Monday, December 10, 2012

The Christmas Season is Here!

The first weekend of December we took our annual trip to a local tree farm to get our Christmas tree. It was fun following the kids through the trees.  We finally decided on one and loaded it on top of the van while the kids got all sticky eating candy canes.  Then we wandered around the farm, looked at the animals, took a hay ride, and had some hot chocolate.  Later while Kaylynn took her nap, we set up the tree and Desmond helped decorate it with Kaylynn friendly ornaments on the bottom half. The only thing is that next time we need to make sure we smell the tree first.  This one isn't very fragrant and the faint scent we do pick up kind of smells like pickles.  Weird.
It's fun entering in to the Christmas season.  I get to talk with Desmond about why we celebrate Christmas.  He understands a little more every year.  We've decorated, looked at neighborhood lights and listen to lots of Christmas music.  Kaylynn's favorite by far is Point of Grace's "Jingle Bell Rock" and she could dance to it on repeat all day.  Yesterday I lucked out by getting the last gingerbread house at Target during my break.  We might build it tonight.  Hopefully we can get some outside lights up on the house, too.  We just need to have an hour or so where both Davin and I are home and it's not dark or raining.  Yeah... we'll see.

I've been working 12-28 hours per week.  It cuts into my evenings and weekends as I knew it would.  I want to work on refinishing the sink and stove set for Kaylynn's Christmas gift but I think I'll be doing good to just get one of them done.  My closing weekday shifts from now through Christmas are 8:15pm-12:15am.  It's going to make one tired mommy the next morning, but this is temporary and the extra income is helping out a lot.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Puddle Jumping

The past few days have been super rainy... even for the Northwest.  When the kids seemed to be bored with the normal inside activities we put on our boots and headed outside.  We found the perfect puddle in the corner of our back yard and the kids splashed away.  When they were wet and cold we headed inside to warm up with some hot chocolate.  Today I am thankful for our dry, warm house.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Halloween Costumes

For Halloween Desmond was a fireman.  I sewed the jacket which of course was more difficult than I anticipated with the shiny plastic material.  Kaylynn was a little fairy with her tutu and wings.  I really wanted to give her pig tails but she would have none of it. 
We went to our usual spot at Real Life Church.  They put on a good party.  Desmond really liked the dark maze and the candy, and Kaylynn's favorite part was the rocking horse.  We stayed until she was making loud "I'm tired" noises then headed home for bed.

October News

The past few weeks have been fairly busy ones.  The biggest news is that on October 31st I started my new seasonal job at the Hazel Dell Target.  We've been wanting to make some progress toward eliminating some of our recent bills and this will help.  I'm working evenings and weekends (about 12 hours a week right now) to fit around Davin's job.  It's fun being back at Target - my first employer.  Lots has changed in 14 years but a lot of it is familiar, too.  The only downside is that I'm tired in the evenings and this cuts into my time with Davin.  We'll see how it goes and once the season is over I can be done or if they offer me a regular job I can decide then. 

We've been enjoying the season and carved our pumpkins.  Desmond designed the little one himself.  We also got a new oven off craigslist!  The guy had it listed under "Antiques" instead of "Appliances" and I stumbled on it by mistake but we got it for a great deal.  So nice to have an oven door that opens all the way!  Now we can fit the turkey in for Thanksgiving.

I've been into project mode lately.  I got a twin bed frame from a friend and have been sanding it down so we can refinish it for Kaylynn.  I've seen her almost climb out of her crib once.  I also got a wooden toy sink and stove from the same friend and I'm going to refinish it for Kaylynn as well.  It should be a lot easier to sand than the spindles on the bed!  I just wonder if I can get it finished in time for Christmas.  We'll see.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bi-Zi Farms

A couple Saturdays ago we went to our local pumpkin patch, Bi-Zi Farms.  We enjoyed playing in the sun before the fall rain hits.  Desmond's favorite part was the hay pyramid, and once he went in to the tunnels it took awhile to find him again.  The kids also both loved the corn bin and Desmond got to ride a pony.  We picked out our pumpkins: one big one to carve, one big one to make pies, and another little one for fun.

Monday, September 24, 2012

My New Favorite Picture

Not long ago we packed up our dinner and headed to the park for a picnic and some playing.  I brought along the camera, and I’m glad I did because I managed to snap my new favorite photo.  I love my beautiful family!  Each person is so unique, and God intentionally put us together to encourage and challenge each other to grow.


Davin is gone this week to Wisconsin for some work training.  We took him to the airport and saw him off this morning.  No point in counting down to 5:00 pm each day now.  Desmond also came down with a fever yesterday so instead of getting together with friends today, we’re laying low and counting down to Friday.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

July and August so Far…

The past six weeks have been full of summer fun!  Every now and then I think about how far behind our blog is.  So, now it’s time for another big catch-up post.

July 4th we went on a family bike ride to a local park with our picnic lunch, had an outside dinner on the patio, shot off a few fireworks after Kaylynn was in bed, and watched the big neighborhood fireworks all around us.


A few weeks later it was Desmond’s fourth birthday.  We had it at Hockinson Meadows Community Park and enjoyed playing with friends and family (including Grandma Linda up from California) to celebrate our growing boy!  One special gift was his new red bike which was refurbished by Uncle Daniel.  This is the same bike built by my grandpa that my brother’s and I learned to ride on.  Afterwards we went to see Daniel, Dad, and Grandpa take off for their return flight to Albany. 


The following weekend was our eighth anniversary trip to Bend.  I don’t know why it took us eight years to finally make it out that way, but we had a blast rock climbing, zip lining, white water rafting and mountain biking.  Our GPS was trying desperately to get us lost or stuck on a side of a mountain somewhere, but we prevailed!  Also I learned that if you’re not sure what something is on your dinner plate, taste or at least smell it first before downing a huge bite of wasabi!  We stayed at Surgarloaf Mt. Motel which wasn’t fancy but a very decent place and saved lots of money to do our fun outings.  We’ve got to go back sometime.

07-28-2012 BET 1000 Ryan

Next was Davin’s birthday where he most notably got a Nexus 7 from his mom.  He’s very excited to play around with his new tablet. 

We then went day camping with my family at Green Peter Reservoir at a site only accessible by boat.  Next year we’ll have to spend the night, but this time we decided not to try it with Kaylynn at the stage she is.  I love the quiet of nature and the smell of the fire. My brothers and sister-in-law also really know how to set up a nice campsite.  We had a blast water skiing, inner tubing, and eating good food around the campfire.  I’m still paying for my water skiing attempts with sore back and leg muscles.  Next time I’m determined to get up!


My next event is the Muddy Buddy on Sunday.  I’ll have to let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Our new Minivan!

We decided that sometime in the next year we would probably buy a new and bigger vehicle.  It’s a bit squishy getting two car seats and all our stuff for a trip into the Civic. 

DSC_3648Our plan was accelerated when we had to take the car in to the mechanic and found out a previous shop caused some damage to our engine so we might have a recurring problem with oil leaking into the cylinders.  The final straw was the back window getting stuck down.  It could cost as much as $400 to fix if the track needs replaced.  Davin managed to prop it up temporarily but we drove with plastic on it for awhile which got old fast.  Nine years and 140,000 miles later it is time.

We found a great Toyota Sienna on craigslist.  I did my research and it really comes out on top for minivans.  We had to take out a auto loan which I really didn’t want to do, but with interest at 2.44% we really won’t pay that much extra over time.

DSC_3818I love our new van!  It’s so spacious, comfortable, has working air conditioning and handles like a car.  It’s easy getting the kids in and out and I love modern touches like the automatic side door, volume controls on the steering wheels, and automatic locking/unlocking doors with just the touch of a button.  It even tells you how many miles left on the current tank of gas and if a tire loses pressure.

Davin and I agree that this vehicle screams “road trip!” to us.  We’ll at least need to take a day trip to the beach or something soon.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Weight Loss Journey so Far

DSC_0005I can’t believe I’m posting the first picture, but that’s where I was just after Kaylynn was born in May 2011.  When I saw this picture I felt so discouraged about how much weight I had gained - about sixty pounds.  I immediately started eating better and working out at home as soon as I had the doctor’s clearance.  At the end of September I joined a gym and was down to about 200 pounds, but I didn’t really lose any more weight until after I was done breastfeeding. 

In March I used my birthday money to buy new workout clothes to fit my slowly shrinking body, and it made me feel better at the gym.  Today I worked out in a tank top from my “small clothes” box.  I am feeling good about my progress so I thought I’d take a picture and compare it to the March photo for a little self-motivation.  I’m getting there!  I just crossed over into the 170’s and I have 15 pounds to go until I’m back to where I was before I got pregnant. 

March 2012


The truth of weight loss is that it is a sloooow and hard process for me.  What I need to do is simple: count calories and exercise.  But the hard part is sticking with it every day even when the scale isn’t budging.  But it’s great having these days of inspiration and focusing on the progress rather than how long it’s taking.  We just picked up a monthly car payment so I’ll be quitting the gym in about six weeks to help pay for that.  We’ll see how far I can get before that deadline.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Krazy Kaylie Hair


Kaylynn has this amazing fine fluffy hair.  I love the tuft that stands straight up at her crown.  It is especially fluffy when it’s been freshly washed.  The other day I had to grab the camera as the morning sun gave her a cute backlit halo. 






Kaylie is constantly pulling my hair clips out and pretending to put them in her hair, so today I bought her her very own “hair pretties”.  It’s really hard getting anything to stay in her fine hair especially because she pulls them out, but here’s her first ponytail! 

Friday, June 01, 2012

Strawberry Season Begins!


Philbrook Farms opened this week with strawberries.  Today I feel so tired I decided to take the kids out to pick some so we had something fun to do until lunch and nap time.


Desmond was great at picking the best strawberries - no green ones and not too squishy ones.  Kaylynn was into it in a different way - shoving who knows what into her mouth.


At one point I put down the camera to finish filling our bucket with strawberries and when I turned around this is what Kaylynn looked like. 


The Russian ladies a couple rows over were laughing. The guy at the pay tent said her example is why he doesn’t put down slug bait like he wants to.  Yeah, she ate some dirt, but at least we’re enjoying fresh strawberries tonight!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Parenting is Hard

Parenting is by far the hardest thing I've ever done. It is draining in every possible way. I'm constantly facing new things I don't know how to deal with, and I question my decisions. Is this the best response in this situation for this child? Tears. We have lots of tears: the kids, me. It's hard not to judge the success or failure of my day by how many tears were shed. Will there ever be a day when no one cries? But tears aren't always a bad thing. Sometimes it's a sign that I've done the right thing. Right now I'm down in the trenches. I wait out tantrums, brainstorm effective discipline, clean up food, toys, laundry, and poop. On one hand I have a baby who is very much attached to my pant leg and cutting molars, too. It's not pleasant for anyone. This also means I'm back to getting no more than four hours of sleep at a time. I start each day weary so my defenses have already taken a major hit. And on the other hand I have a preschooler who is regressing in potty training and challenging each direction I give him. I clean up a stinky messes, discipline, and have the same talks with Desmond every day. Through it all I try not to let it "rock my boat" as Diane Moore put it. Sometimes it doesn't but sometimes it does. I get to the end of myself. My selfish nature says it deserves certain rights like obedience, gratitude, a clean floor and adequate rest. Or how about just going to the bathroom without someone either coming in or crying on the other side of the door? But small children come out with a nature to disobey, demand, make messes and interrupt. I am reminded that my battle is not against them (though at times it sure feels like it), but my battle is against Satan who tries to rob me of my joy and keep me from experiencing God's love and grace. God, thank you for these precious gifts. I love them more than words can express. May these trying days be reminders that my beautiful babies want and need me in every way. I choose to lay down my rights. Help me to draw on your strength and not my own depleted supply as I reflect your love and grace in their lives.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Kaylynn is One!


Last Saturday we had Kaylynn’s first birthday party.  I tried to not go too overboard with preparations, but still found myself making a first year movie, a party dress, and of course the cake.  I got the cake idea from my recent Better Homes and Gardens magazine.  I combined three different cake ideas and was very happy with how the cute ruffles turned out.  Kaylynn even had her own personal cake to dig into though she did it very neatly.

We had all the family over including Great-Grandma and Davin’s mom and brother.  It was so fun celebrating Kaylynn and looking back on the past year.  I can’t believe how fast it flew by!  Now we almost have a toddler on our hands.  I look forward to seeing how she grows and develops this year.  Happy birthday, Kaylie!  We love you!!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Kaylynn's first step

Kaylynn took her first step yesterday! Walking is not far off and she will be very happy when she masters it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stoneridge Vacation

April 6-13 we went to Stoneridge Resort in Blanchard, Idaho.  Davin’s parents have a timeshare there and let us use it this year.  Davin has many memories of going there as a kid and now he’s bringing his kids there, so that made it extra special.  It was our first vacation as a family of four.


On Saturday the kids participated in an Easter Egg hunt.  Kaylynn was happy with one or two eggs.  Desmond filled his basket to the brim and had plenty to share with some late-comers.


We took a bike ride down to the far side of the nearby lake where we had a picnic lunch and Desmond enjoyed throwing rocks into the water.


Davin remembers climbing on this rock and now it’s Desmond’s turn.  Kaylynn had a blast on a slide for the first time.  She’d go when she was ready and Daddy caught her at the end.


Kaylynn also went swimming for the first time.  She warmed up to it quickly.  It had been quite awhile for Desmond, too, and this little floaty toy was perfect for him.  We played a round of mini golf though Desmond was getting a bit bored by the end, and Kaylynn was eating the landscaping.


We especially enjoyed getting to spend time with Davin’s parents and had a surprise visit from Davin’s sister Ashana and Ed, too.  It was nice being there on Chuck’s birthday to celebrate with him.


Vacationing with two little ones presents unique challenges.  The first was packing everything we needed/wanted in our tiny Civic.  We packed it to the brim and then gained a few things from Davin’s family so we were extra full on the way home and had to tie the trunk down with a rope.

Also sleeping was challenging.  On the way over we left the night before so the kids could sleep on the way, but they both stayed awake the first three hours of the drive, and then it took us two hours to get them both to sleep once we arrived.  Davin had the forethought to upgrade our resort room to a one bedroom so we could stay up and do things in the evenings without disturbing the sleeping kids.  Kaylynn is a light sleeper and it seemed truly impossible for her to stay asleep with Desmond in the room because he really couldn’t resist talking, so we set up the playpen in the closet of the bathroom sink area since it was its own enclosed room.  It worked fairly well.  The return trip took about nine hours and Kaylynn slept for only forty minutes that whole time.   She’s really determined!

We had a great family vacation.  I loved having us all together 24/7 for the week.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The First Ten Minutes

Someone asked me recently if I felt like I had the “mother-of-two” thing down now that we’re nearing Kaylynn’s first birthday.  And the answer is yes… and no.  Most of the time I feel in control and I know I can handle whatever comes.  Other days my limits are pushed.  I’m thankful for the days where I’ve had enough rest so even though the kids are pushing it, I’m calm.

Take this morning for instance: I ask Desmond if he wants eggs for breakfast or something else.  He opts for something else so I make enough eggs for Davin and me.  As soon as Desmond sees Daddy going out the door with his eggs he decides he wants some now.  I check.  I double check.  Yep, he wants eggs, so I fire up the stove again and crack the last two eggs.  Just as the eggs are going in the pan Desmond starts to cry because he doesn’t want eggs.  He proceeds to scream, and so he has to sit on his chair in the laundry room until he calms down.  I finish cooking the eggs, clean up Kaylynn from her breakfast and sit her in the play room with a huge tub of toys.  Back to Desmond.  I calmly talk to him and we discuss ways he could have talked to me differently.  I’ve been in there for maybe one minute when I hear a bump, thump, bump, bang and Kaylynn starts wailing.  Ack!  I rush to the playroom expecting to see the toy bins on top of her, but no, she has left the playroom, climbed who knows how far up the stairs and fallen.  It doesn’t take long to calm her down, and I can tell she was more scared than hurt.  Deep breath!  I finish my conversation with Desmond, sit him down to eat his eggs, put up the gate, give Kaylynn a bottle of milk and look at the clock.  Davin’s only been gone about ten minutes – ten minutes down, 540 to go.  It’s okay.  Today God is giving me peace and I know today can get better.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March Birthdays

On March tenth we hosted March birthdays.  We met at Big Al’s just down the road and had fun bowling.  It’s been quite awhile since most of us have bowled so the playing field was mostly even.  Daniel has the most stylized throw and looks like a professional.  Desmond even got in on the action.  I forgot how loud bowling alleys are so that was the only drawback.  Kaylynn didn’t like it and I tried bowing with her in the Ergo but it didn’t work.  Oh well!  We enjoyed several hours of socializing, food, and gifts at our place afterwards.  This year I realize that I am exactly half of Dad’s age.  He was 32 when I was born.  Hmm.  I don’t feel old enough to be that “grown up,” but the years they just keep on a comin’. 


There, now I feel caught up.  Sorry for all the posts all at once.

Northwest March Weather

March first came with snow!  Of course Desmond and I got out in it as soon as Kaylynn was down for her nap.  I built the biggest snowman I could, and he stuck around for a couple days.

Not long after we had some beautiful spring weather and the kids and I had a picnic lunch.  I even let Desmond get out his favorite outdoor toy, the water rocket from Grandma Linda.  The fun lasted until Kaylynn got sprayed in the face.
Two days ago we had another few inches of snow.  Crazy!  Now that it’s spring the snow decided to show up, yet yesterday and today were fairly warm and sunny.  Next year will be more fun with the snow when Kaylynn is into it.

February 29th

DSC_1870I realized that I am way behind in sharing about some fun activities from the past month.  On Wednesday, February 29th I surprised Davin with a recreation of our proposal night eight years ago.  I set up the tent in our yard and made clam chowder and BLTs.  We had the addition of two kids this time and didn’t have Pacific City beach, so even though it wasn’t nearly as romantic, it was still fun.  I even found the old engagement CD that Davin made for our dinner music that night, and he picked up blizzards on his way home from youth group.  Hard to believe it was eight years ago already!

Ten Months Update

Kaylynn is now well into her tenth month.  She loves to pull herself up and cruise around the furniture and especially Desmond’s train table where she promptly starts “deconstruction.”  She can crawl on all fours now and even get herself up the stairs (with supervision). 

She’s still quite vocal and you never have to wonder how she’s feeling.  She has started to talk and her most popular word is “ba-ba” which she uses for banana, bye-bye, and baby.  She also says “hi” when we come into her room to get her up from a nap.  She can say “ma-ma” and “da-da” sometimes, but not consistently enough to call it.

Kaylynn is still a bit finicky with food and I feel I’m constantly trying to offer her different things to get her to eat.  Just because she pushes something away doesn’t mean her tummy is full.  She still has strong preferences when it comes to eating and it’s not always easy to discern what will work.

She has a few more teeth coming in soon though who knows how long it will take for them to break through.  She also had a stomach bug last Sunday, but thankfully it was basically a one day thing.

She’s sleeping through the night more consistently now.  (Oh, thank goodness!)  And the norm is two 1- to 2-hour naps during the day.

Kaylynn likes to play with Desmond’s cars and sometimes it even sounds like she’s making car noises.  She consistently reaches for the pink hummer whenever it’s in the pile.  A preference for pink already?  That’s amazing how early it can develop.

I just can’t get over how cute she is, and I’m having fun thinking about her first birthday in about six weeks.