{Seventeen for Sunday-Baby Edition}

Yes, I am still pregnant. I am thinking/hoping that this will be the last Sunday before I can actually breathe/see my feet/bend over/walk up my stairs/sleep at night/…have a beautiful little baby in my arms. In celebration of that little fact, I decided to compile all the funny or notable things that the kids have said in regards to this little guy and me being pregnant. I had forgotten about some of them-SO glad I wrote them down when they happened because some of them made me laugh out loud when I read them again, and some are just fun to remember what the kids thought of all of this baby stuff.

  1. Ryan is obsessed with seeing my belly-the big naked belly. It doesn’t count to feel the baby kick through my shirt, he wants me to lift up my shirt and show him my belly. His thing he says is, “Open it up!” Really cute, except when we are in the middle of church or some other public place and he thinks that everyone in the world would like to see that big white belly hanging out.
  2. Sometimes I will say something to Scott and then say,”Do you think that the baby can hear that?” He’ll always say back to me, “Duh, your mouth is open!”
  3. Erika is CRAZY obsessed with me being pregnant and along with the other girls can really barely contain themselves until this kid is born. After sacrament today, she says on her way to Primary,” If you start having contractions during Relief Society, come get me!” The whole labor process is pretty much lost on a 9 year old, but man does she sure want to not miss a bit of it. She feels to need to be constantly updated on any contraction activity happening at any time.
  4. Austin likes to remind me as of late that I look like I am going to pop.
  5. I went back to read up on when Ryan was born (really glad I wrote that down too, I felt like a pretty bad mom when I was reading it and couldn’t remember half of it) and had Ryan next to me playing. He got excited to look through pictures of himself when he was little. I said to him as we looked at one picture, “That was when you were one and a half.” He looked at me and said, “I was one at a time? Then two at a time, and now I’m three at a time”.
  6. The kids were asking how big the baby would be. We were taking guesses, and they were coming up with some great ways to tell how big he would be. Austin looked over then with this stroke of genius on his face, and with that great math brain of his said, “Wait, how about we just weigh you at the beginning and then weigh you now and subtract it!” It was a great idea in theory, but I am pretty sure that I am not having a 35 pound baby. Wouldn’t that be great if the actual baby was all the weight you gained? In a perfect world…He suddenly realized the error of his ways, and agreed that yes, that may not be the best way to calculate it. I’m glad because a 35 pound baby is sounding like a bit of a struggle to push out. I am amazing..but superwoman I am not.
  7. The kids (mostly Erika, Abby, and Scott) think it’s so funny that the baby is naked right now. We are pretty immature I know, but it just gives them the giggles every single time.
  8. Scott thinks that I am always sick and that I am always contagious too. He likes to remind me of that so I won’t even think of sharing a cup or sometimes kissing him on the lips. “Why won’t you kiss me?” I’ll ask. “Um, you’re sick-you have a baby in your tummy!”
  9. Not funny.Not even cute. Just a reminder to me of what life was like just a few days before Ethan was born. Ryan and Scott get sick last Wednesday night throwing up every 30 minutes. I wish I was kidding about that fact. But every 30 minutes! That was rough. They were sick Thursday and Friday. Friday night Erika threw up. We slept with three kids on our floors, and everyone else was sent to bed with bowls and towels lining their floors making a little path to the bathroom. Saturday the boys feel better. Sunday morning Ryan throws up again. I feel like my body just aches and can’t sleep at night because my legs have restless leg syndrome and I am having contractions from 10:30pm-3am for the last three nights. Tuesday we pick Austin up from school-that night he throws up. Brooke says she is sick-goes to bed with a bowl. Aaron throws up during the night-repeatedly, while he happens to be on call that night. Lucky for him there weren’t any calls after he threw up-serious tender mercy. Wednesday Abby has to be picked up from school because she is sick and ends up throwing up that night. Brooke sleeps all day Wednesday. That night both me and her finally break our fevers, and by Friday everyone is back at school and work. Brianna is the only one that walks away whole. Lucky girl.
  10. The kids love to watch my belly bubble up as the baby wiggles and moves all around. He puts on a seriously good show for us most Sunday nights. Ryan loves to rub lotion on my belly for me. LOTS of lotion. I have a very well moisturized tummy.
  11. Little baby diapers are seriously so cute. Weird I know. But seriously they are SO little. We look at them and we all break out in the high pitched squeal of cuteness voices. We are way excited around this place for this baby.
  12. I finally got around to washing up all the boy baby clothes. I forgot how little babies are. Those little clothes seem just so tiny! Our little tiny cuteness obsession clearly crosses over from the diapers to the clothes as well.
  13. Brianna is in love with driving with her permit. She loves to drive more often that I love to have her drive-it’s nothing personal, just a little stressful at times. She assures me it will be easier for me to just sit back and relax while she does all the driving. If it’s not, she is sure that it may just send me into labor-either way I win. That’s her rational at least. It worked in part after church because I gave in and let her drive home. We made it-and no contractions.
  14. When are you going to have this baby?! You need to have this baby tonight! When is he coming?! Are you having a contraction right now?-all key phrases at our house right now. Most mentioned by those age 15 and younger. Multiple times a day. Every day. Multiple times a day-did I mention that one?
  15. Brooke, Erika, and Abby like to constantly remind me how fat my stomach is. Like ALL the time. I can’t wait until all these daughters of mine grow up and have babies of their own. I will sometimes walk out with a new outfit on-one that doesn’t camouflage the fact that I am nine months pregnant as much, and I hear, “Wo, that is one big belly!” Love the honestly around this place.
  16. At preschool the boys talked about goals, and Ryan wanted his goal to be to go potty in the toilet. He is trying really hard, and is wearing pull ups. We used up our last diapers-besides the few straggler's hanging out in random diapers bags and the back pockets of the vehicle car seats. He does okay some days, and others he just feels a little lazy-kind of like me. He is really trying to reach his goal before this baby is born. I am pretty sure that we aren’t going to be breaking that 15 year straight streak of having someone in diapers though. 15 years. Wow, that’s a lot of diapers. I am super proud of him for trying so hard though. I think after the baby is born, and with a few incentives he will be potty trained all the way in no time.
  17. Brooke is really concerned about what the rules are about who gets to stand up and walk around holding the baby. She asks me very often in hopes that she will make the cut, and be on the stand up, and hopefully walk around list. Lucky for her, things are looking pretty good in her favor.


{ Happy Valentine’s to My Sweetheart }

17 years ago today,  I said “yes” to the best question ever asked me-“Will you marry me”? So glad I said yes! I love this guy more and more each day. He puts up with all my hard to live with qualities, and still loves me all the more for them. Thank you for 17 years of LOVE! I love you sweetheart!

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{ Valentine’s Letters to Our New Baby }

For Family Home Evening on Monday we talked about love, and told some stories of the prophet Joseph Fielding Smith and how he loved his family, then we wrote love letters to the new baby. The night before when Aaron said the family prayer he called the baby Ethan. All of the kids (especially Brianna) were all excited the rest of the prayer. He has been the last one to agree for sure on a name and usually just asks for the “baby” to be healthy and strong, so they were happy to have his approval, and write their little love letters to “Ethan” instead of just baby #8.

I guess we are pretty locked in with a name at this point-though Ryan and Scott still think that his name will be Jack Attack. They also think that he will come out with a cape and his arm will be up out straight like he is ready to fly into the sky. They have a little bit of super hero mania going on right now.
Ryan’s picture to the new baby
It was cute to see him color his heart (the left one) so intensely, and then the rest of his paper. He was very adamant about using “turquoise” his new favorite color I guess, and then would also grab his other colors in just the right order. He insisted that I color the other two hearts because, “I am too tired”.
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 Scott’s Valentine to the new baby
He is super excited for Valentine’s Day on Friday, and even more excited that he learned how to draw a heart at preschool last week. He has been drawing hearts on every picture he has made since then (which is a lot), and after seeing Brooke cut out a heart, he insisted that he add a few to his picture too. It’s hard to see but he REALLY taped down those hearts good. He is one of my “tape thieves” around here-he really loves to tape up anything he can. He made sure that I wrote down exactly what he said on the paper too, “I love you baby. Happy Valentine’s Day”.

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Abby’s letter to Ethan
Abby was a bit in a mood tonight and didn’t feel like writing too much. She made sure to tell him the most important thing she felt though-how much she loves him.

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Erika’s letter to Ethan
Erika’s letter made me smile-it’s funny to see the kids different perspectives about how life is around here. She is so excited for this little guy to get here that she can hardly contain herself some days. She is going to be such a great big sister for him.

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Brooke’s letter to baby Ethan
We had just read one of the hymns as part of the lesson-it was one that President Smith had wrote as a poem to his wife when he was away and feeling the loneliness and hardships she may have had to endure. Brooke decided she wanted to write a clever little poem in her Valentine’s letter to the baby too.

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Austin’s letter to Ethan
Austin gets right to the point. He was the first one done, and as well had to put in his plea to the baby that he will be the “favorite” one.

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Brianna’s letter to Ethan
Her letter kind of cracks me up-she is pretty confident that she will be the favorite too, and lists lots of great reasons for that. Makes me laugh!

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Aaron’s letter to Ethan

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My Letter to Ethan
And where is my handwritten letter? Unfortunately I got as far as Dear baby Ethan, and then was swiftly sidetracked helping the little boys with their letters and that’s about all I could muster by the end of FHE, so a typed version will have to due.
Dear Baby Ethan,
It’s hard to believe that 9 months have come and gone and it is almost time for you to be here. My heart is full this Valentine’s Day as I think of all the happiness and love you will bring to our family. It would be hard to pick who is the most excited to see you, everyone has been preparing in their own little way, and the wave of excitement hits them at different times. We wonder what you will look like, how you will act, how big you will be, and how sweet you will be to hold. We love you so much already!
I feel you kick all the time and can’t wait to see those tiny little feet in person. Your big brothers are helping me get everything ready for your arrival. They think those little diapers you will wear are as cute as I do. Ryan is very excited for you to have you new binkies that we bought you. We bought you a few new outfits and we all just squeal in delight at how little and cute they are. I know getting to see you in them will only bring more smiles on our faces.
I know since you are baby #8 that you must be patient, and one that will need lots of love. The abundance of love you will feel around here is by far the sweetest thing to see and for us to look forward to. I wonder how old you will be before you are actually put down for any period of time and not being held, there are so many arms just waiting to cuddle with you.
I hope when we bring you home you will be able to feel that love in our home, and every day after that. I hope you will grow with a strong knowledge of how much you are loved-both by us and by your Heavenly Father. I know that your sweet little spirit will bless our home everyday. I love you so much, and am so grateful to get to be your mom, and feel of your love too. We can’t wait to see you soon!!!
Love, Mom


{ Little Rituals-The Washing of The Shoes }

It’s funny to me how we have these little rituals that we do. They aren’t traditions, or holidays,… I don’t know that I would even call them habits. They are just those things we do again and again that paint a picture of what our life was like at a certain time, or show our personalities, or what we value as important. I have lots of those little rituals around here. I wonder why I don’t write them down as often as I should. I think after a while they become so common place that I don’t even see them as important anymore, they are just what we do.

I love thinking about them though. Some are silly. Some are essential. Some are just…so us. I think I am going to try to write down a few each month so I don’t forget what those special little rituals were at this time in our life. When I was sifting through some pictures from last year, I came across these pictures from my spring cleaning spree. I was so glad that I had taken the time to document this little ritual.

This one ranks up high on the scale of “not-so important”, but it still is part of our life right now. Washing shoes. I feel like our kids are so hard on shoes. It seems they run them into the ground-with very few survivors that ever make it as hand me downs. With 7 kids I try to make them last as long as I can by doing an occasional shoe cleaning party. I partly think it’s just my OCD side coming out, or maybe I just get so fed up with dirty floors from all of their dirty shoes even though we try hard to take our shoes off in the mudroom.

Whatever it is…it has become a ritual for me at least. Maybe I just like the story all these shoes. It shows the story of our life right now.

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Crocs are still “in” around here. I think anything that is quick, convenient, and easy to slip on and off is in. It is commonplace to have a bite or two taken out of them these days compliments of our dog Simon-note the green crocs with a little nibble taken out of the top. Please know I am only doing a forced half smile about this little fact. The chewing phase that doesn’t seem to be ending with this dog is pretty much driving me crazy.

Tennis shoes. Oh the struggle. I have the hardest time to find shoes that can go with just everyday outfits the girls have –not athletic shoes, just regular tennis shoes. I feel like they never fit right. It’s too tight. It rubs the back of my foot. They just don’t work. Nonetheless. I still wash them to make them look like new in hopes they will find their way into their shoe wardrobe somehow.

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Flip flops. The shoe of choice. Besides barefoot, which is pretty common too. How I love flip flops. I just wear them until they are literally falling apart. The pair below is my favorite right now. I pretty much wear them year round, wash them up good when they get too dirty, and then wear them some more. I am really a cheapskate when it comes to shoes, and these flip flops were a bit more than the regular Old navy or Target $5 special, but so worth it. They mold to your foot and are just so comfortable. I need to find some more because I can tell these are started to wear out on me.

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The kids are a huge fan of flip flops too. I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t survive in any other part of the country that we actually had to wear closed toe shoes for any length period of time throughout the year. Look at all those clean shoes. I little ritual I have come to love.

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{ Valentine’s Day…A Year Ago }

With Valentine’s coming up I realized that I never posted from last year’s celebrations. (big surprise that I am that behind I know) We LOVE to make a big deal around here when it comes to holidays. I LOVE little traditions like this that give us something to look forward to and helps the kids appreciate all the little things that make us happy. I sometimes feel guilty about not going on as many family vacations or doing really big things-but days like this help us all to see how those little things can really add up and be just as memorable as the big ones.

Brianna asked me the other day if we were going to do something big for Valentine’s this year or not because I am so close to having the baby. I told her I didn’t know, which the kids usual interpret as NO-and  I was kind of sad and disappointed in myself for using that having-a-baby-thing for an excuse. Looking back at these pictures makes me get excited to at least come up with something fun for the kids.

The kids still LOVE coming home from school and spreading all of their special Valentine’s cards and treats that they got from their classmates out on the floor to look at. Poor Scott, he looked on with such envy of the stuff they got. I think they were nice to share some of their treats with him. I was glad that I had everything else set up for our special Valentine’s night fun so he had something else to look forward to.

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I LOVED Abby’s hair for today-I tried one hairdo that was suppose to look a little more like hearts, but it didn’t look so fantastic, so we opted for the simplified version. I LOVE that it’s the middle of winter and she is wearing flip flops today-I think what I LOVE most is that is was so warm out that she could wear flop flops today. That is definitely my kind of winter!

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Party time! Balloons are my go to fun item for the kids. It almost always brings out the smiles for them all-maybe not so much with Brianna and Austin anymore, but 5 out of 7 isn’t bad in my book. When we tied one to our dog Simon’s tail and watched him chase it, that brought out some excitement from the older kids so I’m officially counting the balloons a success.Valentine's Day 2013 blog-9

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I actually had these chocolates set out this morning so they could have some little treats on their way out the door to school. I am pretty sure that they needed to be refilled by dinnertime-I think I was in need of a lot of chocolate LOVE, HUGS, and KISSES today.

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I sometimes think that I like the party setup almost as much as the party. It was any excuse to get whatever I saw that was red or pink. Everyone got one of their favorite big chocolate candy bars, and then one present. It is usually a book of some sort, and the older kids and Aaron got iTunes cards this year. Some years we have done movie tickets, or something else that’s fun to do as a family. I don’t see a chocolate on my plate, so I’m pretty sure I was on a eat healthy kick that day. I think the real truth is that I was on a health kick the day that I bought the candy bars, and then today I just ate enough LOVE, HUGS, and KISSES to get me through.

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I LOVE that you can see a panoramic of our whole kitchen area. It makes me smile.

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{ Seven For Sunday }


  1. Tonight we were all sitting in the front room and Ryan came in from the bathroom and asked for me to button his jeans. I asked “"Did you go poop or pee in the potty?”- a little surprised because he still officially wears diapers. He looked at me and said, “No, it didn’t work out”. Poor kid, bless his heart for trying so hard with the deadbeat potty training mom he has.
  2. A few weeks ago we were at church and Erika was on one side of me and Scott was sitting on the other, both with their hands on my belly just waiting for the baby to move. I felt the baby move and looked at Scott and said, “Did you feel that?” He got excited and said, “Yes” A few minutes later the baby kicked again and Scott got really excited. He said,” Last time I just said I felt it, but this time I REALLY did.”
  3. Aaron is such a good dad and husband. He and the kids are up to some surprise they are doing. There is lots of whispering and planning and lots of happy helping out. I don’t know what it is, and at this point I am too tired to be sneaky and find out.  I am just so grateful for a loving husband and loving kids who love me so much. I feel very taken care of.
  4. Yesterday Aaron took it upon himself to be in charge of Saturday work. He is just SO patient. He made out the lists for the kids and helped the little boys clean. He is just so fun. They would clean up a few things and then they would get to play a cleaning “game” and he would use one of their light saber swords and point to something and they would have to pick it up. This guy is definitely the better half of us when it comes to fun. I wish I would take better notes from him sometimes-I need a little help in the fun department.
  5. Ryan is still in love with saying the prayer. He insists on saying it every time, and I love to see how in the last few months it has grown from “thank you for the food” to a whole list of things. Since my brother and sister in-law stayed with us for a few weeks back in September he always says, “Thank you that Mitch and Michelli came to our house.” For awhile he would just say Michelli (I think he has a secret crush on her) and then say, “..and what’s his name? Oh, Mitch” Now he has both of their names down good, but since around Thanksgiving his prayers have gotten even longer. We talked about trying to say three things in his prayers so now he says he loves Jesus, thanks for the food, and thanks for Mitch and Michelli. When my parents left after Christmas he has added in a new part, it goes something like this, “Dear Heavenly Father, I love Jesus, I love Mitch and Michelli, I’m thankful that Grandpa and Grandma came to our house, and for Granddad and that other Granny, bless the food, Jesus Christ, Amen. Most times there are some giggles after the “other granny” part from other people, so he occasionally says, “those two other granny’s” and then breaks out in giggles.
  6. Austin thought it would be fun to try and sleep with our dog Simon tonight instead of Simon being in his crate.. Since there is a no dog in the bedroom rule, he asked if he could sleep in the front room on the floor and put on Simon’s leash so he wouldn’t wander around in the night. I agreed and by the time that bedtime rituals were finished we ended up with Austin, Brooke, Erika, and Abby all on the floor getting cozy. I went upstairs to get Ryan put to bed, and then went out into the hallway to sit for awhile to make sure he wouldn’t wander out until he was fully asleep. I could hear the kids downstairs begging Simon to lay down and go to sleep. After about twenty more minutes I heard the crate down shut and Austin come up stairs. I asked how it was going? He smiled and said kind of exasperated, “He wouldn’t just lay down and go to sleep. He kept wanting to wander around and play.” “Kind of like a little 3 year old?” I asked smiling. Yes, he agreed. The three girls soon followed up the stairs telling of their trying to get the dog to go to sleep stories as well. At the end Erika, said, “I’m tired, I gotta get some sleep” . Sometimes this dog teaches some good lessons to my kids I don’t even ask him to teach.
  7. Brianna has her driving permit now, and so is always begging us to take her driving. A few weeks ago Aaron asked who wanted to come with them, and everyone was super excited and yelling and scrambling to get on their shoes and get in the van to go with them. Aaron looked at me and said, “I’ve never seen kids so excited to go 25 mph.” It made me laugh.