Thursday, April 28, 2011


We wanted to invite the Easter Bunny to come to our house on Friday night...but Viana was a little too insistent that he would come Saturday night. So he did. He left us 30 eggs to find, and you better believe our living room is big enough to find 30 hidden eggs in! The highlight of Easter was the kids matching Easter outfits from Jamie!! And yes, it took much convincing and over-adulation of the tie to convince Ram that he did not need to wear a dress. We managed to get a family picture or two...and we tried really really hard to get a sibling picture...they did pretty good. I hung one of these on my wall...though none of these look like the one on my wall...but it must be...anyway, we took like 50 pics and here were the "best" ones!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

big eyes!

My family has a talent. We know how to open our eyes. Wide. (Well, Charina and Jamie always try really hard). CharlyAnn is working on that Roy talent that she has inherited!! This is a somewhat big eye picture for her. I've seen 'em bigger!!

She's also mastering her smile and it melts my heart and forces me to emit shrill little screams every time she cracks one. And while we're looking at head shots...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Brooke is Talei

I love having 4 children. It is very fun, but it is also very challenging. One challenge that I have been facing since CharlyAnn was born is that of losing Brooke in the mix. I had begun to severely mislabel her as "The Middle Child." Which, by numbers she really is, but I was starting to fall to the label and connotation that may have. I was talking about this problem with Eric and I was telling him that Brooke was losing her preciousness to me. What a tragedy!! She is ultimately precious! But for many reasons, some dealing with her behavior, more dealing with my expectations and attitude, I was losing touch with Brooke. Eric suggested that I take her with me to our track meet in Fillmore this past Saturday. At first I balked at that idea. I thought that would only compound the problem and that she would just be a burden and a frustration. But, I thought about it, and decided it might be just what I needed. And boy was it!! I am so thankful to have such a wonderful patriarch in this family, to have recognized the perfect solution to my little conundrum.
I told Brooke that she and CharlyAnn and I were going on a special trip and that Brooke would be my super big helper with CharlyAnn. She was very excited--especially about the school bus ride!!

Look at that precious face! What could bring more joy than a poptart on a school bus??!!

We brought the tent for us to play in. It was great! And Brooke was an awesome helper!!

Brooke's face in this picture is SO cute. I caught her mid-dance in this shot. She was just boppin' around with her little purse suckin' on her lollipop (one of 4 she had that day..she was pretty excited that she got to have whatever treat she wanted from the concession stand!) And behind her is the proof that we really were at a track meet.

We had such a fun day together and having the 1-on-1 time (because CharlyAnn is such a good baby and slept the whole time) was awesome. Eric was so inspired to suggest this. I was completely reminded of how precious Brooke is and of how much I really love this little girl. We played so hard ("Mom, let's play a new game. Let's play 'play in the dirt'.") and had such a special trip that it didn't take long for her to crash on the bus ride home!!

I love you Eric for knowing how to help our family, and I LOVE YOU BROOKE TALEI!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Haloti Ngata

Eric was asked to make a highlight snippit for Clayton Higginson to play at his induction into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame banquet. As a showing of their gratitude we were invited to the banquet! It was SOOOO cool! I ate dinner in the same room with Bronco Mendenhall! I love Bronco. But, with my famous person background I was of course too wary of going to meet him. Regret! I was also too nervous to go meet the keynote speaker, Haloti Ngata, lineman for the Ravens and probowl guy with much goodness to him, but Eric was not! I'm glad--he was so nice and even connected with Eric on Fiji!
He signed our little football that Coach Z gave us, and our program: It was such a fun night full of much football joy and goodness!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Way to go Kris!

Though I wasn't actually in Boston, I had an intensely fun, nerve-wracking, and exciting time waiting and watching for Krista's progress at the Boston marathon today online. I'm so proud of you Kris!!! You're awesome!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Occasionally we bathe our babies

Never you worry that CharlyAnn is 5 weeks old for her first bath. Just be excited that as the 4th child she has pictures from it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Viana's 1st hickey

Viana wanted to hold CharlyAnn on Friday while I made lunch. I was in the kitchen and Viana is giggling and giggling in the living room. I asked her what was so funny and she said, "CharlyAnn is eating my face!" Sure enough, CharlyAnn had latched on pretty hard to Viana's cheek!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How to: Love your husband even more

It was Prom last weekend, which--as you well know--is my favorite event of the year. Why my fav? For many reasons. But mostly so that I can watch Eric run the valet parking and see him be this chivalrous: Pretty much made my heart go pitter-patter all over again to see him with his big Eric grin escort the ladies to the door with an umbrella overhead to keep them dry from the rain. I love Eric and I love that he loves his students. Prom is mostly so fun because we get to see so many of them all dressed up and having fun.

And here is Wyatt boogen. Remember the 'you can win it' soul from track season '09? This is him at his shnazziest. I love Wyatt. And yes, CharlyAnn made her prom debut. Since I was the program passer-outer again (I love that job...even though it's not a real job, I just do it every year so I can see everyone...hehehe) CharlyAnn got to meet most of Monroe. It was so fun!
And it was a great evening filled with snow and happy people. And even with the snow Eric stayed warm valet parking the whole night. He listened to his wife and wore his thermals under his more reason why I love my husband even more. :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

The original RAM: Our BJ visit

We took a one month old CharlyAnn to the Blairs to visit with our Utah family.But mostly we took Ram to meet BJ. This post is nearly impossible to write because how could we even put into words how much BJ means to us and how much we love him. We really can't, except to say Ram is Ram because of BJ.Ram took right to BJ and they played together much.

BJ is our best friend. We miss him. But nearly everyday I find my life influenced by the 3 years we spent with him (and the 3 years before that in which Eric knew him). We hope that Ram can grow up and become like BJ in many ways. He already has a love for pears that BJ has. And he loves video games. More importantly Ram loves his sisters. One thing Eric and I always respected about BJ was the love he had for his siblings. Unconditional I tell you. BJ has one of the most tender hearts too. He is so...words...none...just wonderful. Smart, creative, organized, fun, balanced, layered, generous, loving. Our times with BJ were so great and precious to our souls. We do miss him. But we are so happy to have our very own little Ram.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ram's life with sisters

AHAHAHAHA!!! This is my dad's new favorite picture, I'm pretty sure of that! You may hope that the expression Ram has on in that picture displays his truest emotions, but alas, this is how he really felt about being in a matching dress...

That is pure joy!! My AMAZING sister Jamie made and sent these adorable dresses to us and we got them as a surprise in the mail today. She also made Ram a matching tie. I put the tie on Ram and the dresses on the girls, but once Ram saw his sisters dancing around together he insisted on his tie off and CharlyAnn's dress on!! It was so funny, I was dying!!! He was so happy and cried his little eyes out when I finally took it off. He is a boy stuck in the middle of girls!!!

Thank you Jamie...we ALL loved the dresses! And Eric really likes the tie with much hope and anticipation that Ram will grow accustomed to it too! :) (And I also love the shoes...all 952 of them!!)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Name: CharlyAnn Jill

I'm sure you were waiting to find out about CharlyAnn's name, and then we never really mentioned it, so you probably began to assume there was no significance. Au contraire my friend.Eric and I have had a rockin' girls name lined up since we were pregnant with Ram, pre-gender informed. We really like it and were confident in its usage on our next daughter. So on Oct. 28 of last year when we found out baby #4 was a girl we were tickled at the idea of being able to use that name. Until a few weeks down the road and we both felt like the baby on the way was not Name-One (what it was? you'll have to wait til our next daughter to find out! HA!). After that realization we were really stumped. We feel as though our childrens' names have much meaning and significance so we knew this baby name needed to be rich...but we could not come up with anything! We could think of names that we really liked, but the story would have gone like this, "My parents just liked the name." Which is totally fine and's just not how we've named our children.

Well, one day we were driving to Provo and we had gone through about every name we could think of and my brain started to ponder. And then, it came. I said to Eric, "You might not like this, but what about Charly." Why did I think Eric might not like it? Two reasons: 1) we didn't want a name that could be used for a boy or for a girl (like Taylor or Courtney) and 2) we didn't want a daughter named after a man. But I continued to explain to Eric that my Grandpa Norton (mom's dad) had always called me Charly for as long as I could remember--and I love my grandpa, (and so does Eric!), and always LOVED this little name he had for me. (Ironically enough, I think he called me Charly because he didn't like my name! I should find out the real reason...or at least confirm that one!) Surprisingly to me Eric said, "I like it!" And, because it was me that Grandpa called Charly, she wouldn't be named after a man, but in honor of Grandpa. Well, we kept discussing and still didn't like Charly on it's own for the gender confusion issue. Then it dawned on us: Grandma Norton's name is Maryann. We'll use part of that. Then it was a name to honor my maternal grandparents and it became CharlyAnn! We loved it. Then came the conundrum of the middle name. First we had to decide how to spell CharlyAnn...Charlie Ann, CharleyAnn, Charlieann, etc. We, obviously, liked CharlyAnn the best. So that eliminated the possibility of just going with Charly Ann Carter, but with a long and two-part first name we had to decide if a middle name was even necessary. In the end, it was necessary. We had several middle name options (again-all secret, mwahaha!) but decided on Jill and confirmed it in the delivery room when we saw her. Jill sounds ordinary--but don't be fooled! To break a cardinal rule once again, we decided to honor our fathers with CharlyAnn's middle name. Eric's dad is Jack and my dad is Bill...put them together and what do you got? Jill!!! (Much cuter than Back, eh?) Viana honor's our mothers, Vickie and Diana, and we've always wanted to honor our dads too, but trust us, we could not come up with an attractive man-name by combining any parts of any of their names! So, we decided it would be ok to name our daughter Jill because our dad's are just that great. (ps--cute story: Eric's mom has been in the hospital in Seattle, 4 hours away from home, for the past week and a half. She got released today and Eric asked her what she was most excited about in going home. She said, "Your dad"...isn't that cute and wonderful!! Obviously a great man!) She has already inherited her grandfathers' hair. She has dark hair (the darkest of any of our children) just like my dad, and she has a bald top, just like Eric's dad (hopefully that one won't be permanent and she can just gain his love for musicals to compensate for hair growth!).

CharlyAnn Jill became the perfect name. And her initials are CJ--which is fun since she was also kind of named after me with Charly being my nickname--to this day. When I went to visit my great-grandma a few weeks before the birth, Grandpa walked in the room and said, "Hi Charly!" I was SO excited to tell Eric that Grandpa still called me that.

And CharlyAnn has proved to be a perfect name for this little bug. She is such a great baby, even while she was sick this last week she was still realtively pleasant and absolutely adorable and so CharlyAnn.

Today she even started smiling at me while she was awake. And we caught her with a little one on while she slept in her daddy's arms.