Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Easter Pageant

If you grew up in Mesa like me you would know that going to the Easter Pageant is another way to celebrate Easter every year. I could even hear the pageant from my house, three blocks away, growing up so it has always been a big part of my life although I've never been it - yet. Over the last few years I've had a few family members in the pageant. Julie even got to be an angel once (or twice?). This year my Dad is in it for the first time, plus my mom is helping back stage. My Dad has done some acting parts for the church in Utah so he was able to land a name role his first time in the pageant. He plays Zebedee, the father of a couple of Christ's apostles. I like the Temple peaking behind the trees and set in this picture.
Below he's standing next to the "boat mast" he puts up for the fisherman scene.
Last night was the last dress rehearsal. I was able to meet up with DJ and Sara so Andrew could to homework at home in peace. The kids were so excited to see Grandpa before it started. Avery also asked to see the "Knight". Elliot felt so special to wear the Roman Soldier's helmet, although it was very heavy. It was fun answering all of Avery's questions during the pageant.
"Why is he getting baptized?"
"When am I getting baptized - when I'm married?"
"When I'm married I'm going to have long hair like Mary."
"Did Jesus come down from Heaven to be here?"
"Are those birds real?"
"Can I be Mary next year?"
We had such a great time. For pageant times go here. Don't miss it like I did the last two years!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Louise baby shower

Last Saturday the ladies in my family threw Louise a baby shower. It's her first girl so she totally needed one! Any excuse to buy adorable frilly pink things and Ooo and Ahhh over them! Since Louise lived in Utah the majority of the last ten years it was mostly just family. Us sisters decided we need to do this again with or without a baby coming! By that I mean chatting with yummy food while the husbands have the big kids.
The goodies everyone brought and made were delicious. Since Zara was just born I was put in charge of invites. I commissioned Beth Allen to custom make these. She is really very talented artist. I think they turned out lovely! She has an etsy store if you're interested in seeing more of her work.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Louise maternity shoot

My sister, Louise, is having a baby soon! I offered to take a few maternity shots for her which she gladly accepted. I thought it'd be fun to share. When Louise's baby is born there will be two babies in my house since her family live with us. With five children under five between us we will be kept very busy! I'm so happy to see Louise and Stanley's family grow. Louise didn't get married until she was 31? so she waited a long time to be a mommy. When I was pregnant with Elliot Louise hadn't even met Stanley yet. It was strange for me to know I will be the first girl in my family to have a baby, especially because Louise is 8 years older than me. It just shows you never know what the future holds for you. Louise is catching up fast:)

Steven is going to have to learn really fast how to be a big brother. Aren't they a cute little family?!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

recipe: chocolate banana cake

Here's another great egg-free recipe! We ran out of butter and needed a dessert so I baked a cake since cakes usually use oil, not butter.

Chocolate Banana Cake

2 very ripe medium bananas
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Mash banana with fork then add remaining ingredients except chocolate chips. Poor into 8x8 pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake at 350°F for 35-37 minutes. Best served warm with a scoop of ice cream. I'm not a big banana person so I used 2 small bananas instead of medium, but Andrew insisted it wasn't enough so keep that in mind when baking. Let me know how it goes!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

book review: HypnoBirthing

Read HypnoBirthing and have a natural delivery. Check! Two more of my 2012 goals accomplished! Have you ever heard of HypnoBirthing? It converted me to natural deliveries and is a wonderful book. HypnoBirthing is a type of natural delivery with breathing techniques and a level of deep relaxation that makes having a baby almost "pain free". There are classes you can take if you want to be more involved but I just read the book. The beginning of the book explains the background to HypnoBirthing and shares some interesting stories. Then it gets into breathing techniques and eventually it takes you, step by step, through the birthing process. It inspired me to take control of my body and really focus on relaxing while breathing through the contractions while I was in labor with Zara. One thing I disagree with HypnoBirthing is that it tells you to breathe the baby down, not push. With Zara it was incredible how strong I felt the urge to push her out. I believe that pushing is a natural part of delivering a baby. Overall this book was a wonderful inspiration. Remember that women having been having natural deliveries for centuries and natural deliveries are quite normal in other cultures even today. If you're pregnant, please read it, even if you plan on having an epidural. I had a natural delivery, not a hypnobirth delivery, but Andrew said this one was the best of the three. I didn't rip his arm off this time and he didn't feel as helpless watching me in pain because I seemed to have everything under control with my calm breathing. Plus, natural deliveries go faster than epidural deliveries. As you can see, I am enthusiastic about natural deliveries! I hope I haven't bored you with my ranting!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

count your blessings

Last night, at eight days old, Zara slept five hours straight! Woohoo!
It probably won't happen every night but I was grateful for a better night's sleep.
It's the little triumphs that enrich a mother's life.

Friday, March 2, 2012

couldn't resist

The first few days after a baby is born is spent in defining the features of that individual. Sometimes this goes on for much longer. Does the baby have her daddy's lips? his mommy's eyes? the "family look"? I think Zara has a lot of the same features as Elliot with Avery's coloring but I've gotten to the point that I see her as herself now and not just a compilation of other's features. I still thought it would be fun to put all my three kid's baby pictures together. It was difficult finding good photos of all three at the same age. I'm not sure hold old they are in these photos but I think Avery is a little older since she was my smallest baby but has put on some chubs in this picture. I've noticed that we had a different camera with each and my camera skills improved with each. It makes me grateful for my awesome camera I have now. Seeing these pictures reminds me how much I love being a mom. Thanks for letting me show off my darling babies!