Halloween Baby

we have a boy at our house who is turning 3 today!!!!  

Here's Mr. Blake, going home from the hospital! i love that monster sleeper! so cute!  Blake has always been a sweet soul, a little more mellow than Ethan and Avery were as babies/small kids, which is a welcome change, i'm not gonna lie:)  

Blake also has a charming way about him, he endears himself to people, almost immediately! it is actually very interesting to watch....he's squishy and sweet and cute and his smile is contagious!!!

Bless the third child, he sleeps anywhere...AND easily transfers to his bed! and always has! amazing!!!

Avery and Ethan will randomly run at him during the day, and give him a squeeze (probably too hard) and say, "what? i just can't help it, mom, he's so CUTE!!!"

here's our cowboy from last night's trunk or treat!!!  we are so blessed to have Blake in our family.  He loves to read, he plays by myself or with others well (for the most part:)), he loves to swim, loves to be outside, will give you a hug and kiss when you need one, he is deliberately funny and has been for a couple of years, making us laugh and smile throughout the day.

Happy Birthday Little Man!!!!


Halloween Decorations

i love halloween, i really do. i have always liked it, i like the colors, the candy, dressing up is fun. it has gotten even more fun with kids added into the mix, and then take into account that B-man's birthday is ON halloween and we've got ourselves a serious party:)
here's some of our decorations this year...
front door.  i made this tulle wreath with some marvelous ladies in my area who attend the craft group that i organize.  this wreath was inspired by one here, we used embroidery hoops, just one piece and it took about 1.5 spools of tulle.

my bench by the front door...

closer...this sign is inspired by this one over at Lil Blue Boo they provided a download of the words, already flipped the wrong way for us, that was awesome!!! i decided to add some orange to make it pop:) i like it!!!

just inside our front door...i made this sign a few years ago with some friends...we crackled it, and that was fun! our skeleton welcoming his friends...

my entry table...with the countdown (obviously not current to today, but you know:)) jar pumpkins there too...

printable from Tatertots and Jello

i got the rat silhouettes and some spider silhouettes at the dollar tree...i love the dollar tree:)  also the window clings on the mirror (and the sliding glass door, not pictured) came from there too:)

the mummy jar, and candy corn cone (and spider on the vase) are new this year...the rest is remixed from years past...

my 2x4 friends we made last year in craft group

even the picture wall got attacked with the spider silhouettes this year... i like the subtle cute/spooky:)

and some spiders on the lampshade:)

there are other things scattered about...but those are the highlights...i just love to get out all my seasonal stuff and the kids get excited about it too:)  it's a fun time.


Dear Christian,

Today is a day that I have thought about a lot over the last year.  How would we feel? What would we do? What kind of place will we be in emotionally, physically, spiritually...Today marks one year since you left our family.  I remember that day last year with perfect clarity, the days after not so well. But Oct. 11 of last year stands out...and much of it is very personal to me, but it was a very hard day, sweet little boy, very hard.  We never even thought of this outcome...ever.  Always when you have a procedure or surgery the very most extreme outcome is leaving the hospital without your loved one...but that is the extreme, that doesn't usually happen. But it did happen to us.  And everyday I look at your sweet picture on the wall, that will never change, and I am sad that you are not here with us. Everyday.  This last year, it seems impossible that it has been a year but time has passed, has changed us all.  We have changed in many ways that we are not even aware of yet.  Want an example?  A few Sundays ago, your sister went to the bathroom at church and then I went right after her to check on her because I can't really handle letting your siblings out of my sight if they are within my reach...we couldn't find her.  At first I was sure she had gone in the men's bathroom with your older brother, but I called to her, she didn't answer. I asked E if she was in there, he said no. I looked methodically around the church, in vacant rooms, on the stage, in small places where she might like to hide, outside even...she was nowhere.  By the time 10 minutes had passed I was panic-filled.  My mind went a lot of places I couldn't handle...your dad came out of the meeting and helped look, and finally found her, where? In the men's bathroom, that I had now called into frantically at least twice with no answer.  She was hiding in there.  Once we had her out, I just started sobbing.  That experience taught me two things; obviously I can't let Miss A go to the bathroom alone, even at 5 years old, and, secondly, even though I would have normally been upset about her disappearance, my reaction was greatly enhanced...because of our previous experiences.  Our lives and our reactions are influenced by what has happened previously, and you passing away was a traumatic and life-changing event.  That has changed the landscape of our lives, and our family forever.

I am sad for all the things that we won't experience with you...all of your first and seconds and thirty-thirds...all the things I don't know about you.  I can infer some things because you have siblings and we might assume that you would be similar but I will not know about YOU personally, at least not for a long while, until we meet again.  I am sad that there will always been an asterisk in our family...we tell people that this is our 5th baby we are expecting and when they ask us the ages of the other four...there's the * by you.  Because while we know how old you are (14 months old on the 18th of Oct), you are not here with us and it seems wrong not to include you in our family line up but also weird not to acknowledge the fact that you are not with us.  Such a hard subject to broach, and all from a simple question asked by a stranger who has no idea what this last year has been for our family.

There are things I am not sad about...I will never be sad that you came to our family.  That you are still a part of our family.  You will always be with us, in our hearts, in our minds.  We feel you near us, we think of you everyday.  We say goodnight to you every night.  We visit your memorial marker and speak to you.  But we will always want more. Because we love you.  Very much.  We were at a mall play area a couple of weeks ago and I saw some little boys running around, one a year old and one 15 months old, and I saw another little boy there, 13.5 months old, fitting right in, and playing with them...it was you.  And it was all I could do to not cry.  

But we always smile when we think of the 7 weeks that you were here in our home.  You brought us and those around you so much joy and love.  We all remember how sweet and soft and little you were.  How your diapers didn't smell bad, how you were learning to smile and make little cute noises.  We will keep those treasures in our hearts, until we are reunited again.  Because we know that families are forever, and we know that you are not all that far from us, and that one day we will all be together again.

We love you.
Mom, Dad and your crazy siblings



entropy is a measure of the unavailable energy in a closed system, also usually considered a measure of the system's disorder... (or randomness)

here's to our entropy!!!
i LOVE that my kids love to read, and pretty much always have. Ethan can read on his own now, but he still likes being read to...but they all will hand me books during the day or ask to read. i sometimes find any one of them off in a room looking through books.  it's a good habit to have and i am glad we are cultivating it. almost every room in our house has a bookshelf with accessible books on it.

sundays are especially hard for this little man...church starts at 12:30 and gets out at 3:30, that's right during naptime, sometimes he'll fall asleep on the ride home from church, in which case i put him in his bed and let him rest. i used to make all the kids lay down when we got  home from church, because i wasn't feeling well at the beginning of this pregnancy and needed a rest, but now i just let them stay up, cause that means an earlier bedtime and generally less crankiness because going to sleep that late engenders crankiness.  but consequently, on sundays where he stays awake...this is what dinner time looks like for Blake:)

cadbury has found a way into Halloween and i'm okay with that..is the yolk green? i haven't bought one yet, so i don't know...but they are so good...

again reading...it is very exciting to me to watch him learn to read and expand his skill set.

our kids like each other. it's super cute. all three of them really like each other, genuinely.  they still get on each other's nerves quite a bit and annoy each other to no end, but that is what siblings DO...but this picture just warms my heart:)

hey blog, i'm pregnant.  don't know that i have really "said" that here on the blog, this picture was taken almost four weeks ago when i was 30 weeks.  so accordingly, this week i'll be 34 weeks...time seems to be going normal speed but then when i look back, it's going fast...that is the way of it lately.

Nana Kara gave Ethan these cowboy boots, they are a size 7, he wears a 1 but that doesn't stop him or Avery or even Blake from clomping around in them, and they love it!!! and i think it's pretty cute too! 

something i am so thankful for: a functioning dryer!!!  over the last few weeks i'd noticed that it was taking longer and longer to dry things in our dryer and then we hit an all time low of setting it 6 different times to dry  baby clothes! i mean come on!!!  then it was getting really moist and hot in the laundry room, whereas before it had only been warm. Then it started to smell like throw up...yeah, that's not good.  turns out the silver duct vent thing on the back of the dryer that runs from the dryer to the wall and vents to the outside had come unattached and it was full of mold! NAAAAHAAAASTY!!! (that was nasty, if you didn't catch it:)) so gross.  Kendall is my hero and he got the appropriate parts, cleaned everything out (bless him!) and fixed it up! and today i did 4 loads of laundry in the time it took to get one done before! i am still so excited about it! small pleasures folks!  also i saw this idea on a website called Paging Supermom to clean baby clothes which changed my life.  Avery was a prolific reflux thrower-upper and her tiny baby clothes have been stored in a hot AZ garage for  4+ years and i thought many of them were too far gone for this baby, but turns out oxy clean and the power of the sun are magical!!! try it if you have stains that you can't get out!!!