Monday, October 12, 2015

Those Days

You know those days . . .
Those days that start with your alarm going off at 5:30am but a minute after you reset it for 6:00am your child wakes up.
Those days where the routine is out of wack and your child is clingy and doesn't want to play in his crib like usual.
Those days where you have to wake up your grumpy husband to watch the grumpy baby so you can take a quick 3 minute shower.
Those days where you're trying your hardest to quickly get ready but continue to be interrupted because you have to remove the child from playing in the toilet and then bribe him with animal crackers every 5 seconds so he stays away from the toilet.
Those days where you are getting lunch ready for all members of the household, starting laundry, and emptying the trash all before the daylight breaks.
Those days when the dog snatches the bread out of your hand at the same time the child throws his head back hitting you in the face during his attempt at a fit.
Unfortunately, it's been one of those days - and this mom lost it.
Upon arriving at working and reading my devotions in my inbox, I was quickly reminded of a verse in Philippians 2 (14-15) :
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world
We need to remember that when we have days like those days, God's grace is all we need. Even though we are completely undeserving, God's love and kindness reaches down to us through Christ.
For this I am so thankful.  

Friday, October 9, 2015

An Obsession: Illustrated Faith

Have you heard about this fad (that I think is here to stay) called Illustrated Faith/Bible Journaling?
To say that I'm obsessed is an understatement. It's all the rage right now - popping up all over my IG feed and my Pinterest Page.
If you don't know what I'm talking about - check out:
 #illustratedfaith or #biblejournaling or #drawinginthemargins on IG.
Lovely ladies (mostly) from all over the world share their love of the Lord through creative doodles, drawings, scripts, etc. It's another way to connect to the word of God and to worship.
I started dabbling in the bible journaling community last fall while I was on maternity leave with Kingston. Before you knew it, life took over - I lost interest and my bible sat with all my craft stuff just waiting for me to find the time and inspiration again. Unfortunately, I hate the reason that got me back into bible journaling and really spending time with the Lord. If you read my previous post, you know that CT and I experienced a missed miscarriage last month resulting in an immediate D&C.
What a crushing few days it was for me. I recognized I needed an outlet and something to pour myself into and that happened to be creating - in my sewing room, in my planner, in my bible. Quickly I realized how much I missed creating for the Lord and how good for the soul it is.
My situation was perfectly stated in my daily devotional from She Reads Truth:
I cannot fully grasp the sweetness of God without knowing the bitter taste of life in a fallen world. What a truth this is. I'm ashamed that it took something so awful to bring me back to God, but now that I'm back - I'm more excited than ever!  
(side note: I was never really 'away' from Him - but I wasn't craving a relationship with Him like I am now)
Here's what I've been up to lately:

By drawing and doodling in my bible, I've found that I'm able to concentrate on the verses or themes that I'm creating - and this helps me retain the scripture better.
If you aren't comfortable drawing in your bible - start with a journal - but what ever you do I know it will bless you like it's blessed me!
 I wake up wanting to create in my bible and I go to sleep thinking about creating in my bible!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Week Ago

A week ago was supposed to be one of the best days of our lives. CT and I had planned to announce to the world that we were expecting Baby #2 and that Kingston was going to be a big brother come March. 

Instead, a week ago we went to the Dr. and learned that our baby who was supposed to be 10 weeks and 6 days was only measuring 9 weeks and 1 day and that it's heart had stopped. 

 What was supposed to be one of the best days of our lives quickly turned into one of the saddest.

As CT wrote on FB:
"Well, we were going to post this awesome picture yesterday to announce the great news that we were expecting our second baby, but instead we have horrible news. Yesterday we went to the doctor for a check-up on the baby and to see the heartbeat, but to our dismay, there was no heartbeat. It goes without saying, we are heartbroken and totally crushed. We know our baby is in Heaven with plenty of loving family members to hang out with. I don't know why God does the things he does in my life, and it's dumb to waste my time stressing over it, because I know He does everything for good reasons I can't fathom. Tiffany is the strongest woman I know and I couldn't ask for a better mother to Kingston and my future children. Seeing how courageous she has been in everything she has had to go through the last 2 days makes me proud to be her husband. It's hard not to bust out and cry over every baby we see or anything that reminds us of a baby, so we really appreciate your prayers for healing and understanding, and the kind words you have given us. We just ask that you please continue to pray for us."

 Deep down I just knew. It was too easy this time. It took 2 years to get pregnant with Kingston and 2 weeks to get pregnant with this baby. It never totally sunk in and it never really felt real. I kept saying "I'm so nervous. I so badly just want to see a heart beat and a growing baby." Last minute I made CT get a sub for the afternoon because I had a feeling our appointment would take longer than his lunch break. Looking back, I think the Holy Spirit was slowly preparing me for the heartbreaking news we were about to get. 

So many emotions went through me this past week: 
I felt sad. Sad because no mother should go the the fear or pain of having a baby vacuumed from her womb. I felt mad. Mad because we now have a massive hospital bill with no precious gift to show for it. I felt selfish. Selfish because I'm upset at the amount of time lost. It takes forever to get pregnant and even longer to get even 10.5 weeks in. So much time was lost and now we have to start all over. I felt responsible. Responsible because I forgot those two days of pre-natal vitamins and had that one Dr. Pepper that afternoon. But mostly guilty. Guilty because I didn't pray over this baby or pregnancy anything like I did with Kingston's.

I also felt hopeful. Hopeful because I know the Lord knows what He's doing even when we can't seem to understand. And thankful. Thankful because I know the Lord spared CT and I from greater heartbreak down the line. 

Laura Story's song Blessings has been playing in my head non-stop these past few days:
What if Your healing comes through tears.
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near.
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise.

It's crazy, my Dr. (Dr. Maki who is seriously a God send) said 1 in 6 pregnancies end up this way. We shared the news on Facebook a week ago and 16 people reached out saying they had experienced what we were going through. That just goes to show that any healthy pregnancy and healthy baby is truly a miracle. 

I know we will get to experience pregnancy again soon. I just hope I never have to experience this experience again. 

PS - Thank you to everyone for the texts, calls and messages - the kind words and prayers for our family. 
They can be felt. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Rug Love: Recap

CT and I have been in our house about 4 months now and we've went through our fair share of trying out and returning rugs. Because rugs make such a major impact on the room design - especially if you have wood floors - we sent back 3 rugs and finally have a few we love, another we like and a few that were mistakes but we can't return. 

When searching for our rugs - my 3 main websites were:

RugsUSA is always my go to website because they always seem to have a sale usually up to 70% off. I can never pass up saving money!! 

About 2 years ago we bought Kingston's 5x8 chevron black and white rug for roughly $50. We love it and it will be a staple in whatever room design he grows into. 

If RugsUSA doesn't have what I'm looking for, I then turn to Wayfair. Their prices are extremely reasonable and they have a great variety of home decor. I usually 'favorite' things to my favorites board and then continue to check prices for a week or so. Every few days they have different categories go on sale - so sometimes if you wait long enough your item will go on sale. 

My favorite Wayfair purchase is this nuLOOM shag rug, which is also my absolutely favorite rug! It's so soft and plush and perfect for our living room. If I could, I'd have one in every room. 

We also received a complimentary rug pad from the Rug Pad Corner and it helps tremendously with the softness of this rug. Not only does it keep our rug from slipping because of its felt and rubber texture, but it also gives it so much extra cushion. It's so soft that Kingston will purposely walk over to the rug, sit down and then free fall backwards. He'll only do this on our living room rug because it's the only one we currently have a pad under. 

Finally, if I can't find what I want from either RugsUSA or Wayfair - sometimes Joss & Main will have a curated board specifically for rugs and something will speak to me. These boards are hand picked from different contributors with their favorite things - all with items on sale. You have to be fast though because they sell out quick and the boards are only up for a few days. Once they are gone, they're gone - unless you can find the exact same item on another website (but it'll be full price). 

We originally purchased both of these rugs (not sure the names) from Joss & Main- the grey for our bedroom in a 8x10 and the multi colored blue for our dining room in a 5x7. We ended up sending the grey one back because it was a darker grey then what the photo shows, and the multi-colored rug currently resides in our dining room. This is the one I'm only in like with. 

I think I would love it more if our flooring was different, but for now it does the job. 

I've also had good luck finding random rugs at the local Ross, TJMaxx and Nebraska Furniture Mart.
For example:

I originally bought this rug for the pattern on the front (because it matches the color scheme of the multi-colored dining room rug) but then I realized I could turn it over and like it even more. 

Another love purchase from NFM. 

It's hard to pass up a $9 rug in the perfect shade of emerald! 

I've also purchased white bath rugs for every bathroom in our house (because look how great the pictures make them look) ...

but don't be fooled - in reality they pick up every piece of dirt, makeup mark and piece of hair! These are ones I hate and can't take back. This was definitely a waste of $50 on bath mats. 

Where are your go to rug shops? 
A girl can never have too many rugs! 

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

1st Birthday Recap - Petting Zoo

(handmade by me)

My baby is 1!!! Can you believe it? I sure can't. 

July 30 was his actually birthday but on Saturday August 1 we had Kingston's first birthday party. 


CT and I knew that we weren't going to spend money on gifts for Kingston so we used that money towards a party that we knew all the kids could enjoy. After seeing how much Kingston enjoyed the animals at a graduation party, we knew it was exactly what we wanted to do for his birthday - have a petting zoo in our backyard! 

(Kingston watching them get set up)

4 Points Ranch & Petting Zoo provided one of a kind entertainment for everyone. It was a 2:00pm party in the middle of July - so they set up tents for everyone to hang out under. All of the animals were either tied up around the yard or put in open cages where you could have easy access to them. You could pet them, feed them, brush them and lead them around the yard. We had the animals reserved for an hour and it was the perfect amount of time. 

They brought:
Miniature Horse
Miniature Cow
Pig (that sat on command)
Baby Chicks 

 Scout and Kingston
(Shirt via // shorts via // moccs via)

Jade and Kingston

We had popsicles and water for the first hour while outside and then we came in and ate cookies and cupcakes, sang happy birthday and opened gifts! 

(Bib via)

It was a short and sweet party but plenty of time for everyone to have fun! 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Kingston: 12 Months

Can't believe I already have a 1 year old!!!

As of 7.30.15
24 lbs
Blonde Hair
Hazel Eyes
5 Teeth

Clothes: 12-18 months.
Diapers: Size 5. We are also on the largest rise setting in cloth diapers but no change with the waist snaps.
Shoes: He wears some 4c hard soled shoes and in moccs he can still fit his 0-6 months or 6-12 months. 

Anything and everything. And if he sees someone else eating - he will sign please for your food.
He LOVES: bananas, M&M's, milk, grapes, gold fish, meat loaf, spaghetti, all drinks. 
He dislikes: soft baby food and some meats with weird textures. 

Since bottles are no longer allowed at daycare in the toddler room - I've stopped pumping at work and we've transitioned into Whole Milk in sippy cups. Kingston still nurses in the morning and before bed and I'm still trying the think of how we are going to break this habit. I know's it's going to be a tough one.

This month he has transitioned from 3 naps to 1 at daycare. He usually wakes up about 630a, naps from noon to 2-3 and then is in bed by 730p.  The first week of daycare was extremely brutal to say the least. We had a super grumpy baby that all he wanted to do was sleep. Now that he's in a routine - things are much better. 

He also now sleeps like a big boy on a floor mat.

Started crawling at 8.5 months, walking at 9.5 months and running (striding out) at 10.5 months.
He claps at the right moments.
He waves -- ALL the time and to everyone. 
Gives kisses and hugs. 
He high fives.
He turns off the lights.
He knows his name.
He signs more and please.
He has 5 teeth (two top, 3 bottom) - with a gap and an underbite. 
He now runs as much as he walks.
He throws balls with both hands and with pretty good form. 
Knows where your eyes and mouth are. 
Knows what a cow, monkey, pig and horse say.
He 'pounds it'. 
He knows how to work a cell phone better then a 1 year old should.
He does push ups and high knees. 
He dances better than I do. 

The TV remote.
All sports - in person or on tv. 
Bath time or being in the pool. 
Playing with balls.
Reading books - 'Dog wants to play.'
Music and DANCING to any and every beat. The whip nae nae calms him down immediately
Being outside. 
Women. Especially Asian women. And Aynslee.
Face timing his G-dub. 
Playing in the toilets and dog bowl.

Being in his carseat. 
Being told no - he growls back at us. 

Da-Da - all the time
Ma-Ma but will maybe say it once to every 300 Da-Das. 
Ky - Kyla. 
Teta - Tessa. 
Nana - for banana. 
M&M's - gibberish though.
Baloo - Balloon.
Tatha - Tasha his teacher. 
Gabi - girl in his class.

Lots of repeating!

Playing in the water.
Reading books. 
Throwing balls. 

Kingston's Aunt Kyla has moved in with us and he has such a good time playing with her, dancing with her and laughing with her. They takes lots of walks to the park and she is always playing dress up in his closet. 

We also celebrated Kingston's birthday this past month with a bunch of his friends and 10 different animals. He had such a good time walking around like a big boy - going from person to person, animal to animal without any help! The kid has no fear and it's scary. 

I can't believe a year has already came and went.
It's been the faster and best year of my life! 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Kingston: 9,10 and 11 Months

Forgive me for my tardiness but I've skipped a few updates so hopefully this post gets me back on track with Kingston's monthly updates. One one remains!

As of 7.8.15
9 months - 21 lbs (75%) 29 3/4" (95%) 
10 months - skipped = bad mom! 
11 months - 23 lbs and 31" - growing like a weed! 

These days his hair is a very light brown that sometimes looks blonde. It flips out in the back, flows in the wind on the sides and is lacking on top. He has a gorgeous light brown tan and the prettiest hazel eyes. He also has 4 teeth with a gap in the middle top and a slight underbite. 

Clothes: 12-18 months.
Diapers: Over these past 3 months - King has transitioned from a size 3 into a size 5. We are also on the largest rise setting in cloth diapers but no change with the waist snaps.
Shoes: He wears some 4c hard soled shoes and in moccs he can still fit his 0-6 months or 6-12 months. 

This kid is into eating any and everything - and as of today - no longer wants anything to do with 'soft' food. His schedule: 630a - nurse, 830a breakfast (yogurt and fruit), 1130a lunch (meat,cheese, fruit or veggie) 6oz bottle, 330p 6oz bottle, 600p dinner (meat,cheese, fruit or veggie) with bites of our food and then 730p nurse. 

For snack - he loves 'cookies' - the lemon cookies, vanilla wafers or vanilla biscuits. He also really likes the gerber fruit bars. 

I would say he LOVES: yogurt, all meats and anything CT and I are eating.

I would say he HATES: peas, plain avocados and any fruits with a outer 'shell' - cherries or grapes.

I'm still pumping at work but I've cut back to one to two times a day - usually getting 7oz or so. I also pump one side in the morning and get about 3 oz.  So between weekend pumps and during the week - I almost always have enough for his two 6 oz bottles during the day. My goal was to strictly bf for a year and I'm only a few weeks away. My goal is to continue the bed time nursing session for a while and mix breastmilk with whole milk for the next few months. 

This boy loves to go down at night - usually between 730p-800p and wakes about 600a-700a. Depending on what time he wakes to nurse - he will usually go back to sleep for an additional hour or 2. 

He still takes 2-3 naps a day - one mid morning, one after lunch and depending on his fussiness one around 4. Since moving into our new house and his own room - we have invested in blackout curtains and a box fan and he sleeps like a baby (pun intended!) 

It's the sweetest thing when he wakes up from any sleep - he crawls to the corner of his bed, starts talking and just stares at the door until we come and get him. We are always greeted with the sweetest smile and sometimes a kiss. 

Started crawling at 8.5 months, walking at 9.5 months and running (striding out) at 10.5 months.
He claps at the right moments.
He waves -- ALL the time and to everyone. 
Gives kisses and hugs. 
He high fives.
He turns off the lights.
He knows his name.
He signs more (his version is a clap but he knows the correct way) and he signs please (but instead of rubbing his chest he rubs an open mouth) -- too funny!
He has 4 teeth - with an underbite. 
He has also started to run from us when he has something he shouldn't. 
He throws balls with both hands and with pretty good form. 
Knows where your eyes and mouth are. 
Knows what a cow, monkey and horse say.

The TV remote.
All sports - in person or on tv. 
Bath time or being in the pool. 

People watching. He is such the awesome shopping partner sitting in the cart waving at anyone.
Playing with balls.
Reading books - hundreds of times a day. 
Music and DANCING to any and every beat. LOVES to 'flick his wrist.' 
Being outside. 
Women. Especially Asian women. And Aynslee.
His G-dub. 

Being in his carseat. 
Going down for naps.
Being told no - he growls back at us. 

Da-Da - all the time

Ma-Ma but will maybe say it once to every 300 Da-Das. 

Lots of extra gibberish. 

Playing in the water.
Reading books. 
Throwing balls. 

I know I'm leaving out so much that has happened over these past 3 months - but he is a totally a new baby. Really, he's not so much a baby any more but a little toddler. He's ornery and mischievous and 100% boy. 

CT and I have also learned so much these past 3 months. We've learned that wooden floors and learning to walk do not go well together. I think Kingston has hit his head more then a dozen times. We've learned to ignore his fake gags. We've learned to find the dog poo first or it becomes smashed and the best version of play-doh. We've learned that we are going to need a lot of patience and a whole lot of prayers to parent this strong willed/independent boy.

It's so crazy to think that we are 3 weeks away from his first birthday! 

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