Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Phoenix Visit

It had been over a year since we had been down to Phoenix, to visit family. Crazy! We had been trying to figure out when we could make a trip, when my brother and his wife told us that they were being sealed. Perfect excuse!

We drove down early Friday morning (we left at 4:00). We got to Phoenix and went to the big playground at Anthem so that the kids could get all over their wildness out before having to act presentable to family. The weather was beautiful and we had fun playing on slides and riding the train.

Josh was so happy to get out of his carseat!

On Saturday we attended my brother and sister-in-law's sealing in the Mesa temple. It was beautiful! Afterward we had a pizza celebration for them at my parent's house, and I got to visit with almost all of my siblings and grandparents.

On Sunday we went to church with Mike's parents (and his sister and her family), and afterward had a family dinner. Adam and Grace were in cousin heaven! They LOVE their cousins and talk about them all the time! It was especially fun for Grace to see her "girl" cousins... I think that there are just too many boys here for her sometimes. ;)

We drove back Monday, and took our time coming home. It was really a perfect trip!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Adam's Kindergarten Art Book

Adam brought home an art project (or two) almost every day in kindergarten. They did projects for word families, phonetic sounds, science/social studies, and just for fun.

It was all so cute. But, it was taking up space. Adam couldn't bear to get rid of it (and truthfully, neither could I). So we began taking pictures of it all against a black (or white) sheet. He saved a few of his most favorite pieces, tossed the rest. Uploaded the pictures to Snapfish, Adam captioned it for me, I typed, and we began his first art book.

We finished it over the summer and then I began waiting for a good coupon on photo books to come along. And then I forgot about it as first grade got busy and my tummy got big with Mr. Josh.

A few weeks ago, we found some time and a good coupon, put the finishing touches on it, and ordered his Kindergarten Art Book.

It came yesterday and he LOVES it!

It's been so fun to look at (and laugh at his captioning).

He has brought home a lot of art in first grade but not NEARLY as much as kindergarten. So, I plan on making a combined first grade/second grade art book. Such a fun way to de-clutter, but keep the cute memories!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


In the past two years, I've taken the "fun" Easter celebrations down a notch. I really, really want to focus more on the Savior and why we really celebrate Easter.

Not that I don't like egg hunts and marshmallows, because, how can you not?

I would really like to get to the point where we do the egg hunt and such on Saturday, BUT Mike's job (and him going to the late re-broadcast of Priesthood session) just didn't allow for it this year.

I loved that we got to watch Conference Easter weekend. It made it a little crazier, but it was so fun that two things I loved were combined in the same weekend.

This year, we had the Easter bunny leave the baskets and filled eggs in our bedroom. On Easter morning, we came out and watched conference. After the morning session, we brought out the baskets.

Josh didn't get one, because, well, I didn't know what to do. It's not like he can eat yet, and I didn't want to do toys or anything (trying to keep it simple).

So, he just tried to steal Adam and Grace's instead:

Mike and I sent the kids in their room and we hid the eggs for the Easter bunny.

And then the kids searched:

The next night for our FHE activity we dyed our eggs.

We colored a lot of eggs. Adam and Grace LOVE hard boiled eggs. I cook a dozen a week for after-school snacks. I didn't have to make any for 2 weeks after Easter. ;)

(I saw the fun idea to use wire whisks for coloring the eggs in Family Fun magazine. Grace loved it, and I liked that her hands weren't green for 4 days after Easter. :) )

Some March/April Total Randomness

This is how we do the library every Monday. We split up, get our books throw them on the table and read until Josh (or Grace) starts fussing. Then we check out.

I think it's cute how Mike puts his hand over his mouth when he's concentrating.

This is how we spy on cute firemen. I kid, I kid. Seriously, the apartment building just northeast of ours caught fire a few weeks ago. It was super-windy that day, and Mike had taken the car. The neighbors started talking about evacuating, and I was trying to figure out how I was going to haul out two kids AND our photographs on my back, when the cute firemen saved the day and put it out.

Once we were out of danger and it was no longer scary, it was very cool to watch.

This is how we do dinner on Sundays now. Pizza on the grill. Our new favorite is caramelized onion pizza. I found the idea on Pioneer Woman.

She rocks.

This is how we drive our mama crazy. We drink food coloring straight from the bottle.

This is how we ruin young babies' minds. During spring break Mike thought it would be fun to go to the dollar theater (which on Tuesdays is actually a dollar... for the movie and treats). Alvin & the Chipmunks 2 (or whatever) was playing and the kids really wanted to see it. Josh was asleep, so I thought, "Why not?" He woke soon after the movie started and stared fascinated the entire time.

I didn't watch much of the movie. I was too busy worrying about how many brain cells were being destroyed as he stared at the huge screen.

Friday, April 16, 2010

My Little Miracle Baby

I was origanally going to post this back in February. But, I always stopped myself, because the experiences I went through while pregnant with Josh and after having him, are so tender to me. It's hard to put stuff out there like that sometimes.

But, then I thought, how can I NOT share how much my testimony has been strengthened through this experience? If there is just one person out there who had a doubt of Heavenly Father's love for each of us, and that He truly is a God of miracles, how could I not share that?

I feel like I need to share.

So, I am.


I didn't really think that I could get pregnant again.

After I had Grace, and I was faced with the possibility of not being able to have any more children, I was really sad. Which felt silly, because I had two beautiful, healthy children, and who was I to complain about not having any more? I had already been blessed beyond measure.

In January 2009, I was saying my nightly prayer when I felt the unexpected impression that I would be able to have another baby. I cried.

And on April 10th last year, that feeling became a reality with a positive pregnancy test.

Not what I expected.

But definitely a little miracle.


I struggled a lot during my pregnancy: with my faith, with worries about money, with feeling inadequate to being able to care for 3 children, where I was going to put the 3 children, etc. Most of all, I worried about not being able to love him as much as I loved Grace and Adam. The pregnancy had been hard, and I just didn't feel the same connection or adoration for Josh that I did for Adam and Grace when I was pregnant.

On the second day in the NICU, Mike and I went down the hall to visit Josh. When we arrived, we found him screaming. The nurse was trying to console him, but wasn't having any luck. She handed him to Mike, and he kept screaming. Once I got all situated (I still had my IV and such in), he was handed to me. And immediately he stopped crying.

It was one of the sweetest experiences. He knew me. And I knew him.

And, just like the Grinch, my heart grew 3 sizes in that moment. Enough to fit in all three of my babies.

I loved him... oh, I loved him.

Another little miracle.


Our insurance company is obscure and they are contracted with no one. Essentially, the church insures itself and it's hard to find providers sometimes.

In every hospital visit we've had (Grace's head, Grace's arm, Grace's aspirated peanut, Grace's lip, Adam's croup, Adam's head) not ONE provider was ever contracted with our insurance. The hospitals were. Providers were not.

And in our insurance, we have a $6,000 in-network AND a $6,000 out-of-network deductible. They are in separate categories, and we were told at the beginning of the pregnancy that since we had no guarantee who our providers would be in the hospital, we could expect to pay the whole $12,000.

I tried to have faith that everything would work out, I really did. But, there was always the voice in the back of my mind that said, "There's no way it can work out." Because, how could it? Seeing a specialist and an OB 2-3 times a week was ridiculously expensive enough... what was going to happen in the hospital when they were all out-of-network? Sometimes I felt that I was barely holding on to that faith.

Especially when he got sent to the NICU for 6 days.

I received over 30 different EOBs from my insurance for our hospital stay. Twelve different doctors had been seen by Josh and I during our stay. Neonatologists, pediatric gastroenterologists, anesthesiologists, radiologists... basically, a whole lot of "-ologists."

I opened envelope after envelope as I received them in the mail, my mouth opened in disbelief as I opened each one, with tears rolling down my face.

Because every doctor we saw during the hospital stay was contracted. Every single one.

All in-network.

And if that's not a miracle, I don't know what is.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

March School Project

For the month of March, Adam's school project was on "landforms." He had to do a board game based on the landform... he chose volcanoes. He really, really wanted to make the volcano explode, but since they were supposed to be able to potentially market this game, I couldn't figure out how to make that happen. Someday, he will have to figure it out and sell it for real. ;)

His game was called "Escape the Volcano" and you got to move so many spaces for answering a question. The first one to escape won.

I love his game pieces. He's quite the little artist!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Payback (Someday)

Josh already weighs 1/2 of what Grace does.

Inevitably he will (someday) be bigger than her.

Inevitably he will tire of the pinching, kicking, hitting, being sat on, wrestling, and pushing that Grace doles out to him on a daily basis.

And (inevitably) he will get her back.

On that day, I'm going to show her this picture:

It's of a time that she tortured him by taking two (cooled) homemade cookies, placed one on his stomach, where he could smell and see it, but not touch it, and then sat in front of him, eating the other one. And laughing.

It's sibling cruelty of the highest form.

And maybe I will show her this one, too:

And even though it's not right maybe, just maybe, I will let him have a little bit of payback before I pull him off of her and talk about not attacking our siblings.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

4 Months

Weight: 15 lbs 4 oz
Height: 25"

I'm just so thankful that Heavenly Father knows me.

Because I need this baby in my life.

He needs to be in our family right now.

And I didn't even know it.

We love his smile. His laugh. His chubby cheeks. And knees. And wrists.

And everything in-between.

We just love him!