Monday, March 31, 2014

illness + injury

I feel like a broken record, I even said this to my Bible study group recently when requesting prayer for my sick family, again. We are entering month 4 of illness in our home. I don't share on social media to get extra attention or to throw a pity party. Sometimes I'm actually embarrassed to admit that we are sick again (or is it still?) but I do, because every time I'm covered in prayer and encouraged by a community of friends, family + even strangers. We've endured countless doctor's office visits, pharmacy pick ups and a 3 day emergency hospital stay. Just when things start to look up, someone else comes down with something. Here we are again.

I'm thankful and so happy to be able to say that last Friday when Des had an ear check, he is over his ear infections (he had one, that turned into two really bad infections while on the first round of medicine). I'm also hesitant, but hopeful in saying that I think Malakai is over his recurring infections. (he had 4 in a row, and tried 5 different medicines that all failed). He has an ENT appointment this Thursday morning, so we will know for sure, but he's been acting more himself and not complaining of any pain for the last week or so. These things outweigh that bad day that we had today...

Last week I was told I have another sinus infection (I've had symptoms that won't quit since January, was treated once in February but never felt better- then recently got much worse). I saw another Dr. in my primary physician's office who prescribed me a stronger antibiotic for another sinus infection. Today is day 3 on meds and I had a very bad reaction. Debilitating headache and nausea all morning that resulted in "losing my breakfast" in the kitchen sink just before lunch (right after Des fell and bit his tongue REALLY badly, it looks like he has a hole in it). Thankfully Ben could come home on his lunch break, get Des down for a nap so I could rest and then he preoccupied Malakai while working from home the rest of the afternoon (he is our Superman). I've been nauseated with the same bad headache all afternoon and just as I went to crawl into bed my sciatica (that I'm waiting on a referral to have treated) took a turn for the worse and I nearly fell over. 

I'm not looking for pity (but I will gladly take prayers). I post all of this because the purpose of my blog is to share with my readers and to document our lives so we can look back on it all one day. Life isn't always pretty, and lately for us it's been rather ugly. I'm not whining or complaining, but merely documenting so when things are good I can see what God brought us out of. Because despite the back to back illnesses and injuries and a hospitalization I know it could be worse and I also know that it's going to get better. 

I'm clinging to God's promises to bless us and I'm focusing on the joy in each moment. The fact that almost any time I ask Desmond to snuggle me, he replies with an excited "okay!", when Malakai loves to color pictures/mail/surprises for anyone and everyone, laughing til I'm crying at the things Kai has said over the past year when I came across Ben's "Kai Thoughts" Instagram, smiling at Desmond's growing vocabulary and constant need to narrate our day, all the sweet innocent questions they both ask constantly, the sweet baby kicking around in my belly, loved ones who check in with is because we've been quarantined in our house for months (thanks for not being offended that I haven't contacted you in weeks...), everyone who covers us in healing prayer, the moments when we can feel those prayers doing their work and know that this too shall pass. 

So I do apologize if I sound like a broken record...It's just a season, one with more challenges than others, but soon we'll be on the other side and be blessed by the suffering that taught us how to better embrace joy. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Baby P #3: 17 weeks

Looks like I've been posting these about every 2 weeks. That's about as much as I have time for these days. Life is a whirlwind with 2 preschool-aged boys and constant sickness in the house (seriously, we are about to enter month 4 of illness, not cool winter, not cool). Anyway, the 2 week timing will work out well because in another 2 weeks is our big ultrasound! 

{blurry photo courtesy of Malakai}

How far along:  17 weeks

How big is baby: approximately the size of an onion, 5.1 inches, 5.9 ounces

What have you been up to: decluttering, wiping noses, sniffling, watching too much Disney Jr...
Maternity clothes:  a little bit of both. I haven't bothered to try on any of my pre-pregnancy pants for weeks now, and I'm starting to grow out of some of my favorite tops. The top pictured is not maternity though. yay!

Sleep: It seems I have an okay night's rest about every other day. Better than nothing!
Milestones: We went on what many in the world of expecting parents call a "baby moon": a little getaway with the spouse before baby arrives. I hope we get a chance to do it once more in the next 5 months. It was so relaxing!
Best Moment: time alone with Ben while we house sat and the GORGEOUS weather we had this last weekend. We were so busy I almost forgot that I'm sick + pregnant!
Worst Moment: waking with a tension headache last Tuesday morning. I went to the doctor today and have another sinus infection. joy...

Food cravings: more sweets than before, but still mostly savory foods. Pita bread with cream cheese + roast beef, fettucini alfredo, soups. 
Food aversions: fried or spicy foods, wheat bread.
Symptoms: heart burn is back but not too bad, yet. Sciatica- I'm waiting on a chiropractic referral to help relieve it. I thought it was too early to be sciatic pain by my OB assured me that with each pregnancy the weight is carried lower, which causes that pain. I can feel my hips out of alignment, I can't wait to get an adjustment!

Movement: I feel baby between once + a few times a day, sometimes every other day. 
Gender: hopefully we'll know soon!
What I’m looking forward to: obviously our ultrasound in 2 weeks! I'm also already looking forward to my baby shower, mostly getting together with friends + family, the pretty location, and the awesome food!
What I’m nervous about/praying for: health + wellness for all of us. This pregnancy has been very boring so far which I'm very thankful for because the rest of the life has been non-stop sickness drama!

What I miss: not dealing with heartburn or gagging when I make lunch for my kids. 
Next appointment: April 10th for the ultrasound. 
Weekly Wisdom: These words came at the perfect time for me, from the Facebook page of our pediatrician: 
Real life isn't perfect, and it's not supposed to be. Parents aren't perfect. Kids aren't perfect. Some days as a family are really tough. And that's okay. For today, accept yourself, your kids and your circumstances as they are. Hug each other and share a laugh. Perfection isn't reality. Measuring yourselves against that yardstick will only make you feel bad. Life's too short and precious for that!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

our IKEA haul

Well, we survived IKEA last weekend  2 weekends ago (I've had computer issues keeping me from posting this update until now).  On the way up with Ben's parents we were telling them that the stigma is that people get frustrated at IKEA and it puts a strain on relationships. We joked about stepping away from each other if the other couple needed space to have a discussion. I can see how it can be an overwhelming place, but if you go in with a positive outlook and with a goal it's so fun!

{we hit up Starbucks on our way out of Eugene}

When we arrived we started at the food court. I felt like the IKEA tour guide, Ben had been once with me years and years ago and Ron + Debbie had never been. I pointed everyone towards the flow of traffic to get our lunches and we ate a quick bite. 

Next we headed through the show room to browse. Debbie was able to see the Expedit bookshelves in person for a craft room project she's been planning out and Ron found a desk chair he had to have. Ben + I had a fairly long list, but we weren't planning on getting all of it. His parents ended up getting the tunnels for the boys to replace a teepee they had gifted them for Christmas that sadly kept falling apart. 

We were able to compare the bunk bed we thought we were going buy with others and ended up getting something completely different! It was nice to have Ron + Debbie there to bounce off ideas. Debbie pointed out that they'd outgrow the small one, which oddly enough I hadn't been thinking about. I was just focused on what would work for us NOW. If we had unlimited resources we'd get the small one now, then a bigger one later...but we don't. So we talked it over, looked at the small one, went back to the bigger one and decided to buy it. 

I tested out IKEA's registry app on my phone, it was fun to scan items and have them quickly appear on a registry. It was easy to use but it made an annoying ding sound every time, and it drained my phone battery pretty quickly. 

We made it through the showroom and the Children's section in about an hour, then headed down to the marketplace. Ben + I had skipped this entire portion of IKEA when we went for the first time. We thought that downstairs was all warehouse. I discovered the marketplace when I went with my girlfriends last November and was pretty excited to shop there with Ben. So many great things at low prices!

At one point Ben + I had a misunderstanding when I was asking him to grab something from one aisle to bring it to the next one so I could compare size. I turned to Debbie and asked her to excuse us for a moment (alluding to the joke we made earlier), and she thought I was serious! It was pretty funny. Not only were there no quarrels but we had a fantastic time. Ben + I surely did not take for granted the ability to shop kid-free!

We browsed here and there, made a few tiny impulse purchases and then got down to what was left on our list. We made it through in less than an hour and headed to the warehouse. When we found the bunk bed we weren't sure it would fit in Ron's Tahoe, but he thought if we folded down one side of the bench seats in the back we'd be ok.

{forever a kid at heart}

We grabbed it, Ron's chair and browed As-Is with no success. I was surprised that things were discounted very low, I'd rather pay a little more for a new and undamaged item in the rest of the store. Anyway, we checked out the food section, grabbed my mom some chocolate almond cake and then made our purchases. Aside from the beds, Ben + I spent just under $30! 

I'm not expert, this was only my 3rd time ever at IKEA but by the end of 3 hours, Ben + I had mastered a few short cuts to run back to find things rather quickly. We maneuvered through the streams of people (literally half of them pregnant women- not exaggeration) and got back to where we had left off in just minutes. 

Once we got to loading, things got pretty interesting. It took several tries to fit the bed frames in to the back of the Tahoe. They had to fold down the bigger side of the back so only one of us (me) could sit back there, so the other 3 had to squish up front...but they did it! 

When it was done, Ron slammed the back hatch closed...onto a can of Pepsi that exploded all over me. None of it got on him, or Ben- who was standing right next to me. I was covered head to toe. I screamed because the loud sound and gush in my face was rather startling and then I cracked up when I realized what had happened. I had an audience of about 20 or so shoppers coming out with their purchases. Talk about embarrassing. I managed to clean myself up back in the restrooms and not feel too sticky for the 2 hour ride home.

We stopped to drop off our 3 giant boxes for the bunk bed and our bag of stuff before going to pick up the boys. Ben + my brother put the bed together the following afternoon. Nothing like 3 ginormous boxes crowding your living space as motivation!

As you can see from the photos, the boys love the bunk bed. I had a few mini heart attacks at first when Des mastered climbing on his own. He fell from the bottom of the ladder once when he snuck in there and hasn't tried climbing it by himself since.

Malakai loved sleeping up there at first, but I think he misses our nightly 2 minute snuggles because he's been hesitant about it. Still, he falls asleep fast and stays asleep all night so far. Desmond has actually been sleeping better in his part of the bed than he was before. It's afforded us a lot of extra space in their room, which we still haven't done anything with. We're still deciding which pieces of furniture to keep/move/store in the playroom as we transition it to nursery.

We got a handful of small things as well. Mostly storage solutions...

We stocked up on kids' cutlery, which the boys use daily. The other brightly colored items are ice cube trays. I can see them being molds for other fun + crafty things as well. The roll of paper was meant for the boys' easel, I didn't measure first and it's just slightly too long. Sad day. Not pictured above are the awesome tunnels from Children's Ikea and alphabet crackers from the food section that Ron + Debbie bought the boys

We also got a "BYGEL" set, which is the vertical metal bar, the basket, hooks, and black cup. It will go up underneath the kitchen cabinets for extra storage. The black item at the bottom is a folded up under bed storage box from the SKUBB line, which is my favorite of their storage boxes, they are sturdy but cheaper than many of their other options and come in a lot of sizes + types. And of course, we bought another giant .50 IKEA bag, which has about 101 uses.

So, there you have it. What we didn't buy from my wish list I added to the registry app or have on my own personal wish list for gift ideas. I don't know that we'll officially use the IKEA registry when it comes to our baby shower, since it's so far away. However, we do have plenty of friends in Portland that might be able to use it, so you never know.

What's your favorite IKEA find? Do you have one nearby or do you have to plan a road trip to get there?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Welcome new readers + Freshly Picked Moccasins Winner!

I had intended to pick a winner of the Freshly Picked giveaway first thing this morning, but unfortunately I was busy with sick kiddos, once again. Both boys are struggling with ear infections (still), so we could use some (more) prayers!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

15 weeks, baby P #3

{Kai insists on posing with me for bump pics}

How far along:  15 weeks, 3 days

How big is baby: approximately the size of an orange now, 4.0in, 2.5 oz

What have you been up to: We are getting out of the house more. The boys are still on meds for ear infections, but no one is contagious so we can actually socialize!
Maternity clothes:  I was pretty happy to not be wearing any maternity clothes when taking these photos today. There are very few regular clothes I can still fit in. Most pants are too snug to be comfortable and most tops are too short now.  

Sleep: I've been sleeping okay, I wake twice a night to use the restroom and that's pretty obnoxious. 
Milestones: less nausea + heartburn lately, hoping it lasts because it has come back before.
Best Moment: We went to Ikea yesterday + surprised the boys some goodies (more on that later)
Worst Moment: headaches + backaches, I'm getting both fairly often.
Food cravings: soups, brie cheese, and these AMAZING brownies my friend Megan makes. They have rum in the icing but she made me some with rum flavoring. So thankful for my sweet friends who spoil me! 
Food aversions: wheat bread is the biggest culprit still. This morning the boys wanted toast for breakfast, Ben made it and the smell filled the room. I was miserable.
Symptoms: I'm at the end of a cold and the beginning of allergy season so I'm trying to get all those symptoms under control because they aggravate my heartburn + nausea that should REALLY be gone by now, please + thank you. 
Movement: nothing too consistent, but I feel the baby at least twice a day. Mostly when I'm finally able to sit still. 
Gender: we'll find out April 10th! Less than 4 weeks away!
What I’m looking forward to: It may be weird but I'll be glad when I've grown more to fit maternity clothes better. It's so frustrating to get dressed when regular clothes AND maternity clothes don't fit. Thanks to generous friends + family I have some clothes that I'm borrowing and were given to me that have helped. It seems most of what I wore previously is still rather large and some is worn out from frequent wear. 
What I’m nervous about/praying for: Malakai's chronic ear infections. He'd maybe get them once a year before, but he's on his 4th in a row now. This last time the meds healed the infected ear but the other one was infected when we went in for a check. It's so frustrating to see my sweet boy in pain and I'm really hoping to avoid more medicines and any interventions. We see his Dr. tomorrow afternoon and I'm praying this ear infection is healing up and that we can be done after these meds! He is also having some hearing loss and I'm praying hard that it isn't permanent. 
What I miss: I don't normally miss foods or drinks that I can't have while pregnant, but tonight we had baked brie and a nice white wine sounded so good!
Next appointment: This Wednesday for my 16 week check up, nothing too exciting. 
Weekly Wisdom: Take advantage of bursts of energy, and let your friends help you when they offer! It's humbling sometimes to accept help, but it's such a blessing!

Friday, March 14, 2014

decluttering progress

We've made quite a bit of progress on our decluttering journey since starting March 5th with the rest of the "40 Bags in 40 Days" crew. I've shared some before + afters on Instagram and Facebook as we went along. It's great motivation putting your messy house on display, and it's been encouraging to get cheers from friends along the way as I share the progress.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Ikea Wishlist...

This weekend we are going to Ikea....kid free! It's a small miracle that we worked it out, but the boys will hang out with my parents for the day while we ride up with Ben's parents for a day trip to Portland, just to go to Ikea. They've never been and the one time Ben and I went together year's ago we didn't even know there was a downstairs section besides the warehouse, so we only saw the showroom. I went in November during my girl's weekend, and have been wanting to go back with Ben to check out a few things ever since.

We've been building a list, and by "we" I mean me. Here are just a few of the things I want to check out. We may buy a handful of the cheaper items or we may just eat Swedish meatballs and browse. Either way, it's kind of fun to see what other people are shopping for sometimes, so I thought I'd share what's on my Ikea wish list.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Freshly Picked Moccasins: a feature, review, + GIVEAWAY! {CLOSED}

I've loved all of the amazing shops and individuals I've been able to feature over the years but this is the most exciting one yet! Freshly Picked Moccasins is HUGE and getting bigger by the minute. I love their start up story (which I'll share below) and have enjoyed following their success for a while now. I'm just tickled to be able to review their moccasins for you and to give a pair away!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Motivation to Declutter- 40 Bags in 40 Days

I came across Ann Marie Heasley's blog, White House Black Shutters last summer through Pinterest when she had started her "Summer Simplify" series. She shared inspiration for simplifying spaces around the home. I tackled quite a few areas and shared my success on Instagram along with her and other followers.

Now it's time for spring cleaning and our house (and garage!) could really use some decluttering and simplifying. Anne Marie came along again with 40 Bags in 40 Days and I was sold. Over the 40 days of lent you focus on areas that need to be decluttered and/or purged of the overflow. She even has a printable chart (see linked post above) to help you plan and keep track of your progress. I've got my whole house mapped out on one and am ready to start TOMORROW!

I chose fairly small areas and even broke some up into two days, for during the week. Saturdays are for bigger projects that Ben + I can take on together or one of us can spend time on while the other keeps track of the kiddos.

This is a layout of our teensie not even 900 square foot home to give you an idea of what we're working with here...

Monday, March 3, 2014

Kristi's Gender Reveal

I mentioned before when I made my pregnancy #3 announcement that Ben's sister, Kristi, is also expecting. 
{Shan 13 weeks-3rd pregnancy, Kristi 20 weeks-1st pregnancy}

She and her husband Nick went in for their 20 week ultrasound on Friday morning. They found out the gender of their first baby, but we all had to wait until that evening. We had a combination birthday party for Kristi + gender reveal. She made cupcakes and put colored icing inside. Needless to say, we all insisted on having dessert first.

That afternoon Ben + I had to take the boys in for ear checks. Malakai was still complaining of pain, even though he was a week into his latest antibiotic. He was also having throat pain and developed a new cough. Desmond had started rubbing his ears and while I was pretty sure he was getting his last 2 molars in, I wanted to make sure he too wasn't suffering an ear infection. 

Desmond checked out fine but Kai's left ear was still infected. So they gave us a stronger antibiotic and Ben went to go pick it up. I went straight to my in-laws where the party was happening and told everyone it would be a bit. Ben was 6th in line and was told it would be half an hour. Even though he checked back 15 minutes later and things did go a little faster, it was surely an eternity for Debbie, their mom. She was dying to know and kept dropping hints about ways she could find out sooner rather than later. 

Just before 6 Ben finally arrived and the tension was over. We all gathered around the table to bite into our open up our cupcakes to see if the inside would be pink or blue. The majority of the guesses were that they would be having a girl, but Kristi and I both said boy and we were right!

{Vanessa, Malakai, + Debbie discovering the blue filling}

I'm so excited to be an auntie for the first time come this July (Kristi is due the day after my due date with Kai, 3 days after his birthday). I can't wait to meet my little nephew! Congrats Nick + Kristi!

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