Mommy Moments Week #3

Welcome to everyone who is stopping by for the Mommy Moments link-up! I've really been enjoying being a co-host and finding new blogs to read the last couple weeks!

Though, I have to admit, it's been one of those weeks. I just can't seem to get my blogging stuff together. Consequently, I didn't comment on too many of your blogs this week (I know, I know, neglecting my co-hosting duties!).

I really did stop by and visit every single post that was linked up though, even if I didn't comment! A couple of my favorites this week were "Not A Know It All" from Barefoot Hippie Girl, and "The Beauty Of Love" from The Mrs. Definitely worth reading if you didn't get a chance to visit these posts last week!

And a shout-out to all of my new followers - I did stop by and follow back if you followed me! If I didn't, can you comment and let me know? Because it was purely an oversight if I didn't. Like I said, it's been one of those weeks.

Anyway, here's to another round of Mommy Moments this week! Review the rules below if you need to, and link up your motherhood-related posts at the end!



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Mommy Moments Blog Hop


Mommy Moments is a link-up for posts that have anything to do with being a mom.  So pregnancy updates, updates on kids, fun stuff you did with your kiddos, recipes or crafts (kid related or not), any thoughts on motherhood - anything that fits with being a mom!

Are you trying to conceive?  Write a post about your hopes/dreams for future kids, thoughts on being a mom someday, thoughts on the wait or your journey to becoming a mom . . . or indulge for a bit and show us what you would do for a nursery, how you want to dress your babies - anything you want!

And if you aren't a mom (and aren't trying yet)?  You can link up any posts that you think would be encouraging to moms - recipes and crafts, encouraging devotionals, inspiring thoughts - anything you think would be applicable!

Mommy Moments is one of those easy link-ups to participate in - you don't have to post on Monday, you can pick any post from the previous week that fits!  

 

To link up just . . .

1. Follow host: The Life Of Faith, and the co-hosts: Through Clouded Glass (me!), The Mrs., The Not Quite Military Wife, and Monkeys and Tutus, and our guest host this week: Dawn's Disaster!

2. Decide what post from the past week that you would like to share and add the Mommy Moments button or a text link-back to your post.

3. Come back here and add the direct link for your post to the link-up below!  Make sure it's the direct link, not just the link to your home page.

4. Explore some of the other posts in the link-up and say hello to some new blog friends!  At least two other posts would be great.


Link up your posts below!




More Posts Worth Reading

 

I'm behind on this (again), but I compiled another list of posts from fellow bloggers that I, personally, think are worth reading!  These are posts from about June to now that stood out to me.  I found each of these posts either encouraging, thought-provoking, funny or just fun to read and that is why they made this list - I hope you enjoy them as much as I did! 

 

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I loved reading Claire's post about her snowball memory with Mary, a woman she met in a nursing home.  It inspires me to make sure my kids get a chance to reach out and experience serving in a nursing home someday as well.

E featured this guest post on her blog from Erika.  It's a letter to new moms from the perspective of someone who is still waiting to become a mom, and I feel like she perfectly described the feelings that those who struggle with infertility have to go through every day.

Just for fun, Anne wrote about how her personality has changed since she was in high school, and she linked to a fun personality quiz - if you check the comments you can see what personality type I am!  If you take the quiz you have to come back and tell me what type you are . .  .

Coming from my menu-challenged perspective, I thought this post from Michelle on using monthly menus was helpful (even though I have yet to buckle down and try the monthly menu planning thing).

An excerpt that Anna posted on from "Loving The Little Years" by Rachel Jankovic, on not worrying about how our bodies are changed after kids, because it means God has used our bodies to create a new life, and that's beautiful.

A sweet reminder to enjoy every moment while we're in it, from Claire.

DaisyGirl posted this video of a deaf boy hearing his mother's voice for the first time, and it was so sweet!

Ashley shared this article on when people say "Just wait until your child . . ." and how those words are often finished with something negative when we should focus on sharing all the joys that come with being a mom.

Thoughts from Jessica on waiting for a baby.

Encouraging words from Ashley about how comforting it is that God already knows everything about our future children.

A thought-provoking post from Chloe on what it would be like to let every decision be affected by our walk with Christ.

A great post from Jessica about how one of our jobs as "the lady of the house" is to provide beauty in our home and in our family's lives.

A sweet story from Rachel about how God provides, even in the little things. (Two parts, so make sure you read both of them.)

Thoughts from Krystal on finding a good balance when it comes to trying to lose the baby weight.

A story from Jessica on how God gave her a little reminder that He has plans for us, and we need to remember that He's not done yet!

For the Christian single ladies - I thought this post from Jennifer on the whole "dating vs. courting" thing provided some good insight - it's not what you call it, it's the attitude behind it!

An honest post from Tami on breaking out of that rut of mediocrity when it comes to our walk with the Lord.

Loved this post from Kendra on the attitude "that DIY-ness and crunchiness is akin to godliness", when it is only through faith in Jesus that we are saved - aka, it's okay to be a crunchy failure!

Good tips from Rachel on how to be hospitable and why we should try!

A fun post from Jessica (again!  She had a lot of good things to say the last few months) on how our weaknesses and insecurities can also leave room for God to work and bring Him more glory in the end!

Great post from Natalie on why it's good to control ourselves when we're tempted to complain on Facebook (or Twitter, or our blogs . . .)

This is a bigger blog that you all might read anyway, but I thought these ten tips for new bloggers were good points.

Felicia posted these tips for keeping a friendship up through the mail, as part of my Friendship link-up a few months back (lots of good posts in that link-up actually, so you should check those out too).

Super-fun 5 year anniversary photo shoot from Courtney's blog.  I want to do this with Derek!

Good thoughts from Heather on submitting to God's plans, even when all the doors seem to be closing.

Kara shared this post on postpartum depression, and I thought it was encouraging (for anyone who has battled with depression especially, but it would apply to any of our struggles).

A sobering post from Emily on why you shouldn't put those family decal stickers on your car.

Bridget posted a ton of great ideas for how to serve and encourage our husbands, kids, friends, etc!

A post from Katy on living in such a way that people can look at us and see that "she has been with Jesus".

A funny post from Tami that I think every blogger can relate to . . . 

A post from Courtney on keeping our perspective and not complaining about when things don't go right- the quote she included from her friend is what got to me most.

Great ideas from Veronica on ways to encourage your man!

 

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And that's it for the last 5-ish months!  They'll also be in my sidebar for a while, so you can check them out there as well.  Happy reading!



More Pinterest Projects


I'm linking up with Nicole again for her PINspired monthly link-up!




I actually did several Pinterest-inspired projects over the past few months that I never got a chance to post, and here are a few of them:



See that fancy lettering for our gender reveal chalkboard?  I didn't do those free-hand, I used this chalkboard lettering tutorial.  Basically you print up the font you like, cover the back of the paper with chalk, and then place it on the chalkboard and trace it with a pencil.  Then it leaves an outline that you can color in!  I was skeptical, but it worked like a charm!
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Ignore my headphones, I was in the middle of listening to a podcast when I remembered I needed a picture.
I made this knot headband using this tutorial - it was really easy, and I love the way it turned out!  I have plans to make more.  One thing I did differently though was that I sewed the ends together after I tied the knot - I didn't want to have to tie it under my hair every time, so I just fit it to my head and sewed it together.
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I also made these Starbucks-inspired pumpkin cream cheese muffins, which I also posted about here.  And they were good.  I tried them again though and tried adding sugar and vanilla to the cream cheese (got the idea from a different recipe for Starbucks pumpkin muffins), and it was better, I thought. It softened up the cream cheese more and gave it a touch of sweetness, which tasted better for inside a muffin.
I think there were a few others, but I'll stop there.  Have you all done any Pinterest projects lately?

You can follow me on Pinterest here.


P.S. Don't forget about our toddler food link-up next Tuesday!  Seriously, I need ideas, so be thinking about what you feed your kiddos and then link up a post!

Crayon Melts And Me

When I was in grade school (before we started homeschooling), I remember that even as a 6-8 year old, there were fads.  Remember pogs?  I still don't know what the point of those things were, but if you were cool, then by George, you had to have pogs.

One year I remember that the thing that all the "cool" kids had were these little crayon-melt things.  Basically it looked like a bunch of crayons melted together, so when you colored with it it produced a rainbow effect.  I have no idea where the kids got these, but I just remember that I wanted one.  Badly.

I attempted trading for them, but no one was willing to trade (give up their claim to coolness?  I don't think so).  

One day a girl I was friends with told me that if I beat her in a race she'd give me one of her crayon-melt things.  

Actually it might have been me who suggested racing in the first place, I can't remember.  I just know that I thought it was a great idea, because even though I can't bring myself to run anywhere now, I was the fastest runner in my class once upon a time.  After all, I won the race on field day, even against the boys!  So we lined up at the edge of the basketball court and determined that whoever made it to the end first would win the crayon.

(This really wasn't fair in retrospect, because it was her crayon in the first place and I don't think we agreed upon a prize for her if she won . . . but hey, I was 7, we didn't think the whole thing through . . .)

Someone said "go" and I ran as fast as I could.  I flew to the other end of the basketball court, I'm sure in record-breaking time.  Once I reached the finish line I slowed myself down and turned around .  . . just in time to see my friend running back the other way.  

I jogged over to see what she was doing (and to claim my prize).  But apparently the rules changed somewhere, and we were really supposed to run to the middle of the court and then back.  And she obviously beat me back.

I never did get my crayon melt.

All this to say, I was in Target the other day, and I spotted these:

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What?  Could those be crayon melts?

My inner grade-school child got all excited, and I had to have them!  

So there they are, sitting on my kitchen table.  Though I'm a little old now to carry them around in my purse and pull them out when I need to prove to everyone how cool I am.

But Wyatt, on the other hand, is not!  

 

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(His facial expressions crack me up!)

 

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(It took a little smooth-talking to convince him they weren't candy . . . but then we had fun playing with them.)

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Even though my crayon-melt wish was never granted me, my son will not be deprived!  

It gives me a little satisfaction, somehow.

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Moms And Babies - Amanda

Today for Moms and Babies I'm featuring my dear blog friend, Amanda from A Sweet Serenity!  I met Amanda back in the very beginning of my pregnancy with Wyatt, and she is one of those girls that I know I would be great friends with if we only lived closer!  She has such a sweet heart and she has been such an encouragement to me through the last couple of years.  Check out her interview below to learn more about her and her adorable baby girl!


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Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, I'm Amanda. I'm a 26 year-old stay-at-home-mom, married to my husband, Alex, for going on 4 years. I love being crafty, spending quality time with family and worshipping Jesus. 

What is your baby's name and how old is she?
 
My daughter's name is Natalie Grace and she is 9 months old.  

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Give us an idea of what a typical day looks like for you.

 My day starts whenever Natalie wakes up, usually between 7 and 8 am (I haven't gotten to that place where I rise early to get things done before she wakes up. I was a morning person until Natalie was born!)
7-8 am: wake up
8 am: feeding
9:30 am: nap (can last from 30 to 90 minutes. She's still unpredictable. Someone please tell me that their child is this way, too!!!)
11 am: feeding
11 am - 2 pm: run errands, play time at home, sometimes Natalie naps during this time if she only took a short morning nap, which means I get lots of time to clean the house, take a nap, browse Pinterest ;) .
2 pm: feeding, play time
3 pm: Natalie may take a long afternoon nap if she was awake in the middle of the day, so this is when I would clean the house and get things ready before Alex gets home from work, otherwise, we play some more or run errands now.
5 pm: feeding
6 pm: Alex gets home from work, we juggle the baby while we eat dinner
7:30-8:15: Feeding and bedtime. Depending on her naps that day, Natalie may be ready at 7:30, but if she took a good afternoon nap, she'll stay awake a little longer.
8:15-? Time with Alex. We usually talk and watch a movie or a tv show on Netflix.

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If you had to choose three words to describe your baby's personality, what would they be?

Cheerful, determined, and energetic.


What's your favorite part about being a mom?

Everything! I dreamed of becoming a mom starting as a little girl. Motherhood was quite a shock at first, dealing with the hormones and life just being different than ever before, but soon it became everything I'd hoped for. I love being able to stay at home with Natalie and be the one who takes care of her and teaches her about the world around her. I love the privilege of being entrusted to teach her about God, to hide His Word in her heart, to discover and live out her destiny. I love the connection that Natalie and I share and the way that her birth has changed the dynamics of my relationship with Alex. It's just all so incredible!
 There are some not-so-fun moments, but the good far outweighs the bad. 

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Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight and/or keeping up with your appearance after baby?
  
So many people have said it before, but since it's what worked for me, I'll say it again: breastfeeding. When I was pregnant, I didn't have any cravings, and I tried to eat lots of fruits and vegetables and healthy snacks to keep the nausea at bay. Not going overboard thinking I was "eating for two" probably helped me to gain a healthy amount of weight in the first place, which made it easier to lose after the baby was born. I'm not the best at keeping up my appearance, as I tend to go without make-up more these days, but I would like to make a more conscious effort to look put together for Alex's sake. On the days that I keep that in mind, I do tend to put forth the effort to fix my hair, wear something cute and put on mascara!  

What have you and your husband done since your baby's arrival to keep your relationship strong?
 
I'd love to say that we have regular date nights, but that is definitely not the case right now. We keep the lines of communication open and work through issues before they become bigger problems. I'm so thankful that we have had an easy time agreeing on how we want to parent our children thus far. Even if we disagree at first, we've been able to talk it through and come to a solution. We also try to get out of the house a couple times a month as a family to do something out of our ordinary routine, like trying the new frozen yogurt place around the corner from our house as a treat after dinner one night. Living on one income as definitely put a strain on our finances and there isn't a lot of disposable income, so little things like that are special. I'm a tight-wad and Alex is a spender, so we balance each other out.

Are there any must-have products you would recommend to other moms?
  
It seems like there are different 'must-haves' for every phase of motherhood thus far, but one thing that has been a lifesaver multiple times is some sort of baby-wearing 'apparatus'. We bought a Baby Bjorn carrier at a yard sale and Natalie fit in it for the first few months and then I started using a ring sling. The Baby Bjorn made those long evenings with a fussy baby more bearable and now that she's older, I use the ring sling when she refuses to sit in the stroller or shopping cart or when I'm at music practice at church. A few other things that I have really used a lot along the way are a Boppy pillow and the Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder, which occupies Natalie so I can cook dinner or work in the kitchen during the day.

What has been your favorite moment or outing as a family so far?
 
This is a tough one! We haven't gone too many places together yet, but lately we've really enjoyed playing together as a family before Natalie goes to bed. She usually still has quite a bit of energy to get out before calling it a night, so we've had a lot of fun playing with a ball on the living room floor or taking her outside for some time in her swing. Recently, the three of us were sitting on the couch and she leaned over and gave both of us big, wet, open-mouthed kisses over and over. Even though they were slobbery, they were the sweetest kisses ever. 

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Any advice for first-time mothers?

Motherhood is gift. It's overwhelming and challenging and might be completely opposite of what you had dreamed of, but God is only a desperate, tired prayer away and He'll give you the strength to make it til bedtime and to make it through endless middle-of-the-night feedings. Keep an attitude of prayer and thanksgiving so that you don't let all the exhaustion distract you from the blessings that are right in front of you. You are the best mother your child could ever have and these short moments of babyhood will be gone before you know it, so choose to savor it and don't beat yourself up over the moments that you weren't the 'perfect mom'.

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Thanks Amanda!  Check out Amanda's blog to read more about her sweet family!

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A Boy Named Harvey

It was just any other day - browsing my Facebook page, saw an interesting link that one of my friends shared, and I clicked.

I read an article about adoption, and the writer then started talking about some of the children that were left behind in the orphanage where her two children came from.

I scrolled down, looking at sweet faces of special needs kids that still needed adopting, and then I saw it.  The story of a boy named Harvey.

I almost skipped over it, because the pictures were so disturbing, but something made me stop.  Something made me scroll up and read a little further.

The boy in the pictures was curled up on his side in a crib, wearing a t-shirt and pajama pants.  Skeletal-looking arms, bent and covered with hair, little hands balled into fists.  A head full of thick dark hair, neck stretched back at an unnatural angle.  Brown eyes, staring at something.  Oxygen tube covering part of his face.

I read the story.  He has a lot of medical needs that aren't being met.  The hair covering his arms is from severe malnutrition and because of the fact that no one ever touches him or holds him.  He must be fed through a feeding tube.  He is three years old.

My son started to get fussy, and I could tell he was tired.  I minimized the page, and with Harvey still in my mind I picked up my healthy, growing toddler and took him to his room, laid him down for a nap.

I came back up and worked on some things around the house, pulled out my computer to finish some projects.  Then I opened the window up again.  And I stared at those pictures.  I looked at the way he was curled up on his side, and it reminded me of the way my son looks when he sleeps.  And I started to cry.

Somewhere across the ocean is a boy laying in his crib, living a miserable existence.  Bone-thin arms.  Never held, hardly touched.  No one to take care of him, to love him.

Oh, how I wanted to fly over there right then and get him.  Pick him up, hold him, cuddle him, un-ball those little fists.  Tell him that he is loved.  

I have never met him, probably will never get a chance to meet him.  But even as I'm typing this up now I have tears falling from my eyes.  His pictures haunt me.  I love that little boy that I have never met.

Because of various things that I won't go into here, I'm not in a position to adopt him.  The Lord has that door closed for now, and it's one of those things where I have to wait to see if the door will ever be opened.   I want to adopt him right now.  But I just can't. 

Oh, but if I could. . .  

I feel like he is mine already, even though I will probably never get to be the one to hold him, or rock him to sleep, or tell him of the love of Jesus.

But in a way, he is still mine.  He is mine to pray for.  I skimmed over the other children's stories, but I have to believe I stopped on his for a reason.  Maybe the Lord let him move my heart so strongly for no other reason than that Harvey needs someone, somewhere, who will pray for him to find a family.   Someone who thinks about him, someone who wants him, even if they can't have him here.

I hope and pray with my whole heart that someone will step in and save that boy.  That someone will love him and give him a family, even if it can't be me.  I pray that someone tells him about Jesus.

And I hope that someday, when I get to heaven, I'll see Harvey there.  Eternally happy and thriving and whole.  And I'll hold him then, and I'll tell him how he touched me even though we never met, and I'll tell him how I prayed for him.  And I won't have to cry anymore, because he'll know more love then than any human could have ever given him, and we'll both know the rest of the story.

 

 

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If any of you would like to see pictures of Harvey or the other children from the post who need homes, please check out this post from No Greater Joy Mom.  And would you join me in praying for Harvey (and any of the other children that touch your hearts), that they will find families?  My heart is raw right now, and it helps to know other people will be praying for him too.

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Mommy Moments Week #2

So I had such fun co-hosting the link-up last week! I attempted to visit all the blogs who linked up, but I know I didn't succeed - I think I got to at least half of you though, and I loved reading all your motherhood-related thoughts!

Two posts that I especially enjoyed were "Enough!" from Simply Helping Him, and "Tied Feet" from The Cadence of a Conquering Housewife. And this post from Big A little a was just funny!

If you didn't get a chance to link-up last week, I hope you'll play along this week! Review the information below and then link up your posts at the bottom of this post!

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Mommy Moments Blog Hop


Mommy Moments is a link-up for posts that have anything to do with being a mom.  So pregnancy updates, updates on kids, fun stuff you did with your kiddos, recipes or crafts (kid related or not), any thoughts on motherhood - anything that fits with being a mom!

Are you trying to conceive?  Write a post about your hopes/dreams for future kids, thoughts on being a mom someday, thoughts on the wait or your journey to becoming a mom . . . or indulge for a bit and show us what you would do for a nursery, how you want to dress your babies - anything you want!

And if you aren't a mom (and aren't trying yet)?  You can link up any posts that you think would be encouraging to moms - recipes and crafts, encouraging devotionals, inspiring thoughts - anything you think would be applicable!

Mommy Moments is one of those easy link-ups to participate in - you don't have to post on Monday, you can pick any post from the previous week that fits!  

 

To link up just . . .

1. Follow the host, Faith,my blog, and the other co-hosts! See Faith's blog for a complete list of the new co-hosts

2. Decide what post from the past week that you would like to share and add the Mommy Moments button or a text link-back to your post.

3. Come back here and add the direct link for your post to the link-up below!  Make sure it's the direct link, not just the link to your home page.

4. Explore some of the other posts in the link-up and say hello to some new blog friends!  At least two other posts would be great.


Link up your posts below!





The Scent Of Rain Book Review

 

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The Scent of Rain by Kristin Billerbeck is a Christian chic-lit novel about a girl named Daphne.  Daphne is a perfumer and professional "nose", who is left at the altar.  She finds herself alone and stuck with a job in Ohio that she took in order to start her new life with her now ex-fiance.  As if that wasn't bad enough she loses her sense of smell and is unable to do this new job, but she has no where else to go so she heads to Ohio, hoping her sense of smell will return before she actually has to start any work.  Her new boss is a handsome widower . . . and that's all I'll say to avoid spoiling the book, but I'm sure you can guess the rest!

I actually really enjoyed this book.  The characters were likable, and even though not a lot actually happened in the book, it kept me wanting to read it.  I've read other books by Billerbeck, and this is probably one of my favorites from her.

I have to say that I felt like some of the conversations and the flow of the plot were a bit confusing.  Some of the details that could have been a bit more dramatic or added more of a mystery to the plot seemed to just be mentioned in passing.  I felt there was more potential there that wasn't tapped.

That said, Billerbeck writes chic-lit, not mysteries, and as chic-lit, I liked this one.  It was a light, enjoyable read.  Nothing too deep or suspenseful, and it met all my expectations in a pleasant way.  It was one of those books that you can pick up and enjoy and that you look forward to reading, but that is also easy to put down while you do other things - a good beach or vacation read. Or a good mom-of-a-toddler-who doesn't-give-her much-time-to-read read.  Whichever the case may be!

Note: I received this book for free from the publisher through their Booksneeze program in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

What To Feed My Toddler? Link-Up!

 I have a really hard time thinking of things to feed Wyatt.  I just do.  

I'm not sure why this is, but we get stuck on the same old foods, over and over again.  It doesn't help that Wyatt is a bit of a picky eater right now, but I'm trying to think of more things that I can try to feed him.  And honestly not having much luck.

That's why when Melanie at Country Roads mentioned doing a link-up on foods that we feed our toddlers, I was all for it!  I'd love to get some more ideas and share about the things that actually do work for us!

So on October 2nd, Melanie and I will be co-hosting a link-up on the subject!

 

 

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Any post that you want to write about baby and toddler food will qualify for the link-up!  

Do you make your own baby food?  Tell us about it!  

Do you have a balanced menu planned out for your child from day-to-day?  Please share your secrets!  

Do you have a picky eater?  How do you get them to eat what you offer them (or are you still trying to figure that out)?  Share some tips (or feel free to ask for some advice)!

Is your baby too young for solids yet?  Describe your baby-food plan for when they start!

Do you know of some great recipes or ideas for kid food?  Share!

Are you stuck in a rut like I am?  Tell us what your go-to meals are and then browse for more ideas!  

 

 I'm really excited to see what you all feed your kids regularly, because I'm really hoping to glean some ideas from all of you!   So if you have a kid who eats, write up a post about what you feed them and link up on October 2nd!

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Six Months Pregnant! (Baby #2)

 

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Twenty-four weeks is viability week, meaning Baby GIrl could survive (with a lot of time in the NICU) if she was born right now!  According to various sources, we should be able to hear the baby's heartbeat through a stethoscope now (though I'm not sure I believe it - I was never able to find it with Wyatt).  Now is the time when the baby will really start to gain some fat to fill out that sweet skin.  I read that babies gain about 6 ounces a week at this stage!  Sheesh, that's a lot.

I feel pretty good overall!  I definitely can tell that Baby Girl is gaining weight.  Her movements are stronger, and I'm finally starting to feel more of them from the outside (that anterior placenta has been cushioning her movements pretty well up to now).  She moves around a lot, and many of her movements seem to be rhythmic. Maybe we have a little dancer in there!

The one thing that has been concerning to me is that I'm having some pain under my rib cage on the left side.  It's concerning because I had similar pain right before I gave birth to Wyatt, and I was told it was that it was my liver acting up because of my pre-eclampsia.  

However, that was more on the right side (because the majority of your liver is on the right), but I read that the left lobe of your liver stretches across to the left side, and your pancreas is also over there.  And it feels exactly the same as it did with Wyatt, just on the opposite side.  So I'm hoping it's not the start of some pain related to pre-ecplampsia, or a sign that I have gestational diabetes or something.  It's not heartburn, it's just an occasional dull ache.  I'm getting some baseline pre-eclampsia labs done at my office visit next week, as well as my glucose test, so I'll have to ask my doctor about it then.

I'm also attempting to get all my baby preparations done a little earlier this time than I did with Wyatt.  With Wyatt my goal was 37 weeks, but I'm moving it up a bit this time, just in case I do have blood pressure issues again and they put me on bedrest.  Which I don't think will happen, but my motto is "plan for the worst, hope for the best".  Plus it'll let me relax a bit and enjoy the Christmas season if everything is done.

So anyway, I started on our baby's quilt!  I made the quilt for Wyatt's nursery, so I wanted to make hers too.  I think it's going to turn out really cute!  I'll share pictures and how I did it when it's finished.

I also got some registering done at Target and on Amazon this week, just in case someone in my family wants to buy the baby something!  Obviously there wasn't a lot to register for since this is our second baby, but I added some crib bedding, a new diaper bag, and a double umbrella stroller.  And of course diapers!  Mostly I need girly clothes - I'm gathering pieces here and there, but I suspect that this girl will be getting a lot of clothes as gifts in the next few months, so I haven't bought too much.

As far as maternity clothes, I'm still in non-maternity jeans (haven't found a pair of maternity jeans that's going to work this time around yet), and a mix non-maternity and maternity shirts.  I'm really enjoying being a bit further along in my pregnancy during the fall this time - I love fall clothes and fall activities, and it's just fun being more obviously pregnant during the fall!

And just a few more belly pictures - my sister was over last weekend, so I had her take a couple pictures of me with my guys too!

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I love my little family!

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New Routine Around Here

So, my husband got a new job.

If you've been reading for a while you'll remember that I just said he got a new job about 7 months ago, and he did.  And it was a good job . . . but I have never seen Derek so stressed out about work. The environment of that job was just very stressful, so much so that it started give Derek stomach problems.  He went to the doctor and confirmed that it was stress-related, and it didn't surprise me, because a few other people in the office had health problems that were also potentially stress-related.

It was just not good, so before his six-month trial period came up I encouraged him to see if he could find something else.  We prayed that if the Lord had something better for our family that He would work it out.

Derek ended up getting in contact with his old auditor, and he got a job with them!  He started this past Monday.

The thing about this job is that since he'll be an auditor for different cities, he has to travel around quite a bit.  The year is broken up into 3 month increments - alternating between working from home for 3 months, then out on the road for 3 months.  So for 6 months of the year Derek will be gone during the week.

The good thing is that he'll be home every weekend during those three months, and then during the next three months he'll be home almost all the time since he'll be working from home for three months!  So while the six months that he's gone will be rough the six months that he's home we'll get to see him a lot more.

It's going to be a big change for our family.  I'll be doing everything around here during the week while he's gone.  I admit, I'm a bit nervous for the next three-month period when I have to do this alone during the week with two kids, and I'm worried it'll get a little lonely around here for me in the evenings.  But then I think of all those military wives who go a full year at a time without having their husbands home, and I think that this setup can't be that bad!

Overall I think this will be a good thing for our family, and it's a good career move for Derek, so I'm excited about it.

Now just to get high-speed internet so we can do FaceTime when he's gone!


Moms And Babies - Cait

Moms and Babies is officially back for the fall!  For those of you who are newer readers, Moms and Babies is an interview I post each week with a different mom blogger, and it's a great way to get to know other moms in the blog world!  I currently have all the spots full for the fall, but I'll let you know when I start liking up more moms for the spring!
 
On with today's feature . . .
 
Today I'm featuring Cait from The Blessed Life!  I've been reading Cait's blog since before she got pregnant with her adorable little girl, and I always find her blog encouraging!  Read on to learn more about her!

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Tell us a little about yourself.
 
My name is Caitlin.  Most people call me Cait.  I share my heart on my blog, theblessedlife.  First of all, I’m a Christian, saved by grace and constantly striving to follow Christ.  I’m a wife to Justin.  We celebrated 4 years of marriage on July 19th.  We have known each other since Kindergarten! He was my first boyfriend in 4th grade and is my absolute best friend.  He’s a patient, kind, hard-working man and amazing daddy.  I’m a new mommy to Adeline Grace.  She’s the most amazing thing that God has ever blessed me with and I’m daily in awe of her.  I’m a part-time elementary school art teacher (this is new for this upcoming school year).  I will teach K-5 art 2.5 days out of the week.  I was a 3rd and/or 4th grade teacher the past 4 years.  I also work part-time in the office for my family’s landscape business.  These recent job changes have, praise the Lord, allowed me to now be with my sweet girl more.
 
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What is/are your baby's name{s} and how old is/are he/she?
 
Our baby girl is Adeline Grace.  She was born on November 9, 2011 and is 10 months old.

 
Give us an idea of what a typical day looks like for you.
 
Our days change almost every single day and we stay on the go quite a bit.  However, a typical summer day goes like this:
 
8:30-9 Adeline wakes up.  I hear her chatting in her crib on the monitor.  I go in and greet her with “Good morning sunshine!” as her smile melts my heart all over again! I change her diaper, change her clothes if we have places to be (leave her in PJs if not), and nurse her.
 
9 We come into the kitchen and eat breakfast.  I make mine and hers.  Adeline usually eats oatmeal and sometimes some type of fruit.  I feed her and let her play in her highchair while I eat.  After this, I get ready while she plays in the doorway of my room and our bathroom in her Exersaucer.
 
9:30 We are out the door if it’s a day that I’m working for my parents.  If not, Adeline plays on the floor or in her Jumperoo while I clean a bit, play a bit with her, or we just stay lazy.
 
10:30/11ish Adeline goes down for her morning nap.  This usually takes 15-30 minutes to get her to go to sleep.  She sleeps for 30-45 minutes.  Maybe an hour on a good day.  I have a cat napper! During the nap, I get some things done around the house if we’re home and work if we’re at my parents’.
 
12 I nurse her and then we eat lunch.  She typically eats veggies and/or fruit for lunch.
 
12:30-2ish Varies.  Playtime, reading, walks, out and about for errands, etc.
 
2ish Afternoon nap.  Same routine.  She fights sleep…naps for a short while and is back at it! J
 
4 I nurse Adeline.
 
4 or 5 Justin gets home from work and if we’ve been at my parent’s, we head back home.  Justin usually takes a quick shower and then plays with Adeline while I fix dinner or we get ready to head out to eat with family some nights.
 
5 or 6 Dinner – Adeline eats at the same time as us in her highchair.  She usually has oatmeal/rice cereal and a veggie/fruit.
 
6-8 Varies.  We stay really busy, but if we’re at home, we lounge around or spend time outside.
 
8:00 Bath time if it’s bath night.  Bedtime routine begins…PJs, vitamins/gas drops as we rock, I nurse her and then put her down for the night. She almost always goes down really easy at night.  Many nights she will fall asleep nursing.
 
3 am or so – Adeline will wake still to nurse sometimes around this time and goes right back down.  (I’m okay with this and haven’t worked at all on nighttime weaning.)
 
7 am or so – Sometimes she will wake again to nurse.  Sometimes not.
 
We start all over! 
 
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If you had to choose three words to describe your baby's personality{s}, what would they be?

How do I choose only three?! ;)
 
Spunky, sweet, joyful. 

What's your favorite part about being a mom?
 
Oh the joy it brings.  Seriously.  I’m in awe every single day of how much I love our sweet girl.  I love nurturing her and loving on her and teaching her things.  I love introducing her to new things and watching her smile and laugh.  I love to see her hit milestones and learn how to make new, silly faces.  I love how she pulls me outside of my comfort zone as I’m an introvert and she’s already such a little extrovert.  I love how I can’t get enough of her and that God chose me to be her mommy.  So amazing.
 
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Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight and/or keeping up with your appearance after baby?
 
I’m a huge advocate for breastfeeding.  Thank the Lord, through much prayer I know, it has gone so smoothly for us since the beginning.  I know it’s what has helped me lose my baby weight!
 
I’m also a huge fan of the myfitnesspal app.  I love the accountability it provides for my diet choices and my activity level.
 
And finally, get moving in practical ways.  Do some lunges while holding your baby.  Take a walk pushing the stroller.  Clean your house quickly during a nap.
 
As far as appearance goes, as soon as you feel comfortable leaving the house without baby, treat yourself to a haircut.
 
Clean your closet out as soon as you can of all your pregnancy clothes and wear those clothes you couldn’t for 9 months as soon as you can.  You’ll feel like a new woman!
 
And even if you’re just going to be around the house…put on at least one article of clothing or one type of make-up or one good-smelling lotion that makes you feel good and confident. 
 
What have you and your husband done since your baby's arrival{s} to keep your relationship strong?
 
Confession…we have been horrible about dates.  Both of us would prefer to just take Adeline with us when we go out.  We prefer “family date night” on Fridays as we like to call it.  However, we have done some little things to keep our relationship strong.
 
We often rent movies and cuddle on the couch after Adeline goes to bed.  We watch TV together, even if it’s something one of us dislikes ;).  We have heart-to-hearts a lot in bed before we go to sleep…talking about what’s going on in our lives and sharing those deep-down thoughts.
 
Again…this dating your spouse area is a work in progress in our lives right now, for sure!
 
 
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Are there any must-have products that you would recommend to other moms?
 
I could go on and on but here are the first three that come to my mind…Sophie the Giraffe, Moby wrap, Gentle Giraffe and/or Sleep Sheep.

 
What has been your favorite moment or outing as a family so far?
 
We recently took a long weekend family vacation of just us three to the Smoky Mountains.  We stayed in a great lodge-like hotel that had a great swimming pool and lazy river that we enjoyed.  We hiked, ate lots of good food, and went to a huge aquarium.  We laughed a lot, snuggled as a family a lot, and took lots of pictures and videos.  We just had a wonderful time as just us three enjoying being around each other and soaking in those moments that can so easily get passed by if we don’t slow down now and again.
 
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Any advice for first-time mothers?
 
Oh my.  I’m still one, so I’m still learning.  But just on my almost 10 months of experience, I could write an entire post on this. Oh wait, I probably have on my blog! ;) However, here are my top ten pieces of advice…
 
10.  Don’t get overwhelmed by it, but document every moment you can.  Journaling, pictures, blogging. Whatever works for you.  You’ll be so thankful you did.
9.  Trust your husband and let him help.
8.  Don’t be surprised when you do those things you said you would never do.
7.  Be over-prepared when you go places.  I mean, diaper-filled-to-the-brim, will-hardly-zip, over-prepared.
6.  Don’t beat yourself up.  If you make a mistake, take it for what it’s worth, have a good cry, learn from it, and move on.
5.  Don’t worry about specifics on milestones.  If your child is happy and thriving, that’s all that matters.
4.  When all else fails, call your mom.
3.  Don’t compare yourself to other moms.
2.  Do what you think is best for your child.  You and your husband know them better than anyone else.
1.  Pray.
 
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Thanks Cait!  Stop by Cait's blog to learn more about her family and say hello!
 
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Mommy Moments Link-Up!

 

Today I'm co-hosting a new weekly link-up!  Faith over at The Life Of Faith started a link-up called Mommy Moments a few months ago, and I've been enjoying linking up with her the last few weeks - I've already met several new bloggers through her link-up!  So when I heard she was looking for a co-host, I jumped at the chance!

If you don't already follow Faith's blog, you should.  She got married a year and a half ago, and now she is expecting her first baby - a girl, a couple weeks ahead of me!   I also love how she writes about wanting to do her best to bring God glory through her blog (because that's my ultimate goal for this blog too).  Her blog is also genuinely fun to read!  Click here to read more about her.


Mommy Moments Blog Hop


Mommy Moments is a link-up for posts that have anything to do with being a mom.  So pregnancy updates, updates on kids, fun stuff you did with your kiddos, recipes or crafts (kid related or not), any thoughts on motherhood - anything that fits with being a mom!

Are you trying to conceive?  Write a post about your hopes/dreams for future kids, thoughts on being a mom someday, thoughts on the wait or your journey to becoming a mom . . . or indulge for a bit and show us what you would do for a nursery, how you want to dress your babies - anything you want!

And if you aren't a mom (and aren't trying yet)?  You can link up any posts that you think would be encouraging to moms - recipes and crafts, encouraging devotionals, inspiring thoughts - anything you think would be applicable!

Mommy Moments is one of those easy link-ups to participate in - you don't have to post on Monday, you can pick any post from the previous week that fits!  

 

To link up just . . .

1. Follow The Life Of Faith and Through Clouded Glass blogs.

2. Decide what post from the past week that you would like to share and add the Mommy Moments button or a text link-back to your post.

3. Come back here and add the direct link for your post to the link-up below!  Make sure it's the direct link, not just the link to your home page.

4. Explore some of the other posts in the link-up and say hello to some new blog friends!  At least two other posts would be great.


And that's it!  Alrighty, link-away!





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