Summer 2015

Last I checked in I had just had my 5th baby.


Luckily summer was just around the corner. This allowed me plenty of time to recover and start feeling normal again. I mainly had to keep an eye on kids while they ran around the neighborhood.


June was pretty uneventful. There were summer chores, afternoon play dates and the occasional outing. The older Henry got, the better I felt. I started getting out more; little hikes and some evening mountain bike rides.


July brought our big summer trip to the East Coast. We had been looking forward to this trip for some time. Henry was going to be about 6 weeks so I was barely feeling ready for travel. We still have family that live there so accommodations were nice and cousins plentiful.

We spent a few days in the DC area seeing the sites.



Here we all are at the Mall at the Sculpture Garden. Walking through the airport and at museums we got a lot of looks from people counting the number of kids following after me. Yes, 5 kids. I’m not sure how it happened.


We spent a lot of fun time with cousins. Look at this cute line up of cousins at Frying Pan Park.


There are currently 22 total grandkids (not all pictured here) on this side of the family. Imagine the fun and chaos!


We spent a dreamy and relaxing day at Lake Anna with friends on the 4th of July .


Then after a long drive and a lot of crying from Henry we spent a wonderful full week at the beach at the Outer Banks in North Carolina.


The kids boogie boarded the days away.



We even took some pics on the beach for Suntail Mermaid.


And I did a lot of this… Henry and my kindle were never very far from me though I did manage to get in a few boogie boarding rides.


We attempted taking family pictures on the beach. I hadn’t made much of an effort to put outfits together so we just used what we had. I don’t think they worked out so well… these wont be going up on the wall.


When we got home from our trip we had a bit of vacation withdrawal and didn’t know what to do with ourselves so we escaped to the mountains as often as we could. Here we all are on the 24th of July.



My darling Emma turned 12 and for her it’s a dream come true. I’m not sure she could have waited much longer.


So summer has been great. It’s always sad when it’s over but there is also some peace that comes with the school year. The kids are off and the house seems to maintain order a little better. There has been so much chaos lately that I can use all the help I can get. The little boys and I are finding nap times much more regular and relaxing.


I hope you had a great summer too.


Template 112

Wow! Isn’t it always amazing when I actually have a template to share. Life has finally calmed down a little since school has started. That means regular nap times! Hurray.

Here is template 112. If you want to download it click here.

Template 112 Preview -Mandagirl

Here is the page I created with it.

8 Camera play

Happy scrapbooking. There should be more coming soon.

Our Baby Boy has Arrived; Henry’s Birth Story


Henry Lyle C. joined us on Wednesday, May 20th around 3:20 pm. Weighing in at 9.1 pounds and 22 inches long.


Here is his birth story. It’s the long version and it’s mostly for me and my records but if you enjoy birth stories, enjoy this one. It’s a good one…

I was mentally trying to gear up for going over my due date (May 22nd). History repeats itself, doesn’t it? But to be honest, I was really feeling done with this whole pregnancy thing. The baby had been dropped for about a week and the pressure on my pelvis and ligaments were making things difficult. 38 weeks, 39 weeks. I was still functioning and taking walks (and even rock climbing) but really… It was getting ridiculous.


I was prepared to say hello and goodbye to my due date but planned on tears being present.

May had also been so stormy that I blaming my handful of daily contractions on the storms. Whether that was true or not I’ll never know but I’d get 4 or so in a row and wonder if I was making in progress or wonder if I was in the beginning stages of labor for about 2 seconds and then they’d peter out.

The morning of the 20th I’d been to the climbing gym and did 30 minutes on the elliptical and 5 routes all in the 5.10 grade. I came home, sent the kids off to school and had some breakfast. I had a couple contractions around the kitchen (which seemed totally normal given the past week) and then I laid down for a morning rest while Sammy watched shows on the ipad. Laying there I had some more contractions and thought about maybe timing them. But really, was this a joke? Maybe if I got up and walked around they’d go away.


I had a play date at the Museum of Natural Curiosity planned with a friend but she’d just text and cancelled. I was thinking it’d be a long day with nothing to do so arranged a lunch date with my cousin and friend.

I started some house work and the contractions seemed consistent so I decided to start timing them around 10:45 am. After about 45 minutes of timing and continued housework the contractions appeared to be 4 to 5 minutes apart but only last 20 to 30 seconds. Hum. I decided to text my husband and sister to give them a heads up. Both said they’d come despite my hesitation because I was still unsure if things were progressing.

I was pretty sure I was in early labor but the question was how long I’d stay there. I’d had 2 slow labors and 1 quick so history did nothing for me in that department. Every labor can be so different. I had labored through a full night with Sam and I didn’t want people coming over to sit with me while nothing happened. So I continued on with my day.

I talked to the midwife on the phone and told her what was happening. She asked me if I wanted her to come over and check me but I told her to wait and see what the next little bit brought. I had a bit of a back ache (suggesting a posterior position) so she told me to do some hands and knees stuff. I did one inversion and spent some time on my knees and it totally worked and took the back ache away.

Jeremy came home and as lunch approached we debated whether I should go out and meet my friend and cousin for lunch. I was still talking, walking and breathing just fine through the contractions. I’d been on a walk around the block and things just seemed the same.

We decided to have my friend and cousin bring lunch to me just to be on the safe side. We sat around the dinning room table eating our turkey avocado sandwiches and timing my contractions. Contractions stayed at 3 to 4 minutes apart and 30 seconds long. Looking back, I think, Duh! 3-4 minutes apart are pretty good contractions. I guess I was waiting for the magical 1 minute long contractions to show up.

By the end of lunch I’d had a handful of contractions that had reached 40-45 seconds long but they’d still drop back to 30 seconds long. We decided to go for a walk around the circle. This time the contractions seemed harder and more serious causing me to stop and breath through them, still only 40-45 seconds long.

By the time we circled around back home my friend and cousin had to go and pick up their kids from school. I was thinking it was time to call the midwife. We gave hugs, snapped a photo and I waddled back inside.


My first contraction back in the house was dousy. Maybe I was finally able to relax with my company gone but more than just controlled breathing came out of my mouth. Some groaning. I had just turned a major corner.

We shewed Leah and Sam out of the house to the neighbors and Jeremy text the midwife at 3:00 telling her it was time to come. She told him she was at home (not the office which is 10 minutes away) and would be here 30 minutes.

I stayed in the family room for 2 contractions and knew I better get back into the bedroom where I wanted to deliver the baby and had waterproofing equipment and a pool set up. I turned on the shower/hose for the pool and knelt by the side to feel the temperature. When the next contraction came I knew I needed to kneel on something water proof so I grabbed one of those big chuck pad rectangular things the midwife had brought over. The following contraction came (I’d stopped timing) and relaxed as much as I could through it. I peed and for a split second thought it was my water. 1 second later came my water. It burst. Then I had no doubt that my water had broke. Nice and clear water.

By now Jeremy had text the midwife telling her to come and then quickly realized he better call her saying to hurry as fast as possible. Traffic was bad. He kept her on the phone. Things were happening really fast. Jeremy told me to get up on the bed in a laying position to slow things down. (I had laid down with Leah’s birth for the same reason.) One more hard contraction on the floor and I stood up to help spread the protective plastic cover and sheet over the bed and laid down for one of the most intense contractions known to women kind.

With the next contraction I really wanted to push and I might of just a little bit, naturally. Jeremy and I both realized this baby was coming with or without the midwife.

I knew I wasn’t going to be able to slow anything down or wait. In between, with some big deep breaths I said something like, “Ok, ok, we can do this.” and Jeremy said something like “Yup, we’re good. You’re doing good.” or something like that.

I saw him washing his hands in the bathroom and with the next contraction I was pretty sure I was crowning. I reached down to feel and then realized I was more than just crowning. The head was coming. I finished off the contraction with a nice push and the head was out.

The midwife was still on the phone with Jeremy and he told her the head was out. She gave him some instructions on how to catch the baby and with the next contraction we delivered the body.

He was here. He was here and crying. We just delivered a baby!


Jeremy passed him up to my belly and we rubbed him and put a towel over him. He was still a bit blue but continued to cry. We didn’t look at the clock but figured it was around 3:20. The midwife said she was getting close and would be here to deliver the placenta. The pool next to me was looking mighty nice at this point so I asked if I could get up and get in. She said yes and so me and the baby (tethered together) climbed in. It was lovely.


All the after stuff isn’t too exciting. The midwife showed up, we worked on getting baby to breathe a little better, cleared his lungs by suction and hung him upside down. He didn’t spend much time in the birth canal so he didn’t get the usually squeeze that clears some of that fluid out. I delivered the placenta in the pool and eventually climbed back into bed to get dry and warm and cuddly with my new little man.


I’m in love with this picture of Jeremy. (Thanks Jess.)


Again this is mostly for me… but if your curiosity has been peaked or you really are a die hard birth story lover, here are my other kids birth stories. Emma’s story is a footling breech c-section, Isaac was delivered naturally at a hospital with a birthing center midwife, then Leah and Sam have been at home.

Emma’s birth
Isaac’s birth
Leah’s birth
Samuel’s birth

Yes, that’s 5 kids. Ahhh!!

Template 111

Hello again. I am PATIENTLY waiting for my baby to arrive by spending some time scrapbooking because I know time with get even more tight after this little bundle arrives.

About a week to my due date. Cross your fingers for me…

I had fun with this template adding a little more detail than I have been lately. I hope you like it. You can download it by going here.

Template 111 -Mandagirl Preview

Here is a page I made with it.

4 Hi there

Happy scrapbooking!

Template 110

Hello friends,

I know it’s been ages again in between posts but it is what it is.

I’ve been doing a little scrapbooking here and there but my templates have been so boring it’s hard to know if it’s worth loading them up to share. Here’s one that I’ve thought was decent enough. So here you go. Download by clicking here.

Template 110 Preview Mandagirl

And a layout I made with it.

3 feb activities

Happy scrapbooking.

Spring Break in Moab

I’ve been looking forward to spring break for a while now. I’ve needed a little getaway and something to make time go faster as the countdown for this pregnancy drags on. We picked Moab Utah for our destination this year and started researching places to camp, hike and climb. We’ve been to Moab before, mostly in our college days for mountain biking trips, but there is a lot we haven’t done there. I soon found there was more to do than time we had to do it in.

Prepare yourself for information overload…

Here is my schedule of our final plans. We didn’t stick to it completely but it gave us a pretty good idea of things to do. I picked our favorite activities and tried to keep meals simple.


We had friends joining us for the trip and looking back now I wonder if most families enjoy more down time than we do. We are a go, go, go type family. We tend to really pack it in and get the most done. I’m thinking this makes for one exhausting trip if you’re not use to it. I don’t dare ask how the other family fared because they had some major mishaps (one involving food poisoning) but I think over all they had a great time.

I picked a campground along the Colorado River. It’s close to town but enough out of the way that you feel like you’re having a real camping experience. It had nice trees and a sandy ground that made sleeping comfortable enough. I worried about sand getting all over in the tent but it didn’t make for too much of a problem.

After setting up camp we wanted to explore up the road, Kane Creek, and check out the climbing there. We loaded in the car and drove and drove. The climbing wasn’t to be found and before we knew it we were headed up Hurray Pass which was absolutely fun and beautiful.


We turned around and finally found the climbing wall, Ice Cream Parlor, that we were looking for. We had a couple hours of day light left and put up a couple ropes and let the kids and grown up kids go at it.




The next day we had a slow start and decided to stop and check out a little tiny side canyon off of Kane Creek road called Moonflower Canyon. It was a darling little place and I dream of camping there. There were lizards galore for all the reptile lovers, petroglyphs for the studious, and a log ladder climb for the adventurous. At the end of the canyon is a little pool. All very delightful!




After that little side trip there was a bit of fiasco of locked keys in a car that delayed our next hike for an hour or so but we finally made our way to Negro Bill Canyon for a nice long hike that ends at Morning Glory Bridge. It was such a beautiful hike.



This snake found along the trail sure made Emma’s day!


I was really sore and worn out from the hiking and we decided to take it a bit easier the next day. My prego body just can’t keep up to the normal pace. The kids and I hung out in the shade of the giant petrified sand dunes while the big boys tried out the Slickrock practice loop.


This big boy loved it. I really wanted some action shots but missed the opportunity because of a fussy Sam.


Next stop was to cool off and wash off some of the camping grime in the local swimming hole that isn’t so local anymore, Mill Creek North Fork. There is a little swimming hole just steps from the parking lot that we stopped at and ate lunch. The water was ice cold.


After a little break, us dare devils wanted to check out the bigger swimming hole a mile or so upstream. It was another nice beautiful hike through the stream despite the fact that I had my waddle on. The kids had a ton of fun jumping off the cliffs and I even gave it a go on the smaller side of the waterfall. Can you spot me?




On our last day we packed up camp and went to check out Dead Horse Point State Park. It’s beautifully scenic and a must see. The smoothies and ice cream from the snack shack were a nice addition too.


The kids and Jeremy tried out the biking trails while Sam and I enjoyed the views. It was a hit. Even the girls gave the easiest trail, Intrepid, a try and loved it. I think it felt like a pretty big accomplishment despite a few spills and scraped elbows.



The boys took a second loop on another trail, Great Pyramid, which proved to be a little tougher but it was still all smiles.


Last stop was Canyonlands. We thought we might as well check out the north part, Island in the Sky, since we were so close. Amazing!




It mostly involved driving to breath taking overlooks but we did fit in a little hike at the end up Whale Rock, in order to prep for the drive home.


Overall, such a fun trip. I’m looking forward to exploring even more in Moab. It really is a great place. Now… on to more mundane things like laundry and toilet scrubbing.


2012 Scrapbook Done

Hurray, Hurray!! All of my crazy mass production scrapbooking has paid off.


I ordered all of my 8×8 scrapbook pages for the 2012 year. It’s so exciting and satisfying to finally have all of that hard work in print.


I ordered my photo book and extra pages from Amazon instead of running to the craft store. It must have been a really lazy day. I tried a Pioneer 8×8 Inch Snapload Leather Memory Book. I like it so much better than the post bound books I’ve had in the past. It was so much easier loading all the extra pages I needed. The extra pages are here too.

Here is my cover page. I covered my last name because I’m paranoid like that.


And here are some of my favorite double pages layouts from the year.





I hope you are getting your own scrapbooking done as well.

Getting my Craft On

I know I’m due for a post and I’ve been thinking about it all week. I really need to get a new template fixed up and ready to share. I have a couple I’ve been thinking about using but they really are plain. More squares, anyone? I just have to remember that I’m not the only one who wants to throw on 100 pictures and call it good.


Yes, I realize lemonade is spelled wrong. I’m awesome like that.

March is flying by for me… and I’m SO happy since February felt like such a drag. The blossoms are out and the weather has been absolutely lovely. Hello spring!! It’s time for some fun, it’s time for a road trip, and I guess it’s time for lemonade stands.

*** *** ***

My sister’s kickstarter campaign is up and running for her new mermaid monofin. We are all so excited but especially my Emma girl because she’s in the videos. I had no idea what kickstarter was but it’s a neat way for brand new companies like hers to raise funds to manufacture cool products. You can watch the video below to find out more about it.

If you have a cute little swimmer in your life who’d love to swim like “A Real Live Mermaid!!” then now is the time to order a monofin from the kickstarter program. It’s a good deal and you get to back up her project and have good happy feelings that you are helping her out. If you know other little mermaids that might like one as well then I urge you to share it. One click can go a long way.

*** *** ***

This week I’ve had a major case of boredom. You know this is an issue of mine. There is plenty to do but nothing I want to do. I started rummaging around for a project to keep keep me busy and low and behold a dear sweet child of mine did a flip on the couch and kicked one of my picture frames down. It was a an old frame that I had glued together several times and I thought there was no point in gluing it again. Time to re-imagine a display for my instagram photos.


I went to Joanns and picked up a new white frame. This one was just an empty open frame with no glass. Perfect. I also bought a roll of cork and came home and glued it to cardboard cut to the size of the frame. I had no idea the cork would be so fragile so if you do this, be careful. I tore in several places but luckily I could glue it together really good and now you can’t even tell it’s torn in a few places. I had some cute push pins laying around and pinned up some instagram pictures. It made me want to order some new one and rotate them out more frequently. I think I’ll do that today.

Ta da! Project done.


Sorry, this picture isn’t that great a quality because I wasn’t planning on sharing it.

That project took me less than an afternoon so I soon needed another one pronto. I convinced my mom to go to the fabric store with me (it wasn’t hard -she loves fabric even more than me!) and browse around for some baby boy fabric. I really have no need for anything for this upcoming baby so it’s more fun than anything.


The funny thing about the fabric I choose was that when my mom and I walked into the store she pointed to this fabric and said “I really hate that line.” Hum, that kind of grabbed my interest. It’s from Cotton and Steel. I’d never heard about it but my mom, who is up to date with the fabric world said it was all over the internet. Again, my interested was piqued. Super modern and funky colors aren’t really my mom’s thing but after browsing around the store I ended up coming back to this line and wanting some of it. I didn’t want anything that screamed baby boy. Some thing more cool and funky. So this is what I ended up with.


I decided I wanted a new car seat canopy. I’ve made a bunch and kind of love and hate them at the same time. I eventually get sick of them and take them off when baby is old enough to not really need it. I’ve made the kind where you sew two pieces of fabric together, add straps and your done. I’ve made ones with minky fabric, rickrack or bows on top. The problem with this kind is they blow in the wind and fall in baby’s face. So I wanted to try one with elastic around the edges to keep it in place.

It wasn’t hard finding a tutorial on how to make one. It’s basically the same design as the flat ones but with elastic around the edges.

I also had a hard time picking just two fabrics so decided to piece it. I cut 5 inch squares and laid them out in a random pattern. 8 squares by 10 squares, to get the right dimensions.


I debated putting a window in it because I wondered if the elastic would make it hard to peak in at baby. Once I put the whole thing together I decided I didn’t need one because it’s still easy to lift up the sides and look in. The elastic is loose enough for that.

Sorry, the light isn’t so good in this pic. Basement + evening doesn’t make for good picture taking.


Done. We’ll have to see how baby and I like it. This project took an afternoon of fun shopping and less than a day of sewing.

Last night I was looking around for something else to do and figured I had some cute scraps to use up. Emma designed a stuffed monster for me and we started cutting and laying pieces out.


It’s not done, obviously, but it was kind of a fun little evening project with my girl. We decided that our monster kind of looks like a potato but maybe baby boy will like it. Ha!

I don’t have any stuffing on hand so another errand to Joanns is in order.

Hum… what should be next?

February- A very long, short month

The last few weeks of my pregnancy have really dragged for me. I’m in the later 20’s and it feels like I’ll never hit week 30. Thus February, even though it’s the shortest month of the year, seemed to go on and on for me. I’m so glad it’s finally March.


February was record braking warm in Utah. Lots of other places where getting snow but we hardly had any. It seemed my daffodils and tulips popped up earlier than normal. About a month early. I always take a picture of the first signs of green. It’s always so exciting.


Because of the warm weather we have spent a lot of days basking in the sun at the park. My rug rats haven’t complained one bit.



One thing I’ve been doing to help time go faster is a few upgrades around the house. I updated my mater bedroom (in January) with new bedding, new paint and new nightstands.


I even built the nightstands myself. It was craziness but I figured it out and did it. I order the mid century legs from and built the box and drawers using my dad’s table saw. I have very little wood shop skills but this project was pretty do-able. Making the drawers were the scariest but they work and I’m super happy with the results.

After my bedroom was done I moved onto my banister and fireplace. Ever since we put in new hardwood floors over 1 1/2 years ago I’ve been wanting to update the oak. I’ve been scared to death to make such a big change but now that I’ve done it I’m sooo glad I did. It looks so much better and makes a big difference in pulling the house together overall.

Here is the before:


And the after:


There are a ton of tutorials out there on how to paint banisters. I read several of them. It turned out easier than I thought but it was still time consuming requiring lots of coats painted by hand. First the primer, then 2 coats of white paint, then a clear polyurethane coat. Painting spindles is a pain! But the fireplace was easy. For the dark wood I used a tinted polyurethane. Most tutorials use gel stain but the girl at Home Depot convinced me to use PolyShades that requires no sanding nor an extra polyurethane coat. Thinking that would save me I went for it. I ended up doing 3 or so coats of the PolyShade anyway so I don’t know. It was kind of tricky to put on. It was sticky and hard to work so multiple coats and touch ups were necessary. I’d want to try using a gel stain before I said which one I preferred.

Once those projects were done I was pretty burned out. I’d still like to do quite a few things around the house (touch up baseboards, touch up baby boy room, build entertainment unit for downstairs…) but… as 3rd trimester approaches I think I’ll wait.


This is a crummy picture of me. It’s blurry. It’s from a hike that my husband and I went on for Valentines day. I haven’t taken any good belly shots of this pregnancy. That’s what you get with #5 but my belly is growing. Slowly but surely. I am slowly getting bigger (everywhere!) and my least favorite thing has become bending over. Bending over to put shoes on, bending over to pick up the endless stream of toys, paper and pencils on the floor.

Pregnancy isn’t nice.

Despite the fact that it’s super uncomfortable to put my snowboard bindings on and we’ve had very little snow, we’ve been on a couple really fun skiing trips. (Midwife approved) I do feel really comfortable on the slopes even though my snow pants don’t fit. I take it easy and spend most of my time on the greens with Leah. We have a great time.


She didn’t particularity want to be in my selfie though.



Our ski trips wear everyone out. It’s great family fun.


But mostly life is pretty mundane. Grocery store trips, homework, and everyday life.


So here’s to March, more spring weather and hitting the 30th week in my pregnancy.