"It takes a heap 'o livin' in a house t' make it a home" -Edgar A. Guest

Friday, December 28, 2007

Behind the Scenes: The Real Lily Denison

Don't be deceived by all of the cute, peaceful pictures--this is Lily's true character.

Though she has been getting better at being a good baby, she still likes to keep us on our toes trying to appease her and keep her happy.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Morning

Christmas did not start early in the Denison household this year. Lily decided to give Mom and Dad (mostly Mom) a great Christmas present by sleeping for 7 straight hours the night of Christmas Eve, followed by another 3 1/2 hours. Hence we woke up sometime after 9:00 a.m. It was heaven! We tried to help Lily feel involved that morning but I don't think she fully appreciated our efforts. Doesn't she look excited? :)

Since it was just the three of us, Christmas was very subdued, but we had a nice time. We opened presents that morning and lounged about for a while. I spent the day baking and we watched a couple of Christmas movies. We got to talk to our families (that makes it sound like we're missionaries or something), went for a walk, which turned into a drive because Lily was bawling, and enjoyed a nice Christmas dinner.

Note the picture of Adam holding Lily while he eats--she has uncanny timing to wake up and start crying just as we sit down to eat. I thought I would throw in a picture of our "amazing" Christmas tree--we now have a grand total of 5 Christmas ornaments, apart from the cheap, little ball ornaments we bought so it wouldn't look so sparce. One strand of lights burned out a couple of weeks ago, but we didn't bother to take them down.

We hung some candy canes on it to dress it up a little--there were around 20 at first, but they began to disappear from the tree to fulfill the greater purpose of serving as hot chocolate stirring wands, hence there are now about 5 on the tree. My favorite part of all is our homemade tree topper....Behold! Maybe we'll get a real one next year. We hope everyone had a great Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ready for bed

After a few harrowing days and nights of little to no sleep, we found that swaddling Lily tightly helps her to sleep better. We read a book on colic, crying and sleeping that instructed us on how to do a very tight swaddle. It even mentioned that one couple would tape the blanket, once their baby was swaddled, to prevent it from coming loose. We tried it and it worked great. Lily's nightly ritual now is to get her diaper changed, swaddle her, tape her in, eat, then go to bed. It was about 3 a.m. when I tried it for the first time--Adam, who had been sleeping, was a little confused when he saw me standing over Lily, with a strip of packing tape in hand.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

2 weeks old!

Lily is officially 2 weeks old today--she just had her 2 week check and the doctor said she looks great. It's been an interesting 2 weeks, that is for sure. We've been getting used to the baby's schedule which consists mostly of eating and sleeping, though she manages to get in some good crying time each day--usually when I want to go to bed. :) Adam says she's definitely my daughter because she likes to take mid-morning naps--one of my favorite past times. That's actually when she does her best sleeping, which means that's when I get my best sleep. We were happy to have Adam's family drive up from Virginia to visit us for the Thanksgiving holiday, and we had a lot of fun. Adam went back to work yesterday and I was a little apprehensive at first, but Lily and I did fine. Below is one of Adam's favorite pictures--this is what we call her "Rocky stretch". She will raise on or both of her arms with her hands in little fists to stretch, and then she gets what we call the "Jimmy arm", where she jimmies or shakes her fist around mid-stretch. It's so cute. Anyway, I happened to get this picture just at the right moment as she was waking up from a nap (and yes, she is in her carseat--below you will see the sleeping arrangement that we've found works best for her).

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Please, sir, may I have some more?

Well, we've had some interesting fare at the Denison household lately. We have tried experimenting with making two types of soup, but neither turned out like we thought they would.

Black Bean Soup

Looks good doesn't it? Ok, maybe not, but this one was actually really good. Tiffany just got a little carried away with the pureeing. I felt a lot like a child in an early 1900s English orphanage. I couldn't help but quote the famous line from Oliver Twist as I ate this: "Please, sir, may I have some more?

Homemade Cream of Broccoli Soup

Remember that show on Nickelodeon called "You Can't Do That on Television"? Yeah, this soup reminded me alot of the slime from that show. Neither Tiffany nor I were very fond of this soup, so I made a quick dash for a Hot-N-Ready pizza from Little Caesars. We felt alot like the family in this commercial as we a tried to eat the soup.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Adam's Real Birthday

As already posted, we celebrated Adam's birthday last week since we didn't know what his real birthday would hold as far as the baby being born. It was a pretty subdued day--we took Lily to her pediatrician so they could weigh her and check her for jaundice. We spent the day hanging out at the house--as you can see, Adam had fun with Lily watching Lord of the Rings. I told him he had to do something fun or at least go buy something with his birthday money on his actual birthday, so what did he decide to do? He went to Hooters to get some hot wings! He called in the order for pick up, but I told him it seemed he was gone longer than it should take to just pick up some hot wings. :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


We are so excited to announce the arrival of Lily Mae Denison on November 14, 2007 at 12:03 a.m. She weighed in at 7 lbs. 12 oz. and is 20 3/4 inches in length. She is absolutely beautiful.

Tiffany started experiencing semi-regular contractions about 4 a.m. on Tuesday morning, but we weren't sure it was anything we needed to immediately go in for. The contractions continued throughout the day, but started to taper off leading us to believe that Tiffany may have just been experiencing some false labor. When we went to her regularly scheduled doctor's appointment, however, we were surprised to find out that she was between 2 and 3 cm dilated! The doctor told us we would probably be going into the hospital that night. We were to go in when Tiffany's contractions were five minutes apart for an hour.

Sure enough, from about 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tiffany started having contractions every three to seven minutes. It all seemed a bit surreal as I started loading up the car with our bags and other stuff we needed, but got even more surreal as we were driving to the hospital. I wanted to turn on the flashers and drive really fast to get there (like in the movies), but Tiffany wouldn't allow it. She's a spoil-sport. :)

Once we got to the hospital, we found out she was 5 cm along and they admitted her right away. By this point Tiffany was experiencing some very strong and very frequent contractions. Though it was really hard for me to watch Tiffany go through this, I'm sure it was nothing compared to what she was going through. When Tiffany was fully hydrated the anesthesiologist came in and gave her the epidural. Tiffany has yet to stop lauding the praises of epidurals!

Things began progressing very quickly after they broke her water. She went from 5 cm to 8 cm in a matter of minutes. 9 cm followed very soon thereafter. I learned quickly that 10 cm is the max and this is the time to start pushing.

About 11 p.m. Tiffany started getting overwhelming urges to push, but the nurses and doctor told her to hold off. Finally, they let Tiffany start pushing and not a minute too soon. 11 minutes from the time she started pushing, Lily Mae Denison made her mortal debut. It came so fast that the doctor was barely able to get his gown on before she came! It was an intensely overwhelming experience to see Lily for the first time. Both of us really lost it when she came out. She is absolutely the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

Now we were are in our post partum room and our enjoying our new friend, Lily. She has been a little fussy tonight, but I think she's asleep for at least a few hours now. She is an immense joy to have around.

We have posted our other pictures of Lily on Flickr and on Facebook. There will be more to come.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Adam's 26th Birthday Celebration!

Well, it was kind of a spur of the moment decision, but Adam decided he wanted to celebrate his birthday today. His birthday is actually the 17th--a week from Saturday--but since we are hoping to have a baby by then, we might be otherwise engaged and decided that today works as well as any other day. He picked Red Lobster for his birthday dinner and we stuffed ourselves--it was great! He got this huge shellfish platter--lobster, King crab legs, several kinds of shrimp and a baked potato. I opted for the Atlantic salmon--blackened with cajun spices (yum!), broccoli and a baked potato. We also pigged out on their cheese biscuits--I need to find a copy cat recipe for those. We could barely walk out of the restaurant, we were so full. Initially I didn't plan on letting him open his birthday presents, because I figured he can open them just as easily at the hospital on his actual birthday, if that ends up being the case, but then I changed my mind. He really wanted to open them tonight, so I caved. He put all of our wrapping paper and gift bags in the attic last week, so I ended up putting his presents in baby gift bags and wrapping them in tissue paper from some of the baby's shower gifts.
Adam got a 3-disc collection of Queen's Greatest Hits, a CD visor for the car, a new set of razor heads for his electric razor (which still has the original blades from when he was a junior in high school!!), some brown socks to go with his new blue suit (can't have a birthday without a pair of socks), and then he got the DVD for The Jungle Book and some money from my parents (Dad, I'm sure that comes as a surprise to you).

I made a chocolate cheesecake for him with raspberry sauce (it looks kind of like blood in this picture). We didn't have any birthday candles, sadly, so I lit a soy, peach-scented candle and had him make a wish. Happy Birthday Adam!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

One week and counting (okay, just over a week, but close enough)

So I was really hoping for an early delivery, but my doctor told me it looks like I still have a week or so. That's actually okay with me now because I started to get a cold yesterday. I've been so freakishly paranoid about getting sick and have been taking every percaution to avoid crowds and sick people, but alas, to no avail. It hasn't been quite as severe as my previous colds from this pregnancy, but I'm still not convinced it won't escalate to monumentous proportions as those did. I've been downing the Vitamin C and Zinc and have been resting up and drinking lots of water--let's hope that does the trick. The picture further down on the page of me sprawled out on the Lovesac is an accurate description of the last two days. Much to Adam's chagrin, I've been using his bathrobe as a blanket, but I say it's his fault that he left it draped over the Lovesac when he left for work on Monday. I felt sick and cold and it was within reaching distance--free game! I told him I'll wash it within the next day or two. Anyway, we'll keep everyone posted if there are any new developments...

Monday, November 5, 2007

Kute Kuddley or Kreepy?

Don't get used to me posting quite this often, but I had to put this picture up--I couldn't stop laughing last night. We hung the baby's bath towel up on the towel rack in the our bathroom and Adam decided to try it on for fun. It's one of those hooded towels, and we decided it makes him look like a KKK member--a pink, fuzzy one, but nonetheless... Isn't he good for a laugh?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I can't believe I ate the whole thing

My mom keeps telling me that I need to have Adam take some pictures of me now that I am full term with my pregnancy, so I thought I would post a few. As you can see, I'm pretty darn big. There's nothing but baby there, and I'm hoping she wants to come a week early. My bishop's wife told me that you know you're finally ready to have the baby once you would give anything to just not be pregnant anymore--I've officially reached that point. I've mastered the pregnancy waddle (you know how sumo wrestlers crouch and rock from side to side before rushing at their opponent--that's kind of how I imagine I look when I walk) and my maternity clothes have reached their limit--they can stretch no further. It's a never ending struggle to keep my pants up and my shirt down, needless to say, I don't got out much. As nice as it will be to have the baby here and to have my body back to myself, I must confess I am not looking forward to the "bread dough" stomach I've been told I can anticipate. My sister describes it as a big lump of skin that you'll pretty much be able to knead--lovely imagery, don't you agree? This last picture is the "artistic" pregnancy picture. Adam actually took this the day I finished working on the nursery.
I've receieved quite a variety of comments on how I look. My dad says I'm as big as a house (that was when I was 6 1/2 months pregnant--wonder what he'd say now?). About a month ago, another man--a complete stranger, mind you--asked me how far along I was and was shocked to hear I still had a month left. He then proceeded to ask me if I was carrying twins. And just in case he felt he hadn't got his point across how freakishly large I was, he then asked if all of my babies had been this big. I quickly informed him this was my first. I think he finally realized that he was only adding insult to injury and ceased fire. On the other hand, I've had 3 or 4 women come up to me at the grocery store to tell me how good I look and how well my weight is distrubited in carrying the baby. Either way, I feel huge and am really hoping this kid wants to hustle up and get here.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Minerva Teichert: Pageants in Paint

Okay, everybody who is within a reasonable distance of BYU needs to attend this show. Luckily it will be up through May of next year, so you have some time before it closes, but I urge you not to wait too long. I was fortunate enough to work on this show, first as an intern and later as a curatorial assistant, for about a year. It was such a great experience and I learned so much about Minerva Teichert, especially through the opportunity I had to annotate her autobiography, which, though often quoted in articles written about her, had never, until now, been published. Stop by the MOA bookstore--my name is just inside the front cover of the exhibition catalogue (it's mispelled, but I'll take what I can get). :) The curator of the exhibit, Marian Wardle, and I were able to go on some fun trips in search of pieces to include in the show, including a harsh, winter drive to Rock Springs, Wyoming, and a trip to Mitt Romney's house in Deer Valley to look at a couple of murals he owns. It's been heart-wrenching for me not to be there for all of the lectures and events the MOA has put on for the show, but I did get to do a quick walk-through of the exhibit while I was in Utah for Adam's graduation. Here are some of the pieces included in the show:

This is my mom's personal favorite, Indian Basket and Pottery Makers. I put this on the desktop of my parent's computer over a year ago, so she was very excited to see the actual mural for herself.

Moving South is the coverpiece of the exhibition catalogue. It was owned by the Stark Collection--they loaned 12 Teichert murals to the MOA, 6 of which appear in the show. I got an email from Marian about a month ago informing me that the Stark Collection announced their intention, at the opening reception, to donate all 12 murals to the MOA.

Everybody loves Return of Captive Israel. I was so happy to see that this piece made it into the show. It is owned by the Church Museum of History and Art and is usually located in the Relief Society Building. The General Relief Society Presidency didn't know if they would be able to part with this piece for a year, so I'm glad to see they were.

This is one of the Rock Springs murals, Jackson Trail. Marian and I seriously almost died on this trip. We went in the beginning of December of last year in what turned out to be a horrendous snow storm. In spite of a flat tire, multiple calls to the State Highway Patrol, and the continuous whiteouts we experienced everytime an 18-wheeler flew by us, it was a successful trip since we were able to use two of their murals.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hello everyone! I decided it was time to make a family blog. I'm excited to share all of our news and to update everyone on our little family. After moving to Michigan for an internship in May, Adam was hired by General Motors in their Social Media department. We had been living in an apartment provided by GM for the summer and were more than ready to find a place of our own once we found out we would be staying here. Luckily we were able to rent the cutest little house from some people in our ward. You can see pictures of the house's interior by clicking on this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8546831@N05/

We moved into our house the first weekend in September and just love it here. It was so nice to get all of our own things back, since we had left the bulk of our belongings in Utah for the summer. My personal favorite thing to reclaim: my Lovesac--a pregnant woman's best friend!
We've got such an amazing ward out here and have made a lot of new friends, which has been a big help since we're both away from our family and friends.