Reflecting On This Year

Monday, December 26, 2016

This past year has been good to us. We've been enjoying our home and the warmth and comfort it offers us. We were able to go to Oahu, and spend some time in that beautiful warm place. We took advantage of the summer weather going to lots of parks and made some new discoveries like Cottonwood Beach. We welcomed our second child. I started back at work. We went to Utah for Thanksgiving. We celebrated Christmas Eve with cousins, and spent Christmas Day playing our new toys, and enjoying the kids.

We've been so blessed, not in quantity but in quality. Our children have made our lives richer, and our ability to love deeper. They know nothing about the past or the future, but merely living in the present. This is such a hard adjustment for me because I'm always thinking about the future, shaping it from the past. Let's just say, my kids are teaching me more than I am teaching them.

I'm hoping to write more in this space, to put some of our memories down in writing for 2017. So stay tuned!


How She Became Waverly

Monday, September 26, 2016

Before we had Mason, we discussed his name only a handful of times. And it wasn't like we finally agreed to one name. Our conversations usually started out with one of us asking the other what his name should be followed by the other saying I don't know. We then threw out some names including Mason, and then agreed to think about names some more to be discussed at a later time. We didn't pen his name until the day we left the hospital.

Growing up, my name was always mispronounced, and I have always felt strongly that I couldn't (and consequently didn't) use Hmong names for my children. My name was sometimes a good conversation starter, but frankly, it was just frustrating to have to correct people. And I didn't always correct people either. It depended on whether I was going to see you again or not, and then other times, I just didn't because I could careless. 

With this pregnancy, we approached her name similar to Mason's, although we sort of had a first runner up. I loved the name, and it was not a common name, but one that was already used by a friend for her daughter. They didn't live in town, but with social media, it feels like they lived close by. Nonetheless, we kept that name in mind. I even started telling some friends the name we thought about using. Maybe that ruined it. Anyhow, towards the end of my pregnancy, we started doubting our name choice and stopped discussing her name altogether.

Names are difficult. Names are identities. People name children after people they respected, or thought was nice, or thought was attractive. It wasn't something I looked at lightly. I wanted to see both my babies before I named them, although I'm not sure how helpful that was since babies look like, well, babies. Their faces didn't scream one name or the other. 

Late at night when I couldn't sleep, I would scroll through FaceBook. It was on one of these nights that I found her potential name. It was a list of New York baby names. I was scrolling through when I saw the name Waverly. Three syllables. It didn't roll off my tongue like Mason. Mason and Waverly. Did those names go together? I wasn't sure. I had wanted something southern, since I missed the South quite a bit. But Waverly - that sounded beautiful, but subtle. It sounded calm and poised. It sounded like it could be my daughter's name.

After I had her, Brandon had a name for her, but I couldn't go with it. It was a very popular name, and absolutely beautiful, but that name just didn't seem right for her, for my daughter. We walked away from the hospital with a promise to call back and give them a name. Once we left the hospital, the conversation resumed, but now with a deadline looming on our shoulders. We could never come up with anything new other than Brandon's choice, and my choice. Finally, I decided I just needed to make a decision, and my vote was going to count twice ;)

And that was how she became Waverly.

How did you pick your children's names? This is always a topic that I love hearing about. 


Her Birth Story

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I was so unprepared for her. I thought surely she would come a week early like her brother, but she came two weeks early! Here is the story of the day she came into the world.

9:00AM It started out as most ordinary Sundays. Well, maybe not most ordinary Sundays since I snoozed, knowing that we would miss the first hour of church. I had wanted to go since I hadn't bore my testimony in church, and was thinking about bearing my testimony that Sunday. Anyways, by the time I got up, I knew we wouldn't make it to the first hour. I got up, got myself ready, then woke Brandon up while I got Mason ready for church. 

10:15AM We finally made it to church. Mason was having a difficult time in nursery so I sat on the floor while he played around me. On the drive to church, I had been feeling some cramps, but wasn't sure if it was a big deal. As I was sitting with Mason, I started to wonder whether I was having contractions or not.

11:20AM I left nursery, and went to Relief Society. That's when I started feeling the cramps intensify, and decided to start timing the contractions. I texted Brandon that I thought I was having contractions, and that maybe today is the day. It started getting worse, and I thought that maybe I should leave church, but wasn't sure since if I left church, and it was a false alarm, I would be disappointed. The contractions kept going until church ended.

12:30PM We got home and started packing our things for the hospital. I called my midwife, and she suggested walking, and seeing if my contractions are closer together. They were about 4-6 minutes apart. It wasn't very consistent. We walked around the neighborhood, and the contractions became 3 minutes apart. It was getting intense, and we were having to stop until it passed. Once we got home, I called the midwife again, and decided it was time to go in. We had called our cousin, and when they got to our house, we set out for the hospital.

Before I had Mason, I had biscuits & gravy from Hardees. I know, so random! But I worked at Hardees growing up, and always loved their biscuits & gravy. I wasn't sure of a Hardees around here, but was intent on eating some sort of biscuits & gravy. We thought about stopping at Kitchen Table so I could do my ritualistic feed, but with the contractions, we decided against it. We stopped at McDonalds so we could grab some food.

2:30PM We finally got to the hospital, and Brandon parked out front, and then helped me upstairs. Once we got upstairs, Brandon went back to the car to go park it, and bring our food back up since we left everything in the car. My midwife checked me, and I was already at a 7! I cried, realizing that that day was going to be her birth day. Two weeks early! And a part of me wasn't quite ready for it. I was just so nervous, and I didn't even have a name yet, and didn't want to do any pushing! I mean, it was the Sabbath Day - a day of rest! I just wanted to rest! When Brandon got back with the food, the midwife told him, no food!

At this point, the contractions were hitting hard so the hospital staff had to wheel me on the stretcher. Yes, it was that intense! We got to the labor room, and the hospital staff started filling the tub up with water. Similar to Mason's, I had opted again for a water birth. I moved to the rocking chair and the nurse got me a grape popsicle. Around this time, my midwife had me moved to the tub. Seriously, the contractions suck, but in between, the water felt so so so good. I was right where I was again with Mason - zoned out and in peace.

My water still hadn't broken on its own so Brandon and I decided that we would have the nurse break my water. Well, we had a bit of a hiccup when I was getting out of the tub. I couldn't! Every time I tried to climb out of the tub, my contractions worsened. Finally, I was able to get out. This concerned my midwife, and she thought it was best for me to have our baby not in the tub, but on land. I didn't argue with this.

At this point, the midwife checked, and I was at an 8. She broke my water, and the contractions worsened. There were issues with my cervix, and it was basically not allowing our baby to come out. When her head finally popped out, the umbilical cord was around her neck twice. I remember the midwife telling me to not push anymore, but my body was doing its own thing. The midwife was able to cut the cord so that our baby can breathe.

5:32PM After what seemed like forever, she finally made it through the birth canal, and we got to see our baby girl. It was weird to see all that hair on her head since Mason was bald at birth, and for quite a while. She was a bit bruised on her face due to the fast labor. She tested well, and the cord didn't affect her at all, which was what we were worried about.

She came into the world at 6 pounds and 11 ounces and 18 inches. It's unbelievable that she's been with us for 2 weeks now. She's absolutely beautiful, and I have truly forgotten how good they smell. She's getting more alert, and I just love having her around.


Things I Loved in August

Friday, September 2, 2016

August was good. But to be quite honest, September must be my favorite. Our air conditioning went out in August, and as we moved into September, the lower temperatures and even the overcast made me happy. 38 weeks pregnant, I'm embracing the cooler temperatures. But August was good. My favorite things this past month!

1. Stranger Things. We had taken a TV hiatus. There just wasn't any shows that we felt was worth watching. And we had decided to make reading in the evening a priority. I had borrowed tons of books from the library, and was making record pace through those, and feeling just very full, unlike the feelings you get from zoning in front of the TV. So when Brandon heard about Stranger Things on NPR, he wanted us to watch it together. He watched the first episode with his mom and brother when he was in Utah so when he got home, he wanted me to watch the first episode so we could watch the series together. I'm horrible at synopsis so I won't bore you, but the show was excellent! It's set back in the days when kids could ride their bicycles late at night, which was appealing to me. Those simpler times. But everything else that happens on the show is crazy, but also interesting. I totally recommend this show! Oh, and did I mention that they got renewed for Season 2?!!! You can read about that here.

2. Thirty One Tote Bag. My friend gave me a Thirty One Tote bag along with some things for the baby. I'm not super familiar with this brand, but was blown away by this bag! I've been using it as a diaper bag, and love how many pockets there are. The straps are also wide and sturdy enough that I don't feel it pinching my shoulders. You can shop directly with her here.

3. Portable DVD Player. We do quite a bit of road tripping with Mason, and previously, it has been a nightmare. I don't blame him though because road tripping is kind of boring, especially when you are doing the same route over and over again, and there's nobody to talk to. I usually like it though because it's our time to talk. Honestly we see each other everyday, but don't always talk. Anyone else the same way? Anyways, I digress. This DVD Player has been a lifesaver! We got him three DVDs (Paw Patrol, Blaze, and Balto) and switch between them, and so far, it's been easier traveling long distances.

4. Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I've been using this oil religiously in the evening before my moisturizer, and my skin has been feeling so soft! I use about 4 drops, and I still have so much last so this is a great value.

5. Soap & Glory Hand Food. Between the bathroom trips, changing diapers, and getting good for Mason and I, I wash my hands so much throughout the day. They are so dry! Not to mention, during pregnancy, my skin gets really dry anyways. This hand lotion is thick and has been such a life saver.

Happy September!


Mason Lately

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

At two years and a little over a month old, Mason's personality is developing so fast these days. It really wasn't until we went to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium that I got so excited to see his reactions. I mean, it was fun before, but then for me personally, it was like something beckoned inside of me for me to show him things, show him the world, expose him to new things. One of his friend's had a pool party, and when I took him into the pool, he was all giggles and so excited and so happy. And it gave me all the feels inside. Like, this is what it's all about. This is why God gave him to us, to feel the ultimate joy. And then the other day, we went to take a tour of a gym, and he gets inside, looks around, and keeps saying, "Wow! Wow! Wow!", all amazed at the sheer size of the place. I don't think he's ever been in a place with a ceiling quite that high. 

He's at a curious age, and every time he hears a noise, he asks, "What's that sound?" "Oh, it's a bird." "Oh, it's a plane." "Oh, it's the neighbors doing yard work." "Oh it's kids playing outside." We do this every day, and I'm glad he asks because it's helping him learn so much.

He's still very much into cars. Cars will always make him happy. He still lines them up, and now we keep his cars in a bucket so we can take it everywhere. 

He's quite shy around people, and still hides behind me, but at home, he's talkative, and strong willed, and a load of fun. I'm not sure if this is phase, or if he will grow out of it. Any thoughts appreciated on this one!

Sometimes when he wakes up on the right side of the bed, we will just lay there and stare at each other. It's a little weird, but I love it. I'll smile at him and kiss him and he'll smile back and just stare. In these moments, I wonder what he is thinking. 

Anyways, you must think my child is just perfect. But lo and behold, not the case. He's started to growl and hit. I'm worried since I'm slower these days, and can't get to him as fast. It's typically towards kids his age and when he is defense mode. We have tried to work with him, but I'm really hoping this is a phase that he will grow out of since we do have a lot of friends his age, and they are all so sweet and nice.

My boy's my bud, the apple of my eyes. I just love him, and when I can't fall asleep, I watch him sleep, barely able to tell where his eyes are, but thinking about how big he's gotten, and how much alike we are.


My Village

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A part of me knew that we were not going to be in Georgia forever, but I didn't realize that when I started staying home, we wouldn't be in Georgia. I went to college in Georgia, had family there, and I especially loved my wards there. I thought that when I started staying home, I would have this network of women that I knew, and we'd live happily ever after. 

Well, life has a way of throwing surprises in your life. The truth was that it was a blessing in disguise, although I wasn't sure at first. 

We were actually in another area before we settled here. I was able to get to know two women in our church, and we got together quite often. I knew it was temporary, but I fully embraced having these two women in my life. I needed them more than anything. Since settling here, I haven't seen them as often, but I keep up with them on social media, and try to make time to see them when I am in the area.

When we moved to this area, I was really nervous. At first, it seemed like all the women in our church were really busy with their own lives, or maybe they were all hanging out with each other without me. I wasn't sure. When we moved in, there was an influx of new move-ins, and I soon discovered that us all newbies were in the same boat. We were all trying to figure out the dynamics of our church, and the women. I've since made more friends, and I'm ever so grateful.

Staying at home is isolating. Especially when you're pregnant, and your energy level is a negative 100. I'm so grateful for this group of women, and for their openness, and their love, despite all my imperfections. They have provided so much support, encouragement and love. I'm amazed not only at what they do for their families, but also for the families around them. 

I consider all these women and their families a part of my village. I want to add to my village, because it really does take a village, not only to care for my babies, but also to care for myself because I need it too.

How is your village? 


A Season of Babies

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Looking back in my life, there has been so many seasons. There is the season of late hours writing papers, working on projects with my classmates, giving presentations in class. There is the season of Beta Alpha Psi (accounting fraternity), going to recruiting events, participating in career workshops. There is the season of long, long hours working, learning how to audit, staying up late to cram in CPA studying sessions. There is the season of work trips, teaching staffs, answering client emails.

Then here we are. The season of running around with a toddler, cuddling, kisses on boo-boos. 

There are long days that never seem to end. There are days that we have so much fun, I never want it to end. There are breakdowns in grocery stores. There are days that I smile proudly as he cooperates. No two days are a like, and when I think I have just figured this one out, he changes and I have to learn yet again to change how I approach things with him. 

This is my reality right now. And the realities of many of my girlfriends. And some days, I admit that I look forward to what's next, when he won't be so small anymore, when he will be able to converse with me, when he will be able to take long road trips without tears, when he will start playing sports, and (gasp!) when he gets married. 

And then I think back to all those other seasons before, and how long ago they seem! How short that period was, and how hard some of those experiences were, but yet they passed, and I'm so glad I got to learn from them and grow from them.

This season will pass just as fast as those before, and will I have felt like I have given it all? Will I felt like I enjoyed it enough? There are some regrets for sure during my college years and my working years. There are things I wished I had done, and I wished we had done. And I don't want that for this season. Because though we can do some of those things that we weren't able to do, this little guy of mine (and little girl of mine) will be grown before I blink my eyes. 

Not everyday will be sunshine and butterflies, and not everyday will always be excitement and adventure, but I'm recommitting myself to living with this season. 


3 AM

Monday, August 22, 2016

The sleep insomnia has been so real these last couple of months. I'm not even sure how some days I operate since I typically need a lot of sleep. And it's not like I go to sleep at 9pm either. We've been up until almost midnight, and then I'm still laying there at 1AM, listening to Brandon and Mason breathing, fast asleep. I usually try to count sheeps, but nowadays, that method just leaves my mind wandering to other things. I should get up and read some, but I love the security of having them both close by, and I can hear them stirring and snoring a bit as they change positions. 

Here's to hoping that you got enough sleep last night to tackle this week! 


tacoma, washington

Monday, August 15, 2016

This past weekend, we went up to Tacoma for Brandon's bike ride for cancer. I had contemplated going with him, and was still making up my mind up until the last minute. We had family in town, and a wedding, and it would have simply been easier to just stay home, but Brandon had been out of town a couple of days beforehand, so the thought of running around with Mason for a few more days did not sound very alluring. Not to mention that the temperature around here has been in the 90s! And that is not very fun for a pregnant woman. 

So when Brandon landed, I called him and told him that we are packing our stuff, and coming with him. And I sure am glad that we did since we had a lot of fun. Since his ride was an 85-miler or 100-miler (he ended up doing the 85-miler), I knew it was going to take all day on Saturday so I knew we needed an activity for Mason. I was hesitant being 8 months pregnant and all, and it's hard for me to catch Mason once he runs off, but I had heard great things about Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

So off we went! And I'm so glad that we did! He loved the aquarium and all the fishes. He would see the larger fishes, and just kept yelling "Big Fish" and then he heard some of the kids saying shark, and he started saying "Shark." And he would just squeal and scream at the fishes. It was so so so fun to experience it through his eyes, and I finally realize why all these other parents are here with their screaming kids. Seeing your kids get excited is so so so worth it! He would walk off by himself from station to station. He wouldn't always go up to the glass to touch it since he was a little scared, and I don't think he fully comprehend that they were behind glass. It was just the cutest thing in the whole wide world. I finally had to wrangle him away so he could have some food before he got too hangry, but I'm sure he would have not minded walking around for another hour or so looking at all the fishes. 

When Mason and I were driving to the zoo & aquarium, we took Ruston Way, and I was driving right beside the water, and saw all these cool restaurants. There was a trail right there beside the water, and there were lots of walkers and runners. There were nice shade around so I knew that we had to come back. 

Apparently, Mason was super terrified of the boardwalk. He was very careful not to walk on the cracks, and then he just was wanting Brandon to hold him. It was funny to see how scared he was. I guess the cracks probably look super big to him, and he probably thought he would have fell right through them. Silly boy!

The weather was warm, but with the breeze from the water, it was spectacular. I just love the water, and the calmness on that day. There were benches along the way, and gosh, how I wished I lived near there. I would come out and walk it everyday. 

He loved climbing on these neat shells. He is such a boy sometimes! I'm excited to see how our little girl will do, and whether she is going to be like her brother.

One of Mason's favorite things to do whenever he is close to water is to throw rocks in the water. He was walking around, trying to find all the rocks that he could so he could toss it in. 

And of course, Daddy gets to carry him back to the car. Did I mention I left the stroller at home? We had to pack Brandon's bike and so although I saw it as we headed out, I figure we would manage. And we did. Although it would be nice to get an umbrella stroller since I left ours with my brother in Wisconsin last summer. 

Anyways, this is our last weekend away from home before the baby. The next several weekends will be preparing for baby, and resting. Thanks for reading!


Things I Loved in July

Monday, August 8, 2016

This month absolutely flew by! Here's a tidbit of what filled my month:

1. 168 hours: You Have More Time Than You Think. I am not even sure how this book came into my possession. Based on the color of the book, I think I picked it up for $1 at a library book sale. I bought it purely for its color. I was organizing the shelves when I realized it was one of the only book in that particular section that I had not read so I decided, why not? I don't know if it's just this time in my life, or if I was remembering how crazy things were right after Mason was born, and Brandon and I were both working, but everything the author said was exactly what I needed. It really made me think about how to organize my day in order to be a better mom and wife, and to utilizing the time that we have when Brandon is home. It's so good, I'm sending it to a friend that I think could really use it. I hope she likes it just as much as I do!

2. The Honest Company Belly Balm. I used this religiously throughout my pregnancy with Mason, and I'm using it this time as well. Not as religiously as I should :) But I'm onto my 2nd tub and I'm hoping for the same results as last time. I absolutely love how rich this balm is.

3. The Honest Company Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 30. I bought this in my monthly bundle, and the one off their website is so tiny, but I actually don't mind since it's easier for me to tote around. I have been using only their sunscreen since I'm allergic to quite a lot of other brands, and their brands work well for me. This stick is so much easier, and I love taking it to me to playgroup since it makes it so much easier to quickly apply on Mason.

4. doTERRA petal diffuser. I bought this in the middle of the month, and have been using it nonstop. I knew I wanted to diffuse lavender during labor, and wasn't quite sure about which diffuser to get. This one is a bit pricier, but after reading the reviews, I wanted to try it out. It's the perfect size, and I love that it will automatically turn off after a certain amount of time (based on what you select). I've been diffusing lavender in the evening in our room, and it definitely helps us sleep better!


What We Thought We Knew About Parenting

Monday, August 1, 2016

We were married for a long time before we had Mason, and along the way, we made a lot of friends with a lot of kids. Because we were around so many kids, we really thought we knew it all. Though we loved our friends, we would sometimes have conversations about their parenting styles, and what we would and wouldn't do with our kids. Boy, how we have turned a 180. Mason's totally whooped our butt, and everything we said we wouldn't do, we have done. And everything we said we would do, we haven't really done. So take it from us, and shut your mouth, you people with no kids. You don't know better! Haha!

1. Bathing my kids everyday. I bathe everyday (mostly...) so why shouldn't my kids? They're running around in the yard, in the lake water, on the beach, on the playground, and even around the house. Sweating up a storm, stinky and all. Needless to say, I avert my eyes to this one. Some days, I'm just exhausted. Other days, Mason's exhausted and a bath is just not going to happen. He's not always the most pleasant smelling child, but we are all happy, and that is all that matters. Studies even suggest that bathing kids everyday is not ideal health wise. So, I'm off the hook!

2. No iPhone, iPad, or TV. Who am I kidding? Mason is just now napping because he got so tired of watching YouTube on his iPhone (yes, he has an iPhone - it's my old phone). We've resorted to the iPhone when he's going crazy in the car from a longer road trip, when he can't sleep at night and we are just exhausted, etc. I admit, he gets more screen time than recommended, but hey, he's a pretty bright kid and he gets a good amount of attention from Daddy and Mommy, and lots of outside time with our cousins close by and at playgroup.

3. Speaking Hmong. I quite felt strongly about this. I wanted my child to be fluent in speaking Hmong since he's half Hmong. I felt like all the Hmong parents were doing their children a disservice by not being diligent about teaching their kids Hmong. What are my own plans for teaching Mason Hmong? Zero. Do I still have hopes and dreams of teaching Mason Hmong? Yes! I have no idea how it's going to work out, but I've realized, I'm not a teacher, I don't know how to plan lessons and programs, and I'm okay with my best efforts. As of right now, he knows how to count to 10 in Hmong, and previously, we were learning where his nose, eyes and head was in Hmong, but we've been slacking so I'm not sure if he still remembers.

4. Keeping My Decorating Style. I really felt like my children needed to bend to my will when it came to home decorations. Glass, sharp edges, they'll learn. Or so I told myself. We bought a house last year, and if I didn't have kids, there would be a lot of things that I would have bought or wouldn't have bought. Let's say that we've bended to Mason's will. His little curious fingers are on everything. The first thing he does when he comes into a room is scan the whole room, and he notices everything. Guitars, bugs, shiny objects. He has some sort of magnet that makes him attracted to the things that you don't want him to be attracted to. And I'm okay with that. He's learning, and instead of placing things that would be entice him, I just put these things away, or be okay with his curiosity. I'm okay that my home isn't winning any interior design award. It's working for us, and we're all okay with that.

5. A Clean Home. Ahhhh, the ultimate luxury of a stay at a home mom. The other day we were cleaning and Brandon was complaining about why our house was so dirty. Well, it's dirty because there are people living in it! Messes get made everyday. Some days, I'll bend down and clean it up. Other days, my back kills me, and I don't worry about it. Sometimes, we are in a rush, and we don't pick it up until days later. Well, what about at night after he goes to sleep? You seriously think I'm going to use that time to clean up?!!! Nope. We do our best, and though Brandon wishes we could have a cleaner home, it is pretty darn clean for having a messy toddler. And at the end of the day, I rather spend time with Mason then using that time to clean up after him.

6. Being On Time. I have to admit, this is something I'm consistently working on with no kids. Add in a child, and boy, we are lucky to be within the hour. Are we always late? No, but remembering all of Mason's things and snacks and drinks and cars, that takes time. And of course, who hasn't gotten ready, only to have your child needing a diaper change? Or a break down? Or needing that one toy that is upstairs, under the bed? 

7. Being A Stylish Mom. I've always thought I would be that pulled together mom. Am I? Nope. And I'm honestly okay with that. I don't wear silk. I don't choose a lot of white tops or tops that are intricate. I wear clothes that are comfortable, and I can get dirty because I have a little boy and I rather be happy than stressed out that my clothes are ruined.

I'm constantly learning, and compromising. Marriage itself meant compromising, and adding a kid into the mix meant more compromise. And honestly, I'm more happy than I've ever been. I've learned to live in the moment, to be okay with the messes, that Mason still loves me despite a dirty house. I've also learned that I can't judge anyone else. We all have bad days. We all have hard days. The next time you want to judge a parent, lend a hand instead. There is no perfect parent. We are all just trying our best. And if you don't believe me, you'll get yours!!! (evil laugh). ;)


Last Of...Blueberry Picking

Friday, July 29, 2016

Our days are numbered, little guy. Despite the warm weather today, we ventured out for some blueberries. We had friends that joined us, which made the hot sun less apparent, and more tolerable. My little helper was good for a little under an hour, then the sweat on his neck started bothering him, and it sort of went downhill from there. He did pick quite a bit so I only had to pick the other half of the bucket. Needless to say, I'm pleased with our bucket, and the handful of blueberries I'll be eating after I'm done here. I really like this place that we go to, Mattila's U-Pick.

I'm 33 weeks, and I have the feeling this is the last time we'll go blueberry picking, just the two of us. The heat can be a bit much, not to mention the popping of my belly. Last night, Brandon remarked that my belly is definitely growing bigger now. There are quite a few things left to do around the house, but I'm really enjoying these last weeks with Mason.

Some weekend reads for you:

Would you ever consider this career?

It's her birthday, and she'll give you 20% off if she wants to!

I bought a few things from here, and I'm hoping they work out since it's for after the baby. You can still shop the sale so look around if you're bored.

Apparently my genes make me attractive. Not to mention, I'm pregnant as well.

Call me nosy but I'm addicted to this website.

Happy Friday!


Our First Date Night...Since Forever Ago

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The picture above was from September 2014 and taken by my late sister in law. I realized I did not even get a picture of us from our date night last week. And if I didn't, does that mean it didn't happen? ;) 

It actually wasn't forever ago. We did go out to dinner on our birthdays, but I don't really count that as a date night. Anyways, I had never really considered date nights before. I honestly didn't feel like they were necessary. I thought I didn't need that time, and I thought the two of us hanging out with Mason was fine. However, after reading one of our cousin's blog post on date nights, I started considering it more. I was slowly losing myself in taking care of Mason. I didn't know what to talk to Brandon sometimes, and honestly, sometimes I still don't. I was always wanting to hear about Brandon's day, and my day seemed to pale in comparison. It seemed like our life revolved around Mason, and though Mason is super important, I knew that we needed to nurture our relationship too. In order to be the best parents to Mason (and our second one on the way), we needed that time away, and even though our first date night included a lot of discussions about Mason, I appreciated the time that we had together to just be us again, and not to have to worry about what he will eat at the restaurant, or if he will make a big mess. 

I'm super excited for our next date night. If you have any fun date night ideas, please let me know! I really want to do more things, other than just dinner. Hiking, bowling, golfing, etc.


To-Do Before Baby #2

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Two more months! How we got here, I know not. But all of a sudden, it's nearly time. When I think in terms of months, it seems like a long time left, but when I think about the fact that I'm already 32 weeks, ekkkkk! Freak out moment!

These are the things I need to do before Baby #2 comes:

1. Freezer meals. Our fridge is so tiny, but I'm hoping to get some freezer meals prepped and in the freezer for the days that I won't be able to cook. Of course, I'm sure there will be lots of pizza deliveries, Panera runs, etc.

2. Hospital Bag & Baby Bag. I haven't even put together mine and the baby's bag yet! Must, must do! Since this is #2, there are definitely a few things that I am adding to my bag that I didn't before with Mason.

3. Stroller. And double stroller at that. I thought about foregoing the double stroller until after the baby, but let's be honest, how in the world will I have time? And one of my friends has one that I think I will get.

4. Carseat. I initially thought about reusing Mason's carseat and upgrading his, but after some thought, I decided that the baby needs a new one. Mason's car seat is quite a mess with all the food he consumes in the car. Cookies, bars, crackers, fruit snacks. Not all of them goes in his mouth.

5. Coping mechanisms. I have to do more research on coping mechanisms since I really want this labor to go more smoothly, and I really want to be more in tune with my body this time around.

6. Birth Plan. Having a birth plan was what allowed me to have Mason naturally, and so it's super important for me to have these printed out, and have them for the nurse and the midwife when I'm at the hospital. In the very hardest contraction moments, I will need a midwife who can stay firm with my wishes.

7. Baby clothes. Can you believe I have not bought any baby girl clothes yet?!!! I know, I'm crazy. I'm super stoked, but I just haven't even gotten around to thinking about it.

8. Setting up baby stations. Mason and I spend a lot of time upstairs and downstairs, which means that I need baby stations in both places, accessible to diapers and wipes, outfits, etc. I have both a baby swing and a rock n play so I plan to keep one upstairs and one downstairs. I will have the bassinet in our room for a while until she is bigger. Speaking of which.

9. Getting their room set up. Yes, Mason and his sister are sharing a space. I wanted to keep the guest room separate so I figure they can share a room for a while. This means rearranging the crib and Mason's bed and figuring out decorating so that Mason will still feel like he has his own space. His sister will be in a room for a while, but I don't want the baby's stuff to overtake Mason's space so I'll have to do some decorating to make sure he still feels like he has a space of his own.

10. Chicken diet. Yes, I'll do the chicken diet again this time. This diet helped me drop the weight so fast last time, and I'm hoping it'll help again this time. Not to mention that it was super yummy.

Is there anything else that I'm missing? Or should be thinking about. These are the things that's been on my mind lately that I still need to do. Let me know if I forgot something.

Thanks for reading!


This Could End Badly

Thursday, July 7, 2016

It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's a crazy pregnant woman going across the monkey bars!

I hadn't anticipated going across the monkey bars until I saw Brandon going across it, then I thought, why not? He doubted that I could make it across since my arm strength is on a low here these days. That made me want to get on even more. Across I go, and a couple of times after just for kicks.

Anyways, this is more of a bump update post, and not just me being crazy.

I'm 30 weeks, and not even sure where all the time has gone. I'm stoked that I'm so close to the end, but aware that there is quite a bit to do before the baby comes. Since we are in a new place, that means a different hospital, a different midwife practice, and a different routine this time around. With Mason, everything went almost like how I wanted so I am hoping things go as planned this time around. I'm seeing a chiropractor for my lower back pain. I'm hoping to read about coping mechanisms since I did not do that previously. With Mason, I just went with it, and though laboring was not fun, we made it through and this time, I'm hoping it'll be the zen, and controlled laboring that I'm picturing...probably not though lol. Each day is still different, and sometimes I'm super tired, and sometimes I'm okay. We try not to do too much so I can rest up a lot more. My taste buds are still a little crazy. Sometimes I think I'm back to normal, and then right after I say that, things start to taste weird again. So now, I just take it one day at a time, and just feel blessed when my taste buds are a-OK.

Thanks for listening to me ramble!

Mason's Birthday Month

Saturday, July 2, 2016

I can't believe Mason turns two this month! I feel like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital. He's gone through so much changes in his two short years, but he's been such a trooper, and he's also made our lives more fun. He is definitely the silly one in our family. The faces that he makes are always bringing smiles. He loves being funny, and making us laugh. He can be quite independent, although he is still learning to deal with other kids his age. Being the first born is hard! 

We can't wait to celebrate with this little guy! I love you with all my heart, my dear.



Wednesday, June 8, 2016

It's been a while since I've been in this space, and what better time then now?!!! There's some changes coming to our family so I figure, I better record it somewhere. I love going back and reading my old posts.

In April, we went to Oahu. We had enough miles for our tickets to Oahu, and Mason was free so that saved us some money there. We split the cost of the house rental with our friends, along with the rental car so that was some savings there. My taste buds were all over the place so next time, I'm going to travel not pregnant since there were so many things I wanted to try, but didn't have the desire due to my heart burn and taste buds. It was nice to relax on the beach, and just not do much. I knew I was going to be a beach bum since I was still so exhausted. The house that we stayed at was a great location. They didn't have A/C which was a bummer, and I clearly needed, but we weren't at the house much so it wasn't too much of an issue. There was a constant breeze since we were right on the peninsula. The house had a pool, and the view was just incredible. 

I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted, but here are a few.

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