Thursday, April 30, 2015


 Living here has it's perks.
We get to see this from our breakfast table each morning.
 And from the floor in our living room I can look up to see these beautiful mountains.
I spend a lot of time on the floor, changing Christian's diapers, cleaning up the kids' toys, reading books, picking up about 6000 beads that Nick likes to throw around, cleaning up the toys again....etc.
It sure helps my mood to be able to look outside and see something so beautiful while I'm in the trenches of young motherhood.

And we get to watch lots of interesting wildlife.
There's a bald eagle who lives nearby, and several times each month I see him swooping down over the golf course and soaring into the canyon.
We have a family of quail that like to wander down our river bed in the backyard.
Canadian geese have built a nest in the golf course pond just around the corner from us.
We have all sorts of birds, deer, coyotes, rabbits, 

And then, there's these guys:

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.
We've watched them up on the mountainside and down in our golf course for the past three years.
Herds of them, grazing peacefully, so fun to see.
Until this guy went crazy:

The picture is from my friend Allison, because I was too chicken to take one of him at my house.

For weeks this spring this one ram has terrorized the neighborhood. I have no idea what got into him, but he'd climb up onto people's back porch and ram into the glass doors. He also rammed into cars and garbage cans.  I watched him run down the streets, approaching people's porches and wandering their backyards.

One morning, I was still in bedwith Christian, nursing him, and Ellie was downstairs alone eating the breakfast Kent had gotten her before he left for work. 

I heard a loud thump, and then she shrieked. 
I assumed she'd just dropped something.

But then she came running upstairs to talk to Nicholas, who was in the playroom.
"Nick! That was SO AWESOME! A really friendly goat wanted to come say 'Hi'! He knocked on our door and then he jumped over the sandbox! It was so cool! Come see!"

And I'm thinking, No. No, let's not go see. 
I'm also thinking, Thank goodness Ellie didn't open the door so he could say "Hi." 

Honestly, I was terrified. But I tried not to let the kids know that. Ellie was being incredibly brave, but Nicholas has a tendency to overreact. (wonder where he got that...)

I made the kids come in my room and close the door and I called the sheriff's office to get animal control out here. And we just listened and waited while the mad ram thumped against our door over and over and over.  

Eventually the thumping stopped and I got brave enough to leave the room. By the time animal control showed up, the ram was long gone, but I showed them which direction I'd seen him go off into the neighborhood.

I don't know if they got him, but he hasn't been around since then.
Living in the mountains can be pretty exciting!

Sunday, April 26, 2015


We went up to my parents' house for Easter and conference weekend.
We wanted to spend the weekend with everyone, 
plus we had to introduce our little guy to my Grandma:

 She adores him.

It was General Conference that weekend, but I spent most of my time on the couch, nursing a very sad baby. It was the peak of his reflux problems, and I was so so grateful to be there with so many extra hands to help love and hold my little man. I even got to take a coupe of naps, which was glorious.

And I'm glad conference is online so I can listen to all the talks I missed.

Saturday morning the Easter Bunny came, and left jellybean trails as clues to where the baskets were hidden.

We'd had a long, rough night with Christian, but these excited faces just couldn't wait any longer.

"How did the Easter Bunny know what size my head is?!"

In between conference sessions we had our traditional family bonfire and hot dog roast. We've done this since before I was born.
After the picnic the kids get to do an Easter egg hunt:
On Sunday morning we colored eggs.

Our sad little Christian was there too:

My parents have a neighbor who has built his own "train," and he'll drive around the neighborhood giving the kids rides--it's so cute!

Because we didn't have church on Easter Sunday (conference weekend), I got the kids dressed up in their new Easter clothes the following Sunday:

Sunday, April 12, 2015

the first weeks

During that first week home, when it was just me and Kent and Christian,
we had to do some jaundice treatments, and daily trips to the hospital lab for blood draws.
On our way home from the hospital we'd go out for donuts or smoothies, just the three of us.

Christian had to sleep on the biliblanket for just one night--he began to recover like a champ.
Our little guy is incredibly strong. He holds his head up almost too well--we almost forget he's only a few weeks old and then he'll flop down and smash his nose on our chests.

The day we came home from the hospital, Christian got to meet my parents and siblings, 
and they came back the next weekend too!  

After bringing our other babies home in Texas where we didn't have any family around, it was really really fun to be surrounded by family, everyone loving on my sweet little baby.

Kent's mom came the next week,
her help was so wonderful! She kept the house clean and fed us and played endless games with the bigger kids.

Kent and I have been amazed at how incredible Nicholas has been since Christian was born. He's the sweetest kid! 
So helpful! So happy! SO obedient! 
He really is a fantastic five-year-old.
And he vacuums happily. Thinks it's a special privilege, actually.
Super awesome.

Ellie loves her little brother, and she's been very sweet to him,
but I think she's feeling much more affected by the lack of attention on her. 
While Teresa was here I got to take Ellie out for cookies, just me and her.
She brought her purse.
I love this girl.

These first few weeks are always kind of a blur,
but we're happy to be together, happy to have Christian here, 
and happy to be figuring it all out, day by day.

Friday, April 10, 2015

brother love

Nicholas is deep in love with his baby brother.
Unless Christian is crying (during which Nicholas gets as far away as possible), Nick is right in his face, 
talking to Christian, kissing him repeatedly, nuzzling up to his soft little head.

He tells me several times a day that "I just love Christian! Don't you??" (Not sure why he thinks I might not...)
Nicholas has also been very concerned that I'm not feeding Christian enough.  It took us a few weeks to help Nick realize that I am paying attention when Christian cries, and that not every cry can be fixed by just nursing him again

Really, though, Nicholas adores this baby. And I love it.
Christian is sleeping on my chest right now as I type this, and Nicholas just came over with little snuggling squeaky noises and said,
"Just look at his cute pucker lips!"

What fun these two are going to have!

I've noticed something this time around. Not only do I always have enough love to share with each and every new child we have,
but having a new baby actually gives me more love for the family I already have. 
My love grows for everyone, and I find myself gushing over the sweetness of the older children, fawning over my baby, and swooning while I watch my husband be such a good daddy.  

Babies really are the best.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

first bath

Whew. The past week has been kinda nuts.
Our sweet little Christian has started up with colic. I think it's caused mostly by reflux, 
but we're still working on getting him the right medicines that will help.

Having a baby who cries all day long is a new kind of hard.  Thankfully, we do have some good days where he is mostly happy.

I know it won't last, and that sure helps.  I just wish I knew how to make him feel better. When he screams he looks at me with a "Help me Mommy!" look in his eyes that just breaks my heart, and I can tell he's just hurting.

But, I'm sure we'll figure it out, and until then I'm so grateful for the bigger kids and how helpful and sweet they're being.

And, I've learned some awesome new skills:
sleeping sitting up (he only sleeps while upright on my chest)
speed cleaning the house/getting kids' lunch/using the bathroom while Christian takes one of his "power naps"
putting on the ergo carrier while Christian is sleeping on my chest, without waking him up
getting dressed while nursing (yep)

I think I'm going to be Supermom by the time he outgrows this.

Two weekends ago, the kids and I decided it was time to give Christian his first bath.
While the water was warming up, the kids helped entertain him:

The big kids have been playing with all of our baby toys, and they keep giving them to Christian...I guess hoping that he'll suddenly be big enough to play with them?

They've also been obsessed with taking Nick's old clothes out of the closet and picking out which ones they're going to "save" for when Christian gets bigger.

Me spending so much time nursing and soothing my poor little guy has left the big kids to entertain themselves for much of the day,
which is awesome,
but also very toys and outgrown clothes everywhere.
Someday my house will be in order again. Someday.

Nicholas disappeared before we got Christian in the tub.
Christian was starting to fuss.  Nick has the hardest time when Christian cries (which has made this reflux/colic stuff pretty rough.) He's been spending a lot of time outside, especially in the evenings when Christian is the saddest. He tells me that Christian's crying makes his tummy feel sick.  
Mine too.

Ellie stuck around to help, though. She really seems pretty indifferent to Christian's fussing.  

He makes the most adorable grumpy old man faces when he's sad.

Really! So cute.