Monday, August 31, 2015

Answers for Gwenna

I had this beautiful picture in mind for this afternoon- the girls would nap/have quiet time, and I would curl up serenely with tea, a little treat, and the computer to blog for the first time in awhile. I wanted sit back and reflect and then share a little bit of this journey we've been on with Gwenna. 

As it happens, I live in reality land, so  I am exhaustedly cranking this out on my phone so it just gets done so I can take a nap. Amelia finally fell asleep, G is having a not so quiet alone time. So humbling(: 

Anyway, for the past year I have known something was up with G. I had her tested for celiac and it was negative. We decided to see if things resolved themselves but in the past few months her discomfort had grown considerably. Finally I took her in ready to fight to the end to get her doc to test her some more... Thankfully I didn't need to. After I explained her frequent abdominal pain and indigestion, he kindly affirmed my panic that this wasn't normal. 

He agreed to test her for fructose malabsorption because my gut told me that was the problem. Fruit seemed to be a big trigger for G, so much so that she usually have Amelia her serving of fruit at lunch because she was afraid of the stomach ache. Also, Rhodric's sister has it, and it seems to be genetic. 

When I called to see if her test results were in, I was told that it was negative for fructose malabsorption but she did have SIBO (bacterial overgrowth in her small intestines). Ok I thought, I suppose that explains a lot of the abdominal pain.. But what is causing the SIBO? 

We had a few days to wait before seeing the GI doctor- when we finally got in to see him, he looked at her test results and declared, "well there is no doubt, she definitely DOES have fructose malabsorption." 

Talk about whiplash. 

So the past few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster, but we are happy to have some direction in how to get our Gwenna girl healthy. 

Through it all; the tests, the waiting rooms, now the new restrictive diet and gross antibiotics, she has not complained even ONCE. She has been incredibly brave and determined to do the work to stop the discomfort. She is asking me to teach her how to make her own food that is on her safe list, she's asking to do preschool everyday so she will be ready for kindergarten next year, she is reminding me that she needs her antibiotics at certain times, she overcame her fear and rode a pony at the fair (if you know her, you know this was a HUgE step!). Basically, we are bursting with pride and thanking God for giving her such a brave and determined spirit! 

We have a lot to learn about how to help her heal her intestines and eat in a way that will maintain their health. 

Please pray for our family as we are trying to educate ourselves on this new twist of life, while working on a kitchen remodel. 
We want to include G in the process  so she feels empowered to feed herself and make food choices that make her stronger but in a way that doesn't make her life revolve around food and diets.
Pray for us as we encourage both our girls to live life to the fullest by growing their faith, loving and serving the people around them, and embracing and valuing and caring for the unique person that they are. 

Such a rambling post that's really just a giant prayer request! 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Stepping Into Two: Buckle Up!

So Amelia has been two for about a month now. Last Sunday a friend asked me how two was- my honest feelings slipped out of my mouth before I had a chance to decide if I wanted to sugar coat it, "oh it's terrible." 

Now of course I adore the child- from head to toe and back! With Gwenna, three was so much more difficult than two- so I had been telling myself that's the way it is, that "two isn't so hard." But I think I had forgotten about the turning two adjustment period. 

So now I am regaining my footing after one of the most intense months of motherhood- trying to put on a. New perspective and embrace the crazy of a new two year old. Accepting the fact that if I let her out of my sight, trouble is most likely to follow. Enjoying the chubby armed hugs squeezing my neck, while also prepared to deflect a shoulder bite. Not being defeated when I walk into the bathroom and it's painted with toothpaste- and the toilet seat a demonstration of Crayola's "washable" markers. Or when you manage to survive pacifier weaning, but the biggest side effect is a new wake time: between 5 and 6 daily to be exact. 

So this new perspective- it isn't expecting these things and saying they are okay. It's expecting her to grow, but not being surprised by failure. By having grace to give her as we discipline and talk through (often for the 10th time that day) why we don't pull big sister's hair. It's about love being the reigning motive for my words and actions towards her. 
It isn't just a perspective for parenting but for living in a world of flawed people. Giving grace because I need grace. Amelia is just giving me a chance to take a crash course in it! 

5 am play mobiles and cup of cereal- learning to play quietly so Gwenna can sleep!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Fourth!

This post is dedicated to my sister in law Brittany. Her blog is here:
She and her husband just moved to NYC and missed spending the Fourth with the family out on their grandparents property.

Dear B, first off I think it's hilarious and ironic that you love the 4th and it gives me anxiety, and I love lightning storms and they give you anxiety. Anyway, I am trying to learn to love this dangerous holiday since R loves it as much as Christmas. We didn't hold back this year, I even surprised him by getting myself a Merca shirt. 

Anyway, the main point, telling you of Gwenna's bravery so you can be as proud of her as I told her you would be! She's well on her way to bring your prodigy in the pyromaniac department!

When the fireworks were brought out she enjoyed the thrill of pretending to be terrified... There was a lot of shrieking.
She went so far as to have a bandana tied over her ears (she specifically asked to send you a pic of that). Then we tried to get her to shoot off a Roman candle with R but, "NO WAY! You can do it, I'll watch. I could never do that! Too scary! Too loud! I'll watch from the truck!" You get the idea. 

I only got a picture of her shooting off her first one, she went from just putting one finger on it to feeling the power and holding it on her own. After that she was unstoppable! Setting off firecrackers in the water bucket etc!

She can't wait till next year! And she's looking forward to you making it back for this some year in the future!

Amelia preferred staying in the truck

 Not touching- ears covered


No wondering where you get it. They were having more fun than the kids!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Sunshine Moments to Remember

We don't know what the future holds. But I know that I will want to remember these moments and days. And I want my girls to be able to look back and see that I felt beautiful and happy being with them. 

Monday, June 29, 2015



His - "America" 

Hers - psalm 121 and being able to see Mount Rainier almost daily has been a grounding constant for me and played a healing role in my grieving the loss of my big brother. Peonies were our wedding flower, and through our marriage I've learned more about myself and grown to love deeper than ever before. 

Two things I love looking at this post:

1. The lengthy difference of the thoughts behind our tattoos.

2. That we are becoming some of "those people" that take pictures of their pets... When we have always made fun of those people. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

This Old House

One of the fun things about having married siblings, is even though you are different and distinct little family units who don't spend as much time together as you would like, chances are you have some kind of kindred dream. 

I think we share this dream with multiple siblings, but it's always fun to get to jump on board when someone's is nearly tangible. Tonight Rose and Blair invited us to come look at this old house they've been watching. R has an eye for... Well anything that has to do with houses, old and new, and they wanted his opinion on if they were totally crazy for wanting it. No doubt part of the reason they wanted our opinion is they know we have a little peice of that same crazy streak and aren't daunted by something being slightly dilapidated. 

Anyway, we spent the evening picnicking and walking the house and property and reveling in all the things to be done, rooms to be fills with wild children, fruit trees to be harvested and canned, corn to be planted and traditions to be made. 

Even if it doesn't turn out to be "the one"... Tonight with it was perfect. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Buses, Trains and Cocoa

A lot about this adventure didn't go as planned... 

The thought was this idyllic morning bus ride downtown, cocoa and snuggling up to read fairy tales... But when do things ever go exactly as planned with a toddler? 

We met auntie Xan at her house at 7:30 and did get the fun bus ride in! The girls got to see her office and get office candy from the bowl (I think they will remember that part forever). Beautiful sticky cocoa and then climbing around the history museum  turned out much mor appealing than reading fairy tales. 

We decided to ride the train up to get berries from the Farmers Market, and while exiting an inevitable potty run, Amelia's pinky got closed in the jam of a very heavy door. The last hour before making home was tragic. Screaming, sobbing, running to catch the next bus to get home to the precious pacifier and much needed ice. 

Well... It's an outing we won't soon forget(: 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

It Was Time: First Graveside Visit

I've been meaning to post these for a few  months now- but they were on Rhodric's phone, and I didn't really know what to say. I don't even remember exactly what I was thinking or feeling. It had been a rough day, and when R got home I told him I was ready to go to Lonnie's grave. 

It's been almost 3 years and I hadn't gone yet. R had always told me he would take me whenever I was ready, or keep the girls so I could go alone... But I knew I didn't want to go alone. His mom was amazing and came right over to put the girls to bed. 

Such a beautiful night! Look at the mountain! Callie's beautiful hodge podge bouquet was still there from a few weeks before. Made me smile. 

R trimmed the grass around the grave stone. I cried and laughed and just about slept. It was a good step.