Friday, December 30, 2011

Introducing . . .

Grant Benjamin

born December 28th @ 4:18 am

7 lbs 10 oz
19.5 inches

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve


Paige told us the story of Christ's birth, with pictures.

Claire said, "my turn" and tried to copy her.

Daddy read to us from the scriptures.

Mom read Twas the Night Before Christmas and almost started to cry because she misses her Grandma (and the rest of her family).

The girls got to open one gift. . .

. . . and of course it was new pjs!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Lifelong Tradition

We made gingerbread houses last night - something I've done every Christmas season since I was a much younger girl. And it all started with Diana West. A wonderful Young Women leader who not only used to bake tons of these houses from scratch for an annual mutual activity but who also came to my family's home to make and refill frosting bags every year while we decorated houses as a family (I am just now appreciating what a huge amount of work that was for her!). It really is one of my favorite annual traditions. Paige LOVES it and Claire really got into this year too. It's a lot of work but totally worth it - even if I didn't get to sit down and decorate my own house until the girls were in bed :)

Claire ate at least 5 pieces of candy for every piece that she put on her house. And she licked every piece that did make it on her house (before gently placing it down). She was in heaven! For reals.

Paige loves, loves, loves this kind of thing. I think she would have gone at this for at least 2 more hours if I had let her. She is already suggesting additions and changes she would make.

Ben is a good sport and puts a lot of effort into his houses every year, even though it's not nearly as important to him as it is to the rest of us.

She's excited!

Busily working away.

And I got to participate too.

Thank you, Diana, for starting a wonderful Christmas tradition (and, Mom, for keeping it going) that I'm sure will last at least a lifetime and hopefully well beyond!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

3 1/2 Weeks til My Due Date . . .

. . . although at my appointment last week the OB said he didn't think I would make it to January. So, we are slowly but surely finalizing preparations around here. Such as:
  • I made a crib bumper (spare me the lectures) that I am super proud of especially since I am not an accomplished seamstress or even an amateur seamstress (although maybe now I can call myself that).
  • My hospital bags are packed. Claire came in less than 2 hours so we need to be prepared to get to the hospital fast.
  • Christmas is ready except for the wrapping. I should probably tackle that before the weekend.
  • The baby's things are all washed and ready to be used.
  • I ordered the new car seat today. It gets here tomorrow. Isn't that amazing?! Free shipping, in one day, and the best price online or in stores. I don't use it much but when I do I love
  • My new camera lens arrived today. It's awesome. I broke the 2nd of 2 that I owned on the day of my baby shower (boo!) so I haven't taken pictures in two months! I finally talked myself into buying it and now wonder why I waited so long. I'm going to need it to take pictures of Christmas and of course of the new baby. Merry Christmas to me!
  • And finally, I have a growing list of things for Ben to do once he finishes finals this Friday: A light fixture to hang, a bed to put together (for us), a book shelf to put up in the nursery, etc.
One thing we have not done yet is name this baby! Why has it been so hard to decide on a boy name? We had Paige and Claire named within weeks of our 20 wk ultrasounds, so the fact that we are just weeks and maybe just days away from meeting our son and we STILL haven't picked a name (or really even agreed on any) kind of worries me.

So, please, take the poll in the sidebar. One or the other of us has suggested each of the names listed. And if you have a different first name/middle name combination to suggest, go ahead and comment! We need all the help we can get. Maybe you guys can convince one of us to just give in already :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Military Ball

Every September we get to attend the annual MI Ball with the rest of Ben's National Guard unit. This was the first year where they took our picture. I've posted it here because it will mostly likely be the last picture of Ben in this particular dress uniform since the Army has switched over to this new, dare I say snazzier, one.

Also, when Ben saw this he got after me for not straightening his bowtie, and I must add that I don't really have any formal attire to wear when I'm 6 months pregnant; this outfit was a last minute effort.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Baby Shower

My good friend Kendra threw a fantastic baby shower for me a few weeks ago. We had very fun/funny games and a yummy brunch. It was a lot of work! I am so grateful for her thoughtfulness and friendship.

Since I forgot my camera's SD card, we had to use my Mom's camera which was on some sort of weird setting so the pictures didn't turn out so great, but here they are anyway.

The food, plus Kimi and her cute Halle (Kimi and I are due the same week . . . I know!)

Gabbing and eating

See! Funny game. Needs no explanation. Kind of embarrassing. Amber won; guess that means she's next? :)
We played another great game where Kendra pre-videotaped Ben talking about our baby and what features of ours Ben hoped he would inherit (ie: Ben's nose, my eyes, his athleticism, my intelligence, etc. . .). Without telling us she already had Ben's answers she had everyone (including me) guess what my answers would be. Then we watched Ben's video and compared our answers. For every trait Ben and I agreed on, I got a point. Kendra gave me one thing of baby wipes for every 5 points. Surprisingly, I went home with a lot of wipes!

Cute boy clothes from Honey (my mom). The onesie says "Mommy's Little Moose". Which is funny because of what my Dr. said. Let me just say, it was really weird to come home with a bunch of stuff that wasn't pink!
In the pic above, do you see the awesome diaper cake in the background? and the bouquet of baby socks (right next to my mom's giant Diet Coke)? See, Kendra is awesome.

Thanks to all those who were there and those who helped! It was great to see you :)

Name Poll Results

We still haven't even come close to landing on a name for our baby boy due in 63 days (closer but not close). But I thought I'd share the results of the name poll you all participated in way back when. Too bad I can't! The website is no longer functioning and I never printed off the results, ugh! Oh well, it was fun and started some good name discussions for me and Ben :) Too bad we still can't decide.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Claire Turns 2!

Claire turned two today! We celebrated last weekend with Sunday dinner in Heber since Grandma and Grandpa Miller and Honey and Papa were in town. Keeping with tradition, Claire had a Mickey Mouse party for her 2nd birthday, but unlike Paige she wasn't too keen about dressing up. I was a bit disappointed, but at least I got her to wear the ears while she was eating cake.
This party was basically a direct knock-off of Paige's party from when she turned 2. Same balloons, exact same banner, but minus the matching wrapping and homemade cake. I think I already burned myself out on the first kid (plus we decided to do this party the night before).Her big present of the night was a tricycle of her very own. But for some reason she still wants to ride P's.This cute girl is definitely two. Strongly opinionated, but Oh, SO funny!
We love you, Claire!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

School Pictures

We finally got Paige's school pictures back on Friday. It made me sad, because I realized how much she's grown up since last year. She's so terrified of growing up and not needing me anymore but at the same time wants to be independent and like the "big kids". That's funny . . . I feel the same way.

(Paige and her cousin, Anna)
Look at those two cuties! I love P's smile in this picture. It's such a cheeser Reed grin!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

New Due Date

This baby had his 5th ultrasound yesterday while at my 24 week OB appointment. I've had an ultrasound every 4 weeks so far since I was 8 weeks along , lucky me :) My OB has a really awesome machine that does 4D images and while it was a little freaky a month ago, this time around was pretty cool now that our baby has developed a little chub. And by little I really mean a lot. After the tech did her thing and it was time to meet with the Dr. the first thing out of his mouth was, "well, apparently you're going to deliver a moose!". The kid is measuring over 2 weeks ahead of his original due date. And has been measuring ahead at every single ultrasound, so the Dr. finally decided to change my due date to January 8th. Fine with me! That actually helps me out a lot because I feel HUGE (compared to this point in my previous two pregnancies) and to be able to skip a whole week makes me feel a lot better about it. And as proof of my huge-ness (no I am not making it up) I will disclose this: I only have about 5 to 6 more lbs to gain before I reach my delivery weight with both Paige and Claire;. . . I have roughly 14 weeks of pregnancy left. Ummmm, I don't think that math works out, and I'm going to blame it on the fact that this time it's a boy.

I think he'll be worth it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Naturally Platinum

(Claire, about a month ago, with one of her favorite past times, monopolizing the iPod touch)

A young girl at church today told me that she thought it was "so weird for a baby to have white hair. . . like an old lady". It's probably what people comment on most about Claire. I don't know if the picture does it justice, but her hair is really truly platinum blond. I wonder how long it will last...

Saturday, August 27, 2011


  • At 4 1/2 Paige is playing her first year of youth soccer.
  • She is on an under age 6 team of girls who lucked out and got pink uniforms. Paige is happy about the color but also wishes they had some purple too.
  • At their first practice the coach took team name suggestions. The top 3 suggestions (which were Pinkalicious, the Pink Unicorns, and the Pink Sparkles) went to a vote. The Pink Sparkles was the winning choice.
  • Not surprisingly Paige is the littlest one on the field. I couldn't find any soccer shorts to fit her and ended up buying size 2T boys sweatpants and cutting them off. We're lucky they start making cleats in a toddler size 8 cause Paige wears a 7 1/2, and she is just tall enough to fit into the XXS shin guards (the smallest they come). The heels on her socks go up to her calves.
  • I went ahead and bought the pink cleats because I figured I won't have any sons with feet that small by the time they're old enough to play.
  • Claire is the ultimate cheerleader and listening to her yell "Go Parkles!" is just as entertaining as watching the "parkles" run around the field.
  • Paige is particularly entertaining (and a little frustrating) to watch. She can barely keep up with the pack on her little legs and likes to volunteer to take a break when it's time to sub. This morning while getting ready she asked me if it was going to be a lot of running around like last time; she didn't say anything but looked a little disappointed when I said yes.
  • I have a sneaking suspicion that half-time and after game treats are what's keeping her interested. Time will tell.
  • She's trying really hard though and having a good time. We're proud of our little Sparkle.

Man in Uniform

Ben was off for some Army training, and I forced him to let me take his picture. He was embarrassed that I made him stand in front of the house where people could see and he will probably be equally embarrassed by this post. Oh well! I wanted to show off my handsome husband!I love you, Sweetheart! Thank you for all that you stand for and all that you do for us!

Back to School

Paige started her second year of preschool at Kid's Village this week. She was so excited to go back!
(try not to be disgusted by the half chewed wheat thins in her mouth)

And just for fun, here is P's first day of school pic from last year side-by-side with this year's:

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Boy Names

As I mentioned in my last post, I am not very excited about boy names. I just don't seem to like that many. I've been perusing name lists over the last few days trying to find one that jumps out. Hasn't happened yet, but I've come across a few I could tolerate forever. I also found this website where you can open an account to accept votes and name suggestions from the public. It's really easy. All you have to do is spend a few seconds, minutes, however long you want really, clicking on name preferences, and the computer keeps track of all the votes. You can even click on "suggest a name" up at the top if you'd like to add one to be considered in the voting. It won't give you the results, but eventually it will give them to me and when it does I will share with the world what you and the computer decided was the perfect name for our baby :) So if you like to give it a shot and help us pick a name go HERE and start clicking! Please? You know you want to . . .

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

We're Having a . . .


It's actually kind of hard to believe even though I was leaning towards boy. I know what to do with girls; what the heck do I do with a boy? The ultrasound tech said, "try to keep up".

Paige is super excited and buried her huge grin in her dad's chest when the tech made the announcement.

We all knew it was a boy before she said anything; it was obvious.

Ben has remained quite contained about it all, most likely to avoid any appearance that he's happier with a boy than he would have been with a girl.

My mom sat on my couch for almost an hour afterwards looking up and discussing names. I just can't seem to get excited about any boy names.

I AM excited about getting some new baby clothes, blankets, and things for the nursery. And OF COURSE I'm excited about having a SON!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

And the winner of the contest is ...................................LIZ
Liz, I'll email you!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

16 Weeks

I have a 16 week gender ultrasound tomorrow. You know what that means. . . .

So, here's the deal. In honor of this occasion I would like to hold a little contest. Just write in a comment your prediction for whether it's a boy or a girl. Once we find out I will pool all of the correct predictions together and hold a drawing. Whomever wins the drawing will win... something. We'll work that out when you win.

Happy Guessing!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It's all about fashion

I signed Paige up for soccer the other day.

When I asked her if she thought she might like to play she replied,

"Hmmmm, what kind of shirt do I get to wear?"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

We're expecting our third . . .

baby in January. And we're very excited! Paige is really hoping for a baby brother this time. Claire has no clue what is going on. I am thrilled to be able to see the light at the end of the 1st trimester tunnel, and Ben says he'd be just as happy with a third girl as with a first boy. January sounds forever away, but I'm sure it'll be here before we know it!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cascade Springs

Have you been to Cascade Springs? It's beautiful this time of year and totally worth the drive. We went every summer as kids and got to ride on the dirt road up the mountain from Heber, all piled in the back of Grandpa's pick-up truck.

This afternoon, we (me and my kids, my sister and hers, and my cousin and hers, plus two of her sister's) all piled into one truck (shhh!) and took the kids for an easy, educational, and beautiful hike. Beth acted as tour guide, I tried to keep Claire from crying (she's been really whiny lately), and Chelsea helped. There is something really fun about doing things with your kids that you did when you were young. It also makes you appreciate how much your parents did for you.

The "big" kids on the hike

Silly faces

The stroller babies
(see Claire whining? I'm beginning to wonder if it's ever going to stop)

The Fourth!

Saturday night Ben and I went on a date to Stadium of Fire (yes we left the kids at home with a sitter, I'm not crazy) and had a great time with David Archuleta and Brad Paisley.

On Monday morning we joined our ward for the long-standing breakfast-in-the-park at 7am, after which we went home and napped :).

We spent Monday evening at my Aunt and Uncle's in Heber eating hamburgers, watermelon, chips, and brownies and setting off the fireworks Ben and Paige picked out at the firework stand down the street.

Cousins playing in the backyard

Claire whining

My sister Chelsea and her kids (no I did not manage to get a photo of my family). Chelsea made Juliette's dress.

The dads running the firework show. We couldn't wait for dark; the little ones were tiring quickly.
God Bless America!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ballet Recital

Paige started her first year of ballet this January at a dance studio that is right across the street from our house. For the end of the year performance she was a songbird in the company's production of Sleeping Beauty. Her class's appearance lasted about 3 minutes out of 120, but it was so worth sitting through to see her up on there having fun and trying her best.

Paige and her cousin Anna during rehearsal

The big day. "I have never looked more beautiful!"

If you are new at this (like I am), DO NOT forget flowers. If they hadn't been selling them for $5 in the lobby we would have had a disaster on our hands.
Good Job, Paige!

the River

I took the girls to meet up with my parents and 2 of my sisters and their families earlier this month for a week at the Colorado River. We've been going there since I was Paige's age and it's still just as fun as it was then. Too bad I didn't take more pictures. Thank you Honey and Papa for a great time, as always!

Claire loved riding the "bug".

Resting during a late afternoon movie.

A tradition. One last picture before we head home.