Saturday, March 31, 2012


Mike's mom came to visit last weekend so we decided to bless Elsa. I found a vintage dress for under $10. She looked like an old fashioned baby. Somehow the dress got poofed up behind her head in the first photo- it isn't a Shakespearean collar she is wearing. I'm not THAT old fashioned!

Time marches on...

...whether I am ready or not. I've been trying my best to savor this month of newbornness (I know that is not a word) with Elsa, but yesterday she turned 5 weeks old and I think-where has the time gone? I look at these pictures and realize how much she is changing.
Fresh out of the bath:

For Sarah:

Just plain cute:

Thank goodness for cameras so we can capture these fleeting moments.

See Marah Sew

Marah went into a sewing frenzy for a week or so and made two beautiful clothing items. I helped her decipher instructions a few times. But other than that she did it all herself. She did an awesome job.

First she made this skirt.

She had so much fun with the skirt we decided to go get fabric to make another one. When we got to the fabric section of High School Pharmacy (our local small town store) the fabric was 40% off. Marah saw this fabric and knew she had to make a dress. Isn't it fun?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Name and A Birth Story

We finally decided on a name. Our 7 year old daughter, Abigail, was getting quite distressed that it was taking soooooo long. But we did decide....please meet our baby girl, Elsa Ruth.

Now for the story of how she was born (hint, hint- anyone who doesn't like birth stories can quit reading now)

My due date was Feb 18th. I have always delivered late except with Abigail (and I suspect that she was up in heaven asking "Can I go now? please can I go now? why is this taking so long? Can I go NOW???" and they finally let her come a week early) but anyway, I wasn't expecting to have this baby early. Three days before my due date, however, I woke in the middle of the night shaking. I pulled the comforter up over me and tried to warm up, but still I shook and shook. Then I realized I wasn't just cold, this was birth hormones- I'm starting labor! So I tried to relax and get just a few more minutes of sleep before contractions started. I fell asleep and woke the next morning still pregnant. Darn. The next night I had some contractions, but they didn't progress to labor and the next night the same thing. I was starting to get anxious and my children were feeling the effects of a nesting mommy. We cleaned the playroom, they did ALL their chores, I spent a day sewing a new pad and bumper for the moses basket (which meant they had lots of free time, but ate cold cereal for breakfast and made their own pb&j for lunch) we mopped floors, and we also made cookies at the end of my due date day to celebrate.

So I was pretty sure once my due date had come that this baby would be born but the next several days I had some contractions but nothing very strong and nothing that was regular. Wednesday night I woke up shaking again but still I didn't go into labor. Finally on Thursday I went to see my midwife. She did an internal exam, stripped my membranes and sent me home.
That night I woke up just after midnight with some stronger contractions. I started shaking (I hate that part- its worse than contractions) I started timing contractions. They were only about 10 minutes apart, but not very regular- sometimes 10 min apart sometimes 20 min. But they were getting stronger. I paced around a lot in the quiet house wondering when things would get more intense. At one point I laid down and slept for half and hour (meaning no contractions for that long). What is going on I thought? Am I progressing or not? Then I started shaking again. I decided to call the midwife. I told her that the contractions were irregular but about 10 minutes apart and getting stronger. She told me to call her in an hour to report again. I started this going to be a long labor?

About 15 minutes later I had another contractions and in that instant I knew the midwife needed to come NOW- this was not going to be a long labor. As I turned on the tub water I told Mike to call her and tell her it was time. It is about a 25 minute drive from my midwife's home to our home. I started to wonder if she would make it in time....things were picking up speed. Mike was there with back rubs and water (thank you thank you) but he didn't know I was beginning to wonder if he might have to catch this baby. I knew I was starting into transition when she finally got there because my contractions were one on top of each other. I was trying to relax- trying to let the pain wash over me like waves, trying to imagine a flower opening, trying to relax my shoulders. At this point the sound of people talking was grating. Mike was chit chatting with the midwife as she set up her equipment and I was thinking "Shut up!" But even forming the words would have taken too much energy away from trying to concentrate on these contractions. I was starting to feel panic- like a nightmare of a wave pool where the waves are too big and you think you are going to drown. I was on my knees leaning on the side of the tub, hanging on for dear life. Then all at once the intense waves at the wave pool stopped. I was calm, I sat up, "Ooh, I'm glad transition is over!" I felt like I was me again. Mike and the midwife laughed "Ok, I'm going to push on the next one." I gave a push and I felt my bag of waters pop. Then on the next contraction I pushed and the burning ring o' fire began. That is always the point they tell you to slow down. Slow down? I want to get this over with! The baby's head was out. I pushed again through that ring of fire and heard a baby cry. But all I could do was pant and say "Ow! Ow! Ow!"

Of course then it was all worth it as I took that sweet baby girl in my arms.

And that is how Elsa Ruth was born. 5 hours from start to finish.

I am very grateful that the birth went smoothly. As Elsa emerged the midwife unwrapped the cord from around her neck about three or four times. She said that I was lucky my water hadn't broken until the end because it kept the cord from getting compressed. Otherwise I may have had to transfer to the hospital for an emergency c-section. Scary.

Abby had requested to see the baby with the umbilical cord still attached- so Mike went to wake her up. She came in rubbing her eyes and watched as the cord was cut and the placenta was delivered. (She officially declared that the placenta is gross.) Then we woke up Marah, because she had requested NOT to see all that. She came in and met her sister. Then we woke up Amelia so she wouldn't feel left out. We let the boys sleep.

Since her birth Elsa has had nearly a constant shower of kisses and a constant line of eager arms to hold her. I think we'll keep her!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Welcome Little One

She doesn't have a name quite yet, but she does have lots of hair and lots of love!

born Feb 24th, 5:13 am
8 lb 6oz
20 3/4 inches

Name, more pics and possibly a birth story to follow shortly...I promise!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Summer Catch Up

The sun finally came out and we have had a lovely summer. Not too hot, not too rainy. Unfortunately not quite warm enough for my tomatoes to get ripe, but I did plant them a tad late- and I'm not giving up yet.

We went to Utah at the beginning of the summer to visit family and had a wonderful visit. We had all my siblings and their families here in Oregon for a reunion. And we went camping with friends in California.

Also this summer: Marah went to her first year of Girls camp, Ethan went to Cub Scout camp, Abby has lost a few teeth, Mia changed her name to "Obsessed with candy Obsessed with potato chips Christenson", and Zane has turned into a real "terrible two" at the tender age of 18 months- and I have the scars on my neck and arms to prove it. Anyone who has experience with clawing toddlers- please help! This is a new one for me.

And as a final surprise, I'll let you all know that there will be a new little Christenson joining our family in February.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Gloomy Sort of Day

Today is a gloomy day. Its gray and windy and cold. One of my chickens died. We've been playing "Pass the Cold" in our family for two weeks; complete with ear infection, cough, runny nose and goopy eyes. I just want to go back to sleep and wake up when it is spring.

But some good things did happen today. Several talks and lessons at church really struck a chord with me. One particular lesson was about how our Father in Heaven knows and loves each of us and wants us to return home to him. I remember in the story "Alice in Wonderland" when Alice meets the cheshire cat and he tells her that if she doesn't know where she wants to go then it doesn't really matter which path she takes. I know where I want to go: home to my Heavenly Father. I know which path I want to take: the one that follows in Christ's footsteps. I know that through prayerfully seeking guidance and listening to the whisperings of the Spirit I will know what God wants me to do-and I know that this brings the greatest peace and happiness of all.

So even though I'm feeling a little gloomy today, I know my Heavenly Father loves me and that makes me look forward to spring.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Flutey Sort of Person

In one of my favorite movies, "Enchanted April", Lottie says she has always thought of herself as a flutey sort of person. Well our Marah IS a flutey person - a flautist and a good one! We are so proud of her. On January 15th she won the MTNA Northwest Junior Division Competition and she'll be going to Wisconsin in March to compete at the national level. Way to go Marah!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy New Year

Obviously I haven't had blogging very high on my list of "Things to Do" and I didn't get Christmas cards out this year either so here is the year in a nutshell for anyone who still happens to peek at this page once in a blue moon.

Spring 2010- The first week of May we picked up 18 one day old chicks. They were so cute. They lived in our play room in a kiddie pool under a heat lamp. Then they grew up a little and they were ugly and poopy. Mike went to work and rescued me from my over enthusiasm for farm life and built a chicken coop. The chicks did outgrow the ugly stage and now they are beautiful hens (and one handsome rooster)- We gathered our first eggs in October. And they are delish!

Summer 2010- We went to a family reunion in Idaho. We had a very small humble garden. Mike's parents came to visit. Ethan got baptized in August. Mike took three weeks off. Marah, Ethan and Abby performed in "Mary Poppins".

Fall 2010- We went to Utah for Thanksgiving- very icy roads. Can we lobby to have T-Day in September before winter weather hits?

Winter 2010- We went to Southern California for Christmas and New Year's Eve. Zane turned 1. Marah and Ethan went surfing for the first time.

Happy New Year!