Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Summer 2012 Updates

  After a few weeks getting situated in our new surroundings and stocking up the fridge from the mess that was left by the guys, we were finally ready to get out and see what fun things we could do in Houston.


 Naturally the first place we head in any new city is the local zoo. Although Houston is ridiculously hot and humid, having lived in Texas before we knew to get started early and call it a day by noon. It was so fun to load up all the kids and see what the Houston Zoo had to offer.
Houston Zoo trip with friends
The other thing we do constantly in the hot summer heat of Texas is head to the pool daily (or try to go daily). This year was kind of tricky as Adalyn was still so small and couldn't handle to heat for too long, so we ended up hitting the pool either early morning or later in the evening. The kids were very fortunate this year as one of the Summer reps Lauren offered to give the kids swimming lessons each morning for a few weeks. The kids loved it and did great. Jocelyn has a natural talent for swimming and I think given a few more lessons on technique she could be on a swim team. By the end of the summer Ethan was able to swim the length o the pool back and forth without his life vest. Caitlyn has also become more comfortable with putting her face in the water and blowing bubbles.

Swimming at the pool.
This year Pinnacle did a new app on their website that allowed the reps to team up and compete against each other for whatever they wanted (ie. dinner, movie, lunch, tank of gas...). One of those competitions was for tickets to a Houston Astros Game, and Dave won. We decided it would be really fun for our older kids but that Caitlyn and Preston would get bored, so they stayed behind with a baby sitter. It was so exciting to see how thrilled the kids were to see professional baseball players on a real field. Towards the end of the game the excitement had worn off and they started to get stir crazy. We topped off the evening with grabbing a few souvenirs and headed home.

Houston Astros Game
Our next stop in the list of fun things to do this summer in Houston was hit the beach. Only an hour or so drive and we were in Galveston where they have tons of family friendly beaches. Other than tons and tons of sand everywhere we had a blast playing in the warm water of the Gulf.

Galveston Beach
One of my favorite parts of traveling out with Dave for the summer is that we are never out there without great friends close by. The kids build great friendships and I do too!! Have to admit I miss the Mom's mornings out during the school year.

Having fun with friends.
Now with 5 kids it's hard to go do something everyday so there are plenty of days where we just hang out and have fun in our apartment.

Love having siblings.

Being silly around the apartment.


We started off the month of Celebrations with Independence day. After Dave got off the doors for the day we went down to the pool and chatted with friends. As it started to get darker we got creative and put the babies in the back of the Suburban and lit off fireworks in the parking lot. Other than being eaten alive by mosquitoes, we had a blast. Dave and I taught the older kids firework safety and then Dave had them each light some.

Happy Independence Day!!
The next celebration was on July 11th .... Preston turned 2 years old. We kept it a small family celebration. We started the morning off with some birthday pancakes and then a little lunchtime brownie cake. We did the big presents and cake the following Sunday when Dave was home so that we could all celebrate as a complete family. Preston had a great 2nd birthday and received some very fun toys to keep him busy in the apartment. Preston is a hilarious little boy, he is very sweet but at the same time all boy. His smile is infectious and can make your heart melt with a single hug. I am so lucky to be his mom and so glad he joined our crazy little family.

Happy 2nd Birthday Preston!!
Then it was time for Miss Jocelyn to have some birthday fun. Seeing how she was turning the big 8 we decided to splurge a little bit and ordered her a fancy custom birthday cake from a local bakery. She had decided that she wanted a Monster High birthday, so that's what we did. We started off the morning by giving her a very special present, her very own Bible/Book of Mormon set with her name engraved on it in a special scripture case my best friend Brandy made. Then we took the family out to IHOP to celebrate before Dave had to leave for work. That following weekend she invited her two best buddies Lily and Ali over for her sleepover birthday party. They played monster dancing, silly face making, Simon says, and freeze dance. Followed by the usual cake, ice cream, and presents.

Happy 8th Birthday Jocelyn!!
part 1
The next morning we took all the big kids to go see the new movie Brave in the local theater. They each had their own popcorn and goodies and enjoyed the fun movie. It was definitely a memorable birthday for this amazing young lady. Jocelyn is an amazing kid, she is so caring and nurturing of everyone around her. She is smart, fun and always willing to try new thing. She is an amazing friend and an amazing daughter. I feel so blessed she chose us to be her parents.

Happy 8th Birthday Jocelyn!
part 2
As part of the celebrations we were having this month my mom decided to fly in for the week and help us make it an even more exciting time. In between the parties and pool days we took a day trip to the beach so meme could enjoy the Texas sun and surf. We went to a different beach this time and were fortunate enough to have the beach pretty much to ourselves. It was so fun!! On our way home we ran through some crazy weather and I saw my very first funnel cloud. It began to develop right above us as we sat in traffic on the highway headed home. It was a little unnerving at first but when we realized it wasn't going to do much than tease us we enjoyed the view.

Meme came to visit so we had some fun in the sun.
Monsoon season nap time
Towards the end of July we hit Monsoon season in Houston. That pretty much guaranteed huge rain storms every afternoon, which resulted in a lot of cuddles and naps. Being stuck in the house also makes for some pretty entertaining kids when they get creative with the limited toys we brought with us.

Being silly around the apartment part 2.
After several weeks in Houston, we packed up and headed further south to McAllen, Texas. This was an interesting experience for us because we went from an apartment to a hotel room. The first hotel we went to was great but we discovered quickly it wasn't going to work for our family as we could not fit enough beds in the room and it only had a mini fridge that could not fit a gallon of milk. Fortunately for us we work for some great guys and they found a larger hotel up the street that would accommodate us and our kitchen needs. I am not going to lie and say it was perfect, because cooking dinner on a two burner stove and having a half size dishwasher was an adjustment. However, daily maid service was pretty awesome and the hotel did BBQ dinners 3 times a week for free.

Move down to McAllen Texas.... Boy, is it Hot!!


The beginning of August was a bit crazy because we had just moved and we were trying to figure out when the best time to pack up for home would be in relation to Dave's work and the kids school starting. However, we did find time to play at the pool and have friends over.

Hotel living is a bit of an adjustment.

Having fun in small spaces.
It is always a bitter sweet moment when we pack up to head home, we are sad because we are going to be without Dave for awhile again and sad to be further away from friend; but we are happy to be home and happy to go back to normal life. Our road trip home from McAllen was a huge adventure as not only did we plan an extra stop in St. George to visit family and say goodbye to Payden before he left on his mission, but I came down with the flu and was horribly sick the last two days of driving and then for two weeks at home.

Road Trip back HOME
I had originally scheduled to have family pictures done a couple days after we got home and before Dave flew back to Texas, but being sick made me second guess it. However, I sucked it up, took some meds, put a smile on my face and made it happen. My amazing friend Mikki Vierig of Mary Kay Photography captured some amazing pictures of our little family.
Family Picture 2012

Family Pictures 2012
The next day it was time for the kids to start school. Dave gave them a father's blessing the night before and then saw them off the next morning before heading back to Texas. They love their new classes, new teachers and are excited for the new school year.

Back to School.
As a surprise, that weekend Grandpa and Grandma Battson came into town to visit after dropping Chance off at College. We had so much fun having them in town. We were even lucky enough to go swimming over at their hotel. Grandpa Battson is always so fun when it comes to playing at the pool.

Grandpa and Grandma Battson came to visit.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Spring 2012 Updates

I decided that the easiest way to tackle this massive project of updating what has been going on with our busy little family over the last year is to do it by seasons. Hopefully I don't miss anything too important.


The month of march is a little bit of a blur since I had just had a baby. I spent my 29th birthday recouping from delivery and loving on my new sweet little bundle. My mom, Dave and the kiddos decorated the kitchen, made gifts and surprised me with a yummy cake.
We spent a lot of time those first few weeks trying to make sure all of the other kiddos felt important and special. The logistics of getting the older kids to school while taking care of the younger three was still quite a challenge but with Dave's help we were getting it figured out.

Ethan's first set of stitches.
Such a brave kiddo.
On March 16th, while my mom was up visiting and helping around the house, I received a call from the school that Ethan had fallen during recess and that he needed to be taken to the doctor. My mom took off to the school and picked him up to take him to the Pediatrician. He had been climbing up the slide ladder and was pushed which caused him to slip and hit his chin rather hard on the steps of the ladder. He ended up needing several stitches in his chin. He was such a trooper and stayed pretty calm while they stitched him up. Later we discovered that he had chipped two of his teeth and required two caps to be placed on them so they would not get food trapped in them and rot. He was pretty proud of those stitches the next day at school, such a boy.

We celebrated Adalyn's actual Due Date, March 17th St. Patrick's Day with some festive treats and snacks... Not to mention making sure everyone in the family was wearing their green as to avoid any pinchers and tricksters.
St. Patrick's Day March 2012
Next up was Our little Miss Cailtyn's 3rd birthday. She decided that she wanted to have a Rapunzel birthday, which seemed fitting since she was our little Rapunzel. We took her to go get her Rapunzel hair cut like a big girl. She absolutely loved being pampered and did a great job sitting still. We made a yummy dinner and then had our tower cupcakes and presents. She had a great birthday and loved celebrating  with her siblings.
Happy 3rd Birthday Caitlyn Marie


Lost another tooth.

We started the month of April off with a celebration of our 9th Wedding Anniversary followed by a few good-byes. We said good-bye to Dave as he left for the hard work of the summer in Texas and then we said good-bye to Jocelyn's tooth. She gets so excited to actually loose teeth because the first several baby teeth of hers have had to be pulled.

With Dave gone is was up to me to pull off  some Easter fun. So the kids and I decorated the house and prepared for a fun Sabbath day celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. April 8th the kids woke up to bright colorful baskets of goodies and activities. Even Miss Adalyn had received a special surprise from the Easter bunny. After a healthy breakfast of doughnuts and juice we got ready for church.
Easter Morning
Following Church we came home to do our annual Easter egg hunt. I am not going to lie, it was a pretty bummer of a day for me to do everything solo; however the kids had a great time searching for those treat filled eggs and it was gorgeous weather out. Each year we try to help the kids understand why we celebrate the Easter and that its true meaning isn't the Easter bunny or treats but is to celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior. I know as they get older it will gain greater meaning to them.

Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Since it was just the kiddos and I we spent a lot of our time just being silly and having fun. We made a paper chain to count down the days until Dave would fly back home to pack us up to go to Texas. The kiddos tried on some of their new swim gear to make sure it was fitting before we packed it up to take with us. Jocelyn finished up her year with La Shar's dance and spent most of the month preparing for the dance review in May.
Having fun around the house while waiting to join Daddy for the summer.


The month of May was a busy one for our family. We started the month off with a Transformers birthday for our big little man Ethan. He had a fun lunch at McDonald's followed by a fun party with friends. They played search a rescue Transformers, Hot and Cold, and a treasure hunt for the cube. It was a great day and seriously can't believe how big my little preemie has grown over the years.

Happy 6th Birthday Ethan Douglas
 We spent the next few weeks of the month getting things ready for the summer, packing up clothes, cleaning the house, and finishing up the kids school year. Fortunately for us the kids school has been great in accommodating our crazy life and allowed the kids to withdraw early from school so that we could join Dave sooner. Dave flew home on the 19th to help us pack up. We arranged to have Adalyn blessed on the 20th  and had all of our wonderful family there to celebrate and welcome our last baby into the church. That night we packed up the car and took off to leave the next morning. We actually were able to celebrate Dave's 32nd birthday out on the road, with a yummy dinner and a bag of road trip goodies. After a very long 2 days on the road we arrived in Houston, Texas ready for a fun summer in the hot sun.
Our Adventure in Texas Begins

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Updates Updates Updates

I have decided that now with five kids it is extremely hard to keep up with blogging like I use to do. However, I love having our family blog, I just need to get caught up and maybe make it a once a month sort of blog. Anyways since it has been over 8 months since I last posted and A LOT has happened I am going to update it in chunks rather than in chronological order starting with baby news.
36 Weeks Pregnant

Okay so we last left off on me clearing the 35 week mark!!! Well I am please to inform you that I continued to stay pregnant another 2 weeks. My dad drove into town on the 17th of February to be there for the birth of Adalyn and of course see me and the kiddos. We had a blast with him in town and stayed busy almost every day.

37 Weeks Pregnant- Full Term
It was actually quite shocking to both me and my Dr when we hit 36 weeks 4 days and I seemed to be pretty stable, as sad as I was that my dad may actually miss the birth because we had anticipated another early delivery it was a neat feeling to be so close to full term.  As the days went by my contractions seemed to disappear completely and I started to feel as though I may actually be pregnant for  the full 40 weeks..... then the day came I hit full term 37 weeks, I felt great and was pretty sure this little girl was quite cozy in there. Unfortunately my dad was planning to leave the next morning so we had some serious discussions with miss Adalyn about making her debut so she could meet her grandpa. We decided to just continue to spend a fun day together cleaning house and fixing a few things up around the house...
Here is the story of Adalyn's Birth that I wrote explaining what transpired from the morning of Saturday February 25th on.
All day Saturday I spent celebrating the fact that I had made it to 37 weeks and was still pregnant. I spent most of the day just sitting around while my Dad and Hubby did some handiwork around the house. I kept making jokes about how I was the pregnant one but they were the ones nesting by cleaning the wood blinds and vacuuming out all the air ducts. It felt like any normal day I had had a few sporadic contractions but they were not painful just uncomfortable. Honestly the only thing that seemed off was the fact that I had really lost my appetite, I had a large citrus chicken salad for lunch and that was it for the day nothing sounded good and I wasn’t hungry at all.
Around 9pm we put the kids to bed and I was feeling really flushed and exhausted so I just lay down while my dad and hubby finished a movie. I got up a few times to use the bathroom as suddenly my stomach was super upset. At 11:45pm I came out of the bathroom to find my youngest Preston in bed with my hubby because he was crying and wouldn’t calm down. I climbed into bed and was laying there for what seemed like just a few minutes when I felt a very distinct pop. I got up and went to the bathroom to see if it was my water that broke. I had some cloudy water trickle out but nothing more so I got up to walk around to see if more would come out.
At this point I was sort of in a state of shock trying to figure out what was going on, if I needed to wake up my hubby, call the hospital, or have my friend Amy come over. At about 12:10am I started to get these low cramps so I decided to text my friend to come over and called the hospital to let them know I thought my water may have broken and we were coming in. The contractions were really strange they were centered really low and radiated around my back and into my groin. They felt like they were right on top of each other as I spent most of my time bent over on the bed rocking my hips from the pain. I managed to finish packing my bag and wake up my dad in between contractions.
 At about 12:40am my friend showed up and we left for the hospital. The car ride was intense as the contractions were very regular at every 2-3 minutes and I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath between them. Finally at 1:06am we were checked into a room and I was asked to change, that was a task. I crawled into bed and my nurse Peggy checked me and said I was at 3+cm and 100% effaced. The contractions continued to intensify so they hurried to get my IV in and called for the anesthesiologist. At around 1:20am they had placed the IV and had given me a shot to help take the edge off… however all it really did was make me a bit dizzy and groggy between contractions.  I guess I was looking really uncomfortable so my nurse checked me again and I was at a 6. She kept reassuring me that my epidural was on its way. Finally at a little before 2am the anesthesiologist showed up and placed my epidural and told me it would be about  15-20 mins before I would start feeling its affects and within 30 min I would have full numbness. After he left the room, I started shaking during contractions so I was checked again only to find out I was complete and ready to push. Unfortunately my epidural was not working yet and I still had all feeling in my lower body and legs.
Peggy my nurse was amazing she just took charge and said okay you can do this and just helped me breath through the pain. The on call doctor, Dr. Kirkham showed and had me do a practice push. That is when things got a bit crazy; baby’s heart rate dropped really low and wasn’t recovering so it was time to get her out. The Dr. tried to use a vacuum to help speed things along as I was struggling to push hard because of the pain… and let me just say placing the vacuum on her head was almost more painful than pushing her out. Anyways, he tried the vacuum but it slipped off as he discovered she was facing upward. He then just said “okay I need you to just push her out.” Since we couldn’t wait for contractions it was just deep breath in and push… again deep breath in and push. I can’t really describe the pain at this point because it was such an intense pressure and burning that mentally I was just pushing through the pain to get it to stop and to get her out. My nurse was amazing just telling me I could do it and to push the pain away, which is something I needed to hear at that point. Dave said I didn’t scream or anything but was clearly focusing through the pain. Then at 2:18am she was out screaming a teeny tiny 5lbs 2oz and 17 ½ inches precious bundle and the pain was gone.  They placed her on my tummy as I was stitched up (my previous tear had retorn). Shortly after I delivered the placenta and they discovered that I had a small abruption which was likely why her heart rate dropped. She scored a 8 & 9 on her apgars and was with us the whole time. After I was all cleaned up and sent up to the mother and baby room my epidural decided to kick in and I was numb for several hours, go figure.
She has been an angel since, nursing like a champ and passing all her tests with flying colors. I feel so amazingly blessed to get the full birth experience with my last baby and to have her here safe and sound. It was I think the most intense ~2 hours from first contraction to delivery of my life, but so worth it.
Happy Birthday Adalyn Peggy Yates
Born 2/26/2012 at 2:18 am          5lbs 2.2oz and 17 ½ inches

Coming Home :)
Sisters are soooo excited to hold newest baby sis.
Coming home was quite the adventure too as all the kiddos were excited to see and hold their new baby sister.  What a thrill to have all of our family together in our home for the very first time. We definitely feel complete now.

Now, since it has been almost a year (*hangs head in shame*), I decided the best way to catch up on Adalyn's life is through picture collages. I will try to add her milestones in as we go but honestly I think the majority have been captured in pictures. Ready or not here we go......

The first few weeks

Month 1
Month 2- Adalyn's Baby Blessing May 20th, 2012
3 Months Old and loving the Texas Sunshine
4 Months Old- Trying Baby food for the first time.

5 Months Old- Swimming with Daddy!

6 Months Old- Growing into her personality.
*started holding bottle by herself.
*loves to giggle and squeal

7 Months Old- Everything goes into her mouth.
*teeth are starting to appear.

8 Months Old- Still working on sitting up.
Visiting Washington Family and Celebrating the Fall Holidays.

9 Months Old- Nothing but Smiles!
*sits on her own
* two bottom teeth
*first Christmas = loved it!!

Our family has been so blessed by this little sweet heart, it is crazy to think she wasn't always apart of our family. Her smiles are infectious and she has a way of brightening up anyone's day no matter how hard it has been. There are definitely more pictures as she is now 10 months old but I will hold off on those until I get more caught up on my posts.