Monday, April 28, 2014

Baby P #3: 21-22 Weeks

{I need to get some better pictures taken before this phase of pregnancy is over!}

How far along:  21 weeks, 4 days

How big is baby: comparable to a pomegranate, approx. 10.5 inches, 12.7 ounces

What have you been up to: Cleaning, organizing, and planning. 
Maternity clothes: In order to wear most of my non-maternity tops, I have to wear a maternity tank underneath to make it long enough. 

Sleep: decent
Milestones: We registered for our shower. I went CRAZY on the girls' clothes. I know registering for clothes isn't super necessary but now what we like is on there for the completion discount after all is said + done :) 

I also finished my first handmade item for baby recently...

Best Moment: Feeling my little girl move more + more. 

Worst Moment: Desmond has been on a nap strike the past 2 weeks. Thankfully he actually went down on his own today without my having to take him on a sleep drive. 

Food cravings:  chocolate. I'm not usually big on candy but I can't stay out of the Easter treats. 

Food aversions: anything spicy or greasy. 
Symptoms: I'm having a lot of growing pains. 

Movement: She's most active at night or first thing in the morning but she gives me little nudges here and there throughout the day as well. 
Gender: girl!
What I’m looking forward to: finalizing her name. 
What I’m nervous about/praying for: I'm praying for rest and for my boys to transition out of this difficult stage. I'd love for Des to go back to napping on a regular basis! 

What I miss:  being able to get down on the floor or pick up my kids with ease. 
Next appointment: in 2 more weeks. 
Weekly Wisdom: you can do more than you give yourself credit for!

Friday, April 25, 2014

coming up...

So "40 Bags in 40 Days" is technically over, but we are still catching up on some areas that we missed or need the extra attention. I actually printed a 2nd progress chart without the dates so I could plan those things out for the next month or so. I do plan on posting a follow up when it's all finished...well as finished as it gets anyway. Decluttering is never a "one and done" deal around here. I have a feeling it's that way for most people.

I also got some questions recently about my last post and some things I shared on instagram relating to cold brew Thai tea. I'll put together a post on my method of cold brewing, it's pretty simple but I do it slightly different than others so I'll share that soon!

I'm also due for a pregnancy update. I've been scouring the internet for adorable ideas for our sweet little girl's room and we are getting pretty close. We're planning on gray walls but there are hundreds of shades and tones of gray so that has been a process of it's own! We are heading out to register tomorrow, I'm so giddy to be able to shop in the girls' section!

I haven't updated on the boys and what they've been up to for far too long. I'll make sure to do that soon as well. They are busy as ever, which is primarily what keeps me from blogging. I wouldn't have it any other way. 

I have some other fun tutorials that I've been working on since Christmas (whoops!) that are on the artsy/crafty side. I've been dabbling in sewing again but I'm nowhere near having the ability to teach anyone else much more than threading the needle...with an automatic threader. 

Easter has come + gone and we had a very full and very fun weekend, so that'll hopefully make it's way onto the blog as well. 

I'll make sure to get this space updated on all those things when I find a free moment. 

Happy Friday! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

DIY disposable tea bags- a quick tutorial

A series of events brought me to finding myself in need for a good way to steep loose-leaf tea. Prior to discovering a Thai tea that I HAD to have (I LOVE Thai iced tea) we didn't keep loose-leaf tea in the house. We mostly drink coffee and buy bags of our favorite varieties. Thus, I don't have a tea strainer/diffuser/thingy for my newly acquired tea.

First, I brewed it per the recommendations by mixing the tea straight into the hot water and then filtering through a coffee filter in a mesh strainer. This is similar to how I finish making a cold brewed coffee. It worked okay but takes a while for just one cup. So I googled DIY tea strainer and found a few tutorials that I adapted to make my own tea bags. It's pretty quick and easy but I only had time today to make 4 of them. 

I had a few people ask about my method when I instagrammed the process earlier today so I took pictures and decided to share the process here. 

Items needed:
  • loose leaf tea (1 tsp per bag fits best)
  • round paper coffee filters 
  • scissors
  • cotton string/yarn 
  • stapler + staples

See below the photo for the steps....

  1. Take 1 coffee filter and cut into 2 rectangles by cutting in half and then cutting the rounded edges straight. 
  2. Fold in half "hamburger style" (anyone? anyone?...) to create a crease. Put 1/2 teaspoon tea on each side of this crease. 
  3. Fold the long edges over the tea.
  4. Then place your finger on the crease and bring the two ends together. 
  5. place the end of your string at the top and fold one corner over, then place the other end of string and fold the other corner over it- creating a point. 
  6. Fold the point over then bring the string up and staple the string to the tea bag securing it shut. 
Don't forget to find a little helper to untie your moccasins and drive trucks around the's crucial to the process...

{oh, hello to baby sister too}

I brewed mine and then put it on ice. I'm wondering now if I could cold brew this like my coffee. I'm just following the directions the Thai tea came with...

Tah-dah! Quick and easy, but also pretty messy (only because I tried putting in too much tea the first time.). Enjoy! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

20 week ultrasound + gender reveal...

Today has been a whirlwind! I headed out just after noon to meet Ben, his mom, my mom and brother at my doctor's office for our big ultrasound! When Ben walked in he didn't look so great and he let me know he wasn't feeling well. Not great news 4 days after Malakai had a stomach bug, but he hung on.

Malakai + Desmond came back with us for the beginning of the appointment. Malakai was the most excited, he had a lot of questions and his favorite part was seeing the baby move. Almost immediately we saw the gender of our baby. I knew it before the tech said a word. She told us what she thought but said she would get a better look before really confirming it. 

Once the boys were more interested in the toy in the room than the ultrasound Ben took them to the waiting room to hang out with the grandmas + Cody for the rest of the appointment. After a few minutes, she confirmed the gender and we are expecting a baby girl!!! 

{that's my DAUGHTER!}

We are a little in shock, but beyond thrilled to have a daughter. We got a ton of photos of our sweet little girl and even a few videos. Our tech was so great, we really enjoyed the entire experience (except the part where Ben felt sick). 

After the appointment we went into the waiting room and Ben asked the boys if they thought it was a boy or a girl. Desmond was more interested in the water dispenser, but Kai answered girl (as he has from the very start) and Ben told him "you're right!" he jumped up and down and did a little fist pump. He hugged my belly, he is so thrilled to have a little sister. My mom and + Ben's mom hugged each other with excitement, this will be the first grand daughter for both of them. 

Poor Ben helped his mom get the boys out to the van and she took them to her house while I waited for my OB appointment. He went straight home, he was feeling so badly. My mom + brother waited with me for a bit while I texted + called family to tell them the good news and then I went back for my appointment. It was pretty quick, just some vitals and a chat with the nurse and my doctor about the ultrasound. Everything looks great, healthy baby + mama! She is measuring a few days small but not enough to make any changes. At this point she'd have to measure 2 weeks off to change her due date. 

After my appointments the boys and I hung out at their Grandma's house where they invited us to have a celebration dinner. Sadly, Ben was so sick that he couldn't come. We still had dinner but agreed to postpone the celebration part to when everyone could be there, especially daddy! 

{26 weeks + 2 days and 19 weeks + 4 days}

As I've mentioned before, my sister-in-law Kristi is expecting a baby boy in July. I love that coincidentally she was wearing blue and I wore pink today!

It's a bit surreal to think I won't be quite so drastically outnumbered. I'm just so elated and surprised. Thank you all for your congrats on facebook, and your patience as our odd day unfolded. Please pray for Ben as he's still very sick and for me to not get what has been making it's way through our family. 

As I mentioned on facebook earlier today, we don't announce the baby's name until they are born. We don't have a name yet, we have a very long list of girl's names so it may take us a while to narrow it down! We love having something stay a "surprise" for the day baby is born. It'll be harder to keep a secret this time around with a older kids in the house, but we'll do our best! 

And now I'm off to rummage through baby clothes!...

Friday, April 11, 2014

sunny days

It has been a gorgeous week of sunny days around here. We've been limited in our enjoyment of it, but have been out in the spring weather when we could. Desmond is on a nap strike so I decided to wear them out earlier in the week and we went for a walk to the park in the mid afternoon. I got some fun pictures and had some sweet conversations. 

Desmond has been narrating everything he sees, he will ask some questions but mostly he tells you what he thinks about the world. Malakai still asks a million questions a day, I love it (most of the time). As we walked by a house with freshly cut grass and clippings on the sidewalk you could smell it in the air and Kai said "mama...I smell green beans" in a disgusted voice. I try not to laugh at him when he says things that strike me as funny, but it's so hard sometimes. I explained to him that it was the grass clippings, but he insisted it smelled of green beans. 

Malakai looks so big to me, walking around without someone holding his hand (until we come to a street of course, no one lecture me please). 

Kai got ahead of us once we were on the path to the park, Des had to catch up with him and I felt super slow lagging behind them. They did wait up for me when they got to the park, how nice. 

{not quite heavy enough to teeter totter on their own}

They climbed around on the play structure and went down the slides a few times as usual. It amazes me how independent Des is compared to the last time we played at the park on a regular basis (early fall). He's all over the place and I'm not too worried about him stepping off of ledges to nowhere. 

I always suggest they run up the hill when I want to wear them out and head home soon. It's their favorite part of this park. Kai took off and Des ran after him...

This is the only photo in this post that I edited, because I wanted to see the joy on their faces but they were a bit backlit. However, it doesn't post large enough here to see. Click through and you may be able to view it bigger. Such happy kids!

At the top of the hill they discovered a patch of dandelions with a cucumber beetle in it and they had to investigate. 

I suggested we go on a walk before heading home but Des was breathing hard after the hill so we found a picnic table to take a rest but instead they both picked me flowers. 

{I came home with handful of daisy and dandelion tops}

On our walk Malakai declared that white trees are made of paper...I love the way his mind works...

We walked a few blocks away before Kai declared he wanted to go home, so we turned around and  headed back. This was the first time that they've both walked the whole way to and from the park. In the past Des has gotten too tired and needed to be carried back or we've had the wagon. They were pretty exhausted so we took a rest when we got home and early bed time went very smoothly. 

Des is still on a nap strike so I'm thinking with this pretty weather (if it lasts) I need to get them out of the house in the mornings to wear them out in hopes he'll actually go back to nap. Mama needs a break!

I can't wait for this weekend, while I have a lot of decluttering to do I plan to spend some time outside with my guys! 

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Baby P #3: 19 weeks

If you follow me on social media, you might already know the latest, but for those of you that just read updates here...our ultrasound was supposed to be this morning but was cancelled. That was the 2nd rotten thing to happen today. The 1st thing was that Malakai woke up hysterical at 4am and started throwing up shortly after for the next 3 hours (Des had been sick a few days earlier, we thought it was a food reaction, but clearly it was a stomach virus). I've never seen Malakai that sick, it was so sad. Ben + I discussed what we should do about our appointment and decided to ask his mom to still watch the boys, but at our place. She agreed and was about to head over, but we got a call from my OB's office saying that they had a tech call in sick and they might have another one and they could possibly get me in later this morning, but they would call me back to let us know... 

I was ready for whatever needed to happen. I thought worse case scenario, we'd get in tomorrow. Sadly there were no openings at any of their imaging offices until Monday afternoon. We were bummed, but it turned out to be better this way. Our original plan was for Malakai + Desmond to come to part of the ultrasound and then wait with his Grandma + Mima in the waiting room. With Kai sick that wouldn't have happened. God knows best, and I feel fine about the whole thing knowing the boys will likely still be able to come. I went from having 3 appointments today (including dental work) to none, but with my boy sick there is nowhere I'd rather be than taking care of him. 

We did really need groceries though, so Grandma still came over so I could get some shopping done. She generously handed my her Starbucks card to get myself a little treat while I was out, which was a definite "pick me up". I had my first "stranger comment" at the grocery store while bagging my groceries next to another mom and her boys she asked when I was due. She then asked if I knew boy or girl yet and I told her about this morning's cancellation. She was so sweet and sincerely bummed for me, it was an unexpected blessing to have a stranger be so concerned I truly felt God's love through her. We parted ways but after she left the next customer noticed her little boy had left his toy car, I offered to run it out since I was heading to my car but it's a BIG parking lot. I looked around for a while, then loaded my groceries and tried driving to find her and I did! I honked at her and waved the car out my window and she stopped and we met outside our cars, she was so thankful- I was just happy to return her kindness. It's funny how being on the giving end of a blessing can turn around a crummy day just as much as being on the receiving end. 

I picked up some essentials and found some goodies for the boys' Easter baskets and decor for Malakai's birthday party along the way. I also scored some coloring books to give the boys when I got home, they were so excited. When I got home Malakai assured me that he was "all the way better", now my biggest challenge is explaining to him that he can't eat for a while...

{this kid loves selfies}

Here is the latest on Baby P...

How far along:  19 weeks

How big is baby: comparable to a mango, approximately 6 inches long, 8.5 ounces

What have you been up to: getting everyone better, then taking care of sickies again...hope there's an end to this cycle. Regardless we have been enjoying the sunny spring weather!
Maternity clothes: I just went through another round of putting away clothes that don't fit and pulling out more maternity clothes. I'm running out of places to store my pre-pregnancy clothes!

{another photo by Kai}

Sleep: sporadic
Milestones: Ben felt baby move at 17 weeks, just after I posted the last update. 

Best Moment: how excited our friends + family are to find out more about our new little baby. It's fun to have so many people share in our anticipation! 
Worst Moment: Malakai + Desmond having a stomach virus

Food cravings:  pastries, specifically donuts. 
Food aversions: not as many as before, but I still avoid spicy and acidic foods due to heartburn. 
Symptoms: I went to the chiropractor earlier in the week and what I thought was sciatic pain is actually my hamstring, which explains why all the stretches I'd been doing weren't helping. He did an adjustment and it felt somewhat better, I'm trying some new stretches to get some relief. 

Movement: Baby started moving a lot more and for longer last night + earlier this morning. 
Gender: still a mystery!
What I’m looking forward to: our ultrasound, still
What I’m nervous about/praying for: I'm not nervous about anything, just praying for a healthy baby!

What I miss:  my appointment. haha, just kidding. I just miss having a healthy family honestly!
Next appointment: Monday's ultrasound
Weekly Wisdom: go with the flow, be flexible and let God bless you through the unexpected. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cloth Diapering- a year later

It has been a year since we started our cloth diapering journey and I'm still just as happy with it as when we first started. It has been such a money saver and I've learned so much along the way. I've been happily sharing my experience with other parents and totally understand the enthusiasm my friends who started before me had for sharing with me when I was new at it.

I posted a few times when we first started but haven't said much since. I've compiled my posts in a page with some info about my research and our journey to converting from disposables to cloth. Just click on the Cloth Diapering tab above to access it.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Boy or Girl?

There has been a lot of "hype" about the gender of our 3rd child as it is our plan to only have 3 children, and because we already have 2 boys. The stakes seem higher now that my sister in law knows she's having a boy. If we have a girl she would be the 1st granddaughter on both sides.

I've recently found myself actually stressing out about our upcoming ultrasound (6 days away) and finally finding out the gender.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

but wait...there's more!

If I believed in "jinxes" I would say that I jinxed myself/my family by posting about our recent ailments. Perhaps it could really be attributed to my claiming God's power over our circumstances and the enemy not liking it...well, I still feel God's hand over us despite more injury.

Yesterday I woke feeling better, but still sluggish. I knew I didn't have the energy (especially since I hadn't eaten all day prior) or will power to get the boys dressed and out the door for my Bible study. I was worried that when we got there I'd end up getting sick again and nobody wants that to happen in public! Anyway, we did end up driving down the block (boys in their pi's) to my neighborhood friend Amy's house. It was a really nice break actually, the boys played so nice together for quite a while. 

Anyway, at one point Des was in my lap and I was touching his hair and felt a weird hard spot. I looked at it and he had a lot of dried blood caked in his hair! He wouldn't let me clean it and was acting fine (and rather energetic) as usual so I decided to wait til we got home. Later I was able to clean it better and when I got the hair off the cut I could see how bad it was, and it wasn't pretty. 

The night before Desmond and Malakai had been wrestling and Kai was on top of Des at one point on our laminate floors. Des fell back and his his head from less than a foot off the ground. From where I was it looked like he just hit the floor. Looking back he was way too upset for what I thought had happened. He was in front of our entertainment center, so he must have caught his head on the corner. Somehow between then and the hour before putting him to bed we didn't notice it. His hair must have hid it or it healed over and then reopened in his sleep and his hair stuck to it. Either way, Ben + I felt like terrible parents for not realizing he was hurt! 

I called the doctor and they couldn't figure out just over the phone if he would need stitches. Since it bled again after I got the hair off of it, they thought he should be seen. I got in on a cancellation that afternoon and headed over, but by then it had dried up again and stopped bleeding. Thankfully he didn't need any stitches and they barely touched it (I was prepared for the worst- having to restrain him for stitches). I did however have to also explain the giant gash in his tongue and how it was from a separate incident on the same day. Kiddo had a rough one, mama too. It was embarrassing, but I'm assuring myself injuries like this are normal from rowdy boys of this age and I need to not beat myself up over it. 

He's so resilient, all we need to do is not get it wet so it will heal and let him be. He  is acting completely normal, just as rambunctious as ever. 

I've got new meds that aren't as strong, but will hopefully rid me of this sinus infection for good so I can move on and we can hopefully all be healthy for a while. Now- to break up the boys from hitting each other before someone gets hurt...again. 
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