Spring is Here: Life Lately

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve had any time to blog. Three weeks to be exact. Life has been full force with four kids. Though we have finally escaped the throes of sickness season, the doctor appointments keep on coming. Here’s a quick update on where we are in this season of life.

House Hunting

Though I posted about our house hunting dilemma a month ago, we are still in the thick of things. As fun as house hunting sounded years ago, it’s actually pretty stressful if you ask me. We honestly want quite a lot for our budget. We are still tottering between our ideal home. We go back and forth between a nice house in a neighborhood in a great location and a fixer-upper on some acreage. We’ve looked at a couple homes on acreage in our price range and the houses needed a LOT of work. But seeing my kids roam the land while we were viewing the home reminded me just how much they would love a little space, even if it was only a couple acres. What I really want is something in between the two extremes: a neighborhood house on a few acres. So the hunting continues and we are hoping we find something sooner rather than later, but our ultimate goal is to move by the end of 2019.

Budgeting

Since we’re in the middle of house hunting (and may be for the next 6 months), we are trying really hard to curb our spending. And by we I mean me! We went through this same ordeal as we were getting ready to sell our home in Kennesaw three years ago. We tried to cut back spending and focus on purging much of what we already had. As we look toward buying a house, I’m getting to this same mentality. I want to sift through some of the stuff that we’ve accumulated over the past three years and donate or sell it. At some point, I need to look through the moving boxes still unpacked from three years ago when we downsized to a smaller house to see what I can get rid of. Because we don’t know about the condition of the home we may end up buying, any unearmarked money I don’t spend month-to-month basically gives us more flexibility to make updates once we do find a house. So if you see me wearing the same outfits every week, just know that’s a sign I’m doing what I set out to do by spending less!

Working from Home Life

Working from home was much more manageable with three kids. Add a baby into the mix and I’m a hot mess. The routine that was working great before Grady has been hogwash since his birth last summer. I feel torn in a million directions at one time and I hate the feeling that some aspect of my life is always suffering. Either it’s my freelancing work, house chores (this usually is the most neglected), my cooking or my kids. Just yesterday afternoon, I was attempting to complete a few more tasks outside on my laptop while my kids played. And when they continued to interrupt me, I snapped at them. I just share this so that I’m honest in that all us moms struggle in some capacity—whether we work full time, part time or not at all. We all have a million hats to juggle and none of us are cruising through life giving everything 100%. I have a good plan in place for fitting in all my freelance work come August, but I’m working on figuring out how I’m going to make it through the summer with all my kids home.

Health Issues

Some days, I feel like all I talk about is my kids’ health issues. And as much as I don’t want to sound overly negative, health obstacles are a huge part of our lives. As hard as it is working from home part-time, there is honestly no way I could hold down a full-time job with as many doctor appointments as I go to each month. I’ll do a full EOE (Eosinophilic Esophagitis) update soon, but at a GI appointment earlier this week we got the results for my second son’s upper endoscopy and they basically tied with his worst EGD counts ever. But we have a plan for the next couple of months before his next scope.

With Grady, we are dealing with a few health issues at once, but I’m hopeful that a good many will be resolved by the time he turns one. His physical therapist says his torticollis is nearly resolved after months of therapy and next week he gets an orthotic helmet to help correct his head shape. In the next two months, he will also undergo surgery to remove a dermoid cyst from his forehead and the GI doctor will also do an upper endoscopy at the same time to test for eosinophils. Though allergy testing revealed 15 allergic reactions out of the 16 most common allergens they tested, the GI is having me remove foods from my diet slowly while breastfeed to try to narrow down the true allergies. So for now, I’ve removed dairy, gluten, eggs, soy and coconut. We are praying that when his stool is tested in another month there will be no more blood.

The good news is he is finally interested in baby food at 8 months old. He’s also eaten finger foods such as homemade sweet potato fries, halved blueberries and pieces of banana. He’s eating fruits and veggies for now about once a day because that’s all I can manage. He’s still a big boy at 21.5 pounds and nurses quite frequently. After his ear tubes surgery last month and waking up 4-5 times during our month of sickness, he is down to waking up about twice at night. As much as I would love for him to sleep all night, I want to keep up my supply as we navigate the world of food allergies for him. Right now, he nurses so well and even if I am still consuming something to which he’s allergic, I think that nursing is still a buffer. We found out the hard way that he is allergic to coconut when he broke out in hives on his face.

Spring Time

These first few weeks of spring have been just what we’ve all needed. We spent a few days in Florida visiting my sister-in-law and her family over spring break.

I will admit that I misjudged the weather and my crazy kids and didn’t pack swim suits or summer stuff like sunscreen and sunglasses (yay for last-minute purchases at Walmart). Lesson learned. Basically, my kids got into the ocean with full clothes on. At any rate, it was a great little break enjoying nice weather, new scenery and time with family.

We ended spring break with a trip to see the new children’s garden at the State Botanical Gardens in Athens, Georgia. I plan to do a whole post soon (just need time!), but my kids had an amazing time. We spent four hours exploring and they wanted to stay even longer. I can’t wait for our local children’s garden to open up this summer.

Besides our fun little trips, we are loving simply being outside at home. Grady loves being outside as much as his older siblings.

Fitness

When it comes to fitness, I’ve been in a funk since sickness hit in February. I think I’m simply tired and pulled in a lot of different directions. I’ve still been active (following my own advice from this post), but I haven’t had the energy to up my intensity much when it comes to work outs. Some weeks, I make it to the gym three times and some weeks not even once. Week to week, my schedule and my life can fluctuate so drastically.

Right now, we’re going on hikes every week or two, and when I do go to the gym I’ve been doing some classes because they help to push me more than working out alone. I tried a new kickboxing class last week and quickly realized I was not coordinated enough to follow the movements. After 20 minutes, I had to walk out of the class—I was quite the hilarious spectacle. Some days, I hop on the stair climber for 30 minutes and bring my Kindle to read a book. (Sidenote: I recently finished Where the Crawdads Sing and highly recommend. It was so refreshing and unique.) Just this week, I did a Crossfit metcon with pullups, overhead walking lunges, dumbbell box step ups, toes to bar, wallballs, burpees and situps. I think at this point in my life, I like changing things up on a whim. I don’t want to do any workout genre three times a week. Instead, I enjoy doing different things depending on how my body feels.

Food

Food has been all over the place—basically the perfect mini-depiction of my life lately. Now that the weather is nice, we’ve been grilling out foods such as hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken and pork tenderloins more often. I often pair grilled meats with roasted veggies and salads.

Speaking of salads, my husband (and the kids) are still heading up our hydroponics gardening operation in the basement. I feel a bit like a broken record on this, but it’s awesome to simply walk downstairs to pick out lettuce greens when we want a salad.

I’m still relying on our crockpot for meals a couple times a week and the husband has recently discovered the value of the instant pot and has started making big batches of food for his lunches since we haven’t had as many dinner leftovers for him lately.

I still have high hopes of dedicating an afternoon to creating crockpot freezer packs to make busy days easier. Grady makes this idea a little more complicated but as he gets older, hopefully projects like this will get easier.