Monday, February 28, 2011


Two stories.

The first took place when my mom, Malakai, + I visited my cousin + her newborn baby girl last week. My mom told my cousin that she should definitely have more babies. Here's how the rest of the conversation went:

Me: (to my mom) "she JUST had a baby"
       (to my cousin) " she didn't even say that to me after I had Kai!"

Mom: "well I knew you would have more soon after him, you're almost 30!"

Me: "thanks a lot, mom."

I'm only 2 years older than my cousin, and she is the same age now as I was when I had Kai. She is my mother, so of course she gets away with saying things like this.

The second story happened this past Saturday at a Women's Conference I went to with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. We were in our first breakout session titled "Riding the Waves in a Sea of Change." The presenter started off by asking us to share some changes going on in our lives currently. One lady mentioned her husband's retirement, another that she has an "empty nest".

Presenter: "How about some of you younger ladies?"

I raised my hand, she called on me.

Me: "I'm expecting my second child."

Presenter: (to me)"Congratulations."
                (to the room) "And now how about from some of the younger ladies?"


My sister-in-law and I looked at each other + scoffed. I certainly thought that having my second child made me much younger than someone going through an empty nest or their husband's retirement. Apparently not young enough.

Friday, February 25, 2011

photo friday: snow + sun

The weather in Oregon is often described as mild. Truly we don't get many crazy storms and our temperatures are rarely at either extreme. What is not mild about the weather here is it's moodiness. Often, not just in the spring, it will be pouring down rain, then the sun will come out, then about 20 minutes later it will do something random like hail.

The last couple of days we have had snow. We rarely get snow, so it turns most of us adults into giddy children, or scary drives. Maybe both. On Wednesday night is started snowing here just after 10pm. Yesterday I took Kai out to play in it, but it wasn't enough to keep daddy home from work. Although all the local and surrounding schools were closed. ((snow day!))

By 11:30am a lot of the snow was gone and it looked kind of like this (but with even less snow)....

Beautiful, sunny, even a little bit warm if you were right in the suns rays. Then at 11:45am, I kid you not, it looked like this...

and I thought maybe Ben would have to head home early to make sure he didn't get stuck at work. It was sticking instantly, the wind was blowing tons of snow everywhere. Malakai + I watched it happen in a matter of minutes while we ate lunch. I anticipated that Ben would get to play in the snow with us after all, but then by the time I got Malakai down for his nap, about 12:20pm, it looked like this...

See, moody weather. It totally amazes me that it can change it's mind so quickly! By the time Ben got home around 4pm everything was gone but my mushball of a tiny snowman.

Then, last night, around 8:30pm I was sitting on the loveseat with my back to the window when Ben came in from the other room + whispered, "Look outside! Look outside, right now!" Not only was it snowing again, but it had been snowing long enough to accumulate an inch or two already. I LOVE surprise snow! It quite by about 9pm and I don't think it snowed again all night, but it stayed very cold and in the morning our yard looked like this again...

But it's just after 1pm and I bet you can guess what it looks like outside now. If you're thinking sunny and dry, you'd be right. What a strange, strange couple of days it has been. It has certainly kept me on my toes!

P.S. totally unrelated, but in case you missed it, Blabla Kids offered a discount to my readers until Feb. 28th. Just wanted to remind you before the deadline gets here!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thankful on a Thursday: snow day

Well, sort of. It's surely snowy and more than we've had at once on the valley floor for the last two years but I guess a snow day is technically one where we're off work. Ben still went in to work this morning. I don't know how to drive in snow and we have quite a bit in our area so I opted to stay home from my one day in the office.

Ben + I stayed up last night to see if it would start snowing when the weather man said it would...and it did! We were like little children, super giddy about all the fluffy white flakes falling out of the sky. Every couple hours we kept waking up to see if it was still snowing.

This morning after breakfast I decided to take Malakai out to play in the backyard. Easier said than done. I had a really hard time getting him to cooperate with putting on his puffy coat and snow boots. I couldn't get his boots to go on over his footed jammies (for warmth since he doesn't have a snowsuit). So I had to strip him back down to get the jammies off and start over with other layers. We eventually got outside and he really enjoyed it...

{he wouldn't keep his mittens on}

{mama made this pathetic little snowman all by herself}

{constantly back + forth between the porch and the yard}

I had to snag a few pictures of the snow on our trees. We have a lot of little trees out in our backyard. These are the new little buds on the plum tree. 

This week I'm thankful for...

521. finally meeting my sweet 2nd cousin Delia, I can't wait to see her again.

522. a husband that will gladly go to the store at any hour of the day or night for this expectant mama.

523. finding a few things that work for the nausea that has become a constant companion (vanilla wafers, gingerale, popsicles, oyster crackers).

524. watching my son experience the snow, which is so rare where we live.

525. a safe work commute for Ben (praying he gets home safely as well)

526. a little more energy this morning than I've had all week.

527. discovering Pinterest and de-cluttering my bookmark bar.

528. hearing Malakai "read" to himself. My new favorite thing.

529. the plethora of hand-me-down shoes we received last summer, it's a gift that keeps on giving.

530. and always, this smile...

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Ok, I'm not actually "showing" but I feel like I'm already at the "is she pregnant or just gaining weight?" stage, which last time was closer to 12 weeks, not 7! Yikes. Everyone has been reminding me that you show earlier with your 2nd pregnancy, but this seems way too early for that!

I am starting out 10 lbs lighter this time, which I think of as a plus. Except that it already bothers me to have jeans dig into my baby-bloat and my smallest pair of maternity pants are incredibly baggy. I mostly blame my rear-end, which shrank considerably after I had Malakai (sadface). I normally don't talk this candidly around the blog, but I figure if I can't be straightforward about the realities of pregnancy, then I might as well not talk about it. That being said, I'll spare you any forthcoming bodily functions that are sure to ensue in the coming months. There are enough expectant ladies out there covering those topics.

Anyway, I don't think I'll be posting a weekly picture this early, but I plan on taking them for my own comparisons. I may also start posting stats on a semi-weekly basis like I did with Malakai. In the meantime I'll be trying to figure out how to make my current wardrobe work for my ever changing and very different body this time around.

If you've been pregnant more than once, how were your pregnancies different? How were they the same?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I'm still here...

We had another busy weekend and I'm still catching up on work and life stuff, so the blog took a backseat for a few days. On Saturday we went to my parents' place first thing in the morning so Ben + my dad could replace the brake pads on our car. Later that afternoon I went with one of my best friends to check out an option for bridesmaid dresses. We're getting some lovely handmade convertible dresses from Erin, who co-hosted Jamie's shower with me just last month. I am going to be about 6 months pregnant at the wedding so I'm really excited for these convertible dresses and I'll definitely be able to wear it again!

On Sunday I worked and we attended service at church. I interviewed more potential volunteers, which I just LOVE! That afternoon I made dinner for Jacob + Jamie and we got to visit and hold little Justice. Malakai met him for the first time and Ben held him for the first time. Malakai wasn't too happy about me holding the baby. I think it'll be great that we have so many new babies around to get him used to in preparation for our new little one.

{what a natural}

Something not so pleasant that we were dealing with on Sunday was our washing machine going out, while it was full of clothes and water. We had to empty all of the clothes and take them in a big storage bin (because they were soaked) to my in-laws to rewash. Thankfully it's working again and after my cousin looked it over today, it seems like everything is in tact. 

On Monday I had the car, so after a day of playing and only an hour nap for Malakai we headed out to meet our new cousin Cordelia for the first time and bring her sleepy parents some dinner. We were sick when she was born 2 weeks ago and didn't want to risk getting her or her family sick. 

{so teeny + precious}

I loved finally hearing my cousin's birth story and snuggling little Delia. Malakai was more interested in exploring their house and having the dog lick his face, which is probably why he didn't mind my holding the baby this time. 

This morning Ben had to be at work at 5:30am (he usually goes in at 7am). When the alarm went off at 4:30am I was pretty was Ben, because he turned it off in his sleep! He startled awake at 5am, which also woke me. I instantly felt sick and struggled to go back to sleep. I've been feeling more nauseous than I have thus far. I'm pulling out all the stops: protein rich snacks, hard candies, fruit and lots of water. So far so good!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thankful on a Thursday: the miracle of growth

Sometimes the day to day things just stop me in my tracks. These days I'm just in awe over how people grow + change. I'm not talking about something deeply spiritual or intellectual here, I'm referring to literal physical growth.

The day we found out I was pregnant I looked over photos from my pregnancy with Malakai and was amazed all over again at how my body changed and grew to adapt to his needs. It seems to go ever so slowly, but just think about how quick 9 months is in the span of an average lifetime.

{I have to do this again?!}

When I held sweet baby boy Justice for the first time yesterday, I thought about Malakai's birth-day. 

Malakai was slightly smaller and just 19 months later it's already hard to remember him being so very tiny. 

{9 days old}

{19 months old}

He has grown 10 inches and gained 20lbs in just a year and a half. Yet, when he sleeps like this, he's still my sweet little baby boy. It never ceases to amaze me the way God created our bodies to go through such rapid change. 

Ben's cousin had her second baby boy, Elijah, on the 7th of this month (1 of 6 February babies in our circle of family + friends). He was about 6 weeks early. At first he seemed to be doing just fine for being premature, but sadly a heart defect was discovered. He was moved to another hospital for surgery and more specialized care. His recovery has been going smoothly, considering. What is getting his parents through this is that their first son, Caleb, was born early as well. He didn't have a heard defect, but Ben's cousin, Elija's mom,  does...the exact same issue, and it's not known to be hereditary. 

God has an amazing way of preparing us for life's challenges. If you're the praying type, please lift up baby Elijah and his parents. 

I started this blog 2 years ago as of the 13th, it started out about the changes our lives were about to go through on the journey to becoming parents but has become so much more. I'm still in awe at how life changes so quickly and hope to continue to embrace it all the way through. 

This week I'm thankful for...

511. Answered prayer.

512. child-like wonder.

513. the miracle of pregnancy + birth.

514. very little nausea (so far) in this pregnancy

515. the outpouring of support when we announced our big news

516.  healing.

517. steady income.

518. perspective.

519. seeing one of my very best friends become a mother.

520. the encouragement from all my readers, especially those who have been here since I started. 

What are you thankful for?
How have you experienced that child-like wonder lately? What leaves you in awe?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Month of Babies!

I know 6 babies that will be born this month, 5 of them are already here. It's amazing how many ended up due all at the same time.

I just came back from visiting some of my best friends and their precious baby boy who was born late last night. He's 3 ounces bigger and 2 inches longer than Malakai was and yet he seemed like the tiniest baby I had ever held. It's so difficult to imagine my big boy having been that small just a short 19 months ago.

I'd share some of the sweet pictures but the proud parents haven't had all their visitors or been able to share their own photos yet, so I'll keep them to myself for now.

It's hard to believe that in just about 8 months I'll have a tiny little bundle of my own again. I'm thoroughly looking forward to it. We are so blessed to have close friends having babies now, Malakai will be a big brother in training with these little ones, he'll be a pro by the time his new sibling arrives.

At 19 months my sweet boy is saying countless words and phrases, giving hugs + kisses, running and stomping, jumping and climbing and soaking up everything we say or do like a little sponge. As he's learning he's also teaching us new things every day.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


On Wednesday the 9th I took a home pregnancy test first thing in the morning. I left it on the bathroom counter and did a couple of things to get the house ready before getting Malakai out of bed. I went back to the test real quick, expecting it to be negative like the one I had done just a week before, but was completely surprised by what I saw. A plus sign.

When we found out I was pregnant with our first, Malakai, it was a weekend and Ben checked the test with me. This time, he was at work. I was so filled with excitement and disbelief. I went in to tell Malakai that he's going to be a big brother. Then I agonized all day over how to tell Ben when he got home. I wanted to do something special and creative, something different. We only have one car, which Ben takes to work, so I was limited to what was in our house.

I finally figured something out and waited until Malakai's afternoon nap to put it all together. I decided to mimic the reveal after Ben's proposal (a story I'll share here in detail some day). I set up a stuffed animal he had bought me when we were dating, Gregory the elephant, with the first note.

Next was one of Malakai's first toys, Gaffe the giraffe, with the second note.

Last was this box, with a note inside...

and the pregnancy tests. (I took a 2nd one that afternoon to really confirm the positive result).

I couldn't wait for him to come home, the anticipation was killing me! He didn't even notice set up on our dining room table at first, I had to point it out. I had the camera ready and took a few photos as he read each note. He had an excited grin on his face, but he wasn't quite sure what to expect.

When he read the last note he asked "four?" and I said, "yeah, the 3 of us plus 1 more equals 4..." and then he smiled big and said sweetly "you're pregnant!"and got up to hug me.

Hindsight is almost always 20/20. We looked back on some of the signs, although they were a bit different than last time. The biggest thing is how dead tired I've been, but we just figured it was my nasty chest cold and the fact that I lift + chase a 27 lb. toddler all day. I haven't felt nauseous but with Kai I didn't feel it until 7 weeks, so I'm not thinking we're in the clear for "morning" sickness yet. I am already having some nasty round-ligament pains, worse than the first time around, which doesn't make sense to me.

I know it's early to make the big announcement, we're estimating I'm at about 6 weeks. We decided that this time around, if something were to go wrong we'd rather have the support of those we love and care about rather than keep our excitement a secret for 12 weeks.

My first appointment is this afternoon. We're really hoping for an early ultrasound since a number of things make figuring out the due date a bit more difficult this time around. As of now, it's October 7th, 2011.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

photo friday: toddlerhood

Malakai has been doing such "big boy" things lately. He's able to repeat almost anything he hears and is amazing at recognition of people and objects. He has started calling my mom, "mimi" or "mami" (instead of the preferred mima), and he's also mimicking a lot of things we do. We've very careful about words and actions these days, even something seemingly innocent that an adult could say ("that's stupid") doesn't sound right coming out of a toddler's mouth.

Today I caught him reading his book all sprawled out on his floor...

{yes, he's wearing Christmas pajamas in February}

Then he decided he was going to play "diaper change"

{luckily he didn't try taking off the one he was wearing}

Once he spotted me taking his picture he came over to see the camera and say "cheesth"

{love my boy's green eyes}

And currently he has been avoiding his nap for the past 90 minutes by talking to himself, learning that his bed is quite springy and nice for jumping, and kicking the sides of his crib.


Happy Weekend,

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thankful on a Thursday: sick, but still grateful.

We're still sick around here. Our occasional coughing has morphed into all day coughing. I could whine about it for a few paragraphs but instead here is what I'm thankful for this week...

501. a steady supply of chamomile tea + honey to soothe my cough.

502. the cold weather, so I don't feel so bad about being stuck indoors.

503. new episodes of sesame street to watch with Kai lounging in my lap under the fuzzy.

504. a husband who despite starting to get sick again himself, takes the best care of his family.

505. wearing pj's almost all day, all week.

506. freshly sharpened pencils with brand new erasers.

507. leftover birthday cupcakes.

508. Lost Season 6 special features, and "nerding out" with Ben.

509. getting Malakai back down after his nap was interrupted halfway through by my coughing (sorry kiddo)

510. looking forward to a relaxing night of leftovers for dinner and cuddling on the couch with my man.

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

tea, lemon, + honey

This has been my diet lately. Every couple I've been downing hot water with lemon + honey or chamomile tea to soothe this cough I've developed.

I started feeling a tickle in my throat and was in denial that I was sick. I didn't feel bad at all. No congestion, runny nose, or coughing. After a couple days the tickle developed into more and I started to cough on occasion, but was still feeling fine.

This past Saturday we had a birthday get together at our house for Ben. I was still feeling fine besides the tickle. By the end of the night, we were talking with the last few guests and my voice suddenly went quiet and raspy. I sounded terrible, it was so odd.

Because I'm stubborn, and I didn't feel badly, I was still convinced that I wasn't sick. I went in to work at the church, but stayed away from people, especially the kiddos, just to be safe. As the morning went on I was coughing and starting to feel a bit under the weather so I headed home early.

Here it is Wednesday and I'm admitting that I'm sick. I'm not miserable, I can function just fine although I'm a little tired. I have a slight cough, especially at night or when I talk a lot.

Sadly, this means that I'm not able to visit my cousin and meet her baby girl Delia,  who was just born yesterday morning. From the pictures on facebook, she looks just like her mama. I can't wait to see her in person and hear my cousin's labor story. So here's hoping I get better FAST!

It seems to be going around, anyone else out there sick and tired of being sick and tired?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

a story of embarrassment, 2007

{Being home sick means that there's not much new or exciting going on around here to share. I was inspired to tell this story after sharing it with a long time friend who somehow missed out on hearing it until now...}

I'm not easy to embarrass. My parents did a good job of desensitizing me to potentially embarrassing moments as an adult, but putting me through them as a teenager. Dad + Mom, thank you?

The story I'm about to tell didn't so much embarrass me because of what happened, but more because of what others perceived to be the reason for what happened. Okay, so on with it...

Ben + I were married in July of 2007 after a short 4 month engagement. I really enjoy planning, but could not wait to be done with our wedding. There was just too much coming at me from all sides and a lot of pressure landing on one day. Looking back, there were things I enjoyed and now I fully enjoy going through the process with my friends, but being the bride was a lot of unwanted attention for me. I had so many people asking me dozens of different questions that I mostly didn't have the answer to. It stressed me out when I couldn't answer, it made me feel like I was doing something wrong.

Our wedding was smallish and not super traditional. We got married at our church, but out in a grassy area instead of under the wisteria where all the other outdoor weddings had been held. I didn't wear a vail. We high-fived after our kiss and walked out to Relient K.

I wanted something simple for my dress. I didn't think I'd find it at the only wedding dress store in town, David's Bridal, based on what I had seen online, but we went anyway. We went at night and there was practically nobody there, perfect. I tried on about 5 or so dresses and my miracle dress (as my mom calls it) was the last of a discontinued style that they took off of a mannequin.

I came back with some family for a fitting a while later. I stood on the pedestal under the hot lights wondering why they didn't do this part in the back instead of in the showroom. I really don't like to be in the spotlight, but I don't get particularly nervous or embarrassed by the attention. I was standing there for a really long time as they needed to take the dress in quite a bit and hem it up pretty far (I'm only 5 foot 2 inches tall). After a while I started to feel flushed. This really warm feeling came over me and I was a bit dizzy. I chose to ignore it, figuring the seamstress was almost done and then we could go. I mentioned feeling hot and she blamed the lighting overhead.

A few moments later I started to sway a bit and realized I really needed to sit down. I let her know and stumbled over to a bench near my family. Someone went to get me water and I said I was fine. Then, my sister gasped loudly and caught me in her arms.

I fainted.

Not like, passed out on the ground, dead to the world. I fell forward from where I was sitting and my sister eased my body to the ground, then I sat right back up. The color came back to my face, I felt cooler, and less dizzy. It was almost as if someone hit my reset button.

What came next was the embarrassing part. The shop ladies came running to where I was, fussing over me and getting me water and candies (for my blood sugar?). One lady in particular was suddenly very vocal, as if she was making an announcement to the whole place. She went on about how I must have gotten so excited thinking about my wedding day that I fainted. Later we came to find out she wasn't even an employee, but a nosy customer.

What had really happened (because I am not the giddy, faint from excitement type) was that I had locked my knees. I never really sang in choir or did anything that would have warranted someone warning me against this apparent hazard. I honestly didn't realize I was doing it, I just wanted to stand perfectly still so that the hem on my dress was pinned straight.

For the rest of that day and the month leading up to our wedding I was teased quite a bit about fainting during our ceremony. Nobody really listened to the explanation of why I actually fainted in the first place, they just found it to be great fun to pick on me. Luckily, as I mentioned before, both of my parents are "button pushers" so I didn't let it get to me too much.

Despite my little episode and the flood of embarrassment that came over me, we finished the fitting and my dress fit me perfect when I went back in. Thankfully, I knew not to lock my knees and no fainting occurred on our big day.

And now I can laugh about this story and easily share it with anyone. I often warn other brides-to-be when they are about to go in for a fitting.
What's one of your most embarrassing moments?

Monday, February 7, 2011

blabla kids review + discount code

Just before Christmas I had contacted blabla kids about a review here at Breaking New Ground. They agreed and sent us the adorable Bamboo mini.

I wrapped him up and put him under the Christmas tree for Malakai. That morning was a bit hectic and he wasn't really overly interested in any of his gifts, but rather the wrapping paper.

After the holidays, when things began to slow down and half the toys were packed away for bringing out a little at a time, he noticed Bamboo. He pointed at him and said "what dat?" and when I told him he tried to say bear, which always comes out "bee-uh". Malakai can be pretty rough with his toys, he has thrown Bamboo all over the place and he looks as good as new.

I think think he is absolutely adorable. I love that all their goods are handmade. He's unique and special amongst all his more traditional fuzzy stuffed animals. Bamboo's coloring is bright and whimsical and really goes well with Kai's bedroom decor.

Blabla Kids has a ton of other precious things to choose from like blankets, paper goods, mobiles, and countless dolls {like Bamboo} of different kinds and sizes.

Blabla Kids has generously offered readers of Breaking New Ground a 15% off discount code, useable on any of their cute little things. Just enter BNG15 by 2.28.11 to apply your discount. 

Thank you Blabla kids for the opportunity to try one of your fantastic products and share the love with others.

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