Friday, December 30, 2011

the ups + downs of 30

Okay, I know I've only been 30 for a day, but my birthday was full of ups + downs. When Ben had asked me if I had a good birthday it was actually hard to answer him.


I'll start with the "downs" so that we can end this post on a positive note.

  • still recovering from the stomach flu. I had a hard time figuring out what to eat to get my energy back because my stomach still feels so sensitive. 
  • canceling our original dinner plans with friends- we did so ahead of time because of my being sick. 
  • at one point I looked in the mirror and felt like I looked even older than wasn't very nice, but I'm hoping to attribute it to having been sick. 
  • navigating my way through our disaster of a house all day. I still don't have enough energy to tidy up + it's starting to drive me crazy.
  • not getting to eat my birthday cake. 
  • feeling so awful after dinner that all I wanted to do was lay down and go to sleep. 
  • Desmond being really fussy and inconsolable for about an hour before bed.
  • not having enough time with my husband, the evening went by in a total blur.

  • after waking up early both boys fell back to sleep and I got to snooze for an extra 40 minutes.
  • a relatively tantrum free day.
  • double naps! Kai went down easy (a miracle) and they napped at the same time for 2 hours. 
  • sweet facebook messages + texts from countless friends + family.
  • singing phone calls from my parents and then my grandparents. 
  • having a living social deal for a coldstone icecream cake. (Those things are EXPENSIVE.) Due to my queasy tummy the whole thing is still in the freezer waiting for me. 
  • thoughtful gifts from my boys: Ben typed out his version of Desmond's birth story for me (made me cry). Ben + Kai had picked out a necklace with Desmond's birthstone-opal (also made me cry). I already have earring in Kai's birthstone- ruby. 
  • Malakai making me some "candles" and singing happy birthday (after insisting all day that it was Desmond's birthday, not mama's). 
  • a free birthday dinner with my little family. both boys did great, it was Desmond's first restaurant experience and he just looked around and then slept. 
  • snuggling up with Kai to help him fall asleep.
  • falling asleep in a warm house, surrounded by the sweet family Ben + I have built. 
30 will be a great year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thankful on a Thursday: today I turn...


and I'm thankful for...

951. so many wonderful things that happened to me in my twenties.

952. Desmond's belly laughs.

953. generous and thoughtful gifts.

954. Ben taking care of me and the boys while I was very sick.

955. Christmas gatherings.

956. the boys not getting the stomach flu, better me than any of them!

957. a church that I love, flaws and all.

958. games that Malakai makes up.

959. surprises.

960. having lived another year full of blessings.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

out sick

Well Christmas has come and gone, although we do have one more family gathering. Sadly, I came down with the stomach flu the night of the 26th. Yesterday through facebook and text messages I found out that 8 other family members have it too.

Today is better and I'm recovering slowly, trying to rest my dehydrated self and replenish everything I lost yesterday. Now we're just praying that Ben doesn't get it (he's stayed home to take care of me + prevent sharing it at work the last two days) and we're especially hoping that our boys and the other babies in the family stay healthy.

Once I'm feeling better and caught up around the house I'll do my best to update on our Christmas festivities.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thankful on a Thursday: hustle + bustle

I feel like I've been procrastinating,  but really I just have two little ones that need all my attention. This means that 3 days before Christmas we are frantically trying to get the kids to sleep so we can wrap presents and bake goodies in preparation for upcoming celebrations. Whew, the days have gone by way too fast!

Still I have so much to be thankful for...

941. a very unexpected + generous Christmas bonus.

942. Desmond's first laughs.

943. Malakai's manners.

944. my mothers. they have been and will be integral to my being successful in my "new job"

945. seasonal beverages + other treats.

946. speaking of treats...our neighbors from down the street.They came by earlier this evening with a plate of goodies for Christmas- ADORABLE!

947. watching Desmond + Malakai interact.

948. the ability to get gifts for my boys.

949. my hard working husband who puts in at least 42 hours every week at work and then comes home to  diapers, tantrums, spit up and other non-glamorous parental duties and lets me take a "break" to get other things done. my hero!

950. the birth of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, without whom I would be lost.


Monday, December 19, 2011


I'm going to be updating less frequently for the better part of the next two weeks. We've been busy but it's getting even crazier the closer we get to Christmas. We will have 5 different family Christmas gatherings starting Saturday, I'll be celebrating (?) my 30th birthday, and we'll be ringing in the new year at a wedding.
This week I'll be crafting all the gifts I have to finish up, then we need to organize and wrap them. I also plan to do lots of baking, some cleaning + organizing, and checking things off my long to-do list for work.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thankful on a Thursday

This week I'm thankful for...

931. that Kai still falls asleep in the car and stays out for transition to bed, most of the time.

932. that Desmond has finally learned that his car seat isn't the worst place to be.

933. for a job where I can bring my children if need be.

934. for free babysitting courtesy of the grandparents so I don't have to bring them to work or even shopping all the time.

935. for kid-friendly Christmas gatherings that get us out of the house and socializing with other adults.

936. the arrival and departure of our Christmas cards.

937. having time in the evenings to get some gift making done.

938. answered prayers + God's timing.

939. snuggle time with my boys.

940. quiet time to myself.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

another year, another...job.

Last year, around this same time, I took on my current position at our church as the Nursery Director. I coordinate volunteers and make sure everything runs smoothly on Sunday mornings in the nursery and two's classrooms. This job was perfect for several reasons, but number one was because it allowed me to work from home most of the time.

This year I've been asked to add on the preschool age group. At first I said no, it was literally my first Sunday morning back to work since having Desmond in October and I wasn't sure how I'd even handle my current role let alone adding a new one. But then I had some time to myself in my office to think, and pray. I called Ben and talked it over with him and it began to look like this additional role could be an answer to prayer for us.

In order to make it doable I'd have to take some time away from my boys. At first I felt guilty that I'd be leaving Desmond while he's still so young(if he'll ever take a bottle, but that's a different story), but Ben assured me that by following God's leadings and bringing in more income at a time when we really need it, that I'm still taking care of my family. The best part is that when I do leave them to spend some focused time working at the church I have their grandmas to watch them...for free. In addition to the hours I put in from home every chance I get, the plan is to go in for 2 half days a week while the boys play with Grandma or Mima. We'll assess my workload along the way and I'll continue to ask God to show me if it's the right choice and we'll see where it goes!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Desmond: 2 months

{santa baby}

Desmond turned two months over the weekend. It's pretty unbelievable how fast his newborn stage went. We literally just got back from his well-check and first ever immunizations. My big boy is off the charts for weight at just under 15lbs! In just 9 weeks he has more than doubled his birth weight! He's 23 1/4 inches (65th %) and his head is 16 1/4 inches round (77%). Needless to say,we get a LOT of comments on his size. It's funny how much bigger he is than other the same age or older. Dr. B called it when she said he's probably already in 6 month clothes. 

He met all the developmental milestones for his age: turning his head towards our voices, tracking with his eyes, lifting his head when on his tummy, cooing and smiling. He also reached a milestone for me yesterday by sleeping in his carseat after it was out of the car for the first time. It couldn't have been more convenient as it was my first morning back to work. I was planning on wearing him in the Ergo while I checked in on my classrooms and such, but being able to tote him in the carseat and set him down worked well too.

Both boys got shots today. Malakai got his flu shot and did great! I prepared him by telling him it would hurt but that it would be okay. He said ouch loudly and then he was fine. I am so proud of my brave boy! He also got a clean bill of health, no more ear infections!! So glad that $71 medication worked, phew!!

Desmond of course cried for his shots, and actually cried his first tears (which killed me a little) but the nurse was fantastic and did them so fast that he recovered by the time she put the last bandage on.

Then on the way out I had my first mama of two blunder. I couldn't find my keys! I had gotten Kai out of the car, walked him around to stand next to me when I got Desmond out and then Kai walked to the front door by himself so I hadn't locked the doors...which worked well since I had left the keys on the seat on Kai's side. Thankfully my car and it's contents were left untouched. I felt so bad, but I guess locking the keys in the car would have been worse!

Back to Des, he has pretty much outgrown his colic for the most part. He still has a few rough nights here and there but sleeps 3-6 hours at night between feedings. Dr. B said it would be fine for him to go 8-10 hours, but I don't see my hungry boy doing that any time soon! He did fall asleep around 8:30 last night and just stirred to eat around midnight. It was so nice to have some time to hang out with Ben before bed. He also can fall asleep on his own for naps occasionally.

His happiest time is in the morning. He is all smiles when he first wakes up and loves to be stood up on his feet to jump his legs off my lap. I think he is really close to laughing for the first time, he gets to cooing so happily with a huge smile. I am so excited for baby laughter to fill our house.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

A week ago we went on an adventure to find the perfect Christmas tree. Since then things have been a bit busy, so not only have I not had time to share the photos, but it took us almost another week to get the tree decorated. Now it's decorated and oh-so festive, here's how we got to that point...

I had wanted to go to a Christmas Tree farm instead of a lot this year. I also wanted to find a place that had a horse ride and a certain festive ambiance that we could enjoy as a family. I knew it would probably cost a bit extra, but we considered it part of Kai's Christmas gift as we were mostly doing it for him.

We set out on a bitter cold morning with my parents and siblings in tow to Al's Hidden Valley Tree Farm per numerous recommendations after I polled my friends on facebook. They had it all, a covered gazebo with a fire pit and hot drinks and a carriage pulled by beautiful draft horses to take you out to find your tree. I may have been the most excited out of all of us, especially about the horses.


We waited quite a bit for the horses to come around and take us out to search for a tree. Once we got out to the right spot we tried to make quick work of finding the right tree because it was freezing cold outside. Desmond was bundled up in the front carrier and was thankfully the warmest out of all of us. Getting Kai to wear anything is a challenge, so you can only imagine the struggle to get him in to a warm puffy jacket. He refused to wear anything to warm his hands.


As soon as Malakai set foot amongst the trees and brush he began to stop on the tall grass and hit at it with his arms, making a very boyish crushing sound effect.


Then Kai and G'Pa got to running around the trees which I think really helped warm him up.


Once we found the perfect tree (not too tall and not too wide) we loaded it on to a trailer and headed back on foot so we didn't have to wait for the rest of the group to ride the carriage back. We drank hot cocoa + cider and cozied up by the fire while I tree got shaken out and bundled up.


I had never seen such a crazy machine as the one that shakes out the trees. I felt quite assured that we wouldn't be bringing any bugs home with us this year. It may seem silly but it's an honest concern for me after having baby spiders hatch in our house last year and slugs in our garage the year before. It's been a week now and we've seen no spiders or other creatures in the house.

Ben tossed the tree into my dad's truck and we headed down the street to their house for lunch. Oh, and here are a couple funny photos that I couldn't help but share...
I caught my mom giving me a weird look after I put Des in the Ergo so I asked her if I looked funny and then posed while she took my picture to show me how I looked. Below that is my sister Amanda with her boyfriend Kyle and our brother Cody acting super excited about the red tree...also a pose inspired by my mom as she really liked the little rust colored trees. 

When we finally got to decorate the tree, a few days after it was hanging out in our house, Malakai knew exactly what to do from his practice round at Mima + G'Pa's. He dumped out the ornaments again (Thank goodness we have plastic ones that look glass years ago when we had cats). Then he proceeded to hang them all in the same spot...


Ben helped him at first while I snuggled with Des and snapped photos of the festivities....


Then Kai put the star on top of the tree for the first time. He knew just what to do and was so excited about the whole event. 


Once it was up we turned out the lights and ooh + awed. 


This didn't last long because once the lights were out Malakai insisted they stay off and we play "nuh-night" and lay on the floor. All in all, the decorating of the tree lasted about 15 minutes and then we had to move on to something else. Ben and I finished the rest of the ornaments a few days later after bedtime.

So now our tree and other decor are up and we actually get to enjoy it before Christmas passes us by. Now I'm on to crafting up gifts for family any chance I get a free moment, which is always only when Ben is home and both boys are either happy or sleeping. Most of the time these events do not align for long. Here's hoping I can get it all done in time!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thankful on a Thursday: holiday mess

Our house is currently a rather gigantic mess. We got halfway through decorating the tree last night before Malakai was more interested in playing with the computer (I consider this a success) so the decor boxes are still out until Ben and I can get to putting the ornaments on the tree. Time to ourselves is so scarce these days, I think it'll be a while before it's finished.

Also, due to having no time away from the children, our living room and bedroom are being taken over by laundry that needs to be put away. There are few things that frustrate me more than trying to find clothes in piles rather than the closet and drawers. The desk is piled with my work documents, notes, calendars, and to-do lists. There is a pile of craft supplies ready for me to find more of that free-time I hear so much about so I can get Christmas gifts made. The gifts that are ready await in a rubbermaid container to be wrapped.

Then there are the constant things that we just can't find a good place the carseat and the baby bath tub. I keep wanting to put the baby tub in the bathroom but then it gets in the way every morning and every night at shower/bath time. I think we're getting a little too cramped in this space and I feel the need to purge things again...only to have the holidays and all the stuff that comes with it upon us. I kind of wish I could forego all the gift exchanging this year, but that seems rather out of the spirit doesn't it?

We did have a very lovely outing to get our tree last weekend and I really want to get pictures up to share, but haven't had enough time to go through them to get them posted here. There's always tomorrow.

This week I'm thankful for...

921. the festive smell of our fir tree.

922. finding a pin that matches Malakai's for Desmond's stocking


923. coming back to the knowledge that my God always provides, after living in fear over our finances.

924. a soft warm bed and a roof over my head.

925. my two sweet sons- always.

926.  the generosity of others.

927. starting my work at home job up again.

928. the rare moments of quiet.

929. promo codes that enabled us to do a photo Christmas card again this year.

930. my laptop still working after spilling tea on it...yikes! (although some of the keys are sticking...)

What are you thankful for this week? Big and small, it all matters.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas is coming!

I can't believe Christmas is just over 2 weeks away. I need to get on the shopping, making and baking quick! What's worse is that with the sickies hitting us again we haven't even decorated yet. Our tree has been up and without decor since Saturday. I'm hoping we can remedy that this evening and get some cute photos for our annual Christmas card in the process. However, nothing has been going as planned these days so we'll just have to wait and see what actually gets done tonight...

Monday, December 5, 2011

In Hindsight

For the past couple of months, and even more so in the last couple weeks, Malakai has been quite unruly. Many have been the victims of his screeching, crying, kicking, and hitting. I've often felt powerless and unsure of what to do; not only to squash the unsavory behavior but to meet his needs as well.

For the past few days he's been tugging at his ear and Sunday night at 2am he woke screaming. Yesterday he sounded congested and started to cough so we went to see Dr. B. Sure enough he has an ear infection...still, meaning that when he had double infections last month, one didn't fully heal.

Hindsight is always 20/20.

It's obvious that his behavior has been due to pain and frustration. Even when I clued into his ear bothering him, he couldn't really communicate what he felt. In fact, he'd been tugging at his right but it's his left that has the infection. I'm irritable when I'm sick, and I have the ability to communicate my needs. I'm sure I'd be just as difficult to be around if nobody understood me.

Dr. B gave us a prescription for a stronger antibiotic in hopes of finally getting rid of this nasty infection plaguing my little boy. Much to our surprise it cost $71...for the generic! The meds he was on last time were only $4. It also has some strange restrictions, like he can't take it within two hours of having milk. Kid LOVES milk, so that'll be interesting trying to time that out. I mean I only give him milk at meals, but he usually sips on it for a while. I see many "no milk" tantrums in my future.

Oh...and Desmond has thrush again. I'll take that over another ear infection, but still. Challenges, challenges, challenges.

Ear infections are the worst. I distinctly remember being little, maybe 4 or 5, and having a terrible ear infection. I was in so much pain that all I could do was cry because I just wanted my parents to take the discomfort away. My dad had even gone out and bought me a happy meal with one of those chicken nugget character toys in it (we NEVER could afford stuff like that) and I threw it at him. I don't know why I remember this so well,  but I think of it every time my kids are sick.

{keeping ourselves entertained}

I'm really hoping that my sweet Malakai will be feeling better and 100% healthy within the next week or two. I'm also fervently praying that his mood swings will tone down significantly once he gets to feeling better. 

8 weeks: sleep

Last night was a rough one, but not with Desmond. Kai woke up at 2am and was screaming at the top of his lungs. All he wanted was for Ben to hold him and walk around the room. He didn't want to lay down, he didn't want me to hold him, he wanted one thing and he was going to scream until it happened. Unfortunately, we could tell he wasn't feeling well so we wanted to soothe him. The hard part was that Ben's back was hurting, but he powered through and eventually got Kai to calm down enough to lay down with him in his new twin bed. About 2 hours later Ben came back to bed.

It's a bit strange that Desmond is already the better sleeper. He'll pretty much sleep in with me as long as I'm laying in bed and sometimes longer. He naps pretty well and occasionally puts himself to sleep, but gone are the days (it only lasted a week or so) when they'd magically nap at the same time and I could sleep too or get things done around the house. Currently Kai is fighting nap time and Desmond is passed out. Once Malakai falls asleep it'll be about time for Desmond to eat and he'll be wide awake til right about the time Malakai wakes up. Isn't that fun?

Despite the sleep issues around here and our very full schedule we had a pretty great weekend. Today Desmond is 8 weeks old. We won't have his 2 month appointment until next week, I'm guessing he's at our above 14lbs. We're all thinking he's grown a lot in length/height as well.

{he is such a happy boy}

I'll update later in the week about the details of our weekend. For now, I have to go in and try for the 10th time to get Kai to lay down.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thankful on a Thursday: December

I'm sure December is a busy month for just about everyone because of the holidays. Here is what our month looks like:
*starting work again this week
*Christmas shopping
*Christmas tree family outing
*church leadership meeting
*Children's ministry Christmas Party
*church staff Christmas lunch
*Ben's work Christmas Party
*Church Play/helping coordinate childcare
*Desmond's 2 month check-up
*possibly more doctor appointments to cram in before the new year.
*Family birthdays (including mine, 28 more days left of my twenties!)
*Christmas eve service and at least 4 different family gatherings over Christmas weekend

And that's just all the stuff I can remember off the top of my head. whew, it's going to be an exhausting month! November flew by and I have a feeling December will go even faster with everything on our calendar.

It's easy to get overwhelmed by how busy life can get. This week I have a lot to complain about, but I choose to count my blessings instead. I am so thankful for...

911. the privilege that is being a parent.

912. Desmond's sweet smile.

{Ben captured his little grin for the first time}

913. money-saving opportunities, especially at the holidays.

914. Malakai in his batman pj's. He's about a month late on the dress-up thing, but the cuteness was worth the wait.


915. having our family live close by: we see both sets of grandparents just about every week.

916. the baby bouncer + binkies. Kai didn't use either, Desmond loves both.

917. getting Kai's big-boy bed tonight. (here's hoping it's a smooth transition from toddler bed to twin)

918. "me time". When Ben comes home I usually bake something while they play.

919. homemade gift inspiration (aka pinterest)

920. getting a chunk of my Christmas shopping done yesterday.

What are you thankful for?

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