Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Tribute to Supermom

Today I feel nothing less that awestruck when I think of my own mother.
Five children.
Nine years apart. (I think...)
After my experience today with my two children, I'm not exactly sure if I should be amazed by her, or if I should question her sanity. One thing is for sure though: She deserves a tribute for putting herself aside, and raising me and my siblings so close together- and doing such a fantastic job at it (I mean, look at us!). I think of all the sacrifices she made for us. Then I think of all of her hard work- going back to school with 5 children and graduating with honors. Thats more than I can say about my college and I didn't have kids to take care of while I did it. She (and my dad) were at every event, every basketball and volleyball game- no matter where it was. We all played sports, we took piano lessons and of course, had recitals. I cringe to think of what our busy schedule looked like. She never batted an eye, or voiced a complaint. She always encouraged us to do whatever we wanted to do, and stood up for us when others tried to put us down. Ain't that right, Red Hot Mama?? That being said... let me explain what inspired this sudden realization that my mom is, in fact, Supermom.

Before I start, let me share a picture taken by the talented Emily Brenner.
This is how I would like you to think of me as a mother. I assure you, the story I am about to tell, with prove otherwise. It ain't all sleeping babies, snuggles, and smiles.
Ellie is two weeks old today. I have been spoiled rotten, and today was also Charles' first day back at work. Up until now, I have had him by my side, helping out with whatever I needed. Yesterday he asked me if I was nervous about being on my own. I assured him that I didn't think it was going to be that bad. This morning... reality hit.

I had Ellie's two week check up this morning. Thank goodness it was early enough in the morning that Charles could help me get the girls up and out the door on time, or I am pretty certain, we might have never made it there. I am also quite certain, that might have been a good thing.

I was equipped with not one, but two suckers to bribe Abigail with, so that she would be a good helper. It started off great. She held my hand as we walked in from the parking lot, she played with toys in the waiting room, and cleaned them up when we were called back. She sat in the chair and chatted it up with the Doc while they checked on Ellie. Then she got in my diaper bag and found her pink sucker. You must know that anything pink is leaps and bounds above any other color.

She opened the sucker on her own, while I wasn't paying attention. I didn't realize it until I heard it hit the ground. Now... to be completely honest, If our pediatrician hadn't been standing right there watching, I probably would have just brushed it off and said have at it. No, not today... I picked it up, told her it was yucky, and threw it away- offering her the other, ORANGE sucker.


She had a total melt down. So bad in fact, that the doctor took her out and let her get a new, pink sucker from their candy stash. I didn't realize that she had gotten the same color sucker. I saw the wrapper, and it looked like it would be a red or yellow sucker. So after a few minutes, Abi exclaimed, "I GOT MY PINK SUCKER!" I turned around and immediately thought, oh crap, she got it out of the trash. Pediatrician, still watching. I quickly took it from her hand, and as I released it from my grip, into the trash, I saw the other pink sucker... still in the trash.

All hell broke loose.

Imagine how I felt. How do you explain to a two year old... I made a big mistake- I'm sorry!! At this point in the melt down, we were waiting for the nurse to come in and do the newborn screening on Ellie. They would prick her foot, and get blood for their tests. Simple enough, right?

Well, she pricked her foot, but had a hard time getting blood to come out. She had me hold her upright to get the blood flowing. All the while... Abigail is screaming and crying in hysteria and pulling on my shirt screaming, "Mommy, HOLD YOU!!" Oh, and did I mention, my newborn is screaming as they are squeezing the crap out of her foot to get it to bleed. This went on for about ten minutes before then finally got all the blood they needed. The nurse then left us to fend for ourselves.

Abigail still wanted me to hold her, Ellie still crying. I sat in the chair bouncing Ellie in one arm, picked up Abi with the other and brought her into my lap. But that didn't cut it. Abigail didn't like that I was having to try to soothe both children at once, so she took a swat at crying baby Ellie. I put Abigail down and stood up to try to calm Ellie down after the assault. Eventually I got her settled down and in her carseat, where she crashed, exhausted.

Abigail? Oh, she was still screaming her head off. Only now, she had opened the door to our room and was hanging her head out the door to the nurses station and was offering her screams of desperation to the office staff. I gathered our stuff and my sleeping child... and the screaming child, and we headed out the door. Thanks to the lady who pointed out so necessarily, "You have your hands full, don't you, Mom?"

Finally, Abigail chilled out. We made it to the car in one piece, and quickly made a stop at Sonic for a shot of caffeine at 10 in the morning.

Let me leave you with this...

I love my two girls to death. I wouldn't have it any other way.

But we will never, EVER leave the house again.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Right on Time

Please welcome...
Ellie Mae Himmer
Born November 30, 2010
6:12 am

Here is a bit of the story of how things happened. I was due December 4th, 10 days after my original due date of November 23rd. So, from the beginning... I have been pulling for a late November baby. My doctor was very kind, and offered to relieve me early with an induction on Tuesday, the 30th. I graciously agreed to that. I was scheduled to go in at 6:30 am and go from there. After a little false alarm on Thanksgiving morning, (thanks Mom, Dad, and Courtney for getting up extra early, driving the 3.5 hrs to Cedar Park, making us Thanksgiving dinner... and waiting around for a whole lot of nothing to happen.) I was ready for things to happen Tuesday. My mom drove down after she got out of school and got things all ready on Monday night. She got here about 10:00 pm. When she got here I said, "ooh.... Mom, I have been kind of having some pretty intense contractions for about the last hour." I think after my Thanksgiving day false alarm... I wasn't too convincing. By 11, I was in intense pain, and had steady contractions coming 2 minutes apart. Off to the hospital we went.

I'll save you the labor details, other than... OUCH. I think if there weren't such a thing as an epidural... I might die during labor. Maybe I am a major wuss, but bring on the massive needle. As my friend put it, I like the princess package when it comes to child birth. One wonderful part about this delivery was, once it was time to push, things were a piece of cake. Two and a half pushes and out she came.

She was born 18 minutes before I was scheduled for induction. We are so happy to have her here, finally! Abigail couldn't be more sweet with her. She loves her baby sister. She is fascinated by all of the baby things around the house. I love seeing her in her new roll as a big sister.

We named her after my grandmother, Ila Mae, who passed away just a few short weeks ago. She was an amazing woman who I hope that Ellie can emulate as she grows.

I told Charles... surely she was given a warning in the pre-existance that she will be subjected to many, many obnoxious photo shoots by her mother. I'm guessing she agreed to it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A little confused...

Abigail loves playing with her baby dolls. If she doesn't have one handy, don't worry, she will just pretend she does.

And TRUST me... Katie bar the door if you sit down on one of her imaginary babies.

The other day I heard her in the kitchen calling for me to push her in her stroller. I went in and found things a little flip-flopped from normal.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Some things are much more exciting the first time.

Don't get me wrong. I am thrilled to death that we will soon be blessed with another sweet baby girl. That hasn't lost its luster in the least!

When I was pregnant with Abigail, it was much more exciting to watch my body change, and watch my belly grow and grow... and GROW. I took pictures almost weekly to document the beauty of it all.

This time its been a little different. I have basically avoided the camera for 9 months. So, now that the end is near, I thought it was time to take a couple pictures... just to prove that I was in fact pregnant.

Do you think it is possible that she learned that look and the placement of her hands from how I have felt and acted the last couple of weeks??

Nah, I didn't think so either.

It took us a few months longer than we would have liked to get pregnant this time around. We had things planned out, and thought we knew just when the right timing would be. When that wasn't panning out, I quickly got frustrated.

Funny how slowly I learn to put my trust in the Lord's timing.

If you would have asked me 2 months ago if Abigail was ready for Miss Ellie, I would have told you how nervous, and down right scared I was. She LOVES attention. She is 100% independent, in a way that requires my attention all the time as well. I still haven't quite figured that out, but that is Abigail. She wants to do everything by herself, but wants me right there watching her and holding her hand.

She would FLIP out completely any time I held another baby. She would try to be sneaky and push over or bite other kids that I gave attention to.

You can imagine my nerves.

The last month or so, I have seen a huge change in her. We talk about Ellie every day now. Abigail talks about wanting Baby Ellie to come out. She tells me she is going to help change her "bipers." The other day she rested her head on my stomach and said, "Ellie, I wuv you." And kissed my belly.

I am so thankful for a Heavenly Father who knows better than I do. I try to remember that, and put my faith in His plan for our family. Ultimately, I'm glad He had the final say in this one.

NOW, we are ready.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Growing up, I had ONE friend that never, ever stopped being a friend. From the time we were itty bitty, through high school, college, marriage, and now kids. She's the kind of friend, that even if we don't talk for a while, things never really change between us.

Until last night, the last time I had seen her was at my wedding. Almost four years ago. Since then- she's had two kids, I've had one, and am about to burst with another. Our husbands had never met.

Now that we are back in Texas, it was only a matter of time before that ended. So, last night Emily and Luke drove 2 hours to come have dinner with us for my birthday.

And we never skipped a beat.

Thanks Emily and Luke for coming out with us last night. I can't wait to do it again :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

The big 25

Yesterday I turned 25.


All in all it was a pretty good day. Besides having a sick little one, we had a good day. Actually, I did some shopping and that made it a GREAT day.

There is something you should know about me. I love to shop. Something else you should know is that I am totally and completely, incurably- CHEAP. I cannot bring myself to pay full price for anything. ANYTHING. I haven't always been that way, but boy am I now.

So for my birthday, Charles gave me a gift card for a massage :) The big debate there is, prenatal, or postnatal massage???

He also gave me some money to buy furniture for the nursery. I have been needing to get a dresser, so I can unpack her boxes of clothes... and I really want a comfy chair for those late nights.

Anyway, he came home early from work and we headed to Ikea to get the dresser I have had my eye on for a while. I'd searched craigslist for weeks trying to find it second hand, but to no avail. At my doctor's appointment this week, he said he doesn't think I'll make it to my due date. That got me thinking... I better get some sort of nursery set up soon! So I decided to bite the bullet and buy the dresser new, from Ikea.

First of all, NEVER take a sick 2 year old to Ikea thinking you will just make it quick. You might want to die before the trip ends. As I was taking Abigail to the car, she was screaming and crying and trying to tell me through wails, "Mommy, Abi's sad! Abi sad!" As if I didn't gather that bit of info.

Back to the story- right before we checked out, I decided to run over and check the "As-is" section. They sell furniture as-is that they have used on display or that has scratches or different minor defects. Sure enough, there it was. The exact dresser that I wanted, for 50% off. A few scratches on the top, but I planned on putting a changing pad over the top anyway. PERFECT. I was stoked. Not that I got the dresser... but that I got it for half the price.

Then, in true ghetto Texan style... we strapped that bad boy to the roof of our car with twine and the help of a man who spoke no english. This is where the night started getting really entertaining. First, as they tried to get the fully assembled dresser into our sedan, with a carseat in it. Then as they strapped it down to the top.

It got even better when Charles went to open his door to get in, and realized that he had twined the door shut, with the window down. I loved the looks of the people in the car parked next to us when he climbed through the window. I drove home so that Charles could "hold on" to the dresser out the window.

Ok, yeah... I asked him if he really thought he could hold on to the dresser with one arm going 50 mph. He informed me, he had a really good grip.

As we were pulling out of the parking lot, Charles told me about 90 billion times to take it easy because it wasn't on very well and that actually, he'd be surprised if it didn't end up on the highway.


Well, we made it to about a mile from our house without any hiccups, and then Charles just about jumped out the window as he said, "WOAH!! We are loosing it, it just slipped back about 2 inches." He opened up the sun roof and readjusted it for the last little bit of our drive, and we made it safely to our driveway.

All thanks to my He-Man.

Like I said, it was a great birthday. I failed to mention that it has actually been a week long celebration. We got to have my parents, sister, and nephew here to celebrate last weekend. I LOVED having them here. And to top it all off, we have the best birthday present EVER, tonight.

We are going to dinner with one of my very best friends who I have not seen in almost 4 years. Stay tuned for more about that.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Punkin' Peach

We went to a couple of Pumpkin Patches in WA before we took off. One was awesome- it had a hayride, and petting zoo, and a few fields of pumpkins. Abigail went crazy there. We did two hayrides and visited ALL the animals.

I didn't have my camera.

The other one was fun too, we went with Grandma's preschool class and had a lot of fun. AND I took my camera. Little grump wasn't in a very picture taking mood though.

They had fun games for the kids like bowling, a bean bag toss, and fishing.

After we left, Abigail kept talking about the punkin' peach and asked to go back again.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

We're Back

I've been a very absent blogger lately. So absent that some of you might not know the big things that have happened for us the last couple of months. Two weeks ago, we packed up all of our things- put them in a trailer, and sent them to Texas. We followed (by air) to Austin, TX where we took up residence in three hotels within one week and started a frantic search for a more permanent residence for our family before Charles started his new job at Bazaarvoice a week ago.

Thank goodness we found something quickly, and were able to move into a house last weekend. Spending time couped up in a hotel is no life... but try to explain that to a two year old who got to go swimming, and who watched more TV than I would like to admit.

We are now totally unpacked and even had our first visitors this weekend, YAY! We got to spend the weekend with my parents, sister, and nephew. We had a lot of fun and are glad to have them so much closer now. Abigail loved all the attention she got, and had to wear the backpack Mimi gave her to church today.

We really like Austin so far. The area around where Charles works is really pretty. Lots of green, trees, and hills. We live in a new neighborhood that has lots of kids and lots of friendly families. Our first night we laughed that we had talked to our neighbors more here than we ever did in two years before. Our ward seems really great too. They have a lot to compete with after what we just left, but already we have been welcomed with open arms and lots of love and support. The best part of the ward so far... THE NURSERY. Abigail goes right in, and stays and has a great time. I can't tell you what a relief that is.

Abigail loves the park that is close by. We love the sunny weather that allows us to play outside almost every day. It has been a little chilly last week, but still really nice weather for putting on some cozy clothes and going out.

Charles new job is looking like a really great move for him. So far he loves the company and the culture they have there. He spent all of last week doing orientation and getting to know more about the company itself, and will start training for his position this week. They had a company party friday night, and I got to meet a lot of people he'll be working with. That was fun. I'm really excited for him and the opportunities he'll have there.

Aside from all of that... we are doing good. All the craziness didn't put me into labor :) I'm still on the hunt for a doctor here. I'm hoping to get in this week- we are getting down to crunch time. Now that I am up to date on where we are now... I will back track for a few posts to fill in our last few weeks in Gig Harbor.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Could it be??

Today I will brag about past Abigail and then plead for help with present Abigail...
All week Abigail has been impossible to put down for a nap. There have been a few changes to her routine somewhat recently. About 2 months ago, we finally got rid of the pacifier for good. About 3 weeks ago, we transitioned into a big girl bed. She did REALLY good with both changes. She has been sleeping really well in her bed and has been a much happier girl. She wouldn't get in and out of bed on her own even. She would stay in bed when we put her down, and would talk and sing until we got her up.

Until this week. She has been having a really hard time with naps. By really hard time, I mean, she hasn't taken them. One day I went in to see what the deal was, and she had taken down a 24x24 in canvas picture that hung above her bed, and was sitting on it. Yesterday she started getting out of bed when she wanted. Today she figured out how to open her door. As I type, she is standing at the end of the hall waving at me with a big old smile on her face.

WHAT DO I DO?? Could she seriously be done with naps already? She sleeps about 12 hours at night and goes down really easily.

On top of that- she has been a piece of cake to potty train. After over a month without a single accident, she is all of the sudden going back on that idea. She has had three VERY intentional accidents today.

Is she just out to get me?? All I know is that I have less than 3 months to figure this out, and I can use any advice I can get.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Eventful afternoon

Today was one of those days. I woke up to a rainy, gloomy morning and decided I would slip on my warm, flannel, leopard print pajamas- and spend the day in the solitude of my home, doing house work. I felt like I could justify staying in pj's for most of the day, if I got a clean house out of the deal.

The morning went wonderfully. Abigail followed me around as I did my various cleaning projects and kept herself fairly happy and occupied without much attention from me. This doesn't happen very often. Normally anything she plays, she has to play WITH me.

The fiasco started when I entered my last room of dusting- my bedroom. Abigail followed me in the room, as expected. I had to take something from our dresser to the bathroom down the hall. I heard the door shut behind me, which isn't too abnormal so I didn't think anything of it. I got back to open the door and... it was locked. I'm not even sure Abigail knows how to lock the door, or if it was just already locked when she closed it. But it was locked, none the less.

I assessed the situation. No screws to remove the door knob. The door frame is in the way, preventing any hope of the old "credit card" trick to pop the lock open. That is about the extent of my locksmithing skill set. So I called Charles- no answer. I texted him, "Call asap... kind of an emergency." He called a few seconds later. I explained the situation to him... he explained it to all the guys at work. I tried all of their suggestions, to no avail. So Charles headed home to see if he could have any better luck.

I called him on his way home to talk about it, and he ended the conversation with, "Well, me and Jason are on our way. We will try to figure it out when we get there."

Great... Leopard print pjs... remember? Abigail is locked in MY room... remember? Oh, and the house is pretty much spotless, so no hope of finding even dirty clothes in the laundry room that I can switch into. Oh well, we just gotta get this girl out of the room. She was beginning to get impatient and a little uneasy about being stuck.

As soon as Charles got home, I slid my phone under the door with a video playing on it for Abigail along with some fruit snacks. She was 100% content from that point on, with an occasional... "Daddy?? Abi stuck!"

I called a lock smith while the manly men tried picking the lock in any way the could imagine. They had as much luck as I did. Soon enough, the locksmith arrived and saved the day for little Miss Abigail and her felion mother. After an hour of scrambling, Abigail emerged from the room with an enthusiastic, "Thank you!"

A little plug for the locksmith... if anyone in Gig Harbor ever needs one- call Beacon Locksmith. The technician was on another job, stopped everything and was here within 20 minutes, and didn't charge us a dime. Very impressed with them :)

I'm pretty sure the look on Jason's face in this picture is saying... seroiusly, you're 2 year old daughter is trapped in a room, and you are taking pictures?? In leopard PJs??

The necessary equipment to TRY picking the lock

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Our little runner

The Rotary Club here hosted a big running event yesterday. They had a 10 miler, 2 miler, and a fun run for kids. I wish I could say that Charles and I ran the 10 miler... but that would be a big fat lie. Instead, we slept in, and made it just in time to let Abigail do the toddler fun run. We weren't too sure what she would think.

She got stretched...
She got her game face on.
She scoped out the competition...

...and she LOVED it.

She was dressed in the proper attire, which I think made a big difference.

When they first took off from the start, she just stood there pointing at everyone else saying, "GIRL RUNNING! BOY RUNNING! Running, daddy, mommy, RUNNING!" Then we helped her get going and the whole time she ran the lap around the parking lot, any time we passed by someone, she would say, HI, ABI RUNNING!

She was SO excited the whole time. She even made a come back and passed a little boy, so she didn't come in last place. She crossed the finish line with Grandma and Uncle Scott, and got all of her prizes.

Then she grabbed Charles' hand and said, Again!! So we spent the next 30 minutes running around with her. Then we got to go get her face painted, and she got a balloon elephant made for her. It was a really fun morning. We will definitely participate more in it next year. Maybe even venture out on that 10 miler.

I'm not SURE, but I think if Abigail keeps up her training, she could do it too. I mean... you've seen her legs right? TOTALLY a runners build.

To see ALL the pictures from our day, click here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot

Yes, I grew up in Texas.
Yes, I loved summers in Texas.
Yes, I would move back there in a heart beat... and
YES! I nearly died in this 90+ degree heat for the last four days.

But let me explain. We are missing two very important things
to make that kind of weather, my perfect summer.
A swimming pool.
Air conditioning.

Without the two... that heat gets miserable really fast, especially when you are pregnant. So here is what we have been doing to stay cool around here.