Monday, December 29, 2008

Finally...Pictures!!!

Please excuse my tardiness in posting pictures of our beautiful new babe. If Rowan is sleeping, Niev is being demanding and if Niev is sleeping....well, that means I am trying to snooze as well (Rowan tries to prevent this of course!).

When I went in for my doctor's appointment, he checked me and I had not progressed in any area. I made an appointment for the following Monday. Although I still didn't feel ready for a new baby, I was very discouraged leaving the doctor's office. (I wasn't even dialated to a one and the baby really had not dropped.) On Thursday night just past midnight, I kept waking up with slight belly pains, but I was so drowsy that I didn't realize that they were contractions and just kept thinking I was trying to fart. Finally at 5 a.m., I realize that I am having contractions, but they are about 10-20 minutes apart (just enough to be annoying as you still can't sleep much, but very mild on the pain scale). When I wake up Friday morning after a horrible night's sleep, I still can't tell if it is the real thing or just fake contractions. I finally call Ian in from work at about noon and ask him to start timing the contractions for me. We madly start cleaning the house (it was a disaster and I would have been very embarassed if my mom saw my house in that much of a mess!). By 3 p.m., I am to the point of not being able to walk, but the contractions are only 10 minutes apart (although consistent). We went to the hospital and after waiting, what seemed like an hour, they finally checked me and I was dialated to a SIX! I ordered a epidural (love those things), but they said it would probably be about an hour. They gave me some Newbane (spelling???) to take the edge off and it made me so dizzy I couldn't even open my eyes. I also was very sleepy from not getting much rest. They gave me the epidural, checked me again and I was already at a 10, but they wanted to wait for some of the Newbane to wear off so me and baby would be more alert. Finally after waiting for over half an hour, I started pushing. Pushed for 11 minutes (a total of about four pushes), much better compared to the three hours+ of pushing with Niev and a beautiful little girl was in my arms.

Adjustment has been trying and tiring, but Niev loves her baby sister, I am glad to be recovering well and Ian is completely overwhelmed with work, church callings and trying to help out around the house. Rowan is starting to adjust to this planet, but still is quite a screamer. We are enjoying spending time together as a family. I am not a very good newborn mom so I might not post very consistently because I will be ticked off most the time due to the fact that for the next three months or so I will not sleep well or get a hot meal seeing as Rowan seems to always know when food is on the table and she wants her share!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rowan Ainsley has arrived!

Niev would like to introduce her new baby sister, Rowan Ainsley Strawn, who was born Friday, December 12 at 5:23 p.m. Mommy and baby are at home doing well. Pictures coming soon!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

She's a girl!

No we haven't had our baby, but Niev is starting to actually let me keep a clip/rubberband in her hair! She actually looks like a girl. Lately, I have had SEVERAL people tell me what a cute boy I have so I decided to put my foot down and actually FORCE her to wear a rubberband on Sunday. I told her we couldn't leave for church unless she let me do her hair. Then I mentioned how adorable she was with her hair fixed and continued to tell her that she couldn't take it out until church was over. Of course, I expected to pick her up from nursery with her hair a disaster, but to my surprise, she actually had kept it in. (As soon as we got in the car, she ripped it out, but HEY, beggars can't be choosers...she does listen...church was over!)

Since Sunday, she has let me do her hair almost every day. She may not keep it in, but at least it is progress.

Before:

After (this is after she pulled her sweatshirt over her head, so it isn't pristine, but you get the idea):
As you can see, I am not a girly-girl and have no clue how to do kids' hair. I don't even know how to my own hair unless it is really short!

By the way, I lost my mucus plug today. That is one step closer to having this baby girl. (I know it's gross; they really need to come up with another name for that gush! It wouldn't be so gross to talk about if it was disguised by another name.)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Let the Christmas celebration COMMENSE!

What is with Ward/Church Christmas Parties and no Santa! Can I tell you how frustrated I am with wards that think that you can't have a Christ-centered Christmas and have Santa come at the end of the party!

As you can tell we had our ward Christmas party this last weekend. It was a dinner, small program and then the bishop handed out candy to the kids. I was very disappointed in the no-show of Santa for many reasons: 1) Where else can you get a FREE picture of Santa? 2) Isn't Christmas also supposed to be fun? 3) What is a Christmas celebration without mention of both Christ and Santa? (Can't they just be friends?) 4) Santa is what get kids very excited about Christmas and I had been telling Niev all day long that she would see Santa that night! I was very bummed to say the least. People should know not to disappoint a pregnant woman!

On Saturday, Ian truly took the entire day off!!! So we went Christmas tree hunting and went to see if we could find Santa. (Our real estate agency had invited Santa to their office for a few hours to take pictures.) We drove by the agency's office and there was a line that would have taken WAY too long to get through. I thought for sure I would be disappointed again in no free picture with Niev and Santa. Off we went to find a Christmas tree. We were so excited to graduate this year from a 3-4 foot tree to now a 6-7 foot tree. Niev seemed a bit confused by the process and the chainsaw definitely freaked her out, but we found a beauty of a tree!
Ian checked by the office to see if the line had died down at all and we were in luck! There were only two people left in line! I could hardly contain my excitement to see Niev totally freak out at this weird bearded guy showing no skin on his entire face, trying to hold her. I really do love the "crying on Santa's lap" pictures. I think they are just about the greatest thing around. Here it is in all its glory:
And just so you don't think that I also have a slight appreciation for the typical "I am cute on Santa's lap" picture:
She at least wasn't totally grimacing.

Back home we went with a Christmas tree on top of our car and pictures of Santa done!

We then spent the evening decorating the tree and getting out our Christmas decorations. Niev found this very exciting!
She found many uses for our advent calendar wreath: sitting on it, wearing it as a hat, throwing it like a frisbee, etc. She really did look like a post-pregnancy woman sitting on those inflatable donuts that make your bum not hurt so bad.
Daddy and Niev putting the star on top of the tree:
Oh, sad star!!!

Niev was very "helpful" in decorating the tree.She thought the balls should bounce and that if you stuff the ornaments far enough towards the middle of the tree, they wouldn't fall off. Overall it was a very fun-filled Christmas celebration!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Overwhelmed

My gracious mother-in-law has offered to get me a baby sling/carrier for Christmas and has turned the buying over to me so that I get just what I want. I thought, "Okay, that should be easy enough." WRONG! I quickly found out that a baby sling is not just an easy buy. There are way TOO many options! I need advice/opinions/reviews from you moms out there (even you secret blog stalkers). Where did you get your sling? What did you love and hate about your sling? Is a sling something you would get again? What do I need to know about buying a sling? Was your husband able to use your sling too? etc. These are the questions that I need answering! I've done some research but I get overwhelmed with all the options and I don't want to make a wrong choice. Let me know what advice you have. Thanks!

Baby update

So many of you have mentioned to me that you wanted pics of me huge, fat and pregnant so here they are. This was taken about four weeks ago, so I have grown considerably. At one of my doctor visits I had gained four pounds in a two weeks period and then the next week, I had gained two more pounds. Then Thanksgiving week, I didn't go walking at all with my friends and had Thanksgiving...I lost a pound! The doctor says this baby is measuring small and since then I feel that I might go late. I'm due in one week and that is just weird. It seems forever ago that we found out it was a girl, but then I don't feel ready to have two! Ready or not here she comes!

The shadows make it look really weird. Sorry, it's the only picture I have...

Friday, November 21, 2008

A fan of Jesus

After lunch today, Ian was about to head back to work, leaving me to clean up Niev and dishes. He normally helps clean up Niev so this was something new (but I had stolen a bite of his ice cream so he said that I didn't deserve his help. He was going back to work). I then turned to Niev and said, "Who do you want to get you cleaned up? Mommy or Daddy?" Ian and I then took turns whispering the other person's name: "Mommy?" "No, Daddy." "No, Mommy", etc.

Niev got a very serious look in her eye, leaned across the table and whispered, "Jesus".

I guess she knows who her real friends are.

PS--Ian did end up cleaning her up; I have the best husband!

Her newest fascination--stickers stick to anything, even me!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

When will Halloween end?


We were in the car taking Niev to her friend Olivia's house and I was prepping her for her good behavior. "When you are at Olivia's you need to share, okay? Make sure that you are talking nice and being a good friend while you are playing. And Niev what do you say when someone gives you something?"

Niev's response: "Trick-or-treat!"

I was going for a "Thank you", but I guess she really enjoyed Halloween this year!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

100th Book Day!!!

Hip Hip Hooray!!! for 100th Book Day


Gramma Buh (Ian's mom) called yesterday to inform us that it was 100th Book Day! She has kept track of all the books she has bought Niev and the books that we had previously purchased. Well, evidently yesterday Gramma Buh purchased her 100th book for Niev. For those of you who don't know Paula, she is a book fiend. She is never seen without a book in hand (especially while eating breakfast) and a great way to torture her is to hide her book from her. It is great fun and you should really try it sometime. She kind of becomes a crazed dog trying to pick up a trail that has dead-ended. Too fun to sit back and watch!

Boy, did we celebrate! We read a gajillion books, took a long needed nap with Mommy, went to the library with Dad, baked a celebratory cake (good thing I was already having the missionaries over for dinner) and then cuddle with her best friend, Olivia, and read books until Olivia's parents showed up. It truly was a great first 100th Book Day. November 14 is now officially 100th Book Day so mark your calendars and I will see you next year at the library!

Note: Olivia and Niev climbed up on the couch together, put the blanket over their laps and then asked to read a book. Aren't they the cutest little friends? We read about 15 books in all that night. P.S. Do you like how they are twinners with the pink shirts?


Here is my little reader at 12 months old--notice the book is upside-down! She has always loved books.
I have pics of her looking at a book on her stomach when she is less than six months old, but I can't seem to find it right now. It is the cutest picture. What a lover of books--Gramma Buh is so proud!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Update on Niev and visit to Atlanta

First off, I expected to hear applause ringing throughout Washington when I finally posted so that all would know that I had finally gotten back onto my computer and that I was not lost., but alas, there was none. (Melissa, you really let me down. I expected a prayer chain of some sort to herald the event!)

Ian received a call from a good family friend of his about a month ago. They wanted to commission paintings of their children done by the world-renowned, Ian Strawn. By the way, if you haven't seen his website, you must! They wanted to fly Ian out to take pictures of their kids as well as wanting us to babysit their five children while they were attending a wedding in Utah. They used to live in Boston (a very cool city--according to "cool people"), but they just recently moved to Atlanta (a slightly less cool city--according to everyone). So off the three of us flew to Atlanta, GA! Niev is still free flying, but that does mean that she is on our lap. Luckily, with four flights total, we only had to have her on our laps for one of the flights. She thought it was great to be in an airplane. When we took off the first time, she just watched out the window and giggled quietly. By the last flight, she didn't care. She loved playing with the buttons on the armrest and watching Sesame Street on Ian's MP3 player (even though she didn't care about the headphones!). She traveled REALLY well and only when she got super tired on the flight back, did she even cry, wimper or whine. In fact after we landed, the lady in front of us, on our longest flight in which she was on our laps, said, "Oh, I wasn't even aware that their was a baby behind me! Wow, what a good girl!" We could not have asked for her to be better. Ian was really cute, planning different activities and things that she could do on the plane. He was very nervous about disturbing/annoying everyone else on the plane, but we were both pleasantly surprised in how well she did.

Taking care of five children is challenging. Ian and I both decided that we are glad that we are taking kids one at a time. The kids ranged in ages from 4 to 14, four of the kids being boys. I thanked the stars every day that the only girl was 12 and not 4 because she was a HUGE help! We enjoyed catching up with our friends and getting to know their children a bit better.

We were all very glad to get home, but Ian and I had some great conversations of how we imagined our family working when our kids are older. It was great to see how we worked together during the entire trip.

I am the Primary Chorister in our church which isn't a huge calling except for once a year when we do the Primary Program. This is when the primary children (ages 3-12) do a presentation for the main meeting in our church. There is a lot of singing as part of that presentation. Anyway, I was gone the week that our primary did their program. I felt like such a slacker! How is that for taking our calling seriously! I guess they did great without me, but I felt so guilty for missing it.

Niev is getting cuter by the second, but she is also developing a bit of an attitude. She has learned to yell at people and tell them, "NO!" which is very disturbing to me. I still think of her as a baby and babies shouldn't smart off. It was amazing to see how much her vocabulary expanded during the week we spent with older kids. Her pronunciation has gotten clearer and she has learned to identify much more in her environment.
Learning about balance. It impressed me that she could balance as long as she did.

She would get a bit overwhelmed when all the kids would get home from school. The boys really loved Niev, but at times, she felt a bit mauled. She would quietly come up to Ian or me and say, "Bed? bed?" She would then proceed to just lay on the bed, sucking on her bink (I hate that she still has that by the way!!!) and then when she felt ready, she would come back downstairs.

Riding her first tire swing and LOVING it--she kept just saying, "Woah, woah, woah!" while giggling!

She loves toothpaste. Not kid toothpaste, either. If she can get her hands on adult toothpaste, she is in heaven. She will even settle for sucking on anyone's toothbrush just to get a hint of the minty goodness. The poor kids were always reporting that Niev was in the bathroom sucking on someone's toothbrush. (This was a much better resort though, than putting thick hard potpourri down a toilet that plugged it up for two days--sorry Mom and Dad!)

She is very aware of babies, buses and of course animals. We will be driving in the car and she will emphatically say, "BUS, BUS, BUS" until you recognize that, yes, there is a bus. She really loves to put her baby, named Bau (pronounced bow), to bed and feed her. She goes around telling everyone, "Bau sleeping, shhh, Bau sleep." I hope this transfers for when the real baby is sleeping. She is great fun.

She loves to march. She will go around the house forever marching as long as Ian and I join in. If we don't then she will often pull at our waists, saying, "Up, moch, up, up". How can you resist that! She also loves dancing and stomping as fast as she can. I hope to post a video of her dancing with her friends. She is too fun.
Is the marching band still a nerdy thing to be a part of?

Her hair is getting long enough to tuck behind her ear, but she still doesn't leave anything in her hair, but I also am not very persistant with it. If you noticed, I have gone fully to everyday wearing a ponytail. She is not getting the clear message from mom that girls primp for an hour every day. Her hair is long and in fact we were told at a restaurant the other day that we needed to cut our BOY'S hair! She does sometimes look like a boy with the surfer long hair going. We do also dress her in boys' clothes sometimes so I can't blame just the hair. I just can't do too much pink, although my sisters would be proud, I am doing much more than I ever imagined myself.

Niev is one of her boy shirts. I thought it was cute--do you blame me?

Monday, November 3, 2008

MIA from the internet world, back in time for Halloween

Yes, I do realize that I haven't posted for almost two months, but I'm pregnant. Doesn't that cover anything you are lame about doing?

I will first tell you that my husband is amazing a did a really great job in Brazil. He was very nervous about his presentation, because he was the only English presenter of the entire art conference. Luckily, they translated through headphones so the feedback was pretty immediate. He got several compliments (one girl paid for the conference just to hear Ian--she had been following his work for quite some time!) and many people told him that he really saved the conference for them. They said that most of the speakers either talked over their heads or were giving useless information, but Ian was funny, personable and gave great tips/hints/ideas of how to make their talents useful. We were very glad to see him get home safe though. Niev was shocked when he would be in the same house as her and exclaim, "DADDY!" as if to say, "What the crap are YOU doing here?!?!"

I enjoyed spending time with my family and learning how to be a real Mormon mom: canning pears, peaches, jam while cleaning my mom's house and of course eating out with Mom and Grandma. I have realized that my mom is a powerhouse and works all day. Every day I was there she definitely outworked me, but I'm pregnant, right? Don't worry that my mom is well into her 60's and can pile drive me into the ground.

Ian and I had been talking about having Niev be a dinosaur for Halloween. We have this philosophy that Halloween costumes should totally be creative, homemade, and something random/fun/interesting. I had read somewhere last year about doing a dinosaur and cutting sponges for the spikes on the back. I thought, "I can do that!" Come to find out, it is a lot harder making a costume than anyone would have you believe! I hope Niev appreciates all the work that went into it. My mom helped me sew the tail and Ian helped out quite a bit. (I do have a great husband.) He did the eyes and the teeth. She turned out pretty cute, but the tail needed to be a bit higher on the costume, but I was too lazy to rip one of the sponges off of her back. So here she is...our Niev-osaur...drum roll please!
I was nervous that she wasn't going to keep the hood on (as you can see she has gained a bit of an attitude), but as soon as we told her she had to keep the "hat" on if she wanted to go T-O-T, she was more than willing! It was fun to watch her.




Ian thought it was hilarious that the dinosaur was actually eating Niev!

We went trunk-or-treating at our church building (which she had a sneak-peek at when we were in Atlanta--another post another time!) so she recognized how this should go. Every car that we stopped at she would say, "Trick or teet" and then quickly say "tank ooo" because she knew mom would take away some of her candy. Anytime anyone would just drop the candy into her bag, she would reach in until she felt candy, just to make sure that she really did get some! She had a great time!

Niev and her friend, Olivia, who we do MANY playdates with!

Thanks Grandma Weber for making the perfect Trick-or-Treating bag/pillowcase! She got TONS of loot!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Here comes Brazil!

I know many of you have mentioned that I need a new post. I must apologize; it has almost been a month. Niev is still cute, rambunctious and sleeping very happily in her big-girl bed (yippee!!!). I think I needed to have more patience and understanding. She isn't as old as I try to make her be sometimes. Live and learn.

Ian has been asked to speak at an art conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This has been in the works for several months, but I didn't want to admit that it was going to happen because I couldn't go with him. With the prep for this trip and Ian working in order to catch up on the work he will be missing while in Brazil, I was doing a lot of Mommy/wife duties. He is safely in Brazil, I am safely in Parma, Idaho with Niev at my parents' house and life is good. Ian stays in Brazil for a week. I am sure I would blog more, but I just got Niev down and am totally exhausted.

Being a single-mom for a week is no fun at all! (Stacey, I don't know how you do it! I am about to lose my mind and I only have one!)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Calling all parents--I need help!

About ten days ago, we had a very rough night with Niev. She was not wanting to sleep in her crib and just cried. It was literally an hour and a half and she still was not calm or asleep. Now Niev has never really had a problem sleeping. She has slept through the night at 8 weeks old and then been a dream to put to bed since she was a babe. This was a rare incident with her not going to bed as she should. Both Ian and I were fried with no patience or sanity. We were grasping at straws. We had talked about moving Niev into her big-girl bed (a mattress on the floor), but the conversation always went the same way:

"When do you think we should move Niev into her big bed since we now are expecting this new baby in December?"

"I don't know."

End of conversation. (Note to reader: Most of our conversations do no go this way. We do make headway, but on this topic both of us were clueless.)

This night really had us trying all sorts of tricks and having her "cry it out" was not working. So we decided to try her big-girl bed. It was still a pain to get her to sleep, but eventually she fell asleep with Ian lying next to her (Trust me, neither of us liked this, but we were desperate. We had tried everything else). Of course this only made her ask for us to sleep with her. Our solution was that each night after this, we would set a chair in the room and each night the chair would get closer and closer to the door until finally we were sitting in a chair outside her door. Then for two or three nights, we could just do our routine, plop her in bed, leave the door slightly ajar and viola! she was back to our dream sleeper.
First night in her big-girl bed!

Now I have a few question/problems:
1) She can climb out of bed so the past two nights, the minute we put her in the bed, she starts climbing out of bed.
2)She wakes up in the middle of the night and won't go back to sleep for over an hour! Just cries and cries unless we lay down next to her in her bed.

Now I have read several articles on this (which tell me that I did EVERYTHING wrong leading up to the transition) but none of them talk about what to do if your child gets out of bed right as soon as you start to leave the room. I don't really know how to put a child back into bed when their body hasn't touched the bed for more than a split second. Or how do you get them to lie down long enough to stay in bed without rewarding their behavior by giving them the attention that they are desiring at that moment? She hates her crib now. She cries if we even mention her having to sleep in it. So I know she wants her big bed. I am at a loss as to what else to do.

Stay on a routine--check.
Let her sleep with a favorite blankie/doll--check.
Have a nightlight--check.
Let her read in bed--check.
Make a big deal of her sleeping in her big bed--check.

Ian does remind me that this hasn't been that long since we put her in her new bed, but I just have been really spoiled by Niev. She has raised us as parents way more than we have raised her as our daughter. I just am tired of dreading bedtime. Plus, in 16 weeks, we will have a new baby on our hands. I am not very good at multi-tasking so I need this problem to be solved. If you have any advice (or even some empathy) this would be much appreciated. Just consoling me that this will pass and I won't have to do this with our next one because they will share a room, etc. will almost make the last several night worth it.

Just so you know that we still love our daughter and think she is the cutest! In case you were worried.

Eating something chocolaty--I had just asked her if she wanted me to eat it because it was too gross. Hence, the face!

Her jammin' to her tunes!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Now I am married to an old fart

Today is Ian's 28 birthday. Can I just tell you how hard it is to be married to an artist? Creative things just seem to ooze out of him where as for me they are a struggle and something I stress over for as long as I know about them. And of course, what does Ian want for his birthday? A cake that requires me to be creative.

For Mother's Day, Ian bought me a quilt for Niev's big-girl bed. It has an alien theme which you might be thinking, "Okay, that is really bizarre and next you will be dressing up Niev as a gothic maiden", but seriously it is really cute. Ian and I both thought this could make a really fun kid's room.Back to Ian's birthday...he wanted one of the aliens on his cake. Now you have to understand for most moms who quilt, cook, sew and can get any stain out of clothes, this would be...a piece of cake. I am not one of those moms. When I was teaching, Ian had to come to my classroom and do my bulletin boards so that they looked good (and of course I left them the same all year long!). I am not one for presentation. Who cares what dinner looks like as long as it tastes good! (Please forgive me, Melinda, I know this goes against everything you stand for!) I stressed about what to do with his cake from the moment I was told about it until I got it done this morning. I had never done a REAL birthday cake. Remember Niev's???
And I was pretty excited about her cake and how well it turned out (for me and my skills!). Anyway, I knew Melissa (my sister) would understand my conundrum and would empathize with me and the demands of my husband. Her words--"Does he understand what a tall order this is?" Exactly the right thing to say! As soon as Niev was down for her morning nap, I set to work. Voila!
I do have to say, I am pretty proud of myself!!! I was almost in tears when I saw the finished product because I knew Ian would be so proud of me.

For the record, he did tell me last night that I didn't HAVE to make a "special" cake for his birthday. But how could I disappoint a man on his birthday! And I knew it would make him super proud and very happy.

Enough about me. Ian is a fantastic father. He plays with Niev so well and has so much more energy (and patience) with her than I do. I feel so blessed to have him as my husband, best buddy and greatest love. He truly has made me so happy being married to him these two and half years. He is a hard worker, a great provider and a fabulous confidant. My greatest times are spent talking to him and making each other laugh until tears are running down our faces. I look forward to many more birthdays together. I hope you always know how much I love you and adore you, Ian!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Count Dracula

WARNING: Major bragging is contained in the following post. If you do not want to think that Niev is an amazing girl and her mom is very proud, do NOT read!

While we were at my parents' house visiting, I noticed my mom teaching Niev to start counting. She started off by my mom saying, "One..." and then teaching Niev to say, "TWO!" I thought my mom was amazing for doing this and Niev was even more amazing for accomplishing it. So throughout the past three weeks, we have been working on counting. She is quite advanced in my opinion, but maybe someone else would think differently.

Here is a video of her counting (please excuse my obesity on the couch--remember, I'm pregant!):

video

We have reached up to five, which I am so stinkin' proud of her for. I feel like she is a genius and am so impressed with how quickly she learns new things. I do always have to prod her to say one, but that will come.

Niev also has learned from Ian how to talk to the baby:
video
We never quite know what she is telling the baby, but hopefully it is good! She will often come up to my belly and kiss it or give it "pats". Niev is adorable!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My mommy is a dog

Niev loves to play with my wallet. She pulls all the cards out and then tries desperately to put them all back into place.

Yesterday, she was in my wallet (because I didn't put it away in its hiding spot) and it was the first time that she had actually made comments. Normally, she is very focused. It's pretty bad when your 19-month old daughter points to your driver's license and says, "Doggie!" She did this twice yesterday. I thought maybe it was a fluke, but today she saw my picture on my license and again said, "Doggie!" I think I might need to cut my hiar!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lora OR doing the dishes???

Lately, I have read just for a few minutes after climbing into bed. Therefore, Ian has fallen asleep just a few minutes before me. Several nights in a row, after I close my book and lay down to sleep, Ian has wrapped his arm around me and said, "Goodnight, Lora, I love you." Now normally this would be an "Awwww, how sweet," but you have to realize that Ian talks in his sleep so I know that he is not consciously expressing love--it is just his dreams talking.

Well the other night, I closed my book as usually, climbed under the sheets and snuggled up to Ian. He very clearly says, "I love you, Lora...almost as much as not doing the dishes." I was laughing so hard that it woke him up and I told him what he said. His reply? "It totally made sense in my head a few seconds ago and it was a compliment!" I guess I have asked him to do the dishes too often around here.

I love sleep-talking!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Baby names...Drum roll, please!

As mentioned in my previous post, we are deciding upon two names. Let me preface a little bit. We need a name to go with Niev so it can't be Jill or Megan. Ian and I still really like original, unique names, but hopefully not weird names. We really like the names Rowan and Ainsley (not sure on the spelling yet), but we don't like how they fit together (first and middle) especially with Strawn as a last name. We are still bouncing both names around and will hopefully come up with some middle names before the baby comes in December. We are very excited about our little girl.

Niev is a little dare devil lately. She has found that she can really scare Daddy by jumping from the coffee table to the couch and finds this hilarious. We are both enjoying the stage that she is in right now. She is a crack-up! Life is good!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

And the new baby is a.....

Yesterday we had our ultrasound and Ian thought it would be a great idea to bring Niev so she could also get her first glimpse of the newest little one in our family. Of course, she didn't sit as still as we would have liked, but she was still pretty good. I think it kind of freaked her out a little to see this doctor putting stuff on my belly.

We are having a baby girl!!! We have two names that we are deciding upon, but love them both and they don't really go together for a first and middle. Oh the quandary! We are very excited for Niev to have a little sister. We babysat a baby in our ward and Niev mauled that baby--covering it with blankets, putting its bink in the baby's mouth, giving it "pats", etc. She wanted to make sure that baby was well taken care of. Our poor baby will have more help than it will ever need, but we are very excited for our growing family.

I have lots more to update on, but I thought I would at least get this info out before I update on my visit to Parma, Gramma Buh's visit, Grandma and Grandpa Weber's visit, and babysitting my niece and nephew. A lot has happened this summer that will probably not be recorded, but life will go on I guess.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Beuller? Beuller? Beuller?


I am still alive and pregnant. Niev is still cute. Ian is still painting-artist-guy. We are a happy little family. Things have been a bit crazy with it being summer so I have totally slacked on posting, but I will soon...promise.

This post is dedicated to Melissa!

Monday, June 23, 2008

I love date night


On Tuesday, Ian and I arranged for a babysitter swap so that we could go out on Friday night on a date. I looked forward to this alone time with my husband all week. I couldn't wait for Friday to come. I had always heard that once babies came into the picture that have an uninterrupted conversation was pretty much impossible. Little did I know how true this really could be. Dinner time is spent with Niev asking for "burr" (more) or throwing what she doesn't want to eat on the floor or spitting a bite out onto the table, etc. It is no longer the time when we catch up on our lives together.

Anyway, on Friday we went to "Son of Rambow" which is really cute British film. The editing was kind of weird in parts, but oh so cute. It is about two boys that go to the same school, but are total opposites. One is the rebel, bad-boy of the school and the other is the shy, quiet kid who is a bit weird because he belongs to the Plymouth Brethren group (kind of like the Amish). They become friends and it is about their blossoming friendship. It really is one of the cutest films I have seen in a while. I would highly recommend it.

After the movie, we went to dinner at the Olive Garden (the dining experience in the tri-cities is very limited). Being pregnant, I easily out-ate Ian. I really thought my belly would explode, but I couldn't help myself; the breadstick and salad are too delicious!!! (Melissa, you know about me, pregnancy and the Olive Garden so I am sure you can relate to Ian being quite shocked out how much I could down!)

It was great to be reminded of why we love each other and realize that we were still the best of friends. I truly enjoyed our weekend together.

When we went to pick up Niev from our friends, she was sitting on a Sit-and-Twirl and saying, "Wee, wee, wee!" She didn't even miss us!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

No circus for us

We had heard there was a circus coming to town and would be in our area on Monday. Now I normally think of the circus as a place for creepy men and crazy people to hang out, but when you marry an artist that paints "interesting" people, you end up in places you never would have imagined yourself. We also found out that it was free float day at A&W. We planned on going to the circus with Niev, stop by A&W on the way home, and making a Family Home Evening out of it. Well, Ian got sick. He didn't feel well all day. We didn't make it to the circus or A&W (I did find out that the free float day was canceled--no loss there).

WARNING**The following contains Lora's inner thoughts which are not always positive. Continuing to read may lead to negative thoughts about sick people, Ian or groaners. Precede with caution!

I love my husband...when he is healthy. When he is sick, he groans and it is the most irritating sound. I can't handle it. It makes me not feel bad for him one bit! He winces and moans as if he is playing a mummy in a horrible horror flick in the 90's. I can't get away fast enough. It truly is worse than nails on a chalkboard.

So unfortunately for all, he was sick yesterday. Niev loves her dad though and would not let her lay down for a nap. She continued knocking on the bedroom door until finally Ian let her enter. She climbed into bed with him and was being the cutest thing ever!
Kissy-faces are the cutest on 17-month olds (and 27-year olds!).

One of my tactics at trying to allow Ian to get some rest without Niev was to give her a popsicle. I am not anti-sugar, but I try to limit the amount of sugar she has in a day so this was a real treat. After it started melting too much, I put it in a bowl for her as to try to avoid some of the mess.I think she quite enjoyed it. Every last drop!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Best father for my children

Ian with Niev and her buddy, Tyler at her 1-year birthday party
Happy Father's Day to my one and only true love! He is the unselfish one in our relationship. For example, it being Daddy's Day yesterday, he should have been the one to take an uninterrupted afternoon nap. But after Niev had knocked on his bedroom door twice (both times crying as I pulled her away), he allowed her to come in. He then let ME take a hour and a half nap (even though I told him not to let me sleep longer than 30 minutes!). His reasoning: I'm pregnant and need my sleep, plus I had made a delicious lemon chicken thing for lunch that he LOVED! He is so kind and thoughtful.
The sun was quite blinding! (Niev 9 months old)
Niev loves her Dad. We have to build a wall to separate Ian's garage door (his studio) from the rest of the house because Niev hears him talking or squeaking his chair and she will run over and knock on his door unmercifully. She then will talk through the door if that does not warrant a response. She loves to give her Daddy pats or rubs on the back as he holds her. She definitely prefers him over me (which is not a bad thing after spending all day being mauled by her). When I get her out of her crib in the morning, her first words after "Out, peese" are always, "Daddy!". She really cannot spend enough time with her Dad.
I loved this time period when Ian and Niev had matching haircuts! (Niev 6 months)
I have always loved children and one of the priorities I looked for in guys that were marriage material was their views on children and excitement level for having a family. Ian's matched my desires so perfectly it actually turned me off at first (I was not wanting to date him at first, remember). I had never met someone that desired children and loved ALL kids as much as me. I could not have married a more perfect match for me. He is priceless and such a great caretaker, father, husband and love of mine!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Stuff, stuff and more stuff

Ian had asked me for several weeks/months/YEARS to watch The Story of Stuff online. He found it really motivating and true. I watched it last night and I think she has some very interesting points, but I wasn't quite as excited about it as Ian. Don't get me wrong it was great, but it did seem a little extreme and maybe a bit depressing. Maybe I have a hard time facing the reality of the world. I'm not super environmental, but I enjoy different viewpoints of what I can do differently to help things be better.

I did enjoy however that she mentions in the 20-minute video how we are controlled to think that we constantly in need of new things. She gave some interesting statistics that make you realize how media controls our thoughts and actions more than we realize. She also leads to the point of our stuff controlling us as well. We think we MUST have that new gadget or electronic gizmo, when really society and media help us to think that. I did like the overall feeling of simplify, simplify, simplify!

I would recommend checking it out for yourself and if you do please let me know what you think. I am very curious in people's response to this video. It only takes 20-minutes and it is well done and entertaining as well as informational. Click here to watch the video.

PS--Luckily Niev is a bit more herself today. She seems to be pulling out of this sickness. YEA!


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sickness in the Strawn house

Niev is sick today. I hate when a baby is sick; you never feel as if you are doing enough! She woke up this morning with a horrible fever. We fed her and I put her down to play. She was not her normal Niev. Very lackadaisical--not her normal busy self. I sat down on the couch for a few minutes to outline my day and dream about going for the first time to the local farmer's market to see if it is any good. Niev waddles up to me slowly and says, "Up, peese!" I pull her up and she lays on my chest for a bit. She begins to squirm as if she wants down, but them cries when I put her down. I pull her back up and just lay her on the couch next to me. She rolls over on her stomach and tucks her chubby arms under her belly (her usual comfy position). I started rubbing her back and tucked a blanket around her. Every few minutes, she would say random words: Dadda, out, slide, baby, etc. Finally, I look over and cute little lips are puckered out and she is asleep. She had only woken up an hour and a half previous to this. I moved her to her crib where she slept for over three hours! Poor girl. So needless to say, it has been a tough day.

Here is a picure of Boston and Niev at about 6 months old--gotta love Boston's excitement!