Friday, May 25, 2012

Father's Day

I did this little interview for Kade planning to publish it closer to Father's Day. I can't wait that long. It's too funny.
We love you, Kade. Happy early Father's Day. As E would say, "Dadda, you the best boy!"

How old is Daddy?---He's older than  me. He's older than you. I think he's older than the WHOLE WORLLLLD!
What does Daddy look like?--Frowny Clown. His name is Kade.
What does Daddy like to wear?---He likes to wear a clown nose on his bum!!! AND goggles on his eyes! (You can't make this stuff up, folks. It's all E.)
What does Daddy like to eat? --He likes to eat apples....and pears.
Why is Daddy smart?---I tooted! Cheetos! Do you have Cheetos? He can have candy if he's smart. I'll give him FIVE treats if he goes poop in the potty and take him to bowling!! He has to give a big push!
What does Daddy work really  hard at? ---He works and makes money for us. Daddies make money for us. He works for baseball and his other works.
What does Daddy always tell you?--He tells me "You're gonna go to time-out!" Momma, it's not funny! I'm telling you!
What makes Daddy happy? --Candy! I make him happy! My baby Livia kisses him.
If Daddy could go on a trip where would he go? --To baseball!! REDSOOOOXX!!!!
What do you love that Daddy does? ---BASEBALLLLLLLL. And plays with me and toys. He plays with me A LOT.
If you could give Daddy anything what would you give him? ---POOOP! (A true E answer)
What is your favorite thing about Daddy? --He gives me treats!

Kade will know that this are all straight from E's mouth. We love you, babe!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Oh, hello there. Waiting for me to update, are you? Lots has been happening around the Gardner home lately, and now that I am *mostly* finished with the semester, I feel like I can take a deep breath and record some of our adventures... Here are the pictures from our last while and some updates to go with 'em.

For Valentine's Day, E and I had a great time making homemade Valentines for Daddy.

Then we covered Daddy's truck with hearts and candy

On Easter morning, E was super excited to see that the Easter Bunny had come and left some tracks behind!

Even Livvy enjoyed opening baskets and playing with new toys.

Lou in her super duper cute Easter dress from Grammy Kim and Grandpa Dennis

Alivia and Greyson

Easton and Brynlee

I let Livvy have solids for the first time on Easter. Just a banana and some potatoes

Unfortunately, she wasn't a fan yet. 

The best part of the day for E was doing egg hunts at both grandparent's homes

Easton has turned into such a Daddy's boy lately. He waits all day for him to come home and  is his shadow at night. 

We are so grateful for the warm weather and the beautiful Spring season we are having. Going outside makes such a big difference in our day!
Livvy has been doing really well lately. We took her to the chiropractor and switched her pediatrician, and now she struggles very little with her reflux and isn't taking any medicines for it. She's starting to like her solids more and can hold her own bottle. At her last appt. she was at 13 #s even and in the 40% for her weight, 75% for height, and 90% for head. I guess she has a huge noggin? She's full of smiles and chatters all  day long. Easton still loves her to the moon and back and goes out of his way to be sure that Sissy is happy. Easton is mostly potty trained now, and doing so well. I'm so proud of my little dude. He knows most of his letters and letter sounds and has started coloring inside the lines. What a big boy!
As for Kade and I, we are as busy as ever, and we are both so grateful that I can stay at home with our kids and spend time together as a family in the evenings. We are really looking forward to summer :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Easton's World

E's world has changed a lot in the last two months. He's so longer the sole center of our universe. He's adjusted very well and we're happy to say that he's just as in love with Alivia as we are. Since our focus seems to be a lot on Lou lately, here's a brief look at what's new with our (not so) little man.

He's celebrated a birthday. Little Man is 3 now! And when there's a birthday, there's a party. This year E chose a Lion King theme. It turned out really well and we were so glad he had so many people come to celebrate with him. Here's a few pictures from the big day. The first one here is of him riding the new bike he got from Mom and Dad.
Here he is getting super excited when we wheeled in the new bike.
Getting the much antipicated guitar from Grandma and Grandpa Stock and wearing his super cool Angry Birds hat Brook made him.
Blowing out the candles.
The cake. It was impossible to find a Lion King cake so I ended up finding some little figurines on clearance at Walmart and taking them over to the bakery.
We told the kids to pop the balloons with their bums to get "money" from inside the balloons to buy their movie treats at the "theater". Dancing and being a goob at the party. These pictures are blurry because E likes to play with the camera and he had smudged up the lens. It took me a while to figure that out :)
Here he is just chilling in the hot tub on New Year's Eve. We got a hotel room for the night in town and let all the kids swim and play before we counted down the minutes to the new year. He had a great time playing and swimming with his cousins.
This is how I found him sleeping the other day. He had started to come downstairs from his nap, but I guess it was just too long of a trip so he fell back asleep on the stairs.
Here he is building his new toy tractor with Daddy.
That about sums up the past few weeks/months for E. We are so proud of what a great kid he is.

Alivia's Blessing

Yesterday, we blessed Alivia. Okay, Kade did it, but it makes me feel better to say "we" did it. She looked absolutely beautiful in her white blessing dress. It was crocheted by my Great Grandma Summers years and years ago, and is the same dress that I wore when I was blessed. Kade did an amazing job. I am always so amazed by the power of the priesthood and feel so grateful to have a wonderful husband who can bless our children. (I was also very proud that my dad was able to stand in the circle for the first time. Go, Dad!) It was a very emotional day, and I'm afraid that I've already forgotten a lot of things Kade blessed her with. But here were a few that I remember:
-A strong healthy body
-A love for the gospel and a desire to seek it out
-Patience for her older brother as he does his best to love her and do what's right for her
-The ability to look to her father to know how her eternal companion should treat her
-A temple marriage
-To be an example of Christ to those around her

I'm sure there were so many more beautiful things that Kade said, but I was distracted by my tears and the overwhelming Spirit I felt. And also, Alivia was true to herself and screamed the entire time she was being blessed :) I wouldn't have expected anything else.

There was something very different about blessing Alivia. A girl wears 3 white dresses in her life, and I couldn't help feel so blessed and grateful for her life as I dressed her in the 1st white dress and thought about the other 2 times that I will get to do that with her. Sometimes I can't help but stare at her (and E, too) and wonder who she will be when she's my age. I have no doubt that whoever she is, she will be a woman of worth and a source of great pride for her family.

My testimony of Eternal Families has grown so much in the short time Alivia has joined us. It's strange how each child reaffirms and contributes to your testimony in his or her own way. It's a comfort to me to know that I will never truly be separated from my husband and children--the great loves of my life. I'm so grateful for the grand design of Heavenly Father's plan.

When we decided to change the spelling of her name from Olivia to Alivia, my oldest sister, Rachel, said something that has been sticking in my mind lately. She said "It reminds me of "Alive". Funny how a single letter can change the meaning of her name so much, but I'm glad that she has a name that reminds people she's ALIVE. And she is :) So alive. And as Mary Poppins would say, she's "practically perfect in every way."

In other news, this is my 100th post! In other, other news, Lou went to the doctor today and she weighs 9 lbs 7 oz and measured 22.5 inches. Her height is average, but weight is fairly low (14%) but she's growing and happy and we're not concerned about her. She had her first shots and was a real trooper. I think it's because she had a spectacular Big Brother with her to help her be brave. *Sigh* It's a wonder my heart doesn't explode with love and joy.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

20 Questions with E

For Easton's birthday each year, I intend to ask him the same 20 questions and see how his answers change. When I'm really ambitious, I'll print them up and put them in a book with a birthday photo. Since his birthday is Thursday and I have a tiny moment of spare time, I'm doing it a little early.
1. What is your favorite color? --White (I think it's really orange, but whatever :))
2. What is your favorite food? --Ice Cream (He happens to be eating ice cream at the moment)
3.What is your favorite toy?-- Airplane Trios (blocks)
4. What is your favorite fruit?--Strawberry
5. What is your favorite TV show?--Little Einsteins
6. What is your favorite movie?--"Bout the dogs" He means Lady and the Tramp which he hasn't even really seen, but we got it from the library this week. His real favorites are Lion King, Madagascar, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Kung Fu Panda.
7. What is your favorite song?--Itsy Bitsy
8. Who is your best friend?--Oakley (our neighbor)
9. What is your favorite drink?--He pointed to my water, but really he drinks 90 cups of chocolate milk every day.
10. What is your favorite thing to do outside??-- "My bike"
11. What is your favorite animal? --A zebra
12. What is your favorite book? "One with the dinosaurs!" He means the Dinosaur ABC book we got at the library this week.
13. What is your favorite holiday? --Halloween
14. What do you want to be when you grow up? --"Jesus!"....Priceless...
15. What is your favorite cereal?--"Chocoooolate"
16. What is your favorite breakfast?--Pancakes and bacon
17. What do you want to have for dinner on your birthday?--hot dogs
18. What is your favorite snack?-- Cake
19. What is your favorite game? --Memory
20. What is your favorite sport?--baseball (making his daddy SO proud)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Lou's Birth Story

My Livvy Lou will be 4 weeks old tomorrow and I figure it's about time I wrote down the story of her birth.

I suppose the story starts on Dec. 1, 2011. It was supposed to be my last dr. appt. All I had to do was be dilated to 2 cm so I could be induced on that Sunday (the 4th). It had been the plan from the beginnning...(You see, I don't exactly LOVE being pregnant). Sadly for me, my body didn't seem up to the task yet and it hadn't budged from 1 cm. I'll admit it. I cried. Right there in front of the doctor. I'm sure it was really mature. Anyhow, she stripped my membranes and sent me home. We rescheduled for Monday and held our hopes high that my body would get on board. The weekend passed slowly. Kade made me exercise and do everything I could to get our little babe OUT. Finally, Monday came and so did our good news! I had made it to 2+ cm over the weekend and could finally be scheduled for induction the next day.

December 6th, 2011:
The day started very early at 530 am. We had to call the hospital at 6 am to see when I could come up to be started. We got up and ate some breakfast before we called. When I called the nurse told me to be ready to go by 7 am, but she doubted I would get a call before 9 or 10 am. We woke up Easton and drove him to stay with Grandma Stock while we were in the hospital. And then we waited...and waited....and waited. Finally, 5 minutes to 10 am they called and said it was time for me to come up. It was really hard for me to leave Easton knowing that the next time I saw him, he wouldn't be my baby anymore. Not much happened for a while after that. We got to the hospital, checked in, and got set up in our room. They hooked up my IV, antibiotics, and pitocin. I spent the next few hours breathing through contractions and eating popsicles- hoping I was making progress. My body was still being stubborn and after hours of contractions 2 minutes apart, I was still sitting at a 2+. They broke my water (ouch) and I tried to brave the pain for as long as I possibly could. I decided after a couple more hours to get my epidural while the anethesiolgist was on the floor. After that, my body jumped to 4 cm and a few hours later to 6 cm. That's about when things started to get interesting. I started to have a very strange sensation in my right hip. I can't explain it other than my leg felt restless. I wanted to move it so bad, but of course, couldn't. I started to feel panicky and claustrophobic and my heart rate was going up. After tossing and turning (with Kade's help) with no relief, the finally turned me on my side and elevated my leg with a stirrup. She massaged my back through contractions which seemed to help. Luckily, I was the only woman in L&D at the time, so I got all the attention I needed. The nurse thought that the sensation I was feeling meant that my body was transitioning and that things would move quickly. She was right. Soon I was at 8 cm, and then about 10 minutes later, I was complete and ready to push. My doctor came quickly (even though it was about 9 pm when they called her). The room was set in motion preparing for our daughter to arrive. I started to push at about 9:25 pm. I couldn't feel the urge to push as strongly as I could with I was in labor with Easton, so I wasn't sure if I was pushing the right way. I must have been doing fine, because on the second set of pushing, the doctor said she thought it would be over after the next push. That's about the time that reality set it. I was so ready for my girl to be born, but suddenly I was terrified of her! It was too late to go back. She was coming NOW. One more push and my baby girl was there. They laid her on my chest and she was the most absolutely gorgeous thing I had ever seen. Alivia was born at 9:33 pm. She weighed in at 6 lbs 9 oz of beauty and 20 inches of sweetness. It was a lot of work to get her here and she's been a lot of work since, but she's worth every moment and I am so happy to have my sweet Lou.