Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Fairy Tale Wedding

the happy couple

Greg's sister Emily was married yesterday. We are so excited for her and her new husband Aaron. He is such a sweet guy and treats her and her children so wonderfully. They make a lovely family!

the newly joined family

Emily asked me to be a bridesmaid, so I also spent the morning getting my hair done (by my sister Sariah who, along with a cosmetology friend, did the bride's as well as the entire line's hair) decking myself in diamond jewelry, a tiara, clear soled high heeled shoes and a satin sage green dress.

the beautiful bride

a close up of the Sariah's work of art

My other sister London was also very involved in the day; she was the wedding planner. The theme for the reception was fairy tales really do come true. She did such an amazing job! It was gorgeous. Every inch of the place was detailed with glass slippers, castles, carriages, fairy tales stories and even a frog prince atop a small fountain (and the majority of the decorations were handmade)! I truly have such talented sisters.

London's creative vision and hard work

It was a long day, consisting of the actual wedding ceremony, a line and a luncheon, setting-up, another line and a reception and cleaning up. We were going from morning until night. Palmer had a short nap in the morning and went the rest of the day without a wink of sleep. Amazingly enough, he did wonderfully. Needless to say we are all exhausted today! Actually, I think I might have been even more exhausted than I was by the end of my own wedding day. It was a wonderful occasion though, worth the aches of feet crammed into three inch stilettos and the lack of sleep.

the Hess family, happy and tired at the end of the day

We are so very thrilled for Emily and Aaron to be able to start their happily ever after.

Swimming Lessons

Palmer had his first swimming lesson at the fitness center yesterday. It was also the first time we have taken him swimming. We've tried other times, but it just hasn't worked out when we all could go, and both Greg and I wanted to be there the first time. Palmer wasn't too happy at the beginning when we were covering techniques, i.e. holding the baby in his back to simulate floating and dunking the baby under water. He held tight to Mom and Dad, and cried and fussed a little bit, as did most of the babes there. But he was overjoyed during the second half of the class when we played water games and sang songs while playing in the water. He was all fun and smiles! It was too cute. We have a few more classes in the next month and will be sure to be hitting the pool as a family just for fun throughout the summer.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's Going to Be...

A BOY! That's right, chalk up one more rough and tough Y chromosome to my feminine X. We're happy with the results. Palmer will have a little brother, and we already have everything for a boy. Plus, when the next baby comes (we'll be waiting a while for the third) the boys can share a room. So, definitely good stuff.

Just saying though that the next one really should be a girl. We only have grandsons (five now to be exact) on my side of the family. And I, as well as my girly sisters, need a baby girl to put in dresses and bows and pigtails.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Greg chose not to work on Memorial Day so we could have a little rest and relaxation as a family since May has been so incredibly busy. The day proved to be pretty jam packed even though we tried not to make a lot of plans. I got my hair colored in the morning since it was the only time before Greg's sister's wedding (I'm a bridesmaid) that Greg would be home to watch Palmer. Then we went to a barbecue at Greg's mom's new home. We spent the entire afternoon there while Greg help with some home installations. Since it took so long to get the jobs done, Palmer missed his nap and fell asleep on the way home. We had some errands to run, so we decided to take turns running in and out of the car while the other stayed with the baby. We finished with a trip to visit my mom's grave with some flowers. We finally sat down to dinner at 7:00. At 8:00 we decided it was time for our family R & R, so we went on a walk. Palmer went in his wagon, which a neighbor passed on to us (thanks Betsy!), and was super happy. It surely is the simple things that make a great day for a child.

So, not the laid-back day we were expecting, but good nonetheless. Now I am off to put the baby to bed and play some mean Wi-Fi Mario Karting against the Jennes.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bedroom Shower

Last night I threw a bedroom shower for my sister-in-law Emily who is getting married in a week. It was an absolute blast! We served mocktails (thanks to my creative sister London) and a chocolate fondue with strawberries, bananas, angel food cake, pretzels and marshmallows for dipping. Fancy!

We played a really fun game. Everyone wrote down an answer for each category: a sexy celebrity, a body part that is kissed, a great honeymoon spot, something a person wears to feel more attractive, and something a couple can do to spice up their love life, and put the answers in a bowl. There were three rounds were we each took a turn drawing pieces of paper (for 2 minutes) and either describing the answer like Taboo (1st round), describing the answer with only one word (2nd round) or acting out the answer like charades (3rd round). It was hilarious!

We then opened gifts. She received some wild stuff. I wrote down many of the things she said while opening presents and then read them back afterwards as a preview of the things she would be saying on her honeymoon night. It was too funny! It's important to note here that what's said (or acted out) at a bedroom shower stays at the bedroom shower. I'll just say finish up by saying it was a greatly fun girl's night!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lessons I'm Currently Trying to Teach My One Year Old

  1. Just because it fits in your mouth does not mean it's food. This especially applies to batteries.
  2. Mommy is not a jungle gym.
  3. It really is a good thing that you don't accompany mom to the restroom when she needs to go potty.
  4. When you climb off something, you will fall and get hurt.
  5. Don't put your finger up Daddy's nose. It's gross, not funny.
  6. If you don't wiggle around and throw a tantrum, it won't take so long to wipe your face/change your diaper.
  7. Your milk can remain on your tray even if you don't want to drink it this moment. You will want it again after a few bites, so don't throw it on the floor.
  8. I promise I will never leave you in the car, so there is no need to get upset when takes me more than a few seconds to get you out of the car seat after turning off the engine.
  9. Keep your socks/shoes on, and please don't chew on the soles your shoes, or the soles of other people's shoes.
  10. It's time to learn to walk on your own, because you are only getting heavier and I am only getting bigger. And with you, the getting-fuller-by-the-day diaper bag and my growing belly, something has to give.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Palmer's One Year Photo Shoot

We did it, a professional photo of Palmer for every month of the first year of his life. It was a bit of a pain at times, but now that I can see how much he has changed every month, I'm so glad we did it. I'm also thankful that JC Penney does portraits for such a good price (click here for their latest coupon), or it would never have been possible. So now we have a short break from visiting the photographer (until Palmer is 18 months and the new baby is here and we start the monthly visits all over again). This photo shoot was pretty fun. Palmer was everywhere, which is quite true to his current stage. The photographer commented on how much more busy he was compared to all his other sessions, but she was very patient and was able to get some real cute poses.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Favorite Things

I am heading to a favorite things party this evening. Each person brings a gift bag of her favorite things to give to another person and goes home with a gift bag of someone else's favorite things. Here is what is in my favorites.

  1. Moulin Rouge. My all time favorite movie! I love Ewan McGregor, I love Nicole Kidman, and I love the music. It basically rocks!

  2. Mini Scrapbook Album. It's no secret that I love to scrapbook, so to represent that favorite pastime I made a mini purse album. All the recipient will have to do is fill it with pictures and possibly journaling.

  3. Mint Chapstick. I cannot go anywhere with out this trusty friend by my side. I put it on at least three times a day.

  4. Recipes. I included my favorite tried and true recipes, many of which are on this blog. The included are: grape salad, apples and sweet potatoes, chicken enchiladas, chicken and dumplings, mini meatloaves, cranberry apple pork roast, spaghetti carbonera, spinach and ham pasta bake, cookies from a cake mix, fruit pizza, lemon bars, chocolate lovers cake with chocolate glaze, and peanut butter kiss cookies. Looks like I'll need to post the few that are missing a link soon.

  5. Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies. These are my favorite cookie. I don't make them too often because they aren't a very quick cookie, but the little bit of extra time is worth the results.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May = Busy

Our calendar for May is packed full! Seriously, I don't feel like we have had a chance to breath, and this past weekend was no exception.

Grandma Emily's 80th Birthday. Greg's side (including aunts, uncles and cousins) all got together on Saturday to celebrate Grandma Emily's 80th birthday at Wheeler Farm. We had sandwiches and several salads. I made and brought a broccoli salad. After we ate we were able to look at the animals. Palmer and Greg had a good time. I was pretty sick by then, and the smells of the animals weren't helping, so it was a quick tour. We will have to go back soon and make a real visit of it. We also celebrated our niece Tamara's birthday the night before, and my older sister London's birthday the next day.

A Quick Date. We were originally planning on moving Greg's mom after the birthday party, but she wasn't ready and decided to move next weekend, so we were left with a free evening. We decided to take advantage of the rare spare time and Greg and I got a babysitter and went to go see X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I loved it! It was so fun to go out as a couple and see an adult movie. Of course I was sick during the date, but I made the best I could of it and tried to have as much fun possible. When we returned home however, the sickness really hit me and I was throwing up in the bathroom most of the night.

Visiting Moms. I already posted about my own experience this Mothers Day, but I also want to mention that we took time to visit our own mothers. I took a trip to the mausoleum when my mother is laid to rest all by myself. The baby was sleeping and Greg offered to wake him up and accompany me, but I said I preferred to go alone. I haven't been able to take a trip to see my mom alone since Palmer was born. It's wonderful to have supportive people about you, but sometimes you just need to be alone to really let yourself feel. Later we visited Greg's mom as a family and chatted a little. We gave her a card and a small gift.

London's Birthday Get Together. We celebrated my sister's birthday on Sunday during our bi-weekly Sunday family dinner. We had a BBQ, and we had three different kinds of fondue with lots of dipping treats for dessert. It was yummy! We gave London a couple pairs of cute shoes, as did someone else. She should definitely be set in terms of footwear this summer.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Mothers Day Lesson

I was a bit bummed out this Mothers Day. It was nothing as I would have imagined. I missed my mom, a lot. The flowers I had planned to take to her grave had died. I was sick and only made it through sacrament meeting. I had a messy house because I had been very sick the day before and didn't get around to cleaning. I spent a good portion of the day feeling inadequate as a mother myself because I've been too ill and exhausted with the pregnancy to give much attention to Palmer, and Greg told me that he wanted to get me something to commemorate the day, but he just ran out of time. Which is understandable; he's been picking up much of my slack taking care of Palmer. But still, I was a bit sad at the outcome of the day.

When I mentioned to my sister about the let down she said, "Welcome to real motherhood." The other women present all agreed, and I think, in that moment, I realized it was time to grow up a bit. I know I am a very sentimental person. I like to commemorate just about everything with happy words, parties and gifts. And mothers definitely deserve all the attention we can give them. But motherhood itself, is sadly not always sunshine and daises. Often it's hard. At times it's not so pretty and sometimes it even makes you sad. However, it is worth it. Every hug, kiss, laugh and cuddle make it worth it. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a mom, and for the children that our Heavenly Father has entrusted me with. I am so thankful for my own mother, her love and support, and the fact that I will be able to be with her once again. I am grateful for Greg's mother, for the wonderful man she raised and for the sweet and fun Grandma she is to Palmer.

This is the only picture we could get of Palmer and me today. And yes, with a worn-out nauseated mommy (six people told me I looked sick and/or tired today) and a baby far past his naptime who proceeded to scream and cry the second after this was taken, it is a little rough. But as I learned today, sometimes that's what being a mom is. By the way, Greg did take pity on my moping self and told me to go take a bath and read this evening while he did the dishes. I'm quite certain that I owe a great deal of my mothering success to having a kind and dedicated husband and father by my side.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Good the Bad and the Oh So Ugly

Ten things I am thankful for this week:
  1. My kind husband who gets up every morning with Palmer and feeds him while I am sick.
  2. We are following a new financial plan (Dave Ramsey) that is helping us get on top of our finances and out of debt.
  3. I love our ward! The members provide us with a wonderful support system.
  4. Our next door neighbor Mario mowed our lawn without a word, giving Greg more time to work in the backyard.
  5. My family provided us with far too much food for Palmer's birthday and so I didn't have to cook for a few days (just don't offer me any more pasta salad or I might lose it).
  6. Palmer is out of his clingy phase and I am once again reminded what a fun and happy child he is.
  7. The opportunity I have to be with my mom again in the next life.
  8. Greg's job appears to be more secure and my brother-in-law, who had been looking for work for months, was offered a good paying full-time position.
  9. I finally have the date for the ultrasound (May 27th) and will be able to find out the sex our itty-bitty baby. Also, my boss just hired a bunch of new employees so I was able to get one of them to cover my shift for that said day.
  10. The sitcom Friends, which has entertained my burnt out mind and tired body at the end of the each day with it's silly humor and unrealistic story lines.

Five things I am not so thankful for, but that I will deal with:

  1. I am already starting to show at only three months into my pregnancy (last time I made it to five months). Yikes! This is especially bad timing because I am supposed to be in a wedding at the end of this month and my dress is not a maternity dress.
  2. The kid who threw up at work today.
  3. Pregnancy. Don't get me wrong I am excited about the baby, just not actually being pregnant. I am not one of those women who "glow." Instead I groan, sweat, puke, swell and then fall asleep halfway through the day.
  4. I have looked through the whole month's schedule and I can't find a time for Greg and I to go on a date. As an extra yucky to this, we won't be seeing the new X-Men movie that everyone else is watching and raving about.
  5. Our jungle of a backyard and the insurmountable task we have of cleaning it up (especially in time for a garden). This is hopefully a before picture. No, your eyes are not deceiving you; this is not the Amazon, it is actually our backyard in all it's weediness, overgrown bushes, dead fallen tree, horrifying glory.

Because I Said I Would

I am posting a picture of Greg and our friend Brian in Palmer's ball pit (which by the way, he is still terrified of). No children were hurt in the process.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Palmer's First Birthday

We had both sides of the family over Saturday afternoon to celebrate Palmer's first birthday. We served sub sandwiches, chips, potato salad (provided by Grandma Nancy), pasta salad (from Aunt Sariah), green salad (from Aunt London), and jello salad (from Betty). We had a few birthday cakes, one being a cookie monster cake just for Palmer from his Aunt Andrea. We opened presents. Palmer received clothes, a chair, a mailbox, trucks, a train, books, bath toys, a baby puzzle, and a ball pit. The ball pit was from Greg and I and we were so excited to give it to him; we thought he'd love it. Sadly, he is absolutely terrified of it. He cries when it is close to him and crawls trembling into our arms. He also screams as it shakes when others get into it. Oh well, all the other kids loved it and hopefully he will warm up to it. He devoured his cake and was cover head to toe in blue icing. But isn't that what first birthday's are all about?

That evening we went to dinner at Buca di Beppo with our friends the Stewarts. The next day we invited a few families in the ward over to help eat the rest of the leftovers. We had fed 20 the day before and only ate half of the meal. After another 15 people Sunday we are still left with a whole lot of leftover salad.

We feel so blessed to have had Palmer in our lives for a whole year now. What a sweet and fun babe he is! We look forward to many, many more special days celebrating the birth of our wonderful little boy. Here is the video of Palmer's enjoying his birthday cake.

Friday, May 1, 2009

One Year

Our little baby is one year today! It's truly crazy how fast time flies! We celebrated with family this afternoon with a big lunch and a few birthday cakes, one being a very cute Cookie Monster cake just for Palmer (pictured left). I'll post more information about his birthday festivities later. But here are the stats on Palmer as a one year old.

Stats: weight - 21 pounds 6 ounces (29th percentile), height - 32 1/2 inches (99th percentile), and head circumference is in the 25th percentile
He has learned: to walk along furniture, to give rock to daddy (not a high five yet though), to say mama and actually know what it means, to feed himself all table foods, to drink well from a sippy cup (bye bye bottles!), what "no" means (but he doesn't always follow the direction), and to climb in/on everything

He likes: drumming (he is already a pro at using Greg's drumsticks), going to work with me and playing with all the other kids (finally working at the day care is paying off), going out, eating - everything and all the time, "reading" books with mommy, crawling around on the floor with daddy chasing him (Grandma Nancy and Pappy Ed are also fun companions for this), baths, climbing on couches, pulling pots and pans out of drawers, eating batteries (not sure why but he always finds them and they always end up in his mouth), and being outside

He dislikes: staying home all day, cheddar cheese, being contained, and loud noises.

Things he does that makes us laugh: smiles big and cheesy when wearing sunglasses, long conversations consisting of incoherent baby talk, crawls and wiggles out of his clothes, big smiles and laughs