Friday, November 18, 2016

She's Totally Twelve!

On November 15th Shelby turned 12! She has been such a trooper lately and has sacrificed so much, that I felt like a little friend party was in order. So we watched High School Musical and listened to 5 Seconds of Summer Pandora station. She was spoiled and felt loved. It was a good day!

This girl cracks me up. She has recently gotten into punk rock music, specifically bands from the 90's that her dad loves like Green Day. She can often be found with headphones on listening to music of some sort. She loves to sing and dance around the house and is totally nerdy. She read all the Twilight books and is obsessed with werewolves and is 100% Team Jacob. She helps around the house like a boss and keeps her room spotless 95% of the time. Pickles and salad are still her favorite foods and she can eat the boys under the table. She figured out how to put her hair up into a messy bun and wears her hair up like that all the time now. She's a straight A student and does hours of homework and extra credit because it's fun. She's taller than all of her friends and most of her aunts but was super happy when she only grew half an inch over the last 6 months instead of 1 inch like the 6 months before that or the 7 inches a couple years before that. Her and Stryder are getting along again and silly laughter and music fill the house and my heart about bursts when they tell each other "I love you" and "good night".  

Turning 12 means she can shave her legs and wear makeup and she has been giddy happy about it. It also means she is a beehive now. Ben and I are having a seriously hard time coming to terms and accepting the fact that our little Shebbers is 12 but I'm really excited for her to start this next part of her life and see her experience all that Young Women's and soon Jr, High has to offer. I love this girl so much and time needs to slow down for a few years.


Here's a random post full of funny pictures that pretty much sum up what my life looks like on a daily basis.
Sam standing on the arm of the couch eating an apple slice with some seriously crazy hair. He got a haircut later that day lol.

This was the first nap he took in this baby bouncer seat. He's taken several since then and has kind of claimed it as his spot.

He loves to wear hats or glasses and makes me laugh all the time.

He also has a serious obsession with his baby sister and loves to hug and kiss her.

This was the Sunday of the Primary Program which happened to also be Shelby's last one.

Remember how I said he's obsessed? He kind of really loves her and she takes it all, usually with a smile on her face.

Sam seriously can't leave her alone. He is always wanting to lay by her and I feel like I can't leave him alone with her for more than a minute. Luckily he never leaves my side for very long and can often be found in the bathroom with me lol.

Krispy Crème taste so much better with the hat on.

Ewok in my kitchen.

Some days I get lucky and they nap at the same time. This day they were even sleeping in the same position.

I don't think I could ever adequately explain what these two mean to me. I spent 8 years longing for another baby and 4 of those years actively trying to have one. By some miracle I got two bonus babies and I count myself extremely blessed. They are proof that The Lord hears and answers prayers and that all it takes is faith, trust, and loads of patience, with some hope mixed in too.

You're my favorite deputy!

My Forever Family

I love taking pictures. I don't really like having my own picture taken though. But I do want my kids to be able to have pictures of me after I'm gone. And I want pictures of my family on the walls of my home so they will know how important and loved they are. So I loaded all of us up and drove up the canyon and took family pictures and luckily they all humor my crazy ideas and go along with it, with smiles on their faces. All of these pictures were taken by me, Ben, Stryder, or a tri-pod and remote. And they perfectly capture and reflect my wonderful perfectly imperfect family.

I love this man of mine so much!

Check those baby blues!

Samuel 20 months old.

Soren 10 years old.

Starylnn 4 months old. My Aunt Joan sent us this onesie and I knew I just had to take her picture in it to have on my wall for a few months. It's become her motto.

Stryder 13 years old.

These three have a special bond that I think will last forever.

My whole world in one picture!

I hope Shelby comes to truly appreciate having a sister and that even with the big age gap they become the best of friends.

Shelby 11 years old (almost 12).

Happy Halloween 2016

Halloween is always a crazy time of the year. So many parties and activities to attend and it's not getting any easier as the kids get older. Their choice of costumes were super easy this year though. We had them bought back in September even. That's what happens when your costume can be pajamas.

This awesome onesie was given to us by Aunt Laura when Star was still in the NICU. Wonder Woman is perfect for my little super hero. She wore this for our family party the week before Halloween. Sam wore the old Buzz Lightyear costume that both of my other boys wore but I didn't get a single picture of him in it that night.

Here is a rear view picture of the big kids. They cracked me up all night in these.

This was our ward trunk or treat the Saturday before Halloween. It wasn't as big as the tri-ward ones down in Henderson but it was an easy fun night to get out and get some candy. As you can see Sam is not in costume. He had a huge tantrum/meltdown as we were trying to get him dressed to go and refused to wear anything and everything we tried. So he went as a grumpy two year old and let's be honest, that can be scarier than ghosts and skeletons. Stryder is Charmander and he even wore it to school on Halloween and loved all the attention and jokes made about catching him on the Pokémon go app. Shelby was a beautiful unicorn and Soren was a super soft and cuddly Stitch. He spoke in a funny alien voice all night. And my little Starlynn went dressed a little bit warmer as a princess. 
Isn't she just the cutest thing ever?! I seriously could gobble her up!

This was from Halloween night. Shelby's friend and her sister came and grabbed Shelby and Soren and Stryder for a block or so and went and did door to door trick or treating. It was so nice to send them out on their own while I stayed in with the babies and passed out candy with Ben. Overall it was a pretty fun holiday week bit I'm always so relieved when it's all over.

Starlynn's Blessing Day

On October 8th, Ben blessed our precious little miracle. We loved having Sam's blessing at home and with all the family we have and Starlynn's special care, we decided to bless her at home as well. It was a little crowded in our new house but it was so great to have so many there supporting us and Star. Ben used his priesthood with great care to bless our sweet baby and she slept through the whole thing. I'm so grateful for the priesthood Ben holds and how he is so able and willing to use it.
 These are the shoes that Shelby wore for her blessing.

And I love the little bracelet around that chubby wrist.

Starlynn is our littlest angelbaby and we sure are blessed to have her a part of our family. She is a miracle. And I know my Heavenly Father has been blessing and watching over her for a very long time.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Our Shining Star

Our little Starlynn Baby is getting so big. Here's a health update from the last couple months.

Starlynn's due date was August 2nd. She was 2 days shy of 2 months old. She was still on oxygen and monitors. She was only able to wear button up clothes or outfits that fit over her body because of the oxygen tubes taped to her face. It made for a limited wardrobe. She was getting better at nursing then and was still maintaining the schedule from the NICU. We slowly veered away from any sort of schedule and just focused on nursing and sleeping whenever we could.

This is Starlynn at 2 months old. She is seriously the sweetest baby. She was around 7lbs here and still wearing newborn clothes and diapers. We had some seriously scary moments with some apnea spells. Her alarms would go off if she stopped breathing for more than 20 seconds and one day it went off 15-20 times. We hoped it was a bad lead that was attached to her but she appears to have grown out of it all now.

Oh my gosh the cute! Her precious eyes have gotten so strong. Eye problems can be a common preemie problem but Starlynn's eyes appear to be doing just fine. She had some cross-eyed issues longer than most babies but is doing so well now.

This is the monitor that tracked Starlynn's breathing and heartrate. It would beep very loudly when something was wrong or when a lead came off her. That happened in sacrament meeting even. And the tubes, oh the tubes. It was all such a big hassle but it helped keep my baby breathing so I can't hate it too much.

The awesome oxygen tank. We also had portable tanks for when we needed to leave the house. They were heavy and cumbersome but like I said before, worth all of it to help Star maintain her oxygen levels.

Just another shot of the equipment we had. I never want to forget all we went through for this miracle baby.

This was from the day we got word that Starlynn passed her oxygen test. She failed the first time because she was unable to maintain a high enough saturation overnight. So we waited two weeks and tried again. The next time she passed. It was a pretty emotional moment for me as I removed those horrible stickers from her face for the last time and watched my daughter breath entirely on her own.

Can you see the circle mark by her ear? Those darn stickers were the worst part about the oxygen.

Check out that belly button! Starlynn has a herniated belly button. This picture is from when it was at it's biggest. Luckily it's gone down in size and doesn't appear to need surgery at this point. You can also see the leads that are stuck to her. These were always pulling and making her monitor beep like crazy when they would come of her. Oh and look at the start of those chubby thigh rolls.

After Starlynn came off the oxygen, she stayed on the monitor for about a week. The doctors wanted to make sure she didn't have any more apnea spells without the oxygen help. That sign above her is handwritten by a dear friend. Those lyrics mean a lot to me and Ben and I love having them present to read and remember.

Here's little sis with no tubes or wires! She's three months old here. She was around 9lbs then and slowly starting to give us the occasional smile. They were few and far between but so very special.

This precious face has caused me to lose sleep and worry and stress more than I thought I could but I wouldn't trade any of it. In fact, I'd do it all over again. She's proof that my Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers and still works miracles.