30 March 2013

iPhoneography: Chaos

Our lives are a tad on the chaotic side as of late; as evidenced from my phone:

First of all, there is the basement remodel. We're making progress, but the race is still on to try to finish before the baby comes (and for everyone to shift bedrooms). With the remodel comes so many little choices; tile, tub surround, vanity, grout, paint, carpet, and on and on. It seems like we are always running around town picking out things. And then re-picking out things when we start second guessing.

We're transforming many aspects of our main floor as well. And for some reason we decided that now might be a good time for a massive painting project. Which means that everything is off the walls and our furniture is piled up in the center of each room. The only appliance left in our kitchen is the dishwasher for the next week or so while the cabinets are revamped. Thankfully, we have a refrigerator in the garage, but we're learning to survive without a stove and oven. Easter dinner to go?

On top of all the disarray at home, our church boundaries were realigned this week. The meetinghouse that we attend is assigned by the geographical location of our house, but from time to time the boundaries are realigned to accomodate growth. In this case, my dear friends from church that have become family to me were split in three different directions.

We are losing some of my favorite people. We still have book club and playgroup to keep us connected, but it's going to be really sad not seeing the same faces at church each Sunday. We mourned about the changes while our children hunted for Easter eggs, oblivious that they are all getting split up as well.

I'm not the only one who the boundary realignment affects. Troy was asked to serve in our new bishopric (which consists of the bishop and his two counselors that oversee the congregation).

Logistically, for him, it means lots and lots of meetings. I'm already used to that from other church responsibilities he has had, but what will affect me the most is that Troy will now sit up on the stand by the pulpit every week instead of with our family. And I would be lying if I said I didn't shed a few tears at the prospect of sitting alone with two restless boys and a newborn for 70 minutes every Sunday. It is quite the circus to keep Blake and Nash quiet and entertained and not arguing, but throw in a newborn who will need to be taken out and fed, and I'm feeling a tad overwhelmed at managing the chaos without Troy by my side.

One thing is for certain. Troy's Sunday afternoon snoozes have come to an end.

All of the things I have mentioned so far seem manageable, however, if Blake wasn't simultaneously giving me a run for my money. He has reverted back to having 5 or 6 accidents a day and I am completely at my wit's end with him. There is nothing more frustrating and infuriating than a having a five year old struggle so much with potty training. We're considering going back to occupational therapy again.

Oh, right, and I'm going to have a baby any day now. I just passed the point in pregnancy where I delivered Nash, but we could clearly use some time to get our lives somewhat back in order before this baby makes his debut.

I'm just counting my blessings that we are all healthy at the moment. And I took a little break from the chaos to get my pre-delivery pedicure. If nothing else, I have pretty toes.


25 March 2013

New Method of Creativity

While we were in Hawaii, Blake developed a love for drawing and coloring and linking together sheet after sheet of completed artwork. Since his grandparents are only living there temporarily, they don't have a big supply of toys. But I kind of loved that it forced Blake to be more creative with the time we had indoors.

His affinity for all things art has only grown since then. 

I put together a little kit of supplies for him and he uses it every single day. Most days, the items are used all day long. Even if he's watching a show, he'll pause it to draw a picture of what he sees; sheilds, sailboats, patterns, and one day he replicated an entire game.

Now, in addition to building machines, he writes and illustrates books about machines. Come to think of it, his love for building machines originated the last time we visited Hawaii. There must be something in the air there that sparks creativity (and possibly the lack of toys).

Almost every Thursday morning since Blake was a baby, we have gone to storytime at the library. But throughout the year, they have weeks off here and there between sessions. When Blake learned that there was going to be a lapse, he immediately started brainstorming ideas about having storytime at our house in lieu of the library.

He was so passionate about all of the intricate details that I could not say no. He planned out the entire morning from top to bottom. And he used his newfound creative skills to craft individual invitations.


He invited a few friends from the neighborhood that we usually see at library storytime. I wish I could have captured how much his face was glowing as we hand delivered them.


Then, he came up with the lesson plan all on his own. He gathered his favorite books and thought of all the movement activities. He had the materials gathered days in advance. All he talked about for the week leading up to storytime was how many days were left until the big event.


Minus a minor bumping into each other incident during one of the movement songs, storytime at Blake's house was a hit. 





22 March 2013

Gone With the Gold

Nesting is in full swing for me. The last few months of pregnancy are when I feel my best, funny enough. It doesn't quite make up for feeling debilitated the first four months, but I am appreciating the extra surge of energy.

The nesting hasn't transitioned over to any prep for the baby's room like it probably should, but I've been tackling a myriad of other projects.

I have despised the dated gold doorknobs throughout our house ever since we moved in five years ago. We've debated over and over about updating things like that because we are always unsure of how long we're going to be here. 

But then another year will pass and we're still here. And we are still cringing at all of the early 90's gems that lie within our home.

So, when Troy gave me the green light to switch out the gold knobs and hinges a few weeks ago, I dropped everything and picked up my power tools pronto.

I replaced 17 doorknobs and 51 hinges. And with the replacement of one last light fixture in the master bedroom, I am happy to pronounce the gold officially gone. When I was finished, Troy asked, "Don't you wish you did this five years ago?" Ugh. It's amazing how much of a difference little upgrades can make.

Of course, while I was at it, I had to sand and paint our front door to cover up the lines from the old hardware. And since I had to paint anyway, I wasn't going to repaint the door white.

This is the only "before" picture I could find. Cute of Blake, not so cute of the white door and gold hardware.

Anything painted black just looks so much classier in my book.

We have big plans for some more updating and freshening up over the next few weeks. We're just praying that this baby stays inside while we live in a bit of chaos.


18 March 2013

A Few Differences Between My 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pregnancies


My 1st pregnancy: The nursery was set up months in advance - perfectly themed from Pottery Barn Kids and complete with a new rocking chair, stacks of children's books, matching furniture, and handmade wall art.

My 2nd pregnancy: I picked up two new sets of sheets and a bumper pad and set up the crib the day before the baby was born.

My 3rd pregnancy: The crib is still sitting unassembled in our basement and the sheets are boxed up. Because let's be honest, the baby won't actually sleep in the crib for a few more months.

···

My 1st pregnancy: I stocked up on a month's supply of diapers, buying only the "sensitive" brand, of course.

My 2nd pregnancy: I happily accepted gifts of diapers from friends that knew I didn't need any more clothes. Brand preferences? Irrelevant.

My 3rd pregnancy: I bought one box of newborn diapers and then proceeded to leave it on the bottom of the shopping cart in the parking lot. I don't know if that's a sign or omen to baby #3, but the box has yet to be replaced.

···

My 1st pregnancy: I couldn't believe how many conversations I had with friends about decorating the nursery.

My 2nd pregnancy: I couldn't believe how many conversations I had with friends about double strollers.

My 3rd pregnancy: I couldn't believe how many conversations I had with friends about minivans.

···

My 1st pregnancy: All of the baby clothes were brand new. I made sure to wash them with Dreft twice before they ever came in contact with my newborn's skin.

My 2nd pregnancy: I bought a few new things to make sure my child felt special, but most of the baby clothes were hand-me-downs. I gave the newborn clothes a quick run through the washer, but figured once I hit the 6 month size, they were fine for baby #2.

My 3rd pregnancy: I ran down to the baby bin in the basement, grabbed two newborn outfits and tucked them in my hospital bag. I figured the rest of the clothes were washed before putting them in the plastic bin so there was really no point in re-washing everything.

···

My 1st pregnancy: My best friends and family knew exactly what I needed. They threw me an elaborate shower, where they lavished me with a highchair, carseat, adorable baby clothes, playmats, and a stroller. 

My 2nd pregnancy: My best friends and family knew exactly what I needed. After the baby was born, they lavished me with a few new outfits and a huge supply of diapers. 

My 3rd pregnancy: My best friends and family knew exactly what I needed. They took my children for a whole morning towards the end of my pregnancy so I could get a pedicure and haircut...one last time. 

··· 

My 1st pregnancy: The carseat was installed two months in advance and double checked by a certified child safety seat technician.

My 2nd pregnancy: The carseat was washed and then placed into the vehicle one month before delivery. Not buckled, but ready in case we needed it.

My 3rd pregnancy: The carseat cover was only washed because it collected dust on a shelf in the basement for the last few years. It is still in the laundry room.

···

My 1st pregnancy: I followed the "Things to Avoid During Pregnancy" list to a T. I exercised regularly and attended a thorough two day birthing class.

My 2nd pregnancy: The only reason I snuck in some exercise is because I was teaching weekly yoga classes.

My 3rd pregnancy: Cookie dough, caesar salad and lunch meat? I never batted an eye. I even rode on roller coasters during the first trimester (whoops - didn't know I was pregnant yet). And does carting a three year old through the Costco parking lot count as exercise?

···

My 1st pregnancy: Maternity clothes were purchased months before I needed them and whipped out at the first sign of the tiniest baby bump.

My 2nd pregnancy: Maternity clothes were reluctantly pulled out of plastic bins when the baby bump appeared sooner than the first time around.

My 3rd pregnancy: Maternity clothes were avoided at all costs. Most of the clothes used for previous pregnancies (i.e. anything with a tie in back) were donated to charity. Long stretchy tunics and leggings replaced anything with a "maternity" tag inside.

···

My 1st pregnancy: We stressed for months to find the absolute perfect name. We poured over baby name books, made lists, slowly eliminated options, and finally came up with the one name we both agreed on.

My 2nd pregnancy: We knew the second we found out the gender what the name would be because we "saved it" from the first time around.

My 3rd pregnancy: We argued for months about the perfect name that would coordinate with the other two. We made no progress towards agreeing on a name. I'm still worried this baby is going to remain nameless.

···
My 1st pregnancy: The minute I saw first saw the tiny heartbeat on the ultrasound, my eyes involuntarily filled with tears as I absorbed the amazing blessing of this new little life.

My 2nd pregnancy: The minute I saw first saw the tiny heartbeat on the ultrasound, my eyes involuntarily filled with tears as I absorbed the amazing blessing of this new little life.

My 3rd pregnancy: The minute I saw first saw the tiny heartbeat on the ultrasound, my eyes involuntarily filled with tears as I absorbed the amazing blessing of this new little life.

···

Exactly one month till my due date. Yikes!


14 March 2013

The Final Stretch

I may be eight months pregnant with baby #3 (which is code for swollen everywhere, constant heartburn, bruised ribs, waddling, and living in yoga pants), but I can still do this:

I think my high school coach would be proud.


12 March 2013

Hawaii Wrap-Up

It already seems like ages ago that we were in the land of palm trees and sandy shores. But I must wrap it up with a few more highlights before completely tossing the memories to the back of my mind. And for the sake of not dragging this on forever, I'm going to combine a lot into one post.

We waited 15 months to go back to Kahuku Grill. We basically booked it to dinner straight from the airport, and then hit it up again at the end of the week.

I'm not a huge hamburger fan, but the "Shem Burger" is hands down the best burger I've ever had in my life. Do yourself a favor. Drive to the North Shore of Oahu, find Kahuku Grill, and order the Shem Burger. You will thank me.

Blake spent an afternoon with Polynesian natives, teaching him all sorts of cultural traditions. We opted to leave Nash napping at home. It was a smart choice, because Blake was just old enough to really enjoy all of the activities. And I love doing special things just with him.








His "tough" face.


And then there were the beaches. Oh the beaches. Where there were always holes to be dug.


Frisbees to be thrown.

Shore "treasures" to be found.


Gummy bears to be inserted into hungry mouths whose owners had sandy hands.


Boogie boards to be navigated.




Handfuls of sand to be thrown into the water over and over and over.


Swimsuits to be lost. (Had to.)


More holes to be dug.




And, of course, mounds of sand to cover every surface.


We packed up quite a lot of that sand and flew it back home with us via our suitcases, camera bags, sunglasses cases, portable electronics, etc. Worth it? 100%.