Tuesday, June 30, 2015

2 Month Update

 It's amazing how fast time flies AFTER you have the baby.  It somehow just doesn't seem fair.  The last two months of pregnancy crawls at a snail's pace compared to the first two months of a baby's life.

Well two months have come and gone and little Miss Maren is thriving.  She is probably the easiest baby we've had.  Some of that, I'm sure, has to do with the fact that parenting isn't entirely one big guessing game (with her at least), and part of that has to be that Miss M. is just a super relaxed, chill little girl.

The last month has been really fun with Maren.  She still rarely wakes on her own to eat, but once she wakes up she'll be up for awhile.  She is happy to hang out with the family -- and we cart her around wherever we are going.  She spends an ample amount of time "playing" in each of the kid's room -- and they love having her there, often fighting over who gets to love on her "this time".

Maren started smiling at us about two weeks ago.  Nothing feels better than walking in her room and her giving you a big dimple grin when she sees your face!  We have discovered that she has a few dimples in her smile (in the top corners of her mouth) and one in her chin.  The chin one only comes out every once in awhile.  It'll be interesting to see how it develops as she grows.  Recently she has been playing with cooing.  She doesn't do it very often, but you can tell she wants to.  It won't be long before she's talking up a storm!

Today we discovered that Maren loves listening to us sing!  We started singing songs from Beauty and the Beast and she broke out in song too!  She didn't do it a lot, but was quite alert and happy as the songs kept a coming.  And her big sister thought it was pretty awesome too!

There is something so special about this little girl that has joined our family.  She has my whole heart and I feel so honored to be her mother.  She is so sweet and I can not wait to see how her personality develops.  Now if time could only slow down a bit and let me enjoy her while she's still small!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Heart Check

Today was our first appointment with the Pediatric Cardiologist.  They ran all of the tests that were run while we were in the hospital -- a 4 point BP check, an EKG, and an ECHO.  Everything looks really good.  She has a pulmonary stenosis -- but not a standard one.  The Pulmonary valve is opening fully (they originally told us it wasn't) but the valve itself is thick -- making the passageway more narrow than normal.  When the blood flows through the narrow opening -- that's where we hear the murmur.  For right now -- it's something to just keep our eyes on.  The Dr. told us she has about a 1/3 chance of the walls thinning out and if they do her heart will be "just any ordinary heart".  She has about a 1/3 chance of nothing changing and she lives with the murmur unaffected her whole life.  And she has about a 1/3 chance that the walls will thicken causing that passage to become too narrow, in which case a surgical procedure will be required.  We will see the cardiologist again when Maren is 3 months.

The other problem that they found with her heart was a minor mass.  They actually saw several small growths today, which they are assuming are small benign tumors and we don't have to worry about them at all.  BUT if they aren't benign -- we'd likely find more tumors in her kidneys and/or brain.  So they want to be safe and have her checked.  SO ... off to neurology we go!

It's a little scary ... cardiology ... neurology ... but we are grateful that we live in a time where such things can be tested and that we can be proactive in her care.  We are grateful that Joe works for an awesome employer with great medical benefits -- so what the pediatric cardiologist mentions that our 3 week old baby needs to get her brain scanned ... we can calmly focus on her health -- and we don't even have to fret over the dollar signs.

So for now - no immediate danger - and we can just love on our sweet baby girl!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Overwhelming Joy

Words cannot do justice to how grateful I am for having these awesome kids in my life!  I truly have been blessed beyond measure.

Jace is growing into such a nice young boy.  He is the kind of big brother that I wish that I had. I love listening to him play with Elsie and hearing them have fun together.  He is caring, kind, and sensitive.  He currently loves to play outside, coloring, making bead projects, and going to school.  He has grown up so much and I am uber proud to call him my son!

Elsie such a big helper.  She is eating up the role as big sister!  She loves to help out with her baby sister and will do anything she can to help baby "Baron".   She also really enjoys helping any way she can in the kitchen, always wanting to be involved in the cooking.  She loves to laugh and loves to learn.  She has a huge personality and knows what she wants, even if that stubbornness can drive her mom and dad bazonkers!

Maren has been in our home for less than two weeks, but it feels like we have known her forever.  When I look at her, I can feel that she is a gift that came straight from Heaven.  She has been the easiest baby so far -- and we are looking forward to seeing what kind of personality she adds to the mix.

Being a mother has been the hardest, yet most rewarding adventure that I have ever experienced.  My heart is full of joy for these three babies that have joined our family and I pray that we can help raise them to be good, hardworking, faithful people.  I know that their spirits were saved to come in a time where there is much confusion and discomfort in the world -- but their spirits are strong, and they can conquer anything!  I love them so SO much.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Perfect Heart

On Saturday morning of our stay at the Riverton Hospital, the on call pediatrician came in for the routine check up.  I could tell that the doctor was concentrating a bit more than normal -- within a few minutes the doctor asked if she was the first one to hear a heart murmur.  Yes, we responded.  She assumed that it was something very minor that would close within the day.  BUT -- to be safe -- she ordered a four point pressure test, which would check to make sure the blood pressure in her four extremities were roughly the same.

The test results came in, and it showed that there was a discrimination between the blood pressure in her arms and legs.  They wanted too look closer to her heart, so the pediatrician ordered an EKG.  We waited all day for the results and finally got a phone call later that night.

They found two small abnormalities on her heart.  They aren't serious enough to require immediate attention ... which we are grateful for.  We check in with the pediatric cardiologist in about two weeks.

Trials are hard, but I have felt an overwhelming feeling of comfort and peace today as my Heavenly Father has assured me that he made her and she is perfect.  I am so grateful that she has been reunited with our family.  I noticed it with Elsie, and it feels the same with Maren.  We aren't strangers.  We knew each other before we were born.  It feels like I have been reunited with a best friend.

The world is super lucky to have her in it.

Maren Amelia

We are excited to introduce the newest member of the Joe Jen Boucher family!  

Maren Amelia Boucher
April 30th, 2015
9 lbs 11 oz
20 in long

She has all four of us wrapped around her tiny little fingers.

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Grateful Heart

For the past 14 months, I've had the privileged to serve as a member of our ward's primary presidency.  This was my first calling in over a year, and although I was excited to be doing something more than "just going to church" I was also nervous and overwhelmed, a feeling that I'm sure many would get from this calling.  Reflecting back now, I have a much stronger testimony of the Savior's love for me -- and it all is because of my time in Primary.  I know that I was put in that calling for personal growth -- it feels impossible to not grow in spirit when you are around God's children.  Heavenly Father knows me and knows what I need and I'm so grateful that I was looked after by him.  I am also so very grateful for the friendships that I have made.  The four sisters that I served with have become very dear to me and I will cherish their friendships forever.

I didn't realize how hard it would be to leave my ward family.  Moving as a youth, I was emotionally devastated every time we had to pack up and leave -- but as an adult ... I've been totally fine with this move!  Up until now.  I am grateful for my time here; I'm grateful for such a wonderful home and friends who love me and my family.  We feel at such peace with our move -- but it still is hard.  Very bittersweet.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Movin On Up ..

I've been wanting to move for awhile.  This house that we are in now on Saguaro Dr. is the house I have lived in the longest ... my entire life.  Just shy of 8 years.  (WOW)!  February of 2013 I was playing around online and inserted my information onto SOME website -- saying I was interested in more information about selling my home.  We knew that we weren't very close to being ready -- we still needed to completely redo our master bathroom -- but we were ready to start getting serious about it.  We got in touch with our Realtor, Bryan Colemere, and have steadily been working to sell our house.  FINALLY -- the first week of December -- we were ready to list, and eventually did on December 11th.  Who lists their home in December?  Us.  We didn't really expect to sell in December, but were excited to have it on the market.  We got a steady stream of showings -- every Saturday -- but no bids.  But who cares -- it was Christmas!  The first week of January, we had an awesome showing and the buyers were very excited about our house!  (Most were -- but didn't like the idea of living next to 4800 west.  I guess I can't really blame them there, but we never have really cared ... it's not THAT busy) They got their financing and BAM -- we sold our house!

When setting out to purchase a new place we had an idea of what we wanted.  5-6 bedrooms -- finished basement -- finished yard -- fenced ..... we looked into a lot of awesome properties -- but nothing felt like it was ours.  We probably were at about property #9 or so and Bryan brought us to a new development.  We did NOT want a new development!  We saw these homes online -- didn't really know when we'd have the cash flow to finish the basement, and really wanted it move in ready.  BUT -- we went inside anyway.  As we were walking into the home (not the one pictured) I just had this gut excited feeling that THIS WAS IT!  There are two spec homes being built on Regal View Dr -- We went into the second one and I liked it even better.  It was exciting -- scary -- and new.  This is not what we signed up for in our minds, but feel so excited and at peace with the decision.  Our new neighborhood in Saratoga Springs is right next to LDS Church farmlands -- so it really feels like it is in the middle of nothing.  It is not extremely close to any shopping plazas or restaurants.  It is smack dab in the middle of the neighborhood, another perk for us.  It is open, beautiful, new ... ours!  We are so so excited and are praying that everything goes through without any major hitches.

We took the kids there last night for Family Home Evening -- and it was so wonderful to be able to dream and get excited about OUR HOUSE.  We picked bedrooms, wandered up and down the stairs ... looked in cupboards ...

We close on our home on Valentines day, and hope that our house will be ready to move in that weekend!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Nature Vs. Nurture ...

How many times have you heard "it runs in the family"?  I have always understood that phrase to be hereditary in nature ... but besides hair and eye color -- and perhaps basic bone structure -- I wonder how much that is actually true.  I wonder if much of who we are is based upon HOW we were raised/trained and not necessarily how our DNA is structured.

For example -- my dad told us the story the other night that growing up he thought he was destined to get dentures at a very young age.  His mom got them by the time she was thirty -- and it was because she had "bad teeth".  To my young dad -- why take care of your teeth if in the end, you will loose them anyway.  Now, good news is -- my dad has all (or most at least) of his original adult teeth -- but the perception of what his future COULD be ... very well COULD have come true because of his mindset.

Going along with the teeth thing ... Joe "doesn't have GOOD teeth" ... I don't know if that was ever told to him, or if that was part of how he was raised, or the fact that he has had a (ahem) cavity or two has justified this.  Several years ago Joe was getting root canal after root canal.  Crown after crown.  He even has an implant.  Since, he has made it a point to take care of his teeth -- and has had NO NEW PROBLEMS!  All of his dental work in the last 5-7 years has been because of problems that he has had with his teeth in the past.  Poor kid barely got any sleep last night because an old root canal has gone bad ... Old problems.  His mindset has changed ....

Switching gears -- I have "Fautin Hips" .... sure -- we inherit body composition from our relatives.  But it shouldn't define who we are.  We shouldn't be satisfied with being overweight simply because it "runs in the family." ... heck -- I have a few cousins who should have "the Fautin hips" ... but are very very slender.  The "Fautin hips" shouldn't justify the 60+ lbs that I need to loose .... I know of people that have made it quite the point to stay in shape and eat right because they were told that would be big and there wasn't anything they could do about it.  It ran in the family.  If the day comes that someone says something like that to my little Elsie ... let's just say the mama claws will be coming out.

The point of all this rambling -- besides to document Joe's poor tooth -- is that we have to be careful of the words we speak to others.  Even if our DNA is stacked against us -- we all struggle with math -- we all have two left feet -- we are all "big girls" -- it is up to us to define who we are.  And don't be the person who breaks someone else down .... remember how your words effect those you love most.

Monday, January 6, 2014

01/06 - Already Noticing a Difference

I read on a news post today that January 6th is said to be most depressing day of the year -- I'm guessing this is only because of those people who make New Years resolutions and can't keep up with them by 6 days into the year.

Luckily for me, I didn't make any "New Years Resolutions" .... my quest for a happier, healthier, fuller life started about the week before !!  :)

Here are the goals our family has set to achieve in 2014.  Some are hard.  Some are a stretch.  Some are common sense.  All we need to work on!!

Joe Goals
Run a Marathon

Jen Goals
Run a Half Marathon
Spend time every day *exercising *Alone time *Spiritual study

Family Goals
Run/Walk 2014 miles
Stick to a written budget
Strive to be healthy in our diet
Read the Book of Mormon

So yes, we have every possible "resolution" you can think up -- but I think my little family was ready for a big life change.  We are doing good ... but can always be better!  And I need to focus on our accomplishments because it makes us have the desire to keep moving forward.  For example.  I've been eating healthy and exercising for a week now and in that time I have noticed a big difference!  I have lost 8 lbs (wahoo in a week!!).  I feel thirsty when I don't drink water (because I've been drinking water more, my body is better at telling me that I need it!), my body (even though I'm at my heaviest ... sigh) still remembers how to exercise!  I can't run as far as I used to -- but I'm not back at ground zero either!.  My heartburn has essentially gone away (suh-weet!) and I don't get as many headaches.  I have more energy.  I don't loose my temper as quickly.  I feel motivated.  Excited.  Empowered.  And ready to kick 68 more pounds to the curb!  

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Web Slinger in your Face

I have felt the urge over the last few weeks to start documenting my thoughts and little life again, so after a good fourteen months of inactivity -- here are the Bouchers again!

One tiny thing I have always loved is little tiny naked baby bums.  There is nothing better than bathing your newborn for the first time and getting them dried off and ready for their diaper and squooshing their little naked bum through the towel.  The best part is -- those naked bare bums are still so cute at 1 and 4 years old!  Jace and Elsie were taking a bath and as I put a towel over Elsie and grabbed her by the bum I started making up my own version of "I like big butts" song ....

I like naked buts and I cannot lie ......

Of course, I sang the entire verse and of course, my little four year old picked up on it right away!  He kept running in and showing me his (untoweled) naked butt and just laughing!  Joe, realizing this was going to be a future problem, changed the song to ...

I like Spidy butts and I cannot lie  ... and you get a web slinger in your face ...

I would like to say that three days later, Jace still requests the naked "butt song".


Here's for another funny Jace story.  We have been refinishing our house to sell and it's practically all ready to go.  There is one bathroom that has a toilet paper holder and one that doesn't, so my sweet BOY has dubbed these two bathrooms the "pee" bathroom and the "poop" bathroom, (since he doesn't need paper for the one ... function ... ... he even gets angry at Joe for going pee in the "wrong bathroom" ... oh gosh!