2013
04.14

Building a Birdhouse

I’ve wanted a birdhouse since we moved into this house back in 2008. We have a friend who builds the most amazing, beautiful birdhouses who was going to make me one but he passed away so I never got the 1 birdhouse that I really wanted. Long story short, Bo arrived home the other night with this……………….

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I laughed out loud. A lot. He brought home a big board, a box of screws, sandpaper and some sort of drill bit thing to drill the hole for the birds to enter. He was so proud of himself and excited to build a birdhouse with me. I thought he had lost his mind and laughed hysterically. When I talked recently about building a birdhouse, I had planned to go spend $9.99 at Walmart in the kids craft section and buy a birdhouse kit made for kids, one that my niece recently received and I wanted! Hahaha. But I quickly got on board and figured this could be a great project for Bo and I to complete together so I started “google’ing” plans to build a birdhouse with the piece of wood we had. We got a basic idea of layout we figured was easy to try and Bo drew up his own plans and got to cutting. Yes, he used the bed of the truck as his worktable.

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I really wanted to participate too since this was ‘my’ birdhouse and our project. I got to drill the hole for the birds to enter the house!

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Elijah was very excited to help out as well! His first building project!

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Elijah playing peek a boo in the unfinished house.

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“Look dad! I can put the roof on! Aren’t you proud of me!?!”

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Helping daddy pre drill the holes to screw it onto the fence post.

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Figuring out how to use the tape measure.

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Helping daddy screw in more screws 1/2 way into the roof.

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Yup, still helping!

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So after 2 days of work, we have a birdhouse! Bo of course did most of the work, I stained a little bit of it, drilled the hold for the birds to go in and out and screwed in most of the screws so I could feel like I did something. The twig we used for the perch is one from our butterfly bush out back that Bo’s mom bought me a few years ago, I thought it would be neat to include part of that in the house and we cut off the perfect size perch just for the birdhouse. It’s now screwed onto the fence post just outside the back door nestled nicely in a tree that birds frequent so I’m really hoping they will take up residence soon in their new home!

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I love how it turned out! It’s not what I had in mind, I didn’t think we would be able to actually create it (always the optimist I am) but I love it and I’m so excited! It’s perfect!

2012
03.25

Did Christ ever ask his disciples (read: church) where he/they should go, or what he/they should do?  Did he ever ask them to teach him?  I don’t believe so…if so, I am struggling to find where.  Christ was a leader, the leader.  He led his disciples and guided them in the ways they should go.  He demonstrated to them how they should act towards themselves, towards other believers, and even towards non-believers.

After being called, his disciples made the choice to fervently follow him.  They desired to be with him, do what he was doing, and learn what he was teaching – not necessarily the other way around.  He loved them by choosing and doing what was best for them, by giving them his best.  Christ surrendered himself in the sense of servanthood (e.g. he chose to wash their feet) but that was not surrendering his leadership per se.  It was a demonstration of love; specifically of humility, meekness, and how to love Christ’s way.  Never once did he surrender his headship as the leader, the guide, or the decision maker.

We, as Christian men, are called to love our wives as Christ loved the church; to be leaders in our community, our homes, and especially in our families.

In today’s society this truth is more important than ever.  Too many men today take this so-called “servant leadership” to the extreme, and end up surrendering their entire leadership role and responsibility over to their wives.  I don’t even know where to begin on how wrong this is on so many levels…Of course, we must be careful not to take it to the other extreme of leadership by “iron fist”…

Another truth in today’s society is (facetiously) that blame has to fall elsewhere. The statement (read: excuse) could be made that female empowerment or the feminist movement is partially to blame for men becoming passive and complacent.  Another argument may be that the laws are becoming too strict for men to stand up and be men anymore.  We hear all sorts of stories about fathers disciplining their children and being arrested for it…

The simple truth is that, regardless of the excuse, this passivity is wrong.

Christ didn’t instruct us to lead by asking what to do or where to go.  We’re not told to ask our children how they think they should be raised or whether or not discipline is in order.  We are called to lead our families.  It’s time, for men to become men again and stop trying to pass this responsibility off.  Stand up to the challenge of following the only one that we, as Men of God, should follow…Christ.

Lead to follow…

2012
03.11

Elijah’s Birth Story

Tuesday 11/8/11 (37 weeks, 3 days):

I woke up early that morning and took a shower which I NEVER do in the morning, I only shower at night. But I woke up feeling icky even after showering the night before so I got up early and showered anyway. I had a bit of an upset stomach throughout the day and used the restroom probably about 6 times before 3pm and figured I may have eaten something bad the night before. I had also been laughing a LOT and crying a LOT for no reason that day but that wasn’t too out of the ordinary, I had become more and more emotional and hormonal recently as well so I figured it was just par for the course, something normal with end stage pregnancy.  (Denial much? I knew all this stuff was labor indicators but HUGELY in denial about it…) Then at about 3pm, I was at work and got up to take a break. I felt a small gush of fluid so I went up to the OB office to ask if I could get a PH strip to test the fluid and see if it was amniotic fluid or not or find out if I could buy them over the counter. I had been leaking fluid for about 2 weeks since I had lost my mucus plug. They wouldn’t give me a strip to check myself and said that I needed to be seen so they checked me in and I sat in the Dr’s office waiting for the Dr to come in. I waited nearly an hour on the table in the Dr’s office for him to arrive. It was a hot room and I had to use the restroom (again) while waiting but didn’t have clothes on and figured he would be in soon so I held it the entire hour. The Dr arrived and checked me and said there was a lot of fluid visible though it didn’t change the PH strip that he tested so it was “inconclusive” as to whether it was amniotic fluid or not. He told me to get dressed and meet him in the other room so he could do an ultrasound as he was concerned that I may have leaked out all of my amniotic fluid. He did the ultrasound and saw that  and there was more than a normal amount of fluid in the amniotic sac as well and was concerned about it. He told me that I needed to go to the hospital right now and be checked out due to the level of fluid he was seeing, how much I was leaking, the inconclusive PH test and my elevated blood pressure. I argued with him and told him that I was fine, I just needed to use the restroom, calm down and go back to work. He told me again (a few times) that I needed to go to the hospital and get checked out and if it was just anxiety like I had suspected it was, they would discharge me and I could go back to work tomorrow. We continued to argue about it and I ended up leaving the office at 4:30pm telling him I would talk to Bo about what we should do and make the decision together. I had told Bo not to come to the clinic for the appointment assuming I would have been back at my desk working again by 3:15pm but he showed up just as I arrived back at my desk to finish the work day.

We discussed our options and decided I would have my blood pressure checked once again before leaving work by a nurse and again by one of the firefighters at the fire station later that evening to monitor that it had in fact gone back down and I was just fine. I had my blood pressure checked before leaving work for the day and it had come back down to 130/80 which was much better than it was while I was in the OB office (166/88 ) so I felt much better. Bo and I left and decided to grab a bite to eat on our way to our very last birthing class that evening. We attended birth class from 6pm-9pm and practiced some counter pressure techniques and relaxation techniques, asked the last of our questions, received the last bit of information and got some handouts to take with us and headed home. Here’s a picture of the 3 of us girls still pregnant in our birth class on Tuesday 11/8.

We stopped at the fire station at 9:30pm on the way home to get my blood pressure checked again which was 180/90. I told the firefighter that he was using the wrong size cuff and asked him to check it again with the larger cuff. He did and got 160/100 so I knew we would have to go to the hospital. We got home, dropped off Bo’s car, picked up the rest of what we wanted to take for our few hour visit to the hospital late that night and got checked in to the hospital at about 10pm.

While in triage (at about 11:00pm), I was sitting on the bed on a potty pad with no pants on (hospital policy) and started laughing. I told Bo to stop making me laugh but couldn’t control myself (though he had done nothing to actually make me laugh) and couldn’t hold back, I tooted a little. Then I tooted a LOT and really loudly. Then I peed the bed. Entirely. With a full bladder onto the potty pad. Then I started sobbing (while still in uncontrollable hysterics) because I was absolutely mortified that I had actually just peed the bed. I told Bo I needed to go to the bathroom and tried to take the sheets on the bed with me so the nurses didn’t find out that I peed the bed. Bo told me that there were probably 70 other women in the past month who had come in and done the same thing, it was no big deal, it happens to all pregnant women, blah blah blah, trying to make me feel better about it. I went to the bathroom while Bo and the nurse changed the sheets on the bed and I came back to a clean room and some fancy underwear and what they called a “maxi pad” that I needed to ask instructions on how to use: (note: the “maxi pad” was not in a wrapper, that was it…the actual pad itself-in my right hand).

The Dr was there ready to examine me again. He said he had good news, that I hadn’t peed the bed, that was amniotic fluid. I felt so much better and was so relieved. I got up ready to pack my stuff and go home to go to bed and asked how soon we could leave. He said we could leave after we had the baby since my water had broken. I didn’t understand, I had planned on going home and going to work the next day and said that I needed to get home so I could get some sleep before going to work. He said I wouldn’t be going to work tomorrow, I would be busy having a baby. Reality set in right about then that it was “time”. We took this picture:

We were told we’d be transferred to a labor and delivery room in a while to get situated and could get moved in and went to take a walk while we waited for our room.

We finally got settled in our own room at about 1:00am Wednesday morning 11/9/11. It was then that we finally had cell phone reception and sent a couple of messages out and called our families to let them know we were in the hospital. The nurse had mentioned getting me started on Pitocin at about 4:30am which we did NOT want (we spent good money and 12 weeks in a husband coached, natural childbirth class so we wanted to go all natural) so we told them we would try natural methods first instead. They left us alone for a couple hours during which time I sat in the jacuzzi tub, took a walk and attempted some other natural techniques for kicking your body into labor, none of which worked when we stopped actually trying them to see if the labor would continue. The nurse came back at 4:00am and said she was going to get the order for Pitocin so we could get my body going. Bo told her that neither of us had slept and if we were going to induce, I needed some time to rest first and asked for a few more hours. They agreed and said we could have until 8:00am to rest. So we did. We attempted some more natural methods which didn’t work and I took a nap. At 8:30am, the on call Dr came in and told us it was time to get serious, we had to get Pitocin started, sometimes labor doesn’t go the way you had hoped or planned for but for the safety of our baby, we had to do something, so we agreed.

At 10:00am on Wednesday 11/9 they hooked me up to Pitocin at 2ml/hr. The nurse checked me to see where I was at before starting the Pitocin and I was dilated to a 1, the Dr pretty much told me I could plan on having the baby on Thursday, this was going to be a LONG day. The hospital policy states they increase the Pitocin 2ml every 30 min until my body was having consistent contractions. I slept from 10:00am until about 11:00am when the contractions were picking up, by 12:00pm, they were really starting to hurt. The Pitocin was at 8ml/hr at 12:00 when I was unable to sleep anymore. They turned it up to 10ml/hour at 12:00 and I had enough. The contractions were not at ALL like I had imagined they would feel, a different type of pain in a different area than I had expected them and much, MUCH worse than I had ever imagined. They were also pretty close together and I felt like I had no break in between them at all. I thought I was relaxing through them pretty well and Bo was telling me over and over to relax through them and rubbing my back, we had a decent system going. Until 1pm when our nurse came in and saw how I was doing and sat down and got in my face and told me I wasn’t going to make it. She said I was in the VERY early stages of labor, I would have to find a way to cope with this because at the rate I was going, I would not be successful in having a natural childbirth because I was unable to manage my pain or relax through my contractions at all. She said my entire body was tensing with every contraction and I was going to exhaust myself very quickly. She said we needed to come up with a new game plan for what we wanted to do so I could last until tomorrow when we could expect baby to come. I was so discouraged, I was about ready to give up already. Bo recognized I was tensing up with every contraction and instead of just telling me to relax through them, he would touch my arm and tell me to relax my arm so I was able to recognize that I, in fact, was not relaxed at all, I actually was so tense and gripping the bed so hard my arm was about to dislocate so I was able to relax that and everything else Bo touched and told me to relax.

I knew I wasn’t going to make it until tomorrow without having any medication to help me out so I asked Bo to call our childbirth instructor Ruth to give us some advice. Truly, I just wanted her there because I knew if I caved and asked for pain medication, Bo would say no but Ruth may be on my side and help me to get what I thought I needed. Bo was more than happy to call her (for his own reasons – he thought she would completely talk me out of the pain medication idea) and she was on her way to the hospital to come and help us out. I don’t know when she arrived, I don’t actually know too much of what happened after 10:00am other than bits and pieces here and there but I do remember her being there and Julie the nurse sitting down talking to me as well. By 2:00pm I was in agony and didn’t want to do it anymore. I figured if it hurt THIS bad by now, I would literally be dead before tomorrow, there was absolutely, positively, no way I would make it having a drug free birth (or even a drugged birth, I would still be dead before tomorrow) at this rate and just wanted to quit at this point. I remember sobbing and begging Bo to please just help me and repeating it over and over and over again begging him. I begged Ruth, I begged the nurse Julie, I begged anyone who I could hear was there who could possibly help me and begged for a break, I just wanted the Pitocin turned off for a bit so I could get a break in between contractions because they felt like they were about 2 minutes long with about 15 seconds in between. I finally caved and begged for drugs as well. Bo told me to pray so I started begging Jesus for help, Bo said it made him laugh that my prayer was “Jesus help me” over and over and over and over. It worked for me for a while. I remember questioning Ruth as to whether I was in transition yet since I know that’s what hurt the worst, she didn’t answer me. The nurse finally told me she would check to see where I was at to see if pain medication was even an option at that point, she thought I was still too early in labor to be given any medication and needed to find out where I was before we moved on with anything. Ruth asked if that mattered to me, I said yes. She asked at what point would I not want to receive pain medication, I said I didn’t know. She said if I was at a 7, would I still want medication? I said I didn’t know. She asked 8? I said no. At about 3:30pm Julie checked me to see where I was at. I remember hearing her exclaim “I can not believe this!” I asked “what?” She called to have the Dr paged and told me I was dilated to a 9.5, it was time to go, time to start pushing! I asked again if I was in transition and Ruth told me I had flown right through that and it was already all over! WOO HOO! 2nd wind!

The Dr arrived at about 4:00pm, they prepared the bed and everything they needed and got me ready to start pushing. I know Bo was there, Ruth was there, Julie the nurse and the Dr. (not our Dr, she was the on call Dr for the day). I have no idea if anyone else was in the room. I started pushing and fought with the Dr about how long to push and how many times to push during a contraction. I pushed how I felt most comfortable and blew her off, Bo was proud. Bo told me that he could see babies head, I was so excited! I said “I’m crowning!?!?!” and he said “no, not yet, just playing peek a boo right now.” So I knew I was close. I pushed a couple more times, Bo encouraged me to give it all I had, push 1 more, a little harder, etc and I felt baby SHOOT out of me. I opened my eyes just in time to see the Dr, Julie and someone else hitting the floor at the end of the bed. I was scared to see them all diving for the floor since I felt baby shoot out of me quickly but Dr caught him by the leg before he hit the floor and placed him on my chest. She immediately clamped the cord (which was against our wish but oh well) and had Bo cut it.

Another argument ensued between the Dr and I about medication options for the “repair” she needed to do (sew me up) and I ended up getting a local anesthetic rather than IV narcotics since I had just successfully had a medication free childbirth, I didn’t want to screw it all up and have drugs after baby came out just to get stitched up when it was over with. Dr did the repair and I snuggled baby boy from his time of birth 4:21pm until about 7:00pm when they finally took him to the other side of the room to get his weight and measurements. That’s about when we decided on his name as well.

Elijah Michal Bradshaw

11/9/11   4:21pm

6 lbs   10 oz    17.25″


He is perfect. And quite the snuggler. We snuggled for hours then ordered pizza. Bo and I were starving, we hadn’t eaten really since Tuesday and it was Wednesday night now at about 10pm. The hospital cafeteria was closed so they told us our only option was for Bo to leave the hospital to go get us something or have something delivered. We called pizza hut and had a pizza delivered. I had 1 slice, Bo had about 5 and we went to sleep. Early Thursday morning Elijah got checked by the pediatrician and was fantastic, I got checked by the OB/Gyn and was doing great and he wrote up the discharge papers since we wanted to get out of there and go home and we went back to sleep while we waited. Then I actually woke up at about 8am and was SICK. Sick with food poisoning and a killer sore throat… Bo was too when he woke up. Within a few hours, I was unable to function, I couldn’t even get out of bed anymore, I was vomiting, had diarrhea (after giving birth and being sewn up… ouch…) and was hurting, dizzy, nauseated, clammy, just felt awful. Bo was throwing up so violently they sent him to the ER to be seen down there. He returned about 8 hours later in a drugged stupor and slept for the next 14 hours straight. They had cancelled our discharge and we stayed until Friday since we couldn’t care for our newborn, let alone ourselves.

Friday we got to leave the hospital around 12:00pm though my killer sore throat had turned into a pretty nasty cough. We stopped at starbucks on the way home to get a good cup of coffee. Having had gestational diabetes, I hadn’t had a mocha in MONTHS so I got one on the way home (decaf of course since I’m nursing). It was so good.  We made it home safely and had a bunch of people at the house on Saturday, there were people here from 10am until 5pm. I didn’t even have a chance to go pee or feed the baby all day long since we had company and was absolutely exhausted and felt awful by Saturday night. Sunday my sore throat turned cough got nasty bad and went up into my head as well. I saw the Dr on Monday who said it was just a cold and to let it run it’s course. 2 weeks later, I saw the Dr for a second time who finally gave me antibiotics for bronchitis and a sinus infection and I finally started feeling better 16 days after giving birth.

That’s the readers digest version of our birth story. It wasn’t what we had expected but it was wonderful, painful, but wonderful and we’re so thankful for the birthing classes we had taken, the support of our families and friends, our awesome nurse Julie and amazing birthing class instructor (now friend), Ruth. We couldn’t have done it without all of them though I joke with Bo, I think we could have done it without the doctor!

                  


2011
08.10

Baby Blueberry

It’s been a while since I’ve updated. Here are a few pregnancy pictures from our first 6 months.
Baby Blueberry @ 20 weeks
We had the ultra sound tech write down the sex of the baby and seal it in an envelope so we didn’t know. We took it to a bakery and had them make a cake with secret tinted frosting inside, pink for a girl, blue for a boy. We had our families and a few friends over to all cut into the cake together and reveal the sex of our baby….

It’s a BOY!!!!!!

18 weeks

19 weeks

22 weeks

24 weeks

Nursery before – from the door

Nursery after – from the door

Nursery before – from the closet

Nursery after – from the closet

Nursery before – from the room

Nursery after – from the room

The paint colors are a baby blue and latte brown though it looks like bright blue and ivory in the pictures, I didn’t get the right light in the room for the pictures. Bo painted the nursery while I built the bookshelf and changing table then we put the crib together then he fixed the changing table :) hahaha.


2011
06.26

18 weeks

We hit 18 weeks yesterday, that’s right, 4.5 months. Nearly halfway done! Pretty amazing! It doesn’t seem like anything has changed, living life as normal for the most part. I’ve gained 3 lbs but I FEEL like I look like a house because my body is definitely changing in a big way. I finally had to go out and buy a pair of maternity pants to wear to work since my pants are getting too tight. Good thing I had lost a bit of weight before getting pregnant because I can still fit into most of my normal clothes though I feel awful in them and think I look awful in them so I’ve had a really hard time finding anything to wear lately. But I am healthy, babyblueberry who has now graduated as of yesterday to babybellpepper

2011
06.26

18 weeks

2011
05.21

We’re Pregnant!

Well, this isn’t actually new news anymore but I haven’t blogged about it at all yet so I thought I would.

8 weeks ago today I found out I was pregnant. Bo and I had been arguing something fierce and not getting along at all and I wasn’t myself, I hadn’t even considered taking a test though we had been “trying” to get pregnant for quite a while. I was home alone contemplating purchasing a 25 pack of pregnancy tests for only $5 from amazon when the light went on inside my head and I remembered I had 1 left upstairs so I went up and took it. I got the plus and the line, never seen that before. I started crying and thought “Really God?? REALLY!?!?!? Right NOW?!?!?!” I had been doing well losing weight and was down around 25 lbs at the time but it had certainly slowed down recently. When Bo got home later that night, I told him. He lit up like the house on the Griswold Family Christmas video and I cried some more. He tried to hide his excitement and console me but I was too upset and he was too excited, he glowed, like staring directly at the sun type glow when he saw the positive test result.

The pregnancy has been good so far, pharmaceutical companies make AMAZING drugs for nausea and after trying to “tough it” for the first 2 months I finally caved and started taking the medication and have felt SO much better since! I haven’t had a migraine for over 3 months which is the longest I’ve ever gone without so I’m very thankful for that.

I truly believed that when I got pregnant, it wouldn’t affect me – at all. Really, I believed this. I figured I’d go about life like nothing was different and not notice a thing until my belly button popped out and I was about done. I haven’t eaten eggs for over 2 months, I went an entire week eating ONLY potatoes, I nearly threw up (multiple times) with a group of people at a Chinese restaurant early on and I LOVE me some Chinese food! Bo quickly learned that if I asked him “what day is today?” that his response was to be “nap day!” and if I asked “What time is it?” the correct response was “nap time!”. I was napping a LOT and completely lost the ability to sleep at night at ALL anymore. I would lay in bed and toss and turn, huff and sigh, flop and roll and kick about but I wouldn’t actually ever sleep. Thankfully that too has now passed and I am sleeping well again only at night and not napping anymore (except for in the car).

We finally got to meet our little babyblueberry at week 8. I’ve tracked the pregnancy, embryonic growth into a fetus and changes since. At week 7, she (I call “it” a she because I don’t like referring to our baby as an “it”) became the size of a blueberry so I started calling her “babyblueberry” and that’s stuck even though she’s graduated a # of sizes through kidney bean, grape, kumquat, fig, lime and this week she’s a medium sized shrimp. Here are our first pictures:


Here’s a picture of me at week 12, I am not showing at all (just my regular chubby belly) and have lost about 10 more lbs now putting me down a total of 35 lbs from this time last year.

We just went in for our 12 week check up a few days ago and go to hear her heartbeat again (in the 160′s) though we didn’t get any new pictures. Doctor says we won’t get another ultrasound for another 2 months. We opted out of the genetic test because we don’t want to go through all that even though it would have given us another look via ultrasound at the baby.

Her weekly birthdays are on Saturdays so as of today, we’re 13 weeks. Here’s a picture from this morning, still not showing and Doctor said I’ve lost 2 more pounds since last week (I think his scale is wrong, mine at home doesn’t say I’ve lost). It’s ok for me to lose weight while pregnant as long as I’m getting all the nutrition and water that baby needs since I was so overweight to start with.

Since I was a little girl, I think the most important thing to me for having a child was to have a rocker-glider chair. I’m not sure why, I don’t think my mom ever had one but that’s been important to me for some reason. So this morning, we went out garage sale’ing to see if we could find one. We found a couple but they were icky, dirty, stained, VERY used and didn’t have the ottoman to match so I decided not to get them. I figure I can try some magic at clearance shopping with coupons and see if I can get a decent one with the ottoman (which is just as important as the chair itself) for a great price. Enter… God. While garage sale’ing, I asked everyone that had baby stuff out if they had a rocker-glider available and 1 gal told me that she had just ordered 1 herself from Amazon.com and got a great deal on it. But she said she had just left the Bellevue Babies R Us store and they told her about 1 they had in the back warehouse that had just come in from an online order that was never picked up and had to be discounted to resell. She said it was a brand new one for $86. I didn’t get TOO excited, I figured it would have already been gone and even if not, it wouldn’t include the ottoman so it would probably still cost far too much if we had to purchase it separately. But I called the store anyways to ask about it and she told me she did find it, a brand new, still in the box Stork Company glider rocker with ottoman for $86. “With ottoman?!?!” I exclaimed, “yes” she replied. I asked her to put it on hold for me and we would pick it up today. We had just received a gift from our friends that included a $50 Babies R Us gift certificate that I of course wanted to use on something substantial, not just boxes of diapers we’d go through and throw away, I wanted something memorable to purchase with the gift and this was the deal!! We arrived in the store and went to pick it up, long story short, they finally did find it (after I was nearly in tears because they tried to charge us $176 for a different one) and gave me the additional 20% off for the current furniture sale they were offering since I asked for that as well. Dave Ramsey (and my dad) taught me well how to negotiate! Here is the current rocker glider & ottoman as it sits in our living room downstairs and the after picture of what it will be as soon as Bo puts it all together! I’m so excited I can’t stand it! I had nearly resigned to having a decent (non stained, smelly, rickety, only partly padded) glider rocker and ottoman and got blessed with this bad boy for $26 out of pocket out the door! BEST. DEAL. EVER! I’m so thankful! I think we’re actually going to leave it in the living room downstairs, it matches with our art and shelves there and we spend ALL of our time in the living room … we can move it to the nursery later if it would work better in there. We’ll see.

That’s about it for our current updates! We don’t have any names picked out yet and aren’t sure if we’re going to share those publicly when we do chose one anyways. We’re undecided about finding out the sex, I’d prefer to wait, Bo REALLY wants to know. I know it would be more convenient but what a great surprise to be blessed with after baby comes to find out who they really are? It just seems neat to me but we will probably end up finding out because it’s really important to Bo. That of course we will share with everyone if/when we do find out.

Blessings until the next blog…

-TBC (Bo, Kari & Babyblueberry)

2011
03.19

2011 Gardening

I’m so excited to get going on my garden this year! I actually HATE yard work & gardening (so does Bo) but I LOVE eating fresh veggies out of the garden so it’s worth the work! Hopefully this year I’ll produce a better crop of things we will eat more since last year was my first year and I could have fed an entire army with all the lettuce & peas I had and we didn’t come close to eating it all or even giving it all away, guess I’ll actually count my seeds this year like I should have last year. I’m looking forward to growing some lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, zucchini and I’m not sure what else, but I’ve only got 2′x12′ to work with so I can’t go crazy.
Here’s what I’m starting with!

(Left) The garden this morning overgrown with weeds and last years leftovers that I never took out. (told ya, NOT a good gardener….)

(Right) After about 10 min of weeding and turning the soil, I put the tomato growing thing back in and the trellis that I’m not sure what I’m going to grow on this year since I am NOT growing peas again. Any ideas what I could plant that grows up?

2011
01.31

Vacation !

On Sunday, Bo went to the mens breakfast at church with my dad then dad took us to the airport. We arrived at about 930am, our flight left at 1130. I purchased the tickets back in August and had seats assigned at the time but when we checked in at the gate, they advised we didn’t have seats yet and they would call our names after the passengers boarded to get the last seats if they were still available. This was after finding out they charge for bags and we had to pay extra for that as well. Not a good start. We got on the flight and made it to Chicago on time. Transferred planes and took off to Baltimore. I was getting sick on the ride so Bo asked if they had some crackers or bread or anything small so I could get something to settle my stomach, they said no, only the snack boxes available for $8.99 to purchase. Nice. It was a turbulent ride and the fasten seat belt light was on but Bo had to use the restroom so he got up. We were in the last row before the galley where the restrooms were located and Bo was in the galley waiting to use the restroom when a flight attendant passed by, Bo excused himself politely and got out of the way and got yelled at for being up while the seatbelt sign was on. We were not very pleased with our travel but arrived safely to Baltimore at about 930pm Saturday night. We couldn’t board the ship until Sunday at 1230 so I decided we’d just stay in the airport for the night because I’m cheap and heck, I’m a world racer, I can sleep anywhere, anytime and need no comfort. Bad idea. We had packed to go to the Bahamas, shorts, tank tops & flip flops and it was 8 degrees in Baltimore when we arrived with snow on the ground. Good thing we didn’t plan on leaving the airport. We found the “meditation room” and figured maybe we could sleep in there even though the sign stated it closed. We snuggled up on the floor in the corner in front of all our luggage and tried to sleep. Apparently I’m not cut out to be a world racer anymore because it was a COLD, HARD floor that hurt to lay on, I hadn’t packed well and had nothing warm to wear and couldn’t get warm enough or comfortable (pain free) enough to sleep. We were able to rest uncomfortably in there until 630am Sunday morning when they kicked us out.

We decided to go have breakfast and check out the transportation options to the port. I had planned on walking to the bus stop, taking that to the light rail to another bus then walking to the port from the stop. That would have been about a 2 hour ordeal in the snow for only about $15 less than the cost of a cab direct to the airport in about 20 minutes so we decided to do that instead but didn’t want to leave for a few hours so we found a different hallway that was nice and warm and laid down again to get some rest. We napped and played games for a few hours and got up at about 1130am to go get our cab and got passed by at least the 100th airport employee who had seen us laying on the floor who asked when we were leaving and told us we should have gone up to the “observation deck” where we could have slept all night in warm, comfy recliners watching the planes take off and land with pillows and blankets. REALLY!?!?!? We searched all over for a comfortable place to sleep and never found one and 14 hours later, someone tells us about it. Ugh.

We made it to the port, got checked in, boarded the ship and got our room and luggage. We walked around on the ship and saw the outer decks were all covered in ice. Bummer. We’re packed for a HOT summer vacation and the decks/pools are all ice. We froze some more. We set sail Sunday afternoon and hung out on the ship until Wednesday when we arrived in Florida. We got caught up on our sleep, saw all the shows on the ship, participated in some activities, tried our luck at the casino, ate some great food and had lots of pictures taken.

We met our table mates the first night,Tim & Aarone, the other couple we’d be having dinner with together each night and connected pretty quickly and sat at the table and talked until they asked us to leave as the dining room had closed. We’ve done that pretty much every night since then as well. They’ve been a fun couple to chat with each night over dinner. We met another nice couple playing poker who we’ve continued to talk to each night as well and look forward to our conversations with them each day.

Wednesday we arrived in Port Canaveral, Florida and Bo’s uncle was there to pick us up right as we stepped off the ship. He took us back to his house, we played pool and chatted with his Great Uncle who had just arrived from New York on his vacation then headed out to a Cuban restaurant for lunch. We picked up his aunt on the way and had a great time at lunch catching up with them all. Then we hit the bowling alley and bowled 3 games then headed back to the ship. We had a great day catching up with his aunt, uncle & great uncle and were so happy to spend the day with them.

Thursday we arrived in Nassau, Bahamas where we had booked an excursion to go see the Atlantis resort. We hopped a bus with a bunch of folks, took a walking tour of the property, saw tons of cool aquatic life, walked around with the couple we had met at the poker table then I had to try my hand at the casino just so I could say that I’ve done it and lost my small amount pretty quickly so we went back to the port and walked around there for a while before getting back on the ship.

We also found a Starbucks in the Atlantis…. :)


Friday we arrived in Freeport, Bahamas early and had booked a sailing/snorkeling excursion and as we excited our room to go meet for that, we found a note stating it had been cancelled due to low attendance so we were switched to a power catamaran/snorkel excursion. We met with the group outside in the freezing cold (wearing a swim suit, tank top, skirt & flip flops) and caught the bus to the resort where it was located. We hopped on the power catamaran and “set sail”.

It was FREEZING! They said the outside temp was around 60-65 which really isn’t that cold but wearing the nothing that we were wearing clipping along at a good speed on the water in the very windy conditions, it felt VERY cold. We arrived at the snorkeling location and everyone on the boat just sat around looking at each other to see who, if anyone, was going to go in first. Everyone stripped down of their sweats, hats, socks, sneakers and we all jumped in. Except Bo, I had made a number of laps around the boat snorkeling before he decided to get in. We snorkeled up and down the Lacaya reef and saw some pretty amazing fish. It was a lot of fun and not too bad once we got in the water. We all got out, snuggled up in our towels and got ready to head out.

The captain started the boat but we only traveled about 2 minutes very slowly before he stopped for us to spot the sharks he had seen in the area. That was pretty scary seeing them so close to where we had just been in the water but neat to see nonetheless. We “sailed” back to the resort, caught the bus back to the port, found a coffee shop to get a hot coffee to warm up with and got back on the boat to go take a hot shower. Friday was our last elegant evening so we got dressed up again, took pictures everywhere around the ship and went to dinner with our buddies again. After dinner we went to another show, attempted to make a bankroll in the casino and went to bed.

Saturday was our last “fun day” on the ship. We ate, went to the shows and found a couples massage workshop to take. It was $50 for 1.25 hours of learning how to massage one another and practicing. We had a massage therapist in the room teaching us each how to use the techniques they use on their massage clients and we each got a nice massage. We also sat out on our balcony and watched dolphins putting on a show for us for quite a while, we can’t even count how many we saw jumping out of the water from right up against the ship to as far as our eyes could see, it was really cool.

I entered a slot tournament, I’ve never done it before and it was only $20 so I decided to give it a try. There were about 90 people that entered and played the first round. I was in 2nd place after the first round and had to come back at a later time to spin again for the grand finale. When I came back, the top 9 winners from round 1 and a wild card entry were ready to spin for our prize. They sit everyone down at a machine that has 0 credits and unlimited spins on a 5 minute timer and you just spin and spin and spin as fast as you can for 5 minutes and whoever has the most credits at the end wins. That just happened to be me! WOO HOO!!! I won a hat, t shirt, 24 carat gold plated plastic “piece of ship” and $500 cash!!!

There was a dance party on an outside deck one night and just after the party started we heard overhead paging for “Operation Brightstar” which we thought was some sort of party call. Bo was already headed up to the party deck and when he arrived he found that “operation brightstar” means that someone had collapsed and the employees were performing CPR on the gentleman. He had been part of the dance competition and had just collapsed on the deck. We found out later that they were able to revive him with CPR and defibrillation and he was airlifted off the ship by the coast guard later that night in stable condition.

We had the same wait staff every night as well, Lourdes from Peru and Arip from Indonesia, they were a ton of fun and sang and danced for us and with us when Bo “party boy’d” Lourdes…

We have lots of people we look forward to recognizing for excellent service during our cruise, we had a blast even though the ship was quite a bit older than the previous ones we’ve cruised on, therefore not as nice. But the staff is always exceptional and make it a great time.

One of my favorite things is waking up in the morning and sitting out on the balcony for quiet time. Here’s the view… BEAUTIFUL yet freezing!

We finally had to say goodbye to our friends and head home. We’re descending into Seattle airport as I type this and looking forward to getting home, seeing Bows and having the day off to sleep in, recuperate, clean laundry & buy groceries. I’ll post the rest of the photos on FB.

2010
06.16

Home Repairs Comedy

Here’s how my attempt at home repairs went while Bo was gone in Africa for 3 weeks. These stories are all from the past 3 weeks but I couldn’t post them because Bo had no idea I was doing any of this while he was gone. Hopefully he’ll never leave again or if he does, we’ll have the money to hire someone who can do this CORRECTLY!

Painting:

Here’s the funny story of attempting to paint. I had a gift card to home depot AND walmart and didn’t want to spend money out of the family budget to pay for painting since there was no money in there and Bo didn’t know I was doing this. I figured I’d use my walmart card to purchase the supplies and use the home depot card to buy the paint. (mistake #1). So I get the roller kit with all the needed stuff from walmart and go buy the paint from home depot. Did this on a friday. Got home late friday night and was motivated so I taped everything off (all the trim/baseboards/etc) and decide to start painting at like 10pm. I went to dump the NAVY BLUE paint into the paint pan I bought at walmart and the whole corner was cracked out of it… the paint would have just run straight through onto the floor. Had to wait until saturday to go buy good paint pans at Home Depot. I got up saturday morning, went to Home Depot, bought the good paint trays and went back home to paint. It was so nice outside, I decided to mow the lawn instead and mowed 90% of the lawn until the mower ran out of gas. Bummer. Put that away and decided to go BACK to Home Depot (3rd time in less than 12 hours now) to buy the edging for the yard I wanted to install… to make a nice border between the rocks and the grass so the grass doesn’t grow up into the rocks. Wasted a few hours out back digging holes in the yard and made NO progress. Gave up on that and went inside to eat. Ate food, decided to give the edging 1 more try and went back outside for a couple hours and tried again and ruined more of the yard and didn’t get anywhere with that, decided to quit until i had some guy available to help me dig the 30 foot trench. Went back inside to paint…. poured the navy blue paint into the pan and finally started painting! about 5 min into it, I realized I was painting the WRONG WALL!!!! (Mistake #2). Navy blue paint on the wrong wall… UGHHHHHHH! … move over to the correct wall and start over. Paint the whole thing and run out of paint with about a 2′x2′ section left (cuz that amount of paint was on the wrong wall, it would have been perfect had I not done that)..,. so I’m pressing REALLY hard with the roller trying to stretch the paint out to cover that little square and the roller snaps in half (DAMN WALMART!!!!) (Mistake #3). The roller flies OVER MY HEAD and lands on the carpeted floor behind me. I only laid plastic out about 2 feet from the wall, not expecting to throw paint backwards over my head. :/ So the roller now snapped in half with the navy blue paint on it is laying on our white carpet behind me. Fantastic. BACK TO HOME DEPOT (4th time in less than 24 hours) to get paint remover and a new roller. Come back home, clean up MOST of the mess, finish up and go to bed. Sunday after church I go rip the tape off the trim and VIOLA! the trim is BLUE! (Mistake #4). Paint soaked all through the tape onto the trim… fantastic. The places where it did not soak through the tape it ripped chunks of paint off the wall so now the wall is uneven with beige chunks and blue trim. I decided to just rip the trim off the wall (mistake #5) to clean it up and paint behind it. Bad idea. Took me almost the next week to clean the trim and paint behind it and there are large holes now gouged out of the wall where I used a screw driver/butter knife/paint mixer/hammer to try to rip the trim from the wall. (Mistake #6). That is my story of trying to paint ONE wall. I have 3 left. please pray for me. :)

TV Wall Mount:

Bo wanted to get the motorized wall mount for his flat screen tv to hang on the wall. Lucky for him, I catered to his desires while he was gone in Africa because I missed him and decided to buy it and install it for him. Bought it at Costco and brought it home. Our friends came over to help me install it. It didn’t take that long, got it BOLTED into the studs and hung on the wall. Hang the tv and turn it on to test it out! Hit the remote and hear “click” and that’s it. No motor running, nothing moving (the tv is supposed to move and tilt forward). again, “click” again, “click” … NOTHING. Grrrrr. Troubleshoot it as best we can and decide the motor is shot. Fantastic. I even called vizio for tech support to see if we maybe missed a switch or something because this thing is BRAND NEW, it should be working. Well vizio does not have tech support for their wall mounts, only for the tv’s. there is NO support for the wall mounts, they tell me to contact the store where I purchased it from and ask them. Yeah, right, Costco is going to have tech support for me?? Doubtful. So, friends come back over a 2nd time… we UNinstall the whole thing, pack it back up in the box and I return it to the store the next day. re-purchase a new one, friends come back over a 3rd time and REinstall it and it finally works this time! WOO HOO! 1 project COMPLETE!!

Edging:

I wanted to edge the yard … between the rocks and grass because the grass is growing up into the rocks so at one of my MANY trips to Home Depot over the weekend I purchased the black rolled up edging stuff. Saturday I tried to dig the trench. It needed to be about 4″ deep x 1″ wide for 30 feet long. I dug holes and made a mess. Quit and went inside for dinner. Got powered up and decided to give it another try. Used my shovel, dug more holes, used my step on edging tool thing and got no where, used a small hand shovel and dug more holes. Gave up. Left everything out in the backyard for a week. Attended a wedding on Saturday and came home that evening and it was all gone… INSTALLED!!!! Our friends (who have been over multiple times to help me already while Bo is gone) came and magically completed it for me while I was gone! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!