Thursday, December 5, 2013

Family Pictures

Blessing Baby Dewey

It was great to have Talmage's parents in town. We love our little Dewey and the blessing he recieved was full of light just like him. He is a happy little soul. I love how his whole face lights up when he sees me and others.
His baby blessing outfit was made by best friend's grandma. She's the sweetest and kindest grandma. You know the kind that make homemade pies and showers you with gifts and kindness the first time you meet. She made this outfit before she knew if I was having a girl or a boy. I love it. The pearl necklace I'm wearing its from her as well.

Friday, November 29, 2013


I did the Turkey Trot this year, cold turkey. Good thing I stay pretty active and can do that. I joined Talmage in a low key Turkey Bowl. It was super fun and makes me want to play sports more than I do. We had a none traditional Thanksgiving meal, mexican food.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Baby Mountain

 Heber and Hannah like to have Dewey in their room with them when they play. He plays the role of "Baby Mountain".

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013


Heber: "Mommy, when we get to daddy's work do you want to smell my feet?"

Monday, September 30, 2013

Hats Off

Talmage wears many hats.
He is a father...
...a husband...

...a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...

...a civil engineering in training... Air Force reservist... athlete...

...a sports enthusiast...

...a historian...
...a student...
But wait, hold the door, he is NOT a graduate student... ANYMORE!!! Talmage finished his graduate degree at Virginia Tech! Yay!!!
He does such an amazing job wearing and juggling each hat. It is such a relief to him (and me) to take off this hat. Well done, well done. I am so proud of you!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

How to Get a Baby to Sleep Through the Night

"Sleep while the baby sleeps" is common advice given to new moms. I always interpreted this as "nap as much as possible". Honestly this was and is frustrating for me to hear and even more frustrating to implement. So my strategy for sanity was and is to not rely on naps but to get the baby sleeping through the night as soon as possible.

It Can Be Done

The first obstacle was realizing that it was possible. Young babies can sleep through the night. It is perfectly normal... in other places in the world. Can they go all night without eating? Regardless of being bottle or
breastfed the answer is yes. Still need convincing? Then I recommend Bringing Up Bébéchapter entitled "Doing her nights".
Front Cover

Don't Feed at Night

To get a baby to sleep through the night you need to let the baby learn how to fall back asleep after waking up from a sleep cycle. First thing I recommend is not to feed the baby when he wakes up during the night. I like my Mother-In-Law experience when talking to her pediatrician with her first baby, she said, "He asked if I knew I was going to get a steak dinner every time I woke up, then wouldn't I?" If a baby is getting feed at night, then he'll wake up for that treat.


It is important to listen to the baby's cry when he wakes up. What are you listening for? Priscilla Dunstan will help you distinguish each of the baby's types of cries and what they mean.


If the baby cries for anything but sleep, address the need(s), sooth until breath is calmed and then put baby back to bed. If he is making "nah" sound, then give him his pacifier. 
If he is not making any of these cries, but making the tired cry then follow this strategy:

By doing this process the baby will be able to sleep through the night sooner. It has worked amazingly for me. Dewey sleeps through the night until 5:30ish (And that might be just because Talmage is wakes up then). I haven't cut out that feeding yet but will soon. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Who Needs a Haunted House When You Got a Museum

We went with Talmage for training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. To keep us entertained during our vacation we watched t.v. (a lot more than usual), went to the park,  the hotel gym, the play pen, played board games and today we went to the military museum on base. 
Heber and Hannah loved it more than I expected. It scared the willies out of Olive though. The dim lighting, occasional trenches and many manikins made for a "tary" (scary) experience. Yeah, she really didn't like the manikins especially the ones with gas masks. I totally understand why. I love holding her little hand and comforting her.

This chair in the lobby ended up being her favorite part of the museum because there was nothing "pooky“ (spooky) near by.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Letter from Hannah to Aunt Lindsay becomes a Full Blown Post

Two weeks ago my sister Lindsay came to live/have-an-extended-visit with us in Dallas. A week after that we all left for Fort Leonard Wood, MO to have a sort of vacation while I attended some Air Force training. Needless to say, I felt bad for leaving Lindsay so soon after she arrived and for so long. But the kids have missed her even more. They continuously ask about her. This morning Hannah said that we need to Spyke her (Spyke her? You mean Skype? Yeah, that.).

So after a family nap today (Which I highly recommend) Hannah was imploring me to draw a picture for Aunt Lindsay in an email. I let her do her magic in MS Paint and the result was entirely her own creation.

Additionally, the letter that I had her dictate to accompany her picture was entirely her own words—word for word. It was too priceless to only share with Lindsay so I'm putting it here on our blog:

Aunt Lindsay,

I really want to go back home to play with you. And play with my pets and you. And I really want to be healthy with you and you be healthy. And I really want to go back home to say I love you! And I really want to go to the store with you in the market. And I want to do with you everything I want to do with you. I really, really love you. And thanks for the shoes you give me.

(Rachel interjecting: She didn't give you shoes.
Hannah: The gold sparkle shoes she brought me.
Rachel: Grandma gave you those shoes
Hannah: Oh.)

I like you and I like you better than my brothers and sisters and I like that you gave me angry bird treats. And I like everything you gave me and everything you do for me. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


So as she's doing this Heber wakes up and wants to do the same thing. He took so long to draw his picture and I eventually had to kick him off the computer but not before finishing certain parts of the drawing for him (i.e. the 3 pink flowers and some touch up—such a perfectionist!). Everything in the picture has a meaning. In case you're wondering, the man is thinking about a star.

Aunt Lindsay,

Lindsay I think you like my picture and I think the man let you laugh that's why I think he's funny. And I think you'll like the tree. And I asked daddy to make the flowers and he didn't make the flowers like I wanted . And my daddy made them like lines. 

I send this message to you, me, Heber, I send this message to you.

Heber insisted on the wording of the last line.

Of course just when I thought I was done, Olive caught wind of what we were doing and wanted in on the action. This was tough. She wanted to draw little hearts but demanded to do it on her own which she could not. So after two thrown fits this is what was made:

Aunt Lindsay,

Heart picture. A tree. A baby. I draw a heart.

I think she thought I was asking her what does she want to draw for Aunt Lindsay.

In short, we all love having Lindsay stay with us and exclusively to ourselves. She's a wonderful sister, friend and aunt.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Seasons of Life

I have been recently reminded how thin and close the veil is that separates our world from the spirit world. The birth of our son Dewey and the passing through the veil of my Father were both beautiful, difficult and profound experiences for me. At the birth of Dewey I felt the presence of angels and the strength and comfort of Christ. The morning of the day my father passed on, I had the impression that he would pass away soon. I had a strong reassurance that everything was ok and that this was all how it should be. That day and the following day I felt his presence strongly.
These two beautiful events happened so closely and reminded me how short life is. That this life was meant to be enjoyed and to learn and grow and then we move on. We move on but not as far on as some might think because there is really so little that separates us.
It was so wonderful that my father was able to see his last grandchild for the first and last time in this life. I am absolutely sure that he will see his grandchildren (those present and yet to be born) while he is in spirit form. I am grateful to have spent two weeks with him before his passing. I think that was a tender, kind gift Heavenly Father planned for me.
I am thankful for the gospel in my life. I feel like it has helped me to have the perspective I needed to experience the beauty of these spiritual experiences. I am thankful for My Savior and My Father in Heaven and their sweetness in helping me be able to witness their hand in these tender experiences.

Passing Of My Father

Photo: Gary Allen Grandy 1952 - 2013
Our hearts are heavy because you are gone from this earth. You were a wonderful example of faith, strength, hope and love and so much more.  You learned much and taught us all. You live on in the lives of your eight wonderful children. We will see you again dear brother.

Rachel: "My idol during childhood, my mentor during my formative years, my friend, my dad. I am a better because of him. I love him dearly and miss him."
Aunt Lois: "Our hearts are heavy because you are gone from this earth. You were a wonderful example of faith, strength, hope and love and so much more. You learned much and taught us all. You live on in the lives of your eight wonderful children. We will see you again dear brother."
Rick: "Today one of my hero's past away. I will always love my father. — feeling sad."
Caleb: "My dad understood the responsibility that comes with being a father. I cannot count the hours and days we spent working together. He taught me how to break wild horses, swing a hammer, weld and build, shoot and hunt but most importantly he taught me to work hard. Thanks dad for the hours of late night talks, the wisdom you shared with a young teenager and the love. Thank you for your time. You understood that it was the most important and there wouldn't be enough of it so you spent it with us.
I wish he could have been here to teach my children some of the things he taught me but now the responsibility is mine. I am not worried, I have a great example to follow. I love you dad."
Amanda: "Its going to be sad and hard getting use to my new reality. I cant believe my dad is gone."
Jacob: "So yesterday my father pasted away. He has taught me how to work with a smile, a joke, and to tell a good story (weather it is true or not, it gotts to be a good story). He taught me how to look at things in a good way and to make good decisions. Even though he will be missed I take comfort in knowing that he is in a better place."
Seth: For you all who don't know, My Father past away last Thursday the 29th. Elder Vaughn J Featherstone & President Spencer W. Kimball once said:"Make no small plans, they have no magic to stir men's souls." Another quote which i don't know the reference says, "There are two types of people in this world, those who act and those who are acted upon, My father was one to act" This too was my father, he made no small plans, he was a man to act and he has stirred many souls including my own. love my father so much and will miss him emencly, he has shown me so much love and support. He taught me how to dream big, to rely on the Lord, to work hard and never give up, to be adventures, to be a problem solver, to be a creator and to build it strong, tough, practice and not aesthetically pleasing. ;) I know i will see him again. We will be united as a family again and then he can teach me all that he didn't get the chance too. I have the privileged of going out now and letting others know that there families can be together forever also. This Gospel is Amazing and it is true!
Angel: "My strength, my example, my comforter, my father but most of all my hero. Im grateful to have had such an wonderful man in my life. He was such an example of strength and courage and I woulnt be the person I am today without him. I love you daddy! Tell we meet again."

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Hannah: "When I grow up I don't want to move out of house. I want to stay with you. Because I can't move my bed all by myself... and I don't have a truck to move it."

Monday, August 12, 2013

What's in a name? Part II

So I kept thinking that our baby seemed like a wise spirit and needed a strong name. I kept thinking that Emerson was a better fit. But I was reluctant because it was so long and I didn't want anyone calling him Emmie for short.

Talmage was definitely Team Dewey. But as the last week rolled by my will for Emerson was stronger. We were still conflicted as I went into labor. At that point Talmage said that I could have it my way. The midwives later commented that he was a wise man to not push it at that point. So when we filled out the birth certificate hours after birth it said "Emerson Dewey".

However, he later convinced me on Dewey Emerson and we changed it on his birth certificate paperwork three days after. I am not bitter at all and Dewey Emerson does feel right. I feel like Emerson reflects him more, but middle names can hold a special spot in in one's heart.

So yes, Talmage wears the pants in our relationship. And yes, three out of four of our children have names that come from his side. And that is all fine with me. He has promised me though that I get to pick our next and last two children's names. 

Heber, Hannah and Olive's Reaction

I was antipating the reaction of the kids to seeing their new baby brother. I was wondering if they were thinking that having a baby inside their mommies tummy was going to be a life long thing. It turns out that they really like their baby brother.

I love seeing them kissing him and wanting to nurture him. They seem to be on binkie and blankie patrol and are so willing to help. It is so sweet to see them interact.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I prepared so much for birth that I forgot how much work recovery took. I think I just assumed I would be back to my normal self in a day or two. The hardest part is not being able to do everything that I am use to doings—like not being able to care of Heber, Hannah and Olive. Also not being able to cook and clean. And not being able to really move about freely. It's hard to be lazy because you can't take a break.

I am so grateful my mom was here for the first day of recovery. She is so helpful and her years of being a CNA show. She seemed to have things ready for me before I even thought I needed them. My parents were also really helpful with the kids that first day as well. I am so grateful for them.

The timing was perfect. The same morning my parents left was when Talmage's parents arrived. One midwife was so impress that after 27 grandchildren they still make it a point to fly half way across the country and help us. The have been nothing short of amazing taking care of the three older kids, making meals, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. I feel like I have been able to concentrate on recovering and nurturing Baby Dewey because of them. They really have helped this first week of recovery.

And finally, my night in shining armor. I have been so grateful for the help of Talmage. He has been nursing my back to health, bathroom breaks, keeping me fed and hydrated and all. He has been a huge mental support to me, keeping me laughing and happy. I feel like the spirit of the man in this film really portrays the sweetness Talmage has had when caring for me.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sweet Little One

Thursday morning at 3:13 am Dewey Emerson Hansen was born on the second floor of our little apartment. He weighed 8 lbs 12 oz and was 20" long. It was a home birth, just like Rachel always wanted. Since then I've been using paid time-off at work and have been Rachel's personal (and full-time) caretaker. Today is her fourth day of recovery and she is able to walk around without assistance and is getting better every hour.

As for the little guy, he is doing well too. He latched onto Rachel within 10 minutes of leaving the womb. He takes up all of Rachel's reserves by feeding every chance he gets. We all love him so much and so happy he is part of our family.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


After feeling jipped with Olives birth, I was so excited and ready to labor and work for the coming of my child. And after two false starts, it was so excited to actually be in labor this time.  Few moms could have been as excited as I was to be in labor.
Hours Before Birth
I was so grateful to have my baby here at home. I felt more relaxed and able to cope with the challenge of birth. It was such a blessing to have the strong and loving support of Talmage, my mom and the midwives.

Talmage supporting me through a contraction.
Alex,  one of the two midwives checking babies heart beat

I felt the support of angels and my Savior. I felt the strengthening and enabling power of Christ's atonement especially strong when I was going through transition.

So happy to hold my baby in my arms

The atmosphere was so positive. I could not have asked for a better birthing experience. I can't express how happy I felt.