Friday, July 11, 2014

Update on my Dallas

Dallas is such a blast. I still am so in awe of how much I love this little guy! He is just the sweetest blessing! I cannot believe he is 15months already! It has literally just flown by.

Dallas is such a fun little guy. He is walking and almost running and he climbs everything. He can get up on every couch, bed and table. He lives for the pure thrill of immersing both arms in the toilet for as long as he can before mom catches him. He loves all things dog related and loves his sister with all of his heart. I am still his favorite which, I'll be honest, I absolutely love but he gets so excited to see his Dad and yells, "Naaaannnn" for Penny every morning to try to wake her up.

Dalls lives in his big sister's shadow and doesn't need to be the center of attention or make a lot of noise. I can easily take him to the mall for two to three hours and he will quietly sit in his stroller and just hang out. That being said, I also call him my little bulldozer. He pulls down every drink (again, to put both arms inand walks around the house and gathers as many knick knacks as possible to either break them or hand them to me.

He is so sweet 99% of the time but he also has this wild temper that can simultaneously crack me up and send me to my knees in prayer for him. When he gets mad he will crawl away as hard and fast as his fat little legs will take him and he'll clap his hands really fast. It is seriously the funniest thing.

We love calling Dallas our little man-child. It was really starting to get old that everyone we came in contact with would comment on how big he is but I finally just accepted that that's how God made this kiddo! I totally laughed with the pediatrician at this last appointment when he told me Dallas's head is barely on the chart. He is 70th for weight and 80th for height. I still think he is absolutely darling even if he could probably beat me in an arm wrestling match.

Oh I love this little boy so much!!! Thank you Lord for my Dally!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Update on my Penelope Mae

I recently looked through some really old blog posts and while I hate reading the stuff I wrote (self obsessed much?!), I loved reading and seeing the pictures of Penny when she was so little. I have barely blogged in this last year of Dallas's life and I want to do a much better job to be able to look back on how much these little blessings have grown and changed!

I love being a mom. It is so exhausting and a thousand times harder than I ever imagined it would be but it is also the richest and most sanctifying and rewarding process. The longer I am a mom the more I panic about how little I know. God is so gracious to remind me that these kiddos are His and that He will be faithful to enable me to raise them (and hopefully not screw them up too badly) Ha!

Penny- Penny is four and a half! I can't even believe that! She is at such an interesting stage. She is still our little girl and is full of wonder and energy and joy but she is also growing up so quickly. She battles her heart and her emotions on a hourly basis and I have really been so taken aback by how she truly wants to honor the Lord! Penny is such a perfect balance of both of us. She is funny and sweet like her dad but is also weird and emotional like her mom. She makes us laugh CONSTANTLY. She comes up with the funniest things to say and her sass, while it often gets her in trouble, just absolutely slays us.

 Penny loves all things girly and she wants to wear dresses 24/7 but she can also wrestle and be thrown around like a cage fighter. She adores her dad and hates when he sleeps, works or does anything except for playing with her. She also loves her brother. Almost a little too much. She loves listening to stories and will sing and perform anything for anyone. I love her so very much.

She recently finished her second year of swim and it went so much better than last year (Thank the Lord!!) She loves playing with playdough, having family time (wrestling with mom and dad), going to the mall and book store and playing with her cousin, Ray or best friend, Olive. 

She still can't say her y's and I hope she never ever can. I guess by the time college rolls around she can maybe start to pick it up, but for now I just love it! She recently came home from Sunday school and told me, "mom, today I yearned about yittle Yincoln. He never told a yie."

Visit from Oma!

I wrote this quite some time ago but for some reason I never published it...

The night we returned from our vacation my mom flew into town to surprise my sister Stephanie for her 21st birthday. We LOVE when my mom comes to town! I really miss her all the time and hate that my parents live so far away! Penny just adores Oma and can't get enough of her!

Mom flew in Wednesday night and the next morning Mom, the kids and I drove to Master's to pick up my sister and surprise her. Here is the video...

Aren't they the cutest?!
The kids and I took Steph and my mom to Disneyland and it was such a perfect day! Mom and Steph got stuck on Space Mountain for a really long time and actually had to be evacuated by the fire department but because of that Disney gave us several "front of the line" vouchers so it worked out pretty well!

Mom, Penny, Dallas and I drove down to Long Beach and got to see Disney on Ice! 
It was awesome and Penny loved it but Dallas was completely wild the entire time and I barely watched five minutes of it. We still had a great time. 

I absolutely love this picture of my girl.

We really had so much fun having my Mama here. I love her so much and it always makes my heart hurt that I live so far away from her. She is such a great Grandma to my kiddos and such a dear friend to me. Love you so much Oma!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Coronado Family Vacation

Lets just skip over the "It's-so-lame-I-haven't-blogged-in-such-a-long-time-I-forgot-the-name-of-my-blog" and get to the updates!

A couple weeks ago, for my Spring break, we decided to take our first ever family vacation! Well, that's not exactly how it worked. I had mentioned the idea of taking a vacation to Jona and decided to look on Priceline to get some ideas. Long story short, I ended up accidentally placing a bid and it was accepted. It turned out to be such a blessing and I really loved our first little vacation!

We drove down to Coronado, and true to form, we left pretty late. We arrived at our hotel around dinner time and I got the kids and luggage into the room while Jona went and parked the car. I opened the balcony door, turned around, took Dallas out of the stroller and Penny started screaming. In 5.2 seconds she managed to get her head stuck between the bars of the balcony. I seriously could not believe it. It was sorta funny but she was really panicking. I tried to pull her head out but it was just not happening. I called Jona and told him to run while I pictured having to call the fire department, them sawing the bars and being charged $500 by the hotel. Thankfully, our hero came in the room, pulled the bars apart a little bit and pulled her free. Not before I took a picture, of course.

Once we finished our lecture about never ever putting your head between bars, we headed out to explore the area around our hotel and get some dinner. Coronado was so gorgeous and the weather could not have been more perfect!

We walked down and grabbed some pizza and let the kids play on the beach a little bit.

This was right after we saw a duck in the water and Penny screamed "SHARK!!"

He looks so old in this picture!
My Loves!

After dinner and the beach we went back to our hotel, took baths and tried to go to sleep. This is where we quickly realized our mistake of not having two rooms, or a suite to help everyone sleep better. We were up a lot during the night and Dallas wakes up super early which woke up Jona and Penny so our next day started out really early and on very little sleep!

We headed to "Snooze" which was a breakfast recommendation from my sister-in-law, Julie who is from San Diego. She had told me about this place a while ago and we had always wanted to go but it never worked out. IT WAS AMAZING. Seriously, if you are ever in San Diego you MUST eat here!

Best Eggs Benedict of my life!

Snooze had a really fun chalkboard your could draw on while you wait. No, Pen did not write the word "poop"

After breakfast we headed over to Seaworld. I've always wanted to go but after watching Blackfish I felt a little skeptical. We decided to give them our money anyway, Haha! The lack of sleep the previous night really caught up to Pen and Dallas and there were A LOT of tears. Jona and I just kept looking at each other wondering why on earth we did this. Just kidding, it wasn't that bad, but next time we are definitely working naps into our vacations!

We really did have a great time together at Seaworld and I am looking forward to returning sometime this summer!

These little sucker fish are awesome! Pen was slightly freaked out by the whole thing

I really loved Seaworld's play areas. I wish Disneyland had something like that!
Dallas loved the turtles!

Thankfully, Seaworld closed at 5pm so we grabbed dinner and headed back to the hotel for baths and tried to go to sleep, however we had another night of very little sleep. We woke up pretty early the next morning and grabbed a quick breakfast and decided to walk down by the beach for a little while.

Just a little bit of back story, historically, I hate the beach. It is hot. People are practically naked, and there's sand. Lots of sand. Everywhere. The beach with kids sorta makes me want to cry. Recently I have had a couple of good beach experiences and I'm a Californian for Pete's sake. I REALLY want to love the beach. I'm just not there yet. It was sorta funny because this actually started off really nicely!

Dallas fell asleep right before we got there and the tide was really far out. We didn't want to wake him up so we decided to carry his stroller aaaallllll the way out there. When we finally got to where we want to sit I loved watching Pen play in the sand and it was absolutely gorgeous. Jona decided he wanted to go put on his trunks so that he could swim. It took him a really long time to go get them and come back. Everything was still fine when he returned but the second he got way out into the water things went a little south. Dallas woke up and I didn't have the sunscreen with me cause I had left it so I was working so hard to keep him shaded. Penny asked if she could run a little ways away and run back to me. I told her sure as long as she turned around so that she could see me and I would tell her if she could keep running or if she needed to come back. She would run like five feet and turn around and then I would tell her she could keep running. This worked about ten times then all of the sudden she just took off. I have no idea what happened, but I had to pick up Dallas and the umbrella and run as fast as I could after her. She eventually realized how far she ran and she freaked out and started crying which led her to rub her eyes, which led to sand in her eyes and more crying which led to Dallas crying and we just completely fell apart.

When Jona finally came out of the water, he said something to the effect of, "Did you have fun running on the beach?" Um. No. Haha!

We finally got cleaned up and carried the stroller back through the sand and jumped in the car and headed to "D Bar", which is another incredible restaurant. The "D" is for dessert and they do not mess around! We had a great lunch and then jumped in the car and headed home.

Both kids were out immediately and slept the entire way home from San Diego!

We really had a great time and I cannot wait to get away again! I love this little family the God has given me and we have so much fun together. Next time we will include lots of naps,  hopefully very little sand in the eyes and no more narrow balcony bars :)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

That One Time My Gallbladder Tried To Kill Me

We had such a great trip up to Washington and it was so hard for all of us to come home! We flew in on Monday night and on Tuesday I was planning on being back at work so that I could direct my choir in a festival on Tuesday night. We sang at the festival and although I was sore and tired it all went really well until the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

I woke up to my little man trying to eat his hands and decided I should probably sit up and try to feed him. Its really difficult to describe the pain I got hit with but it started with feeling like I was getting really horrible hunger pains. It was so intense I put Dallas down and went into the kitchen and scarfed down some crackers. That seemed to help for 60 seconds and then it just started radiating to my ribs and up to my back. I woke up Jona cause I couldn't hold Dallas any longer and just spent the next 45 minutes writhing in pain. I had no earthly clue what was wrong. I finally jumped in the shower to try to get some relief and it started going away. I've had kidney stones before but this was totally different. The only thing we could come up with was my gallbladder so I texted my mom (she had hers out right after giving birth to Steph) and asked her about some of my symptoms. Sure enough, it sounded just like gallstones.

I had a couple more attacks and finally called my doctor and he sent me in to get an ultrasound on my gallbladder and kidneys. They called me a couple days later and said my gallbladder was filled with stones and that I needed to get it out. I scheduled an appointment with the surgeon to see if I could wait a few weeks so that I could finish recovering from Dallas's c-section and finish out the couple of responsibilities I had at SCCS. Of course the Lord has better plans than I...

I went to bed on Mother's Day and woke up in the middle of the night with an attack. This one was different and far more painful. I tried to tough it out for a couple of hours and finally I just told Jona that I needed to go into the ER for stronger pain meds. We didn't want to try to pack up our sleeping kids and Jona's parents were out of the country so we decided I would drive myself to the ER. I drove like a crazy woman and bawled my eyes out the whole way. I stumbled into Henry Mayo and thank the Lord, they quickly got me into a bed, got an IV started and sent the doctor into see me with some pain meds. She ordered another ultrasound on my gallbladder and then I sat and waited for about 8 hours. Poor Jona tried to juggle the kids for a little while then our sweet friends, the Gwinns took Penny for us and Jona came to the hospital with Dallas so that I could finally feed him.

I asked about 30 times for a pump and for the doctor to come back in to see me and finally she came in and said, "so your gallbladder is incredibly infected and possibly gangrened so we have to admit you". In hindsight I wish I would have packed up and gone to where I delivered the kids, but I didn't want to have to start the ER process all over again so we let them admit me. It was pretty stressful trying to cancel everything and make sure our arrangements were made for Pen but God clearly wanted me to rest and to get this taken care of on this time table. They decided to put me on antibiotics for 24 hours then schedule surgery the day after that.

They went through great lengths to make sure that Jona and Dallas could stay with me (giving us our own room, an isolation room, gave me a pump and access to the maternity ward fridge). But then in the middle of the night a nursing supervisor came in and chewed us out for not following hospital policy after we had apparently been told repeatedly that we needed to take Dallas home. It was so confusing because she had so much wrong information and of course we would have sent Jona and Dallas home if anyone had even indicated that we needed to but oh well. Poor Jona had to pack up all the stuff and leave with Dallas at 2:30am. It really was a bummer that it happened because it ended up destroying my milk supply which I still haven't been able to fully get back.

I was scheduled for surgery at 2pm and I was so so nervous. The morning of surgery out air conditioning broke at home and so Jona had to be there for the repair guys to come. Unfortunately we were told that we needed to completely replace the entire thing. When it rains it pours!! Things would have gotten a little comical had it not been for the price of a new unit! :-/ Jona dropped Dallas off at my sweet friend, Caitie's house (who has a toddler and a newborn of her own!) and tried to make it to the hospital to be there before my surgery. He got stuck in traffic due to a poorly timed (and planned) bike race and missed the whole thing.

I went into surgery and didn't get to see Jona till several hours later but we were finally on the way up! I was really surprised by the pain associated with the recovery cause I had read that it was such an easy surgery. I would have gladly taken a c-section (without the back stabs) over gallbladder surgery any day! It was just a weird recovery but I think that was because of the infection and because of the fact that I still wasn't recovered from the c-section. We stayed in the hospital for 2 more days and my awesome inlaws came home and were able to help take care of the kids.

I am so thankful that God knows what is best and that he times all things perfectly. Jona was absolutely incredible and I am so thankful that he serves our little family like he does. It was so humbling that we were cared for and prayed for like we were. There are so many big and important things happening in other's lives and my dumb gallbladder is way WAY down on the list, yet people came and visited and prayed for us and took care of our kids. We are SO SO grateful!! I'm also very thankful that I only have one gallbladder so that I never have to go through that again! :)

Got to spend the first day hanging out with this little cutie

This was right after my surgery,  I was so very thankful to hold my babies

Jona and I got to have a couple of date nights in the hospital. I adore that man!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dad's 20th Anniversary @ GBC

Sometime around December I started getting some phone calls from an elder in my church from back home. This year was my family's 20th anniversary at Grace Bible Church. Its kinda hard to believe we moved to Washington when I was 8! The elders asked us to come and be a part of a special celebration honoring my dad's faithfulness to the ministry.

The timing was a little tricky. I was too pregnant to go on the actual date of the anniversary so we agreed to go at the end of April. We thought that Dallas would be born a few weeks earlier than he was so it gave us only two and a half weeks before we needed to fly up there. We drove to WA two weeks after Pen was born and it was really hard, this time wasn't quite as bad. I actually felt pretty good after this c-section and with the blessing from both my OB and Dallas's pediatritian we flew up there. It was actually a pretty awesome experience because they wheeled me from the ticket desk straight through security and to our gate. I got an entire row to myself with Dallas who was quiet and slept the entire time. I think it was probably my most relaxing flight in three years!

We got to my parent's house and my mom's reaction was absolutely hilarious. We laughed at this video of my mom squeaking probably about 50 times. Her voice gets so high its unreal!

Our time was really so sweet with the family and my grandparents were even up there for a couple of days too so that was an added bonus to be able to introduce them to Dallas.

The church went all out in honoring mom and dad and I cried my eyes out as the church recounted the goodness of God in bringing my parents to GBC. I know I talk about it too much but that church split really changed us as a family and as a church. God took something that was so ugly and devastating and turned it into something so incredibly beautiful. I am so thankful for that time of growth and that anniversary service just reiterated God's goodness in all of that.

Me and my siblings were given an opportunity to each share about my parents and how the church has blessed us these last 20 years. This is basically what I said...

I tried to convince my siblings that we should do each do a letter of an acronym for my dads name but I only got as far as "oval faced" for "o" so my idea got vetoed.
Seriously though, it's not difficult to come up with things to say about my sweet Papa.
It wasn't until I was in college that it occurred to me that there were kids out there who were ashamed of their parents. I thought my dad was the coolest guy I knew. I was always in awe of the wisdom and discernment God had given my dad and I would hear my peers talk about issues with their parents and I would beg them to go talk to my dad knowing that they would love him and that he would be able to fix what ever their issue was.
I thought my dad was hilarious and I would have rather spent time with him than anyone else.
My dad wasn't lying this morning when he said that our family was real. My dad has set us up to be a family where iron sharpens iron. Let me tell you, there are times when it has totally stunk, and we have all had to learn that we can be quick to correct but slow to show compassion. But when I look at the instruments God has used to enable me to grow I see the lessons my dad has taught me woven so deeply throughout my life. He has pushed me to be excellent, he has pushed me to find my sufficiency in Christ. He has tried to show me what it is to be balanced, and faithful and to put God first, family second and ministry third. My dad has never been lazy with his children, and has never been lazy with his church, he has pushed us to be excellent, to seek the cross and to love Christ.
The beauty of becoming an adult is the transformation from a child to a friend. I have been able to watch my dad age with grace and to grow in humility. He loves his children and he loves this congregation.
My mom, is precious and godly and loves this church and these people, but more so she loves the word and I know she has given so much to this church simply because of her love of the word.
There is no better way to show love to us kids than to love our parents. You have freed my mom up to love her husband and to serve our family and you have encouraged Dad to preach the word through your prayer and support of his ministry. Thank you for loving our parents, it means the world to us.
I came across this quote by John MacArthur about men who faithfully preach the word and I think it perfectly describes my sweet Papa...
"Excellent servants of the Lord aren’t hindered, swayed, or overwhelmed by difficult circumstances—they faithfully press on with their focus fixed on their heavenly reward."

Here are some random pictures of our trip...

My beautiful sister Steph

Dallas and Uncle David

Penny played with bubbles for hours on Oma's deck


Pen is so in love with Aunt Bird!

Scott Frankfurt sharing about my dad's faithfulness in their friendship

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Staph Is The Worst!!!

Sooo... after Dallas was born and we had come home from the hospital life started to get a little crazy. I noticed in the middle of the night that Dallas had a blister on the inside of his mouth. I thought it was weird but I figured that it must be totally common as he and I were trying to figure out this whole nursing thing. I called the pediatricians office the next day to ask them about it and to see if I should let him take a little break from nursing to let it heal. I was surprised to learn that they were kinda concerned about it. They asked me if I could drive to Glendale to see them. I thought they were just being overly cautious so I declined and said I would keep an eye on it and if it lasted longer than a couple days then I would just come in. They even called me back that day to check on it and I told them nothing was worse and that I thought he was fine.

Fast forward to the next weekend when Pen told me one night that her tummy hurt. I thought she was just trying to come up with an excuse to not go to bed but the next morning I noticed that her tummy was really red and had started to form blisters. I completely freaked out. We were set to fly up to Washington to surprise my parents for the 20th anniversary of being at Grace Bible Church in Marysville, so I decided to send Jona in with Pen to Urgent Care. I was absolutely certain it was chicken pox even though she had received the vaccination. They got home and Jona said that she had a staph infection. I had only heard of staph from when Rosie O'Donnell got it from a nail salon haha, so I had no idea what it was and the more I researched the more I was nervous.

I started to read that staph manifests itself in newborns in blisters and also in whats called "scaling skin" syndrome and all of the sudden it hit me that Dallas had it too. He had a bad diaper rash and his little skin was peeling and he was totally raw. I immediately called my pediatrician and they had us come in first thing the next morning. They confirmed that both kids had staph and that Dallas had most likely gotten it first from the hospital. Dallas had a really easy mild case but Pen's was a bit worse. Since hers was a little more widespread they tested hers and put her on a really strong antibiotic just in case it was the MRSA strain (which it ended up not being). They told us that after 24 hours she would only be contagious if you someone came in contact with an open sore so we bandaged her up like crazy and started the antibiotic. They told us we were good to go on our trip but we were pretty nervous.

Our trip was great (more on that later), but daily I was calling into the pediatrician because I was seeing all of these blotches show up on Penny's little body. It was like these weird skin dye rashes just kept coming up. I kept describing it to them and they had no idea what was happening and just told us to come in when we got home. The weird thing about it was that they kept saying that if it was staph then Penny would be feverish and not feel well and she wouldn't have much of an appetite. Penny was the exact opposite. She was having the time of her life and didn't act or look sick for a second.

I know I'm dragging this out forever but we finally got home and took her into the doctor's office immediately. The doctor said that both kid's staph infections were completely gone but she didn't know what was going on with Penny. She said she needed to leave the room to think about it. Jona and I were kinda freaking out after she was gone for 20 minutes! She finally came back and told us that Penny had an adverse reaction to the antibiotic and that it had dyed her skin. The major bummer was that her skin would probably be dyed like that for the rest of her life. We were so relieved but as I thought about it more it really made me so sad that this would always be on Pen's body. When she gets hot or tan it shows up much stronger but really isn't horrible. We are also SO thankful that its not on her face!

I realize this is probably WAY more than anyone wants to read about our family's encounter with staph but it was seriously so traumatic and I am SO thankful that it is over!!

The "dye" on her arm

The "dye" on her leg

Look how absolutely darling she is!!!