Our Home: Piper

Our Home: Piper

About Me

My photo
Coeur d Alene, ID, United States
I'm Astra, I married my best friend on July 28th 2012 and August 4th moved into a 23 ft travel trailer. I am currently traveling around the country with my husband as he works on the power lines. I am learning a lot about life on the road, traveling from RV Park to RV Park in a 5th wheel. I am extremely happy in life right now and am just enjoying every minute of it! I graduated from Lewis & Clark State college with my BS in Managerial Accounting. I have put my career on hold but it is all worth it to be with my husband. LIFE IS GOOD!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Ready for a Slow Down & New Opportunities

Man life has been so crazy lately, isn't it always?! We're well into our 8th week of training with our coach and things are going great! We are really building up a great base and I'm starting to see how much stronger I'm getting.  I am absolutely loving this active lifestyle- something Brandon and I had been chasing after for a very long time.  I go to the gym or workout every day, even if its just to get a nice stretching session in, but I wouldn't think twice about not going.  Its so nice to have the kids club there.  Bashlyn and Coleman love the lady that runs the kids club and she loves them.  Every time we leave Bashlyn says "bye Noelle, see you tomorrow, lub you!" It is beyond cute and so comforting to me knowing I can go and get 2 hours of uninterrupted time and my kids are happy while I'm away! I'm not going to lie I've gone to the gym just to shower in peace a time or two :)

Brandon has been working insane hours lately, upwards of 70-80 and a lot of working through the night.  Its been draining with the different schedules and manning the house on my own.  Thankfully he has the next 6 days off!! I am so excited to have some time with daddy home and him be caught up on sleep so he's not a zombie.  We miss daddy when he works so much and really cherish the time we have him home.

I'm loving watching my body change.  Seeing the fat disappear and the muscle definition start to pop is really exciting and motivating.  I've been searching for a program that could help me learn about macros and gain the muscle definition but hadn't found anything.  I looked into a couple different programs but I didn't want to do meal replacement shakes, I wanted whole, real food and something that would be easy to follow.  Thats when I found Trainer Lindseys 15 day ideal fit program on Facebook (Thanks to my friend Darby for telling me about it!!) I decided to give it a try and it is exactly what I had been searching for! You get 15 days of workouts and meal plans for free! Everything is planned for you, everything is weighed down to the gram or ounce so there is NOTHING to think about.  Just sit back, follow the plan and you will see results! I've done this program 3 times now and I lost 22 pounds since January 25th! I could not be happier.  I am so excited to say that Ideal Fit has offered me an athlete sponsorship and I could not be happier to accept.  I am ecstatic about this program.  I believe in the meal plans and the protein is the best on the market for women, not to mention affordable (bonus!).  80 calories, 20g of protein, no sugar, no carbs!! It will help you build lean muscle and I know this because it IS working for me! Its not a program where you will feel hungry all the time, in fact you'll find yourself going "Its time for me to eat AGAIN?!"  I promise I will not be that annoying sales friend, I am just so excited to introduce this product and FREE program to my friends because it has worked for me! I have created a group on Facebook and if you'd like to join just let me know :)

Lindsey Mathews, the trainer that changed everything for me! 

Such an amazing product line! 

January 25th to March 9th!

If you would like to check out the products and company go to idealfit.com and take a look around.  If you order through my link they can track it to me :) I never want my friends to feel like I am making money off of them, I'm not.  I am getting a product that I would already be buying anyway, I've ordered 3 times since starting the challenge in January! :)

I feel so happy at this point in my life.  I feel like I've really found my true calling.  Working out and helping my friends find their best, healthiest self is truly fulfilling to me.  I can't wait to see where this new chapter of life will take me.  I am learning a lot and I am more than happy to share anything I've learned with you all, I do not know all the answers but I am excited to find a solution together.   Thank you all for standing behind me and motivating me to go after my dreams no matter how big or scary they seem.  I am so humbled to have all your support, thank you!

Saturday, February 6, 2016


Hello, can you hear me...
I'm in California dreaming about who we used to be...

Ok Ok enough of the Adele jokes, but seriously...HELLO! I've been meaning to write for awhile and every time I sit down to do it something else pops up or I'm just so tired all I want to do is veg out! So we've been back in SoCal for 3 months now and we are loving life.  Brandon is settled in at work, loving his crew and the work.  He is doing transmission with distribution underbuld and really liking it.  100+ foot poles and he drives a 100 ft bucket truck on these crazy interstates down here every day! I'm settled in with being a mom to two kids, doing my weekly grocery shopping, cooking dinner, nursing around the clock, laundry, cleaning, oh and working out! We struggled a little bit to find the right fit of a gym for Bashlyn but we found a great kids care now and they love her and she loves going, which is good since we're there at least an hour a day 4-5 days a week.

For christmas Brandon bought me a bunch of different Gu, sport jelly beans, bonker bars, ect for my stocking stuffer (how cute is he?!).  Well he went to this triathlon shop called Tri-Zone and they had a flyer for a free 8 week "give it a try" program they were putting on.  We had been shopping around for a coach for swimming because Brandon and I needed some serious help and then he happened upon this, it was a true sign! We signed up and went to our first Saturday meeting 6 weeks ago and have been loving it since.  Its so incredibly awesome to be surrounded by so many athletic and health conscious people all the time.  We bike and run as a group on Saturdays, swim on Mondays and bike on Wednesdays.  On Saturday there is a presentation about something, running form, stretching correctly, transitions, swimming technique, ect.  The program is put on by Coach Diego with Triathlon Training Team.  We were texting a few weeks back and I was telling him that we were doing the Ironman CDA 70.3 and he politely asks "is this going to be a self coached venture?" haha gotta admit I laughed out loud.  I responded with "well.....it was going to be...." Anyway we decided to hire him to coach Brandon and I for the big race.  We want to be able to not only survive the race but do our absolute best.  Signing up for the half ironman has changed our lives.  We are FINALLY living the healthy active lifestyle we have always wanted to be living.  Today its gorgeous out.  We went to our give it a try meeting this morning with the kids, then I went on a 1.5 hour ride followed by a  25 minute run and now Brandon is out on a 1.5 hour ride and a 25 minute run.  Its so awesome and we are absolutely in LOVE with this sport! 

With all that said Brandon and I have been talking about our future a lot lately.  We are both getting more and more antsy to settle into a routine of some kind.  We want community, we miss it so much.  What we realized though, is without even trying we have created community in Southern California and North Idaho.  We have amazing friends down here, Bash and Coleman have great friends, we have routine, we have our places we love to go to get a great bite to eat, our favorite beaches, our favorite places to run, bike, swim, we are meeting like minded people, we are developing a life.  Brandon loves the work and is damn good at it.  We are so lucky that we (obviously) have an amazing community in Idaho and we get to spend the WHOLE summer there every year!  We've talked a lot about what the next 5 years should look like.  Should we buy a house down here, should we check out Northern Cali, should we go to Hawaii, should we go somewhere else in the country, should we move home and Brandon go utility?! We know we are not really ready to settle down 100% yet.  There will come a time that we just CAN'T travel like this and we don't want to cut ourselves short.  We also don't want to pigeon hole ourselves to North Long Beach, CA and never check out anything else but at the same time what if we did.  What if we love it, what if we have friends, what if we have a lifestyle and community and it works for us, would it really be so bad to just go from SoCal to North Idaho twice a year for the duration of our tramping days? We do know that we REALLY want to go check out Hawaii so maybe we'll do a couple more rotations down here and then go to Hawaii and then go home, or maybe we'll be headed to Hawaii this fall, who knows, we sure don't! haha stay tuned to see where this crazy life takes us :) 

Thursday, November 5, 2015


Well its official, we are snowbirds! As I sat here today with all my windows open, debating if I should shut them so I could turn the air on, I saw way too many "its snowing!!" pictures and posts back home, we left in the nick of time!

Our road trip down was pretty uneventful.  We made it to Redding Monday night and was up bright and early Tuesday to finish the journey back to Long Beach.  We had to be here by 6pm and pulled in at 5:40 with 0 miles left to empty :) The kids did as well as you can expect a 2 year old and 5 week old to do.  There were many times I just had to focus on my breathing or I would have a mental breakdown, but its kind of like childbirth, you forget the pain and are willing to do it again relatively soon after.

A few weeks before we were planning to leave to SoCal I started calling around to RV parks...I called 7 and they were all full and I got on several waiting lists.  I've seen how it works down here with people on the phone  and their "waitlists" but I thought I would give it a shot anyway.  I didn't get anywhere and we didn't want to risk having nowhere to go so I called the park we stayed in the first time and she got us right in.  Its not that bad, I HAD been anticipating and looking forward to a few more amenities like a pool and play structure for the kids but what are ya going to do. Hey at least I know where the gym and grocery stores are and how to get to the beach! We are in a nicer spot than last time so it'll do for now.

We spent Tuesday night getting a lot of things set up and then we relaxed for the night.  Wednesday we went straight to Disneyland.  I was so excited to go with Bashlyn now that she has really started watching the Pixar movies.  She was still a bit overwhelmed but I'm sure after a few more times she'll love it.  She did get pretty excited when she saw Mater and McQueen driving down the streets in radiator springs!

We had such a great summer back home.  We were definitely way busier than we wanted to be but we had 4 years of chores and errands to run so it took up a lot of time.  We went on so many beautiful hikes, spa days, coffee dates, smoothie dates, and so much more.  It was incredible watching the bond grow between Bashlyn and Brandon.  My favorite though was watching the bond grow between Bashlyn and Nana.  It was just beautiful to watch and I am so thankful Bashlyn and Coleman have such a great Nana in their lives.

Its still surreal that we are in Long Beach when we were just in Idaho on Monday.  This lifestyle is wonderful but it is also hard.  Goodbyes are so hard, and the travel and breakdown and setup, its all taxing and takes a lot of time and energy.  The greatest thing about being a Journeyman Lineman is the freedom but I also think its the hardest thing.  Its hard to know if you are doing the right thing, its hard to know if you'll regret a life choice later on down the line.  For now the best thing for our family is to spend as much time as possible together, with daddy not working, and plugged in to our tiny little babies.  They are only small for such a short amount of time and we want to soak it all up.  The nice thing is, no decision is ever permanent.  What our plans are for this year may change next year or they may stay the same.  We can literally do whatever we want and its very exciting!

We'll be settling in here for the next 7 months or so.  The latest we want to be back in Idaho is the first week of June. Until then I'll be hanging out here trying to figure out life as a mom of 2 while I'm swimming, biking and running in preparation for one of the greatest days ever: Cda Ironman 70.3. I'll be sure to keep you posted on all the adventures that go along with this crazy commitment :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Coleman Joseph has arrived!

Coleman Joseph Underdown has arrived!! Here is his birth story... 7 pounds 6 ounces 20.5 inches long at 9:44pm 9/25/15

On Thursday September 24th Brandon, Bashlyn and I took the jeep up to Sandpoint.  It was a beautiful day and we knew our nice jeepin days were dwindling.  We stopped by Round Lake and  hiked that hike-over 2 miles and Bashlyn did the whole thing by herself!!
Round Lake Hike 9/24/15

Then we made our way up to Sandpoint and had lunch at Jalepenos followed by delicious hand made ice cream at Panhandle Coffee and Cone.  About 3:50 I started getting pains that I felt were frequent enough to time.  They were anywhere from 4-10 minutes apart so I told Brandon we should make our way home.  We got home about 6 and they were still coming but they were not intense enough to go to the hospital.  I told myself if they kept me from sleeping we would head in.  I timed them until 10pm and then decided to go to bed for the night.  You can imagine how discouraged I was when I woke up at 3am and 6:30 with no pains at all.  I'd been having Braxton Hicks contractions for about 3 weeks and I told Brandon "I am so over these dang braxton hicks contractions, they either need to turn into something or just stop!"  I was beyond frustrated.  They kept getting my excitement up and then I would be crushed because once again "today wasn't the day".

My mom was planning on watching Bashlyn for a few hours on Friday.  I started getting regular pains again about 10 am so I told Brandon, lets just pack everything for the hospital just in case.  I had a doctor appointment at 1:30 that day so I just wanted to make it to that and they would be able to tell me if I was progressing or if it was just braxton hicks again.  We started to drive into town (I was driving) and I started getting terrible pains.  I told Brandon I was going to have him drive so we made our first stop and he drove after that.  We made it to my moms and I told her I was leaving everything for Bashlyn "just in case they send me to the hospital after my appointment".

I had been wanting to try this new restaurant in town, Fu-Ki.  Its the type of place where they cook the food at the table and there are several other people sitting there with you.  We had enough time to go there for lunch before my appointment.  Of course everyone was asking me, when are you due, and I'd respond, any day, hopefully today! I had my contraction timer app on my phone up and was timing my contractions all through lunch.  After lunch they were 5 minutes apart and I was anxious to get to my appointment.

We got to my appointment about 1:20 and I told Brandon, "I really hope these are doing something, I really hope I'm more than a 3 like I was last week"  He goes "well what do you want her to say....a 5?" and I just said "I just want her to say anything more than a 3!"  Faith came in and I told her I thought I was having contractions but I just wasn't sure because I'd been having so many braxton hicks lately.  She checked me, giggles and she goes "oh yeah you're like a 6 with bulging waters, we're going to send you over to the hospital right now.  I just have to rearrange a couple appointments today and I will meet you over there" I just started crying and she hugged me.  I was so relieved that the pains were doing something and "TODAY WAS THE DAY!!".
All checked in and ready to go! 

We made it to the hospital and settled into our room.  By this point it was around 3pm and I was just sure I would have him in the next few hours.  Faith checked me around 5 and I was still at 6, no more progress had been made.  She said his head wasn't engaged yet and she didn't feel comfortable breaking the water because there was too much space and he could slip an arm up there or the cord could come down and then that would be an emergency c section right away.  She said we needed to wait for him to engage some more.  So we waited and I labored some more...
Goal today: Have a baby! 

I can do anything with you holding my hands

The best coach!! 
Around 7pm she checked me again, I was still at the same place...a little over a 6.  Talk about frustrating!! We talked about a couple different options- pitocin which would get my contractions closer together and stronger, or having the OB/GYN come and break the water, knowing there was still the risk of the cord getting in the way and a c-section.  We talked about this for 45 minutes and I decided to try pitocin so we could get him to engage more and I would have the pain management help of my waters still being in tact. I started pitocin around 8. The contractions were more intense but not unbearable and I was still having about 3 minutes of rest in-between them so I really felt like I wasn't making any more progress.  I was so emotionally frustrated and drained at this point.  

They checked me at 9:30 and I was barely a 7....so I was on pitocin for over an hour and barely progressed a cm....I just cried! They said the OB was getting ready to go home for the night in the next few minutes so if I wanted her to break my water I had to do it now.  I said ok lets do it.  She came in and she reminded me of the risk of the cord prolapsing but said she had never had that happen and she would let me know if she felt too uncomfortable once she checked me.  I was scared but really felt like I was just stalled out (and had been for 7+ hours).  She checked me and said I was closer to an 8 and she was going to break my water.  At 9:35 I felt the pop of the water breaking and the warmth rushing all over.  I hate that feeling, hated it with Bashlyn and hated it just as much with Coleman.  Then the intensity started.  Instantly it hurt a million times worse than anything I'd experienced.  I told Brandon I couldn't do this laying down in the bed, I HAD to get up.  I remember grabbing fistfuls of his green shirt to pull myself up.  As I was trying to turn over my body took over and I just started pushing.  I heard the nurse go "its go time, that wasn't her, that was her body bringing this baby down".  I turned over and was trying to get untangled from all the cords everywhere and I had to push again.  I wasn't sure what I had just felt so I asked "what is happening" and they said "his head is out".  Brandon said he looked down and it looked like a blueberry.  Two more pushes and he was out at 9:44pm.  It took me a few seconds to realize what was happening.  I realized he wasn't attached to me anymore, and he wasn't crying.  They had cut the cord away from me and took him over to the warming area on the other side of the room.  I was asking "why isn't he crying", there were 10+ people all over there and I didn't know what was going on.  It felt like an eternity.  He finally started crying, just little cries though, not whaling like a newborn usually does.  They called dad over and cut the cord (they had cut it really long).  I was so glad Brandon was still able to have that experience.

They had to get opinions from 4 different doctors that he was ok.  When he came out the cord was wrapped around his neck VERY tightly.  They told me they think the reason he wasn't engaging and I wasn't making more progress was because he was kind of "hung up" in there on the cord, it wasn't letting him come down on his own.  Gahh so scary to think what could have been and I am just so thankful he is ok.  Finally at 9:57 I got to hold my baby boy for the first time.  Those 13 minutes were so long and scary and I know it was even more scary for Brandon.  Getting to hold him and look into his eyes for the first time was just incredible.  I couldn't believe he was here, finally, my sweet little boy I had prayed for so much! He nursed right away and we got to do skin to skin for over and hour.

Holding my son for the first time! 

We made our way down to recovery and settled in for the night.  The pediatricians want the baby to stay at the hospital for 24 hours after birth.  They would have released us Saturday at 9:45 if we wanted but that was just too late so we stayed and were released Sunday morning around 9:30.  Coleman passed all his vitals and tests while we were there.  No jaundice or anything! He had his initial dr appointment yesterday and he is only down to 7.34 which is 2% loss of his birth weight.  The drs are very happy about this!

Just a side note I find so interesting.  Bashlyn and Coleman were both born 5 days before their due dates.  Bashlyn was 6.6 19.5in and Coleman was 7.6 20.5in.  Same day gestation and exactly 1 pound and 1 inch difference.

Bashlyn is doing amazing and loves her little brother.  Its so cute to hear her say "lub you Coleman" and give him kisses.

Thank you all for your support and encouragement throughout this pregnancy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ironman Coeur d Alene 70.3

Well it's been a month since I last blogged which means we have been home for a little less than 6 weeks.  How does time go so fast?!? We've been constantly working hard at getting all our to dos  done and we are finally there.  My to do list is at 0! We've been doing the not fun stuff like waiting for grass seed to grow....it takes so long, dentist appointments, tire rotations, oil changes, home depot trips twice a day, DMV, ect.  All stuff that needed to be done but I am glad it is over.  Now we can just play play play!

Bash has been having some very difficult days.  I honestly have no idea how I did it without Brandon home every day.  I feel maxed out many times a day and have cried myself to sleep several times out of frustration.  I think part of the problem is when we were in CA we were pretty routine.  Mondays were home days, cleaning, my accounting, laundry and grocery shopping.  We went to the park and the beach a few days a week but for the most part we catered to what made her happy.  Up here we've been on the move 24/7.  When we haven't been working on the house we've been catching up with friends and family.  We haven't had much down time and we have put her in many situations where we expect her to sit quietly and she doesn't want to.  Its not fair to her nor us to do that we and we are learning what we can and cannot do.  Thankfully my mom is taking Bashlyn every Wednesday for a Nana and Bashlyn day.  Today is our second week and it is exactly what Brandon and I need so badly.  I have been checking for her two year molars for the past 6 months so I had some type of reason to her meltdowns and last night I finally saw two coming in!! Wooohooo such a relief! I hope the top two break through before Coleman arrives.

Big announcement! My friend Amanda, Brandon and I signed up for the inaugural Ironman Coeur d Alene 70.3! Its a half Ironman that will basically do one loop of the CDA Ironman Course.  So one loop of the swim for 1.2 miles, one loop of the bike for 56 miles and one loop of the run for 13.1.  I am beyond excited! We have always loved the Ironman and are hardcore fans.  We usually have someone doing it in each year so that makes it even more fun to watch but this year we didn't know anyone.  We were still up at 4 am to be down at the lake at 4:30 to watch them all start this incredible day.  I would love to do a full Ironman at some point in my life but I know I cannot commit to the 18-20 hours a week needed for training.  As soon as I heard they were bringing a half Ironman to Coeur d Alene, I knew I was doing it, no question about it! It is June 26th 2016.  Coleman is due 9/30 and I'll have to take 6 weeks for recovery.  If he comes on his due date I will have 7.5 months to train.  9 would be ideal but I feel very confidant that I will be just fine given the time I have.  We have found a trainer to help us get ready for all aspects of the race and I will start with him most likely in December.  I am so pumped to watch my mind and body transform over the next 11 months and 4 days.  I need this, I need something that is just mine.  A mommy break every day for training, to just focus on something for me.  I cannot even express to you how excited I am.  I will definitely be blogging throughout this process of training for a half ironman with two young children.  I will have great days and not so great days but it will all be worth it when I cross that finish line.

I am so thankful once again for the career Brandon worked so hard to obtain.  It is allowing us summers off work and to take up an incredibly expensive hobby with triathlons.  I never thought I would get any of the privileges I do in this life and I am very very grateful for all these blessings!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Camp Underdown is official!

We made it home to Coeur d Alene, Idaho!! We tried to leave early Wednesday morning but when it was all said and done we were not on the road until 9:30.  This was not ideal for me….Brandon had me towing that jeep and I have NEVER towed anything in my life, let alone in Southern California traffic.  I was scared to say the least, I have a hard enough time changing lanes in my car before someone else swoops in and takes the spot I was going for and now I would have two vehicles…eek! Brandon said it would be fine and he would be behind me running defense so I could just change lanes in front of him, well apparently once we got on the road he forgot that little tidbit.  So there I was all alone back there, I only had to cut off one person, who promptly blew her horn and gave me the finger.  We got Bashlyn a portable DVD player and I put it in the middle seat where she sits so she could watch it…bad move.  She kept kicking it and pushing buttons with her toes so it was turning off the movie.  It made my hour spent in the thick of traffic, taking exits and having semis right along side me that much more stressful as she is screaming because her movie won’t play.  At the next stop I moved it to one of the side seat headrests and it was smooth sailing from then on…that is until I put in “A Bugs Life”.  She had never seen this movie so I thought it would be great, something new to capture her attention, WRONG! Apparently those big mean grasshoppers are a little too scary for my babe and she screamed in fear when they came on, from then on we stuck to Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo and Frozen for the next 1,000 miles :) 

We made it to Redding, CA on Wednesday night about 9 pm.  We stayed at this cute little park for the night.  Bash was pretty wired because she fell asleep in the car around 6 and there was nothing I could do to keep her awake so that was a little tough but eventually we all got to sleep. Thank goodness for Starbucks in the morning! We drove about 11 hours from Redding to Yakima Thursday.  Northern California is absolutely gorgeous! It was so breathtaking to see real lakes again and I saw my first Semi hauling a load of logs. Its funny the things you don’t even realize you miss until you see them.  Thursday was my favorite day of the drive, beautiful and less traffic :)  We made it to Yakima around 7 and stayed at Uncle Chances house.  Anna fixed the best tacos I have ever tasted and Brandon actually got to relax and have a couple beers with the guys.  It was awesome seeing Bashlyn play with Jackson, they are both mobile and starting to talk a bit now so it was super cute! We left Yakima about 6:45 Friday and only had 3.5 hours to go before we pulled into beautiful Coeur d Alene! We pulled into the RV park around 11:30 and were finally able to breath a sigh of relief that we were (almost) home.  

The next few days were busy to say the least! Saturday Brandon did a bunch of prep work on the pad.  The grass was so tall it was up to his knees so he had to rent a bushwhacker and get everything knocked down.  Monday was the biggest day so far.  Brandon rented a backhoe and had to drive it from Hayden, about 13 miles from our place, it was pretty funny but he made great time on that thing! We were going to have the rock pit deliver our gravel for us so Brandon would just be spreading it and rolling it as they were delivering it.  We thought it would be bout $150 in delivery cost but turns out it was going to be $560!!! Big difference so I quickly got a job! We rented a dump trailer and I made runs to the pit and delivered the gravel to Brandon as he worked his magic.  I was scared to death to take the truck and trailer through the scales, it was such a teeny squeeze (I felt but as Brandon reminded me semi trucks go through there) but I did it! My mom came out and brought us lunch, she took Bashlyn to the park so she didn’t have to sit in her car seat all day.  Brandon's mom came out and brought us dinner and she became Brandon’s water girl.  She didn’t know she was going to get a job just for coming to visit, haha but she sure was a big help.  She sprayed the gravel all down as Brandon was moving it and rolling it to help with compaction.  I am so thankful for my mom and Patty, they sure made the day go that much smoother! 

We pulled Piper into her new home for the summer Tuesday morning.  We are just in love!! It turned out even better than we could have pictured.  Its so peaceful out here and the best part is I cannot see ANYONE for as far as I look out my window!!! Bashlyn is getting used to playing in the dirt a lot and actually having space to to run and play with her toys.  Its been pretty much all work and no play since we pulled in.  We have another couple of days before we are completely done with all our work.  Last night Tyson came out and hooked up our power and this morning Brad came out and hooked up our water so we have full hookups now!! Brandon is busy backfilling all the trenches that he had to dig for the water and power so a bit more work but mid next week we should have everything put back together, grass seed spread and ready to relax in Coeur d Alene!! We are going to sneak away to Car d Lane tonight (hopefully)! Its a really cool old car show in CDA, something we used to love to do when we lived here but haven’t been able to go in years.  

I will be honest with you, when we talked about “putting in hookups at our place” I had NO IDEA the amount of work it would be.  Its been almost 7 days straight of work work work but we are almost there! I am so impressed with Brandon.  I have never seen a man use so many different pieces of equipment in such a short time.  He uses them like he is just using an extension of his hands, he is simply incredible and makes my heart go pitter patter!  I am so thankful for our friends Tyson and Brad for coming out and helping us get the water and power hooked up, obviously we couldn’t have done it without you so THANK YOU!! 

It sure is going to be a beautiful Summer and one of the best ones we will ever have! I am beyond proud of Brandon for working so hard and having the foresight to see what is really important in life.  We are so exited to spend so much time together as a family over the summer, he will get to go to every doctor appointment with me and have 5-6 weeks to bond with Coleman when he arrives.  Possibly even more, we’ll see how everything goes.  Bashlyn just lights up around daddy and she’s going to him for things before me, which is funny to me.  They are so precious together and I could just watch them interact together all day long and never get bored.  

We are planning on heading back to SoCal in the fall, October/November depending when Coleman makes his grand appearance.  We definitely have to get out of here before the snow flies…hehe yes I am 28 years old and already a snowbird! 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Hello, Hello, Hello.....

Hello all! I know it has been almost 8 months since I posted last, gosh I am sorry! Let me explain a little bit...
Obviously my blog is mainly about living life with my lineman on the road, the apprenticeship highs and lows and all the adventure that comes with this lifestyle.  Once  Brandon topped out and we made it to California we were lucky we were able to get settled pretty quick.  We found an RV park and haven't moved once, Brandon took a call for a yard 5 minutes away and we were able to settle into a pretty normal routine.  I didn't really feel like I had much to tell you about because nothing was changing.  We were able to spend our time at the beach, disney, shopping, seeing local attractions, hiking and all that southern California has to offer.  We have a beautiful life and honestly I kind of felt like any post I could write would be more of a brag post than anything and I didn't want to do that, so I didn't write.

In our personal lives we were going through one of the hardest things we have thus far.  I suffered my third miscarriage in November, on vacation none the less.  After the third miscarriage I found a new doctor and the gamete of tests started.  There was one day I went in and had 16 vials of blood drawn so they could test for everything possible that was making my body reject these pregnancies.  Every pregnancy I lost at 6.2 days, although the 2nd loss I didn't find out until 8.6 days when I went in and there was no heartbeat.  I went to the doctor and she went over all my test results with me.  Everything looked perfect, except my thyroid antibodies.  They were 857 when they should have been around 60 or less.  My doctor told me this could be the main cause of the miscarriages but as soon as I got pregnant again she was going to have me start progesterone as well as blood thinning injections to be on the safe side.  The blood thinning injections were to prevent any blood clot that could get into the placenta and make the baby stop receiving blood and nutrients it needed from me, thus causing a miscarriage.  While I didn't test positive for any blood clotting disorders, they only tested for 3 and there are many different ones that would have been far to expensive to test for.  Two days later I found out I was pregnant! It was a mad rush to get all the medications I needed and get in to see the specialist about my thyroid.  I got the shots that day and started learning how to give myself shots in the stomach.  The medicine burned like hot lava, I didn't do a good job and bruised pretty bad. I had my blood drawn every 2 days to check that my HCG levels were increasing as expected.  I was able to get an appointment with the thyroid specialist and he diagnosed me with Hashimoto's disease, better known as hypothyroidism.  He said this was of no cause of my own, it can happen to women after the first year of childbirth.  He prescribed me some medication and said we would monitor my levels with blood tests every 4-6 weeks.

The next 10 weeks were hard.  I wasn't able to connect to the pregnancy because I was so scared I would lose it.  This was the 5th time I was pregnant but the first time I didn't dream about who this little person would be. Instead I was taking 6 pills a day and injecting myself with shots that burned for 20 minutes after.  My days were spent being scared every morning when I woke up and every time I went to the bathroom. I scoured every blog post, forum and app I could find to find similar stories that had a beautiful outcome.  I kept my friends up too late at night and too early in the morning with worried texts.  When I made it to 6 weeks and got the see the heartbeat that was incredible, the tiniest flicker you'd ever seen on the screen!
6 Weeks! The size of a grain of rice, technology is incredible! 
Then when I made it to 8 weeks and there was still a heartbeat, ahh sigh of relief.  By 10 weeks I was doing pretty good.  I had the hang of the shots down and was hardly bruising now.  I was even able to have Bashlyn wipe my stomach with the alcohol swab and sit with me while I gave it, she loved helping "Bebe" (baby).  Around 12 weeks we went home and Brandon was so excited to tell everyone we were pregnant.  I felt ok telling people because things were going well at this point.  What I didn't realize is I was so disconnected from the pregnancy that everyone else's happiness and reaction made me feel guilty.  They were so excited, happy and crying about the news of a new little baby and I didn't feel any of that. Its horrible to admit and looks even worse in writing.  Its so hard to explain, I now think it was a huge self defense mechanism to protect myself.  The 3 previous pregnancies I never thought I would lose them, dreamt of who they would be and each time I lost them it hit me like a wall of bricks crushing my body.  This time I was just numb, going through the motions, taking the medications I was supposed to and praying nightly they would work.

When we got back from Idaho I had another doctor appointment at 12 weeks 6 days.  This was the appointment that changed everything for me.  She was looking everything over and said everything looked perfect.  Bashlyn was crying, as she did at all my appointments and I told her, "look do you see baby brother or sister, look how cute" The ultrasound tech only heard me say brother and she goes, "so you had the gene testing done right, you know what you are having"  I said No and she responds with "Oh ok, do you want to know?" I sat up "You can tell me this early?!" She says "I can give you a 95% guess, its pretty obvious, if I had to say I would definitely say that is a little boy.  I thought you had the gene testing done so I was agreeing with the test that yeah it was a boy".  My heart jumped completely out of my chest.  I would have been thrilled to have either gender but I so badly wanted a little boy.  Now I was able to start picturing life with this little baby, who he would be, how he would look like Brandon and the many other dreams I had racing through my head.  I spent the next two weeks obsessing over my ultrasound pictures and texting Candace 100 times a day asking if she still thinks its a boy( sorry girl!)
Sweetest little face, first profile shot! 12w6d
 At 14 weeks the doctors told me to stop taking the blood thinning injections.  I was scared to death to stop.  I hated taking them but I felt a sense of security.  I felt like they were what had saved my baby at this point, I didn't want to just stop for no reason.  After a long tearful visit with the doctor we decided I would stop the shots at 14 weeks 1 day.  The next couple of weeks were scary and I prayed and prayed the doctors were right and my baby would be ok.

At 14 weeks 6 days we went to an elective ultrasound place and had a beautiful ultrasound done.  It was confirmed that our little baby was indeed a boy and absolutely perfect in every way.  This was the first time Brandon was able to be at the doctor appointment, so the first time seeing his son!

We had another anatomy scan at 18 weeks 6 days, again two techs confirmed boy and spent over an hour measuring all his limbs to make sure everything was perfect and it was :)  It was so fun getting to see him on the screen just wiggling around in there and arching his back so they couldn't get the measurements they needed.

18w6d handsome boy! 

So now here I sit, 23 weeks 2 days, a little over 16 weeks to go and I cannot wait! I am so excited to have a newborn, the sweet snuggles, tiny little diapers, nursing, the yawns, stretches and smiles.  Oh I cannot wait! This time it will be so different though.  Brandon only got 3 days off work when Bashlyn arrived.  We are making sure it is different this time.  We are going to head home to Idaho to bring our sweet baby boy into in the world in the most beautiful place.  I am so excited to have friends and family visit us at the hospital, something we never got with Bash.  I am so happy to have Brandon there for all the firsts throughout the first 5-6 weeks. I am definitely going to need it with our wild child bouncing off the walls! :)

We are going to be headed home to Idaho in just a couple weeks (or less) with such an amazing summer ahead.  Friends getting married, BBQs, fires, real camping, and being outdoors in the woods! It is going to be a wonderful time of family bonding and reconnecting with our friends again.  Brandon has worked so hard while we have been in SoCal.  We have sacrificed greatly and achieved our goals so now we get to reap the benefits of living in Idaho for the summer! We get to celebrate Bashlyns 2nd birthday and bring our sweet baby into the world, what more could anyone ask for?

Sorry this has been so long but that is what happens when I don't write for FORVER!! Until next time my friends!