Saturday, February 17, 2018

Titus Matthew Part 2

If you missed Part 1, click here.

Moving on to Part 2 :) It's still choppy. Sorry, not sorry.

This is what they used to transport him to Fargo (in a helicopter). 

Monday- Feb 20, 2017 Day 3 at the NICU
I pumped throughout the night, I think Alec and I have good system down as he helps me set up
& watch the parts. I usually eat snacks (dried mango!) & listen to worship music while I pump. I
start with "Trust in You" by Lauren Daigle. I hear it 5 or more times per day. Definitely my theme

Going to say good morning to Titus soon!

Fb post: "We are extremely humbled by the huge blessing our friends and family have been! It's
been an incredible experience. From housing in Fargo to meals, encouragement, running errands,
flowers grace from bosses, cards, gifts & especially keeping all 3 of us in your prayers... We can't
say THANK YOU enough. God provides ❤ "

Since Titus didn't have much blood at birth, and they can't find where it would have gone,
the Hematologist stopped by and talked to us. He wonders if it might be Blackfin Diamond Anemia
aka Pure RBC Aplasia (Titus' bone marrow doesn't make red blood cells). It's very rare. About 3-4
people in ND have it, and they are ok. It can be treated with steroids. Along the line, Titus will
probably need a bone marrow biopsy to confirm it.

The hardest news so far. Bad afternoon...πŸ˜”

They want to start a steroid (Hydrocortisone) on him soon. We said we would give them an answer
tomorrow morning. The good window for it to work well is now. If he does have that condition &
needs the steroid, it will be long term (5 years). If it ends up not being that, he can be weaned off.
We won't know until bone marrow. Which might be in a month or so. Steroids can cause short
stature, possibly weight problems, and possibly neurological problems. They use it short term on
premies to mature their lungs... but not 5 YEARSs.
We're gonna get some info on it this evening. I'm gonna ask if the dosage is the same as a premie
but just longer? Afternoon; Depressed. Sick. Balling trying to nap but can't-- too sad! Thankful
for Alec's encouragement ❤

Went to the NICU to get more info on steroids and as we were washing up at the scrub station, our
wonderful nurse, Janda, said the hematologist and NICU doctor talked for awhile and they are
comfortable with waiting and seeing (on steroids) since Titus is improving so well. Alec and I were
kinda leaning toward that. So that's a relief!! πŸ™πŸΌ  Praise God! That turned my mood around and I was
ok with eating out with Adam, Kim and Alec.
Ate at Olive Garden. Yum! Thankful for all that Kim is able to do-- run errands and buy things we
need. It's been a hugeee blessing❤

Went back to Titus, pumped (boobs hurts soooo bad... engorgment. so. much. pain. 😳
We said goodnight to him. Alec prays with me over him. ❤ Love you, Titus. Love you, Alec.

Tuesday- Feb 21, 2017 Day 4 at the NICU
I pooped! 😁  finally. big accomplishment πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ’©

FaceTimed my folks, ate breakfast, morning with Titus, pumped. It's a beautiful sunny day!
Coffee break at the hospital cafe. It smells so good every time we pass it. Called insurance to
add T to my plan. Target for food & sports bra (cut holes in it for hand-free pumpingπŸ‘πŸΌ works
wonders✨) Ate at the hospital cafeteria. More pumping. Titus got taken of the nitric oxide this
morning at 10am and has been doing well!! He is still on the ventilator/oscillator, but if the next
couple of tests go well we might get him off of that! But not sure when. His nurse today is Mari-Ann.
She's sweet. Obviously.

Alec & Kim loving on T.

Nap this afternoon on the couch because my feet are still swelled up. :( fun c-section side effects.

He's holding his own blood! So it's probably not Pure RBC AplasiaπŸ™πŸΌπŸ˜  Answered prayer!!

He was throwing up a little (bile included) so now they're leaning toward a bowel/gastrointestinal
issue. Doing X-rays and something like an upper endoscopy (through the mouth dye and looking for
obstruction/blockage). Test is going on now. Could take a while... depends on how it flows through.
(Drugs are slowing things down.) pray it comes out normal! Otherwise, surgery is most likely
needed. I think Gastro issues are a lot less scary than steroids, bone marrow, developmental

Trusting God. Alec was reading The Book of Titus to Titus today. 😊

Dinner was pizza at the Condo and we went to see Titus, pump and say goodnight.
They were giving him a medication to push the dye through more quickly. He spit it up :( so sad.
They stopped it and will just let it take its time. Janda was his nurse for a couple hours this evening
and will be his nurse in the morning as well.

Wednesday- Feb 22,2017 Day 5 in the NICU
Pumping this much has been hard. I'm tired. But it's worth it. Alec set up a rocker by the bathroom
and it works well. :)

Morning to Titus, coffee with Alec and Kim at the hospital, talked to the financial center about the
medical help application, ate lunch in the cafeteria, back to see Titus, pump. Home for a nap. Alec
and Kim ran errands while I slept. And back to the hospital.


Alec and Kim are driving to Grand Forks and Alec is sleeping up there because he leaves on a
flight to the Twin Cities for job paperwork in the morning. Kim is driving my car back down...
Civic with a car seat(!!) ❤

Thursday- Feb 23, 2017 Day 6 in the NICU
Last night he had a little difficultly breathing so they put a mask on to help him breath.



I can hold him today❤😍😭  and I made 45 ml in one pumping last night!! So HAPPY!!

Best. feeling. ever.

So Dr Bellas came around and said they would try doing the dye again and if he throws it up,
they'll take Titus downstairs to get the tube to the small intestines.

The low hemoglobin could've been from the delayed cord clamping and the blood flowed back into
my body. The bile he was throwing up could've possibly be from distress. So *maybe* (keep

Dr is looking at a week+ still in the NICU.
The dye seems to be going through well!!! Another X-ray at 7pm. 😊
My mom cameπŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ  Elias and Lilia stayed back at the hotel with Grandpa Wright.
Mom was singing to him and loving on him. :)

My mom loving on T.

Alec made it back to Fargo. We were all exhausted but stayed for quite a awhile.

Friday- Feb 24, 2017 Day 7 in the NICU

Say hi Elias & Lilia!!

Sadly, they couldn't enter the NICU, but they loved watching video we took of T.

Showered, pumped, & ate breakfast downstairs in the hotel. I went by myself
to the hospital. And Alec was there scheduling his students.  It was frustrating at the NICU today,
because it seem like nothing was getting done I was hoping is CPAP would go to a lower number
and that we would find out about G.I. Studies. He hates CPAP mask, and it's really hard to hold him
when it's on😒.
The not-so-fun CPAP mask. :(

In the afternoon, I took a nap. And when I woke up my stitches hurt so bad and I was kind of
nauseous so I took Oxycodone and that finally set, and I felt better.

Alec, my mom and I went to the NICU and poor Titus was still hating his CPAP mask. Alec got to
hold him and we convinced him to do skin in skin. Titus loved it. ❤

I decorated TItus' pod with Bible verses + promises. 

Alec, mom and I ate dinner at Chipotle. Then Alec left from there to go up to Grand Forks... he
works Sat morning πŸ˜”  it's good but also sad.

Mom & I came back and...

He's much more comfortable without the CPAP!

He was fighting it sooo hard the nurse practitioner decided to try without it. It's been 1 hr in.
Hopefully it'll still be out when I go back tomorrow morning. πŸ™πŸΌ

Also, the GI studies came back, and THEY ARE NORMAL!!! Praise God!

The dye went right though his intestines! No obstructions πŸ’™ so they started feedings. Very slowly..
10ml over 30 min every 3 hrs. I got to hold him for a longgg time tonight and it was wonderful!
Especially since his CPAP thing was off his face/head. He rested so peacefully.
God is so good. On the drive "home", the song "Praise You in the Storm" by casting Crowns was
playing. I started tearing up with joy and thankfulness....
that song was my song when I was told by a doctor in high school I might be infertile.
Thank you, Lord, for this miracle.

Saturday- Feb 25, 2017 Day 8 in the NICU
Pumped around 6:30am after a nice warm shower. I'm very thankful that my milk is coming in
even though it's so painful. I sped to the hospital and ended up getting pulled over and given a
ticket $17. I started crying as I left. Darn emotions. I kinda deserved it because I was going 42 in
a 25 zone. πŸ˜’

I was kinda afraid to come see him because I didn't know if Titus would have the CPAP on or not
and I didn't know if his feedings had been stopped because of throwing up...

But I got here and he looked perfect his eyes were open, no CPAP and the feedings were going
well. Praise God!!!!! πŸŽ‰❤️ thank you Lord for these blessings. Held him until his next assessment.
Over an hour. ❤️ Best feeling ever. My heart might explode!! I felt butterflies. It was so amazing.
Pumped again. And cuddling with him some more.

Lunch at the hospital with my mom, Grandpa, and the Littles. Home for a nap. Back to the hospital
with my mom. 😬 haha My mom and I ate dinner and came back up to try breast feeding. It was
challenging because he was lazy and would go to sleep. He was still getting fed through a nose
tube. They also took out his belly button vein line πŸ™ŒπŸΌ  which happens to go all the way up to his
heart. Crazy!!!

They started him on morphine to help his withdrawals from fentanyl. He was jittery. Poor guy. :(

Sunday- Feb 26, 2017 Day 9 in the NICU

Morphine dosage hasn't changed up or down. So that's good. Praying it can go down tomorrow.
I might have to be here 24 hrs a day to avoid bottles. Pray that I can convince the doctor to not
have them!πŸ˜’ Tried breast feeding again. It went better, I think, but Titus fell asleep.

Dr came. morphine is at 0.6 and they do these tests of about 25 questions and depending on how
he scores, they increase or decrease the dosage. I guess they go down 0.1 every day or two about
(if they only go down). Then he has to be completely off of it for 48hrs to go home. So we're looking
at another week /: doctor is ok with trying breast feeding (and not doing bottles). I said I could be
here every 3 hrs during the day. And I think he's ok with me not coming in at night 😊

He is wearing clothes now!
I've been able to avoid dinosaurs and football outfits 😜
Alec came back and spent the night. It was nice being able to snuggle with him again. ❤

Monday- Feb 27, 2017 Day 10 in the NICU
Got to the hospital before 8 to try to feed him. He's just not interested. πŸ˜” Lord, I pray that Titus
would get the hang of it. ❤ He spit up all over me😜 and down my shirt.... the nurse isn't too
worried becaue it didn't look like bile.

Speech came around and said he will probably need his tongue cut πŸ‘πŸΌ and He was latched on for
maybe 15 min this feeding!!! πŸŽ‰  the spitting up was a blessing in disguise.

He gets to go down again on the morphine again. ❤πŸŽ‰ thank you thank you thank you Lord.

Tuesday- Feb 28, 2017 Day 11 in the NICU

He graduated to a crib!!

Not much has happened today besides the feedings at 8am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm & 8pm. My fam is
in St. Cloud. Mom is signing for the house and Alec is up in Grand Forks working so I'm down
here by myself.

His tongue was cut! They came in as I was pumping, had me sign something and then snip. It was
done. He cried for about 5 or 10 seconds and then they gave him to me to try breast-feeding but
he fell asleep. πŸ˜‚ I think the morphine helped πŸ˜…

Wednesday- Mar 1, 2017 Day 12 in the NICU
I didn't write anything down, so I can't remember πŸ˜”

Thursday- Mar 2, 2017 Day 13 in the NICU
Tried feeding him in the morning. He does do too well... but during the 5 and 8pm feeds he does
soooo well. Went to Target with my mom, but on the way I got pulled over AGAIN. I promise
I'm not that bad at driving. HA Supposedly it's the law in North Dakota to have a front license
plate. πŸ˜’ Thankfully it was just a warning. But that reminds me-- I should pay the ticket from
last week.

The breast feeding was stressing me out so much that I got a migraine. Took a nap for 3 hours
and felt a lot better. I just want him home so we have to just through their hoops of gaining weight,
100% oral feedings and 60ml every 3 hrs. If it means bottles, we need to do bottles.

Happier ending to the day: he breast fed for awhile and then drank a bottleπŸ™ŒπŸΌ so exciting! Since he 
spit up during his 2pm feeding, they're only putting 25ml in it per feeding and he has to get the
rest (he's up to 60ml a feeding) through the boob or tube.

Supporting daddy with his airplane outfit. :)

Friday- Mar 3, 2017 Day 14 in the NICU

Happy day!

He can eat as much as he wants at the bottle or boobπŸ™ŒπŸΌ

Hip hip hooray! We're making progress❤
If he jumped through all the right hoops at the right time, I think he'll be out by Sunday!!! So happy!
He's doing so well with a bottle!! Haven't needed the tube at all!

Saturday- March 4, 2017 Day 15 in the NICU
I came in early to see that he didn't have the nose tube in!!! 😍
Exciting stuff! And the doctor said, "We'll watch him one more day then we can think about
discharge tomorrow" (Sunday) 😍 I have to bring the carseat in, and he does a carseat stress test.
He has to stays in it for 1.5 hr and gets monitored during that time.

Also, we're not on a schedule! Well, we're on Titus' schedule now for eating!πŸ˜ƒπŸ™ŒπŸΌ
His assessments are only every 8 hrs now (unless there is a big change.) He kinda eats a little on
the boob (~10min) and then drinks a 2 oz bottle. He's a champ!πŸ’ͺ🏼

Sunday- Mar 5, 2017 Day 16 in the NICU

Praying they discharge us today!!!
The doctor examined him and with a joking voice said Titus needed to stay another week. Haha
Kinda funny but... PLEASE LET US GO! :)

We were discharged an hour or so later ♥️ 

perfect & peaceful
his love for being held started at a young age and continues to this day.
We felted so blessed and know God was holding us in Him arms every step of the way.
He provided a house to stay at.
He provided meals.
He provided Alec with some time off.
He provided a way to let Kim stay in ND until my mom got here.
He provided loving and caring NICU nurses.
He provided mother's intuition so I would go to the hospital.
He provided health & healing for Titus.
He provided encouragement from friends.

We know there is still hurt and pain in our world, but it wasn't how God intended. One day peace
and perfection will reign again when Jesus comes back. We look forward to that day!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Titus Matthew Part 1

Our smiley, determined, active little boy is ONE this week!!!-? How?? Weren’t we JUST 
washing our hands to enter the NICU or watching Titus discover his hands for the first time? 
Or encouraging him to take his first steps? We thank God every day for this sweet bundle 
of blessings.

You may think this story is about Titus, but in reality, it's much more than that. 
It's about God and the journey He brought us through. It's about His faithfulness and provision. 
In the lowest of lows, we felt Him holding us, wiping our tears & giving us strength to live 
one day at a time. πŸ’™

Between Feb 17th and March 5th, I jotted down details at any hour of the day... anything 
from what I ate to what news the hematologist had for us. There's a lot of TMI, fyi. If you're 
a guy, you might not want to read it. Just saying... you've been warned. Things were written 
in past, present & future tense. I'm torn between 1) leaving it the way it is (raw) and 2) editing 
it so it reads more smoothly. I guess you'll get to find out what I did as you continue to read. :)

Here’s part one:

The story starts on February 16th (2 weeks before his due date.) On that particular Thursday, 
I worked my normal 8 hours at the daycare in our church, and up until this point my pregnancy 
was completely healthy and normal. But on this Thursday, something was wrong. I noticed our 
VERY active baby hadn’t kicked a single time during the afternoon/evening. At first I didn’t think 
much of it, but as time went on, I became more and more nervous. That night I couldn't sleep. I 
sat on the rocker in our living room, so my crying and praying wouldn’t wake Alec. I tried to do 
those kick tests. Drink juice, sit still, rub my belly. Nothing. Titus was not moving.

Friday- February 17, 2017
I couldn't bare it any longer, I felt guilt not going into work but I knew something was wrong. 
Alec drove me to the ER & got there a little before 7am. The ladies at the desk thought I was in
the early stages of labor. I said no, and then got all choked up as I tried to tell them I hadn't felt 
any kicks the whole day/night. They led me up to labor and delivery-- I changed into a gown 
(which I thought was overkill at the time-- we’ll just find his heartbeat and be on our way, right?!.) 
they hooked me up to the contraction & heartbeat monitor... immediately we heard a heartbeat!!! 
Praise the Lord! Tearful happiness. He was alive. I was so so worried. Then I thought we would 
be out of there within the hour...

Alec was excited to go on a weekend snowboarding trip in Montana with College Life guys that 
afternoon. We were hopeful because I know he was really looking forward to it!

But no. 

They wanted to monitor Titus for a while. Which was a good idea. They did a bio physical profile 
ultrasound (measuring movement, fluid, & something else). He got 2 points out of 8, so he failed 
it. To pass, he needed to kick 3 times in a 30 mins window and he didn't kick at all. /: Also, his 
heart rate was unsettling to doctors and the nurses. Instead of having a big range of beats per 
minute, example: 130-150beats/min (good) it was only 145-147ish beats/per minute (bad). So my 
options were to 1) be induced and most likely end up with a emergency c-section because he 
probably wouldn't be able to handle the stress of labor or 2) just go straight to a c-section. I was 
only 1 cm dilated so labor would have been very very long. My OB, Jill Olson (one of the sweetest 
ladies and doctors I know!!) came in and convinced me to go ahead with a c-section. This isn't 
exactly how I was planning it. Actually, it was the opposite of my plans. I had read so many natural 
labor books and skipped over all the c-section chapters... haha, but God knows what he's doing & 
has a sense of humor. I was ok with the procedure because I just wanted Titus to be ok!! And I 
wasn’t excited to labor for a day and a half and finish it off with an emergency c-section.

A baby?! Now??
I had been texting my boss, and I gave her the go ahead to tell our church family staff and have
them start praying. About 15 min later, the nurse  said, “Your pastor is here.” Alec and I just looked 
at each other and wondered which one. lol Keith?  Paul? :) Pastor Paul prayed over us and 
encouraged us. So we decided to go with a c-section before it got to "emergency" level. Emergency
level would've been scary!!! Life threatening to Titus, I would've been sedated and woken up
(groggy) 45 minutes after his birth. Alec would not have been allowed in the room either. Around
11 AM, I was brought to the operating room they put shots in my back which STUNG, but not for
very long. Alec got to come back, and at 12:04 we heard the beautiful cry Titus Matthew. He came
out with beautiful with dark brown hair!❤ Titus Matthew means "honorable gift from Yahweh". They
commented on how pale he looked and had to transfer him to the NICU for monitoring... his
hemoglobin was at 4!! Normal is 12.

He was alert and active which baffled the docs. He's a fighter for sure. πŸ’™ As I recovered, he was
in the NICU. I got to be rolled in the see him after about an hour. Then I threw up from the meds
I was on... definitely did not feel great on my freshly cut open abdomen. πŸ˜… πŸ˜”

We got news that he needed nitrous oxide... and Fargo had it, so they spent until 7pm getting him
ready to transfer him via helicopter. One of the sweet flight nurses (Joan from Fargo) was a lactation
consultant and gave me a tutorial & helped me start hand expressing and pumping. πŸ™πŸΌ  I'm thankful
my OB doctor (Jill Olson) was able to stop by on her 5 and 10 min breaks to check up on me, explain
things, reassure me, hug me and be there. (She had administrative commitments that week and
wasn't obligated to check up on me or be there.) I'm so so grateful I went into the hospital AND that
we decided to just go straight to the c-section ❤ Praise God for that wisdom!

Rhogam vials. They are fake antibodies given to mothers with O negative blood (that's me!!) so that
their body doesn’t make antibodies against baby’s blood. It wouldn’t affect Titus, but would affect
future pregnancies. I needed 6 total because my and his blood was mixing- a lot. Praise the Lord they
can administer through my IV. I don't know if I could've handle 6 of those butt shots (it's routine
to get one at 28 weeks gestation)! And they hurt like heck.

I'm trying to pump every 2 hours. It's work, and I've only done it twice and have maybe gotten
1 ml total. He's worth it though! Alec and I stayed in a recovery room that night. They gave us a
cupcake and sparkling cider, but we weren't really in the mood to celebrate since Titus was in a
different hospital an hour away. :(

I got to FaceTime my mom in the middle of the night. She's in Germany along with the rest
of my family. ❤ Now it's early (3am early) Saturday morning.
Alec's parents are flying into Fargo around noon. Leslie came over with some Mother's Milk Tea.
Steph, Susanna & Haleigh came by to chat, and it was so nice to distract my mind from the
"what if's" of Titus. Praying for this sweet baby! I really want to be down there with him, but I
know I need to rest. Praying for Alec too. He's been so helpful, and I can just tell he's exhausted.
Please give him rest. And he was suppose to go snowboarding in Montana. I know he was looking
toward to that. :\

Every time Fargo calls to give us a Titus update, we have to give them a password for confidentiality
purposes. We chose the word Ocean. :) The doctor Saturday morning and said Titus is improving
from yesterday, but he has some fluid in his abdomen. He's also gained weight because of the blood
transfusion and IV fluid.

My blood was drawn this morning to check hemoglobin. It's good.

Ate breakfast with Alec.

BEST NEWS EVER: Dr. might let me out this late afternoon!!!!!!

A friend from Hope Church has a mother living in Fargo, and is willing to let us stay at her house
as long as we'd like. Like what?! THANK YOU, LORD.

Pray that I can 1) walk, 2) pee on my own (I had a catheter) and 3) handle the pain. Need to check
those 3 boxes to leave!
Couple hours later: Walked! Peed! And I'm handling the pain-kinda!! Ha, ohhhh the will-power!
Check check CHECK!!

Give me all the drugs.

Going to Fargo this evening! (...even though I had a c-section the day before!)❤❤
It was an emotional roller coaster driving down there. Balling. He is so beautiful though, I think as
I look at pictures and videos Alec took when Titus was up in Grand Forks.

We met up with Alec's parents, Adam, Megan & her mom in Fargo. :)
We have to wash our hands thoroughly for 2 painstaking minutes at a "scrub station" before
entering the NICU. It was emotional seeing him for the first time, again. He's sedated to
reduce the stress. (His body's been through a lot.) He's on 55% oxygen. Yesterday it was 100%-
so improvements! We/adults use about 21%... he's on nitric oxide still. He's also on 2 different
blood pressure medications and fentanyl (a pain reliever drug stronger than morphine.)
They gave him calcium before we left that night. He's being monitored very closely. The nurse (Kim)
let me help take his temp, and she explained more than my tired brain was able to absorb. 😊

I get 3 meal tickets for the cafeteria per day since I'm pumping milk; which by the way hurts. 
but that is such a blessing! Alec and I have a place to stay AND food. God provides. 
The nurse said I could pump right next to him tomorrow ❤

Sunday- Feb 19, 2017 Day 2 at the NICU.
The morning pumping was better than the nights. I tried relaxing more. Nurse today was Janda.
Dr did his rounds: They are pretty sure it's not bacterial or viral so they're taking him off those
meds. πŸ™ŒπŸΌ He had low platelets so he had a platelet and fresh frozen plasma transfusion this morning.
He had a catheter in to help pee because of pressure in his abdomen. The big mystery is where (and
why) did all his blood go. Thankfully no brain bleeding. They don't test for it yet, but there are possibly
some neurological issues since his blood was acidic for so long. (From birth to getting down here...
7+ hrs).

The lactation consultant helped me figure things out a little bit more! PTL πŸ‘πŸΌ

I've pumped twice next to him (once with the consultant) and got about 1 ml each time!!! 😍
So happy. Baby steps. Every drop is precious gold. Ate lunch at the cafeteria. I was sooo hungry &
therefore kinda cranky towards Alec πŸ˜”, but food helped. Blessed with the meal tickets we get
everyday. The last thing on my mind is cooking meals.

Matt & Emilie Bahr stopped by (knew them in College Life years ago, they recently had their baby in
the NICU here because he was a premie.) They understand and had a little gift for us ❤ I cried.

Got to come home and napped!! Felt really good. Showered for the first time since Wednesday(?!)
Also felt really good. Alec and I went on a walk- it was so beautiful and "warm" outside!! Like 55...
in Feb! I'll take it. Alec's parent brought over Chipotle for dinner. Pumped again and spent the
evening with Titus❤

my little milk stash (I was so proud of it!)

The nurses do his vitals every 4 hrs (at 9, 1 & 5... am/pm) & part of that includes
taking his temp, changing his diaper & swabbing his mouth with my milk. I got to do those!!
So happy. His body's dependence on O2 and NO are slowly being weaned. You are strong baby!
We love you! We left that night peaceful. Carisa was his nurse that night and she is so sweet!
Explained all the numbers and machines around him. In all honesty, all the nurses are sweet. NICU
nurses are some of the best people on the planet. As much as I hated leaving Titus, I knew he was
in the best hands possible. And it wasn't just this night that I hated leaving him... it was every night.

Monday, December 15, 2014

coffee + sunsets... aka the only thing on my camera roll worth posting (besides cute pics of the littles)

I take waaaay too many pictures of sunsets here, so I started up a hashtag on instagram: #tonightssunsetinaz
I'm not loyal to just one coffee shop. :)
 kids corner at an adorable coffee shop about 10 mins away.
"A shadow proves the sun."
 Dutch Bros Coffee: this drive-thru & outdoor coffee shop is growing on me.
Actually, it's amazing
 Running weather has been everyday, basically. 
I just wish I had the motivation to do it  e v e r y d a y
 When the barista says, "The drink's on me," my day is made.
 The medium coffee drinks are 24 ounces here (well, 2 shops... not Starbucks), which blew me away because I've always known them as being 16 ounces. Also, a day made.
 Besides studying & job shadowing non-stop, I discovered Gilmore Girls and haven't stopped watching it. 
 french press + caramel gelato
stoplight moments

the panoramic pics on my iphone for the 2 and a half years.

I've been so blessed to be able to see all this in such a short amount of time, and so much has happened since the road trip/move to North Dakota. :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Coconut oil

**Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor or coconut professional. I'm just giving you some insight on how I use this magical white stuff. **

I know that more than enough people have written about it (this one is really good at explaining health benefits!), so I'll keep this post short. :)

Over this summer, I started using coconut oil more regularly, but I recently started using it 2-3 times a day for random things: 

Cooking- the most obvious one, FOOD. All I do is replace oil in a recipe with this wonderful stuff, or even just use it to sautΓ© some onions. I haven't tried baking with it- sounds a little more complicating. Its melting point is about 76* F (vs butter, 95* F), so it melts at a cooler temp!

Facial Scrub- Pictured above is a super simple mixture of coconut oil, some sugar, old coffee grounds & a pinch of salt. It leaves my face soft and smooth. Just apply to your face, leave it on for 10 or so minutes (I think I had it on for an hour one time, it doesn't really matter!), then rinse it off.

Face Wash- sounds crazy, but it works. Yes, I wash my face with coconut oil. I only do it once at night. And guess what, I've been having less breakouts, so it's a keeper. And here's the science behind it: around 50% of coconut oil is made up of the fatty acid, Lauric Acid. When Lauric Acid is broken down, it kills bacteria (which is the cause of breakouts. It also won't dry out my skin like other cleansers do. :) 

Hair- I massage it into my hair and leave it in over night in a braid. Make sure to wash it out in the morning (or leave it if you want to look like a crazy caveman at school/work/etc.) I do it about 3 times a week. To keep the oil from getting everywhere, I wrap a small fleece blanket around my pillow- works perfectly.

In the words of Weird Al,
Just Eat It- eat a spoonful every once in a while. It takes some getting use to, but it's delicious and so good for the body and supposedly give an energy boost like caffeine, but yes, it's still an oil, so don't go crazy.

I haven't gotten to the use-it-as-tooth-paste or blend-it-in-my-coffee stage yet. Picture a girl with her jar of coconut oil in the bathroom. Swishing it in her mouth, putting it on her face and brushing it through her hair, and then eating some while she's at it. Haha, I hope it never comes down to that.

If you want to learn more ways on how to use coconut oil, just google it. The "101 Ways to use Coconut Oil" article is so repetitive (use it as lotion, make it into lotion bars, use it as a massage oil, make it into homemade lotion, use it as sunscreen, use it as chapstick, use it as a facial moisturizer... you get the point?), so just read one with 10-20 uses. But it honestly boils down to just 2 uses: topical and oral...

Anyways, go buy yourself a jar and start using it!

Monday, October 20, 2014

awk+awe 10/20/14

I finally have enough quotes & events to give you yet another awkward and awesome post ;) enjoy.

^^for my mom's birthday

Awkward stuff:

When my textbook's index only goes to the I's. Noooo, I needed the other 17 letters. :(

"One time I tried to crochet and run at the same time." -my 14 year old brother

When I find the French coffee press in the sink, and one of Elias' cars is drowning inside it. so.many.questions.

If you drink some coffee right after some cherry coke, your mouth will taste like rotting dirt for a few minutes. fyi It's disgusting. 

"How old are you?" -medic
"Oh, I thought you were younger, but that's a good thing."

"Are you a minor?" -police 
"I'm 21."

Next day:
"So are you a freshman?" 

Couple of weeks later:
"It's an early graduation present." -me
"From high school?" -sale's associate

People can't really guess my age very well, but that's ok, I forgive them. ;)

If you haven't gotten into an accident yet, don't. The amount of hours on the phone with the towing company, rental place, body shop and mine/her insurance company is NOT worth it.

Working night's means, working twice on Tuesday, twice on Wednesday, twice on Thursday and twice on Friday. 

Awesome stuff:

People ask, "Why Arizona?" My response, which is 90% true, is, "Why not? I haven't lived in that state yet." The other 10% I haven't figured out yet.

The nice rental car I got to drive while my car was in the shop... and the even nicer car my parents bought me for an early graduation present! :) (the crashed car was totaled so I needed a new one)

Driving to work with a beautiful sun setting behind a mountain in my rearview mirror... And it's a different mix of colors every single night. LOVE it.

Co-worker was humming "Deck the Halls". yeaaaaaah! :D

I have never experienced such a diverse amount of versions of my name until coming here. When I said you can call me whatever you want, people at the lab took it literally, and I'm fine with that. I'm called Rose, Rosa, Rosie, Rositta, Rosalla, Rosella, and sometimes rarely Rosala. I basically just answer to anything starting with a 'ros' (except Ross).

Having enough patience to let my painted nails dry before touching or doing anything. 

Gotta have that rainbow order, always.

Phoenix's sunsets are about as great as North Dakota's. 


What's been awkward or awesome about your week?

For more A&A posts, click here.

Until next time! :)