We're Alive!!!

Geesh I have not blogged in a LONG time. Most likely because the last two months have been insanely busy. Everything from bed bugs to Disney World and everything in between. Definitely a lot has happened. I would love to go into detail about everything but that would probably take an incredibly long post which I know a lot of my family is not interested in reading through to the end. To start with though, back in October I was supposed to go to my sister Emily's house in Vegas. However, my neice on Topher's side got the swine flu and passed it along to Grace, who then unknowingly exposed all my brother's kids as well as my sister Dacia's little girl. All three of us and our kids were planning on traveling to Emily's house, but because we were all potentially sick and exposed to Swine Flu, the trip was cancelled. :(
We were so disappointed and sad, but, again, Heavenly Father demonstrated his all knowing and we were actually being given an answer to prayer. Those of you who have seen Grace at any point since EASTER, know that she has consistently had a rash. Not just any old rash either. It was terrible. Red, itchy bumps took over her entire face, neck arms, legs and sometimes her tummy. It was awful. She didn't even look like a beautiful little baby. She looked diseased, and sick and she would itch all the time and it was just awful. We had been to dermatologists, pediatricians, cardiologists and family doctors about the rash numerous times. Everyone who saw her had a different idea of what the rash might be, from chicken pox to rosacea. A dermatologist we like had prescribed a cream for her that would sometimes work, sometimes not. We had been praying for months that this rash would subside, or that we would be able to discover what was causing it...but we never thought the answer would come in the form of Swine Flu!
When Grace came down with the Swine Flu, I decided it was time for a deep cleaning of her room. I sanitize it frequently, wash the sheets frequently and lysol her toys a lot also. But I hadn't stripped her bed completely and washed the whole frame or the surrounding floor and walls in quite a while, so I decided I would do that to try and get her room really sanitary again.
I took off the blankets and pillows, then I went for the bumpers around her crib. I undid each tie around the posts of the crib, and found this...

not just one of this either...but in extreme numbers. Each tie of a post was undone only to unleash over 15 bugs that would scatter all over her bed. I remember being frozen in shock for a split second, and then I screamed, then I gagged, and then I cried. Bed bugs in my baby's bed! TONS of bed bugs in my baby's bed! Disgusting, creepy big bugs! It still gives me the heebeejeebies.
It was a horrible couple of days, however, we were so grateful that we were finally able to discover what was causing Grace's rash (which was in actuality bed bugs, eating my baby's flesh every night) and then put a stop to it.
Yes Grace got swine flu, as did Topher and I. But Grace was sick for a total of a day and a half. As soon as we found the bed bugs, and Topher and his Dad gave her a blessing, she was back to herself by that evening. So miraculous. Swine flu SHOULD have put her in the hospital. But all it did was serve as a means to an end. It was the only way I would have found those bugs, and so it was the only way Heavenly Father could answer our prayers.
We had an exterminator come that same night and spray the entire house. Curtis and Topher also took over 9 jumbo size garbage bags to the laundromat because the exterminating company said that any laundry around or near Grace's and our bed needed to be washed at extreme high heat to get rid of any possible bugs/eggs/feces.

It was an exhausting and upsetting couple of weeks what with cleaning and being sick. The day after we found the bed bugs, I came down with the swine flu, and the next day Topher did as well. However, we came to realize even more how very blessed we are with loving, helpful and supportive family and friends. Our "adopted" sister Francesca, AND her mom came over to our house the night we found the bed bugs and brought us dinner. They also took some laundry for us and then stayed to clean and sanitize different rooms in the house. Toph's dad came twice to give us all blessings. My adorable sister came and brought us about 10 bottles of juice and snacks and medicine. My sweet sister in law also came, bearing medicine and pie. She also took Grace in the days that followed so I could recuperate and clean. And my even dropped off soup and medicine. We felt very loved and are still so grateful that we had friends and family so willing to help. Thanks to all of you! You are wonderful!
After the laundry, coughs, fevers, and bugs had subsided, we were left with a destroyed house, which kept me too busy to ever post about the adventures we'd had.
Then came Halloween with my family, (my awesome sister even came up from Vegas!!) Grace was a "Fairy Witch". Topher and I decided she needed to be something that fit her personality. My sister's adorable angelic baby Ellie was being a fairy, and Daysh said we should do the same thing so they could be fairies together. But...you see, Ellie is angelic....Grace is destructo girl. So it didn't fit right. But when we added the adorable little witch part...it suited her just right. Adorable, yet sassy. My mom and I made the costume together, which was a blast, and it turned out so so adorable and fun.

A trip to my Mom's (including the Tetons)

Thanksgiving in St. George (which included a 5k with my whole family!! Dacia & Joe participated as well but left early to get dibs on the shower),

Thanksgiving in Preston and a Thanksgiving in Farmington (yeah...probably gained about 10 pounds that week)
and finally this last week...DISNEY WORLD (!!!) with my Dad, Karen and Rachel.

I am finally home again. And hopefully will be for a while. It would be nice to finally get my house in order and get back on a schedule.
Here's a couple of my favorite moments of late though...
In St. George there was a sweet garage sale...I got matching dresses for all the little Johnson girls, new shoes for me, and they had a stack of barbies and a barbie car. I asked "how much for all of this?" She answered "2 bucks for the whole stash." In my mind I was jumping up and down like a school girl, on my face I was the image of absolute maturity. So I bought them all for Grace, then went back to the St. George condo we had, and gave them all a bath in soap and lysol, washed their hair, brushed and styled their hair, dressed them with Barbie clothes I just happened to have in my trunk and then let Grace play with them. I only creeped out about every person that walked past the bathroom and saw me primping and styling my barbies. hahaha.
To put it simply, Grace has found a new love. And that's her barbies. She loves them, hugs them, kisses them, rocks them, puts them to sleep in a shoebox we fashioned into a bed and carries them around everywhere saying "baby baby". She is so cute.
Also, her newfound talent....snorting. She has always snorted if you get her laughing hard enough. And it was made me laugh hysterically. But she has finally reached that age where she loves to make me laugh, so she'll do it on command now, just to make people laugh.
I got this video of her for your viewing enjoyment. Sorry it's so dark, but the noises its what you want anyway.

She is so adorable and I love her so much. She was so good at Disney World. I Really wanted to go and I felt fine about taking her, but that didn't stop the worries and fretting over if she would scream the whole plane ride, or if she'd sleep and eat enough, or if I'd be able to keep her clean and healthy, but she was an angel. Or, at least, she was on her best impish Gracey behavior. She was still her sneaky mischievous adorable self, but she was so happy and energetic and sweet too. No tantrums (except when I took her off the carousel),
hardly any whining, she ate well, slept well and was just a joy to be with. It felt like a mommy daughter date that was too good to be true for 4 days. I loved it!

This is her on the carousel. It was easily her favorite ride. She loved being on it and each time I took her off the ride she would go nuts. I asked my brilliant dad to take a video of me taking her off the ride at the end because I just had to show Topher how much Grace loved it. Somehow...there was a communication break down between my Dad and myself. So when I handed him the camera, he thought it was recording. I thought it made sense that I just had the camera on the record setting...but not recording when the ride wasn't started yet, and I was handing it to my Dad...but that aside...the best tantrum thrown the whole trip...was not actually caught on video because Dad was not recording as he thought he was. So, she used up all her could fetal position screams and shaking in anger for nothing. So, when we went to put her on the ride AGAIN, she was a little less energetic. So, watch this video and then imagine her being three times as upset. Because that's what the norm was. :) Knees locked up against her chest, arms at her sides shaking, and screaming in distress. That was how powerful this little girl's love was for her horsie. haha

Her two new favorite words of late are "wee" and "side". She absolutely loves to swing and slide. This video is really cute, its her saying her two favorite words, and then also talking about ellie and dacia who were in the room with us. It was also a demonstration of her ability to clap for herself when she eats. Such an over achiever. Her favorite food is bananas and we clap when she eats, so she was trying to remind me to clap for her. When we were in St. George there was a little playground in the back yard of sorts, and the slide was all she ever wanted while we were there. Day in and day out, she would ask for it.

I love this picture of her on the carousel. It should have a title like "baby on cloud 9" or something.

When we tell her to smile, she goes "eeeeeeee" with this big cheesy grin.

Disney World was so neat with the Christmas decorations. The castle was all lit up in icicle lights that made it look so neat and frosted! It would change color too which was awesome.

Karen and I were the model of poise and maturity during our Disney vacation.

My dad, seriously, he needed a time out every now and then. Seriously.

Or maybe...its just that the picture of Karen and I is one of a series of pictures that became less and less poised and mature looking....hmmmm....
This is my favorite picture of her lately. Her skin is finally getting back to the baby softness that its supposed to be. And I just think she is so pretty and so adorable. I love those eyes and that perfect little nose. I just love this little girl so much!
Anyway...that's about all the time I have to post...so...although this is a very random post, I'm gonna be done now.
Just know that we are alive and well and having fun with our ever growing and adorable little Gracelyn. :)
I will try to post again soon! Thanks for keeping updated on our little family!