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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Norah turns "This many"

Friday was a day of celebration at our house! Norah has gone from this...

to this.

Some interesting things about Norah at age 3. 
She absolutely loves her blanket. It must be by her side at all times. We are getting good at giving it a hug and kiss goodbye for small periods of time, like for going to nursery at church.

Norah loves giving Zoe attention. If she was allowed I think she would sleep next to her all the time. She is constantly at Zoe's bouncer, helping her bounce or leaning over her to give her little kisses on the cheek.

She plays incredibly well alone. Often I will have to search the house to find her playing by herself in the toy room. She sings, plays with baby dolls and princesses. Eliza and Norah love to play Princesses and Dora Doll house. They are becoming great buddies... until someone gets hurt.

Norah also loves shoes, purses and makeup. Grandma Bartmess sent her a purse that seemed to overshadow all other birthday gifts. Notice that Norah is actually carrying 2 purses. The contents of which usually include "lips" meaning lips gloss or something of the sort.

Another thing about Norah is that she only likes clips, no pony tails. Which makes for some interesting photos. She likes her long curly locks enveloping her face I guess.

For her birthday cake she wanted something with Princesses. So, we got creative. She even blew out her own candles!

Never hurts to sneak a bit of cake...

Some other birthday gifts included an apron and chefs hat as well as beads from Cousin Melissa to make necklaces. Notice that Norah is wearing 3 of them.

We love you Norah! We wouldn't be US with out U!


Our niece, Melissa, came for her yearly visit this week. Perfect timing! A new baby, freaky weather, and a birthday.

The first adventure was a trip to the popular "Pinkberry." Frozen yogurt with fruit toppings. YUMMY!

Melissa has always been an attentive cousin to her little girl cousins. This was a great opportunity to bond with Zoe. Melissa has pictures of herself with each Eliza, Norah and Zoe as newborns. A great memory!

I heard that Melissa is going to call her Zo instead of Zoe. We might all join her in that some day.

Melissa and the Birthday Girl

Saturday Melissa and Jeff attempted surfing with some of Jeff's buddies. They got a bit of sun, even if it was cold at the coast. Melissa wasn't able to do much without the duck shoes because of the rocky coastline. But they seemed like they had a good time. They only had to save Jeff once. I guess he preferred swimming with the pelicans instead of the guys.

Melissa can drive now. So she did some errands for us. I particularly noticed how she didn't mind our kids jumping all over her. She is so easy going with kids, no wonder she has always been a highly sought after babysitter. She even played Superman and Princesses. The pretend conversations they came up with made me laugh.
We love you Melissa! Thanks for coming to see us... come back SOON!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What a HAIL of a day!

Sunday it was 108 degrees here in Moreno Valley.  Today it is 71 degrees with a ton of rain and hail.  Here are some pics of the storm that came through. 

A River of Hail in the middle of our street

I'm dreaming of a white....MAY?
At least I don't have to water my lawn today.

Always a silver lining.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Just Keep Walking

As many of you might know, after almost 10 years, Jeff was recently laid-off from his job at FranklinCovey.  This has given us an opportunity to reflect and make changes in his career as well as our home life.  

One of those changes includes a family walk every morning.  This morning we walked to a park that was only about 1/4 mile from our home.  No strollers this time.  Eliza and Norah were doing great.  We had almost reached the park, but weren't able to see it yet, when Norah started complaining and saying "I can't walk."  As much as I encouraged her and told her the we were almost to the park, she kept crying and saying "I can't walk."  Even in her crying she was walking and all of the sudden she said, "Mom, I see the park."  As we crossed the street she added, "Mom, see I'm not crying anymore!"  She ran to the park and started playing happily for the next 30 min.

I found her experience so relevant to our life.  As we journey it is often when we are almost to our "park" that we start complaining that we can't bare this anymore.  Only a few more steps though and we see our destination.  Quickly we pull ourselves together, wipe away the tears and run to play.  Just a few more steps and a little more faith that the park actually exists and is something that will be exciting to us.  

For me, this is encouraging in the midst of our current family situation.  Just keep walking.

Something to think about.

Norah - After walking... ready to run and play on the soccer fields.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Zoe's First REAL Bath!

Today Zoe's umbilical cord finally fell off!  3 weeks and 4 days.  I would share the picture I took of it but Jeff said that would be disgusting.  It had slid to the back of her onesie and when I picked her up to see why she was fussing, I felt a button like thing on her back. She was our princess on a pea-like umbilical cord.

Once Dad found out, the next thing I heard was the bath water running. She didn't smell that bad!  

She actually found the water very calming and the only thing that bothered her was sliding down the baby seat.  

I liked the bathrobe.  

It reminded me of Rocky Balboa.  She is our little Champ.

It was a family affair as Eliza and Norah wanted to be part of the experience as well.  

Once all clean, of course she did a bit of throw up, but not enough to warrant an outfit change.  

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


ZOE OLIVIA BARTMESS was born Wednesday, April 23, 2008 @ 7:31pm.

She was a heafty 8.15lb and 19.5 in. long.  By her one week check up she was 9.10lb and 22 inches long.  Obviously the hospital originally measured her wrong, so she is around the same length her other 2 sisters were.  She decided to make her entrance on her own without the aid of drugs.  (I was induced with all my previous deliveries.)  I will say, I prefer natural contractions to Pitocin any day!!!  We were admitted to the hospital around 4pm and she arrived at 7:31pm.

We named her Zoe because it means "life" and she was a lively baby inside her mom.  It also is a special name for the simple fact that we have a living and healthy baby after the passing of Spencer Mark.  Olivia, which means "peace," came about as we were able to observe the personality of this little girl.  She was so calm and peaceful in the hospital.  Peace seems to be a big part of who this child is and is a nice contrast to the "liveliness" she demonstrated in the womb.  

Eliza and Norah are sooooo excited to have another sister.  They have pulled out all the stops when it comes to mothering their new sister.  I am pleased and surprised at the amount of concern they express for Zoe.  There has been no Green-eyed monster here.  

So far, Zoe is an avid eater and sleeper and struggles figuring out how to pass the food she eats.  We love her and are so pleased to have her finally here in our home.  Mom is recovering incredibly well, though she is still learning how to slip a nap in with 3 kids.  Grandma's Bartmess and Weiss were able to come and help.  THANK YOU so much for taking your time to help ease the transition for the older girls.
Hark! I hear a cry.  She is calling, so I must go.  

The 2 year review

Since moving to Southern California in 2004, we have only done 1 Christmas letter (2005). 
So much has happened and changed in our family, that it feels like a perfect time to update 
you all on the simple happenings of the Bartmess Family.

2006 was a year of experiencing all the great things Southern Cal has to offer.  
From the San Diego Zoo to the Wild Animal Park.  Disneyland, California Adventure & Legoland. Our first trip to Spring Training in Tempe, AZ for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. 
In May, an opportunity came available within Franklin Covey for Jeff to transfer districts and for us to move to Utah.  We felt like this would be a great opportunity to leave SoCal and the "expensive" market here for more "family friendly" Utah.  We put our house on the market in June fully anticipating it to sell within weeks.  When our house didn't sell before the holidays, we decided that Jeff's travel requirements for his work during Christmas time would be too much for us to be in Cali and he in Utah.  So we went to stay with his parents in St. George for 8 weeks.  They were so kind to share with us their new home with some crazy-wild grandkids.  We also found out that we were expecting baby #3.  We were very excited!  When our house didn't sell over the holidays, we moved back home. 
In 2007, Jeff continued traveling and we lived in Limboland.  Half our home was packed, which honestly made cleaning a simple task.  Amazing what we can live without.  
During this topsy-turvy time, I went in for a routine 20 week pregnancy check up and my doctor couldn't find the heart beat of our baby.  Jeff was in Vegas on business and rushed home to be at my side as we decided to go ahead and deliver our baby.  Spencer Mark Bartmess was born March 17, 2006.  The cause of his death was a cord accident, where the cord had wound too tightly at his belly entrance not allowing blood and nutrient flow.  In every other way he was a perfect baby.  It was a bitter-sweet experience to hold our tiny son.  We continue to be blessed with the peace the gospel brings in relation to the eternal nature of our family.  
During the next months, Jeff continued traveling and I worked on my health as I had symptoms of Hashimotos Thyroiditis. I was called to be Relief Society President and Jeff was called to serve in the EQ Presidency. Finally, after our home had been for sale for almost 18months, a opening came available within Franklin for Jeff to take back over the SoCal district.  We welcomed the opportunity to have some regularity in our lives again.  Especially since we found that we were expecting another baby.  
In January 2008, our ward boundaries changed, releasing us both from our callings and bringing even more calm to our lives.  Eliza and Norah have been wonderful at adjusting to whatever their parents bring to their lives.  Eliza was determined that this next baby be a boy, but has been happily adjusting to her new little sister.  Zoe Olivia Bartmess was born April 23, 2008.  She is a blessing of life and peace to our home.  Her presence is so very welcome and we feel she brings even more blessings for our family with her arrival.  
So, now you all can count yourself "caught up" with the Bartmess'.  Keep in touch!