Sunday, June 29, 2014

One Year Later

Sweet readers! I have had a few "when are you going to update your blog?!" questions pop up in the last week...and so here I am!

It's the tail end of naptime around here, which means that my 4 year old is up and bouncing around looking for something to eat (are 4 year old boys CONSTANTLY hungry, or just CONSTANTLY bored and wanting to eat, or both? haha), and the baby is cooing on a blanket. The 2 year old remains asleep, and that makes the house still seem quiet.

June 2014 family picture! Geared up for a waterpark day. :)

So yeah, a lot has happened since my last update. I was 9 weeks pregnant at the time, and just at the beginning of a tough pregnancy. I was sick, sick, sick for about 2 1/2 months, and blogging majorly fell to the wayside, along with almost everything else. It was survival mode. Parenting two active boys from the couch is virtually impossible, but somehow we all made it out alive. FOOD felt like my enemy and yet here was a growing family that constantly needed to eat. Gracious. We did a lot of convenience food and take out and hired a cleaning lady (because it defeats the purpose of cleaning the bathroom if the task only makes you have to puke). Thankfully, that was the worst of it. I had some back issues for the rest of the pregnancy, and my chiropractor and physical therapist were lifesavers. So, so grateful for good health insurance!

41 weeks. Hello, little lady, come on! Having a non stress test and biophysical profile today. Please pray that everything looks GOOD so that we can avoid induction and give little girl another week to show up on her own.
At 41 weeks pregnant with Lore'...I ended up being induced that night!
It all had a happy ending...our incredibly wonderful, smiley, even-tempered baby girl, Lore' Noelle Perrin. She is the light of our lives! When I found out we were having a baby girl, I was over the moon. In shock, and over the moon. She arrived one week late, on November 20, 2013 and has been such an amazing, easy baby. Eats well, sleeps well (mostly), not fussy. Although I must say, it is helpful to have some parenting experience under my belt. When we've hit certain bumps in the road (the 2 weeks of nights and days mixed up as a newborn, a late bedtime in the 1st 2 months of life, etc), I've known "It's ok...they grow out of this!" which has prevented most the what-am-I-doing-wrong-do-I-need-to-change-something mom worry.

Lore' is 7 months old now and crawling. She's such a little baby, and it still surprises me to find her scooting around the house like she knows what she's doing! Sloooooow down already. :)
I am in the mom-of-three-kids adjustment phase. There is not enough time to get everything done, just enough time to love the people God has given me. Pursuing Jesus and loving well are my focus right now. It is a sweet time of life. I do find myself inadequate often, failing often, and getting sensory overloaded in a house full of two active boys and a baby. And that quickly brings me around to the fact that this is not about ME, and God is working in all the weaknesses I have.

In other news, I had a blogging mishap. I lost my domain (aliciashomemaking . com)! It was on autorenewal and through a series of errors (changed email address, changed method of payment), I missed my renewal and didn't realize it until after someone else bought the domain. So we are back to my old address ( until I purchase a new domain. Most likely, new blog name coming soon! I do not have big plans for a regular blogging schedule, but hope to always be able to come back to this blog whenever I want to. Excuse the dust while I fix old links that are now dead. If you are having trouble finding a link to a recipe or anything, let me know. :)

On social media, the most reliable way to keep up with me is through Instagram (I'm @aliciashomemaking). Would love to see you there. Until next time!


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Difference A Line Can Make

cheap test & expensive test say positive
Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons

...and just like that, everything changes.

That's right!

Come November, our little family will expand to FIVE!!!

We are overjoyed. Andrew and I had been talking about baby #3 for several months, and then after I weaned Edmund, we got pregnant very quickly. Incredibly exciting and also mind-blowing.

8 weeks (april 2nd)
8 weeks along
I would love to document this pregnancy every few weeks on this blog, but you all know my shamelessly bad blogging record of late (and morning sickness doesn't help). So I'm going to give it a shot, and we'll see how it goes.

Up until now, this is how life has been going pregnancy-wise:

5 weeks: This is when we found out I was pregnant. 5 weeks is the latest we have ever found out...I typically suspect that I'm pregnant before I even miss my period due to the super freaky sense of smell I acquire when I'm expecting. In a funny turn of events, the week before I tested positive a friend gave me 3 pregnancy tests (after I told her we were hoping to get pregnant soon). I kept telling her I didn't think I was pregnant yet! Then a few days later I realized I was late and used up all three tests--with positive results!

At this point, the only symptom I had was frequent exhaustion. I had been marveling to myself..."Is this just how tired you are when you have little kids? I am so tired!" It was almost comforting to know that I was, in fact, growing another little human, and it wasn't just my two little boys completely zapping my energy.

Not that they are totally guiltless or anything...

6 weeks: This week I was really focused on trying to stock my freezer as much as possible. It was difficult to do while being super tired and with the boys underfoot, but I made some progress. No huge pregnancy symptoms this week except for exhaustion and the first hints of nausea. It's crazy to be suddenly aware that you are caring for not two, but three little people.

7 weeks: This week I was fighting off a cold, so I was pretty wiped out. The nausea was more consistent--popping up anytime I went any length of time without eating. But it was totally manageable...eating solved the problem! I am trying to make sure I get a protein-packed breakfast to help me get a good start each day.

I sure missed my boys! Happy to be home, even though the housework is taking over! Which is why I'm laying on the couch, of course. ;)
Notice how many of my Instagrams now involve me being on the couch.
8 weeks: Now I feel confirmation of being pregnant constantly throughout the day, whether it's my strong sense of smell (which makes me want to avoid the kitchen altogether), need of a nap, irrational emotions, or hard-to-manage nausea. The morning sickness has stepped it up a notch, and I'm finding it difficult to keep my stomach full, especially since the list of appealing foods is shrinking rapidly. I am still force-feeding myself eggs in the morning, which really does help. 

Excited to try these fresh, pastured eggs from a friend of a friend!

On the up side, I hit the 9 week mark today! And our sweet littlest one is almost an inch and a half long with a beating heart...and growing like a weed. My 1st doctor's appointment is on Friday. So excited.

In this first trimester I am focusing on: 
--Drinking enough water!
--Eating as healthy as I possibly can and as often as I can. So far this is going really well (as long as you don't count our Carrabba's date last night!).
--Exercising when possible.
--Napping every day when the boys nap.
--Saying "no" to certain events/obligations in order to do some of the above.
--Being thankful and taking morning sickness one moment at a time.

Want to know a special highlight of this pregnancy? My 2 best friends are pregnant at the same time! One of them is due only 2 days before me! We are texting each frequently with "Have you eaten your eggs today?" "How are you feeling today?" and the like. SO much fun.

Ok, I'll stop talking your ears off. Love to you. I'm happy to finally get a blog post up!


Monday, January 21, 2013

20 Books For 2013

8347166986_b9995fc626_o copy

I love dreaming up a new "To-Read" list every year. In 2012, my goal was to read 12 books. I stuck to the plan somewhat, but towards the end of the year I branched off the list and read a few random books that struck my fancy at the time. This year I'd truly love to read every book on my list, but we'll see how it goes.

I'm increasing my goal from 12 book to 20 books. That's just under 2 books/month, which should be do-able if I diligently carve out time to read.

20 Books For 2013

1. The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church by Alan Hirsh. I am over half-way done with this book and have found it very thought-provoking so far.

2. A Place At The Table: 40 Days of Solidarity With The Poor by Chris Seay. We are currently reading this book together as a family.

3. No Ebb by Arthur Burt Arthur Burt has recently started coming to speak at some of my church's meetings and I was very challenged by reading his book Absolute Surrender last year. He is currently 100 years old!

4. Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias My husband and I frequently listen to Ravi's "Let My People Think" podcasts, and really enjoy them. I have never read one of Ravi's books, however!

5. Treason's Harbor by Patrick O'Brian. This is#9 in the Aubrey/Maturin series, which I have been slowly making my way through in the past few years. 

6. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Time to re-incorporate some classics into my reading!

7. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. One of my best friend's favorite books, which I put off reading for far too long. I just finished this one, and I loved it! By the way, the Kindle edition of this book is FREE on Amazon (so is Crime and Punishment!). :)

While the kids play outside.

8.  Arms of Deliverance by Tricia Goyer. I read Tricia's book Chasing Mona Lisa last year and had a hard time putting it down. An easy, fun read. 

9. Tell Your Time by Amy Lynn Andrews. Andrew and I just finished reading this, and it's started some great conversations. This ebook is a super quick read...and the first one I crossed off my list this year!

10. Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenrider. I started this book last year, and then stopped at the part where she has you go through your home room-by-room. At the time, we were living in our tiny apartment and had just had a second baby, so the thought of doing a thorough organizing job was just too daunting. It will be much more manageable now because our house has breathing room.

11. Competent to Counsel by Jay Adams. Recommended by our pastor.  

12. A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich. I just received this in the mail and can't wait to read it! This history book was written for children, but looks captivating to me.

13. Handmade Walls by Jamin and Ashley Mills. This ebook looks beautiful and fun! The Nester has a fabulous review of it on her blog. 

14. The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller. I am currently listening to the audiobook version of this book. Can you tell I like to have several books going at once? I try not to juggle more than 4 at a time...ha! 

15. Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas. I have two little ruffians to parent--God give me grace and wisdom! 

16. Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchoividjian. This on Lindsay's recommendation.

17. Abundant Simplicity: Discovering The Unhurried Rhythms of Grace by Jan Johnson. 

18. Fit to Burst by Rachel Jancovic. This book releases this year...I enjoyed Rachel's 1st book, Loving The Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches (read it in two sittings), and expect that her latest will be a pleasure to read. 

19. The Christian Family by Larry Christenson. A re-read. 

20.  Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching, and Appreciating Boys by Hal and Melanie Young. 

It has been so hard to make myself sit down and read lately. But I'm always glad when I do....#naptimeforthelittles
I'm excited that I've already crossed two books off of my list. What books are on your reading list this year? If you've read any of the books listed above, I'd love to know your thoughts. :)


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Three Holidays, Three Birthdays

That's what November and December hold for us!

We got our tree! #merryandbright2012

November 22--Thanksgiving
November 24--Peter's birthday
December 25--Christmas
December 29--Edmund's birthday
December 31--Alicia's birthday

One celebration after another...the months are stuffed with memories.

Peter turned three! I can't quite get my brain around it. On his day, he woke up to streamers in his doorway and balloons filling the living room. A room full of balloons is a day's worth of entertainment in and of itself! This was followed by pancakes for breakfast (a rare treat!).

Pancakes for the birthday boy. :) #3rdbirthday

So far it's a jolly day! #3rdbirthday

His big birthday present was a red tricycle, which he LOVED. He even asked if it could be in his room that night when he went to sleep, haha.


In the afternoon we took Peter and two of the neighborhood boys to a local bowling alley (they were running a 99 cent/game special for kids)...he loves to bowl! Cracks me UP to hear him talking about strikes and gutter balls. He thinks the bowling balls are all kinds of cool and loves picking out which color ball he's going to use when it's his turn. And I get a kick out of watching him in a pair of tiny bowling shoes! Guess I need to brush up on my bowling skills if I'm going to keep up...

Daddy and his boys at the Bowling Alley...typical attempted photo here, with Edmund looking like he wants down and Peter distracted with a balloon.

We concluded the day with a pizza dinner and elmo cupcakes. Yes, this is the second year in a row of Elmo birthday cupcakes, but that was the birthday boy's request! Our sweet friends Chad and Diana joined us (they are Peter's personal favorites), and there were lots of laughs, some presents, and plenty of sugar.

Coming along...#3rdbirthday


Of course, he's growing up too fast.

It's crazy watching them grow up. #3rdbirthday

Dear Peter, my three year old boy,

Everyday I kiss your cheeks and try to soak you in. I love that earnest look in your eyes when you're asking me how something works. You've always been very earnest, but you've just entered the phase where you ask me five million questions a day...many times the same question 20 different ways. You're figuring out how things work. You're so much like me in some ways--in your mind fact and objects have a place where they's like you want to categorize them.

At the same time, you're full of boyish gusto and love the thrill of the legos all tumbling out of their box and the echo of singing at the top of your lungs in an empty room.

Your "Mommy, can you play soccer with me?" or "Mommy, can you read this book with me?" are impossible to resist...I cannot say no.

You are learning to take care of your little brother. I always smile when I hear you yelling across the room for Edmund...the two of you enjoy each others company, and I hope that never changes.

My deepest hope for you is that your heart will be soft towards the Lord now and always. May you follow hard after Him your whole life long.

My sweet boy! Today let's build train tracks, go for bike rides, tell stories, and play frisbee!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Family Life and....Adjustments.

3 pm and the house is hushed...the glory of naptime. Andrew just woke up from his post night-shift 5 hour nap. It's only just cool enough outside to open the windows--my favorite time of year! At the end of October fall is finally peeking its head around the corner. I sip my coffee and relish the crisp air...and the quiet.

There aren't many still moments lately, and sometimes it leaves me reeling. The last several months were a big momma-of-two adjustment period for me. Edmund started eating solids, crawling, and pulling up, and Andrew started his new job. Life is not the same (better now, but different), and I was still clinging to some of the old spaces of time that don't exist anymore.

Dying to sleep, but this little guy thinks it's party time. ;)

But something has settled in the last month, and I feel so happy and content in my job as mom. I'm happy in the busyness...and content to let it be busy. It is such a pleasure to be able to focus on my family and others.

In general our family has been switching gears: from a break-neck grad school lifestyle to one that involves a job, a house, and life with two boys on the move. I'd be lying if I said the transition has been all smooth sailing (for various reasons), but it is glorious to be done with grad school. We see Andrew so much more, and the burden of constant deadlines and tests has been lifted off of his shoulders. He tries to fix a bike in the garage, makes Peter a tire swing, reads for pleasure.


Peter will be three at the end of November. THREE! We had a rough patch with him a couple of months ago when Edmund started crawling...Peter was so excited because it was like having a new toy in the house. And what do you do with a new toy? Experiment with it to see what happens!

What happens when you hit him on the head?
When you step on his toes?
When you pull him around by one limb?

Peter's intent was not malicious, but regardless, we had to go into "you-absolutely-cannot-hurt-your-brother" bootcamp. After about a month and a half of repeated admonishment, it finally seemed to click. His approach (to much of life) is still rough-and-tumble, but he's not intentionally hurting his little brother often anymore. {breath of relief!}


It's incredibly sweet and rewarding to see the little ways that Peter's maturing...and to be able to interact with him in new ways. He sits enraptured and asks us to read books again and again. He tells us what he and Edmund are going to do when Edmund "gets bigger." He plays imaginary games with his trucks and uses this hilarious "big man" voice when he does so.


And Edmund? At 10 months old I am constantly catching myself going, "You're old enough to do that?" When did you get old enough to wave bye-bye, want to feed yourself, play chase, and stand on your tippy-toes to reach something?

Lately, Edmund cracks us up when he tries to wave because he invariably hits himself in the face. And then there are his table manners. What a voracious eater! The kid can put away a serving as large as Peter's and in half the time! He thinks baths are great fun...a tub filled with water can cheer him up even if he's tired and cranky.

The boy is tall and skinny (even for all his eating!), and I love to snuggle his little self close to me. He's still so small and I know it doesn't last. Edmund's not overly keen on snuggling (too busy!), but he will laugh and play with me at the slightest provocation. He's a bit shy around new people, but warms up. Edmund is much more of a "mama's boy" than Peter was at his age.

So...that's a peak into how our family is doing. These are such sweet days, and I don't want to forget them.

One of the big things I miss about blogging regularly is interacting with all of you in the comments. Leave me one and tell me what your family has been up to lately. :)

P.S. The winner of the cookbook giveaway is comment #11--Audrey!