Monday, November 22, 2010

November Trip to Virginia!

Virginia Leaves are so beautiful! Especially compared to the bland colors of arizona....

The cute twins! We had fun Christmas shopping

I love this picture of Lena. She is so happy, you can see it all in her face!!! SHe is "such a doll, a baby doll" as the lady on the airplane would say. She had those ladies on the airplane eating out of her hand. Everyone kept saying how they have never sat next to such a well-behaved and good baby. She didn't cry once on both flights, and she is so curious and friendly, she would stare at people and smile and coo at them.

I had fun visiting my sister Julie in Virginia. I don't know how people who have twins do it....I watched these twins for 4 hours, and was so nervous the whole time! But luckily it worked out. Joseph and Lena are two weeks apart, and are both too cute!
I did a lot of quilting while I was there, which is embarassing to say I have never quilted before then. Seeing as how my mother is an AMAZING quilter and textile diva extraordinare. So I wanted to post the picture of me quilting for her to see, as proof :) I actually found I quite liked quilting, esp. when I could watch movie after movie on netflix :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

HALLOWEEN 2010: Lena's 1st Halloween!!!!!

I was Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, the evil witch-villain who turns into a dragon (Prince Phillip slays her. I wanted Todd to be Prince Phillip, but he wouldn't). Lena was my cute side-kick and was a baby dragon.

We went to our neighborhood block halloween party on Saturday the 30th on 7th street; they rope off the street and put on an AMAZING display!!! Each driveway/house has an activity or food item. Our friend, Haylie, went with us, and we had a great time.

There was hot dogs, ice cream, snow-cones, fried scones, candy, popcorn, a live band, Trunk-Or-Treating, cake walk, haunted house in someone's garage, bean bag toss through the witch, horse shoes, etc. It has a great turnout, and all the adults dress up, too! Even people who move away always come back again. This was my 1st time going, since I always work saturdays. But I asked for this saturday off, just so I could go to the block party.

I dressed up as Maleficent and Lena and I went to Cardon Children's Medical Center's birthday party, celebrating their first year open. I was SOOO hot in my costume, it was over 95 degrees, as you can imagine (in purple and black cloak).

October 2010

Lena is so cute. She was using her teddy bear as a pillow, snuggling up to it. She is so cute in her little G diapers!
Daddy and Lena at my cousin Jared's wedding, 10/9/10 in Casa Grande. Lena did excellent: she didn't make a peep during the wedding ceremony! She did very well until at the end, maybe the dance music was too loud, or maybe she just had gas, but she got very fussy towards the end.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

And finally...the star: Lena Lou!

Ok, here are a smattering of pictures of my cute little lovebug, Lena Lou! The pictures of Lena in this dress were taken today (Sept 12) after church. I wore this dress when I was a baby, and Lena looks a lot like me when I was a baby when she is in this outfit.

Lena and I started taking a baby sign-language class together on Friday mornings at a community center. We have learned the signs for milk, bird, drink, Lena's name spelled out, diaper, banana, and water! Among other vocabulary words. The others in the class thought my little sunflower was the cutest, and I have to agree!

This is a picture of another Jill, there are two of us Jill's at work. I actually trained her when she started out as a new nurse last year. I like to call her dreadlock-Jill :) Anyway, this was Lena's first time to the park. We met Jill and her dog there, and had a great time.

Here is my sweet munchkin learning how to hold her head up and also roll over!

Daddy holding Lena after three hours of church

Lena wearing an outfit her Dutch friends sent her in the mail. So cute!

Lena was born breech and had been breech since about 31 weeks. It is now routine to do hip-ultrasounds to make sure the hip ball and socket are developing correctly and that she doesn't have a dislocation. She had one at 7 weeks and then again at 3 months. I was worried she wouldn't sit still for the technician at the 3 month appointment, but Lena did very well and the tech said she was the best baby she'd had in a long time! And to make it even sweeter, Lena rolled over for the first time right there on the gurney before we started the test, from her back to her stomach! Todd and I were amazed. Everything turned out ok, and her hips are developing just fine. Thank goodness!

Trip to Idaho, August 2010

I went back home to Utah and Idaho the beginning of August (9-15th) with little Lena. Todd stayed home to enjoy his last week of summer before his school started up this semester. I went back to work the week before my trip after taking 3 months off for maternity leave. Going back to work was a little rough, and I felt out of practice and like a fish out of water. Learning how to handle work and breastpumping and how to be a nurse again took some time. Todd and I were going to use a free trip to San Diego during that second week of August that we got through one of those time-share schemes, but they gave us such a hassle that we decided to bag it. Since I had the week off anyway, I decided to put it to good use and headed up to Utah to see my family!

Mom and Aunt Marsha were planning a mini trip to Idaho that week, so I decided to join them. I miss Idaho so much! I went to school at BYU-Idaho for my associates and bachelors in nursing, and moved from Idaho to Arizona, where I met my husband. As you can see from this beautiful picture, Idaho is amazingly gorgeous! As Uncle Allan put it, I'm on the "road to nowhere" in this picture.

Uncle Allan and Aunt Jaime were kind enough to make their home a "hotel" of sorts, and let Aunt Marsha, mom, Lena, and me stay there. Jaime's sister and her husband were already staying there, so it truly was a hotel! We really enjoyed our visit there, and I got to pick raspberries in the patch and eat them. They are my favorite berry!

Lena discovered her hands Friday 8/13 morning while sitting in Grandma Bracken's arms after breakfast, this is a picture of the exact moment!

One of the main reasons for the trip to Idaho was so my mom could visit with her old art teacher, and buy one of her paintings. We had a lovely visit with the artist, she is such an accomplished woman. My mom has been saving her quarters/dimes/pennies for a few years to save up to buy a painting. It is so neat to see my mom realize her goals and live all her dreams. I am so proud of my mom. She even started taking violin lessons this year! I hope she doesn't kill me for saying this.
While in Idaho, we HAD to go to Green Canyon to go swimming! Mom says green canyon has been the exact same since she was a child. In the picture is Carolyn, Mom, my brother Matthew, me, Aunt Marsha, and little Lena. We spent the afternoon looking at historical sites, then went swimming and then looked at the Teton Dam that broke.

Matthew LOVED being with Lena and is so good with babies. I enjoyed seeing his friendship and love for Lena grow. He could get her to smile when no one else could, and is good at cooing at her, and holding her, and playing with her. Matthew is a good sport and a great help when I ask him for help, and he jumps in to help even before I ask. I hope he knows I appreciate it! I really enjoy my brother and miss him tons. I wish he lived closer. I wish all my family lived closer! I have a re-occuring dream, for the past 2-3 years, where I am getting ready and going on a car trip with my family to Idaho. Any dream-doctors out there? I have been wanting to go back to Idaho for a long time now, so it was wonderful to be able to! Now I just need to take Todd for a visit...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Gala

{Jill was nominated for this year's Nurse of the Year for the state of Arizona, in the category of "patient care". Anyone can nominate a nurse, and a clinical nurse specialist/educator nominated Jill in June. The awards Gala event was this Saturday, August 28th 2010, held at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Phoenix}

Between feedings and naps when Lena was only a month old, I had to squeeze in completing an official nomination packet to be an "official" nominee. I didn't even have a resume, and had to create one and also write two essays. The March of Dimes had 350 nominees this year, and 250 returned the nomination packets. There were 14 different categories, including: Community Service, Military Nursing, Research, Pediatric Nursing, Leadership, Advocacy for Patients, and Patient Care.

In my category alone, there were 60 nominees. 3 were chosen as finalists, and besides me there was: Stacey Barnett and Eric Humphrey. They announced the winner of each category at the Gala event. Eric Humphrey was the winner of my category. But I was just glad to go to the event and have fun! And to eat the $150 food (Todd and mine were complimentary, and all proceeds went to nursing scholarships).

They ended up having an extra ticket for the event. Our nursing director, Ursula Gonzalez, couldn't make it, so I asked my friend Haylie to come, instead. Haylie has been watching Lena for the past two weeks until Lena's official babysitters can start. Haylie is below in the red dress. She had a lot of fun with Todd and me. I got my hair done earlier in the day, and a friend came and watched Lena at our house for the evening. My dress was a miracle to find; I had looked at Arizona bridal warehouse (note the name warehouse; you would think they would have a HUGE selection of dresses in a warehouse), but they only had one dress and it didn't look very good on me. I was stressing about finding something to wear, and called a bridal shop which said they had one blue dress and that was it. Todd and I went to try it on, and it was great! And the lady gave me 15% off when she heard what it was for.
Todd never went to prom! I had forgotten that fact, so it was fun for him to get dressed in a tux and have his own kind of pseudo- "prom" :)

This was the big screen at the front of the ballroom. They put each finalists picture up while they read a little about the person. CBS 5 news had their two news anchors host the event: Sean
McLaughlin and Catherine Anaya.

My dear friend Haylie with me

I feel honored just to be nominated, and furthermore to be a finalist! There are so many wonderful nurses out there who deserve to be recognized. At the event, they said that the Arizona chapter of March of Dimes has been #1 in the nation for their nurse of the year annual event for the past few years. They gave us wrist corsages, and then our CNO (chief nursing officer) of Banner Good Samaritan gave the finalists another corsage. I put it on my dress, but ended up sneezing, watery eyes, and runny nose all evening. I guess the green in the corsage was eucaliptus, which was causing all my allergies, but I didn't want her to feel bad so I wore it the whole evening. I was glad to take it off and stop sneezing when I got in the car! Lena did very good with the babysitter. She is such a good baby, and hardly ever fusses. They had a silent auction at the beginning to raise money, and mingling and drinks. Haylie bought me and Todd some non-alcoholic drinks (OJ and grapefruit), and they had the live band playing music. Now that I'm married, events where you get all dressed up never happen. So we really enjoyed ourselves. The event was also to commemorate Florence Nightingale, who died 100 years ago this month.