Friday, December 19, 2008

Gotta Love Winter...

Well, this is winter where we live. We all knew this type of snow storm was coming. The kids woke up this morning, looked out the window, and were completley mesmerized by all the snow they saw. I think the pile on our patio table shows it the best. The snow was still coming down when I took this photo too so it was even worse by the time it stopped.

Knowing we couldn't travel very far we decided to head over to our neighbors house across the street to have a play date. The kids had so much fun, especially when the decided to play dress up.

The above photo is of Bella & Griffen (both 2 and half years old)

Here is Max (as a Ninja) and Isaac (as a SWAT officer) both 5 years old

Well I managed to drive over to the neighbors house safely and even drive home safely... however once I got into my own driveway I got stuck! And of course within feet of pulling into the garage. I kept backing up and trying to go forward and it just wasn't working with all the ice on the driveway under the snow. So finally I said forget it! I parked the car and headed inside with the kids. Within a few hours Doug came home and plowed the driveway with his excavator and then pulled the car into the garage with the excavator too.
Gotta love winter right??? Not me!

Wrestling Practice

Well I finally made it out to one of Isaac's wrestling practices. It was great to watch him... finally realizing how much he really does love it. I'm gradually learning the wrestling terms; such as crossface, double leg, single leg, drive, etc. Doug keeps reminding me that one day I will be one of the moms sitting in the stands who just can't contain herself screaming at the top of my lungs. I guess if Isaac can learn to love wrestling, then so can I. I'm just really excited that him and Doug have a passion for the same thing. It's fun to watch them at night in the living room practicing moves too!

Little Bella had fun watching Isaac as well. She made a friend that night too (another little girl her age). Maybe future mat rats?

Here is Isaac getting some advice from his coach while he tries to take down his wrestling buddy Joey.

As for this picture below... don't ask. I don't know... other then maybe that wrestlers need to be flexible. Good job little guy doing a twist!

Norton Babies

Here is the most recent round of Norton Babies. I love these photos!
Emily (7 wks), Joshua (15 wks), Carter (3 wks)

For some reason, Carter always looked mad. I love the difference in skin tones too! You can tell my little guy has sensitive skin with it being so red.

This above picture is great! Shows a little personality in each baby... especially little Emily!
And I couldn't help but to include this picture below of Joshua. He is such a chunky baby and I LOVE his cheeks. Every time I look at him and hold him my heart melts! He's so cute!

Cousins = Friends 4 Life

For any of my readers that really know me, also know that the Norton girls tend to have our children in rounds. When I married into the family 3 of the sister in laws were already expecting... within a month of our marriage I found out I was expecting Isaac as well. What is so great about "the pregnancy rounds" is that our kids always have a friend... their cousins.
Brandon, Nathan, and Isaac (all age 5) are all best buddies and LOVE playing together. They all get so excited when they see eachother. These pictures are perfect. They are crazy boys who are usually wild and hyper and goofy when they get together. There was one more cousin, Emma, in this "round" but she lives out west. We miss you Emma! As do the boys!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My sister made this slide and I thought it was so cute! So she sent it over to my blog. After we had the gingerbread day at Grandma's my mom decided to send all the supplies out west to my sister's family in Utah. So here is a slide show of all 13 of the "Mapley grandkids" and their awesome houses!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Gingerbread Houses & Cookies

Last year a fun tradition was started of the grandkids heading to grandma and grandpa's to bake cookies. This year "Grandma" decided to do gingerbread houses too. The kids had so much fun making them. Every gingerbread house was uniquely different. Grandma supplied plenty of decorations (which of course many also got eaten). After decorating their gingerbread houses the kids also put together several different cookies, baked them, and decorated them as well. It was a busy yet fun filled day at Grandma and Grandpa's house!

It's so fun to watch Bella this year in all the traditions. She's older now and much more involved in everything. She also pretty dang independent; wanting to do it all on her own and in her own little way. She had lots of fun putting candy all over her house.

Here's a quick picture of all the grandkids (minus the 5 in Utah... we miss you!)

Isaac loaded his house up with lots of decorations. His very first choice (before anyone was even allowed to pick up anything) was the santa coming out of the red chimney.

Here is Isaac's finished product. I forgot to get one of Bella's. Whoops!

And now aren't you all so very amazed at the beautiful gingerbread house that Carter put together!?! He's my little prodigy... so proud. Of course I couldn't leave him out of the fun, so I put this one together for him.

3 Weeks & Holding Head High

This is our little man Carter at 3 weeks. He has really sensitive skin, so he is usually pretty red and sometimes has raised rash on his skin. Poor little guy, but he's still absolutley adorable!!! Check out how good he can hold his head up. He has been holding his head up since birth. His favorite way to be held is on our chest facing us, so he can hold his head up by himself and look around. It's so cute!

Bath Time!

This was Carter's first full fledge bath. He was 2 weeks old... sad I know, but I promise I have bathed him plenty since this day! The little guy hardly made a peep the entire time I bathed him. My sister Kristin was there to witness! His hair is so blonde, but I'm starting to question if maybe it will be strawberry blonde like his cousin Emma... I swear I see some red!

I love this picture below. I think he is so chunky for a 2 week old! Look at the rolls forming on his legs already. I have a feeling he'll be chunky like Isaac was.

~ Crazy Eights ~

I was tagged by Sierra with Crazy Eights

1. Post Rules to your blog
2. Answer the six "8" items
3. Tag 8 other people

8 FAVORITE SHOWS: 1) Criminal Minds 2) CSI 3) CSI: New York 4) Cold Case 5) NCIS 6) Law & Order: SVU 7) Law & Order: Criminal Intent 8) America's Next Top Model

8 THINGS I DID YESTERDAY: 1) Curled my hair 2) Attended Church 3) Listened to Doug giving Carter a blessing 4) Visited with family during a luncheon after church 5) Changed Poopy diapers 6) Nursed a newborn several times 7) Attended a birthday celebration for Doug's dad 8) Took photos of the newest Norton babies

8 THINGS I LOOK FORWARD TO: 1) Christmas time with Family 2) Playing card games and board games during the holiday 3) The Summer! 4) A trip to St. George in March 5) Getting SKINNY! 6) Fitting into my wardrobe 7) Not being sick 8) Things calming down

8 FAVORITE RESTAURANTS: 1) Olive Garden 2) Italia Gardens 3) Big Boy 4) The Farmhouse 5) Bob Evans 6) Lucky's Steakhouse 7) Isola's Bistro 8) Mancino's

8 THINGS ON MY WISHLIST: 1) A girly hoodie sweatshirt 2) A fossil watch 3) A complete set of bedroom furniture 4) Gift card to IKEA 5) A trip to a warm climate area during the yucky winter months of Michigan 6) A membership to a place the delivers healthy meals to your doorstep so you can lose weight 7) My upstairs fully painted in the colors I have chosen 8) A Maid Service

8 PEOPLE TO TAG: 1) Trina 2) Kristin 3) Tonia 4) Mom 5) Courtney M. 6) Jenny R. 7) Holly D. 8) Cecilia

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Snow Babies

Thanskgiving Eve was with the Norton Family and of course I forgot to take any photos. We still had a great time visiting with family and introducing our little Carter to some family members who had still yet to meet him. Then on Thanksgiving we spent the day at my parents along with my sister Trina and her kids. I have several photos to post but these three were my favorite. After eating a yummy meal the kids decided to go outside and play in the snow.

Of course I didn't take little Carter out in the snow, but this is a photo upon our arrival at Grandma and Grandpa's when he was still bundled up in his snow gear. Thought it was cute!
I'll be sure to post more Thanksgiving photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Some Advice Please...

Hello fellow bloggers
As you all know we have a new little one in our home. We are in love with him of course. He's already beginning to get little rolls on his legs. He holds his head up great when he's awake and loves to look around. He hardly ever cries and when he does it's more like a whimper. However today I did get to hear him really exercise his lungs when strapped in his carseat... he's not a fan of being strapped in. I don't blame him.
~ ~ ~
He LOVES to nurse and because of this love of his, my milk came in by day 4 (with my others it took over a week). My others also loved their binkies (which both of them had by day 2 of their lives). However Carter has no desire to suck on a binky whatsoever. Occassionally we can get him to take it if we hold it in his mouth long enough, but it doesn't stay in his mouth long after we let go. The only one he has somewhat tolerated is a latex MAM. I've tried several others and he just spits at them, chews on them, or cries. Now I'm most definetly not opposed to the "no binkies"... however it's causing as slight problem for me at night time.
~ ~ ~
With my older two I co slept. However down the road... well not so good having a 2 year old and 5 year old still wanting in your bed. Anyhow, I decided I did not want to co sleep with Carter for that very reason... it's almost impossible to get my kids out. So we've been attempting the whole bassinette ordeal. First few nights not so bad... but the last couple of nights have been a little more rough. We swaddle him and I nurse him to sleep... lay him in his bassinette and within minutes he's fussing (and sometimes crying). I nurse him back to sleep again and within minutes he's fussing again. I feel like I am non stop nursing and it would just be nice if he would take a binky because then I think he would actually stay in his bassinette. I'm really not sure what to do now. The last few nights he has ended up in our bed by morning and I really really really don't want to make this a habit. I am just so exhausted and frustrated at night that I give in.
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So I would absolutley LOVE any and all advice that you may have for getting him to sleep in his bassinette without fussing. I'd even settle for him sleeping at least an hour! But without a binky... I'm just not seeing this happening.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Deer for Carter

For those of you who are "anti-hunters" just ignore this post. But if you've ever eaten a cheeseburger then no complaining about these pictures- someone had to kill that cow too. Anyhow, Doug's plan of Carter arriving on opening day did not go as planned but ever since the birth Doug has wanted to shoot a deer in Carters honor. (I know... kinda sick but at the same time, kinda sweet). Well tonight was Doug's lucky night!

With the help of doe urine (yes, store bought)... Doug was able to lure in this 7 point buck.

In honor of our newborn son Carter.

Last year we were able to put Bella on top of the deer Doug got but this year Bella wouldn't go near it unless Doug was right by her side. And no, that gun is not loaded...

One day Isaac hopes to claim a buck just like his Dad.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Adjusting To Three

First off, I had to add this photo above. Carter was the talk of the hospital in this little outfit. We have a little tradition of Doug picking out and purchasing the homecoming outfits of our children. With Carter being born so close to opening day of gun season, Doug couldn't resist this little camo outfit from Cabela's. Everyone at the hospital called him a little hunter.

And then there were three...
Bedtimes have been interesting. Before Carter arrived Doug would put Isaac to bed in his room, I'd put Bella to bed in her room... no problems. However now there is a third little person who needs attention during that hour of the night. We're still trying to figure out a good routine.
~ ~ ~
I have yet to go to the store with all three. That will be quite interesting. However I did go to the store with the younger two and have since decided that I will do my very best to avoid trips with all three.
~ ~ ~
Getting Isaac on the bus while keeping everyone happy... not an easy task. Especially now that the temperature outside is so cold! I have to bundle everyone up; I'm not quite trusting to leave Bella and Carter indoors together...
~ ~ ~
It's only been a week... I know we have many more adjustments to come. For those of you who already have 3 or more children... I think you are amazing!

Vampires & Newborns

What a sight it must have been for those who did not know us personally. Last night, well early this morning at 12:05am, I attended the opening of the Twilight movie with my mother in law and 2 sister in laws. Also in tow was Joshua (12 weeks), Emily (4 weeks), and Carter (1 week). I'm pretty dang sure they were the only newborns at the theater. Quite the site really... wish I would've had a camera. The majority of movie goers last night were teenagers too. I hadn't realized the book was such a hit with the teens.
~ ~ ~
Well I must say that I wasn't in love with the movie, but I wasn't disappointed either. It was simply a good movie. I wish it had been longer so they could've added more details from the book. I think the casting was perfect in all of the characters. Can't wait for second movie... Carter will probably stay home with dad for that one.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Home At Last

We're finally home! Thank you to my wonderful family members for posting all the great pictures and slides (you can view slideshows on their blogs- which I'll try to post on here). It is so awesome to finally have Carter out of my belly and in our arms! He's a great baby and very content.

Friday morning I went in for my regular check up to discover that on the doctors charts they have been considering my due date November 14th the entire time. Which makes his arrival all the more crazy. That morning (after a long debated friendly argument with my doctor) he convinced me to get my membranes stripped saying I'd probably go into labor within 1-2 days. Well, one hour later I was at my sisters to pick up my kids and the contractions started right up. They stayed 3-5 minutes apart and so my sister requested I stick around before heading home. After about an hour of that she started calling people, including my other sister Trina who came to get my kids. I knew Doug was on a job that really needed to be finished so I didn't want to call him or go into the hospital. Finally Kristin and Trina convinced me I really was in labor and I called Doug. Kristin drove me to the hospital where we were met by Doug and my parents.

The contractions continued to be every 2-4 minutes apart... hardly any pain at all. I was moved into a laboring room and still felt as though I wasn't really in labor. Amidst texting family of our hospital news I jokingly sent a text to my sister in law Rachael telling her he already arrived and was 10lbs 3oz. She believed me yet once she realized it wasn't true she sent back a text that said "May painful contractions be upon you..." And just as though she was using some type of witchcraft, my contractions literally changed night and day and I was in tears because they were so painful! This happened within minutes of her text at 5:30. That's when labor flew right along... I asked for an epidural by 6pm but they were so insanely busy I didn't recieve it until 7:20pm.

The epidural worked on the pain of the contractions but I still felt every single ounce of pressure from Carters head... that pain was insane. However that lasted less then an hour... after 15 minutes of pushing out he came. He weighed in at 9 pounds 6.8 ounces (so they rounded up) and 21 and half inches. His head measured at 14.4 inches... much smaller then Bella's!

I feel as though I have been glowing ever since that last push that got him out. It feels WONDERFUL to no longer be pregnant and finally see the beautiful product of all that pain I endured. He is amazing and sleeps great compared to my last two. I will be sure to post more pictures as the week goes on. Thank you so much for all of the support I have recieved from everyone. And to those of you who are still pregnant- best of luck on your journey. I'll be thinking about you and praying for you!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Baby Norton

Carter Douglas Norton
November 14, 2008
8:18 pm
9lbs 7oz
21 1/2 inches

Guest Post by Trina
Mom and Baby will be home on Sunday.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Due Date Shmue Date....

Well, I said I wouldn't do it.... and yet I did. Long before this child in my womb was ever created I promised myself that I would never "go by my due date" again. After Bella's late arrival (by 5 days) I had decided that next time I was pregnant I would bump the "due date" a whole week. Somewhere in the excitement of finding out I was pregnant with this little guy, I must have forgotten about that promise I made myself. Now I'm wishing I would have remembered.

Here I sit at my computer... it is the 13th day of November. The day my doctor says the baby is "due". Guess what? Still no baby! I think we need to throw due dates out the window. From now on we should only have "due months". Wow, when are you due??? Oh sometime in November. Yes, that is what I should've been saying this whole time. Maybe next time I'll learn- that is, if there is a next time.

Carter will arrive when he's good and ready. This I am quite sure. Doug still claims he'll be good and ready on the 15th (Opening Day of Hunting). Doug's theory (which he wrote in detail on our calendar): Doug will go hunting in the backyard early in the morning. He'll shoot a giant deer (hopefully a buck), gut it, then hang it. Once all is done and he's cleaned up my labor will start, we'll head into the hospital and Carter will arrive around 5pm. Funny thing is I'll never hear the end of it if Doug ends up being right. Only time will tell...

For the Twilight Fans

I'm a Esme! I found out through Which Twilight Female Are You? Take the quiz and find out!
Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!

Thank you Trina for finding this quiz! This is for all the other Twilight Fans out there- which female are you? This is what it said about me being Esme (not sure if I agree completley but I'd rather be Esme then Rosalie!)

"You are thoughtful and care very deeply for your family. A loving home is of great importance to you and you always try to make people feel welcome. Although you have a great capacity to love, you also have a great capacity to hurt, so at times you can be sensitive. You're firm when you need to be, but people trust your judgment and appreciate the kind way you always handle things"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Still Waiting...

This little cartoon is perfect! First off- my silly computer takes FOREVER to download anything. So comparing this pregnancy to downloading is absolutley perfect. It feels neverending! Secondly- my sweet children are constantly asking when Carter will be here. For so long I told them that he would come after Halloween. Well, it is after Halloween now and they want to know where the heck their little brother is. I'm sure you can tell by the tone of this blog that I'm growing very impatient. Horrible I know, considering my due date is still another 2 days away (13th).

It's amazing that Bella was 5 days late. It didn't even phase me that she was late! But with this one, I feel like he's a month overdue! I think much of those feelings have to do with the fact that I've been dealing with such difficult pelvic and pubic bone pain the past month. My body has just felt very ready to have him out. Of course I'd like him to come at his own time so that I may have better chances of an easy labor & delivery... but to top of the physical strain I'm starting to add emotional strain.

So I sat here yesterday, contemplating... why is this pregnancy so hard to endure and Bella's was not. I suppose the fact that I'm taking care of two children now instead of just one has a little to do with it. My energy level is not the same. I realize too the way I'm carrying this one has made walking, moving, sleeping, etc. all the more difficult. My belly is straight out in front and extremely LOW. But I think the biggest reason this has been so difficult to endure is simply the fact that I'm not first to go! What I mean by that is, when Bella arrived I had sister inlaws pregnant with me- but due after me (along with several friends). I was the first to welcome my little one during that time. With this one, my sister in laws have already given birth and even a friend that was due after me has already given birth!

Well I suppose I am just rambling now. I just wanted to let everyone know that Carter feels the need to keep on "downloading". Please say a little prayer for me- not necessarily that he will come soon, but that I will be able to gain a little more patience for his arrival. He can't stay in there forever right???

Friday, November 7, 2008

Trick or Treat!!!

This year we took the kids to Grandma and Grandpa's to trick or treat. We ate yummy appetizers before heading out. The kids all surprisingly lasted a very long time. Everyone had a great time. Especially once they saw the candy the received!

Meemee's Halloween Party

Every year Doug's mom "Meemee" throws a halloween party for all the grandkids. Everyone brings some yummy appetizers and a carved pumpkin. After we chow down the kids then parade around their costumes to the music "Monster Mash". After the parade we light all the pumpkins and see whose pumpkin stays lit the longest. During this time Meemee (or another adult) will tell a Halloween story or sing song. This year Jarod & Nathan's big pumpkin won. After the pumpking contest the kids have the opportunity to "Trick or Treat" for non candy items from all the aunts and uncles who strategically place themselves around the house (or in years past- in the yard). Everyone goes away happy and excited. This really is a fun tradition that we all look forward to every year. Thank you Meemee!!!