Thursday, May 31, 2012


Well, another month of the year 2012 comes to a close, and this has been a good one!  You may remember WAAAAAY back in January I stated that one of our big goals this year was to really focus on reaching some of our financial goals.  One of which, was to fully fund our savings account and complete baby step #3 of the Total Money Makeover!

Well, I am thrilled to say, that as of this month, not even half way through this year we have met this goal!  I remember when we went and saw Dave Ramsey life,  he took a minute to speak to the husbands in the crowd and said that the one part of the program that will really make your wife happy is to complete baby step #3.  He said that woman really need that stability and reassurance and he was right!

Now, with that being said, we do not get to move ahead to baby step #4 at this time.  When I quit working to stay home with Malachi, we made the decision to first pay off my car and then skip ahead to getting our emergency fund completely funded.  Then we would go back and finish paying off our debt.  So now, we will actually be going BACK to baby step #2 and meeting that goal and THEN we can jump to baby step #4.  We just wanted to be sure to have some money in the bank being a one income family.

We only have one debt left (besides our mortgage) that we need to take care of and this is our largest debt - student loans.  It could take us 4-5 years to complete this task, but I'm really hoping that we can buckle down and get it taken care of in about 2-2 1/2 years.  That is a bit aggressive at this point in time, but I think we can do it if we buckle down.  We've actually had some exciting things happen these last few months that have freed up some money.  We were able to refinance our home and drop the interest rate considerably and Peter also got a nice raise this year.  So our goal is to be putting quite a bit of money every month towards that student loan! It is actually quite a bit of fun to watch that number drop every month!

And another big goal of mine now that I am no longer hosting a child inside my body, is to get back in shape.  I gained 35 lbs this pregnancy - OUCH!  Those 7 weeks on bed rest were cruel to me!  I have about 10 more pounds to go to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and then I would like to lose an additional 15 lbs after that.  So I have a ways to go to be where I want to be, but I know I can do it!  I joined weight watchers a few weeks ago and also started up Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred!  Also, tomorrow Peter and I will be starting the Couch to 5K program!  We've done this a few times in the past but never completely finished the program.  I have bad knees from playing basketball and they always start to bother me once we get a few weeks into the program.  I really want to complete this program and be able to run a 5K so I'm hoping I can find a way to get my knees to cooperate!

Peter was a really good runner in high school, and he is finally excited and ready to get back into running.  He has a life goal of running a marathon and we're going to see to it that it happens!  Right now we are going to focus on the 5K together, but once we complete that he is hoping to move on to half marathon training. Disneyland has a half marathon every September and we are looking at getting him signed up to run that for Sept 2013.  The suggestion is 9 months of training for a half marathon so that gives him plenty of time to train for it!  It will be really good for both of us to get back on track with our health!

So that's where we're at!  We met a HUGE financial milestone this month and have lots to celebrate about meeting that goal much faster than we ever thought possible!  And we're just starting a new goal of getting ourselves back in shape!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

McCormick Grill Mates Party

Tonight we were given an awesome opportunity from Crowdtap and McCormick to host a party featuring the newest McCormick Grill Mates!  I was really excited for this opportunity to try something new as we really never use "special" seasonings for our BBQ'd goodness.  McCormick provided all the Grill Mates and we just needed to add the meat and friends!

Mr Elias enjoyed the ball pit for the entire party:

                                    Some of us hanging out with the babies while the men manned the grill!

                                                                    Grilling deliciousness!

                                            Mmmm, one of our favorites - pulled pork!

                                              The first official taste tester and man is he cute!

                                                                 The very yummy spread!

                                        The Spiced Brandy Ginger Marinated Chicken Breasts

                                      Burgers with Montreal Steak and Molasses Bacon Seasonings

The definite crowd favorite of Memphis Pit BBQ Rub.  Super easy too.  3 lbs pork shoulder, we put the rub on it the night before and wrapped it up for the evening.  This morning we put it in the slow cooker with 1 cup of Coke and let it cook on low for 8 hours.  It was pretty yummy!

             And the second favorite of the evening, the Brown Sugar Bourbon BBQ Sauced Chicken Legs!

It was a very fun evening with lots of really yummy BBQ!  So check out these Grill Mates (which I highly recommend) they are the newest flavors in the Grill Mates "family" of products!  

Also, if you want opportunities to test out new products and have lots of fun (and also get gift cards in the process) join the fun on Crowdtap:


Monday, May 28, 2012

How We're Doing

We seem to have a  lot of people very curious about how we're handling 3 kids under 24 months.  At church the other day we had a lot of people comment "Wow, you have your hands full!" and I'm sure it seems that way to most people.

But honestly, I don't know if it is just that we had prepared for the worst, or that this is just my calling in life, but it really has not been that hard at all.  We have our moments, as every family does, where all the kids are screaming at me and things get a bit tense but I truly love my life these days.  I spend my day continuously thanking God for these three babies that he chose to bless me with!

So how do we survive?  Routine, routine, routine!  When Peter is at work, it is pretty much impossible for me to get out of the house so we spend almost every weekday in a real basic routine. The boys have a pretty good idea of what their day is going to look like and I honestly think that in general, kids behave better when they live in routine.

Every thing we do, has a well thought out plan. Every Sunday I sit down and plan out what we are going to eat every night that week.  This has really helped reduce stress as I am not trying to come up with a plan for dinner at 2 in the afternoon.  It gives me the opportunity to do prep work for dinner at night once the kids go to bed, or toss something in the crockpot (which we use at least twice a week) first thing in the morning.  We are also eating better meals because I am planning ahead!

Cleaning is a constant battle, but I also know I have to keep on top of it or we will be buried alive.  The basics that I take care of every morning are throwing in a load of laundry, and emptying the dishwasher so we can fill it throughout the day.  I HAVE to stay on top of these!  We need to do about 1 load of laundry per day right now, so it works out really well to just throw a load in every morning.  I used to have a really good cleaning schedule set up, but there isn't time for perfection these days so I do what I like to call "survival cleaning".  That means, that when I see something that needs to be clean - whether that is a bath tub getting grimy, a floor that needs mopped, or dust on the desk  - I add it to the bottom of my cleaning log.  When the kids go down for a nap and I have a free moment, I look at the top of the log and go and clean whatever it is on there.  It isn't a perfect plan but it definitely seems to be working well for us right now!

Another thing I am big on right now, is baby wearing!  Sabrina usually does well in the morning not needing to be held, but sometime in the afternoon she reaches a point that she insists that she cannot be put down.  This is when my Moby Wrap or Ergo come in handy!  She loves to be worn, so she spends a lot of time with me while I am cooking or cleaning during the boys nap time.

                                                                Wearing her to clean:

                                                               Wearing her to cook:

I shower at night! I require a lot of sleep and so in order to utilize every available second of sleep I can, I sleep until the kids wake me up.  Also, it feels so good to get cleaned up in the evening after the kids have spit up on me or gotten sticky PB and J all over me.  I also like this because it is a little bit of piece and quiet time for me at the end of a day with the kids!

I also still make sure to take time for myself everyday!  Amazingly there is still me time everyday!  The first thing I do when I have a second is do my devotions and take care of my Spiritual needs!  Also, 3 days a week, as soon as I can get all 3 babies sleeping for a nap I focus on my physical well being and am getting back into the routine of working out.  I want to be physically fit too!  Another way I unwind is by reading books on my Kindle.  I'm not sure how many people know about it, but libraries are really starting to offer downloadable books.  Our local library does that, so I am able to check out a lot of books this way and I love it!  And sometimes, if all the kids are sleeping and I am feeling particularly tired - I love to cuddle up with my little miss Sabrina and get a little bit of rest too!

So, with the 24 hours in a day, I mostly feel like I have more than enough time to accomplish everything I need to do get done in a day.  My life is busy and I do have to keep moving throughout the day, but I love this life!  I truly do!  I feel completely content and like I am doing exactly what God made me to do!

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Name

Sweet Echo, sweetest Nymph that livst unseen
Within thy airy shell
By slow Meander's margent green,
And in the violet imbroider'd vale
Where the love-lorn Nightingale
Nightly to thee her sad Song mourneth well.
Canst thou not tell me of a gentle Pair
That likest thy Narcissus are?
O if thou have
Hid them in som flowry Cave,
Tell me but where
Sweet Queen of Parly, Daughter of the Sphear,
So maist thou be translated to the skies,
And give resounding grace to all Heavns Harmonies

Sabrina fair
Listen where thou art sitting
Under the glassie, cool, translucent wave,
In twisted braids of Lillies knitting
The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair,
Listen for dear honour's sake,
Goddess of the silver lake,
Listen and save.

Listen and appear to us
In name of great Oceanus,
By the earth-shaking Neptune's mace,
And Tethys grave majestick pace,
By hoary Nereus wrincled look,
And the Carpathian wisards hook,
By scaly Tritons winding shell,
And old sooth-saying Glaucus spell,
By Leucothea's lovely hands,
And her son that rules the strands,
By Thetis tinsel-slipper'd feet,
And the Songs of Sirens sweet,
By dead Parthenope's dear tomb,
And fair Ligea's golden comb,
Wherwith she sits on diamond rocks
Sleeking her soft alluring locks,
By all the Nymphs that nightly dance
Upon thy streams with wily glance,
Rise, rise, and heave thy rosie head
From thy coral-pav'n bed,
And bridle in thy headlong wave,
Till thou our summons answered have.
Listen and save.

Sabrina rises, attended by water-Nymphes, and sings.

By the rushy-fringed bank,
Where grows the Willow and the Osier dank,
My sliding Chariot stayes,
Thick set with Agat, and the azurn sheen
Of Turkis blew, and Emrauld green
That in the channell strayes,
Whilst from off the waters fleet
Thus I set my printless feet
O're the Cowslips Velvet head,
That bends not as I tread,
Gentle swain at thy request
I am here.

By John Milton

With both of the boys, we've shared on the blog how we came about choosing their name.  Sabrina Fair is a name I have had picked out for my daughter since I was 12 or 13 years old. when I first watched (the new) Sabrina movie.  This is when I first started to fall in love with my man Harrison Ford.  Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn are for sure, amazing, but it was Harrison Ford who captured my heart for the name :)

In the movie, they quote a portion of the John Milton poem and I just loved it!  Also, as most probably already know, my maiden name is Fair so the name just seemed to fit perfectly for my future daughter!  

Once Peter and I started dating and getting serious (which didn't take very long at all) I shared with him that I HAD to name my first daughter Sabrina Fair.  Fortunately that worked out great because he loved the name just as much as I did! With all the baby naming we've done these past 2 years, we've never even taken as much as a glance at the baby girl side of the baby name book. And finally, our 3rd child I got to use the name that I fell in love with almost 15 years ago!

Also, as a final footnote, the English meaning for Sabrina is "princess" and she is, in every way my little princess :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Warm Days!

Summer is starting to show its face here in Oregon and we have had a really great time getting outside with the boys whenever possible!  Malachi loves to be outside and Eli is starting to warm up to it, although he is still afraid of the grass but I hope we can work through that as the summer goes on!

Playtime with Daddy at the park:

We recently bought the boys a sand and water table to play with.  Until we got some sand, we filled the table with beans (which I would NOT recommend.  After a day, the beans were soggy and mildewed and full of bugs - YUCK!)  The boys sure had fun trying out the table!

A few nights later, the boys were outside while Peter was watering the lawn.  I had mentioned the idea of seeing what Malachi thought of the sprinkler.  So we let Malachi loose, and in perfect Malachi fashion - he ran right into the water and had a great time.  He sure does embrace life to the fullest!  He had so much fun, and even though the sun was going down and he was shivering, he was so upset when we made him come back in the house.  He was one could little boy and we tried to tell him that summer is just beginning and he will still have plenty of time to play in the water outside!

And just because he's cute, here's a picture of Eli eating dinner.  He does not want us to help feed him anymore so this is what happens most nights.

Friday, May 18, 2012

1 Month Old

Little Miss Sabrina is already 1 Month Old - as hard as it is to believe!  She is already becoming such a big strong little girl and we have gotten into a great routine already!  This transition to 3 kids has actually gone very smooth for us!

Today she is weighing in at 9 lbs 4 ounces (25-50%) so she is doing amazing! She eats every 2-3 hours during the day and well, goes much longer during the night :)  

I for one, have had a GREAT time playing dress up with a little GIRL in just this first month!  It is already very clear to me that we are going to have LOTS of fun!!!

A few of her many firsts this month include - her cord falling off at 4 days old!  2 trips to the pediatrician - one for a weight and jaundice check since we discharged from the hospital early and her 2 week appointment!  

She had some problems with her cord at first, but after a few weeks it was healed enough for her to finally get her first real bath :)

And after a couple weeks of sleeping between us, the little miss moved to the playpen next to the bed and had about 3 nights of blissful rest through the night - at all of 3 weeks old!  Go Sabrina!!!

We've had a few nights where the sleep hasn't been as good but she still sleeps between 5-7 hours which is good enough for now!

Another fun milestone was meeting her (second) cousin Allison!  My cousin Sara and I got to go through pregnancy together and now we get to have our girls grow up together.  Allison is just 16 days older than Sabrina and hopefully they will be good friends :)

 And she has also started having real smiles.  Daddy wasn't fully convinced but she's having them and I've tried to capture a few on camera:

And then there is just the sweetness of those sleepy dream smiles!  Sometimes I get a little bit jealous of how cozy she looks when she sleeps.  I would love to cozy on up nezt to her and nap (although I do admit we get to nap together at least a few times a week together!)

Sabrina, I can't believe it has already been a month since you came into this world.  A part of me is really sad to see how fast time is going.  I would love it if you stayed small for longer but I know I can't so I am learning to enjoy every second and every little cuddle I can with you!  You are such a sweet little baby and I couldn't love you anymore!  We're already building quite the bond and I think for being one month into this thing, we're doing really good at getting to know one another!  I can pick up on all your cues pretty well and it seems like you are on a pretty good schedule.  You are my beautiful little princess and I love you so much Sabrina Fair!  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is always a hard day for me to describe.  On the outside, it seems like a day that we all honor our Mother's for the hard work they have put into our lives.  And it is hard work, and it deserves to be honored (especially more than one day a year).  I owe a heck of a lot to my mom, especially this last year as I really don't know where we would have been without all her work to help me keep Sabrina baking! She went so far above and beyond and there is no way for me to repay her for how hard she had to work to keep my household and her own household flowing for almost 20 weeks!  Because of her sacrifice, I was able to have a healthy baby girl and there is no way that I can thank her enough for that.

3 years ago was by far the hardest Mother's Day I have ever had.  I wanted nothing more than to be a mother, but the path wasn't quite so straight forward for our family and while we didn't have to fight as hard as some have to fight to become parents, it was still a very difficult time.  Today, I still think of all of the woman who today is not an easy day for.  I wish that every woman who has longed and waited for so long to be a mother, could conceive easily.  I wish that all the families waiting to be matched with their children, would get that magical call today.  I wish that all of the millions upon millions of children, would be blessed with amazing mother's today.  It is so easy to take your children for granted and I never want to be a mother who does that.  I love them so much and want them to always know how badly I desired each one of them!

3 Years ago, I would have never imagined how blessed my life would be today.  I am the mother to 3 beautiful children - wow!  I constantly thank God for the blessings he has given me.  I couldn't be any happier to have 2 sons and a daughter!  Things can be hard to balance, but this is exactly the life I wanted for myself!  God has blessed me with the desire's of my heart!  

Today I also reflect on the woman who is responsible for the gift of one of my children.  I am sure that she has no idea that today is a day we honor Mother's here in the US, but she has been on my mind today.  I wish she could see her beautiful baby boy today.  I wish she could understand how much of a blessing he is to me and how much I love him.  There is so much I want to say to her on this Mother's Day.  She has not been forgotten.

So today, I am torn.  Thankful for my own mother!  Saddened for all the woman who are still longing to become a mother.  Heartbroken for a woman half  a world away who gave me the most incredible gift.  And utterly blessed beyond measure to be a mother myself!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Malachi's 2 Year Post

In all the excitement of adding a new baby to the house, I never got to do a proper 2 Year Old post for our sweet little Malachi!  So, now I'm playing catch up a little bit and wanted to share about all the exciting ways that Malachi delights us!  

Malachi is now 31 lbs 9 ounces (75-90%) and is 35.5" (75%).  He is still a big strong boy, but is definitely starting to slow down a little bit.  We may be just a wee bit disappointed that he's not destined to be a giant after all, but that's okay.  We still love him just as much :)  Daddy may not have to look up to his son someday after all!

He continues to be a little boy FULL of life!  He lives life in the fast lane, constantly on the move.  He loves to be outside where he can run around!  If he's not outside, we spend a lot of time trying to tame the beast - keeping him from climbing all over the furniture and windows.  He is a loud one, who loves to shout at the top of his lungs and jump all around the place.  Fortunately we are all pretty used to it (even little Sabrina).  He almost always has a smile on his face, or we can very easily get one from him with a little coaxing.  Even with how busy he is, he still loves to cuddle and snuggle.  He will take advantage of any offer to sit on the couch and read books!  He also loves to dance and our boy definitely has some moves!

He seems to finally be passing through that crazy picky eating phase.  He is really mastering the ability to feed himself with a fork and spoon! He still has his favorites that he asks for often of "hot cheese" (macaroni and cheese, that one took us awhile to figure out!)  or "apple chips" (potato chips and apples).

We are slowly back on the potty training wagon.  When we are consistent, he will use the potty once or twice a day! I just need a little bit more time to really focus on this one!

His sleep patterns really haven't changed over the last 3 months.  He may be getting up a little bit earlier in the morning, much as I would prefer to see him sleep in.  He goes down between 7:30-8:00 at night and wakes up around 7:00 in the morning.  He still loves his afternoon nap (yay!) and usually sleeps about 2 1/2 hours!

He still loves to learn new things.  He has known all of his ABC's for a long time now, and is now moving on to learning the sounds the letters makes!  He can also usually count to 20.  Now he is working on learning his colors, which he can usually get right and then we will move on to shapes.  I am really looking forward to starting some basic homeschooling concepts with him this fall.  He is very eager and ready to learn new things!

He is constantly learning new words.  He still struggles some to communicate but we're finding it easier everyday to figure out what he wants from us.  It is so much fun to hear him learning to talk and communicate with us!

Oh sweet Malachi, it is hard to believe our little Ethiopian Prince is already 2 years old!  You are turning into a really great big brother and bring so much joy into our home!  You were and continue to be a dream come true in our lives.  I cannot believe it is even possible that you are already 2 years old, but that is something I have to embrace whether I am ready to or not.  We love you so much little man!

Friday, May 11, 2012

My Daughter

Something was missing from my life, and I didn't even know it!  

I truly had no idea how badly I longed for a daughter!  When I was younger, I used to think all I wanted was  to be surrounded by sons.  But I am so grateful that God's plans once again reigned superior and He knew I needed a little pink in my life!

Now don't get me wrong, I love my boys with all of my heart and I am overjoyed to be the mother of boys! I need those boys just as much as I needed this little girl!  But there is a unique place set aside in my heart, that I wasn't even aware of before she was born - made just for my little girl!

My heart is overflowing with love right now!  My life is so full of joy, even if I am exhausted and can't see straight. My daughter has helped to complete my life in a way that even a month ago, I had no idea it was lacking.

 My mom has always told me that every mother needs a daughter, and now I really do understand what she means by that.  My relationship with Sabrina will forever be special!  I look forward to so many uniquely girly things with her.  Piercing her ears when she is old enough to want them done, which just like when I was little will be followed with a bag of gummy worms and a new toy!  Countless trips to the mall and to chick flicks.  Trips to The Bippity Boppity Boutique in Disneyland for Princess attire and then meet and greets with her favorite Disneyland princesses.  Which will someday transition into prom dates and wedding dress shopping.  We're going to have fun Sabrina, I can promise you that!

 And even if she is never into the frills, but instead would prefer to dig worms and go fishing, well I'll be right beside her for that too.  I'll be right beside her, with flashlight in hand for the great big worm hunt at dusk!  If she'd rather play with cars than barbies and ride bikes over painting her nails, which lets be honest, with two big brothers is entirely possible!  I am ready to embrace whatever it is she chooses to do with life, even if that means I need to branch out a little more into tea parties and nail salons :)  

I will never forget when she was put on my chest, and the nurse and doctor told Peter to tell me what we had.  When he said a girl, I was left utterly speechless!   Even though I had suspected girl all along, actually knowing that I was blessed with a daughter was almost too much to handle in that moment!  With tears in my eyes, I realized that a heart longing had been fulfilled.  I had become the mother of a beautiful little girl - just what I needed!

Oh, Precious Sabrina Fair - I love you so much and probably in ways you won't be able to completely comprehend until you become a mother to a daughter someday yourself!  You are so beautiful and I am so thankful for the gift that you are in my life and look forward to a lifetime with you!