Thursday, June 27, 2013

I'm afraid to tell . . .

So the past month or so I have had a rough time. I smile and hide it like any person would because I don't want to let people know how hard of a time I'm having. Its exhausting pretending that everything is ok when its so clearly not in my head. I find it interesting that what causes me to spiral most is mainly money, work and weight issues. I equate my life and everything I do to a roller coaster ride. Its pretty appropriate when you think about it. The tick tick tick of going up is always so exciting and exhilarating the anticipation of what is going to come when you head on the downward ride. Except for me I feel like I anticipate when things are going to go wrong because inevitably they always do, you can't just have a good go of things for a while without something happening.

Our ride up was good, we had minimal debt. Spencer had a good job where he worked days and everyone was on a good schedule. Gavin and Rowan's school was great and I was really used to the schedule we were on. We were paying things off but we were just doing the same thing as always. Things were good but boring and predictable. We've been trying to figure out when Spencer could go back to school but as usual we were dragging our feet because things were good, why mess with something that is good right? Well like usual the Lord sees me standing at the edge of cliff trying to will myself to take the next leap and I keep saying "I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna jump!" and then I chicken out and say I'm too scared. That leap to go to school full time and live off student loans and finally finish his degree is a big one. Well the Lord sees me standing there for months and months and finally he comes up and says "You know you've been standing there too long now I'm just going to have to push you."

The big push came after Spencer had a medical emergency at work. Instead of calling me or my mom to come get him he called an ambulance, mistake number one. Ambulance rides are expensive and not covered by insurance. He got checked out at the hospital and everything looked fine, more money. Then he went to the doctor and did follow up tests and more money, everything came back totally fine and normal. In the meantime his work switched him to swing shift pending him getting the okay from the doctor to go back to days. His work has saved us financially but the way they run their business sucks. With how many times he's bailed them out and done shifts for them (with no extra overtime but being comped out) you'd think they would show their appreciation but they never have. They made the decision after he was cleared by the doctor that they liked him better on swing shift and didn't switch him back. Well that didn't bode so great for our schedule but we dealt hoping they would change their mind. Since then people have quit and been moved around and the past two weeks he's been working different shifts every day because he's the only one who stays put and is certified at his work. So treat him like crap and then when they're in a bind expect him to drop everything to do whatever shift he's needed on, because they know he won't quit because he has a family to support.

I've been going downward physically, emotionally, hormonally. You name it I'm not doing well. I've gained back a lot of what I lost and I feel sick and tired and like garbage. This past month I skipped a period which hasn't happened in a while but I know its because I gained back weight that I had lost and just the stress of it all makes that happen. I hide it a lot, stay home most days and just try to make it to bedtime without blowing up. I usually do pretty good but lately its gotten hard. I feel very alone in this and even if nobody ever reads my thoughts its helpful to get it out even if it means it helps me put words to what I'm feeling, an outlet.

I will admit that some days I yell, some days I don't want to get out of bed, some days I cuss and freak out even, some days I don't even really want to talk to anyone because I feel a little numb and I'm afraid people will know that I'm not ok. In our church we have what are called visiting teachers where each woman is assigned two women to visit once a month and make sure everything is ok. I've been screening calls from mine because I really don't want to have visitors and to have to pretend that I'm ok when I'm really not doing well. I feel like I have few friends that I see at church but nobody super close that I can talk to. I need help, I know I do but asking for it is very hard for me. I want to get out of this funk but its hard for me to when nobody knows and I feel too embarrassed to ask for it. So for now I'll put on my "pretend happy" face and hopefully soon my face will match how I feel once again. All I know is I really don't like feeling this way.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My take on the home and public school debate

Lately I have a large influx of friends who have decided to homeschool. That is great and wonderful for them but unless the school system got so bad that I couldn't have my children in public school I don't think I could do it, let me rephrase that, I wouldn't choose to do it unless it got too bad I could do it, I just choose not to. I am totally supportive of those who choose to do it with their children and have lots of respect for those that do, it is a hard job being a parent and adding teacher to that list of things has got to be rough but there is a problem that I am noticing lately. There is an implication that I'm not sure if its on purpose, that my child is restricted and not being led to his full potential because he goes to public school. I have seen memes like this one lately.

And others that are worse . . . but it made me too mad to even include them. It bothers me to think that my friends who homeschool think that my child is restricted or being held back in his full potential because he goes to public school and that outside of school I don't engage my children and take them outside and teach them about things that they wouldn't learn in school.

I'd like to tell you story about my oldest son Gavin. Gavin has always had his stubborn streaks and has from the time he was born, he never did anything until he was full and ready including crawling, walking and especially talking. Gavin created his own language that we named "Gavinese" he would jabber in his language at you and when you would say "Oh really?" he'd say uh huh like you understood. We didn't think much of it, lots of children did this and he would eventually grow out of it right?

Fast forward 3 1/2 years and Gavin was still not talking properly, he was barely putting fragmented sentences together and would mimick what you would say but nothing to what he was supposed to be by that age. I was in denial, feeling like he would just come out talking one day but it just wasn't happening. As a parent you never want to feel like you failed as a parent but I felt like I was. As his Mom I couldn't help him to speak, I didn't know how to go about teaching him to talk but I was scared to ask for help because it felt like I was admitting I was a bad parent. I tried picking up the phone to have him assessed but would end up hanging it up crying. Finally my older sister Erin called me and this is what she said: "As Gavin's aunt I love him and you very much and I have to let you know that you need to get him help. I know this is hard for you but you are not a failure if you ask for help! In fact it shows you are good Mom because you realize that he needs help, to keep denying help would make you a bad Mom which I know you are not. If you'd like I can call for you and make the appointment if its too hard for you to do that but please for Gavin make the call." I remember breaking down crying knowing that she was right and finally I told her No I can do it, I just don't know where to start, she found me the number and when I called nobody answered so I left a message and even that made me frustrated. Like I finally got the gutts to call and nobody answered. It was really hard.

They eventually called me back and were super nice, the school board has an assessment day twice a year (in case anyone is wondering) where they have different kinds of teachers and therapists that can test your child for hearing, vision, motor skills, cognitive and language. Gavin passed all of the categories except language and cognitive. What I remember most about it was the motor skills testing. Gavin is the type of personality where he has to figure out how things work. They gave him a set of blocks and asked him to copy a type of stacking that she did. He did beautifully and even made a more complicated one that she was going to do next before she even did it. The speech therapist had a pie chart that swivelled and he took it from her and tried to figure out how it worked. Through the tests he was placed in a preschool for developmental delays at first Chambers Prairie Elementary and then Lacey Elementary which was closer to our house the following year. He rode the bus to school twice a week for 2 years before even going to school and I will forever be grateful for what the school system has done for my son Gavin.

You would never know that he had any kind of delay. He entered Kindergarten last year and already knew how to write his name and by the first couple months of kindergarten was reading at the highest level in the class. He enjoys math and reading and art and I never feel like he is restricted by anything his teacher teaches in class. In fact as a point I would like to let you know that the elementary school he goes to is one of the top schools in our area. Because he is so far ahead of everyone in reading his teacher sends home extra reading homework to make sure he isn't being restricted. He gets paired with a buddy so that he can do his reading at his level and up until last year even had a volunteer parent who would take him and another girl out of class for reading because they wanted to make sure they weren't being held back.

This year I decided to put Rowan who is almost 4 into the same program for preschool. Lacey Elementary has the same preschool for delayed children or with special needs and they have open enrollment for what they call "Peer Mentors." You pay out of pocket for it but they allow you to choose 2 or 3 times a week and as long as you enroll right away you pretty much can pick the days and times they go. Rowan has the same teacher Gavin had, Abby McElmeel and at the beginning of the year I remember talking to her about how Gavin is. She has a special place for Gavin because it was her first year teaching and he is such a huge success story. She told me she still checks in on him to see how he's doing and she was SO excited to have Rowan in her class. I actually started tearing up and gave her a hug because I was so grateful for her and the other teachers that did so much for Gavin and that they loved what they did so much that they continued to follow up with Gavin. Rowan loves going to preschool and making new friends and I in turn get more one on one time with Corinne at home. It's a win win situation if you ask me.

Now I'd like to go back to my main point of this post. Do I feel like I could've homeschooled Gavin? No I do not, he needed the therapy and learning techniques that only that program could provide I believe. Do I think that homeschooling is bad? not at all, in fact there are many of my friends (you know who you are) who are amazing teachers to their children in the home. Example: I got a phone call from a friend's daughter who is homeschooled the other day who is 6 and she asked me to help with a project she was doing for school.

I'd also like to add my dislike for the opposite, acting like homeschooled children are socially awkward and sheltered. In fact I find the opposite is to be the case. All of these things are based on the way a parent teaches. I am sure there are some that are but most homeschooled children are quite social and happy and the opposite of sheltered. Another meme that someone posted that made me mad

I feel no matter how we choose to teach our children that we should do it with our whole selves and be engaged. Know what our children are learning and really be involved. My son brought home reading homework that talked about animal habitats and information about volcanoes and he really showed an interest in it. So in turn I sat down with him and looked up more information. There are many opportunities for me as a parent to expand on the information he is getting from the public schools and in turn somewhat "homeschool" after he comes home from public school. Ultimately that is our job as parents is to continually educate our kids whether it is at home or at a public school. I try my best as a parent to teach my child right from wrong and to be a friend to everyone at school or at home or at church. I continue to hope that I am teaching him the right things and he is a good person ultimately and becomes an educated and good man someday. I think the whole point of this post is feeling like no matter how we choose to do things it becomes a versus debate? Why can't we respect the way others choose to do things without having to fight about it? Ok off my soapbox :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Why is there a lightsaber in my bathroom? And other strange questions I never thought I'd ask until I had boys

This morning I woke up like any other day and stumbled my way into the bathroom. I looked down and there was clothes on the floor from my husband showering and right in the middle of that was a lightsaber. First question that came to my mind was "Why is there a Lightsaber in my bathroom?" Like most people who are parents of little kids there is lots of questions that come out of my mouth and things I say on a daily basis that I never thought I'd say. . . Until I had little boys . . . Here is a list, I'm sure you can relate and laugh at the same time.

1. Why is there a lightsaber in my bathroom?
2. Don't sit on the cat, bite the cat, put a blanket over the cat, oh the cat scratched you? Well maybe next time you'll leave her alone like I warned you the last 100 times. Don't TOUCH the cat! (5 mins later they are bugging the cat again)
3. I don't speak wine, when you decide to talk normal then I'll talk to you.
4. Thank you for showing me your gigantic booger but no I don't want to keep it, please go get a tissue and throw it in the garbage.
5. (This one is a daily occurence) Get off your brother!
6. You talk or say another word and you'll be forced to hold hands until you love each other!
7. Oh you want a drink? That's nice I want a million dollars
8. You need to point down so you don't pee on the floor, toilet or your own pants. I know we've talked about this before.
9. You're bored? I have a toilet that needs cleaning . . . oh you aren't bored now? It's a miracle!
10. All three kids are crying for some reason or another around naptime : Me - Oh we're all crying now? Can I cry too? Wahhhhh (cue all three stopping crying and laughing at me. Works every time)
11. Could you get off the back of the furniture.
12. (during potty training) Mommy doesn't pee in front of the tv, Daddy doesn't pee in front of the tv, Gavin doesn't pee in front of the tv so you can't either we are banishing the potty from the living room. *cue crying*
13. Stop chewing on your blanket.
14. No you can't wear your sister's pink elephant diaper.
15. Little boys make noises ALL. the. time so I hear myself saying be quiet a lot.
16. I'm hungry! Hi Hungry I'm Mommy Nice to meet you. Do you know where Rowan went?
17. I know it's really fun but could you please not spray the febreeze and make mommy want to choke from the smell.
18. Rowan my keys and the toe nail clippers are not a gun go put them back where they were!
19. Sit down while you're eating or I'll duct tape you to your chair.
20. Dear son, could you please not wait until you almost pee your pants to yell "I gotta go pee!" and then have to grab you and make a mad dash up the steep 13 stairs to the bathroom just to make it on time. I know peeing is inconvenient for you but it would really help me out.
21. No you can't watch 20 episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba, I think I'll go crazy if I see one more episode.
22. Yes hitting your head will hurt your brain
23. Stop fake burping who taught you that? Daddy? oh great!
24. You don't need to announce every time you're done going potty or poop or hey you just farted! Awesome! I think I could've lived without the newflash!
25. No you can't have candy for breakfast
26. Don't pull the strings on your socks, as hard as it is to believe that's why your socks get holes
27. No you can't go jump in the puddles with your regular shoes on
28. Don't push your little sister down the stairs.
29. There's a lot of stuff I don't want to do but I do anyway, I don't want to wipe your butt but I do.
30. And last but not least Don't eat gum off the park bench! It's not free gum it's disgusting *cue gagging noises*

This has been a collection of things I never thought I'd say and has been going through my head all morning. Hope you enjoyed! Anyone have anymore fun ones to add? I couldn't think of them all but I'm sure there's more lol.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What it's like to be a Mom . . .

Lately I've had some rough days and mornings and been up early and go to bed late with so much going on. It's extra crazy the past couple weeks with family stuff going on and adding in being a parent makes things super stressful. I found myself looking at the goings on in my household and needing to voice how I feel and how stressful it is to me. So here it goes:

What It's Like to Be a Mom

I haven't showered in two days and plan to later this afternoon when my husband gets home but it probably won't happen until after dinner.

I am potty training a 2 1/2 year old while dealing with a teething baby who screams bloody murder at me all day long. My lowest point the other day dealing with this was Rowan had had 3 or 4 pee accidents that day and had peed double what he usually does in the bathroom upstairs, not two feet from the toilet, if he had take two steps to the right it would've been in the toilet. So I pulled out the cleaner and paper towel and was cleaning it up and the whole time I'm cleaning up pee I have a 10 month old yelling at me from her bumbo seat because her teeth hurt. Oh and did I mention my 5 year old is not dealing well with Rowan getting attention for using the toilet and has to announce every time he goes to the bathroom despite being potty trained for 2 years+ and requests a candy every time he goes pee.

Lets see what else? Most days I feed my children their meals and snacks healthily and they are happy but for some reason I can't remember to feed myself. I pour them bowls of cereal but find it difficult to grab a third bowl and pour myself one until probably 2 hours later when I realize Oh wait I haven't eaten. Yesterday I ate mostly crap because it gave me energy and kept me going for the day, don't judge it was a hard day yesterday. Some days I feel like I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached.

After three kids I feel like I'm doing ok weight wise but secretly I hate certain parts of my body. Before I had children I wasn't super thin but I was at least within a healthy range for weight and would eat relatively well. With everything I deal with during the day adding in trying to eat right and exercise is hard. I have quite a few friends who are runners and are in great shape and I've concluded that most of them are done having children and make a huge effort to do it. I just need to get to that point before I can get in shape or at least get my body back from being loaned to my baby with breastfeeding before I can go full tilt into exercise and diet change.

Most days I feel like I am drowning in laundry, I can't seem to ever catch up and have all of the laundry done and put away before it replenishes. A friend once posted that Laundry is a Monster that hides in corners, under beds and in closets, just when you think you've gotten it under control it pops up somewhere else.

One of the few things I've actually kept up on is the dishes which makes me feel good that at least one thing stays somewhat clean in my house because with three little kids they are similar to a tornado. Corinne recently learned to crawl which is so exciting because I love when my children hit a new milestone but now she adds to the tornado.

Having little boys = pee on my floor it's just a fact of life that little boys are easily distracted and sometimes miss when they pee standing up. I've actually out of curiosity watched Gavin use the bathroom and he stares at the ceiling or anywhere else instead of paying attention where he's aiming and misses often so I started having him help me clean the bathroom on Saturdays. Thank goodness for my steam mop to clean the floors. Is it weird that I love that thing so much?

Which leads to another thing, I get excited for cleaning appliances. I used to think that was pretty sad but certain items make my life so much easier. This past Christmas all I wanted was a Shark Steam Mop and my mom got it for me. You'd think I had gotten that red racer bb gun from christmas story with how excited I got, I even asked my mom if I could mop her floors ha ha. Before that we bought a Dyson, and anyone who knows anything about Dysons they are freakin' awesome! As soon as it arrived I vacuumed my floors probably a dozen times just to see it work :).

Trying to go anywhere with my kids makes the trip take twice as long. Lately I think my husband has discovered that if he sends me out to go window shopping, even if I don't buy anything and am only gone for an hour I come home a lot happier and any small things we need get picked up from the store a lot faster if he sends me by himself. I appreciate it a lot and he always reminds me that in his job he gets a break from the kids and I deserve to take time for myself.

Next topic: I feel guilty doing anything for me sometimes. It seems weird that as mothers we give all of ourselves to our families and never take time for ourselves but it just becomes a way of life when you have kids. Being selfish isn't really an option but every once in a while I try to take time out for myself because it's just mandatory or my self esteem will crash and burn.

On Sundays sometimes I feel like there isn't much point in going to church because I spend most of my time in the hallway. I joke sometimes and say "someday I will go to class again, when I stop having babies" but it's pretty much true. When one baby goes to Nursery then we have another one, its an ongoing pattern so I guess when I'm done having babies I'll get more out of church. I have been reminded though before that going to church on Sunday even if you spend most of the time in the hallway I am being a good example to my kids about where we need to be.

Despite having a frustrating week with everything I am so grateful for the successes we've had this week. We made a trip to Canada to see my niece baptized which was amazing!! She is such a sweet wonderful spirit who knows more then I realized and you could definitely feel the spirit at her baptism. I am so glad we were able to go and despite being out of town Rowan did awesome with his potty training! Right before we left he finally got over his fear of using the toilet instead of the little potty and that made things a lot easier too. I realize Gavin just needs a little more attention and voicing my gratitude to him to help compensate for all the extra attention Rowan is getting for potty training. And miss Corinne just needs to be cuddled while she works those teeth out.

I may be only one woman but to them I am the world and I am realizing more and more that I need to take care of myself more. I hope sharing these inner thoughts will help me feel better and make you feel better that you aren't alone (or at least I hope I'm not alone in these thoughts)  ha ha. Mothers of the world here is my confessions. And those who are trying to decide whether to have children, it's worth every moment! As scary as it sounds reading all my thoughts, I wouldn't change it for the world and as they get older you'll miss these days, I keep having to remind myself of these things.

School starts soon and my oldest is going to Kindergarten, I can't believe he's already old enough for school. I can't believe that! My trio are such a blessing and I wouldn't change it for the world. Thanks for letting me let it all out :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Isabella Rose Gifford

I know this seems strange to write a whole narrative about someone else's baby but this isn't just any child. I remember the day Bella was born like I had given birth to her myself. I was there the whole time, I had just had my first baby 4 months before and I was so excited that my best friend was going to have a baby. I got the phone call that Leahona had gone into the hospital and I was alone at home with no car and a 4 month old. I wanted to be there so badly but had no way of getting there fast. At the time we were living in some apartments where I was really good friends with the landlord and he happened to be there and I asked him point blank if he could take me to the hospital because my best friend was having her first baby. I look back and it seems so weird and funny that I got a ride from him but he was super nice and totally got me there. 

So I was there along with Leahona's husband Jacob who was super nervous but awesome helping his wife get through every contraction and Leahona's mom was there too. She was doing so well but was so tired from being in labor at home for a long time and then a long time at the hospital as well. Eventually she had broken down and got the epidural because she was so exhausted. Gavin who was just a baby slept in his carseat for a while beside me and was such a good boy and was really happy and quiet through the whole thing, another thing I think is kind of funny and weird is that he was there when Bella was born too. They are best buddies to this day. When the time finally came that she was ready to push arrived it seemed it wasn't meant to be. Leahona pushed for 6 hours straight and Bella wouldn't move. They tried using a vacuum and her doctor right before she tried it admitted that if it didn't work then they were going to have to do an emergency c-section because the baby wasn't moving. I know that scared me and I wasn't even the one having the baby, I can't imagine how terrified she was and how exhausted she looked, let alone felt but it was time for that baby to come out. After three attempts with the vacuum to no avail it was time to have a baby. Instantly everyone was in the room, nurses and techs unplugging things, and prepping her for surgery and then they were gone. I remember her mom and I just standing there alone in the room wondering what was going to happen and when we would hear anything? Should we leave the room? Finally a nurse came in and said we should gather up our stuff and go wait in the waiting room and someone would let us know when she got out of surgery. 

After what seemed like forever finally we were told that she was out and we could come back and see Leahona in the recovery room. She was super tired but doing really well and she had a popsicle lol. She was eating that thing like it was filet minon and I remember laughing so hard but she hadn't had anything to eat in more than 24 hours so that popsicle was the best tasting thing in the world lol. We then asked how much Isabella had weighed and it turns out she was just shy of 10 lbs! No wonder she wasn't coming out! Because of some complications Bella had to be in the NICU in an incubator which was quite a site for a baby of her size. It looked strange to see this giant baby among the teeny little ones in there but she was so beatiful! Dark skin, dark hair and so chubby and very swollen. I took a couple pictures of her to show friends and my family that knew Leahona. Today Bella turns 5 years old and I wanted to make a special tribute to this special little girl. She is firey and spunky and proved by her birth that she has to do things her way or no way which can be good and bad sometimes but always ends up making everyone laugh in the end. Happy Birthday Beautiful Bella! We love you and hope you have an awesome day! 

Love Stephanie, Spencer, Gavin, Rowan and Corinne

Thursday, May 5, 2011

When it seems like life is going well, Heavenly Father throws you a curve ball . . .

I know this seems cynical but in a lot of cases it's the truth. I feel like we get going doing everything right. We have extra money, we're building a good food storage, we're paying our tithes, going to church and really feeling spiritually uplifted and out of left field something HUGE happens! In our case we had started to decide that staying in our current apartment was good idea, I was getting ready to gutt out our bedroom and get rid of some old clothes because I had too much and I had lost weight so I needed to purge my fat clothes (this in itself was a huge victory but my bedroom looked like a bomb of clothes had gone off, it always looks worse before it looks better) and life in itself though was just generally going well. We were going to stay where we were and save money so that next year we could take our savings and combine it with our tax return and possibly use it for a down payment on a house. It was a good plan, it was a safe plan. Not the ideal to have three kids in a two bedroom place but we were happy. Then a curve ball threw us way off. The fire.

Rewind to about a year and a half ago when we were meeting with our insurance agent and good friend Tony Clarkson who met with us at our place and was going over our policy to make sure we were getting the best deal and best insurance we could get. Over the years we had never thought of renter's insurance because we were generally careful people and thought "well nothing is going to happen so why bother paying for something we'll never use?" This in itself I realize was a dumb way to think. Tony looked over our policy we had just bought a new vehicle and we were saving money on our insurance and so he suggested we add it because if we did it would cost the same as what we were paying before we got our new car. We said "Sure add it on why not?" I'm so glad that we did.

Fast forward to the present. Now that I look back I feel stupid for the events that happened. Why wouldn't we think to turn off the burner? Talking to a lot of people, this is a common fire that happens. You heat up oil in a pot to fry something whether it be fish and chips like we were doing or something else. Realized we didn't have the batter for the fish that we needed. We live a few blocks from Albertsons so Spencer decided to run to the store real quick to buy some. Unbeknownst to me he left the oil on heating up and forgot to turn it off. In a matter of minutes the fire alarm was going off. This happened the night before when we were making grilled cheese sandwiches because something got on the burner, I thought that's what had happened. When I came around the corner and saw the flames I knew that was not the case. Usually I panick, ask my parents I have a trigger panick reaction it sucks! Somehow seeing the fire I knew what to do, reached for a box of baking soda and didn't have any. Looked for flour to throw on it and I had run out not that long ago. After exhausting all I could think of I knew we had to get out.

I ran around the corner and picked up the baby, grabbed Rowan by the arm and shoved him towards the door and then realized I couldn't see Gavin. He is super sensative to noise and had covered his ears and ran to hide in his room. I started shouting for him and he didn't answer. "Gavin GAVIN where are you?! Please answer Gavin! Come to mommy!" I started to cry when I saw him come out of his room shouting for me. Quickly and awekwardly I shoved the boys through the front door and started shouting as loud as I could "FIRE, PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ME FIRE FIRE!!" across the parking lot at the apartments across the way two of my neighbors came running, one with a cell phone in hand calling 911. As soon as I got out on the porch my memory of where the fire extinguisher was jogged and I tried my best to get the kids down the stairs, as I hit the driveway a few of my neighbors scooped up the boys and I ran under the porch and broke the glass with my fist to get the fire extinguisher. I handed it to John (the neighbor who called 911) and he handed me his cell so I could talk to the dispatcher. I begged him to go back up and put out the fire, "my home, my things please I need you to put out the fire before it spreads! PLEASE!" He ran up and put it out really quick and shortly after he came out the fire department had shown up.

They ran up and brought industrial fans and then opened all the windows and blew all the smoke out as fast as they could and inspected the damage. All the while we were standing in the rain and various neighbors around our place came out with blankets for my kids and the baby. Rowan had no shoes on and one shoe in his hand. He had been trying to get me to put on his shoes just because he wanted them on before everything took place. Another neighbor brought Gavin a stuffed penguin, now that I look back I can't remember where these neighbors live and I wish I had a way to thank them more. It was amazing to see such a response. Another neighbor next door brought me my landlord's number so I could call him and tell him what happened. Finally everything was over and the firefighter brought us back in and oh the sight of it was aweful. I couldn't stop shaking thinking about it over and over. Scariest experience of my life but I know I was guided to know what to do the whole time and we were all spared. My poor cat was ok but covered in soot and really scared and dirty.

The next step was calling the insurance company. This was the frustrating part, we were all ok which was important but now what? We later found out that the claims department was in federal way and they weren't going to be able to make it down to look at the damage and give us an estimate right away but they were going to hire a cleaning company to come in right away and start inventorying and getting everything packed up, moved out and cleaned so that they could get it back to us. A week later was when the agent finally showed up and they could actually start packing stuff and moving it out. I was not pleased to say the least but I was just happy to start getting stuff out and moving on. We stayed with my parents for the first week. I am SO grateful for my family! They already have a full house and took us in no questions asked. The boys took the upstairs spare room and shared a double bed and Spencer, the baby and I were downstairs on the futon in the living room. Not the greatest but when you are homeless and need someplace to sleep it worked. This was the week before Easter. How sad is that that I didn't have anything for the boys for Easter now because anything I might've had got carted away or thrown out damaged because of the fire. My sister and my mom were amazing and helped me get to the store and buy a few things for the boys. The night before I helped my sister hide eggs which is part of my favorite part of being the "Easter Bunny" because you can hide things in plain sight and they will stare right at it and not see it. Easter was so much fun and we got through but come the next week the early mornings of my nephews coming down at 6:30 am and the baby not sleeping well we decided to ask my in laws if we could stay with them. They graciously allowed us to come stay with them and they have rooms for all of us so it has been super nice. They are so amazing and have adjusted to us being here and helped with their vehicle so that I can get Gavin to and from school.

After everything was moved out the next step was finding a new place to live. I searched through different ads on craigslist and found a few apartments that had 3 bedrooms but were more money then we wanted to spend but we were willing to if it meant we'd have a home. I searched and less then a week before the end of the month almost three weeks after the fire I pulled up craigslist and there was an ad for an apartment for $730 a month to rent and move in ready. I pulled it up and the address was one I knew. It was two doors down from our current apartment and on the ground floor. I was in shock! Could it really be this easy to move? I told Spencer about it and he told me to call and see if I could set up an appointment to check it out. I went and looked at it and it was perfect! We filled out the application for it and the next day signed the lease to move in before the beginning of the next month! I am still amazed we found a place before the end of the month but this too I feel like I was guided. Through this whole process even though I was in shock half the time the Lord has blessed us and we've been taken care of. Today we move somewhat into our new place. They are bringing us our big furniture so we can have a place to sleep and dressers and couches so we can stay at our new place. The rest of our things will be delivered in a few weeks and it'll all be over hopefully. Until then I continue to pray and thank the Lord everyday for his protection. Our things are nice but they can be replaced. My family is what's most important and they were all spared in this whole process. I am so happy to know that he watches over us in our lowest points and craziest hours. I never once thought that I'd ever be in a fire and now that I have my experience has helped others. My good friends have all gotten renter's insurance when they didn't have it. My mom bought a deep fryer and stopped frying with oil in a pan on the top of the stove because there is no temperature control on the stove. I feel dumb for the mistake that we made but I feel so happy that it's helped someone else and we were taken care of by our insurance. For those going through struggles right now a friend of mine posted a quote on her facebook this morning and it was so true: "Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself."- C.S. Lewis

Thursday, February 24, 2011

It's been a looooong time. . . .

It's been a while how you been? My main reason for blogging today is because I really want to win this. It's they are having a $250 cloth diaper giveaway and I am wanting to start cloth diapering badly so I am letting everyone know about it and hope that I win. :) I have two diapers so far and was considering buying more but if I could win this I would be so happy! So here's hoping I do. And here's a pic of my baby and her fluffy butt. Hopefully I can get more and full time cloth diaper at home.