I Haven’t Forgotten

Hi Sweet Baby,

I bet you think I’ve forgotten you, haven’t you?  I promise you that I haven’t. 

I can see why you would maybe think that – your pregnancy has looked so different than the ones with your brothers did in many ways.  Many life changes have taken place during the last 7-8 months – exactly as long as I’ve carried you so far.  One change being that Daddy and I bought our first house together a little over a month ago.  While we’ve been very busy making our house a home before you come to join us, I still haven’t forgotten. 

In the last week, I’ve been ultra-aware of you and your growth.  When we first moved in (and before), I was a packing/box-schlepping machine.  Your pregnancy hardly affected my ability to work even after we moved in and started remodeling.  I spent multiple 12 hour days working hard at the house.  But this last week?  I feel bigger.  I feel that you are bigger.  While on bended knee painting the trim in the house, I feel you – I feel how low and engaged your head is already and I feel your stretched out feet up in my ribs all at the same time.  While on ladder, painting the door frames and edging the ceiling, I feel you – I know you’re getting bigger because my hand quickly goes numb.  Somewhere, somehow, you’re resting on a nerve of mine that goes out quickly now. 

No, I haven’t forgotten you baby.  In some other ways, I’m so much more keenly aware of you than I was even with your brothers.  You see, I was also the third child for my mama.  I know how it feels to come into the world with not one, but two big siblings to fight for attention over.  To be compared to.  To have to learn to mesh into an already established family.  To be your own person.  I know how it is and will be, little one.  But I also know the joy of coming into a family that is already so full of fun, adventure and love.  In some ways, you’re the lucky one.  Some of the adventures and fun things we waited to do with Ezekiel until he was much older, you won’t have to wait for.  You’ll be thrown right in the mix, right from the get-go.  But baby, I’m gonna fight for you.  Fight for you to have the same excitement, attention, anticipation and celebration as your big brothers had. 

I’ve already been fighting for you.  You see, we weren’t going to do an ultrasound at 20 weeks.  We knew we wanted to wait to find out if you were a boy or girl, so daddy suggested we just skip the ultrasound this time.  I was okay with that decision for a while.  Then I realized that even though you are my third child and yes, we’ve done this gig twice already, it didn’t make me any less excited to see you on the little screen in the doctors office.  I want you to know that you were anticipated just as much as your brothers were.  It took a little convincing Daddy, but by 30 weeks, I was able to get him to understand why seeing you in an ultrasound was not just important to me, but may someday be very important to you – and it’s not something we could ever get back. 

I admit, I was a little terrified of accidentally finding out your gender because of you being so much bigger in my belly – but I learned that it’s the opposite!  Because you were so big already, you kept your lil’ legs closed nice and tightly!  With your brothers, the ultrasound tech knew (even though we didn’t) that they were both boys.  With you, no one knows.  Not even the ultrasound tech.  She said you kept your legs together so tightly the whole time that she never even got a peep of what you were.  :)  That seems special to me.  It was always a weird idea for me with your brothers to know that someone (even a stranger) knew what we were having, yet we didn’t.  I’m so excited that no one knows with you.  You are the ultimate surprise, my dear.  :)

So, if you’re reading this years from now…. are you ready to see yourself?!  (You’re quite blurry, but it’s you!) I hope you appreciate this and the fighting mama had to do for you.  ;)

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I’m not sure why these are so blurry, because we saw you clearly babe.  I loved seeing your little puffy chest and round belly.  I cannot wait to get my lips on them and kiss kiss kiss away on your soft skin. 

I love these two little videos of you:

This one, where you can see you sucking/drinking.

And this one, where you’re just…. there.  :)  There and alive and well.  And that’s really all mama can ask for.

I know I haven’t posted (or taken) many official belly shots with you.  But these are the one’s I do have:

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This is me the day we found out about you.  6 Weeks.  (And wondering why my shorts that I had just bought were feeling snug.) :)

You’ll have to forgive and understand the time gap here in photos.  You, my dear, made your mama SO sick.  I was practically bed-ridden from about 6 weeks until 17+ weeks.   I didn’t get up much.  Or get dressed much.

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About 21 Weeks

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About 24 Weeks, and Aunt Shannon, about 14 weeks.

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Not an official belly shot – but one with two of my favorite people ever (Great Grandpa Earl and Great Grandma Grace).  30 Weeks.

So, child.  Just know that I’ve not only not forgotten about you, but have highly anticipated you as well.  I’ve been waiting for you.  A third child.  This child that I didn’t feel move hardly until close to 20 weeks, when I learned that my placenta is in front of my belly and that I wouldn’t feel you until you were really strongly kicking.  This child that now I feel move constantly; the one who wakes me up in the middle of the night having a disco party in my uterus.  This child that has two sweet and adoring older brothers – ones that love to give you kisses from my belly and mimic your heartbeat that they’ve learned to treasure the sound of.  This child that has no name yet;  I hope when we do name you, that you really love your name.  Naming a child for life is hard, you know? 

I love you baby.  I love you so so much.  As some of my friends who I’ve been pregnant with have recently had their new babies or are anticipating arrival any day now, I’m growing more and more excited for our day to finally come.  Our day to work hard in the most beautiful mother-child dance and finally meet. 

Until then, keep growing, sweet one.  Put on some of that chub that you know I love.  I can’t wait to kiss it all when you come out to say hello.  :)

Love,
Mama

Is it the holidays?

Everyone’s getting their house decorated for Thanksgiving (or heck, even Christmas already), preparing for their Thanksgiving dinner, posting their “Thankful for’s” on Facebook and even posting up their kids’ Christmas wishlists.

Me?  I’m over here like, “Hey-o!  Anyone know where my clean underwear are?  The water pitcher?  How about that stupid toilet scrub brush?!”

I’ve totally made peace with the idea of not decorating for fall/Thanksgiving.  But I’m trying my darnest to be able to at least decorate a little bit for Christmas. 

But right now, this is life:

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Yup, that’s our bed.  In the living room.  It’s what we’ve been calling our “Master” for the last week and a half.  (And hey, I’m not gonna lie: it’s been awesome to pretend that we have a fireplace in our bedroom!)

Why is it there?  Good question.  Something I often forget to tell people stopping by that it’s not a normal thing.  We are still painting the master bedroom so it’s still there, empty.  Not due to Skyler’s fault… due to my own lack of committment on paint color!  (Did you know there’s like 500 bajillion shades of blue, and that for some weird vortex reason that is our bedroom, nothing on the paint card translates the same as when it’s on the wall?  My mind is blown.  And therefore, not made up.)

(Don’t worry, I gave myself a timeline of by the end of today to decide so that Skyler can finish painting in there on his day off tomorrow.)

Though I’ve oddly gotten used to sleeping in the living room and will probably miss it when the bed’s in the bedroom! :P

Meanwhile, after the bedroom is painted, we’ll be moving into the hallway, living room and dining room to paint trim, ceilings, walls and outlet/light switch plates.  And replacing a couple of lights, and possibly adding one more in the entry area.  This area should *hopefully* be less work than the bedrooms because the walls aren’t as trashed and shouldn’t need as much re-texturing, the trim is all good and in place, and there is collectively less trim to paint than in the three bedrooms combined.  *Crossing my fingers that this is actually the case*

For now, everything is smooshed into the playroom.  This is about as clean as it can get for now, and it’s only even THIS clean because my mom, the unpacking/organizing genius, came over the other night and spent a few hours unpacking like 15 more boxes for me and putting things away in my built in desk area and the boys’ toys away.

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After the living room is done being painted, we can get all our furniture moved into place where it SHOULD be and then this room will be mostly empty again… and we can begin in here.  :)  Ripping carpet and replacing with some sort of hard floor, painting, and light fixture changes. 

The work goes on!  But thankfully so do we.

So – if you’re totally soaking up the holiday season that is oh so close to us, please soak in a little extra for me, because chances are, I’m not gonna get much of it this year. 

Progress… Slow Progress.

Well, we have officially owned the house for 2.5 weeks now and progress has been … slow.  :)  Very slow.

There’s a lot to this old house that makes it more of a “go in and paint” situation.  We’ve started with JUST the 3 bedrooms so far and have done this to date:

  • re-texture walls (original plaster walls that had many “flat” spots from previous patch jobs)
  • re-texture ceiling in boys’ room in a 2’x3′ area
  • add 3/4″ round trim to the baseboard in master bedroom and boys’ room to match the rest of the house
  • pull cables and tv jacks (in EVERY room) and patch holes
  • replace some 3/4″ round trim in certain places
  • caulk all baseboards, door trim, window trim in all three bedrooms
  • sand, prime and paint all trim
  • remove doors and closet doors for painting and new ones
  • paint ceilings
  • paint walls
  • remove light fixtures
  • replace with new ones
  • polyurethane the boys’ wood floor in their room

*whew*  I guess that seems like quite a bit once I write it out… even though it doesn’t seem like we’ve done much!

Some of the progress:

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Baby’s room – updated trim and starting on the ceiling.

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Boys’ room – you can see that they USED to have the 3/4″ round trim there too, but was removed at some point, leaving gaps next to the baseboard in parts.

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Skyler replacing the trim.

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Re-texturing the walls!  They were a mess.

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Painting the trim in the boys’ room…

And while we were busy working, the boys were busy doing this:

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Yuuuup.  Destroyed an entire styrofoam insert from one of the new light fixtures, making “snow”.

Fun!

So, Zeek spent the rest of his evening like this:

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And I spent my next while doing this:

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Mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do, right?! ;)

Also done this week: moving, garage sale at old house and cleaning old house.

Now, back to the new place for an endless list of more work.  Homeownership – WHOOP!  Right?! ;)

Trading Houses

Well, I DID have some other things I was going to share – some beach trips and other fun adventures, but then I got busy.

Busy PACKING!  Whoop whoop!  Yeah buddy! 

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To start the story – we originally started house hunting back in the spring.  We found a house we really liked for a GREAT deal because it was a foreclosure.  We put an offer on it, had the offer accepted and THEN got the inspection report showing mold and standing water throughout the bottom of the house and an estimate of up to 20K to repair the sewer line. 

No thanks.  We backed out.  And stopped house hunting because we felt like we had already looked at everything out there.

Fast forward a few more months.  We found a house in a small town nearby that we ALMOST put an offer on.  We LOVED the house… we just weren’t totally in love with the location.  The night before we were going to put an offer on it, we decided to drive out to it one more time to take a family walk around the neighborhood.  After we took the walk, and reflected on the house, we decided it just wasn’t for us. 

Another month later, and several house viewings later, we found the perfect house for us.  We put an offer on it and a few days (and a bit of negotiating) later and we had an accepted offer!  We went through the long loan process (which felt long, but really wasn’t completely awful – especially since we had the best Mortgage Loan Consultant ever!  But more about her later… :)).  Last week, we closed on it! 

And enter the hard work.  Haha.  We’ve spent the last week + over there working hard to make it shine for us.  It’ll be a fairly good project that will go for a while but we wanted to make it as much of “move-in-ready” for us as possible.  The house has really great bones but is an older house (the 50’s) and definitely shows some of its wear.  Thankfully – the parts that matter, the foundation, structure, floors and roof are in really good shape!  It’s mostly just the cosmetic side of things that need a little TLC.  :)

My friends have been saying I’ve been teasing with not posting any pictures of it… so are ya ready?  Here are the before’s (which aren’t too bad to begin with… just outdated.).

I just realized that I never took any outside pictures yet though… blame the terrible weather we’ve been having on that one! ;)

Here’s the view right as you walk in the front door.  The dining room straight ahead, the living room to the left, the kitchen doorway to the left of the dining room, and the hallway to the beds/bath on the right of the dining room.  (Oh, and um.  Apparently this mommy takes far too many photos of my children, because the second I got my camera out to take some before pics, the boys were hopping in the photos from the right and left and saying “CHEESE!”… so there’s that.)

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The living room:

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The dining “room” again:

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Down the hallway.  Left, bathroom and then master bed.  Right, Boys’ room, baby’s room.

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Bathroom:

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Boys’ Room:

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Baby’s Room:

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Master Bed (nothing terribly “Master” about it, but it certainly gets the job done.):

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Two closets (yay for THAT!):

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And from the dining room looking into the kitchen (which is easily the biggest project in the house… to be done later. haha.  It’s fine and functional for now.  We will be immediately replacing a few appliances that are gross, but we want to live in the space for a while and really think about it before we dive in and redo the room.):

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Eat in kitchen nook, which will be nice to have!

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And, my favorite part of the house, the SELLING point of the house for me…. the PLAYROOM/Homeschool room!  A HUGE 20×20 space with big bright windows, a second fireplace and a built in desk.  Poi-fect!

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The desk needs some help… I mean, this is weird – who puts tiles on a desk top?  (but at least it’s a starting point and it’s THERE.):

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And the fireplace… which needs a little work before it’s totally functional because they had put a weird insert in it that wasn’t certified and it had to be removed before closing:

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And another favorite feature:  a LAUNDRY ROOM.  An actual room, with a door.  The house we’re in now has just a little around the corner nook.  Will be nice to be able to shut the door on it!

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And another half bath:

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Zeek (rightly) calls this the “wooden potty”.  I never think much of it when I see them, because growing up we had a “wooden potty”… but this blew his mind.

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And there you have it!  The other door at the end of the laundry room leads to stairs down to the garage (which is huge and wonderful with a walk in pantry AND a huge crawl space with storage nooks.).  Since it’s under the house though, (we’re on a slope), I usually refer to it as the basement.  :)

I promise I’ll take pics of the outside soon too… right now it’s pretty nasty looking anyway.  Leaves down, unkempt yard.  Will definitely be a spring/summer project for us!

And now the hard part… waiting for all the “after” pictures!  That’ll probably be a while….

Thankfully, Skyler will have mid-Dec through mid-Feb off from school (whoo hoo for semesters instead of terms!) and we’ll be able to crank a lot of projects out during that time while he’s only working his three 12 hr shifts and NOT having homework or anything on his days off.

…. Ok.  I guess I’ve procrastinated packing enough for today.  Back at it.  Womp womp.

 

E.Z. Orchards Pumpkin Patch

At the beginning of October, my MOPS group visited one of the great pumpkin patch’s in our area.  It was a gorgeous (almost a little bit too hot for me) Fall day and the boys were excited to get out there!

Since I’m in the Publicity role of the MOPS leadership this year, I took mostly a bunch of pictures of other people’s kids for our website/blog/FB pages, but I did sneak some cute ones of the boys in there too. 

We visited as a “school tour” and everyone got to pick an apple, a pumpkin, have apple cider AND an apple cider donut!  Asher and Zeek devoured their apples!

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… And picked the world’s smallest pumpkins.  :)

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Can’t believe how grown up my oldest baby looks here!  What is he, five years old?!  *waaaah*  Soon, soon enough.

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Zeek discovered that we didn’t need to spend a quarter to buy goat feed because those darned things liked to eat grass right out of their hands!  Who-da-thunk-it?  ;)   He spent a gooooooooood long time feeding those goats.

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And eventually *tried* to feed the chickens too.

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It was a good morning with the fam at the farm.  I think this will be our only pumpkin patch visit this year, with Skyler having worked every single weekend this month, and most of the festivities going on during the weekends – so we are thankful that MOPS planned this trip for us to go!  We sure love our tractor rides, petting zoo’s and especially those apple cider donuts!! ;)

{Kids Play} Enchanted Forest

Not your typical Kids Play post.  :)

A few weeks ago, the very last day of the very last weekend they were opened, we all jumped in the car to take the kids for one last summer hurrah to our local “theme park” Enchanted Forest.

For Skyler and I (and many of you, I’m sure!), Enchanted Forest is about nostalgia.  Sure, the things there are a little dated and after reading several comments in some different articles after Humpty Dumpty had his great fall this summer – many people even find Enchanted Forest a bit creepy.  (My guess is that those people didn’t visit when they were kids themselves!)  But we love the place.  :)  And obviously our kids do too!  (With an exception of the Wicked Witch giant head slide.  Zeek is too terrified of her to even walk the path to pass her!)

We had visited earlier in the beginning of summer, but a few of the rides were closed since we went pre-season in May AND when we returned home and I put my camera card in my computer to upload photos, the card malfunctioned and I lost all the pics.  :(  I was so sad to not have Asher’s first visit on film!  …. but thankful at the chance to go again at least in the same summer.

It ended up being a really dark grey, cold and cloudy day, but we had a great time regardless.  :)

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The brand new Humpty Dumpty:

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Neither boy would brave the dark tunnel and follow daddy…

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…but they eagerly awaited him at the end of the tunnel! :)

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This was Asher’s favorite one – Snow White. 

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She was singing softly inside to the animals and the boy was GLUED to her. 

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The Crooked House – which Asher didn’t so much care for.  ;)

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And the Little Old Lady Who Lived in the Shoe slide, which Asher was a rockstar on and totally fearless, even riding by himself, whereas Big Bro needed more coaxing and would only ride with mommy or daddy.  :)

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Ezekiel’s very first ever roller coaster!  Which, of course, I had to document the heck out of.

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And we ended the day eating our picnic lunch while watching the Jack & The Beanstalk play, which both boys completely surprised me and were super fascinated by!  I wasn’t sure how they would do watching a live performance but they sat quietly and watched for the enter 30 minute showing!

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On our way out, I realized I had been on the wrong end of the camera the whole day and insisted the boys take a picture with me too.  ;)

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I was a little sad when I uploaded all of these pictures because I sure thought I took many more pics of our time there… but I guess that just means we were having a ball and I didn’t stop the fun just to take a picture.  ;)

We’re already excited to go back next year!  Zeek loves to holler out, “ENCHANTED FOREST!  We’ll see you soon!” whenever we pass it on the freeway.  :)

Since I have been lacking on the blogging lately, I’ve got some catching up to do!  You’ll be seeing a few more recent events in the next few days… :)

Hope YOU guys have been doing great too!

{Wedding Gift} Wood-Burned Name Plaque

A few months ago we got a cute little invitation in the mail from one of our sweet friends.  The invite looked like wood grain and had the couple’s initials carved into a tree. 

It prompted an idea for a gift that definitely wouldn’t be on their gift registry.  While I DO love giving practical gifts from gift registries, I couldn’t help but pass this opportunity up! :)

I got out my wood slab (from Jo-Ann’s or Michael’s, around $9.99), my wood-burning tools (I have this one), and a metal toothed hook for the back.

I played around on PicMonkey and came up with a design, printed it off, taped it to the wood plaque where I wanted it and started tracing the design – right through the paper.  (Much like how I did when I made the deer head bottle opener plaque for my brother and sister-in-law).

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I think I may have to make something like this for Skyler and I, or something fun for the boys’ room!!  I love wood-burning and how fun and rustic it turns out! :)

When Fear is Gripping

Enter, a rambling blog of thoughts.

Every start of September, I start seeing the same posts over and over from friends, “Fall is here!”  “Bring on the rain, boots and sweaters!” “Pumpkin Spice Latte!” “PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!”

I agree – I’m right there with loving fall (except, hold the pumpkin anything and everything.  No thanks, I’ll pass).  While summer used to be my favorite season as a child, it has gradually made its way down the list of favorites.  I love fall, spring and even winter so much more than I love summer these days.  Give me boots, give me sweaters, give me hot coffee, give me rain.  All of these are good things.

While I’m always so thrilled when the calendar hits September 1st and summer starts to fade, I’ve also noticed another trend over the past few years in my life.  Every September for the last 3 or 4 years, something else always comes crawling into my life, right alongside of the beginnings of Fall.

Fear.

Every September and through October, I am in a constant battle with fear.  With the darker days and Halloween looming (and seeming to creep into stores as early as mid-August now), the spirit of fear is heavy.  I’ve talked to a few friends about it and the sentiment is the same for them.

Fear.

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I don’t know about the rest of you – but for me, fear can be entirely way too gripping.  I feel myself get into a sluggish just-want-to-stay-in-the-comfort-of-my-home, don’t want to do any errands with boys and take them anywhere they might see spooky Halloween decorations (EVERYWHERE in EVERY store), anxiety ridden, troubled sleep way of life. 

It’s utterly debilitating at times.  Do you know this same fear? 

I’ve really been questioning it and more aware of it this year.  Last year was the first time my eyes were opened to the fact that it’s been coming at the same time, in the same way, every year.   This year, I was a little more ready for it. 

I’ve dealt with fear all my life, as many of us do.

As a child, I remember having the most ridiculous fears that were so powerful over me as a 6 and 7 year old, that I lost sleep, even way back then.  My mom and dad always did a great job of protecting us and our growing minds from things like scary movies and scary stories.   Mom and dad can’t always be there though, and while I never watched movies like Chucky – I heard stories about it on the playground of my elementary school.  I heard scary stories at sleepovers (and unfortunately, even watched a few scary movies at sleepovers when I wasn’t bold enough to say, “no thanks, I don’t want to watch that.”).  Stories of dolls coming to life, fingernails creeping under doorways and strangling these poor precious children.  I was terrified.

I never told my parents my fears – though they weren’t foolish and I’m sure they caught on by some of my behaviors.  At my parents house, the three kids’ rooms were upstairs.  My brother’s room to the left of the stairs, and my room (what used to be an open wall play-space when we first moved in) to the right, and my sisters room directly through my room on the other side.  (I like to lovingly refer to my childhood in that I “grew up in a hallway”). 

One year for Christmas, my grandma so sweet and thoughtfully sent my sister and I each a china doll.  Unfortunately, she had no idea that I was terrified of them.  This began what was probably a couple years of terrified sleep.  I put my doll in a small doll chair right outside my door, sitting in the stairwell.  Every night, I draped a baby blanket over the doll… you know, in hopes of keeping the doll sitting there in her chair, lifeless.  (I tell you – ridiculous fears and ridiculous logic as a 6 year old.  But none the less real to me at the time.)  Knowing my sister had her doll sitting on her vanity just inside the door of her bedroom, which was on the wall opposite of where my headboard to my bed was, I had fear coming from both ends of my hallway-bedroom.  I would bundle up in bed, even on the hot 90+ degree nights (in a non-air conditioned house with no fan and no window in my room) and sweat myself to sleep.  I rolled that thick bedspread right underneath my chin in hopes that it would keep any dolls or stray fingernails from climbing up on my bed and strangling me as I slept.

Seems pretty irrational, right?  Right.  Now as a 28 year old, I kind of laugh at the ideas of what terrified me as a child.  But I can always put myself right back to that fear and remember how real it felt to me at the time.

Now days, my fears look differently than the scary things that lurk at night, but can be no less terrifying and real feeling.

What if Asher had gotten in the road when he escaped my friends house the other day and got hit by a car?  How am I going to keep this adventurous kid alive?!

What if Skyler lost his job, and we had no income?

What is the world going to look like when my kids are older?  Am I foolish for continuing to bring children into this screwed up world?

What if war breaks out in America?

What if.  What if. 

Through holidays, through January birthdays, through spring and through summer, these fear-filled thoughts are minimal.  But come September every year, they come crashing back and fill me with anxiety again.

Thankfully, being more aware of it this year, I have been able to be more prepared in battling it.  More prayers about specific things.  More rational talks with some of the wisest people I know.  More trusting in God and knowing the plans of the Enemy to put fear in me. 

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So…. I’m asking…. How many of you deal with fear at this time and season of the year?  What do you do with deal with it? 

More to come on this….

{House Tour} Toddler Boys’ Big Boy Room

Look at me!  I told ya’ I wouldn’t wait too long before finishing up this House Tour:)

The last time I showed you Zeek’s room – before he shared it with his little bro.  A little over a month ago, we gave this room a major overhaul.  You may remember me showing you a picture of my house in utter chaos. 

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We took everything out of all three bedrooms and hauled it out to every other available space in the house.  :)  We gave all the carpets a shampooing and while we were at it, painted the boys’ room and took the opportunity to transform it into a Big Boy Room. 

It was a couple weeks of work between shampooing, painting, new furniture (and painting furniture!), and ordering bedding.  But it came together pretty quickly and just as I hoped:

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We got the bed from a place called America the Beautiful Dreamer up in Vancouver, WA.  It was the cheaper of the better made beds.  For the Full/Twin bunk plus the stair system, we paid around $750 (verses all the furniture stores in Salem that were $900-1200 for similar styles!).  While the color of the wood is a little more orange toned than I would prefer (though definitely not quite as orange as these photos make it appear!), the bed is sturdy and was a cinch to put together.  We’re happy with the purchase and the boys love it.  :)

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The stair system was the safer option for us with two young boys (especially Kamikaze-Asher) and as soon as it went up, Zeek eagerly exclaimed: “I need to fill the drawers with toys!” and ran off to gather some random things to fill the drawers with.  :)  I reserve the top two drawers for putting the extra set of sheets for the beds.  I bought two colors – white and navy blue sheets.

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The little yellow dresser was a project piece I did because Zeek’s clothes were definitely outgrowing the little armoire that we had.  While that armoire was a sweet piece of furniture (was my siblings and mine as a baby and I used it again as a high schooler), it was time to pass it on.  It now belongs to my BFF’s baby girl and I’m so glad – because it really is a little girly.

For the boys’ beds, I had my heart set on a quilt like this one on Etsy:

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But, with a $225 price tag for a BABY sized quilt, I was more than nervous to even inquire what she would charge for a full and twin sized one.  I finally had to admit to myself that it would be way waaaay out of budget to even consider it.  With that color scheme in mind, I sat down one night for what seemed like the impossible hunt of finding an alternative that I liked just as much.

With only about 20 minutes of hunt, I discovered this amazing set from Target:

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Almost the same thing, right?!  I was amazed at how similar the two were.  It even had a quilted effect.  AND, the best part – I was able to snag TWO full sized sets (in case some day we got rid of the bunk bed and got them both full sized beds… just trying to think ahead) for a total cost of $116 after some discounts and coupons.  Did not break the bank, and these quilt sets have more than impressed me.  They look like gorgeous quilts from Pottery Barn… not the economical version from Target!

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I have known for a few years that I wanted this map from IKEA somewhere in the boys room, some day.   Some day finally came and I was able to pick up on sale for $99 instead of the usual $129 earlier in the spring and just let it sit in its box in the garage for a few months before we put it to use.

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The growth ruler went up in the exact same spot.

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I put the Z and A and some new hooks up on the wall for their bath towelsAnd you can see their yellow and grey light switch that I picked up at Hobby Lobby in Texas a couple years ago before it came to town.  This light switch was part of the inspiration for their room!

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The baskets of diapers and puzzles still live tucked underneath the bed. 

The boys love their new room and even though the jump from a toddler bed to a full sized bed felt like a huge deal as far as floor space goes, the room doesn’t feel all that less spacious.  They have their playroom that they spend most of their time in and when the come in here to read, they like to clamber up on the big bed to sit under a blanket together.  The full sized has been awesome for a few reasons:

  • With Asher still waking up here and there and crying out for one of us to cuddle with him, it’s nice to have a big bed to go cuddle with him in.
  • When we have guests over (already had my brother and sister-in-law stay the night!), they can use the boys’ room as a guest room and not have to sleep on the floor.
  • When baby comes, Skyler may want to bunk up with the boys more often in order to get a sound sleep on the days he has to work. 

Skyler already loves bunking up with the boys and takes turns of who he sleeps with.  Especially when he goes to work before they wake up and comes home from work after they’ve gone to bed, the boys love having daddy cuddle with them all night long (and daddy loves it just as much as they do).  Heck, mommy loves it just as much as well!  I have not had such a great nights sleep as I have over the last month – with all the boys together in one room and me, alone, in my King sized bed to stretch out and sleep however I want.  Not a bad situation.  ;)

And hopefully, the boys will be able to grow along with this room!  Hoping to not have to change it for a long time!  haha (we all know how that goes).

Now, the only thing I’ve got to learn is to not repeat what I did today:

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Asher Milo, One and a Half (+)

Been meaning to sit and write a post like this for a while.  I never want to lose sight of why I blog:  to remember, to reflect, to appreciate my growing family – where we were, are and will be.

 

Asher Milo!  My (for the time being) baby!  You have grown in huge ways in the last few months.  Everyone else here remembers me telling about how you wouldn’t sleep as a baby, and then at one year, how you were sleeping better – but still always in my arms.  Well, you know what, little bug?  You have been successfully and easily taking your own naps since around May/June.  It started out slowly.  Once I could tell that you understood what I was telling you, that it was nap time and you needed to lay down to sleep, it made it a little easier.  Honestly, I took the approach as if I were potty training you.  Small treats for good naps.  “If you can lay down, close your eyes and take a good nap for mama without crying, I’ll give you a chocolate chip when you wake up.”  You’d sniff sadly at me and quietly reply, “O-tay mama.”  And you’d take a nap.  For a month or more, you’d wake up after 30-45 minutes crying and I would have to go in and just pat your back and tell you that you needed to go back to sleep.  You always did.  :)  Now, 3ish months later, I don’t have to give you any treats (and haven’t for probably a month).  You know what’s expected of you.  I lay you in bed, cover you with your blanket and you roll over and go to sleep and will sleep for 2-3 hours.  Bedtime is pretty great too.  You got a big boy bed about a month ago – the bottom of a bunk bed that you share with Zeek.  At bedtime, we just tuck you in and load you up with pillows on both sides (since you flop around  like a fish), turn on the fan, pray, close the door and say goodnight and most days you and Zeek fall asleep pretty quickly with minimal talking.  :)

Ok enough about sleep!  What else are you up to at… 20 months?  21 months?  (Shoot.  How old are you?  #secondchild)

At one and a half (+) you:

  • speak well and lots.  You started talking right around or a little before 1 year, but over the last 4-5 months, your vocabulary is outstanding.  I can’t even try to make a list of words you say, because you literally say everything you hear.  It’s so nice to be able to communicate with you, as well as for you and Zeek to be able to communicate well. 
    • Some of my favorite things you say are:
      • “blah blah blah, stating something you want to do/eat/etc, o-tay mama?” with your eyebrows furrowed and you asking very quizzically yet stating your wishes boldly.
      • “no no, Zeek – not nice!”  this is said often.  Makes me laugh.  Way to stand up for yourself! 
      • “where aaaaarrrrrreeeee you, (insert item searching for)”  This started with “where are you, chipmunk?” as you and daddy searched for chipmunks in Bend.  This is now your saying when you’re looking for anything: mommy/daddy/Zeek, certain toy, water bottle, whatever. 
  • You are STILL a major cuddle bug, and I don’t think (or hope) it will ever change.  You just want to be held, cuddled and snuggled – especially when watching a cartoon.  You want to sit as close as possible and you want my arm draped around your shoulders.
  • You are a pro at the shifty-eyes and disapproving glare.  You get a lot chuckles from friends, family and strangers alike with this habit.
  • You love to play with toys and read books.  You and your brother can play pirates, treasure hunts, animals, and cars for hours.  You guys love to read stories and spend at least 30 min a day just quietly looking at your picture books in your room by yourselves. 
  • You are eating way more foods than you used to (you used to only eat bananas, tomato soup and sausages).  Your favorites are still bananas and tomato soup, but you love eggs and sausages, yogurt and applesauce, cheese sticks and your favorite snack is dried mangoes.  You do NOT like anything green or oranges.  You avoid both like the plague.
  • You love your Bopa Miller.  He spent several days babysitting you this summer and you have attached yourself at the hip to him.  Nearly every day, you’ll bring me my phone at some point and ask, “hi Bopa?”  You love to go down to “the farm” and play outside with him or in their playroom.
  • When daddy has taken Zeek out on special treks without you, you lose your mind.  You cannot handle to see daddy and Zeek driving away without you.  For the first few hours they’re gone, you run to the window to see if the car is out there, wander around the house hollering for them, or run around to the side gate in the back yard and holler for them out the gate.  You must be included in any and every man-date.
  • You like to watch Sesame Street, Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Wild Kratts.
  • Your favorite books are Babar, Sesame Street, and anything with tractors or animals. 
  • You are the messiest kid, ever!  You go through 2-3 changes of clothes a day because every time you eat, you are a disaster… yet you don’t allow us to strip off your clothes before eating.  If we attempt it, you will freak out and not eat a bite until you get your clothes back on.  Fun!
  • You’re very very polite and good at saying “thank you, mama” without a prompting. 
  • Daddy loves that instead of saying “yes”, your current thing to do is just smile and nod your head strongly up and down.
  • You are most often not the most enjoyable person first thing in the morning or especially right after nap, unless you got exactly the right amount of sleep.  Daddy usually cuddles you during this time as he completely understands your pain.  He passed this lovely trait on to you, he gets to deal with it.  ;)
  • You love to be outside playing in the dirt or “riding” your bike, which you are just starting to get the hang of.  You love when daddy takes you down to the park to tromp through the forest, throw rocks in the river and look for fish at the dock.  You love canoeing, hiking around and looking for bugs.
  • You almost always fall asleep in the car if we’re in it for more than 20 minutes.  Another daddy trait.  :)  You just can’t handle the motion – rocks you to sleep every time.   It’s adorable – we’ll see you getting sleeping and ask, “Are you going night-night Ash?” and you’ll furrow your eyebrows in determination to not fall asleep, concentrate on looking out the window and reply, “Nope.”  Within a 2-3 minutes, you’re asleep.
  • You are your daddy’s mini-me.  When I look into your eyes, I see your daddy all over.  :)
  • You and Zeek are BFF.  You LOVE playing together and get along as well as brother’s could.  You fight, naturally, but you both love playing together and are always asking where the other is when you are apart.  I’m so glad that you guys are friends and play!
  • You LOVE any sort of flashlight or light up stick. 

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Daddy and I are so glad to have you in our family, Asher!  You are such a funny little guy and you have us laughing all the time.  Even when you’re being stubborn or disobedient (“nope!” or glaring at us), you are just so stinking cute.  We are so thankful for you and the light you bring to us.

Love you little man.  Can’t believe you’re going to be 2 soon!