Sunday, December 11, 2011

catch up - Halloween, and newly crawling!

This lovely outfit evolved over time.  Started with the tank top, then lost the pants, but added flip flops, too-small-of-hat, and the attractive dog chain :)  Perfect outfit for playing outside in the dirt.

we tried a potty party to help her get the idea of using the potty.  Hasn't been too successful yet.

We had a fun Halloween.  Makayla loves to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so I found her a Minnie Mouse dress.  Later, I happened across another Minnie Mouse dress in Brynn's size, so we had 2 Minnies.  They were cute.  Makayla didn't let me paint her nose black. 

Our church had a Trunk or Treat.  It was very well attended and busy.  Makayla had a good time.  She went about half way around the loop of cars, and then came back to our car for a break and helped hand out candy. 

November flew by.  Thanksgiving was a small gathering at our home.  Hannah and Ashlyn were in town and we also had Uncle Richard over.  I was able to take the 3 older girls to the Science Center, where we had fun with the hands on activities. 

Mark is almost done with school.  Yay!!  I'm soooo excited for him.  I think he is more nervous than excited.  It's hard to believe that 4 months is almost up.  He has been doing very well in his classes, with the testing.  He enjoys the material that he is learning, and has great goals for the future.  We are hoping and praying that he flies through the national exam as he has on the classroom exams and that he lands a job quickly.

This was a sad day, when Brynn fell face-first onto the garage floor.  I felt really bad.  Bad mommy.  She got a fat bruised upper lip.  At one point, it looked like some exaggerated lipstick makeup.
forget taking the shirt all the way off, just take it up to make a hat

Brynn is such a joy.  She is a happy little thing.  She has given up all baby foods and is just on finger foods or table foods at this point.  I love watching her meet the milestones.  This week she started to crawl.  Yay!  (Makayla never crawled, so this is particularly exciting for me).  I tried to load a video, but after hours of waiting, and 3 failed attempts, I'll try again another day.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Another post in the same month. . . this is amazing

This is a rare thing, that I actually post twice in one month.  I guess that's what happens when I have a quiet Sunday afternoon.  Should be taking a nap instead . . .

There is a media push in the Phoenix area from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It is the "I'm a Mormon" campaign.  We've seen a few TV commercials and billboards.  I submitted my profile to, but it hasn't been posted yet.  I'll let you know when it gets cleared.  You should check out the website if you haven't already. Lots of videos and profiles.  I'm excited about the campaign.  I've had one conversation about it at work with a co-worker of mine, because I posted a link to a local newspaper ad article on my facebook page.
I was reminded again of the miracle of Brynn's birth.  This last week I had my well woman exam, and my doctor said, "oh here's the famous Karen Freeman".  Because Brynn's placenta was abnormal, which made for an immediate c/section when she was 36 weeks, we became the case scenario around the hospital.  My doctor took pictures of the placenta because it is rare, abnormal, and can cause the baby's death.  She reminded me that the cool thing about Brynn was that she is a miracle of medical technology.  I'm sooooo grateful that God gave us the abilities to check babies, and gave doctors the knowledge of how to take care of us so that Brynn's life was preserved.

Things are going well for me at work.  I enjoy working my 3 days per week.  They can be busy, and I get behind on my charting, but luckily, if I have time at home, I can finish my charting here.  Makayla and Brynn seem to be doing well at the babysitter's, although I think that they just sleep better at home.  I enjoy being able to take care of them for 4 full days per week, and give them the chance to nap well at home. 

Mark's work is still pretty challenging for him.  He just doesn't like it.  I think that helps him with his motivation to move on to another career.  He is in school to become a personal trainer.  He enjoys learning about fitness, and he is applying the knowledge to his own workouts.  He has been losing weight and looking better.  I'm very proud of him.  He gets nervous about the tests at school, and they are challenging for him, so any prayers on his behalf or encouraging emails to him would be much appreciated!

Makayla found some extra sunglasses in a junk drawer, and wanted us to wear them
We are looking forward to Halloween.  Makayla is ready with her Minnie Mouse dress.  I happened to find another Minnie Mouse outfit in Brynn's size, so we will have 2 Minnies for Halloween.  I don't think Makayla really understands what it is all about, but I have a hunch that when the candy starts to fill her pumpkin, that she'll figure out what "trick or treat" means.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October is here

Brynn is growing up so quickly.  She is a very good baby.  She enjoys playing with her toys and to watch Makayla. 
Getting better at tummy time.
Finally it is Fall.  We are sooo excited for the weather to cool down.  It gets down to the 90s during the day and we feel so lucky.  The cool part, literally, is that the nights are cooling down, which is lovely.  One more month of the heat, I think, and then our electric bill should come down from the $400s.  Yikes. 

My sister Kammi was here for about 2 months.  She was great.  She babysat for us whenever we needed.  It was such a stress relief to have her here.  I enjoyed talking to her and building a relationship with her!  Thanks Kammi.

Makayla really enjoyed Kammi too.  She pronounced her name Kahmi.  It rhymes with mommy.  Then Makayla combined mommy and Kahmi, and call both of us Yommy.  Nice.  Makayla will still call me Yommy sometimes.  I have to stop and tell her to say "Mommy" and she will then say Mommy.

Brynn likes to sit in this corner of the couch. It gives her a good view of both the kitchen and the family room.

I forgot to mention before that in July we purchased a new van.  yes, yes, we've joined all the soccer moms out there.  It is a top of the line Toyota Sienna 2011.  Mark insisted on new, top of the line, if we were going to get a van.  Surprisingly, he says that he loves the van.  I think he just loves all the bells and whistles.  It is really nice to drive, but honestly, I feel a little silly driving something that fancy.  We traded in the Highlander (sad, I miss that car), and we still have the old Civic.

Another thing I forgot to mention in my last post was that the 4th of July was a little silly.  I bought some sparklers for the girls.  I guess Hannah and Ashlyn haven't seen them before, and were acting all scared of them.  It was a bit of a disappointment for me, because it was supposed to be fun, and they didn't even want to hold them at first.  I remember twirling them around and writing my name in the air.  We then piled in the car and went to watch the fireworks.  That turned out much better and the evening ended just fine.

Such a happy little thing

Mark started in school to become a personal trainer.  He is very excited about it.  He enjoys learning and will even initiate study sessions without me harping on him to do it.  The class finishes in December, and he plans to take the national test soon after.  The goal is to get a job as a personal trainer right away and to quit his current job.  He really hates his current job, so he is looking forward to getting a new one, especially in a gym.

Monday, August 22, 2011

summer updates

Brynn in the bumbo
Makayla and poor Brynn in this double stroller.

I was allowed to change my work schedule from 4 shorter days to 3 longer days, and the same amount of work per week! Yeah! I'm very excited because it means one less day commuting, one less day for babysitting, although the days when I do work will be longer days.

Hannah and Ashlyn visited for the summer. They love to swim, and this is the time I am glad that we have a pool. The girls were great helpers with younger two.  We had a good time while they were here. 
Makayla is talking up a storm. She is putting more and more words together. It is fun to see her progress. Occasionally, though, I still see her make the hand sign for "more", usually when it is something that she really wants, and it warms my heart. It reminds me of how fast she is growing up.

Brynn is a doll. She is such a good baby. She is smiling and cooing. I took her to get her pictures taken and she was very cooperative, smiling really well. Then the flash would go off and she would startle and grimace, and then smile again. This cycle went on over and over.
Brynn sitting alone at 6 months
first cereal with a spoon, what a mess :)
sitting alone at 6 months, so photogenic
My sister Kammi offered to come and help me around the house, especially with the kids. Oh what a great relief to have another set of hands to help me.
Mark is such a tease!
For Hannah's birthday, we decided to do the big celebration a day or 2 later, when neither Mark or I were working.  He faked that she wasn't getting a party, or a cake, and put a candle in a little no-bake cookie, and sang to her.

Brynn and cousin Daphne (3 mo younger)

Makayla streaking after swimming

Daddy and the girls

Temperatures have hit 115 or so. It is crazy hot. That is when you really appreciate air conditioning.  Our a/c went out, a couple of times. Come to find out that the same day, Aunt Martha and Uncle Richard's as well as my sister Sharon's a/c went out too. We were all sweating it out in the heat. The temp in our bedroom got up to 95 degrees.  When we got these familypictures done, it was 8:30am and already in the 90s.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Spring update; lots about me and Makayla

I have to admit that I have this little nerdy thing that I do. I've been trying to enter any contest that I can. I realize that I probably won't win everything, but hey, maybe I'll win something. Albertsons is having their Monopoly game and so I'm definitely participating in that. (Call me if you have extra game pieces that you aren't going to use.) I also get online and try to win prizes from Price is Right, Wheel of Fortune, the talk radio station, DIY, and most recently, Coke Rewards. Mark laughs at me because I record Wheel of Fortune to see if my number won. So maybe that seems desperate, but somebody has to win it, why not me?

Not so nerdy thing I did, was that I replaced my dishwasher by myself. Mark was working, and I went for a walk with all 4 of the girls and the dog. We passed a garage sale where there was a dishwasher for sale. I ended up going home, packing up the kids, getting cash from the bank, and buying the dishwasher. They helped me load it into the car, and from there I was on my own. I unloaded it from the car. I removed my old dishwasher, which was actually the most difficult part because it was trapped by the flooring. Finally with the old one out, I moved it to the garage and installed the new one. Most importantly -- It worked! It does a much better job than the old one. Thank goodness.

We celebrated Makayla's birthday on Easter. It was a little after her actual birthday, but she was born on Easter 2 years ago. She was cute about her gifts. The cheap beads that I bought for about $1 were one of the most popular gifts. We also got her some big play toys: a play kitchen and playhouse, which she seems to enjoy playing with. Eating her own cake and icecream wasn't good enough . . . she was happier eating out of the ice cream carton with the scoop.

Then she moved on to eating the rest of mine, using my fork.

Makayla is learning a lot of new words. She tries to say words when asked. A couple days a week she goes to Mexican babysitter, who speaks Spanish, and claims that Makayla understands her. One silly thing she does is nod "yes" by just moving her jaw. I tried to catch it on video and put it on the blog.

She loves to play with Bosco. She has no fear of him. I think he is probably nervous about her, because she will run up to him, hug him, or if he is laying down, she will sit next to him and lean up against him. Here's a video of her playing outside with him.

Makayla has been a bit of a vegetarian lately, not eating much chicken or beef, which she has liked in the past. She'll have hot dogs, though. Surprisingly for her age, she actually loves salad, especially with tomatoes and ranch dressing.

Brynn is growing very well. Although she is still about 25%ile, she just seems to be growing so fast. She is starting to smile a little. I'd like to say more about her, but she doesn't do much else than that, she's only 3 months old :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

March Madness

We've had a fun and exciting month. On the 11th we took a road trip to St. George, UT. The girls live there with their mom. Ashlyn decided to be baptized and wanted her dad to do it. She had a special baptismal service as the only person to be baptized. She looked beautiful. We are very proud of her. Her dad gave her a special blessing.

This was the first time that Hannah and Ashlyn saw their new baby sister Brynn. In addition, my parents drove to St. George to spend the weekend with us and it was the first time they met their new granddaughter. Mark's grandparents and aunt and uncle also live in St. George. We were very blessed and thankful that they could all support us in this occasion.

Here is Hannah holding Brynn for the first time.

This is us with my parents.

After the baptism, while we had family gathered, Mark blessed Brynn. He gave her a wonderful blessing. She was named Brynn Martha Freeman, after Mark's very special Aunt Martha. We were honored to have all of our family there to participate, especially Mark's grandfather, who participated in the blessing while seated in his wheelchair. It was a special time for all of us.

Here's Brynn in the beautiful dress, headband, and booties and my mom (Grammy) made for her.

Makayla with Brynn.

Here we are with Grandma and Grandpa Avey.

We had a great rest of the day relaxing with my parents, and then drove back home, taking Hannah and Ashlyn with us. They spent the next week with us for their spring break, and then flew home. While they were here, we were lucky enough to have St. Patrick's Day, when the girls look forward to drinking green milk and eating green foods. We had green pancakes, green mac and cheese, as well as other naturally green things like broccoli. Everyone was sure to wear something green.

Dinner of green mac and cheese, peas, broccoli, and hot dog "octopus" with green milk.

Green shirts all around.

While the girls were here, we went bowling. The girls acted grumpy with serious faces when they were bowling, so Mark teased them that they don't like bowling. Although they denied that, right after that, they sure put on the smiles at the McDonald's playland.

Ashlyn got a strike, and I happened to snap a picture of her with the strike in the background.

I went back to work last week. It was hard to leave the kids, but it worked out fine. Of the two days at the babysitter's, I was able to visit them one day during lunch and feed Brynn. My mind was a little rusty trying to get things going again with the electronic charting at work and also thinking about vaccines and medications. Thank goodness for my cheat sheets to double check.

Brynn is just starting to smile. Sooo cute.

Friday, February 4, 2011

It's a Girl

Our baby arrived a little early. Brynn Martha Freeman was born Friday 1/28/11, weighing in at 6#11oz, with a length of 18.5 inches. She was born about 3.5 weeks early by c/section. The doctors were worried about some findings on the ultrasound and recommended an immediate c/section. When she was born, their fears were confirmed that there was a vasa previa, a rare but very dangerous situation where the umbilical cord inserts into the bag of water rather than into the placenta. If I was to go into labor or the water was to break, there is a huge risk that the blood vessels would tear, and the baby would bleed out and die. Luckily, were were very blessed to have great doctors and hospital, that we are both safe and well.

Here is a picture of me and Mark just before the c/section
Brynn had a nice strong cry. Not sure who the man in glasses is . . . someone to check the baby
This is a strange angle on the picture, but it is my first opportunity to kiss Brynn.
Later in the hospital when Makayla was able to meet Brynn.
A few pictures of Brynn with her eyes open. Her eyes look somewhat dark blue to me, and her hair is brown.
Brynn joined me and Makayla for story time, reading Makayla's favorite book "Where the Wild Things Are".

Sunday, January 23, 2011

family time and pregnancy

We've had a great month. My sister Sandi and her boys Andrew, 5, and Declan 3, spent a few weeks with us over Christmas. It was fun to have them. Christmas included a video chat with Jeremy, Sandi's husband, who is stationed in Korea with the Air Force. We had fun around the house and enjoying a few sites in Arizona. We also got together with my others sisters who live nearby.
We heated up the hottub several times and enjoyed relaxing. This is Sandi with her boys and Makayla. The pool looked so inviting, that the boys were asking nearly daily if they could swim. Unfortuntately, the water temperature was about 60 degrees before it was heated. They had to try it out a few times to check to see if it was still cold.

Here's Makayla with her cousin Declan, enjoying a moment of peace. They tended to be jealous of each other's toys and such, saying "mine". Makayla even tried to be possessive of her Aunt Sandi, claiming her to be "mine"

This is Makayla (left) and Danielle (right, my niece from my sister Sharon) enjoying a ride at Chuck E Cheese.

Here is Mark giving Bosco his Christmas present.

This is Makayla on Christmas morning, enjoying sitting in her new car.

Makayla loves dolls, and Mark helped her open this cute Cabbage Patch from Aunt Martha and Uncle Richard.

My sister Sharon and I are both pregnant. I'm 10 weeks ahead of her. We are both having girls. My pregnancy is going as expected. I have 4 weeks until my due date. I was spoiled when Makayla came about 10 days early, so we'll see what happens with this one.

Sadly, Mark's grandmother passed last week. Her health had been deteriorating, but it still is difficult. Mark is currently in Pennsylvania for the funeral. Our prayers are with all of his family.
(Interestingly, when I was about this far along in my first pregnancy, my grandmother passed . . . )

I had to include a cute video of Makayla. I love the cute boots with the matching brown skirt. Unfortunately, I seem to catch her right after she does something cute, and she doesn't repeat it.