Hi I am Mandi. I married Daniel in 2006 and we have 3 adorable girls. This blog is our place to post pictures and stories and keep our family up to date on our lives. We are a talkative, goofy, fun family. Anything else you want to know.... start reading! :)
Thanks for stopping by!
I was going to do a catch up post but as I type this of course having 3 kids ages 1, 3 and 5 life is busy and they need mama. So I will try again.... soon? Hopefully. Daniel is gone to basic and here he is:
Oh my goodness, where do I begin with this?
ok, so it is a given by the title: I am now an Army wife. "What in the heck" you ask?? Yeah... I am still asking the same thing. Believe it. Let me explain. I have mass amounts of respect for the military. I don't understand it, what all it entails or what most the "military lingo" is or means. I respect it, I just don't get it you know? Anyway so Daniel has said a couple times he used to have a desire to go in the military. Well since he was now married and had 3 kids, there was no possibility of it happening. He had a friend recently enlist and is in training and leaving for active duty soon. Scary but exciting! Daniel approached me (not wanting to do it, just casually mentioning it)and saying if he had ever joined he would do this or this or that. We laughed how "too bad it can't happen now." So one day I was laying there and the feeling came over me that he was supposed to join the military. Uh....NO!! The feeling came many, many times. I pushed those thoughts out and assumed it was just the random discussions getting to me. I didn't say anything to Dan. Well this continued and I felt an overwhelming feeling I needed to tell him my thoughts. Absolutely not. not happening. It all was so scary to me. Well Daniel comes in one day to say something and in my head I am actually arguing with myself after a strong feeling to talk to him. I was actually debating in my head how dumb it was to say anything. He starts to walk away and I called after him: "we need to talk!" WHAT?! ugh. So he sits down and I start shaking. I say I think he needs to join the military. I think his jaw may have hit the floor. I am pretty sure he thought I was kidding. Apparently I wasn't. He didn't want to join. It's not what is right for our family for him to join at this time in his life. Who knows at that point what came over me. But we actually discussed it. Then prayed. Then prayed again, again and again. Then prayed some more. Then fasted. Then went to the temple and fasted and prayed more. This went on for weeks! We both got our overwhelming yet very clear answer: Dan was supposed to join. WOW!
Anyway he wanted to join the Marines- that was always what he thought would be cool. They turned him down because he "had too many dependents." So we kind of took that as a "maybe this wasn't meant to be" kind of thing. Not the case. We still kept getting the feeling he was supposed to go. He tried the Army- they gave him a test called an ASVAB test where you need a 31 to get in. The highest you can get is 99 and the national average is a 53. well Daniel got a 97! So... he got the waiver that basically said it's ok that you are married with 3 kids- we will take you! I guess he did well enough that he could pick any job he wanted in the Army. how cool! He went in to do all the physicals and tests and all the things to make sure he is good to go. He was. Oh except he has some sort of weird color blindness that makes no sense and they even said it was a weird case because he can see all colors just not when two certain colors are put together or something. anyway that was enough to knock down pretty much all the jobs in the army except for 2! Sad. They said it was a waste because of his scores, he could have had any job he wanted. My heart was sad for him. Anyway this is all still new to me so I am not sure what to make sense of everything still. I honestly am not sure ALL the reasons he is supposed to go- but he is. Sounds insane- it is! But we have already figured out several reasons how this will benefit us and bless our family in so many ways. He will not go into active duty- unless there is a draft. He is signed onto the Army Reserves for 8 years.
Oh! I have to tell my nightmare story about him being sworn in. I was under the impression we wouldn't see him get sworn in. So I was at a friends all day while he did all his physicals and such. We were in the parking lot waiting for him to finish. We had been swimming all day. Sweaty, dirty, covered in sunscreen, unbelievably tired!! I had just given the kids gogurts in the car, which of course were all over faces, hands and clothes. Just then Dan says "come on in- you can see me swear in!" yay! but ugh look at us!! We were gross, tired and just- not public appropriate. ha ha. So I pull the kids in there thinking it would happen right then. We sat on some benches and I discovered Ash had a messy diaper. Well since we were going right back, I didn't want to leave to change her, wait outside, get let in just to be wanded and asked if I had drugs or weapons on me just to chance missing my husband. So.... I let her be for a minute. Which turned into an hour wait!! The kids were bored and so grumpy.Of course there were no other kids and I am sure people were annoyed with my monkeys. I found a pen in the bathroom and let them draw on paper towels! Then a cool guy came over with a bag for each girl that had pencils, bracelets, stickers, coloring books, crayons, a toy, etc. yay! I kept thinking we would go back any minute so we stayed put. Then they just came and said time to go. We went back and it was time to swear him in! I was emotional, proud and excited. Ready to take pictures. Too bad the baby decided right when they were swearing in to start screaming! Not a mad scream, a high pitched- ear piercing- I am so happy I can't stand it scream! The more I shooshed her, the more she thought it was hilarious! Nothing would distract her. She also kept trying to pull the flag down by pulling on the pole. Could you imagine if the FLAG fell especially during the ceremony?! ahhhhh. Pulling her off it made her laugh and shriek more. I was humiliated and couldn't quiet her. Nothing that usually distracts her would work. I had my back to Dan the whole time and I didn't dare leave in the middle of it, with the soldiers in front of the door and me having to walk through the men swearing in. I couldn't just leave. We were at the very front and the door was behind everyone. Anyway the second they were done Ash was silent. I apologized over and over and over. Everyone was nice and said they knew how kids were or saying "she was fine" ha! Anyway it happened so fast (but in the moment felt like FOREVER!) and it was just one of those things. *dramatic sigh* Looking back now I just laugh. That's life and kids are unpredictable. :)
ANYWAY Daniel is officially signed on to the United States Army and we are so so so proud of him!!! He leaves for basic training in a month and a half. he will be gone for 17 weeks. ugh. How sad is that?!
Well now that everyone knows this, it might make more sense why we felt we were supposed to move back to Salt Lake despite our immense love for St. George. It was mostly so I can have help while Dan is gone. (I will be living with my sister) None of this was a rushed decision. It may seem insane to some! Some may say we are complete idiots. That's fine. This is our choice and what we feel is best for our family. We are so proud of him and his choice and support him 100% He is an amazing, selfless man who does what he can for his family, his Heavenly Father and his country.
We hope everyone can be as supportive and excited as we are for him!!
And that is my story of me becoming an Army wife. yippee!!
here is one of the few shots we got at his swearing in:
Also.. I realize I sound so negative about it (well before we decided he would go.) I think it was because I was so scared that he might actually go and have to leave us for so long. Now that I realize it is right and all that is involved with it, I am actually really excited!!
Ashlyn is 6 months old. Little cutie pie. She sits and rolls and scoots and loves to eat almost anything. Her favorites are squash, crushed graham crackers, apples, pears, bananas. She still sucks on her big toe and thumb. She loves to play with my hair.
Just took her to her check up. She is 13 pounds now. She is 25th ish percentile for height and weight- not bad. She is ridiculously adorable.
Here are some pictures within the last few weeks. All taken on a phone so... not good quality but still glad to have any pictures of her for now :)
I am always up for venting to the world when I am frustrated as to not take it out on anyone I love :)
where to begin...
A couple of months ago I broke a tooth and didn't have dental insurance but recently through Daniel's work we were blessed to get good coverage and I scheduled an appt. and went in to a local dentist here. The dentist introduces himself and looks in my mouth (now let me make this clear. my teeth suck. I have had more work than almost anyone in the world. jk but I have had LOADS of work done. I get it. Its not sexy to have teeth like these but whatever) and he says this is wrong, this this this and this and this was wrong and was like making all sorts of un- called for comments that totally sucked to hear and I was super humiliated. I put my head down as tears trickled down my face. I was ashamed and he looks at me and starts laughing! wow. super sweet guy. I seriously have never in my life been treated like that and I am so sensitive and I just sat there and took his crap. So as my eyes are closed and I am collecting myself, I let him keep poking around in there and speaking of poking around... he pokes me with the needle to numb me. um..... what?! yeah apparently I was getting a root canal. Just like that. A freaking root canal. Good thing I had warning huh? Whatever, get it over with. Well he must have been in a super big hurry because he started to drill and I wasn't numb!!! Ahhh. just shoot me. I asked THREE times for the gas and the 3rd time he laughs and says "Oh yeah you wanted gas huh?" So anyway about 5 mins later he was done. lovely. He got to only do half and I was going to have to come back after a couple weeks of antibiotics.
I get home and tell Daniel the story of what happened and he told me to see a new dentist. Here's why I can't: the insurance only covers certain things and I had already gotten all my x rays and things that were allowed. I refused to go to ANOTHER dentist to be embarrassed again and then have to get all my xrays done again and get their opinion and pay out of pocket. no thanks.
So yesterday I go back to finish the root canal. He didn't say anything ignorant to me luckily but my heck he is such a mean man. He was so rude to his employees and belittles them right in front of me. Not once did he say please or thank you to them and talks to them like they are incompetent. I felt bad for them... looking back I can see how I have yet to see another patient in his office and not once did the phone ring while I was there. I am surprised he is still in business. Do others really go and put up with this man?? anyway so my work is coming along fine and then my jaw starts to hurt. Like bad, bad, bad and I don't know what to do I just pray it is over soon and I can shut my jaw. (remember how I said I have had tons of work done? I have had my mouth open longer then that in a dentist office before and never had it hurt like that so I was amazed how sore I was so soon) this man is not gentle at all and is pushing so hard as he works, which normally would be ok but it sent shooting pains through my jaw on the left side and all I wanted to do was close my jaw. It was getting worse and when he was done he told me to close. I tried. My jaw wouldn't shut!! It was the worst pain ever!! I said "I can't!" He then proceeds to try to force my jaw closed. ahhhhh! I was screaming, I could not believe how bad that hurt and here is this guy determined he would get my jaw to shut by one hand on my head and one hand on my chin. I literally thought he was going to break my jaw. I was screaming and trying to pry his hands off my chin. I was crying and trying to breathe and get him off of me. The two ladies were trying to massage my jaw joints and he kept shoving and it finally snapped shut. He all matter of factly says "there we go." I was sitting there shaking and crying and my mouth hurt so unbelievably bad. He explained my jaw dislocated and showed me with his hands what happened to my jaw joint and explained that it does not happen very often but occasionally it does and I need ibuprophen and heat when I got home. Then he sent me on my way. um.... ok. Thanks? So I get home and it feels pretty ok..... as long as I didn't smile, talk, laugh, yawn or chew. I called the dentist office later and just needed to know how long to expect to feel this way. She said a few days and told me to take tylenol too. Then as the night went on my jaw was throbbing, sending pain into my ears and my head hurt worse and worse and down my neck on the left side. I felt waves of something that felt like I had the flu. I was hurting so bad I almost went to the hospital. I had Daniel give me a blessing and chose to go to bed. I slept alright and woke up feeling better than last night. but now it is almost 3 pm and I am just aching. My ear hurts, my head and neck and it kills to chew. Or laugh, or yawn or... you get it. A few mins ago the dentist receptionist calls to check on me. I tell her I am not ok and tell her about last night. She sounds confused and says "well that's weird. Well if it isn't better by Monday call us ok?"
What in the world?? That place is a joke!! I googled jaw dislocation last night and everything I read said in bold letters DO NOT FORCE JAW CLOSED when it becomes dislocated. uh he most certainly DID force my jaw closed!! it said to have a professional carefully close it after muscle relaxer was given and a numbing medicine in the jaw joints. I had none of that. Just these huge, un caring, un gentle hands shove my jaw back. How about that??
Where do I go from here? Do I complain about him? If so to who? his staff? do I let it go? Do I go get checked at a hospital? Did he do anything wrong? Am I just a super duper baby? ugh. I am in pain and more confused than ever and at a complete loss. I don't have a clue.
My camera is broken as is my laptop which has been broken for like a year. Also I don't know how to get pics off my phone so for now here are some pics I stole off Daniel's computer
Let me explain the next 2 pics. It might look gross but it's just pudding! I was going to let the girls paint with pudding at the table but didn't want to clean the mess, so I stuck them in the tub. They loved it! Nothing a shower can't clean up :)
oh hi. I am just sitting here spitting up and being cute.
Ireland got a fun package in the mail filled with Tangled and Barbie goodies for her Birthday from our good friends Matt and Traci.
I told you she was obsessed with her toes! She eats them all day long. so cute
Leighton got new glasses!! How stinkin cute is she?
So reading over my Birth story I wrote the other day I am sad. I wrote it as I remembered and I left out so many details. Details I can't quite remember, I made it sound horrible and depressing and blah. It wasn't so much that it was a horrible birth, I just was so thrown for a loop you know? At the time My hormones and my out of control emotions made me scared and stressed and being in pain I have never felt like that before and nothing like I had planned. I seem... ungrateful or snotty maybe. Hmm not sure what I feel about it. With my birth with Ireland I was induced. She came quick and it was fun and we were laughing and my epidural worked and it was seriously, seriously fun, pain free and easy. With Leighton a lot of things went wrong and to see my Dr. go pale and intense and worried but remaining calm and helpful working to get my baby out and save her life... I just prayed for a better time with this last baby. I prayed all would go smoothly, that all would go quickly and I think I just had all these ideas that it would go 100% perfect like with Ireland that when my epidural didn't take I panicked. Might sound crazy from an outside perspective but in the moment it happened and I did not like the way it all felt. I had been so beyond stressed before and all the confusion.. was I in labor, was I not? It messed with a pregnant ladies mind. Looking at my sweet baby girl, I would not change what happened. I have to say I got a beautiful, perfect daughter of God in my arms after a very brief labor and even though she had jaundice and swallowed meconium and we thought she might have had infection in her lungs, despite all that she was HEALTHY, she was tiny and perfect and everything I imagined. I don't care if my epidural didn't work. boo hoo. I got a child and I got over the pain immediately. I don't ever want to seem ungrateful or like a whiny spoiled brat. I will re write her birth story for her ( I highly doubt she will read the story I posted) and I will make it heartfelt and sincere and use Daniel's memories to fill in the gaps where I can't remember. I won't whine or feel sorry for myself. She deserves a good birth story. Not one about me. hmmm. Not sure all what my thoughts are about the whole thing. I have mixed emotions and I just suck at expressing it all how I really mean it right now. So I will stop trying. I will tell things that are happening in the moment... before I forget those precious moments as well.
Ashlyn is 4 1/2 months old. She is perfect. She is darling and sweet and getting a little personality. She has a cute laugh and is ALWAYS smiling. Good grief she is the happiest little thing! She is nursing still and eats often. She does get formula at night and occasionally at naps to help her gain weight. She is still if at all 12 lbs but she is growing taller. She is busting out of 0-3 month onesies and jammies. Her waist is tiny so she can fit in newborn size skirts or shorts. She blows spit bubbles all. day. long. She loves baby food and baby oatmeal. She eats off a spoon like a champ. She just adores her sisters. She is a total mama's girl. She loves her daddy for sure but is always looking for mom. Which I love but still want her to let others hold her for more than two mins before she spots me and wants me to grab her. She sleeps so well. She actually is napping longer too! Ashlyn is such a special spirit. She makes us all happy and makes us laugh. She likes to jabber the day away and can roll front to back and back to front. She is obsessed with her feet and eats them all day long. She even sleeps holding her feet! hysterical! What else can I say about my sweet girl? She is amazing and we just can't get enough of her!!
I knew I should have done this a while ago. I know how awful my memory is. Its sad that my memory is bad enough that I may not remember all the details of my own daughter's birth but that is my life.
ps this is going to be as detailed as possible so if you don't want to read it. stop now :)
Well the end of my pregnancy was so stressful. Daniel had moved to St. George early to start work (yes it was necessary, there was a family emergency down there as well and he lost his job so he went to get our home ready and start a new job and get it going so we could soon have benefits and money when we got there)
I was very pregnant and very done- my body does not handle pregnancies very well and I had been sick for 35 weeks of it! I was trying to pack up my house for our move. When we planeed our move we knew it would be during the end of my pregnancy (for packing) and the actual move right after she was born. When we planned that we had also planned Daniel being there to help. So I was very pregnant, sick and miserable and I was also teaching preschool and running an in home day care. I was babysitting these kids 11.5 hours a day which is better than the 13 it used to be. sigh. Looking back, I was an idiot. I loved those kids but it wasn't a good idea to do it that many hours for 5 days a week. ANYWAY so at about 36 weeks I was dilated to a 2.5 or was it 3+? I can't remember and the Dr didn't want me to go into labor yet so I was put on bed rest to keep her in there. I went back to the hospital.. 2 or 3 times to get checked because once I felt I was in serious back labor like with Leighton. False alarm, still can't explain the pain I was going through. Every time I got checked I was a 3 then a 4 and having very inconsistant contractions. they would be intense and every 5 mins then after an hour would stop. (With my other 2 kids I never ever had regular contractions. At all. Even as I was about to have the baby. My mom was the same way with all 4 of us kids) So I never knew what to do. Daniel kept racing up from St. George thinking I was in labor and after false alarms would have to go back and just wait. His work would allow one week off IF I had the baby and we couldn't afford for him to just sit in Salt lake if we weren't having this baby. So Sunday May 15th rolls around and I am not having contractions. My eyes however were extremely blurry and my heart was pounding and I was dizzy so I went BACK to labor and delivery to have them check my blood pressure. Which was normal. Ok well I obviously wasn't ok. I started bawling about how Daniel had to leave the next day to get back to work. I didn't know when this baby was coming, I felt awful, I couldn't see, I was on high anxiety. I was at a 4 STILL with irregular contractions. I was an emotional wreck. My dr. had scheduled an induction for about a week from then but kept swearing this baby would be here sooner. Um.. no she wasn't. She wanted to party in there and that was ok. I wanted her to be fully developed and healthy but I was so stressed. Well the sweet nurse comes in and says "ok, I called your OB and he said you can stay." what?! yes! They were going to induce me and Daniel didn't have to go home and we could have our baby and have all our family plan to come meet her!! Well as usual I had no regular contractions. They started me on my anti biotics for group B strep and said after all 3 bags they would come induce me. Well after 1 bag, my water broke and the contractions were intense!! No need to induce me, the baby wanted to come anyway!! I wanted an epidural so bad as I am a major wuss and wanted to feel no pain. the lady was doing my epidural and everything she said I shouldn't feel I did! OW what the heck was happening?? I never ever felt this with my last 2 epidurals! She kept like wiggling the needle or whatever it was around so much that Daniel felt ill and was white as a ghost and had to sit down. Wait, he was supposed to be holding my hand! I was in pain, this lady was screwing up my epidural and it made Dan sick (it never did that with my other ones) with her ramming this needle in all directions. Mumbling something about how she must have hit a nerve. That pain was almost as bad as my contractions. She kept putting in "test medicine" saying I shouldn't feel it going in. I did. It sucked, so bad. As I waited for my epidural to kick in they checked me and I was ready to push. Not only was my contractions not regular despite their intensity they (the staff) were shocked it was time. They were monitoring me and according to their machines I had plenty of time. Anyway so I am freaking out and kept saying my epidural isn't working yet, we have to wait! Please help me. The anesthesiologist looks at me and says she would re do the whole thing butI was out of time. Then she walks out of the room. Apparently after or during HITTING MY NERVE she had done the epidural too low so all the "test medicine" was in my lower legs and feet. She kept pumping it in so I could get my belly and below numb; when I wasn't getting numb she kept pumping in drugs that only made my calves and feet numb. Worst feeling ever. So I could feel everything. (except in my feet of course) and it was time to get the baby here. I only pushed a few times but I remember just panicking saying I am not numb! I can not do this! Maybe if I had planned for a natural birth it would have been easier. But I do not plan natural births. I like my freaking epidural and I like no pain and no stress. The pain was outrageous and I was so miserable and couldn't get my dumb numb feet to stay up. I kept saying I can't do this and the nurse said you have to, no one else can do it for you. They were kind and supportive but firm in the way of letting me know I HAD to push this baby out. So like I said only a few pushes luckily and she was here! My biggest baby yet at 7 lbs 13 oz From the time my water broke to the time she was born was about 2 hours. I have quick babies! She was 13 days early and she come all on her own! Looking back now I see how stressed I had been leading up to her birth and what I could and should have done differently. I am glad I went to the hospital that day to get my blood pressure checked which turned out to be fine. There was obviously a reason we were supposed to be there at that time. If my water had broke at home and not having regular contractions, I may have had my baby at home on the couch! yikes! I still would never choose a natural birth and pray that lady who gave me my meds just made a one time mistake and doesn't do that often. I still to this day 4.5 months later get shooting pains in my spine in the "epidural" site. I am glad in the end that I had a healthy baby, quick birth and an amazing recovery! I am glad Daniel was there. I am glad he got to stay for a week and glad this birth was nothing like Leighton's! I know lots of women have had natural births and should be commended, I personally will never join that awesome group of women who do it and love it and grow from it. If we have another baby, I assure you I will think happy epidural thoughts :)
Man I sure my love my sweet Ashlyn! As much as I whined about her birth, she is an incredible baby and I am grateful she is part of our family! I can not wait to watch her grow and the best start to my morning is her waking me up by her jabbering. Sweet, sweet child she is. I am very blessed.
these are all out of order and I don't want to fix it :)
"To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch...to know that even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded!"