Thursday, May 29, 2014

moving slower

If you couldn't tell by the quiet here on my blog, I've been moving a lot slower these days. This applies to just about every aspect of my life and is largely due to my pregnancy (no puns intended). Between being tired + sick for so long in the beginning to now being so tired + sore I feel like I didn't get much of the "energetic" part of pregnancy. I have drive and motivation to do things, I want to do ALL THE THINGS, but I can't. I try anyway and end up miserable at the end of the day, and my husband isn't too happy with me for pushing it either. Most days I feel fine in the midst of activity, but oh how I pay for it later!

I've had a couple sessions of physical therapy and have already been able to tell the difference in my physical ability just by keeping up with the exercises and advice given to me. I'm really disciplining myself to get my stretches done, it helps that the boys love to join me. 

I have a blog post all written out for an update on our 40 Bags in 40 Days project, but editing the pictures has been slow going for me. It'll come soon. We've also taken on a couple big home improvement projects over Memorial Day weekend that I'll share soon after. 

Oh yeah, Mother's Day has come and gone as well. I was showered with gifts and given the gift of relaxation. Ben + the boys gifted me with an act of service which I loved because 1. it got something done and 2. it is teaching our boys how to love others with servants' hearts. They cleaned out our garden area, which was a tangle of weeds and filled a couple pots with dirt for me to plant my herbs. I won't be planting a full garden, just basil and cilantro this year. Overall I felt blessed to be a mother to my sweet boys and wife to my thoughtful husband. 

Slowly but surely I'll get some more exciting updates posted and maybe some more baby posts thrown in here and there. For now, Desmond is napping so I'm going to snuggle up next to Malakai and take a little rest myself. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Baby P #3: 24 weeks + some days

 {with Kristi at her shower this past weekend, 24 weeks + 2 days and 31 weeks}

How far along:  23 weeks + 4 days

How big is baby: comparable to a canteloup 

What have you been up to: baby showers + birthday parties and making gifts for all of the above. 
Maternity clothes: Yes. I'm borrowing from 5 different friends right now which is such a blessings. It's nice to have options and to actually feel like I have clothing that fits (shout out to having so many friends my same size!)

Sleep: I want more of it. A lot more. 
Milestones: people commenting on my size. oh joy. 

Best Moment: My sister-in-law's baby shower on Saturday. 
Worst Moment: aches + pains. My back is really acting up, but I did just get approved by my insurance for 8 sessions of physical therapy! 

Food cravings:  desserts + fruit. 
Food aversions: none recently. 
Symptoms: itchy stretching skin (coconut oil to the rescue), some heartburn creeping back in despite meds, and the aforementioned aches + pains. 

Movement: pretty regular, she's been getting the hiccups daily. 
Gender: girl!

What I’m looking forward to: a low key week after a pretty busy one. Planning + prepping to do some painting over the upcoming long weekend. 
What I’m nervous about/praying for: I'm a little bit nervous about physical therapy. I've done it before but not while pregnant and I just REALLY want it to work and FAST!

What I miss:  being able to go, go go without ending the day in pain

Next appointment: this week I go in for PT and my next OB visit is a few weeks away. 
Weekly Wisdom: embrace the changes your body goes through during pregnancy. They are necessary and temporary. 

Vanessa (soon to be sister-in-law), Debbie (my mother in law), + Kristi (sister-in-law)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Baby P #3: 23 weeks

{Kai has been enjoying taking my pictures lately}

How far along:  23 weeks + 1 day

How big is baby: comparable to a grapefruit, approx. 10.5-11.8 inches, 12.7-20.8 ounces

What have you been up to: crocheting + crafting. Planning my friend Lindsey's baby shower. 
Maternity clothes: Mostly yes. I have a few pre pregnancy items I can still wear, but I did just get a bunch more maternity to borrow which has been nice.  

Sleep: decent
Milestones: I've been getting a lot of comments on how pregnant I look. 

Best Moment: Talking with the boys about her arrival. We read the cutest book I snagged at the library called "Baby on the Way" by Dr. William Sears.  
Worst Moment: Getting frustrated with the boys ganging up on me and not listening. Mondays are always the hardest.  

Food cravings:  egg salad, soups, bread. 
Food aversions: none recently. 

Symptoms: Some shortness of breath. My hip/back are way out of whack and I was denied chiropractic by my insurance. I get to try physical therapy next week. I also randomly developed a blotchy red rash on my face, my primary physician thinks it's contact dermatitis but I have no idea what I could be reacting to. 

Movement: she moves quite regularly, I can't wait for Kai + Des to be able to feel and see it!

Gender: girl!
What I’m looking forward to: my sister's graduation tomorrow (she's getting her Masters!), getting our new dining set delivered (also tomorrow), and relaxing for Mother's Day this Sunday. Oh and my sister-in-law's shower the following weekend. 
What I’m nervous about/praying for: getting denied physical therapy. I just need to be able to function but often my back pain makes it very difficult to even move. I'm praying that I can get covered to go to PT and that it brings relief so I can feel normal again and not be so needy. 

What I miss:  having enough strength and energy to do day to day tasks and play with my kiddos. 

Next appointment: next week I'll see the physical therapist and my OB back to back. 
Weekly Wisdom: worry less, pray more.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Easter 2014

Easter usually happens for us in 2 parts, so we get to celebrate all weekend. It's a mix of rejoicing with our church and our families in different settings. 

The past few years on Saturday we've had a egg hunt for the boys and then brunch at Ben's parents' house with his siblings and my parents + siblings as well. Everyone gets a chance to see the little guys do their thing and then we all eat and fellowship. It's a great time and something I really enjoy every year. 

Egg hunt in Grandpa + Grandma's backyard

Opening their eggs and Easter "baskets" (book bags!) 

Usually we try to have the boys decorate eggs during the week before but we just didn't get to it this year, so we brought a kit with us and did it after brunch. It worked out okay but it was rather rushed and Kai didn't really seem to be in the mood. 

Sunday morning the boys woke up early and I was planning on sleeping in a bit until I realized their Easter baskets were set out for them to find. I popped up quick to snap a few pictures, but they were so fast I didn't get anything good. Shortly after we headed to an earlier service at church. This was our first Easter at our current church and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Afterwards we headed out to Florence where later that afternoon we would celebrate with my extended family at my Grandpa + Grandma's house. Prior to that though we met up with some friends at one of our favorite coffee shops since we don't see them nearly enough and any day now they are moving too far away. It was a nice visit, albeit quick. 

Later that afternoon we gathered at my grandparents' place to eat and watch even more kids hunt for eggs. The beach is only a couple blocks away from their house so we all walked down and had the egg hunt right on the beach. We added beanies and water shoes to the boys' Easter outfits, which I found hilariously adorable. 

For the most party I followed after Desmond and Ben kept an eye out for Malakai while they ran all over the place. Malakai took off with the bigger kids up the hill. I love that he's getting old enough for adventures like this. While Desmond was easier to follow, he had a harder time keeping his eggs in the basket. His method cracked me up, he would pick up an egg, open it and put the candy in his basket and put the egg back in the sand. Pretty smart, but I had to follow after grabbing all the empty eggs so his unsuspecting cousins didn't run along to grab the empties. 

They had a blast running around after all the eggs and playing in the sand at the same time. We got quite a bit of sand in our baskets, but thankfully most of their candy was wrapped. They also took about half the beach home with them in their shoes. I'm not the biggest fan of sand, but it was all worth it. 

Desmond enjoyed finding driftwood and "digging for treasure" with Malakai. I'm told in the picture below where my sister and Ben are laughing that Malakai handed Des an egg that was filled with sand. Brothers. 

We had neglected to get a family photo the day before so I'm thankful that my mom snapped this one on the beach, even though we are disheveled and mis-matched, it's a great memory. 

{April 20th, 2014}

We headed back up the house to "de-sand" and the boys got another set of Easter baskets from G'Pa + Mima as well as more treats from Great Grandpa Rob + Great Gram Rhea. We stayed to visit for a bit and then headed back home, tired and content. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Cold Brew Thai Tea or Coffee {and simple syrup} Recipe

I've said it once and I'll say it again, I love Thai iced tea! We hardly ever eat out, but when we have the treat of going out for Thai food I always get one. It goes perfectly with spicy food because of how sweet + creamy it is. I've always wanted to recreate this treat on my own but never found a tutorial easy enough for what I wanted. I didn't want to have to buy all the individual spices and prepare them, I wanted something in tea bag form or as close to it as possible.

A couple weeks ago I was browsing blogs in my feedly when I came across a recipe for blended Thai iced tea. The recommended a loose leaf Thai tea that I could order from Amazon, I had to have it! Ben ordered it for me and when it came I brewed it per the instructions as best I could. I brewed it hot at first and strained it through a coffee filter, then I tried making my own tea bags which worked great but was too time consuming for the amount of tea I wanted. Next I tried cold brew, which is how I make iced coffee at home. There are plenty of methods for cold brewing from what containers you use to how you filter it. I tend to use what I have on hand whenever possible, which is how I came up
with this method a couple years ago.

Cold Brewed Thai Tea, or Coffee 
(this will make a small batch, 2-3 servings)

What you'll need:
  • 1 large glass jar with lid
  • loose leaf tea or ground coffee
  • large container to filter the tea/coffee into (preferably with a spout)
  • mesh strainer++
  • a coffee filter++ (I use paper, but you could probably get the same results with reusable)
  • time + patience
Cold brew is a plan-ahead drink as it needs more time to "brew" 4 hours at least to overnight. I've never tried drinking it as soon as 4 hours though, I've always let it sit at least overnight. 

1st measure out your tea or coffee into your glass jar. About 4 tsp/cup for the Thai tea, use the same ratios you use for hot coffee for iced (I never measure, just pour). 

2nd Fill the rest of the jar with filtered water, add lid, turn over to mix and place in fridge for 4-8 hours. 

3rd- the next day pull your chilled jar out of the fridge to strain. Place the mesh strainer over your bowl and add the coffee filter. Pour the tea/coffee in slowly and let it drip into the bowl until you've filtered it all. 

4th. add 4 ice cubes to a tall glass, for Thai tea I put in a generous amount (probably 3 tablespoons) of homemade simple syrup (recipe below), you can easily add it to your liking at the end. Then I pour in 1/4 cup of half + half and fill the rest of the way with the tea. Less half and half for coffee. Cold brew is MUCH less bitter so if you aren't into super sweet drinks, you may not need sugar at all!

5th Rinse out your jar and place the excess back in the fridge for drink #2 or even 3.

++I've even made cold brew in our french press by pouring it into the press when it was done brewing in the fridge. This is helpful if you don't have a mesh strainer or coffee filters. I have not tried this method with tea yet, but now I might!

Homemade Simple Syrup, liquid sweetener

This is super easy, like whoa. It's even easier if you have a hot water dispenser. Most of you may already know how to do this but I'm adding it for those that may ask if I were to leave it out!...

What you'll need:
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
heat proof bowl (I use my pyrex measuring cup)
glass bottle 

This can be made at any ratio I just make it 2 cups at a time. As long as you make it 1:1 with the sugar and water it'll work fine. 

1st heat the water to just boiling (not necessary if you have a hot water dispenser, yay!)

2nd add the sugar to your heat proof bowl

3rd stir the hot water into the sugar continuously until clear, not cloudy. 

4th. Let mixture cool to room temperature. 

5th funnel into a bottle or jar of your choice (I reused a Torani syrup bottle)

Tah-dah! So easy and so nice for iced drinks. Enjoy!

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