Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Primary ramblings

This little pirate is in primary now. That first sunday was a doozy but, Thanks to my super great friend Jenny, it ended okay. She only had to bribe her with Candy. No big deal.
However, she has finally warmed up and gotten the hang of it.
This Sunday after I got out of relief society, the primary presidency was giggling in the hallway about something.
One of the counselors came up to me and said "did you hear what your daughter said in primary today?"
I at first thought she was talking about Gracie because Gracie LOVES to talk but, she was referring to the other crazy lady of mine.
Apparently they were having sharing time and the teacher in charge
said "you know how sometimes your mom puts you in time out?"
So Evie yells out:
"My mom doesn't put me in time out, she just kicks me"
Apparently I need to re-think my discipline tactics :) 
(Note: I do NOT kick my kids...though sometimes I am tempted.)

Jake and the Neverland Pirates! Arrgghhhh...Gracie turned five!

 The little love of my life had the best birthday party ever! She has been telling me for a year that she wanted a Jake and the Neverland Pirates party. Now, if you have ever tried to plan a pirate party, you will commiserate with me about how difficult it actually is. There are NO pirate party favors anywhere! I kept asking her "are you SURE you don't want a princess party?" because there were isles and isles of princess stuff but, one little row of pirate things. Had I ordered everything online, I would have been in better shape but, we just made due with what we had! 

 Gracie kept telling Beau and I that she couldn't wait to see her pirate ship cake...one I hadn't made yet. I'm not exactly a baker and so, I was going to just order one for her from one of the many talented cake decorators I know but, in the end, Beau and I banded together and just made it ourselves.  The frosting was seriously delicious but, not the best for cake decorating. However, in the end it didn't matter because when she walked in and saw the ship cake with Jake and Skully sitting on top, she let out the loudest squeal of joy and it all ended up being worth it.

Originally I told Gracie she could invite five friends to her party. I thought, that would bring the total to seven kids including her and seven I could handle. So, when we sat down and started making invitations she just kept naming kids that she "just couldn't leave out". I am so happy my little lady is a people person. So we ended up having ten kids and it was perfect. She was just so excited every time one of her friends would knock on the door and come in. 

We had the kids make their own pizzas and then, while those cooked up, we played some pirate games. Pirate Beau was in charge of the games. He gave each kid a Jake bandana and a sword and then, made them walk the plank! They loved it. Beau told them that he was looking for the traitor and whoever fell off the plank was the traitor! They all crossed with ease and then Beau took his turn. He "fell off" and they all attacked him with their swords! He was the traitor after all. 

 I was actually surprised at how well Evie handled all the noise, games, and attention. She take a while to warm up to ANYONE and it's a process every single day. We got her to walk the plank and she was so proud of herself when she got off on the other side. Eek she makes me smile. Look at that face. She gets embarrassed SO easy and it's adorable. 

We had all the balloons scattered around the floor during the party and we told the kids that they were "cannonballs". During this game they had to keep their cannon balls in the air using only their swords! 
We also played "Pin the bandana on Jake". Beau drew a Jake the Pirate head on a poster board and the kids took turns pinning the headband on him.

 Food time! The kids loved making their own pizzas. Though, keeping them sorted out while we baked them ended up being quite the job.

Present time! Gracie loved sitting with her friends opening gifts. Everyone was so generous to our little lady. It is amazing to me how blessed she is to have such great friends at a young age.
I hope, as we get ready to move, that she never forgets these special kids who helped her become such a fun vibrant five year old! 

We did a treasure hunt and it ended at a treasure chest pinata! The kids LOVED it! I recorded a video of the treasure hunt but, it was deleted :( Bummer. 
We sent home goodie bags with chocolate gold deblumes, pixie dust, eye patches, pirate flags, and Jake fruit snacks. Then the kids had their swords, Jake headbands, and treasure from the pinata. 
It was such a fun party! The kids had a blast and Gracie is STILL talking
about her Jake party.

That night, after the dust had settled, we let Gracie choose where she wanted to go to dinner. She chose Chili's so out we went. She went complete with her Jake ensemble (including the eye patch) on. The waitress we had brought out ice cream with a candle and sang to her. I thought she would die from embarrassment. 

Oh our Gracie Leigh. She is our fiery, rambunctious, smart, brave, beautiful little girl. Gracie loves science and wants to be an astronaut or a paleontologist when she grows up.
When I held my little love for the first time and looking into her incredible big brown eyes, I had no idea that I was in for the ride of my life. I don't even recall life being as vibrant before she was in our lives as it is now. 
Gracie helps Beau and I remember why it is we are here. To have a good life. She is a vital part of our good life. 
I am so glad she is mine.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


My beautiful Gracie Leigh,

I can't believe that today you are five. I have been blessed enough to know you, love you, hold you, cry with you, take care of you, and be your mother for five. whole. years. It is amazing to me the little girl you are becoming. You have infinite love for your family and tell us all often. You love to carry your sister around, even if she weighs 30+ pounds, and she is by far your best friend. I am so happy you have each other. Right now you love dinosaurs. Daddy took you to Walk With the Dinosaurs at the Energy Solutions Arena for your birthday and you loved it! You get SO excited about things like that and it make Daddy's night to be able to see you light up and almost shake with happiness. What great memories you have made so far in your short life. You love your cousins and have made a new relationship with Noah. On the first of January you moved up into the primary 4-5 class. It was a hard transition for you but, I can see how much you love learning about choosing the right. You brought home a CTR shield and hung it up on your wall so you could "see it and remember to make good choices." I love who you are.

Gracie, you have completed our lives since the moment you entered them. Every day I have to sit back and marvel at the wonder that is you. You are very smart, independent, and kind. Three things I would wish for you always. I need you to know that Daddy and I will love you like no one else can for the rest of forever. You will always be our baby girl and we couldn't be more happy that you chose to come to our family. Five years went by in a blink. I can't wait to see who you will be in the next five. We love you!

Read Gracie's birth story Here.
Gracie Leigh at 3 years old

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A big surpise!

Beau and I had decided that we were done having kids sometime last year. At the time our family felt very complete and it was easy. Both girls were potty trained, going to activities, could get their own snacks, buckle their car seats, etc. We were set. Two weeks before I was set to run my half marathon in Moab, I was beginning to feel sick. I couldn't figure out if it was because of all the training I'd been doing or, what was happening so I took my last emergency pregnancy test (every woman still in her birthing years has one, admit it). It was immediately negative so I took a huge breathe of relief, didn't mention it to Beau, and continued getting ready for the day. Instead of throwing it away though, I put it up in my medicine cabinet and forgot about it.

Fast forward to about midnight that night. Beau and I were watching a movie and I got up to brush my teeth. When I opened the medicine cabinet I found a POSITIVE pregnancy test staring back at me...I think I died right then. Maybe it was just a twilight zone near death experience but, whatever it was, I started screaming at the top of my lungs. Our poor tenants probably thought I was being murdered upstairs because that was my only reaction. I was shaking and screaming and not making any sense. Beau sat up in bed and kept saying "You're freaking me out, what's wrong? Did you cut yourself? Are you ok?" Remember, I hadn't even told him about the taking of said emergency test so, he had NO idea. So, I showed him the test. He looked at me with his jaw on the floor, then rolled over and went to bed. Didn't say one word.

So I threw it away and we pretended for a couple of weeks like nothing was happening. Now I have a lot of friends who struggle getting pregnant, who dream about carrying a child and can't, etc. I know that you are all appalled at our reaction right now but, keep in mind, Beau and I felt complete. We were DONE. We had a thousand different things planned and none of them included another baby. I am not saying that we wouldn't love this child completely but, I will be honest because this is my blog and I can do what I want, and say that we were not happy. I was terrified actually. I still had a half marathon to run and our lives were busy.

Fast forward again to post half marathon run (I'll write about that later) and to Beau coming home from work one day with a bag full of pregnancy tests. "I think you need to test again, just to be sure." hahahaha I think he was more in shock than I was at this point. I had gone to the temple and come to terms with the fact that this was happening and it was going to be ok. Somehow, everything would work out.

However that didn't convince me enough to pick a doctor until 12 weeks. We also didn't tell anyone until I was 16 weeks. There were a few people who knew but, we kept it pretty quiet. I got a lot of negative response from people when we announced that we were pregnant with Evie and it caused major anxiety and negative effects in my pregnancy so, we wanted to keep this one to ourselves. I needed to be far enough along that if/when people said comments or reacted in a way that wasn't especially pleasing that I could handle it without having a full on meltdown. It was a personal choice for us and I'm very glad we did it. I was horribly sick. I mean, best rest, throwing up 8 times a day, sick. I am now almost 19 weeks and still sick though, it's not as bad. Poor Gracie would ask me questions all day "Mom, are you getting out of bed today? Mom, did you not wash your hands after you went potty, is that why you are sick?" I had/have really terrible motion sickness and electronic screen sickness (thats not really a thing but, it is to me) so I couldn't drive in the car, go to the store, etc. If there were too many lights/ too much noise I would get a headache almost immediatly and even if I just drove to the church, I would be vomiting right when I got out of the car. If I DIDN'T throw up after getting out of the car, the girls would cheer and give me hugs.

When I went to the doctor at 12 weeks everything looked great and she laughed at said 'well, you are definitely pregnant". There are some benefits to waiting that long before going to the doctor. One definite benefit is that instead of a bean on the ultrasound screen, you see an actual baby with arms, legs, etc. She told me that she thought the baby was a girl. Originally I had felt boy but began to be swayed when she said girl. I called beau after the appointment and told him that the doctor thought it was a girl. He was ADAMANT that it was a boy and told me that we should wait to speculate until we knew for sure. He was pretty sure this one was not another little lady. I told him not to be sad if it was.

We went into the doctor together at 16 weeks set to find out what we were having. Beau was almost giddy. He was never like this the last two times so it was kind of funny to watch him be almost nervous as we waited for the doctor to come into the office. She was a little late and I thought Beau was going to lose his mind. She finally came in and chatted for a minute then began the ultrasound. When she got to the gender she said "oh I think this is a girl!" And it looked like it, for a minute. Beau's face physically fell and he looked so bummed. I was happy. I had everything for a girl, I can handle drama, I know how to do little girls. But then, she looked again, and it was definitely NOT a girl. "Oh wait, nope, this is for sure a little boy." I think Beau wanted to hug the doctor. He said "Yes! I told you! I knew it!" He would have been happy regardless but, man, he wanted that little boy. I was in complete and utter shock. I couldn't stop laughing, which was kind of ridiculous. It was all so unreal. Twice already we'd been told it was a girl so, having her show me it was a boy just was such a bizarre feeling!

When we got home we grabbed the girls from my friend Jenny, who knew all along it was a boy, and we went to lunch. That was where we told the girls. They were so happy. Gracie has been telling me for a year she wanted "No more sisters but a little brother" so, she was excited. Evie keeps saying that she is going to be the biggest sister ever. Their happiness just completed our happiness.

To say I am completely at terms with the fact that we are having another baby AND that it's a boy, would be a lie. I am happy, content, excited, etc. But, also terrified. I'm not sure what the year 2015 is going to bring us but, I am so happy that 9 days before I turn 30, I will be adding another incredible spirit to our already awesome family. I will be a mother of 3...I only have two hands....not sure how this is going to work :)