Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 recap and Christmas letter

Here is the Christmas letter I sent out to a few people. I didn't get it sent to everyone I have in the past due to funds, so here it is:

Merry Christmas and/or Happy New Year (depending on when this actually goes out...I was kind of late on the decision to send anything this year).

Edward is getting to be such a big boy! He's just under two and as cute as can be. He, like his brothers, is very verbal and is talking up a storm in a 2 year old fashion. This year he has learned to walk, climb, run, tickle, tell jokes, push chairs to the counter to get just about anything he wants. He has the cutest sense of humor and is generally a very easy going kid. Busy. Very busy. He is determined to be one of the big boys. He knows all of their friends' names and is very aware of and interested in other people.
Extra stuff I didn't put in the letter: Edward is very helpful.  He is in such a fun stage. He is filled with wonder and will say, "Oh cool!" and "WOW!" over things like lights, decorations, painting. When he has and order of operations he'll say all drawn out and slowly, "now" before moving on to the next step.  He greets me every morning with, "Good morning, mommy." and if it's dark out or in a room he'll say, "too dark!" He is my best helper and listener. If I ask the boys to do something, he'll be the first to respond nearly every time. At dinner time when he hears the table being set, he starts calling everyone down.  "Dinner time! Daddy! Dean! Walter! Dinner time!!" He can count to 13 and get all the numbers right, but after that everything turns into 16.  He loves reading books with me and will often bring me books and say, "reading books mommy?" He also loves trucks right now. There is tons of construction on our main high way out and every day he is excited about seeing the trucks and identifying the type of truck. "Mixer! Digger! Mobile Crane! Drill!"

Walter turned 4 this past July. He has been going to preschool this year, and has been enjoying it. He's really taken to Legos and playing on the computer. His favorite games and videos include anything Lego related or Angry Birds. A couple of his big accomplishments this year were potty training and learning to ride a bike without training wheels. His best friend is Dean and though they are polar opposites in many ways and fight often, he constantly wants to do things just like Dean.

Extra stuff I didn't put in the letter: Walter loves a good laugh. He loves laughing at Edward's "jokes" and loves to do things he thinks are funny too. When I tuck him in at night he says (probably 10 times at least, no exaggeration), "Good night mom, I love you." and I have to respond exactly the same way or he gets frustrated and feels like it doesn't count. He hates to be kissed. We got to go to lego land after we got back from Snowflake for his birthday. It was pretty small, but they had fun.


Dean turned 6 in October. He started Kindergarten and is quite amazing academically. He is a great reader and really has a mind for math! He rides his bike to school (with me running beside him) rain or shine. He lost two teeth and broke his arm since starting school. Luckily it wasn't a bad break and he was done with his splint after 6 weeks. He is also very into Legos and he often creates instruction booklets for his own creations.

with his good friend at their Thanksgiving feast
Extra stuff I didn't put in the letter: Dean snaps his fingers all day every day. He's been trying really hard the last few weeks to be a really good brother to Edward. It's like they just figured out that he can actually play and interact with them. Dean will swing him around in circles, read to him, and let him sit on his lap when we're reading scriptures at bedtime. Dean is very affectionate and loves kisses and hugs.

6 mo. pregnant and got 3rd in my category for the Believe 5K

I, Celia, have had a good year. I have maintained the largest piano studio I've had in my life while simultaneously taking care of our 3 active boys. I ran and medaled in a half marathon in February as well as a couple of 5K's this year. I drove the boys to AZ and back (17 hours each way) by myself to see my sisters and parents this summer. While I was there, I found out that I am pregnant again! We are expecting our first girl. I'm not sure it's quite hit me yet what it mea
ns to raise a girl after 3 boys! This pregnancy has been good, but boy have I been TIRED the whole time. Between piano, the kids, running, taking care of the house, and being pregnant, I am just exhausted 95% of the time. But it's all worth it. I have been taking my own piano lessons this year and have loved every minute of it. Music Therapy for my soul. I have become more confident in my own abilities again, and it has benefited my teaching.

Poor Matt. Got leftover b-day cake from Walt this year.
Matt is still plugging away as a software engineer. In May we decided to buy a van to accommodate our projected family growth. We found one in UT through friends and he flew from a business trip in CA to UT to drive it back to TX for us. After a few months of trying to sell our Rav4 and not getting what we wanted for it, we decided to keep that for him since his '97 Neon was not really the best commuting car. We sold the neon, his first car, a few months ago. I imagine he will really appreciate having a working A/C next summer. He is amazing around the house and can fix just about anything. He's also stepped up and helped a lot more with cooking and other housely duties since I've been working more. We were blessed to have his parents, Mark and Kristan (pictured in our card), drive out to visit us for Thanksgiving. It was so great to have family here to celebrate with us. My parents are planning on coming here for the New Year and in March when we have our baby. It's hard to live so far from family, so I'm grateful when we're able to see each other.

I think that wraps it up for us! We're excited for 2014 and what that will bring (baby girl and all)! We hope all is well with you and yours. Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 27, 2013

4th baby 28 weeks

Merry Christmas! We have been having a fantastic Christmas break. Posting pics and writing blurbs feels a little overwhelming for some reason, so I'm just sticking to my belly progress for now.

Here's the review of my 28 week pics:
2007 with Dean

 2009 with Walter

2011 with Edward

2013 with baby girl

I've gained a little more weight with this pregnancy than the last two, so that's a little discouraging (especially since I've exercised more), but not much and I'm still able to be active (jogged 4.2 miles today!), so I can't complain. My belly is measuring right on track according to the doctor, so that's something. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

23 weeks + a few days baby 4

 Well, here I am. Nearly 24 weeks. I'm running still, about 3-4 miles about 4-5 days a week. I had been running with the double stroller till about a week ago when it turned cold. Now I've been trying to get up and go before the boys wake up. I've been keeping about a 10 min. mile pace with the stroller and about an 8:30 pace by myself. Better than last pregnancy!

I've been feeling pretty good, but I can tell I'm getting older or just a lot busier than I was during my other pregnancies. I am tired all the time. Like exhausted. I am currently teaching about 18 or 19 half hour piano slots. I am excited to have a week off for Thanksgiving!  Super excited! I love teaching, but I am longing for a bit of a rest. My back feels like it could use an adjustment. My knee was hurting a bit last week and I took a week off of running and got some new shoes. So far so good this week. Did I mention I'm feeling old? I'm glad Matt and I both feel like this will be our last pregnancy. I mean, who knows, but it would take some serious revelation from God to convince me otherwise. =)

I've been looking through girl names. Matt doesn't really feel like discussing it much yet. He never does until the end. My top 4 at the moment are: Marian, Vivian, Jane, and Nora  The only one of those that Matt might even consider without me really pushing it is Marian. Not sure which is my favorite right now. Who knows if we'll even use any of those. Maybe he'll surprise me and come up with something else awesome.

Interested in how I compare with my last 3 pregnancies? Here ya go:

Baby #1: Dean

Baby #2: Walter

Baby # 3: Edward

Baby #4: Little Girl

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Baby #4 revealed and a few bonus pics of the boys

This morning Matt and I (and Edward) got to go to the doctor and see what variety of baby we are having!!

I have had no inclination one way or another and was fine with the possibility of either a girl or a boy. With the other three it was very apparent very soon into the sonogram that they were boys. This little one kept legs crossed nearly the whole time. Guess that was our first clue!

We are having our first GIRL! We are still a little shocked. It seemed a little surreal. Even though I didn't know one way or another, we've just always had little boys and after 3 it seemed like that's what we were destined to have.

She will be the 22nd grandchild on my side. There will now be 11 boys and 11 girls!! How crazy is that?  She will be the 7th grandchild on Matt's side and the first girl!  We are still shocked, but happy and excited for a new experience. It's fun to know and start planning! Now to think of a name...

Her estimated due date is March 20th. I would love for her to come one day late so she can share a birthday with my mom and my brother Eric. 3 generations. Wouldn't that be awesome?

As with any baby, it will be interesting to see what she looks like, what her personality is like, and I am excited to have her be a part of our family.

And since I never get on here anymore, I'll throw in a few more recent pics for the few of you who still read my intermittent posts...
Dean turned 6! He's lost his two bottom front teeth, and he broke his arm this year. It's better now.
In October I took Edward and Walter to a pumpkin patch. He posed himself. =)
Here's another from the pumkin patch. The giant Pumpkin Pie!
Walter really wanted to make a curious george fun hat like in one of his cartoons. I tried, but Matt really helped him
engineer a decent fun hat.
Edward is my most independent child yet! He's constantly pulling chairs up to the counter to do whatever he darn well pleases. Right now he's making a PB and honey graham cracker. Quite tasty!
Edward is my big helper these days. Unfortunately I have really big piles of laundry that I have to fold... never ending laundry.
Just before Halloween I got to take the boys to a balloon festival. Unfortunately we didn't get to see them fly because there was a storm brewing to the north of us. Still cool to see them inflate up close!

For Halloween Dean and Walter were Ninjago Ninjas and Edward was Mario. Grandma Brasfield made the awesome outfits and I made the head items for all three.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Dear neglected blog

It was a busy, busy summer. Maybe one day I can bring myself to post about it. I'm already knee deep into the new school year. My piano studio is busier than I've ever been. I have 18 half hour slots filled (some of those are students who are taking an hour, so I don't have 18 students).

Dean is in Kindergarten. He lost his first tooth and broke his arm today on the play ground. 3 weeks into school and he already has a break. Sheesh. He seems to be doing pretty well otherwise and is adjusting pretty well to the new routine.

Walter started Pre-K with our beloved Ms. Ellen (Dean's first teacher at Little Saints). So far it's going well. We carpool with another kid in his class who lives in Melissa as well and they've become little friends. Most of the time he is cute and good and loving, but he's having a hard time figuring out how to handle his frustration with people he knows well (ie us). He's bit Edward pretty hard a couple of times for wrecking his stuff or unplugging the computer while he's on, and if he is not happy with a consequence we've given or a request we've made, he'll often pull out the, "I hate you!" and "You're not nice!" or "You're naughty!" It's a rough phase, but we'll make it through I'm sure.

Edward is such a happy guy. He is my big helper (though his help often results in me needing to do a little more work) around the house and gets in sooo much trouble for mischief. He is constantly unplugging our phones, appliances, TV, etc. He loves to pull things out of drawers and loves stickers and markers right now.  He has had some weird tummy bug for the past week and you'd never know by his behavior. Such a good little guy. He has tons of words and a few short sentences. He's getting pretty good at repeating us. One of my favorites is his adaptation of Ninjago. Instead of yelling, "NinjaGO!", he yells, "DaddyGO!" haha. Daddy is still his favorite/most frequent word. He knows lots of the alphabet and my favorite letter is W because he calls it "bubbleyou". Often when he says the boys' names he runs them together like they're one word. "DeananWa-wer". Very cute. He just wants to be one of the big kids.

Matt is working hard. After getting a loan for our van earlier this year and not selling our Rav for what we wanted, we decided to keep the Rav for Matt and just pay off our loan. We know it's a great car and well taken care of, so we're willing to pay our asking price. Now we're just really watching our budget and trying our best to stick to a plan so we don't have to use my piano money for our living expenses at all. Then it can all go into savings first for a new piano, and then just for our savings and peace of mind. Our garden did ok this year but not great. We're still figuring out the right soil composition to do well. We had it tested and everything was WAY high except nitrogen which was essentially nonexistent. Our best produce by far were the cantaloupe. These were our largest and smallest cantaloupes.

When I was at my parents' in Snowflake over the 24th of July, I was dizzy the whole time. At first I thought it was just the elevation change. Then I started noticing other weird things like I was RAVENOUS if I didn't eat every few hours and very irritable if I didn't get food. I told my sisters I thought I must be pregnant. They went out and bought me a test, and sure enough, I am! Baby #4 is due March 20th. I'm kind of hoping to deliver on the 21st since it's my mom and my brother's birthdays. Wouldn't that be cool to have 3 generations? We'll find out next month if it's another boy or the first girl. Only time will tell. =) We'll be happy either way. Here I am at my traditional 12 week photo. I'm technically 12 week, 6 days in this.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

When it rains it pours...

The last two weeks were a real challenge. Some of the hardest I can remember as a mom. Two weeks ago Matt left for CA on a work trip and after dropping him at the airport I took Dean to the doctor. He'd been complaining for three days of his stomach hurting and he had a bit of a cough. They didn't seem too concerned with his cough and she was going to chalk his stomach pain up to constipation even though she couldn't feel any hard lumps. I asked her to do a strep swab even though his throat wasn't red. She did and he was positive for strep. So he started antibiotics. The only problem was that he started getting worse rather than better. His symptoms were erratic; he would seem normal with a cough and then a few hours later he was moaning and groaning and lethargic. He'd take 3-4 hour naps in the afternoon and then wake up feeling fine again. His fever came and went. It was all very confusing. I kept thinking he was getting better and then he'd start declining again.  He is a very dramatic sick person too, so it was hard to tell how bad he was really feeling.

On Monday night Edward took a bite out of a mushroom in our yard. I'd already put Dean to bed for the night by 6 because he was feeling so bad. I called Matt, panicked, and he told me to pack up all the kids and take him to the hospital. I was not about to do that. I went to one of our neighbor's and asked if she could come to our house and stay with Dean and Walt while I took Ed to the hospital. They recommended trying to get him to throw it up and to call the poison control first. She came over while I was on the phone with poison control. They told me to just watch him and that he probably hadn't eaten enough to do major damage. Maybe just have some stomach irritation. Our neighbor went home. Matt was still very concerned and felt helpless since he was two states away. He still thought I should go in. I put him to bed and he never threw up even, so I was relieved.

Friday rolled around and instead of coming home, Matt flew to UT to pick up a new van for us.  It was very random. My sister-in-law's mother who lives in WA heard that I was looking for a very specific van in a specific price range. She told me her friend in UT was selling her van since her husband just passed away a month ago. She linked me to the friend's daughter's page with the pictures of the van. We were on the phone with the lady within a few hours and were committed to buy the van. The work trip was perfect because it allowed us to pick it up without having to pay for a ticket out there. Matt drove the twenty hours home.

Meanwhile, here at the house, by Friday Edward started getting really sick. I took him in to the doctor and he was diagnosed with croup. More medicine. More sick kids.  Humidifiers. It was all very stressful taking care of it all by myself. And Dean still wasn't getting better.  He woke up screaming at 1:30 on Sat morning saying his ears hurt. He had a fever also. Luckily I knew where some ear drops were and gave him those and ibuprofen and he went right back to sleep. Just as I was getting back to sleep, Edward woke up with his croupy cough. I went up. I held him, rocked him, tried to have him sleep on me. It wasn't working. I laid him back in bed and he was calm as long as I stay, but had a crazy coughing/crying attack if I tried to leave. So I slept next to his crib on the floor from about 2-6am with my arm inside the slat of his crib. He'd wake up periodically and I"d put my hand on his back and he'd go back to sleep.

Matt wanted me to take Dean into the hospital for his ears and fever since he wasn't getting any better on the antibiotics he was one. I was going on nothing at this point and I point blank refused. I couldn't conceive of taking all three kids into the ER, one with croup and one with a mystery illness. It just wasn't happening. I borrowed some essential oils from the neighbor who I'd asked for help from earlier that week. They seemed to work for his ears, but he was still not getting better otherwise. On Sat. night Dean fell asleep by 5 and woke up at 8 ready for some food. He ate some dinner and read some books. I let Walter wait up too since Matt was nearly home. I felt like the heavens opened and angels were singing we he pulled up at 9:30pm with our new van.

On Sunday Walter and I woke up sick. I was scheduled to teach in RS, and I felt well enough to do that since I was in the early stages.  Matt stayed home with the three sick boys while I just went into the last hour of church.  On Monday I felt worse. By Tues. this week Dean STILL wasn't getting better so I took him in again. She still was saying, "Well, maybe the stomach pain is from constipation" and I wanted to shout at her. Luckily, when she listened to his lungs, she said there were a lot of crackles so she wanted him to take an X-ray to see if he had pneumonia. No pneumonia, but they said it was probably Bronchitis. So they gave him a nebulizer  breathing treatment there and headed off to Target pharmacy for the 3rd time in two weeks. Within a day he seemed much better, so I am so glad I finally went back in!

We were scheduled to go back and check his lungs on Friday. He got a clean bill of health, but while we were there, I asked the doctor to check Edward's ears since he'd been pulling them. I figured it might be teething since he has 4 teeth coming in, but no, it was an ear infection. Back to Target and more meds. My ears were filled with pressure by this point and I felt like crap. Two weeks of too much sickness. But Sat. rolled around and I woke up feeling only mostly alive rather than mostly dead and went for a much needed run after Dean woke up but before Walter and Edward woke up. I did three miles and it was nice and overcast, so I came back, got Edward, and went for two more.  We're mostly on the mend now, but boy! It was a horrible way to start Summer vacation! Hopefully from here on out we'll just get better and can enjoy our neighborhood pool and have friends come over and play!

Friday, June 14, 2013


Grandma Waterman sent us some super cute cookie cutters for Easter and I made cookies for Dean's preschool Easter party. I think that they're probably the cutest cookies I've ever made.

We died 18 eggs. 9 a piece. Walter's fingers were super colored. My sugar scrub plus dawn dish soap got most of it off.

While Walter was dying his eggs, Dean made some toy weapons on cardboard.

On the Saturday before Easter Sunday, the Easter bunny stopped by early that morning. The kids went hunting for the eggs we dyed and some plastic eggs with candy and quarters inside.

I was reassuring Walter that he'd find an egg with quarters as well.