Monday, December 3, 2012


Ryan is now 6 months.  He had a check up a couple of weeks ago, where it was discovered that in the last two months, he hasn't gained any weight.  He grew in height and head measurements, but not it in weight.  12lbs and 15oz. 

I have had some concerns with my milk this time, it just didn't seem like he was getting satisfied, no matter how much I drank or ate.  I had started to supplement with some occasional formula, but now it is a regular addition.  He has started baby foods and hates rice cereal. Ryan has eaten everything I let him get his hands on baby food-wise, including regular mash potatoes and rice krispies. But, the biggest reason he hasn't gained any weight would be...

Crawling.  He has been crawling for a month.  The boy doesn't hold still. He burns all of his calories. Try holding him and it is a like holding a cat that knows you want to give him a bath.  But he loves to be held and gets mad at you when you won't.  Ryan spends a lot of time on the floor.  The result?  He is now pulling himself up on anything and everything he can.  Yesterday, we watched him furniture walking. That is right. Climbed the side of couch and moved from one end to the other. 

I am a little disturbed by this.  Don't get me wrong, I actually love when the babies start to crawl.  LOVE IT.  It means I don't have to carry them everywhere so they can be with me.  They can now come to me. However, the pulling himself up and furniture walking already... he is so little. Not to mention the extra baby-proofing needed.  He was only in the 10th percentile for height and head that I just want him to slow done a bit.  Gain some weight, chub up a bit. So now we are on Operation: Fatty.  Feel free to feed him at anytime.

He is a really sweet little guy.  Loves to smile and makes this really weird noise when he is "laughing".  Aunt Fishy calls him Pterodactyl because of the weirdness of the sound. Every time we are around lots of other people, such as church, he just starts yammering away.  My Mother-in-law could hear  him yesterday from several pews in front.  Ryan loves to make noise.  He has sent me to the mother's lounge many of time, simply because he wouldn't be quiet enough to hear what was being said.  Not crying, mind you, just yammering.  He has two teeth that have started and you can see them cutting through.  Ryan keeps you on your toes.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


I will be talking actually bras sizes.  Just a heads up.

Anyone who has ever seen me, is well aware that I have been "blessed" with an ample chest.  It was large in high school and hasn't gone down.  I have three kids, and I have nursed everyone of them.  The girls have been put through the wringer and nature has taken its course.  It is a common joke between my friend Kate (of similar chest size) and I that after we are done having kids, we would love to get a breast reduction.  In fact, when I was getting married and trying to come up with something for a bridesmaid gift, I found a little ceramic jar that said "Boob Job Fund" for Kate.  She loved it.

 The thought mainly comes up after I have had a lousy day trying to find new clothes.  The thought of being able to shop without having to make sure the fabric is stretchy enough to accommodate the girls, or going into the plus size stuff and needing a tailor to alter to actually fit the way it is supposed to, or be able to actually shop in the petite section, and not worry about the shirt becoming a mid-drift shirt.  Buy a button up-shirt that I don't have to wear a white shirt underneath because I risk impaling someone with a flying button should I button it the way it was intended.

 There are the days where my back will be bothering me, but as I have said, I have always been large, so I don't know if the discomfort I feel is so natural feeling to me, that should it be relieved, that I would be kicking myself for having left it for so long.

Well all of this leads to yesterday.  All of my bras are either worn out, wires poked through, or nursing bras that I intend on throwing away soon, so I, with Mom and kids in tow, went to Lane Bryants to get some new bras.  I walked in, found an employee, and ask to be remeasured.  Last time I was measured at 40DD.  It is very hard to find those in normal department stores that don't have the push-up feature to them. But seriously, if they are that big, do they really need pushed up?  I digress.  She takes me to the dressing room, I tell what I have been wearing lately, 42DD, and she promptly says that is not my correct size.  She measures and I was 39 underneath, so I need to be put into a 40 for comfort sake and she doesn't tell me the cup size, just that it is larger. Mind you, I am still nursing, but I had just fed him about 45 minutes before this. She goes and brings me one to try one.  I am spilling out on top.  Big surprise.  I always spill out and it is a huge pet peeve of mine.  She sees the issue and gets me another one.  It fits wonderfully.  Then I looked at the size.  Now I am horrified.  40H.  Not 40E, or F, G, but H. That is equivalent to 40DDDDD.  That is right, 5 Ds.  Explains a lot as to why I can never find a comfortable bra. 40H.  On the plus side, that was the fastest I have ever been through a bra fitting. I bought one and have ordered 3 more to come with in the next week.

Now the idea of breast reduction seems like it a far more realistic possibility.  Something to consider about a year after I am completely done breast feeding.  Anyone know anything about it? I know of one lady who has had it done, but she is the only one.  Feel free to leave a comment.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Random kid tricks

-If you have a girly girl and you want to find cheap hair accessories, go to Claire's.  They have a 10 for $10 deal that they do at least once a month, sometimes more. They have little girls to teenage girls stuff.  I have not been able to find stuff cheaper anywhere else.

-Have Legos that need washed?  Put them in a pillow case tied up and throw it in the washing machine with bleach or white vinegar.
-For the beginning of a diaper rash, cornstarch if it is pee related, olive oil or bag balm if it is poop related. Use regular diaper cream if it is a full blown rash.

-The Just Ask Series of books by Chris Arvetis are a wonderful.  They explain things simply for children to understand.  Some of the titles include: Why Does It Thunder and Lightning, Why Do Leaves Change Colors, etc.

-When giving kids a Go-Gurt, rip the top off yourself and have the kid open their mouths', then put the Go-gurt in yourself, so that when they are finally grabbing it, it doesn't spill all over them or the floor, it just goes straight into their mouths'.

-Teach the kids about death, please. No need to traumatize them, but let them know.  Mark caught a minnow the other day, put it in a bottle with water and rocks.  Left the bottle in the car during the 90 degree weather and when he saw it again, it was belly up.  After looking at it, he simply said,"It's dead, isn't it?".  No drama, nothing, he still wanted to show that he had caught it, to his cousins, but that was an easy to live with thing.

We are doing pretty well.  Ethan is busy with work, but is starting to look for a different job, he is very tired of customer service. If you know of anything, give me a buzz.  I am getting annoyed with the union/company negotiations over the contract, which have been going on for over a year now, so as long as he can find something that pays well enough, he can change it to whatever he wants at this point.

 Recovery from Ryan has gone smoothly and now it is just time to take advantage of the nursing and use it to help me get back into shape.  Ethan, as encouragement, said he would by this dress for me if I reach my final goal weight/size. It's a specialty dress, because it from a company that specializes in busty women, so it is pricey, but it is so cute!

Mark is still obsessed with bugs, as ever.  I wish I could accurately portray his obsession, but until you see him in action, he is always underestimated.  Aunt Kate took Lyssa and Mark with their cousins to the pool the other day, and as much as he loves water, he is easily scared.  He kept calling himself a 'fraidy cat', which I still don't know where he got that one from.  There is a slide at the pool and after his cousins went down, Lyssa went down, but she was a little too little for the slide and and ended up flipping on to her stomach on the way down, which he saw and it freaked him out a bit.  Kate asked him if he wanted to go down still, he did, so she sent him down.  Right at the first bend however, he slams his hands against the sides, stands up and promptly walked back up the slide.  Kate talked him into going down again, she sends him off and he got farther, but did the same thing again, only he was too far down to get back up by himself, so she had to walk down the slide to get him. (Kate is a lifeguard at that pool.) She asked him why he was scared and all he would say is," I'm not scared, I 'fraidy cat'!"  It was pretty amusing.  I told him next time we go, he'll be bigger so I hope he'll try it again.

Lyssa has been a growing weed this year, she has had so many growth spurts, she is close in height to Mark.  People keep asking me if they are twins. She has always been a girly girl, but she doesn't have issues with getting dirty. Lyssa loves to dote on Ryan, but I'm always telling her to be more gentle, she smothers him with her love.  Kisses and wanting to hold him and trying to get him to stop crying by covering his mouth, yeah, wonderful things like that.  She changes her clothes as often as she can. She is sneaky, that most of the time I don't see her doing it, if I do, I keep making her change back into the original set of clothes.  She doesn't approve.  Loves to wear dresses, and she and Mark play wonderfully together, even with all the fighting.  They stand up for each other and if one has been punished and is crying, the other comes to ask me why I made said person cry and that I need to fix it. I got Lyssa her first Barbie at a yard sale a couple of weeks ago and ended up having to get another so Mark would have one to play with, with her. She is talking very well, and is about the same level as Mark.  I am trying to potty-train her, I didn't really try earlier, due to baby coming and I know most kids regress in that area with a new baby around, so we are trying to now. She'll do number 1, usually, but she is constantly telling me 'it not working' for number 2.  She is my adventurer, very few fears, occasionally she'll need encouragement, but she'll do and eat just about anything.

Ryan is getting big, he was 6lbs 12oz at birth and was at 9lbs 12oz at his one month and his 2 month is next week, we'll see how big he is then.  I just switched his clothing into 3-6 month.  He is jabbering and very attentive when awake. Hearty appetite, I finally am getting to the point where he is going longer between feedings.  He was like clockwork, down to the minute, of every 2 hours.  Ryan has a gift.  He is incredibly strong, physically.  Hold his neck up well and for a long period of time. He also is able to stand on his legs for long periods of time and loves it when we make him do it repeatedly.  About two weeks ago, he threw me for a loop,  I put him on his stomach on a blanket in our dining room and walked into the kitchen, come back out and he had rolled onto his back. Figuring this was just a freak occurrence, I put him back on his tummy, and watched him consciously roll over again.  I watch him do it 3 more times and now he does pretty much every time I put him down.  He doesn't do back to front yet, but he'll get it soon enough.  Ryan is getting consistent about his sleeping habits at night, does a 4-5 hour stretch then 2.5 hours afterwards. He does have his bad nights, but what babe doesn't.  A new thing, he just started, is sucking his thumb.  I need to get some bitter nail polish and I hope that will stop him.  My brother was a thumb sucker and I remember how hard of time my Mother had trying to get him to stop.  Ryan is a very lovable little guy and we are very pleased with his presence in our family.   We had his baby blessing at home on July 1st, it was beautiful and nice, but if we have another kid, I want to do it at the church.  We went camping that weekend with the rest of Ethan's family up to Erie and knew we wouldn't be back on Sunday until the afternoon, but we wanted to do it while Auby and Patrick were in town.
I saw an ad on our local flea market page on FB for a photography deal so the kids and I went the other day while Daddy was at work and got some new pictures with Ryan.  I originally had no plans to be in the pictures, but Ryan wasn't having that. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ryan Alexander Fike

Last Thursday morning I was induced and at 1:02 pm, Ryan Alexander Fike, joined our family. This is his birth story, it may be TMI for some, so I warn you now.

The induction was voluntary, and I am happy I did it. Laurie, my midwife, offered to induced me at 39 weeks, while we were talking birth plan, after I mentioned that my water had broken before contractions with both of the other kids and that Ethan works over an hour away. This is not normally a cause for concern, but should anything have been odd, such as the cord coming out or there were signs of infection, you need to get the hospital asap. I was checked at the following appt, and I wasn't progressed enough to be induced, so I went last week Monday at 39 wks(4 days later) and I had progressed to 2 cm and 50%. We scheduled the induction Thursday morning.

As with Lyssa, I had Ethan and my dear friend Kate there with me. I love Ethan dearly, but he is a lousy coach, so Kate was my coach. They had a slew of LPN in training in the maternity ward. For my room alone, I had 4. One of them had had a child of her own, the other three had never seen a birth. I didn't know this until afterwards though. I got the hospital about 5 am and they started the pitocin at 6:30.

What you hear about inductions are true, the contractions are far more painful, and closer together. Laurie came in and broke my water at 8am. I was asking for the epidural about 8:30, at 4 cm. They gave me the epidural and unfortunately, it didn't completely numb everything like it should, I could still feel the lower left part of my abdomen, and my feet. Feeling my feet made it a lot easier to be moved around, so it wasn't a total loss. I wasn't registering the clock anymore, so I don't know how much time was passing after that. Ryan's heartbeat had been doing pretty well until a little after the epidural, when it started to dip into the 70's range whenever I was having a contraction. It was averaging about 130 otherwise. This had the nurse concerned obviously, so I was being bounced around from one side to the other for about 2 hours, nothing was changing.

They called Laurie back in (her office is right next to the hospital), and they decided that they needed to do two different internal monitors, one for his heart beat and one to see the severity of my contractions. Not long after, they decided they needed to push fluid back into me to see if that would give Ryan's the cushion he needed. It was an extremely weird sensation, but it worked. I have never heard of this being down before, but I won't knock it. They had also stopped the pitocin and that seemed to bring me back up to speed. They checked me again after that and I was at 7-8 cm.   Laurie said the baby could be at 10 cm within 5-20 mins, and for me to mention when I felt the need to push.  Remember the whole epidural didn't numb everything, I was feeling the need to push pretty quickly.  I didn't with Lyssa.

 I had been dealing with the pain pretty well, but once I hit the 10 cm mark, I got slammed with back labor pain.  Kate was massaging that out on my left side with Ethan holding my hand on my right.  Don't forget the 4 LPN's and the regular nurse with the midwife, there was a full crowd in that room. I started pushing and I was hoping it would be like Lyssa's, three sets of contraction and out she came, but no, this kid had other plans(Mark's took an hour and half, with the epidural already worn off).  It took about an hour, and he came "Sunny side up", meaning he had been posterior, which also explained the back pain. All the LPN's were crying.  As I said for three of them it was the first birth they had ever seen.  There was no tearing for me, so recovery has actually been a lot smoother.  I got him to nurse once they handed him back to me after the initial clean up, and he has been a pro ever since. His apgar was 9/9, and since he was small, the labor was relatively smooth.  Laurie said that had he been much bigger, it would have been a much harder delivery.

  He weighed in at 6lbs and 12oz and 19inches long, has hair, and is doing well.   Had his 1st dr. appt. and is already back to birth weight, which is excellent. He is doing the 'eat, sleep, poop' pretty well and the kids love him.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 8: A place you’ve traveled to

When I was 16, I was invited to join People 2 People Student Ambassadors program. The basic gist of it was giving teenagers a chance to go foreign and learn other cultures. You had to pay for the trip yourself, but it was a chance of a lifetime. My brother, Roger had been invited two years in a row, but wasn't willing to earn the money for it. The invitations were done by referrals and recommendations by previous students and teacher involved with it. I went in July 2003 to Sydney, Australia, for a two week adventure. We flew into Sydney, toured the sites there for a couple of days, eating the local cuisine, which wasn't to far off from what we were used to. Toured the Sydney opera house, attempted wading at Bondi Beach(our summers are their winters) in the 40degree waters, did the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb, which is scary as all get out even if you don't have a fear of heights, which I do. After that, we went to Alice Springs. Did a night at a bush Camp, slept under the stars in the desert with negative temperatures(dropped from 63 degrees to -4), learned how to crack a whip properly and rode camels. Walked around Ayers Rock, we did not climb up out of respect for the Aborigine's religious beliefs. Also walked around Kata Tjuta, which is similar to Ayers Rock. Got to watch the sunset and sunrise on Ayers Rock, which was pretty, did the sunrise in a 25 man hot air balloon. I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant/hotel we stayed at the last night we were there in Alice Springs, I know it have it written down in the journal, but it was a do-it-yourself barbeque. They served crocodile, kangaroo, emu, barramundi, and a variety of other different things. P.S. Emu taste like sausage and kangaroo is similar to steak. It was pretty awesome. We got to ride camels in a dried up river bed of the actual Alice Springs. Got to learn how to thrown a boomerang. I sucked at it. Following that we traveled to Cairns. That is easily the prettiest place I have ever been too. The Hotel was named The Tuna Towers. Behind us were mountains, on the right sugar cane fields, to the left the Rainforest, and straight ahead the Pacific Ocean. It was gorgeous. During our time there we did a Home-stay with a family. I went to their school and then spent the night with them. There were three kids in our family. A girl our age and two younger ones in elementary school. The younger girl loved animals and even while living in a pretty suburban home, they had a goat, some chickens, a rabbit and a dog. The next day at their school was track and field day, so we were able to participate. I don't know if this was a normal thing, I would assume it was, but the kids were not required to wear shoes. I am serious. If you wanted to compete in the track and field stuff, you had to be bare foot. I am someone who doesn't really like wearing shoes, so I thought it was great, but then again it was their winter time and the coldest it got when we were there was 80 degrees. Wouldn't exactly work here in PA. The place was also the cleanest place I have ever seen, no trash anywhere, in the school or the town. We also went to do a tour in the rainforest and saw an Natural animal habitat where they had the largest captive crocodile there. Held a Koala and watched someone else get sneezed on by one. It was gross. Saw my first nude beach driving back from the rainforest to the hotel. We went to the Great Barrier Reefs and snorkeled in the corral. My friend, Val and I got mooned by some french guys while we were there. On the way back from the reef, a humpback whale swam right passed our boat. That was the last day we were there. Then there was the 16 hour flight back. Long plane trips are annoying, but we had such a great time it didn't seems soo long.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day 7: Favorite movies

Voted #1 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 Funniest Movies.

When I first started watching it, I didn't think I would really get into, but you can't help laughing through it all.

Day 6: A picture of something that makes you happy

I love pictures of my family.

Day 5: A song to match your mood

Bruno Mars- The Lazy Song

I have a cold that has been keeping me down, so yeah, I don't feel like doing anything today.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 4: Your parents

Stephanie Kean- Mom is the second youngest child and oldest daughter in her family. She is short and has curly hair. While she was growing up, her hair was stick straight, and didn't change until she became pregnant, at which point it got curlier with each kid. Went to Rick's(BYUI) then Byu and became an elementary school teacher. She taught for 7 years, moving around to different areas including, but not limited to Alaska and Texas. Served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints in Japan. After being single for long enough, her S-i-L decided that she knew the perfect guy for her out here in PA, so Mom moved out here and live with them for awhile. The perfect guy wasn't the right one, but she did end up meeting Dad at a Single Adult activity. They dated for three month, engaged for three months and got married in the Idaho Falls Temple. She was 31, he was 32. They had 5 kids, Vanessa, Me, Roger, Alan, and lastly Natalie, who only lived a couple of hours. She always said she loved her Ernie, but hated his name. Dad passed away at 55 to a massive heart attack, leaving Mom a widow, with three kids still at home. Vanessa had gotten married earlier that year. Mom is notoriously forgetful, doesn't check her voicemail, and is computer illiterate. She plays the organ and piano. She is generous to all, but hates ingratitude. Her little 2004 Toyota has over 150k miles on it because she loves to travel, and will help anyone with a ride. My Aunt also lives with her and between the two of them, I have nicknamed them the Two Biddy Aunts of Butler Ward. They adore quilting and often have 5 different projects going. She works as a substitute aid for the kids with special needs in the area. She loves audio books. She is quite the scriptorian. Love the Old Testament and whatever book she is currently reading at that time. She truly loves the gospel, teaching, and being helpful. She can't say no to just about anyone. Loves and cherishes her grandchildren. Isn't much of a cook, but she does try, she ends up substituting just the wrong ingredient when she finds out she doesn't have the right now. Enjoys a good comedy, but despises crass or crude humor. She is my mom and I love her.

Ernie Kean- He is oldest out of two kids. His family are not member of our church, he was a convert in his 20's. Grew up Lutheran. Very involved with the Boy Scout Program with his Lutheran church and his passion for it continued until he died. This man should have died many times when he was younger. I can't remember just how old he was, but he had a burst appendix that they didn't get to the doctor for two days, and he was septic. He was technically drafted for Vietnam, but signed up three days before his draft date. The class before him and after him were sent to Vietnam, he ended up in Germany at a supply unit. Made it to I believe it was Staff Sergeant in the shortest amount of time possible. He didn't like the army, but he was good at it. If there was a problem person, they were sent to Dad to deal with. If he couldn't handle him, no one could. While in Germany, he joined up with the Boy Scout Program there. That is when he was introduced to the Church which he later joined. He did not serve a mission. He dated a lady name Carol for 6 years. After he came home, he became less active in the church, but due to the diligence of Roger Ladle, he became active again. My brother Roger was named after that man.
He attended a two year business school in Pittsburgh, I forget the name of which one. He ended up working as a traffic disbatcher for Marmon Keystone. He worked hard to support and provide for his family. I remember living in a tiny 2 bedroom duplex until I was nine for his dedication to finding us a house. They wanted somewhere with a yard and room for us all. It took awhile, but we ended up moving two days before Christmas in 1994. It was an interesting Christmas that year. Workaholic does not describe just how dedicated he could be about anything. The man could not just relax. If he did take a day off from work, which was rare, he would spend the day cataloguing the books and movies. He loved Alfred Hitchcock and James Bond movies. He liked movies in general. He took special pride in making sure we were treated to going to the movie theater and going out for ice cream. As we got older and busier, he made sure he took one of us out to eat for Breakfast every weekend, so he could have one on one time with us. Planning vacations down to the miles was something he was meticulous about. Always tried to make sure there was some history and at least one amusement park in our big vacations every year. Dad loved amusement parks, especially roller coasters. It started getting to him, physically, towards the end, but he still rode them the trip out to Gettysburg and Hershey Park just weeks before he died. He was a meat and potato eater his whole life and loved meatloaf. If something bothered him, he usually didn't mention it, much to the chargrin of my Mother; example, one of the common meals at our house was Rice with Gravy. It took my Dad 6 YEARS to tell Mom that he didn't really like rice that much. Gave him indigestion. Dad's dedication to detail helped a lot when he passed away. He made sure that Mom would be taken care of. I do believe he knew he would die young, I don't think he knew just how young he would be, though. He was Bishop for our Ward for 7 years, from the time I was 8 until I was 15. He was very much a simple, quiet, dedicated, honest man for which he was loved. I am proud that he was my Dad.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day 3: Your first love

Michael Mcmillan. He and I were in a special hearing impair preschool class together. He had sandy brown hair that was bowl cut and shared toys with me. We were really good friends through kindergarten. At that point we were separated, since he did a repeat year of kindergarten when I moved on to first grade. We still saw each other occasionally through the hearing impairment group, but not as much. After first grade, I transferred to the school in my area, after showing signs that I didn't need the help as much from the group.

I didn't see him again until high school at which point I wasn't sure if he remembered me anymore. We ended up in a class together my senior year, and I lost a lot of respect for him when I realized that he was one that got embarrassed by his hearing aids, and so he wouldn't wear them, and I know the differences of someone not wear compared to when they do. My opinions for that sort of thing are very low. When you are blind you wear glasses, or learn braille, if you can't walk, you use a wheelchair or crutches. Use what you can to help yourself, life is hard enough, don't be dumb and make it even harder, especially if your concern is for peer pressure.

Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name

Umm... I thought it sounded nice? I wasn't trying to be creative when I did it.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts

I am Margaret Fike.

15 Facts about Me

1. I am the second oldest in 4 kids.

2. I read incredibly fast, and not only when I am interested in the book.

3. I can lip read. I am not the best, but I can hold my own for just about any situation.

4. I am a garage sale junkie. I have supplied 90% of the clothing, books, toys, and baby supplies in this house from garage sales. I will map out destinations with times to make sure I hit the best ones. I know from previous years which houses are repeaters and should be avoided at all times.

5. Ethan and I got engaged on our second date. Five months later, we were married in the Washington D.C. Temple.

6. I worked on a dude ranch in Colorado when I was 19. I know how to lasso, am quite proficient with a gun, and own and know how to use a whip.

7. I have swam in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The Pacific was far better.

8. Will encourage any teenager out of high school to spend a summer working at any job of the site. They do crusielines, camps, hotels, etc. That is how I got the job in Colorado. I also had an offer for a job in Alaska for a hotel, but chose Whistling Acres instead.

9. Loves, loves, loves amusement parks. More specifically roller coasters. There has only been one I didn't like, the Mean Streak at Cedar Point. Fav. The Millenium Force and Dragster at Cedar Point. Cedar Point is the roller coaster city of the world.

10. I don't own a hair dryer and never have.

11. I have a small time job at the cheap theater in town. It is my sanity from my kids job, and I have worked there longer than I have been married.

12. I want to become a phlebotomist. Once this baby(not yet born) is a little older, I intend on taking the class for it. I just want to be able to jump into the job immediately after I finish the class, so it probably won't happen until he is in Kindergarten.

13. I collect books. All kinds of books. Except horror, my imagination is good enough without help from them. There are 3 books shelves in the front room filled to the brim, one huge one in the dining room, one in the living room, one in my room as well as wall shelves, and one in Lyssa's room. All are full and there are still more books. I need more shelves.

14. I am extremely proud of the the work that has been done on this house. Not many people could have done what Ethan and I have done to this place. It went from having no plumbing, electrical, needing a new heating system, and massive cosmetic work to what we have now. It will be at least another 5 years before we are finished with everything we have thought out, but it will be beautiful when it is done.

15. I love Chocolate covered Strawberries like no other.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


In an effort to get back on my blogging bandwagon, I am stealing the 30 day blog challenge idea from my cousin Dedra and others.
Here's how it goes...I'm going to post everyday for 30 days and below are the topics I'll post about.

Day 0: The 30 Day Challenge Explanation and Description
Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts
Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name
Day 3: Your first love
Day 4: Your parents
Day 5: A song to match your mood
Day 6: A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 7: Favorite movies
Day 8: A place you’ve traveled to
Day 9: A favorite picture of your best friend
Day 10: Something you’re afraid of
Day 11: Favorite tv shows
Day 12: Something you don’t leave the house without
Day 13: Goals
Day 14: A picture of you last year – how have you changed?
Day 15: Bible verse
Day 16: Dream house
Day 17: Something you’re looking forward to
Day 18: Favorite Place to Eat
Day 19: Something you miss
Day 20: Nicknames
Day 21: Favorite Picture of yourself ALL TIME Why?
Day 22: What’s in your purse?
Day 23: Favorite Books
Day 24: Something you’ve learned
Day 25: Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs
Day 26: Your Dream Wedding
Day 27: Original Photo of the city you live in
Day 28: Something that stresses you out
Day 29: 3 Wishes
Day 30: a picture of yourself this day and 5 good things that happened since you started the challenge

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Alan's home!

Alan got home on Dec. 15th after having served an honorable, 2 year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in the Pocatello, Idaho mission. We are very proud of him and his accomplishment. He has definitely grown up, while still maintaining his "uniqueness". It was mainly just family at the airport, along with Alycia Fike, due to an unexpected change in arrival times. The kids and Vanessa made signs and they were adorable. Surprisingly all of the kids seem to just love him on the spot, especially Phebe. It was surprising given their ages, I only expected Victor and maybe Naomi to actually have a memory of him, the others were too young. Alan had only seen Phebe once, the day she was born, at the hospital on the way to the airport. He is still the zombie obsessed, gamer, Swedish fish loving, pyromaniac we all love.

Christmas was a busy time with all the family. Christmas Eve was celebrated at the in-laws, after a wonderful dinner, and a funny attempt to have the kids act out the Christmas story. Joseph(Mark) pushed one of the shepherds out of the stable, Lyssa had a meltdown and wanted nothing to do with it, Seth wandered around, and Ari stood on the stool as the angel arms spread with a wonderful look at me thing going on. Kira was the only normal one. After the opening of stockings and some excellent gifts( a new scentsy burner, gift cards for Home depot, baby cakes maker,ammo,etc), Ethan and Anthony surprised us with fireworks in the backyard.

Sara and gang are still living with us, so we did Christmas morning with them. I made up a sausage egg casserole the night before so all we had to do was pop it in the oven. Ethan surprised me immensely this year with getting us all fishing poles and camping gear. He went all out with a new tent, dishes, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, etc. We had been talking about doing a fishing trip up to Erie for Father's Day and doing the Palmyra pageant in July and doing camping for all of it. But we have no camping gear whatsoever. I am really psyched to use it this summer. He also promised a getaway weekend just for the two of us. I not sure when that will happen with the baby due in May. We are hoping for a dry weekend in April and will probably just go to Moraine. Ethan had gotten his present back on Black Friday, with a gun store having a sale. The kids got miscellaneous toys and such from us. Overall, I thought Christmas went off without a hitch and am very pleased with the results.

We got ready for church and went. That was a bit of a disaster for the kids. It was only 1 hour Sacrament, but Lyssa started it off by scratching a scab on her face which wouldn't stop bleeding, so Ethan took her out, and Mark wouldn't and I mean wouldn't stop talking. Had I had duct tape, it would have been used.

After saying goodbyes to people we headed over to my Mom's house and proceeded with my family's Christmas. First we made up Chinese food, Nessa did Shrimp fried rice, I did Sweet and Sour Chicken, and I don't know who did the egg drop soup, but it was delicious and I hope this becomes a tradition for us. Mom and Aunt Shiela had been sewing up a storm for all the grand kids. All the boys got new sleeping bags, which have hippos on them, I will post pictures later, something that she had made for us kids when we were younger. I don't remember what happened to mine, I probably wore it out. Victor's was a dark blue with a red hippo, Caleb's was Green with a light blue? hippo, and Mark's was red with black and blue hippo with insect prints. They were adorable and a hit with the boys. The girls got quillows, a blanket that folds into a pillow. Lyssa hasn't quite figured out how to fold the blanket back up, but she still loves hers. Ethan got a framed picture of The Signs of the Times of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It is his favorite picture of Christ and we have been on the hunt for one for our home. It is the same picture as the mural in the Washington D.C. Temple after you have walked through the Annex. I received another storage bin and a promise for a maternity clothes shopping trip from Mom. Nessa and Ethan gave us a cast iron frying pan, something I had been wanting.

Christmas still was going, after we left Mom's as we headed back to the Fike's for dinner with Gma and Gpa Fike. We hadn't gone to their house the previous night so they brought gifts down with them. Lyssa got a new doll, the boys got Steeler apparel, which they have worn today for the game, and I received a more cooking gear, stuff that I could use for camping. We had a great time visiting everyone and celebrating, but by this time the kids had had it, and were being extremely cranky, so we went home and went to bed.

Other news for this week was an ultrasound of the baby. I love getting ultrasounds, it just cool being able to see the baby. It is a boy this time! I was very surprised by that announcement. This pregnancy mimicked Lyssa's not Mark's, and I had always thought I would end up with one boy, two girls. Do not think that I am disappointed, I am actually very excited. I don't think I could handle two girls being as girly as Lyssa is. However, the main reason I chose to find out the sex of the baby was because it was a boy, I need to go shopping for the boy stuff. I had given most of the younger stuff away to Aubby for Seth, and gave most of the older stuff away just last August, while cleaning out the attic. I also purposely got some very specific pictures so Ethan could guess the result when I got home. Every one's reaction has been funny to watch when they realize it is a boy. The only person who really guessed it was a boy, was Alan. He did an "I told you so" dance in response. Baby boy is doing well and everything looks pretty good. Now we just need to come up with a name. We had a girl's name picked out, Emily, but agreeing upon Mark's name last time was pulling teeth for us. Who knows what will happen this time. I really don't like going through baby name books because they have way too many names to go through. Baby Boy is due May 19.