Monday, December 10, 2007

2007 in Pictures

We started the New Year with a homemade pinata. Fun to make, fun to break, fun to eat the goodies inside...and I am pretty sure we were in bed before midnight.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Celebrated at our house with a breakfast of Lucky Charms and a dinner of Green Eggs and Ham!

Snow in Tucson! By morning there was so little the kids were left with just a bit to try to scrape off and play with. Rhianna came in saying, "Something is wrong with my hands..." Cold Snow - something we aren't used to.

The Easter Egg Hunt with our friends went much better than the one we went to at a big city park. There an air castle collapsed with Rand inside, freaking both Rand and me out. And then kids just stormed the egg field leaving ZERO eggs and crying kids just a minute later by the time we got out there. We will stick to the small, friendly egg hunts from now on.

At the end of April, Uncle Calvin (along with Aunt Valerie who stayed for the summer) came to visit. We went mini golfing and just had fun playing before Calvin headed back to Colorado and then off to his mission in San Bernardino, CA.

Rhianna took swimming lessons with her friends Amelia and Grace. And Rand took swimming lessons with mom at the YMCA too.

Rhianna's 5th birthday with friends, ice cream, and a new house. The house was mom's and dad's birthday present since all of us have June birthdays.

We took a big trip up to Idaho and Utah in the summer. Rhianna and Rand especially liked playing at the different parks and lakes with Grandma and Grandpa.

They also loved time with Doug and Marnie and their cousins. Rand particularly loved the police car and making the lights and sirens go. And we had a bit of fun with the kids in cuffs.

In Utah we spent most of the time at Bear Lake at a big family reunion. Just before we headed home the kids got to go bowling with Grandma and Grandpa and Valerie - kid bowling shoes are awesome! By the end of the trip Rand was very confused about what Grandma and Grandpa we were talking about and where we were going. In all, the kids saw both sets of grandparents and two sets of great-grandparents. Wow!

We were so lucky to have Valerie with us the whole summer while she did an accounting internship. I loved getting so much time to talk with my little sister. And the kids got lots of play time in too.

Rhianna started Kindergarten in August and LOVES everything about school.

Rand chose to go to Burger King for chicken nuggets for his birthday dinner. Then we ate his car cake to celebrate his special day.

This miniature golf trip was Rand's reward for getting potty trained. The kids do amazingly well at mini golf. Rand even got a hole in one on the first hole.

Rhianna learned about apples in school. So we took a family field trip to Apple Annie's Orchard. We picked some delicious apples (and peaches and pears).

Seth joined our family a few weeks early. He was born on October 25 just after midnight.

Grandma got to join us for Halloween since she came to help after Seth was born. She helped the kids carve 3 faces on their pumpkin and then went out trick-or-treating treating with our purple princess and Spiderman.

Rand got the honors of helping me feed Seth his first bottle. This is about 1 oz of water mixed with 1 tsp of dark Karo syrup. Seth had been fairly healthy, despite both Rhianna and Rand getting croup the night before Seth came home from the hospital. Then he didn't poop for 10 days - a big deal when you are not yet even 30 days old. We were certainly glad when he finally did go (so much that we switched diapers in the middle) and are grateful that everything is back to normal now.

We had Thanksgiving at home with just our little family. Steve did a fantastic job of carving the turkey after watching a professional demonstration. Grandma's cranberry sauce was a hit with the kids and was gone in a few days. We had great weather and so spent about 4 hours in the afternoon at a park with friends.

And now we are counting down the days to Christmas on our chocolate Advent Calendars. We have been so blessed in 2007! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Introducing Seth Michael Boivie

Seth Michael Boivie was born at 12:25 am on October 25, 2007. He weighed 7 lbs. 9.8 oz. and was 19.5 inches long. We are so happy to have him as part of our family and I want to share a few of my thoughts about his birth.

Each of our children has a slightly different birth story. On Wednesday I had a doctor's appointment in the morning. I was dilated to a 3 but not much else had changed since the week before. At about 3 pm I started have sporadic contractions but they were a little stronger. I called Steve around 4 and after he got home the contractions were definitely get stronger and more regular. Rhianna was thrilled that she would get her first sleepover!! We dropped the kids off at our friends (the Neumiller's) house and headed to the hospital at about 6 pm.

At check-in I was at a 4 so I was admitted and they got me all settled, started IVs, etc. And I kept telling them that with the other two kids things went pretty quickly. I am very calm during labor and so I think when I said, "Don't worry...I will tell you when I have to push." that is when they took me seriously about possibly going fast. It was about 8 pm, the contractions were strong, I was at a 6, and so they called the doctor to head on in to the hospital.

At some time around this point I asked for IV meds (I had Demerol with Rhianna, Stadol with Rand, and this was another that I can't remember). It was working fantastically...I even was getting sleepy. But that eventually wore off and another dose didn't seem to help so I decided to get an epidural.

This is a scary thing, especially for Steve, since they are working so close to your spine. But I was just at a 7 and didn't know how long it would be until his birth. The epidural did work great for the pain. However, I was in the 15% where they accidentally do a wet tap and go into your spinal fluid. (This caused headaches later and I had a blood patch to fix it but it wasn't the ideal epidural even though it did help with the pain.)

Quite quickly it was time for our little baby to be born. I only had to push 3 times and there he was. This actual birth was special for me because the way the doctor held him I could see him come into the world. I felt very overwhelmingly happy to have this little boy. It took us a while to feel that we should have another baby, then it took us 9 months to get pregnant, and then another 9 months until he joined us healthy and safe.

Steve and I both enjoyed having Rhianna and Rand come the next day to visit in the hospital. We saw our little family all together. They wanted to hold their little brother and thought he was so cute. Rand asked "Did he pop out mom? Is this our baby? Do you get to come home...does he get to come home?"

And now we are all home. It was a hard first weekend since Rand had croup, Rhianna had a slight fever, and I was trying to recover. But now we are all doing a little better. I feel better recovering this time around. Seth is just a very calm, snugly, cute baby. So now we are the 3 S's (Steve, Stephanie, Seth) and the 2 R's (Rhianna and Rand).

Monday, October 1, 2007

Our First House

This post is a little late in coming, but we wanted to show everyone our house. We bought the house in March and we moved in at the end of June. We fully renovated the house, including adding a laundry room. I am going to show the before pictures, and then the after, and I will include a little bit of detail about what we did to each room.

Exterior of House

Here we didn’t make any changes. It is a 1960 brick ranch house with a carport. We like the desert landscaping in the front. It is easy to maintain, mostly what we have to do is to weed it, and water the plants.

Master Bedroom



Mainly what we did here was to replace the carpet and to paint. We also replaced the window, with an energy efficient window.

Master Bathroom



We completely gutted the master bath. We changed the location of the toilet, which made the bathroom more usable. We are very pleased with how it turned out. We really love the tile, and the sink.

Rhianna’s Room


This bedroom had tile on the floor which we had removed and we put in new carpet. And we painted the walls.

Rand’s Room

Before: we don’t have a before picture of this room.


Here we just changed the carpet and painted.



After: Again, just carpet and paint.

Hall Bathroom



Like the master bathroom, this was completely gutted. The location of all the plumbing fixtures stayed the same here.

Living & Dining Rooms



Here we installed bamboo floors, and repainted every surface. We also changed the ceiling fan in the dining room.

Den/TV Room



This room had some more major changes. First, we closed off the entry into the kitchen. We replaced the flooring, and we changed the pocket doors, to French doors. We also removed the fireplace, added some shelving to match the original shelving, and painted.

Laundry Room



This is an addition and although we still have to go outside to get to our laundry room, it is much nicer to have the laundry room itself indoors.




This is our favorite room in the house. We completely changed the structure and layout of this room. We pulled down the wall separating the kitchen and dining room and replaced it with a counter to open up the space. We replaced all of the cabinetry and appliances. We really love how everything turned out. The blue wall is all floor-to-ceiling pantry cabinets. Both the blue cabinets and the wood cabinets we got from IKEA.