Tuesday, November 25, 2014


We have officially made it to 35 weeks with Stannard Babe #3. We have Payton at 34 1/2 and Weston at 36 weeks. Maybe this one will go until 38 weeks! Only time will tell. Actual Due Date: December 30, 2014. Maybe we will have a New Year's Baby?! How fun would that be? It hard to believe that Monday will turn over to December. Wowzers!

Payton and Weston are very excited to meet their new brother or sister. Of course, Payton wants a sister and Weston wants a brother. Brandon and I are happy with a healthy bouncy baby of any gender. It's been hard not to find out since I have an ultrasound every other week. It would be so easy to just have them show me.....I am determined to stay strong and not ask.

Gallbladder....now that word makes me cringe. I sit here praying to God that he give me the strength to not physically ripe it out myself. I remember having lots of pain with Payton and not a lot but some with Weston. Well....let's just say, this babe tops the charts. I can't drink water without it becoming very, very angry. You know those needles you use to pump up basketballs? I want to stick one through my ribs and stop the pressure. My doctor asked me not to do that though and wait until 6 wks after babe is born and take it out. She told me to do that the last 2 times and I didn't....Stupid...Stupid...I will listen this time. At least my heartburn has declined some. If its not one thing, it's another! Oh and a gallbladder diet is delicious   :(

One thing that I am so excited about is the holidays. I love the time we get to spend with family creating memories that last forever. The holidays get better every year. Having kids makes the holidays, for me, so much "more." I love seeing them interact and spend "time" with family and friends. It fills my heart with so much love to see my kids being loved. There isn't a better feeling.

Cheers to 5+ more weeks of pregnancy and hopeful an ease in gallbladder anger.
And....these chubby cheeks! (sorry, I can't figure out how to rotate the pix)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

So Much Love in the Air

Hello Friends-

Happy Thursday from my home sweet home! I know I have not a very good blogger but with my emotions in high drive and keen as ever, I thought that is was time to get some stuff down for our families, friends and of our baby #3 to know if the future. 

First I want to start with

 Our family is surrounded with so much love that it is lifting and lightening for our souls. 

Some may think that with many hands in your pot of life that too much support and love can have the opposite effect of let's say, suffocation. Which sometimes is easy to fall into when one is frustrated and doesn't want help or support at certain times. 

I am not going to lie and say that we don't experience both of them at times in our life, but the balance is what is important. 

Balance? What is balance in one's life? Does that mean we are zen (what the heck is zen anyways)?

Well here is the best explanation for our family that I could find after lots of reading. It comes from Anastasiya Goers of Balance In Me.

"Balanced living is when you can always offset any negative events in your life with positive ones. It is also when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Balanced living is when you are happy working and playing equally. If you picture happiness and everything great in your life as a diamond, then any negative things that may happen are just the setting that makes this diamond shine only brighter."

That speaks to me. I feel that it says, "there are going to be difficult and trying times that will test our faith. But knowing how to cope and accept the help of LOVE from all those that want to give it and most of all our Savior, balance will restore itself in our lives.

Well, we had one of those life altercating moments this week when we were in search for the "balance" in your lives to be restored and boy was it hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Here's our Preterm Baby #3 Story--

I went to school Tuesday feeling good because I had the best nights sleep in months. My doctor appt and 30 week ultrasound went great the night before: baby was great, momma was great. Life was balanced!

At 9am Tuesday morning, I started contracting....hard. Of course I called the hospital, my husband and then....freaked! I told some people at work and of course their first response was..."Let's go! I will drive you!" That right there....helped, the love and support they show me is tremendous. They would drop everything to help ME?! I know...how blessed am I? 

Well, Brandon rushed to get me to the hospital and of course I was contracting regularly. They started the baby on steroids for rapid lung development and started the poking and prodding of me for tests and drugs to stop labor. 

I am so lucky to have a husband, that even though hospitals made him physically ill, is right by my side, white as ghost, holding my hand. 

Our parents were texting and staying in touch every couple of mins, which shows their love and support as well. We know how hard it is for them not to run down to be with us, but I want their lives to stay in balance and we all know that there really isn't anything for them to do at the hospital until we were made aware of "the plan." 

So, "the plan" consisted of trying different drugs to stop the labor so the 48 hrs of rapid lung development medication could happen for baby, which is life-saving in many instances. 

The first 2 drugs didn't do anything substantial to stop labor. Then they got out the loving "flu in a bag." (magnesium, something, something, something) 
Let me tell you, I wasn't excited for that at all. Let's just say I handled it pretty well considering. 

BUT...my contractions were still every 2-3 mins. apart but milder. 

Our parents and kiddos came to visit which was a blessing for us. 

As the night went on, things started changing again and it was time to take me by ambulance to Iowa City. Dubuque doesn't deliver babies before 32 weeks and if they do, baby gets sent to Iowa City. So they said it was time to get prepared and have baby and mommy together at the appropriate place to meet our needs. ps...I love the doctors in Dubuque and my OB is awesome! She takes such good care of me. 

By 10:55 pm, we were on the road to Iowa City and it was scarrrryyyy! Of course I started contracting harder and was starting active labor. It was a long ride. 

And....at 12:15am we pulled in. Thank you God!

The Paramount Ambulance crew took great care of me and many thanks goes out to them as well as my wonderful OB nurse who rode with me, Amber from Mercy Hospital, and tracked baby and me the whole way. 

Well....at UIHC I was in full active labor and wanted to push....let's say...I was loosing my marbles. I sent my family home, including my husband because I can handle anything, right?! I'm Jill Stannard, and I don't want people to worry, etc. Sometimes my stubbornness bites me, and bites me hard. 
Well.....I was scared and then when NICU was being called and there were 15 doctors in my room...all I wanted was my family. The staff was great though and pulled me through, got labor stopped and by 2:30....I was almost calm. 

I was able to turn off the lights at 3am and "rest" through contractions until 5am. Then..I wanted to go home. Yeah, right?!

Our next goal was to keep labor at bay at least until 1pm Wednesday so the baby would have the 2nd dose of steroids for it's lungs. Even though I cried all morning and tried reaching out to the one person I needed the most, I got through it. The afternoon was quiet with contractions spacing out and calming with the magnesium or "flu in a bag." They stopped the hangover process at noon to see if my contractions would stay mild....AND THEY DID! YEAH

They were moving me to an observation room because they wanted to monitor me until 2pm on Thursday which is when babies lungs would have the full effect of the steroids. But....at 4pm, they checked me and said my cervix wasn't do much anymore and they said I could go home and be with my family. I called Brandon and begged him to pull out of the field immediately and come get me. 
He was already in Iowa City by 6:05pm! What a man?!

I cried the whole way home...needed him, my kids and my family in arms reach again. Home sweet home was never more important to me at that time. 

My amazing mom and mother-in-law, told me when they left in Dubuque not to worry about anything with the kids and Brandon. "It's nothing these two Grandma's can't handle," and hugged one another. I will never forget that. They have always been that in good communication and spirit with one another and friends, but it really hit me in my realization of the balance of life. 

When they were all leaving, thinking everything was under control, Brandon and our families all hugged one another and said, "I love you." I just can't believe how blessed our family is. They are the most wonderful, supportive people that are so full of love that it almost makes my heart hurt from being sooo full! 

My dad, husband and father-in-law all shut their combines down to be with me. I don't expect that of them, because it is important on these beautiful days to get these harvests out.

The role models we have for our children...WOW! Family comes first. Which is so awesome...simple awesome! 

So, we are home, full of love, restoring balance and praying this baby bakes more. 

I want to thank everyone from the deepest part of my heart for the thoughts and prayers. The power of prayer is something so much higher than us. I could feel it working for me yesterday. I was in direr need of strength and those prayers came through strong and loud. So many prayers have been said for our family and Payton. You will never understand how much that means to us and our families. 

I know I talked a lot about my family in this post, but I really want to thank my co-workers for their amazing ability to hold me tight and make me feel so loved. They are sooo wonderful to work for. They were right their in my texts, emails and calls, just like my family. They are my family!
There was no subs available when I left Tuesday and they all picked up my classes. Simply wonderful. I would do the same for them in a heartbeat. Means the world to me though.

Thank you to my wonderful boss Shane as he is always being their to support my family as well. 
My sub Lisa came in on Tuesday, picked right back up and is doing wonderful. Thank you for your ability to be an amazing teacher and ever harder, substitute, and for your continued prayers!

 I am one to always send flowers to the hospital. Some people like that, some people don't. But that is our way of letting them know that they are in our thoughts and prayers and to feel some extra LOVE. 
Well, I felt the love when these were given to me. Thanks CRMS! :)  Aren't they beautiful??

 A special shout out to the my co-teacher in crime Rondee. She not only had time to get these taken care of from the staff, she stopped and got my children a bag of goodies to make them feel extra loved during this time that mommy was in the hospital. She is such a wonderful, caring person. I don't know what I would do without her in my life. We love you Rondee! 

To have the right balance in life, we all must have a support system. Is ours the best?! Yes it is. With now doubt in my mind.

Thank-you to my sister and brother for the love that have so deep for my children and our family as well. I know you would of have been there too if I would have let you come, but your prayers were amazing. 

Same to your extended Framily. You are all amazing. We got more calls asking if we needed anything in the last 48 hrs, that our hearts are full. 

A balanced life for us starts with Brandon, Jill, Payton, Weston and Baby #3. It continues out with family and then friends and our families-families and our friend's -family and our family's-friends, and our friends'-friends, etc.

The support, love, and faith go on forever. 


Happy Baby #3 in Mommy's tummy!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Update on Peanut :)

Had to share this!
Steph got Payton these 12 mon. shorts for her 1st birthday…….they finally fit right before her 4th birthday! LOL  

Little update on Peanut----She is still getting her feedings through the g-tube in her stomach 5 times a day. We have to increase her caloric intake because she grew! (YEAH) She will still eat some through her mouth, but can't sustain herself. We have a good routine down and she flourished her 1st year of preschool. At the beginning of the year we saw delays in her physical ability to perform and now her stamina to color, write and play at school are great but we are starting to see some small delays in her name writing and alphabet learning.

I can't believe she will be 4 in July. My, how time flies! I know a lot of you still think and pray for Payton and you don't know how much that means to us. Without the "silent" support, we wouldn't be where we are.

My goal was to have the g-tube gone by kindergarten in 2 years (we are keeping her in preschool until then) but realistically, it will probably be later, but it is still something to shoot for.
We are now trying a special powder in her water that has calories. It's not going so well, but we are adding it to all her foods as well. Payton had her first incident with being small at her gymnastics recital. She came up to me and said with a big pout, "Mommy…..those girls over there are calling me small and I don't like that!" LOL Hard not to laugh at her attitude. Lots more of that to come in the future!

Thanks for your support and prayers….keep em coming so this little peanut will be g-tube free.

Brandon, Jill, Payton and Weston Stannard

ps….Weston is a brute….my bull in a china shop!

Lunch Time for Payton

I get asked daily if they are twins! LOL

Anything I've done that was ultimately worthwhile initially scared me to death. -Betty Bender

Sunday, December 16, 2012

What a teacher?!

This is beautifully said. I didn't become a teacher to he a hero, get rich, or even for the summers off. I became a teacher because I truly believe that teaching the next generation(s) is the most important job. Even though I have a family of my own, I still spend hours worrying about the children I teach.


The Farmer's Guest House

 As a educator, I have to reprint something I found today....

“To parents who aren’t educators, this may be hard to understand. Five days a week, we teach your kids. Joke with your kids. Console your kids. Praise your kids. Question your kids. Beat our heads up against a wall about your kids. Gush over your kids. Laugh with your kids. Worry about your kids. Keep an eye on your kids.

Learn about your kids. Invest in your kids. Protect your kids. Love your kids.
We would all take a bullet for your kids. It’s nowhere in our job description. It isn’t covered in the employee handbook. It isn’t cited on our contracts. But we would all do it. So, yes—please hug your kids tonight—really, really tight. But on Monday, if you see your kids’ teacher, hug them too.”

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


My children have hit the "mommy" stage. I am pretty sure that between Payton and Weston, mommy is said more than 50 times a day. It doesn't matter if I am cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, talking or going to the bathroom, my name is being spoken.
Sometimes I wonder if Payton is going to have a stuttering problem. She says, "Mommy, um, um, um, um, um; I, I, I, I need water." I wonder if she just says mommy before she realizes what she wants or if she needs anything.
About 8pm at night I am thinking of responding this way to the kids:

BUT...I smile and say, "Mommy is right here, what do you need?" Oh the joys of parenting.....I bet before too long I will ask them to zip their lips though!

I have been reading Love and Logic again to make sure that I am being an okay parent. I love their books. I try to listen to them in my car on my iPod so I can drown out Payton yelling, MOMMY!" Phahahaha

Here is a link to the Love and Logic website! Check out their free resources. Sign up for their email. I get it once a week and they are usually quite funny and have a good message behind them. 

My favorite is their "One-Liners" 

Kids seem to have a repertoire of "hooks" they use to get their parents to argue with them. Here are some Love and Logic One-Liners that will get parents off the hook and cause children to do more of the thinking.
Remember: The "one-liners" are only effective when said with genuine compassion and understanding. These are never intended to be flippant remarks that discount the feelings of the child. If an adult uses these responses to try to get the better of a child, the problem will only become worse. The adult's own attitude at these times is crucial to success.
  • "Probably so."
  • "I know."
  • "Nice try."
  • "I bet it feels that way."
  • "What do you think you're going to do."
  • "I don't know. What do you think?"
  • "Bummer. How sad." (I say this all the time to Payton, especially when I tell her she can't wear flip-flops when its cold out and she argues and cries)
  • "Thanks for sharing that."
  • "Don't worry about it now."
  • "That's an option."
  • "I bet that's true."
  • "Maybe you'll like what we have for the next meal better."
  • "What do you think I think about that?"
  • "I'm not sure how to react to that. I'll have to get back to you on it."
  • "I'll let you know what will work for me."
  • "I'll love you wherever you live." (I can't wait for Payton to say she is going to live with Gma and Papa and that will be my response! LOL)

GOOD LUCK! and send some back to me! 

SMILE-Tomorrow is Thursday!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

HaRvEsT "It's Go TiMe!"

Watch out bunnies.....The Stannards are picking corn your way!

Well Brandon has been harvesting corn and beans for 4 weeks now. The kids and I are very busy every night making a hot and yummy supper to take all the men in the field. I know it is a lot of work for us, but if I was out there every night away from my family, I would at least want a warm meal....I am sure Brandon will not want goulash, spaghetti, tator-tot casseroles, pizza bake, green bean casserole  scalloped potatoes and ham, etc for quite awhile though!
-Tonight we are taking a ham, mushroom, green bean creamy casserole to them. 

I can say that every year gets easy with harvest. We are able to adjust better as a family. It does break my heart and I know Brandon's too when Payton gives me that innocent look and says, "Mommy....I need my daddy." She knows where he is and what he is doing and she calls and talks to him often, but she still misses him as he does her. 

Weston, my little bull in a China shop" SCREAMS whenever he sees a tractor because he wants to ride in it with Daddy. He thinks that Brandon or Papa are in all the machinery he sees. The worst is going by Windridge every morning on the way to daycare. He gets very upset and yells "tractor" until I put him in daycare hands and leave :(

Our goal is to be done with harvest by Oct. 31st! Harvest as a whole has gone great with no major breakdowns and everyone has been safe. I couldn't ask for more. 

Since Brandon is gone and we have to be home to make supper for them every night, we are spending a lot more time at home and we are loving it! We come home and Payton and Weston start playing right away. Their imaginative play is amazing! I love when Payton says, "Weston, you are the daddy and I am the mommy. Come get the baby and I will make supper for you." LOL 

The other night, we were outside playing. Payton was riding around in her little red car. She was having some trouble getting it into the garage. She stops struggling, looks at me and says, "Mommy, will you help me get my car in the castle?" Aka the garage! Phahahaha!

I wish I had an imagination like that again. Reality sucks! 

The countdown has begun and I can't wait to have my hubby back!

Don't be lookin' too hard at the combine! Hahahahaha