Tuesday, December 30, 2014

35 Weeks

We finally got the results back from the doctor and Nixon is healthy! With the little amount of blood they were able to draw, they could only test his thyroid which came back normal. We had upped his caloric intake and he gained a pound. He said as long as we keep doing what we're doing, he should be back up into a normal range (he guessed around the 25th percentile to be a normal range for him) and should continue to thrive!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas in Charlotte

This whole holiday season has been a total whirlwind! Once we decided we were going back to school and moving to Charlotte, it was go, go, go! We had already bought our tickets back in October for Christmas in North Carolina, so we decided to keep plans as they were.

We flew out on the 18th. We were so excited because we had a layover in Utah where we met up with Jared, Shannon and their new little guy Colton. They were on the same flight with us out to Charlotte. Unfortunately, we didn't get to sit by each other, but we did see each other occasionally as we walked our children up and down the aisle on the 3.5 hour flight. Luckily, both Nixon and Colton did great! We landed, got our bags, and Ethan's parents came and picked all of us. We were all exhausted and went to bed pretty quickly.

Throughout the week, we played multiple games of Milles Bourne, we had great food, and enjoyed spending time together and took lots of pictures of the four new boys. Getting pictures of them was a bit like herding sheep. No one looking...
Twenty clicks later..
It was so fun to see Ethan and his brother be dads together and to hear how their conversations have changed.. but only slightly.
 Shannon and I with our boys
 Nixon and Colton
Unfortunately the weather was a little miserable for the first part of the trip, so we spent a lot of time inside. And what do you do when you're cooped up? You get creative. Ethan's dad had some kind of taser that everyone decided would be a fun toy to use on each other. I have video of most of them, but here are just some shots from each. Ethan was first.
We were also able to get a family picture done. It had been pouring all day, but it had let up a little bit. There were 12 adults and 6 kids and we took about 20 minutes. With all of those odds against us, the picture actually turned out great!
On Christmas Eve, we gathered as a family in the living room. Ethan's dad, Dwayne, read through the Christmas story. After he read a passage, we would sing a song that went along with the verses he read. What was even more sweet, was having the two oldest grandsons put up the Nativity while the story was being read. There was an excitement in the air that can only come from the eagerness of little children excited for Santa. The kids all got put to bed, and the Thomas house got ready for Christmas!

We woke up Christmas morning and Santa had come! With all of the expenses that were coming with us moving, we decided to do a small Christmas. We did stockings for each other and then had a gift for Nixon. It was small, but it wasn't all that bad either.

Nixon's first Christmas!
We got everything ready for dinner, and had a pretty good spread. One of the traditions of Ethan's family is to go around the table and say what our gift to Christ is for the year, and then we light our candle. Ethan and I had similar goals to work on strengthening our relationship, so we make sure when all our kids are grown and gone, we don't look at each other and say, "Who are you?"

A couple days after Christmas, some of the girls went and saw "Into The Woods" which I loved! Meryl Streep was amazing and like Cam from Modern Family said, "Meryl Streep could play Batman and be the right choice. She's perfection."

We finished out the week with a fish fry and shooting a potato gun we joked that this was the most redneck Christmas. I shot the potato gun, but I didn't realize it would kick like a 12 gauge shotgun. I had a decent grip, but the kick made the gun fly back and drill me in the hip bone. It was bruised for a week!

It was a long but awesome trip, and it's only a matter of time before we're back out there to start school.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

34 Weeks

Nixon is 34 weeks and is now 8 months old. He had his first Christmas and it was a success! He had a little bit of a rough week with sleeping, but I'm hoping we're on the up and up. We took a little 8 month photo shoot at Grammy and Pa's house, and they turned out great!
 His smile melts me. He's such a sweet boy (when he's not being ornery).
 His signature two fingers.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

33 Weeks

Nixon has had a little bit of a rough week. He started with a fever on Saturday and it's been a little rough ever since. We had his 6 week post-6 month appointment to do a weight check. Not the best news. He dropped in weight. Because of that, they're wanting me to add fat to his diet and actually suggested adding butter to his meals and start with some formula as well. I was a little nervous because he cries at the sight of a bottle. But I agreed we'd do the things necessary to get his weight up. They also wanted me to take him to get his blood drawn so they could run some tests that would rule out anything wrong healthwise. 

They had me go up to the next floor where the phlebotomist took about 15 minutes putting bands on his arm, switching it from the left to the right repeated times. After a while, he finally told me his veins were too small and he didn't want to risk poking him and not hitting the vein, which I understood and appreciated. He told me to head over to the hospital where they had another office that supposedly had smaller needles (which they didn't, but whatever). We sat in the waiting room for a good 20 minutes, mind you, he had only gotten about a 45 minute nap that day, and I struggled to keep him happy. We finally got in and the phlebotomist checked both arms. Side note* There were 3 tests that the pediatrician was wanting to get done. Unfortunately, because Nixon doesn't weigh much, they could only draw 5ml of the 15ml they needed. They told me I could come back about a week later, but I kindly told them there was no way I could get him back in with the holidays and us moving and by the time the labs got back to the pediatrician we would be moved. So, while trying to console my screaming child they were able to get the blood drawn and we will get the results at our next appointment on the 30th. 

Until they,  I am trying to get him the fattiest foods I can without just putting butter in everything. I got some full fat yogurts and some other high calories foods for him to eat. I also thought I would try a bottle today.. and he took it!!! I may have had to add in some apple juice, but the fact that he saw it, didn't scream, and actually took it is a HUGE success. I'll gradually reduce the amount of juice in the formula, but right now, I'll do whatever I can. 

With all of that out of the way, here are his 33 week stats:
Height: 28.9in (93rd percentile)
Weight: 14.12 lbs (1st percentile)
Head circumference: 43cm (14th percentile)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Here we go again..

I mentioned a few days ago that there were some big things potentially happening soon. Well, that potential has turned into actually happening. What's new for the Thomas family?
Ethan is going back to school to take prerequisites for dental school. What? I know.. it was unexpected for us too. But there's more. We are moving to North Carolina in 2 weeks to take those classes. And if all goes as planned, once he's gets accepted to dental school, we are hoping to join the Air Force through its scholarship program.


This all came about Thanksgiving weekend when we were at my sisters. We were all hanging out and discussing futures, jobs, etc. Ethan grew up wanting to be in the medical field, but when he got back from his mission, he decided to go the business route. He worked hard, got his degree in business management and has been working ever since. As we started evaluating where we want to be in 5 or 10 years, Ethan just didn't feel that climbing the corporate ladder was something he wanted to do. We had been praying to get some insight as to where and what we should be doing.

Cue Kara and Steve. We mentioned that he always wanted to go into the medical field and they basically said, "Why don't you?" It truly felt like a lightbulb had gone off. Why don't we?

We went up to bed that night and spent some time researching different options, looking at prerequisites, the works. We continued to talk about it the rest of the weekend and continued to get as much information as we could.

Fast forward to Thursday of last week. We had prayed and researched, and prayed a researched and finally came to the conclusion that we were going to do it. We called all of our family and let them know. While there were some who were a bit surprised at the change, we have felt nothing but love and support from all of them. Ethan will be attending University of North Carolina-Charlotte, and we will be living at his parents house until we can find a place of our own.

I'm not going to lie, I have some raw emotions running through me. I am so excited for this new journey, but I know it's going to be a long, hard road. I love it here. I love this home that we have been fortunate enough to live in. I love the friends that we have here and it's hard to think we may not see them again. Sure, we have social media and technology, but nothing can beat sitting around the table with some food and just talking about life. I am going to struggle with being so far away from my family. My mom and sister are two of my best friends. Moving to California was hard for me because I was moving away from my parents, but I knew my sister was just a drive away. I no longer have that. I can't just pick up one weekend and decide to visit. And while it may not seem like a big deal, a two hour time difference is a lot when you need to have a "good cry" with your mom. And knowing that I'll probably only see her once a year.

While I have all of those emotions and feelings of anxiety and sadness, I know that this is going to be an awesome experience for our little family. We get to be around a lot of his family, and Nixon will get to know his Grammy and Pa better than he ever would have, had we stayed out here. People keep telling me I'm going to love it out there. And you know what? That's probably true. I want to be the kind of person that can love anywhere they live and can make it home. That's my goal. To embrace this and enjoy it, because for right now, it's only for a short period of time, and then we'll be off somewhere else for dental school most likely.

So there is it. Our big news. Talk about ending the year with a BANG!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thanksgiving weekend cont.

After the turkey trot, we headed back to my sister's house to get ready for lunch. Most of her in-laws living in the area, so we had dinner with the Pothier family. We were doing the math and realized that since I graduated high school, I have spent 8 holidays with my sister and her in-laws. They're kind of like a second family to me.

Lunch was absolutely delicious! I realized I really like stuffing (at least homemade). After lunch my Kara set up her traditional photo backdrop and we had some fun with it!
The sun started going down and we all went inside for some dessert. I love pumpkin pie. I wish it was 0 calories so I could eat as much as I wanted. There's nothing quite like it!!

We all wrapped up the night and headed home. Kara, Ethan and I decided to be "those people" who go out on Thanksgiving night. We waited until all the kids were down for the night, and until the big ticket items were gone. We didn't want to have to deal with all of the crazies. We got some cheap movies, and a couple of baby things, but overall, it's probably not something I'll make as a tradition.

Friday we all headed over to another Pothir party. One of Steve's brother's had heated his pool for everyone. For the most part, it was only the kids that got in the pool, but they had a blast. We all enjoyed the beautiful 80 degree weather and sat around chatting. We had some BBQ and had a pretty low-key day.

Saturday, we went repelling with some friends of Kara and Steve. I hadn't been in years, so it was fun to do it again! It was fun watching all of the little kids go down for the first time too. Ethan and I were able to go down at the same time and had a great time.
We did take pictures of Ethan and I but I'm still waiting to get those back from Kara.

After repelling we came back home to get Hunter to his friends birthday party, and the rest of us started getting ready for family pictures. There's a family in their ward that has a backyard that is seriously like their own little oasis back there. You would never know you were in Arizona! I took their pictures and she took ours. I'll share some of them when I get my Christmas cards out, but I loved how they turned out! (Here's just one!)
Sunday we took a little time to help put up some Christmas decorations, and then it was time for us to say our (tearful-with Hallie) goodbye. We had such an amazing time, and we felt go grateful to be able to spend the weekend with them. Thanks Kara and Steve! Hopefully it's not the last of holidays together!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

32 Weeks

Nixon has such a LOUD voice. It's not that he's crying, he just wants to be heard. We went to a dinner at one of our bishopric member's home. There were about 10 of us there, and we were all talking with each other. Nixon wanted to make sure that people knew he was there, and by golly, they knew! It makes it a little more difficult to take him places that aren't already loud. Good thing we love him so much!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Thanksgiving Turkey Trot

I know it's been a little quiet over here, but there are some potentially big things happening, so I have put little attention on writing. But my sister sent over some pictures from our trip to Arizona for Thanksgiving so I thought I should probably get that written down!

About a month ago, we decided since we would be with Ethan's family for Christmas, we would go to my family for Thanksgiving. Kara is only about 5.5 hours away (without traffic) so it was perfect! We left Wednesday around 1:00pm. We got about an hour into the trip.. and then the traffic. I've seen worse in that area, but it was not something I was enjoying. Luckily Nixon was a total dream and slept 75% of the way there and was happy for another 24.9%. We finally pulled into Mesa around 8:00pm their time. We hung out for the rest of the night and had some great conversation.

Thursday morning came around and and it was time for the Gilbert Turkey Trot, whose proceeds go to help Kara's niece's charity. There was no way we were in shape to do a 5k and my sister is not a runner by any means. So we had the kids in tow, with the babies in the strollers and did the 1 mile fun run/walk.
We all walked together until the last little bit, and then I decided to finish strong. So I pumped Nixon up so he was ready for the ride and we jogged the last part of the race. I have no idea what my time was, but I finished jogging. I felt good about that. :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

31 Weeks

We made it to seven months!! Woohoo! At 31 weeks this kid is still Army crawling with the best of them, sitting up on his own (and even pushed himself up to sitting once!), has liked all foods so far (although squash was a little less appealing, which I would agree with), he has the loudest voice, he's in size 3 diapers at night, but can get away with being in a 2 during the day, loves riding in the car, sucks his pointer and middle finger on his left hand together, and looks up at the TV every time the Gilmore Girls theme song plays (sure makes his mom proud). He definitely has his fussy time, but overall, he's still our happy guy!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

30 Weeks

Who's excited for Thanksgiving?
This guys is! We're so excited to see family and eat some delicious food!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"The Ponderer"

I was going through some of my pictures and I came across this one. It was from one of his weekly photo shoots. I remember loving it when I uploaded it. We'll call it, "The Ponderer."

Monday, November 17, 2014

29 Weeks

Still loving his toes!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Woodland visitors

When people hear Orange County, they assume terrible traffic, the beach, and high maintenance people. Don't get me wrong, areas of here that are like that, but there are also areas that make you feel like you're out of the city. Take our house for example. 

Ethan and I were talking in the living room when he looked out the window and what did we see?
Not only do we have deer coming into our back yard, but we also get lots of raccoons, rabbits, and potentially other critters that come around when I'm not looking. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A boy and his blocks

As of late, Target's dollar bins have provided us with some fantastic entertainment. For our trip to Louisiana, I got science and history trivia cards for Ethan and I, and a little light up Halloween toy for Nixon. The last successful haul included about 15 Christmas gift bags, toddler lacing toys, and blocks. I put the lacing toys away until he's a bit older, but I thought we could try out the blocks. I had some laundry to do, so I set him up with his blocks and started about my business. About 15 minutes later, I look over and see this:
Exactly where I had left him. Still playing with his blocks. I think we may have found a new favorite toy.

28 Weeks

Nixon finally had his 6 month check up. Here are his stats:
Height: 28.75in (98th percentile)
Weight: 15.2 lbs (6th percentile)
Head circumference: 42.50cm (17th percentile)

We have got a tall, skinny boy on our hands! The pediatrician actually wants us to go back in six weeks to do another weight check. He says he's not too worried about it yet, but he just wants to make sure he's getting everything he needs nutritionally. He's still growing, so we're not worried either.

We've introduced solids now and he's doing great so far. We've done oatmeal and green beans. He's sitting up on his own for longer stints, and he's still so smiley. Though, he definitely has his moments.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Moving to Coto De Caza

Back in August (or around there) we got a call from Ethan's great uncle that lives in this area. He told us that they would be leaving to go on a mission to Salt Lake City for our church. We were so excited for them to go, but kind of bummed as well. They were really the only family we had in the area, and they were headed out just as we were getting settled. The conversation took a turn when he told us that they wanted us to come stay in their home while they were gone.

We had been to their home a couple times and I was dumbfounded. This is a bit larger than the apartment we were in considering it has six bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, 3 different living rooms, a game room/loft, and a HUGE kitchen (with a double oven!!). It also has a spa pool, fire pit, and trampoline in the backyard. I couldn't believe they were really asking us to come to their home. I had finally started getting use to the idea of living in a small place. Joke was on me!

We ran in to a bit of a hiccup when we remembered we had signed a contract with our current apartment for a year. We contacted them and they said it wouldn't be a problem for us to move out early–we would just have to pay a cancellation fee of $2,500, pay the rent until someone else moved in, or find someone to take over our lease. We were slightly stressed, but we just prayed that everything would work out. And what do you know? It did!

About a week before the big move, I contacted our leasing office and they told me they had leased out our apartment! We were both ecstatic and humbled at how blessed we felt. Everything fell into place just as it should and it made us truly feel like we made the right decision.

So now, we are living in Coto De Caza, CA. We have one of the most spectacular views in the area, and we feel so blessed everyday to have the opportunity to live in this home.
We are now accepting visitors!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Look alikes

I've tried to decide who Nixon really looks like. He obviously has a very strong presence of Ethan in him, but I'm not so sure he looks nothing like me. Case in point:

Me and Nixon
Nixon and Ethan
The fact that these pictures matched so perfectly didn't hurt either. So.. what's your vote?

Clippers vs. Jazz

Our friend from Rexburg, Victor, and his friend Ben were taking a trip down to Camp Pendleton and they were kind enough to come visit us. On Monday night, we decided to have some fun. We drove with them up to Los Angeles for the Clippers/Jazz game.

We left our house at about 4:00pm. It took us about 2 hours to get up there. We had a little bit of time before the game started, so we walked around for a bit to find a place for dinner. We settled on Fatburger, which none of us had been to. It was decent, but nothing to write home about. It was about time for the game, so we finished up our meal and walked back to the Staples Center. We were pretty high up, but realistically, there really wasn't a bad seat in the place.
I wasn't too worried about Nixon because he does really well with groups of people and lots of stuff going on, but it was a later game, so I made sure to have some stuff on hand for him to play with. For the majority of the first and second quarter, he was standing on my lap (holding my hands of course) taking it all in. By the third quarter he was getting slightly restless and a bit fussy. I sat him down facing the court, and in minutes, this is what happened.

Nothing phased him. He slept like that for a good 30 minutes or so during the third quarter. I love when he falls asleep in my arms.

We were technically cheering for the Jazz because Vic and Ben follow them, since we don't really follow any team. The last five minutes of the game were actually pretty good. The Jazz almost pulled it off, but they couldn't play defense to save their life and the Clippers hit some pretty sweet shots. But after the game we decided to get some pictures.
 Ethan, me, Victor, Ben, and Victor's friend Evan, who lives in LA

Outside of the stadium, Fox Sports was there doing their post-game show. It was funny to see them basically just talking to this camera that moved all around them. You could also tell when it was on commercial, because they didn't really talk at all to each other, but they bobbed their heads like they were listening to music or something. 
We drove home and got back about a hour later, around 11:30. Vic and Ben were leaving that night to drive back to Rexburg. They got talking with Ethan and didn't get going until about 2:00am. I was a little worried, but they said they drove better in the middle of the night, so I just hoped they drove safe, and luckily they made it home.

It was an awesome night, and hopefully not the last of NBA games for us!