Thursday, April 30, 2009

How Did I Get Here?

It's happened to everyone. You are driving either to or from work ... blindly. You reach your destination without really thinking about where you are going. It is so routine -- you just drive. When you get there you think to yourself -- 'how did I get here?'

I woke up at about 4 o'clock this morning and had absolutely no idea how Jace got to our bed. We put him in his "big boy" bed (the bed in his room) at about 11 and I expected to wake up soon to feed him. He ate at about 8 or so ... so he would have needed to eat again right away. I have no recollection of feeding him or how he even got to our bed. Joe didn't do it ... ?? I woke up and asked my little man: How did YOU get here?


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tummy Time

Jace was being quite pleasant tonight, so I put him on his tummy to help enhance his upper body strength. He just stayed there on his stomach for awhile and then started to push him self up with his arms. Before I knew it he was chillin on his side for a bit and on his back. He rolled over. YES he was on my bed, so I am sure that helped ... but honestly ... at 6 weeks my little boy rolled over. Time is going so fast ... before I know it he is going to be crawling all over the place. CrAzY!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Giving Up

After six weeks of trying to get my "supply" up ... Joe and I have decided to stop on breast feeding, (well I would be the one to stop breast feeding ... not Joe!). This is a very sensitive subject for me -- but I feel like I need to record my thoughts in my journal -- and this is the closest thing I have to one.

After we got out of Primary's, Jace had to feed from a bottle. It was the only way to get his weight back up. BUT he got used to the bottle and doesn't suck well from me. I really am a glorified binky. It takes him over an hour to drain me out ... and then we have to bottle feed him anyway. The process was too overwheming.

I feel like I'm giving up. I feel like I'm not giving Jace everything that he needs from me. I am frustrated that it never quite worked out ... but now after almost drying myself out ... I wish that I would have tried for just a bit longer. Who knows if it would have helped. I know that many woman can't or choose not to nurse, I just had hoped that I would not have been one of them.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

They Just Keep Getting Younger and Younger ...

I mean does he REALLY need a phone at this age?
From the kitchen I keep hearing: "Who are you talking to Jace? Jace ... who are you talking to?" I come to see Jace talking on the phone and had to grab a shot.

Last night for date night, Grandpa and Grandma watched Jace while Joe and I went on a little date. Joe has been trying to get ready to go back to Indiana so he has stayed late this week. Because of this we only had time to go to dinner and hit a couple of shops. We'll go to a movie again soon!

I wanted to get Jace some toys that are suitable for 0+ month aged children. The rattles we got are skinny enough that he can grip them. We also got a little mirror to go on the side of his crib. He is becoming more and more interactive -- it is a lot of fun!

Friday, April 24, 2009


Okay this is something that we are struggling with and I am looking for advice and experience for all of you moms! SO please share ...

Jace does well sleeping in his crib once he is actually asleep. When he wakes up to eat at about 2 a.m. he is ready to play. We try to put him back in his crib but he ends up crying. Both Joe and I are SO tired at this point. I generally will pick him up to try to cuddle him back to sleep but end up falling asleep myself and so the three of us end up having a little sleepover in Mom and Dad's bed. Let me just clarify that he has no problems sleeping in his crib, and I don't think that he is attached to our bed -- but he likes to cuddle and will cuddle with us until he falls asleep. In the mean time ... I am already out! So it is more my problem than his. He is 6 weeks on Monday (WEIRD) and I don't want this to continue until he is sleeping through the night. That could be a LONG time away! We plan on moving him to his "big boy" crib in his own room soon. Will this help or make it worse? He takes naps in his "big boy" crib now.

SO my question for all of you with experience is: IS this normal? Did it happen to you? Did your baby grow out of it? How can I help the situation?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Big Three-Oh

Joe's big thirtieth birthday was yesterday. I can't believe he is thirty. The festivities started on Monday with his surprise birthday party. I didn't get any pictures, so I am waiting for the familia to post theirs so I can steal them :) I took Joe out to find clothes to wear for our family pictures that we were to take the next day. This was the decoy! We found our outfits with 30 minutes to spare when Jace started crying. I went to make him a bottle and realized that I took the bottle out of the diaper bag to wash it and didn't replace it. Oooops! So Joe of course wants to go home to get Jace taken care of -- what any responsible parent would do. We couldn't go home! We drove around for a bit and he stopped crying but we were on our way home way way too early. We decided to stop at the library to get some new reading material for Jace.

The surprise went great! I am sure he was suspicious once we entered the house ... but had no clue before hand. (He saw the balloons at the top of the stairs ... I think). We had great people - marvelous food - and a better than you-know-what cake! yum yum!

For his actual birthday - Jace and I took him Cafe Rio. It was fun to watch Joe show off his son. After work we got our family pictures taken and went out to dinner. Joe is going to get a bike for his birthday. He wants to start riding it the 10 miles to work. I am proud of his ambition. He told me this too late and I didn't quite have the mula saved up for quite a purchase, so we are going to get it when he gets back from Indiana. (Yes, he is going again ... but only for 3 days. He leaves Monday and gets home Wednesday. I can handle this ... I hope!)

Yesterday was a great day. It is so wonderful being married to such a phnominal guy. He is my true companion and equal in so many ways. He is the perfect amount of smart, sweet, funny, and weird -- for me. He is a great dad and husband. We love you Joe!!

Happy Birthday Sveetie ;)

Family Photos

Last night the three of us had our pictures taken as a family. Since baby J is so flimsy it was difficult to get a good shot of all three of us and Jace sure didn't like being hustled around! He cried and cried. Once we could convince him that he was okay the photographer would pull the binky out of his mouth. At this point there would only be about 5 seconds before he would start screaming again. Thank goodness for patint photographers! We purchased a CD of the photo shoot so we can make any additional prints that we would like. Joe and I feel very strongly about not mass producing the prints when we do not own the rights to them -- just so we can save some money. It is their craft -- how they make their living -- and we don't feel right about ripping them off. We spent way too much ... but I don't care. He is our first, and these are his baby shots. He is growing so fast that I don't want to forget him when he is so small. Here are some of our favorite shots:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Back in My Groove ...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE being home with Jace ... but sometimes it gets a little ... monotonous. I am used to the fast paced middle school life. I miss my students. I miss my math. I miss my friends. I love my new life, but miss my old one and I am looking forward to the day when I can meld the two together.

After a long "single" week ... I needed to get out. Jace went to play with his new friend, Bentley (in our ward ... he's 2 and calls my son "baby Jace". SO CUTE) while I picked up Cafe Rio for my friends. I got to school a bit early so I visited my 5th period. {{Side note ... walking into my classroom was a great experience. One of my students opened the door for me (it was locked) and didn't notice it was me, or didn't realize that I shouldn't be the one entering the room. He momentarily got this shocked expression on his face then a huge grin as the rest of the class shouted my praise :) They were happy to see me ... and I them!}} I was watching my substitute talk to my class ... and I was getting a bit jealous. I don't know if she sensed it ... but she asked if I wanted to teach. YES YES YES as I skipped to the board. I was a bit rusty ... but I had a good time. They then went to lunch (they were surprised when I held them back 12 seconds to finish my sentence ... ) and I got to finish the lesson afterwards. It felt great! I then rushed home to pick up Jace.

Today I got the best of both worlds ...

My Grandma ... the SAINT!

Through no fault of her own -- my Grandma Brown (Dad's Mom) has had a very difficult life -- especially when her kids were young. My dad is the youngest of 5 boys. While my grandma was pregnant with my dad, my grandpa gave her an unthinkable ultimatum that forced my poor grandma to leave him. Now I'm not going to get into her personal life on the internet ... but know that any SANE woman would have left him too and maybe even kicked him in the ... you know where!! Because of this ... dumb dumb man ... my dear grandmother was forced to be a single mom. I can't imagine her strength.

I haven't seen Joe -- really since Monday. It got tough without him last summer when I was alone but now I am more emotional, sleep deprived, and in need of a little more help. How did my grandma do it alone? I can't handle a week by myself. I know that you do what you have to do -- and get through life, but I admire her strength so much more now than ever before.

Joe gets home tomorrow night at about 7. All I want to do is lock him in the house and not let anyone in or anyone out for about a month. I miss him ... This is hard.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Good Deal

I am in the search of a new dress. I have been wearing the same maternity skirt for several months now ... and it is time for a change. I was looking at the downeast basics website ( and noticed that this dress was on sale for $0. YES THAT'S a ZERO! I ordered two -- in different sizes -- one for now -- one for when I drop a couple of lbs. I had to get something else since the minimum order was $1 so I ordered a t-shirt. SO for $17.17 I got one t-shirt and two dresses ... hopefully this isn't too good to be true. But hey -- not a bad deal 'eh?

1 Month Milestones

Wow time flies! Jace has been a member of our family for one whole month now. I can't believe it. It has gone so fast -- yet it doesn't feel like we were ever without him. I'm sure Joe would agree that we are so much better people with him in our lives. We love him so so much!

At 1 Month I Can ...

Jace is becoming so much more alert and will stay awake for hours at a time. Every morning after we eat we do our exercises and read a story. He always loves to do his exercises. (basically I just move his legs in a bicycle motion, use his arms to punch and stretch tall. This is "supposed" to help build muscle tone because of resistance -- more than anything it is just fun! I'll post a video sometime.) He doesn't cry very often at all and when he does he can be comforted easily. He loves the sound of Mommy singing (which is good -- not everyone does!) He sleeps best when cuddling up with someone (we are working on that). He rarely cries when he gets his diaper changed and is eating like a pro! Mostly he eats from his mom, but we still supplement several times a day -- just when he asks for it. He loves attention and is ... spoiled spoiled spoiled! He is such a sweet good little baby.

Our Journey So Far

t-minus 24 hours

His first picture -- with DAD

Coming home from the hospital

Our stay at Primarys

First Bath

Hanging out with Dad

Chillin' with the FAM

Going out with Mom

1 Month ALREADY!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tax Relief

Every year since we have been in our professions we have owed additional taxes. We always estimate our taxes when we get our final pay stubs and statements in December. Two years ago we owed $1400. Last year we owed $800. We changed our exemptions and were hoping this year it would work out better in our favor. We want to make it so we get a small refund -- within 2 or 3 hundred dollars ... that we we get the earned interest in our dough ... and not Uncle Sam. Our "December tax prediction" claimed that we would owe $1200 this year. I was devastated -- appalled -- angry. We are honest people. We don't claim extra exemptions so that we get more back throughout the year! It didn't seem fair.

When we owe this much in additional taxes we put off filing until the last minute. I mean who has $1000 laying around to give to the IRS? Not I. Before Joe left for Indianapolis, (yes he is gone ... right now ... on a business trip. Single wife ... single parent for the week,) he took the opportunity to update our forms and make sure that all of the numbers were in the right places. We found a significant error in our estimate. In the box where you enter the amount of interest you paid on your mortgage ... instead of putting 11,000 we put 1000. HUGE mistake. it took us from owing $1200 to owing $14. With some other adjustments ... we end up getting a federal return of $150. PERFECT!! What a relief!!!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

What's That Smell?

OH ... It's Me!!
Our First Major Meltdown

Jace doesn't poop multiple times a day -- he poops once. When he does, it is the motherload of all poops ... massively stinky! Yesterday was no exception. We got home from church and he started giving us the "I'm working on something" face. (The face above is the ... "I'm sitting in something" face). I went to change him and it was all up his back. Poor guy! At least he was wearing a onesie and didn't ruin his cute church outfit. I was trying to clean up the mass amount of ... poop ... and take off his onesie without getting it everywhere when he peed himself. At this point he is wet, stinky, and extremely upset. I stripped him down to his birthday suit, (no longer afraid of him peeing everywhere,) and started to wipe him down. Jace does not like to be exposed, so being naked and wiped with a wet rag is not his cup of tea. At one point he was screaming so loud that he forgot to breathe for several seconds. I have never seen a kid turn purple SO fast, (it was a bit scary actually). We got him dressed and Joe wrapped him up tight to calm him down. I cleaned up the mess he made and started a load of laundry. A good 15 minutes later he emotionally ready to go to Grandma and Grandpa's for Easter dinner. We survived our first MAJOR meltdown. What a little stinker :)

Easter Sunday

I love that Jace's first trip to church was on Easter Sunday. We spent the first part of the morning exploring what the Easter Bunny left. He must have snuck in while Jace was eating ... man he's good! I have great memories as a child looking for the hidden eggs on Easter morning and looking forward to my new Easter dress that I would be able to wear to church. I know that Easter is {{WAY WAY}} more than the bunnies and eggs ... but I feel that we can have a piece of both ... as long as the focus of the day is on my Savior.

I really enjoy dressing Jace in more than just onesies and stretch pants. I like dressing him in "big kid" clothes -- so I have been looking and looking for a cute church outfit. Knowing that Jace's first trip to church would be on Easter Sunday -- I was even more dedicated to the search. It seems nearly impossible to find anything "big kid" for the little guys. I finally found what could pass as a church outfit at Carter's. (If you can't tell it is a little blue sweater with a giraffe on it. He also is sporting khaki pants. Handsome Man!).

He was a huge hit at church! He is such a good baby! Everyone Loves JACE! He slept through Sacrament and Sunday School. He started to squirm a bit through Relief Society so I took him out to eat. When we got home we took our family picture. It was a very pleasant day! I love my family!

My New Love

I have always really enjoyed crafts -- all sorts, {It balances the left brain side of me nicely ... }. I started cross stitching when I was 8 or so. I took several art classes in high school including a drawing/painting class and a few sewing classes. I started scrapbooking the first year I was married -- and card making came the year after (thank you Stampin' Up!). Most recently I took up sewing again. I started a quilt to go on my bed a couple years back. The top of it is finished ... it is just waiting to be put up on the frames and stitched. My most recent {{HUGE}} undertaking was Jace's room. I made a tetris quilt, skirt, bumpers, window treatments, and diaper holder. It took a long time, but I enjoyed doing it and learned a lot.

Now -- every time I go into a craft store I instantly look at the fabric. I try to piece things together to see if I can come up with something new! I even told a friend once as we were looking for more material to match what we currently had ... "NO NEW PROJECTS!" This statement came after I had bought material for yet another baby quilt -- the airplane quilt.

I am very proud to announce that I have just finished the top of my little boy's airplane quilt. The tetris quilt is part of the set ... and probably won't be used all that often. I want to keep it looking nice for my future boys. The airplane quilt will be just for Jace. It will the blankey that he can cuddle with -- the one we wrap him tight in and take him places -- his nap quilt -- the get dirty and wash a billion times quilt. I am very proud of how it turned out. The nice part is that the pattern looks incredibly complicated -- but was quite easy. MUCH faster than anything I have done to date.

1. You choose 9 pieces of material and make a 9 patch.
2. Cut the 9 patch in quarters.
3. Rotate the top right and bottom left quarter 180 degrees -- sew the "9 patch" back together
4. Rotate every other "split nine" 180 degrees -- sew to assemble your quilt

Super easy -- right ?? Super cute!!

So now on to my next project. Stephanie just turned 18 and is going to go to school at Snow next year. I wanted to make her a fun cute quilt to put on top of her bed. It is called a bakers dozen because it includes 13 different patterns. I am using the material in the photo -- and using black for the sashing (framing the neon colors). It is very girly and I hope it will look nice and sharp. This new project just bumped a couple of Jace quilts back ... but I don't think that he will mind much :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Cocktail Hour

While hanging out with my fabulous in-laws ... Ann made a "Cocktail Cake". No No ... nothing that exciting ... a FRUIT cocktail cake. It was quite tasty -- and I didn't want to forget it. Here is the fruit cocktail recipe:

2 cups fruit cocktail (or any other fruit ... juice and all)
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Brown Sugar & Nuts (walnuts) -- sprinkled

Bake in a 9x9 @ 325 for 45 minutes. Assemble as if it were a peach cobbler -- fruit on the bottom, layer the cake batter -- top with ... toppings!

It was so good ... it made me look like this:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Our First Family Date Night

When we were first married -- Andy and Becky (Joe's brother) gave us some great advice -- make a weekly date night a priority. While I was working, near the end of my pregnancy, I didn't have enough energy to do much -- dinner basically. {{PLUS we had to make it back home to watch our favorite show -- BATTLESTAR GALACTICA!! I don't like science fiction really -- but I LOVE BSG! That is a whole different post}} Now that I am home all day ... and Jace can't really go many places ... I am more of the mindset: GET ME OUT OF HERE! I've got to give a hand to you stay at home moms {I haven't decided when I will officially become one of those} it is difficult to be home all day just to be home all night! By Friday afternoon I am more than ready to spend a "night on the town"

BUT we don't feel comfortable taking Jace to many public places yet. He has seen a bit of "the world" ... but not much. We wanted to go to dinner -- but make it a place where only a select few visit. Not somewhere like Subway or Chilis were a whole herd of people migrate to. We decided to go and visit Chi {the owner of Pho Cali -- one of our favorite restaurants!!} We packed up the Boucher Crew and headed out. They know exactly what we order every time. While eating I kept trying to see if Chi was in -- and listening for her. Mid bite I think I hear her cute Vietnamese voice. "Is that Chi?" I asked? "I think so" says Joe. I waved her down and she came to meet our little Jace. "Joe, Jen, Jace ... all J" she then proceeded to tell us all 5 of her kids names. She asked how I was feeling and then {cutely} refused to talk to us "You need to eat. Eat your dinner" I love that place!!

We wanted to go and see an 8:30 movie -- but got started on our date a bit late so we were rushing through our dinner. Now you may think that a movie is not a place to take a 3 week old when we were trying to avoid germs. WELL we took Jace (and Joe) to his very first drive in theater! (I'm brilliant!) We went to see "Monsters vs. Aliens". The story was cute enough -- way random in some parts -- but not too bad. The character that saved the movie however was BOB. He is the gelatin monster that flirts with the jello. He by far has the best one-liners.

It was an enjoyable evening. It is fun spending time with the family :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Touching Story

Each one of the apostles are truly unique. Every conference I am always fascinated by Elder Scott. As he talks he is aware of the cameras around them and always looks straight into them. He seems to have the ability to talk to your soul -- and I find every talk to be so relevant into my life. Today was no exception -- and I found his story to be most touching. My favorite so far.

I have always been grateful for the plan of salvation -- the knowledge that I can live with my family after I die. It is what has gotten me through some of the most difficult times in my life. When my mom died -- 13 years ago -- it is what I have clung to. When I am faced with a tempting choice -- I remember her -- and know that I want to do everything I can to be able to see her again.

Elder Scott recounted a time when he and his wife had to face the reality of death in the most difficult of ways. They had a son with a heart problem -- when he was just a little boy they had to go in for surgery to correct the issue. When the procedure was over the doctor came out and told the Scott family that the surgery proved to be successful. They were so happy that their little boy would be able to grow - run - play - and be a "normal" little kid. Moments later the same doctor came back out with a grim expression on his face. Their little boy had just died. What makes this story even more devastating is that the Scott family had just lost a baby girl -- just a few hours after she was born. Elder Scott tells us that he and his wife understood the plan of salvation and it gave them relief to know their two kids are going to be recipients of the gift of the Celestial Kingdom -- since they died before the age of accountability.

Now that I have a little one of my own -- I can't even fathom what heartache his poor family went through at that time. It would be devastating to lose Jace now ... I can't imagine the faith that this great man and his family has to endure such a trial. His talk made me reflect about my family. Joe, Jace, and I are sealed -- and we can be together forever -- I am so grateful for the reminder that has been given to me today. We are truly lucky to have conference to remind us of things that we sometimes don't take the time to think about.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Doctor's Appointments ...

I hope that my life has not come down to one doctor's appointment after another. I have been in some doctor's office/hospital multiple times a week since the beginning of February. I know that it was all to make sure that Jace and I are healthy and safe ... but I am ready to be done.

It is such a relief to know that I won't have to go to the doctors again for four weeks! (Mini-celebration!!). Today I had a post-op appointment for Dr. Merrill to check my incision, remove my adhesive strips holding my incision together, and send me on my way. He is a funny man -- and I usually catch his sarcasm as it comes. He told me how to tend my incision. He said that it can be scrubbed a bit, but not to pull too hard. He was showing the appropriate amount of "how hard" and his eyes got wide as he exclaimed "whoops!" He obviously was just kidding -- he didn't rip my abdomen open -- he got me though!

Oh ... and I have lost 24 pounds already!! The best weight loss program I have ever been 0n -- (then again I had to gain close to 30 to get here ... but I got Jace out of it, so I figure it was more worth it!!)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sunday Smiles

Last Sunday, while Joe was at church, Jace and I were chillin' on the couch downstairs. He was asleep and making all sorts of faces. I caught a good one of him smiling!
I don't know if it counts when you have the camera ready to take the shot ... and it really wasn't a voluntary smile ... but I think he is adorable non-the-less.