Thursday, April 30, 2015

getting things ready

Last night we were at small group and some of the ladies there were asking me if I was ready for baby to come or not. I thought about it and shared with them that I was getting ready, but still had things to do.

Some of the things that are done:
- the crib is made up [not that he'll be sleeping in it right away]
- the rock n play, swing, and car seat liners have all been washed [and some have been put back into place]
- baby clothes have been washed and put away
- my pocket nanny [that I cannot live without] was ordered and arrived. And now is waiting, complete with batteries, to be used. The one I used with Emerson broke, I loved and used it so much.
- the closet has been organized. A little bit.
- lists have been made of all the things I need to do
- photographers for newborn photos have been looked into [I'm still so bummed that the hospital here doesn't partner with a photographer like the one in Louisville did/does] and it has been determined that they are too much money. So, I'll be creative on my own and hope for some pictures as good as Emerson's.

Things yet to do:
- pack my hospital bag
- pack the diaper bag
- pack Emerson's bag
- write a little letter/schedule for Emerson's caregivers while we're in the hospital
- finish baby's afghan
- finish a few other projects I'm working on for Emerson
- buy diapers and a few other baby things we need
- ... and the list goes on

After talking with them they decided I was not ready and that I was not nesting and that I still had a lot to do. Which of course got me thinking about all of the things I need to do and what needs to get done first, what can wait, and of all the things I need to get for baby.

I had already decided in my mind that I would have these things done by 35 1/2 weeks because Emerson came at 36 weeks and you just never know when baby is going to come along. I'm sure it won't be next week or the following, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared. I feel like this time there is more to get ready than just me, Landon, and baby - I have to get things together for Emerson in case he does have to stay with friends until family is here to be with him while we're in the hospital.

And now I feel like I've been pushed in to the full nesting mode and won't stop until baby is here. I'm hoping this weekend will be extremely productive and that I'll get most [all?] of the things on my list done, but I guess we'll have to wait and see how that actually goes come Monday.

One comforting factor for me? We didn't have a thing [well, maybe some diapers and a pacifier] for Emerson until our showers when I was 34 weeks and then the second one at 35 weeks. We got some big things at our second shower, and after we got home from that shower I got his room and things ready like that. I decided we couldn't wait any longer for the crib, and it had to be put together right away. Everything found a little home by the time we had finished and showed our family and friends a few days later. We finished most of the things [not the finding a pediatrician, pre-registering, and things like that] on Saturday [or Sunday?] morning, and he came that Monday morning. So I figure, at least I have some of these things done and the rest will get done just in time. Right? :)

And that's where my mind has been a lot of today.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

something new. a little potty.

A few weeks ago I talked about potty training and mentioned that we hadn't not done much with it. As it turned out we started potty training the very next day due to an unexpected three day weekend. I had decided I was going to try the three day "boot camp" method of potty training and new that I wouldn't have another three day weekend until right before the baby's due date, and I didn't want to wait that long. 

So I had Landon pick up a few potty books at the library for Emerson to read and after breakfast on Friday morning we went into potty training mode. And I was terrified. I was scared there would be accidents and I'd lose my patience. I was also not keen on having a bare bummed little guy running around the house all day, as I had also decided that's the way we were going to start: with a bare booty. 

It has not been all sunshine and daisies and it has not been accident free. But I very quickly got over the bare booty and running around and the accidents that happened. I just cleaned them up. Because that's what you have to do. 

We're still working on potty training, obviously, but at least our days are now spent in underwear and pants. Progress. And we've had a few days that have ended in the same underwear the day started with! Very exciting, let me tell you. 

And I just have to say a big thank you to those of you who have happily shared you tips and advice and also offered encouragement during these early potty training days, it means so much! 

Anyhow, that's what we've been up to around these parts. I feel like I have never asked, "Do you need to go potty?" so much in my life. And kind of like it's all I say any more. And also, I feel like I have never so closely watched Emerson's body language. It speaks volumes. 

More tips? Advice? Also, you are my hero if you have potty trained your child. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

a weekend visit + food + family

Because it's spring and flowers are blooming. And because they're pretty. 
And because I don't have a single picture from this weekend. found here.

This weekend Landon's parents came in for a little visit. We all enjoyed eating lots of food together and just spending time around the house. Landon and I had talked about going on a date while they were here, but in the end we decided to just hang out with them all weekend and go out to dinner as a family. Instead of having a meal out for our date, our date consisted of going to the grocery store while they stayed at the house and played with Emerson. Even though we didn't eat out or dress up or anything, and we were just doing regular old chores that needed to get done, it was still nice to not have to pack a bag of goodies, books, snacks, and such for the little one like I usually do. It was also nice to have quite time in the car with each other, talking about this and that and not turning around every two minutes to see what new book Emerson was in need of. 

After our grocery shopping trip we took Emerson to the store so he could pick out a prize. Have I mentioned that we're potty training right now? We are. He had filled up his first potty sticker chart and had just finished his second chart. We had promised him a prize when he filled the chart up, so we loaded him up and headed to the store so he could pick out his prize, which he was all kinds of excited about. And also, I think he will be just as indecisive as me ... he's already shown signs of this at home, but even more so when he was given the option of picking one prize. ha. It was a fun little outing and then we went home for lunch. 

We considered going out at lunch time, but for some reason decided against that too. I think the big reason being that we are cheap and we know we can have a nice little meal at home and also because we knew we'd be going out for a bigger meal a few hours after lunch [the next meal is always on Landon's mind :]. 

After Emerson went down for his nap Landon's mom and I went shopping to look for some better fitting, Spring and Summer clothes for him. It was a nice little trip out and I even had time to take a little nap after we got back home. 

That night we went out to dinner and ... not that is has to do with eating, but Emerson stayed dry the whole time and went potty at the restaurant on a big potty. So, that was all kinds of exciting for me. 

Sunday morning we went to church and then hung out at home until it was time for Gigi and Poppy to go home. Last time we said good-bye to them after going out for lunch and that was a little too upsetting for Emerson, so we ate at home and said our good-byes from there. Emerson did better with his good-byes this time and then was off to take a nap.   

It was a sweet little weekend, full and slow. One of the best kinds of weekends. I hope you all enjoyed a nice little weekend as well. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

baby bump #2 // 33 weeks

How Far Along: 33 weeks

Size of Baby: a durian [which, by the way is the most disgusting tasting fruit ever. I'm not even kidding. It's also lethal if consumed with alcohol. It's illegal to eat durian fruit in hotels in Thailand for fear of people drinking with it and then dying. It has happened. Crazy stuff I tell ya... And also, it smells like vomit, so I'm not even sure what the appeal is. Most people in the states don't even know what durian is, so I just thought I'd share a few little tidbits about it with you :] or pineapple [obviously, a much better tasting fruit :]. 

Feeling: I'm still feeling pretty good. Really big, but good. I thought it was tricky a few weeks ago to stand and sit and what not, it's even more of a challenge now/takes longer. But I suppose that's to be expected. I feel the baby move a ton, which is always wonderful. There's been a little party in my belly a few times and I feel like maybe even some kickboxing lessons have been going on because it feels like both little fists are punching me at the same time. I just pray the little guy does not grow up to be a kick boxer. That being said, I love each and every little [or big] movement from the little fellow. 

Cravings/Aversions: No cravings or food aversions I can think of. I'm enjoying the usual foods, so that's nice :) 

Clothing: I think I'll be in the same clothes for the rest of my life [not really, but it feels like it]. No changes really though, maternity tops and pants. Non-maternity stretchy pants/pajamas/skirts and some regular t-shirts just for bedtime when no one is around to see. I'm hoping those shirts will still fit even after I've stretched them out with this pregnancy. 

Gender: a little boy peanut. 

Best Moment This Week: Landon's parents came in to visit us this past weekend, it was really nice to be able to spend time with them and I know Emerson loved every minute of them being here with us. 

Looking Forward To: Spending my days at home and trying to get things done. Nothing big going on around here for now. 

Thoughts & Prayer: There's not much longer before I get to see you again and we are getting really close to when we get to meet you, little guy! I love feeling you wiggle around in my belly and I love knowing that you are safe. I pray for you daily and that you would, above all else, know, love, seek, and obey the Lord all of your days. You are a wonderful blessing to us already and I know that first moment I hear you and see you, we will fall even more madly in love with you. You are already so loved and we are excited to meet you. I am ready to meet you, but I know you still have a little bit longer to "cook", so just keep getting stronger and developing like you are supposed to so we can welcome you into our arms soon. I love you, snickerdoodle! - Mama 

Friday, April 24, 2015

visitors, breakfast, and jeans

one. This weekend Landon's parents are coming in for a little visit. I've been working hard all week on getting the house ready for their visit and still have a few things left to do. It feels like even more of a process now than it did in the past. But, everything usually gets done in the end, even if it does take me five times as long to do it.

two. I'm fixing coffee cake for breakfast tomorrow morning and I'm all kinds of excited about it. I haven't made coffee cake in forever, and it just sounds so good with some fresh fruit to go along with it.

three. So, I have these maternity jeans and I am getting so tired of wearing them. I love jeans, don't get me wrong, and of all of the pants I can wear right now these are the best option. But, the belly part/band [call it what you will] does not stay in place. It's supposed to stay put, not fall down as you walk or when you sit. I feel like I'm constantly having to pull the band up and adjust the pants. They look nice and "normal", but they just don't stay where they are supposed to. Maybe it's just me, maybe it's the pants. I don't really know. All I know is my very favorite pair of maternity pants are corduroy and the belly band stays where it is supposed to all day long. It will be a happy day when I can wear my non-maternity pants again. Though that won't be for a while yet, so in the mean time I'm just doing a lot of pulling an adjusting and waiting for some warmer days so I can wear skirts.

four. This week I got an exciting coupon in the mail, so I'm going to try and combine it with some sales and get some Spring and Summer clothes for Emerson and spend as little as possible. The boy needs some short sleeve t-shirts and other seasonal appropriate clothing. I'm thinking about taking him shopping with me so he can "help" but I'm also thinking that there is nap time. So, we'll see... regardless of when we go and if he goes, I'm hoping I can get some good deals on some things for him.

five. I don't have a five, so we'll just go with four for today :)

I'm linking up here and here with some sweet ladies.

Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

cooking and cleaning with a little one

There are many ways life has changed since having a baby and continues to change with a growing little boy. One of the ways life is different is in the area of cooking and cleaning. Things that need to be done on a regular basis, but can at times be more challenging.

How do I prepare our meals with a little helper around? Each meal is different, but in general we do the same thing to get it ready:

- let him help. Have him help you cut an apple or mix the pancake batter or pour ingredients into a bowl. Emerson loves to help me in the kitchen, and I want to include him as much as possible. There are times I'm handling raw meat that he obviously can't help with or am cooking something so he can't help with that, but I try and find things that he can help with and he gets all kinds of excited about it.

- give him a job. For the times I am cutting raw meat or cooking something on the stove and he wants to help, I pull out a big mixing bowl and pour some flour in it and ask him to mix it up for me. He loves this and it makes him feel like he is helping me and he gets to do something fun.

- have an activity for him. Sometimes, if he isn't happy with other options I'm giving him or I don't want him to eat a whole third apply right before we have dinner, I'll bring out the crayons and paper and let him color.

- let him play with Daddy. If Daddy is home, and doesn't have to work, then the two of them will go play in the living room or go play outside in the back yard if it's nice out. This method also helps dinner get ready a little bit quicker.

-have him wash the dishes. And when I say wash, I mean, fill the sink up with water, add a few measuring cups and let him go at it. This is by far his favorite thing to do, though it can be a little mess/wet so just be sure you don't mind mopping up a pool of water right before you sit down to eat.

- let him watch a show. Sometimes, I just put on a show he likes and let him sit at the table and watch it until dinner is ready. Usually, he'll watch five minutes of it, and then he'll want to help me, so the show doesn't really keep him distracted for long. Which is why there are lots of other things I have figured out he enjoys doing.

When it comes to cleaning, well, I can't exactly say that I clean as regularly as I ought to, but I try. And with Emerson here to help me I try and put him to work.

- vacuuming. He sometimes gets pretty scared when I pull the vacuum out, only because it is our dog's archenemies and he goes crazy when he sees the vacuum out. Like, he attacks it and barks so so so loudly. It's ridiculous and annoying and obvious to see why Emerson would cry every time I pull out the vacuum.  So I hold him [which is getting tricker to do] or encourage him to help me by holding onto the cord. Sometimes the vacuuming just has to wait and we try again later. I would vacuum during nap time, but the dog barks if he's in his crate or outside -if the vacuum comes out, he knows.

- laundry. I let him help - dump in the detergent, dump the clothes in the washing machine, switch the load to the dryer, and even fold the clothes. He likes to dump things, so he'll dump and I'll do the rest.

- dusting/cleaning. I give him a rag or a wipe and he goes to town washing the walls, dressers, windows, whatever he can get his little hands to reach. While he's cleaning his things, I clean mine.

- dishes. I let him help rinse the dishes. I fill the sink with warm water and as I wash a dish I put it in his sink and let him wash it again. He really loves helping with the dishes, so that's pretty wonderful. I'm going to hope it continues to be one of his favorite chores so he can take over one day :). Though sometimes the dishes don't get washed until after he goes to bed. So, there is that.

- picking up/tidying things. I try and get him to help, we sing a little song and he helps pick up his toys and books. If I want him to bring me something/put something away I can usually ask him to do it and he is usually more than happy to oblige, so that's nice. And he likes things picked up, which helps. Sure he likes to make a mess, but he also likes to make the room clean. Again, I'm going to hope that's a trait that sticks as someone else in this family could care less ;)

I'm sure there are some things I've forgotten about, but the main thing is this when it comes to getting meals ready and cleaning up: let them help. Give a little job that is appropriate for their age, it makes them feel important and like they are helping. It also teaches them responsibility at a young age. Emerson has helped Landon pick up the dog poop in the back yard, and loves "helping" daddy. One day, that will be his job. If they learn at a young age that there are lots of jobs to do and that they can and need to help, they will [probably/hopefully] be more likely to help as they grow up. Even if it takes longer or is a messier way to clean up, let them help, encourage it. It is good for them.

What chores do you little your little one[s] help with? Do you have any tips or tricks you use when cooking or cleaning with a little helper around?

Depending on the meal, I let help. If I'm cutting fruit and he wants to help, I'll let him help -which usually results in us cutting a few bits of the fruit and Emerson eating it as I cut the rest on my own. But he likes to be there right next to me to "help" or get the first bites. If I'm baking something I

In this link up we want to share with you what we've found that has worked for us as new mamas to toddlers. Because we're experts  after being moms for a few years or so, right? Not really, but we have some experience and want to share what we've learned and we'd love to learn from you, too!

               Here's our Hosts for this round!

Here are the topics we will be talking about this Month!

April 2nd. Spring activities and craft ideas for toddlers.

April 9th.  How  you keep your toddler occupied while grocery shopping.

April 15th.  Potty Training.

April 22.Ways to distract a toddler while you're cooking/cleaning etc.

April 29th Clothes shopping for your toddler. (Where do you get the best deals, where do you shop, how do you save money) etc

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

blessings in the every day

There are some days I find myself counting down the minutes until lunch time. There are some days those morning hours go so slowly, I'll look at the clock and the next time I look at it only five minutes have passed, even though it feels like it has been at least an hour. There are some days when the morning hours seem to pass by so quickly and it's lunch time before I've finished cleaning up the breakfast dishes. Some days just seem to run together and there is no distinct difference between a Monday and a Wednesday. 

In the midst of these days, slow or quick to pass by, they are days that count and days that will go by. Days that we'll never get back. So even in the midst of the mundane, I try so much to count every hour and minute as the biggest blessing. Because they truly are a blessing and a gift. One day Emerson is army crawling everywhere and the next he is running away from me in fits of laughter. It's in the in-between that life happens. In-between having a newborn and a toddler. In-between being newlyweds and not so newlyweds. In-between being a student to being your chosen profession. Life happens in the in-between, in the every day. I hope and pray that one day I can look back on this little life I've been given and be able to say that I cherished every blessing. It's something I need to work on, I know that, but with time, with the in-between, my hope and goal is to find the everyday mundane things the biggest blessings. 

Little things like ... 
garden boxes, mini picket fences, a soft cool breeze, the little one's hand patting my back, the "hi Mommy" said for the tenth time in a minute, ripe strawberries, a homemade dinner, a clean kitchen floor... 

If you sit and think about it, the blessings truly are countless. 

What are some blessings or gifts in your life right now? Do you have a hard time seeing everyday things as blessings? 

Monday, April 20, 2015

baby bump #2 // 32 weeks

How Far Along: 32 weeks 

Size of Baby: a squash 

Feeling: pretty good. I've noticed that I'm not as graceful when it comes to sitting down or getting up off of the floor and that it takes me a tad longer too. Emerson is all about the five minute head start and runs off squealing. Sleep has been pretty good. A pillow has been helping to support the belly for a while now, so I can sleep better. But I'll usually wake up at least twice in the night, sometimes more, and my let arm will always be asleep. I've been able to stay up later though, which is nice I think especially for Landon because that means I'm better company for him, though I still like my sleep so I usually go to bed at a not so crazy late hour. Braxton Hicks contractions continue to be a daily thing, I looked it up since mentioning the tightening in my stomach a week or so ago and some of you said it sound like Braxton Hicks contractions [so thank you :]. They happen throughout the day and even at night, and they seem to intensify when I am walking. I never had them with [or at least not that I felt] with Emerson, so it's new for me. 

Cravings/Aversions: You know, the whole craving thing, there have been things I've enjoyed eating or preferred eating this whole pregnancy, but I don't feel like there has been anything that I "have to have now or I will die." You know? I was talking to my sister the other night, around 9 or so, and she told me she as driving back from the store because she had a craving for Ramen Noodles and had to have them now. So she got them. My food cravings have been more like, "oh, that sounds good..." Does that even make sense? Anyhow, things that I'm enjoying right now are fruit. And the other day I had to run into the grocery store to get something and happened to walk by their strawberries -they had four pounds of strawberries for $3.90 or something crazy like that. I bought them and was a happy lady. Aversions: I'm still not fixing tacos for dinner, they just sound awful. 

Clothing: Still wearing the same tops and bottoms. They do the job so I wear them. Though, I have noticed a few of my maternity shirts seem to be shrinking ... or my belly is just really growing. It's just doesn't seem as long as it did before, which is sad. I saw a really nice nightgown on sale a few weeks ago and impulsively bought it. It works for now and will work for nursing as well. I figured it would be nice to have a nightgown to wear in the hospital after the baby is born because those hospital gowns are just not so nice. And so far I've really liked it, and I'm not one for wearing nightgowns. It's comfy and cute and I'm sure I will be wearing it every night for the next year. 

Gender: baby boy 

Best Moment This Week: Having two days off last week! It was glorious having Thursday and Friday all to ourselves. We enjoyed a nice weekend together and got several projects finished, which was nice. 

Looking Forward To: My doctor's appointment tomorrow. I haven't had one for a while now, so it will be nice going in and hearing the baby's heartbeat and all. And my in-laws are coming for a visit on Friday, so it will be fun to see them and spend some time together. I know Emerson will love all of the extra attention. 

Thoughts & Prayer: It is exciting to think that we only have a little over a month left, and maybe even less than that if you are anything like your brother and decide to come early [I would not be opposed!]. We have gotten a lot done when it comes to getting ready for you, but there are still things that need to be done, some of the things are just projects I know that if I don't do them now, they will never get done... and some are things I know I need to get done for you. We are still talking about your name, but just because we don't have one picked out doesn't mean that we don't love you. We love you so much and are so very blessed that we will get to welcome you into our arms in a few weeks. I pray that you are healthy and strong and that you grow in grace and wisdom. Most importantly, I pray that you will know and love Jesus with your whole heart and always seek and serve Him. I pray that your daddy and I can be good examples of how to live a life that is pleasing to Christ. You are a blessing and wonderful gift, and we can't wait to meet you, little one.  - Mama 

Friday, April 17, 2015

sickness, shoes, and baby things

Hello Friday. It's nice to see you and share some things that have been floating around my mind these days.

one. This week has been a little different from most, though it's been nice for the most part. Bee's dad got sick earlier this week [not fun], so she came early in the morning on Tuesday and Wednesday. But then her mom got sick too so she stayed home with her sick parents on Thursday, and again today because she was showing signs of catching the bug they had. I've been praying they all feel better and that those germs stay far far away from us!! The unexpected break has been nice for me and Emerson and I have enjoyed these days at home with just the two of us. It makes it seem like I have a long weekend, sort of.

two. Since it was just the two of us the other day Emerson and I went out looking for some new shoes for him. His little feet are growing and he is in need of new shoes for this Spring and Summer. I found some shoes I liked for him, but they didn't have them in the size he needs, so I'll stay on the look out for a little bit longer. Or just order them from online, I don't know why I didn't think of that before just now . . . But it was nice to get out of the house during the week and just kind of do whatever. I didn't really feel like doing anything, or going anywhere, but I feel like on days when Bee isn't here, I need to leave the house just because I can and because it's so much easier. I think Emerson also likes to get out and have a change of scenery, so it's not just for my sake.

found here

three. With baby's impending arrival I've been thinking more about what I need to do before June and things that I need to get - everything from diapers to pacifiers. One thing I was considering getting was a different nursing cover. I really hated the one I used with Emerson, and he didn't seem to care for it much either. I just didn't feel like it covered enough, and that even when I was covered,  things were still exposed. Not that I nursed in public often, but sometimes when we were at church or out traveling, it just had to be done. But with this baby, I'm thinking I'll need to use a cover more often as I will have two little ones at home - not that they know anything, but I really don't want Bee to see what I do and talk about it all the time, because she is a talker. I saw this cover and pretty much fell in love with it right away. Have any of you ever used this one? One like it? Are there other covers you like? Suggestions are welcome :)

found here

four. Since I'm already talking about baby things . . . I've had a list of things to do before baby comes in June and I've gotten several of the things checked off my list! I washed the covers [if that's what they're called] for the carseat, rock n play, and baby swing. And I washed and put away all of the baby clothes. It was a good thing I washed those clothes because now I know what I have that will work for baby and what won't. Since Emerson was born in January the seasons will be slightly off . . . and fleece sleepers and long sleeve shirts aren't really appropriate for summer. Now I know to be on the look out for good deals for a few things for baby. And I washed the bedding for baby's crib and it's all in place and the mobile is up and everything. The crib is ready [not that he'll be sleeping in it for a few months, but still, it's nice to have it ready]. It is nice to feel like I've actually gotten things done for this baby and be able to check some things off of my list. 

five. The weather has been getting nicer and nicer these days and we are loving going on walks and playing at the park. It will be so nice when it can be a daily occurrence again and we don't have to be worried about if it's going to be to cold, windy, or rainy. Spring days are so nice! 

I hope you all have a happy weekend, that you get to enjoy some pretty weather and the outside! 

I'm liking up here and here today. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

how to potty train your toddler ?

This week we're talking all about potty training. What worked for you, what didn't work. And I'm here to say, I have no advice or tips or anything to contribute on this topic. This is one where I'm really looking for all of your tips and thoughts and success stories - what worked for you? how did you do it? Tell me everything!

Last summer I pulled the little froggy potty my sister had loaned us out of the closet, cleaned it up a bit, and put it in our bathroom. I've sat Emerson on the little potty and he has had a lot of successes. But he is by no means potty trained. He will usually go potty if I sit him on his potty and we all cheer and he dances and gets some M&Ms. Super exciting. But I've been incredibly inconsistent about working with him on using the potty all the time. Recently he has started showing more signs about knowing when he has potty and when he needs to go and he's said and given signs about needing to poop as well. He'll sit on the potty when he says he needs to go, but as of yet he still hasn't gone poop on the potty.

similar to ours here

I've read all kinds of books and articles, talked to friends and read some of your alls potty training success stories. But I just haven't taken the leap and done it with him. Landon is all about having him potty trained before June [baby month] comes around. So basically, that leaves me less than two months to get it done. I have heard so many success stories about potty training in three days [3 Day Potty Training Boot Camp or something like that?] and am strongly considering doing that one weekend here. But I have yet to work up the courage and just do it. It's a little tricky because I baby-sit and don't have any free three day weekends until after school is out [June]; but there's always the idea of just starting after nap time one Friday afternoon [after Bee goes home] and hoping and praying he catches on really quick and we're mostly good by Monday morning when Bee comes back to play. Thoughts?

I know this is something that needs to be done [and will be done], I'm just having the hardest time working up the courage to actually do it and be super consistent about it. So, all that to say: please share your potty training stories! Okay, thanks :)

In this link up we want to share with you what we've found that has worked for us as new mamas to toddlers. Because we're experts  after being moms for a few years or so, right? Not really, but we have some experience and want to share what we've learned and we'd love to learn from you, too!

               Here's our Hosts for this round!

Here are the topics we will be talking about this Month!

April 2nd. Spring activities and craft ideas for toddlers.

April 9th.  How  you keep your toddler occupied while grocery shopping.

April 15th.  Potty Training.

April 22.Ways to distract a toddler while you're cooking/cleaning etc.

April 29th Clothes shopping for your toddler. (Where do you get the best deals, where do you shop, how do you save money) etc


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

finding peace and contentment

found here, original source unknown

Finding contentment and peace with where I am in life right now is not easy. Though, I'm not sure it's ever easy. Not that it should be easy I suppose; you learn and grow from the challenging places in life. Right now, we are in a place of transition, but that doesn't mean that our life has stopped or stayed the same. No, it just keeps going. As it should.

During this time of transition, I am constantly seeking God for peace and reassurance. I know that God provides and that He has a great and wonderful plan, so great we can't even imagine what it is. I know that He showers his blessings on us daily. But, even though I know those things, it's still such a challenge for me to fully trust in Him and his plan for our lives day in and day out. I do trust Him, but my words and prayers show that I'm not laid back and cool with Him being the driver all the time. I want to know where we're going and He's not telling me! Obviously, there is a lot of room for learning and improvement in the trust department for me.

He has made it clear to us in no uncertain terms that this is where we belong for right now, and that Landon should indeed be pursuing his PhD. He has opened doors and flooded us with blessings beyond what we can imagine. From finding a great rental, to my being able to stay at home with Emerson [even if it does mean I have to babysit], to blessing Landon with an amazing Fellowship last year, and then again blessing him with another Fellowship today[!!]. God is working and blessing and showing us this is His will for us.

I know Landon is working so hard and it shows in his research, publications, and the Fellowships and awards he's received. I couldn't be more proud of him for following God's leading [even though it is difficult most days] and for all of the hard work he does each and every day. The Fellowship he got today is another great one that will speak volumes to future employers as it is a teaching Fellowship and his goal is to one day be a professor. What an honor it was [is] for him to be awarded this Fellowship! I'm so proud of him!

And yet . . . I still grumble and complain and question and dream about what is and what could be. About the 'situation' we're currently in. Which is a terrible trap to be in and is a horrible thing to do. There are questions and doubts I have about our life right now and about our future. Sometimes I question what God is doing and ask if He's sure He's right about this or that. I don't intend to let those thoughts creep in, but they do. They crowd my mind despite the fact that I know God is in control, that He has a plan, it's better than ours, and that He is providing.

Though I suppose that's why life is a journey and we are continually learning things, even if it is the same thing over and over. We are stubborn and forgetful. Thank goodness the Lord is full of grace and patience.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

missing pictures

So, last night for one reason or another, I upgraded my operating system to the new one. I figured I out to upgrade while it was still new and fresh and free. We've skipped upgrades in the past and because we skipped the initial ones, we've had to pay to update and then after awhile, we just weren't able to update to the newer system at all. Which stunk. I want this little computer to last for as long as possible so I upgraded to the new operating system. 

It took a while, but at first glance and click around everything looked good and normal and just the graphics had changed a bit. But then I clicked on iPhoto. And everything was not the same or good or normal. With the exception of a little over 100 pictures, they were all gone! Disappeared. No where to be seen. I clicked around. I even called Apple to talk to an expert about it. He was nice and helpful and told me what to do, but something is downloading now and taking forever, so they're going to call me back. yikes. 

On the bright side [if there is one], I have all of the memory cards for the missing pictures. So at least they're not gone forever. And if I don't upload them to my computer that frees up a lot of storage space. 

On the not so bright side, I do want those pictures on my computer which means I have to re-upload them all. 

Good gracious. 

And this is why I have been thinking that I need to get an external hard drive for the computer. 

And this is why I need to go get one now. I have pictures from before baby and the very first pictures of baby on there. I need those pictures! 

But, at least I have the memory cards. Right?

So, if you have any advice or tips or expertness in you about finding pictures on a new and upgraded operating system: please share!! 

Okay. That's all for today. I've got to get those pictures! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

baby bump #2 // 31 weeks

How Far Along: 31 weeks!

Size of Baby: A pineapple. 

Feeling: I'm still feeling pretty good these days. I feel like my energy has suddenly come back and I'm able to stay awake longer at night and not fall asleep during the day. I'm hoping this energy stays around until the baby comes because I feel like the no energy part of this pregnancy lasted forever! It's nice to feel "normal" again. I was unloading the dishwasher the other day and just leaning over to pick the silverware out of the rack felt a little challenging and I was very aware of my big belly. 

Cravings/Aversions: I'm still enjoying some fruit flavored sparkling water every now and then and fruit sounds good in general. I've had more sweets than I probably should [how can you not get Easter candy?] but I am trying to be more mindful of what I eat and how much I do eat. I am still not crazy about Mexican food or meat in general, but that's not really new to this pregnancy the meat part that is]. 

Clothing: I'm still wearing the same clothes as I  have been in for a while now: maternity jeans and tops for the most part. With the weather warming up a bit I've been able to wear a few skirts here and there, all of which are non maternity. But I mostly wear the jeans and t-shirts. 

Gender: A little boy

Best Moment This Week: We just had a really nice little weekend. Friday afternoon and evening were full but fun and Saturday morning we went to a little birthday party for one of Emerson's little friends. He loved it and had so much fun running around. We did a few other things, but it was a quiet weekend, so I liked it.  

Looking Forward To: Being able to go outside more. The weather isn't amazing, but it is warming up and we're able to spend more and more time outside and on walks, which is always a favorite for us. 

Thoughts & Prayer: Sometimes I don't feel like this whole having another baby thing is real. I know that it is, and I'm very aware of the fact that my belly is growing more every day. I'm getting things washed and ready for the baby and I know that before too long we will be a family of four; which is just crazy to think about. But in the midst of all of the growing and doing, I don't think I fully grasp that in about two months we will have a little baby in our home and life will change completely once again for us. All of us will be making adjustments and our "simple" life will no longer be as simple. And at the same time I am so very ready to meet this tiny little person. I pray that this little nugget will know and trust in Christ all of his days and that he will be obedient to Him. For health and safety,   growth and development. Oh there are many things I pray for this little guy; I'm so thankful for a Savior who hears our prayers. I'm excited to meet you soon little one! - Mama

Friday, April 10, 2015

sunshine and baby gates

1 / pretty weather. 
The other morning looked like it was going to bring with it a sunny and warmish day. After looking at the forecast, we excepted just as much. So we opened our windows to let a cross breeze float through our house. It was too hot to leave them closed, and too cold to turn on the air conditioning. However, it's fairly tricky impossible to leave our doors open with Emerson and Bee running around here all day every day. And it gets hot upstairs where the majority of our days are spent. So I decided I needed baby gates I could put up on the doors upstairs so we could still get the breeze from outside and enjoy some extra natural light. 

2 / baby gates. 
As I brushed my teeth and thought about my genius plan, the more I was convinced it was the perfect plan and we needed to do something about it. Right away. The only trouble with that is that I was babysitting. And in order to get said baby gates I would either have to: a. wait until the weekend or the following afternoon when I could go out and get them with just Emerson or b. take both the munchkins with me. I chose option b. I know lots of mamas have twins [which is how I tend to look at the two little ones I spend my days with and how everyone I see in public sees them] and there are lots of mamas with two little ones [and I will soon be that mama!] and they go out all the time. And I know I have even done outings like this many times before when I nannied twin toddler girls. But for now, for us, we stay at home. Generally. I've ventured out, but not often and only once to the store for an emergency item.

never have I been so excited about baby gates, open doors, and sunshine 

3 / load them up. 
So I loaded the little people into the car and off I went. We walked into the store and then I stuck them in the back of a cart and off we went to get the gates. But since we were out, and they were being really good, and we needed to get a birthday present for a little friend, we looked around a bit for a present and just at other stuff in general. We weren't out for forever, I doubt an hour even passed, but we were out of the house. And they were contained and they were being so good! I could not have asked or prayed for them to be better while on our errand. Which I did pray, a lot. And I was so thankful for such an amazing answer to prayer. They just sat down and babbled to each other and to me occasionally and played and looked at this and that. And we left with our gates and present.

4 / let the breeze and light in. 
Obviously I was pretty excited about such a great trip and for a fun break in our day. Something a little different and unusual. And after getting home, unloading everyone and everything, and then climbing the stairs, I put up the gates. And ever since then I have been as happy as a clam. We can have the windows open and feel the cool air and we get some very welcomed and much missed sunshine. It makes my heart happy. Why did we not do that sooner?!

5 / do work. 
Another great perk about these little gates is that I can do a little bit more now that I don't have to wrangle two little ones or have to figure out a way to let them "help" me. I can do laundry more easily and fold the clothes without them getting into everything they aren't supposed to be getting into. It's really, very nice. Again, why did I not do this sooner?

Anyhow, there's my five points for this day. So maybe they are all one just kind of broken up... but I feel as though they are all equally important and I wanted to share.

I'm linking up here and here today.

I hope you all have a sunshine filled weekend!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

grocery shopping with a "helper"

Grocery shopping is one of my least favorite chores. I don't know if it's always been low on my list, but these days I feel like it's just something I really don't like to do. Granted, I would much rather go grocery shopping than I would dust, so there's that. Maybe it's because I know we have a budget to stick to and I want to make our money stretch as much as possible; which means really looking into the deals, coupons, and the quantity of food you're getting. I don't mind it, but I don't enjoy it and would much rather go for a walk or something. But, that's life and we need food. So I go with my detailed list, meal plan written out, coupons, and whatever else I might need. 

When I go grocery shopping these days, a lot of the time I will have a little helper tag along. I've actually had a little helper in tow for a while now, but now that he's bigger, very mobile, and becoming more verbal, he's even more of a helper. Sometimes he'll stay home with his Daddy, but most times he comes with me and helps me get what we need. In general he's really good and is a happy little shopping buddy. But there are days I have to do a little bit more to "entertain" him.

Some things that have helped us have a more pleasant shopping experience include: 

- going to the store when it's not crazy busy. With my schedule the only time I can really go shopping is on the weekend, which is in general a busier time. However, because I have an early riser, I'm able to avoid the crowds because we go right after breakfast on Saturday morning and are leaving just as the store starts to get busy around ten or so. win win. 

- being prepared. This means having my list and shopping bags. It helps so much. I also tend to shop the store in the same order every week. Doing this helps me know how many more aisles I have left before we're done. 

- bringing 'goodies'. Essentially, have things for the little helper nearby. In my bag I have a little bag of snacks for Emerson that I let him enjoy when I can tell he's done shopping and I know we still have a little bit to go. I start with good snacks and always make sure to bring out his favorite snacks in the end. This usually keeps him happy for all of two minutes. So snacks. Bring snacks. 

- bringing books or a favorite toy or animal or something. Emerson loves reading, so I usually bring one or two little books along for him to read when he gets bored / is ready to be done. 

- letting him help. I ask him to help me find the cereal / bread / yogurt / whatever it is I'm going to get next. I'll pick it off the shelf and if it's safe for him to hold [like bread - though that can get smooched] and then he tosses it in the back of the cart when he's done holding it. I also sometimes give him my shopping list to "read" to me. Sometimes he'll read it for a while and other times he'll glance it over and then be done. 

- talking to him. I talk to him the whole time we're there, it helps keep him engaged in what we're doing. 

- collecting things. Sometimes he'll point to something that he likes or is interested in. I'll pick it up and hand it to him to look at. This usually applies when we aren't grocery shopping, but at other stores walking around, though not always. Sometimes it will be a book and he'll read it for the some of the time or the whole time. Sometimes it will be a toy or a ball or a cup. Whatever it is, he'll look at it, play with it, and then usually be done. But by that point I'm closer to being done with my shopping. I always tell him, we're not taking this home with us, we have to give it to the cashier before we leave. And with very few exceptions he has done really well with giving it back. Or he's forgotten about his little collection. At the end of every shopping trip I have a little pile of things we aren't buying. I feel bad about it, but not bad enough to not pick them up for him to look at as we walk through the store. 

- having daddy tag along. This can't happen all the time, but when it does it's nice. Emerson goes off to look at the pet food section of the store and the fish that are back there [his favorite part of the store for some reason] while I finish shopping :) 

Anyhow, those are somethings I've found that help us both have a happy shopping trip. What are somethings you do to have a happy helper while you're out shopping? Please share! 

In this link up we want to share with you what we've found that has worked for us as new mamas to toddlers. Because we're experts  after being moms for a few years or so, right? Not really, but we have some experience and want to share what we've learned and we'd love to learn from you, too!

               Here's our Hosts for this round!

Here are the topics we will be talking about this Month!

April 2nd. Spring activities and craft ideas for toddlers.

April 9th.  How  you keep your toddler occupied while grocery shopping.

April 15th.  Potty Training.

April 22.Ways to distract a toddler while you're cooking/cleaning etc.

April 29th Clothes shopping for your toddler. (Where do you get the best deals, where do you shop, how do you save money) etc