Thursday, April 12, 2012

Vinyl Calendar

So my friend Jessica has a blog and she's having a vinyl calendar giveaway! Here's a lovely sample of her calendars:

I really hope I win one, but if I don't then I hope YOU do!!!
So follow her (she's hilarious) and enter by April 15. Good luck!

Click HERE to enter and win!!!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Blaine's First Haircut!

There are so many firsts when you are a baby, but the
first haircut is unique in the sense that you are altering
your baby cosmetically for the first time and it changes
the way they look just a little bit. I still am a little weirded
out each time I pull Blaine out of his crib after a nap.
Its like whole new and improved Blaine!

The haircut happened today.
One day after his 3 month birthday.

it was time...

drum roll....

Man he's cute :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Blog

Started a scrapbooking blog...


Friday, December 9, 2011

My Product Conversion

So last summer my Boss Travis was hired to go photograph this convention for a company called Melaleuca. I had heard of it because it is based out of Idaho falls and they have a store and call center here in Rexburg, but I never really knew what it was. I heard they sold stuff like soap and you had to call in your order. Anyway, so Travis goes to this convention and comes back telling us that the company sells tons of different products like make up, detergent, vitamins, and everything in between and what happens is you sign up to be a preferred customer and then you purchase 35 points worth of product (which is about $55 worth) every month. Then if you get your friends to join you get a small percentage of what they spend, so the goal is to get a bunch of friends to join and you could make a profit. People apparently make tons of money doing this and there are stories of people who have become millionaires, payed off their mortgage, or simple had a few extra thousand bucks coming in each month. That's all I knew about the company, and I wasn't about to get involved in a multi level marketing business so I didn't seek any more information.

I quit my job and then went back a month later to get my family pictures taken and Travis tells me that he is now a Melaleuca preferred customer and he thinks Nate and I should sign up too. I laughed and rolled my eyes because I told him before I didn't want to get into that sort of thing. Then he told me he'd take Nate and I out to lunch and tell me all about the company, so we agreed (just because we wanted a free lunch).

The next day we go to lunch and he starts telling us about the company. They are a large, international company dedicated to superior products. They are all about using natural ingredients so none of their cleaning supplies are toxic or harmful, and work even better than the stuff you get at Walmart. They are a truly "green" company back when green was just a color. They provide products that I am already purchasing and most of it is at a lower price, or it's comparable and much better quality. Because it's things I am already purchasing, there's no risk in signing up, because I'm going to be spending money on those same types of products whether I shop there or somewhere else. My one hang up was that I was worried that Nate and I wouldn't be able to purchase 35 points worth of stuff each month, or that we normally wouldn't actually spend $55 a month other places so we'd end up spending more than normal just to fill our quota. Since you don't sign a contract when you sign up to be a preferred customer and you can simple cancel your membership without any fees at any time, we decided we'd try it for a few months and see if we liked it. Everyone kept telling us how amazing the products were and how once we used them, we'd never go back. I was skeptical but willing to give it a shot, especially since it was no risk.

The first month I got cleaning supplies, baby soap, toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner. They sell their cleaning supplies in a condensed form, so you just add water. They do this so that they don't waste your money shipping water and each bottle they send you makes 6 bottles of cleaner. I was worried that a "natural" cleaner wouldn't do as good as one with good ol' toxic chemicals and I was surprised with not only how great they worked, but how awesome they smelled! You know how when you clean your bathroom it gets hard to breathe if you don't have good airflow to the room? That doesn't happen with this stuff. It's really quite delightful. Also, (and please don't think less of me) I hadn't cleaned my shower in over a month (you try to clean a shower when you're almost due or just had a baby!) so I had a very dirty shower to test the product on and it left it spick and span. The toothpaste was also great (although I'm not really picky about toothpaste) and I decided to return the shampoo and conditioner in exchange for their fancier shampoo and conditioner (they'll let you return or exchange anything, even if it's half used).

The next month I got mineral foundation (AMAZING!!!! My skin never looked so good), I exchanged the shampoo and conditioner to the fancy kind. I got 3 bars of soap (that apparently last 4x longer than your average soap, so we'll be putting that to the test), salon hair spray, and some hair creme. I also got 2 free products that everyone gets when they sign up. I picked lotion and sports drink packets. I have just started using these things and so far I am loving them! At first I didn't think I'd be impressed with their products, but I truly am their new biggest fan. I love looking through their catalog and thinking about what else I need to get and looking forward to putting each product to the test. I haven't spent any more money than I normally would each month, and they have so many products that I am confident that I'll be a permanent customer.

Things I am looking forward to buying: Laundry detergent, facial treatment, more make up (all of their make up is top notch), first aid kit, cologne (smells freakin' amazing!), pre natal vitamins, protein shakes, hand soap, deodorant, sun screen, just to name some. They also have lots of vitamins, cold allergy & sinus medicine, candles & air fresheners, cereal, cookies, crackers, gum, creams & lotions, dental care, dishwashing aids, drinks and shakes, foot care, pet care, skin therapy, shaving stuff, nutrition bars, and more.

Anyways, I guess my point is is that I think everyone could benefit from being a Melaleuca preferred customer. It's no risk and I think you should try it out. Just e-mail me ( if you want more information and I'd be happy to tell you more about it. It's not just great for big families (that was Nate and my first worry, but we found that they provide things that we are already buying every month). So no pressure, if you like using expensive, toxic products then more power to you :) But if you'd like to switch stores, then let me know

Check them out

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Blaine's Birth Story

Blaine Rockne Mower
October 29, 2011
10:47 pm
6lbs 12oz
20 inches

The Beginning

I took a year and a half of anticipating pregnancy before we got pregnant with Blaine. Nate and I were sure that we would need medical interference in order to have kids, but we never saw a doctor. We prayed and prayed for a baby.

In February (around the 28th), I was in Las Vegas attending two back to back photography conventions. I was staying with Andrew and Rachel McBride and although I hate being away from Nate, I was having a really good time. The day before I went back home to Rexburg, My Boss (Travis Gugelman) had me bring a large box of scarves that we were selling for charity to Lori Nordstrom’s class. The box was large and awkward to carry, and I couldn’t pick it up by myself. I was desperately trying to drag it down the endless hallways when a man came up and picked up the box, and helped me all the way to the end. Naturally, I was grateful, but for some reason I started crying uncontrollably while thanking him repeatedly. I went back to Rachel and Andrew’s that night and we watched the TV show “The Biggest Loser.” During elimination, I started to cry again. Then, I decided to go to walmart and get a pregnancy test in hopes that there was a reason for all my uncontrollable crying. The box said that it works best if you take the test in the morning, so I hid the test in my purse and waited until morning.

I woke up about 6am and after reading the instructions over and over again, I took the test. Sure enough I saw a little plus sign indicating that I was pregnant. It was kind of hard to make out so I kept second guessing myself but in a few minutes, it was clear that it was positive. I didn’t quite know what to do. Andrew and Rachel were still asleep so I just sat there, reading the instructions over again to make sure I had done everything right and staring at the test result trying to let it sink in. It didn’t sink in. It felt fake. There was no way it was true. I called my cousin Brandon Lilly and told him that I was pregnant and had him call Nate to tell him the news. (A few years earlier Brandon and I had joked about him being the first one to know when I got pregnant, so I followed through). I waited to hear back from Nate.

Meanwhile, Rachel and Andrew woke up and sent me on my way home. I wanted to tell them, but I still wasn’t convinced I was even pregnant, and I still hadn’t talked to Nate. Finally, Nate called me but didn’t say anything about getting a call from Brandon, so I chatted with him for a chunk of time and then he said “So, I got a really weird phone call from Brandon this morning.” And I said “And you didn’t call me until now!?” Nate pretty much had the same reaction as me. It felt fake, we weren’t sure if it was really true. It’s what we’ve been waiting for for so long but now that it was here we couldn’t believe it! A few weeks later we went to the doctor and sure enough, we were pregnant!

I hate to admit it, but we called Blaine “Gwen” up until we got the ultrasound that told us we were having a boy. We knew we would name our boy Blaine, but I was kind of set on having a girl (after all, I only have sisters so I couldn’t imagine raising a boy).

Pregnancy was really easy for me. I didn’t have hardly any symptoms besides a growing belly. I grew even less fond of Chinese food, and for a week I wanted Zesty Italian dressing and a salad at every meal. Oh, and a Jacks Spicy Chicken Sandwich always seemed to hit the spot. Even in my last trimester, I wasn’t too uncomfortable and everything went really smoothly. When people would ask me how I was doing I would tell them that I was doing great and that pregnancy was easy, but it also was really boring. I hated waiting and counting down the days, I just wanted Blaine here!

Approaching The Due Date

I had a regular apointment with the Doctor on Thursday, Ocober 13th. Dr Lovell had me lay down and felt my tummy to make sure Blaine was still head down (he had been for two weeks previously) and found that Blaine was transverse (sideways). They gave me an ultrasound to see exactlly how he was positioned and the ultrasound tech kept saying things like “that sure is an odd positions” and “I wonder how he got like that.” Neither of which were too comforting to hear. I asked her if there was cause for concern and she said that they like to see the babies head down at this point. She said they might have to take me to the hospital to get the baby turned and if things didn’t go well there was a small chance that they’d c-section him. That was suprising to hear and I suddenly felt very unprepared to have a baby.

I called Nate while I was waiting for Dr Lovell to come back in and told him to come down to the Dr’s office. Dr Lovell came back and said he thought that he could physically turn Blaine back there, and I wouldn’t have to go the hospital or anything (which I would have to if he was breech). Blaine quickly and painlessly slipped back into a head down pose with just a few pushed from the Doctor. The Doctor told me that if he kept flipping sideways, then they’d have to manually flip him again and induce me to insure that we was in the right position for labor. If I started labor and he was sideways, they’d have to do a c-section.

Nate got there just as I was leaving and I had him take me out to lunch. We ate at Great Harvest while we looked out the large window in the front. I was pretty shook up. Up until then Five days after the appointment, Blaine moved sideways again. Not very much, but enough to have me worried. I moved my Dr’s appointment up a day but when I got there, Blaine had moved back to where he was supposed to be. He wasn’t really engaged down into the pelvis, but he was at least facing the right way. The Doctor told me that he might not be engaging for lots of reasons. My pelvis might not be shaped comfortably for his head, his head might be too big, he might have his hands up by his face (that’s the one I think it was based on the fact that once he was born, Blaine always had his hands up by his face), or it could just be a fluke and for no reason at all he just wasn’t ready to engage.

Not to get graphic, but the baby's head has to put pressure of the cervix in order to stimulate labor (or so my dr. tole me). With Blaine being a little floater, there was no pressure and my cervix wouldn’t dilate and it was really high. Blaine did not seem interested in labor and it stayed that way up until his due date. The week before his due date, the doctor brought up the idea of being induced. He told me that it’s best if babies come before their due date, and they wouldn’t let me go a week past it. Since Blaine was still just floating around, he predicted that things would never progress and I’d eventually have to be induced anyway. He also said that the sooner I got Blaine out, the safer he would be since there’s a change he will get tangled in his chord. He also said that there is little correlation between inductions and c-sections, but I was already a high risk c-section because Blaine was so high up, and if there was a reason he wasn’t coming down then he probably would never come down. He also told me that my labor and especially pushing would probably be extra long since both Blaine and my body didn’t seem to be gearing up for delivery.

I didn’t want to be induced. I wanted to labor a bunch at home and then have everything go normally. I told Nate that we needed to be mentally prepared for a c-section. I knew that if they told me it’d have to be that way, I would be scared, so I tried to expect it so that I wouldn’t freak out if it happened.

October 25th finally came! That was Blaine’s official due date. Kathleen and Abigail had come up on the 18th, and my last day at work was the 21st, so Kathleen and I had all day to work on my scrapbook. She got me all the supplies and taught me how to design the pages. She’s a master scrap booker and it was so much fun putting the pages together. It was a pre-designed scrapbook, so we designed the pages and wrote down what size picture would go where so that I could just insert pictures once Blaine was here. Time flew by and it was a great way to spend Blaine’s due date.

The next day, October 26th, I had my last doctors appointment. Again I wasn’t dilated and Blaine was just kind of floating. Dr. Lovell said he would bet that I would be in the same boat next week, and he felt like it would be best if I got induced. I went home, called Nate, and then called the dr’s office to have them schedule my induction. I told them that I did not want to be induced on the 30th or the 31st (I did not want a Halloween baby). So they scheduled me for Saturday, October 29th at 11am. This would be perfect because my mom and dad would be in town that Thursday through Sunday Plus, the 29th was my mom’s 50th birthday (although I was sure that since my labor would be long that I would have Blaine on the 30th).

My parents came on the 27th and bought Nate and I new bed sheets and a mattress pad for my birthday and took us out to Famous Daves. That night Kathleen came to our house and we all were able to spend time together. The next night Nate and my parents went to the Romance theater for some Halloween folk music and stories. It was a lot of fun.

Labor and Delivery

We woke up, ate breakfast (I had a jamba juice as the hospital told me to come having eaten a “light” breakfast) and checked in to the hospital. I had had my little hospital bag packed for weeks and it was exciting to finally get to load it in the car. Mom, Kathleen, Nate and I got there a little before 11am, filled out a bunch of paperwork, and were brought to a delivery room. It was a really nice hospital with plenty of seating in that room as well as a big window that let in plenty of natural light.

My first nurse’s name was Audra. She was tall and super skinner with the coldest hands I think I have ever felt. She tried twice to get an IV in my hand and then she got another nurse to come help her. The other nurse did it on her second try, so I ended up with four holes in my hands when it was all done. I didn’t mind. I felt bad for the nurse who I’m sure hated to work with my tiny veins.

After the IV drama, Audra asked me a bunch of medical history questions. Then Dr. Meredith was the doctor on call that day. (There are two doctors at my clinic, Dr. Lovell is my main one, and Dr. Meredith was the same Dr. who delivered Diedre’s baby Erik.) He showed up and broke my water somewhere between 12-1pm. He checked my cervix and said that I was dilated to a 2 and was 70% effaced, but Blaine was still floating. Then he said he’d check back with me later that afternoon. The nurses started me on pitocin sometime between 1-2pm and I began having mild contractions.

Dad and Jet showed up a little later, and we all just hung out. There was a TV in the room and so after Dad took Nate out to Costa Vita for lunch, Nate brought the DVD’s. We watched Tangled.

By time it was about 5pm, I was in hard labor. Mom and Kathleen timed my contractions and recorded them to give us something to do. I just wanted to hold Nate’s hand, so he brought his chair next to my bed and complied with my wishes. He was so sweet to me the whole time.

My contractions were about every 3 minutes and lasting for 1.5 minutes, so I really wasn’t getting much of a break. The nurse told me that I could have some nubain dripped into my IV that would help take the edge off. I was happy to have something to take off the edge. The drug made me light headed, but made contractions much much easier to tolerate.

After an hour they asked me if I wanted more nubain, or if I was ready for the epidural. I was dilated to a 5, so I told them I was ready for the epidural. They had everyone but Nate leave the room and the anesthesiologist assisted by a nurse administer the epidural. I have a minor case of scoliosis, so it took two tries to get it right, but it was easy and a lot less scary than I had envisioned. After that was over, everyone came back in the room. The nurse asked me if I felt the contraction that I was having and I couldn’t feel a single thing! I was so happy.

Then the nurse informed me that she was going to call my doctor because the baby’s heart rate was dropping with each contraction. That’s what happened to Andrea before she had a c-section. My dad tried to calm me down and said the same thing happened to Suzanne when she had Tessa, and everything worked out and she didn’t have to have a c-section. I asked the nurse if his heart rate just started dropping after the epidural, and she said that it had started a little before I got the epidural. She called the doctor two times, giving him updates. Then he came in and told me that it was time to get the baby delivered.


I thought I was ready to hear that news, but emotionally I was not. I immediately started to cry and shake. My mind was calm and I new everything was going to be OK, but I just kept shivering and crying. Before I knew it, there were a bunch of people in the room prepping me for surgery. The anesthesiologist kept talking to me gently to get me to calm down. Then a nurse asked if we were LDS and if I’d like my husband to give me a blessing. The staff left the room and Nate and Dad gave me a blessing. All I remember is hearing that I could be calm and that everything would be OK. That gave me the strength I needed to feel and act a little calmer.

The staff came back in and wheeled me to the surgery room. I have no idea where the room is located. I was just staring up at the ceiling, listening to the anesthesiologist continue to talk calmly to me. He was so awesome. They brought me to the surgery room and lifted my body onto a new bed. I have no idea what the room looked like or how many people were in it. I just kept my eyes on the ceiling and continued to listen and talk with the anesthesiologist.

Soon Nate came in, dressed up like a doctor so it took me a few seconds to recognise him. He stood by my head and put his hands on my cheeks. Soon the curtain was up and Dr. Meredith asked me if I felt anything. I said “no” to which he told me he had just pinched me with the hemostats. It was go time. Nate was sitting with his face right next to mine to keep me calm, but I knew he’d rather be watching the surgery. I told him that I wanted him to watch, so he stood up (keeping his hands on my cheeks) and answered my questions about what they were doing. The anesthesiologist was still there, next to Nate talking with us and keeping me calm.

I was told when they had cut each layer and then I felt a really weird tug. Then they told me I would feel some pressure and I felt a hand pressing down on the top of my stomach. Then Nate told me that he could see Blaine. I asked if he had hair and Nate said yes! They told me I would get to see the baby before they took it to the NICU. Suddenly they showed Blaine to me over the curtain for about half a second and then whisked him off to the NICU. I didn’t get a good look at him. I just kind of saw a flash of a baby and then he was gone. I didn’t know it at the time, but Blaine wasn’t doing so well and they needed to rush him off ASAP.

I got a little emotional about the thought of having Blaine safely here. I was relieved about how the surgery was going. I stayed in that room while they stitched me up (oh, and I also had a mole near my incision and my Dr. asked me if I wanted that removed while he was stitching things up and I said yes. So I got free mole removal as well). It took longer than I expected to get stitched up. They had to stitch three different layers separately: my uterus, my muscles, and my skin. When it was complete, they pulled me back onto the delivery bed and wheeled me to the recovery room.

I passed my family in the hallway and got to wave to them. In the recovery room I looked down at myself and saw that I had a bandage from blood being drawn, a new wristband, and monitors hooked up to my chest. I asked the anesthesiologist when all that happened and he said “yeah, you weren’t very happy when we put those on you.” Apparent those things had happened when they were prepping me right before I got the blessing.

Soon mom, dad, Kathleen, and Jet were in the room and following them came Nate and Blaine! It had been a little over an hour since he was delivered but time had flown by so I didn’t feel separated from him. I was so delighted to finally get to hold him!

He was so little. So cute! I was so happy. I couldn’t imagine that this was my son! That I get to have him forever and he will always be a part of my life now. My memory goes a little foggy after that. After all, it was after midnight. Everyone but Nate stepped outside while the nurse helped me nurse Blaine for the first time. Then mom, dad, and Jet left after a little while and Kathleen stayed a little longer. Nate held Blaine the majority of the time and soon it was just Nate, Blaine, and me.

The nurse came in every few hours and helped me nurse Blaine and then at 5am, Nate and I were moved into the mother baby unit. It was a larger and more comfortable room and Nate was able to get his bet set up for a better rest. The nurse had me stand up and lift my feet for a few seconds. They had told me that the more I get up, the better I’ll recover so the nurse encouraged me to just try to stand to give me motivation.

We stayed in the hospital until Tuesday, November 1st. Mom and dad had to fly back to AZ on Sunday, Oct. 30th and it was hard for them to say goodbye. Abigail came and met Blaine and so did a bunch of other visitors throughout those few days. I would try to get out of bed and walk around the hallway each time I fed Blaine. I would try to add a lap each time, but found it hard to get past 9 laps. They kept me medicated on motrin and percocet and I really enjoyed holding an ice pack on my tummy.

For Halloween, all the nurses dressed up like characters from Alice in Wonderland. My nurse (whose name was Neacie) was the mad hatter. She was my favorite nurse and took great care of me. Kathleen had bought a little tiger costume for Blaine and we dressed him in that for part of the day.

Going Home

Tuesday night finally came and we went home. I must say that I was a little sad to leave the hospital because the nurses were taking such good care of me, and I couldn’t imagine getting in and out of my own bed without the ability to adjust any settings. But I still had Kathleen and Nate to help me once I got home.

I got showered up, changed into my own clothes and we dressed Blaine up in his first outfit besides the little onsie that the hospital dressed him in, and of course his Halloween costume. He wore a little navy blue onsie with a frog on it, little baby blue pants, and his little black fleece jacket. He looked so cute! I loved dressing him in his little clothes. I was wheeled to the car and we drove home to our little basement apartment.

The more time passed the more in love with Blaine I have fallen. He is the most precious baby! Such a good baby too. Everything is easy about him and he hardly cries and he always goes right back to sleep after eating in the night. Everyone who meets him can't stop repeating how cute they think he is. Nate and I love to just look at him and comment about how there isn’t anything more precious in the whole world.

Everything was easier than I thought it would be with Blaine. Pregnancy was a breeze, I pretty much skipped delivery with the c-section from which I healed very quickly from, and he was so good once he was born. I am so lucky to have him in my life and I just LOVE being his mother. I love you Blaine!

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Last Prego Post

I had another doctors appointment on Thursday. Blaine is still floating and there is no pressure on my cervix so I'm still not dilated at all. My Dr. Thinks I'll stay in this boat for a few more weeks, and they don't let you go past 1 week so I'm scheduled for an induction tomorrow (Saturday the 29th) at 11am. I am at a higher risk for a c-section because there might be a reason that he wont descend and if he can't descend then they'll have to c-section him. My Dr. also told me that I will probably have a long labor since he's so high up. Nate and I are preparing for the worst so that when everything goes smoothly we can be relieved, but if things don't go so well then we're mentally and emotionally prepared. I think that the worst that will happen is a long labor followed by a c-section. I really hope things go smoother than that, but I guess all that matters is that I live through it and Blaine is healthy and happy in the end. Think of me tomorrow and keep us in your prayers. I'll let you know how it all works out.

Friday, October 21, 2011

39.5 Weeks

One of the perks for working for a master photographer.
Thanks Travis!