Alicia & Ben » Blog

I’m way past due in announcing my pregnancy!  I’m 24 weeks today, and finally, feeling great again.

Here’s the rundown on how things have gone so far.

My due date is January 8th, 9th, or 10th.  Different times they’ve said different dates.  This is sandwiched right between the end of my busy season and the beginning of Ben’s.  I’m guessing she’ll be born on Kimmy’s birthday – January 15th.  Ben is hoping for January 11th.  If that happens she’ll share a birthday with two cousins – Charlie and Jace.

I’ve decided to go with a birthing center this time around. I was going to go  the hospital route but I wanted to check out against medical advice right after delivery.  After some thorough research I couldn’t seem to find an OB I was excited or comfortable with.  I didn’t want to go with the last one again; had a bad experience since McKay’s delivery. While researching, I stumbled upon the amazing, glowing online reviews of the birthing center where Julie has delivered her Florida babies. I had toured it back when I was pregnant with Jax and had been very impressed at that time.  I did another tour and it was just want I was looking for, so I’m going for it despite the concerns of not delivering in a hospital. Praying all goes smoothly!  I’m very excited.

The first trimester was rough.  I don’t know if my memory has faded from my previous pregnancies, but I believe this one was my hardest. My nausea was quite severe.  On Jax’s birthday (around 11 weeks pregnant) I was out shopping with my mom and the kids and I had sit down and not talk quiet a lot to keep from getting sick.  My mom mentioned she had some medicine for nausea, which I got from her that very same day, and it completely changed my life!  That woman always has the solutions I’m looking for!  I used it sparingly but it was just lovely to have that relief!

One nice thing about this pregnancy is I’m able to nap almost any day I want.  Wish I had that luxury during the last three pregnancies!  If the kids are home I just tell them to play quietly, or they watch a half hour show and then play while I sleep.  I’ve taken advantage of this and I nap probably 4 days a week.  Especially on the days I have photoshoots so I’ll still be energetic in the evenings.  It’s been so helpful!

At 15 weeks we went for a special gender determination ultrasound.  I really, really, really wanted a girl!  Ben keeps telling me this is our last baby, though, I’m left wondering if maybe we should have one more but accepting of the fact we won’t.  I’ve always felt like I had or needed one more daughter so if this was a boy I was worried I’d feel conflicted.  I told myself over and over that I just need to be happy and grateful regardless of the gender, but I couldn’t help pushing aside the desire for a daughter.  So, at the appointment we were looking up at the fuzzy screen and Ben and I saw what we thought were boys parts.  I was so sad but trying to be happy since my mom and the kids were there.  Ben said, “It’s a boy, right?  Is that what we’re seeing?”  The tech said, “Don’t be too sure!”  So after another minute she finally announced, “It’s a girl.”  Such happiness!  One of the happiest moments of my life, perhaps.  I cried or sobbed I was so happy and relieved!  We feel so blessed that we’ll have two of each gender.  I’m so grateful Sadie will have a sister!


The kids are beyond thrilled about the pregnancy.  They are very curious and bring it up a lot. They all love to talk about her size, what her name will be, where she’ll sleep, who will feed her, etc.  They love to rub my belly and talk to her.  McKay is adorable when he does it as he whispers so soft and sweetly and says the most tender things, “It’s me McKay, your big brother, and I will take care of you.”   They also love to feel her kick which she does quite a lot.  I think she is excessively strong and active for her age.  All the kids had felt her strong kicks by 18 weeks. I’m 24 weeks now and we can sit and watch my belly move around.  The kids find it so fascinating.  It’s so cute and fun to go through the pregnancy with them and to see all their excitement at each step.

I hesitate to share names we are considering, but I guess I’ll go ahead.  I was quite stuck on Andi for a while and Ben loves Morgan.  I love the sentimentality of naming her after my mom, Mary or Mary Kate.  Ben likes Mary but not Mary Kate.  He mostly choose the boys’ names so he thinks I should name this one, but I’d like for us to have a name that we both love.  The kids have a plethora of hilarious names they’re trying to talk us into.  Right now they insist her name will be Andi which is dangerous because I think it’s going to be hard on them if we don’t use that name.  Time will tell.  Ben and I aren’t committed to anything yet.

My food cravings this time around have been lemons and bacon.  I haven’t had much interest in sweets at all.  Very unusual thing for me.  I try my hardest to avoid bacon, but it’s hard to ignore that screaming desire.  We ate out at restaurants almost every day of my first trimester. I couldn’t cook or go to the grocery store without feeling like sick. I think we ate least doubled our food budget those months.  Ben was supportive.  If I could get the food I was craving and eat just the right amount it would settle my stomach and give me a few hours of relief.  Those were cherished times and a price tag could not be put on my happiness in those moments.

Not sure if we’ll look back on this in years and laugh or if it will develop into a worldwide problem, but right now one major concern for pregnant women in Florida is the Zika virus.  I’m not overly paranoid but I am cautious to wear pants and use mosquito repellent when I’m outdoors.  One more thing to worry about!

This was a belly snapshot at 20 weeks.

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The great explosion has begun.  I’ve put on a whooping 6 lbs in the last 4 weeks since that picture above!  I’m 24 weeks now and this was a picture from last night.  I’m starting to feel big and bulky, but at least my energy and appetite have returned.


I’m so excited to have a baby again.  My arms ache to hold her.  There is a big part of me that’s nervous for her arrival, though. I’m worried how I’ll juggle everything since life is pretty busy as it is.  I try to have faith that things will all work out and I’ll be given the strength to do manage it all.  Life works out.  It always does.  So, though nervous, I’m hopeful and excited.

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Our “baby” turned 5!

His pregnancy was a shock to me, but God really knew what he was doing!  He is the perfect addition to our family and I love having the kids close in age now that they’re older.

When I was pregnant with him my greatest fear was I wouldn’t be able to give him the attention, holding, or love I had given the other two.  So I made a mental commitment to not let that happen, and I would say we were quite successful.  This child has been loved, held, admired, adored, gazed at, read to, talked to, and praised just as much as any only child or oldest child.  He is the most affectionate, loving little thing so it’s easy to dote on him since he enjoys it so much.  His idea of a good time is cuddling on the sofa and watching Rescue Bots.

He woke up, and woke all of us up, just before the sunrise and loved discovering the decorations and opening his presents.



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I ran out to Dunkin Donuts which the kids were overjoyed about!

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We met McKay’s very best friend, Evrett, and family at Kidz World of Play around 11 and I think we stayed until 2:30.  The kids love that place.  It’s right up there with Disney and Chuck E Cheese!  McKay was thrilled to see his best friend again after two months of summer separation.  We love Evrett; he’s a great kid!


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We ran home, changed, decorated a cake, packed the car, and headed to Ft DeSoto for McKay’s family party.  McKay choose the beach because, “Mimi will be so happy if she sees a dolphin!”  Such a thoughtful little guy!


He always runs to greet her and gives her the most heartfelt hugs.  Then he asks if she has Tic Tacs or mints :)

He always runs to greet her and gives her the most heartfelt hugs. Then he asks if she has Tic Tacs or mints :)

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Over to the beach to cool down and escape the mosquitoes…..

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So happy that Gramma’s age, which is 88 1/2, never holds her back!  Her health and abilities are an inspiration!

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Happy birthday to the sweetest 5 year old in the whole world!


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Last year we started the tradition of a Back to School Feast the night before the first day of school.

This year, we kept things simple and kid-friendly with homemade pizza, strawberries, lemonade, and cherry dump cake for dessert.  I was in the thick of a lot of projects so I didn’t go all out but the kids had a splendid time and felt special.

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After dinner we gathered in the family room for our back to school discussion and reminders.  What are your teachers names?  What do you do if you’re feeling shy but need to go to the bathroom?  Look for kids who are alone and be their friends.  How do you make a new friend on the playground?  How are you getting home from school?  Things like that.

Then Ben gave them each a Priesthood Blessing which were so sweet and comforting.

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The next morning came quickly.  The kids lept out of bed with excitement.  Probably the first and only time that will happen this year:)  They were ready in record time.

Sadie has the same teacher for 3rd grade as she did for the second half of 2nd grade, Ms. Jones, who we really like.  Most of the students in her class are new to her, but she makes friends quickly and easily.  She had been telling me the last few weeks of summer that she was excited to go back to school.  She may be my bravest and most emotionally stable child.  Maybe it’s just because she’s older than the boys?  I’m always in awe of her courage.  She was such a timid toddler that it’s amazing to see how much growth she’s made in that area.

Jax started 1st grade and his teacher is Ms. Maroney.  Kindergarten was pretty rough on him.  We requested a sweet and soft spoken teacher for him this year, and the one he was assigned has been wonderful. We expected tears or nervousness from him on the first day, but he was all smiles.

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Sadie and Jax have school from 8AM – 2:15.  McKay has school from 9AM – 12PM.  Hence, McKay is shown in the picture above still in his pajamas as Jax, Sadie, and Ben head out for the day.

We debated long and hard about starting McKay in kindergarten vs. doing another year of preschool since he has an August birthday.  In the end, we chose the more gentler option.  Seeing Jax, who also has a summer birthday, struggle so much in Kindergarten is what really cemented the decision.  He is smart and responsible for his age so I’m sure he would have been fine to start the next grade, but I knew he’d be stressed and exhausted by the end of each day.  So, another year of preschool it is!

He was nervous but composed on his first day.  He had a best friend from last year that he was very sad wouldn’t be in his class anymore.   He was super clingy and sad at “Meet the Teacher” so I was nervous how is first day would go.  In the end, he did perfectly! Unfortunately, I had a little breakdown when it was time to say good bye.  He looked so small and nervous and vulnerable that my heart broke for him.   Luckily, he held it together.

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We’ve had a few speed bumps but I’m hopeful it’s going to be a great year for all the kids!

Sadie came home from school so, so happy the first two days.  By Friday she was tired and grumpy, but this week she’s back to herself.   Perhaps the hardest thing for her has been that she has the last lunch of the day which is at 12:20.  She eats a lot and it’s really hard for her to go 5 hours without food!  Also, she just had her orthodontic expander put in yesterday so that’s not ideal since it’s hard for her to talk, and she, understandably, only wants to eat soft food many of which are hard to pack in a lunchbox.  As with all things, she forges ahead in quiet patience and optimism.

Jax had a phenomenal first week!  He’s been the happiest I’ve been him in a long time.  I wonder if he’s been dreading school starting up, but now that he’s faced the fear and conquered he has a sense of relief.  Unfortunately, Monday morning (Day 4) was rough. We were up late the night before and he was so sleepy Monday morning.  He didn’t want to get out of bed, cried, and begged to stay home.  Which made Sadie and him late for school.  Ugh.  Tuesday was a little better.  Today he was fine again.  Let’s hope it’s smooth sailing from here.

McKay has made a new best friend, Michael, and seems to love school!  Ben asked him last night which teacher he liked more – Ms. Dawn (who was his teacher last year and we loved!) or Ms. Jodi (teacher this year).  He said Ms. Jodi.  I was surprised! I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow so I told him this morning I would need him to stay for lunch bunch at school tomorrow and he yelled, “Yeah!!!  Michael’s been wanting me to stay!”  This school is more hands-on that his previous school – lots of crafts, painting, building, and interactive activities. Each day he’s excited about the next day’s activity.  Today they made applesauce as their snack which he found to be very fun and delicious.  “I had two big scoops, Mommy!  They let me have extra.”  I think he’ll have a wonderful year!

A few pictures of them today during their “decompress” time after school……

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  • August 21, 2016 - 11:55 pm

    Mary Meyers - Awwwww!!! I just want to scoop them all up in my arms and fill them with my love! Sounds like they’re handling things pretty well. Are they not the cutest things ever?!!! I may be a bit prejudiced, but I think I have the cutest grandkids in the world!!!!! How did I ever get to be so lucky??? HOW? You ask??? I guess It’s because I had the cutest kids in the world!!! Being a mom and a grandmother is the best thing EVER!!!ReplyCancel

It’s been a busy few weeks of summer around here!  Full of appointments (12 in one week, that must be a record?!?!), trips, parties, and playdates.  I love the lazy days of summer but the last few weeks have been anything but lazy!  As the mounds of laundry, piles of dirty dishes, and scattered toys collect around the house an eagerness for the routine of school days returns.

Today was the first of school, and it will be so nice to have three hours to myself each day to organize my house, thoughts, and photo work. I’m sad to see summer end, but less so this year than years past.  We’ll definitely miss the slow mornings and carefree days. But, I’m ready for more structure in our schedule, cooler weather, fall holidays, and less housework:)


A few highlight pictures from our summer……



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Jax turned 6.  Seems impossible, yet, here we are.

First let’s address why he’s wearing pink PJs in these present opening pictures.  The night before we were driving home from Karate and McKay fell asleep in the car and he stayed asleep when I carried him up to his bed when we arrived home.  So McKay was sleeping in the boys’ room and I let Jax have a sleepover in Sadie’s room since it was his birthday and I didn’t want Jax to wake McKay.  So, Jax wore Sadie’s PJs to bed instead of us risking waking McKay by getting Jax’s PJs out of his room.  Clear as mud?  I know I could re-write that but I’m feeling lazy.  Sorry.

Anyways, Ben arrived home from YMs and thankfully helped me decorate the house and finish wrapping presents.  When I say helped me….he did it all.  I was feeling sick so I sat and watched. Sadie had already done a lot of the wrapping.  She is so helpful with that! Just like her daddy.

This year he requested karate presents.  Karate presents????  Wasn’t sure what that meant and he didn’t either.  He kindof likes Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, because of their fighting and combat scenes.  He doesn’t watch the shows often (I hate both those shows so I limit) but I bought him a few of those gifts.  He liked them lots.

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Later that morning my mom came over and we all went out to a toy store to let Jax pick out his presents from my parents.  He was so happy!  After some searching we finally found what he was looking for at Target.  He picked out a transformer, lego warrior guy, and a power ranger dinosaur toy of some type.  It brought him so much happiness!  I was feeling really, really sick that morning so my mom coming over was a helpful distraction for all of us.  :)

That afternoon we went to RE Olds park for his family party.  We were worried we’d need to cancel because I had a sore throat, but thankfully, the family  was still okay with meeting!  Seems like we’re always sick on Jax’s birthday.  So happy it didn’t interfere this year, though!

Jax loves, loves, loves his cousins.  They are his best friends and an afternoon running around the park with them and eating sweets is his all time favorite thing!  Unfortunately I forgot my camera but Ben snapped some with his phone.  Mostly we let the kids run free, but Joseph and Ben set up a little obstacle course (thanks for the inspiration Matt) and the kids thoroughly enjoyed that!  They also enjoyed destroying the boys’ homemade pinata.  Though, some unfair candy distribution led to a few disappointed kids, Jax included.  He was exhausted by the end of the party and practically cried himself to sleep that night from emotional exhaustion.  It’s his party and he’ll cry if he wants to, I guess.  Overall, my lovely little six year old had a super fun day!

A few questions I asked Jax:

What was the best part of your birthday?  When we did the obstacle course game and when we had to throw the ball to see who got it the furthest.

Who is your best friend?  Jamsie.

What was your favorite toy?  The Power Ranger dinosaur toy from Mimi.

What made you feel the most loved on your birthday?  Opening the presents at my birthday party.

What else did you like about your birthday?  The pinata and the cake that had my name on it.  Okay that’s enough, Mom.

jax bday

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