We're livin' it up on the U.P. - that's Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Punkie is 6 and LOVED Kindergarten! Isaboo is 2 and she's a smiley whirl wind. We also call her Busy-Isi. This year we welcomed little Lorenzo to our family.

Life is great!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I've Been Tagged...

My friend Shantell tagged me...so; here are 7 things about me. (Kinda long sorry!)

1. I worked at Walt Disney World for one semester. I got hired for working in food and beverage but, when I got there I had been assigned to a new position (thank goodness!!!) they were trying out with the college program. I worked in Epcot in Conventions and Special Events. I got to stand guard when families or large companies reserved parts of the park for private parties. I also facilitated those parties, ushered them around from place to place in the park and made sure they had all they needed.

This job also included working the Food and Wine Festival. I requested to not work with the wine so I got to work with the food! I facilitated the guest restaurants and handed out free stuff to park guests. I also got to work at the kid cot where kids came and decorated paper chef's hats with fruits and vegetables cut out of construction paper. I also worked in the guest chef show and handed out the food samplers to the audience after the cooking shows.

And lastly I got to work at the US pavilion for the Candlelight Processional. Basically I was a theater usher and line walker for their amazing Christmas program all about the birth and life of Christ. Disney had a different celebrity guest come for 1, 2, or 3 nights each, to narrate the program. The choir was Disney cast members...not performers, just the workers that serve food, sell merchandise, sweep and clean, etc. There was also a full orchestra! It was WAY cool. (Some of the celebrities I saw and sometimes got to meet - Le Var Burton, James Avery, Gary Sinise, Julie Andrews, Robby Benson, Jodi Benson, and Phylicia Rashad.) I have the CD of the program and Phylicia Rashad (the mom on The Cosby Show) is the narrator. I don't have any pictures of my experience working and playing at Disney World because it was way before I got a digital camera, but I found this picture online of the choir.

The coolest part about that job was that we got free access to all of Disney. I went and rode rides everyday! I also made tons of friends...too bad I'm not in contact with them anymore. (See item 6).

2. I love Montana! I lived in West Yellowstone, MT from the time I was about 4 years old until I was about 11 years old. My parents ran and managed a Motel there, called the Big Western Pine. It was awesome! We had a pop machine and ice machine at our disposal 24-7! We enjoyed warm beautiful summers with a pool and hot tub, hiking, biking and of course visiting Yellowstone Park all the time! We would often go swim at Firehole River. Liz would float down the rapids upstream and end up where we were swimming in the calmer part. Julie would jump off the cliffs and I would just hope my sisters wouldn't die.

In the winter we got to cross country ski for PE at school, downhill ski at Big Sky every Saturday and snowmobile all the time! What wonderful memories.

Later in life I returned to Montana. I served a full-time mission for the LDS church in the Montana Billings Mission, which includes all of Montana (except for West Yellowstone) and about 1/3 of Wyoming. One of the hardest things I've ever done...and yet one of the most rewarding and enjoyable. I wish I had some pictures on my computer but, again this was way before my digital camera.

Places I served: Billings, Big Fork, Laurel, Bel Grade and Billings again. Favorite area was Laurel. Never got to serve in Wyoming...some say I missed out, others say I'm lucky. Guess I'll never know.

3. I am 80 days older than Nathan. I LOVE to travel so, someday, when we are well established I dream of getting a Trip Around the World, as a gift for my birthday. Starting on my birthday we will travel around the world in 80 days!!! NOT in a hot air balloon though. Our trip will end with us returning home the day before Nathan's birthday, because he doesn't really like traveling and being home on his birthday will be HIS birthday gift! And we'll be home just in time to get ready for Christmas! Doesn't that sound like a wonderful dream!

4. I graduated from BYU. Again, one of the hardest things I've done in my life but also very rewarding and character building...not to mention all the knowledge I gained. I love learning!!!

5. I love the sun and to be outdoors when it is warm. I love hiking, biking and camping. I do enjoy some winter sports though I don't ski or snowmobile much anymore...sledding is fun. But, summer is so much more fun because you can just enjoy being outside...whereas in the winter, you go out, you have fun and you get back inside!

6. I have the worst short term memory and a sketchy long term memory. I constantly make lists of things I need to remember. AND I'm really bad at keeping in touch with people. =-( I wish I was better at this!

I can't remember how I was going to expand upon this one, but the rest are each so long, I think I'm okay.

7. I've been to Japan and I LOVED IT!!!






Man! I have TONS of pictures of Japan but, I'll just leave it at these few. I absolutely LOVED IT!!!

I tag...Julie, Sarah, and Kim.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sexy!!!

Nathan's mom gave him a toolbelt which included all the essentials for changing a diaper. It included, tongs for carrying the soiled diaper to the garbage, wipes, diapers, goggles to protect the eyes from the stinging smell (or if she was a boy, from wiz).

Lets see...oh! a clothes pin for his nose, rubber gloves and baby powder. She also wrote a very cute poem to go with the toolbelt which I have included below.

This was the first present I opened at the Freitas baby shower. Lynette handed the wrapped box too me and said, "Open this one first. It's actually for Nathan but opening it here is part of the entertainment." When she said that, I was thinking of what could be in there to contribute to the entertainment at a baby shower and was not expecting this. I opened the gift and caught a glimpse of the toolbelt and the poem sitting on top of the toolbelt. I was instantly emotional (crying).



My family members give good gifts but there is something about the gifts my in-laws (all of them) give, to us and to each other. Often times they MAKE very useful gifts for eath other. Many times Nathan has taken a great deal of time thinking about what to get a sister for Christmas or what to get his mother for mother's day or father for father's day. He always comes up with something useful that they would love and could use, or something to MAKE them that that is thoughtful and sentimental. And when we receive gifts from them, I am touched by their thoughtfulness.

Maybe it's just because the gifts they give are actually wrapped in wrapping paper? I come from a family where we usually give gifts in the bag they came in. Not that that is bad...it's just different.

Anyway, it was kind of awkward when I couldn't stop crying to read the poem...I mean, everyone was probably thinking...why is she crying when she hasn't even read the poem? However, being 9 months pregnant in a room full of women, most of which have had a least one child, they all seemed to understand my emotions, despite the seemingly nonsense of it. My sister-in-law, Sarah read the poem aloud for all to hear, which only made me more emotional.

Though the gift was funny, the thing that touched me about this gift is, that Nathan loves working with tools. He could definitely use a toolbelt. He's a new dad and could definitely use a good laugh about this major aspect of taking care of his new baby. It just seemed to incorporate the event, of receiving a new baby, and Nathan's interests. AND there was a cute, specially written poem! So thoughtful!



NEW DADDY'S TOOLBELT

First clip the clothespin to your nose...
This is just the beginning of your woes!
Carefully pull on each surgical glove
Remember! you do this out of Love.

Don the goggles and you're ready,
Oh, the things you do as a Daddy!
With tongs and diapers, head for the trash
Setting a new record for the 3 yard dash!

Now those wipes will come in handy...
Just a little swipe and all is dandy.
Then sprinkly on a little sweet powder
And you just couldn't be any prouder.

Oops! Hurry and cover that little tush
Before you have a fountain of gush!
And now your reward is one of bliss...
A great big slobbery hug and kiss!

So, I thought I would just share our diaper changing woes. One time, I was changing Mara's diaper...I was taking my time because she was so content, and I was taking extra time to give her an EXTRA good cleaning since she wasn't squirming. Well, she sneezed and blew runny poop all over my leg. NASTY!!!

She has urinated a couple of times when Nathan was changing her. As we change her we have learned to put the clean diaper under her before we even take the soiled diaper off of her. Nathan wishes she would pee before the soiled diaper is removed but, she usually waits and pees in the clean diaper as soon as the soiled diaper is removed.

We love her so much!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

3 Weeks!

I know that doesn’t sound very old but my baby girl is growing so fast. The day after her one week birthday I noticed all of her features were bigger! Her little tiny nose (still little and tiny) was bigger! Her tiny mouth and tiny ears (still little and tiny) were bigger too! We went to see the Pediatrician for her 2 week appointment and I was sure she was either going to be back to her birth weight or heavier. Either way that is good news, but also sad…babies don’t stay babies long enough! She was heavier than her birth weight – 5lbs. 14oz. Two ounces heavier than at birth. She also grew an inch and a half! She is now 19 inches long! I am sure she is over 6lbs. now. STOP GROWING!

She has pretty much slept through the night for three nights, two of those nights were in a row. Some people think we should be waking her up to feed her if she doesn’t wake us up but, the pediatrician said that wasn’t necessary at night…during the day, yes, we need to wake her up at LEAST every 5 hours, but at night, it’s ok. During the day though, she is pretty consistently hungry every 2 and a half to three hours.

She makes the funniest faces. Usually while she is falling asleep. She rolls her eyes back in her head and it freaks us out. She smiles (involuntarily still) and one time even seemed to laugh in her sleep. She makes her mouth into a tight tiny pucker but, her mouth is still barely open. It is hilarious.

When she is wakeful she looks around so curious. And sometimes she just stares and stares. There are times when we are totally baffled as to what she is looking at. I like to think that she can see angels and they are watching over her and amusing her as she adjusts to earth life.

Now, this is a catch up on posting and especially posting pictures. I still need to download the MOST recent pictures but, here are a bunch. Stay tuned for more. I promise to be better about posting more consistently.

This is the day we brought her home from the hospital. She's trying out her first set of wheels. Doesn't she look cozy!
This is Marlayna trying out her next set of wheels. Well, this is the bassinet/baby bed in our room. It only has wheels so that it is easy to move...not really for transportation purposes. Again, doesn't she look so cozy! Don't worry, she doesn't sleep with all these blankets in her bed.
This is her first bath (sponge bath). Nathan is such a great dad! The nasty part of her belly button fell off last Sunday so, now we give her baby baths. Nathan gave her, her first baby bath too (pictures will be posted in the near future). We have to take turns giving her a bath. She gets a bath everyday, because nobody likes a dirty baby.

Getting dressed.


Clean mommy and clean baby!







This is Mara's first bottle. It's still produced by Mommy but, this time fed from Daddy.


This one is kinda hard to see...but so cute!
Sometimes she holds onto her pacifier. She doesn't know that's what she is doing...she doesn't even know that she has hands yet, let alone how to work them but, it's so cute!

Mara had jaundice or was jaundice (not sure how to say that properly) so we had to put her under special lights. Besides actually giving labor to her, it was the hardest thing we have gone through with her, so far.

Praxair dropped the special light box off at our house around 9:30pm on the 24th of April. Late huh! I fed her and we got her into the box around 10pm. We had to keep her under the lights for 2 and a half hours out of ever 3 hours, so pretty much we just had to keep her in the box all the time and only take her out to feed her. It was kind of a nightmare. It's not like we could just throw her in there and then go to bed. We had to make sure the drape stayed over her face and make sure she didn't look at the lights. We were also instructed to not look at the lights, which was very hard.

Needless to say, Mara did not like being in the box. It had a very thin pad in the bottom of it and it was otherwise an over sized industrial plastic suitcase. She wiggled and squirmed and cried for over an hour before she kinda calmed down and went to sleep. To keep her calm we took turns holding both of her hands, the only comforting touch we could offer her. Even then she wasn't restful and would cry and fuss pretty often. Everytime we took her out to feed her, she was so content and then when we put her back it took awhile to calm her down again.

Also, she could only have a diaper on so we had a space heater on to keep her warm which made us completely HOT!

O, I forgot to mention that for the first hour we had to take her temperature every 15 minutes to make sure she was okay under the lights. That was hard too. With a squirming baby it's hard to take an armpit temperature. If we kept her out of the box for more than 45 mintues we had to repeat that hour of checking her temperature every 15 minutes again.

We stayed up all night in a HOT room with an unhappy baby. It was hard...but, we can do hard things.
The next morning we took Mara back to the hospital and repeated the same lab test we had done the three previous days. The nurse stabs her heal and drips her blood into a test tube. We got her back home and put her back into the light box, took her temperature every 15 minutes for an hour. By this time she was sleeping better in the box. We could at least just sit next to her and read a book and if her arms moved the draper we could just fix it and go back to reading. We were very tired though.

Around 3:00pm the peditrician office called and let us know that her lab results were within the safe range for us to stop administering the lights. We were so releived we didn't have to stay up with her another night. That was our greatest fear at that point, but she didn't even have to be in there for 24 hours. What a blessing! Here are some pictures.
Totally upset.
More calm.
Sleeping...kind of.
DON'T LOOK AT THE LIGHTS!!!!

So, cute! She's holding her binky!
Unky Skunky came in to keep mom and dad company for an hour or so in the middle of the night. He finishes work around 1am. And he has a really hard time looking normal in pictures.
That's it for the Biliruben ligths.

Here is a picture of the first time Grandpa Alger held Mara. He came to visit us both nights we were in the hospital but, I think he didn't want to take time away from others holding her.

What a proud Grandpa.

Bouncy Chair! I wish they made adult sized bouncy chairs!



















She often only opens one eyes and looks around.

Mara and daddy laying on the bed.





The many faces of Mara.


















Sleeping with her tonge poking out. Her cousin Sam did this a lot when he was a baby. Cute!