Friday, May 30, 2014


If you're having a bad day, just look at this picture and I'm pretty sure, it'll at least make you smile a little bit. :) 


Look at those muscles!

The boys got such a kick out of him wearing his Spiderman :)

Last night I went to a Utah Autism Mom's dinner- just a big group of women who got together to eat and talk about their kids on the spectrum. I really enjoyed it and once again, am amazed at friendships that we've made in the autism community that we never would've had the opportunity to do otherwise. These are a group of amazing moms and it's so helpful to talk and discuss therapies, strategies, and just life. They had someone there to watch the kids and since TJ had school I took Ty and Levi there. Afterwards Ty came out and saw Zander's mom and without hesitation, right up to her and gave her a huge hug and said hi. I think that about sums up our autism friendships :)

Levi is such a cool nerd.

Shad seriously is always trying to hold his bottle already! It's kinda funny. 

Shad's first experience with rice cereal, haha. I decided it wasn't best to try it when he was tired. 

So after a nap, we tried again with much better results!!

 I love getting to 4 months. I feel that they become little people and not just tiny babies. They can be entertained by the older kids, starting to reach and try to play with toys, try new foods, sit up more and try to roll. Shad just started rolling to his stomach this week but only gets it once out of a million times. :)

This week we finished up Speech with Mrs. Robinson at Grovecrest Elementary school! With Ty's IEP, they only offered us 20 minutes of speech once a week and at first, I thought that was ridiculous. How could anything come of such a small amount of time? Plus I had to find a baby sitter for Levi and was pregnant, had a baby, and had a newborn/small infant the entire school year- so really, it was quite a bit of effort for only 20 minutes a week. But now that we did it for an entire year, I am so surprised at what a HUGE difference it's made. It was all worth it, no question. It really is SO TRUE in all aspects of life that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. Plus, Mrs. Robinson was amazing and sooooo good with Ty. She made things fun and entertaining yet taught him so much, as well as taught me by observing their session every week. We'll always remember our Snake Sound because of Mrs. Robinson. :)

She's so creative and always doing little games while working on Ty's sounds. I brought Levi the last week and of course, she let him join in. She's so wonderful and we'll miss her next year!

I walked into the kitchen where the boys were coloring and Ty showed me this. He did it all on his own, reading all the words and coloring them the right color. I was pretty impressed, especially for a 4 year old autistic kid!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Here's to 5 years!

Last Friday we celebrated 5 years of marriage!! Yahoo!! Go us!!!

I can't believe it's only been 5 years- seems like we've been apart of each other's lives for forever- in a good way! It's been awesome and amazing with some challenging times thrown in between. But through it all, I've never once doubted that this was the right man to marry and often times am in awe at what a selfless, good, righteous, hard-working, kind, and generous man I somehow got. 

I was reflecting on these past five years and realized all the LIFE that we've experienced together: bought and sold two (almost three) houses, TJ graduated with his bachelor's degree then started a dual masters graduate program, him commuting 45+ minutes up to SLC every day, 4 pregnancies, 3 kids including (almost) irish twins and a miscarriage with D&C, 1 kid diagnosed on the autism spectrum, entered a whole new autism community world and been a major part of it, hundreds of hours towards therapies and interventions, TJ unemployed and being a stay at home dad for 4 months, struggling to find a job, two kids in day care for a few months,  I've worked full-time, part-time and now PRN, TJ started back with USANA again and rose from the bottom (again) and up to a supervisor position, bought 3 cars (including a VAN), sold 2 cars, the death of my grandma and cousin, 4 of my siblings getting injured in that same accident, my sister's brain tumor and surgery, my brother's car accident and TBI, 4 siblings married, 5 nephews born, 1 niece born, 1 niece by marriage, the re-marriage of my grandpa, multiple smaller non-life-threatening illnesses, surgeries and doctor's visits with me and the 3 kids, 5 siblings on missions- I'm sure the list could go on and on but that's already A LOT! I'm so grateful to have such a steady, strong, loving man at my side to have helped me get through these things and to find comfort and solace. I can already look back on our 8 week long dating experience to engagement and think of it as CRAZY and that I hardly knew the guy! Yet it's also so fitting that that was my TJ and I've only become more sure with each passing day that he is the one just for me. :) 

We were going to go on a cruise for our 5 year celebration but.... Shad and grad school came along! So that's put on hold for now but hopefully our 10 year one will make up for it!! Woot woot!

Trying to run and jump....

and trying to spin me around in a romantic sort of way.... 

And.... fast forward 5 years to our lovely, at-home anniversary celebration with crying baby and two rowdy boys!! Ahhh, this is the life! But as we were laughing about it, we wouldn't have it any other way. Plus, the food was delicious! At least we can COOK our way through life!

On Saturday, Linda came over and baby sat for us so we could go on a real date ( thanks, Linda!). We went to the temple to continue working on our family names and then out to eat at Olive Garden. I always love our dates since it's so weird without kids and nice to just... talk! 

I'm loving these summer nights!!

Looks comfy, huh??

Levi's nap- he seriously slept like this for about an hour. :) Love this kid!

Devin sent me this picture of my Beaubaby- I seriously could not stop laughing!! If you need something to make your day, just look at this face!! Love having a niece!

And speaking of nieces and nephews.... we got some amazing news last week from Mandie and Adam!! They've been selected by a birth mom for a little baby to adopt!! It's a little boy that is due August 11th! We are so thrilled for them and are praying everyday that everything goes through as planned. WE ARE SO EXCITED FOR BABY PECKOVER!!

4 Months

So serious sometimes!!!

Love these baby feet! All the shoes this little guy wears are ones that I collected when Ty was born. It's so funny that all three of my babies have worn them now.

4 Months Old!

Weight: 14.2 oz = 22 percentile

Length: 25.75 cm =  77 percentile

Head circ: 16.7 cm = 79 percentile

So we have a tall, skinny, big headed boy- definitely from his dad's side! Ha! 

Well, I'm so in love with this little baby. He's such a joy and his smile is so infectious. At 4 months old, he is doing much better- less fussy and I think it's all due to his reflux medicine. He doesn't arch his back much at all and he's finally learned to soothe himself in the car and takes better naps instead of screaming or crying himself to sleep. That's quite an accomplishment since it's quite a feat to get all 4 of us ready every morning- matching, clean clothes, shoes on, breakfast eaten, hair gelled, teeth brushed, lunch packed, backpack ready and noses cleaned- all by 8:40 am to get Ty to school on time every morning, 5 days a week. Shad used to scream as soon we'd get in the car to go and cry the whole time, my nerves on edges. But it's soooo wonderful now, as soon as I turn on the car, he closes his eyes and takes his morning nap- silently sleeping the whole 40 minutes. I feel bad for the guy- it's not always been his fault that I sometimes think of him as a fussy baby. He rarely gets a full nap at home, in his bed since we are always on the go. Often he'll take countless naps in his car seat, on and off. Sometimes he just wants out and to be a home, snuggled with some attention. He's a sweet boy.

He still sleeps the majority of the night with me. I know, I need to wean him to his own bed but with us moving soon and the crib packed, that's not happening anytime soon. So he starts off in his vibrating bed next to our bed and ends up as my teddy bear. He's sooooo sunggly and loves sleeping like that. He'll wake up once, sometimes twice for a quite 2-3 oz snack and go right back to sleep. He wakes up so happy and never cries while waking up- just wakes up gradual and slowly, next to me.

He got the green light to start rice cereal! I think we'll try some as soon as I remember to get some from the store. He still eats like a champ and usually has his poor bottle propped. He still takes a pacifier quite well- my first baby to do so. He's trying to hold his own bottle and starting to be entertained with toys and grabbing objects.

Our Shaddie boy holds his head well but still isn't rolling over much yet. He's starting to try but loses interest quickly. He also smiles super easy and quick- as long as we're at home and in a situation where it doesn't matter. Put him in front of a camera and he'll only smile on his own terms!!! Drives me crazy sometimes!!! 

He's a tough little boy with two older brothers always accidentally falling or bumping him. He loves his mommy and will just sit and stare at me in the car without blinking (seems like it) for forever. He's so sweet. He needs another haircut soon and is getting a really big bald spot on the back of his head. His torticollis seems to not be an issue anymore since we've focused on it and have done the exercises. His head is perfectly round and no need for a helmet or anything. 

I still have a deep desire for a little girl in my life someday but nothing could ever replace this little boy. My heart melts just looking at him and sometimes I have to make myself stop kissing these cheeks. Having two older kids who grow so fast and also experiencing the miscarriage before him has made me appreciate and long for this little guy, more than I ever experience with my other kids. Love them all just as much but I am finding more joy in the baby stage than I have before. I think it's a more mature love and not taking it for granted. 

We love you, Shaddie boy! You bring so much happiness to our family!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

3 & 4 year old Pictures

Seriously.... who would've thought the hardest one to get to smile and look at the camera would be the super-smiley-at-home 4 month old???! Not the autistic one. Not the serious one. The baby!!! Ahhhh!! The photographer and I were doing everything possible that we could think of, looking absolutely ridiculous, trying to get this baby to even turn one side of his lip up..... nothing. She took a few of him, just serious shots but they weren't even remotely cute so they don't even make the blog! How sad is that?! Ha! I love the kid to death and he's adorable in real life but in pictures where he's not smiling.... not so cute! :)

But my whole purpose in getting pictures done were for Ty and Levi's yearly pictures and to try to get a good group one together. At least 2 out of the 3 were smiling so... I'll take it!

Levi- (almost) 3 years old

Ty- 4 years old

Did I mention how Shad would NOT SMILE!!!!!!!! Drives me crazy!!!!!

Oh well. There's always next year right??

Vannessa & Blake's Wedding

Vannessa and Blake got married here in Utah on May 19th- it was kind of a quick decision to hurry and do it on the same weekend as Linda's homecoming since they were flying in for it from Florida but it all turned out very nice. Blake has a 5 year old daughter named Tatum who is just so fun and spunky- I already love that little girl! Plus, it's the only way the Hendriksens will get a girl so we'll take her!! ;)

Blake is a super nice guy and we're excited to have him in the family. His whole family was so nice and wonderful as well. It fun talking with his mom, aunt and brothers and getting to know them. 

Could this picture be any cuter?? I had to convince Peyton that Tatum is now his cousin and that it's okay for him to put his arm around her. :)

Trying to get a picture of the cute couple and all the grandkids, haha. Pretty entertaining! I made the bowties so that's why a lot of them are crooked or tilting- a little harder than it looks!

Parker was sad that he had to sit on the same steps as everyone else- he wanted to sit at the top :)

Oldest and youngest cousins

Blake's family thought TJ and Vannessa looked exactly alike!

These bow tie onesies didn't exactly turn out like Pinterest- there was no mention of drool and spit up making the onesies and bow ties sag to their knees, haha. Shad looks like an old man with his pants up around his diaper and up to his chest!

Before the wedding we had a big lucheon at Tucanos! YUM!!

Aunt Martha and Uncle Bill flew in from California to be there for the wedding. We always love it when they visit!

During the reception, the bride and groom sat with their backs together, sitting on chairs, each holding one of their shoes and the other person's shoe. When Ruth would ask a question, such as, "Who is the crazier driver?" they had to raise a shoe if their answer was themselves or the other person. If they matched, both holding up the same shoe, they got money! After a while, Ruth asked if anyone else had any questions and one of the grandkids, Trey, got the microphone and asked, "Who likes..... cherries the most?!" It was pretty funny but the point of the story was that Ty asked for the microphone after that. I held my breath to see what/if he'd say anything or just get embarrassed. I was so surprised- he said, pretty clear, "Who likes...... pause..... bananas!?" I was so impressed because he totally followed the conversation, wasn't scared and spoke so clear! Good job Ty Ty!  He also had another turn and asked who liked apples :) 

The reception place was nice but with 9 little grandkids running around, it was bound to get hectic and crazy! Ty walked in with his bum completely soaked and dirty. They had sat in a small little decorative stream and were very dirty. Ty wore the only outfit I had from the car- all of Levi's clothes- and looked ridiculous, like an orphan with high waters and mismatching clothes, haha.