying and I don't leave each lesson with very high blood pressure and a sense that we have wasted the hour.

This could be why she doesn't weigh an ounce - She is always in perpetual motion!!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

March Madness

I know it's the end of April, but I just had to comment on March madness. It's a big deal in our house. We all fill out brackets and I mean ALL of us, even Ainsley. See below to see her very first bracket (it's going in her scrapbook). She watched the rest of us and worked very carefully on hers, filling in each line.

We usually fill out several brackets each. I do one or two that I really try my best guesses on and then I do one or two by flipping coins just to see if actually comes out any different. The boys usually do the same (a flip bracket and thoughtful one). Daniel usually fills out two or 3 of his best guesses but he knows more about the teams, their records, and players than the rest of us. This year I must say that I ROCKED HOUSE!! We keep track of points by getting 1 point for first round winners, 2 points for second round, 4 for third round, 8 for fourth round, 16 for the winners of the final four and 32 if you pick the champ. I did one bracket by only picking the highest seed - once all the number one ranked teams got to the final four I just guessed the final two and the grand champ. Well I picked FL to win it all (and they did) and I got 141 points. I have NEVER done that well. I think I might do that approach next year too. My other bracket, the one I actually tried to put some thought into - I got 106 points. Daniels brackets came in at 49 pts, 54 pts, and 69 points. Maybe it pays NOT to know to much about the teams.

In my book though - Ainsley still has the winning bracket!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Winter or Spring?

We have had the craziest weather this winter. In late November when Piper was born and Brielle came to visit we had weather in the high 60s while at her house in Idaho it was already hitting negative numbers. Our late Autumn and early winter was pretty warm. Then we got real winter and as Spring approached we got some snow storms followed by days in the high 70s followed by freezing temperatures. The poor plants don't know what to do. The news is reporting we may have a terrible peach crop because many of the blossoms have frozen.

These pictures were taken after a March snowstorm followed by some very warm days. As you can see the grass and trees are really green but there are signs that maybe winter wasn't quite over, namely 3 large snowballs still sitting in my yard.

Tomorrow they are saying rain, snow and wind - IT IS APRIL 16th!! What is going on? I am having a hard time being convinced of global warming when its snowing in mid-April and we aren't even supposed to break 52 degrees all week.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

YW Auction

We had the auction last night to raise money for the Young Women in our ward to go to camp. I was really excited all week. There was alot to bid on: Romantic dinners hosted by ward members, game nights, desserts, babysitting, hair cuts, yard work, lessons (piano, banjo, knitting), car washes, gift certificates, reflexology sessions etc...

Here are the items that I made to donate:

I did 3 pair of bead socks, 0-6 mos, 6-18 mos, and 3-5 years.

They sold for $8, $9, and $5. I was really surprised they sold for that high. I figured $5 might be the max. I also had another lady come up to me after and ask if I could make another pair for her. She asked if I wanted the money or should she give it to the girls, I told her to donate it.

Thanks to my great friend AS, I recently learned how to dress up burp rags. These are my new favorite gifts to make and I think they are darling. I made a girls set of 3 and a boys set of 3.

The boys set sold for $5 and the girls for $6. I actually thought these would go for higher - I guess you just never know. Daniel and I also auctioned off a night at our house for games and Karaoke. I think it might have sold for $8 or $10. Does that mean we aren't very fun? or do people just know we'd have them over for free?

Here is the quilt that I helped the YW make. We made it from old jeans and my old scraps that we pieced together. I really wanted it cuz all the scraps remind me of the different projects I have made over that last few years but I told Daniel I don't think I could pay more than $50 or $60 for it. Plus I felt a little silly buying the item that I made and donated, but the $ goes for a could cause so it would be worth it.

Here are some close-ups of the scrap squares we used. (Do any of you recognize the fabric from your quilts?)

This is the back.

I am happy to announce that I did get the quilt for $50. Daniel was surprised that it didn't go for more but it was near the end of the night, people may have been burned out or out of $ by then. I'm glad it didn't go higher or I wouldn't have gotten it. In my mind it was totally worth it. I could have spent more buying new fabric and it could have taken me weeks or months to get it together, but I spent $50 total. (I get tons of SRC points - lets say 1,000!) I used stashed fabrics and had other people doing a lot of the work. We got it done in just a couple of nights! The best part was having the girls cutting out all the squares from the old jeans - that takes forever!

We bought a few babysitter coupons and too many desserts, but my favorite purchase of the night was 4 tickets to see "Thoroughly Modern Milley" at our local theatre. The CEO of the theatre is in our ward and donated them. We got them for about half the price that you would pay at the box office. Daniels favorite purchase was a giant plate of snickerdoodles. I must concur that they are spectacular.

The biggest money maker of the night though was a Friday overnight campout and all day Saturday boating and fishing at my parents cabin. Yes, I did neglect to ask or mention this to my parents until after the auction, OOPS, but thanks for coming through Mom and Dad! :) It's interesting because the woman who won it - and she really wanted it, is probably in her late 50s or early 60s with all grown children. She told Daniel that she wanted it for her son so I don't know if its for her son's family or if she wants to bring all her adult children there for a weekend. I thought it would be another family from our ward roughly in our age group that we would spend the weekend with. The lady who bought it is the only member of our ward, I don't know any of her children. So it might be a little awkward. I'll let you know how it all works out.

She paid $235 for it!!! I came home last night feeling a little sick. That's a lot of pressure. I thought it would go for $50-$75 to a family we knew. Instead it goes for $235 to people we DON"T know. Now I feel like we need to make sure they have the time of their lives. I hope the weather is perfect and there are no flies. I figure I better do all the cooking and sleep outside in a tent so they can enjoy the cabin. (if it was a family we knew, I would have said - Men and boys in a tent, Women, babies and girls inside). OH THE PRESSURE!!

Overall, the YW raised close to $2,000 dollars. They needed $850 to pay for all the girls to attend camp. The extra money can be used for supplies, equipment, precamp activities and rolled over to next year. What a success!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

First Family Photo

I was really embarrassed about 2 weeks ago when my mom asked for a family photo that included Piper so she could put it in a book she was making for Brinn's baby. I said, "Oh I don't have a picture of the whole family that includes Piper." I went and scoured our photo folders and the only one I found was one at the airport the night Dan arrived home from Iraq. But you can't really see Piper and Daniel only had eyes for her so he wasn't looking at the camera. Aaron and Christine joined us for Easter Services and Easter Dinner as they passed through on their way home from Washington D.C. Therefore we were actually dressed up and had someone in the house to get a picture of the whole family.

Here it is! Our first official family photo - (it's a shame it tooks us 4 and half months to get it).

And here's one of the kids. Sure was hard to get Piper to stay sitting on Chase's lap.

On a side note - our local NBC station WGAL, called Daniel yesterday to see if they could come talk to him about the new madates for extending deployments. I don't think there are very many local armed service members that have been deployed, and they knew Daniel had been in Iraq so they wanted his opinion. He called me at 4:50pm and said the news crew would be arriving at 5:30. I had showered yesterday but because Ainsley was sick and I knew we weren't leaving the house, I didn't bother to do my hair and I was wearing a big sweatshirt. The baby needed to nurse and the house wasn't exactly clutter free. Daniel arrived around 5pm and the news crew came 20 minutes early at 5:10. AAAAHHHHH!!

I quick got Piper changed and a bow stuck on her head. She and Daniel were spotlighted and if I could figure how to download a DVD and get it linked to the blog, I would show it to you but that is far beyond my scope of knowledge (so if Mark, Paul or Dani have any advice let me know).

Daniel is becoming a regular movie star here in Lancaster.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Birthday Girl

Again - I am posting late and trying to get caught up. Ainsley turned 4 on March 27th.

We celebrated with a little family get together the night before on the 26th (the 27th we had way too much going on, cub scouts, YW activity night etc...). My parents and my brother came to join in the fun.

I asked Ainsley what she wanted for her birthday dinner (I had no idea what her favorite food was). She kept responding about Chase's birthday. Finally I said "Ainsley, this is YOUR birthday, what would you like to eat for dinner" And she responded back" You know, what Chase had for his birthday with the brown noodles!" She was talking about Hawaiian Haystacks. Everyone enjoyed her choice and it was my brother Brigham's first experience with HH, but he really liked them too.

Ainsley with her new peguin she named - Agnor.

Dan insisted on a pinata. At first I thought but we aren't even having anyother kids - that seems like a waste for just our 3, on the other hand I knew they would love it. The theme this year for Ainsley's birthday (as far as gifts go) was "My Little Pony", Dan and I gave her a stuffed one and several puzzels, coloring books etc... The boys also gave her a few MLP figurines. So when we saw this pony/unicorn pinata, we knew it was a perfect fit.

The funny thing about the pinata was that it ended up being indestructible. Ainsley began with a blindfold, then we let the boys each take a few really good wacks with a blindfold on. Then we let Ainsley take off the blindfold and hit it over and over. Then MacGregor wacked the pony right off the rope so we put it on the floor and let Ainsley hit it again and again. It still would not break open. So Daniel got a hockey stick and let Ainlsey try to chop its head, very slow progress. Finally Daniel took the hockey stick to it and the head flew off and and the figurines began to scatter. Was that fun or work???!!!

With Easter coming, I knew my kids didn't need any more candy. So Daniel and I got creative and filled the pinata with animal figurines - lizards, turtles, cats, dogs, sea life, bugs etc... Now our traffic lines have grown much longer.

On Tuesday the 27th (Ainsley's actual birthday) she got to bring in "pupcakes", as she calls them, to school to share with her class. Since I didn't have the energy to plan a friends party for her, I did let her pick out some goodies - sunglasses, kliediscopes, stretchy lizards, etc.. for a goody bag for all her school friends. She had a fabulous time decorating her cupcakes. And she looked darling for her "Birthday at School".

Grandma Sharon and Grandpa Roy sent a Noah's Ark complete with more figures. These figures came in 2s which really pleases Ainsley because every figure needs a mommy. So now she has a mommy lion and a baby lion, a mommy zebra and a baby zebra and a mommy elephant and a baby elephant. Great Gift!

Since Ainsley was bringing in cupcakes to school and since she NEVER eats the cake and only the icing, I decided that having a birthday cake was out. Why spend all that time baking a cake the birthday girl will never eat? So I picked a birthday treat I knew she would love and everyone else enjoyed just fine. We had Rice Crispy Treats and I didn't even have to make them. I bought the premade variety pack so you could pick your fancy. They come with colored sprinkles on top, chocolate ones, crispy sticks (kinda like kitkats) with a chocolate bottom. Who knew there were so many kinds? We also had ice cream because Ainsley will always eat that!

Oh and here's me doing a little videoing. We don't capture near enough on film. I finally got my hair cut and it feels good. It hadn't been cut since before Piper was born so it was way past time.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

4 Months

Ok, I have a minute so I am going to try to catch up a little. Piper turned 4 months on March 23rd. She had a Drs. appointment (sick visit) that day and weighed in at only 12 pounds 13 ounces. I thought that was not enough since she had only gained 1 pound 3 ounces in 2 months but when she went in for her 4 month well check a week later, she was up a little.

Her stats were: Weight: 13 pounds 1 ounce, which was exactly the same for Ainsley, Chase weighed roughly half a pound more at 13 pounds 11 ounces and Maco came in at more than 4 and half pounds more (what a big kid!) at 17 pounds 12 ounces. As far as length goes, Piper is no longer the shortest. Ainsley was 23 1/2 inches, Piper - 23 3/4 inches, Chase 24 1/2 inches and MacGregor wins again at 26 inches.

Piper still gets lots of attention and loves almost every minute of it. She continues to be very social and very smiley.

Her new milestones this month are - she is now a professional at hand to mouth. She loves her toys and to grab them, hold them and get them to her mouth. She slobbers and drools on everything she can get into her mouth.

She continues to roll over from tummy to back.

She has begun to eat cereal (I know the doctors are now (it seems to change every few years) saying to wait until 6 months but I started her on some cerael a few days before I went in for her check up and my doctor didn't seem concerned. ) She does very well with the cereal and is now keeping most of it in her mouth. If I hold the spoon over her head she will open her mouth in this cute little "monkey face" kinda way. She always seems disappointed when its finished. I make the cereal with formula and she doesn't seem to mind the taste but if I give her formula in a bottle she gags.

She is doing pretty well at being self entertained or at least sitting by herself as she is entertained by her siblings or mom (while blowdrying my hair or folding laundry).

Sometimes we call her Hollywood!

Sometimes we call her Dr. EEEEEVILL. (an Austin Powers reference)

In light of our friends losing their baby this past week, we are treasuring every minute in a new intense way.