Sunday, August 3, 2014

Grandma Sandy Comes for a Visit

I've noticed that the first couple of weeks following a birth or a death are the easiest. People come visit and you get to reminisce over food that just magically shows up at your door step and that you get to eat on paper plates and then throw away.

The those people leave and reality sets in.

Come back, Grandma Sandy, come back!

My mom came when Gwen was about 5 days old. It was perfect timing because Daniel had to go back to work, and I had someone else here to help me.

As I mentioned before, I tried to get in as much swimming this summer as possible before I delivered Gwen. Unfortunately, June became very used to this being a part of our daily routine and has been going through major withdrawals since Sister came. She still puts on her swim stuff every day and begs to go. My mom took her every day she could while she was here, and that was a huge help.

My mom also read many books and drew many puppies and horsies and meows (cats) and tickled June out of tantrums and made meals and cleaned and held crying newborns while she was here. She was a huge help.

She also continued the tradition of the frosty outing. My mom's mom, Grandma Bonnie, always took us out for frosties when we were younger, and my mom took us out twice when she was here too.

June has a couple of friends who DETEST getting messy. Sometimes I wish that would rub off on her. Haha.

Gwen was really into the frosties too.

Mom bought June princess get up, and June had a blast with that.

June and my mom even shared a room, and whenever June woke up at 5:00 a.m., my mom would take her into her bed and they would sing and share stories.

So you might say it was a bit of a drag when she left. As in, I have been dragging my sorry bum around feeling sorry for my sorry self ever since she left.

Luckily, our honeymoon stage isn't totally over. Daniel's parents are coming this week, and we are looking forward to partying with them too!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Our New Addition

The Jolley Family is proud to announce a new addition . . .

 We finally have a piano! We have had a digital keyboard for about 3 years, and it has been great. But a real piano! Wahoo.

Oh, and also, I had a baby.

And she came out looking just like that. (Yes, the bow on the headband hurt on the way out.)

Here's the rundown on "The Story." I'm making it short and sweet for ya'll.


7:30 A.M. Check into Florida Hospital to be induced.

8:30 A.M. The nurses start my IV.  For some unknown reason (I'm guessing dehydration), I had a vasovagal response to the IV and I begin to gag and pass out. This caused Gwen's heartbeat to drop to a low level. I woke up to several nurses standing over me and fixing the situation. Needless to say, this little episode put Daniel on edge for the rest of the day. The thing that made me sad about this is that I was determined to look better for my delivery pictures with this baby. I look dead in all of my photos after delivering June. So I woke up early the day of Gwen's arrival and actually did my hair. I know this is dumb, so don't leave a comment telling me so. Once I started passing out, the nurses put wet cloths all over my head and hair, and I was drenched and gross one hour after arriving at the hospital. Haha.

9:30 A.M. Pitocin. The doctor came to check me, and I was barely a "fingertip 1." I felt like he was checking me up to my eyeballs, and I let him know it. 

10:00 A.M. Daniel and I work toward our goal of watching all of the Star Wars movies.

11:30 A.M. Contractions start, and I get my epidural.

12:30 P.M. Doctor comes to check me and breaks my water. The nurse tells me to let her know if I feel any pressure in my bottom, but that it should be awhile yet.

1:30 P.M. I started feel pressure in my bottom, but I don't say anything because I think I must be imagining things.

1:51 P.M. I send a text to my boss about an email he needs to respond to.

2:00 P.M. I finally tell the nurse I am feeling a little pressure "down there." The doctor comes in to check me and see Gwen's head and chastises me for not calling them in sooner.

2:09 P.M. After pushing for six minutes, Gwen Marie Jolley was born, weighing 8 pounds flat. She was 20.5 inches long.

2:15 P.M. My boss answers my previous text and asks me, "Aren't you supposed to be in labor?" I responded, "Yes, I delivered 10 minutes after I sent you that last text. I should be Employee of the Month." Haha.

And she is totally beautiful.

Having fun with Dad:

And with Big Sister June:

And it has just been smooth sailing ever since. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dance With Meeeeeee....I Want to Be Your Partner!!!

This week has been tear-your-hair out boring. Baby Girl has decided to sit right on my sciatic nerve, and I have been unable to walk much. Some days we have been able to get out, and some days we haven't.

I always think staying at home sounds like such a relaxing thing to do, but those days are always the roughest for us. June and I need more structure than that. Anyone else?

At any given time, you could find June in just a diaper (don't judge--it's HOTT in Florida, ya'll), just rolling around in a blanket out of sheer boredom. Yikes.

Or watching copious amounts of t.v.

Daniel and I are those really cool types that love vintage things, as can be seen in our choice of television. We are so retro chic.

So I'm being induced tomorrow. Daniel worked from home today so that he could help me run errands to prep for the big arrival. He originally went to help me in case my back started acting up like it has been, but he eventually served a different purpose--dealing with Hurricane June.

June's tantrums have reached otherworldly proportions. She has normal tantrums, and then she has what we call the June Special. Screaming like a banshee, flinging herself from grocery carts, casting spells on passersby, it can be a bit much to handle. She even screamed NOOOOO! when I tried to give her a free cookie from the bakery. WHAT? That is no child of mine!

It is during these moments that I start to whimper a little bit and wonder how I am going to handle shopping with two children. It honestly scares me to death. (BTW, I know a lot of you have many more than 2 children. Try not to laugh as you read about my wimpiness.)

But Daniel saved the day. He took June outside the store for a walk while I finished the shopping. Just as they exited, the song "Dance with Me" by Orleans came on, and it perfectly fit in with my mood. For the first time in a really long time, I was shopping by myself! Normally I just make a mad dash down all of the aisles  throwing things in as fast as possible. But today, I could honestly compare prices without worrying about my screaming child! I could make decisions! I could think! I was in love . .  with being by myself! I was dancing down the aisles with a huge kid-friendly Publix cart (the kind that looks like a car that they get to drive)--with no kid! Haha! Loved. It. And I ate her free cookie from the bakery.

I really wanted to go up to a random stranger within earshot of Daniel and say, "Did you see that man with that crazy child? Why can't people control their children?" and then laugh and run away. But I didn't. I'm maturing.

Pray for us tomorrow. I'm actually really nervous. I love my Junie. I know I will love this child. But the honest truth is that babies kind of scare me. Haha. And childbirth definitely scares me.

Here's to having more children that I probably won't dress!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tortured Artists

Another evening and here I am suffering for my art. Actually, I would never be up in a million years at 3:42 AM to write a blog post. Never. Sleep is too precious to me.

However, Baby Girl No. 2 is SO HUNGRY and needs to eat RIGHT NOW. I swear this girl is a fighter. She has the appetite of a champion. When I deliver her (sometime this week or next!!), she is going to take one look at my paltry bosoms and request a steak dinner instead.

Speaking of art, June has become quite the artist as of late. She loves to scribble all over everything and also loves to make requests for me to draw monkeys, dogs, cats, houses, horses, cars and bears. I love that she appreciates my terrible drawings. Makes me feel good!

Daniel's art is food. I do most of the cooking around here, and I don't mind. But every once in awhile I get bogged down with work deadlines and swollen feet, and D-Man takes over. And when he does, he puts me to shame. He is a low maintenance man to please, which is good because I am not a good cook. But when he takes the reigns, he really takes the time to do a good job. What a novel thought. For example, last night he made hamburgers. Buns made from scratch. I make my buns from scratch too (insert your favorite "bun" joke here), but mine are lumpy and gross (insert away), but Daniel really takes the time to have perfect, fluffy yet firm buns (man, I am just handing these golden opportunities to you).


He seasoned the patties to perfection and even had a vegetable. What a guy.

June's verdict?

Trying it . . .


(and yes, she still eats in the bumbo. hates the high chair.)

I appreciate June's approach to life. We should all just kick back, take a swig and let it all hang out just a little bit more.

Ahh life.

Also, Daniel's mom sent June her own baby to take care of. She loves this baby. The baby needs to be fed and even cries. The first time she cried, June just started screaming "NOOOOOO!!!" She learned that from me.

She loves feeding her baby and putting her to bed. Or just tossing her on the floor. Or carrying her by her neck. Or her ankle. So sweet.

Favorite line of the day:
"Maybe the baby won't stop crying because her leg is bent up behind her back." --Daniel

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Good-bye, Nasty Chair

Sometimes I wonder why it takes me so long to get rid of junk. Or to stop bad habits. I can think of several situations in my life where I kept putting off the inevitable and then felt SO MUCH BETTER afterward. Like going to the dentist. Whenever I move, it seems to take me forever to schedule an appointment. And the truth is--I love having my teeth cleaned! I floss three or four times a day!

So anyway, I guess I'm just saying I want to develop more of a "Rip off the Band-aid attitude" toward life. Get things done!

Which brings me to our recliner. I have blogged about this chair before. It has had its shining and redemptive moments. But mostly it's just been gross. Its material is all ripping off and sheds all over the carpet. It came free with a couch we bought off Craigslist. But free doesn't always mean good. Which is a mentality I have been trying to change. I don't need more stuff in my life just for the sake of having stuff! Who is with me?

Some friends in our ward were trying to get rid of a glider and ottoman and offered it to us. The only place we had room for it is in the corner where the recliner sat. This was just the push I needed--a deadline!  We had to have it cleared out before they brought the glider over.

Breaking down the chair.

What I had to vacuum up every day we owned the recliner. I don't need that in my life!

New glider.


And lastly . . . how cute is this? June loves dressing up in nursery. Here she is wearing five different costumes.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Good Thing They are Worth It

I am exceedingly uncomfortable and can never sleep. When I DO fall asleep, it's only for a couple of hours and then I am up again to use the bathroom. And then I spend an inordinate amount of time flexing and unflexing my legs, trying to stop my Restless Leg Syndrome. I find myself at 2 AM watching really stupid tv, like Everybody Loves Raymond. I love me some Raymond, but I have seen every episode a million times, and I get sick of hearing Debra call Raymond an idiot, even though he totally is one.

Daniel is a doll and tries to help me sleep but it always backfires. If I fall asleep in front of a movie (if? WHEN.), he always tries to move himself and the movie into another room so that I can rest. In doing so, he slides me off his arm and wakes me up.

Or one night I fell asleep reading on our couch and he came to get me and move me into our bedroom. I was so sad when he woke me up, though he had the best intentions. Then it became a rule: Don't wake the beast.

June's delivery kind of ruined me for my other babies. I dilated to 3 cm at 37 weeks. My water broke at 38 weeks and I think I felt one contraction before the epidural kicked in. I pushed 3 times, and she was out. I keep telling myself that having your water break and that a baby coming on her own and early is not the norm. Though the baby has totally dropped and is sitting right on my pelvis (and my nerve, thankyouverymuch), I have hardly begun to dilate and my cervix is not doing its thang. I feel like everyone I know carries babies way long, and I keep telling myself to be prepared for the long haul.

That hasn't stopped me from thinking every little thing is my going into labor. This week I had June on a swim diaper on my lap, and she peed all over me. I shouted, "My water broke!!!" (BTW, what is with swim diapers? They keep the poop in but not the pee? I do not understand.) The same day, walking to the pool, my swim bag started dripping because of a leaky water bottle, and my friend and I both freaked out again.

So basically I'm a tired zombie who walks funny and is super cranky. Do you want to come visit? Haha.

Good thing babies are so dang cute. Came across this photo of June the other day. 6 months old and the cutest bug in the whole world.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

It's the final countdown. But, in order to pass the time, we have been trying to swim as much as possible. Once this baby comes, I feel like my summer is OVER. In a good way, but still. OVER.

Though, we do live in Florida, and I could probably swim through October. So maybe not OVER. But very much at a STANDSTILL. But the word STANDSTILL doesn't seem quite as dramatic in caps, so let's just say . . .

My summer is about to be OVER.

So recently, some friends and I went out for a "last hurrah" dinner. One of my friends asked me, "What is the one thing you want to do before you have this baby?" And I tried to think of something exotic, but I knew what the true answer was. Go to the beach. We have beaches all around us so maybe it's not that exciting to some people, but it still is SO exciting to me.

Swimming is one of my favorite activities. Whenever a friend invited me over to swim growing up, I was always in the pool as long as they would let me stay. As a Young Single Adult, I remember going to numerous pool parties where these cool professional single people would stand next to the pool and talk and never get in. Suddenly, actually swimming was no longer cool. But I was still that girl in the pool, swimming by herself.

Sometimes we get invited to someone's private pool here in Florida, and they are waterlogged after 45 minutes. And so everyone gets out, and I feel like I should get out too. Daniel is the same as I. We always look at each other like, "Aw ma, do I have to get out already?" and then remind ourselves that we are adults and need to be somewhat socially acceptable.

So when I told Daniel we have to swim as many days a week as we can and go to the beach at least once a week before this baby comes, he very easily agreed to comply.

The beaches here are gorgeous. White sand. Really warm water. June loves it. She loves it too much. She has no fear of the water, so we are constantly fighting her from just putting her head in the water without holding her breath.

I clearly have no shame. Big pregnant belly at the beach? Sure, why not. The way this belly is growing, I am sure that swimsuit top will be a bikini top by the end of the week.

There is a man who is 923847 years old in our complex who lays out at our pool every single day. He is crazy tan. I call him Leather Couch. Looking at this picture makes me think I am getting too tan. Protect your skin, people!

Another favorite. On the way home from our beach outings, we always get frosties from Wendy's. Now I'm a hard scoop ice cream girl myself. But frosties have a special place in my heart because growing up my grandma would always take us to get them when she visited us. So they taste like childhood. And now that they offer the option of a waffle cone, it's childhood . . . in a waffle cone! What better combination! Please ignore Daniel's vanilla frosty. He doesn't understand the blasphemy that is vanilla.

We had some friends invite us up to their condo on the beach for the 4th of July. It was heaven on earth. The beaches are incredibly crowded on holidays, but they had access to a private beach, and it was totally peaceful. Plus, there was a private pool too. So we relaxed in the pool once we were done being sandy. This was June within 3 minutes of putting her in the car at the end of that day.

Where are her clothes, you might ask? We don't believe in them. Or we don't believe in ever packing everything we need. Even common sense things like clothes. Just be glad she had a diaper, ok?

Another favorite . . .

This girl in these sunglasses. She wore them for our Fourth of July breakfast at church. Adorable.

Another favorite . . .

The Fourth of July. I get choked up every single time I hear the national anthem. Or meet a veteran. Or think about how blessed we are to live in this country. We are so blessed.

More favorites . . .

These brownies. From scratch. Which is a huge deal for me because I always thought that brownies from the box were better. Plus, I am a terrible baker. My cookies always run together. But this recipe is the bizness. Make it.

1 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder.

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter in saucepan and then add remaining ingredients. Pour into greased and floured 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 25 minutes.

There is a frosting that goes with it too, but it doesn't need it. And you know I have never said that before. So that means these brownies are GOOD.

One last favorite...

(Sorry for the blurry image; it's the only one I could find online.) Do you ever feel like your scripture study is a bit stale? I do. The scriptures are awesome, and I know the problem is me, not them. I am not the best scripture reader, but I want to become better. Reading the Book of Mormon along with this study guide provided by the Church has been a lifesaver. There are tons of quotes from the prophets and apostles and other church leaders to go along with every chapter of the Book of Mormon. I love the Book of Mormon even more now because of this awesome study guide. Maybe you would enjoy it too!

Please drop a line with some of your recent faves.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday with a Side of Crazy

This morning, I was woken up at 5:30 a.m. by a frazzled husband speaking the following frazzled words:

“Heather, I woke up with pink eye, and I need medicine, and I can’t stay home from church because I have to give my talk and I have to get medicine before I fly out to Chicago this afternoon, and the printer isn’t working, and I need to print out some stuff for my talk, and I think June took my debit card out of my wallet, and I can’t find it anywhere.”

Good morning! I jumped out of bed and started trying to help resolve problems immediately. I fixed the printer problem, looked up urgent care clinics and hours, whipped up breakfast and searched for the missing debit card. Search on that one still pending. We know it’s here, but where? June loves a good game of hiding important stuff.

Pink eye is a problem we seem to encounter frequently. I blame myself honestly, because I always wear my contacts longer than I should, and Daniel has followed my example since he started wearing contacts a year ago. I hereby resolve to throw away my contacts every two weeks like I am supposed to! This time wasn't just typical pink eye, though. I swear Daniel’s eye was the brightest red I have ever seen. I contemplated taking a picture, but it was just painful to even look at.

One thing I have learned with contacts and with many things in life is that sometimes you really do get what you pay for. The other thing I have learned is that I love a good list-making activity. Sometimes when my bff Linz and I are bored, we will come up with lists for things like “All the restaurants we would eat at if we were to go on a trip together” or “Trendy foods we don’t understand people liking” or “The Top Ten Worst Date Activities Ever.” It is great fun. So I now invite you to join in on making a list with me called “Things that are Worth Spending Extra Money On.” The first one for today is name brand contact solution. Ever since I started using it, my eyes have looked and felt so much better. Daniel has been using some generic stuff we had leftover, but I think he will now convert to the good stuff.

Don’t get me wrong—I am a total cheapo who loves buying generic brand things. But some things aren’t worth it. Like hair elastics. Once I bought these:

And now I can’t go back. They are the best and feel good in my hair. What do you think is worth the extra money? And what do you think is better generic? For example, I buy Sam’s Club diapers for June. Every time I buy Huggies or Pampers, I am disappointed.

Wow, that was really off topic. Back to my frazzled morning. Daniel finally got all of his talk stuff together and a few addresses for urgent care clinics he could visit after Sacrament Meeting but before he had to board his flight and then he was ready to head off to his early morning meetings. I woke up June, and she threw the WORST tantrum in the history of tantrums. And I have read the book History of Tantrums, so I would know.

I was even more frazzled by this point, but did not forget the many requests I have had for pregnancy pictures. I have successfully avoided posting (or even taking) any pregnancy photos thus far, but have reached 35 weeks and no longer care much. So here is the moment you have been waiting for. The big reveal.

Haha. Fooled you! Ok so maybe you wanted to actually see The Bump. Here goes.

 Whoa Nelly, Belly!

And straight on...

Isn’t this dress awfully good? It’s clearly crazy and terrible, but so much so that I actually like it. I bought this dress at Ross before I was even pregnant with June. It caught my attention, and I couldn’t get away from it. It’s like chocolate cereal—so gross and yet so good. And it has been one of the few dresses I can wear when I’m not pregnant but also when I am 9 months pregnant. The swirl on my belly serves as a sort of snake charmer. People in the halls at church try to look away and yet can’t resist being entranced by it. It’s my belly’s way of hypnotizing people into bringing me bowls of ice cream without my uttering a single word.

Plus, I always think one should be prepared, and if I ever get invited to attend a singles cruise for ages 50+, I am wearing this baby. (Not the belly, the dress.)

And here is my impression of The Obnoxious Selfie everyone seems to be taking these days.

Anyway, between the pink eye/debit card/printer/tantrum filled crazy morning, by the time I got to church, I was ready for bed. I play the organ for my ward, and it took me halfway through the opening song to realize that I was playing the music in cut time. (Imagine singing “The Day Dawn is Breaking” as fast as you can. Invigorating!) I finally slowed myself down so at least the Sacrament hymn was reverent though.

Primary was a whirlwind of activity, and when I picked up June from nursery, the leaders kindly let me know that it had not been her best day. I was letting all of these little, unimportant things really get to me, and I was feeling kind of crazy.

When I got home from church, I found myself reading the following quote about hope. It is taken from the LDS church’s missionary manual, Preach My Gospel. It says:

"Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance. It is believing and expecting that something will occur. When you have hope, you work through trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for your good. Hope helps you conquer discouragement. The scriptures often describe hope in Jesus Christ as the assurance that you will inherit eternal life in the celestial kingdom."

It really made me stop and think. Anyone who knows me knows that I do NOT handle stress well. At all. When Daniel told me he had pink eye, my first thought was, “Well you CAN’T!" closely followed by “How much is this going to cost?” We had just discussed finances and our budget the night before, which resulted in great resolve in both of us to do a better job of saving money, and now MY PLAN WAS RUINED.

I rarely see a problem and think, “Well okay. We can work through this. It will all work out.”

Realizing this, I turned to Daniel and said, “I’m a hopeless disciple.” He looked shocked and said, “No, you are NOT!” I quickly explained what I really meant—not that my case is hopeless. Because it isn’t. The Savior suffered so that we can all be saved. There is definitely hope for everyone! But what I meant is that I, me personally, my mental state, is one that doesn’t hope for things that I should. That I need to learn HOW to hope. I read the quote out loud to him, and he started laughing and admitted he could see my point. That quote is pretty much the opposite approach I have to handling things. Daniel is always asking me to calm down and deal with problems rationally.

It made think that true hope is the kind of peaceful reassurance we can obtain when things aren’t going right. That we can obtain a certain comfort in the constant discomfort that comes from living in an imperfect world full of adversity. I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ that teaches me to reach above myself and how I react to things naturally and to put my trust in Him and to learn how to react to hard situations better. Not that pink eye is a HUGE problem. But just an example.

Wow, did this post just turn serious or what? I just felt like I needed to get it out there. Please feel free to add any thoughts you may have.

And lastly, a pic of June with the latest Winn Dixie ad. Buy one, get one free pot roast? The girl knows a good deal.