A new adventure means adjusting, but fun too.
Just a week or two after moving in, Ben's sister Bethany took the 3 big girl cousins on a girl's day out. They went shopping first- what tween doesn't love to shop?
Pizza for lunch!
And the carousel after. What a fun day. Aunt Bethany is so fun.
Livy has loved joining us for family scripture study.
We have been graced with some gorgeous sunrises. Ben gets up at 4:45 a.m. every morning for work and is privy to these.
And sunsets, too.
I didn't sign the twins up for any preschool here and have loved having them home with me. Olivia has loved it too. These 3 spend sometimes hours and hours a day in the backyard together.
On Valentine's Day Eve, Ben and I found this note on our bed. They surely did bring us breakfast in bed and it was so cute.
Grandma and Papa Blakeslee sent a fun V-Day gift for them!
It was a gorgeous and warm day, so we invited cousins and family to come and play baseball with us at the nearby high school.
Lexi, up to bat!
Even Nana batted!
Leah, our fierce little athlete.
Grandma Cynde sent the kids a Valentine and a gift card to McDonald's.
It was so nice and warm that we had V-Day dinner out on the lawn.
Later that night, we invited Nana and Papa and Aunt Bethany over for s'mores around the fire pit.
A 17 month old and a fire pit are a busy, scary activity! I took her to bed after just a few minutes.
Ben took the kids on a bike ride one day to a nearby gas station for slurpees. We have been loving all the sunshine here!
More backyard fun while the big kids are at school. They all play so well together, these 3.
Daisy the dog has loved having the kids outside so much playing with her. Olivia is just really getting to know here since moving here. Here she is giving her a "hug". She calls any dog "gaga."
One Saturday late in February, Aunt Bethany took the big boy cousins out for a "man day." They did the carousel as well.
They also had pizza for lunch and went to the skate park. They were in heaven!
For dinner one night, we took the kids to use their McDonald's gift card from Cynde.
Having cousins so close has been so fun. These two redheads are becoming fast buddies (although next to Grant, Olivia does not look red-headed at all.
Cousins over for dinner!
Mitch loved giving his dad a hair cut one day. He was quite giddy about it.
This little sweetie is 17 months going on 3. She quickly learned how to climb to the top of the play structure by herself and loves it up there, but scares her parents a bit. She loves, loves, loves being outside. She will run and grab her shoes and jacket anytime she wants to go outside and bring them to me (or anyone who will help her).
The middle of March was her 18 month birthday, which means nursery time at church! She did really well for her first time. I stayed in there with her for a bit and snuck out while she was occupied. I checked in later and was told that she would cry every once in awhile, but when she was distracted, she did just fine. We will call it a success!
Nothing cuter than a sleeping baby! She recently started requesting sleeping with a blanket.
We did our new, traditional family March Madness competition where we all fill out a bracket and then keep points per round on how many choices are correct. The kids love it, even if they have no clue that a 12 seed doesn't usually win the whole thing. :) I loved watching all the games I could this year. I love college basketball and couldn't get enough. I was sad when it ended. Leah was our big winner this year.
Livy has always taken a binky so great (which I am so thankful for when my kids are babies). Right after she turned a year old, I was getting tired of the binky, as she would have it in her mouth, toddle around the house and then hide it or lose it somewhere random that would take forever to find. We were constantly searching for binkies everywhere and I quickly tired of that. Over Thanksgiving break, I started implementing a "binky in bed only" policy, which she took to extremely well. This eliminated that constant binky searches and it was fun to see that sweet face without a binky always in. It also made it easier to start pushing for her to use words. Since moving here, Livy has been very non-dependent on her binky in bed. We always offered it to her, but she wasn't excited to have it anymore and it was never in when I came to check on her before going to bed. I thought about taking it away before the baby came, to just have one child with a binky. I forced my own hand into doing this one night when I couldn't find her binky anywhere. For the next few days, naps and bedtime were a bit harder and she cried more than normal at bedtime. But within a few days, she was just fine. She has actually become attached to some of Leah and Alexis's toys- their stuffed puppies and their favorite toddler stuffed dolls. She insists on sleeping with one or both of those things every night. It's very sweet. It feels good to be binky free!
At the end of March, we had set up a "girl's shopping trip" with all of the girls in the family (Ben's mom, Grandma, sisters, and me). The plan was to go shopping for material for a baby quilt for my baby, as Ben's grandma makes each great-grand child a quilt. We would then go to lunch afterwards.
Shopping went great and we headed off to our predetermined lunch spot. Soon after we got there, Megan (Ben's sister), started whispering to one of the waitresses. I didn't think much about that. As we were seated, at a huge table with far too many spots for us, Ben's dad showed up with cupcakes and balloons. "Surprise," everyone said. They were throwing me a little baby shower. But the surprises didn't stop- soon, guests from my new ward started showing up, all towing gifts. I was completely shocked by all of it and overwhelmed with everyone's kindness toward me.
The cupcakes. "It's a girl!"
The whole bunch of us
Everyone was so generous with their gifts. I got so many adorable things. This is my first Spring baby ever, so even after having 4 girls previously, I was in need of little baby spring and summer stuff.
My fabulous in-laws. I love them all! They were very sneaky about this whole thing and I never once suspected anything.
Ben has taken the kids bike riding numerous times to a fun place that has dirt hills. The kids absolutely love it and I love that they love being outside so much.
After helping pick out the baby quilt material, Ben, Bethany and I went over one night the next eek to help Grandma cut it out. This was my first time helping cut out a quilt.
Ben was a natural at cutting material. Real men quilt!
Beth and I even helped sew a few strips, with help and encouragement from Grandma.
She's the real mastermind with this quilting business. She does such a great job and it's so commendable and sweet that she does this for so many great-grandchildren.
The last full weekend of March, Ben went down to Auburn to visit our house just one more time before it closed. He mowed the lawn and picked up a few things in the garage that we didn't have room for when we moved. He sent me this picture and I admit it made me a bit sad. We loved that home and were so sad to leave it. We were also sad to leave the area and all its beauty, including all the people.
The next weekend, a nasty stomach bug hit our house. Chloe got it first, then me, Leah and Lexi had it all on the same night/day. The three of us shared a bed as we tried to recover. Having the stomach flu while pregnant is one of the worst things I've ever experienced. I'm glad it was over well before baby time.