Friday, July 29, 2011

photo friday: summer is upon us.

If you live in the Pacific Northwest you know that this summer has been even more mild than usual. While other parts of the country were experiencing epic heat waves, we were sitting under grey skies that would occasionally burst forth with rain. We'd get a glimmer of summer weather for a day or two and then the clouds would roll back in for the rest of the week. It was kind of strange. I liked the break at first. It was a nice excuse to be inside get things done in the house, but then it got old.

The past week the weather is finally starting to look like our typical hot July/August weather. We really only get about 6 weeks of "hot" weather so we've really been looking forward to being able to swim in the afternoon and be out back late into the evening.

My only complaint, and it's the same every year, spider-town. That's what I call our yards when those little brown spiders set up camp everywhere and there are dozens more every single day. They also get huge insanely fast. It's gross. We've only had one week of sunshine and I'm already tired of knocking down webs and squashing creepies. It's especially bad when Kai runs into them face first, which happens at least once a day. We tried a mixture of vinegar + coconut oil that I read is supposed to keep them away, but it hasn't done a thing. We'll be purchasing citronella next this weekend. If you have any tips on natural spider repellents to keep our patio and Kai's outside toys clear, I'm all ears!

Anyway, here are some photos of our week of sun, hopefully it lasts at least a few more weeks.

Last week Malakai was fighting nap. I went in to check on him after a fit...he had fallen asleep like this.



Last night a friend of ours from church dropped off a new-to-us toy. I love second hand stuff and generous friends.

{Thanks Miner Family!}

It was such a warm evening we sat out until 7:30 while Kai explored the stairs, slide, swing, and "car" (the part with the steering wheel) of his new play structure.

Afterwards he had a much needed bath to rinse off the layers of sunscreen + dirt. Ben routinely does bathtime but I sat in with him for a bit to snap some pictures of the fun he was having...he just looks so cute in the tub.



Today we didn't get outside until 11am and it was already close to 80 degrees. After playing in the sun for a few short minutes all Kai wanted to do was sit in the shade on the deck and mess with the dirt and spiders. Then he actually asked to come inside.

{nevermind the can of air on the table...I was fighting off spiders}

So I grabbed a new toy from his birthday stash (we bring things out one at a time). This is the Melissa + Doug stacking train, one of his gifts from us. He enjoyed taking it apart and putting it back together and saying "choooo" while I watched for a bit and then got to making lunch.


I'm ready to break out the kiddie pool and wade with my toddler, have more friends over for backyard BBQ's, sit out on the swing later than usual, take walks as a family at dusk, and just enjoy the outdoors before we get shut in by the cold weather and the responsibilities of a newborn babe (don't get me wrong, I'm so looking forward to meeting little brother).

Tonight Ben + I are headed out for our 2nd date in less than a's like a miracle or something! It will also be the first time we've gone to a movie together on opening night. We are moving on up in the world! If you think of us tonight, pray Malakai will go to bed for Grandma + Grandpa at a decent hour, as he's been zero to...I've lost count. Basically, he doesn't do it...ever.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thankful on a Thursday: "free" time

This was supposed to be our least busy week of July, but because we had all sorts of "free time" we ended up filling it up with things we couldn't do all of the other busy weeks. We got together with friends that we've been meaning to spend time with for much too long now, we swam, we BBQ'd, I gardened, Kai and I ran errands + went to the park, I spent more time in the office at church/work, Ben has been working out, the house is clean and mostly organized, and Ben + I are going on a movie date tomorrow night to see a movie on opening weekend (which we've never done together), and then heading to Triangle Lake this weekend so Ben can get some wakeboarding in. We also intend to register for little brother's shower next month, clean out the garage a bit, and start work on turning the guest room (now a catch-all space) into a playroom. I have hopes of relaxing at some point in August...

This week I'm thankful for:

741. finding out that you can get softserve ice cream by the pint at DQ (Elizabeth, you are my hero!)

742. dinners in our backyard with friends.

743. the first harvest from my veggie garden- sugar snaps! (I'll have an entire garden post coming soon)

744. smoothies for a dollar.

745. our new-to-us backyard swing.

746. conversations with my 2 year old.

747. naps- when Kai is taking one and when I get to take one too.

748. the weather finally warming up enough to spend time in the pool.

749. the spiritual leader that my husband is for our family.

750. quiet moments when it's just me and little brother.

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

wedding weekend

This adorable couple is now enjoying wedded bliss as of their lovely wedding on Saturday.

{Megan + Michael 7.23.11}

Ben + I were blessed to be a part of their ceremony and can't wait to see the rest of the photos. Unfortunately I didn't get a single photo of Ben, myself, or Malakai from the day with my own camera so we'll all have to wait for the professional pictures to come through.

On Friday night we headed to the Oregon coast  for the rehearsal with my mom + sister along for the ride to help us with Malakai. We checked into our hotel and were off to the dinner and to practice for the big day while Kai got incredibly sandy and refused to eat Taco Bell (that's my boy!).

That night sleep eluded us all in our shared double-queen hotel room. Malakai was not a fan of sleeping in a strange place. It took me by surprise after how well he had done camping just weeks before, but many factors played into the different outcome. He wasn't as dead tired as he was while camping from running around all day long, and he didn't have an enclosed sleeping space, free of distractions. He kept trying to climb out of the bed and over to my Mima + Aunt Nans. Then he insisted on sleeping on top of me, or he'd scream at the top of his lungs. So for as long as I could endure, I lay on my back, 6 months pregnant with a 30lb toddler on my stomach. I thought if I could lay there long enough to let him fall into a deep enough sleep I could roll him over. Despite his snoring, he still screamed when I tried to move him! It was a rough night...

The next day we got ready, packed up, and were dropped off at the church once again by my mom + sister. They headed to lunch and for more sandy fun at the beach. We figured if the came to the wedding ceremony Malakai would just call for me when he saw us walk down the isle, so they waited til the reception.

I came with my makeup ready, got my hair done by one of Megan's talented friends, and wrapped myself up into my bridesmaid dress with the help of my fellow bridesmaid Angie. The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was the shortest I'd ever been to. After barely any sleep, I was thankful for the brevity.

{I did get a photo of their fabulous cake!}

We ate cake, mingled as much as we could, took a few more photos with the couple and then sent them off in a rush of blue + purple balloons before packing ourselves up and heading back to the valley.

Kai was overtired from not napping. He spaced out for most of the ride, it took him 45 minutes before he passed out. We came home and all napped for an hour even though it was 5pm- we needed it! The rest of the weekend we spent some time recuperating and visiting with family a bit.

We survived our busy July...a quick recap:
Our 4th wedding Anniversary
having a garage sale
Malakai's 2nd birthday
Bridesmaid + Groomsman

Whew! August, here we come. Here's hoping for warmer weather and a few lazy afternoons by the pool.

Monday, July 25, 2011

28 weeks


How far along? 28 weeks (comparison of last pregnancy- my face was a lot bigger already)
Total weight gain/loss: up 23 lbs. total. I'm 6 lbs. less than what I weight last time. 
Stretch marks? nothing new.
Maternity Clothes: are getting increasingly frustrating.
Sleep: awesome the last couple nights compared to friday night. toddler + hotel= no sleep.
Best moment this weekMegan + Michael's wedding on Saturday.
Movement: like crazy. I've started to feel him up in my ribs while I'm sitting. 
Gender: BOY!
Labor Signs: just a couple braxton hicks contractions, nothing else. 

Food Cravings: none. 
Belly Button in or out? on it's way out.
What I miss: life without aches, pains, and leg cramps.
What I am looking forward to: next month's babyshower. It'll be so fun to gather with everyone.
Weekly Wisdom: stretch!
Baby Brain Moment of the Week: If I set something down without making a specific note of where it is, I instantly forget. 
Milestones: my belly moves visibly with just about all of his turns and kicks these days.

Friday, July 22, 2011

down the isle

Tomorrow afternoon our friends Megan + Michael are getting married. Megan and I have been friends since college and I'm so thrilled to see her as a bride. It's going to be such a fun and happy day.


I'm quite excited to walk down the isle as one of her bridesmaids. It's such an honor to be asked to stand beside someone on such an important day in their lives.

Ben is also in the wedding, which means we get to walk down the isle together-again. It may be cheesy but I'm really looking forward to walking down the isle him almost exactly four years after our own wedding.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thankful on a Thursday: moments

Little moments can change things so quickly. A good day can go downhill and vice versa. Today has been a pretty average day until I let little moments, minor frustrations really, affect my mood and bring me down.  Here's my weekly thankful post to turn my mood around.

I'm thankful for...

731. a deep breath and releasing the "small stuff".

732. for my sweet + adorable son, even when his behavior is very frustrating.

733. our 3rd bedroom that will soon (SOON) become a playroom to remove Malakai's bedtime distractions.

734. three big summer events behind us, and two to go! Megan, I'm so excited to see you walk down the isle and marry your love this weekend!

735. my part time job. While it's a challenge to recruit + maintain a volunteer base, it's a welcome + rewarding one.

736. my full time job. staying home with my son (soon to be sons!) is my dream job and I thank God for allowing things to fall into place so perfectly every day.

737. Our notebook. Ben + I have been writing to each other since he was away at camp for a summer in 2006. There are some things that are easier to put into writing and I just love finding the notebook in random places and reading his sweet words.

738. functioning computers. I take them for granted so often!

739. an impromptu backyard barbecue with some fun friends last night. We need to be spontaneous like that much more often!

740. this weekly ritual to bring me back to what God has blessed me with when it's so easy to see the negative and feel beat down.

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Robot Birthday Party

Ben + I decided that as long as Malakai is young enough not to ask for a specific theme for his birthday parties that we'd choose ones we liked. (EDIT: I should say he thoroughly enjoyed the robot theme now that he's old enough to notice). Last year was pirates and this year was between dinosaurs and robots, we went with robots. Of course we always choose a theme that is hard to find premade decorations for, but that means our party ends up one of a kind! Last year's pirates stuff was homemade and a collection of things found and purchased at quite a few different places. This year  pirates stuff is EVERYWHERE, oh well. With robots I found even less store bought things which posed a challenge for favors, but I think I pulled it together pretty well.

I started out with a set of free printables from this website. The original plan was to use these little guys all over everything. When it came time to print just days before the party it turned out that not everything was going to work the way I wanted. I couldn't find a 1" or 2" round craft punch for the cupcake toppers and the water bottle wraps wouldn't work on the cups like I had hoped. I went to picnik and created my own toppers and cup labels as well as a few other items.

I made this little sign to greet guests. This way everyone could just let themselves in and nobody had to stand watch at the door.


I went for an eclectic look using lots of white and primary colors. This also made my shopping a bit easier. I got these adorable party hats at Target and simply printed some robots onto sticker paper and we had instant robot party hats!


I did the same thing with some plain blue cups from the Dollar Tree and served cupcakes on the matching blue plates (but without the robot stickers).


For the cupcakes I just printed the toppers I made with picnik onto cardstock and then cut them with an oval cutter my mother-in-law had. I taped toothpicks to the back and they were ready to go!


I wasn't planning on adding any colored frosting to the cream cheese frosting I made for the funfetti cupcakes, but I had a bunch of blue left over from writing on Kai's cake that I decided to embellish some with 2's and confetti like squiggles.


The little robot guys among the cupcakes are actually bubbles! I found them on and used my free 2 day shipping to get them here quick. I had enough to decorate with as well as include one in each favor bag.

For the favor bags I had a little too much fun. I started out looking in stores and online for cute little toys but didn't have much luck. So I went back to my printable robots and stuck them to various things to go with the theme. In addition to the robot bubbles I had made some playdough and simple sealed it up in babyfood jars I had been hanging on to for far too long. I painted the lids with chalkboard paint and then wrote on the tops with chalk ink. I had all of these things at my house already.


The inspiration for make a "dough-bot" came to me as I was putting them together. I was so proud of my cheesy play on words that I had to announce it to Ben as soon as I thought of it. He's so sweet for putting up with me sometimes. The best part is that at first Malakai pronounced the word robot as "dobot" so it was a sweet little touch from him as well.

I grabbed fruit snacks at Target to include at the last minute instead of candy and as I was stuffing the bag I got another random urge to play on words. When I realized that the bags said "Mott's for tots" I had to change it to fit our theme...intro more sticker paper...


I obviously didn't strive for perfection here. It was late at night and I just went to work at getting things DONE. I threw in a couple of robot stickers, topped it with the "thanks for coming" label and that was that.

Ben was tasked with making the robot centerpiece. I bought him a package of foam sheets at the Dollar Tree, borrowed googly eyes and pipe cleaners from his mom, and let him go to work with items we had around the house (and a origami box I made for the head). He did GOOD!


I made some zigzag streamers by cutting opposite sides down regular crepe paper streamers, alternating all the way down. Ben grabbed some balloons at the last minute (local people, Rite Aid is the cheapest to fill balloons at .25cent a piece!)



Ben's mom made this cut out robot and surprised us with it when we came over. 

I also used picnik to make the robot coloring sheets which were quite a hit with Malakai's guests.


Lastly, I embellished a cardboard box with some corrugated craft paper for the favor bags that each little guest got to take on their way out. The favor bags came in handy when Kai's little friends didn't want to leave the birthday presents behind. 

All in all I'm happy with the way it all turned out and am looking forward to decorating for next year already!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

and then he was 2.

Well we apparently survived Malakai's 2nd birthday and the festivities that ensued. I have SO many pictures and so much to tell that I think I'll break it up into a couple posts. First, a bit of a timeline of how we spent his birthday. I'll do a 2nd post of the decor + prep that went into throwing his party.

The night before I could.not.sleep. I woke up every hour and my mind was spinning with the details of the following day. Being sore + pregnant didn't help. I decided to give up and get out of bed at 5:30am which is when I finished his birthday letter. I posted it at 7:20am, the time he was born.

Ben + I got ready quietly and let the birthday boy sleep until he was good and ready to wake up for a very eventful day. He woke up around 8am and we greeted him together with a birthday song, he grinned through the whole thing and was in a very good mood. We got him ready and gathered our things to head out the door for his first ever breakfast out. Moments before we loaded the car he pulled an entire tray of cupcakes out of the fridge and onto the floor. I gasped and then composed myself because it was his birthday and a few cupcake casualties shouldn't ruin it. Thankfully, they were all saved.

We headed to the Original Pancake House, a favorite local breakfast/brunch spot. I planned to split the banana pancakes with Malakai but I found out that they'd give him his very own birthday stack! It came complete with berries and a candle. He was thrilled (we've been practicing blowing out candles all week).


I knew it was going to be a good day when I captured such a perfect photo of him blowing out the candle. This is my new all-time favorite photo.


Kai then proceeded to eat the entire stack of pancakes and downed his glass of milk. He was happy + well behaved the entire time. What a great start to his 2nd birthday!

When we got home we played a bit and then loaded up the car to take all the supplies and decorations to Grandma + Grandpa Pottorfs where his party was held. We played a bit and I decorated. Around noon he ate lunch and Ben took him home for a quick nap while I stayed to finish decorating and frosting cupcakes.

At 2pm guests arrived and the birthday boy came shortly after, fashionably late and a little groggy from his nap. After he warmed up to the house filling with loved ones he was ready to play and socialize. He was quite enamored with the balloons as well as the new water feature that Grandpa had just put the finishing touches on that morning.




Nothing like balloons, water, and rocks to make a two year old very happy!


After an hour of greeting guests we went straight to singing to the birthday boy. He was once again thrilled to see a flickering candle headed his way and grinned from ear to ear as everyone sang to him. He blew out the candle but it relit itself 3 times before going out. It was quite the spectacle and he enjoyed every minute of it.


Then came time to dig into his very own cake. Unlike last year's healthy recipe I made him good old fashioned funfetti cake out of the box with homemade cream cheese frosting. Instead of digging in he carefully lifted the robot and licked the frosting. Then poked at the top a bit. It was only after I gave him a spoon that he actually ate some of it. Leave it to a toddler to save his manners for the one moment you want him to be a bit messy!

Everyone else had cupcakes and vanilla ice cream. Shortly after we gathered for gifts, I didn't want to draw things out and have any guests feel obligated to stay for hours on end. He was really into opening the first couple of gifts but then all he wanted to do was play with the basketball hoop and flashlight he just got. It is a bit cruel to ask a child to open a gift and then not play with it until later. We kept trying but eventually gave up and opened his gifts for him.


This kiddo is well loved, he received many generous gifts. There were about 45 people in attendance at his party, it was such a blessing to have so many friends + family come see him for his birthday.


After we finished up gifts he played with his toys, the balloons, and of course the water feature some more. We also got some photos in the stand up robot that Grandma Pottorf had made the night before. Great minds think alike because Ben + I almost made one as well!

{beep, boop}

As the crowd thinned and we were down to just family we barbecued for dinner and tried to relax some. Malakai did not have the same idea. Thankfully he ate some dinner but then he was back at running around, full of energy. He didn't rest for anything all day other than to eat and take a 1 hour nap.


{play time with G'Pa Jim}

It was no surprise then when later he had a hard time settling down and falling asleep. He finally got to sleep by 9pm and Ben and I settled in at 11pm. I am currently surrounded by boxes and bags of gifts (while the remainder are still at my in-laws) and no energy to find a place for them. Our next big task is to get the playroom together so that we have a place for all these things.

Malakai obviously had a fantastic 2nd birthday and despite the exhaustion Ben + I enjoyed it too. We felt loved and accomplished and couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate the birth of our first born.

Thank you to everyone who came and celebrated our special boy!

Monday, July 18, 2011

27 weeks- 3rd trimester!

Today I enter the final trimester of my second pregnancy. It has flown by this time around, having a toddler helps and being a homeowner really speeds things along.

{at Kai's party on Saturday}

How far along? 27 weeks (comparison of last pregnancy)
Total weight gain/loss: +18lbs as of last month, next appointment is this week. Glucose test, here I come!
Stretch marks? a new teensie one across my belly button where it was once pierced. 
Maternity Clothes: just picked up three cute tops at Ross last night for about the same price I would pay for just one at Target. Why don't I shop there more often?
Sleep: the last 3 nights I've been waking up every.single.hour. 
Best moment this weekMalakai's 2nd birthday on Saturday, a separate post on that to come. 
Movement: quite frequently.
Gender: BOY!
Labor Signs: just a couple braxton hicks contractions, nothing else. 
Food Cravings: not any strong cravings lately. 
Belly Button in or out? flat, but starting to poke out. It never did this last time, it just stayed flat.
What I miss: being asked "how are you?" instead of "how are you feeling?" Should I be miserable or something?
What I am looking forward to: the weather warming back up and afternoons by the pool.
Weekly Wisdom: Take time to enjoy being pregnant the 2nd time around, it's hard to remember to focus on the little guy growing inside when I've got a toddler demanding all of my attention. 
Baby Brain Moment of the Week: I've been doing pretty good, it helps that I write EVERYTHING down these days.
Milestones: THIRD TRIMESTER! Only 13 weeks to go. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dear Malakai...

Dear sweet Malakai,
Today you are officially two years old. It's hard to believe that it has been a year since your 1st birthday and two since the day we saw your handsome face for the first time. You look even more like your daddy than ever before, but have a few of my features and a look all your own at the same time.


Over the last year you've become even more fiercely independent. I tend to describe you as a very strong willed child. You don't throw tantrums very often or for very long and I'm so thankful for that. However, on a rough day it makes it hard to know how to deal with your break downs because it's so rare. Although I see more fits in our near future. While it's exhausting I'm here to learn through this stage with you and come out better at communicating with one another on the other side.

You love to explore and figure out how things work. Buckles, buttons, and just about anything that comes apart or moves fascinates you. You've discovered digging in the dirt, collecting rocks, and a love of swimming. You are adventurous and fearless. If left to your own devices you would walk straight into the swimming pool or off the edge of the deck, you're still learning boundaries and what it means when something is dangerous. You do understand when you get hurt and will tell us by saying "hurt" or "ouch" and then "tiss" for a healing kiss from mama or daddy. We love that part, especially because it's most often nothing that really hurts you.

On the eve of your birthday you had your first big accident. You ran head first into a sharp cornered piece of furniture and it knocked you back hard. When I picked you up you had blood running down your face but you calmed down faster than mama did. Thankfully you didn't need stitches but the visit to the doctor was still an unpleasant one.

Over this year we have settled in to our 2nd home together, you learned to walk, had your first real sickness, tried many new "nummies", started to talk and do odd things in your sleep (just this past week you've taken to stripping from the waist down and falling asleep that way), you've memorized some of your favorite stories and read them to yourself,  you've also ripped many books and broken many crayons among other things,  you've destroyed almost every "baby proofing" device, you had your first haircut, you've learned the names of your closest loved ones, you experience your first and 2nd snow,  attempted potty learning but then  you have endured and overcome a painful hernia and surgery to correct it and the issue you had at birth, you've mastered nearly half the alphabet and quite a few numbers and love to sing the abc's and the birthday song, you love to sing + dance, you are increasingly polite; using please and thank you without being asked, you like to pray before meals and always say "may-men" afterwards, you are able to repeat just about any word thrown your way as long as you're in the right mood, you've developed a love of animals, you've learned to climb the furniture and love to empty your drawers in an attempt to find clothes for going outside, you can get yourself completely undressed and partially dressed, you still love to snuggle with mama + daddy on occasion, and so very much more...

I am so excited and blessed to continue to watch you as you learn and grown physically, mentally, and spiritually over yet another year. I pray that you never forget how deep our love is for you, especially once we welcome your little brother into our family in the fall. I am confident you will grow into the role of big brother quickly and enthusiastically. You are so strong and resilient and inspire me to be the same for you and our family.


Today is the first day of your THIRD year of life! Happy 2nd Birthday Malakai Benson, I love you very much.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thankful on a Thursday

This has been one of the most busy, but one of the most rewarding weeks in a very long time. Getting ready for Malakai's birthday has given me an opportunity to get crafty and creative where I don't usually allow myself the time to work on projects like this. Reflecting on his 2nd year, I've also taken a lot of time to just sit and watch him. Currently he's playing next to me and telling me all about his discoveries. He is talking so much these days!

This week I'm thankful for:

721. the roses Ben bought me for our anniversary that are still lovely a week later.


722. a little rain on Tuesday to bake a LOT of birthday cupcakes.

723. letting the creative juices flow and being happy with the outcome (photos to come after this weekend!)

724. staying at home with Malakai and soaking in every moment of his development as he grows + grows before my eyes!

725. learning how to parent a toddler, tantrums and all.

726. patience, strength,  and love.

727. supportive friends + family. I'm so thankful for all of you and wish everyone could make it to see Kai turn two!

728. feelings of accomplishment even when coupled with exhaustion.


729. having a car all week to get errands done...and next week too!

730. my precious family and the blessings God has poured over us. My cup runneth over.

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