zion's 3rd birthday party

We celebrated Zion's 3rd birthday on Saturday July 6th.  His real birthday was on the 9th, but we had his party a couple days early.  Of course he had a Cars themed birthday party.  Again.  Even though we did that last year.  And most of the friends that we invited were girls.  It's his favorite and that's what he wanted.  So I did it.  Again.  We held his party at my parent's house since we don't have much space at our little townhouse.  The kids had fun playing on our water slide, my parents swing set and running around.  The birthday boy requested pizza for dinner, so that's what we had.
i think the kids loved the water slide.  

we kind of ran out of time with the set up, but I had stuff to turn the orange construction cones on the eating tables into "cozy cone motels" with little awnings and signs, and then I was going to park a bunch of Zion's little cars around them.  This is as good as it got, though.

the best picture we got of the whole set up

present table

sarge's surplus food table-
with francesco's cheese pizza, mcqueen's pepperoni pizza, sally's green salad, and holly's fruit salad

flo's v8 dessert cafe-
with piston cup cupcakes, mater's tow ropes, guido's spark plugs and lug nuts, luigi's casa della tires, sherrif's traffic lights, ramone's body art samples, and mcmissle's spy cream...  you need to see the movies to understand how clever these are, and I only stole one of them from pinterest.  The rest I made up on my own.  Yep, I'm pretty proud of that.

I'm sad we didn't get a good picture of "fillmore's fuel station" (drinks).
I made cute little rusteez, dinoco and allinol labels for all of the drinks.

eating pizza with some friends

zion liked when everybody sang to him

blowing out his candle

opening presents

checking out the monster's playlet

piniata time

zion's lucky to have such fun friends

silly kids

my little family of 3... for a few more hours anyway

i love these girlfriends of mine, and that we all have 3 year olds!

I'm so thankful for all of the people that came and helped us make a special day for Zion.  I'm especially grateful to Zac and my family for helping me get everything set up.  I literally could not have done it all without them.

Zion has been such an amazing blessing in my life.  I am grateful for him every single day.  He says and does the funniest things.  I absolutely love the stage he is at right now.  If I could find a way to freeze time right now, I would.  He is the sweetest boy ever.  He is so easy going and hardly ever throws fits.  And when he does throw a fit, they only last for about 1 minute, until we explain to him why he can't do or have whatever it is that he's throwing the fit about, and then it's done and he's back to his happy self.  He has the best laugh.  It's truly my favorite sound in the world.  It comes from deep in his belly and lights up his whole face and everybody around him can't help but smile, too.  He is so nice to people.  I really don't think I have every seen him be mean to another kid.  If someone takes a toy from him, he just walks away and finds something else to play with.  He never hits or tries to steal it back.  Sometimes he gets a little rowdy with his friends and they will push and tackle each other, but it's always just playing and never in a mean way.  Zion is so smart.  I am amazed every single day by all of the things he knows and picks up on.  He has known his ABC's and all of the sounds they make for such a long time.  He loves to tell us what letter different words start with.  He can read and spell a bunch of words.  A lot of time he will say things like "thank you M-O-M!" or "I love you Z-A-C!" spelling out our names rather than saying them.  Yes, he's going through a stage right now where he thinks it is so funny to call Zac by his first name.  Zion knows how to count really well.  He can count to 30 by himself, but he also knows how to recognize 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100.  He just sometimes has a hard time counting all of the numbers in between.  He has picked up counting to 10 in Spanish, too.  As well as a few other Spanish words.  We can thank Dora for that, I'm sure.  He knows all of his shapes, colors, and loves to find patterns in different things.  He has a crazy good memory.  I'm serious.  Me and Zac just laugh because he remembers things way better than us.  For example... Last November we went to the new Lehi outlets.  When we took Zion to go to the bathroom, Santa Claus was seated inside the building that the restrooms are in.  The line was kind of long so we didn't wait to take a picture with him or say anything about it because we didn't want Zion to notice him.  Well he did.  9 months later, this past August, we pulled into the parking lot of the outlets for the first time since the previous November and the first thing Zion said was that he wanted to go see Santa.  He does things like this all the time.  At preschool his teachers have told us that they are blown away by how well he memorizes books and poems.

Zion, you are so amazing.  Not a day goes by that I don't feel absolutely blessed to have you in my life.  I love everything about you.  I promise I will always do my best to let you know how grateful I am for you and how much I love you.  I never want you to doubt my love for you.

(Sorry for the brag post, but I want to be able to remember these little details about Zion.)

4th of july

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays.  I love that it is so laid back and that it is pretty much just a day to chill with friends and family, bbq, play outside and watch fireworks.  And that is exactly what we did.  Zac worked in the morning and then we went over to our friend Cambria's parent's house for the afternoon.  Cambria's mom is one of my most favorite people so it was fun to catch up with her.  We had a yummy bbq and the kids played on their water slide.  I pretty much stayed sitting in the shade and drinking a ton of water, so that Zac wouldn't make me go home and lay down.  He was a little concerned after our appointment the day before.  After the bbq we went home to rest for a couple hours and then we met back up with our friends for dinner at Costa Vida and camped out until the fireworks started.  It was such a fun day!

32-35 weeks

From weeks 32-35, things were slowly progressing.  If I was up and moving around a lot, my contractions would be less than 5 mins a part, but as soon as I sat down they would slow down.  I didn't take the bed rest thing to seriously because I had all of the same stuff going on with Zion, and he made it to 38 weeks.   Although, I never tested positive for the fetal fibronectin with him, and my cervix pretty much stayed the same up until the 38th week.  With this pregnancy, I went in for my 35 week appointment and the doctor told me I was dilated to a  3+ and that the baby was getting close.  She told me I should take it really easy for the next week, but I knew that wasn't going to happen.  The next day was the 4th of July and I had Zion's 3rd birthday party planned for July 6th.  There was no way I was canceling Zion's party.  Having a new baby in the house was going to be a huge adjustment for him, and I felt like he really deserved a super special day before that happened.

monster's university

We love Monster's Inc. at our house.  When the new Monster's University came out the end of June, we had to make a special deal of it.  We invited my parent's to come see it with us on opening day.  I bought us some fun Monster University (Oozma Kappa) shirts that we all wore.  Zion spent the morning playing with all of his monster toys and asking if it was time to go yet.  It was such a cute movie!  He loved it and sat through the whole thing without taking his eyes off of the screen.  My mom brought him a cute little tin lunch box that she filled with snacks.  He thought it was pretty dang cool.  I can't wait until next Tuesday when it comes out on DVD!

32 weeks & father's day

Now that I'm 4 months behind, I figure I better make an attempt to get caught up before it gets any worse.  So, starting with where I left off in June, brace yourselves for a bunch of new posts.  A lot has happened.  Mainly our little Kasen joined our family a month early, so let's start there.

On June 12th I went in for my 32 week appointment.  I had been having a ton of braxton hicks contractions.  Because of my history of preterm labor with Zion, the nurse decided to run a fetal fibronectin test on me and then checked me and found out I was dilated to a 1+ and 70% effaced.  I left the office not thinking too much of it because I was dilated about the same amount with Zion at 32 weeks and he ended making it to 38 weeks.  Within a couple hours of being home, the nurse called and said the fetal fibronectin test came back positive, explained exactly what that meant, and told me I needed to come in right away and get started on a round of steroids to help the baby's lungs mature.  Basically, fetal fibronectin is a protein that bonds the fetal sack to the inside of the uterus.  A couple weeks before labor, that protein starts to break down.  Because I tested positive for it, that put me at high risk for going into labor in the next couple of weeks.  False positives are pretty common, and even when you do get a true positive, that doesn't necessarily mean you will go into labor early, you are just at high risk for early labor.

I went right in and got my first steroid shot.  The nurse explained that I should be on modified bed rest. No exercise, stay out of the sun, keep hydrated, lay down to rest at least 3-4 times a day, no intercourse, no caffeine, no heavy lifting... etc.  All of it was exactly the same guidelines I was given with Zion.  When I got my second round of steroids the next day, the nurse working was a lot more strict.  She actually said I should be on strict bed rest with bathroom and showering privileges  only.  Because both nurses gave such different advice, I kind of mixed the advice together and decided I know my body best and would use my own judgement to monitor how much activity I could handle.

That weekend was Father's Day.  I felt bad because we had booked a room in Salt Lake for the weekend and had planned on bumming around all weekend, but we weren't able to do that.  We went to City Creek for less than an hour and my contractions had picked up a lot so we just went back to the room.  If I laid down my contractions would calm down a lot so we ended up spending most of the weekend just hanging out in the hotel room watching movies and relaxing, and then venturing out a little for meals.  Zac and Zion went shopping for golf clubs one of the days and stayed back and took a nap.  I felt bad that we weren't able to do as much as we had originally planned, but Zac said he had a perfect weekend and that it was exactly what he wanted.  That's what I love about him.  He is so positive and easy going.  He loves to do anything as long as he's with his family.  I love how much he loves being a daddy to our little boys.  I honestly couldn't ask for a better man.
Zion playing with his cars in our hotel room

Meeting up with Cyd and her boyfriend for breakfast

My boys just cuddling and watching a show on Zion's iPad

Zac showing off his new golf gear.  His real present was a new iPad mini, but then he bought new clubs, clothes and shoes the next day, so that ended up being part of his present, too.


isaiah's race

Zac's brother Isaiah did the Squaw Peak 50 again this year... 50 miles of mountain trail running with 11,000 feet of elevation gain.  It took him 10 hours and 21 minutes which is 13 minutes faster than what he did last year.  He placed 3rd in his age group and 21st overall out of 288 people.  We had fun spending the afternoon at the park where the race finished so that we could be there to cheer him on when he crossed the finish line.


mother's day weekend

Zac decided we should do something special and spend the weekend in Salt Lake for Mother's day weekend.  He got home from work around 2:00 on Friday and we went straight up.  We spent a couple hours shopping at City Creek and then we met up with my sister Cyd and her friend Mack for a few hours of laughter, ice cream and catching up.  I loved getting to spend time with Cyd.  Even though she only lives in Salt Lake, it still feels like I never get to see her because she works evenings and weekends, so when we do get up that way she's usually working.  Saturday morning we woke up, browsed Gateway and went to lunch while we waited for it to warm up a little, and then we went back to the hotel to play in the pool with Zion for a few hours.  He loves the water!  The rest of the day was filled with naps, relaxing and a delicious dinner at Market Street.  Cyd worked a double shift on Sunday so she wasn't able to come home and see my mom for Mother's Day, but because she didn't have to be there until 11:00, we had the great idea of inviting my parents up to Salt Lake to have breakfast with us.  We met them at Little America and had the Grand Mother's Day Brunch.  It was amazing!  I have never seen such a spread of gourmet food.  Everything from crepes and pastries to king crab legs and prime rib.  We decided that it has to be a tradition and I am already looking forward to next year.  After brunch we headed home to unpack really quick and then we spent the rest of the day over at my parents house hanging out and having a bbq.  I'm surprised how just spending a couple nights in Salt Lake can feel like such a ginormous getaway.

Zac and Zion gave me some new jewelry for Mother's Day, and my favorite couple of pieces were these cute pendants that have the letter's Z and K engraved on them.  Z and K of course stand for Zac and Kami, but also Zion and Kasen, so now I have a cute little reminder of my whole family with me every time I wear them.
Thanks Zac for making me feel so special all weekend.  I truly love being a mom and couldn't ask for a better calling in life.  It's amazing how one little person has completely changed my whole life.  Every morning I wake up so excited just to see Zion's face beaming with that cute gigantic smile.  I love that he's such a cuddly mommy's boy and that he runs up to me at least 10 times a day and gives me a huge hug and tells me that I'm his best friend and that he loves me.  I love that he is such a gentle and kind spirit and never misses a chance to say "bless you" when someone sneezes or "please" and "thank you".  I love that he gets a little jealous when he sees Zac give me a hug, or kiss, or hold my hand and that he immediately runs over and says "Zion's turn" and copies whatever Zac just did.  I know that all to quickly he will grow out of this stage and it will no longer be cool to be so affectionate with his mommy, so I'm soaking it up while I can.  Being a mommy has changed my perspective on everything.  It's funny how, as a mom, the things that truly bring me joy, are the things that make Zion's face light up.  I never thought it would be so much fun to pretend I'm a race car (Zion always gives us names from the movie Cars) and race around the house, but it is.  Every little goofy thing that he does melts my heart and makes me realize that it's those small moments of laughing, learning and spending time as a family that's what life is all about.

Being a mom also makes me so grateful for everything my mom has done and continues to do for me and my family.  She is such a great grandma to Zion and it makes me so happy.  She's always thinking of things that he would love... either a new Thomas the Train book that she surprises him with when we go out to dinner, or a fun new recipe for homemade gigantic bubbles that she has ready for when we go over to her house to visit... whatever it is, she's always thinking of fun things to do with him.  Thanks for everything you do mom.  I love you!