March 20, 2014

Recent Randoms

How Eva gets transported when I need to take a basket and her to a room and I don’t want to make two trips.

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Maya HATES bananas and “banana smells”. This banana peel was on the table in her spot. She asked and asked for Arabella to throw it away but she refused. Finally, she gave in and did it herself. She cracks me up!

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For breakfast she wanted a cold pancake without syrup and she wanted to eat in on the kitchen floor.



In heaven after meeting Elsa (actually my friend Vania). Elsa promised to come to our house to meet the rest of the kids and even gave Maya a card with her phone number on it so she could call her anytime! Maya can’t stop talking about her.

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On our way to Ikea today.

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I love that she reaches for my hand every single time we are sitting next to each other. Please don’t ever grow out of this!

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Kid Art And Letters From Aidan

My kids love coloring and drawing pictures. I love it because it kind of shows me how they see our family. Aidan’s preschool teacher told me once that she could tell which parent wore the pants in the family by how big the child drew them in a family drawing. We laughed because Aidan always drew me bigger than Rich! Now, he pretty much draws us the same size so I guess that’s a good sign, right? Here are some of the kids most recent art work.

Maya drew this. Things I love about it: Rich’s spiky hair; The way she drew me holding Eva.

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This was the day that Aidan was learning his lesson on gratitude and had to stay home while Rich took the girls out to the aquatic center. I knew exactly what he was thinking about when he showed me this and explained that it was Maya and Arabella playing in the pool and all of the fun slides at the aquatic center.

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Aidan drew this “Santa” and cut it out then put it in a sealed envelope to send to Santa. I love his big thumbs!

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I thought this drawing Maya did was so adorable of a huge flower and a bee.

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Now that Aidan is getting better at reading and spelling he loves to write letters. This is what he wrote to Rich after he had an accident on his way home from school.


“Dad I got hurt today. I flipped on my scooter. I was bleeding. I have a bandaid. I was crying. People saw me crying. Dawn walked me home. Kayden rode my scooter.

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This is a letter he wrote to Maya after he was sent to his room for crashing into Maya repeatedly.

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I love this stage they are in! Arabella is just now coming in to the stage where she actually tries to stay in the lines when she colors. I miss seeing them so little but I’m enjoying seeing them grow and be more creative.

Aidan & Mommy Photoshoot:D

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Even though I feel/look completely ridiculous in all of these pictures I love them! Aidan LOVES taking silly selfies and the pure joy on his face in the bottom middle picture makes me so happy! My boy has my sense of humor and I love that we can share that with each other.

March 11, 2014

Eva’s Voice!

Yesterday, Eva had her second ENT visit. Dr. Muntz decided that he would go ahead and scope her so that he could see if there was any vocal cord movement. Just like with my other two, I sat in a chair with Eva on my lap and hugged her arms and legs to keep her from moving while another person stood next to me and held her head still. The assistant took the endoscope which has a little camera on the end and inserted it in Eva’s nose and slowly went down her throat. When she got to her vocal cords we could clearly see that they were paralyzed shut and that there was absolutely no movement. Not even a little quiver. While I was completely expecting that result, I still felt a sinking feeling. Funny how no matter how prepared you are for bad news it still hurts just a little. I got over it quickly though because I know what the end result will be.


Once the bad stuff was done with I thought I’d just throw out the idea of a passi muir valve which is a special valve that goes on her trach allowing her to make normal sounds. I wasn’t even asking for one but really I was just asking when he thought she would be ready for it and how would we go about getting one? He said, “I’ll just call down and have one brought to you right now.” I couldn’t believe it! Getting one for the other two kids was such an ordeal but with Eva he just popped it right on her trach, listened for a bit(she was sleeping) and then sent us on our way! Rich had to go straight to work after the appointment so we didn’t have a chance to hear her voice until he got off work. That was the first thing we did when he got home though! Here she is, laughing audibly for the very first time!



I loved hearing her laugh and I loved hearing the kids reaction to hearing their baby sister for the first time. You could hear in the video Maya say, “I knew babies could laugh!” It has been so fun for them to discover their baby sister’s voice right along with her. In this next video you can hear how curious Maya is about Eva’s voice and other babies voices. She’s figuring it all out.


Both Aidan and Arabella were a couple months older than Eva when they got the speaking valve. She still seems just a little to young and will definitely need practice on it to build up to having it on for longer periods of time. She has a hard time managing big coughs with it on and I have to quickly take it off because she can’t catch her breath very easily. Right now we are doing about 5 minutes every couple of hours. With time and practice she will get stronger and be able to have it on all day.


I thought I would post a video of the first time Aidan heard his voice and one of the first times we heard Arabella’s voice.

Aidan's Voice

Arabella's Voice

Can’t believe that this is our 3rd time going through this process. It’s such a blessing to be able to hear your baby laugh, cry and just jabber about who knows what! Even if we’ve had to wait at least 6 months to hear it, it has been SO WORTH THE WAIT!

March 9, 2014

Antelope Island with Daddy/Runcle

Yesterday, I got an all day me day! It wasn’t initially planned that way but that’s how it turned out and I’m not complaining! In the morning I went to our stake Relief Society activity where I was so inspired by the speaker, Connie Sokol. She was so awesome I wanted to get her number and invite her to come hang out! I didn’t though.

Connie is the one in the middle.


Afterwards, my friend Jess and I dropped her boys off at my house with Rich while we went and picked out some paint for some furniture I want to paint and since we were out we stopped by DI and got some stuff to decorate above my cupboards. See, Jess thinks I hang out with her because she is a cool girl but the real reason is because I like to use her to decorate my house. Of course I would never tell her that;) P.S. I know she reads my blog.


So anyway, when we got home Rich was excited to take the kids on a hike on Antelope Island. He offered to take Jess’ boys too! Let me clarify: I was gone from 10-3 and when I got home Rich offered to take our 3 older kids and my friends 2 boys on a hike all by himself. We were cool with that. Here are pics from their adventures.


Oldest to youngest: Boston, Reese, Aidan, Maya, Arabella


I think Maya might have a little crush on Reese.


Look at that view!


Now I would like to invite you to look to the far left. That is a bison. My precious children are a safe distance from that massive bison-this does not concern me one bit.


This, I was not too happy to see.

Scary!!! They all had a good time and they all survived so it was a good day.

March 5, 2014


I think it’s so funny that I never have a title for my recent posts. That’s what happens when nothing is really happening in your life, haha! Today was the first day that I officially have cabin fever. It has been a long 6 months of not being able to go out. We’ve been having days here and there that feel a little like spring and I’m getting pretty excited about it! I’m beyond ready to start walking Aidan to and from school with Eva and going for walks with the girls. They are ready too. They’ve gotten freakishly good at games on the Wii.

So here’s our happenings:D

It’s depressing that I haven’t been able to take off the baby weight. Really…depressing. Too much sleep deprivation and stress I guess. So, I started T25 and I really like it! I did it during Eva’s naptime the other day and Maya joined in!

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She loves exercising with me and she really does make a great workout partner because she asks me every day, “When are we going to exercise?” She doesn’t let me get away with not doing it either because she will ask me all day long until we do it.

Yesterday, my neighbor called to invite the girls to go out for donuts. SO SWEET of her! The girls were super excited to leave the house because they are pretty much trapped here with me all day every day. They had fun and I was so grateful for her kindness and thoughtfulness. They even brought back 3 donuts for me! I didn’t need them but I ate them! Wait……didn’t I just write about not being able to lose the baby weight??? Haha!

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So, I’ve been really blessed with great friends here in Utah. I haven’t ever felt lonely and I recognize that as a true blessing. 2 of those friends are these two.

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Jessica, on the right, is my twin. Not physically but in every other way we are pretty much the same person. She is from Missouri and drove a new VW beetle. Ok, those are the only 2 things that make us twins;) Then there’s Robynn. I just love her! She is a straight up kind of girl. Anyway, we love hanging out and they are nice enough to always come to my house since it’s so hard for me to go anywhere. The other night we had a Bachelor viewing party. Even though I’m so over Juan Pablo I just thought it would be fun for us to hang out and eat junk, and eat junk we did.

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In other news, it was a beautiful day today! Maya enjoyed the sunshine and it was one of those rare moments when I actually pick up my camera.

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March 1, 2014

Aidan’s lesson on GRATITUDE

Today, Aidan is learning a very valuable lesson. I’m not gonna lie, sometimes it’s hard to teach my kids life lessons because I just want them to be happy and have fun and consequences are not always fun. I’m always really proud of the fact that we try our best not to spoil our kids. We don’t buy them anything they want and try to make them earn things they really want as far as toys go.


It has been a tough road since Eva was born. The kids have had to learn to be more independent and have spent many days entertaining themselves. They have been so great about not complaining and just going with the flow, we have been blessed in that way. Rich has made it a point to take the kids out for an all day fun day on Saturdays. He takes them to movies, out to eat, treats them to ice cream, the humane society to see animals and just about anywhere they want to go that there aren’t too many germs. They usually come home with a new shirt or shoes that they wanted. He loves to do it and he really is good about making it a fun day for them. The girls are always very expressive with their thank you’s and hugs and kisses of gratitude but we have one ungrateful little boy that has said the wrong thing one too many times.


At the end of a day out with Rich, after going out to see the Lego movie, eating dinner, getting new shoes and going to the humane society, Aidan said to Rich, “This has been a very boring day!” Rich was NOT happy. We both tried to teach him what gratitude mean and how he should be grateful for all of the fun things that he got to do and all he could say was that he was “just kidding”…right.


Last week, Rich bought a family pass to the aquatic center so that he could take the kids to their fun indoor water park. It was a big decision for us because it wasn’t cheap but we did decide that they deserve it because they have been so good about being cooped up for so long. Rich took them there last Saturday and they LOVED it! Last night, Rich and I were talking about what he was going to take them to do on Saturday and he decided he was going to take them to a movie, out to eat and then to the aquatic center. When Aidan asked Rich where they were going to go and Rich told him the aquatic center, Aidan’s response was, “Awwwww!” That was the last straw for both Rich and I. We talked and talked and talked to him about gratitude until we were blue in the face but sometimes it’s not a lesson you learn through words but actions.


Today is Saturday. Rich is out with the girls watching a movie and then he is going to take them to the aquatic center. Aidan is currently outside cleaning up the backyard.



The rule was that he couldn’t watch tv or play the wii and he had to entertain himself. No fun with mommy. So far he has read books, worked on a math worksheet, snuck about 5 minutes of The Incredibles(and got in trouble), cleaned his room, cleaned the back yard, and dressed up. He’s bored and it’s good for him.




I can really be such a softy when it comes to my kids and had to have Rich remind me why we are doing this and the valuable lesson that this will hopefully be for him. I wanted to do what I usually do and just threaten to not let him go but then let him go in the end, hoping that the threats taught him his lesson.

What I hope that he gets out of this is that he will always be grateful when we take him out to do something fun. Being a mean mom is not fun but necessary.

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