Monday, June 23, 2014

Baby P #3: 29-ish weeks

{just before my shower on Sunday, more on that to come!}

How far along:  29 weeks, 4 days

How big is baby: this week's food is an acorn squash, 15.2 -16.7 inches, 2.5-3.8lbs

What have you been up to: sorting through and finding places for all our amazing gifts from the shower that was thrown for us this past weekend. 
Maternity clothes: yes, I've already grown out of some!

Sleep: decent.
Milestones: nothing too notable related to baby's growth. 

Best Moment:  I have to say the baby shower, it was wonderful! I will post all the details as soon as I can. 
Worst Moment: back pains were not so great last week, but they've been better this week. I'll soon be rocking a very fashionable support belt due to my PT's recommendation. 

Food cravings:  quiche. I've been wanting it for so long and finally got some this weekend!
Food aversions: same as usual, nothing spicy or greasy. 
Symptoms: near constant heartburn again, back aches, and some leg cramps. 

Movement: little feet in my ribs every time I sit. She also has started wedging herself into my hip area on occasion and it's VERY uncomfortable. Today Malakai saw my belly ripple with movements from across the room, he was surprised and thrilled.
Gender: girl!
What I’m looking forward to: setting up the nursery.

What I’m nervous about/praying for: for my back pain to resolve or at least be more manageable over the next 4 weeks that I have left of PT. 

What I miss: being able to bend down or sit on the floor without struggling, being able to talk without losing my breath. 

Next appointment: beginning of next month.

Weekly Wisdom: Let yourself be pampered at your shower. I'm such a "doer" that the gals hosting had to keep telling me no when I tried to help set up or clean up. I couldn't help but want to be useful!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Father's Day Weekend...

We had the blessing of a Ben being home for 3 days over the past weekend, which was such a treat for Father's Day. We had a great time and enjoyed having daddy home for more days, but it was also a very strange weekend.

This past week I came down with a sudden and fairly uncomfortable infection on my mouth. I will spare details, but it was the first time I ever had anything like this happen and I will be thrilled if it's the last. My Dr concluded that it's another thing to blame on my immune system being weakened during pregnancy. For a whole day I felt like Angelina Jolie, and not in a good way. It's still uncomfortable, but finally healing up a week later. So we started off the weekend with that weirdness. 

Also for the past week, Desmond has been on singulair for asthma related to seasonal allergies. If you  aren't familiar, Eugene had the highest pollen count in the nation over the last couple week. Grass pollen peaked over 700 last I saw. We were all suffering but Des and I took a big hit. I had a doozy of a sinus headache and he was wheezing. The meds seemed to help a few days in but his mood changed. I didn't make the correlation until Friday night when I remember a conversation about allergy medications and hyper activity I had with some other moms recently. I googled, and then I grabbed the insert from his medicine and sure enough mood changes can be a side effect and a reason to stop the medicine. The biggest issue for us was aggression and sleeplessness. We'll see if things change after some time off of it. 

On Friday, earlier in the afternoon Ben had the boys outside in the culdesac. He had finished power washing the house (it looks brand new!) and I had just returned from a hair cut, it was such a nice day. Malakai was running and went to jump up onto the sidewalk but missed and kicked the curb, knocking his shin into the edge of it. He didn't cry but he wasn't happy about it. He yelled and complained and wanted to go inside. He wouldn't put weight on it for over an hour and a half. I spoke with triage at his pediatrician who recommended we have him seen. Unfortunately it was the end of the day Friday and they had no appointments open so we'd have to go to urgent care. Daddy took him and I was left with Desmond bouncing off the walls.

After 2 hours of waiting in the most boring place on the planet and finally an x-ray it turns out Malakai had just badly bruised his shin. He continued to limp that night and into the next day, so I'm glad we took him in so we weren't continually wondering if we should have him examined. 

Saturday started out slowly as we didn't have any to-do's or obligations until a graduation party at noon. After which we came home for some downtime and then headed out to visit Ben's parents at the boys' request. They had a sweet father's day gift for Ben (we have yet to give Grandpa his because it was misplaced...) and we stayed for dinner.

On our way home we took a longer route because Des was dozing off and with all his sleeplessness we wanted to take the easy way out. As rounded a corner we've taken a million time our van thumped and there was a terrible sound just outside the back passenger side. Ben thought some jam that his parents had given us might have tipped over and hit something but it was on my side so I heard and felt it more and knew something worse had happened. He pulled over and got out to find we had a flat tire. He ran back and found what had caused the problem...

We had driven over top of it (not seeing it) and it hit the underside of the passenger side sliding door and then slashed the tire. We were so close that we were able to hobble home. Thankfully Des slept through the whole thing so I got Kai to bed while Ben worked on putting the spare on. Meanwhile his parents came over to drop off their bigger vehicle for us to borrow until we figured out what to do with the van come Monday when our insurance offices would be open. The one night the boys were to bed early and Ben spent most of it changing the silly tire. 

Sunday morning came and the boys were being CRAZY! Just unruly and disobedient. We all have those days, but I was so discouraged that it was happening on Father's Day after the way our weekend had already gone. Thankfully Ben was able to stay positive and linger on the good moments we had instead of the rotten. They were sweet when it came time to give Ben his gifts that we all made.

{Kai + Des are both looking AND smiling at the camera...miracle!}

That morning both boys would "move up" in their Kid's church classes. Desmond was promoted from nursery to his first pre-school class and Malakai went from pres-school to Kindergarten! It was so odd to almost start over from what had been our normal routine over the past year, dropping them off at the same classes with the same people every week. Thankfully they were both super excited to go to their new classes and they did great! 

After church and lunch I made sure Ben got a nap so he could have some sort of Father's Day treat (we never have enough time to get ready for church AND make a special breakfast on Sundays). That evening we went out to my parents' house for a nice dinner. My mom made some wonderful food! Unfortunately Desmond came unglued and was really hard to get settled down. We were both exhausted and I had another odd rash, this time on my hands (just when the one on my mouth was clearing up).

Monday I called and got an appointment to get my hand checked out. I bandaged it all up in fear that it was the same thing that I'd had on my lips, which was contagious for the first 24 hours. I got the boys ready to head out the door to take Kai to his first week of Vacation Bible School. My doctor called and asked if I could come in "right now" and I told him I had to drop off my son somewhere and I could get there ASAP after that. Drop off took a bit, this was out first experience with dropping off at an unfamiliar place. I struggled with it just as much as Malakai did. It wasn't that he didn't want to stay, I wouldn't have forced him to, but that he was being painfully shy and his nervousness was coming out in defiance. He didn't want to be outside (where all the kids were gathered by age), he didn't want to wear his name tag, etc.

 After a few attempts I finally got a peaceful goodbye but was a little late to the doctor. This meant that I actually had to wait an extra hour until my original appointment time. If someone would have told me that would be the case, I would have gone home since we live literally 2 minutes down the street. Keeping Desmond preoccupied anywhere these days is excruciating but a waiting room and then exam room was near unbearable. I finally broke out  my phone for Des to play a game when my doctor came in so I could focus. Thankfully the news was good and my rash was not bacterial, but an allergic reaction of some sort. It's not contagious and should go away with time and be relieved with topical benadryl and cold compress.

Monday night was another rough one for Desmond, it took an hour for him to settle down. He has been off the singulair for 3 nights so I'm hoping it's out of his system and tonight will be quieter, especially for Ben's sake.

Here we are ending our Tuesday. This morning the goodbye at VBS was still hard (for me), it was much smoother. I told Ben it's hard to leave part of your heart in an unfamiliar place. It also boils down to my being more sensitive than usual during pregnancy and that I'm highly empathetic, so I kept worrying about how he might be feeling.

I had the first session of a summer Bible study at church so Des got to play in the nursery and I got some downtime. We grabbed a few groceries and picked up Malakai. Nap went smoothly, I even got to snooze for a little while and while I've not being feeling too great (indigestion every time I eat!) the evening has been fairly productive. So I think our "bad luck" is wearing down and hopefully we can get our house put back together in time for family to visit this weekend!

Monday, June 9, 2014

27 weeks, then + now

I love to compare + contrast...not in the unhealthy way that the internet has been abuzz about lately. I do my best to not compare myself or my children to other people. What I do like to compare is what my kids looked like at the same ages, what they look like compared to Ben + I as babies/kids,  and what I looked like with different pregnancies. I find it interesting and so here is a comparison with some very "dated" photos of my 3 pregnancies at about 27 weeks...

Ben + I in 2009 expecting Malakai, Ben, Malakai + I in 2011 expecting Desmond, and me last week in the newly painted nursery expecting our baby girl. 

These aren't perfect comparisons where I managed to somehow wear the same thing (although I do still have that dress and that top), nor am I standing in the same way or in a similar place, but it's fun to look back and see how I was carrying differently at this point 5 and 3 years ago. 

I'm so curious to see how little sister looks compared to her brothers. When Desmond was born he looked so different than Malakai and while I still see a lot of differences in them they do look alike. I'm overdue to do a comparison of Desmond to how Malakai looked at his age, but I still plan on posting that soon. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Baby P #3: 27 weeks

How far along:  27 weeks, 1 day

How big is baby: comparable to a rutabaga...I don't even know what that is but apparently it's approximately 13.6-14.8 inches and 1.5-2.2lbs

What have you been up to: projects, projects, projects. We've painted the house, I threw a baby shower for one of my bests, and I did some decorating and lots of cleaning. 
Maternity clothes: yeah yeah. maxi skirts are my favorite right now. 

Sleep: odd. some nights are great, others are difficult but I've definitely crossed into the weird dreams stage. 
Milestones: 3rd trimester, just 9-13 weeks to go!

Best Moment:  seeing my lovely friend Lindsey and her adorable first baby bump, and showering her with love and gifts to welcome her baby girl. 
Worst Moment: lots of parenting challenges, I blame sick and allergy ridden kiddos. For those of you who don't know, we live in the allergy capitol...literally. 

Food cravings:  desserts, all the desserts. I've been brushing my teeth right after dinner as motivation to not eat dessert, ha!
Food aversions: heartburn is still keeping me away from anything even mildly spicy or fried. Although, I've not really a fan of fried foods anyway. 
Symptoms: aches and pains that come with a growing belly and a weak back. I'm so thankful for physical therapy. I already feel like I'm on my way to being stronger for this labor + delivery. Allergies (hay fever) are far worse while pregnant, and heartburn is coming back with a vengeance. 

Movement: a lot more big ones, and she's moving more often. She used to only move when I'd sit or lay down but she's been bopping around in there while I've been on the go the last week. I love it. 
Gender: girl!
What I’m looking forward to: my friends are throwing me a baby shower later this month and I'm so excited to see so many family and friends!

What I’m nervous about/praying for: I'm not nervous about child birth but I'm definitely praying for it to go smoothly. 

What I miss: I found myself missing cocktails the other day, silly Pinterest with all your summer drinks! We rarely even drink, especially cocktails, but man they looked good!

Next appointment: next week for glucose blood draw, rhogam shot and whooping cough vaccine. joyous occasion indeed. 
Weekly Wisdom: don't forget about your ab muscles. That comes from my Physical Therapist. I've found my back is becoming stronger as I learn to focus my stretches and exercises and a big part of that is flexing ab muscles instead of ignoring them. 

Here are the boys joining in on our photoshoot...


{it's blurry, but I love this picture of Kai. 
He's so sweetly disappointed
 about not getting to use the camera}

Monday, June 2, 2014

40 bags in 40 days: a long overdue recap

During the 40 days leading up to Easter we chose to participate in a decluttering challenge called "40 Bags in 40 Days" lead by Ann Marie who blogs over at White House Black Shutters, one of my favorite blogs these days. It wasn't so much about getting to 40 bags as it was about being motivated to rid your space of clutter and be happy with your home and the belongings you choose to keep in it. I really enjoyed it and am so thankful for the continual motivation it has given me to keep our home free of "junk" that clutters our physical spaces.

In my initial post I shared our current pictures which will stand as the "before" pictures to the following "afters". Although, for us this is an on going challenge in some spaces more than others. If you'd like to check out the progress along the way, you can follow my instagram account or look up #bngblogdeclutters on instagram, twitter, and Facebook

Being pregnant made the decluttering even more challenging. Some days I was too sick, some days our entire family was too sick. Other days I was just tired, but I'm happy with our progress and how far we've come. 

I can honestly say there is only 1 area that is still in need of some big decluttering, the kitchen. I decluttered the surfaces and a few small drawers during the challenge and a few more recently. However, due to the size of our kitchen it is a huge challenge to even have the floor or counter space to empty cupboards to declutter while entertaining children. So we are saving that project for a time when we are kid-free. It's not even something I could do on my own if Ben were to have the kids for example because I cannot safely reach the top shelves or lift some things that would need moved. All that to say, we will get to it in the future but it's not even messy enough (because it's too small to be) to be too worried about it. 

Here is a reminder of what our house layout looks like...

Our main living space in the back of the house is almost always free of clutter so there wasn't much to be done there. I have however, started a new rule for the kids both for decluttering reasons and for my own safety- all toys are to stay in the playroom or the hallway just outside of it (because it's wood floor where they like to race their cars). This minimizes clutter but also keeps the danger-zones down to a minimum. Last pregnancy I had a not-so-fun run in with a toy on the floor, so I've been extra careful about avoiding silly accidents like that.

This is what that space looked like after decluttering back in April. We have since updated our dining set, garbage can and paint in this room. I will post an update on that and the nursery when they are complete.

Currently the garage is in disarray yet again because it's our "catch-all" space when we've got big projects going on. Over the long weekend we painted the living room, hallway and the playroom that will be little sister's nursery. Furniture was displaced to the garage for the most part and the work station for paint supplies was set up out there. Pictured below is a before decluttering and after decluttering (before painting mess). Most of our work here was purging toys, clearing off the work bench and rearranging to make zones for things. Separate spaces for toys, tools, laundry, pantry items, overflow shoes, and craft supplies. We still have some organizing to do, which will mostly be taken care of once we get some shelving up. Ben is planning on building this shelf for the toy storage bins.

The boys' room got a big change when we got them bunk beds at Ikea in March. It was the ONLY way to fit 2 twin sized beds in their shared room. It's been a roller coaster of a transition, but they love it and the space it saves is amazing. We're also in the process of repurposing their closet which mostly holds Ben's music equipment by moving that out and making space for the extra chairs to our new dining room set, which are taking up too much room in the garage. Plus I don't like the idea of them being exposed to extreme temperatures and our projects as they go on out there. This room currently has no toys or books, it's just for sleeping and getting dressed because Desmond can't handle nap time if there are toys to be had. He can barely be kept from climbing all over the beds! This will change as he grows older and as we need to move the toys from the playroom/nursery to their room.

The playroom/nursery got a pretty major declutter, and now that it has been painted will be completely rearranged. This will involve taking the desk out and either selling it or storing it at my in-laws. The closet here houses all the kids' hanging clothes, baby stuff up on the shelf, baby blankets, and items that they have yet to grow into or have grown out of in a dresser. The dresser also doubles as child-proofing for the entrance to our crawl space which is in the floor of this closet.

{I'm already so much happier with this room just after painting and removing the textured ceiling!}

The front living area which we just call "the front room" is more of an adult space and a major blind spot from where we spend most of our time, so we have a baby gate up at the start of the hallway to this room to keep it limited access. Malakai can open the gate but he knows not to without permission. Here we have our desk and computer, a piano, a sitting area, my sewing/craft table, preschool supplies and more. The coat closet also houses craft supplies and gift wrapping in addition to the current seasons jackets, hats, scarves, etc.

The desk got a major overhaul when I finally went through our file system. I also put some little used files that we still need to keep around in a file cabinet in the garage that we acquired from my in-laws (thanks guys!) which made room in the drawers to actually access the files we need to use on a more regular basis. I purged a LOT of kids' artwork but also kept a lot, reorganizing it by school/church/etc. I also removed a lot of stuff from the top of the desk to give us more work space.

My craft cabinet got emptied out and rearranged. I do still have crafting supplies all over the place, mine and the kids' but they make more sense now rather than a little bit of this and that all over there are kid craft storage areas and then my craft and sewing storage based on material and need. Some of it is in bins underneath the oversized chair (which I love, but most people don't).

I boxed up a lot of books from the shelf, things we want to keep but don't need to display. I also got rid of some and did away with some knick knacks and picture frames. In doing so I tried to make this room a bit more kid friendly so as Desmond grows older he can come in here without being a hazard to himself or our stuff. This will also help if we need to move our preschool homeschooling back out here once the baby's room is in use for little sister.

In our room (which I haven't taken progress pictures of yet) we started by clearing out everything underneath the bed. Clothing has been a big challenge because while pregnant I'm constantly reevaluating my wardrobe based on what no longer fits (so it needs stored), what does fit (so it's in the closet or dresser) and what will likely fit as baby + I grow (in an underbed box). It's an on going process, but I did get rid of a lot of non-maternity clothing that I hadn't worn in ages. Ben also got rid of a lot of clothing and shoes so that helped free up space in our closet. The shelf above the hanging area in our closet has always been difficult for me because I can barely reach it. I toss things up there (we had stored anything from bedding to sweaters there) and it just became a heaping mess. Ben cleaned it out and now half of it is for clothes I've "outgrown" and hooded sweatshirts/other things too large for the dresser or hanging and the other half is our bedding.

Our dresser has more space thanks to purging things and I cleaned up the area next to my bed where the yarn had been been taking over from half done crochet projects. I also have a vanity in this room which I use for some clothing storage but mostly cosmetics, hair products + accesories as well as belts, jewelry and a few keepsakes (my sad and dusty wedding bouquet being one). This needed major decluttering and dusting which took a while but it is so much more useful now that it's done. I do my hair and makeup here rather than our one tiny bathroom.

Speaking of, we did a lot of purging of items in the bathroom as well. Expired vitamins, medications, lotions and shampoos we weren't using, etc. It's not exciting enough to post pictures of, but it's nice to have the space. We also got a new shower curtain with a see-through panel at the top that lets more light in and makes the room feel a bit bigger.

So there is our progress in an attempt to declutter and simplify the way we live. It has been a much longer process than just the 40 days, but getting organized and serious about it over that time really created new habits in us that will help us to live with less clutter, which is essential in a house this size and our growing family!

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