Wednesday, April 30, 2014

No Answer Does Not Mean “No”

No Answer Does Not Mean NoI’ve mentioned before that I read a devotional every morning, and lately I’ve been reading this pregnancy devotional.  It really is fantastic, and I enjoy growing my faith through the experience of pregnancy.  This week there was a devotion that I wish I had read years ago.  I’ve read the story of Lazarus so many times, but this time I received an entirely new message.  For the purpose of the devotional I think they were targeting women who were at the end of their pregnancies and were learning patience, but my mind went directly back to my struggle with infertility and I wanted to share this with you today in case you are not hearing the desire of your heart from the Lord immediately.

“Jesus wept”
John 11:35
“There is one place in scripture where we see our strong Savior weep.  Jesus learned that Lazarus, his dear friend, had passed.  When Mary, Lazarus’s sister, said to Him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ In disappointed tears, Jesus groaned in response and was troubled.  Mary, who knew He was capable of miraculous healing, assumed it was too late.
How often are we like Mary or Lazarus wearing grave clothes though we walk in His life? Because the answer wasn’t given on our timeline we believe that the answer is no.  Christ could have healed Lazarus’s illness, but instead He raised him from the dead.  Maybe, like Lazarus, your yes came later than expected.  Perhaps you prayed for a baby and waited years before God finally allowed conception.  Or perhaps you’ve been praying for healing, a job, or a situation for so long with no response that you groan like Mary, ‘It’s too late!’  What are you filled with sadness over? What has weighed down your heart? God has not forgotten you.  You will see the glory of God”

Some times when we don’t hear what we want, when we want it, we assume the answer is 'no'.  However, if we had actually received the desires of our hearts when we wanted them, we may have limited the power and potential miracles God had in store for us.  I know in my own life when I have not received my desires, but have waited, when I do finally get an answer it always ends up being much better than I could even imagined.  If this is you this morning, just remember:  You are a precious and beloved child of God, and He has not forgotten you.
Fierro, P., & Chafin, S. (2007). 280 Days of Prayer and Inspiration: Your Pregnancy Devotional (p. 260). Avon, MA:
Adams Media.

Monday, April 28, 2014

What’s in my Hospital Bag

After much research and questioning other mamas, here is what I have packed for mama, daddy, and Little Peep when d-day arrives and we hit the road to the hospital.  I would recommend that you pack three different bags, one for each person, and have this completed by 32 weeks when you still have energy to spend packing.  Don’t wait because it will just build anxiety, and there is no point in that.Hospital Checklist for Labor and Delivery
Mama’s BagMamas Hospital Bag
Mama’s bag should be divided into two sections, or have two totally separate bags to help organize items needed for labor and items for postpartum.  There are some items that you can’t pack until the very last minute.  I placed a list on top of my bag of these items so that we remember to grab them on the way out: computer and charger, phones and chargers, camera and charger, hair dryer and straightener, and purse.  What is already packed:DSC_0143-2
  • Labor
    • several copies of your birth plan signed by mama and daddy
    • insurance documentation
    • lavender essential oil
    • labor gown
    • a birthing ball if your hospital does not provide one for you.  Mine hospital does, but I have one also for laboring at home.
    • hair ties, Good Spin Pins, and fabric headbands to keep you hair out of your face
Mama Bag
  • Post-partum
    • nursing pillow with the pillow case already washed
    • nursing products- nipple shield, natural nipple cream (or lanolin), nursing pads (just one pair), gel pads
    • nail files for baby- the quick is too close to cut baby’s nails but you don’t want them to scratch themselves so you can use a nail file.  Many hospitals discourage the mittens because it prevents the baby from learning to self-sooth, but you still don’t want them to scratch their cornea or something so a nail file will be helpful
    • dry shampoo and a hair brush….you’ve gotta learn now that getting a shower every day just might not happen
    • makeup- I just bought a second set of everything to pack (i.e. brushes, concealer, powder, etc.).  I mean I know I will use it all eventually, and now I don’t have to worry about it not getting packed and left at home.
    • thank you notes for the nurses
    • baby book- make sure you read through this before you go to the hospital to see what you could put in there.  For example, in my book for Little Peep there is a place for the hospital to put in his foot prints
    • toiletries: tooth brush, tooth paste, mouthwash, shampoo & conditioner, face wash (I make my own, recipe here), deodorant, cotton pads
    • 2-3 pairs of yoga pants or leggings
    • slippers
    • nursing bras without an underwire (the underwire can make it take longer for your milk to come in)
    • large undies, also don’t forget to buy super large feminine pads for when you get home
    • PJs with “easy access”
    • cardigan or robe if you want
    • 2-3 nursing tops
    • fuzzy socks
    • an outfit to come home in (don’t forget shoes with some wiggle room in case you have a c-section and have some swelling).  This outfit should be a maternity outfit because your belly will be around the 6 month pregnant size
Daddy’s BagDaddys Hospital BagDSC_0138-2
  • sweat pants and a t-shirt for sleeping, and nice soft socks
  • snacks
  • change of clothes for during the day (don’t forget undergarments)
  • toiletries: body wash, deodorant, tooth brush and paste
Baby’s BagBabys BagDSC_0136-2
  • pediatrician documentation and contact information
  • an outfit for when the photographer comes by at the hospital
  • 2-3 outfits for while you’re in the hospital, in newborn and 0-3 months sizes since you wont know the baby’s size.  Many people choose to bring onesies, but you might want to stick with two-piece outfits.  Especially if you have a boy, you have a circumcision wound and an umbilical cord stub to avoid, so try to make it easy on yourself and go with two piece clothing.
  • coming home outfit: one in newborn and one in 0-3 months sizes
  • a blanket for swaddling or a swaddler
  • socks
  • hat
  • mittens
  • car seat (have it already installed and in the car)
I have probably over-packed a little, but I generally do anyways and I just like to be prepared.  So I hope this list helps all of you expecting mama’s to pack your bags for the hospital, and congratulations on your pending arrival!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Little Peep Bumpdate {34 weeks}

34 weeks collageDate: 4/16/14
How far along: 34 weeks
Fruit-size comparison: Butternut squash (It's been a few weeks since Little Peep was the size of a fruit that I recognize!)
Developmental milestones: Little Peep can recognize specific songs and stories now in the womb that will be soothing devises once he is born (there was a really neat study conducted on this using Dr. Seuss books; fabulous study!).  Little Peep is also urinating about a pint a day now.  His central nervous system & lungs are maturing this week.
Maternity clothes: Yep :-)
Weight gain: 26.5 lbs
Stretch Marks: Yep, and I sure am proud of those little kisses from heaven
Sleep: I am easily tired throughout the day.  It takes a lot of cognitive effort to focus, despite sleeping like a baby at night.
Best moment of the week: Daddy got his pertussis shot to get ready for Little Peep’s arrival this week.  We also has a lovely Easter together; it was a wonderful and relaxing three day weekend filled with eating out and vegging out (my favorite kind of weekend!).  I have a feeling that was the last one of those for a long, long time.
Movement: YES!  On Easter this little boy was dancing all day long and I was just singing praises for each time he let me know he was there.  The Mr. and I were watching a movie and we felt a distinct foot poking out on my upper right abdomen.  We started touching it and he moved it (ticklish maybe?) and so we followed his foot and kept rubbing it.  It didn't look like a foot on my skin, but it certainly felt like it.  Every time the Mr. has his hand on my tummy and Little Peep kicks, his face just lights up with pure amazement.  I will never tire of that facial expression of his :-)
Cravings: Strawberries and sandwiches
Gender: A little boy!!!
Belly button in or out: Still sportin’ my “flattie”
Wedding ring: It's mostly on but since it has been heating up, in the afternoons my hands are starting to swell.  Over the weekend when we were spending a lot of time outside, the tip of my finger was turning a weird shade of purple-red so I took it off just because I was scared we'd end up with a trip to the ER to get it cut off.  It’s back on now though since I’m mostly inside during the week.
Anything making you queasy/sick: Nope
What I miss: I actually miss having the energy to cook for my husband in the evenings.  By the middle of the day I am so worn out that making anything besides a sandwich and salad for us to eat seems like climbing Mount Everest.  Since I really do enjoy cooking I will be looking forward to cooking again for our family of three :-)
What I’m looking forward to: My doctors appointment next week :-)
Labor signs: I’ve got lots of pressure in the downtown region but nothing painful
Symptoms:  Little Peep has really dropped low into my pelvis now which has made breathing so much easier, but has also added several more trips to the bathroom a day.  I’m totally okay with this because it means he is working on getting ready for his birth day.
Nursery: Done, and I can’t wait to add the final piece, Little Peep, to complete the room :-)
Emotions: I know this probably sounds really weird considering how much has changed in the past 8.5 months: our finances are different, my clothes are different, my work days are different, my thoughts are different, my house looks different, my car looks different, my trips to the bathroom are way more frequent, my nightstand holds different books, I have visited the doctor more in the past 3 months than I have in the last 6 years all together, my conversation and day dreams are different, my Google searches are different.....yet when I catch myself in the mirror I'm still shocked to see a big belly in front of me. This pregnancy still has that glistening feeling of blessedness and the entire experience feels so surreal.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Toms {not Tums}

Considering all of the heartburn talk around here lately you may be thinking that I made a typo in the title and that I really meant to type “Tums”.  But in all actuality the title is right.  I’m not one to go along with trends, especially in fashion; I like to do my own thing.  When Toms shoes became a big deal I didn’t want anything to do with them (not because of the One for One philosophy, because I think that is awesome) because they were so trendy.  However, when I saw the big Toms sale on Zulily a couple months ago, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get shoes for so cheap (I don’t care what brand it is; a deal is a deal!). I ended up purchasing my first three pairs of Toms: two classics, and a pair of the ballet flats.Toms
With every step I take in these shoes
I am eating my words! 
These shoes are unbelievably comfortable!  I especially love the ballet flats (the purple & pink polka dots from above) because they have so much cushion and padding in the bottoms.  I can teach in these shoes all day long, pregnant feet and all, and still have wonderful feeling tootsies at the end of the day.  I am so amazed by how comfortable these shoes are.  I am a high heels girl, but my three Toms have quickly become this preggo woman’s best friends!  If you have not tried a pair yet, or you’ve been stubborn and on the fence like I was, trust me friends you need to take the plunge!  You’ve got to try a pair of Toms!
Obligatory Blogger Disclaimer: I was not paid for this post; I just really like these products.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Putty in their Paws

Happy Easter!  I hope everyone had such a fantastic Easter this year with their church, family, good food and of course lots of eggs stuffed with chocolate :-)

It’s been a while since the pups have stolen the show around here, and it was high time I show you what they’ve been up to lately.  It’s never been a question, but these two have us wrapped around their paws!DSC_0076DSC_0336DSC_0133IMG_20131210_075731IMG_20131222_081332DSC_0250DSC_0333DSC_0335DSC_0596DSC_0602DSC_0147IMG_20140118_090432
It really is a dog’s life, isn’t it?
Happy Monday friends!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Little Peep Bumpdate {33 weeks}

Everyone likes to see the real stuff right? Well here are some real-life, unedited pictures from this week. 
Nooooooooooo of course I didn’t take the new stroller for a jog test drive
through the house……while playing chase with the dogs ;-)Mischievous MamaStroller funBig Belly33 week collage
Date: 4/9/14
How far along: 33 weeks
Fruit-size comparison: Durian.  Um has anyone ever had this? or even heard of it?!?!?
Developmental milestones: Little Peep’s skeleton is continuing to harden; however the plates which will form his skull will not fuse until after birth so that he can fit through the birth canal.  Little Peep is also starting to coordinate his breathing and swallowing (which I actually saw him do at our doctors appointment this week). 
Maternity clothes: Dresses are becoming the most comfortable things to wear to work since I still have yet to purchase maternity pants for work.  My belly band coupled with my zipper are just too uncomfortable at this point, because the zipper stabs me in the stomach.  Since I'm so close to being done I feel like if I've made it this far without work pants I might as well just keep going.
Weight gain: 25 lbs total
Stretch Marks: Yep, and I sure am proud of those little kisses from heaven
Sleep: Heartburn has woken me up a couple times where I have almost puked on the Mr.  Imagine being woken up by that.  Not cool!  I told him it was true love running to the bathroom with my giant belly so as not to wake him that way.  He thanks me greatly :-)  Other than my potty breaks, which are about 6 times a night now, and the occasional heartburn puke party, I'm sleeping pretty good.  I may get out of bed a lot but I fall back to sleep with ease.
Best moment of the week: We had our doctors appointment last Thursday (4/10) and Little Peep looked pretty good.  His heart rate was 143 and he was still head down.  I don't have any swelling and my blood pressures is still low.  My fundal measurement was 33.5 weeks.  We got to have a short impromptu ultrasound and saw him breathing.  That evening we had one of our prenatal consultations with our doulas and it went pretty well.  Over the weekend I had my first labor and delivery dream and it just got me so much more excited to see what my dapper little man will look like. 
Movement: This boy loves to move all around and I love it :-) The Mr. says he can feel Little Peep moving while I'm sleeping.
Cravings: Sandwiches and oreos :-)
Gender: A little boy!!!
Belly button in or out: Still sporting my "flattie"
Wedding ring: On
Anything making you queasy/sick: Nope
What I miss:  This might sound weird, but I’m missing that I had so much time between the present and my due date.  Everything is just moving so quickly.  I have enjoyed every single day and symptom of this pregnancy, and I’m sad that it’s almost over.  Of course I can’t wait to see my baby boy, but I think I’m also going to miss this beautiful stage in my life; this precious first full pregnancy is almost over and so a chapter of my life comes to a close with it.
What I’m looking forward to: Next weekend is Easter weekend so I'm looking forward to a 3-day weekend with my hubby. This will probably be the last big meal I prepare before Little Peep's arrival.
Labor signs: Braxton Hicks contractions
Symptoms:   My heart burn is real lava pouring out of me, and my potty breaks are something I do a bazillion times a day.  Now that Little Peep has dropped so much I think he is using my bladder as a drum set hehe.  As a neuroscientist I know that with the experience of pregnancy the brain changes in order to enable greater multitasking abilities.  I have noticed that within the last couple weeks I am able to juggling more things than I could before.  Thank you pregnancy for growing my corpus callosum!
Nursery: Done, and I can’t wait to add the final piece, Little Peep, to complete the room :-)  We started to put together some of the baby gear that we have received this week....and from the pictures above you can probably tell that we're testing it all out on the pups.  Thank goodness they are so tolerant lol
Emotions: I'm feeling more and more ready everyday.  With work and home and getting ready for his debut, I'm feeling more ready. I've read. I’ve prayed. I’ve chatted with other mams. I'm ready to do this (not just yet of course, but I'm not buried in anxiety or fear).  I’ve got a peace about these last few weeks.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: RedEnvelope

When RedEnvelope contacted me about wanting to send me my first Mother’s Day gift I was so honored….and to be honest quite shocked.  I never thought I would ever receive a gift for this special day; I didn’t think it was in the cards for me.  I remember the negative feelings associated with Mother’s Day in the past for me, and this year is completely different from the past few years.  Needless to say, to receive such a lovely gift was such an honor and special day for me.  Red Envelope let me select anything from their extensive and gorgeous Mother’s Day collection.  And let me just say, that this was really difficult to do because there were several things I wanted.  I ultimately selected the Pearl Message to Mom necklace and I love it.  The size and weight are perfect for every day occasions as well as for the special events; not to mention the quality is fabulous.  Every time I look in the mirror and see the necklace hanging around my neck I am reminded of the wonderful blessing I am anxiously awaiting :-)Red Envelop
When the package arrived, it got me thinking that I should probably start thinking about what I would like to do for the Mr. for Father’s Day.  To me, father’s are always over-shadowed by Mother’s Day, and they really shouldn’t because they really are just as important as mom. So I will not let the Mr. be forgotten.  Here are some of my favorite ideas for Father’s Day from RedEnvelope:Collage 1
Collage 2
Collage 3
To be very honest, I think I would like to have most of these gifts too lol 
So go check out RedEnvelope for some great gift ideas. 
What are y’all giving your hubby’s for Father’s day this year?
Obligatory Blogger Disclaimer:
While I was gifted the necklace, I was not paid for this post;
I just really like these products. 
Everything stated is of my own opinion.

Monday, April 14, 2014

DIY Mantle

With everything that has happened around here through the fall and this spring, you know with the pregnancy, family visits, cruise, and working, I have not had a chance to tell you about our new mantle.  However, the Mr. really did build this back in September!  #badblogger I wanted it to be completed by the beginning of the fall so that I could use it to decorate throughout the holidays.  Hubby did not disappoint!DIY Mantle
When we moved in I loved that we had a fireplace and a mantle.  I even loved that it was all brick.  The only drawback for me was that since the actual mantle was brick it wasn’t very deep which really limited what I could put on there.  So the Mr. set out to basically make a cap to fit over the current brick mantle that would make it deeper.
Let’s check out the before: 
It’s definitely a mantle already that I could live with.  It’s pretty and all, but is just wasn’t quite enough room.Before
See how narrow this mantle was? I couldn’t even safely fit candle sticks on there. 
Safety issue? Yes! 
Decorator’s issue? Yes!
Picky person issue? Yes!DSC_0357The first step was to purchase a wooden board that was wide enough and deep enough (1 x 6 ).  Once the board was cut to the correct width, the Mr. placed it right on top of the old brick mantle and, using a mason bit, drilled it into place.DSC_0360DSC_0375Using a compound mitre saw, which can cut on an angel, the Mr. cut a piece of crown modeling at a 45 degree angle so that it would fit together like a puzzle and go around the three sides of the mantle. DSC_0371DSC_0373Using finishing nails, he hammered the three pieces of crown molding to the top board.DSC_0395Using the left over breadboard from our kitchen island, the Mr. cut a piece that would serve as the bottom of the mantle.  He had to take special measurements to go around the support bricks at the base of the mantle because I really liked the charm that the bricks added and didn’t want them removed.
#ipromiseidonttrytomakehislifedifficultDSC_0444
Then all of the edges were sealed with white caulk, clamped, and painted.DSC_0440DSC_0486Then it was time to decorate to my hearts content!  DSC_0490- AfterDSC_0495DSC_0498DSC_0501DSC_0502
It was so nice to have the deeper mantle for the holiday season!  It was everything I imagined it would be.
A mantle is so much more useful when I can stack my junk on it ;-)
Here are pictures of our fall and Christmas mantles:
DSC_0221DSC_0223DSC_0228
DSC_0335DSC_0356DSC_0357Thank you hubby for making this mantle for me :-)
Didn’t he do such a great job?!
Happy Monday friends!
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