S: Nathan's First Year
BC: ON TO YEAR NUMBER 2
FC: NATHAN'S FIRST YEAR
1: REMEMBERING THE JOURNY AND JOYFUL EXPERIENCES OF THE BIRTH & LIFE OF OUR BABY BOY | DATE: 6/21/2009
2: FIRST PEEK | DATE: 1/29/2009 | HOW MANY WEEKS ALONG: 20 | HOORAY! IT'S A BOY!!!
3: MOTHER-TO-BE | DATE May 19, 2009 | MOMMY'S NAME KARALEE ASHTON MERRILL
4: NEW BEGINNINGS | YOUR PARENTS | MOMMY AND DADDY'S NAMES KARALEE AND CURTIS MERRILL
6: HOPES & DREAMS | MOMMY'S WISHES FOR ME | My handsome baby boy: If I only had one wish for you it would be that you would always stay close to your Heavenly Father. Know that you are dearly loved, not only by me and your dad, but by your Father in Heaven. I pray that you will have a strong and unwavering testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that you will always know where to turn in times of need. I love you with all of my heart and can think of no better way to ensure that you are safe and protected than to know that you are following the Savior's example and staying true to the faith!
7: DADDY'S WISHES FOR ME | To my silly, handsome, sharp, curious, and energetic boy I wish for you to be a man of God. I pray you will do all that you do in order to serve Him I wish you to be confident, but not cocksure in whatever it is you do. I wish that you esteem womanhood as though your Savior accompanied you in their presence. I wish you'll enjoy the product of hard, smart work. I wish you will value education in all forms. I know you will make your daddy proud!
8: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Sunday, June 21, 2009 Happy Fathers Day! It is 1:58 am and Curtis and I are off to the hospital...wish us luck! | While Kare and Curtis are taking care of business at the hospital, I will be updating everyone. Hi! I'm Crissy, Kare's sister. My details may be a little sketchy... and spelling and grammar WILL be poor... but Kare can fix them later! So Curtis had only had a couple hours of sleep when Kare started having contractions. Being the super nice wife that she is, she laid there quietly and timed her contractions for a while without waking him. She literally waited until the last minute to wake him. As soon as she thought it was time to go to the hospital, she leaned over and started rubbing his back and then GUSH!!! Who's water actually breaks at home? Only on TV, right? Well Kare rushed the bathroom and said, "Curtis! It's time! I think my water just broke! We need to call the doctor!"
9: Well Curtis, shook himself awake and then said, "What? I don;t know about water breaking. Where's the book." He then grabbed his book and started reading. Kare was like, "Okay, I'LL call the doctor." Kare said it was so cute that he was just sitting there reading while she got herself ready to go. They got checked into the hospital and Kare was at a 1. When I talked to them on the phone, Curtis was asking me what Charles did to make it easier for me when I was in labor. He also said he wishes they could just hook him up in a bed so that the pain could just transfer to him and he could bear it instead. So sweet. :) He also went on about how tough Kare is. She's great with needles, spiders and bugs. She doesn't even ask Curtis to kill the huge spiders for her anymore. She just does it. So she's going to do great. Curtis also keeps saying, "I'll be a father any minute. But Kare laughs when I say it will be any minute. I don;t know, maybe it will be in a few hours." Kare says the contractions feel like her "monthly" cramps. Poor girl feels labor every month! More to come...
10: SPECIAL MEMORIES | AZ TIME (-ish) 1:30 am Water broke 2:00 am Checked in to Hospital 3:00 am Dilated to a 1 6:30 am Dilated to a 1 and a half, Kare is no longer amused with Curtis' jokes, EPIDURAL 7:45 am Dr. will come with Pitocin | Crissy: It's been almost 5 hours, what is going on? Curtis: We're about to have a baby Crissy: REALLY? Curtis: Yes, she's progressed to a full 2 and a half cm. Crissy: Ugh! Things are progressing slowly, but Kare and Curtis were able to get a nap in, and a chapter of Harry Potter.
11: 1:30 AZ TIME 13 and a half hours in, Kare is at 4 and a half cm! The doctor has decided to cut back the pitocin to try and ease the contractions so as not to wear out Baby Nathan. Hopefully it doesn't make things slow down too much. There was a slight nervous moment when the nurse came in to say that Nathan's heart rate dropped a little. They had Kare change positions and now all is well. Nathan is in position... he crawled up to her ribs for a little bit at first, but now he's back. One more chapter of Harry Potter down. Oh and lots of chills. And some pressure. That's about it for now. | So I, Curtis, came home for a bit to find our cell-phone chargers--our phones are nearly dead and so we're going to charge them and might not be reachable for a bit--but Karalee also insisted that I get her some Crystal Light to drink and some Otter Pops to eat. She also said to hurry back to the hospital. So here I go! | 4:00 5 cm. Baby's heart rate dropped, so they put Karalee on oxygen for about 40 minutes. Baby's heart rate went back up. 5:40 6 cm. 100% effaced | Due to the fact that Kare has been at 6 cm for the last 3 hours, and because she has a small pelvic area, the Dr. has decided to perform a c-section. Kare is in there right now and Curtis is awaiting anxiously just outside the door.
12: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Please welcome... Nathan Ashton Merrill Stats: Date: Sunday, June 21, 2009 Time: 7:17 pm AZ time Weight: 6 lbs. 12.5 oz Height: 20 inches long Head Circumference: 13 inches Chest: 12 and a half inches Mom and Baby are doing great. Curtis was able to watch them pull Nathan out, and Kare (just like every time she watches A Baby Story) became teary the second she heard Nathan's cry. She also said that it was the most horrible feeling she has ever had in her life when she felt all the "not so gentle" tugging and pulling inside. But she made it and she is doing very well. She is extremely tired and having a hard time keeping herself awake at the moment, understandably. 18 hours of labor... jeez! Nathan has also had his first feeding which, I am told, went pretty well. Now Kare wants to know when SHE can eat! The nurse brought out more Ice chips, much to her dismay. Curtis says Nathan has dark blond hair and gray-ish blue eyes. He says the shape of the eye is very much from the Ashton side. (At least for now.) He said Nathan is very cute and the best Father's Day gift ever.
13: Monday, June 22, 2009 To begin, Karalee continues to get better, although she is still weak, in pain, and itches all over. The baby has cried a little and eats a bit, but lately has been sleeping a lot! Of course, we think he is adorable, and hopefully with the pictures, you can come to that conclusion yourself. | Aside from the Ashton-like eyes, Karalee has mentioned that he looks like his aunt Crissy when she was born. I am interested in comments about who he takes after, because for now Karalee and I can tell best that he is just very cute!
14: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Wednesday, June 24, 2009 We came home around noon yesterday. Karalee is still in serious pain, but the baby is doing very well! He eats well now and doesn't fuss except when he wants something (mostly to eat right now) and when his diaper is changed. He really doesn't want his diaper changed, but we think part of that relates to the circumcision he got on Monday. | To my surprise Grandma Ashton stayed up nearly all last night with Nathan, and used couch pillows to sleep on. She sure helped me (Curtis) get the most rest I've gotten in a few days. We have a bed and a blow up mattress we hope Grandma will eventually use. But she and Alli have been a great help with Nathan already. We're glad they're here! | A co-worker stopped by today to see the baby. He brought over some diapers and had me take a couple of pictures of him with the baby. Overall, we've had an enjoyable time at home with the baby and visitors!
15: Thursday, June 25, 2009 So we figured 'let's put some more photos of Nathan up for your viewing pleasure.' He slept really well last night, only waking up once. Grandma and Aunt Allison have had lots of opportunities to hold him and take care of him, which gives a break to Mama (and Daddy too). Karalee continues to improve. Hopefully, by the time her pain medication runs out she'll be recovered from the surgery.
16: SPECIAL MEMORIES | This is the first time that I have been able to post since I went into labor and I am glad to see that Crissy and Curtis have done such a great job at keeping everyone informed. I think we have tripled the total number of posts we have made just in these last few days. I can't help it though! I take a million pictures a day and want to share them ASAP! I am totally in love with this kid! I realized that most of the pictures you can't really see Nathan all that well, he is usually wrapped up, so I took a few pictures and videos of him while he was awake and unwrapped.
17: Here are a few more pictures of Nathan in his specially customized outfit, compliments of his Aunt Crissy.
18: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Tuesday, June 30, 2009 It has now been a week since we brought Nathan home from the hospital and what a wonderful week it has been. While I am still recovering from surgery my mom and younger sister Alli have been here to help Curtis take care of Nathan. It is quite frustrating to not be able to take care of him by myself, I am still unable to stand up while holding him, or pick him up out of bed, or even bend over him long enough to change his diaper. I never thought that I would want to change a diaper, but right now I would give anything to be able to. I felt pretty helpless one afternoon when everyone was asleep and I was the first to hear Nathan cry, I went into his room and couldn't bend down low enough to pick him up from his crib without causing myself all kinds of pain. It was one of the worst feelings of my life, not being able to console my son as he lay there crying. I had to wake up Curtis so he could help. I am looking forward to being fully recovered, not to escape the pain, but so that I can change my own son's diaper. Thinks ARE getting better though, when I first came home from the hospital I could barely walk, so I am very grateful for the improvement since then. Crissy keeps reminding me to accept the help from others while I can get it, I will be able to change plenty of diapers soon enough. Curtis is awfully cute with Nathan. He is very excited to be a father and takes every chance he can to hold his son. Anyone who sees him can tell just how happy he is to be a father. Here are a few pictures of Curtis with Nathan.
20: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Nathan has proven time and time again that all of his bodily functions are working splendidly. We have come to believe that he shows his affection by peeing on you. (At least that is what we have to tell ourselves when we find we have a wet lap...again). I got the full blast at his doctors appointment on Monday. When the nurse asked me to take off his diaper so that they could weigh him, I knew that it couldn't end well...with a nice large wet spot on my shirt I quickly put a new diaper on him and handed him to Curtis, just in time for him to leak through his diaper onto Curtis' hands. Poor Alli has had to change pants a number of times as well. It seems as though my mom managed to make it through her entire visit unscathed, (but don't worry mom, I'm sure he still loves you). My good friend Arlena flew in today to help out as well. Nathan must have decided that he liked her quickly because a mere 27 minutes after she got here, she too had to change her clothes...what can I say? He's a healthy boy! | Arlena claims that this was Nathan's doing...but the positioning of the wet spot is awfully suspicious...
21: Aside from the water works, Nathan's doctor's appointment went well. He is already starting to gain a little bit of weight! He is now 6 lbs 13 oz, as opposed to his birth weight of 6 lb 12.5 oz. I was very relieved to hear this because I had no idea whether or not he was eating enough at each feeding, he has the bad habit of falling asleep in the middle of meal time. But thanks to grandma's willingness to tickle his feet (and even flick them occasionally...much to her dismay) it seems as though we were able to keep him awake long enough to get enough to eat. Nathan also had to endure another prick in the foot for his second round of newborn screening. I made sure to have Curtis hold him during this so that once he felt the prick and looked up he would think that his daddy was causing him this pain, not his mommy :) But Nathan handled it like a champ...either that or he passed out, I'm not sure. | He cried for a split second and then fell asleep while they squeezed what seemed like a gallon of blood out of his poor little foot! After the blood test I felt it appropriate to go out to eat to reward Nathan's mommy for being so brave! I already feel as though he is growing up too fast! I can't believe he is 9 days old! Before I know it he will be getting his drivers lisence. I have resorted to taking lots of pictures every day just to make sure that I don't forget one moment of his life. He is still as cute as can be and getting cuter every day. (Both his Aunt Alli and grandma will attest to that fact).
22: SPECIAL MEMORIES | I still can't believe that Curtis and I are parents. We have been blessed with the most adorable son in the world! I can't thank my friends and family enough for all the support that they have given us. This kid is so lucky to have such a great extended family, I can't wait for you all to meet him!
23: Saturday, July 4, 2009 Over the last few days I learned that a tight swaddle is the answer to a good night's rest. Nathan has been so good this past week, he rarely cries, and never wakes up on his own at night. In fact, I am sure that he would sleep the whole night through if I didn't have to wake him up to feed him. Though Nathan has thoroughly enjoyed his time with his Aunt Alli and Grandma Ashton, he was still waiting for one important visitor...Grandpa!
24: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Tuesday, July 7, 2009 The first two weeks of Nathan's life have been pretty easy thanks to the help of family and friends. My mom and sister took turns getting up at night with Nathan, I would just get up to feed him and pass him back off to my mom or Alli and go back to bed. Not only did they handle the night duty but they changed diapers all day long, made meals, went shopping for anything that I needed, and cleaned the house. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. On Sunday afternoon my dad and Alli, the last remaining visitors, headed back home, leaving me and Curtis to care for Nathan alone. Once Curtis got back from dropping off my dad and sister at the airport, he had to head straight to bed to get enough rest before he went back to work at midnight. I was on my own. The first night was not one to remember, and the next day I was absolutely exhausted! I about broke down and bought a plane ticket to Utah so my mom could help me again. However, spending $500 on a plane ticket seemed a little extreme. I stuck out the first day and am now on day 2 which has gone much smoother! I didn't realize just how much my mom and Alli were helping me out until they were gone!
25: Alli saying goodbye to Nathan. | Grandpa saying goodbye.
26: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Sunday, July 19, 2009 I have been trying (rather unsuccessfully) to get time to slow down! I can't believe that Nathan is 4 weeks old today. He has already changed so much it is making me sad! He is slowly becoming more responsive to things like his daddy's voice and face (he watches Curtis walk away whenever he leaves the room). He is constantly grabbing anything that he can get his hands on while he eats (which usually consists of my hair!) He also always wants to look up. His favorite thing to do is to be carried around sitting up with his head as far back as he can so that he can look up. Now that he is four weeks and seems to be gaining weight well (we will see for sure at his one month appointment on Tuesday), I have started to cut out the middle of the night feeding, which has been amazing! Nathan does pretty well sleeping, averaging about 7 hours a night. He is more alert during the daytime these days (but he still sleeps for at least half of the day). He likes to spend most of his awake time either laying in his bassinet looking around or else sitting in his rocker (a wonderful gift from his Aunt Becky) looking around. He is such a curious kid! | Unless, of course, Curtis is home, in which case he can usually be found in Curtis' arms or laying next to him.
27: He has become a very amusing sleeper, mostly due to his snoring. He also makes some of the funniest noises in his sleep. I stood by his bed with my camera ready to take a video of him making these noises but ended up with about 15 minutes of nothing but silence. He also sleeps with his hands in the air out in front of him like so: | The only time he doesn't sleep with his arms straight out is when I have him wrapped up tight, however, the second I unwrap him he stretches his arms and legs like a little body builder. I can't even begin to imagine what changes are in store for the next 4 weeks...
28: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Friday, August 14, 2009 Like we do every summer, the Ashton clan gathers together for a wicked awesome family vacation. As our family continues to grow it becomes harder for us to get together as often as we would like, so we made sure that our rare time together was well spent. We spent the week together in Utah at my parents house and at East Canyon Resort (except for the Socci's who are too cool for school and have a house of their own nearby). As always, it was a blast! I was excited for my nephews to get to see Nathan for the first time and see how they would react to such a small baby. Both Jaden and Kaleb were absolutely adorable, always asking if they could hold "baby Nathan".
29: Jaden and Kaleb were so good at taking care of Nathan. Here you will see Kaleb putting Nathan's burp cloth over Nathan as a blanket because "baby Nathan's cold". Haha...so cute!
30: SPECIAL MEMORIES | While in Utah we blessed Nathan on Sunday (August 2nd) in my parent's ward. | Curtis did a wonderful job blessing Nathan...even though he was screaming the whole time :) | Curtis' mom and Aunt were able to make it up for the blessing.
31: Also while in Utah Nathan had his first play date with my old roommates adorable little girl Macie. | Nathan did really well on the plane. He slept most of the time and when he wasn't asleep he was just as happy as could be, which was very kind of him because Curtis left early and I had to brave the return trip with Nathan by myself. Here he is chillin' in the Las Vegas airport. | All in all it was a great time. I can't wait until we all can get together again...whenever that will be!
32: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Friday, August 21, 2009 Nathan is 2 months old today! To celebrate this special occasion we decided to take him out for cocktails. That's right, one slammin' mixture of Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, and Hepatitis B, chased by Rotavirus, Hib and Pneumoccocal Disease. In case you aren't following my lame joke, Nathan got his first set of vaccinations today. Fortunately one was oral, followed by three not so fortunate shots to the thigh. I'm sure most mothers dread this day and I was no exception! I read up on lots of ways to help relieve some of the pain for your baby (like giving them Tylenol before, for example) and forgot to do every single one of them! I also forgot that they have a bit of a delayed reaction so when I watched the needle go in and Nathan didn't even flinch I thought to myself "man, he's a toughy"...but that thought didn't last long, before long he was screaming his poor little head off. He let out such a long scream followed by silence without inhaling that the nurse got nervous for a second because she thought he stopped breathing. I have never seen his little face so red! For some reason this episode seemed to amuse Curtis. He couldn't help but laugh as poor little Nathan was screaming in agony. Fortunately he has a very short memory and didn't cry for more than a few seconds after. He then managed to sleep for the next 3 hours until I woke him to eat, once he finished eating he slept for the next 2 hours, however this time he wanted to be held while he slept. I tried putting him down several times and every time he screamed bloody murder. When he woke up I noticed that he was running a fever of 101.7 so I gave him some Tylenol. It lowered his temperature a bit, but I am a bit nervous about how tonight is going to go. Nathan now weighs 9 lbs. 11 oz. He has not gained quite as much weight as we were hoping. The doctor informed us that he should be gaining at least 1 and 1/2 lbs a month. He is not too far off from that, but not as close as we would like. He is only in the 3rd percentile for his weight. Supposedly he was in the 76th percentile last month...but I am pretty sure that that was an error. Anyone who has seen his scrawny little body knows that there is no way that he could be in the 76th percentile! He has grown from 20 inches at birth to 22 and 1/2 inches! He's like a skinny little bean stalk!
33: Here he is at 2 months, getting a little big for this bassinet
34: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Wednesday, August 26, 2009 | Curtis and I were finally able to make it up to Mesa to go to the temple. It would have only been a 3 and 1/2 hour drive if we didn't have a baby, but with Nathan it was closer to 4 1/2 hours. It was quite an adventure getting there. We had to stop once so that I could feed Nathan, I told Curtis to just pick an exit and see if he could find a semi-secluded place off of the road. We found a dirt road right off of the freeway and as we were about to park we noticed a huge dead cow right next to the road...so we drove a bit further. About 30 minutes after we got back on the road Nathan was screaming his brains out and it smelled as though he was in desperate need of a diaper change, so once again I asked Curtis to take the next exit and pull over so that I could change Nathan. Once I got Nathan out of his car seat I saw that his seat was soaking wet! No wonder he was crying! After he was changed and had a dry(ish) seat we hit the road again. There wasn't an on ramp where we got off so we figured we would find one if we just drove down the road a bit. Unfortunately the road was flooded so we had to turn around, we were a bit annoyed, thinking that now we would have to back track quite a bit to find another on ramp because this was the ONLY road! We only were able to back track a little bit before we found that the road was flooded this way too! We were completely stuck! The only ways we could possibly go were both flooded. Our only option was to get onto the freeway from the offramp! Neither of us were very excited about this plan, but there was absolutely no other way! Fortunately the off ramp was positioned so that we could see the freeway very well and when nobody was coming we went for it! It was actually pretty anticlimactic because it was so easy. Anywho, we finally made it to Mesa and it was well worth the quick day trip, the temple was absolutely beautiful. Curtis, has lots of family in the area and has been there many times, but it was a first for me! Once we were finished at the temple we were able to visit Curtis' grandma, and we also made sure to make a stop at Inn-n-Out.
35: Nathan didn't seem to enjoy the trip very much. The car seems to be one of the only places that he cries much, which is funny to me because I thought that babies were supposed to like the car! He was perfect on the way home though because it was pretty late and he was tired! We ended up spending about 8 hours in the car and only about 2 in Mesa. I can't wait until The Gila Valley Temple is finished so that we don't have to travel quite so far. Supposedly it will be finished in December or January, and it couldn't come too soon!
36: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Sunday, August 30, 2009 Nathan is weeks away from being 3 months old, yet he is still wearing newborn clothes! It is torture because most of his cutest outfits are 0-3 or 3-6 months. I tried to put a 0-3month outfit on him the other day and here was the result: The picture doesn't do justice to just how huge this outfit was on him. After a few minutes I decided that it was just not working and I put him back into a newborn outfit. Maybe when he is 3 months old he will graduate to the 0-3month range. On a good note, it looks as though it will be a while until I have to buy him any clothes! | And just because I love these pictures:
37: Friday, September 11, 2009 Here are a few pictures of Nathan in his new Sunday outfit. What a looker!!!
38: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Saturday, September 26, 2009 | On a complete whim we went to Ramah to visit Grandma and Grandpa Merrill. We went on a whim because my (Curtis') schedule is so unpredictable. Sunday September 20th was the best time to go, so that's when we went. The 20th is also the day we decided to go to Ramah and had made absolutely no prior plans to going. We had wanted to go sometime, but our schedule did dictate (once I found out my schedule) that the 20th, 21st, and 22nd of September were the best days for us. While there, Grandma Merrill took us to see ice caves, which are about 25 minutes east of Ramah, New Mexico. We also trekked up the remains of an ancient, extinct volcano and enjoyed the scenery, plants, and animals on the hike. Karalee especially liked pushing the stroller up the gravel trail!
39: While in Ramah we were able to take this photo, which represents four generations of Merrill. Nathan is being held by his dad, Curtis, and Curtis is standing to the left of his grandmother, Lois Hope Clawson Merrill (who is 92 and very much going strong!) Next to her is Gene Merrill, Lois' son and Curtis' father, and Curtis' mother is on the far left, LaVerne.. | Our happy boy with his Grandpa (above) and Great-Grandma (right)
40: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Saturday, October 31, 2009 For Halloween this year I decided to make mine and Curtis' costumes revolve around Nathan's. As you already know, Nathan was a monkey (which turned out to look more like a bear since his tail fell off and got lost). Since I knew I would be carrying my little monkey around all night at the church's Trunk-or-Treat party, I decided to be a tree. (Most people thought I was Mother Earth and Nathan was a Bear). | Curtis, unfortunately, got to the trunk-or-treat just in time to see everyone cleaning up. We must have missed each other on the road as I was leaving and he was coming. However, we did make sure to snap a couple pictures once he got home.
41: Saturday, December 5, 2009 | It has been a while since I have given an update on Nathan. Things have been hectic around here between going to Houston, getting sick, and packing for our big move (only 2 and 1/2 more weeks!) I figured that I would just write a quick post about all the growing up Nathan has done in the past little while. | About a month and a half ago we started him on solids. Yay! He was a good solid food eater from day 1! He liked the rice cereal alright, but absolutely loved the Oatmeal! | That is...until he discovered vegetables! We started him on veggies a few weeks ago. He has built up his vegetable repertoire to include green beans, carrots, and peas, and he seems to love each one we introduce to him better than the last. He constantly whines while we feed him, not because he doesn't want to eat, but because we can't get it in his mouth fast enough! | He finally doesn't freak out when he is on his belly anymore. He is very good at rolling from his back to his tummy, but for a while he would cry and cry until someone rolled him back over. I am happy to report that just today he figured out how to roll from tummy to back! Woo hoo! No more having to go roll him over when he wakes up in the middle of his nap on his tummy!
42: SPECIAL MEMORIES | He is also working on sitting up on his own. | His hands are like little magnets. He grabs anything and everything that is within his reach, and even a few things that I could have sworn were NOT in his reach! | Of course, its not long before it ends up in his mouth! I am pretty sure he is teething, in fact it looks like he has a tooth that might be coming in soon. It has made him a bit grumpy at times and it just breaks my heart to know that he is in pain. But it's not long before he is back smiling again.
43: For Nathan's first Thanksgiving we began by watching Curtis play in the ward Turkey Bowl. Then I attempted my very first traditional turkey dinner, which was quite an accomplishment because I was pretty sick. It wasn't great, but hopefully I will get the hang of it by the time Nathan is old enough to notice! | I am so thankful to have such an amazing, adorable, healthy, happy child. He is the perfect addition to our little family.
44: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Monday, December 14, 2009 These are just some pictures we took for Christmas cards. I had the hardest time deciding on which ones to use because this kid is so dang cute!!!!
46: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Monday, January 4, 2010 | We had a pretty exciting Christmas this year. We moved into our brand new house (FINALLY) on December 23. Then we got our new fridge and our piano on the 24th! An excellent way to kick off Christmas if I do say so myself! I had decided that I wasn't going to bother decorating for Christmas, it was just going to be way too much of a hassle. However, the first thing that I unpacked once we moved was our Christmas tree! I just couldn't help myself! | Curtis had to work on Christmas so I spent the day getting ready for our Christmas festivities that night. Since our fridge had just been delivered the evening before, I had not yet gone grocery shopping. So, I crossed my fingers as I drove to the grocery store, hoping that they would be open on Christmas day. Fortunately they were, but unfortunately there were sliiiiiiiim pickin's in the meat department. I spent the rest of the day trying to unpack the kitchen so that I would be able to cook Christmas dinner! I remember getting very frustrated at one point and thinking "This isn't fair, who works this hard on Christmas!?!" Then I thought back to my mom spending all Christmas cleaning up after us and slaving away in the kitchen. It was then that I decided that we need to spend as many holidays as we can at my parents house! (Hehe...)
47: When Curtis came home we opened presents. Nathan loved playing with the wrapped gifts and screamed when I tried to open them. | Here he is sporting his new hat that he got from his cousin Ethan! | And here he is reveling in all of his recently opened gifts. It was a good day!
48: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Monday, February 22, 2010 | Nathan is now 8 months old!!!! Holy cow!! I can't believe it! At 8 months he: | can crawl | can say "mama" and "dada" | can hold his own bottle | has two teeth (front bottom) | laughs when he sees himself in the mirror in the car | loves the daycare at the gym (and they LOVE him too!) | drinks from a sippie cup | smiles at anyone who smiles at him, especially girls | is starting to like baths, finally!
49: Thursday, March 4, 2010 | My friend Felicia and I decided to take a VERY last minute trip up to Utah. The idea started forming itself on Saturday, and we were on the road Tuesday morning! Surprisingly enough a 15 hour drive with an 8 month old and a 3 year old wasn't too bad! We thought it would take 2 days to complete the drive, but found that it was actually quite possible to do it in 1! I was way excited to see my family, but most excited to see my nephews, since I hadn't seen these kids in forever! (OK so maybe it had only been about 4 1/2 months, but that is a long time to me!!) I spent most of my time there hanging out with my sister Crissy and her 3 adorable kids! Nathan had a blast hanging out with his cousins, aunts, uncle, and grandparents!
50: SPECIAL MEMORIES
51: Bradley was such a good little helper. He was constantly giving Nathan his blanket, bear, and toys. When I got home from my date with Kaleb, Bradley quickly pointed out to me that Nathan was upstairs sleeping so that I wouldn't worry (quite impressive for a kid that doesn't talk yet). He even took his turn feeding Nathan. | It was a great trip! However, I think Nathan missed his daddy, as did I. He was very excited to see him when we got home!
52: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Wednesday, March 17, 2010 | As I mentioned before, Nathan is quite mobile now. He has mastered crawling, and has also figured out how to pull himself up to standing. Nathan gets a kick out of standing, he quite often laughs while doing it, or screams happily, or talks loudly...he really seems to enjoy himself. This is some of the fun that Nathan has now that he has learned these new tricks. Needless to say it's been quite the adventure having a mobile little boy! | Believe it or not, Nathan is 9 months old! Nobody who sees him believes that he is that old because he is just so small! At his doctors appointment last Monday he weighed in at 15.5 lbs, putting him in the 0 percentile...yes you read that right, 0%! He is 26.5 inches (28th%). I have no clue how Curtis and I ended up with such a tiny little boy! He is super healthy and eating | I also had to take him to the lab for his hemoglobin test, an adventure that I was NOT looking forward to! They used to do a little finger poke for this test but I guess that's not good enough anymore because they had to take a whole vial of his blood! I swear this kid is so tiny I was surprised he even had that much blood in him! I was a nervous wreck as they were getting ready to put the needle in, wishing I would have made Curtis take him instead. I had to hold him on my lap with one arm around his body, pinning his right arm down, and the other hand holding his left arm straight. The lady told me to make sure he didn't bend his arm and to brace myself | Tuesday, March 30, 2010
53: for a struggle. That was almost the breaking point for me, but I tried to be brave...I watched as the needle got closer and closer to my poor tiny little boy's arm and took a deep breath as it made contact with his skin..and then...nothing! Nathan didn't even flinch, it was like he was completely oblivious to the needle in his arm!! Man oh man, I hate getting my blood drawn! It was at that moment that I realized that I am way wussier than a 9 month old :( | Nathan has 3 teeth, the two front bottoms, and one of his vampire teeth (which I must say looks pretty silly). This is the best picture I can find of his top tooth.
54: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Wednesday, April 7, 2010 | Over Easter weekend we visited Curtis' parents in New Mexico. We were able to spend a few days visiting, watching General Conference, and eating delicious food! Nathan and his daddy sitting on the couch at Grandma and Grandpa Merrill's | Curtis' sister Nikki and her family were able to come up for a bit and Nathan loved playing with his cousins! He tries to fit in and be one of the big kids.
55: Nathan enjoyed playing with the many many toys at Grandma and Grandpa's house
56: SPECIAL MEMORIES | He also had his first experience with grass while we were there. He didn't want to touch the grass with his hands because it tickled, so he would do his best to avoid touching it. It was pretty dang amusing! | On our way home from Ramah we stopped by a duckpond (the very duckpond that Curtis used to take girls to in college when he was trying to find out if they were date worthy...)
57: It was a fun ending to a fun trip. Next time we will have to actually bring some bread to feed the ducks!
58: SPECIAL MEMORIES | The day after we got back Curtis was off to work again, so I decided to drop by and visit my friend Heidi. Nathan loves playing with Heidi's little girl Samantha...but after a while Samantha got a little sick of Nathan following her around and playing with all of her toys. He wouldn't even let Samantha sit with her mommy alone. | Nathan refused to leave her alone and so Samantha had to resort to pushing him away, every time she did Nathan would get the saddest little look on his face...kinda like this: I hope that Nathan either never gets rejected by a girl when he is older or else he mans up a bit and handles it better than he does now! | We ended up staying for a very long time and poor Nathan was so exhausted, having missed his naps, he ended up just resting his head on the couch for a bit:
59: When we finally got home I gave Nathan a bottle, but he was so tired he fell asleep eating. It was too cute. | The next day we went to the park with some friends. We got to try out his new Jeep stroller (that's for you dad!), and play on the swings. Nathan loves the swing! He gets so excited on them that he actually doesn't need to be pushed, he pumps his own legs...kinda
60: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Monday, April 26, 2010 | here are some pictures that I have taken of Nathan in the past month. The first few are not great pictures but they show his teeth! He is up to 6 now! There are are also some of him playing with his second cousins, and some of him eating his new favorite food: grapes (with the help of the easy feeder mesh thing). Nathan is also quite the talker now, really, the kid never shuts up :) It has made it a bit difficult to teach primary because Nathan wants to talk over us.
62: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Monday, April 26, 2010 | Nathan took his first steps a couple of days ago! I tried to get it on video, but he just doesn't do as well when the camera is on! | Wednesday, June 16, 2010 It has been a long time since I have really blogged much (other than Nathan walking). Here is a quick glance at what we have been up to: | We took a trip up to Utah for my Grandma's funeral. It was great to see almost the whole family together, and we had tons of fun. It was great to see all 5 of the cousins together: | While in Utah I was able to visit with two of my former roommates who, strangely enough, have little girls that were both born just days apart from Nathan. It was a blast to see the 3 kiddos play "together"!
63: About 2 weeks after getting home from Utah, we were off to Ramah to visit the other side of the fam. Here's Nathan and his daddy on the trip up. | We made sure to get an updated 4 Generations picture while there | We finally got to see Tristan who is just a few weeks younger than Nathan, and so adorable!
64: SPECIAL MEMORIES | And now what Nathan has been up to lately: | He likes to pull all of the clothes out of my laundry basket when I am trying to fold them. More recently he has taken to putting them in a pile on the floor and then laying on them. Frustrating, but oh so cute! | He has finally made the transition to non-baby food! He especially loves yogurt, bread, and cheese (unlike his father!) On this particular day Curtis got up with Nathan while I got to sleep in. I guess Curtis really wore the boy out because he fell asleep in his high chair, a VERY rare thing because he usually won't fall asleep unless he is in his bed. I was very proud of Curtis for thinking to snap a picture of it!
65: One of the only other times he has fallen asleep anywhere but his crib: | He is absolutely obsessed with playing everywhere he shouldn't, like inside the cupboards! | He went swimming for the first time. Here he is showing off his new swim suit.
66: SPECIAL MEMORIES | And he spends most of his time just being cute!
67: Friday, June 25, 2010 | Believe it or not, Nathan turned 1 last Monday! Crazy, I know. We were lucky enough to have Curtis' sister Becky and her 3 boys here to celebrate with us! We started the day with a trip to the pool, and then we had some friends over for cake and presents. | My sister Crissy goes all out when it comes to decorating cakes for her boys, so I thought I would give being creative a try. I picked something very easy, and still didn't do the best job, but I don't think Nathan minded too much :)
68: SPECIAL MEMORIES | It took him a while to decide whether or not he was going to give the cake a try, but eventually the marshmallows on top won him over. He ended up eating most of the marshmallows, leaving the cake virtually untouched. | After a while he decided he didn't like being messy anymore.
69: He was still a little upset when we started opening presents... | but the frown faded once he realized that there was fun stuff to play with inside the boxes! | We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family to share in this special day with us, whether in person, or over the phone. Nathan got lots of calls from family and friends who sang Happy Birthday to him, and even a video from his 2 year old cousin, Bradley, who sang his own rendition of "Happy Birthday". It was a pretty fun day up until Nathan woke up from his afternoon nap with a fever. He has been pretty miserable since then with a fever off and on, a sore throat and an ear infection. I guess he just wasn't very excited about the idea of getting older, probably because he's feeling guilty because I keep telling him that he is not allowed to grow up. :)
70: SPECIAL MEMORIES | Here is a bit about Nathan at 1 year: height: 28.5 inches; 12 percentile weight: 16 lbs 12 oz; 0 percentile head: 46 cm; 37 percentile * He is getting pretty good at walking, but still prefers to crawl as his main mode of transport * His favorite place to play is in the dishwasher * His favorite food is yogurt, he would eat it all day every day if he could * He LOVES taking baths, and now likes to walk around in the bathtub and scare me to death * He no longer uses his pacifier! Woo hoo! * He is a pro with a sippie cup but prefers formula to milk
71: * He is quite the little dancer, bouncing, bopping his head, and shrugging his shoulders anytime he hears music * He is quite the little talker, jabbering away LOUDLY any chance he gets, except around other kids for some reason * He is pretty loud in church these days, we usually have to take him out, not because he is crying but because he "sings" the songs very loudly and then continues to talk loudly the rest of the time * He is starting to "fight back" when he gets bullied by bigger kids, he used to just sit there and take it, now he will push back or cry, or both * He is still taking two or three naps a day and sleeping through the night, I couldn't get him down to one nap if I tried :) However, here in good ol Arizona the sun comes up around 5 am, and Nathan likes to be up with the sun so the spring has brought some pretty early mornings (time for blackout curtains!) * He likes to bite * If you make a kissing noise he will open his mouth and plant one on you, sometimes his teeth get in on the action too * He claps anytime he hears or sees ANYONE clapping, even if it is on TV * He is very patient, he does not get frustrated when he falls 1000 times when trying to stand or walk, instead he just gets up and tries again * He is pretty good at passing balls back and forth * His favorite toy is my "Workout Carebear" * He loves his daddy I am so sad that he is already 1 year old, but I can't wait to see his little personality really start to show in this next year!