Friday, March 15, 2013

3 months

It has been three months since I have updated the blog.  We've had a lot happen in that time.  I will try to update...


On December 14, 2012 our 5th child, Amelia Grace, was born.  We learned in August of last year that Milli had Trisomy 18, the same condition that our first child, Hope Elisabeth, had.  We knew our time with her would be short but we hoped for time to spend with her and our 3 other children.  Unfortunately, Milli was stillborn.  We knew that was always a strong possibility, but we certainly hoped otherwise.  Her birth was a special experience and we felt her sweet spirit strongly.  I felt more peace that night than I had (or have) in a long time.  We continue to learn from our experience with Milli and we continue to grow.  We are still recovering and are grateful for that process.  She is a beautiful baby and we miss her.

Milli's Funeral

We flew to Utah 4 days after Milli's birth for her funeral and burial.  The mortuary in Michigan arranged for her travel and then the mortuary in Utah took over.  We are very grateful to Jenkins-Soffe for the way that they have taken care of both of our girls.  We were pleased that a former ward friend was our funeral director. It made the experience all the more personal for us.

The day after we arrived we went up to the cemetery to sign some paper work.  We took a picture of Hope's headstone knowing that she would soon be joined by her younger sister.  (Of course, we knew that at that point they were already together.)
The viewing was very nice and we felt a lot of support from friends and family.  It was good to see Milli and to have more time with her.  We actually spent a lot of time holding her (which we didn't do with Hope).  It might sound strange, but I am really glad that we did.  Each of the kids also held her.  They hadn't in the hospital so I am glad that they did then.  Their cousins wanted to hold her and once our kids saw the pictures of them holding Milli, they decided to.  

Mike's dad, Mike and I all spoke at the graveside service.  My dad conducted the meeting.  The kids were a bit rambunctious but Uncle Kelly (who is oftentimes the ringleader) did a good job at reigning them in.

After the service the kids played around the cemetery a bit.  Abby found some silk flowers (I decided not to ask her where she found them) and decorated Milli's casket with them.  The kids were interested in seeing the hole she'd be buried in so the funeral directors removed the board and showed them the hole.  Mike and the big kids ended up climbing down into the hole to place the casket (with the silk flowers lovingly arranged on top).

It was a long day.  We had a lunch at the church after the services.  Later that night we went to Temple Square to see the lights.  I was excited to show the lights to my kids being that Temple Square is such a Utah Christmas tradition.  I was surprised how emotionally drained I was by that point (surprise, surprise) but I am glad that the kids had a nice time with some of our extended family and that I got to see some of my favorite trees on Temple Square!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Happy Birthday, Hannah!

Our baby is 2!

We celebrated Hannah's birthday 2 weeks ago.  We had a fun, family (fairly low key) day.  The day before her birthday we were at Sam's Club and picked up some muffins for her breakfast.  After that, every time we mentioned her birthday, she'd say "muff-muff".  As far as she was concerned, birthdays are all about muffins. We had hot dogs for dinner followed by cupcakes (also called muffins by Hannah) and presents.  She has enjoyed her gifts and pushes her new stroller everywhere!
Some things about Hannah:
  • Her talking is really improving!  Her vocabulary is really growing and she is using many 2-word combinations.  Many of those start with "no" (ie no bib, no nap, etc.).  We love hearing her talk so much more.  She calls me "mama", Mike "dada", Abby "abba" and Briton "bip".
  • She also loves to undress and redress herself.  She gets very creative with her outfits.  (I remember Abby going through this stage.)

  • Hannah's favorite foods are yogurt, mac and cheese, hot dogs and peanut butter.  She likes to spread peanut butter on her bread all by herself!
  • Hannah's favorite toys are her dolls and doll stroller and our marble run.
  • She is a good sleeper and takes very good naps.  We recently moved Briton into the girls' bedroom and set up the bunk beds for Abby and Briton.  Hannah loves to climb up on the bunk beds and be a big kid like her siblings.  I think she wishes we'd let her sleep on the top bunk, but she'll need to stay in the crib for a bit longer.
Hannah is delightful and very loved by all of us!

Posted by Picasa

Broken Arm

About 3.5 weeks ago, I was in the basement when I heard a thump-thump-thump-scream.  I initially thought it was Hannah since I'd been having a hard time keeping her from climbing all over.  When I got upstairs, Briton ran to me holding his arm and told me he'd fallen down the stairs.  I comforted him for a minute, felt his arm to make sure it didn't feel too terribly injured and then asked him how he fell down the stairs.  He told me he'd ridden down in a box!  (I admit that I chuckled a bit.  That is very Briton.)  After a while he was still crying and every time I tried to move his arm, he cried louder.  I ended up taking him to the ER after we got Hannah off with dad (and later the neighbors).  Although not a serious break, the x-rays did show a break right above the elbow and he received a sling.  It was a long day - 5 hours in the ER.  I do really like the pediatric ER in the hospital here.  Everyone there is really great!

Here he is with the splint and sling (alongside the infamous box).  He really hated it and he was exhausted when this picture was taken.
2 days later he got the splint off and had a waterproof fiberglass cast on.  It was fabulous.  It didn't go past his wrist so he could still write, eat and play with it.  I was so pleased that really the cast proved to be a non-issue for any of us.  (The only thing it limited was some of the shirts he could wear.)  Here he is (with the box again) with the new cast.
This morning we got the cast off!  The cast was short lived - only 3 weeks!  Briton was excited to get it off but I think he is a bit surprised at how little he wants to move his arm.  He's still holding it in the casted position, but I am sure the motion and his confidence will come back within the next few days.
Posted by Picasa

Christmas Tree!

The day after Thanksgiving, we took our annual trip to the Christmas tree farm a couple miles from our house.  It was a cold day, but the kids were excited to bundle up.

We took the tractor to our favorite variety of trees and found a winner!
It took a week or so to get it decorated, but we love being all set up for Christmas!

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Abby is 6!

Today is Abby's 6th birthday!

She is a fabulous person.  We love her creativity - her desire to make everything beautiful.  She has an excellent memory and is a quick learner.  She is a very caring sister and treats her siblings exceptionally well. We are so proud of her desire to be good and to make good choices.

We had a very nice day, complete with a donut breakfast, a trip to Impressions 5 (which happened to fall on Chemistry Day which proved to be very fun) and lunch at McDonald's.  In the afternoon she helped decorate her cake, spent some time with mom, went with the family to the neighbor's 1st birthday party and rounded it off with a pizza dinner and her own cake!  Busy, but complete.

Impressions 5 is always a favorite of our kids.  We haven't gone for a few months, but were excited to see some of the new exhibits.  There is an awesome building area with all sorts of building materials.  Abby was especially excited about all the special chemistry events.  Students from local colleges and high schools set up displays throughout the museum with fun hands-on activities for the kids.  Mike's work was a sponsor and also had some activities.
This is Abby unwrapping a gift.  She got the bathrobe she is wearing, a couple outfits, a watch, lots of arts and crafts supplies, a movie, the traditional birthday photo book and a pony stuffed animal.  Thanks to all the grandparents and aunts and uncles for the lovely gifts.  (I like this picture because Briton was being strongly encouraged to keep his hands to himself while Abby opened her gifts.  He was just way too excited for all the festivities!)
Posted by Picasa

Greenfield Village

Our family riding in an authentic 1921 Model T

Greenfield Village is one of the Ford Museums in Dearborn.  It includes lots of historical homes - not recreated homes and structures, but the real things transported from their original locations.  Some include Thomas Edison's workshop, Henry Ford's birthplace, the Wright Brothers bicycle shop, the Robert Frost home, the Noah Webster (think: dictionary) home and many, many more.  It is really a fascinating place.  Not all of it was super for kids as little as ours, but there was plenty for them as well - a glass blowing shop, a pottery workshop, a printer's office, etc. (all hands on to some degree).

Here are a few pictures from our fun day:

I don't remember too many times when all of the kiddos are looking at the camera in the same picture:)
Abby is taking her turn operating the printing press.
Everyone enjoyed the carousel!
Greenfield Village is an amazing place and we hope to go back!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween 2012

A small shopping center in our town had trick or treating this week...and it was conveniently scheduled the same night as the branch trunk or treat.  Mike is going to be out of town on Halloween so we did our pictures a week early.

Here are the many faces of Abby the witch.  Perhaps you can guess which of the 4 poses I requested (one of these girls is not like the others...)  We think that the outfit turned out cute (and the girl is even cuter) - thanks, in part, to the US Postal Service.  (I mailed the skirt half finished to my mom so that she could finish it and then she mailed it back.)  Abby has wanted to be a witch since about the day after Halloween last year!
Briton just wanted to be a ghost.  You might notice the short sleeves and sunshine.  It was nearly 80 degrees that day.  Weird weather (but adorable ghost).
Hannah is the 2nd generation of Little Red Riding Hood.  Abby delighted us in this outfit 4 years ago.  (I guess it is really the 3rd - or more - use of it since I wore this hood and apron as a kids.  Ahhhh, cute.)  She picked up on the trick or treating quite well!
Posted by Picasa