Monday, October 28, 2013

No More Blue Lips (an update on Xander)

Well, this was a bad bout of croup for Xander. His cough was short lived but his immune and respiratory systems took a while to rebound from it.

He had several times of his lips turning blue for an hour or two at a time. A couple of night he just laid in bed beside me wide awake for several hours. Two days he fussed and cried almost nonstop.

We kept a close eye on his oxygen saturation levels with his pulse oximeter. His O2 level with the cough was at 95 most of the time. Then on Friday and Saturday it was down to 91-93% (these were the days he had blue lips on and off).  Last night and today he has been back up to 97-98% so we are very relieved. 

Be praying for us to find a good pediatrician up here so we can get him in and get a relationship established with them. We also want to find out why his oxygen levels keep dropping so low and if we can do something to help keep it up and avoid the blue lips.

He is pretty happy most of the time, even when he is sick. He is starting to go into his "testing" phase and wanting to be more assertive. So we are having lots of lessons and talks on "fun" and "not fun". But he is such a little blessing to us and we love him so much!! Thank you for your continued prayers for him, his trachea, his respiratory system and his immune system!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

An Escape to the Zoo

Phew! This last week has been emotional and chaotic! We are still dealing with a leaky bathroom sink, constantly running bathtub, no dryer, a washer that takes 2 hours to wash one load, and a dirty house; but we are alive and well (except my little Roo who is still battling some sickness) and God is good!

This morning we were going to try out a second church but I was up for two hours in the middle of the night with Xander. When the alarm went off at 7:45 I had barely gotten him back to sleep for the third time so Matt and I whispered and decided to live stream the church's service instead of waking up the kids and going to it. I closed my eyes and opened them again at 9:42! Both kids were still sound asleep. We woke them up at 10 and decided to go to the zoo. I packed a quick lunch for us and we were off!

Watching the Arctic Foxes

A Musk-Ox
It took Gabriella a few tries to be able to say his name right, She kept calling him a "Mug-Osk"

Polar Bear measuring chart

They were feeding the polar bears some fish so they were right up next to the glass and in the water. Gabriella was pressed right up against the window watching them. 

Xander looking at the walrus.
I love how so many of the aquatic exhibits can be viewed from above and below the water. It's so fun!

Me and Munchie. 
We were waiting for the boys to catch up to us as Xander was insisting on pushing the stroller and he ran into something every 2 feet. 

Looking at the purple starfish!

In the touch room. Gabriella was too scared to touch anything but I had fun!

In a shark's mouth!

A group of people were inside the shark tank. Apparently you can pay money to get to scuba dive with the sharks. 

Xander loved the porcupine. He sat and watching it quite intently while he was eating his sandwich. 

Feeding the Budgie birds. 

"I'm just taking a little rest inside this giant spiders web"

Gabriella the snail!

Watching the Meerkats. They really liked her. That one stared at her the whole time she was standing there. 

"I look like a cute little goatie!"

Helping Xander feed the dwarf goats

"Look at my giant eye!"

And snuggling Bob on the way home. 

It was a fun trip and great to be able to get out of the house for a bit, let the kids run around and have some fun as a family!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch

Today we escaped our home and headed to Issaquah to meet up with our friends and go to a corn maze and pumpkin patch.

They had hay bales and sand tires for the kids (and grown ups) to play on. Then we headed into the corn maze. It was shaped like the United States. So fun!! It had several "landmarks" in it: gold panning in California, the Gateway Arch and baseball field in Kansas, the Mayflower in Massachusetts, etc. We let the kids take turns being the leader. They ran around like crazy. Gabriella was laughing her head off the entire time and I could barely keep up with her.

After we found our way out of the maze (after discovering Canada and Mexico) we headed to the pumpkin patch.

I picked out a Red Warty Thing variety of pumpkin and a Pick A Pie. Gonna can them up tomorrow. We also let each of the kids pick one to paint.

Then it was back to Emily's parents house for chili, corn bread and cupcakes to celebrate Ryan's birthday.

Such a fun day (plus we tried out a new church this morning). I am so thankful for friends and fun! And moms who welcome you and your wild kids over to their house for a delicious dinner!!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Long Week

It's been a long week and I haven't been blogging. Mostly I have been trying to hold it together emotionally. Moving is hard. Even if you are following where God leads, even if you are doing it for all the right reasons, even if it is only temporary. .... it is still hard.

We got the truck loaded up in record time and made great time driving. Then it started....

Gabriella got car sick Saturday morning and she and I were on the side of the freeway in the rain trying to clean everything up.

The house was FILTHY! After the rental lady left and our friend who helped us unload the refrigerator left I cried and cried.

Gabriella has been an emotional roller coaster since we arrived. She has always been very particular about routine and things being done a certain way. But it takes most of my energy just to stay calm while trying to comfort her. She has also refused to sleep in her new room so both kids and the dog are in our room every night.

Xander got croup the second night we were here which meant that I didn't sleep for three nights. Lack of sleep never helps anything.

I ended up with a bout of food poisoning last night. Matt did a good job of playing "Mr. Mom" today with the kids.

I miss my family and a particular friend horribly. I was thinking about it the other night and decided that one of the reasons I was feeling so "alone" is because we aren't part of a church anymore. I miss that fellowship covering that a church family provides. 

There have been some definite highlights of our week. The kids and I took two long walks looking for parks. One of them was a 4 mile round trip! Being on a walk gave Gabriella and I time just to chat about what ever she wanted without the distractions of unpacked boxes or dirty walls.

We received a welcome gift in the mail from my cousins. It was such a surprise and a blessing. It is nice to know someone is thinking of you and your kids, even though we don't see each other very often. I definitely will be sending a welcome gift to future family members and friends that move!

The owner of the rental agency came by and they are going to fix some of the major things wrong with the house (like the giant hole in the wall, leaking faucet and washer and dryer that don't work). That is such a relief!

Tomorrow we are headed to a pumpkin patch/corn maze with our friends who live up here. I am looking forward to having some fun!

Here are some pics from this week:

Monday, October 14, 2013


Moving is hard! For the last 4 days I have been completely exhausted and emotional. It seems like a complete waste of time to spend hours and hours packing boxes only to spend hours and hours unpacking them. I would love to live in an RV!

Saturday we got to our new house in Tacoma. It was a filthy mess! We were totally shocked to find it that way since we had rented through a rental agency and signed 13 pages of rental agreements that included a very detailed description of the move out cleanung requirements. I had to scrub every drawer and cupboard in the kitchen before finally deciding to just put contact paper in them all. There were dried food splatters on the walls in every single room. The kitchen walls are so bad that I can't even get them clean. The bathtub is so rusty that we are only able to take showers in it. The washer barely works and the dryer doesn't work at all.

Matt started work today and really likes his new branch. He has his own office and hit it off great with the branch employees. He even got to come home and eat lunch with us before heading back so that was a fun treat!

It's Monday night and I have unpacked 20 boxes today. The house has a lot of closets and storage spaces that our old one didn't have so that is nice. The backyard is nice and completely fenced. The side yard seems to get quite a bit of sun so that is where I am planning my garden for next summer.

It's been a long day. I'm still trying to decide if I am missing my old home or just overly tired. It's hard not knowing anyone here (the one set of friends we have here had to move 40 miles away last week after discovering black mold in the floor joists of their house) and having so much cleaning and unpacking to do. Xander ended up with croup (we made it 8 weeks between bouts this time, that's a new record!) and Gabriella is so emotional that it makes me want to cry!

We both still really feel in our spirits that God led us here and this is where we are supposed to be. Now we just have to convince our emotions and minds that! We are expecting to hear back from the rental agency tomorrow about the state of the house (today was a holiday) and the kids and I are going to take a walk and explore the neighborhood.

Thank you so much for your prayers that all four of us would begin to feel like this is our new home.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Organic Gluten & Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies!!

Got a bad craving for some chocolate chips cookies so I whipped some up tonight! Here is the recipe:

Blend together:
1 cup Organic Coconut Oil
1 1/2 cups Organic Cane Sugar
1 T Organic Unsulphured Molasses
1 t Organic Vanilla Extract
Once it is creamed together, add in 2 organic eggs

2 1/2 cups Organic Brown Rice Flour
1 t Baking Soda
1 1/2 t Xanthan Gum
1 t  Sea Salt
  Blend with hand beaters until thoroughly mixed (mixture will be very crumbly)

Stir in 1, 9 ounce package of Organic Semi-Sweet Cacao Chips (non dairy, woo hoo!) by hand

Make into cookie shapes on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 9-10 minutes (or until golden brown).

Family Photo Shoot 2013

We went to the All Sports Park a few weeks ago with Jonny and April and Ariella and did some pictures before we moved. Here are some of my favs!

We had a GREAT time and lots of laughs!!

Here is one of me and Ariella from when we were playing on the playground!
I love this girlie!!