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!