Nov 12, 2007


I absolutely love Halloween with kids! They are so excited to get all dressed up and go trick-or-treating. I love thinking about what each of my kids will dress up as. It is all so fun! I start thinking about it sometime in August usually. So, for the unveiling, albeit a little after the fact, of my kids' Halloween costumes, in no particular order.... I give you



They were all so cute that day. I just loved it. It was one of those times I wish I could have stopped time and just enjoyed the day forever. Jake perfected his Spongebob laugh and kept running around saying, "I'm ready, I'm ready." I know only a select few will actually understand that, but it was pretty funny. Emma was very insistent that she was not a "cute" witch, but a very "scary" witch. She came up with all the make-up on her own. That was what made her so "scary." Pete, well he just sat on my lap in his pepper costume and smiled at everyone that came by to see us.
Our neighborhood does this great thing where we all trick-or-treat on one street. The city closes the street for us (yes, I live in small town, USA) and we all set up chairs, tables, some very ambitious people bring decorations and games and we just do all the trick-or-treating together there. There is always cider and hot cocoa and everyone has a ball. It was especially fun this year because the weather was so great. I know there are a lot of people who do the trunk-or-treat thing, but I think this everyone out walking around together is just, well, better. So, there. Anyway I hope you enjoy the pictures of my adorable Halloween kidos and I hope everyone had as great a holiday as we did. There is also a follow-up post coming soon about my obsession with Emma's costumes. It is a must read if I do say so myself. Mainly because I have some great pictures.

Sep 18, 2007

He's not mad, really... thats just how he looks

My sister Natalie did this blog about her husband. I thought it was really cute, then my sis-in-law Erica did it about Bob, and then my cousin, Kristin, about her husband Eric. I thought, oh that is so sweet. They all said these nice things about their husbands. I didn't really think of doing one until I was talking with one of my friends, who shall remain nameless, and she mentioned that if you don't know Nate he comes off kind of well, angry or unhappy, or ornery. Now, I don't think of him like that because I know that is just the way he looks naturally, you know like he hates the world. But I started thinking that it was probably a good idea to do one of those husband blog thingys about him because who knows how many people out there really don't know what a fun guy (I love saying that because it sounds like fungi) I am married to. So, here you have it a whole post devoted to the one and only Nate Swenson.

Who's your man? Nate

How long have you been together? Our first date was September 27, 1996 (ahhh! I'm old) So it will be 11 years on September 27.

Dating/Engaged/Married? 2 months, engaged 4 1/2 months, married 10 years 4 1/2 months.

How old is your man? 32, And still hot!

Who eats more? Nate. He isn't much of a meal eater, but he eats way more often than I do during the day. And if its pie, forget about it!

Who said "I love you" first? This is going to really show how long we have been married... I don't remember. I know Nate told me he loved me and he would just let me know if it changed.

Who weighs more? Nate. He is over a foot taller than me, he better.

Who sings better? Me, but only because Nate doesn't sing. He swears that he sings the hymns in church but I have yet to actually hear sound coming from his mouth. His Mom likes to tell us about how he starred in his first grade musical though, so I might be surprised.

Who's older? Nate, 2 years and 10 days. He was born on New Year's Eve at 10:30 at night. The doctor actually thought he might be able to wait and have Nate be the first New Year's baby, but Nate's dad wanted the tax write-off.

Who's smarter? Probably Nate. His mind is like a steel trap for facts and data. He knows a little bit, or a lot, about everything. I know I am smart, but like my sister Natalie said about herself, I say dumb things. Often I know that it was dumb to say, but I don't realize that until after it has come out of my mouth.

Who's temper is worse? Mine, by far. Nate is very even tempered. I don't think I have even heard him raise his voice.

Who does the laundry? I have addressed the laundry issue in a previous post. See, I have really good intentions so I start it but usually it takes Nate's prompting and help to get it done. I almost always fold and he puts away. It works.

Who does dishes? Me, most of the time. Nate will help if I ask, but I am a very controlling person about how my dishwasher is loaded. My friend Becky and I suffer from the same dishwasher control issues and have concluded it is most of the time better for our husbands to just let us load. In fact unloading is touchy too because I like my cupboards a certain way. I guess he just can't win.

Who's feet are bigger? Definitely Nate, although after so many pregnancies my feet aren't as dainty as they once were.

Who's hair is longer? Mine, mainly because I have hair. I don't think Nate's thinning hair bothers him because he is still 'so good looking.'

Who's better with the computer? This is pretty funny, uh Nate, duh. He swears the only phone calls that are for him are computer questions. That is not true at all because he also gets calls with bishopric questions.

Who mows the lawn? Nate. He really needs a riding lawn mower, but he has been using the push mower all summer without complaint. I did try half the lawn once but it takes me way longer and looks way worse. I would be willing to do it though.

Who pays the bills? I pay them, but Nate works to support my rock-n-roll lifestyle.

Who cooks dinner? Me. I really don't mind fixing dinner, it is the grocery shopping that drives me bonkers!

Who drives when you are together? Nate, unless he is having low blood sugar, then either no one is consciously driving or hopefully I am driving.

Who pays when you go out to dinner? Always me. I think Nate just doesn't want the hassle, and I don't mind.

Who's the most stubborn? That is definitely a hard one. We are both pretty stubborn, but I am just passive aggressive and he isn't. So, basically it's obvious when he is being stubborn, I act like I am not being stubborn. It makes decisions difficult needless to say.

Who's the first one to admit when they're wrong? I am. Nate has better logical arguments for things than I do so even if he was wrong he can make me think he wasn't. Also, he makes fun of me all the time because I apologize for EVERYTHING. Even things I have no control over, I apologize for them.

Who's parents do you see more? Probably mine. We see my parents more often for shorter periods of time, and we see his parents less often for longer periods of time. I don't know if it evens out or what.

Who kissed who first? Nate, and frankly it felt like it took him FOREVER.

Who asked who out? I actually asked him out. I had been hanging out with all his roommates for a while because they were the "hotties" of the ward, but Nate was working nights on a campaign, so I hadn't met him. I had my eye on one of his roommates, but then the first night I was still at their apartment when Nate came home from work my mind was changed. He was so funny and charismatic that as I walked home with my roommate Emily I told her I had to ask Nate out, and I did. He wasn't even sure which of us (me and my roommates) it was that had asked him out when he said yes.

What did you do?We went to a corn maze. I kind of think those are lame, but I hadn't been to one before. Then we went and had desert. Nate said I didn't act like I really liked him, but he was wrong. I really wanted to go out with him again, but I had been asked out on dates for the next two weekends, so it took a couple more weeks before we went on another official date.

Who's more sensitive? Me! Sometimes Nate can't even walk in the door without me getting my feelings hurt.

Who's taller? Definitely Nate. I am 5'1" and Nate is 6' 1". But I wear heels most of the time, so many don't know how tall I really am.

Who has more friends? This is a hard one because it has changed throughout our marriage. When we first got married I would definitely say Nate because he had "the guys". I mostly had friends that were guys when we got married, so I didn't have very many close friends after we got married. Nate has often said he is happy with the friends he has and he doesn't need any more. He has a few really close friends and I have a larger group of not as close friends. It is funny because where we live right now it seems like we just have a ton of people around that both of us want to be friends with. Its great.

Who wears the pants in the relationship? Nate, but not because he is bossy or anything. In fact he would rather not, but I just have such a hard time saying what I want that he ends up having to make the decisions. I am working on it though.

Nate really isn't angry you just have to get to know him well enough to look past his angry eyebrows. I wanted to date him because he was 'so gooood lookin' and because he had such a great sense of humor, and I guess that is something that only a chosen few of us have gotten to experience.
I love you Nate!
Oh, I just had to add a picture of Peter because he is changing so much so fast!

Just kidding, 2 pictures.

Aug 22, 2007

Mucho Informacion!

I know from the title you might think I speak Spanish, but surprisingly, I don't. It is just a warning that this is a very long blog containing a lot of information about our summer. Read at your own risk.

My boy went to school ALL day! I can't believe I have a first grader! It is absolutely nuts. Jake gets on the bus at 8:19 and is dropped off at 3:44. He is gone all day long. He was pretty tired and hungry when he got home yesterday, but other than that I think he did really well. It is so hard as a Mom to just put your little boy on the bus then trust that he is okay and everything is taken care of for the rest of the day. I really felt like following the bus in the morning and following him into school. I didn't, but I was tempted.

So, Jake is in first grade, Emma will be starting her second year of preschool, and Peter is over 3 months old! It is just surreal. Don't you love this picture. It just really shows their personalities. Jake is reluctantly getting his picture taken and Emma is posing.

With all the changes I have decided to try and organize my life. Nate can testify to the fact that although I have the best of intentions, I never seem to get everything organized and running the way I want. Like I will bring all the laundry into the laundry room with the intention of doing all the laundry in one day, fold it, and put it away. Yeah, so I am really lucky if more than one load gets done per day. I just forget. I don't know what compartment of my brain holds the "turn the laundry over" card, but it just doesn't click. So, I am basically doing laundry every day all day. It is nuts. My sister, Natalie, posted once about how her clothes never make it to the closet and how her hair stuff is all over the bathroom counter instead of put away. Well, I think we have a missing link in our brains because I am the same way. Right now as I look around the room no kidding there are 3 pairs of my shoes just in the family room. How they got there I don't know. I don't know where the hiccup in my brain happens, but I know it is there. The point of all this is that I am going to try to get on top of my life, including putting my shoes away. So, when I have a beautifully clean house, all the bills paid, caught up on the current geneology project, sewing projects and photos, I will take a picture so you can all see how far I have come. Just don't hold your breath.

Since my last blog we have gone to a Christensen family reunion. It was held up Hobble Creek Canyon at Spring Haven Lodge. I really enjoyed spending the time with that family. They are some of the best people you could ever meet. They are just really nice, regular (a positive thing) people. I just always feel so good when I have spent time around them. My kids had an absolute blast playing with all the cousins. I swear I hardly saw them except meals and bedtime.

Also, my brother Bill and his wife and daughter have been here for the summer. They have spent the last 2 years in Boston, so it has been a ton of fun to see them so often. Their daughter, Kenslee, is 1 1/2 and she just loves Emma. It is so cute. Every time she is at my Mom's she takes my Mom the phone and says "Emma". I just love it! This is why I have been pressuring my siblings to have kids. It is so fun to see cousins together.

My sister Natalie has been on the east coast all summer, but she got to come visit for a little bit. She lives in St. George when they are out here anyway, so this was the most I have seen her in a couple of years. She came out because my Grandma McGuire passed away. It was kind of bitter sweet because she had suffered a stroke 10 years ago and has never regained the ability to speak, write, maybe read I don't even know. I think her mortal body was becoming kind of a prison to her. Also, Grandpa passed away about seven years ago, so I imagine there was a great reunion on the other side with him. It is strange because the last time I saw her before she died I took Peter to see her. For some reason I handed him to her to hold. This was not a logical thing to do because she is basically paralized on the right side and can't even hold her own body up, but I just handed her my 4 1/2 lb. baby. She was so happy. We got some really sweet pictures that I will always treasure.

Jul 23, 2007

Whose idea anyway???

So, everyone I know is doing these cool things with their blogs. The way they look, the colors, everything. Then there is mine...yes I used a template. I am married to the smartest computer guy on the planet, and I used a template. I have actually been procrastinating posting in hopes I would figure out something fun to change up my blog. But, no you don't get anything exciting yet because today I used a template. So, I expect no complaints just enjoy the template.

We blessed Peter on July 15, 2007 at home. It was
really nice. It was a way last minute thing because Nate's family was going to be in town and my family could mostly make it, so we decided on Thursday that we were going to bless him on Sunday. My Dad had to speak in a ward during our sacrament meeting time, and I had to teach Relief Society so it just worked out better to do the blessing at home after church.
Here is my question though. Who came up with the idea that the new Mom hosts a "luncheon" after the blessing. I think everyone should still be bringing lunch to her. Well, I actually can't really complain because my family (Mom) helped out a ton! But I do think in general maybe that isn't a good tradition to continue unless we can figure out a way that it doesn't totally stress out the new mom.
The blessing was very nice. Our Bishop was able to come over and join us for the blessing also which meant a lot to us. I was kind of sad we didn't do it in sacrament meeting because our ward did so much to help us at the end of my pregnancy and then after Peter was born. I think of them as family and wished they all could be there.
Peter fussed a smidge as they got ready to bless him, but then he was absolutely angelic for the rest of the blessing. Not a peep. He is just so sweet.
Emma had a couple of friends here for the blessing and my family, for the first time ever, got the snub from their niece because she wanted to be with her friends. It was so funny to see her in her little social world. She is definitely going to be quite the socialite.
Well, I have been tagged by my sis-in-law Erica... so all of you have to wait with baited breath for my next post when I respond to the tag. I know it is so intense it is like a cliff-hanger season finale or something. Loves and Hugs.

Jun 25, 2007

First Week

The first week of Peter being home has past. I am getting used to having a baby again. Not used to waking up in the night. I have it pretty good though because they had him on a three hour schedule in the NICU, so he seems to stick pretty closely with that. Last Tuesday at the Pediatrician's office he weighed a whopping 4 lbs 2 oz, and he has another appointment tomorrow so we will see how big he has gotten over the last week. I think he seems bigger, but I might just be getting used to how small he is.
There is a lot of help at home. Emma and Jake absolutely love to hold and feed Peter. He is small enough and light enough that they actually do a pretty good job at holding him. We had to have few chats about how Mom needs to say it is okay to hold him and then they can't carry him around. Emma was holding him and I went to turn over laundry and came back to her standing there rocking him. It was nerve racking but she knows the rules now. Not that that always matters, but I think we laid down the law pretty well. I just hadn't thought she would even think she could stand up with him. Oh well, luckily everyone is in one piece and we live and learn.
The noise and confusion of the house is sometimes hard on little Peter, but I think he will learn to tolerate and even like the chaos. He still isn't big enough to cry really loud, but I know that before long he will be a grand addition to the chaos.

Jun 21, 2007


Ahhhh! Life is changing so fast for us right now, I don't even have time to keep everyone updated on what is going on!
Peter was sent home on Sunday, June 17th. We had a heads up that he would probably be coming home sometime this week, but we were very surprised it was so soon. We got a phone call on Saturday that we needed to bring his carseat up and stay the night because they were releasing Peter the next day. We ran around and tried to get things set up to bring him home then went to the hospital. He was sent home on oxygen, so we kept him in a hospital room that night with us so we could make sure we knew how to use the oxygen equipment. Then Sunday morning our little 4 lb baby boy came home. Life has been crazy since then, but we are and will adjust.

Jun 10, 2007

It has been a while since I posted anything. That is just how life is right now. Well, to be honest with you it is just that I would rather spend an extra five minutes holding my new baby boy than write on the blog. It seems like every time I hold him lately he just gets cozy and goes to sleep. Then when I have to leave and I put him back in his isolette he wakes up and looks at me with great big eyes. Its like he's asking me not to leave him. I hate it and love it at the same time. I guess only a mother knows that feeling.

As for how he is doing, he is almost 3 1/2 lbs! Yes, that's right... 3 lbs 7 1/2 ounces. They have four phases in the feeding protocol that he has to pass to come home. He has passed the first phase and is working on the second. He has to take his feedings from a bottle at least four times a day, and take at least 75% of the recommended amount, and still gain weight. Then if he can do all that for 48 hours he can move on to phase 3. He is doing pretty well, but it takes a lot of energy for him to take a bottle. He gets very tuckered out. He is still on some oxygen and we have no idea when he will be able to ween off that. They are starting to ween him from the isolette. So he is in clothes now and usually wrapped in a blanket. He is still gaining some weight but I think the bottle feedings and the extra energy he is using to keep himself warm has made his weight gain slow a little lately. Overall though he is doing great.

We all went to see Peter today and the kids were so excited. They tried to do stuff like play peek-a-boo with him, it was so cute. He basically slept through the visit, but the kids didn't mind. They keep asking when he is coming home. I would love to get an answer to that question too.

Nate has made a lot of progress on the playhouse that he is building in our backyard. It is looking really good, so I have to show it off a little bit. We picked out some paint, but I will wait and let you see some pictures of the finished product. I think it will be so fun for the kids. Right now there is at least a sandbox underneath it for them to play in.

May 28, 2007

Crazy Days

So, our crazy life has finally settled down a bit. School is out for both Jacob and Emma. Jacob has officially finished kindergarten, it is nuts! He is getting so old. Emma had a graduation program in which she very willingly performed with her class for all the parents. She doesn't have a drop of stage fright. Nate is going to work about half the day most days, and then he and I head to the hospital. I am getting better a lot slower than I would like, but each day is a little better.
Now, an upda
te on Peter. At the end of last week they removed all his IVs because he didn't need any more antibiotics (which they give every preemie). So they also took him off the TPN which is just feeding through an IV. So he began just getting milk through the gavage tube that runs in his nose, down his throat to his stomach. He did very well and each day they increased the amount of milk they were giving him. Now they are giving him milk with a fortifier to increase the calories. As they did this he kind of bottomed out weight-wise at 2 lbs. 6 ounces. He has been going up most of the time since then. There has been a day or two that he lost some weight but he is back up to about 2 lbs. 9 ounces. He has also been on and off with the billi-lights. His billirubin goes up and down, but the doctors aren't worried about it. It is expected with these little guys I guess.
Today was a hard day. I haven't been feeling well, so I
haven't seen Peter for 2 days (2 very long days). When I went in today I walked over to his bedside I saw that he was on oxygen and under the lights again. My heart just sank. I just hate seeing him like that. He has the feeding tube and the oxygen tubes taped to his face. The doctors told us that between 2 and 4 weeks preemies sometimes outgrow their lungs and they have to give them some help breathing for a week or two. They made sure it isn't an infection and that he hasn't aspirated something, so they don't seem too worried. But they aren't his mother. There was some good news though, they are going to try giving him a bottle.
Hopefully this week will bring more good news.

May 18, 2007

I'm Home!

It's been almost a week since I slept in my own bed, but I am finally home! Before I left the hospital I spent some time with Peter in the NICU. Everyone seems really happy with how he is doing. They are consistently increasing the amount of milk that he is getting and checking to see how he is tolerating it. So far so good, but he is still losing some weight every day. Today he was down to 2 lbs 6.5 ounces. The Neonatal Nurse Practitioner said they hope that he will stop losing weight soon, but as of right now they aren't too worried about it.
I did get to hold him again today for about 30 minutes. He opened his eyes and tried very hard to look at me while I was holding him. I know that it takes all his energy just for me to hold him, but I think it was really good for both of us to have that time together. He has big, dark eyes. If I was a betting woman, my money would be on brown for his eye color because they really remind me of Jake's.
They have this new pillow in the NICU since Jacob's stay. It is a gel pillow. It is supposed to help the baby’s head not flatten while it is still so soft. I think they are a great idea.
It was really hard to leave the hospital without my baby, but I know that I can't take care of him the way he needs right now. I am just glad that I am home where I can spend more time with the kids and Nate. Now I just have to continue to let myself heal and not take on too much, ha, ha. I am a Mom; taking on too much is what we do.

May 17, 2007

"Presenting Peter Eli"

As Jacob and Emma have been anticipating the arrival of their brother all too often visiting me in the hospital they would play "baby". One would hide in the closet in my hospital room and the other would stand on the outside and say "Presenting the baby!" So, now with no further adieu, "Presenting the baby!"
On Monday morning the doctors had become nervous about the baby's heart rate and decided to do a contraction test early that morning. We knew it was coming, but we didn't plan on it leading to such a quick delivery of our little guy. He didn't tolerate even one contraction, so they decided to hurry and take me into surgery and deliver him as quickly as possible. I did call Nate, but apparently I didn't communicate that they were actually wheeling me out of the room to the operating room and he needed to get to the hospital NOW. Anyway, about a half hour later Peter was here. He was born at 8:54 am on Monday, May 14, 2007. He weighed a whopping 2 pounds 10 ounces and was about 14 inches long. As soon as Nate and the kids arrived at the hospital Nate went and found the baby in the NICU and took care of him as much as they would allow.
That day he struggled to get breathing on his own so they did put him on a respirator and give him some medication to help open his lungs. This is all hearsay for me because frankly I spent all day coming out of anesthesia.
By Tuesday they were able to take him off the respirator and get him breathing on his own. He is now breathing room air, although in an isolette. He did have low blood sugar right after he was born so he was on some sugar water for a little bit, but now he is being fed through an IV and some through a tube that runs from his nose down his throat and into his stomach. So, he is receiving a little milk every three hours and his tummy has been digesting it. He also had to go under the lights for jaundice for a couple of days, but they took the lights off him today.
We just have to wait for him to learn to eat from a bottle and gain weight and hopefully his little lung muscles will continue to handle breathing and not get too tired.
I will try to keep updating pictures and information here about him. Emma has a preschool graduation and Jake has a kindergarten performance next week, so there should be some good pictures in the next couple of weeks.
Thank you for all the love and support everyone has offered at this time to our family. I am just so grateful that Peter is here and is doing so well.