Monday, September 28, 2009

Sealed......At Last!

Saturday, September 26th, 2009 was our 11th anniversary and the day we were finally sealed for time and all eternity. It is by far the sweetest memory of my life and I want to write about it in detail so that I never forget, even the little things about that day. Our sealing was scheduled for 11 am at the Oakland temple, which is 1.5-2 hours away, and we had to be there at 10 a.m. That made it so we had to leave our house no later than 8 am, and that made it so we had to be up by 6:30. We got up on schedule and left on schedule, which was a good start for me since I just can't seem to get myself out of bed these days. We were 3/4 of the way there and we hear yelling and see fists, hair, and feet flying in the rear view mirror. Cassie and Seth broke into a full on yelling match and fist fight minutes before we were supposed to arrive the most peaceful place you can imagine, the temple. I should have expected that at least, since they fight and make-up at least 10 times a day. I was hoping that at least for one day we could show nothing but love. Yeah right! We got there with plenty of time and were greeted at the front desk and ushered into the records office where we verified all of our names, birthdates, etc. Not too long later came a sister temple worker who took all three kids to a nursery room, and would be responsible for changing them into their white clothes. I gave them all a quick kiss goodbye and urged Cassie and Seth to be reverent one last time. The next time I saw them was when they were escorted into the sealing room. The next step was for Javier to be escorted to the men's room to change, and then someone came and did the same for me. The woman who was my escort was named Maria Lourdes Jones. She was a gray haired, short, chubby, Ecuadorian woman with a thick Spanish accent. She treated me as if I was a bride. She took me into the bridal room, along with my mom, and helped me change into my dress. Once we changed into our white clothes we met again and Javier was sitting on the couch waiting for me. As we approached the woman who was escorting me said to him, "Arise for your bride" in her thick spanish accent while motioning him to stand up with her hand. He looked at me with a smirk on his face. I couldn't hold back a giggle because I felt silly being called a bride and because of the look on his face when she said that. She then escorted us upstairs where we met with Brother Davis, our sealer. Also Annette's dad.
He took his time and gave us instructions about what was going to happen and what and when we would need to do something. Finally we were escorted into the sealing room and greeted with the bright smiling faces of my closest friends and family. We were both so nervous because neither one of us done or witnessed a sealing before. He spoke a few sweet words of wisdom and then had us kneel across from each other at the altar. Once we were sealed together as husband and wife they called the nursery and brought the kids up to us to be sealed. I was so happy I couldn't stop smiling, by now my cheeks were sore from smiling so big for so long. I just couldn't force my mouth to not smile, it was impossible! When Cassie, Seth, and Carson came in they were reverently folding their arms and had sweet looks of curiosity on their angelic little faces. As the temple worker handed Carson to my mom he gave her the cutest, gummy smile. It melted everyone's heart. The next part of the ceremony lasted a few short minutes and before I knew it, the day I thought would never come was almost over. The Quesada family was sealed and I was a happy mommy and and a happy wife. Next item of business was to get photographic evidence, i.e., a family portrait of all of us in our white clothes. That almost didn't happen, but luckily they decided to allow us outside in our white clothes long enough to get some cute pictures. Once the pictures were over with we all went back to grandma's and had some lunch and cake, after all it was our wedding anniversary too :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Carson's Blessing

My Favorite Little Guy

We had Carson blessed last Sunday, August 30th. It was an extra special blessing because he is our third child, but the first one that Javier blessed. Cassie and Seth were both blessed by my dad. I had my uncles James and Loren, and my brother Jesse stand in with Javier, and of course Grandpa, my dad, and the branch president, Presidente Alvarado. Carson was such a little angel, he didn't make a peep during the whole blessing and then was happy to let anyone hold him and take a bunch of pictures of him. He is such a good baby! I was a little worried because we attend the Spanish branch, so of course the whole meeting was in Spanish. None of my family speaks Spanish so naturally I was worried that they would be bored. We solved it by getting the headphones out and Sister Booth was able to translate all the talks to English, so everything worked out great. With my whole family there, we easily tripled the size of our little branch. I was so proud of Javier, he gave Carson such a sweet blessing. I tried hard to listen, but it was difficult with Seth whispering in my ear the whole time. The best I can remember is that he blessed him to have a happy childhood, to grow strong and healthy, to marry a sweet and beautiful girl someday in the temple, to love his parents and siblings, to find the path to happiness in his life, to be a good student so that someday he will have a good career and be able to support a family. Of course immediately after the blessing he held Carson up and he just looked as cute as can be. After the sacrament we all went back to my mom's for lunch and pictures. Here are a few from that special afternoon.

My Little Family
Everyone that was able to come to the Blessing

Dad, Jesse, Javier, Grandpa, Loren, and James(not pictured) stood in the circle

Monday, July 13, 2009

Carson's Birth Story

He is finally here! It seemed like forever, everyday that I was overdue was an eternity. My due date was June 30th, and at my last appointment I was dilated to one and the doctor said that if I didn't go into labor on my own he would induce me Sunday night at 10 p.m.-another six days! I thought surely I will go into labor before then. I was actually hoping for a 4th of July baby, but that came and went too. In fact here is a picture of me 5 days overdue at a 4th of July block party.
Sunday finally came so we got everything ready, ate dinner at my parents and visited a while and then headed to the hospital. Cassie and Seth stayed the night with my parents and poor Cassie was so upset because we were going "to the hospital". I had to explain to her that that's where you have babies and it's not only for people that are hurt. By 11p.m. the nurses had me in bed and the drugs in me to start the labor. About an hour went by and the contractions were starting slowly but consistently-I was even texting back and forth with my friend and Javier was watching a movie on the laptop. Soon enough the contractions grew more and more intense and were getting very painful. I just kept telling myself "you only have to get to 4, then they can give you the epidural". Pretty soon I was just getting hammered by the contractions, less than a minute apart. I was having front and back labor. Before one subsided the other would start-the contractions weren't letting me come up for air. Now it was about 3 a.m. and the nurse came in to check me again. I thought surely I am a 4 and she will call for the epidural. Well I wasn't!
I was only between a 2 and a 3, not even a 3! The thought of another 4 hours was just unbearable. I suffered through another hour, by now the contractions were very intense, I was gripping the side of the bed as if the harder I squeezed I would somehow get relief. Finally at 4 a.m. I sent Javier out to the nurse's station to ask her to check me. Again I thought surely I have to be dilated to 4 with these strong of contractions. Sure enough she checked and said "well now you are definately a 3". I about lost it, I had to choke back the tears. So I questioned her "why do I have to be dilated to 4, you can see on the monitor these contractions are less than a minute apart. Why can't I have the epidural now?" She reluctantly agreed to call my doctor and ask and he thankfully agreed to let me have it. Good thing because by the time the anesthetist got there and administered the epidural it was another hour! Finally at 5 a.m. they layed me back on the bed with epidural in place and everything seemed so sweet after that. Once they administered the epidural they started the pitocin and within an hour and a half I was dilated to 8. I guess I just have to have the drugs to get things going, because on my own nothing was happening. Once I was dilated to 8 the nurse called Dr. Armstrong and by the time he got there I had started pushing. The nurse told me everytime I felt the contraction to pull my legs back and give three big pushes. So Javier held one leg and I held the other and pushed until I thought my head was going to explode. Finally the doctor got there and started getting his scrubs and gloves on. By now each time I pushed Javier could see the head, so he told me to wait because the doctor wasn't ready. Well, you can't just wait at this point. Your body does the pushing for you. Then another nurse saw the head and said "um, she is crowning". Dr. Armstrong had to get in place because this baby was coming whether he was there or not. Then the most beautiful feeling happened, he was out and I could instantly breathe again! He started to cry that weak newborn cry that just melts your heart. They put him up on my chest and he was calmed, I couldn't believe he was finally here. The feeling is just overwhelming. He was all swollen and blue, and smashed, but still the most beautiful thing you ever set eyes on. Then they took him and put him in those little hospital cribs with the light over them and cleaned him up. Javier was right there at his side just looking at his sweet baby boy with tears running down his cheeks. Carson was just calm as could be and of course asleep almost the whole time we were there in the hospital, except for when they had to wake him up and take his temperature, or when he was hungry. I am so thankful that he is strong and healthy and happy! He weighed 8 lbs 6oz and was 20 inches long. It's funny how you can instantly love somebody so much! Within a few hours my mom brought Cassie and Seth to the hospital to meet their new brother, and you can see by the looks on thier faces how excited they were. It was a very LONG wait for them, so to finally meet him was so exciting! Cassie and Seth can hardly contain their excitement while Javier and I can hardly keep our eyes open, we were sooooo tired after a long night!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring Break at Disneyland

Thanks to my awesome dad (he paid for the tickets and hotel) we got to go spend 3 days in Disneyland over spring break. It was so much fun! A little crazy for me, but fun. I went to Rexburg, Idaho the weekend before to see my sister, Brianna, graduate from college. I left Thursday to be there Friday for the graduation and got home Saturday night at 11 p.m. Sunday we went to church, came home and packed and drove to Anaheim and got there at midnight so we could wake up fresh and go to Disneyland. We didn't tell the kids we were going to Disneyland because we wanted to spare ourselves the "are we there yet" all day long. I told them that we were going to a hotel to go swimming, and that seemed to make them happy enough.

Here she thinks we drove 5 hours just to go swimming.
Notice the section of missing bangs from when her friend gave her a haircut.

Monday morning they woke up and the first thing Seth said was "can we go swimming?" "Of course, go get ready!" I said. Cassie makes friends where ever she goes. She saw some kids in the jacuzzi so she marched right on over and plopped herself in and said "Hi, I am Cassie, and that's my brother, Seth, and my dad is 37 and my mom has a baby in her tummy and it's a boy and his name is Carson." The kids just look at her and say "hi". Javier and I just laugh together because we don't know where she gets it; neither of us were ever like that. After they swam for a while and we were back in the hotel room, we sat them on the bed and said "Ok guys, we have something to tell you. The real reason we are here is to go to DISNEYLAND!!"
Cassie and Javier waiting in line for the Grizzly River Run in California Adventure

Krista, Cassie, and Seth on the Teacups.
We were happy to let Krista take them on that ride! No thanks!

They just looked at us like "why are you yelling?" Our little surprise was anti-climatic, they didn't really give us a response. I think they didn't know what to do. It made me realize that my kids need to know things ahead of time so they can build up the excitement. We spent Monday, Tuesday, and some of Wednesday at Disneyland and they rode all their favorite rides at least a couple times. The bad thing about going during spring break is that it's really crowded, but they have all the parades and fireworks and it stays open until midnight. You just had to decide you are there to have fun and not let it bother you. Cassie's favorite ride ended up being Thunder Mountain Railroad, which she named "the fast train". And Seth's favorite was Pirates and Splash Mountain, although after everytime we rode them he would say he didn't like it. I know that wasn't true because a little later that's all he would talk about until he rode it again. I have to give myself a pat on the back for keeping up with them since I am 30 weeks pregnant. My feet sure were killing me and I felt like I waddled all over the park, but it was worth it to see their cute faces having so much fun.

Me and Seth in Bug's World

Cassie kept saying she wanted to stay "forever", so I said "Well, we can't. We all have to go back to school and work," so she said "ok, then 10 days!" The last morning we had to pack up and be out of the hotel before noon, and she saw that we were packing so she started to cry and begged to stay "just one more day!" We had tickets to go into the park that day, which we did for a few hours, but we were gonna drive home that evening. I would've given in and paid for us stay one more night, but the hotel was totally booked so that decided it for us. Poor Cassie cried as we drove out of the parking lot and onto the freeway, at least we know who had the most fun!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cassie's Artwork

Cassie loves to draw and color all the time. She makes me give her paper and then she staples them together and makes "books". Last night we were lounging around after dinner and she came up to Javier and asked him to help her draw me on one of her pages. So he drew me with a huge belly, thanks babe, and sent her on her way. She went in her room and after a while came out to show us her new artwork that she colored. This is what she brought us.
I have no idea what that is coming out of my back, but as you can see she added the baby inside. How cute! I burst into laughter the second I looked at it. I think this one is worth saving.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Becoming an Elder

Yesterday Javier was ordained an Elder in the Melchizidek priesthood, which puts our family one step closer to the temple. Javier wanted my grandpa to be the one to ordain him, since he thought it would make him proud. Grandpa has always been so encouraging over the years. It also happened to be grandpa's birthday, so it was an extra special birthday for gramps. My dad and all my uncles came and stood in, which made me very grateful to be part of such a large and supportive family. Sometimes I take it for granted, but yesterday I really felt joy in my heart because of it. I am so proud of him for putting forth a lot of effort in his calling as the ward mission leader. He is taking it serious and has done more church service in the last few months as he has in the last 10 years combined. I have really felt the difference in our home and am so thankful for it. This year has been particularly stressful for many reasons, but even in the midst of the stress and uncertainty I am comforted because I know we are being blessed in so many other ways.
Javier's Baptism, August 9, 1998

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hearing Aids

Ok, I know I am really lame and haven't posted in almost two months. I definately have failed my readers ( I just know there are thousands of you), so I am sorry. I got overwhelmed at Christmas time because things were happening so fast and close together there was no time to blog about them, so I just skipped over it completely. I promised myself I will do better next time. One thing that did happen at Christmas was that all my siblings were home and we all together as a family for a couple days. That is when I realized how bad my hearing had gotten. When we were all sitting around the family room together and talking in a big group, I felt myself withdrawing because I was missing out on what was being said, laughed at, etc. I even made a few wrong comments based on what I thought I heard and then just got laughed at and teased about it. I am definately not above being teased or teasing, but when you get teased about something you can't help and you made yourself feel like an idiot, it brings on a completely different feeling. No one meant to deliberately be mean, but it made me decide to take action. As soon as realistically possible I made an appointment with an audiologist for a hearing test and to discuss what possibilities for hearing aids I could use. Hearing loss at such a young age unfortunately is something I inherited from my grandma and mom. I grew up being around several family members with hearing loss and I was really dreading having to use hearing aids some day. My mom and grandma's hearing aids are pretty noticeable and, I am still young and self-concious about it so i was so happy that there were other options for people with my type of hearing loss. I ended up getting an open ear hearing aid, and it is barely noticeable at all.
The plastic piece that goes over your ear is where the microphone is, and it is small enough that your ear completely covers it. The plastic tube comes up over your ear and then goes inside, so the only visible part is a little piece of the plastic tube. You can only notice the tube if you are sitting right next to me. From accross the room the tube blends in with my skin and you can't even see it. Now that I have them, I just have to get used to hearing everything again. Except sometimes I don't want to hear everything, especially at home with two kids!