Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New Beginnings

I pulled up in my browser for the first time in a very long time.  And when my dashboard glowed at me through the computer screen, it felt like seeing an old, familiar friend.  As I am writing this, actually, I feel like I'm relaxing in a coffeeshop with a friend and letting go of stress and weights and fatigue.  I've needed this, to be able to write my own words, to write what is on my heart, and I have not allowed myself to do so in a very long time because of TIME...

And I am not letting time get away from me again.  I am claiming my day's time, telling it to do this and do that, instead of letting it tell me what to do.  I am getting up early (usually between 4 and 5 AM) so that I can workout and shower and eat breakfast and work on my paid writing and do devotions, all before the kids wake up.  I am going to bed at 9 (ok, not quite successfully...but at least trying to hit that time) so that I can get enough sleep to wake up early and function throughout the day.  I started doing this about 3 weeks ago, and I feel much more satisfied with my days by their end, instead of hitting bed and wondering what I actually accomplished outside of handling my kids (which, don't get me wrong, is a big thing in itself! But I want to do more than just barely keep my children and myself in order each day).

New beginnings: new daily routine, started three weeks ago. New diet, also started around the same time. New body, thanks to the diet. New baby, as of three months ago (new since I last wrote in this blog).  New job and new home, coming up in August, Lord willing.

I could go into so much detail on each of these things, and I will as time goes on, but here's the Reader's Digest version:

New daily routine - I mentioned it above. I realized my patience was running very low when dealing with Svanja as an independent, strong-willed toddler, and that we would both have better days when I got up earlier than her and had time to myself. So I started getting up earlier, and earlier, until I found a time where I could get most things done that I wanted to get done in the morning. It makes my days go so much smoother.

New baby - Judah Scott was born on his due date, December 29! He is the cutest, sweetest little baby boy you will ever meet.  I'm definitely doing a blog post on his birth, which is why I'm not saying much on him right now!

New diet - This is thanks to Judah. Not only is he the sweetest baby boy, but he is also the spittiest (well, was the spittiest) little boy ever.  I'm talking projectile vomit and soaking through three outfits in a day.  Soaking, not just spitting up on.  So I went on an elimination diet three weeks ago to figure out if he was sensitive to something. I've cut out gluten/grains, dairy, sugar, soy, corn, eggs, nightshades, nuts/seeds (with the exception of almond milk), and some other allergenic foods.  It's easier to say what I can eat: most fruits, most vegetables, rice, potatoes, fish, turkey, and lamb. Coconut products have become my BFF.  And next week I get to start adding things back in, like beef, and seeing if he reacts! Can't wait to have more food that I can eat!  The diet has really been helping Judah, too. He still spits up, but it's a much more normal amount, and it is rare that I have to change his outfit due to it.

New body - Thanks to the diet, which is thanks to Judah.  After three weeks, I have way more energy than I expected for waking up so much to nurse in the middle of the night, and I have lost a bunch of weight. I'm back down to high school weight, and I love my body, and my husband does too! (not that he ever complained when I was heavier; on the contrary, he told me often how much he loved my body and how beautiful I was. And he is delighting in me even more now)  I also started doing Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30, although I'm getting it in more like every other day rather than every day. It feels good to feel myself get stronger. And I like that pants that fit well are a LOT easier to find now.

New job/new home - God has called Jordan and I to move to Utah to be full-time, long-term missionaries to the Mormons.  We are answering that call, and August 1 is our goal date of moving out there.  But we have to raise at least 80% of our annual support before going out there, and we are currently just above 40%.  So we have some work ahead of us, but we are fully confident that this is where God wants us to be! It is so exciting...and I will have to write another blog post about this topic as well! feels so good to be writing again for myself.  Hopefully I will keep this blog updated pretty regularly! I'm thinking about starting a separate one for our family/missionary news.  But we will see what happens!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Scary Mommy Day

Last night I had one of the scariest dreams I've ever had, and this evening I witnessed one of the scariest moments involving Svanja.  It comes in second to the moment about a month ago when I had just set Svanja in her carrier down on the couch, then turned around to take her out, and the carrier fell off the couch with her hitting the floor head first as I turned, and all I saw was the carrier upside down on the ground with her still in it.  I will never forget that moment; I cried and cried, but Svanja was totally fine, praise God!

I will never forget tonight, either. I was talking during supper, and Svanja was eating her peanut butter sandwich, and I heard a choking sound. I look over, and Svanja's face is red and water is pouring out of her mouth and nose.  She is trying to cough and cannot get air in.  I immediately whip the high chair tray off and grab her, turning her face first on an angle toward the ground, and whack her back with the palm of my hand. Thank goodness for all the CPR and choking training sessions I went through as a security guard in college and as a 911 dispatcher afterwards! She was fine, although visibly scared, after she got the water out of her airway. But there have only been one or two other legitimate choking incidents with her, and this was the scariest of them all.  It looked like she was drowning, which happens to be one of my worst fears for myself.  And the look of fear on her face when she couldn't breathe tore my heart apart, and I was so afraid while she was choking that she wouldn't get to take another breath.

I don't know why that had to happen today.  I am still recovering from an awful dream I had last night involving her.  I dreamed I was in a public building, and I wanted to attend a casting call for a movie.  I decided to leave Svanja (who was about 4-5 months old in my dream) in a cradle in another large room, and I covered the cradle with a fluffy blanket so that no one would know a baby was in there and kidnap her.  I went off to the casting call, and lost track of time.  When I realized how much time had passed, I ran back to the room, so scared that someone had taken her.  I was afraid at first when I didn't see Svanja as I first entered the room, then remembered her cradle was covered with a blanket.  But then I realized that she could have suffocated because of how long she had lain in there.  I pull off the blanket, and see her laying there, eyes closed, deathly pale face, and a little bit of a frost-like substance on her cheeks. I touched her face and screamed; she was dead.  Shock and guilt enter my mind in a split second - two words lighting up in my mind: dead and negligence.  And I snap fully awake, unable to handle it.

It took me a while to go back to sleep, and I had to check on her just to ease my lingering fear.  The sound of her breathing in sleep calmed me, but not enough.  I knew what happened in my dream would never happen in real life - I would never leave her alone in a public place, never cover her cradle or bassinet with a thick blanket, and Lord willing never do anything that would cause her or another baby to die due to my negligence.  But then I started to think about SIDS and our next baby and the stories I had heard, and fear of someday finding a dead baby in a crib started to creep in. I prayed, which helped me to fall asleep.  It was actually pretty neat to be able to pray to the Holy Spirit and say, "You are the Comforter; please give me comfort."  He did!  

And God has continued to comfort me even tonight as the two events mingled in my mind; Jordan and I had a great talk about fear of loved ones dying.  And peace has come over me even as I think about my greatest fears.  Thank you God!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

There and Back Again!

I am in my second trimester. My first trimester was...exhausting, to say the least.  It was the main reason why I have not written a blog post in so long!  All I wanted to do was lay down and sleep, but it's hard to do that when you have a rambunctious one-year-old girl who demands that you play with her every waking moment!

So I laid down and watched her play, laid on the floor and let her play on me, and laid in bed while she napped so that I could nap as well.

And I remembered how much I hated that part of pregnancy.

And now it is over, and I even made it this far without much nausea, only throwing up once!  But I am so much more emotional than the last pregnancy.  Less nausea, more emotion - I think I'm having a boy!  We'll find out next month; I'm 15 weeks along so only a few more weeks till we can tell the gender!

What else has been happening in my life?

I officially started my Facebook photography page, Photography by Kjelse, and I'm pretty excited about getting a little side photography business up and running!

My husband and I are going to become official members of the church we've attended since high school for him and since I was about 2 years old.

The other big plan that we have going on is slowly but surely working out, but it's still not public knowledge (sorry!).

I began physical therapy for my sciatic pain in my lower back, and it seems to be helping.

Jordan started working as a car salesman and is much less stressed out than at his previous job.

Svanja began swim lessons - she is a little fish! She loves the water and gets so excited when we get to the pool!

And I have been dying to write.  There are so many things that have been on my mind and heart lately, but I needed to write a catch-up post first!

Lastly, some July 4th pictures.

Go-kart race

My youngest sister

Daddy and daughter

My little patriot and I

Thursday, May 9, 2013


It has been quite a while since I posted last (relatively speaking).  I am just so tired lately...the first symptom to hit me when I was pregnant with Svanja was exhaustion, and it seems it's the same with this pregnancy.  I take a nap almost each day, sometimes sleeping up to 3 hours. Thankfully, Svanja sleeps about the same during her nap.

I wish I could sleep more at night, but no matter how late or how early I go to bed, I wake up just before 6 due to the sun and birds.  I finally put up two blankets over the window, since even with the light-reducing, insulating shade it still gets too bright for me to sleep.  We'll see if that helps me sleep in later.

God has been so active in my life lately.  Well, actually, that's the wrong terminology.  My eyes have been opened to see how God has been working in my life lately.  I can't wait to share where God is calling Jordan and I!  Pieces are slowly falling into place, pieces of confirmation.

There is so much I want to write about - how to fight as a couple (to get things resolved, not worse), the New Heaven and New Earth (one of my favorite topics EVER - looking forward to eternity!!), how much I love my new iPhone 5, what I'm planning on doing for Svanja's birthday party....


Svanja is one! She turned one on Tuesday!!!  And she is taking more and more steps and really enjoys the risk of walking.  She looks like a toddler, acts older, and I seriously don't know how Jordan and I lived before we had her.  I can't imagine life without her now!

But bed is calling me. Or vegging on the couch with the remote or a book...something where I don't have to think. Haha.  *yawn*

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Mommy Five Link Up

Heather over at A Different Kind of Woman has started a really cool link-up with Sarah from Tealography! This is the first day of the link-up, and I'm excited to join in. Oh, and it's Heather's 22nd birthday!! Happy birthday to you, Heather! Today's question is:

What is your Mommy's top five can't go with outs?

My top five are:

1. Pacifier:  Svanja was nursing me dry and raw before I introduced the pacifier to her around 2 months, and even now it keeps her much calmer than she would be if she didn't have it.  Her favorites are this pink camo one and this funny lips one we bought at a tourist trap in Kentucky. 

2. Ergo Baby Carrier:  I have absolutely NO clue how moms survive without a carrier of some sort! I use mine ALL the time; it's the best way to keep Svanja content and out of trouble while I get things done.  I've had 5 different carriers, and this one is my favorite. Svanja loves it, and it doesn't hurt my shoulders or back even if I wear her for 3 hours at a time. It's designed so much of the baby's weight sits on your hips, instead of all on your shoulders (like other carriers do).  I also loved the Moby Wrap when she was smaller.  Here I'm using it at church during band practice.

3. Earth's Best Organic Blueberry Banana Baby Food Pouches: Svanja's favorite flavor of baby food. She sucks these pouches dry super fast!  Baby food pouches are one of the best inventions for on-the-go feeding. They're super easy, super quick, and virtually mess-free! I make my baby food at home, but for on-the-go, I can't recommend baby food pouches enough!

4. Boogie Wipes: Much better than Kleenex for wiping Svanja's nose, these keep her nose moisturized, plus they grab those long, ucky, stringy green boogers really well.  Pair them with a suction bulb and you've got the upper hand on a snotty nose!

5. Bobux shoes: These are really expensive, unfortunately, so I can only get one or two pairs every six months, but Svanja wears them all the time. They are the only shoes I've found that stay on her feet (and that she can't pull off, even while wearing socks!), probably because they are made of soft leather and elastic.  They are flexible, too, and specially made for babies' feet to grow correctly.  Closest thing to going barefoot, which is best for babies and toddlers, but can't happen when leaving the home.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sunshiney Days

Spring is upon us.

I took Svanja out last week to play in the grass. She was quite fascinated - it was only the second time she's played in the grass!  She also stood up a little by herself. She's getting much better at standing up by herself, and she's even taken a few steps! So close to walking :)

This is more of a picture post to make up for my last all-words post, hehe. Svanja's dress and barrette are from Target.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Big News, Pt. 1

On Monday I decided to run a 5k and start a diet, and a friend was going to let me borrow her copy of Insanity so I could try to get fit over the next couple months.  I should have figured from those three things that I was soon going to find out...

I'm pregnant!! (and of course can't do any of those three things)

I found out the very next day, on Tuesday, actually! I took a pregnancy test on Monday because that was the day my period was supposed to come, and I just had a feeling...but the test was inconclusive. I say inconclusive because if I looked really hard, I thought I could see a line, but I could have been imagining it. Even Jordan wasn't sure.  We both figured we were just trying so hard to see it our brain was making it up. So I tried again Tuesday morning, and it was VERY positive!

I figure I should be due on December 30. (Jordan was very excited about this - big tax break next year, if I don't go late!)

I'm going to try to find a midwife, and I wish there was a birthing center nearby.  There is one about an hour and a half away, but I feel that is a little too far, and I definitely do not want to give birth at home (but props to those of you who do!).

So Svanja will be a big sister. And she will make a fantastic one!

I would put some pictures in, but my computer is being very slow from a stupid task that is taking 113% of CPU usage (how does that even work?) and causing everything to freeze up and uploaded pictures to show up black and asdflk;ajef....*insert deep, calm breath* I don't get road rage; I get computer rage.  Slow drivers who go 10 miles beneath the speed limit? Not a word.  Slow computers that take longer than 5 seconds to do anything? Crazy impatient guttural sounds that sound like "grrrrrr" and "hurry up, you dumb thing."

As for the big news, pt. 2? Not yet. Patience, my young Padawan. We've got some things to work out first.  But it is almost as exciting as this piece of news!  I cannot wait to see Svanja and her little brother/sister interact, and experience a second pregnancy and labor/delivery, and breastfeed again, and have another little tiny human to love on!