pregnancy deets

whew. I think this thing is a little dusty.

we had another baby. if you don't follow along on instagram, surprise!

a little about the pregnancy:

It was my worst pregnancy yet.
let me back up.

Last June, I sneezed and ruptured what turned out to be an ovarian cyst. I phoned my ob's office to discuss the pain I was feeling, and also mentioned the pain that I was still having after Elsie's delivery. I described how she cracked my pelvis, and was told that it was definitely not normal to be still feeling that kind of bone pain two and a half years after delivery. They mentioned that I might be unable to carry a third child. Cue the tears. After several discussions with my doctor, he determined that I could carry a baby, but my body would not be able to sustain the pregnancy past 38 weeks. It was difficult to decide to proceed with a third pregnancy, knowing the amount of pain I would have, but being told I might only get the two children I already had made me realize how much I really wanted one more baby.

I took two cycles to heal from the ruptured cyst, and then took a pregnancy test. It was negative- something I'd never had before. Later that night I was sobbing for an hour and a half over anne of green gables, of all things- all I could choke out was 'puffed sleeves!' - and I felt crazy. If I wasn't pregnant, then I was just nuts.
a week later I still hadn't gotten my period, so I took another test.
I remember closing my eyes and bracing myself for the pain that I knew would start in a few weeks.

At twenty four weeks, I crawled into my doctor's office for a checkup. And I mean crawled. I grabbed at the wall with one hand, hunched over, and slooowly and carefully placed my steps so I wouldn't fall. I cried through that whole appointment. I felt like I was drowning in pain. I went to sleep at night crying because everything hurt, and woke up crying because I knew I had to do it all over again. I left the appointment with a prescription for some pain medication, instructions to purchase a walker/wheelchair & to stay laying down and off my feet. My doctor assured me that we would get this baby out at 37 weeks.

 I went four places for the remainder of my pregnancy- one hour of church on Sundays, preschool drop off 3x a week, my ob's office, and my physical/massage therapist's office. I remember telling my mom that I was so damn sick of laying on the same damn couch all day long. She laughed, but understood that it was getting bad if I was swearing about it! Thankfully I had a few friends who would let me come hang out on their couches for awhile. I also had to swallow my pride and let friends come clean my house every week, and bring meals in. I get choked up every time I think of all of the people-angels- who helped carry my burden during these long months. I have never felt such pure love before. It is such an awful feeling, sitting and watching your ability to use your body slip away. I felt like I was trapped, living in someone else's body, unable to do any of the things I wanted or needed to do. And man. I'm so grateful for a husband who doesn't think twice about helping his wife to the bathroom, carrying her up the stairs, or rubbing her back at two a.m.

 I ordered my groceries online and had them delivered. Once I went to Target & Sam's Club to get out of the house, and rode on one of those riding carts my grandma uses. It wasn't worth the pain that sitting upright caused, but it was still nice to get out for a half hour.

we had lots of ultrasounds, which was a bright spot I always looked forward to. We didn't want to know the gender this time, and it was kind of surprising that with all the ultrasounds, no one slipped up and told us!

at 36 weeks, I received two rounds of steroid shots for the baby's lungs, 24 hours apart. Right in the rump. Those hurt like the devil. The fluid was thick and had to be administered verrry slowly. The second day, I wised up, and brought an ice pack to sit on after. I sat in my car until I stopped crying enough to drive. At 36 weeks, 5 days (a friday), I had an amniocentesis done to check the development of baby's lungs. We didn't want to deliver and then have baby in the nicu on oxygen.  One of the nurses who administered my steroid shot warned me that my uterus would burn after this procedure and I would need someone to drive me home. Thankfully my mom arrived early that morning and could come with me. It was so nice to be able to squeeze her hand and have her give me courage. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I was monitored for awhile after and had a non stress test to make sure everything still looked okay. The plan was to go into the hospital at noon on Sunday (36 weeks, 6 days) for induction, pending the test results of the amnio.

On Saturday evening, I spoke with my doctor. He told me the results of the test were "indeterminate", and while he could run a more accurate test on the fluid from the amnio, he'd rather play it safe and wait a full week for delivery. I hung up the phone and just sobbed. I couldn't look my mother or Travis in the face, because I didn't want to see the pity in their eyes. I was so tired of fighting my body every single day. I had forgotten what it felt like to not feel pain. I was looking forward to delivery in less than twenty four hours, and now I had to endure another week. Typing it out, a week doesn't seem like a big deal, but it was monumental to me. I can't describe how heavy the pain felt.

I declared it was "Treat yo'self Week 2016". I went to the movie theater and enjoyed the fancy relining seats. I ate cake for breakfast, and napped every afternoon. I laid on the couch and my mom made me meals and snacks. I did a lot of online shopping. I cried a lot, and ate a lot of ice cream.
I thought the pain was bad before, but Tuesday of that week it slammed me over and over. Baby had a growth spurt and my bones could barely hold themselves together. I saw what my doctor had meant last summer- I certainly would not be able to carry this baby much longer.

Finally Sunday- Mother's Day - rolled around. I went to one hour of church and watched my boy sing the mother's day songs. I talked to my brother in Korea when he called. I twiddled my thumbs and thought about how great it would feel to not be pregnant and in pain. We kissed our babies goodbye and drove to the hospital.
Go time.


chore chart

just a bonus chore chart. Luke is getting bigger and more capable of chores, so while I shop around and think of larger diy options (more chores!!) I whipped this up to use in the meantime.

 photo chorechart_zpsdfvsteza.jpg
download here

cleaning schedule

I've been getting a lot of comments and questions lately on how I keep my home so clean / is it always this clean?

 photo a1c1374e-2267-4e39-9a9d-68d1059524c3_zpso0dqt2ri.jpg

 The answer is, honestly, yes. mostly. OBVIOUSLY we get messy and I'm totally not perfect but I'd say about 90% of the time anyway, it's clean :) I was raised by the son of German immigrants who married a very organized woman, so I am used to a clean home and I actually enjoy cleaning.
And for me, I feel calmer and more receptive spiritually as well a more perceptive mother when my home is clean and in order. It frees up so much mental space so that I can focus on my kids- plus I totally don't care if we get messy- paint or legos everywhere- because it's just that mess that needs cleaning after- not that plus the rest of the house. I'm not one of those "good moms have sticky floors", because sticky floors make me cranky mom. It isn't the having the clean floors that makes me a good mom, but having them clean allows me to relax and let go and enjoy my children. Does that even make sense? What I'm saying is that you're a good mom whether your floors are sticky or clean, but I respond better to my kids if all this stuff is taken care of. So for me, this works. Anyway, I decided to share on the blog because I just taught a class on this at my church last week and made up this printable for that.

The schedule helps keep me organized and in order. Each day I have some cleaning task to take care of. I avoid weekends for now, since I like that to be family time. I fully realize that when my kids are older and are in school all day, we will have to have some Saturday chore time, but that time is not yet. Thursday is my catch up day; if I or a child was sick or we ditched home in favor of the zoo or something, I have Thursday to fall back on so I don't get behind. If I am caught up, I choose something in my home to organize- linen closet, tupperware drawer, spice cabinet, kids' outgrown clothes etc. I don't spend more than 45 minutes on cleaning each days task (obviously the daily chores add into that throughout the day).

This is just what works for me- it may not work for everyone. But having a schedule- any schedule- is so helpful! I've been following this schedule just about a year now. It changed  little bit when Luke started school and I like that it can be fluid.There are literally a million different ways to clean, but this has been most effective for me

 photo cleaning schedule copy_zpsv6macfhf.jpg

I won't keep droning on and on about cleaning, snooze, but if you're interested in the printable,
you can download my copy here, or a blank version here


lukie boy

he'll be turning four in a few weeks and every so often, I'll turn the corner and see him doing something...big. And it hits me that he is a real boy now, and not a toddler, and certainly not a baby anymore. His legs are long and gangly (5T pants!) and he can (almost) make his own peanut butter sandwiches (hold the jelly, because that's fruit and fruit is EW). I love this boy.

 photo AF6E69CF-3B0C-4A0B-82FB-76FEAA12D495_zpsufr8lfex.jpg
 photo 99DC4DDA-A8E7-400F-981C-104068C324D2_zpsczjiii8f.jpg
 photo E1518977-084C-43AB-B302-B191F03A6315_zpsic1kq2tr.jpg
 photo 8A39A9E9-51A2-4384-90B1-CFC1FD69766C_zpslnvpbyq7.jpg
 photo 6E57F9C1-D4D3-49F2-BE6C-2C3269FA3E7F_zpsqkoxl3bq.jpg
 photo 47EEAE01-50AB-4CCB-80B9-B4BB85653F9A_zpsleuxfyzr.jpg


living room tour

welllllll, I've finally finished decorating our formal living room. This feels like a triumph, mainly because it's the first thing people see when they come through the door and for many moons it was empty and awkward. It has been so fun to decorate and find furniture and artwork for each room. And paint! After years of renting, it was so nice to put a fresh coat of paint on our walls. And now that this living room is done (and I love it), I am running out of rooms to decorate! I only have our master bedroom and the two upstairs bathrooms left. (not bad at the one year mark!)

herthreadedneedle living room tour

I added some personal artwork to this room. One of my favorites is this little black and white painting Elsie did. I wanted something unique and abstract, but I always over think the things I create. Plus, I feel pretty strongly about displaying my kids' art as "real" framed art in our home. So one morning while Luke was at school, I stripped Elsie down to her diaper, gave her a blank canvas and paint brush, and let her go at it. She was surprisingly deliberate about her brush strokes, and she did a better job than I would have! It's a treasure to have around for sure (and compliments the family portrait Luke painted in our living room...photos coming soon, but you  probably saw it on my instagram @rachfrakes).

herthreadedneedle living room tourherthreadedneedle living room tour 

The F type picture is an inexpensive blueprint copy I printed out at Staples after designing it in Photoshop. The mirror I found at an antique store a few years back while shopping with my mom, and this island print is another one of my favorites.

herthreadedneedle living room tour

 The photo is one I took while we were in Mexico, celebrating Travis' graduation. I ordered the canvas from TinyPrints, and personalized it a little bit with a line from the song Swing Life Away.
  Travis proposed to me under palm trees on the shores of La Jolla, and we were married a few minutes away from that spot in the San Diego temple.The song seemed appropriate since our love story has deep roots in that city, and one day, maybe one day, we'll end up back where the palm trees grow.

herthreadedneedle living room tour

I painted the lyrics directly to the canvas, and then got to work on the frame. It was originally an oak color, and it wouldn't take stain, so I ended up spray painting it white. Then it was too white, so I stained over the white paint, and that was better. It still wasn't quite right, so I added some gold leafing I had laying around to compliment the gold mirror.

herthreadedneedle living room tour
 photo IMG_8515_zpsgdsbmkz4.jpg
 photo IMG_8514_zpsfs2clkap.jpg
herthreadedneedle living room tour

 That green chair is probably my favorite thing in the room. My father in law acquired it several years ago as a bit of temporary furniture while they were in the middle of a move. He thought it was the ugliest thing, but offered it to us because we were poor and newly married and Travis hates it too, but so help me, I WILL NEVER GET RID OF IT. Because it is fantastic, and so comfortable. 

herthreadedneedle living room tourherthreadedneedle living room tour
 photo IMG_8507_zpsrfcqrewl.jpg photo IMG_8584_zpsukny9gun.jpg
couch is from macy's, side table is from target, rug is from rugsusa, curtains are ikea, children are mine

herthreadedneedle living room tour

the sun streams in the the late afternoon, and this couch is our new favorite place to cuddle up with a book before dad comes home. 


valentine's 2015

I couldn't help myself, and I had to have the kids repeat last year's valentine photo. They totally hammed it up for the camera and man. You should have heard the giggles going on. I just love that these photos capture their special relationship. They are the best of friends (and of course, elsie is wearing her ever present beaded necklaces)

 photo C207D2D8-34A1-4712-A30A-915FB5AF3845_zpsc84ye8td.jpg
 photo E218F113-2E57-469D-AF53-7223F13F49B6_zpsvohyqdre.jpg
 photo 1E08FCD6-1045-4CDA-9FB4-27459F8CC4BC_zpslwq1ttdk.jpg
 photo A88F2B57-4FD2-465E-BA32-5ED3160E6877_zpsz1qxogor.jpg
 photo E288054C-E214-4636-8B0E-F87C0D0B57E2_zpsqfzdtnxq.jpg
 photo 63D1F60A-ED9D-4DB2-91F1-EE65EE75D642_zpspkqzlcax.jpg