Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011!

For those of you who didn't get a physical card in the mail, I wanted to share one with you here.

Thanks again to my wonderful sister-in-law, Meghan, for taking the pictures and putting the card together!!

Merry Christmas from the Shipps!
Also be sure to check out the other two blog posts I did today! :)

Our Place / Christmas Decor

So, I just realized that I never actually posted pictures of our current apartment, which we have now lived in for over 6 months... So, as I was taking pictures of my Christmas decorations this evening, I decided to take pictures of the whole place (minus our bedroom, which is rather boring and quite messy at the moment haha). So, please enjoy the tour!

First, the living room. As you walk in the front door and look to your right, this is what you'd see:
More close up of my little Christmas tree:
Since we don't have a fireplace, our stockings were hung by the window, with care :)
Second is the kitchen (my favorite!!). As you walk in the front door and look to the left, this is what you would see:

Third, if you walk in the front door and walk straight, you'll go back into the hallway where there's a washer/dryer closet in front of you, and to your direct left is the bathroom:

Then, there's a bedroom on either side. They are about the same size. The bedroom on the right is ours, and the one on the left is the combination baby/office/piano/storage room :) Here are the pictures of the baby's room. I've got some nice framed pictures of Charlie ready to go up on the wall above his crib, I just keep forgetting to go out and buy the sticky velcro to use (since they don't let us use nails here):
And for the wall over the dresser, my plan is to find wooden letters that spell out Charlie's name and then cover them in the different fabrics of the quilt that my mom made for Charlie. Which, by the way, I will take a picture of and show you once I get it at Christmas!! It's the cutest quilt I've EVER seen. My mom has some serious skills! :)
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the little tour. It's simple and humble, but I love it. And it's definitely much more spacious than Wymount was.

Oh! One last picture - my fridge in its current Christmas-y state (I LOVE getting Christmas cards to display!!):

The Hubby's Birthday

This year on November 26th, T turned 27 years old. In his typical fashion, he didn't really want a party... or a cake... or any gifts for that matter! But, knowing me, I HAD to get him something (or a FEW things)! So, for his 27th birthday, T got new white dress shirts, a pair of jeans from American Eagle, a gift card to Cold Stone, and a frame for his BYU diploma!! :)

He's so different from me in the regard that he doesn't like to party... but if that's how he likes it then that's okay with me! :)

Happy 27th Birthday Hubby!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Charlie's First Halloween

Since he was only 6 days old, we didn't take many pictures, and we didn't dress up, but we had to go to Springville and celebrate and get out of the house. I couldn't believe how much planning went into getting everything ready to go - such a big life change! And then, wouldn't you believe it, in our scramble getting out the door I left the diaper bag at home!! You can imagine how I felt when I realized it. I cried. I felt like I already sucked at being a mom! I failed on our first outing. Fortunately, Meghan still had some diapers around the house for Kelan. Unfortunately, they were a size 3. Haha! So, this little newborn of mine wore a size 3 diaper for the rest of the night. But hey - it worked! Thank goodness! And we were able to enjoy some relaxing time with our family. Here's the one photo that Meg snapped of little Charlie being held by his Grandpa Russ:
We are loving this sweet little squishy-faced boy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Birth Story

Since I'm really bad at actually keeping a separate journal other than this blog, I figured it would be smart to write down the events of Charlie's birth so I don't forget!

Also, I'm a bit specific with some details and there's one picture of Charlie fresh out of the womb, so just warning you if you're a bit squeamish. :)

The weekend before he was born, I noticed I would have very mild, very spaced out and sporadic contractions... mostly when walking or standing for any extended period of time. At my 39 week doctor's appointment, I was dilated to about a 1.5, which wasn't saying much (but it was more than the week before when I was "almost a 1").

Perhaps it's the cynic in me, but I was fully prepared to be pregnant for 41 weeks and get induced sometime during the first couple days of November. With my history of needing help getting pregnant, I figured my body wouldn't go into labor on its own either. Well, luckily, I was wrong. ;)

Monday night the 24th of October, my mom and T and I sat down to eat dinner around 7pm and I realized I was having those same contractions I had been having on occasion throughout the weekend, but this time they were coming consistently every 6-10 minutes. I still didn't think anything of it, though, because they weren't too painful. They just made my belly feel pretty tight.

As the night progressed, they didn't stop and they started coming a little closer together (4-5 mins) and they slowly became more sensational. At about 10pm, curious as to whether this might be the real thing, I called the after-hours line and left a message for the doctor on call to call me back. He called back around 10:30pm and said that the contractions would have to get much more painful and closer together before I could consider it to be "the real thing".

So, I waited. At about 11pm, I decided it might be a good idea to try to go to bed and sleep. If it was false labor, then sleeping would help the contractions subside. Laying down caused the contractions to come every 15 minutes, but when they did come, they had become quite painful. Every time I was about to drift off to sleep, a new contraction would come and wake me up. At about midnight I realized that sleep was not going to be an option, so I might as well watch TV and time my contractions.

And they got closer. And more painful. I kept telling myself "okay... just get to 1am, 2am, 3am...". Each time a contraction would come I would close my eyes, and breathe deeply about 10-15 breaths and by then it would be gone. The pain was usually the worst around breaths 6-8. Once it was 3am, I decided to rinse off in the shower to pass the time and help with the pain. It was so nice!! And I even took the chance to shave my legs ;)

At 3:30am, once I had dried off and gotten dressed again, I decided to wake T up. I wanted to wait as long as possible before going to the hospital because I did NOT want to be sent home. But those contractions were hurting! So, I quietly nudged him and told him he needed to wake up. He sleepily replied "Mmm... I'm sleeping". Haha. I said "I know, honey, but you need to get up. I think we should go to the hospital". So, he eventually got up, and we finished packing our hospital bag (yes, I procrastinated doing this task... oops).

We pulled into the hospital at about 4am and I was in a room getting checked for dilation by 4:15am. I was only dilated to a 2.5!! A 2.5!?!? All of that pain and work for not much reward, it seemed. So, I had one hour to dilate at least a centimeter or else they would send me home. In fact, when we were checking in at the Labor & Delivery desk, T asked the nurse what percentage of first-time parents were sent home because it wasn't time yet and she said 90%!! Geez, thanks for making me feel optimistic here (as I'm breathing through a contraction with my head and arms resting on the desk). I resolved to be one of the 10% that got to stay :). But when I heard I was only at a 2.5, I felt a bit discouraged.

But anyway, I had the "opportunity" of laying there and contracting every 2-3 minutes for the next hour and a half. Near the end, I stood up to intensify the contractions and hopefully help myself dilate a little more. That was probably the most pain I felt during the entire process. Fortunately I had my husband to hold on to every time they came. At about 5:45am the nurse came back and checked me again. I held my breath and waited to hear the news. I was at a 3.5!! It was a miracle. No, but really, I'm sure it was a blessing from God. I felt a giant wave of relief when she said that meant I got to STAY! I was going to have my baby! And most likely on his due date, too!! :)

From that point, everything got a bit easier. I opted to get my epidural as soon as possible (especially since I hadn't slept all night), so I started feeling less pain after receiving the drugs at about 7am. Then I got to SLEEP. Ahh it was just wonderful. Thank heavens for epidurals. Although the whole "I can't feel or move my legs" thing was a little unnerving. I couldn't help but feel sympathy for paraplegics.

Playing the waiting game after getting my epidural:

The doctor came by and broke my water at about 12 noon (I think I was dilated to about a 5 by this point - slow progress!). But after that, things sped up quite a bit. My mom and T went to lunch around 2pm. I asked them if they had their phones on them, just in case I was suddenly at 10 and ready to push (joking, of course). My nurse, Julia, came to check me while they were gone and I was actually dilated to an 8 and the baby was at 0 station (aka moving down...)! I texted my mom and T and they were actually really surprised, and decided to eat their lunch a little quicker ;)

By 3:30pm, I had entered transition and was almost fully dilated to a 10. They informed me that I'd probably start pushing around 4pm. I was definitely freaking out... and totally not sure if I could do it! I mean, I HAD to do it, but I was soo nervous. This was IT!

So, with my mom helping hold one leg and T helping with the other, I started pushing. 3 sets of 10-count pushes with each contraction. And my contractions were coming VERY close together. Probably every 1-2 minutes at most, which made the whole process extremely tiring. And I was starving (hadn't eaten anything since 7 the night before!). Oh the humanity. Luckily they gave me oxygen to breathe between contractions so I didn't pass out :) During the first hour of pushing, I made quite a bit of progress and the doctor came in to help finish the delivery. Then, the next 30 minutes or so weren't so productive. My little man was "stuck" near my pelvic bone. Every time I'd push him forward, he'd just slip right back and wasn't making any progress.

Dr. Broberg suggested using the forceps. I was so exhausted from pushing, I thought that sounded like a fantastic idea ;). By this point, my epidural had worn off just enough that I could tell when I was having contractions (without having to rely on the computer screen). And if I didn't push through a contraction, it was rather painful. I think it's neat that the pain goes away when you push. It's like nature's way of making you get that baby out! But anyway, since I could feel more, it was pretty darn uncomfortable when he put the forceps in, but it was really neat when I could actually FEEL my little man move past that pelvic bone during the next push, when the doctor was pulling. Great! He's farther. We (me, T, and my mom) all assumed that I'd still need to push for another 15-30 minutes before he'd come out.

But, to our surprise, out came his sweet little head during the NEXT push! I remember my mom saying "Alex - look! There's his head!" and, not really believing what I heard, I said "What?". She repeated "Look! His head is out!". By the time I looked down, Dr. Broberg had finished helping little man's shoulders through and Charlie was officially born!

That moment - 5:48pm on October 25th - the moment I saw him arrive - was one of the most unforgettable moments of my life. It was the BIGGEST relief I have ever felt. I remember just letting my head fall back against my pillow, hands on my face, and overcome with tears of joy and relief. I DID IT! And when I finally heard that little cry for the first time... it was just insane. Surreal. And it was worth every single stitch and ounce of recovery pain that I would feel for the next couple of weeks.

I can't remember how long it took for them to clean him up, do his APGAR tests, and finally let me hold him. Probably 20-30 minutes or so, but that was okay. I was excited that T was getting to enjoy him and revel in his first moments of Daddy glory. And my mom was the real-life paparazzi taking tons of pictures and video. Thank goodness she did, though, to document everything!

He has strong lungs:
7 lbs 9 oz:
Dad getting to enjoy:

And then I got to hold him, skin-to-skin, for the first time. My sweet little Charlie (although he didn't actually have a name until the next day). It was love at first sight.

And, after a very rough first week and a half, it's gotten better every single day. My little Charlie will be 4 weeks old tomorrow, and officially a month old this coming Friday!! <3

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Charles Trevor Shipp - "Charlie"
Born October 25, 2011
at 5:48pm
7lbs 9oz
20 inches

Meeting him for the first time:
I can't believe he's already two weeks old today. Life has gotten a little bit crazy thanks to this new bundle of joy, but I'm ready to tackle the challenge! Many more pictures to come. Also see the album on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Nursery Version 1

So, I'm not very creative, nor am I very good at utilizing small spaces, but I AM good at putting self-assemble furniture together. Hence showing you the beginnings of my little man's nursery. The walls will change once we have some pictures to put up and when we know what his name will be. I'd like to find a sand/tan colored linen bedskirt for the crib, and my wonderful mom is making and bringing me the quilt that's going to pull it all together. It's going to be wonderful!
The "It's a Boy" hanging on the wall was a cute decoration my sister in law put together for my baby shower. I figured I'd use it for the time being to give the space a little "love". We'll see how my sweet man's little corner turns out in the end!

Also, just for the record, here's a picture of me today at 38 weeks. Please forgive how tired I look. I took this picture at 10:30pm and, geez, I'm very pregnant! Haha ;)
Also-also, a little joy of today is that my sweet husband cleaned the house for me before I got home. Ahhhh that really does put a giant smile on my face! Coming into a clean home (that I didn't clean by myself) really does mean a lot. Cheers to kind, caring husbands!!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I'm Officially Full Term!

As I was getting ready to make this blog post and I was uploading new pregnancy pictures, I realized that I could show some comparison pictures to REALLY show how big I'm getting. That will be my celebration of the fact that today is 37 weeks, which marks that I have officially reached "full term" and baby can come any time now and be completely ready for the world! Yay! Any bets on when he'll actually be here? My 40 week due date is October 25th.

So, some comparisons! Here I am back at about 27 weeks....
And this is what happens in about two months... WOW! I was shocked at the difference:
And here I am back at 28 weeks:
And 9 weeks later... holy baby bump! I guess you really do grow a lot right at the end!!:
Ready to meet this little baby boy! Getting the nursery ready and I'll post pictures once it's done, which could be a while ;)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Quick Pregnancy Update

So, as usual, I'm a little behind. But here's a quick blog post more for my own memory than anything else :)

As of today, I'm 35 weeks and 2 days along. WOW! Here's a picture I took last week of my belly at 34 weeks:Facts about my pregnancy:
1. Baby boy still kicks a LOT. He doesn't like it when I try to sleep on my left side. It riles him up and he starts punching me. So, I sleep on my right side mostly... haha
2. I had my first bout of feet/leg swelling on September 17th (the same day of my Utah baby shower). It was rather uncomfortable, so I think I'll just lay with my legs up the wall as much as possible ;)
3. I have my crib! It's still in the box. Got to get nesting!
4. Sitting too long makes me crampy. Ouch. Gotta stretch things out.
5. I'm totally in love with tiny little man shoes. So is T. :) Why are tiny things so adorable?
6. Still no name, but I'm not too worried. Definitely growing tired of suggestions, though ;)
7. I've gained about 21 lbs, to date, in my pregnancy (6 of which were gained in the last 2 weeks!)
8. No stretch marks yet and trying to keep it that way... I've got good genes in this department, so hopefully I'll make it through without them!
9. Doctor thinks I'm going to have a smaller baby. Probably 6.5 to 7 lbs. I'm not complaining!

I am just getting SO excited to meet this little man! 33 days to go until the due date!!!! <3

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fun with Friends in August

I'm once again a little behind in blogging about the recent happenings in my life. Oh well. At least I'm doing it :) In August, Meghan and Cole Ballard flew to Utah from their home in Texas and we were able to visit with them. Well, actually, it was really hard to get all of us five couples (T and 4 of his buddies from high school and all of our families) in the same place at the same time, so we planned two visits! :)

First, on August 19th, T & I went over to Dave & Heidi's house and had a nice dinner with them as well as Meg & Cole. We had so much fun talking (especially the girl talk - isn't that the best!?!), catching up, and eating delicious food and dessert. Thanks Heidi for hosting! It was wonderful! (Unfortunately no one remembered to break out their cameras for this event, so we'll all just have to have mental memories, haha).

Then, a week later, on August 26th, Meg and I (Cole had left for TX already and T was feeling under the weather) went to Shawn & Jana's house for dinner and Randy & Jenny were able to be there too! It was so much fun to get to see all of my friends within a week's time. We definitely don't get together enough! The good news is that I actually took pictures to show you. And I hijacked one of Meghan's too ;)

Jana and Meg cheering on Luke (Jana's oldest) and Henry (Jenny's boy):
Me playing with Luke & Henry. They really enjoyed it when I put the toy rings on their heads and they would balance them for a minute and then shake them off and just laugh:
Cute couple Shawn & Jana:
Luke again (haha, cutie!). His little brother Crew had gone to bed for the night:
Henry again. Funny how kids totally give you the "deer in the headlights" look when you're taking their picture:
Cute Henry with his mommy (I'm so sad this picture is kind of blurry!):
Little Lily (Meg's cute little girl) was there too, but I didn't get any pictures of her, darn it. Anyway, it's so much fun to play with all of my friends' cute kids. It makes me really excited to have my own!! Once I have my sweet little boy, we will all officially be parents!! :D

Thanks for the fun memories friends, and Meg & Cole you better visit again soon!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Kelan's First Birthday Party

Caution: This is a "Proud Aunt" post. You've been warned :)

On August 17th, my youngest nephew, Kelan, turned 1! He is T's sister Meghan's youngest. I'm pretty sure we all can't believe how fast he's growing up already! On Saturday the 20th of August, they had a family get-together to celebrate his first birthday. And I actually remembered to break out my camera and take some pictures :)

The little birthday boy getting ready to get his first taste of the cake. He had one little candle on top and his siblings and cousins got to "help him" blow it out after we sang:
And then he got to "dig in". I'm pretty sure Kanyon was more excited about this moment than anyone else (look at his reaction in these pictures - Kanyon's on the left). With all of his siblings and cousins crowding around and getting excited, I'm pretty sure Kelan was a little gun shy about diving into his cute little basketball cake. He probably would have been a lot less shy without the audience, haha. But, he did get a good taste of the icing:
And here was the other cake that my talented sister-in-law, Meghan, made for the party. A jersey cake to go with the basketball cake, of course!
After we gorged ourselves with pizza, cake, and ice cream, Kelan got to open presents. Well, actually, Kelan got to remove the tissue paper from the bags while his helpful siblings showed him how to open his presents ;) We gave Kelan a book called "Swing". I'm not sure if you've ever seen or heard of the "Gallop" book, but this is just another book created by the same author. It just has a sports theme instead of animals. I was really glad that Kelan actually really liked the book:
He got some other fabulous toys and outfits as well. One of the biggest hits of the day was this little, soft bowling set. There were 6 little animals shaped like bowling pins and a ball that the kids could throw at it. All the older siblings really enjoyed taking turns setting up the pins and then throwing the ball:
And finally, I had to include a couple of pictures that really just melt my heart (especially because we have a little boy on the way). Here's T practicing to be "Dad" as he was playing with Kelan:

Kelan is just getting so big, and really enjoys showing off his new walking skills. It's become a fun game for him to walk back and forth between us with a huge grin on his face and arms stretched straight out in front. So cute to watch him learn. I love my nieces and nephews so much. In fact, I'm surprised how much I love them. And I can't wait to see how much more I'm going to love my own little man.

Happy 1st Birthday Kelan man!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Hubby Graduates from BYU

I am very pleased to announce that my husband graduated from BYU with an Undergraduate degree in Business Management (Finance) on August 12, 2011! Congratulations sweet man! You're officially done! :D

Graduation pictures are always tough to take (poor lighting, far distance, moving people, etc) but please enjoy my captures of the day:
The undergrads walking in (above) and seated (below). T is second in on the right.
The Dean speaking. I love seeing the cool robes that many of the professors have. You can see some of them if you look closely in this picture:
At the end, the Dean had the graduates turn around and applaud their friends and family who helped them through the process. I'm so sad this picture turned out blurry because T is looking at me, smiling, and clapping. It makes me feel like one very proud wife!
After the ceremony, we took some pictures in the lobby/atrium of the Marriott Center. That's one handsome couple if I do say so myself ;) -
With Kanyon and Scarlett, Meghan's oldest two:
With Grandma Deanna and Grandpa Kayle (his mom's parents). I had a hard time getting Kayle to look my direction haha:
With all of his siblings except Mical (we missed you!) who had a busy weekend in Las Vegas where she lives:
With his parents, who have been great influences to him throughout his life:
And another picture of us. I requested to have my belly in the shot, so I can remember that we were a family of three :) I was 29 weeks and 3 days in this picture:
Oh, and I must not forget to mention that I bought T a used bike for graduation and surprised him with it! Thanks so much to my friend Anna who was selling it :) He's excited about it because he had taken up running as a hobby and was really enjoying it, but it made his knees hurt pretty bad. So, biking will be great because he can still get the aerobic activity without the impact on his knees. Plus you can go farther and see better scenery!
Like I said, he was pretty excited :) And I was excited to give it to him because I've never surprised him before. And that picture is an actual shot of his first reaction when he saw it!

Anyway, it was a fun day. T even wore the same cap and gown that I wore at my graduation over two years ago. Different tassel, though. I told him it probably wouldn't work if he wore my old '09 tassel to his 2011 graduation ;)

I also filmed the actual moment that he walked across the stage, got his name called, and accepted his diploma. Hopefully the video uploads... 45 MINS LATER.... Nope. It didn't work. Lame. Good thing there's Facebook: Go HERE to view the video :) Enjoy!

Oh, and don't forget to check out my post from earlier today, below :)