Thursday, December 2, 2010

Update! :)

I wish after the previous post (not that you read it) that I could reward you with pictures, but I want to wait until I have our Christmas tree decorated and take some pics with Parker and the tree (cant wait!)

We got back from Montana visiting Jed's sister and her family, as well as some other members of Jed's family. If you have heard anything about Utah weather at all lately, you know that we have been bombarded with terrible weather. I don't want to go into all the details, because just thinking about it makes me sick. The roads were terrible, we had some technical difficulties with our car, and hit a deer. The car trip was a lot of fun, minus the afore mentioned awfulness.

The break from school and visit was festive, yummy, and cozy. Aside from the yummy, yummy Thanksgiving dinner- one of my favorite parts of the visit were going and chopping down our Christmas tree. (Like I said before I will post some pictures soon.) For  $5 we got to go up in the mountains and literally cut down our own tree. It was great! Coming from small farm town America, I loved it! We have done this 2 years now, and I hope to continue doing something like this as often as we can.

We are looking forward to celebrating Christmas in our own home. I love the thought of cuddling up with Parker and Jed, reading stories, sipping hot cocoa, and teaching Parker about our Savior.  Depending on how Parker is and whether I feel up to it, we do have some parties that we've been invited to, but I really would like to just stay home and start making my own family traditions. I like being able to wake up in the morning and decide what I want to do. Especially during a school break.

As for Parker he currently has a small cold, so he was fussy today. It's hard for me to say that he was fussy because he really only cried for a few minutes before I got the snot from his nostrils (eww!) so he wasn't really fussy- just trying to tell me that he couldn't breathe. He has continued to be a great baby, and hopefully soon (!!!) he will be back to sleeping through the night. He got up once last night, and even though a few months ago he was getting up several times a night- today I feel like I haven't slept in years!! He is super active and Jed swears that he rolled over yesterday. Today when I was playing with him, he was SOO close to doing it, so I hope to post a video of when he finally gets it (for momma.)
Jed is in school mode as finals are 2 weeks away. He is home so much more often, which is sooo much better. I love having him around- and sometimes Jed is just what Parker needs. He is such a great dad and I'm so proud of his efforts to keep going to school, work, and be a great family man.
All of my difficult projects/finals are over, so I just have one project (Jed and I are doing together for our creativity class) that I might do a quick post about when we're done. I am trying to decide about taking classes next semester- I'm leaning towards no, but I haven't quite decided.

That's pretty much it for us Alvey's. Look forward to come cute pictures soon!

Book Reviews

{Preface: I am a fast reader. I'm not super smart, there's a lot (LOT!) of talents that I strive for, but I am a fast reader. It honestly bothers me- it's [ALMOST] more of a nuisance. Okay. I have always wanted to review books. It's a weird wish, but since I read fast, I figured I could "read" a book and give a review, so that someone else doesn't have to waste their time reading it if it wasn't what they were looking for. Here goes.}
I read a lot of books during pregnancy. It was a mix of boredom (I wasn't working full time and I wasn't in school) as well as the dire need for information. Being a resident of Provo (engagement/marriage/baby making) capital of the world, I hoped that there would be tons of information readily available. NOT the case. The Provo Library is seriously lacking in the Pregnancy Department. Why? I have no idea. Many a-nights I have sat up wondering this myself.

Anyways- this is my first set of reviews, I can't promise any more, but I would love to do this regularly. I also welcome any differing opinions. I am ordering the books from my least favorite to my most favorite.

This book was honestly terrible. I read (almost) every page. I think I stopped at the last 20 pages. I just couldn't. keep. going. The author of this book is not a doctor, nor does she have any real background of medicine. So yes, the title is accurate. It is just a bunch of gossip.  It has however, won several awards- been on several tv shows (including Oprah) but I just don't get it. There are several blatantly wrong statements- as far as other medical journals are concerned- and I don't think anyone should read this book for anything more than fiction. Yes, a quick read, but awful. * (one star- just to be nice)

This book is WAY TOO LONG. (even for me). No one should read this whole book. Okay-- let me back up. It is separated into months (9) thus one could read a chapter a month. Not that bad. But it is so outdated. Really. It was boring- and I don't think it offered anymore information than one could get just form talking to a mother, sister, or anyone else (which the typical pregnant woman does). Anyways- it does have (A LOT) of information- and I think that's what it should be used for.  A reference book. So, if you don't have the internet- this is the book for you.  If you are in the Utah area-- please don't pay full price for it- there are tons of copies at the DI for $3-- and I have a copy if you want to borrow it (thanks Aunt Carolin). I would NOT have spent any money on it. (**) For the vast amount of information- but seriously- use Google.

If you want a "reference" type book- then this is a good one. Yes, it's long- but it's the type of book that you would just want to look up the sections you are interested in. I like it because it has pictures (that aren't weird sketches like in the "what to expect" book) which is nice when you don't want to google something for pictures.

I also liked that it had stories of real people- sharing their stories. It seemed more personable and more relateable than the typical generalization stories. (****)

There are so many things to say about this book. I will try to keep my thoughts relevant and pertinent to others. First of all, this book is FULL of very useful information. It is written by a woman that has tons of experience when it comes to babies and new mothers. It is broken up into different sections (chapters) about {nearly} everything a mom would want to know.

A few of my favorite things about this book-- there is a well written quiz that helps you decide what temperament your baby has. Knowing a babies temperament helps you know how to best manage them.  Honestly- i'm surprised that more people don't talk about this. How are you supposed to know how to take care of your baby if you don't know if he/she is sensitive, text book, etc??

In addition, she gives detailed explanations on diapering, bathing, massaging etc. your baby. I found this very helpful. Especially the diapering. Of course I know how to change a diaper, but I had never considered talking to my son while I change his diaper- telling him what I am doing. If someone started to change my diaper (haha) I would want the same courtesy-- that mindset- do as you would want-- is the theme of the whole book. A philosophy I full-heartedly agree with.

She also stresses the importance of a schedule. {and I CONCUR!) Her schedule follows the acronym EASY. Eat, activity, sleep, you time (mom to-do time/sleep).  This is a life saver. Honestly. The best advice in the book by far.

There are of course a few things I didn't like about the book. When it comes to the schedule- she didn't really give an actual time table that it's supposed to happen on. Which I didn't understand. Also- she has a few very strong opinions on things that you MUST do or things you SHOULDN'T do, and though it's her book and she can say what she wants- obviously as a mother, you have to make the decisions that are best for your baby. (****1/2)

This book really is excellent. It's a quick read- it's specific, and has very easy to follow directions- and the outcome is... {sanity!}. This book helps you to know how to get your children to sleep. It sets up a schedule- with time increments to follow- that really help your child become independent and set good, healthy sleeping habits. I like that the book gives realistic situations that could/do come up frequently that would compromise your baby's schedule- and give possible solutions. For example- if your baby is on a 3 hour feeding schedule, you're on a plane and you're baby is fussy-- do you feed him/her? Of course- it would be rude to the others on the plane not to... but there are some feeding schedules that are VERY rigid. 
This book sets up a feeding schedule referred to as the Parent-Directed Feeding (PDF).  This is a healthy combination of watching the clock and your baby's cues to know when to feed. I loved this book! It honestly gave me an idea of {what the heck!} I was supposed to do with Parker. I had no idea at first. It is the same idea as in Secrets of the Baby Whisperer- Eat, Activity, Sleep which is very important. I loved this book- and would give it 5 stars, but it isn't a stand alone book. There are so many other aspects of babies, pregnancy etc. that this book just doesn't cover. (****1/2)
I cannot do this book justice. I have done plenty of reading, in all facets of life, and this book- aside from the Book of Mormon and the other scriptures and a very short list of other books, this book has done the most to change my life. Whew. That's a rather bold statement that I hope to properly defend. All of my life I have been a rather curious person. I am really grateful for this quality. It has led me to enjoy schooling, people, and life in general. This curiosity mainly comes from my grandmother and sister who are two very curious people. 
        Anyways, I have always been curious about child birth. Growing up, I really never thought that I would have my own children. (WEIRD!) I mean I knew I wanted children, I love children!, but childbirth scared me more than almost anything. I talked of adopting because I was so scared (un-informed) about childbirth. (Not to discount adoption- something that I would love to do.)
       But this book really, truly helped me to better understand childbirth and the beauty that it really is. I know, within my heart, that childbirth doesn't have to hurt. It really is a natural thing, a power that we women have been so blessed with. And this book gives a natural alternative to excruciating pain that is most often associated with childbirth. 
      Now that I have had a child, I totally understand the beauty that modern medicine is. After being in labor for 10 hours, I too received an epidural (beautiful thing!!) By that point- that day- everything about that day- Tuesday August 17th, was terrible. Parker was born August 18th so I can say that. :] But hypnobirthing teaches that it is the tensing of the muscles that actually causes the pain, and that tension come from fear. Fear from everything that we women have seen, heard, dreamt about etc. about childbirth. So as we are already terrified, we tense our muscles- which constricts them from doing what they are naturally meant to do. 

From my experience, after having one child, this is true. I have heard (obviously I don't have anything to compare it to) that being induced causes stronger contractions that if someone goes into labor naturally. I was induced and the first 10 hours of labor I was doing my breathing and self-induced hypnosis and it was beautiful. I was talking on the phone to my family, I got in a jacuzzi, and played games- all while the contractions were full blown. 
It wasn't until I was checked by my midwife and found out that I had not dialated at all, that I lost control. I mean I wasn't screaming or anything- Jed said that I was actually really calm, but mentally I couldn't get to my "safe place." That is when I decided to have the epidural- because I was feeling pain. 
     In addition to teaching self-induced hypnosis (not weird, I promise) this book teaches of delayed cord clamping. I can't personally teach the medicine or research behind delaying clamping the umbilical cord for 10 minutes or so, but from what I have read and heard, it is the BEST thing for newborns.  (I am willing to talk about what I have learned if you're interested). For Parker, it was beautiful. After he was born, they immediately put him on my bare chest, and he was calm. He wasn't screaming or anything like I have always seen. He was calm and comfortable. 
        Though I don't have the greatest personal experience with this, I loved how well this book teaches the hubby to be involved with the birth. I was nervous because my hubby was uninformed about childbirth- really when would he talk about that?- so I was worried that he would either freak, leave, or stay silent.  I was glad that this book does give things for the husband to do. 
This book is primarily about pregnancy and childbirth, not about the children or really anything else, so I still must give this book (****1/2) I understand that no book could realistically discuss all aspects of babies in a reasonable number of pages- I wanted to reserve 5 stars for a book that does that. 
So now you have my 2 cents about baby books. If you have any books to suggest, questions, or comments, I would love to hear. Thanks for reading this (honestly a little surprised you finished!)


Monday, November 8, 2010


I love fall.  For the following reasons:

Pumpkins  (Prize winning one's... hence the blue ribbon!)

  The farmer's and the pumpkin they "grew"

Bundling up in layers 

Football games... especially when we win. 

Sisters that come visit :) 
And that live close! 

 Playing inside on {COLD} days!


AND him :) 



Oh, and this

We had the greatest time taking our family pics this past weekend. Mandy over at Mandy's Studio did a great job! It was a bit cold, but Parker was so content and Mandy had so many good poses! She was super easy to work with and we HIGHLY recommend her for anyone in Utah County. Great Prices and Even Better pictures. But hey-- when you're that good looking, it's not {too} hard to get a good shot! HAHA.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gratitude- Day 1 (already behind!) HOME

Wow.   I just read my (cousin-in-law's?) blog post about gratitude and of President Monson's talk about gratitude this conference. This is a link to her wonderful post.  Thanks Michelle!

She, like many others, are taking this month to show gratitude for things in their life. Hopefully I will be able to keep up with this daily posting- seeing as I am already behind.

There are so many things to be grateful for.  Literally everything that I have is given to me by the Lord. Today I am grateful my home. That I have a home, a place to live, a roof that provides shelter for me and my family- I am truly grateful. 

Every night, when I am turning up the heater, I recall a cold November night when Jed and I helped a homeless man. We didn't have much to give him, but we gave him a blanket that we were keeping in our car. It was just a small fleece blanket that my grandma had given me, and I know that that man needed much more than we did.

I can't stand being cold. It is one of the WORST things in the world to me. And neither does Parker. He is constantly being bundled up and I have had to make many accomodations so that he is more comfortable. Though Jed is probably a little too warm at times, Parker and I are able to be warm.

And yes, I often find myself looking at others who have such nicer homes, who have their own home, or who might have more space than me-- but I love my home. It is mine. My family and I get to make memories in our little basement apartment on 800 North in Provo. I will always remember this home. I brought my first baby home here. I have done many "firsts" here. Yes, I love this home.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A few lessons learned

Babies really are their own specie. That probably sounds funny, but to me they are so Abnormal. My family is LOUD- not over bearingly annoying, but yes, we speak our peace. Speaking for myself- this is ONLY done within my immediate family- with others I feel so misunderstood that my brain is too foggy for coherent conversation--- (what a rant) so its strange to me that babies don't speak. In the words of my 6 yr old cousin, Caroline- "What words does he speak?" ... "What!? No words!" I was just as dumbfounded.
Considering the field that I want to go into- teaching English as a 2nd language- learning to communicate with those that don't share a common language-- I thought that this would be easier. But babies can't do ANYTHING to express themselves. Oh how I wish that Parker could just tell me he's warm/cold so I can dress him appropriately. Or tell me when he's done eating so I don't force feed him, or under feed him. Or when he's tired so I can lay him down to sleep.  I've heard that you can listen to their cries- and though I think that has its place-- when it's 3 AM and I have eye boogies in my eyes (recent infection I think) I'm still totally dazed and Parker's crying-- listening to his cry is the last thing I want to do- I just want to find out what it is so he can be happy (and not wake up our upstairs neighbor) So YES-- I can't wait for Parker to SPEAK.

 (** Disclaimer: None of these pictures have been doctored or staged- that is just how {incredibly} good looking my son is!)

We are loving being parents. I love being Parker's Momma. Still adjusting- its a process for sure. Trying to juggle parenthood and being a student is challenging, but I have found the support and love that I've needed. {thanks all!}

He loves to

SMILE (aww!!) 
and I can't get enough of it
his little legs are always going
he's gonna be a thumb sucker
in his "Johnny Jumper" 
But by far... his favorite thing is....

Not a surprise to those of you who truly know me. I am a girl that loves her birthday suit. As creepy as it sounds, it is the truth. I am constantly in my robe (at most) so yeah, I am in tune with my body. And SOOO is Parker. He loves his diaper change time, Bath time, any time that I let him have his diaper/clothes off. HE is a momma's boy- and I LOVE IT :)

Halloween Decorations

Thanks to the lovely ladies at  Graphics FairyStories of A to Z,  and House of Smiths
I was able to create my own Halloween space. OCT 31st and all that comes before, has always been my favorite time of year. Pumpkin Patches, apple cider doughnuts, getting all dressed up, and CANDY makes this holiday the best. 

The blocks were made out of some wood that we had cut at Lowe's, some black acrylic paint (.30) at Michael's, and the stencils were handmade (took forever!) by printing out the letters, tracing them with an x-acto knife and sheet protectors. It was a bit of a process, but it was super fun. Everything else was super easy- and definitely added a bit of "spook" to our living room :)  

This is the entrance to our "BAT CAVE" as we so lovingly call it :)  (Lately it might be better known as an ICE CHEST, but you get the pic) 

These little projects have been keeping me busy and have been getting us into the HALLOWEEN spirit :) Happy Halloween all. I'll post our costume pics a little later!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Parker, things, and LIFE in general

YAY!! Pictures of Parker! :) We love our little man. He is soooo sweet and cuddly and boy does he smell good :) This picture was after 19 hours of labor (amazing!) and 9 months of being preggers.... (ick!) So we both were so excited to see him, hold him, kiss him etc. Even still today I love getting him dressed each morning, giving him a bath at night, reading to him- anything. He is my own little doll, and he is just so fun to have around.

Here he is- after MOM had taken WAYYY too many pics :) (and I still do!)

Oh gosh I could just take pictures of him all day. And thats what I did for the first few weeks-- Now he stays awake a little bit longer- but this was during the time when he would stay awake for ten or so minutes-- just long enough to get a diaper change and get dressed before he was off to never never land :) Now he is up to about 45 minutes of awake time, so I have a few pictures of him being super cute :)

I LOVEEEE this picture. When I rested him there on the boppy- he looked nothing like this. This was apparently a far superior postion. He is also breathing pretty heavily in this picture, so I was able to get some footage of him with his hand on his hip, and it bopping up and down- way too adoreable for me!

This was a highlight of my life. So we went up to campus to buy our textbooks-- the last day before class started--whoops!--- and baby parker was less than 2 weeks old.  We needed to feed, so I fed him in the ladies room.  As I was changing him- I realized he had pooed all the way through his outfit, and I didn't have any other clothes for him (Im still a newbie at this!) Anyways-- I was about to leave the bathroom when I passed the mirror and saw that- yup! My little guy had peed right through his diaper while I was feeding him. (LAME cheap diapers!) Well, with no clothes for Parker, and no clothes for me-- we walked home. Him (nakie!) and me- WET! :) Oh, how I love the number of times Parker and I change throughout the day. When will I learn to start wearing my rain gear all day?!

PARKER'S BLESSING! It was amazing. Parker looked soo handsome, and Jedediah did a marvelous job blessing our son. We were so blessed to have so many of our family there- I was so surprised so many people could make it. There almost weren't enough seats! This picture is with my mother dearest and my younger sister, Alyssa. My mom stayed for a week to help with Parker, and Alyssa was there before, during, and after Parker- thanks sis! With their help, as well as many others, I can say I survived the first few weeks (man I am not looking forward to that again- I guess I will never be a new mom again, whew!)

Jed's parents, Eric and Kathy, were also able to make it out. It was so nice to have Parker's grandparents there with us! Hopefully we can make it to Seattle or they can visit us, because Parker misses them already. Grandparents are great all around- they spoil them, love them, and almost always bring them back :)

These last three pictures always bring tears to my eyes. (Okay, so the hormones are still a rollar coaster!) but even still- I love my son. I mean, obviously I knew I would love him, but its INCREDIBLE how I love him. That probably sounds kind of strange- but I am really surprised that I am able to love anything so quickly and so fully. When he's sleeping I miss him. When I have to go to class, I miss him. I just always want to be right there with him. I feel like every single aspect of my life changed now that I have added "mother" to the list. My priorities have all shifted down so that Parker can find a place at the top.

Motherhood is everything. I finally feel like everything I was taught in young womens and by my family has made full circle. I was meant to be a mother. It really is a divine calling. A woman's place is in the home. 

I still don't know what I am doing for school. I am taking 8 credits right now. I don't know exactly what Jed is doing for work or school next year.  Nor do I know what to do for Parker most of the time.

But I do know, and have always known, that I am a daughter of God, and I don't take that lightly.  The Lord knew that I needed Parker right now. He was meant to come into our family at this not-so-ideal time.  I have been prepared from the beginning for this purpose, and I so grateful for those who have taught me how to be a mother. Jed is an amazing father. Fatherhood is a weird thing. I still don't have it all figured out- but Jedediah surely does. He has been so caring and understanding- as always- these last 6 weeks. Whenever he's home (which isn't very often) he takes care of Parker. Jed changed all the diapers while we were in the hospital (then Alyssa took over.) Jed got up with me everytime I fed Parker. Now I only wake him up when I need him- but he is alway so willing to do anything I ask. Jed is the best father I've ever known, as well as the best husband.

WOW. Well this got long, very quickly. I was going to say a bunch of other things, but I should end now. Maybe some other time I will give the birth story- but for now, keep us in your prayers-- we can take all we can get. :) xoxo

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pregnancy Post

I feel like as soon as I'm not pregnant anymore, and after all the initial baby craziness (plus a few months) maybe I'll look back and enjoy my pregnancy. Because even now I can recall a (very) short time when I enjoyed it.  But as I sit here, in outfit number 2 for today (already sweated through #1) I cant even fathom doing this again. I am trying to pull together a list of things I liked about my pregnancy- because the list of things I DIDNT like would be long, really long, and everybody who reads this has probably heard me complain at least once (sorry!).  So with literally nothing in mind right now, here goes.

-I got to eat without counting calories.
The few extra pounds on my face will tell you I did this.

-Baby clothes shopping.
My new favorite thing to shop for. 

-Feeling him kick.
Each time I felt him, I felt like he did it just to let me know he was okay.

I wish we could do these more often. At first he looked like... a blob of something- and then a few short months later, he was a full fledged baby. Amazing!

-Baby showers
I love getting together with people I love, and I love getting presents for Parker.

-Letting Jed feel him kick
He always gets stage fright when Jed is trying to feel him. Jed says that in the morning when Im still sleeping he can feel him kick and move. (my heart melted when he told me that)

-Organizing his baby clothes
Lets just say I have done this way WAY too many times! 

-Talking to Parker
pretty much about everything Im doing, things I am thinking about. I just like talking to him. I really hope he is used to my laugh by now. :)

I almost dont even feel pregnant. I think that counts!?!

-Jed rubbing my feet
He has pretty much gone pro at foot rubbing. Such a good guy.

WOW. I am honestly super impressed with myself. I didn't think I could come up with 5 things to think positively about. All things considered, I think I will love holding my little boy more than anything. I cannot WAIT! :)

Now for the pictures. Excuse my swollen face, sweatiness, and overall pregnant grossness. I am not one of those girls that feels sexy when she's pregnant. Definitely not!

Jed and I at Olive Garden (Alyssa is taking our picture). We get so spoiled. I watch our friends 1 yr old daughter for a few hours, and they give us a gift card to the Olive Garden. YUMMY!
Friends from my ward throwing me a baby shower! Thanks Sarah! It was a blast! Nice to have Alyssa  there as well.

There he is. This is me, at 38 weeks-- Aug 12th.  I honestly didn't think I could get this big. At least my huge club feet aren't in the picture (thanks Alyssa) they are huge!

This is Jed and I at Bear Lake for his family's reunion. It was a lot of fun, warm!!, but lots of fun. Look at the water! I had never seen water that color before-- gorgeous! p.s. Jed has gotten a tiny belly too. I loveeee it!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


As the weeks (days!) come down to the big event. Easily one of the
biggest in my life so far, I am touched by the power of motherhood.
What a divine calling it is. As I struggle to balance being a mother, a wife,
a student, a daughter, a sister, a friend and all other roles I hold in my life,
I am confident that it can be done.

Thank you, all the women in my life, for being such a great example to me.
Thank you for showing me that it IS possible. Thank you for encouraging me
with words of love and support, and for helping me see my own potential.
To all the mothers and women- know that the Lord loves you. And is mindful
of your righteous desires. Keep up the good work.

Below is a link of a video that is certain to brighten any day, and make
that list of to-dos seem possible. Oh- and its by Elder Holland. :)


Friday, July 9, 2010

Just Pictures

I had to hold the camera super, super still... and these are maybe a 1/4 or what I wanted to upload, but here's some for now.
This was in April when we found out we were having a boy. I knew, Jed knew, we just had to let the Dr's see. Oh goodness he's so darn cute. P.s. I didn't even cry. I was super surprised.

This was at Jed's friend Jacob's wedding. Jed was the best man. Don't we look hot. :) Took me forever to find a dress to wear... and I really can't stand that dress. Oh to find cute (CHEAP) clothes whilest pregnant.
There she is! My lil' sister getting her diploma.  It was really, really weird to see her all growed up like that. Oh, and did I mention how weird it was being back (only 2 years after my own graduation) with a hubby and a baby..... that was slightly weird.

My nephew, Jax and myself. Loved being back in Illinois. Loved seeing the fam, and this little guy even let me hold him. Just a few times. He is too darn cute!

My two besties. The cutie on the left is Heidi and the hot one on the right is Jennifer. These are the girls that I spent my high school years with. Boy did we cause trouble. Love them both so much and miss them already! p.s. between the three of us, we're pretty much unstoppable.

 There's the 3 of us (the Three Sisters) with our picture proudly displayed on a HUGE wall of other pics at our favorite restaurant, the Three Sisters.  To my knowledge we are the only pic that aren't biologically sisters.

**** Well I had tons more pictures to post. I didn't get  to post any of my family or the awesome baby shower they threw. Maybe sometime soon.