How to Make a Spirulina Drink That Actually Tastes Good

spirulina powder, mint-flavored chlorophyll, a 20-oz cup of water with a straw, and a stevia sweetener.

spirulina powder, mint-flavored chlorophyll, a 20-oz cup of water with a straw, and a stevia sweetener.

I’m always researching information related to health and wellness and trying to incorporate my newest findings into my repertoire of diet and supplementing. On one such quest, I discovered the super food, Spirulina. An algae turned into powder and bottled up in the vitamin section of your nearby health food store, this super food is packed with vitamins and trace minerals, with testimonials claiming that it boosts immunity, fights free radicals, helps digestion, and supports cardiovascular health. I decided to try it out, especially after hearing about its high amount of iron and calcium. By little boys don’t really care for milk or any milk-alternative and don’t really care for meat—so I’m always looking for ways to increase their iron and calcium.

Well, when I bought the powder and brought it home, I excitedly scooped out a teaspoon of powder and dumped it into my cup then poured my water into it and stirred. When I took the first sip, I gagged. This was disgusting. It truly tasted like pond scum, no way around it. I began to drink quickly, fighting off my reflex to gag. When I finally finished the last muddy sip, I recovered by the sink, dry heaving, and praying I could keep it all down. Thankfully after a few deep breaths and some fresh water to take the taste from my mouth, I was able to regain my composure and jump onto the internet to find some recipes that would help the taste. I could NOT do that again!

The recipes, I found, however, just didn’t meet my needs. Almost all of them either required a juicer or a blender and involved incorporating fruit and other veggies to mask the flavor.

I don’t have time for this.

I want a quick drink that I can chug down and be done with. I don’t want to cut up or wash fruit and I certainly don’t want to pull out my juicer or Vitamix blender. Those are great. But I don’t have time to make this a daily routine, and I do want spirulina to be a daily supplement.

Tonight, I figured out a way to make a quick spirulina drink that actually didn’t make me gag. It actually tasted good! I’m so excited about it that I had to share it with those out there also looking.

I first put the powder into my cup, then added the water, then topped that off with the mint-flavored chlorophyll and the stevia sweetener. Then I mixed it thoroughly with the straw until all was blended and ready do drink.

It tasted great! It was mildly sweet and earthy with a touch of mint.

Like more recipes and articles like this? Check out more from Theresa at her new blog, http://mamaguts.com

 

Blessed Moments: weeks 2 and 3

Julie, me, and Dez at the wedding

Julie, me, and Dez at the wedding

Had so much fun and adventure the last two weeks, I haven’t had time to write about it.We went to Amanda and Alex’s wedding and had a great time there with our friends. Owen and I got to dress up and have some much needed adult time.

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Then took off to Utah that afternoon with the kids. The trip out wasn’t too bad. The kids watched movies and slept a little bit. We got to Mesquite, Nevada and stayed in our usual hotel, The Virgin River, and then drove up the rest of the way to South Jordan, Utah.

Grandma Susie, holding Benjamin at the Park

Grandma Susie, holding Benjamin at the Park

Blessed moments included the whole family sleeping down stairs in the basement on different beds all lined up together. It was fun. Should have taken a picture. Owen’s parents OK and Susie gave the kids their birthday presents. They LOVED them. Although funny thing is, most of them enjoyed playing with eachother’s toys rather than their own. Jameson did get an Elmo baby that he just loved. He slept with him every night. When he went to bed, he’d push the baby Elmo’s chest and it would say, “Elmo’s sleep.” So cute.

988481_10151982311309746_49105038_nOwen and I also got presents. Two 100-dollar Visa gift cards! So excited. I havent’ gone shopping for myself with 100 dollars to do as I please in a long time. It felt great! I got a pair of jeans, a pair of sweet Nike’s from the outlets, a shirt, a dress, and a pair of sandals. Yep. It was awesome. 🙂

Other than shopping, that week we tried to stay active. We went to the splash pads, the resevoir, and a water park to stay cool on hot days. At the resevoir, our friend from Oceanside, Desiree Maciewski and her kids actually met up with us. They happened to be in the Salt Lake area as well, visiting family. It was super nice to hang out with her in a different environment. Such a beautiful family.

1017480_10151565436188725_1210933402_nBack at the family house, the kids rode their skooters a lot outside on the street–it was a gorgeous and safe neighborhood with friendly neighbors and lots of kids.

One day we took the kids to this really neat trampeline place. It was in a business park and the entire place was filled with trampelines so that you could jump from one trampeline to the next. There was tarzan ropes and basketball hoops high on the walls and of course, balls to throw into them. There were even some neat foam pits. The kids had an absolute blast. Even Benjamin wanted to jump!

boys with their Grandma Great

boys with their Grandma Great

We did get to spend some time with the family. We went with OK and Suzie, Arza and Rainey to a beautiful park in Salt Lake. It was huge. Sort of the Salt Lake equivelant to Central Park. We had a picnic and threw the football around a bunch. Owen’s sister Holly and her family came over often. Kanan and Jameson loved that. They played often with Bell and Gavin. Sometimes with Spencer too when Spencer was in the mood. Often times, big Spence likes to hang out with the adults. Owen’s sister Lindsay came over one night and made a delicious stirfry for everyone. OK made an awesome speggetti and sausage one night as well. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see OK and Susie and as much as we’d liked because they had to work and  then sadly, Susie’s dad died and so they left for the funeral about two days before we had to leave.

OK, cooking up dinner

OK, cooking up dinner

We did however, meet up with OK again in St.George on our way back down to Cali. He took us to dinner at a great buffet restaurant. I had prime rib and it was divine. 🙂

We have been back for a couple of days and have just enjoyed spending time together. Jameson is back on his skooter again and his bicycle—much needed after a 12-hour drive. I got a SlipandSlide on sale at Kohls for the boys. They are loving it! I also got to visit my friend Carmen a couple of days ago and help her pack. She and her family are moving and are very excited to have their own place after 6 months or so living with family. Kanan got to color, play legos, and watch shows with his favorite buddy, Kameron while we were there. Last night, I skipped fellowship group to go to a Vigil for a colleague who tragically and unexpededly passed away last Sunday. While a vigil wouldn’t typically be considered a “blessed” moment, I was very moved by how much the students loved him. So many great stories were shared. He lived a short, 52 years, but made a huge impact on the lives of his family members and students while he was here. In many ways, that is what life is about. I pray he knew the Lord and is with him now.

Blessed Moments: week one of summer vacation

Family minus K in Big Bear

Family minus K in Big Bear

This summer, I’m going to blog about the blessed moments I  enjoy week by week.It often feels like summer just flys on by and I often wonder where the time went and whether I experienced all that I wanted to experience while there. This summer I have eight blessed weeks to spend with my husband, my boys, my friends, and my family. Those eight weeks have to charge me up for Fall before I can get recharged during winter break for round two in the spring. I want to savor every blessed moment. What’s a better way than blogging about it, right?So my summer kind of started this last weekend because I did have to report to work on Monday, but was allowed to use that time how I wanted and so I used it to organize my classroom for the Fall (something I usually do at the end of my summer break, but still during break.) So this first week of Summer’s blessed moments will start the weekend of June 8/9.

Big Bear Crew

Big Bear Crew

Friday, June 7th- Sunday, June 9th: Drove up to Big Bear with my hubby and two of our sons (Kanan stayed with his dad for this week’s rotation) and met up with my brother, his wife, and their friends for a relaxing weekend in a huge cabin in Big Bear. We cooked dinners together, played pool and pingpong, went shopping (I got a gorgeous yellow infinity scarf and a cute creme colored summer top), the boys went fishing, took naps, chatted…it was awesome. A wonderful way to kick off my break by forcing me to just be still. At home on a usual weekend, I’m running around trying to get everything I can’t get done in the work week done—ie laundry, house work, meal prep,etc. I felt like I really grew closer to my brother and his wife, and fell absolutelyl in love with their friends. Just good people.

Buddies---Jameson and Peyton

Buddies—Jameson and Peyton

And as an added blessing, our son Jameson, who is 2, and my brother’s son Peyton, who is almost 3, had an absolute blast together! They were two peas. It was so sweet. I grew up close with my cousins and really want that same experience for my kids and their cousins. This was such a moment. 🙂 I also got to take a break from my coffee boycott and enjoy coffee all weekend, with that yummy vanilla cremer.

Oh and bittersweet moment here, but needs to be noted–Benjamin decided this weekend in Big Bear that he didn’t care for breastfeeding anymore. He decided to tell me by biting me in a final session before absolutely refusing any other session thereafter! The rest of this week will be marked with my own withdrawals from the special moments as well as physically havign to adjust (He cut me off cold turkey! My body is freaking out!) And third–feeling excited about the multivitamin I have been wanting to take but haven’t been able to because it has all these herbs in it that could affect Benny Boo, the juice detox now in my near future, and the DHEA I have been wanting to take to get my adrenals back in gear (I’ve been depleted for too long and have blood work to prove it. Can’t wait to see the results–energy, better mood, and a whole bunch of other positive effects that I have missed because they are so shot (Thanks to career, coffee, and kids…haha).

Monday, June 10th— Got to spend the whole day organizing my classroom for the Fall. Last year, I didn’t get a chance because I had just had Benjamin, so I started the Fall late and completely unorganized. This followed me the rest of the year. Not this Fall. I am organized, baby! And in a new room, which will be installed with a Smartboard and a class set of Chromebooks! See ya later, paper!

Loving Captain Underpants---Kanan and I

Loving Captain Underpants—Kanan and I

Tuesday, June 11th—1)Took a three hour nap on the couch in the afternoon while the babies napped. 2)Took both babies individually out for a bikeride. They loved sitting in the Weeride seat (sits in front, between rider’s legs) and were all smiles for the ride. 3)Went shopping with my hubbies and the babies—groceries, a fishing pole for owen, a tricycle for JJ, and a helmet for Benjamin (who looked adorable in it, btw).

Wednesday, June 12th— 1)Went to Kanan’s last day of school family picnic and watched him run around with his friends as Jameson followed, while I chatted with another mom named Amery, who moved her from South Africa. 2)Filmed a commercial for a local Party Supplier with my hubby at the studio. 3) Read the first 2 chapters of Captain Underpants (the first book) with Kanan as the babies napped.

JJ and Kanan stopping their skooter session so Mom could take a picture. JJ was so excited!

JJ and Kanan stopping their skooter session so Mom could take a picture. JJ was so excited!

Thursday, June 13th— 1) Went to the Oceanside Farmer’s market and sampled yummy foods with the boys. Then watched them skooter around together. Jameson was so happy and excited. It was the first time I really saw Jameson as a little boy and not a baby. So precious. He is so good on his skooter too for just getting it–a real natural. Who would think he is just barely two years old? Kanan of course, is a natural. 2) played with Benjamin while JJ napped and witnesed Benjamin get the wooden rings onto the stick for the first time (What is that toy called?). 3)Enjoyed great fellowship and bible study with our fellowship group that night–heard awesome news too. Our friends, the Davis’s, finally sold their business.

Friday, June 14th–Took the boys to Grandma Linda’s to go swimming and visit a little. I love being able to see them on a whim. JJ loved the water but was afraid to go past the steps with just his life jacket on. But he had a blast on the steps and Kanan had a good time dog paddling around the pool. Today, Benjamin also said “Dada” AND “Mama” for the first time! He said “Dada” when excited to be home with Owen in the living room. And he said “Mama” when he was upset about being put down and wanted me to pick him back up.

Free Stuff To Do With The Kids This Summer in North County San Diego and San Diego

Saturday/ Sunday

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Every Sunday from June 23th –August 18th. Heritage Park concert 4-6 (Oceanside)

Every Saturday and Sunday @ Mira Mesa Lanes, kids bowl free from 11AM-5PM (2 sessions. must register)

Every Saturday and Sunday @Kearney Mesa Bowl, kids bowl free from 9AM-6PM. (2 sessions. must register)

June 16th–La Jolla Cove 2-4pm concert

Saturday June 15 Walnut Grove Park in San Marcos. Festival of Rock and Blues

Saturday June 15—Tamarack Beach Fest

Saturday June 15—8pm-midnight Café 101 cars show.

Saturday June 29th—Oside 125th anniversary parade 10am-12pm, concert @ 5pm, movie (Bring it On)@5pm in ampatheater.

Saturday July 27th—Christamas in July 3-8pm Carlsbad State Beach

 

 

June 24-25

Grunion Run on any Oceanside beach (Fish all over the sand!).

Every Monday-Thurs @ Kearny Mesa Bowl 9am-4pm, kids bowl free. (must register)

Every Mon-Friday at Mira Mesa Lanes from 3pm-5pm, kids bowl free (2 sessions. must register)

 

 

Every Tuesday Free museums in Balboa Park in S.D. (Each week is different. See * below) 

July 2—10AM–Vista library: Dr. Seus readings.

July 9—10Am—vista library: see rare animals

July 16—10AM—Vista Library: magic and animal show

July 30—10AM—Vista Library: puppet show

July 30—11 AM—S.M library: infant massage class 

Aug 6th—10AM Vista Library: see animals

Aug 6th—11AM San Marcos Library: Intro baby ballet

Every Wednesday 1030AM—Mission Branch Library in Oside—story time for ages 0-2

Every Wednesday 4pm-8pm Downtown Vista Farmer’s Market

Every Wednesday 1-5pm Carlsbad Village Farmer’s Market

July 3rd—915PM @ Corazon Park: Fireworks

First Wednesday of the month for July and August—stargaze with Telescopes at Fleet Science Center in S.D at Dusk

July 10th—10AM Vista Library: child craft

July 17th—1030AM S.M Library: story time

July 17th—2pm S.M library: make paper airplanes.

July 24th—Vista Library @10AM: summer craft

July 31st—S.M Library: tumbling for toddlers. Must register before.

Aug 7th—S.M Library @ 930AM: toddler music skills

 

Every Thursday 9AM-1PM Farmers Market in downtown Oside.

Every Thursday 2-9pm Sunset Market in Downtown Oceanside

Every other week (June 13 and 27, July 11 and 25, Aug 8 and 22)

@2:30pm San Marcos Library—Read with a dog (for beginning or struggling readers. Builds confidence

 

.

1030Am—Mission Branch library in Oside—story time for ages 2-6. Every Friday-Sunday @Kearny Mesa Bowl 9am-5pm, kids bowl free.(2 sessions. must register)  

June 14-15 Walnut Grove Park in San Marcos. Festival of Rock and Blues.

June 28, July 5, July 12—Jazz concert at Stagecoach park in Carlsbad 6-8pm (swing, jazz)

July 19—Del Oro Park in Oside 5-9pm Concert and Family Fun

July 19 and 26, August 2 @ Poinsettia Park in Carlsbad: Jazz concerts. Various Jazz, R&B bands.

Aug 9, 16, and 23—Calvera hills Park in Carlsbad 6-8pm: Jazz concerts (afro pop, soul, big band swing)

June 14-15 Walnut Grove Park in San Marcos. Festival of Rock and Blues

June 15—Tamarack Beach Fest

June 15—8pm-midnight Café 101 cars show.

June 29th—Oside 125th anniversary parade 10am-12pm, concert @ 5pm, movie (Bring it On)@5pm in ampatheater.

July 27th—Christamas in July 3-8pm Carlsbad State Beach

 

*Here are the different Museums that are free. They take turns every week. First week of month–Ruben Planet Science Center, S.D Model R.R Museum, S.D Natural History Museum. Week 2–Museum of Photographic Arts., S.D History Center Week 3—S.D Art Institute, S.D Museum of Art, S.D Museum of Man, S.D Air/Space Museum, Japanese friendship garden. Week 4—S.D Automotive museum

Quite Time Info: Websites for your kids to do fun learning activities—builds reading, math, and other skills and perhaps might give you some sanity time when you need a quiet house:

www.Starfall.com

www.More.starfall.com

http://Inklesstales.com

www.Kneebouncers.com

http://Mightybook.com

http://Rif.org

http://Pbskids.org

www.Getreadytoread.org

Turning Left: the next chapter in my hypothetical future memoir

It has been a while since I’ve blogged. I remember a time in my life when I had time to blog like once a week. I love writing. I love finding poignancy in the fragments of life, in the little windows. One day, I hope to find the time to be able to do that again. It seems nowadays life is just so busy. But tonight. Tonight I have some time and I feel inspired. I normally have about 8 blogs a month I write for Owen’s clients and so when I do have time in the evenings, I’m spending them writing other people’s business blogs. But this month the baby is due. And so Owen gave me the month off. Another one of his bloggers is taking over the blogs this month and that means I have time to breathe, pack the house, prep for the baby, and then in two weeks—July 17th to be exact, take care of a newborn again.

Tonight, Owen has some Christian rock ballads playing in the living room stereo, the cool summer breeze is blowing through our balcony window bringing in light whiffs of smoldering coals from the bbq shrimp kabobs we made for dinner, Jameson is sound asleep in his crib, and Kanan is off with his dad. I just sat down and pulled out my grandmother Lois’s composition book of her memoirs. My project for this summer is to type up her stories so she can give them to her kids. My grandmother’s stories are the best. She really has had an amazing life. And just the idea of starting the first page of her book, gets me thinking about my own life and where I am right now. I am in the midst of living out the stories that one day I might be able to share with my kids. And right now so much is going on. So I thought, I’d take a pause here for a moment and write some of it down. How much of the emotion that permeates this very moment I’m not sure I can explain when I’m 85. Will I even remember it exactly? I don’t know.

Owen and I and the boys are at a cross roads in our life. And we just decided to turn left. The blinker is on and the car is starting to idle out. We are excited. I’m a little scared. But we’ve got God taking care of us and that makes it feel less scary. Like a roller coaster. You know you will be okay in the end because you’re confident in the ride’s engineer. But what is the ride going to be like?

I look back at the road we have been on. I am ready to turn left. Where have we been? Two people who lived in the world and had a blast, but found ourselves in a place where the world just didn’t satisfy anymore. Two people who found Jesus and then found each other, married quickly and experienced a volatile first year of marriage as we got to know each other fully. We made adjustments and grew, our rough edges smoothing out with each friction to something much softer. In our second year of marriage, we moved and mourned the surprise death of my father, then had a beautiful baby together named Jameson. In our third year of marriage, we grew some more as Owen finished school, started a business, and watched Kanan and Jameson grow as well and fill us with love and laughter and inspiration. We also discovered to our surprise that we were pregnant again, and watched out little apartment shrink and our stuff crawl up the walls with each month my belly grew. We anticipated the possibility of me staying home with the kids when I was pink-slipped, praying God would use this to build Owen’s business to the point of breadwinner and bring me home. We recognized that our timing is not God’s timing when my layoff was rescinded and used the benefit that we still have two incomes to look for a house to rent and call home for our growing family.

And now here we are. We found a three-bedroom house in a cute neighborhood next to all of our friends and places we go often. It has a backyard for the kids to play in and sits on a quiet street that dead ends, so I don’t have to have a heart attack if the kids ride their bikes on the side walk. We move in 14 days and the baby is due in 17 days. Owen’s business is growing and he continues to learn and make it better. A new school year is around the corner where I will return to work about 4 weeks late from maternity leave and try with all my might and lots of prayer to teach full time in Temecula and raise three boys, maintain a house, and be a supportive wife to my hardworking husband who is desperately trying to build the business enough so that in one year, I can take a leave of absence and be really be home.

So much changes with renting this house. We will have more room so it will actually hopefully look clean and therefore reduce our stress. It will have a backyard for the boys to play in so they don’t get restless on those Saturdays when I have to catch up on all the work I couldn’t do during the week because I spent it teaching instead. But it will also require us to spend differently. We actually need Owen’s business income now to maintain. Before, it was just extra cash for paying off things and saving for a rainy day. The baby changes things as well. Now on top of adding an extra human to our home, we need to find a daycare provider who can take care of both our baby boys—and for hopefully cheap because we will be tight. We have no idea yet who that is going to be. And on top of all of that, Kanan starts kindergarten in the fall. He will be going to an elementary school near his dad’s house in Oceanside. It is full-day, thank God. And I found a little Lutheran church next door to the school that has a preschool and after school program for kids in the public school. So Kanan has a place to go to afterschool and be safe until I am able to grab him after my commute home from Temecula. Not too bad either in price–will cost us about a hundred dollars a month.

So we are turning left. Down a road of a house, a brand new baby boy added to our two active boys we already have, a growing business, a teaching job in Temecula, kindergarten, and finding/paying for daycare for our babies. I’m looking up articles and ideas on how to cook fast and healthy meals so I don’t get too stressed in the week with just making dinner. I’d love ideas on how to organize everything else too….chores, family time, work time….you name it. Do kindergartners have homework?

It really feels like it’s a whole new life ahead of us. A new life filled with new blessings and trials. Of opportunities to grow closer together and closer to God and also to find new cross roads in the distant future. On July 14th, the day we move out—we are officially through the intersection. And three days later, when Benjamin comes, we will be on the road, the two of us in the front seat holding hands and giggling, three kids in the back seat with crackers and juice boxes loaded, and the stereo playing that old Amy Grant Song, “Thy Word is a Lamp Unto my Feet.”

Okay Grandma Lois, I’m ready to type out your memoirs now. Thank you for inspiring me to think about mine.

“I am a Flower Quickly Fading, Here Today and Gone Tomorrow”

“I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow”—such a powerful line from one of Casting Crown’s songs.

We all know that people die. We all know that we can die right now. But it’s funny how even though we know, we don’t live our lives like we know.

A year ago, my father died. And his death threw everything in perspective again. None of us expected him to die. It was accidental. He was too young and we had many plans with him still.

It has been a over a year since then and once again, I am reminded of this truth. Just in the last two months, people in my little bubble of existence have either died or lost precious ones who have died. One of my good friends just lost a friend. She was pregnant and healthy. She went into labor. Everyone was joyously waiting for the baby to come and to celebrate with her. But she died. She died during labor. Thank God, the baby survived. Had to be in the NICU for a little bit due to some complications. As for the mother—autopsy revealed she died from a rare condition called amniotic embolism. Somehow some of the baby’s tissues entered her own bloodstream. It killed her. Left her husband, ten year old son, and newborn baby and her extended family without her just like that. I don’t even know this woman. But my heart breaks for her family and their loss.

Then last month, an acquaintance from high school with whom I loosely stayed in contact via Facebook died in her sleep. She was 7 months pregnant. Baby didn’t make it. She was newly married. This was her first baby. She was only 32 years old.

Then just now, my husband shared the news that his friend from Utah, a woman I’ve met a couple of times on our trips up to visit and with whom I too stay loosely connected via Facebook, lost her 5 month old baby. I assume it was SIDS. Her post said it was sudden and unexpected. I can’t even imagine. She too is newly married. She had twin babies with her husband. Now they have one baby.

These stories can’t help but sober me to my own fleeting existence and those of my family. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost my Kanan or my Jameson. What would Owen do if he lost me or one of our boys? What would I do if I lost my Owen? What would the boys do if they lost their daddy? It could happen.

I’m pregnant too. And in July, I will be on the operating table getting my third c-section. I got pregnant very quickly after my second c-section. Four months after the surgery to be exact. That is only one month after the uterus is technically “healed.” It is recommended that after a c-section, a mother wait a good two years before she gets pregnant again. And it is recommended that one does not exceed 3 c-sections as each one adds more scar tissue. Each surgery is higher risk to the mother’s life. So I just can’t help but feel a bit uneasy about this July. What if I die? Or what if my uterus ruptures before that day because I got pregnant so soon and the baby and I both die?

I know what you are saying right now—you can’t think like that. Worrying won’t help. You will probably be fine. Don’t stress yourself out over things out of your control. I know these things. And I know that if I died, I’d be with my Lord and Savior in heaven. Honestly, I’m not scared of dying for me. I’m scared of dying for my children and my husband. As much as I’d rather be with the Lord than all else, I want my children and my husband with me when I do. Or at the very least, I want that they had enough time with me before I left them. My children are young. They need their mommy. My husband needs me—I am his wife, his other half, the mother of his children.

Please pray for me that I can enter this next surgery without fear and instead just peace. I fear a panic attack. Before my last c-section—the nurses had us sign a “Living Will” in case I died during surgery. We laughed at the obsurdity of giving this to us when I was already hooked up to all the tubes. But I didn’t have fear. Then there was a moment during the actual surgery when I felt a great pressure on my chest and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. The doctor’s gave me more oxygen and I felt better. But it was scary for a few moments there. One of my friends had her c-section a few months ago and lost a lot of blood during the surgery. She was fine in the end, but recovery was hard. It was scary for everyone too during the process.

I don’t want to go into this surgery in July without thoughts or recognition that I could die. I think that is unwise and naïve. But of course, I don’t want to go in fear or with an overwhelming anxiety about it either. That too is not good. In the end, I could die tonight in my sleep. I could die tomorrow on the freeway. My children could die today. Or we can all live until we are 120. We all have no control of this, no matter what we think. We can be safe and be healthy and that can limit our possibilities for death, but in the end, there are outside forces that we cannot control.

So we just need to live each day, loving our God, loving each other, and loving the lost and the suffering. That is all that matters. Whenever I do die—I want to hear my Lord say “Well done my good and faithful servant.” And I want those I’ve left behind to have the hope of Jesus, knowing that we will see each other again in the eternal future outside of time. And that if they are pained by my death, that they will have find hope and comfort in the hope of our Savior.

If you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, please pray to our father in heaven for those people in my little circle who have recently died and left their families or who have lost their babies and their wives and mothers the last couple of months. Pray that God use all of this for good in the lives of those who love him and are called according to his purpose, as he promises. That through the suffering and pain, those that don’t know him find truth and comfort in him—and come to him.

Pregnant again….Baby #3 due tentatively, July 19th.

from babycenter.com

I didn’t even realize I was pregnant until I was about 6 weeks along and started wondering why the heck I was so darn tired! It was that intense fatigue that I only experienced with pregnancy, but I got thrown off because I was battling a cold. I kept wondering if was due to that even though it didn’t make sense. I had never been that tired from a cold. So I started to grow suspicious, yet kept it to myself. Then one weekend, I started to feel a little nauseous and noticed my lips were started to peel. Peely lips is this strange side effect of pregnancy I have had with Kanan, the baby we lost in miscarriage, and Jameson. At that point, I knew I was pregnant. So I told Owen I was going to get a pregnancy test. You should have seen his face!

The irony about it all is that we were already discussing birth control options because Jameson was starting to ween himself and I knew that breastfeeding would no longer cover me (even though it was already only a mild cover. Yes, I knew it was risky but just wasn’t good at that darn mini-pill! So yes, I knew we were taking a chance. But goodness, I had just had this baby and my cycle hadn’t even returned! Somehow, I just felt it was worth the chance.

The day I planned to go buy the pregnancy test also turned out to be the day that the pharmacy called, saying my diaphragm was ready to pick up. So I picked that up and bought a test. Needless to say that night, I put the diaphragm on the bottom shelf of my bathroom cupboard with all my dusty boxes of tampons and maxi-pads, picked up the phone and called Owen, sharing the news. He was ecstatic!

This means I got pregnant when Jameson was only 4 months old and that will make him and the new baby only 13 months and a couple of weeks apart once the baby is here. Kanan will be 5. That is three children all under 5. I drive a Toyota Camry. There is not enough space in the back seat for three car seats. We live in a small 2-bedroom apartment that is already cluttered with too much stuff because there are four of us there. To add another baby into our lives will mean selling the car, and finding a house to rent. We’ve got 5 more months until the baby arrives. At the very least, we need a new car by then. But I really would like to move out this summer before the baby comes as well.

So now for the exciting subplots. I had to take a blood test to determine how far along I was given I didn’t have a LMP to determine that. The blood test indicated that I was 6-7 weeks along at the time that I took it. However when I went in for my first doctor’s appt., I measured two weeks further along! She expressed to us so nonchalantly, “That means you are further a long than we thought or you are having twins.” At this, Owen and I jumped. I asked her if she could find a second heart beat. She said she would have to look for it and that could take time so we would just find out when I had the ultrasound. So here we are waiting on pins and needles for February 20th—the day of our ultrasound. Now, if you want to ask me what my intuition tells me, I will tell you I don’t think I am. I think I’m just further a long. I’m not as hungry as I was with Jameson and Kanan. You would think I’d be hungrier, right? Plus, my first trimester symptoms were not as strong. I was tired and nauseous yes, but I was way worse with Jameson and Kanan. With Jameson, I threw up everyday! This pregnancy, I vomited only once.

So I think I might be having a girl. 🙂

And that would be awesome!! Oh, how I want tutus and tights! I want big flowers on headbands and curly tresses!

We shall see.

Until then, I’m about 17 weeks along if my measurements are true. Or I’m 15 weeks along with twins! I’m past the nauseous and tired phase although I still can get nauseous when I brush my teeth. I love my sweets. I sigh a lot for some reason. And at 15 weeks, I had actually lost 4 pounds of my post-Jameson pregnancy weight. Haven’t weighed myself again since, but I will say this….my belly is getting bigger but my thighs and rear are looking smaller!  I’m feeling pretty darn happy and trying not to stress about how the heck we are going to do this. Theres no turning back now, so I may as well trust in the Lord and enjoy my life! God will take care of us!

JJ Turned 7 Months Old the Day After Christmas

So much has happened in little Jameson’s growth and development since the last update. He started crawling a couple of days after his 6 month birthday. He is now a crawling machine. He is into everything! He is such an explorer—and his mission? To find the smallest, most random items in places you’d never think of looking and stick them in his mouth. He crawls under chairs, into trashcans, and onto whatever he can climb. He started pulling himself up to standing position within a couple of weeks of crawling. So we pulled out the little activity table we bought at a consignment store that plays music and has all sorts of fun gadgets on it. He loves it. But that doesn’t stop him from pulling himself up on bookshelves, the couch, his crib, our bed, the cupboards, you name it.

He cut his first tooth while we were in Utah for Christmas. He is cutting his second tooth as we speak. Boy is he a fussy baby when cutting a tooth. He has been teething for a couple of months as little pearls have been showing up under his gums all over his mouth. I thought for sure he was cross cutting first because his canines started to bulge and a little white bump showed up at the base of his gums in both bottom canine areas, but that was it. I’m starting to wonder if the bumps are just swollen salivary glands or something else. Regardless, he cut the traditional bottom two teeth. Still haven’t got them in a picture yet. Just the tops of them are showing now and he is very protective of them when I try to open his mouth or take a picture of them.

He is still not sleeping through the night. *sigh*. And he doesn’t eat very well during the day, so I still give him an extra feed before I go to bed around 11 o’clock. I refuse to feed him at other wakings he may have between 11 and 5. But after 5 am if he wakes up hungry I give in. I have to wake up at 5 anyway to go to work, so technically, 5 am is not the middle of the night in our house. He woke up a lot crying when we were in Utah, but since we’ve been home he has gotten better. Only a couple of nights where he has woken up more and typically on the nights where his cold was really bad and he had trouble breathing and when he had teeth pain. I think I’ve approached solving the problem with his eating during the day. I got nipples with faster flow. He has been on slow flow and I think it is just too much work to get the milk out so he just gives up after a couple of ounces. Since I switched to medium flow he is drinking much more! Yay! Because he didn’t grow much from his last doctor’s visit. I think he was 19 lbs at his 5 1/2 month check up and he just went in a few days ago because his cold has stuck around way too long and the nurse weighed him in at 19 pounds, 9 ounces. That is not much over two months. Lets hope more milk will help him catch up on his weight gain. He is still a chunker though. I wonder how much more chunky he would be if he ate as much as the books say he should. He already has cankles. 🙂

He is loving solids now. He has had peas, sweet potatoes, rice, chicken, bananas, oranges, pizza crusts, apples, toddler puffs, and teething bisquits. His absolute favorites are chicken blended with sweet potatoes and also plain ol’ sweet peas.

He is babbling for sure and has little words he can say. He says “Mama” when he is really upset and crying. And he says “num-num” when he is eating his favorite solids food. He tried saying “baba” this morning. As he was holding his bottle he was saying “bbbbbbbb.” Its just a matter of time. 🙂 He loves to say “ahh-ahh” when he is happy and playing. He will yell it happily, over and over again with a big smile on his face. He absolutely loves to smile and laugh. He is such a happy baby.

We are exploring soy formula right now–something I’d never thought I’d do. But Jameson has been congested almost everyday since I started supplementing my breastfeeding with formula when he was 8 days old. And this cold he has now, he has had for a month now (I too have had it this long). Now I know mine sticks around longer because I have allergies, so I wonder if he does too. I’m allergic to cow’s milk and thought maybe cow’s milk formula could be causing his congestion. So I’m slowly introducing him to soy and will see if anything changes for the good. On the downside, he has been constipated since the change, even though the change has been slow. I’m doing only a third soy and two-thirds regular right now. I’m afraid to bump it up to half until I see his bowel movements soften up. I looked it up and found that it could be the transition and then it would go away, but that it could also just be the soy. It does create firmer poop. 😦 So….if the constipation doesn’t go away, I’ll have to jump ship. There are a few recipes online for home-made rice milk formula I might try. But its way more work. I have to buy essential fatty acid drops, infant multivitamin drops, molasses, and a few other things. It seems like it would taste good though. Otherwise, maybe it’s dust. I bought mattress covers that are supposed to suffocate dust mites and still need to put them on all our mattresses. Owen and I are both allergic to dust and dust mites pretty bad so maybe JJ got that gene. So many factors. But I will work on each one and hopefully find the solution.

JJ is 4.6645 months Old!

Well, Jameson’s four-month birthday came and went September 26th. And I had a doctor’s appointment set up for him on the 3rd, so I said I’d wait to blog so I could get his weight, but we ended up having to cancel the appointment because it didn’t work with Owen’s work schedule that day. Owen is the one who takes Jameson to all of his appointments now. It seems his doctor doesn’t schedule anything after 4 and I cannot get him there before them with my commute from Temecula. So he finally got in on Friday and he’s a healthy little baby, of course. 🙂 I cannot explain how much love I have for this little boy. As does Owen. I literally feel like my heart swells and grows when I see him smile and cuddle with him. I can spend all day just kissing him and hugging him.

Jameson weighed in at 17.4 lbs and 27 inches long, which puts him in the 75th and 90th percentile for weight and height, respectively. His head circumference was like 16 and 3/4, which puts that in the 40th percentile (sorry kid. Looks like you got Mom’s Colombian head. You got Grandpa Jeff’s personality, put his German head is not something you got from Mom.) He still has his Dad’s steel-blue eyes though and that makes us super happy. Still, if they do switch to brown I won’t have to change too much in my song for him. The first line can easily be switched from “Who’s that baby with the dark blue eyes…” to “Who’s that baby with the light brown eyes” without messing up the beat. 🙂

Milestones:

Talking: Well the child likes to hear his own voice and he certainly has a lot to say. And LOUDLY. This child is a squeeler, a yeller, a sigher…you name it, depending on his emotions, he will figure out how to communicate his feelings through his vocal cords. He loves to be loud and he will talk as long as he is awake. Interestingly enough he is not really a crier. I mean he cries. But really its only if he is super tired or super hungry. Otherwise, he’ll communicate his anger or frustration through just yelling. Too funny.

Movement: He can roll from his stomach to his back. He just started rolling from his back to his stomach today. He hold his balance while sitting, but needs to be propped up still. He loves to stand whenever he can—on Mom or Dad’s knees. On his changing table after a change. On the floor during floor play with Mom or Dad. And he loves to roll all over his bed when he is trying to fall asleep. I’ll put him in with his feet facing south. And then I come into check on him and he’s flipped around in the other direction or sideways! And he’s so proud of this achievement as well. He’ll greet me with a huge gaping smile and then kick his legs.

Eating: Yep, he’s starting to eat solids. He is just so interested in my food now. He tries to grab it. He stares at it. He drools over it. So I thought I’d try a little rice cereal and banana on him to see how it went. The kid gobbled it up an cried when I paused for one second to get another spoonful. He didn’t want any time spent without that delicious rubber coated spoon in his mouth. Since then he has eaten peas (another favorite), and avocado (tolerable). Although we have taken a two-day break from solids because after the avocado, the kid has been constipated. Poor baby. 😦 I’m doing bicycle legs and tummy rubs, trying to give him diluted apple juice (to which he doesn’t enjoy so he has only taken an ounce.) I’m hoping for a blow out tonight so we can resume. I think I’ll just give him a little less food next time. I planned on only giving him two or three spoonfuls because it was just “practice.” But he’s had more like two tablespoons worth each night because he just loves eating solids so much. I think his little intestines are just not as excited about eating as much as he is.

Sleeping: Well he started sleeping through the night the day I returned to work. But after two weeks that was over with. He still wakes about twice every night now. He is hungry the first waking which usually comes around 1 AM. And then he wakes again around 4 AM and can quiet down after about twenty minutes of fussing. Not sure why it is so much harder at 4. He sleeps in our room still (we have a pack and play in there) because I don’t want his wakings to wake up Kanan. But we decided that from now on when Kanan is at his dad’s, Jameson will sleep in his crib. We are hoping that it will help us sleep better because he makes so much noise between 4 and 5, it is hard to get anything quality. Plus, he may smell me and that might be contributing to his night wakings. We shall see.

Teething: Well he is drooling. He is biting HARD on my fingers. When he smiles, I can see pearls under his gums. So I think he is teething. When those teeth will emerge is the next question. Kanan didn’t get his first tooth until he was 12 months old, just like me. Owen doesn’t know when his first tooth came in. But I have a suspicion that JJ will cut a tooth in the next month or two.

Relationships: Jameson absolutely adores his brother. I actually have to nurse Jameson or bottle feed him in the back room when Kanan is around because if Jameson’s brother is home, he does not want to take his eyes off of him. He laughs at everything he does. Wants to eat all of his toys. And yells to get Kanan’s attention when he is well….not paying attention to him. Kanan feels the same love toward Jameson too. He tells me often how much he loves his baby brother. And I love to watch Kanan “parent” Jameson. It is just adorable. 🙂

Two Years of Marriage

Owen and I celebrated our 2 year Anniversary on October 1st. About a month prior to that day, I came up with a great idea for our special day: wine tasting in Temecula and spending the night at a nice hotel. Owen was in. So I set to work, finding a great plan for our special day.

That morning we dropped Jameson off at a friend’s house to be watched for 24 hours, dropped off Kanan at his dads and then headed out to Temecula. I couldn’t open my email on my way to get the address to the hotel I had booked, but I knew it was off of Winchester. I was pretty certain it was The Holiday Inn so when we discovered a Holiday Inn near Winchester, we pulled right it. We tried checking in but the front desk said we needed to do it when we returned from our wine tasting trip (which was scheduled to pick up at the hotel around 10 AM. So Owen and I headed over to back room where the hotel was giving its complimentary breakfast. About 10 minutes into a delicious omelette with toast and jelly, and a hot coffee, my email finally worked. I opened it up to make sure the pickup time was correct, but instead I was greeted with shocking news. We were at the wrong hotel! We were scheduled to stay at another hotel down the street! Owen and I looked around embarrassed realizing we were eating stolen food and quickly snuck out of the hotel and raced to our car in hopes to make it to the hotel we were scheduled to be picked up.

Soon enough the Grape Vine Express arrived and took us on our trip. We toured four different wineries that day. Our favorite was the Leoness, where we got to walk through the vineyards and taste the grapes right on the vine. It was a beautiful winery resting on hills overlooking wine country. Toward the end of the tour we got to sit in a dimly lit room where the barrels of wine were stored. Would have been a beautiful and creative room to hold a wedding reception in. The rest of the wineries were rather crowded and did not include tours. Still, they were fun and Owen and I enjoyed talking with each other and meeting people, and of course, tasting the different wines.

We came back to our hotel and rested for a couple of hours and then headed out to Old Town Temecula for our anniversary dinner. We found this great mediterranean restaurant there called Soros. Owen was a bit skeptical at first of the restaurant, in fear that mediterranean food would be mostly vegetables. I assured him he would be able to eat meat. We enjoyed the warm October night on the patio of the restaurant, the tables illuminated with tiny white christmas lights and the moon. Live music floated through the dinner area from a beer-garden near by. I had a delicious beef shish-kabob and Owen enjoyed a chicken artichoke dish.

We finished the evening by walking around old town and finding this tiny little wine tasting room at the bottom of an old hotel. There were three men there around our age playing cover songs of 80’s and 90’s music with their own reggae twist. A man renting the tasting area poured us a zippy and dry Zinfindale from his own vineyard and Owen and I laughed and sang a long with the band to old Sublime, Violent Femmes, and Chris Issac songs. We would have stayed longer if these two blonde cougars with their rich, old boyfriends hadn’t started to annoy us with their provocative dancing and squeeling. So we headed back to the hotel to enjoy the rest of the evening, just the two of us.

The next morning, we ate the less quality but still delicious breakfast that we were supposed to eat, given we were now in the right hotel. And then raced back to North County San Diego to pick up our little Jameson who we missed so much.

All in all, our Anniversary filled us with many fun memories.