The Surprise Party

October 14th, 2013

I got an email last week from a woman at my husband’s work. They wanted to throw a surprise baby shower for Charming and wondered if the boys and I could attend. I was touched and said, “Of course!” It was right after we went to my last OB appointment before the birth and the perfect way to celebrate! (She also took these great pictures and shared them with us afterward.)

The hardest part for me was keeping it a secret. I wanted to tell the boys, but knew they’d tell Daddy. (Boots thinks it’s okay to tell a secret as long as he WHISPERS it to you.) So I had to wait until after the appointment and Daddy was driving off in his own car to tell Boots and then Brother and Potatoes after picking them up from a friend’s house.

They LOVED it. We made a big deal of sneaking into his work and whispering, so he couldn’t hear us. Then we hid in a dark room with his colleagues until he arrived.

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And man, was he surprised!

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He had no idea and felt badly that he’d kept us waiting for a bit. Brother and Potatoes ran to greet him and Boots waited for him under the table, because he’d bonked his head in all the excitement. (Poor guy!)

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They had  a beautiful diaper cake with a number “4” up top and a talking lion, fun balloons, light-up duckies for the boys and very generous gift cards.

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They even had some games that Potatoes scribbled while playing with his light-up ducky. :)

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Charming was introduced to a classic “guess-the-candy-in-the-diaper” game that was too funny.

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And the whole time, Boots (I love his face in this picture) kept trying to figure out whose poo-poo’s was in the diapers, why Daddy was smelling them and why everyone kept laughing.

The boys behaved so well and enjoyed the snacks, cake and swiveling in the chairs (though poor Potatoes and Boots caught their fingers pretty bad while swiveling and Potatoes hugged me and cried, “Go! Go!” until I pulled out a bag of kettle corn for him– then he sat in my lap and ate it in the picture above).

Mark's Surprise Baby Shower 2

What a wonderful way to celebrate our new son! And what a treat for Charming to have a turn in the spotlight for being a New Daddy. Thank you to everyone at his wonderful job who planned and carried out such a great party! We are so grateful for you and for how much Charming loves his job and co-workers. Thanks for making our day special and sharing in the joy of our miracle.

36 and 38 Weeks

October 13th, 2013


I’m having a baby this week! And boy are we excited. The light at the end of the tunnel never looked so bright.

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This was back at 36 weeks. Things have been very rough, but there have been many, many blessings both seen and unseen.

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Prevacid cured my acid reflux and headaches, which was a tremendous blessing. I felt so much better, enjoyed my food and slept soundly again. Thank you!!!

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This was me today at 38 weeks and 4 days. We pulled out the tape measure and the belly is 47 inches around. Not as big as last time, which is also a blessing. It’s still hard to get around, but my efforts to gain less weight have helped so much in my stamina and mobility.

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My two canes, walker and wheelchair have also been wonderful blessings. I use my walker to help me set the table, move things around the house or be a seat while I cook simple meals. And the wheelchair gave me an exciting date night out with my husband, who made me laugh as he pushed me all around Walmart. Who knew you could miss shopping at Walmart? :)

My OB and PT have been very happy with how well things have held together for me here at the end. I think we all wondered just how bad it would get and I’m grateful I’ve been functional the whole time (knock on wood!).

My left arm pains from last pregnancy have returned and that’s miserable. But it held off until now which was wonderful, especially because it’s very difficult for me to lay down for the traction to fix it. My poor SI joints scream in agony with all the baby weight pressing down on them.

My church family has been wonderful. They ask how I’m doing, give encouragement and offers to help and often have me in tears from their kindness. It’s uncomfortable for me to be in the spotlight with all of this, but there’s no way around it, because I need the comfort and strength of church– the Spirit, the lessons, the testimonies and the love.

The boys and Charming have been amazing troopers. They help out with everything I can’t do without complaining and are excited to have a new baby in the house. We all miss Mommy being able to play and go out. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been disabled forever and will be disabled forever.  But I know it will all be worth it when I hear him cry for the first time and hold him in my arms. And I know my children have learned a depth of compassion and work ethic they never would have this young, but it’s hard to be the reason they learned it. I’ve also shed many a tear on the days when I feel like I’ve been pushed to my limit and I’m sad, because I don’t think I can do this again. Even through it all, my heart still wants to have more babies.

I’m very grateful we made it. And I’m very grateful the adorable end is near when I can start mending again and be the wife and Mommy I’ve missed being. Thank you, everyone, for your love and support. It’s meant the world to us.

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He’s two years old! (back in May)

August 4th, 2013


I love pinching his super soft cheeks and the way he smiles and gallops through the house instead of running.


I love how seriously he studies things and thinks about things.


He picks a favorite toy or two to carry around each day, like D2 and 3P0. A little red tank car. A stacking block with a picture of a cherry ice cream cone. A baby potato spud with a pair of too-big blue shoes. A baby hippo. A “Dawf” (Darth Vader) angry bird. A Lego storm trooper helmet (inserted over his thumb). Or whatever else has caught his fancy that day.


I love his incredible awareness of our routines and what his brothers do, and how he wants to do the same things.


He has intense eyebrows that make him look much older than he really is.


I love his stomach and how it leads him to the counter long before a meal is finished being prepared, hoping for a tasty preview of what’s to come.


I love how much he loves “moodies!”


And how positively and unbelievably adorable he is.


He is so happy and has a wonderful sense of humor and love for life.


I love the way he repeats the words of a prayer in a high pitched voice with constantly rising intonation, like he’s singing. And how he always wants to include a blessing for Daddy, even if Daddy is home.

And I love his first independent prayer that he started saying for every meal, “Bwess Daddy come home. Amen!” And if it doesn’t work the first time, he’ll say it again and again. He even folds his hands, bows his head and closes his eyes.  It’s gotten shorter over time to “Bwess Daddy. Amen!” and now “Bwess. Amen!”  We  joke that soon it’ll just be, “Amen!”

And he was so cute today in church when he prayed for the Sacrament water all on his own, “Bwess Daddy, water. Amen!”


He knows I can’t catch him right now, so he races off when it’s time to change his diaper or go to bed. And boy, he gets mad when I ask Boots to help me catch him. (And you better believe Boots loves it!)

And he cracks us up with the word, “No.” When he first learned it, it became the pat answer to EVERYTHING.

“Do you want to go outside?” “NO!”

“Do you want to stay inside?” “NO!”

“Do you want ice cream?” “NO!” (But then he’d pause, reconsider and then give a definitive nod.)

Eventually, he toned down a little, but he still loves the power of throwing around a strong, “No!” And just recently he finally started saying, “Es,” in addition to nodding. (It used to be tricky in the car when he’d only do a silent nod and the boys would have to tell me because I couldn’t see it.)


I love the way his brothers talk to him, include him and share with him.


I love the way he says his brothers’ names (“Dawse” and “Gock”) and how he always wants to name them in pictures or videos.


He loves his silly brothers and Daddy. (Me, too!)

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He wanted a D2 cake, but I didn’t really write “Potatoes” on it.

He is mellow and easygoing, quite content to just wander off and play with his kitchen or stack blocks with the clubhouse.


I love when we say something like, “It’s time for dinner,” and he exclaims, “Oh!” like we just cleared up something he’s been wondering for years.

Or when he grudgingly admits (in a defeated, drawn-out voice), “oday,” when he finally agrees to do something (like fold his hands for a time-out) and it’s really asking a lot.


I’m amazed at how determined he can be! His newest habit is to climb on top of the counter after what he wants if Mommy or Daddy take too long to give it to him.


He loves our alone time after morning naps and I love it, too. He’s so intelligent and has an incredible memory, bringing up stories and events that happened weeks ago. Or remembering exactly how you did something the first time and wanting to do it exactly the same way again.


I love how snuggly he is and how he always wants his Mommy when he gets hurt, hugging my neck and putting his head on my shoulder until he feels better. I love our chair time together reading books before naps and bed, and how he always wants me to “pop” out the recliner. Then he points to characters and objects in his favorite Disney or Winnie books and I dutifully name each and every one, often in a specific order.


He loves all the Winnie-the-Pooh characters, calls Mickey Mouse “Minnie” and gets soooo excited when it’s his turn to pick what we watch. He loves to pick “Pooh” or “Minnie” or Aladdin (which he calls “Boo” for Abu). He is a crack-up when he acts like Donald Duck or Tigger. He tells the cutest stories with sound effects, facial expressions and gestures. And he wants to hold a remote control just like his brothers. (Fortunately, he doesn’t care if it actually works. He just wants to hold one.)


Happy birthday, sweet little man! We love you with all our hearts.

Hotel Heidi at 27 Weeks!

August 1st, 2013

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I can’t believe we get to meet the little guy in just two-and-a-half months! We still have no idea what to name him. What are your favorite masculine boy names?

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