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Saturday, March 31, 2012

16 Weeks

How Far along: 16 weeks
Milestones: Baby is growing toenails!  His or her heart is pumping about 25 quarts of blood a day.
Baby's Size:  Baby weighs about 3 1/2 ounces and is approximately 4 1/2 inches long.  About the size of an avocado!
Sleep: Going fine except for having to get up every night to use the bathroom.
Best Moment This Week:  Finding out that someone I know has a due date exactly 1 day after mine :)  Should be interesting to see which baby is born first.
Miss Anything?: Having energy.
Movement?: Yes!  On Monday (March 26th) I felt some little kicks!
Food Cravings: Black olives.  I've been adding them to just about everything I eat :)
Things That Make Me Queasy: Not much right now.
Gender: I'm thinking it might be a girl, but I hate to say anything for sure!
Labor Signs: Hopefully not for a while yet!
Symptoms: Lots of headaches.
Inny or Outy: Inny
Mood Most Of The Time: Mood swings are starting to settle down, but I still cry easily.
Looking Forward To: The ultrasound!  The appointment for that is April 27th.

Sorry, no picture this week!  Although, most of you are probably happy about that, seeing how I'm not terribly photogenic, LOL. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

15 Weeks

How Far along: 15 weeks
Milestones: Baby is very active.  I know this for a fact because when I went in for my dr. appointment last week, the doctor had to chase the baby around for a few minutes before she could get a good heart rate count.  
Baby's Size:  Baby weighs about 2 1/2 ounces and is approximately 4 inches long.

Sleep: Going fine except for having to get up every night to use the bathroom.
Best Moment This Week:  Going to my doctor's appointment and being able to hear the baby's heartbeat.  The best part though, was the precious look on Princess's face when she heard it for the first time.  She was so excited to be hearing her baby sister or brother.
Miss Anything?: Deli meat!
Movement?: Felt something twice in the past week, but not sure if it was the baby or just my imagination.
Food Cravings: I love anything with butter in or on it.
Things That Make Me Queasy: Not much right now.
Gender: I'm thinking it might be a girl, but I hate to say anything for sure!
Labor Signs: Hopefully not for a while yet!
Symptoms: Bad headaches almost every afternoon/evening  :(
Inny or Outy: Inny
Mood Most Of The Time: Mood swings are starting to settle down, but I still cry easily.
Looking Forward To: Feeling movements soon!  That's always my favorite part of pregnancy so I'm really looking forward to that.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

And Yet, I'm Still Laughing

This has been one of those days that just screams for a blog posting.

It all started with naptime.

Due to his night shift job, Hubby was sleeping in the kids' room (with only one window looking out underneath the upstairs deck, it's the darkest room in the house), I had to do my usual musical beds routine to coordinate naptime for the two tired kidlets.  I pushed and shoved until the pack n' play was securely wedged between the shower and the changing table in the bathroom.  Having learned my lesson last time when I went to get Little Man up from his nap and found all of his clean diapers crumpled in the pack n' play and the remainder of the roll of toilet paper shredded on the floor, I removed everything within arm's reach of the pack n' play and tucked him in.

Next, I herded my whining daughter into my room to lay down on my bed.  Cleaning off my nightstand, I went over the rules with her.

"Don't get out of bed"
"Don't touch my jewelry"
"Don't touch Daddy's nightstand or Mommy's nightstand"

Each of these rules originated with previous mishaps on Princess's part that led to: a call to Poison Control to find out if Tums are dangerous in large quantities, scrubbing of the wall when little vaseline handprints were discovered, and several losses of my jewelry (always my favorite pieces, of course).

Princess settled in pretty quickly and I could hear her quietly playing with her dolls, but Little Man decided that he simply wasn't napping today and proceeded to scream at the top of his lungs.  Have I mentioned that the bathroom is right across the hall from where Hubby was sleeping?

A few minutes later, I heard the door to the kids' room creak open and Hubby sleepily stumbled out.  Great.

He laid back down 15 minutes later, but the damage was already done.

Little Man continued his caterwauling for over 1/2 hour before finally settling down.  I could hear him talking to himself, but didn't think much of it.

Then, Princess came out of my room to tell me that she had to use the bathroom.  As Little Man was "napping" in the bathroom, I trundled her upstairs to our landlady's bathroom.  It was there that I noticed something in Princess's mouth.  After determining it to be a Tums, I tore back down to my room to see how many she'd eaten.  Let me just stop here a moment to say that the bottle of Tums had been stashed up and out of sight.  The jumbo sized, just-opened bottle.  Which Princess had filled with water.  I'm still not sure where she got the water which worries me a bit.  So the Tums went in the garbage and Princess went in the doghouse with a longish lecture on the dangers of eating medicine and ruining $7 worth of Tums.

At this point I decided to check on Little Man in the bathroom and was greeted with baby powder.  All over the pack n' play.  And the worst part?  I still haven't found the bottle.

Okay, clean up the mess, hand out snacks, and send the kids out to play where they can't get in trouble.


My landlady informed me a short time later that she had just caught Princess climbing on the roof of the porch.  Because of a retaining wall area in our yard, the porch roof is easily accessed in one spot from the back yard.  Apparently, Little Man was right behind her.  Visions of broken bones, stitches, and ER visits danced in my head.  After directing the kids to head downstairs and stay inside for a while, I stayed upstairs to chat with our landlady for a few minutes.  Literally...just a few minutes.  That's all it took.  Apparently, the kiddos sneaked right back outside to play with the dog.  As I came back downstairs, I was met with a frantic Princess who gasped that Little Man was out on the gravel road that runs by our house.  I ran outside, but didn't see him anywhere so was a bit skeptical.  That is, until I walked down the road a ways and finally caught a glimpse of a little boy running down the road as fast as his little legs could take him.  If we'd been in town, he would've been several blocks away.  How he moved so fast, I will never know.  How I moved so fast to catch him, I will never know.  

During the time it took me to write this blog post, I broke up 4 fights, picked up a whole box of pins that Little Man dumped out, cleaned up a puddle of water on the floor, and caught Princess stealing my fabric to play with.

This has been one of those days that I would usually add to my "I will laugh about this in a few years" list.  But you know what, after the immediate panic and/or anger faded, I'm already laughing.  And I'm sure Hubby was laughing when he saw me running down the road after Little Man.  I am SO glad no one chose that moment to drive by...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

14 Weeks

How Far Along: 14 Weeks

As my lovely sister keeps telling me, I look pregnant! Or fat.  But I'm going with pregnant.
  Milestones: Baby is practicing facial expressions and can even suck his or her thumb!
Baby's Size:  Baby weighs about 1 1/2 ounces (doubled from last week) and measures approximately 3 1/2 inches from the top of the head to his or her bottom.  He or she is about the size of a lemon.
Sleep: Doing okay without naps although I'm still pretty tired in the afternoon.  Between the kiddos crying or making noises in their sleep and having to get up to use the bathroom every night, I can't remember the last time I actually slept through the night.  
Best Moment This Week:  Getting a carseat!  The one we used for the first two was in pretty rough shape (it was a hand-me-down from family) so I tossed it when Little Man was done with it.  At the time, I thought we were done with infant carseats :)  My sister-in-law's sister saw my carseat pins on Pinterest and emailed me with an offer to buy her carseat with two bases for only $50!  Since the carseat was never in an accident and in almost new condition, I bought it.  I love everything about it!!  God really answered prayer on that one because buying a brand new carseat with two bases would've been much more than $50.
Miss Anything?: Deli meat and having enough energy to be able to carry Little Man up a flight of stairs without feeling like I'm going to die.
Movement?: I might have felt something yesterday, but I wasn't sure. 
Food Cravings: Nothing specific and I don't have to eat as often as I did at first since the morning sickness is about gone.
Things That Make Me Queasy: The same things that make me queasy when I'm not pregnant (vomit and gross stuff like that), but I'm more sensitive to them right now.
Gender: I'm thinking it might be a girl, but I hate to say anything for sure!
Labor Signs: Hopefully not for a while yet!
Symptoms: My left hip feels like it's literally falling out of the socket half the time.  Really not comfortable!
Inny or Outy: Inny
Mood Most Of The Time: Mood swings are starting to settle down, but I still cry easily.
Looking Forward To: Feeling movements soon!  That's always my favorite part of pregnancy so I'm really looking forward to that.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Smores Bars

I absolutely love these bars!  I've made them for family and church functions and I usually come home with an empty pan.  Which actually makes me kind of sad because I could probably eat a whole pan of these myself.  In one sitting.

The original recipe I found used a 9" x 9" pan and had instructions to cut the bars into 2 1/4" x 1 1/2" squares.  To which I laughed, doubled the recipe, got out my 9" x 13" pan, and proceeded to cut the finished product into 3" x 3" squares.

You'll need:
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of margarine or butter
  • 1 package of milk chocolate chips (or use semi-sweet if that's what you have on hand)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 cups Golden Grahams cereal
  • 3 cups of miniature marshmallows
 Butter your pan.  Heat the corn syrup and margarine to boiling in a saucepan; remove from heat.  Add chocolate chips and vanilla and stir until chocolate is melted.  Fold in cereal until completely coated and then fold in the marshmallows.  Pour into your buttered pan and press with a buttered spoon or wax paper.  Let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour (or if you're impatient and hungry like me, stick the pan in the refrigerator to speed up the process).

Bars are best when eaten within a few days.  Hehe, no problem!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Courageous and the Resolution

I don't know if you've seen the movie "Courageous", but if you haven't, you're missing out.  Big time.  The film is mostly about the effect a father can have on his children, but the message can be applied to almost anyone.

If you have seen "Courageous" then you know that the fathers in the movie sign a resolution together to resolve to be better fathers and husbands.  The writers of the screenplay have written a devotional book for men called "The Resolution for Men".  As it turns out though, there's also a devotional for women called "The Resolution for Women"  Because we, as women, have some stuff we could work on too.

Our church just started two different Bible Studies for the men and the women using the two resolution books.  My husband and I signed up and have already been blessed.  This past Sunday, we studied the first resolution on the list of 13 for women.

"I do solemnly resolve to embrace my current season of life and will maximize my time in it.  I will resist the urge to hurry through or circumvent any portion of my journey, but will live with a spirit of contentment."

Isn't this something a lot of us women struggle with, especially when we're raising our families?  We're so focused on reaching the the next milestone, surviving until bedtime, hurrying to get to activities, so busy just taking care of basic needs (especially when our children are young) that we don't notice how fast the time is going.  We're not content with our current season in life and are so constantly rushing to get to the next that we don't take the time to enjoy and be present for where we are.

And speaking of contentment, how many women do you know who are truly and genuinely content with their lives?  Most of us are unhappy with something, whether it be the house we live in, the number of children we have, our financial state, our posessions, etc. 

Think about it.  Are you taking the time to enjoy your life, your husband, and your children?  Are you content with what you have?

Me, I rushed through my life when I was a teenager and young adult.  I was in such a hurry to grow up, find a husband, and start having babies, that I didn't enjoy my current state.  After I had my first child, I realized how fast time goes and how much I was missing by rushing to the next season in my life.  Working outside the home and having to put my daughter in daycare really drove that home for me and, now that I'm a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom, I make sure I take time each day to fully enjoy my children at this stage.  Sure, somedays are really hard and I find myself looking forward to bedtime.  Somedays, I get so busy taking care of my kids that I forget to sit down to read a story or give extra hugs.  But, overall, I'm very happy with my situation and am committed to enjoying it to the fullest.

Being content is a different story.  I struggle daily with this.  Our tiny two bedroom house feels like it's getting smaller by the day and I'm not sure how we're going to fit the new baby in here.  You'd think I would know by now that God is obviously trying to teach me how to be content and appreciate what He has given us.

For instance, I was very bitter about working when my daughter was young especially since it was a job I hated.  Not long after I'd given my anger over to God and learned to be content, I was basically handed a babysitting job that enabled me to stay with Princess.

Another example...I had always envisioned myself with a large family  and when Hubby said we were done after two children, I found myself struggling with that as well.  Not more than a few months after I'd come around enough to actually thank God for the two we have and stop being angry that I wasn't going to have more, I found out I was expecting baby #3.

You would think I'd be smart enough to be content with what I have been blessed with (our house may be too small, but it's a really beautiful house with a huge wraparound porch that I adore and a landlady who's become like another grandma to my kids), but I'm still working on it.  I just haven't gotten to the point where I can thank God for the house we have, especially with the new addition on the way.  But I know I need to trust that He will take care of us even if that means we'll be using what little space we have left for the baby.  This first resolution really hit home for me (no pun intended) and it's something that I am actively working on.

How about you?  Does this strike a chord with you too?  Are you ready to tackle the Resolution with me and become a better wife, mother, woman, and follower of Christ?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

13 Weeks

How Far Along: 13 Weeks
Milestones: The organs that formed during the first trimester are now developing into the mature, working organs the baby needs. 
Baby's Size:  Baby weighs about three-quarters of an ounce and measures between 2 1/2 to 3 inches from the top of the head to his or her bottom.
Sleep: Actually had a few days this week where I didn't feel like I needed a nap!
Best Moment This Week:  Taking Princess to Babies R Us for fun and watching her gush over EVERYTHING.  Except the baby boy stuff.  She skipped that and went straight for anything pink, lol. 
Miss Anything?: Having energy and eating deli meats.
Movement?: Not yet, but hoping in the next few weeks to feel something!
Food Cravings: Craving KFC, but living 45 minutes from the closest one means I'm out of luck. *sob*
Things That Make Me Queasy: Brushing my teeth or watching someone else brush theirs.  I can't even be in the room when Hubby brushes his teeth or I start gagging.
Gender: Princess is positive it's a girl and so far she has a 100% prediction accuracy (she's predicted 5 pregnancies).  Except that I don't know if she actually thinks it's a girl or just wants it to be a girl.  She's desperate for a baby sister because "I already have a brother, Mommy."  This pregnancy does remind me a lot of my pregnancy with Princess though.  My pregnancy with Little Man was completely different.
Labor Signs: Hopefully not for a while yet!
Symptoms: Acne, fatigue, heartburn, lots of trips to the bathroom.  Yesterday I went shopping and had to check out the bathroom in each store we went to. 
Inny or Outy: Inny
Mood Most Of The Time: Mood swings are starting to settle down, but I still cry easily.
Looking Forward To: What the second trimester brings: no morning sickness, energy, feeling movements, ultrasound!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Homeschooler Who Happens to Go to School

I was homeschooled up through 10th grade.  My four siblings were homeschooled for most of their school "careers," and all of my nieces and nephews on my side of the family will be homeschooled.  I'm a big believer in the benefits of homeschooling for both the individual child and the family as a whole.  I'm an outspoken advocate of homeschooling and have been blessed with several opportunities to encourage others to take a leap of faith and begin homeschooling their own children.  I drool over homeschooling curriculum and teaching aids.  I think of my kids, although still young, as homeschoolers.     

Princess playing with "snow" aka shaving cream

 And they'll be attending public school, with Princess starting 4/5 preschool this fall.

Little Man and his cousin discovering a bug.

 Hubby and I never got around to discussing where our children would spend their school years before we got married.  Who thinks that far ahead when you're in love, right?  Well, after we got married and Princess started inching closer to preschool age, I found out that Hubby already had a strong opinion concerning public school vs. homeschooling.  And, although, I don't agree with his decision, I will honor and respect it because God has commanded me to obey my husband.  If God wants my children somewhere other than public school, He will make it happen, not me.

Hubby did agree to let me homeschool Princess for her first year of preschool.  I can't begin to tell you how rewarding it has been this past year to be the one to watch her learn and grow so much.  I embraced a Montessori-type approach to learning.  I strongly believe that young children learn best when they're allowed to play and learn through experiences rather than sitting at a table doing worksheets.  They also need to learn much more than just the alphabet and numbers.  Life skills, how to relate to others of all ages, having a loving and caring spirit, learning how to live for God, these are just as important.

Little Man loves reading.

My solution to sending my children to public school will be to treat them like homeschoolers.  I think 1st grader, Smootch, at the Indietutes blog said it best when she told someone that "I'm a homeschooler who happens to go to school." I will continue to make every experience a learning experience and stay as involved in their studies as I can.  I want to know what my children are learning every step of the way.  I know I won't be the only parent who does this for their children who are enrolled in public school and I think that's great.  However, I know too many parents who hand their child over to the public school system and essentially say, "Here, do it for me."

My kids with Grandma and a few of the cousins this summer.

Before I end this post, I want to make it very clear that I am in no way judging or condemning your choices.  If you choose to send your children to public school and it works for you, then I'm happy for your family.  This is all about personal choices and individual families.  Me...I'm a homeschooler at heart and always will be.     

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Rescue Me!

Back in October of 2011, I took up the 31 Days Challenge to blog about the same subject for 31 days.  My subject was 31 Days to a Clean House using the Flylady system.  Things looked pretty good at my house for a while.  And then, the busy Christmas season was upon me and with it came so many orders from my boutique that I literally had to time to clean.  At all.  Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled to have so many orders, but it did mean that I fell so far behind in my daily and weekly routines that I didn't think I'd ever recover.  Right after Christmas, things finally got back to normal, but something was off with me.  I was really hormonal and just not feeling like myself which I attributed to "that time of the month" and stress from the holiday season.  Except it just kept getting worse.  I just couldn't bring myself to get back on track with the cleaning so I gave up.  Then, on January 11th, I took a pregnancy test just for peace of mind because I hadn't been feeling well lately, fully expecting it to be negative.  It was positive.  Then the morning sickness and fatigue kicked in.  Cleaning my house and getting back to my routines was out of the question.  Just taking care of the kids was hard enough most days.

I'm 12 weeks pregnant now and still not feeling the greatest, but it's slowly getting better.  Today, I looked around my pig sty of a house and decided it was time.  Using my own version of Flylady's Rescue Routines, I got to work.  On Monday, I'll be able to get back to my daily and weekly routines to get my house in good condition and keep it that way.

Here's an example of how the rescue routines work:
First, turn on some energetic music and light a candle (or switch out the wax in your Scentsy warmer :)
Set your timer for 15 minutes and get ready to go.
I started in the kitchen (which doubles as our entryway and coat closet, making it the messiest room in the house) and worked in there until the timer went off.  I was almost done loading the dishwasher when the timer dinged, so I finished that before resetting the timer and moving onto the living room.  I bulldozed through the toys for 15 minutes until the timer went off again.  Next, I set the timer for another 15 minutes and worked on the kids' room.
After 45 minutes of serious hard work, it was time for a break.  I set the timer for 15 minutes and sat down to relax.  When the timer went off, it was time to get back to work!
Setting the timer for 15 minutes, I worked on the master bedroom and then spent another 15 minutes in the bathroom.  Then it was time to head back to the kitchen for another 15 minutes.  Time for another 15 minute break!  Yay!

At this point, I stopped to make lunch and I plan on spending the rest of the day working on sewing.  But after doing my rescue routines, things look SO much better!

Here's the beauty of the rescue routines...no job is too overwhelming because you're just tackling 15 minutes at a time.  That's it.  You get breaks too to reenergize.  If you can just work on something for 15 minutes you'll get it done.

Here's a few tips for doing your own rescue routine:
  • Don't get distracted!  Bring a garbage bag and a box with you to each area you're working on.  Throw garbage away as you come upon it.  When you find something that goes in a different room, toss it in the box.  
  • If the timer goes off while you're in the middle of something, finish it up and then move on to the next 15 minute segment.
  • Make the most of your breaks.  Don't sit there and think about everything you have left.

Friday, March 2, 2012

12 Weeks

How Far Along: 12 Weeks
Milestones: Baby can open his or her mouth and wiggle toes and fingers.  Fingernails are starting to grow!
Baby's Size:  About 2 1/2" long and weighs about 1/2 ounce.
Sleep: Can't get enough.  I'm SO tired all the time.  With the two older kids, naps for me are few and far between.  I usually have to wake up once a night to use the bathroom.
Best Moment This Week:  Technically, the second trimester begins at 13 1/2 weeks, but a lot of people consider 12 weeks to be the end of the first trimester.  I'm so ready to be done with the first trimester that I'm going with the 12 week people!  Second trimester, here we come!
Miss Anything?: I miss having energy and I really miss not being nauseous most of the time! 
Movement?: Not yet, but hoping in the next few weeks to feel something!
Food Cravings: I'm craving a lot of meat and vegetables, but unfortunately, I'm mostly craving the meat and vegetables my mother-in-law makes when we're eating dinner or supper at the in-law's house which makes it hard to feed the cravings, lol. 
Things That Make Me Queasy: Afternoons and evenings.  Mornings are okay as long as I eat breakfast and don't move around too much.  Afternoons and evenings are awful.
Gender: Princess is positive it's a girl and so far she has a 100% prediction accuracy (she's predicted 5 pregnancies).  However, I don't know if she actually thinks it's a girl or just wants it to be a girl.  She's desperate for a baby sister because "I already have a brother, Mommy."
Labor Signs: Hopefully not for a while yet!
Symptoms: Acne, fatigue, heartburn, lots of trips to the bathroom.
Inny or Outy: Inny
Mood Most Of The Time: Pretty hormonal.  I sat down to cut fabric the other day and started crying all of a sudden for absolutely no reason.
Looking Forward To: What the second trimester brings: no morning sickness, feeling movements, ultrasound!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Blogs I Love

I have a list of about 20 blogs in my rss feed right now.  While I would love to introduce all of them to you right now, that might turn this into the longest blog post ever.  Let's start with a few of my favorites, shall we?

Another Day Stronger

Kellie, the author of the blog, and her husband lost their 4 month old baby daughter, Maddie, to SIDS last February.  Kellie's currently expecting a little boy named Jackson in May.  She's working to bring awareness to SIDS prevention.  

In This Wonderful Life
Megan and her husband lost their baby boy, Cohen to a congenital heart defect just 12 days after his birth.  6 months ago, they were blessed with twins, Sloane and Knox.  In memory of Cohen, Megan and Brent have started a project called "Ipods for Cohen." 

Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures
This blog cracks me up.  Seriously.  Amber pinpoints the funniest stuff about parenthood with her self-described "crappy pictures."  I can always relate to her posts.  If you really want to get the full effect and laugh until your stomach hurts (which when you've had a few kids, doesn't take much), make sure you read the comments other readers post as well.

Mrs. Priss
Morgan blogs about parenting her 3 year old daughter, Maddie, and 1 year old son, Jack, diy crafts, giveaways, etc.  This is another blog that often leaves me in tears from laughing so hard.

"EB"ing a Mommy
This is another tear-jerker.  When I first found this blog, I spent several days reading the whole thing from the beginning.  Courtney's son, Tripp, was born with Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa.  On January 14, 2012, at the age of 2 years and 8 months old, he passed away.  I haven't made it through even one post of Courtney's blog without tearing up or bawling.  During his short time here on earth, Tripp's life blessed many, many people.    


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