Monday, March 2, 2015

Forty-Eight Hours

Two days.

That's all we're down to.

Two little bitty days left until Beckett arrives!

Two.  Days.

Life will change irrevocably.

It reminds me of a time a half-a-dozen years ago when I was on the phone with one of my girlfriends just before a certain guy came over to my house for the first time.  The butterflies and the jitters and the questions of how that moment could forever change the rest of your life.

And that's what I talked about with that friend.

"This date could change my life forever."

And it did.

Now....in two days that same guy and I will have another life-changing day together.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

When you come to meet my baby

Beckett Dean will be making his appearance into this world in just a few short weeks.  With his impending arrival, naturally my thoughts have turned to all the ways that our lives are about to change forever.  The added expenses that terrify me, the fragility of one so small and vulnerable, the new nightly chores of sanitizing and preparing bottles for the next day's care...there's so much to think about and our time is growing nearer and nearer to meeting this little boy.

But another little boy has been very heavy on my heart, too.  Because as much as I know how greatly my life is about to change, Ty's life is about to change even more and thus far most people have only pointed out to him all the negatives.

So I'm going to be one of those moms.

When you come to meet my baby, I will have a rule that I hope each of our guests will respect.

There will not be a bottle of hand sanitizer at the door and I will not be doing nose-swabs to check you for the flu.  I will not greet you with expectations of food or gifts as the price of admission into our home.  I will not ask you to help with household chores that have gone undone (who does that?!), though it will be much appreciated if you ignore that they're undone because if you graciously and kindly start to pick up, I'll feel the need to start to pick up and instead of enjoying your visit, I'll wear myself out during it.

What I will ask of you is that you be sensitive to my first baby while you're in our home to meet our newest baby.

Ty has had months and months of everyone telling him how perfectly awful it is going to be to have a little one around the house.  He's heard endless tales of how much the baby will cry and all of the toys and belongings that will be damaged or destroyed by a little one.  He's had dirty diapers figuratively thrown in his face more times than I imagine he will actually change a diaper.  Adults have continually told him all the ways that being a big brother will change his life for the worse....and then they turn around and tell me "what a wonderful big brother Ty will be!".

I want Ty to have the opportunity to be excited about his first days as a big brother!  He deserves to see his brother as a new and wonderful addition to our family just as much as Beckett deserves to be spoken of as more than a noisy and costly inconvenience.

Ty needs to hear how wonderful it will be to have a brother—to have a life-long friend that will be there no matter what.  He needs to be reminded that when Mom & Dad struggle to get a half-hearted giggle out of Beckett, he will be able to elicit a full-belly-laugh out of his brother with ease.  Ty is entitled (and I don't ever throw that word around lightly) to the joy of knowing that he will be somebody's hero for no other reason than the fact that he is Beckett's Big Brother.  He needs to be encouraged that no matter how challenging and tiring these first few weeks with his brother will be...they will be so very worth it in the end.

So when you come to meet my baby, my one and only rule is that each of our guests please respect both of my boys.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Counting Down | Six weeks to go!

Today we are officially 34 weeks pregnant!

Beckett Dean is six weeks away from making his grand entrance and I'd like to say that everything is nice and neat and tidy and just waiting for him.

In all honesty, my house is a mess from recent renovations that have now spilled over into a full scale organization process.  I'm determined to de-clutter and put things away in a proper place, instead of just getting them out of the way and not having to deal with it right now.

I still haven't painted Beckett's room, though I did finally finish our bedroom after buying the paint for it last May.  I have the paint for his room and as soon as my living area is de-cluttered, I will start working on his room.

My goal is to have it all done by the end of the month...but my goal is to also take my time and not over-exert myself, too.  Those two goals have been in competition with one another lately.  We'll see, maybe they'll both be able to win.

All is going well with the pregnancy.  The only concern we've had so far is with my low platelet count.  However, my doctor is optimistic that this won't be an issue.  If it becomes one, they'll err on the side of caution.  It wouldn't be ideal, but it's not in my control so I'm doing my best not to worry about it.

There have been dozens of conversations had around me about individuals having simple surgical procedures and then having blood clots that have cost them their lives or almost cost them their lives.  I would absolutely love it if those conversations went away or were had outside of my earshot, it makes it feel like there's a ticking clock over my head and I could really do without that.

Beckett has been one very active little boy.

I couldn't help but laugh when I got this email from Pampers today.

If anything it feels like Beckett is partying because he knows that  his time on the inside is about to come to an end and he's going to have ROOM to dance!

Next Tuesday we go to the doctor for our 34 week appointment.  I fully expect to have exceeded the "expected 1 lb a week" weight gain the Dr. has advised me I should see.  My legs, feet, and hands have been extraordinarily swollen lately, which is something I dealt with during my pregnancy with Ty.  Along with the swelling, I believe I may have developed a bit of tendinitis in my thumbs, most especially my right thumb.  I've read that this can be common during pregnancy and may persist afterwards as well because I'll be using different muscles and tendons that aren't as well-used while lifting and tending to Beckett.

The joys of motherhood!  But it will be so worth it to FINALLY get to see his little face (which he hid from us in EVERY ultrasound) and to feel his little fingers and toes.

Six more weeks.

We've got this!

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Change of Perspective

Today:  I am so thankful for this wonderful guy!
Wednesday night was the single-most terrifying night of my life.

It was a normal day, a normal afternoon, and started out as a normal Wednesday evening.  We came home and Jason had a quick meal ready for us.  We were rushing to get clothes changed and Bibles and books together for AWANAs and in the rush, we sat down to eat a quick meal.

Except Ty was trying to eat it too quickly and got choked.

I didn't immediately realize what was going on when he started spitting food out of his mouth on his plate.  He stood up and I was about to scold him for putting so much in his mouth all at once (I thought he was about to throw up based on the gagging look on his face).  Except he pointed at his mouth and everything clicked.

I'm not sure if Jason immediately realized what was going on because I think I shocked him when I jumped up and started pounding on Ty's back.  That didn't do any good and Ty was still struggling at his mouth like he was trying to pull the food out of his mouth so I reached around him to attempt the Heimlich Maneuver, something I have never in my life even had training on.

It was terrifying, that realization that you have to do something but you don't know if you can do it successfully.  At this point Jason was there waiting to see if he would need to help me.

I very much panicked.  I didn't think through clearly where my hands were and I wasn't sure how hard or gently to do the maneuver and I'm doing my best to think through what I'm doing while at the same time trying to think of what to do next if this doesn't work.

Thank God after the 2nd or 3rd time he started to cough and was able to bring it on up.  There was a big piece of hot dog and bun that had lodged in his throat.  I didn't look even partially chewed.

Of course, at the point when you know they're okay it's the same point that you absolutely fall apart.

I stood there and hugged Ty while I initially fought the tears and then continued as I started sobbing.  I did my best to sit down and finish my supper so that Ty would do the same.

Neither of us were feeling it though.

Ty sat there in shock as I assured him that he was okay and I was okay and that I was just relieved that he was okay.  I asked him if I had hurt him, and he said that I had hurt his ribs a little (I wasn't as far down on his torso as I thought I was).  But he assured me that he was okay and that he knew I was trying to help him and not hurt him.  Then he broke down crying, too.  I asked him if he was crying because I was crying or if he was crying because he was hurt or scared.  He said that it was because he was scared and I assured him that was a perfectly good reason to cry and that we were all very scared.

It was a very sobering night.  A night I hope to never have to relive.

But it also puts things into perspective.  I was irritated that Ty's AWANAs shirt was a mess because he hadn't hung it up and I was making sure that he didn't forget his Bible & his book like he had last week.  I was in stressed-Mama-needs-to-take-care-of-everything mode.  And then afterwards all of that was just so unimportant.  Because instead of going to church that night, we could gone to the hospital instead.



Make sure you know what to do if this ever happens to you:

Image Source:  imgkid.com

Monday, December 15, 2014

#HelloKeurig | Keurig 2.0 K450 Review

Christmas came early at the Harris Household as I recently found myself to be the lucky recipient of a Keurig 2.0 K450 Brewing System, courtesy of Influenster.  I received the complimentary Keurig to test and give an honest review of.

Having already hinted at wanting a Keurig for Christmas, I was thrilled to find it sitting at our door last Monday when I got home.


I excitedly unpacked it and plugged it in so I could program it, fill it, and test it out!




I wanted to take a few days of playing with it so that I could give a fair and honest review with more observations than what my thoughts were upon unboxing it and plugging it in for the first time.  In the meantime, I got a second delivery from Influenster containing a thermal carafe and a carousel for the K-cups and K-carafes.


Over the past week we've burned through pretty much the whole supply of samples that came with the machine and have thoroughly enjoyed having it.  Only once have we had an issue with the machine not wanting to recognize a K-cup as being compatible.  After some wiggling and repeated re-setting, the machine finally got with the program.

So far, I've come up with a list of Pros and Cons that make me both love the Keurig 2.0...and wish for just a little bit more from it.

Keurig 2.0 K450 Brewing System
Image Source:  Keurig.com

Pros

  • The Keurig 2.0 no longer has the single-cup limitations.  While the 32 oz carafe falls short of the regular 8-12 cup capacity of the typical coffee pot, it does give the user the option of brewing more than one cup at a time which is nice for us as I typically make a cup of coffee for myself and my husband at the same time.
  • The Keurig 2.0 makes it simple and easy to dispense hot water which comes in handy as The Husband is a tea-drinker, The Boy is a fan of hot chocolate, and I enjoy a cup of hot water on days when my throat is itchy or sore.  We no longer have to worry about waiting on the kettle or forgetting about it on the stove and we can have hot water in significantly less time!  Oh, and guess what else this means?  I can make oatmeal with my Keurig.  Score!
  • Having never owned a Keurig before, I'm not sure if this is a new feature but I really like the Energy Saver Mode on the Keurig.  I can set the time limit that I want and if the machine is not used in that time frame, it powers itself to a low-energy standby mode.  
  • Love the full-color LCD touch-screen!  It's large, bright, and easy to read.  AND I can choose from multiple wallpapers as the background for the screen, too.  Being able to make little tweaks like this makes me happy.
  • You can save your favorite settings and access them easily which means I can have a favorite setting for my coffee, The Husband's tea, and Kiddo's Hot Chocolate.  It's little things like this that make me happy!
  • The water reservoir has a super-convenient flip-lid that makes filling the reservoir super easy.  I can either pull the whole reservoir off to refill it (or clean it as the need arises) or I can just pop the lid up  and pour a pitcher of water in.  Because only the front part of the lid flips up, I don't have to slide the machine out from underneath the cabinet.
  • It is super quiet!  Other Keurig machines I have used have been pretty noisy while heating water and especially while dispensing coffee; this machine is noticeably much quieter during both processes.

Cons

  • One of the biggest, most often repeated complaints of the Keurig 2.0 is the incompatibility of non-Keurig approved K-cups.  Prior Keurig owners who made the upgrade were disappointed to find that they could no longer use the K-cups they already had as they did not have the Keurig circle of approval on the lid.  
  • My K-cup/Eco-brew incompatibility is another big issue for many users as well as for our household.  Some eco-brew products are starting to pop up on the market that are supposed to be compatible with the 2.0, however there is no such option for the K-carafe at this time.  Of the very few available options, none have quite been what I'm looking for so if I want to use my own coffee, I will be using the regular coffee pot for the time being.  The ideal 2.0 compliant eco-brew product would give users the option of a K-cup or a K-carafe, in a fashion similar to the K2V Adapter for Keurig Vue machines.   Once I use the four K-carafe pods that came with the machine, I'm not really sure how often we'll use the carafe until there's a more economic option available.
  • The drip tray is a separate piece from the Keurig that doesn't 'click' or affix to it so much as it just slides into place in front of it (it is removable to make room for the carafe).  This wouldn't be a big deal to me except for the fact that I have two males in my house with yet another male on the way.  What that means to me is that every time this Keurig gets moved by anyone other than Yours Truly, this drip tray will not be moved along with it.  How often do I expect that to happen?  About as often as I expect to have to close the silverware drawer behind them.  Which is pretty much daily.
  • I have a few miscellaneous pieces that came with the brewer that I suspect are somehow filter related...yet they're not mentioned anywhere in the setup guide or the product manual.  So I'm keeping  them as replacement parts as I feel they're somehow pertinent....but at the same time I'm worried that maybe I've set the machine up completely wrong and just don't know it because I wasn't told what they are or where they go.
  • My regular coffee cup is 14 or 16 ounces.  My husband's regular coffee cup is probably 18-20 ounces.  The Keurig 2.0 has a k-cup limit of 10 ounces.  This is bad for me, but good for Keurig and their Keurig 2.0 Compliant K-cups because it means we will have to brew twice as many to get our regular fix.  Rumor has it that using V-cups (made for the Keurig Vue) unlocks larger cup size options, I'm just hesitant to buy a bunch of V-cups unless I know for sure that this is the case.

All in all, if I were looking to spend money to buy a Keurig, I wouldn't yet choose the 2.0.  I hate to say it, but it's true.  The limitations of the 2.0 force people to either settle for less than what they paid for or it forces otherwise honest people to scour the internet for many of the very searchable hacks for using old K-cups, non-compliant Eco-brew cups, or even how to open up the menu so that you can brew the larger sizes that are available on some other Keurig machines.

The Keurig 2.0 has the potential to be a fantastic machine, without the limitations of the "Compliant K-Cups" my satisfaction would have likely doubled.  Unfortunately for Keurig (but fortunately for consumers) there are companies hard at work in developing products to trick or bypass this technology which means that Keurig will have wasted considerable money in developing a technology that will ultimately not serve the purpose I expect they intended it to.

Going forward, I do plan to hang on to the Keurig 2.0 brewer in hopes that someone (preferably Keurig) will develop products and solutions for the issues that are most hindering this system, however I expect that we won't get a lot of use out of it until we find a product that lets us brew our own coffee in the machine.


I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes and would like to thank Influenster for sending me this great machine to review. All opinions are 100% my own opinions.
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