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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Baby #4 - 22 Weeks

How Far along: 22 weeks and I just realized that it's been 4 weeks since I did a baby bump update!  Whoops :)

Baby's Size: Baby is about the size of a spaghetti squash and is approximately 11" long and weighs 1 pound.  Tooth buds are forming beneath baby's gums.

Sleep: Not bad personally, but Star's sleeping has really gone downhill so that means that mine has too.

Movement?: Lots of little kicks and I can feel them if I put my hand on my stomach too now.  Love it!

Food Cravings: Pop.  I hate that I keep drinking it, but I have been seriously craving it lately.

Things That Make Me Queasy: Been feeling pretty good lately.  If I get overly tired, I get nauseous.

Gender: Well....I had an ultrasound a few weeks ago, and we found out what we're having (well, at least what they say we're having).  We're keeping it a secret though because of what happened last time and because I just get so annoyed with the comments and assumptions about my family when I tell people what I'm having.  I can tell you that the baby is healthy and right on track for growth. :) 

Labor Signs: Nothing :)

Symptoms: Low energy and being tired.  I noticed the other night that my feet were slightly swollen at the end of the day.  Ugh.  I had a lot of problems with that with one of my other pregnancies too and since it's already starting at 5 months, it's probably going to be a problem this time too.

Mood Most Of The Time: Optimistic.  I can't say much yet, but there's some big changes coming to our family (you know, other than the baby, haha) and honestly, things have not been going like we'd planned or hoped.  Yet, it's not bothering me as much as I thought it would.  I guess my decision to fully trust God with this pregnancy extends to the other stuff in my life too right now.  :)

Looking Forward To:  Making some cute stuff for the baby.  I found the perfect fabric at Hobby Lobby and bought a yard to make a minky backed blanket for the baby. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Audrey Bunny Review and Giveaway

About the book:
From best-selling women's author Angie Smith (I Will Carry You, Mended) comes this sweet children's book about a stuffed animal named Audrey Bunny who fears her imperfections make her unworthy of a little girl's love.  She'll learn the truth soon enough, and young readers will learn that everyone is special and wonderfully made by God.

About the author: 
Angie Smith is the wife of Todd Smith (lead singer of Dove Award winning group Selah), best-selling author of MendedI Will Carry You, and What Women Fear, and one of the most popular speakers and blog writers in the country. She holds a Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology from Vanderbilt University and lives with her husband and daughters in Nashville, TN.

Twitter: @BHKidsBuzz

As soon as I received the book Audrey Bunny by Angie Smith in the mail, I opened the package and read it right there in the car.  I wasn't disappointed and, I don't know if it's just the pregnancy hormones or what, but it brought tears to my eyes.   I'd read Angie's story on her blog a few years ago about losing her baby girl Audrey just a few hours after giving birth and the stuffed bunny that came to mean so much to her family. 

I loved the parent connection in the back of the book as it allowed me to discuss the book with my kids.  They're a little too young to grasp the concept of the letter project, but it's something that would be good to do with them when they get a little older.

How would you like your own copy of Audrey Bunny?  Enter to win on the Rafflecopter widget below.  

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Let's Talk About Worry

I got this email from my best friend that had me in tears because it was something I really needed to be reminded of right now.  I asked her if I could share it here since I know that so many women struggle with this as well.  She graciously gave me the go-ahead.  I pray that this will help someone else who's also struggling with worry.

Girls, we are all a bunch of worriers. There, I said it. We worry about everything. I will even go so far as to proclaim myself President of the Society of Worriers.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Because we're responsible. Because we love our families. Because we are scared for the unknown, the future. Because, honestly, we just want to do what God wants us to do and for things to all work out.
I heard once, that worrying is telling God you don't trust Him. I think that statement is true. 

Matthew 6:25-27  “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

Matthew 6:34  “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Right there. RIGHT THERE He says it: I love you more than everything I've ever made. Don't you think I'll take care of you? Look at your kids, your husband, your family. What if they came to you and said, "I'm scared that I'll starve?" or "I'm scared that something bad will happen." What would you tell them? You would tell them that you loved them. You would laugh at the idea that you would let something bad happen to them. You would scoff at the very notion that if/when something bad did happen (which, lets face it, in life. bad things happen) that you wouldn't be right there with them. Why? Because you love them, because they are your reason for being, because you've got their 6 (that would be "back" for us non-military folks) no matter what they do or what happens.
So why do we worry? God loves us more than we love our families, our kids, our pets, more than is fathomable.
1 John 3:1 
See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
"Crucified, laid behind a stone
You lived to die, rejected and alone
Like a rose, trampled on the ground
You took the fall and thought of me
Above all"

Read more: Michael W. Smith - Above All Lyrics | MetroLyrics
It's easy to forget the magnitude of God's love for us. We're focused on the future, the now. We're beaten by life's problems, feel helpless against the swell of work, projects, kids, husbands........ We're women. We naturally try to take care of everything for everyone. We, almost instinctively, try to anticipate the needs of those around us, to make not only our own lives easier, but the lives of the people we care about better.
We need to stop forgetting! Admit it: Life is ALWAYS infinitely easier when you're seeking Him. Go ahead, admit it. When you're focused on God, everything falls into place. When you go to Him for every thought, worry. When you shamelessly lean on Him, laugh with Him, praise Him, thank Him, life is ALWAYS better.
So, here is what I have for you: Find 15 minutes a day. That's all, 15. Wake up earlier, go to bed later, sit in your car, whatever. Find that time. Take out your Bible, read and pray. You don't have to get fancy, you just have to talk to Him. Your Bible is God's letter to you, filled with answers and comfort. When you feel yourself worrying sick, stressed, take a breath. A DEEP breath and pray "God, I'm going to trust you with this and I refuse to worry about it. It's in your hands. Guide me and comfort me." Shift your focus to refusing to let that worry sink in, to take control.
I don't think we'll ever stop worrying, but, one thing we can't do: FORGET GOD'S LOVE. Never, ever forget that amazing gift. That is all that matters in life. That is the key. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide 2013

I'm in the process of putting together my holiday gift guide for 2013 and once again, I'm featuring shops from Etsy.  Right now, I'm looking for submissions so if you have an Etsy shop, read on for more info! 

I'm asking for each shop to have something to give my readers.  It could be a discount code for all my readers to use, or a gift certificate, or free product (shipping and handling must be included) to give to one lucky reader.  For those who are giving a gift certificate or free product, I'll be hosting a rafflecopter giveaway which will require entrants to like Facebook pages, follow Twitter and Pinterest accounts, and interact with Etsy shops.  It's a great way to get your shop "out there."

The categories I will be featuring this year are Girls, Boys, and Sibling Sets.  They will all be posted in early November and the posts will be promoted on my Facebook pages (my blog page, my boutique page, and my pattern shop page), Twitter account, and my Pinterest.

If you have an Etsy shop and would like to be included, email me at annaliesbabyboutique@yahoo.com to submit your shop.  Copy and paste the form below with your info into your email:

Email Address:
Shop Name:
Etsy URL:
Facebook Page:
Category you'd prefer to be featured in (Girls, Boys, Sibling Sets):
Gift (Discount code, gift certificate, free product):

Monday, October 14, 2013

Random Monday-October 14, 2013

I've been dying to try a pumpkin spice chai latte, but haven't made it to Trader Joe's to buy their mix yet.  However, I was at Target last week and picked up an International Delight Pumpkin Spice creamer.  I added a little to my regular chai that I make from the mix I buy at Sam's Club and it was to die for.  Seriously, go try it.

Star caught a bug last Monday.  By the time we were heading home from Hubby's grandpa's funeral, she had a pretty high fever.  She slept a lot this week, didn't eat much, spiked several high fevers, and cried quite a bit.  Friday was the worst.  She screamed and tried to climb up me if I put her down, but when I held her, she cried and hit me.  She was obviously very miserable, but even Tylenol didn't help.  Thankfully, she woke up on Saturday feeling much better although she was still tired and out-of-sorts all weekend.  

Little Man told my brother-in-law: "I used to have a little mommy, but now I have a biiiig mommy!"  Thanks, Buddy. 

Hubby's grandpa passed away last week and it was hard on our family.  Princess cried off and on for the first few days after we told her.  When we went to visit Hubby's grandma two days after his grandpa died, Princess behaved terribly the whole time we were there, and I think seeing her great grandpa's empty chair and actually realizing that he's not there anymore was hard for her.  We told Little Man that Great Grandpa went to heaven, but he's too young to really understand what we mean.  At the viewing and funeral, Little Man was pretty confused.  Here's a few of the things he said at the viewing:

Little Man: "Why is he sleeping?"
Me: "He's not sleeping, he died, Honey."
Little Man: "Did he walk in here and then lay down?"

"Where's Grandpa's feet?"

Little Man: "Grandma, wake him up!"
Grandma: "Honey, Great Grandpa's gone.  We can't wake him up."
Little Man: "No, he's not.  He's right here!"

"Who will close the lid?  Will Jesus close the lid?  I think God will close the lid."

"Grandpa's in Heaven! Last night, I went to heaven with Jesus too."  (He's confusing sleeping with going to heaven)

"Is that heaven?" (pointing to the coffin)

Princess asked Hubby's mom why Great Grandpa died.  Her answer was that Great Grandpa was very sick, and so God called him home because it was his time to go.  That night, Princess's bedtime prayer went like this: "Dear God, take care of Great Grandma and help her not to get sick and not to go home.  Don't tell her that it's her time."  

Have you had a family member die?  How did you explain it to your young children?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Star - 12 Months

Age: 12 months

Weight and height:  17 pounds and 29" long.  She is in the 47th percentile for height and 2nd percentile for weight.  She's become a little bit of a picky eater, but still eats pretty well overall.  She will eat a lot at one meal and then barely anything at the next, but that's pretty standard for toddlers.  For comparison, at 12 months, Princess was 17 pounds, 13 ounces and 29" long and Little Man was 20 pounds and 31 1/4" long.  I didn't think I would ever have a baby smaller than Princess, but I was wrong!  

Wearing: Size 3 diapers and 6-9 Month clothes.  However, her cousin (who is 6 months younger!) is also wearing 6-9 month clothes so I'm going to have to split that size with my sister which will mean shopping for new clothes for Star.
Star's UNO themed birthday cake

Likes:  Cruising around furniture, "reading" books, LOVES her special owl blanket, splashing in the bathtub (she discovered how much fun that is around 11 months).

Dislikes: When people don't share their food with her.  Being bothered by the big kids when she just wants to move around and explore.

The birthday girl with her cake

Eating habits: She eats 3 meals and 2 snacks a day.  I've never done morning snacks for my kids-once they got on a regular eating schedule, they dropped the mid-morning feeding on their own.  Star, however, still gets hungry between breakfast and lunch so I give her a snack to tide her over.

Sleeping habits: My alarm clock goes off at 6:45 and she's adjusted by waking up at 6:30.  Ugh.  She goes to bed between 6:30 and 7.  She dropped her third nap of the day and is down to a morning nap and an afternoon nap.  I had to make her bedtime earlier because missing that third nap of the day leaves her exhausted by 6:30.

Star LOVED her cake!
Milestones/Accomplishments: She's cruising!  She'll let go and stand by herself for a few seconds and I don't think walking is too far away.  She finally got her 7th and 8th teeth in.  She says "Mama", "Dada", "hi", and "da" for dog.  She also says "mmmmm" when she wants food or wants someone to share what they're eating.  She signs "more" and "all done." 

Miscellaneous: She's definitely a screamer.  If she doesn't like something, she lets out an ear-piercing scream that makes your brain rattle inside your head.  Thanksfully, she's been doing it a little less lately so I'm hoping that she's outgrowing it.
She knows what "no" means and will listen most of the time when I tell her no. 
She makes car noises when she drives a vehicle around the floor.  When she picks up a baby doll, she hugs it and rocks it gently while humming.

12 Months

Here's the 1 year picture lineup.  Even though I never got around to writing an 11 month post, I did take a picture and that's included.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

10 Tips for Introducing Your Child to Worship

Here are ten tips for introducing your child to worship from FlyBy Promotions. 

1. Attend a child-friendly church.
A church that invites children to attend worship, that has a children’s time during worship or a service in which children are included, will not mind the noise and commotion that comes with having young children in worship.

2. Bring your child to church on a day other than Sunday morning.
Call the church office and make an appointment with a pastor, Christian education director, or church school teacher. Go on a tour of the church facility, and locate the Sunday school rooms and bathrooms as well as the sanctuary. Let your child explore the sanctuary, see how it feels to sit in the pew, and leaf through the Bibles and hymnbooks. Look behind the pulpit, Communion table, and baptismal font, and explain the use of these.

3. Take home a worship bulletin and go through the service at home.
Show your child that there are times to sit, to stand (and in some places, to kneel), to sing, to pray, and to listen. If the Lord’s Prayer is used, write down the words and let your child practice at home. Prepare offering envelopes and let your child put money in the envelope, and explain why the offering is important.

4. Play “Let’s go to church” at home.
Practicing the worship service at home will help your child feel more comfortable with what happens in worship.

5. Read the Bible and pray at home.
Purchase an age-appropriate Bible for your child and read the stories. Let your child handle the Bible and encourage questions. You can explain that the Bible is where we learn God’s story, and how we are part of that story. If you let prayer be a part of your everyday life, not just something you do at church, your child will understand its importance.

6. Sit near an aisle or in a place where you can make an exit if needed.
If your child needs to go to the bathroom, or is feeling overly stimulated or having a disruptive day, don’t be embarrassed. Walk your child out of the sanctuary until she can work off a little energy, and then come back in. This is much easier if you don’t have to crawl across a row of other people in the pew!

7. Be prepared with a worship notebook or bag.
Many churches provide materials for children to use during worship, but if not, bring your own supplies. Colored pencils can be used to mark the parts of worship in the bulletin as you go through them one by one. Get to church a few minutes in advance and use a bookmark to mark the hymns that will be sung that day. Have some coloring pages from a Bible coloring book for your child to color, or some blank pages for doodling. This is not disrespectful, and can help your child listen more attentively. Have the words of the Lord’s Prayer printed on a page for the child to follow, if he or she is of reading age. Let your child draw a picture of the anthem or hymns being sung, or the sermon, and give this to the choir director or pastor afterwards.

8. Teach basic church etiquette.
Speak to people before and after worship, and teach your child how to shake hands and greet others. If your child is shy, don’t force it, but practice at home and let your child see you greeting others. Let the child put the hymnbook and Bible away after use, and be sure to take your bulletin with you, rather than leaving it in the pew. Meeting other people and taking care of the church facility helps a child feel that “This is my church!”

9. Get to know the pastor.
Pastors of child-friendly churches love to get to know the children of the church. Introduce your child to the pastor after worship, and participate in other church activities so that the pastor becomes a friend and not a scary adult.

10. Don’t give up!
It may take awhile for your child to become comfortable in worship, and to learn how to sit quietly. The best way for this to happen is to attend worship on a regular basis. There may be days when it doesn’t go well, but don’t let this stop you from coming the following week. Practice makes perfect!

Friday, October 4, 2013

"Rufus and Ryan Go To Church" Review and Giveaway

I was excited to receive the book Rufus and Ryan Go to Church to review.  The little boy in the story, Ryan, reminds me so much of 3 year old Little Man.  I read the book to Little Man, who was very excited that Ryan gets to do the same things at church that he does.         

Rufus and Ryan Go to Church is very well-written to appeal to young children.  I love that the book is a sturdy board book that even Star can look at on her own.  This is a book that will be coming with us to church on Sunday in our "quiet bag."  The author, Kathleen Long Bostrom, also has another book in the series titled Rufus and Ryan Say Their Prayers

You can find out more at www.idealsbooks.com and facebook.com/idealsbooks

For 10 tips on introducing your child to worship, see this blog post.

How would you like to win your own copy of Rufus and Ryan Go to Church?  Enter the Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Dear New Baby

When I was 14, I met my best friend, Lisa, at summer camp.  When camp was over and we were packing up to go home, we exchanged addresses and agreed to keep in touch.  Since then, we've seen each other a total of three times, twice when we visited the other for birthdays before her family moved across the country and then once more when she and her husband stopped for a quick visit on a cross-country trip with their little boy three years ago.  We email each other regularly and text frequently.  When one of us has a problem or just needs to vent, we know who we can go to without any judgement.  We went through our teenage years together, have both gotten married to wonderful men, and are raising three children each (although I'm about to come out ahead again in March by bringing my total to four children :)  It's hard to believe that a friendship that started at summer camp so long ago is still going strong 15 years later.  

Recently, I got an email from Lisa addressed to the new baby and it was so touching and sweet that I just had to share it with you.      
Dear New Baby-
    I feel it is my duty as one of your momma's closest friends to write you this letter and clue you in on a few things.
    For one, you're kind of winning the lottery family wise. You're going to have 2 big sisters and a big brother. You're an especially lucky baby, not everyone gets such amazing siblings.
    Your oldest sister, Princess, will probably regard you as one of her minions at first, but, she'll love you more than you'll ever know. Be patient with her, outside of your parents, she'll be one of the last to treat you your real age- you'll always be her baby sibling. You'll be able to go to her with questions and advice that you feel funny asking your parents. Princess will answer all your questions and give you the best advice. You, on the flip side, will no doubt always have a bit of hero worship for your oldest sister- she'll always seem so mature and wonderful to you (and your feelings won't be off base, she's pretty amazing!).
    Now, lets talk about your brother, Little Man. If you're a little boy, expect Little Man to cling to you like no one's business. Another boy in the herd! If you're a little girl, expect Little Man to love on you like crazy. If you are a little girl, he's going to be the man of house and that comes with great responsibility. No one will ever mess with his siblings- especially his sisters! Little Man will love you to bits regardless of if you're a brother or sister. No doubt you'll pick up funny phrases from him (ask your momma and daddy for a few of the great things he's come up with!). Little Man will also teach you all about how to jump off couches and play tag and build amazing forts. Little Man will be your rock, your protection (as if they could get through Princess) and your comic relief. Coming from experience, there is no greater love than the love of an older brother.
    On to Star. Star is going to teach you all things cute. As your nearest sibling, she'll teach you how to very easily and very quickly wrap your parents around that tiny finger of yours. She'll be the one you look to as someone that is sort of like you! You'll no doubt look to her when you're wondering about that whole walking and talking thing. She'll be your partner in crime, your all nighter talking and giggling buddy. She'll be someone you look to with a bit less hero-worship as your older siblings, but, a whole lot more mischief. Don't doubt for a second that she'll be quick to remind you that YOU'RE the baby of the family and she controls you (or so she thinks ^_~).
    You have pretty wonderful parents too, little baby. Your parents love you with a love that cannot be put into words. Never, for one moment, ever think you cannot go to them for ANYTHING. Go to them, they've lived and learned and love you regardless of everything in this world. You may feel funny sometimes, talk to them anyway. Trust me on this, you'll never regret going to them. Keep them in the loop with your life, even when you think you know it all and don't want your parents involved, keep them informed. Trust them, respect them, honor them. When they discipline you, they do it because they love you too much to let you keep behaving that way. When they give you advice that sounds crazy, give them the benefit of the doubt that they might have more of a clue than you're giving them credit for. They would die for you in a heartbeat little baby. They love you with an unconditional, everlasting love that is second only to God's love. They'll fight for you, protect you and even when you don't want them to be, they'll be in your corner
    So, that's it little guy/girl. Hurry on up and get here (but not too soon!). There is a whole family of people that cannot wait to meet you. You'll be hugged and cuddled a lot in the beginning- be patient with everyone, no doubt you'll be one of the most gorgeous and cutest babies they've ever seen. They can't help themselves from showering love and cuddles on you, they're human not robots!
    Thoughts and prayers always little one,


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Baby #4 - 18 Weeks

How Far along: 18 weeks

Baby's Size: Baby is the size of a sweet potato and is approximately 5 1/2" long and weighs 7 ounces.  Baby is busy flexing his or her legs and arms. 

Sleep:  It would be better if Star would quit waking up 1-6 times a night asking for her pacifier.  I'm feeling better than I was the last couple of weeks though.

Movement?: Feeling more little kicks every day!

Food Cravings: Right now, I want to put tomatoes in and on everything I eat.

Things That Make Me Queasy: No matter what time I eat at night, how early or late I go to bed or what I eat, I've been really nauseous at night to the point of throwing up.

Gender: No idea!  Even though Princess has accurately predicted 6 out of 6 pregnancies in my family at early stages in the pregnancy, I can't get a prediction out of her this time.  I can't even get her to tell me if she's hoping for another sister or another brother.  We have an ultrasound this Thursday, but I'm just 18 weeks so we may not be able to see what we're having yet.  We may keep it a secret this time even if we do find out thought.

Labor Signs: Small braxton-hicks contractions are starting.  They just feel like a slight tightening in my abdomen so nothing painful yet. 

Symptoms: Heartburn has been pretty bad this week and taking Tums right before I go to bed isn't going well since I'm so nauseous at night.

Mood Most Of The Time: Overly emotional about everything.  Today has been hard since Hubby's grandpa passed away this morning.  The worst part was telling Princess when she got home from school.  She took it pretty hard and has been crying quite a bit today.    

Looking Forward To: My ultrasound on October 3rd!

Miscellaneous: Sorry, no picture this week!  I spent 20 minutes trying and trying to get a halfway decent/nonblurry/not crooked picture in the mirror today and just couldn't pull it off.  Give me a week to recover and I'll try again for the 19 week update :)


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