Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I believe there are Angels among us....

The other night I had an epiphany(sp?). I was sitting on the couch feeding the baby in the middle of the night, and it hit me. Olivia had finished part of her meal and was giving me some really cute smiles. She didn't quite look like she was looking at me though, so I had the thought that maybe she is seeing someone she knew in Heaven. I like to think that she got to know Grandpa Stahl a little while she was waiting to come to our family. She was smiling pretty big while she was staring at whatever or whomever she was seeing. Maybe the veil is a little thin at birth and thickens along with our skulls :) Maybe it isn't so much that we can't remember, but that it's a forgetting? :) Maybe those first smiles aren't just gas, huh? It's definately something to think about and until I find out otherwise, I'll just indulge myself and think that my baby actually did get a chance to meet her Grandpa. Just a thought.

My girls

I have been so blessed! I always wanted a sister growing up, and I really wanted that for Hannah. So now it is a reality. She is enjoying it so far. She always wants to be near her. She usually is sitting right next to me while Olivia eats, she's right there when the baby cries, with the binky. And she even tries to shove the binky in when baby is sleeping :) Recently she has started giving the baby knuckles, or what we call "word". You know, when you make a fist and hit the other person's fist? Well since the baby always has her hand in a fist, I guess Hannah just decided to start doing that, it's really funny to see! :)

Both the girls are adjusting so far. I am excited for when Olivia will smile and laugh at all of Hannah's antics. And they can be the best of friends :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My sweet baby

my precious gift from God

I can't believe that she is a month old now. The time is sure flying! We have had our struggles, oh wait, we still are struggling :) But we are trying to get it figured out. It was great having Grandma here for three weeks, but we didn't really get a schedule figured out while she was here, so now we get to. My house is a mess and laundry has been piling up, but at least my baby is fed and changed and happy. Oh and the other children too! haha It's definately a challenge having three older kids and a newborn. I never have a minute to myself. The hardest part of the day is after school and homework/dinner time. Fixing dinner while entertaining a 2 year old, while she's crying, "Mommy, I hold you!" I hear that multiple times a day. And they all seem to get hungry at the same time! How does that happen? :) Then Mom gets to eat cold food, since the baby needs to be fed first. Sheesh! Why is it that we suffer through labor, then the complications and pain of breastfeeding, and then it's still a struggle? I know, the kids are supposed to bring us joy, right? I'm trying to stay positive! So, any advice on how you juggle all your kids and get your housework done too? I sure hope I can figure this thing out soon :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

It's finished!

Kylan modeling the finished project

A view from one side

the other side

The closet is done! It turned out great and things are finally being put away. Now comes the hard part of organizing everything. It won't be easy, but it will be worth it!

My little sweetie

Olivia is such a sweetheart. She has been a great baby so far. We have been through a lot together. There has been some issues with feeding and she has been a trooper. We've made it through blisters, cracks, and lots and lots of tears. Oh and a case of mastitis. But we are getting by, thank goodness for technology and the breast pump! She has had to go from breast to bottle and back again and she is so laid back that she doesn't even mind. She even had a couple of stinky formula bottles and drank them like a good girl :) She is sleeping great, she usually will go 3-5 hours between feedings. And has gone a couple nights for 7 hours straight. She is also a very vocal baby, more than my others. She makes the usual newborn noises, but she also does what I like to call humming, or singing. When she's fed and happy, she sits and hums, it is too cute!

The other kids really love her. Kylan likes to hold her and rub her head. Caleb likes to show her off and give her kisses. Hannah likes her a little too much sometimes, she tries to play with her when she's sleeping and give her the binky. But then she'll tell me to put Olivia down when I'm holding her and Hannah wants to be held :) It should be interesting once we find a schedule and it gets back to normal. It has been great to have Grandma here helping out. I couldn't do it without her! And Nate has been helping out a lot too, he does laundry and has been cooking for us too! I have a great husband!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The new arrival....

the pretty girl

On the way home

the proud papa

Big Brother #1

The Big Sister

Big Brother #2

Scrunchie face

Mom and the babe

The adventure begins.....We had our baby. Olivia Kathleen Shaw was born on November 17, 2009. She was 10 days early. She was born at 12:19pm and weighed 7 lbs even. She's 19 1/2 inches long. It all went pretty fast. I woke up on Tuesday morning and started having contractions at 6am. They were getting closer together by 9am, so I called Nate to come get me. We got to the hospital and in a room by 10am and when the nurse checked me I was a 4. At my last appointment I had been a 2 and that was the last Tuesday. So I had made some progress :) Well back to the story, I decided to wimp out and get the epidural, but she said it would be an hour, yikes! So an hour later I get it, she checked me right after and I was an 8. And since I had dilated so fast, my blood pressure was low so I had to be put on oxygen. Well, that just made me emotional since my Dad had just passed away and was on oxygen the last few months of his life. So both the nurse and the doctor were asking me if I was in pain, I just explained that I was just crying about my Dad. Anyway, it was just over an hour later that she was born. So it's been a whirlwind for the last few days. We are adjusting to having her here and she is such a cutie that we like having her around. We are glad that she came for an early visit! I can eat whatever I want for Thanksgiving now that my tummy isn't overcrowded :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The wonderful world of parenting...

So tonight was mega busy for me...or at least it seemed that way since I'm big and pregnant and not really wanting to get out anyway. Once Kylan got home from school at around 3:30pm this was our to do list...

reading for Kylan for 15-20 minutes
piano practice for a half hour
make dinner
feed children to make them happy
Soccer practice at 5:30, since we have the Turkey shoot out on saturday
At 6pm we head out for a basketball evaluation for Upwards at 6:30.
Baby shower at 7pm
Then the regular putting kids to bed routine.

We get to the basketball evaluation and Hannah had fallen asleep. I get her put in the stroller and get about 5 feet from the car when she throws up all over herself and the stroller. Luckily I hadn't buckled her in since she was still sleepy, so I grabbed her and aimed her at the sidewalk. Hopefully missing the front end of the car in the lot :) So I call for the boys who have bee lined for the farthest point away from Mom, and make a U-turn back to the car. I grab every napkin that I have in the glove box (lucky for me I save every one on our road trips from the fast food places) the wipes, and search for the plastic walmart bag that I keep stashed in case of a potty accident. I thank my lucky stars that I had that stuff! So I wipe her down the best I can, cover her with the sweater that was in the car (again, lucky for me that I am a slacker and hadn't put it away earlier) because she was saying she was coldy. I reach under her to buckle her in, and got a nice handful of throw up, great! At least I knew she wouldn't likely want to go anywhere anyway, seeing as she just lost her dinner. Then we head into the building to do this blasted evaluation, which is the absolute last one since I missed the others. We got in fairly fast and it really only took 10 minutes. I felt bad taking her in because she smelled quite potent and I'm sure everyone we passed got a good whiff. But I really had no other choice. Anyway, now that I have written a novel :) We got in the car and headed to the shower, which now I wouldn't be going to, to drop off the present. I was super bummed, but what do you do, eh? Oh, I forgot to mention that it was Nathan's night for Elder's Quorum meetings. So I had no way to get out of going home and cleaning up all that wonderful smell off my daughter and her clothes. Enough of my pity party, hopefully now she will get better and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that no one else will get this. Sorry to anyone who came in contact with Hannah this afternoon!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

37 weeks

I'm actually almost 38 weeks now, but I thought I'd post this anyway. I'm doing well, since I've past the point where I had Hannah. So that's a good sign. I guess we'll see if I make it to the due date or not, there's always a first for everything, right? Now the dilemma is finding out what to name the baby if it's a boy. If it's a girl then she will be Olivia. It's just the waiting game now :)

Our fun trip

We had a lot of fun at the farm with the Shannon's. The guys had gone shooting for the day, so we teamed up to take the kids. They all had a lot of fun!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Reality check

Our new travel system

Hannah couldn't get enough of the stroller and climbed in the basket, she got stuck :)

Our old Graco stroller

It's lime green with some yellow and has one picture of Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and piglet.

So I got the infant car seat down from the attic last week to wash the liner. That's when I noticed that it was past the date where it says DO NOT USE after. So I start doing research and freaking myself out. I'm probably just paranoid, but I ended up finding a pretty good deal on the one we got. I found it at Big Lot's and it's the car seat and stroller combo for only $79! It's a Cosco brand, so hopefully it will all work out. Anywho, so now I have an extra stroller to get rid of. It's in great shape, other than needing to be cleaned. And I am going to work on that soon, hopefully. So if anyone wants a good Graco stroller, or knows someone who does, let me know. Otherwise it's going to go to Goodwill.

Nate the Great

Here's the closet with sheetrock in and painted

Here it is with the carpet installed.....it's coming together!

I have the best husband! He is spoiling me by remodeling our closet. He's such a handy man to have around! :) Now we are working on designing the shelving and getting it all set. We'll be buying the wood soon and hopefully will have it done before the baby comes! I can hope, right? :)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween fun

Caleb's preschool had a Halloween party, they got to make treasure bottles

Caleb had fun filling it up with all the treasures

I made these cookies from an idea I got from a friend, Thanks Michelle! Check out her site http://www.alittletipsy.blogspot.com

I made these ones for the bake walk at our ward pumpkin carving party.

My cute children all dressed up for the trunk or treat

Doesn't she look like a mix between Peter Pan and tinkerbell? Bring it on! She's supposed to be a fairy, but I guess people thought she was a butterfly :) I was just proud of the tutu I made for her!

Sir Kylan

Sir Caleb

Friday, October 23, 2009


Last night was the Knightfest at Kylan's school. It's a little carnival that they put on. Part of it was a costume contest, so the kids could dress up like something from Midieval times. The boys just happen to be knights this year, and Hannah is a fairy. They had a lot of fun dressing up and playing games.

The only bad part about the evening was when Caleb came in from outside crying. He had crashed on his scooter and fell on the sidewalk. He tried to catch himself with his face, since it was all scratched up and his glasses were broken. I guess we'll have to give him some lessons on crash landing :)

some Halloween fun

We did these for dinner the other night. The kids loved them and they were super easy. I just bought some english muffins, Walmart had some on sale! Then just used sauce, cheese, and cut up the pepperoni with a pizza cutter, and the olives too. Your kids could even help make them. Mine were busy playing so it was a suprise for them. Hope you have fun making some!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A new family favorite...

Garlic Chicken Farfalle

16oz. farfalle pasta
1 c. heavy whipping cream
3 or 4 chicken breasts
2-3 crushed garlic cloves or garlic salt(spoonful)
1 T. pepper(hot, use less if needed)
1/2 c. butter
1 lb. bacon
1/2 c. shredded parmesan
12 oz. Lawry's mesquite marinade with lime juice

Put chicken and marinade in crock pot on low for 6 hours. Pull chicken out to cool, and shred. About 1/2 hour before serving, boil pasta. In small sauce pan, melt butter, add garlic, whipping cream, pepper, and parmesan. Add crumbled bacon*. Whisk together on low heat 3-4 minutes. In a large bowl, pour over cooked, drained pasta, add chicken and stir. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and serve.

*Cook bacon at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes and crumble.

This was really fabulous! The kids loved it and said it was their favorite! The only thing I would do different is maybe not use the whole bottle of marinade, just half(if you use 3 breasts). There is a lot of leftover sauce that you don't use. And once you shred the chicken, put it back in the sauce to soak up some of the marinade....it was yummy! Let me know what you think if you try it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Step by step

Step one...we are doing some remodeling. This is our closet before, minus some shelves and the other hanging rack.

Step two.....we knocked out the wall and built another, now we are going to add some shelves and double hanging racks and we'll have space for food storage and stuff. We will actually be able to use the kids' closets for clothes and toys instead of food storage now :) I am super excited since this has been stressing me out for a long time. I will keep you updated on our(actually Nate's) progress. I am a good cheerleader! :) Moral support, right?

Our trip back...

The red rock at a rest stop in Moab.

The kids needed a break from all the driving.

My cute family.

This was driving through Colorado, it was overcast and stormy, but look at the sun shining through. I needed that ray of sunshine :)

This was when we got to Texas, the sunsets are bigger here :) I don't like how the purple clouds didn't show up very well in the pic.

The service for my Dad


This has been put off for too long. I have been having a hard time getting myself to do this, but I want to share. It's part of healing too, right? Anyway, these are some of the pics from the service for my Dad. We didn't have a viewing at all, because he didn't want one and since he was cremated, that was different also. So we decided to show what his life was like in pictures. We put up displays for people to see him growing up, with his family, and in his sports. It all turned out so nice. Some of the pics are also from the luncheon afterward. One of the last pics is a funny one with my uncle and I, we were comparing bellies :)

32 weeks and counting

This is a little old, but I wanted to post it anyway. I was in Utah at this point and was getting ready to go to the temple. It was a much needed visit and it was the hardest, but most rewarding trip ever. The spirit was so strong, and I was really emotional, but it was great. It was less than a week after losing my Dad.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Heaven isn't far away...

When someone you love is there.

The mortuary we went through did an everlasting memorial for my Dad. You can check it out if you want. Go to dignitymemorial.com and on the left side you click on obituaries. Then my Dad's name, Gary Stahl and search. Then you can click on his name and on the right side of the screen you can choose video or new gallery. They put together a nice photo video montage.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Here's to you, Dad!

Gary James Stahl 1947 ~ 2009

Gary James Stahl, Beloved Husband, Father, Brother, Grandfather, Uncle and friend passed away unexpectedly September 25, 2009. He fought a courageous battle with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, and died after complications from a double lung transplant.Gary was born January 12, 1947 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Raymond LeRoy Stahl and Mary Yvonne James. He graduated from Olympus High School and attended Utah State University and Westminister College. He married Jolene Welch on June 4, 1970 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was a member of the LDS Church. He was a sports enthusiast. His favorites included football, basketball, baseball, fast-pitch softball, pool and golf. He was considered one of the greatest all around athletes to come out of Utah. He earned a football (QB) scholarship to Utah State University following his 1965 graduation from Olympus. Gary is survived by his loving wife, Jolene; children, Kelly (Michelle) Stahl, Gary James Stahl, Jr. and Jaimie (Nathan) Shaw; siblings, Bonnie Vreeken, Robert (Lanette) Stahl, Raymond (Terry) Stahl and Maryanne (Don) Cremer; grandchildren, Ashley, Taylor, Braydon, Rylee, Joie, Kylan, Caleb and Hannah. He is preceded in death by his parents, father-in-law and grandparents. A special thank you to all the staff and doctors of Alta View Hospital, Woodland Park Rehabilitation Center, and University Hospital for all you did to help our husband, father, brother, grandfather and uncle. Please join us for a special service in honor of Gary on Friday, October 2, 2009 at 12 p.m. at the Valley View Funeral Home, 4335 W. 4100 So. Friends and family may come for visitation from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. prior to the service. Interment: Valley View Memorial Park.

This is the poem that I found online for the back of my Dad's service program. It's perfect!

Ode To Golf Poem
In my hand I hold a ball
White and dimpled, rather small
Oh, how bland it does appear,
This harmless looking little sphere.
By his size I could not guess
The awesome strength it does possess;
My life has not been quite the same
Since I chose to play this game.
It rules my mind for hours on end.
A fortune it has made me spend.
It has made me curse and cry
I hate myself and want to die
I am promised a thing called ‘par’
If I can hit it straight and far.
To master such a tiny ball
Should not be very hard at all.
But my desires the ball refuses
And does exactly as it chooses
It hooks and slices, dribbles, dies
and disappears before my eyes.
Often it will have a whim
To hit a tree or take a swim.
With miles of grass on which to land
It finds a tiny patch of sand.
Then has me offering up my soul
If it will just drop in the hole.
It’s made me whimper like a pup,
and swear that I will give it up
And take to drink to ease my sorrow.
But “The Ball” knows…
I’ll be back...tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blessings in disguise

I just want to thank everyone who has given me support these last few days. It has really helped, it's been an escape to come on-line and read blogs or comments on facebook. It has definately been a struggle, but we are pluggin away. I love hearing that my children are being good for those who volunteered to watch them. It has been a blessing.

Another blessing is that now that I look back, I think my Mom was being prepped for this to happen. The surgeon told us on the day that he died, that he would not have made it very much longer with his own lungs. The lung transplant was his only chance. He actually said that he may have lasted a week, maybe a month. At least my Dad was already sedated and most likely didn't feel much pain. He suffered for a long time, even probably longer than we realized. He wasn't one to complain much, and when he did start saying he was in pain, it was probably worse than he let on. He wouldn't even take any pain medicine, even at the hospital. At least he still had his sense of humor, he was always good for a laugh.

I will really miss him, but at least I know that he's in a better place. Heck, he's probably trying to talk someone into letting him go golfing :) It's hard knowing he wasn't religious, but he told me that he was praying, at least it was a start, right? He was a good man and would do anything for anyone. He touched a lot of lives and left a great legacy! At least I can keep his memory alive through stories and pictures for his grandkids.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

In Loving Memory....

My Mom and Dad had this taken last year, acually I pressured them into it :)

If any of you haven' t heard yet, my Dad passed away. We were hoping that things would work out differently, but our plans aren't always the same as Heavenly Father's.

Some of my thoughts on my Dad....

My Dad was born on January 12, 1947. He is the oldest son and has one older sister, two younger brothers and a younger sister.

He was a great athlete and played fast pitch softball for years. I have many memories of hours at the ballpark while Dad was playing games. He was great at anything he did, especially sports. He played football and basketball in High School. And he was a star quarterback for his team. He played football for Utah State Universiy for a couple years also. He even at the age of 23 tried out for the Kansas City Royals(baseball), but they said he was too old.

He made friends anywhere he went and was usually happiest when he was on the golf course. He even tried to teach me, on many occasions, how to play. He wanted me to play so I could make a lot of money :) I never really liked golf, so I didn't try too hard. He was a great man and I will miss him terribly. I will keep this short since it is still hard right now.

His High School picture, isn't he so handsome!

Friday, September 18, 2009

I am doing it!

So I finally decided that I am going to go see my dad.

I've got my flight all squared away and now I need to work on the, "who's watching my kids" part. I have some great people who have offered to help out and hopefully it will all work out with their schedules too. I guess we'll see. I do feel really good about having the plane ticket and the fact that I am going to spend some good quality time with him......

I just feel really bad about leaving my kids for so long. I will be gone for a whole week and two days. Part of that is over the weekend, so my husband will be in charge then. And luckily two of the three kids have school, so it won't be too much of a burden. Maybe.

I also feel really good about going because my mom needs me and she is really excited for me to come. I'm hoping to be able to cook up a storm for them and freeze a bunch of stuff so they'll not be eating fast food all the time. It's good to know I'm good for something :) At least they like my cooking!

It should be an adventure for sure, for me and for the people who will be helping out with my kiddos :)

At least they are all somewhat independant. I mean, they can feed themselves after the food is in front of them :) haha I guess I'll be freezing meals for my own family in the next week! I can't let them live off of mac n cheese the whole time, they already did that while their dad was away for two weeks!

Anyway, I just feel that I need to go spend time with my dad, since he'll be having the lung transplant sometime soon and who knows what will happen after that. This will be the only chance to go have one on one time with him. I can't remember the last time that happened, probably before I was married. So here goes nothing!

A perk of parenting...

Last week, when I went to pick Caleb up from preschool. The director of his program was in his class, just checking things out I guess. Well, she stepped up to me and said, "This guys teachers say he is the little gentleman." At first I was shocked, so I said, "Well at least he's learning something, right?" She just laughed and said, "It's always nice to hear those things as a parent." So I thanked her and tried to wrangle the kids down to the car. The funny part is as soon as Caleb was out the classroom door, he was booking it down the hall. Then after many reminders of not running inside the building, he and Ian went running down another hall. My little gentleman sure likes to push his mommy's buttons! :) It was short lived, but at least I had a parenting high for about 5 seconds. At least I have the memory of it, right? It wasn't just a dream! haha

Monday, September 7, 2009


Our new towel hooks in the bathroom, I really like it! Not too shabby! :)

I thought that instead of writing a list in the morning of things I needed to do, I'd report at the end and write it out. That way I wouldn't have anything left and feel bad :) I actually got quite a bit accomplished this weekend, but I'll just do today.

One load of laundry washed/dryed/put away

Two loads of dishes

Made and put up a towel hook plaque in the kid's bathroom (that's it up above, you can't really tell, but it's a rubber ducky on there and bubbles. And it says squeaky clean.)

Un-picked part of Kylan's quilt I am going to get tied this week

Hung some shelves in Hannah's room

Hung a trophy shelf in the boys' room, which actually required the drill coming out :)

Cleaned both the toilets, just not the whole bathroom, a pregnant woman can only stand so much bending over ;)

After looking at the list, it doesn't seem like much, but for someone who has to lay down and put her feet up every so often so her baby doesn't fall out....I feel like I did pretty darn good! I thought I had done more, but I guess that'll have to do :)

First day of preschool

Pardon the picture quality. Nate has my camera with him in Wyoming. I got stuck using Kylan's mini digital camera that we found on clearance for his birthday :) This was Caleb all excited for his first day of preschool. He was asking me every day for the whole week before and of, "Is it time for me to go to school today?" And when I told him no, he would freak out and start crying like it was the end of the world. Oh, the life of a kid!

He did have a good first day and was talking about it the rest of the week. It will be really good for him to be off on his own and have his own place to go. I look forward to seeing what he will be like at the end of the year.