Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Countdown to Baby - Lots of Work to do!

Today is July 29, and I am now 27 weeks pregnant! Less than 13 weeks to go before baby arrives (that’s assuming he doesn’t come early!) and our family grows from 3 to 4. This pregnancy is going a lot faster than I thought! How exciting! But…..oh man I have a LOT of things I need to get done/under control before this happens!!

I’ve come up with a week by week approach that should help maintain my sanity.

For August, there is, in no particular order:

  • Sewing projects – maternity dress, dresses for Cora, a little tote bag for Cora, one baby project
  • Packing and going on a week’s vacation (fun, but hard to get much accomplished at home!)
  • Preserving corn and tomatoes (sauce, salsa, etc) for the year
  • Put away/sort Cora’s clothes by size, box up what she’s grown out of, and what she’s not big enough for yet.
  • Go through Cora’s little baby clothes, and pick out the stuff that is gender neutral that our son can wear.
  • Come up with an effective organization system for our laundry/hall/mud room/mail desk. (ha! Sounds impossible!!)

September’s tasks include:

  • Birthday parties
  • Reorganizing the computer room/office AND KEEP IT THAT WAY!!!
  • Sewing projects: More baby stuff, plus get started on some matching dolly things for the Big Sis!
  • Reorganize the Attic Room (my sewing/craft/storage room) so that Cora can be in there without getting into trouble
  • Finish re-upholstering antique rocking chair.

By the end of September, I’ll be approaching 36 weeks, and I hope to have all the baby stuff purchased, prepped, and ready for use by the time I reach 37 weeks – the time when a baby could be born and considered full-term. It won’t hurt to be ready by then, but I’d sure be scrambling if baby came early and I wasn’t!

I’ll need to:

  • Wash stuff: car seat covers, crib sheets, clothes, cloth diapers
  • Buy the stuff I don’t have for baby: boy specific clothes, newborn sized cloth diapers, and other miscellaneous things – I’m registered at – lots of really good things on my registry list if you’re looking for a good baby gift (wink, wink!!!!) Especially the Tummy Tub baby bathtub, the Twilight Turtle (as a nite lite alternative), the LilyPadz, the BumGenius Diapers (and the matching BabyLegs!), the Aden and Anais Muslin swaddling blankets….well, all the products I've registered for on that site will be VERY handy.
  • Get all the birth day stuff ready – food, snacks, baby book…..and so forth.

October’s work (beyond being sure all baby gear is ready to go):

  • Deep clean the house
  • Make sure plans are in place for Cora for both during the birth and after baby is born to help her feel important.
  • Food prep – making meals and freezing them for later use!

If I’m still pregnant the week baby is due, I plan on congratulating myself for getting everything ready in plenty of time, taking long walks, getting a hair cut, deep cleaning the house (again!), and just enjoying the last days of being a family of three before our new addition arrives!

My Toilets Smell Like Cedar!

Yes, I actually had fun cleaning the bathrooms this morning.

I'd been putting it off for the past week or two - my pregnancy body was making me feel nauseaus at the very thought of smelling the normal cleaning chemicals I use to clean the bathroom - toilet cleaner, and all-purpose bathroom cleaning spray. Every time I use those things to clean with, I have to use the fan in the bathroom, since the smell of the cleaning solution just makes it really hard to breathe. Besides, those chemicals are supposed to be unsafe for use during pregnancy (or that was my excuse, anyway!).

So I'd been putting it off. Matt offered to clean the bathrooms, but hadn't gotten around to it yet(!). Recently some of the youth from our church came by and helped me do some deep cleaning in the house, including washing windows. I was about to run out of Windex, so I called my MIL and she came to the rescue - she sells Watkins products and brought by a bottle of the Watkins Lavender and Rosemary Window Cleaning Solution - very very nice! The house smelled amazing of the lavender and rosemary essential oil for several days after the windows were cleaned. I really like it, and it will be tough for me to go back to buying regular windex after this!

She gave me a Watkins catalog, and they have other cleaning supplies in there too. A toilet bowl cleaner that has orange essential oil, and an all-purpose bathroom cleaning solution with lemon essential oil. I loved the thought of having my bathroom clean without the chemicals, and citrus-y smelling, too! But, the prices were a bit prohibitive, and while I was at Jay-C Plus yesterday, I stopped by the "hippy" section of the store - with all the organic foods and cleaners, and found that they had a Cedar scented toilet cleaner for half price. I also bought another all purpose cleaner, but I'm not as impressed with it (no scent).

So, as I was cleaning my bathrooms this morning, actually ENJOYING the scents that the cleaning products I was using were giving off, I felt quite happy with my purchase! This just may be the start to me beginning to investigate using more natural cleaning products, maybe even ones I can make up myself!

Here's to having a clean, fresh-smelling home!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Making Myself Teachable

Several months ago I found a little piece of home decor at Hobby Lobby I liked so well that I purchased it - it's now hanging in our living room on the wall. It's a little metal sign that says "Show me your ways, O Lord, guide me in your truth, and teach me. Psalm 25:4-5" Pretty simple, really.

I've been thinking though, about that verse, and life, and it's becoming obvious to me that I am making life more difficult than it needs to be.

Going through a time where you have to make a hard decision?? Check!

Having long talks with the spouse about said decision?? Check!

Lots of time spent in prayer, both alone, and with spouse?? Check!

Still having a hard time finding an answer to what to do about said hard decision?? Check!!

Here's what I've decided is missing: I am not spending time in the Word (reading the Bible). I've slacked off big time in that department. Yes, God uses a lot of ways to communicate with His children, but perhaps this time He needs to communicate through the Word. I plan to make a conscious effort to get back into a habit of reading scripture. When I do take the time to do this, I feel much more connected with God, when I let other things happen first and don't take the time to read the Bible, well....I feel less connected. Why do I continually fall out of this good habit? (don't answer that's rhetorical)

Anyway, my prayer today is that God will gently lead me back to a closeness with Him through reading His Word, and that He will show me His ways, guide me in His truth, and teach me, and give me a teachable spirit!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

4th Anniversary Dinner for Four!

Last week my husband and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary. We decided to make a dinner with the same menu items as our wedding reception, look at the pictures from our wedding album, and watch the video footage that Rick took of the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, wedding, and reception. We listened to music during dinner, which Cora really enjoyed grooving to in her highchair!

If you're wondering about the title to this post, attendees at this dinner included my husband, our daughter, and of course, I am eating for two these days! :-)

I bought a dozen yellow roses for the table (the bridesmaids bouquets had yellow roses in them), and put one of our crystal wedding frames on the table, we pulled the curtains shut in the dining room, lit candles, poured sparkling apple cider into wine glasses. I made a two-layer white cake with white frosting, which I topped with two daisies (daisies were the main flower in our wedding).
The menu was:
BBQ Meatballs
Ham and Cheese Finger Sandwich
Cheesy Garlic Potatoes
Fruit Boats
Veggies (Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Carrots)
Crackers and Cheese
For dessert I baked a white cake with white frosting, but we were too full so didn't eat any. I also made some fudge. We DID eat some of that. :-)
It was a fun way to have a romantic evening at home. If you haven't tried celebrating your anniversary this way, I recommend it!
And, I have to tell you, the Ham and Cheese things I made weren't exactly like what we had at the reception - we had Mini buns with deli meat 4 years ago. This time I made up my own version of an open faced finger sandwich, here's the recipe:
Mix one package of diced ham with about 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, and 1-2 tablespoons fresh chives. Open a tube of crescent rolls and cut into small triangles, about 3"x3"x4", place on a cookie sheet. Spread each triangle with The Laughing Cow Garlic and Herb Spreadable Cheese, about 1/2 teaspoon per triangle. Place ham, cheese, and chive mixture in the center of the triangles, using up all of the mix - the triangles will be full. Bake according to crescent roll tube, or until dough is baked and golden brown. Serve hot.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Catch Up!

Well, I feel like I haven't updated the blog in a while, so here goes!

I recently wrote about struggles with bathtime and bedtime - no more! We purchased a "shampoo rinse cup" from One Step Ahead, which has a flexible side that molds around our daughter's head and keeps the water from going on her face - no more crying when we have to wet, lather, and rinse! Yay! She LOVES bathtime now. Often, now that it's summertime, we incorporate bathtime right before bedtime, and once she turned 18 months old, she no longer gets to have her "special" blanket all day - only in her crib at naptime or bedtime, so that gives her extra incentive to head to bed. So, a relaxing routine + getting to see blanket helps!

Cora's "Aunt" Louise brought her this rocking horse, which she loves! She "feeds" him crackers, and makes sure he gets plenty of water to drink, as she holds up her sippy cup to his muzzle. What a good horse owner she is!

Cora and I headed to visit her aunt Jill, where we had a very fun time getting to visit her and play on the playground. It was a really nice spot that was just for younger kids, many had babies smaller than Cora, but the majority were her size, a few were a little bigger. She LOVED watching the other children play. We also got to go to Barefoot Kids while there, which sells cloth diapers, and purchased some DreamEaze all-in-ones, which so far are GREAT, and a couple of pairs of training pants, though she's not really quite ready for that yet.

Then in mid-June we had the annual extended family gathering where nearly all of Matt's side of the family gets together here at the farm. His dad was one of 9 children, so all of his aunts, uncles, cousins, and their children assemble here at the farm. Many of the aunts and uncles live within a few miles of the "homeplace" which is just 1/4 mile north of our house. The kids get to play in the barn, go on hayrides to check the cows and calves, go along and do chores, play with the kittens, and just do all kinds of outdoor/farm things. The adults get to visit, enjoy plenty of good pitch-in cooking, and enjoy getting together again. It's always a fun time! Cora was one of 3 babies born within about a month of each other, and the littler ones got the first chance of sorting through the sunflower seeds to look for coins.

We had a taco buffet at our home on the Saturday of that weekend, and as we waited for everyone to arrive, the girls blew bubbles in the garage for Cora to watch and try to pop. If you haven't played with bubbles in a while - it's surprisingly fun even when you're not a kid anymore!

Then the next weekend was Father's Day, and we took this picture in our front yard early the morning before we headed to church. ((Isn't that girl and her daddy cute together????))

Then after church for Father's Day we headed to the lake where we met up with my parents and sister who had camped the night before. Cora got to go on a few bike rides, Dad grilled steaks, we had a delicious lunch, then headed down to the lake where amazingly we were the only ones swimming at that spot. Cora had fun playing in the sand, and we all enjoyed cooling off in the water.
And this week was our county fair. We went as a family on Tuesday, and then worked the Farm Bureau booth last night, giving out free popcorn, while Cora wandered the fair with her grandparents, and had fun collecting stickers (she didn't wear them, grandma and grandpa did!) and seeing the sights. The picture is of her in the car seat (I took the picture, Matt was driving). She has just been jabbering away a lot more clue what she's saying, but she even speaks with her hands for emphasis! It may be time to get some regular Signing Time videos, since we only have Baby Signing Time. I know we've avoided a few tantrums because she's been able to tell us what she needs/wants without being able to speak clearly yet. She's close, but the sentences she rattles off now are nowhere near coherent, but you can sure tell she thinks they are!

Of course we've been busy doing other things too, and don't feel bad if I didn't mention a specific activity, but I just included the ones I had pictures for!