Thursday, December 23, 2010

The North Pole

Casey came home from Qatar early! We were so happy to have our Daddy back. We picked him up on Monday, Dec. 20. He was really exhausted from his trip, but Cash was so thrilled to have him back. So was I. I took advantage of his return and ran about 20 errands. Then it was time to get to celebrating this special time of year. We took Cash to see Santa Claus at the North Pole. He doesn't understand who Santa is, but it was fun to see how he acted. He was really nervous at first and just kept staring at Santa. Then Santa lured him over with a candy cane. Cash took the offering and then ran back to us. Casey just ended up putting Cash on Santa's lap and sat with him. Then I took a turn holding him on Santa's lap. We got a few shots, none of them are great. But it was a cute experience. I can't wait until Cash understands the joy of this Holiday Season. Then Cash took a ride on Santa's Express train. He loved it as long as he couldn't see us. I'm so happy that Casey got back safely and we were able to share in this tradition as a family. Next up, Christmas Eve and Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Family Christmas Pictures

My sister Nikki was kind enough to run across the street to our local park and snap some shots of our family. We only had an hour and Cash was a total disaster, but we ended up with some gems. She's a life saver. I never would have gotten my act together to hire a photographer to take them and I wasn't sure I wanted lasting pictures of me in this not-quite-showing-yet fat stage. Miraculously, she made me look good. She made us all look good. Thanks a million Nikk.

I am 18 weeks pregnant right now and I'm not sick anymore! Hooray! I am finally feeling like myself again. I haven't thrown up in a week and I even wake up and get dressed most days. That is a giant step for me. I still don't have the energy that I used to, but I am getting there. The lack of energy thing probably has to do with a few factors. First, I have been busy shopping and preparing for Christmas. This includes staying up way too late finishing presents, wrapping them, choosing Christmas cards, etc. Then Casey left for Qatar (a little country in the Middle East that borders Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf) for a volleyball tournament. He is playing indoor with the USA team made up of athletes that were still in the States during the winter season. It was an honor for them to ask him to play and he was dying to go play somewhere. Casey left on Dec. 12th and will be gone until the 21st or 23rd, depending on how they do. We crammed all of our holiday shopping and activities into the week before he left, so I wouldn't be too stressed with him gone right before Christmas. That left one tired Mommy and baby alone without our Daddy. I didn't realize how much I counted on the little breaks that Casey offers throughout the day. Oh boy I do now. The first couple of days were rough because Cash didn't nap well, he was super cranky, and I was one grumpy single parent. Despite my lack of energy, we have managed to keep it together. I only have a few more presents to buy, cards to deliver, and one overdue visit to Santa for a picture. Besides that I am sitting pretty.

I really do love this time of year. It gets busy and stressful, but I take plenty of down time to enjoy my favorite things. Christmas music, hot chocolate, Christmas tree lights, advent calendars, treats, Christmas cards, Christmas movies, and of course the celebrations of our Savior's birth. Just writing about it is giving me more energy to go and enjoy it some more! We can't wait until Casey is back home with us and we can enjoy this joyful holiday season.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Baby #2 Makes A Debut

Casey and I are excited to announce that we are expecting our second baby in May 2011! We wanted Cash to have a sibling close in age, so we were shooting for around 2 years apart. They will be 23 months apart, so good job by us. We are thrilled to be expanding our family. I found out I was pregnant around 5 weeks pregnant. This pregnancy couldn't have come at a more special time. The passing away of my Father and the news of a new life joining our family happened within a week of each other. I have two parents up there in Heaven watching over me and I just know they had something to do with this. They are two people who are crazy for babies.

When I told Casey I was pregnant, he said, "Are you joking?" We had just gotten back from a date night and he was already in bed. I randomly decided to do a pregnancy test and I was shocked that it was positive. He was even more shocked that I had done the test and we were pregnant again. We both started laughing and hugging. Then I think we both thought, well here we go again.

I have already been to the doctor two times and everything is looking good. I feel much more prepared this time around. The heartbeat is strong and the baby is measuring for arrival around May 20, 2011.
The biggest difference with this pregnancy so far has been the nausea. I started feeling sick way sooner this time. Around 6 weeks I was  already needing Zofran, my saving grace anti-nausea medication. I started throwing up at 6 weeks and wasn't able to get off the couch until around 15 weeks. Of course that's a slight exaggeration because I'm also caring for a toddler who keeps me busy. But I have seriously felt terrible for a long time. I'm sure it was this bad the first time around, but being in the thick of it right now seems worse. Plus I'm not only taking care of myself, but my sweet little Cash who tests my limits daily.

I have asked Casey many times why we were rushing to get pregnant when I get this sick. We both agreed that we forgot how sick I really get. I just need to remember to never consider expanding my family while I'm in the first trimester. I'll forget how awful I feel eventually because here I am again. I thought it would be better this time because I knew how to handle the nausea. But even knowing the tricks, doesn't help the extreme exhaustion and sickly feeling. I'm seriously considering giving large sums of money to anyone willing to find a cure for the first trimester nausea/exhaustion. How is no one trying to combat this already? Probably because all of the people doing research are either men or women who don't have kids/get sick while pregnant. Ugh. I know it's a small price to pay for creating a new life. I just need to keep positive and remember there is an end in sight. If I want to have a big family, I better have a short-term memory.

There is one thing that keeps me smiling these days. Cash. He is going to be a great older brother. He is so good with little babies and so funny. He is always trying to help my sister Nikki's twins with their binkies, their silkies, or by giving them kisses. He went through a stage for a few months where he liked to bite and hit. It was terrible, but he eventually stopped doing it. Now he's a big sweetheart who occasionally throws tantrums and whines. He's such a big boy now. He'll turn 18 months in a few weeks, and soon he'll be a big brother!

I'm happy to say that I'm now 16 weeks along, in the second trimester, and feeling better. I can go without Zofran most days and I have more energy. Just in time for Christmas. We find out the sex of the baby on December 20th. I'm surprising Casey and his family with the news for Christmas. So you'll just have to wait to hear the news until the New Year.

Giving Thanks in Utah

November came and brought us another road trip to Utah. I was excited to see my family again, but not excited for the drive. A nauseated person who is prone to car sickness really dislikes 11 hour road trips. Just an FYI. Our drive started off without any problems until we hit Cedar City and the weather hit us. It was snowing so hard and really difficult to see. By the time we hit Beaver, they had shut down the freeway. We were stuck in Beaver for two and a half hours. There were thousands of cars lining the streets. Beaver had an influx of revenue that night. We just sat at a restaurant and ate until the roads were cleared and opened up. It made for a nice break, but a long trip to Utah.

This is the first time I've been back since my Father passed away. It was bittersweet not being able to go home for the Holidays, but still being with my family. We stayed at my sister Misha's house and had so much fun. She has a little girl, Sable, who is just 6 months younger than Cash. They were so funny together. She followed him everywhere and then they would just play side by side. Or go back and forth grabbing toys from each other. I can't wait to see them play when they are older. I'll be they will be the best of friends.

Whenever we go to Utah, Casey and I know that we will be eating way too much good food and staying up way too late playing games/talking. We were not disappointed. Each day was planned around where/what we were going to eat. That is music to a pregnant lady's ears. I started feeling a lot better while we were there. Misha gets sick when she is pregnant too, so she was really good about helping me eat when I needed to eat. She, along with myself, are food lovers. Eating makes us happy.

My niece, Brittany had her first baby the week before Thanksgiving. A little girl named Maili. We threw her a baby shower while I was there and it was so fun to see that little baby. You forget how small they are in the beginning. It was so nice to hold that little precious gift and know that I'm going to be fortunate enough to have another one soon. Cash is practically a teenager next to that little baby. Cash didn't even notice the baby. I'm sure it will be different when that baby is in my arms all day long.

We were in Utah during a blizzard weather warning. I lived in Utah for 12 years and never had a blizzard warning, so we were all pretty concerned. All of Utah was reacting to the severe weather warning. Schools and work got out early and everyone was sent home to wait out the storm. It did snow really hard and was frigidly cold, but didn't seem that different from other snow storms I've witnessed in Utah. I guess the wind factor was the biggest difference. Anyways, we survived the blizzard hype and enjoyed the snow the next day. We also ended up going to the Discovery Center with my family. Cash was in Heaven. He could have stayed there all day playing. I love his age right now. Just in a few weeks he has picked up on so many words, facial expressions, and is understanding much better. He has a really funny personality and is always trying to get everyone's attention. He wants to be center stage no matter who is around. Then he'll do something funny, dance, give you the side-eye, and then laugh really hard at himself. Cracks me up. I love being able to understand him and have him repeat everything I say. It's a joy getting to know him.

This was the first time that my Dad wasn't there to offer the opening prayer at the Thanksgiving feast. It smoothly transitioned to my oldest brother Joe. I am so grateful for my siblings. I love coming from a large family. They have been such a support system to me since the loss of my Mom and then my Dad. I am fortunate to be a part of their lives, and so happy that they will be there for the rest of mine. Thanksgiving dinner was as filling and fun as always. We had a traditional Brown Family Thanksgiving at my sister's ward building. We ate to our hearts content, and then we played games into the night. We even had a visit from the police because one of the kids prank called 911. Very eventful. Cash loved running around with all of his cousins. I wish I could have big parties like this for him to enjoy every weekend. He ran around with everyone and copied everything we were doing. He joined in on dodge frisbee and thought he was doing such a great job throwing those frisbees like everyone else. He makes me smile. Such a smart boy with lots of energy and a charming smile that makes you want to pick him up and give him a big fat kiss. He's really into kisses these days. Even makes the muahhhhh sound every time he doles one out.

I was able to go by my Dad's house and see the renovations that were completed. We re-did the main and top floors. It looks like a different house. All empty and new. It was rs. It looks like a different house. All empty and new. It was hard walking through it and knowing it would never be my home again. I hope a really great family buys it and takes care of it. My Mom always wanted to upgrade the house like we did, but never had the time/money to do it. She would have loved the way it looks now. I couldn't help thinking how much she would have loved all of the changes while I was there. I hope she is enjoying how great the house looks from Heaven. I always knew this day would come, but you can never prepare for it. It was hard to say goodbye to my home for that past 15 years. So many memories there.

We sadly had to leave the family once again to get back on the road and come home. It's always hard to leave my family. We have so much fun being around them. Cash loves all those kids. We got home safely and now we are preparing for Christmas. I love this time of year!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Halloween

From your resident Bruja, Giraffe, and Batman.

Pumpkin Patch

 We visited the local Pumpkin Patch for some Halloween fun. Cash loved picking up the pumpkins and throwing them. Luckily none of them broke. Whenever he would get to a big pumpkin, he would just take a seat, but his goal with the little ones was destruction.

He was initially really scared of the pony, but then he found his groove and started riding with no hands. I was so proud of him. Concurring his fears one pony at a time.

 The Patterson's at the Pumpkin Patch October 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloweentime At Disneyland

We renewed our Disneyland annual passes this October and have been taking advantage of the Halloween-themed parks. Two of my sisters came into town the past couple weeks and we were more than happy to meet them at the happiest place on earth. Cash is almost to the age where he enjoys this kind of stuff. I said almost. He just kind of sits back and watches everything. He doesn't get scared unless he gets sprayed in the face with water. Otherwise he is just tentatively observing. The first sign of enjoyment he gave was when we were getting on the Peter Pan ride. He sat down on the boat and grabbed the bar to pull it down over his lap without us doing anything. That was it. It was a significant moment cause it was his way of showing us that he was ready to get on the ride. We're still waiting for any show of happiness or excitement. We are getting there.

Casey just comes along for the ride because he isn't much of a theme park guy. But he enjoys watching Cash experience everything. And he commented this past time, "I swear this is the only place on earth where you are truly happy." I mean he's totally exaggerating of course, but I do love me some Disneyland. Especially this time of year. I can't wait for the Christmas decorations to go up!

P.S. I'm pregnant. Baby #2 due May 2011.

Scarred for Life

We faced our first big crisis as parents on Saturday. We drove down to San Clemente to my brother Tim's house to help with his campaign. He is running for San Clemente City Council. I volunteered to watch the kids while all the adults walked door to door to hand out fliers. While babysitting, Cash tripped over their rug and went face first into their coffee table. There was blood everywhere and I knew he had cut his lip. I rushed him into the kitchen and I was running cold water over his mouth and hands. Trying to figure out where all of this blood was coming from. He was crying pretty hard at first, but then settled down to just being sad. At first I thought there was blood on the top of his lip that needed to be washed off. Then I realized it was two big cuts on the top of his lip. His bottom teeth had gone through his upper lip on the outside. I couldn't find any cuts on the inside of the lip, so it didn't go all the way through. I called Casey to come home because we had to go to the hospital. I was kind of surprised at how calm I was after that. I grabbed a popsicle out of the freezer to keep him happy and stop the bleeding. Casey finally got there and we drove to the hospital. I was worried about it leaving a scar on his perfect little face, so we chanced the expense of the ER to see a doctor in case he needed stitches.

We spent 5 hours in the ER that night. The doctor said the cuts were too wide for super glue and there was risk of the wound opening with how much the mouth moves. He said stitches was the way to go and we had two options. Either hold him down and stitch him while he was awake. Or put him under. I wasn't too thrilled about having him scream and squirm around while the doctor stitched his lip, so we decided to put him under. It was pretty rough getting the IV in and having him hooked up to all of those monitors. We just had to keep him distracted with The Incredibles. Thank goodness for iPhones.

The doctor started stitching him and I couldn't watch. I just held his little hand and focused on his breathing. In and out. Poor little guy. At least he won't remember it. Coming out of the anesthesia was scarier than I thought it would be. I thought he would be pretty funny or loopy. Instead he was screaming and terrified. The doctor said that sometimes they can hallucinate when they are waking up. His eyes couldn't focus and he was shaking and screaming. I just picked him up and sang him all his favorite songs. Eventually he started coming to and recognizing my voice. He was such a little trooper. It was a scary and emotional night, but we got through it together. I'm really sad about him having a scar on his face when he's so young. But accidents happen. We are just glad he's okay. We're okay. We are now officially the parents of a boy. I'm sure that won't be our last crisis. Now we're prepared.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


 My sister Jacque took Cash's one-year-old pictures when we were in Utah. Here's our handsome little man.

We flocked to Aspen

"A little place called Aspen. Where the beer flows like wine, and the women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano."
Dumb and Dumber

Little known fact. Casey's favorite movie is Dumb and Dumber. Littler known fact, the movie is actually filmed in Breckenridge, CO. Joke's on us. We were all excited to road trip to Aspen and see some sights from the movie. It wasn't until we got there and looked up the hotel they stayed in, to find out it wasn't there. Bummer. We were in Breckenridge a few weeks ago and had no idea. Oh well. Aspen was still beautiful and a fun place to visit.

Casey and Ty were playing in the Motherlode tournament in Aspen on Labor Day weekend in September. This tournament is sort of a big deal in outdoor volleyball world and Casey has been many times. It was the first time for Cash and I. We spent a lot of time walking around the little town and exploring. Casey and Ty ended up winning the tournament. Again. They are seriously on fire.We had a fun little weekend there. And lots of good food. Part of the prize was gift cards to this fancy steakhouse and we feasted. It was much needed. Also much needed, a babysitter for Cash. He was so tired and cranky, that he could have ruined the dinner if the food wouldn't have been way too good to be bothered by his foul mood. Our poor little baby has spent so much time in a car this summer. Here's how we keep him happy.

After more than two months on the road, we are finally home. Boy it feels good to be home. I hope we don't leave for a long long time.