It’s been a strange week. All three of my boys have been under the weather at various times. Jeremy has been working in the evenings and I had to miss church on Wednesday night, plus Jeremy is working all weekend as well. My normal markers for where we are in the week are all gone. We’ve managed to stay occupied, but we’ve also had a far amount of resting and laying low. Jeremy’s been trying to be good about resting when he is home. Graham had a cold that he has now passed on to Owen. I have a bug bite on my leg that makes my whole leg ache. We seem to have our fair share of ailments these days. Tuesday, I got to have a phone date with my lovely friend, Maggie. An hour on the phone with a good friend is a breath of fresh air and we really need for my sanity! Wednesday, we got to run errands with Jeremy. Thursday, we went down to visit my sister. We played in the park, got lunch and spent some time at her house in the AC. Thursday night, Jeremy took Owen to work with him for some Daddy time. Owen really appreciated it! He keeps telling me that he got to go to summer camp.Yesterday, Jeremy switched from summer camp mode into kid zone mode. He is it Chehalis Garlic Fest this weekend running inflatables for the kids. I could go into detail about all the drama we’ve had a night and the lack of sleep I am getting, but I figure that is sad story that I’ve told one too many times on this blog. Just a say little prayer for Owen. The last two nights he has woken up in the middle of the night very unhappy. The first night after two hours of trying to get him back to sleep, we finally let him sleep in our bed. Last night we brought a nightlight in and that seemed to help. Not quite sure what’s up, but I don’t like the idea of being up with both Owen and Graham in the middle of the night. One sleepless kiddo is enough… So that is the update. Here are some pictures from our adventures this week.
Not So Healthy August 22, 2016
My post from yesterday was actually written on Saturday and scheduled to post on Sunday. I had ended my last entry by saying that I was thankful for healthy and happy boys. As it turns out, they aren’t quite as healthy as I thought. Sunday turned into a sick day at our house. Jeremy called me saying that the new meds he had started taking for his heart were making him dizzy and he needed to come home. It was great to get a call saying that he was dizzy and driving. Awesome. I spent the next 15 minutes wondering if he was going to end up in a ditch on the side of the road… Owen woke up sounding hoarse. Graham woke up with snot and developed a random rash that came and went quickly (thankfully). Jeremy spent the whole day laying down and the boys just kind of play around him and enjoyed his presence. Not the Sunday I had planned.
The last week has been full of lots of things that wouldn’t headline their own blog post, but have definitely kept me busy. We’ve had a couple of cooler days. I have been able to bake (which is just as good as therapy). I’ve been loving doing laundry during the day and not worrying about how hot it is to run the dishwasher. I’ve been in party planning mode of the boys birthday parties. I ordered their supplies online yesterday and I have their birthday invites ready to throw in the mail next week.
I’ve also been planning for the fall with my Wednesday night class at church. Today I purchased the supplies for my bulletin board. I also ordered new curriculum and crafts. I am now set for the new school year. I have two weeks left with my current class, but those two weeks will be spent visiting our youth ministry and preparing for them the transition. Last Wednesday, we did ice cream sundaes and took down all the artwork that decorated our room throughout the year. We passed around pieces of paper and signed them like yearbooks. I love getting one last chance to tell them how much they matter to me and Jesus. I almost cry every year as I tell them how I loved teaching them and that our friendship doesn’t end when they leave the classroom. These girls mean so much me. Most of them have been regulars for the last two years. We’ve gotten close. Every year it’s hard to see another class move up. But the size of the classroom I teach in won’t let me keep all of my students forever (I’d be tempted to if I could).
In the midst of home showings, getting an offer on the house and major illnesses, I threw an Usborne book party last week. It was a major success! I got WAY more hostess rewards than I had expected. I got the boys books for their birthdays, books for Christmas, book just for fun. The topics range from dinosaurs to bugs to space to trains to machines. I got Christmas stories, a phonics reader set and wipe clean learning books for preschool. I am so excited to add these books to our home library. They are a great quality and educational. Such a blessing. Since Usborne has had a boom in popularity recently, it takes a while for their books to ship. Being patient is hard!!! I can’t wait for the amazing box to arrive!
A lot of my life is out of my control (okay, almost all of it). There are a lot of things that weigh on me and worry me. I have to keep reminding myself that worry doesn’t change anything. I find myself clinging to the goodness in ordinary moments. Folding laundry, using the oven, baking, watching my kiddos play, making snacks, making meals. These things keep me grounded. They keep me centered on reality. I often feel like my life should be a fairy tale. When I tell my story, it should be nothing short of perfection, as if angels sing in hallowed voices in the background. But life is not a fairy tale. We’ve certainly had our share of concerns and discouragements and uncertainties. I like security and in a lot of ways, my security has been shaken over the last year. While I might not be sure of a lot of things, I am sure of Jesus and I am sure of the blessings in this moment. My current blessing is that Owen has stopped screaming. He gets real dramatic at bedtime. The toddler phase of one more drink, one more hug, where is my toy, turn my heater on, I have to go pee… It’s real folks. And Owen screams about it every night for about 20-30 minutes. Jeremy has evening commitments all this week which means I have a week of bedtimes all by myself. It’s hard. But now both my boys are sleeping and since my hubby is away, I am having some personal time to blog. When I’m done here, I will hop on to Shutterfly.com and put on my family historian hat. I’ve been working on the boys’ photo books for this last year. I find that if I work on them slowly a month or two at a time, the project isn’t a big deal. These are good moments. Looking through happy pictures of my kids is a wonderful thing when I am feeling tired and worn out and cranky (because I was up three times with Graham and once with Owen last night). Oh sleep… I miss you!
Owen’s Mystery Illness August 21, 2016
Thursday started off like any other day. I was tired. Owen was whiny. Graham was Graham… Around nap time, Owen started acting funny. He was just laying around. At one point he was just starting at the TV with the “Are you still watching?” screen on. No show, just a blank screen and a blank stare from Owen. I took his temperature and he had a low grade fever. He was starting to breathe a bit weird (he had made the same sounds the night before and I thought sleep would help). His nap didn’t last long and he ended up in bed with me. His fever had gotten to 102 and he was consistently breathing strange – short breaths that seemed uncomfortable. Since he didn’t have any cold/flu symptoms, I started thinking of things like appendicitis or meningitis… He told me his tummy and back hurt, but that he didn’t feel like throwing up. I gave him some Tylenol and moved him to the couch where he laid like a blob for the rest of the afternoon.
I had talked with a Jeremy a few times throughout the afternoon and expressed my concern that was acting strange. When Jeremy got home, he thought Owen’s breathing was weird enough that we needed to go to the doctor. Our doctor’s office has an after hours walk-in clinic. We were quickly taken back to a room. The doctor had him take a breathing treatment which Owen hated. He screamed and cried through most of it. The breathing treatment didn’t change anything so the doctor sent us over to the hospital for a chest x-ray. She wanted to make sure that Owen didn’t have pneumonia.
When we had originally taken off for the doctor’s, we had no clue that our night would land us in the hospital. The whole ordeal took a lot longer than we had expected. I had left Graham with my parents thinking that we would be back soon. The poor kid (and my poor parents) had more time together than we had planned. Nothing like having a tired baby at bedtime without his mom for a good time.
We got back to the doctor’s office right before the clinic closed with the results of the chest x-ray for the doctor to look at. Owen was still breathing weird at this point, but the x-ray showed that his chest was clear. It was a total mystery. The doctor told us to keep an eye on Owen and be back for a follow-up the next morning. We went to get Graham and took home two tired boys. Jeremy got up and checked on Owen a couple times in the night to make sure he was breathing okay. By the time Owen got up on Friday, he was occasionally breathing weird, but for the most part he was breathing normally and he had no fever. By the time we got the doctor’s office, he was a totally different kid than the 12 hours before.
The doctor gave us the all clear. Owen was fine. Random and unexplainable. Our Thursday night plans had been to go to the fair before the mystery illness hit. We decided to go to the fair after our doctor’s appointment since the doctor had given us the green light. It was a hot day so our time at the fair was brief. We also didn’t want to push Owen too much. Owen found every train at the fair. We even stopped to look at the model trains twice. Kids got a free ride ticket with their entrance so Jeremy used Graham’s ticket to go on a train ride with Owen. It was Graham’s nap time so he slept through most of his first fair experience. I was a bit disappointed that Owen wasn’t more interested in the animals. The heat was really slowing him down…(and all he wanted to do was look for trains). We got Owen a hand squeezed lemonade (he is really into lemonade right now). Jeremy and I got hand dipped corn dogs and split an elephant ear. For me, the fair is all about the food. I had been excited about going to the fair this year, but with the heat and the mystery illness, it turned into a quick and hot experience. I’m still glad we did it. Owen loved the trains, I loved the food, Graham got a nap… Not too bad over all.
I know that life is never dull, but wow. Thursday turned out way more dramatic than I could have ever imagined. I’m glad my big boy is doing good now and back to his normal self. Sick kids are heartbreaking. I’m grateful today for my healthy, happy boys!
Graham – 10 Month Update August 20, 2016
It’s strange to think that I have only few monthly updates left for Graham. I view it as a first year only kind of thing. I’m not going to give a 27th month update. I will share Graham’s 10 month news today and then we’ll have the 11th month update and the big birthday update! It blows my mind to think that Graham is now less than 2 months away from being a 1 year old. Time is flying. If I had a guess, I would say that our September is going to go by fast. Birthday month will be here soon!
At Graham’s 9 month well check at the end of July, we was weighing in at 17lbs. 4oz. (17%), 27in for length (5%) and 44.7cm for head (37%). He is a small dude, but he is mighty. In the doctor’s office, he showed off by standing on his own for what seemed like forever. Not only can he stand on his own for short periods of time, but he has taken a few steps throughout the last month. He isn’t “walking” yet, but he is close. We have a couple different toys that he uses as walkers around the house. If we didn’t have furniture, I’m positive that Graham would just walk all day using those toys. Graham is an adventurer. He doesn’t want to stay in the living room to play with toys. He is often taking off down the hallway. He loves to pull books off the shelf in Owen’s room or shoes out of my closet.
In the last month, Graham’s two top teeth have cut through. This has made for some major cranky moments. Teething has not been fun for Graham. When his first top tooth came in, he decided it would be fun to wake up 3-4 times a night. Teething has brought a side of Graham out that sounds a lot like a dinosaur. He continues to wake up multiple times a night. I was talking about it with Jeremy the other day. I’m often up with Graham twice in the night and once with Owen in the early morning (Owen wakes about 6am and we try to put him back to bed after using the restroom). On an average night, I go to sleep at 11pm and I’m up within 2-3 hours with Graham. Then I’m up again usually around 5am with Graham and 6am with Owen. This sleeping pattern is probably my least favorite part of parenting. I could go to bed earlier, but 9-11pm is my only kid free time and time with my hubby.
Graham has found his voice more this last month. Apart from the dinosaur roars, he has also started chattering more. I love talking back and forth with him. I’m enjoying these baby sounds. Owen now tells me things like “Mommy, don’t talk.” I’m grateful that Graham can’t tell me such things yet!
That sums up the last month. Our little sweetheart is 10 months old! These last 10 months have been a wild ride. I can’t wait to see more of his personality develop has he becomes his own person.
Pending Again! August 16, 2016
After a week of being back on the market, we are pending again! I found out that we received an offer right after last night’s blog post. We counter offered this morning and the buyer accepted! We are officially pending again. I will admit that I am fearful. Things fell apart before so they could again. But I am trusting and believing that this experience will be different. Our new closing date will be September 30th! Be praying for us as this process moves forward. We haven’t heard back yet if this buyer will accept the previous home inspection that just happened a month ago or if they will want a new one. We are also praying for a different appraiser since the appraisal is what made our last contract go south. It’s not a done deal, but we are excited about moving forward and praying for good things.
These Days August 15, 2016
These days are a mix. Busy and slow moments. Right now I have a few quiet moments. I am pondering things and my mind rambles on. I’ve been reading. It feels good. But at the same time, the two books I purchased are intense. They are the kind of books that make you think, make you evaluate life. I was reading Sarah Bessey’s latest blog post about how her “tinies” are no longer tiny. She has big kids now. It made me think of my “littles” and I spent a majority of the post misty eyed over growing babies. My emotions are on the surface right now. They come up quickly and easily.
I’m doing a lot of things for comfort right now. I’ve eaten a lot pasta (mostly in the form of mac and cheese), I’ve inhaled chocolate whenever I have a chance, I am reading in quiet moments, I’m planning baking projects for when the heat dies down (which at this moment it seems like it never will) and Jeremy & I have started watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix. Books, TV, food… All good things.
To keep busy, we’ve worked on the house. We had a showing on Saturday and a showing today. We’ve taken the boys to the park numerous times. Owen loves parks. This is what childhood summers are all about. I love watching my big boy explore and amaze me. He is such a great climber. It blows my mind what he is capable of now. In less than 2 months, he’ll be 3. I realized that I’m going to have to plan one last zoo trip while is he still gets free admission! Graham, of course, is trying to keep up with Owen and is such a busy baby. He just doesn’t get that he is little. I could share more about Graham but I’ll save it for his 10 month update at the end of this week.
Today I went up to visit my friend, Kaly, and got to hold her newborn little girl, Citlaly. She’s only 8lbs. So tiny! It seems like forever since Graham was that small. It was great to get newborn snuggles in while Owen ran wild with Citlaly’s older brothers.
These are the things that make up life – good books, good food, funny television, multiple trips to the park, hanging with friends and newborn babies. This weekend, Jeremy’s parents watched the boys so we could go on a date during our home showing. It was nice to be with Jeremy and have him all to myself. We agreed that we wouldn’t do anything house related. We went to Olive Garden (pasta and bread sticks, YES). We got Jeremy an Apple watch so he can monitor his heart rate and health better. He hasn’t been feeling the best lately and his cardiologist recommended he get it. I joked with Jeremy that he is a expensive date!
Life is full of layers. I could list off all the layers that I am less than pleased with. My mind mulls them over more than I would like. I am equally trying to look for the good, finding grace and goodness in the ordinary moments. I’ve been thinking a lot about the season I spent reading 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp and making endless list of gifts throughout the day. I want to feel light like that again. I want to find joy in gratitude and contentment. I’m trying to be intentional with my thoughts and my actions. While my emotions might go up and down throughout the day, I’m choosing to look at the layers of my life as a unique creation. Some are bitter, some are sweet. They ebb and flow. I’m making the most of the moments, both good and bad. Trying my best to see God in it all. When I look, I find him and that makes all the difference.
Back on the Market August 12, 2016
On Wednesday, we received news that our buyers were formally backing out of the sale of our home. This was the expected outcome after we arrived at an impasse over closing costs. Almost immediately, our home was back on the market. We even have a showing tomorrow. I don’t want to take a ton of time to discuss this closed door. The main thing I can say is I feel weird. I’m still in my house. We didn’t close today. I don’t feel like I belong here. I spent so much time and energy saying good-bye. I had prepared in every way to leave and then we didn’t… Now it just feels off. Like outgrowing something… I am grateful that we didn’t move just to find out that the house wasn’t sold. I would feel awful imposing on the hospitality of my in-laws while I had a perfect good house sitting empty a few miles away. Overall, this could be for the best. While it means more time, it also means a new appraisal and hopefully a better bottom line in the end.
The rest of the week has been about moving on with life. It keeps going. Wednesday was church. Thursday, my mom and I took the boys to the park. This park happens to be right by the train tracks and Owen was delighted to see three different trains. Last night we went to the storage unit and picked up more kitchen items. I have the strong urge to bake because that is a comfort move of mine, however, it’s too hot at the moment. Once the cooler weather comes in I plan on making a couple different goodies. One being a family favorite of Hello Dollies and the other will probably be something pumpkin because pumpkin also sounds like comfort to me.
During nap times, I’ve been able to make good progress on my new book, Present Over Perfect. I love Shauna Niequist. She is one of my favorite authors. This books affirms so many decisions I’ve made. I am all about the smaller life these days. I’m trying to be intentional with my time and influence. I love being home with my boys and making my family a priority. I love serving the kiddos at Bethel and I enjoy being a part of my local MOPS group. I might not run in big circles these days, but I love the small circles I am in. I know that I am encouraging others and pointing them to Jesus. This book empowers a healthy lifestyle, healthy boundaries and a healthy priorities. It encourages stillness and shows the power of small things. It’s a good read for sure. I am also equally excited to start How to Survive a Shipwreck by Jonathan Martin. I know the title seems a bit dramatic, but I can relate the shipwreck feeling. In life there will be failure and disappointment. I’m hoping for some practical encouragement from my next read.
Jeremy spend a good part of today making the outside of the house presentable. We did some more grocery shopping. We needed to restock some key pantry items. Tomorrow I will clean the inside of the house thoroughly and pray that this showing could be the one! How awesome would it be to only have one showing back on the market before we got another offer? While that seems unlikely, I can dream. This whole process has brought out two sides of me. One is always hopeful, thinking the best is right around the corner. The other is very pessimistic and “woe is me.” It’s strange to flip flop between hope and discouragement. Especially so many times throughout the day. More than trusting in my own emotions, which are all over the place, I am trusting in God. My mom sent me a quote from Corrie Ten Boom that says, “God doesn’t have problems, he has plans.” I am reminded that my house situation isn’t a problem. It’s an opportunity. God isn’t freaking out because my house didn’t sell, so I guess I shouldn’t either.