Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Yarn Along: A Finished Whale





Joining along with Ginny at Small things for the Yarn Along.
I finally finished knitting the whale I have been working on since February. Whew! It was a long project mostly because every row was different and I needed full concentration to focus on the pattern. Meaning my kids had to be asleep in bed. It was a brilliantly written knitting pattern. I found the project on Ravelry it is called Hazel the Humpback Whale.
 I brought it along for my Mother's Day trip to the ocean for a photo shoot. Maybe I should have set her free while I was there?
Now I am looking forward to knitting something colorful and easy.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Just a rough patch.




Things have been pretty stressful lately and I have been having a lot of anxiety that follows me everywhere because of it, it really has been tough.
During the week of spring break my youngest had a very scary health emergency that turned into a 911 call and a ride in an ambulance to the Children's Hospital. It was so awful, but thankfully it turned out okay and she is just fine now. I don't know what I would do without her, or if anything happened any of my children. Think I might have a little post traumatic stress from the event.

I also have been struggling with my own health issues. I have not felt well in the last three years, it is getting worse, and harder for me to deal with. Just trying to make it through the day is not how I want to live anymore. My energy level is so low it has really been a struggle to get the everyday things taken care of and by the time I pick my son up in the afternoon from school I am feeling really terrible. This has left me feeling really depressed.  I can not find the energy to do the things that have always made me happy, but mostly I am sad because I can't be the kind of mom I want to be to my children. The last doctor I saw said my immune system was attacking my thyroid and there was nothing he could do for me until my thyroid was so badly damaged that I would be put on thyroid meds for the rest of my life. No help at all. This was almost a year ago. I have been feeling pretty helpless ever since trying to learn as much as I can on my own and try to reverse the auto-immune attack on my thyroid. Which interestingly enough is caused by chronic stress.
Anxiety can be a sign that your thyroid is over active or hyperthyroid, but mine is hypothyroid, not working well enough. I have heard that people with my condition can flip from on to the other. I wish I could blame all my anxiety on that, then I wouldn't feel like I was going crazy. I really need to find a doctor who is willing to help me. Trying to tough this out on my own is a very hopeless feeling.

Another HUGE stress on our plate right now is finding a new place to live. Back in February when our new upstairs neighbors moved in our landlords gave us a "heads up" or so they call it, that we need to find a new place to live by this summer. They say they are planning to sell the house, but we have heard that story before. We have lived in this house for 11years this summer. Don't get me wrong the situation is less than ideal, we have outgrown this place for sure. My husband and I currently share our bedroom with our two youngest children, which worked when he was traveling all the time and I was here alone with the kids. It felt more safe to have them in the same room with me at night. My son is at the age where he should have his own space and a place to play with his friends. In the last several months I have searched for apartments on a pretty much daily basis and have literally had panic attacks realizing there is nothing we can afford, not only in our neighborhood, but in the city in general. Rent is out of this world crazy expensive here in the city, it has gone up so much in the last 10 years since we have moved that the new folks who moved into the apartment upstairs(where we lived for 8 years) are paying double what we paid to live there.
So this leaves me feeling really really stressed and totally uprooted. It has been impossible to make plans until we find out where we are going to be living. I have already come to terms with the fact that our current neighborhood is out of the question unless we win the lottery in the next month.  I don't know where my children will be going to school next year and all normal yearly planning is on hold. It is terrifying because this move will impact my children so much. When you live paycheck to paycheck getting the money saved to move is nearly impossible. We were counting on our tax return to fund our move and finding out we didn't get a tax return this year was a major blow. So it is pretty much, need to move, very soon, can not afford anything in this city, have no idea where we are going to go and time is running out. ACK!!! Amazingly. stressful.
I was thinking that if we have to move to a new city anyway,then why not just move closer to the rest of our family in Wisconsin. I have not been able to visit my brothers in 7 years! That is way too long.
But moving across the country is not something you can do at the drop of a hat. This is something we would have had to save for years to do. We need to arrange for new jobs, new schools and a new home. My eldest is moving into High School this next year so I feel now would be a good transition time as she would be moving to a new school anyway. Maybe we could try and tough it out here for another 4 years, but that honestly does not sound that fun to me. I think it would be a better quality of life for all of us to get a fresh start somewhere more affordable.
Like I said, a lot of stress and I don't even know where to start to tackle these obstacles. 
We need a miracle and some answers very soon.  I want nothing more than a stable home for my family wherever that may be. 
Just a rough patch in life right now, a big one.


Monday, April 13, 2015

The Lava Canyon Trail



My lovely neighbor moved away out of state and as a result she gave me several Oregon and Washington hiking books. My family and I decided to find a new place to explore on Sunday afternoon. We ended up finding a fun hike in the book, 100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington by William L. Sullivan . We chose hike #27 Lava Canyon up near Mt St Helens in Washington State. The kids thought the suspension bridge looked fun and maybe a little scary. Lava Canyon was formed by a Mt St Helen lava flow that coursed down the Muddy River's valley 3500 years ago.
I would have to say this is not a very kid friendly trail at least not for little 3 year olds. I had my youngest in a vice grips hand hold the whole time and Papa carried her over the suspension bridge. There are steep metal staircases to climb as well as sheer drop offs into the churning waters of the Muddy River.Quite the adventure. 
The view of Mt St Helens before the trailhead is amazing, so close you can almost lick the snow off.
My camera died in the car before we even started the hike, boy was I sad. Thank goodness Ben has a fancy phone with a decent camera, whew.
I can't wait to explore more in this area. I just love the Mt St Helens area, just stunning. 













Tuesday, April 7, 2015

My Church is in the Woods


My family and I spent Easter Sunday hiking in the woods, and relaxing by a river. It was quiet and peaceful and so very lovely. Just the mini vacation I so desperately needed.

Monday, April 6, 2015

My teenager, 14 times around the sun.



Sophie turned 14 last Friday. Holy smokes!! I feel it wasn't too long ago I was her age. I am thankful for this blog because I can go back through the years and see her grow up all over again. I miss my little Sophie sometimes because childhood is so precious and they grow up so darn fast. But now that she is a teenager we can do fun things together and spending time with her is like spending time with a friend. Time really does fly, as any parent of grown children already know, hold them tight and cherish every age, they are all precious.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Nalah's Third Birthday Party

video





I forgot to take pictures before the party started when things were all tidy and fresh so these pictures are the "after" photos he he. We made a pair of  balloon clown fish that disappeared off the mantle into the house somewhere.  I found the fish cupcake idea on Pinterest many months before which gave me the under the sea theme, aren't they cute? The kids loved them.There were yellow ones as well but those were all gobbled up. The weather was wonderful that day and it was hard keeping all of the kids inside the house they all had fun running around outside pushing each other around in Nalah's little car up and down the sidewalk. It was a pretty loud happy little kid party, Nalah had a wonderful time and the next day she said to me, "Anks for my birfday mom." Awe, Anytime baby girl! 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Three times around the sun!

Nalah is turning three today. She is a little ray of sunshine and I can't imagine my world without her.
We will be celebrating her Birthday as a family today and then having a bigger party with friends on Sunday. I went a little overboard with decorating this year. Including sewing a giant Jellyfish. I look forward to sharing her party pictures.
Two was so much fun and I will miss it. I wish I could pause her and keep her little and sweet forever. She is my last child and I am sentimental. I am not pushing her to grow up quickly, I am savoring every last bit of little kid hood. She is so special, I am one lucky Mama.




The annual sidewalk cake, a family tradition that started with Sophie. There have many sidewalk cake posts on this blog. Our cat Milo used to roll around in the chalk and turn his white fur rainbow colored, these days he is happy with making little rainbow kitty footprints.