Sunday, December 19, 2010

All I want for Christmas is a nice round head

I don't know if i mentioned it before but Clementine had torticollis when she was born and she's been receiving physical therapy twice a week for the past few months to help remedy her crooked neck and flat head and we're proud to announce that she's not getting a helmet for Christmas.  Yea! For those of you who aren't familiar with the condition, here is an explanation of what it is.  Clementine got it from being squished inside my torso and now she has a depression on the side of her head and since she was so used to being in that position her head got flat in the back. To remedy it, I had to duct tape a rolled up towel onto her back which made her sleep on her left side and on the part of her head that wasn't flat.  A month of that was all it took to even out her head, but only time will tell if the depression will correct itself as her head grows.  But for now we're just glad Santa's not bringing her a helmet for Christmas

An update on her development...She's sitting up and almost crawling(taking after Henry which I'm not thrilled about), rolling all over the place, and just starting to eat some foods but not liking the mushy texture.  She would eat crackers all day long if she could and she makes a horrible mess every time I let her feed one to herself.  She basically sleeps all through the night and sleeps a total of at least 16 hours per day, more or less whenever we want her to.  She is extremely pleasant and has days when she never cries, like today.  I think she knows that she's going to have to play the baby Jesus in the family nativity re-creation and is practicing the "no crying he makes" part.  What a good little girl:)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

First and possibly last apple picking

Clementine had her first experience apple picking today! I don't think she was able to enjoy it.  I did let her lick an apple but I don't think she liked it much. 

While we were walking around Clementine had a serious poop out and the poop was dripping all down her leg on to my shoe and all over the ground.  I just got bigger diapers for her and now the leg holes aren't tight enough to keep it in so it just drips out! The other diapers were too small to keep it all in.  What can I do!!?

Anyway, we had a great time picking apples and unless we can find a U-Pick orchard out west I think this might be our last apple picking experience.  It makes me sad because we've been doing it for the past 10 years almost.  This is one thing we love about the East. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Yup, it was cold camping

I'm always shocked in alpine climates that it's so hot during the day but so freezing cold at night.  This trip it wasn't so dramatic and we weren't all that cold, but it did get chilly at night so we bundled Clementine up pretty well.  Here she is in her car seat fast asleep.  She was a very good little camper! I know I always say this, but how did the Pioneers do it for months and months? Every time I compare my life with theirs I am more and more in awe of those amazing women who walked across the plains pregnant, giving birth, sleeping on the ground, watching their babies die and doing it all wearing a dress and bad shoes.  How can I ever complain? I pay homage to you, pioneer women, by birthing all my babies naturally and by going camping every chance I get so I know what you went through.  In fact, next week we're going camping on a tiny island off of Puerto Rico for a week.  Please give me strength to handle a week of camping!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Best Friend

Here is Clementine with my favorite neighbor's first daughter, Sonaya.  Her parents are straight from India and I am so grateful to have them on our street because they add so much culture and diversity to our neighborhood, not to mention they are the nicest and most wonderful people ever.  I just love them and I'm so glad we have babies at the same time.  We love you Sonaya!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Weird Photos and Locked Thumbs

So when Justin saw this last post he said the photos were really weird and that he wouldn't have put them on the blog.  He said Henry's face was covered in red sauce and he looked like he was naked.  Well, he was not totally naked and if I have to wait until I get a perfectly clothed shot of Henry with nothing on his face I'll never be able to put one up.  Plus, it's hard to take photos of Clementine smiling.  She's either asleep or we're out doing something and I can't take a photo of her when she's stuck to me. 

She is getting really happy though.  She has started to laugh a little bit when I tickle her chest with my chin.  She follows me all around the room and can go from crying to happy in an instant when I pick her up.  She really loves to be around the other kids and when we eat our meals and she's awake, we put her in the Bumbo on top of the table and she watches us and smiles at us when we lock eyes with her.  The kids fight over who gets to be facing her.  She has also started trying to play with a few toys and I think she has the same issue with her thumbs as Henry did.  They're almost locked in place and I have to pry them open to put something in.  The one good thing about that is that she'll hold anything for a long time but she can't grab anything herself, even if she wants to.  Open your thumbs little monkey! Those are your special evolutionary tools! Use them! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Smiles melt my heart

So after a few months of just pooping and crying and nursing I started asking myself, "wait, why did I have another baby?" but then she started to really smile and I remembered how much I love sweet little smiley babies.  She still sleeps a ton, cries every moment she's in the car, but when she's actually had enough sleep I get to just stare into her super light blue eyes and enjoy her dimpled smile.  She is so delicate and so sweet.  I just adore everything about her and I can't wait to witness how she matures and what she becomes.

I see so much potential in her already and being with her fills me with so much joy.  I just love newborns because there's just something to be said about being so needed.  I love that she needs me for everything and all she can do is wait for me to snuggle her and feed her and rock her to sleep.  Tonight I had to teach the Young Women and I gave her to one of them to take care of her and as I handed her off she looked at me and started to cry.  She already knows me and only wants to be with me.  I just love that!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

First Flight

At the SLC Children's Museum, which is the best one I've been to

Clementine, along with her brother and sister took a trip out west to see her uncle Will graduate from college and hang out with family she has never met.  She was perfect on the plane and loved all the time she spent in her new baby wrap I made just before we left.  She spent time in Salt Lake City and drove up through some of the most beautiful farmland surrounded by mountains in Idaho.  She is a little tough to roadtrip with because she hates being in her carseat and won't fall asleep unless I hold the binky in her mouth, cover her eyes with a soft blanket and jiggle the seat back and forth until she falls asleep.  The unexpected 5 hour drive up to Idaho was a little tough, but I've figured out that if I swaddle her up, she'll sleep a lot longer in the carseat.

Quick timeline...

First night in SLC
Three nights in Idaho hanging out with family in Driggs in really fabulous condos, ate the best steak I have had in years, and attended BYU Idaho's graduation. 
Three more nights in SLC visiting Aunt Tracie and Meghan, friends Alissa and Ella and a bunch of my cousins.  It was so fun!

Thanks to all who made it a really great trip with minimal complications.  We made it home all with colds and I have lost my voice, but the cold didn't slow us down or cause any major problems until we got home and now Clementine has a slight fever.  Thanks for waiting until we got home darling girl.  I know that was a huge blessing.   So here was Clementine's first trip and she's only 8 weeks old! Oh, and we applied to get her passport today so she can join her siblings in being a world traveler.  Where do we go next? Africa, China, or Brazil....

 Chillin' with Auntie Meg
Super alert with Aunt Kris.  She looks so much like Henry in this shot.

Visiting Grandma Berry's grave.  It's the only grave you can relax on.  Love it and miss her!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


"Um, mom, what's that giant harry beast behind you?" "Oh, that's just big foot.  He lives here." 

We all took Clementine on her first camping trip a couple weeks ago to Canaan Valley, WV and she did great.  She slept through the night, spent all day in the front carrier sleeping and didn't even cry too much on the drive down and back.  She wasn't even 6 weeks old!
Our tent location: Beautiful!
Lucy's bachelorette pad.  Too bad she didn't meet any hot inbreds in West Virginia

Since we were in an alpine climate the nights were freezing and the days were really hot, but it was all worth it for some time around the campfire, marshmallows, good company(our amazing friends, Christi and Dave) and fresh air.  I just love leaving my busy life behind and relaxing my mind, even if my body is still working hard.

Our favorite camp site was taken so we settled for different ones, but still were able to play in the river, catching crawdads and relaxing in the cool water.  The coolest part was the wild blueberries that were all over the place! We were in blueberry heaven.  We spent our days foraging for berries like in times of old. 
Lucy helping out(a lot) with Clementine
Lucy in our orange(can you tell) tent resting with baby in million degree weather

My sister, Lucy, came down from NYC to join us, which was so amazing.  I'm so grateful that I have been able to see her so much lately.  I miss her so much!
Our lovely group around the campfire: Christi, Dave, River, Nya, Lucy, Henry, Bea, Clementine, Me and Justin(taking the pic)
We went to a Bluegrass festival at the Snowshoe ski resort, which was actually very developed and nice.  Loved it!
A great bluegrass group who played at Snowshoe.  I miss playing in a bluegrass band so much!!

We spent some time at the resort's lake and let the boys go extreme downhill mountain biking. 
Me, loving camping, but it seems I still have to convince Clementine how awesome it is(see face)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


So I need to give a shout out to all the people who came to help out for the first four weeks of Clementine's life.  I couldn't have survived without all of your help and support.

First of all, Thanks to Justin for being able to take a full week off and sacrificing a couple of your vacation days to hang out with the kids.  It was really wonderful to see you being so great with them.  I am very impressed with your fathering skills and I see how much our kids love you.
Justin hanging out at the pool
Taking care of a feverish Bea over Memorial Day weekend

Then my fabulous friend/sister/inspiration Christi came with her two kids and played with us all week long.  She was a godsend since my mom wasn't coming until the next week.  I don't know what I would have done without her help...and I have no pictures of her! What the heck! Sorry sista!

Then my mom came bearing gifts, as always, and made sure we all had good food to eat and tried to tame my wild children.  I hope she's recovered!
 As much as I would have loved Clementine to be in this photo shoot, I know we wouldn't have been able to see her face and she would have been screaming the whole time.  So this is the girls sans Clementine.
Nanna B chatting with Clementine

 Nanna B protecting Clementine from Bea the baby killer

Shortly after my mom's arrival, my sister, Lucy, came in from NYC just for the weekend.  It was so wonderful to see her since we hardly get to see each other.  I miss that little girl.

Our friends the Lothamers came in for the day from Indiana to finalize the adoption of her oldest two kids to her husband so they came over for a little celebration.  We miss them so much!
The Lothamer and Hohl kids having a concert.  Love the rockstar pose by Dominic!

At the end of my mom's visit, my step-brother and his family came with their two adorable little boys to play for a couple days.  We couldn't have had more fun and Henry and Bea got along very well with their sweet boys.  Hurray for cousins!

The kids having a picnic in the living room.  The two boys are Luke and Miles(little one) They are almost the exact same age as Henry and Bea.  So fun!

After my mom, my dad came for a week and was such a huge help.  He took the kids out for hikes and to the playground almost every day leaving me home to nurse, clean, cook, and take care of the baby.  He was so fun to have around and lightened my stress level a lot.  My kids really loved their time with him.
At the zoo looking at a peacock fanning it's feathers

Dad at the baby blessing looking all dapper

Dad doing double duty, feeding the baby and entertaining Henry. Woo Hoo Dad!

Then last, but not least, Justin's parents came in town for Franklin's graduation and played with us all weekend. Justin, my dad, and Burnell all spent time painting the playfort and now it looks fabulous! It was the hottest day of the year so far and totally humid. A million thank-yous for all your hard work!
Gammie snuggling up with Clementine

 The boys painting the playfort.  Can you tell how hot it was?Yikes! Look at that bright sun!

No one likes a frowny face...

Change it for a smile!  Clementine has been smiling and I think she's been my earliest smiler.  She smiled at me at four weeks and even smiles at herself whenever she's in her swing and sees her own reflection.  It's so cute to watch her check herself out.  I haven't been able to catch it on camera, but this is what we got camping this last weekend. Not a great shot but it's a start!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Can this really be happening to me again...yes it is.

So I'm having a serious meltdown because last week I got mastitis and I had to take antibiotics and now I have the dreaded thrush back.  Why, why, why, why(head hanging down and tears streaming down my face).  I promised myself that if I got that again I wouldn't put my family through my emotional ups and downs dealing with nursing problems again and now I'm faced with the decision to quit nursing cold turkey or try to work it out.  Emotionally, I am having a hard time deciding to let go because I FINALLY have enough milk supply for this baby and everything seemed to be going great and I've seriously never been so happy after having a baby, but I feel like I'm going to have problems with mastitis in the future since there are a few ducts I can feel she's not able to empty so why continue? I guess I was just so hopeful and dedicated to making it work this time.  I had thrush with Bea for 6 MONTHS and wasn't able to get rid of it so the thought just makes me sick that I got it again.  I'm not kidding when I say that I feel like I'm in a state of Post Traumatic Stress.  I am in shock(literally since I feel strangely similar to how I felt shortly after Georgie died, is that really weird?) that I got this again, I feel depressed and am in a numbing daze, I've been crying all day and am in denial that I have to go through this trial again.  I don't know why this is so important to me but obviously it is since I feel like such a huge part of my life right now is being ripped away from my control.  I don't know what to do.  I haven't nursed since 9am and every hour I feel worse about not feeding her. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

How is it with three you ask?

So, many of you who read Bea's blog when she was born might remember the many entries about how difficult it was to have a second child with a two and a half year old.  I don't know if I ever wrote this, but I was on the verge of insanity and literally broke down five times a day and found myself crying myself to sleep and screaming at Henry on a regular basis for almost a year. No kidding.  Needless to say I was really concerned about what Clementine was going to do to our family dynamic.  I have to say that it is going GREAT! I still have the same ol' issues I have always had with Henry and his attitude, but Bea hasn't changed much and is still as happy and normal as ever.  Clementine is a great sleeper and constantly gives me hours on end during the day to clean and play with the kids with no interruptions.  My house isn't a disaster, I get adequate sleep, my children have clean clothes to wear, I've been cooking a lot with the fresh vegetables from my CSA box and now my own garden and look at me, I still have a few moments at night to update blogs.  It is a miracle! I was preparing myself for the worst but this is the best possible outcome I could have asked for.  I have to admit, though, that Clementine is a little cranky if we were to compare her with Bea, but cranky newborns do not bother me one bit.  Cranky four year olds on the other hand, that gets on my nerves. 

I know that the Lord is blessing me to be able to have the energy and patience to deal with this transition and I have to tell everyone that I've uploaded the entire Book of Mormon on CD on an ipod shuffle and every morning when I wake up at like 7 am to feed the baby I listen to it for about a half hour and it's changed my life.  I have been blessed with so much more patience, love, and long suffering that I'm amazed at myself.  I still have a long way to go, but I am so glad I decided to do that because it's been such a huge blessing in my life.  Thank you to everyone who had a hand in bringing that book to light because it's helping me to be a better mother. 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sweet Sleeper

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The ever changing baby

Its always amazing to watch how much babies change in the first month of life.  Clementine has definitely changed for the better.  Her face has evened out in color and gotten a little chubbier and her features are more recognizable. The broken blood vessel in her eye is also almost gone.  Yea!  I thought she looked just like me when she was born but now I see a little of Bea(who is Justin's clone) in her.  What do you think?
Not sure what caused that dark spot on my camera.  No, it's not a big hairy mole.  I think she looks so pretty and peaceful in this shot...and a little like Bea

I tried to get a shot of her in this pretty blue dress but she's just too floppy and squished.  The dress fits perfect though which is rare to find for a tiny newborn.

You can still see the red ring around her eye in this shot.  It's almost gone as well as her umbilical cord, which I did not save.  It smelled like abscess! Brings back memories of my hairless rat, Egor. 

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The way things are out West

Many of you already know that in about a year we're moving to Utah for a one year orthopedic spine surgery fellowship program at the University of Utah.  We're really excited about all that entails.  So in anticipation of our impending move we decided to show Clementine the kinds of things people do and the way they act out west, so we showed her Napoleon Dynamite.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Our neighbor brought us a bag of clementines for a gift.  I will take a bag of clemmies anytime anyone wants to give them to me:)

Reminds me of Henry's first bath: crying, screaming, turning red, choking, turning purple.  Not fun.  It's going to be a hard life little girl.

First ride in the swing...and didn't even know it

Clementine getting her 15 minutes in the sun

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Introducing Clementine Rebecca Hohl

Our new baby girl came flying into this world at 8:57 Monday morning weighing in at 8lbs 15oz and 21 1/2 inches long.  I woke up at 7:30am  Monday morning feeling a very light contraction and calmly timed how far apart my contractions were and to my surprise they were less than 5 minutes apart already! Ahhhh! So I frantically called my good friend/neighbor and paged "911" to my husband who was just about to scrub into surgery and got ready to head into the hospital.

Luckily I had everything packed and my kids were being easy that morning so we were ready to head out in no time.  My neighbor got here and helped get things into the car and then Justin arrived around 8am.  He ran in, got my stuff, and we headed into the hospital.  At that point my contractions were 3 minutes apart and we thought we were in trouble because we were just in time to drive into the city during rush hour.  We were blessed, however, and didn't hit anything major. 

 We arrived at the hospital at 8:35 at which time my contractions were getting a little more intense.  We rushed up to labor and delivery where we told them my contractions were less than three minutes apart and I knew I was close to delivering.  The nurses, of course, don't really believe you and were calmly telling me to give them a urine sample and get dressed and while I was changing I yelled to Justin to get them back in because my baby was coming! They sauntered back in and checked me and guess what? I was already at 9 1/2 centimeters dialated.

They were finally convinced and started moving to get me ready for delivery.  Right at that moment my upper body started tingling and after a few seconds my arms, face and upper stomach felt totally paralyzed--never happened to me before -- and I couldn't even move my fingers or face to speak! I looked at Justin with what I can only describe as Botox face and said, "Justin, I can't move my hands and face.  What's happening to me?"  Has anyone heard about that condition or had that ever happened to you? I got into the labor and delivery room at around 8:50 and this awesome nurse helped me breathe slowly and gain control of my sanity and in just five minutes I felt the pushing contraction, pushed twice and my daughter flew out into the arms of the nurse.  20 seconds after that, my OB ran in.  He missed the whole thing.

Since she came out so quickly her little face was bruised pretty badly and her eye has some broken blood vessels in it which will take a little while to clear up.  I also didn't fare very well and, sparing you most of the gruesome details, I think I have about 20 stitches.  Once again, labor and delivery hurt less than everything that went on afterward.

Clementine looks more like Henry but has Bea's coloring.  She has Bea's brownish hair with red highlights and her eyes are a clear light blue like Bea's were as a newborn so I'm expecting she'll have blue eyes.  She has really long fingers and toes and a slender body.  Even though she was 9 lbs, she still has a small head and a long body so she doesn't really look like a huge, chubby baby.  So far she has a really laid back, sweet personality and hasn't really cried much, even when Bea attacks her.  She slept for 6 hours straight the second night in the hospital and  probably would have slept that long last night, but I had to wake her up to nurse.  She has amazing suction and will take a pacifier, a bottle, and nurses with no problems!

The most amazing part about this whole experience is that it has been such a peaceful and wonderful transition compared to when Bea was born.  Both Henry and Bea are acting totally normal and even Henry is excited about his new role in making sure Bea's physical needs are being met when I can't help.  He is in LOVE with Clementine, especially since he knows that she looks like him and has been so helpful and had such a great attitude about it.

Bea has also been very excited about our new addition and is nothing but smiles and is doing great learning how soft and gentle she needs to be around her.  We were alone together for a few hours this morning and the kids played outside together while I sat outside with the babe and Bea showed no jealousy at all and acted like she normally does.  I had been praying for all these things to go well and I am so grateful to the Lord for answering my prayers and for allowing me to enjoy my new sweet daughter.