Saturday, December 31, 2011


I really enjoyed having my sister Sharon's family here this past week to celebrate Christmas. They left this morning and I'm always sad to see them go since we have so much fun together, but it is nice to get back to my regular routine again because when we have company visiting with us blogging takes the back burner! Now that the house is empty again I'm playing catch up on my blog. Here's how we spent Christmas Day:

On Christmas morning my mom and younger sister Chandra had to snap around so that I could get up in my wheelchair early since we had a house full of young kids who were eager to open their presents to see what Santa had brought them. Even though my mom and sister quite efficient with my morning routine, it still takes quite a bit of time to get me ready for the day since I can't just hop out of bed and quickly get dressed like a normal person can. Aandll in all, I think we made good time as I was dressed and up in my wheelchair with my hair fixed and makeup done by 8 AM.
After I was out, I went out into the other room in the kids open their second while we waited for breakfast to come out of the oven. When I was growing up we always had some kind of sweet rolls for Christmas but first (like cinnamon rolls) with grapefruit on the side. This year we have points rolls and caramel pecan rolls made by my sister Sharon. They were sooo good, especially the caramel pecan rolls.
After we ate breakfast we gathered in the living room and started opening our presents. We got through about half of them before we took a break to go to church. [When I was a kid I always thought it was disappointing when Christmas fell on a Sunday since that meant we had to go to church on Christmas morning. Like most kids, I just wanted to open my presents and play with my new toys and I didn't want to have to bother with going to church. As horrible and ungrateful as it makes me sound, even though I'm older, I still kind of get a little disappointed when Christmas falls on a Sunday. However, I realize that even though going to church on Christmas morning might inconveniently interrupt the unwrapping of Christmas presents, but going to church and worshiping the Lord is absolutely the most important way anyone could celebrate Christmas.]

Elizabeth, Kate and Sarah got American Girl Doll "Bitty Babies." I loved watching the girls' reactions as they open their gifts!
the daylight I I will make you like to meet you going toRachel got a Calico Critters bunny family and a house for them, as well as umbrella, which is what she really wanted!
Chandra gave me a Mary Engelbreit wall calendar for 2012 which wasn't surprising since she knows I love Mary Engelbreit's bright, colorful artwork. She also gave me a little bonsai tree which was surprising. I love pretty things, so these gifts were perfect for me!
I was glad my sister Laura and her family could spend Christmas with us.him As Christmas approached, I was starting to get worried that Laura maybe in the hospital having her baby (or recovering from childbirth) but David cooperated and arrived just in time for Christmas! It was so much fun watching Amy open her presents!

Laura and her own four day old "bitty baby." Christmas is over for another year which is hard to believe since it seems like the Christmas seahimson gets shorter and shorter each year. We sure had lots of fun, though!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year. It was especially fun this year since my sister Sharon and her family were in town. I love seeing the kids' excitement as they anticipate all of the exciting things that go along with Christmas – it's really contagious! We ate our traditional Christmas Eve dinner (clam chowder, different cheeses, sausages and crackers, fruit and veggie tray, Christmas goodies, etc. (That's what we've eaten for Christmas Eve as long as I can remember.
After dinner we had a little Christmas program where we read the Christmas story out of the Bible, sang songs, read 'Twas the Night before Christmas and played different Christmas songs on the handbell set that my mom got for Christmas this year.
After the kids were in bed "Santa" came and the adults finished getting everything ready for Christmas morning which included making the dough for the sweet rolls for Christmas morning breakfast, wrapping last-minute gifts and situating them under the tree, filling/hanging stockings (we don't have a fireplace, so the curtain rod above the back door worked nicely) and helping Santa eat the cookies left out for him. After all that was done the only thing left to do was go to bed!

When I was growing up we always went out the day after Thanksgiving and cut down a real Christmas tree, but now that my dad's gone and all of my sisters are out of the house (except my youngest sister) we don't do a real Christmas tree anymore. My mom has several fiber optic Christmas trees, but the biggest one is only 4 feet tall. Personally, I think every house needs to have a big Christmas tree or it just doesn't feel Christmas-y enough! So when I saw that Target was selling their Christmas trees for 50% off the week before Christmas I decided to take advantage of the situation and get on. I got a really good deal and I think it looks pretty nice.

David's First Christmas

It's hard to believe that Christmas is over already! It always seems to come and go so quickly. My older sister Sharon and her family are visiting this week and we've been having lots of fun, so I haven't had as much time for blogging, but I thought I'd take the opportunity to make a post since everyone else is occupied at the moment.

In my last post I wrote about my sister Laura and how she had a baby last Wednesday. She's been tired as she recoverers from childbirth, but it's been nice to have her family over at the house more the past few days for Christmas so that we can spend time with baby David. I love newborn babies since they sleep a lot and I can hold them on my lap and snuggle. This phase doesn't last long, though, and I know in just a few weeks David will be more awake and alert and too wiggly to sit with me.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of him from his first Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Labor of Love

Yesterday was a very special day. My sister Laura had a baby and I was able to be in the delivery room and witness the birth of her son, David. This is Laura's second baby and she wanted to go into labor naturally, but at her doctor's appointment Tuesday her doctor wanted her to have the baby right away since there was lots of protein in her urine, which is indicative of preeclampsia. SO, Laura headed to the hospital Tuesday evening to get the ball rolling!

On Wednesday Laura called my mom mid-morning and said that she was having lots of contractions and labor was progressing nicely and that it was time for us to head to the hospital. We dropped everything and headed up to the hospital and arrived around 12:30 PM. My mom and I hung out in the delivery room with Laura and her husband Brett all afternoon and Laura finally delivered her baby at 5:28 PM.

This was my 17th time becoming an aunt, as I already have 16 nieces/nephews, however this was the first time that I was actually able to not only be at the hospital, but to also be in the delivery room. What a special experience it was to be there with my sister! She was indeed a champ as she labored hour after hour. I'm so proud of her, especially considering the fact that she had her baby naturally. Most women opt for some sort of medical intervention these days to help manage the pain that labor and delivery inevitably brings, but not Laura. She wanted to try going all natural, and she succeeded! I have to admit as happy as I was to be in the delivery room, it was hard for me to hear Laura crying out in pain. I know she was in excruciating pain and I don't like to see anyone in pain, especially someone I love.

After what seemed like an incredibly long time, David Alexander was finally born at 5:28 PM. He weighed in at a whopping 9 lbs. 3 oz. and had a full head of dark hair, just like his older sister Amy had when she was born! Although my mom and I left the house in a rush, I remembered to have her grab my camera on the way out the door. My mom got some great shots of the delivery!

Here I am providing Laura with some support/encouragement!
I love Laura's facial expression in this next picture. They say a picture says 1000 words, and I certainly think that's true in this picture! The next picture shows the time that David was born… 5:28 PM.
This Is Laura's OB/GYN, Dr. Whalen, and Laura's labor and delivery nurse, Keri They were a wonderful team! Dr. Whalen was so relaxed and experienced, as well as Keri who did a great job coaching/encouraging Laura as she labored for hours with NO epidural or pain meds of any kind. Laura wanted to try having her baby naturally, and she was a "real trooper" as my dad would've said!
Dr. Whalen predicted that Laura's baby would be somewhere in the 7 pound range, but he was a little off as David weighed in at a whopping 9 lbs. 3 oz.! (This makes Laura's natural childbirth seem like even more of accomplishment!)
Proud parents, proud Grammy holding her newest grandson, and then a few shots of me with my newest nephew!

This is a picture of the stake dinner Laura ordered after the delivery – she earned every bite! Also pictured are David's "first impression" footprints and then two pictures of his first bath. Check out all that dark hair!
Approximately 14 hours later my oldest sister Miriam who lives in Texas had a new baby delivered via C-section. Victoria Marie was born this morning and weighed 7 lbs. 12 oz. My new niece and nephew are definitely a Christmas gift from God and I feel so incredibly blessed to now be an aunt to 10 nieces and eight nephews!
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