Some thoughts on a Monday

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Is it awful if I admit that this stage is my favorite so far? 6 months is probably as close to perfect as it could get & I wish I could freeze time right now. Mason’s such a good sleeper again (hallelujah 🙌) taking great naps and sleeping through the night! He’s so energetic and playful and his little personality reveals itself a little more each day. He squeals with joy when we take him on the swing at the park. He’s easy to take places. He likes his routine. And he’s so excited when he sees us. It’s so fun to be his favorite people. And oh, the giggles he gives me when I tickle his baby chub and hold him upside down. And those soft, squishy cheeks, I could smooch ’em all day! And I do! One of my favorite things that he does is when he’s getting sleepy he grabs both sides of my head at the root of my hair and tries to give me open mouth slobers? Kisses? I don’t really know what he’s doing but it’s hilarious and I love it. I don’t love, however, when he wants to wrap my hair around his thumb and suck on it, yuck! He’s on the verge of learning how to crawl and while it’s so exciting and fun to watch him attempt to take on the world (or our living room), it makes me sad because it means he’s growing up and soon won’t be my baby who depends on me for everything. Mom problems.

Also on my mind lately, I’m so grateful for the community that is motherhood. I love having friends that are going through all the same things as me. We get to share our victories and our challenges and help strengthen each other. So thank you to each of you wonderful examples who let me text you daily and ask you questions and share my frustrations and humor me. It’s so nice to talk to someone who gets it and I’m sure Mark appreciates me not having to tell him every little detail like how many loads of laundry I’ve done today or about the nap Mason took😜

Mason’s 1st Christmas

Obviously Mason is too young to understand what Christmas or even presents are this year, but having a baby in the house made Christmas so magical. I can’t even imagine how much fun it will be next year when he can tear wrapping paper off presents and play with toys and then his excitement and understanding in the following years.

We had a great time with both of our families (we really hit the jackpot in the family department.) Both are so understanding of our need and desire to spend time with both families and it’s really nice that we never feel any pressure from anyone. We spent Christmas Eve at my parents house and this year when we read the Nativity story from the Bible, we had a real baby boy to play Jesus! That was a first for my family! Then my sisters & Mason opened pjs and Mark & I opened the game Lagretto (our new tradition for married couples is games instead of pjs.) Then my mom read a Christmas book and we all went to look at Christmas lights.

Christmas morning we went over to my parents house bright and early to open gifts and Skype with Rachel, who comes home from her mission in Spain in about 3 weeks! Then we went to Mark’s parents’ house and opened more gifts and had a very nice Christmas dinner.

We were very spoiled by our families, especially Mason 😉 I’m writing this post on my new Chromebook that Mark & my parents gave me for Christmas! I no longer have to wait for Mark to get home from work to borrow his computer!! We had a wonderful Christmas and are so grateful for our families and especially grateful for how much our families love our baby Mason. *Side note-all our darling nieces call Mason ‘Baby Mason’ it’s so cute. He will probably 10 years old and they will still call him Baby Mason, it has a nice ring to it 🙂

This Christmas I was able to understand Mary and Christ a little deeper because of the love I have for my son. He has taught me what Christ-like love is. I am so grateful for my Savior and for the comfort, love and understanding.  I hope you all had a very merry Christmas!

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Mark gave me this beautiful bar necklace that has Mason’s birth date on it
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Grandma reading Mason a Christmas book 🙂

mason giftmanger  bow nosesisters me & mason grandpasleeping familydad & mason  stocking family christmas

Birth Story: Mason Blake Warren

Monday, October 6, my due date, came and I had a doctor appointment first thing that morning. Mark had offered to come with me, which I was so grateful for, because I was a little nervous and anxious to see if I had made any progress and if our baby was going to be born that day. The doctor told me that there hadn’t been much progress, I was only barely dilated to a 2 and about 70% effaced, so my doctor striped my membranes to see if that would put me into labor and then she asked if we wanted to set an induction date. I immediately said yes because I was so tired of being pregnant and was feeling discouraged that I wasn’t making progress. My dr said she was going out of town for the weekend so I could be induced either Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday evening. I looked at Mark and said “how about Monday?”, thinking the sooner the better. My dr responded “okay, so tonight?” Shocked, Mark and I looked at each other, both assuming she was talking about next week. After what felt like a lifetime, I asked Mark if that was ok, he said of course and I gave my dr the okay to call the hospital to tell them we were checking in that evening. As we left the dr office and were talking about it on the way home, Mark and I both felt at peace with the decision. I obviously hadn’t planned on being induced, I honestly thought the baby would come early, but I guess that’s the thing with pregnancy, it never really goes according to plan. I was full term and it was my due date and it just felt like the right decision.

So we went home and I gathered our hospital bags and pillows and a blanket for Mark while he went to the gym. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and finishing last minute prep and saying things like “this is the last day of us being just a couple!” Then we went to get a lite dinner before heading to the hospital at 6:00pm. When we got there the nurses took me into our room, which was huge and on the other side of the birthing center from the main door and nurses station so it was nice and quiet (we really lucked out!). The nurse got my IV placed and started while I signed a couple of forms. It was so calm and nothing like I was expecting over the past 9 months! Then in walk my mom and sister Courtney to surprise me! It was nice to see them and have them visit. Within the hour I got a new nurse, my favorite nurse during my stay, Katie. She was just a few years older than us and so friendly and talkative (which Mark didn’t like during the night because he wanted me to sleep) and actually listened to me and my body. She got me started on cervidil, which thins and ripens your cervix (isn’t it funny that they refer to it as ripening, as if my cervix is a piece of fruit or something). Sometime that night, they hooked me up to an antibiotic because I tested positive for Group B Strep. I’m super sensitive to antibiotics and of course this one was in thePenicillin  family, which I’m allergic to but they thought I could handle it. Within 15 minutes my arm with the IV started to turn red and burn and my scalp and face got really itchy. So they immediately stopped the antibiotic and flushed me with saline and benedril. A couple hours later they gave me a different antibiotic which was fine until the end when it made me throw up (I had to do another dose of it the next day when I was actually in labor and I threw up then too, which is really difficult and painful when you can’t move well because of the epidural and the contractions, let me tell you).  Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep that night with all this going on and on top of it I was getting contractions every 1-7 minutes.

At 8:00am my dr came in to check on me and they started me on pitocin to induce labor. Within the next couple of hours the contractions started getting much stronger and Mark was helping me breath through them. I asked my nurse when we could start talking about getting an epidural and she responded in her heavy middle-eastern accent “whenever you want my dear, you are the boss.” That was great to hear but it didn’t really answer my question as to when I should get it or how much progress needed to be made before I got it so it wouldn’t slow down labor. At 11:15 I decided the pain was pretty good and it didn’t need to try to tough it out so I told my nurse that I was ready for the epidural. She went to go get the anesthesiologist and I started to get nervous. Mark was standing by my right side watching the contractions and baby’s heart rate on the monitor and I told him I was scared to get the epidural. The anesthesiologist, a little Asian man, practically came bouncing in the room and started talking our heads off. Most of the time I had no idea what he was talking about but I think he was just trying to distract me. The epidural took somewhere around 15-30 minutes from start to finish and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, although I could feel it curve to the right when he placed it. I immediately hated the feeling. I don’t know if it was the tingling in my legs or the fact that I could barely move them, but I didn’t like it. Right off the bat my right side was much more numb than my left. The whole day feels like a blur, I think we just tried to rest and get some sleep and we watched tv. The Giants were playing in the playoffs and Mark was watching that on his iPad. At about 8:00pm the epidural began to wear off and I could feel the contractions pretty strong on my left side. I told my nurse, an older stern woman, and she not very nicely told me it was the round ligaments and the epidural wouldn’t do anything for it and walked out of the room. I think I started crying after she left, from a combination of the pain, exhaustion, and her lack of empathy.  Mark could see that I was drained and secretly texted my parents and asked them to come visit and raise my spirits. I was totally shocked and confused when they walked in my room and I started crying. They hung out for about an hour chatting, which was a nice distraction. During that time Mark went to find my nurse to tell her that I was in a lot of pain and needed the anesthesiologist to come. After waiting what felt like forever, the nurse finally called him to my room and he topped me off by injecting something into my epidural line and then turned up the epidural. About an hour and a half later it wore off again, this time it was super painful. My nurse said it was the baby’s shoulder hitting a nerve down low on my left side. So the anesthesiologist came and topped me off a final time. About 20 minutes later my nurse came back in and checked me to see how things were progressing. She got everything set up for delivery and had Mark stand on my right side and told me it was time to start pushing. Throughout my entire pregnancy I told myself that when this moment came I was going to push as hard as I could every time, from the first push, so I hopefully wouldn’t be pushing for hours and hours.

She taught Mark hour to count for me while I pushed. It was nice to have his voice and the counting to focus on while I pushed. About an hour into pushing (if felt a lot shorter than an hour to me) my doctor came in and I knew we were close to meeting our baby! The nurse sent Mark to my left side so he would be by the little incubator where they would do the Apgar tests and everything when the baby was born. At this point I was completely exhausted and maybe a little delirious from the pain on my left side, I was yelling things in between pushes like “just pull him out!” And Mark said I was making jokes, but I don’t remember what I said or trying to be funny…

Finally, after an hour and a half of pushing, my doctor said to push really hard one more time, so I gave it all I had and out came his head. My doctor told me to stop pushing (that was super painful to not push) but apparently the cord was wrapped around his neck once. The doctor unwrapped it (neither Mark or I knew this was going on, she told us after) and on the next contraction she told me to push once more and out he came, a bright pink, long baby with big hands. When she pulled him out, he pooped all over her! She laid him on my chest and he immediately found my face and stared into my eyes for what felt like an eternity. Time seemed to stop. I will never be able to describe that moment, but it changed my life forever and makes me cry every time I think about it. It was as if he knew who I was and was finally getting to see what I looked like after listening to my heart and voice for the past 9 months. I know it sounds crazy, but for at least a month before he was born I prayed that he would know me and would love me, and that moment was an answer to my prayers. I started crying and looked up at Mark, who was also crying, and then realized that Mason wasn’t crying. I kept asking, “why isn’t he crying, is he alright?” The pediatrician just smiled at me and said “he’s fine, don’t worry he will start crying in a minute when we have to give him shots.” Mark cut the umbilical cord and they took him a few feet over to the incubator to give him shots and clean him up. I didn’t notice any of that going on because I delivered the placenta and my doctor gave my three stitches. A few minutes later they gave him back to me for skin to skin contact and everyone left the room. It was just our new little family of three.

Mason Blake Warren was born on October 7, 2014 at 11:44pm. He weighed 8pounds 1 ounce and was 21 inches long (much bigger than what my dr estimated, she said he would be a high 6pounder.)

I wish I would have written down the experience while I was in the hospital because some of the little details are blurry to me now, but one thing I will never forget is how loved and respected I felt by Mark. He was an amazing support and partner and rose far above any expectation I had. He was my rock. And there is no better feeling than watching him love our baby.

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Family Motto

I’ve never really been the type that makes New years resolutions (or even written goals for myself.) I know it’s weird and maybe makes me look lazy. I don’t know what it is about my personality but it simply isn’t me. I think it’s great and really admire those who make resolutions and stick to them!  I’ve been feeling like I need something to motivate me this year.

In college I wrote motto’s for myself a couple of years and one in particular got me through a really tough semester. So I thought that it would be fun for me and Mark to write a family motto! We sat down and tried to think of something that would inspire us to be better this year. It was fun listening to things that inspire Mark and being able to share weaknesses that we want to work on. We couldn’t think of just one so we have two motto’s for 2014. We are going to make this a family tradition!

I’m excited to wake up each morning (I’m not actually excited to wake up in the morning, I am NOT a morning person. Mark describes trying to wake me up in the morning for work as WWIII), read our motto’s on our mirror and start my day off with a smile!

Warren Family motto for 2014:

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These two are just quotes I really like:

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2013 Wrap up

I love to look back over the past year at New Years and see all the blessings that have unfolded during that year. I can never just pick one highlight of each month so sorry there are multiple pictures for some months!

January- we started 2013 at the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl. It was so much fun and something we will always remember! We also went to Kauai with the Warrens!

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February-we added sweet little Leo to our family! He makes us smile and laugh every day.

ImageMarch- Rachel got her Mission call to Spain! Mark and I celebrated our 24th birthdays and lots of other family birthdays.

ImageImageApril- we got to go to the temple with Rachel, it was a great experience. I love my family 🙂

ImageMay- we got to meet our newest niece Coraline! Taylor turned sweet 16!

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June- our family said goodbye to middle school and went to Courtney’s promotion.

ImageJuly- this was a busy month for our family. My mom, Rachel and me went to southern California for my cousin Natasha’s wedding. While we were there we hit up Disneyland. It was a blast! We then said goodbye to Rachel for 18 months and our family headed to Utah for a Barker family reunion. It was great to be with family and especially my 99 year old great-grandfather! While there I got to catch up with my favorite roommates and their husbands! It was definitely a highlight of the year.

ImageImageImageAugust- Mark and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary with a getaway to beautiful Jenner, CA. Mark is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I’m so blessed to share my life with this cute boy.

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September- I went shooting with my little sister Courtney.

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October- We were very fortunate to get to go to Hawaii for a 2nd time this year! This time we went to Oahu. I got to check paddle boarding off my bucket list, I loved it! We also threw a Murder Mystery Halloween party.

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November- we celebrated my wonderful dad’s 50th birthday!

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December- it has been a very busy month for us, per usual. We started the month off by going down to southern California for our niece Belle’s baptism. We obviously couldn’t pass up an opportunity to go Disneyland and see the Christmas Decorations. It was the BEST!

We also got to spend LOTS of time with family.

My dad took us to the Fight Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park to watch BYU & Washington State. We love going and especially love the perks of my dad’s job! Thanks Dad!

December was a tough month for our little kitty. He turned 1 this month! We had to take him to the vet a couple of times and also thought we were going to have to put him down a couple of time. It was emotionally exhausting but we are happy we get to have him longer. Hopefully 2014 is a little easier on him.

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2013 was a good year, we were so blessed to have the opportunity to go to Hawaii twice, adopt Leo, send off the cutest little missionary, and spend lots of time with family and friends. I’m so grateful for everyone in my life. I’m excited to see what 2014 holds! Happy New Year!

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the haps

Here’s what’s been going on lately:

My dad took us all (me, Mark, Taylor, Courtney and our mom) to the BYU vs. Stanford basketball game. Before the game we went to dinner at the Stanford shopping center where we spotted our first Christmas tree of the season! Of course we had to take some pictures in front of it!photo 1

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I did a little crafting with my cute friend Steph. We painted a few pine cones, but mostly chatted, it was wonderful! (the pine cones don’t look so great in the picture but they are darling in person. I love them!)

gold spray painted pine cones
  • glittered tips

And of course Mark cuddled with Leo. Doesn’t Leo look like he just loves it?! (Sorry instagram followers, I know you already get too much of Leo on there and now on my blog too. I just can’t help it!)photo 5

Also, earlier this year when Leo was a very mischievous kitten, he swatted my beloved Chi hair straightener off the counter and one of the plates broke off and was hanging by the wire! I could have died in that moment, for those of you who haven’t seen my hair dry naturally or with a blow dryer, I look like I have a lions mane, it’s out of control (i.e.- one time in college a huge group of us went to my grandma’s house in Draper for conference weekend. I fell asleep with my hair wet in a towel on my head. When I woke up in the morning my hair was pretty much an afro, *Melissa & Glenna-why didn’t we take a picture of it?!)  Anyways, after pulling myself together I grabbed my straightener and the gorilla glue and went to town. It worked, but just for a few months, yesterday my trusty companion officially died on me. So I had to run to Ulta after work to get a new one. It was an inner struggle for me. I don’t know why, it is the exact same brand, same color, same everything. But a part of me felt like my hair will never be in control again.

However, I am happy to say that after using my new straightener today, my hair looks the same. Life goes on. RIP trusty straightener that I’ve had since my senior year of high school. We’ve been through some good times and some bad times together, and definitely some bad hair colors.

On second thought…

This past weekend was General Conference, more on that later, but we also had the pleasure of watching the kids I used to stay with for a week during the summers when I came home from college. I love these 4 kids. The youngest one, Ali, wore her baptism dress to our wedding, before she even wore it to her own baptism because she wanted to match me, so cute! Anyways, it’s been a few years since I’ve watched them and I pictured them still being the little kids they were. But they are all grown up now, the oldest is a senior in high school and Ali is 10! We had a good time, it was funny to watch Mark and then hear him say, “How did you do this by yourself?” These kids have  A LOT of energy and at the conclusion of the weekend I couldn’t help but think, “on second thought, maybe I do want to wait longer to have kids…” Granted, I know your kids don’t come out 4 at a time (usually) and 12 years old, but I couldn’t help but think about how good life is right now. It’s quiet and just the two of us (plus Leo, who is great because we can leave him by himself all weekend with a bunch of food left out, you can’t do that with a kid!) and we can pack up and go somewhere whenever we feel like it, aka freedom.

I’ll be thrilled when that day comes but for right now I’m enjoying this stage. I guess Mark’s going to get his way a little longer.

Now for some un-related pictures!  Picture 1: Mark is the scout leader for the 11 year olds. He’s loving it… ha! 😉  #2: This is Mark’s favorite thing to do to Leo right now, he thinks this face is hilarious! It drives me nuts!  #3: We are hosting our first annual Halloween party! (Annual is contingent upon this one being a hit…we will see) I’ve always wanted an excuse to use a wax sealer and thought Halloween party invites were the perfect one! It was so much fun and now I’m looking for any excuse to wax seal everything, bills, mortgage payment, etc…

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snap shot catch up

This year is flying by. I can’t believe September is almost over and fall is here! Since I am no longer in school and seasons don’t correlate with homework or finals, fall is hands down my favorite season. I love all things summer but there is something that brightens my soul when the leaves turn red and that crisp air allows you to snuggle at night. I get so antsy anticipating when it will be socially acceptable to make pumpkin cookies and watch Hocus Pocus. If it was up to me I would be doing those two things year round but Mark is not ok with it. I thought before fall is in full force and the holidays are upon us, I would post a little catch-up through my iPhone photos.

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Darling Hermana Barker in Spain!
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Courtney shooting!

mark    me

I picked up knitting, hopefully I can finish this scarf.

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I made my first batch of Pumpkin cookies this week, too soon?! nope!
I went thrift shopping with my mom this past weekend and scored this lovely hobnail vase. I am also addicted to the Volcano candle…yum!
We had a huge rain storm this weekend, first of the season. Ironically our guest bathroom/guest closet flooded. The two were not correlated.

On a side note, I just got called to be the Beehive Advisor (12-13 year old girls). I will be wearing lipstick to church every Sunday from now on as to try and look a little older…*sigh…baby face trials

Warning: Long over-due post ahead

So much has happened since I last blogged: Rachel, my mom and I went down to Southern California to 1. pick up her visa 2. go to my cousin Natasha & Wes’ wedding 3. see family and 4. go to Disneyland of course! We also sent little Rachy on her way to Spain for the next 18 months and then left the next day to go to Utah for a Barker Family Reunion. This going to be a long post with lots of pictures. Don’t say I didn’t warn you 😉

road tripRoad trip to Southern California

minnie earsNo Disney trip is complete without Minnie Ears

cars landWe have been dying to go to Cars Land, and it was well worth the wait!

photo boothPhoto booth at Natasha and Wes’ wedding

rachelRachel leaving for Spain

boating  Mark, Courtney, me and our cousin Robbie. Thanks Uncle Mike and Aunt Michelle for taking us! It was a highlight of the trip!

family reunionThe Barker Family

great grandpaOur family with Great Grandpa Flenniken. He’s 99 years old and so sharp. I wouldn’t be surprised if he lives to be 150! He’s the sweetest man I’ve ever met, I hope to be half the person he is.

familyOur family with Grandma Bev stepping in for Rachel 🙂

friends  One of the highlights of the trip was seeing these beauties and their husbands! They are two of my best friends and I’m so glad that it worked out that we could all get together for dinner. Glenna you are a trooper for coming despite being sick! And Melissa I hope your trip to Jacob’s Lake and the Grand Canyon was great! I love you gorgeous souls!

To wrap things up, it was a wonderful couple of weeks. It was harder to say bye to Rachel than I thought it would be, I assumed I would feel like she was just going back to school for the semester. I think the difference is that I can’t just pick up the phone to call her or text her when I feel like it. But 18 months will fly by and will change her life forever. I’m so proud of her and this selfless decision she has made. She’s already been in the MTC in Madrid for 3 weeks. If you want to read her emails you can follow her blog at http://hermanarachelbarker.blogspot.com/

A different view of San Francisco

invented the mission burrito
please excuse the bird…I didn’t mean to flip the camera off, I was just struggling to hold the burrito that weighed that of a small child

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What three year old can wink?! This one!
These girls did work on that banana split!
I thought this house was gorgeous with the succulents on the stairs
Sweet baby Cora
A post isn’t complete without Leo…who is now a lap cat!

While Dave and Lauren were here we went to San Francisco with them for a little day trip. I knew I was in for an adventure because Dave is not one to do the typical touristy day. He beats to his own drum and makes everything more fun. First stop of the day was the Mission. I had never been over to this side of the city, it was like driving into Tijuana or Ensenada! Dave and Mark love Yelp and Dave found the place that made the mission burrito famous. We went there for lunch and boy was it delicious! I scarfed down that monster and enjoyed every bite…I’m embarrassed to admit that I ate more than Mark and Dave but it was so worth it!

After, we went over to Lands End Trails and Seal Rocks, which I had never been to before. It was so beautiful, but a bit chilly. It’s on the West side of the Golden Gate bridge near Bakers beach. I will be going back there to explore the beaches. We drove around the city a little, went down Filbert street, the steepest street, went past Lombard street which was absolutely gorgeous filled with amazing bright hydrangeas, it was unreal! We wanted to go by again to get some pictures but it was too busy.

America’s cup is taking place in the city right now so it was packed! After vetoing Pier 39 due to the crowds we decided to head across the bay and over to Fenton’s Creamery, I was all for this decision. If you have not been to Fenton’s you are missing out big time! They have the most amazing sundays and even their food is great. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

It was also our niece Coraline’s baby blessing so we had a great time all getting together for dinner. I love this sweet little baby and she melted my heart when she smiled at me this weekend!