Sunday, December 10, 2017

November 2017

Scott and I took a "Baby moon" this month. We took a red eye and made it to NY tired, but excited. We've both been to New York before, but never with each other. 

We stayed at a nice hotel right next to Radio City Music Hall.

and were walking distance to Times Square.

The pictures do most of the explaining for me. 
This is in Washington Square Park and West Village.

These are at the 9/11 memorial...

This is called "Survivor Tree". It survived the attack and all the debris. 

Our favorite part of the trip was when we went to the 9/11 Tribute Museum. We were looking at all of the exhibits, when this sweet lady came up to us and told us she'd be speaking in the next room. She was a survivor of the first tower and she had an incredible story.

She was on the 42nd floor and went to the bathroom before she headed into work. All of a sudden she felt a big movement and debris started falling all around her. Her and another lady that was in the restroom (who she didn't know) were so scared that they hugged each other on the floor till the ground stopped shaking. She quickly ran to her office where her boss told her that all they knew was that there was a fire in some floors above them. They were told to stay calm and not evacuate until they were told to do so, but their boss decided to evacuate the office anyways. 
The elevators weren't working, so her and her coworkers held hands as they hiked down 42 flights of stairs. It was hard for them to breath because of all the dust in the air. 5 of her coworkers let go of the line and stopped. They never made it out.
Once she was out she was having trouble breathing. A paramedic took her aside to examine her, when all of a sudden she heard huge crash and she was knocked out. The second tower had fallen and thrown her back.  When she woke up all she could do was cry and walk. She only had one shoe on, and she was in shock.
She started walking and all she could think of was getting a drink to get all the dust out of her mouth. She stopped by a bar and got a drink. Then she was on her way, walking and crying. She said that she came to her senses a little when she saw a police station. She walked in and they immediately told her to go wash out her eyes. Her face was covered in dust and debris. 
She then continued to walk and noticed 3 Italian business men sitting on a bench. She noticed that one had a brief case and she asked him if he by any chance had an extra shirt in there. The man didn't but he immediately took the shirt he was wearing off, and gave it to her. He LITERALLY gave her the shirt off his back. 
She finally made it to the Brooklyn bridge and was able to make her way home. Her husband hadn't heard from her since early that morning, and she didn't make it home till 9pm.
There she discovered that a few of her teeth were knocked out, she needed surgery on her skull, and she had other minor injuries. 
Her message was powerful. She kept mentioning that God is real. He was there with her that day. She saw his goodness in all of those around her.
She was an incredible woman to meet, and when she noticed people crying at her words, she stopped speaking so she could give them a hug. I'm so grateful I got to hear her message and remember this experience for the rest of my life.

It was hard to top that, for the day, but we made our way to Federal hall

and Scott couldn't pass up a hot dog on the street.

We got sprinkles cupcakes too!

That night we had a nice dinner at Ruth's Chris...

and saw Wicked on Broadway! I was mesmerized during the entire show.

The next day we went to the MOMA where we saw some famous paintings.


and my favorite, The Starry Night by Van Gogh.

I remember learning about Matisse in college! 

One of the top things on my list was to see Central Park in the fall. We don't get much of a Fall experience in California, so it was nice to see all the different colored leaves.

This was in front of the New York Public Library...

Grand Central Station...

and another broadway classic. The Lion King!

We saw Alexander Hamilton's resting place...

and Trinity church. 

There's nothing like Times Square at night.

Rockefellar center...

and of course, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

I loved getting some alone time with my husband, but by the end I was itching to hug my babies.

Max drew our family in preschool. Scott and I were cracking up at how huge he made him!

I've been doing so much research on babies with cleft lips. I've joined a couple online groups, that have been so helpful and supportive of the millions of questions I have. After deciding on a craniofacial surgeon my mission was to get an appointment for a meet and greet so I could ask him the other million questions I have. 
I decided on Dr. Urata, who's located in Santa Monica. He's the co-director of the cleft team at LA Shriner's hospital, he is double board certified in craniofacial surgery and oral and maxiofacial surgery, he holds a medical and dental degree, and he's the lead researcher in International Craniofacial Children's Fund. So basically, he's the best of the best, and in high demand. When I made the appointment to see him, they couldn't even get me in until 2 months later. I'm still waiting to see him and eager to get some answers!

Our main priority now is preparing our kids for the baby.
When we found out he would be born with a cleft lip, Scott and I sat the kids down and told them how happy we were that the doctor's told us their baby brother was growing healthy and all of his main body parts were working.
Scott told them, that when their brother is born he's going to look a little different than us. At this point Porter stood up and started fidgeting nervously. Scott told them that his lip will have a gap in it, and it might make his nose look different too.
I saw how nervous Porter was, so I smiled real big and asked him if he knew what his job was? I told him that he gets to love him and protect him. He was smiling as I said this, but his eyes were welling up with tears. I put my arms out for a hug, and as he hugged me he lost it. He started sobbing as I rocked him and let him calm down. I asked him what he was sad about, and all he said was that he didn't want people to make fun of his brother. This sweet boy is so protective already.

We've been practicing with the boys every night on what to say if someone tells them their brother looks weird or funny. All they say back is, "No, he's perfect". 

I also bought them 2 different children's books on cleft lips. They've answered a lot of their questions and at this point they're so use to the idea, that his lip doesn't even phase them anymore. 

I get to see the specialist every 6 weeks, and this month I asked him for a 3D ultra sound so could compare the pictures to some before and after pictures online. There's such a variety of cleft lips, I wasn't sure which ones I should prepare my kids for.

The second my baby's face popped up on that screen, I started crying. He's just so beautiful! He looks just like my other kids.

The doctor kept mentioning how small the cleft looks, and it may not even go to the gums!
I just can't get enough of his adorable face. I can't wait to squeeze him and kiss him!

October 2017

October was all about celebration!

We started with a girls cruise to celebrate Autumn's 40th birthday. We had so much fun chatting, eating, and relaxing. Autumn's always up for adventure, such an amazing mom, and a true example to me.

No October is complete without our yearly visit to Live Oak pumpkin patch. I love this tradition just as much as the kids.

Next celebration was Miss Kennedy's birthday. I can't believe my little princess is 2 already. It seriously flew by.
We went to the zoo with Holley, Zander, and Londyn on her birthday and she loved every minute of it.

When we got home she was excited to eat her "happy birthday cake" and open some presents.

She truly is such a joy in our family. She speaks incredibly well, and has no problem telling you what's on her mind. She wants to wear her "princess dress" every day of her life. She likes to boss her brothers around, put on make up, and play with baby dolls. 
Every time I finish doing her hair she says, "mom, I beautiful".
She loves anything with sugar in it, and will watch the movies Moana, Trolls, and Frozen all day if I let her.
Her favorite book is Brown Bear, Brown Bear and she asks for it daily.
She'll color for an hour at a time, and it doesn't always stay on her paper...but she's pretty good about cleaning it off the walls and the floor.
Her favorite food is chicken nuggets, yogurt, and apple sauce. She's a daddy's girl and lights up when Scott walks in the room. She says prayers, talks about Grandpa and Jesus loving her, and makes everyones life a little sweeter.

We love our Denny girl so much and know that she's going to accomplish great things.

Right after Kennedy's birthday it was time for Jake and Liz's wedding. They had a sweet ceremony in our backyard, and it was perfect. We're so happy to welcome Liz in our family, and I loved seeing how happy my brother is.

Porter highlights for the month...

This kid has such a sensitive spirit. We were reading scriptures one night and we were at the part where Christ was crucified. As I tucked Porter in shortly after, I could tell that he was pondering what we read. He asked me if people were mean to Jesus, and I explained that before he was crucified people mocked him, spit on him, and even put a crown of thorns on his head. After hearing this Porter quickly ducked his head into the covers. I asked him if he was ok, and he started crying. I gave him a hug and explained that Jesus went through all of that because He loves us so much! He would do it all again since it means that we get to live with Him again. After hearing that Jesus isn't hurting anymore and that He's happy because He gets to help us, Porter felt a bit better. I went to bed with an enormous amount of love for this kid. I love that he knows our Savior and and loves Him. I'm a proud mom.

Also... his school pics came in! Can he get any more handsome?!

Max had his Halloween parade in preschool. He was so animated during the monster dance and poems. He's so fun to watch!

Another thing I have to mention, was that he went to a birthday party and when I went to pick him up the mom said they were about to eat and Max yelled out, "Stop! We haven't said the prayer yet!" She said it was so sweet, so she told him he could say the blessings on the food. He looked at her and said, "I'm not going to say it, but someone needs to". This kid is too much!

It finally came time for Halloween night. The kids lasted for a few houses to trick or treat, but they really enjoy passing the candy out more than anything. I can't handle how cute they are.