Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tummy Tueday:: 29 Weeks

Well, it's that time again, TUESDAY!  I think I am starting to look forward to Tuesdays, as I finally have time to sit and blog again.  I like this little escape from my boring life.  This week has been very emotional and a little painful.  My baby keeps growing and I haven't grown much myself.  Today, I am actually 31 weeks, and I am already counting down until the day I can sleep in whatever position I want and until my hips are no longer throbbing!  I can't wait.
Since I have been pregnant, I have learned so many things about myself and my body.  I have never been one who is jealous of other women.  I think jealousy and envy are toxic to ones overall wellbeing.  That being said, I do try to take care of myself and I can be somewhat critical of my health and body at times.  Since, I have been pregnant, I have been paying Extra attention to images of the female body in media and also the things women say in everyday life.

Until recently, people couldn't tell that I was pregnant. I usually wear yoga pants and a giant t-shirt.  I also gained no weight from weeks 22-29.  No worries, the baby continued to grow, which was incredibly uncomfortable.  I have no complaints because my Little Someone's health is paramount.  I just found myself conflicted with emotions.  On the one hand, I was really upset throughout those weeks that people couldn't tell I was pregnant.   I also got super tired of other mothers and pregnant women rolling their eyes at me, saying I was "tiny" and that I "barely look" pregnant. I felt like I didn't earn whatever right of passage into the Maternity Club.  On the other hand, I wanted to laugh in all their faces and remind them that I am still wearing my non-maternity clothes and I won't have much trouble shrinking down to my pre-baby weight after delivery. 

Every now and again, I would be hella constipated and bloated.  On those days, I looked twice my size and everyone was happy and excited for me. Unfortunately, the poop and water weight didn't stick around for the long haul.  Again, I was conflicted.  I was happy I could poop, but even happier that I wasn't getting "fat".  I was also upset that I returned to my status of "barely pregnant".  I am a little disappointed I have come to think of things in either of those ways.  I don't usually compare myself to other women or feel any emotional conflict when it comes to my body image.
I think what upsets me the most about all these thoughts going through my head is that NONE of them are acceptable. I hate this idea that people have permission to scrutinize and criticize women, especially women in vulnerable states such as pregnancy.  I don't understand what it is about the female shape that invites so much negative commentary.  I will admit that I have definitely been affected by this "war on the female shape" since I have been pregnant.

Celebrities and style bloggers constantly state that they "barely gained more than baby weight", that they "never gave up wearing 6-inch stilettos", and that they "never bought maternity clothes, aside from maternity jeans".  Don't get me wrong. I love-LOVE celebrities.  I also respect and understand they have to maintain a certain shape/figure as part of their jobs.  What I don't understand and can't accept the is underlying message beneath the comments they make in regard to their bodies while pregnant.  As representatives of women in society, as voices for women in society, I am confused about why celebrities feel the need to indirectly shame women who gain weight while pregnant.  I also can't figure out why more celebrities, as role models and women of influence, don't stand up to the media when there are negative articles about pregnant celebrities and their weight gain.

Well, here is the TRUTH.  There is no right or wrong when it comes to pregnancy weight.  The ultimate goal is to grow and harbor a Healthy Baby.  That means, eating healthy, balanced meals (if your baby will let you because cravings are the Real Effing Deal) and getting an appropriate, safe amount of exercise.  Your body is going to do what it needs to do in order to accommodate the task at hand.

Personally, I have never felt more feminine than when I am pregnant.  Everything about my body becomes softer and rounder.  At first, it was a bit of a hard pill to swallow, knowing that just before getting pregnant, I lost about 25 pounds and started to firm up.  All of these selfish thoughts are cancelled out when I go to my prenatal check-ups and I am told that my Little Someone is doing well and growing like a lovely little weed inside of my body. 

Ladies, comparing yourself to other women is never the way to happiness. If you are unhappy with your appearance, and you are physically able to do something about it, don't waste time pretending.  Don't waste energy being hateful and jealous of women who have nice curves or women who are thinner than you are.  In the end, it makes you weak and fills you with negative energy and self-doubt.  Rather, take some responsibility for your appearance and do what you can to focus on yourself.  Work to change the things you can and refocus that energy wasted on being envious of others towards learning to accept and love things about yourself that you can't change.

As I've mentioned, being pregnant has taught me so much more about my body and myself that I could imagine.  I really have just learned to accept that I will likely gain 40 pounds by March.  I have accepted that I have gone up two cup sizes in my bra. I have accepted that I can't workout the way I planned because my hips are killing me and too much activity makes it worse.  I have accepted that I have lost most of the muscle tone I worked on.  I have also learned that I can be incredibly happy dressing my new body.  I am impressed that I am able to still get around, despite the hip pains and sciatica.  I am To The Moon excited when my Little Someone moves around, causing me all sorts of discomfort because my body isn't growing as fast as she is.  I am really happy and truly proud of myself.  That's where it starts.  If you can love your strengths, accept your shortcomings, and make a plan to strengthen your weaknesses, no one can take away the confidence that comes from finding peace within and love you have for yourself.

Happy Tuesday!  Hopefully, someone read this today and took a moment to smile at themselves in the mirror, loving Exactly what she sees, just the way she is!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

WIPs on a Wednesday

Today has been such a laid back day.  I spent the day enjoying the sunshine pouring in through my blinds, sipping hot lemon ginseng tea, and getting my hooky-hook on.  I have so many ideas for projects.  I need to start a sketch/pattern book or something before I forget all the awesome things I want to do.

Do you ever have that problem?  Where your mind is working a thousand times faster than your hands ever could?  I have that issue literally every single day!  There is something about taking a shower or washing the dishes that inspires me... Something about getting clean pushes in all these creative ideas.  I mean, I even get the best ideas for projects that I actually have no clue how to complete.  If only I could sew!  I would have so many gorgeous collections of evening and bridal wear! LOL.

For now, though, I have to really hold back and hone my focus.  As I have mentioned so candidly before, this pregnancy has been a bit unexpected and as a result, we are definitely unprepared financially for the cost of a new one after so many years.  We have NO BABY ITEMS!  I actually can't even think of all the things a new baby needs anymore.  It's been so long.

I do know that we will need lots of blankets...  and that is something I can handle.

Please forgive all the photobombs by the baby bump.  I have really taken to just snapping pictures of WIPs as I am on the go.  Having to stage photos and move things around sometimes is just too much work. LOL. I have to be honest about my laziness!

I have always wanted to try a "Ripple Stitch" blanket, but I could never understand any of the patterns that I found.  Finally, I decided on a color scheme for my Little Someone and I decided to just go for it.  Whatever happened just happened.... and what's the worst that could happen?  Well, I will tell you!  The "worst" that happened is that I can't do math and, as usual, I totally messed up the pattern and figured out my own way to make this blanket work.  All this catastrophe from the most simplest of patterns that I could find.

And now, I am a little less than half way done!  The mistake I made?.....  If you can't tell, neither will I!  Hahahaha!  I got the super easy pattern here.  I wasn't sure about adding a row of pink, but now that it's there, I love it. I am hoping to have this cutie finished by the weekend.  If not, sooner.  Let's hope I can stay focused!

And here is blanket #2.  I have a total of 4 project ideas and, when I ran out of white yearn for the ripple stitches, I started this pretty ombré blanket.  I am in love with the color purple in all shades.  It's just a rich and beautiful color.  I have always wanted to make an ombré patterned blanket, but I never needed anything small enough for me to try out the pattern.  I am happy that I am in need of some baby blankets now!

I decided to try my hand at switching stitches.  This blanket starts with a shell stitch, but I have always wanted a blanket that has popcorn stitches going across it.  I have NO patience to make an entire blanket of popcorn stitches...... or so I thought.  I've actually never completed a blanket that was worked in rows.  I always get bored and give up.  I feel so motivated to make blankets for my Little Someone that I might actually be able to finish a full blanket of popcorn stitches.  Ha!  Funny how things work out that way.

I am excited about this blanket.  I love the off white popcorn section.  I am hella allergic to the yarn that I am using, and I actually have to wear a face mask as I crochet.  It's not really the yarn that causes the allergic reaction, but the dust.  I am extremely allergic to dust and dust mites.  So, as soon as I am finished with the blanket, it will be washed and I will be fine.  Oh the things we do for our children, right?!

And this is the final installment of the projects I have going at the moment for my Little Someone.  These will just be granny squares.  I never thought much about the color gray until I saw something on Instagram.  It had lavender, mint green, and grey.  Suddenly, I knew EXACTLY which colors I wanted for this new baby. I would have gone with a light brown if it were a boy, rather than the lavender and I probably would have used a turquois and orange as accents, rather than the yellows and pinks...... OH NOOOOO!!!!  I am starting to get ideas for little boy blankets!  GAH! **Must Stay Focused**

Being the creative type definitely has its drawbacks.  Hahahahaa. 

I am really glad to report that I am equally excited about each and every last one of these blankets.  For blanket #4, I haven't decided if I want to do a circles in squares pattern, African Flowers (the granny square modification), or if I want to work in rows again and do a full single-colored blanket in the snapdragon stitch.  Decisions, Decisions!  I am not worried about it for the time being.  I've clearly got my hands completely full with these three blankets that I am working simultaneously.

If anyone has any advice or ideas on cute baby blanket patterns, feel free to share!  I am so motivated right now, that I want to take in as much as I can.

Until then, HAPPY HUMP DAY!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tummy Tuesday: December Recap

YAY!!! First post of 2015!   I have finally carved out some time to sit and blog.  Finally!

December is always somewhat of a marathon for this family.  We have, all within about three week's time, holiday school functions with our Little Darling, my wedding anniversary to the Hubs, three birthdays (17th, 20th, 22nd) Christmas, New Year's celebrations and my sister's birthday on January 2nd.  So....  yea.  By the end of the month, I am celebrated, partied, and holiday spirited out!  To top it off this year, my Little Darling was incredibly sick for the first week of January.  I feel like I am just now getting caught up with life.... and all that with NO COFFEE!  It's hard out here for a preggo.  LOL.

I never want to lie about things regarding who I am and what I am capable of.  Honesty is definitely my best quality.  This December was particularly hard on us financially.  We have lived slightly below our means for years, so that we always had a cushion and were comfortable.  We were sort of thrown a little surprise when we got the budget to pay for Little Someone's delivery and that was due in December as well.  I was not in the holiday spirit in the slightest.  Right before our eyes, the December budget grew by thousands of dollars and for the first time in years, I was going to have to choose which things we let go for the month.  That's hard for a Mama!  December is crazy busy, but it's also the month that we try to just make every effort to acknowledge, love on, and celebrate our Little Darling.  Her birthday is just 5 days before Christmas and this year, she was in school more than home for the first time.

I definitely felt the strain, as The Hubs and I decided early on that we would do whatever we could to make sure that our Little Darling knew no difference between this December and any other.  Thankfully, I am rather confident in my handmade crafts skills.  And a Happy Handmade Holidays it was for us!  But that meant that one thing I had to let go was blogging.  I didn't have time to get dressed for photos and I didn't have time to take any pictures or write anything either.  I mean, it was the biggest crazy mad dash of insanity ever!  I am so, so, so happy that I am comfortable to putting my family first and prioritizing.

Today, I am officially 30 weeks pregnant...  GAH!  How did that happen?!  Time flies when you are so busy you can't stay tuned to your pregnancy counter, LOL.
28 weeks, approaching Whale Status...
I had a little time two weeks ago to take some belly pictures, but my Little Darling fell sick, so I wasn't able to post.  Again, I am really proud of myself for being able to prioritize.  I wasn't always this way.  A long time ago, I would consider my family to be an impertinence.  I always felt bothered by their needing my time and attention.  There were times when I would ask my Little Darling to play alone so I could work on art projects or blog "in peace".  Now, after waiting years to be blessed with another child, I know much better!

Children grow so fast.  My heart was completely broken when I noticed that my Little Darling isn't playing with toys as much as she used to.  I think of the time she spent in daycare that I didn't get to watch her play because I was working and going to grad school and I "didn't want to be bothered" with her.  I think of all the times I was busy or tired.  I think of the times when I just wasn't in the mood.....  I feel like I somehow missed it, all the many precious moments to see her be sweet and tiny.  Now, she is growing up, reading and writing, doing art projects on her own, and asking for her "alone time" without me.  I guess I taught her well in that regard, but I won't be making the same mistake again.  Having been given a second chance, I will definitely take more time and pay better attention to BOTH of my little girls.

I am so excited about this new year!  It's more than just a new year, a chance to change, improve, or undo mistakes... This is the year that everything changes for our family, and I couldn't be more excited about it!

I am mega also mega THRILLED to finally have the time to start showing off some new projects I have been working on, starting tomorrow.  I made some things in November/December, but I had no time for photos.  They needed to be mailed straight out. I am pumped to show off what I have on the hook tomorrow, so see you then!  

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mommy Monday: My Favorite Mom Blogs

Wooohoooo!  It's Monday!  Ok, maybe I shouldn't try so hard with the excitement.  The truth is I am really excited to be getting so much done today.  This past weekend, all I did was sleep.  I mean, I was rendered completely useless.  I slept about 10-14 hours each day from Friday to Sunday. I think I am over-estimating exactly how much physical work my body is doing as I build a baby.  Additionally, it has not fully sunk into my mind that I am no longer as young and fit as I was back in the day.  When I pull an all-nighter now, while pregnant, it's like I went out three nights in a row, binge drinking!  When I take Benadryl at 11pm now, again, it's like I went out three nights in a row, binge drinking.  I wake up, feeling hung-over, incoherent, and cranky.  I am learning these things slowly, but let me tell you what, Now that these lessons have been learned, I will be taking heed!

All weekend, as I struggled to stay awake more than sleep, I kept thinking of all the celebrities who make pregnancy look like a walk in the park.  Uhm, yea right!  I guess I would look wonderful too if I had a full glam squad at my beck and call.  I would have energy too if I had a nanny, maid, cook, personal stylist all at my beck and call.  I would be glowing too if I had money for the best vitamins, hair extensions, make up lines, and maternity spa treatments.

But I don't.  Little ol' me?  I have Life.  Real Fucking Life.  So I turned my focus, not to celebrities, although I love watching them like the rest of the world, but to Real Women.  There are times, when I just need to relate to someone REAL!  I am in love with Social Media.  I think, when used responsibly, it is a great tool for connecting with others and a great source of inspirations.  Or at least, that's what I tell myself as I creep around on all these pages, following people I have never personally met.  I'm sure they don't mind though. LOL.

I figured I would share some of my favorite Blogging Mommies with you.  It just so happens that all of these women are pregnant and one has just given birth.  Please know that NONE of the following photos are my own, but belong to the awesome Bloggers out there, sharing their wonderful experiences with us all.  All of their information is posted after each photo and it would be fantastic if you could check out their IG accounts, YT channels, and blogs.  Needless to say, I am aaaalll about supporting self-made, creative women!

Chriselle is this awesome stylist and fashion blogger that lives in California. I love her elegant and feminine style.  Nothing is too over-the-top, although I usually can't afford one single thing she is wearing!  My favorite thing about Chriselle is her honesty.  I have followed her blog, The Chriselle Factor, YouTube Channel and, now, her Instagram since she first started.  You can definitely see her growth through her progress.  I love that she doesn't mind to open up and share about the things she's experienced, whether it be about her miscarriage or opening up about how much weight she has gained during her pregnancy.  I think women need to be honest with one another and we need more role models who are confident enough in their own skin to share those honest moments with others.

 I totally forgot to mention that she posts AMAZING pictures of DELICIOUS FOOD!!!
Follow Chriselle:  YouTube // Blog // Instagram @ChriselleLim

Jade is someone that I totally just stumbled upon during one of my Instagram trolling moments.  Ok, I won't lie, I don't even know what "social media trolling" really means, but I do explore all the time for people to follow who share wonderful experiences and beautiful photos.  Jade has such a simple and beautiful style.  I could actually see myself wearing some of the things that she shows on her fashion/ beauty blog, A Spoonful of Style.  Well, I would wear them if I were as cute as she is!  I have SO MANY things that I love about this woman and her blog/IG account.  First, I love that I can afford just about everything that she posts.  Seriously.  And the clothes she gets aren't from some sort of ritzy, hyper expensive specialty shops.  Home girl goes to the mall!  I think we can all manage that, right?  I also love the pictures she shares of her home.... because I am a weirdo like that.  LOL. I love interior decorations, even though I am no good at decorating at all.  A girl can dream!  I also love, Love, LOVE that she shares so many pictures of her nursery.  I love it because a.) I am terrible with decorating, and I need all the ideas I can get for my own Little Someone and b.) her nursery is to die for!  So pretty and elegant. 

Follow Jade: YouTube // Blog // Instagram @JScott24

Naomi is a lifestyle blogger, living in New York.  I love that she is a city girl, making the city life look as cozy as country living!  She has this artsy-mod look about her and I love that about her style.  Most of the other bloggers I follow don't have as edgy of a look as she does, which is a lot of fun to experience.  My favorite thing about her blog, Love Taza, is that it is so family oriented.  It's loaded with gorgeous pictures of her family and home (I know, I'm creeping again!).  She so relatable in each post, like being a mom is really no big deal, ever.  I love how unapologetic she is about her life and experiences.  It's so beautiful.  She also gives great advice on motherhood and toddler eats.  I don't know if you have ever experienced a picky child at the dinner table, but this Mama right here could use all the help she can get. My Little Darling won't eat anything!

Follow Naomi: YouTube // Blog // Instagram @taza

Lastly, but definitely not least, Amy is awesome!  I love her IG account.  She's, in a lot of ways, a woman after my own heart.  She's currently serving in the military, which I respect so much, having grown up as an army brat myself.  I love her style.  It's a mix of tomboy comfort and simple girly looks.  She's also hella crafty!  I am always tuned in to see what's coming out of her craft room next.  She is also a woman of Faith. I am in love with a woman who has Faith and is unapologetic about it.  I love seeing her doodles on the side of the Bible, and the verses that have inspired her throughout the weeks as she posts.   For me, she is kind of the total package in terms of my personal interests because I can get all my fixes in one spot!  A cute outfit idea every here and there.  Great craft inspo.  Bible verses to meditate and reflect upon.  Honest and so real, but able to maintain a sense of positivity and gratitude.  She also shared her nursery, which was so unique!  I love the ideas I gathered from it.  Pop on over to her IG account and wish her a Major Heartfelt Congratulations on her brand new, perfect baby girl!

Follow Amy:  Instagram @AmyLouHawthorne // Shop Amy's designs @bestillclothingcompany

So yea, I know, these women are all quite different.  I have a personal and unique style of my own, but I LOVE to explore the styles and lifestyles of others.  I am too old and too much of a Mommy to have these explorations first hand.  That's what social media is for me.  A way that I can peak into what other women who are experiencing similar things are doing, how they're coping, and how they're creating and paving a way for their children into the future.  Hopefully, one day, I can do the same.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Belated Tummy Tuesday:: 21 Weeks

Whew!  This week has completely flown by.  I feel like LIFE is completely flying by.  Do you remember those days, as a child, on a summer break from school?  Remember being frustrated, wanting summer to hurry and end so you can be back in school with your friends all day and have something to do?  I remember those days all too well.  I remember living with my grandma at one time.  She told me, "Oh just wait til you get old and slow down a bit.  Wait til you get a job too!  When you spend all your day, rushing around for work and taking care of a family, you are never bored and time flies!"  I just thought she was being crazy.  She was so right!

This week, I have no sketch......  Aaaaahhh!!!  Already slacking at my "weekly task"!  I am so terrible with sticking to schedules and routines.  I am fortunate that I have made time each week to take belly pictures.  Believe me, that's a real improvement to my otherwise completely free spirit.

This week, I have been filled with thoughts about "Being Pretty".  As I admitted before, I literally get up and get dressed and make myself pretty for each of these mini photo shoots.  Under normal circumstances, you can find me sitting around in yoga pants, a baggy t-shirt, with my hair in a messy ponytail.  No make up.  No jewelry.  No smile either.
It never really occurred to me how .... uhm... what's a nice way to put it?  I never realized that I had become frumpy.  My husband never said anything.  My Little Darling is obsessed with nothing other than my growing belly, and for that, she finds me to be the most beautiful being on the planet.

It wasn't until yesterday, Wednesday, that I had to go to volunteer as a Parent Reader for the day at my Little Darling's private school.  I was irritable because I had very narrow guidelines on what books I could read, and I actually had to go out and buy a book specifically for this volunteer session.  I was exhausted because I hadn't slept much in the past few days.  So yea, "Frumpy Mummy" was also "Grumpy Mummy" as well.  After dropping off our Little Darling, The Hubs delicately tells me that I need to do something about my appearance before volunteering because I look like a bum. 

Now, I am never one to get upset when someone is telling me the TRUTH, and he definitely was!  I shower daily, but I never moisturize.  I am clearly African American and my skin gets hella dry if I don't moisturize.  But I am too lazy.  For those of you who swear lotions and coco butters are the way to steer clear of stretch marks, I will tell you now that I am making way for Stretch Mark City. I hang out in whatever pajama situation I pull out of the closet, not caring to match.  I mean, I won't even try to get dressed.  I also have become accustomed to not wearing stuff....  Like, no bra, no make up, no deodorant.  The night before, The Hubs told me I cut him with the heels of my crusty feet.  HE was joking around, but sure enough, my feet looked HORRIBLE!  I mean, I was still wearing polish on my toes from a pedicure that I had gotten this summer.  Yep.  That bad. 

I didn't mean for it to happen.  I am so overwhelmed right now with these plans of a handmade holiday season.  I am always tired during this pregnancy.  I feel like I have to pick between getting rest and getting things done.  I usually opt for getting things done, but those "things" have nothing to do with my appearance, happiness, or wellbeing.  I figured, as long as I manage 5 hours of sleep, stay away from crack, meth, and LSD, and as long as I eat and use the bathroom, I am rocking it out.  Right?  Well, no.  Not exactly.  I am not the type of girl who's self esteem is tied to my appearance, but I definitely find value in taking care of myself.  I notice that when I don't bother with putting myself together, my overall mood takes a turn for the worse.

I am learning now that I need to put myself, ME, first sometimes.  I had to pause for a moment and look around.  Truth be told, nothing is as 100% as I like to pretend, so why I don't make time to take better care of myself is a total mystery.  As a preggo, I am realizing the importance of making time to do these little things that make me feel beautiful and wonderful on the inside and on the outside. 

It's not selfish to take 5-10 minutes to put on some make up, which I only wear if I am going out to a social/professional event, or if I am planning to be photographed.  It's not selfish to do a home manicure or pedicure, if you can manage.  And if you can no longer touch your toes, or your feet have gone past the point of redemption, it's perfectly fine to get a mani-pedi somewhere and a foot massage!  It's also OK to buy nice maternity clothes.  Yes, you will only need them for a limited time, but let's face it, most of us aren't going to bounce right back into our pre-pregnancy bodies within 90 days, so, if we are being honest with ourselves, we'll wear these maternity clothes for 6months past our due dates.  They're comfortable and why not get a little extra use?

I just want to be clear about something important::  If you prefer to be "comfortable" in your yoga pants, t-shirts, and fluffy socks, there is NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT!   If you are a tomboy or a "Casual Cutie", as I like to call my yoga pants wearing sisters (LOL), then feel completely free to do that too.  Don't be discouraged and stop putting on your cute yoga pants because most maternity clothes are too feminine or frilly.  Don't sit around in men's pajamas.  It's not selfish to go out and buy the maternity version of your Casual Cutie uniform.

I think the point that I am trying to make is that we need to do what works for us.  We need to do what works for our families.  Taking care of yourself, feeling beautiful and healthy (emotionally and physically) is the Best way to get on the path to taking great care of your family.  Your happiness will transcend into your home.  If you usually put yourself together, then don't fall apart because you are pregnant or because you went from working to being a stay at home mom.  Get Pretty!  Do it for yourself.  There's nothing wrong, bad, or selfish about staying true to that part of yourself.

For me, I will be paying better attention to myself.  I get so wrapped up in art projects and taking care of my family that I forget about ME.  I forget to do those little tiny things that make me feel feminine and beautiful.  As I mentioned before, I am horrible with sticking to plans and routines, so we will see if I fall right back into my slump or if I will be able to keep up my new found motivation to make more time for myself.  First thing on the list:  Chisel off this three month old nail polish off my poor toes!
Happy Thursday.... Make way for FRIDAAAYYY!!!

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!