Monday, January 31, 2011

The Haircut

It is amazing what a haircut does to a baby! He went from a little infant to a chubby baby in minutes! He is delightful!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

First Haircut

Alexander had his first haircut. It was touching his shoulders right by his ears and he had rubbed most of it off the back, so it was time to even things up a bit. I started doing myself and after a few snips I got too nervous that I was going to mess it up because he was so wiggly, so I went to a sweet friend and she finished it for me. Here are the before pictures...I'll do a seperate post with some afters.

What have we started?

I let this happen once and now she wants it to be a regular thing. I tend to just say no. Jackson tends to just say yes. She has learned already who to ask when she wants to do something like this. Oh least when she asks he fills it up with clean water :)

Friday, January 28, 2011


Alexander is a magnet. Whenever he is in the room, everyone flocks to him wanting to have his attention. He is extremely interactive and communicative. He laughs and smiles so easily. It almost feels like his smile is bursting right out of the middle of he feels it all over his body. When he laughs he has the most adorable snort. Oh he is precious.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Once their was a snowman...

Thomas Tower

Thomas loves building towers. He loves building in general. When he builds something out of blocks or legos or playdough he wants to save it forever. He doesn't want it to get ruined....ever. Taking a picture of it has become our compromise. We leave it up for a while, then when it is time to clean up I take a picture and then we destroy it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

ER visit

We had our first emergency room visit last month. I keep meaning to write about it and forgetting. Estella got a case of croup. I thought my boys had had croup before, but now that I have REALLY seen croup I know I was mistaken. Wow...croup is scary!

She started out in the afternoon with a few barking coughs, but nothing too bad. She didn't have any congestion, stuffiness, or runny nose. As soon as the evening came around, she started wheezing. We put her to bed with a humidifier next to her bed, but it didn't seem to help at all. She was tossing and turning and very restless until we went to sleep around 10:30. After we went to sleep, she came in our room over and over and over. Each time she came in it seemed that the wheezing was worse. Finally around 4:00 it was getting scary. It really seemed like she wasn't getting enough air. We tried taking her out in the freezing cold night air, but it did nothing. We sat in the bathroom with the hot shower running for 10 minutes, but it just kept getting worse. We started looking at her chest and sure enough, the spaces between her ribs were forcefully sucking in with each breath. Also, the spot at the base of her neck was sucking in. She was looking very pale and a bit discolored around the mouth, so I decided it was time to call the doctor. The doctor asked a few questions and then said that it was time to take her to the ER. He said to drive there with the windows down and if her breathing improved at all on the way there, we could wait a bit longer to see if things got better, but if it didn't improve she needed to be seen.

Jackson jumped in the van with her around 4:30 am. Her breathing didn't get any better on the way there, so he took her in. They got them in right away and gave her some kind of steroid breathing treatment. She REALLY didn't like having a mask put over her face. They had to force it on her. But as soon as that was over, her blood oxygen levels came back up and her heart rate slowed down to a normal level. They also gave her a longer acting steroid that helped her through the next night.

She wheezed for a few days and didn't have a voice at all for almost a week! It was strangely quiet around our house for a while :) I didn't realize how much of the noise was coming from her, but now I know who the noise maker is!

I was really worried about Alexander catching it from her, especially after she put a spoon directly from her mouth into his mouth before I could stop her just the day after the ER visit. Sure enough, three weeks later, Alexander came down with it. I was terrified when I heard the first coughs and wheezes. I prayed and prayed and prayed that he would have the most mild case possible. We had two difficult nights, but he never got even close to how bad Estella was. I was so thankful!

Here are a few pictures of the sweet little Estella Belle in her bedroom!

She can't ever stay serious for too long :) She always has to pull a few funny faces for the camera.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Blog Book Questions Answered

To answer a couple questions...I did use Blurb. It did take quite a bit of time to arrange the pictures on the pages the way I wanted them. I got faster as I went, though, and I think it took an average of 1 or 2 minutes per page (which for me is MUCH faster than scrapbooking or even insterting the printed pictures into albums and writing on the side). It is much cheaper also. This year I had a coupon. Last year I paid full price. I took the number of pictures I had in the book and figured out how much it would have cost to print the pictures individually and it was more than a full price book. Granted, most of the pictures in my book are smaller than a 4x6.

As far as quality goes, I am satisfied. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars. The colors are right on and the pages are thick enough to feel substantial. The binding is holding up so far, but I am being careful with it...not letting my young children hold it on their own.

I like that I can save the file and print copies of the book for my children if they want one when they get older (if the company is still around of course).

Mostly, I just like that this method of family journaling is working for me. I can keep up with it. I have a little system of organizing my photos where I know which photo folders I have blogged and which still need to be done. Scrapbooking...not so much. I started an album when Thomas was a baby and still haven't finished his first year. I realized that scrapbooking wasn't for me halfway through that year, so I started using photo albums that you just slip the pictures into the plastic and write a bit on the side. I stayed pretty well caught up with that, but it was always a huge chore to order the pictures and sort them. Also, I forgot so much in the time between taking the pictures and printing them that I couldn't remember the stories. Blogging solves a lot of those problems for me (if I don't fall too behind).

It is quite a project to edit the book if you have an entire year to do, but if you do it a bit at a time throughout the year it seems much more manageable. I would work on it for a while in the evening and then turn to Jackson and proudly announce that I had finished 10 scrapbook pages in 20 minutes. He didn't really get it, but I felt like I had accomplished something :)

P.S. I'll try to take some pictures of the book so you can see what it looks like...I just haven't taken the time yet.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

2010 Blog Book

My 2010 blog book is finished and in my hands! This year I worked on the book throughout the year, so I was all caught up and ready to order once the year was out. It has over 1000 pictures and 239 pages. Most importantly it is full of the history of our year. I like to think of it as the Berry Family Large Plates. I also have a family journal that I call the Berry Family Small Plates where I try to record our sacred and spiritual experiences. I am not the best at writing in it, but some is better than none.

Now I can get started on this year :)

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Math and Science Center

The day after Nicholas and I went to the Math and Science Center on our date, we decided to spend a morning there as a family. This is my absolute favorite place to take my kids in the winter. It is full of hands on experiments and learning tools geared directly toward children. I have to kneel to be at the right height to do any of them. It is small enough that even though my kids are all doing different things, I know where they all are. There are wonderful volunteers there that delight in teaching and making it fun for the children. It is rarely crowded. There are usually only one or two other families there when I go. My kids never get bored is like a time wharp when we walk in there...I blink and two hours have past and everyone is still interested and happy. I plan on spending many more mornings there this winter.