Monday, January 30, 2012


I don't like to say it.
I don't like to need it.
I don't like to ask for it.
I don't like to take it.

But oh, I'm so, so, thankful for it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone while I lay in bed with stomach cramps from overdoing it this weekend.

Hubby Help.

Does your husband help a lot with the kiddos?

When I first read this question, I thought, "Yes! Now ... how am I going to expound on that?" As I thought through how life has changed since having our first, I realized that my husband has always been a help, but the level of his helpfulness has changed.

Let me explain.

After we had our first, my husband's primary role was to help me. I needed him to affirm me, to console me. He didn't exactly know what to with a newborn, but he did whatever I asked, trying to help. He changed diapers and such willingly, if I asked. When Naomi came along, he took over Cub duties whenever we went out, ate dinner, etc., and I dealt with Naomi. We sort of naturally slipped into the roles of him caring for the toddler and me caring for the baby, when need be. Again, he was great at doing anything I asked.

Then, this summer, something changed.

When I went to Vermont, I was gone for six days. My husband, while he had help some days, was now the primary caregiver to the kids. He had to take care of the kids intuitively, meaning, I wasn't there to ask for his help--he just had to figure it out. And, eventually, he had to just know what they needed. When I came home, I noticed how his helpfulness had changed. Instead of waiting for me to ask him what needed to be done, he figured it out. Instead of asking what the kids need to eat or drink, he just feeds them. Instead of hunting around trying to figure out how to pack their bags, he just does it and knows what to put in there. The other night I came home from Zumba with the kids and he had their rooms picked up and their jammies laid out on their beds and he immediately scooped them up, took them to their rooms, and took care of bedtime. This might not seem like a big deal to some, but it's a big deal to me--knowing how to care for two kids (one a boy, one a girl), with two different personalities, and sometimes vastly different needs (different cups, different foods, one potty-trained, one not, etc.), is challenging for me some days (a lot of days!). For my husband to be able to come home from the job he works so hard at all day and be able to seamlessly step right into Job #2 of being Dad ... it blows my mind sometimes! I'm very, very thankful for him.

So, to answer your question, yes, he's a huge help ... and that means more than I can really explain. :)

Have a lovely day!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Alone Time.

My big kids are in the living room playing with my parents, Lydia is sound asleep, and I have a cup of coffee and a few quick minutes to myself!

This is just a little shout-out to the mostly visitor-free hospital stay I had after Lydia was born. My sister-in-law gave me this idea by telling me how wonderful her hospital stay was--all alone. Just she and her new baby, snuggling the days away. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense--encouraging visitors to come after we were home and settled, and to leave hospital time to recover (duh) and bond with our newest little one, before the chaos of real life inevitably ensued. Genius.

So, after Lydia's arrival, I put a short note on Facebook encouraging friends to visit us once we got home, and the nurses happily stuck this sign on my door:

Of course, parents and grandparents were welcome, but even they kept a distance, respecting the rest I needed. With my other two babies, I would have thought it was lonely and sad and that I needed to have a party in my room, but this time? It was awesome. Not having to play hostess the day after I birthed a child was fabulous. Who knew?

So, we did a lot snuggling ...

I enjoyed the delicious offerings from room service (and ate ALL of this breakfast, yes, I did)...

And, by the time I left the hospital, I felt like this:

(Notice the baby strategically placed in front of my very-much-present gut.)

Seriously, it was great. Lydia was the only baby in the maternity ward the few days we were there, which means the nurses were happy to keep her at night between feedings and happy to keep her while I showered. It was amazing. We spent our days snuggling and sleeping and I look back on those few days very sweetly. It was great.

And now Lydia is fussing and Cub is trying to crawl in my lap--gotta go!

Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Birth Story, Quick Edition.

My apologies if this is slightly incoherent. I want to write this while it's still fresh on my mind, so I can answer the "natural birth" question in one big post. Lydia is snuggling with her Daddy and I'm resting in bed. Phew, what a day!

And, as with so many things, it did not go at all as I had planned.

We had decided that if everything looked okay, we would have my water broken today (Wednesday). We were hoping that things would progress on their own after that (meaning, no need for pitocin) and made plans accordingly, realizing, of course, that it's kind of rare for things to go exactly as planned. We came in Wednesday morning and had all of my vitals taken, got me ready to go, and the doctor broke my water.

And immediately saw that Lydia had had a bowel movement.

Then the priority became getting Lydia out in a timely manner, which I totally understood. They gave me two hours to labor on my own and if things did not progress well, they would start pitocin. My whole reason for doing a natural birth was to avoid pitocin, but at this point I knew that the most important thing was quick progress so Lydia would come, for fear of her swallowing the meconium. My broken water continued to make an appearance throughout my labor and the meconium was still present.

After two hours, my progress was minimal. So, they started the pitocin. They started it minimally, but, to make a long story short, they had to up the dosage over the next few hours. I was breathing through the labor (my doula was amazing) and the contractions were hard, but manageable, as long as I had breaks. Then the labor moved to my back and I stopped having breaks. The contractions would start in my stomach and then move slowly to my back ... and then stay in my back between contractions, giving me no time to rest or rebuild my pain tolerance. Ask my husband--the cow-like sounds coming from my mouth were evidence that the contractions were fast and hard. Then the nurse came in, felt my stomach, and informed me that Lydia was in a posterior position, or sunny side-up.

At that point, I lost it and started crying. My son was posterior and the marathon pushing involved with getting him out was not forgotten in my mind. I knew that I could not push like that without an epidural, as he had turned in the birth canal. I was dilated to a 7 and knew that if I was going to get an epidural, this was the time. The contractions continued to hit hard with little to no break. So I chose the epidural.

I felt badly for my doula, that she had put in so much hard work (and she totally supported my decision), but I knew that the day had not turned out the way we had expected. I knew that as soon as pitocin made an appearance, things might change, and knowing that she was also sunny side-up sealed the deal.

I was still able to feel the contractions with the epidural. The pain was numbed, but I was still really sore and very nauseous (I think throwing up during pushing may have helped her come out). It was only a matter of moments before I began to push. When her head appeared, she was sideways, turning, and I was so, so glad I had that epidural. By the time she came, she came out in the right position, and they immediately whisked her away to scope her stomach and make sure she had not swallowed the meconium. It was a long time before I was able to hold her, but when I did, I knew that, while the day had not gone at all the way I had planned, it had gone perfectly. I'm so glad that we decided to break my water today, so we were able to discover the meconium. I feel like God's hand was over the entire day.

I'm exhausted, but I'm so happy. She's here, our little Lydia.

So, our goal was reached: Healthy baby, healthy Mama.

Time for bed. :)

She's Here!

Lydia Jane.
7 pounds, 10 ounces
21 inches
We love our little lady.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

School and Work.

How is it going with homeschooling? You mentioned before that you were trying it in small steps and I wondered if you still felt the same as you did back then.

Ah, good question! Cub and I still do a bit of "school" every week, with flashcards and reading and such. But, as far as schooling is concerned, we're just going to take it a year at a time. Finding out I was pregnant with Lydia put a new spin on everything and the reality of having a three year old, a one and a half year old, and a newborn has begun to sink in a little. Don't get me wrong, I have friends who have many more children, many close together, who still homeschool and homeschool well--I'm just not sure what that would look like for me. I want to be honest with myself more than anything, while keeping an open mind. That's why we're just going to take it year-by-year. I'm not adhering to one thing or another as of yet.

Cub is in a unique spot because he's an October birthday. This means he will be the oldest in his class, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. As I've seen him grow and develop, especially in these past few months, I've begun considering having him attend a two-day a week program next fall. I haven't decided for sure. I never thought that I would consider it, but, well, as with all things related to parenting, I'm learning to never make a decision about something I've never experienced. I can see how much Cub would thrive spending a few hours a week in a classroom setting (no more than two days, though). But, we will only do it if it is a private Christian preschool. If that is out of our reach, then I will keep him home until kindergarten and re-evaluate then. And if it's a total bust, then we'll consider something else. I want to be flexible and practical when it comes to the kids' schooling and I believe the only way to do that is to take it year-by-year. I'll keep you updated.

I hope that made sense. I'm still learning all of this!

Do you have plans or desires to get back into the workforce outside the home at any point?

Good question! As of now, the answer would be "no" (but, again, only time will tell!). If possible, I would love to stay home and volunteer my time. One of my greatest encouragements as a young Mom was having older stay-at-home Moms who mentored me--I would love to have that role for "younger" Moms. If the kids are in school, I'd love to help out in their classrooms. I still want to be available to them, even if they are not home with me, while they're still young. As they get older, things might and probably will change, but we'll see when the time comes.

It will be at least five years before I have all of my kids in school (again, if we don't homeschool), so I have some time to think about it ... thankfully. Honestly, the thought of an empty house already makes me sad!

These have all been really great questions. Y'all are making me think!

Have a lovely day!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Forty Weeks.

Sleep: What's that? :)

Energy: Waning, but still there. The lack of sleep may have something to do with that. That and the fact that crawling on all fours is the most comfortable position for me right now.

Wardrobe: Down to two shirts and one pair of jeans. Hang in there, clothes!

Weight gain: Down two pounds at my last appointment, which I think is normal at this point in pregnancy. Because my ice cream consumption has remained steady. Calcium, folks, calcium.

Feelings: Okay friends, here we go ... I feel READY! I've finally hit the "done" phase. She may make her appearance any day, thank you very much! The anticipation is really exciting. I'm nervous about having a natural birth, but I'm excited, too. I'm just really ready to hold my baby girl in my arms. Let's do this, Lydia!

Oh, and we've had a middle name change. Last minute. Maybe this is why she's waited so long to come! NOW we're ready. :)

Have a lovely day!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Forty Eve.

So. How are you?

I'm doing fine, fine.

Tomorrow is my due date.


I mean, I know due dates aren't much more than educated guesses and such, but wow, I just can't believe that when I open my eyes tomorrow, I will have been pregnant for FORTY WEEKS.


This is the thing when your first baby comes early: You just assume that your others will, too. Of course, Cub was sunny side-up, which aided in his early delivery, but, you know...I still assumed Naomi would come early, too. And, when she didn't, I was miserable and induced a week early (using the fact that I was Strep B Positive as a reason ... which was an understandable one, I guess). But maybe I've accepted the fact that each pregnancy is VERY different, so I'm not so much surprised that I've made it this far with my last.

Oddly enough, despite the aching back and hips, the groaning, the lack of coordination, the incoherent sentences, the puffy face and fingers (but I still have my ankles!) ... I'm really happy to have made it to this point. I've had grumpy days, too, but they've been the exception rather than the rule.

It's actually really, really exciting.

I hope she comes tomorrow. Shoot, I hope she comes tonight! If she doesn't, we've made arrangements that I feel comfortable with--I won't feel like I've rushed her out. It's a good feeling.

And ... I guess that's it.



Have a lovely day.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pancakes with PawPaw.

Once a week, the kids and I load up and head over to their PawPaw's house for breakfast. PawPaw is my husband's maternal grandpa and he makes some pretty yummy pancakes. We have lovingly dubbed our visits as "Pancakes with PawPaw".

My grandparents lived 2,000 miles away when I was a kid and I never knew my great-grandparents, so these visits are special for me to see with my kids. Even as a stay-at-home Mom, my life is busy, and I'm glad we've carved out intentional time to come and visit. It's been so sweet to see the kids warm up to being at PawPaw's house--our visits used to be sparse, but the frequency has made them quite comfortable--not only at the house, but around their eighty year-old great grandfather, too. They immediately climb into their respective seats at the table, gobble their pancakes, and run upstairs to play with PawPaw's marbles, begging him to come along. After, of course, a quick stop inside Granny's room to say hello (she is primarily bed-ridden).

I hope the kids remember these sweet times with their PawPaw.

Have a lovely weekend, friends.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, January 19, 2012

To Boob or To Bottle, Part Deux.

My friend left a comment asking me if I noticed a difference in my two kids, with one being breastfed and the other being breastfed for only a few months before being bottle-fed. It's a great question!

Firstly, their brains. My kids have two totally different personalities. Cub is more serious, focused, and expressive--probably your typical firstborn. Naomi is free and easy, hilarious, and all kinds of fun--probably your typical second-born. Caleb spoke words and sentences early, but isn't as proficient in motor skills (he still needs help dressing himself). Naomi, on the other hand, speaks primarily in chirps and clicks (ha ha), but her motor skills are much more proficient--she can already partially dress herself and is much more agile (read: coordinated) than Cub. I can attribute those things really only to interest. Cub has no interest in dressing himself. Naomi has only begun having interest in using words. Breastfeeding may have played a part in Cub's memorization ability and such, but I know a lot of breastfed babies that are like Naomi and take a little longer. So, it's hard to tell!

The other issue to look at is health. Cub was a much sicker baby, even though he was breastfed. I remember someone making a snide remark about how her formula-fed baby was never sick, but my breastfed baby was (high-five, witchy Mama!). I attribute that more to the fact that he was early and his lungs weren't as developed as they could be. He had ear infections from an early age and they thought he would have asthma as well (which he does not). But, once he got tubes, he was fine. The kid hasn't been on antibiotics in a year. Naomi, on the other hand, was a healthy baby, despite her tummy issues early on. She was a much stronger baby, I would say. Is that thanks to the formula, or thanks to the fact that she is a girl? Eh, I don't know. I personally think being a girl and being in utero longer worked to her advantage, but who knows! How do we ever know? Asthma runs in our family, so is that why Cub had lung trouble? Could be!

As far as bonding, both of my kids are extremely affectionate and loving and snuggly, so I don't think it affected that at all. And, on a side note, I didn't baby-wear (besides running errands or every now and then around the house), either, and my kids are still super-affectionate and loving. Sometimes I think there's more to personality than we give credit. Everything isn't ALL up to us!

All that to say, I'm pretty inconclusive on feeling that breastfeeding or bottle-feeding affected my kids in a notable way--there are just too many other variables to consider. I still believe breast milk is better since our bodies make it naturally and such. But do I think that babies who are not breastfed suffer in some way? Nope. Do I think that because breast milk is healthy that formula must therefore not be healthy? No. Not in a way that my personal experience has shown me. But, between the two, I prefer breastfeeding, as I've mentioned. But, more than anything, I love my babies. And whatever works best for my babies works for me.

Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

To Boob or To Bottle?

Bottle-feeding or breastfeeding--which one is easier?

(These questions are answered in order of "urgency", if you will, ha ha!)

A quick recap for those of you new to the blog: Cub, my oldest, was breastfed until ten months (he weaned himself) and Naomi, my youngest (for now!), was breastfed for four months and I chose to wean her to formula then because of a milk allergy.

Okay. This is one of those things where I can only speak from experience and my experience is limited. This question comes from a dear reader who just had her third and she is considering the convenience of one versus the other (I believe she breastfed her other two). While I can confidently say that "Yes! Breastfeeding my first was easy!" I cannot confidently say that breastfeeding a third would be easy (I will soon find out). Also, her third is a boy, and boys are a little harder (typically) to get going. Cub ate for a total of 45 minutes for the first few months. I thought I was some kind of champion because I could claim that "Look! He took forever to eat and I had clogged milk ducts and he had reflux but I DID IT! Breastfeeding all the waaaaay!" until I realized ... he was my first. Of course I had time to dedicate to all of that. With Naomi, she was actually a much easier feeder. She nursed great from day one, a total of ten minutes per side, which was heaven. But she had tummy issues from the get-go and the decision to wean was so, so, so hard, but it made the most sense for all of us. I'll be honest--I'm not a huge fan of formula. I think it's stinky. But I'm so thankful for it. Naomi did great going to formula. With my third, I plan to breastfeed and hope it goes swimmingly all the way through, but I've learned to give myself grace if it doesn't.

So, all of that being said, I think breastfeeding is still "easier". It's easier because it's always with you and, with time, the baby typically becomes more efficient in their eating and the time gets cut way down. And, of course, there's no arguing that it really is the healthiest option. Comparing the two, I think transitioning from having two bottles attached to you to having to prep actual bottles is cumbersome, at first. But, that's comparing the two. I got used to prepping bottles for Naomi the way I got used to breastfeeding Cub. Life goes on. Ultimately, you do what you feel is best for the baby AND for you.

That being said, I will say, Reader, to do whatever will help you keep your sanity. This is just one of those things where having an opinion doesn't really help--we Moms just need to support each other. Set a goal before you wean. Try to breastfeed for a certain length of time, to prove to yourself that you've given it a fair shot (which you already have--I only suggest this because I know you want to breastfeed), and then make your choice.

It won't be a wrong one.

Good luck, friend.

Have a lovely day!

Monday, January 16, 2012

39 Weeks!

Sleep: Some nights good, some nights bad, but never all the way through the night!

Energy: Refreshingly good (probably thanks to Zumba and chasing after toddlers), but by the end of the day, I'm definitely tired. Everything takes more effort and that's tiring!

Wardrobe: I have three shirts left that I actually like to wear, and one pair of jeans. So, in a word, limited. My stomach is out there!

Weight gain: Last I checked, it was less than with the other two pregnancies, but I'm really not keeping track. Seriously, chasing two little ones must be the thing.

Feelings: Excited, a little nervous about going too far past my due date. I really want to just go into labor on my own and I have to keep thinking towards that. And eat spicy food and pineapple, ha ha.

Have a lovely day!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Space Between.

I will answer the rest of the questions in a bit, but I wanted to write out my thoughts while they were still fresh on my mind.

I've had a lot of people ask me if I'm "done" being pregnant. This is, obviously, understandable, as having two little ones and a massive preggo belly make any simple task a bit arduous and the idea of not waddling around like a walrus should be somewhat appealing. And it is. I remember with my first two pregnancies I felt "done" around 36 weeks or so. Just FINISHED. Enough already.

But that hasn't exactly been the case this time.

I feel like I'm in this sort of extraordinary spanse of time with my kids. We know that life is about to change, but it hasn't changed yet, so here we are, existing in a state of anticipation. Every day is one day closer to meeting Lydia. The kids know that a baby is coming, as much as they can understand it, and I think an extra sense about them has caused them to crave more time with me. God has blessed me with really affectionate kids--they've always loved to be snuggled and held, but I've noticed their "need" for me has increased over the past few days. I've made it a point to slow down more and really spend sweet one-on-one time with each of them, doing their favorite craft or reading their favorite book. I find that I relish them more, their expressions, their words, the sound of their voice ... I'm drinking it all in while my attention is not yet again divided.

I know that after Lydia is born, life will, in time, acclimate to its new sense of normal, and I will again, hopefully, find my head, as I am pretty sure I will lose it for a few weeks (months? eh, years?). But I guess I'm just trying to absorb as much of our current normal now as I can. I'm getting teary writing this all out and I think there's a part of me that's going to miss this, these days of waiting with my two ducklings following me all day, knowing we are on the brink of a beautiful life-change. It's scary and wonderful, all at the same time.

I'm so glad to have them with me. I'm so glad to have little hands to pat my belly.

And, who knows, maybe Lydia is happy as a clam and will wait even longer to come. Then you might see an "I'M DONE" post! But, until then, I am joyful for these moments and humbled by what is yet to come.

Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Three Little Rules.

What was/is your disciplining style with Cub and Mouse?
(Specifically referring to tantrums.)

Let me first say, every child is different. This we know.

But, just because every child is different doesn't mean that your tolerance for certain behaviors changes. There are a few general principles that I practice with both of my children, even though their personalities are different, so I will share them here.

1) Eye Contact

When I want to make a request or if I need to reprimand one of the kiddos, I get down to their level and say, "Caleb, look at my eyes." To keep it simpler for Naomi, I say, "Naomi, where are Mama's eyes?" I do this because I can't guarantee that they are listening to me if they are not looking at me. I don't believe it's fair for me to bark a command over their heads and then huff in frustration when they don't immediately respond--how do I know that maybe they didn't hear me? Here's the kicker--when the kids know they're in the wrong, they don't want to look at me. I get on their level, ask them to look in my eyes, and their little heads look down. Their eyes close. I ask again firmly and see a little sideways glance. It's hilarious, really! Once our eyes meet, then I speak. I make sure to use their real names, not their nicknames, so they know I mean business. If they disobey after we've made eye contact and they know what is requested of them, then I take it to the next step. I will leave that vague, since everyone has a different opinion of what the "next step" should be!

2) Leave The Room, Fussypants!

Kids throw tantrums. For Cub, it meant lying down on the floor with his eyes closed (think, "Occupy Living Room"). For Naomi, she'll say, "No!" and sit on her bottom. I'm a big fan of kids being able to express themselves ... but if it's in the form of a tantrum, I stick to the belief that tantrums are really only fun when there is an audience. So, I remove the audience. When a tantrum begins, they get a warning and if they do not listen, I escort them (when they're learning) to their room and tell them that they are more than welcome to be upset in their room, but they may not throw a tantrum in front of me. They must be alone. If they come out upset, they go back. Come out upset again, go back again. Once they are able to come out happy, then we're done. Naomi has thrown one tantrum that required going to her room (the other times a warning was enough) and it was a BATTLE. An hour long. It was rough, but she hasn't done it since (even though I know she will). Cub now knows to simply go to his room when he gets upset. When he's ready to talk about it, we talk. Two different personalities, but the method has worked for both.

And, when we're in public, I'm a big advocate for "going to the van" if a tantrum happens. I know that "going to the van" will mean different things depending on your method of discipline, but, again, removing the audience is applicable no matter what.

3) A Gentle Answer

I worked at a girls' home in Vermont one summer in college. There was a separate home for boys and one day at a co-ed volleyball game, one of the boys lost it. Just as violence was about to ensue, the home director was able to diffuse the situation without yelling or barking commands. We talked about it later and the director explained Proverbs 15:1, which says, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Losing your head typically encourages others to do the same. I've held this Proverb close to my heart while parenting. If I want my kids to take me seriously, I need to speak them without sounding like a raving idiot. Don't get me wrong--there are appropriate times to raise my voice (when they are in danger, etc.) and, let's face it, I've raised it when I shouldn't! But, as a rule, when I want the kids' attention, getting down on their level and speaking calmly works infinitely better than yelling. It keeps both of us calm and helps me stay on track and say only what I want to say, rather than blabbing in anger where the chances are better that I will say something I will regret. It's true--a gentle answer really will turn away wrath...for both parties involved.

I hope that some of those things are helpful for you.

Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First Questions.

Thanks for the great questions, friends! I look forward to answering them. Here is the first round!

What are your favorite dinners to cook?

Easy is key in our family! I do my grocery shopping on Monday and use that afternoon to prep as much as I can for the week. Some of our favorites include chicken fajitas, chicken fried rice, crispy chicken and spinach salad, homemade chicken noodle soup (hallelujah crock-pot!), and baked crispy chicken, rice and veggies. And, I always keep a frozen pizza handy, just in case (California Kitchens Margherita Pizza is the kids' favorite!). I love to cook, but I don't have a whole lot of time to dedicate to it with a burgeoning belly and two toddlers "helping" me! Hopefully as they grow older (sniff, sniff) I'll be able to spread my wannabe gourmet wings. Until then, I try to keep it simple: whole as much as possible, throw in a veggie, and done.

(To make my chicken "crispy", I butterfly-cut chicken breasts and slice them apart completely. Then I slice them again to make four pieces. After pounding them with a meat tenderizer, I brush them lightly with butter [mmm, butter] and dip them in a traditional bread crumb/panko bread crumb/parmesan cheese mix. I bake them for 50-55 minutes at 350.)

Do you have favorite books that you recommend for surviving (enjoying!) the toddler years?

Ah, yes. When it comes to the matter of discipline (training and teaching), I love and highly recommend Don't Make Me Count To Three by Ginger Plowman. I love this book because it focuses on training your child's heart, not just their behavior. Love it. Another book that I'm about halfway through is Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick. In the section I've read, I love how it focuses on making our children aware of their need for a Savior as early on as possible. It teaches that when kids find themselves in disobedience (hitting their sister, disobeying Mom, etc.), we as parents can encourage them to pray for God's help--after all, being kind to your sister is just plain hard sometimes. So, when they plead, "I can't do it!" we respond, "You're right! We need God's help to be kind--He can give us the strength to do it." Any kid can learn to behave, but making them aware of their need for God is imperative. And, on a final note, I've never read this book but have heard that Loving the Little Years: Mothering in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic is great, too.

Great questions! Have a lovely day!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Questions? Comments?

This is the time where I open up the floor for you to ask me a question. Any question. These posts help me understand how I am portraying myself on this blog and give me an idea of what I can improve, change, etc. You can ask me anything--how George the Cat got his name, or something about my faith, or if my hair is naturally blonde. Or, you can ask me nothing at all and we'll move on!

I do reserve the right to not answer any question if I deem it inappropriate. :)

Have a lovely day, friends.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Letter for Lydia.

Dear Lydia,

Hey, sweet girl! The time is drawing near when we shall meet and I am so very excited.

You, my dear, are inside of that big belly. That's me. I am your Mama. You've heard my voice and now you can see my face. Ta-da! We have about two weeks until your due date! We are thrilled.

We have been busy preparing for your arrival! This is the room you and your big sister, Naomi, will share. She has been busily feeding and patting and cuddling her baby dolls, practicing for her new baby ... you. :)

Your family and friends have worked hard to make this room special and I think they've done a marvelous job.

(Your take-home outfit. Squee!)

Someday, you and your big sister will share these bunk beds. I can already hear the giggles and squeals. Oh, my heart is full.

The time of your arrival is drawing ever near and we are ready, my little love. I love to feel your kicks and pushes, your small hiccups and your light punches. Your Dadda and I love to talk to you and rub my belly. You are settled comfortably on the right side of my stomach, which gives my stomach a very funny crooked look if you look closely enough. I love it. I love that you are uniquely and wonderfully you, even within my stomach. God's fearful and wonderful touch on you is already undeniable.

We love you, Itty Bitty Liddy. We can't wait to meet you soon.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Good Morning! I read this excerpt this morning and wanted to share it with you. This was a good reminder for me not only with pregnancy, but with all areas of my life.

There are times when you can't understand why you cannot do what you want to do. When God brings a time of waiting, and appears to be unresponsive, don't fill it with busyness, just wait. The time of waiting may come to teach you the meaning of sanctification--to be set apart from sin and made holy--or it may come after the process of sanctification has begun to teach you what service means. Never run before God gives you His direction. If you have the slightest doubt, then He is not guiding. Whenever there is doubt--wait...When it is a question of the providential will of God, wait for God to move.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest (Updated Edition)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


This weekend I used my Saturday to finish two Pinterest projects for our master bedroom. Let me first say that they are by no means impressive or difficult, but just the fact that I completed something that I started is somewhat noteworthy and, according to my personality, usually all but impossible. I realized that I never did a room-by-room blog post with pictures of our house, so this is me catching up.

When we moved to our new house last spring, our goal was to simplify. You can tell in the decor of our home. I tried gaudy on for size once, but it just didn't fit. I like it clean. I like it simple. A muted palette is a soothing one and with our busy lives, I'm all about creating a calm environment in my home. And an awesome chunky frame on clearance from Hobby Lobby and some spray-painted letters are right up my alley.

The "J K" stands for our initials, not "just kidding". :)

For the other half of our room, I cut some leaves out of scrapbook paper and decoupaged them onto white canvases. I didn't have a particular pattern I was going for and I'm happy with how they turned out. The glider is in our room for Lydia's impending arrival. These windows face most of our land and I love the view. This room is always bright.

Now I can rest a little easier until our lives take on a whole new dimension in a few weeks.

Have a lovely day!

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Little Big.

The other night as I was crawling into bed after my billionth potty break, I heard Naomi sneeze over the monitor. The sneezing slowly turned into a cough, which slowly turned into a whimper. I rolled out of bed and padded down the dark hallway to her room. She was standing in her crib with her arms reaching out to me and I scooped her up with her blankie and brought her back to my bed. My husband had jumped ship earlier in the night (his snoring pregnant wife was keeping him awake? what?) and was in the guest room, so it was just baby girl and I. I snuggled her next to me and she curled into a ball until our foreheads were touching.

I touched her chin with my finger and she wrapped her hand around my hand. I couldn't believe how small and chubby her fingers are. I forget. I kissed her forehead and we snuggled together, forehead-to-forehead, hand-in-hand, until she fell asleep.

I was about to carry her back to bed until I realized that this might be one of our last long snuggles for a while, after the baby comes. So I froze time and wrapped my arms around her and soaked in her baby-ness. Her little hands, her little feet, her little head, the smell of her hair. She's so little, about to be the "big" sister. My pillow was wet from a few tears, thinking about our sweet moment and the future. It's so much to take in, but I'm thankful. I never could have asked for more than that moment that night.

Love you, baby girl.

Have a lovely day.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Because I'm a goal person. And a blog is a nice way to stay accountable.

: Birth a baby

: Preferably, birth said baby unmedicated, if experience is void of complication

: Decorate empty formal dining room

: Lose most of the baby weight by summer through healthy eating and exercise (will I have time to eat? or exercise?) ... and keep it off (the real challenge for this foodie)

: Go on a trip with my hubby

: Invest time in someone outside of my family and friends

: Run a 5k

: Pray intentional prayers about parenting my children according to their specific needs--three different personalities are intimidating, but they are three lovingly crafted personalities and I need to remember it's okay to ask their Creator for help when my head is spinning (and when it's not)

: Pay it forward once a week

: Learn a new skill (any new skill ... sewing, something to bake, anything)

Ten goals. I will hang them on my bathroom wall.

If you have a resolution you'd like to share, I'd love to read it.

Have a lovely New Year.