People often wonder who Maren looks like or say she fits right in the family. So I wanted to compare baby pics to see...one thing I realized is that is hard to do. We just have different random shots of the kids, differing qualities and distances, but here you go. I guess I would say that Maren does just fit in with the group. I see parts of the kids that are all similar as babies as well as features that are different. Either way, I have also always felt that they look very different as toddlers and now older kids. These are all pictures of the kids when they were about 6-8 weeks old. What do you notice?
(And yes - I did put the dress on backwards in this last photo - oops!)
Yesterday Steve was able to give Maren her name and blessing at church. He asked a few of our friends to join him. It is a sweet time to think about the possible good things that await your child. I found a cute white dress with pink bows and flowers for Maren to wear. When I went to take pictures of her she was super happy and smiley. It is fun to see her start to look and smile at us.
I am very blessed to have 2 great sisters (as well as 3 brothers that I will get to see in December). Valerie was able to come spend last week with us - making dinner, holding Maren, jumping rope, playing at the park, shopping, talking. One of the reasons I am so glad to have Maren is that now Rhianna has a sister - and I know their value to me.
We have had a wonderful month. I wanted to say thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Boivie for coming to Tucson for 3 weeks to help with so much as Maren joined our family. Here is a list of some of what they did: rides to school, rides home, rides to tennis, made school lunch, made smoothies, made dinner, did dishes, did laundry, held Maren, put the crib together, went on walks, went on treasure hunts, went on picnics, played games, stayed with me in the hospital, helped with Seth's birthday, sang at Rand's baptism, went to church, went to movies, created costumes, went to a church Halloween party, went trick-or-treating, held Maren more, helped with homework, told bedtime stories....I am pretty sure that there was even more than this that I can't think of now. It was so nice to have that extra help for me and special time spent with our kids.
Rand was baptized on Saturday, November 3. He read the whole Book of Mormon with Steve and finished on his birthday in September. He had his interview with the Bishop and he was ready.
Saturday was such a nice day. Krista also came in for a short visit and we had the whole morning to relax. There were 4 kids getting baptized and they asked our family to do a musical number. Rand chose "When I Am Baptized" because he said he feels the spirit during that song. He had several friends and teachers and leaders from our ward come too and we all were happy to see him. Steve baptized him and Grandpa Boivie and his teacher Br. Rogers were the witnesses. The spirit was strong as we sang songs and mom and dad got to bear their testimonies just before Rand was confirmed and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost.
We then came home for the meal Rand chose - hamburgers from In & Out and chocolate raspberry cake. We gave Rand new scriptures and he got some marking pencils from Grandma and Grandpa Boivie and a gift from Krista. Rand has already started the habit of reading his own scriptures now, along with writing in a journal and saying his prayers, and I can tell just generally he is trying to be even better and make good choices. Rand and Rhianna also bore their testimonies about how they felt at church on Sunday. What a good weekend!
Seth turned 5 just a week after Maren was born - so he got to have his new sister and Grandma and Grandpa here for this birthday. Grandpa and Grandma took Seth out to the Ice Age movie during the day and then we did a few fun things that night.
We do fairly low key birthday celebrations, mainly just with family, but let the kids invite a few friends. His friend Robbie came over this time. Seth wanted to have a chicken nugget dipping taste test and an ice cream taste test for dessert. We had 6 sauces to try - ketchup, ranch, sweet & sour, BBQ, Thai red chili, and honey mustard. Seth decided he liked ketchup (and sort of honey mustard). Then he did a small treasure hunt and we did the ice cream taste test. We had vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Seth liked chocolate the best. The results sort of made us laugh....but it was a really fun night.
Maren Boivie was born 1 week ago on October 17, 2012. She is our smallest baby, at 7 lbs 0.4 oz and 19 in long. Also, at least for right now, she has dark hair and possibly brown eyes. It was a very fast labor and delivery and such a blessing. Really about as perfect as I could have hoped. I have also felt very healthy so far and the recovery is going well. It was nice that Steve's parents Rich and Carol arrived a few days before so that they could be here to see Maren just after her birth and take care of the other kids and so many things at home. Maren is also doing very well. She is a very calm baby. It has been harder to nurse her, but by adding a little formula things are going pretty well and she has already gained weight back up to 7 lbs 4 oz. We have all enjoyed holding and snuggling her and the kids all like picking out clothes and watching their cute little sister. We are so glad to have her as part of our family.
Me with the kids right before heading to the hospital.
This week makes it 37 weeks and full term so we feel like our little girl should do well any time she is born. Things are ready at home, I got a haircut and a pedicure a week ago, my bag is packed for the hospital, and we cleaned the car today. My body is getting ready too - last Friday I was 2 cm dilated and 60% effaced. We have a little contest going with our family to guess the baby's birthday and every day is taken for the next few weeks. Someone is going to win!! We are excited!
Yesterday Rand turned 8. We have had a fun few days celebrating. Yesterday Rand brought donuts to school and then opened the presents from family. We gave him another stash of books and a few sets of Ninjago Legos with spinners to start his collection. The Neumillers also stopped by with a book and a white towel embroidered with an "R" for his baptism which will likely be the beginning of November.
Today was time with friends. Rand could barely make it until 5 pm. He invited Madison and Matthew, some of his good friends from school. Rand, Rhianna and Seth had all worked together to make menus.
We all created our own pizzas. Then we watched the movie The Lorax. We ended by decorating our own cupcakes and opening presents. His friends also know him well and got him different sets of Legos and a book. I could tell Rand had a fun night - and he is so happy with all the gifts. I think he will be busy for days building and playing with all these new Legos!
According to our due date of October 24, I am just past 32 weeks. This little girl is measuring a little big however, more what they would expect to see at 34 weeks. You can see many shirts are starting to hit their stretch limit so it is good (for many other reasons too) that we are nearing the end.