Wednesday, November 30, 2011

For those of you not on FB

I know what you're thinking, who in the world isn't on Facebook??  Well, my brother & father for starters :) 

Here is a link for my fall pics that I have posted on FB (pics from Sept-Nov).  Just wanted to share!

Most of them are of my child.  I really tried hard not to do that & to keep taking pictures of my friends and pets, but she makes every picture so much cuter.  It's a lost cause at this point.  Enjoy!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Things You Need to Know

Things you need to know: Pregnancy Edition
AKA: Things I wish people had told me before I had a baby
Brought to you by Meg :)

1.)  When you become pregnant & tell people, you hear everything from everyone.  You will hear about the good, the bad, the beautiful, & the ugly.  People tend to assume that whatever kind of pregnancy they had is also what you will experience.  This is not the case.  Try to take everything you hear with a small (or large, depending on the source!) grain of salt.  It is not all roses and it is not all thorns.  There are good moments and there are hard moments.  The only thing you really need to know is: you are unique and your emotions are not wrong!  If you are worried about your mental state, then talk to your doctor or seek out a counselor.  I am a mega big fan of Christ-based counseling! 

2.) Pregnancy is messy.  It's a wonderful miracle, yes, but it's messy.   I won't go into details, but just be prepared to have your body do some funky things.  If you haven't had a baby and you wonder what on earth on I'm talking about, feel free to email me :)

3.) Your recovery may be worse than the actualy pregnancy/labor.  With my first baby, recovery was so much harder and challenging and painful than any other part of the process.  This is not the case for everyone, but dont assume once that baby comes out, your body is going to feel good.  Mine was a wreck.   It did heal eventually, of course, but the pain after labor was something no one warned me about and it sucked.  Obviously, since I'm happily pregnant again, it was worth it though!

4.)  Someone will always comment on how you are carrying your baby.  Big or small or high or low.  It means nothing.  Don't take it to heart.  Just listen to your doctor and tell everyone else to shut it.  Or you can be like me, smile politely, and then completely ignore their comments, ha!  I carry small.  I don't look like I'm ready to pop so some people worry, but that's just how my body carries babies.  My friend carries large and even though she is 5 weeks behind me, she looks more pregnant than me so people worry.  But again, that's just how her body carries babies.  If your doctor isn't worried, you shouldn't be!

5.) A LOT of things people tell you will be old wives tales.  Be nice to people, but don't believe them!  Check with a medical professional about anything you want.  One time I was seeing a "spot" in my vision & thought I was crazy.  I felt really stupid asking about it, but some pregnant women see black spots in their peripheral vision.  Did you know that?  I didn't!  And if I had gone to my friends and family, only the Lord knows what kinds of advice/opinions I would have heard.

6.)  It is not true you will never take a hot shower or read a book again.  Simply not true. 

7.)  For a lot of people, pregnancy is hard.  Even if they reeealllyy want to be pregnant, it's hard.  Not for everyone, but for more people than admit it I think!  People think that if they admit to not loving their pregnancy, then it makes them a bad person or a bad parent.  I'm here to tell you that I am a very good mom to my daughter (& will be to my son) and love her more than words can express, but really didn't like being pregnant with her (or now either!).  At all.  It does not make me less of a person or less of a parent or less of a woman.  God hand crafted my personality when he knit me in my mother's womb & He doesn't make mistakes.  And someone may love being pregnant & be a crappy parent.  Okay?  So know that you may love being pregnant, but you may not.  And it's ok to be honest about your feelings to people you trust.  My mom loved every second of being pregnant, but she doesn't hold it against me that I don't.  How you feel about your pregnancy is not indicative to how you will feel about your baby!! Trust me!     

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bucket List

Sometimes I wonder if I will ever do any of my bucket list items.  Hopefully some of them at least, although all of them are definitely possible. I really think the hubs will get me a chinchilla one day. This next one is one of the maybes.

I would love and I mean really love love love to see Bebo Norman in concert. Well, I actually would love to meet him and be his friend, but let's at least try to make my bucket list realistic.  I absolutely love his music. Normally I like bands such as Death Cab for Cutie, Cake back in the day, Greenday, American Rejects, etc.  But there is something about Bebo Norman's lyrics combined with his folksy style that just makes me happy :)

The man's Christmas album seriously makes me cry.  He is passing through Nashville on a Christmas tour on December FIRST.   I am due December 7th.  Unfair.  When "Myself When I Am Real" came out, I listened to it non freaking stop for a month or two.  I looked him up tonight and I only have 5 out of 8 CD's! I need to get crackin'.  I haven't bought one in years so that's why. 

Anyway, that's all.  Sorry this post is so scattered and poorly written.  I am recovering from a cupcake overload.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Learning is Fun! Weekly Post

So, I have not taken the time to get my ducks in a row for next week.  Or however that saying goes.   I have been working on another project so that's part of it.  I can only put so much time into actively finding challenging and educational and fun things to do with Autumn.  I mean, I do have to take care of her 24/7 :)  Literally, 24/7 with the Hubs gone!  I get breaks from her when I go to the doctor!  haha

The project I was working on was "acitvity boxes" (called "quiet boxes" on other blogs).  But mine aren't necessarily for quiet time so I changed them to activity boxes.  My dad watches TV at night and recently Autumn has become very interested in it so I made 5 boxes to explore and play with before bedtime so she doesn't watch all that TV.  We tried out the first one tonight and it went really well! She played with the stuff in her box for 30ish minutes and then I sat down and played with her so she played some more!  I hope that track record keeps up.  We only need to kill about an hour because she goes to bed at 7:30 and dad doesn't normally turn the TV on until 6pm. 

So, anyway...all that to say I don't have any activities lined up for this next week!
But here's how last week went (age attempted 18 months):

1. Learn where her ankle is located: yep!
2. Learn to sign cat: kind of.  She kind of grabs and pulls at her face...but she'll get it :)
3. Cloth Pull: We did this and she enjoyed it.  I think she likes opening and shutting the lid (via the little button) better than pulling the cloth out though.
4. Leaf Bracelet: Um, no not so much.  She did not think it was cool at all to stick things to her duct tape bracelet and in fact, kept saying "off, off, off" :)
5. Pushing Puff Balls: Mommy fail
6. Glue primary color shapes to paper: yep...
But we used double sided tape instead of glue because we're cool like that.

To my knowledge we didn't do anything extra either :( 
Well, I took her to a baby gym for a MOPS playdate which is fun and a good learning opportunity so I say that counts.  But, yeah, that's it.  Hey, you can't win them all :) 

I will come up with more to do with the munchkisimo soon and post again!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Link Up: Baby Girl's Nursery

Yep, that's right, I'm calling it a nursery until she is out of her crib...which is maybe 5 or 6 months :)
Paula Kathlyn from The Patriotic Peacock is doing a link-up to see your baby/child's nursery/room.  The link is here.  Here is my sweet pea's room while we are in TN (7 more months until we go back to Germany)!  This is her 3rd nursery in 18 months (got you beat timewise Kathlyn!).  Her first nursery in Oklahoma was the best one I think.  Her nursery in Germany was pretty crapalicious because we needed steel nails to actually hang stuff up and plus the Hubs was hardly ever at home.  This nursery is not bad at all, but most of the decor came from my mom and my mother-in-law since I didn't have anything! 

Her growth chart I made for her a couple of months ago!  It actually matches her bird bedding in Germany but oh well!  It's still cute!  The toilet paper really makes the picture, dont ya think?
The glider my mama bought for me to use!  A humidifier (if you live in the South with a child who has allergies, it's pretty much a necessity) and flower knobs from my MIL.  We bought some lovely cream colored black out curtains...but haven't hung them up yet! Maybe this weekend ;)

Her crib from my in-laws and a special homemade blanket.   Plus, flower wall decals from my MIL.
Fabric covered letters I decorated!  I am quite proud of them.  When I look at them, they make me happy :)  Wish I had a close up to show you, but I don't and she's sleeping right now.  On the top shelf is her picture of daddy she kisses at night and in the morning.  There's some stuffed bears and some books that she isn't ready for yet.  Plus a noise machine and her moniter!
Her dresser and mirror that my mama bought!
And this is a canvas thingy I made, but haven't hung up yet.  You can't tell in the picture, but those are Martha Stewart gold glitter butterflies and the wings are 3-D! They are soo pertty! 

There it is!  Hope you enjoyed the pictures.  It's a pretty peaceful room as long as I keep it clean ;)  My next project is my baby boy's nursery who will be here in a few weeks and who is sharing a room with me! And, I haven't done much at all for it yet!  Eek!! I like to live life on the edge ;) 

One day (maybe in Germany) I really hope to devote some time and energy to the nurseries.  I just love the thought of having beautiful rooms for my babies, but haven't exactly been in the easiest situation to make that happen!  One day...

If you want to link up your baby or child's room, head over to the Patriotic Peacock and share!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

An experiment

So, Jon Acuff wrote a blog post called "The biggest lie about travel we all believe" from his website Stuff Christians Like.  To summarize it in one sentence as he did: "You don't need a plane ticket to be distant from your family".  He talks about how he travels a lot, but he makes it a priority to stay connected and when he is home, he is home.  Not off in facebook or twitter or blog land.

At first, I thought, "Amen Jon!" And then I thought, wait a I do that??  So I spent yesterday evening lying in bed analyzing our day and being consumed with guilt.  It was not a typical day...I don't think at least... but nonetheless it was not my most stellar day as a mommy.

My daughter does an excellent job of entertaining herself.  She has a wonderful imagination.  She talks to her stuffed animals and "reads" (note: looks at pictures) and takes her toys apart and puts them back together.  She will even just look out the window sometimes!  It is a good thing, of course, but unfortunately, it feeds my laziness.  And if there is anything I HATE in this life, it is my natural inclination to be lazy. 

The thing that is so convicting is that while she is happy playing by herself, she is super duper happy when her mommy plays with her.  She, like every other child ever born, loves attention and affection and fun!  She loves her stuffed Elmo (who was having a conversation with her little red bear a few minutes ago:) ), but she loves talking to her mommy more than her Elmo and she would rather read a book with me than by herself.  That's the simple, but profound, truth.

So, I have challenged myself to be 100% internet free while I am with her from tomorrow until Thanksgiving.  That's right.  100% free.  I don't know if it sounds easy to you or not, but when the Internet is literally at my fingertips via my smart phone, it is not going to be easy for me.  It is going to be challenging.  It is going to test my self discipline.  It is probably going to test my patience.  But I also think it is going to enrich my daughter's life.  I think it is going to make us closer.  I think it is going to be hard, but worth it and in the end, awesome! 

Pray for me ;)  No, really, pray for me!  I'll let you know how it is going in a day or two!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Learning is Fun Weekly Post

So, yeah, I might have to not call it a weekly post if this track record stays strong. 

So to recap, here were my goals from 2 weeks ago (age attempted 18 months):
1. Play with hats-I knew that wasn't going to happen.  Why did I even put it down? 
2. Bubbles-check, check.
3. Color with red, blue, yellow-we have done this a lot!  I think I was making up for slacking the previous week or something.   She is starting to notice the color red.  I think.  Maybe.   :)
4. Learn where her thumb is: Yes, that was easy.
5. Learn to sign "daddy" and "help".  She can do both of them, but doesn't do them unprompted.  I'm not too worried about daddy since she can say that, but I would like for her to use help since she just gets mad and starts crying when she can't do something.
6. Boo at the Zoo: so much fun!  Crazy and chaotic, but fun!
7. Crunch in some leaves: We did this last week and today.  She has a lot of fun with it.  I should take some pics.  Or maybe a video.  We also made a big pile and she walks through it and kicks it around.
8. Hula Hoop: mommy fail.

Extra Activities:
9. Fall Sensory Tub.  Pine needles, acorns, holly (with the thorns cut off), and pine cones.  She didn't really enjoy playing with that one.  What I did instead  was get some heavy cardboard and cut out a wreath shape and we glued all the goodies to the wreath (she stuck the pine needles on and I glued the acorns and the holly) .  It turned out quite beautiful :)  The coolest thing about this activity was all that stuff was in the back yard!
10. Halloween Sensory Tub.   Black beans, pumpkin seeds, little skeletons, pumpkin erasers, fake spiders, and Halloween finger puppets.  She enjoyed this one much more.  Her favorite thing to do with the tub was did out the pumpkin seeds and the little pumpkins from the black beans.  Here she is giving a black cat finger puppet she found a kiss :)
Luckily it was warm enough to play with outside because sensory tubs are quite messy! I'm not sure how we are going to do them this winter. 
11.  Does trick or treating count as an activity?  I think it should :)

SO...for next week, we have:
1. Learn where her ankles are on her body.
2. Learn to sign "cat"
3. "Cloth Pull" found here.
4. "Leaf Bracelet" found here.
5. "Pushing Puff Balls" found here.
6. Glue red, yellow, blue shapes onto paper (probably just circles and squares).
7. Song/Nursery Rhyme of the Week: "This old man...he played one"
8. Book of the Week: "The Potty Book for Girls".  Not that I am comitting to anything, but it never hurts to prepare...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

I'm Tired

So so tired. 

I'm tired of a lot.  Was I this tired with my last pregnancy?  My last pregnancy wasn't this emotionally challenging, that's for sure.  Although, at the time, I thought that pregnancy was plenty emotional for me.  Do they get harder?  I thought they would get easier, but maybe God just breaking me in slowly...scary thought!  If there is a 3rd pregnancy, I hope it's easy peasy on the emotional side of things!  And everything else too.  And, how quickly I get off subject! 

I'm tired.  Here are some things I am tired of (warning: mini vent): 

-tired of being so sleepy every morning, afternoon, evening
-tired of trying to be the best mom I can be
-tired of cooking dinner
-tired of feeling guilty over not making my bed
-tired of being responsible with our money
-tired of all my parent's pets
-tired of my daughter's beautiful curls (awful of me to not be thankful for them 24/7 I know, but it's true.  That wild hair is hard to handle some days)
-tired of being behind in bible study
-tired of oversleeping/not being disciplined enough to go to bed early
-tired of feeling fat/ugly/unkempt/etc

Well, that's seems like plenty so I'll stop.  I guess when you boil it all down, I'm kind of tired of life.  I know I am blessed and I know God is good to me.  I love the Lord and I wouldn't change much about my life right now...well, maybe that whole Hubby in the desert thing, but I trust we are in God's will right now. 

People talk about "nesting".  So far, I say that's a myth.  I didn't nest during either one of my pregnancies.  I don't know if I'm defunct somehow or my ever unstable life makes nesting especially difficult.  Grrr.

That's all.  I'm tired.