7th birthday weekend

It was a great weekend in Bend.  I cannot believe our little nephew is seven years old!  Yikes!  I am totally terrified that I am going to blink my eyes and little Lincoln is going to be seven years old.  Ugh.

For now, I’ll just try to slow down and enjoy each moment… especially the wonderful moments when our whole family is together…

we started the weekend celebrating our nephew's birthday with some bowling...

we started the weekend celebrating our nephew’s birthday with some bowling…

there was a small injury... a pinched finger... but a quick kiss and all was well

there was a small injury… a pinched finger… but a quick kiss and all was well

time for some presents and a sweet card...

time for some presents and a sweet card…

these boys are pretty cute...

these boys are pretty cute…

and of course there were some cupcakes...

and of course there were some cupcakes…

the next day, to husband's delight, we went to IHOP for breakfast

the next day, to husband’s delight, we went to IHOP for breakfast

Nani toted Lincoln around when he got sick of the high chair...

Nani toted Lincoln around when he got sick of the high chair…

Of course Lincoln decided to take a nice long nap during our nephew’s birthday party, but husband was there and took some pictures…

this just looks like mania

this just looks like mania…

the big entertainment at the party was the "reptile man" with all sorts of lizards and snakes...

the big entertainment at the party was the “reptile man” with all sorts of lizards and snakes…

it looks like Popi really enjoyed holding that snake...

it looks like Popi really enjoyed holding that snake…

And sadly, the weekend was over quickly.  I was very proud of Lincoln… six hours in the car each way and he did a great job…

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long weekend

It was a last minute decision, but, early this morning, husband and I packed up the car, grabbed Lincoln and Riley dog and we are headed to Bend, Oregon for the weekend!

It is our nephew’s 7th birthday and we are surprising him with a visit. He is having a “creepy crawly” party on Sunday, complete with a reptile man who is bringing along all sorts of creatures for the kids to see/touch/learn about. I’m sure I will be a bit freaked out, but it should be fun.

I was dreading this 6 hour drive with Lincoln (still not a fan of the car and really, who wants to be confined to a carseat for half of the day?), but we are several hours into the drive and he’s been okay…

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Anyone have fun weekend plans? I mean, probably not as fun as a birthday party with 20+ six and seven year olds and a bunch of snakes, but… 😉

ladies, you can do it!

Since becoming a mother, there are a lot of things that I have become passionate about.  I don’t typically delve into too many of those topics here, because I know there are a lot of different opinions/schools of thought/types of parenting out there and I never want to seem like I am preaching or judging or implying that my way is the best way.  But, I just have to write a little something about childbirth…

Husband and I were watching an episode of “Private Practice” on the DVR last night and one of the main characters went into labor and had a baby… she actually had two babies… well actually there were triplets, but one of them she had delivered earlier…

Anyway… while she was in labor, I actually thought to myself, “Well this is being presented rather realistically.”  She was clearly walking around, changing positions, struggling through contractions, but had some normal conversations in between them, etc.  But then, it was time to push.
Suddenly it seemed like this woman was having her limbs chopped off.  It was your typical lying on her back-legs in the air-screaming bloody murder-crying that she was tired scenario that we constantly see in the media.

I am here to say childbirth DOES NOT have to be like that!  If you recall, I delivered my baby boy, my 10lb. 2oz. baby boy, without an epidural or pain meds (birth story here and here).

* Now again, I want to be clear, I am not trying to brag or imply that my birth was somehow ‘better’ because I didn’t have an epidural.  I just feel compelled to say something because I so wish that women were more empowered, educated and supported if they want to have an unmedicated childbirth.

It seems that a lot of women are simply terrified of giving birth, and no wonder!  We constantly see horrifying dramatizations of labor and delivery.  Women are told that giving birth is like ‘squeezing a watermelon through your nose’.  Hospital staff and doctors often are dismissive and even mock women who suggest that they’d like to have a natural childbirth (I’ve heard some pretty terrible stories).

I just want to say that if you want to have an unmedicated childbirth, it is totally possible!  Some things that helped me do it…
– mental preparation… just like an athlete needs to be mentally prepared to run a marathon, mamas need to be mentally prepared to give birth!  I spent a lot of time imagining how labor would go, what the setting would be like, ways that I would manage the contractions, etc.
– affirmations… it felt really silly at first, talking to myself, repeating these positive phrases to my reflection in the mirror, but I do think they ultimately helped… I got the affirmations from my HypnoBirthing class and they were things like, “I am focused on a smooth and easy birth,” and “I release my birthing over to my body and my baby”…
– confidence and trusting my body! … I think this was the most important.  Maybe it was because I read a lot about what happens during childbirth, maybe it was because of the HypnoBirthing class, or maybe it was just because I really had my mind made up, but I truly never doubted that I could deliver Lincoln without medication.  Throughout my pregnancy I built up my confidence so much that I just knew I could do it.

Okay.  I’m off my soap box now.  I just want women to understand that they have choices… that they can have the birth they want… that they are strong… that childbirth can be amazing and beautiful, not scary and excruciating… The end 🙂

(Unrelated, Lincoln is a crazy boy, climbing and exploring everything.  I shared this picture on Instagram, but it is one of my new favorites…)

silly boy

silly boy

eight months!

With the business of the holidays, the last month really flew by.

Here we go with the eight month pictures…
oh and, no “official” stats this time, but I do know that Lincoln is currently weighing in at 19lbs…

8 months!

8 months!

I now have to use toys to keep him entertained during picture taking...

I now have to use toys to keep him entertained during picture taking…

still working on those teeth... everything in the mouth

still working on those teeth… everything in the mouth

happy 8 months!

happy 8 months!

tired

I am one tired mama.  Little Lincoln has never quite mastered the sleeping through the night thing and that’s fine, but the past week or two… Eeek.  My baby boy has been waking up so frequently… I don’t think I’ve gotten two consecutive hours of sleep in days.

I actually took Lincoln to the pediatrician today, just to rule out an ear infection.  His ears are fine, which was great news, but doesn’t help explain the sleepless nights.  But when the ARNP took a look down his throat, I got a better look at those gums… Lo and behold!  His two front teeth are starting to pop through!

So… who knows if the teeth are the real reason for his constant waking, but at least I can now officially blame it on them 🙂

oh how I wish he would spend hours and hours like this...

oh how I wish he would spend hours and hours like this…

declutter. clean. simplify.

This is my 2013 mantra… I don’t typically make resolutions at the start of the new year, but this month I am feeling inspired to make some changes.
I don’t have a lot of specific plans, but I am hoping to apply these three words to all aspects of our family life: declutter, clean, simplify

I am starting with all things Lincoln-related.  He may only be 7 months old, but it feels like he has already accumulated so much stuff!  So, I am going through his toys and clothes, cleaning, organizing, packing up and maybe even donating a few things.  Just in case there is a baby #2 I don’t want to get rid of too much, but there are some things that we simply do not need.

I hope to tackle a lot of areas in our home with this mentality… our shelves upstairs– overflowing with bedding, my closet– packed with far too many dresses and cardigans that I never wear, even some unpacked boxes out in the garage– filled with tchotkes and random home decor that I clearly am not using…

I started a new board on Pinterest, simply titled 2013 to keep me inspired.  Here are some of the images I’ve found so far…
(Note: I do not actually have an all white home, but I love the look and the simplicity of it is very appealing to me.)

I love using clear containers in the pantry to keep things looking clean... image found here

I love using clear containers in the pantry to hold flour, rice, even cereal.. image found here

a clean nightstand... image found here

a clean nightstand… image found here

And I pretty much LOVE everything on this blog... follow studio... like this bedroom

And I pretty much LOVE everything on this blog… follow studio… like this bedroom

Any tips on how you keep your life decluttered?  I would love to hear them.

In the mean time, I’m sure this little guy will definitely appreciate my new, keep it simple attitude 🙂

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holiday recap

After a brief hiatus, I am back here on the blog 🙂

We had a great Christmas and New Year here in Spokane. Our house was filled with family and it was wonderful… My mother and father-in-law drove up from Bend and spent a week here with us. And, after some delay due to the stomach flu, sinus infections and some other unpleasant seasonal ailments, my brother and sister-in-law and their two boys also came up and stayed with us for a few days.

Highlights from the holidays include several delicious home cooked dinners (thank you Nani!), black light miniature golf, a hilarious game night, champagne on New Year’s Eve, a trip to Coeur d’Alene to see bald eagles, and (I’m sure the kids’ favorite) a game of laser tag.

I am so happy that 1800 miles away from the place we all called home for so long, we were still able to gather as a family and share the holiday together.

Now the house is quiet. Husband and I finished putting away all of the Christmas decor last night and things feel clean and fresh. I can’t wait to see what this new year brings.

And of course, here are a few pictures of Lincoln….

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

lots of fun tearing paper

lots of fun tearing paper

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husband in the background, entertaining himself with one of Lincoln’s new toys

another day... another present...

another day… another present…

and a shot of Lincoln checking out the snow...

and a shot of Lincoln checking out the snow…

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! Happy New Year!