Sunday, December 14, 2008 you think?

I took some great pictures of Natalie yesterday. She's 6 weeks old now!! I love getting past the first 6 weeks.....aahhhhhh. Anyway, she has been pretty happy lately so I wanted to capture it. The first is a picture I took of her yesterday and the second is of CYRENA on Valentine's Day when she was about 8 weeks old. Sisters?? I think so.

Party on

Yesterday we celebrated Cyrena's birthday with one of her friends who has a birthday close to hers. We just went to the park and had lunch and cupcakes with a few friends. It was low key and fun! Well, except for the part where Cyrena was panicking and having a meltdown because she had to use the bathroom so badly. Other than that, just peachy!

The Birthday girls

When we got home, I made Christmas almonds to give out and Cyrena helped us bag them up.  She was really concentrating.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

We're alive!

Ok, so I apologize for the lack of updates lately. There's been a lot going on with getting ready for Christmas, starting preschool again, and taking care of a crazy baby! Here are some pictures of what we've been up to the past little bit.

We finally went to check out the 'Glendale Glitters' hype.  We loved the lights, but didn't love the crowds.  It was like we were on a moving walkway in the airport because there were so many people.  

The bus ride to and from the parking lot was the highlight of the evening for Cyrena.  She has always wanted to go on a bus!

Cuddling with Daddy.  We still haven't caught any of those award-winning smiles on camera yet.  Soon I hope.  She sure is a cutie and looks so much like her sister!

The proud gardener.  David harvested this awesome looking broccoli and we ate it with dinner that night!  Yum!!  He sure loves his garden, I'm glad he has this hobby because we all get to benefit from it!

Yep, we are ashamed to admit it but we took a 5 week old to a Suns game.  We kept her bundled and protected the majority of the time.  We needed to get out!  Cyrena was in heaven!!  In this picture she is pointing to the gorilla mascot on the court who does many, many tricks during the timeouts.  Everyone around us loved watching Cyrena's enthusiasm, I think her hands were raw from clapping so much.  

Natalie is 6 weeks tomorrow and we are able to see little improvements everyday.  She seems less fussy in the evenings and is sleeping pretty well at night.  She just LOVES to be held, who wouldn't??  Cyrena is going to be 3 in a week, I can't believe it.  She is such an amazing little girl.  We leave for Christmas vacation a week from Saturday.  Woo-hoo!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Letter to Santa

David sat down with Cyrena the day after Thanksgiving to write a letter to Santa. She had been looking at toy ads the past few days and had her eye on a few things. It was really cute watching her tell her dad exactly what to write and then of course she had a turn with the pencil. She asked me for an envelope and 'stickers' (stamp and return address label). She got the letter all ready to send and then carried it around all day. It still hasn't made it's way to the mailbox, she wanted to hang onto it. :) And yes, this is after breakfast and yes that is a piece of pie that David had for breakfast.

Monday, December 1, 2008

What a day!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!  Grandma flew in Tuesday night and we were all excited!!  We spent all day Wednesday making preparations for our feast.  And then Thursday we ate and ate and ate!!  Grandma is an amazing cook and we all benefited from her expertise. It was a little rainy but we still enjoyed our day.  Cyrena had fun making pies with grandma and we all loved having daddy home.  It was a great day to reflect on the many  blessings in our lives.  Cyrena loved saying all the things she's thankful for.   She can be such a sweet girl when she wants to be.  :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The sun is shining!

     Well actually it's a bit overcast here in Phoenix.  But the sun is definitely shining in our everyday lives.  It's amazing what a little sleep can do for you!  First off, thank you all for your kind words of support and love.  They meant so much to me....even if they kept the tears flowing for a bit.  I think I needed to hit rock bottom in order for things to get better.  And get better they have!  That's terrible english I know.   The past 4 nights Natalie has been sleeping a 6 hour or more stretch.  How lucky am I?  The first night it happened of course I was up every hour checking on her, but now I'm relaxing a bit.  She has fallen into a pattern that is working for all of us.  I'm sure it will change soon but for now it's all good.  I think my prayers for relief were heard, I'm so grateful for that.  I hated feeling so awful and anxious, it's no fun.  I just kept telling myself that all I've ever wanted to be was a mom and I've got to pull it together somehow!  
    I cannot complain one teeny tiny bit about Cyrena.  She has been a champ through all of this.  She is SO helpful and happy and playful.  She still doesn't love going to bed, but what almost 3 year old does?  I don't think it was going from 1 to 2 that was bringing me down, it's the whole newborn thing; sleep deprivation, trying to nurse, watching their diapers, figuring out their cries, etc., etc., etc.  I'm just not confident with newborns, but things are getting so much better. I've actually started to be able to enjoy my new baby girl and relax about things a bit.  Like I've been told from EVERYONE who knows me, I WORRY TOO MUCH!  I need to not have such high expectations for me and my children.  As long as we're healthy and happy, we're on the right track.  
Natalie is starting to get some chub.  She already has the fat rolls in her upper thighs and her face is totally filled out.  Cyrena was formula-fed and very chubby.  Since I'm nursing Natalie so far I was interested to see if she would fill out from breast-milk as much as Cyrena did with formula.  So far, it's about the same!  Their baby pictures look so similar, even down to their cowlick which is in the same spot!

p.s.  I took the girls to go check out the new Trader Joe's that opened up out here.  It's so great!  It's a lot more spacious than the other locations and they had PLENTY of the kiddie carts which is the only reason Cyrena wanted to go.  For proof of this, you can check out the wounds on the back of my ankles from Cyrena ramming her cart into me as she followed me around the store.  Also, they have all their fun Christmas goodies out, SO FUN!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Baby Blues

I apologize for not posting much lately.  I haven't been having the easiest time and am a little overwhelmed!  I debated whether or not to write about it but I do have to acknowledge the amazing people in my life.  I've had a bad case of the 'baby blues.'  I tend to have major hormonal issues and I was a mess when Cyrena was born as well.  So the wonderful friends and family in my life have intervened and done their best to reassure and distract me and give me breaks.  They are truly amazing and I'm so grateful for their support.   I sometimes feel so isolated living here away from family.  Then I throw a pity party for myself and feel like I am not cut out to be a mother.  I know a BIG part of all these awful, awful feelings is sleep deprivation which I know will get better soon (hopefully!).  I do love my girls and love to kiss them to death, I just don't feel adequate a lot of times.   Figuring out a newborn is such an overwhelming task and at times seems impossible.  I know it will get better, it has to!  I'm looking forward to my mother-in-law's visit next week, it will be a great distraction.  And I'm looking forward to these hormones getting under control!
  On a lighter note, Cyrena finished up another session of her art class.  It was every Saturday morning and she just loves it.  It's the second time she's done it and she enjoys every minute of it.  Here are some pictures from today.

David wrote down all the things Cyrena was thankful for, then she took a turn writing down what David was thankful for.

Cyrena and her teacher, Miss Sheri.  She has taken a few classes from her and LOVES her.  

Our 4-eyed child.  These are her sunglasses that she took the lenses out of.  She loves wearing them still, but people really think she has glasses.

Our pink baby.   She looks sweet when she's sleeping huh?  You're all welcome to come over when she's screaming!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2 weeks down

Here are some pictures of the last couple of weeks.  Sadly, grandma and grandpa left this week! Their absence has definitely been felt, they were an awesome help to us.  But we've got a visit from grandma Barb coming up so we're excited about that.  Natalie is a being a good baby with just the usual sleep deprivation going on.  But other than that, she's a little sweetheart who is quickly making a place for herself in our family.  Cyrena hates it when she's sleeping, she wants Natalie's eyes to be open all the time.  We've only had one eye-poking incident so far, but we're sure there are more to come.  I'd write more but I'm really tired!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Dean

That's what my brother suggested we name our new baby girl.  Instead we went with this:

Natalie Mae Dean
Born October 31, 2008 at 4:38 a.m.
6 lbs. 12 oz. 
19 1/4 inches long

This was definitely a surprise to us, we thought we had at least a week left before she'd make an appearance.  Looking back,  there were some signs.  That night before we all went to bed I asked David to give Cyrena and I blessings.  Just blessings of comfort and help for the upcoming challenges.  Cyrena has been learning about the priesthood in nursery and is fascinated that her dad can give her blessings.  So she was so happy during her blessing and it was very sweet.  Then my water broke around 12:30 a.m. and she arrived just 4 short hours later.  My lifesaver of a neighbor came to stay with Cyrena since my parents weren't in town yet.  What a whirlwind for us!  We are elated and so happy to welcome our new baby girl.  

Mom and baby a few minutes after delivery.  As soon as she was born we realized we had a clone on our hands.  She looks exactly how Cyrena did when she was born, it's amazing!

Proud new daddy

Natalie's first nurse dressed up for Halloween, giving her a bath.

Natalie swallowed a lot of amniotic fluid since she came so fast.  They had to stick a tube down her throat and empty her stomach a few times.  Then they would give her oxygen to help her get back her breath.  She decided to take charge and hold the oxygen herself.  Her nurse thought it was so funny that she called others into the room to see.  My little girl, already trying to be independent.

Our two happy princesses

Natalie is a champ. Her first night home was absolute bliss, she's a great baby!  We'll see if it lasts. :) We got home from the hospital around 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and my parents arrived around 7.  We're excited to have some down time next week with them.  

Happy 29th birthday to David!  He truly is a blessing in our lives.  I feel so lucky to share my life with such an amazing man.  I couldn't make a list long enough to say all the reasons I love him.  He is definitely my better half.   Happy birthday!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I'm amazed everyday at the new things Cyrena is trying.  She's been drawing tadpole people for awhile now (big head and legs with no body).  And I thought that was amazing enough.  Then the other day she gave me feet in one of her drawings.  Then when I got out of the shower this morning, this is what I found on my preschool easel. 
 Apparently, I'm the huge one in the middle, David is in the upper right corner and she's in the upper left.  Now I know how she sees me, the beached whale of the bunch with the big mouth!  She likes to draw herself and I with crazy hair because that's what we have in common.  And right now while I'm typing this she's adding more legs to the drawings of David and I.  
It really is so incredible to watch her change and develop more and more skills.  She continually amazes us.  Yesterday she had a water bottle and said, "hey mom watch, I'll chug this."  David didn't believe me that she said that.  Too funny.

Trunk or Treat

Don't you just want to eat this little candy corn?  My friend and I made candy corn costumes for our daughters and they turned out delicious!  We went to our ward trunk or treat last night and everyone loved Cyrena's costume.  There were a few too many people there so Cyrena didn't visit very many 'trunks'.  She was content to sit in her chair and watch everyone while she explored a few things in her bag.  She cracks me up.  It was a fun time though and I thought she was adorable!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Daddy/Daughter Campout

Cyrena was lucky enough to go camping with her Daddy (and the ward dads and daughters) this weekend.  Boy, was she excited and they had so much fun together.  Before they went she kepy naming some of the dads who were going and all the moms who were going to stay home.  Other than a disoriented 15 minute crying fit at 1:00 in the morning, everything went pretty smoothly.  They went on 'hikes', ate good food, and sang her favorite songs.  When they got home Saturday she stayed in my arms for a good 5-10 minutes telling me how much she missed me.  That made it all worth it!  I enjoyed myself, going to my friend's house to scrapbook and chat, reading until way too late then sleeping in!  Here are a few pictures David took:

Sleeping Beauty--she actually slept until 7:30 a.m.--shocking!

She really posed for David in some of these pictures, so cute.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tough Love

Doggy had to go to timeout this morning.  When his time was up, this is what I heard:

"Doggy, do you know why you're on timeout?"

no response

"You need to help me clean up the blocks"

no response

"What do you say to me?"

no response

"Mom, doggy's all done with timeout!"

I can't wait to see what she does with a baby sister.  She's already my 'teacher's assisstant' repeating all my instructions to my preschool students.  She's definitely a mimic, should I be flattered or worried??

Saturday, October 18, 2008

One Happy Family

Cyrena kept herself very busy one afternoon putting together a clear representation of our family.  She was so proud of herself.  Let me explain who is who.  Daddy's the one in the purple visor and mommy's wearing the brown hard hat.  Cyrena's the one with the upside down buck teeth.  At least I got some ears, Daddy's are missing. I think she captured the essence of our family.  

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Just Saturday

Our 'to do before baby' list is getting shorter and shorter!  If you know me, you know I love to cross things off a list.  It runs in my family.  :) We've gotten so much done the past few weeks, the baby could come anytime and we would be ready!  I love getting ready for baby.  It's such a sweet, fun feeling of expectation.  In fact, last night I opened up a package of newborn swaddler diapers (already stocking the diaper bin).  All I had to do was smell the package and a flood of memories came back of when Cyrena wore them.   I had David smell it too so he could share in the memories.  Of course Cyrena had to smell them too, she's a smeller like me.  She could NOT believe how small they were.  She said they wouldn't fit her bum and boy is she right.  I'm ready for the shock of how different a newborn is going to look and seem compared to my gigantic almost 3 year old.  So yesterday we got some more things crossed off our list: 

*clean the garage 
*overseed our lawn (here in Arizona you have to plant winter grass every year)
*prune the trees in our backyard
*wash the car
*get copies made for preschool (through December)
*loads of baby laundry
*clean the infant car seat  
*finish cleaning out Cyrena's room
*fill boxes for charity

Whew!  We were exhausted after all that.  Here are some funny pictures from the day.  Every Saturday we let Cyrena stay in her pajamas for as long as she wants since it's the one day we don't have to hurry and go somewhere after we get up.  It makes her so happy. So here she is in her morning glory with a coat on since it was a little chilly.  

Also, she wouldn't stand up to hose the car off, she wanted to sit on the rolling chair. 
 Too funny. 

 I went and ran errands during her nap and when I got back I found her in the park by our house taking pictures of David trying, unsuccessfully, to fly a kite.  She got some great shots, even though her finger was on the lens.  I wish I could have taken a picture of her taking pictures--she's classic, as is this picture.

This is the time of year to be in Arizona----BEAUTIFUL!!!

The Deans

My photo
Life as we know it is full of laughter, fun, stress, love, faith and surprises. What more could we ask for?