Saturday, December 22, 2012

2012 in Review

So, I'm terrible at this blogging thing.  I love it when I do it, and I love to read others' blogs to keep up with what's going on in their lives but I'm no good when it comes to our own family's blog.  So, here's a snapshot of what happened to the McCrackens in 2012.

In December 2011, two days before our anniversary, I found out I was pregnant with Baby #2.  It was a surprise, but a very exciting one!  My pregnancy with Baby #2 was so much easier than my pregnancy with Paisley.  With Paisley, I was so so sick, throwing up multiple times a day, which led to my being hospitalized once.  With Baby #2, I was still sick but much less.  I was sure this baby was going to be another girl but we got a boy, which Allen was STOKED about.  :)  I honestly think he smiled more the day we found out than the day we got married!  Ha ha. 

In April, I graduated with my Bachelor's of Science in Medical Laboratory Science, 23 weeks pregnant with Baby #2.  It's been a long road but it feels great to be done with school!  Just days after my graduation, Allen got burned at work quite badly.  A hose of super-heated water slipped and filled his knee-high boot with scalding hot water.  By the time he got his boot off, some of his skin had sloughed off.  That was a nerve-wracking phone call to be on the receiving end of.  It went a little something like this:
"Uh, hi honey.....  Um, I got burned at work....  It's pretty bad...."
"Please tell me you're okay, like you're not going to lose any body parts, right?"
"..... (Al choking back sobs)  I think I'm okay.  They're taking me to the hospital right now...."
He was a trooper about the initial debriding and dressing, but when they told him he probably needed a tetanus shot, I though he was going to cry! Luckily, he healed very quickly and better than I ever dared hope.  There was no permanent nerve damage, just some scarring.

This was just a few days before I delivered.
Life quieted down over the summer. I took my ASCP (American Society of Clinical Pathologists) certification exam for my degree and passed (barely), at almost 38 weeks pregnant.  That same week we scheduled a date for me to be induced.  My OB went out of town for the week and a half before my induction, and luckily our little man (name was still undecided at this point) decided to cooperate and stay put until eviction, er I mean induction day.  I'll have to post his birth story and link it here, but here's the gist of it. I delivered Baby #2 at a different hospital than Paisley.  This made me VERY nervous.  I was undecided on my pain management plan (I don't recommend this method...) and when I got to the hospital, my nurse was very enthusiastic about my being able to go natural.  She promised to be there every step of the way to coach me through it, and then she got busy with 3 other patients, who all were delivering right when I needed her most.  I made it to an 8, with my Pitocin cranked and water broken, before I caved and made Al call for anesthesiology.  I was a much more pleasant laboring woman after my epidural was in place.  Rowan James McCracken was born on August 17, 2012 at 6:50 pm weighing 9 lb 11 oz and measuring 21 1/2 inches long.  He was smiling from the moment he was born and hasn't stopped.  He is the happiest baby and has brought so much joy to our family!  He just had his 4 month check up and weighs 21 lb 5.5 oz and is 27 inches tall!  He's going to be a tall boy just like his Daddy!
We're all pretty enchanted by this little guy!

From the time we got married, Allen and I agreed that once I was done with school, I would get a job using my degree, that would allow Al to work part-time and begin school.  So, after Rowan's birth, I started applying for any and all MLS jobs I could find.  I got invited to interview for 6 positions with ARUP Laboratories in Salt Lake City, UT and in October, was offered a position in Clinical Toxicology 3.  I started working in November and I love my job!

The timing with my job was perfect, because Hostess/WonderBread (Allen's employer) closed its doors just 3 days before I was to start my job.  Our world was turned upside down in a matter of days.  Allen is now the stay-at-home parent and I bring home the bacon.  In the midst of all this craziness, we also added a puppy to our family.  (Yes, yes, we are gluttons for punishment)  She is a darling mutt that we adopted from the shelter and her name is Rosie.  She is a week younger than Rowan, and has been a pretty good dog so far.  I think we'll keep her.   :) 
Rosie's first day home
In November, Paisley turned 2!  I can't believe how much she's grown!  She is 36 inches tall and weighs almost 30 pounds.  She's tall and getting skinny!  She is a little parrot and loves to sing and be silly.  Some of her favorite things lately are (in no particular order): Chick-Fil-A, Santa, dresses, shoes, makeup (Sheesh, she's such a girly girl!), bath time, The Muppets, babies, jumping, "choo-choo trains", coloring, pretending to be a puppy, and especially loving on her brother.  She is such a happy girl and we love her oh so very much!  She still doesn't have much hair, but luckily she's started to like to wear headbands.  I think I'm going to teach her to say "I'm a girl!" because she still gets called a boy so often.  I so love being her mom and watching her grow!  She counts to 3 and knows most of her colors, most of the time.  She can put on skirts and socks and shoes by herself.  She likes to brush her own teeth and is a big helper!  We've started to give her some small chores such as feeding Rosie, cleaning the lint out of the dryer, putting a soap packet in the dishwasher, and helping to put her toys away.  She loves to help with Rowan and is a fantastic big sister.  She has never been jealous or resentful of all the attention that he demands, which is a huge blessing!

We've had a lot of fun, and a lot of trials, in 2012.  We're still adjusting to the role reversal and change of jobs, becoming a family of 4 (5, if you count Rosie), and all that life brings.

2012 has been an eventful, and hard, year for us and I must admit I'm not sad to see it end.  Here's hoping 2013 smiles on us all a little more.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A-Z About Me

A-Z about ME!

I totally copied this from some friends' blogs... :D Enjoy!

Age: 22

Bed Size: King

Chore you hate: All of them? Ha ha, mostly putting laundry away and washing dishes.

Dogs: Nope...

Essential start of your day: Getting Paisley out of her crib then laying back down with her to feed her.

Favorite Color: Pink. Or orange. Or blue. Or yellow.

Gold or silver: Silver (Or white gold)

Height: 5 '5 1/2"

Instruments I play (or have played): Piano ( I played the ukelele in elementary school, does that count?)

Job Title: Full-time student and stay-at-home mom. (In a year, I'll be a Medical Laboratory Scientist. Cool, eh?)

Kids: Paisley Jayne McCracken (almost 5 months)

Live: South Ogden, UT

Mom's Name: Brenda Sue Singleton

Nickname: Lexi, Lex

Overnight hospital stays: When I had Paisley in November.

Pet Peeve: Just one?! Ha ha, people not using their blinker, slow drivers, people who think they're better than everyone else for no good reason.

Quote from a movie: "I just drank my weight in Sunny-D and I've gotta go pronto." - Juno
"That ain't no EtchaSketch. This is one doodle that can't be un-did, home skillet" - Juno

Right or left handed: Right

Siblings: 1 brother, 1 sister. 4 sisters-in-law, 3 brothers-in-law.

Time you wake up: Whenever Paisley wakes up wanting to eat. Never before 7 though... I'm lazy?

Underwear: Yes?

Vegetables you dislike: Beets, brussel sprouts, onions, peppers

What makes you run late: Playing too long on the computer in the mornings, baby diaper blow-outs, over-sleeping, forgetting things, the list goes on.....

X-rays you've had done: Both wrists, L elbow, both knees, teeth.

Yummy food you make: Pull-aparts.

Zoo animal: Lions, giraffes, hippos. I LOVE the zoo....

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Craftaholics Anonymous

Is hosting a birthday bash! Check it out here!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Organized start to 2011

Now that I have a baby (and a dang cute one at that!) I'm determined to clean my house and keep it clean and organized. I don't want her to inherit all the bad habits that I did, so she needs to be taught for as long as she can remember how to be organized and clean. Since she's still so little, I kind of feel like I still have time (procrastination is a subject we'll tackle later... Ha ha, ironic, eh?)
So, to help me get started in my quest for organization, I'm taking this challenge from

Czech it out!

(And thanks to Scotti at for turning me onto this!)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Paisley's Birth Story

Our baby girl was originally due on November 19th, but she measured 1-2 weeks ahead all pregnancy so my awesome OB moved our due date up a week, to November 12th. Well, November 12th came and went with no baby and no signs of labor. I still wasn't dilated, but was mostly effaced and her head was down where it should be. Our doctor told us that inducing before 41 weeks doubles your risk of a C-section, especially with your first baby, so we decided to wait it out. On the Monday after she was due, we met with the doctor to make sure my fluid levels were still okay, and because I still wasn't dilating, we decided to set up a date to induce. We decided if she wasn't born by Friday November 19 (my original due date) we'd go to the hospital to start a drug called Cytotech to make my cervix dilate. It was nice to have a definite date. The week went by and we made some final preparations and went on one last date as non-parents. Then it was time to head to the hospital.
We got to the hospital at 8:00 pm Friday and got settled into our room. While we waited for our nurse to come in, I had a minor meltdown. I wasn't sure I was capable of giving birth to a baby. I cried and cried and Allen assured me that I could do it and that my body was meant to do this. I was just so nervous about all the uncertainty that lay in the next 24 hours or so. I was so afraid that I'd end up needing a C-section because my mom had to have C-sections with all 3 of us kids. The nurse came in, started my IV, checked my cervix, and gave me the first dose of Cytotech. Dr. Davis said that I would probably need 3 or 4 doses through the night and that hopefully he'd be able to break my water in the morning. After one dose of Cytotech, Dr. Naisbitt, the on-call doctor came in, checked my cervix and decided I was dilated enough to break my water. Apparently one dose was enough to get me contracting on my own (although I didn't feel the contractions) and started my labor. Dr. Naisbitt broke my water at 3:30 and that's when the nasty contractions started. Allen had worked Friday so he was tired and he slept through them breaking my water. I needed to get up and go to the bathroom, but the contractions were so strong that I needed help getting out of bed and Al was sleeping so soundly that I had to throw hospital-issued slipper socks at him to wake him up. Ha ha. We labored through the early morning hours and I finally decided to get my epidural around 7:30 Saturday morning. Allen was a champ while I was getting my epidural. It didn't hurt, I was just scared about it. After that, labor was a piece of cake! Getting an epidural was the best decision I made all day!
My mom, grandma, and sister Kelsey came by around 11:30 Saturday to see how we were doing. Before they got there, I was dilated to a 5. Allen headed downstairs with them to get some lunch, and when they got back, about an hour later, I was fully dilated and almost ready to push! We didn't expect to start pushing until around 3:30 that afternoon, but the nurse called Dr. Davis, had me do a few practice pushes, and then we waited for Dr. Davis to get there. Dr. Davis showed up around 1 pm, and we started pushing for real. At 1:50 pm, on Saturday November 20, 2010 our beautiful baby girl was born.
The nurse had asked me when we first checked in if I wanted immediate skin to skin contact with the baby. I had been thinking about it quite a bit during my pregnancy but hadn't decided. When it was time to make the final decision, I decided I would already be sweaty and gross after pushing out a baby, I might as well get to snuggle my baby immediately, regardless of the amount of goo she was covered in. So as soon as she came out, Dr. Davis had Allen cut the umbilical cord and then the nurses wiped her off a little and laid her on my chest. I couldn't believe I had just squeezed out a baby. I could have stared at her forever. The nurses scooped her up to weigh her and clean her up. She got a 9 on her 5 minute APGAR, which is awesome! Our baby weighed 8 lb, 1 oz and was 20.5 inches long. She had wrinkly hands and feet and a good amount of dark hair. I got to love on her while Dr. Davis stitched up my 2nd degree tear, which helped me ignore the discomfort.
When we got to the hospital, we still hadn't decided on a name for our baby girl. We had a few we liked but agreed we wanted to see her before we decided on a name. After looking at our baby for a few minutes, we decided she was definitely a Paisley. We named our baby girl Paisley Jayne McCracken. After knowing her for the few days we have, that name fits her perfectly. We call her PJ, Miss Paisley, Pais, and Monkey. She has monkey feet, so that's where the last one comes from. :)
All in all it was a pretty adventurous weekend. We were in the hospital until Monday afternoon and I had awesome nurses taking care of me and Paisley. Allen talked me into sending her to the nursery both nights, which I appreciate in hindsight. Our first night home, I was wishing I could send her to the nursery so I could get some sleep! We've kind of figured things out though. We are loving having this new addition to our family and can't wait to see what the future holds for the 3 of us!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Baby girl McCracken!!!

I finally scanned ultrasound pictures!~ Here are some of the best ones so far!

This is her at 12 weeks, when we thought she

still might be a boy.

Here she is at 20 weeks at our targeted ultrasound, when we found out she was, in fact, a girl! She was being stubborn and wouldn't let the tech get a good look, at her bum or her face. She was compliant for all the other body parts, but not the ones we were most anxious to see.

Here she is at 24 or 25 weeks. Right after we got this shot of her face, she pulled both legs and her left arm across her face so as not to be seen anymore. She's a stinker, all right...

Here is the only picture we have of my baby bump, specifically. I am 28 weeks in this picture.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I basically suck at blogging...

It's true. I have very good intentions of keeping up and then I get distracted.

For those of you who don't know, Allen and I are expecting our first baby in November!!! We are so super excited! I got pretty sick for a couple of months, but that is settling down and I'm starting to enjoy being pregnant! I still have some sickness, but that's more related to my gall bladder problems that I've had for years. I haven't really had any nesting instincts kick in yet, but I'm sure they will! I'm going to continue going to school this fall, and hope to just incorporate our new baby girl into our lives and make it work! I only have 4 semesters left and I know I'd just rationalize postponing going back if I took a semester or year off. Luckily my program is really close-knit and is more like a family than a school program so they're aware of the situation and are willing to work with me. I'm due 3 weeks before the end of the semester so that's going to be interesting, for sure!

Other than baby news, our lives are pretty much the same. Allen got a full time position at Best Buy, which has been a huge blessing for our family! I was too sick to even function, much less hold down a job, for a long time, so the fact that Heavenly Father has blessed us with that extra income has been amazing! The timing was perfect too! I cancelled our insurance just a couple of weeks before I found out I was pregnant. This was no bueno! My awesome sister-in-law suggested we apply for Medicaid to cover my pregnancy and this baby. We barely met the income requirement, and then Al got his new position at Best Buy, which definitely would have put us over the income limit! Allen has been busy working 2 jobs, his full-time gig at Best Buy, and part time at WonderBread. On his days off, which are few, we are lucky enough to spend lots of time together.

July has been a busy month, with the 4th and 24th being holidays. Allen had both holidays off and we enjoyed parades and fireworks. For the 24th, I got to take Allen to his very first rodeo! He took pictures on his phone, so those will have to wait to be posted... I will post them though, I promise!!!! I'll also try to take some baby-bump pictures and post them too! I'm finally out of that stage where I didn't look pregnant, I just looked like I had gained 40 pounds! I'm so happy to be pregnant, and to finally look pregnant! I complained a lot while I was sick, but I really am so excited to be having a baby! I can't imagine how much our lives are about to change, but we are always up for an adventure! Our families have been AWESOME and so so supportive! I have gotten hand-me-down maternity clothes, which have been a life saver!!! (I never would have thought I'd spend $50 on a pair of pants!!! Maternity clothes are freakishly expensive!) We also have some handmade baby quilts in the works from our wonderful families too!

Overall, we are very blessed to be living the lives that we have. We're having new adventures and falling more and more in love with each other all the time!

Pictures to follow... :D

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

House Pictures

So, we've lived in this house for over a year now, and we have no pictures of it. It's clean for the first time in, well, over a year so I think it is high time to post some. It'll take me a day or two to get them taken and loaded, but they will come!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Pictures!

This first one is from our trip to the zoo. I love the zoo. I always have and always will. That's where I chose to go for my 21st birthday, because I'm essentially 6 years old. Hooray for the zoo!!!

We're in the back of the log on Splash Mountain, showin' off our bling, but you can hardly see us. :(

I found Prince Charming at the castle!!!
I love you, Allen!!!

Picture Update!

Both of our names start with "Al" so we thought this picture was appropriate! :D

Yay for Disneyland at Christmas time! We even got to see Santa's reindeer! But I already had everything I wanted for Christmas!

Gotta love 3D glasses!

We're getting there!!!

Funnest mouse ears EVER!!!! We gallavanted through Disneyland wearing them. It was magical. I love being married!!!

I know we've promised pictures but I haven't been able to find the cable to connect the camera to the computer, so here are a few pictures, mostly from our honeymoon to Disneyland in December of 2008. I've never posted pictures to a blog, but here goes nothing!
Hey, it worked! But it only let me post 5, so I guess there'll be another post with more pics!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Anniversary Week!!

Last Saturday, Alexis and I left early in the morning for Oregon to see my older brother Scott, his wife and three kids. We left around 8:30 am and were happily on the road until we hit Idaho. Our estimated 10 hour car trip just got a lot longer. The roads in Idaho were atrocious!! The roads were so icy/snowy that we had to reduce our 80 mph speed to 40 mph. We had a little more than 100 miles to go when we noticed police cruisers blocking the freeway, after pulling to the side we were told that the roads ahead were closed due ice and that we would have to turn around to use the toll bridge. After another hour-and-a-half of the scenic Washington route we finally made it to Donald, Oregon.

On Sunday, Scott invited us to his church. I had never been to any other Sunday service before other than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I enjoyed how they used their talents to praise the Lord. I felt very out of place and a little uncomfortable, though we thought everyone was very welcoming and kind.

Tuesday night we hit the church again for the Christmas party. They had carolers, sleigh/wagon rides, make your own ornaments, and a photographer. Alexis entered a raffle and won a cd by the guy providing some guitar ambiance.

Wednesday Alexis and I hit the coast to do some whale watching. Boiler bay was the first place we hit, all that we saw there was some awesome waves crashing amongst the rocks. Then we hit Depoe bay, rumored to be the best area to spot Grey whales. The most we saw was some more waves crashing. It was raining too much to see anything. We got soaked from the huge waves.

On the way back we stopped at a little restaurant called Mo's (no not the tavern from the Simpson's). Alexis got some clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl and I got some fish and chips. It was pretty good all in all.

Thursday evening we went to a super cool place, Safari Sams. Anyone who has been to Scott's knows about Safari Sams. It is like a big McDonald's play place and BIG people can go on it too, there is even a "black diamond course" designed specifically for advanced peoples.

Scott and his wife Amanda have two little twin babies. Alexis was such a big help with the little ones. I am always so scared around babies that are so small. Little kids like my other nephews and nieces that are a little older I am okay with because they can take a little rough and tumbling. The babies are a little over two months old and are so fragile at that age.

Friday was our one year anniversary, we spent the whole day together even though it was spent driving home. The way home was a lot more fun and less slippery. An average mph of 80 was much better. We made it back to Ogden around 9:30 pm and figured we had some time so we hit the megaplex and watched The Princess and the Frog. It was a very good movie, a little dark at times because of the voodoo but still lots of fun.

It is such a surprise to know that Alexis and I have been married for a whole year. It seems like we have been married for so long but it has been such a short time. I don't know what I would do without her. I love her so much and am so happy that I found her.

We had a very good week, thank you Scott and Amanda.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hooray! For disney on ice! Alexis and i went down to salt lake city to watch it. It is lots of fun.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Alexis and I recently celebrated our birthdays. For her birthday her family took her to the zoo and The Melting Pot (unfortunately I had to work). She also got a few nifty gifts, like a new sony notebook, a flower arrangement, some stuffed animals from the zoo and we both went and made build a bear animals at the Gateway. All in all, I think it was a pretty good birthday for us.

Alexis started school last week and I started a new job over at Best Buy. With both of us having multiple responsibilities that take a lot time, it makes it hard to see each other. We are dealing with it though because it won't be for very long. Alexis will graduate with her associates degree soon and shortly after that will have her bachelors in the clinical laboratory sciences. I am very proud of her and all of her hard work.

Sunday, July 19, 2009