Friday, January 30, 2015

Five Facts Friday (1/30)

1.  I haven't done one of these posts in a VERY long time!

2.  Bet you thought I forgot about them. 
*i kinda did*

3. Ella turned 7 months old yesterday, started grabbing for her toys while sitting in her activity seat, found her thumb and enjoyed sucking it, and began blowing raspberries. It was an eventful day. Plus, she looks super cute. 


4.  My cousin Sarah offered to make Jack an alphabet book using photographs of items/people he'd recognize.  She rocks!  So the last couple of days I've been scrounging around looking for things to take pictures of and going through tons and tons of old photos. I've enjoyed doing it, & Jack has loved posing :)

(I for "ice")
(V for "vest")
(U for "umbrella")

5. This girl is officially sleeping without her swaddle (the fabulous Woombie), and we're now using the equally-fabulous Zipadeezip. It took three days of naps to get used to it, and by the third night, I decided she was ready to try it out for the night. Success!  This was last night right before I got her up for the dreamfeed. So sweet!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thankful Thursday (1/29) - 7 Months Old!

Today, I'm thankful for this girl :)


I'm also thankful for these words and the full weight of their meaning:


Jack and I read this together during breakfast this morning. I'm grateful beyond measure for what Jesus did for all of us. It really is such a great devotional written in such a simple and beautiful way. Precious for kiddos and adults alike! :)

I'm thankful for this sweet start to my day!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Breakfast for Dinner

As I may have mentioned previously, I have a two week plan of meals written out. It helps with grocery planning, since I only go grocery shopping every two weeks (with a quick trip to pick up bananas and milk in between).  

One of the dinners I fix is "breakfast for dinner," which also gives Jack a few days of actual breakfast, as well. 

I usually fix blueberry waffles and scrambled eggs. 
Last night, I made both, but I changed things up a little. 

I fixed the eggs in the waffle iron. Mostly because I'm lazy and didn't want to have to use the skillet, but also because I thought it sounded neat. 

Also, I totally stole the idea from Pinterest.

I fixed the blueberry waffle mixture first. It's the Bisquick recipe with a cup of frozen blueberries and a few drops of almond extract added in. 


The recipe makes between 12 and 15 waffles. 


Then, I whipped up the eggs. 


Ingredients which yielded 8 egg waffles:
5 eggs
A splash of milk
A sprinkle of salt and pepper
A dollop or 3 of salsa
A handful or 2 of shredded cheese 

Next, I poured the mixture onto the waffle iron and let them cook for about 5 minutes before checking them. I let them cook a few more minutes and made sure they were firm enough to pull out but not rubbery. 


They were so tasty!!!


Jack agreed :)


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Yes. I. Did.

What do I do when both babies are down for an afternoon nap? 

Sort the big bag of Skittles my dad gave me, of course. 

You do this, too, right?




Sunday, January 25, 2015

Losing It

So. 

I need to be real here. 

I read this article a few days ago. 

I read it because the first line caught my attention in a way that something must in order for me to give it more than three minutes of my time. 

This. 


As I read, I saw more lines that spoke volumes. 

This one. 


And, this one. 


Some days, I feel like I've lost it. It, being my patience to get through one. more. minute. without crying or running away or screaming. Or doing all of the aforementioned. 

My children are not terrible.  NOT even close. 

They are precious.
Jack, especially, is oh-so-loving. He is my little buddy. My shadow. My tag-along-pal.

Ella is still smiley and squealy and snuggly.  Her chubby cheeks get kissed and caressed as often as she's awake. 

But, they are 19 1/2 months and almost 7 months. They are little. They need me. A lot. And, it's exhausting. Physically and emotionally. 

The Husband was released from light duty a few weeks ago, and my days that were already tough have become tougher. I know that sounded complain-y.  That's because it was. 

He's now gone from 2:30pm to 11:30pm five consecutive days a week. 

Now, for those of you without young children, that probably doesn't sound bad. 

But.

If you, like me, have one or two or God-bless-you-three (or more) little ones, you know that those evening hours starting as early as 4pm can get ugly. And fast. 

If I didn't have some sort of schedule and routine, I'd be bonkers by now. 

The toughest time is dinner, bath, and bed because if Ella's off her routine, she's miserable, and it makes us want to rip our ears off. Us, being me. It makes Jack concerned, and he pats her or let's me know she's crying by whining loudly, too, while pointing in her direction as if he thinks I can't hear her wails.  
It's helpful. 
Not.
Wow. 
I just dated myself. 
Whatever; "not" is still a perfectly acceptable response. So is "whatever."
Not. 

So, while the mornings usually go pretty smoothly, as soon as they're both up from afternoon naps, the rest of the day can go one of two ways. 
Smoothly, with few hiccups and lots of laughs. 
Or. 
To hell, with lots of hiccups and many tears. 

Both are usually followed by me collapsing on the couch while trying to decide if eating and showering are truly important. 

So, you can imagine my relief when I read that article. 
First, it was great to read that I'm not the ONLY one who loses it. 
Second, that it CAN change. 
Third, that it will possibly and hopefully affect my children's behavior, as well. 

We can control our reactions to our emotions.  I forgot that. 

I'm typing this at 2:30pm, and it's already been a tough day. My countdown has begun earlier that usual. 

I'm already imagining the worst, but I know that my reactions can dictate how this evening goes, even if their reactions don't mirror mine. 

It's now 4:45pm, and although the countdown is ticking away, my children are mostly content--Ella nursing and Jack playing with his Pooh Bear and puppy.  In an hour, I'll have dinner almost ready and will be getting Ella down (fingers crossed) for a cat nap. Then, Jack will eat (maybe I will, too), I'll give him a bath, we'll read 5-10 books, and he'll go to bed. If Ella has cooperated and isn't screaming bloody murder, I'll grab a drink, transfer the laundry into the dryer, then I'll wake her to eat and go back to sleep. 

Then. 

I'll breathe. 

I need to do more breathing like the article suggests.

Lots more inhaling and exhaling. 

Maybe, then, I'll find what I've lost. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Let me just say...

Today's inspirational quote just stared at me this morning.


Really?  

Sometimes I think, "If just one more thing hits us…," and then I remember that we'll get through it just like we've done so many times before.  
**I do not always remember this truth in the midst of the ordeal.  Just being honest, Folks.**

I feel like our marriage as been tested from the very beginning.  Over and over, our resolve and love and determination are put through the ringer.  

And each time?

We come out stronger.  

More devoted.  

Loving more fully.

Anywho.

The latest thing?

Friday morning, the Sunday of The Husband's weekend, I woke bright and early to my alarm at 7am.  I got Ella up and fed, got Jack up and fed, got Ella down for a nap, and got Jack squared away in his room for "room time."  The Husband and I sat on the couch, me with a book, him with his phone, and we sat in comfortable silence as our children were occupied elsewhere.  The quiet was pleasant.  

I caught a whiff of something odd and said, "Hey, why does it smell like smoke?"  The Husband sniffed and said, "Because it is smoke!"  He jumped up, ran to Jack's room, threw open the door.  Nothing.  Well, nothing other than our sweet boy playing happily.  He then opened our bedroom door, the room in which Ella sleeps, as well, and he said, "Get her out!"  Smoke filled the room.  And, Ella continued to sleep peacefully through it.  That knowledge alone nearly stopped my heart.  

I grabbed her, he grabbed Jack, and we went out on the porch.   In the below freezing weather.  I had grabbed a robe and my phone on the way out, so I huddled the kids up close to me as we sat on the bench.  The Husband went back inside to see where the smoke was coming from because we hadn't seen any fire.  He shouted for me to call for help.  

For the first time in my life, I called 911.

It felt odd asking for help for smoke but no fire (that we could see).  

Five minutes later, two firetrucks arrived, and a police car pulled up.  All of the guys nodded and smiled at us as they went inside to assess the situation.

Fifteen minutes later, they determined that the smoke had come from the ac/heater unit in Jack's closet.  For some reason, it had pushed all of the smoke into Ella's room.  The wiring was inappropriately low-guage for our unit, and the wires were melting together and would have likely caused a fire had we not caught it in time.  The unit was shut down and things were disconnected.  

I hurriedly packed enough stuff for the day for the kids and drove the three of us over to my parents' house while The Husband tried to figure out what to do next.   

I sent this text to The Bestie.


Our first-year home warranty company was called.  A repairman was sent out.  He refused to fix it, and assured us that the warranty company wouldn't cover the repairs.  Lots of hours passed.  After a lot of unnecessary business with the repair company, the warranty company called and said they wouldn't cover the repairs.  Why on earth do we have this warranty if they aren't going to cover things like this??!

The Husband's parents offered to come down and try to fix the problem (rewire with bigger-guage wires) for now until we can afford to do something different.  They arrived Friday evening.  That night, the four of us slept at my parents' house, and The Husband's parents stayed here.  They had fixed the issue, and the heater was working again.  

What has frustrated me so much is the fact that, yet again, our inspector failed to see a problem.  Our house is collapsing, our kitchen floor is rotting out, and now our house nearly catches on fire because of a wiring issue that should have been caught.  

Our insurance company has agreed to cover some of the cost of releveling our home (but we don't know if they'll cover replacing the flooring), so as soon as this darn rain will stop and we can get a releveling company out here to assess the problems and give us quotes on everything, we can get the ball rolling.  That's is a huge prayer answered.  Now, it's just a waiting game.  I hate waiting.  

But.

I sent this text to my sister.  It sums up my gratitude.  


I'm so incredibly grateful that this little family of ours was protected.  So many different scenarios have rushed through my mind, but I won't allow them to take root.  We were spared.  We were unharmed.  Our home did not burn down, our things were not lost.  We had a home to go to while waiting.  We had family come help fix the problem.  We are safe.  

This new year certainly has started out with a bang, but we will continue to trust and serve the One who continues to take care of us.  

From our family to yours, 
blessings in this new year of ours.  
May the hiccups of life not sway our trust and hope in the Lord, but instead, may they turn our eyes to Him in such a way that we see His hand at work even in the darkest of times.