Monday, September 30, 2013

Brownie Points for my hubby!

Did someone say BROWNIES? Speaking of, and this is totally off of the subject, my good friend Emily, at It Bakes Me Happy, made me some awesome Cherry-Almond Brownies a few months ago, when I was down visiting. Emily! Are you going to post that recipe? I'm still waiting!

Now that that is taken care of... The kids and I went camping with my mom and stepdad this weekend in Blairesville, GA, at Track Rock Campground. I was nervous and scared. With kids ages 6, 3.5, 2, and 1... this could have been an awful trip. It went surprisingly well, though. I will post details and pictures of that later. Today, I am posting solely on my AMAZING husband.

He works SO hard for us. He works full time as a Project Manager for a civil engineering firm. He also goes to school part time for his Engineering degree. The kids only get to see him on Saturdays and Sundays. It's really hard on everyone, but that has been our life for about 6 years now, is our life for the next few years. The end is nearing!


Instead of playing video games or catching up on all the season premieres from this past week, he spent his bachelor weekend doing chores and cleaning the house for me. It is seriously the best gift, EVER. I didn't leave him a list or ask him to do anything. He did it all on his own accord. I did, however, warn him of the condition of the house and apologize profusely, that he had to come home to SUCH. A. MESS. I expected he'd pick up a little, because he always does. I did not expect what I came home to.

The house was near shambles when I left. I spent all day trying to pack for the trip and the house was destroyed in the meantime. I mean, it's never TOO spic and span... with four small kids, maintaining the house is difficult, but it's usually not even close to THIS bad. I'm talking food all over the place, you could hardly see the floor {not exaggerating here} due to toys that were strewn and laundry {that no matter how many loads I do a day, is never caught up} and my miscellaneous piles of papers and To-Do's that get forgotten about every where. The house we are renting is small, 1500 square feet {for 6 people!} so there isn't too much room for all of it to fit on the floor, anyhow, but it was still in REALLY bad shape.

Last night, after about 12 hours in the car with cranky children, who 3 of which didn't nap all day, I CAME HOME TO A MOWED LAWN AND DANG NEAR SPOTLESS HOUSE! The dishes were cleaned, the counters cleared and cleaned, he even scrubbed the kitchen floors {on his hands and knees!}. The living room and dining room were cleared and cleaned, the laundry is completely caught up, he even went to the store to get bread and bananas for the kids lunches today. He put up an extra clothes rack in the girls rooms and cleaned the girls' and boys' rooms! This house looks AMAZING. I'm so grateful to have him as my husband and as my kids' daddy! He is so good to us! There are so many men out there that would not even think about helping inside the house. He never hesitates. He walks in the door after a long day around 9pm and immediately starts helping me.

Oh, and he got me take out from an Italian restaurant we like, so that I would have a decent lunch today! He totally could have eaten and not bothered to get me anything, but he actually went there specifically to get me something I could have for lunch today. Say, what?! Isn't he pure awesomeness?! I sure think so!

Thank you, honey. For being all that you are and for being so, so good to us. I love you so much! I wouldn't want to go through life with anyone else. "Here's lookin' at you kid!" {He won't know that movie reference, do you?}

Sunday, September 15, 2013

3 Relieving To Do's for the Stomach Flu...

FACT- My kids spend a good quarter of the year with the stomach bug.

FACT- These are my own personal opinions and no one as asked or paid me to say anything. I'm simply sharing what has worked really well for us, in hopes that it might help you too!

"FACT- Bears eat beets. Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica."

FACT-I really have no interest and bears, beets or Battlestar Galatica. I just really love The Office.

I will tell you a few things that this Mama Bear has learned recently, though. This go around, it's like a 3-5 day bug, depending on who has it. I could easily break down the "type" of sick that each of my children get with it {how their bodies react}. I will spare you the TMI. Just know that some are much more prone to vomiting than others.  Over the past few bugs, I've picked up tips and tricks that have helped. This go around, I combined a few, and it has dramatically reduced the amount of clean up and increased my kids comfortability {if there is such a thing when one has a stomach bug}.

{Sorry for the crappy phone picture... my SD card reader is missing, and I keep forgetting to get a new apologies!I also ran out of Pedialyte for the picture.} 

Here are the three things we've been doing that have made it SO, SO, much more bearable {there I go with the bears again!}:

1. Doterra makes an oil blend called Digest Zen. I have some diluted with fractionated coconut oil in a roll on tube. I rub this on their bellies a few times a day. It really seems to reduce both vomiting and diarrhea, as well as, soothe their bellies. I'm not really familiar with Young Living oils, but I'm thinking DigestZen provides similar function to Di-Gize.
     {On a separate note, I have been using this every night for the past year for my reflux, by rolling it from my throat to stomach and back up my throat. I have not needed to take one Zantac. I previously took 150mg at least one time daily.}

2. Hyland's Nux Vomica Tablets I recommend the Hyland's. The first time I bought Nux Vomica it was Boiron, which is a great brand, but they were hard, round pellets and hard for the kids to dissolve. So this time I bought Hyland's, and they are much easier and faster to dissolve. I give them 2-3 every few hours, up to 4 times a day {per the instructions}. They are homeopathic and completely safe, no worries about an overdose.

3. COCKTAILS! But not the kind you're thinking. Chammomile Tea & Pedialyte Cocktails. I fill the sippy cut 1/4 to 1/3 of the way full with the tea and then the rest of the way with Pedialyte. This really helps soothe their bellies {the Chammomile}, and also tastes better to them than just straight Chammomile. Most importantly, the Pedialyte helps them stay hydrated by restoring electrolytes. I refill their sippy as needed throughout the day.

There you have it. Instead of puking for hours until they were dry heaving, they have puked only several times a day. And have been much more comfortable, even playing in between upset tummy times. Simple, easy, natural. I really hope this helps!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Fourth Watch God.

This is me, promising you one post a week. I'm not going to guarantee any more than that though... we shall see. So, hold me accountable!

There has been A LOT going on this year. I've been tapped out and barely surviving. Things are starting to look up. Addie my 1 year old {whom I haven't posted pictures of in MONTHS} is finally down to only waking up once or twice a night and is down to about 4 nursing sessions a day. Callen is finally going to bed easily again, as is Trevor. Bailey is back and school. Trevor is down to monthly feeding therapy appointments, YAHOOO!!!! This is huge... it only took two years, but I'll take it! Also, Trevor will be starting full time pre-school soon, in the hopes that we can get his behavior under control.

So, I should have a little more time on my hands! I also just launched my photography business, which I'm really, really excited about!

So, I feel like things are looking up! It gives me hope and some rejuvenation! I've been in a pretty bad place for a while now... about six years. I have lots of ideas, and lots of half written blogs. I just never have much time for finishing my thoughts, let alone writing them down.

I actually went on a date ALONE, with my husband for the first time in about 8-9 months. Maybe even longer.

Anyway... I wanted to share this with you. A while ago I came across this talk at a BYU devotional, called "Bread or Stones: Understanding the God We Pray to" by S. Michael Wilcox.

To get to my point he says
"Now we need to understand something about our Father in Heaven, and that is that He is a fourth watch God. 

The Hebrew night was divided into four watches. The first watch—six o’clock at night to nine [p.m.], second watch—nine to midnight, third watch—midnight to three in the morning, fourth watch—three in the morning to sunrise.  Sometimes that creates a bit of a problem for us, certainly for me. I worship a fourth watch God. One who tends to feel that it is good to let His children toil in rowing against the wind to face a little opposition." ...

"I began to make some assumptions that are often dangerous to make—maybe you make the same. We begin to assume that, number one, He is not there. That is why He’s not responding. And then we calm down and understand that He is there; He is always there. Then the second assumption is if He is there, He must not be listening. And then again, in calmer times—He always listens. Well then the third assumption is He must not care. No—He’s there, He listens, He cares. Maybe the most dangerous assumption, the fourth assumption is I must not be worthy. Now that fourth assumption we are probably correct on. But when has that ever stopped Him from responding; we are as worthy as we can be. We must assume that we have not yet reached the fourth watch; and He is a fourth watch God."...

We worship a fourth watch God. So when the trials aren’t over and the blessings don’t come, don’t assume that He is not there, or He is not listening, or He doesn’t care, or you’re not worthy. Always assume you have not yet reached the fourth watch.
Now occasionally people have said to me, “I’m sure I’m past the fourth watch.” I was once talking with Sheri Dew and she said later, “Mike, I think I’m in the ninth watch—now what?” Well, when you feel that you have passed the fourth watch, then we need another letter.  We need another letter called Tight like a Dish. Now that is an expression I think you all will understand—‘Tight like a dish.’ It’s the description of the Jaredite barges.
Now I have a tendency, because I’m an English major, to edit almost everything I read. It’s just a habit I can’t get out of with whatever I read—textbooks, newspapers, novels, biographies—I’m always editing. I edit the scriptures as I’m reading them. There are actually times where I say, “Lord, I could fix this verse for you if you would like me to.” And one of the verses that I used to think I would edit is Ether chapter two, the seventeenth verse; the description of the Jaredite barges. Can you realize what word I might write if I were editing this? This is how it reads: 
“They were built after a manner that they were exceedingly tight, even that they would hold water like unto a dish”—that’s once. “And the bottom thereof was tight like unto a dish”—twice. “And the sides thereof were tight like unto a dish”—three times. “And the ends thereof were peaked; and the top thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the length thereof was the length of a tree; and the door thereof, when it was shut, was tight like unto a dish”—five times." 

  It offered me so much hope and perspective.  I spend most days thinking I'm far beyond the fourth watch, and hoping against hope that things don't get any worse, but tugging along, despite everything. Not that I have it so badly, and that many, many people don't have it much worse... it's out there. I/we have had our fair share though.

My point is, I feel like the fourth watch has finally come for our family. Things are starting to get a little easier. Still hard, but easIER... and I'll take what I can get.

Go read this talk. It's really lengthy, but it is SO SO good. You will be so glad you did, whether you are LDS or not.  In fact, I think I'm going to go read it again. It's been about a year.

So, I will be better at posting. Thanks for your understanding and patience, and for reading and putting up with my rants and quirks. I appreciate it more than you know :)

Peace out!