Wednesday, December 28, 2011

JT is 2 months old!

5 wks old- our little elf

6 wks old-my fav. outfil

being tortured by silly Julia-he puts up with a lot!

smiling-he's my easier baby to make smile and coo

Christmas Day-2 days shy of 2 months

in his sleepy wrap. This thing is magic-I understand why it's called a sleepy wrap. It puts him right to sleep. We use it for all our outings (which at this point is only the library, park, and grocery store)
We love our JT- he still has those gray blue eyes and darkish hair. He's a tummy sleeper and he doesn't mind his car seat. We've been doing EC and cloth diapers this time around and I love them, just prefolds and covers, we haven't had any blowouts and he's only gotten wet a few times-each our fault for not changing him or putting the cover on wrong.

He had his first babysitting adventure last night. We left him for 2 hrs for our anniversary and he did great (Thanks Angie!). He loves staring at the Christmas lights and ceiling fans. He's already 15 lbs-it's crazy he's so big. We're rotating into 3-6 month clothing already. We're still working on sleeping at night-I can often get 5 hours and Christmas Eve Eve he slept for 8, but that's the only time. He sleeps in his bassinette initially then I keep him in bed with me. He loves to sleep snuggled into my armpit. It's tricky to get out of bed without him waking in the morning. I recently discovered when he's mellow I can feed him, knit, and read from my propped up kindle:)

We're so glad JT has joined our family. Even in all the craziness of having a newborn and now being a mom of FOUR it is so sweet to hold our little guy, to reaffirm the plan the salvation and know that he is a gift from God.

Merry Christmas

JT woke up early-we found the presents at 3:30 am

Israel woke up at 5:30 and opened all his Santa presents and some under the tree before we woke up. Here he is with some of his loot.

such a silly cutie!

reading her new book

 After our wonderful church program-we got to sing plenty of Christmas Carols AND hear some nice musical numbers-(nice job Sister R-even if you did make me sing Star Bright with you)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Birth Story

This is a shortened version. I wrote out the full and it was super long. If interested leave your email in the comments and I'll send it your way.

our birth team: Karen Dobbins(midwife assisting), Denise Perez (my doula), Quincy Bates (my midwife)

A month before Joseph was due I had an awful appointment with my OB consisting mainly of them trying to convince me to schedule a c-section. It was very disturbing and yet I was weeks away from giving birth. I felt strongly impressed that I shouldn't have the baby with this doctor (the only one my insurance covers) Looking for other options we called a licensed midwife I had talked to earlier on in my pregnancy, Quincy Bates. I really liked her and her respect for letting us have the birth experience we wanted (and for taking us on so late in the pregnancy).

On Thursday Oct. 27th I was 39 weeks pregnant. I knew I was at least 80% effaced and 4 cm dilated as I had been 2 weeks prior (the last time I'd been checked). We had a full day planned. Julia and I went to the library and then to school to lunch with the kiddos and drop off bean bags I'd made the night before for the Fall Carnival. At 11:20am while at school Stan called to see if he could go running without his phone. I gave him the all clear since nothing was happening and then left school at noon.

When I got home I was feeling awful-no contractions, but really crampy, tons of pressure, loose bowels, and I had bloody show. I called my midwife and doula and they got ready to come over. Meanwhile Stan was still away from his phone. I did not want to have this baby alone and was grateful when Denise Perez (my doula) arrived. She started prepping the pool for the water birth and  it was just a comfort to have an adult in the house. (My friend came and picked up Julia).

Soon the contractions were coming and really powerful and hard to handle which was frustrating since Julia's birth had been pain free. I can't say that about Joseph's.  Finally Stan arrived about 1:20 and Quincy shortly afterwards. I labored on a birthing ball with Denise using oils and a vibrating massager on my low back and I held onto Stan or Quincy's shirt and rested the crown of my head onto their bellies.

Finally the pool was ready (Quincy thought the whole time we wouldn't have time for it). When I stood up to walk to the pool I lost the rest of my mucus plug AND my water broke. Quincy had set up a birthing stool just in case that I quickly sat down on. It was 2:00 pm, only 1 hour and forty minutes into the labor, and I felt a desire to immediately start pushing. Stan kept asking if I wanted to get in the tub. "No." I said, "we're having this baby right now. Stop talking."

The pushing phase was really quick (7 min), the hardest part was not pushing as his head was crowning, necessary to avoid perineal tearing. I rested once his head was out, waiting for another urge to push; his body naturally turned allowing his shoulders to fit and with the next contraction Joseph Teancum was born at 2:07 pm.

The labor was so fast that he hadn't fully cleared his lungs, so Quincy and her assistant Karen Dobbins, after letting me hold him briefly, cleared his lungs so he could breathe better. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing then Stan cut the cord. Then I delivered the placenta. They assisted me to my own bed where I rested with my Joseph Teancum and Stan by my side. It was so fast I was still amazed that we'd already had him. He was so big and had that wonderful dark hair my babies are born with. He didn't want to open his eyes or nurse at first, he was still adjusting to our world.

Eventually the midwives and Denise assisted me to get a shower and then we weighed and measured Joseph- 8lb 9 oz; 22 in long.

It was a wonderful, special time and we felt so close to our Heavenly Father. That He was watching over and loving us. I'm grateful to have had the experience of a home birth even if it wasn't the water birth we had thought we were going to have. Doing something natural and beautiful as birth is in my own home was empowering and special. I'm so grateful that Joseph Teancum joined our family and that he is healthy and strong. We love our boy and the labor that brought him into our home and family.  

Monday, November 07, 2011

Blessing Day Nov. 6th 2011

We blessed Joseph Teancum yesterday before my parents had to leave to go back to Utah. It was really special to have them there with us. I've never brought such a young baby to church. He was only ten days old. He did great for all of sacrament meeting and didn't cry during his blessing.
Michele lent us this blessing outfit she made for my nephew Joshua (I think) and gave us this beautiful blue blanket. It's as soft as can be too.

I added this picture because I like it so much. I don't often like pics of myself.

With Grandma and Grandpa Ashcraft. They were such a wonderful help this past week cooking, cleaning, running the kids, and playing with Julia so she didn't feel left out. I love you Mom and Dad!

Stan gave Joseph a name and a blessing. A few of the things he blessed his with were to grow strong and healthy and have a pure soul, to have the power of God to administer to his brothers and sisters, to serve faithfully like Joseph of Old, and to have a great posterity.

I just love this picture of Israel holding his brother. These two are going to be pals. Israel's already decided. He's excited for all he's going to teach his brother.

The one family picture that doesn't look awful. Getting 6 people looking the right direction and smiling is going to be a challenge!

Joseph's First Bath

Joseph's Ambilical Cord fell off so early that he got his first bath is the tub. He was so sweet. We expected crying since he doesn't like having his diaper changed, but he didn't cry at all. He seemed to enjoy the warm water.

Getting all dry. Israel loves that his baby towel is now Joseph's

All Clean. And his hair is still dark! We'll see how it does after the next bath . . .

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Presenting Joseph Teancum Hall

Born October 27th   2:07 pm
8 pounds, 9 ounces
22 inches long

 1st Family Picture-Joseph about 4 hours old

Israel, Eliza, and Julia love their little brother. They love to hold him-especially Eliza.

Birth Story and more pics to come.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Israel's Baptism 10-9-11

Israel was baptized with his friend Makayla Wilkey at 1pm church. Bishop Douglas conducted, Grandma Hall talked on Baptism, Daddy baptized Israel, then Gary Wilkey talked on the Holy Ghost. Israel was confirmed a member of the church and given the gift of the Holy Ghost by Grandpa Hall. We sang I am a Child of God and Baptism. I played the piano and Spencer Walton conducted the music. It was a really special day and we were so glad for all the people that came and gave our family support. The RS room was full. Israel asked his good friend Ben Adams to say the closing prayer and Bishop Douglas was a little confused when he announced it-it was cute.

Of his baptism Israel, who has been scared since sunbeams about getting baptized since you have to be fully immersed, said it felt so good he wanted to do it again. He was so happy and so were Dad and I. We're proud of his decision to follow Jesus Christ.

We love you Israel!

Happy Birthday Week

At the Hall house we're blessed to have our three children born within a week. This means lots of partying, sugar, presents, and silly songs. We start each birthday singing all the birthday songs we know and telling their birth stories (they can never get enough: tell me more, what did  I do as a baby, etc.). This week we were able to get the kiddos to vary their birthday treats. Julia picked cupcakes, for Eliza we made a gingerbread house cookie, and for Israel we had cinnamon rolls. Yay for variety, there's only so much cake I can eat.

Julia turned 4-she's so big and such a helper. She and Mom are big pals since her other siblings are in school and baby boy hasn't come yet. Julia loves to dance (ballerina stepping) and makes up hand positions and twists and has a great time. She's our commedian and has such a great laugh-we can't help laughing right along with her. She loves Dora the Explorer and playing with her tea set (we need to get her a new one since Caramel did a good job destroying her old one. Word to the wise, don't leave anything in our backyard that you care about.) She's all about baby dolls. She has good babies and bad babies and a favorite black baby (that's it's name) that she let me sleep with while Stan was on a business trip-pretty good for snuggling. Julia is very reverent in church. The best Sunbeam we have this year I'm happy to be able to say and she loves her teacher Sister N.

Eliza turned 6-she's grown up so much this past year, not only in height (but she's still a stick-thank goodness for adjustable waistbands), but emotionally too. She's getting braver, talking to a few more people, and even doing well in school (bless you Mrs. L!). Eliza is a really good reader, she loves to play doll house and think about the future. Frequent topics-how young you can be to get married, when she'll be an adult, and the fact that her husband needs to be named Henry Hall (do you know the song "There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza?" Well, she wants to be married to a Henry because of that and she doesn't want to have to change her last name. So if you know any good quality Henry Halls age 6-9, send them our way in 14 years!) She loves to play the piano, ride bikes with dad, dance with Caramel, our dog, and play legos with Israel.
Israel turned 8-how big he is. I still can't believe we have an 8-yr-old. He's getting baptized this Sunday after church and we're so proud of him. He got his first full set of scriptures, a scripture tote, journal, and 1st real tie for his birthday and he didn't even complain. That might be because there were a few pokemon cards thrown in there:) Israel is in 2nd grade and doing well. He and Eliza play on the same soccer team and he's already scored a goal this season. He's very aggressive. Israel's a great reader, his favorite books right now are the Asterix comic books (if only they were AR books). He's quite the artist and writer as well. We enjoy his creative side and hope he grows up and keeps it. 

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First Day of School

We home schooled Eliza for kindergarten, but this year we've put her into public school with Israel. She's in 1st grade with Mrs. L (who also goes to our church) and she is super sweet, in control, soft spoken, and willing to work with Eliza and help her transition. Thank you Mrs. L-I feel comfortable knowing she is in your class and you're watching out for her.

First Day Pics:

First Day Feelings:
Israel hit the lottery, his 2 best friends from 1st grade were in his same class (Mrs. C). We're hoping with the changes because of high enrollment that he'll still be with at least 1 of them when the new teacher is hired. He told us right off the bat that 2nd grade wasn't as fun as 1st grade and that Kg was the best (who could disagree with that?) He's comfortable with new situations and had a really good start.

Eliza wanted school to start so she could play on the playground! But that first day she was really nervous. She didn't cry (even though pg me did, but not until I got in the car). She sat in her chair and although she didn't participate much that first day she made it through the day. I waited for the phone to ring the whole time she was gone. At 2nd recess she saw Israel and he helped her be happy. It's hard being in school when you're new, have never done the routine and don't have any friends (besides being too shy to make them). At pick up she wouldn't even look at me she was so sad and told me she didn't want to go to school again.

Julia missed her playmates, I'm just not as fun at dollhouse as Eliza is, so we did special things like making cookies and cutting her hair.

How they're liking school a week later:
Israel is having a blast. He likes what he's reading, enjoys his teacher and is making new friends. Can you imagine a class with 38 kids in it? He can.

Eliza still needs me to walk her to her seat, but once she's settled in she's okay. This morning she showed me her new science book with all the animals! Mrs. L even said she answered a question in class the day before, so things are going better and she's found a friend. Thanks Abby!

 Julia didn't want to be left out, so she had a first day of school picture too-and here she is playing the banjo with Daddy. She's getting used to special time with Mom and today we started Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Utah Trip Week 4: Part 2

The big Ashcraft Family Reunion-30 people in 2, 12 people cabins up at gorgeous and masquito infested Island Park, Idaho (about 30 min. from West Yellowstone entrance)
Stan enjoying the hottub with the kiddos one morning. Don't worry, we didn't have the temperature up very high.
Fishing on the the Buffulo? River. Grandma and Grandpa taught all the kids how to cast and let them play as long as they were interested.  Even with all the fishing that went on during the 4 days we were there, nobody caught anything-not even my expert bro-in-law. Good thing we hadn't planned on eating off the river!
Julia with cousings Jessica, Jacob on Emily's lap, and Hannah.
Israel learning from Grandpa.  He worked at it for a really long time and was sad when he still didn't catch anything. Fishing can be tough for kids.
Walking the slackline. Cousin Kienan pictured, is really good at it and all the Robbin's boy and Stan had a great time playing on it. Israel learned to take a few steps on his own. Not easy.
Eliza with cute cute 7 mo. old baby Asher.
Me with my nephew Sean soon to be missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
We did this beautiful little hike to the Upper Mesa Falls. Lovely little hike, plenty of shade, and breathtaking waterfalls. I kept on thinking of Super Man rescuing Lois Lane from Niagra Falls.
The happy Hall girls
Israel giving us the "oh, no, I don't want to fall in" pose.
Saying goodbye to family was hard. Here I am with my dad (and Israel of course)
What a great vacation we had. Thanks for all the people who gave us food and beds and let us invade their homes. We love our extended family and are looking forward to next July when we hope to go to Utah next.