Thursday, December 07, 2017

Christmas Time is Here!

This one is for Grandma Linda. She misses the blog and seeing pictures of the grand kids, so I thought I'd revive it and see if I can sustain some kid updates and photos.

It's Christmas! All isn't always merry and bright, but I love the traditions as we celebrate the greatest gift ever. Jesus' birth and life certainly wasn't all merry either, but pain was necessary to bring about our salvation. Real life is a mix of pain and joy, struggle and blessing. Often both can be side by side. So wherever you are at this holiday season, it's okay.

Some pictures of our Christmas season so far...
 Brielle riding Elvis at the tree farm. Desmond and Kaylynn are both too big now.
 Here's our tree! (from Washougal River Tree Farm)
 When did they all get so big?
 Ready to haul it home.
 Kids decorating. The bottom branches are loaded.
 Why?! Why don't Christmas lights work two years in a row?! I can never fix the half that's out.
 My cute little reindeer!
 Adult Christmas party at a friend's house.
 Gaining good head control.
 Brielle loves the camera!
 Christmas lights are up outside.
 Christmas coloring with Brielle.
 Dress from Jeremy's wedding. This is the last time she'll fit in it.
Kaylynn had ballet yesterday. Still loving it!
Ho! Ho! Ho! (one week shy of four months old)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Things to Remember about the Baby Days

Things I want to remember: 3:00 am breastfeeding snuggles.  How she puts her arms down and tucks them in at her sides when sleeping.  Rubbing her face in my shoulder or the bed sheet when she's ready to go to sleep.  Half-asleep breastfeeding with her arm draped across her eyes.  The cute noise she makes when the sneeze almost comes but then doesn't.  Her laughs when I laugh.  The way it tickles her when I'm getting her arms out of her sleeves.  The wide toothless grin I see every day.  Quiet coos and excited squeals.  How music soothes her.  Plump little legs chubbified without the assistance of bottles.  Her left leg pumping when she's excited or upset.  Bright sparkling blue eyes.

The first three months have flown by!  Just like before I couldn't imagine life with one more, but now I just love her to pieces!  Brielle is still sweet, content, easy-going and she's patient if ever there could be a patient baby.  She quietly waits her turn in her car seat sitting in the entry while I make lunch for the other two.  She greets me each morning with a smile. She usually falls asleep with no cries.  She is sunshine in my day.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Brielle is Two Months Old

Today I finally got around to snapping some two month photos of Brielle.  She and Kaylynn have matching dresses so I also took some sister pictures.  So cute!

Brielle is sleeping through the night on a regular basis now. She rarely cries and if she does she'll stop after a few minutes if I can't get to her right away. She's often content to wait her turn. Sweet baby!

Desmond and Kaylynn adore her and love taking turns holding her.  Desmond often writes love notes to her and Kaylynn shares her snugglies.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Settling in with Brielle

It has been far too long since we've updated everyone!  Life started a new chapter on March 1st when Brielle Moya Grace was born.  You can read all about her arrival on our baby blog.  We are all so in love with her!  She's a mild mannered baby and in the past couple weeks she has slept through the night three times.  It really is all about sleep at this stage.  I turn into a mommy zombie with all the sleep interruptions, so it's nice to see a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel.

So far adjusting hasn't been too hard.  We have our days but overall it's doable.  I think two was harder than three.  Desmond didn't have anyone to play with back then but now he has Kaylynn.  Also feeding has been so easy this time around.  How nice to not be attached to the pump!  I haven't had any post partum emotional or physical issues, and I'm ready to hit the weight loss which will make me feel better once some progress is visible.

Things are settling in.  The family is doing well.  We also have new renters in our condo which balances our finances.  Brielle got approve for Washington health insurance which covers 100% of her hospital bill.  God's blessings are abundant!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Busy, Busy

The last few weeks has been unusually busy.  We've had new carpet installed in two bedrooms upstairs, and we're turning over the condo after having wonderful renters for three years.  It's very difficult to get major work like painting done with two young children so I've done a lot of the house work during nap times, and Davin's been spending most evenings at the condo.  Let's just say we're both pretty tired but things will hopefully slow down soon.

In other news Desmond is doing well with homeschooling and can read small books.  He's quite the little helper and recently has been eager to do extra chores to earn a little spending money.  I love seeing how he's growing in so many ways.

Kaylynn just moved into her new big sister room.  She was with Desmond for about a week while we ripped out carpet and painted so it's nice to have them back in their own rooms again.  She has more space now and the baby will get the small room.  Kaylynn's also recently started drawing people in her doodles.  So cute!  Also she has taken quite an interest in her wardrobe.  She changes her outfit multiple times a day and has definite opinions on what shirt goes with what pants.  

Baby is doing well and moves a lot.  I wish I could peak inside to see what in the world he or she is doing in there!  Only about ten weeks left.

We got our Christmas tree last weekend and the house feels festive for Christmas.  The outside lights are only halfway done and I forgot to water the tree for the last few days, but hey, life is happening around here and we do what we can when we can.  I'm learning to simplify and try to let go of my perfectionistic ways and overachiever goals.  A happy, healthy home is my goal so I have to remind myself about what's really important when my to do list is longer than the hours in the day.  I still need to take time to build LEGOs and play ring-around-the-rosie.  The cleaning can wait... though the laundry needs washed sometime.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

October Outings

It's fun to play with the kids and enjoy the things they enjoy.  Recent family outings include a day at Bi-Zi Farms where we picked pumpkins...
 And a Halloween night at Real Life Church.  Desmond was Swampy from the "Where's my Water?" game and Kaylynn was her favorite cartoon character Doc McStuffins.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Health Insurance

We are blessed to have Davin's health insurance covered by work, and we qualify for the kids to be mostly covered by the state.  I, however, am a different story.  We make too much for me to qualify for state assistance. We don't make enough to foot the $500/month bill to add me to Davin's insurance. So I have an individual plan with Kaiser.  Since I first got my plan in 2009 my premiums have increased by about 100%, but coverage has remained the same and is good.  2014 changes all that.  

My plan is being discontinued and I have to pick a new one for January.  The best plan Kaiser can now offer me increases my premiums by a considerable amount and drops coverage by a shocking degree leaving me paying 80% more for the combined premium and out of pocket maximum amounts.  This is a problem with an upcoming hospital stay to deliver my baby.  The amount of extra money we have to come up with for my 2014 health insurance exceeds the amount we've budgeted and diligently started saving up over the course of a year and a half to take a ten year anniversary cruise.  To put it in perspective another way, the extra money we'll pay for Kaiser insurance would feed our family for about 10 months. Wow.

So now I'm in research mode, and I'm fairly certain I'll be switching insurance companies.  Regence seems to have the best coverage for the lowest premium so far.  It will save a couple thousand over Kaiser's plan.

I'm also researching my birthing options.  My last cesarean cost about $14000 before insurance and with worse coverage I have to look at the total cost since we'll be paying a higher percentage of it.  My doctor says I could have a trial of labor.  That is now deemed acceptable for women with no more than two cesareans.  (It used to be only one.)  Vaginal birth costs much less overall, but I'm nervous about trying it.  A home birth could save even more, but I can't see myself going that route.  I've looked into birthing centers, too, but they're typically out-of-network, and one I contacted said it costs about $5000 so it could potentially cost more than a hospital due to no insurance coverage.  Not all birthing centers and midwives accept VBACs either.  All that to say, if I really want a VBAC, I'm going to have to fight for it.  A repeat cesarean is easy and expected.

Once I'm done with babies, I will possibly drop insurance all together and pay the penalty.  That will save us enough to easily cover all my normal medical needs.  I know the new insurance changes help some people, but many of us in the middle class just get painfully squeezed.  I'm not surprised.  Seeing Obamacare coming, I expected to pay more and get less.  Someone has to put up the money to provide the same level of coverage for everyone.  Good for some, but really not good for me.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Desmond Is Riding His Bike!!

DSC_8104So, for the last few days Desmond and I have been working on getting rid of the training wheels. At first he was having trouble pedaling and staying up. He was just too wobbly. So, I decided to take his pedals off and lower his seat all the way and turn his bike into a strider. The result was almost immediate. He was able to stay up for a little while and glide along. We have been doing that for a few days. Tonight after going up and down the driveway a few times and him staying up for ten seconds or so until the bike would come to a stop I asked him if he wanted to put the pedals on and he way super excited.

DSC_8105The very first time after putting on the pedals he did awesome! He started pedaling and just took off. I have a feeling he is going to want to do a lot of biking in the near future. I am super impressed with how quick he picked up biking.



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

See Baby #3

We have the ultrasound pictures of our new baby!  Check it out on my pregnancy blog.

Monday, September 16, 2013


It's weird having total strangers share strong feelings about whether or not homeschooling is a wise choice or whether starting homeschool at five is healthy.  People definitely have opinions, and I'm becoming more aware of the fact that I'm not following mainstream.  

But regardless of how others feel I'll do, we are loving it!  We start each day with a little school after breakfast.  Kaylynn often joins in listening, coloring, or taking apart the ABC puzzle yet again.  Often Desmond will ask me for more when we're done so that's encouraging.  Today I pulled out the LEGOS to incorporate his two passions into one: learning and building.  He actually gave me the idea with this note he created during a quiet time.
I love my creative, smart boy!  I'm noticing improvement in his reading and writing skills.  It's really fun to watch.

This week we're learning about dinosaurs and the letter "D".  I found a dinosaur exhibit at the children's museum so I think we'll be taking a field trip later this week.  How fun to have the flexibility to combine a fun play day and school!

Another fun outing we're planning is the LEGO Expo.  Happened to see an ad in a magazine, and I know Desmond will love it!  I'm kind of excited to check it out, too.  Davin and I just have to decide who gets to go play with him.  I want to encourage his building skills.  Who knows?  We just might have an engineer on our hands.