Wednesday, March 14, 2018

dear baby

Dear Baby,

Tomorrow we officially get to see and kiss your sweet face. We are all pretty giddy about it.

Minnie has been singing her own little made up lullabies to you in my belly the past few days because she recently learned you might be able to hear her voice in there. She's hoping you will recognize hers when you come out. I am so grateful for Minnie. She has filled the role as oldest sibling in such a big way since William was born and I know she is going to be incredible with you. I hope she will remember this time in the life of our family forever and know how proud I am to see her love and care for her younger siblings. I love when she rubs my belly and we dream up what you'll look like and be like and all the fun things we'll all get to do together soon. She's been telling everyone about you and is so excited about the blanket she and her first grade class are making for you.

Louisa is dead set on naming you Izzy and gets quite upset when we suggest otherwise. She also names all of her dolls and stuffed animals Izzy, but you would obviously be the best Izzy of all. Lou is also a bit concerned Robert and I will be stuck at the hospital forever and has cried a few times when she mentions us leaving to have the baby. We've reassured her it will only be for a few days and that she'll get to come and visit and see you and hold you, and as soon as that sinks in she's back to her happy self. She's been telling everyone I'm having you "tomorrow" for the past three months. Today she'll finally be right!

William has no idea what's coming. He's been a mama's boy 90% of his life, but in the last few months has slowly eased out of it, which was really great timing. Last night I rocked him in the rocker like I do most nights and got a little teary when I thought about his babyhood in our family coming to an end. This has happened with my youngest every time we're about to welcome a new baby, but the feeling is usually fleeting because there is no greater gift I could give to my children than siblings. Seeing your relationships blossom has been one of my most cherished experiences in life and I know you are some of each other's greatest blessings. William loves babies, and I'm hopeful he'll understand the word "soft" quickly so we don't experience too many traumatic incidents. The first time we decided on your name I asked William to say it, figuring he'd probably come up with his own little version of it, but it came out of his little lips clear as a bell. It was pretty sweet.

We've chosen a name for you from Dad's side of the family. Each of your siblings have received a family name and we have loved the meaning and depth each of them carry. I hope you will learn to love and appreciate yours. I've mostly left naming you up to your dad this time, as I did with William, and I really love the name he chose. Gosh, your dad is a good man. You are going to love him, just like your siblings do. He's as good and kind and as fun as they come, and you will not find a man with a better heart. He's the best storyteller in town, has become a human jungle gym in our house and is the wrestling, snuggling and tickling king. Bedtime routine is never boring with him around. I hope you will confide in him and feel his unwavering love for you. We are all so lucky to have him. He and I have spent late nights recently talking about you and the miracle you are to us. With each baby we've welcomed, I feel like he and I grow closer and happier and we are so excited for the spirit and love you are going to bring into our home.

The entire process of getting you here tends to bring anxiety into my mama heart. I don't think I ever  really knew anxiety until I became a mom. I just love my children in such a big way and want to do the very best I can for you. Please be patient with me. I know tears of joy and frustration are going to be shed in massive amounts these next few months, but it is a time of life where the spirit feels so close and life just feels so sweet, and all of the good outweighs the hard. Our family isn't perfect but we are dang happy and just can't wait for you to be part of us. See you tomorrow, little one!


Thursday, March 8, 2018

a lot of catching up to do

I looked at my blog the other day and realized the last time I posted anything (besides the recent Europe post) was July of last year!!! I started scrolling back through older posts and was reminded how much I love this blog of our family. There are so many memories captured here that otherwise drift off into neverland. So, here is my feeble attempt at trying to catch up on the last nine months in our family's life.

A fun little birthday celebration for Lou up at Pineview Reservoir with cousins! This was actually the day I got a positive pregnancy test and I was just feeling a million feelings. So happy to be with all these people I love, thinking about the new little bean inside me, and so grateful to be celebrating my sweet Lou and her four years earth-side.

Later that night we celebrated in our yard with ice cream sundaes and our sweet family.

A little day trip to Logan with the Adsero cousins before they headed back home for the summer. Seeing these cute pictures of all of these kids together has me so excited for this summer!

A quick escape to Robert's sister Liz's cabin in Idaho. It's situated right on a little lake and we had the best time.

I can't believe how much Will has changed! He's such a baby here and now he's almost two. I feel like he has definitely gotten the short end of the stick as far as babyhood documentation goes. #thirdchild

A little jaunt up Albion Basin with Grandma Mecham before she headed back to school for the school year. I'd had a lot of morning sickness and hadn't ventured out much and it was so nice to be out together. Grandma is always up for an adventure and I love her for that!

Celebrating Minnie's birthday with her friends Evie and Mie at Kangaroo Zoo. 

The last Collard cabin trip of the summer with Mikey and Nikki and their cute kids!

First day of Lou's second year of preschool!

Minnie's first day of first grade!

This is a little gruesome, but this picture above and the picture below were taken about 30 minutes apart. It was an insanely warm late fall day and the girls were playing outside (hence the static hair from the trampoline). Robert had stacked the patio chairs for the winter and Lou decided to climb them, not realizing how unsteady they were, and tipped straight forward onto the cement, breaking her front tooth and busting up her lip. Luckily the tooth didn't fall out but it was definitely loose. Although it's shorter than her other front tooth, it's no longer loose and didn't turn gray. Thank heavens it's a baby tooth!

About four months pregnant with baby #4.

Sweet Will with his blondie blonde hair. So nutty how much darker it has gotten since summer!

Cooler weather and puddle jumping.

A field trip to the fire station with Lou's preschool. She says she's going to marry Santana, who is the cute boy with the curly hair in the Spiderman sweatshirt. It kills me how boy crazy she and Minnie are.

Adventuring at a trail up the street from us.

The girls were playing with William on the rocker in his room in October and he stood up, fell off and just landed on his arm in such a way that he completely broke his elbow. The minute I heard him cry I knew something was seriously wrong. He wouldn't even let us touch it. It was broken in such a way that he had to have surgery, which I totally dreaded. He had it done at Primary Children's Hospital, and you better believe I was a wreck, but he did really great and did so well with only one arm for six weeks. Baths were annoying and we totally drained our HSA for this, but I'm so grateful all went well and this little guy is now back to 100%.

Halloween! We didn't do a family costume this year. I just felt so sick with this baby that I didn't have it in me. Maybe next year?

Minnie was Elena of Avalor, Lou decided to be Cinderella and we already had a dress up for that (high five!), and Will used the old hand-me-down skunk costume. I put my own costume together to coordinate with him, and I think we were all pretty happy. Robert was a creepy postman with his dad's old postmaster outfit, which he busts out frequently when he needs something last minute. He paints on a creepy mustache, puts a pillow in his belly and calls it good.

We found out our baby was a GIRL on November 1st! The girls were a little disappointed because they wanted a friend for Will, but they've come around to the idea. Robert and I had been trying to come up with names from his mom's side of the family this time, and when we found out the person we were thinking about naming our baby after was actually buried just two minutes from our home, I had to go see her grave. She was the first to come to the US from England as well as the first to join the church on that side of the family, and the minute I stood over her grave and looked down and saw my belly, I had a really strong feeling that this should be the name of our baby. It was pretty sweet.

My dad tripped and fell running and ended up tearing his rotator cuff and having to have surgery. Here are our two little gimps together just a bit before Will got his cast off and his pins out. Will calls my dad "Bonka" and loves to vacuum with him so much. I'm hoping he got my dad's cleaning obsession.

Elyse's sweet Eleanor Rex was born right after Thanksgiving. I love seeing her as a mom.

Our annual friend Christmas party did not disappoint! Shelly is the best hostess.

A magical, snowy Christmas Eve!

New Christmas jams, getting ready to head home before Santa comes!

We spent NYE up at the Arrington's cabin while my parents were visiting the Adseros in Abu Dhabi. No one slept very well, but we had a really great time partying together.

Minnie lost her top two and her bottom two front teeth within about a month! The Tooth Fairy has been very busy!

Minnie was begging to go up and ski, but since I'm pregnant and Robert doesn't know how to ski, she had to settle for the magic carpet at Park City. We had Lou give it a shot too, and although she wasn't the biggest fan, I was really proud of her for trying. She did better than I thought she would.

We had such a mild winter but the last couple weeks we have had some really big storms! William is obsessed with shoveling and must be outside with Robert whenever he's out there clearing the driveway. It's pretty cute seeing them work together.

Will is our little sunshine boy. He is so sweet and fun, really aware of other's feelings and honestly as snuggly as can be. It's funny because I was reading back at an old blog post when he was a few months old and I was saying how unsnuggly he was. It's funny how much things can change. He has been such a mama's boy and just loves to be close. I have loved it so much! He has recently become obsessed with his binky and his blanket. We should have taken that binky away months ago, but I keep telling myself that we will do it shortly after this baby comes. I'm praying it's not ridiculously hard.

And here I am last week, at about 37 weeks pregnant in front of my very dirty mirror. It's always unreal to me how big my belly gets. I think this has been my most uncomfortable pregnancy yet and although I'm anxious for surgery and a newborn and all that entails (which all goes down in ONE WEEK!), I'm so excited for all of us to meet this little girl and then to be on the road to recovery. It's wild to me to think this may be our last baby. Robert always says never say never, but at this point four is sounding pretty good. Maybe my tune will change in a year, though.

Friday, March 2, 2018

european adventure with the adseros!

I still can't totally believe we did this, and will forever be grateful that we did! Charlotte and I had been talking about us coming to Abu Dhabi for Thanksgiving or something, and then we toyed around with the idea of meeting somewhere in the middle instead. I'd been wanting to visit my friend Laurel and her new little twins in London and Charlotte had been talking to her friend Jessica about visiting her in Holland. I had been on the hunt for some good tickets in the fall, and when we found some direct on Delta at a great price I called Charlotte, and within a matter of a day it was on! I will admit that traveling around Europe with three kids is not much of a vacation, but it was a trip of a lifetime and I'm so glad we did it and that these seven little hooligans got to see each other.

Cousin meet up at the Buckingham Palace! This was the first time we all saw each other and it was pretty sweet.

Above, Robert is strolling in front of Laurel's cute house in Chelsea. The kids loved meeting the twins so much and I loved seeing Laurel's life in London. Rosie was asleep when we took this picture but I was so happy to hold cute Oscar. Robert was a saint one night and watched the kids at the airbnb so I could go out with Laurel, just the two of us. We were only staying about a 5 minute walk from her house so I just strolled on by and picked her up and then we walked to dinner down the road. Taylor was at work at his restaurant and Laurel was able to take me by there after dinner and give me a tour. It was so fun to see it all. I wish I would have taken some pictures.

I had been feeling pretty sick prior to this trip with baby #4, but thank the heavens that a day or two before we left I was miraculously cured and felt awesome the entire time!

Fresh flowers in so many window boxes and building sides all around the city.

We did a lot of touring around on our own because the Adseros arrived a little earlier and got a few things in in London before they had to head out for Disneyland Paris, which we skipped (shhh, don't tell our kids). I loved going around with them for many reasons, but mostly because my kids were so happy and also because we could get good family pics courtesy of Charlotte.

Minnie and I loved this colorful street in Chelsea, just a block from Laurel's house.

After a few days in London, we took the train to Paris. I loved the train because we could all sit together, facing each other, and it was so relaxing cruising through the countryside. I was interested to see what it would be like going through the Chunnel, but it was just dark for 15-20 minutes and then, boom, we were in France.

The sweetest cousins, so happy to be together again in Paris. I think Lou and Lincoln have a special bond. She loves him so much.

When we arrived in Paris we hopped on the Metro to head to our airbnb. We had never once felt nervous about anything in London, but Paris was a different story, There were just so many more shady people. I had the stroller with the kids in it and a few backpacks and Robert had the rest of the bags, bless him. We looked liked tourists to a tee, and Robert hadn't yet made the switch from carrying his wallet in his back pocket to his front, or deep inside a backpack or something. Anyway, when we arrived at our stop, I quickly hopped off the train with the kids, but when I looked back Robert was struggling. I couldn't figure out what was going on, if the bags were too much or what, but the doors started to slam closed and a few guys pretty much sacrificed their bodies to hold them open so Robert could get out. The kids were screaming their guts out and I just felt totally helpless. Once we were all together and a bit more composed, Robert told me some guy had just tried to pickpocket him (hello, we were perfect targets) and that he'd had to drop a few bags in the process to stop him, thus making it pretty hard to get off the train quickly. I guess the guys at the door were in cahoots with the guy trying to get Bob's wallet and held the doors for him in hopes that their friend would get the wallet, Bob would get off the train and they'd be home free. Thank the heavens they didn't know the wallet hadn't been taken, and we all walked out of the Metro stop in total shock. Lesson learned, Paris. Lesson learned.

Montmartre was probably one of the most charming parts of Paris, in my opinion. I don't feel like we did the best job navigating through that part of the city because everyone was tired, but I still loved it. 

Taking a little break from the rain in our cute airbnb in Paris. 

I figured we would be doing lots of walking and just giving ourselves a tour of most of the places we visited, but when it came down to the bigger kids walking and the time is was taking to get everywhere, we ended up caving and taking the big bus tours and I'm so glad we did! We loaded the kids up with snacks and then plugged our headphones in as the bus scooted us around the city and told us a million things we would have never known otherwise. Totally worth it! The tour in Paris started by the Louvre, so we took a few pictures outside, hopped on the bus for the tour, and since we were strollerless and it was raining and the kids were tired, we just headed back to the flat for a bit while the Adseros braved the Louvre. I've already been and Robert promised me I could take him next time we are in Paris and don't have little kids with us. Deal.

From Paris we rented a car and took a scenic three or four hour drive up to Holland. Charlotte's cute friend, Jessica, was nice enough to let us crash at her cute town house in Delft with the rest of the crew and it may have been one of my favorite parts of the trip. Delft was so dreamy, and it was only about an hour from Amsterdam where our great grandmother was born. Charlotte has done a lot of family history work on my maternal grandma's side of the family, and was able to track down the address of the home where my great grandmother and her family lived and owned a shop. It was pretty surreal being able to be where she had been so many years ago, and to stand on the steps I'm sure she and her parents had been up and down so many times. It felt a little like magic to all be there together.

Pretty, pretty Delft! These pictures are all mixed up as far as order goes, but hopefully you get the idea.


We went to church with Jessica and her family (how do I have no pictures of them??) on Sunday and then drove down to the northern coast of France to catch a train back to London. We were all seated together and Charlotte and I booked our last hotel together as well, so we were right next to each other. We deemed the last few days of the trip "cousin days" since we'd done lots of what we'd wanted to do already. We went to museums and played at parks and mostly just took it easy. We had lunch in Hyde Park next to the lake and then walked further in to find a playground. Lou pooped her pants shortly after leaving the restaurant (you better believe I threw away those undies) and then Minnie pooped her pants at the playground when I was at the bathroom fixing up Lou (you better believe I threw those undies away too). My girls...they just wait until the last second when something fun is going on and if I'm not paying attention it usually ends in disaster. Not our best potty day, but fun otherwise!

Saying goodbye in our jammies at the hotel continental breakfast was pretty bittersweet. These kids love each other so much. Can't wait to see these hooligans this summer! And can't believe Charlotte and I will each have one more to add to the crew.