What's Up With Us?

Saturday, April 15, 2017





Brandon. He's been working so hard, not just at work, but at home. He's had to work some really late nights, and has been building his team at work in order to have a great functioning accounting department. I'm absolutely amazed by what he has been doing, and he's an inspiration for me. He's also been a great help at home, especially with my new adventure (which I will update you on below).
Mason. This little boy of mine is growing up so fast! He's learning so many words and so many things. Every day he absolutely amazes me! He recently started building puzzles, and he is so smart. He associates the colors together, and has been able to do kids puzzles all by himself. He loves to color, and he still loves the Daddy Finger song. He can't help but move his fingers when that song comes on, or when I sing it. He loves to play at the Chick-Fil-A play area when we go there. He is a fast one, and we are constantly having to chase after him. I love this boy of mine.

Waverly. She is absolutely a dream. I love my little bunny, my little apple pie! She's the sweetest, and loves to look around. Everything goes into her mouth, and we definitely have to be careful with Mason's toys. She's started crawling everywhere! She can sit up from laying on her tummy, and has even started pulling herself up on things! I just can't believe how fast this chick is growing!
Me. Where do I start?!!! Work is going well. Crazy, but I love all my clients, and I believe in all that they do. I'm so blessed to have great clients. I also started selling LulaRoe! I know, crazy right? If you are interested in joining my group, click here. I absolutely love the clothes. It really is the perfect mix of comfort + cute. Juggling everything, job, LulaRoe, husband, and kids is really crazy, but I love all the craziness. 
I am super excited for this summer. This winter has been quite grey so I'm super excited for long, sunny days!

Kaolee

Reflecting On This Year

Monday, December 26, 2016

This past year has been good to us. We've been enjoying our home and the warmth and comfort it offers us. We were able to go to Oahu, and spend some time in that beautiful warm place. We took advantage of the summer weather going to lots of parks and made some new discoveries like Cottonwood Beach. We welcomed our second child. I started back at work. We went to Utah for Thanksgiving. We celebrated Christmas Eve with cousins, and spent Christmas Day playing our new toys, and enjoying the kids.

We've been so blessed, not in quantity but in quality. Our children have made our lives richer, and our ability to love deeper. They know nothing about the past or the future, but merely living in the present. This is such a hard adjustment for me because I'm always thinking about the future, shaping it from the past. Let's just say, my kids are teaching me more than I am teaching them.

I'm hoping to write more in this space, to put some of our memories down in writing for 2017. So stay tuned!

Kaolee

How She Became Waverly

Monday, September 26, 2016


Before we had Mason, we discussed his name only a handful of times. And it wasn't like we finally agreed to one name. Our conversations usually started out with one of us asking the other what his name should be followed by the other saying I don't know. We then threw out some names including Mason, and then agreed to think about names some more to be discussed at a later time. We didn't pen his name until the day we left the hospital.

Growing up, my name was always mispronounced, and I have always felt strongly that I couldn't (and consequently didn't) use Hmong names for my children. My name was sometimes a good conversation starter, but frankly, it was just frustrating to have to correct people. And I didn't always correct people either. It depended on whether I was going to see you again or not, and then other times, I just didn't because I could careless. 

With this pregnancy, we approached her name similar to Mason's, although we sort of had a first runner up. I loved the name, and it was not a common name, but one that was already used by a friend for her daughter. They didn't live in town, but with social media, it feels like they lived close by. Nonetheless, we kept that name in mind. I even started telling some friends the name we thought about using. Maybe that ruined it. Anyhow, towards the end of my pregnancy, we started doubting our name choice and stopped discussing her name altogether.

Names are difficult. Names are identities. People name children after people they respected, or thought was nice, or thought was attractive. It wasn't something I looked at lightly. I wanted to see both my babies before I named them, although I'm not sure how helpful that was since babies look like, well, babies. Their faces didn't scream one name or the other. 

Late at night when I couldn't sleep, I would scroll through FaceBook. It was on one of these nights that I found her potential name. It was a list of New York baby names. I was scrolling through when I saw the name Waverly. Three syllables. It didn't roll off my tongue like Mason. Mason and Waverly. Did those names go together? I wasn't sure. I had wanted something southern, since I missed the South quite a bit. But Waverly - that sounded beautiful, but subtle. It sounded calm and poised. It sounded like it could be my daughter's name.

After I had her, Brandon had a name for her, but I couldn't go with it. It was a very popular name, and absolutely beautiful, but that name just didn't seem right for her, for my daughter. We walked away from the hospital with a promise to call back and give them a name. Once we left the hospital, the conversation resumed, but now with a deadline looming on our shoulders. We could never come up with anything new other than Brandon's choice, and my choice. Finally, I decided I just needed to make a decision, and my vote was going to count twice ;)

And that was how she became Waverly.

How did you pick your children's names? This is always a topic that I love hearing about. 

Kaolee

Her Birth Story

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I was so unprepared for her. I thought surely she would come a week early like her brother, but she came two weeks early! Here is the story of the day she came into the world.

9:00AM It started out as most ordinary Sundays. Well, maybe not most ordinary Sundays since I snoozed, knowing that we would miss the first hour of church. I had wanted to go since I hadn't bore my testimony in church, and was thinking about bearing my testimony that Sunday. Anyways, by the time I got up, I knew we wouldn't make it to the first hour. I got up, got myself ready, then woke Brandon up while I got Mason ready for church. 

10:15AM We finally made it to church. Mason was having a difficult time in nursery so I sat on the floor while he played around me. On the drive to church, I had been feeling some cramps, but wasn't sure if it was a big deal. As I was sitting with Mason, I started to wonder whether I was having contractions or not.

11:20AM I left nursery, and went to Relief Society. That's when I started feeling the cramps intensify, and decided to start timing the contractions. I texted Brandon that I thought I was having contractions, and that maybe today is the day. It started getting worse, and I thought that maybe I should leave church, but wasn't sure since if I left church, and it was a false alarm, I would be disappointed. The contractions kept going until church ended.

12:30PM We got home and started packing our things for the hospital. I called my midwife, and she suggested walking, and seeing if my contractions are closer together. They were about 4-6 minutes apart. It wasn't very consistent. We walked around the neighborhood, and the contractions became 3 minutes apart. It was getting intense, and we were having to stop until it passed. Once we got home, I called the midwife again, and decided it was time to go in. We had called our cousin, and when they got to our house, we set out for the hospital.

Before I had Mason, I had biscuits & gravy from Hardees. I know, so random! But I worked at Hardees growing up, and always loved their biscuits & gravy. I wasn't sure of a Hardees around here, but was intent on eating some sort of biscuits & gravy. We thought about stopping at Kitchen Table so I could do my ritualistic feed, but with the contractions, we decided against it. We stopped at McDonalds so we could grab some food.

2:30PM We finally got to the hospital, and Brandon parked out front, and then helped me upstairs. Once we got upstairs, Brandon went back to the car to go park it, and bring our food back up since we left everything in the car. My midwife checked me, and I was already at a 7! I cried, realizing that that day was going to be her birth day. Two weeks early! And a part of me wasn't quite ready for it. I was just so nervous, and I didn't even have a name yet, and didn't want to do any pushing! I mean, it was the Sabbath Day - a day of rest! I just wanted to rest! When Brandon got back with the food, the midwife told him, no food!

At this point, the contractions were hitting hard so the hospital staff had to wheel me on the stretcher. Yes, it was that intense! We got to the labor room, and the hospital staff started filling the tub up with water. Similar to Mason's, I had opted again for a water birth. I moved to the rocking chair and the nurse got me a grape popsicle. Around this time, my midwife had me moved to the tub. Seriously, the contractions suck, but in between, the water felt so so so good. I was right where I was again with Mason - zoned out and in peace.

My water still hadn't broken on its own so Brandon and I decided that we would have the nurse break my water. Well, we had a bit of a hiccup when I was getting out of the tub. I couldn't! Every time I tried to climb out of the tub, my contractions worsened. Finally, I was able to get out. This concerned my midwife, and she thought it was best for me to have our baby not in the tub, but on land. I didn't argue with this.

At this point, the midwife checked, and I was at an 8. She broke my water, and the contractions worsened. There were issues with my cervix, and it was basically not allowing our baby to come out. When her head finally popped out, the umbilical cord was around her neck twice. I remember the midwife telling me to not push anymore, but my body was doing its own thing. The midwife was able to cut the cord so that our baby can breathe.

5:32PM After what seemed like forever, she finally made it through the birth canal, and we got to see our baby girl. It was weird to see all that hair on her head since Mason was bald at birth, and for quite a while. She was a bit bruised on her face due to the fast labor. She tested well, and the cord didn't affect her at all, which was what we were worried about.

She came into the world at 6 pounds and 11 ounces and 18 inches. It's unbelievable that she's been with us for 2 weeks now. She's absolutely beautiful, and I have truly forgotten how good they smell. She's getting more alert, and I just love having her around.

Kaolee

Things I Loved in August

Friday, September 2, 2016


August was good. But to be quite honest, September must be my favorite. Our air conditioning went out in August, and as we moved into September, the lower temperatures and even the overcast made me happy. 38 weeks pregnant, I'm embracing the cooler temperatures. But August was good. My favorite things this past month!

1. Stranger Things. We had taken a TV hiatus. There just wasn't any shows that we felt was worth watching. And we had decided to make reading in the evening a priority. I had borrowed tons of books from the library, and was making record pace through those, and feeling just very full, unlike the feelings you get from zoning in front of the TV. So when Brandon heard about Stranger Things on NPR, he wanted us to watch it together. He watched the first episode with his mom and brother when he was in Utah so when he got home, he wanted me to watch the first episode so we could watch the series together. I'm horrible at synopsis so I won't bore you, but the show was excellent! It's set back in the days when kids could ride their bicycles late at night, which was appealing to me. Those simpler times. But everything else that happens on the show is crazy, but also interesting. I totally recommend this show! Oh, and did I mention that they got renewed for Season 2?!!! You can read about that here.

2. Thirty One Tote Bag. My friend gave me a Thirty One Tote bag along with some things for the baby. I'm not super familiar with this brand, but was blown away by this bag! I've been using it as a diaper bag, and love how many pockets there are. The straps are also wide and sturdy enough that I don't feel it pinching my shoulders. You can shop directly with her here.

3. Portable DVD Player. We do quite a bit of road tripping with Mason, and previously, it has been a nightmare. I don't blame him though because road tripping is kind of boring, especially when you are doing the same route over and over again, and there's nobody to talk to. I usually like it though because it's our time to talk. Honestly we see each other everyday, but don't always talk. Anyone else the same way? Anyways, I digress. This DVD Player has been a lifesaver! We got him three DVDs (Paw Patrol, Blaze, and Balto) and switch between them, and so far, it's been easier traveling long distances.

4. Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I've been using this oil religiously in the evening before my moisturizer, and my skin has been feeling so soft! I use about 4 drops, and I still have so much last so this is a great value.

5. Soap & Glory Hand Food. Between the bathroom trips, changing diapers, and getting good for Mason and I, I wash my hands so much throughout the day. They are so dry! Not to mention, during pregnancy, my skin gets really dry anyways. This hand lotion is thick and has been such a life saver.

Happy September!

Kaolee


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