Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Basket Ideas For Toddlers


 I'm still working on the birth story post for Clyde - I'm hoping to have it up next week!  In the meantime I wanted to get this post up about the kid's' Easter baskets, because I always have so much fun picking out stuff for them.  Stay tuned for more on Baby Clyde!

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I'm really looking forward to Easter this year.  I feel like Wyatt is understanding more and more.  The other day we were talking about how Easter is the day that Jesus came back to life, and he has brought it up a few times since then!  He was also pretty interested in his Easter basket "presents", but I know more and more about Jesus is sinking in too, and that is what is most exciting to me.

Anyway, we went shopping for the kid's Easter baskets the other day, so I wanted to post some of the things we picked out!  The best part is that most of the things I found for their baskets only cost $1 - I like that price!  So here are my (inexpensive) Easter basket ideas for toddlers.


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If Jesus Lived Inside My Heart book - Alright, we already had this book, but I wanted to post it here because it's one of my favorites.  I can't even explain it, you just have to read it.  It makes me cry every time, and I think it's such a sweet little book for an Easter basket, so I thought I'd recommend it now!

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Hot Wheels cars - Wyatt loves Hot Wheels cars - the other day at the store he grabbed one and was asking me if we could buy it, and I told him we'd have to wait.  So I'm going to sneak one or two into his Easter basket.  I love that he loves these, because they are only a dollar, and such an easy present that I know he'll like.

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Bubbles - What toddler does not like bubbles, I ask you?

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Ponies - Gwen picked out these little pony horses at the dollar store the other day - similar to My Little Ponies, but cheaper.  I want to try to find a couple more for her basket.  This is the first toy that she has actually picked out for herself, which I think is so cute!

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Water bottles - Thank you dollar aisle at Target.

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Fun dough - Or Play Doh, or silly putty.  Whatever you like best.

Flower growing kits - I found these at Target too and snapped them up.  I think it will be a fun project, for Wyatt especially, to water them and watch the flower grow!  Hopefully they actually do grow or it will be disappointing, but if these don't work I have some seeds and some soil in our shed we could use instead.

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Yogurt Melts - I just feel weird about putting too many jelly beans in the kids' Easter baskets.  Plus Gwen can't chew that stuff even if I did want to put it in her basket!  Yogurt melts are a good alternative, and my kids think they are candy anyway.  I just put a few in each of their plastic eggs!

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And I decided to change it up a little and put it all into these:

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Toddler Backpacks - These are Skip Hop backpacks - I had been eyeing them, but I just wasn't sure I wanted to spend $20 a piece on backpacks for the kids right now.  Then I was walking through JC Penny the other day, and spied these on clearance for $6.99 each!  Yes, please!  They only had the shark and the ladybug, but I wasn't going to complain if I could get them for such a good price!  Wyatt has been really into bags lately, and I think he'll love having his own little bag to carry his stuff around.

And Clyde is a little small yet for all this fun, but his favorite thing at the moment happens to be his pacifier - so I finally broke down and got him one of these:

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 He might get to use his before Easter though.


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What are you putting in your kids' Easter baskets?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Guess Who's Here!


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Clyde Daniel was born on April 11th at 6:33 PM, weighing 7 lbs, 10 oz, 20 inches long!  

Everything went smoothly, Derek was there for most of the labor and for the birth, and we all are doing great!  Mr. Clyde has been such a content baby so far - he is perfect, and we are so in love with him! 

Thank you for all of your prayers - it has meant a lot to me to know you all were praying.  We feel so blessed to have him here!

Birth story coming soon!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Watched Pot And All That


Hey everyone!  No baby yet.  If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I had a round of false labor on Monday.  I had contractions about 10 minutes apart for four hours!  It was exactly how my labor with Gwen felt at the beginning, so I thought for sure this was "it".

I called my mom and Derek and they drove home to be with me.  Around midnight they convinced me that I should try to get a little rest, so we went to bed.  The contractions did continue for another hour and half or so - I know because I'd wake up with a contraction occasionally.  But they didn't get any stronger, and by morning they were pretty much gone.

I have never had false labor contractions before.  I don't like it.  I hope it doesn't happen again.

I've been feeling pretty much normal since then, and instead of obsessing and planning about when I'm going to go into labor, I decided to treat the rest of this week like a normal week.  I'm coping much better now.

I even scheduled some posts for next week even though I had been hoping to start the week off with a baby announcement.  But the watched pot never boils, and if I act like I'm not going to have the baby this week, then I'll be more likely to have the baby this week, right?  At least it seems like that's how it works.

I will say that the false labor mentally prepared me even more to have this baby here.  I can actually picture it now, I can imagine the weight of his little body in my arms, I can almost feel his little head snuggled under my chin.  I am ready.  Now if my body will just cooperate, we can do this thing!

Anyway, now that I've updated you on the littlest little's antics, I posted a couple pictures of Wyatt and Gwen on the photo blog.  I can't believe how big they are getting!  Also, it is so hard to photograph toddlers.  Wyatt's "cheese" face definitely looks fake, even if he does sit still long enough for me to capture it.  And Gwen will still look at the camera and smile, but she is constantly moving.  I chased them around the house for a while to get these!  They definitely keep me active, those ones!  Anyway, hop on over there to see their beautiful smiles.  Also, Wyatt looks so grown up these days.  *sigh*





Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Maternity Wardrobe: Final Notes

One of the frustrations with maternity clothes is that since options are pretty limited, it is very likely that at least one other pregnant lady in your vicinity owns the same item of clothing as you. And none of us like that thought (even though it's probably true of most of our non-maternity items too).  Two bits of advice for making sure you don't end up wearing the same outfit as one of the other pregnant ladies in your MOPS group . . .

1. Take advantage of all your non-maternity pieces.  It might be likely that someone else is wearing the same maternity top as you, but it is not very likely that another pregnant lady will be wearing the same non-maternity item as you!  I feel like all my non-maternity-but-works-during-pregnancy clothes have kept my pregnancy wardrobe more interesting and unique in general.  I also never really worry about another pregnant lady wearing the same stretchy shirt that I bought at Forever 21 (or wherever).  So if you are going somewhere where pregnant women will be attending in force, something non-maternity is probably your safest bet.

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(I was trying to decide which picture to include here and realized that nothing in this outfit was actually maternity!  Safe to say no other pregnant ladies would be wearing the same outfit.)


2. Accessories, cardigans, and jackets are your friends.  Someone else might have the same shirt as you, but will they pair it with a cardigan and belt the same way you do?  Will they wear the same jacket and scarf as you?  Probably not.  If you are looking to keep your own style and not be caught wearing the same exact outfit as another pregnant woman, change it up with some different accessories and layering pieces!  Even if people notice that you and another person are wearing the same item, you most likely won't be "twins".

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(I think this top that I got from Pink Blush is a pretty popular seller, but it's unlikely the other pregnant women who bought it also have the same non-maternity red jacket that I paired it with here.)


Overall, when maternity shopping, I'd say just to look for pieces that you feel good in.  It's hard enough dressing a pregnant body without feeling like all your clothes make you look huge.  If you try something on and it makes you feel good about the way you look, get it!  Feel pretty wearing it.  All pregnant women are special and gorgeous - there is such a thing as a pregnant glow, but sometimes it's hard to feel the "glow" when you are the pregnant girl.  Finding maternity clothes that make you feel cute helps with that.

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And that concludes my advice on What To Wear When You Are Pregnant.  If you are wondering where I got any specific items that I've worn, just shoot me an email and I'll tell you!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Twirl Review


Twirl by Patsy Clairmont is basically a collection of thoughts on life from the author, specifically how to keep life meaningful and peaceful amidst the "twirl" of the everyday grind.

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To be honest, this book just wasn't my style.  Each chapter is it's own entity, kind of like individual blog posts - which I don't usually mind, but I felt like the subjects weren't really connected to each other at all, which is what confused me.  While I occasionally caught glimpses of the main theme of "twirling" and how that impacts different areas of our lives, I had a hard time picking out a solid point in this book, and even in most of the chapters.  The Type-A side of my personality likes a clear point, which I felt was lacking in this book.  I just need clearer purposes or points in my non-fiction.

However, I will say that I liked the general concept of the book, and I liked that each chapter was short and focused on a narrow theme - those kind of books are perfect for a brief re-focus as you read chapters throughout the day.  I think more poetically-minded, artsy people would probably get more out of this book than I did.

Also, she made a reference to "Christian mystics" which confused me though (she said it like it was a good thing?), so if anyone knows what that is, I'd love it if you'd enlighten me.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book, but I'm sure there are some people who would understand/appreciate it more than I did.

Note: I received this book for free from Booklook in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Full Term! (38 Weeks, Baby #3)

Crossing my fingers that this is my last pregnancy update!

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I'm writing this on Saturday and scheduling it for Monday, so technically he could even be here before this posts! Wishful thinking much?  I'm not sure if the news will hit the blog or Instagram first - but if you want to be safe and not miss any updates, you might just follow me there.  Because really, he could come any time, and you all wouldn't know because I have the next week of posts scheduled.

We are officially full term by any standard now (there seems to be some confusion about whether full term is 37 or 38 weeks).  Baby could come any time and there would be no problems with him being early!  

We had our growth ultrasound last week, and he was measuring right on track about 6 lbs, 14 oz.  Those ultrasounds usually aren't completely accurate, but that would put him right about the same size as Wyatt and Gwen!  So I'm hoping for a nice, average sized baby.  His heart rate was 132 bpm, and I have to say, he is a cutie!  I didn't get his ultrasound pictures all scanned yet, but I took a picture of one:

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I feel like he looks like Derek here.  I can't wait to see his sweet face!

I'm measuring about 2 cm dilated, 50% effaced or so.  Though if I had to guess, I'd say I've probably dilated a little more since my appointment.  It's been getting more and more uncomfortable, and other things have been happening.

I'm having a lot of lower back pain, still getting Braxton-Hicks every day, and they seem to be getting stronger.  I can no longer eat spicy food comfortably  - I get the most horrible heartburn and stomach aches when I eat spicy things, but I continue to do it anyway (1) because I have always liked my food spicy, and (2) because if there happens to be a bit of truth to spicy food bringing on labor, I'm all for it.  I also had one other sign that labor might be starting soon, but it's probably a bit TMI to share here (those of you who have had babies can probably guess).

We're still praying that Baby Boy will decide to come this week, before Derek has to be gone.  I really wish he could just work from home for the last week of my pregnancy so we wouldn't have to worry, but his bosses say no-can-do.  So it's Operation Get-Baby-To-Come!  I'm going to try all the tricks in the book and just hope it'll work so I won't have to go through 5+ hours of labor without him.

We've been walking a lot the past week - we went to the zoo twice, and walked around the mall one night too.  I usually feel like I've been hit by a truck by the time we are done.  My back just can't take it anymore, and he is sitting pretty low now.

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We did buy this cute little giraffe stuffed animal for him at the zoo - so now we have something for his comparison pictures!  It also goes nicely in his room.  Even though the spots aren't actually correct for a giraffe, but it's still cute.  I can almost picture him sitting on his chair next to it!

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I can't believe we're already here!   I keep getting weird feelings, like I could go into labor any time - I even took a random belly picture the other night, because I just thought that maybe he'd come before morning.  No such luck.

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I'm so looking forward to seeing his sweet face and smelling his sweet newborn smell.   If he follows his sister's example, this will be my last pregnancy update.  Not much longer now, so I'm just trying to be patient!

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Dancing With Fireflies Review

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Dancing With Fireflies by Denise Hunter is a small-town, Christian romance book.  Jade arrives back in her hometown pregnant and alone, looking for a job so she can support her baby.  Daniel, who Jade has always viewed as a brother, helps her as she settles in.  but Daniel has had feelings for Jade for a long time, and tries to hide it from Jade to avoid scaring her away.  Through the course of the book Jade starts to have feeling for Daniel too, but has to overcome some previous traumas before she realizes she needs to trust God and allow herself to love someone again.

I've read a couple of Hunter's books before, and I like them because she knows how to keep the reader interested in the story throughout the book.  But not in an infuriating, you-want-to-shake-the-main-characters kind of way, more in a I-have-to-keep-reading-to-see-what-happens type of way.  This book was no exception, and I didn't want to put it down!  The characters were likable, and not too perfect, and the story was interesting.

The one thing I don't like as much about Hunter's romance books is that in certain scenes I feel like she focuses a little too much on the physical attraction/temptation aspect of the character's romance.  Nothing inappropriate ever happens - the books I've read from Hunter have been clean.  The descriptions just get a little heavy for me at times.  Also, in this book Jade finds herself pregnant as a result of date r.ape - I feel like Hunter handled this plot element with tact and didn't put an excessive focus on it, but I would recommend discretion before letting a younger girl read because of those elements.

Overall though, I really enjoyed this book!  Hunter's writing style is easy to read, and I don't know how she keeps a relatively simple story so interesting, but she does.  If you want a quick, romantic read, this is one to check out.

Note: I received these books for free from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.
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