Tuesday, December 29, 2009

First Christmas

Did you know that the name Matthew mean's "a gift from God"? It was one of the main reason's I wanted to use the name, because he feels like my little gift from Heaven.

The best gift
That I ever got
Didn’t really weigh a lot
It didn’t have a ribbon ’round
And it sometimes made a terrible sound
The best of all it seems to me
It wasn’t neath the Christmas tree
And yet, I guess I’d have to say
That it made all the other presents twice as gay
The best gift that I’ve ever known
I’d always wanted most to own
Yet in my dreams of sugar and spice
I never thought it could be so nice
The best gift that I ever get
Was sometimes dry and sometimes wet
Was usually pink but oftentimes red
As it lay so innocently in it’s bed
The best gift of the year to me
The one I hold most dear to me
A gift that simply drove me wild
Was a tiny new born child...
Barbara Streisand's: The Best Gift

Thanks to my sister-in-law, Heather, for bringing this wonderful song to my attention.

All I Want For Christmas is a Picture

It was Christmas Eve, I just wanted one good picture of my 3 kids by the Christmas tree. At first their general attitude was a bit unwilling...

Success! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! More from our Christmas celebration will be posted very soon. (I hope.)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sweet Boy

Okay, I know I'm biased... but I just think this boy is the cutest baby boy in the whole world. I feel so blessed to have little Matthew in our family.Prayer works. :)

Snow Angels

Snow, snow and more snow. Living on the side of the mountain is proving to be quite interesting weather wise. We've had quite the week of snow! The girls are learning that there are different kinds of snow for different purposes. This was the coldest and driest of the snow this week -- perfect for snow angels. Yesterday we had pack snow falling -- perfect for snowmen and snowball fights -- which was also taken advantage of. And today it is officially snowing snow cones outside. Slush is literally falling from the sky! I think my little Arizona family is doing pretty well acclimating to this new and exciting weather condition! (As the primary shoveler of the house, however, Dallan might beg to differ... )

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Matthew's Arrival: The Extensive Edition

The miracle of life is so utterly impressive, awesome and just completely miraculous to witness. This week my little miraculous wonder was talk of the town! Matthew Dallan Simper was born Wednesday December 2nd at 3:01 am, and this is my story... with all the juicy details!

After a week and a half of miserable contractions, aches everywhere and just the feeling of overall doneness, I was feeling ready to do anything I could to have my body back to just being me. My family was dragging me on hikes down the mountain, we were raking leaves, going for walks, Dallan even one night convinced me to do a lunge (which was a big mistake!). Tuesday I had my complete emotional breakdown, and the tears flowed almost all day. I decided there was NOTHING I could do to encourage my baby to come, and so I gave up and SAT all day, and cried. All that self inflicted pain seemed like a complete waste. So, Tuesday was rough.

That night before bed we reminded the girls, yet again, that if Mommy and Daddy weren't in their bed when they woke up, that Grandma and Grandpa would be there, and baby brother would be being born at the hospital. And so my sweet Amelia said her prayers, and whether she was just having her own selfish desires spoken for, or she sensed my exhaustion, she prayed that baby brother would be born, TONIGHT. We kissed them both and then went downstairs, sat on the couch and started a movie.

Dallan had work to do and I sat up after the movie at my computer before waddling to bed. Around 11:00 I finally gave in to sleep. At 1:35 am I was abruptly awoken with a contraction that didn't feel terribly different than others I had experienced, but it hurt and lasted. Once I could get up, I went to the bathroom and then crawled back into bed, when another painful contraction hit. I looked at the clock and it had been exactly 5 minutes. So I sat up and stared at the clock, waiting to see if it happened again. (Now, I had done this on previous nights and had 2-3 consistent contractions but went back to sleep disappointed when they didn't continue.) Another lasting and painful contraction did come, however, and so at 1:50 am I decided to involve Dallan in my clock watching. Within the following 10 minutes it was the general consensus to go downstairs and get ready to go to the hospital. I wasn't curled over in pain yet, and was honestly a little hesitant still to call the neighbor and parents for fear that the contractions would end and I would have disturbed everybody's night for no reason. But alas, I trusted my instinct and we made the phone calls. The neighbor came by 2:15 am, and we were out the door.

Dallan has always had a secret desire to be driving his pregnant wife to the hospital, speeding through traffic, when a cop tries to pull him over and ends up escorting us to the hospital. Okay, I have to admit it sounds exciting, but the sirens sound like just another obstical between me and the hospital I'd rather NEVER experience. But seeing as the streets were empty at 2 in the morning, Dallan was all for speeding and running red lights. I believe he ran every stop sign and red light between our house and the American Fork hospital! Luckily most of the people in Utah county were asleep, so the streets really were empty. We called the doctor and repeated over and over to him, "this will probably be fast..." and "you need to meet us at the hospital..." and so the doctor finally agreed he'd stop at AF hosptial before going to another hospital he was already in route to go to for another delivery.

We arrived in record time at the hospital door, Dallan pulled up to the curb and ran in to get a wheelchair. The pain was just now becoming extreme. Dallan got me inside, and a doctor at the elevator saw us coming and held the door open for us. I share all these details to illustrate the LACK of delays between us and the delivery room! At 2:45 they had me in the bed, in the labor and delivery room, and discovered that I was dialated at 9 cm.

The next 15 minutes were quite a blur. There was a lot of running around, a LOT of pain, and a lot of moaning and screaming on my part. The doctor was found very quickly and I thought my water had broken because I was really feeling ready to push. The doctor explained that the baby was head down, but possibly turned a little and he wanted to check with an ultrasound. The machine was brought in and I believe he checked (although I have no recollection) just before I yelled out "I really need to push!" So everything was thrown to the wind and the pushes began. It was then the doctor actually broke my water for me and the real pain began! Wow! I have never been in so much pain! I could hear them saying to pull my legs in, to lift my back, but I felt paralyzed and had to push. I think I pushed 2, maybe 3 times, counting to 20 each time and that last push just giving my all and he was out!

Time of contraction starting 1:37 am.

Time of birth 3:01 am.

And the most incredible part, the baby was sunnyside up (which is much more painful and can often result in hours and hours of pushing) and when put on the scale weighed in at, can you believe, a solid 10 LBS! The doctor said more than once, "I'm glad I witnessed this. I wouldn't have believed it had I not been here," and the gossip among the nurses in the hall left me laughing out loud all morning!

Yeah, I was pretty shocked and also proud of myself to have pushed out a 10 pounder without any drugs! Wohoo!! Okay, but I don't know that I would repeat it or wish it upon anyone... but it was a shocker!

He's beautiful and strong and healthy. Everything a mother could ever ask for. And I'm sure I made this story much longer than you ever asked for. But it makes for a good story, don't you think?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Smattering of Photos

Matthew Dallan Simper

Born December 2nd, 2009

10 lbs, 21 in

New Baby

The baby was born this morning. It is a boy. Mother and baby are doing fine.

More details and pictures coming soon.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Insight into Dallan's thoughts

When my belly moves, this is what Dallan thinks of. Apparently brothers have similar thoughts.

This is for you Evan:

Bellydancing Redefined

(my apologies for the size of the video. I couldn't find a way to make it bigger, but when I do, I'll put some better wiggle footage up.)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ballerina Amelia

Isn't she cute?! I really wanted to start her in something extra-curricular before we had moved to Utah, and had great plans for her to start in Piano lessons. Well, we haven't found a piano teacher yet, but a good friend of mine here informed me of a dance class for 3-5 year olds she was putting her little girls in. When I asked Amelia if she wanted to learn to dance, she just lit up. She has been so excited about it since! We bought her a little leotard and she insisted on the skirt/tutu so she could twirl better.

I watched a little of their class today and was so impressed, and honestly excited, with the teacher and format of the class. She is actually learning to "Plie" and "Releve", and they point their toes and leap around the room. It's so cute!! The teacher reminds them to have beautiful arms, and move gracefully. Amelia is really loving it and I am really impressed on how well she seems to be following her teacher's instructions. She makes such a cute little ballerina.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Clock is Ticking

30 Weeks!
That's right! I have 10 weeks left to go, and I am counting down. Some people are shocked to find out I still have 10 weeks in this pregnancy, but I've found some very positive aspects to getting this large in my pregnancies (and yes, I do get bigger!)

First: As you can see in my horrible photo-shopped version of this picture, I carry my babies all out front.

What does this mean?

I have some theories:

I don't get sick in my pregnancies. Could this be (and this is only a theory) because the baby is in FRONT of all my internal organs, and therefore doesn't interfere with my stomach, digestive system, lungs ect.?

I don't have to pee an excessive amount while pregnant. Again, I think my baby sits in front of my bladder, not on top of it.

So, while I do get very large while pregnant, and shock many people with my largeness... I am grateful for my body and my babies. I have such easy pregnancies (for the most part) I can deal with being big out front.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A "Walk" through Zion's

We spent Labor Day this year in Zion's National Park. It was BEAUTIFUL! However, 7 months pregnant and accompanied by 2 small children made for an interesting day...
We didn't expect the current or the depth when we got to the middle of the river. Dallan stood on the side lines taking pictures of our life-threatening activity! If we were going to fall in, he was determined to photograph it first, and THEN jump in and rescue his pregnant wife and children.
Then we decided to go for a hike. They said on the bus it was a nice, EASY walk. Ha! It was a steep, dirt .8 mile trail to a pool of water and then .5 miles out. Lucy climbed in my arms and fell asleep about .2 miles into the hike... You do the math.
Amelia on the other hand was a real trooper! She walked the entire hike with her fabulous hiking buddy, Grandma. She even spotted 1 fox, 4 deer, a squirell and lots of lizards on the hike.Isn't Zion's beautiful?! I'd like to go back sometime when I am not "great with child" and carrying sleeping toddlers so I can truly enjoy all the beauty it entails.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Drinking Fountain Rules

You know how you tell your children to not put their mouths on drinking fountains?

Sometimes they do really well...
Maybe I should have also told them no drinking BELOW someone else who is drip drinking...AND ABSOLUTELY NO PIPE LICKING!!!
Okay, Lucy, that is just plain gross!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Simper Pioneers

If you had to go to Utah...
Would you walk there like the pioneers did?
Perhaps. But instead of a covered wagon, how about a truck the size of a train? Of course there will be extra stuff to pack...
So we'll have to pack our "wagon" anyway... Things were a bit tight, and some was left behind, but the most precious cargo made it in.There were some detours along the way. Stephanie had some unfinished official business that had to be taken care of before she could leave Arizona. It was very hard work!But at least she had GREAT company!!
When she finally regrouped with her family, there was a great Simper gathering in the beautiful White mountains of Arizona. Unfortunately we did have to bury some of the children along the way...
The Simper Six:And their cumulative 18 children:
And finally after crossing many hundreds of miles
we made it safe and sound at our new home in the foothills of Provo Utah.
And then there are the joys of unpacking upon arrival. There were a lot of fun things hiding in all that paper!!

And that's our own pioneer story of how we got to Utah.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Overdue Update

Well, we have finally moved into our new house in Provo Utah! The boxes are (almost) unpacked, which I think is pretty good after only 2 weeks of being here. For an update of all our happenings:

Dallan's job is going well. He actually felt like he had a productive day yesterday for the first time.

However, his car isn't doing as well. It made it a week after we all got here and one of the fan belts and a/c decided to quit working. Argh! So, it's sitting in the driveway, and we are making due as a one car family until we can afford to fix it, AGAIN! The good news is, our house is only 2 miles from his work, so we can easily drive him there and back and I can still use the car. Yay for little blessings in disguise.

I've starting hanging pictures around the house this week, and Amelia made the comment a couple mornings ago, "well, this is starting to feel like our home now!" So that made me feel good.

After 3 1/2 weeks of absolutely NO sort of sleep schedule and late LATE bedtimes, the girls went to bed ALMOST on time last night and slept until 8:00 this morning... that is definite progress.

My mom and dad are only a few miles away from us, and it has been fun learning what it's like to have parents close by. Sunday dinners, someone to learn how to do canning with, having a fabulous garden to "borrow" yummy things from. :) This week we are going to bottle apple pie filling and apple sauce using the apples we've picked from a tree in our backyard.

We still don't have internet at our house, which I've found is quite annoying!! Although they are installing it Thursday, thank goodness. I mean, I can survive without it (as I sit at my mom's house using her internet... thanks mom) but its hard not to have my trusty google at my fingertips to find places and phone numbers, or facebook OR email!!! So I'll be glad when I can communicate with the outside world again from home.

We found out last night we officially have someone moving into our Mesa house the first of September, renting it. I'm really having to disconnect my heart from that little house, because honestly the thought of others living in it is hard for me. I wish we could sell it, but I have to be content renting it and not caring if things happen to it. sigh...

Oh, and I finally got a doctor's appointment scheduled for next week. It's only one month after I was supposed to have my last doctors visit, so that isn't TOO bad!

As for the baby no. 3, he's moving a LOT and I feel like I'm entering the third trimester... I'll be 24 weeks on Thursday (I think...) and I'm already feeling quite large. I'm entering my final clothing stage, where I can't get away with some of my maternity clothes anymore, and bending over is becoming a chore. The heartburn has decided to kick in as well. What do all these things tell me? I've crossed the halfway point and its the beginning of the end! :)

We are starting to feel like we belong though, and our daily routine is finally starting to stabilize itself. We are really counting our many blessings.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

This is the Week

We have spent an exciting weekend living amongst box mountains in preparation for our move this week. Besides forgetting half of the stuff I had intended to pull aside from the movers, we've had a really fun weekend. We have made 3 course meals with one skillet and a cheese knife, played box hide and seek, mixed a cake up in a water pitcher with a flimsy spoon (which turned out REALLY tasty by the way!!), its kinda been fun! The truck comes tomorrow to haul off all our stuff, followed by a week of cleaning, girls camp, family camping and a 12 hour ride in the car to our new home in Provo Utah!! I am planning on sending out address cards with our new address and stuff once we get life stable again, so if you want one, be sure to let me know (either leave a comment or email me your address and such...)
We have had so many wonderful friendships and experiences here in Arizona and will miss them terribly. I cried when I walked into my boxed up house Friday realizing that this was it. I was leaving the home I have loved for 3 years and the state I have called home for 8! But, I am bravely standing tall and looking forward to the exciting things to come.

When God closes one door in our lives, He always seems to open another.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Opperation Cat Transportation

Have you seen the movie Bolt? In this Disney film there is a cat. This cat is quite bitter toward people because they seem to just pick up and move and leave the cat behind. Well, I'm starting to see why most people WOULD choose to ditch the cat when they move over states. It would be MUCH easier! Did we do this? Of course not! We had to make things extremely difficult and take the cat with us. What things did it make complicated? Well, first there was the complication of finding a rental house that would even allow a cat. Then there is the actual act of getting the cat to a place 12 hours from your home. And THEN there is the temporary housing for the said cat until you are able to move into your house. UGH! So...

Step 1: Convince the soon to be landlords that your cat is a sweet, loving and clean animal.


Step 2: Buy $50 worth of supplies such as claw covers, kennel, hairball medicine and brush to help the temporary housing situation feel more comfortable.


Step 3: Actually get the claw covers on the cat.

This almost worked. I think this morning there were 6 out of 10 still on her. Not bad for the first time applying them I think.

Step 4: Drug the cat with Benadryl to make her drowsy for the 12 hour ride in the car.

Now, this was only done by recommendation of the vet. However they failed to mention that it would make the cats mouth foam up like they had rabies and start spitting all over the place! Have you ever seen a cat spit?! It's very funny!

Step 5: Have the children reassure the crying cat that she would be okay and they love her.

Step 6: Send Dallan AND the cat (and the litter box, and cat food, and extra water and....) off on a 12 hour journey to Orem.


So why do we love this cat so much? Oh yeah, because she's our cat and we'd never hear the end of it if we didn't do all this to bring her with us.

Friday, July 17, 2009

We're Moving!

Well, I haven't posted anything in a while because I've been running around like a mad women ever since finding out our family is MOVING TO UTAH.

Dallan got a job with Ancestry.com in Provo and starts work on Monday. Yes, this Monday. We are actually packing his car (cat included) and sending him to Utah tomorrow.

You know that image of a giant rock that gradually starts rolling down a nice little hill that eventually turns into rolling down a mountain? Well, I think we just reached the edge of a mountain, and we're rolling fast now.

We got back last night (Dallan and I) from a house hunting trip to Utah. What seemed like 50 houses later, we found one that I think is absolutely dreamy! We will only be renting not buying, seeing as we own our house in Mesa and aren't fully sure what to do with it. But this is a house I could see living in for a while. It's in the foothills of Provo, tucked away in a beautiful neighborhood, it has a beautiful yard, TONS of space, it's 5 minutes from Dallan's work and he never has to leave our street to get to work, just has to go down a mountain on his way to work. :) Anyway, I'll post pictures when we get there and have pictures to post. But now that we have a place to live arranged it all seems much more real.

Dallan leaves tomorrow.

Movers are coming a week from today.

In two weeks we'll be at the homestead for a brief family visit, and then...


Friday, July 3, 2009

The Most Beautiful Place on Earth

The Whiting Homestead.

This has come to be a place I truly love. We had a quiet, lovely weekend catching creepy crawlies, playing in the trees, picking flowers, canoeing around the pond, and just hanging out as a family. What can get any better than that? And in such a beautiful place, too... ahh, the homestead.

The Whiting Homestead.
What other place on earth can you enjoy the rain quite like this?