Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentines Cookie Decorating Party!

My Godmother Ginger has done a huge Valentines Cookie decorating party for the past - I dont' know 30 years. I went to one every year while I was at BYU and loved them, so I thought I'd continue the tradition in my own family. This was the first huge one we had and it was so much fun!

I only had energy to make about 15 of the huge cookies, but we had dozens of smaller ones for everyone else. There were about 35 people in all and so much fun!

Brooklyn had SO much FUN with all these kids around!

It was a perfect way to finish our wonderful time here in Valparaiso!
We will miss you all so much!

A Valentines Baby Blessing

Jude's Baby Blessing

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this tradition, in our faith, when a baby is born, the father usually gives a "Name and a Blessing" to the baby during the sacrament meeting. In Jude's case, (and similarely with all babies) Trey announced his name, then proceeded to bless him with love, health, faith, wisdom, service etc. Trey did an incredible job, it was a beautiful, memorable blessing!

It was memorable for several reasons; Fred and Logan drove (10 hours each way) all the way from Memphis to meet Jude and be here for his blessing, Trey got everyone in the circle to wear vests - and most to grow mustaches for the event! Baby Jude even sported a vest! And it was Valentines Day!

Brooklyn was in heaven with her "DiDi and Papa" to play with all weekend!

Judy was definitely missed at this event, we were so glad Fred and Logan made the trip up for it.
Thanks so much for coming Fred and Logan! We love you guys!

Leah's Visit!

I have been so aboslutely spoiled! People ask how I"m holding up with 2 kids - well, it's pretty easy when you have an incredible husband, an amazing sister and a super-woman best friend who all take care of your every need!

Leah, my dear, dear childhood friend came out from Ohio last week, while her dear husband took his Vacation time to take care of their 3 kids so I could be completely pampered for a couple of days!

Leah is superwoman - I just watched in amazement at her energy and efficiency! She cooked the most delicious meals, kept Brooklyn completely entertained - even took her swimming at the YMCA one day while Trey and I slept.

She even did Brooklyn's hair for church - though I wasn't there, Trey reported that everyone was amazed and asked if I did it. -Hah! When I do her hair, the part looks more like a maze than a straight line and the pig-tails - well let's just say they aren't exactly semetrical...
As always, taught me even more about the magic of Newborns (She was a Dhula and Baby nurse in California before she got married - in fact, she was a Baby Nurse for Alpachino's babies!)
Here is a link to her blog where she put a bit more about her trip up. After her time with us, Kelty and Duane drove down with their new adorable baby - 4 days older than Jude - to pick Leah up to go up to Chicago to help them!
We miss you Leah! (Especailly Trey who has had to resume the super-dad role! - a very tireing role that you so kindly relieved him of for a few days)
Thank you so so very much!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

He Arrived!

Baby Jude Harris Clark Finally arrived January 31st at 4;19am.
8lb 7oz, 22 inches long and perfect in every way!

I will have more photos of the Handsome Man as well as my birth story soon. For now I am just going to do an overview of all the events that led up to the wonderful arrival.

Since my actual due date was January 22nd, that is when Brooke, my older sister/best friend/hero, came to help. She brought her most adorable daughter Hannah with her and Brooklyn was basically in Heaven. A playmate and the most awesome aunt ever who constantly has another activity to do with her.

They played out in the snow together, made cookies for the nurses when I was getting ready to go to the hospital, colored, painted, went on outings and I don't even know what else because I was sleeping a lot of the time they were together having fun. On top of it, she spoiled me rotten by cooking, cleaning and even shopping for us!

My meal contribution was Chicago Deep Dish Pizza and Culver's Frozen Custard(;

Trey also made this time of preparation perfect as he gave Brooke and I lots of Sister Time by taking Brooklyn swimming and to the library several days. We took long walks, got organization and cleaning projects done and just talked nonstop. We even got in some Chicago Deep Dish Pizza and Culver's Frozen Custard before the baby came!

The 5 days prior to the birth, I received about 10 packages! Of course DDaddy's were about half of them, (including our yearly delivery of 17 POUNDS of Georgia Penuts!). Dana and Mom sent a package full of herbal remedies for before and after Birth. (She had a beautiful baby girl - by water birth at her home in California - my Mom was there with her)

With a Sister in the house, I finally got some belly shots taken - Something I didnt' do much of all through this Pregnancy. Every time I went out the door, Brooke would say - "I have to take a photo! It may be the last time you go out before you have the baby!" We kept our hopes high for about 9 days! Brooke ended up having to extend her stay because Jude was just too comfy in there, but finally, Saturday Baby decided it was time - well, with a little persuasion of Double Strawberry Frozen Custard, Castor Oil rubbed on my tummy, a 1.5 hour walk and a rough internal exam by my INCREDIBLE Dhula/midwife/nurse - more to come on her later...

I waited until I was almost ready to push to go to the hospital, so when I arrived at the hospital around 3am, I was at an 8 or 9. By 4:10 I was pushing and a few minutes later, Jude was out. My doctor really respected my birth plan, so there was no intervention and he got to stay on my chest for 2 hours after the birth. He didn't like when they took him away.

The hospital experience was one I hope never to repeat, but the homecoming was wonderful. Brooke made it a big deal with Balloons, streamers and presents for everyone.

She even got a gift for Brooklyn "From Jude". A bouncy ball just like the ones Brooke and I would jump all around our house on when we were her size!
It was really amazing to have Brooke be here for both my births! She has held both Brooklyn and Jude on their first days on earth. There are no words to describe what her sisterhood/friendship means to me.

All in all, it was truly a wonderful birth experience. Thanks to Trey, Brooke and all who sent their love and prayers!