24.9.12


The Day our Charlie died

This is not a happy post. Read only if you want to know the details of that day. I wanted to post it as a way of marking the day a year later but i don't know if it's good or bad to post it so everyone can read it? 

It was a normal week for us. On Monday I had taken Aidan and Charlie with me to workout and Charlie laughed when I held him and exercised at the same time. When I got down on the floor to attempt sit-ups he sat on my belly and hugged my neck. For family home evening we went to our new favorite place in Woodbridge, B&R Custard. We had a short lesson and every time I caught Charlie’s eye he smiled his sweet, shy smile that always melted my heart! After he ate all of his ice cream he asked for mine and how could I resist? We sang I Am A Child Of God and Charlie sang happily along with his brothers then went to bed with a very full belly. The next morning  Jay left to work out at around 6:00 a.m. and all was quiet. I got up at 6:30 and prayed to have the spirit with me that day. I prayed for patience with my children. Jayson and Aidan got up at seven and I made waffles for them. I made Jayson’s lunch, started the laundry, and read to the boys until it was time to wake Charlie up to walk with us to the bus stop. Everything felt completely normal. I had not thought that I should check on Charlie all morning. I did not ignore a prompting or stop and think “should I get Charlie now?” We were happily getting ready for school…we were happy.
I wish that I had not asked Aidan to wake Charlie up! They were buddies and I knew that Charlie would like nothing more than to wake up to Aidan’s smile. I assumed that Aidan would talk to him between the bars of the crib until I followed him up a moment later to lift Charlie from his crib. Looking back, I still cannot understand it! How does a child slip from one life to the next and his mother not somehow sense it? Why didn’t I have a premonition or hear a whispering to check on him? How could I not know?
Aidan came down the stairs after going up to wake Charlie. He had a strange look on his face. “Did you wake Charlie up?” I asked him.
“I tried but he’s stuck and I couldn’t move him…” Aidan said. He looked confused. I ran up the stairs as fast as I could and found my sweet Charlie! He was lying face down underneath his little two drawer dresser. I called his name as I picked the dresser up. I felt his body and knew right away that he wasn’t breathing. I picked him up and went downstairs to the phone. I was screaming and crying. Jayson and Aidan came running and began to cry. “Pray for Charlie, Jayson. Pray that he will be okay” I said as I dialed 911. I put the phone on speaker and laid it next to Charlie. I looked at his face. His lips were blue and there were broken capillaries near his eyes and mouth. He was completely lifeless. Even at that moment I remember thinking how peaceful he looked! I prayed and cried until the operator asked me for our address. I told her and cried. She kept asking me to calm down. She told me to start CPR. I did what she told me as Jayson and Aidan cried and prayed aloud. We three huddled around Charlie hoping for a miracle. When I breathed into his little body I could hear a crackling sound, like sucking the last bit of a drink through a straw. I don’t know how long we were there like that…minutes but I don’t know how many. When the ambulance came I didn’t know that that was the last time I would hold Charlie in this life. I didn’t realize as I carried him down the stairs in a panic that it was my last chance to cradle his body. The paramedic rushed in and told me to move out of the way. He snatched Charlie up and carried him out to the ambulance. Charlie’s head bounced, lifeless as the paramedic ran. I stood up and was unsure if I should follow. I made a move to go but Aidan grabbed my hand and cried. Jayson came to my other side. We stood on the front porch looking at the ambulance for a moment and I said that we should pray. I was still hoping for, expecting.. a miracle. I knelt down on the cement and held their hands and prayed out loud for Charlie. A woman that I didn’t know approached us and said something about praying…that it was what we should be doing. I don’t remember who she was or if I have seen her again. I think she was a neighbor. I remember thinking that I wished she would leave me alone. Other paramedics and firefighters were there…a lot of them. One approached me and told me to come inside. He wanted to know what had happened and asked to see where Charlie’s room was. I wasn’t allowed to go with him and I didn’t want to anyway. I didn’t want to talk. I was still sobbing and saying Charlie’s name. Another paramedic pulled me aside and told me I needed to be stronger for Jayson and Aidan. He said that they were worried and needed me to be calm. I thought he was an idiot and asked him if I could see Charlie. He said he would check for me. He walked to the ambulance and climbed in for a minute then he climbed out to tell me that I could step inside for a minute. He helped me up and I crouched next to Charlie alongside 3 paramedics. I held Charlie’s foot because it was all I could reach. I said his name over and over while I cried. One paramedic said that they would be leaving for the hospital as soon as they “could get a line in” and looked at the one who was trying to insert a needle into Charlie’s arm. Two of them laughed, I guess because he was having some trouble and he said he was working on it, in an offended sort of way. One of them took out some scissors and cut Charlie’s pajama shirt down the center. I loved those pajamas. They were stripey from Hannah Anderrson and they had been Aidan’s just a few months before. I was surprised that they didn’t seem more sad. That they didn’t seem to feel the gravity of the situation. I hated all three of them and thought they must all be drinking buddies and would tease each other about this later. I didn’t want to leave Charlie with them and I wanted them to stop cutting his clothes. I wanted them to shock his heart so that it would start beating again. Then the firefighter standing outside told me it was time to get out. I felt like I had to obey him but I regret now that I didn’t stay with my Charlie. As I climbed out of the ambulance I tripped somehow and caught myself. I remember feeling vaguely self-conscious about being so pregnant with another child. It reminded me of a comment I had made to our neighbor less than a week before when Charlie had run out the front door after his brothers and I had chased him into the street. As I carried him back into the house I rolled my eyes and said, “I don’t know how I’ll keep them all alive after the next one is born”. My neighbor laughed.  I have often wondered if he remembers that conversation as well as I do now. How quickly our lives change! With no warning, no sign. There was no illness, nothing to prepare me. But what if I had known? How could that be better? Charlie was so happy the days and night leading up to his death. He was like a naughty little ray of sunshine in our lives! We could not have enjoyed those moments we had with him if we had known his time was so limited on this earth.
Once I was back inside the house a detective was waiting to ask me about what had happened but I felt just as confused and unsure as them. I told her what I knew and how I had found him. I felt like I should be able to explain things better but I looked at her paper with just a few notes and began to cry again. “I don’t know why…I don’t know how I didn’t hear him…” My voice faded. I had no answers. We waited for what seemed like hours for Jay to get home. They called the Rec Center and drove there but he wasn’t there. Later he told me that he had stopped at the store on the way home to get something…juice I think. He drove up slowly to the house and stopped the van in the parking lot without parking it in our space. He got out and had a look I recognized from a few other times in our marriage…our wedding day, the day Jayson was born, the day my water broke when I was just 26 weeks pregnant with our second little boy, Jesse. A police officer approached him and asked him if he was Jay. He said yes and asked what happened. The officer told him to come inside and I watched him walk up to the house. I stood up and faced him. I didn’t want to tell him because I knew that he would break. “Charlie climbed out of his crib and the dresser fell on him and he…I don’t know…he wasn’t breathing…”
 “Is he okay? Where is he?”
“I don’t know if he’s okay. They took him to the hospital and we’re still waiting to hear.”
“When can we find out? Can we see him?”
“ I don’t know.” We were both crying. We hugged by the door and Jay started to throw up. He went into the bathroom for a moment then came out and asked if we could hear how things were going at the hospital. Someone went to call as the detective sat down with Jay to question him. Jay continued to wretch throughout the interview and I sat on the stairs and waited. I didn’t know where Jayson and Aidan were during this time. I wished that someone would wack me on the head with something… a large frying pan…so that I didn’t have to think or feel. I was still praying but now I was beginning to wonder if my faith hadn’t been enough. It reminded me of the scene in the movie “Legacy” when Emma Smith and others were crossing the plains and her ox laid down to die. Jay and I giggled at the ridiculousness of Emma laying her hands on the head of the ox and commanding that ox to get up and continue on. I sat on the stairs wondering if I was lacking in something that Emma Smith had in that movie… a certain childlike faith…humility. I wondered if maybe I was only too willing to accept bad things that happened in my life out of some doubt of my own worth. I began to frantically think back over the morning, trying to remember a prompting that I might have received but brushed aside. There was nothing! I had been happily unaware. It had been such a good morning and we had missed Charlie at breakfast and had considered waking him up then but I thought about our late night at B&R Frozen Custard and decided to put his waffles in the microwave until he woke up. Hours later, after we had come home from the hospital, I found his waffles where I had left them. I wanted to close the microwave and leave them there forever, as if I could somehow suspend time by leaving everything as it was when we found him. This would happen repeatedly over the next days and months. Weeks after his death I changed the garbage in the basement bathroom. Inside I found one of his diapers that I had changed and thrown away there. I recognized that this would be his last diaper I would ever throw away and a part of me didn’t want to do it. In the end I knew I needed to ask myself what would be healthy to keep. I have a few things but I realized that his things were not him and that they were a painful reminder that he isn’t with us anymore.

Someone at the hospital called to say that Charlie was officially dead. We went to see him at the hospital and I knew as I looked at his body on the bed that it was an empty vessel. There was no life. Months later Jay told me that as we sat there that day weeping he prayed for a miracle. He fervently prayed that Charlie would begin to breathe again. He stared at Charlie’s chest so long that he almost imagined the rise and fall of a beating heart. I remember being surprised again at the peaceful look on his face. I feel comforted to think that he could only be that peaceful if he died with no pain or fear. Perhaps he was surrounded by angels to guide him through the veil that separates this life from the next. I like to imagine that my Grandma Ginny was there and Charlie’s namesake, Jay’s great Grandpa Charles. I believe that his brother Jesse was with him in those moments as the veil was lifted from Charlie’s memory and he recognized these spirits who love him.
Weeks after Charlie died the Coroner’s Report arrived and with it the cause of death. He died in the early morning hours, of asphyxiation. I know how I found him and I know how things in his bedroom were when he died so I have pieced things together and come to the best explanation for how this strange accident occurred. About a week before he died Charlie quietly climbed out of his bed and without a sound came creeping down the stairs. I saw something from the couch out of the corner of my eye and I was shocked to see him standing there smiling at me. I remember Jay and I laughed about how sneaky he was and we both kissed him goodnight again and he went to bed happily. He tried that several more times so we put a cover on his doorknob so he couldn’t get out of his room. It never occurred to us that he could hurt himself in his bedroom or climbing out of his crib. I don’t know why we felt that way! He was our wildest child. He wanted to try everything that his brothers did and more! We were naively unafraid and both felt strongly that no matter how hard we tried there would probably always be something else to endanger our children so we just needed to have faith and live to be worthy to hear the still, small voice. After we installed the door knob cover and Charlie realized he couldn’t open the door, he stopped climbing out of his bed…until that Tuesday morning. I think he climbed out and tried the door but couldn’t open it so he looked around for something else to do. I don’t know if he called out. If he did I don’t think it was very loud or very long or it could have been when I was in the shower. When he realized he was stuck inside I think he looked around for something else to do. There was a statue of Jesus on top of his dresser (which was actually a two drawer nightstand from Ikea) and he really liked to hold it and look at it. My grandma had made it for my mother and my mother gave it to me. I liked to push it back on the dresser so Charlie couldn’t reach it and break it. He probably opened the drawer and stepped on it to reach the small statue. I think the dresser started to tip and Charlie lost his footing and strangely his head fell into the open dresser drawer. The weight of his head caused the dresser to tip over and as it did it caused the drawer to close, crushing Charlie’s neck as it did. It is so strange. I have thought so many times about that moment. His fear. I wonder how long he choked for air with his mouth buried in his clothes. I’ve gone over the morning so many times, asking myself if I heard a noise that could have been his dresser tipping over. But it was so small and its fall was broken by Charlie’s little body. I hate to think that he suffered.  That he was distressed and I didn’t know. Whenever I think of this moment I remember a time not very long before when we were walking through the Potomac Mills Mall. Jay was pushing the stroller and I was walking ahead with Aidan and Jayson. At one point Charlie began to cry and was reaching back behind the stroller. I thought he had seen something in the mall that he wanted so I walked next to him for a moment and held his hand which he liked us to do. It wasn’t until an hour later when we were getting into the car that I realized that he had dropped one of his stuffed animals and a dear friend, Mr Wolf. I suddenly knew what he had been crying about and I felt like such a bad mother! We immediately went back inside and looked everywhere for that wolf but nobody had him. I felt like I had let Charlie down by not understanding what had happened. He had turned to me in distress and I hadn’t recognized it. Isn’t that our role as parents? I have agonized over both of these moments so many times but I know that all I can do is accept that it happened and that I cannot do anything to change it.
I have been so humbled by Charlie’s death.  I have gone to Heavenly Father so many times in prayer selfishly and foolishly prepared to make my demands. Why did he die? Could I have prevented it? Was I  lacking faith when I prayed for a miracle? Where is he? Can I see him just once now that he’s gone from this earth? Did he suffer?  I have so many questions and I do not know if they will ever be answered while I live this life. I do know, however, that many beautiful and unexpected things have come. I have felt the love that my Father in Heaven has for me in a way that I was unable to feel before. I have gained a peace about our Jesse’s death that evaded me before because of the guilt I carried for 5 long years. I have come to understand that through humility and recognition of weakness I have found a strength I did not know before. I know what doesn’t matter. I don’t know yet why he died when and how he did but I feel that it was the Lord’s will.  Most importantly, I know that I will see Charlie again. I know that it will be a happy reunion.
I have always loved Lehi’s vision of the tree of life.  It’s such a clear analogy for what we want to attain and it seems so simple…hold fast to the rod of iron and look forward. When you get to the tree, partake of the fruit and look for those you love to share it with. Now, in my mind’s eye, I can see Charlie and Jesse so clearly, strong young men, standing together at the tree of life, arms outstretched. Jay is leading the way on that straight and narrow path, as our boys follow one by one. I am bringing up the rear, most likely to pick up any stray marble and to help them up if they trip or stumble, and to keep a close eye on their grip to the rod of iron. I am in the back of this pack but I can see them clearly. They are smiling, encouraging, forgiving. My boys that have gone before me but have not left entirely or forever.
I wanted to record my point of view of that day because it has haunted me over this last year and created a loneliness. I have not talked about the details because by talking about them they become real. I wasn’t ready to relive it moment by moment. It takes so much out of me emotionally to think of that day that I try to block it out as much as possible because I need to be available for my family. I need to be able to function from day to day. Recently a friend lost her baby. She and her husband were devastated but she chose to record the details of her experience and share them with those that are close to them. As I read her words I felt strongly that I too would like to tell my story. In a way, I’m sharing my burden with the friends and family that read what I have written. I wanted to put all of this down in words as a way of marking that day a year ago. I’m sorry for bad writing, tragic run-on sentences, and a bit of graphic detail. I hope I do not offend anyone that reads this.

15.11.11

Fortion

It's been a long time. This is my first post since...a lot. Since we got back from New Zealand, since Jayson started school, and since our sweet Charlie Boy died. Oh, we miss him! There just isn't any way to describe the depth of our grief. I feel like I'm standing just outside of a black hole and I don't know how I haven't been sucked in. What would we do without our faith? How do we go on? How do I find the motivation to get out of bed every morning? I have asked myself so many unanswerable questions in the last weeks since that very dark day. The only things I know for sure are: I love that sweet boy and miss him horribly. God loves me and although I feel sorrow He continues to bless me through the kindness of others. Jay and I are closer than ever...we are in this together. I'm trying not to ask myself any other questions at this point, especially the big "W". Why? WHy? I can't know yet. We have invented a word in our family to describe how we are living right now. Fortion. Spelling is questionable. Forward motion. But I like how they sound combined, like force. Once we force ourselves or each other into forward motion we catch ourselves smiling again.

I've been wanting to send out a million thanks and hugs and so many things to our dear friends and family who have carried us through this, but fortion only carries me so far right now. Instead, for those of you who read this and were not at Charlie Boy's funeral I've cut and pasted two letters that were read. One from us to everyone and one from Jay to his son.

Please don't forget to pray for us yet! Think forward motion....

Dear Friends and Family,

I cannot tell you how much your love, prayers, and support have meant to us during the past few days. You have sustained us and strengthened us and have made our burden of sorrow lighter. We thank you! We ask that you continue to think of us and pray for us in the coming days and weeks.

I also thank you for loving us without blame or judgment. We are doing our best to follow your lead and find a way to let go of the guilt associated with Charlie’s death. We are not going to dwell on the unanswerable questions such as how or why. I hope you’ll help us by reminding us of any happy memories that you can share of Charlie. If you remember any little impression or “conversation” you’ve had with him, please write it down and share it with us. Help us to replace the pain with a cheerful remembrance of how much of a blessing his short earthly life was for everyone who knew him.

Oh, our sweet Charlie! As a baby he never wanted to be put down. He demanded to be held so I resorted to carrying him in his baby carrier wherever I went, even as I mopped the floor. From the very beginning, Jay woke up with Charlie every night and sometimes held him for hours… maybe that’s why when Charlie started speaking he called Jay “Mom”. They have had a special bond.

Jayson, Aidan, and Charlie were inseparable… like the 3 Musketeers, or more accurately, the 3 Stooges. They rolled and wrestled under my feet like 3 bear cubs while I cooked or did dishes. He is missed by his brothers. There is a quiet in our home that is lonely and uncomfortable… an ever-present reminder of our sweet boy that made noise wherever he went. One day recently I was upstairs when I heard something… the sound of wooden puzzle pieces being thrown on the floor. After a few minutes I came downstairs to discover that Charlie had thrown the pieces of 8 puzzles all around the room. I looked at him and asked what had happened. He looked right back at me and said, “Oh no! Aidan did it!” I had to laugh.

We feel an ache in our hearts that, according to what people tell us, only time can heal. That ache is so consuming that it could be intolerable if it were not for our firm belief in God’s plan. I take comfort in knowing that the veil between this life that we know on earth, and the next life in what we call heaven, is thin and a relief to pass through. It brings me a sense of peace to imagine Charlie passing through that veil and feeling no pain or fear. I imagine that there to meet him, and immediately surrounding him, are people that he knows and loves. I imagine that Jesus Christ Himself holds Charlie tight and Charlie wraps his little arms around our Savior’s neck and feels at home.

We feel sorrow and pain and loss, but Charlie does not. He feels peace and light and joy. We feel lonely, but Charlie does not. He understands that through the Atonement of our beloved Savior we can and will be reunited as a family unit as we each go to join him when it is our time. Because of the eternal nature of the family, I look forward to the day that we will all be together again in God’s presence. Until then we will endure with a hope of that day.

Love,

Stephanie (and family)


To my dearest Charlie,

You were a beaming light in my life. Every day I looked forward to the joy and happiness you showed on your face when you woke in the morning. Sometimes I would go in to your room early just so I could be there when you awoke. It was better than watching any sunrise. That happiness and joy never left you. Everywhere you went you had an air of life and exuberance. You got such joy out of everything. Everywhere you went you seemed to shine brighter than everyone else in the crowd. Life bubbled out of you.

The day you died that light went out for me and the darkness has been unbearable. I never knew the depths a person could love another until you were taken from me. Now I realize that that love is larger and deeper than I could ever have imagined. The pain of losing you seems endless but I know this is only because my love for you has no end.

I miss you so much. I miss you greeting me in the morning with a big smile on your face and the hugs and kisses you were so generous giving. I miss the sound of your voice that seemed a constant stream from morning till night throughout the house. The house feels empty without it. I miss sharing an ice cream with you. I miss sharing anything I happened to be eating with you, since you always wanted to eat what I was eating even if you had the same thing on your plate. I miss knowing I would see you the moment I saw any of your brothers because you seemed to be attached to them at this hip. I miss the mischievous smiles you gave any time you did something you knew you shouldn’t. I miss the innocence in your beautiful blue eyes that never left even when you were saying “Aidan did it” when caught red handed. I could never be angry with you. One look would melt my heart.

Most of all, I miss the moments I had with you alone when you would put your little arms on my shoulders and would squeeze them and say “I love you, Daddy”. And you would give me a kiss and you would hold on to me and never want to let go. I had that every night as I put you down to sleep and sang you a lullaby. No matter how tired you got you would still cling to me. I cherished that time and made it a priority to ensure that I was the one that put you to sleep each night. Charlie, I miss you.

I want to thank you for every day I was blessed to be with you. Thank you for being so full of life and love. Thank you for being such a good boy. Thank you for loving me so much, and so deeply. You called me Mom long before you called me Dad. And after you started calling me Dad, you still called me Mom half the time and I loved it. I was always the proudest parent in every room I entered. Thank you for making the last two years of my life joyful ones.

Charlie, I want you to know that I know that you are in a better place now and that you are at peace. I know you are happy there and I know that it is Gods will that you are there. It is more difficult than I could ever have imagined, to do as Christ said and “be as little children” and “submit myself to the will of the father” because I miss you so deeply and want you here. Your brothers have been such great examples to me of children who are accepting of God’s will and I love them even more fore it. Your mother has been an incredible strength and she misses you too. I know that we will be together again someday. I love that knowledge and I long for that day. Until then I will miss and always love you.

Love Dad.




21.4.11

On Holiday....

Jayson has a two week holiday from school and we're really trying to A live it up! We attempted to hike to Rainbow Falls but it started to et dark and we had to turn back before we made it all the way. We went back the next day but decided to just park at the falls rather than at the other end of the trail. Less work, but still rewarding! Aidan found a bird's nest that he took for show and tell, which made up for some of the disappointment of not making it. The hike is sobeautiful that I decided to go back without the kids and run it. It's only about 7km so it's perfect to do once a day for a little recharge.


If you look closely at this picture, you can see why they call it Rainbow Falls....
Poor Aidan missed it....he was at school.

Walking back at dusk
If there is an accident waiting to happen, Aidan finds it! At least mud is soft.

When I took this photo, Jays and Aidan were having a brotherly moment (the good kind). Aidan told Jayson that he was his best (pronounced breast) friend. Jays very seriously replied "you're my best friend. I love you."
Jay took several pictures like this and claimed that he didn't do it on purpose. Was he fibbing or has my face become obsolete?
Another day we collected all of our cardboard to burn and built a little fire to roast marshmallows. They don't have graham crackers in New Zealand so we used some other kind of biscuit to make s'mores. Then Jay helped the boys peer through the telescope. The boys had the best time of their lives. As a matter of fact, Jayson really wanted to say the prayer for breakfast the next morning so that he could thank Heavenly Father for the camp fire. If that's all it takes, I have been trying waaay to hard.




Here's a picture of the back of the house. We live in the white half. Jay's parents built the top first then lifted it up onto beams to build the basement later.

The lens I had on my camera could not get a wide enough angle to show even half of the garden. Row upon row of tires stacked up with every plant imaginable sprouting out of them.

One day during the holiday we went to Rainbows End, New Zealand's only amusement park. What is it about boys and fast rides?

Charlie got to ride on his first roller coaster!







13.4.11

New computer=New Post!


Hooray for a new computer! Today I catch up then I can make smaller posts more often (ideally). March was a busy month for us...Jay and I spent a lot of time pulling up old carpet, painting, furniture buying, etc. We only have a bit more to paint and have new carpet. We're almost done with all of the light fixtures, and in another month or so we'll replace the toilet and old linoleum. We've got new curtains and curtain rods and a new (used) oven (a real oven! It only took me two days of scrubbing!) We drove down to Auckland last weekend to buy our new (very used) jilopy. It's just right for towing a sailboat and it seats seven. It is also very rattly. While we were in Auckland, we spotted a Pukeko! We also played at the beach.



There's an old tennis court hidden behind the trees and reeds down the road from our house and the boys like to go there to play. There's also a swing set.



We spent Jayson's actual birthday with Dean and his family, and Jay and Dean were up to the old antics, as you can see. We went to an indoor playground area called "Squirrels" or "Chipmunks" or something like that. The boys loved it.










Since we knew it was supposed to rain on his actual birthday, we kept Jayson out of school one day so he could come fishing with us. He caught a little thing that we threw back but the experience was worth it to him.


We spent the day in Paihia for Mum's birthday. After lunch we had ice cream and played at the beach







We usually have our lunch and dinner outside, which is great for cleanup.

Jayson noticed one day at school that he had a loose tooth! He was so thrilled and just couldn't stop checking to make sure it was still there. Later that day he was just checking on it while jumping on the trampoline. We recommend that method to anyone trying to pull a tooth out. That very night he had a visit from the tooth fairy. He was truly amazed that he didn't even hear her come in! He figures that she must be very small, like a fly. He also decided that she just turns the teeth into money, because why would she need all of thoseold teeth, anyway?

Here are a few pics of Aidan's school. They put their shoes in the shoe box when they get to school...it's generally considered very disrespectful to wear your shoes inside.




View from our breakfast table
We took a walk one day along the property line. The cows kept us company. That's what the big sticks were for.


The chickens were 100% "free range"until Jay decided that we were done with both roosters crowing right outside our windows.


Shred Violinist on NY subway

Prep for Cross Country

Captain Jayson's Rocket Launch

Dutch Wonderful Rollercoaster!

The perfect vent for Aidan...

Rocket Experiment :(

I can't wait for Aidan to learn the Haka in New Zealand. Hopefully it will prove to be an effective way for him to release aggression, and he can stop throwing balls at my head.

feel like dancing?

Charlie's laugh

Jayson at Swim Camp

Swimming at the Beach

Swimming at the Beach

Charlie is multi-faceted.

Charlie, do you have something in your nose???

Happy Birthday Astronaut Jayson!

Da Bonk.

Happy Birthday Aidan!

Interview with a four year old...

Nadia CRACKS ME UP!!!

Watch this!

Our First Road Trip as a Family of Five!

Easter Message

Happy Birthday Aidan!

Aidan Learns to Walk

Jayson's usual eating antics

Aidan's Tickle Torture

Aidan Picks Up

Boo! It's Halloween!

Jayson's First Day of Pre-School!

Jayson the Pirate

Aidy the Inchworm

Jayson singing "The World is So Big"

In case you have trouble understanding...

The world is so big and oh, so round
And even God's creations are almost so found.
Brothers and sisters and trees so tall,
animals big and animals small.
The world is so big and oh, so round
And even God's creations are almost so found...
etc, etc.

The correct words are:
The world is so big and oh, so round
And in it God's creations are found.
Mountains and valleys and trees so tall,
Animals big and animals small.
The world is so big and oh, so round
God loves us all, His blessings abound

Pictures of Our New Apartment!

Jayson's Top10

  • The Beach (any pile of sand qualifies)
  • Daddy ("Daddy's just my favorite")
  • Singing (even during sacrament meeting we cannot squelch his humming!)
  • Dumbo, his everpresent Elephant
  • Robinhood (as in the Prince of Thieves. "Mommy, my name is Robinhoodin, not Jayson.")
  • Swinging, sliding, climbing, jumping at the park
  • Marshmallows
  • All guys, boys, men, grandpas, uncles, etc.
  • Doritos (spicy red chips)
  • the color yellow

Aidan's Top 10

  • Mommy
  • Babbling
  • Drooling
  • Wiggling
  • Watching the dog
  • Watching his brother
  • Sucking on anything that comes within close proximity to his mouth
  • Sucking on his two middle fingers
  • Breastfeeding
  • Eating

A Photographer in the Making

Jayson loves taking pictures! He took most of these while we were on vacation in Washington and a few at home. I love that he takes pictures of himself. He then asks me to show them to him and he giggles a little when he sees what terrific shots he's gotten.

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Merry Christmas!

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blip, bleep. I. am. a. robot. lover.

Aidan carries his tiger in his mouth so he can have both hands free

Our little beekeeper

Is it a fork or a magic wand?

Big Carseat! Happiness!

At good ol' GW's house (Mt Vernon)

Brothers

Trying out the new running shoes.

Murphy tickles Aidan with his whiskers

Jayson being tortured by his swim teacher

Scary! Look at my sun damage since we got here!

Help Me!

Our Little Smarty

Monkey on a tightrope

Jayson's best pirate face(yes, he always closes his eyes.)

"How does that music fit in that tiny box?"

Bryant, Angela, Zoey, Mia, and Brodi on the 4th of July

Making a fast getaway

Jayson's "trampoline"

Mom and Jays

Aidan kept trying to eat his mask!He'll eat anything!

First 4th of July!

Checking out the competition

My guys on the Metro

"Oh Daddy, I love food!"

Jayson's just cute!

We know where we'll be this summer!

Aidan after a hard day at the pool

Aidan bumped his lip...he first "owie"

Jayson and his bud, Lex have matching bikes!

the bike: "Rock it" Awesome!

My Man...He be Lookin' Fine!

Jayson loves Aidan

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