Saturday, July 31, 2010

*doula blog

Birth Faith gives some GREAT resources on pregnancy/labor/birthing. This one is (I think) my favorite.....

Labor tips for dads

I also like to call this one: “Parturient Relations: PR for dads.” Remember these “Five PR’s”–the most helpful things you can provide for your partner while she labors…

1. Presence

  • Sometimes all she needs is your loving physical presence.
    • Be “Rock Steady”—the familiar, strong, soothing rock she can hold on to.
  • Be “present” in every way—don’t let your fatigue or fear take your attention away from her emotional and physical needs.
  • Do NOT fall asleep (unless she’s asleep).
  • Do NOT leave her alone unless she demands it.
    • Some women prefer to be alone while they labor. (But don’t go too far!)

2. Protection

  • Be a buffer between your wife and the rest of the world.
  • You can’t protect her from the intensity of childbirth or from unexpected complications, but you can protect her personal space and surround her with peace and calm.
    • Close doors.
    • Turn off/down the lights.
    • Take over answering questions so she can keep her energy focused on her hard work. If someone tries to talk to her mid-contraction, gently ask for them to wait or stand between them and your wife until her contraction is over signaling with your hands for them to wait a moment.
    • No matter what happens or how much stress may arise, ensure that she always feels safe and secure. Remember Jesus Christ’s calm in the storm that frightened his disciples: “Peace, be still.”

3. Pressure

  • One of the most helpful hands-on ways to help with the most difficult contractions is counter-pressure.
    • Use your hands to provide firm, strong, steady pressure.
      • Lower back/pelvis
      • Double hip squeeze
      • Knees while sitting with something against her back
      • Hip while side-lying
    • Do not let up until the contraction ends! (You will probably get tired.)

4. Prompts

  • Your wife will likely not be in a position to remember all of the ways to increase her comfort, so your job is to prompt her.
  • Remember PURRR
    • P Position: Is she changing position every half hour?
    • U Urination: Is she using the bathroom every hour? (And drinking lots of fluids?)
    • R Relaxation: Is she as relaxed as possible?
    • R Respiration: Is she breathing evenly and as calmly as possible?
    • R Rest: Is she resting between contractions?

5. Praise

  • All of your words must instill her with hope, confidence, peace, comfort, pride, and power.
  • Think of it as your job to help her get to the “finish line” without giving up.
    • “You are so amazing right now!”
    • “I am so proud of you!”
    • “You are doing so well!”
    • Kissing counts! (Some women find kissing very helpful.)
    • When she says, “I can’t do it!” reply with, “You are doing it.”
    • When she’s reached the point when she thinks she can’t do it anymore, that usually means she’s almost finished, so shower her with praise, encouragement, and lots of statements like: “You are so close!” “You’re almost there!” “The baby is almost here!”


My new friend and fellow birth junkie- Lani has a contest and giveaway on her site: it's her first ever!

Great prizes. :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

brian-less date night and eye exam

Tonight I bought the boys a coldstone kid cone and we went to the playground where they ate it and then played on the playground. Here they are on the swings. Parker wasn't digging the swings and Carter was loving it!!I forgot to watch Obama on the View (which I really wanted to see just to say that I saw it).... so I hooked up the laptop to the tv and streamed the episode through the tv. This seriously happened:
Carter was saying the blessing for dinner and Parker started saying "my turn". Carter unfolded his arms- looked at Parker- put his finger to his lips and said "shh" -- I seriously had no idea he could do that!!

Today we went to play with the MacCallums for a bit. It was bittersweet. Below is the MacCallum/Steffen crew:
Little Lovebirds ;)
I had an eye exam on Thursday anddddd got CONTACTS for the FIRST time in my life.....
NOW I can wear sunglasses!!!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jellystone Park

We went to spend the day with my parents at Jellystone Monday and yesterday. We had a lot of fun playing water wars, mini golf, walking in the river, and having a campfire.
^ Parker's "i can be happy" face
^ Carter trying on the bike helmet.
Not so sure about Booboo Bear on the wagon ride.
^ Shyly giving a high five
^ Make a wish. (i made the sign in the background for them)
^ Carter in the River-- action shot
^ Carter doing his trick in the river
^ cute little waterfall

We are going camping there Aug 25-27 with some friends-- Britta, Greg, Jared, Hunter, and Melody. We both got a 2 room cabin... Should be a ton of fun!!!!


We went to Oswego's Harborfest on Saturday. We were just going to walk around and show Amanda what Harborfest was. We were then going to go get pizza at pizzahut and watch the fireworks. Our plan failed miserably.

Here is Daddy pulling the wagon. It was sprinkling at this point. Tolerable.
This is Parker after getting caught in the downpour! We were ALL soaked. We hid under the carport thing at JoAnn fabrics... daddy went to get the car from home. I then drove the car home with the kids and Amanda and Brian walked the wagon home. He was a trooper.

We decided on ordering in pizza and attempting to watch the fireworks from the bedroom-- although 1 tree was in the way. darn.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

exciting announcement

NO we are NOT having another baby (yet).

Here are our friends the MacCallum Family. Yes, that is Maggie- Parker's future wife.
The MacCallums are leaving Tuesday to move to Utah. (*sniffle) Ian thinks he's cool and he's attending BYU Law ((We're bitter bc we're jealous- obviously))

We will miss them bunches. Ian is leaving Tuesday night and driving alone. Well, I should say WAS driving alone. He will now have a trusty companion: BRIAN!

Brian will fly back the day before his training for school starts (Aug 1 so he will be there a couple days with Ian).... so he will get to see some of Provo and Salt Lake City and will help Ian unload.

now you are probably thinking: "Boy Holly, you are so nice. That doesn't sound like fun for you...."

FEAR NOT my faithful blog readers:

I will be visiting UTAH August 10-21! :)

I am SO EXCITED bc I've never even been that far west. I'm excited to meet up with some of my mormon mommy friends! I'm excited to see the sites.... && I'm most excited to spend time with my dear friend Beth. Trust me- the goodbye's on the 21st will be teary and heartfelt.

Get ready Utah.
The MacCallums & Steffens are leaving soon!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

recent happenings.

Parker is slightly obsessed with the temple. I took a photo of it and we blew it up- last week- to 20X30. It looks great ((although I have decided on a cream colored matte instead so I'll have to update it when I get that one)).

On Monday I had a primary presidency meeting. I came home to this:
Brian was clueless. Apparently Parker had pushed the chair over to the counter, climbed up and got the chocolate chips, got 2 bowls (1 for him and 1 for Carter), poured equal amounts in the bowls, threw the bag away, and then sat quietly to eat them.... Cute and oh so naughty.

Monday night for FHE (Family Home evening) We had a lesson on saying sorry, and then we played Cootie! (Parker's first time... and Carter would scream if he didn't have the die)

On Tuesday (or Weds... I can't remember). I got Parker up from his nap. He showed me a thing he drew... he then proceeded to tell me "O L O circle C" .... he's starting to write letters.
Potty training: is not going so well. We were doing great before our painting week.... so we're trying to get him back on track.

Thursday night was MEET THE DOULAS OF CNY at the library. It was awesome to connect with so many wonderful people. I am TRULY BLESSED to be a part of this agency. Our work is hard, our cause is mighty, and WE are strong. They are like family to me.

((back L-R:
Erin, Debra, Malinda, Cristina, Bobbi, Chris, Sarah M
front L-R:
Emilie, Sarah C, ME!, Michele, Heather, Julie))

Friday for date night we made homemade garbage plates. Well, kinda. The sauce was from Rudy's and the mac salad was from the grocery store, the potatoes were of the frozen variety. We did cook the cheeseburg-s and chopped the onion and cooked the potatoes. That counts as homemade in my book. Brian insisted we eat them on styrofoam and with disposable utensils to get as close to the real deal as possible. I have to admit-- these were to die for.

**Great Grandma & Great Grandpa Hand- How is Mommy doing at keeping you updated? :)
Love, Parker and Carter

Thursday, July 22, 2010

dear santa

someday, i would really like an embroidery machine. :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

happy birthday china

Carter's latest obsession (this has nothing to do with the post....):
Parker calls Amanda-- China. Today was China's 21st bday. We celebrated a couple weeks ago and went to Toy Story 3 in 3D. We'll discuss this day backwards- bc that's the way blogger decided to upload the photos....

This was bedtime:

Story behind the photos:
parker got all his stuffed animals put them in his bed
put his hat on
and gave carter all the soft books
and they were playing quietly
instead of sleeping

i said "if you want to play with buzz and woody tomorrow you need to lay down and go night night"
and parker nodded and laid down
so did carter

(woody and buzz were amanda's cake toppers-- see below) they were running around with them like andy before bed.

Here is China and her cake:
The cake:


the blog got a face-lift. what do you think?

camping season

I made my parents this campsite sign for Christmas last year. A friend at church let me borrow the wood burning kit. I LOVE the way it turned out. There's even one that says Sam with little doggie foot prints. :)

What is even MORE exciting about this photo is my mom finally entered the 21st century and got a camera phone... not only did she get a camera phone- but she took the picture- sent it to me and didn't even need to call and ask me how to do it!! It's truly a miracle.

Monday, July 19, 2010

uncle jon

Poor Parker and Carter... they have 3 Uncle Jo(h)ns!!

My brother- Jonathon
Brian's brother- Jonathan
My sister's husband- John

Brian's brother-- Jon came over for a visit yesterday. We had a great time. :) He took Parker outside to play-- and helped Brian make dinner while I was picking up Amanda from the train station. We're excited for him to come over again so we can get him a yummy cheeseburger sub. We know he'd love it.

Right now, I've gotta go get ready for a primary meeting..... busy busy busy.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

for: greeeeeeeeat papa (and great grandma)

Parker was so excited to get a postcard from great-grandma and great-papa Hand! We made this little video just-for-you!!


Brian and I went to the Hill Cumorah Pageant on Weds night. Brian had to go with the young men of the church so the rest of us tagged along. Actually, that's a lie. Parker and Carter went to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa (papa) Steffen. It was so nice of them to watch them and Brian and I actually got to enjoy pageant. It's a huge production! My favorite part is the trumpeting angels in the beginning. I don't know why.

^ Jesus

Thursday Brian took Parker to pageant with our friend Greg and his two sons Jared and Hunter. Britta, baby Melody, and I had a fun girls night in. We went to get dinner/snacks at Wegmans and then went back to her house and watched Big Brother! :)

Friday, July 9, 2010


Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end...

Being an RA at MCC was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It helped shape me into the woman, wife, and mother that I am.

It was there that I have meet some of my forever friends. MCC became part of my family.

Yesterday- MCC said goodbye to Stacey Pierce. She has been with MCC since the (almost) very beginning. She was one of the RDs my two years being an RA and then moved to become the assistant director of housing. She recently landed the Director position at Hobart and William Smith's Colleges. I am SO beyond excited for her. She will be amazing.

I was very excited to see some of my co-workers... Josh, Kelly, & Carlton. It's been too long.

^ here are my two little boys popping their heads out the window to say "bye mommy"
^ Shelitha, Susan, and Stacey

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

i love to see the temple

Yesterday- on the way home, we stopped by the temple. Parker loves to see pictures of the temple and sing "i love to see the temple". Since we were practically driving through Palmyra- we thought to stop. Parker was SO excited. The boys touched the temple. They are such sweet little guys.
^walking to the temple

^touching the temple"Holiness to the Lord
The House of the Lord"

Yesterday-- we also stopped by lollypop farm and saw all the animals. Parker loves animals and we plan on taking him to the zoo as soon as he is fully potty trained! :)