Friday, May 26, 2017

Miss Maylee is One!

I cannot believe that I am already celebrating this one year old! I am not sure how our family survived without this beautiful girl. Her six tooth smile is infectious, and her cheeks are devoured constantly. She is such a content and happy baby. She goes with the flow most of the time, and just enjoys whatever situation she is in.

I love watching her grow in her communication skills. She loves to say 'uh-oh' and uses it in the right context. She also waves and says 'hi' constantly. It's the best and never gets old. She also will point to things and say 'dis'. Sometimes she tries to copy words that we say, but a lot of the sounds just sound the same. She also tries to communicate by giving me things. For example, she will give me her shoes if she wants to go outside. Or she will give me a book if she wants me to read to her. She also
loves to give me things just to look at, and then she wants me to give them back to her.

She is a natural born girl. She will hug and smile at dolls or stuffed animals or give them a pat on the back. She likes to cuddle when she is tired or upset. She loves to dance. She will bounce, shake her head back and forth, and also shakes her arms whenever she hears music.

Maylee is a problem solver. It's so interesting looking at the differences between Marshall and Maylee. While Marshall was a lot more cautious and dependent, Maylee is fearless and independent. She likes to figure things out herself. For example, she can maneuver her walker anywhere she pleases. Marshall, on the other hand, would cry whenever he crashed into the wall and expect me to help him. When Maylee crashes, she pulls it backwards, turns, and starts walking again.

She is obsessed with food. This is one of the only times of day that we get an angry girl. We literally cannot feed her fast enough.She loves to manuouver herself around the legs of the table multiple times. She likes to throw balls and knock down the block towers that Marshall or I build for her. She like pulling things out of containers, and then putting them back in. She gets so excited whenever it is bath time. Splashing in the water is one of her favorite things. She enjoys trying to walk to me and can take up to nine or so steps at a time by herself.

She is interested in other babies and people, yet very cautious. She usually just needs a minute to warm up to them and likes her own little bubble at first. Oh and she likes mom around. If I leave her in the room with someone she is unfamiliar with, a tantrum will ensue.

Maylee, thank you so much for choosing me to be your mom! You have blessed our family in numerous ways. You are always turning my frowns and frustrations into smiles and relief. I can't wait to see how you develop this next year. But please don't grow up too fast!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Mister Marsh is THREE!

Three years ago I became a mom to one of the most wonderful boys. He had cheeks galore and I am blessed that I still get to love on them!

Marshall definitely has a slow to warm up personality, but if you have patience and don't give up on him, then he will love and adore you. He loves tickles, and loves to give hugs and kisses. If you have an 'owie', you can count on Marshall to kiss it better for you. While he is shy and may not show it, he truly cares about others. He loves to laugh and giggle with his friends, and will always watch out the window saying 'bye friends, see ya' when they leave. He is also starting to ask to play with friends, so that's been fun! Marshall especially loves his little sister, Maylee. He will ask for her if she is asleep, or if he wants her to do an activity with him. He likes to rub her head and say, 'soft, soft, soft'.

Marshall's language development has required a lot of patience, but I am happy to say that he is getting it! His language has exploded the past couple of months, and you can often see the wheels turning in his head. He loves to narrate any movie that he watches by telling me what he sees. He also loves to narrate his books. He still talks in his own made up language a lot, but uses it more as a filler. So you'll hear made up words and real words combined when he talks. He has been starting to sing a bit, and when he switches to a different song he will make the sound of a radio tuning. He is also learning how to problem solve. One of my favorites recently was when he saw a scratch mark on the wall. He pointed to the wall and said, 'oh no! . . . hammer!'. Then he went into the coat closet and got Jake's tool box so he could hammer the wall and fix it.

He is obsessed with trucks and cars. He also loves to paint and play with play dough. However, one of his most favorite things to do is play in the dirt outside. The pool is becoming a new favorite too! He knows how to watch movies or play games on our phones. Some of his favorites right now are Monsters Inc., Peanuts, and Daniel Tiger. A new favorite activity for him is dancing. He is always asking to dance, so it's been fun for us to get up and get moving a bit! He also loves to climb on the bed and pretend to sleep so he can say, 'wake up!'. We often get a big blanket out so we can build a fort, and he is obsessed with that.

I have changed in a lot of ways since I have become a mom. I look back on these crazy fast three years and realize that Marshall has helped me in tremendous ways. He has helped me to understand myself as we both have similar personalities. He has helped me to appreciate my own mother and for the patience it took her to raise me. He has helped me to adjust my priorities so I am more focused on loving others and not just getting things done. He has helped me to enjoy life and to laugh more. He has helped me to understand the love that my Heavenly parents have for me. He has been my buddy since day one, and continues to be. We definitely do have our trying moments, but the good always outweighs the bad with this kid. Thanks for blessing me three years ago, and for continuing to bless me! I love you!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Anniversary, Potty Training, Studying, and Trials

This past Thursday, I thought it would be a good idea to start potty training Marshall. He was showing a lot of the signs, and so I was encouraged to give a go at it. I decided to take the 'naked' approach, since I have heard a lot of success stories with that. That morning he did have a few accidents, but he also went on the potty several times. I was really encouraged and impressed. Then something happened. I made him lunch and he just started whining. He would not eat and would not tell me what was wrong. I checked his head and he felt warm. He had a fever! I did not think my efforts to start potty training would end in a sick boy. Needless to say, I stopped potty training to give him some comfort.

This same day was also our five year anniversary of marriage.  Jake had a test that day so he was busy studying. Then that night he had school dinner that I let him attend because my dinner tasted awful, and ended up in the trash! When he got home, all we had time for was to exchange gifts, and then he was off to study for his next test. Maybe I was cursed for starting potty training on this day, but in the famous words of Alexander, it was a 'terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, day'.

The next day, Jake and I were planning on going out to a nice restaurant to celebrate our anniversary.  However, Marshall still had a fever and was cranky. I knew that our date night was not going to happen. I told our babysitter that we were going to have to postpone for another night. Sadly, we did not get to hang out with each other at home because Jake had a big test he needed to study for. In fact, Jake's been studying all weekend, and it's been hard. It's always hard when he is studying, which is most every day of our lives, but this weekend has just felt harder.

I had to stay home from church today because Marshall was still not feeling well. It gave me plenty of time to watch church related videos. I watched an interview between a few ladies and they were talking about trials. One of them quoted something from Orson F. Whitney, that really hit home for me.
"No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in Heaven."

When I heard this, I was reminded why I am meant to have trials and tribulations. This is what I signed up for! This is the Lord's plan and it is such a wonderful plan. We are meant to have trials so that we can grow and become our best possible selves. We would not feel a need for improvement and growth if we did not have trials. Sometimes in the midst of trials it is hard to remember this. I know my trials are for a wise purpose.

I am also so blessed! All I have to do is look at my family and our current situation, and I realize how lucky I am to have the opportunities that I do have. There is a lot of scary stuff going on in the world right now. So many people have it so much worse than I do. So with that in mind, I am going to continue on, strive to serve, and try to be my best self. I know that things will work out.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

My Social Media Cleanse

I'll admit that I am a pretty insecure person. Or at least I have insecure days. A week ago I had one of those days. There were many triggers that led to this, but overall it came from my tendency to compare myself to other people. I love my social media, but sometimes I look at it the wrong way. I tend to look at another person's life and think that they are perfect. This makes me feel inadequate, and diminishes my self-worth. I end up comparing my weaknesses to their strengths. What a horrible comparison that is! However, my mind and emotions get tricked into thinking their lives are better than mine.

I knew that social media was making me an emotional nut-case. Not only for the fact of how insecure it made me feel, but also because I had a constant need to 'check' my phone endlessly. I found I was not enjoying my life as much as I was enjoying other peoples lives. I was not being 'there' for my kids. I would snap at them more if they needed my attention. I did not like the person I was when I was constantly 'checking' my phone.

This self-diminishing day led me to make some changes. I made a goal to sign out of Instagram and Facebook and only check them morning and night. The rest of the day I could focus on my own life, and not the lives of those I follow. I have replaced my constant checking with being more present with my family, friends, and an inspirational eBook. What a difference this had made since I started this social media cleanse a week ago! I am hopeful, encouraged, and happy. I can honestly say that I love my life, despite the daily challenges that I face.

We all have our weaknesses and challenges! Social media only shows us little snippets of most people's lives. Often times, people only post the positive, because that's what they want to celebrate and remember. It does not mean that their lives are not filled with trials. I love social media for this reason. It gives us a chance to celebrate and mourn with those we love. We are so lucky that we have a support system of individuals who mostly strive to lift up and not put down. There are many times that I have been encouraged by something someone posts, which then helps me get through a challenge that I may be having. I will never delete my social media accounts for this reason.

We need to all be there to support each other and lift each other up. Our life here on earth is not a competition, unlike what Satan tells us. We need to be happy for others, and not jealous of them. We need to rejoice in each others victories. Life is hard, so let's help each other through it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Valentines Day Letters

** I started writing these before valentines day, but never finished. It's cool to see the growth that these kiddos have had in just a few short weeks. Seeing them progress in their development is amazing!**

Miss Maylee Baby Honey,

Mommy loves you so much! I love the way you breathe and get so excited when you start crawling somewhere. I love how you crawl to me just to sit on my lap or to have me hold you. I love your sweet little two teeth grin and giggle. I love the way you laugh and follow your big brother around. I love your excitement to eat leaves and get dirty when outside. I love the way you stick your right fist in your mouth when mommy feeds you baby food. I love the way you pat on your food tray when you want more. I love the way you shake your legs with excitement when mommy or daddy hold you to chase Marshall. I love the alone time I get with you when your brother takes his naps. I love your sweet chunky cheeks and petite figure. I love the way you yank your bows off your head. I love your sweet little raspy voice when you talk. I love when you say 'dada'. I love the excitement you have when you pull yourself up to something because watching you learn is an amazing thing.


Mister Marsh,

Mommy loves you so much! I love how you always say 'hi' and 'bye', even if it's right after that person left the room so they don't hear you. I love the way you shake with excitement over the simplest things. I love how cautious, yet willing you are. While you are afraid of many things, you grab my hand so I can help you conquer your fears. I love conquering your fears together, and I love when you start to do things on your own. While your speech delay can be hard at times, it makes it that much more fun when you learn new words, which I love! I love how you will always come sit on my lap or give me a hug and say 'hug' when I am sitting on the ground. I love the way you say 'outside' and how excited you get when you get to go out. I love your fascination with closing doors, and throwing things away. Even if it's things that are not meant to be thrown away. I love how you let your sister play with you, and ask about her when she is napping. I love when you two laugh together. I love the way you give kisses, but it's not in the way that you would expect. You bring your cheek up to mine, daddy's, or Maylee's lips and expect us to kiss your cheeks. I love the way you like to read books and point and say the things that you see. I love your fascination with birthday cakes, even though mommy never makes cakes. I love the way you pretend to eat food in books. I love how excited you are to see milk at the grocery store and demand me to get it every time. I love to hear you count, even if it's just to two most of the time. Your little voice is to die for.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Maylee Ruth Hansen

I started writing this months ago and never got around to finishing it and posting it. I am mad at myself because a lot of the details towards the end of the post I had to try to remember. Maylee is now almost 6 months old!


My sweet little Maylee is now here! It's crazy how having a baby does not actually seem real until you see them and touch them for the first time after delivery. Even though your belly grows and you feel the kicks, it's still not the same. We love her to pieces and are so glad she is here!

I decided to be induced a few days before my due date (May 26th). The doctor was a little concerned about how big the baby was getting compared to how small I am. We took Marshall into consideration because he was almost 9 lbs and it was a long labor and hard recovery.

Delivery Week Timeline:

May 23rd - My mother-in-law was flying into town that night and we thought that I was going into labor. My contractions were very consistent for quite a few hours, and they were getting painful. We were starting to get a little stressed as to who we would have to call to watch Marshall and how we could get my mother-in-law here from the airport. Jake even started packing his bag to take to the hospital and writing down notes for potential babysitters. Luckily Marshall was already asleep so if we had to call someone it would just be to sit at our apartment for a couple hours until my mother-in-law got there. I decided to take a bath and that calmed down my contractions quite a bit. Jake was able to pick up his mom from the airport and I was able to sleep pretty well that night.

May 24th - I thought for sure I would be having the baby this day considering what happened the night before, but my contractions never started back up. I started walking around my apartment complex trying to get things going, and still nothing. I thought it would be great if I could go naturally instead of having to get induced. My contractions stayed pretty calm the whole day.

May 25th - Marshall woke up wheezing and coughing. He did not have an appetite and was pretty cranky. He has been getting colds a lot lately and whenever he has a cold he wheezes and it takes him a while for his cough to go away. I grew up with asthma and I knew that he probably had it considering his history. Back in February with his first wheezing episode we went to an urgent care and they prescribed him an inhaler with a spacer. We have used that off and on whenever he has been sick since, but it seemed like it was not working super well this time around. We decided to make a doctors appointment for him that afternoon as I had a doctor's appointment that morning. Soon after we made the appointment for Marshall, my doctor's office called and asked if they could move my appointment to the afternoon. We ended up being in a time crunch and had to wait at both doctors offices for over an hour. It was a long day!
At my appointment the doctor checked my cervix and I was at 1cm but was very thinned and effaced. The doctor was concerned the week before because I was carrying Maylee pretty high still. He said that she was down lower and that those contractions I had a few days before probably helped to push her down a little bit. He said that everything looked good for the induction the next day and he also said that the baby felt like she was less than 8 lbs.
At Marshall's appointment, he got a breathing treatment, was officially diagnosed with asthma, and got an order for a nebulizer. He also had an ear infection so he got on antibiotics for that as well as a steroid for the asthma. I was so grateful that my mother-in-law was here to help him with his breathing treatments and medication as Jake and I were going to be in the hospital the next day. I would hate to have anyone else to have do deal with my sick baby boy.

May 26th -
8:00am - When we arrived at the hospital, we had to get registered and answer a ton of health related questions before they started me.
9:30am - I started my pitocin.
11:00am - The doctor broke my water and he measured me at 2cm. He said I probably would be delivering early that afternoon and that he would see me in a few hours.
Contractions started getting more intense and I decided to get my epidural when I was at 4cm at 2pm. The epidural did not treat me well this time around. When I had the epidural with Marshall I got nauseous and cold, but that was it. I did not feel anything and was COMPLETELY numb. I could not move my legs at all. This time around I started to get dizzy and they had to lay me back and give me some medicine to help with the dizziness. Then when I started to feel better, Maylee's heartbeat started racing and I had to wear oxygen to get her back to where she needed to be. When they sat me back up I had to throw up, and then I felt dizzy again. I had to lay back down and get some more medicine. It was kind of crazy there for a while.
This time with the epidural I could still feel the contractions, but they were not painful. I could also move one of my legs pretty good and move the other leg a little bit. I definitely was not as numb as I was with Marshall. Around 4:00 the contractions were starting to feel painful again and I felt a lot of painful pressure. I pushed the button to get more dosage from the epidural and then called the nurse in to check me. She said that I was only at 5cm, but that her head was very low. A little over an hour later I was feeling a lot of pain. I felt so much pressure and felt like I needed to push. I had Jake call the nurse in, because I was in a lot of pain, and she checked my cervix and I was ready to go. She stepped out to call my doctor and then came back in and we started pushing. I only pushed a couple of times and then she said that we needed to wait for my doctor to get there because she was afraid I was going to push Maylee out without him. I was in a lot of pain and I did not want to wait for the doctor. Luckily, the doctor came in about 5 minutes later. After everything was set up and ready to go I started pushing again.
I honestly did not think that I was going to make it through this delivery. It was so different than Marshall's because I could feel things. I think this helped me in the end though to push extra hard because pushing was the only way to find some relief. I think I pushed for about 20-30 minutes.

At 6:00pm, Maylee Ruth Hansen made her appearance into the world! She had a little difficulty breathing so they swept her away pretty fast, but soon enough we were able to hold this sweet little girl.She weighed 9 lbs 5 oz and was 21 inches long. She was bigger than Marshall! The doctor was shocked. She is such a sweetheart and we are grateful to have her in our family!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Rainy Days

The past few days it has been raining off and on. Jake and I only have one car and he usually walks to school so I don't have to be cooped up in the house all day. Well, because of the rain, I have had him take the car. One of Marshall's favorite things to do is to play outside. We have a nice little area to play around behind our apartment building where Marshall can throw rocks, leaves, pick dandelions, etc. Usually he ends up falling or sitting a couple times and I would rather not do that with wet grass. So we have been cooped up inside for the past couple of days. Another one of Marshall's favorite things to do is watch movies. So if he is cooped up inside, he is begging to watch movies all day. I try to get him to do other things, like color, or play with toys, but those activities get old quickly and he is begging to watch a movie again.

Yesterday was a bad day. I gave in and let him watch movies most of the day. I don't think it helped that I was not feeling super great. The night before there was a huge thunderstorm that kept me up a lot of the night - (not to mention a little baby kicking my sides). I was tired, cranky, and did not want to hear him complaining all day. Still though, it was inevitable that I heard quite a bit of complaining from him. It must be the stage that he is in, but he now will give this little owl sound when he is upset or wants something, which will eventually grow into a tantrum if he does not get what he wants.

On Wednesdays, Jake usually has to stay at school until at least 8 p.m.. So it was just Marshall and I all day long and I could not wait to put him down for bed (early). When Jake got home, I did not have much to say, but I missed him and just wanted to be with him. I always forget how the couple hours while Marshall is awake and Jake is home gives me a much needed rejuvenation.

I love being a mother, and I love my little boy. But some days I just don't love it quite as much. I am always hard on myself when my day is less than ideal and when I feel like I failed as a parent. While I was bathing Marshall before bedtime, I sat on the edge of the bathtub with my eyes almost welling up with tears. I knew that the day could have gone better and I could not help but feel like it was all my fault.

I think it is important as mothers to admit to ourselves when we need help and when we need a break. Sometimes it is okay if you let your child watch movies all day. Sometimes it is okay to take a nap. Sometimes it is okay to cry and eat chocolate. Your house does not have to look completely perfect, and dinner can just be leftovers. You don't always have to shower, do your hair, and put on make up. It's okay to take a break.

Something that the Lord has been trying to teach me lately is that he does not expect me to be perfect. The only thing that He expects of me is to keep trying. Sometimes that 'trying' means listening to your body and emotions when you need a break. In fact, I don't think He expects us to run on empty. He wants us to give ourselves time to relax and meditate.

One of my new favorite things to do in the morning is to give myself sometime to meditate. The dishes and shower can wait. After Marshall and I have our breakfast, he runs over to the TV and I turn a movie on for him. Then I head back to my room and pray and study the gospel. Once that 'meditation' is done, I feel more motivated to do better, be better, and keep trying. It helps me to remember that even on days where I feel like I failed as a mother that it is okay.

My plea to mothers everywhere is to remember to give yourselves breaks, even if that means turning on a movie for your little ones. Just because you feel like you have failed does not mean that you are a failure. You are doing better than you think you are.