I’ve been trying to get back into the habit of praying every day. By praying I don’t mean the short “arrow” prayers that are said throughout the day – those are such a habit to me, I’m not sure I could stop that if I tried. I mean the sit-down-with-a-list-and-focus type of prayer time that I feel I’ve been lacking.
If you could peek into my prayer journal, you would see that one of the items on my list is praying about trying to conceive Baby #2. It’s on my mind a lot lately because I have so many concerns about how this is going to go the second time around. I am so thankful for my Wyatt-Boy, and even though I’m enjoying every minute with him . . . I would like to give him a sibling sometime. And it’s hard not to wonder and worry about what the future holds.
As I was praying and wondering about when we’ll have our next baby, the Lord brought a thought to my mind.
I can’t know how, when, how many, boy or girl. . . But He already knows.
He knows what my completed story will be.
He knows all the dates when I find out my little ones are on their way.
He knows when each of my babies’ birthdays are.
He knows how many children I’ll have.
He knows how many boys and how many girls.
He already knows their names.
Just even typing that last one makes me want to cry – because I don’t even know what their names will be yet. But the names of the children I haven’t yet met are already written in His book.
I can already hear some of you thinking “She’s just now realizing that? Of course He knows! He’s God.” And I agree. Obviously I already knew that God knows everything in my future.
But somehow sitting there, praying about my babies, mental pictures of sweet children playing, all my children, running through my mind – the thought that He knows has never felt so comforting to me.
Because it struck me that since He has a plan, since He knows . . . it’s already as good as done. And when I think of it that way, it becomes less about the worries and the wait, and more about the thrill of anticipation. The thrill of knowing that as His plan continues to unfold, I will come to know what He already knows.
I find that so exciting.
I stayed up late working on it, so it's all I have to talk about today.
Notice the nice social media buttons on the left? Notice my nice little intro blurbs on the right? Notice how I finally went to a three-column template?
I have to admit the three-column thing is going to take a little getting used to. It feels a bit crowded to me right now.
Note: The color scheme was inspired by an outfit I wore the other day. True story. I was just really liking the whole peach-mint-gray trend going into spring and summer, so I decided to incorporate it in my blog.
Maybe one of these days I'll hit on a blog design that I'll actually like enough to keep for an extended period of time, but this . . . I'll probably at least stick with it through the summer. It's feeling very spring-timey to me, and I'm liking that.
What do you think? Like? Dislike? Too crowded?
Be honest, is it too crowded? Because that's what I'm most concerned about right now.
Share your feedback below, por favor? Gracias!
We’re finally back with Moms And Babies! I decided to switch the feature day to Tuesday for a while to see how that works.
This week I’m featuring Natalie from Extraordinary Love! I started reading Natalie’s blog back when we were both still trying for a baby, and it’s been a blessing to see how the Lord has worked both of our stories out! Read on to learn more about Natalie and her daughter.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a 20-something wife, mama, and child of God! I have been married to my sweet husband for a little over 3 years. I am so blessed to be able to be a stay at home mom to our daughter! I have a degree in Elementary Education which I used to teach preschool for two years,and I plan to use again to home school our children!
What is your baby's name and how old is she?
Our daughter's name is Callyn Elise and she just turned 6 months! (Born 9.25.11)
Give us an idea of what a typical day looks like for you.
I feel like there is no such thing as a 'typical' day with a baby, but as of late, this is how our schedule goes :)
Around 8:00-Callyn wakes up and nurses. I have breakfast while she plays, and we just lounge around in the mornings usually.
Between 9-10 Callyn goes down for her first nap, which is usually 1 hour. I use this nap to have my quiet time and catch up on e-mails or administrative work I do for our church.
Wake up and play some more
12:30-1 Next nap. This one is anywhere from 1.5-3 hours. I eat lunch and do laundry and cleaning during this nap. Sometimes I'll grab a shower and occasionally I'll squeeze in a workout.
Late afternoon-Callyn wakes up and we do lots of playing. This is typically where we leave the house for things like a walk or errands, if we need to that day.
4:30-Daddy comes home and plays with Callyn while I start dinner
Around 5:00-Callyn goes down for her evening nap and we'll have dinner during this time. Sometimes she'll sit at the table with us in her booster if she's not napping while we eat, which is fun.
Some evenings we have things going on for church, and other evenings we just have family time at home. I think this is Callyn's favorite part of the day-when we're all together. She just laughs and laughs and has a great time!
7:30-bath and get ready for bed (pray, pajamas, snuggles)
8:00-Last feeding and bedtime
If you had to choose three words to describe your baby's personality, what would they be?
Joyful, Funny, Snuggly
What's your favorite part about being a mom?
Honestly, I love everything about it! But I think my number one thing would be that I am able to experience God on an even deeper level. We tried for 15 months before getting pregnant, and every single day I look at Callyn and am reminded of God's faithfulness! I think it has also really helped me to understand the love that God has for me as His child and has deepened my relationship with Him in that way. Of course I love the snuggles, kisses, and watching her grow & learn every day, too!
Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight and/or keeping up with your appearance after baby?
Don't make the mistake of thinking you can eat anything and everything you want just because you are breastfeeding! My weight fell off in the beginning. I only had about 4 pounds to go when Callyn was 3 weeks old (partly due to the fact that she was almost 9 pounds at birth!) but I was eating so many sweets, thinking it was fine because I needed the extra calories for breastfeeding. Well, I didn't need THAT many ;) I ended up gaining a few back and am now doing it the old fashioned way-eating healthy & exercising! I do think breastfeeding really helps though! Also, if possible try to be active with your baby. In the fall, we went on walks almost every day. Finally, cut yourself some slack! I've been bad about this, but I have to remind myself that I carried a baby for 9 months and she was 9 pounds! As far as keeping up with appearance, I think every new mom should buy a few things that make her feel and look good. Things don't quite fit the same after pregnancy and I think you need to find something that is going to accentuate your new mom curves nicely!
What have you and your husband done since your baby's arrival to keep your relationship strong?
We try to consistently have date nights away from home (1-2 per month). This was hard in the beginning when Callyn was nursing every 2 hours, because by the time she finished eating and we drove somewhere, we pretty much had to turn around and go back. So as soon as she started eating every 3 hours or more, we went on our first date. Being away from home helps us to focus more on each other. Spending time together in the evenings after Callyn goes to bed has been good too. For me personally, asking my husband what I can do to make him feel more loved, or checking in with him to make sure all of his needs are being met has helped our marriage a lot! I think it's easy for moms to put their babies first and focus a lot on our babies, but we need to let our husbands know they're still #1!
Are there any must-have products that you would recommend to other moms?
A sound machine! I ignored everyone's advice about that, but one night when Callyn was a little stuffy, we used a humidifier that was pretty loud and she slept better than ever before! So now we use a sound machine for every nap and at night and it has really helped her sleep (we live on the corner of two semi-busy streets so it helps to block out a lot of that noise).
A swing was a lifesaver for us in the beginning. Callyn took long naps in that when she wouldn't sleep in her crib and slept in it when she had a cold so she was a little bit more upright...I was very sad when she outgrew it so soon :(
What has been your favorite moment or outing as a family so far?
I would have to say Callyn's birth! I laid in bed when I was pregnant every night thinking about what the moment would be like when she was born. What would she look like? What would I say to her? What would giving birth be like? Would I feel an instant connection to her? So many questions were answered right in that moment. God blessed me with exactly the kind of birth I wanted and as soon as she was laid on my chest I remember thinking 'This is it. This is the moment I've been dreaming of for so long. This is the baby I've been praying for for years! She's really here, she's really mine! And it's better than I ever thought it would be.’
Any advice for first-time mothers?
Do what you think is best! You will get advice from everyone under the sun, but YOU are Mama, and you know your child better than anyone else! I wasted too much time feeling guilty about not doing it a certain way and I've been able to enjoy each stage a lot more, knowing that we're doing what we think is best for Callyn! Don't feel guilty if something doesn't work out the way you wanted, or the way people tell you it should. If your baby is doing well and you're doing well, then great! Also, pray a lot! It helps :)
Thanks Natalie! Check out her blog to read more!
I decided after Wyatt turned a year old to just do quarterly updates, instead of monthly – just to keep it more manageable for myself. So his next official update will be at 15 months.
However, he’s just getting so fun! He does the cutest things, so I have to document.
Wyatt . . .
. . .thinks it’s hilarious to feed me his food. He grabs a piece, gets a big grin on his face, and then thrusts the piece of food at me. Then when I eat it and say “thank you for sharing”, he just cracks up.
(He made this crazy face when I was taking pictures of him the other day and it makes me laugh whenever I look at it!)
. . .scrunches his face up when he is really happy. I think when his face is scrunched he feels like he’s smiling his biggest smile. I know this because I used to do the same thing when I was a baby! I did it when I was a young child too, and I know I thought I was smiling my biggest when my face was scrunched. It melts my heart when Wyatt does it!
. . .has a ticklish stomach. All I have to do is poke his stomach with one finger and he tenses up and starts laughing!
. . .has found a new favorite activity – pulling all my clothes out of my dresser drawer. The first time he did it he was trying to grab one shirt and three shirts fell out. He grabbed one of the shirts he hadn’t meant to pull out of the drawer and he tried to put it back in, but he couldn’t get it to stay, so he just started pulling more shirts out! Now I decide what to wear, and he scatters my clothes all over the floor!
. . .is loving his lego-blocks that we got him for Christmas. When he plays with them he first makes sure every single lego is out of the bag. Then he alternates between spreading them all over the living room or throwing them all back into one pile. It’s so cute.
. . . bobs his head or sways to music, and he thinks it hilarious when I do the same thing back!
. . . is starting to say a bunch of words, but I can’t figure out what some of them mean yet. He says “hi”now, and I think he tried to say “kitty” when we visited Ashley and Jed and their cat recently.
. . . loves his daddy. When Derek is home Wyatt likes to hang out with him as much as possible. He leans for Derek to hold him, and crawls around calling “dada” if we are in a different room!
. . . loves me too. He gives me grins almost every time I look at him, and when I’m holding him while he drinks his bottle he’ll just look up at me with those big hazel eyes. I love it.
When we started using cloth diapers several months ago, I knew I wanted to try several different brands. One of the main pieces of advice that I heard was not to put all my cloth diapering eggs in one basket, so I’ve tried several brands, and we’ve developed some favorites! This is a post on my opinion of the brands we’ve tried.
First, a few terms (note, this isn’t a comprehensive list, I’m just covering the terms that I use in this post):
Inserts - The absorbent part of a cloth diaper.
Pocket diaper – This type of diaper consists of a cover that has a “pocket” that you slide the inserts into. The insert itself doesn’t touch your baby, the inner lining of the cover is against your baby’s bum. You can use one or two inserts to adjust the absorbency.
Snap-in Inserts – This type of diaper has a cover and inserts that snap into the cover – so the inserts are right against your baby’s bottom. One plus to this type is that you don’t have to separate the inserts from the cover before you wash them like you do with pocket diapers.
One-size – Diapers with multiple rows of snaps so you can adjust the diaper to fit your baby as he/she grows.
Fitted diapers – Diapers that are made for a specific size, similar to the different sizes of disposables. You have to buy the next size up as your baby grows.
Bamboo and Microfiber – Different materials that inserts are made of.
Minky – Material sometimes used for cloth diaper covers, has a protective coating on the inside to make it waterproof.
PUL – Polyurethane Laminate – A waterproof material used to make cloth diaper covers.
Alright, on with the reviews, shall we?
gDiapers Fitted – $37-40 for a 2-pack on Amazon, not including inserts
Inserts with Plastic Liner and Cloth Cover (inserts not shown here)
I was not a fan. I tried these because we had a gift card we needed to use and the store sold gDiapers. These diapers are a little pricey since they don’t come with the inserts – you have to buy inserts separately to lay inside the plastic liner. When I did use them I got leaks because there is nothing to secure the inserts to the liners, so they just slide around. I like the fact that in theory you can use the cover and plastic liner over again if it’s just a wet diaper, but I didn’t get to try because of the leaks.
Maybe I’m using them wrong and need to give them another try? I don’t know. As of right now I’m not a fan.
Oh Katy One Size - $17.95 on Amazon
I really, really liked this cloth diaper when we first got it. I liked the way it fit Wyatt, and I hardly ever got a leak with it. Wyatt grew quite a bit though after we got it, and I feel like we went through an awkward stage where it didn’t quite fit him right, and we got a few leaks. We’re over the hump again now, I think, because I haven’t had any problems the last few times I’ve used it. I think this diaper would especially be good for smaller babies – it’s pretty trim, and it buttons up pretty small. I’m thinking I’ll probably get a few more of these before our next baby, since I’ll probably start cloth diapering the next baby at a younger age (we started around 7-8 months with Wyatt).
I don’t have a good comparison picture since I only have one Oh Katy diaper right now, but this is the diaper snapped all the way down. It’s pretty small when you see it in person. I think it would fit a new baby just fine. I’ll let you know for sure when I have a new baby to try it out on.
Fuzzibunz One Size – $19.95 from Sweet Bottoms
I heard so many good things about Fuzzibunz, but I feel like it didn’t really live up to my expectations. This is the diaper that we get the most leaks with, and I’m really not sure why. I think certain brands just fit the shape of certain babies better, and this one did not work for Wyatt. I’ll try it on the next kid, but I feel like my Fuzzibunz experience is a good example of why it’s a good idea to try a few different brands when you first start.
Kawaii One Size – $10.25-10.75 from Sweet Bottoms
I love this diaper! We have had very few leaks with Kawaii diapers. They also make a heavy-duty nighttime diaper (the polka dot one in this picture), and with both inserts Wyatt has gone 12+ hours in that diaper without a leak at night. I’m planning on buying another of the nighttime diapers so we can use cloth more at night – right now we use mostly use disposables overnight. These diapers are also a much better price than the majority of the brands out there, and they work better than the other brands I’ve tried.
Kawaii One Size Minky/Bamboo - $12.95 from Sweet Bottoms
I did buy the minky, bamboo-insert Kawaii diaper, and I didn’t like that diaper as much. Bamboo inserts are very soft, but the fabric is also not as firm as microfiber inserts, and when I used the bamboo inserts with the minky cover (which was also not as stiff as the PUL diapers), the insert tended to slide around inside the diaper, and when it wasn’t laying flat we had leaks.
I started using microfiber inserts with the minky cover, and the bamboo inserts in PUL covers, and we haven’t had any problems with it this way. I do like the bamboo inserts in theory – they are slimmer and just as absorbent as microfiber, plus they are supposed to have less of a tendency to develop odor, but I do not like the bamboo inserts with the minky cover.
These are my favorite diapers. We use these most because I have more of them, and they leak less than the other brands I’ve tried (they are about the same as our Kawaii diapers as far as leaking goes). They fit Wyatt really well. I’m not sure how they would work on smaller babies (as in less than 6 months old), because they run a little bigger than the other brands I’ve tried, but I’ll be trying them on our next baby in the first six months so I’ll let you know. These diapers are still going to fit Wyatt for a while, and they work really well with his shape.
Plus they are really cute. They have a bunch of fun patterns and colors. A lot of brands charge more for patterned diapers, but Sunbaby had a lot of options and they were all the same price (Kawaii also has a lot of patterns for no more expense).
Plus they are cheap! They are made in China (I’m not sure what I think about that), but the company was started by a mom in China. They are half to a fifth of the price of other brands.
A few drawbacks are that (1) you have to order them directly from her, so they take a little while to get all the way from China to the US, (2) they are not sold in the US anywhere, so you can’t check them out before you buy, and (3) you have to buy twelve or twenty-four diapers at a time.
But at $5 a diaper, twelve of them only cost me $60 (and when I bought them shipping to the US was free). I’d only get 3-5 of any other diaper for that amount, and so I decided to give them a try. I’m glad I did, because they are my favorites. When we get pregnant with our next baby I’ll be ordering more of these.
Note: I did check out the website again and it looks like they are selling two sizes now – but they are still adjustable in size, they just have a slightly bigger and smaller option. The bigger size just looks a little longer. Technically they would still be “One Size” diapers since you can adjust them as your baby grows. It also looks like they have more buying options now – you can buy just six instead of twelve or twenty-four.
I could go on about Sunbaby diapers, but instead I’ll just say that if you have any more questions about that brand to send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Itti Bitti Tutto One Size - $24-27 on Amazon
I was really interested to try an Itti Bitti diaper because they have a reputation of being one of the slimmest diapers on the market. So when the opportunity presented itself to buy one used from a friend, I had to give it a try.
I was disappointed. They don’t seem any slimmer than any of my other diapers. I’m sure the fitted Itti Bitti’s are slimmer than the one-size diapers, but I’m not spending $20/diaper on fitteds when my baby will just outgrow them in a couple months and I’ll have to buy more (who has money to spend that much on a full stash of fitted Itti Bitti’s anyway?). I don’t think they are worth the money. Not even close. But I’m glad I bought one to try or I would have always wondered.
My cloth-diapered cutie.
My favorite diapers are by far the Sunbaby and Kawaii diapers. I think Oh Katy diapers could be my favorite for younger babies, but I’ll have to wait and see. I really don’t even have to try any others besides those three brands at this point, unless it’s for fun.
The only other brand that I’m curious to try would be Rumparooz, because I like the idea of the double layer of elastic around the legs – I think it might be handy for the first few months before solids, if you know what I mean. But at $23-25 a diaper, I’ll have to think long and hard about it.
If you are thinking of trying cloth diapers, keep in mind that Sweet Bottoms Baby Boutique has free shipping within the US on any order. Also, I am an affiliate of Sweet Bottomes Baby Boutique, so if I linked to Sweet Bottoms in this post it was an affiliate link, and I do get store credit when someone buys something through the link. Just to be up-front about it. But I did order cloth diapers (and our diaper sprayer) from them before I ever became an affiliate. I mean, who doesn’t love free shipping? Anyway . . .
If anyone has any questions about any of the brands that I listed, let me know!
One of those New Year’s resolutions that I was forced to write was to drink more water.
It’s not going well.
I’m not sure why I have such a hard time drinking just straight water. I love drinking water when I’m really thirsty, or when I’m eating something really dry or rich. But when I’m not feeling particularly thirsty it’s hard to get myself to drink plain water.
I’ve decided I need a strategy, but I haven’t quite decided what it should be yet.
I think part of it should include something like this:
Now doesn’t that just make you want to grab a tall glass of water?
I want to get a cute water dispenser. If I fill it up with ice, and water, and lemons (just like the picture), I know I’ll drink more. Because it will be sitting on the counter reminding me all day, and because it looks so good.
And my other strategy might be this:
I think I’m going to pick up some of these MiO water flavoring drops today. Yes, it might be cheating, but it will most likely help me drink more water.
Are you one of those people that like to drink plain water all the time, or do you use a strategy too? How do you get yourself to drink more water? Any other ideas for me?
Check out the rest of the posts in this series:
Bonus points if you know what movie the title of this post is from!
I finally finished our spare bedroom! Well, almost finished. I’m still working on a quilt for it, but I thought there was no reason I couldn’t get it set up and ready to use in the meantime. It turned out just like I wanted (minus the quilt)! I wanted it to be sunny and cheerful, and that’s the way it turned out I think. I’m very happy with it!
1. I gave that lamp a makeover using “Teal Zeal”, a Behr paint.
3. Got these from Joann’s.
4. Ordered the duvet cover from Amazon. It looks yellow, but it’s actually ivory.
5. From TJ Maxx.
6. I found this shopping with Ashley at thrift stores! She spotted it first, but decided she wasn’t sure about it, and she was gracious enough to let me snag it. It was only $10, and I think it was originally from Target (I’m pretty sure I saw it there last year).
7. Wooden letters glued onto a canvas and then spray-painted white. It says “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound”. I got the idea for the canvas word art from Pinterest, and it was originally inspired by this product.
8. I painted a mason jar with the same “Teal Zeal” color and stuck a daisy in it.
9. The wall color is “Magical Meadow Rue” from Walmart, but I had it made in a Behr paint because I think it covers better.
10. An “Indiana Jones” hat that used to belong to Derek’s grandpa.
11. The cradle we used with Wyatt. It’s living in the spare bedroom until the next baby is born.
12. Bought the shelf from Hobby Lobby.
Eventually there will be a quilt made out of these materials as well:
But I like the way it looks in the meantime!
I think it’s even good enough to check the first thing off my pre-baby #2 list . . . because the main thing was just finishing the spare bedroom, right? I know it technically said to finish the quilt . . . details, details. I’m still counting it.
Hope you all have a great weekend!
I feel like I haven’t sat down to write an actual post, or commented on other posts, in a long time, but it’s for good reason – I’ve been bitten by the spring cleaning bug! I’ve been trying to get my house in order the last few weeks. Wanting to spring clean is pretty rare for me, but all the unfinished projects around here were starting to get to me, so I went with it.
I’ve had another pretty productive week! This week . . .
-I made two pieces of wall art for our spare bedroom. I got the ideas from Pinterest, of course.
-I went shopping for some final touches for the spare bedroom.
-I finished decorating our spare bedroom.
-I painted the one remaining wall in our house that had yet to match the rest. It was one of the walls on the way up the stairs. It looks nice.
-I hardened almost three gallons of leftover paint so we can dispose of it.
-I varnished some frames that I painted (I’ll have to post about them sometime too, they turned out pretty cool).
-I edited a bunch of pictures, some from my sister’s wedding, some for these posts (hey, it takes more time than you might think, so I’m counting it).
-I started a sewing project (it’s a skirt – I’ll post when it’s done). I’m actually kind of hoping to finish it this afternoon, but we’ll see if I have time.
-I am going to my first MOPS meeting today. I may only go to this one though, because there are only a few meetings left before the end of the year, and I don’t want to pay full-price for only three meetings. I’d rather save it for next year and get my money’s worth.
And I didn’t actually do this project this week, but I thought I’d wrap this post up with a sneak peek of our spare bedroom!
We’ve had this old, dusty, not-so-attractive lamp in the spare room for years. I wasn’t sure what to do with it since I decided to actually get the spare room set up for guests, because it just wouldn’t look nice with all the dust clinging to it.
So, I decided to try to give it a makeover. I had nothing to lose except three dollar’s worth of paint – if it didn’t look good after my attempt I was just going to throw it out and buy a new lamp. But I think it turned out pretty well! Here it is:
A little paint and a new shade can work wonders! It only cost me around $17-18 dollars total, which is cheaper than a new lamp.
I’ll post the official spare room reveal tomorrow!
My sister got married last Saturday! Everything went off without much of a hitch (except for me accidentally being an hour late – but it worked out okay). My sister looked like a vision, and it was a beautiful ceremony and reception.
I might have almost cried once or twice.
Here are a few pictures!
My gorgeous sister.
The three of us!
My sister with my mom and dad.
My and the beautiful bride!
I had to do one self-portrait.
Me and my guys.
Both of my guys looked pretty dashing. And is Wyatt’s little suit not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?
The cake and presents.
My friend, Hazel, took the next two pictures – sorry the last one is so small!
Me giving my toast – I’ve never given a toast before, but I think it went well. I said what a beautiful couple they are, that I’m praying for the Lord to bless their life together, and that I wish them many years of happiness, many blessings, and many babies!
And Hazel finally got to meet Wyatt! Here we are together.
The couple’s first dance!
Father-daughter dance (I almost cried again here).
And finally Aunt Rachel and Uncle Ben with my little man!
It was a gorgeous wedding! Now the bride and groom are in Florida, soaking up the sun and going to Disney World!
I may be slightly jealous. In the best way. But I can't wait until they get back!