Monday, June 30, 2008

She's here!!!

In less than 12 hours from the first contraction, Leah Grace Allred made her grand entrance at 8:20 pm, on Friday, June 27th. She weighed 7 lbs. 10 oz and was 20 inches long.

She has a striking resemblance to her big sister and is such a good baby! There are, of course, being a dimple on her right cheek! And she doesn't have the mark between her brows that Monica does, or quite as much hair. But she is just as beautiful and we have fallen completely in love with her! We are excited to see what she ends up looking like.

As for me, I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo happy to not be pregnant anymore!!! I was getting to the point I thought there was no way I could stretch any further. So YAY!

Monica is a proud big sister, although at first she wasn't sure what to think. She gives Leah kisses as often as she can and loves to hold her for a second before she gets heavy and doesn't want to anymore. She has been singing to Leah all morning and wanting share her blankets and cheerios with her. I said yes to the blankets, but she doesn't quite get why I said no to the cheerios.

So everything went smoothly and fast. We are all home and doing great and I will take and post as many pictures as I can! YAY!!! SHE'S HERE!!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Is she really 3???

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear MONICA!
Happy Birthday to youuuuuu.

I know I'm about to really have a baby, but my baby is 3!! She has grown so stinkin' fast and is so smart! I remember when she was absolutely dependent on me- for food, entertainment, clothing, pottying, cleanliness. Now, she can do soooo much! Don't get me wrong, I love that she dresses herself, can bathe herself in the bathtub -including washing her mounds of hair- can feed herself, goes potty from start to finish on her own, can play games and get a movie in and out and started in the DVD player, can recognize most letters when she concentrates and counts...but where did my baby go?? She is starting to talk clearly on the phone, and loves her books. I know she is just going to seem absolutely ginormous when I have Leah in my arms, but sometimes I still see her as that little bitty baby with all that amazon hair. Especially when she yawns because it is the exact same facial expression she had as a newborn. She was a beautiful baby and has only grown more so as she has gotten older. Sometimes I look at her and try to imagine what she will look like as an adult. Then I remember that time will come soon enough...probably way too fast for my liking, and I just stare at her. She's a typical 3 year old in some aspects, but she is so sweet in others. When I am not feeling like being up and doing things, and it's a movie day, she likes to cuddle right close to me and constantly turn around and kiss my nose or forehead. Then she'll hold my chin for a second and smile at me and then turn around and watch the movie. It seriously doesn't get sweeter!

And she's hilarious. She has a contagious laugh that comes so easily. She might be a bit bossy, and I think I am understanding why they say firstborns are that way. They just want to be like Mom! She says the funniest the other day we were at my parent's house for dinner and she had just gotten her plate and Ryan had just sat down at the table when she got down, turned to Ryan and said:

"Daddy, don't eat my food! I very hungry! I have to go potty." And ran from the table to the bathroom. HAHAHA! We've never taken her food before!

So today my little sleeps through the night at 3 months, good-natured, happy baby turns 3! The age where she is not always free anymore. Perhaps the age where she will learn to recognize her first words on paper. I'm sure there'll be tantrums, and more verbal accuracy to go with them. But I can't wait to see what she learns this year!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Farmer Wants a Wife

My name is Anna and I watch reality TV. And not just Survivor.

This season's pick was "Farmer Wants a Wife" where a small town country boy had to narrow his pick from 10 city girls to one. The eliminations, I thought, were mostly creative and interesting but some were just downright mean. On one, they played Bingo and whoever at the end didn't get bingo with their card was sent back to the city. Another they had to sit and watch granny stitch a name into a cross-stitch pattern. One girl had her name lit up in fireworks that was going home. But perhaps the meanest one was when they had to check to see if their cow was pregnant. There were 5 cows, and 4 were pregnant.

There's only one way to check that apparently, and it doesn't involve peeing on a stick.

So one poor city girl had to stick her arm up an unsuspecting not pregnant cow's yoohoo to find out that she was going home. Laughable? Easily. Mean? How much meaner can you get? I guess it was a good way for Matt to see how the girls who were sticking around would react. But the poor girl...her last experience on the farm...yummmm!! There's a smell I bet she never forgets!

So tonight, Matt had to choose between Christa and Brooke. I've been rooting for Brooke for a long time. She's a good, down home kinda girl with old-fashioned values that are hard to find these days. Christa...kinda wild, I gotta say. And I have to say I am a little disappointed in Matt. He thinks because Brooke is fun that her perfect idea of a potential last date is four-wheeling. And that Christa is more the romantic type. So he takes Brooke out for four-wheeling in the country with a little picnic and some smooching and what does Christa get? A horse-drawn carriage and dinner under the stars. HELLO!! ALL GIRLS want the horse-drawn carriage!

So what does Brooke think when she sees the carriage? (And I totally would have interpreted this the same way...) that Matt only sees her as a friend and that Christa is someone he wants to spoil and treat special. So what does she do? She checks out. Talk about devastating! But he still has to choose. So she can't completely check out yet. Then Christa comes home and glows from how perfect her date was, adding insult to injury. But Brooke puts on a brave face and as they get ready to find out who he picked, the whole town assembles in front of their farm. Matt says a few nice things that are still just vague ramblings so nothing is given away, and the girls are told to watch a plane fly by carrying a banner with whoever's name on that he chooses. So Christa is sitting there looking mighty smug (but a bit vulnerable) and Brooke like she doesn't even want to look when they do and it's "Matt heart Brooke"!

So now I'm happy that he chose the good girl, but my heart also breaks a bit for Christa, because at least on the Bachelor they only find out in front of a camera guy, not the whole town! I know he was trying to be nice, but when he explained himself (in front of the whole town and his family) why he didn't choose her, he said all these great things that he loved about her, but he has a stronger bond with Brooke. HELLO!! You just picked a girl you want to marry, and in front of her you tell her competition that you'll never forget her??? T-A-C-K-Y!!!

So now it's just wait and see if this will land in the majority of reality TV hookups that end in breakups, or how serious they both were and if they really do get married.

It got me thinking a lot, about my own country boy. Yeah, I married one. That's right! Although he may be converting to the city a little more than he wants to. And I gotta say, they have some interesting ways of doing things. One thing small towns are good for is increasing the imagination. Take the way Ryan proposed, for instance. I come home from church to find 5 1/2 dozen red and white roses scattered all over my room. (It would have been a full 6 but it was Mother's Day) and I find a clue printed on purple paper -my favorite color- telling me to find "the one who shares your genes" for the next clue. So I hit up Emily and she has a clue telling me to find Peter, our friend who Ryan stayed at his house whenever he was in town. Then he has the final clue leading to the temple, where Ryan is waiting and has my friend there with a camera all set to take pictures. Then, having changed the words up a bit, he sings me a country song and gets down on his knee and proposes, officially giving me a ring. Clever? I think so!

Then there's the Valentine's Day gift he hid and gave me the clue to where to find it after he had left because he would be gone across Germany training. I never would have looked in the bottom desk drawer, but there it was! And he's always had class. Opening my doors, pulling out my chair, and killing bugs in the middle of the night for me. He still serenades me too...although now it's mostly to Army cadences! HA! I don't mind. He once told me he named his rifle in boot camp after me, because apparently that was what they were supposed to love the most and take the best care of. So it's an honor. Probably how girls in the boating world feel when their men name their yachts after them. LOL!

So anyways, I'm so glad I got me a country boy! He works hard...probably harder than anyone I have ever known. And he takes pride in what he does. And that includes taking care of and loving his family. He is working as much as possible and going to school full-time in the midst of having a baby. He does his best to do what he can in Elder's Quorum. We are so blessed to have Ryan...he's the best! I LOVE HIM!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hope vs. Frustration

So two weeks ago I went in for an OB appointment and she said things were moving along. I was still pretty closed, but I was definitely starting to dilate. Then I went in last week, same OB, and she was surprised to see me because she thought things would move along a lot faster. She said this week things were progressing...I went from being dilated just a bit to a 3 in one week. The baby was low enough for her to feel her head and she said it wasn't a great big head. (whew!) And she said it was really any moment that I could go into labor.

So now I have been on a teeter-totter, getting really excited when I feel contractions start and then being disappointed and frustrated when they slow down and/or stop altogether. Aside from the intense pressure downward that I feel pretty constantly, nothing is regular. I'm almost to the point of trying castor oil. The thought really grosses me out, but I am so ready to hold this baby in my arms! She was kicking like crazy last night and I told her she would have a lot more room if she would just come out.

I don't think she believes me.

So I am keeping a log of everytime I feel a contraction, how long it lasts, and the intensity of it on a scale of 1-10.

1-3 I feel tight and uncomfortable and it just takes my breath away.
4-6 They start out just tight and uncomfortable and grow to make me need to grab a hold of something. Quite painful. I cannot be distracted.
7-9 Not quite so gradual...just very painful...hard core labor pains

Mostly, they have been 1's and 2's, but I did have one that started about a 3 and grew to a 4. I think that would be my first real contraction. So I'm guessing the 1-3's are the Braxton Hicks everyone talks about. Irregular and not so intense.

I know it's still a bit early. This weekend Ryan has a class that goes all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday 8-5. I don't want him to have to worry about losing credit for that class since it is just a 3-day one. So I decided not to try the castor oil until a week from now. We'll just see if Leah comes on her own this week.

I wouldn't mind!

So I'm hoping I can keep my teeter-totter level, and not get too excited and not be disappointed and frustrated as things happen and stop happening. That I just accept that things will ebb and flow as Leah gets ready. I just can't wait!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Just a little randomness...

Ryan built Monica a fort today for her to play in. She kept calling it "my house!"

I can now join the Relief Society...I painted wood!! I started this project weeks ago as a gift for my friend. She's now had the baby for almost two weeks and I decided today I better finish it!!

While we were in Utah, Ryan and Kimmie (his sister) took some pictures together in their uniforms. I just uploaded these on the computer.

Monica loves to fly and Ryan can get her up high!

Getting Close???

Well, Friday night I felt for the first time naturally...CONTRACTIONS! I realize they weren't the real thing because here I am Monday morning and no closer to having this baby. It's still early yet, so I'm not too anxious. I know there are a few more things that need to happen biologically before the baby comes, but still, it's exciting to know that the process is beginning!

I had a little bit of a panic attack on Thursday night when I realized that Ryan would be gone all weekend for his drill in Texas. I realized that if by some freakish happening I should go into labor, I was not prepared AT ALL. I didn't even have a carseat! And none of the newborn clothes were washed. I had no furniture set up for the baby. So Friday, Ryan and I went to Other Mothers and found a carseat in GREAT condition with 3 years still left on it, and a crib set that seriously looks brand new. So I felt a little better. Then that night, I felt the contractions and I almost panicked!! But I didn't. They didn't feel like the hard contractions of hard core labor that I remember from the hospital with Monica, but they were definitely contractions.

So now I am completely motivated to get things done. I measured all the furniture and all the rooms and made little graph paper cutouts and rearranged everything on paper first. So now it's house rearranging time! I felt kinda cruddy this weekend with a cold and other unfavorable ailments, so I didn't get much done (or ANYTHING) this weekend, but I feel a lot better today. Sleepy, but much better! So here's my list of everything I would like to get done before the end of the week.

1. Rearrange all the furniture (don't worry, I'll wait til Ryan is home from work to do the big stuff)
2. Wash all the newborn clothes and get the room all set up.
3. Plan some meals to cook and freeze.
4. Plant my flowers.
5. Declutter every room so I don't have to worry about it later.

I figure that's only 5 things...maybe big things, but only 5 of them. I really want to Magic Eraser the walls and polish everything too, and deep clean/shampoo the carpets, but I don't want to go overboard. I just need to keep up with my tidyness and laundry and I think everything will be ok. Ryan has been soooooo good at helping out and making sure I'm not on my feet too much. And I have been trying to be smart about it too. I work for a little bit then take a break and then get back to it. I'm also trying to create a habit that when I am in the kitchen for meals, I don't sit down until everything has been put away and the counters wiped off. That way, only dishes await the end of the meal. So far it is working! I'm not so overwhelmed by the endlessness of dishes. Now, if only there were a way to ever feel done with laundry!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

LeBaron/Lambson-Allred Family Reunion

Last weekend we went to St. George to help celebrate Ryan's grandmother's 75th birthday. So we got to meet up with all his siblings, except Spencer, and their families and it was great! It was also great to see all his cousins and meet their new spouses and see how everyone has grown.

The Lambson-Allred family

It was so fun to get to see everybody, and Monica especially had a blast with all her cousins. She kept calling them "my friends" and wherever they were she wanted to be also. Poor Ryan had to endure an orignally 9-hour drive turned into 12-13 because of me. I didn't think it would be so hard to sit for so long, but we ended up needing to stop every so often so I could walk a bit and relieve my squished bladder. Thankfully, Flagstaff is about half way, and they have a great little play area in their mall, so we took Monica and let her play for about 45 minutes before locking her up in the car again. So here are some pics and videos of our trip!

First we have the front shot of Tricia, me and Brooke and then the side shot!
Yeah, I know, I'm GINORMOUS!

Taken at a picnic we had with some friends in Beaver.

Monica and Luca at the water pad. It was really cool!

Ryan, and Monica with her aunties and grandparents.


Two peas in a pod!
All the cousins