Wednesday, July 27, 2011

This is how my 20 month old travels...

I admit - I was nervous about how Jackson would do on our long drive from Washington to Idaho.  This kid does not like being in his car seat!  He has mastered the art of the arched back when you try to put him in his car seat.  I was dreading the drives - but even more, putting him back in the car after we stopped.  It takes some serious muscle sometimes to wrestle him into the buckles and then you get to listen to him scream!  So - how was the drive?  He did so good!  I was so happy!!!!  Amazingly this is what he did for probably 70% of the drive....
He normally only gets a binky in his crib - but, I relented and let him have it in the car.  He would play for a little bit, then ask for his blanket, pull it up over his head and go to sleep.  It was so amazing!  Every time we stopped he would run around like a wild indian, and then, happily get back into the car when we said it was time to go.  I don't think he did the arched back trick once!  It was a miracle!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Wallis Reunion 2012

These are some teaser photos for Scott's family!  We picked a place for the reunion for next summer after much debate!  We have talked about so many places - The Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Colorado and the list goes on.  But after lots of talking, we decided it would be fun to find a place a little closer to us.  We have driven through Coeur d'alene many times heading back and forth to Idaho, but have never stayed there.  So, we scoped out a few places, and found a perfect location! 
We'll be renting some cabins on Lake Pend Orielle, which is a huge lake (so big the Navy builds and tests submarines in it!)  Here are some pictures of the view!

Doesn't it look beautiful!  We're excited!!


On the way home from Idaho Falls, we stopped to camp in Couer d'alene, Idaho.  We are in charge of Scott's reunion next year and wanted to check out some places for that.  We found a campsite on the internet that looked nice, so I called up and booked a site.  The website said the campground was located 1 mile off the freeway - it didn't say that the 1-mile stretch of road ran parallel to the freeway, so that you end up camping right next to the freeway.  The campsite was beautiful - the freeway was loud!  We quickly ruled out this location for the reunion!  But, we set up our tent and had a nice time camping anyway!  Here's our little site!  I loved that there was grass everywhere - probably the cleanest camping trip ever!
  Adam was so funny - there was a nice older couple camped next to us and he kept asking if we could invite them to our camp fire.  So, that first night, he and Scott went over and asked if they wanted to join us for S'mores.  They came over and we made some nice friends.  They were from Cananda and had come down to buy a lawnmower.  We enjoyed talking with them.
Here are Adam and Jackson enjoying the camp fire.
 The next day was COLD!  We took a walk around the camp site, and even did a little canoeing in the river.  Jackson collected rocks....
 They had these fun three-wheeled bikes to rent.  Adam and Scott had fun racing, and Jackson even got in on the action!

 Jackson had fun climbing in and out of these huge tractor tires!

We had fun camping, but it was nice to head for home and know that we could get some good sleep without listening to semi trucks blow by on the freeway!
We've been home for two weeks now, and Jackson still claps his hands when he gets to go to sleep in his own bed!  He was such a trooper for the whole trip.  He slept on the floor for most of it, and did really good.  When I go to put him to bed at night or down for a nap, he claps his hands and says "yay bed!!"  Silly boy!

Couch Family Reunion

We had a Couch Family Reunion back at the beginning of July down in Idaho Falls.  It was great to see so many of my cousins and their kids and to see how everyone's families are growing and changing!  We drove down, and decided to do it in two days.  Uncle Hyrum was so lucky to drive with us (in all reality, we were lucky to have him with us!  He sat in back with Adam and helped him keep everything together).  We took the drive slow - several long stops to let the boys run around.  Scott took this picture when we stopped for lunch the first day.  Jackson had to do everything that Uncle Hyrum did!
 After lunch on the first day, Scott and I surprised Adam with a Nintendo DS.  He was beyond thrilled and played it the rest of the drive (another great reason that Hyrum was with us - he helped Adam get it all set up!!)
 For some reason, we only brought our camera out to one family reunion event.  Such slackers!  We arrived in IF on July 4th and went straight to my Grandma Couch's house where the rest of my family was waiting for us.  Adam was so thrilled to see his cousins!  Then we headed over to check in to our htoel, and then to meet up with everyone at a park by the river.  The plan was to have dinner and then stay for the famous Idaho Falls fireworks show.  We all decided not to stay for the fireworks since half of our kids (Adam, and Aiden - (Nate's son), especially) are terrified by the noise of fireworks.  So, we ate dinner and sat and chatted with extended family members while the little kids ran around and then headed back to the hotel.  My dad and brothers had bought a bunch of roman candles, so we put the kids in their pajamas and headed to the parking lot next to the hotel and watched the roman candle line up.  The big boys had fun!
The next day is the day we brought the camera out, so all of these pictures are from that day.
We spent most of the day at a park - Here is Jackson holding his newest cousin Eli.  Everytime he saw him, Jackson wanted to hold him.  It was very sweet.  Eli cried each time, but Jackson was very patient!
 My Uncle Cody, took some family pictures, since all of the Conrad clan was in attendance.  I don't have any of those pictures yet, but he also took some of all the grandkids.  I'm actually amazed that some of these are cute!  I love little Robyn standing up in the back.  The kids were really done with having pictures taken! (I have to point out that both of my boys HAD to have their hats on - turned backwards!)
 Jackson kept getting up and running towards the picture takers.
 I love Asher in this picture.  He's the little guy at the right in the yellow shirt - do you think he's done?
 After dinner, we played a fun human ladder game!  It was very competitive!

 But, after the competition, all the adults were nice and let the little kids give it a try.  Miraculously - no one fell and got hurt!  Here is Adam...

 The tongue helps!
 Then we had some classic stick pull!
 And then the traditional baseball game.  It was getting dark, and I'm not very good at using our camera, so these are the only two pictures that turned out from the game.

 The next day was July 6th.  Most of the grownups headed up for a rafting trip down the very full and very fast Snake River.  Scott said it was lots of fun!  Those that stayed behind took the kids to the zoo, and then back to Grandma's house where they had an epic water fight with my cousin Holly's husband.  Then we headed back to the hotel for some swimming.
That night was the traditional family home evening.  My cousin Joe blessed his new baby boy, and it was great to hear an update from my Aunts and Uncles about their families.  I have cousins spread out all over the US, some who couldn't make it this year, so it was great to hear how they are all doing.
The next day, we packed up and headed out! 
I had to include these two pictures of Jackson climbing on the rocks outside our hotel.

We had lots of fun at the reunion.  It was fun to be back in Idaho Falls - brought back fun memories of my years Ricks and the time when Scott and I were dating.  It was so great to see cousins and aunts and uncles that we only see every two years and to introduce my boys to them.  Adam had so much fun being with Noah and Talia!  He loves his cousins so much!  Looking forward to another reunion in two years!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Baby Girl

Yup - It's really true!  We've got a baby girl here!!  Gotta admit - I'm a little nervous, but super excited all at the same time!!
I had another ultrasound earlier this week.  Back on July 1st, when I had my 20 week ultrasound, the technician heard something weird in the baby's heartbeat.  I thought I heard it too, but she didn't say anything and just kept on going - although she did keep going back to measure the bumps in the heartbeat pictures.  So, when I saw the doctor, he said that everything looked good, but that he wanted to take a listen to the heartbeat.  He put the gel on my tummy, and I immediately knew that something was up.  I could very disctinctly hear 3 strong clear beats, and then nothing - 3 beats and a space - 3 beats and a space.  My doctor said "Do you hear that?  It's bump, bump, bump, drop, - bump, bump, bump, drop".  YES - of course I heard it - now what's wrong???  (I wanted to shout those words, but I held it together and calmly said something like "Yup - I do hear that")
My doctor called it a first degree heart block.  He explained that sometimes the electrical pulses in the heart don't fire correctly in one of the chambers so it's like there's a beat missing.  He also said he didn't think it was anything to worry about, but he would like to send me to Maternal Fetal Medicine so they could take a closer look and listen and see if they would recommend any treatment.  Then he asked me if my stress level had sky-rocketed?  Uhhhh - ya!  I of course, said "no, I'm ok" and we went on with the rest of the appointment.  The first thing I did when I got back to work that morning was call Maternal Fetal Medicine to make an appoinment.  Unfortunately, it was Friday afternoon, and we were leaving Sunday morning to head to Idaho Falls for a family reunion (more about that later).  So, I made an appointment for the Tuesday after we got home, and tried not to think about it.
One great thing about heading to a family reunion, is that all of my immediate family was together!  All three of my brothers, their kids, my sister and my parents were all there.  So, I took advantage of it and asked my dad, brothers and husband to give me a blessing.  I am so greatful for the Priesthood!  What a comfort that blessing was!
So, the reunion went by, and Tuesday, July 12th came, and I went in for my appointment feeling pretty calm, all things considered.  The first thing they did was sit down with me to discuss my "advanced maternal age" (good grief - I'm only 37!!).  The genetic counselor was very nice, and I re-learned some things that I remember learning in high school biology.  We sat and talked for almost an hour.  And then, finally - the ultrasound....  2 hours of ultrasound.  The tech. started out by doing all the measurements that had been done at my 20 week ultrasound, and by confirming that yes, we really do have a little girl growing in there!  Then she got to work on the heart.  She zoomed in and out, had me rolling all over the place to look from every single angle, measured everything going in and coming out of the heart, and listening to a perfect little heartbeat!  Every time she turned the sound on, I was sure we would hear that beat drop out again - but it never did.  The heartbeat was absolutely perfect!! 
After 2 hours, the tech left and the doctor came in.  She said that structurally, my baby is perfect!  The heart is perfect!  They were unable to reproduce the heartbeat that my doctor had heard.  She said it could be many things - immaturity on the baby's part, stress during the initial ultrasound, a one time arrythmia...  She suggested that I go back to my regular doctor and that he monitor the heartbeat more closely than they normally do, and if they hear it again to send me back.  But from everything they could see and hear there was nothing wrong with my baby's heart.  If something pops up again, she said that it would most likely be just a minor arrythmia and that she feels that there isn't anything to worry about.  I admit that I did cry as she talked to me!
I am still a little nervous about upcoming doctors appointments, but I am feeling this little girl move around so much, and I still feel comforted by the blessing I received!  So, of we go!  Adam is thrilled to be having a little sister, and Jackson likes to give my tummy kisses for the baby.  Scott went to the mall on Saturday, and a new store had just opened up!  He said it was a zoo - they had people directing traffic and lots of valet parking.  It's an American Girls store.  I told him he'll get the chance to learn all about it....

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ultrasound day - What do you think???

We had our 20 week ultrasound this morning.  Baby was quite stubborn and would not let us get a good peek at it's gender.  The ultrasound tech gave us an 80% guess.  Here's the picture - what do you think??
 It didn't seem like we got any clear pictures at all.  Here is the best profile pic they were able to get.  Baby was laying face down and was doing quite a bit of hand moving, but didn't really want to cooperate when it came to anything else.
The tech actually had me laying on my left side, then my right side.  She had me get up and emtpy my bladder and do some walking around to try and get the baby to move, to no avail.  Baby stayed in the same position.  I guess this one got a double dose of Wallis and Conrad stubborness!
So - give me your guesses - what do you think????