4th of July

Since Aaron had the day off, we decided to make a trip of it and go to Great Falls for the 4th of July and spend time with Eric, Amy and girls, and Quinn, Kasie, and kids. We enjoyed the parade– and it was not too hot this year– and then had a fun barbeque and a spectacular firework display! Before the parade started, there were people handing out free American Flags. Of course, we took them up on it!

Banana Splits for Ryan

On Facebook, I was invited to an event that I could not pass up. Banana Splits for Ryan. Basically, Ryan was a toddler with Downs Syndrome and also a congenital heart defect (CHD), and the heart defect was so bad that the doctors did all they could but were unable to repair it. The parents made the heart breaking decision to put a DNR order on him. People kept asking what they could do for the family, and the family’s response was to go and create a memory with their families and have a banana split for dinner– no chicken, no broccoli, no rice. Just a banana split.

I thought, “This is something I can do!” While I have never met Ryan, nor will I have a chance to meet him as he passed away last week, I did want to honor him and other CHD angels. So we had banana splits for dinner, and created a memory! And the kids thought it was the most wonderful thing– they could not believe their luck!

Benson, sadly, was asleep throughout the dinner. But he had mashed bananas for dinner a little bit later (Sorry, no pictures of him this time!)

Feel free to join us and hundreds of thousands others in creating a fun family memory with your family in honor of little baby Ryan! Just click on the link above and join in on the fun :-)


Moving Day, coming right up!

The day is soon approaching. FINALLY! After 4 1/2 months of being separated, our family is moving BACK up to Shelby this Saturday. While there is still some uncertainty about Aaron’s job, things are looking up. And we’re tired of being apart. We have found a nice little house to rent, and are super excited to be back up with the friends we have made in Shelby. Aaron is excited to actually start eating food again (no, Aaron, cheese and crackers do NOT count as food!), and I’m excited to toss the kids off when he gets home when I’ve had a bad day. I am looking forward to having my own kitchen where I know where everything is. We are excited to read and play games in the evening once the kids are down for the night (we won’t have any live TV, just DVDs, and we won’t have the internet for a while, until our Condo sells) and to have friends over for dinner and games. We are both thrilled about being able to live out of a dresser instead of boxes, of having a place for everything, and just to be in our own space together again. We are excited to be in a ward where we are actually members of the congregation instead of extended visitors, to have callings, and to be able to contribute.

We also want to publicly thank the L family for allowing Aaron to rent a room in your house. I know you’ll never read this, but we’re grateful.  Also, thank you to Aaron’s parents for letting us tear apart your home. I am sure you’re looking forward to some peace and quite again :)

4 more days!

(btw– this does mean that in 4 days I will not be able to blog very often, nor will I be on facebook)

Spit-up Diaries

Each of my kids have been so different as babies. It’s shocking, I know. Really, it IS quite amazing how different they are– how each of the pregnancies were different, how each of them as babies have been different. All of them enjoyable, but all of them different.

For instance, each of my babies have been completely different when it comes to spit-up. Now, in this case, I do have a preference. None. That would have been Charlie. Kade spit-up until he was 15 months old. No joke. It wasn’t tons of spit-up at once, but it was pretty consistant until about the time Charlie was born. And, Kade was (and still kind of is) a non-stop drooler. He’s finally starting to stop drooling, although it still happens. Now, Olivia has been yet another completely different story. She doesn’t spit-up all the time. And most times it’s not much spit up. But on occasion, she has projectile spit-up, and in mass quantities. She spits-up while I’m feeding her, changing her, talking to her. This usually results in at least a change of clothing, both for her and for me, and sometimes results in a shower for the both of us. Yesterday I had finished nursing and burping her and was talking with her, holding her at arms length so I could really watch her, when out it came. It flew over a foot and a half. All over my shirt. Just as we were getting ready to leave. I wiped up as much as possible but left with the wet shirt. (It is Montana, which means I knew it would be dry before I got to where I was going. Gotta love that about dry air, I guess! Quick evaporation!) She also is an occasional drooler. (Now, with the whole  projectile thing… does that mean that she’s got an abnormally strong diaphragm? She must be a future singer!!!)

But, look at her. How can you not help loving her when she’s so adorable, even if she projectile spit-ups! While I have yet to capture it on camera, she’s starting to get really smiley. And she has an adorable smile! She’s also starting to “communicate” a lot more, and the boys are always asking me what she’s saying. I usually tell them that she’s saying how much she loves her brothers. Because, she does! (She is currently 7 1/2 weeks old)

This is a typical “Elvis Smirk” that Olivia does. I love it.

Like I mentioned in the previous post, Kade is always, always trying to kiss her. While in this picture Olivia is screaming, it’s not because of the kissing, I swear! She decided she was tired. She’s very tolerant of the kiss monster of a brother.

The boys have taken to pretending they’re babies. They lie down on Liv’s blankets and try to swaddle themselves, and pretend to cry. It was all I could do to get them to smile instead of pretend-cry in this picture.

Well, I love these kids. While it is sometimes quite stressful, they are mostly sweet and wonderful kids :)

Some Frequently Asked Questions. And Their Answers.

With a newborn, and especially with two very young older brothers, I am asked the same questions quite frequently. And they are good questions, with even better answers. These two are the ones I get the most:

Is Olivia a good baby? Does she sleep well?

Yes, and yes. As I suspected when I was pregnant with her, she has been a very mellow, very good baby. She really only cries under three circumstances– she’s hungry, she’s tired, or she’s in her car seat. It’s true. She’s a generally very happy baby.

Right after I feed her, if I lay her down on her back on the floor she will coo and talk and smile and kick and wiggle very happily for a good 15 minutes. She loves to be held, though, and when those 15 minutes are up she really doesn’t like much else. As for sleeping, she’s been amazing. My boys never went longer than 3 hours or so at night between feedings until they were weaned. Probably just as much my fault as theirs, but still. Never longer than that. They would go right back to sleep afterwards, but I woke up exhausted for a long time. Not so Olivia. For the past few weeks, she’s been going to sleep around 9-9:30 p.m., and most nights wakes up at 4:00 a.m. to eat, and then is back up again at 7-7:30 a.m. to eat. I am waking up rested. With a newborn! (She’s 7 weeks now) She then goes back down about an hour later until about 11-11:30. I feed her, and about an hour and a half later she’s down again for another long stretch. She generally is up around 3:00 or 4:00, I feed her again, and then she’s up off and on until she goes down for the night, with some power feeding (cluster feeding) going on with some short catnaps in between. It’s been awesome! And she’s learning already how to self-soothe and get herself to sleep. Seriously. The. best. baby. ever!

How to the boys like her?

Like her? No. They LOVE her. ADORE her. Kade, especially. He can’t stop kissing her. He can’t resist! He is totally and completely enamored. Charlie, too, but not nearly as bad. Case in point– during Sacrament Meeting yesterday, the boys had a hard time staying sitting… They kept trying to get into the eisleway where Olivia was dozing in her carseat, to give her a kiss. Kade tries to kiss her as often as he can– when I’m feeding her, when she’s sleeping, when she’s on the floor or the couch, when we’re holding her, when he’s supposed to be eating dinner… He’ll steal as many kisses from her as he can. It’s very sweet.

As I said, Kade seems to be especially attached and protective of Olivia. Saturday, we were in the car, heading home after running a few errands. Olivia just woke up and was screaming because she was hungry. I tried to get her to take the pacifier (a funny thing in and of itself… she doesn’t seem to like them much, gagging on them and whatnot…) to calm her down, but she wouldn’t take it. Since I knew there was nothing more I could do until we got home, I just let her scream. But then, suddenly, it stopped. I turned around, and saw Kade, holding in her pacifier, stroking her head, and telling her, “shhhh, shhhhh… You’re alright baby. You’ll be just fine…” Heart meltingly sweet.

He also often comes up to her and says, in the sweetest, most tender voice, “Oh, she’s so small!” or “She’s SO cute!” “She’s so sweet!”

So far, this having three kids hasn’t been too bad! Now, we just need to get back up to Shelby so we can be together as an entire family, and so daddy can spoil his baby girl and his two baby boys and his wife ;) And, as far as we can tell, that will be in 2 weeks. 2 WEEKS! Hurray!

Ice Cream falling on our Crabapple Tree!

 I looked out the window, and what did I see?Ice Cream falling on our crabapple tree!Spring has brought me such a nice suprise…Ice Cream falling right before my eyes! I can take a handful and make a treat–an Ice cream ball that would taste so sweet!It wasn’t really so,But it seemed to me–Ice Cream falling on our crabapple tree! 
snow on the buds of a weeping willow
snow on the buds of a weeping willow
sitting on the snow!

sitting on the snow!

I heart snow!

I heart snow!

I love snow on the fence


glad to be outside!

snow on a tree img_0727

And, yes, we DID make some ice cream using the snow! (no, we didn’t eat the snow, but we–or rather I–squished the snow to freeze the milk!) Snow has been falling now for 36 hous straight, not to quit until tomorrow. We’ve got 12 inches now, and should end up with about 18 inches… And then on Friday, it’s supposed to rain and warm up….Ah… Montana’s psychotic weather!!!