November 24, 2013


This is a list of all of the things I've written down so I can remember them over the last year:

- One of Zac and Katie's first time wrestling was during General Conference April 2012. Zac was laying on his tummy on the ground coloring and Kate hopped onto his back and started bouncing up and down. He giggled so she did it more. Then she started pulling his hair so that it pulled his head up and back. Guess what. He loved it. They did that for about 10 minutes and then they wrestled in a more grappling style for about 1 minute before someone got hurt and it was over.

December 2012 -- June 2013

-Zac called all meat chicken until he was about 3. I did this too as a kid.
- Katie and Zac play incredibly well together. They interact so well.
-Katie had thrush again around 17 months. Because she'd been hospitalized with this as a baby we knew the signs and caught it quickly and took care of it right away.
- We had eaten all of the strawberries in our house and Zac wanted some more. We were sitting down for lunch and I told him we didn't have any. He said, "We go to store." I tried to put him off by saying we didn't have money to go buy more right now. He contemplated this and replied, "We goon walk. Find money. Go buy Strawberries." He was convinced we got money by finding it in the parking lot.
-Zac wanted to take Rachel, his aunt, to the store and told me he needed a driver's license to be able to drive her to the store :)
- Katie woke up in the middle of the night crying about shoes and being able to wear them in bed. Nathan told her she could wear shoes in the morning and she went right back to sleep.
- Zac says everything is silly. A year later he's still doing this but now it's accompanied by a fake laugh.
-I felt our little baby girl, known as Alice, kicking an moving around in my tummy so much sooner than I did with our other kids. Probably had something to do with the fact that I knew what it felt like and was searching for it.
- I am extremely incapacitated while pregnant. With Alice I was physically ill until 24-26 weeks along. I didn't make dinner for 3 months for about 2 months after that I only made dinner about 2 times a week. Mentally I was worse off than in any of our other pregnancies and that's saying something. I remember after I started feeling better physically I was so excited to move but then got bogged down by depression. I really don't start getting back into life until after I have the baby.
- Zac and Katie would fight over whose mommy and daddy we were. When they'd wake up in the morning I would frequently hear, "My daddy. No, my daddy. My daddy!" Screaming. "My mommy. No, my mommy. No, My mommy!" This would often resolve with Zac saying, "My daddy."
and Katie saying, "My mommy."
-I was changing Zac's diaper once and asked him what he was thinking about. He replied, " Ummm, tractors." I thought that was the cutest thing.
-Before we moved away from New Mexico was really hard for Nathan's mom. She knew she was going to miss her grand babies sooooo much. She was babysitting them for us one time and started to cry. I assume because she was going to miss doing that. and Zac immediately was concerned for here and telling her, "Grandma, it okay. Be happy, Grandma." Then Zac said he was lonely (maybe he was reflecting what he thought she felt). Katie was almost asleep and sat up saying, "I I I I I lonely." She just wanted some of the love Grandma was giving to Zac. :)
-Whenever someone cries Zac immediately gives them hugs and says, "Don't cry. it okay. be happy". He has done this for Years!
-Before and After we had Alice, I tried to take the kids on dates to help them still feel loved. They loved going on dates and would talk about it all the time. Zac still talks about it.

July 2013 - 2013

-Zac kept hearing about how we were going to move and he started saying he just wanted to move and kept talking about going to Grammy's house after we went to Hawaii. He was more excited for those things than Hawaii.
- We were visiting my parents and Zac was sleeping a storage room below the kitchen by himself. He got so freaked out by the sound of people walking above him, told us it was monsters and kept asking, "What dat?" in a very alarmed tone.
-My kids call my dad Mr. Man. Zac took to calling my dad My Man for a while :)
-We went on a fabulous Blacker family vacation to Hawaii in July. We rented sedans, 4 door cars, and it's pretty difficult to fit 3 car seats in the back of one of those things. So, Katie or Zac would ride with Grandpa and Grandma because they didn't fit in the car with us. When Zac was riding with us he would ask, "Where Katie?" all the time! He missed her and was worried about her. So cute :)
-Zac growled at everything for a very long time. We would chase birds and he would growl at them. He growled at bugs, at people etc. He still growls sometimes and it scares little Alice so much. She starts sobbing every time. Luckily, he's a tender-hearted boy and scaring Alice is helping him learn that growling is not appropriate.
- In Hawaii, Uncle Russ rode in our car. Zac LOVES Russ. Zac only wanted to talk to Russell, not mommy and daddy. He would frequently, incessantly ask, "Where it is, Russell?" or "What it is, Russell?" Zac is such a man's man. He loves men and boys.
-In Hawaii the kids were so scared of the ocean. I think the noise of the surf and the vastness were the scary factors, besides the unknown. After a couple days Grandma and Grandpa were able to coax them into the water. By the end of our vacation they loved the water.
-Katie agreed with everything and said yes to everything. Once, Grandpa asked her if she agreed about some law of physics theory and she emphatically nodded her head and stated, "Yes."
-Alice has been our happiest, most smiley child. At 2-3 months she just smiled if you talked to her every time. If I sang to her she would break out in a grin every time.
-We moved to Washington State at the end of July and it confused Zac and Katie so much. They always wanted to see Grandma and Grandpa and for a couple months wanted to drive to their house all of the time. Zac also asked for his best friend, Folken, from ABQ all the time. Poor kids adjust to change about as well as I do.
- About a week after we came back from Hawaii we were driving and Katie had a baby doll and we hear this song over and over again, "Swimming swimming swimming, fall down. Swimming swimming swimming, fall down." This was complete with actions from the baby doll.
- My sister Abi helped us move up to Washington and stayed to help us set up a bit. While she was here she saw a light shining through the kids' bedroom door. We glanced in and Zac, who had been given a flashlight and a book by Daddy, was giddy with delight turning his pages and reading in his bed at nighttime.
- We put in a sprinkler system when we moved to WA. Katie and Zac loved finding worms, holding them, collecting them and putting them on rocks. And then learning about how they keep the ground healthy and they their homes are in the earth etc. Then they kids put the worms on the patio and the worms were happy cause they had friends - this means they worms were all next to each other. The kids weren't fazed by it at all when their worms dried up and died. We had to teach them the worms really love the dirt.
-We were at a pioneer day picnic with our new ward and there was this little boy, about 13 months old who was toddling around. He stayed still by the pavilion for a while and Zac could not get enough of him. Zac kept hugging and kissing him on the top of his head, bending down and talking to him tenderly and just doting on him. It was so cute and hilarious.
- Nathan convinced me it was time to ween Katie from her binky. She always whined and cried for it and nothing could entice her to stop. So, we scissored a gash threw the tip of it and told her it was broken when it was time for her nap. We covered the trash with paper towels so that if she wanted to grab it out again she could and we had her throw it away. I will never forget the look on her face as she turned away. She had just lost her dearest, closest friend and was completely heartbroken. As she turned from her "Meme" her mouth was open in a silent sob and her eyes were full of tears. I comforted her and was almost as devastated as she was. Nathan prayed with her before nap time that Binky would be safe in Heaven. After nap time she told me about how she had prayed to Heavenly Father and that he was going to make it better. How she wanted to pry more to fix it and how she wanted to put a band aid on it. She was convinced that "Father" would fix it in answer to her prayers and that she would get Binky back. I cannot imagine how I'll handle it the first time a boy breaks her heart. Losing her binky was so hard for both of us, her because she wanted to use it and me watching her be so sad.
-We tried potty training our kids when we first got up here. It never worked for Zac, Katie had 2-3 days accident free and then noticed that her brother wasn't going on the potty and decided she wasn't going to either. Gaa! A couple of times, Katie would stand stalk still and cry, "Peeee!" She would run to the potty. Sometimes when she ran she would slip on her pee and fall. So cute and funny but pitiful too.
- Zac recognizes animal homes. We saw a spider web and Zac said, "Mommy, a home!"
-Katie cries during any movie. Her big eyes just well up with tears because she feels for the characters in the movie so much.
-Zac told me about 3 weeks ago that he would go pee on the potty if he got to go to the zoo. I took that condition and now both of Zac and Kate are potty trained! I had jogged down a note that one of my favorite potty training moments was Zac pooping on the potty for the first time but now I don't remember it. Also, Zac and Katie both want privacy now when the use the bathroom.
-Kate loves to take care of Alice. Both Zac and Katie love their little sister so much. Zac liked to squish her face between her hands like a fishy and they both laugh hysterically when that happens.
-For a while, I was putting a bin of toys in the kids' room so that when they woke up they would play with that and give me a little more sleepy time. One night I forgot to do that and Zac woke up asking, "Where my box, Mommy?"
-They had chocolate milk with their lunch one time and they poured it all over their food and the walls and the floor. I made them both nap and then help me clean up after nap time. After 5 minutes of cleaning, Zac said, "This hard!" I told him it was and that he needed to do it because he made the mess. It took we 3 45 minutes to clean everything up but we did it! And they haven't purposefully spilled their drinks since!

May 19, 2013

First week as a family of 5

Katie gave these little comfort items to Alice.
When Zac and Kate saw Alice at home for the first time
Nathan said that Alice didn't like the bright lights so he made her a canopy.
Alice's first bath at home.
She is voracious and eats everything aggressively.
Grammy brought a treasure bag for the kids and us.
Katie got shut in the automatic door at
  Albertson's. They gave the kids balloons. Zac lost his in the store and Katie freaked out that hers would fly away too. We had to tie it around her waist and she had to tuck it the car seat to make sure it didn't fly away.
Katie wanted to wear her sandals to bed. She cried about it.
Nathan's quilt that Diko loves to cuddle with.
The dress my mom, Grammy, made for Kate.

May 18, 2013

Blacker Baby #3

Alice Emily Blacker was born on May 8th, 2013. I had lots of contractions between weeks 35-38 and then week 38-39 was one of the best weeks of my pregnancy. Isn't that crazy? At 38 weeks I was dilated to a 4 and 70% effaced. I had them swipe my membranes but it didn't speed up the process. At 39 weeks, I was still dilated to a 4 and 70% effaced though I was more "ripe" so to speak. Nathan and I felt like I was just going to be pregnant indefinitely. I was pretty at ease, which was nice. Tangent: So, I wanted to have her on the 7th because then her birthday would be made up of prime numbers: 5/7/13. I was sad that didn't happen so then I wanted her to be born on 5/8/13 because 5+8=13 :) When I told Nathan's family these things they looked at me a bit incredulously, but, hey, I grew up in a family of math people so sometimes I think like that. Anyway, we put the kids to bed on the night of the 8th and we showered around 8 PM. I started feeling like I was Braxton Hicksing while showering and just wrote it off because I'd been having much more intense contractions in the  previous weeks. I blow dried my hair and then went out to the living room, where Nathan was working on his quilt, to straighten my hair. My contractions got stronger and I started complaining to Nathan about how I hated having all of these contractions that weren't really labor and how stupid it was to be in pain for nothing. The contractions weren't consistent in length or distance apart. After I was done with my hair I told Nathan I needed to get in the bath to ease my discomfort. He followed me into the bathroom to see if I needed anything. That's when I started having serious labor - like crying in pain during contractions. I didn't believe it was labor and Nathan was really concerned that it was real. He asked me if we should be timing the contractions and I told him that they weren't real, that they weren't consistent or long enough; I was convinced they were only 20-30 seconds long. But I conceded that he could time them if it made him happy. So, he timed the next contraction and it was a minute long. When he told me that, I realized that I might actually be in true labor and told him to call his family right away; his parents and brother and his wife were going to  come the birth and Shantae, his little sister, was going to watch Zac and Kate. We timed the contractions and I was having them 1-5 minutes apart and they lasted anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute and a half. I kept saying that I didn't care if it was real labor or not, I just wanted it to stop and I wanted an epidural and hopefully, when the contractions stopped, we would already be at the hospital and they would just break my water for me. Then the contractions got harder and faster.  I was getting worried that I was gonna have the baby at home and I really wanted an epidural. It took a while to get out to the car because of the contractions. I had three long, strong contractions in rapid succession in the car and when they were done, I realized that we had left our house with our children in it and Shantae wasn't there yet. I tried to not freak out and Nathan assured me Shantae was minutes away. The thing that helped me stay sane on the way to the hospital was that I believed I'd be able to get there in time to get an epidural. Time: 10:15 PM. Nathan dropped me off at the front doors of the hospital and I waddled through the first set of doors only to have a contraction right by the wheel chairs. I waddled through the second doors and a nurse saw me and made me sit in a wheel chair, luckily Nathan came running in right then and started wheeling me to triage. Apparently, people exiting the hospital congratulated Nathan as he ran into the hospital. It humored us. So, we went up to triage and I was dilated to 6 and the baby was low enough to start pushing, I just wasn't dilated enough. Time: 10:30 PM. I begged the nurse to hurry so that I could get an epidural. I couldn't remember my midwife's name and they had to get an IV in me so that they could give me an epidural. Then I started to feel like I  had to bear down. I was not thrilled. I told them and they got me into a delivery room only to tell me that I was at an 8. Time: 10:45 PM. I asked, "I'm not gonna get to have an epidural, will I?" The nurses, there were 3 of them, and Nathan all looked at each other and no one would answer me. I was so disappointed. Luckily, I was very mentally with it. I started to feel like I had to push again and told them. They were frantically trying to get a doctor to come deliver the baby. She got there and I tried pushing and then they said I was only at 9 1/2 cm and needed to not push with the next contraction. So, I didn't. I was laying on my side and asked to push on my side. I had asked for a bar so that I could squat but didn't end up moving because I started pushing instead. Anyway, I pushed about 5 times, just a couple of contractions, and our baby came out! Time 11:09 PM. With the last push I had instinctively straightened my legs, I guess that happens sometimes, and kicked the doctor in the face and then glanced off of her shoulder. She was pushed back about 5 feet but luckily, shook it off quickly and jumped right back in time to catch the baby. (I didn't know about this until a couple hours later. Poor doctor.) So, I had a maybe 3 hour labor with Alice. It was intense. But not as intense as Kate's labor was (I had Katie naturally as well because the anesthesiologist had been in with a C-section and I gave birth before he could come give me an epidural). With Alice, I was able to stay with it and aware of  my surroundings, minus the doctor's face. It also was not as painful as Kate's labor. I had always assumed that the shorter the labor, the more painful it was because that was my experience with Zac and Katie. Not so. Alice's labor was the easiest of my three kids.

The kids love her. Zac doted on her the minute he saw her. He pointed to her nose and said, "Her tiny nose" then pointed to his and said, "Big nose" and pointed to Nathan's nose and said, "Big nose." It was cute. Kate liked the baby but didn't really understand what was going on.

Being at home, the kids LOVE Alice and Katie tries to share everything with her and pick her up, which is not so cool.


April 23, 2013

Zac turned 3

Zac turned 3 today. Nathan took Zac on a Daddy Date. When they got back before his birthdaydinner Zac started to take advantage of it being his birthday. He started  asking for Nathan's phone saying, "Happy Birthday, Daddy phone. Birthday phone. Daddy phone, please." Katie had a bit of a hard time that Zac was getting everything he wanted(read- presents) and she didn't; luckily, Zac shared.

Zac got to pick one present to open during his birthday breakfast. He chose his present from Grammy and Mr. Man. Zac wouldn't leave his present even during nap time.


Painting in the tub.

 Zac requested spaghetti for his birthday dinner. He and Katie scarfed it per usual.
Opening presents. He said, "Wow" a lot.

This is when he shared his cars and hats with Katie. 
I asked Nathan's mom to help me make Zac's birthday cake. I learned a lot and she did most of the cake. He adored it.

Opening a birthday card from Great Grandma and Grandpa Crockett.
Playing in the play ground at the zoo. It was kind of hard for me to let Zac be this independent and climb so high and far out of reach.

We saw the zoo train and it was the highlight of the day.

March 11, 2013

Medical School

Biggest news. We're moving to Washington for Nathan to go to medical school! We're super excited and grateful that Nathan is able to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. It is going to be  an adventure and we are looking forward to it.

Bryan, Nathan's brother, was out of town and his wife, Aubri, was walking inside our apartment complex at the same time we were. We invited her over for dinner and she was kind of debating. Katie grabbed her by the hand and pulled her onto our porch and up to our front door. It's really cute how much my kids love their aunties and uncles.

We have a chest freezer, which I absolutely adore, it kinda needs to be defrosted but I'm waiting to do it until we move. Reasons being: 1. I want freezer meals when I have my baby 2. We're moving in a of couple months and I don't want to empty it now and not have a place for my freezer meals.
So, one day I had the freezer open and Zac and Katie were standing on things looking into the freezer/helping me. Zac started to pick at the frost on the sides of the freezer. A bit later he told Daddy how excited he was to be eating snow.
Katie is very communicative and loves to say words. She can say a lot but sometimes we really don't understand her at all. Whenever we land upon the word she's trying to say and we repeat it she emphatically nods her head yes and repeats the word. It's pretty adorable.
One Sunday on the way to church Zac told us that he wanted to watch his Mater movie, meaning Cars, and that he was going to ride his bike home to watch said Mater movie and that he'd be right back.
Nathan went to a medical school interview and got to fly on an airplane. After Nathan walked out the door, Zac insisted that he wanted to go ride on an airplane with Daddy. Later, Zac switched to saying that he wanted to ride on a helicopter. He went so far as to put on his shoes and start to open the front door whilst saying, "Bye mom, I go on helicopter. Be right back."

Zac knows who his cousin, Cole, is. We went to the store, Kohl's, and Zac was really excited to see Cole. A couple weeks later, we went to visit his cousin for his little sister's baby blessing. Cole gave Zac a tractor and Zac has to have Cole's tractor everyday to play with. He loves his cousin. It's funny cause they still don't play with each other they play around each other but Zac is just a loving little kid.

We have a car rug. Diko, our dog was insistently sniffing it one time and Zac asked what Diko was doing. I started explaining and Katie immediately squatted down on all fours, stuck her nose to the rug and started sniffing; Zac quickly followed suit. It was entertaining to watch the three of them sniff the carpet together. They did this for a while.

I took Katie to Macy's with me one day. We walked in right next to the shoe department and Katie went completely wild. She Loves shoes. She kept saying, "Shoe, shoe, shoe, shoe, shoe." Then we passed some clothes and she started freaking out pointing to the different clothes that she liked. She particularly liked a silvery, sparkly shirt. We have a girly girl.

The other day we were driving in our new van; did I mention we got a van? Well, we did, and I love it soooooooooo much! We got a van cause we are going to have three kids soon. Crazy thought. We will be a family of five! Anyway, it's especially nice to have two cars because Nathan does chart reviews for his work and he has to drive all over to different facilities to do so and, consequently, needs the car lots. It was getting to the point that we would run out of milk, eggs, etc and I was constantly asking Bryan and Aubri to borrow things. It is so nice to have a second car. Love it. Highly recommend it. Turns out that was a tangent.

The other day we were driving in our new van to visit Cousin Cole who was at Grandma's house and Zac was talking about Daddy going to work and Grandpa going to work. We talked about that for a while and how they earn money. Then we talked about how Grandma works at home right now and how Mommy works at home too. A couple minutes later Zac said this, "Birdy fly in sky. Birdy flying. Birdy go to work." It was said so factually, it was so cute. After giggling to myself, I answered that he was right, that birdy was going to work. It was going to work to find worms to eat.

Nathan has been teaching Zac to be a gentleman for a while. Zac loves to open the doors for me. A couple months ago Zac became tall enough to unlock the front door. He and Kate escaped a few times and man was that stressful. Not knowing where your kids are and your only clues being open doors is scary. He knows better now.

Zac has recently become a boy, not a toddler. It is so incredible to witness.

Katie gets picked on by Zac and Cousin Cole. She really handles it well and is quite resilient most of the time.

Zac's favorite color is green.

Katie's favorite color is purple.

Both children are obsessed with their Papa, Grandpa Blacker. They ask for him ALL of the time at random moments. Today we went to the van to go to  church and realized that Nathan had the car seats in the car at the church building; he was at a meeting. We had to turn around and come back inside. The instant I mentioned we had to go back inside, Katie started freaking out crying,"Papa. Papa. Papa." This continued until she was in her car seat 30 minutes later and even then she mentioned Papa a couple times on the way to church. She needed to go to church to see her Papa.


December 26, 2012

Surprise Follow Up

We're having a baby girl!! We totally thought it was a boy. And I even had some names for the boy. But we're having a girl! I'm excited for my girls to have best sister friends and wear matching outfits. The only problem is that we're stumped on names, though I'm sure we'll figure that out soon. Also, when we showed Zac and Katie the picture of her face, it's a Really good picture, Katie wouldn't even acknowledge that it was a baby and she is completely obsessed with babies. Tangent to prove my point - on Sunday at church, Katie saw some baby carriers and kept loudly saying, "Bebee. Bebee." Over and over again while trying to search out the baby. She loves babies, and dogs. Back to our baby. When Zac saw the picture of her face, he thought about it and kind of acknowledged it but only a little bit. In 19 weeks, give or take a few, they are in for a huge change.

December 25, 2012


Dear Family,

We had a wonderful Christmas eve and morning. Since you weren't with us, this is what it was like.

Celebrating Advent

We attempted to tell the kids the story of Christ's birth using their little people nativity set. They went over to the tractor my Omi, their great grandmother, sent them. A wise man drove the tractor.
Putting their stockings on the couch for Santa. We hoped this would help them make the connection about stockings and Santa.
Zac was sad that he didn't have candy in his stocking on Christmas eve.
During Christmas eve dinner, Zac built towers and choo- choo trains with his food.

Diko loved the wrapping paper.

Kate trying to put on her socks.


Helping Daddy.

Watching Finding Nemo after cleaning up. Katie could not stop using her electric toothbrush. She was sooo excited about it.

These pictures were from opening presents with Grandparents before Christmas.

These kids Love air matresses. They run at them full speed until they hit it and their legs are swept out from under them.
Skyping with my family and opening presents.
Katie trying on some of her new clothes.

This is Katie after she got several layers of new clothes on. Some of the layers are Zac's new clothes.