Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas 2015

My absence from the blog over the past couple weeks can be blamed on technology. I've been having a tough time lately with both my phone and my laptop, including the blogging platform I use. So if pictures seem out of order or there is weird formatting in my posts, you know why.
Our Christmas season was filled with some stress and sickness, but mostly fun and joy. We bought a beautiful Christmas tree, but after half my ornaments were broken by Lucas, I took down every remaining ornament and packed them away. Our tree this year was very simple but still festive.

Adam and his brother built me my very own bike for Christmas! Complete with baby blue around the rims and a granny basket. I love it!

Our attempt at a decent family photo before Christmas Eve church:

I surprised Adam with some canvas prints for our walls. We had family photos done recently by my talented Aunt. I'm so bad about getting photos up on our walls, so I was quite proud that I ordered these in time for Christmas! I'll show the rest sometime soon.

How was your Christmas? I will hopefully get my technical issues resolved soon and get back to blogging. Perhaps I should have asked Santa for a new computer for Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Jenna's 1-Year Checkup

Jenna met with her pediatrician last week for her 1-year well-check. Here are her growth stats:

Weight: 20 lbs, 2 oz (54%)
Height: 30 inches (75%)
Head: 18 inches (70%)

People comment on how small Jenna looks, so I was surprised to see average and above average growth stats! At this age, Ryan was exactly 1 pound heavier and a 1/4 inch taller. Lucas was exactly 2 pounds heavier, and 1/2 an inch shorter. (I love having my blog so I can go back and compare my kids to each other!)

Overall Jenna is growing and developing really well. She is jabbering and saying a few words, taking steps, eating and sleeping well, and overall just a happy little girl.

My one concern that I talked about with the doctor is the purple/red lump on the backside of her ear. I had mentioned it before during her 3-month checkup, and he said it would eventually go away on its own. Because it is still there, I asked about it again. He suggested it might be a Hemangioma, which is a cluster of blood vessels. He referred her to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist to get a second opinion. We met with him yesterday and he assured me that it is nothing to worry about. It is a benign growth of blood vessels that can grow rapidly during a child's first year of life. Over time it should fade and maybe disappear. The location of it is good because you can't really notice it. (Unless you're her concerned Mommy!)

We also scheduled Jenna's MRI for January 4th. This is a follow-up from her surgery we had done to remove the dermoid cyst on the side of her head. We are praying the MRI shows no further cysts inside her skull that needs to be removed. I'll keep you all updated once her MRI is completed next month.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Stomach Flu

I feel like I've been away from the blog for so long, when in fact it has only been 6 days since I have written.

6 very long sick days.

It was almost like I brought it upon myself. I was ranting to Adam Wednesday night about how stressed I was, trying to get everything done for Christmas. I was blabbering on about Christmas cards, presents, decorating our tree, our budget, teacher gifts, flu shots, school functions, dentist appointments, stocking stuffers.....oh and of course we need to focus on Jesus more, the reason we celebrate Christmas. Oh wait, when was the last time we even made it to church? It seems like someone is always sick around here, which makes it impossible to go anywhere or get anything done. WHY are we always sick? Is it because I can't seem to keep the house clean anymore? I was practically working myself in to a panic attack. Adam was telling me to just let things go and stop stressing. I basically told him there was no way I could relax or slow down until December was over.

I was literally mid-rant when I suddenly noticed my chest was sore. And I immediately knew it was a plugged milk duct, because I've had a million of them in the past. Although surprisingly none while nursing Jenna. By the next morning I had full-blown mastitis. Fever, chills, body aches, and incredible soreness.

That night Ryan (who was getting over a cold), started throwing up. By Saturday the stomach flu hit me. And it was bad. By Sunday morning I told Adam I felt like I was dying. I'm pretty sure it was the dehydration talking. (I had thrown up roughly 20 times) I was able to rest a bit that day, but Jenna had woken up with a bad cold and I was worried about her, and how Adam was handling all 3 kids without me.

I was able to get out of bed Sunday night just in time to see Lucas start throwing up. The thing about 3 year olds is they aren't able to warn you before they throw up. Our couch will never be the same.

Adam finally succumbed to the flu about two hours later. And it hit Adam just as hard as me. So Sunday night I was alternating between bringing Adam ice chips, caring for congested Jenna, and grabbing the barf bowl for Lucas every time he so much as moved.

It seemed like we were all on the mend Monday. I started on the mountain of laundry that had accumulated. But after eating a really light dinner, I was back flat on my back, shivering and sick with nausea.

Today (Tuesday) was finally a bit better for all of us. Ryan is completely better. Adam and Lucas are better but still really tired. Jenna is still pretty sick with her cold, but I am SO thankful that she hasn't caught the stomach bug. And I was able to eat a small bowl of canned green beans for dinner with no nausea afterwards! I'm hoping to go grocery shopping tomorrow for something other than Saltines and Gatorade.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

November Food Budget Update

Back in early November I set a few food budget goals and blogged about it here:

Basically, we wanted to save a little money for Christmas and eat a bit healthier for the month. So I set a food budget of $600 for November. We also decided not to eat out at all during the month. Here's how we did!

Total Money spent on Groceries: $662.22

You guys, it was hard to stick to $600! I tried really hard to only buy the necessities, and I even switched to conventional milk instead of organic. And even with those changes, I still went over our budget. I should note that this amount does not include the $73 we spent on Thanksgiving. But it does include food for Jenna's birthday party, as well as snacks for Ryan's soccer team after 1 game.

Instead of running out for unnecessary ingredients, I really tried to utilize what I had in my pantry and freezer. By the end of the month our food supply was pretty sad! I must have heard "there's nothing to eat!" a million times. Our freezer was practically empty by the end and I used some canned goods that had been sitting in our pantry for a long time. (Roasted Red Pepper pasta, anyone?) We had a few strange meals, but overall it was fun to get creative and use up what we had on hand.

As far as eating out, we did pretty good with this goal. We weren't perfect....we had a few slip-ups, but still spent a lot less money than usual on eating out. Adam went to Dutch Brothers once for coffee. Then I bought lunch for us from the Safeway deli one day. And finally, we stopped for fast food during a car trip to the Bay Area that ended being longer than we expected. In total, we spent $37.41 on buying food out. Not too bad!

For the month of December I am going to continue to keep track of every penny we spend on food. I had to stock up on a lot of essentials at Costco and Safeway, so I have already spent over $200! I'm going to see if I can stick to a budget of $650 for this month. I think it should be doable. I just wish food wasn't so expensive!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Sweet Spot

I have heard from many sources that the ages between 5 and 10 are GREAT ages. And I'm happy to report we've finally hit that stage with Ryan. It's like all of a sudden he is in this sweet spot where he no longer behaves like a tantruming little kid, yet he doesn't have the snotty attitude of a pre-teen. He's just fun and sweet and easy and actually somewhat helpful!

When I get a rare chance to spend time alone with Ryan, I genuinely enjoy it. We can just talk or do an activity and he's just pleasant to be around! We have recently had to put Lucas to bed extra early a few nights due to bad behavior. This has resulted in more time with just Ryan in the evenings, and it's been so great! Adam and I will let him stay up and eat a bowl of cereal with us and just talk. I think we all love this extra time together.

Ryan has also become a big help recently in regards to Jenna. When Lucas is in a rage and I have to contain him or calm him down, I can count on Ryan to keep an eye on Jenna for a few minutes. I can trust that he won't try to hurt fact he will keep her away from danger and just act so sweetly with her. He picks up tiny toys so she doesn't choke, and he protects her when his brother is being mean. It's so nice to have a helpful child!

I'm loving this age of 5 and a half. Do you agree that the ages between 5 and 10 are great?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 at the Nullmeyer house was great! It was our first year officially hosting a small group of people, and I think we did a fine job. We started off with this turkey, which was a big hit with the kids. Adam cooked two turkeys this in the oven and one on the BBQ. I think we all decided the BBQ'd turkey was the best. Dad, I guess you knew what you were doing all these years!
We had my sister's family over, as well as Adam's Mom who was visiting for the week. I failed to get a lot of good photos this year. Because when you combine cooking Thanksgiving dinner and 8 kids running around, things get a little crazy.
Kids table:
 We fit everyone in our dining room!
 2015 was officially the year Ryan decided he likes pumpkin pie! Of course Jenna loved it as well.
Hope your Thanksgiving was as delicious as ours!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Jenna: 1 Year

Happy 1st Birthday Jenna Mae Nullmeyer!
It is hard to believe you are already 1 year old! This past year has gone by so quickly. I have had many moments when I wanted to hit "pause" and remember you at that exact phase and age. You are growing up and changing so quickly these days.
You took your first steps last week! It was a tiny little dainty step at first, but you've gradually been getting faster and braver. You are up to 5 steps at a time now! You also finally started crawling the correct way this month, and you are fast! I turn my back on you and next thing I know, you're in another room. Just yesterday you started climbing our stairs. Guess it's time to put up a baby gate!
You adore your big brother Ryan. Your absolute favorite thing to do is to have crawling races with Ryan. When he gets down on the floor next to you and crawls around, you giggle uncontrollably. You chase after him, laughing the whole way. Is it so stinkin' cute!
Your feelings toward Lucas are still mixed. Sometimes when he's being goofy from a distance you love watching him. But when he gets too close and starts dragging you around, you will scrunch up your face and growl at him, and even try to push him away. I am constantly telling him to leave you alone!
You still take a morning nap every day for about 1.5 hours. About half the time you will take an afternoon nap, but sometimes you really fight it. Nights are either really great or really bad. You typically get nursed to sleep by 8pm, and on a good night you will sleep until around 6:30am. On a bad night you're up every couple hours.
I still nurse you a few times per day, although you seem to be getting less and less interested. There is just too much going on to distract you!
I am happy to report that you are still an amazing eater! The only food you consistently reject is avocado, and you still don't like being spoon-fed. Favorite foods include shredded cheese, peas, raspberries, and any kind of meat.
For the most part you have a really easygoing personality. You are fairly content most of the time, although you do let us know when you aren't happy. You will screech and scream if you want to be picked up, or if you are contained in your pack n play. But you really are an easy baby. Thank you!
You've still got 4 teeth on top and 2 on bottom. Your skin is very fair and your hair is a strawberry blond color. Ryan's hair was lighter at this age and Lucas' was darker. You're pretty petite overall, and you seem to have a good mix of features from both sides of our families.
We had a little birthday party today for you with our families.

Your Grandma Jan made you a beautiful princess cake! It was a white cake with a pink raspberry filling.
When it was time to try your cake you were pretty cautious. You licked your fingers a few times but then decided you didn't like the feel of the cake on your hands.

 Present time! Can you spot the baby in her new hat?
I love you so much my sweet Jenna Mae. You are such a gift from God and I am so blessed to have you as my daughter. Happy Birthday sweet girl!