8 Years

Photo taken by Tavis Johnson, September 2012

The other day we had a conversation. It went a little like this:

Me: “Do you feel like you do too much?”

Peter: “No. I feel like I do just enough. You?”

Me: “Me too.”

He went on to tell me that I do all the hard stuff, and I was thinking that he does all the hard stuff. I’m grateful that after 8 years of marriage and 3 kids neither one of us feels too overwhelmed with our current division of labor.

Our marriage is far from perfect, but I think we’ve come a long way in 8 years. Even though we disagree on things (a lot), we still make a good team and laugh together (a lot). 8 years worth of inside jokes? Awesome.

 

Kid History

On Friday we went to dinner at Jason’s. I love that place! Healthy food for adults AND children, plus free ice cream cones (okay, I do realize I said healthy and ice cream cones in the same sentence). Wyatt slept the entire time we were there, so we had a chance to focus our attention on Leah and Jack just like old times. As we were sitting down waiting for our food, Peter recognized Brett from Kid History walking by. We love Kid History, and even Leah and Jack can be found quoting their episodes. So we stopped him and asked for a picture while throwing out a few random quotes.

The kids were either shy or starstruck at first, but were excited to meet him and get a picture. If you have yet to watch Kid History on YouTube, check out my favorite episode:

Brothers

Wyatt has reminded me so much of Jack as a baby, so I tried to recreate a photo I took of Jack when he was around Wyatt’s age of 8 weeks to compare the two. Wyatt was all smiles…

And here’s the picture of Jack from 4 years ago…

Conclusion: They don’t look as similar as I thought they would! Also, Jack’s head is enormous, and my camera phone has improved significantly.

Newborn Wyatt

I was worried about the age gap between my oldest two children and Wyatt. Leah is 6 and Jack is 4. They are best friends, and we had settled into our family of four dynamic nicely. But the 4 year gap has worked out great. Leah is the best helper any mother could ask for! Seriously, every new baby should come with a 6 year old sister. And Jack, who normally throws himself around like the ball in a pinball machine, is kind and gentle with his little brother (so far).

I feel like I am enjoying this newborn stage with Wyatt more than I did with my other two, despite the around-the-clock nursing, spitting up, dirty diapers, and sleepless nights. Somehow, so far, adjusting to 3 kids has been easier than adjusting to 2 kids. It could possibly be because I am just used to it all by now. Also, Leah and Jack play well together and keep one another entertained when I am taking care of the baby. They grow up so fast! I really want to remember and enjoy this stage before it’s gone.

Wyatt is already 8 weeks old. He is starting to smile all the time, and he makes the most adorable little grunts and squeaks and coos. Leah is completely obsessed with him (okay, and so am I), and even Jack asks to hold him all the time. Oh, he is so sweet! Just a good little baby, and I love him.

A big thank you to my dear friend, Lori, who took these newborn shots of Wyatt (7 weeks ago… yikes, I am behind). She did a great job, and Wyatt was perfectly sleepy for almost the entire shoot.  Of course he looks so different now, I really need to blog more often and document my growing children better.

A Death & A Birth: Joan Ann Dew Adelsberger & Wyatt Andrew Neuenswander

On Saturday, April 27, 2013, I received a phone call that my Grandma Joan had passed away. It was somewhat unexpected, however, she had recently turned 80, and her health had not been the best. My mom assured me that she was no longer in pain and discomfort, and I took solace in that. As we discussed her funeral taking place at some point the following week, it dawned on me that I would not be able to attend. I was 39 weeks pregnant with my third child, and there was no way I could fly home to Ohio. The tears fell.


I grew up seeing Grandma Joan often, and felt close to her. And not just because she is my middle name namesake, although I was always proud of that. She was funny, sassy, strong and kind. I remember how much she hated being in pictures, which I always thought was silly because she had a wonderful smile and she was always put together nicely. I am grateful to her for producing a wonderful family, including my wonderful dad.

When I found out her funeral was to take place on Thursday, May 2, 2013, I had a feeling that I might have our baby on that day, even though he would be 6 days early. Or maybe it was just wishful thinking that instead of feeling homesick in Utah on the day of her funeral, I would be busy welcoming our new addition into the world.  I started having increased contractions throughout Wednesday night. I called my midwives’ office on Thursday morning, and they advised going to the hospital. At this point I wasn’t certain I would be having a baby that day, but we dropped the kids off at my sister-in-law’s house (which is conveniently right across from the hospital), and headed over to get things checked out. They admitted me. I was having a baby on the same day they laid to rest my dear grandmother.

Throughout this pregnancy I debated on whether or not I wanted to try a natural birth. I had epidurals for my other births, and I was curious if I could do it unmedicated this time. Well, of course I could do it, but did I want to? Yes and no. I had great experiences receiving epidurals with my first two, but I liked the idea of not putting something unnatural into my body that might negatively affect me and the baby. Not to mention the anesthesia bill I wouldn’t have to pay. As I labored at the hospital, I used the breathing techniques from the Hypnobirthing book I had read. My midwife and the nurse both agreed that I was handling labor really well, and thought I could do it naturally. Peter agreed. I wondered if my Grandma was there, too, cheering me on! Without all the support, I probably would have chickened out. But I didn’t, and I am so proud of myself for it! I’m glad I had the experience, even though it was hard. There is power in people believing in you!

I won’t go into too many details, but after laboring for a few hours, our baby was born on May 2, 2013 at 5:04 p.m. He weighed 6 lb 15 oz, and was 19 inches long. He looks a lot like his dad and brother, unsurprisingly. I really wish we had taken more pictures in the delivery room, but we did get a few pictures during our hospital stay (Jack will not yet hold the baby, but we’re working on that, and will document with pictures as soon as it happens). It took us a couple of days to decide on a name. We decided on Wyatt Andrew Neuenswander. We’ve always liked Wyatt, and Andrew was chosen to honor my Grandma. Her middle name and maiden name: Ann Dew = Andrew. It’s a bit of a stretch, but I like the story behind his middle name that we will be able to share with him and remember my Grandma. My dad wondered if they somehow crossed paths before Wyatt was born, and I love to think that they did!


I am so blessed.  So blessed to have a wonderful Grandma who is now watching over us, and so blessed to have another sweet, healthy baby in our family. I’m grateful for the knowledge I have of a plan that tells us where we were before we were born, why we are here on earth, where we will go after we die, and how we can be with our families again after death. This talk has been a great reminder for me of that plan during this time: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1992/04/doors-of-death?lang=eng

Jack’s 3rd Birthday

Jack turned 3 at the end of April. I can’t believe it! My baby is 3! He Skyped with Grandpa Jack and Grandma Theresa in Ohio while opening up their birthday presents.

He was thrilled to receive birthday cards and gifts in the mail from great-grandparents.

He really wanted a pirate cake, so I picked one up at Smith’s last minute, and they did a great job.

Jack was so excited to get a new GREEN bike!

Here’s video of us surprising him with his new bike. I love the look on his face when he sees the bike for the first time. The funniest part about this video is Leah, who you can hear in the background loudly declaring she wants to get her bike out to ride, too.

Here is another video of everyone singing Happy Birthday to Jack. I just love this one!

Easter 2012

Riley and Brenda invited us up to Idaho for Easter. Dane came with us, and we headed up on Saturday. When we arrived in Idaho Falls, we decided to check out the dinosaur exhibit at the Museum of Idaho.

This dinosaur’s name was Sue.

Fighting dinosaurs!

Leah loved pushing Blake around in his stroller.

We checked out the other parts of the museum.

Afterwards, we headed to our hotel and went for a swim. Jack thought it was the greatest thing in the world to have Daddy and Riley throw him around in the pool.

Riley, Brenda, and cutie pie Blake wearing Jack’s old swim outfit.

Easter morning with the kids ready to go to church. Leah attempted to get up and sing with all of the primary kids, but was a little nervous being in a different ward, so she sat with Brenda who was directing the music for the kids.

We decorated a few Easter eggs.

That evening we went to feed the ducks.

You can see the Idaho Falls temple in the background.

There’s Leah pushing Blake, again!

I think Jack is petitioning for world peace.

On Monday, we headed to the park to play, before we headed home. It was a beautiful weekend, and we were glad to spend it in Idaho.

Peter’s 32nd Birthday

In early April, Peter turned 32. We planned a big birthday party at our house on his birthday, which happened to fall on the same day as the NCAA Basketball Championship Game. The Ohio State Buckeyes made it to the Final Four, and we hoped to celebrate Peter’s birthday by cheering them on in the Championship Game. Unfortunately, they did not make it to the big game, but we had a great time celebrating anyway. Peter got a new grill for his birthday, so we had about 20 family friends over for a little Spring BBQ. I was having too much fun socializing to take any pictures, but Peter’s sister did catch this video of all of us signing Happy Birthday to him.


 

Happy Birthday to Me! (and 2 recipes)

A few years ago I mentioned to someone at work that I was turning 30 that year. My best friend reminded me that I was only turning 29. I couldn’t believe it! I really forgot how old I was going to be! I used the excuse that Peter was turning 30 that year, so, obviously, I was thinking of his age instead of mine. Obviously. However, I still have to really think about how old I am when someone asks me my age. Is this because I am truly an old person now, and cannot remember my own age? No, that just cannot be the case. Perhaps, I don’t really care how old I am, so it doesn’t even matter what my age is? Yes, that has to be it. Regardless of my 30-something age (31 to be exact… I think), I still love celebrating my birthday!

This is what I do remember of my 31st birthday celebrations:

My birthday was on a glorious Saturday! Being a mother, and having your birthday fall on a Saturday is like winning the lottery. This means the husband is home to help take care of the kids. Jackpot!

But I do love my family dearly, so I wanted to spend the day with them. We went to lunch at Tucanos with Bruce and Christina, and then to the theater to see The Lorax.

On Sunday we had a family dinner/birthday celebration at Aunt RoseAnn’s house.

Peter, my parents, his parents, and some siblings went in on a big gift for me… a new Blendtec blender that I had been eying for several months!

I love my new blender! I make smoothies all the time, and since summer has arrived the kids and I make smoothie popsicles. I also like making soup in it. It came with an awesome recipe book, and I can’t wait to try out the dressing, batter, jam, syrup, sauce, and bread recipes. It can also grind wheat! Here are a couple of my favorite recipes from the Fresh Blends recipe book:

STRAWBANA SMOOTHIE

1 cup apple juice (I use orange juice)

1 banana

1 cup frozen strawberries (I always have a big bag of frozen strawberries on hand from Costco)

Add ingredients in jar in order listed and secure lid. Select “Smoothie” and serve.

So super easy, and my kids love it! Great as popsicles, too!

TORTILLA SOUP

2 cups warm water

2 roma tomatoes

1/2 large carrot

1 inch slice red pepper

1/4 avocado

1 onion wedge

2, 1″ x 1/2″chunks pepper jack cheese

2 sprigs fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon no-salt herb seasoning

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Add ingredients to jar in order listed and secure lid. Select “Soups” then serve.

I also usually add some corn and black beans, and you can add chicken, too! If you start with a warm water/broth base, the soup will heat up to hot once you blend it just from the friction in the blender, so it’s ready to serve in just a few minutes!

Leah’s 5th Birthday

My little girl turned 5 years old in February! We had a Pink Ballerina Birthday Party for her. Peter works with a girl who studied ballet at BYU, and she agreed to do a little ballet dance class for the birthday party. Even better, she knew a ballet studio owner who would let us use her studio for the party for a VERY discounted price. I took a bunch of pictures with my phone at the party, and the lighting wasn’t great, so they didn’t turn out so great. Someday I will get a nice camera! (do you think if I say that enough, it will magically happen?)

We found these adorable ballerina invitations at Target.

I found these really cute and inexpensive tutu kits on Etsy that the girls made to wear for their ballet lesson, and doubled as a favor that they got to take home.

Lauren did a great job with the ballet class!

The girls had fun dancing around the studio.

And they were so cute! Leah decided not to wear her handmade tutu, but stay in her fluffy birthday tutu.

We served all pinkish snacks. Pink rice crispy treats, pink popcorn, pink (and purple) fruit, pink peanut butter cookies, pink m&m’s, and pink cupcakes with pink lemonade to drink.

Leah’s cupcake had special glitter sprinkles on top that she was so excited about.

Jack, of course, needed to blow out a candle, too.

The birthday girl all smiles at her birthday party, which happened to fall on the exact day of her birthday.

Overall, the party was a hit. My little girl is growing up so fast!