Monday, November 29, 2010

The Big Catch Up Post

I am completely aware that I have been a terrible blogger these past couple of months - I am sorry for the lack of updates on our family! Our lives went from stable and predictable to craziness overnight.

Let's take a look at the last 2 months...

It all started out with some bad news at the end of August ... I got laid off from my job with ProfitKeeper in Mesa, Arizona on a Tuesday morning with no notice. My job was literally outsourced to India and unbeknownst to me, I had been training my Indian replacement during my last month of employment. This was a major problem for our family because Brandon was still out of work, which means we immediately had no income or health insurance. This is not good news for anyone, but this was especially stressful to us with me being 5 months pregnant.

About a week later, we got some more bad news. We went back for the second anatomy ultrasound and the technician thought our baby's head looked small. She did some measurements and decided her head was measuring two weeks behind her body. We were referred to a high risk ultrasound facility to take more detailed measurements of her skull plates. Needless to say, we did not need this stress added onto our already stressful situation. We worried and prayed and finally went in for our appointment. Thankfully, the doctor there said she looked perfect and although she was a little petite, she was consistently petite all the way around. This took a huge weight off our shoulders and we are so blessed to have our healthy baby girl developing as she should.

September was spent on the job hunt and I sent out hundreds of resumes to any job opening I could find in Arizona. I did this for a month and got zero calls back. Very discouraging. One day, I decided (mostly for fun) to apply to jobs near our family in Southern California. Almost immediately, I got a call back for an accounting position at Perricone Juices - a natural juice company five minutes from our home town. I completed a phone interview (again, mostly for fun) - I didn't think I'd really get the job.

While we were in Lake Havasu with our friends, I got the call that I had passed the phone interview portion and would be interviewing in person the next week. Wow! I wasn't expecting that. I still didn't think I'd get the job because I was visibly 5 months pregnant.

We went home to California so I could interview and we could visit family. The interview went really well, probably because I didn't think I'd get the job anyway, so I wasn't nervous. While we were home that week, we went to Bennett's fire station pancake breakfast. The sheriff's helicoptor made an appearance which absolutely thrilled Maddie to pieces. She couldn't stop touching it and was so excited to be inside the "he-copter".

I hadn't heard anything about the job interview, so we packed up to head back to Arizona. We were about 20 minutes into our trip, when I got a call asking me to come in for a second interview/training the next day and to show me where I would be sitting. We pulled off the freeway to have a family meeting about all this craziness. We decided that our family needed to go where employment was and maybe there was a reason why I was not able to find an Arizona job after a month of applying and I was able to find a job on day one of the California job hunt. We had always planned to move back closer to family, but we certainly hadn't envisioned it happening like this!

While we were making plans on the side of the 10 freeway, this train came by which delighted Maddie. She kept telling us the train was "very loud."
Derrick the Dare Devil watching the pennies he laid out get flattened by the train. I circled him in the picture - that's him squatting next to the train and Brandon yelling at him to back up. Why are boys so dangerous?
So, after our roadside meeting, we turned our road trip around and headed back to Yucaipa. I went in the next day for my second interview/training and met with the owners. And I got the job! I trained for a few hours and was told my health benefits would start day one of employment. This was a huge blessing because most employers make you wait 90 days and this company normally has a 6 month waiting period. So, when I left, they let me know they would mail me out an offer letter. I couldn't believe how lucky I was to find employment so close to where we wanted to live, but there was so much up in the air too. We are planners and we don't move out of state over a weekend, but that's exactly what we did! I got my offer letter on a Thursday and we packed up as little as possible and drove back to California that Saturday, so that I could start working Monday.

That last week at home was bittersweet for us. It was so strange leaving our home of 5 years with no notice and without taking any of our belongings, since we moved in with Brandon's parents. We were also sad to leave all of our Arizona friends. We made the best friends we could have asked for during the last 5 years. We had regular Sunday dinner parties together, we went to the lake, we watched football games, and as we started having children, our kids played together. We will miss seeing them regularly, but we are excited to be with our families so much more now.

I especially was worried about Maddie. Everything in her life changed overnight without notice and without explanation - she had to leave the only home she's ever known and everything familiar to her. I took some pictures that last week of her playing. She loves this magnetic dress up doll set from her Great Aunt Joy and she was content to play with "dolly" in her Pottery Barn armchair for almost an hour.
This was her favorite spot in our Arizona house - her uplholstered arm chair. This picture breaks my heart. She's so comfortable in her home with her blankie and in her chair. She fell asleep watching Mickey Mouse and Pluto cartoons before bedtime. I just feel awful that she had no idea all this change was coming in the next couple of days.
She asks me regularly to "go home and see Darla" which just rips my heart out. She's old enough to miss her old home and the familiarity of it, but she's too young to understand why all this change had to happen. I'm probably being overly emotional because I'm pregnant, but I just hate creating chaos in my baby's life. She is the same old silly Maddie and is having lots of fun being adored and doted on by all of her extended family in Southern California. She is definitely not lacking love and attention. We are lucky to live with Brandon's parents during this transition time until we find something more permanent, so she has live in grandparents who love to watch her learn and play. Plus, her other grandparents are just up the street and are always thrilled to see her for visits too. We have bath time at Grandma Eatough's a few times a week - what a treat to be so close to so much family!

In other good news... Brandon was also able to find employment with Titan Telecom a week after I started my job. It is super hard, labor intensive work that we thought we had left behind after we went to flight school and started down the aviation path. He is such a good man providing for our family and doing whatever it takes to make sure we are moving forward. He leaves at 4am every morning and drives through ridiculous LA traffic to climb cell phone towers all over Southern California. He works hard all day and we don't see him until 8 or 9pm. Maddie misses him, but she gets to say goodnight to him most nights. I know they miss each other a ton- they became best buddies the whole last year while Brandon was able to stay home with her. We are so lucky to have such a hardworking daddy.

On the weekends, the boys have gotten some fun time in to ride their dirtbikes up in the mountains. These tough guys are Brandon in the back and Derrick in the front. They get to spend lots of brother time together with Bennett and their dad and they have lots of fun. 

During all this chaos, Halloween came and went. Maddie wanted to be a bumble bee again, which was fine with me. She wears her bee costume around the house regularly shouting, "Maddie's a bee!", so she didn't mind dressing up in the same costume 2 years in a row. I only have one picture of her in her costume - this was at the ward Trunk or Treat. She had lots of fun bumbling around and joining her cousin Jasmine in swiping cookies off the dessert table. 

After the Trunk or Treat, Maddie and Jasmine decided to cook up some trouble in Grandma Milloy's kitchen. Jasmine found a bag of Sun Chips, held it upside down, and they both enjoyed a late night snack together. Oh, these two trouble makers...

The actual night of Halloween, Bennett and Gwynne hosted family dinner at their new beautiful home in Redlands. 

While we were there, they announced Gwynne is 4 months pregnant with their first baby! We are beyond thrilled to see their sweet baby. A week later, they found out they are expecting a girl. We feel so blessed that our baby girl will have a girl cousin so close in age - based on due dates, they'll be less than 3 months apart!

As usual, we got to enjoy two Thanksgiving dinners this year! We had dinner #1 at my parent's home where they had a deep fried turkey and a Cajun oven roasted turkey. I loved seeing my Grandma Eatough's serving dishes being used. We always had the Eatough Thanksgiving dinner at their home, but now that they are enjoying Thanksgiving together in heaven, we get to remember them with the same mashed potato bowl and other serving dishes that have been a Thanksgiving fixture since I can remember. And I always love to see peanut butter balls (an Eatough tradition) on the Thanksgiving table. Maddie tried a bite of everything on the table, but only ate rolls and crackers. Oh well, at least she tried new foods. She also ate her first peanut butter ball this year and loved it.

Dinner #2 was at the always beautiful Ridge home. Everything was very low stress and relaxing. We did a potluck style dinner and everyone brought something to share. It was nice that one person did not end up with the bulk of the cooking duties. We had a great time eating yummy food and enjoying everyone's company. One of my favorite Milloy Thanksgiving traditions is when everyone stands in a circle before the prayer and expresses gratitude for the blessings they have in their lives. It brings such a sweet, peaceful spirit to Thanksgiving and gives everyone an opportunity to be thankful.

Laura, Bryant, Gwynne and Bennett at the kids table.... just kidding! 

Maddie and Aunt Jessica AKA Jeka in Maddie language 

Maddie being my Maddie... 

David's parents brought their sweet dog Sophie to Thanksgiving dinner and Maddie was beside herself. All she wanted to do was kiss Sophie all night long. Poor Sophie just wanted to rest. I think we need to get this girl a dog. 

One of our favorite things about California Saturday mornings is getting doughnuts. We have lived in Florida and Arizona and no one makes doughnuts as good as Southern California. Brandon and Maddie have a standing daddy-daughter date on Saturday mornings to go get doughnuts in their pajamas. She loves rainbow sprinkle cake doughnuts, which she calls dah-nuts. As you'll see in the video below, she eat the frosting and sprinkles off the top and then throws the rest away. It's a good thing she likes to brush her teeth. She has a raging sugar tooth just like her mom.

Through the last couple of crazy months, I inadvertantly stopped documenting my pregnant belly. I just realized I haven't taken a picture since I was betweeen 3 and 4 months. Now I am 7 months pregnant and quite a bit rounder. Sorry for the grainy picture, it was a dark picture that needed to be lightened up.

I am very proud of the fact that I can still wear my wedding ring at this late stage of pregnancy. My fingers were like sausages by the six month mark with Maddie. I am attributing this success to starting out a little thinner than I did with Maddie and eating more healthy foods. Or it could just be a lack of swelling because I'm not 7 months pregnant during the Arizona summer. I choose to think it's the first explanation. :)

So, that's what's been going on with the Milloys! We are looking forward to settling down somewhere before our baby girl arrives early next year and hopefully having a quieter 2011. As we enter this 2010 holiday season, things are different, but we are still very blessed. We are both employed, our growing family is surrounded with loving extended family, and we are all healthy. What else could we ask for?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Is Maddie getting a brother or a sister?

Maddie's getting a sister!

Our new little baby girl was stubborn as can be this morning. She was all tucked up, breech, and asleep.  She was not moving out of her cozy spot no matter what we did. Finally, towards the end of the ultrasound she finally moved her leg and found out she's a girl!
We were just excited to find out she had all her body parts and is growing perfectly, but to find out we're getting another sweet girl is so exciting! And it's also so helpful financially, seeing as everything in our home is pink already. Having a boy would have been fun too, but there is something so sweet about a newborn, snuggly baby girl.

 Here are some pictures of our pretty baby -
I wonder if she'll have long, dark eyelashes like Maddie.

Baby Girl decided to go back to sleep after all this picture taking, so the sonographer was not able to get good measurements of her spine. So, we have a follow up ultrasound scheduled for next week. I'll drink some orange juice before I go so she'll be more active the next time around.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Quick California Trip!

Late Friday, we decided to take a quick trip home to California. Bennett & Gwynne closed on their new home in Redlands (yay!) and the boys couldn't wait to get Bennett's Camaro back to him so it was officially home in Bennett's garage.

I'm so glad we went - if we didn't, we would have missed this amazing sunset.

One of Maddie's favorite parts of Grandma Milloy's house is the swing in her front yard. She always runs straight to it and even makes sure to say goodbye to the swing whenever we drive away. She loves it when her dad lifts her super high, counts to three, and let's her go. Here she is ... focused with as much anticipation as a 2 year old can have.

Sheer joy. I love that Maddie smile.

We also went to the park for a night time rocket launch. Maddie had lots of fun running around in the cool air and green grass - we don't have either of those things in Arizona right now. And, what's that? A sweater? We haven't worn sweaters in Arizona in months. We sure miss California.

Ever since Maddie was a baby, Brandon has rolled down her window so she can feel the wind on her face and it also distracts her from the fact that she is strapped into a car seat. She loves it.

Thanks for the fun trip home and the cool weather!

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Thursday Evening with the Milloys...

Last night, after dinner, Maddie and I made some cupcakes. She can hear the sound of the Kitchen-Aid mixer from across the house and she comes running to "help, Mama, help." She grabs a chair from the dining room table, drags it across the kitchen, and samples the batter/dough/mix. She is quite the little baker - she likes to add ingredients and turn on the mixer.

This video is called, "It's So Yummy." That's her newest phrase when she's eating. She also brings out her excited arms and some excited jumping too! Her sugar intake was more controllable when she thought bran muffins were cupcakes.

After the cupcakes were in the oven, it was onto playing in Mom & Dad's bed. When we tell Maddie its bed time, she says, "Ga-night Mama Dada's bed!" and then runs off to jump in our big bed. She likes this new game she invented where she counts to three and falls straight back. She especially likes it when Mama, Dada, and Derrick all join in the falling straight back at the same time. She even tries to get Darla to join us. Silly girl.

Just another fun night at the Milloys with our sweet baby girl!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Quick Havasu Trip!

We met my family out at the river for a quick, fun weekend!

I didn't take a ton of pictures, but here's a fun one of a cheesy Brandon smile.

Me & Maddie Lovebug.

Maddie, Dada, & Derrick hanging out on the back of the boat. Maddie had lots of fun watching the fish swim around and throwing her Flounder toy into the water for Grandpa to retrieve.

Derrick exploring the bottom of Lake Havasu.

Do not be alarmed - this is not a dead body. This is Kristen- my tan obsessed sister soaking up all the UV rays she can. What a diva.

We had lots of fun visiting our family! We ate yummy food at the Golden Horseshoe restaurant and went cosmic bowling.

Some fun pictures from the drive home...

Like father, like daughter...

Derrick the road warrior.

I was the back seat navigator...

I love this guy...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Doctor's visits for both of my babies!

Last week, Maddie had her 2 year check up! She loves the fish aquarium in the waiting room and always looks forward to saying, "Heh-wo fish" as they swim by.

My independant girl did not want her throat looked at. She clamped her jaw shut when the doctor tried to check out her teeth and mouth. We had to pry her mouth open with a tongue depressor. She also did not appreciate having her ears looked at. She took the ear light instrument thing out of the doctor's hand, handed it back to her, and said, "No." I think I have a little firecracker on my hands.

Here are her stats:
WEIGHT: 22.8 pounds - 7th % - My litte string bean
HEIGHT: 35 inches - 80th % - I think she'll be tall like her dad!
HEAD CIRCUMFERENCE: 18.5 inches - 50th % -  A perfect little head.

 I couldn't believe how tall she's grown over the past 6 months... and how skinny she still is. Since her 18 month check-up in February, she grew two whole inches and gained 1.2 pounds. I hope all of my children inherit their dad's height and metabolism. It looks like Maddie may be headed in that direction!

Her check up also, unfortunately, included 3 immunizations. My poor love bug. It is so awful because she doesn't even know its coming and then she has no idea why she's being stabbed over and over again. Oh, it breaks my heart every time. Maybe one day she'll thank me that she never got polio or measles, mumps, or rubella. She quickly recovered after she got to pick some bubbles out of the toy treasure chest. Bubbles make everything better- even painful shots.

I also went for my monthly check up so we could see how the little sweet potato is doing in there. That's the size of Baby Milloy #2 this week - a sweet potato or 5.5 inches. I always like to get my weekly baby email updates so I can see what vegetable or fruit my baby is this week.

I am happy to report that we are both healthy and doing well.
Here is baby's heartbeat ... you can hear the nurse naming off the heart rate in the recording.

Next month, we'll find out if this sweet potato is a brother or a sister for Maddie. By the looks of our baby gender poll (top right corner of this blog), it appears the majority think Maddie will get a little sister. What do you think? Stay tuned....

PS- Check the right side of our blog for updates on Maddie's measurements & all the things she does that keeps us laughing.

Friday, August 20, 2010

An Arizona Thunderstorm

This week, we had a pretty impressive monsoon storm pass over our house. We got almost 2 inches of rain in just about an hour. There was plenty of thunder and lightning too! We went storm chasing in the Toureag and found lots of flooded roads and super heavy rain. We LOVE the rain - it cooled the temperature down from 105 degrees to 70 degrees within an hour.

When we got back, Maddie ran around in the rain until she was completely soaked. She had tons of fun jumping in puddles and spinning around in the rain with her excited arms. She called the thunder "airplane" - I guess thunder does sort of sound like an airplane. Sorry for the poor quality of the pictures and video... the camera was dead, so I took all this with my phone.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Belly Picture - 16 weeks

I feel like I have a respectable bump now that I am 16 weeks, so here is the first picture of "the bump". I have a doctor's appointment this week for a check up and then we get to schedule the gender ultrasound to see if Maddie will get a baby brother or a baby sister. What do you think it is? Vote in our baby gender poll at the top left corner of the blog. We'll see who guessed correctly in just a few weeks!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Maddie is TWO!

We had so much fun in California for Maddie's second birthday party this weekend! Her birthday party theme was hot pink, black, & rhinestones - because I love having a girly girl! We had her party at the Ridge's beautiful home and Brittany made the most amazing cake and cupcakes ever! She is so talented!
Here is the candy bar buffet for guests to take home sweet treats with them.
This cake was SO gorgeous! It was painful to cut into it!
Some framed prints of Maddie's 2 year photo shoot next to the cupcakes...
Close up of the cupcakes... They were beautiful AND delicious!
And here's the birthday girl!
If you have been following our family blog for any length of time, you know my Maddie refuses to smile on command. Most of her pictures are of her frowning or giving you "the Brandon look" (click here for an example). I am beyond excited to have a picture of a REAL Maddie smile. I wuv my baby girl!
The loot....
A picture of mingling at the party - I love our huge family so much! We ate Pizza Chalet for lunch and it was so yummy! We always find an excuse to get Pizza Chalet when we come home to Yucaipa.
The beautiful Ridge girls...
minus Emma, who was probably playing with Maddie. Those two are best buddies and have tons of fun together.
Opening presents!
Maddie got an Ariel Barbie doll from me and Brandon. Since I have the inside Mom information, I knew she would love it. She watches "The Little Mermaid" multiple times during the day and she also loves Barbies, so it was a perfect combination.
Grandma & Grandpa Eatough got her a Mrs. Potato Head - another hit! She loves Toy Story and instantly fell in love with Mrs. Potato Head. She spent the rest of the weekend assembling Mrs. Potato Head.
I should have had her open Ariel last because all she wanted was Ariel out of the box while we were trying to open the rest of the presents. Eventually, Ariel made it out of the box. This birthday was an Ariel windfall... she got an Ariel nightgown, Ariel birthday cards, & the Ariel Barbie. Some of the other fun presents she got were a Toy Story ball pit from Aunt Jessica (which Maddie & Jasmine lived in the rest of the weekend), tons of awesome books from everyone, and lots of super cute clothes. Thanks everyone!

Grandma & Grandpa Eatough and Maddie!
Maddie and her magnificent birthday cake!

Brandon & Derrick have discovered a new hobby in the past few weeks - rocket launching. They built this rocket and we have had several launches, including this one at the Yucaipa Community Park. It is way louder than you think it will be and it shoots so high in the air, you can't see it anymore.

Here is the group prepping for the rocket launch. I love how Jasmine is right in the middle of the action, checking everything out.
Some cousin love at the park ... these two are so fun together.

A video of the cousins at the park...
We also went swimming at Grandma Eatough's house. Maddie thought it was hysterical that mom's dog Chance will jump into the pool to chase balls, so she was content throwing balls for him all afternoon. Kristen & Richard came swimming too. Kristen has a rocking tan from working as a lifeguard at Pharaoh's all summer. And Richard has always had a great tan since he was a baby.

Richard tried to dunk me, but he forgot I spent 5 years on the swim and water polo teams. I handled him.

Thanks to everyone who helped pull together Maddie's party, to everyone who came to celebrate, & to everyone who brought Maddie fun gifts! We missed everyone who couldn't make it. We love you all!

Oh... and just in case you missed our last post...

Baby Milloy #2 is on its way! I am almost 4 months already. After the miscarriage earlier this year, we wanted to wait a while to spill the beans so we could make sure everything was progressing well. My due date is January 27th... but we all know this baby will not make its debut until February. Maddie was over a week late when she was induced! I am starting to come out of the nauseous stage - thank goodness.