Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Baby's first week

Oh it's been a fun week. We sure do love our little girl. It's hard to get a great picture, she looks so different in every one I take. Here's to little chubby cheeks
 And here's to a  little less chubby

She's met most of the boys toys. They insist on holding them in front of  her face for 5 minutes saying, "look Maybell, do you like my car?" So I came in the other day and Ivan had placed his tiger in her arms for a good snuggle

She's adapting well to our morning routine. My favorite time of the day! Mikes gets up to get ready for work and by the time he comes out of the bathroom 2 boys have taken his place. There we sleep like one big happy family for another hour or so. I love it! I feel bad we can't heed the prophets council, "early to bed, early to rise" but I feel like this is the only time we can do it. Soon enough we'll have to be up early running kids to school, etc.

she loves a little play time with her brothers

A couple things I've noticed that are different the 3rd time around-
 *I don't mind being up at night as much. With the first it was torture, but by the 3rd it's no biggy. I feel like I just kinda doze in and out of sleep all night and have a sweet little newborn keeping me warm and I really quite enjoy the nights.

*I really enjoy nursing my babies. With Ivan it was a big ordeal. When it came time to feed I had to get my water, my boppy pillow thing and my little booklet. I'd sit down, maybe flip on the tv and try to nurse for the appropriate time, recording it all. This time around is a little different. I'm not sitting, there's no water and no recordings. Rather I'm walking around with baby in one arm nursing while I'm spreading butter on a kids muffin with the other arm, or walking through the house picking up articles of clothing with my toes and grabbing for them with my free hand. :) Building new skills I guess.

It's been a good first week!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Well, we named our baby Emery Sharon Balle

Well, we named our baby
Emery Sharon Balle

We call her Maybell for short. Somewhere along the way Ivan either thought up the name or got the message from someone that we were naming her Maybell and is very insistent that it's her name. So she gets both, depending on who's around.

Isn't she cute? 

 Oh it was so fun to have the boys come to visit. Jack's just kinda happy go lucky about it and about everything. Ivan is so sweet with her. Check out his face in this next picture, it's like Christmas morning! (well it's just a side profile so maybe you have to know him to be able to tell, but it's some serious smiling)

Ok, she's a little cuter in this next picture. And just keeps getting cuter and cuter every day

Last night Ivan came in when I was feeding her and asked if he could snuggle her to sleep. She was pretty much already asleep so what he meant was snuggle HIM to sleep. It was the sweetest thing I must say. Then in the middle of the night he kinda woke up (in his bed) so Mike went in to pat him and first thing he says is, "where's Maybell? I think she needs me." He spends a lot of time, helping put her binky back in, touching her soft cheeks and ooooing and ahhhhing over all her tiny parts.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The decision has been made!

We still haven't decided what to name the baby, but the important thing is, we HAVE decided what to drive her around in.

So with 3 kids now, we need a tad more room than the back seat of the truck or car. I've always wanted a mini van, no question. But now that the reality of getting one is here, I've had cold feet. It for sure solidifies my age..... that I'm Mormon..... that I live in Utah.... and that I have more than one kid. A while back my friend did a blog post about getting a mini van and how she really didn't want to and I commented that I was all for it and that they are the greatest thing in the world. Now it's my turn and I really started to lose that confidence in getting one.

I don't consider myself a car snob. It's not like I'm really interested in cars or what people are driving. Maybe that's because of all the snazzy cars we had growing up. Most my life I traveled around in a big, brown van. Oh that thing was heaven. It had a couch that folded into a bed, a table we'd pull out while we were driving and throw things out the bottom hole where the pole went and watch them bounce along the road out the back window. We'd pull the cooler up between the driver and passenger seat and use it as a spot to sit. It was awesome. I'd at least like to say it looked like this -

But really it was more like this.....  brown to boot!
We did have fun climbing up the latter onto the top and we had many a sleepover in that thing.

Then we had the ever so loud Peugeot. I think it was a hand-me-down from my grandparents. It was so loud that you could hear my mom coming home like 5 minutes before she actually arrived. I really don't think I'm kidding about that. Again, I'd like to say it looked like this-

But really it was more like this-
so you know, I figured I wasn't too picky about cars. Lets just join the club and get us a mini van. 

There are definitly plenty of cars out there that hold more than one person. That's not really the issue. It's just that over the last 4 years I've created a mental list of things I really NEED in order to keep my sanity as a mother.

* I need my head not to hit the roof of the car and mess up my hair.

*I need more leg room.

*I need to be able to climb to the back of the car, without getting stuck and about breaking my neck climbing over a console into a very tight back seat.

*I need to not bend over to buckle car seats.

*I need to be able to put the diaper bag and whatever else I'm lugging around on the floor some place that it won't get stepped on or look like a mess.

*I need the boys to have their space so they don't sit and antagonize each other.

All that, my friends, equals right up to a mini van!

We started looking at vans and I felt very old and like I should have 6 kids instead of 3. I also was very annoyed to find out that the newer vans had a console in the middle of the driver and passenger seat. One of the main reasons I wanted a mini van, so I could get to the back with ease. In my frustration, what did I spy out of the corner of my little eye? This beauty! 

Satan's temptation. "Come on Becca, you will look much cooler driving around in this. Who cares about your sanity! It has the bucket seat in the second row, like a van, and a bench in the back. If the vans going to have the console in the front anyway- you may as well get this. And it says nowhere in the scriptures that having children equals having mini vans." 

Well if anyone knows me and the fact that Mike and I dated on and off for 4 years you know making decisions isn't my strong point. I really, really wanted this and I really, really wanted what comes with a van and now there was a serious decision to be made. Live in Utah with a mini van and up my age to 40? or live in Utah with the Chevy Traverse and take me back down to at least 30? It did have alot of the same features as a van. We went over and over and over the pro's and con's-

But alas- I chose sanity vs. vanity. The ability to automatically open sliding doors for the kids to get in and out, without banging the door against the garage wall or another car, won. Yesterday we got ourselves a mini van. Mike was never for a mini van, but when he test drove it he fell in love with the higher sealings and wide window you could see out without seeing the hood of the vehicle. It actually comes in on Tuesday- which is when I'm scheduled to be induced and have the baby. So I think we'll call her Mini.

We got our van- next stop, the vinyl shop for our people cut outs to put in the back window!
Ryan, I actually took this picture for you and Candace, my two Arizona cousins who like to make fun of Utah Mormons and their window stickers. Take a good look at the license plate on this Mormon mobile! And lets be honest, had these stickers been popular when you guys were young Dottie would have been all over it. And she probably would have toe-painted hair and faces on them.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ivan the Great

Ivan turned 4! Here's what you were up to at 4 Ivan

We've been in a little rut lately, he and I, but the suns been shining and he's been able to play outside more and I think that has solved our problem. My hormones and his whineyness was surely taken it's toll, but I think the poor thing was tired of being inside and has had a little too much mom for a while. So anyway- You'll definitely get the better version of him since I'm writing now and not a few weeks ago.

We do love our boy! He is very sensitive, which I think contributes to the babyness that comes out sometimes, but the positive side is he makes sure that if Jack is sitting with dad then he will sit with me so I have someone. Or he often comments about how sad he is to leave grandma and grandpas because then they are alone.

He is VERY observant and notices anything new I put in the house or anything I've changed. He also notices all detail on his toys, to the point that if there are two of the same he can tell them apart by a tiny scratch, faded sticker or bent ear. He of course prefers the better one so when he and Jack are ready to play with the same toy together he inspects them and gives himself the one in better shape.

 He does take good care of his toys, I really don't think he's ever broken one from being careless or too rough. He knows what toys he has and he can tell you (for the most part) who gave him what. In an appreciative way.

He loves to pretend right now. His favorite is to be our pet cheetah, but he wants to pretend to be all sorts of animals. So when we eat dinner he can't sit up to the table, he has to be an animal under the table and steal the food from off the fork.

When he watches a movie or show he has to have, in his hand, whatever animal or car or whatever is in the show. So if something comes on about motorcycles he'll get out his motorcycle.... etc....

He'll have to spend some time in the loony bin when he is older because he has some obsessive compulsive behaviors coming out already. Getting him dressed each day is going to be the death of me. He is VERY picky about how things fit. When I put a long sleeve shirt on him he measures it to his wrist and it has to be just right or he won't wear it. I think it's mainly because when he gets down on all 4's to run around like an animal he doesn't like the feel of the sleeve coming up too much or something. Anyway, right now he will only wear basketball shorts  ("soft short pants") and a short sleeve shirt. I have to stick him in rain boots everyday, otherwise we spend 15 minutes getting the tongue in his shoe and the velcro straps just right. Ahhhhhhh

When he's thirsty now he wants a glass of oj, a glass of milk and a glass of water. So 3 cups sitting out in front of him. (we rarely satisfy that need though)

He loves to have you tell him a story. Books too, but more so just laying in bed and telling a story about something. We've been doing books on tape in the car and he loves it

He's addicted to blue

When he goes #2 on the pot he wants me to go out, shut the door, stay by the wall and not make any noise. He often yells at us all to be quiet when he is in there.

Loves to snuggle!!!!

A little stingy with his friends, has to get his way or take toys they are playing with.

and he eats like crap

But we love you Ivan and think you are the smartest, sweetest thing in the world. Happy Birthday!


Wow, I've really felt that "nesting" period this pregnancy. I did with Ivan also, but not with Jack so much. Here is baby girls room as a result.
 I didn't really plan on doing a "nursery" or much for the baby's room. I have this practical side that would just rather wait until they are older. Buuuut, I've actually been working on redoing my bedroom.... for the last year...... and had all these 1/2 way finished projects going on, so when I hit this nesting period I went crazy and finished our room AND did the baby's. No ones going to see it and I would hate for all my hard work to go to waste :) so I'll post pictures.

You can't really see, but I lined the bumper with flowers and a pearl in the center of each. It will be great when she gets a little older and starts pulling them off and choking on the pearls. Oops, didn't think of that in the making!
My mom bought this dresser when she was first married for $60 at a garage sale. It was painted a weird green and she stripped the paint and just stained it. I've always loved this dresser and she's so kind to let the baby use it in her room
This was my cupboard growing up. I painted it and put it in her room also. Just need another drawer and I've been looking for cute knobs. Wish I had them for the picture.

I took these next pictures exactly one year ago. I love before and after pictures and I love to look back at how things change in your house over the years. I think you should always take pictures of it. Growing up I think my mom went through like 20 bedspreads in her room and it would be fun if she would have taken pictures of each so we could look back and remember. It's not like we've been in our house too long, but a year ago I did decide to change our bedroom.

so this was before

And this is now. It's like night and day, darkness and light!


One of the reasons I'm posting these pictures is so you can know how much we didn't spend. I made the bedspread for probably about $10. I made the pillows (except the white ones). I made the headboard for about $70. I made the bed skirt. That one wasn't as cheap just cuz I gathered it and that requires like 3x the material. I got the sewing machine next to the bed for free from Mikes mom. I got the chair for free from my mom. I want to put picture frames on each side of the bed so the blue tape is just so I can see what it will look like.

The bathroom before

After- that is zebra print wallpaper, which I actually love

I love these cealing tins and hung them on this wall, it kinda makes the dresser look small or squashed or something? But I do love the tins. This dresser was also free and we painted it, along w/ the bathroom cabinets and I need to paint parts of the sewing maching still.....

And this may be my favorite part. These chairs were the dining room chairs in my moms house when she was a little girl. I love that in and of itself. I love the turquoise we painted it and I love the material to cover the seat. It's just setting on there, I haven't actually attached it yet.
Feels good to get it all done. Balle baby, you may now come into the world!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I'm not sure how people do it? And I surely don't want to find out!

This mortal life definitely brings challenges and heartache. It's a tricky little life we live..... it can be so great at times and so sad at others. It's amazing that there are things going on all over the world that are at totally different ends of the spectrum. While some are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new baby, others have to give theirs back.

This is Daxton, our neighbors little guy who was born in December. Two years ago they lost a baby at 20 weeks, just as she was going in to find out what she was having. Then, through in vitro, they were able to get pregnant again and carry Daxton full term. He was born in December, but has been in the NICU since then with complications. Sunday they had to make the horrific decision to take him off of life support. HOW DOES ONE DO THAT?!?! I know when people are going through trials there is a lot of pondering and a lot of prayer and I'm sure a lot of learning and I guess that is how they do it. Nevertheless, what a decision to have to make. Their sweet little baby boy then passed away Sunday evening. Yes he's in a better place, but I'm not sure I could let go of that little body for him to go on to that other place.

Then this morning my dear friend and college roommate Alisa passed away from a brain tumor. As little innocent college girls we would have never dreamed of this day.
This is just a page of my scrapbook I pulled out- it puts the way people scrapbook today to shame don't you think? I mean look at the embellishments I added
There just aren't many worries when your young and living the college life. We just laid around and picked our noses and had no idea what life would bring 17 1/2 years later.
I better confess now, before she gets completely over to the other side and finds out.... Alisa, I flushed your other fish down the toilet when you went home that weekend. See one fish died and the other was stinking up the fish bowl and the apartment and so instead of cleaning the bowl for her while she was gone, like a good Latter Day Saint roommate would do, I just flushed the darn thing and told her that it also died while she was gone. Becca! You are rotten. Sorry Alisa.
She was very anti-marriage at a young age and swore she would be the last of us all to get married. Wasn't far into our second year that she met Brandon and actually became the first of us all to get married.
We've all stayed good friends, as you seem to do with college roommates. They are sorta like family after that time together. At least that's how I feel. This is us about 4 years after college and she has her first little baby boy.
Her husband Brandon worked with Mike at PriceWaterhouse and are the ones who set us up. Here they are with 2 kids. And here Mike is with hair. :)
And a few more years later- her two kids are a little older
And here is the Christmas card they sent out this last Christmas.

I'm sorry, but as much as I believe the gospel is true and that they will be an eternal family, it doesn't change the fact that her little babies have to grow up without their mama. I can't let my mind wander there. I can't let it think about the realities of it. I can't let it think about the fact that she can't cuddle them and be there as they grow. I can't think about them climbing in their beds tonight with the emptyness that their moms passing must bring. I can't think about Brandon loosing his spouse and her losing Brandon. And I have to quit looking at this picture.

I hear about these stories more than I'd like and get sad enough about that, but it's definitely different when it's someone you know and love. I know they have found the peace that they need and that Alisa doesn't have to suffer anymore and so I'll just keep my mind there.