2.01.2017

November, part 2

My roommate Britney was in town for a conference and we were so lucky to have her spend a day with us.  Brit and I went out for crepes then when the place closed we sat out in my minivan talking, haha.  Bryan's mom was still in town so the next day I took Britney and Sherrie to tour the Hampton House.  It's only ten minutes away and such a neat place, I couldn't believe we'd lived here for a full two years before going inside!



On the Saturday after Jilly's birthday we had a party.  I tried to convince her to do a big family activity instead of a party but she had been dreaming of a butterfly party for weeks so we did it and I'm so glad we did.  We had fun searching pinterest and planning together.  She has such a darling group of friends, it was a lot of fun to have them all over.




The day of Jilly's party was Nana's last day here so that night after the party we took her to Kenilworth Mall to see the holiday train exhibit and to have dinner.  We were glad to start our Christmas celebrations with her and so sad to see her go the next morning.


So excited about the little smiles we started to see-



I love this picture- Bryan was totally oblivious to poor Olivia's bow trouble





We had our first Thanksgiving as just our family.  We were excited for a low-key day at home together, but it didn't exactly end up that way.  Our turkey took MUCH  longer than we thought it would and we made the rookie mistake of buying movie tickets for the afternoon.  We finally sat down to eat all the sides (that of course were cold by this point) without the turkey.  I dished up the food and encouraged the girls to start eating then after a few minutes Mattie said, "don't we need to say a prayer?"  Ahhh.  We had forgotten to say a prayer for Thanksgiving dinner!  We took a deep breath, laughed, then said a prayer.  The turkey was finally done just a few minutes before we had to leave so we each ate a few bites before dashing off to see Moana, which was fantastic.  



On the day after Thanksgiving we went to a Christmas tree farm.  It was a relatively warm day and we had a great time searching for the perfect tree.  We also got to see Santa; seeing all three girls on his lap was so fun!  Somehow all our pictures from that day have disappeared except this one, but at least it's a cute one!



1.23.2017

November, part 1

The fall leaves were SO beautiful, we loved getting our for a few walks and trips to the park with Baby Livvy.






I found this note Jilly wrote at church on the day Livvy was born "Jillian Mattie Baby is born on Suntay!"


Mattie was SO good for the first few weeks after Livvy was born and then around week 3 the whole new baby thing and being stuck inside wasn't so fun anymore.  This day was the absolute worst-  we were at Marshalls and I told her no when she asked for this Shopkins Beauty Set and she LOST it.  She cried and screamed louder than ever before and I had to push the stroller with Livvy and carry/restrain Mattie up to the checkout (I still hadn't paid and I was not about to have to put everyone back in the car and come another day) and then out of the store.  I told her we'd take this picture to remember what she wanted so she could maybe get it for Christmas but now I'm kind of glad to have it to remember that we survived.



Bryan's birthday was on November 4th.  We went out to Bobby Flay's Burger Palace for dinner.  It was our first time out as a family of 5 and it went smoothly, which was a relief!  Then we came home to open presents and eat cake.  Besides taking care of the girls, I had pretty much spent the entire day working on a homemade three-layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  So I was very relieved it turned out to be delicious.



I can't remember when this was taken, but it looks like a pretty nice birthday nap to me!


We made a little "we love you" video for my friend Emilee who was fighting cancer.  This is one of the first (and maybe only?) picture of me with all the girls.  I'm also glad I got a picture of Olivia in that dress, I love it so much and it only fit her long enough to wear it once to church!


Election Day- kind of a painful day this year.  I told Mattie we were going to vote and she said "I vote for Angry Birds!" (a month previously there was a movie night at school and the kids got to vote on the movie.)  She always makes me laugh.  


Olivia on her one month birthday!



I debated ordering school pictures for Jilly (you have to pre-order) and I'm SO glad I did because they turned out so darling!




Jilly is such a good big sister and loves to snuggle Livvy in the mornings before school


Nana came to visit in November!  She came right at the perfect time- Livvy was starting to smile and be awake more and have a cute little personality, our freezer was running low on already prepared meals, and we were all in need of a little excitement.  She was a great help and I'm now realizing I did a terrible job at taking pictures while she was here!  She went with us to the aquarium- our first time taking Olivia.  On this visit the girls became friends with this little puffin.  He'd come right up to the glass to look at them and then do little tricks; it was really fun.



I promised the girls a milkshake for good behavior at the aquarium (tantrums were frequent those days) and Mattie said "okay, we will keep the deal!"  Every time she would start to get upset, I'd say "remember!" and she'd snap out of it.  Bribery at its finest.


Another day Bryan worked a half day and we went up to the Turkey Hill Factory in Pennsylvania.  It wasn't the actual factory, more a museum about the making of the ice cream.  It had some fun exhibits, but best of all it had all you can eat free ice cream samples.  We took full advantage!




The Sunday that Nana was here was Jilly's birthday and Olivia's blessing day.  It was such a sweet day celebrating our girls.  My parents, Ty, and Katie, Neal, and Joey also came up and we had lunch after church.  I should have made everyone get together for pictures as soon as we got home but I got lunch ready first and by the time we got around to pictures most people had changed and Mattie was in princess mode.  Oh well!








Jillian LOVED having everyone around for her birthday.  She opened presents and we all enjoyed her birthday cake.  This year has been full of changes, especially kindergarten and a new baby.  It's been hard on us- I hate having Jilly gone for so long every day and she's always so tired from school that she's often not at her best at home.  And she changed so much in those first weeks of kindergarten, she decided her favorite color was now blue and she hardly ever wanted to wear dresses, it felt like I was losing my little girl!  But we're learning to adjust and getting better at taking advantage of the times when she is at home.  And it is really fun to see how much she is learning and growing.  She is such a good girl and I'm so happy she's ours.

1.11.2017

October

Apparently my laptop gets jealous when I have babies.  The week Mattie was born my hard drive crashed and I had to wait a couple weeks for it to be replaced.  And now my computer has decided that it can't recognize my phone and won't import photos.  I've gotten so behind because importing photos is a sloooooooow and painful process.  But here I am!  October is obviously a blur now, but these photos remind me there was lots of baby snuggling.  And we managed to have some Halloween fun as well!

We were supposed to leave the hospital first thing Tuesday morning (the 11th) but there was a particular nurse that had to do a newborn assessment (I can't even remember which one it was!) before we could be discharged and she was stuck in the NICU.  We got all ready to go then waited and waited and waited.  We were anxious to be back home, but it was also a little nice- I took another nap, watched a movie, and ordered one last hospital lunch.  Finally the nurse was free, Livvy passed the assessment and we were outta there!  We got home in time for the girls to hold their baby sister for a few minutes before leaving for their first day of ballet.  Bryan took them to class and texted me "this is totally a mom's world."  Haha, it was good for him to play Mr. Mom for an afternoon.  





First bath- she of course was not a fan.


I thought it was so funny that Livvy had her feet all curled up like this


First outing - On Saturday morning Bryan took the girls to a friend's Halloween party so my mom and I took 6 day old Olivia to Nordstrom to buy some boots for me.


Uncle Ty and his newest niece; he and my dad came up for the weekend.


On Sunday morning (Olivia's one week birthday) my mom, dad, and Ty left.  I've always said I would refuse to leave the hospital with a new baby unless my mom was there to take care of us.  She singlehandedly kept us all going- she fed us, got Jilly to school, entertained us, and dealt with many, many meltdowns.  And she didn't stop helping then; she took Mattie home with her for the next week.  

one week old Olivia



Jillian hadn't been feeling well for a few days and finally on that Sunday afternoon I decided she probably had strep.  Bryan took her to the CVS minute clinic and sure enough I was right.  It wasn't terrible because she recovered quickly on an antibiotic, babies can't get strep so I wasn't worried about Olivia, and Mattie was down in Richmond.  Jilly stayed home for a couple days and we took Livvy on her first trip to the library and Target.  It was so nice to have a quiet few days with just Jillian and Olivia to ease my way into life with a baby, but we were so happy to get Mattie back on Friday!



The weather and the leaves were fantastic so we got out for walks as much as possible




I remember taking this picture and thinking that she wouldn't have skinny chicken legs for long and boy was I right!  She chunked up quickly.




On Saturday we took our first outing as a family of five to Valley View Farms to get pumpkins and for the girls to play in the hay maze.



Bryan made a Halloween dessert- dirt with worms


Elaina is THE sweetest girl ever.  Every single Sunday after Primary she would come give me a hug and say thank you.  She's now a beehive and she made this blanket for Olivia for her first YW project. 


Livvy's two week checkup- I can't remember exactly how much she weighed but she was back up to birth weight plus at least an extra pound.




Mattie loves ballet, and it started at the perfect time, right when she needed something exciting and new of her own.


Olivia was 2.5 weeks old and I was so sick of just sitting around all day constantly taking care of a baby; I wanted to feel like a real person and do something pre-baby Rachel would have done.  So I picked up Jilly after school and we went to Weber Farms to look at the pumpkins and get donuts and cider.  It was kind of a disaster- traffic was bad and it took forever to get there so I had to feed starving, crying Livvy in the car before we went in, then Mattie threw a big fit about something (can't remember what.)  We had to stop at the grocery store on the way home for milk and I very unlovingly threatened everyone to be on their best behavior (which they were!)  I remember feeling exhausted when we finally got home and I still had to make dinner and put everyone to bed, but it was a small success and a step in the right direction.



birds of a feather- Jilly at top, Livvy on left and Mattie on the right





I took Olivia to Sacrament Meeting on her three week birthday; she wore the same dress her sisters wore on their first days of church.  That afternoon was SO beautiful.  We sat in the backyard and carved our pumpkins, then the girls brought out crafts and we read and napped.  It was Olivia's first (and only so far) time laying out in the fresh air.







We had a Trunk-or-Treat at church.  I got the girls all dressed up in their witch costumes then Bryan took them and Livvy and I came later.  Our ward throws an amazing Halloween party.



With their sweet friend Elsie


That night Bryan picked up some sushi for us to have after the big girls were in bed.  It was so delicious.





On Halloween I took the girls to see Jilly in her Halloween parade then we stayed for the class party for a little while until Olivia was done.  I felt bad that we hadn't had any sort of Halloween dinner so I threw some stuff together at the last minute- mummy dogs, apple mouths, and tombstone cornbread.  Bryan did the tombstones and they cracked me up.  Bryan took the big girls trick-or-treating while Livvy and I passed out candy and that was October- phew!