I am addicted to Eli's smiles. He started smiling almost 2 weeks ago and I LOVE it! He has a pretty deep dimple on his right cheek and a smaller dimple on his left cheek. He smiles pretty easily, especially after he eats. He also loves to smile a lot at night - when I want him to be sleeping. I think it's his way to make sure I don't get mad.

Yes. I did do a faux hawk.

Also, I think that my kids (maybe kind of sort of) look alike...

Madeline and Eli

Halloween and Hair

What do Halloween and hair have in common? They both start with H... There really is no connection for me other than the fact that I am way behind on things I want to write about and need to just start combining topics.

First, Halloween:

Last year my mom bought Madeline a costume at Old Navy the day after Halloween (for $4.00!) so she has had her costume planned for a year. She was a bumblebee. She really liked to show off her stinger on her bum. We dressed Eli as a missionary. I couldn't resist because I always think his hair looks so missionary-y.

Eli's hair looks so grown up!

"Hello, my name is Elder Payne. I have a message..."

My mom and Abby came up and we carved our pumpkins. If you know Madeline, you know she HATES to be dirty, especially her hands. We weren't sure she would carve pumpkins at all. It was funny to watch her help because she would carefully put her hand in the pumpkin and put out one seed. Then she would wipe her hands - over and over.

After pumpkins we ate homemade pizza, then went trick-or-treating. We only went to the 15ish houses on our street. Madeline would enthusiastically say "trick-or treat" after I would say, "what do you say?" The people would comment on how cute she was then give her a handful of candy. She got way more than I thought she would or needed. I was proud because she would always say thank-you. Then, as we would go down the driveway she would usually yell, "love you! Bye!" Then she would tell mom and Abby "I tick-or-tweat, candy." This happened at every house. It was cute.

Now for my hair:

When I got my job I decided not to cut my hair short anymore because it was too hard to wear a hair net without a pony-tail or a bun. Ian likes shorter hair so I told him when I quit I would cut my hair short again. I kept my word and got it cut last week. My hair was the longest it has ever been and went to shortest it has ever been. This is a "before" picture...

And "after"...

She cut off 12 inches! I donated it to Locks of Love.

She cut off a little more than I had asked (10 inches is the minimum to donate) and at first I was kind of sad. I missed my hair and it is a lot shorter in the back than in the front. Then I remembered that hair grows and thought about how sad I would be if I had no hair. I really do like it now. I think I look a lot more stylish and put together.

Eli Houston Payne

Eli Houston Payne was born October 11, 2011. (Yes. I know. Almost 5 weeks ago.) He was born at 1:17 pm and weighed in at 9 lbs 13 oz. He was 22 inches long. We chose the name Eli because we just liked it and Houston is after his Great Grandfather George Houston Spears.

I was induced a week before my due date because the doctor thought that he could possibly be a big baby (although he thought he would definitely be under 9 lbs - oops). We were also moving up to Washington because of Ian's new job (and I wanted to go to the BYU vs. OSU game). I got to the hospital at about 6:45 am and they got me in my room. I was feeling really nervous. When I had Madeline, my water broke and I was suddenly in labor. I did not have days to sit and think about it. It was happening. I think I was nervous with the inducement because I thought about it too much. It is a weird feeling to go in and knowingly inflict pain upon yourself.

They started the pitocin at about 7:15 am. Ian and I just hung out for the next couple hours. We watched some TV online and worked on crossword puzzles. The doctor told me that we would have a baby in the evening which I thought was entirely too long to wait. Also, I wanted him to be born quicker because my friend Rachel was in town for her Grandmother's funeral and could come see us if I had him before 3ish. The nurse continually checked my progress (and kept speeding up the pitocin drip) and assured me that Eli would be here before her shift was over at 4:00. At about 10:30 am, the doctor came in and broke my water. I hadn't really felt any of the contractions until that point and was dilated to a 4. He told me I'd better get my epidural quick because the labor was going to speed up.

I got the epidural at 11:00 am. I am amazed at how different this epidural from the first one I had with Madeline. This one actually worked! I would not have been nervous to be induced if I was as pain free the first time as I was this time around.

The doctor came in a little before 1:00 pm and said that he had a C-section at 2:00 so we had better start pushing. I didn't know I had progressed that far. I kind of think he would have waited a little longer if he had not had the C-section scheduled. I pushed for about 20 minutes and Eli was born! The first thing the doctor commented about him was how much hair he had. All of the nurses commented that he was huge. When the nurse put him on the scale, I thought I read it wrong. She made the doctor guess how much he weighed. He thought high 8's. WRONG! I was shocked to have an almost 10 pound baby. I also noticed his cute little dimple on his right cheek pretty early. Here we are pretty soon after his birth.

He was really blue so they had to give him oxygen for a couple of minutes.

Madeline had spent the night at my mom's the night before. She and my mom came to the hospital about and hour after Eli was born. They were both very proud.

Madeline hasn't stopped wanting to kiss/hug/hold Eli since.

Rachel was also able to come see us before she flew back to Utah which made me really happy.

Here we are the next day. They made us stay two days which I wasn't really happy about. I was so bored and just wanted to be home! Oh well.

Every single nurse that came into our room would first comment about how he did not look like a newborn because he was so big. Then they would comment on his thick, dark hair.

Here are the kids when we finally got to go home. Madeline was very excited that Eli got to come home with us.

Eli had jaundice pretty bad. We had to go in to the hospital every day until the 16th to check his bilirubin level. I felt so sad for his poor little heels that were pricked everyday. I am so thankful, however, that the levels were never high enough to actually have to take any further action. They were always on the border. You can see how is was pretty yellow in the next three pictures.

Now Eli is a little over a month old. He has been a very good baby. We moved to Tumwater, WA when he was just one week old. The first week of his life I left him alone all day two times - once with my mom so we could go to the football game and once with my dad so I could take a load of our stuff to our new house and he was an angel. He is a wonderful eater (he eats all the time) and a pretty good sleeper. He usually will sleep for about 4 hours at a time. He is so mild mannered which really helps with Madeline. She tries to hold him and pick him up. She pretty much mauls him and he just takes it. I think Heavenly Father knew I needed a low key baby for all of the changes we have had in the past few weeks.

I just think he is the cutest little boy in the world and we all love him very much. We are so happy that Eli is part of our family!

Summer Recap

I realize that it's been almost 4 months since we have posted anything on our blog. I feel guilty only because I am NOT a good journal writer and I count this as my journal for my posterity. Someday I plan to print it all out and put it in a binder as a type of scrapbook...

Anyway, this is our summer in review. We realized that we didn't really take very many pictures.

Our summer started out with Planter's Days in Woodland...the annual little celebration our town has. We watched the parade in the rain...typical Northwest June. Obviously Madeline was less than thrilled about the whole thing.

On the 4th of July we went up to Woodland and hung out in the sun next to the Columbia River. Madeline liked catching some rays with her aunt Abby.

She also liked the waverunner. So did Ian. He and Oliver "had the best waverunner ride of their lives" that day. Definitely something to be commemorated. I decided not to participate in the waverunner activities since I was 6 months pregnant. Not comfortable.

Other things we did this summer included...

- A short camping trip to the San Juan islands

- TONS of swimming in our apartment's swimming pool (I always said that pregnant women should never wear a swimsuit. They should just suck it up and not swim for that one summer. Needless to say, it was hot and I changed my mind. I completely stretched out my swimsuit. (darn - I'll have to get a new one next year) Sorry to all those at the pool who had to see me and my huge belly everyday.

- A trip up to the alpine slides on Mt. Hood (again to watch, not participate - pregnant).

- We (reluctantly) got rid of the pacifier.

- Madeline's vocabulary has taken off and s has learned almost all of her letters and can count to 4 before she starts naming random numbers. I am so proud of her. She loves learning and always points out all letters she sees.

- Ian passed all of his qualifying exams and now has his ARM (Associate in Risk Management).

- Ian got a job!!!! He got it on the same day he passed his final ARM test! He won't start until October 17 but he will be working for the State of Washington's Department of Labor and Industries. We are VERY excited! We will be moving to Tumwater, WA just after the baby is born but I will write more about that soon. I put in my 2 weeks notice this week and am so excited to stay home with the kids!

The last hurrah to our summer was over Labor Day weekend. We decided to take a short trip down to the Oregon Coast to use some Oregon Coast Aquarium tickets I had won from the radio in March.

My mom, my sister Abby, Ian, Madeline, and I drove out to Lincoln City on Sunday after church and stayed in a hotel. When we got there, Ian and I realized that we forgot our bag with everything which meant no pjs, no clothes, no toiletries, nothing. Fortunately we had packed a separate bag for Madeline which we did bring. On Monday morning, we woke up early and went to the store to buy clothes to wear (too bad we had to buy new clothes...). Then we drove down to Newport to the aquarium. Madeline loved it. I thought it was a little overpriced - luckily we didn't have to pay. She sat and watched the "sharks" forever. I have no idea why she started calling fish sharks, but she does. Here is one place we DID take our camera - hence - pictures.

They have cool stuff to touch.

Of course, you have to use hand sanitizer after you touch the animals. This was Madeline's FAVORITE part of the aquarium.

We stood and watched the seals for a long time.

After the aquarium we of course had to go to the Tillamook Cheese Factory and get ice cream. It was not very warm on the coast so we just went home without even going to the beach. It was a fun weekend.

Now we are just in the waiting phase for the baby to come and to move. I am due October 18 but am being induced on October 11 partly because Madeline was a week early and big and partly so we can have him born before we move and Ian starts his job (also, BYU comes to play Oregon State on October 15 and we have tickets, but we didn't mention that to the doctor).

Ultrasound Results and Pictures

Earlier this week I was able to go with Amy to the ultrasound appointment. First of all, we should say that everything seems great from what we saw and were told. Amy was hoping that the due date would be moved up, but every measurement that the tech took ended up matching perfectly the original due date Amy's doctor gave us at the first visit. Compared to the ultrasound appointment we had for Madeline, this one seemed to be much more thorough. It was probably twice as long, and she took probably three times as many pictures of the baby for measurements and for the doctor to examine.

As for the results, we are expecting a boy come 18 October. Two weeks ago Amy used wives tales to see what it predicted in terms of sex of the child. Her results were split, but from the beginning of the pregnancy she seemed to feel it would be a boy, and it was. We are really excited about the news, and can't wait to see him. Amy is especially excited because she wants to dress our boy "like a little man" since boy clothes are so much more like adult clothes.

Okay, no more writing. Here is our little man...

As you can see, they're pretty basic pictures. It took a while to get them because of the baby's position. For the first part of the ultrasound the baby was laying back with his hands behind his head...just relaxing.

So, we are not sure what we are going to name him; we have a couple ideas, and even an offer to pay his college tuition if he is named after a certain friend of Amy's. However, we are always looking for good --read: serious -- suggestions, so if you have one, we'd love to hear it.

Old Wives Tales

I am at 19 weeks on Tuesday which means next Tuesday we get to find out the gender of the baby. I can't wait! When my friend Erin was close to finding out what her baby was, she wrote a fun post on her blog about old wives tales and the "results." I asked her if I could copy that idea and she said it was okay, so here it goes. Here are a few old wives tales...

1. Carrying High or Low

The Test: If you are carrying high: girl. If you are carrying low: boy.
The Result: GIRL. I guess. I am not very big yet but all the woman at work say I am carrying high because I can still wear normal jeans. I think that maybe my jeans are just lower cut than theirs used to be.

2. Fetal Heart Rate

The Test: If the heat rate is above 140: girl. The the rate is below 140: boy.
The Result: GIRL. It was 160.

3. Cravings

The Test: If you are craving sweet stuff: girl. Salty/savory: boy.
The Result: BOY. I don't know. I don't really have cravings but I am wanting less sweets than usual - however - I think I may get my fill at work.

4. Chinese Birth Chart

The Test: Follow the chart.

The Result: BOY.

5. Complexion

The Test: If your face is breaking out: girl. If it smooth and clean: boy.
The Result: GIRL. Why can't this one be boy?!

6. Morning Sickness

The Test: Sick: girl. Not sick: boy
The Result: BOY. Thank goodness! This pregnancy has been so much better.

Overall result: split 3/3. So who knows?!

What do I think I am having? My gut says BOY, mostly because this pregnancy has been so different. I read one place that women who were pregnant and had no previous knowledge of the gender guessed the right gender 71% of the time. I knew Madeline was a girl. Maybe my instinct will be right again.

Whatever is in there, boy or girl, we are very excited and will let you know May 31!

What do you think? BOY or GIRL?

Madeline's 2nd Birthday!

Today is Madeline's 2nd Birthday. I can't believe my baby was born two years ago! I decided it would be fun to have an Olivia themed birthday, since Olivia is her favorite book, doll, and cartoon. I made her cake yesterday and decorated it today. I am really proud of how it turned out. I sometimes feel a bit intimidated having a sister-in-law who is a pastry chef and makes beautiful cakes, as seen on her blog. (I know she would never judge, but still...) Anyways Liz, I hope this does the cake world some justice.

These are the invitations I made...

Madeline received a lot of cool presents. She really liked her Olivia figurines...

and she REALLY liked her cool sunglasses. She became very uninterested in opening any other presents after she got the glasses.

I just wanted to show her ringlets with this picture. I love them but I'm sure she will hate curly hair when she becomes a teenager.

After presents we had cake. We also had pie to celebrate my aunt Jen's birthday as well as my cousin Ally's birthday.

This was the inside of the cake...

I love my two year old!