Wes really loves to “do science”.  It’s pretty cute.  Any little experiment we are able to come up with he just loves.  He is all about baking soda and vinegar.  I just love his joy in learning.  I found my treasured microscope from when I was about 10 years old and he really enjoyed it.  He gets all excited to use the tweezers to put different tiny pieces of matter on the slides.

Here he is doing some science.  These are from July 2013.


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Ellie’s Blessing

Kirk blessed our sweet little baby girl in July. We are so lucky to have such supportive, loving family members. We had a big old crew that came to the blessing. Kirk had several family members in town from the week prior when his dad was called as a Bishop to the single’s ward in his stake. I didn’t get any pictures during the actual luncheon and only got one of us at church together. These big days are always the ones I have the least pictures of. I am just too busy cherishing the important things to step behind my camera. I love my family and I love this sweet, beautiful girl of mine. I live a very blessed life and I am so grateful for it.

Oh! I should add that I made her blessing dress.

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While in Long Beach, the kids & I met up with Sara & Brooke to go to the Skirball Cultural Center. I had never heard of this place but it was absolutely unbelievable! I don’t even know how to describe it. There is a permanent Noah’s ark exhibit that is literally the most fascinating children’s anything I have ever seen. I didn’t take many photos and now I wish I did. You can touch & manipulate everything in the 3 room exhibit & there are a million pieces that come together making the whole thing cohesive. You have to click that link and check it out. The only problem I had was being caught in 2.5 hours of traffic on the way home with Ellie shrieking the entire way. I wanted to pull over but I couldn’t in the traffic & unfamiliar area. But the Skirball was incredible & worth it.

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Long Beach

Kirk had a work conference in Long Beach in September. Every time he has traveled for work he has invited me. Every time I am either super sick & pregnant or there is something else going on in our life that prevents me from going. After 5 years of missed opportunities I finally got to tag along. It was great! I had never been to Long Beach and we stayed in a hotel right by the water. Kirk left early each morning and got home late some nights. Coordinating naps and outings in an unfamiliar area was a bit of a pain. Overall, the area was fun to explore and we were so lucky to see Sara & family a few times during the trip. Let me tell you something – those Bradfords are great. I just love them all.

We also got to see the space shuttle! I am really tired & can’t remember anything about the thing except that it was really awesome to see. I wish I was writing this 5 months ago when we were there so I could document it better. As it is, I am up at 1am thanks to a little guy with night frights and a little girl with a cold. Gah!

Here are a few pics of our time there. Lots of beaches, hours wasted in traffic, an aquarium, a few fun walks on the waterway just the kids & me, lots of traffic & lots of time spent loving on my babies.

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Wesley’s 3rd Birthday

Wesley had his 3rd birthday way back in April.  If I were a better blogger, you’d know that by now.

We bought him a little ride on car –  you know a mini car for him to drive around & pick up the ladies.  He loved it at first.  I guess he realized that he was pretty much out of control in it and was scared for a while.

We invited all his little church pals over for a party.  I made some little rounds of pizza dough & had the kids top them with sauce, cheese & pepperoni.  It was actually fun & worked well.  I think the fact that I had the crust all baked and ready to go was the key.  The kids brought their swim suits and played on the slip n’ slide until they were all tuckered out.  Such an easy and fun party for the little guy. I’m sure I have pictures somewhere … but Ii can’t find them as I type this so use your imagination! ha!

Wes is a real joy.  He’s funny, loves his friends & family, is easily fired up (got that from me), is tender-hearted, loves to wrestle & jump off things, is happy and very smart.  I love being his mom.  Now that he’s 3 he thinks he knows everything and is fairly certain everything I say is worth ignoring.  However, he’s my baby and he’s still the sweetest boy I know.  Also, he continues to excel in cuddling.

My parents & Molly came over for his birthday dinner.  He’s so lucky to have family close by.

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Wesley has been a fantastic brother.  Ellie really lights up when he’s around.  It’s amazing how babies love their siblings right from the start.

It took a couple days before Wesley was super interested in her but their first real bonding moment touched my heart and I’ll never forget it.  Ellie was a couple days old.  I was semi-awake with her on the couch in the early, early morning & Wes woke up looking for me.  When he found me, he asked what I was doing and I told him the baby woke up and I was helping her.  He sat down with us and just watched her for a moment or two.  Then he said, “Can I hold her?” and he really meant it.  He didn’t just want to have a baby on his lap but he wanted to cuddle his sister.  Wes has a very special way of showing love & that’s through his cuddles.  They are big, deep cuddles that just oooze of his love and affection.  I helped him get situated and then had the pleasure of watching him soak her in.  It was such a tender experience for me.

Ellie has been loved, protected, admired and adored by her brother.  They are such sweet friends and it warms my heart to witness such precious moments as a mother.

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—–> Ok, I wrote this in October and never finished it or posted it.  I’m posting it now.  I thought it was funny the way I left things. :)


It would appear that I am way behind on this blog.  I used to be pretty good at keeping this ol’ thing up.

Here’s a little “10 things” update.

1. Miss Ellie Gwen is now 5 months old.  She’s a joy.  Always happy, always adorable and always stealing the show.  She started rolling over both ways a bit prior to 3 months.  At 4 months, she was sitting for short periods of time.  Doing better with that and starting to scoot all over.

2. We moved! Just closed on the sale of our house on Friday.  It was stressful and a lot of work but so worth it.  Although, we were sad to say goodbye to that beautiful little home.

3. Wes has started preschool.  It’s an in home preschool with a very convienient location … our house!  I am teaching with help from my sister, Mary.  We have 10 kids.  It has been pretty fun so far.

4. Ellie has been exclusively breastfed and it appears to be working.  She’s just shy of 20 pounds and 28.5 inches tall.  That puts her above the 97th percentile in weight and over the 100th percentile in height.  This girl is big and so squishy.  She wears some 9 month clothing but mostly 12 month.  On a funny note, she was wearing leggings the other day that were all stretched out on her big thighs and my friend pointed out that they were a bigger size (18-24 month) than her 2.5 year old was wearing (9 month).

5. I don’t mean to brag or anything but I have lost 50 pounds in 5 months.  Ok, I want to brag but all I have really done is breastfeed.  I was so fat my body literally couldn’t keep up with it.  I still have 10 to lose but I’m trying to just be happy no matter my weight.  I really struggle with my weight and always feel fat not matter what size I am.   …Side note: how the hell did I gain 60 pounds?   I had lost 17 pounds the first 4 months of that pregnancy, too.  So really in 5 months I gained 77 pounds.  Yikes.

6.  Kirk is still a great dad.  You would just die if you saw him with Ellie.  She’s so cute and happy in the mornings he literally CANNOT resist holding her and cuddling her before exclaiming, “Oh, Ellie.  I want to hold you all day but I’m already late for work.”  Everyday.

7. We got to tag along on Kirk’s business trip to Long Beach.  That meant visiting the Bradfords, the Beach and tacking on a trip to Disneyland.

8. We went to Disneyland!!! (I know I already mentioned it but it was a huge deal.)

9. I can’t think of anything else… maybe I’ll finish this another day …

Ellie Gwen

After 9 brutal months of pregnancy, we finally had the privilege of welcoming the world’s best, most beautiful baby girl.  Ellie Gwen arrived on May 14th weighing 7 pounds, 4 ounces and 20 & 3/4 inches long.  She truly, truly is the world’s best baby.  She will literally go days without crying (unless she’s in the car) and is one of those babies that willingly goes to anyone that likes snuggling a newborn.  Such a dream this girl is!

I’ll post more on her later.  How ’bout a quick birth story?

Exactly a week prior to giving birth I was helping Wesley pull up his shorts when my back spasmed.  It was terrible.  I fell on the ground and was stuck for an hour even though Kirk was home.  I couldn’t take the pain of moving or being moved at all.  We went to triage because if you fall you have to get checked.  I couldn’t have the baby that night because I was in such bad shape so I was glad the medicine they ended up giving me stopped what progress was being made.  They gave me morphine & muscle relaxers that kind of took the edge off but not really.  Kirk had to take the week off to take care of me.

Monday morning I was having contractions and woke up knowing that I was going to have a baby before I went to bed that night.  Kirk stayed home and we walked about 8 miles trying to get contractions really going.  They were strong but very inconsistent.  I was in so much pain because of my back.  I had stopped the pain medication & muscle relaxers so labor would start up again.  I had to literally keep my back as still as possible during contractions.  Wincing or moving even slightly would throw spasms out of control  It felt like torture.  I called the doctor that evening to get their take on it and they told me to go in to a labor check.  My mother in law thankfully came down to watch Wes.  It felt so good knowing that he was in the care of someone that loves him so much as I was leaving him for the last time as an only child.

We got to the hospital and the doctor checked me and said I was a 3.5, fully effaced and the baby was engaged.  She told me she could send me home to walk for a few hours or maybe emit me.  I told her I wasn’t leaving at 10pm to drive 30 minutes home, walk 3 hours & drive back.  I told her to emit me because I knew my baby was going to come.  So, she did.  I sort of died for the next while as contractions decided to really start coming & I waited for an epidural.  Let me tell you something.  That epidural changed my life.  I had been in constant pain for a week and that epidural took it all away.  I felt so good I cried.

Anyway, this was about midnight or so.  I was super nauseous and the nurse gave me zofran through the IV.  Felt SO good to get that going.  Kirk went to go eat & get my bags from the car because we thought the epidural would slow everything down.  The doctor came in to check me while I was calling my mom.  I hung up and as she was checking me she said, “Wow!  You progressed with the epidural.  You’re a 4.  Oh my gosh, now you’re a 5!  How long did it take to push your son out?”  “20 minutes, I think?”  She handed me back my phone and said, “Call everyone you want here right now.  Tell them to get here.  Call your husband and tell him he needs to get here immediately.  If he needs to eat, he needs to eat in here.”   The nurse set the room up for delivery and I thought they were being a bit crazy.

About 30 minutes later Kirk, my mom and my sister Allison arrived.  I was all excited but told them I was sorry they were going to have to wait a while.  Then, I puked and the nurse said I was probably transitioning.  I was mad I was puking clear up until the end of pregnancy again.  About 10 minutes later I mentioned pressure to my family and they said I should tell my nurse.  I called her and told her.  She ran in with the doctor.

Within minutes, I had a baby.  She was tiny and beautiful.  All I ever dreamed of.  Instantly, I felt such peace and happiness after a rocky road the past 2.5 years.  It took longer than I wanted for Ellie to be in my arms but she was well worth the wait.
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Thank you to everyone that helped out during my pregnancy, during my labor & since Ellie was born.  So glad to have my mom and one of my sisters there.  I was very grateful to have Allison there to take all these great pictures.  We have been so blessed as a family.


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We had a great Easter this year.  I wanted to do a big Easter egg hunt with the moms & kids from church so we ended up going to Gibson Ranch.  It was great.  We used to go there all the time as kids and enjoy seeing the animals & ducks, playing on the grassy hills & having a picnic as a family.  So many great memories there.  It’s fun to make memories with Wes in the places I went as a child.  We had a big group of kids and moms and a million eggs to hide & let the kids find.   We had so much fun.

We then headed up to Rocklin to go to a movie with cousins.  Mary, Allison, Cristy & their kids all went to see The Croods & we tagged along.  There were 10 kids there and they were so cute all lined up snacking, laughing and watching the movie together.

On Easter Sunday, we had a lovely day.  Despite the fact that Wes went to bed late & then woke up in the middle of a loud thunderstorm the night before, we pulled it all together.  The Easter bunny hid a basket full of fun little trinkets (thank Heaven for the Target dollar section), a couple little candies and thankfully a “chocate bunny” like the ones we have seen everywhere for a month.  I wonder if Wes knows it is for eating because it is still in the package.

After church we dyed eggs then headed over to Peepa’s house. We had a delicious dinner & Grandma even spoiled the little guys with some candy and fuzzy little chicks.  It wouldn’t be Easter without my mom giving the little chicks out.

It was a great week.  I am so thankful that we were able to celebrate Easter with my friends and family.  It was also great to focus on the real meaning behind Easter, Jesus’ resurrection.  We watched a couple videos with Wes about it for FHE and hearing his little questions and comments were priceless.  “He not there!” (in the tomb) and “Jesus is fixed!” were just so cute.  Made me feel like he’s starting to understand bits and pieces.

The Railroad Museum with Buddies

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Wesley’s little buddy from church lives just a few doors down from us.  It’s great having a friend so close.  We got together one afternoon & took the boys to the CSRM.  They had a great time (Wes loves the train museum) and even managed to run away from us moms under some caution tape.  Little stinkers!  They are just a couple of wild little guys and such great playmates.  Helps that they have such a fun Mama, too!  …And she’s from Georgia if you’re wondering why she’s pointing to the Georgia train. ;)