Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tummy Tuesday: 20 Weeks

We are quickly moving through this pregnancy...  This week's post is a recap from week 20.  That week was so emotional.  I went back and forth over whether to find out the sex of our baby for months.  Once I had made my decision, I couldn't go back.  I was worried that someone would be disappointed because we all wanted something different.  I know it's out of my hands, but that need to please and provide is something I can't turn off when it comes to my little family. 

When it came to my Little Darling, I knew I didn't want to know whether she was male or female.  I didn't want to have it in my mind any expectations or plans regarding how I'd raise her differently. I would teach her to cook, clean, and be nurturing.  I would teach her to go camping, self defense, and how to make and manage her own money.  I didn't want to think of a "little princess" when it came to a girl or .... whatever it is you think of when you are having a boy.
 
This time, though, I got emotional about things.  First, I completely disregarded anything The Hubs wanted when I was pregnant with our Little Darling.  I didn't even feel bad about it unfortunately, but I did want to make sure that, this time, he was heard and had a say in the matter.  Of course, he wanted us to find out.  The other factor was our Little Darling.  I talked, very early on, about having a Gender Reveal party for her. I am sure she has no idea what that even means, but she knew that she would get a party.
 
This whole thing is so unexpected.  We are all so excited and grateful for this chance to expand our family and I really want to involve everyone in decision making as much as possible. Emphasis on the "as much as possible".  Because of my commitment to making this about FAMILY, I decided to feature our Little Darling for the first time on my blog.  She really wanted a photo shoot so that she could share her news with people. 
 
 
So there she is.  My Little Darling.  Big haired and Bright eyed.  I will admit that I had to recreate things for this post.  The box we used for our Little Darling was larger and she was able to unwrap it and balloons came out, disclosing whether she was having a brother or sister.  The box we used on the night of the Gender Reveal party wasn't as decorative either....  Uhm, someone had a lot to do that day and sort of had a melt down while trying to take care of things.  Uhm, that someone might have been me.  So I kind of cried for a few hours and took a nap after burning cupcakes, ruining decorations, and not having supplies to make other things.
 
Cue: Heroic Hubs.  He walked in with a huge box and pink balloons.  We filled the box, scribbled "Guess Who!" on the front and rushed out the door to the party.

 
I won't say that The Hubs and I were disappointed about having another little girl.  We aren't, but there is a part of us that really wanted to have a little boy.  I was so sure it was a boy because this pregnancy has been 100% different from that with my Little Darling.  No vomiting, very little nausea in general.  I am growing faster than I did in my first pregnancy.  Well, I was taught a lesson!  You just never know! So we will be welcoming another precious baby girl into our family.   I made our Little Darling her shirt, when we did our pregnancy announcements, which featured her in a series of photos. I thought it was only fitting that her little sister got a matching shirt.
 
The awesome thing is that our Little Darling prayed and prayed for a little sister.  In the end, this Little Someone will be her best friend.  They will grow up together and take care of one another.  They will have this inseparable bond that no one will understand except for them. I cannot wait to watch that bond form and blossom.  My younger sister and I have always been very close.  We argue all the time, but that close bond we have is something that can never be shaken or broken.  I love that. It's something truly special and it is something that I don't really share with my brothers.  I am also incredibly relieved that I will have the fun of buying cute clothes for little girls.  I hate to admit it, but I can always think of cute decorations, toys, projects, outfits and accessories for little girls.  So it looks like my job as a crafty, DIY Mama just got easier!
 
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mommy Monday :: Conception.

I will warn you now that this post will be long and wordy...so grab some tea, and get ready for a tiny novella's worth of reading.  This week, I wanted to open up a bit about my experiences with conception.  I know, right?  TMI...  Well, maybe not.  I don't plan to tell you all about the intricacies of my sex life that led to my finally getting pregnant.  I wanted to talk about how I DIDN'T get pregnant for years.  It was a very emotional season in my marriage.  Fortunately, we found peace and then BOOM! Baby #2 found its way into our lives. I can tell you now that it would not have happened if I didn't put my Faith in something grander, bigger than myself and my selfish desires.  I don't think I would have survived this ordeal if it wasn't for finding comfort and strength in God.

We planned to have our children 5 years apart, and we started trying for another child when our Little Darling was 4 years old, thinking I'd give birth when she turned 5.  I was off birth control for months before we started "seriously trying".  After 1.5 years of no luck, I started medications.  I did two different meds for about a year and a half with no luck.  Suddenly, some things happened that just made me give up on the whole idea of ever having another child. 

My husband started blaming himself.  I couldn't have that. I cannot see the man I love be in a position of hurt.  I need him strong and confident. He's my rock and he knows it, but I could see this stress eating away at him emotionally. Then, some of my friends, with whom I'd shared my struggles, had gotten pregnant.  I'd always thought that we would be pregnant together, but when I saw they were moving on with their lives, I didn't feel as much of a dire need to be pregnant anymore.  I felt like I missed my chance.  Things got worse, when I went to the emergency room one morning, thinking a baby was moving within me.  I was hoping that, since my period had become lighter, that I was pregnant without knowing.  It turned out to be gas.  I was disappointed, sure, but not as much as I was embarrassed because the nurse was so unbelievably condescending and rude to me.  Like, are you so desperate to be pregnant?  I couldn't live down the embarrassment or the $450 medical bill that went with that reality check.  And the absolute deal breaker was the ultimate confirmation from my doctor.  My OBGYN told me that aside from having unusually short menstrual cycles, everything was in perfect working order for my husband and me.  She told me I was in the 2% of inexplicable infertility and that, if I wanted to have another child, I would need to see a specialist.
 
After all this time, medicine, and breaking down in tears every month after starting my period, I just couldn't do it anymore.  I was becoming really depressed about it.  I was a failure.  My body was broken.  My husband was completely done for, although he continued to put on a good show for me.  I knew it killed him.  It had been killing him, and I selfishly pursued things with little regard to how hurt he was each month.  I was also really resentful to my friends who were announcing their pregnancies left and right.  I was left out.  Alone.  So, when the conversation about whether we would further pursue the fertility options came along, my husband and I were on the same page completely: HELL NO!  We were 100% done!  We wanted to have sex for Recreation and not procreation.  Sex had become a job. It wasn't interesting anymore because "certain positions are more conducive to conception". We needed to reconnect because we were both hiding sentiments from one another as we struggled with the failure each month.
 
It was amazing to have that burden lifted earlier this year.  It made us more powerful as a family.  I was able to find delight in motherhood and being a wife again.  I started working out and lost weight that I had gained because I put my whole life on hold while trying to get pregnant.  My husband got a promotion at work and his superiors raved about his productivity and positive attitude.  Everything was much better and I literally was completely content with not being able to conceive.

One day, my friend invited me to a worship night.  I almost didn't go.  This friend and I had a small falling out, I think related to Facebook (isn't social media the worst?!), and we never discussed the issue with one another.  Instead, we just stopped talking to each other unless it was to attend her kid's birthday party or for church.  I had this invisible tug at my heart, telling me I needed to go.  It had been so long since I had that spiritual shot in the arm.  I went and the service was the Best worship experience I'd ever had!  There was an indescribable energy flowing through the room. 
 
The message throughout the worship was that you need to place your Faith and Hope in God.  You need to submit to God's will and allow for his plans for you to surface, rather than pushing your own agenda.  That message hit home with me so hard, and for the first time in about a month, I felt the pains of not being able to conceive return.  It was different, though.  It was more like, I just wasn't honest with myself.  I was fine and happy that my life had returned to a state of normal.  I was happy I wasn't depressed. But, Man!!!  I really still wanted to be pregnant!  After the worship, I made up some excuse to run out and get away from everyone.  I sat in the parking area, crying and praying for about 20 minutes before driving home in silence.  It never occurred to me that I wasn't honest with myself about my feelings regarding wanting another baby.  I hid how much I wanted it from everyone, pretending like I didn't care if it happened or not.  I did!  I spent 3 years trying.  Of course I wanted it!  So I prayed for hope, for a stronger sense of faith, for guidance, and most of all that I be pulled onto His path, rather than fighting for what I wanted.
I know I have several friends who aren't religious and think prayer is a waste of time.  Maybe you all are right.  But you know what?  MY life is fuller knowing that I don't have to carry the burden on my own.  MY life is more positive and comfortable knowing that there is a greater Being in control of the things I am not.  MY life is more manageable knowing that, when everything and everyone else fails me, I have at least one constant in my life:  I am Loved and Cared for by my God.  That power and that confidence is something that can't be shaken or replaced.  If it wasn't for that moment, I would have never found peace.  And that night I did.
Fast forward 3-4 more months, and Bang!  I am pregnant.  It was perhaps the BIGGEST shock of our lives.  I took the test and showed it to my husband.  He didn't believe it was true.  I ended up taking 3 more tests just to be sure.  Somehow, after 3.5 years of failing at conception, we were both a hot mess emotionally when it finally happened.  My husband was an overprotective crazy person, barely allowing me to do anything.  I was sure I wasn't "supposed" to be pregnant, so I just kept waiting to miscarry every day and secretly praying in my closet, hidden from everyone, over the baby's safety.
 
I only told a handful of friends on purpose.  Unfortunately, there were a few people who found out by accident, and while I appreciate their support, I want to really thank and acknowledge the friends I meant to tell:  Jami, Jen, Saima, Brian, Amanda, and Danielle.  I don't usually drop names on my blog, but I had to in this case.  I chose these friends specifically.  I knew that if something horrible happened, and I fell apart as a result, that I could trust these people out of everyone I knew to care for me and to help me pull myself back together.  These people are the most selfless Blessings I have in my life right now outside of my family.  Thank you for your support, prayers, positive thoughts, play dates, long-winded text sessions, and Thank You for just plain being amazing!  I learned an important lesson about trust through these friends, as I rarely open up to people about anything personal.  I don't know many women who are confident and wonderful enough to put aside criticisms and competition long enough to just be compassionate and understanding.  I know these women are.  So thank you!
 
Enough with the heavy...  Time to return to my snarky, sarcastic self!  I would like to end this with the top 10 things I heard during the 3.5 years my husband and I were trying to conceive.  I am happy I don't have to listen to them ever again!
 
********************************************************************************

Things A Person Who Can't Have Children NEVER Wants to Hear:
 
1.  "You are actually lucky!  You can drink/smoke/party/ do (_insert illegal drug_) without guilt."
First, I don't have substance abuse problems.  So I actually find zero comfort in having the option to do things that I never do anyway.  Second, when you decide that you want to conceive, you actually have to STOP doing all those things.  So let's just say I was a chain smoking, drunken crack whore.  I would have to check myself into rehab before conception in order to avoid potential miscarriage and potential harm to the embryo months and months before even getting down to the baby making.  But thank you!  Now, I know things about YOU that I wish I didn't.
 
2.  "Have more sex."
Seriously?  Just let that asinine comment soak in for a bit.  I am TRYING to get pregnant!  I have become a jizz receptacle ON PURPOSE!  If I have anymore sex, my husband's penis will shrivel up and be useless to us both.  You will be able to park a Smart Car inside of my vaginal cavity.  I am not sure why people think "more sex" is the simple solution to conception. Conception can only occur during one week of the month within a 3 day period.  Trying to figure out when that will happen is insane, unless you have the perfect model body. 
 
I don't have the perfect body.  My cycles are mega short, so "having more sex" during the typical ovulation window did nothing for us because I missed my ovulation each month by about 7 days.  Mind you, it took 2.5 years and an ultrasound to figure this out.  By then, I had received loads of advice on when to have sex, how to have sex, which positions to screw in, and multiple reminders that if I swallow semen I won't have a baby.  Also prior to that point, I was having sex literally whenever I could.  My hubs would take a break from work and rush home to bump'n'grind.  I would be late to work because we would bang, while I was in the shower getting ready for work. If my husband and I had any face time, our parts were joined during this time.
 
3.  "You already have one kid, so be happy with that. Don't be greedy."
Cue: Throat punch.
 
4.  "Just get in-vitro, find a surrogate, adopt.  Problem solved.  Now you don't have to get fat."
While I am really excited that you manage enough disposable income to purchase children at your leisure, I am not in the same boat financially.  Had I known ahead of time that conception would be so difficult, I would have saved $40K prior to my being ready to expand my family so that I could purchase or build the child of my choosing when I felt like it.  Unfortunately, my infertility was unexpected.
 
I don't think there is any wrong way to build a family, personally.  I grew up in a loving, blended family and I couldn't be happier.  But I do find it exceedingly arrogant of people to just assume that tossing money around and using science is a quick fix for us all. For me, I needed to know what was wrong with me.  Why couldn't I have another kid? I spent as much money on figuring out what was going on with my health as I would've on buying a kid.
 
5.  "Maybe you should have thought about this sooner, rather than waiting so long."
Yes, that's right.  I should have had a child at 8 years old when playing house was my favorite pastime.  Now, at 31, I am all old and decrepit with useless parts.  Please think of the stupidity behind these statements.  I think people should approach conception when they are ready.  That may or may not be on the timeline an observer agrees with or understands. 
 
6.  "It's just not meant to be."
Why, thank you, God, for letting me know what is meant to be.  Why do people say this crap and think it is supposed to make someone feel better about things?  It doesn't.  It's like wanting something with all your heart and trying with your whole being to make it happen only to fall short and have someone kick you while you're down, and let you know that you were dumb enough to take the chance when you never had a shot in the first place. Well, that's how it feels when you are stuck in the situation.  The truth is, assholes that say this have no clue what they are talking about and should just silently hug you, while you cry about having gotten your period again.
 
7.  "I am so incredibly fertile.  Whew!  My husband looks at me and I'm knocked up."
Really? *Clap. Clap* Good for you!  I am so happy that you have 8 children and have chosen to singlehandedly over populate the earth with your power-pussy.  Please take a seat.  It's not ok to gloat to someone while they are in pain about shortcomings that are out of their control.  Also, I am not sure you get to brag when three of your children are disfigured, two of them have remarkably low IQs, and the rest are plain ugly.  Just kidding.  That was mean.  But I can't say those thoughts haven't crossed my mind a time or two after someone has bragged to me about their amazing conception rate.
 
8.  "Kids suck.  They make you fat and ugly.  They never appreciate you and they're a drain on your finances.  Why would you want one?"
Please do us all a favor and pour hydrochloric acid on your genitals.  People like you should be left without the option to contribute to the world's population.  If you have a friend who HAS children and wants more, expressing these sentiments will earn you a slap to the face and land you with one less friend.  Struggling with conception is hard and emotionally painful.  No one gives a rusty fuck if you hate kids.  As a good friend, you should be supportive.... or at least silent.
 
9.  "Just pray on it."
I am in love with my God and very spiritual.  I just have to be clear on something very important...  The time of Mary Magdalene is over. If people are getting knocked up through prayer alone, well, I need to be involved in this action because I'd have to see it to believe it.  While, yes, I did take time to pray for fertility, favor, and anything else that might aid in conception, I will be honest right now.  I also took medications (although they didn't work) and I had a whole wide world full of unprotected sex.
 
10.  "Don't worry.  Stress stops you from conceiving.  It will happen for you one day.  Be patient."
Actually, scientifically speaking, the longer you wait, the LESS likely it is to happen for you.  Women have a finite amount of eggs to grow into babies.  I am sure they taught you that in 5th grade health class.  Moreover, who the hell, aside from Halle Berry, wants to get knocked up at 45?  Your body is exhausted.  Your child is considerably more likely to be born with defects.  The pregnancy is also harder on your body.  But never mind those facts.  Let's talk about what raising a toddler is actually like in your 50s.  That shit SUCKS!  It's a game changer.  Trust me. When you are arthritis ridden, naturally tired, and craving a certain amount of peace that you've waited for all your life, the very last thing you want is a toddler, potty training, school activities, and drama related to children hitting puberty.
 
 I look at these comments/advice now and I laugh. I will say that during the years I was trying to conceive, hearing these statements over and over really got under my skin.  So if you have a friend who is struggling to grow their family, just be supportive!  Hug them.  Make them laugh.  Make them feel worthy and special.

Have a great Monday!
 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tummy Tuesday: 19 Weeks

These past few days have been really interesting around here. I started several new projects, all of which I am excited about, but I don't entirely have time to execute them all in a timely manner.  By timely, I mean for the holidays.  Oh well, it's the thought that counts, right?

This week has also been an emotional rollercoaster for me.  I have been in 900 arguments over petty misunderstandings and miscommunications.  While most of these squabbles have happened on social media (Facebook), I can't just chuck things up to context getting lost in written versus spoken word.  It's not that.  I think my hormones have it out for me.  There comes a point when you just have to stop and think about the common denominator in so many situations..... and, well, it was ME!  I am not happy about my lack of control when it comes to my emotions these days.  I am exhausted with apologies and overwhelmed with emotions, both positive and negative, and insecure about some friendships, as this pregnancy and my occasional bad attitude progress.  It's a lot to process. 

I did have a great day, today though!  Today, I am actually 22 weeks along, but as I have mentioned this blog is a little back dated so that I can have some peace of mind in knowing that I don't have to rush to take pictures and whatnot each week.  I have a three week cushion of time.  And I needs it!  This week, I have been a sinus/allergy hot mess, complete with migraines, constant nosebleeds, dermatitis, aches, pains, and exhaustion.  I ended up skipping my "Mommy Monday" post this week.  It's a good one, so I will have it ready for next week for sure!
  
Today was such a great and Productive Day!  I don't know about you, but my personal self-esteem is measured by how much I can accomplish.  I wish it were tied to past accolades, my beauty, or something that is a little more in my control, but what drives me from day to day is my TO DO List and getting tasks done.  So today, I powered through my headache and my nosebleeds to check things off my list.  I checked off everything but ONE thing.  Holllaaaaaa!!!!

Today, while out running errands, I had the wildest thought- I need to make a list of things I need to STOP doing while pregnant!  LOLOLOL!  I figured I would share these thoughts.

1- Stop Not Wearing Maternity Clothes
Yes, I can still fit into my regular clothes.  No, it's not very comfortable if I wear jeans or something that doesn't stretch.  My "uniform for life" is yoga pants with a t-shirt, but it is officially colder than a witch's nipple in January here. That means, I need sweatshirts.  I have them.  Just not for a growing belly.  I have TWO long sleeved maternity shirts.  Two.  I save them for when I have to get "jazzy" for a night on the town or some event.  Otherwise, you can find me smashed into a regular t-shirt and a sweatshirt that has all kinds of baby guts hanging out the bottom.  Most of my shirts are not at all meant for bellies of any sort.  I also refused to waste money on "maternity yoga pants" because they looked the same as the ones I had.  WRONG!  Maternity yoga pants have some sort of hidden skin coverage contraption or something because my current situation has me with baby guts and mama butts hanging out everywhere.  Today while out, I caught a huge chill from the icy wind.  That was my sign.  It's officially "Cover Dat Ass Season".

2- Stop Drinking Before Going Out
During this pregnancy, I have been REALLY dehydrated.  I feel like I am always chugging some sort of liquid.  I have developed this irrational fear that if I don't keep water in my car or drink 8ounces before leaving my home, I will shrivel up into a prune and die.  I have had vivid nightmares of my death by dehydration.  I always turn into an exotic dried fruit, never a prune actually.  Nowadays, this water chugging situation is making me a maniac.  Last week, when I picked up my Little Darling, I screamed at the attendant, "I'm DYING!  I need a potty!  Can I potty in the school?  Are the kids gone?"  She looked terrified.  I was mortified.  When I got out, my bladder was so full, it was throbbing.  I did a hobble/pee-pee dance across the parking lot and into the bathroom.  Without knowing it, I let out maaaaaaybe some moans.  The attendant asked me at least three times if I was all right.  Uhm, yea, lady!  Unless you wanna pee for me next time, I think I have it under control. I am pretty hell-bent on not embarrassing my Little Darling while pregnant.  I nearly failed.  A total fail would have been voicing those sentiments out loud to the attendant.  I smiled and was polite.  Mission Accomplished.

3- Stop Talking to People On Facebook
This should read: Stop Talking to Humans in General!  I am WAY too emotional.  I mean, I am a bitch.  I am mean.  I can't help it.  I keep trying to not yell at people and go off, but I am not able to make that happen.  I have prayed and prayed over this, let me just say.  For whatever reason, people and their arrogance and their unnecessary sensitivity to things I say or post on Facebook make me insane and... well, Evil.  I am usually quite opinionated, but never hateful.  I will argue something that is of importance to me.  Let me tell you, arguing about Kim Kardashian's naked titties is NOT a priority to me at all.  Yet, I argued vehemently about Kim Kardashian's bum, tits, and sex life.  I mean, for real?!  My hormones will be the death of my sanity as I know it.  I am to the point where maybe I should stay away from Facebook.  Or maybe I should find a way to disable the comments section on my page.  That way people will be forced to do what they should have in the first place:  Mind their business, Bite their tongue, Keep scrolling.  Unfortunately, in regards to the people who annoy me face-to-face, it's a whole different story.  They will all have to get hit with my handbag until my hormonal rage dies down long enough for me to see/think straight.  I'll smooth it all over with hugs and apologies later.
So for the next week or so, I am going to try three NEW things to improve my life as a Preggo:
1- Cover my guts and butts
2- Skip the 8oz drink before walking out the door, and have it an hour before I hit the road.
3- Be positive on Facebook or just stay away for a week.

Please wish me luck on not getting locked up for beating someone with my purse or for indecent exposure.

Happy Tuesday!
 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Blankets and Hot Chocolate... Minus the Hot Chocolate

Today is going by so quickly!  Well, I feel that way about every school day.  Before, my Little Darling and I would sleep in until 9-10:30am on most days.  We would have breakfast together, watch a little TV, go for a morning walk, and then start homeschool lessons.  We would then go back outside for another walk and play.  Somehow, it felt like there were twice as many hours in the day over the summer.

Now, I am awake at 6am.  Honestly, I am not a fan!  Every morning, I want to break my phone, the alarm clock, and my iPod touch.  Yes, I need *that* many alarms to wake me up every morning and somehow, I still barely manage to get out of bed.  After I am up, however, the marathon of morning tasks begins.  I am making breakfasts, ironing clothes, waking people up, packing lunches, brushing hair, getting things together, and dashing out the door.  By the time I get home, it is around 9am, and I am ready for a NAP!

Unfortunately, I usually snack and then nap from 11-1pm and I have so little time to do anything in between waking up and going to pick up my Little Darling. Then she has to get her homework, chores, dinner, and bedtime routine done in a matter of hours... and this getting dark early?  Uh, NO THANK YOU!  As soon as the sun sets, I am ready to put on some pajamas and sleep!  LOL.  Yes, I am getting old and this is the primary indicator.

Today is a rainy day, here in my city.  That contributed to my already existing exhaustion.  I took a nap and my bedroom is literally 5-7 degrees colder than the rest of my apartment.  When I awaked from my nap, I had only two things I wanted:  A cozy blanket and a mug of hot chocolate!  The funny thing is that today is actually the last "warmish" day that we will see in my city for a while, as the Polar Vortex creeps upon us, starting tomorrow.  Let me tell you, I am SO NOT READY to begin freezing my ass off from now until the end of March again.  Please, Mother Nature, No repeats of last year!

While, I didn't find that glorious mug of hot choc, I did go through my pictures of projects that I had finished, but not documented.  I found a nice, cozy baby blanket I finished over the summer.  I started to blog about the progress here.

Over the summer, my friend *A* had a sweet baby boy.  Baby N came a little early, which was a surprise.  I love to spoil my friends, especially when it is their first baby!


I made Baby N this blanket as part of a set.  I think I remember complaining about this project and all the things I had to take apart to redo over and over until it was finally finished!  Ha!  Well, guess what? I spoke waaaaaaay too soon!  I'll have to share with you my TRUE "most difficult project ever" on a another day.  Looking at this sweet baby blanket now, I feel foolish for ever getting frustrated in the first place.  I love the way it turned out!

I used a mint green, baby blue, blue, two browns, an off white, and a light beige color.  This is actually the first "Little Boy" blanket that I have made that I actually completely love!  It was so much fun to use a variety of colors and explore that.  For me, my mind only thinks in "Little Girl".  I can think of patterns and colors and projects all directed at little girls with no end in sight.  When I have to think of boys, my mind says "Blue and white. A teddy bear."  LOL!  That's really it!  I am really so very exited for *A* and her little family. I really tried to be a little more creative.  Hopefully that showed a bit.


I actually made a little set for Baby N.  He was born a little early and I know it is hard for babies to maintain their body heat, so I wanted to make sure he had a little jacket and hat to go with his set.

I have a Horrible confession, however....  My Little Darling totally stole the jacket!  I wasn't sure if I would mail it because it wasn't "perfect" enough for me.  Do you ever have those problems?  When you just don't trust your judgment and you are never satisfied with what you have created?  I have that problem all the time!  I am sure the jacket was fine, but it doesn't matter now.  As I was deciding whether to include it in the package, it mysteriously disappeared!

Unfortunately, I realized I was pregnant and started feeling tired and sick every day.  I knew it was better to mail what I had than to wait any longer, otherwise, Baby N wouldn't have gotten any package at all!  I did find the jacket on the teddy bear I used for this shoot a couple of months after I mailed the package.  My Little Darling told me it just fit him so perfectly that she wanted him to keep the jacket for the winter.  Ha!  I can't argue with that logic one bit!

I was happy to mail everything out, even though I didn't get around to mailing the rest of the projects I had done. Slacker, I know.  Somehow, pregnancy kicks my butt in ways I will never understand.  I do think that *A* and Baby N were happy with their package.  My friend was so very kind enough to feature my blanket in her newborn photos of Baby N.  Ok, I am just going to do it  and toot my own horn here, which I very, very rarely ever do.... 

Baby N looked absolutely 100% perfect snuggled in the blanket I made for him!  Thank you, *A*, for sharing those first moments with me and using something I'd made to do so.  It means so much and looking at these photos warms my heart better than any mug of hot chocolate could every manage!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Introducing Mommy Mondays & Tummy Tuesdays

Welllll....  It's been a very long time.  Months.  I didn't actually mean for that to happen, but it did.  Hopefully, all the wonderful people who take time to read this tiny blog will forgive me and come back my way for future reads.  But that's how it goes, right?  Sometimes people step away and then come back refreshed.

My hiatus was due to getting some HUGE news!  I am PREGNANT!  I found out in mid-July.  I am still a little shocked about it on some days, but I am actually 20 weeks now, so I am definitely getting used to the idea that I am growing a Little Someone inside of me.

In light of this Big Change in my life, I wanted to find a way to incorporate this into my blog.  This is where I share and document.  If there's a better place for a Belly Diary, please tell me now! So from this week onward, I will be having Mommy Mondays and Tummy Tuesdays.  That's the plan, at least.  On Mondays, I'll talk about milestones, favorites, parenting, etc and on Tuesdays, I will do something I usually don't do: Post pictures of myself.  I especially never post full-body pictures of myself!  I don't have the most thrilling body shape and I have a really boring wardrobe as well.  LOL.  But I am sucking it up, getting dressed, and going to post weekly pictures.  Why not?  Maybe I will look back on this, when it is all over and be grateful.  Lately, I have been going through pictures and my Belly Book from when I was preggers with my Little Darling.  I took FOUR belly pictures.  One at 4 months, one at 6, one at 8, and one at 9.  And they were done poorly.  I wish I had started taking photos sooner this time around so I could compare, but I never thought I would be pregnant again.

We are half way done, but I love the idea of thinking back over the weeks and reflecting on... well, whatever comes to mind.  For this week, I just have so much catching up to do.  What have I been doing?  How has the pregnancy gone?  What have I been crafting?  So much to talk about!

Long story short, the pregnancy is going well.  I am starting my Belly Diary at 18 weeks on the blog.  But here is a super quick recap of everything that's been missed:

I found out I was pregnant literally the day after going to the zoo with a bunch of friends, all of whom were planning to get pregnant again.  I knew I couldn't get pregnant, but I was happy for them just the same.  Then, I took the test.  I have never prayed over anything as much as I have this little Blessing inside of me!  That first week or two gave me Monster Energy!  I finished a gift for a friend (which I will blog about tomorrow) and I created a Filofax (which I've lost) and I deep cleaned my apartment and made all these checklists. Basically, I went bat shit crazy with planning and organizing, barely getting any sleep at all.

Then, the mega exhaustion hit.  I slept for three months. Period.  I did the bare minimum so that I did not seem like a hoarder and so that I would not be reported for maintaining a biohazard of an apartment.  That is all.

Fiiiiiinally, I came out of the hibernation period and spent about a month cleaning and getting my shit back on track.  By then, I was about 15 weeks.  Why has it taken me an additional 5 weeks to come back to Blogger Land?  Because blogging is a habit, and once you fall out of your routine, it's the hardest thing ever to return.  Aside from that, our entire family routine changed, as our Little Darling started school for the first time.  Coming out of a coma for three months and going directly into a routine change was the biggest challenge this family has ever endured, but we made it.  We are all together, united, and happy as a unit, working to get everything done together each day and night.

Now, I am here and the dust has fully settled.  These are the first belly photos I have taken.  I think they are all right.  I meant to take some at 17 weeks.  That was the first time I could feel our baby kick.  And this two Sundays ago (Nov 2) was the first time The Hubs could feel the baby kick!  I went from baby flutters to full on soccer player in about 5 days!  I was so happy about feeling the baby move that I made this little sketch to remember it.

At 18 weeks, I went on a "Fit Mom" rampage, eating healthier, working out, etc.  I don't know why.  It just sort of happened.  The Hubs signed us up for a 5k for Breast Cancer Awareness month.  That's actually not unusual.  We are usually a pretty active family.  We enjoy doing 5k races/walks, hiking, bike rides, and just about anything physical. 

This 5k was, however, the first time I had gotten off my pregnant ass to walk more than 2 miles!  So I made another sketch to go with this moment... and now, I am thinking it will become a weekly thing.  I enjoy sketching, and this is easy practice.

I was pretty surprised that I went out and did the 5k. I am not the lazy type, but I am a creature of habit and I am no longer in the routine of working out and walking daily.  But I went for it just to see how it would go.  Talk about round ligament pains!  And the bladder sitch?!  WOW!  I went to the bathroom a whopping FIVE times during the walk.  I didn't even drink any water while walking!


The next few days, I walked and hiked with friends and family.  The goal was to work out those muscles so that I can stop being in agony every time I decided to be active.  While my hip joints are still sore, I am not having the cramps from ligament pains anymore, so that's a major win!  I stopped working out so much because I lost 3 lbs that week.  Usually, I would be pumped about that progress, but losing weight while preggers is a No-Go.

I am thinking of some alternatives to create a healthy and safe workout routine in the next couple of weeks.  The benefits are plenty, but I want to be careful and put Little Someone first!  So we will see where this journey takes us.

I'm so happy to be sharing this experience with everyone...  I am hoping my posts will get better as I get back in the groove of sharing and documenting again.  It took me several attempts to remember how to work my camera and capture decent shots of myself and my projects too!  I've got so much more coming, with projects for Little Someone and my Little Darling.  I have belly shots to come.  I have drawings and sketches to come, something I don't think I have shared much on this blog.... And MORE!  Much more.

This week, I am skipping a separate post for Tummy Tuesday, as they are combined this week, and I will update you on some projects I have going...  because what crafty person is ever just working on one project at a time, right?

I am taking my leave for the evening, but I will be back tomorrow with some crafty goodness!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Full of Memories, Not Regrets

WOW!  Has it really been weeks since I have blogged?  I don't understand how the time has gone by so quickly.  I have been working and working on things.  I can't really show any of the projects I have finished until tomorrow, after I know my friend has received her package.

But I feel so detached and left out from Blog-Land.  I have been with hook in hand for weeks now, and I haven't even picked up my laptop except maybe once or twice.  I checked Pinterest for some ideas and I skimmed through a few blogs while I was online. Otherwise, I have been tucked away inside of a small world of making things. It's crazy how I get so lost in what I am making that I don't realize time passing right in front of me!

Lately, I have been going to play a lot and meeting with friends.  I love a good play date!  My Little Darling gets to meet up with her friends and the children occupy themselves, while the adults chat away.  It's the best, especially for a stay-at-home mama like me.  I only talk to children all day long!  Sometimes, I miss having a conversation with an adult...about adult topics...infused with adult humor.  I miss the laughs I would have with my co-workers late at night, after our shift had ended.  I miss it dearly.

But something else has been tugging at me, too.  I miss family time!  I have been so embedded in projects and summer homeschooling.  The Hubs has been working so much lately, staying late at his main job and picking up hours at his second job.  It seems like we haven't had much time, the three of us, to connect.  With those thoughts, I found myself looking though these pictures of when we went to the Falls of the Ohio Park about a month ago. 

We needed this family trip so badly......  aaaaannnnd cue onslaught of mass photos!  LOL!

I think, by now, it goes without saying, that I LOVE me some flowers!  I could photograph flowers all day, everyday for the rest of my life.  They are beautiful and they smell wonderful.



 I love all the deep colors in these flowers.  They feel so rich and elegant to me.

Somehow, these strange flowers remind me of Dr. Seuss....  I always thought he made up those weird fluffy flowers... Apparently, his inspiration can be found in nature!
I kept standing there, waiting for these flowers to open up and bloom.  So pretty!

The Hubs was so worried that I would get stung by a bee.  They were all over the place.  I just love observing insects in their natural habitats.  It was worth the risk!
I have never photographed a dragonfly before.  They are beautiful, but they fly around so erratically that I usually just capture a blur.   I am happy this one took a small break :-)

The beach there was so unique. I have never seen anything quite like it.  Of course, there were families who were out for the day to go fishing, but I like to think of my small family as "adventurists".  We like to climb, hike, dig, and explore.
 

 
I took this photo, while standing on top of a hill.  The beach had so many branches, sticks, and driftwood that had been washed ashore.  I loved the light color of all the wood.
 All these branches stretched for at least a mile....
We wanted to be closer to the water, so we ventured out past the branch-covered beach to the rocks that were upon the shoreline.
 
 We spent two hours, climbing over rocks along the beach. 

We saw these beautiful fossils, stories of nature and animals of the past, carved into several of the rocks we climbed.

Eventually, after our legs and arms were so exhausted from climbing across rocks, we saw a path in the woods, and climbed up to see where it would lead.

That's when we found a little snack!
We each snacked on a few mulberries.  They were sour, but delicious.  I prefer sour to sweet flavors actually.

I just needed this time with my family, and it was amazing!  Looking through these photos and reliving the memories of this fun little outing reminds me of what's important in my life.  I love my little family.  I love nature.  I love being healthy and fit enough to get out and really enjoy nature!




^^^ These two are my Heart and my World.  It's time we got back out and did this again before the summer is gone. 

Time flies by so quickly.  Take time to enjoy the moments when they come your way.  And if you, like I am now, realize that it has been too long since you have spent time with loved ones doing what you love--- Then I say, MAKE IT HAPPEN NOW!  Life goes by in a blink, and I refuse to grow old and be filled with regret, rather than Beautiful Memories.

Have a wonderful Thursday.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Distractions... Lovely Little Distractions

Well, today is one of those days, where I reeeaallly don't want to do anything.  This week has been completely strange for me anyway.

I had headaches and migraines for the first half of the week, but I tried to work through them.  For me, I think pain is a mental thing.  I think if you can find distractions from the pain, you don't notice it.  If you are a busy housewife like me, there is always plenty to be done!  So this week has been 100% about staying distracted!

Tuesday, I walked SIX miles!  Woo hoo!  That's the most miles I have done in one outing.  It felt great.  I went out to walk, as I was feeling under the weather, so it took me forever, but I am proud of myself.  I like to stay fit, even when I don't feel well.

Yesterday was all about doing things I don't like to do.  I cleaned.  I combed my hair...which I hate.  I have a lot of hair and it takes so much work to make it look presentable.  I cleaned more.  And then I cooked a HUGE meal.  We have so many fresh produce that are going to spoil, so I cooked and baked a lot yesterday.

Then, I forced myself to make some post cards.  I hate to measure out perfect squares and rectangles.  I have actually never made postcards before, so this was a new experience.  I have so many letters that I have to write to pen pals!  I am falling completely behind.  So, for those I owe some short letters, I will send post cards. 

I love the ones I made.  I will need to take some pictures and then show them off.  I am proud of them!  Some are fancy.  Some are cute.  Some are hand painted... Yes, I went from "I hate this" to "Let's make this a challenge and see how creative I can really get!"  I like games and I like to make things into games, whenever I can!  The postcards turned out great and I will show them another day :-) 

I have put in a LOT of work on my friend's baby boy blanket....and then something terrible happened...

I realized I didn't like what I did!!!!  Has that ever happened to you?!  I didn't have a sketch or a clear plan.  Everything was very spontaneous.  That's always a risk, when you don't have a plan about how the finished project should look.  Well, now, I have a big decision to make...  Do I take away the work that I have done and start over? I REALLY don't want to think about that!  Or do I just keep going even though I am really not happy with the way the blanket looks...

Honestly, I know I will have to remove all the work I did and start over.  I am a perfectionist, and I need to feel proud about the work I do, especially if it is a gift for a dear friend.

I just can't seem to force myself to start taking things apart just yet, so I have started an alternative project.  Sometimes, I need to let things sit for a little while before I make a final decision.


I made these squares for a backpack I will make for my Little Darling.  I am thinking that it will make a nice surprise for her.  I love all the purples and pinks.  Very girly.  I love little girls!  SO much fun!!


These three light purples are so similar, but they are all three different colors of yarn... Actually there are even three different KINDS of yarn!  But they are all very close in the same weight, so you can't tell they are different.  I love how soft these different yarns are. And I love that the squares seem as though they have little purple flowers coming out of them :-)


I found this purple fabric, sitting in my mass "collection" of fabrics.  I have soooooooo much sewing stuff for someone who doesn't know how to sew!  I told myself that before this year ends, I will make at least ONE attempt at sewing something...  Just ONE THING!  For my confidence.  Sometimes, all you really need is One Small Win....  Then you will have the confidence and the know-how to keep trying and get better at something new.  That's all I need with sewing.  I need to make One Small Thing and I will be able to try new projects without fear!


Although I think I prefer either a darker purple or a pink on the inside, I think this fabric will be fine for lining the bag.  And it's a cute floral print, which my Little Darling will love.  I am very nervous about this.  It's a fairly advanced project for me.  I have never sewn a lining into a crochet bag before.  I have also never sew zippers!  HA!  I will be learning all kinds of new things with this project., and I couldn't be happier!  It' time for me to break away from making so many baby blankets all the time.  I need to be brave and try new things, right?

The plan:  backpack with a front pocket for smaller items.  I will work on this over the weekend, rather than the little boy blanket.  I hope I can figure everything out easily enough to finish it this weekend.  I want to fill it will all sorts of school supplies and little doll clothes for my Little Darling.  She's been working so hard in order to prepare for private school in the fall.  She isn't getting much of a summer break, as we have lessons all day.  It's hard for her to hear and see other kids playing, but she has to study.  She has been very diligent and very positive through the whole thing...  I want to give her something to show her that Mommy knows how much work she's done and that Mommy is So Very Proud!


I also got these yarns...  I am excited to work on projects using a lighter weight yarn.  I love my thick and chunky yarns for the winter.  I love my worsted weight yarns for everyday projects, but I have really been inspired to create some items for clothing.  I have been seeing some cute ideas on Instagram and Pinterest.  I want to design and attempt to create more of my own personal clothing.

These are for some projects I want to work on for my Little Darling.  A couple of years ago, I bought several yards of various jersey knit fabric.  I wanted to make her some pajama pants.  Well, I never did it... obviously.... but now I am left with too little fabric to make her any pants with.  Plus, it's so hot here.  Instead, I thought about making some dresses, tops, and maybe some shorts...




Yes, these are some very colorful patterned fabrics.  I think they would make cute dresses and shirts. I can't wait to give this a try.  I find that it is easier to learn a new skill on something smaller.  It is easier to learn to make something for a doll or a child first.  If these projects go well, then I will be making some interesting adult shirts for myself !  Well, that is the plan at least :-)

For now, I am heading to watch the last half of the USA vs. Germany game for the FIFA World Cup.

I am American and grew up in Germany.  Either way, it's a win for me.

Happy Thursday!