April 30, 2010

The Point

I've hit that point in pregnancy where reality is starting to set in.  It took a lot longer to happen in this pregnancy than the last.  Do you know what I mean?  It's like all of a sudden I've realized this is FOR REAL and not just a nice dream.  And now I need to figure out what I need to do to get ready for this life change.   

Perhaps some people would say 'nesting' instincts are setting in, but I'm not sure that accurate because my understanding of nesting is that you are blessed with a huge surge of energy.  The opposite could not be true for me -- I feel lifeless.  My house has never been messier, I take a nap pretty much every day now, and when I am awake I can barely muster up enough energy to do the bare minimum. 

But now I also have the nagging thoughts in the back of my mind about how I need to be shopping, cleaning, organizing, reading, and researching in preparation for this new baby.  The only thing I've purchased for him is a {really cute} pair of shoes that will fit him when he's two and a darling newsboy hat.  We do have Fisher's {again, really cute} clothes that will fit him when he's six or twelve months, but he'd have to go naked for the first six months of life if he was born tomorrow.

Does this make you nervous?  It's making me feel very nervous!  Along with these other items:
  • We don't have a place for him to sleep.  Are we going to stuff him in Sadie's overcrowded room or convert the den?
  • Will this baby nurse?  Sadie never nursed ONCE, and consequently, I spent six months of my life 'pumping'.  I don't want to nor do I think I could do that again.  Is there anything I should or could do not to ensure a little more success?
  • How can I make the transition for Sadie as seemless as possible?
  • Should Sadie come to see us in the hospital or will that only upset her more?
  • Is Ben going to stay with me at night or go to my parent's house and stay with Sadie?
  • I should probably buy a double stroller if I have any hope of leaving the house, but I have no clue which is best. I tend to research big purchases like that a lot.
  • Sadie needs to move up to a 'big girl' bed.  Will it be easier to do that now or just wait until we're sleep deprived with a newborn and try to do it then?
  • Will I go into labor naturally or be induced?  Will the baby be breech or some other funny position {I'm worried about that this time for some reason}?  Do I want an epidural (no), but will I be able to handle the pain?  Several nurses and lactation consultants insisted after Sadie's birth that women who get epidurals tend to have babies that won't nurse. 
  • Will this baby be a happy and sleepy newborn, or have colic and other issues like Sadie?
I could go on but I won't, because I'm just getting myself all worked up.

So, if anyone has any advice, recommendations, words of wisdom, or books you think I need to read please, oh please feel free to share.  

My due date is in six weeks (June 10th), but I'm thinking this one may come a little early.  My plan is to get everything prepared and squared away by the end of the month of May. 

But today I'm going to do a different kind of preparation - a little spiritual preparation to jump start the month of May. Kimmy, Christy, and my Mom are going to watch Sadie so I can go to the temple.  Then we may have to check out the outlet malls in Orlando to begin the temporal preparation :) 

April 28, 2010

Return of the Prodigal Child

Kimmy is home {sigh}.

Life is good!

Beach will be frequented.

Hair will be cut.

Doctor can now be visited.

Baby can come.

Sadie will be loved.

Alicia will be relaxed.

All will be well :)

Thank you Kimmy!!

April 23, 2010

Orlando & Disney

Every other year Ben has a McDonald's convention in Orlando.  Since it's so close I usually go with him for the few days he's over there.  When we were newlyweds I just would read, take naps, and lounge by the pool - it was heaven on earth!

Now that little Sadie is a part of our family I was a little concerned that our Orlando trip would not be as relaxing but I was pleasantly surprised with how well she did.  She loved it!  She went to sleep easily.  She took nice, long naps.  She was friendly, social, and very well-behaved.

One huge blessing was that we were given a free upgrade to an executive suite.  So, thankfully, she had plenty of room to run and play.  And, we had a full kitchen and dining area - that made life a lot easier.

On Monday, while Ben was in meetings, Sadie and I met up with family at Magic Kingdom and then went out to dinner with them at Rainforest Cafe.

{Shown above are Sadie Tickner and Sadie Johnson. 
We have been good friends with the Tickner's for a few years,
and just found out this year that they are Ben's cousins}

{This is Ben's Aunt Sue and Cousin Bailey.  
They were in town from Utah for the convention, too!}

On Tuesday Ben only had to work from noon to five.  In the morning we just played around the hotel.

{Sadie loved the air conditioner}

{I fed her really unhealthy food during the trip. 
Shame on me!!! 
She didn't seem to mind it, though!}

{She took three and a half hour naps each day! 
That's a new record for her :) 
We must have really worn her out.}

That evening we were going to go to Disney but the weather didn't cooperate.  We decided at the gate to abort our Disney plans.  We took some pictures, went on the boat ride back, and then went out for Indian food.

{I'm much larger in real life than this picture portrays}

{Sadie was tired again even after her record-breaking nap!}

On Wednesday we slept in and relaxed around the hotel until check-out time.  We really didn't want to leave yet!  We ordered....(which was my very favorite part of the trip)....room service for breakfast each morning.

And then we met up with Joe, Julie, and Baby Joseph at Disney.  As a side note, we participated in Disney's "Give A Day. Get A Day" service program.  In return we each received a free Disney ticket.  We then upgraded our tickets for the $99 Florida resident 4-day pass.  The upgrade was only $20.  So, we now have 4 days of Disney tickets we need to use up by May 25th.  It was another blessing from 'Above'. 

{I tried to make her hair look like Mickey Mouse ears.  Can you tell?}

{Sadie did not like the tram ride! 
This was her third time riding it and her first time not crying during it.}

{Joseph's bashful face shown above.  Don't you love his shirt?}

 {Baby Joseph fell asleep on 'It's a Small World"}

Sadie didn't love the rides at the beginning of the day, but by the end she was pointing and giggling.  Her most favorite rides were Winnie the Pooh and It's A Small World.  She did NOT like Peter Pan, nor did she like Pirates of the Caribbean.  Although, she was brave and didn't cry on any of them!

  {This picture shows better how big I am getting, but I still say that I look even bigger in real life.  I can't imagine I'm going to make it another six weeks!}

So, that was our wonderful Orlando/Disney trip.  It was over far too quickly, but it sure was fun while it lasted! 

April 22, 2010


What do you do on a beautiful Saturday afternoon when you don't want to spend much money but want to have a fun, memorable experience?  Well, we go kayaking and to the beach - which is what we did this past Saturday.  The kids love being outdoors, kayaking is peaceful, and the beach is a feast for the eyes.

{Joe, Julie, and Baby Joseph can be seen above.}

{Ben can be seen above disembarking on his journey. 
We saw a manatee, a snake, and tons of scary little crabs.}

{My Dad shown above launching Michael}

My parents and I took the kids over to the beach while the first group when kayaking.  They loved playing in the sand and walking on the beach.
{My dad is really embracing Grandpahood.  All the kids LOVE him!}

{One of Sadie's favorite activities is playing with my mom's shells.  
She brought these with her to the beach from their house}

{Don't you just love that little face?}

P.S. We missed you Sarah and Ethan :)

Strawberry Picking

A family tradition I seem to be passing down to Sadie is our yearly spring strawberry picking. We are almost out of strawberry jam, so even though I am ripening for delivery, I felt we still had to go and get our berries. I only picked 20 quarts yet it took me nearly two hours! It was a beautiful day, though, and Sadie loved the adventure.

 {The only way I could get Sadie to look at the camera was ask, "How much do you love Mom?"  In the first picture she is saying only a little bit, but then she spreads her arms wide open to say a lot.}

April 15, 2010

Lowry Park Zoo

My lovely sister-in-law, Sarah, and I took the kids to the zoo this week.  It was really nice to be able to show Sadie real animals instead of just looking at them in books.  She quite enjoyed it!

{Sadie's reaction to seeing the manatees is shown above}

{Ethan giggled with delight while petting the sting rays.  
Sadie was amazed but too terrified to touch them}

 {Doesn't the giraffe look like he's smiling in this picture?}

Sadie absolutely loved the giraffes and elephants, but her favorite animals of the day was.....
....the billy goats!  She hugged them and loved them and followed them around. They were very patient with her!

We only were able to see a fraction of the park, so I'm hoping to go back again soon {as is Sadie}. 

April 12, 2010

Life Lately 4.12.10

Life lately....

They are moving Ben's office. We knew this was going to happen, but we expected them to move to the Oldsmar/Palm Harbor area. Instead, we found out Friday, they are moving over to Tampa. Right by the airport.  In fact, it's about 5 minutes from Mike and Sarah's house. So now, even if we sell our house {that a big 'if'} we don't even know where we would move.

My goal was (1) to get as close to Ben's office as possible (2) to get in a better school district (3) to get closer to good beaches (4) to get closer to parents (5) to be in either the Seminole or Palm Harbor ward. Well, now if I try to accomplish goal #1 I will have to sacrifice some of the other ones. Hmmm....what to do?


In other news, I have been released from my unofficial calling as Acting Young Women's President.  I'm still the first counselor, but now the second counselor is the acting president since the actual president has cancer and I am ripening for delivery.  It's very fun to work with the YW and we have an especially great group.  I'm not quite sure how I'm going to continue to do my calling, though.  Sadie will NOT go to nursery by herself and soon I'll have a newborn.  Ben has been teaching the YM {ironically, he's currently the 'Acting' YM's president in addition to the second counselor in the Bishopric - hopefully that won't last more than a couple more weeks, though}, so he's even more busy than I am and is unable to help much with Sadie during church - although, you know he tries.  Sadly, Sundays have become our most stressful day of the week, and I think when our little one comes along it's only going to get crazier.  

I remember my mom saying she wondered when she went to church because she just ended up walking the halls with the babies and toddlers while us older kids sat unattended in sacrament meeting.  She did it for us - just like I do it for Sadie, because I want her to understand and love the gospel as much as I do.  But, I have to say, at this point in life most of my spiritual upliftment comes from my own study throughout the week rather than through attending church on Sundays.  That's actually probably a good thing.   


Sarah and I have had two wedding to photograph in the last three weeks.  This past one was a beach wedding followed by a sunset cruise.  It was very fun!  I quite enjoy them.  Although, they are totally and completely exhausting.  This will definitely have to be my last one for a while, because I'm getting too big and pregnant to keep up with Sarah.  

Photography is like being a goalie in hockey or soccer.  You have to be on high alert and ready to move at any second if a beautiful opportunity presents itself.  It requires a very high level of concentration!


As for my pregnancy - I'm pretty sure I've been pregnant for well over a year now and I'm very ready to *feel* thin again.  Although, I'm cherishing all the time I have left while it's just Sadie and me.  We have so much fun together and go lots of places; I'm not sure how she or I will do when we are 'homebound' for a few months.  I have a lot of nervousness and fears about having a newborn again, but I'm trying to just focus on how exciting it will be rather than how hard it will be.  And, I keep telling myself: Sadie was not a normal newborn.  Hopefully, this time will be a little easier!  


Lastly, but definitely not least, is little Sadie....she is perfect!   She's so much fun, and such a good little toddler!  She's trying to talk more which makes me a laugh a lot.  Also, she's starting to climb and can finally get up on the sofa by herself.  The things I love most about her are (1) her smile (2) the way she smells and (3) how she is so affectionate.  She brings me her Binky and blanket all throughout the day and wants me just to lay on the sofa with her and cuddle.  How cute is that?  Pretty cute.  That's our Sadie!          

April 08, 2010

Overcoming Boredom

Dear People (you know who you are),

The time is rapidly approaching where you will be called upon to watch my perfect little bundle of joy.  Are you preparing?

For this week's lesson we will be discussing the topic of 'what to do with Sadie when she's bored'.

Our dear Sadie requires a lot of interaction and attention {boy do I know!} and does not enjoy playing independently.  However, I will share some tips with you for when you are dead tired and desperately need a break, ok?

Here we go:


1)  Draw/Color - This pastime cannot be underrated!  She would literally sit on my lap and have me draw ALL day if I had the patience.  This is her most favorite hobby!!   
{Her favorite things to draw are sea creatures.  
She has a bit of a marine biology fettish}

2)  Read a book / Go to the library:
 {FYI: They also have fun toys at the library}

3)  Go on a walk or go to the park:
{She especially likes to go fast}

4)  Call someone on the phone -

5)  Sing songs - favorites include:
  • Little Bunny Foo-Foo {a little violent, though}
  • Hokey Pokey
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • This Little Light of Mine {really emphasize the "NO" when you pull it out from under the bushel}
  • Popcorn Popping
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Five Little Ducks
  • Monkies on the Bed
  • Mr. Sun

{For Emergency Use Only!}
{and don't judge me!}

1)  Put her in the shower - Sadie actually much prefers showers over baths.  If I need some 'down time' I just stick her in there with a bunch of cups and she'll be happy for 30 minutes.

2)  Put her in the car - Just be sure to hide the change!  Many coins I have found in the tape player and other various locations.  Also, I always leave a door open for ventilation and so she can crawl out if she wants {although, she never has}.

3)  Let her watch Barney - Usually I let her watch one in the morning and one in the evening.  She won't move a muscle for the entire 23 minutes!  Try to talk to her about what she's seeing, though.  


Note: We usually go on at least one outing a day, so if she's in the house too long she may become especially restless.

My prayers and thoughts will be with you as you seek to help her find meaningful ways to spend her time.

And always remember: safety first!

Your loving daughter and sister,


April 05, 2010

Happy Easter Weekend!


Ben was done with work early on Friday, so to kick off Easter weekend we made a visit to the beach.  It was a warm, beautiful day and we had a fabulous time.Sadie played in the sand, Ben went for a swim, and I took pictures - how perfect!

{I love how seagulls always line up and face the same direction}

That evening we had a family fish fry with aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Ben and I were shocked to discover we have a child that loves seafood!  Who would have guessed?

We spent the morning working on house projects and taking pictures for the online listing.  It's been on the market for almost a week now, but no one has come to look at it.  Pray for our success!  

In the afternoon we watched conference.  Sadie was a little stir crazy and a bit of a distraction.  Actually, I'm embarrassed to admit, we ended up showing her Barney on Saturday and Sunday so that we could pay attention. Shame on me.

I thought conference was great!  Maybe it's because I'm a mom now, but I thought there were so many talks about parenthood/motherhood/child rearing, etc.  I'm a changed woman; I'll do better!

 After the second session we decorated Easter eggs.  Sadie totally loved it!  She mostly wanted to play in the dye, but she enjoyed coloring with the crayons, too.

We had a mini Easter egg hunt when Sadie first woke up.  To say she loved it is a massive understatement!  This was her reaction to every egg she found:

We then headed over to Mike and Sarah's house for brunch with the family and another Easter egg hunt.  Again, it was a huge success :)
{Men in the kitchen - gotta love it!}

 {Family picture - thanks Sarah!!}

{She was so excited for each and every egg!}

   That evening, after conference, we went to watch the sunset at the beach. 

{Ben and Sadie happily agreed to model for me}

{We also found a neat mangrove forest that we spent a half hour tromping through}

{When I take pictures of Sadie I squat (although that's getting difficult to do) and oftentimes Sadie will mimic me.  It always makes me laugh.}

It was a perfect ending to a most wonderful weekend!