Sunday, November 22, 2015

My Blessed Pregnancy

Dear Hy-Vee employee,

Today I had a toddler yelling and screaming the whole way out of church after hearing an encouraging message and I was pumped for the week.  I had to sit in the car listening to my three-year old cry her eyes out of hunger and overly tiredness, instead of talking nicely with my husband about applications to the sermon.

After lunch and toddler asleep I ran to Hy-Vee.  Alone.  It was going to be great!  I walk in and get delighted that a few things on my list are on sale today.  I am lucky to get a free sample of frozen chocolate pie.  What 25 week pregnant woman would say no to chocolate pie?  Especially months of losing 20 pounds and puking nonstop!

I found the shortest line to check out (I wanted to get home to enjoy piece and quiet while toddler was still asleep and hubby is home).  A male at the register and you were the young lady to put my items into bags.  You seemed nice and efficient so I could get out fast.  That was nice....until you opened your mouth for small talk.  I'm sure your job gets really boring and all, and you love to meet all sorts of people.  But maybe next time... next time DON'T talk to a pregnant women this way:

"When are you due?"
"March 7th."
"Oh wow!  That far off?"
"I have a friend due in March and she doesn't even look pregnant!!"
"Yeah, I'm not blessed in pregnancies.....I lost 20 pounds in the first trimester."
Then you decided to look at me like I was crazy.  How could I look "THAT" pregnant with my due date so far off AND having lost 20 pounds!?!?

I'm officially 25 weeks pregnant tomorrow thank you very much.  I'm proud of this bump!  I actually prefer a bump over not showing at all.  Because those moments pregnancy causes me to feel breathless, nauseous, and miserable at least people see a bump and have sympathy.  First trimester I have NOTHING to show the public unless I wear my ultrasound picture on my sweaty, dirty forehead.

I don't know what to tell strangers when they ask personal questions about my pregnancy.  Do I dare share this is my FOURTH pregnancy, not my first?  Do I dare make it more awkward (but maybe helping the stranger learn some tact) that I've lost two babies and this bump is a BLESSING!?  How do I find a phrase to say when people share their inner most thoughts on how I look and what I should be as a pregnant woman?  So many women would do ANYTHING to have a rainbow baby, and I was fortunate to have mine be 25 weeks along in the cooking process.  My sweet baby boy has a story.  This bump is a blessing, not a curse.  

Young lady bagging my groceries maybe next time instead of pointing out my big bump, maybe I should have been quick to come back with "my bump is a blessing so stop making it seem like it's a curse."  But there's so much heartache in reference to my pregnancies that I couldn't bare say anything at all.  I'm not blessed with pregnancies.  I'm miserable while pregnant.  But if anything, I can enjoy my bump, my baby kicks, and know that he is growing inside me.  And hopefully someday I can meet him and he will be healthy.

So, next time instead of making a pregnant woman feel HUGE and feel like something is seriously wrong with her.....just say, "March is a great time to have a baby!"  Because honestly, I'm looking forward to the holidays filled with food.  And I don't mind if it makes me gain a few extra pounds.  Because I'm thankful I'm not puking anymore, and I'm thankful God gave me a blessing of this baby boy.

Your blessed pregnant customer

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

My Experience with Church Response

In the past years I've personally experienced some things that desperately needs to be brought to the surface. 

How do I say this lightly? The Church has to take a step back and rethink some things.  There is a definite difference between grace, mercy, and acceptance.  Giving grace and being supportive is not saying "I 100% agree that this is good.  I accept you because I agree with you."

Let's support and love on people because that's what Jesus would do.

Show love and kindness to parents.  Include them.

Let women lead connection groups and allow them to speak up at church.

There needs to be a stronger ministry for high school graduates through newlywed life.

There needs to be support for those who life looks different then what God had originally planned.

Let me explain:

Growing up I would think such poorly about those who lived differently than me.  Why do they think getting drunk on weekends and going to church like no big deal was okay?  Why are there divorces within the churches and broken families?  Don't Christians know how to do premarital counseling?  Why is there adultery?  Why did God have to include that in commandments? 

What about child abuse?  Why are people on drugs okay?  Why are we not praying?  Why do Christians always seem and come off so judgmental and perfect?

Because we grow up with rules and guidelines and if life situations come our way that don't "fit" we quickly judge and turn away.

But you just turned away everyone you know.  

We have all fallen short, it just looks different in each heart and each family.

In the past couple years I've dealt with trying to find support and a small group of church friends to live life along side.  Why has it been so difficult?
Because reality hit.  Sin came to surface.  Pain and confusion became part of my life.  It didn't "fit" with what believers could take on.  I felt thrown out like an old rag.

Since then I've found those who are there to listen.  And unfortunately not within my community of believers.

Why is that?  Why does it take looking outside my church community to find those who will support, hear me out, cry, mourn, grieve, and keep on living with me?  Why was I pushed out from the people who I trusted to begin with?

What will it take to have The Church respond differently?  How do you respond to "tough situations"?  What about situations you disagree with?

Two Months Ago

It's been two months since my last post.  I shared the news we were expecting again!  The months didn't fly by necessarily.  I just didn't take the time to post.

Updates on our little family include:

--Not long after that post I had a weekend of less nausea and so we went to the doctor that Monday (8/10/15) to check on the baby.  Strong heartbeat and moving around like it was a jungle gym!  I was so surprised and so thankful to see everything going well.  However it also made me really confused.  So, now what?  Will my sickness return?  Is it going to get better or worse?  And...we could still lose this baby.

--The next few weeks I had some REALLY bad nausea and constant puking that came about unexpected.  It was horrible!!  But each week it got better and I had some "functional" days if I had help with Ellie and breakfast.  It also helped if I didn't have to cook.

--Labor Day weekend was my first time OUT of the house (other than appointments) since 4th of July weekend.  We had a family reunion and Adventureland on Labor Day.  That Tuesday I paid for all that "outing" I did, but it was nice to get out.

--This pregnancy is different than Ellie's where I get more headaches, however the nausea died down sooner.  Now that I'm going to the chiropractor regularly it's been helpful to get back on track with my neck pain.

--September 20th was Jon's birthday.  We went out to eat as a family of three and it was nice to just spend time together.  We were still living at my parent's house and preparing to move back home.  We had a lot of conversations about preparation for that transition.  We had been living at my parent's house since July 23rd!!

Pizza & Dessert with his family

--September 24th (16 weeks pregnant) I was functioning enough that week to get a haircut.  The next day my mom helped me take Ellie and I to the chiro in Ames and then back home and move in all our stuff.

--Gnats.  After being gone for SO long we had gnats.  Every.  Where.  We had to clean out the fridge and freezer of dead gnats and throw away old food.  It was really disgusting.  I had to have Jon's help or my gag reflex would be over the top.  I would sit on the couch with my "next" small meal and have gnats following me as I ate.  I felt like I was camping.

--The following weekend we returned to my parent's house so I didnt have to make my house spotless for Ellie's birthday party.  Saturday Jon traveled to his friend's Harvest Party in SW Iowa, while my parents took Ellie and I to Center Grove Orchard for some early birthday celebrating!  My parents helped make sure I had plenty of snacks while Ellie also got to enjoy herself and bring home a pumpkin!

In love with the goats :)
Gma & Gpa in cornpool
--Ellie's birthday and updates about her turning three will have to be a separate post.  However I will say I kept her birthday simple this year.

I didn't take any pics on my phone from her birthday because my mom had her nice camera out.  So here's a pic of Ellie from two months ago when my mom got her dressed up to go out to eat with them....when I was still nauseous and on the couch.

I love this girl so much.  She melts my heart.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Kaisand updates

Ellie has something she wants to tell you....

She's pretty excited and knows Mommy is sick because a baby is growing in my tummy.  The same day Ellie's hair clip made it's way out we got a positive test!  It was quite the day!!

And my morning sickness started earlier and stronger than any other pregnancy I've had.  That has definitely been the hardest on me.  I just wish I could enjoy being pregnant.  I wake up in the night feeling like I have the stomach flu and the next day it starts all over again.

Last week we had our 8 week appointment and our little baby measured just fine and had a good heartbeat of 167 bpm!

Right now I take it a day at a time -- moment by moment-- and just pray this baby stays healthy and is doing just fine.  The sickness hasn't given me any breaks so so far I don't think there's going to be a problem.  I'm almost to the mark of when we found out Alex didn't have a heartbeat (and I'm more sick with this one so I feel better about that part).  However it is very tiring and hard on my body.  There have been moments where I tell my care taker "I'm giving up." I'm encouraged to keep going, that I can do this.  It's just so hard day to day throwing up and feeling nauseous in between.  It gets really old, makes days feel like weeks.  If this pregnancy is similar to Ellie's (which so far it's worse sickness wise) then I will start feeling better by Thanksgiving.  So that is what I'm looking towards.

For the past few weeks my little family has crashed at my parents house.  It has helped a ton having my mom care for Ellie and give me my snacks, etc in between.  My mom had sickness when she was pregnant so she can emphasize which is so helpful when you feel so drained.

And if you were wondering why I havnt been around much....that's because I'm in the couch resting or puking.  I'm not a good host right now.  I'm just surviving.

My prayer to Jesus last night I told him to have mercy on me and take care of my baby.  I told him I understand the curse of childbearing.  The sickness is hard.  I told Him to help me through this hard time and give me peace about things.

So yippee! soon I will have a baby to hold but until then I'm taking it one day at a time.  Like I tell Ellie, "growing a baby takes a lot of work!"

Due March 7th!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Why I don't "hate" Matt Walsh and his blog...

....I just don't like it.

This week I posted an article about hating Matt Walsh.  With the post I said "truth" which let me clarify with what I meant.

I wasn't saying the title of the article was truth.  I don't hate a blogger.  What I was referring to was hating how he goes about his blog.  Christians share his blog posts cheering for his beliefs.  And I shared that article because I strongly disagree with which he goes about doing so.

I'm not someone who likes backlash on Facebook.  I don't enjoy strong disagreements on Facebook.  So I apologize for bringing that into focus.  That was not my intentions.  My desire was to share that I'm not a Matt Walsh fan in what he says and does on his blog.

And that's why I don't comment when someone isn't willing to read the entire article.  Please don't read just a few lines and strongly disagree and start putting it out on me.  Ask my intentions and don't be quick to judge.  {And I desire that to be honored because even though it is social media, it is on my page.}

Part of my faith journey has been learning to not be so quick to judge, being more open minded, and I feel like Matt Walsh does the opposite of that.  And that is what I wanted to bring to the table.

If you want to sit and chat with me about it you can.  E-mail me.  Private message me.  But stay open minded and try to see it from a different point of view.  Someone who might see the church as already judgmental and hurtful.  And I don't want to be a part of that.

1 Peter 3:15-22
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 
17 It is better, if it is God's will,to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 
18 For Christ died for sins once for all,the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 
19 through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison 
20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 
21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also--not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 
22 who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand--with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Awards for Ellie

Ellie turned 2 1/2 years old a couple months ago, and things have certainly changed since her two year old birthday!

Here's some of the awards Ellie could be given:

1. She is the best at going to the bathroom anywhere but the toilet.
2. You always know what cup is hers, it was placed in ketchup.
3. She can get Daddy to dance.

4. Her ability at hiding things that belongs to someone else.
5. So affectionate.
Grandma getting kisses

6. In-tuned to other's feelings.

7. The loudest screamer.
8. The talent of knowing how things SHOULD go, where things SHOULD be placed, etc.
9. Knowing where everything belongs.
10. The best at introductions.
11. What the temperature of water needs to be.
12. Sounding like a lion.

She definitely keeps us on our toes!  Well, literally her toes.  She still walks on her toes.  Everyone knows where our Ellie is....we're either calling her name out to come back to us, she's a lion, screaming in frustration, or hopefully being her sweet self saying hello to everyone.  We meet a lot of people where ever we go and all she says is "Hi, I'm Ellie.  This is mommy and daddy and I'm Ellie. (chuckles) What's your name?"  She keeps repeating it because she has no idea what else to say!  And then if asked how old she is she proudly replies, "I'm two!"

Friday, April 24, 2015

Spring Cleaning

After a busy week house sitting at my parent's house I had hoped to return home all ready and pumped to get my house back in order.  It needed a lot of cleaning done (I skipped cleaning the week prior.)  The day we were going to return home I woke up with awful allergies.  Today is the first day I actually feel more like myself.  This week I was pretty bummed.  Ellie was getting over a sickness and I was miserable.

Movies, puzzles, reading books, baths, and grocery shopping filled our week.  I felt so down about the fact I couldn't get our house back in order with the normal weekly cleaning.  I just did what I had enough energy to do (sinus' made it hard to breathe).

When a thought comes into my mind 50% of the time it happens within minutes of receiving that idea.  25% of the time it ends up happening within a couple days.  The other 25% it doesn't happen until that idea pops back into my mind.

Today I had the idea "I want to shower and clean my kitchen cupboards today."
(Yes, I even think about showers or no showers.)  After my shower and a few funny conversations with Ellie, I got my pantry cupboards cleaned out.  A garbage bag full later, I feel better about my determination to save my family money next week.  I'm motivated for next week to spend no money on groceries.  I have plenty of food in my freezers, fridge and pantry.  Now that I just touched everything in my pantry I know exactly what I have to work with.

But I didn't stop there.  I threw on some cleaning gloves and deep scrubbed the kitchen sink.  Seriously, how often are you supposed to clean them versus how often you actually do?  I scrubbed with a toothbrush in some areas!  Ick!  It felt soo good to put my STRESS into getting my house to look better.  My mom likes to garden for therapy, I like a clean organized space.

Some day down the road, we're thinking of updating our counter tops and getting a new sink.  Wiping down that sink really made me want to start saving up for that upgrade TODAY!  This sink isn't very deep and there's so many scratches in the bottom from big pots and pans.  However in the mean time, that faucet makes a HUGE difference.

I was cleaning in the kitchen while Ellie ate her lunch and it kept her from getting into things while I was trying to work away without distractions.

Nap time is now planning for next weeks meals.  How do you go about planning meals when you are not going to the store?

I like to make sure I have meat, starch, veggies, and fruit.

Here's my meal planning: (and it's stuff I already have!)

Option #1
*Sour Cream & Onion Pork Chops
Canned Peaches

Option #2
*Tator Tot Casserole

Option #3
Pork Tenderloin

Option #4
Hot dogs
Baked Beans
Mac & Cheese Casserole
Canned Peaches

Option #5
*Stuffed Chicken (Costco purchase)

Option #6
*With a family of 3, we usually have leftovers.
Or we have Chicken Nuggets if need substance. :)

*Leftovers Ellie and I usually eat for lunch.  We also have lunch meat, cheese, cottage cheese, and egg muffins if she prefers.  Or peanut butter.  Give her bread and peanut butter, or put it on a spoon. :)

Have you ever had a week where you tried not going to the store?
Let me hear your pointers, thoughts, and let me know how it goes for your family!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Discipline for Mommy

When Jon and I were first married I was a nanny for a two year old.  She was sweet and shy, but also full of things to say.  She loved to read books and loved arts and crafts.  She also liked to go on walks and swing.  I watched her for just over a year because Jon and I moved away.

To be honest my least favorite age is 2-3 years old.  It's a hard age.  I like doing more advanced puzzles, games, and activities.  My favorite ages are 4-6 years.  For some of you that might seem like not much of an age gap, while others know exactly what I mean.

But when I was a nanny I didn't mind her age at all.  Her personality was more like a four year old.  She was well behaved and mined her manners.  She was also fully potty trained.  Her and I had a lot of fun together.  She is such a sweetheart.

Now what?

"Must get this phone off!"

I have a two year old.  In about a month my daughter will be the age of the girl I watched.  Ellie is so different.  I'm not sure where she fits on development or communication in comparison.  But that doesn't matter.  However my daughter isn't anywhere potty trained.  She persists to "go" in her diaper.  She behaves well for others, but gets angry with me.  She screams and hits me constantly.... just because she wants to.  Or because she's mad about something.  Or because she's two.

(No picture of the hitting. My hands are full.)

I was so glad to hear that her teachers at church tell me she behaves well for them.  She is a delight to have in their class.  That blessed me, because she can be horrible at home.  Jon and I look at each other constantly and ask "now what?"

Discipline is such a hard thing to figure out.  Toddlers need grace.  Toddlers need nurturing.  Toddlers need reassurance.  They don't know how to communicate.  They are incapable to understand consequences.  Don't spank.  Don't do time outs.  Don't shame your child.  Don't give in.  Stay consistent.

At what point do we know the correct way to parent our child(ren)?

So many years I spent taking care of other people's children during the day.  I saw different kinds of parenting styles.  Some I disagreed with and some I was blessed to witness.

But at what point do we stop trying and start doing?  What will make the difference?  What is going to change?

We need to take our energy and place it in our hearts.  We need to encourage one another that we are not alone.  That sometimes goldfish for lunch is okay.  Because the more we spend on questioning our parenting the more we lose track of who our child is becoming.

Singing Happy Birthday!

Jon and I are both introverts.  We are pretty calm people.  We don't bring out drama, but we knows there's a time and place for it.  Our Ellie is not like that at all.  If we try to spend so much time on forcing her to be "like us" what will she become?  Ellie gains so much excitement from being around people.  She has lots of energy and says hi to everyone she sees (and continues to say it until you respond).  Her gifts of being more outward is a blessing to us.  Some day that will be a great gift to have.  Meanwhile how do we help her face her anger and frustrations when the world comes her way?

Ellie's here!!

Today we have to figure out the boundaries of where our discipline lies and her personality freedoms drive.  Let her be herself without disrespect.  Enjoy the blessings she gives us for who she is and not what we wish she could be.

Our daughter is a blessing and they are overflowing.  Some days I just need that reminder.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Still here! Bathroom Renovation in one post!

Hello stranger.  Sorry we've been away for so long.  Wifi is needed, because smartphones are not a fun way to write a blog post.  Then our laptop needed fixed.  Life has been really crazy lately...

Especially when you realize the last post was October.

Update posts must be made, here's a few:

--Christmas (4 celebrations)
--Bathroom Finished Product
--Ellie updates &
--Toddler Life

Let's start with the bathroom!

When we moved into our house March 10, 2014 it looked like this:

We had to use the bathroom in our basement.  It stretched me for sure.  Read about that stuff here.  It was hard because Ellie wasn't walking yet and the mess of renovations really ended up everywhere.  She was crawling around in the living room or kitchen and getting the dust on her pants!  I had to get creative when I had to use the bathroom or for normal bathroom use.  We used the kitchen sink more often.

And then I wrote in detail updates of how things were going in April 2014.

Ellie and I moved back out of the house when Jon had to do the flooring and put window in because it was getting too messy and hard for Ellie.  She wouldn't let Jon do anything.  And too dark and loud to do it once she was asleep.

We came back Mother's Day.

2014 was definitely difficult.  The link takes you to the post where I talk about it, but I was dealing with no working plumbing for either bathroom for awhile (another good reason to move back out).

Today, well on a good day....the bathroom looks like this:

I love it!  Some highlights of the bathroom:
-Heated tile floors
-Gray, yellow & white (can't go wrong in a small space)
-the window brings in natural light all day long
-it really makes the house feel updated and more like our own

*Jon is planning on making me a shelf that will be stained to match the vanity cabinets to go over the toilet for extra storage.

But until then, I'm totally fine.  Enjoying having plumbing and working bathroom right outside my bedroom door!  And to include....all our bathroom stuff finally organized and not worry about dry wall dust.
*Read linen closet is now organized and labeled.  It's all done having to have bathroom stuff in random places during the renovation!!! :)